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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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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!
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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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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:26 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2018 Beaten Games:

Previously: 2016 2017

1. Tyranny (PC)
2. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PC)

3. SUPERHOT (PC)

SUPERHOT is a fairly short FPS (It took me like 90 minutes) where the main gimmick is that the enemies only move when you do (mostly. Time moves VERY slowly when you aren't moving, but it never actually completely stops). This all comes together to make an experience that's somewhere between a strategy game and an FPS, where you're constantly punching enemies, weaving around bullets, grabbing guns out of mid-air, hurling objects or shooting bullets out of the air with your own bullets. It's a really hectic environment that looks really cool when the replay plays it back at full speed.

The only real qualms I have with SUPERHOT are the things that are not those aciton bits. There's a story, but all it really succeeds in doing is killing the hectic mania of the shooting sections which are actually really good. You have those broken up with a (quite nicely stylized) DOS-esque interface that your player character accesses the game within a game that is SUPERHOT, as well as these really boring corridor segments. Given that the actual game is so incredibly short, these really felt to me like just padding out the game in an effort to justify the very steep $25 price tag. Unless you're SUPER into the endless mode and speedrun stuff you unlock once you beat the game, there is very little chance that price tag will justify the very short story mode.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. If you can get this in a Humble Bundle, or on sale for like $5, then I'd say it's worth a try. It has a fun, Hotline Miami feel to how crazy things can get, but the constant bullet-time makes it much more manageable. It's a fun game, but I absolutely do not understand that price tag.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Xeogred Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:28 pm

Superhot must be experienced in VR, it's my favorite VR game so far. I imagine the vanilla base game isn't half as awesome.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:35 pm

Xeogred wrote:Superhot must be experienced in VR, it's my favorite VR game so far. I imagine the vanilla base game isn't half as awesome.


Superhot VR, to what I know, is an entirely separate game. It's all custom-made levels for VR, and I've heard from more than one person that it's one of the best VR games out there!
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laurenhiya21
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by laurenhiya21 Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:39 pm

1/2: Heart’s Medicine - Time to Heal (Steam)
1/5: Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours (PS4)
1/5: Skullgirls 2nd Encore (PS4)

Total: 3 games

Beat a few games recently. They're all fairly short and not very complicated (also two of them are not the types of games that I play often ha), so very short reviews this time.

Heart’s Medicine - Time to Heal

Heart’s Medicine - Time to Heal is the second game in the Heart’s Medicine series of time-management games. It's very similar to the first game (basic time-management style game with mini-games and an actual story) but this one has new wards for the main character to work in, new mini-games, upgraded visuals, and a much longer, more fleshed-out plotline. It's pretty much “more of the same but different”. Nothing really stood out as amazingly better than the original, but that’s fine for me since I liked the first game.

Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours
I don’t play SHMUPs that often, so I can’t really say if this is a good one or not, but I had fun with it. Its easiest mode is easier than some other SHMUPs I’ve played, so that was nice for me haha. It also seems to have a lot of content, which will be nice if I decide to go back to it at some point (especially since I only played the Arcade portion).

Unfortunately, I have no idea what else to talk about since I’m so unfamiliar with SHMUPs… :|

Skullgirls 2nd Encore
Like SHMUPs, fighting games are another genre I have very limited experience with. Often times I find fighting games to be especially hard for me to play, but Skullgirls was a pleasant exception. The biggest plus for me is that Skullgirls doesn’t require memorizing a billion-different button presses to pull off the moves. There are probably some moves that require a number of memorization, but from I could tell there wasn’t anything that was crazy complicated. I can’t really say how else the fighting compares to other games though, since I have hardly any others to compare to. However, there seems to be a lot of different difficulty options and a lot of different characters that you can play in story mode, so there seems to be a lot of content here.

I guess another thing is that the game looks really good! There’s a ton of different attack animations and it all looks super smooth. The story mode also had some good artwork here and there. Other than that, I’m just surprised how much I liked this one. I will definitely be returning back to this to play though the other story modes.
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Segata
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Segata Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:16 pm

Darius Burst CS is a pretty good game. The only issue I truly have is the Freedom song. Oh, boy that it painful to listen to lol. The extra stages are great as it has some Darius Gaiden and G Darius OSTs and it's awesome. 3000 stages O_O. You picked a good shmup to play. Not the crowning jewel but still good. Try some cave shooters next. You can't really go wrong with anything they put out on 360 and pretty affordable for most of them.
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