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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:33 pm

Yeah, time-sensitive was probably the best way they could have handled it. It'd be tougher if it were trying to approximate a six-button layout, but it's SNK, so handling a four-button layout is a lot simpler.

I think Capcom did something similar to this for the GBA port of Street Fighter Alpha 3, but they also had the shoulder buttons to work with.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:04 pm

Fragems wrote:So absorbed with Fallout 4 that I probably won't be contributing to this list for a while :P . Got 60 hours in so far and I probably haven't touched more then 1/3rd of the content.

I put in 96 hours before I finished the main quest line and took a break to play other games.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:28 pm

noiseredux wrote:
Sarge wrote:Yep, it's a good one. I played the mess out of this one when I first got my NGPC. It's surprising how well they managed to get the controls to work given only two face buttons. I always tended to use Ken and Iori, and a random third.


when I first got a NGPC back in 2011, the two-button thing threw me off. I didn't really like the punches and kicks being pressure sensitive. But now it's second nature. It's really brilliant the way that SNK handled the shortcomings of the hardware.


Have you tried Gals Fighters? I've heard that's very very good as well, although probably one of the more expensive North American releases for the NGPC.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by noiseredux Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:33 pm

PartridgeSenpai wrote:Have you tried Gals Fighters? I've heard that's very very good as well, although probably one of the more expensive North American releases for the NGPC.


According to my watch, it's thee most expensive US release - keeping in mind that I only collect games complete in box. So unfortunately that's one I haven't gotten to yet. Though it is rather high on my interest list for the system. I will get to it, trust!
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by CFFJR Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:39 pm

1. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS3

After 68 hours, I am very sad to say that I’ve finished Trails of Cold Steel; sad because I didn’t want it to end. In fact I am sorely tempted to play it straight through again.

Cold Steel partially takes place in a school setting, which at first I didn’t think I would care for, but it’s done well and ends up drawing you in nicely. The school in question, Thors Military Academy, and the surrounding town of Trista, is your “base” throughout the game, and it’s filled with interesting npcs and events that will slowly grow as you progress with your own story throughout the game. While you’ll always return here, you spend much of your time in the game doing “field studies”, trips that split up your class into groups and send them out into the country to get a hands-on education about the troubles the country is facing at the moment.

The different cities and regions you visit are all unique and interesting. Some are expansive, like the Nord Highlands, others are smaller cities and villages. All of them are fun to explore, and while some of the sidequests admittedly get a bit samey (“go kill this big bad monster” comes up multiple times) the presentation more than makes up for it.

And the story is exceptional, if a bit of a slow burn. It must be said that the tale Cold Steel tells is indeed tied up with the events of previous games in the Trails series, two of which have yet to be released in English. Fear not however, as the story holds up on its own just fine. If you’re a first time player like me, you’ll be able to recognize when a callback to some other event is being made, but it’s all self-contained and will simply drive your need to play the other games in the series as well.

All that said the story is heavy on national politics and class warfare of a noble versus commoner sort, all built around the looming threat of war, and while lesser games might flub something like this, it ends up being fascinating and engrossing. It has been said that the game is very text heavy, and while that’s true, I don’t see it as a bad thing, as the events are interesting and leave you wanting more rather than less.

The characters are a definite highlight here as well. The game tricks you a bit at the start with a cast that at first glance appears to fall into tropey “anime bullshit”, but they quickly begin to develop and as the character’s backgrounds and relationships are explored, they become so much more than they first appear. There’s even a goofy anime style misunderstanding at the beginning between main character Rean and party member Alisa, but it is fast resolved with both characters acknowledging how ridiculous it is!

Throughout the game you’ll have the opportunity to spending a limited number of bonding points getting know your classmates/party members. You can’t max out your relationship with every character in a single playthrough, so you have to decide who want to spend time with the most. Doing so however allows you to see special bonding events with said characters as you grow closer to them, and this will affect certain late game scenes and conversations.

The bonding system also some impact on the combat with the Link system. When two party members are linked, they can back each other up in combat. Early on this manifests as a simple support attack, but as you level up your links it expands to include such things as covering a friend to reduce damage, auto healing, revenge attacks, and more. Late game you gain the ability to launch attacks with 4 characters at once, letting you do a hefty amount of damage in a single character’s turn without even using crafts or arts (character specific special attacks and “magic” respectively).

On that note, the combat is turn based, but very robust and fun. Arts are completely customizable, featuring spells, automatic buffs, and automatic status effects, though some characters are more suited to using the more powerful spells. Buffs, by the way, are super important for both physical and magical attacks. Take a couple of turns to set yourself up and your damage output can easily double or triple.

Crafts, as mentioned, are special attacks unique to each character. They each also have an S-craft, which are generally their most powerful attacks (less so for the Arts specialists). When these are available (by building up CP, craft points) they can be activated on a characters turn, or any time by using an S-break, interrupting the turn order to drop a bomb on the enemy. Some encounters become trivial if you manage to start with full CP on your whole team, use a turn or two to buff up your attack, and utilize your S-breaks.

There are a couple of challenging fights, and the game enjoys dumping on you with two bosses in a row with no healing in between, but for the most part it is pretty easy overall. If you do die though, you are conveniently allowed to retry a battle rather than being forced to load a save. The game is big on convenience in fact, with the very welcome ability to save anywhere and warnings each time you reach a point of no return that would force you to abandon a sidequest.

Finally, the soundtrack is absolutely outstanding. Falcom is obviously renowned for their music, but I really think they did an exceptional job on Cold Steel even by their own standards. Its pure ear candy and I love it.

It needs to be said that Cold Steel is definitely the first part of a larger story. Many story ends are not tied up by the end, and the game concludes with a couple of huge bombshells and a cliffhanger. Xseed is working on translating the sequel and it should be out this year, but that’s just something to keep in mind.

Overall I absolutely adored this game and wholeheartedly recommend it. It is easily one of the best jrpgs I’ve played in years, and I fear it is another game that will ruin me for lesser fare. :lol:

Anyway, enough talk, go play it.

Edit: Just realized I've done a disservice by not mentioning Xseed's excellent localization job on this. The english script is top notch with some great dialogue, and the voice work is supreme.
Last edited by CFFJR on Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrPopo Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:49 pm

I am amused that the guy with the Ranma avatar makes reference to "anime bullshit".

Sounds like the limited bonding is akin to how support conversations worked in the GBA Fire Emblem games.
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CFFJR
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by CFFJR Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:06 pm

MrPopo wrote:I am amused that the guy with the Ranma avatar makes reference to "anime bullshit".

Sounds like the limited bonding is akin to how support conversations worked in the GBA Fire Emblem games.


:lol:

Well, anime bullshit is referring to genre cliches and overused character archetypes. Not only did Ranma predate a lot of that shit, but its also the sort of thing that creator Rumiko Takahashi doesn't really use, even in her modern work. She has her own "types" that she reuses instead, heh. Besides, my love for Ranma is set apart from anime as a whole (especially since the anime adaptation completely sucks compared to the manga, but I won't get started on that :lol:).

As for the bonding, that may well be, but I can't confirm it for you since I haven't played the Fire Emblem games. If we choose one for TRPG I'll compare.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:13 pm

I need to try that new LoH sometime... I'm still working my way through some of the older titles, like this one I picked up last year:
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Oh, and my daughter loves Ranma ½.
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CFFJR
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by CFFJR Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:18 pm

Ah yeah, Ao no Kiseki. I'd love to play that and its sequel Zero. Here's hoping it gets translated one day.

Apparently the events of those two games take place more or less at the same time as Cold Steel.

Also, your daughter has good taste! :D

Edit: You know what, I got that backwards. Zero came first, then Ao. Oops.
Last edited by CFFJR on Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by elricorico Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:27 am

SSX 3 (oXbox)

I'm calling this one finished as I reached my goal of getting a medal in all of the races and beating all of the Freestyle events while maxing out a character's attributes. There's more I could do (and I'll probably go back to play some more), but I'm satisfied for now.

I had never played a snowboarding or skateboarding game, it just wasn't a genre that drew me in. However, I watched Metal Jesus' Let's Play for the All Peak race and decided I wanted to try this one out. Within days I found(and bought) it in great condition for cheap at a thrift store. A couple days later I saw it again, also in great condition for cheap at a different thrift store. The universe really wanted me to play this.

While I don't have anything to compare this to, this was a really fun play. The controls are tight (crashes really are your own fault), there is a ton of content and each portion of each mountain has plenty to explore and discover. The graphics are solid, and in my opinion are still nice to look at today (I played through component cables on a CRT). The music is very suitable to the game; I didn't love it, but there were certainly tracks I enjoyed and nothing really irritated me. Most of all, the game is fun. Losing a race or a challenge is just a learning opportunity and even one of the Freestyle events that I had to do repeatedly didn't get frustrating, it was just a chance to find better ways to score points on the way down the mountain. Stringing together absurd tricks off massive jumps is really satisfying.

This is also the first game I've beaten on an Xbox, as I didn't have the system when it was current, and despite collecting 50 games for it over the last couple of years I really haven't invested that much time into it. This game had the added benefit of really making me more comfortable with Xbox controller as well. So thanks Metal Jesus for pushing this game on me!
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