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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:18 pm
by lordb0rb4
From July onwards:

Fatal Fury 2 (Playstation 2) - 01/07/2018
Raguy (Neo Geo CD) - 02/07/2018
Mario's Tennis (Virtual Boy) - 03/07/2018
Assault Android Cactus (Xbox One) - 05/07/2018
Fatal Fury Special (Playstation 2) - 05/07/2018
Sengoku (Xbox One) - 05/07/2018
Virtual Boy Wario Land (Virtual Boy) - 06/07/2018

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:43 pm
by MrPopo
1. Ultima V - PC
2. Ultima VI - PC
3. Might and Magic VI - PC
4. Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny - PC
5. Pool of Radiance - PC
6. Curse of the Azure Bonds - PC
7. Secret of the Silver Blades - PC
8. Pools of Darkness - PC
9. Gateway to the Savage Frontier - PC
10. Treasures of the Savage Frontier - PC
11. Champions of Krynn - PC
12. Death Knights of Krynn - PC
13. Dark Queen of Krynn - PC
14. Into the Breach - PC
15. Lords of the Realm - PC
16. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands - PC
17. Lords of the Realm II - PC
18. The Alliance Alive - 3DS
19. Shattered Steel - PC
20. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition - PC
21. Battletech - PC
22. Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part I - PC
23. Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part II - PC
24. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - Switch
25. Pillars of Eternity II - PC
26. Dragon Ball FighterZ - PS4
27. Detroit: Become Human - PC4
28. Call of Duty: United Offensive - PC
29. The Last of Us - PS4
30. The Last of Us: Left Behind - PS4
31. Prey: Mooncrash - PC
32. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds - PS4
33. Resident Evil 7 - PC
34. Resident Evil 7: Not A Hero - PC
35. Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War III - PC
36. Overwhelm - PC

At one point in the E3 PC Gaming Showcase they showed a trailer video from a new publisher named "Untitled Publisher"; their shtick is that no one cares about publishers, they care about developers. Of the three games shown, Overwhelm caught my eye both due to its unique presentation and the fact it was out with a launch discount as of the conference. I snagged it and was not disappointed.

Overwhelm is a pixel platformer that takes has Metroidvania inspired platforming, but it isn't actually a Metroidvania. Instead, you have this central hub that you start in and can go along five different paths to the five bosses. These paths also have some connections with each other besides your hub, and there is a fair amount of verticality in it. But each path is still fairly linear and also fairly short. You have a gun with 99 bullets, a jump, a wall jump, and a shoryuken that serves as your double jump. With these tools you need to kill all five bosses and bring their crystals back to your hub. You can replenish about 40 bullets (it's a random variance) with a single use pickup outside the boss room and all your ammo at the hub; it's enough that you have to be aware of your ammo count, but not so much that you start trying to avoid killing the enemies in your way that pose a threat.

The twist is that in this game, when you kill a boss all the enemies get stronger, while you get no benefit. This comes in two flavors. The first is that each boss causes a new type of enemy to start spawning in the world. At the start there are simple hopping scorpions and flying bugs (and slow moving jellyfish in the water area). This gets augmented with poison lobbing scorpions, scorpions that can climb surfaces, fast swimming jellyfish, fast moving flyers, and invincible large charging enemies (though they can be stopped mid charge with a punch to save yourself). The other is that the bosses all get more health and the ability to spawn monsters to slow you down.

You only get three lives, though they are replenished in two instances. The first is when you beat a boss and grab its gem; the second is when you turn that gem in to the hub. If you die while holding a gem you will drop it and need to collect it after you respawn. Additionally, after a death the edges of your screen turn black; think of it like a tunnel vision effect. When you're on your last life this will actually be a narrow enough portal that you can't see your ammo counter, though there is an audio cue at two stages of "low ammo". Enemy spawns are fixed placement, random existence. So there are a bunch of spots (that you quickly learn) where an enemy CAN be, but you don't know if an enemy is actually there or not until you get there. These get changed up once you do a screen transition, so you are never safe. Combined with the lack of music (outside boss rooms) and fantastic ambient sound and you have a very atmospheric game that keeps you from ever feeling safe. Another thing to keep in mind is that you have a recharge period if you fire three shots rapidly, so panic firing can get you killed.

It's a fantastic little indie game, and I highly recommend it if you enjoy hard games.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:30 am
by nullPointer
The List So Far:

21. Kyūyaku Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei [SFC][Translation: DDSTranslation]
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My Games Beaten file is telling me I beat this game on May 30, 2018. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago, but in the meantime my life has taken some sudden and unexpected changes; unexpected in the same way one might be unexpectedly accosted and left for dead in a ditch. I guess time flies when you're in a constant state of anxiety and depression. But dammit my (undeclared) resolution this year was to do a write up for each game I beat, and sometimes you just do what it takes to soldier on. So here's my review of Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, such as it is.

First some errata. So Kyūyaku Megami Tensei is a Super Famicom compilation containing the first two Megami Tensei games which were originally released on Famicom. The games were 'remastered' for this release which features 16 bit graphical upgrades and some quality of life improvements including a save feature as opposed to the older password system. I've only seen screen shots of the original Famicom games, but based on that I can say that the 16 bit graphics are a really nice enhancement to the original graphics.

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In terms of game play, what we have here is a decidedly old-school, grid based, grind heavy, first person dungeon crawler. Thankfully there's an auto-map feature which fills in as you explore various areas of the dungeon. All the same it can still prove useful to map by hand due to the fact that the auto map only provides an indication of major land marks (mostly shops and save locations), rather than various teleport locations, pitfalls, spinning tiles, and the locations of fixed encounters. Like all quality first-person dungeon crawlers, Megami Tensei doubles down on the exploration elements, and it's largely successful in this regard. It feels rewarding (and is often essential) to completely fill in the map for a given part of the dungeon. More than once I wished for a bit more visual variety between and within the various areas of the dungeon, but what's there is satisfying enough.

The exposition and story elements present in Megami Tensei are a bit on the light side. With regards to the overarching plot you're given a few explanatory scenes at the beginning of the game, from which point forward you set off on your adventure. Character motivation and plot development all take a back seat to exploration and mechanics. I was a bit disappointed in this aspect to be honest. For a series that would develop a deep codex of surrounding lore, its genesis in Megami Tensei seems a bit paltry by comparison. It's almost as if the developers and (perhaps even more pertinently) the translators assumed the player would have familiarity with the source material before playing. And perhaps that's not entirely farfetched considering that these first two games are considered to be an extension of the original novels and subsequent OVA. Essentially what we're dealing with here are games based on a licensed property so perhaps an expectation of foreknowledge regarding the source material is to be expected on some level. And you do get glimpses of world building here. Minor plot points advancing the player through the dungeon are well executed via the interesting cast of mythological characters both well-known and obscure. Oddly it's the development of a grander story arc that's missing from all but the opening and the final scenes of the game. From a narrative perspective in this capacity Megami Tensei is less an 'epic quest' and more an exercise in moving from point to point.

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Where this game really shines, and dare I say was even ahead of its time, is in regards to its mechanics. In light of its age, there is a surprising amount of depth here. The game really hinges on whether you'll find enjoyment in capturing demons and subsequently fusing various combinations of demons to create even more powerful demons. 'Capturing' might not be the right word to use here. In order to enlist demons, you'll engage in negotiations in which various demons reacting differently to different negotiation strategies. Various factors will impact your success in this capacity including allocation of key stats as well as the current phase of the moon (phase of the moon actually impacts a number of factors in the game). All the same, most negotiations will end with you somehow bribing demons to join you. So it's in this regard that Megami Tensei really shines. If this sounds fun, there's a good chance you'll have a good time here. One other excellent feature in which this game stands out is its soundtrack. Over time this series has become known for quality soundtracks and even in this early incarnation you can easily see why.

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Megami Tensei was an interesting experience. I wouldn't necessarily say it's a full-on 'fun' experience (though it did have its moments), so much as it's a rewarding one. If you're a fan of the series, this translation is worth looking into, likewise if you're a fan of old-school first-person dungeon crawlers.

This might be the last game I play for a while. I just haven't been in the mood, and I really had to force myself to circle back and complete this review. I'm hoping that will change, but we'll see. In the end I triumphed over the demons. In the end the demons won. Catch ya on the flip.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:56 am
by noiseredux
Hope you're okay dude. Good luck with everything.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:32 am
by lordb0rb4
Keep it strong brother!

Edit:
Fatal Fury 2 (Playstation 2) - 01/07/2018
Raguy (Neo Geo CD) - 02/07/2018
Mario's Tennis (Virtual Boy) - 03/07/2018
Assault Android Cactus (Xbox One) - 05/07/2018
Fatal Fury Special (Playstation 2) - 05/07/2018
Sengoku (Xbox One) - 05/07/2018
Virtual Boy Wario Land (Virtual Boy) - 06/07/2018
Real Bout Fatal Fury (Playstation 4) - 06/07/2018
Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Playstation 4) - 07/07/2018
Got it free with PS Plus and i've been playing it this week, finished on Hardened and although i liked the gameplay a lot, this story while not annoying as other future COD is repetitive and it drags the experience down at the last stages, good game though.
Flash reflexes are required to play online :lol:

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:57 pm
by pierrot
Sorry to hear that you've been going through a rough patch, null. I had my own bout with disinterest in playing video games, for a bit not that long ago. I hope you'll be able to work your way out of it before long, or that you find the help you need, if you need some.

Great review of Megami Tensei! I enjoyed reading it very much. I just hope it didn't lead you into your present state. In terms of the story, I can't disagree with you, but I kind of like to keep it in the context of the time of its release: The Famicom version came out in September of '87, just a year after the original Dragon Quest, and a full three months before Final Fantasy and Phantasy Star. Of all of those games, Megami Tensei's story is the most interesting to me, personally, but you're right in that the story seems like a bit of an afterthought. If you end up continuing with the series, Megami Tensei II, and Shin Megami Tensei will have much more of a focus on a full, fleshed out story. Shin Megami Tensei also begins the Chaos, Neutral, and Lawful story paths, and both of them ramp up the monster melding, with combinations of two or three monsters. It's just a shame that the SNES remake of Megami Tensei II doesn't really hold up to the original, with it's much slower pace of play, and not really doing the original OST justice. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGEzqWGp2WA&t=1367s)

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:10 pm
by ElkinFencer10
Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 78
* denotes a replay

January (16 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
5. Xuan-Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament - PlayStation 4 - January 20
6. Doki Doki Literature Club - Steam - January 20
7. Deep Space Waifu - Steam - January 21
8. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter - Steam - January 21
9. Duck Tales 2 - NES - January 22
10. TaleSpin - NES - January 22
11. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers - NES - January 23
12. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 - NES - January 24
13. Global Defence Force - PlayStation 2 - January 24
14. Darkwing Duck - NES - January 25
15. Tiny Toon Adventures - NES - January 26
16. Poi - Steam - January 28


February (18 Games Beaten)
17. Galaxy on Fire 2 Full HD - Steam - February 3
18. Final Fantasy Legend - Game Boy - February 5
19. Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni - Vita - February 5
20. Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo - 3DS - February 8
21. Adventures in Equica: Unicorn Training - Android - February 8
22. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest - SNES - February 10
23. X-COM: UFO Defense - Steam - February 14
24. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys -TurboGrafx-CD - February 18
25. Army Men - Game Boy Color - February 19
26. Army Men 2 - Game Boy Color - February 19
27. Army Men: Air Combat - Game Boy Color - February 20
28. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA 2nd - PlayStation Portable - February 22
29. Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 - Game Boy Color - February 22
30. Army Men Advance - Game Boy Advance - February 24
31. Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn - PlayStation 3 - February 25
32. Army Men: Operation Green - Game Boy Advance - February 26
33. A Night Out - PC - February 27
34. Army Men: Turf Wars - Game Boy Advance - February 27


March (10 Games Beaten)
35. Phantasy Star - Master System - March 10*
36. Grand Kingdom - PlayStation 4 - March 17
37. Bit.Trip Beat - Wii - March 18
38. Bit.Trip Core - Wii - March 18
39. Bit.Trip Void - Wii - March 18
40. Bit.Trip Runner - Wii - March 22
41. Bit.Trip Fate - Wii - March 22
42. Bit.Trip Flux - Wii - March 24
43. Bit.Trip Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien - Wii U - March 25
44. My Nintendo Picross: Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess - 3DS - March 28


April (7 Games Beaten)
45. Gundam Breaker 3 - PlayStation 4 - April 4
46. Night Trap - PlayStation 4 - April 5
47. Corpse Killer - Sega CD 32X - April 9
48. Corpse Killer - Saturn - April 11*
49. Area 51 - Saturn - April 16*
50. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers - Sega CD - April 17
51. SD Gundam G Generation Genesis - PlayStation 4 - April 28*


May (6 Games Beaten)
52. Detention - PlayStation 4 - May
53. Guacamelee - Wii U - May 6
54. EDGE - Wii U - May 7
55. RUSH - Wii U - May 9
56. Pokemon Snap - Nintendo 64 - May 27
57. Doom VFR - PS VR - May 27


June (20 Games Beaten)
58. Jurassic Pinball - Switch - June 8
59. Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn - Switch - June 9
60. Lost Sphear - Switch - June 11
61. Medal of Honor Heroes 2 - Wii - June 12
62. Medal of Honor: Vanguard - Wii - June 14
63. Pokemon Quest - Switch - June 15
64. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth - 3DS - June 17
65. Art of Balance - Wii U - June 17
66. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - Switch - June 18
67. DmC Devil May Cry - PlayStation 4 - June 19
68. DmC Devil May Cry: Vergil's Downfall - PlayStation 4 - June 19
69. Assassin's Creed Rogue - PlayStation 3 - June 20
70. Assassin's Creed Unity - Xbox One - June 21
71. Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China - Xbox One - June 22
72. Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India - Xbox One - June 23
73. Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia - Xbox One - June 24
74. New Gundam Breaker - PlayStation 4 - June 24
75. Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard - PlayStation 3 - June 25
76. Assassin's Creed Syndicate - Xbox One - June 29
77. Ride to Hell: Retribution - Xbox 360 - June 30


July (1 Game Beaten)
78. Broforce - PlayStation 4 - July 4


78. Broforce - PlayStation 4 - July 4

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This review is a few days late, but this was my yay America game last Wednesday. To celebrate Independence Day for the United States, Jerome and I played through all of Broforce start to finish. I wasn't really sure what to expect going in, but after all of about thirty seconds, I was saying "Dear god, literally everything about this game is perfect." And it's true. This is the most perfect and accurate portrayal of the core of the American spirit. And I don't necessarily mean that as a compliment.

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Broforce is a pixel art run and gun shooter that brilliantly caricatures American foreign policy and our general "shoot first, ask questions maybe sometime but don't get your hopes up" attitude. It's fun no matter what, but it's definitely best enjoyed with local multiplayer. The plot is absolutely amazing. You're part of an elite American military unit going around the world to deliver freedom and democracy whether folks want it or not. Just as you're starting to run out of terrorists to kill, ALIENS SHOW UP AND INVADE. Of course, being the world's enforcer of justice, America steps in and deploys the Broforce to kick some alien ass. BUT THEN SATAN SHOWS UP. It's stupid. It's beautifully, brilliantly, gloriously stupid.

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The visuals are pretty plain being pixel art and all, but they get the detail right in all the right places. Each "bro" on the Broforce is a parody of an action movie hero. You've got Bronan the Brobarian, Brochete, The Boondock Bros, Brommando, Rambro, Broheart, the Brolander, Double Bro Seven....it's amazing. All of the characters are extremely fitting representations of the people they're based on, and the fact that you don't get to choose your bro - you just spawn as a random bro - can be annoying at first but ends up forcing you to use all of the bros and really makes you appreciate the comedic effort that went into the game's development.

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The music and sound effects are amazing. Guns have satisfying effects, the music is over the top and awesome, and the explosions look and sound glorious. The gore and blood spray from dead enemies is absolutely fantastic and will definitely please your inner psychopath. As great as the gameplay is, though, the best part is definitely the writing. Each mission has a short blurb giving you some context for why you're going there. They start off sounding reasonable - terrorists are trying to steal weapons or something - and then quickly descend into (depressingly accurate) ridiculousness like "These people are different from us! Kill them!"

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I really can't heap enough praise on Broforce. It truly is the greatest multiplayer experience I've had in a LONG time. It's fun, it's hilarious, it's challenging but not (usually) outright BS, and it's a perfect couch co-op game. I can't recommend this highly enough. Download it. Doesn't matter if it's PlayStation, PC, or - once the port is finished and released - Switch. Just buy it. Play it. Love it. BROFORCE!

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:58 pm
by MrPopo
1. Ultima V - PC
2. Ultima VI - PC
3. Might and Magic VI - PC
4. Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny - PC
5. Pool of Radiance - PC
6. Curse of the Azure Bonds - PC
7. Secret of the Silver Blades - PC
8. Pools of Darkness - PC
9. Gateway to the Savage Frontier - PC
10. Treasures of the Savage Frontier - PC
11. Champions of Krynn - PC
12. Death Knights of Krynn - PC
13. Dark Queen of Krynn - PC
14. Into the Breach - PC
15. Lords of the Realm - PC
16. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands - PC
17. Lords of the Realm II - PC
18. The Alliance Alive - 3DS
19. Shattered Steel - PC
20. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition - PC
21. Battletech - PC
22. Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part I - PC
23. Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part II - PC
24. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - Switch
25. Pillars of Eternity II - PC
26. Dragon Ball FighterZ - PS4
27. Detroit: Become Human - PC4
28. Call of Duty: United Offensive - PC
29. The Last of Us - PS4
30. The Last of Us: Left Behind - PS4
31. Prey: Mooncrash - PC
32. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds - PS4
33. Resident Evil 7 - PC
34. Resident Evil 7: Not A Hero - PC
35. Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War III - PC
36. Overwhelm - PC
37. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation - PC

Ashes is an RTS that was built as a gameplay successor to Supreme Commander. Like SupCom it involves large battles that you can zoom out all the way on and a streaming economy. However, the scale isn't quite as large and the tech tree isn't as deep. Your forces come in three tiers; frigates, cruisers, and then your superheavy dreadnaughts which serve as the anchorpieces of your army. The game also does the economy slightly differently. In SupCom you got mass through building extractors on nodes that were distributed throughout the map, and got energy by building power generators in your base. You had the option of making more mass at the cost of a lot of energy through late game structures. In Ashes you instead have a series of control points to capture. Some of these points will have nodes on them, and when you've captured a point you get resources from those nodes. Then if you build extractors on the nodes you gain more resources. Not all points have nodes, but are still important to capture because you only gain resources from points that are connected to your base along the network. This also means that points that serve as a single linkage between groups are points you can capture to cut off your opponent's supply. There is a third resource that is generated by a structure you can build which is used for all your upgrades; increasing your supply cap, your damage and health, and some miscellaneous ones.

The major innovation this game brings to combat is the army system. If you have a group you can click a button and now the selected units will form into a single unit called an army. The most powerful unit becomes the army leader and everything will then maneuver around it as appropriate to engage in the optimal actions. This severely reduces the amount of micro you need to engage in, which is very welcome. It really helps keep the support units in line, as they will stay in the back where they belong, rather than racing forward because they have nothing to do as part of your attack move.

Unfortunately, the story is incredibly weak. One of the concepts isn't explored in any real way, and the game really wants about twice as much dialog to get across what it wants. It's a real shame, because C&C and StarCraft both do an excellent job of having a narrative to why you're engaging in army battles, whereas this game just puts in a tiny bit of window dressing as to what the specific objective of this one battle is, rather than in the overall context of the world. It's unfortunate, because there is an interesting idea here.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:18 pm
by Xeogred
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)
11. Thunder Force III* (Genesis)
12. Donkey Kong Country* (SNES)
13. Skyblazer (SNES)
14. Super Turrican* (SNES)
15. Donkey Kong Country 2* (SNES)
16. Super Turrican 2* (SNES)
17. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4)
18. Monster Hunter World (PS4)
19. Resident Evil: Director's Cut (PSX)
20. Resident Evil 2: DualShock* [Claire A/Leon B] (PSX)
21. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PS4)
22. Resident Evil HD* (PS4) [PLATINUM]
23. Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares* (PS4)
24. Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition* (PS4) [Vergil]
25. Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)
26. Nioh (PS4)
27. Super Mario Bros 3Mix (NES Romhack)
28. Yakuza 6 (PS4)
29. Metroid: Rogue Dawn (NES Romhack)
30. Front Mission: Gun Hazard (SNES)
31. Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB)
32. The Guardian Legend (NES)
33. Brain Lord (SNES)
34. Assault Suits Valken (SNES)
35. Black Mesa (PC) [May2018]
36. Super Metroid Randomizer [C5708009]
37. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (PC)
38. Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (Arcade)
39. Captain Commando (Arcade)
40. Fallout: New Vegas* (PC)
41. The Punisher (Arcade)
42. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
43. TMNT: Turtles in Time (Arcade)
44. Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade)
45. Golden Axe (Arcade)
46. Undercover Cops (Arcade)
47. X-Men (Arcade)
48. Double Dragon (Arcade)
49. Final Fight* (Arcade)
50. Battletoads* (Arcade)
51. Mega Man ZX Advent (DS)
52. TMNT III: The Manhattan Project* (NES)
53. Mega Man Zero* (DS) [MMZC]
54. Mega Man Zero 2* (DS) [MMZC]
55. Mega Man Zero 3* (DS) [MMZC]
56. Mega Man Zero 4* (DS) [MMZC]
57. Shadow Hearts (PS2)

* = replay

26h 42m 02s

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+ Awesome main characters across the board and they really grow as you journey through the game.
+ Unique 1900's gothic nightmare-ish setting with some steampunk on the side every once and awhile. Think... Vampire Hunter D or Hellsing, something strange along those lines. First half of the game takes place in Asia, then the second is in Europe.
+ Gorgeous pre-rendered backdrops which were sadly starting to get tossed out during the PS2's era. Visually this game holds up tremendously.
+ A+ OST, courtesy of Yasunori Mitsuda, Yoshitaka Hirota, and Masaharu Iwata.
+ Solid difficulty and interesting battle mechanics with the timing based Judgment Ring system.
+ 26 hours for probably 90% of the content that I accomplished is very doable and awesome, nothing obscenely long here.

- FAQ/Guide is highly required. Nearly 40% or so of the game is deep hidden content, entire story/character arcs, best weapons/equipment, transformations for the main character, one of the best optional dungeons, etc. Some of the main dungeons were also very hellish in their design with repetitive maze gimmicks or even obtusely random teleporting from one place to another, these dungeons would have been a headache without a guide. Nothing unusual for JRPG's but it seemed a bit severe here with how a ton of the content is obtusely hidden away.
- Judgement Ring gets tiresome outside of battles, for some key items, a weird Lottery Ticket system across key NPC's, and other weird things.
- There's a strange Sanity system here (SP points, third to HP/MP) along with a graveyard that builds up with the more monsters you kill, both of these you have to constantly keep in check. SP restores after each battle but it is something you have to watch out for and monitor. While never a huge issue, I'm not the biggest fan of gimmicks like this stuff.

Overall, highly recommended for JRPG fans. Now I need to check out Koudelka and Shadow Hearts: Covenant sometime and I'm very excited for both. Maybe I'll consider the third Shadow Hearts game someday, though it always sounds like a huge downgrade according to fans and looks like it really loses the gothic grit the others have.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:24 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
Still chuckle at the fact that MIDWAY served as publisher there.

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)
35. Virtual Boy Wario Land (Virtual Boy)
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Released in late 1995, Virtual Boy Wario Land is the second installment of Wario's own personal series. The game that's literally called Wario Land II is the third, naturally. Though competition was incredibly stiff, Virtual Boy Wario Land is generally regarded as one of the best, if not the best, game available on Nintendo's ill-fated "handheld."

The core elements from the original Game Boy Wario Land are retained for this sequel. Wario still has his power-up hats; though slightly modified they still grant the expected dash, flight, and fire-spewing capabilities. There's an additional way to combine hat powers, though this element is a bit muddled. The collectathon is back again, but mercifully scaled down. Exactly one treasure exists per stage, and they aren't incredibly difficult to locate. Coin-collecting is emphasized and some terrible post-stage minigames can be used to increase Wario's horde.
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The fundamental structure of the game is interesting. It reminds me of Bio Senshi Dan. Or, to use a non-hipster reference, picture Metroid but with a series of huge non-linear discrete levels instead of one large open world. Wario's quest is centered around exploring a series of underground caves, a clever way to utilize the Virtual Boy's omnipresent blackness, reclaiming his treasure from the dastardly "Mask-Guys." Strictly speaking, this is a fun game. Controls are flawless and each stage feels tailor-made to accommodate Wario's girth and momentum. The sluggishness that characterized Wario's first outing is gone, replaced by the speedy clip reminiscent of a certain plumber. Speaking of that mustachioed hero, Kazumi Totaka of 6 Golden Coins fame provides the soundtrack here. It's quite upbeat and chipper, similar to his previous output, while keeping time with Wario's inherent sneakiness.
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What's most impressive about the game is how it utilizes the undeniably clunky Virtual Boy. The visual presentation exceeds expectations. Sprites are large, but never seem to clutter the screen, and move smoothly. There's a great layering effect applied to every object, bringing the mid-90s "3D" experience to the player. An additional "gimmick" allows Wario to jump from foreground to background. It's a cool mechanic, slyly adding space to each stage by using what would otherwise be a static backdrop image. Said mechanic also pops up during boss battles, as several have to be chased from background to foreground, or struck within the void in between. And while the Virtual Boy red & back color scheme is garish and tough on the eyes, it actually works within the context of this particular game, a dim light shining into an otherwise dark chasm.

This is a fine experience, better than I anticipated, and should silence anyone who dismisses the Virtual Boy as an outright failure. It's a shame it was never ported or officially emulated after its original release. If Nintendo had to the sense to bring Game & Watch classics to the DS, why not do the same with Virtual Boy and the 3DS? Some games are just begging for a wider audience, this is one.