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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:38 pm
by MrPopo
1. Ultima V - PC

I ended up deciding to start this because I'm somewhat limited in what games I can play at the moment. The hilariously low system requirements are perfect for my Surface. And, to be honest, I thought it'd be good to pick up since I did Ultima IV over the summer. And it was quite fun, though it did end up being a bit more traditional compared to Ultima IV.

So in Ultima V you, the Avatar, get called back to Britannia; Lord British has gone missing and his regent has gone mad with power, twisting the Virtues from things to strive towards into horrible compulsions (sacrifice becomes "you will give half your shit or lose all your shit"). In addition to Lord Blackthorn (who comes from the Grima Wormtongue school of naming that should have been obvious before you gave him the job) there are three mysterious wraiths attacking the land; indeed, when you first arrive they were about to kill Shamino until you were able to drive them off with an ability you will never get again. Your mission is clear; defeat these shadow wraiths and find Lord British so he can set things right.

The first thing that stuck me was just how much of my previous knowledge was able to carry over. The world is basically the same, including the locations of everything. A few new towns have sprung up since, and there's a handful of changes to the type but not shape of terrain, but otherwise I knew exactly how to get wherever I needed to go. Additionally, the shrines still respond to the same matras, so I don't need to take the time to learn those clues. Being able to carry forward all this knowledge (and it's even ok in game, since you are supposed to be the same character as Ultima IV) gives a major sense of continuity, but it also shortens the game. My clue hunting ended up being discovering how to get into all the dungeons, and the tools I needed to defeat the wraiths and save Lord British.

What really makes things more traditional is that they dialed back the virtue system immensely. Now you just get a basic karma meter, which reacts similar to what you'd see in a Bioware game. But the only thing this affects is how much experience you keep when you die and are resurrected by the astral projection of Lord British. It's unfortunate that they dropped all the virtue stuff, as that's what made Ultima IV a more interesting play experience.

The game is a major technical upgrade; the spell system is now syllable based, with a given syllable representing an effect. The overworld now has a ton of new edge tiles added to make terrain features blend much better, so the world is much more natural (and now neigh impossible to map by hand without your own crazy ass custom tile set). And you now interact with the world more, like pushing chairs in front of doors to block off access or taking torches off the walls. There's also a day/night cycle which affects your vision range and whether towns or shops are open; NPCs follow a schedule and sometimes you need to hang out until after dark to speak with some of them.

It's quite the great sequel, it's just unfortunate it has started to slide a bit back towards the standard RPG style; there's not really any moral choices to make in game and no ambiguity. My understanding is they bring back some of these elements in Ultima VI.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:30 pm
by Sarge
1) Legendary Axe II (TG16) (6.0) (1/1) (2.5 hours)
2) The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (SNES) (7.5) (1/3) (1.5 hours)
3) Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose! (SNES) (6.5) (1/3) (2.5 hours)
4) The Adventures of Batman & Robin (SNES) (7.0) (1/4) (2.5 hours)
5) The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minney (7.5) (1/6) (1.5 hours)

Short and easy, as opposed to Magical Quest. Thoughts in the other thread.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:31 am
by Retrogameresource
Shinobi II: Silent Fury (Game Gear)
Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Bravely Default

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:32 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
1. Antarctic Adventure (Famicom)
2. Nuts & Milk (Famicom)
3. Commando (Atari 2600)

Much like the more recent PlayStation 2, the Atari 2600 was one of those systems that just refused to give up the ghost, continuing to receive officially licensed games thirteen years after its inception. One such late-stage entry was a port of the arcade classic Commando, bearing Capcom, Data East, and Activision trademarks.

Originally hitting the arcades in '85, Commando is the quintessential one man army top-down run and gun. A lone soldier armed with a sub-machine gun (unlimited ammo, naturally) and a cache of hand grenades trudges through hostile territory, taking down wave after wave of relentless belligerents. It's a simple cerebral formula: keep moving and don't stop shooting.
Our soldier ("Super Joe" according to game lore) is quite agile on his feet, and is able to shoot in eight directions, though bullets will not travel the length of the screen. Grenades are unfortunately rather useless in this particular conversion. They can only be fired upward and are awkward to toss (requiring a prolonged press of the single 2600 action button). It's easier to stick to the gun and carefully maneuver within range of enemy combatants. There's varying terrain to be traversed: jungles, beaches, plains. Hazards like sand dunes and pitfalls are frequently encountered so expect to progress in a constant weaving and bobbing motion.

The game isn't particularly tough, as the enemy AI is rather sub-par. Most bad guys pace within a small area whilst kinda-sorta firing in Super Joe's direction. They're easily dispatched, though one must be wary of the constant respawning. The big green trucks arguably present the greatest problem as the Atari 2600 tends to conjure them out of thin air at the most the most inopportune times. In a surprise twist, Capcom decided that Commando wasn't worthy of boss fights -- instead Joe must confront a flurry of foes guarding their base at the end of each stage. Such melees are undoubtedly the best part of the game, and also provide a great place to farm for points and 1-ups.
The structure of Atari Commando is a little odd. There are eight total stages, though only four original areas. Thus, completing the game actually requires two consecutive loops, with the second a bit more difficult than the first. Due to the repetition, a playthrough here takes about twice as long as it would on an arcade cabinet. Graphics are incredibly solid for 2600 standards. There's no ambiguity regarding sprites, though some of the environments do tend to look a little same-y. Controls are flawless, minus the aforementioned grenades, though my personal recommendation would be to swap out that joystick for a Genesis controller. And there's music! Quite the catchy little tune too, though it loops after a grand total of thirteen seconds. Expect the classic "Atari explosions" to be dished out in spades.

While it would be easy enough to write off something like this as the a dying gasp of a ancient system, Atari Commando is a surprisingly good conversion and a worthy addition to any 2600 owner's library. Note that Front Line and Ikari Warriors also received solid 2600 ports (the latter being one of the final games released for the console), thus crafting quite the enjoyable retro run and gun trio.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:27 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Love seein’ Bone beating the 2600 games. Keep up the good fight!


1. Bastion (iOS)
2. LaserCat 360)

LaserCat is a fun Xbox indie game modeled after ZX Spectrum games such as Jet Set Willy and Manic Miner (except drastically better than either of those trippy, but primitive, titles). While it employs graphical and sound effects the ZX Spectrum never could have achieved - it is as much a ZX Spectrum game as Shovel Knight is a NES game - it retains the systems’ general aesthetic (no scrolling, only two or three colors on the screen at a time, two-frame animation, “chirpy” music, etc). The game is basically, an exploratory platformer (like Metroid without the combat), and it doesn’t take long to beat. It is pretty fun, however, and it has a lot of personality. I recommend it to anyone looking for a short diversion. (The Xbox version is no longer available, but you can still buy it for $1 on Steam.)

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:40 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
Looks like a rad game. 99 cents too!

If you ever get on Steam check out the Princess Remedy games. Also modeled after the ZX Spectrum classics but with refined modern mechanics. First one in the series is free.

I downloaded Jet Set Willy and Manic Miner some time ago and am utterly terrible at both.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:46 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
BoneSnapDeez wrote:I downloaded Jet Set Willy and Manic Miner some time ago and am utterly terrible at both.

Me too! They are both insanely hard (and I’m not sure I’m dedicated enough to get good at either of them! :lol: ).

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:57 pm
by noiseredux
1. Ducktales: Remastered (360)

I'm happy to say that my first game beaten this year was actually due to this month's TR thread. I've played a ton of the original game on NES back in the day, and also played this remake when it first came out. But I'm glad I had a reason to revisit it again because it was just as good - if not better - than I had recalled. I'll elaborate more on my experience in the TR thread soon.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:50 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
BoneSnapDeez wrote:If you ever get on Steam check out the Princess Remedy games. Also modeled after the ZX Spectrum classics but with refined modern mechanics. First one in the series is free.

Hey! Those games are by Ludosity! They made the excellent Ittle Dew, and they also made two of the strangest 3DS physical releases, Alien Chaos 3D and Boulder Dash XL 3D. (Both of them are extremely inexpensive; I have beaten both of them; both of them are really fun; and I highly recommend tracking them down.)

Re: Games Beaten 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:56 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
Yes indeed, a great developer. And another reason you need Steam!