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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Ack Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:07 pm

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)
26. Slave Zero (PC)(Action)
27. Broforce (PC)(Run and Gun)
28. Gothic (PC)(RPG)

Hmm, Gothic is a strange bird at times. It was Piranha Bytes' first game, and it is obvious that there were a lot of growing pains over its four year development. There are some glaring graphical issues, the control scheme is bizarre, mouse implementation was obviously an afterthought, and the prospect of choice in the first chapter is revealed to be an illusion by the third as the player is railroaded into the same storyline no matter which faction is joined. Despite these problems I liked the game, much as I generally liked the other Piranha Bytes game I have played, Risen. In fact these two are incredibly similar in many ways, so much that I'd argue most folks would have an easier time getting into Risen, though both games have similar technical problems. I also preferred Gothic's soundtrack to Risen.

What's the same? Well, monsters in both games are pretty similar and operate the same way: there is a limited number in the world, and they wander around in packs. Slowly but surely you'll likely kill off most or all of them, and some will come back between Chapter transitions, but not all. There are again different factions which give you access to different trainers for skill upgrades, but these factions all end up feeding into a single story. Leveling is handled the same way, giving access to skill points which are spent for upgrades, though in general Risen had more options for ways to spend your skillpoints. The idea of the boss in both cases involves some big nasty critter locked deep beneath the earth. I also encountered some of the same crashing bugs and got stuck in the same way on rocks and such.

However there are some important differences. In Gothic you can save after you die, putting you into an impossible situation unless you are willing to cheat yourself back to life. I found one particular location where textures suddenly disappear, so it appears you are walking into a bottomless pit. That was fun. You can also survive long falls by strafing in midair, which resets your fall distance; my maneuverability increased a hundred fold upon finding that out, because I was now willing to throw myself off cliffs to get around.

Gothic's controls are also awkward. You have to hold the action button in combination with other buttons to do things, such as interacting with chests(action and directions), manipulating inventory(actions and directions, though different sets of directions will move different amounts of items[on the scheme I used, WASD moved blocks of 10 items at once while directional keys moved 1]), and combat(weapon button necessary to draw weapon, then action and direction for different kinds of attacks, which may be comboed in different ways depending on your weapon skill). It all takes a while to learn, and I feel like even at the end I was discovering I could do things I hadn't realized before. I didn't figure out how to use scrolls until Chapter 5, and it was Chapter 6, the finale, before I realized how to swap between weapons and equipped scrolls or spells properly.

For those of you interested in story presentation, Gothic is broken down into 6 chapters, though its heavily weighted towards the first as you slowly get more powerful by figuring out which creatures to kill for experience. The kingdom you inhabit is ruled by a king who is fighting a losing war against orcs. The king needs magic ore, so he makes prisoners mine it. To keep the prisoners at bay, the king orders his wizards to build a magic dome. Unfortunately the magic spell goes haywire, and the 13 wizards are trapped inside. The prisoners immediately riot, take over the prison, and then split into three factions. You're a nameless prisoner who gets tossed in with a bunch of gear being sent to the ore barons, the prisoners who now run the Old Camp. There's also the New Camp, full of mercenaries and rogues who don't like the rules of the Old Camp, and then there is the swamp camp, a bunch of prisoners who discovered some swamp plants are hallucinogenic, so they formed a religion around a being called the Sleeper(no Dune jokes please) who contacts them while high.

Unfortunately for everybody involved the Sleeper is a real thing, and it's asleep and trapped beneath the dome as well, but it's trying to stir. It also happens to be a big and nasty critter originally brought to our dimension by orc shamans who now serve as its zombie servants. The orcs worship the Sleeper as a god, just like the swamp camp. It's when the swamp camp zealots start to realize they're worship an extra-dimensional arch demon interested in enslaving the souls of man and orc alike that they start to realize maybe they shouldn't praise it so much...except for the most hardcore, who break off and try to wake it and its undead guards directly.

That's where you come in. You want to escape, so you've got to figure out how to bring down the magic barrier and get tough. Eventually you'll become so powerful that you'll have skill points to burn, but at the start things are a bit dicey. Each new level brings obvious jumps in power for you, as does the gear that you will slowly acquire. Once you figure out where to look, there are some choice pieces of equipment you can snag pretty early on, but in general you'll see upgrades up until the end of the game, where a couple of the lead-up quests to the face off include you snagging the best weapon in the game as well as some of the nicest armor. While it's not always well spaced based on player option(I managed to find the third best weapon in the game in chapter 3 by beating up a specific NPC), it was nice to slowly uncover the world and find new items and new possibilities.

I said when I reviewed Risen that I had some mixed feelings due to the technical problems, and the same is proven with Gothic. Between the two, Risen feels like the better game just because the devs had learned a fair bit by then about making games. But despite the issues that Gothic has, I'd actually say it's about on the same level as Risen. I had fun playing both games, they gave a steady feeling of accomplishment with each new slain enemy, and I am eager to play further down the line...some day. For new folks who don't want to finagle with Gothic's weird control choices, Risen is a nice place to start, though I'd probably point to Gothic first for those who don't mind a touch of the weird and archaic. I hear Gothic 2 is one of the best of these open world action RPGs. I guess at some point I'll have to check it out and see for myself.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:47 pm

Ack wrote:You can also survive long falls by strafing in midair, which resets your fall distance

Amazing.
Ack wrote:Between the two, Risen feels like the better game

This is what I really wanted to know. Great review Ack, appreciate all the info.

If you've never played these, I really think you would enjoy them:
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PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Markies Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:45 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)
16. Metal Saga (PS2)
17. Mafia (XBOX)
18. Parasite Eve (PS1)
19. Shining Force (GEN)
20. San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing (N64)
21. Bushido Blade 2 (PS1)
22. Street Fighter Alpha Anthology (PS2)

23. ActRaiser (SNES)

I beat ActRaiser on the Super Nintendo this evening!

ActRaiser is a spectacular game that mixes action with town building. You basically play God who comes down to the planet and saves all the civilians who are battling monsters. You play an action level with a mini-boss, do the town simulation and then do an another action level with the main boss. You do a little clean up and then move onto the next town. Do this 6 times, do a boss rush and then fight two forms of the main bad guy and the game is finished.

Overall, the game is very addicting. The music is wonderful and shows a whole new side to Yuzo Koshiro. The action part is really fun and the bosses are very unique. The combat and jumping are a bit stiff and deliberate, but it usually is not that big of a problem. However, once you get to the end of the game with the onslaught of enemies and tricky jumping, the unyielding controls begin to wane. You get to the point where damage becomes inevitable.

The town simulation part is probably the best part of the game. I've never been big into 'God' games because they usually lack motives. The simulation part in ActRaiser is brisk, exciting and your character grows because of it. You feel like you are helping out your people and I like the changing of the world around me.

Overall, ActRaiser is a short but fantastic game. It combines two genres that usually never go together into a mix that is highly addicting. I enjoyed every aspect of it and I think it is just wonderful!
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:59 am

Speaking of Mega Man games...

.....

First 25
1. Ultimate NES Remix (3DS)
2. Space Invaders Infinity Gene (iOS)
3. World of Goo (iOS)
4. A Dark Room (iOS)
5. Shovel Knight (WII U)
6. The Room (iOS)
7. Mega Man 10 (PS3)
8. The Room Two (iOS)
9. Braid (PS3)
10. Kung Fu Fight! (WII U)
11. Kung Fu Rabbit (WII U)
12. Escape Goat (360)
13. Canabalt (iOS)
14. Leo's Fortune (iOS)
15. King's Field: The Ancient City (PS2)
16. Grim Fandango Remastered (iOS)
17. Dust: An Elysian Tale (360)
18. Shantae (GBC)
19. 3D Space Harrier (3DS)
20. 3D After Burner II (3DS)
21. 3D Classics: Kid Icarus (3DS)
22. Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (GB)
23. Shantae: Risky's Revenge Director's Cut (WII U)
24. Final Fantasy Adventure (GB)
25. Furdemption (iOS)

26. Virtua Fighter Remix (SATURN)
27. Manos The Hands of Fate (iOS)
28. Virtua Fighter 2 (PS3)
29. Fighting Vipers (PS3)
30. Ikari Warriors (PS3)
31. Virtua Cop (SATURN)
32. Virtua Cop 2 (SATURN)
33. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars Director's Cut (iOS)
34. Virtua Racing (PS2)
35. Daytona USA (DC)
36. Sega Rally Championship (SATURN)
37. RayForce (iOS)
38. Hundreds (iOS)
39. Don't Look Back (iOS)
40. Finding Teddy (iOS)
41. Shantae & The Pirate's Curse (WII U)
42. Dragon Warrior II (GBC)
43. Guardian Heroes (360)
44. Ninja Smasher! (3DS)
45. BoxBoxBoy! (3DS)
46. 2 Fast 4 Gnomz (3DS)
47. Aeternoblade (3DS)
48. Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures (3DS)
49. Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale (3DS)

Attack of the Friday Monsters is a charming adventure game about a young boy living on the outskirts of Tokyo having a wonderful day. It is a short, relaxing experience without a failure state. (The worst thing that can happen to you is losing a game of "monster cards" to other children in town.) Destructoid has a great review of the game, which describes its appeal better than I have the time to do here. I am not sure that I feel quite as strongly as the reviewer, but I certainly understand the game's appeal and I have no problem recommending it to someone seeking a gentle, relaxing, thoroughly charming, and unique adventure game experience.
Last edited by prfsnl_gmr on Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:44 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:It is a short, relaxing experience without a failure state. (The worst thing that can happen to you is losing a game of "monster cards" to other children in town).

This sounds exactly like the type of game I want to play when I'm lying in bed before I go to sleep. I downloaded this months ago back when it was on sale, but I haven't gotten around to playing it. This may convince me to do so.
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Michi
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Michi Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:03 pm

It's a very chill experience. Perfect if you're looking for something relaxing to play at night.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:25 pm

I beat the game last March, this was my review:
Have you ever wondered what it'd be like, to be a small town boy living in early 1970s Japan, during the height of the live action monster VS hero TV craze? Well, you probably haven't, but doing so proves to be a unique experience indeed. Attack of the Friday Monsters! gives you the ability to live this life, presented in an aesthetic that channels Studio Ghibli at their best.

As the young boy, you'll perceive life based on his own immature limitations, which will likely give you a sense of haunting nostalgia in remembrance of being that same naive kid you once were. There are a lot of plot elements represented metaphorically, and by the end of the game, you'll have a lot of thematic ambiguity to mentally chew on. I believe the plot is worth experiencing, and overall didn't waste this player's time.

The gameplay itself consists of exploring around the little town, hanging out with friends, interacting with neighbors, and slowly uncovering a monstrous mystery. There are a few simple puzzles, but the biggest interactive element would be the monster card game, a take on rock-paper-scissors. This card game is rarely required to progress the plot, but adds an interesting diversion to the otherwise highly linear game progression.

Attack of the Friday Monsters! is not a game for everyone. Gamers who need constant excitement and action will surely be bored to sleep. But for the more open minded player who enjoys unique game design, and a simple but involving plot told at a deliberate pace, there's plenty of enjoyment to be found here. Simply running around as a carefree kid again, through beautiful halcyon summer settings, is worth the price of admission alone.

tl;dr Yes it's good.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:53 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Simply running around as a carefree kid again, through beautiful halcyon summer settings, is worth the price of admission alone.


Absolutely. More than any other gaming experience, Attack of the Friday Monsters! took me back to those long summer days of my childhood that I spent exploring my neighborhood -which seemed so large then and seems so small now - and playing with my friends. I recommend it.

.....

Also, and in case anyone cares, I am currently playing through my 3DS eShop games in alphabetical order. (While we are renovating our new house, I am purposefully down a TV.) Azure Striker Gunvolt would be next up for me, but since it is getting a physical release this fall, I am going to skip it. Accordingly, the next game up for me is Bloody Vampire.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:55 pm

That game looks radical!!!!! Cute art style.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:59 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:That game looks radical!!!!! Cute art style.


I assume you are talking about Bloody Vampire with its Metroid-meets-Ys gameplay. I have been looking forward to playing it, and I will be sure to share my impressions with you.
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