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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by noiseredux Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:46 pm

Exhuminator wrote:If nothing else, play the PC version of this:

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It's my all time favorite FPS.

Edit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... Jko8#t=133

Some gameplay footage of the first level.



coincidentally, I just found Soldier of Fortune II Double Helix for $2 at a thrift shop. Is it any good?
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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BogusMeatFactory Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:10 pm

1. Jazzpunk (PC)
2. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (PS2)
3. Grandia (PS1)
4. Hotline Miami (PC)
5. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)
6. Off-Peak (PC)
7. realMYST: Masterpiece Edition (PC)

realMYST: Masterpiece Edition - This was a game that I had been wanting to dig into for a very long time. Essentially, realMYST is remake of the original MYST game using a more archaic engine that later worked its way into URU: Ages Beyond Myst and Myst V: End of Ages.

What makes this game stand out against the original is that you can freely roam a 3-D environment to solve puzzles, as well as add a new Age, Rime, to the previous 4 Ages. There is a give and take for this method as you lose some visual quality, as the pre-rendered images included a lot of very detailed environments and accents that this version clearly can not do. Is this really a downside? Not necessarily. Let's dig through a bit of history here.

You may or may not know that I am a longstanding Myst series fanatic, having a long standing love and admiration of the world created in the series, making claim that it is very Tolkien in nature with details and tertiary information. The reality is that, even though Myst captured my imagination, it was Riven and URU that really pushed me over the edge into absolute fandom. Myst was a game that I played once when it first came out, as it was a gift from my rich aunt way back in the day. I was far too young to understand the puzzles, but was intrigued by the mysterious characters. I had neither the patience nor wit to complete the game and relied solely on the walkthrough for solving the puzzles

Years have passed, having never touched the original for 22 years (seriously? That long?!) and I decided to grab this more recent iteration and give it a shot. I can honestly tell out that, outside of the final puzzle in the game, I have no recollection to the puzzles and their solution.

With that in mind, playing realMYST: Masterpiece Edition was an absolute joy to play. Having the freedom to looking around and move at will gave you a level of control that alleviated the biggest flaw the early Myst games had. You had a sense of where you were in the world and disorientation was absolutely eliminated. Sure, the worlds were less detailed, but now you could easily grasp the puzzles. I at no point referred to a guide and am absolutely positive that those who believe Myst to be a difficult game did not take the time to figure it out. I breezed through the game in roughly 4 hours and loved it.

So, why this one versus the original? Well hindsight is 20/20 and this game uses that to add details and information that help tie the game into the myst universe and its characters a bit more. Ti'ana, Aitrus' mother is referenced and the age of Rime, which is referenced in MYST III and IV is accessible and is a joy to explore.

Let's talk about Rime. The age is small, like all 4 ages, but definitely has an air of URU about it. You can see creatures swimming through the seas, sound plays an enormous role in the world and there is an atmosphere that to this day, I feel is unrivaled in any series. You feel that this place is alive and you are merely an explorer in this world.

Also, that is applied to the rest of the ages. Myst island now has a day/night cycle with weather and other ages have added weather effects that make them seem more animated and active.

I 100%ed the game and achieved all the achievements (which include a lot of easter egg hunting) and I loved it. I feel the game is a great alternative to the original, as the modern mechanics help alleviate the pre-rendered trappings. Sure you lose some of that detail, but it is worth experiencing and helping segue you into the mindset of the Myst franchise.

ONWARD TO RIVEN!

@Noise

I think you would love a lot of the FPS games from the mid/late 90's. Games like No One Lives Forever, Soldier of Fortune, Red Faction, Outlaws, Dark Forces etc. seem like they would be right up your alley. That great mixture of old school Doom and modern FPS.
Ack wrote:I don't know, chief, the haunting feeling of lust I feel whenever I look at your avatar makes me think it's real.

-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:30 pm

I remember originally beating Myst through the super short walkthrough (if you know what to lookup you can see the end game sequence in a few minutes) and then many years later doing a real run where I figured out all the puzzles, got all the pages, etc. I think the biggest thing that contributes to the difficulty in Myst is the fact that since you have a series of static views you very frequently can lose your positioning or not realize you have exits available. The way things connect is similar to how bizarre things in old Infocom games could get (try beating Zork without making a map) and then you add in the graphical adventure "can I transition to the next screen from here? how about here?". I can see being in full 3D resolving both of those issues.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BogusMeatFactory Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:33 pm

MrPopo wrote:I remember originally beating Myst through the super short walkthrough (if you know what to lookup you can see the end game sequence in a few minutes) and then many years later doing a real run where I figured out all the puzzles, got all the pages, etc. I think the biggest thing that contributes to the difficulty in Myst is the fact that since you have a series of static views you very frequently can lose your positioning or not realize you have exits available. The way things connect is similar to how bizarre things in old Infocom games could get (try beating Zork without making a map) and then you add in the graphical adventure "can I transition to the next screen from here? how about here?". I can see being in full 3D resolving both of those issues.


Yep that is why I actually would prefer realMYST for people to experience the game as that is absolutely eliminated. Ages like Channelwood and Selenitic are much easier because you have easy reference to where you are and where you are going.
Ack wrote:I don't know, chief, the haunting feeling of lust I feel whenever I look at your avatar makes me think it's real.

-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:58 pm

1. Grandia (PlayStation)
2. Jungle Hunt (Xbox - Taito Legends)
3. Jungle Hunt (Atari 2600)
4. Jungle Hunt (Plug & Play - ColecoVision Flashback)
5. Donkey Kong (Atari 2600)
6. Donkey Kong (Intellivision)
7. Donkey Kong (ColecoVision)
8. Bubble Bobble (NES)
9. Side Arms: Hyper Dyne (PSP - Capcom Classics Collection Remixed)
10. 1941: Counter Attack (PSP - Capcom Classics Collection Remixed)
11. Ys: The Ark of Napishtim (PSP)
12. The Ninja Kids (Xbox - Taito Legends)
13. Neutopia (TurboGrafx-16)
14. Golden Axe Warrior (Xbox 360 - Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection)
15. Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2 (Dreamcast)
16. Growl (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
17. Arabian Magic (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
18. Dungeon Magic (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
19. Gekirindan (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
20. Ys II (Saturn - Falcom Classics II)
21. Darius Gaiden (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
22. G Darius (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
23. Giana Sisters DS (DS)
24. RayStorm (PlayStation 2 - Taito Legends 2)
25. Mr. Do! (ColecoVision)
26. Beauty & the Beast (Intellivision)
27. Boxing (PlayStation 2 - Activision Anthology)
28. Crystalis (NES)
29. Dragon Warrior (NES)

(Re)played Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest for all you weeaboos) for no good reason.

This is a fascinating game from a historical standpoint. It's not the first role-playing game developed in Japan. The Dragon & Princess, Panorama Toh, The Black Onyx, and a handful of other predate it by a few years. However, Dragon Quest is the first game developed in what we now know as the "JRPG" style and the tropes introduced in the game are still used today.

In Dragon Warrior the played takes the role of one single man: "the hero" who is tasked with saving the princess and the kingdom itself. What you name your character actually has some impact on his beginning stats; I'm not entirely sure how this algorithm works. I chose "Dave" because it's a moniker typically associated with bravery, courage, sexiness, chivalry, and fortitude. Hilariously enough, I've read that you're dealt a crappy hand should you choose the name "ENIX."

Mechanically speaking, there are plenty of WRPGs leftovers still simmering in Dragon Warrior. The menus are clunky and feature far too many options. One must select "STAIRS" to go up or down a flight, otherwise our plucky hero simply floats over them. "DOOR" is needed to, well, open doors and one must TAKE items from a chest. Want to speak to someone? Face a person and select "TALK" from a menu. Oh, and there's one savepoint, the king, who must be spoken to before ending each session.

That said, once the battles begin it's quite easy to see how streamlined Dragon Warrior is in comparison to the WRPGs of its day. Four options are presented during one-on-one combat: attack, spell, run, and item. That's it. No huge parties to juggle, no typing in spell names. And most fights are over within a matter of seconds, leaving the hero with some hard-earned gold and experience.

The world of the Warrior is a small one. And it's non-linear. Sort of. The game begins in the king's castle: the center of the overworld. One can choose to begin exploring in either a clockwise or counterclockwise arc around the landscape, but there's one catch. Wander too far and you will get owned as enemies will be vastly too powerful, at least until your hero gains some new armor/weapons and experience. And this is how Dragon Warrior plays out. Your explore and grind on a small patch of land until you dare expand your reach until finally you end up at the final castle and face-to-face with the Dragonlord himself.

So let's talk about that grinding. There's a lot of it. It's no exaggeration to say that perhaps 80% of the game can be spent grinding. I am not exaggerating. Here's the World of Longplays video for Dragon Warrior with the grinding edited out. About two hours of content. Now here's the HowLongToBeat estimate. 10 hours average. And no, there are no tricks here to avoid grinding. You just have to put in the time. It's far and away the worst aspect of the game and is guaranteed to scare away those who aren't quite comfortable with old RPGs.

So how 'bout them graphics? I love 'em. The colors are so bright and delightfully garish. Everything is boxy and grid-like and constructed at 90 degree angles. Our hero is an adorable little dude with a little blue winged helmet whose sprite actually changes at one point in the game as you actually carry the princess home once you save her. Awesome. Enemies are well-done too. They're drawn in a cutsey anime style and the Dragon Quest mascot, the slime, makes his first appearance here. The soundtrack is decent enough. There are only a handful of tracks, so they do get old pretty quickly. I'll admit to listening to other non-game music while playing this, especially when level-grinding. I do have to give a shout-out to the main theme though. It's rousing as hell, and it's easy to see why this became a series staple.

There are a handful of dungeons in Dragon Warrior, none of which are worth writing home about. Like a WRPG you need supplies to get through them, but instead of food it's torches (or a RADIANT spell), lest you stumble around in the dark. And when you do have light you may be disappointed with the decor: nothing but red brick and gray stone. Most dungeons feature many branching paths which frequently lead nowhere and serve no purpose except to drain HP, MP, and precious light sources. My advice: do all grinding on the overworld. Get some maps of the dungeons (I have them in a 1989 issue of Nintendo Power) and once you enter them just make a beeline for the main treasure and then gtfo.

Lastly, the translation needs to be addressed. All the dialogue is presented in Elizabethan English ("Thou Hast Done Well In Defeating the Slime!") and it's adorable as all hell.

There's some undeniable charm to Dragon Warrior, but it may prove to be too obtuse for many gamers. Is it a good game? Let me say this: I would never include it on a "Top ___ Games" list, but it certainly has a place on a "___ Games to Play Before You Die" list. Those who simply want to cross the game off their bucket list may be better off checking out the much less grind-heavy Super Famicom and Game Boy Color remakes. And those who are simply looking for great fast-paced fun games would be wise to jump in at installment number III.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:08 pm

noiseredux wrote:coincidentally, I just found Soldier of Fortune II Double Helix for $2 at a thrift shop. Is it any good?

Double Helix has a more advanced gore engine, but the actual game design is nowhere near as good as the first game. Plus the AI spams grenades ALL. THE. TIME. and it ruins the fun factor.

Also, I don't have an opinion on Soldier Of Fortune 3: Payback, I have not played it yet.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:06 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Our hero is an adorable little dude with a little blue winged helmet whose sprite actually changes at one point in the game as you actually carry the princess home once you save her. Awesome.

He also changes at the start of the game as you get a weapon and a shield; he starts off with empty hands and your first weapon gives him his little sword and your first shield gives him a little shield.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sload Soap Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:53 am

Quake 4 (360)
Quake 4, like Doom 3, is game that can't decide if it wants to emulate past glories or blaze a new trail. In the end it does neither and while not a bad overall experience, is also obviously the weakest entry in the series.

Id and Raven clearly knew which way the FPS wind was blowing when Quake was put into development. Their answer to the rise of cinematic, more linear FPS games a la COD was to attempt to transplant Quake's high tempo gameplay into that framework. The results are interesting but not entirely successful. I found that, like Duke Nukem Forever, it was occasionally less like playing a game and more like attending a lecture on the history of FPS game design.

Set as a direct sequel to Quake 2 (itself an odd choice in a series that had seemingly thrived on reinvention) you play as Matthew Kane (brother to Harry) who as a mute space marine manages to combine two cliches into one boring character. You are sent to invade the Strogg homeworld before they do something awful, although I kind of infer that if they didn't go to Stroggos to begin with they wouldn't risk the horrible deaths they were so afraid of suffering in the first place. Yes, this means that a Quake game is also somehow an Iraq war allegory.

Anyway, you touch down on Stroggos and spend roughly 6-8 hours alternating between sections where you mow down hoards of Strogg single handed and sections where a couple of other dudes stand around and watch you mow down hordes of Strogg while patting you on the back.

Yes, you have AI teammates this time. Gone are the lonely and hostile halls of previous Quakes and Dooms, now it's all "Bravo team" this and "Extraction point" that. It feels very Halo/COD and sucks a decent portion of the identity of the series away with it.

In that vein you also have scripted events where you essentially watch the plot unfold. The best of these is the grisly sequence where Kane gets Stroggified via forced amputation. It's a shame that aside from changing the colour of the HUD nothing really comes of this. Equally the game has a single vehicle based section featuring a very nimble tank that is never seen again, also a shame as it handles very well.

This isn't to say this is just a Quake skin on a COD body though. There are sections, boss fights especially, that are pure 90's with the projectile fire and the circle strafing. There is also an effort made to replicate the various types of enemies you fight and the different challenges they pose. Your health doesn't regenerate and checkpoints are limited (which is actually quite annoying) which at least keeps the life/death cycle fairly old skool.

It's just a resolutely flat experience outside of the occasional nod to the past. The game also contains a lot of the stuff that went on to really make the genre feel stale (turret sections, being shot down in a helicopter, content munching, quasi-fascist chestbeating) which kind of makes it harder to play now than it was at release.

I can appreciate that in wanting to make Quake more relevant the developers took cues from more popular titles and I can also appreciate that they didn't want to bury their heritage in doing so. What I can't really appreciate though is a game that has its feet planted so firmly in both camps there's no room to attempt something new.


Wolfenstien: The New Order (Xbox One)
Hypocrite alert! After just bashing one entry in a revolutionary Id series for being a stale mix of old and new, I am about to lavish praise on a game which does pretty much exactly the same thing. The difference here is that while The New Order does absolutely nothing you haven't seen done elsewhere and pilfers from a host of recent FPS hits, it doesn't matter because it's just such a riot to play.

I like to compare Wolfenstein: TNO then favourably with Shovel Knight, another 2014 game that took a bunch of old ideas and, with some modern polish, executed them exceptionally.

Shooting is crisp and weighty, every gun feels like it has a place in a firefights, which can range from short brutal affairs to ludicrous ammo draining grudge matches. Those god damn Armored shotgunners! Stealth is an option but not a requirement and the game gives you just enough rope either pull of sensational killstreaks or hang yourself from the rafters.

The game also lets you dual wield most weapons which is just about the most hilarious thing I've done in a while. Particularly great is wielding two shotguns, whose enormous bulk fill most of your screen, one firing slugs the other firing ricocheting pellets everywhere. This game does the mad bloodlust you got from early Id titles very well and it's helped by a surprisingly excellent plot that makes the Nazi's scary again.

Indeed the plot is what really steers this game from "that was a whole lot of whacky fun" to "wow, that was almost GOTY stuff" for me. For a pulpy story about an alternate reality where the Nazi's won the war using robot dogs and cyborg wermacht soldiers, there is a very grounded emotional core of real people clinging together to fight a hopeless battle against almost incalculable odds.

The script also turns one of gaming's most recognisable but personality free protagonists into an actual person with real hopes and dreams and stuff, and does it in a way that doesn't undermine the players expectations. BJ Blazkowicz is now half Captain America, half Donnie "The Bear Jew" Donowitz a sympathetic but also fairly psychotic Nazi killing machine. In a stroke on genius which mitigates some of the genres recent propensity for jingoism, BJ is certainly a marine (and at one point a space marine at that) but he no longer fights to protect or enforce some sort democratic values on the Nazi's he kills. He just kills them because they are Nazi's and Nazi's are evil.

And they really are this time. The game features a set of villains more odious than any I have encountered in a videogame for a long while. From the simpering and vain Bubi, to Frau Engel, a terrifying amalgamation of Heinrich Himmler and Eva Braun through to the morally bankrupt and sadistic General Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strauss. These are awful, awful people who you will hate and look forward to exacting vengeance upon.

The New Order is also quite refreshing in how willing it is to "go there". The first time you meet groups of non-white NPC's is in a concentration camp. There's a brief scene where J, a black guitarist member of the resistance, chastises BJ for America's own racial profiling history. There are bodies piled up naked and there are tacit nods towards the ovens and gas chambers. It's a grim and dark world and a chilling reminder of just how much was at stake during WW2.

The game balances that grimdarkness expertly though with some staggeringly silly sections (one of which I really don't want to ruin) and the sci-fi/fantasy elements the series has always been know for. It's pulpy comic book stuff but it's also really gripping and you actually give a shit about the supporting cast. Fancy that.

There are a few small issues. Firstly, while the game can be very pretty at times, there are a lot of cheap looking textures strewn throughout the game. Secondly, there's an upgrade function where you unlock perks by performing certain actions (five slides kills or 10 grenade kills for example) that isn't really essential enough to justify its inclusion, at least on lower difficulties, and can in fact alter your playstyle entirely if you focus to much on it. And I guess the ending is...well let's be diplomatic and say it's polarizing.

Overall though, what a surprise and what a game. Machine Games haven't done anything new but what they have done they have done very, very well indeed. And to think I initially bought it cheap for the Doom 4 beta. :lol:


Ryse: Son of Rome (Xbox One)
While I loved Wolfenstein and am very much enjoying the added horsepower the Xbone has given to my GTAV and Titanfall sessions, I felt I needed something exclusive that really showed off the power (and therefore justified my financial outlay) of the new system.

Enter Ryse, a sort of Arkham Asylum/God of War mixture that takes so many liberties with established history (Boudica invading Rome atop an elephant?) that it's almost quite charming. Almost.

You play as Marius Maximus Angryus, a Roman centurion waging bloody battle against that most foul and beastial of all of of Rome's foes: British people in loin cloths! So essentially, a game where I spent five to six hours gutting and decapitating people who are almost certainly my ancestors. :? Thanks, Microsoft. Moral ambiguity, very next-gen.

Gameplay consists of some fairly basic beat'em up style controls. You have a block button which turns into a parry if you time it right, you have a fast attack and a slower more damaging one. Like the Batman games enemies have moves that are either unblockable, counter able depending on the attacker and also like Arkham they are colour coded yellow for parry and red for unblockable.

And that's kind of it. Aside from a brief sojourn to sunny Scotland to fight "beastmen" and save Joaquin Phoenix from the Wickerman there is very little variation in enemy type and therefore little variation in challenge. At around the half way mark Ryse has shown you all its gameplay tricks so the rest is a slightly monotonous, if very, very pretty ride.

Basically, Ryse is Altered Beast. It's sold on its looks and the fact that it couldn't be done on "last gen" hardware without seriously undermining its entire reason to exist. It's the clean break, drawing the line between what came before and what comes after, graphically anyway.

That it's a unimaginative and fairly lackadaisical product outside of its audio-visual flair is kind of irrelevant honestly. Ryse is one of very few games where quite frankly the gameplay is a secondary, perhaps even tertiary part of the experience. It's a tech demo with a story. I spent most of my time cooing over the lighting and particle effects rather than the dull combat or cliche storyline. If you can accept that, you might very well have a good time with the game. If you're a sensible gamer who prioritises gameplay over graphics you most assuredly won't.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by dsheinem Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:55 am

Sload: I just want to say that I really enjoyed those reviews - very nicely written, reflective of everything I'd expect them to be from someone with a good grasp of game history, and entirely on point based on my experiences with the (first two) games. Assigning grades is my job, and these are clearly "A" quality work. Thanks for putting so much thought into them!
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by noiseredux Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:59 am

dsheinem wrote:Assigning grades is my job, and these are clearly "A" quality work.


out of curiosity, this would have gotten what?

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=48115&p=960205&hilit=games+beaten#p960205
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