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Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:54 am
by Sarge
Oh, yeah, Operation C is better than a run-and-gun has any right to be on GB.

Speaking of Kirby's Dream Land 3, I enjoyed my time with it, but the wonky physics really diminished my overall enjoyment. I know it's a small thing, but sometimes, that's all it takes. I'm the same way with Mario games, honestly...

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:56 am
by noiseredux
noiseredux wrote:4. Portal 2 (PC)
5. Halo Wars 2 (PC)

let me elaborate...

Portal 2
2011, Valve

The first Portal was a fantastic game. A simple concept of spacial puzzles led to a wonderful little experience. In fact, it's one so great that I've revisited it several times over the years. But oddly, I realized I never did finish Portal 2. I started it up in 2013 and made my way through the first couple of hours and then for some reason never finished. I remember thinking it was a lot like the first game, only funnier. Well, I recently picked up my save and saw my way through the end. And what I realized was that I had denied myself the much bigger portion of the game. Plus all the stuff that made Portal totally unique and far more interesting than the first game. But I was right about it being funnier. It is really funny.

Ugh. I'm at a loss for words right now. It's weird trying to talk about a game that is such a modern classic. Because honestly, I feel like at this point anybody who thinks they might like Portal 2 has already played it. They already know how brilliant it is. And anybody who thinks that they won't be interested in Portal 2... well, those people probably aren't reading some thing that some guy on the internet wrote about Portal 2. Let's just admit that.

So things about Portal 2 then...

Wheatley. Wheatley is one of the best things about Portal 2. He's what takes the funniness of GLADOS in the original, and just knocks it out of the park. That dry British delivery. It's just so great. Like there's an escape sequence where he's like "okay, I'm 100% sure that the exit is down this hallway," and then he glances down the hallway and says "no wait, it's not this hallway." Alright, it's way funnier when you hear Wheatley say it. Trust me.

I looked up Wheatley by the way and he's voiced by Stephen Merchant. I wasn't sure who that was but guess what? He co-developed The Office (the original) so that makes total sense.

So what else? You've got the portal guns. "Duh" as the kids say. Orange and blue portals. Enter one, exit the other. Right. And you've got your test chambers just like in the first game. But then just as you think the game's over - just as you confront GLADOS again, the whole game world shifts and surprises you. To call Portal 2 'More Of The Same' would be a huge disservice. See, the whole second half of the game involves you and GLADOS (who is now trapped in a potato battery) going through the old original test chambers that haven't been used since before the first game's story. Oh, and once you get to those there are new mechanics such as goo that makes you bounce or goo that makes you run fast.

I don't know what else to say. The usual stuff. It's a fantastic game. Difficult at times, and yet never unfair. Constantly giving you that feeling like you're a friggin' genius when you solve a chamber that's stumped you a bit. Just a great game. Everyone should play it.

Halo Wars 2
2017, Microsoft

I have a confession: I never beat a Real Time Strategy game. Actually, I recently beat Civ5, but that doesn't count. That's a 4X game. I'm talking about RTS games like Dune II or Command & Conquer. Y'know? You build up armies and shoot stuff? Those kinds of RTS games. So I never beat one of those. And the confession gets worse: I never really spent any serious time even attempting to PLAY one of those. Totally serious. I have fired up a couple of C&C games over the years, but I doubt I gave them more than thirty minutes each. But there's a reason I tell you all this... it will possibly explain why I've recently had so much damn fun with Halo Wars 2.

Y'know that thing where your first experience with anything is going to leave a bigger impression on you than the ones that follow? Meaning... your first horror movie probably scared you worse than the ones you saw later, even if that first one wasn't really that scary? Well that's the thing I'm talking about here. Probably I wouldn't think so highly of Halo Wars 2 if I was really familiar with the genre. But I'm not, so I don't have much to compare it to. Which is fine. Who cares? I had a good time. I'm happy.

I don't even remember how I heard about Halo Wars 2. I know I wasn't aware of it leading up to its release. One day it was just sort of there. A game that existed. I didn't even know about the first game, nevermind the sequel. But something made me want to play it. There was a demo - a single level - which I played and decided that yes, for some unknown reason, I had to get this game.

Nothing about Halo Wars 2 is great. Everything is good. Sometimes it's very good. But nothing is great. It's actually quite clear from the get-go that this is a PC port of a console game. It's as if somebody just flicked a switch that said "make it run on a PC" and that was that. There's not much to do as far as visual options go. So while it looks good, or very good - it doesn't look great. My GTX 970 isn't even the new hotness anymore, but Halo Wars 2 fails to take advantage of it. Although the game urged me update my GeForce drivers before playing nonetheless. The cut scenes... are odd. Sometimes they look expensive, other times it's as if they were meant to be in a different game with a sort of cartoon-ish vibe. I don't know. The voice acting... exists. I find it funny that various in-game voice clips when directing troops are word-for-word things that are said by your little soldiers in XCOM.

The controls are certainly baffling. It's clear that this was made with controller in mind. But I mean, an RTS... on PC. I'm going to use keyboard and mouse. And while that was cumbersome at first, I got used to how things worked pretty well. There were some real odd choices though. For instance to bring up the usual Save/Load/Exit menu, what do you think you'd press? Nope, not Escape. You hit F10. Duh. Oh, and you can remap stuff... except if you tell it to switch the menu to Escape you get an error that Esc is already mapped to another action. Fine. But it doesn't tell you which action. Nor does it let you use Esc for the menu while leaving that other action unmapped. It's weird stuff. And honestly, I just got lazy and left everything default and learned to live with it. It is strange, but not exactly bad.

The story was I don't know and I don't care. Y'know, Halo stuff. Space marines and outer space and whatever. I just cared about the missions, of which there were a mere dozen. With missions averaging 30-60 minutes each, I know this will be a major complaint. But not from me. I found the length of the main campaign to be just fine. And in fairness - being a neophyte and all - there were some missions that I had to replay before I got the hang of the strategy. My Xbox profile tells me that I put in sixteen hours on this game - which is a bit of an exaggeration since I know that a couple times I left the game running on a menu screen while I went and ate dinner or whatever. But still, this game last me about a week and a half of casual playing. And in fairness those twelve missions to mix things up. Some are scouting missions, others are defensive, others are attacks, some are timed... All in all, it felt rather Just Right.

To be clear, I am not some newly minted RTS convert. I still find it a generally intimidating genre. And yet, I've now found a game that has at least acted as a gateway into these games. I'm not totally afraid to try anymore. Not that I'll run right out and play every RTS I can get my hands on. But I'll certainly be considering some of the classics - especially stuff that's freely available like Starcraft (just announced free this week, thanks Blizzard!) or some of those old C&C games. You can call Halo Wars 2 "Baby's First RTS," and that's fine. I had a great time with it.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:05 am
by prfsnl_gmr
I am actually really interested in playing Portal 2, have never played it, and read every word in your post. I loved the original, and I may have to play through the rest of the series this year (including the Portal levels in RUSH and the Lego Dimensions Portal level pack).

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:18 am
by MrPopo

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:21 am
by noiseredux
the potato stuff was hilarious.

@prfsnl: I had no idea there was a Portal 2 pack for Dimensions. Wow. I gotta pick that up.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:27 am
by prfsnl_gmr
There's a Portal pack. I am not sure whether it relates more to the first game or the second. Regardless, it's awesome, and I'm getting it (along with the Doctor Who pack). son is way into Legos right now; so I picked up a Lego Dimensions starter pack "for him" this week. I am probably more excited about it than he is...but if I'm going to play the game, I'm going to need my little buddy to put together some blocks!

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:30 am
by noiseredux
it's a great game. My wife and I picked up the starter pack a couple of months ago when BB was running a sale on it. Think we payed $50? The base game is a lot of fun, and we've slowly been working on it sporadically.

I definitely have a short(ish) list of wanted add-ons for Dimensions, though I haven't picked any up yet as we haven't finished the base game yet.

I wish Supergirl wasn't so expensive, but her limited release was unfortunate.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:32 am
by alienjesus
prfsnl_gmr wrote:I am actually really interested in playing Portal 2, have never played it, and read every word in your post.

I fall into this camp too. I even own Portal 2 but I've only played the multiplayer co-op campaign - never the single player one

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:10 pm
by Xeogred
Sarge wrote:Oh, yeah, Operation C is better than a run-and-gun has any right to be on GB.

Speaking of Kirby's Dream Land 3, I enjoyed my time with it, but the wonky physics really diminished my overall enjoyment. I know it's a small thing, but sometimes, that's all it takes. I'm the same way with Mario games, honestly...

Mario tends to be top notch, but I still don't love the physics for the New line.

Exhuminator wrote:
Xeogred wrote:I have never played the Dream Land's before.

Okay I simply misunderstood your posts then. Disregard I'm retarded. :o

The Dream Land games are all great choices. Trip World is sort of similar in that it has really nice music and cute graphics, and is also very easy as Kirby games tend to be. If you haven't played through Gargoyle's Quest 1 & 2 on GB yet, I truly think you'd enjoy those.

Hmm I'm a little sketchy on those, since I'm that weird guy that doesn't like Demon's Crest. Mainly because of what Sarge is kind of saying above on Dream Land 3 haha, I just could never get a good feel for the way the gargoyle controlled, slowly jumped and hovered, and latched onto walls. The bosses were super hard too and the weird backtracking/world map kind of tired me out. That and it's awesome graphical style just made me want to replay Super Ghoul's n Ghosts.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:37 pm
by Flake
Super Mario Bros Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 (GBA/WiiU)
Super Mario Bros Advance 2: Yoshi's Island (GBA/WiiU)
Wario Land 4 (GBA/WiiU)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3)

Front Mission 3 (PS1/PSTV)

First a quote from myself, 18 days ago:

Past Flake wrote:Playing Front Mission 3. 24 hours into it. Hitting that 'when the hell does this game end?' phase.

At 24 hours I was getting weary of Front Mission 3. I finished it 46 hours. This game was entirely too long. Definitely it was bang for the buck (since I got it for like $5 off of PSN) but it stopped being fun a long time ago. I have spent the past week and a half practically 'hate playing' this game, just to finally finish it.

This game does a lot right but there was not enough variety or customization to support more than 30 hours of gameplay. There were points where the story dragged for no real reason (The entire time spent in China, for instance) and there were scenes that were turned into battles when they would have better served narrative pacing as simple cutscenes.

All in all, I mostly enjoyed my time with Front Mission 3 but I am really excited to do something else with my time now.

Last but not least, I would like to drop a link to a gamefaqs article that I used to determine how much further I had to go in this game. It is also the most 90's era gamefaqs article I have ever seen. The best part:

Sorry I haven’t been replying to mail or anything. Got grounded…

Seriously, it is awesome!