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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:28 pm

True, but you also had stuff like Master of Darkness and Golden Axe Warrior. Sega had original stuff for certain, but they also weren't above brazenly ripping off a particular style of game if it suited them. ;)

EDIT: Ran through Dead Connection, a sort of Godfather / Untouchables-inspired single-screen shooter. It's kind of like what you'd get if you combined Mercs with something like Cabal. Pretty neat for what it is.

EDIT 2: Aaaand Crystal of Kings, a hack and slasher that's apparently pretty rare. It sports a bunch of pre-rendered graphics and a soundtrack that sounds like it's being run through a phone line. I mean, the music is fine, but the sampling frequency is terrible. It was a decent enough experience, although there are definitely better hack and slashers out there.
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PresidentLeever
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by PresidentLeever Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:33 am

Yeah fair enough, they were still more focused on the arcades back then.
http://minirevver.weebly.com/ - Mini-reviews, retro vgm tribute, rom hacks, chip music, mockups, misc. lists
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:12 am

January:
1) Bonk's Adventure (NES)
2) Little Samson (NES)
3) Holy Diver (NES)
4) Holy Diver (NES) (legit!)
5) Mitsume Ga Tooru (NES)
6) TMNT II: The Arcade Game (NES)
7) Mighty Final Fight (NES)
8] Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (NES)
9) Monster In My Pocket (NES)
10) Battle of Olympus (NES)
11) Gunstar Heroes (GEN) (repeat)
12) Dragon Age: Inquisition (PS4)
13) Dragon Age: Inquisition - Trespasser (PS4)
14) Captain America and the Avengers (NES)
15) StarTropics (NES)
16) Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES) (save states)
17) Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES) (legit)
18) Crisis Force (NES)
19) Esper Dream 2 (NES)
20) Felix the Cat (NES)
21) Moon Crystal (NES)
22) Panic Restaurant (NES)
23) Frankenstein (NES)
24) Crystalis (NES)
25) Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu (NES)

February:
26) Killer Instinct (GB)
27) Mashin Hero Wataru Gaiden (NES)
28) Sly Spy (ARC)
29) The Red Star (unreleased XBOX, also on PS2)
30) Adventure Island 4 (NES)
31) Cocoron (NES)
32) Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4)
33) Xeodrifter (VITA)
34) Doom 2 (PC)
35) Brandish: The Dark Revenant (PSP)
36) Magical Pop'n (SNES)
37) The Ninja Warriors (SNES)
38) Phantasy Star (SMS)
39) Phantasy Star III (GEN)
40) Super Smash Bros. for 3DS (3DS)
41) Brandish: The Dark Revenant (Dela Mode)

March:
42) Freedom Planet (Milla, 82 lives lost) (PC)
43) Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (PC)
44) Lara Croft Go (AND)
45) Oniken (PC)
46) Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)
47) Batman: The Video Game (GB)
48) Batman: The Video Game (NES)
49) Super Spy Hunter

April:
50) Mega Man 2 (NES)
51) Mega Man 4 (NES)
52) Mission: Impossible (NES)
53) Mega Man 6 (NES)
54) Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
55) Sword Master (NES)
56) DuckTales 2 (NES)
57) Rush'n Attack (NES)
58) Mega Man 3 (NES)
59) Mega Man 5 (NES)
60) Mega Man (NES)
61) S.C.A.T. - Special Cybernetic Attack Team (NES)
62) TaleSpin (NES)
63) Double Dragon III (NES)
64) Donkey Kong (NES)
65) Astyanax (NES)

May:
66) Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu (NES)
67) The New Ghostbusters II (NES, proto)
68) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PSP, via Dracula X Chronicles)
69) Revenge of Shinobi (GEN)
70) Shinobi III (GEN)
71) Shadow Dancer (GEN)
72) El Viento (GEN)
73) Earnest Evans (GEN)
74) One Must Fall 2097 (PC)
75) A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES)
76) Hebereke (NES)
77) Contra (NES)
78) Wario Land: Shake It! (WII)
79) Gimmick! (NES)
80) Ninja Gaiden (GG)
81) Wai Wai World 2 (NES)
82) Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II (NES)
83) Uncharted: Golden Abyss (VITA)
84) Double Dragon (SMS)

June:
85) Astra Superstars (SAT)
86) Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (360)
87) Star Wars: Dark Forces 2 - Jedi Knight (PC)
88) Star Wars: Dark Forces (PC)
89) VVVVVV (PC)
90) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (GEN)
91) Broforce (PS4)
92) Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (PC)
93) The Terminator (SCD)
94) Aban Hawkins and the 1001 Spikes (PC)
95) Electronic Super Joy (PC)
96) Golden Axe (GEN)
97) Double Dragon (GB)
98) Double Dragon II (GB)
99) Double Dragon III (GB)
100) Super Mario Land (GB)
101) Kirby's Dream Land (GB)

July:
102) Vapor Trail (GEN)
103) King Colossus (GEN)
104) Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)
105) Curse of Issyos (PC)
106) Alisia Dragoon (GEN)
107) Curse of the Crescent Isle DX (PC)
108) Tales of Hearts R (VITA)
109) Flashback (SCD)
110) Rayman Legends (VITA)
111) Wonder Boy in Monster World (GEN) (via 360)
112) Altered Beast (ARC)
113) Altered Beast (GEN)
114) Song of the Deep (PS4)

August:
115) Tatsunoko vs. Capcom (WII)
116) Another Metroid 2 Remake (AM2R) (PC)
117) Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (GEN)
118) Streets of Rage (GEN)
119) Technobabylon (PC)
120) Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (GB)
121) Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (GG)

September:
122) Xenoblade Chronicles X
123) Final Fight (ARC) (via Final Fight: Double Impact)
124) Magic Sword (ARC) (via Final Fight: Double Impact)
125) Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
126) Ratchet & Clank: Quest for Booty
127) X-Men (ARC)
128) Vanguard (ARC)
129) Trio the Punch (ARC)
130) Street Fighter 2': Special Champion Edition (GEN)
131) Snake Rattle 'n' Roll (NES)
132) Rad Racer (NES)
133) Super Mario Bros. (NES)

October:
134) JAWS (NES)
135) Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus
136) Double Dragon II: The Revenge (PCE CD)
137) Splatterhouse (TG-16)
138) Super Dodge Ball (PCE)
139) Demon's Crest (SNES)
140) Splatterhouse 2 (GEN)
141) Super Ghouls 'N' Ghosts (SNES)
142) Stargate (SNES)
143) ActRaiser 2 (SNES)

November:
144) Castlevania (NES)
145) Chip 'N' Dale's Rescue Rangers 2 (NES)
146) Chip 'N' Dale's Rescue Rangers (NES)
147) Gain Ground (GEN)
148) ActRaiser 2 (legit) (SNES)
149) The Rocketeer (NES)
150) Adventures in the Magic Kingdom (NES)
151) Kung Fu
152) Spartan X 2
153) Xexyz (NES)
154) Warlock Bentspine (PC)
155) Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4)
156) Rise of the Tomb Raider - Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch (PS4) (DLC)
157) Rise of the Tomb Raider - Cold Darkness Awakened (PS4) (DLC)
158) Rise of the Tomb Raider - Blood Ties (PS4) (DLC)


December:
159) Rise of the Tomb Raider - Lara's Nightmare (PS4) (DLC)
160) Titanfall 2 (PS4)
161) Soul Blade (PSX)
162) Axiom Verge (PC)
163) Owlboy (PC)
164) Nitro Ball (ARC)
165) Desert Breaker (ARC)
166) Dead Connection (ARC)
167) Crystal of Kings (ARC)
168) Crime Fighters (ARC)
169) Vendetta (ARC)
170) Super Contra (ARC)

Finished these two up. Will probably blabber more about them tomorrow.

EDIT: When in doubt, fiddle with dip switches. :)
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emwearz
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by emwearz Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:44 am

So after about 40 hours I have finished the main story of Final Fantasy XV and I have to say I pretty much loved it from start to end. Yes chapter 13 is slow, but hardly game breaking and the ending is one of the best I can recall in recent memory.

Can't wait to see what they do with DLC.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by alienjesus Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:48 am

Sorry guys, even by my standards I expect this to be a really long update....


1. Ys Book II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter PSN Vita
2. 3D Streets of Rage 2 3DS eShop
3. 3D Gunstar Heroes 3DS eShop
4. 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 3DS eShop
5. 3D OutRun 3DS eShop
6. Mugen Senshi Valis II: The Fantasm Soldier PCE CD
7. Mugen Senshi Valis III: The Fantasm Soldier PCE CD
8. Bomberman PCE CD
9. Rocket Knight Adventures Mega Drive
10. Trax Game Boy
11. Panic Bomber Virtual Boy
12. Arcana Heart 3: Love MAX!!!!! Vita
13. Super Monkey Ball Gamecube
14. Lost Kingdoms Gamecube
15. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle Gamecube
16. 1080° Avalanche Gamecube
17. Bubble Ghost Game Boy
18. Catrap Game Boy
19. 3D Thunder Blade 3DS eShop
20. 3D AfterBurner II 3DS eShop
21. 3D Fantasy Zone II W: The Tears of Opa-Opa 3DS eShop
22. Ikaruga Gamecube
23. Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal Vita
24. New Adventure Island PCE
25. WarioWare Twisted! GBA
26. Dragon Warrior NES
27. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D 3DS eShop
28. Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors DS
29. Gargoyle's Quest Game Boy
30. Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee PS1
31. Puyo Puyo CD PCE CD
32. Retro City Rampage DX 3DS eShop
33. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition 3DS eShop
34. Super Puyo Puyo Tsuu Remix SFC
35. Super Aleste SNES
36. Sega Rally Championship Saturn
37. Knuckles' Chaotix 32X
38. Mystic Quest Game Boy
39. Nano Assault EX 3DS eShop
40. BOXBOY! 3DS eShop
41. Gunman Clive 3DS eShop
42. Persona 4 Golden Vita
43. IA/VT Colorful Vita
44. Persona 4: Dancing All Night Vita
45. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards N64
46. Quartet Master System
47. Die Hard Arcade Saturn
48. Metal Slug: 1st Mission NGPC
49. Child of Eden PS3
50. Rayman 2: The Great Escape Dreamcast


51. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X PSN Vita
52. Um Jammer Lammy PSN PS3
53. Space Channel 5: Part 2 PSN PS3
54. 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros. 3DS eShop
55. Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryuu To Hikari No Tsurugi Famicom
56. Castlevania NES
57. Halo 3 XBox 360
58. Grabbed By The Ghoulies XBox
59. Genpei Touma Den: Kan No Ni PC Engine
60. Mugen Senshi Valis: The Legend of a Fantasm Soldier PC Engine CD
61. Shenmue Dreamcast
62. Kuri Kuri Mix PS2
63. Pokémon Link: Battle! 3DS eShop
64. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile PS1 Classics (Vita)
65. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice 3DS eShop
66. Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 1: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal PC
67. Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay PC
68. Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 3: Lair of the Leviathan PC
69. Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood PC
70. Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 5: Rise of the Pirate God PC
71. Pokémon Sun 3DS *NEW*
72. The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse SNES *NEW*
73. Power Blade NES *NEW*
74. Undertale PC *NEW*
75. Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? PSN Vita *NEW*


Pokémon Sun
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As I'm sure most of you know, I'm a big fan of Pokémon. My forum avatar is a pokémon, I buy all the main series games at launch, I'm a regular poster in the Pokémon Go thread, and I'm the guy who wrote the Pokémon Mini 101 article for the site, way back when. I think the Pokémon series is pretty great.

This year was the 20th anniversary of the series, and alongside a bunch of other things, we have recieved the latest entries in the main franchise - Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.

Pokémon Sun often feels like a celebration of the series. Alternate forms for classic pokémon feature in the game, alongside lots of call outs to past entries - notable characters from previous games appear, some music tracks are called out, and lots of trainers reference events and people from the other games.

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All of this is built on a beautiful new engine - trainers are fully detailed and can run around outside of the grid system fully for the first time (you could skate free from it in X and Y, but walking would lock you to it again). They can also be seen in battles, and the world the game is set in, based on Hawaii, is beautiful. The system isn't perfect though - it taxes the 3DS hardware a lot, with slowdown featuring in double battles (where 2 trainers and 4 pokémon appear on screen at once) even on the more powerful New 3DS. The game also features no 3D at all, which I know won't bother many of you but I find it a little sad. That said, the 3D was awful in X and Y so it's probably no great loss. I hear the slowdown issue is more pronounced on the original 3DS, alongside a very long initial load time, as the system reboots to relocate all of it's power to the game, which is too demanding to run alongside things like Miiverse.

The music in the game is wonderful, with a more orchestral feel. The melodies are certainly less catchy than in previous games, but they do help set the tone for the game really well.

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And the game itself adds some new spins to the Pokémon formula. Gone are gyms, with 'trials' replacing them. These are a task that must be completed, followed by a boss fight against a totem pokémon - a pokémon with boosted stats who can summon in partners to help them, which you have to fight 1 against 2. They're a refreshing change, although the difficulty varies a lot. The 4th and 6th trials vs the grass type and ghost type totems gave me trouble (especially that grass type pokémon, who is probably one of the hardest battles in the whole series), but overall I think a lot of gym battlesd were tougher than some of the easier trials. It was a refreshing change though.

The game being set in Hawaii, the game world feels very small. Each route is super short and doesn't tend to feature many trainers. Despite that though, this game took me the longest time to beat out of all the games in the series - about 43 hours to reach the end. Admittedly, some of that was due to hunting for rarer pokémon, but it's a good thing imo - the game feels quick paced and small, yet somehow the whole adventure ends up bigger than ever.

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The Hawaiian setting gives the entire game a very chilled vibe, which at first it sticks to with it's comically inefficient bad guys, Team Skull. However, even this gets played with later, as it turns out they're a little more threatening than you bargained for - taking over a whole town, and helping out the games true villain, who is rather more intimidating...

The characters you journey alongside are pretty basic personality wise, but they feature so regularly and are so likeable that it's easy to overlook. Of all the 'nice' rivals in the series (aka not Blue or Silver) they're easily the most memorable.

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The game isn't prefect however. The exp. share from X and Y is back, and if you leave it on you end up massively overlevelled. Turn it off and you'll be underlevelled enough by the last island that grinding is required. It's tricky to balance if you want the most challenging but least tedious way to play. The game also has a weird thing where most of the opposing trainers for the first 3/4 of the game only have one pokémon - a bizarre decision when there are so few trainers compared to other games anyway. And despite the fast pace being something I enjoy, the overall pacing sometimes feels really odd. For example, there are 4 islands in game, but the last one feels like an afterthought and you blaze through it in about 2 hours. The 1st trial takes some time to reach, and the 2nd is a bit of a walk from there too, but the 3rd and 4th are almost immediately after - your pokemon levels will have barely changed. Trial 7 comes very late and feels like a completely token effort - you basically just fight the pokemon, with no pomp and grandeur or quirky mechanics around it like the others. It's also the easiest totem battle by far. New pokémon for the series often have low encounter rates or obscure methods to find, meaning they're hiding a lot of the new stuff needlessly too.

The biggest issue is that the game is very linear (like most pokémon games) but that includes all the in game dungeons (unlike most pokemon games). Previous gam,es were full of complex dungeons that took a long time to progress through with puzzles to solve and lots of secrets to find. Dungeons in Sun and Moon are basically straight lines with the occasional side avenue to grab an item from - really udnerwhelming. They're the Call of Duty to the series normal 'Doom' of dungeon design.

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Despite a few odd pacing issues (that make it seem perhaps a little rushed towards the end?), and the much more basic dungeons being a let down, Pokémon Sun and Moon are fantastic. The game manages to push you forward at a breathless pace whilst still having a lot of meat to it and an adventure that will keep you playing for some time. Is it the best in the series? It's hard to say - mechanically, undoubtedly, and the plot was great. But I still have a soft spot for the first 3 games, which despite having more humble plotlines, somehow managed to feel just as epic. Either way, these games are must haves imo.


The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse

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The Magical Quest is a Super Nintendo platformer by Capcom, who have a reputation for making great games in the 8 and 16 bit era, especially their licensed titles for Disney.

The Magical Quest opens with Mickey, Donald and Goofy playing catch in a field. Pluto runs after the ball, but goes missing, and Mickey sets off to find him, before falling off a cliff and somehow landing in a magical world. It's a stupid set-up, but it's also a 16 bit platformer, so I don't really mind. On a tangent though, when did this weird 'super happy and family friendly' image of the disney characters begin? Like, they were never particularly risqué of course, but Mickey's cartoons all show a fairly mischievous scamp, Goofy's a clumsy but lovable oaf and Donald's a tantrum throwing grump - they don't 'play catch'. Well, Goofy might, but not as successfully as this!

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On a more relevant note, The Magical Quest has you walking left to right as Mickey in a selection of the usual platformer environments - a forest, an ice world, a lava world, a spooky castle, you know the drill. Mickey can jump on enemies, but this just stuns them, rather than killing. Mickey is also a bit floaty and slow so it can be more trouble than it is worth. Once an enemy is stunned though, you can grab him with y and propel him at other enemies to damage them, or just throw him off screen. They will bounce off walls and come back at you though if they hit one, although this doesn't hurt, just knocks you back a bit. This is Mickey's primary attack method for the first stage, but that quickly changes.

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At the start of stage 2, you are gifted with a new outfit - a seterotypical mystic mage outfit, which lets you shoot magic. Magic points are limited, but it kills enemies outright, and you'll use it for every major encounter from then on out where it will work. Half way through stage 3 you recieve a fireman outfit, which lets you put out fires, push blocks and kill firey enemies with your hose. And in stage 4 your recieve a mountaineer outfit which lets you swing around almost exactly like you do in Bionic Commando, using a grappling hook. I hate this mechanic, as it's really finnicky when the hook will connect, and there are some tricky jumps which require it. You can switch between outfits (and Mickey's usual duds) at any point, although you often don't need to swap so much - stages 2-4 are themed for their respective outfits, and the last 2 stages don't require you to use much of all 3.

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Boss encounters can be a pain due to their size - they can sometimes feel rather unfair to try and dodge as their patterns aren't predictable and they leave almost no breathing room on screen. It gets easier when you can use magic on them though as you can charge your attacks and take advanatge of opportunities quickly and at a range.

So, the game is fun enough, and interesting enough that it's worth a play. But here is where I make my admission - Capcom stuff: meh.

I hear a lot about how amazing Capcom's output in the 8 bit and 16 bit era's was, but I'm afraid I just don't see it. It's all good, sure, but at the same time it generally falls flat with me. Final Fight: pretty, but bland. Duck Tales: Fun, but repetitive with revisiting stages. Bionic Commando: too fiddly for it's own good. Chip n Dale: Fun enough, but way too easy and doesn't make enough use of it's sense of scale. Strider: unfair and repetitive. Street Fighter (I'm really getting blasphemous now): Slow and dull. Mega Man X (come at me people!): Like Mega Man but less fun. And Magical Quest: A by the numbers, respectable and pretty game, but slow, formulaic and unnoteworthy. Worth a play, but far from a must own. Like basically 90% of Capcom's output in my opinion.

But hey, I like Mega Man. And Gargoyle's Quest is pretty good too.


Power Blade

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So, I like Mega Man, as I just said. You know what else I like? A lot of classic NES action platformers. Ninja Gaiden. Castlevania. Good stuff.

You know who else likes those games? The team at Natsume who developed Power Blade. They like them a lot.

Power Blade is an action platformer for NES which is set in the future, when the world is run by a supercomputer called Mother Brain (note to the world: Mother Brain is not a good name for stuff). The world is completely at peace, and fully automated.

Shame it all goes haywire then!

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You're Nova, a bad ass guy who looks like an 80s action hero, decked out in shades, who is sent to infiltrate the 6 defence terminals for mother brain, find your contacts there to recieve a secruity card, and shut down the terminals to disable the shield around mother brain. Then you can go and take down Mother Brain itself.

You do this with your trusty weapon. Nope, not a sword. Not a gun either. The most bad-ass of 80s action hero knock offs use a far less practical weapon - A MIGHTY BOOMERANG. When you begin, your boomerang is weak, flies only a short distance in front of you, and you can only throw one at once. You quickly find power ups to aid you though - double and triple icons (hello castlevania) that let you throw more than one at once, a blue and red power up that increase power level, and stars that increase the range it can be thrown. This is controlled by a recharging meter, Legendary Axe style, which dictates how far it will be thrown. It fills quickly, so it's only reason to exist is to stop you spamming across the whole screen I think. At max power, your boomerang is ridiculous - it's basically like an unlimited ammo Metal Blade from Megaman 2, only it hits twice, as it comes back too. You can shoot in any direction, including diagonals, and downwards if you're in midair.

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There are other power ups too - burgers heal your health (of course), grenades can be used with the select button, and clear the screen of minor enemies (and do a little dasmage to bosses), whereas health cans can be switched to use in the pause menu, healing you by half when you press select. Finally, Power Armor™ powers you up, allowing you to take 3 hits without losing health, and swapping your boomerang for energy blasts which go through walls. With all these power ups, you'll end up pretty ridiculous powerful quickly. You do lose them if you game over, but if you die, your range, power and number of boomerangs able to be thrown will all drop by one stage, meaning power back up is super speedy.

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The game has infinite continues, and, like Mega Man, lets you take on the first 6 stages in any order. Within the stages you must find your hidden contact (most of which are fairly easy to find, but one or two might give you trouble if you take the wrong path at a split in the level) and then the boss room. Enemies come at you frequently, but most aren't too hard to dispatch with after a few power ups. You do have to be carefuly for their projectiles though, which can whittle your health down over time as they're quite speedy. You biggest danger is the jumps - which, like Mega Man again, often feature some pixel perfect requirements to pass over.

Power Blade is a fantastic fun game, from an underrated developer (<3 Natsume's 8 bit and 16 bit output). It's easy, sure, but it's fun and plays great and doesn't take itself seriously - I think it's a real gem. Pick it up if you can, my copy was pretty cheap too!


Undertale

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Power Blade might be underrated, but there's no danger of that from Undertale. An indie release for PC by Toby Fox, Undertale became somewhat of a cult phenomenon upon release. This attention had put me off of the game somewhat, as it became quite overbearing, although this was compunded with the fact it was a PC release, which is far from my favourite way to play games. (Keyboard controls blargh). Despite this though, a friend of mine who loved the game was adamant I must play, and bought me it as a birthday gift to ensure I did so. And I'm really glad I did.

Undertale is ostensibly an RPG, although it tries to do something quite different with the mechanics. The overworld has puzzlesto solve, but these are rarely too challenging, but a fun diversion nonetheless. Random encounters are very infrequent, but the battle mechanics themselves are quite unique. When enemies attack you, it plays like a mini shmup, with you moving your heart arround a box avoiding their incoming 'attacks'. These are often quirky, and have a slight bullet hell vibe to them as you dodge between multiple projectiles. You attacks are controlled by a timing meter, although if you play like I did, you won't get a chance to figure that out until the very end of the game. More on that later.

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In addition to the usual battling, you can also attempt to negotiate a peaceful resolution to battle, using the 'act' command. These are normally very basic puzzles where you make the right actions to placate the opponent. For example, having a muscle flexing contest with a jock horse, petting a dog soldier to make him calm down, letting a germ obsessed enemy clean you or making a guard admit his undying love for his colleague. It's always silly and fun to do this, and it ends battles with you recieving gold, but no exp. It's possible to end EVERY battle in the game this way. So I did. When I reached the game's final boss, I was level 1, still had 20 hp and had my equipment optimised for defence and healing, rather than damage. Shame I had to kill the boss then - it took quite a while to get the hang of this.

SPOILERS AHEAD FROM THIS POINT

And then the game goes a bit barmy - a super powered boss who repeatedly kills you, often via loading save states of you taking damage, repeatedly shuts down the entire game (as in, you have to reload it from the menu) and glitches everything out. This is an extended an unfair boss fight, but every time you die you get to resume from where you were upon reopening the game, so that's nice at least. There's a lot of 4th wall breaking the happens here. Defeat this boss, and you get the normal ending of the game.

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NOW you can beat the game without killing anyone, as a new sidequest opens when reloading your save file (from before killing the final boss). I did so, went on the sidequest which reveals a whole lot of extra stuff about the story, a lot of it disturbing, and get to fight a different final boss, for a pacifist ending. And the game wants you to get this ending - in this world, exp stands for 'execution points' and you can't get the good ending unless you avoid killing anyone. Which fortunately enough, I did. My udnerstanding is that there's also a bad ending obtained for killing literally EVERYTHING in the game, right up until the random encounters stop appearing. This also opens up a whole bunch of other meta-stuff that some poeple love.

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So, Undertale - I'm happy with the stuff I played. The whole Meta element was cool, I guess, but I liked the simple, whimsical tale and gameplay of the main plot, and I don't need the rest of that stuff. The game is fun, funny and super duper charming, and I enjoyed my playthrough. The graphics are a bit simple, but big and bold and colourful. The music is absolutely wonderful, super fitting, with some real catchy gems in there. My favourite is this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WDFUcjWARU

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Undertale is fantastic. It's charming, fun to play, and at only about 5 hours long, nice and brief and replayable too, if the extra stuff takes your fancy. I think it's a must-play - whether or not you buy into the overly-zealous fan community.


Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero?

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Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero is a 2D platforming spin off of the Disgaea franchise, starring the Prinnies, a series of volatile (in the explosive sense) demon penguins who are created by the reincarnated souls of sinners in the Netherworld. Or something. I haven't actually played Disgaea before (January Together Retro though!) so this is my introduction to the franchise. It's weird though, is my point.

The game takes the form of a balls-hard sidescrolling platformer. Prinnies are known to detonate at the slightest impact, but luckily you have been granted a magic scarf which allows you to take 3 hits before detonation in your quest to find the ultra pudding for your demon master. Unfortunately, this isn't going to be an easy quest, and you have an army of 1000 prinnies in order to try and get through - every time one Prinny dies, it's the next Prinny's turn to have the scarf.

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Prinny is quite a capable individual - he can swing swords at high speed to deal combos of damage, as well as hurl projectiles whilst stalling his descent in mid air. He can double jump too, but his jumps are Super Ghoul's and Ghosts style - you make a jump, and you commit to it, as you can't control your momentum or direction in midair. You can also spin to mdodge attacks, which can be turned into a dash to make longer jumps, or slide through enemies. Finally, you can hip drop in midair in order to fall straight down - super useful if you're about to overshoo the platform, and often essential to bounce on enemies heads for more height or distance, or to stun them. Stunned enemies are defenceless and can be laid into, but touvhing an enemy at any other time hurts you, even if you jump on them

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It's good Prinny has so many skills, because you're going to need them. This game is hard as nails. The eternal enemy of knockback upon being hit is frequent here, and the game likes putting enemies near bottomless pits. Even on stages with very solid flooring though, enemies are aggresive, hard to dodge and especially from abhout hakf way through, often completely invincible. Prepare to die a lot as you attempt to move from checkpoint to checkpoint, where you'll be reset upon dying.

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Boss battles can be super tough too they need to be hip dropped multiple times to stun them in order to do damage, and often they are fast, aggressive and sometimes there is more than one of them. If a prinny dies in the boss fight, you start from the boss again - but they have full health, so you need to beat them entirely in one life.

The game can often feel somewhat cheap - with enemies that move in unpredictable ways making it hard to anticipate what to do. It can also be very frustrating, as you go back to the last checkpoint over and over, especially on bosses.

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Speaking of bosses, the final boss of this game is the most painful boss fight I've ever encountered - and I mean in the very literal sense. You have 3 minutes to kill him, and he can take literally hundreds of hits. It's also on a small paltform where it's easy to get knocked into the pit, and his attacks can be tricky to avoid. What this means is that I basically spent 48 minutes straight button mashing before I beat him. My right hand and arm are still sore today (get your mind out of the gutter guys!). It was very satisfying when it was all said and done though (seriously, mind out of the gutter!).

Prinny is far from a perfect experience. The 2D artwork in the game is gorgeous, and the soundtrack is fun and bombastic, but the gameplay can often be more frustrating than fun. That said, once you get used to how precise you need to be, and how much chaos you need to deal with, there is some fun to be had. And though it's difficult, 1000 lives is more than enough to finish the game - I finished with 721 Prinnies remaining, meaning I lost a grand total of 279 lives throughout the course of the games 10 levels. Give it a go if you think you're brave enough!
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:16 am

I'm going to play Undertale eventually, but I'm in no hurry. I'm still waiting for the rest of the hype-fandom to die off since I still feel nothing but irritation for the game thanks to them. Probably a year or two from now when it's like $2 on a Steam sale, I'll download and play it.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by isiolia Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:11 pm

1. Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One)
2. DOAX3 Fortune Edition (PS4)
3. Uncharted 4 (PS4)
4. DOOM (2016) (PC)
5. Halo 5 (Xbox One)
6. Dark Souls (PC)
7. Call of Duty (PC)
8. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PC)
9. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4)
10. King's Field: The Ancient City (PS2)
11. Bloodborne (PS4)
12. SOMA (PC)
13. Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (PS4)
14. Dark Souls III (PS4)
15. Lords of the Fallen (PC)
16. Demon's Souls (PS3)
17. Dark Souls: Artorias of the Abyss (PC)
18. Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel (PC)
19. Dishonored (PC) (replay)
19a. Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall
19b. Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches
20. Dishonored 2 (PC)
21. Aliens: Infestation (DS)
22. Dark Souls II: SoTFS (PC) (replay)
23. Bloodborne: The Old Hunters (PS4)
24. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (PS4)

Half-Genie Hero is one of the few games I've actually backed on Kickstarter, and one of a couple now to actually be released. To backers anyway (I was sent a code last friday I think), it comes out in general next week.

While I guess other playable characters are coming, the only one I could play as was Shantae. I unlocked "Hero Mode" for her on completion, but the only other profile on character select was simply "coming soon" (as I understand, there are several other characters that will be playable). Unless there are other ways to unlock them, though if there are, it was not apparent (I was given a 98% items found score, though I'm not sure what I would have missed other than not trading for a couple dances).

Generally speaking, I found it to be a very likeable game - cute, fun character designs supported by a 2.5D engine that basically just comes across as razor-sharp 2D. Witty dialogue that actually got me to laugh - even the potty jokes - and a solid soundtrack. It's not a particularly large game, but that also kind of makes it manageable. Every stage is distinct, and you'll revisit most of them multiple times in order to progress.

That said, I do think it can be fairly inconsistent. Most of the game is extremely easy, especially once you get some upgrades. The first time through the initial stages, with only a couple hearts and so on, might present a slight challenge. Near the end of the game, with all the relics, upgrades, and so on...you've got a massive health pool coupled to a full heal dance and no MP use. At least, far as I could tell. I never even tried the screen-clearing offensive magic and stuff. :lol:
Every so often though, there are platforming segments (particularly) that simply can't be softened. While probably not comparable to truly difficult levels in other games, or even basic levels in some, they do result in some difficulty spikes.

Mostly though, it's a game that was probably designed more for kids to easily get into and play. The size and scope may line up with 8 or 16-bit titles, but unlike a lot of retro style games, the difficulty does not. With some imposed restrictions, of course, it could be made challenging, and maybe getting some of the trophies encourages that (not sure what the speed/speed completion metrics are).

Anyway, fun, charming game, but if you have young kids, it might be one to watch them play instead.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:30 pm

isiolia wrote:Anyway, fun, charming game, but if you have young kids, it might be one to watch them play instead.


This is great news. I have two children...and they both loved watching me play the second and third Shantae games. I may try to get them to play this one themselves.

EDIT: Also, Prinny sounds amazing. I own both games in the series, but I have not yet played through either of them. I will have to change that in 2017.
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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by isiolia Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:13 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:This is great news. I have two children...and they both loved watching me play the second and third Shantae games. I may try to get them to play this one themselves.


My take is that it's who it was made for, which isn't a bad thing. For all the modern platformers out there, most seem to be made for established fans. This seems tuned to make new ones. As I mentioned though, there are some spikes in platforming or maybe puzzle difficulty, albeit mostly for optional items in the latter case (heart containers, etc). Might be times to help out or take over temporarily.
Otherwise, the game gives copious hints via NPCs, and most upgrades are both fairly cheap and quite effective. Could be seen as teaching the general importance of talking to NPCs and visiting the shop, etc.

The only other Shantae game I've played is a bit of the original on virtual console, and it seemed pretty tough, at least in some ways. Otherwise, I couldn't really compare them.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:15 pm

The original is pretty tough, especially in the early going. Having the scarecrows spawn on top of you while your life meter is short make things really hard until you get a little buffer in the health department.
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