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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:36 pm

Sounds amazing. What a nice surprise. Anyone know if this is a Nintendo exclusive or what?
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:15 pm

Sarge wrote:with multiple save points / the blissful ability to stop playing and start again unlike the original

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Xeogred wrote:Anyone know if this is a Nintendo exclusive or what?

Currently it's only available for 3DS and Switch. I doubt you'll see it on Steam anytime soon.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:13 am

I can probably wait, I just wonder if it's a cemented exclusive. It sure came out of nowhere, regardless. But looks like a great surprise. Super Mario Odyssey might temp me on the Switch later this year and I need a 3DS for all the Zelda's, so I'll probably get around to it sometime if it doesn't come out anywhere else.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:24 am

Xeogred wrote:I need a 3DS

Xeogred is going to play a handheld? What alternate reality is this?!
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:03 am

The cheapest way to get into 3DS gaming is with the 2DS, as you probably know. Larger screens are nice, though. The 3D is just a'ight, although it's much improved on the New model.

It really did come out of nowhere. I didn't hear much about it until right before it dropped, and it's everything I could have ever expected or hoped in a Blaster Master sequel.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:52 am

I've thought about the 2DS route, but I really do want the biggest screen possible. I like the idea of going fully digital with a handheld too.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:55 am

Yeah, go with the XL then. I went to the larger model to cut down on eye strain. Just another reminder I'm getting older. :P
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:58 am

Sunsoft had a trio of hard-as-hell Metroidvanias back in the day. The Wing of Madoola and Atlantis no Nazo stayed on the Famicom. There could be a few others I don't know about too. I give them all a "mixed" reception.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:04 pm

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)
26. The Lost Vikings (SNES)
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The Lost Vikings is one of my all-time favorites, and a game that demands to be replayed every couple of years. I've owned it since I was 15 or so and it was purchased out of sheer amusement. Just look at the cover.

Silicon & Synapse serves as developer here. This is the studio that would later become Blizzard. As such, one may expect this to be a port of a PC game, but The Lost Vikings was initially developed for the SNES and then later released on the Genesis, Amiga, Amiga CD32, PC, and GBA. I'd recommend this original version above all others. The controls were tailor-made for the SNES controller, and playing the game elsewhere inevitably feels a touch awkward.
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The Lost Vikings is a ranking member of that ambiguous "puzzle-platformer" genre. The game consists of thirty-seven (mostly) enormous stages, with a goal of moving three vikings from start to finish. This trio doesn't move in tandem like the heroes of Sorcerian; control of a viking is assigned with a tap of a shoulder button and while one is active the other two remain motionless.

The "gimmick" here is that each vikings has drastically different means and abilities. Erik is the only one that can jump. He can also run and reveal hidden areas/items by bashing headfirst into walls. Said bashing can also be used as an offensive tactic, though it's not always recommended as it leaves Erik stunned momentarily. Baleog is the primary offensive character. He wields a sword, as well as a bow and (upgradable) arrows. The combat takes a little getting used to. There's no real recovery time after hits, but many enemies behave in a Metal Slug fashion in that their attacks can cause injury but not the enemy sprites themselves. Finally, we have the chunky Olaf. He provides the defense with a shield. He can also use the shield to glide slowly down vertical sections.
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Surviving the game's many challenges requires the vikings work together cohesively. This can manifest in a number of ways. In some earlier stages it's best to have the vikings march together in a line with Olaf leading the charge with his shield, with some occasionally switching to Baleog and Erik for offense and jumping. Other stages immediately split the vikings in three directions where they each perform disparate tasks and then meet again at the exit. Solutions to various puzzles and scenarios become less obvious as the game progresses, requiring some more thoughtful maneuvering of the viking trio. There are times where Baleog must ride Olaf's shield, which requires rapid alternating presses of the shoulder buttons and d-pad. At other moments the vikings must move (almost) in unison, with Olaf holding his shield aloft to block raining projectiles. In the factory stages Olaf can be moved (via the shield) by a giant magnet, which allows him to cross into otherwise inaccessible areas.

Overall, the level design is absolutely brilliant. There are some real head-scratchers, but those seemingly insurmountably difficult sections will start to feel easy peasy after repeated attempts. This is a game to be chipped away at. Death is frequent, and imminent, but the vikings will proceed a bit further on every attempt and those "voilà" moments that occur when solutions finally reveal themselves are something to treasure.
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The stages themselves are are monstrous as they are varied. There are six "worlds" (each consisting of several levels) to work through: a spaceship, prehistory, Ancient Egypt, an industrial factory, a surreal "candy land", and a return to the spaceship. Such randomness is explained by the game's story. The vikings have been abducted by aliens and are trying to work their way home. Sporadically appearing "portals" look promising, but will inevitably lead to some other bizarre landscape (spoiler alert: the final portal in the final level does lead home).

The scenery and background graphics are superb. Even within the confines of a specific "world" the developers were thoughtful enough to include multiple landscapes, indoor and outdoor areas, and so on. The spaceship stages are arguably the least varied background-wise but still look pretty rad. Character animations are great. The vikings themselves are especially animated, and humorous. Erik and Baleog flex if standing still for too long, while Olaf picks his nose. Olaf also flashes buttcrack at the top of each and every ladder. Never gets old. The accompanying dialogue is also amusing, chock full of jokes and pop culture references. The vikings even start to give each other shit if a given level requires multiple attempts to clear.
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I have mixed feelings about the soundtrack. On the one hand, it's fantastic. There's a frantic thumping 90s techno vibe throughout with plenty of heavy percussion, slap bass, and voice samples. On the other hand, I wish there was more. The combined total of all tracks clocks in at about a scant sixteen minutes, and the ending theme is but a variation of the title screen jingle.

Despite the inherent difficulty contained within the game, it's also very forgiving. Lives and continues are one in the same and you're given an infinite number of 'em. Additionally, it's easy to take a break and return as passwords are assigned to each and every level. And these are the most brilliant passwords ever: four-characters, no vowels, with references to the levels they belong to. So, the bubble level is BBLS, the volcano level is VLCN, the spring-loaded level us H0PP, and so on. You won't even have to write these down. One complaint I have heard about the difficulty is the fact that there are no stage checkpoints. This is a valid concern, as some of the later stages are both obscenely long and full of one-hit death traps. That said, I can't envision how checkpoints could have been implemented in a game like this, and I think if they had been the pendulum could possibly swing to the "too easy" side of things.
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I love this game. It's incredibly unique and the offbeat humor and bizarre scenarios offset some of the more frustrating moments. The SNES cart isn't insanely expensive these days (about $40 it seems), and The Lost Vikings remains one of the strongest Western console games out there.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:36 pm

Bone, I tried googling Vikings brofist but couldn't find anything, except that The Lost Vikings was the first image result. So that is perfect.

Easily a 10/10. You got me to check out the Genesis version in full last year, but I still like the SNES version a little more so I need to replay that again too.

I still can't seem to get into 2 though. I will try to play it again someday on its own, following up 1 with it and it just never clicks with me. I've beaten the Playstation/PC version before, but not the SNES version (which looks cooler now in retrospect).

I wish there was more. Lost Vikings > Starcraft/WoW/Diablo.
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