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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Tue May 09, 2017 10:25 am

dunpeal2064 wrote:I haven't played Act Raiser 2 either :lol: I figured picking hard games I've never played would be a good challenge. May have set the bar a bit high from the sound of it.

I've not put much time into ActRaiser 2 (the lack of the god sim parts turned me off), but Shattered Soldier is the hardest Contra IMO. I think Hard Corps USA is fairer, and that's saying a lot. You're in for a good time.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ExedExes Tue May 09, 2017 11:06 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Unfortunately, I lack a copy of the PAL-only Xbox Taito Legends 2, which contains an emulated version of the arcade original.

It's also on the PC version that was released in the US, but again, you're dealing with the nastiest DRM out there too. The weapon is not functioning! Stick with emulation.

Exhuminator wrote:Glad you enjoyed it. Contra 3 is my favorite Contra. It seems to be a bit underappreciated around these parts from what I've seen.

Yes. It needs more love, and needs to be only played on Hard difficulty.

Avoid the GBA "remix" if you can. It still commands a decent price, but I got my copy for a little cheaper, played through it once, and traded it in at the local game store for a decent amount. It replaces the overhead stages with 2 levels from Hard Corps, but you can only carry one weapon at a time. That's a dealbreaker.

Oh, and thanks for telling me how terrible Yoshi's Island DS is. I have it and I really want to enjoy it once I get around to it.
Xeogred wrote:The obvious answer is that it's time for the Dreamcast 2.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Tue May 09, 2017 11:18 am

I haven't played any post-16-bit Contra games, but my short list is:

Contra Spirits/Hard Corps
Contra 3



Super Contra (arcade)
Contra (arcade)

I think the 4 console Contra titles are all very close to each other in quality. Not much difference between the #1 and #4 spots.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Tue May 09, 2017 1:09 pm

Oh, yeah, time to weigh in on some Contra. Of the ones I've played...

Contra (NES)
Super C (NES)
Contra 4 (DS)
Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES)
Hard Corps: Uprising (360)
Neo Contra (PS2) (no, seriously!)
Operation C (GB)
Contra: Hard Corps (GEN)
Contra: ReBirth (Wii)
Contra: Shattered Soldier (PS2)
Super C (ARC)
Contra (ARC)
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Tue May 09, 2017 1:27 pm

alienjesus wrote:
BoneSnapDeez wrote:There isn't much out there as far as guides go.

There isn't a ton of dialogue, thankfully. The only menus that present themselves are at inns and shops. Always stay at the inns, buy every item you can (they are used automatically), and just say "yes" to all weapons and armor at the armory. You'll only be allowed to buy those your character is allowed to equip and they're equipped automatically.

In other words, you shouldn't run into any logistical issues if you don't know Japanese, but you will miss out on the story.

Sounds simple enough. Maybe I'll beat some PC Engine games soon. Been meaning to try and finish Valis 4, Parasol Stars and Star Parodier soon too.

You know, I goofed a bit. I got to thinking about things and there are a couple of hints you would miss if you played in Japanese. Here's my general advice, plus said hints:
- Grind a decent amount in the first cave. The pigs are easy XP. You have no chance against the first boss if you're not level 5+. Once you hit the second cave (the water cave) grind a bunch (trolls are easy bait). You can get enough XP to make this the final grind spot.
- Buy all compatible weapons each time you visit a new armory. The final one is not in a town, but inside Castle Cadash. Make sure you find it.
- Make sure you buy the silver key when it becomes available. The gold key is in Castle Cadash.
- Once you defeat the Kraken make sure you speak to the girl you rescued to get the mermaid scale. The game is possible to complete if you skip this but very hard.
- This is the most crucial part you'd miss with no Japanese knowledge. In the "death" world you need to find a town located deep within. You'll be given a charm that will allow to you communicate with a spirit. Return to the surface and visit a grave. You're given an item that will allow you to communicate with animals. Return to the depths and talk to a dog who reveals you can walk through a wall to the right to fight a boss.

That should cover it!
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Tue May 09, 2017 5:36 pm

Awesome. I'm sure I'll lose that post when I most want it though :lol:

Games Beaten:
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
13. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja SNES
14. Alisia Dragoon Mega Drive
15. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Mega Drive
16. Dynamite Headdy Mega Drive
17. Runbow Wii U eShop
18. The Mystical Ninja starring Goemon N64 *NEW*
19. 3D Puyo Puyo 2 3DS *NEW*
20. Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa 3DS *NEW*

1. Bare Knuckle III Mega Drive
2. Die Hard Arcade Saturn
3. The World of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Mega Drive

The Mystical Ninja starring Goemon

So I recently played through The Legend of the Mystical Ninja for our Together Retro game in April, which I chose. I wasn't done with just one game though - I decided to play through the next western release whilst I was at it, and sat down to play The Mystical Ninja starring Goemon for Nintendo 64.


The Mystical Ninja starring Goemon....stars Goemon - and his friends Ebisumaru, Yae and Sasuke as they explore Japan in order to save it from the evil 'Peach Mountain Shoguns' who are trying to turn the whole country into a stage. They seem to do so in a bunch of stupid ways, like shooting a laser to turn Japanese castles into European ones, and hypnosing dragons to steal children who are good at dancing. In honesty, the story is stupendously silly and a little incoherent, but it's a lot of fun. The translation alternates between surprisingly respectful of Japanese culture and traditions (there's a surprising lack of 'pizza' instead of riceballs or the likes, and lots of references to Japanese culture were kept, aswell as Japanese names like Goemon and Ebisumaru themselves!) and the typical shoddy translation work of the era, but it's never awful and it's goofiness fits the game perfectly.


Being the series first entry into the 3D realm, they've mixed things up from the Super Famicom games. The game is a 3D adventure game, kind of like Zelda, but with more platforming, kinda like Donkey Kong 64 or any other Rareware platformer on the system. The game is more Zelda that platformer in gameplay though - you explore open fields (which are significantly smaller than areas in Ocarina of Time) fighting enemies with your weapons, sometimes solving puzzles, and eventually exploring dungeons where you can find keys to open doors, a dungeon map (in the form of Mr. Elle E. Phant, a cuddly toy of some sort) and another item (Mr. Arrow) who shows you where the boss room is. You can also find lucky cats to expand your health - 4 lucky cats = 1 heart, 1 golden lucky cat = a full heart. It's fairly shameless 'inspiration' but it works. The game still has a life system left over from previous entries, but I didn't die once during the game so it's pointless. Even falling into a bottomless pit just respawns you minus some health, Zelda style.


You play as 5 characters throughout the game. 4 of these characters (Goemon, Ebisumaru, Sasuke and Yae) play similarly, but they all have special abilities exclusive to them, some of which are essential, and some optional. Goemon can use a chain pipe as a hookshot of sorts, throw coins and throw flaming coins, as well as go Super Saiyan to push heavy blocks. Ebisumaru has an optional hammer that guarantees health drops, a camera that makes ghosts and invisible objects be revealed and tangible, and can shrink to tiny size. Sasuke can throw bombs to blow open cracked walls and doors, as well as throw icy shurikens to cool hot platforms and freeze enemies and right near the end of the game can get a jetpack to make bigger jumps with. Yae has an optional bazooka she can shoot homing shots with, a flute that can call a dragon to warp to previous locations, and can turn into a mermaid to swim under water. Otherwise the characters are similar, but there are very minor differences in weapon range, running speed etc. They're not big enough to be influential, but they lend each character a unique feel, as do their quirky animations. The abilities are unlocked as you progress, but honestly they're a bit underutilised - some are barely used once or twice throughout the game, and some come so late and have so little use that it feels wasted.


There's also a 5th character - Impact, the giant robot. A few boss fights in the game have you piloting the giant robot Impact. They even have an anime style boarding sequence with Impact getting his very own theme song (DASH-DASH-DASH!). You then skate the countryside of Japan laying waste to hundreds of innocent peoples homes or whole batallions of the enemy army in order to power up ahead of a first person giant robot battle where you can punch, shoot and laser your way to victory. You'll want a manual or guide for these bits, as the best moves have very obscure commands that you won't easily figure out through guess work (Super Punch = C Up, C Down, C UP, A. Super Laser = wait for it to charge, then C Up, C right, C down, C left, C Up, Z). Impact sections are fun, but due to the games short length, they also feel underutilised, as he appears once early on, and then again right near the end for the last 3 bosses.


So, I've mentioned a few times that the game feels a little too short to utilise all of its cool powers and fun elements, and that is one of it's biggest faults. It's unfortunately not the only one though. For one, the game is incredibly easy. Not only did I not die, I struggle to think of a time where I was close to doing so. The in game camera is bad, even by 5th generation gaming standards - it has a nasty habit of moving as you line up for a jump, or even worse, mid-jump, causing you to a careen into a pit. The camera controls are bizarrely mapped to holding R + pressing one of the C buttons, with the C buttons normally doing things like activating magic, swapping weapons and switching characters. I would say these would have been better off mapped to holding R, as they are used much less frequently - this is how games like DK64 and Banjo Kazooie did it too! Luckily, whilst annoying, none of these issues really dampen the fun you'll be having, but they do stop this gaming hitting the heights it could have, as it's a game with a lot of promise.


Visually, Goemon is respectable for N64, but nothing special. The overworlds are a bit basic, but the dungeons are normally cool with some fun setpieces. Characters look decent enough - a bit blocky, but it fits the look of the series so it's no big deal. The music of the game is pretty awesome though, and every track was a joy to listen to. They're all short, but there's a ton of music in the game, including a handful of fully voiced tracks, which actually have decent quality for a cartridge game! The music is absolutely one of the best things about the game.


The Mystical Ninja starring Goemon is a bit short, and a bit easy, and a bit flawed in some ways, but it is a very quirky, very accessible, and very very fun. I enjoyed every minute of my journey through Japan, and it ust makes me sad that so few Goemon games are available to us in the west. Pick it up and play it, because although it's not perfect, it's a really good time, and I adored it despite it's shortcomings.


3D Puyo Puyo 2


This was played as part of the Sega 3D Classics Collection on 3DS, which features a bunch of classic Arcade and Mega Drive games with 3D graphics and extra features.

This is actually a screenshot of Puyo Puyo 1, but I figured some of you might need context for that 'fish man' thing and screenshots aren't easy to find!

I have previously beaten Puyo Puyo Tsuu on Super Famicom in the form of Super Puyo Puyo Tsuu Remix, and if there's one defining trait I can say of that playthrough, it is that it was incredibly, incredibly infuriating. The AI brutalised me in the worst possible ways, and turned me into an angry angry wretch of a man, frothing at the mouth and screaming at my television. "FUCK YOU, YOU STUPID FISH MAN! FUCK YOU AND YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR FUCKING PUYOS YOU FUCKING FUCK!". Repeat for 5 hours or so.

After such a delightful experience, I decided to play the game again, because I hadn't beaten it on 3DS yet. Had it got any easier? Had I got any better? Was I just misremembering things!?

Nope. I was not.


Puyo Puyo 2 left me just a bruised and bloody in 3D as it did in 2D, only this time I had the advantage of being able to suspend the game when it made me to mad. Last time I finished having used 99 continues. This time, I finished having used the exact same number - which I think lend credence to my theory that the game stops counting once you max out the 2 digit display. I suspect I used many, many more. You know, this game has an extra boss if you clear normal without continuing? What a funny joke :lol:


Here's the thing - I'm no wonder at Puyo Puyo, but I also don't consider myself that bad at it. I beat Puyo Puyo CD without too much despair, and the same goes for Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. Kirby's Ghost Trap was actually fairly comfortable. I can reliably set up combos of 3 or 4, sometimes I can set up longer, and I'm not too slow at it either. Puyo Puyo 2 cares not for your adequacy though. It demands PERFECTION. You need to be a Puyo savant!

At least on Normal.


After suffering through normal (3/5 star difficulty, I tried 1 star to see how that was, and beat it in 20 minutes or so without losing once. Maybe I should try 2 star next time to see if that's more my speed?

Puyo Puyo is fun, but trying to beat this one often isn't. I know this is regarded as one of the best in the series by many, and mechanically I can see why, but play it in multiplayer unless you're a Puyo Pro. Us Puyo Plebians will be here sulking at how unfair this feels instead :lol:

P.S. Would you believe how hard it is to find good screenshots of this game online?!

Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa


Speaking of hard and sometimes unfair games that are on the Sega 3D Classics collection - Fantasy Zone 2 is the sequel to the arcade and SMS classic, and was originally released for the Master System. This version is a 3DS port of that Master System game with 3D added, and isn't to be confused with the almost identically named 3DS port of the Arcade remake made for the PS2 collection which also featured ports of the Arcade original and Master System sequel. How anyone could get confused is beyond me!


Fantasy Zone takes the basics of the first game and expands on them with a 'more is more' approach to game design. You liked flying around freely left or right shooting bases to reveal the boss? Now each stage has 3 to 5 dimensions with bases in that you can warp between with warp zones hidden in certain bases! You liked buying weapons at the shop to kit out your ship? Well now there are more shops, and secret shops, and more weapons and bombs and engines and even health power ups! You liked big screen filling bosses that were really impressive on an 8 bit machine? Well wait to see what we have awaiting you! Multi-segmented, moving, screen filling bosses! Bosses that fill the screen with projectiles! You liked how Fantasy Zone was fun but could sometimes feel a bit cheap or unfair with enemies that flew into you super fast from offscreen with basically no time to react? Well now those guys are EVERYWHERE!


So obviously, the difficulty here is an issue, lets get that negative out of the way first. It's apparent from the outset, with way more enmies on screen, most of whom shoot at you (which often didn't happen til later in the first game), and many of whom move in awkward patterns, lock onto your position, or move incredibly fast. The latter 2 types become ominpresent towards the end of the game, with stage 7 consisting of only enemies like that. Frankly, it takes luck to pass that stage, and perhaps some prior knowledge of secret shop locations so you can buy a barrier and health power up. And yes, those are a thing, but I only found one of each in my playthrough, so I was unfortunately lacking in them. The health power up was also insufficient - I could take 2 enemy bullets, but a head-on collision was still a guaranteed 1 hit kill. This is compounded by the stage 7 boss which shoots so many bullets at such as speed, and has such an awkward hit box to hit, that he cost me almost every run where I made it as far as him, minus 2 - 1 where I died on the final boss, and 1 where I beat it.


It's also not helped by the fact that if the infinite ammo trick is in this one, I don't know how to do it. Finally, the difficulty is made so much worse by the fact that Opa-Opa is a LOT slower than last time - even after buying the Big Wings (the only speed upgrade you needed in the first game, the rest were overkill) you're slower than your default speed in Fantasy Zone 1. This means easier death til you hit a shop, and more expensive engines needing to be purchased once you're there, making money more precious, and giving you less to spend on additional lives.


The expanded weapon set is cool though. In addition to the laser, wide beam and 7 shot from the last game, they've added a 3 way shot (like a cheaper but weaker 7 shot), a big shot (does more damage, otherwise pretty much the same) and the fire shot, a super slow to fire, but incredibly damaging projectile that can 1 hit kill most bosses. Still doesn't help with stage 7 though :evil: . Added bombs are less exciting, with a fire bomb that shoots forward, a power bomb that is a screen clearing flash, and the big bomb and twin big bombs - permanent, non-time limited upgrades to your basic bomb attack. Also, due to how they move, most bosses are hard to hit with the crazy powerful Heavy Bombs this time, so the Fire Shot basically replace it's worth.


Graphically, the game is a stunning game for the system, really showing off what it could do. Every stage is super bright and colourful, and this time it feels like it has more contrast than the first game, so everything really pops out. I mean, they also pop out because it's in 3D in this port, but that's not the point. The audio isn't as good though - don't get me wrong, it's still a super bouncy fun soundtrack, and it fits the game perfectly, but I just found it notably less memorable than the first game.

Lastly, the ending is super weird, with far more text than I'd have expected from an 8-bit cute-em-up, and a fairly sombre story. That's like the first game though, so I enjoy the dichotomy.

You'll be seeing that a lot, but you probably shouldn't be seeing it on the first boss like this guy!

Fantasy Zone 2 is a fun, impressive game for the Master System, but it suffers a lot compared to the first because of just how unfair it feels, and how it makes you just feel underequipped for the tasks at hand. Most (but not all) of the time in the first game, if I died I felt it was on me. In this game, I often felt like I'd been cheated, especially on the utterly ludicrous stage 7. Fuck that stage. That said, it is still a fun time for a quick play, but I'd absolutely recommend the aforementioned Arcade style remake that's also available on the same collection as the superior game. That one is probably the best in the entire series, and expands on this one in some very meaningful ways. It's also, way fairer, whilst still being plenty challenging. Give this one a go sometimes, but just be prepared for some frustration
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Tue May 09, 2017 8:29 pm

Good reviews.

Puyo Puyo games = impossible.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BogusMeatFactory Tue May 09, 2017 8:34 pm

I loved mystical ninja starring goemon. Ebisumaru's crawl animation is priceless.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by retrosportsgamer Tue May 09, 2017 8:38 pm

That Puyo Puyo 2 is BRUTAL. Well done
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Tue May 09, 2017 9:26 pm

Even Dr Robotnick in Mean Bean Machine is crazy.

Speaking of Contra, thinking of hitting up the NES game soon. Always been a casual fan of the few I've played, but I'm actually not sure which ones I've beaten. If any. lol
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