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Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:05 pm
by MrPopo
BogusMeatFactory wrote:The first puzzle had to deal with playing a game against an AI. On a grid in each opposite corner were two colored blobs. You could move the blobs around to expand the number and your goal was to have the most colored blobs on the grid once everything was filled up. You would also convert the opponents blobs by moving next to them. The problem is that the AI for the puzzle was tied to your system specs so the more powerful your computer, the smarter the AI. So in order to win you would have to make ZERO MISTAKES and that just wasn't happening.

So that sounds like the game was simple enough that they just implemented a look-ahead search and probably capped the runtime, returning the best move found for however deep it went. So the faster machines got the deeper they could get in the look-ahead, until eventually they can see every coming move. That also means that the first player has an advantage.

Edit: Good news! Now you can play it on your mobile device!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_7th_Guest:_Infection

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:27 pm
by BogusMeatFactory
MrPopo wrote:
BogusMeatFactory wrote:The first puzzle had to deal with playing a game against an AI. On a grid in each opposite corner were two colored blobs. You could move the blobs around to expand the number and your goal was to have the most colored blobs on the grid once everything was filled up. You would also convert the opponents blobs by moving next to them. The problem is that the AI for the puzzle was tied to your system specs so the more powerful your computer, the smarter the AI. So in order to win you would have to make ZERO MISTAKES and that just wasn't happening.

So that sounds like the game was simple enough that they just implemented a look-ahead search and probably capped the runtime, returning the best move found for however deep it went. So the faster machines got the deeper they could get in the look-ahead, until eventually they can see every coming move. That also means that the first player has an advantage.

Edit: Good news! Now you can play it on your mobile device!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_7th_Guest:_Infection

Yeah you can get a program that will tell you what your beat move is based on the computer. I came out winning by only a couple spots with it.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:33 pm
by Sarge
So, the other part of what I was going to post: Hyper Light Drifter.

For folks that have no idea about what this is, it's basically a Zelda-like, but a bit faster and somewhat stripped down. Actually, it's kind of funny playing this right after Specter of Torment, because this also heavily features a dash mechanic.

When you start, your offensive capabilities are actually pretty bad. You can't even finish up a dash with a strike, Devil May Cry-style. But that is one of the upgrades, along with a move that lets you chain your dashes together. This, actually, is the most important upgrade in the game. The ability to quickly get away from bosses is key to success. However, if this sounds button-mashy, rest assured, it's not. There's a very specific rhythm to the combat, and if you venture outside of it, you're going to get hurt fast. It also doesn't help that you have very little invincibility time after getting hit, so you can get mobbed and killed rapidly. Checkpoints are pretty generous, though.

That rhythm extends to the dash mechanic. Pound on the button too fast, and you're going to mess it up. Go too slow, and the same happens. You have to get a specific rhythm, and always try to keep your head in encounters, which isn't always easy to do! Threat management is key. Sword slashes feel good, nice and solid. Gunplay is less solid, with some iffy aiming in my opinion, but it's functional enough. You recharge your ammo by slashing, so often the correct strategy is to pelt from afar, duck in for a quick combo, then hit with some distance again.

I think one of my bigger gripes is that I can't use a d-pad for controls, movement is tied to the analog stick. For a game that feels like it walked out of the 16/32-bit era, it's a little weird, but it's a'ight.

Other upgrades include the ability to carry more life restoratives (basically self-administered shots). You don't actually increase your life meter at all, which creates a lot of tension, because finding a point to inject and get your health up can be tricky. And you can get popped while the meter is filling up, leading to an untimely death.

The bigger thing about the game is the look and feel. It is both simultaneously colorful yet somber, dealing with some pretty dark themes. There is death and destruction everywhere, but none of this is ever really spelled out, with all the story elements presented wordlessly in either the world or through pictorial scenes. It's an interesting approach. The melancholy vibe is emphasized by both the protagonist, in that he has a life-threatening condition where he will occasionally stagger around, coughing up blood, and by the very muted soundtrack by Disasterpeace, who many will recognize from Fez. In fact, quite a bit of the art style reminds me of Fez as well.

An interesting thing I found out after the fact is that the protagonist has the issues he does for a reason other than story, and it's that the main creator also has a heart condition that he has had from birth. It's also why the company was called Heart Machine. Apparently spending a lot of time in hospitals got him into gaming, as well as the less strenuous nature, but he realized he needed to do something else with all the ideas puttering around in his head. So this was it. Definitely a solid first outing!

Anyway, I'm probably still going to delve into finding more secrets, as there's a ton that I missed on despite rolling credits. I don't think the ending changes at all, though. It's especially worthwhile if you find it on sale, but I'm not disappointed at dropping the $35 for the physical copy. I mean, I did the same for Half-Genie Hero, and I found this and it roughly on par. Good, sometimes bordering on great, but not always hitting the mark.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:12 pm
by Xeogred
Good stuff Sarge. I noted the same findings about the creator and all when I played it a few months ago earlier this year. It was a great game but I think there's a few other indie games that top it for me. In a weird way, I loved the setting, atmosphere, and aesthetics, but it was almost somehow too depressingly somber. Like it was slowly sucking the soul out of me while playing it in a strange way. A very strange experience. Maybe the timing was bad as I was feeling stressed and getting ready to move and all that. On the other hand I played Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight a bit before it, which is also dark, but that game was like fun grimdark and I'd say I liked it more, even though they are entirely different genres and games.

I'll definitely be excited for their next game. I loved the difficulty for HLD, felt just right.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:20 pm
by Sarge
Yeah, I think you're right. There were some moments when I realized, "Man, this would be super-awesome if it had a kicking techno soundtrack right now!" But it definitely sticks to the somber mood, for better or worse. You can't accuse it of being tonally inconsistent, at any rate!

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:01 pm
by PartridgeSenpai
Partridge Senpai's 2017 Beaten Games:

1. Tales of Hearts R (Vita)
2. UPPERS (Vita)
3. Volume (Vita)
4. Overlord: Minions (DS)
5. Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)
6. Overlord II (PS3)
7. Overlord: Dark Legend (Wii)
8. La-Mulana (Remake) (PC)
9. Infamous: Second Son (PS4)
10. htol#NiQ: The Firefly Diary (Vita)
11. Blood Bowl (360)
12. Dead to Rights: Retribution (360)
13. Bioshock Infinite (360)
14. Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Part 1 (360)
15. Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Part 2 (360)
16. Singularity (360)
17. Seifuku Densetsu Pretty Fighter X (Saturn)
18. Ultraman: Hikari No Kyojin Densetsu (Saturn)
19. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) (repeat)
20. Song of the Deep (PS4)
21. Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 3 (GCN)
22. Banjo-Tooie (N64) (repeat)
23. Wario Land (VB)

24. Yakuza HD Edition (PS3)

Now, there isn't ACTUALLY a game with this title, but it's the best way to describe the first game that got a Japanese-only rerelease (Ryuu Ga Gokuto 1 & 2 HD Edition) bundled with the second game on an HD collection (it's on Wii U too for some reason O.o ). This remake looks and plays great, and it really shows (mostly because the cutscenes are recorded from the PS2 version and look dramatically muddier than the in-game stuff :P ). I'd never played a Yakuza game before, but BOY should I have. I LOVE crazy 3D brawlers, and if I'd have known a Streets of Rage-ish RPG like this had existed for so long, I totally would've been all over it years ago. I played through on normal, beat 51 sidequests, got all but 2 locker keys, and got max level all in 23.5 hours (and very little guide usage).

The presentation is excellent. I don't know if the American releases have English voice acting, but god I hope they don't. The Japanese voice acting is excellent, and really gets across the emotion so well. The story isn't plotted quite as tightly as I'd like, with some characters really coming out of nowhere to have very profound impacts on the story, but the impact is always there. I even teared up a bit at the deaths near the end. The side quests range from equally serious to just silly and funny, and really break up the heat of the main story well if you choose to do so. Given how this game ended, I'm quite interested on how the second game tells its story, given as how this story wraps up nicely but very open for a sequel.

The gameplay is such fun crazy brawling. It reminds me a lot of UPPERS, but with only one character. Slowly learning moves over time, especially the ones from the martial arts master, really gives the combat a great learning and difficulty curve outside of just the normal enemies becoming smarter. Stomping the crap out of people really never became boring, although it usually doesn't for me :P

Verdict: Highly recommended. If you like mafia dramas and/or beat-'em-ups at all, you will likely love Yakuza to death. It's beautiful presentation, good story, and very satisfying combat make for a fantastic RPG that really doesn't play like any other game I can think of. I can't wait to start more of them :D . My only hesitation in recommending this remake or the original is there's a BETTER remake already out in Japan that has more content and story stuff. I'd say waiting until that is out is probably a better choice :)

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:46 am
by alienjesus
1. 3D Power Drift 3DS
2. Maze Hunter 3-D 3DS
3. Hyrule Warriors Legends 3DS
4. Icarus Proudbottom's World of Typing Weekly PC
5. Paper Mario N64
6. Catherine PS3
7. Glover N64
8. Blast Corps N64
9. Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! Switch eShop
10. Pullblox 3DS eShop
11. Pokémon Picross 3DS eShop
12. Bare Knuckle III Mega Drive

Bare Knuckle III

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As we've discussed in the beat-em-ups thread recently, I am a big fan of the Streets of Rage series. They were games that defined by childhood, alongside Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe, Mega Bomberman and Pokémon, and I adore them.

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Streets of Rage 1 is simple compared to the others, but fun for a blast through now and again. Streets of Rage 2 is a high watermark of the genre - excellent level variety, enemy variety, attack variety, graphics and sound. A wonderful game. Streets of Rage 3 though, always felt like the weak link to me. Something always seemed off about it when I was a kid. The characters were all wearing different clothes for some reason. Weapons had health bars. Enemies took forever to beat. The special moves seemed really useless, but not as useless as everything else - you barely chipped enemies with each attack. And damn, was it hard. As a kid I could solo Streets of Rage 2 on hard mode no problem. I struggled to beat Streets of Rage 3 on easy. I still played the game and liked it OK - you could play as a Kangaroo, and I loved that, but it was definitely the poor third wheel to me.

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I played the game later as an adult, intending to get to the end of Normal mode, and see the real ending. Little did I know there are 4. Me and a friend pushed on through and made it to stage 6, where we had to rescue a guy who was tied up in a time limit. This stage felt essentially impossible - the enemies you needed to kill too too long to die, especially if you played as Skate or Roo like I did, and we lost it, and went to the bad ending route. It was after this that I learned of all the ridiculous changes that happened to Streets of Rage 3 when it was bought west. The game was essentially mutilated.

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So I heard about the character Ash being removed, being a fairly offensive parody of a camp gay man. That's fine, it didn't really bother me. But it was only the start of the changes. There are less health items in Streets of Rage 3. You do less damage when attacking. Enemies have way more health, especially bosses who sometimes have triple the health on Easy mode in SOR3 compared to Normal on Bare Knuckle 3. Enemy damage scales in Sor3 - a Galsia does 6 times the damage on hard compared to easy, whereas the difficulty in Bare Knuckle 3 comes solely from higher enemy density. This means that SOR3 difficult scales exponentially, rather than in a nice linear fashion, and it's outrageous to begin with. A section with a bulldozer requires you to bunch the bulldozer once to stop it in Bare Knuckle 3, and several times in SOR3 - meaning it generally gets you a couple times. More enemies attack you at once too, on every difficulty. It's a lot harder, but way too unbalanced.

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The rebalancing of damage and health ruins game mechanics. The game has a special move system where your special moves are powered up the more points you get without dying. If you die, it drops 1 level. I literally never knew this existed in Streets of Rage 3 because I never lasted long enough to keep my rank up. This means you use the crap version of these special moves for the whole game. The level where you rescue the general was already mentioned, but it makes that level go from a fun challenge to basically impossible as some characters and incredibly luck dependent as others (oh, and they actually LOWERED the timer so it's even harder. Arseholes). The game also has a special move system where a meter charges, allowing you to use your A button special moves without hurting yourself when it's full.

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In Bare Knuckle 3, it hurts a lot to use special moves outside of this meter, but it's reduced in SOR3, presumably as a concession to try and help you kill enemies faster. Shame it doesn't help characters like Skate as his special tends to knock people away rather than do lots of damage.
Mostly, it makes the game tedious as shit. The msot notable part is the 4th boss who boucnes about, has 6(!) health bars and can take like 15 minutes to kill in SOR3 on Easy. In Bare Knuckle 3, he took about a minute, had 3 health bars on Normal and was probably the easiest boss in the game.

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Basically what I'm saying is that Bare Knuckle is a much better, much fairer and WAY more fun version of the game in just about every way. This is clearly the way the game should be played, because it's the way that makes the game more enjoyable. If THIS version had been released in the west, then Streets of Rage 3 might have a reputation as high as Streets of Rage 2. People would fight over which was better, like they do with Sonic 2 and Sonic 3. But they didn't. They butchered it for the sake of discouraging one time rentals like they did with so many other games, and the game is a whole lot worse for it.

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Bare Knuckle 3 isn't perfect mind. It has a problem with enemy variety in some sections, where it forces you to fight dozens of the same enemy for long stretches instead of mixing it up - the subway tunnel full of endless ninjas for example. The weapons still break after a few uses in this version, and that'd be fine it they didn't break faster than the Tree Branches do in Breath of the wild. 3 stabs with a knife and it's normally done, and it's not like the knives are that great anyway. I still don't like the music as much as SOR2, but that's a matter of taste. And, ironically enough, the game is too easy, being the easiest of the 3 games to beat by a reasonable margin. The only difficult bits in the game are the 2 timed sections, which feel kinda like cop-outs as they can ruin your run for the good ending and force you to start over. Either way though, a slightly easy game is much better than an unfairly tedious and hard one, and this is definitely the version to play.

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On a quick note, some more differences: Women wear less clothes in Japan, all the playable characters wear the original coloured clothes they wore in 1 and 2 in Bare Knuckle 3, and the story was changed entirely from an international terrorist plot in BK3 to a plot about blowing up city hall which is definitely not the White House in SOR3

Playing SOR3 this way was a marked improvement, and it's making me wonder if maybe I should just bite the bullet and play Dynamite Headdy as it was originally too. That's another game they made harder for no good reason, and one which I'm yet to finish.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:45 am
by Markies
The differences between Streets of Rage 3 and Bare Knuckle 3 are absolutely staggering.

My friend and I beat Streets of Rage 3 only after playing it with a Game Genie. The game is utterly relentless and cheap as all get out.

I picked up a Reproduction of Bare Knuckle 3 and the game is so much better. Everything you said is absolutely true and Bare Knuckle 3 is the true version of the game.

With that being said, Bare Knuckle 3 is probably my least favorite in the series. The music is not enjoyable as it sounds like noise most of the time. Even with the decreased difficulty, the enemies move way too fast compared to your characters. The strange level design and crazy bosses took away a lot of the fun factor. I feel like they tried to cram way too much into Bare Knuckle 3.

Streets of Rage 2 is a classic and an almost perfect game. Streets of Rage is dated, but very enjoyable to play through. Bare Knuckle 3 is still a good game, but it just cannot compare to others in the series.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:53 am
by alienjesus
Markies wrote:The differences between Streets of Rage 3 and Bare Knuckle 3 are absolutely staggering.

My friend and I beat Streets of Rage 3 only after playing it with a Game Genie. The game is utterly relentless and cheap as all get out.

I picked up a Reproduction of Bare Knuckle 3 and the game is so much better. Everything you said is absolutely true and Bare Knuckle 3 is the true version of the game.

With that being said, Bare Knuckle 3 is probably my least favorite in the series. The music is not enjoyable as it sounds like noise most of the time. Even with the decreased difficulty, the enemies move way too fast compared to your characters. The strange level design and crazy bosses took away a lot of the fun factor. I feel like they tried to cram way too much into Bare Knuckle 3.

Streets of Rage 2 is a classic and an almost perfect game. Streets of Rage is dated, but very enjoyable to play through. Bare Knuckle 3 is still a good game, but it just cannot compare to others in the series.


I can see that. It might sound weird but I get a distinct 'Sonic 3' vibe from Bare Knuckle 3, both in terms of the game design of 'adding more stuff to mix stuff up' and in terms of the visual design of 'redraw stuff and make things look a bit darker'. That's what I mean when I stated that I can definitely see people areguing for either Streets of Rage 2 or 3 for better game.

I'd also predict that, like me, a lot of people who prefer the 2nd game would be fans of Sonic 2 over 3 because I feel like they offer up a lot of the same ideas - simplicity, polishing up of the formula, brighter. I wouldn't be surprised if fans of the later era Sega stuff like Comix Zone and Sonic 3 prefer Bare Knuckle 3 though!

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:16 am
by Sarge
Y'all have me contemplating importing a copy. I have the US version, and I've never liked it not because of the feel, but just because of how unfair it is. Great writeup.

EDIT: Checked the price, noooooope.