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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:07 am

To be clear; I don't think CoD4's overall plot is spectacular. But the finer details of its plot are extraordinarily well executed from a moment to moment basis. For example:
This game tasks you with rescuing a downed helicopter pilot, and right after you save her, a nuke goes off and kills everyone, including the pilot you just rescued, and the soldier you are playing as. And you don't even die slowly, the game makes you think you have a chance to live, allowed to stand up and stumble around, but then you fall over and just die. That's some seriously dark shit and none of it was sugar coated. It was pure "war is hell" with gloves off.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by dsheinem Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:48 am

I've argued many times that the entirety of the Modern Warfare plot (MW1, MW2, and MW3) collectively makes up a solid 15-20 hour single story that, were it approached as a stand alone single player game, would be much better regarded by folks who dismiss the series as a "yearly cash in" or "multiplayer-focused only" etc. In fact (especially in the FPS genre), there aren't a lot of stronger modern-war focused narratives in gaming outside of the story told in that trilogy, with exceptions of maybe some third person stuff like Spec Ops: The Line or maybe a recentish Clancy game.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:19 am

Copied scenes from other CoD games aside, I thought Ghosts was okay (it did a better job of explaining setting than Modern Warfare, which is a huge plus in my book), and I thoroughly enjoyed Advanced Warfare and especially Black Ops III. My problem with CoD 4 extends to MW2 and 3 - they never adequately (IMO) explain and build on setting. That's one of the fundamental pieces of storytelling and world building. I know that's not really a big focus for CoD games, but as far as I'm concerned, you don't get to be exempt from a criterion of good storytelling just because you didn't even try to fulfill it.

I do agree, though, that if the three games were a single game, it would be regarded better, even by me, as more than a simple mediocre cash-in (because that's exactly what it is from a campaign perspective). You're definitely right about how few good modern war shooters there are, but I'd throw the original Homefront and Battlefield: Bad Company as well as - while these are getting into more sci-fi than strictly modern day warfare - Crysis, Resistance, and Metro 2033. Those all take place around modern day, and they're all military based shooters, and (in my opinion, at least) they all do a better job of world building and storytelling than Modern Warfare.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:30 am

ElkinFencer10 wrote:Those all take place around modern day, and they're all military based shooters, and (in my opinion, at least) they all do a better job of world building and storytelling than Modern Warfare.

If you want to play a modern military FPS with a great story and epic scope, give this one a go:
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Although it's phenomenally more difficult than any CoD. (Hardest FPS I've ever beaten actually.)
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrPopo Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:31 am

That one's on my list. I've done the first mission but that's obviously easy mode since you've got a full platoon doing all the work for you.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by dsheinem Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:44 am

I don't really think of stuff like the Metro or Resistance series as "modern war" settings, though I agree both have stories far superior to the MW series.

I'd agree The Bad Company games are better FPS contemporaries for telling a modern focused war story than MW. I'd also agree that more recent COD games do "modern" settings better, though I'd contend they are built much on the blend of gameplay ideas and narrative techniques from the MW series.

I'll have to try Flashpoint soon.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:48 am

Exhuminator wrote:
ElkinFencer10 wrote:Those all take place around modern day, and they're all military based shooters, and (in my opinion, at least) they all do a better job of world building and storytelling than Modern Warfare.

If you want to play a modern military FPS with a great story and epic scope, give this one a go:
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Although it's phenomenally more difficult than any CoD. (Hardest FPS I've ever beaten actually.)


Do you know how the Xbox port compare to the PC original? It appears to be a straight port, and I may have to pick it up based on your recommendation.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:09 pm

I didn't expect anyone to be interested in Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. I must admit, I'm pleasantly surprised. I originally beat the game back in 2003, but I still remember a lot about it. Always a good sign to a game's worthiness in my book.

Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis is an incredibly deep game... and to be honest, it's more a simulator than a mere first person shooter. As a matter of fact, OpFlash's framework was later incorporated into VBS1, a legit combat simulator used by various military to train real life soldiers. This shit's pretty hardcore. :lol:

I want to mention that Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis at some point got a name change to "ARMA: Cold War Assault", in an effort to retcon it into the framework of the later ARMA series. There's an involved story as to why that happened, but it's mostly just legal red tape crap. All the same, I later tried "ARMA: Armed Assault" hoping it would serve as a pseudo-sequel to OpFlash... but no. The actual first ARMA game doesn't live up to OpFlash by a mile.

This game used to be available on GOG, but it's not anymore, I don't know why. It's still available on Steam under the name "ARMA: Cold War Assault":

http://store.steampowered.com/app/65790/

The OG Xbox version is called "Operation Flashpoint: Elite". I don't know if there are any big changes to the game design in that port or not. But I do remember reading the graphics were toned down from the PC version, and that the framerate was pretty bad. I would recommend playing the original Operation Flashpoint on PC over the Xbox port.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Xeogred Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:25 pm

1. Sly 2 Band of Thieves HD (PS3)
2. Black (Xbox)
3. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox)
4. Super Mario Bros Advance 4: SMB3 E-Reader Levels (WiiUVC)
5. Galerians (PSX)
6. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (WiiU)
7. TRAG / Hard Edge: Mission of Mercy (PSX)
8. Soul Blade (PSX)
9. Castlevania Circle of the Moon* (WiiUVC)
10. The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess* HD (WiiU)
11. Mega Man 9* (PSN)
12. Mega Man 10* (PSN)
13. Dark Souls 3 (NG++) [PLATINUM] (PS4)
14. Mega Man 1* (PS4, MMLC)
15. Mega Man 2* (PS4, MMLC)
16. Mega Man 3* (PS4, MMLC)
17. Mega Man 4* (PS4, MMLC)
18. Mega Man 5* (PS4, MMLC)
19. Mega Man 6* (PS4, MMLC)

20. Doom [PLATINUM] (PS4)
21. Quake (PC)
22. Quake 2* (PC)
23. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
24. Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon (PC)
25. Quake 2 Mission Pack 1: The Reckoning (PC)
26. Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity (PC)
27. Quake 2 Mission Pack 2: Ground Zero (PC)


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BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY6yBTYxLko

The Quake-a-thon is complete! And it was a blast, the ultimate combo after Doom 4 (could easily argue the original Quake's are a better comparison to Doom 4 than Doom itself in ways). People can say what they want about id, but I love them and love how they take their time... because here I am playing Quake in 2016 and they still play like a dream. Used source ports, but they still get all the credit for the base work and omega optimization. I used Dark Places for Quake and KMQuake2 for Quake 2.

Quake - Despite the initial praise, it took me several attempts to get into Quake! Because of my crazy love for Doom. Quake is a weird transitional spot between the classic 2D/3D FPS's, and then the bigger and more open stuff via Unreal, Half-Life, etc, some that used later idtech. So whenever I tried playing Quake before, it just made me want to play more Doom or something newer. So this time I really gave Quake a fair shot and more time and it finally clicked. I've always loved the aesthetics to Quake, the low resolution style of this, Thief, and Jedi Knight, is so awesome and eerie in a strange way. Just has a really cool look.

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Despite being a Doom veteran, Quake was pretty damn brutal. It's closer to DN3D or Build Engine games in design to me, less about enemy mobs like Doom, and more about intricate battles with tough monsters for the whole roster. Every encounter is highly dangerous. This is also true 3D and the level design is painfully yet awesomely claustrophobic, which can be your enemy as well. So it definitely takes some adjusting, and mastering for all the weapons (grenade launcher), and figuring out what works best for all the monsters.

I loved the sci-fi stages, but I think looking at a mission list there is literally only 4-5 of them in the entire original game. Kind of like Doom which quickly goes into Hell mode, Quake quickly goes into its weird neo gothic medieval world. Which is cool itself, I just wanted more sci-fi! I wasn't a huge fan of the last Episode, there were a few levels that were very samey and maze-like in an annoying way, and I ended up missing the really tough Ogre enemies that were perhaps the most frequently used enemy up to that Episode, but instead this final portion of the game started throwing out these jumping explosive blob enemies at you that were not fun in the least.

Trent Reznor of NIN fame works his magic with the soundtrack for this one, giving it a very unique sound and atmosphere. Dark droning ambiance. The two expansions change things up a bit and go for the more rockin' metal style that Q2 flew with. Awesome in their own ways, but Trent's music for Quake definitely gives it a different flavor than the rest.

Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon - I feel there's really not a whole lot to say about this one. Do you want more Quake? Here it is! And that's not a bad thing, but it doesn't stand out too much on its own compared to the original base game and the second expansion. Expect a few new weapons and enemies. The one thing I can say, is that it was kind of cool how this mission pack felt a bit more like Q2 in design, the levels were a lot more spacey and "open", even had some mission-like moments to progress through levels, etc. No complaints, the quality is high enough to feel like a natural extension of the game and in a cool way feels a bit like a merger of Q1 and Q2.

Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity - An awesome and intense expansion that really stands out on its own entirely. Tons of new weapons, which aren't exactly unique but you basically have secondary ammo for almost every original gun. This made the first Episode very easy for me because you have about double the normal amount of ammo when it all adds up. These levels were pretty good and back to being more claustrophobic like the original game. But then Episode 2 hits, and it's like a completely new game. Time travel! Every level had its own theme and gimmicks, the levels were super detailed and intricately designed, never an annoying way either (aside from the earthquake shaky cam/controls moments here and there). The difficulty skyrocketed and the maps seemed to average about 100 some monsters per. But, well this is the end of the official Quake journey, so it felt appropriate. It was a tough journey but totally awesome and worth it. The final dragon boss was hilariously easy, but I guess that happens a lot with tough journeys having an anticlimactic ending.

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Quake 2
- Damn, does Q2 feel, look, and play soooooo good. I played Q2 a lot growing up on the PSX. But it's literally been at least 15+ years since I've touched this game. And despite such a huge gap, it was an instant nostalgia bomb with it's rocking soundtrack, awesome and memorable levels, and was a pure blast. It all came back to me instantly.

While Quake is classically map based, Q2 is as well but has them broken up into collections of "units" that often interconnect. Sometimes you do end up backtracking through some levels to unlock new areas or complete missions, and it gives it a different flavor. Very cool, making the Strogg world feel very big and elaborate. And oh yeah, Strogg! So the Masters of Quake or whomever in the original are no more, Q2 basically feels like a complete reboot and ditches the medieval stuff to go full on sci-fi. They do a great job giving off the war vibes with some overhead bombing runs and ships flying by throughout a lot of the levels, sprinkling in little details like that makes the world you're in feel that much bigger. Really cool stuff.

It's funny how similar Q2 felt as well, on a keyboard and mouse compared to the PSX version, because idTech 2 was so popular. Now that I'm older and know stuff a little more like this it's just funny to notice how this feels exactly the same as Half-Life, and any other games that used this engine or its code. Q2 still plays, really, really well in 2016.

Just like Quake, Q2 is still mostly a no BS kind of FPS and gets right to the point. Some levels have brief missions like, get this key to operate this or unlock this door to proceed, drop off this marker for a bombing run, steal the CD disc, etc, but for the most part it's all about shooting monsters and the gunplay is fantastic. All the weapons are freaking awesome and fun to use. Tons of enemy types to deal with. It's not quite as fast paced as Quake, or as claustrophobic with its level design, so for the most part I think Q2 is a lot easier, but it still has some tricky parts.

I think in your face instrumental rock/metal can be distracting, but it fits perfectly with Q2 and gives it such a cool vibe. Never got tired of it throughout the whole ride and its expansions.

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Quake 2 Mission Pack 1: The Reckoning - This expansion rocked. Not a huge fan of the first few levels, some weird caves/sewers stuff, but it wasn't that bad and is smooth sailing after. It was just as good as the vanilla game and fits perfectly as the epilogue, raising the bar with the difficulty in a natural and fair way, and throws you some cool new weapons and monsters to deal with. The level design was top notch and had some neat tricks, like some stages in space with lower gravity. I can't praise this expansion enough and it really feels like it was part of the main game. Great finisher.

Quake 2 Mission Pack 2: Ground Zero - Sadly they can't all be winners. If you google around on Ground Zero you'll probably see a lot of mixed results and they are definitely valid to me. Ground Zero starts off really tough and tricky while you barely have much of an inventory at that point. I lost count of how many rooms there were with the enemy having a vertical advantage. The level design itself was out to screw you over in lazy and unfair ways. Then there's the "turrets", a new enemy type that was just purely annoying. As if the chaos of some fights in Q2 wasn't enough, they littered this expansion with turrets thrown over walls and ceilings. Never consistently either, you could never really tell when and where one was going to pop out. They track you perfectly, do a lot of damage for a measly turret, and can take tons of damage (about 3 direct rockets). What can I say... lot of turret talk, because these crappy things were freaking everywhere. Annoying. Overall still pretty solid and a nice finale, but it was shorter than the Reckoning, lazier, and just not on par with the other expansions for both games. I can see myself replaying all the other expansions, but not this one.

Hell yeah.

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Which do I like more? I'd say Doom. Hah! Between Q1 and Q2 it would be a tough one, but I can point out one strength to Q1. With Q1 being purely map based, the maps always had themes and a specifically limited set of textures. Sci-fi, castles, outside, etc, so throughout Q1 and its two expansions, the levels and environments were consistently unique and interesting. In some ways it makes Q1 feel like a larger game, but in other ways Q2's interconnected levels give that vibe off in a different way too. Q2 basically has one very distinct, gray futuristic level palette and sticks with it from start to finish. I love the look of the game, but I think there's no denying Q1 has a bit more variety with the looks.

It was a little exhausting in the end and moreso because the difficulty increases as you go with the expansions. But yeah, what a blast. Go play Doom 4 and then play these. It feels amazing and the spirit of these games is exactly the same. I guess the ultimate lesson and point here could further be about how perfect Doom 4 did everything. These games are id incarnate.

Oh and yes, as you can see by the order of my list, I switched it up and it was awesome playing both simultaneously like that. It was so easy to flip the switch and adjust to them both jumping back and forth.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Markies Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:23 pm

1. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (GCN)
2. Max Payne (XBOX)
3. Eternal Poison (PS2)
4. Dragon Warrior III (NES)
5. Arkanoid: Doh It Again(SNES)
6. Super Mario Brothers 2 (NES)
7. Phantasy Star Online (DC)
8. Power Stone (DC)
9. Bare Knuckle 3 (GEN)
10. Thousand Arms (PS1)
11. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GCN)
12. Mega Man 5 (NES)
13. Ninja Gaiden (NES)
14. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (XBOX)

15. Mega Man 6 (NES)

I beat Mega Man 6 on the NES this evening!

Mega Man 6 is a really great and wonderful game. It brought some new innovations to the series in the form of the Rush Adapters that really added a new element to the game. The game has a nice balance of tough difficulty with a nice evening out of help with extra guys and E-Tanks spread out through secret areas. The Robot Masters are unique and varied with none of them seeming too over-powered or even too weak. The music is top notch and very memorable. The graphics are bright and vivid. The game is just a fantastic experience all around.

The only sad part is this ends my NES Mega Man series. I think I have to say it, Mega Man is my favorite franchise on the NES. I love all their games and they are just fantastic! I'm going to miss looking for and playing these wonderful games!
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