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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Xeogred Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:07 pm

nullPointer wrote:
Markies wrote:I beat Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64 this afternoon!

Great review Markies! This is another one that always seems to be just out of reach in my backlog. Does anyone know how the remastered version on the Xbox 360 fairs? Does it compare favorably to and/or exceed the quality of the original?

The remaster is amazing! Dual analog control scheme, 1080p/60FPS. Definitely the best way to play it now. Sadly Goldeneye did have a build running similarly and you can find videos of it online, but I guess Nintendo and Microsoft couldn't come to any agreements about a release.

I played the heck out of both back in the day, but I'm a bigger Perfect Dark fan in the end. It carried over the fan favorites Temple and Complex/Stack, along with the crazier PD weapons, customization, and addition of bots. Man that game sucked up so much time it was amazing. I probably like Goldeneye's campaign more than PD's though.
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Omerta
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Omerta Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:10 pm

Hammered out some Castlevania: Circle of the Moon earlier in the month. This was my only game for a long time with with my launch GBA. I hadn't played it since then and, like many others, can attest to the fact that it's 100x funner on a back lit screen and immensely easier.

I had way more trouble with Dracula this time around. Once I figured out how to item crash the screen-covering creature summons, I got it in about two tries. This beast still holds up great today and I'll probably go back to finish the gauntlet.

Also plowed through some Aladdin on SNES for TR. Spent countless hours on that one as a first grader. It was just like riding a bicycle and got my groove back quickly. It's still a great classic game.

And last night I beat Gunstar Heroes for the first time ever. Rented it several times as a kid and got whipped trying to compete with my brother for items. Once I figured out the laser / homing ammo combo, it was pretty much easy mode. Simply became a matter of dodging attacks with my thumb laid firmly on the fire button. Lots of character to that one, and I'll definitely play it again in the future.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Xeogred Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:06 pm

1. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
2. Darkwing Duck (NES)
3. Batman* (NES)
4. Journey to Silius (NES)
5. Aladdin* (SNES)
6. Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse* (SNES)
7. Run Saber (SNES)
8. Batman: Return of the Joker (NES)
9. Ninja Warriors (SNES)
10. Thunder Spirits* (SNES)

* = replay

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Replayed the bootleg Thunder Force III again, haha. I've always had a soft spot for Spirits actually, I remember picking it up years ago before I knew of the Thunder Force connection. But immediately upon playing it I realized it was some weird renamed port. There are differences though, no level select at the beginning, one of Thunder Force II's iconic levels is in here, and there's a few other different levels. The bosses are all hilariously easy, but the hit detection, slow down, and flickering can be problematic sometimes. It's still easy to get through on your first try like III as well though. When you have a shield, claw, and homing, you're good to go.

I still actually really enjoy the OST for what it is. Technosoft were masters of the Genesis, but this little Seika port isn't too bad and still a solid SNES shmup in my book and recommended for Thunder Force fans to give a fair shot.

Thunder Spirits (SNES) Music - Stage 06
Thunder Spirits (SNES) Music - Stage 07
Thunder Spirits (SNES) Music - Stage 04
Thunder Spirits (SNES) Music - Boss Battle Boss 6
Thunder Spirits (SNES) Music - Boss Battle King Fish

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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:47 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)
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Growing up, I quickly developed a distaste for licensed platformers. The great majority I encountered were sub-mediocre, simple cash-ins attempting to ride the coattails of whatever film, movie, or cartoon show was hot. Even "good" developers like Konami dropped some stinkers (you know what I'm thinking of). Then there was the way publications like Nintendo Power rubbed these games in our faces. Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny appear on magazine covers while juggernauts like Ogre Battle end up buried in the pages of "Epic Center" -- unacceptable!

Of course the "all licensed games are bad" stereotype is just that: a stereotype. A great many of these games are undeniably well-crafted. For example, Capcom's Disney's Aladdin for the SNES (later ported to the GBA). Note that the Virgin and SIMS developed games for computers and Sega systems are completely different beasts altogether.
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Based on the 1992 film of the same name (ya don't say!), the game chronicles the journey of street urchin and wannabe prince Aladdin as he attempts the court the love of Princess Jasmine and defeat the evil Jafar. Oh yeah, and there's a genie too. And a monkey. The game's a "hop and bop" type of platformer, though Aladdin is also equipped with a projectile weapon (apples) that can stun enemies for a spell. Said produce is mostly effective against smaller foes and in the game's earliest stages. Later levels are full of pitfalls, so it's easier to just get into a rhythm of hopping over or on everything. When I finished the game I had a cache of 99 apples.

Every environment featured in the movie has been meticulously recrafted for the game. Aladdin begins in his desert hometown and traverses through caverns and temples, before facing Jafar in the Sultan's palace. Of course, sticking closely to a movie typically don't provide a developer with quite enough to work with, so some areas need to be invented. Here, Aladdin makes a detour into the genie's lamp: a series of trippy platforming challenges rife with bizarre comical sprite work.

This is a beautiful game. Every stage is adorned with massive hand-drawn(?) backgrounds -- many of which foreshadow things to come. Sprites are huge and animation frames are high. Aladdin runs, slides, leaps, swings, glides. There's a touch of Prince of Persia and The Lost Vikings in this control scheme, as our eponymous hero can swing from hooks, grab ledges, and glide through the air with the aid of a swath of cloth obtained early on. For comic relief there's an AI-controlled Abu toddling behind Aladdin at all times, triumphantly munching on apples at level's end.

As a break from the platforming, there are two magic carpet ride segments. The first (the cave escape) is a bit controversial -- this is the only spot in the game where the control falters a bit and some memorization is required to successfully avoid the insta-death lava wave and rock wall hazards. And before we had "dating simulators" in the West we were instead treated to the "A Whole New World" Aladdin/Jasmine date scene: a tranquil sort of a "bonus stage" with an enemy tally of zero.
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Ultimately, the game's just fun to play. It's indubitably smooth and fluid and locks right down into that addictive platforming groove almost immediately. Aladdin's hour-long playtime is an asset rather than a detriment -- there's no putzing around here; just a succinct linear journey from initial conflict to resolution.

Interspersed between most stages are cutscenes. These are lifted straight from the film, naturally, and while the graphical stills look fantastic, the choppy halted text leaves something to be desired. The soundtrack is excellent -- of course Capcom had the benefit of using Disney's original score. Each tune from the film is recreated in glorious chiptune, with some original work thrown into the mix as well.

One possible point of contention: the game is very, very easy. Life refills are numerous, and post-stage bonuses provide frequent one-ups, permanent health upgrades, and additional (unneeded) continues. Boilerplate enemies provide virtually zero challenge, and there's a distinct absence of boss battles. And with the "grab every ledge" mechanic, seeing Aladdin fall victim to a pitfall is a rare sight indeed. Personally, I welcome the low difficulty, as it meshes well with the overall film/game aesthetic. Artificially pumping up the challenge leads to goofy clunkers like Westwood Studios' adaptation of The Lion King.

For those seeking an addition challenge, there is a "collectathon" involving a series of hard-to-reach red gems scattered around each stage. It's not particularly fun, and it's something I've always ignored, but if you're eager to see an extra five seconds tacked onto the game's ending cutscene then go for it.

Not only is Aladdin one of the best licensed titles of the retro era, it's also one of the stronger platformers of any variety. Capcom and Disney truly forged a special bond back in the days of yore (*sniffle*) -- this is one of the best things to emerge from that relationship.
Last edited by BoneSnapDeez on Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BogusMeatFactory Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:11 pm

And to think that the disney/Capcom relationship ended in Disney's hide and sneak on the gamecube
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Xeogred Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:35 pm

1. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
2. Darkwing Duck (NES)
3. Batman* (NES)
4. Journey to Silius (NES)
5. Aladdin* (SNES)
6. Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse* (SNES)
7. Run Saber (SNES)
8. Batman: Return of the Joker (NES)
9. Ninja Warriors (SNES)
10. Thunder Spirits* (SNES)
11. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)

* = replay

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Xenoblade 2 was absolutely amazing. Gave me the sense of wonder and awe that Breath of the Wild did last year. Gameplay wise I easily like 2 more than the first game and the characters were the major standout, whereas I might like the story of the first game a little more in that area. So they balance out in a lot ways for me. The art direction and music was incredible even on the "lower" powered Switch, this is one of the most breathtaking games I've played in years.

I don't know if we'll ever see Tetsuya Takahashi get back to more mature and complicated stories like the Xenosaga games, which I really want. But I still like the two Xenoblade Chronicles games a lot and wouldn't mind if they keep them going. Either way I can't wait to see what Monolith Soft do next. They are becoming everything Square Enix fails to be for me personally. These feel like products made by people who love what they do and have roots in the 90's JRPG's.

The Switch sleep mode messed up my game time or something (my final save was 129 hours but that's not correct at all!), the Switch menu says "65 hours or more" so I'm guessing somewhere in the ballpark of 70 hours for my run. I played in Japanese.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by pook99 Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:35 pm

Recent games beaten
11. Ersatz (steam)
12. Crystal Cosmos (steam)
13. Metal Slug (neo geo)
14. Gunhero (steam)
15. Gradius rebirth (wii)
16. Kung fu (nes)
17. Double Dragon 2(game boy)
18. Ghosts n goblins (nes)
19. Ninja Baseball Batmen (Mame)

11. Ersatz: Ersatz is a fast paced, speed based, platformer, with a ridiculously good soundtrack. The controls are really simple and responsive, you have a jump button and a dash button. You can also press down mid-jump to terminate your jump and fall straight down with a stomp attack.

The whole game is centered around the dash ability. You can dash over pits, through obstacles, kill enemies with it, and damage bosses with it. Of course you also need to liberally dash everywhere in order to get a good rank on each stage. You have a dash meter, you can dash 3 times in a row before having to wait for the meter to refill, the meter refills fairly quickly so you won't go too long without the ability to dash. There are 8 levels in the game(with a whole mess of extras that open up when you beat it), but each level gives you a rank based on your speed. In order to unlock the last level you must achieve at least a D rank on the first 7 levels. You have infinite lives, and very liberal checkpoints, but each time you die 20 seconds get added to your time, there are also heal stations sprinkled throughout the levels that add 2 seconds to your time for each point you heal(you have a total of 6 health).

Level design in this game is spectacular, every level has a unique twist, with unique enemies, and unique environmental hazards. You won't see anything repeat until the last level, which is kind of a mash-up of the first 7. The levels are challenging, but very fair, and are all ludicrously fun to play.

The standout feature for me in this game are the boss battles. Every boss is super fun to fight, most of them will kick your ass the first time you fight them, and you will curse as you watch your rating sink with each time they kill you, but it is extremely satisfying when you learn their patterns and flawlessly beat a boss who seemed nearly impossible when you first met them.

Ersatz is a phenomenal game and a must play for any fan of challenging, speed based, rythm platformers.

12. Crystal Cosmos: Not much to say on this one, a side scrolling shooter that has you changing colors to match and kill enemy colors. It is a decently fun game, but very easy and very short.

13. Metal Slug: I'm sure you all have played it, it is fun, but nowhere near the level of Contra

14. Gunhero: A game that at first glance looks like a broforce clone, this is not the case, there are some similarities to broforce: similar graphic style, guns look and feel very broforcey, and the levels have hostages that must be rescued. Unlike broforce, this game does not have destructible environments, instead it has very solid level design filled with platforming challenges and other obstacles to avoid.

The game is broken up into 5 worlds, each world has tons of levels, the levels are relatively short(anywhere between 15 seconds and 3 minutes), and each world ends with a boss fight. The level design is absolutely brilliant, every world has its own unique look, and its own unique obstacles. The first world is pretty simple, it acclimates you to the controls, which are super tight, and then starts rolling out unique game mechanics. You get everything from bombs that need to be defused within a certain time, to platforming challenges filled with buzzsaws, falling icicles, fire pits, and so much more.

Gunhero is a tough game, but due to the shortness of the levels it will rarely frustrate you. Respawning is instant and each time you die you will want to jump right back in. This is the type of game that makes you keep saying one more level and before you know it, a few hours have passed. The challenge is handled right, there are a small handful of levels that feel a little luck based but they are few and far between. For the most part the level design is brilliant and you will constantly be running into new challenges throughout the 4 hours or so this game takes to beat.

Boss battles are fun and frantic, most of them require you to run through a level as the boss chases you and then you get to a point where you have to fight the boss.

Gunhero is a fantastic game, if you are a fan of challenging shooter platformers than this game is an absolute must play, don't overlook it as a broforce clone, it plays nothing like that game, and in many ways I had a lot more fun with this game than I did with broforce

15. Gradius Rebirth (wii) Its gradius, with new levels, better graphics, and the slowest default ship speed of all time. Fun game, if you like Gradius you will like it, if you don't it won't change your mind.

16. Kung fu(nes): I can't imagine there is a single person on this forum who is not familiar with this game.

17. Ghosts n goblins(nes): Replaying this reminded me of why I get so mad when I see this game above Battletoads on hardest games lists. I have not played this game in forever(always enjoyed the 16 bit ones a lot more) but I really think the difficulty of this game is dramatically overrated. You have unlimited lives(essentially), and the levels are not that long, just get the dagger on the first level and the rest of the game is a breeze. The last level is tough, but after recently beating battletoads for the first time I can honestly say this game is nowhere near as hard as that game is, and I don't even know if it is in top 5 hardest nes games. I feel pretty good about saying it is not as hard as the ninja gaiden trilogy and not as hard as Mike Tyson. Should I post this in the unpopular opinions topic?
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:28 pm

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 4
* denotes a replay

January (4 Games Beaten)
1. Phantasy Star Portable - PlayStation Portable - January 1
2. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War - Xbox One - January 9
3. Duck Tales - NES - January 10
4. Yakuza Kiwami - PlayStation 4 - January 14


4. Yakuza Kiwami - PlayStation 4 - January 14

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Yakuza Kiwami (translates as Yakuza "Extreme") is a full remake of the original PlayStation 2 game with a slightly expanded story to flesh out some elements that had been only lightly touched on the original as well as dramatically improving the graphics, animations, and combat system. Even though I own Yakuza and Yakuza 2 on PlayStation 2 and Yakuza 3 and Yakuza 4 on PlayStation 3, this was actually my first experience with the Yakuza series. While it wasn't at all what I was expecting, I was very quickly made into a devout fan of the series, and I can't wait for Yakuza Kiwami 2 to make its way to the West eventually.

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Going into the game with bare minimum knowledge of its story and gameplay beforehand, I was expecting a modern Japanese version of The Godfather. In a way, that's what I got, but not the way I had envisioned. I had expected a GTA-style sandbox game like the video game adaptation of The Godfather. What I got (which, in hindsight, I think is MUCH better) was a third person action adventure game with an EXTREMELY heavy focus on narrative. The gameplay didn't resemble that of The Godfather at all, but it continually reminded me a LOT of the story of The Godfather (an amazing novel and the greatest motion picture of all time). This is the mafia game I never knew I wanted.

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Without spoiling anything, the basic premise of the story is that you play as one of the top lieutenants for a subsidiary of the Dojima Family, one of the major yakuza families of the Tojo Clan. You were all set up to be given your own family when you ended up being sent to prison for ten years for murder. When you get out, you learn that the world changed a LOT from 1995 to 2005, and there are machinations deeper than anything you could imagine in the world of Tokyo's organized crime syndicates, and like it or not, you're pulled into the storm of violence and deception headfirst.

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Unlike the original PlayStation 2 game, you don't have the option of English voice acting in Yakuza Kiwami. All you get is the Japanese voice acting with English subtitles, and while that was a little bit disappointing to me at first, the Japanese voice acting is EXTREMELY well done. The music is great, but the voice acting really does steal the show in the audio department. Some of the random incidental characters have so-so voice actors, but the primary and secondary characters are all extremely well done, and that quality in voice casting puts you more in the story than anything else. You can hear the emotion of the characters as they're thrown into various emotional turmoil.

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Overall, the game controls extremely well. The combat can feel a bit awkward at first as it's not nearly as straightforward a beat 'em up as it appears at a glance. Once you get a feel for the combat, the combos, and the four fight styles, though, it feels fantastic to beat the snot out of street punks and curbstomp enforcers from rival yakuza families. You do get to use weapons, both melee and ranged, in the game, but the melee weapons break quickly, and the ranged weapons have EXTREMELY limited with no option to stockpile ammo and reload (we're talking like 3-6 shots for most guns), but bought guns can be repaired/reloaded at a weapon shop for a fee. Unfortunately, weapons that you pick up from defeated enemies or in the environment can't be repaired; they just kind of vanish into the ether when they break. I ended up weapons pretty rarely - I'd save the ones I bought in my inventory for bosses and only use weapons against random grunt enemies if they dropped a sword or a gun.

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You can tell that, even on PS4, the game was original developed for PlayStation 3, but even despite that, it looks fantastic, and it runs nearly flawlessly. Very rare did I encounter any hiccups or stutters in performance, and unless you're right up against a wall or something, the textures and model details look extremely good. The character models, especially, look great. Some of the collisions can be a little wonky with chairs and tables clipping through enemies a bit when you use them as weapons, but those situations are few and far between for the most part.

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One of the great things about Yakuza Kiwami (or terrible depending on how pressed for time you are) is the variety of minigames. You've got bowling, mahjong, various dice based gambling games, and - my personal favorite - Pocket Circuit! The others are all fine or whatever, but POCKET CIRCUIT, DUDE. You basically customize this tiny mechanical car with different parts and race three other cars on increasingly complex tracks. There's no direct control over the cars, but you can control if and when you boost, and sometimes your car starts to fly off the track or something, and you have to smash the circle button repeatedly in hopes that you can keep it on the track. It does get frustrating in the harder races because there's a LOT of RNG involved in that minigame, but it's CRAZY addicting. I think I literally probably spent four or five hours of playthrough just on Pocket Circuit races.

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Yakuza Kiwami is one of the greatest narrative based games that I've ever played. It's got definite role playing elements - you get experience to unlock skills - but it always feels more like an action adventure game than an RPG. Regardless of what genre you decide to call it, this is a game that every PlayStation 4 owner (or PlayStation 3 if you can speak/read Japanese) needs to play. It's an absolutely incredible journey that will absolutely tear at your hearstrings at times, and I'm ashamed that it took me so long to play it. It took him a while, but after a slew of crappy games, Colin FINALLY suggested a good game for me to play, and damn, what a game that was. This is an absolute must play.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:38 pm

So glad you enjoyed Yakuza, Elkin! <3
Even though I played the PS3 HD "remaster" of the PS2 games, even those versions really had the FFX-syndrome of a really pretty main characters put against a more PS2-level backdrop. I thought it looked great, and the proper PS3/PS4 games look even better :D
Oddly enough, I do think that with those remasters, damn near every single Yakuza game can be played on a PS3 (if you know Japanese). Kiwami 2 and 6 are the ONLY ones that haven't been released on it, meaning you can play the other 10 games on just a PS3 (including Kiwami, the samurai-era spin-offs and Dead Souls) :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by strangenova Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:49 am

ElkinFencer10 wrote:While it wasn't at all what I was expecting, I was very quickly made into a devout fan of the series, and I can't wait for Yakuza Kiwami 2 to make its way to the West eventually.

Welcome to the club. Now you should go get a copy of 0 and prepare yourself March's release of 6.
I played my first Yakuza game last year and it's one of the all time greatest experiences I've ever had with a game.
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