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Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:04 am
by PresidentLeever
Juan Aguacate wrote:Comix Zone - PS3

I agree about the forced damage part, but you can use a GG code to remove this.

The music's good for an american Sega game, particularly if you like 90s alternative rock/grunge. Most of the rhythm guitar could've been better though.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:47 am
by marurun
Japanese companies are confusing about their game series and lineages. I mentioned Taito's Bubble Bobble earlier. That series is a mess in terms of what is a sequel to what and in what order. Retronauts had an episode on it recently. I knew it was messed up, but not that messed up. At least it's not as bad as Wonder Boy/Monster World.

Never trust a Japanese company to know anything about their own games.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:43 am
by PartridgeSenpai
Partridge Senpai's 2017 Beaten Games:

1. Tales of Hearts R (Vita)
2. UPPERS (Vita)
3. Volume (Vita)

4. Overlord: Minions (DS)

This is about as close as you're going to get to a Pikmin game on DS. You use the stylus Phantom Hourglass-style to guide around one to four minions through maps to solve puzzles and fight enemies. It's not the prettiest game ever, and the music is really forgettable, but the puzzle design is actually really good, and some of the enemy encounters (especially later in the game) really require some forward planning before just rushing in. I'd say it's a very good kids strategy/puzzle game as to how forgiving the difficulty is if it weren't for the quite dark Overlord-brand humor.

Verdict: Recommended. If you're looking for a DS game that's a bit different and not too hard, but still with some extra side stuff to look for and some silly minion dialogue occasionally, this is a great fit. I know a good portion of y'all have kids or those who aren't so great at games, and I think someone with only a light knowledge of games could have a good time with this. I enjoyed my time with it, and it made me remember how much I like Overlord :)

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:05 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
TSTR wrote:My main thing is that homeboy said that Persona wasn't connected to SMT or something. Sure, it's a spinoff. But the games literally have SMT on the fucking cover art.

Isn't the overall series called Megami Tensei, which is then divided into further subseries?

For instance...
Megami Tensei
Shin Megami Tensei
Devil Summoner
Digital Devil Saga
Majin Tensei
Last Bible
and maybe some more I don't know about....?

I know little of this series, as I'm primarily only a fan of the older titles and Last Bible games.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:09 pm
by marurun
BoneSnapDeez wrote:Isn't the overall series called Megami Tensei, which is then divided into further subseries.

It probably depends on which day or year you ask someone on their marketing staff. I doubt they have any of this written in stone. They will probably change it all up after the fact to suit their marketing needs without warning.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 1:17 pm
From what I understand, Bone's got it right. HG101 has a pretty good breakdown of this stuff:

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:26 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
Where do you think I copy & pasted from? 8)

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:29 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
A post!

1. Chrono Trigger (SNES)
One of our esteemed members here decided to play Chrono Trigger for the first time. As a longtime fan, I thought it would be amusing to tag along - so to speak - and play it myself for, uh, the 51st time perhaps. Yes, this is one of my favorite games ever. It's tough to talk about without gushing. I'll try.

What is Chrono Trigger? It's a turn-based JRPG released by Square late into the SNES lifespan (1995). The game was created by a literal "dream team" of designers, artists, and composers. It's also a de facto Final Fantasy game, really, featuring the same Active Time battle system created for Final Fantasy IV (they both ended up on a compilation together). Chrono Trigger also feels like a "sister" game to Final Fantasy VI; I can't think of one without thinking of the other. But while Final Fantasy VI is undeniably phenomenal it's also a complete mess - uneven and exploitable. Chrono Trigger, released a year later, has been heavily streamlined and refined. Both games share similar story arcs, such as a focused main quest that becomes meandering and nonlinear following a cataclysmic event.
As the title indicates, time travel is the name of the game here. The protagonist, Crono (no h), awakes one morning in 1000 A.D. and heads to a local fair. There be bumps (literally) into a young princess. After some exploration they decide to investigate the latest invention created by Crono's "nerdy" friend Lucca. After a small technological hiccup, Crono and princess Marle are sent 400 years back in time, which in turn sparks a chain reaction of events and Crono and co. soon come to realize (wait for it) that they need to take action in order to save the world from certain doom.

While Final Fantasy VI featured a huge (too huge?) cast, Chrono Trigger trims it down to seven. In addition to Crono and his two main ladiez there's also futuristic robot (Robo), an aggressive prehistoric cavewoman (Ayla), a medieval humanoid frog (named Frog, they got lazy here), and an optional villain-turned-antihero. The game displays brilliant and delicate balance here, as all characters are not just distinct in terms of dialogue and personality but also display varying worthwhile skills on the field of combat. There's no one worth ignoring and it's worthwhile to continually swap out certain heroes in favor of others (max party size is three). Dialogue and the accompanying translation job are top-notch. Each member of this posse has a distinct "voice" and virtually every NPC begs to be conversed with. The game oscillates between serious, poignant, and humorous moments skillfully - without a single hint of "funny" Working Designs-style writing creeping in.
The pacing and "flow" of Chrono Trigger is absolutely sublime. It's like the developers purposely set forth to cut out all of the tedious bullshit that plagued so many other JRPG greats. First and foremost: zero random battles. Rather, battles are scripted. That is, the same battles occur at the same locations, and with some clever maneuvering the lion's share can be avoided. Now, assuming one isn't purposefully avoiding every skirmish in sight, there is never any need to level-grind. (That said, a bit of grinding for tech points and cash can't hurt).

The combat system is just as slick as the game proper. Battles are initiated immediately upon enemy contact and weapons are drawn. Friends and foes alike are fully animated. While the game is theoretically easy enough to warrant some occasional A-button mashing, the true fun comes from playing with techs and spells. While each individual character has their own spells and MP cache, there also exists double and triple techs performed by two or three heroes simultaneously. Such fancy techs are gained through leveling or discovering well-hidden items. Teamwork cannot be understated, as certain combo techs will dish out exponentially more damage than a string of solitary ones. And while there's no formal "grid" enemy placement is also critical. Certain techs will target foes in a line or cluster so it can be pertinent to wait to strike until such formations take shape.
Let's talk time periods here. Many games (and works of fiction) have used time travel merely as a convenient way to thrust the protagonists into differing environments. Chrono Trigger, in contrast, features some expertly-crafted eras where decisions made in one period will greatly effect the outcome of events in another.

A couple of examples. The developers decided to include a 600 A.D. period, existing "only" 400 years prior to the game's starting locale. What's fascinating about this era is how similar it looks to 1000 A.D. on the surface - in in terms of terrain and architecture - but some digging uncovers a plethora of differences. There's a war in the Middle Ages between humans and inhuman "mystics." A patch of once-fertile land has been desertified. There's a greedy and uncaring town elder. Manipulating specific events and people in 600 A.D. will bring sudden change to 1000 A.D. - sometimes in ways that are at first are not so obvious. For instance, repairing a run-down castle in 600 A.D. will also make it explorable in 1000 A.D. This is the meat of late-game Chrono Trigger and where the bulk of the fun takes place: zipping around time periods to see just how much the planet can be altered.

12,000 B.C. also deserves a mention. "Realistically" this era should be extremely primitive, but it's the most advanced area of Chrono Trigger featuring a highly stratified society with magic-using philosophers riding high in a skyscape super-city. It's simply one of the most captivating environments even seen in a video game, where getting lost and wasting time is no problem at all.
To make another Final Fantasy VI comparison, Chrono Trigger is one of those rare old JRPGs to actually feature a captivating and intriguing main villain - in this case the malicious extraterrestrial Lavos. On the surface there isn't that much to say about Lavos - he's yet another "embodiment of evil sucking the life force out of Earth" type of thing - but what's undeniably intriguing is the mystery surrounding this being and how citizens of the varying time periods react to his presence. In prehistoric times, Lavos (still in space) is a bad omen thought to bring inevitable and impending doom to civilization. In 12,000 B.C. he's a deity and the source of all magic and splendor (his power is actually harvested by a device called the "Mammon Machine"). In the distant future he's responsible for destroying the planet's landbase. And in the middle time periods, Lavos is dormant and all but ignored. That is, until history is tweaked by Crono and friends.

RPG sidequests. They can suck and sometimes offer little but a slightly stronger weapon or whatever. The sidequests in Chrono Trigger are technically optional but highly recommended, as they flesh out the story in tremendous ways. Most are dedicated to a specific character, and help expand upon his or her backstory and motivations. This goes far beyond simple game padding, and even with the optional content total gameplay clocks in at a cool twenty hours.

That is, of course, without the New Game+. See, after completing the game the player can start again with all levels, techs, and gear intact. This makes things super-easy, of course, but there's another element to be explored here. See, something unique about Chrono Trigger is that Lavos can be fought at almost any time, though he's virtually invincible until the game's end draws near. In the New Game+, however, he can legitimately be defeated during any stage. This creates yet even more opportunities for world-changing events to occur and various endings will present themselves based on whenever and wherever Lavos falls. To put it simply, the replay value is sky-high.
The impact of aesthetics can't be overstated here. Graphically, this is one of the best on the SNES. Though not as technically impressive as, say, Star Ocean, Chrono Trigger has been crafted with the utmost attention to detail. Environments are big, bold, and colorful. It's easy to get hypnotized by all the fine details found in places like the Ocean Palace and Magus' Castle. Sprites are nice and chunky; here they look more like those found in Mana than Final Fantasy VI.

Yasunori Mitsuda's score is stunning, with each piece precisely suiting its setting or character. This is a god-tier soundtrack, ranking right up there with FFVI. Nobuo Uematsu himself even throws his hat into the ring a few times, with some of the game's more "fun" and charming compositions. Lengthwise, this entire score spans three CDs and is worth tracking down and listening to outside of gameplay.

Negatives? It's hard to think of many. The story can get bizarre, especially when one factors in all the paradoxes associated with time travel. Certain events, while not downright bad, aren't particularly stellar. There are two prison escape scenes in the game: while the first is a thrilling race to preserve one's own life the second is tedious and tacked-on. Some critics have complained about the game being "too easy" - I'd say that the difficulty (or lack thereof) perfectly suits the overall spirit and "feel" of the game.

This is 10/10 must-play gaming here. It's fine-tuned JRPG perfection. There simply hasn't been a better JRPG released since.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:42 pm
by elricorico
Bone, great post on Chrono Trigger. I'm really overdue for another playthrough of that game.

You called it a de-facto Final Fantasy game. Are you sure you didn't mean honorary?

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:18 pm
BoneSnapDeez wrote:Where do you think I copy & pasted from? 8)

I got u fam