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Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:45 am
by Sarge
Yeah, you must have poked around a lot more than I did. I finished up in 34:25. And since I don't speak Japanese, I didn't get any tonal dissonance from the plot. I thought the more light-hearted plot was fun. I appreciate less serious from time to time.

As far as plot in Tales games in general go, I find them pretty weak. They might have an interesting hook or two, but they're not amazing. I'm usually in it for the exploration and combat, so if they don't satisfy me there, I tend to just kinda drop it. I did power through Vesperia, although that one had stronger plot elements to make up for my not particularly enjoying the combat.

My favorites in the series have been Symphonia and Abyss, although I must admit trying to go back to Symphonia a while back after having free-run was pretty tough!

Glad you at least somewhat enjoyed it. That combat is all sorts of snappy, and the fact that I tore through it in under 40 means it didn't have time to wear out its welcome. :)

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:10 am
by Raz
1. Dragon Quest Builders (PS4)

I wasn't sure what to think of this game when it was announced. I really wasn't expecting my favorite game series to put out what (at the time) looked to be a Minecraft type of spin-off game. Over time as more was revealed about the game, I was glad to hear that it just wasn't just a Minecraft clone with a Dragon Quest skin on it.

Honestly, Dragon Quest Builders felt a lot more like Actraiser on SNES rather than Minecraft. The whole game revolves around reviving and rebuilding towns from the very first Dragon Quest/Warrior game. You build rooms that villagers requests either with a description or a blueprint, each serving some sort of function, like a place for villagers to sleep, or a place for certain items to be build. Rooms give off a certain amount of points, which you can increase by adding in furniture or other items. Your town's level will increase when you have enough points, and some quests require your town to be a certain level before you can move on. As you progress, you gain access to new areas which offer new resources, new villagers move in, and monsters will assault your town. Eventually you will have to build a special town-exclusive item (like a large shield or a vehicle), and then fight a boss using that item.

I think this game is great, but Dragon Quest is also my favorite video game series so there might be some bias there. The game still has similarities to Minecraft, most obviously the voxel type of world its in. The only problem I had with this game is that the hit detection for fighting is lousy. The way each chapter translates to the next is also a little strange. Rather than going through a single save file for the whole game, each chapter has its own save file and are separate from each other. So if you were to hoard a ton of wood in one chapter, that wood can only be used in that chapter. The health and equipment you start each chapter with is predetermined, and have to get back all of your health, weapon, and armor upgrades each chapter. I don't think this a bad thing, it just wasn't what I was expecting.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:10 am
by ElkinFencer10
I've got whatever the latest PS4 Guilty Gears game is, but I've never played more than a little of the arcade mode in a BlazBlue game, and I've yet to play that Guilty Gears.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:47 am
by isiolia
1. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)

I played most of this game while visiting family for Christmas, but wound up pushing through to the credits last night. I have fond memories of the original DKC - got the VHS in the mail, DK Jamz is literally one of the first CDs I personally owned, and it was a game that pretty much everyone I knew with an SNES got for that Christmas, including me. Since my family wound up moving a couple months later, it was the last game that was sort of a shared experience with my friends where I lived. Basically, the original DKC is a game that has a lot of sentimental value for me, and the main reason for including the cart in the handful I brought with me for the holiday.
I'd tried the Wii version briefly, but waggle = no. It did seem like the 3DS version has some slowdown that probably isn't present in that version. Plus, for the times that the game decides that you want to play in the background scenery, the relatively high res of the Wii version probably helps.

The 3DS version also offers a new mode with more powerups to buy and an extra heart - which can be helpful, or can be kind of pointless since the game tends to be a little arbitrary about what will just outright kill you anyway. I went with that instead of the original mode though.
While it does end up similar to the original games, the pseudo physics based platforming seemed like it could have been tuned better. I died a lot from slow startups for runs or jumps. Part of that might be due to not swapping control from the analog stick, but being fair, DKC has always been a little floaty. Seemed like it could have been made better though.

The main reason that's really an issue is because of the somewhat high bar that Retro put on just getting through some of the levels. Maybe I'm just not remembering right, but the originals were just not really super hard games most of the time. More of the challenge was in finding all the secrets, and actually pulling off getting to some of them. To me, that's a better way to do things - make sure most players are having fun and want to keep playing.
In that respect, I found DKC Returns to be off. It's not that it isn't a quality product, but it too frequently was simply difficult to get through. Not fun. Not interesting. Just hard. Other folks may well revel in the type of challenge it presents, but I really didn't enjoy a lot of it, and just kind of pushed through it because I'd already made some progress and didn't bring a lot of other games with me.

Technically there's a lot of stuff yet to find, but the credits rolled, it's going back on the shelf.

ElkinFencer10 wrote:I've got whatever the latest PS4 Guilty Gears game is, but I've never played more than a little of the arcade mode in a BlazBlue game, and I've yet to play that Guilty Gears.

I think the latest Guilty Gear might have removed actually fighting in Story mode, but I haven't played it. Generally though, just pointing out that the story mode that they did for Persona 4 Arena wasn't entirely new, Arc Systems had been doing stuff like that already in their own IPs (localized/published here by Aksys). They've got ongoing, anime-as-hell stories that are told through them.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:54 am
by Exhuminator
isiolia wrote:I found DKC Returns to be off. It's not that it isn't a quality product, but it too frequently was simply difficult to get through. Not fun. Not interesting. Just hard.

I agree. I am not a fan of DKC Returns, and I don't agree with all the praise it got back on release. Also, I played the Wii version, with all its controls foibles, making the platforming even more infuriating. I'll say the Wii version had nice graphics and audio... that's about all the positives I can muster.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:46 pm
by ElkinFencer10
I'm the voice of dissent here; I absolutely loved DKCR

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:19 pm
by Xeogred
DKCR and Tropical Freeze ruled. Would like a third one for Retro to finish off a trilogy.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:08 pm
by Sarge
Put me in the "meh" camp regarding DKCR. The physics more than anything ruins it for me.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:49 pm
by MrPopo
1. Pokémon Moon - 3DS
2. Tony Hawk's Underground - GCN
3. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising - PC

The first expansion to DoW2, Chaos Rising is a high level game that gives you back your squad at the levels they were when you finished the base campaign. They do end up losing all their Terminator gear, though, since I guess you still gotta have progression. There's new talent ranks available, so you're encouraged to continue specializing. Gameplay wise there really isn't much new added. You get one new unit, a Librarian, so now you have a caster available for missions (though I didn't find him very effective). There's a corruption mechanic wherein your units can gain corruption via failing mission objectives/taking the easy way out or using corrupted gear. As you gain corruption you get some new abilities, but I didn't look too closely into it. You really have to work at being corrupted in this game, and I figured since it's WH40K corruption would be a bad thing. The campaign itself is short and to the point and leaves on a cliffhanger that gets picked up with the stand alone expansion Retribution. If you really liked DoW2 then you might as well play this, but otherwise I think you can skip it. It's such a generic space marine story that you're not going to get anything out of that aspect.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:55 pm
by Sarge
1) The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (PC) (8.5) (1/1) (~5.5 hours)
2) ActRaiser (SNES) (8.0) (1/2) (~4 hours)

I tend to replay ActRaiser every few years, so now was a good time to finish off the partial play I had going last year. At this point, I can rip through it pretty quickly.

If anyone doesn't know what this game is about, it's a combination of side-scrolling platformer (maybe a little like something out of Valis?) combined with a sim-lite mode that also has a bit of action to it. You play as the "Master", an obvious stand-in for the Christian/Hebrew God, and Tanzra is the Satan fill-in. Knowing that, the theology gets just a mite bit muddled, as all good Quintet games do!

The action is a little weird on the side-scrolling bits, as the sword slashes don't always behave quite like you'd expect (especially when jumping or landing from jumps), and the jumping physics are a little weird to boot. But it's also a very easy game as well, at least if you don't start messing with the higher difficulty mode. The sim elements aren't particularly deep either, but for some reason, the combination of adequate action-platformer and adequate action-sim make for a more-than-adequate experience. I suppose the variety and simplicity help.

Oh, and it also helps to have some reasonably good graphics and one of the best soundtracks on SNES, composed by FM synthesis maestro Yuzo Koshiro. I also recommend giving a listen to the Symphonic Suite, it's something else.