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Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:18 pm
by Exhuminator
My favorite thing about Suikoden was how fast the combat system was. A random encounter would resolve itself very quickly compared to typical JRPGs of the time.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:06 pm
by Markies
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)
24. Resident Evil 4 (GCN)
25. Mario Power Tennis (GCN)
26. Crimson Skies: High Road To Revenge (XBOX)
27. Growlanser II: The Sense of Justice (PS2)

28. Ikaruga (GCN)

I beat Ikaruga on the Nintendo Gamecube this afternoon.

I am not really good at Shooters or even 'Bullet Hell' shooters. However, I really enjoy playing them especially at the MAME Machines at the Arcade place that I visit with my friend. I will play them at home on the consoles, but I never expect to do well or actually beat them.

Ikargua changed all that for me. It is a fantastic game with a unique approach to the Shoot 'Em Up genre. The game doesn't punish you for sucking or forces memorization into your skull. You learn the game by earning credits for each time you play the game. When I first started, I could barely get to the Level 3 boss. When I beat the game, I got to him without loosing a life. I learned the game and learned how to play it properly.

The mechanics are simple, but they are also genius. You want to avoid the wrong bullets, but collect the right bullets. Sometimes, you will push yourself a little too far and that can cause certain deaths. It's a great system of rewarding, but not punishing.

With simple game play, plenty of unlockables and even a 2 player option, Ikaruga is a fantastic game. It's a perfect game for starters in the genre and just enough depth for those that are veterans. Fantastic experience and highly recommended!

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:57 pm
by Flake
noiseredux wrote:Suikoden was my first PS1 RPG back in the day. I loved it.


Not a single comment about how un-Nintendo my beaten list is this year??

Exhuminator wrote:My favorite thing about Suikoden was how fast the combat system was. A random encounter would resolve itself very quickly compared to typical JRPGs of the time.


Yeah, a constant thought I had was that if more JRPGs had that pace, I would have stayed more invested in the genre. A constant complaint I have about JRPGs is that they do not respect the player's time.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:07 pm
by pierrot
I have always loved the first Suikoden, but most people prefer the second. II certainly has much greater production values, and a less rustic quality to the graphics. It also adds a lot more customization of characters in battle, with the addition of a possible maximum of three rune slots each, and enchanting weapons with elemental runes. This leads to a few hilariously broken characters (like Killey) if one puts in the time to get enough Rage, Double-beat, Fury, and Killer runes. Characters who can attack twice per turn, and have those four empty rune slots (of which there are three, I believe) can attack four times per turn for 2.25x base damage, plus increased critical proc. Also, the large scale battles are grid based, and not purely rock-paper-scissors (although I love seeing a bunch of little minions flying all over the screen in the original).

I still like Suikoden III the most, though, for its skill system, and the much more tactical battle system. Also, the story is very elegantly interwoven; It's just a shame that it falls apart a little in the last chapter, due to Murayama's departure from Konami, and while it looks all right for a RenderWare game, it's not quite as pretty as the first two.


Flake wrote:If I had any complaints it would just be that I thought the music was pretty boring. I cannot recall a single tune from the game and I just got done putting 23 hours into it.

This statement sounds borderline absurd to me. The soundtrack is one of the most universally praised things about the game--. It's quite eclectic, and I'm not sure what there is to be bored by in most of the tracks. Higashino Miki, for one, doesn't really do "forgettable."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuk4z8Iovok

"Black Forest," "Eternal Flow," "Mysterious Forest," "Peaceful People," "Theme of Narcissism," "Gathering of Warriors," "Forgotten Days," especially, and "An Old Irish Song" are particularly unforgettable, to me. I get chills when I hear "Avertuneiro Antes Lance Mao ~After the Battle~."
If you listen to the OST on its own, and can't match up the scenes and events with where most of the songs play during the game, then I might have to assume you played something other than Gensou Suikoden; maybe one of the Koei strategy games.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:07 pm
by Xeogred
I burned through Suikoden 1-3 last summer actually, so I can easily compare them. 1-2 were replays though...

Suikoden 1 has the best starting point and pulls you in instantly. Easily my favorite OST as well. While it doesn't have standout antagonists on the same level as 2, the simplicity is something to love about the first game. It never drags at any point and is consistently fun for 20 some hours. Really no complaints.

Suikoden 2 is far grander and gets more dense with the story. Fleshes out some great characters like Flik and Victor more, and the whole roster is amazing. Luca Blight is easily one of the best villains of all time. But this one drags a lot in the middle. There are tons of fetch quests and weird finicky things. Some large chunks without any battles or dungeons. Collecting the squirrels is annoying. etc, I used to think 2 was easily the best, but honestly after playing them back to back they're probably equal to me. More polish and fleshed out plot lines here, but it's got some sluggish moments.

I seriously love how both games connect directly so much to the point that they basically feel like one huge game overall. The only other case I can think of like this personally is Arc the Lad 1-2.

Suikoden 3 I hated for about 10 years. The first time I tried playing it back in the day, I basically instantly hated it. The combat felt so slow, the graphics were a dramatic change, etc... but upon on a second go around I really wanted to stick with it, and boy am I glad I did. 3 easily has the best characters and I don't feel like the first two games benefit at all from a silent protagonist. I never really care, but for such a rich story heavy series, it's just a bit awkward here. Chris is hands down one of my new favorite JRPG characters ever. And not to spoil anything, but it was fascinating to see the main villain reveal in this. The plot isn't as grand as 2, as it focuses far more on characters directly than the "what" and overall story, so it's a different flavor. I actually loved the combat system after awhile... might actually be my favorite now, but it definitely needs some time for adjusting. It did have some rage worthy boss fights later on that felt like sheer luck. Also a lot of people knock on Thomas apparently, but I did his arcs too and really enjoyed them. Really cool take on the mansion/home base thing.

The negatives are that the world map itself really isn't that big. So there is a LOT of backtracking in 3 and after awhile it might get a little old visiting the same 10 or so areas again. So I wasn't too big on how the overworld worked here. But seriously yeah, absolutely incredible characters.

I got really far in 5 years ago and loved how it tied into 1-2 a lot, and also felt like its design was falling back on the classic tropes. Not sure why I stopped honestly. When I've checked out some youtube videos of it more recently though, I guess the battles do look slow. Maybe that's why.

Still haven't played 4 or Tactics. I plan to so I can form my own opinion. I hear 4 is short, so if it's as bad as most say, maybe I can power through it.

Thanks for keeping the series going Konami, you're such a great company that treats their IP's and creators well.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:13 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
I have yet to play Suikoden. I tend to be wary of 5th+ gen JRPGs. I find that many are slow-paced and consume far too much of my time.

This may be a game I check out on PSN someday though.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:27 pm
by noiseredux
Oh, I am proud of my little Flake, trust.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:32 pm
by Sarge
Suikoden I & II are excellent games. I like the word "tidy", as it does seem to describe the first game pretty well. The second game is even better, but it also takes more time to get rolling (which lends to the excellence eventually).

I actually like the black sheep of the family, Suikoden IV, quite a bit. It's a pretty short game, and doesn't really waste your time that much. I can't say that about Suikoden III. It's probably my least favorite. Suikoden V tries to recapture the magic, but also has some really involved recruitment quests that can be tedious. The load times are also awful if not running from a hard drive.

Tierkreis is a nice portable RPG, even if it's a spinoff. Tactics I've only briefly played. I seem to remember some emphasis on colors in the battle system. I also think it's tied to Suikoden IV.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:27 pm
by pierrot
Xeogred wrote:Suikoden 3 I hated for about 10 years. The first time I tried playing it back in the day, I basically instantly hated it. The combat felt so slow, the graphics were a dramatic change, etc... but upon on a second go around I really wanted to stick with it, and boy am I glad I did. 3 easily has the best characters and I don't feel like the first two games benefit at all from a silent protagonist. I never really care, but for such a rich story heavy series, it's just a bit awkward here. Chris is hands down one of my new favorite JRPG characters ever. And not to spoil anything, but it was fascinating to see the main villain reveal in this. The plot isn't as grand as 2, as it focuses far more on characters directly than the "what" and overall story, so it's a different flavor. I actually loved the combat system after awhile... might actually be my favorite now, but it definitely needs some time for adjusting. It did have some rage worthy boss fights later on that felt like sheer luck. Also a lot of people knock on Thomas apparently, but I did his arcs too and really enjoyed them. Really cool take on the mansion/home base thing.

The negatives are that the world map itself really isn't that big. So there is a LOT of backtracking in 3 and after awhile it might get a little old visiting the same 10 or so areas again. So I wasn't too big on how the overworld worked here. But seriously yeah, absolutely incredible characters.

I'm sure I've said this before, but I waited for Suikoden III, with bated breath, for months before it was released. I would watch the animated intro, repeatedly, for an hour or more at a time, and gobbled up every promotional video I could find. To say I was excited would be an understatement, and when I actually played it, I HATED it. I was under-equipped to deal with that kind of change, I guess. One of my biggest gripes was that I was easily able to recruit all 108 SoDs in one playthrough. Six or seven years later, I did the same thing you did, and replayed 1-3, and 5, back to back. I was forced to do a 180 on III, after years of railing on it; it really benefited tremendously from most of the changes, and was the most fun to play. Also, this scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA-OApUNR2U&index=65&list=PLZphL4gPXFCD620LgxabQLxQauvtxA0a9.

On the other hand, because I had felt so betrayed by III (and relatively ambivalent about IV), V felt like a return to form when I first played it, but it's a wolf in sheep's clothing. Replaying it after replaying III made it really apparent that no one left at Konami gave two shits about Murayama's vision, and purely about widening the series' appeal in Japan by way of animu. The characters are abysmal tropes, and the story feels almost like it's mocking the sociopolitical bent of the first two. Tierkries is even worse in almost every possible way. I played an hour or two of Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki, and it was so bad, I just couldn't even. Honestly, I'm glad that Konami stopped trying.

Re: Games Beaten 2016

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:43 pm
by Flake
Xeogred wrote:
Suikoden 3 I hated for about 10 years. The first time I tried playing it back in the day, I basically instantly hated it. The combat felt so slow, the graphics were a dramatic change, etc...


I bought 3 when it first came out back in the PS2 days without having played the first two. This was just as I began to become burnt out on the JRPG genre which was a really weird place for me as a gamer since JRPGs were what had gotten me into gaming.

I remember liking the female lead character but being so disappointed when the game's perspective kept shifting that I never bothered to play it any further.

I just started the 2nd game this evening and I already see why it was such a hit - the production values and artwork are amazing. I am hoping to like Suikoden II as much as I liked the first game. It'd be nice to finally finish the 3rd game, over a decade after I first took a crack at it.