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Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:51 pm
by isiolia
Sarge wrote:Yeah, I was going to say, as good as HZD is, it's apparently very derivative of games that have come before it. Both of these games are taking elements from others and putting their own spins on them.

I haven't played HZD, but is it fair to say that perhaps it is a little more structured as far as its open world goes, compared to Zelda? I'm just struck by how organic everything feels in Zelda.

HZD is definitely a highly derivative game in most respects - mechanically at least - but either copies from the best or iterates on things slightly to the point that there's little it doesn't do in an exemplary fashion. Part of that is having a nice detailed map with clear direction on where to go, what to do, and so on. Get a piece of loot, and it tells you (in general terms) what it's useful for, etc.

The main thing that isn't necessarily as structured is fighting machines, as there's a wide range of weapons and tactics that'll work (though some will work better).

BoTW is definitely the less structured of the two, even if the end result is still going around to different points of interest to do one thing or another. The environment in general is far more interactive as well, but it's also a lot more of what the game seems to be about.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:53 pm
by MrPopo
I think that's a good summary, especially how there's a lot of ways of approaching HZD's combat. I definitely thing it has stronger combat than Zelda does. But Zelda's never been huge about the combat, so I don't see it as a big downside.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:00 pm
by dsheinem
Wow, what a pot that was stirred! Unfavorable BotW comparisons or any perceived slights certainly seem to rise people's dander!

On a related note, I thought the point raised earlier about Zelda's high review scores being based, in part, on it being a Zelda game was interesting. If the game featured some random new character/world and didn't incorporate the same imagery, music, icons, etc. that are so closely associated with a beloved series, would it have earned scores as high as it did?

What if the lead character were just some other random pointy-eared tropish adventurer/hero? I know it is hard to separate "Zelda" from "Breath of the Wild", but what if the game were some new Nintendo IP, similar to how HZD is a new IP? Would its scores still be as strong as they were? Would they be closer to...or even lagging behind....the consensus/aggregate scores for HZD? I think they likely would...

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:09 pm
by Sarge
Well, I'll tell you how I feel about that supposition when I get my hands on HZD. ;)

(I have a feeling people would be telling Nintendo that this is how Zelda should be done, though, in the case of Breath of the Wild. I don't necessarily agree, it's a good game, but it's a good game for different reasons than the ones that I associate with the series as a whole.)

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:05 pm
by isiolia
dsheinem wrote:What if the lead character were just some other random pointy-eared tropish adventurer/hero? I know it is hard to separate "Zelda" from "Breath of the Wild", but what if the game were some new Nintendo IP, similar to how HZD is a new IP? Would its scores still be as strong as they were? Would they be closer to...or even lagging behind....the consensus/aggregate scores for HZD? I think they likely would...

I think it would still score very well, just with fewer "perfect" scores. It's less about comparing to HZD, and more about almost any other game. Zelda games get a lot of nigh-perfect reviews, but strike up a conversation here, and clearly not everyone feels that way about every last entry. Were it a fresh IP, I do think critical opinions would vary a little more, or at least not be as quick to forgive things they didn't think were absolutely perfect.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:37 pm
by pierrot
prfsnl_gmr wrote:It's like the Legend of Zelda (NES) crossed with Demon's Souls (PS3).

So, it's like Dragon Slayer, mixed with Fushigi no Dungeon. Got it.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:04 pm
by Xeogred
You guys are silly. Here's the math.

[SECRET] > Dark Souls > Breath of the Wild > Horizon


Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:09 pm
by Juan Aguacate
Zelda is gaming royalty. It will always get higher scores than it actually deserves. I read a review that actually started with the reviewer talking about his history with the series and how each game is tied to a moment in his life. If that's not a biased reviewer than I don't know what is. I can't imagine that a guy talking about his Zelda nostalgia is going to criticize the game at all.

Unfortunately, bias is something this is just a normal part of the industry now. Try and find a single review of Nier Automata that doesn't start with the reviewer mentioning how awesome Platinum Games is and how they always make great action games. You already know the reviewer is a fan of the company and is not coming into the game with a critical mindset

Reviews are written by fan boys. There's always bias

I actually would love to read more reviews by people with no connection to a series or the company behind it

And HZD is the most overrated game of 2017 so far. Any score higher than a 7 is delusional

Just my opinion of course. Other than the machine combat, it's completely generic in every way. Story's kind of cool though, I'll give it that. Aloy is annoying though. She's got this whole I am woman hear me roar thing going on and it's annoying sometimes as she tends to give male characters attitude for no good reason. One NPC was talking to her about how news has spread of her exploits and adventures and how she has become an intriguing character. And she responds in this super bitchy tone of voice, "I'm not here to intrigue you" :roll:

Every year there's that one average game that every one gushes over. This year it's Horizon Zero Dawn

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:13 pm
by Xeogred
Nah man, Zelda is God.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:34 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)
14. Märchen Veil (Famicom Disk System)
15. Vanguard (Atari 2600)
16. Kangaroo (Atari 2600)
17. Front Line (Atari 2600)
18. Mario Bros. (Atari 2600)
19. Harmonia (Steam)
20. Donkey Kong (Atari 2600)
21. Jungle Hunt (Atari 2600)
22. Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes (TurboGrafx CD)
23. Gorf (Atari 2600)
24. Neutopia II (TurboGrafx-16)
25. Dungeon Magic (PlayStation 2, Taito Legends 2)

After perusing some recent threads here I found myself longing to play a classic RPG 'em up. Yes I am going to continue using this term. It's not any goofier than "shmup" is it?

Taito's Dungeon Magic fits the bill nicely. Released in 1994, not long after the similar (but inferior) Arabian Magic, Dungeon Magic remains one of Taito's final arcade beat 'em ups. For years I thought Dungeon Magic may be a sequel to the similarly titled Dungeon Magic: Sword of the Elements on NES (1989), especially in light of the fact that both appeared to be "made by" Taito. Turns out the NES game is unrelated, developed by Natsume and only published by Taito, with a title of Dungeon & Magic: Swords of Element in Japan. Moreover, Dungeon Magic itself was called Light Bringer in its native land. Damn localizers. Always intent on fooling me.
There are four playable heroes of Dungeon Magic, but naturally I can only vouch for one: the slim sexy elven archer Cisty. She looks like a more "realistic" version of Mail of Popful Mail. Combat is fairly simple and traditional, with a single attack button and jump button. Cisty excels at close-range combat, but can also fire arrows with some "combo" style button presses. There's a dash activated by hitting left or right twice rapidly, but I rarely found use for it. Cisty is also equipped with a special attack (activated by hitting jump and attack simultaneously) that hits all nearby enemies; this can be used three times per life. I've always appreciated the spartan control scheme found in many older beat 'em ups, but after becoming acquainted with the god-tier Guardian Heroes just last year I now find myself wishing there was a little more complexity and nuance to the combat in Dungeon Magic. The game inevitably begins to feel button-mashy after those first thirty minutes or so.

Where the game truly shines is in level design. This is an isometric game (rather than a traditional belt-scroller) in the vein of Data East's Wizard Fire. Don't expect awkward Landstalker-y controls though, as characters can only face left or right. The stages are absolutely huge. There are multiple paths leading to the inevitable boss battles, dead-end treasure rooms, and even the ability to backtrack and revisit previous areas. There's no shortage of secrets here. Each and every room, in addition to housing the obvious chests, is also likely to contain a well-hidden switch, passageway, or additional spoils. Some breakable objects, like crates and barrels, can also be spared and stacked to reveal treasures high above the plane of combat. Another quirk about the game is that most enemies can actually be skipped, and some rooms will house foes that simply respawn infinitely. Thus, one can choose to avoid confrontation and make a beeline to boss rooms, or hang out, backtrack, and even level-grind.

Graphics are beautiful and detailed, and the battle animations are fantastic. There are lots of cool little background details, like the screaming demon faces that line the hallway leading to the final boss confrontation. The enemy cast is large and representative of your typical fantasy setting. There are orcs, lizard-men, dragons, sorcerers, skeletons, and so on. Most regular enemies pose but a small threat, especially in light of the fact that they can be skipped altogether. The bosses are another matter. They're huge and sport correspondingly large HP bars. I found that many bosses were needlessly tough due to ambiguous and vague hitboxes. This is where the special attacks become mandatory.

The musical score is quite competent. The beat and pacing of these tracks gets more and more frantic as you approach boss rooms, which was a nice touch. Of course, as is common with these games, the music itself tends to get lost under the cacophony of battle noise. As mentioned, this is a beat 'em up / ARPG hybrid type of game. A large bulk of XP is earned by collecting items rather than slaying foes. The RPG elements do admittedly feel a bit tacked on, as I've played the game several times and always seemed to level up at the exact same places (which, of course, is right about where tougher enemies began to emerge). Of course, as noted, I could take advantage of playing in a more non-conventional manner, by either avoiding conflict or revisiting old haunts.
One (potential) downside is that Dungeon Magic is damn long for an arcade game. No, it doesn't reach the same levels of absurdity as, say, The Super Spy, but expect your first single-player run to take 80 minutes or so. Whittle that number down a bit if you have some friends to partake in the action. Given its size, scope, and unique isometric viewpoint it's not incredibly surprising that Dungeon Magic received exactly zero console ports back in the day. A shame too, I would have loved to see how this performed on the Saturn. Even though it lacks ports, the emulated arcade experience can be enjoyed by anyone today via Taito Legends 2 on PS2, Xbox, and PC. Taito Legends 2, by the way, is one of the best retro arcade compilations ever conceived. Anyone remotely interested in the developer's backlog needs this in their collection.

Ultimately, Dungeon Magic remains one of my favorite beat 'em ups of all time. The actual "beat 'em" aspect may be a touch too bare-bones, but the game world crafted by Taito is a sight to behold. Highly recommended.