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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:46 am

115. Mystic Formula | PCECD | 1993 | 7/10

Mystic Formula is a Japan-only on foot shmup, developed and published by Micro Cabin, for the PCECD in 1993. Instead of using a ship to move and attack, in this shmup you pick one of four humanoid characters. The player is allowed free movement to stop and shoot at baddies, using magical attacks that upgrade with enemy drops. The player can also attack using special "scrolls" that do massive damage, but are rare to acquire and disintegrate upon use. Each stage has plenty of enemies to kill, a mid-boss, and a final boss, and there's quite a few stages. Mystic Formula is playable simultaneous two player, and I recommend doing so. I say that because Mystic Formula is rather difficult, your character dies via one hit, and with enemy projectiles flying all over the place, death is never far away. Granted the player is given extra lives, and continues. But continues simply start the stage over from the beginning. Only by grinding against enemies for power ups does a player stand a chance. However, after beating a stage, all power ups are reset and the player is back to square one again. The player also loses their power ups if they die. This is why I say two players are better then one here, due to increased fire power.


Being a CD-ROM based game, Mystic Formula offers prerecorded music and voice acted animated cutscenes. I wasn't too fond of Mystic Formula's OST, it's rather vapid honestly. However the voice acting sounded convincing (granted I can't understand Japanese, but there was definitely gusto), and the animated cutscenes are cleanly animated, and fun to watch. (I'm not exactly sure what the plot here was, but apparently our four heroes are trying to secure a powerful crystal from some arch nemesis.) Background graphics are kind of bland, but enemies and bosses are drawn well. I appreciated the classic 90s anime trope of mixing sci-fi with fantasy to inform the atmosphere. There are occasional vehicle sections, where the player controls an offensive craft. (These parts help to shake off monotony.) If you're looking for something not entirely unlike Gain Ground or Pocky & Rocky, Mystic Formula is worth checking out. Especially if you enjoy early 90s anime aesthetics. The initial difficulty may be off-putting, but once your technique improves, you'll fall into a conquering rhythm. While it's certainly not a perfect experience, Mystic Formula is a good choice for a shmup fan looking for something different.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:06 pm

Yay Micro Cabin. That game looks boss, shame it's so expensive.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:31 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Yay Micro Cabin.

I'm starting to understand why you love Micro Cabin so much. I think I'll hit up that Fray shmup tonight.

BoneSnapDeez wrote:That game looks boss, shame it's so expensive.

I beat it on my phone.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:21 pm

I really liked Wild Arms 5. It's like my secret favorite RPG on PS2. Not sure why it resonated so well. It's largely structured like Wild Arms 4, just more fleshed out. WA4 is also a fun time, if a little short. Both are very different experiences from the previous games, but I largely enjoyed the hex system. A little extra strategic depth, but still simple enough to not have to engage in a whole lot of deep thinking for fights.

Looks like I'm going to need to download that Mystic Formula game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Blu Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:28 pm

1. Runbow - Wii U
2. Battlefield 1 - Xbox One
3. Until Dawn - PS4
4. Super Mario Sunshine - Gamecube
5. Titanfall 2 - Xbox One
6. Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Party Game$ - Gamecube
7. Pikmin 2 - Gamecube
8. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Wii U
9. Dawn of War 2 - PC
10. Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising - PC
11. Sonic Mania - PS4
12. Castlevania IV - SNES
13. Super Monkey Ball - GameCube
14. Yakuza 0 - PS4
15. Chu Chu Rocket - Game Boy Advance
16. Overcooked - PS4
17. Wolfenstein: The New Order - Xbox One
18. Steamworld Heist - Wii U
19. Steamworld Dig - Wii U
20. Cuphead - Xbox One

I finally did it. After some on-and-off sessions with this game, I have finally beaten the final boss. Cuphead is an absolute work of art. I absolutely love the 1930's animation and big-band soundtrack. The gameplay offers a pretty robust, awesome playing experience like 85-90% of the time. For a shooter, it's pretty solid. There's a lot of variety in the power-ups, stages, and everything in between. I like there's a combination of bosses and run-and-gun stages. However, there are a few stages where I believe it's a little too unforgiving (Grim Matchstick), and patterns aren't exactly predictable. However, I feel a strong sense of accomplishing a game where the two final stages and beating the game is something that less than 10% of players have currently done. It's been a while since I get audibly excited for offing that final boss. It's one of the best games I've played all year, albeit its difficulty spikes. Have many of you finished Cuphead, or is it still on your backlog?
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:57 pm

Exhuminator wrote:I beat it on my phone.

Haha yeah, I know, emulation. I have a tough time going that route when I already own the hardware. May change my mind down the road if/when prices continue to climb.

Here's all the classic Micro Cabin console stuff I'd recommend:

PC Engine
Maison Ikkoku

PC Engine CD
Xak I & II
Fray CD: Xak Gaiden
Xak III: The Eternal Recurrence
Mystic Formula

Game Boy Color
Soul Getter: Houkago Bouken RPG

Game Gear
Pop Breaker
Fray: Shuugyouhen

Sega CD
Illusion City: Genei Toshi

Blazing Heroes
Riglord Saga 2
Eiyuu Shigan: Gal Act Heroism

Guardian War
The Life Stage: Virtual House
Lucienne's Quest

There's some other good shit beyond this, but you start to get into the realm of computer games, untranslated visual novels, and so on.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:03 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:I have a tough time going that route when I already own the hardware. May change my mind down the road if/when prices continue to climb.

I'm not knocking playing on the real thing. But if the only thing stopping me from playing an old game is $$$, I'll just emulate it. Life's too short. To be fair; I'm a player, not a collector.

Thanks for the Micro Cabin list, I will check those out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Flake Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:28 pm

January thru November:
Super Mario Bros Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 (GBA/WiiU)
Super Mario Bros Advance 2: Yoshi's Island (GBA/WiiU)
Wario Land 4 (GBA/WiiU)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3)

Front Mission 3 (PS1/PSTV)
Mega Man 2 (PS4)

Megaman 3 (PS4)
Megaman 4 (PS4)
Megaman 5 (PS4)
Megaman (PS4)
Megaman 6 (PS4)

Megaman Legends (PSX)
Final Fantasy X HD (PS4)

Marvel vs Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes (PS3)
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 (PS4)
Adventures of Mana (PSTV)
Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope (Switch)
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4)
Castlevania (NES/WiiU)

Castlevania The Adventure: Rebirth (Wiiware)
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA/WiiU)
Ultra Street Fighter II (Switch)
Megaman 8 (PS4)
Donkey Kong Country (SNES/WiiU)

Fable II (Xbox360)
Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom (Arcade/WiiU)


Metroid Zero Mission (GBA/WiiU)
Batman: Arkham City (PS4)

This will probably be my last update for the year!


Dragonball Xenoverse 2 (Switch)
Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 (PS3)

Dragonball Xenoverse 2 for Switch

Dragonball Xenoverse 2 for Switch is my first play through of a game ported from XBone or PS4 to Nintendo's new tablet of love. I prefer it to the original versions, vastly.

Xenoverse 2 for PS4 felt sterile and inorganic. I did not know at the time that the PS4 was utilizing an anti-aliasing filter that probably helped reduce jaggies but left the game feeling washed out and drab. The Switch doesn't have that filter and the result is a game that has a lot of jaggies during moments of static images (which nearly never happens) but has vibrant, cartoony colors and makes the game look like something out of the 90's era cartoon. It's easy to get so lost in the street of Canton City when I see a familiar locale from the show.

Very few other compromises were made for this version of the game. The game is locked at 30 FPS and it seems pretty solid. It does (for some reason) render 1v1 fights in 60 FPS, though. There is a smaller draw distance in the hub but it doesn't make much of a difference. All characters, stages, moves, costumes, and features are present and it is even receiving the new free DLC at the same time as the PC, PS4, and XBone platforms. As a person who went with WiiU releases for some multiplatform games, I am pleased to see that Switch players are not second class citizens.

There is even some temporarily free content exclusive to switch - a mission pack that includes all of the story missions from the first Xenoverse title re-created in game, along with cut-scenes!

My preferred controller for this was the Hori cabled Pro-Controller alternative and it was a perfect fit. The buttons mapped perfectly in their default configuration and the floating D-Pad was great for what the game asked of it.

Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3

This game has sat in my collection for a literal decade! I finally sat down and played through it in parallel with Elkinfencer. As a piece of fan service, it is outstanding. The sheer number of suits, familiar locales, and nods to storylines, inside jokes, and character rivalries is stunning. The graphics are a great example of cel shading done right and each suit (essentially "characters") is distinct enough that they mostly feel different.

So those are the highs. The game has some big problems, too. I haven't played many "Warriors" games but there are some quality of life features that I grew accustomed to in the much more recent Hyrule Warriors that are absent in DWG3. Grinding is the name of the game but the pay off is always super limited which is pretty frustrating. Their isn't much actual strategy or reason to take different fields so each mission was essentially me rushing to the enemies HQ as soon as possible.

The number of suits available is incredible but every time you unlock a new suit, you have to use a character that you have no affinity with along with that suit 5 times before you unlock a 'license' to use it with any other character - who have to individually 'buy' that license for amounts of in-game currency that seem really out of wack in a time-spent/satisfaction-realized comparison. I basically ended up choosing one character and one suit and pushed through - so much of the game's content was ignored because it was going to take hours to make another suit worthwhile.

Worst offense: Inability to 'lock on' to field captains or other officers or generals.

All said - I really liked the game despite its flaws but I never lost sight of those flaws.
The PSTV is amazing.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:06 pm

1. Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero (Wii U)
2. Blek (iOS)
3. Bloo Kid 2 (3DS)
4. HarmoKnight (3DS)
5. 3D Fantasy Zone II W (3DS)
6. Fantasy Zone (SMS/3DS)
7. 3D Fantasy Zone Opa Opa Bros. (ARC/3DS)
8. Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa Opa (SMS/3DS)
9. 3D Classics Twinbee (NES/3DS)
10. Rainbow Bell a/k/a Twinbee (ARC/DS)
11. The Legend of Zelda:Breath of the Wild (Wii U)
12. The Guardian Legend (NES)
13. The Clash at Demonhead (NES)
14. The Goonies II (NES)
15. Day of the Tentacle Remastered (iOS)
16. Mario Kart 64 (N64/Wii U)
17. Drancia Saga (3DS)
18. Chain Blaster (3DS)
19. Color Commando (DS)
20. Ace Mathician (DS)
21. Jump Trials Supreme (3DS)
22. Dragon Quest VII (3DS)
23. Fairune II (3DS)
24. RBI Baseball (NES)
25. River City Tokyo Rumble (3DS)
26. Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara (Wii U)
27. Arkanoid vs. Space Invaders (iOS)
28. Device 6 (iOS)
29. Transformers: Human Alliance (ARC)
30. Metroid Samus Returns (3DS)
31. A Ride Into the Mountains (iOS)
32. Super Mario Run (iOS)
33. Legend of Kusakari (3DS)
34. Banjo Kazooie (N64/360)
35. Go! Go! Commander Video (iOS)
36. River City Knights of Justice (3DS)
37. Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo (3DS)
38. Tomb Raider Go (iOS)
39. Lume (iOS)
40. To The Moon (iOS)

To The Moon (iOS) is, basically, a four-hour visual novel styled like an interactive cutscene in a 16-bit JRPG. The story might be deep or touching if you had never seen a movie, read or book, or interacted with another human. If that sounds good to you, go for it. I thought it was pretty horrible, however, and the few hours I spent with the game seemed longer than the 125 + that I spent with BOTW. Not recommended.
Last edited by prfsnl_gmr on Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:31 pm

I did not like the implications of the story at the end at all in To the Moon. If they ever follow up on it, I hope they delve more into what an moral conundrum what they were doing was, instead of trying to spin it (in my eyes) as something beautiful and wonderful.
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