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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:08 am

Finished Quake. Pretty fun, although not as good as DOOM. Probably on the level of DOOM 2, which I also didn't enjoy as much. The game ran very well via the Mark V engine, and I downloaded the original soundtrack since the GOG version doesn't include it. I'll give it a 7/10.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:13 pm

1. Antarctic Adventure (Famicom)
2. Nuts & Milk (Famicom)
3. Commando (Atari 2600)
4. Binary Land (Famicom)
5. Devil World (Famicom)
6. Disney's Aladdin (SNES)
7. Popeye (NES)
8. Super Mario Land (Game Boy)
9. Ys: The Vanished Omens (Sega Master System)
10 Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter (Famicom)
11. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)
12. Lunar: The Silver Star (Sega CD)
13. Otenba Becky no Daibouken (MSX)
14. Metroid (Famicom Disk System)
15. Mahou Kishi Rayearth (Game Boy)
16. Wabbit (Atari 2600)
17. Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy)
18. Warpman (Famicom)
19. Final Fantasy (NES)
20. Transformers: Convoy no Nazo (Famicom)
21. Arcade Archives: Moon Patrol (Switch eShop)
22. Gremlins (Atari 2600)
23. Arcade Archives: Ninja-Kid (Switch eShop)
24. Shining in the Darkness (Genesis)
25. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Gate of Doom (Switch eShop)
26. Front Line (Atari 2600)
27. Donkey Kong 3 (NES)
28. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Game Boy)
29. Exerion (Famicom)
30. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Bad Dudes (Switch eShop)
31. Arcade Archives: Double Dragon (Switch eShop)
32. ACA NeoGeo: Ninja Combat (Switch eShop)
33. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Wizard Fire (Switch eShop)
34. Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land (Game Boy)
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Here's a game with a bit of an oddball title. Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land -- as in, the third Super Mario Land game also doubles as the first Wario Land game. Nintendo went in a different direction with this one. Wario, the villain from the previous game, is now the playable protagonist, with Mario just popping in for a small cameo appearance. While the game appears to be constructed from the classic Mario blueprint, Wario Land features its own unique play style and control set, and, while enjoyable in its own right, unfortunately doesn't measure up to the standards set by the previous Land classics.

This is Wario, not Mario, so it's unsurprising to discover that the (anti-)hero of this game doesn't have the purest of motives. Wario isn't looking to save the world, or even a princess, but is instead after a cache of riches, currently hoarded away by some pirates who inhabit a series of food-themed islands. Collecting coins is integral to the Wario Land experience. They're used to activate checkpoints, to exit levels, and are wagered in post-stage minigames. There are also a series of treasures hidden throughout the islands. The number of these unearthed, coupled with the coin total, determines the game's ending as well as Wario's future residence. That stated, the game is not a pure treasure hunt (thankfully). The goal of each stage remains the expected: reach the exit, and the bare minimum amount of coins required to progress is likely to be collected without even a modicum of effort.
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Those accustomed to the speedy and nimble Mario will take some time to get adjusted to Wario. The hefty man's sprite is comically large, and he begins every stage in "big" (powered-up) mode. Wario doesn't "run" per se, though he can execute a quick dash is his default form, and thus his jumps are a bit more rigid. Wario's abilities are determined by hats scattered throughout each stage. The bull hat grants him horns that allow him to attach to ceilings, the jet hat gives him the gift of flight, while the dragon hat allows Wario to spew steams of fire. One hit from an enemy and Wario is shrunk into "small" size (still bigger than Mario!) where he's helpless to do much beyond simple walking and jumping. Garlic bulbs can return Wario to the default "big" mode, where he can take two hits but can't execute any cool tricks.

The game's level design is intriguing. It feels almost like this began as a true Mario game, but someone had a change of heart during development. Wario may be humongous, but most stages feature a series of narrow pathways and tight squeezes. It appears that Wario possesses the skeleton and musculature of a snake or rodent, as he has no problem squishing himself and crawling through the tiniest of gaps. It's a pretty humorous visual, punctuated by Wario's eternal grins and thumbs-up gestures. Graphically, the game's quite competent with some great background art complementing that bizarre "food" theme that runs throughout. Music is decent, if not decidedly memorable. There's a "sneaky" vibe to the soundtrack, and I appreciate some of the heavy and intricate basslines. Sounds like Wario is ripping farts in that opening track.
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Enemy attacks work a bit differently this game. Essentially, enemies themselves can be touched without taking damage, it's their weapons that need to be avoided. This goes for bog standard baddies as well as bosses. Think Metal Slug, not Mario. Many foes have a safe side and a "spiky" side to their sprites, while others wield more obvious deadly implements. It works reasonably okay, though the weaknesses of certain fiends are rather ambiguous. On more than one occasion I had Wario stomp on, or charge into, something that looked "safe" only to take damage. Not that the game is hard in the slightest. The power-up helmets are available in great abundance. They also don't vanish until actually collected, so it is possible to backtrack to grab a previously-skipped helm. The jet helmet, whole not as game-breaking as Mario's carrot from the previous installment, can make mincemeat out of even the most challenging stages.

While Wario Land has a solid core, it's a shame so many assets have been dedicated to a nonsense collectathon. Searching for coins and treasures is not particularly fun or intriguing. The minigames that bookend stages can be used to increase Wario's assets, but they're tedious and terrible and I found myself opting out completely after my fourth or fifth attempt. Mario Land 2 did the "secrets" thing well, by hiding cleverly constructed secret levels. Unearthing each one was a tangible reward, far beyond the minor "huh" effect of simply stumbling upon more "stuff." My distaste for this rote item-gathering was unfortunately (for Wario) reflected in the game's ending: the poor man now has to reside in a tree trunk.

My feelings about this one are mixed. It is, fundamentally, a good game, and one I found myself enjoying more and more as I kept playing. But I almost wish it had no connection to the Mario series. It's quite a step down from the plumber's grand adventures. And collectathons are a bad 90s relic I can't help but despise. As a Wario Land neophyte I am most excited about the impressive foundation laid by this initial installment, and am cautiously optimistic about what lays ahead.
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dunpeal2064
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by dunpeal2064 Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:54 pm

Great write up!

I'm not a fan of collectathans much either, but I do like that actually finding the things in Wario games can be quite fun, since it usually involves doing some puzzle solving. That aspect, at least, improves as the series goes on, but they do continue to focus on greedily grabbing a bunch of things (Which, at least, fits the character pretty well).

Do you plan to continue with the series after VB Wario? Its a series I'm rather fond of, so I'd love to see someone journey through it.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:58 pm

I'd like to continue, yeah, but I first have to grab parts II and 4.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by noiseredux Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:11 pm

I think 4 was my fav but it's been many years.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:44 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:I'd like to continue, yeah, but I first have to grab parts II and 4.


I LOVE the Wario Land games. Wario Land (Virtual Boy) is in the same mold as SML3: Wario Land (Gameboy), but a vast improvement in all respects. I highly recommend it. Wario Land 2 (Gameboy) and Wario Land 3 (Gameboy Color) are exceptional puzzle platformers, and Wario is actually completely invincible in Wario Land 3 (I.e., it is all puzzle). I like them both, but Wario Land 3 is just so unique. Wario Land 4 (Gameboy Advance) and Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii) also play similarly. They are collectathon puzzle platformers with a strange “play the level backwards and get to the exit as fast as you can” mechanic. I was a bit lukewarm on Wario Land 4 after the brilliant Wario Land 3, but in addition to being gorgeous, Wario Land: Shake It! is one of my favorite games on any platform in any genre. I really can’t recommend it enough.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by noiseredux Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:44 pm

Now that you describe 3, I think that was the best one. It had the bullhorn hat right?
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:58 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
BoneSnapDeez wrote:I'd like to continue, yeah, but I first have to grab parts II and 4.


I LOVE the Wario Land games. Wario Land (Virtual Boy) is in the same mold as SML3: Wario Land (Gameboy), but a vast improvement in all respects. I highly recommend it. Wario Land 2 (Gameboy) and Wario Land 3 (Gameboy Color) are exceptional puzzle platformers, and Wario is actually completely invincible in Wario Land 3 (I.e., it is all puzzle). I like them both, but Wario Land 3 is just so unique. Wario Land 4 (Gameboy Advance) and Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii) also play similarly. They are collectathon puzzle platformers with a strange “play the level backwards and get to the exit as fast as you can” mechanic. I was a bit lukewarm on Wario Land 4 after the brilliant Wario Land 3, but in addition to being gorgeous, Wario Land: Shake It! is one of my favorite games on any platform in any genre. I really can’t recommend it enough.


Wario: Master of Disguise on the DS is also kiiiinda a Wario Land game. I love all the games (although I'm the weirdo who likes the third game the least), but given how you basically need to keep the stylus in your hand to draw Wario's disguises onto him, I can definitely see why some people hate how it controls and just don't like it. The Wario Land games are all excellent though. I love them all <3
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:44 am

I've always been pretty torn on Wario Land as a series - the slow pace and exploration never quite gelled with me, and whilst I think the puzzle stages in the middle of the series are quite interesting, I don't like the way you're constantly punished for getting something wrong by being sent back to the start of entire sections (for example, there are many, many sections where you will have to get to the bottom of an area but enemies turn you into a spring or balloon forcing you to float or bounce back to the top).

My feelings on the series are:

Wario Land - Meh
VB Wario Land - This one is ok
Wario Land 2 - I hate this one
Wario Land 3 - pretty decent
Wario Land 4 - meh
Wario Land: The Shake Dimension - phenomenal
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dunpeal2064
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by dunpeal2064 Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:06 am

My experience with the Wario Land games stretches out over quite some time, so I can't really judge them fairly, which is partly why I kinda want to replay them now, but here's where they fall for me currently"

Wario Land: Played this as a straight sequel to SML2 as a kid, didn't really know what it was, ended up loving it. I revisited it maybe 4 years ago, and still enjoyed it, but the series clearly grew from here

Wario Land 2: Also played this a ton as a kid, and liked it way more than the first game. I played a few levels of it a few years back, but got distracted, so its hard to say what I'd think of it now, but it was my go-to back in the day

Wario Land 3: I couldn't really get into this one. Maybe it was the inability to lose? I dunno, it just didn't stick with me, I need to revisit it, as I haven't tried it since I was a kid. Maybe I was just burnt out on them.

Wario Land 4: I played this for the first time last year, and it was fantastic. I can't imagine any of the other games passing it up, just a super fun, goofy, beautiful game.

Wario Land Shake-It: I also had a lot of fun with this. Its not quite on 4's level for me, but its pretty high up there

VB Wario Land: Just finished this, thought it was rather solid, had a great time with it.

As it stands now, I'd rank em 4>Shake>2>VB>3=1, or something close to that. But like I said, I need to play them closer together to properly compare them.
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