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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by pierrot Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:51 pm

Here are the 50 games I beat in 2018 (asterisks indicate replays, and top ten--in no particular order past Madoola no Tsubasa, and Contra: Hard Corps--in bold):
  1. Jumping Flash! (E) (PS1)
  2. Jumping Flash! 2: Aloha Danshaku no Ooyawari no Maki (PS1)
  3. Tiny Toon Adventures (J) (SNES)
  4. Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess (PC)
  5. Alundra (PS1)
  6. Madoola no Tsubasa (NES)
  7. Dragon Slayer IV: Dra-slay Family (NES)
  8. Cool Cool Toon (DC)
  9. Rockman X4 (SAT)*
  10. Contra: Hard Corps (GEN)
  11. Arcus (SCD)
  12. Arcus II (SCD)
  13. Killer 7 (GCN)
  14. Garou: Mark of the Wolves (DC)
  15. Choukou Senki Kikaiou (DC)
  16. Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken (DC)
  17. Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken: Mirai he no Isan (DC)
  18. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (J) (NES)
  19. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Manhattan Project (J) (NES)
  20. Final Fantasy II (J) (NES)
  21. Final Fantasy VI (J) (SNES)
  22. Dragon Quest VI (SNES)
  23. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (GEN)*
  24. Streets of Rage (GEN)
  25. Sonic & Knuckles (GEN)*
  26. Kaze no Klonoa 2: Sekai ga Nozonda Wasuremono (PS2)
  27. Kaze no Densetsu Xanadu (PCECD)
  28. Ninja Spirit (PCE)
  29. Silhouette Mirage (J) (SAT)
  30. Legendary Axe (PCE)
  31. Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (PS3)
  32. Legendary Axe II (PCE)
  33. Sol Bianca (PCECD)
  34. Arcus III (SCD)
  35. Ikaruga (DC)
  36. Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyou Touitsusen (GEN)
  37. Dynamite Headdy (J) (GEN)
  38. Deep Fear (J) (SAT)
  39. Enemy Zero (J) (SAT)
  40. D no Shokutaku 2 (DC)
  41. Vampire Chronicle (DC)
  42. Pop’n Music 2 (DC)
  43. Blue Stinger (J) (DC)
  44. Hikari no 4 Senshi: Final Fantasy Gaiden (NDS)
  45. Emerald Dragon (PCECD)
  46. Chrono Cross (J) (PS1)*
  47. Gunhed (PCE)
  48. Cho Jikuu Yousai Macross: Ai Oboeteimasuka (SAT)
  49. Popoitto Hebereke (SAT)
  50. Magical Drop 2 (SAT)

Graphical breakdown:
untitled.jpg (61.69 KiB) Viewed 21898 times

Kind of a disappointing year, both in numbers, and in how much I actually enjoyed any of the games I played over the course of this past year. The top ten was kind of a struggle to figure out, after Madoola no Tsubasa and Contra: Hard Corps. There weren't necessarily a lot of bad games that I played, just not that many that really stood out from the pack, in retrospect. I enjoyed much of what I played well enough, but there were some pretty big disappointments along the way too. (*cough*KILLER7*cough*)

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of last year was in replaying Chrono Cross. I still really enjoy the game; The production values (art, graphics, sound, music), combat system, and overall game feel are still as terrific as ever. One of the main reasons I ever really pushed Chrono Cross as a recommended play, in the past, was based on my memories of the story, and ultimately, those memories were a bit off the mark. The world building done in Chrono Cross is tremendous, and the first half of disc 1 sets a great stage for an immense story to unfurl, but the second half of disc 1 is a bit more tedious, honestly. Immersion into the world takes a bit of a back seat, and story beats are a bit more sporadic.

Disc 2 picks things back up greatly, and is around the point in the game that I remember the story going from about a 9 to an 11. My mind was not completely blown the way it was when I was in high school, playing this game. It's still interesting, but I guess once Maxwell's equations, and wave equations become a regular part of one's life, the mind ceases to be blown by a somewhat clumsy description of general relativity. I wish I could remember exactly what part of Chronopolis activated all those dopamine receptors for me, back then, but I have a feeling it might have had something to do with the Records of Fate. Who knows. Anyway, that's not really where my problems with Chrono Cross arise. The big thing is that the end of Disc 2 kind of takes a big dump on itself by allowing characters too much exposition on the big picture ideals in the narrative (an all too common problem in Japanese pop-fiction). The orphanage is still pretty great, although it feels a little underdeveloped, and I don't know if I ever really realized that it's technically optional. Also The Grandolion (Masamune) side quest feels like the whole Viper Mansion cast just completely messed up the worlds they each come from, and make assumptions that events in one world were duplicated in the other (a pretty dubious assumption). The worst part is the "true" ending, though, where Kid just pulls an Emerald Dragon, and starts word vomiting all of the different philosophical threads to the plot into a fairly incoherent, and insultingly trivial reduction of the 50 hours I spent with the game, into some heavy handed drivel.

So imagine an Olympic luge run for a second: Like, all right, the first few turns were great, and then some time was lost on the next few turns, but the big turn is at the end, so just getting out of that one well would put the run into podium contention, but instead the pilot goes flying over the edge, and out of the track, in the middle of the last turn. That's Chrono Cross' story.

I want to reiterate that I don't think it's a bad game for that. It's still a great game, for all of the other things that it does really well, but I hate to recommend JRPGs where one would need to put his brain on auto-pilot during the narrative portions, and unfortunately, for a section of it, that's something of a requirement for Chrono Cross. It's not that the story might seem convoluted, though. There's legitimate care given to most of the details of events, and characters. My issue is simply that all the narrative motifs (of which there are many) aren't harmoniously resolved, and end up in a fruit punch of asinine JRPG ranting.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:12 pm

Going to be lazy and copy my post from Talking Time. :P

Time for some fun with stats!

I beat 140 games this year. Yeah, that sounds nuts, I know. But of those games, 26% were NES, 18% were arcade, and 16% were SNES. There were also a lot of other systems involved as well: I beat stuff on 2600, Saturn, 3DS, C64, Dreamcast, DS, Turbo Duo/TG-16, Game Boy, GBC, GBA, Genesis, Game Gear, MSX, Neo Geo, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Switch, PC, PS1, PS2, PS4, and Sega CD.

In a complete change from my 2016, 96 of the games I beat were actually unique beats for me this year. There was a lot of exploration of various games I'd never play thanks to both Together Retro, and Hardcore Retro Gaming's Club Retro.

Of the games I played, only 10% were "new" games. In other words, something that released within the last ten years. Everything else was older. I spent a total of 489 hours on these games, give or take, with an almost even split between time spent on old vs. new. Again, that owes to almost all the retro stuff being much, much shorter. Heck, I padded those numbers significantly while I was running the beat-'em-up month here.

Anyway, a fun year, even though I didn't discover any amazing retro gems this year. My top retro titles were Faselei!, Top Gear, Top Gear 2, King's Field: The Ancient City, and Orcs & Elves. None of them were my favorite this year. I did replay quite a few classics, though, that are between 9 and 10. I do have to give a special shoutout to King's Field IV, though; it took a while to figure out, but legitimately grew on me by the end. I'm interested in checking out the rest.

All the best "new to me" titles this year were modern. The 9+ rated titles for me this year were Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, Iconoclasts, The Messenger, Octopath Traveler, and Hollow Knight. Huh, look at that. They're all retro-styled. Imagine that!
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:36 pm

The List So Far:
1. To the Moon [PC/Steam]
2. Super Mario All-Stars: Super Mario Bros. 3 [SNES]
3. The Goonies [Famicom] [Together Retro - 01/2018]
4. Disney's Kim Possible: Revenge of Monkey Fist [GBA] [Together Retro - 01/2018]
5. The Addams Family [SNES] [Together Retro - 01/2018]
6. The Adventures of Batman & Robin [SNES] [Together Retro - 01/2018]
7. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy: Justice for All [3DS]
8. Mickey Mousecapade [NES] [Together Retro - 01/2018]
9. Assassin's Creed II: Discovery [NDS]
10. Half-Life: Source [PC/Steam]
11. The Great Giana Sisters [Amiga] [Together Retro - 03/2018]
12. The Colonel's Bequest [PC/GOG] [Together Retro - 03/2018]
13. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions [PSP] [Together Retro - 02/2018]
14. The Guardian Legend [NES] [Together Retro - 03/2018]
15. Rush'n Attack [NES]
16. A Fork in the Tale [PC/Win9X] [Together Retro - 04/2018]
17. Formula One: Built to Win [NES]
18. Salamander Deluxe Pack Plus: Salamander [PSX]
19. The Dame Was Loaded [PC/GOG] [Together Retro - 04/2018]
20. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 [GEN]
21. Kyūyaku Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei [SFC] [Translation: DDSTranslation] [Together Retro - 05/2018]
22. Operation C [GB]
23. Call of Duty: Finest Hour [PS2]
24. Battletoads [NES] [Together Retro - 08/2018]
25. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy: Trials and Tribulations [3DS]
26. Gunstar Heroes [GEN] [Together Retro - 09/2018]
27. Koudelka [PSX] [Club Retro - 09/2018]
28. Castlevania: Dracula X [SNES] [Club Retro - 10/2018]
29. Silent Hill 2 [PC/Win] [Together Retro - 10/2018]
30. Splatterhouse [TG16] [Club Retro - 10/2018]
31. Resident Evil 2 - DualShock Ver. [PSX] [Together Retro - 10/2018]
32. Capcom Generations: Chronicles of Arthur: Ghouls 'n Ghosts [PSX] [Club Retro - 10/2018]
33. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier [PC/Steam]
34. Cube Escape: Seasons [Android]
35. Cube Escape: The Lake [Android]
36. Cube Escape: Arles [Android]
37. Cube Escape: Harvey's Box [Android]
38. Cube Escape: Case 23 [Android]
39. Cube Escape: The Mill [Android]
40. Assassin's Creed: Revelations: The Lost Archives [PC/Steam]
41. Shadow of the Ninja [NES] [Club Retro - 11/2018]
42. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time [PC/Steam] [Together Retro - 11/2018]

This post marks the culmination of one of my gaming resolutions for 2018, which was to write a short review for every game beaten during the year. Admittedly I didn't do so well at keeping the reviews short, but I did a fairly good job at keeping up with the resolution in general, aside from a few notable lapses which found me playing catch-up. This post is in fact one of those catch-up posts, but it marks the completion of the resolution itself, which pleases me. I'll do my best to keep these short, sweet, and to the point.

43. Bioshock 2: Minerva's Den [PC/Steam]
Image Image

Although it's been a few years since I played Bioshock 2, I had never completed this DLC expansion pack. But to call Minerva's Den a mere 'expansion pack' is a bit of a disservice actually. What we have here is a full-fledged single player campaign with a nicely written story taking place in previously unexplored areas of Rapture. In terms of content, I'd wager that Minerva's Den rivals some full FPS campaigns for content, and it almost certainly dwarfs what passes as a single player campaign in some of the more recent CoD outings. Naturally there are several graphical assets in Minerva's Den which are reused from Bioshock 2, but there are a handful of new weapons, plasmids, and enhancements to be found. There are also several new variations on familiar enemy types, and in point of fact you play as a previously unknown variation of Big Daddy, the Lancer. The gameplay itself remains essentially unchanged from the base game, but as far as I'm concerned this falls under the heading of, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". One of the great strengths of Bioshock has always been that the wide variety of weapons and power-ups accommodates nearly any play style, and Minerva's Den is no different in this regard. The story is a nice expansion on the lore of Rapture, even if it doesn't break new ground in terms of the types of stories that can be told in this setting. Once again we step into the shoes of a 'mysterious' protagonist whose history and motives are slowly revealed to us as the story progresses. Standing in opposition are the standard Bioshock rogues gallery of drug enhanced super freaks and megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur. It's not going to set the world on fire, but it's well written and well voiced which all contributes to a highly satisfying end product. The bottom line here is that if you've enjoyed previous adventures in Rapture, you'll have a great time with Minerva's Den. Highly recommended.

44. Chrono Trigger [NDS] [Together Retro: Time Travelers Never Die - 11/2018]
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Can you believe that I had never played Chrono Trigger until now!? Well it was high time I remedied this blind spot in my gaming repertoire, and November's Together Retro provided a perfect opportunity to do so. If there's any game in this post deserving of a full and long winded review it's this one. But on the other hand I'm not sure I could say anything about this remarkable game that hasn't been said elsewhere over the years. It's easily one of the best JRPGs I've ever played, possibly second only to Final Fantasy VI which takes a slight edge on the basis of personal nostalgia. I'm a bit of a Doctor Who fan, and on several occasions I found myself making mental comparisons between the two. Chrono Trigger is essentially the greatest Doctor Who game of all time … that never was. I know it sounds weird to bestow praise by means of comparison, but I mean that as high praise indeed. It captures that same remarkable theme and spirit of high adventures through time and space with a sense of whimsy and wonder. It's exceedingly rare that I finish an RPG and am immediately inclined to start a new game just to spend a bit longer with these characters, but Chrono Trigger is just such a game. In fact one of my minor quibbles with Chrono Trigger is that there's too much content to see it all in one playthrough. There were definitely characters I left to languish more than others, and I'm quite certain that as a result there were any number of techs and character combinations that I never had the opportunity to try out. Thankfully New Game+ mode exists to support exactly this sort of continued exploration, and I'm quite certain that I'll be returning to the world of Chrono and friends at some point, hopefully before the end of time. If you're a JRPG fan and like me have somehow foolishly neglected playing this masterpiece, you should definitely make a point of doing so in 2019.

45. DonPachi (Cyclone's Best) [PSX] [Together Retro: Shmuptacular - 12/2018]
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I'm pretty sure the translation for the phrase 'DonPachi' means 'LoveHate'. Okay I totally made that part up, but it perfectly describes my experience with this game. I loved the non-stop action and the thrilling amount of firepower unleashed when your weapons are fully charged. I loved the graphics and the high energy soundtrack. I fully appreciated the fact that the PSX port of the game allows for arcade accurate vertical orientation, even if I had to fool around with rather obscure ePSXe graphics plugins to make it work properly (here tate mode does indeed turn the screen 90 degrees with proper aspect ratio … but it turns it 90 degrees horizontal; you'd have to turn your monitor on its side to make it into a proper vertical shooter – or alternately use a graphics plugin to facilitate the rotation as I did). But despite all these good qualities … I hated the way in which the game thoroughly kicked my ass over and over … and over again. The bottom line is that I'm just not hardcore enough for DonPachi. It's the type of game in search of a player willing to devote swaths of time to the improvement of technique, studying the nuanced minutiae of each boss, memorizing level layouts, enemy placements, and bullet patterns. To put it succinctly, DonPachi strikes me as a game made by and for shmups enthusiasts. And unfortunately I'm not that. I'm a filthy scrub at shmups, and I'm not proud to say I made zealous use of save states to schlep my way through this one. So I can't say I fully enjoyed my time with DonPachi, but I can say that I respect the hell out of it (repeated ass kickings tend to breed a certain begrudging respect), and I certainly hold in high esteem players who cut their teeth and actually get good at it. If you're a shmups fan in search of a decent challenge, I have to say that DonPachi is awesome. If you merely dabble in shmups … well this one may very well put the Hell in your bullet hell.

46. Salamander Portable: Gradius 2 [PSP] [Together Retro: Shmuptacular - 12/2018]
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This is the tale of two reviews, one which addresses the base game of Gradius 2, and another which speaks to this specific port of the original MSX title. In terms of the game itself, Gradius 2 is … fine … I guess. It expands a bit on the arcade game, but these improvements tend to be small and incremental. Particularly when one considers that this game was released after Salamander, which actually was a radical and exhilarating departure from the Gradius formula, Gradius 2 just feels a bit underwhelming by comparison. It does introduce some lore to the series in the form of sparsely interspersed narrative scenes. I have no idea whether this game is considered 'canon' to the Gradius universe, nor am I certain that Gradius is in dire need of an established canon, but I'm a sucker for story elements, so the effort was appreciated. This game also introduces some new variations on the classic Big Core boss, which of course is a highly welcome addition when compared to the first Gradius title. Lastly the game features several hidden (albeit identical) levels offering the opportunity to gain powerful secret power-ups. I didn't discover this aspect until later in the game, but the extra power-ups were a welcome surprise for tackling the late game stages! Beyond that though … well there's not much to say about Gradius 2. It looks, plays, and feels like a Gradius title; it just doesn't do much to invigorate the formula. Also there's no Moai in this one, so that docks 10 pts from its final grade right there. :mrgreen: But! The story doesn't end there. Because after all, we're talking about a port of an MSX game here, and in that regard this version is a smashing success. I watched some clips of the MSX version on YouTube in the interest of seeing translated versions of the cut scenes, and let me tell you … the MSX version is painful to watch. It exhibits the sort of jerky onscreen movement characteristic of so many action games on MSX. The reduced color palate sometimes makes it difficult to clearly discern the action happening onscreen, and to make matters worse, several onscreen objects utilize flashing colors. The whole thing just seems like a headache waiting to happen IMO. I highly suspect I wouldn't have bothered to finish the game had I played it on its original platform. So for fans of the series, this PSP port is a godsend, particularly as a representative example of the base game. If you're a Gradius completionist, you should probably give Gradius 2 a shot, and in that regard I give this port high marks. All others can safely pilot their Vic Viper towards bigger and better Gradius games than this one.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrHealthy Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:25 pm

1. Metal Slug 3 (Vita)

2. My Name is Mayo (PS4) Replay
3. The Walking Dead (Vita) Replay

4. Killzone Mercenary (Vita)
5. Rivals of Aether (PC)

6. Metroid Samus Returns (3DS)
7. Pokemon White (DS) Replay
8. Mirrors Edge Catalyst (PC)
9. Consortium (PC)
10. Mass Effect 3: Citadel (PC)
11. Mass Effect 3: Omega (PC)
12. Mass Effect 3: Leviathan (PC)

13. Need for Speed: The Run (PC)
14. Tomb Raider 2013 (PC)
15. CounterSpy (PS4) Replay
16. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4)
17. Call of Duty World War 2 (PS4)
18. inFamous Second Son (PS4)

19. inFamous First Light (PS4)
20. Journey (PS4) Replay
21. Titan Souls (PS4 / Vita)
22. The Unfinished Swan (PS4) Replay
23. Deliriant (PS4)
24. The Order: 1886 (PS4)
25. LittleBigPlanet: Metal Gear Solid Level Kit (PS3)
26. LittleBigPlanet: Pirates of the Caribbean Level Kit (PS3)
27. Dragon Age Origins: The Golems of Amgarrak (PS3)
28. Dragon Age Origins: Witch Hunt (PS3)
29. Shütshimi (Vita)

30. God of War (PS4)
31. Super Stardust Ultra (PS4)
32. Fat Princess Adventures (PS4)
33. Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds (Vita) Replay
34. Reverie (Vita)
35. A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV (PS4)

36. Blasting Agent: Ultimate Edition (Vita)
37. Q.U.B.E: Director's Cut (PS3) Replay
38. King Oddball (Vita)
39. Toybox Turbos (PS3)
40. Critter Crunch (PS3) Replay
41. Battlefield 1 (PC)

42. The Long Reach (Vita)
43. Pokemon Moon (3DS)
44. Dead Space 2: Severed (PS3)
45. LittleBigPlanet 2: Move Pack DLC (PS3)
46. LittleBigPlanet 2: The Muppets DLC (PS3)
47. LittleBigPlanet 2: Cross-Controller DLC (PS3)
48. LittleBigPlanet 2: DC Comics Premium Level Pack DLC (PS3)
49. LittleBigPlanet 2: Toy Story DLC (PS3)
50. LittleBigPlanet 2 Special Edition (PS3)
51. Furmins (Vita)

52. Minit (PC)
53. Pic-a-Pix Color (Vita)

54. Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4)
55. PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate (PS4)
56. LittleBigPlanet Vita: DC Comics Premium Level Pack DLC (Vita)
57. Onrush (PS4)
58. Here They Lie (PS4)
59. Burly Men at Sea (Vita) NEW
60. Dying: Reborn (PS4) NEW
61. Monument Valley (Android) NEW

I did manage to squeeze in two more on the last night of 2018.

Edit: Realized I never added Monument Valley to my list so I am just slotting it in at the end.
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