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Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:55 pm
by isiolia
I played some of the first Onimusha way back when it came out, but I didn't beat it or play the sequels (I do have them for PS2 though).
I never got fully in the habit of swapping stances or doing Ki pulse (since I usually immediately dashed away), so you may well like it more if you do. Against regular enemies combat felt rewarding (well, except Tengu, screw those guys). Bosses just tend to be on the cheap side :lol:

I don't mean to imply Nioh is bad. It's a quality product, I just didn't take to it as much as I'd hoped I might. I think some folks will really find mastering the combat and grinding gear/etc to be a blast, and for them, it'll offer hundreds of hours of satisfying play. There's a lot to dig into if you're inclined to, I just wasn't, and would have preferred it be a bit more focused, if nothing else.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:16 am
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

So Horizon Zero Dawn was a game I purchased on the promise of shooting robot dinosaurs in the face with a bow and arrow. And it delivered on that. But it's not just a "cool vs. awesome" one note trick; this is a well crafted open world that has one of my favorite post apocalyptic stories I've encountered.

In terms of game DNA the game is about 70% Witcher 3 and 30% Tomb Raider reboot. On the Tomb Raider side you get the strong female protagonist, the emphasis on bow skills, and the climbing sequences. Though in this game the climbing tends to be a bit more automated; most of the time you can just push the stick in the direction and you'll hop from various hand and footholds. There's no equivalent to the climbing axe. The climbing adds a bit of traversal tech, but it doesn't have nearly the focus it does in Tomb Raider. On the Witcher 3 end you have the general protagonist attitude, an enhanced senses feature that is frequently used to investigate areas and follow trails, a similar feel to the open world portions with lots of troubleshooting sidequests to try and help out the little people, and the tactical approach to combat.

The combat is one of the game's strongest features. Enemies have a series of interesting points on them; canisters of fuel, weapons, scanners, etc. By targeting these areas you can strike weakpoints, cause explosions, and remove offensive capabilities. Your ability to exploit these features is what gives you the edge you need to take down a robot T-Rex. Additionally, the game is quite good about giving you more options as the game goes on, both through some really impactful skills in the skill tree and unlocking additional ammo types as you upgrade your weaponry.

The latter does recall a point that I feel really mixed on. The majority of your combat strength increases comes from enhancing your arsenal. So when you upgrade your starting bow you first get access to fire arrows, and after that to special high damage arrows. The elemental bow starts with just shock arrows, but upgrading it gives you ice arrows and then corruption arrows (confuse). These are extremely tangible upgrades. However, these all come from merchants, requiring a bit of currency and a drop off a particular enemy. These drops are not hard to get. And you get access to the top tier of all the weapons 1/3 of the way into the game. At this point you quickly become quite powerful and the curve really flattens out (depending on how many combat skills you still have to unlock). On the one hand, it's nice to be able to work towards that upgrade and go after it. On the flip side, this causes all the loot in the game to be utterly terrible. It's all random collections of resources and the best ones contain random weapon/armor mods. It makes quests really just a source of exp and story. So like I said, I'm mixed on the general mechanic.

The game does feature a useful stealth system. I say useful, but I mean utterly broken in the player's favor as soon as you put points in the stealth attack skill and the whistle. See, the way it works is if you are crouched in specific tall grass you are invisible to enemies. This invisibility extends to attack animations, as long as you get back into the grass by the end of the animation. So one tactic that is frighteningly effective is to whistle for an enemy unit (which causes them to investigate the noise), then when they get close you activate the stealth attack and one hit KO them (if they're not a high-tier robot). This does not break your stealth. Then you can whistle for the next enemy, or more likely an enemy will notice the corpse that suddenly showed up and investigate. Their lack of awareness is actually comical. In a late mission I snuck up on two guards talking, stabbed the first one, then the second one went into his "what's this dead body?" routine and I chained immediately into the second stealth kill while I was in the grace period before detection. I've had multiple enemies approach my field of grass and I'll chain stealth kills on them in full view of the others, but since I'm still following the rules they don't notice that suddenly this chick stabbed Bob in the chest. However, on the large robots this doesn't work; you can get in a good first shot but they don't lose to just that one hit.

Storywise I think the game has a unique tale to tell. It is presented extremely well, and several story missions are just exploring a ruin and picking up story bits with no combat whatsoever. Those were some of my favorites, as it showed the devs felt good enough about their story to make it a focus at times. There is a very tantalizing world in game, and it reminds me a bit of Numenera, with the idea of a new society building on the bones of the old and only vaguely understanding some of these magical works of those who came before.

This is 100% worthwhile if you have a PS4.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:23 pm
by Xeogred
isiolia wrote:I played some of the first Onimusha way back when it came out, but I didn't beat it or play the sequels (I do have them for PS2 though).
I never got fully in the habit of swapping stances or doing Ki pulse (since I usually immediately dashed away), so you may well like it more if you do. Against regular enemies combat felt rewarding (well, except Tengu, screw those guys). Bosses just tend to be on the cheap side :lol:

I don't mean to imply Nioh is bad. It's a quality product, I just didn't take to it as much as I'd hoped I might. I think some folks will really find mastering the combat and grinding gear/etc to be a blast, and for them, it'll offer hundreds of hours of satisfying play. There's a lot to dig into if you're inclined to, I just wasn't, and would have preferred it be a bit more focused, if nothing else.

Onimusha, having started development on the PSX, is extremely rough. Though 2 is still frustrating as well but has some of the best pre-rendered backdrops ever. 3 went fully 3D and holds up a lot better and is fantastic, along with Jean Reno. So yeah, don't let the weirdness of 1 turn you off on the sequels.

Sadly the 4th game feels like some weird arcade spinoff from a different team or something. I tried to get through it twice but don't like it.

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.