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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Tue May 09, 2017 9:48 pm

I played Fantasy Zone II so much as a kid, but I never did beat it. Made it to the last stage a few times. Like you said, you get screwed by enemies that just fly onto the screen out of nowhere with no time to react. And then when you die, you lose all your power-ups, so when you come back you're just a sitting duck. Not well balanced, but very pretty with a great OST.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Markies Tue May 09, 2017 11:15 pm

1. Phantasy Star II (GEN)
2. Guitar Hero (PS2)
3. Adventures of Lolo (NES)
4. Animal Crossing (GCN)
5. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES)
6. Beyond The Beyond (PS1)
7. R.B.I. Baseball (NES)
8. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (PS1)
9. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (GCN)
10. Project Gotham Racing (XBOX)
11. Ristar (GEN)
12. Conker's Bad Fur Day (N64)
13. Crash Bandicoot (PS1)
14. Pikmin (GCN)
15. Syberia (XBOX)

16. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht (PS2)

I beat Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wile zur Macht on the Sony Playstation 2 this evening!

I was a bit hesitant to pick up the original Xenosaga. It took me longer than normal to beat Xenogears. I got stuck at a point and had to start all over to finish the game. Plus, I had heard that the game is mostly cut scenes and that the story literally made no sense. However, I had somebody go on and on about the game, so I finally decided to jump in and pick the game up.

In a way, I was right, but not to the degree I thought I was.

The game IS mostly cut scenes, but that is not the whole game. There is no overworld to explore and you don't do much walking around outside considering you are in space. So, you are mostly going from dungeon to dungeon with some resting in your space ship in between.

You can get stuck in the game, but it is not completely detrimental. You won't be turning off the game in frustration because of it, but the game really does not have a good flow to it. Suddenly, you will be in a really hard part and it will be hard to escape. I think that is the major flaw is the game does not feel cohesive. It feels like one episode of a TV show after another. Also, everything about the game is incredibly long. From the cut scenes, to the battles and the dungeons, everything is so much longer than in most JRPG's.

However, the music in the game is utterly fantastic. The final boss music is one of the BEST final boss music I have heard in a good long while. All of the characters are very unique and I knew all about them by the time I ended the game. It does take a while, but the battles and exploration are really enjoyable.

Overall, Xenosaga Episode 1 is a solid game. If you like RPG's, then it is perfect for you. If you are on the fence about them, then stay away from it. This is a game made by people who love intense, long RPG's for people who like intense, long RPG's.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Tue May 09, 2017 11:21 pm

Not everyday you see someone playing Xenosaga. Glad you liked it Markies. I think the first has aged a bit poorly, but I still like it. 2 gets a lot of slack, but that's only because the game itself fails to explain its own battle system. If you get around to that one sometime and need help let me know, I've gone through it a few times and love it. It's still an obtuse battle system but I ended up having a lot of fun with it. The storytelling is even better in this one (focuses a lot on Jr and Albedo). It's also shorter, at about 20 hours long.

Everything would be perfected by Xenosaga III which is hands down my favorite PS2 RPG and the second half / second disc might be better than all of Xenogears in my book, it is mindblowing stuff if you're a sucker for insane philosophical mecha anime sci-fi craziness. It is the finale of finales with every main character having their own final boss. I have never seen a finale this epic since I beat it years ago.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Tue May 09, 2017 11:54 pm

I remember thinking the first game was awesome, better than almost anything I'd ever played. Then the sequel sucked, and the third game was just... solid, perhaps, good, but not mind-blowing.

I honestly have no idea how well its aged, though. I'd like to think my tastes wouldn't have shifted that much in the intervening years, but who knows?
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Markies Tue May 09, 2017 11:58 pm

After playing through the first game, I can say with certainty that I will be playing Episode II and Episode III. I have other games I wish to buy on the PS2, but those two games are definitely high on my list to play.

It's funny that II talks more about Jr, Albeedo and Momo. I was plaything through the game with a friend and we were just talking about how the first 3/4 of the game is about Shion and KOS-MOS. Then, suddenly, it is all about Jr, Momo and Albeedo. I'm glad to hear it is shorter as I put about 40 hours into Episode 1, which isn't that bad for a JRPG.

I have heard that Episode III is the best one. Apparently, it's also the most expensive. But, I heard the creator wanted to do 3 more games that would go into the PS3, but Namco put a stop to it, so he crammed everything he could into Episode III, so it is just filled to the brim with stuff!

I am really looking forward to Episode II and Episode III! They are both now on my radar whenever I go out game shopping.

For aging, it is definitely a PS2 era JRPG. There is no denying that. The characters mouths don't even come close to saying the words on screen. Also, the battle system is a bit old in that regard. But, for a PS2 JRPG, it is really good. It's not so obtuse that it would be impossible to play nowadays, but it is by no means a 'modern' game.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Wed May 10, 2017 2:24 am

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25. Binary Domain | 360 | cover shooter | 2012 | 9h | 7/10

Binary Domain is a futuristic tactical cover shooter. It tries to be different by making the way you treat your squadmates matter; how you treat them is how they'll treat you (in theory anyway). Game design is mostly solid, but has some issues. The weapons are generic, and the combat system is rather boilerplate. The battles are let down by repetitive sequences that last too long against very bland redundant robots. (Yes you can shoot the robots' heads or legs off to slow them down, that's cool about once.) There are occasional disengenous action sequences that make no sense in a cover shooter. Thankfully the boss battles are all super great, and make up for the potboiler shooting slogs. When you're not blasting tons of robots, the plot manages to keep things interesting. There's excellent cutscenes and great voice acting, with a crazy story having enough logic holes to make Hideo Kojima jealous. Character models look great in the cutscenes, but the environments remain sterile and vapid throughout the experience. There are some annoying AI issues with your friendly squad-mates, but you'll get around it. Some people think Binary Domain is better than Vanquish, but that's just crazy talk. While the cutscenes and plot beat Vanquish's, the moment-to-moment gameplay doesn't even remotely compare. Also Binary Domain is a total cakewalk on normal difficulty, whereas Vanquish puts up a fight. Ill conceived comparisons aside; if you enjoy sci-fi and cover shooters, you could do a lot worse than Binary Domain. I know I sound negative towards this game, but that's only to counter balance the Pollyannas who laud it beyond what it actually is. Binary Domain is not an amazing hidden gem nor Vanquish killer. Rather this is a decent cover shooter with some considerable issues, made enjoyable by an above average plot and cool cutscenes.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Wed May 10, 2017 4:37 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Good reviews.

Puyo Puyo games = impossible.


retrosportsgamer wrote:That Puyo Puyo 2 is BRUTAL. Well done


Xeogred wrote:Even Dr Robotnick in Mean Bean Machine is crazy.


Haha, I'm glad it's not just me sucking at them :lol:

I still have Puyo Pop Fever on Gamecube to play, and Puyo Puyo Tetris is in the post on it's way to me. My understanding is both of those are much more reasonable in challenge though. I guess we'll see!

BogusMeatFactory wrote:I loved mystical ninja starring goemon. Ebisumaru's crawl animation is priceless.


It's just a really fun game. It's certainly flawed, but most of the time when you play it just doesn't feel like those flaws matter because you're having such a good time. The music definitely helped me overlook them too. I love this tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69G5IiM6BgI

Exhuminator wrote:I played Fantasy Zone II so much as a kid, but I never did beat it. Made it to the last stage a few times. Like you said, you get screwed by enemies that just fly onto the screen out of nowhere with no time to react. And then when you die, you lose all your power-ups, so when you come back you're just a sitting duck. Not well balanced, but very pretty with a great OST.


Yeah, that stage was horrible. I just made a beeline for the shop, grabbed the 7 shot and some of the screen clearing bombs, and did my very best to kill stuff with them before they hit me. It only worked sometimes. Then to rub salt into the wound, the boss of that level made mincemeat out of me for quite some time too. And then to make things worse again, the next stage was the boss rush, and I had to beat the fucker again. The final boss was easy in comparison.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Wed May 10, 2017 7:41 pm

Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 42

January (10 Games Beaten)
1. Persona 4 Arena - Playstation 3 - January 1
2. Chrono Trigger - SNES - January 7
3. Ys: The Vanished Omens - Master System - January 8
4. MUSHA - Genesis - January 10
5. Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below - PlayStation 4 - January 11
6. Ys I - TurboGrafx-CD - January 13
7. Ys II - TurboGrafx-CD - January 14
8. Dragon Quest Builders - PlayStation 4 - January 23
9. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - PlayStation 4 - January 26
10. School Girl/Zombie Hunter - PlayStation 4 - January 29


February (12 Games Beaten)
11. Fire Emblem Heroes - Android - February 3
12. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD - Wii U - February 5
13. Dante's Inferno - PlayStation 3 - February 7
14. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - DS - February 11
15. Persona 4: Dancing All Night - Vita - February 12
16. Sniper Elite 4 - PlayStation 4 - February 17
17. Pony Quest - NES - February 19
18. Halo Wars 2 - Xbox One - February 22
19. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions - PlayStation Portable - February 24
20. Hotline Miami - PlayStation 4 - February 26
21. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light - Famicom - February 27
22. Bad Dudes - NES - February 28


March (6 Games Beaten)
23. Root Letter - PlayStation 4 - March 2
24. Vroom in the Night Sky - Switch - March 10
25. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch - March 17
26. Super Bomberman R - Switch - March 18
27. Super Mario Run - Android - March 24
28. I Am Setsuna - Switch - March 24


April (9 Games Beaten)
29. Mass Effect: Andromeda - PlayStation 4 - April 1
30. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army - PlayStation 4 - April 2
31. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 - PlayStation 4 - April 2
32. New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers - Switch - April 3
33. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 3 - PlayStation 4 - April 4
34. Persona 5 - PlayStation 4 - April 17
35. Alienation - PlayStation 4 - April 18
36. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - PlayStation 4 - April 23
37. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair - PlayStation 4 - April 29


May (5 Games Beaten)
38. Puyo Puyo Tetris - Switch - May 4
39. Fire Emblem Gaiden - Famicom - May 6
40. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Switch - May 6
41. Outlast II - PlayStation 4 - May 7
42. Dishonored - PlayStation 4 - May 10


42. Dishonored - PlayStation 4 - May 10

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Dishonored is a game that I've had people pestering me to play for several years, and they'd swear up and down that I'd love it, but then they'd mention stealth, and I was all "Nope, no thanks." THEY DIDN'T MENTION THAT I COULD SPAWN KILLER RATS TO LITERALLY EAT MY ENEMIES. THAT SHIT'S METAL AS FUCK. I'd have been immediately sold if they'd just mentioned that to me.

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So in Dishonored, you play as Corvo, the empress's body guard who gets sent on a mission to surrounding cities to enlist aid in dealing with the Rat Plague. You get back from your mission with nothing but bad news, and immediately the empress gets killed. Well shit. Then it turns out there's a conspiracy to use you as a scapegoat in the coup, so you get arrested for her murder. Well double shit. Anyway, then some resistance folks help you break out of prison, and you go on this quest to undermine the conspiracy, rescue the princess, and have her put on the throne as the rightful empress. If you want to be a cool dude, you can use non-lethal methods to subdue your enemies and even your assassination targets. Or you could be a giant dick like me and literally massacre everything with a pulse. The ending I got was pretty dark, and everyone hated me, but I had an impressive trail of bodies in my wake.

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So, in terms of gameplay, let's use an analogy to describe it. Imagine if the Thief reboot and Assassin's Creed had a baby except leave out the convoluted bullshit storyline from Assassin's Creed, and leave out the fact that Thief was completely devoid of anything remotely entertaining. That's pretty much Dishonored. You steal shit to get money, you kill as many or as few people as you want, and while it's generally advised you be stealthy, you totally can just sprint in and start shooting people in the dick with a pistol if you really want to. You get a decent array of secondary weapons in addition to your sword - a gun with regular and explosive bullets, a crossbow with regular and sleep darts, grenades, mines, and a small but useful array of magic powers. LIKE SUMMON A FUCKING HORDE OF FLESH EATING RATS, HOW BADASS IS THAT???

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If you've not been able to tell yet, I absolutely adored the gameplay in Dishonored. The story was quite good as well. Not a literary masterpiece or anything, but it definitely got me invested in the game and motivated me to take brutal and merciless revenge on my enemies. The one element that was an EXTREME disappoint to me, however, was the voice acting. It was terrible. It wasn't quite early 90s FMV level of terrible acting, but it was pretty damn bad. It reminded me of some of the high school plays I've seen in my life. I was displeased.

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One design choice that I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated was how open ended the game was within the levels. Yeah, within each mission, you're restricted to a certain area, but you have almost complete freedom within that area. Want to barge in the front door and fuck shit up? Go for it. Want to sneak in the front by sticking to the shadows? Do your ninja shit. Want to jump from rooftop to rooftop to get in? Fly and be free, brother. Want to use tunnels and sewers to get there? Do it. There are multiple ways to get to every objective, and there are a handful of optional objectives and side quests to complete in the game should you choose to do so. It gave a lot of agency to the player, and that's something I definitely appreciated.

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Dishonored is not a perfect game, but it's damn close. The story, while not breathtaking, was quite good and well delivered, even if the voice acting was shit. The visuals, especially in this definitive edition, are good with a nice comic-ish feel akin to the aesthetics in Borderlands. The gameplay is absolutely rock solid, though, and that's where the game absolutely shines. Player choice is put in the front seat as far as how you go about completing your objectives, and you can be as brutal or merciful as you want to be. Dishonored is available on a wide range of both 7th and 8th gen platforms, so whatever you system of choice is, make sure you play this game.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Wed May 10, 2017 7:47 pm

Note - I meant the 2014 reboot of Thief, not the original games that didn't suck giant cocks.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Wed May 10, 2017 8:59 pm

1. Chrono Trigger (SNES)
2. Gyromite (NES)
3. Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- (Steam)
4. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Famicom)
5. Radical Dreamers (SNES)
6. Video Games 1 (TI-99/4A)
7. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (Famicom)
8. Exile (TurboGrafx CD)
9. Exile: Wicked Phenomenon (TurboGrafx CD)
10. Xak (PC Engine CD, Xak I・II)
11. Xak II (PC Engine CD, Xak I・II)
12. Neutopia (TurboGrafx-16)
13. Captain Silver (Sega Master System)
14. Märchen Veil (Famicom Disk System)
15. Vanguard (Atari 2600)
16. Kangaroo (Atari 2600)
17. Front Line (Atari 2600)
18. Mario Bros. (Atari 2600)
19. Harmonia (Steam)
20. Donkey Kong (Atari 2600)
21. Jungle Hunt (Atari 2600)
22. Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes (TurboGrafx CD)
23. Gorf (Atari 2600)
24. Neutopia II (TurboGrafx-16)
25. Dungeon Magic (PlayStation 2, Taito Legends 2)
26. The Lost Vikings (SNES)
27. Blue's Journey (Wii Virtual Console)
28. Wizard Fire (Wii, Data East Arcade Classics)
29. Super Mario Run (Android)
30. Dragon Warrior II (NES)
31. Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure (GOG.com)
32. Witch & Hero (Nintendo eShop)
33. Phoenix (Atari 2600)
34. Emerald Dragon (Super Famicom)
35. Sky Skipper (Atari 2600)
36. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
37. Cadash (TurboGrafx-16)
38. Cadash (Genesis)
39. Popeye (Atari 2600)
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"Nintendo" and "licensed game" don't typically go together. Yet here we have Shigeru Miyamoto's platformer Popeye, originally released in the arcades in 1983. Like Sky Skipper, this one was published by Parker Bros. instead of Coleco or Atari themselves.

At first glance Popeye appears similar to a Donkey Kong title. And while they're certainly a lot alike - both have a single-screen "scaffolding" setting with slightly different "rules" per stage - Popeye's gameplay is wholly unique and much trickier to master.

It works like this. Olive Oyl continuously paces back and forth at the top of each level, occasionally tossing down objects (distinct in the arcade, amorphous blobs on Atari) to be collected. Popeye has to grab them all up to progress to the next stage. All the while he's chased by a relentless Bluto. Popeye can't jump, which takes some getting used to. Bluto, on the other hand, can so standing directly above him is a risky proposition. Projectiles are occasionally fired by Bluto but these can be stopped in mid-air by Popeye's punch attack. There are also other random projectiles that occasionally fire from the edges of the screen (again, these are actual things in the arcade, but just rectangles on Atari). A punch won't take down Bluto, unless Popeye is powered-up with the can of spinach that appears once per level. A spinach punch knocks Bluto out of commision for a few seconds, and he respawns at the bottom of the screen.

One final thing: objects thrown by Olive Oyl cannot rest at the screen's bottom indefinitely. They'll eventually expire, which will cause Popeye to lose one life.

It's a tricky, crafty game that requires a bit of finesse to get through. There's no way to storm through a level, as Popeye has to wait for Olive Oyl to finish chucking shit. Basically, success is granted after one figures out how Bluto's movement and AI works, as Popeye needs to keep him away from himself and the collectibles. I found that the old "run away and quickly change directions" trick brings success a good amount of the time.
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Now, there is some slight variation in stage mechanics. The first level allows Popeye to loop across the screen - but only at the upper deck of scaffolding. In stage two there are no stairs leading back up if he heads to the bottom platform - instead he must jump on a trampoline that sends him all the way up to the top. The screen also loops, at once specific area near the top. And in the third and final (lol) stage, there's a "slippery" area and several tiny pitfalls.

There's music throughout the game, rare for an Atari title, including the classic Popeye theme. Much appreciated. The graphics on the other hand... ouch. I don't like to pick on Atari visuals, but someone dropped the ball here. As mentioned, all the objects are completely ambiguous. Even worse is the fact that every stage background is stark black, with heavy green or brown platforms. The whole game looks like it takes place during a foggy night. There's absolutely no way to tell that the second stage is supposed to be a cityscape and third is supposed to be a pirate ship.

Despite being rough around the edges, Popeye is pretty damn fun. I appreciate the challenge and tactical savviness required. Ranking the difficulty here, I'd say this is harder than the NES port and easier than the one of C64 (which I have owned for years but have never passed stage three). Among Atari platformers it serves as a worthy entry, so check it out.

Oh, and although there are bunches of different licensed Popeye games, this particular one by Nintendo did receive a sequel on Famicom. Called Popeye no Eigo Asobi it's an edutainment title featuring English vocabulary words. Awesome.
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