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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:21 am

alienjesus wrote:
ElkinFencer10 wrote:
Xeogred wrote:You'll have to get the Otacon one next time.

Wait, there are multiple endings?!? I love Otacon. I need to see this.

Yep. Changes depending if you 'beat' the torture sequence or not iirc.

I beat both of them, so I guess I got the "good" ending?
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Ack Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:39 am

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)
24. DOOM (PC)(FPS)
25. Soul Blazer (SNES)(RPG)

I blazed through this(no pun intended, har har har) and quite liked it. It's short, it's straightforward, and it feels like an Enix game from its era. In fact it reminded me quite substantially of the ActRaiser games, more so than its followups Illusion of Gaia and Terranigma. It is due to a combination of plot elements such as releasing souls taken by a monster to build towns, references to God and a potential Devil, the broken down nature of the world into separate distinct regions, hack and slash action, as well as the music. All of this just screams "ActRaiser" more than any other Enix property.

That said, Soul Blazer is much closer to Terranigma than Illusion of Gaia in terms of its RPG-ness, in that it actually has true leveling and an experience system with changing stats. Yes, there aren't too many opportunities to grind, and the steady increase in terms of XP requirements will probably keep you from going beyond what was intended, but you can do it if you so desire. There just isn't much reason to once you reach level 24, because you'll then be able to equip all the best gear in the game. In fact you pretty much have to, as well as doing the side stuff of going back to kill previously unkillable monsters once certain weapons are acquired. The backtracking does take a little time unfortunately, but the vast majority of monsters stay dead too, so it's not so bad.

If I have any complaints, it would be that inventory management felt like a chore at times. I repeatedly pressed the button to use magic instead of for the inventory; for some reason, it just wouldn't click. There were a couple of boss fights where I flipped between two different items for a boost to offense and defense, and it took a bit. I felt like I was doing more inventory work than actually fighting. I realize that was a personal choice, but considering I'd still have to do inventory work to swap to healing items or soul-storing magic bottles in case of defeat, I didn't think it was that weird of a maneuver.

One other thing that irked me a bit was the complete lack of knock back. Screw up the timing of moving and attacking, and you were taking a hit to the face. I took a lot of unnecessary hits from enemies who would stalk forward mercilessly despite my impaling them upon a sharp piece of steel. That felt a little frustrating, especially when I was coming into a new area with tougher monsters. A single level would often mitigate this frustration by having me hit harder to drop them faster, but it was a noticeable issue upon each world transition.

Beyond that...I liked most everything else. There was one song track that I thought sounded off key every time I heard it, but otherwise it's a delightfully straightforward game. Soul Blazer gives you exactly what it says, and while its plot is pretty mangled at times, it still gets the idea across and doesn't go heavy on the exposition. Do you want an action RPG that isn't overly complicated, delivers on the constant action, offers some challenge in its boss fights, but never feels like your attack range is gimped or the puzzles are impossible? Well, here you go.

14 SNES RPGs to go.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:46 pm

Games Beaten in 2016 So Far - 82

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 (7 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
79. Breach and Clear - Vita - August 10
80. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem - Gamecube - August 12
81. Metal Gear Solid - Playstation - August 15
82. Hello Kitty Kruisers - Wii U - August 16

82. Hello Kitty Kruisers - Wii U - August 16

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you a serious contender for 2014 Game of the Year. Just kidding, this game is shit. I know I shouldn't be surprised; licensed games - especially modern ones - are usually total rubbish, especially when they're aimed at a younger audience. Especially especially when that younger audience is female because I guess girls can't appreciate a good game like boys can? Patriarchal bullshit aside, I was legitimately disappointed. Not like "Wow, this is a bad game," but "Wow, this is a really bad game and I actually thought it would be decently entertaining."


I'm a fan of Hello Kitty. Not a huge fan - I don't have any Hello Kitty shit - but I think she's a cute character, and I like her. I also like uncommon and rare games, and knowing that this was a game printed in low numbers on an unpopular console, I know this is going to be a rare game in the future, so I picked it up before prices got out of control. Sure, that was the main reason that I ordered this last week, but I also really did think it would just be your typical Mario Kart clone (complete with shitty Rainbow Road rip-off). Oh, how wrong I was.


Jordan mentioned this in another thread after I said I had ordered the game - I want to say it was the Wii U thread in the Nintendo sub-forum, but I could be mistaken - but the game just plays soooo slowly. Like, I'll compare it to Mario Kart. Mario Kart's difficulties are listed by speed - 50 cc is slow/easy, 100 cc is normal, and 150 cc is fast/hard. And on Mario Kart 8, 200 cc is plaid/you're-going-to-lose. Well, Hello Kitty Kruisers would stack up around 15 cc with no difficulty settings in sight. It's might as well be racing on tortoises.


It plays like Diddy Kong's Racing less successful little sister (and looks like it, too; Jordan was right about this looking like a 5th gen game); some races are done in karts, some are done in boats, and some are done in planes. Anyway, as for game modes, there are three - Quick Race, Tournament, and Adventure. I started with Tournament since it seemed the most straightforward and would unlock characters and stuff. There are four tournaments, and you unlock each one by beating the previous tournament. Each tournament has four races. At no point after the first 10 seconds of each race was I ever out of first place for all sixteen races. The AI in this game would make President Bush (the second one) look like a Rhodes Scholar. I saw racers driving the wrong way. I saw racers driving in circles. I saw racers driving straight into walls and just staying there, wheels spinning. During one race, I lapped every single opponent twice because they decided to have a giant clusterfuck of driving into the same rock wall all at once.


If you haven't gathered yet, this game is laughably easy. I can't imagine four year olds having any difficulty with this game. Any difficulty to be had here is not due to level design - that's literally more uninspired than any game I've ever played - or even to cheap AI but to floaty controls. The planes control fine. The cars control okay - a little slippery, but not bad. The boats, though. Jesus fucking Christ, the boats are the floatiest fucking shit in the whole world. You try to turn in the boat. You're facing the direction you want to go. Your boat says "NOPE" and keeps fucking traveling in whatever the fuck direction it feels like. Normally this isn't a huge problem because the AI is so god damn useless. Enter the "Adventure" mode.

Adventure mode is really just 20 "challenge" levels, and THOSE are just the same four things repeated five times - collect every cupcake in the time limit, drive through every gate in the time limit, complete one lap in the time limit, and collect 99 apples in the time limit. I beat 19 of these 20 levels in one attempt. The third to last one, though....fucking collecting the cupcakes in the god damn FLOATY ASS BOAT. That one took me legit like a dozen tries. It's not that the GAME is hard. It's not that it's a cleverly designed level. It's that the boat is fucking broken if ANY semblance of control or precision is called for.


You have a minute to collect 12 cupcakes in this level with a moderately twisty river course. Well, I say river, but it was more of a lackadaisical creek. Anyway, the first four cupcakes are in two pairs, side by side. I first tried getting one, turning around, and getting the other one before continuing, clearly overestimating the ability of my motorboat to do anything I told it to. That failed spectacularly. I then though "The course isn't that long; I could probably grab one as I go by and then just pick up the other two after finishing a lap in the last few seconds." Indeed, that is what you are supposed to do, and that would have been as easy as any other stage if it weren't for a couple of problems. Problem A - the aforementioned fact that the boat is impossible to steer. Problem B - the hit detection is ridiculous; sometimes you can miss an object entirely and hit it, and sometimes you go straight through it and the game won't register that you've hit it. This is rather problematic when your stages is "collect soggy ass cupcakes." Problem C - the banks of this creek have the gravitational pull of small stars. God forbid you brush up against one pixel of the bank; that fucker is going to have your boat in a death grip that it takes you a good three or four seconds to break out of. When the creek is just a series of 90 degree angles, that makes this tough.


The racers are all identical in terms of performance, and while there does seem to be some real performance difference between the various karts/boats/planes, no where is there a stat screen, so who fucking knows what's better than what in what area. It's a total crapshoot. This is most noticeable with the boats - the motorboats feel faster but are literally impossible to steer with ANY precision whereas the hoverboats are slower but if you try REALLY hard and sacrifice a virgin to an eldritch god, you can actually steer it. Sort of.


This game is garbage. Unless you're going for a full Wii U set or particularly like collecting low print Wii U games (like me), don't bother with this game. Don't even waste your time emulating it or downloading the $10 digital version. It's just rubbish. Are you or your kids fans of Hello Kitty? I don't care; still avoid this game. It will just hurt you on the inside. I beat and unlocked everything - all 16 tournament races and all 20 adventure courses - in an hour and a half. And I still feel like I wasted an hour and a half of my life.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:53 pm

I love bad games so much. :lol:

And, actually, my children did have some trouble winning some of the races when they played it a few years ago. They are older how - and my daughter once placed in Fast Racing Neo - so, she can probably handle it. (There's just no reason to subject her to it again.)
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:57 pm

I guess I overestimate kids' gaming abilities, but I was just floored at how ridiculously easy those tournaments were. But yeah, this is getting played when my friends and I get together a drink. Looking at you, swift and TSTR. You should join us sometime! Forget Charlotte and visit Henderson! The crime rate's like 5 times higher with absolutely no redeeming qualities aside from my game collection. :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Stark Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:01 pm

Note to self: Theft at Elkin's house will be attributed to his choice of habitat rather than you if you play your cards right.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:31 pm

Stark wrote:Note to self: Theft at Elkin's house will be attributed to his choice of habitat rather than you if you play your cards right.

No, but seriously. I didn't own a firearm until I moved to Henderson, and I didn't have a home security system until I moved here. I also never thought it necessary to have 3-4 locks on every door in the house or keep all of the outside lights on the second the sun dips below the horizon. Two years in, though, and I've never been burgled.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Ack Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:17 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:
Stark wrote:Note to self: Theft at Elkin's house will be attributed to his choice of habitat rather than you if you play your cards right.

No, but seriously. I didn't own a firearm until I moved to Henderson, and I didn't have a home security system until I moved here. I also never thought it necessary to have 3-4 locks on every door in the house or keep all of the outside lights on the second the sun dips below the horizon. Two years in, though, and I've never been burgled.

Good job, Smaug.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:37 pm

Ooo, good idea. Flamethrower traps would be a very good deterrent...
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by pierrot Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:05 am

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)
28: Sonic the Hedgehog (MD-JP)
29: Pulseman (MD)
30: Surging Aura (MD)
31: Pu-Li-Ru-La (Saturn)
32: Purikula Daisakusen (Saturn)
33: Daytona USA (Saturn)
34: MegaMan ZX (DS)
35: Red Arimer II (Gargoyle's Quest II) (FC)
36: Valkyrie no Bouken: Toki no Kagi Densetsu (FC)
37: Hi no Tori - Hou-ou Hen: Gaou no Bouken (FC)
38: DuckTales (NES)
39: Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES)
40: Groove on Fight: Gouketsuji Ichizoku 3 (Saturn)
41: Omakase! Savers (Saturn)
42: Hamelin no Violin-hiki (SFC)
43: Dark Half (SFC)


Both of these games are pretty decent platform games. Neither is nearly as good as Little Nemo, but they're fun for a while. Although, I have to say that DuckTales is, initially, anything but fun. It's extremely BS that the game tries to artificially lengthen the experience by making what appears to be the first stage, the poster-child for a ridiculously infuriating gauntlet of ass-hat level design. Sure, the stages can be selected in any order, but I refuse to believe that they didn't know what they were doing by placing The Amazon at the top of the list. However, that stage wouldn't be nearly as dickish if the controls and hurt/hit boxes were better. I generally didn't have any trouble with walking and jumping, but the way the cane works is pretty egregious. That alone really holds the game back. Ultimately I probably liked DuckTales a little more than Chip 'n Dale. The latter feels lacking in ways I can't quite identify. It's probably more meant for co-op, which I didn't try, but as a whole, it felt a bit flat and barren, as a game. I actually played through every stage because I didn't realize that wasn't necessary. It felt like a bit too much of a whole lot of nothing. I don't remember any of the music from the game, either. About the only thing that really sticks out is the final level, the final boss, and the fact that I could not for the life of me throw boxes at a diagonal--even though I'm fairly certain that it's possible. Otherwise, it's a pretty forgettable experience.

I've played a little bit of the MD, SNES, and arcade versions of Gouketsuji Ichizoku, and the arcade versions of 2 and Special (all through emulation) but didn't care much for them. After playing PuriKula Daisakusen for the Saturn, I felt like putting some real time into Gouketsuji Ichizoku 3 for the Saturn. I'm not very good at fighting games that aren't GGX2 (and even then, I still kind of suck) but it's still a fun game for genre novices. I liked it a fair amount, although the AI in the arcade mode is a little weird, in that the boss matches (aside from the very last round) are about as easy as the first two matches, and the AI for the fourth match can be pretty brutal, especially for certain pairings (the enemy pairings are always the same, but the pairs show up in different orders).

So, it's a tag battle game, and has most of the standard genre trappings: supers, ultras, throws. There are also some shenanigans with dodge maneuvers, power attacks, partner attacks, and universal 22 hit combos (which I would imagine genre veterans wouldn't take too kindly to). Also, it's possible to throw a downed character at the enemy, which I thought was a pretty nice touch. It does pretty absurd damage, though.

I've heard some pretty dire things about the Saturn version, in relation to the ST-V arcade cart, but while I'm sure there are some cut animation frames, the game plays well. As a fan of Murata Renge, I love the style--I'm aware that he does a lot of porn artwork, but as with Masamune Shirow, it doesn't keep me from enjoying his more mainstream work. There are also some nice additions to the Saturn version in the form of unlockable (hi-res mode) artwork, of which I unlocked everything, and a four player versus mode that allows for true 2v2 tag battles. At some point I would really like to try that mode out.

Going into Omakase! Savers, I was kind of expecting an action game with some adventure elements, but it really turned out to be an adventure game with some action and dating sim elements. It's laid out episodically, mimicking a four part Tokusatsu TV-show. There are FMV cutscenes interspersed throughout, which center on the three heroines. Essentially, while on a field trip, they (and by "they," I mean the ditzy 'leader-type,' who I hated) unleash a bunch of ancient, mischievous spirits, from the Yamato period, on the city. Some boy (aka the camera/player) standing nearby is essentially turned into a sentient gem that can sense nearby, or remnant spirit energy, and the girls are given magical girl transformation powers, and the ability to seal the spirits. Generally speaking, in each episode, some form of misfortune besets the city, and the player has to track down the offending spirit(s) in order to trap them during some fairly unimpressive action segments. At the same time, there are a bunch of choices that can affect how attracted to the player each girl is, so that you can win the heart of the 14-to-18-year-old of your dreams. (Technically, within the context of the game, I think all three of them are supposed to be 14, though.)

So, okay, it's a little creepy, but aside from the audio and sfx (which range from average to bad) it's not a terrible game. I ended up winning over Kana, which is fine, I guess: She's a bit of a rough and tumble, spark-plug/tomb-boy, and a straight A student. I can dig it.
The actresses were apparently part of a fledgling idol group, and were also cast for the promotional advertisements (perhaps just the CMs) for Rayearth on the Saturn and Game Gear. The girl who played Wakaba (the orange one) was later cast as one of the Sakura Taisen girls, when it was made into a musical--she also had a few radio shows, and did some anime voice work, including that of Dokuro-chan.

This game is based on a fairly successful, serialized manga series, which managed to pump out 12 volumes. Apparently, the story here only really accounts for the first two volumes of the manga. The importance of that is only really that the ending is quite abrupt, and strange. The game doesn't really do much to try to tie things up, at all. It's a fairly fun game, for the most part, though. It's a little bit like a mix of Mickey Mousecapade and Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, with the overall quality lingering somewhere between the two. Basically, you take control of Hamel, the violinist, who "recruits" Flute (a girl from the town where the game starts) to basically be his human battering ram. Flute's movement is mainly controlled through 'call' and 'wait' commands. She can also be picked up and hurled at enemies for massive damage, and is practically invulnerable while in flight. Along the way, a bunch of different animal suits can be picked up, which allow Flute to transform into things that help Hamel traverse various sections of the levels. There are 16 transformations in total, but there's a lot of overlap in the abilities, two are completely useless outside of progressing the story, and a few I only ever used once, if at all. Other than that, Hamel is equipped with his violin that can fire magical, music-note projectiles, and a movement speed that could make molasses blush. The difficulty in this one is pretty low, aside from the second boss, who is just the worst.

I was expecting something a little bit better than what I got out of this game, but it's still pretty good. I enjoyed a lot of the level design, and I think it's worth playing, overall.

Dark Half is really tragic, to me. It's from Westone, and even directed by Nishizawa Ryuichi, but is woefully unspectacular. This is really troubling to me, because Monster World IV, and Dungeon Explorer (Sega-CD) are two of my favorite games, and Dragon's Trap is also spectacular. I can't deal with this game being such a mixed bag, and just generally unimpressive. Granted, this was released around the time Westone's work seemed to be on the decline, anyway. I was just shocked to see Nishizawa listed as the director in the credits. I was sure it had to have been some young-gun at the helm.

First, I guess I'll say that the story is probably the most average thing about the game. It's initially a story about the new chosen-one who takes up the mantle of defeating the ancient evil sealed away by the great hero and his apostles, a millennium earlier, until it changes up its tune to, 'surprise, bitch: humans are evil.' (Someone check my pulse, I think this might be killing me.) Where it kind of differentiates itself, is that Dark Half has the player alternate chapters that focus on either the antagonist or the protagonist: one chapter as the Dark Lord, Lukyu (L'cue, maybe), then one chapter as Falco, repeat. While I don't hate this, I think it gives the pace of the game a bit of a herky-jerky quality. It feels rough, and not in a good way; Most of this game feels rough: the graphics, the music, the characters, the battle system, the soul system, the growth system. It plays in an isometric view, and I really don't understand the impetus for that decision. It doesn't feel like it does anything for the game, other than hiding some treasure that ultimately doesn't impact much, and making me waste my time mashing the A-button behind a bunch of walls and terrain.

Some of the 'puzzles' are super ball-busters. I might have torn out all of my hair on the last screen before the boss in the Dark Lord's sixth chapter if I didn't consult a walkthrough. I can't even believe they had that screen in the game, considering how 'time' sensitive his chapters are, and how much they bumped up the drain on soul power in that area. It's insanity.

It's not a bad game. In fact, I actually kind of enjoyed the ending, but at the same time, most of the substantive plot was crammed into the latter 20% of the game--and I'm being generous in calling some of it "substantive." I expect more from the developer, and especially the director. It's not a very cohesive experience, and ultimately, while it has some relatively original ideas, they only add up to a slightly better than average game.

On a side note, for a console that's thought of almost synonymously with RPGs, I find the SNES to be practically starving for titles that are much better than average.
Last edited by pierrot on Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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