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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:47 am

Hell yeah Patridge.

I love how this game built up crazy lore around the Doomguy. It's incredible.

Did you play Titanfall 2? It's campaign is fantastic and just like Doom 4 here, also has a lot of verticality and incredible first person control. Don't be fooled thinking it's another CoD styled campaign or anything. I like Doom 4 more but Titanfall 2 is top tier as well and was a nice surprise.

I got a lot of Metroid Prime vibes with Doom's art direction here and there, along with the exploring in between the action. I absolutely loved how they nailed that balance so well just like the original Doom games. Chaos and exploring. Sublime.

I loved The New Order, but count me in as more of a Doom guy. :P

Also I can't believe I'm just now realizing this, but considering Dishonored and The New Order got direct sequels... I really hope we get a direct sequel to Doom 4 as well and I think the chances of that happening have to be pretty high. All I want is MORE.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:06 am

Elkin, why do you have a French eShop account? Was there some notable PAL exclusive available?
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:31 am

alienjesus wrote:Elkin, why do you have a French eShop account? Was there some notable PAL exclusive available?

I have one for France and Japan as well as North America just in case there are exclusives I'm interested in, and I have a French one rather than British because things tend to be just a little cheaper with the exchange rate to Euros vs pounds.

I had a few Euros left because there were a couple of interesting looking games that (at least at the time) weren't on the North American eShop.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:34 am

Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 69
* denotes a replay

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 (14 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
43. Snipperclips: Cut it Out, Together! - Switch - May 12
44. Pikmin - Gamecube - May 12
45. Metal Slug - Neo Geo MVS - May 13*
46. Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Savior - PlayStation 4 - May 14
47. Batman: The TellTale Series - PlayStation 4 - May 17
48. Batman: Arkham VR - PlayStation 4 - May 18
49. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - 3DS - May 25
50. Farpoint - PlayStation 4 - May 27
51. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Xbox 360 - May 29


June (10 Games Beaten)
52. Star Trek: Bridge Crew - PlayStation 4 - June 2
53. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - PlayStation 4 - June 3
54. Rebel Galaxy - PC - June 18
55. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Vita - June 20
56. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault - PC - June 21*
57. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault - Spearhead - PC - June 21
58. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault - Breakthrough - PC - June 22
59. Aliens Versus Predator - PC - June 23
60. Army Men - PC - June 24*
61. Apartment 666 - PC - June 26


July (8 Game Beaten)
62. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist - Genesis - July 12*
63. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone - PlayStation 4 - July 15
64. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine - PlayStation 4 - July 22
65. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - PlayStation 4 - July 24
66. Splatoon 2 - Switch - July 25
67. Kamiko - Switch - July 25
68. Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge - Xbox - July 26
69. Panzer Dragoon - Saturn - July 27*


69. Panzer Dragoon - Saturn - July 27*

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Panzer Dragoon was one of the few truly stunning system exclusives that Sega Saturn owners could boast back in 1995, and as an exceptional Saturn exclusive, it gained a bit of a cult following.  I picked this up in a bundle with the other two Panzer Dragoon games on Saturn five years ago, so I figured it was time to fire up again for a replay.

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For those unfamiliar with Panzer Dragoon - and shame on you for that - it's a rail shooter not entirely unlike Space Harrier that takes place thousands of years in the future in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a great war between humanity and their biologically engineered weapons.  One of the nations, known only as The Empire, discovers a large tower near their capital; in this towers, they harness the power to control the monsters that roam the world, and they soon use this power to conquer nearby nations and expand their power ever farther.  You play as a hunter who, after seeing an Imperial airship fly past him in a canyon, is attacked by monsters and chases them into a large cavern where he finds ancient technology and, soon after, a black dragon against which his weapons are useless.  He loses consciousness and later awakens to see a blue dragon piloted by a mysterious rider.  This rider makes a psychic connection with the hunter, tells him not to let the black dragon reach the tower, and then promptly dies, leaving this clueless - and probably completely uneducated - hunter as the only person standing between the world and conquest by the Empire.  I assume.  Honestly, the story isn't entirely clear to me as it's told entirely in series of cutscenes.

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As one might expect from a rail shooter, Panzer Dragoon is not an especially long game; there are six stages (four if you're playing on Easy) and a final boss.  If you don't die, each stage takes roughly seven minutes or so, I'd guess, and the final boss will probably take about that long as well, maybe a little less.  Including time for deaths, you're probably looking about an hour or two to playthrough once, so it's easily doable in an afternoon or if you just want a quick revisit.  It's well worth revisiting, as well; while the frame rate isn't great and the controls may feel a bit imperfect (I've heard it's better with the 3D pad, but I don't have one yet), it's still a fantastic game nonetheless.

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Those of you familiar with fifth generation consoles know that the Saturn wasn't the best designed for 3D visuals, so while Panzer Dragoon certainly doesn't look bad for the era, the 3D textures don't look quite as nice as they might had game been on PlayStation or Nintendo 64.  The best aspect of Panzer Dragoon isn't the gameplay, the visuals, or the story, however, but the music.  The music is absolutely PHENOMENAL.  The soundtrack is almost entirely orchestral, and it truly is one of the best video game OSTs of that entire generation.  From the first French horn notes of the opening theme, anyone at all familiar with music will realize just how special a soundtrack the game has, and even those not versed in music will be able to appreciate just how grandiose the entire musical production is.

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Panzer Dragoon truly is a marvelous and very special game.  Like most games of that era, it hasn't aged particularly well from a gameplay or visual perspective, but even so, it's still a great experience and an absolute must-have for Saturn collectors.  It's a shame that, other than a Windows port in 1997, the game's never gotten a rerelease in North America.  This is the kind of game that would have been PERFECT for a port to Wii that used motion controls.  Even a straight emulated port to a modern system with HD upscaling would have been great.  Perhaps one day Sega will start to like money again.  Until that day, keep your Saturn plugged in because this game is dope.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:40 am

Xeogred wrote:Hell yeah Patridge.

I love how this game built up crazy lore around the Doomguy. It's incredible.

Did you play Titanfall 2? It's campaign is fantastic and just like Doom 4 here, also has a lot of verticality and incredible first person control. Don't be fooled thinking it's another CoD styled campaign or anything. I like Doom 4 more but Titanfall 2 is top tier as well and was a nice surprise.

I got a lot of Metroid Prime vibes with Doom's art direction here and there, along with the exploring in between the action. I absolutely loved how they nailed that balance so well just like the original Doom games. Chaos and exploring. Sublime.

I loved The New Order, but count me in as more of a Doom guy. :P

Also I can't believe I'm just now realizing this, but considering Dishonored and The New Order got direct sequels... I really hope we get a direct sequel to Doom 4 as well and I think the chances of that happening have to be pretty high. All I want is MORE.


I appreciated the Doom Guy lore. It all added to that self-aware tongue-in-cheek atmosphere the game had going on with its story. Olivia isn't exactly Frau Engel when it comes to engaging characters though :P . That said, Doom did its story moments really well, and you can tell that studio really understands the "show not tell" method of storytelling.

I haven't played Titanfall 2 yet, but it's on my hit list. I've been meaning to pick it up on eBay sometime, because that's by far the best place to get it. Really kind of a shame all of these fantastic single-player FPS's are tanking in value so quickly. I seriously doubt we'll be seeing a Titanfall 3 :(

I've never really been a fan of Metroid Prime, but if it's Doom 4-y, I might have to check it out. I just don't really enjoy playing FPS not on PC, generally, so I've never really given it too much of a chance despite having owned the trilogy on Wii for YEARS :P

I'm not sure we'll see a sequel to Doom 4, at least not as fast as the other ones. At least because the others' narratives lend themselves to a sequel supported mostly on narrative more than Doom 4, given that Doom is carried primarily by mechanics. I'm frankly very hesitant to get excited for New Colossus, tbh. Dishonored 2 was just such a mechanically and narratively stagnant sequel, it totally turned me off. It's Dishonored 1 again, but not as innovative or clever (there's no Lady Doyle's Final Ball here) and it runs a lot worse. Granted Wolfenstein and Dishonored are totally different studios, if they're gonna do a Dishonored 2 with it, I'm very ready to give New Colossus a skip :?
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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by isiolia Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:07 am

PartridgeSenpai wrote:Dishonored 2 was just such a mechanically and narratively stagnant sequel, it totally turned me off. It's Dishonored 1 again, but not as innovative or clever (there's no Lady Doyle's Final Ball here) and it runs a lot worse. Granted Wolfenstein and Dishonored are totally different studios, if they're gonna do a Dishonored 2 with it, I'm very ready to give New Colossus a skip :?


I'd say that Dishonored 2 was repetitive in some respects, just ultimately not as much across the entire game. Having two characters and thus two power/upgrade trees was different (though reminiscent of the main game and DLC for the first game), but otherwise the new/fun mechanics were more limited to specific missions. To be fair, that did keep them fresh, but basing the entire game around things like flipping between past/present would have made it more distinctive.

Still, it wasn't bad, and to me came across better than say, Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:59 am

A better comparison would be Mankind Divided. Dishonored 2 destroys it. And I love Human Revolution, but mechanically the Dishonored games are about 10x more better control wise and all. They also don't turn into hacking minigames or spread the loot out too much, that gets real tiresome in these new Deus Ex's. The OG Deus Ex and Thief DNA is obviously in Arkane and shows in Dishonored.

I loved Dishonored 2 and it's gimmicks per level. More Dishonored is a good thing to me. I do think the premise and plot of the first game was much better, but otherwise... it's the atmosphere that I soak in with that world. Definitely some of my top favorites of all time. I played Dishonored 2 finally this year (it's been patched up a lot now thankfully) and I ran through it twice back to back with both characters and low/high chaos. It's not everyday I play something over twice in a row...

Prey blew me away too, but even with my sci-fi bias and love I think I still like Dishonored even more. Looking forward to the expansion this year and it would be cool if we got one more game. Give it another time skip, Emily is the only character now and maybe Corvo's passed but you'll get another heart that has a connection to his soul or whatever so he can guide her. I'd love to see what the rest of that world is outside of Dunwall and Karnacka.

There's been a change of management at Arkane though and in a recent interview with Harvey Smith over the expansion, he seems ready to move onto something new. Guess they really have been doing Dishonored for about 10 years now and that's a lot haha. I just hope they keep doing more immersive FPS types like they have been.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by isiolia Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:14 am

Ah, true, I was thinking of Mankind Divided but derped the name.

I think the point stands with HR compared to the original game as well, to a point, but Mankind Divided was even worse with regard to just doing more of the same. I replayed Dishonored and then the DLC right before 2, and I can agree that it's maybe a little more familiar than it could be. Especially with regard to the DLC. There are new things to it as well though.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:29 am

PartridgeSenpai wrote:I've never really been a fan of Metroid Prime, but if it's Doom 4-y, I might have to check it out. I just don't really enjoy playing FPS not on PC, generally, so I've never really given it too much of a chance despite having owned the trilogy on Wii for YEARS :P

Prime is not an FPS; it's a first person adventure game. There is a fantastic lock on system for all the actual shooting; while you can manually aim that general is just to help you pick a specific thing to lock on to when there's several in your near view (or if you're speedrunning and want to sequence break some bosses).
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:42 am

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
19. 3D Puyo Puyo 2 3DS
20. Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa 3DS
21. SteamWorld Dig 3DS eShop
22. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Switch
23. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped PS1
24. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time GC
25. Pilotwings 64 N64
26. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones GBA
27. Puyo Puyo Tetris Switch *NEW*
28. Life Force NES *NEW*
29. Bionic Commando NES *NEW*
30. Bonk's Revenge TGCD *NEW*

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

Puyo Puyo Tetris

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Puyo Puyo is a series and I love and hate. I've chronicled my experiences with the series in these threads over the past few years, and my general analysis has been 'This game is great, but it's way too hard'. However, Puyo Puyo is still one of my favourite puzzle game series.

I've never been a fan of Tetris - I find it tedious, and the lack of elements like chaining means I also find it lacks diversity in play - you just clear lines over and over because what's the incentive to set up higher than a 4 line clear anyway. I also hated the randomness of it - the L block never arrives!

Well, Puyo Puyo Tetris is a game that manages to take my thoughts of both series, solve many of my issues, and also provide a stupid, fun story and a set of particularly crazy alternate play modes that mix up the gameplay to create something really special.

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The story of Puyo Puyo Tetris is incredibly silly and light hearted, and features the main characters of various Puyo Puyo series (most of whom I didn't recognise, as I've only played the Madou Monogatari era version of the series previously) all getting thrown together and then teleported to a starship where a bunch of Tetris themed characters (named Tee, Ess, O, Zed, Elle etc after the block shapes) reside, and then a bunch of crazy hijinks™ ensue. The story is ridiculously pointless and stupid, which is to say it's wonderful. Sometimes it drags out a bit too long, but the stupidly written humour and complete lack of taking itself seriously is fun and fits nicely with the game.

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Gameplay in Puyo Puyo Tetris takes many forms. As well as the classic single player Tetris and head-to-head Puyo Puyo, you also play head-to-dead tetris and single player Puyo Puyo. On top of that, there is burst mode, a mode where you clear lines of tetris blocks in rapid succession or trigger pre-set Puyo combos as quickly as you can to deal damage to the opponent. In addition, you can play Puyo against a Tetris player or vice versa. Finally, there are 2 modes where you play both games - Swap mode, where you switch from a Tetris grid to a Puyo-Puyo grid every 20 seconds or so, and the ridiculous fusion mode, where tetris blocks and puyo blobs both fall into the same board.

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Puyo works pretty much as it always has - trigger combos to drop garbage blocks on the opponent or to counter their combo. However, if like me you basically haven't played Tetris since the Game Boy, there are lots of changes to learn on the Tetris side of things. First off, you can always see where your tetris block will land at the bottom of the screen. This is useful because you can hit up to fast drop the tetris piece into that position, skipping the falling animation. However, this prevents rotation of the block once it lands, which is important for getting the best attacks off on your opponent. Othher important Tetris changes include the fact that you can 'bank' one block for later - either to save a useful piece like a T block or an I block for when it's most useful, or to remove a difficult piece that is being dropped if there's nowhere good for it to go. And the final significant Tetris change, and probably the most important for me, is that Tetris is no longer 100% random. In any set of 7 Tetris blocks, you will encounter exactly one of each shape - T, I, O, S, Z, L and R. The order is randomised, but in the first 7 you'll get 1 of each, and in blocks 8-14 you'll get another one of each and so on. This means it's possible to plan for certain pieces because the odds of them showing soon are fairly high.

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Attacking in Tetris mode in head-to-head battle can be done in many ways too. Clearing lines is one way, with Tetrises being an abovious good method to attack that results in reasonable disruptions. However, I often found it better to attack using combos - clearing a line on each successive turn, which is best done by leaving 2 empty rows at the side instead of one. The final way to atack is the T spin, where you use rotation to mnove a T block into an otherwise impossible to get to position. This is the best way to attack, but was way too complicated for me to figure out!

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Fusion mode is a very odd mode where many mechanics have to be utilised together. You must clear tetris blocks using lines as always, and puyos by matching 4. Some pieces from the skyfall swap between puyos and tetriminos and will be determined by which they are upon landing. Tetris pieces will 'crush' puyos they land on, dropping through them all until they reach the bottom of the board, or hit another tetris block. However, the crushed puyos will then drop back from the top of the board. If you fast drop the tetris block, it'll instantly crush all the puyos, but if you drop it normally, it'll slowly drop through the layers of puyos one by one, whilst you continue to place other pieces above, next to or even below it as it falls. It's a lot to take into account, and it's pretty complicated to get your head around.

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In terms of difficulty, Puyo Puyo Tetris is much easier than the old Puyo Puyo games, but it still has some bite to it. I've heard some people complain that the Puyo stages were too hard, but personally I had way more trouble with the Tetris levels, so your mileage may vary. My main issue with the single player mode was the diversity of play styles - in 6 worlds, the first world is Tetris focused, the 2nd is Puyo focused, and then they start to mix it up. Very few Swap mode matches appear until the 3rd world, and Fusion mode is pretty much exclusively for the last world, meaning it's a bit of a learning curve once you get there. The game is fairly short and not too difficult though so it's not a major issue.

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Puyo Puyo Tetris is a really gun mash up between one of the greatest puzzle games ever and Tetris :wink: . It's also probably greater than the sum of it's parts, and if you like Puzzle games, I think it's a must own. Definitely buy it.





Life Force

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Life Force was the 4th game I played for my summer marathon, and I'll cut to the chase on it straight away: I cheated to finish this one, no I don't care about 1CC discussion nonsense, we've been through this before. I'm counting it as beat anyway.

Life Force is a horizontal AND vertical shoot 'em up for the NES. It's a spiritual successor or something to the Gradius series, but I don't know about all that. The NES version features the Gradius power-up system, so at the very least this version plays similarly.

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In Life Force you fly your ship to the right (on odd numbered stages) or to the top of the screen (in even numbered stages) whilst shooting at enemies who are out to destroy you. You die in a single hit, and dying removes all of your power ups. To gain power ups you defeat specific enemies or groups of enemies who give you an icon, which when collected moves your power up meter up one bar. You can then cash in the meter to buy the currently highlighted power up, but doing so sets the meter back to 0. The meter goes in the following order: Speed > Missile > Ripple > Laser > Option > Shield. Speed increase your flight speed and can be powered up many times. More than 2 is too unwieldy though, so I would recommend keeping it set to 1 or 2 max. Missile launches missiles in an arc up and down from your ship and can be powered up twice. Ripple swaps your pea-shooter default gun for an expanding ripple shot which makes it easier to hit stuff, and laser swaps it for a piercing laser that does heavy damage and keeps moving if it hits an enemy, rather than disappearing. They replace each other, but ripple is shit, so you just want to get laser instead. Laser can be powered up too, allowing it to shoot faster. Options create little orbs that fgollow you ship and shoot the same stuff you do - lasers, missiles, ripples, whatever you had. You can have up to 2. And finally, shield blocks damage inflicted on your and stops you dying. Except it doesn't.

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One of the coolest things about Life Force is that the environments are often very organic feeling - stage 1 is a fleshy mess with teeth that crawl out of the walls, fleshy walls that grow outwards and block your way and more. The problem with this though is that they often use this to instantly kill you. Didn't know the walls up ahead would close in on your completely blocking the path? Tough, fly into them and die. Didn't know the wall hear would grow over your ship and instantly kill you? Tough, remember it for next time. This continues throughtout every level of the game, and it doesn't gel with the game menchanics for me. That shield that is the hardest power up to get? It's worthless. It doesn't protect you from environmental damage or things flying directly into you, and 98% of things that kill you in life force fit into those categories. Once you die, you might aswell reset the game too, because outside of the openings of levels there is almost nowhere to power up, and outside of level 1 it's difficult to even do so at the start of levels anyway.

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Playing Life Force legitimately wasn't any fun, but the game itself is in general. And so I cheated. 1 save state at the start of each level, and if I died, I reset to the start of the level. By doing that I managed to progress through and see all the game and had a fun time doing so. Any other way, I hated Life Force.

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Life Force is not a game I recommend. I find it to be too punishing to players when they die to things they could never have possibly even seen coming - the isntant kills are rarely telegraphed. Replaying an entire game every time it happens is just a miserable experience, and that's how I'd describe the game unless you cheat. Miserable. I'm done with Konami's Gradius series and related games I think, it's just don't have fun with them being so punishing. I'm glad to be done with this one.






Bionic Commando

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Bionic Commando was the 5th game I played for my Summer Challenge list, and it was a breath of fresh air after trudging through Life Force. At first I suspected the worst as the game introduced itself with one hit deaths at a time when you're trying to get the hang of the grappling mechanics, but if you know what to do, you can very quickly change that.

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Bionic Commando is an action platformer for the NES where you run around levels shooting enemy soldiers in search of the bases core, which you must shoot to finish the level. Bionic Commando has some interesting gimmicks to make it stand out though, the main one being that rather than jumping, your character swings around using a bionic grappling arm. You can latch on to solid surfaces above you and either swing over gaps or use it to pull yourself up to higher ground. The game is well designed around making you use this mechanic, with obstacles that would be easier in other platformers posing a unique challenge when you can't jump.

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Bionic Commando also features a map with branching paths which lets you choose where to go next. Some parts of the maps require items from other levels, and each level you beat offers a new reward, so exploring is worthwhile. Items to find include new guns such as a short range spread shot, a powerful rocket launcher or a rapid fire machine gun, an item which lets you take one free hit before taking damage, different communication devices to find new info in certain areas, and an item which lets you heal yourself once per level. You meager 1 hit point at the start of the game can also be increased by picking up bullets enemy soldiers dropped, with 8 being the maximum health. Knowing this makes the game easier as you can easily grind for 3 or 4 health or more on the first stage using respawning enemies to make the game easier. On the map are also enemy trucks, which when encountered switch the gameplay to an overhead perspective like the original Commando. These are short an easy, but each overhead stage offers 2 continues to acquire, and the trucks respawn endlessly, so game overs are not a concern in Bionic Commando after stage 1.

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The difficulty in Bionic Commando mostly feels fair, besides a few levels where some very specific swinging is required. The worst of these is a stage where you must swing from lampposts to land on others before latching on for another swing, but the curved tops of the lights seem to randomly make you fall either left or right. I never really mastered the level, but some brute force got me through it. Otherwise the game is fairly easy once you get powered up, and even the bosses are rarely a concern. Interestingly, they can pretty much all be ignored, as they appear in the room with the bases core, so if you rush past them and destroy the core first you can avoid the fight.

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The story of Bionic Commando has you as Radd Spencer, fighting the Badds, an army who want to revive Master D., the evil leader of their army who died previously, whilst also rescuing Super Joe, the main character from the Bionic Commando arcade game. Most of you will know that this is just a localisation change, and in Japan the man being revived is in fact Hitler. Luckily, you get to blow up his head at the end, so all's well that ends well I guess!

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Bionic Commando is a really fun game, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has some patience for NES era games. It has a learning curve, and a few odd difficulty spikes, but overall it's a unique and fun experience and I enjoyed it a lot.






Bonk's Revenge

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Bonk's Revenge was the 6th game I played for my Summer Challenge. It's a platformer for the PC Engine/Turbografx and I played the version included on the Gate of Thunder 3 in 1 disc for the Turbografx CD (yes I know there's actually 4 games on there).

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Bonk's Adventure was a game I picked up way back when when Virtual Console had just started on the Wii. I liked the game well enough, but felt it was a little bit clumsy and clunky, and that you'd oftern take an awful lot of hits from things. Bonk's Revenge in all honestly does little to fix those issues. Whilst it manages to up the game in terms of level design, I had a consistent issue with the responsiveness of the controls and the hitbox of the jumping headbonk attack, causing me to miss jumps or take hits that I shouldn't have.

Bonk's Revenge has all the normal platforming staples - run and jump through a colourful world whilst defeating enemies. Unlike Mario or Sonic, Bonk can't jump on enemies to defeat them, but he can get around it by using his head (lol). The II button (where B would be on NES) lets you headbutt enemies, and by using it the air you can flip upside down and land on enemies head first. In addition, because your head is how you hurt things, you can actually jump up into enemies from underneath to damage them too. A rather bizarre mechanic of the game is that by flipping the turboswitches up and holding the bonk button in midair, Bonk will spin around repeatedly, slowing his descent dramatically and letting you glide incredibly ungracefully though the levels. Unlike Bonk's Adventure though, it's not easy to skip whole levels with this, due to both a less flat and linear level design and the fact that they've slowed down the spinning, making you descend much more quickly than the first game.

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Bonk does control inelegantly, but it does kinda fit for his character, as he isn't especially graceful in general. He climbs up walls with his teeth, erupts with power after eating meat, foams at the mouth upon death in the first game, and when powered up he has a butt for a head and is called butthead bonk (and you thought my earlier joke was bad. Now it's all come to a head (lol)). That's only in the US version, in Japan he dresses in makeup and blows kisses instead.

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Anyway, the bad guy did something bad and so Bonk heads (lol) out to defeat him and save the day and the moon and the princess and whatever. The level designs here are much prettier and more varied than the first game, and the boss fights are far fairer and less like hitting your head against a brick wall (that one wasn't even deliberate). Whilst the graphics are colourful and large and attractive, the music is pretty bland and won't stick in your head (that one was).

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Bonk's Revenge is fairly modest difficulty wise - it isn't easy, but if you take the time to hunt out the bonus stages (which you get taken to upon finding a certain type of flower) and master them, you can quickly stockpile more lives. It's no pushover, but don't expect it to make you suffer either.

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I really struggled to write this review for Bonk's Revenge, and thats because I don't find the game all that notable. It's a decent little platformer, but there are plenty better in the 16 bit generation. Pick it up if you can, but don't go out of your way.

My review: Bonk's Revenge: It's OK. Not worth losing your head over.
Last edited by alienjesus on Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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