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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:31 am

January:
1) Bonk's Adventure (NES)
2) Little Samson
3) Holy Diver
4) Holy Diver (legit!)
5) Mitsume Ga Tooru
6) TMNT II: The Arcade Game (NES)
7) Mighty Final Fight
8] Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
9) Monster In My Pocket
10) Battle of Olympus
11) Gunstar Heroes (repeat)
12) Dragon Age: Inquisition
13) Dragon Age: Inquisition - Trespasser
14) Captain America and the Avengers (NES)
15) StarTropics
16) Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES) (save states)
17) Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES) (legit)
18) Crisis Force
19) Esper Dream 2
20) Felix the Cat
21) Moon Crystal
22) Panic Restaurant
23) Frankenstein (NES)
24) Crystalis
25) Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu


February:
26) Killer Instinct (GB)
27) Mashin Hero Wataru Gaiden
28) Sly Spy (Arcade)
29) The Red Star (unreleased XBOX, also on PS2)
30) Adventure Island 4
31) Cocoron
32) Batman: Arkham Knight
33) Xeodrifter (Vita)
34) Doom 2
35) Brandish: The Dark Revenant
36) Magical Pop'n
37) The Ninja Warriors (SNES)
38) Phantasy Star (SMS)
39) Phantasy Star III
40) Super Smash Bros. for 3DS
41) Brandish: The Dark Revenant (Dela Mode)

March:
42) Freedom Planet (Milla, 82 lives lost)
43) Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
44) Lara Croft Go
45) Oniken

Two short ones to break up my Paper Jam this weekend. Well, short-ish. Lara Croft Go is decently long, actually. It's a turn-based puzzle game. It's all about navigating traps, ledges and enemies. Nothing moves unless you do, and it's all about manipulating enemies and objects into doing what you need them to. There's some devious puzzles in there, too. It looks good, but it comes at a price... it'll drain your phone like nobody's business. Don't play if you're gonna need to make phone calls!

The other one is Oniken. It's the first attempt from JoyMasher, and is a bit of an homage to the older NES games. It doesn't feel solid enough, though. I suspect it's a little bit to do with running in Macromedia Fusion 2. It's still decently designed, although you can tell some enemies were placed for maximum annoyance. Once I finally got the technique down, I actually beat the last stage without dying. Yay! Also, the your mileage on the aesthetics may vary. It apes NES games, but it's more like what would happen if you took Guts from Berserk and put him in there. So decapitations and slicing in half and whatnot are in store. I dunno, to me it feels inauthentic, especially when everything else seems to be aiming at emulating the classics.

If you want to play a better game from JoyMasher, Odallus is the one to play. That one's actually quite excellent, an exploration platformer that reminds me a little of Rondo of Blood and a little of Cadash. It looks more like a TG-16 game than NES, and the play control feels more solid too.
Hardcore Retro Gaming - Talk about games ten years old or older. Now with a modern gaming section!
“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:27 am

Ex's 2016 beat list:
1. Mega Man ZX Advent|DS|2007|platformer|8h|7/10
2. King's Field III: Pilot Style|PS1|1996|dungeon crawler|1h|8/10
3. Sleeping Dogs|360|2012|action-adventure|20h 45m|8/10
4. Sleepings Dogs: NiNP DLC|360|2012|action adventure|1h 22m|5/10
5. Chikyuu Kaihou Gun ZAS|GB|1992|shmup|33m|8/10
6. Vattle Giuce|GB|1991|shmup|45m|5/10
7. MechWarrior 2 (Clan Wolf)|PS1|1997|mech sim|2h 35m|7/10
8. Gradius: The Interstellar Assault|GB|1992|shmup|27m|8/10
9. SolarStriker|GB|1990|shmup|23m|7/10
10. Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1999|fighter|45m|6/10
11. Dead or Alive (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1998|fighter|23m|5/10
12. Asuka 120% Burning Festival Final (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1999|fighter|26m|8/10
13. Soul Blade (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1997|fighter|18m|9/10
14. Trax|GB|1991|shmup|23m|7/10
15. Street Fighter: The Movie (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1995|fighter|36m|5/10
16. Warpath: Jurassic Park (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1999|fighter|17m|4/10
17. Psychic Force (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1997|fighter|22m|7/10
18. Touki Denshou: Angel Eyes (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1997|fighter|27m|7/10
19. Advanced V.G. 2 (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1998|fighter|15m|8/10
20. StarHawk|GB|1993|shmup|1h 15m|4/10
21. Nemesis|GB|1990|shmup|28m|7/10
22. Cardinal Syn (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1998|fighter|54m|7/10
23. Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1997|fighter|15m|7/10
24. Street Fighter EX 2 Plus (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1999|fighter|22m|8/10
25. Battle Unit Zeoth|GB|1991|shmup|24m|6/10
26. Soul Calibur IV (Arcade Mode)|360|2008|fighter|12m|9/10
27. Mercenary Force|GB|1990|shmup|54m|5/10
28. Battle Arena Toshinden (Story Mode)|GB|1996|fighter|12m|8/10
29. Street Fighter Alpha: Warrior's Dreams (Arcade Mode)|GBC|1999|fighter|10m|7/10
30. SD Hiryu No Ken EX (Story Mode)|GBC|1999|fighter|24m|7/10
31. Guilty Gear X: Advance Edition (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2002|fighter|8m|6/10
32. Super Street Fighter II Turbo: Revival (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2001|fighter|10m|7/10
33. Dual Blades (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2002|fighter|23m|4/10
34. Gradius Galaxies|GBA|2001|shmup|1hr 24m|8/10
35. Tekken Advance (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2002|fighter|15m|7/10
36. Street Fighter Alpha 3 (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2002|fighter|22m|7/10
37. Black Belt Challenge (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2002|fighter|8m|4/10
38. Iridion II|GBA|2003|shmup|58m|9/10
39. King's Field III|PS1|1996|dungeon crawler|25h|9/10
40. Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel|360|2013|cover shooter|7h 54m|7/10
41. Panzer Dragoon|Saturn|1995|rail shooter|55m|7/10
42. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei|Saturn|1996|rail shooter|1h 25m|8/10
43. Kirby Air Ride|GameCube|2003|kart racer|45m|6/10
44. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!|GameCube|2003|kart racer|35m|8/10
45. Bloody Roar: Primal Fury (Arcade Mode)|GameCube|2002|fighter|35m|8/10
46. XG3: Extreme G Racing|GameCube|2001|racer|1h 35m|7/10
47. Mario Kart 7|3DS|2011|kart racer|1h 54m|9/10
48. Code of Princess|3DS|2012|beat 'em up|4h 25m|7/10
49. Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy|3DS|2011|flight sim|3h 42m|7/10
50. Crimson Shroud|3DS|2012|JRPG|6h 55m|7/10

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51. Gunman Clive|3DS|2013|platformer|54m|7/10
Gunman Clive follows a lone gunslinger in a futuristic Wild West, as he tries to save the mayor's daughter from a group of technologically well-armed bandits. Gunman Clive's gameplay pays homage to a great variety of classic 8-bit platformers, with perhaps Mega Man being the most influential. Where it lacks in truly creative game design, Gunman Clive excels in a unique graphical style and truly outstanding OST. The developer put a lot of work into creative boss battles and a constant sense of offbeat humor. This is a short game, you'll probably knock it out in an hour or less. Still, if you're a big fan of classic platforming action, Gunman Clive's a pleasant diversion.

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52. Gunman Clive 2|3DS|2015|platformer|1h 30m|7/10
Gunman Clive 2 takes everything the original did, and adds a little more. For example, there's more color in the game palette now. There's more characters to play as from the offset now, rather than just Clive. There's more stages, more bosses, and more ways to die. Indeed, the difficulty of Gunman Clive 2 is amped up from the comparatively relaxed original. My favorite part of GC2 is not the platforming though, but rather the 3D intrinsic interim racing stages, where you must avoid obstacles as you fly towards the next stage. If you enjoyed Gunman Clive, it's a safe bet you'll enjoy Gunman Clive 2.

Image
53. Attack of the Friday Monsters!|3DS|2013|adventure|3h 2m|8/10
Have you ever wondered what it'd be like, to be a small town boy living in early 1970s Japan, during the height of the live action monster VS hero TV craze? Well, you probably haven't, but doing so proves to be a unique experience indeed. Attack of the Friday Monsters! gives you the ability to live this life, presented in an aesthetic that channels Studio Ghibli at their best.

As the young boy, you'll perceive life based on his own immature limitations, which will likely give you a sense of haunting nostalgia in remembrance of being that same naive kid you once were. There are a lot of plot elements represented metaphorically, and by the end of the game, you'll have plenty of thematic ambiguity to mentally chew on. I believe the plot is worth experiencing, and overall didn't waste this player's time.

The gameplay itself consists of exploring around the little town, hanging out with friends, interacting with neighbors, and slowly uncovering a monstrous mystery. There are a few simple puzzles, but the biggest interactive element would be the monster card game, a take on rock-paper-scissors. This card game is rarely required to progress the plot, but adds an interesting diversion to the otherwise highly linear game progression.

Attack of the Friday Monsters! is not a game for everyone. Gamers who need constant excitement and action will surely be bored to sleep. But for the more open minded player who enjoys unique game design, and a simple but involving plot told at a deliberate pace, there's plenty of enjoyment to be found here. Simply running around as a carefree kid again, through beautiful halcyon summer settings, is worth the price of admission alone.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:27 pm

Ex's 2016 beat list:
1. Mega Man ZX Advent|DS|2007|platformer|8h|7/10
2. King's Field III: Pilot Style|PS1|1996|dungeon crawler|1h|8/10
3. Sleeping Dogs|360|2012|action-adventure|20h 45m|8/10
4. Sleepings Dogs: NiNP DLC|360|2012|action adventure|1h 22m|5/10
5. Chikyuu Kaihou Gun ZAS|GB|1992|shmup|33m|8/10
6. Vattle Giuce|GB|1991|shmup|45m|5/10
7. MechWarrior 2 (Clan Wolf)|PS1|1997|mech sim|2h 35m|7/10
8. Gradius: The Interstellar Assault|GB|1992|shmup|27m|8/10
9. SolarStriker|GB|1990|shmup|23m|7/10
10. Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1999|fighter|45m|6/10
11. Dead or Alive (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1998|fighter|23m|5/10
12. Asuka 120% Burning Festival Final (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1999|fighter|26m|8/10
13. Soul Blade (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1997|fighter|18m|9/10
14. Trax|GB|1991|shmup|23m|7/10
15. Street Fighter: The Movie (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1995|fighter|36m|5/10
16. Warpath: Jurassic Park (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1999|fighter|17m|4/10
17. Psychic Force (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1997|fighter|22m|7/10
18. Touki Denshou: Angel Eyes (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1997|fighter|27m|7/10
19. Advanced V.G. 2 (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1998|fighter|15m|8/10
20. StarHawk|GB|1993|shmup|1h 15m|4/10
21. Nemesis|GB|1990|shmup|28m|7/10
22. Cardinal Syn (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1998|fighter|54m|7/10
23. Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1997|fighter|15m|7/10
24. Street Fighter EX 2 Plus (Arcade Mode)|PS1|1999|fighter|22m|8/10
25. Battle Unit Zeoth|GB|1991|shmup|24m|6/10
26. Soul Calibur IV (Arcade Mode)|360|2008|fighter|12m|9/10
27. Mercenary Force|GB|1990|shmup|54m|5/10
28. Battle Arena Toshinden (Story Mode)|GB|1996|fighter|12m|8/10
29. Street Fighter Alpha: Warrior's Dreams (Arcade Mode)|GBC|1999|fighter|10m|7/10
30. SD Hiryu No Ken EX (Story Mode)|GBC|1999|fighter|24m|7/10
31. Guilty Gear X: Advance Edition (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2002|fighter|8m|6/10
32. Super Street Fighter II Turbo: Revival (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2001|fighter|10m|7/10
33. Dual Blades (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2002|fighter|23m|4/10
34. Gradius Galaxies|GBA|2001|shmup|1hr 24m|8/10
35. Tekken Advance (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2002|fighter|15m|7/10
36. Street Fighter Alpha 3 (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2002|fighter|22m|7/10
37. Black Belt Challenge (Arcade Mode)|GBA|2002|fighter|8m|4/10
38. Iridion II|GBA|2003|shmup|58m|9/10
39. King's Field III|PS1|1996|dungeon crawler|25h|9/10
40. Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel|360|2013|cover shooter|7h 54m|7/10
41. Panzer Dragoon|Saturn|1995|rail shooter|55m|7/10
42. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei|Saturn|1996|rail shooter|1h 25m|8/10
43. Kirby Air Ride|GameCube|2003|kart racer|45m|6/10
44. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!|GameCube|2003|kart racer|35m|8/10
45. Bloody Roar: Primal Fury (Arcade Mode)|GameCube|2002|fighter|35m|8/10
46. XG3: Extreme G Racing|GameCube|2001|racer|1h 35m|7/10
47. Mario Kart 7|3DS|2011|kart racer|1h 54m|9/10
48. Code of Princess|3DS|2012|beat 'em up|4h 25m|7/10
49. Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy|3DS|2011|flight sim|3h 42m|7/10
50. Crimson Shroud|3DS|2012|JRPG|6h 55m|7/10
51. Gunman Clive|3DS|2013|platformer|54m|7/10
52. Gunman Clive 2|3DS|2015|platformer|1h 30m|7/10
53. Attack of the Friday Monsters!|3DS|2013|adventure|3h 2m|8/10

Image
54. Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception|PSP|2006|flight combat|2h 25m|8/10

Ace Combat X manages to bring the console feel of Ace Combat to the PSP handheld successfully. This does not come across as a watered down experience. (My only complaint is the lack of L2 & R2 means yaw is assigned to the d-pad, but Namco did the best they could.) With excellent graphics, a rousing soundtrack, tight controls, varied mission design, and a plot that you can actually care about, Ace Combat X is a worthy member of its franchise. I especially enjoyed the ability to buy individual parts for planes and tune them with granularity. My only complaints are sometimes the sci-fi elements go a little overboard and the game's really short. But if you own a PSP and enjoy flight combat, Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception is a must buy.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:28 am

January:
1) Bonk's Adventure (NES)
2) Little Samson
3) Holy Diver
4) Holy Diver (legit!)
5) Mitsume Ga Tooru
6) TMNT II: The Arcade Game (NES)
7) Mighty Final Fight
8] Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
9) Monster In My Pocket
10) Battle of Olympus
11) Gunstar Heroes (repeat)
12) Dragon Age: Inquisition
13) Dragon Age: Inquisition - Trespasser
14) Captain America and the Avengers (NES)
15) StarTropics
16) Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES) (save states)
17) Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES) (legit)
18) Crisis Force
19) Esper Dream 2
20) Felix the Cat
21) Moon Crystal
22) Panic Restaurant
23) Frankenstein (NES)
24) Crystalis
25) Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu


February:
26) Killer Instinct (GB)
27) Mashin Hero Wataru Gaiden
28) Sly Spy (Arcade)
29) The Red Star (unreleased XBOX, also on PS2)
30) Adventure Island 4
31) Cocoron
32) Batman: Arkham Knight
33) Xeodrifter (Vita)
34) Doom 2
35) Brandish: The Dark Revenant
36) Magical Pop'n
37) The Ninja Warriors (SNES)
38) Phantasy Star (SMS)
39) Phantasy Star III
40) Super Smash Bros. for 3DS
41) Brandish: The Dark Revenant (Dela Mode)

March:
42) Freedom Planet (Milla, 82 lives lost)
43) Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
44) Lara Croft Go
45) Oniken
46) Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

And it's done. I'll go into more detail tomorrow. It was better than Dream Team. Also shorter, clocking in for me at 27:53, compared to 41:24. This is not a bad thing.
Hardcore Retro Gaming - Talk about games ten years old or older. Now with a modern gaming section!
“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Key-Glyph
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Key-Glyph Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:35 am

Gunman Clive sounds really cool! I'm digging his perpetually tilted cowboy hat. And I'm intrigued by that OST comment...

01. MagMax (NES)
02. World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (GEN) [2-player]
03. Sonic Spinball (GEN)*
04. Sonic Spinball (GEN)* [complete]
05. Comix Zone (GEN)*
06. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)
07. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project (NES)
08. WCW World Championship Wrestling (NES)
09. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
10. Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)

11. Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii)

Do you like platformers that make you laugh out loud at unexpected, charming, or silly antics? Then you might want to check out Wario Land: Shake It!
This was a gift from a friend who rarely plays games beyond the 4th generation, but he just felt that this title totally nailed it. It really does handle like an 8-bit platformer -- it's just bigger, with cel-animation-style graphics and a soundtrack with instruments in.

As a huge fan of Wario Land for the Game Boy, I was thrilled to see that a lot of the formula stayed largely the same. You've got some of the classic attacks, you're still wandering around looking for hidden treasures, and Wario is still a gross, smelly jerk. Even Captain Syrup reappears, this time as a shopkeep and ally. But this game hit that difficult mark of paying homage to and capturing the spirit of the original while still being innovative and new.

What did I love most about this game? First, I love how it played with my expectations. There were multiple instances where I was faced with something that my entire life's experience with video games told me was going to be a one-hit kill, and not only did I survive it, but something absolutely ridiculous or awesome resulted from it. This made me laugh -- and I mean with real, kid-like delight -- many times. Wario's animations are hysterical and loaded with personality. I still smile every time I watch him squish ungracefully into a warp pipe, and just today I discovered that he farts after he cackles. Note: If you have kids who like watching you play video games, they will love this.

Second, this game can be difficult, but in a forgiving way. What do I mean by this? Well, I'm pretty sure you have infinite lives. You have a health bar (which regenerates at the beginning of each stage or continue point re-attempt, by the way), but you're really not going to run out of it unless you're facing a boss, and bosses are their own separate levels anyway. In other words, there's no progress lost if they kick your butt a few times. The difficulty is really in finding the hidden treasures and pulling off some really intricate or tricky maneuvers to get into certain places. Sometimes you'll realize too late that you blew your chance at a particular route, for instance. But guess what? You can walk to the next area and back again to repopulate the enemies, or if worst comes to worst, you can just do the level again. The stages are short enough that things don't feel like a chore -- instead they feel like little challenges you want to master.

Third, this game is really well-planned. I mean really well planned. The puzzles were creative and fun. Solutions frequently filled me with glee because the concept or execution thereof was just that neat. I appreciated the level design -- and the boss designs, too. There's also an interesting mechanic at the end of each level which involves a high-speed run, Sonic-style, back to the level's starting point. When I read about it in the manual I thought it was going to be a lame gimmick, but WOW. SO FUN. Suddenly the game becomes about fast reaction times and your ability to blow through the stage in a completely new way. Again, top-notch design at work.

Sure, I'm not really good at the few motion controls that (infrequently) come into play. Yes, it took me a while to warm up to the cel-animation style. The opening movie and backstory are absolutely over-the-top. And the final boss definitely involves some aggravating hit detection and a cheap randomized element that can screw you over. But not one of these things actually detracted from the experience even one tiny bit.

Also, the OST is fantastic, and there is so much music in it. I couldn't believe it. Tomoya Tomita, everybody!

So, highly recommended. I just finished the main game today, but now I have secret levels to uncover (as well as the treasures within them), and I'm just legitimately happy that I still have more to do in this game. This was one of those refreshing experiences that made me feel like I was a kid again, discovering something new.


* = replay
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by alienjesus Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:24 am

Wreck Train from Wario Land: Shake Dimension is one of my all-time favourite pieces of video game music.

I'm actually a bit sad I didn't include it on my music quiz.

That said, it's a western sounding theme, so you'd have probably guessed Sunset Riders :wink:
Last edited by alienjesus on Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:02 am

Congrats on beating Paper Jam, Sarge. Looking forward to that review.

-

As for Gunman Clive 1 & 2's OST, it's really good stuff. The composer takes western themes and mixes them in a hazy surreal encapsulation. Two example tracks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFoFFXM ... 3VJsYbk8uQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJoTCrb ... Kc&index=8

The games are like $2 each on the 3DS eShop.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Xeogred Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:33 am

Definitely digging those tracks and the Megaman comparisons with those games has me pretty interested. No 3DS though.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:37 am

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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:11 am

Allllrighty, so comments on Paper Jam.

After the last entry in the series, I was hoping for something a bit more humorous. Dream Team fell a little flat in the humor department. Well, this one improves in that department, although I don't think anything had me rolling. It's more subtle, chuckle-worthy humor.

The addition of Paper Mario is a good one, too. It adds a lot to the complexity of the battles, and keeping track of all three characters when trying to counter is pretty rough at times. There's also an "emergency guard" button that went pretty much unused, although there were times I probably should have used it.

Make no mistake, enemies will take you to task until you learn their patterns. I definitely didn't slide through with no game overs. One battle in particular with some Shiny Bob-ombs early in the game absolutely destroyed me. The Wiggler boss was one of the hardest, and the final set of bosses has very little margin for error... and I blew the timing many, many times at the end. Keep your items stocked up, you're gonna need 'em. (I was also probably very underleveled, so your mileage may vary.)

You can also employ "battle cards" now. You earn Star Points for successful attacks, and you can spend them on one of three cards at a time that are pulled from your deck of 10. These can tilt a fight your way, and after ignoring them for some time, they really saved my bacon in the end game. They don't use a turn when played, so if you keep some healing ones in the deck, you can use them to heal up without wasting a potential attack turn.

The Trio attacks are pretty cool, too. They're even bigger attacks than the Bros. attacks, and only Paper Mario can trigger them. My two standbys at the end were Trio Kite and Trio Shuriken. I never really got the hang of Trio Meteor, so I went with stuff that I knew could consistently damage enemies.

The game looks about like what you'd expect from a M&L game. I like the addition of the paper stuff, though... except for the Papercraft battles. Now, don't get me wrong, they're alright, but the control isn't all that great. I'm sure part of that is to reflect the oversized, tank-like nature of the papercrafts. There's a weird rhythm-based minigame to charge up your attacks, and there's some strategy towards the end for when to sneak in a recharge. I could have done without it, but as a change of pace, it was fine.

Also added to the mix are other various minigames. Most of them deal with finding paper Toads, or saving them. Unlike some folks, I thought the diversions were just fine. I actually did all the hard mode challenges as well... although there are a few that I'm sure cropped up after the final run. It's been pointed out that these let some asset re-use happen, but that particular usage doesn't bother me.

The game really doesn't waste your time that much. The tutorializing has been pushed well into the background (it's optional, and you can even practice in-battle for the various team attacks). Unless you count the Toad hunts as wasted time, of course. There's a little bit of revisiting areas, but you usually get to new territory pretty quickly.

All in all, I enjoyed the game a ton. It's definitely not as good as Bowser's Inside Story, but it's really close to Superstar Saga. Certainly an improvement on Dream Team, and there's no touchscreen stuff, either. I'd definitely recommend it to fans of the series. I'd probably start with some of the other games if you're new to it, but this isn't a bad place to start, either.

The last thing I didn't mention was the music. Some of it's the expected Mario-sounding stuff, but it's Yuko Shimomura. There's some excellent tunes in there, with one of my favorites being this one.
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