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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:45 am

MY SENPAI IS BACK!! I MISSED YOU EXHUMINATOR!!
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:53 pm

Thanks Elkin. Glad to see you're still beating lots of games up in here.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:06 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)
42. Scramble (Game Boy Advance, Konami Collector's Series: Arcade Advanced)
43. Super Cobra (Atari 2600)
44. Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II (GameCube)
45. Mecha Ritz: Steel Rondo (Steam)
46. Donkey Kong (Wii Virtual Console)
47. Donkey Kong Jr. (Wii Virtual Console)
48. Donkey Kong 3 (Wii Virtual Console)
49. Donkey Kong Jr. Math (Wii Virtual Console)
50. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (Nintendo 64)
51. Xak: The Art of Visual Stage (Super Famicom)
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Well, I haven't been playing games much lately, which incidentally coincides with me posting less and less. Expect this to be the new normal. Life is busy these days.
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I did get another crack at Xak though. The Art of Visual Stage just received a full translation patch for the Super Famicom. I talk more about the first two games, and the series proper, here. While the PC Engine CD received a two-game compilation à la Ys Book I & II, the poor Super Famicom only got the first game (published by Sunsoft).

Significant alterations have been made to this port, compared to the PCE. The graphics here are more cheery and colorful. Characters have that "super-deformed" look and it's just a much "happier" looking game overall. The music is significantly downgraded, sadly. Not just because it isn't CD audio (I love the SNES sound chip) but some strange compositional alterations have been made. For instance, in the PCE game the overworld theme has this groovy slap bass section, while on Super Famicom it just sounds like some asshole poking the E string. It's like listening to Flea play bass vs. listening to me play bass.
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This is just petty poop though. The most egregious sin of all is removing the glorious bump system in favor of traditional button-based combat. It's poorly programmed, with incomprehensible hit detection. A small step above the butter knife skirmishes of Lagoon. The shoddy combat also means that grinding takes way longer, and (surprise surprise) there's a lot of grinding.

Dungeon layouts are pretty consistent throughout all variations of Xak. There's a notable shmup section of the game, and while I find it annoying in most versions it's absolutely horrendous here. You're a slow ass giant target and the shmup boss - which continually pops on and off the screen - takes like 40 hits to kill. Oof.
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I do like the fan translation. There's a more humorous tone to this port overall, which I'm guessing was also present in the original Japanese text. There are some small plot elements that seem to be downplayed here. For instance, on the PCE it's apparent that our hero (Latok) is a ladies man, juggling no less than three mistresses. It's played for laughs, rather successfully, but there's nary a mention of such things on the Super Famicom.

Honestly, my perspective of this one has just been warped by playing the PCE port first. This is a good game, a solid action-RPG that fits in nicely with Lagoon, Neugier, Ys III, and the pantheon of SNES ARPGs. But the PCE variation is staggeringly awesome. If you must play this game once, get yourself a Duo. Even if you can't read a lick of Japanese.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:27 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Thanks Elkin. Glad to see you're still beating lots of games up in here.


Yay!

Great to have you back (and glad to read I'm not the only person who thought Leo's Fortune was aggressively mediocre).
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:10 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Honestly, my perspective of this one has just been warped by playing the PCE port first. This is a good game, a solid action-RPG that fits in nicely with Lagoon, Neugier, Ys III, and the pantheon of SNES ARPGs. But the PCE variation is staggeringly awesome.

Nice review. I've been interested in trying the Xak series for a very long time. But man is this series intimidating to make decisions with concerning all the different versions. For example, the original Xak was developed by Micro Cabin for MSX, PC88, PC98, and X68000. Then the SFC was developed by Tokai Engineering. And yet the PCECD versions were developed by Nippon Telenet's Riot division. So with the first Xak alone, there's at least six different versions produced by three different studios! Xak II is nearly as convoluted.

Anyway it can be a bit daunting figuring out which versions to play. I do wish the PCECD versions of Xak I & II had English translations though. As for what has received English fan translations:

Xak: The Art of Visual Stage (MSX2)
Xak: The Art of Visual Stage (SFC)
Xak II: Rising of the Redmoon (MSX2)
Xak III: The Eternal Recurrence (PCECD)
Xak III: The Tower of Gazzel (MSX)
prfsnl_gmr wrote:glad to read I'm not the only person who thought Leo's Fortune was aggressively mediocre

What really killed it for me was the last quarter of the game. I grow ever weary of eleventh hour difficulty spikes in indie platformers.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:02 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:MY SENPAI IS BACK!! I MISSED YOU EXHUMINATOR!!


HE RETURNS!!!

Welcome back! The forum just hasn't felt right without ya! :D
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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Segata
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Segata Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:32 pm

Yakuza Kiwami.

Oh boy, what a great game. Not to spoil it but I will miss some characters as I play later entries. I normally don't like kids in games (or at all) but Haruka was great. Adorable yet tough little girl. It's not as good as Yakuza 0. Not nearly as much to do but this is a remake. Majima Everywhere is pretty great, tho when trying to get somewhere it can get a little annoying. Really enjoyed it but not as much as 0. Look forward to Kiwami 2 and 6.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:45 pm

Segata wrote:Yakuza Kiwami.

Oh boy, what a great game. Not to spoil it but I will miss some characters as I play later entries. I normally don't like kids in games (or at all) but Haruka was great. Adorable yet tough little girl. It's not as good as Yakuza 0. Not nearly as much to do but this is a remake. Majima Everywhere is pretty great, tho when trying to get somewhere it can get a little annoying. Really enjoyed it but not as much as 0. Look forward to Kiwami 2 and 6.

Nice. I think 6 is finally and truly finishing off Kazuma's arc. Did you play 5? I'd like to hear more opinions on it since it sounds very mixed and unfortunately... looks like the longest game in the series by like 30+ hours, lmao.

I've beaten 3-4, gonna start up 0 soon and go from there. Super stoked for more.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:40 am

Partridge Senpai's 2017 Beaten Games:

1. Tales of Hearts R (Vita)
2. UPPERS (Vita)
3. Volume (Vita)
4. Overlord: Minions (DS)
5. Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)
6. Overlord II (PS3)
7. Overlord: Dark Legend (Wii)
8. La-Mulana (Remake) (PC)
9. Infamous: Second Son (PS4)
10. htol#NiQ: The Firefly Diary (Vita)
11. Blood Bowl (360)
12. Dead to Rights: Retribution (360)
13. Bioshock Infinite (360)
14. Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Part 1 (360)
15. Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Part 2 (360)
16. Singularity (360)
17. Seifuku Densetsu Pretty Fighter X (Saturn)
18. Ultraman: Hikari No Kyojin Densetsu (Saturn)
19. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) (repeat)
20. Song of the Deep (PS4)
21. Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 3 (GCN)
22. Banjo-Tooie (N64) (repeat)
23. Wario Land (VB)
24. Yakuza HD Edition (PS3)
25. Yakuza 2 HD Edition (PS3)
26. Vanquish (PS3)
27. Watchdogs 2 (PS4)
28. Pikmin (Wii)
29. Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
30. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U)
31. Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
32. Tales of Innocence R (Vita)
33. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
34. Boing! Docomodake DS (DS)
35. Kirby Triple Deluxe (3DS)
36. Magicka 2: Learn to Spell... AGAIN! (PS4) (repeat)
37. Pokemon Moon (3DS)
38. Pokemon Black 2 (DS)
39. Pokken Tournament (Wii U)
40. The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth + (Switch)
41. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam (360)
42. Saints Row (360)
43. Saints Row 2 (360)
44. Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell (PS3)
45. Shadow of Mordor (PS4)

46. Youkai Watch 2: Honke (3DS)

I fell in love with Youkai Watch after I played through the first one last year. It had some problems, but it still absolutely captivated me, and I FINALLY got around to playing through the sequel, and it's pretty damn good! It's exactly what a sequel should strive to be: Not too different, but fixes (or at least addresses) a LOT of the problems the first game had.

The story this time around is okay, but still nothing super special. It really does come off the feeling that they write all of the anime stories first and then adapt them to a game, because even though the main kind of conflict is there, you still get these almost completely unrelated side-stories now and again. There aren't NEARLY as many side stories as in the first game though. The pacing of the main story itself is a bit touch-and-go with how quickly some plot threads are picked up only to be very hurriedly resolved, but there aren't any loose ends at the end. It's serviceable and it makes you care enough, which is fine for me. What's MUCH better is the dialogue between characters. The first game was really just Keita/Fumi, their friends, and Whisper as the main cast. Aside from that it was almost entirely small small roles, even leading up to the main bad guy. This game makes Jibanyan his own character, a snarky, somewhat self-centered braggart and he plays a wonderful foil to Whisper's new attitude of being a know-it-all who really doesn't know it all. The addition of Jibanyan as an actually persistent character to the story really enhances the entertainment value. Once you tie that in with all of the silly references to things like Star Wars and Terminator, and you have a game that gave me more than one good belly laugh X3

The development of the map is a bit like the jump from Pokemon 1st gen to 2nd gen, but not quite as substantial in its changes to previous areas. This is more like Pokemon Colosseum to Pokemon Gale of Darkness, or Yakuza 1 to Yakuza 2. The original town remains completely unchanged, more or less, in its locations and music, but several new areas have been added in and around it to flesh it out more. However, actually traversing the map has been made somewhat tedious at times for the sake of realism. Now the main gimmick of this game is that you travel back in time to save the future, so you essentially have an entirely new map in the old version of the main town. You also can now ride the train in the main town to different stops, one of which is a country village, one of which is a sea-side town, but only the village has a past-version to go to as well.

Going between all of these can come off as not fun occasionally if you're trying to do anything but the main story. Now while you do have warp-points you can go to like in the first game, for a VERY long time, almost until you've beaten the main story, you only have one point in the map where you can actually go between the past and the present, and this place is a train ride away from the main town. So going to the past main town is a train-ride cut-scene away from that point. Additionally, there are over a dozen stops on the present's train-line that are just train stations with no warps or areas outside of them, so you can get stuck on the train for quite a while if you're pressing buttons too quickly and miss your stop. However this isn't all entirely terrible. You sometimes have Youkai encounter battles on the train between stops, you sometimes get silly conversations between the main character, Whisper, and Jibanyan, and you sometimes get characters to come up to you and give you rare items (sometimes obscenely rare evolution items, which is kinda nice). You can also just press start to skip these scenes, so it isn't as bad as most Squenix games in that regard :P

The combat system remains largely unchanged. You still have the Youkai family types from before, and you still have the elemental rock-paper-scissors mechanic from the first game. Your Youkai still battle in real time, and you still can't explicitly control them at any time. The main modifications to combat have been G-moves and Pecking. Once you hit about halfway in the story, you get the Zero-Watch, which allows you to do those moves. Instead of a normal special move, if the surrounding Youkai have their spirit gauges full as well, they can add their energy to the middle-Youkai that you've selected to do a version of their special with increased power. Pecking is a bottom-screen mini-game that can be done once-per-enemy (except most bosses) in a battle. Once they've started slacking or have been hit with a debuff, you can peck them similarly to how you pin them to aim at them. This starts a mini-game on the bottom screen where you can tap areas on them to either do extra damage, refill your spirit gauges a bit, get extra money for the battle, or, most importantly, increase your chances to become friends with them that battle.

Most of the significant changes to this part have been made in terms of player information and ease of play. Aiming over a Youkai to pin them now shows their elemental type (unless they're a special boss), whether or not you've caught them or not, and what kind of food they like. This isn't all entirely perfect though. The food items themselves still don't tell you anywhere in the game what food-type they actually fall under, so you've either gotta trial-and-error it or look up the wiki like I did. Given that they added new food types in this game, that makes it just has hard. Other annoying things like the only way to get the Soba food item being to repeated refresh the map to make the Soba delivery guy's cart fall over, and the food items, while being improved, are still more annoying than they have to be. And even with the addition of pecking, you still don't have a Pokeball-like system where you can essentially ensure you befriend a new Youkai on your first meeting. You've just gotta do the friend-peck and give them your best food and hope. Lastly, the gimmick of "Bony Spirits" (Genso) and "Fleshy Souls" (Honke) are two different gangs in the game, which kind act like the sexual dimorphism in Pokemon games. There will usually be slight differences in the Youkai between each group, but other than that they're the same functionally. HOWEVER, the thing that tells you whether or not you've already befriended that Youkai only tells you if you've befriended the Youkai of that specific tribe, which can lead to you misprioritizing whom to focus on befriending in a battle. On that note, you can feed more than one Youkai per battle now, so you do have one kinda extra thing in your friend-making arsenal.

The last most notable flaw this game has is in its base design of how you find and befriend Youkai. The thing about Pokemon is that it has trainers, and by battling lots of trainers, you can see lots of Pokemon you might not otherwise know about because you hadn't gone to the area they're in at whatever time you gotta go there. Youkai Watch doesn't have trainers, so while you can generally befriend any Youkai you fight (outside of some story events), if you don't go to the area that has them, you're not gonna find them. I put 70+ hours into this game, and I still hadn't seen like a third of the Youkai in the game at least. This game just has too many Youkai, and they really should've slimmed some of the literal reskin-Youkai (of which only a couple more are added in this game, but not nearly as many as there were in the original roster, and most of them are very very rare, not common, like the first gen's) out of the roster to make sure you'd actually see a lot of the newer ones. The more recent Pokemon games have made this mistake as well: A roster of more than 300 is just getting way too crowded, and it makes it very very likely you might just never run into some of your favorites.

Other miscellaneous improvements and changes have been added to the game. You have many more apps on your Youkai Watch now, so you can check things like the weather forecast, watch movie events over again, change the background music (once you've unlocked them with the too-rare music cards, tbh), track the Youkai spots you've found, etc. You also now can actually interact with other players in a Pokemon-style, as you can now trade Youkai between games, battle other player's teams, and even do side-mini-games with them like Youkai Watch Blasters (not the full release that came out later, but a slimmed down version that just takes place in the main city, no bosses or story or anything) which is a kind of action-spin on the Oni Jikan activity. Oni Jikan is still in the game, but it happens less frequently, you don't need to actually fight Aka Oni to lose anymore (you just instantly die when he catches you), you have more opportunities to fight back, the patrol guards are more forgiving in their line of sight (which STILL isn't displayed on your radar :? ), and you can just activate it any time you want if you just wanna play it yourself. Oni Jikan has been made a bit better, but I still don't enjoy it very much.

Edit: A re-read of my Youkai Watch 1 review made me want to add a thing or two which I felt was worth mentioning. A big reason this game has such a problem with helping you actually find all the Youkai is because this game has far less dungeons than the first game. That and they're basically putting another 120 Youkai into what is only a little more space than the first game had, makes for some Youkai being quite unreasonably difficult to find.

Verdict: Highly recommended. If you like games like Pokemon and Shin Megami Tensei for their gameplay, I would very highly recommend Youkai Watch. It's a fantastically fun spin on the formula, and while it still isn't quite perfect, this is a great upgrade from the first game. The links to the first game are very few, so it's perfectly simple to just hop into this game and completely skip the first one without feeling lost, in my opinion.
Last edited by PartridgeSenpai on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:18 pm

@Exhuminator

Go full PCE for Xak. There's a very good walkthrough for Xak I・II, and not a tremendous amount of text or menus anyway. Just know that towns contain a shop where you buy weapons and armor, and a separate shop where you enchant such equipment.

And don't skip the side game, Fray in Magical Adventure CD: Xak Gaiden. This one's not an RPG, more of a shmup-y top-down adventure, akin to Valkyrie no Densetsu. It's pretty damn fun and is only a few hours long.

Xak I・II is probably the best overall. Anything related to Telenet / Riot / Wolf Team / Renovation is guaranteed awesome.
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