Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
User avatar
PresidentLeever
128-bit
 
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:16 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PresidentLeever Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:59 pm

1. Ys IV (PCE CD)
2. Exile (w/ Unworked Designs patch)(PCE CD)
3. Macross 2036 (PCE CD)
4. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (PC)
5. AM2R (PC)
6. TaleSpin (NES) - Replay
7. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (PC)

I feel like I'm being generous here but it was pretty fun overall, it just could've been a lot better with some tweaks. For the most part it felt like playing baseless missions in War3 or SC2 except every unit had a bunch of abilities that you pretty much had to be using over and over and couldn't slow things down or issue commands while pausing so things tended to get kinda messy, even after learning hotkeys since I was often switching active abilites and squads around. I was often trying to rush to get a decent speed score too, but eventually gave up on that and I don't think the rank system gels that well with the save system. I guess I'll still check out Chaos Rising on a sale though, just because I'm interested in the corruption theme (in this game you had no impact on how the story played out).

On a side note it was kind of interesting how the game turned enemy heroes into arcade-like boss fights and had this giant spawning pool element in the story like SC2, I would've thought Blizzard would be the originator there.
http://minirevver.weebly.com/ - Mini-reviews, retro vgm tribute, rom hacks, chip music, mockups, misc. lists
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 22564
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:18 pm

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

The weird thing is, mechanically the game isn't really that tough. There's just so much that isn't streamlined. Honestly, the only fights that gave me trouble was a dungeon with casters who liked to roll high on their spell damage and get two turns back to back and a fight against a druid who summoned a demon that can only be harmed with magic weapons or magic. I didn't have any magic weapons (you need to get a blessing for that) and my sorc had been knocked unconscious. But the demon never hit my guys, so the only reason I didn't just say "screw it" and run was because I needed an item from the druid. Turns out if I had run it probably would have let me loot his house (which is separate).
Image
Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
nullPointer
128-bit
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:51 pm
Location: Montana, USA

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:38 pm

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]
Image Image

Do you have any particular games or game series that you enjoy despite some commonly held negative consensus? Assassin's Creed is that for me. I won't try to defend it, because many of those common criticisms ring true (occasionally janky controls, artificial extension of playtime through open world shenanigans, "Ubisoft: The Game", etc, etc.). But at the end of the day, I just don't care. AC is one of those series that constitutes a guilty pleasure for me. In my quest to beat every game in the series (excluding the mobile phone games), I had to dial back the clock to pick up a couple of the handheld games I had missed, the most recent of which was Assassin's Creed II: Discovery for Nintendo DS.

So what we have here is a 2D stealth platformer which often emphasizes speed and highly dynamic means of traversing levels. Although I have yet to play any of the Assassin's Creed Chronicles games, this really seems like a spiritual predecessor to those games based on what I have seen. Part of what I enjoy about the AC series is that it visits interesting historical locales not often explored in gaming. And in regards to story and setting, I was very pleased with ACII: Discovery. In this capacity I'd even say that it comes close to holding its own with the console titles in the series; pretty impressive for a humble handheld platformer. Here we see the return of perennial favorite assassin, Ezio. In the grand scheme of the Ezio saga this game slots in near the end of the core ACII game, prior to Ezio's recovery of an essential artifact (the essential artifact to the whole series in fact). As a fan of the series it's always nice to see third party developers building knowledgably upon existing series canon rather than churning out some loosely related side-story/dream sequence/whatever. In ACII: Discovery, a series of escalating events necessitates that Ezio travel to Renaissance Spain where he interacts with principle members in the court of Queen Isabella I, the Catholic clergy involved in the Spanish Inquisition, and a notable plot thread involving the voyage of Christopher Columbus. All dialog is fully voiced and well executed. Ezio sounds recognizably like himself despite the fact that it's not the principle voice actor.

Image Image

Gameplay is almost equally divided between moments of stealth and moments of high speed, acrobatic parkour. In terms of the stealth elements I was vaguely reminded of Mark of the Ninja which I consider to be one of the gold standards in the 2D stealth genre. Much like MotN, stealth kills take place in a slick looking zoomed in perspective, and if you're a fan of Ezio's other adventures, you'll likely recognize some of his "signature assassination" moves. Unfortunately the comparison to MotN starts to fall apart quickly. You have only two means of assassination at your disposal; backstabing from behind or pulling an enemy from a ledge. Disappointingly, there are no air assassinations or 'death from above' maneuvers both of which are mainstays of the entire series. More damningly, the game is extremely limited in the "peek mechanics" used to locate your targets. You can look around slightly, but only slightly which makes this mechanic next to useless. The lower screen of the DS is primarily dedicated to radar, but once again it's so close in proximity that it's only slightly more useful than the peek mechanic.

Image Image

Believe it or not, the parkour segments feel quite a bit like a 16 bit Sonic game … except decidedly less fun. But much like Sonic this game emphasizes conservation of momentum in order to make huge leaps of incredible distance. Unfortunately the conservation of momentum here is finicky and leads to some frequent issues; not enough momentum and you'll land yourself in hot water 9/10 times; same goes for too much momentum. And the game ramps up the momentum so quickly that it often impedes the stealth elements. "Oh you meant to simply hang off the ledge above your target? How about you just run completely off ledge so you land right in front of him?" More often than not, these control issues lead into moments of direct combat which is one of the areas in which the game falters most egregiously. Especially in the latter half of the game almost every enemy is capable of air juggling you to your death while you're powerless to do anything but watch it happen.

In the end these minor flaws start to taint the experience in such a way that the entire game begins to feel flawed. And that sucks, because there are some undeniably fun and promising aspects of the game! But ultimately I'd say this one is best left for hardcore fans of the Assassin's Creed franchise. Requiescat in pace, Assassin's Creed II: Discovery.
User avatar
BoneSnapDeez
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 18903
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 1:08 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Jan 31, 2018 9:09 pm

Time for you to play the handheld Call of Duty and God of War games.
User avatar
BoneSnapDeez
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 18903
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 1:08 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:00 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)
Image

Image

lol @ "The Final Chapter."

Ys Famicom was a disaster. Ys Master System was quite good, albeit slow and a clunky. Ys II Famicom, sticking closely to the PC-88 original, is absolutely phenomenal. Sorry Sega fans, no comparable Master System port this time around. In fact, this game never made it to the North American NES either, though a competent fan translation has existed for almost two decades now. This is the only standalone version of Ys II for home consoles, as it usually comes bundled with the first game.

This is what's referred to as a "mission-pack sequel." Ys II picks up directly where the first game leaves off. After the defeat of Dark Fact, Adol ends up on the floating isle of Ys. A mysterious young woman, Lilia, nurses him to health, and he sets forth to rid Ys and Esteria of evil. The Books of Ys, gathered in the first game, are part of Adol's initial inventory in this one: a nice touch.
Image
Compared to its immediate console predecessor(s), what's most notable about Ys II is how fast it is. Adol zips around like a lightning bolt, and the game is rife with enemy hordes. Combat still centers around the glorious bump system, and is one hundred times more satisfying in this installment. Level and money grinding is no longer a chore; in fact things may be skewed too far in the opposite direction. With a small amount of effort, Adol can be transformed into a Herculean millionaire early on reducing the majority of his journey to a cakewalk. Not that I'm complaining.

An important addition to Ys II is that of a magic system. Most useful is the fire spell: a projectile attack that Adol obtains early on. In addition to the mega-leveling opportunities, this spell has the potential to break the game even further. Stock enemies continue to be aimless goons, and all are completely defenseless against the flames. Said fire is also the weapon of choice for the majority of boss battles. This eliminates the wonky hit detection issues from the first game, as these skirmishes now see Adol bobbing around and shooting from a distance in a proto-shmup sort of manner. Bosses themselves are now apt to use projectiles as well. Even so, they aren't quite as freakish and memorable as anything from the first Ys, and a good number can be taken down in under ten seconds.

But the coolest spell in the game is "telepathy" (more accurately referred to as "transform" in other ports). This allows Adol to shapeshift into a "demon" -- in actuality a cute little anime kangaroo. In this form he's impervious to enemy attacks and can even converse with his foes. While it provides a fine opportunity to goof off, the spell is required in several areas of the game. Adol must periodically eavesdrop on the bad guys' plans, sneak into an enemy fortress, and so on. It's also fun to talk to the human townsfolk in demon form, as most will revolt in disgust and horror. Additionally, there's a subplot about Adol battling interspecies discrimination, as he comes to befriend a demon named Keith. Awesome name for a demon in a fantasy video game -- wonder if he's friends with Jim from Hydlide.
Image
What sets Ys II apart from its contemporaries, and is the primary source of its utter brilliance, is the design and flow of the game itself. While most retro ARPGs contain an overworld and a series of "pop in and out" dungeons, Ys II is a seamless string of interconnected complexes. Upon exiting Rance Village, Adol's first labor is to conquer the ruins, which itself is a large multi-tiered structure complete with a crumbling stone outer façade, subterranean priest shrines, and labyrinthine mine corridors. Immediately after leaving the ruins, Adol is thrust into the Ice Ridge of Nolta, followed up by the flaming Moat of Burnedbless, another town stopover, and finally the enormous Solomon Shrine.

While most of these areas are rather tricky to successfully navigate, they're well-designed and rarely contain any capricious time-wasting maze sections. Sure, the game has its share of MacGuffins (an "ice orb" is needed to cross one random chasm, for instance), but the majority of acquired items are cleverly integrated into the dungeon completion process. A leaf functions as an antidote in a poisonous tract of land. "Whisper earrings" are used to communicate to a boy trapped by a rock slide and, later, to decipher the murmurs of demons lurking behind a locked door. A particular pair of shoes is needed to ascend icy slopes. Early in the game Adol is forced to surrender the Books of Ys to well-hidden priests in order to proceed. Ys II features a great, logical quest progression, as well as some surprisingly good hints dropped by NPCs.

Solomon Shrine is this game's version of Darm Tower. Except not boring. A massive chunk of the game is spent here, as it's a huge expanse of interlocking temples and underground sewers, not to mention a bell tower and goddess palace. The atmosphere of this entire area palpable, though it's also a smidge frustrating as the layered catwalks make it difficult to map. One of the most memorable "dungeons" in all of retro gaming.

Graphics are a small step above those found in The Vanished Omens. Once again, the environments are impressive but the sprites (especially the enemies) leave something to be desired. Key NPCs receive the full body treatment, and this time they look "more anime" than ever before. A couple of beautiful cutscenes (sequences of anime stills) bookend the whole experience.

Aurally, this is absolutely stunning. Some of the best music to appear on the Famicom. Plenty of slow ambient and emotional pieces interlaced with the occasional upbeat track tailor-made for carnage. I'd even venture to say that certain cuts sound better here than they do on the PC Engine CD's Ys Book I & II, as I was never crazy about how some of the best chiptune pieces were remixed into "rockin' out" guitar-noodlers.

Any flaws? Yes, if one is to nitpick. All of the challenge is dumped into the game's front and back. Adol is too frail until he hits level three or so, overly prone to death by one-hit. As for the final boss: he's exponentially harder than anything else Adol encounters on his journey. A classic video game "prank." Some of the menus are a bit ugly and clunky, especially the save/load menu. And the credit-less ending comes off as a bit bizarre and rushed.

It's a shame this brilliant rendition of Ys II has been overshadowed by so many subsequent ports. It's probably the strongest "true" ARPG to be found on the Famicom. It's just as good as The Legend of Zelda, which is about the highest praise I can possible summon.
User avatar
nullPointer
128-bit
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:51 pm
Location: Montana, USA

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:26 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Time for you to play the handheld Call of Duty and God of War games.

Haha, funny you should mention it but this was literally my most recent Amazon purchase: :lol:
Image
Since it was a recent purchase however, I think it's safe to say that I won't get around to actually playing it for another 5 years or so. :mrgreen:
#99ProblemsAndBacklogIsDefinitelyOne

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter (Famicom)

Do we have a dedicated Ys series thread 'round these parts? One of these days I'd love to pick your brain about your favorite version of each title in the series!
User avatar
Markies
128-bit
 
Posts: 818
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:29 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Markies Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:14 am

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2018!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. The Granstream Saga (PS1)
2. Perfect Dark (N64)
*3. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (PS1)*

4. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (XBOX)

Image

I beat Prince of Persia: Warrior Within on the Microsoft XBOX this evening!

I beat Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time a few years ago and I enjoyed the game immensely. There was nothing as satisfying as doing some amazing acrobatics all throughout the entire level. I felt the combat was a bit stiff at times and I had heard that was improved in the second. I also had heard that the series took a nosedive in regards to character and story direction as they went into a much darker and almost God of War vibe with the game. However, I still enjoyed the first game and I was curious to see the series go in a different direction. With tepid excitement, I decided to pick up the game and thanks to my New Year Cookie Marathon, I got to play it this year.

Underneath it all, Warrior Within still has Sands of Time in it. When you are vaulting and jumping around through the platforming puzzles, it gets really exciting and interesting. It's still the same basic formula and it still works really well. In spurts, the combat is rather enjoyable. Depending on the situation and the enemy, the combat can be really fun. Much like the platforming, it still has the original fighting and that is not too bad.

Everything else that they changed is done for the worse. You are constantly retreading old ground, battling the same enemies and jumping through the same puzzles. It begins to wane on you especially considering that enemies respawn. The game also makes stupid story choices like instant death escape sequences and the end part of the game where your health is constantly drained. Besides that, the enemies take forever to kill and some of them will drain your life bar with you hardly damaging them. Add to that the platforming that seems more on the cruel side and it just sucks all of the joy out of the game. Finally, the dark story, heavy metal music and gratuitous blood doesn't fit at all. It all seems unnecessary and not fitting with the game or even the character.

Overall, if you dig long enough, you will find many of the familiar elements that made Sands of Time such an excellent game. Unfortunately, those elements have been diluted and covered with other terrible aspects of the game. If you are a fan of the first one and want to see the entire story, then the game is worth a play. With that in mind, I am interested in the third Prince of Persia game cause I have heard it is better. And I do want to finish the trilogy.
Image
User avatar
PresidentLeever
128-bit
 
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:16 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PresidentLeever Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:51 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:10 Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter (Famicom)
Any flaws? Yes, if one is to nitpick. All of the challenge is dumped into the game's front and back. Adol is too frail until he hits level three or so, overly prone to death by one-hit. As for the final boss: he's exponentially harder than anything else Adol encounters on his journey. A classic video game "prank." Some of the menus are a bit ugly and clunky, especially the save/load menu. And the credit-less ending comes off as a bit bizarre and rushed.


Are the labyrinths as big as in later versions of the game? That was the main thing I didn't really care for with 2; it has a lot of cool ideas otherwise and combat is more fun.

You'll probably enjoy the NES version of Ys 3's music a lot as well.
http://minirevver.weebly.com/ - Mini-reviews, retro vgm tribute, rom hacks, chip music, mockups, misc. lists
User avatar
ElkinFencer10
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 7415
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Henderson, North Carolina

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:40 am

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 16
* 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


16. Poi - Steam - January 28

Image

A few days ago, I found myself completely unsure what to play. I knew I wanted to play something on Steam - I don't give my PC enough love these days - so I turned to the folks on Slack to make a suggestion. Alienjesus had heard about a 3D platformer that had been ported to Switch called Poi and had been contemplating buying it. When he saw that the game was in my Steam library, he thought it was a perfect opportunity to tell me to play through it and give him a review of it. Well, AJ, here you go!

Image

Poi is an absolutely charming game that will pull you in with its colorful visuals and nostalgic gameplay from the very first level. You can play as either a boy or a girl and switch freely between the two although I played the whole game as the girl (look at those adorable red twin buns; how can you NOT play as her the whole time?). In terms of the structure of the game, it's quite reminiscent of Super Mario 64. You have six "world" you can visit each with roughly seven different "explorer medallions" to collect (think stars from SM64). There are also collectables like gears and fossils to find in each of the worlds, and finding these also nets you explorer medallions as rewards. You have options tasks to complete - things like "Walk X number of steps," "Jump X number of times," "Defeat X number of enemies," etc. - and completing those ALSO gets you explorer medallions. Along the way, you'll have the option of spending coins you collect during your adventure to unlock challenge levels. Completing these earns you - you guessed it - an explorer medallion for each level you complete. As is the case with Super Mario 64, you have to have a certain number of explorer medallions to beat the game, but that only requires roughly half of the medallions in the game.

Image

The story is actually kind of sad. You and your sibling are out adventuring when you meet this elderly "Master Explorer." He tells you that he's searching for his lost explorer medallions. He had long been an explorer with his wife, but during their journeys, they were caught in a terrible storm, and he was knocked out. When he came to after the storm had passed, both his wife and his explorer medallions were gone. As the last mementos he has of his late wife, he enlists your help in recovering his explorer medallions as he's grown too old to explore and adventure like he used to. That provides the narrative backdrop of the game - help a sweet old man while going on an epic adventure.

Image

While this is a 3D platformer, the visuals aren't going to blow you away. It looks nice, don't get me wrong, and I meant it earlier when I said that the visuals were colorful and charming. It's just that the textures and models aren't as detailed as some folks might expect or desire. The whole game, for the most part, has a very soft look, and that works for it. It looks like an indie game, and it feels like the developers know that's what it is. They don't try to make it look AAA, and more importantly in my opinion, they don't to make it a modern day Banjo-Kazooie or Super Mario 64. It has a lot in common with those two in terms of design, and it's clear that the stylistic pedigree is there, but it doesn't try to match those games in terms of scale and depth. Poi feels like a tribute to the great 64-bit platformers rather than an imitation, and in that, it succeeds beautifully.

Image

I'm notoriously bad for not noticing soundtracks the way that I should and wish I would, but I definitely noticed Poi's soundtrack, and I'd be remiss not to mention it. The sound design is one area in which I do think that Poi is every bit on the level of the 64-bit platformers that so clearly inspired it. I have a nostalgic soft spot for Super Mario 64's soundtrack, but if I'm being perfectly honest and as objective as one can be with art, Poi's is probably better. To a certain extent, that's to be expected as we've had more than 20 years to improve audio technology in games, but there are a couple of tracks - the theme from Cozy Canyon in particular comes to mind - that really impressed me. When I first started playing through Cozy Canyon, I had to put the controller down for a minute or two and just listen. The music in this game is really something, and that world in particular shows that there was some serious passion and talent behind this game's production.

Image

Poi came as a total surprise to me. I'm normally pretty cynical about indie games; I know that most of them are fine games, but so many of them are dime-a-dozen quality that I never really get excited for them or expect a whole lot going in. Poi absolutely proved to be the exception to that. The visuals aren't exactly stunning but they're charming and well done, but anything the graphics may have lacked in "wow" effect, the music definitely makes up for. The fact that game is so readily available - Windows, Mac, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch - means that gamers have access to Poi no matter their platform of choice, and I definitely recommend this one for fans of 3D platformers.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

Image
User avatar
alienjesus
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 8177
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:10 pm
Location: London, UK.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:24 am

So you're saying I should buy it?

Sounds like I picked well 8)
Image
Return to General Gaming

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests