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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Flake Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:28 am

3/19: Sonic Generations (3DS)
3/22: Sonic Colors (Wii)
4/10: Sonic Adventure DX (GCN)
4/17: Knuckles in Sonic 2 (SG/WiiVC)
6/15: Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness (PSP/PSTV)
8/4: Metal Slug (Arcade/PS4)
8/5: Metal Slug 2 (Arcade/PS4)


Clearing a few Metal Slug games as part of this month's Together Retro! I think I have written at least 6 TR articles and this is the first time that I've properly participated, lol.

Whereas I'd usually have a lot to say about Metal Slug to almost any other demographic, I don't think there are many on this board that are not familiar with this series. I will say that the PS4 re-release of the PS2 collection is not bad at all! The screenshot feature in particular is a lot of fun and the load times are nearly non-existent. It feels highly optimized and is only missing online co-op to be perfect.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:52 pm

Ninja Smasher (3DS)

Saw someone raving about this on the forum the other day, comparing it to the likes of BOXBOY! in terms of being an underappreciated gem on the 3DS eshop. It was only $4, so I decided to give it a go. For that price, it's not too long (took me 2.5 hours), and it's not a bad Metroidvania.

There's basically zero story. Tengu captures princess, you try and defeat him, but get kicked out. You've gotta go collect Metroidvania equipment upgrades and subweapons to be able to unlock the door to his castle. I wouldn't say the theme carries as much in this game as in the Metroid or Casltevania games though. Perhaps that's due to lack of story, but I just felt the Ninja theme wasn't that memorable (sans the Kappa Tank, which was a great boss).

It's a straight up action game. Go around the map, occasionally collecting health upgrades. The game uses a Portrait of Ruin-style map where the overall world is fairly big, but there are doors which contain full-dungeons around the map which is where most of the upgrades and bosses lie. You have a sword and several subweapons, but your sword is what you'll mainly use. Once you get the double jump fairly early on, you can slash enemies in mid air to get extra jumps as well, which calls for some tricky platforming occasionally. The jumping is so crazy once you get the Ninja Gaiden-style wall cling, that I actually found a fairly neat sequence break that allows you to skip the 3rd to last dungeon (the ice one) if you're good at triangle-jumping.

The normal enemies aren't too thrilling, but the boss battles range from pretty good to really great. You can also carry quite a lot of potions which you can buy with gold enemies drop, so the game is more or less as difficult or as hard as you want it to be with how you'll limit your own potion use (much like the DS Castlevanias, imo). My personal favorite boss was the aforementioned Kappa Tank. I had far more fun against him than the final boss (even if you can more or less kill the bosses fairly cheaply with an early item). Dodging and just using your sword was the most challenging and fun way I found.

Verdict: If you're REALLY worn out of all of the Metroid and Casltevania games on DS and GBA, then this is an okay thing to tide you over. It's certainly one of the best non-Nintendo or Konami Metroidvanias I've ever played, but I'd frankly hesitate to put it above even my least favorite Castlevania game not only because of the fairly short length of the game, but more so becuase of the lack of combat depth.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:57 pm

That was me! I'm glad that you liked it. I thought it was a very solid game, and I was pleasantly surprised by its quality/price ratio. I also thought the combat was really fun and intense...even if it was never difficult. Finally, I had fun time collecting all the items and upgrades, which was vastly more challenging than the main game. (Given your really fast completion time, I assume you didn't do this.)

Have you tried out any of the characters you unlock when you beat the game? They all play completely differently.

Also, and as I mentioned on another thread, the underappreciated 3DS eShop gem is Alien on the Run. It is on sale for $1.99 right now, and you should be sure to give it a shot.)
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:06 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:That was me! I'm glad that you liked it. I thought it was a very solid game, and I was pleasantly surprised by its quality/price ratio. I also thought the combat was really fun and intense...even if it was never difficult. Finally, I had fun time collecting all the items and upgrades, which was vastly more challenging than the main game. (Given your really fast completion time, I assume you didn't do this.)

Have you tried out any of the characters you unlock when you beat the game? They all play completely differently.

Also, and as I mentioned on another thread, the underappreciated 3DS eShop gem is Alien on the Run. It is on sale for $1.99 right now, and you should be sure to give it a shot.)


I thought I got all the things. My completion was 99%, and I had assumed that last percent was the one SP upgrade I couldn't be arsed to grind the money to get from the shop.

EDIT: Apparently I also missed one max health and one max SP somewhere in the world.

Fun fact: The symbols used for your SP meter are the Kanji for Ninja :)

I didn't know there were other characters either! Me will have to check dat :I
(Also must check why this Alien is Running).
Last edited by PartridgeSenpai on Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:10 pm

PartridgeSenpai wrote:I thought I got all the things. My completion was 99%, and I had assumed that last percent was the one SP upgrade I couldn't be arsed to grind the money to get from the shop.


Very nice work! My completion time was a little over four hours; so, you really hauled through the game! Also, be sure to check out the other characters. I am not sure that each one warrants another playthrough - especially since, as you noticed, the game doesn't really have a story - but they are a pretty cool inclusion. (Be sure to avoid the unlockable "touch" mode, however. Apparently, the mobile original used those controls, and I thought they were awful.)
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Flake Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:10 pm

3/19: Sonic Generations (3DS)
3/22: Sonic Colors (Wii)
4/10: Sonic Adventure DX (GCN)
4/17: Knuckles in Sonic 2 (SG/WiiVC)
6/15: Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness (PSP/PSTV)
8/4: Metal Slug (Arcade/PS4)
8/5: Metal Slug 2 (Arcade/PS4)
8/5: Metal Slug X (Arcade/PS4)
8/5: Metal Slug 3 (Arcade/PS4)


Keeping my Metal Slug thoughts mostly in the TR thread for Metal Slug. That said, does anyone know why Metal Slug X was even made?
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by fastbilly1 Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:27 pm

Flake wrote:That said, does anyone know why Metal Slug X was even made?

To fix the slowdown MS2 had on the MVS in a couple scenes, and ofcourse to revamp the difficulty. I have always viewed it as more of a Directors Cut than a replacement.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:59 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:I am not sure that each one warrants another playthrough - especially since, as you noticed, the game doesn't really have a story - but they are a pretty cool inclusion. (Be sure to avoid the unlockable "touch" mode, however. Apparently, the mobile original used those controls, and I thought they were awful.)


The other characters are pretty cool, but I would agree, I'd need to wait at least a little while before I went for another playthrough. The robot seems especially hard because of how his gun's mechanics are nothing remotely like the ninja's sword, which seemed to be what a lot of the game was based around. Also, I agree: The touch mode is total wank and no one should ever use it with how well the game controls to begin with (I'm very glad it's a post-game unlockable, and not the default control method).
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrPopo Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:08 pm

1. Oni - PC
2. Donkey Kong 64 - N64
3. Yoshi's Story - N64
4. Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide - PC
5. Forsaken 64 - N64
6. Bloodrayne: Betrayal - PSN
7. Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu - SNES
8. Fire Emblem Shin Monshō no Nazo: Hikari to Kage no Eiyū - Nintendo DS
9. Valkyria Chronicles 3 - PSP
10. Ready 2 Rumble Boxing - DC
11. Rise of the Tomb Raider - PC
12. XCOM 2 - PC
13. Shadowrun Hong Kong Bonus Campaign - PC
14. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest - 3DS
15. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright - 3DS
16. Lagrange Point - NES
17. Fire Emblem Fates: Revelations - 3DS
18. Cybernator - SNES
19. Outwars - PC
20. Resident Evil - GC
21. Resident Evil 2 - GC
22. Resident Evil 3 - GC
23. Resident Evil Code Veronica X - GC
24. Dino Crisis - PSX
25. Resident Evil 5 - PC
26. Dark Souls 3 - PS4
27. The Banner Saga 2 - PC
28. Bravely Second - 3DS
29. Star Fox Zero - Wii U
30. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - PC
31. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Winter Assault - PC
32. Doom (2016) - PC
33. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade - PC
34. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm - PC
35. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine - PC
36. Doom 64 - N64
37. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - PC
38. Super Empire Strikes Back - SNES
39. Might & Magic 3 - Isles of Terra - PC
40. Mirror's Edge Catalyst - PC
41. Sonic 2 - Genesis
42. Resident Evil Revelations - PC
43. Resident Evil Revelations 2 - PC
44. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - Wii U
45. Kirby: Planet Robobot
46. Sin: Wages of Sin - PC
47. Torchlight II - PC
48. Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness - PS4
49. Axiom Verge - PS4
50. Shadow Complex Remastered - PS4

So after Axiom Verge I was still in the mood for some Metroidvania action and Bloodstained is at least a year out, so I picked up Shadow Complex. Turns out I played these two games in the wrong order; I should have done Shadow Complex first so it wouldn't be comparing so unfavorably to Axiom Verge. Which is not to say it's a bad game; it's just adequate.

The story is that you stumble upon a secret base and then murder the shit out of everyone inside because of a vague sense of duty and video games. At one point your character even remarks that everything he's doing is insane, but keeps going because video games. But let's be honest; no one played Metroidvania games for the story.

Gameplay wise there's good and bad. The good is that the exploration is quite well done. You gain a variety of movement abilities for exploration and the levels are built quite well, with lots of nooks and crannies including several that you won't notice (or can't notice) unless you start thinking in "find the secrets" mode. By the end of the game my movement was extremely fluid and fun. The game also manages to one-up Metroid's speed booster by replacing the shinespark with the ability to run on walls and ceilings; this gets used a few times to get some particularly tricky items.

The bad is the combat. In most Metroidvanias the enemies are a mix of physical obstacles that just do their thing, physical dive bombers that chase you, and enemies that shoot fairly slow shots. If you're on the ball you can avoid most damage. Here all enemies have nearly hitscan ranged weapons that do significant amounts of damage. That would be annoying, but what brings it into "fuck me" category is the game putting enemies in the background of stages. Now artistically this is really neat; it gives a sense of depth to the 2D map. The problem is that the controls just aren't up to the task of reliably hitting those enemies. Most of my deaths came from being sniped by background enemies that I had trouble shooting myself. Late game you end up picking up enough damage resistance powerups that you don't care as much about their fire AND your firepower gets high enough to kill them in a couple shots, so you finally will get your revenge on them, but midgame was an absolute slog.

The other thing that really pissed me off was that there were three items that shared rooms with something else. Two were shared with save rooms and one was shared with a different pickup. When I was going for 100% (this is probably the easiest Metroidvania to 100% by far) I had two of those to get at the end and had to resort to guides to find them (the third I had picked up naturally). Everything else ends up being well marked on the map like in Fusion and Zero Mission, so these three felt like real omissions and a kind of dick move.

All in all, a competent game and if you're looking for Metroidvania gameplay you can certainly do worse. It's just you can also do better, so I'd only grab this if you're out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:47 pm

Games Beaten in 2016 So Far - 78

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 (3 Games Beaten)
76. Divine Sealing - Mega Drive - August 1
77. Gal*Gun: Double Peace - Playstation 4 - August 2
78. Valkyria Chronicles II - PSP - August 5


78. Valkyria Chronicles II - PSP - August 5

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When I played Valkyria Chronicles a year or two ago, it became one of my all-time favorite SRPGs. The strategy was great, the blend of real time and turn based was brilliant, the story was engrossing, and the characters were captivating. From the day I beat that game, I wanted to get a PSP, more than anything, to play the sequel.

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Having beaten said sequel, I can now conclude that while it's a competent sequel, it does not live up the standard its predecessor set. Don't get me wrong, it's a good game, and as far as I'm concerned, it hit the story part right on the head. Using the same combat system as the first game, the gameplay itself was done well, also. It does, however, fail to impress me with the characters (at least in comparison to the original game) and the pacing of the game. It does, however, allow for ad hoc multiplayer. While I didn't get to try that feature out, I thought it was great that they facilitated co-op battles.

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For those who've played the first game, this one picks up two years after its conclusion at Lanseal Military Academy in southern Gallia at the outset of a civil war sparked by a major spoiler for the first game that I won't mention. Your main character - this game's Welkin - is a dumb-as-shit kid named Avan. Now despite having an IQ of approximately 12, he's a damn likable character. Honestly, he, Cosette, Zeri, and Melissa (the two former being the other two "main" playable characters) were the only four playable characters that I ever actually cared about. It's not that there was anything "wrong" with the other characters, but they never really "clicked" with me the way those four did.

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Anyway, some guy from the academy shows up at Avan's house, goes "hey, sorry fam, but your brother died on a special mission," and Avan's all "bullshit, bro, i'm going to that school to find out about this special mission and do some stuff!" There you meet the other characters of Class G - the reject class - and they decide to make the mentally handicapped guy class leader. Why not?

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My biggest gripe with the game is the pacing, and it's the same problem I have with the first Assassin's Creed game. When the game is going and I'm doing the actual story, it's great, and I'm loving every minute of it. The problem is all of the bullshit side stuff that the game makes you do in order to progress to the next part of the story. Just like Assassin's Creed made you go do random bullshit quests to unlock the next story quest, each month in Valkyria Chronicles II (the game is broken up into 12 months) requires you to do between 3 and 5 side missions before you can unlock that month's story mission. Normally it's something like "This town that you've liberated from the rebels four times already has been taken over again. Go there and occupy this one really special enemy camp. We should probably leave some soldiers there to actually guard the city this time, but fuck that, we'll just send you back to liberate it again next month."

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It's not that the side missions are bad, per se. They just feel REALLY repetitive and pointless after about April. I know the whole "But it earns you money to buy weapon upgrades and experience to upgrade your classes!" bit, but that could be done just as easily by having the upgrades cost less and scale it to just have the story missions provide you with that. Or at least make it optional so I feel a desire to grind instead of forcing me to do it. It's like having to read for class - I refused to pick up a book for pleasure all throughout college and my first year after graduation. Once I wasn't forced to read anymore, however, I started reading a lot again. Make someone do something, and they're probably going to hate it.

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One nice thing, however, is that your units don't "die." If they get wounded, you have a small window of opportunity to get to them on the field, in which case they'll be hospitalized for one mission. If you don't make it in time, or if an enemy unit gets to them first, then they're hospitalized for three missions (which SERIOUSLY sucks). It may suck, but it's WAY better than having them dead forever. So at least the game is forgiving in that regard.

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It's not a bad game. It's really not. It's actually quite a good SRPG. But that pacing, man...that pacing killed it for me. Nothing is going to break my immersion (aside from an idiot sitting next to me singing or laughing during a horror game - looking at you, Paul) faster than a game that makes me feel like I'm wasting my time. I don't even actually have to be wasting my time (you are getting money and experience, after all), but if I FEEL like it's wasting my time, it's going to make me hella salty. This game does that. Buuuuut they did introduce a class that lets you cut enemies in half with a giant sword and a huge shield that blocks most of their bullets as you sprint towards them like a madman. It definitely gets kudos for that.

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