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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Jun 09, 2016 11:08 pm

The sequel blows it away. Give it a shot sometime.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:19 am

It does look intriguing and the price is, again, very agreeable. I'll get to it sometime!
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Stark
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Stark Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:54 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:The sequel blows it away. Give it a shot sometime.

I need to play the sequel sometime, I really enjoyed the first one. It's only fault was how close I played it to Shovel Knight, the platforming isn't nearly as precise in Gunman. Totally not it's fault though! :lol:
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:14 pm

Stark wrote:
prfsnl_gmr wrote:The sequel blows it away. Give it a shot sometime.

I need to play the sequel sometime, I really enjoyed the first one. It's only fault was how close I played it to Shovel Knight, the platforming isn't nearly as precise in Gunman. Totally not it's fault though! :lol:


My main issues with the first game were that it was too short, that the levels were not varied enough, and that there weren't enough bosses. (I thought it controlled like a dream!) The sequel fixed all of those issues...and added rail shooting segments!
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Stark
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Stark Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:40 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
Stark wrote:
prfsnl_gmr wrote:The sequel blows it away. Give it a shot sometime.

I need to play the sequel sometime, I really enjoyed the first one. It's only fault was how close I played it to Shovel Knight, the platforming isn't nearly as precise in Gunman. Totally not it's fault though! :lol:


My main issues with the first game were that it was too short, that the levels were not varied enough, and that there weren't enough bosses. (I thought it controlled like a dream!) The sequel fixed all of those issues...and added rail shooting segments!

Yeah, the counter argument is always "It's $2" to which I say "Yes, fair point."
Let strength be granted, so the world might be mended...so the world might be mended.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:39 pm

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
47) Batman: The Video Game (GB)
48) Batman: The Video Game (NES)
49) Super Spy Hunter

April:
50) Mega Man 2
51) Mega Man 4
52) Mission: Impossible (NES)
53) Mega Man 6
54) Super Mario Bros. 3
55) Sword Master
56) DuckTales 2
57) Rush'n Attack (NES)
58) Mega Man 3
59) Mega Man 5
60) Mega Man
61) S.C.A.T. - Special Cybernetic Attack Team
62) TaleSpin (NES)
63) Double Dragon III (NES)
64) Donkey Kong (NES)
65) Astyanax (NES)

May:
66) Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu
67) The New Ghostbusters II (NES, proto)
68) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PSP, via Dracula X Chronicles)
69) Revenge of Shinobi
70) Shinobi III
71) Shadow Dancer
72) El Viento
73) Earnest Evans
74) One Must Fall 2097
75) A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES)
76) Hebereke
77) Contra
78) Wario Land: Shake It!
79) Gimmick!
80) Ninja Gaiden (GG)
81) Wai Wai World 2 (NES)
82) Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II
83) Uncharted: Golden Abyss
84) Double Dragon (SMS)

June:

85) Astra Superstars
86) Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
87) Star Wars: Dark Forces 2 - Jedi Knight
88) Star Wars: Dark Forces
89) VVVVVV

Six Vs. No more, no less. ;)

So for those that don't know about this game, it basically takes just the flipping mechanic from Metal Storm, adds a C64 veneer, and makes brutal platforming challenges in a sort of masochist, "you're gonna die a lot" style. Of course, this is lessened by the copious checkpoints and infinite lives, so it's just part of the deal. And a really, really good soundtrack.

Anyway, I beat it in under two hours, but that's because I partially beat some of the areas on another clean save, so I had a little practice for this run. I collected 13/20 trinkets, and I know where at least two more are. I got what I believe was the absolute hardest one (EDIT: YouTube video says yes, thankfully), which took many, many lives (one of those rooms claimed my life 70+ times). My final death count all told was 586... and they were quick ones, because of that one set of rooms. Absolutely brutal stuff. But also optional! So don't be discouraged, pretty much anyone with some platforming chops can get through by sheer force of will.

Still, even if you don't play the game, take a listen to that soundtrack. :)
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pierrot
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by pierrot Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:05 pm

1: Rakugaki Ninja (Mac)
2: Doukutsu Monogatari (Cave Story) (Mac)
3: Dimahoo (ARC)
4: Rez (DC)
5: L.O.L.: Lack of Love (DC)
6: Rockman 7: Shukumei no Taiketsu! (SFC)
7: Ganbare! Daiku no Gen-san (SFC)
8: Super Metroid (SFC)
9: Dragon Force (Saturn)
10: Rocket Knight Adventures (GEN)
11: Quackshot: Starring Donald Duck (GEN)
12: Mario Story (Paper Mario) (N64)
13: Rockman & Forte (SFC)
14: Sparkster (GEN)
15: Lumino City (Steam)
16: Braid (Mac)
17: Kirby: Air Ride (GCN)
18: Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (GCN)
19: Starfox Assault (GCN)
20: Terra Phantastica (Saturn)
21: Pikmin (GCN)
22: Doubutsu Banchou (Cubivore) (GCN)
23: Eternal Darkness: Manekareta 13-nin (GCN)
24: Dragon Slayer: Eiyuu Densetsu (MD)
25: Densetsu no Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen (Saturn)


26: Cibele (Mac)
27: Linda Cube - Kanzenban (Saturn)


I wrote up a lot of progress notes for Linda Cube in the RPG progress report thread:


Where to start. Well, Linda Cube is from the creator of the first two Tengai Makyou games, who also worked on Gulliver Boy, and the two Ore no Shikabane o Koete Yuke games. It's said that Linda Cube was the realization of all of the ideas he had for Tengai Makyou that didn't fit, or didn't make the cut. (Possibly Tengai Makyou III, which was unreleased, and shared the same illustrator.) That might not sound like it reflects well on Linda Cube, but I suppose that depends on one's perspective. There are three versions of the game: The original on the PC Engine, a remake for the Playstation, and a complete edition for the Saturn. In essence, the Saturn version is a port of the Playstation version, with some bonus game modes, and some really nice physical media bonuses (a development scrapbook, and full OST). These are, in turn, reimaginations, to a degree, of the PC Engine version: Character designs are quite different, and the story, while generally the same, is told in slightly different ways at times. Suffice it to say that they aren't shot for shot updates. Illustrations and character designs were handled by CANNABIS, of AKIRA fame.

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The story of Linda Cube involves a planet (called Neo Kenya) which is facing imminent doom in the form of a giant meteor (nicknamed 'Shinigami,' or 'harbinger of death'/'death-bringer') and the efforts of two intrepid young persons, Linda and Ken, who have tasked themselves with completing a request from 'god' (later known as Anabis) to fill a wooden ark with one male and one female of every species of animal on the planet.

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Ken is a rather average main character, who is predominantly silent, but is a member of the Rangers, who are tasked with the preservation of the ecosystem, first and foremost, but are given more responsibilities as peace keepers, as the planet nears its final hours. There are many times when the game gives a choice of how to answer things, as Ken, but the choices don't really affect much of anything. Linda is a very strong-willed girl, who proposed to Ken when they were very young. She's half Beastian, which is the term for the indigenous people of Neo Kenya, who are rather like Native Americans: They put a lot of faith in superstition, and speak with the earth/animals, so to speak.

So, that's essentially the overarching plot: Get off the planet within seven/eight years with as many species of animal as possible. The story is further broken up into three scenarios (technically four, although I'm fairly certain the fourth scenario is mostly void plot implications). These Scenarios all occur simultaneously, but in alternate, parallel, realities. Scenario A has a bit of a Christmas theme, but is probably the most grotesque and twisted. In Scenario B, Linda is dealt a really raw deal by a group of vigilantes, and it's much more like a detective scenario, than Scenario A. Scenario C is very light on story content, and really just lets the player go and do what he wants. It does have a small story involving some of the supporting characters from the other two scenarios, though, and generally takes a lot of lines from Scenarios A and B, and delivers them in significantly different contexts. The characters in Scenario C are much less downtrodden, and defeated, and as a result, the side story doesn't really have much conflict to speak of.

The battle system is a bit interesting. The player does battle with all manor of animal (they actually have names of animals on Earth, and resemble their namesakes to varying degrees) trying to punish them into submission--alive--in order to trap them in a compact machine on Ken's shoulder, for transport back to the ark. It looks a lot like Dragon Quest, in battle, but there are five panels, set up in a cross, with the center panel designated for the player party, and the four cardinal directions for locations the animals can attack from. Getting into battle with a single animal is about as likely as being accosted by about 15, from two to three different sides. The player can freely choose an animal to attack, from any side, but I do believe that being attacked from the side or behind does extra damage. There are also some terrain effects, that mostly affect speed, when attacked in water, or on ice/sand, and they can also disadvantage certain animals caught outside their natural habitats. Encounters aren't (generally) random, either: Enemies can be seen on the map before encounters, and it's easy to identify which species it is, as well. In battle, enemies' stats are given when choosing one to attack, so it is very easy to identify the weakest/strongest of the pack, and adjust strategies accordingly.

As new species are entered into the ark, Ken and Linda's stats are boosted, and for certain species, a transformation is developed for one of them (depending on the gender of the animal). Each transformation can be leveled up four times, and are dependent on certain species of animal being registered in the ark. This also tends to give battle skills, with varying effects. These beast transformations can be used in battle, at the expense of BP (read: MP) and when fully powered up, significantly boost character stats. Many of Kens transformations also help mitigate the effects of sand and water terrains. Once the player has a pile of males, or females, of a particular species, but has already registered it in the ark, they can be used to make weapons, armor, and food, which imbue stats that reflect those of the species of animal. Also, certain species can be trained, and used in combat. At first this is only dogs, but later includes wolves, dolphins, eagles, cobras, and elephants.

One thing that is always important to keep track of is character level. It only takes 1000xp to level up, but fighting a large group of animals, that are at or above the main characters' levels can reward hundreds of exp. The problem is that, at a certain point, dealing overkill damage to an animal will outright kill it, rather than just leaving it incapacitated, which means that it can't be collected. There are ways to mitigate this problem by using traps (which are very expensive until the end of the game) trying to get the species through other means, such as raising eggs, or buying them from stores/the auction house, and by using certain combat skills that deal less damage, or certain status effects.

I guess I haven't really mentioned how the flow of time works in this game, since there is a deadline. There are four difficulty levels, and I played on the default, which was 2. Difficulty number 1 is the hardest, and 3/4 are progressively easier. I believe that these difficulty settings only change how quickly or slowly time flows in the game. When in towns, or when paused, time stops (which is nice, because I spent a lot of time talking with NPCs in the towns). Anywhere else, time flows according to the difficulty setting. Once a certain amount of time has passed, the season changes--four seasons corresponding exactly to those on Earth. Certain things are available or unavailable depending on the season, such as an egg vendor, lottery, and the dog-fight arena. As well, NPCs come and go as the seasons and years roll over.

In terms of sound, this game is quite good. The soundtrack is somewhat understated, but extremely solid, and the voice cast includes the voice of Detective Conan as Linda, who is really great. Unfortunately the overall presentations isn't quite as spectacular. It feels apparent that the area most skimped on was in visual presentation. Generally the game looks nice, and the enemy sprites all look good, in and out of battle, but the environments look slightly haggard, and the human sprites aren't especially detailed. Due to the games age, the FMV cutscenes, and graphic stills look a bit poorly rendered. It doesn't detract significantly, but can be noticeable. Character portraits are generally quite nice, though. Also, the menu can be a little cumbersome, despite some shortcuts being mapped to the L and R triggers. It's nothing major, just enough that I was a little agitated a few times by managing things in my inventory, or getting to certain option.

So, this game is unapologetically racy! It doesn't just straddle the line, it tries desperately to cling for dear life to the far side of the line, hoping to keep from falling completely over it. I've never encountered an NPC in a game, before, who told me that she thought the tower on top of the building she works in looks kind of like a penis, and that the beam it shoots out when transporting people is kind of like the ejaculate, firing humanity into the depths of space--. There is a truckload of innuendo, and more than a few foul mouths accounted for. I've heard it said that Linda Cube, on the PC Engine, was the first Japanese console game to carry a suggested player age of 18+, and I could believe that, but I'm not too sure I do. That was written in a Japanese blog, but that same blog had some inaccurate information on a few things about the game itself. It's probably a really tame game by today's H-games-all-over-the-Vita standards, though.

Final Thoughts: There are so many people I could recommend this game to: Fans of Pokemon, fans of (at least) early MegaTen, fans of WRPGs, fans of Metal Max. There's one glaring issue, though, and that is that--as far as I know--there's nothing out there allowing people to play the game in English.

Regardless, there's so much love that went into the Saturn version, and while the game lacks some fundamental cohesion in certain areas, it's very enjoyable, and I've had a pretty great time with it, to this point. Maybe trying to get the last 20 species changes my opinion somewhat, but I don't foresee that. There are still plenty of secrets tucked away in the recesses of Eden. I can absolutely understand why this game is such a cult classic.
Last edited by pierrot on Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:38 pm

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
47) Batman: The Video Game (GB)
48) Batman: The Video Game (NES)
49) Super Spy Hunter

April:
50) Mega Man 2
51) Mega Man 4
52) Mission: Impossible (NES)
53) Mega Man 6
54) Super Mario Bros. 3
55) Sword Master
56) DuckTales 2
57) Rush'n Attack (NES)
58) Mega Man 3
59) Mega Man 5
60) Mega Man
61) S.C.A.T. - Special Cybernetic Attack Team
62) TaleSpin (NES)
63) Double Dragon III (NES)
64) Donkey Kong (NES)
65) Astyanax (NES)

May:
66) Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu
67) The New Ghostbusters II (NES, proto)
68) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PSP, via Dracula X Chronicles)
69) Revenge of Shinobi
70) Shinobi III
71) Shadow Dancer
72) El Viento
73) Earnest Evans
74) One Must Fall 2097
75) A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES)
76) Hebereke
77) Contra
78) Wario Land: Shake It!
79) Gimmick!
80) Ninja Gaiden (GG)
81) Wai Wai World 2 (NES)
82) Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II
83) Uncharted: Golden Abyss
84) Double Dragon (SMS)

June:

85) Astra Superstars
86) Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
87) Star Wars: Dark Forces 2 - Jedi Knight
88) Star Wars: Dark Forces
89) VVVVVV
90) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist

So I finally tired of looking for my RCA jack adapters and bought some so I could comfortably hook up my SCART-to-Component converter on the Genesis. Naturally, this needs a test, and Hyperstone Heist is always a fine choice. It's far easier to me than the SNES version, and that thrash move is ridiculously easy to pull. Which, of course, is why the game is really easy. But it's fun to breeze through. No continues burned on this run, although I was playing with fire a little bit on Krang, and forgot the best way to kill Tatsu. Ah well, it's still done, and it looks awfully pretty in component.

It's a remarkably short game, though. I'm pretty sure the NES games and the SNES game are a lot longer. This one's only got five stages, and one of those is pretty much a boss gauntlet. Still, good times, and a little less of a time investment than the others.

Also, Super Shredder is a wuss.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:48 pm

pierrot wrote:There's one glaring issue, though, and that is that--as far as I know--there's nothing out there allowing people to play the game in English.

Yeah, that's the deal breaker for sure. I'd play it I could read it.

Congrats on beating such on obscure yet immensely interesting game. I've really enjoyed reading all your detailed posts about Linda Cube. Also all the art you've posted from the game is phenomenal. It's been a real treat vicariously following your progress through such an esoteric experience. I love reading about unknown and unusual stuff like this.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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pierrot
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by pierrot Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:13 pm

Glad you enjoyed some of my rambling and musing. :) Perhaps it will serve some use as reference at some point.

I think it would be nice if more people had access to the game. For a while, most versions were pretty prohibitively expensive, as well. I'm not sure what happened to bring the prices down, but I'm pretty happy about it. The Playstation version should be on the Japanese PS Store, if anyone is just looking for a way to try to play it. It would have been nice if it had ever been localized (although it probably would have been nearly impossible). I think it's possible the game could have done well in the West, around that time. (Probably more '97/'98 than '95.)

Yeah, CANNABIS did some remarkable work for the game. I love both generations of the concept art that he did.
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