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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by marurun Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:10 am

So when are JT and Bogus going to review something they played for TR? I wanna read their reviews!
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BogusMeatFactory Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:20 am

marurun wrote:So when are JT and Bogus going to review something they played for TR? I wanna read their reviews!

When I have time! 3 month old baby with my wife going back to work full time is exhausting! My steam link is coming in today supposedly so I should be able to get some time in the evenings in the living room. My 3 month old, Gwendolyn hates being in the computer room/walk in closet, plus my wife sleeps during that time so it has to be even extra quiet. Not so in the living room!!!
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Exhuminator Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:32 pm

marurun wrote:So when are JT and Bogus going to review something they played for TR? I wanna read their reviews!

I do too! After all, they seemed to be the biggest proponents of the FMV genre winning the poll.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:32 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
marurun wrote:So when are JT and Bogus going to review something they played for TR? I wanna read their reviews!
I do too! After all, they seemed to be the biggest proponents of the FMV genre winning the poll.

In fairness to Bogus he's definitely been an enthusiastic contributor to this months TR thread thus far. I'm also curious to see what he might play(!), but he's definitely provided tons of valuable insight as well. :)

But onto other important matters! Don't look now, but I've completed my Together Retro backlog for games that I started in the last two months!

The List So Far:

14. The Guardian Legend [NES] [Together Retro - 03/2018]
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Over the years I've seen The Guardian Legend referred to in various places as a 'hidden gem' on the NES. And I think that's an apt assessment. It's not what I'd necessarily call an extraordinary game, but it is a good game, and one that deserves to be recognized for its merits.

What we have here is an action/adventure setup taking place inside an alien infested planet (meteor?) which is hurling toward Earth and will undoubtedly wreak large scale havock and destruction should it reach its intended target. You play the role of a lone cybernetic super-soldier sent to infiltrate the planet/meteor and prevent this catastrophe from happenning. This really sets up some nice atmosphere reminiscent of Metroid in a way, e.g. the loneliness of space, the harshness of your environs, and the unrelenting firepower you unleash upon the alien hordes. Your cybernetic enhancements grant you the ability to transform between human form and a weaponized spacecraft capable of high speeds and aerial maneuvers. Accordingly gameplay is divided fairly equally between on-foot overhead shooting sections and top down sh'mup (shoot 'em up) sections. This division between on-foot and in-vehicle play style is also a bit reminiscent of Blaster Master, particularly so for the on-foot sections.

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Basically there's a single 'overworld' which is broken down into areas of various difficulty. All on-foot gameplay takes place in this overworld which primarily serves as a means of traversal to reach myriad 'corridor entrances'. These corridors serve as the shmup 'levels' in the game. In this way a comparison can also be made to The Legend of Zelda in which you travel across an overworld in order to reach various dungeon entrances which serve here as entrances to shmup levels instead. The overworld sections are a bit rote to be honest. The gameplay is quite good, but the enemy variation is lacking and despite the fact that the overworld is broken up into 10 different areas, none of them are very visually distinct save for some various palette swaps. I mentioned that these areas are quite reminiscent of Blaster Master and I think that comparison has merit. You'll see similar enemy patterns, similar destructible blocks, similar weapon upgrades, etc. I might give a slight advantage to Blaster Master for gameplay and visual variety, but it's worth pointing out that The Guardian Legend does some things better in this capacity, notably it controls much more crisply (on-foot sections in Blaster Master have always felt rather drifty to me).

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I feel like it's the shmup sections that are the highlight of this game. In the same ways that the overworld lacks a lot of variation, the shmup levels have it in spades. Each corridor has a specific theme and the enemies you face are generally identifiable as being part of that theme. Furthermore I'd call the shmup bosses the crown jewels of the game. Some of them can be a bit bullet-spongy, but I feel like several of them present a nice challenge as well as some much needed variation.

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In some ways I wish that the on-foot sections had the same level of polish and challenge as the shmup sections. As it is The Guardian Legend feels a little bit lopsided, almost like you're playing two different games; a mediocre-to-good on-foot shooter, and a good-to-great shmup. If these elements had been evened out a bit, I think we'd look back on this not necessarily as a 'hidden gem' but one of the best games on the system. The Guardian Legend is still quite a good game and it deserves to be experienced, but this unevenness does occasionally leave you wishing that the on-foot sections were more than just a means of travelling from one shmup section to the next. Recommended for 8-bit shmup fans and for those seeking to tap into the large reserves of 'hidden' quality available on the NES.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:22 pm

Great post, great game. I heart Compile!

Have you played Golvellius by any chance? It does the "alternating" gameplay thing as well, but with much less success.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:16 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Have you played Golvellius by any chance? It does the "alternating" gameplay thing as well, but with much less success.

I have not! In fact it's a game that had fallen completely off my radar. It's definitely one I'd like to try out. Looks like a really nice example of what the SMS was capable of in terms of graphics!
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Segata Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:30 pm

Golvellius is great.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:12 pm

I knocked out Skyblazer and Dracula X. The former is one of my favorite hidden gems on the system. A tad easy, mind, because of the copious amounts of lives you'll pick up, but a blast. The latter gets a lot of flak for not being Rondo of Blood, but it's still a fine game in its own right. There are some tricks to that Dracula fight to make things easier, but the real key is if you think you're going to get hit, particularly with the second form, duck and just take the hit. Ducking eliminates the knockback, so you don't go flying down a pit.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by pook99 Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:34 pm

Spring break, went away to see family for 3 days, then my car died, had been in the shop all week and will be in the shop for at least another week. Bad news is that it will cost me 5 thousand to fix, good news is that I had 7 days off, stuck at home with nothing to do but play video games, what a tragedy. Here is the list of games I beat over my vacation...

87. Ruiner (steam)
88. Castlevania: the adventure rebirth(wii)
89. Pavel quest (steam)
90. Super castlevania 4 (snes)
91. Operation C (gameboy)
92. Not dying today (steam)
93. Double Dragon 3 (nes)
94. Hikibyou 2 (steam)
95. Bayonetta 2 (switch)
96. Boogerman (snes)
97. Rocking pilot (steam)
98. Talent not included (steam)
99. Overgrowth (steam)
100. Shockman (tg-16)
101. Castlevania 3 draculas curse (nes)
102. Streets of rage 2 (genesis)
103. Loyalty and blood: Viktor origins (steam)
104. Mega Man 4 (nes)
105. Contra: shattered soldier (ps2)
106. Mega Man 5 (nes)
107. Final Fight 3 (snes)
108. Target Renegade (nes)
109. Renegade (nes)
110. Smashing the battle (steam)
111. Kabuki Quantum fighter (nes)
112. Streets of rage (genesis)
113. Kageki (genesis)
114. Batman (nes)
115. Mega Man 9 (wii)

Obviously I can't talk about all those games, but the one game that I really stood out to me is Contra: shattered soldier. I have owned this game since my managing days at funcoland, I have tried to play it once or twice, saw how insanely difficult it was and immediately turned it off. I have been wanting to really get into this game and now seemed like the perfect time to do it.

First off, I cannot express how difficult this game is. I put in the 30 life code and used all my lives by the end of stage 2, worst part is that when you continue, you only get 2 lives, so you are absolutely forced to get good at this game to make any progress. I have looked at tons of "hardest games of all time" lists, the original contra is almost always on these lists, and shattered soldier is not, this is a joke. Now I realize that I have been playing contra for 30 years, have the game memorized, and as a result contra is easy for me, but I definitely remember beating the original with the 30 life code pretty easy as a kid, where 30 lives gets you nowhere in shattered soldier.

Everything kills you, literally everything you encounter you will die on, usually multiple times. Some bosses are so difficult that you can die an easy 15-20 times as you learn their patterns. I consider myself really good at contra, I can easily beat contra, super c, and contra 3 with more lives that I start with, have finished contra 4 multiple times, and although I haven't played it in years, I did finish hard corps during my funcoland days. This games difficulty makes all of those games seem like they were made for babies.

Once you acknowledge the insane difficulty of this game and decide to give yourself to it you are treated to an absolutely phenomenal experience. The soundtrack in this game kicks ass, there is some amazing pumping metal tracks which keeps your heart pumping and your adrenaline rushing as you slaughter hordes of aliens.

The set pieces in this game are outrageous, filled with nods to classic games as well as some amazing new challenges. Everytime I ran into an old boss from my childhood rendered in beautiful new graphics a huge smile crossed my face, even though I knew I was about to die a ton of times. When I ran into the turtle boss from contra 3 a huge rush of nostalgia and adrenaline pumped through me, and these encounters are never cookie cutter remakes of the old games as they all pose some fantastic new challenges and crazy new attacks. Every level offers the right amount of balance of nostalgia and new set pieces, and I couldn't even begin to cover the amount of awesome each level is packed with.

Control is what you would expect, they added a charge shot, and your character starts with 3 weapons that you can scroll through at any time, each weapon has its strengths and weaknesses and knowing the best time to use each is absolutely critical for success. I can't believe I have owned this game for over 15 years and have not played it until now, it was an absolute blast and is a game I will revisit over and over again.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:25 pm

Dude...nice work. That is quite a list of games. I also beat Contra:Shattered Soldier when I was in college. It was a new release back then, though... :lol:


1. Bastion (iOS)
2. LaserCat (360)
3. Zombie Incident (3DS)
4. Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (3DS)
5. Monument Valley 2 (iOS)
6. Zenge (iOS)
7. Master of Darkness (Game Gear/3DS)
8. Wonder Boy (SMS)
9. Full Throttle Remastered (iOS)
10. Adventure Island (NES)
11. Adventure Island II (NES)
12. Adventure Island (GB)
13. Super Adventure Island (SNES)
14. New Adventure Island (TG16)
15. Adventure Island III (NES)
16. The Legend of the Ghost Lion (NES)
17. Part Time UFO (iOS)
18. Adventure Island II: Aliens in Paradise (GB)
19. Adventure Island IV (NES)
20. Super Adventure Island II (SNES)
21. Adventure Island: The Beginning (WII)

The ironically-titled Adventure Island: The Beginning is the final game in the Adventure Island series, and it takes the series back to its roots. That is, it plays much more like Wonder Boy (and New Adventure Island) than it does any of the games that expanded upon the gameplay formula established by the first game in the series. It does, however, add some player conveniences - lives are basically meaningless - along with collectibles and upgrades. You can also unlock some mini games. Everything about the presentation is cheap, however. The textures are muddy; the music is a mix of MIDI bossa nova and stock jungle sounds; the level design is bland; and the controls are really janky. As a result, the game makes a terrible first impression. Nonetheless, it ends up being pretty challenging and fun, and the boss battles are exciting. So...while it isn’t exactly good, it isn’t offensive enough to be bad either.

And...that’s it for the Adventure Island series! I’ll probably play a game or two for Together Retro before heading back to the next game in my quest through the Wonder Boy games and their spin offs.
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