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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Thu Nov 08, 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)

62. Serial Cleaner (Twitch)

Serial Cleaner has the honor of being the first game I've played, let alone beaten, on the Twitch game launcher. I got this game for free through Twitch Prime's free game thing at some point, and I was in the mood for something a bit less committal than the RPG's I'm slowly making my way through, so I put like 5 or 6 hours into this to beat it today. I beat all 20 normal missions as well as the 10 bonus ones on a 360 gamepad.

This is another 2D stealth game in the vein of Party Hard, but it does add a neat spin to Party Hard's formula. You don't do killing, you're just a cleaner for the mob in the early 1970's. A lot of the time period and setting really just add to the visual style, as the story itself is fairly throwaway (it treats itself pretty seriously, but it's fairly minimal and easily ignored). The art style is a kind of art-deco look, with tons of garish colors and no real outlines, but while this does give the game a neat style, it also makes the visuals fairly confusing. There was more than one time I didn't even realize that I could walk between two sections because it looked like there was a wall where there wasn't or vice versa. Luckily, you can hold LT to have "Cleaner Vision" appear, which shows you the enemies on the map, movable objects, hiding spots, as well as your objectives, and that helps a lot with any confusion on where to go (although not entirely).

As previously stated, you aren't the killer but the guy who comes in later, so the gameplay involves finding evidence and picking it up, but also picking up bodies and bringing them to disposal points (sometimes it's the back of a car, sometimes its a fireplace/window/etc.). There are also some slightly hidden magazines and film reels on each level, which unlock more costumes or movie-themed extra stages respectively. You also need to clean up a certain amount of blood in each level by holding RT to pull out a vacuum cleaner, and that's just one more thing to do in each stage while avoiding detection from the cops' large, conical line-of-sight indicators (which work very well and are very consistent, from what I played).

If a cop sees you they'll give chase and you'll need to hop into a hiding place for safety. This isn't Clock Tower though. You can hop into a plant right in front of a cop and he'll just stand next to it angrily staring at it even though he clearly saw you enter it. Each level also has slight randomization features where bodies, evidence, and hiding places will be shuffled around slightly. This is still fairly annoying, quite frankly, but it's nowhere near as bad as in Party Hard. Party Hard will wholesale remove entire elements of a map between deaths, but Serial Cleaner just shuffles them around a bit, so all the tools you need to complete each level are there every time, just perhaps in a slightly less convenient spot. I still dislike this design gimmick, but at least this game does it less annoyingly.

Really, the worst thing about the game are the things endemic to this type of game, and they're the same ones Party Hard had. Other than the randomization annoyance, the other big bugbear is levels that are too long with no save points. Some levels can take 15-ish minutes, particularly in the later game, and it's really difficult to try and learn them when things keep changing. Given that you only get one chance to make it before you're just dead and need to start the whole level over, this leads to some levels dragging on FOREVER just because of one really annoying part in them. A quicksave feature, even if it needed to be unlocked with a cheat, would be a really nice ease-of-play option for games like this.

Verdict: Recommended. If you want a 2D top-down stealth game a bit like Party Hard but a bit more polished, then this is a good one to choose. It's not exactly reinventing the wheel for the genre or a stand-out stealth game on PC, but it's a fine entry even if it doesn't set the world on fire.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:06 am

[quote="alienjesus"]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
18. Rhythm Tengoku GBA
19. Portal 2 360
20. Shinobi X Saturn
21. Gravity Rush Remastered PS4
22. Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle Switch
23. Metroid Samus Returns 3DS
24. Shinobi 3DS
25. Resident Evil HD Remaster PS3
26. Advance Guardian Heroes GBA
27. Alien Storm Mega Drive
28. Ecco: The Tides of Time Mega Drive
29. Earthbound Beginnings Wii U VC
30. Mega Man 8 PS4
31. Dragon Quest Builders Switch
32. Vertical Force Virtual Boy
33. Snipperclips Plus: Cut It Out,Together! Switch
34. Conker’s Bad Fur Day Nintendo 64
35. Ever Oasis 3DS *NEW*

Ever Oasis

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Ever Oasis is an action adventure game in the vein of Zelda, developed by Grezzo, who also did the 3DS remakes of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, and released for the 3DS. You play as a Seedling, one of several races who live in a vast desert. Seedlings are the smallest and weakest of the races, but they all have special abilities they can use, and have the ability to grow special structures using the seeds they have in their hearts. You are a special seedling who is destined to be a chief, because your seed can grow an Oasis when watered by a Water Spirit – basically a town full of greenery and water and safe from the threats of the world outside.

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The objective of the game is to grow your oasis over time, welcoming other residents to town, whilst countering the threat of Chaos, an evil force which grows dark twisted plants which destroy oases and kill other plant life, draining the land and expanding the desert. Thus, the game switches between 2 main play styles – the first are story dungeons which play a little bit like a simplified Zelda, and the second involves exploring the world to find new residents and recruit them to your village by completed quests for them, and find supplies to keep the town running.

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Residents joining your village come in 4 varities – Seedlings, who can grow new ‘bloom booths’ shops which are your main source of money in the game, but which need to be kept stocked with supplies, and also the other 3 races – Drauks, a race of lizard women who fight with spears, Serkah, a weird race of people with Scorpions for faces who like to eat and fight with hammers, and Lagora, a race of bunny people who use twin daggers. Seedlings don’t use specific weaponry but rather a variety of different types depending on the resident, and have lower base stats but the unique ability to equip armor and weapon upgrades to improve them. Any of these recruited townsfolk can be added to your exploration party, 2 at a time, and the abilities they have and the weapons they use will be essential to exploration.

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For example, the Serkah’s hammer can be used to smash rocks or hit switches, the Lagora’s daggers can cut open paths through spiderwebs and open special locks, and the Drauk Spear can trigger special switches. Seedlings with crossbows can shoot switches at range, ones with wands can light your way, and so on. Seedlings also have other abilities – some can roll into a pellet to go through small holes, or turn into a wall of leaves to block projectiles, or a whirling seed to fly over a gap. You’ll have to switch your party around frequently to deal with new obstacles, which is one of the biggest issues with the game – every dungeon will often require you to use many different abilities, and you can only switch party members back at the base. There’s a quick warp function which takes you back right away and allows you to warp back to where you left, but it can still take a solid minute or two to warp out, load, go to the desk where you swap party, swap the party, go back to the warp point, warp back, load, and pick up where you left off. When you’re doing this every single room of a dungeon, it gets tiring fast.

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Speaking of the dungeons, they’re very simple. Having played basically every Zelda game I wasn’t expecting to struggle much, but the puzzles here are very basic, and the game comes across as quite easy in this respect. I’d say it’s targeted at a younger audience except the combat, whilst simple, can be fairly challenging at times, especially early on where random enemies can 2 hit kill you. Combat itself involves using the A and X buttons to swing your weapon, and you unlock more combos as you level up. There’s no real benefit to the variety of combos though – the newest one you got is always the best one to use because it does the most damage.

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Lastly, the gathering element of the game can feel a bit tedious – as shops are your method to make money, you need to keep them supplied, which just involves killing monsters or chopping cactuses for supplies. As you progress you get ways to speed this process up – the non-seedling residents can be sent on raid parties to gather stuff, whilst seedlings can be assigned to the garden to farm, but it still felt like pointless busy work.

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Ever Oasis is a nice little game with some fun ideas, and it’s a decent time killer you can play in short bursts, but the story is basic and not very interesting, the combat is too simple to be really fun and the puzzles are overly easy. There’s satisfaction in progressing, growing your town and exploring for more residents, but overall I think all of the game systems aren’t quite explored deeply enough for the game to be great. That, and swapping characters constantly gets old quickly. It might sound like I’m coming down very negatively on Ever Oasis, but that’s not quite it – I had a pleasant enough time. But it seems to have had more good ideas than it delivered on, and it’s definitely not a must own because of that. Worth a play, but don’t go out of your way to hunt it down.

Recommended Listening:

The music is Ever Oasis is good and fits well, but there's not too many themes I remember. However, the town theme is one I do and it's a chirpy little tune worth a listen - click the image below to do just that:
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:55 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)
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)
36. Grand Master (Famicom)
37. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Sly Spy (Switch eShop)
38. ACA NeoGeo: Top Hunter Roddy & Cathy (Switch eShop)
39. ACA NeoGeo: Shock Troopers (Switch eShop)
40. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
41. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)
42. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (SNES)
43. Kangaroo (Atari 2600)
44. New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
45. Giana Sisters DS (DS)
46. - 52. Metal Slug Anthology (PSP)
53. Gorf (Atari 2600)
54. Phoenix (Atari 2600)
55. Mario Bros. (NES)
56. Balloon Kid (Game Boy)
57. Esper Dream (Famicom Disk System)
58. Arcade Archives: Traverse USA (Switch eShop)

59. Kouryu Densetsu Villgust (Super Famicom)
60. King Kong (Atari 2600)
61. Donkey Kong (Atari 2600)
62. Donkey Kong Junior (Atari 2600)


Kouryu Densetsu Villgust
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Kouryu Densetsu Villgust: Kieta Shoujo is a Japanese role-playing game released in 1992 for the Super Famicom (fan-translated some time ago). It's the first of a duo of titles, with an 8-bit Famicom sequel appearing the following year (yes you read that correctly). I always thought these were licensed RPGs, based on an obscure manga/anime series, but it turns out the games (or at least this game) came first. Whatever the case, this feels like a true tie-in product, with all the stank of Bandai cheapness.

The hero of our story is a young man named Shun. While distracted by his pet rabbit's odd behavior, his girlfriend Michiko is summoned to the fantasy world of Villgust. Shun runs after her, but there's no trace of Michi when he emerges in this foreign land. Shun is, however, immediately joined by four companions who are already embroiled in a quest against a great evil. This foursome comprises just one "party" that Shun ends up leading, as an additional four adventurers are encountered later on. The plot dictates who is active at what times; it's a bit like the two-party system found in the later SNES JRPG Secret of the Stars, and just as poorly implemented. The primary issue is that exactly zero of these playable characters are given interesting personality traits, histories, or abilities. Everyone is completely dull and interchangeable. It's a shame, as the character designs are actually pretty cool. There's what appears to be an arrow-shooting Amazon-mage, a monk martial artist, a "cat-girl" of some persuasion, an odd sort of "werewolf" creature, among others. But it doesn't matter. The game's overall plot is cliché, dialogue between playable characters and NPCs alike is stilted and irrelevant, and there's rarely motivation to continue playing.
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In terms of design, Villgust is a pure turn-based JRPG in the vein of Dragon Quest. Dungeons and towns alternate; all are found on an overworld. Battle commands consist of attack, magic, items, defend, and run. Anyone even vaguely familiar with JRPGs will find reading the instruction manual to this one wholly unnecessary. Environments are monotonous throughout the entirety of the gaming experience. The overworld is a cut-and-paste jumble of green, trees, and water. Nothing distinguishes one town from the next. Dungeons are comprised primarily of straightforward pathways, featuring the occasional nook housing a (mostly useless) item or two.

Battles are similarly mundane, and proceed at a glacial pace. Certain characters have the ability to wield magic, though virtually all spells are useless save for those that restore HP or cure poison. Offensive magic is all but guaranteed to miss and buffs have little effect on statistics. Combat's field of view is situated behind the party, similar to that of Phantasy Star II. While the heroes of Villgust are animated during battle, enemies are still portraits (think Final Fantasy but with Amano's gorgeous enemy designs swapped out for generic monster clip art).

To segue into the positive realm, there are a couple of things I like about the game. Characters are drawn in a chibi style that's absolutely adorable. The original soundtrack is also surprisingly notable. It may not be expertly composed, nor does it really "fit" with the game's overall themes, but the tunes here have a consistent mellow vibe that's quite pleasing.
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I'd estimate that about half of Villgust's run time is dedicated to level grinding. The developers tried to do something unique here, essentially by creating "level caps" within each dungeon or overworld area. It works like this: as characters level up they begin to earn less experience and gold; eventually enemies stop showing up until a new (and more dangerous) territory is reached. Seemingly the "point" of this system is to prevent power-leveling. It doesn't work well in practice, as it's also essentially impossible to progress if characters are underleved. Many of the later bosses are nigh unbeatable until their respective dungeon is first cleared out. So the best "strategy" is to enter a dungeon, grind on the first floor until no foes appear, do the same to second, and so on. To put it more bluntly, the game essentially requires the player to engage in every single battle and defeat every enemy. Insanity. Oh, and the level cap is seemingly an entirely arbitrary 68. Woof.
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Moving on, to things about Villgust that are just plain weird. This game has huge stats, for some reason, meaning that playable characters will have not hundreds, nor thousands, but tens of thousands of HP by game's end. In line with this, expect to see attacks that slice off 15,000 HP each. The menus of Villgust are ugly and utilitarian. In contrast to the agonizing crawl of battle, menus are too sensitive and twitchy, on par with Shining Force. Navigating menus is a pain, due to some nonintuitive design choices. For instance, when one goes to equip a character with new gear, what's already being worn is not displayed. Instead this must be viewed via the separate "status" sub-menu. Conversing with NPCs is generally perplexing as A is used to advance the conversion, but B must ultimately be pressed to end it. Lastly, there are some weird glitchy moments. Barkeepers have no dialogue save for the word "Yes" regardless of location. I experienced several moments of freezing/crashing, including a devastating incident outside of the final boss lair.

Just talking (or writing) about Villgust is exhausting. This is not a well-constructed captivating RPG. It's a painfully linear A-button masher, on par with the likes of Vay and Cosmic Fantasy 2. As a Super Famicom JRPG spelunker I'm "glad" I played it, but I can't imagine recommending this to anyone. Michiko is kinda cute though, huh?


King Kong
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Anyone old enough to remember Donkey Kong's heyday may also recall that there was a lawsuit brought forth by Universal, one that alleged that Nintendo's character infringed on the copyright of a certain other giant ape. Nintendo emerged victorious, and Donkey Kong went on to spawn a massive hit series. What most don't know is that there was actually a licensed King Kong title, released in 1982. Developed by Tigervision (a division of Tiger Toys, the makers of those questionable LCD games), King Kong is a single screen platformer where a plucky hero (Jack Driscoll) ascends a construction site, attempting to rescue his love (Ann) from a simian foe whilst dodging falling obstacles. Sound familiar? Yes, we've come full circle as the King Kong game shamelessly rips off Donkey Kong.

To imagine King Kong, picture the first stage of Donkey Kong. The hero, Jack, begins in the bottom corner of the screen, while Ann and Kong reside at the top. To reach Ann, Jack must navigate a series of pitfalls and ladders. All the while, bombs (not barrels) rain down from the screen's top. Controls here are surprisingly fluent. Jack's jumps are large and hit detection is spot-on. There is an odd quirk -- when Jack jumps his head passes through whatever platform is directly above him, which makes it possible to inadvertently come into contact with an explosive. Two types of bombs pursue Jack -- regular and super. The super bombs seem to be possessed with "smarter" A.I. as the standard ones will just plop down any hole they stumble across. Additionally, leaping over a super bomb will cause Jack to automatically transfer to the next ascending platform, though, again, timing in these cases can be unfavorable and lead to insta-death.
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And then something odd happens halfway through each stage. Kong dives to the bottom and the bombs start travelling up towards Jack. They're a bit harder to avoid here, in this final trek towards the awaiting Ann.

Donkey Kong was notable for having distinct stages, which was uncommon in arcade titles of the era. Furthermore, distinct stages came with distinct strategies and objectives (see the rivet stage where Mario must remove yellow plugs). In contrast, King Kong has one environment. This loops indefinitely, with the speed of enemies increasing until it becomes unbearable. The game wears thin quickly. Not only does it lack variety, but the gameplay simply isn't fun enough to make this a one-screen score-chaser à la Pac-Man and Space Invaders. Aesthetics are similarly tepid, featuring a bland backdrop and an emaciated rag doll Kong.

Ultimately, this is just one of many C-list licensed Atari titles. Collectors will find it intriguing, but there's nothing here to interest a casual fan. Final nail in the coffin: the cartridge itself is rare, expensive, and finding one without a peeling or damaged label is perhaps harder than besting Kong himself.


Donkey Kong
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Donkey Kong is a game which requires no introduction. A member of arcade royalty, Kong revolutionized the platforming genre, introduced the gaming world to a plucky protagonist known as Mario (or "Jumpman"), and launched Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo into the international spotlight. As Donkey Kong predates the release of Nintendo's own Famicom, the game was initially ported to various second generation console and computer systems. Several of said ports were handled by Coleco. In addition to including Donkey Kong as a pack-in title with their own ColecoVision hardware, Coleco was also responsible for a mini tabletop arcade version of the game, along with the Intellivision and Atari 2600 ports. A conspiracy of old alleges that Coleco intentionally neutered their Intellivision and Atari releases, as a way to push consumers towards the ColecoVision. It's an amusing assertion, and one that's impossible to confirm or refute as many of the differences between these ports could also be explained by the inherent differences in hardware capabilities.

Now, all home console ports of Donkey Kong are marred by the fact that they don't include all four levels from the arcade original. While the best of these ports (ColecoVision and NES) contain three stages, the Atari 2600 version only has two. So, yes, half of the game is essentially missing. And how does that included half fare? Let's proceed.
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Stage one of Atari Kong does its best to emulate the first board of the arcade game. Here Mario is tasked with ascending a construction site to rescue his love interest, Pauline, while avoiding the barrels the devious ape Donkey Kong tosses from above. What's immediately noticeable is how muted the colors are here. The iconic blaring red of the arcade construction ramps has been traded in for a subdued pink. The Mario and Pauline sprites aren't bad, but Donkey Kong is a brown monochrome disaster. The barrels too have suffered a downgrade, as they're pale and mysteriously freckled with black dots. There's no way around it: it looks like Donkey Kong is throwing chocolate chip cookies at Mario. A first time player may be inclined to think these are power-ups! Enough mocking of the visuals -- how does this actually play? Quite well! Mario's movements are fluent, and the stage layout is spot-on compared to the arcade. Mario's walking and jumping feels correct, and the accompanying sound effects are adorable. The level does feel a bit sparse, as there aren't many enemies and only one hammer (Mario's primary means of offense) is included.

Stage two is based upon fourth and final level of the arcade game, so it's the middle portion that's been excised. In this area, reaching the top isn't enough. Instead Mario must remove a series of rivets from stacked platforms. Attempting to thwart the plumber are a cluster of sentient fireballs. Compared to the arcade original, this stage has been significantly dumbed down. The ladders aren't presented in a staggered arrangement, instead they just go straight up and down. The fireballs aren't particularly bright and do little to present a challenge. It's a bit of an anticlimactic ending; following this area the game simply loops and the chase for a high score begins.

Overall, this isn't bad. No one on Earth would consider this the definitive version of Donkey Kong, but for an early Atari 2600 platformer it certainly holds its own. Love those cookies.


Donkey Kong Junior
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The release history of Donkey Kong Junior is similar to that of its predecessor. A smash arcade hit, it was subsequently ported to a plethora of vintage console and computer systems, in addition to Nintendo's own NES console. Once again Coleco is responsible for the Atari 2600, Intellivision, and ColecoVision ports. In contrast to Donkey Kong, only one stage has been excised from the 2600 version of Junior, instead of two. The missing springboard stage (second board in the arcade) features some bouncy jumps and a plethora of moving environmental sprites; this was perhaps too difficult to translate to Atari's hardware. Also of note is the fact that two stages have swapped positions, with the game ending in Mario's hideout as opposed to the chains stage.

Here we see Mario cast in the role as villain, brashly standing steadfast at the upper platform of each stage. It's a visual more hilarious than it has any right to be. He's kidnapped Donkey Kong, which seems totally fair given the events of the first game. Out to rescue Kong is his young son, Junior. The visuals here are endearingly rough around the edges. Father Kong looks like an amorphous brown blob, just as he appeared in the first 2600 port. Junior has a baby look in the arcade original and appears to be wearing some sort of onesie. Here he's a scrawny naked ape, looking a bit like a starving tailless Diddy Kong. The Mario sprite, however, remains impressive, and I have no issues with the game's scenery though everything is admittedly a bit dark. Sounds effects are continuous and sufficient, and there's some occasional charming music to spice things up.

Stage one, the vines stage, is the best-designed and most iconic scene of the game. Junior must make his way across a series of platforms and vines, eventually ascending to meet his imprisoned father. All the while, he's pursued by a series of chomping "snapjaw" enemies. Movement and jumping controls are quite fluent; this is as perfect as Atari platforming gets. Items that add additional points to one's score, present in the arcade game, make no appearance here, so skilled players should instead aim for finishing the level as quickly as possible.
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Stages two and three are substantially different, and weaker, than the first. The chains stage requires that Junior push a trio of keys (attached to dangling chains) to the screen's top while avoiding snapjaws and ornithological terrors. It's a very easy segment, and seemingly over as soon as it begins. The game's final stage, Mario's hideout, has been severely downgraded from its arcade origins. Here we simply have a stacked array of platforms, with some climbable ropes flanking both sides of the screen. Hit detection and control is a bit strange at this point, in favor of the player. It's difficult to explain, but this is a cramped level populated by a horde of enemies with very tiny hitboxes. Every time I thought I was going to be hit, I wasn't. The game loops once stage three is bested, naturally.

Atari Donkey Kong Junior is about as competent as Atari Donkey Kong. It's a valiant attempt that, despite lacking so many ingredients that made the arcade game so compelling, is still undeniably kinda fun.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:53 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
18. Rhythm Tengoku GBA
19. Portal 2 360
20. Shinobi X Saturn
21. Gravity Rush Remastered PS4
22. Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle Switch
23. Metroid Samus Returns 3DS
24. Shinobi 3DS
25. Resident Evil HD Remaster PS3
26. Advance Guardian Heroes GBA
27. Alien Storm Mega Drive
28. Ecco: The Tides of Time Mega Drive
29. Earthbound Beginnings Wii U VC
30. Mega Man 8 PS4
31. Dragon Quest Builders Switch
32. Vertical Force Virtual Boy
33. Snipperclips Plus: Cut It Out,Together! Switch
34. Conker’s Bad Fur Day Nintendo 64
35. Ever Oasis 3DS
36. Wario World Gamecube *NEW*

Wario World

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Wario World is a 3D platformer of sorts released for the Nintendo Gamecube, and developed by that prime deliverer of cult-classics, Treasure. I picked up and played through the game for Together Retro’s Treasure month, and it was an interesting experience.

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The story of Wario World goes that Wario gathered a bunch of treasure in his castle, but it turns out one of the gems was evil and it comes to life and turns all of Wario’s treasure into monsters and traps wario in a strange new world. Wario has to explore the levels of this world and rescue some kind of sprites who will apparently help him defeat the evil gem. Wario does this by platforming through 8 different levels and beating up a bunch of bad guys and bosses on the way.

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Although I’ve said Wario World is a platformer a few times now, that’s only partially true, as in many ways it’s a beat-em-up. Wario can charge into enemies or punch them to stun them, after which he can pick them up to perform one of a few different moves. He can throw them (and this can be charged into a super throw to hurt stronger enemies), he can pile drive them into the ground (causing a shockwave which hurts other enemies), or he can ‘swing-ding’ them – swinging them around in circles before launching them away. These moves are not just used for fighting, but also are required for certain environmental interactions – you can throw enemies at switched, slam them into trap doors to open them, or swing them into cranks to turn them and open doors.

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The focus of Wario World is not just fighting and platforming though – exploration is the name of the game here, as each level is crammed with items to find – you can find 8 red gems, 8 gold statue pieces, 5 sprites and 8 treasures in each level, all of which give different rewards. The gems are needed to finish the level – with earlier levels requiring only 3 but later ones needing as many as 6 to complete. Finding all 8 statues in a level will raise wario’s health by half a heart, for up to 4 extra hearts worth of health total after all levels are complete. The sprites determine your ending but also give tips for the stage you’re on, and finding all 8 treasures unlocks a GBA demo of Wario Ware, which came out around the same time. These items are spread throughout the level, and often require you to hit switches later in the level and then backtrack to find them.

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Some of the items in the game can be found in puzzle rooms – small rooms you can access which feature some kind of block puzzle or platforming challenge which will reward you with an item or two. These are inventive and interesting, with lots of mechanics being made use of, and in some ways they remind me of the fludd-less platforming areas in Mario Galaxy, only with a clunkier control. These are some of the stronger parts of the game in my eyes, and if they were properly fleshed out they could almost have been a game in themselves. Wario doesn’t really fit the concept though.

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Because there’s so much to find, the levels in the game tend to take a long time to complete – often 30 minutes or so on a single stage. This can make the game drag quite a bit, which is a shame considering the entire game is only about 4 hours long. The game has a kind of low budget feel too – lots of reskinned enemy assets appear, and the intro story is explained in text rather than animated.

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Wario World has some nice ideas and is an interesting adaptation of the Wario Land series into 3D, but it’s not a classic, and it’s one of Treasure’s weaker games. There's fun to be hand in the boss fights and puzzle sections, but the small enemy variety and move variety in the combat makes that element feel underdeveloped, and the game doesn’t have tight enough platforming to make up for that deficiency either. If you find it cheap, it’s likely worth the few hours it takes to get through, but don’t go out of your way for it.

Recommended Listening:
I might have thought the game was fairly average, but the soundtrack is a bombastic and jazzy ton of fun, and well worth a listen. Give it all a go if you can, but this is probably the most iconic music for me - the greenhorn forest theme. Click the image below to hear it.

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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:43 pm

You guys are killing it with the reviews. All of these are great. I particularly enjoy the 2600 reviews, though. Great work, Bone!
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:52 am

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
38. Hard Reset Redux - PC
39. Nier: Automata - PS4
40. Darksiders - PC
41. The Banner Saga 3 - PC
42. Guacamelee! 2 - PC
43. Spider-Man - PS4
44. Shadow of the Tomb Raider - PC
45. Star Control Origins - PC
46. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - PS4
47. The Messenger - Switch
48. Dragon Quest XI - PS4

The latest in the long running Dragon Quest series, DQXI is a culmination of everything that has come before and is the best Dragon Quest experience available anywhere. If you like your traditional JRPGs then you will love this game.

Dragon Quest XI starts off with you discovering that you're the Luminary, the hero prophesized to save the world. You go and present yourself to the king, who immediately throws you in jail, because by his reasoning if you are prophesized to defeat the darkness that isn't here then you must be the one who brings it. Fortunately, your first teammate helps you break out, and you proceed on a world hopping journey to form a party and fight evil. Some twists and turns along the way, and you save the day. But the journey is really what things are about, and it's a super fun journey.

DQXI plays like DQVIII with some additional enhancements. Instead of four linear skill trees you now have a hexagonal skill grid that you can develop as you see fit. Some panels require you to have unlocked four adjacent ones, which does force you into some potentially "useless" skills (e.g. you need a greatsword skill to unlock a sword skill, and that greatsword skill isn't useable if you're wielding swords), but since you can swap weapons in battle at any time it ends up giving you some potential versatility. However, I felt like you don't get enough skill points to take advantage of that until late game, when the rate you accrue really ramps up. The psyche system is replaced with a pep system; you have a chance at the start of your turn to get pepped up, which is a multi turn buff that improves each character's statistics in unique ways. In addition to the statistical buff, you can consume this state to engage in a pep power. Some of these just require your one character, with some free assistance from another. Others will require multiple characters to be pepped up at the same time, and will consume all the characters' pep state. These tend to be the more powerful effects, which include an exp/money/item boost and removing all enemies and replacing them with three metal slimes appropriate to your current level (though that can fail and sometimes give you robots instead).

Also, like Dragon Quest VIII and IX, there is a post game after you defeat the final boss. This one is the most extensive in the series, as it really ties up some very important lose ends from the main story and is half again as long as the main gain. Sure, IX's could go longer than that, but that's because if you're grinding grottos to do all the legacy bosses it takes ages; there's not more real content there. This postgame is more of a "here's more story" type thing. You could stop after beating the main game and have a pretty satisfying ending, but going into the post game gets you something even better, in my opinion.

The localization is top notch. They are continuing their trend of using European accents for all the characters. Everyone is having a really good time with their characters, and it all feels like if fits really well. One reason I tend to prefer to switch to Japanese voices in JRPGs is that the US voices don't feel like they fit; no issue here. And even cooler, when they have some scenes that follow characters from long before the story, they have them speak in Elizabethan English. And not that patois that they used in the original DQ1 localization; they got some real Shakespearian linguists to ensure the vocabulary and sentence structure is correct.

If you've never played a Dragon Quest game before, this is the one to play.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:48 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
18. Rhythm Tengoku GBA
19. Portal 2 360
20. Shinobi X Saturn
21. Gravity Rush Remastered PS4
22. Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle Switch
23. Metroid Samus Returns 3DS
24. Shinobi 3DS
25. Resident Evil HD Remaster PS3
26. Advance Guardian Heroes GBA
27. Alien Storm Mega Drive
28. Ecco: The Tides of Time Mega Drive
29. Earthbound Beginnings Wii U VC
30. Mega Man 8 PS4
31. Dragon Quest Builders Switch
32. Vertical Force Virtual Boy
33. Snipperclips Plus: Cut It Out,Together! Switch
34. Conker’s Bad Fur Day Nintendo 64
35. Ever Oasis 3DS
36. Wario World Gamecube
37. Solar Striker Game Boy *NEW*
38. Pop'n Twinbee GBC *NEW*
39. Halley Wars Game Gear *NEW*


I was feeling in the mood to play through something quick and accessible the other day, so I decided I would play some 8 bit portable shmups. I had a few that had been sitting for long enough, so I sat down and played through them a few times until I had them cracked. Here’s what I though of the ones I played:



Solar Striker

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Solar Striker is a shmup for the original Game Boy, and was one of the earliest games for the system. As both of these facts might suggest, it’s quite a basic game – your ship only has one fire button, and as far as I could tell it moves at a constant speed too. You can gain power ups which upgrade your laser – the first power up will increase the firing speed, and the second will increase the size of your shots, and then they alternate. Your shot starts off as the typical pea shooter, before becoming 2 pea shooters, 3 pea shooters and then 2 thick lasers in turn.

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There are 6 levels in Solar Striker, and they’re pretty simple in layout. Enemies come in in consistent patterns and often only one variety of enemy will be present at once, so you can easily react to what they’re doing, but later levels feature tougher enemy types who shoot more often, take more hits or have aggressive movements.

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The game is pretty reasonable in difficulty for the most part, but a few of the late game bosses are hard to handle due to how much screen estate they fill up with their body and bullets and how many hits they take to go down. It’s one hit death in this game, but when you respawn you keep some of your power ups – you’ll drop down to the previous tier of laser, which is punishing but not as bad as most games of the genre.

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Overall, Solar Striker is a fun little time. It has catchy music and basic but serviceable graphics, and there’s an odd kind of charm to it that’s hard to describe considering it’s a generic space shooter. I like it though, and although it’s never winning any awards for best in the genre, it’s worth the low price it goes for if you’re a fan of the Game Boy.

Recommended Listening:
Solar Striker has a simple but solid soundtrack that fits the game nicely. The most memorable track is probably the one that plays in the very first stage. Click the image below to listen:

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Pop’n Twinbee

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Pop’n Twinbee is a shmup for the original Game Boy, but the version I played was the Game Boy Color port found on Konami Classics Collection volume 3. As with all the games in the series, the most notable thing about the game is it’s oddball power up system – shooting clouds will release bells, which fly into the air. Shooting the bells will change their colour, and each colour gives different power ups. I found this mechanic to be even more frustrating here than normal – bells need tons of hit to change colors, but will then cycle back to normal as soon as they’re hit once more. I also found it harder to juggle multiple bells, and despite playing through the game multiple times trying to beat it, I never quite figured out what effect each colour has.

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Pop’n Twinbee on the Game Boy is an interesting game – it features 5 levels, and a variety of cutsey and colourful settings to fly around. As usual you have a standard shot which hits airborne enemies, as well as a bomb to hit grounded foes. The problem with the game though is that it just feels horrendously cheap and not a whole lot of fun to play. The bell system is the main culprit this time round – it’s just too much to handle on a GB screen whilst other enemies are coming at you, and the juggling act isn’t fun. I can’t imagine how much worse it would be playing on original GB when bell colour would be even harder to distinguish!

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Personally, I recommend you avoid this one – it’s far inferior to the decent-but-also-a-pain-in-the-ass SNES version, and if you’re going to get one of them, definitely go with the console port. This game was not fun to play through at all.

Recommended listening:

The music of Twinbee is catchy enough, and I heard it many times whilst trying to best the game. Stage 5 theme's was my pick of the bunch, click the image below to hear it:

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Halley Wars

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For my 3rd 8 bit portable shmup, I went for something a little bit different and played a game on the Game Gear instead. Halley Wars is a vertically scrolling shmup for the console with a rather generic space theme, but a few nice ideas that make it stand out a little. The main gimmick is the % in the lower corner of the screen – this is the health of the planet earth, and every enemy that gets past you will raise this % meter, with 1005 giving you a game over.

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Other than this mechanic, Halley Wars is a fairly competent but generic shooter. You can find power ups to boost your speed, or add to the spread of your ships shot, which is very useful for keeping that % low, and you can also find options. Unlike most games of its kind, the options in Halley Wars are destructible, meaning that you don’t normally keep hold of them for long. However, pressing the 1 button whilst you have one equipped will detonate it, so they also serve as your bombs for the game.

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There’s not a lot more to say about Halley Wars – it has a cool twist where you think you got to the end only to be turned around and sent back the otherway, but it’s a fairly basic game. However, of the 3 games on this list, it’s likely the best playing one. If you have a Game Gear (or especially if you have a way to play Game Gear games without dealing with the original screen) it’s a fun little game worth a play, and I’d recommend it.

Recommended Listening:
The soundtrack to Halley Wars is not anything special, but it's enjoyable enough. My pick is this track which plays on stage 1, 5 and 7 - click the image below to listen to it:

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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:03 pm

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 97
* 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 (8 Games Beaten)
78. Broforce - PlayStation 4 - July 4
79. Just Cause 2 - PlayStation 3 - July 4
80. Barack Fu: The Adventures of Dirty Barry - Switch - July 5
81. Organ Trail - PlayStation 4 - July 5
82. Red Dead Revolver - Xbox - July 7
83. Omega Quintet - PlayStation 4 - July 13
84. Super Mario Sunshine - Gamecube - July 16
85. Nurse Love Addiction - Vita - July 17


August (4 Games Beaten)
86. XCOM 2: War of the Chosen - PS4 - August 3
87. Life is Strange: Before the Storm - PS4 - August 3
88. Game of Thrones - PS4 - August 5
89. Star Trek - Steam - August 6


September (1 Game Beaten)
90. Pokemon Vega - Game Boy Advance - September 18


October (6 Games Beaten)
91. Panzer Dragoon Mini - Game Gear - October 5
92. Advance Wars - Game Boy Advance - October 7
93. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - Switch - October 18
94. Mario Tennis Aces - Switch - October 21
95. Girls und Panzer: Dream Tank Match - PS4 - October 21
96. Banner Saga - Steam - October 23


November (1 Game Beaten)
97. Xenogears - PlayStation - November 12


97. Xenogears - PlayStation - November 12

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Xenogears is the one game in the "Xeno" series that I don't have, but with my new attempt to embrace digital games, I decided to buy it on PSN and dust off the ol' PS TV. I was SUPPOSED to be playing this in tandem with flake, but as usually, he lived up to his name and flaked out on me and decided not to play it. -insert sadness-

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Xenogears is, in a lot of ways, a perfect example of Square's late 1990s JRPG offerings - it's too long, the story is convoluted to the point of confusion, and it's so much damn fun that you can't just quit. The BASIC story (and this is a bare bones synopsis) is that a colony ship of some sort crashed on this planet 10,000 years ago when some super weapon went haywire and blew it to pieces. Human survivors established an advanced civilization until some major war destroyed a bunch of it 4,000 years ago, and then some other giant war destroyed even more stuff 500 years ago. There are like three specific people whose souls are apparently so important that they get reincarnated infintely, and their memories get passed down as well, and then there's some split personalities, and there are giant robots, and somehow the giant doomsday weapon is god but also god doesn't exist but at the same time god is core to everything and...yeah. It doesn't make any sense. Unfortunately, it's also a perfect example of what ruins a lot of otherwise good games - plot holes, huge leaps of logic, and cut funding that led to a rushed and frankly terrible second half (or, in this case, last third). Imagine if the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential campaign were a JRPG. On paper, it should be amazing and a hole in one. Certain aspects of reality, however, forces it to crash and burn. I love games that incorporate ancient Judeo-Christian mythology into their story. I don't love it when it's done poorly and doesn't many any sense whatsoever.

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The tragic story of Xenogears' production is that it was originally intended to be a four disc game as several other Square JRPGs were. The first disc is a long and epic 40-50 hour adventure full of world building and character development, and if the game were judged just on the first disc, it would be a great game. Unfortunately, when they finished the first disc, they were out of money... and only about a third of the way through the story. So the rest of it got slimmed down beyond the max and crammed into one disc with the bulk of the story being either skipped entirely or relegated to boring vignettes between boss fights with the occasional dungeon or two (compared to the dozen solidly fleshed out dungeons in the first disc). There's a ton of potential there, and had the story elements in disc two been given the same treatment that the first disc received, it would probably be remembered as one of the best JRPGs of the era. As it is, however, the second disc totally sucks and ruins the game.

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The games visuals are largely so-so in my opinion with a decent 3D world but 2D sprite characters. Character attack animations are cool, but the game overall fails to match Square's Final Fantasy offerings of the era (probably because of the cut funding). The music, however, is quite good. Again, not on the level of the PS1 Final Fantasy games, but it's a solidly second tier soundtrack. The piece of the presentation that really falls apart, though, is the anime cutscenes. There are some full anime cut scenes, but the English dub is like something straight out of a 1950s Godzilla film; you'll see mouths moving a mile a minute with no words whatsoever, and you'll hear talking when no one's mouth is moving. I understand that it's extremely difficult to get English even half synced with Japanese animation especially with a depleted budget, but regardless, the effect is that is just looks sloppy and half-assed.

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Xenogears is a Shakespearean tragedy of game development; the first disc is SO exceptional and well done in almost every regard that they blew their whole budget and were left with a second disc that tries to do way too much with way too little to work with and, as a result, ruins the overall product. I really can't overemphasize just how soul-crushingly disappointing that second disc is. It truly does ruin the game for me and leave a bad taste in my mouth for the whole game. I honestly have a hard time recommending this one just because of how much of a let down the last 20 hours or so are, but I'm going to err on the side of a recommendation simply for how excellent the first 40 or 50 hours are. If I were rating each disc on its own, disc one would definitely get a 4/5 with disc two being given a 1/5. Unfortunately, that's not how multi-disc games work. The experiences on each disc may be of RADICALLY different quality, but it's still one single game.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:44 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:Xenogears is the one game in the "Xeno" series that I don't have, but with my new attempt to embrace digital games, I decided to buy it on PSN and dust off the ol' PS TV. I was SUPPOSED to be playing this in tandem with flake, but as usually, he lived up to his name and flaked out on me and decided not to play it. -insert sadness-


Or he's a normal person who will take a month to complete this game, unlike you, who beat it in two days. :lol:

good review btw
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:20 pm

I'll have you know that it took me a whole two and a half weeks to finish this game!
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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