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nullPointer
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:50 am

noiseredux wrote:I feel like I played Blaster Master at a friend's house with that same cassette playing haha.

That's too rad! At this rate I can only hope that someone makes a mashup of these two.

Okay! With only minutes to go before the month of October draws to a close for the year of 2018, I thought I better get my my review(s) done for the final horror games I played this month. Hope you all had a great Halloween!

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] [Sacnoth September]
28. Castlevania: Dracula X [SNES] [October Horror]
29. Silent Hill 2 [PC/Win] [Together Retro - 10/2018]
30. Splatterhouse [TG16] [October Horror]
31. Resident Evil 2 - DualShock Ver. [PSX] [Together Retro - 10/2018]
32. Capcom Generations: Chronicles of Arthur: Ghouls 'n Ghosts [PSX] [October Horror]
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]

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I have to be completely honest here. I played a lot of horror games in October. And as the close of the month drew near I was starting to face some burnout. Well, maybe 'burnout' is the wrong word for it. I was facing some significant indecisiveness regarding what to play next. Ultimately I found myself trawling through internet lists of 'The Greatest Horror Games …', and it was through this endeavor that I eventually I stumbled into the world of Rusty Lake. The specific list in question made reference to Cube Escape: Paradox, the most recent game in this franchise, but suggested that series noobs should start at the beginning. As luck would have it, the majority of Cube Escape games are free (though ad supported). "What the hey," I thought to myself, "The art style looks interesting, and it's hard to go wrong with free … plus when was the last time I really sat down with a mobile game?"

What happened next was that I devoured all the initial Cube Escape games over the course of a weekend. These are fun little puzzle-adventure games you guys. And 'little' really is the proper descriptor here. Each of these games can be beaten in roughly an hour or less, probably much less if it's a replay. But don't let their diminutive nature fool you. The puzzles in these games are quite good, ranging from the relatively easy on up to intermediate levels of difficulty. The setup is that each of the Cube Escape games adheres to an 'escape room' formula in which each 'room' typically consists of four walls, the ceiling and floor … thus the 'Cube' in Cube Escape. You must use items and environmental elements found in each room in order to be able to escape. Obviously this sort of gameplay hinges on well-constructed puzzles and thankfully all of them are solvable using in game clues though many of the clues require a keen eye for observation. The variety of puzzles encountered throughout series is another highlight, and it's seldom that you see the same type of puzzle repeated.

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"So what?" you say, "It's a mobile game with decent puzzles. I can barely swing a dead cat without accidentally installing seven of them." I hear ya friend-o, I do. Now put down that cat so it can have its eternal rest. The other hook to these games is the unique art style and especially in the unique atmosphere. One of the major cited sources of inspiration for the developers is David Lynch and specifically his work on Twin Peaks. I've never actually seen Twin Peaks, but it's easy to see some of the Lynch-ian influence at work here. The in-game logic is surreal and often macabre. Each of these Cube Escape takes place in the same world, and for the most part each of them makes oblique reference to the same story and set of events. Determining the exact nature of those events is often left up to interpretation, but really that's half the fun in games like this.

Really if you can level a criticism at these games it's that they can be a bit same-y from one entry to the next, which is part of the reason I'm reviewing them as a group rather than as individual entries. But really their brevity is a saving grace here. Considering they more-or-less revolve around the same story and they're only an hour a piece, you could almost consider them one medium length puzzle-based adventure game with an unchanging set of mechanics.

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The quality does vary a bit from one entry to the next though, so here's my title-by-title break down.

Cube Escape: Seasons
The only game in the series (so far) to feature an active element of time travel. Piece together the memories of an unseen and unknown protagonist to 'change your fate'. This one sets the stage for the recurring story elements and is the hook for the entire series. If this one doesn't grab you, you can probably safely walk away from the series.
8/10

Cube Escape: The Lake
Mental Health and Fishing! You find yourself in a secluded cabin near Rusty Lake. Hey, might as well get to fishing! Who knows what you'll pull out of that lake! Perhaps not as inventive or imaginative as the first game, but a decent second showing.
7/10

Cube Escape: Arles
Enter the world and mind of master impressionist Vincent Van Gogh himself. Although this title ties in to a recurring theme of artwork and paintings throughout these games, there is little else to really connect it with the world of Rusty Lake. As a result it feels a bit disconnected from the rest of the series.
6.5/10

Cube Escape: Harvey's Box
In this one you're escaping from a cardboard box. It's about as exciting as it sounds. Harvey's Box also has a strong reliance on music based puzzles, something that always feels hit or miss to me. They're not bad, but they're not great either. Not going to lie, Cube Escape was starting to lose me at this point in the series. It was going to take a strong return to form to hook me back in.
6/10

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Cube Escape: Case 23
Holy Crap. Yep that'll do it. You're a detective investigating the murder(?) referenced in several of the other games. This one takes place across four distinct chapters (much like the first game) in which each chapter features a distinct room … er … cube (a first for the series). If you were wondering when the Twin Peaks influence would show up, look no further than this. This game goes further than any of the others (so far) in establishing the lore of Rusty Lake. The timed end sequence is kind of a bummer, but not so much as to really sully the experience.
8.5/10

Cube Escape: The Mill
Here I believe you're playing as one of the 'mysterious' denizens of Rusty Lake (no spoilers), but it's hard to say. Open for interpretation! This one builds upon the lore established in Case 23, and in some ways is the direct continuation of that game. This is the first game in the series in which you can freely travel from one room to the next across three different rooms. It's also perhaps the most macabre of the bunch.
8/10

So there you have it. The series continues on in a handful of other Cube Escape games and (to my understanding) further expands the world as a 'traditional' set of adventure games in the Rusty Lake series proper. The next game in the series is in fact Rusty Lake Hotel, which I plan to play at some point, but this felt like a good point in the series to provide a retrospective of the first Cube Escape games before jumping into a big shift in play style. All told I've really enjoyed my time with this series thus far. Recommended for fans of logical puzzles and adventure games. "The past is never dead. It's not even the past." I mean c'mon that should be right in the wheelhouse of every discerning retro-gamer!
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by dsheinem Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:02 am

dsheinem wrote:Games Beaten 2018

Destiny 2: Forsaken - PS4 *new*

Total: 63


Destiny 2: Forsaken is indeed to Destiny 2 what The Taken King was to Destiny 1, which means that it is all kinds of awesome and absolutely the kind of thing to suck me back into the game for way too many hours. I will share more about it once I feel I am far enough along with the power leveling (I finished the campaign and hit the soft level cap), but suffice to say it is an excellent return to form after a mostly disappointing series of smaller releases.


So I haven't checked in here in a good long time - I haven't really played anything else other than Destiny 2 since early September. :lol:

I think I am finally nearing the finish of my power level grind, so I will (maybe?) move on to other things soon. I have now sunk more pretty much the same amount of time into Destiny 2 as I did with Destiny 1, and both games have completely overtaken my "regularly scheduled gaming" plans for months at a time. Great series.

I have no shortage of other things I want to play...but out of curiosity, what do people think are the end-of-year must play games this year? Any great recent indie games that maybe have been a little buried under the AAA headlines, but that are innovative/interesting and worth the time?
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by pook99 Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:22 am

307. Sigi: a fart for Melisuna

The best way to describe this game is a kids version of ghosts n goblins. You play as a knight, trying to rescue a mermaid from monsters. The gameplay is very similar in that your main weapon is a throwing lance and along the way you can pick up other weapons like daggers, axes etc. Monsters you fight are also inspired from that series and include stuff like zombies, skeletons, bats and the like.

It feels like ghosts n goblins but is very easy. You can take 3 hits instead of 2, there are liberal checkpoints scattered across the games 20 levels, tons of 1-ups and health power ups as well. Even if you die on a boss, they do not regain their health so you just pick up right where you left off, not that you will die that often, if ever.

The game has a nice 16 bit look to it, tight controls and it is fun to play. You can breeze through the whole game in about 30-40 minutes, and tbh it is nice once in a while to take a break from challenging games, zone out, and just enjoy a fun, well made game.

I enjoyed it, if you like the ghouls n ghosts series style of gameplay it is worth checking out, and if you have kids and want them to play a game like ghosts n goblins without giving them high blood pressure it is well worth a look, I think it retails for $3 on steam and is well worth the asking price.
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nullPointer
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:45 am

pook99 wrote:307. Sigi: a fart for Melisuna

That does look cool. Thanks for the rec pook99!

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] [Sacnoth September]
28. Castlevania: Dracula X [SNES] [October Horror]
29. Silent Hill 2 [PC/Win] [Together Retro - 10/2018]
30. Splatterhouse [TG16] [October Horror]
31. Resident Evil 2 - DualShock Ver. [PSX] [Together Retro - 10/2018]
32. Capcom Generations: Chronicles of Arthur: Ghouls 'n Ghosts [PSX] [October Horror]
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]
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The Lost Archive has us assuming the role of Clay Kaczmarek who was the ill-fated predecessor of Desmond Miles in the Animus project. There's not a whole lot of plot to be found in this expansion, but it's here that we learn a little bit about the history of the enigmatic Clay. Obviously the main draw for Assassin's Creed lies in its treatment of historical settings and characters. The 'modern' story segments have their charm as well, but they're generally not considered to be the highlight of the series. So having an entire DLC expansion focus on a niche character in the modern AC timeline is an interesting choice at best. As a fan of the series, it actually was sort of interesting to learn about Clay's history in the Order and with the Animus project, but I can't imagine a casual player would find these story elements very interesting at all. In this regard, the Lost Archive dances right on that line of being "for hardcore fans only"

The gameplay elements are also very unorthodox from what one might consider to be a traditional AC style of play. The Lost Archive is a first person puzzle platformer. It's not a style that's completely divorced from the main Assassin's Creed games. Assassin's Creed: Revelations, the base game for which The Lost Archives is a DLC expansion, features segments utilizing the same mechanics in the Desmond's Journey missions. These first person levels were unlockable in AC: Revelations by means of collecting Data Fragments scattered throughout the game. So if you've played AC: Revelations and are familiar with the Desmond's Journey missions, The Lost Archive will feel completely familiar.

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"The first person segments are my absolute favorite part of Assassin's Creed: Revelations!"
- No one ever

The trouble with this approach is that these segments lack the pizzazz and immersion found in the base game. By contrast these levels feel bland, uninspired and empty. In this regard they remind me a lot of the VR Missions in Metal Gear Solid; an interesting curiosity but certainly nothing that could reasonably stand on its own (Does anyone remember what a smash hit Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions was? Yeah me neither). These levels work in the main game precisely because they serve as interesting diversions, a break from all the third person parkour action. Jamming several of these levels back-to-back is not quite as much fun. It's not that the mechanics are bad per se; there are certainly some nice set pieces and moments of fun to be had, but ultimately The Lost Archives lacks a certain level of polish and sheen.

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The setup here as I mentioned is that you're moving through largely featureless platforming sections as generated within the Animus. Naturally you'll encounter obstacles along the way in the form of moving blocks and laser traps of various types. To assist you through each section you can create your own platforms. Through most of the game you have two types of platforms, one is shaped like a flat rectangular plank, and the other one is shaped like a ramp. Late in the game you also gain the ability to create a spring block of sorts that launches you high into the air. The ability to create platforms at various heights allows you to ascend and descend through vast vertical areas. In some areas there are various 'currents' that will cause your platforms to move according to the whims of the current, and even float away if you let them. It's telling in some ways that Portal 2, one of the runaway hits of 2011, released about 6 months prior to AC: Revelations. The Lost Archives (as well as the similar segments in the base game) almost feel like Ubisoft was trying to do something similar to Portal, a first person puzzle platformer relying on a specific quirky mechanic. Unfortunately The Lost Archive is neither as inventive nor as interesting as Portal 2 or even Portal (1) for that matter.

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I know I sound like I'm being pretty harsh on The Lost Archives, but I don't entirely mean to. I think it's just so different from the base game(s) that it barely feels like it's part of the AC series at all, let alone an expansion. And the sparsely interspersed plot is not particularly helpful in this regard either. If you really enjoyed the first person segments in Assassin's Creed: Revelations, you should definitely check out The Lost Archives. Likewise if you're strongly invested in the lore of the series; it's interesting to hear some of the history of Clay Kaczmarek, scantly dispensed though it may be. All others can probably skip this footnote to the main game. There are better first person puzzle platformers to be had out there.
Last edited by nullPointer on Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:22 am

Partridge Senpai's 2018 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017
* indicates a repeat

1-20


21-40

41. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Expansion Pass DLC (Switch)
42. Battle Block Theater (Xbox 360) *
43. Magicka (Steam) *
44. La-Mulana 2 (Steam)
45. Yooka-Laylee (Steam)
46. Snipper-Clips: Cut it Out Together! (Switch)
47. Magicka: Dungeons and Gargoyles (Steam)
48. Hearthstone: The Boomsday Project (PC)
49. Timespinner (PS4)
50. Hollow Knight (PC)
51. Wuppo (PC)
52. Super Mario Party (Switch)
53. Party Hard (Steam)
54. The Final Station (Steam)
55. GARAGE: Bad Trip (Steam)
56. Mr Shifty (Steam)
57. LISA (Steam)
58. LISA: The Joyful (Steam)
59. Divide by Sheep (Steam)

60. The Mummy: Demastered (Switch)

A non-mobile movie tie-in video game is a pretty uncommon sight these days, let alone one that's a critically well recieved Metroidvania from WayForward of Shantae fame. I love me some Metroidvanias, so I picked it up for $14 when it was on sale this Halloween. I finally sat down and finished it yesterday and it was a very alright game Xp . I finished it in just under 4 hours with no deaths.

One of the main draws of this game is the fairly unique death mechanic. Because you're not a named character and just some faceless agent, when you die you are DEAD, as far the story is concerned. A new agent has to come in and take your place, and the old dead agent is now a victim of the Mummy's curse and you'll need to take them down the next time you go through that area. Maybe I was just trying not to die a bit too much, but I didn't really think the game was particularly hard, as I managed to do a no-deaths run of the game my first time through despite never seeing any footage of it before playing it, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm far from the best at Metroidvanias despite how much I like them. The death mechanic is neat, but I can only really give a hearsay description of it having never experienced it myself Xp . However, on a related note, because you're a faceless procession of soldiers, the game doesn't have any named characters or actual characters of any description. The story is basically non-existant short of a very bare-bones "go kill evil Mummy" plot. It's serviceable, but it's another mark against this game in an era where there are so many good Metroidvanias out there with excellent narratives.

The game plays like a WayForward take on Metroid. You don't have a melee weapon like Shantae's hair (the only Shantae game I've played is the first one that was on DSiWare that I thought was pretty bad, for the record), but you have a rifle with unlimited ammo that you can fire in 8 directions. The only issue with this is that your rifle bullets are kinda weak but also very small projectiles, and given that the spaces you're in are quite cramped, the enemies are often fairly small and/or quick as well as decently tanky, and fighting enemies is a real pain quite often. The most difficult part of the game isn't the bosses, it's the really annoying (but fairly low number of) enemy types throughout the game. Like Metroid has missiles for more damage, you can find new guns to use that use ammo enemies drop, and those guns are generally way better than your infinite-ammo peashooter. The combat is alright, but I thought it was just okay considering all the other great 2D run-and-gun action games out there that have such less frustrating enemy design and placement.

The world design is a bit odd, but I think that has to do with how your character moves. The corridors you go down feel really claustrophobic, but not in an anxiety-inducing way, but more in a "these are annoying to navigate" kind of way. You're constantly hitting your head trying to jump around because of how tall your character is, and the placement of platforms in some of the larger rooms had me retreading them quite often to go back up and do it again because I bumped my head on the ceiling. You can find extra bandoleers (I guess your soldier just wears dozens of them eventually? XD) just like missile tanks and extra med kits just like energy tanks around the world to increase your max ammo (for all weapons) and health (by 99, exactly like Metroid), but this game has no hidden walls that I could find. If you can see a room to get into, you can get into it. You dont' need to spend time whacking at every wall you see hoping it'll be hiding a secret, which is kind of a nice change of pace in a Metroidvania for once. The level design becomes more managable once you get a few power ups, but even then its still quite frustrating because of the nature of those power ups (you never get a wall-jump or a double-jump, unfortunately :/ ).

The last thing I wanna mention is the Switch port of the game. This game runs pretty badly on Switch. It's a quite nice-looking pixel-art design, but all the moving backgrounds combined with the moving enemies on screen make the framerate stutter like CRAZY very often, which is a bit of a problem in an action game like this as you can imagine. It's never a problem with bosses, as screens don't usually scroll in most boss fights, but it makes the annoying enemy types that much more annoying when your button presses are lagging behind a stuttering framerate. Regardless, the fact that the enemy types are so annoying, the platforming can be so irritating, and there is actually NO WAY to heal your health other than picking up drops from enemies or picking up another med kit/E-Tank, means the difficult of the game feels more artificial than legitimate. The game WANTS you to die because it wants you to see the neat death mechanic, but it doesn't feel its doing it in regards to legitimate challenge so much as it is purposefully clumsy game design.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. The Mummy: Demastered isn't a bad game, but it's a very underwhelming game for the gaming ecosystem it exists in. As a 4-hour Metroidvania on the same system that sports Hollow Knight, it is a really tough sell at its normal MSRP of $20 when you factor in its clunky design, bad port job, and non-existent story. You can do a lot better with your $20 on Switch if you're looking for a Metroidvania or really a good indie game in general. This game is an interesting novelty as a good movie tie-in from 2017, but not a game that is a must-play by any standard other than that.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Ack Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:07 am

1. Jungle Book (SNES)(Platformer)
2. Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge (SNES)(Light Gun Shooter)
3. Might and Magic VI (PC)(RPG)
4. Revenant (PC)(RPG)
5. Neo Turf Masters (NGPC)(Sports)
6. Fatal Fury: First Contact (NGPC)(Fighter)
7. Pac-Man (NGPC)(Action)

8. Golden Axe (Genesis)(Hack and Slash)
9. Blood and Bacon (PC)(FPS)
10. Gain Ground (Genesis)(Strategy)

11. Flicky (Genesis)(Platformer)
12. Zombie Shooter 2 (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
13. Phantasmagoria (PC)(Point and Click)
14. SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighter's Clash - Capcom Version (NGPC)(Card Game)
15. Toonstruck (PC)(Point and Click)
16. Riven (PC)(Point and Click)
17. Dragon Wars (PC)(RPG)
18. Dungeon Hack (PC)(RPG)
19. SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium (NGPC)(Fighter)
20. Portal 2 (PC)(Puzzle FPS)
21. Goat Simulator: Waste of Space (PC)(Action)
22. Goat Simulator: Payday (PC)(Action)
23. Goat Simulator: MMO Simulator (PC)(Action)

24. Goat Simulator: GoatZ (PC)(Action)
25. Goat Simulator (PC)(Action)
26. Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis)(Beat 'Em Up)
27. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (PC)(Action Platformer)

28. Deadlight (PC)(Platformer)
28. Antichamber (PC)(Puzzle FPS)
29. S.C.A.R.S. (N64)(Racing)
30. Anvil of Dawn (PC)(RPG)
31. Earth Defense Force 4.1 (PC)(Action)
32. Inherit the Earth (PC)(Point-and-Click Adventure)
33. Wolfenstein 3D: Spear of Destiny (PC)(FPS)
34. Wolfenstein 3D: Return to Danger (PC)(FPS)
35. Divinity: Original Sin (PC)(RPG)
36. Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
37. The Haunted Mansion (PS2)(Horror)
38. Prisoner of Ice (PC)(Point-and-Click Adventure)


I haven't posted in a while in this thread, and a lot of that is because I've been focusing on multiplayer MMO gameplay or been busy with life outside of games. However, I realized I was behind, so I figured now was a good time to post and get caught up. I'm gonna speed through these.

Divinity: Original Sin

This is a tactical RPG that draws heavily from the likes of Baldur's Gate and Diablo in terms of story presentation, combat, and character abilities. You play as two self-created characters and can pick up two more if you like for a party of 4. Battles are turn-based, with you and the AI decided where to move, what to do, and how to go about doing it. Magic tends to have a lasting effect too; cast fire, and it scorches the area. Poison creates a poison fog, while ice will cause people to slip. You can also combine them, so case fire on a poison cloud, and things get explosive and then smoky, obscuring vision.

The plot is more your typical save-the-universe fair, so don't expect anything groundbreaking. It's also a little slow at giving you some of the most crucial stuff, and crafting is a complex system that requires playing and some level of dedication. On the upside, quests and characters are often entertaining, and there are a few additional options at character creation to influence difficulty. I prefer the newer Shadowrun titles, but D:OS is still worth checking out.

Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop

This is a stand-alone release, but it expands upon the top-down shooter Alien Swarm by taking the base campaign and then adding additional campaigns, gameplay modes, weapons, etc. Pretty much everything about the original game returns and is built upon and improved. It's also free to play on Steam. Every now and again, I really want to play a nice top-down shooter like this, and AS:RD scratches the itch when I've beaten the likes of the Alien Shooters and Shadowgrounds.

What's the game about? Aliens have overrun facilities on a distant planet, so it's up to your squad to go in and perform missions in various campaigns. Yes, squad; the game is multiplayer for up to 4 people, but the AI replacements aren't totally awful. They have some pathing issues that make me reticent to take them on higher difficulties, but on Normal they usually do just fine. There is also some variance in how each character plays, and with 2 characters each in 4 classes, you have some variety of styles and loadouts you can bring. I favor the female Heavy Weapons character myself.

The Haunted Mansion

This is a horror game aimed more at kids, but I picked it up some time ago because I haven't focused my attention much on kid horror and because I was curious. You know what? It works surprisingly well, mainly because it combines a variety of approaches to horror games. You play the new caretaker of the titular haunted mansion, and you must go through and find the lost souls hidden in all the rooms. To do this, you first have to solve the room's puzzle, beat bosses, do some platforming, etc. Don't take that to mean you'll be doing the same thing over and over again though. There is a lot of variance here.

What do I mean by that? Well, in one room you have to engage in a run through a dark maze from a scythe-wielding figure who wouldn't be out of place in a Clock Tower-style game. In others, you have to do platforming in the dark, but sometimes you must do this in a timed fashion, while in others the path only appears before you as it disappears behind you. Still another requires going into a Silent Hill-inspired alternate world for a brief puzzle to open a doorway or requiring a poltergeist to smash glass bottles in a room. The puzzles are at times surprisingly inspired.

The boss battles are a different matter, and combat isn't complex, but it is a game meant for kids, so I don't fault it too much on being light in these areas. It's more an interesting blend of ideas worth looking at just to see how it was inspired. It also wouldn't be a bad way to interest kids in horror games.

Prisoner of Ice

This is a point-and-click horror adventure game that serves as a sequel to Shadow of the Comet and pulls inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. The plot involves bizarre monsters known as Prisoners which are trapped in ice as well as Nazis, time travel, and the potential summoning of elder gods, which is something you definitely do not want to happen. The plot offers twists and plays with time a lot, so I'm not sure I could actually give you a full accounting of what happens; from what I've gathered, it treats time like a mobius strip. That said, it's an interesting game to play.

Unfortunately, it falters in game design. While it does have death sequences, and the game is kind enough to auto-save at the start of those sequences so you don't lose much in the way of progress, it doesn't provide much of any help on what to do. To make matters worse, it's a game where the items don't particularly stand out from the rest of the world, and sometimes key things seem to only be a couple of pixels wide. Of particular note is a needle I had to find on a desk for a puzzle. I had an idea that I needed something, but actually finding the needle only occurred when I went room to room, literally waving the mouse up and down to see if anything popped up that I had missed. It's a short game, and this feels like it was a means to artificially inflate the length.

As a result, I struggle to recommend it unless you know full well going in that you're probably going to be frustrated trying to track down the one item you need because you can't actually see it. If you're cool with that though, by all means check it out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:29 pm

PartridgeSenpai wrote:The last thing I wanna mention is the Switch port of the game. This game runs pretty badly on Switch.

There might be something wrong with your Switch; I didn't experience this in my playthrough back when it came out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:45 pm

MrPopo wrote:
PartridgeSenpai wrote:The last thing I wanna mention is the Switch port of the game. This game runs pretty badly on Switch.

There might be something wrong with your Switch; I didn't experience this in my playthrough back when it came out.


I've found a lot of other people online mentioning it. It apparently used to be a LOT worse given that they released a bit patch back in February of this year for the Switch version to improve that along with a small amount of other things. I don't really know what to tell you other than that I wish I had your play experience, because it was really hard not to notice all the stuttering Xp

Apparently the Switch version used to be nearly unplayable. You could die in a certain area and just not be able to get back to your zombie to get your stuff back because that mechanic was bugged. Never having engaged with that mechanic myself, I can't say that it's fixed or not, but I'd like to hope it is.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:20 pm

First 50
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)
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)
38. Cube Escape: The Lake (iOS)
39. Cube Escape: Seasons (iOS)
40. Cube Escape: Arles (iOS)
41 . Cube Escape: Harvey’s Box (iOS)
42. Cube Escape: Case 23 (iOS)
43. Cube Escape: The Mill (iOS)
44. Rusty Lake Hotel (iOS)
45. Cube Escape: Birthday (iOS)
46. Cube Escape: The Theatre (iOS)
47. Rusty Lake Roots (iOS)
48. Cube Escape: The Cave (iOS)
49. Rusty Lake Paradise (iOS)
50. Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone (Arcade)

51. Knightmare Tower (iOS)
52. 80s Overdrive (3DS)
53. Hitman Go (iOS)
54. Deus Ex Go (iOS)
55. Ecco the Dolphin (Genesis)
56. Double Dragon IV (iOS)
57. Double Dragon Neon (PS3)
58. Double Dragon (GB)
59. Shadow Tower (PS1)
60. Double Dragon 3: The Sacred Stones (NES)
61. Double Dragon II (GB)
62. Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap (SMS)
63. Legend of the Dark Witch Ep. 2 The Price of Desire (3DS)
64. Wonder Boy in Monster World (Genesis)
65. Costume Quest 2 (PS3)
66. Resident Evil (NDS)
67. Pang Adventures (iOS)
68. Resident Evil Deadly Silence (NDS)

Having played through the Jill scenario in the original version of Resident Evil, I played though the Chris scenario in the remixed, NDS-exclusive Deadly Silence version of the game. The Deadly Silence version adds some features and puzzles that utilize the system’s microphone and touchscreen (e.g., blowing out candles, re-wiring electrical systems, etc.). The most prominent of these is random, first-person, HOTD-inspired knife fights against zombies, dogs, hunters, etc. when you go through some doors. These fights add some challenge to the game, but they also present an opportunity to grab additional items if you perform well. My completion time was just over six hours, and I estimate the remixed Deadly Silence version added about 30-45 minutes of gameplay, the most significant of which is a second trip to the dormitory for a first-person boss battle against Yawn (or Yawn’s twin sister, since I had already killed Yawn in the mansion by that point). There were also “fast” zombies in my second trip through the game, along with way more enemies. I don’t know how much of that is due to differences between the Chris and Jill campaign and how much of that is due to differences between the original and Deadly Silence versions of the game, however.

Overall, I really enjoyed Resident Evil. It is a meticulously-designed, very fun game. I can’t say that the new content in the Deadly Silence version of the game justifies another trip to the Spencer Mansion if you’ve explored it before. It is an interesting spin on a classic game, however, and I generally enjoyed the new features.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:58 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2018 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017
* indicates a repeat

1-20


21-40


41-60
41. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Expansion Pass DLC (Switch)
42. Battle Block Theater (Xbox 360) *
43. Magicka (Steam) *
44. La-Mulana 2 (Steam)
45. Yooka-Laylee (Steam)
46. Snipper-Clips: Cut it Out Together! (Switch)
47. Magicka: Dungeons and Gargoyles (Steam)
48. Hearthstone: The Boomsday Project (PC)
49. Timespinner (PS4)
50. Hollow Knight (PC)
51. Wuppo (PC)
52. Super Mario Party (Switch)
53. Party Hard (Steam)
54. The Final Station (Steam)
55. GARAGE: Bad Trip (Steam)
56. Mr Shifty (Steam)
57. LISA (Steam)
58. LISA: The Joyful (Steam)
59. Divide by Sheep (Steam)
60. The Mummy: Demastered (Switch)


61. Iconoclasts (Steam)

After The Mummy: Demastered was a little bit of a disappointment, I was still in the mood for a Metroidvania, and Iconoclasts was another I'd picked up recently that I'd heard very good things about. It very much did not disappoint! I played on "Harder" difficulty (the hardest one isn't unlocked until you beat the game once), and it took me juuust over 10 hours playing on my 360 gamepad.

I got a very Timespinner meets Cave Story vibe from the narrative of the game. Like Timespinner, it has a very colorful art style to tell a quite serious story, but like Cave Story the audience is dropped into the world knowing nothing about it. Any lore of the world you want to know needs to be gained by talking to NPC's, reading messages, and going through the story, and it makes for a pretty engaging narrative in a rather unconventional take on the techno/fantasy setting. I really enjoyed the story, and I thought the main cast of characters were some of my favorites I've seen in a game with no VA due to how the game uses text (a bit like Ace Attorney, where font sizes, letter spacing, and automatically cycling dialogue boxes are used to get across different tones of voice/patterns of speech). Agent Black, for one, may be one of my new favorite villains in a game ever. Additionally, Robin is probably one of my favorite portrayals of a silent protagonist given that she is canonically quite non-verbal (she talks very seldomly, usually the player giving dialogue choices), and I thought the way she fits into the story as well as the way other characters treat her was done in a very charming fashion. This is definitely up there with Timespinner as one of my new favorite casts and favorite stories in a game that I was not expecting at all to blow me away so hard.

Mechanically, this game plays great. The isn't a ton of weapon variety, but there is a fair amount of enemy variety and the situations they're put in makes them always engaging to fight with (and infrequently annoying to fight). You have your standard gun but then also a wrench that can be used to grapple onto points for platforming as well as to both hit enemies in melee and parry their attacks. Each gun you come across has a normal fire as well as a charged fire, and although some will overheat if you fire them too much, it will need to cool down once you unleash a charged attack. There isn't that much crazy movement to traverse as far as a Castlevania-esque backdash or double jump is concerned, but your normal running, ducking, and jumping are more than enough to make boss fights tense and exciting. The optional boss fights get pretty crazy, but the game lets you instantly retry a fight if you fail (generally, as some for some reason make you walk a ways back and some others start from the previous cutscene that initiates the fight), so even the more challenging bosses aren't terribly unforgiving.

The level design is well done and the puzzles and combat fit into the environments well, but the game is a very linear Metroidvania. There is often very little exploring to do, and at several points in the story you have no choice but to go forward in the area you're in to complete the current story bit, and then you can come back a fair ways later when you've gotten some new gun/equipment to get a treasure chest you couldn't get to before. It's much more like Cave Story in that way in how it's more of a 2D Action Adventure Platformer and less of a Metroidvania. There are goodies hidden in past areas, sure, but they're fairly optional side-grades, and your maximum number of charms or max HP actually never increase by any means. This isn't a knock against the game, mind you. It's a freaking fantastic action adventure game, but if you go in expecting a more Super Metroid-like experience of recursive game design, you are likely going to be left wanting.

The exploring there is to do is often entirely in the pursuit of schematics to make Tweaks as well as the materials to put them together. You get the ability to make and wear Tweaks quite early in the game, and they act as slight add-on to give you passives to slight activatable abilities. They range from nullifying a single hit you take to giving you a double jump, but they're optional, so there isn't any content actually gated behind them. The double jump, for example, isn't required to get anywhere: It just makes getting around that much faster. When you get hit, one of them (starting from the right and going left) will break, and you'll need to kill enemies or break environmental objects to get enough ivory cubes to replenish it. It's a neat system that rewards you for playing well, but given that you craft them at stations and equip them at save points, I will add here that I really wish that crafting stations and save points were more often closer together XP

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This has more or less replaced Cave Story for me as my favorite game in this genre of more linear, action-focused Metroidvanias. It's a game with exemplary quality controls, combat, and writing, especially considering it came out of what seems to be a one-man indie studio, and I eagerly look forward to the next thing he makes (although if he's still a one-man team, I imagine it'll be a while X3).
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