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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by marurun Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:22 pm

Very disorienting to read a review of Actraiser that doesn’t even mention the music.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:11 am

Partridge Senpai's 2019 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018
* indicates a repeat

1. Night Slashers (Switch)
2. Bye-Bye BOXBOY! (3DS)
3. GTA4: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Xbox 360)
4. Katamari Forever (PS3)
5. Detention (PS4)
6. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) *
7. OctoDad: Dadliest Catch (PS4) *
8. FlintHook (Switch)
9. God of War (PS4)
10. God of War HD (PS3)
11. Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch)
12. God of War 2 HD (PS3)
13. Starlink (Switch)
14. Shin Gundam Musou (PS3)
15. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS)
16. Banjo-Kazooie (N64) *
17. Super Mario 64: Rumble Edition (N64)
18. Mario Party 3 (N64) *
19. Paper Mario (N64) *
20. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) *
21. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC) *
22. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC) *
23. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC) *
24. Yoshi's Island (SNES) *
25. Super Mario World (SNES) *
26. Super Mario RPG (SFC) *
27. Kaeru No Tame Ni Kane Wa Naru (GB)
28. Final Fantasy VI (SFC) *
29. Final Fantasy IV (SFC) *
30. Final Fantasy V (SFC)
31. Final Fantasy III (Famicom)
32. Mother 2 (SFC) *
33. Mother 3 (GBA) *
34. Hebereke (Famicom)
35. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SFC)
36. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SFC)
37. Donkey Kong Country (SFC) *
38. Wario's Woods (Famicom)
39. Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
40. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)
41. Luigi's Mansion (3DS) *
42. Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
43. Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga & Bowser's Minions (3DS)
44. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story & Bowser Jr's Journey (3DS)
45. Tomato Adventure (GBA)
46. Corpse Party (PSP)
47. Rave Master: Fighting Live (GC)
48. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) *
49. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
50. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA) *
51. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
52. The Outer Worlds (Xbone)
53. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Xbone)
54. Guacamelee 2 (Xbone)
55. Steamworld Dig 2 (Xbone)
56. Yoku's Island Express (Xbone)
57. Guacamelee (Xbone) *

58. Blazing Chrome (Xbone)

I'd heard this was an exceptional Contra-style game, but I'm not usually one for action games. These days, I'll often play through a game like this one time after a lot of frustration and then never pick it up again, which seemed like a pretty good reason to not pick it up at the like $15 it goes for. However, since it's on Game Pass, I figured it would be worth giving a try, and dang was it EVER. I beat it last night, and then played through it maybe four or five times more this morning just because I was having so much fun. I don't think I've ever enjoyed an action game this much, at least since I started writing about games in any capacity. I've spent maybe 5 or 6 total hours with it, but I doubt that this will be the last time I blaze some chrome.

Blazing Chrome is a 2 player co-op Contra-style run'n'gun game that's pretty immediately familiar to anyone who has played 16-bit Contra, especially Contra: Hard Corps. That said, it also takes a fair bit of inspiration from Metal Slug, and I was getting the feeling of at least a dash of Mega Man Zero. The style is VERY much an homage 90's gritty pop, and they do a great job of replicating the Contra aesthetic while still putting their own flair on things. The playable character designs are fun, and I like that half the cast are both female and designed in a way that is more "power" than "sex appeal". It's a nice change from how the casts of games like this have been in the past (and often still are). The music is pumping and fits the game really well, and the game has a great "16-bit if the animations were way better" style to it, kinda like how Shovel Knight looks 8-bit but with far better animation quality. The game knocks it out of the park for presentation for sure, even going as far as to include really low-quality voice samples to make it feel like a REAL 90's game XD

There are different types of weapons you can get and swap between (like Contra), and if you get close enough your character will do a quite powerful melee attack (like Metal Slug). You can even find mechs to stomp around in in some levels, also like Metal Slug. What gives me a bit of Mega Man Zero vibe is just how powerful the melee attack is. The melee attack in Metal Slug is good, but it never seems good enough to warrant using as anything other than a last resort. Your soldiers in Blazing Chrome have both a powerful melee attack (with a quite large arcing range) as well as being nimble enough to dodge around enemies, giving a really big risk-reward to meleeing enemies instead of just shooting them. That was one of my favorite parts of Mega Man Zero, and this is really scratching that same itch.

There are two types of characters in Blazing Chrome, but one set of them you only unlock after beating the game once. The default ones play very much like classic Contra characters, with nimble jumps, hitting the triggers to change between your collected weapons (which you lose if you die with it, except for your default weapon), and the aforementioned auto-melee attack ala Metal Slug. There are also support bots you can pick up which can provide two extra hits before death, be an auto-firing option for you, or make you faster and give you a double jump! You also have an invincible, Smash Bros-style dodge roll you can do by holding down and pressing A, but I really wish that could be rebound. SO many times I died by trying to fire downwards and then trying to jump, or trying to jump down through the platform I was standing on (something this game doesn't have at all).

The other characters you unlock after beating the game once are what the game calls the ninja characters, and they're far more melee-focused and totally change how you play the game. Not only do they not have an auto-melee, they don't even get multiple weapons. What they get instead is VERY powerful though. Their one weapons is a medium-range melee attack that is only manual, but if you charge it, it gets way more powerful and has a screen-wide range. Instead of having the triggers change weapons (which they don't have), it is an air-dodge that they can do which even hurts enemies you pass through. This makes them really good at bosses but struggle a bit with normal enemies (because of the more limited range), which is the opposite of how I felt the default, range-focused characters play. Using the normal dodge rolls, let alone the airborne dodges, takes some getting used to, but you feel like a BOSS when you can actually start dodging enemy attacks properly XD.

Then probably the last thing I really love about Blazing Chrome is the difficulty. The game is as hard as you want it to be, with three modes of easy, normal, and hardcore (which is locked until you beat normal). Easy is normal mode but with 8 lives per continue, and normal has 6 lives per continue and more enemies. Hardcore mode is only 4 lives per continue, but is the ONLY mode with limited continues (4 of them) and has a CRAP ton of enemies (I could never beat it on anything but normal). But even then, levels are split up into several sections, and while dying instantly respawns you Contra-style, using a continue restarts you at that section and not at the start of the whole stage. This makes the game feel far less punishing than an actual 90's game and really helped me stick with it because it's so much easier to practice the bits you're having trouble with. That's by no means to say that Blazing Chrome is an easy game, but I really appreciated just how much it allows the player to engage with it on their own terms in a way that is really not common with games like this (in my experience at least) outside of breaking out a Game Genie.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is definitely one of my favorite games I've played all year, and one of my new favorite action games ever. Blazing Chrome is a love letter to 90's run'n'guns that is faithful, improves on those old games' faults, and manages to stand on its own without feeling like some cheap copy. It is an absolutely stellar game and if you like run'n'guns at all, you are doing yourself a great disservice by holding out on Blazing Chrome.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by alienjesus Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:40 am

Games Beaten 2019:
First 50:
1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch
2. Alex Kidd in The Enchanted Castle Switch
3. Streets of Rage Switch
4. Vectorman Switch
5. Galaxy Force II Switch
6. Flicky Switch
7. Phantasy Star 2 Switch
8. Sonic the Hedgehog Switch
9. Altered Beast Switch
10. ESWAT: City Under Siege Switch
11. Columns Switch
12. Virtua Fighter 2 Switch
13. Kirby Star Allies Switch
14. Katamari Damacy Reroll Switch eShop
15. Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! Switch
16. Octodad: Dadliest Catch Switch eShop
17. Sword of Vermilion Switch
18. Decap Attack Switch
19. Golden Axe Switch
20. The Revenge of Shinobi Switch
21. Beyond Oasis Switch
22. WarioWare Gold 3DS
23. Shining in the Darkness Switch
24. Kid Chameleon Switch
25. Streets of Rage 2 Switch
26. Bio-Hazard Battle Switch
27. Super Thunder Blade Switch
28. Gain Ground Switch
29. Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom Switch
30. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Switch
31. Comix Zone Switch
32. Vectorman 2 Switch
33. Light Crusader Switch
34. Crack Down Switch
35. ToeJam and Earl Switch
36. Dynamite Headdy Switch
37. Golden Axe II Switch
38. Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi Switch
39. Columns III: Revenge of Columns Switch
40. Shining Force: The Legacy of Great Intention Switch
41. Kirby No Kirakira Kizzu Game Boy
42. Klonoa Wii
43. Looney Tunes Collector: Martian Alert! GBC
44. Mario Tennis N64
45. Fire Emblem Warriors Switch
46. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time [Randomiser] N64
47. The New Zealand Story SMS
48. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana Switch
49. Shenmue 2 Dreamcast
50. Castlevania GBA

51. Mario Party N64
52. ActRaiser SNES
53. GoldenEye 007 N64
54. Mom Hid My Game Switch eShop
55. Money Puzzle Exchanger Switch eShop
56. Gunbird Switch eShop
57. Tokyo School Life Switch eShop
58. Musynx Switch
59. Gremlins 2: The New Batch NES
60. Subsurface Circular Switch eShop
61. Yoshi's Woolly World Wii U




Tokyo School Life

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Tokyo School Life was a game that wasn’t really on my radar, but a set of decent reviews and a fairly substantial eShop sale swayed my interest enough to give it a go. The premise of the game is that you are an [implied] American student who is obsessed with Japan, and who after winning a content of some sort related to learning Japanese, is on an exchange program to a school in Tokyo. Once there, you find you’re sharing a home with 3 japanese schoolgirls. The game is a visual novel with dating sim elements, so you might expect it to be very fanservicey and a little skeevy, but that isn’t really how this one plays it (for the most part, at least, it can’t help a few bikini shots here and there – but it really doesn’t feel like the games focus, and may detract a little ultimately).

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See, the game actually seems to really want to tell you bit about life in Japan too. It’s pretty light touch, nothing much you couldn’t figure out as a tourist, but it is an interesting experience in a game. Dates you go on with the girls take you to different areas of Tokyo (Shibuya, Akihabara and Kabukicho respectively) and give you a taste of what makes those places standout. You also go on a school trip later in the game, which can be in one of 3 places depending on which girl you’re closest to – one takes you to Osaka, one to Kyoto and one to Okinawa. The game definitely takes the idea of you being a stranger to Japan just as seriously as it does the idea of you getting a cute Japanese girlfriend.

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On that front, the plotlines for the 3 girls are pretty interesting too. They’re a little cliché, taking on lots of stereotypical anime tropes, but its written fairly well overall and the Japaneseness of the storyline just kind of fits. One of the girls plotlines deals with karate and the Yakuza, one on them follows a sick girl who is a closet otaku, and the last follows a girl who is a junior idol. I think the quality of each story varies, but they were all charming in their own way, and they sometimes took some more serious turns than I expected.

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The music of the game is sickly sweet but charming, and visually, the game doesn’t have a lot to look at, but the girls are fairly well animated overall. Finally, the game really is serious about being a game about learning about Japan, thanks to it’s subtitling options. Not only does the game have English text, but in addition you can also enable Japanese text. This can be romaji, hiragana & katakana or kanji, allowing for you to practice reading in Japanese alongside the game.

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Ultimately, I had a pretty good time with Tokyo School Life. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it’s short and fairly easy going, and I had a good time with it. Recommended if you think you’ll like this kinda thing.





Musynx

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Musynx is a rhythm game for Nintendo Switch featuring lots of songs from Asian artists from a variety of genres, but with a focus on electronic music primarily. The tracks come from Japanese, Korean and Chinese artists, and if there’s one thing to be said for the game is that is certainly doesn’t skimp on content. There are easily 100+ songs here, and playing through them all even once is quite the time commitment overall.

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On top of all that, there are 4 ways to play each song – see, the game actually has 2 different difficulty settings. Not only do songs come in easy and hard forms, but they also come in 4 and 6 key versions for both versions. In the game, notes come down a track towards the bottom of the screen (think Guitar Hero) and pressing the corresponding button for each track will hit the note. The easier 4 note difficulty uses left and up on the d-pad plus X and A buttons for each of it’s 4 lanes, but the 6 note versions add right on the d pad and the Y button for 2 new middle lanes. This adds up to a humungous amount of content to play through and master overall. Add on to this the ability to just the speed of the note chart and you have a myriad of ways to adjust difficulty.

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This huge amount of content does come with some drawbacks though, particular in the game’s presentation. This is a bare bones experience – when you hit start you literally go straight to song selection, and the animations and backgrounds which accompany each song are limited – there’s about 8 different backgrounds for the games 100+ songs. This means if you play every song in order, like I did, you’ll find the backgrounds quickly getting repetitive as you play through the 10th song in a row with the rainbow background. Worse, the backgrounds generally correspond to genre, so playing in order will mean getting 20 similar songs in a row with the same background, and if you have a particular taste in songs, you’ll see the same background an awful lot.

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The note patterns on the game are sometimes good and sometimes bad. I found that anything below 5 on the difficulty scale was too easy and boring, but equally that anything about 7 was really tough and 9+ was nigh on impossible. I feel the game would have benefitted from a medium difficulty option to ease between the generally too easy standard difficulty and the generally too hard hard mode. I found myself jumping between difficulties by song depending on rating to keep an appropriate level of challenge.

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Speaking of challenge, moving to 6 button mode is just that. I don’t know why, because I’ve played more complicated rhythm games before, but I found 6 lane mode tripped me up all the time. The game isn’t shy about throwing 2 or 3 notes at you simultaneously, or making you hold one note whilst hitting others in between, and the button gymnastics can get confusing even with 4 buttons. I think the game is pretty bad about easing you in to 6 button mode though, because it puts the new lanes in the middle – meaning that the lane you might be used to being X on 4 button mode is now Y, requiring you to unlearn all the muscle memory you had from before.

Lastly, the biggest issue I had with the game was feedback. Most rhythm games I’ve played have had sound effects or similar which play if you either hit the note or miss it, but Musynx doesn’t have anything like this. Because of this it took me a lot longer to figure out how good my timing was on songs.

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Overall, Musynx was an OK time, but I find myself actually wishing for more features and less content overall, which feels weird to say. The music is good, if a little too unbalanced for dancey electronic tracks for my personal tastes, and the gameplay whilst simple can be compelling when the difficulty is just right. But I found myself too often wishing for a more curated experience where I had less controls for difficulty but the game had better default settings, where the experience was more engaging and offered more feedback. If you see this for cheap, you might want to pick it up, but I suspect there are better rhythm games on switch already. I’ve not played them, so don’t quote me on this, but the likes of Voez, Deemo and Taiko No Tatsujin are probably better choices.



Gremlins 2: The New Batch

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Gremlins 2 is a game I received as a birthday present from a friend. I had actually played it once before at his place, and thought it was pretty good. It’s a top down platforming adventure of sorts by Sunsoft, from back when they were actually good, and it has a real feeling of quality. The thing about Sunsoft when they made good games though, is they also generally made hard games, and this is no exception.

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You play as Gizmo, and you run around the levels shooting enemies and collecting power ups before taking on bosses at the end of each world. In the first world your weapon is a tomato which you lob forward and which his kinda similarly to the bombs in Blaster Master – it’s short range, and can only be fired in 4 directions. Luckily, as you progress you get new weapons, such as a match which shoots a blast further forward, a paperclip which fires in a spread and finally a powerful bow.

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Alongside the games enemies, your main hazard will be falling into the many pits that litter the stage. The game has quite a lot of platforming, often with moving platforms, and this can be the most frequent cause of your deaths. Luckily, there’s powerups to help deal with both enemies and platforming – hearts to replenish health, and powerups which add an extra hit point to your health for the rest of the stage. A pogo stick grants temporary invincibility (but stops you being able to shoot or jump pits, so has some restrictions), and most helpfully, a balloon saves you if you fall in a pit. Some power ups can be found on the map, and some can be purchased from a store which appears in some areas in stages.

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Once I got into the swing of things, Gremlins 2 wasn’t too bad. I had a fun time running through the levels, and I manage to amass enough lives and balloons to keep me safe from a game over. Later levels throw some mean challenges at you, with moving platforms running into electric currents and gremlins who throw stuff at you mid jump, but I managed to deal with it. The bosses weren’t too bad either – the key to all of them is to keep moving and spam attacks whenever possible.

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The graphics are decent enough for NES, and the game has some pretty impressive cutscenes for the console showing events from the film. The music, as Sunsoft tracks so often are, was fantastic and was a highlight of the game, and a classic NES soundtrack.

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Overall, Gremlins 2 is a pretty great time. It’s unforgiving, as many NES games are, but it’s got a great bouncy soundtrack, fun gameplay and avoids too many cheap moments overall. It also tends to be cheap, even over here in Europe where NES wasn’t too common, so it’s a highly recommended purchase in my eyes.

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Subsurface Circular

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Subsurface Circular is a visual novel game set in a world where AI robots are manufactured to do jobs. AIs use the Subsurface Circular, an underground railway, to travel between stations to their jobs. The game is set on this train line, and you play as a detective AI – an AI whose job is to investigate and solve mysteries assigned by the government. AIs are manufactured with different levels of intelligence depending on job role – some, whose job is to work on electronics deep underground, can barely communicate, but AIs who work with humans are capable of interaction and a certain level of free-thought. As a detective AI, you have one of the highest levels of intelligence, and are capable of thinking for yourself.

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At the start of the game, another robot asks you to investigate his missing friend, a task which you accept despite it not being assigned by the authorities, thus breaking the rules. This begins a whole chain of mysteries which unfold through the night, which you try and follow to establish a truth of sorts.

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Investigation in the game is done purely via communication. You cannot move or choose where to go – you merely sit on the train as it goes from station to station, questioning and communicating with the robots who arrive and leave on the way to their jobs. However, there are some puzzles to be solved in terms of using thoughts and new information from one robot to get another to expand or open up some new information. The dialogue is interesting and the robots range from likeable and fun to haughty and rude, and all between. The writing quality is very good overall.

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And nowhere is this felt more than in the world building. Despite being set entirely in one train carriage, Subsurface Circular manages to build a believable and in-depth world. It touches on some big concepts and topics – stuff like whether AIs can or should have free will, the idea of humans losing their livelihoods to machines, government controls and bureaucracy, theology, prejudice, martyrdom and so much more in its mere 2 hour long timeframe.

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I won’t go into too much more depth on the game because I would worry about going into spoilers. The experience of playing the game is worthwhile and interesting overall, and for the low price it goes for, I would say this is an essential purchase. It may not be for everyone, but for such a small commitment of cost and time, it’s definitely worth giving it a go.

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Yoshi’s Woolly World

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I’m not the biggest fan of Yoshi games. It’s hard to explain why. I actually think Yoshi’s Island is a fantastic game one of the best on SNES, but I don’t have a huge amount of desire to go back to it. I enjoyed Yoshi’s Story OK and found Yoshi’s Island DS to be pretty average. So I’ve not been the most keen to try new Yoshi games overall – until I was won over by the aesthetic charms of Woolly World. So how does it hold up?

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Yoshi’s Woolly World has you playing as a yarn Yoshi, on the quest to save all your Yoshi brethren from Kamek, who has turn them all into balls of yarn. You do this in a fairly standard yoshi way, running, jumping and fluttering, licking up enemies and throwing stuff at people. There are some differences though, thanks to the Yarn mechanics. First of all, you throw balls of yarn instead of eggs. This often has the same purposes, but there are some small differences – you can fill in outlines to knit new platforms by throwing yarn at them, and some enemies like Pirahna plants get tangled up in the yarn instead of merely defeated. Yarn can come from enemies or from the environment – licking up loose threads often unravels areas of the environment and give you large yarn balls that can hit multiple enemies in a row.

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Transformations are back from the first game, with Yoshi knitting himself into new forms such as a motorbike or an umbrella for short sections. Rather than feeling like part of the core level, these are more like mini game challenges this time round. They’re fun, and I wish they were utilised more.

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Also back from the main series is the collection focus, which I’m not a fan of. Each world has 20 hidden stamps found by collecting specific gems, 5 flowers and 5 balls of wool to collect. To complete a stage fully you need to find all of these as well as finish with the maximum 30 health. Personally, I find this to be quite tedious and one of the weaker aspects of the series – it really slows the gameplay down. It sucks too, because there are good rewards behind it – new yoshi colours and new levels for example.

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Like Epic Yarn before it, you collect lots of gems in wooly world, and these can be used to spend on power ups before levels. Some of these are call backs to the first yoshi, such as getting melons to spit, and some make stages way easier by giving you invincibility or whatnot. Some felt like must haves for me though, with the gem magnet ability being a frequent must buy to keep gameplay fast.

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Overall, I liked Woolly World. It’s up there with the original Yoshi’s Island as one of the best in the series, and it’s absolutely high quality. I still had some concerns with slow paces though, and found my favourite levels were often those where they mixed up the standard gameplay. Despite that, this is a totally worthwhile game to play, and super adorable to boot. Worth getting.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Markies Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:13 pm

I always feel bad following AJ.
It's like the poor suckers who had Hendrix, Nirvana or Zeppelin open for them...

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2019!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Power Stone 2 (SDC)
2. Radiata Stories (PS2)
3. Dusty Diamond's All-Star Softball (NES)
***4. Saiyuki: Journey West (PS1)***
5. Shining In The Darkness (GEN)
***6. Metropolis Street Racer (SDC)***
7. Half-Life 2 (XBOX)
8. Soul Blazer (SNES)
9. Mario Party (N64)
10. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (GCN)
11. Street Fighter Collection (PS1)
12. Pokemon Stadium 2 (N64)
13. Burnout (PS2)
14. Phantasy Star III (GEN)
15. Batman: The Video Game (NES)
16. X-Men Legends (XBOX)
***17. Final Fantasy VII (PS1)***
18. Maximum Pool (SDC)
19. Puzzle Quest (PS2)
20. Jet Moto (PS1)
21. The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition (GCN)
22. Dead Or Alive 3 (XBOX)
23. Growlanser III: The Dual Darkness
24. Luigi's Mansion (GCN)

25. Diddy Kong Racing (N64)

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I beat Diddy Kong Racing on the Nintendo 64 this evening!

Mario Kart 64 was one of the last games that I really used to play back in the day. The N64 was the last console I had before I started getting hardcore into video games. It was the console I had during my senior year of High School, so I was busy doing other things besides playing video games. So, I only played a select few games from that console, mostly first party Nintendo titles. I skipped out on all of the Rare games on the N64 and I've been slowly collecting, playing and then beating them. Diddy Kong Racing, I'd been playing off and on for many years. I remember getting stuck and then stopping for a long time. I decided to pick it up this weekend and found out I was only a few races away from finishing the game. So, I took some time to remedy that situation.

It is very easy and very apt to compare Diddy Kong Racing to Mario Kart 64. I think Diddy is better in some ways while I think Mario is better in others. For example, the ability to drive a Kart, hovercraft and plane really add a unique sense to the game. It makes playing tracks very different as each one operates in a very special way. Karts glide along the ground, Hovercrafts bounce on the water while the airplanes can go anywhere in the air. The Adventure Mode is also unique for a Kart based game. I was not expecting boss battles or different worlds to go into, so that made progress more enjoyable instead of just collecting trophy after trophy.

However, some of those battles are insane. The boss battles can be down right cheap and collecting 8 coins while still getting in first can be quite a challenge. It's a stronger challenge when you miss some of the power-ups like in Mario Kart. Instead of getting better items the closer you are to last, everybody just gets the same item. It makes catching up incredibly difficult to do once you are in last. Also, the characters just aren't as memorable. Besides Diddy, Banjo and Conker, I could hardly name any of the characters.

Overall, I would take Mario Kart 64 over Diddy Kong Racing any day of the week. Mario just feels more balanced along with having more memorable tracks and characters. However, if you are looking for another Kart like game with some variety to it, Diddy Kong Racing is pretty damn fun. It's still a blast to play, just be prepared for a bit of challenge, especially later in the game.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:30 pm

You guys are killing it with the reviews. I spent nearly an hour reading all of them! Awesome, awesome work.

@AJ...Great reviews. One quick question...have you tried co-op in Yoshi’s Wooly World? If not, you should do so. It’s brilliant and like playing a completely different game. Also, Subsurface Circular sounds great.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:46 am

Partridge Senpai's 2019 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018
* indicates a repeat

1. Night Slashers (Switch)
2. Bye-Bye BOXBOY! (3DS)
3. GTA4: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Xbox 360)
4. Katamari Forever (PS3)
5. Detention (PS4)
6. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) *
7. OctoDad: Dadliest Catch (PS4) *
8. FlintHook (Switch)
9. God of War (PS4)
10. God of War HD (PS3)
11. Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch)
12. God of War 2 HD (PS3)
13. Starlink (Switch)
14. Shin Gundam Musou (PS3)
15. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS)
16. Banjo-Kazooie (N64) *
17. Super Mario 64: Rumble Edition (N64)
18. Mario Party 3 (N64) *
19. Paper Mario (N64) *
20. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) *
21. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC) *
22. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC) *
23. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC) *
24. Yoshi's Island (SNES) *
25. Super Mario World (SNES) *
26. Super Mario RPG (SFC) *
27. Kaeru No Tame Ni Kane Wa Naru (GB)
28. Final Fantasy VI (SFC) *
29. Final Fantasy IV (SFC) *
30. Final Fantasy V (SFC)
31. Final Fantasy III (Famicom)
32. Mother 2 (SFC) *
33. Mother 3 (GBA) *
34. Hebereke (Famicom)
35. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SFC)
36. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SFC)
37. Donkey Kong Country (SFC) *
38. Wario's Woods (Famicom)
39. Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
40. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)
41. Luigi's Mansion (3DS) *
42. Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
43. Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga & Bowser's Minions (3DS)
44. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story & Bowser Jr's Journey (3DS)
45. Tomato Adventure (GBA)
46. Corpse Party (PSP)
47. Rave Master: Fighting Live (GC)
48. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) *
49. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
50. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA) *
51. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
52. The Outer Worlds (Xbone)
53. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Xbone)
54. Guacamelee 2 (Xbone)
55. Steamworld Dig 2 (Xbone)
56. Yoku's Island Express (Xbone)
57. Guacamelee (Xbone) *
58. Blazing Chrome (Xbone)

59. Minit (Xbone)

This is another "why not" Game Pass game, and that sorta ended up how I felt about it at the end. I saw the last half of this game played on a livestream maaaany months ago, probably around the time it came out, and was always mildly interested, but nearly enough to pay real muns for it. I'm pretty glad I held out, at this point, because while Minit is neat, the kind of experience it offers isn't something I think I'll get as much mileage out of as a similarly short game like Blazing Chrome. It took me like 50 minutes to beat, and that's knowing nothing about the first half of the game.

Minit is the story of a little blob thing who one day finds a sword on the beach but it's CURSED, and will kill you in one minute! Your goal is to break the curse in a series of minute-long runs where you die at the end and respawn at your home. You can find other homes to respawn in as well as teleporters linking them as you go through the game, but the world map is still fairly small. The most limiting factor is obviously the minute-long death countdown. It's a simple adventure game with very little combat (although there is some) and is more about enjoying the quirky characters in the world and solving puzzles than any kind of action.

There's quite a fair bit of hidden stuff to find in the game, and even though I was looking, I only found 63% of it, according to the end-game counter, so you could theoretically spend a fair bit of time replaying or just straight up playing the game looking for all the secret coins and heart containers lying around. There's also a challenge mode you unlock when you beat the game once that makes it so you only have FORTY seconds instead of sixty, which I have to imagine makes the game a fair bit harder, but that wasn't something I was really interested in.

The presentation is fine, but nothing to write home about. It's a charming monochrome pixelated style with fairly minimal use of music. The game runs and controls fine on the Xbone, not that I'd have any reason to assume it isn't. The writing is minimalistic, as you can't exactly spend much time talking to people when you only have 60 seconds to live, and characters will even auto-talk to you just by walking up to them. Amusingly enough, you can actually stab every character in the game, and they'll all react in some way as well, which is fun. There's a very lighthearted way to the way the game is written though. My favorite is when there's a guy who talks realllllly slowly, and you basically need to spend your entire "life" listening to them talk so you can hear the secret they say at the end XD

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. Minit isn't a bad game, but it's a very particular kind of game. It's a very particular kind of game that you may well enjoy well enough, but I think relatively few people are going to enjoy Minit enough to feel justified paying the $10 it goes for on the Switch eShop (for example). If you have kids who are just getting into games, this would be something great to play together, or if you're really into adventure games and want something a little bit different you will probably quite enjoy Minit. With everything that $10 can buy you, I think Minit doesn't do quite enough to stand out from the indie crowd. Personally, I'm glad I got it effectively for free through Game Pass, because I did not feel that I got $10 worth of enjoyment out of Minit despite relatively enjoying the time I did spend with it.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by alienjesus Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:42 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:You guys are killing it with the reviews. I spent nearly an hour reading all of them! Awesome, awesome work.

@AJ...Great reviews. One quick question...have you tried co-op in Yoshi’s Wooly World? If not, you should do so. It’s brilliant and like playing a completely different game. Also, Subsurface Circular sounds great.


I have played co-op - in fact, I played through the first 3 worlds in co-op with my wife back when the game first came out. It was pretty good, but I'm not sure she was that fond of it, so I finished the last half of the game on my own.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:19 pm

1. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Famicom)
2. Dragon Scroll: Yomigaerishi Maryuu (Famicom)
3. Ninja-kun: Majou no Bouken (Famicom)
4. Hello Kitty World (Famicom)
5. Galaxian (Famicom)
6. Esper Dream 2: Aratanaru Tatakai (Famicom)
7. Ninja Jajamaru-kun (Famicom)
8. Jajamaru no Daibouken (Famicom)
9. Front Line (Famicom)
10. Field Combat (Famicom)
11. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (Famicom)
12. Mississippi Satsujin Jiken: Murder on the Mississippi (Famicom)
13. Space Harrier (Famicom)
14. Geimos (Famicom)
15. Attack Animal Gakuen (Famicom)
16. Sky Destroyer (Famicom)
17. Ripple Island (Famicom)
18. Oishinbo: Kyukyoku no Menu 3bon Syoubu (Famicom)
19. Bird Week (Famicom)
20. Baltron (Famicom)
21. Yie Ar Kung-Fu (Famicom)
22. Challenger (Famicom)
23. Ikki (Famicom)
24. Dough Boy (Famicom)
25. Atlantis no Nazo (Famicom)
26. Bio Senshi Dan: Increaser tono Tatakai (Famicom)
27. Yume Penguin Monogatari (Famicom)
28. King Kong 2: Ikari no Megaton Punch (Famicom)
29. Congo Bongo (Atari 2600)
30. Coconuts (Atari 2600)
31. Arcade Archives: Donkey Kong (Switch eShop)
32. Dragon Quest V: Tenkuu no Hanayome (Super Famicom)
33. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Super Burger Time (Switch eShop)
34. Fire Fly (Atari 2600)
35. Fire Fighter (Atari 2600)
36. Space Jockey (Atari 2600)
37. Airlock (Atari 2600)
38. Makai Hakkenden Shada (PC Engine)
39. Squeeze Box (Atari 2600)
40. Lagoon (SNES)
41. Atlantis (Atari 2600)
42. Xak III: The Eternal Recurrence (PC Engine CD)
43. Blue Blink (PC Engine)
44. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys (PC Engine CD)
45. Cally's Caves 3 (Steam)
46. Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet (Steam)
47. Contra (NES)
48. Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Switch eShop)
49. Arcade Archives: Moon Cresta (Switch eShop)
50. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Joe and Mac Caveman Ninja (Switch eShop)
51. Ice Hockey (Atari 2600)
52. Indy 500 (Atari 2600)
53. Video Olympics (Atari 2600)
54. Fast Eddie (Atari 2600)
55. Muv-Luv (Steam)
56. Air-Sea Battle (Atari 2600)
57. Combat (Atari 2600)
58. Street Racer (Atari 2600)
59. Food Fight (Atari 7800)
60. Galaga (Atari 7800)
61. Donkey Kong (ColecoVision)
62. Cosmic Avenger (ColecoVision)
63. Mouse Trap (ColecoVision)
64. Zaxxon (ColecoVision)
65. Armor Battle (Intellivision)
66. Armor Ambush (Atari 2600)
67. Basic Math (Atari 2600)
68. Astrosmash (Intellivision)
69. Astroblast (Atari 2600)
70. Donkey Kong (Intellivision)
71. Beauty & the Beast (Intellivision)
72. Surround (Atari 2600)
73. Borderline (SG-1000)
74. Omega Race (VIC-20)
75. Star Battle (VIC-20)
76. Mahou Kishi Rayearth (Game Gear)
77. Muv-Luv Alternative (Vita)
78. Joe & Mac (SNES)

79. Muv-Luv photonflowers* (Steam)
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Just inject Muv-Luv straight into my veins.

Muv-Luv photonflowers* is the third Muv-Luv visual novel to be released on Steam. But make no mistake. This is not a sequel to the (phenomenal) Muv-Luv Alternative. Rather, it's a "fan disc" set of twelve side stories, compiled from some older collections. Muv-Luv photonflowers* was initially released on the PlayStation 3 (in Japan), of all places. Like any visual novel it was bestowed with a title that follows no proper grammatical structure. Apparently the developer's shift key broke while typing and the random asterisk has me wondering if I should be looking for footnotes.

Seven stories are based off the original Muv-Luv (technically the Muv-Luv Extra arc), the silly harem comedy about a dude named Takeru and his lady friends. The remaining five occur in the world of Muv-Luv Alternative, a wholly different timeline where inhabitants of Earth (including those folks of the original Muv-Luv) pilot giant mechas to defend against a hostile alien race known as the BETA. All of these tales are "kinetic" -- in visual novel speak this means there are no choices to be made, just keep clicking and reading. Also, the art styles differ a bit throughout, as some stories were (originally) released later than others. Everything looks fantastic regardless. There's some impressive animation in the later (Alternative) arcs, though I'm quite partial to that late 90s style of anime seen in the Extra portions. There's not much new going on with the soundtrack (save for the excellent title screen theme) which is perfectly acceptable given how strong the classic Muv-Luv tunes are. Note that these stories vary rather drastically in length. Some can be completed in twenty minutes or so, while others go on for hours.
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Stories can be experienced in any order chosen by the player, with the first seven (Muv-Luv) tales being incredibly silly and self-aware. The longest one here is dedicated to the burgeoning relationship between Takeru and Sumika, which turns into a drawn-out ridiculous fight about sauce preferences. These two kids are immature, stupid, stupidly in love, and somehow manage to make it all work out in the end. Next comes six stories that are actually told from the perspective of those main girls (Meiya gets two), as opposed to the typical Takeru narration. We're taken through a swimsuit shopping escapade, a yakisoba festival, a cosplay incident, and an epic argument. The game heavily utilizes the "chibi" graphics to highlight all the ridiculous hijinks -- this was something done occasionally in the original Muv-Luv and rarely in the deadly-serious Alternative. The Meiya double-feature is the low point here. The plots are ridiculous, and she's presented as some sort of Mary Sue that's an expert in every field. Also, the second story heavily sexualizes the character, even though it's explicitly stated to be a three-year flashback which would make her fifteen or so. No thanks.
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The Alternative stories are written in a more earnest manner, naturally. The first is about Sergeant Marimo during her time as a cadet. It's a mostly competent tale, the "younger Marimo" artwork is great, and it's intriguing to see her react to the intense training regiment she later forced upon others. Unfortunately, there's a love story shoehorned in that makes little sense whatsoever. "Confessions" is dedicated to one Isumi Michiru, and her experiences in (an older) Marimo's boot camp. Isumi is a fascinating character with a deep history, and one who tapped out of Alternative much too early. Seeing her back in the spotlight is a pleasant surprise. It's a lengthy well-written story, with some decent new characters serving as Isumi's bunkmates. There are some weird moments, however. I have no idea why everyone is a lesbian, and there are some scenes that really skirt that M/AO ratings line. Also, Marimo is way too sadistic, in a way that doesn't mesh with how she's presented in any other arc. Dropping "c-bombs" at the female recruits, really?? The other three Alternative stories are about those unseen characters, from both Europe and Japan, who were doing "behind the scenes" work before and during Alternative. There's some interesting insight into the Alternative timeline, though these characters aren't particularly well-developed and the player isn't given tremendous incentive to care about their respective fates.

Overall, I liked this. It's most certainly for fans of the series, and fans of the series only. Those who haven't played a Muv-Luv game should obviously check out the mainline entries first, and anyone who dislikes Muv-Luv (can this happen?) should most certainly steer clear. While there's nothing outright phenomenal to be found within photonflowers* the world of Muv-Luv remains an ever-fascinating one, and any sliver of lore is appreciated. Here's to hoping they'll be more Muv-Luv localization in the near future.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:09 pm

“...and the random asterisk has me wondering if I should be looking for footnotes.”

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I’m never going to play any of these games, but, man, do I enjoy reading your reviews.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by alienjesus Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:59 pm

Games Beaten 2019:
First 50:
1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch
2. Alex Kidd in The Enchanted Castle Switch
3. Streets of Rage Switch
4. Vectorman Switch
5. Galaxy Force II Switch
6. Flicky Switch
7. Phantasy Star 2 Switch
8. Sonic the Hedgehog Switch
9. Altered Beast Switch
10. ESWAT: City Under Siege Switch
11. Columns Switch
12. Virtua Fighter 2 Switch
13. Kirby Star Allies Switch
14. Katamari Damacy Reroll Switch eShop
15. Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! Switch
16. Octodad: Dadliest Catch Switch eShop
17. Sword of Vermilion Switch
18. Decap Attack Switch
19. Golden Axe Switch
20. The Revenge of Shinobi Switch
21. Beyond Oasis Switch
22. WarioWare Gold 3DS
23. Shining in the Darkness Switch
24. Kid Chameleon Switch
25. Streets of Rage 2 Switch
26. Bio-Hazard Battle Switch
27. Super Thunder Blade Switch
28. Gain Ground Switch
29. Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom Switch
30. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Switch
31. Comix Zone Switch
32. Vectorman 2 Switch
33. Light Crusader Switch
34. Crack Down Switch
35. ToeJam and Earl Switch
36. Dynamite Headdy Switch
37. Golden Axe II Switch
38. Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi Switch
39. Columns III: Revenge of Columns Switch
40. Shining Force: The Legacy of Great Intention Switch
41. Kirby No Kirakira Kizzu Game Boy
42. Klonoa Wii
43. Looney Tunes Collector: Martian Alert! GBC
44. Mario Tennis N64
45. Fire Emblem Warriors Switch
46. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time [Randomiser] N64
47. The New Zealand Story SMS
48. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana Switch
49. Shenmue 2 Dreamcast
50. Castlevania GBA

51. Mario Party N64
52. ActRaiser SNES
53. GoldenEye 007 N64
54. Mom Hid My Game Switch eShop
55. Money Puzzle Exchanger Switch eShop
56. Gunbird Switch eShop
57. Tokyo School Life Switch eShop
58. Musynx Switch
59. Gremlins 2: The New Batch NES
60. Subsurface Circular Switch eShop
61. Yoshi's Woolly World Wii U
62. ToeJam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron


We're back to Mega Drive reviews gents!

Toejam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron

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Toejam & Earl is a game I have a bit of a soft spot for. It’s not a perfect game by any means, but it is a game with a lot of charm, with it’s 90s aesthetics, funky soundtrack and fairly unique for the time roguelite gameplay. But I’ve never really been tempted by the sequel, another platformer on a console full of platformers, as I didn’t really know if it had the substance to stand out. It’s certainly not missing style, but the collectathon gameplay style and change of genre rung some alarm bells for me. But, it’s here on the Sega Mega Drive Classics collection, and so I gave it playthrough.

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The concept of the game is that the earthlings from the first game hung on to the outside of TJ&Es spaceship after you repaired it and followed you back to Funkotron, and are now causing havoc. You’re tasked with capturing all the earthlings by throwing jars at them, and throwing them back on a spaceship to Earth. You do this over the course of a great many levels, and there’s a lot of Earthlings to find too. You get an arrow on screen which points to the nearest Earthling which helps, but they tend to hide in bushes, manholes and more and require you to search them out. Some Earthlings, like the ghost cow and bogeyman, are also invisible up until the moment the attack.

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Searching the scenery carries risks however, as sometimes bowling balls and tires can drop out of it, causing damage if you don’t move fast enough. However, you can also find presents with rewards such as health power ups and extra funk, aswell as some useful items to use. Funk is used to power your funk vision, which lets you see hidden doors, enemies and platforms, as well as to power your funk teleport move which allows you to zip through walls by pressing A. Power ups include the Funk Vacuum, which instantly captures all earthlings on screen, the panic button, which makes you run around invincible throwing jars everywhere, and the Super Jar, which captures earthlings in 1 throw.

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Earthlings come in many varieties, and some are easier to deal with than others – early examples like the kid who kicks you in the ankle are easy to deal with, but later enemies like the ghost cow, the magic carpet duck who dive bombs you, the construction worker who damages you by shaking the ground with his jackhammer and more can be very dangerous – especially one they start to appear en masse, greatly encouraging use of your vacuums and panic buttons.

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Alongside your main quest, you also have side missions to solve by talking to Toejam’s friends. They reveal secret areas and tell you about Lamont, the great Funkopotamus, source of all funk on Funkotron. If you can find all 10 of his favourite things hidden in the game you get a better ending. Alongside this, you can also find portals to the Hyperfunk Zone, a rather irritating mini game where you run along a course dodging portals and grabbing power ups and time boosters. Unfortunately, this is a bit too fast and I never did very well on this.

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Visually, the game looks great, with some nice use of colour and big chunky sprites. The worlds feel full and vibrant. Obviously, the music is pretty fantastic here too, with some funky sounds that are a real highlight of the game.

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Unfortunately, ToeJam and Earl: Panic on Funkotron isn’t a great game. It’s incredibly repetitive, controls a bit loosely, and the combat is unsatisfying. Later level layouts and enemies are cheap and frustrating. There is fun to be had here, but for a short time – which is a shame, because this is a rather long game. Playing through the game takes 10 hours or so, and the gameplay just really doesn’t stand up to that kind of investment of time. Personally, I can’t recommend the game. If you want a funky good time, play the first game instead.

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