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Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:08 pm
by Xeogred
I dig the graphics.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:49 pm
by Exhuminator
Xeogred wrote:I dig the graphics.

I forgot to mention there is a Steam PC port. I also forgot to link the trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_zwlvfZf7k

I think you and Sarge would probably enjoy it.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:50 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
1. Chrono Trigger (SNES)
2. Gyromite (NES)
3. Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- (Steam)
4. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Famicom)
5. Radical Dreamers (SNES)
6. Video Games 1 (TI-99/4A)
7. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (Famicom)
8. Exile (TurboGrafx CD)
9. Exile: Wicked Phenomenon (TurboGrafx CD)
10. Xak (PC Engine CD, Xak I・II)
11. Xak II (PC Engine CD, Xak I・II)
12. Neutopia (TurboGrafx-16)
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In my last post here, about Xak I・II, I described the game as an entertaining and competent homage to Ys Book I & II. Neutopia, on the others hand, is directly modeled after a different game, The Legend of Zelda, and ventures more into "rip-off" territory.

See, the protagonist of Neutopia is a young man tasked with saving a princess from some "supreme evil" type villain. To reach said foe he must first break a "seal" by collecting some MacGuffin objects scattered around in labyrinths. Movement is screen-to-screen and there are alternating overworld and dungeon sections. Advice is doled out occasionally, generally by wise old sage men and women. A sword is permanently affixed to one action button, whilst the other can be remapped to accommodate various secondary items. Dungeons conclude with a boss and a permanent health upgrade. Navigation of said dungeons is done by aid of a map and compass. Hidden passages can be bombed, and keys must be found to open locked doors. As this is not a "true" action-RRG, enemies do not relinquish experience points upon defeat but instead surrender money. This should all sound very familiar.
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There are some noticeable differences here though. First of all, Neutopia is presented in glorious 16-bit. The game is bright and colorful and gives off that late 80s Hudson Soft vibe. Everyone's got a big head and bosses are more cute than intimidating. The music is alright. There are a few tracks I really dig, and by "a few" I mean literally three. The title screen theme is incredible but is only about 25 seconds long and doesn't even have the courtesy to loop. Call it the "Neutopia jingle." Controls are adequate but not perfect. There's a nice "bounce" sensation when hitting enemies, though the hit detection itself is questionable at times.
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Instead of one huge overworld here there are four smaller ones, all connected by a central shrine. They're based on the four elements: earth, fire, air, water. Exploring these overworlds is the highlight of the game. Though far from detailed they're designed well and the crisp clean color palettes really pop. Unfortunately the developers missed a chance to craft some really neat thematic dungeons. Instead they're all same-y looking stone "mazes." Navigating these is pretty simple, the only occasional "puzzle" being a block-pushing sequence or figuring out which wall to bomb.

Neutopia lacks the shops of Zelda. The only thing to spend money on is HP-restoring potions which is a bit of bummer. Remember how in Zelda you could go on a scavenger hunt and become an absolute beast before even setting foot in the first dungeon? No opportunities like that here, as everything is extremely sequential.
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There also aren't too many secondary weapons. In fact, there's one. A fire rod can be obtained early in the game and it's absolutely essential as the hero of Neutopia lacks Link's lazer sword. The rod's strength and range is based on HP, which is a nice touch, and it can be fired diagonally as well. I have no idea if bombs can be used offensively (whatever the case it's impractical and never necessary).

There's a lot more text and dialogue here compared to Zelda, but it's all pretty rough. NPCs have way too much to say and you're forced into a conversation if you enter a room where one resides. Old men and women literally say things like "I am an old man" or "I am an old woman" as if this wasn't apparent. And the dialogue never changes regardless of game progression. There's a man guarding the second dungeon who says something like "I cannot let you pass as you lack the fire rod" - regardless of whether or not you have it.
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What Neutopia lacks - and what Zelda has in spades - is atmosphere. Zelda's overworld feels huge, littered with secret items and cryptic dwellings. The dungeons are tough, creepy, and claustrophobic. Enemies are aggressive and terrifying. Items are meaningful and revered. These elements are all missing in Neutopia. It's hyper-linear with low static difficulty. It's characterized by a simplistic straightforward flow, with little room or reason for exploration.
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In anything though, Neutopia is a "fun" game without any egregious flaws. There really aren't too many "Zelda clones" and anyone who enjoys that formula should find something worthwhile in this little TurboChip.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:59 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
1. Chrono Trigger (SNES)
2. Gyromite (NES)
3. Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- (Steam)
4. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Famicom)
5. Radical Dreamers (SNES)
6. Video Games 1 (TI-99/4A)
7. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (Famicom)
8. Exile (TurboGrafx CD)
9. Exile: Wicked Phenomenon (TurboGrafx CD)
10. Xak (PC Engine CD, Xak I・II)
11. Xak II (PC Engine CD, Xak I・II)
12. Neutopia (TurboGrafx-16)
13. Captain Silver (Sega Master System)
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Ya know, I've always loved the Sega Master System. It's got a great library of first-party titles (some original, some arcade ports) is is home to what is arguably the best 8-bit JRPG ever conceived: Phantasy Star. But it's hard for me to deny that the NES wipes the floor with the SMS, and one reason for this is fairly obvious: the SMS is severely lacking in third-party support. One non-Sega game that slipped through the cracks, so to speak, was Captain Silver. Originally a Data East arcade game, it was ported to the Master System in 1998. Curiously enough, a Japan-only Famicom port appeared at the end of the same year.

See that box art above. Captain Silver is actually that ghostly looking dude and the game's villain. The protagonist, the human being with the unbuttoned shirt and ample junk, is named Jack. Apparently he wants the treasure of the departed Captain Silver. That kind of makes Jack a thieving asshole, no?
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So, this is an "action-platformer" but don't expect any fast and furious swordplay à la Ninja Gaiden. Captain Silver is more akin to Ghosts 'n Goblins: slow, hard, meticulous, and memorization-based.
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Jack is equipped with a sword. It's range is surprisingly good: a large arc that can hit enemies dropping from above. There are items to collect in each stage, but fairies are the most important. These grant Jack the ability to launch projectiles. By collecting several fairies he eventually gains a "spread gun" type ability. Unfortunately, this is a one-hit death game with upgrades vanishing upon loss of life. The inherent difficulty is compounded by the fact that Jack's jumping skills are atrocious and the last two stages rely on him making several tricky leaps. And of course this is one of those SMS games with ass backwards controls (to use NES terms, B is jump and A is attack).
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There are only four stages total. I've read that the European game has more but I'm okay with never playing them. Stages two and four end with boss battles that are tedious and poorly-programmed. Visuals are pretty weak overall - it's not nearly as colorful and pretty as most SMS games - and I can't recall a single lick of music save for the irritating jingle that plays as each stage is introduced.

This is just a painfully mediocre game (hence the painfully mediocre review). It's lacking in the pacing, craftsmanship, and pizzazz that made so many action-platformers of the era memorable experiences. It's extremely short as well; I suppose there are worse ways to kill fifteen minutes.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:08 pm
by ElkinFencer10
Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 14

January (10 Games Beaten)
1. Persona 4 Arena - Playstation 3 - January 1
2. Chrono Trigger - SNES - January 7
3. Ys: The Vanished Omens - Master System - January 8
4. MUSHA - Genesis - January 10
5. Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below - PlayStation 4 - January 11
6. Ys I - TurboGrafx-CD - January 13
7. Ys II - TurboGrafx-CD - January 14
8. Dragon Quest Builders - PlayStation 4 - January 23
9. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - PlayStation 4 - January 26
10. School Girl/Zombie Hunter - PlayStation 4 - January 29


February (4 Game Beaten)
11. Fire Emblem Heroes - Android - February 3
12. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD - Wii U - February 5
13. Dante's Inferno - PlayStation 3 - February 7
14. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - DS - February 11


14. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - DS - February 11

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Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a game that is a definite work of art. Love it or hate it, that can't be denied. I had a very rocky relationship with this game during my playthrough. It took me several weeks to get through what really shouldn't be a terribly long game. My problem, which I'll explain later, was that it was simultaneously one of the most interested and least exciting games I've ever played. It's artistic af, though.

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Hotel Dusk is 1/3 puzzle game and 2/3 mystery novel. You play as Kyle Hyde, a somewhat cynical man who left the NYPD under less-than-glamorous circumstances to become a traveling salesman out west, although your employer also has you do work on the same finding things. What things? All things. We should have Hyde look for Hillary's e-mails and the hundreds of thousands of Democratic voter registrations that up and vanished last year. -political salt intensifies- ANYWAY. You get sent to Hotel Dusk to find some shit, and all of a sudden, every coincidence in the universe happens. Or is it coincidence?

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As you play, you'll start to unravel numerous seemingly unrelated mysteries, all the while discovering that they actually tie in to one another in some way. The writing is truly brilliant, and that's definitely the game's strong point. Even if you don't care for the gameplay, you need to stick around for the writing (even if it takes you a while like it did for me). The art style is also extremely unique and really fits the game. The (mostly) monochrome design of the characters gives the whole game a very 20th Century noire feel that fits the theme of the narrative perfectly. While most of the music is fairly forgettable in my opinion, two songs in particular REALLY stand out - the music that plays during the recap quiz at the end of chapter and the music when you're asking a character extremely plot-centric questions (denoted by red question marks on the top screen as opposed to the yellow question marks of ancillary questions or the white question marks of the miscellaneous questions). Those two tunes in particular are extremely catchy and will almost without fail get stuck in your head.

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My biggest complaint with the game is the pacing. I found myself feeling utterly unmotivated to continue playing, and I think the issue was the pacing. I didn't just get bored with all the dialogue; that was actually my favorite part, and I'm a huge fan of pure visual novels besides. What lost my interest was the wandering around and puzzle solving. Some of the puzzles were pretty cool, but overall, they didn't interest me that much. I'm not going to say that the game would have been better as a straight visual novel, but I do think the game would have benefitted from a slightly brisker pace or more thought provoking puzzles. Truly, though, those complaints are rooted more in my personal tastes than any actual design flaws.

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I'm not saying too much about this game so as to avoid the risk of accidentally spoiling anything, but if you like mystery stories or laid back puzzle adventures, I'd suggest checking this one out. The narrative is truly stellar, and while I found myself getting bored with the gameplay, at no point did I ever get bored with the story. I always wanted to know what happened next. The cast of characters you meet are all well drawn and have their own interesting and cryptic back stories all of which are strands of a larger mystery you must unravel. I wasn't as enamored with this game as some, but it definitely told a damn good story, and that's the single most important thing in my book.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:12 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
ElkinFencer10 wrote:I'm not going to say that the game would have been better as a straight visual novel


I know nothing about this particular game, but I do think certain specific adventure games would have benefited had they instead been developed as click-a-thon kinetic visual novels. Sometimes this is the best way to tell a good story, and poorly implemented "puzzles" and "branching paths" do nothing but drag an otherwise decent game into tedium.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:38 pm
by Exhuminator
Many of Hotel Dusks puzzles were simple sure, but this game utilized the DS in extremely creative ways to get the utmost out of the DS hardware. I mean there's even a puzzle in there based on the angle-view contrast of the LCD itself.

Big congrats to sticking it out and finishing Hotel Dusk, Elkin. You should give the sequel a try someday ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Wind ... _Cape_West ). It has a much more linear flow, less wandering, and more difficult puzzles. I'm glad you enjoyed the dialogue. Of any video game I've ever played, Hotel Dusk had the most believable NPCs and NPC conversation I've seen. I really did feel like I was talking to real people, and not just flipping through an amateur hour script (as most games are).

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:59 pm
by Juan Aguacate
*Old*

Valiant Hearts the Great War - PS4
Scott Pilgrim - PS3
Comix Zone - PS3
Hell Yeah Wrath of the Dead Rabbit - PS3
Infamous Second Son _ PS4
Might Morphin Power Rangers Mega Battle - PS4
Dragon's Lair - PS3
Space Ace - PS3
Lollipop Chainsaw - PS3 (I'm actually playing it again on 360 too LOL. Great game)
Lara Croft Go - PS4

*New*

Hitman Go - PS4

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So I went from Lara Croft Go to this game and I have to say, Hitman Go is a far superior game.

The board game aesthetic works better than Lara Croft Go's....complete lack of an aesthetic.

Also, I feel like Hitman has a lot less trial and error bullshit and more actual puzzle solving than Lara's adventure. Also, there's a great deal of diversity to Hitman Go with each chapter introducing new abilities for you to use or a different enemy type. It never lost my interest whereas Lara Croft Go felt like a slog at times playing through all the puzzles.

I think part of this too is that Lara Croft Go is just you figuring out how to get to the end of the stage. Hitman however, has you killing people, sniping people, dropping chandeliers on people, dropping columns on people. The game gives you so many fun ways to take out enemies with some levels even allowing you to take out multiple enemies at once. In Lara Croft Go enemies are just obstacles are pieces of the puzzle that you need to solve. Hitman is just more "fun" to play because it makes me feel like I'm doing more than "just" solving puzzles. I'm sneaking past guards, taking out targets, using disguises to fool enemies, avoiding camera detection, etc. This may say something about the main Hitman franchise just being more interesting than Tomb Raider and that is reflected in the Go games

One last thing, Lara Croft Go has all these stupid, pointless collectibles. And to find them you basically have to blindly move your cursor all over the screen hoping you get lucky and find one. Instead of that pointless crap, Hitman Go has different challenges in each stage. They range from:

Finding a briefcase
killing everyone
NOT killing everyone
Speed kill
Not killing dogs
Finishing the stage in the least amount of turns possible

Further proof of how Hitman just makes you feel like you're doing more stuff than you are in Lara Croft Go. It also shows the flexibility in how you can approach a stage whereas levels in Lara Croft Go all have to be completed in a specific way. If you play Lara Croft Go on PS4, all DLC levels from the original version of the game are included and must be completed for the platinum. I found some of the DLC levels (particularly from The Shard of Life DLC) annoyingly hard. On one, I gave up and used the hint system, and the solution to the puzzle actually ran counter to what the game had taught me about its mechanics. So it's no wonder I couldn't figure out how to solve it. Hitman Go has puzzles that feel challenging, but never frustrating. And the optional objectives kind of makes every puzzle stage, actually FOUR puzzle stages.

So in short, skip Lara Croft Go, play Hitman Go. I plan on trying Deus Ex Go at some point if they bring it to PS4

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:01 am
by Stark
Totally disagree and think that Lara Croft Go is the better game, it has more clever level design and I actually liked the collectibles. That being said though Hitman Go is fantastic as well.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:18 pm
by ElkinFencer10
Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 15

January (10 Games Beaten)
1. Persona 4 Arena - Playstation 3 - January 1
2. Chrono Trigger - SNES - January 7
3. Ys: The Vanished Omens - Master System - January 8
4. MUSHA - Genesis - January 10
5. Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below - PlayStation 4 - January 11
6. Ys I - TurboGrafx-CD - January 13
7. Ys II - TurboGrafx-CD - January 14
8. Dragon Quest Builders - PlayStation 4 - January 23
9. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - PlayStation 4 - January 26
10. School Girl/Zombie Hunter - PlayStation 4 - January 29


February (5 Game Beaten)
11. Fire Emblem Heroes - Android - February 3
12. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD - Wii U - February 5
13. Dante's Inferno - PlayStation 3 - February 7
14. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - DS - February 11
15. Persona 4: Dancing All Night - Vita - February 12


15. Persona 4: Dancing All Night - Vita - February 12

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Persona 4 is for Atlus what Final Fantasy VII was for Square Enix - just a damn masterpiece that fans can't get enough of. What Atlus did that Square has had trouble doing, however, is meeting that desire for more without making the spin offs...meh. Like Persona 4 Arena, Persona 4: Dancing All Night gives fans of Persona 4 the "more" that we constantly crave while maintaining the quality for which the Persona sub-series is so well known by adding "rhythm game" to the list along with "JRPG" and "fighting game."

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One of the aspects of Persona 4: Dancing All Night that helps it succeed so smashingly is that it capitalizes on one of the original game's greatest strengths - its soundtrack. The soundtrack for Persona 4 is legitimately god tier, and this game takes that amazing soundtrack and mixes it with the storytelling and characterization that made us all fall in love with Persona 4 in the first place. Not only does it include the most iconic songs from Persona 4, but each song has a handful of truly stellar remixes. These remixes sometimes accentuate the original song's genre, and they sometimes change the genre for an all new feel, giving you choices ranging from soft and melodic ballads all the way to legit dubstep. The musical arrangement for this game really goes above and beyond, even compare to other series' spin-off rhythm games.

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As was the case with Persona 4 Arena, the actual gameplay, while very well done, actually takes a back seat to the story. If you're familiar with Persona's long and plot-driven dialogue sequences, then you know what to expect; those fill up the space between rhythm sequences and deliver a story that would be right at home in an entirely new Persona game. The story follows Kanamin Kitchen, a quintet of idols with the same agency as Risette, and the Love Meets Bonds festival in which they both perform, making Risette's return to idol stardom after a hiatus following the events of Persona 4. Being a Persona game, nothing goes quite according to plan, and next thing you know, people are disappearing into some "other world" filled with Shadows.

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Truthfully, you probably won't play this if you haven't already played Persona 4, and if you've played Persona 4, there's not a whole lot new that I can tell you. Take out the combat and dungeon crawling from Persona 4 and put rhythm gameplay à la Hatsune Miku in its place, and you've got Dancing All Night. The writing, voice acting, and art design are all the same high caliber that one would expect from Persona, and visually, the game is pretty much identical to Persona 4 Golden in terms of graphics. The sound, however, as one would expect from a rhythm game, is simply out of this world. I've got the Persona 4 soundtrack from my PS2 copy, but I'd love to get myself a copy of the Persona 4: Dancing All Night OST at some point.

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As a rhythm game, Persona 4: Dancing All Night is damn good. As a continuation of Persona 4, it's absolutely incredible. It's not the best rhythm game I've ever played, but it's up there, and it's definitely got the best story of any rhythm game I've ever played. Vita collectors, Persona fans, and rhythm game fans, take heed - this is not a game that you want to miss. The Vita has a lot of DAMN good games, and this one is right at home with the best of them.