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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:44 pm

Tales of Graces f (PS3)

Man, what a game. The Tales games I've tried lately have had a very hard time disappointing me, and this game is no exception. This is definitely my new favorite of the ones I've played.

The story, is far and away one of my favorite I've ever seen in an RPG. It kept me guessing the whole time, and I never felt it was predictable in any noticeable way. The major themes really spoke to me as well. The relationship of a child and father, the parent's role in raising their child and to what extent their actions may be in the right, the nature of who guards whom in a relationship, the bounds of what trust and friendship can go to. The only problems I ever had with the storytelling was that the voice acting isn't always fantastic. It's actually one of the less well voice acted Namco Bandai RPG's I've played, as they usually do great work. There's just one or two main characters who don't always sound quite right. I'll just conclude my primer on it here by saying I don't think I've ever played a game that's made me cry as much or as often as this game made me.

The Vesperia/Abyss-style battle system of the few titles before this is present here, but heavily modified. In Graces, TP/MP is completely gone, and in its place is essentially time units called CC. You gain CC by guarding, just standing still, or by getting big combos. CC is expended by doing attacks, and bigger attacks cost more of it. Additionally, you're more likely to land critical hits if you let it fill all the way. There are artes that are elemental like in the other games, but your normal attacks now have artes as well, eventually giving each character fairly lengthy combos they can deal out. Combos are very important because they increase damage multiplier, stagger enemies, and gain back CC. Certain enemies are more weak to your normal attack or special attack combos, and which enemies are weak to which can be checked whenever with a quick hold of the R1 button. Finally, the elaborate sidestep, backstep, forward dash, etc. maneuver system that you needed to unlock and equip with skills in Vesperia is far simplified. Now you just have those skills all the time, costing 1 CC for every use. It's a system that's new and certainly confusing at first, as I don't think the game does the best job of explaining it to you. Once I really got the feel for it around the 10 or 15 hour mark though, battles became way more fun, and this is definitely the Tales battle system I've enjoyed the most.

Cooking has been revamped into the Eleth Mixer system. Through this, you can equip specific meals which you've made at least once to the mixer in your menu. All meals have specific activation requirements and times (post-battle, when X-status effect happens, when party member HP < X %, etc.), so if you're going to try to use it, it's worth keeping track of these things. Alternatively, you can also use those slots in your Eleth Mixer to put crafting materials into, which will have a certain chance of duplicating while you're walking around, or spellbooks which you can find on your travels that apply certain passives to walking, combat, etc. at the cost of Eleth (which can be refilled at any shop). I never used the cooking system much, but I always enjoyed having new items or foods to "Dualize" into new stuff at shops, even though it only tended to be for quests.

Speaking of quests, they heavily are geared toward the new title and skill system. Titles are no longer rare, or pointless, as in this game they provide you your skills. These are all skills, from new Artes (both special and normal attack ones), new passives, and even costumes. At the end of battles, you receive both XP to level up, and SP which levels up the specific title your character has equipped. The aforementioned quests always reward some material, be it gold, materials, equipment, etc., and some amount of SP. They're simple fetch quests that are accessible in every Inn in the game. These quests aren't intrusive or anything, and you could completely ignore them if you wanted. I personally liked doing them for completionist reasons. Even doing quests, getting all the titles for all the characters, let alone leveling them sufficiently, is an absolutely madman's dream as there are so many, so you'll always have something to level up with SP. These skills may come off as intimidatingly numerous, but there are 4-preset automatic settings you can pick and choose for each character to manage when the game will pick a new skill to do. Don't want to worry about it early game? Just set everyone to "until level 3" and let them skill-up like crazy!

Verdict: If you like action RPG's , or any other of the post-Symphonia Tales games, this is highly recommended. It's one of my new favorite games ever, and a fantastic piece of story telling.

As a side note, as this is Tales of Graces f , it has extra post-game content based on the "future" of what happens in the ending. I've only just started that, but expect another, more brief, review of that in the days to come :)
Last edited by PartridgeSenpai on Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Xeogred Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:45 pm

How much time did you clock?
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by dsheinem Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:49 pm

Games Beaten 2016

Spirits of Xanadu - PC
Tales From the Borderlands: Episode 1 - PC
Operation C - Game Boy
That Dragon, Cancer - PC
Contra - NES
Super C - NES
Contra III - The Alien Wars - SNES
Tekken - PS1
The King of Fighters '99 - PS1
Street Fighter Alpha - PS1
Call of Duty: Black Ops III - PS4
Three Fourths Home - PC
Firewatch - PS4
Street Fighter V - PS4
Far Cry: Primal - PS4
Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax - PS3
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma EXTEND - Xbox One
Android Assault Cactus - PS4
Table Top Racing - Vita
The Room - iOS
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle - PS3
The Room 2 - iOS
Broforce - PS4
Toybox Turbos - PC
Peggle 2 - PS4
R-Type (R-Type Dimensions) - 360
The Room 3 - iOS
Rampage - SMS
Doom (2016) - PS4
Dungeon Siege III - - 360
Uncharted 4 - A Thief's End - PS4
NES Remix - Wii U
Moon Chronicles: Episode 1 - 3DS
Outrun 3D - 3DS
Box Boy - 3DS
Splatoon - - Wii U
Nano Assault Neo X - PS4
Mamorukun Curse! - PS3
Hyperburner - iOS
The Beginner's Guide - PC
Halo 5: Guardians - Xbox One
POP: Methodology Experiment 1 - PC
Amplitude - - PS4
Slave of God - PC
Power Drift 3D - 3DS *new*
Bio-Hazard Battle - Genesis *new*

Total: 46


Previously: 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

Power Drift is a game I wanted to play as part of my lead in to playing Daytona USA for this month's Together Retro (I also have Virtua Racing and, perhaps, one of the F1 racers from AM2 on the horizon...) . This one is a title that I hadn't spent much time with before (maybe played one time in an arcade?), but really offers a fantastic experience for a racer from 1988. It is easy to see how a couple of later games by not only Sega, but by Nintendo and other devs likely borrowed more than a few gameplay ideas and technical tricks from this one. This game really looks fantastic in 3D and is easily one of the best games to make the cut for the Sega 3D Classics Collection.

Bio-Hazard battle is a fun shooter that does enough to distinguish itself to keep things interesting. I especially liked the bassy soundtrack, and I though most of the levels and fights were quite fair.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:19 pm

dsheinem wrote:Power Drift is a game I wanted to play as part of my lead in to playing Daytona USA for this month's Together Retro (I also have Virtua Racing and, perhaps, one of the F1 racers from AM2 on the horizon...)


You should definitely play Virtua Racing. I completed it earlier this year, and it has held up remarkably well. (The primitive polygonal graphics look as stylized as pixel art, and the game plays very well.) I recommend the PS2 port, which runs even better than the arcade version.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by dsheinem Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:25 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
dsheinem wrote:Power Drift is a game I wanted to play as part of my lead in to playing Daytona USA for this month's Together Retro (I also have Virtua Racing and, perhaps, one of the F1 racers from AM2 on the horizon...)


You should definitely play Virtua Racing. I completed it earlier this year, and it has held up remarkably well. (The primitive polygonal graphics look as stylized as pixel art, and the game plays very well.) I recommend the PS2 port, which runs even better than the arcade version.

Virtua Racing is a game I go back to every few years and have played in all its incarnations. I remember still being super excited when I got the game with its expensive massive cart as a present as a kid, and I still enjoy the game today: you are right, it holds up like a boss.

I just finished F1 Exhaust Note (MAME). It is a neat in-between game for this AM2 era...I'll say more later.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by dsheinem Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:25 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
34. Virtua Racing (PS2)[/b]



Virtua Racing is pretty great, an the PS2 port is simply fantastic. The blocky graphics are as stylized as pixel-art, and IMO, they have aged much better than the muddy textures found in later games. (The PS2 port looks even better than the arcade original and moves at a silky-smooth 60 FPS. It is easily the best way to play the game today.) The game also controls wonderfully, and it plays a little closer to a racing simulator than an arcade racer. I "beat" the game by finishing first in every race in the arcade mode, and I also beat the PS2 port's gran prix mode (finishing first in every race). The gran prix mode was very easy, but completing the arcade mode was quite difficult. (The game has a strange difficulty curve. Finishing the "beginner" track within the time limit is easy, but finishing it in first place is very difficult. Reaching first place on the "advanced" track is not too difficult, but finishing the course within the time limit requires nearly flawless racing. The "intermediate" track is actually the easiest to finish in first place.)



I'm not finding Gran Prix mode to be all that easy after the first set. Did you really come in first on all five sets of all six tracks? :shock: What cars did you unlock?
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:01 pm

dsheinem wrote:
prfsnl_gmr wrote:
34. Virtua Racing (PS2)[/b]



Virtua Racing is pretty great, an the PS2 port is simply fantastic. The blocky graphics are as stylized as pixel-art, and IMO, they have aged much better than the muddy textures found in later games. (The PS2 port looks even better than the arcade original and moves at a silky-smooth 60 FPS. It is easily the best way to play the game today.) The game also controls wonderfully, and it plays a little closer to a racing simulator than an arcade racer. I "beat" the game by finishing first in every race in the arcade mode, and I also beat the PS2 port's gran prix mode (finishing first in every race). The gran prix mode was very easy, but completing the arcade mode was quite difficult. (The game has a strange difficulty curve. Finishing the "beginner" track within the time limit is easy, but finishing it in first place is very difficult. Reaching first place on the "advanced" track is not too difficult, but finishing the course within the time limit requires nearly flawless racing. The "intermediate" track is actually the easiest to finish in first place.)



I'm not finding Gran Prix mode to be all that easy after the first set. Did you really come in first on all five sets of all six tracks? :shock: What cars did you unlock?


Just the first set, maybe? I don't really remember. I counted the game as beaten after I achieved a gold medal on each of the arcade tracks. I played around with the Grand Prix mode and unlocked something, but I had some issues with my save file and didn't get to keep it. (I ended up putting 10-15 hours into the game; so, I was a little disappointed when it erased all of my progress.)

EDIT: Thinking about it last night, I remember the Grand Prix mode being way easier than the arcade mode due to the drastically reduced number of cars on the track. Basically, I would get way out in front and not have to worry about crashing into any one else. I only did that on the "expert" track in arcade mode, but the race there is really against the clock. Accordingly, I am fairly certain I got through the Grand Prix mode too.
Last edited by prfsnl_gmr on Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:52 pm

Xeogred wrote:How much time did you clock?


55 hours almost on the nose for the main game. That's with around 8-10 hours of just running around and doing extra stuff though before the final dungeon though, I think. I'm veeery close to the end of the extra part now, and that's looking to be 65-ish hours. Will have more to say tomorrow when I beat it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by laurenhiya21 Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:00 am

1/16: Diablo III (PC)
1/19: Picross E (3DS DL)
1/23: Baroque (Wii)
2/5: LocoRoco (PSP)
3/31: Picross e2 (3DS DL)
4/7: Stardew Valley (Steam)
4/8: Voices From the Sea (Steam)
4/10: X-Note (Steam)
4/11: To the Moon (Steam)
4/19: Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland (PS3)
4/19: Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match (PS3)
6/19: Steins;Gate (PS3)
7/11: Yoshi’s Woolly World (Wii U)
7/13: Muramasa Rebirth (Vita)
7/13: Strider 2 (PS1 Classics)

Total: 15 games

I'm going to try and keep these short because I'm tired and I have three games to go over :|

Yoshi's Woolly World

I think this is the cutest platformer I've ever played :D Everything is made of yarn and fabric (and things like sequins I guess), with a lot of it being bright and cheery. Pretty much everything in the game makes me want to squeeze it because it's all so cute! Luckily it's not just good looking, but it was also enjoyable for me to play. I can't say much about the levels is super unique, but it feels pretty polished and many of the levels have something unique about them to keep it fresh.

It starts off quite easy, but it ramps up the difficulty pretty quickly, especially if you are trying to go for all the collectables (which I gave up trying to do after a while). Unfortunately, some of the later levels were a little too difficult for me, which the badge system did help alleviate a bit (which give you various powerups if you pay some gems), but I did feel a bit bad about using since I felt it like I was cheating or something :/

Overall though, a really great time.

Muramasa Rebirth
Another really pretty game, but this one takes a more painterly look. Quite a few times I stopped playing for a bit just to admire how gorgeous it looked (and be jealous of the artist's skills). The gameplay was also really good, as you go around slashing everything as either Momohime or Kisuke. You can run around and do various dodges, use your main slash attack, or use your sword's ability. Using the ability does wear down on the sword's durability, but since you can carry three swords at a time, you can switch between them until the others recharge. The abilities can range from really bad (I'll use them without knowing what they do at all) to amazing (where I can fly around the screen, murdering everything around me), but you choose which three swords you want to use which adds a bit of customization.

Really the only things I didn't like about the game was that sometimes you have to run a pretty far distance to your next destination (which I really didn't mind most of the time anyway) and that I thought Momohime's and Kisuke's stories were both a little forgettable. The story snippets didn't happen too often anyway, so it worked out in favour anyway.

Strider 2
Short game, much slash.

I did enjoy playing it, but I'm not sure what else to say haha. It looks pretty good for a PS1 game I think (especially enjoyed the hand drawn cutscenes), but it's simply about jumping around and killing stuff. Pretty difficult though, as I died a lot even with everything set to the easiest settings.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ExedExes Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:21 am

1. Flag to Flag - Dreamcast (January 12)
2. The Battle of Olympus - NES (January 18)
3. Thunder Force AC - Arcade/MAME (February 6)
4. Golden Axe - Arcade/MAME (February 14)
5. Rod-Land - Arcade/MAME (February 22)
6. Xexyz - NES (March 14)
7. Smuggler's Run: Warzones - Gamecube (March 26)
8. Rad Racer - NES (March 27)
9. Rad Racer II - NES (March 27)

10. Rise of the Triad 2013 - PC (April 23)
11. Call of Juarez: Bound In Blood - PC (June 2)
12. Call of Duty: World At War - PC (June 26)
13. Medal of Honor: Infiltrator - GBA (June 27)

14. *NEW* Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon - Island Thunder - PC (July 14)

The second GR expansion pack is now complete. A year after doing the first one (Desert Siege), I pushed through this one. This set of missions takes place in Cuba, in the far off year of 2009, where Castro dies and the first free elections are due to take place. However, a drug lord and his paramilitary group are determined to see it never happen.

Out of all the versions of GR I've played over the years, this one will not be easy. This is by far the hardest original installment. The enemy AI has been greatly improved, and unless you know where they are, you're going to die. A lot. The graphics are also the best of the original GRs with lots of cool weather effects like wind and rain which also impacts your visibility. There's also a mission where you are on defense instead of just going out and shooting up everything. It offers a lot and is probably the better of the two expansion packs. Just don't expect to beat it in a few hours.
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Xeogred wrote:The obvious answer is that it's time for the Dreamcast 2.
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