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Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:57 am
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)
12. Jeopardy! Sports Edition (SNES)(Game Show Sim)
13. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (PC)(FPS)
14. Thief Gold (PC)(Stealth)
15. Call of Duty 2 (PC)(FPS)

16. Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra (PC)(RPG)
17. Alone in the Dark (PC)(Survival Horror)
18. Silent Hill (PS1)(Survival Horror)
19. Sanitarium (PC)(Point-and-Click Adventure/Horror)
20. Gauntlet: Slayer Edition(PC)(Hack and Slash)

21. Mortal Kombat 3 (SNES)(Fighting)
22. Ultima II (PC)(RPG)
23. System Shock (PC)(Action RPG)

I'm not entirely sure what genre to put this one as. I've seen it referred to as action-adventure, action RPG, FPS, horror, so on and so forth. It seems like anyone who picks it up can draw a different conclusion based on the variety of what goes on within the game, so I don't begrudge its lack of easy qualification. I admit that I considered putting it down as an FPS in the same vein as Realms of the Haunting(another wonderful game you should all go play), but then turned against this idea since I actually spent a lot of the game using melee weapons instead of shooting. The important thing to take away is that System Shock crosses a lot of boundaries and offers up a style of gameplay that was quite groundbreaking at the time of its release. 1994...shoot, this thing predates even Hexen. It came on the heels of the Ultima Underworld series, which is readily apparent in its bones, so I went with the Action RPG moniker it has assigned in Wikipedia.

In System Shock, you play the Hacker, a ponytailed computer expert who got caught cracking the network of a megacorp and then gets brought in by a corrupt Senior Vice President to manipulate an AI on a space station for him. He gives you military-grade hacking equipment, you enter a medically-induced coma, and when you wake up six months later, everything has gone to hell: killer cyborgs and hideous mutants roam the halls, just about every human is dead, and SHODAN is in full control. Lenny Bruce is not afraid. The AI has gone completely mental and developed a God complex, which includes wanting to transform the entire population of Earth into a cyborg army. Guess who gets to stop that from happening?

The first thing you'll notice are the controls. While System Shock uses the mouse, it's not the mouselook of today that you're used to. Instead you'll be moving via WASD and using the mouse to interact and help turn in a fashion similar to a dungeon crawler. Most folks I know who don't want to play, this appears to be the main reason. It's not as big an issue with me, since I've got both the first Ultima Underworld and Realms of the Haunting under my belt, both of which have similarities in their control systems. If you're still really bothered by the thought, you can check out the System Shock: Enhanced Edition available on Steam or GOG; this version adds in mouselook as a toggable ability. That pretty much means you have no excuse not to play the game.

Really though, you should play it. You're pitted against nine floors of horrors, you'll find a surprisingly wide array of weapons to handle things, and there are some fascinating puzzles to solve, including one in which you might accidentally raze the Earth by firing a massive death laser. I admit, I did it. I'm sorry(not really). The game is broken into a handful of events: you destroy the laser, you jettison the grove into space, you destroy the communication relays, and finally you storm the security level and then the bridge to face off directly against SHODAN. Along the way you face steadily stronger enemies, and the game ramps up nicely with perhaps only the smallest issue being the strange respawn system for enemies. I call it strange because I have no idea how it works. It just seems like no enemies return until I do certain actions and then suddenly enemies respawn almost constantly. Generally its only certain kinds in certain areas, but having had enemies spawn almost literally on top of me, it did serve to become the one major frustrating element of the game. That said, death was no longer a problem in any area where this occurred because of cyborg construction devices that can be repurposed to become respawn points for the player, so if you die, you just come back and get back to whatever you were doing. I abused this mechanic regularly for most of the game until finally reaching the security level.

As there are no cyborg construction facilities on the 8th and 9th level of the space station, I ended up no longer able to rely on this tactic and instead became much more cautious. That was great in its own right though, because my playstyle changed accordingly, and instead of rushing around with a powerful melee weapon I had found, I switched over to guns and surprise tactics to deal with my foes. I liked this transition for the final areas; it kept the game feeling fresh. As I've mentioned previously, System Shock offers a variety of gameplay that continually made things interesting. Each new floor was a surprise and a treat to explore, because each new floor offered something different. To add to it, there are also cyberspace portions which are radically different in style and tone, and while they appear more dated than the rest of the game due to the reliance on wire frames, I was able to handle them once I got used to how the 3D cyberspace world controlled.

So, serious question, how much did I like System Shock? I freaking loved it. Did I like it more than Bioshock? Yes. Did I like it more than Ultima Underworld? Err...yeah, I think so(as much as I liked Ultima Underworld). Did I like it more than Thief Gold? Yeah, though I'd say it comes down to the cyberpunk setting. I love cyberpunk. Finally, did I like it more than System Shock 2? I...don't know. SS2 feels like it offers more as a straight horror title, and I appreciate that a lot. System Shock doesn't quite have the same level of vibe that System Shock 2 does. I'm hard pressed to say either is better than the other.

The important thing to note is that I've mentioned the following games in this review, and you should all go play them if you have not because they are all excellent: System Shock, System Shock 2, Ultima Underworld, Thief Gold, Realms of the Haunting, Hexen. I'm curious if I will throw in Strife with these once I get to it.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:03 am
by Exhuminator
Ack wrote:I'm curious if I will throw in Strife with these once I get to it.

I doubt it.

I do wonder how you'd fair with CyberMage: Darklight Awakening though.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:05 am
by Ack
I'll let you know if GOG ever gets it...which considering all of the other stuff Origin Systems developed or published that ended up on GOG, it's surprising to me that it hasn't found its way there yet.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:12 am
by Exhuminator
Ack wrote:I'll let you know if GOG ever gets it...which considering all of the other stuff Origin Systems developed or published that ended up on GOG, it's surprising to me that it hasn't found its way there yet.

Pretty sure I still have my legit copy bought many years ago. I'll let you know.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:19 am
by MrPopo
Ack wrote:I'll let you know if GOG ever gets it...which considering all of the other stuff Origin Systems developed or published that ended up on GOG, it's surprising to me that it hasn't found its way there yet.

Glad to see you enjoyed SS. Another game I'd recommend to you is Terra Nova, which is also available on GOG. It actually gets teased in the final cutscene of SS that shows the hacker back to his hold tricks; the piece of data he's stealing is a schematic of the power armor from Terra Nova. It also has that control scheme of moving/looking with keyboard, manipulating things with the mouse. It's much closer to a traditional FPS with squad tactics and a variety of mission styles.

I'm not surprised you enjoyed SS2 more, as you're definitely a bigger fan of horror games than I am. I don't really get into horror stuff in general; I end up focusing on the puzzle and exploration aspects of RE rather than the horror elements. I personally felt like SS1 was far more atmospheric and so I ended up preferring it. It's also a technical marvel when you consider when it came out.

I'm super excited about the remake coming from Night Dive. You should check out the demo.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:28 am
by Ack
MrPopo wrote:
Ack wrote:I'll let you know if GOG ever gets it...which considering all of the other stuff Origin Systems developed or published that ended up on GOG, it's surprising to me that it hasn't found its way there yet.

Haha, thanks, but I was actually talking about CyberMage. I picked up Strife the instant it hit GOG.

I will have to check out Terra Nova sometime though. I recall you played through it a little while back and praised it highly, and it definitely piqued my interest. I just have so much to much...

Right now it's DOOM. After that, maybe Soul Blazer. After that...who knows?

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:52 am
by ElkinFencer10
Games Beaten in 2016 So Far - 76

January (20 Games Beaten)
1. Shadow Warrior - Playstation 4 - January 1
2. The Order: 1886 - Playstation 4 - January 2
3. Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop - Wii - January 3
4. NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits - WiiWare - January 4
5. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd - Vita - January 5
6. Shadow the Hedgehog - Gamecube - January 9
7. Fairy Bloom Freeia - Steam - January 10
8. Petit Novel Series: Harvest December - 3DS - January 13
9. Gas Guzzlers Extreme - Steam - January 14
10. Muramasa: The Demon Blade - Wii - January 16
11. Project Zero 2: Wii Edition - Wii - January 19
12. Killzone: Liberation - PSP - January 20
13. Sin & Punishment: Star Successor - Wii - January 20
14. Kirby's Epic Yarn - Wii - January 24
15. Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love - Wii - January 25
16. Corpse Party - PSP - January 25
17. Freedom Planet - Wii U - January 25
18. Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders from Planet Space - Vita - January 25
19. Silent Hill: Homecoming - Xbox 360 - January 26
20. Life is Strange - Playstation 4 - January 28

February (8 Games Beaten)
21. Corpse Party: Book of Shadows - PSP - February 2
22. Megadimension Neptunia VII - Playstation 4 - February 12
23. Dr. Discord's Conquest - NES - February 13
24. Corpse Party: Blood Drive - Vita - February 17
25. If My Heart Had Wings - Steam - February 18
26. Missing: An Interactive Thriller - Steam - February 18
27. Her Story - Steam - February 18
28. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright - 3DS - February 26

March (8 Games Beaten)
29. Saints Row 2 - Steam - March 1
30. Saturday Morning RPG - Playstation 4 - March 3
31. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest - 3DS - March 6
32. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Wii U - March 8
33. Pokken Tournament - Wii U - March 20
34. Moe Chronicle - Vita - March 22
35. Tom Clancey's The Division - Playstation 4 - March 23
36. Yoshi's New Island - 3DS - March 28

April (13 Games Beaten)
37. Alien Rage - Steam - April 1
38. Alien Breed: Impact - Steam - April 2
39. Alien Breed 2: Assault - Steam - April 3
40. Alien Breed 3: Descent - Steam - April 3
41. Bravely Second: Ballad of the Three Cavaliers - 3DS - April 6
42. Quantum Break - Xbox One - April 7
43. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric - Wii U - April 8
44. Akai Katana - Xbox 360 - April 9
45. Otomedius Excellent - Xbox 360 - April 9
46. Chasing Dead - Wii U - April 10
47. Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation - 3DS - April 14
48. Ratchet and Clank - Playstation 4 - April 20
49. Starfox Zero - Wii U - April 23

May (6 Games Beaten)
50. Aero Fighters 2 - NeoGeo - May 8
51. Bravely Second: End Layer - 3DS - May 11
52. Uncharted: Golden Abyss - Vita - May 15
53. Doom - Playstation 4 - May 20
54. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End - Playstation 4 - May 22
55. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan - Playstation 4 - May 25

June (13 Games Beaten)
56. MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies - Vita - June 2
57. Republique - Playstation 4 - June 3
58. Splatterhouse - Playstation 3 - June 4
59. Spec Ops: The Line - Playstation 3 - June 5
60. 1943: Battle of Midway - NES - June 6
61. Mirror's Edge: Catalyst - Playstation 4 - June 12
62. Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem - SNES - June 13
63. Homefront: The Revolution - Playstation 4 - June 15
64. Gone Home - Playstation 4 - June 15
65. Double Dragon Neon - Playstation 3 - June 16
66. Vanquish - Playstation 3 - June 17
67. Epic Dumpster Bear - Wii U - June 20
68. B3: Game Expo for Bees - Wii U - June 21

July (7 Games Beaten)
69. Raiden V - Xbox One - July 16
70. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - Wii U - July 16
71. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES - Playstation 2 - July 23
72. Lost Sea - Playstation 4 - July 24
73. Far Cry Primal - Playstation 4 - July 27
74. Black - Playstation 2 - July 28
75. Until Dawn - Playstation 4 - July 31

August (1 Game Beaten)
76. Divine Sealing - Mega Drive - August 1

76. Divine Sealing - Mega Drive - August 1

This game came courtesy of Fragems for the Secret Santa, and it feels like it was made specifically for me. There's really not a lot of depth to this game. In terms of core gameplay, it's a shmup, and it's an okay one. It's certainly not as amazing as Blazing Lasers or Truxton, but it's not bad. My only real gripe with it is the first level. It legitimately gives me a headache just playing it. The background is supposed to be water, but it's got columns of what are basically blue arrows going in alternating directions (one goes up, the next goes down, the next goes down) at extremely fast speeds. It's basically a recipe for the perfect epileptic seizure (or, in my case, just a headache).


Now what makes this game more than just an okay shmup and one of my new favorite collection pieces is what happens between each of the five stages - glorious 16-bit space titty! I can't make out much of the story since I can't read moon language, but from what I can gather and infer, you're some hot shot space pilot who keeps getting distress calls from beautiful space babes. When you go save them, they take off all their clothes to reward you. My screenshots don't reflect it (because I don't want the mods coming after my head), but you do get legitimate space titty complete with space nipple.




While the gameplay may be just okay, there is some REALLY impressive parallax scrolling in the game. I'm talking four or five different levels of scroll speeds. It's seriously cool, and it looks fantastic. I have noticed that this game is EXTREMELY hard to find online, and the few listings I saw on eBay are really pricey (hence why IDGAF that I'm fairly certain this copy is a repro), so I'd recommend emulating or Everdriving it, but I DEFINITELY recommending doing one of those two. Just make sure any parents/children/spouses aren't around. :wink:


Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:13 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
Haha nice job finishing that one.

Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic has the same disorienting water effect in the stages with waterfalls. This was fixed for Super Mario Bros. 2.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:15 pm
by ElkinFencer10
Truthfully, the first boss was the hardest for me; I couldn't see its attacks because of that water.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:34 pm
by Exhuminator
Elkin, ya gotta get yer mitts on this shmup:


Play the PC98 original. The ports were censored.