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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:51 am

Exhuminator wrote:79. Jack Bros. | 7/10



I've been considering picking up the Japanese version of this for some time as it's a fair bit cheaper. Would there be anything that gives me difficulty due to the lackof English text?
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:06 pm

alienjesus wrote:Would there be anything that gives me difficulty due to the lackof English text?

The most significant text portions concern the intro and ending cinematics, as well as the copious amount of dialogue your fairy guide extends to you for the first three quarters of the game. However, you could always just watch the beginning and ending(s) on Youtube if you care about the plot. As for what the fairy tells you, most of it is totally obvious, if not outright patronizing. I don't think you'd have a hard time playing through the game in Japanese honestly. (Worse case scenario just use a GameFAQs guide if you get stuck.) All you need to worry about on a level, is looking at your lower right radar, and seeking out the shiny spots. Those are where the keys are. If you don't see a key just laying on the floor, then normally that means an enemy has it. Once you have all the keys, at least one "E" shows up on the radar. That means a gate(s) has unlocked. Go to that spot and keep pushing forward until you drop down to the next level.

Pretty fun game really, certainly ideal for a Halloween romp.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BogusMeatFactory Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:15 pm

And the Jack bros. soundtrack is insanely good. I love the sound of the virtual boy and wish there was more out there!
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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:48 pm

BogusMeatFactory wrote:And the Jack bros. soundtrack is insanely good. I love the sound of the virtual boy and wish there was more out there!


Listen to more PC Engine chiptunes. It basically has the same type of sound
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:12 pm

BogusMeatFactory wrote:And the Jack bros. soundtrack is insanely good.

It is, it really is.

I agree with Maru though, the TG16/PCE has very similar audio.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:48 pm

They both do wavetable synthesis, but the PC Engine is actually more flexible.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by laurenhiya21 Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:34 pm

1/15: Aviary Attorney (Steam)
1/16: Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star (Steam)
1/27: Sweet Fuse: At Your Side (PSP)
1/31: Harmonia (Steam)
2/21: Yakuza 0 (PS4)
2/28: Cooking Mama: Cook Off (Wii)
3/17: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
3/22: Kirby Super Star (SNES)
4/6: Nier Automata (PS4)
5/11: Persona 3 Portable (PSP)
5/28: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (Vita)
6/2: DOOM (GOG)
6/10: Utawarerumono (PC)
7/16: Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception (Vita)
7/16: Gardens Inc: From Rakes to Riches (Steam)
7/20: Mystic Inn (BigFish Games)
8/3: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)
8/19: Persona 5 (PS4)
8/24: Astebreed (PS4)
9/14: Yakuza: Kiwami (PS4)
10/10: Ar Tonelico 2 (PS2)

*NEW*
10/14: Littlewitch Romanesque (Steam)

Total: 22 games

Long review is long! I've added pictures for once, so hopefully it doesn't look too bad :|

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Littlewitch Romanesque is a game that I kind of just bought on a whim. I think the fact that it was a visual novel with gorgeous art got me curious, but then when I read about the dice-rolling gameplay sections I really wanted to try it out. Luckily for me, that was a great decision!

The game is about a powerful mage named Domino (weird name, I know), who is allowed access to a super ancient tower for three years as long as he teaches two girls (Aria and Kaya) to become mages. At the end of every year, Aria and Kaya are given a test and if they fail, they are sent back to their school and Domino has to leave the tower. That’s really the main gist of the story. Domino teaches the girls magic, lots of people come and visit the tower (most of them being women ha), and then shenanigans! While the plot itself isn’t that special, the characters do have a lot of fun events. They don’t really grow or change throughout the story, but there wasn’t really a time during the game that I got bored with them. Plus there is a fairly good mix of silly and serious moments. One thing to note is that quite a few of these scenes are quite pervy. In the un-patched Steam version, the most you will see are some cleavage, butts, panties, and implied sex scenes, but the patched and the “Perfecta” version of the game (not sold on Steam) also have nudity and sex. I personally don’t care about this at all, but if that sort of thing bothers you then you might want to skip this game (especially since Aria and Kaya do look like they’re underage).

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For the gameplay portion, there are 156 weeks (divided into three years) for Domino to teach Aria and Kaya magic. Each week, you can choose one of three things to do: Lesson, Learning, and Quest.

Lesson is where the girls essentially practice magic in order to gain Spirit points. This is the section with the dice-rolling bits. Both girls get three dice to roll; one die is unique to each girl, one die is dependent on what teacher you choose, and one die is dependent on what place you choose for them to study in. At first you can only choose Domino as the teacher and the Study room as the room, but as you progress in the game you unlock more of both. After you pick your dice, you get six chances to roll them (each roll representing one day). If the rolled dice have the same symbols as a spell that the girls have learned, then the spell will be cast and they will also get the Spirit points that are generated from the roll. If no spell is cast, then they still get the Spirit points that are generated (example: if one of them rolls two crosses and a crown, then they will get two of the cross Spirit points and one of the crown Spirit points). If you don’t do anything, then what gets rolled is random. However, you can also bump the dice a little to change the roll slightly (doing this do much will get you no Spirit points), or at the cost of ALL of the Spirit points you have earned so far during that week you can choose any learnt spell for the girl to cast. At first I wasn’t choosing spells very often, since why would I want to lose ALL of my points?? However, as you learn more spells, they can easily make up the difference of what you lost, like being able to make more dice or doubling all Spirit points earned that day. At the end of the week, the Spirit points earned for that week will be tallied up and you’ll be shown the results. Both girls can only hold a certain amount of Spirit at a time and any excess Spirit will be lost. This can be increased throughout the game, but I’ll get to that.

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Once you’ve generated enough Spirit points, Learning is where you go to learn new spells (bet you couldn’t guess that!). Aria and Kaya both have their own little skill trees, and each spell requires certain types of Spirit points to learn. Also each time you choose to learn a new spell, it takes up the whole week, you can’t just go willy-nilly learning whatever spell you feel like. Everything else about this is pretty basic skill tree sort of stuff, so I won’t explain any further.

Finally, Quest is where you… do quests. Throughout the game, people will request various things for Aria and Kaya to do. Sometimes they’re more silly and fun (let’s go camping!) to more serious requests (kill this bad sea serpent!), but either way quests are important to do. Doing these will not only make the requesters happy with Domino (which can lead to different endings), but they can also earn the girls more space to hold Spirit points. Some of them also can earn them Diplomas (which can give you different endings as well) and spell books which will grow Aria and Kaya’s skill trees. However, most quests have a time limit and they all require certain spells in order for you to complete them. Since it’s pretty much impossible to complete all the quests (at least on your first playthrough), you need to prioritize what quests to aim for and what spells you need to learn in order to complete those quests. But you also have to make sure to earn enough Spirit points to learn those spells. So the game sort of ends up being about managing you time wisely. Perhaps it sounds a bit simple, but I found it pretty entertaining. So much so that I accidentally spent three hours straight playing it the first time I started it up (which is fairly rare for me).

Another positive thing about the game is that the art is sooooo good! Just all of it is really nice to look at. Plus, while most VNs have the characters look not as good as when they are in special cutscene art, here the characters look about the same awesome quality. I know not every VN can do this sort of thing (it’s fairly short compared to many VNs as it took me only 14 hours to beat), but I wish more VNs had such nice artwork.

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Really the only negative thing that sticks out for me, is that Aria’s voice can be really screechy at times. She does a lot of yelling in this high pitch voice and it really hurts my ears. I honestly can’t think of any other negatives though.

To sum it up, I really enjoyed playing this game, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s definitely up there as one of my favourite games that I’ve played this year. If you’re into this sort of thing (which isn’t that many of you ha), then check it out!
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:13 pm

Nice post Lauren. I've had that one on my wishlist for ages. The art style is amazing.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:25 pm

1. Pokémon Moon - 3DS
2. Tony Hawk's Underground - GCN
3. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising - PC
4. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Retribution - PC
5. Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness - PSP
6. X-Wing: Imperial Pursuit - PC
7. Star Wars Republic Commando - PC
8. X-Wing: B-Wing - PC
9. Blazing Lazers - TG-16
10. Tales of Xillia 2 - PS3
11. Shining Force CD: Shining Force Gaiden - Sega CD
12. MUSHA - Genesis
13. Sonic CD - Sega CD
14. Final Fantasy Legend III - GB
15. Tales of Zestiria - PS3
16. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch
17. Horizon Zero Dawn - PS4
18. Tales of Berseria - PS4
19. Battlefield 1 - PC
20. Turok 2: Seeds of Evil - PC
21. Mass Effect Andromeda - PC
22. Starflight 2 - PC
23. Armored Hunter Gunhound EX - PC
24. Space Megaforce - SNES
25. Persona 5 - PS4
26. Torment: Tides of Numenera - PC
27. Cosmic Star Heroine - PC
28. Prey - PC
29. Strafe - PC
30. Mystic Origins - NES
31. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - 3DS
32. Ultra Street Fighter II - Switch
33. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - PC
34. Ultima IV - PC
35. Environmental Station Alpha - PC
36. Dust: An Elysian Tail - PC
37. Hollow Knight - PC
38. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter - PC
39. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd - PC
40. Call of Duty - PC
41. Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 - 3DS
42. Sonic Mania - Switch
43. Mighty Gunvolt Burst - Switch
44. XCOM2: War of the Chosen - PC
45. Metroid: Samus Returns - 3DS
46. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider - PC
47. Cuphead - Xbox One
48. Odallus - PC
49. Shenzhen I/O - PC

Last year I picked up TIS-100; a cute little programing game where you get a highly parallel but extremely limited computer that you have to program in assembly. It reminded me of some of the challenges in my assembly courses in college (which I always found fun), though the designer definitely liked to exploit the quirks of the system he built to get you to think laterally. Well now there's a pseudo sequel, that goes into some very minor circuit design considerations on top of the assembly, though the assembly craziness is dialed back.

The goal is presented as a series of challenges to build a circuit to solve a real world problem. You're given a series of input and output pins, and your job is to output the appropriate signals on the output pins depending on what happens in the input pins. You can place a few different components which are little assembly computers; you can read signals on their pins, do some assembly to manipulate data, then output data on their pins. How you connect these and set up your logic will control things. You also have to keep track of the physical space you use, as you need to fit everything in the allotted space and your surface traces can't cross. You also have to account for the fact that the real world moves MUCH slower than a computer; inputs and outputs are delivered every time slice and in between each slice you effectively have infinite computing time to do your calculations, but that also means that you need to ensure there is a sleep somewhere so you can wait for normal time to pass.

Most of the problems are fairly reasonable; reasonable humans will come up with a general algorithm and be able to translate it to the game's language. The last few problems, however, once again dip into forcing you to exploit the esoteric systems (like how the ROM/RAM modules are ring buffers) in ways that require a bit of lateral thinking to get to. One trap that's easy to fall into is to try and solve a more abstract problem than you're being presented with; if you have to make some sort of dirty assumption based on the test data that wouldn't hold true in all cases give it a shot. It's quite likely that the assumption will hold true because solving a more general case would require a bunch more space that the game doesn't give you. It feels dirty to put in such obvious hacks, but that's life.

Once you beat the main campaign you get access to the bonus campaign with even harder challenges; I haven't started that yet. I'd say the game is a bit more approachable initially than TIS-100 is. I'd also say overall it's easier if you're going for completion, as you generally have less moving parts involved in solving a problem and you have a bit more space per node, so you don't have to do so much keeping track of data moving from place to place just to have enough room for an algorithm.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:11 am

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80. Märchen Adventure Cotton 100% | SFC | 1994 | 7/10

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Here's a cute 'em up about a witch riding a broom shooting spells at baddies. This is a remake/remix of the original Cotton arcade shmup. This version features new levels and enemies, all rendered in a lighter family-friendly tone. There are some cutscenes before and after each of the seven levels, but I don't read Japanese. If you don't either, that's okay, because you can still enjoy the action all the same. Each level sees you fight a mid-boss and boss, and after each boss (save the last) there's a bonus round called Tea Time. Graphically Märchen Adventure Cotton 100% is decent, but never pushes the SFC's capabilities. The music is perky and fun, but hardly fits the mood of a maniacal witch murdering thousands of faerie folk. If you're looking for an easy shoot 'em up, you'll find it here. I beat this one on my first sit down with it, and I'm not even great at this genre. Despite its ease and aesthetic simplicity, Märchen Adventure Cotton 100% is still plenty of fun. If you enjoy witches, cuteness, and shooting magical creatures, come cast a hex with Cotton.
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