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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by marurun Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:40 pm

Dezaemon would be great on the Switch, what with the touch screen and all to help with design. RPG Maker, too.
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Segata
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Segata Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:56 pm

dsheinem wrote:I spent last year delving into a lot of Housemarque's stuff past Super Stardust and Resogun (both of which I have loved for years) and was never disappointed. I still need to give Matterfall a look...but I can happily recommend you try Dead Nation and Alienation (as well as all versions of Super Stardust and Resogun) if you loved Nex Machina and haven't tried those yet.

Matterfall might be my favorite game they released on PS4. Resogun is great<Nex Machina as well but something about Matterfall gives me good old school shooter vibes like Turrican or something.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Blu Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:43 pm

So far, kicking 2018 off with a bang:

1. Wolfenstein: The New Colossus (Xbox One)
2. Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)

Both excellent games. New Colossus continued what was great about the New Order. I love the Man in the High Castle vibes I get from playing this series, and the alternative history is always quite gritty and neat to explore. It also feels quite topical, which I particularly enjoy too. The gameplay is great, the story's great. I have no complaints about it!

Yakuza Kiwami -- definitely better than the original on PS2 at this point. The US dub is comically bad, even though it has Mark Hamill as Majima. The dialogue is terrible in that, so Yakuza's great voice acting with its Japanese cast does not disappoint. The fighting engine is quite enjoyable, there's loads of content like any of the other games. I think I prefer Yakuza 0 to Kiwami. I was playing on Normal and nearly got my ass kicked in the second to last boss, because of some aggravating mechanics involved. Otherwise, this game is still quite enjoyable if you're a fan of the series.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:08 am

1. Ultima V - PC
2. Ultima VI - PC
3. Might and Magic VI - PC
4. Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny - PC

Ooof, this was a rough ride. Blade of Destiny shows why you can't just translate a tabletop game directly to a computer and expect it to be as good. If it weren't for certain conveniences and the overall low key of the adventure I probably wouldn't have managed to make it. And there's two more games in the trilogy (though I hear the third game fixes a lot of the issues).

Realms of Arkania is a German pen & paper RPG that came about because the D&D licence was too expensive, so they made their own. While D&D (especially that era's D&D) is a pretty abstract system, Realms of Arkania is a pretty involved system. At character creation time you set your seven attributes and then seven negative attributes, followed by using twenty attempts to improve your skills (and if you're a caster there's also tens of attempts to improve spells, and the ability to exchange some of those for either casting resource or regular skills). It's a shockingly involved system, and the character archetypes have very strict and high requirements; it's likely for you to roll up a character that can't be played and have to try again. What makes it especially tough is the fact that the way it works is you roll 1D6, add 7, and that's your stat number, then you pick one of your seven stats to apply it to (negative stats are 1D6 + 1). So on the fly you have to decide to take a good number or hold out for a better one on a key stat. Also, increasing skills allows you only a limited number of increases per skill, and three failures without an increase locks you out. At level up time you go through the same thing, only instead of setting all your attributes you get to increase one positive one and have a chance at decreasing one negative one; all the skill and spell stuff is the same. Since you are likely to have the whole party level up at once this makes for quite the time consuming operation. At least the level progression is D&D style; I was level 4 before the final fight and went to 5 after beating it.

The myriad of skills cover a wide range. In addition to the various weapon skills, you have skills for climbing, swimming, riding, some abstract self control, hunting, finding your way, various lore skills, curing disease and poison, lockpicking, pickpocketing, and many many more. And a large portion of these do have some use in game. You better make sure you train up someone with the appropriate outdoorsman skills or you will starve to death in the wilderness. The game is heavy on the simulation aspect; diseases are common (though in my case it tended to be due to a botched healing roll) and you will spend several days traversing between towns in a cycle of travel, maybe get some kind of encounter (not necessarily a fight), then camp and eat, hunt, gather herbs, etc. I understand that if you do something like walk around without pants or shoes then you're more likely to catch disease. All things that can make for a potentially added aspect to pen and paper but becomes tedium in a computer game.

But the real thing that is a drag is combat. Combat is done on an isometric grid, with everyone only being able to attack in straight lines. This automatically makes magic and ranged attacks piss poor, as party members block line of sight. Complicating your life is the fact that a character is three and a half squares tall, so it can be difficult to figure out exactly where you are in the melee. There is an auto combat button that has the computer do the task of having all your dudes swing swords, but it also puts your mage into harm's way (and makes you realize they probably weren't the effort). And even then it takes way too long, as to hit always is at the 1st level D&D range, it seems. Lots of whiffs, and sometimes when you whiff you either smack yourself in the face or break your weapon.

All that said, the game story itself is fairly low key. There's a horde of orcs coming to invade (and these orcs are more like neanderthals, desipite the opening movie done by a different company) and you need to find the legendary Blade of Destiny to drive them back. Most of the game is spent following a chain of clues; you talk to person A, who gives you a map piece and tells you about persons B and C. They might have a map piece or just references to additional people. Once you have all the map pieces you do a short dungeon to get the sword, then need to do another dungeon to get the orc battle plan that tells you where and when to go to fight them. Then there's a one on one combat between your sword wielder (hope you trained up a warrior with good sword skill) and their champion, and when you win that's game. The two dungeons I mentioned are the only two that are required to win, though you'll likely do two more to get map fragments.

The game was developed with a member of the PnP design team on staff, and he stayed through the second game. As I understand it, he left before the third game and that let them relax things to be more suitable for a computer game. A lot of DM conveniences are waived in this game; towns are rather large that are mostly filled with useless houses, but a third of the towns have important NPCs in those houses. You will learn to hate the face of the "nothing useful in this house" NPC with his giant ears. A tabletop game would shortcut you to "you wandered the city until you found the right place". Same with travel; a DM would probably roll once for a possible encounter and have you roll once to see if your outdoorsman gets enough food; here you can have a five day trek with no encounters and just a lot of menu clicking. And the more abstract combat people would use in PnP would make fights much faster and have more strategy, since you could actually use ranged attacks and magic.

Needless to say, I'm in no hurry to rush to the sequel.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:34 am

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 14
* denotes a replay

January (14 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


14. Darkwing Duck - NES - January 25

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I have finally reached the end of the Disney Afternoon Collection with my playthrough of Darkwing Duck. I was familiar with Darkwing Duck as a kid, but I never really watched the cartoon much growing up. This is also the first time I've had the chance to play the game, and I gotta say, this one impressed me more than the majority of the Disney Afternoon Collection. While Duck Tales 2 is probably my favorite of the bunch, Darkwing Duck reminded me it and my second favorite, TaleSpin. Needless to say, this game is pretty great.

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The premise of the game is your standard late 80s/early 90s superhero cartoon story; you go deal with a series of loosely connected incidents across the city before confronting your primary nemesis at the end of the game. No one bought this game for the story; you buy this game for the character and the gameplay. The character of Darkwing Duck is over the top and goofy, and that even manages to come through a bit in this 8-bit version of him. The gameplay, however, is where the game really shines. When I said it reminded me of both Duck Tales 2 and TaleSpin, it was the gameplay to which I was referring. The platforming has the tight and refined feel that Duck Tales 2 had, but instead of a pogo stick or projectiles you pick up like in Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck has a gun that he shoots, hence why it reminded me a bit of TaleSpin. The platforming sections can be a little touchy at times, but by and large, the hit detection is good, and the controls are tight and responsive - exactly what you want from a platformer.

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If you've read any of my reviews of the other five games in the Disney Afternoon Collection, then you should know I'm about to stay with regards to music and visuals. The graphics are colorful, the sprites are well designed, and the enemies have a nice variety that keep things from feeling boring. The music, while still not on the level of the god-tier Duck Tales soundtrack, is probably the next best in the collection. Darkwing Duck always had some really cool music, and it's great to see that music make the transition to the 8-bit NES.

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As I bid farewell to the Disney Afternoon Collection, I'm glad that I ended with Darkwing Duck. After being a bit disappointed by the two Rescue Rangers games, I really wasn't sure what to expect out of Darkwing Duck, but I was extremely pleased with what I got. It feels, in a lot of ways, almost like Disney's Mega Man. I suppose that makes sense given that Capcom made both Darkwing Duck NES game as well as the Mega Man IP, but it's definitely not something I expected. I doubt I'll revisit either of the Rescue Ranger games or even TaleSpin, but I can absolutely see myself revisiting Darkwing Duck some rainy afternoon when I just need something simple and colorful to play.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:34 am

I went on a WRPG binge years ago, and finished many classics, but had NO luck with Realms of Arkania. Just brutal.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:50 am

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 15
* denotes a replay

January (15 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


15. Tiny Toon Adventures - NES - January 26

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Unlike the other six licensed 8-bit games I played for Racketboy's January Together Retro, Tiny Toon Adventures is one that I did have a kid and played a good bit but never actually got around to beating. I was always a big fan of Tiny Toons as a kid, but with platformers like the three Super Mario Bros games, this one just kind of fell by the wayside. Playing back through it and actually beating it this month, then was a great experience and a chance for me to reconnect to the past me that was basically raised by Nintendo's little grey toaster.

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Tiny Toon Adventures is, like so many licensed games on the NES, at platformer, and while there are some better platformers on the system, Tiny Toon Adventures is a lot better than the typical licensed game. You default to playing as Blue Rabbit (I don't remember their names and am too lazy to Google them, so I'm going to make them up), but you also pick a secondary character to whom you can switch if you find the right powerup. You get to choose between Green Bird, Stupid Cat, and Gay Tasmanian Devil. Each of these three secondary character have abilities that Blue Rabbit doesn't, but my hands down favorite was Green Bird with his hover ability. The game plays like a pretty traditional platformer complete with bonus stages between levels; if you end a stage with an amount of carrots divisible by 11, you enter a bonus stage in which you fight Duck Vader. If you can beat him without dying, you're rewarded with three extra lives.

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The visuals are, overall, nice, and they're certainly colorful, but there's one specific stylistic choice that puzzled me and never stopped bothering me. In most games, your characters and sprites have a black outline, right? That's, for the most part, kind of the norm. Blue Rabbit's outline is this jarring bright red instead of the traditional black. It doesn't affect gameplay at all, obviously, and the sprite itself looks fine and well designed, but that red outline just stuck out like a sore thumb to me the entire time I was playing. Fortunately the gameplay is fun enough and the music is composed well enough that, while it never stopped bugging me, I did eventually get over it and enjoy the game.

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Tiny Toon Adventures is, bizarre sprite outline coloration aside, a charming and well designed game. It doesn't revolutionize the genre - it's really just a "me too" platformer - but it does the genre well, and if you're a fan of the IP on which it's based, there's a lot to love here. I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough of Tiny Toon Adventures, and if you're a fan of 8-bit platformers or of the Tiny Toons themselves, then I'm definitely going to suggest you take a look at this one. As far as I'm aware, it never got re-released digitally or otherwise, but I don't think the NES cartridge is too terribly expensive - $10, maybe? Give it a go. I doubt you'll be disappointed.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Jagosaurus Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:16 am

I will eventually find time to post proper mini reviews but so far this January I've completed:

1. Halo Combat Evolved (oXbox, 2001)
2. Kameo Elements of Power (Xbox 360, 2005)

My quick thoughts:
Halo CE stands the test of time. No wonder this blew me away when it came out. This is a replay for me, but I've never played the full campaign solo. We were always passing controllers on co-op. I have to say, it gets difficult at times alone. I'll save the rest for a mini review. Just know I immediately jumped into Halo 2!

Kameo is a very nice looking 360 launch title. As someone who played Perfect Dark at the 360 launch, I would've rather dug into this one! Look into the troubled development of this title which I believe started on the N64. I'm surprised it ever got released after spanning 4 or so consoles. Overall, if you're a fan of Zelda, Okami, Beyond Good & Evil type games check it out. It is a bit gimmicky and roughly 10 hours but worth experiencing IMO. I'll save my in depth thoughts for a mini review.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ESauced Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:55 am

I had no idea about that bonus level in Tiny Toon Adventures. I’ve played that game countless times and never encountered it. What are the odds of that? Now I have to check it out. The character names btw are Buster Bunny, Plucky Duck, Furball (the cat) and Dizzy Devil.

I do not recommend the sequel by the way. It ditches the standard platformer mechanics and instead is a series of small levels inside an amusement park. Basically just like Adventures in the Magic Kingdom, except terrible.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:12 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:The visuals are, overall, nice, and they're certainly colorful, but there's one specific stylistic choice that puzzled me and never stopped bothering me. In most games, your characters and sprites have a black outline, right? That's, for the most part, kind of the norm. Blue Rabbit's outline is this jarring bright red instead of the traditional black. It doesn't affect gameplay at all, obviously, and the sprite itself looks fine and well designed, but that red outline just stuck out like a sore thumb to me the entire time I was playing.


Actually, this isn't that surprising. NES sprites could only be made up of 3 colours. Characters that use more than this tend to be made up multiple sprites - for example, Megaman has dark blue, light blue and black for his body, and dark blue, black and white for his head.

In this case, because the 3 colours they needed for Buster were blue, red and white to match his colours in the show, they had to choose one of those to outline him. Red was probably the colour that stood out most, especially considering blue is the colour with the most shades available on NES, so it's likely blue background would be common.

You can see the same with Plucky Duck - he uses green, yellow and white and has a green outline.
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