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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:53 pm

Games Beaten 2018
1. Letter Quest Remastered Switch eShop
2. Batman NES
3. Little Nemo: The Dream Master NES
4. Mickey's Wild Adventure PS1
5. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. 3DS
6. Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy 3DS
7. Nier Automata PS4
8. Legacy of the Wizard NES
9. The Legend of Zelda (starring Zelda) NES
10. Tobu Tobu Girl Game Boy
11. Rhyme Rider Kerorican WSC
12. Sonic Advance 3 GBA
13. Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap PS4
14. Super Adventure Island SNES
15. Dynamite Cop DC
16. Pokkén Tournament Wii U
17. Mega Man 7 PS4 *NEW*

Mega Man 7

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Mega Man is a series I’ve had lots of previous experience with, having beaten Mega Man 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, Powered Up, I, III and V (the GB ones) before now. However, with the exception of Powered Up, which replicates the feeling of it, all of my classic Mega Man experience has been 8 bit. Mega Man 7 appears to be a bit of a black sheep of the classic series, with lots of people telling me it’s one of the weaker entries. It’s been a while, but now, thanks to Legacy Collection 2, I’ve finally sat down and played Mega Man’s 16 bit entry into the classic series.

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Mega Man 7 dazzles from the outset with its big visual and audio update – the colours really pop and the opening music is awesome. The character sprites for the game are huge in comparison to previous entries too, and we even get a few small story screens in the introduction. So far, so good!

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And then the game starts proper, and we get to try out Mega Man’s moveset. It’s odd at first – Mega Man is so huge that you can initially feel too big a target, and enemies feel very close due to the more zoomed in feeling of the camera. However, once you get used to your new size, Mega Man controls pretty similarly. He still can run and jump as before, and the slide and charged shot ability return from previous entries too. Mega Man is perhaps a little slow, but it works well considering the size of the sprites – you don’t want to run into obstacles you can’t see coming after all.

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There are a few other small changes to the formula – we can acquire bolts now to buy items, but this isn’t new to me as it’s a feature in Mega Man V, Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 aswell. The progression system is more like the Game Boy games too, with 4 robot masters available to choose from initially, and another 4 after you beat them all. Again, this change doesn’t bother me.

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Mega Man 7, for all the criticism it receives, actually ended up being one of my favourites. The game looks awesome, sounds awesome and plays really well, and whilst it’s not my favourite in the series (nothing beats 9) it’s certainly far from my least favourite. In fact, it’s up there in my top 5 in all likelihood.

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Mega Man 7 seems to get a lot of flak, and strongly suspect that depending on the people critiquing, that is either because it’s ‘different’ after 6 NES games and several Game Boy games with the classic graphics style, or because it’s not different enough after Mega Man X had already arrived and remixed the series somewhat. However, for me, it struck a nice balance of feeling familiar but feeling like something a little different in a series that had got stuck in somewhat of a rut, and I had a great time playing it. The game has good level design and a solid difficulty balance throughout, with one notable exception that almost threw a spanner in the works – that being the final boss, who is ridiculously unfair and unbalanced.

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Overall, I had a good time with the game and would highly recommend it. It’s not cheap these days, but thanks to numerous rereleases it’s not hard to find for an affordable price on consoles other than the SNES. Give it a go.

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Recommended listening:

Click the images below to listen

Opening stage:

This is just some cool Mega Man music
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Shade Man’s theme (alternate):
Is it bad that one of my favourite songs in the game was actually a reference to a different game entirely?
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:49 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)
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Double Dragon (Technos Japan, 1987) is an important game. It's one of the granddaddies of the beat 'em up genre, alongside Kung-Fu Master (Irem) and Renegade (also Technos). Since its inception, Double Dragon has spawned countless ports and a convoluted mess of sequels. I especially like how how Double Dragon IV was released 13 years after Double Dragon V.

The game follows tough guys Billy and Jimmy, also known as Bimmy and Jimmy, as they face off against the Black Warriors gang. Apparently these fiends have kidnapped Marian who is, I assume, either Billy or Jimmy's love interest. Like many early beat 'em ups, this one adopts an urban type of setting: the mean streets of an unknown city, replete with sketchy alleyways and discarded trash.
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Most enemies are standard mindless goons, attempting to get a few hits in before being taken out. Billy and Jimmy are well-equipped. There are dedicated buttons for punching, kicking, and jumping, plus some special moves. These moves are mapped to the shoulder buttons for the Switch release, I assume they were a bit trickier to execute in the arcade original. One maneuver is a simple backwards elbow jab, while the other executes a sort of backwards kick whilst turning around Billy/Jimmy. While these special moves presumably have their uses, I found them difficult to use consistently and effectively, and opted instead to keep enemies on one side of the screen and stuck to standard punches and kicks. There's some additional depth to combat. Damaged enemies are vulnerable to being grappled and beat down. On two-player mode, one protagonist can hold a foe steady while the other dishes out a beating. Likewise, those of the Black Warriors can attempt this same double-team on Billy and Jimmy. Weapons, some equipped (bats, whips) and some tossed (rocks), appear occasionally to add some additional range to combat. These can also be used by enemies so it's important to hurry up and grab them first. Overall, the controls are pretty satisfying, with plenty of "weight" given to the punches and kicks. When you beat down a piece of street trash, you feel it. If this all sounds generic and familiar it's because Double Dragon codified the beat 'em up genre conventions.

The level design is pretty impressive. Stages flow from one to the next seamlessly, and while the game at first lulls the player into thinking it consists of nothing but city streets the brothers then take a detour into a forest, scale a mountain pass, and finally enter the Black Warriors' liar. Backgrounds are rich, detailed, and thorough. I've never been a fan of a character designs, however. They look corny and dated, especially some of the bobble-headed bosses. Still a step up from the deformed chubs of Kunio-kun, I suppose. Music is present, but it's more background ambiance than anything.
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The pacing of the game is rather unique. It's slow and deliberate, which arguably makes it easier to effectively aim attacks. Couple this with the occasional (and tremendous) slowdown, which vanishes in a rather jarring fashion once a certain number of enemy sprites have been dispatched. Double Dragon is an early "belt scroller" - which means that the screen will stop scrolling until a specific group of bad guys has been vanquished. It's a formula that would come to characterize the beat 'em up genre for the decade that followed.

Later Double Dragon games didn't shy away from platforming elements, and there are some light ones here as well. At least half the stages feature pitfalls, though most can simply be walked around, and later areas showcase some instant-death block and spear traps. Unfortunately the controls feel sluggish when trying to maneuver around such obstacles, which makes their inclusion questionable at best.

This is a weird one for me. I recognize that Double Dragon is objectively a "good" game and respect its influence. But beat 'em ups, especially the antique ones, just aren't my genre. A single playthrough of this one sets me for a lifetime. That said, the quality of arcade emulation on the Switch is rock-solid, and this is vastly preferable to any old-school port of the game.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by noiseredux Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:56 pm

I didn't know that IV was released after V. Weird. Haha.

I love Renegade more personally. I'd have picked up the ACA version of Renegade except I know the Kunio collection will be out later this year.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:39 pm

I’ve always loved the music in Double Dragon, especially in the last level when the already great music switches back to the game’s theme for the final showdown. Just so awesome.

I also agree that some of the gameplay hasn’t held up that well, having played through it again recently. It is one of the few arcade games I beat multiple times as a kid, and it was absolutely mind-blowing at release. Nothing in the genre really touched it until Capxom released Final Fight (and began dominating the genre) several years later.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:06 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)
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Ya know, I've always been kind of ambivalent about the Neo Geo (using "Neo Geo" as a collective term for the MVS, AES, and CD hardware plus their respective games). Don't get me wrong - the holistic Neo Geo library is undeniably solid, the massive carts are legendary, and SNK certainly had their own unique flair and style. That said, as a pure "arcade system" there's an overabundance of fighters, shooters, and brawlers, and a complete lack of substantial RPGs and adventure games. And the price of admission was, and is, completely insane. And the investment wasn't always justified. Why pay $200 for Cyber-Lip when NES Contra is a thing that exists?

Thankfully, SNK has been quite gracious in continually porting and re-releasing their classics. One game that recently arrived on the Switch (via Hamster and their ACA line) was the (AES) launch title brawler, Ninja Combat. This is a game about ninjas. A couple of good ninjas, identical twin brothers Joe and Hayabusa, battling bad ninjas. The game is structured like an average beat 'em up from the era: walk to the right and kill or be killed. Combat is rather shallow: there are no punches, kicks, combos, or grappling. Instead, playable characters utilize a sort of rapid-fire projectile, somewhat reminiscent of the weaponry seen in Data East's Gate of Doom. There's also a roll that can aid in dodging, and a hit-all special attack that drains one (of four) unit of life. Strangely, one may opt to skip the bats, axes, and other implements that litter the city streets, as while they ostensibly increase attack power they significantly decrease attack range.
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One unique feature of Ninja Combat involves character selection. Upon booting the game, only the stock ninjas are available. Progression throughout the game unlocks a trio of allies, and the player can opt to switch between them at the start of each new level. In tandem with this recruitment comes a "story" relayed via cutscenes. It's absolute crap, though the exaggerated muffled Engrish voice-acting is guaranteed to illicit a few laughs. Unfortunately, there's very little discernible difference between each playable character, no reason to ever select one over the other. I just went with my personal favorite: Kagerow, the wind-spirit female shinobi.

On paper, this game looks pretty great. Unfortunately, the deficiencies are immediate, obvious, and persistent. Animation is slow and stiff. The sheer number of enemies on-screen is comical, and many are prone to utilize nigh-unavoidable two-hit combos that spell certain doom. It's a "cheap" quarter-munching experience, and there's absolutely no incentive to practice to build competency. Bosses are downright puzzling. Some are equipped with instant-death attacks, while others can be defeated without taking any damage. During the final boss battle I found a "safe zone" onscreen where the Big Bad was unable to land a single attack; it felt like a semi-glitch straight out of the NES era.
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Graphically, the sprites look fantastic but environments are drab and unimpressive. There was an attempt to mix things up a bit with the addition of climbable chain link fences and a conveyor belt segment, but it all seems to come too little, too late. Music exists, but is a mere footnote.

Despite the well-deserved criticism, I can't hate on this one. It isn't great, but it is a fascinating glimpse into the early Neo Geo capabilities. As the cliché goes, it's probably worth trying once. For a legitimately cool Neo Geo ninja game, check out the run and gun Ninja Commando.
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lordb0rb4
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by lordb0rb4 Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:34 pm

Oh nice write up Bones, i finished Ninja Combat this week but i intend to set up my neo geo cd to play it on real hardware tomorrow!
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:33 pm

Ah, the CD! There's a handful of games I still want for the NGCD. Lots of stuff is "cheaper" there.
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lordb0rb4
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by lordb0rb4 Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:42 pm

Can't hardly wait for tomorrow guys...
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NeoGeo all weekend long!
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:14 pm

Time for an update...

1. Bastion (iOS)
2. LaserCat (360)
3. Zombie Incident (3DS)
4. Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (3DS)
5. Monument Valley 2 (iOS)
6. Zenge (iOS)
7. Master of Darkness (Game Gear/3DS)
8. Wonder Boy (SMS)
9. Full Throttle Remastered (iOS)
10. Adventure Island (NES)
11. Adventure Island II (NES)
12. Adventure Island (GB)
13. Super Adventure Island (SNES)
14. New Adventure Island (TG16)
15. Adventure Island III (NES)
16. The Legend of the Ghost Lion (NES)
17. Part Time UFO (iOS)
18. Adventure Island II: Aliens in Paradise (GB)
19. Adventure Island IV (NES)
20. Super Adventure Island II (SNES)
21. Adventure Island: The Beginning (WII)
22. Quell Memento (3DS)
23. Wonder Boy in Monster Land (ARCADE)
24. Saiyuuki World (FAMICOM)
25. Whomp ‘Em (NES)
26. Bikkuriman World (TG16)
27. Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (TG16)
28. Go Series: Picdun (DS)
29. The Keep (3DS)
30. Dooors (3DS)
31. Ninja Gaiden (ARCADE)
32. Advance Guardian Heroes (GBA)
33. TMNT (GBA)
34. Double Dragon Advance (GBA)
35. Mighty Final Fight (NES)
36. Double Dragon II (ARCADE)
37. Kung Fu Master (GB)


I ended up playing through a bunch of games for this month’s TR, which I ended up enjoying way, way more than I anticipated heading into the month.

Advance Guardian Heroes (GBA) Is a solid follow up to the best beat ‘em up. It’s a very different game, and it pushed the GBA a little too far at times. It is classic Treasure, though.

TMNT (GBA) Is a really solid, great-looking beat ‘em up with pretty deep mechanics and a fun upgrade system. (The game is like a cross between TMNT: The Arcade Game and River City Ransom.) It’s really too bad it’s based on a pretty weak movie and, as a result, doesn’t feature any classic TMNT enemies. If it had featured characters like Krang, Bebop, and the Shredder - and also a better soundtrack - it would have been outstanding.

Double Dragon Advance (GBA) is the best version of a classic arcade game (that I still love, warts and all). It incorporates enemies from Double Dragon II and Super Double Dragon, along with elements from the NES game and a drastically expanded move set. Just outstanding.

Mighty Final Fight (NES) was the stand out this month. It looks and sounds great, like a classic Mega Man game, and I absolutely adored it. It is just so much fun and so rewarding. I have loved a lot of NES games, but this one might be in my personal top ten. It is so, so good, and it may be the best beat ‘em up on the system.

Double Dragon II (ARCADE) was pretty disappointing. It starts out OK, but it is just inferior to its predecessor in every way. I mean, it’s OK, but I don’t think I’ll be coming back to it.

Kung Fu Master (GB) is a solid portable sequel to Kung Fu (NES) or, if you prefer, Kung Fu Master (ARCADE). It looks fine, and plays OK. The difficulty also ramps way down after the third boss for some reason, and you can beat it pretty easily if you practice at it for an hour or so. In any event, it is way better than Vigilante.

.....

I’ll be traveling a lot next month; so, that’ll be “clean up” month for me. I still need to beat Shadow Tower, and I’ll try to get through a few left over beat ‘em ups from this month (i.e., Double Dragon 3, Gekido, Renegade, and Vigilante). If I’m lucky, I may even knock out a Wonder Boy game or two...
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by noiseredux Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:28 am

I didn't know Advanced Guardian Heroes was a follow up to Streets of Rage :wink:
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