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pierrot
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by pierrot Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:32 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
Exhuminator wrote:Now please excuse me while I go install Xanadu Next.


Are you kidding me?! You haven't even beaten Romancia yet!

No one actually beats Romancia. It's entirely ridiculous that it was meant for children. The original Dragon Slayer is exceedingly more playable. I played Romancia for about an hour before getting kind of tired of it, and deciding to check a long play to see how far I had gotten--. There is no way any human being could naturally figure out all of the ludicrous flags to trigger to beat it (spoiler: it requires dying several times in a very specific way). I don't think I even bothered to watch the LPer actually get to the final boss. Play a more reasonable Dragon Slayer instead, like literally any other one.

--

1. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys (PCE-CD)

Oh god, the second half of this game SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS--. Here the are the positive things I can say about it: The animated cutscenes are excruciatingly beautiful; the first half of the game coincides with a short enough period of time that the combat doesn't make me want to beat my head against a wall (about seven hours), and the game is almost fun over that interval; the music is pretty good, but Ys III's OST is so god-tier that IV's is almost boring by comparison. That's all I've got. It was twice as long as it needed to be, the story is just uninteresting, and it gets caught up in too many tangential threads/details that are either poorly resolved, or largely inconsequential. In general it's kind of an incohesive mess. The graphics are all right, but scrolling is a tad choppy, and there is some massive slowdown in a number of places. Bah.

Since I don't really have much else to say about the game itself, here's my diatribe on the Ys series, and its creators: As I was playing this game, I noticed a few things that seemed a little awkward to me, about the setting, and the main objective of the game, which led me to some information on the Super Famicom Ys IV, and what was really up with these entries. I knew going in to Ys IV that I had already played all of the Ys games that were made by the original creators, but was under the impression that the SFC and PCE versions of IV were completely separate. In doing some research, I found that the producer for Ys I-III, Katou Masayuki, gave Hudson and Tonkin House the same base scenario to work off of, which they both adapted into their respective versions of Ys IV. So, they share most of the same main characters, many of the same plot elements, and sequences of events. Even the music is the same. They aren't really the same game, but I hadn't realized that they shared so much in common. In some ways it's almost like the differences between Rondo of Blood and Castlevania X.

Anyway, part of what made me so upset about playing Dawn of Ys is that it's set in between the events of Ys II, and Ys III--except it kind of messes up the timeline a bit, and
apparently Sara doesn't die in the TG16 version of Ys?
--and it's trying really hard to just be Ys II: Again, but a Little Different This Time. I don't give two poops about Ys I or II, and I really hated that Dawn of Ys wanted me to be so happy about what it was trying to ram down my throat.

So, here's the thing: Wanderers from Ys is a pretty good game--I already mentioned the soundtrack. After Ys II, Hashimoto Masaya, the series creator and main programmer, wanted to make something drastically different for the next entry, and god bless him, because he was right to want to. Bump combat sucks, and nowhere does it suck more than in Dawn of Ys--apparently I was coddled by the Saturn ports of the first two games. The story goes that Wanders from Ys met with pretty lukewarm reception from fans, and has always been pretty divisive when it hasn't been shrouded in moderate obscurity. Who cares about the fans, though, they were dumb. Where are bump mechanics now? Ultimately it didn't affect Hashimoto Masaya much; He just opened up Quintet with Ys series scenario writer Miyazaki Tomoyoshi, and they made Actraiser, and two of the best ARPGs/games on the SNES in Soul Blazer and Terranigma.

So, overall, I'm kind of split on Hashimoto Masaya as a game dev. Wanderers from Ys, Soul Blazer, and Terranigma are excellent; Asteka II, Ys I/II, and Illusion of Gaia, not so much. Actraiser I've never been able to stick with long enough to actually beat.

Am I glad that I beat Dawn of Ys? Meh. It was kind of a waste of time, but I guess I'm happy to gain a slightly broader perspective on the Ys series as a whole. Also, Ys V is the only Ys game left that I own and haven't beaten. Maybe I'll just get rid of it before I can talk myself into playing it, and just be done with everything Ys that isn't Wanderers.

I'll just leave this here, since it's been providing some pretty decent reading material on the Ys series: http://www2.jan.ne.jp/~psyzans/Kura/Kuramenu.html.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:39 am

I have two ports of Romancia. I've beaten the Famicom version - with heavy use of a walkthrough - but it feels impossible on MSX, especially with the strict time limit.

As far as Ys IV goes, I adore it. Feels like a direct sequel to I & II, which is my personal favorite of the series.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:45 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)
6) Blackwell Unbound (PC) (7.5) (1/7) (2.2 hours)

The next game in the Blackwell series. A solid followup, it felt a little more polished than the first game. It also follows a different character, Lauren Blackwell, who is the aunt of the main character of the first game. This is in the past (1984, if memory serves). I'd recommend playing the first game before this, because it really just throws you right in with not a lot of background.

Voice acting is still solid, but there are some recording issues here (you can hear some clipping and whatnot) with louder sounds.

I believe most of these sell for fairly cheap, and I'm pretty sure they're on sale right now at GOG, or at least the first four are, as a bundle. I can't say they're spectacular, but so far they're solid.
Last edited by Sarge on Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:38 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
Xeogred wrote:S+ rank for all that Brandish art and screens. Not sure if it's for me... but it looks compelling.

Thanks. You might enjoy Brandish 2, I don't know. You loved the Souls games, and those are supposed to be hard real-time dungeon crawlers aren't they? That's in the same vein as Brandish I think.

Yes, I was thinking of Souls while reading your post about it. So it does spark some interest.

Anyways without further ado..

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

* replay

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Jesus Christ. That last level was utterly amazing. AN HOUR OF PURE SERIOUS BULLET CARNAGE I COULDN'T EVEN HEAR MY PODCAST PLAYING IN BETWEEN THE NUCLEAR CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION. PRESS TRIGGER, HOLD, AND RUN. 1073 KILLS ON THE LAST LEVEL.

CORRIDOR OF DEATH
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWrCF_j2lLU
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Raz
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Raz Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:40 pm

1. Dragon Quest Builders (PS4)
2. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS)

The third game in the Professor Layton series, which is an adventure game series with lots and lots of brainteasers sprinkled throughout. I enjoyed it as much as I did with the previous two Layton games. The game's story starts out with Professor Layton receiving a letter from someone claiming to be his apprentice, Luke, 10 years in the future, asking for Layton's help to save London from a mysterious threat. The biggest differences in this game (not counting story) are the super hints you can purchase with "hint coins" in addition to the three normal hints per puzzle, and the two new minigames.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:49 pm

Raz wrote:The biggest differences in this game (not counting story) are the super hints you can purchase with "hint coins" in addition to the three normal hints per puzzle, and the two new minigames.

Another big difference, is the third Layton game is where the series got a new director, or directors rather. Tatsuya Shinkai directed the first two games, but Usuke Kumagai and Jun Suzuki took over for the third. Usuke Kumagai directed the fourth solo, but Jun Suzuki joined him again for the fifth and sixth games.
pierrot wrote:1. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys (PCE-CD)

Oh god, the second half of this game SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKS

That's kind of why I stalled on playing it. IIRC my save is currently at the Mountain Shrine.
pierrot wrote:It was twice as long as it needed to be

That's how I was beginning to feel, hence why I took a break.
pierrot wrote:They aren't really the same game, but I hadn't realized that they shared so much in common.

I have actually beaten the SFC version of Ys IV. And let me tell you in no uncertain terms, the SFC version is TERRIBLE.
pierrot wrote:Also, Ys V is the only Ys game left that I own and haven't beaten

Ys V is okay. It's just not much of an Ys game, more like a generic SFC action-RPG. This was my review of the game after beating it in 2015:
After the disappointing farming out of Ys IV for the Super Famicom, Falcom took it upon themselves to develop the next Super Famicom entry, Ys V. Ys V broke with some traditions of the first four YS games, obviously taking a lot of influence from previous SFC action-RPGs not made by Falcom. Bump combat is gone for example, replaced by direct sword combat, along with platform jumping and a robust magic system. Indeed the alchemic magic system in this game is quite complex, but utterly useless considering how weak it is compared to your sword alone.

Not that you'll need much power, because Ys V is an embarrassingly easy game. The lack of challenge doesn't do much to engage the player. The plot starts off with Adol searching for crystals (what else?) but ends up a bit more interesting with human sacrifices, a philosopher's stone, and pseudo-resurrection of a lost city. The game's world is well realized in earth toned well drawn tiles, making backgrounds a pleasure to see. This atmosphere makes traversing Ys V's locales an engaging experience in and of itself. The OST sounds kind of generic in comparison to normal Ys bombast, but it fits well with other SFC JRPGs of its era in composition. Ys V does control quite well with a lot of customization for a SFC game, possibly a result of Falcom being such PC heavy developers beforehand.

All in all, Ys V isn't a SFC action-RPG that is going to make you forget games like Secret of Mana or A Link to the Past. Nor did Ys V manage to break the Ys mold and capture the typical action-RPG zeitgeist of its time in the way Falcom hoped. On its own however, Ys V is perfectly suitable JRPG comfort food for a breezy weekend jaunt into a yesteryear curiosity. (Thankfully we can play this game in English due to Aeon Genesis' wonderful fan translation.) Just don't expect for Adol to break a sweat here, even in the desert.


I know I talk up the Ys series a lot. But let me be clear, I'm not so crazy about the bump combat Ys games. I mean, they are good, but not amazing. The Ys games I think are amazing start with The Ark of Napishtim and all that came after it.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:31 pm

Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 2

January (2 Games Beaten)
1. Persona 4 Arena - Playstation 3 - January 1
2. Chrono Trigger - SNES - January 7


2. Chrono Trigger - SNES - January 7

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Chrono Trigger is one of those RPGs that gamers talk about the same way that movie buffs talk about The Godfather or bibliophiles talk about To Kill a Mockingbird. It's the type of game that you have to play to really understand. You can tell someone all day how good Chrono Trigger is, but until they play it for themselves, they're not really going to get it. That's how it was for me. I've had access to the game via the Final Fantasy Chronicles PS1 disc that has it and Final Fantasy IV bundled together, but I never bothered playing it. I'm a stickler for playing games on the original hardware, so I wanted to wait until I could play it with a legit Super Nintendo controller. Little did I know what a legendary experience I was putting off.

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Chrono Trigger is a JRPG that tells the story Crono, a misplaced Dragon Ball Z character who thinks he's going to spend a lovely day at a local festival and ends up on a journey through time to stop an unspeakable evil that could put The Doctor to shame. Along the way, he encounters with a spunky blond chick, a dorky genuis chick, a Battletoad, C-3PO, a female Grognak, and a Dunmer that forgot which RPG franchise he's supposed to be in. So you're here at the festival, just chilling, and this dorky chick is like "Hey yall, check this out, I built a teleporter!" That's your first red flag. One thing leads to another, you tear a hole in the space-time continuum, and then adventure happens. And oh, what a glorious and brilliantly paced adventure it is.

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The great thing about Chrono Trigger's pacing is that you never need to grind, but you're also never completely overpowered. Unless I was backtracking for an item or something, at no point did I streamroll through the opposition, and except for a battle I'm expected to lose, at no point did I get absolutely annihilated in the blink of an eye. It's an extremely approachable game for beginners, and while some may say that the game is too easy, but with 17 different endings (18 if you're playing on DS or Android), there's enough replay value to make up for any low difficulty and then some, and the plus to that many different endings is that you can start New Game Plus with your level carried over (you'll definitely steamroll shit that way, though).

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The visuals in Chrono Trigger are fantastic with detailed sprites, colorful vistas, and some great scrolling effects. The music, however, is what really elevates things to another level. Chrono Trigger has some of the best music I've heard in any 16-bit RPG. It's right up there with the best that Final Fantasy had to offer, although that should be no surprise given that Squaresoft produced both. This is not a game that you want to play with headphones; hook up a sound bar or at least decent speakers and blast it because you're doing a favor to whomever else can hear it (whether they want to hear it or not). The dungeon music sets the tone for each area perfectly, and Chrono Trigger has some of the best boss themes found anywhere in the Super Nintendo's library.

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The game is great about giving you direction with regards to where you should go next, another thing make it approachable for JRPG beginners. On your journey, you'll explore the present (1000 AD), the Middle Ages (600 AD), the Dark Ages (12000 BC), prehistory (65000000 BC), the apocalypse (1999 AD), the future (2300 AD), and even the end of time itself, traveling through time via both temporal portals and a time machine. With each character you add to your ragtag band of heroes, you get to name them (up to a paltry five letters). I chose to name each after Racketboy members, so my team ended up consisting of Elkin, Key, Laurn, Bone, Maru, Bogus, J T, and the time ship Popo.

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The greatness of this game really can't be overstated. I thought he was exaggerating when Bone described Chrono Trigger as "god tier," but that really is one of the best descriptions I can think of. I still have several other big title 16-bit RPGs that I'm intending to play in the next few months, but from what Super Nintendo and Genesis RPGs I've played thus far, Chrono Trigger definitely reigns supreme. To call this game legendary is an understatement. It's not my favorite RPG of all time, but it's DEFINITELY high up on my list.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BogusMeatFactory Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:40 pm

I am glad you loved this elkin! I have completed only a few JRPGS, but Chrono Trigger is one and definitely one of my favorite. I am also honored to be named after a prehistoric hottie!
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.

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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:55 pm

Now you know why I praise Chrono Trigger so much. Congrats on finishing a true classic, perhaps the greatest JRPG of all time. I know it is in my book.

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)

The Blackwell games have this nice curve where they keep getting better. There still aren't many inventory puzzles. I realized pretty recently that, despite looking like a traditional adventure game, they play a little more like visual novels. Nothing wrong with that.

The third game in the series upped the presentation just a little more. Things are even more polished than the second game, and you can tell that Wadjet Eye has gotten some practice in. You can also tell they're going somewhere with an overarching plot. In a lot of ways, it's good that this is mostly sold as a bundle, because for the most part, they feel more like episodes of a larger game than standalone experiences. I'm hoping that it holds up for the last two entries. I figure I'm going for them next at this point. :)

EDIT: Welp, one more down. About the same level of quality, a few new quality-of-life improvements, and a good bit lengthier. Either that or I'm just slower. HLTB seems to indicate I'm not far off the pace, so including idle time, it's just probably a longer game in general. On to Epiphany!
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Flake Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:46 pm

Super Mario Bros Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 (GBS/Wii U)

I love how terribly the SMB Advance games are titled! At any rate, a semi-modern clearing of a classic game. Gonna be honest, I generally have never liked SMB3/World because as a kid I played a whole lot of SMB2. The non-Doki Doki kind, I mean.

Short but memorable levels, great music, challenging bosses, and a lot of extra features built into the WiiU version to simulate the lost E-Card peripheral. This game is a lot of fun and is basically the definitive version of a title it took me nearly 2 decades to stop hating. Fun!
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