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Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:56 pm
by Sarge
Both Onimusha 3 and Dawn of Dreams are boss. O3 is better, though.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:16 pm
by Xeogred

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:10 pm
by Markies
1. Phantasy Star II (GEN)
2. Guitar Hero (PS2)
3. Adventures of Lolo (NES)
4. Animal Crossing (GCN)
5. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES)
6. Beyond The Beyond (PS1)
7. R.B.I. Baseball (NES)
8. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (PS1)
9. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (GCN)

10. Project Gotham Racing (XBOX)

I beat Project Gotham Racing on the XBOX this afternoon.

I didn't realize this until later, but I was playing two games in the same series from the same developer. I have been playing Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast. After that game, the same team went on to create the Project Gotham Racing series on the XBOX.

It's hard not to compare the two games as I was playing them at the same time and they were developed by the same people. They share similar aspects and styles of racing. They both take place in the same cities and you both have to collect Kudos to progress in the game.

But, in Project Gotham Racing, you have to meet a certain amount of Kudos and get the objective to complete a race. This can get really frustrating especially with the very aggressive drivers. You are driving slow to not hit walls, but the enemy racers don't care and just love to spin you out. Especially in the later levels, the computer gets really cheap and incredibly mean during the end.

However, the game has a very nice selection cars and it wasn't long until I was driving some very expensive and exotic cars. I like the incremental gaining of the game as I felt like I was getting better the more I played the game. I like the different styles of races in the game and the radios at different cities actually felt like radios, so that was a very nice touch.

It's a good game for racing fans, nothing mind blowing for non racing fans. Be prepared for some mean drivers though and some frustrating races at the end.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:21 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Markies...I salute your commitment to vintage video games. You "games beaten" list displays an impressive range of retro game genres across a wide array of vintage gaming consoles. Keep up the good work!

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:32 pm
by Exhuminator
12. Miasmata | PC | Action Adventure | 2012 | 8.5hrs | 8/10

It's sometime after midnight, and you're lost in deep woods on top of a hill. In your right hand you've got some burning twigs to light your way, and in your left you clutch hard-found flora. You've become dehydrated, due to hiking too long with a rising fever. Desperately you peer into the darkness, searching for the path you once knew. And then you see it; the glowing eyes of an unmistakable predator. You hear your heart pounding louder as you scramble away down the hillside. But a root catches your foot, betraying your balance, and now you're tumbling down, bashing against trees, rocks, and fallen logs. You lose your grip on the plants in your hands; the flora that could offer a cure, and burning twig-torch, now rolling away to disappear into high grass. Painfully you lift yourself from the ground, lumbering against a sapling for support. You ignite your lighter, offering scant illumination. Disoriented you attempt to view your compass, but then you're rattled by a deafening roar. Suddenly you're knocked to the ground face first. The sound of your own skull imploding into your brain as all goes permanently black.

Welcome to Miasmata.

A serene trail is safe enough, but sticking to safety won't get you cured.

Earth is wracked by a plague. A high standing zealot blames scientists worldwide, claiming the scourge is lab born. Scientists become targets, and many go into hiding. A group of botanists exile themselves to a remote island, hoping to find a cure among its exotic plant life. Hearing of this excursion, the protagonist you play as (Robert Hughes - also a plague stricken botanist), decides to join them. Barely alive, you scarcely make it to the shore, pulling yourself weakly from the boat onto the island known as Eden. Not knowing what's ahead of you, you stumble forward and soon see a hut in the distance. Making your way there, you suddenly spot a dead body. A scientist, murdered with a knife in his back. And this is your first clue that Eden is anything but.

Tents, huts, and cabins are your sole refuges sought island-wide.

Your new life will consist of searching for the lost memos of previous scientists, using that information to seek botanical ingredients, and combining them into a possible plague vaccine. Thankfully there are many make shift labs at your disposal, along with comfy beds, and various pieces of survival gear. And you'll need every bit of it, because you have no one to help you whatsoever. You are all alone, with only slain corpses and a stalking malevolent beast for company. The indigenous bunny rabbits, squirrels, and tweeting birds will happily remain indifferent to your strife. Find the ingredients, synthesize the cure, and find a way back off the island. Or die a miserable fever ridden death under cold sleeting rain. Miasmata doesn't care.

Hope you remember everything you learned in chemistry 101, you'll need it.

I have never played anything like Miasmata before. This has to be the most non-hand holding, non-casual friendly, most player-intelligence respecting video game I've ever played. And I hesitate to even call this a video game, as Miasmata's more a survival simulator. There's barely anything "gamey" about it. You have no HUD, no numerical stats, no life points, no lives, no conventional game elements to speak of. Everything you do in Miasmata is seen your through your character's eyes, and interacted with via your character's hands. This is a supremely immersive experience, and Miasmata does everything in its power to suck you into its world. Including successfully imitating the feeling of a being a plague stricken man, who is the opposite of sure footed (I nicknamed him Sir Trips-a-lot). You must constantly manage your illness (drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, and formulate meditative doses using found ingredients). And simply the act of walking around is a serious exercise in careful traversal.

If you don't bother to stop and search the ground, it's easy to miss useful fungi like these.

The most difficult part of Miasmata is actually not the plague, and not the beast, but rather just getting around the massive island. Your character has the ability to run and jump, but is also a very sick man. Push him too hard, and he will pass out from fever. Run too fast, and he will trip and fall. Move haphazardly down a mountain side, and you'll soon be rolling end over end to the bottom. And every time you fall down and hurt yourself, your fever gets a little worse. So rambling around like a madman is an easy way to get yourself dead. I have to give the developers credit, I've never played a game that made hiking seem so realistic. Your character actually has inertia, and you can't just stop on a dime. Run too fast and try to turn too sharp, and you will lose your footing and eat dirt.

Learn to triangulate and master the art of orienteering.

Learning to walk successfully around the island is one thing, but not getting lost while you do it is another. It is extraordinarily easy to lose your bearings in Miasmata. The game gives you a compass and a map to fill in yourself. That's it. No floating waypoints, no auto-fill, no on-screen icons to guide your way. You will have to use the built-in triangulation system to fill in the blanks. And there's a lot of blank, as Eden is a huge island indeed. But it's hand crafted, with each corner unique, and an absolute joy to explore. Until you run into a homicidal beast whose favorite thing is to rip your throat out when you least expect it.

That knife isn't gonna save you, if you're this close you're already dead.

As you wander Eden, you begin to realize there's more to the story than you first expected. Who killed the scientists? What is the beast? Who built all these ruins? Those questions and more start being answered by the writings, photos, and evidence you find left behind. There are some twists to the story indeed, and soon this is not just a tale of a sick scientist surviving. But even if you don't care for the plot, you'll probably love the scenery. Miasmata has amazing graphics, that often make you forgot your plight as you gaze upon its gorgeous naturalist beauty. Then you drown while navigating a bog that ended up being deeper than you thought.

Wise man say; throw rocks in water before walking in it.

Miasmata is a triumph on many levels, not the least of which being this game was created by only two people. Brothers Joe and Bob Johnson of IonFX, that's it. It absolutely blows my mind that a game of this size, innovation, and competence was made by just two people. If you want to talk about impressive indie development, here it is folks. If more indie games were as forward thinking, brave, and uniquely daring as Miasmata, I'd be the happiest gamer in the world. But the truth is, I find it extremely difficult to recommend Miasmata to the average gamer. If anything, Miasmata's greatest strengths (no hand holding, extreme difficulty, unique gameplay) are its greatest enemies when appealing to a broader gaming demographic.

Your notebook slowly becomes filled with useful memos, and any restoratives you craft.

The size of this review is testament to the obvious; I absolutely adored Miasmata. As someone who is all too often bored by the proliferation of trope addled samey game genres, this experience was a breath of fresh invigorating air (with a hint of zesty plague). Couple that with my love of exploring the wilderness in real life, and a deep respect for games that respect me back... and I almost feel like Miasmata was made just for me. But I encourage anyone reading this review to give Miasmata a try, if this at all sounds interesting to you. Miasmata is a game of huge contrasts; serene beauty and obscene danger. Against Eden's gorgeous adversity you may discover a part of yourself you didn't know was there, and enjoy nurturing it. Or maybe you'll just be bored out of your mind and die, who knows. While I won't call Miasmata flawless by any means, I will call it one of the most memorable gaming experiences I've ever had. If nothing else, Miasmata is one hell of a hiking simulator. I am actually sad that the experience is over. I can't think of any greater praise for a video game than that.

Sit on the beach and watch the sunset. Paradise found.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:49 pm
by Xeogred
Looks really interesting. I wonder how Firewatch will compare.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:42 pm
by BogusMeatFactory
Xeogred wrote:Looks really interesting. I wonder how Firewatch will compare.

The two are a night and day difference. Firewatch is anot interactive fiction that is witty and features a broad range of emotions. It is story over substance which isn't a bad thing.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:05 pm
by Sarge
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)
9) Blackwell Epiphany (PC) (9.0) (1/9) (6.5 hours)
10) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) (8.0) (1/22) (~55 hours)
11) Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (360) (8.0) (1/28) (~.5 hours)
12) Deep Duck Trouble Starring Donald Duck (SMS) (6.5) (1/31) (~1 hour)

13) Quackshot Starring Donald Duck (GEN) (7.5) (2/7) (~2 hours)
14) Fire Emblem Heroes (Android) (8.0) (2/9) (~10 hours)
15) Super C (NES) (9.5) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)
16) Contra (NES) (10.0) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)
17) Mickey's Dangerous Chase (GB) (6.5) (2/24) (~1 hour)
18) My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (3DS) (8.5) (2/25) (~19 hours)
19) Mega Man 2 (NES) (10.0) (2/28) (~0.8 hours)

20) Final Fantasy XV (PS4) (8.0) (3/2) (~33 hours)
21) Blaster Master Zero (NS) (9.0) (3/10) (~6.5 hours)
22) Espgaluda II Black Label (8.0?) (3/17) (0.5 hours)

So this was a weird pickup for me. I knew it was a Cave shooter, but I've never actually seen a Japanese physical release in a closeout store before. Furthermore, it was only $8, and apparently costs a lot more to import, so I figured it was a no-brainer to snag it.

As far as gameplay goes, it reminds me a lot of DoDanPachi. The hook here, such as I was able to grok without really knowing what the heck I was doing, is that your "default" mode lets you take out enemies and earn gems. These gems can fuel your alternate mode, which slows down shots to half their speed. Staying in this mode without gems will see the shots speed up, and it will also not transform on-screen shots to powerups upon enemy death. (This is one of the ways to get out of a bind, if you know where enemies are coming from and can kill them before the patterns get really rough.) You can also consume a shield, and it also looks like you have a limited ability to "touch" shots without an insta-death, but it drains what I guess is a health meter.

Anyway, solid game I'll probably not bust out again for a while, but still cool to have a Japanese release, and as a bonus, of course, it's region-free. :)

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:46 pm
by MrPopo
1. Pokémon Moon - 3DS
2. Tony Hawk's Underground - GCN
3. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising - PC
4. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Retribution - PC
5. Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness - PSP
6. X-Wing: Imperial Pursuit - PC
7. Star Wars Republic Commando - PC
8. X-Wing: B-Wing - PC
9. Blazing Lazers - TG-16
10. Tales of Xillia 2 - PS3
11. Shining Force CD: Shining Force Gaiden - Sega CD
12. MUSHA - Genesis
13. Sonic CD - Sega CD
14. Final Fantasy Legend III - GB
15. Tales of Zestiria - PS3
16. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch
17. Horizon Zero Dawn - PS4
18. Tales of Berseria - PS4

So you might remember a few entries ago that I was not a huge fan of Tales of Zestiria; in fact I ended up having to force myself to beat it. Berseria is a prequel and manages to fix basically every complaint I had about Zestiria while also having one of my favorite Tales stories.

Berseria probably makes the biggest change to the battle system; it's no longer a linear motion system. You are now constantly in free run, with left stick as move and right stick as camera. Guard is mapped to L1 and target is on R1. Targeting lets you see the enemy health bar and your character will turn to face that target when standing still. Guard still lets you dash forward, back, and side to side around enemies. Your attacks are now mapped to the four face buttons. Like Zestiria when you go into your arte menu you are presented with a grid of attacks, with four different ones per button. However, the super major change that made me enjoy the battle system was that you have full control over what goes on each slot. If you want triangle to just be four instances of the wind weakness striking attack then go for it. This let me play it more like Xillia, while someone who really liked the tactics of the Zestiria system can still use it that way. Your ability to attack is also an interesting fusion of Xillia and Zestiria. You have a series of diamonds that indicate your amount of energy; you start a battle with three and that number can be anywhere between one and five. Whenever you attack one of the diamonds loses its white border; once you have attacked as many times as you have white borders your attack chain is over, and a slight pause will regenerate them all at once (so in this way, it's like CP). Additionally, when you attack some of the blue color leaves the diamond according to how much SP your attack takes. A full diamond counts as 30 SP, and it constantly restores when you're not attacking. You can attack when your SP is zero, but it makes your attacks slower and if an enemy guards the attack you go into a stagger. So this is more like the Zestiria system of your ability to attack for long periods of time being moderated.

The other unique thing this game does is bind a special move to each character's L2. Now, I didn't bother using any of the other characters so I can't speak to the usefulness of their moves, but Velvet's (the main character) is amazing and makes for some fun and engaging battles. When you use her ability her left arm goes demon mode and you do a heavy guard breaking hit at your target. If you successfully hit them (so you weren't out of range) you go into demon mode. During this time you cannot die and your HP ticks down. It also restores all your white diamonds (so you can continue your chain) If you try and attack while you have no white diamonds left you will do a finishing move based on the enemy you first hit. Initially this is just a way to do increased damage, as you get a variety of stat boosts in this mode. But as the game goes on you gain some ability to activate it again mid chain to trigger a special move and refill your diamonds. The moderating influence is the fact that to activate any of these requires spending an entire diamond, reducing your attack chain capability by one. But you can also gain them mid chain through things like triggering stuns. So if life is good you can chain this for quite a long time.

So the battle system is solid, but how about the other gameplay elements? The equipment system works similar to FFIX's; each piece of gear has a passive ability that can be learned. By the end of the game you will have a ton of these, giving yourself a noticeable boost. This encourages exploring some of the other gear options and not just using the best piece you can buy at any one time, as many of these passives can be more interesting than just +5 attack. This also means that upgrading gear is more worthwhile; it increases the base stats and can unlock additional passive abilities (albeit ones that only apply when the gear is equipped). With Zestiria upgrading could mess up your skill board. Skits are back to triggering mid journey, rather than only on save points and points of interest. The skips are the most involved of any Tales game; many times they cut to larger anime scenes (though still in pictures that might move between two frames of animation) and you get a much deeper sense of how the characters are interacting beyond the dialog.

And finally, I come to the story. This is a story that starts off as grey vs. grey and near the end becomes slightly lighter grey vs. black. At the best of times you are an anti-hero akin to Punisher in that you do lots of terrible things that will eventually make the world better, but for two thirds of the game you are on a revenge quest and you don't care who gets in your way. Your target did some bad shit that has you rightfully pissed off, but that bad shit ended up making the world better; the question you need to ask yourself as the player is how much of the ends justifying the means can you handle? Most Tales games are much more black and white in how they present their conflict and it was great to see a much more morally ambiguous tale. I think it also made many of the party members much more interesting and multifaceted, as each one has to find a reason to join you that isn't just "let's save the world!"

Now, the way things happen in this game that cross reference with Zestiria it seems clear to me that it was always intended for them to make the two games, rather than Dawn of the New World and Xillia 2's "I guess we can do a sequel" story. There's a lot of little things where you suddenly understand something that was mentioned in Zestiria, or get a premonition based on your Zestiria knowledge, and the game builds the mechanics of the world that come to a head in Zestiria. I'd say you can't fully enjoy the story of Berseria without Zestiria. But if you made it through Zestiria and weren't sure about Berseria I think you should give Berseria a try; it's heads and shoulders above its predecessor.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:08 am
by Exhuminator
Xeogred wrote:Looks really interesting. I wonder how Firewatch will compare.

Miasmata is tremendously interesting. Definitely a hidden gem deserving of far more attention then it got upon release.

To your other comment; I read up on the gameplay of Firewatch. I can see some base similarities; exploring a wilderness with a day/night cycle, and a shadowy figure sometimes following you. One significant difference is in Firewatch you have the ability to communicate with other people, whereas in Miasmata you have no one to speak to. From what I read Firewatch also doesn't seem nearly as harsh to the player as Miasmata; you're not constantly dying from an illness, tripping and falling all the time, or being stalked by a devouring beast. So in regards to sheer difficulty, I'm not sure how comparable the two are.

I am really interested in playing Firewatch now after reading more about it. Gonna have to see if I can get the game to run acceptably on this laptop with some extensive tweaking.