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thomdeck
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by thomdeck Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:35 am

I got myself a SNES Classic Edition for Christmas and decided to give Earthbound a crack first, and oh my what a ride.
From the second you step into the game it seems simple enough, theres a meteorite and some snakes, like any old RPG. However, once you reach the meteorite and later come back in search of your neighbour you're approached by a bee from the future and are told to save the world. Thats the charm of the game. Its not some entity, ghost or wise old man, its a f***ing time travelling buzzy bee. To me this was more than just a game, it was an experience. The quote "Life is about the journey, not the destination" sums up Earthbound in its entirety, this isn't a game that can be described with words. Its an experience that can only be experienced by playing it.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:58 am

pook99 wrote:I challenge the entire racketboy community to find a worse 16 bit beat em up.


Challenge accepted!

Bebe’s Kids


.....

I am really happy to see so many new members posting reviews in here! Welcome to the forums, and thank you for joining the conversation. You are posting a lot of great stuff, and I hope you’ll stick around a bit.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:45 am

Partridge Senpai's 2018 Beaten Games:

Previously: 2016 2017

1. Tyranny (PC)

2. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PC)

Hotline Miami was a game I absolutely adored and was soooo excited when I heard a sequel was coming out. Here we are 3 years later and I've FINALLY gotten around to playing it, and it's alright. Hotline Miami 2 was originally just going to be DLC for the first game, but the project ended up expanding in scope so significantly that they just decided to call it a sequel. However, with the way this expands upon the original, I think this does fit far better with the first game when viewed as an expansion rather than a sequel.

Almost entirely gone are the new masks after every mission, and in its place is a far more coherent plot than the first game. Instead, around half the missions focus on folks who don't wear masks, or the same small group of mask users. Most of these other non-masks have "masks" in how they have different load-outs you unlock, but proportionally there are a lot of clone load-outs between characters. Some characters have no load-outs at all. The story is neat, but I definitely preferred the design philosophy of the original in comparison to this one. The limited load-outs for each level make them more specifically catered to those stages, but it removes the kind of min/maxing for the most optimal masks for each stage like the original had (or just finding your favorite and goin' to town with it). Mechanically the game is still as fun as it ever was, and they've really cranked up the stylistic flavors for this entry.

Verdict: Recommended. It's definitely lesser than the first game for me, but it's still fun. If you liked the first game, I'd say check this one out, but if you haven't played the Hotline Miami 1, definitely give that a try before this one. This tried very hard to be a different, not so much better, experience than the first one, so if you go into this with the perspective that it's more of an expansion than a sequel, I think you'll dig it a lot more.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Ack Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:24 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
pook99 wrote:I challenge the entire racketboy community to find a worse 16 bit beat em up.


Challenge accepted!

Bebe’s Kids


You misspelled Cliffhanger.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:16 pm

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)
6) Phantom 2040 (SNES) (7.0) (1/9) (9 hours?)
7) Batman: Return of the Joker (NES) (8.0) (1/10) (0.5 hours)

I did another run through Batman: Return of the Joker.

This game can be tough, but it's also alleviated significantly through very short stage segments and unlimited continues. You can even grab a password for each stage.

That being said, there were some problem spots that I ran into; I tend to forget some things between runs. The blimp stage is easiest if you just crowd the right edge, so that's actually not the worst of it. The sewer stage has some troll enemies that will knock you into the drink. The ice stage has those tornado enemies that will usually catch you unawares, not to mention those missiles that drop with virtually no warning. That cave level has a moving platform with an enemy that will toss a knife and send you plunging to your doom if you don't know it's coming. And the elevator stage in the last area leading up to Joker can take a few tries. I probably continued five times through my run. Much of that was rushing and pure carelessness on my part; familiarity breeds contempt and all that.

Graphically and aurally, the game is an absolute tour de force. It sports massive, almost 16-bit style sprites, some great spritework overall, and some kickin' Sunsoft tunes. Gotta love that bass! While I don't feel the game is quite as good as the first NES Batman, it's less of an investment to burn through it, given the leniency with continues and checkpoints and whatnot. I still very much recommend it, even if it's just to see what peak Sunsoft could still do. Seeing them lose their way in the 16-bit era was one of the more depressing things to behold.
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nullPointer
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:39 pm

Sarge wrote:... even if it's just to see what peak Sunsoft could still do. Seeing them lose their way in the 16-bit era was one of the more depressing things to behold.

Oh man I couldn't agree more. While I feel like Sunsoft has some decent output from the 16-bit era, I don't think they've ever recaptured the top-tier status they held during the NES era. Their focus during the 8-bit era (and definitely in the 16 bit era) seems to have been slightly weighted towards licensed content. I've sometimes wondered if the landscape would have been altered had Sunsoft focused more on building it's own in-house properties during the 8-bit era. On the other hand, who knows, maybe their original titles would have simply followed the pattern of Blaster Master (i.e. an initial flash of brilliance during the 8-bit era which fizzled in subsequent generations). Still if Blaster Master is any indication of what they were capable of at the time, perhaps they could have forged their own keystone series in the way that Konami and Capcom were doing at the time. It's a fun what-if.

Great write-up on Batman: Return of the Joker! I feel similarly about that one, though it's been a long while since I've played it.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Xeogred Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:09 pm

You guys are speaking my language. I will always wonder what the heck happened with Sunsoft after the NES era.

I also find it humorous how the Genesis and SNES got some kind of version of that Return of the Joker game too? But they all look horrible compared to the NES one.

Anyways, I dipped into that one myself last night Sarge. How many freaking frames does Batman's cape have? haha, it's a gorgeous game for sure. Good to hear it has infinite continues. I'll work on it tonight.
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PresidentLeever
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PresidentLeever Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:16 pm

Those ports of Batman: RotJ were US developed, not by Sunsoft.

I think their most talented people left for other companies after the 8-bit era (some time after Batman and Superman on MD which still had great music) but I could be wrong.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:23 pm

Ninja'd by PresidentLeever!

Yeah, both of those were ported by other companies. The Genesis version actually saw release, but the SNES one didn't. I think it's still playable from beginning to end, though.

I never played very far into either, though. Honestly, even if they somehow still play okay (which I don't think they did, if my memory is correct), the graphics are absolutely awful in both of them. Barf. Garish color choices, Batman looks like an absolute dweeb in either version... guys, just update the color palette and call it a day! Sunsoft had it right the first time!
Hardcore Retro Gaming - Talk about games ten years old or older!
“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:52 pm

I actually finished this the day before I played through Duck Tales, but I got SUPER slack about writing my review.

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 3
* denotes a replay

January (3 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


3. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War - Xbox One - January 9

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Shadow of War is the much anticipated sequel to Shadow of Mordor, and I had to force myself to resist the urge to pre-order it in my mortal struggle to stop buying things I can't afford. Fortunately my mother is a paragon of goodness and got me the Xbox One release for Christmas (bless her soul) knowing that I wanted to play it with the Xbox One X enhancements. Needless to say, this was the first game I played when I got home from visiting family.

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Shadow of War takes almost everything that made Shadow of Mordor great and expands upon it. I say almost because the one thing that I felt took a hit in the sequel was the narrative. The story is very nicely tied up at the end (as opposed to the "screw you, buy the sequel" cliffhanger of the first game), but overall, it felt a lot less compelling and enthralling to me than Shadow of Mordor. With regards to gameplay, visuals, and replayability, however, Shadow of War definitely raised the bar. Whereas the first game's plot largely revolved around revenge for your murdered family, Shadow of War is all about Celebrimbor's bizarre obsession with Sauron and the realization of his goal to become a pointy eared zombie Hitler.

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The game is absolutely gorgeous, and that's one of the reasons I wanted to play on Xbox One rather than PlayStation 4. While it still looks great on PS4 Pro, not only does the One X run the game at a full 2160p (as opposed to upscaled 1440p) but the One X uses the high resolution textures from the PC release whereas the PS4 Pro uses the lower resolution textures for the standard console releases. Either system will give you a beautiful game, obviously, but if I've got both systems, I might as well try to get the best image out of my 4K screen, yeah? And man, did it look beautiful. Cinematics looked photorealistic, and the environment looked absolutely believable up until you were practically right up against a wall specifically looking for flaws. It's a remarkable graphical accomplishment, and it makes me excited to see what developers will be able to do with the One X down the line.

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If you've played Shadow of Mordor, you pretty much know what to expect from the game's combat, and the overall gameplay is basically Shadow of Mordor but more. You get to brainwash/recruit orc captains to fight for you, but Shadow of War takes that a step further and lets you conquer entire regions of Mordor and choose and overlord and warchiefs from your captains and assign captains to guard your warchiefs or ambush enemy captains. You have to defend these citadels from orc attacks, and you can even attack other players' citadels although the defenses are handled by AI. Still, though, that online component gives the game a lot of replayability, especially with the little big of customization you can do for your defenses and attacks. Regardless of whether you're perfecting your warchiefs' defenses or setting up your assault teams to attack and conquer other forts, you get a bit of agency; each warchief or assault team leader you add gives you three upgrade options that improve your power. For defense, for example, you could add spikes that prevent enemies from climbing your walls or a captive dragon that spews balefire out of your gate at attackers. For your assault teams, you could reinforce them with sappers that suicide bomb enemy gates or siege beasts that fling poisonous projectiles over enemy walls. It adds a certain element of strategy that gives the base attacks and defenses an added depth.

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Shadow of War is, at the end of the day, an action RPG, but it's a bit different from your norm. The combat follows the formula that WB perfected in the Batman Arkham games and adapted for lethal Lord of the Rings combat as opposed to "don't kill people" Batman combat. When you gain levels and skill points, you have a few dozen different skills you can unlock that are always active, but each of those skills have two or three enhancements that you can unlock. The catch, though, is that one enhancement can be active per skill, so you have choose. Do you spend your skill points by unlocking one enhancement per skill, or do you go all-in on a skill and switch out enhancements as the situation calls for it? By the end of the game (the level cap is 60), you'll have every skill and every enhancement unlocked, and if you went for 100% completion like I did, you'll probably finish the game with three or four skill points left over with nothing on which to spend them. Those skills and enhancements should not be underestimated, though; they can mark the difference between victory and defeat, and they can easily turn a brutally difficult fight into a laughably easy victory.

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is one of the greatest Lord of the Rings gaming experiences available, and I say that as an AVID and passionate fan of The Third Age (which seriously needs an HD remaster). The combat is intense at times can feel insurmountable, but aside from a few instances of BS immunity combos in enemy captains, it's completely manageable with some skill and patience. I didn't notice any major difficulty spikes nor did I notice any points where the game felt too easy. The whole thing had a very Goldilocks feel with regards to challenge, and the agency it gave you over strategy and how to attack enemy strongholds gave you the sense that you had real influence in the outcome of events in Mordor. If you enjoy the combat in the Arkham games, the definitely give both Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War a shot, and if you're a serious Lord of the Rings fan, then there's no debate - this game is an absolute must play.
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