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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by isiolia Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:13 am

1. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS)
2. √ Letter (PS4)


√ Letter (or Root Letter) is a visual novel, and one of the handful of games I got for Christmas. I played enough to get all of the endings, though there are still 3 of 4 gallery items locked - the conditions to unlock them are stated, but not obvious in-game. Technically there are a couple trophies left as well. I might wind up firing it back up for those reasons, but otherwise I pretty much did what there is to do in it.

The game is predominately set in the town of Matsue, in the Shimane Prefecture. The developers seem to have pretty much gone out and taken pictures of locations to use in their game. If the message before the game is accurate, they may have based some of the NPCs on actual people as well, albeit fictionalized. While I think a lot of the background art is filtered/edited photography, it's not as blatant as in some games, so it mostly tends to look like detailed illustration.
Given the degree that the game seems to focus on hitting potential tourist spots, I suspect that's how they got the cooperation of the town and businesses featured. :lol:

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Yay tourism.

Your reason for going there is to track down an old pen pal, after discovering a final, unread letter from them. Instead of, say, exhausting internet or phone options, you hop a plane out to her home town, as one does. When you can't find her, you start tracking down her old classmates, referenced only by their nicknames in her letters.

More or less, things play out entirely linearly. You get a variety of menu options, but they can mostly only be used when appropriate, and there's no way to progress without finding the thing you need to find. The "Think" option serves as a hint, though it's also the only way to proceed at times.

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Checking your phone is probably what you should have done before dropping money on airfare.

Pretty much, the game progresses through ten chapters, named after some stationary pattern from a letter. The first eight are the exact same every time, following a general pattern of first showing you a letter that talks about a specific classmate, and include question and a response to a previous question. You then spend that chapter...pretty much getting directed to the classmate in question after picking up a few pieces of evidence. Then you confront them in Ace Attorney-ish sequences, get them to admit being that person, and then try to pry information.
While you can "fail" those sequences, they just restart if you do, until you succeed. The way you steer the course of the game is via the answer/question part of the letters.

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She did not tell me her measurements.

There are five different pairs of chapters 9 and 10, leading to the five different endings. I'm not sure if every single choice actually matters for the letter portions - the first I got with mixed answers, the other four by literally just choosing the same (first, second, etc) option from each list. The fifth option only appeared after clearing the game once, and led to the "real" ending.

Three out of the five endings are...less than grounded, and really have nothing to do with the real one. More like "wouldn't it be crazy if..." scenarios. The other is kind of a near-miss, which is the first one I got.

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Which, to be fair, weren't entirely out of the blue.

So, it was a mite disappointing to not so much be unraveling much of a mystery via the repeated playthroughs. The convenience of getting all of the endings is a mixed bag. Nearly all of chapters 1-7 can be outright skipped. You can pick your letter responses, pop open the Smartphone, and skip to the next chapter (delayed, slightly, by the fact that you don't have immediate access to the Smartphone when starting the game). There is a fast-forward though, and the Think option will pretty much tell you what to do if you forget where you are.
Then, for some reason, chapter 8 can't be skipped. There's the remote possibility that the gallery challenges are available then, and it becomes skippable if/when you complete them, but I couldn't say. It's still not -that- big a deal with fast-forward, but doesn't seem like it should be necessary.

Other little complaints are that the game did have a handful of spelling errors (though mostly missing letters), and I'm guessing the translation might be spotty. Every so often there'd be conversation options that didn't describe the resulting dialogue very well, that sort of thing. Not that it gets in the way of anything, of course.

Overall though, it's a decent enough VN, and one that is largely inoffensive as well. Almost none of what the ESRB slapped an M rating on it for is pervasive, or even really that extreme in the first place. I enjoyed it well enough, but I wouldn't call it must-play.
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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BogusMeatFactory Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:17 pm

Starting this year off with a bang!

1. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (WiiU)
2. Lost: Via Domus (PS3)


Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Holy Crap was this game spectacular! Adapted from the Captain Toad levels from Super Mario 3D World, Treasure Tracker is a platforming puzzle game centered around our titular hero, as well as Toadette as they fight off an evil crow in a turban. The game features an insane amount of levels and puzzles that are diverse and brilliantly designed. At every turn I discovered something new. Nothing felt redundant or overused and all of the elements were a delight to the eye and the brain.

What makes it so special is that it never felt impossible or a brain teaser, but neither did it feel like a complete cakewalk. It was very well balanced to offer some challenge, especially in the later levels. Most surprising to me was that every time I felt I finished the game, more content would unlock and on and on and it was a pleasant surprise. It made me feel like it had the most value of any game as of late.

It really is the little things that make the game special. Captain Toad saying, "Time for Adventure!" or the way shy-guys waddle... It was bright, colorful and full of charm. This is definitely one of, if not my favorite Wii U game of all time.

Lost: Via Domus

With every good game, there must be a bad game to balance it out! Many of you know that I have a deep-rooted passion for bad video games. I am a huge sucker for cheesy voice acting, bad FMV acting and groan-worthy gameplay elements! There is something about a game being eye-rollingly bad that is a delight to experience! This game was in a bundle of PS3 games for the charity auction this year and was one of the big reasons as to why I bid on it. I was not disappointed with Lost: Via Domus!

This game is a tie-in to the hit TV show Lost which aired on ABC a long while ago. While I loved the series, there is definitely a division amongst people on its worth. Via Domus, however, can only be viewed as joyfully bad. In the game, you play as an amnesiac photographer who crash-landed on, "The Island," on Oceanic Flight 815 with the rest of the main cast.

Your goal is to recover your memory and stop a man from trying to kill you over a photograph, all the while embroiling yourself in the main cast's happenings. The silliness of the game really falls on implanting this character in major tv show plot lines and trivializing it. The beginning of the tv series took place on the beach of the island immediately after the plane crashed. There were people screaming, jet engines roaring, explosions happening and there you are... the player, talking to people asking them, "Where are we? What happened to the plane? Take a look at this bottle of water," as chaos ensues. It is hilarious!

The bulk of the gameplay revolves around a variety of hare-brained ideas. The first is delving into your mind and remembering events that are portrayed as a ripped up photograph. You must then take a picture inside your memory of that exact image as it happens. This will teach you fun facts like how to lie and what your name is and why did I get that girl shot in the head?

The other gameplay mechanics involve, running in a forest while people shoot at you, but never hit you, running in the forest hiding from a smoke monster, using a computer to answer really stupid, "IQ tests," like 1-3-6-10-?, collecting fuses for convoluted wiring puzzles, using torches inside caves and running and jumping over logs... that sums it up right there.

Luckily, you have state of the art graphics to help you....like this!!!

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GAAAAHHHH!!!!!

For fans of the show, watch it and laugh....for those who haven't seen the show, just skip it! It is cheesy, obtuse and horribly broken, but for me, it was charming and worth the wait to get it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Ack Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:21 pm

isiolia wrote:√ Letter


Do anime Mulder and Scully not bother you?

BogusMeatFactory wrote:Lost: Via Domus


Now play Limbo of the Lost!
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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BogusMeatFactory Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:24 pm

Ack wrote:
BogusMeatFactory wrote:Lost: Via Domus


Now play Limbo of the Lost!


YES!!!!!!!!
Ack wrote:I don't know, chief, the haunting feeling of lust I feel whenever I look at your avatar makes me think it's real.

-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
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TSTR
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by TSTR Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:28 pm

Captain Toad sounds pretty sweet. My girl is playing Paper Mario: Color Splash right now and crushing it, might get her CT next.
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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by isiolia Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:44 pm

Ack wrote:Do anime Mulder and Scully not bother you?


No more than parody/tribute stuff usually would :lol: They're UFO researchers, named Morita and Sugari. Morita's claims his sister was abjucted, etc. So while they don't really fit that well into the "real" story, most of the interactions with 'em were pretty entertaining.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:13 pm

I will vouch for Captain Toad as well. One of my favorite games on the system. It's very much worth playing.
“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:26 pm

1. Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour (PC)
2. Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter* (PC)

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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:05 pm

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)

Been meaning to get around to playing these for a while. This is the first of the Blackwell series, and it's pretty solid, although very short. Decent voice acting, good pixel art, it's just a well-constructed adventure game.

To summarize a bit more, you're a spirit medium, and you've got a spirit that hangs around with you. Your job is to send spirits on to the next life, or whatever. It's quite vague about that. Anyway, it's not actually very inventory-focused, which is a good thing in my book. It's more questioning and putting together inferences by combining topics in your notebook. Sometimes you'll get stuck, but I can't see the game taking any more than four hours, even if you're slow, because there's a pretty limited subset of things you can actually utilize.

Might look at moving on to the next one. We shall see. But at least I know there's enough there that it's probably worth continuing. The only other Wadjet Eye game I finished was The Shivah, which was very good, but also very short. I beat Technobabylon, but Wadjet just published that one, from my understanding. I've also heard good things about Gemini Rue, and I have played a bit of it.
“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by TSTR Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:09 pm

Xeogred wrote:1. Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour (PC)
2. Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter* (PC)

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Either it was really good, or it was some Lovecraft-type shit that made Xeo go insane upon finishing...
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