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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:43 am

First 50:
1. 3D Power Drift 3DS
2. Maze Hunter 3-D 3DS
3. Hyrule Warriors Legends 3DS
4. Icarus Proudbottom's World of Typing Weekly PC
5. Paper Mario N64
6. Catherine PS3
7. Glover N64
8. Blast Corps N64
9. Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! Switch eShop
10. Pullblox 3DS eShop
11. Pokémon Picross 3DS eShop
12. Bare Knuckle III Mega Drive
13. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja SNES
14. Alisia Dragoon Mega Drive
15. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Mega Drive
16. Dynamite Headdy Mega Drive
17. Runbow Wii U eShop
18. The Mystical Ninja starring Goemon N64
19. 3D Puyo Puyo 2 3DS
20. Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa 3DS
21. SteamWorld Dig 3DS eShop
22. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Switch
23. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped PS1
24. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time GC
25. Pilotwings 64 N64
26. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones GBA
27. Puyo Puyo Tetris Switch
28. Life Force NES
29. Bionic Commando NES
30. Bonk's Revenge TGCD
31. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia 3DS
32. Splatoon 2 Switch
33. Shantae & The Pirates Curse 3DS eShop
34. Devil May Cry PSN
35. Team Kirby Clash Deluxe 3DS eShop
36. Blaster Master Wii U VC
37. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes GC
38. Wario Blast! featuring Bomberman Game Boy
39. Astro Boy: Omega Factor GBA
40. Daiku No Gen-San: Ghost Building Company Game Boy
41. Kirby: Planet Robobot 3DS
42. Noobow Game Boy
43. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 Game Boy
44. Mario Golf N64
45. Akumajo Special: Boku Dracula-Kun Game Boy
46. Rockman World 5 Game Boy
47. Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! GBC
48. Sonic Mania Switch eShop
49. Marvelous: Mōhitotsu no Takarajima SFC
50. Super Mario Odyssey Switch

51. Gauntlet IV Mega Drive
52. Alex Kidd in Shinobi World Master System
53. Psycho Fox Master System
54. The Ninja Master System
55. R-Type Master System
56. Momotarō Katsugeki PC Engine
57. Overcooked: Special Edition Switch eShop
58. Parasol Stars PC Engine
59. Star Parodier PC Engine
60. Cadash PC Engine
61. Dead or Alive Ultimate Xbox
62. Dead or Alive Ultimate 2 Xbox
63. OutRun 2 Xbox
64. Pop'n Twinbee SNES
65. Wild Guns Reloaded PS4
66. Journey PS4
67. Rez Infinite PS4 *NEW*
68. Caladrius Blaze PS4 *NEW*


Replays!:
1. Bare Knuckle III Mega Drive
2. Die Hard Arcade Saturn
3. The World of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Mega Drive
4. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble 3DS VC
5. Trip World 3DS VC


8 to go...

Rez Infinite

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Last year I played through Child of Eden for the first time, and it was great. I loved playing a music driven game that wasn’t inherently a rhythm game, and the stunning graphics and eclectic soundtrack kept me hooked. So when I saw that it’s predecessor Rez was getting a physical PS4 release, I jumped on it for the chance to give it a go.

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In Rez, your flying avatar proceeds through 5 worlds shooting enemies and powering up before taking on a boss. The big gimmick here though is that enemies and attacks all work with the rhythm of the music, with the goal of creating a sense of Synaesthesia. As you fly down the on-rails course, the controller vibrates in time with the beat. As enemies appear, you lock on to them, Panzer Dragoon style, before releasing to launch a homing shot at them all, which naturally hits in time with the rhythm. Defeating certain enemies will reveal icons and power ups, the most important one of which takes you down to the next section of the level – you start at 1 and finish at 10, with each level adding more complexity to the soundtrack as you go.

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Although you start as a simple flying box figure, some enemies drop items which can be gathered en-masse to ‘evolve’ your character. You become a 3D model of a man, before advancing to a meditating buddha-like figure and then a spirallking cortex. On the final level you become a baby at the highest form of evolution. Taking a hit will knock you down to a lower form and being hit in the lowest form will cause you to die, although I never once managed to game over on my run (the final boss cut it close though!). You can defend yourself from enemy attacks by locking on to them and shooting them down though, as well as using the ‘bombs’ you pick up which make you invincible briefly and destroy things around you en masse.

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While the stages are generally very basic, with simple neon lines and not much to see, the bosses are the highlight of the game probably. Each fights in a unique way – whereas the 2nd boss shields itself before entrapping you and requiring you to shoot weak points on the walls it shoots at you, the 3rd surrounds itself with dozens of shield panels and cannons which must be shot down en-masse all whilst defending yourself from the dozens of missiles it will send after you.

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I like Rez Infinite quite a bit, but if I was going to choose between the two games, Child of Eden is far superior. Not only is the gameplay more interesting thatnks to 2 types of weapon, and more engaging with it’s first person perspective, I also much preferred the music in the later game, and the worlds of Child of Eden were far more spectacular and free-flowing, thanks to the superior hardware driving it. However, Rez Infinite’s big reason for existing on PS4 is that it is VR compatible. Whilst I don’t have the Playstation VR hardware, I have to imagine Rez was a good use for the system – the simple graphics would still look great on the lower-res (rez? Lol) screen, whereas Child of Eden would lose a lot from the lack of HD visuals.

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Overall, Rez is a fun time, and worth playing if you can get your hands on it. It’s pretty short (about 2-3 hours) and quite easy, but it’s very engrossing. The physical copy of the original is pretty expensive from what I understand, so this PS4 disc is a great way to play – high res visuals, VR support and a cheaper physical copy all seem like a good reason to prefer this version to me!


Caladrius Blaze

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Caladrius Blaze is a game I picked up on a whim. Limited Run Games said it was coming out, and in the back of my mind I registered something about hearing good things about it and though, ‘eh, why not’. The game is a vertical shoot’em up of the bullet hell variety, but it has some interesting elements that I thought made it quite enjoyable, especially for a pretty mediocre shmupper like me.

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Caladrius Blaze is quite a story driven shmup, although as is the case with these games don’t expect to particularly be enthralled. In fact, don’t reall expect to be able to follow along. You can play as 8 different characters who all come with their own weapon attack pattern and more importantly, their own set of ‘elementals’. Elementals are spells which can be used as alternate fires and come in 3 varieties – offensive, defensive, and support.

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As an example, the first character I played as came with an elemental where the offensive option left delayed projectiles behind – they’d stall a second then shoot up the screen, adding additional fire power to your standard attack which they did not disrupt. The support skill was a homing laser which could be used to hit enemies across the screen when you were busy dodging their attacks. Finally, the defensive elemental created a barrier in front of me which dealt powerful damage and deleted enemy bullets, but was very short range and prevented me shooting. Elementals would drain quickly when being used, but refill very quickly when not being used quickly, so they’re a core part of your kit.

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In addition to the basic elemental attacks, you can also use a bomb to damage all enemies on screen or unleash all of you elementals at once to create a spiral of firepower. The latter option is useless though, as the elementals are too strong to waste this way, especially as they grow. Throughout levels you can find elemental shard which can be used to power up your elements at the end of each stage. My single homing laser eventually grew into a 5 pointed star of homing lasers, and my small defensive shield ended up growing to protect me from the front and sides and being much bigger than it started. The offensive option remained pretty crap though. These powerful effects allow people much worse at shmups to get by – the shield elemental is amazingly powerful and can make some enemy attacks a breeze to get buy as long as it hasn’t ran out.

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The elephant in the room for Caladrius Blaze is that it also has pervy weeaboo element. At the sides of the screen you can see your character and your opponents (if you’re fighting a boss). Destroying a section of the bosses life gauge quickly enough causes a ‘shame break’, which allows you to deal more damage to the boss from that point on. You can shame break each section of their life bar. What shame break also does though, is rip your opponents clothes, which each successive shame break reducing their garments to less and less. In turn, losing a life of your default 3 lives per credit also causes your characters clothes to be torn.

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In all honesty, this is a pretty pointless mechanic for several reasons, chief among them ebing that you won’t be looking at the sides of the screen due to all the bullets you’ll be dodging. However, there’s also the fact that not many of the images are all that provocative, which kinda makes you wonder why they’d even implement the mechanic at all. At least it’s equal opportunities – the guy characters are not exempt from this mechanic, and neither is the character who is a giant glowing god bird.

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Caladrius Blaze is a fun little bullet hell shooter with some interesting mechanics that make it more welcoming to newbies. However, the difficulty ramps up very high despite this. The silly stories and various undressed images might be enough to drive casual players forward, but I suspect there’s a lot more too it if you’re the type who delves into the deeper mechanics of the genre. Either way you play, it’s a fun time and I liked it quite a bit.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:31 pm

Previous games:
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)
70) Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PS3) (6.5) (8/25) (~30 minutes)
71) Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (DS) (7.5) (8/27) (25 hours?)
72) Daikatana (GBC) (6.5) (8/28) (~3 hours)
73) Bionic Commando (NES) (9.5) (8/30) (~1.5 hours)
74) Adventure Island II (NES) (6.5) (8/31) (~3 hours)
September:
75) The Mafat Conspiracy (NES) (5.0) (9/1) (~1.5 hours)
76) Snake's Revenge (NES) (8.0) (9/4) (~4 hours)
77) Ys: Memories of Celceta (VITA) (7.5) (9/4) (~25 hours?)
78) Skate or Die 2: The Search for Double Trouble (NES) (5.0) (9/7) (~2 hours)
79) 1943: The Battle for Midway (NES) (7.0) (9/9) (~2.5 hours)
80) Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom (ARC/360) (5.0) (9/9) (~1 hour)
81) Arkista's Ring (NES) (6.0) (9/9) (~1 hour)
82) Bad Dudes (NES) (4.0) (9/9) (~45 minutes)
83) G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor (NES) (7.0) (9/10) (~2 hours)
84) Target: Renegade (NES) (2.0) (9/10) (~1 hour)
85) Gyruss (NES) (8.5) (9/11) (~1 hour)
86) Renegade (NES) (3.5) (9/12) (~30 minutes)
87) Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS) (9.0) (9/18) (11h35m) (16h total time)
88) Rambo (NES) (4.5) (9/19) (~3 hours)
89) Return of Double Dragon (SFC) (8.0) (9/20) (~1 hour)
90) Wizards & Warriors (NES) (6.5) (9/21) (~1.5 hours)
91) Wizards & Warriors III - Kuros: Visions of Power (NES) (6.5) (9/23) (~4 hours)
92) Wolverine (NES) (3.0) (9/23) (~1 hour)
93) The Jetsons: Cogswell's Caper (NES) (6.0) (9/23) (~1 hour)
94) Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II (NES) (6.5) (9/24) (~2 hours)
95) The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino and Hoppy (NES) (6.0) (9/24) (~1 hour)
96) RodLand (NES) (7.0) (9/30) (~1 hour)
97) Gradius (NES) (7.0) (9/30) (~30 minutes)
98) Life Force (NES) (8.0) (9/30) (~1 hour)
99) Gradius II (NES) (8.0) (9/30) (~1 hour)
October:
100) Guerilla War (NES) (6.0) (10/1) (~1 hour)
101) Gun-Nac (NES) (7.5) (10/2) (~1.5 hours)
102) Mega Man 9 (PS4, via MMLC2) (9.5) (10/7) (~2.5 hours)
103) Star Wars (NES) (5.5) (10/7) (~1.5 hours)
104) Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (PS4) (9.0) (10/25) (49h20m)
105) Super Mario Odyssey (NS) (10.0) (10/31) (10 hours?)
November:
106) Super Castlevania IV (SNES) (8.5) (11/11) (4 hours)
107) Transformers: Devastation (PS4) (6.5) (11/18) (5h56m)
108) Dracula X: Rondo of Blood (DUO) (8.0) (11/26) (2 hours)
109) Castlevania Chronicles (PSX, X68K mode) (6.5) (11/29) (6 hours)

December:
110) Faussete Amour (DUO) (5.0) (12/4) (3 hours)
111) Ys III: The Wanderer from Ys (DUO) (5.5) (12/7) (~5 hours)
112) Kaze Kiri: Ninja Action (DUO) (6.5) (12/9) (~1.5 hours)
113) Ys Book I & II (Book I) (TCD) (6.0) (12/16) (~5 hours)
114) Shin Megami Tensei: Synchronicity Prologue (8.5) (12/17) (~3 hours)
115) WeaponLord (GEN) (6.5) (12/18) (~40 minutes)
116) Alwa's Awakening (PC) (6.5) (12/20) (~6.5 hours)

Finally finished this one off. I'm trying to figure out exactly what it reminds me of. It's a Metroidvania, but it also feels like it's got some Solomon's Key or Legacy of the Wizard in it? The credits also say Battle Kid was an inspiration.

Basically, just call it NES-style shenanigans. This is one of those games that I could have seen as a B-tier title on the system. The pace is a little too sedate for my tastes, though. Jumps are pretty floaty, and most of your movement methods are pretty slow. The first is a conjurable block that you can jump on or push on to switches, and later, you can ride it across water. The second is a bubble you can ride upwards, eventually upgraded to never pop. The bubble, particularly, creeps along on a steady ascent.

Still, the pacing proves to be about right once you hit the final level, because that's when the game gets mean. To this point, mildly difficult platforming is the order of the day. But the last area throws a ton of tricky jumps at you, often many rooms in a row, before you can get to a save room. If you've been playing NES games for a long time, you'll manage, but I can see folks getting very frustrated at this point. For me, I feel this starts the game on its upwards trajectory; I wish there were more of the tricky platforming. Just... put more checkpoints so I don't stress so much.

Overall, I found the game perfectly passable. Not spectacular, but solid enough, and some other folks might enjoy it more than I did. Not much of an ending, but definitely a hint that maybe there's another game on the horizon. I'd like to see what this team could do with some experience under their belt.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Re: Games Beaten 2017

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:14 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)
41. The Executive (iOS)

The Executive (iOS) was a nice palate cleanser after the execrable To The Moon. In it, you play as a worker at the Silverstrike Mining Company who works his way to the top through a combination of acrobatics, martial arts, and business acumen. In other words, you fight werewolves for money, which you use to buy more mining equipment, hire more workers, learn magic spells, and upgrade your fighting techniques. The whole thing is a bit surreal, but it is really a lot of fun. The core gameplay is like a fun version Gladiator (ARC) or China Warrior (TG16), and it is nice building your company from one that earns a few dollars a day to one that brings in billions of dollars a year. (A great feature of this game is that your company keeps earning money even when you aren’t playing; so, if you get stuck, you can turn it off for the night and wake up to enough money for an upgrade.) I really enjoyed it, and while it runs out of steam towards the very end, I highly recommend it.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:37 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:The Executive

After having beaten The Executive myself last year (Android version), I want to concur with prfsnl_gmr that The Executive is a highly decent beat 'em up.

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123. Sakura Santa | PC | 2015 | 6/10

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Sakura Santa is a visual novel for PC (also Linux and Mac), developed by Winged Cloud, and published by MangaGamer, in 2015. Sakura Santa's plot concerns a young man named Koji. He's recently started college in a town he barely knows. Christmas is coming soon, but being so far away from his family, Koji will be spending Christmas alone. The thought of doing so has Koji feeling depressed and suffering cabin fever sitting around in his apartment. Distraught, Koji leaves his apartment and starts wandering around town. Soon enough he wanders to the outskirts of town and finds a shrine. Koji decides to make a wish at the shrine. He wishes to not have to spend Christmas alone. "I want to have someone to spend Christmas with this year." Shortly after making that wish, he meets three girls, all with unusual quirks. One is a fox spirit in human form, the other a classmate he once knew, and lastly a young woman who claims to be Santa Clause incarnate. They all want to spend time with Koji during the Christmas holidays. This unexpected situation puts Koji into a dilemma. Which young lady will he spend Christmas day with this year?

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This highly improbable setup is contrived for the sole reason that Sakura Santa is a dating sim of sorts. The goal is to romance one of the three ladies, by choosing narrative paths that lead to whomsoever the player prefers. Ultimately Koji will end up spending Christmas with one of these girls. That said, don't expect Koji to bed any of them. Sakura Santa has ecchi scenes, very revealing and sexually oriented poses and such. But Sakura Santa is not a hentai title. There's no sex scenes in this game. Ultimately the overall experience is PG-13, despite all the aesthetic allusions. And speaking of aesthetics, Sakura Santa meets Winged Cloud's usual high level of skillful artistry. From the beautifully rendered backdrops, to the emotive character portraits, to the buxom scenes of scantily clad ladies, Sakura Santa's artwork never ceases to impress. Sakura Santa's OST is also delightful, full of happy tunes that sometimes ring of Christmas cheer. The pleasant audio and arousing artwork go a long way to keep the player's attention. It's a shame the core principle of the experience, the writing, doesn't.

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As popular as visual novels are, it's the very rare VN that has a truly good story. Sakura Santa is no exception to this general rule. This VN is chock full of redundant filler designed to pad out an otherwise emaciated plot. Koji has no issue saying the same thing five different ways in the same paragraph. It's hard to hold this issue against Winged Cloud though, as said technique is a (lazy) staple of the genre. However, this is the third VN I have read by Winged Cloud, and consistently their writing has been rather bland. As most VNs do, Sakura Santa supports an autoplay feature. Meaning you don't have to click a thousand times to read a thousand half baked lines. In that regard, it's easy enough to turn on autoplay, lean back, and speed read until something interesting happens. And what's interesting in this game's case are the erotic moments. So if we're being honest, the ham-fisted writing isn't the point of an ecchi infused visual novel. One can't help but wish though, that Sakura Santa's plot and dialogue creation had been as well wrought as its lewdness. Then folks, we'd have a real winner here. Furthermore the Christmas theme of this tale wasn't expounded upon as strongly as one might suspect. But hey, you can still date a vivacious female Santa Clause, a ravishing bunny girl waitress, or a sexy forest fox spirit. On a cold winter day I suppose those are stockings worth stuffing.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by dunpeal2064 Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:20 am

Something bewitching about that scene indeed! :lol: Also, really have enjoyed your recent foray into the more obscure, Ex. Good stuff.

alienjesus wrote:In all honesty, this is a pretty pointless mechanic for several reasons, chief among them ebing that you won’t be looking at the sides of the screen due to all the bullets you’ll be dodging.


If you get a shame break on every phase of the boss, you get the "super riskay" picture thingy at the end of the fight, when you do have time to, umm, appreciate it.

alienjesus wrote:I like Rez Infinite quite a bit, but if I was going to choose between the two games, Child of Eden is far superior.


Agreed, I quite like both games (And also appreciate music worked into a non-rhythm game, something Q is good at), but Child of Eden is my favorite game from them.
Last edited by dunpeal2064 on Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by dunpeal2064 Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:20 am

The End is Nigh

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The End is Nigh (Or TEiN, for short) is the latest game from Edmund McMillen of Super Meat Boy/Binding of Isaac fame. It was also made by Tyler Glaiel, who apparently also started in the Newgrounds/Flash scene, and has worked with Edmund before, but who's work I am wholly unfamiliar with.

TEiN is, for the most part, a hybrid of Edmund's take on Metroid (As Meat Boy and Isaac were to Mario and Zelda, respectively), and a spiritual successor to Super Meat Boy. The player will tackle single-screen platforming challenges ala SMB, but instead of the screens being levels, they are now tied together, and can have hidden exits. Instead of collecting bandages, you now collect "Tumors". The hidden exits usually lead to some tougher challenges based on the themes of that world, and reward large Tumors (+5, compared to the normal's +1), or Cartridges. Cartridges can be played at your house, and while they riff on different game names (Rubble Bobble, for example), they tend to just be more tough platforming.

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Ash (The main protagonist) will initially feel very similar to Meat Boy. He is squishy, he is fast and has precise air control, and he dies in an explosion-y mess. However, there are some nuanced changes that end up making a huge difference. Ash cannot wall climb like Meat Boy can, and does not have a run button (He is at full speed all the time). Instead, he can now hang onto ledges, and can then perform two different jump types off of those ledges. You can also hold down a button to ensure you grab a ledge as you run off a cliff, no matter your speed. This, on top of water physics and the ability to "ground pound", leads TEiN to feel quite unique, even through its clear inspiration.

This fusion of Metroid and SMB does, unfortunately, means that the Metroid ideas are not as fleshed out, and it is clear that the focus remains on the platforming. This is much more a spiritual SMB sequel than a Metroid game. Other than collecting tumors and finding hidden rooms, this is a platformer through and through. One nice touch, in my opinion, is in the use of tumors. Basically, once you hit about the half way point of the game, every room no longer has tumors, and instead of infinitely respawning whenever you die, you now have a life limit for each world based on the number of tumors you have collected. So, say you have 100 tumors, and you are in room 14 of a zone. If you die 100 times, you'll have to restart the entire zone again, with the amount of tumors you collected in the first half remaining in tact. And while the number of tumors in the game is high, the number of deaths is as well. In my playthrough, I died well over 2,000 times.

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To me, this is TEiN's biggest addition to this type of platforming. Super Meat Boy is great, but it always felt removed from the type of challenge older games present, as every 10-15 seconds of success meant permanent progress. TEiN starts you out this way, but eventually gives you a more traditional approach, where you can't just headbutt your way through, as too many deaths means you start over. This adds tension, as even when you clear a screen perfectly, you haven't made that permanent progress until you find a new zone. It also adds a new purpose to the collectibles. If you find yourself just a few lives shy of finishing a zone, you can always hop back to the game's first half and track down a few more Tumors.

I really enjoyed my time with TEiN. Admittedly, there may be some bias here, as I also really enjoyed SMB, and I think The Binding of Isaac is one of the best games ever made. That said, this game is tough to recommend. It doesn't attempt to sell itself to those who may not have been fans of Edmund's previous works, and in fact might turn off even more than SMB, as the game can get very, very difficult. If you like challenging platformers, I can only imagine you would love this game. Its tight, precise, and well-designed in its progression of what it teaches and asks the player to do. If, however, you tend to veer away from games that base the majority of the experience on challenge, I don't think this game does enough in its other aspects to be worth playing.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by REPO Man Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:15 am

Doesn't really count, but I beat all three runs of the Virtual Cabin 2.0 in Friday the 13th: The Game, though I used a walkthrough for some of the tougher parts.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:35 am

dunpeal2064 wrote:really have enjoyed your recent foray into the more obscure, Ex. Good stuff.

Thanks man. It's fun to explore the forgotten shores of yesteryear.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:33 pm

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124. Santatlantean | TG16 | 2014 | 5/10

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Santatlantean is a parody of Atlantean, both games being homebrew TG16/PCE releases developed by Aetherbyte. The plot concerns Mrs. Claus taking revenge upon Santa using aggressive holiday decorations. I don't know why. Maybe she caught Santa being naughty with the elves? Like Atlantean, Santatlantean is based off of Defender's classic gameplay. The player controls Santa as he flies around shooting enemies (no sleigh or Rudolph required), keeping said enemies from getting too close to gingerbread men. This is all done while trying to rack up the highest score. There's a radar to aid the player in knowing where said enemies are on the playing field. The player can shoot constantly, as well as use a limited amount of screen clearing bombs. The graphics are primitive, but on par with low tier TG16 era stuff. Audio is weak, only one Christmas theme music track plays... but it fits the theme.

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Despite the limited presentation, Santatlantean is still fun to play in short bursts. Primarily because the difficulty is crazy high, Santatlantean is quite hard. Enemies show up quickly on screen, and pummel the player with targeted shots extraordinarily fast. Some enemies drop mines, meaning if the player is solely watching the radar, they will run into said mines often. And then there's those stars that emit triple candy cane attacks! Enemies come in waves, defeating one wave spawns another. There is no real way to "beat" Santatlantean by the way. Santatlantean is entirely a high score chaser. I set a personal goal of exceeding 20,000 points, and having met that goal, I consider Santatlantean beaten for my tastes. If somebody wanted to do better than that, nothing's stopping them. That's because Santatlantean is a free game, and there are free TG16 emulators out there. So if you're in the mood for some sadistic Santa shootin' action, step on up to Santatlantean and slay away.

Official page: http://www.aetherbyte.com/aetherbyte-sa ... fx-16.html

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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:26 pm

First 50:
1. 3D Power Drift 3DS
2. Maze Hunter 3-D 3DS
3. Hyrule Warriors Legends 3DS
4. Icarus Proudbottom's World of Typing Weekly PC
5. Paper Mario N64
6. Catherine PS3
7. Glover N64
8. Blast Corps N64
9. Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! Switch eShop
10. Pullblox 3DS eShop
11. Pokémon Picross 3DS eShop
12. Bare Knuckle III Mega Drive
13. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja SNES
14. Alisia Dragoon Mega Drive
15. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Mega Drive
16. Dynamite Headdy Mega Drive
17. Runbow Wii U eShop
18. The Mystical Ninja starring Goemon N64
19. 3D Puyo Puyo 2 3DS
20. Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa 3DS
21. SteamWorld Dig 3DS eShop
22. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Switch
23. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped PS1
24. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time GC
25. Pilotwings 64 N64
26. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones GBA
27. Puyo Puyo Tetris Switch
28. Life Force NES
29. Bionic Commando NES
30. Bonk's Revenge TGCD
31. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia 3DS
32. Splatoon 2 Switch
33. Shantae & The Pirates Curse 3DS eShop
34. Devil May Cry PSN
35. Team Kirby Clash Deluxe 3DS eShop
36. Blaster Master Wii U VC
37. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes GC
38. Wario Blast! featuring Bomberman Game Boy
39. Astro Boy: Omega Factor GBA
40. Daiku No Gen-San: Ghost Building Company Game Boy
41. Kirby: Planet Robobot 3DS
42. Noobow Game Boy
43. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 Game Boy
44. Mario Golf N64
45. Akumajo Special: Boku Dracula-Kun Game Boy
46. Rockman World 5 Game Boy
47. Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! GBC
48. Sonic Mania Switch eShop
49. Marvelous: Mōhitotsu no Takarajima SFC
50. Super Mario Odyssey Switch

51. Gauntlet IV Mega Drive
52. Alex Kidd in Shinobi World Master System
53. Psycho Fox Master System
54. The Ninja Master System
55. R-Type Master System
56. Momotarō Katsugeki PC Engine
57. Overcooked: Special Edition Switch eShop
58. Parasol Stars PC Engine
59. Star Parodier PC Engine
60. Cadash PC Engine
61. Dead or Alive Ultimate Xbox
62. Dead or Alive Ultimate 2 Xbox
63. OutRun 2 Xbox
64. Pop'n Twinbee SNES
65. Wild Guns Reloaded PS4
66. Journey PS4
67. Rez Infinite PS4
68. Caladrius Blaze PS4
69. Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu NES *NEW*
70. Blue Shadow NES *NEW*
71. Kickle Cubicle NES *NEW*


Replays!:
1. Bare Knuckle III Mega Drive
2. Die Hard Arcade Saturn
3. The World of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Mega Drive
4. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble 3DS VC
5. Trip World 3DS VC


5 more until I'm caught up!

Jackie Chan’s Action Kung-Fu

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So as a lot of you will know, 2D licensed platformers will be our first theme for 2018’s reworked Together Retro. However, I actually got a slight head start on that one as last month I beat Jackie Chan’s Action Kung-Fu, a fun 2D side-scroller starring everyones favourite martial artist.

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Jackie Chans AKF tells the epic tale of the time some dude kidnapped Jackie’s girlfriend or sister or something and so he decides to punch some frogs and jump some gaps to save her. Of course, the story is basically entirely unimportant in a game like this.

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Jackie Chan’s AKF is a very simple but fairly polished platformer for the NES. Jackie runs to the right most of the time, although it does mix things up with vertical sections on occasion, punching and jump kick enemies as he goes. By kicking lucky frogs, he can gain power ups which allow him to use his martial arts powers – a powerful high kick, a spinning kick which hits both sides, and upwards hitting kick and a jumping somersault attack. These are useful on occasion but often unnecessary, their main advantage being their additional power. Frogs also ramen bowls to heal Jackie’s health. Jackie can also charge up a qi blast by holding B, which shoots across the screen to damage enemies, but these are limited to just 5.

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Jackie Chan’s Action Kung-Fu is a fairly easy game, but with the caveat that it’s limited continues can cause trouble unless you take the time to either learn the games stages or search for bonus stages. Jackie starts with 3 continues, but each credit gives Jackie only one life, so in effect it’s just a life system under a different name. Finding bonus stages allows Jackie to compete for points by jumping along clouds or drop kicking training dummies as they appear, and at the end of the stage your points are automatically spent on power ups. This can be frustrating as the game prioritises health refills over extra lives, so if you have 23000 points but are missing 3 health, you can expect the game to spend 6000 points healing you before buying the lives worth 20000 each, denying you the extra life.

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Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu features a variety of the usual stages, but they do the job nicely and occasionally mix things up. You’ll float down a river on a raft, escape an exploding volcano, slide along an icy path and all the other usual tropes, but it all works nicely enough. It’s not a long game, though it might take a few attempts to beat, especially with the tricky penultimate boss being quite tough to beat.

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Jackie Chan’s Action Kung-Fu is by no means a must-own NES game, but it is good fun and well made. The graphics are nice for the system, with big chunky sprites, and Jackie can be quite expressive for an NES title. Ultimately, whilst it’s a very simple game overall, Action Kung-Fu is an enjoyable time, and I recommend it to anyone considering for Together Retro in January.

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Blue Shadow:

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So, if you’ve never heard of Blue Shadow, it’s very possible you know it under it’s American name, Shadow of the Ninja. This is a Natsume developed action game where you play as a ninja, but unfortunately, like many games of the 80s, it fell foul of the UKs weird anti-ninja legislation due to the furore over video nasties in the country. Thus Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Ninja Gaiden became Shadow Warriors (at least on NES), and Shadow of the Ninja became Blue Shadow.

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Shadow of the Ninja is clearly…inspired by Ninja Gaiden in a lot of ways, especially in regards to it’s graphical style. However, in game play it actually is quite different mechanically. Your character starts with a sword as their primary weapon, but this can be either swapped to a long range grappling hook weapon, or power up by grabbing other sword power ups, allowing it to shoot cutting projectiles a short distance to increase it’s range. The range of the sword can be increased twice, but taking too much damage will lower it back down a level. Unfortunately, whilst the grappling hook seems useful due to it’s longer default range and ability to aim in all directions, it’s weaker damage and lack of upgrading capability means it’s generally the worse option at all times. You can also grab temporary power ups in the forms of bombs and shuriken. Shuriken are decent throwing weapons with homing capability if you sword level is maxed out when grabbing them, whilst bombs are shot range and slow but absurdly powerful – capable of killing bosses in 3 hits when your sword takes 30. Both weapons are limited by small ammo supplies.

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Your ninjas (there are two, but as far as I know they play identically) also have the ability to hang off of ceilings, which is one of the core gameplay mechanics of the game. Whilst hanging off of the ceiling they can attack, move around or drop, but if there is a ledge directly above them, they can also flip up through the ceiling onto the ledge above. The game has many moving platforms, timed obstacles and patrolling enemies you must manoeuvre around with this mechanic.

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Difficulty wise, Blue Shadow is actually fairly easy. Some of the bosses can be tough without sword power ups or bombs, but the obstacles through the level are generally never too terrifying as long as you have a strong weapon prepared. Some of the more dangerous elements of the level are the scenery, rather than the enemies, with hazardous steam spouts, moving platforms and dangerous cannons littering the stages.

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Blue Shadow is a great little game, and the PAL version is super cheap for an NES game too, which is a rarity over here. I hear it’s more expensive in the US, but if you’re willing to cough up the money, Blue Shadow is a fun time and a nice alternative to Ninja Gaiden if you’re after something easier to pass the time.





Kickle Cubicle:

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Having played 2 side scrolling action platformers, I decided that my next game on NES should be something different, so I opted for a puzzle game as my next choice. Initially I went for Lolo 2 but I had some issues with it and the Retron5, so Kickle Cubicle it was.

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Kickle Cubicle stars Kickle, a snowman type dude who can breathe frosty breath. Enemies hit with your frost breath are frozen in place, and certain enemy types (the blue blob like guys) turn into ice cubes which can then be kick around. Kicked cubes slide along the ground until they hit a wall, where they stop, or until they run into water, which they freeze to create a new floor tile. This mechanic is the core of many of the games puzzles. In addition to freezing enemies, Kickle can also create ice pillars to block off paths to enemies, which is handy in some later levels.

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The goal of Kickle Cubicle is to save the princess of each kingdom (vegetable land, fruit land, sweet land and toy land) and defeat the evil baddy who kindnapped them, all whilst saving the mostly edible citizens of each kingdom along the way. Actually achieving this goal is surprisingly fair for an NES puzzle game – Plenty of games of this type on NES veer into really unfair levels of difficulty either due to overly complex puzzles, or due to an abundance of enemies attacking you and not letting you concentrate on solving the stage. Wrecking Crew is super guilty of both of these things, for example. Luckily, Kickle Cubicle manages to completely avoid the former issue and has only a few minor problems with the latter towards the end of the game.

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Although the levels in Kickle Cubicle start off very simple, they hbuild in complexity over time, but never to frustrating levels. New mechanics such as springs you can bounce ice blocks off of, hammers which swing around when hit to knock ice cubes in a different direction, enemies who kick ice at you too and others are added, but they’re generally all pretty easy to get to grips with, and the game offers infinite retries to solve a level. The last world features quite a few levels which are more focused on skilfully dodging enemies rather than puzzle solving though, which feels like an odd decision.

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Kickle Cubicle comes with 64 levels and will take you a few hours to see the credits, but upon saving the day (and marrying a cute princess, Hubba Hubba), Kickle can take on the ‘extra’ stages, another batch of tougher levels. I elected to save these for another day though.

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Overall, Kickle Cubicle is a fun and charming puzzle game with a difficulty that feels much fairer than is the norm on the system. It’s cheap and accessible and you should pick it up if you spot it in the wild, you’ll have a good time.

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