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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:29 pm

Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 84
* denotes a replay

January (10 Games Beaten)
1. Persona 4 Arena - Playstation 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 (20 Games 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*
70. Snake Pass - Switch - July 27
71. Buck Bumble - Nintendo 64 - July 28*
72. Castlevania - NES - July 29
73. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - NES - July 29
74. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse - NES - July 29
75. Super Castlevania IV - SNES - July 30
76. Castlevania Adventure - Game Boy - July 30
77. Castlevania Adventure Rebirth - Wii - July 30
78. Contra Rebirth - Wii - July 31
79. Heavy Fire: Special Operations - Wii - July 31
80. Heavy Fire: Black Arms - Wii - July 31
81. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn - July 31*


August (3 Games Beaten)
82. Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius - Steam - August 4
83. Panzer Dragoon Saga - Saturn - August 5
84. Sunrider: Liberation Day - Steam - August 6


84. Sunrider: Liberation Day - Steam - August 6

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After finishing the first Sunrider game, I couldn't WAIT to start the sequel.  I was hooked hard and just HAD to know what happened next.  Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius was awesome, so surely Sunrider: Liberation Day would be even better, right?  Yeah, not so much.

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Liberation Day picks up right where Mask of Arcadius left off - the preparation period before the Combined Fleet was set to liberate Cera from PACT control.  The gameplay is pretty much identical to that in Mark of Arcadius, although there's a distinct drop in the stability of the game.  I had multiple crashes and near-crashes where the game would abruptly stop and take 20 or 30 seconds reloading the scripts before letting me continue.  One of these instances was particularly irritating as I had just tried to use the Vanguard cannon when it crashed.  Upon reloading, it has deducted my command points but done no damage to any of the enemy ships.  Not only that but the animation of the cannon's attack would flash on screen in an endless loop every three seconds no matter what I did.  Other times, the available movements would fail to show on screen.  Sometimes it would render duplicates of every enemy on the map but without any stats or hitboxes; essentially empty sprites that can't move or be attacked but still show on screen.  That's basically how the whole game felt - the same as the original but less refined and a bit broken.

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One thing that did definitely improve since Mask of Arcadius was the art.  The characters have a much less amateur feel to them and generally look better all around.  The option to switch between Japanese and English dialogue in battles was a nice touch as well.  It's a shame, however, that the for all the improvement in the art quality, the writing quality saw an equal decline, especially at about the halfway point.  Maybe the plethora of bugs had made me a bit jaded about the game in general by that point, but the writing started to feel a bit uninspired and drab after a while as if the writers had lost inspiration and just kept writing to finish for the sake of a deadline.  Given how much the story sucked me into the first game, that was a supremely upsetting shift in quality.  Not only did the writing cease to be nearly as engaging as it was previously, but in the epilogue of sorts, they completely start contradicting things previously established.  I won't give anything away in case anyone decides to play through this, but suffice it to say that time travel is involved, and the rules of temporal mechanics that the game establishes for its universe are promptly disregarded like an hour later; not only are those rules disregarded, but they're explicitly contradicted more than once.  That's a more minor sci-fi nerd nit pick, I know, but as some of my friends can attest, that stuff REALLY irks me.

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I know I mentioned the various crashes and bugs earlier, but those more specific things aren't the only performance issues I encountered.  There was significant and general system slowdown when I launched the game - slowdown on a system with no other applications running except the general background stuff, a GTX 980 card, and a quad core processor running 4 GHz per core.  Under no circumstances should a damn visual novel cause major slowdown and sluggish performance.  Everything just gave the impression that the game wasn't as well optimized as the first one and hadn't been put through nearly enough testing and QA before release or after release.

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All in all, Sunrider: Liberation Day isn't a bad VN, and assume one could play it without being horribly confused by missing the context from the first game, it would probably come off as a perfectly acceptable low budget game.  The problem is that with only a couple exceptions, the overall quality takes a hit from the first game.  The presentation is better, but that presentation very quickly gives way to the plethora of flaws lying underneath.  Between that quality decline and the huge parts of the plot left completely unresolved by the end of the game, it just leave a lot to be desired.  If you've gone through the first game and see this one on sale, I'd still recommend it, but it's not one that I'd go out of my way to play.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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REPO Man
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by REPO Man Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:59 pm

Also, forgot to mention that prior to Sonic Mania unlocking I beat Sonic Classic Heroes for Genesis on my Raspberry Pi.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:41 pm

January:
1) The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (PC) (8.5) (1/1) (~5.5 hours)
2) ActRaiser (SNES) (8.0) (1/2) (~4 hours)
3) Bonk's Revenge (GB) (6.0) (1/3) (~1 hour)
4) Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs' Big Break (GB) (6.5) (1/3) (~1 hour)
5) Blackwell Legacy (PC) (7.0) (1/5) (2.6 hours)
6) Blackwell Unbound (PC) (7.5) (1/7) (2.2 hours)
7) Blackwell Convergence (PC) (8.0) (1/7) (2.4 hours)
8) Blackwell Deception (PC) (8.0) (1/8) (4.7 hours)
9) Blackwell Epiphany (PC) (9.0) (1/9) (6.5 hours)
10) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) (8.0) (1/22) (~55 hours)
11) Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (360) (8.0) (1/28) (~.5 hours)
12) Deep Duck Trouble Starring Donald Duck (SMS) (6.5) (1/31) (~1 hour)

February:
13) Quackshot Starring Donald Duck (GEN) (7.5) (2/7) (~2 hours)
14) Fire Emblem Heroes (Android) (8.0) (2/9) (~10 hours)
15) Super C (NES) (9.5) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)
16) Contra (NES) (10.0) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)
17) Mickey's Dangerous Chase (GB) (6.5) (2/24) (~1 hour)
18) My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (3DS) (8.5) (2/25) (~19 hours)
19) Mega Man 2 (NES) (10.0) (2/28) (~0.8 hours)

March:
20) Final Fantasy XV (PS4) (8.0) (3/2) (~33 hours)
21) Blaster Master Zero (NS) (9.0) (3/10) (~6.5 hours)
22) Espgaluda II Black Label (360) (8.0?) (3/17) (0.5 hours)
23) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (NS) (9.5) (3/28) (~70+ hours)

April:
24) Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (PC) (8.5) (4/7) (~5.5 hours)
25) Hyper Light Drifter (PS4) (8.0) (4/9) (~8 hours)
26) Gekido Advance: Kintaro's Revenge (GBA) (7.5) (4/16) (~3 hours)
27) Vanquish (PS3) (8.5) (4/17) (~7 hours)
28) Journey (PS3) (6.0) (4/19) (~2 hours)
29) GunForce (SNES) (4.0) (4/22) (~20 minutes)
30) GunForce 2 (ARC) (7.0) (4/23) (~30 minutes)
31) GunForce: Battle Fire Engulfed Terror Island (ARC) (6.0) (4/23) (~20 minutes)
32) Mighty Final Fight (NES) (8.5) (4/29) (~30 minutes)

May:
33) Final Fantasy V (SFC) (6.0) (5/1) (~33 hours)
34) Super Adventure Island (SNES) (7.0) (5/2) (~1 hour)
35) Dragon Spirit: The New Legend (NES) (7.5) (5/3?) (~30 minutes)
36) Mighty No. 9 (PS4) (5.0) (5/6?) (~5 hours)
37) Contra III: The Alien Wars (Hard) (SNES) (8.5) (5/11) (~1 hour)
38) Operation C (GB) (7.5) (5/22) (~1 hour)

June:
39) Super Dodge Ball (NES) (9.5) (6/1) (~15 minutes)
40) Bare Knuckle III (GEN) (7.5) (6/3) (~1 hour)
41) Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) (9.5) (6/5) (~30 minutes)
42) Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear (GB) (4.0) (6/8) (~1 hour)
43) Castlevania: The Adventure (GB) (3.5) (6/9) (~1 hour)
44) Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (PC) (8.0) (6/15) (~8.5 hours)
45) Streets of Rage (GEN) (9.0) (6/17) (~45 minutes)
46) Ghouls 'N Ghosts (GEN) (6.5) (6/17) (~4 hours)
47) Contra: Hard Corps (GEN) (8.5) (6/18) (~50 minutes)
48) Mighty Gunvolt Burst (NS) (7.5) (6/23) (~3 hours?)
49) Exile's End (PC) (8.0) (6/24) (~5 hours)

July:
50) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4) (8.5) (7/1) (16h53m)
51) Pharaoh Rebirth+ (PC) (8.0) (7/3) (7 hours)
52) Jackal (NES) (9.0) (7/9) (45 minutes)
53) Golden Axe III (NES) (2.5) (7/9) (~45 minutes)
54) Rygar (NES) (7.0) (7/10) (~2 hours)
55) Faxanadu (NES) (8.0) (7/14) (~6 hours)
56) Tekken 3 (PSX) (6.0) (7/24) (~20 minutes)
57) Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) (8.5) (7/30) (38h16m)

August:
58) Contra: The Alien Wars (GB) (3.5) (8/1) (~30 minutes)
59) Super Smash Bros. (N64) (8.0) (8/6) (~20 minutes)
60) Battletoads (Japan) (NES) (7.5) (8/10) (~40 minutes)
61) Castle of Dragon (NES) (2.5) (8/10) (~1 hour)
62) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (NES) (3.0) (8/10) (~30 minutes)
63) Strider (NES) (6.5) (8/11) (~2 hours)
64) Commando (NES) (3.5) (8/11) (~1 hour)
65) Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (NES) (6.5) (8/12) (~1h30m)
66) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (GEN) (4.0) (8/12) (~1 hour)
67) Dragon Scroll: Yomigaerishi Maryuu (NES) (5.0) (8/13) (~4 hours)
68) Mega Man 8 (SAT) (7.0) (8/17) (~4 hours)

Lots of folks over on Talking Time playing Mega Man, so I got in on the action by playing and beating Mega Man 8 on Saturn. Dropping back to playing 32-bit games on a CRT was a fun experience, actually.

How's the game? Pretty good! There are some irksome bits, of course, but they weren't where most of the complaints come from. Jump-Jump-Slide-Slide in Wily Stage 1 is what it is, but I had it after about six tries... although I actually snuck through on my second shot only to fall to the boss with no lives. Doh! I didn't really like some of the bits of Sword Man's stage, either, and really, a lot of the gimmicks were the weakest parts of the stages. I think the game is better when it sticks with the straightforward stuff.

My brick wall was actually at the last boss. That was due to ignorance on my part. I burned three full sets of lives and didn't get through, decided to look up something to figure out what I was doing wrong, and promptly realized that I had a health restorative in the form of Rush Health. Seriously? Gah. I powered through it right after this revelation. It's no fun fighting through the robot masters over and over again, though. But I've got their patterns down, haha!

Solid stuff. Not the best in the series, but fun, and some splendid graphics and animation.
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“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:23 am

Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 85
* denotes a replay

January (10 Games Beaten)
1. Persona 4 Arena - Playstation 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 (20 Games 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*
70. Snake Pass - Switch - July 27
71. Buck Bumble - Nintendo 64 - July 28*
72. Castlevania - NES - July 29
73. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - NES - July 29
74. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse - NES - July 29
75. Super Castlevania IV - SNES - July 30
76. Castlevania Adventure - Game Boy - July 30
77. Castlevania Adventure Rebirth - Wii - July 30
78. Contra Rebirth - Wii - July 31
79. Heavy Fire: Special Operations - Wii - July 31
80. Heavy Fire: Black Arms - Wii - July 31
81. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn - July 31*


August (4 Games Beaten)
82. Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius - Steam - August 4
83. Panzer Dragoon Saga - Saturn - August 5
84. Sunrider: Liberation Day - Steam - August 6
85. Emily is Away - Steam - August 8


85. Emily is Away - Steam - August 8

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This is a...unique game. It's essentially a Western visual novel that harkens back to the early 2000s when AIM was the supreme instant messaging platform and you were a loser if AOL wasn't your ISP. It also could have been appropriately titled Teen Angst Simulator 2015. Just a little while, I forgot I wasn't in middle school anymore.

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The whole game takes place on AIM in conversations spanning five years between you and Emily from your last year of high school to your last year of college. There's not really a purpose, per se, as the game is wholly slice of life, but wasn't that most of our AIM conversations? Talking to friends from school about stuff that didn't matter and awkwardly trying to flirt while having no idea how? The game seems a lot more straightforward than it is; there are numerous branching paths in the story and dialogue based on everything from the obvious like your dialogue choices all the way down to the seemingly insignificant like your icon and text color.

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The biggest thing the game has going for it is the nostalgia factor. That's not to say that the rest is bad, but it took me less than half an hour to finish a playthrough, and while the different dialogue choices give it some replay value, it's just too short for me to fall in love with it. That nostalgia, though...I seriously miss being a kid with just a dial-up connection using AOL 4.0 on a Dell with a MASSIVE 32 GB hard drive and 128 MB of RAM. Teenagers today won't appreciate this game since they wouldn't have the fond AIM memories that folks my age and a little older do, but for those of us who remember going through school with AIM and AOL, this is a trip down Memory Lane, awkward angst and all.

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Since it's free, Emily is Away is definitely a game that everyone should check out, and since you can get through it in half an hour or less for a single playthrough, there's not a whole lot of a time investment involved. Your age is definitely going to affect how much enjoyment you get out of it - if you're 40+, you probably won't have the same kind of nostalgia, and if you're younger than 20, you definitely won't - but for folks in that age range, it's a pretty unique experience, and most games don't play to that particular kind of nostalgia, at least not as the core concept. It would have been nice to see a little more meat per playthrough, but it's free, so you really can't complain too much. Give it a shot; if you really like it, there's a $5 sequel, though I've not downloaded that yet.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by dsheinem Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:57 am

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
Farpoint - PSVR
Painkiller: Battle Out of Hell - PC
Ghost Squad - Wii
Monument Valley 2 - iOS
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - PS4
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 - 360
Tekken Advance - GBA
100ft Robot Golf - - PSVR
Final Fantasy XV: A King's Tale - X1
Star Wars Racer Revenge - PS2
Just Cause 3 - PS4
Toadled - PC
Gulity Gear Xrd -Revelator- PS4 *new*
Mortal Kombat XL - PC *new*

Total: 39


Previously: 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

Played through the story on both of these. Two excellent entries in two excellent series - a good argument could be made that these are perhaps the very best/most nuanced of each.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Markies Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:04 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)
17. Tetris Plus (PS1)
18. Metropolis Street Racer (DC)
19. Darkwing Duck (NES)
20. Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (PS2)
21. Ico (PS2)
22. Final Fantasy V (SNES)
23. Mega Man X (SNES)
24. Beyond Good & Evil (XBOX)
25. Beetle Adventure Racing! (N64)

26. Sonic Adventure (DC)

I beat Sonic Adventure on the Sega Dreamcast this afternoon!

I have a rather complicated history with Sonic. When I was a kid, I got the Sega Genesis with Sonic 2. I still absolutely adore that game and can play most of it with my eyes closed.

However, as I have gotten older, the shine has kind of worn off on the franchise. I have begun to understand the series' shortcomings and I also know that really good Sonic games are hard to find. I wouldn't say the 2D Sonic games are perfect, but they still have some nostalgia for me.

I remember seeing Sonic Adventure at a friend's house. He recently picked up a Sega Dreamcast near launch and got Sonic Adventure with it. He has a giant projector on which he plays his games and watching him play Sonic Adventure on that large of a screen was making me nauseous. Years later, when I got my Dreamcast, I had to get the game for that reason.

I'm never gotten the idea of 'So bad, it's good'. It makes a little sense for movies/television, but for games, none at all. If the game is bad, then it is just bad.

However, I think Sonic Adventure might be the exception. The camera is absolutely horrendous at times. The story makes absolutely no sense. Some levels are incredibly frustrating. The music is cringe worthy. And, most importantly, the lip movements of the characters will cause nightmare fuel.

Despite that, the game kept me hooked the entire time. There were only a few moments that made me want to quit and that was just because the game didn't explain it all that well. When I found out what exactly I needed to do, it wasn't too bad. It's not perfect, but the game designers gave some leeway on many of the levels.

I like the different character with their different takes on the same stages. The story had a weird Odin Sphere like structure, but each character felt unique and different. The graphics are mostly still amazing and the colors pop like little games before it.

Sonic Adventure is an interesting turning point in the Sonic franchise. I can see where they eventually lead too as there is little to the previous games in it. There is some good and some potential here, but it's a bit rough.

I would say the game is only worth playing if you are a true Sonic fan.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:07 pm

Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 86
* denotes a replay

January (10 Games Beaten)
1. Persona 4 Arena - Playstation 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 (20 Games 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*
70. Snake Pass - Switch - July 27
71. Buck Bumble - Nintendo 64 - July 28*
72. Castlevania - NES - July 29
73. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - NES - July 29
74. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse - NES - July 29
75. Super Castlevania IV - SNES - July 30
76. Castlevania Adventure - Game Boy - July 30
77. Castlevania Adventure Rebirth - Wii - July 30
78. Contra Rebirth - Wii - July 31
79. Heavy Fire: Special Operations - Wii - July 31
80. Heavy Fire: Black Arms - Wii - July 31
81. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn - July 31*


August (5 Games Beaten)
82. Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius - Steam - August 4
83. Panzer Dragoon Saga - Saturn - August 5
84. Sunrider: Liberation Day - Steam - August 6
85. Emily is Away - Steam - August 8
86. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys - SNES - August 19


86. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys - SNES - August 19

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Ys is a series that I've only recently gotten into but that I've really come to love.  I (relatively) recently played the original Ys on Sega Master System and the combined release of Ys Book I & II on TurboGrafx-CD and absolutely loved both, especially the latter.  It was with great excitement, then, that I started Ys III on Super Nintendo, expecting a great game despite the so-so things I'd heard about it.  Truth be told, I wasn't disappointed.

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The first thing that players will notice is that the battle system is completely different.  Ys III plays as a much more traditional side scrolling action RPG as opposed to the distinct "hump your enemies to death" bump combat of the first games.  This is the aspect of the game that seems to be the most divisive among players; a lot of longtime Ys fans don't like the shift to a more traditional combat system whereas more general ARPG players see it as a welcome change.  Personally, I fall into the former category, being partial to the bump mechanics, but the combat was at least fairly well done in Ys III.  Speaking just for this Super Nintendo release, there were a few instances - particularly with Ballacetine Castle and the final boss - where I felt that the hit detection could have used some work, but by and large, I didn't have any mechanics complaints about the game.

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Ys III takes place after Ys II chronologically, but other than having Adol return as the protagonist, there isn't really any storyline connection between the two games.  "His adventures" are mentioned vaguely, but knowledge of the events of the first two games are definitely not necessary to enjoy Ys III.  To be honest, that was a negative for me as I'm big into world building and continuing stories, but it also makes sense given that, at least in North America, this was the first Ys game to which Nintendo players had access without also having a Master System or TurboGrafx-CD.  I've heard that the PSP (and, later, Windows) remake of Ys III, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, has a much expanded story, so that might remedy some of the lack of direct connection to the first two games, but I haven't played that yet, so I can't speak to that.

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Being a 16-bit game as opposed to the 8-bit version of the original Ys that I first played on Master System, the visuals and sound design in Ys III are fantastic.  Especially with visual effects, Falcom really went above and beyond with this one, finding the right balance of what visual effects of the Super Nintendo to use and the degree to which to use them to enhance the experience without doing so much that the visual effects distract from the game itself as some games do.  The soundtrack was also extremely well done despite the limitations of 16-bit cartridge systems.  When played through a soundbar and subwoofer, the boss battle music especially is epic, more so than many sidescrolling games of the era.  It obviously doesn't hold a handle to the TurboGrafx-CD release of Ys Book I & II, but it's definitely one of the more impressive Super Nintendo sountracks in my opinion.

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All in all, Ys III is a competent addition to the series even if an unconventional one.  The exclusion of bump combat may come as an unwelcome change to fans, but if a replacement system was going to be used, at least it was - for the most part - well implemented.  The visuals - especially the anime-esque scenes at the very beginning and very end of the game - are very well done, and with the right sound system and stereo separation, the game's music sounds fantastic.  I can't speak to the superiority or inferiority of other versions of the game, but at least as far as the Super Nintendo release goes, it may not be a masterpiece, but it's a solid action RPG, although it is worth noting that the very end is...brutal.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:47 pm

January:
1) The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (PC) (8.5) (1/1) (~5.5 hours)
2) ActRaiser (SNES) (8.0) (1/2) (~4 hours)
3) Bonk's Revenge (GB) (6.0) (1/3) (~1 hour)
4) Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs' Big Break (GB) (6.5) (1/3) (~1 hour)
5) Blackwell Legacy (PC) (7.0) (1/5) (2.6 hours)
6) Blackwell Unbound (PC) (7.5) (1/7) (2.2 hours)
7) Blackwell Convergence (PC) (8.0) (1/7) (2.4 hours)
8) Blackwell Deception (PC) (8.0) (1/8) (4.7 hours)
9) Blackwell Epiphany (PC) (9.0) (1/9) (6.5 hours)
10) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) (8.0) (1/22) (~55 hours)
11) Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (360) (8.0) (1/28) (~.5 hours)
12) Deep Duck Trouble Starring Donald Duck (SMS) (6.5) (1/31) (~1 hour)

February:
13) Quackshot Starring Donald Duck (GEN) (7.5) (2/7) (~2 hours)
14) Fire Emblem Heroes (Android) (8.0) (2/9) (~10 hours)
15) Super C (NES) (9.5) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)
16) Contra (NES) (10.0) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)
17) Mickey's Dangerous Chase (GB) (6.5) (2/24) (~1 hour)
18) My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (3DS) (8.5) (2/25) (~19 hours)
19) Mega Man 2 (NES) (10.0) (2/28) (~0.8 hours)

March:
20) Final Fantasy XV (PS4) (8.0) (3/2) (~33 hours)
21) Blaster Master Zero (NS) (9.0) (3/10) (~6.5 hours)
22) Espgaluda II Black Label (360) (8.0?) (3/17) (0.5 hours)
23) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (NS) (9.5) (3/28) (~70+ hours)

April:
24) Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (PC) (8.5) (4/7) (~5.5 hours)
25) Hyper Light Drifter (PS4) (8.0) (4/9) (~8 hours)
26) Gekido Advance: Kintaro's Revenge (GBA) (7.5) (4/16) (~3 hours)
27) Vanquish (PS3) (8.5) (4/17) (~7 hours)
28) Journey (PS3) (6.0) (4/19) (~2 hours)
29) GunForce (SNES) (4.0) (4/22) (~20 minutes)
30) GunForce 2 (ARC) (7.0) (4/23) (~30 minutes)
31) GunForce: Battle Fire Engulfed Terror Island (ARC) (6.0) (4/23) (~20 minutes)
32) Mighty Final Fight (NES) (8.5) (4/29) (~30 minutes)

May:
33) Final Fantasy V (SFC) (6.0) (5/1) (~33 hours)
34) Super Adventure Island (SNES) (7.0) (5/2) (~1 hour)
35) Dragon Spirit: The New Legend (NES) (7.5) (5/3?) (~30 minutes)
36) Mighty No. 9 (PS4) (5.0) (5/6?) (~5 hours)
37) Contra III: The Alien Wars (Hard) (SNES) (8.5) (5/11) (~1 hour)
38) Operation C (GB) (7.5) (5/22) (~1 hour)

June:
39) Super Dodge Ball (NES) (9.5) (6/1) (~15 minutes)
40) Bare Knuckle III (GEN) (7.5) (6/3) (~1 hour)
41) Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) (9.5) (6/5) (~30 minutes)
42) Wizards & Warriors X: Fortress of Fear (GB) (4.0) (6/8) (~1 hour)
43) Castlevania: The Adventure (GB) (3.5) (6/9) (~1 hour)
44) Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (PC) (8.0) (6/15) (~8.5 hours)
45) Streets of Rage (GEN) (9.0) (6/17) (~45 minutes)
46) Ghouls 'N Ghosts (GEN) (6.5) (6/17) (~4 hours)
47) Contra: Hard Corps (GEN) (8.5) (6/18) (~50 minutes)
48) Mighty Gunvolt Burst (NS) (7.5) (6/23) (~3 hours?)
49) Exile's End (PC) (8.0) (6/24) (~5 hours)

July:
50) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4) (8.5) (7/1) (16h53m)
51) Pharaoh Rebirth+ (PC) (8.0) (7/3) (7 hours)
52) Jackal (NES) (9.0) (7/9) (45 minutes)
53) Golden Axe III (NES) (2.5) (7/9) (~45 minutes)
54) Rygar (NES) (7.0) (7/10) (~2 hours)
55) Faxanadu (NES) (8.0) (7/14) (~6 hours)
56) Tekken 3 (PSX) (6.0) (7/24) (~20 minutes)
57) Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4) (8.5) (7/30) (38h16m)

August:
58) Contra: The Alien Wars (GB) (3.5) (8/1) (~30 minutes)
59) Super Smash Bros. (N64) (8.0) (8/6) (~20 minutes)
60) Battletoads (Japan) (NES) (7.5) (8/10) (~40 minutes)
61) Castle of Dragon (NES) (2.5) (8/10) (~1 hour)
62) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (NES) (3.0) (8/10) (~30 minutes)
63) Strider (NES) (6.5) (8/11) (~2 hours)
64) Commando (NES) (3.5) (8/11) (~1 hour)
65) Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (NES) (6.5) (8/12) (~1h30m)
66) Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (GEN) (4.0) (8/12) (~1 hour)
67) Dragon Scroll: Yomigaerishi Maryuu (NES) (5.0) (8/13) (~4 hours)
68) Mega Man 8 (SAT) (7.0) (8/17) (~4 hours)
69) Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap (PS4) (8.0) (8/19) (4h42m)

So, I finally got Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap through Limited Run. I liked quite a bit! It shows its age in spots, but I see why the game is a cult classic. I may boot up the original just to see what differences there are in terms of hit detection and whatnot, if any. Everyone probably already knows, though, about the spectacular art on display here. I absolutely love this graphical style. This is quite literally the sort of thing I envisioned video games becoming in the future back in the NES days. Seeing a classic reworked so lovingly just warms my heart.

Of course, being an old classic also means it can be pretty obtuse at times, too. Not ridiculously so, but you're not going to get a map to help you remember where things are, so hopefully you've got a good memory or take good notes. I'm not sure I've got either at this point, because I did have to poke around a lot to remember where a particular door was or chest or breakable wall. Still, that's just part of the genre at the time. Heck, this is downright straightforward compared to Zelda II, now that I think about it.

Along with that, the soundtrack has been redone with excellent live instrumentation, and it sounds loads better than the sketchy SMS sound chip. Yes, I know some of y'all like it, but it's just too tinny for my tastes.

Anyway, the only thing I'm really disappointed in is that it's pretty short. I mean, I finished in under five hours. There is a little bit that I missed, so I'll go back in, but I wish it were just a wee bit longer. Again, I should have expected that. Regardless, if you've got a soft spot for exploratory platformers in the NES/SMS era, this is a fine one.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by REPO Man Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:00 pm

Watch_Dogs 2 for PS4. Really good GTA-like game, but a bit smarter and really topical in today's world. Should I play the first one?
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:53 pm

1. Axiom Verge (Windows/Steam)
2. Fire Emblem Heroes (iOS/no IAP)
3. Fire Emblem Heroes - Hard, Lunatic, and beyond: late game content
4. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS)

Here we are in August and this is really just my 3rd game to report back on. This whole being a dad business is super time consuming, though I gotta say, I'm in no hurry to see the end credits. The little one is crawling these days, so I have to stay sharp. But anyway, on to the game. I knew I wanted to try a DS Castlevania, and I suspected that it would be compatible with the kind of short play sessions I would have to limit myself to. I was right!

So, Dawn of Sorrow is a direct sequel to Aria of Sorrow on the GBA. It it set a year later. Soma and Mina are just hanging out downtown having a conversation about how Soma's soul-absorbing days are long behind him when a woman named Celia appears and sends three monsters against Soma. She claims to want to defeat him and facilitate the creation of a new Dracula through her cult. After defeating the monsters and collecting their souls, Arukado appears. Soma goes after the cult in a remote area where the cult has attempted to recreate Dracula's castle despite being warned against doing so by Arukado.

The gameplay here is pretty familiar in some ways. Kill enemies, gain levels, collect dropped equipment, and grind for souls, some of which drop at a frighteningly low rate. Gameplay occurs on the lower screen, and it's really nice to be able to toggle between the map and your stats and last enemy data on the top screen. Having the map up all the time makes it much easier to deal with navigating from one area to another. But this is a DS game and a sequel, so despite the sameness of the core mechanic, there's some new stuff in the mix. The first big change is that you can collect up to 9 souls from a creature, and the number of souls you have affects the power and nature of some of your attacks and abilities. Collect 9 skeleton souls and the bone you throw is larger and more damaging. This pushes players to not only collect souls but to bank them. The second major new mechanic is the necessity to upgrade weapons with souls. There are some weapons that can be bought, found on the map, or dropped by enemies, but they are mostly relatively basic and low-powered weapons. In order to unlock more powerful arms you must use souls to evolve these lower-power weapons. Some of the weapon paths are quite complicated and use rather difficult to obtain or rare, or even unique boss souls, to unlock. The third big change is that some unique gameplay elements have been added to use the touch screen. In one part of the map there's an arrangement of rooms you can adjust through a sliding block puzzle interface. There's also a soul power that lets you destroy certain blocks on-screen by touching them with the stylus. Finally, there are 5 magic seals in the game. Almost every boss is behind a magic door the requires one of the 5 seals to open. Once you defeat the boss, you then have to draw the seal accurately on the screen in order to seal the boss away. Fail to draw the seal correctly in the allotted time and the boss recovers some life and must be beaten down again.

While it is nice to have additional mechanics in a game that is otherwise rather similar to the previous title, these mechanics are actually at the root of the game's biggest problems. Now that souls are effectively currency in addition to abilities, grinding for souls can be even more frustrating. Wow, I got the rare iron golem soul! That sucker is HARD to kill and the drop rate sucks! Now I can sacrifice the soul and no longer have it's ability and upgrade my sword to do more damage! And if you've played any of the SotN-style Castlevania games, you know that constant weapon upgrades are necessary to stay current. Thankfully, the annoyingly elusive creatures found in Aria are gone. Instead there are 3 hidden creatures you can kill for their souls. There are little messages in the game that allude to their existence, and luring them out is a puzzle to solve. But once you know the solution you can easily keep doing it, and the drop rate for their souls isn't depressingly low. The touch screen content also introduce some problems. The block destruction mechanic is used sparingly and largely as a gating mechanism. The sliding block puzzle rooms area is just another thing to look up on-line because sliding puzzles are never worth it. And the magic seal mechanic is potentially the most frustrating of all if you don't deliberately practice the seals. When you defeat a boss there really isn't time to pull out the stylus, so you have to draw the seal with your finger, and you have to make sure to press down, because if you let off at the wrong time it decides you messed up and then you have to fight the boss longer. It sucks dying because you didn't remember the direction of a line or press down hard enough when drawing the seal.

It sounds like I'm being harsh, but there's some improvements over Aria as well. The music is much higher quality and some of the tunes are great. The DS also uses a lot of subtle 3D and warping effects to enhance some backgrounds. It's not quite as nice as SotN, but definitely impressive compared to other non-SotN titles in the series. The resolution of the DS screen is higher than the GBA, but still lower than the Playstation, so while there's more screen space than on the GBA it can still feel cramped in places. Color use is better than on the GBA and there is some great animation in play. Enemy art and design seems to be a mix of Aria and SotN. Many creatures appear in their SotN incarnations, and many new monsters are as well animated or better than SotN and Aria. The enemy design is probably the high point of the game. Level design is a mixed bag. There is no alternate castle (a good thing), and there is a semi-secret end-game area, much like the chaos realm in Aria but less disorienting to navigate. Normal castle areas, however, often suffer from uninspired or annoying room layouts and unnecessarily complex path navigation from one end of a larger room to the other. Perhaps there is some of this inherent to all these Castlevania titles, but it feels more annoying in this game for some reason. Only the upside-down castle in SotN was more frustrating to move through. There's a better variety of weapons in Dawn compared to Aria. Too bad you have to spend souls to unlock most of them. Most weapons feel slower than in previous games. The overhead weapons are particularly slow. Also, why does every game have to screw with the Valmanway? The end result is that I don't really have any weapon I just LOVE using in this game, unlike previous ones. There may be better weapons for particular purposes, but none of them are just super fun to use except maybe the thrown weapons. Those are fun, but also very low damage. I'll also give props to the story. It's not as cool as Aria of Sorrow, which had a fantastic story, but it's not bad at all. Soma is dragged back into a world he was trying to leave behind, some of his enemies are not who or what they appear, and there's again, a couple neat twists to the ending. There's also 3 different endings.

I enjoyed the game and for a mobile Castlevania title it's a visual and auditory treat, but the level design isn't quite as sharp as Aria or SotN's regular castle areas, the touch screen mechanics feel unnecessary and annoying, and the soul grinding aspect, already frustrating at times in Aria, is now even more frustrating due to the need to bank souls and sometime spend them on necessary weapon upgrades. I'll probably stick with the game a bit longer to try and 100% the souls and weapons, because I'm an addict like that, so clearly the flaws weren't enough to derail my enjoyment of the game. And I think if you played Aria and enjoyed it you'll probably enjoy Dawn of Sorrow as well. Just know that the changes aren't all good. I want to play the other two DS Castlevania games because I want to see where this model has gone from this point. It's clear that between Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow that this particular soul-collecting mode is tapped out. But hey, it was a really cool idea and it was used well, and now it's time to move on.
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