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Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 10:51 am
by Exhuminator
I think it's amazing Sarge finished Earnest Evans, he's got nerves of steel. :lol:

I had the original SMS Wonder Boy as a kid back in the 80s. I never beat it despite many attempts. IIRC the ice world stuff just destroyed me back then. I also had Wonder Boy in Monster Land, and never got very far in it either. It just wasn't what I'd call a well balanced experience. I've never spent any time with Monster Lair, Dragon's Trap, or Monster World.

All that said, I did many years ago play through Monster World IV on Genesis. And that game is pretty damn great, excellent action-adventure-RPG hybrid. I would totally recommend that one to Bone.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 10:52 am
by BoneSnapDeez
Looked up the prices on eBay. Cried.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 11:00 am
by Exhuminator
Life is short. Emulate.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 3:41 pm
by Ack
1. Metal Slug (MVS)(Run and Gun)
2. Puzzle Link (NGPC)(Puzzle)
3. Illusion of Gaia (SNES)(RPG)
4. Warhammer 40,000: Rites of War (PC)(Strategy)
5. Shadowrun: Dragonfall (PC)(RPG)
6. Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (PC)(RPG)
7. Drakkhen (SNES)(RPG)
8. Flight of the Amazon Queen (PC)(Point and Click Adventure)

9. Shadowgrounds: Survivor (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
10. Lufia & The Fortress of Doom (SNES)(RPG)
11. BioShock (PC)(FPS)

I had been told this was an amazing game for years. It had received rave reviews, attained nearly universal acclaim, and became the critical darling of numerous media outlets. Now that I've beaten it, I did not come to the same opinion. BioShock isn't bad by any means. It's perfectly serviceable. But neither do I find it so significant of an achievement. It undercuts its greatest moment, it attempts moments of horror that almost never quite work, it struggles to handle a steadily rising difficulty curve, it's incredibly forgiving, and its combat never felt good enough that I wanted to explore it beyond the basic techniques that I found worked; because those techniques proved so effective, I simply didn't need try anything else.

I'll begin by looking at its much lauded plot in as spoiler-free a means as I can do. BioShock takes Randian ideas, applies them to the extreme, and presents you with the results: a world where genetic modification has driven people to insanity and opposing factions of an ultra-industrialist and an organized crime kingpin wage open warfare on each other in an undersea labyrinth. The perfect Rapture has been reduced to rubble, and you're entering what has simply become another wartorn hellhole, originally out of what you believe to be chance but later find to be forced. Through blatant paranoia and outright deception, the two juggernauts battling over Rapture have ruined it as a result, driving to the point of ridiculousness. And in it, you think you're just an everyman, but you're really a special snowflake. I hate special snowflakes. They're not interesting. If this game had been about an everyman making decisions, then great, but instead it borrows from Pavlov's dog and leads you around by the nose with only the mere illusion of choice. When it reveals the illusion you've been living under(which for me served as the ultimate highlight beyond the whole special snowflake bit), it's a fantastic statement not about this virtual world, but about the nature of video games and the illusion of choice in them. The player is no more free than any basic NPC executing their particular string of code. But then the game kills this by "fixing" you of this Pavlovian influence, yet still requiring you follow the exact same behavior as before. In short, it attains an incredibly interesting peak and then immediately blows its own foot off, reducing the last half of the game to mere continuation of everything you've seen before up until the final levels, at which point the game turns into babysitting a six-your-old who likes to run ahead, trip you up, and stand still so enemies can promptly beat her to death.

The next set of problems are all tangled with each other, so pardon while I try to reason why I dislike them. First, the game is easy; absurdly so at times. It provides you with means for instant resurrection via the Vita Chambers, so you need not fear death. But you need not concern yourself over this anyway, because there are more than enough healing supplies strewn throughout the world. The only times I ended up getting killed was while I was learning how to fight Big Daddys with limited means. They're the only real threat I ever encountered. While the game did attempt to bring horror elements into it with enemies hidden in darkened spaces or, at one point, appearing directly behind me, I never felt scared of them because I didn't have to worry about what they could do. My tactics involved stunning them with electricity and beating them to death, and this worked for 90% of the enemies I encountered no matter what. For the other 10%, I'd light them on fire and then still beat them to death with the wrench. Eventually the game decided to try to change things up, and some enemies adopted new tactics like pretending to be dead until I was upon them. Unfortunately once they started doing this, I adapted, and the game was apparently out of tricks. From that point on it simply bothered to give enemies more health instead of new means to fight back. Encounters still operated the same way: electrocute or burn, wrench. Guns only came out for the Big Daddys, and even then I usually only used special ammo types to slow them down. Even when my weapons were all upgraded, I stuck with my trusty wrench because there was no reason to change.

As for Rapture itself, it's a nice setting even if it's a little odd at times. I like the way the different districts were setup with specific purpose, and I appreciate how claustrophobic it feels, as if not only the ocean but the weight of human ideas is holding you down. Sure, it's got some weird issues, like that time I found a toilet in somebody's kitchen for some reason, but it does feel like it's a world that's much bigger than the mere portion that I got to see. And its dilapidation is even more interesting. It's cramped and doomed, but it's a pretty cool place to visit.

I realize that I focused a lot on what I thought was negative here, and that's ok; most reviews were overwhelmingly positive, so I feel I'm just providing a counterpoint. But BioShock is pretty easy to pick up and play. It's a very accessible game. Try it out, see if you like it, and explore its world a little and form your own opinion. It's argued as a successor to the System Shock games, and I could see it serving as an easy entryway to the rest of the Shock line. I'd rather go play System Shock 2 again, but that's just me.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 4:15 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
BoneSnapDeez wrote:Looked up the prices on eBay. Cried.

The "monster world" games are available as a package on Xbox Live and PSN. You get all of the, for $10.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 4:45 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
prfsnl_gmr wrote:
BoneSnapDeez wrote:Looked up the prices on eBay. Cried.

The "monster world" games are available as a package on Xbox Live and PSN. You get all of the, for $10.

Good to know. I still have yet to use Xbox Live or PSN. :shock:

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 4:51 pm
by Sarge
Exhuminator wrote:I think it's amazing Sarge finished Earnest Evans, he's got nerves of steel. :lol:

Well, I did save-state, so it's not completely legit. It's easy to have nerves of steel with a safety net. ;)

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 7:52 pm
by MrPopo
1. Oni - PC
2. Donkey Kong 64 - N64
3. Yoshi's Story - N64
4. Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide - PC
5. Forsaken 64 - N64
6. Bloodrayne: Betrayal - PSN
7. Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu - SNES
8. Fire Emblem Shin Monshō no Nazo: Hikari to Kage no Eiyū - Nintendo DS
9. Valkyria Chronicles 3 - PSP
10. Ready 2 Rumble Boxing - DC
11. Rise of the Tomb Raider - PC
12. XCOM 2 - PC
13. Shadowrun Hong Kong Bonus Campaign - PC
14. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest - 3DS
15. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright - 3DS
16. Lagrange Point - NES
17. Fire Emblem Fates: Revelations - 3DS
18. Cybernator - SNES
19. Outwars - PC
20. Resident Evil - GC
21. Resident Evil 2 - GC
22. Resident Evil 3 - GC
23. Resident Evil Code Veronica X - GC
24. Dino Crisis - PSX
25. Resident Evil 5 - PC
26. Dark Souls 3 - PS4
27. The Banner Saga 2 - PC
28. Bravely Second - 3DS
29. Star Fox Zero - Wii U
30. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - PC
31. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Winter Assault - PC
32. Doom (2016) - PC

Now THIS is how you update a classic. Doom takes everything we loved about the original games and adds in some modern advancements that enhance, rather than muddle, the game, and earn forgiveness for all the terrible things Doom 3 did while being called a Doom game.

Let's start with the weaponry. Aside from the emergency pistol every weapon is very satisfying to use. You get a shotgun, super shotgun, assault rifle firing 50 cal rounds, plasma gun, rocket launcher, mini gun, and gauss gun to make up your main arsenal. You also get the chainsaw and the BFG as supplementary weapons (more on that in a second). Aside from the rocket launcher the six main weapons pair up to share an ammo type; rifle and mini gun, the shotguns, and then plasma and gauss sharing cells. Each weapon ends up being more or less effective depending on what you're facing and how the current terrain is setup, so you will find yourself switching weapons often. And that's before you get into the weapon attachments.

Aside from the pistol and super shotgun, each of the weapons has two weapon attachments available. These are your alt fire modules. You have to find a pickup in the world that lets you pick a weapon attachment from among your currently collected guns. So you might take the grenade launcher for the shotgun or the zoom module for the gauss gun. If you have both modules for a weapon you can switch between them at the cost of some time. These modules, plus the pistol and super shotgun, can be upgraded with weapon points that you earn through finding secrets, accomplishing per-level challenges, and killing tons of dudes. The upgrades can be unlocked in any order with an increasing point cost for each one. Once you've unlocked all the upgrades you can then perform a challenge to unlock the master upgrade. For the grenade launcher you need to hit 20 Imps with direct grenades, then once you do so all direct hitting grenades release cluster bombs.

There's more player progression, which is the main part of the modern elements. There are pickups that let you upgrade your suit (a variety of small but noticeable benefits) and upgrade your base stats (more max health/armor/ammo). And then later in the game you can unlock runes, which are another enhancement that can be upgraded a single time through accomplishing a challenge. To get a rune you must first pass a challenge map; this might be killing a certain number of enemies in a time limit that increases for each kill or collecting all the items in a race to the end. Upgrading a rune generally involves taking advantage of it's benefit a certain number of times. You can equip up to three runes (depending on how many you have collected).

I promised I'd talk about how the chainsaw and BFG work. Both of them are not part of the main weapons wheel; instead they are special weapons that you will pull out, use once, then put away, so they have dedicated buttons that toggle them out/back. The chainsaw is your ammo replenishment mechanism. It has limited fuel with different enemies requiring different amounts of fuel (easy enemies take 1, hard take 5-6 with a max of 7 when fully upgraded), but when you use it it is an instant kill, counts as a glory kill, and the enemy erupts in a shower of ammo that will pretty much fill you up. The BFG is your room clear; visually the projectile acts like the Quake 2 version but in general terms it does a ton of damage to everything in the area, so you only need one shot most of the time.

The glory kills are the execution mechanic you have seen in the trailers and they help keep the speed up in the game. Performing a glory kill gets you guaranteed health (and armor with the right rune) and lets you knock off that last bit of health without wasting ammo. Area weapons can let you chain multiple executions, and the berserk powerup makes your fists always do an execution.

Speaking of, the game is extremely fast. It actually feels a lot like Painkiller, with very fast movement and lots of enemies coming at you in area-like locations. There are enemies that you will see between combat setpieces, but the majority are in some sort of large combat area. Many of these lock the doors after you enter them. Speed and movement are life, as well as intelligent use of your weapons to maximize their effectiveness.

The levels are rather open, and many of them will have a "do something at these N objective points" and then let you approach them in whatever order you want. There's also a lot put into your ability to use your arms to climb stuff; it's quite fast and you can reach above your head, so quickly climbing stuff in combat is a useful tactic (and enemies can use it on you).

Overall it's a pretty non-stop thrill ride. There's a lot of secrets in every level, including a super hard to find secret in each level to unlock a classic Doom map. These consist of a section of the level done using the old textures to represent a room from the unlocked level. The hard part comes in figuring out how to unlock the door; you need to find a lever that does not show up under the object highlight and doesn't get a map icon (even though other secrets do with the right upgrades). The levers are placed quite evilly to be hard to find (even if they are technically in plain sight). Unfortunately, the classic levels don't play as well as you'd like; it has all the same layouts as the original and same monsters, except they don't have the classic balance. The pinkies are end-game enemies in the main game, so fighting them in the numbers they exist in the classic Doom levels are an exercise in frustration. The levels also aren't set up to let you take advantage of their AI like in the main game to deal with their bull charges. Still, it's a nice feature to put in.

So the real question is why are you reading this instead of playing it already?

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 8:34 pm
by Exhuminator
Ack wrote:I had been told this was an amazing game for years. It had received rave reviews, attained nearly universal acclaim, and became the critical darling of numerous media outlets.

And I'd wager about 100% of those review mill positive reviews were written by people who had never played the System Shock games first. And thus didn't know what they were missing in comparison. I watched a friend play Bioshock for an hour or so, way back when it was first released. At the time I remember thinking it was System Shock for dummies.
MrPopo wrote:So the real question is why are you reading this instead of playing it already?

Because I'm not in a hurry to play early 1990's era FPS design coated with glossy modern graphics. Not that the concept is a bad idea inherently, it just doesn't get me hot and bothered personally.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 8:37 pm
by Xeogred
I like Bioshock and System Shock 2.