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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Wed May 31, 2017 1:17 pm

marurun wrote: And it's light-years better than Tekken, IMO.

I've played a lot of Tekken games and always walked away unimpressed. That said, I still need to give Tekken 7 a chance. (Also that reminds me I haven't played KoF XIV yet.)
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Ack Wed May 31, 2017 2:05 pm

Marurun, did you really just say Soul Calibur doesn't have much of a tournament scene? Knowing multiple Soul Calibur tournament players, including a guy who used tournament winnings to help pay his way through college, I beg to differ.

That said, I like both Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter and could hold my own against US tournament players in both well enough. They're both great for different reasons.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Wed May 31, 2017 2:23 pm

Ah, well, in that case, I was unaware there was a tournament scene. I never considered the game remotely balanced enough to support dedicated tournament play.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Wed May 31, 2017 3:12 pm

Most fighters aren't that balanced, anyway. Heck, look at Smash Bros.! ;)

(Oh, wait, that's not a fighter, amirite?)
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by noiseredux Wed May 31, 2017 11:35 pm

1. Fire Emblem Heroes (Android)
2. Sara Is Missing (Android)
3. Civilization V (PC)
4. Portal 2 (PC)
5. Halo Wars 2 (PC)
6. Mario Run (Android)

Meh.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by dsheinem Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:07 pm

Games Beaten 2017
Inside - PS4
Street Fighter V - PS4
TIMEframe - PC
Rituals - PC
Mother Russia Bleeds - PC
Horizon: Zero Dawn - PS4
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch
Here They Lie - PSVR
Dexed - PSVR
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - PSVR
Last Voyage - iOS
Ghost Blade HD - PS4
What Happened to Edith Finch - PS4
Fast RMX - Switch
Puyo Puyo Tetris - Switch
Garou: Mark of the Wolf - Vita
Star Wars: Republic Commando - PC
Battlefield 1 - PS4
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Switch
Shock Troopers - PC (Arcade)
Shock Troopers 2nd Squad - PC (Arcade)
Gravity Bone -PC
A Thousand Flights of Loving - PC
Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels - PC/X1
Eve: Valkyrie- PSVR *new*
Farpoint - PSVR *new*

Total: 26


Previously: 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

I think I can largely echo what Elkin had to say about Farpoint - it is a very engaging shooter that does much more well than not, and is a nice addition to the PSVR library. I played through the campaign in about 5-6 hours and spent another little while doing some online co-op (which I plan to go back to). Two things I'll add to his review, though.

First, I did not play this with the gun controller...I used a standard DualShock 4. I found the aiming to be "generally" good but wish they would have allowed for full dual analog support with aiming (instead of having to use the light sensor on the controller to point my gun up and down). I am just generally not a fan of motion controls - and that extends to genres like this when they make the move to VR. I also had to move my camera to below the TV for this one to get rid of some glitching - on all prior PSVR games it worked just fine when placed above the TV.

Second, I still think that Resident Evil 7 is the best first person shooter to grace PSVR. Even though that game is a horror title first and foremost, it does a lot more right with first person control schemes and environments/visuals than Farpoint did. In that respect, I was a bit let down by Farpoint - it isn't really isn't the best example of the potential of the medium (despite often being billed as such). It had a so-so story with so-so combat, but was a fun way to get immersed into some bug/mech/alien zapping for a while. If you have a PSVR, pick it up (and maybe forego the gun at first). If you don't, I can think of many other better games that you'd want to play first when you do pick one up.

EDIT: I forgot to put Eve Valkyrie in here, too. It is a decent VR space combat game...but I think I prefer the much shorter but more enjoyable Star Wars Battlefront VR Mission far more. I may even prefer Gunjack, in some ways...
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:06 pm

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31. Everblue 2 | PS2 | action adventure | 2003 | 9h 14m | 7/10

When Everblue 2 released in 2003 to the USA market, most reviewers didn't know what to make of it. Unlike their luckier European counterparts, USA gamers had missed out on the original Everblue, and thus didn't have the same frame of reference. Perhaps even if they had played the original Everblue, USA reviewers still would have scored Everblue 2 low (as nearly all of them did). Unfortunately the concept of an action adventure RPG hybrid all about SCUBA salvaging didn't excite the average 2003 reviewer. Perhaps it was the total lack of violence and killing? Whatever the case, Everblue 2 is a great game, albeit not without some qualms admittedly.

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Once again the player takes on the role of Leonardo Delfino, the protagonist of the original Everblue. Yes indeed, Everblue 2's plot is a direct continuation of the original Everblue. This time Leo ends up shipwrecked on an island he's never heard of, and loses all his gear. Having to start all over again is easy enough, as Leo's quickly indoctrinated into a local diving club. From there he begins meeting more of the indigenous townsfolk, forming friendships and bonds. Eventually his club ends up fighting against an encroaching corporation that's more interested in ruthlessly stealing artifacts than preserving marine sanctuaries. Ultimately this rivalry gives way to an accidentally awakened elder legend, a dangerous force which must be quieted or else everyone on the island may end up dead. The plot is pretty interesting overall, with plenty of likeable characters and intriguing dialogue.

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Like the first Everblue, most of the gameplay focuses on salvaging. Typically you're required to find a long lost wreck, dive to it, explore it, retrieve an object, and safely make your way back to surface again. This is made more challenging by limited HP, always dwindling air supply, sometimes confusing environments, and occasionally dangerous aquatic fauna. While diving the game is all polygonal and the camera is first person. But when you're on land, the 2D island town is represented from a bird's eye view, and interaction is done in a menu fashion. Whether it's conversing with locals, shopping for new gear, or hitting up the auction house, everything is menu based. Honestly the island town simply acts as a hub interface rather than an immersive experience, and that's fine. The meat is the sumptuous diving, and that part is always super immersive.

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Outside the main story missions, there's lots of optional sidequests, collectables, fish finding, and other such alternative gameplay. If one were to choose to do all of it (including the copious post-game content), it'd likely stretch the ~10 hour completion time into ~30 hours. You will also find your HP leveling up the more you dive, and seeking better diving equipment is a constant goal. That said, I want to point out that Everblue 2 is a significantly more accommodating experience than the original Everblue. Wrecks are smaller with designs more linear and confined, finding lost wrecks is more intuitive, environment puzzles are simpler, salvaging rare synthesis items is easy, and running out of air is almost impossible unless the player is totally careless. It's quite obvious Arika tried to make Everblue 2 more accessible than the first. Personally I think Arika went a little too far, and Everblue 2 is a bit facile. I never had the same sense of dread or panic as I often did with the first Everblue.

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But that's not to say I didn't enjoy my time with Everblue 2. I absolutely did. Exploring the ocean floors, navigating spooky ships, uncovering ancient mysteries, and just having laughs with the locals was well worth the investment. Any gamer looking for a unique experience should give the Everblue series a try (also the spiritual-yet-different sequels Endless Ocean and Endless Ocean: Blue World). It's an all too rare treat to play something as delightfully idiosyncratic and well made as a game like Everblue 2. It's a crying shame this game was tossed out to sea by reviewers, but there's still a few copies floating on the waves for you more daring treasure hunters.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:17 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)
40. Mega Man 2 (NES)
41. Mother (Famicom)
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Discussing this game "objectively" is a bit of an impossibility. See, like most 90s JRPG nerds, I experienced the vastly superior sequel EarthBound first. It wasn't until many years later that I discovered I had been hoodwinked by localization. EarthBound was in fact Mother 2, and the original game hadn't been released in the States.
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Now, despite it being a Japanese release, it's easy enough to find an English ROM of Mother on the internet. This is in fact not a fan translation, but an official one. Mother was set for a release in North America but this was ultimately scrapped. Confusingly, the game was supposed to be called EarthBound, a name that was later given to its successor, which is why the English Mother ROM was renamed EarthBound Zero. I assume this is more-or-less identical to EarthBound Beginnings, which recently appeared on the Virtual Console.

The first time I played Mother it was immediately after one of my many EarthBound replays. I was left a little disappointed by what felt like a barebones and unwieldy predecessor. Years have passed since my last EarthBound playthrough, however, so I decided to revisit the original Mother with a fresh set of eyes.
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Even if you're unfamiliar with these games you've probably heard that they're bizarre, quirky, humorous, "post-modern", and so on. This is true of Mother, but applies mostly to the plot, characters, and dialogue. The game itself is old-school in the Dragon Warrior II fashion, and is thus predictably clunky for it. There's plenty of level-grinding to be had here. Party members join up at level 1, and are ineffectual deadbeats until some mass XP is pumped into them. Battles are turn-based and feature still portrait enemies against a solid black backdrop. It's possible to "attack" vanquished enemies and hit empty air. There's no semblance of balance whatsoever, with late game enemies that are nearly impossible to defeat. The main quest is theoretically "linear" - if you know where to go. Those who lack a walkthrough should expect to get lost, and frequently. Proper "dungeons" are few and far between, and most conclude with the acquisition of some item, rather than an epic boss battle. Completing this journey is naturally dependent on successfully gathering a stash of MacGuffins: literal musical melodies in this case.
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Despite the apparent bog-standard gameplay, there are thankfully some elements that differentiate Mother from your typical "Dragon Quest clone" and thus make it worth experiencing. First, there is the matter of setting. Mother occurs in a modern-day (well, late 80s) America, with the protagonist being a young boy named Ninten. While EarthBound provides a grand impetus for questing, Mother plays it vague and mysterious. Ninten's grandparents apparently vanished years earlier under unusual circumstances. One evening Ninten wakes up to encounter an apparent poltergeist problem in his own home. After discovering that this could be linked to his familial disappearance, Ninten sets forth. He's later joined by a psychic girl Ana, the "nerdy" inventor Loid, and reformed thug Teddy.

It's interesting to see how much from Mother was lifted and reused in EarthBound. It's not quite enough to make EarthBound a true remake or even a "re-imagining" but it comes pretty close. Ninten, Ana, and Loid are essentially Ness, Paula, and Jeff. Locations, enemies, and musical tracks have all been recycled. Music and dreams play an important role in both games. There even the cornball little specificities, like calling Dad to save and using an ATM card to withdraw money.
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Mother triumphs in the atmospheric realm. It's a game that demands to be played just to experience all the weird shit Itoi and co. choose to throw at the player. It is indeed a very funny game. The humor ranges from slapstick to poignant, and remains ever-present. You can attack enemies with swear words. The bullied Loid hides in a trash can at school, you'll later encounter his dad hiding in the garbage as well. The enemy designs are over-the-top goofy. There are mad hippies who roam the streets, alongside zoo escapees and reckless drivers. One of the melodies is offered up by a singing money. Another, a sentient cactus.

It isn't all just a string of silly moment though. There's an aura of eeriness here as well. The gameworld is designed strangely. It's seamless (so no overworld) and frequently empty and undefined. Many NPCs are incoherent, sad, philosophical, or all of the above. The game completely lacks any "epic" moments, so the pacing is relatively even and measured throughout, which makes it hard to gauge progress or predict when the end is near. Then there are the occasional bursts of childhood nostalgia. Of special note is the blossoming kiddie romance between Ninten and Ana, which would later be replicated with Ness and Paula of EarthBound.
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All of this great ambiance is punctuated by one of the strongest 8-bit RPG soundtracks. There's a massive amount of tunes here, and all feel rooted in pop-rock rather than a "video game music" pedigree. There are no sweeping orchestral pieces, instead we have slow synthy pieces for the serious parts and upbeat rockin' tracks for the intense areas of the game. There's an impressive attention to detail. Every piece of music sounds appropriate for its given area. Perhaps most notable is the fact that there are several distinct battle themes based on enemies encountered. The hippie even has a Johnny B. Goode type tune playing.

The graphical design is subtle and serviceable, though at times the environments appear way too sparse and simplistic (look at this swamp area for instance, ugh). The character sprites are admittedly pretty swell, as are the enemy stills.
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"Ranking" this one is a bit of a lost cause, given its overall unorthodox flair. It's head and shoulders above most 8-bit turn-based slogs, though not quite on par with the likes of Dragon Warrior III, or even the original Final Fantasy or Phantasy Star. That said, I'd highly recommend Mother. Though perhaps not quite exemplary on its own, it's the first installment of one of gaming's strongest trilogies.
Last edited by BoneSnapDeez on Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:19 pm

Mother is one of the two custom-cart games I made from a couple of copies of Deja Vu. (The other was Radia Senki.)
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:42 pm

Did you use the robot to grind your way through Mt. Itoi?
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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