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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:51 pm

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86. Sweet Home | Famicom | 1989 | 7/10

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In 1989 Capcom released Sweet Home, which was based on a horror movie of the same name. Neither the movie nor its video game adaption ever left Japan officially. (I am not going to explain the involved plot, if you want to know the story, read a synopsis.) The Sweet Home video game was critically acclaimed in its day, rising above typical licensed dreck. This was in large part due to the film's director acting as producer of the Sweet Home video game, as well as Capcom having quality development personnel at the time. In 2000, an English fan translation was released for Sweet Home, giving accessibility to English speaking Famicom/NES fans. After the translation, Sweet Home quickly gained a cult following in the west, and now graces many "hidden NES gems" and "best Famicom imports" lists around the net. It's easy to be initially impressed by this top down RPG/adventure hybrid, with its turn based battle system. Especially when the goal is to explore a spooky haunted mansion and fight grotesque paranormal monsters.

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So it's true that Sweet Home has a lot to offer. Firstly the graphics and audio. Sweet Home indeed has impressive ghastly graphics, creating a tangible sense of foreboding atmosphere. Sweet Home's dire and well orchestrated OST truly sets a grim mood. It short, this is a Famicom game which legitimately feels creepy to play, no small task given the platform. Sweet Home's gameplay interface systems are impressive in their capability. You have classic adventure commands like "look", "talk", "item" and the like. You have five characters to control at any time, and are able to pair them into teams of up to three. Each character has specific puzzle items only they can use, but can also carry up to two more item objects, as well as one weapon. Your teams must explore rooms, find object items, find new weapons, solve puzzles with the item objects, fight monsters as they appear in random battles, and try not die ever. I say "ever", because death is permanent in Sweet Home. Losing a character is a big issue, but not a game stopper. For instance, if you lose the vacuum character, another character can find a broom, and use the broom to substitute for the loss of the vacuum. Another point of difficulty are health potions, or rather the lack of them. The only way to heal in Sweet Home, is to use a health potion, of which there are limited quantities. It is true that Sweet Home is a difficult complex survival horror RPG-adventure hybrid. It is true Sweet Home has convincing atmosphere. But being fun to actually play? That's another matter.

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So let's talk about the bad stuff. First off, the extremely limited inventory system. Each of your five characters can only carry up to two item objects each, and this includes health potions. This means you are always backtracking to retrieve item objects you had to leave behind, due to not having enough inventory space. There are tons of different items, and you won't know what most of them are for initially. Trial, error, and tedium is the formula. Also the annoying backtracking is made even more slow by constant random battles. This limited inventory system was a just dastardly scheme, one designed to artificially prolong time it takes to beat Sweet Home. Also annoying is being unable to have all your party members travel as a single party. Sweet Home will allow all five members to join a single battle together, but never to travel as one entity. This means tediously switching back and forth between members, to move them all slowly as one herd. It's all just ludicrous really, and yet another way to purposefully waste the player's time. There are just so many ways Sweet Home intentionally wastes its player's time. To list all of them would waste your time. I just truly don't like when video games gleefully waste my free time via contrived asinine design. Unfortunately Sweet Home adores this concept. So should you play Sweet Home, I hope you enjoy taking lots of photos of identical frescoes to gleam esoteric hints.

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Perhaps some players won't mind the absurd backtracking, intrusive key hunting, constant item juggling, tedious party member switching, inane random battles, and inscrutable final boss sequence. Then again, I'd wager many of those "best of" list writers who so romantically talk up Sweet Home, never actually beat this perturbing video game. I do appreciate Sweet Home's forward thinking and innovative concepts, and can respect its ambition and maturity. This game does contain strides towards breaking new ground, and that is important. Some cite Sweet Home as historically significant due to being an influence for Resident Evil. That may be true, but I think Koudelka has a lot more in common with Sweet Home than Resident Evil does. For this player, Sweet Home was a great idea in concept, but rather botched in the entertainment department. So putting in nine hours to beat Sweet Home wasn't much fun. I can enjoy NES gore and spooky JRPGs as much as anyone, but I'm afraid Sweet Home was often too sour for my taste.

=================

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(That's supposed to be a possessed gangster, at least they could have made his eyes glow or something.)
87. Avenging Spirit | Game Boy | 1992 | 6/10

1992's Avenging Spirit on Game Boy is apparently a port of a 1991 arcade game of the same name. In this cutesy platformer, you play the role of a possession-capable spirit, saving some mad paranormal scientist's daughter, by slaying a mafia. You float over an enemy and possess them at will. But if you get hit too much, you can "die". (Or at least lose the ability to exist in the same dimension as the mafia? I don't know.) Aside from having the ability to possess all sorts of enemies, and use their bodies to fight with, the actual gameplay is bog standard platformer stuff. The six levels are super simple in design, with very basic boss battles. The one catch is; you're supposed to find three hidden keys and solve a code, in order to get the "good ending". If you care about that sort of thing, enjoy that then. All in all, Avenging Spirit is a forgettable but cute easy Game Boy platformer. Though it does let you spiritually possess a missile firing robot, I guess that counts for something.
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pierrot
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by pierrot Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:35 pm

Exhuminator wrote:This means tediously switching back and forth between members, to move them all slowly as one herd.

I was trying to find a relatively cheap cart of Sweet Home for a couple years, until I played a little bit of it on the Everdrive, and cooled down on it significantly, specifically because of the above.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:22 pm

1. Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour (PC)
2. Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter* (PC)
3. Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter (PC)
4. D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die (PC)
5. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (PC)
6. Deadcore (PC)
7. Yakuza 4 (PS3)
8. Hyper Light Drifter (PC)
9. Doom 2: Valiant (PC)
10. Resident Evil 7 (PS4)
10. Doom 2: Ancient Aliens (PC)
11. Doom 2: Vanguard (PC)
12. Doom 2: Doom 2 The Way id Did (PC)
13. Doom 2: Community Chest Pack 4 (PC)
14. Doom: Doom The Way id Did (PC)
15. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (PC)
16. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2 (PC)
17. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (WiiU)
18. Dishonored 2 (PC)
19. Kirby's Dream Land (GB)
20. Kirby's Dream Land 2 (GB)
21. Super Mario Land (GB)
22. Super Mario Land 2 (GB)
23. Mighty Final Fight (NES)
24. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES)
25. Trip World (GB)
26. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (Genesis)
27. Aladdin (Genesis)
28. Streets of Rage (SMS)
29. Bare Knuckle (Genesis)
30. Bare Knuckle 2* (Genesis)
31. Bare Knuckle 3* (Genesis)
32. Marchen Adventure Cotton 100% (SNES)
33. Earthworm Jim* (Sega CD)
34. Ghouls'n Ghosts (Genesis)
35. Contra (NES)
36. Super C (NES)
37. Final Fight 2* (SNES)
38. Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES)
39. Final Fight 3* (SNES)
40. Operation C (GB)
41. Contra Hard Corps [End B] (Genesis)
42. Mega Turrican (Genesis)
43. Prey (PC)
44. Dark Souls 3 DLC: Ashes of Ariandel & The Ringed City (PS4)
45. Spec Ops: The Line (PC)
46. System Shock Enhanced Edition (PC)
47. Tekken 7 (PS4)
48. Nier Automata [Platinum] (PS4)
49. Nier (B) (PS3)
50. Drakengard 3 (A-C) (PS3)
51. FEAR Extraction Point* (PC)
52. FEAR Perseus Mandate* (PC)
53. Transmissions: Element 120 (PC)
54. Ratchet & Clank (PS4)
55. Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4)
56. Sonic CD* (PC)
57. Alan Wake* (PC)
58. Deus Ex* (PC)
59. Momodora III (PC)
60. Mega Man 7* (PS4, MMLC2)
61. Mega Man 8* (PS4, MMLC2)
62. Mega Man 9* (PS4, MMLC2)
63. Mega Man 10* (PS4, MMLC2)
64. Rockman & Forte* (SNES)
65. Mega Man Legends (PSX)
66. Sonic Mania (PC)
67. Mega Man Legends 2 (PSX)
68. Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (PC)
69. Yakuza 0 (PS4)
70. Metroid Samus Returns (3DS)
71. Blue Revolver (PC)
72. Caladrius Blaze (PC)
73. Crimson Clover World Ignition (PC)
74. Deathsmiles (PC)
75. Ikaruga* (PC)
76. Jamestown (PC)
77. Metal Slug (PC)
78. Metal Slug 3 (PC)
79. Metal Slug X (PC)
80. Mushihimesama (PC)
81. Dead Space* (PC)
82. AM2R* (PC)
83. Trouble Witches Origin (PC)
84. Blaster Master Zero (3DS)
85. Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds (3DS)
86. Dead Space 2* (PC)

* replay

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It's sad earlier this month I got excited to replay some Dead Space, one of my favorite franchises. Second favorite series and trilogy from last gen after the Souls games and honestly as much I as liked Mass Effect, I like Dead Space more for the gameplay. Well the sad thing is as some have already heard by this point, EA closed down Redwood Shores / Visceral Games. A damn shame. But they graced us with a few masterpieces that have aged flawlessly.

I was excited to replay the PC versions, Dead Space 1-2 are on Steam. They work seemlessly with Xbox controllers and I used an X1 gamepad. Only thing to look out for is that you actually want v-sync off, otherwise it messes up with the framerate. I had no issues playing them on Windows 7, but there's a few potential problems out there. Should be easy to find solutions though. But if you want to go with consoles, stick with the 360 versions for sure. They are much better than the PS3 releases (worse resolutions and controls to me).

[Unpopular] Whereas most people were playing the boring slippery Uncharted games or the boring Gears of War take turns cover shooters [/Unpopular], Dead Space was none of that at all. Dead Space is the evolution of RE4 with no cover mechanics (the ones in 3 are over exaggerated too, barely even a thing), and you're fighting a huge array of crazy monsters instead of just a generic human soldier or alien from start to finish or whatnot. I love how Dead Space slowly introduces new enemies per chapter, along with some crazy bosses... almost Zelda-like at times. These games feel extremely Shinji Mikami-esque in a lot of ways, from limited ammo, to intricate combat mechanics, sparse upgrade materials pressuring you to really think about your spending, etc... it all keeps you on your toes and makes it fun. I love how chunky Isaac feels too, he's heavy and the controls are tight. Everything feels like a dream and is very precise.

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Truth be told I was not a fan of Dead Space 2 upon its release. Dead Space was one of my favorite games of all time, and the "it's not for your grandma" advertising for Dead Space 2 was just way too silly for me... and I was very upset about them giving Isaac a voice. Well, obviously I got around to it over the years and this is probably at least my 5th time running through it now, it continues to grow on me a ton and I absolutely love it now. There's still stuff I love about the first game more, the Metroid-esque vibe (map system and backtracking, isolated spaceship, etc), but Dead Space 2 refines some stuff and it's just so damn fun. There's a lot to love about the simplicity to it, it's a very linear game but with a lot of depth to the gameplay and tons of replay value with NG+, additional modes, tons of weapons to try out, secrets to discover, etc, just like classic PS2 era Capcom games... you really can't overstate the Capcom comparison enough. The best Capcom games that Capom never made, hah. With linearity though comes masterful perfection, every single area and corner of the game is beautifully crafted and designed, so deliberate from start to finish. It's such an amazing piece of art. Topped off with still to this day, some of the best sound design I've heard in a series.

Anyways yeah, basically the best third person shooters ever made in my book. It's hard to defeat my nostalgia for Resident Evil, but Dead Space's sci-fi aesthetics are sublime and really take me places. Thank you Visceral Games. I will continue to replay these forever.

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MrHealthy
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrHealthy Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:50 pm

* Replays

Previous Months:
January
1. Xevious - Namco Museum Essentials (PS3)
2. Xevious Ressurection - Namco Museum Essentials (PS3)
3. ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron (PS3)
4. Magrunner: Dark Pulse (PS3)

February
5. CounterSpy (PS3)
6. Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion XL (PS3)
7. Galaga Legions DX (PS3)
8. StarDrone (PS3)
9. Mortal Kombat - Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PS3)
10. Mortal Kombat 2 - Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PS3)

March
11. Paint it Back (PC)
12. Retro City Rampage DX (Vita)*
13. Xeodrifter (Vita)
14. Flower (Vita)*
15. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 - Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (PS3)
16. My Name is Mayo (Vita)
17. Uncharted Golden Abyss (Vita)*
18. The Unfinished Swan (Vita)*
19. The Muppets Movie Adventure (Vita)
20. Tennis in the Face (Vita)*
21. Super Stardust Delta (Vita)

April
22. LittleBigPlanet PSVita (Vita)
23. Gravity Rush (Vita)
24. Table Top Racing (Vita)
25. Assassin's Creed Chronicles China (Vita)
26. Assassin's Creed Chronicles India (Vita)

May
27. Garou: Mark of the Wolves (Vita)
28. Lego Lord of the Rings (Vita)
29. Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus R (Vita)
30. J-Stars Victory VS+ (Vita)

June
31. BreakQuest: Extra Evolution (Vita)
32. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (Vita)
33. Desert Ashes (Vita)

July
34. Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (Vita)
35. Minecraft (Vita)
36. God of War (Vita)*
37. Flying Hamster HD (Vita)
38. Hitman GO (Vita)
39. Ben 10 Galactic Racing (Vita)
40. Super Star Wars (Vita)

August
41. Adventure Time: Secret of the Nameless Kingdom (Vita)
42. Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
43. Severed (Vita)

September
44. Savage Bees (PS3)
45. Cloudberry Kingdom (PS3)
46. Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS3)
47. Elemental Monster: Online Card Game (PS3)
48. Thomas was Alone (Vita)*
49. Pocket God vs Desert Ashes (Vita)
50. StarDrone Extreme (Vita)


October
51. Motorstorm Apacolypse (PS3)

52. Silent Hill Origins (PSP)
It's October so that means scary, or at the least vaguely horror themed, games!

Kicked it off with Origins which while not full on scary was creepy and tense. It was my first experience with Silent Hill and it definitely won me over. You can see some of the more modern influences from games like RE4 but still feels very unique. Wasn't expecting the cult aspect, always thought Silent Hill was just paranormal stuff. Will for sure be checking out other Silent Hill games, I know I have the first one somewhere.

53. House of the Dead 3 (PS3)
Another first for me, I had never played a House of the Dead before, and have put very little time into on rails shooters. I ended up getting all 4 endings and clearing time attack mode. Game play was very fun, a genre I am excited to explore more. But what the hell was that story. Final boss was some weird sci-fi dead or alive dude. Just really confusing and weird.

54. The Walking Dead Michonne (PS3)
An enjoyable little mini-series (3 episodes) that is not connected to seasons 1 or 2 (I haven't played 3). Doesn't actually use the zombies too much, they are more a background to explain the human conflict that largely makes up the story. Felt episode 2 was the weakest, not a lot happened. Its more telltale walking dead, if you have liked previous entries you will like this. Engine still sucks though.

55. Poltergeist: A Pixilated Horror (Vita)
Spooky themed puzzle game? Sign me up!
You play as a dude who died and decide you don't want people living in your mansion so you scare them out. Dick move. Eventually you even just start sucking people into limbo to spend eternity in nothing. Also a dick move.

Game play is pretty simple, each level you have a set number of ghostly powers to scare people away with. Certain people resist certain scare tactics and different levels have different objects to interact with. It does get a little repetitive, so every 15 levels you get a new theme (classic, eighties, modern, office) but it doesn't actually change the gameplay at all. Difficulty was just right, a few levels gave me trouble but overall they can be accomplished on your first go if you think ahead carefully.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:05 pm

Silent Hill Origins actually plays pretty much exactly like Silent Hill 1-3, they don't have breakable melee weapons though.

I like Origins a fair bit, but honestly... it's not even close to how good the main line is. So yeah, you're geared up for some true greatness now.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:14 pm

pierrot wrote:I was trying to find a relatively cheap cart of Sweet Home for a couple years

You're not missing much, really. Sweet Home is over-hyped considerably.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Ack Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:38 am

1. Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide (PC)(Action)
2. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (SNES)(Fighting)
3. DRAGON: The Bruce Lee Story (SNES)(Fighting)
4. Eradicator (PC)(FPS)
5. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (PC)(FPS)
6. D-Force (SNES)(SHMUP)
7. Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon (PC)(RPG)
8. Dying Light (PC)(FPS/RPG)
9. Dying Light: The Following (PC)(FPS/RPG)
10. Gauntlet: Slayer Edition (PC)(Hack and Slash)
11. Dear Esther: Landmark Edition (PC)(Walking Simulator)
12. Dead Pixels (PC)(Run and Gun)
13. Half-Life: C.A.G.E.D. (PC)(FPS)
14. Hell Yeah: Wrath of the Dead Rabbit (PC)(Action Platformer)

15. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 (PC)(FPS)
16. Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory (PC)(Platformer)

This turned out to be a fairly short game that could easily be played through pretty quick, so I knocked it out over the weekend. That's not to say it doesn't offer a challenge if you really want it, such as achievements for beating each of the 5 worlds without dying a single time(and that is a challenge, especially if you're not so big on this genre as I am). But if you don't care about that, it's a pretty short cakewalk...no pun intended.

The basic plot is that you play a sentient sugar cube that wants to escape a factory which apparently makes a variety of types of candy or sugary things. Each world focuses on a different type of candy for aesthetics, be it chocolate, gum, or even soda. Story presentation is handled via mostly static images and garbled communication with subtitles. I found myself mentally comparing it to the likes of Katamari Damacy, and the game certainly has its charm. There are also two endings, one of which is unlocked only if you managed to secure the ten special sugar gems hidden throughout the game.

The game has a weird switching mechanic, where tiles you walk over are "flipped" to an inverse of some kind. Now this inverse may not be significant, or it may swiftly become lethal or offer a way out of the level. Proper thinking and planning is key, and navigating each level may result in numerous restarts or deaths before you finally figure out the key to getting through. There are also some entertaining mechanics, such as falling drops of water which cause you to shrink in size until you go beyond a certain point and get turned into a sugary puddle. And then there are the power ups, which can restore your size, shift the area of tiles that you are flipping, or even give you the power to flip all tiles with the press of a button.

That said, you're gonna need these abilities, not only to get through the occasionally puzzling level but also to avoid the enemies, because there is no combat. You touch an enemy, you die. You touch spikes, you die. You fall in a pit, you die. You'll die a lot in your initial run, and that's ok. It's only later if you attempt to get through the five areas without dying that it really becomes a problem. Each area is broken in to 17 levels and a boss "fight" where you mainly just have to figure out how to escape them. Die at any point, and you have to restart the whole run. You can't simply quit out and start at that level again, so with all the instant deaths, it proves to be a challenge. As of right now, I've only managed to make it through the first area; the rest, I haven't even made it through the first 10 levels without a death marring my run.

Yes, it's a sappy game. Yes, it's cutesy and somewhat silly. Yes, it's also tough if you want it to be. I still found myself enjoying it, even though I only own it because a friend sent it to me as a joke. It wasn't a bad way to spend a few hours.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:26 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
pierrot wrote:I was trying to find a relatively cheap cart of Sweet Home for a couple years

You're not missing much, really. Sweet Home is over-hyped considerably.

I find that generally true of most of the 8-bit RPG era. The only place that isn't really true is Final Fantasy III on Famicom and the third and fourth Dragon Warrior games. But even then, outside of nostalgia (of which I have a considerable amount for the latter), I'd recommend playing them somewhere else (DS for DQIV, and either GBC or SFC for DQIII.

Well, that, and I still think the original Final Fantasy is good stuff. But I haven't played through the NES iteration in quite some time, and there are copious remakes out there that smooth out the difficulty curve.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:47 pm

Sarge wrote:I find that generally true of most of the 8-bit RPG era.

Yeah, it's probably safe to say that 8-bit action-RPGs have aged better in general versus 8-bit turn based RPGs. Specifically because of the ludicrous amount of grinding. I was thinking the other day of making a thread about 8 and 16-bit JRPGs that have aged well. "Well" being defined as "don't rely on absurd amounts of grinding" and "can be beaten in ~30 hours or less".
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:46 pm

Well, most of them were less than 30 hours, anyway. I do know, though, that most of the 8-bit ones required a lot of grinding. That's what makes them a lot less fun these days. Interestingly, though, the best ones had their grinding up front. The original Final Fantasy, for instance, really smoothed out once you were past the Marsh Cave. Dragon Quest III and IV only had a few major chokepoints that required grinding beyond the start. The best 16-bit RPGs didn't really require much grinding at all; Chrono Trigger is one (but it is pretty easy overall), and I think Final Fantasy III falls into that as well unless you want to outfit your entire team with Ultima (which I did).
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