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REPO Man
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by REPO Man Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:16 pm

Uncharted 2 for PS4 on Easy. I enjoyed it.
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Bodmin
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Bodmin Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:21 pm

So far

Resident Evil 2 (PS4)
Judgement (PS4)
Call of Duty Modern Warefare (PS4)
Red Dead 2 (Xbox One X)
MK 11 (PS4)
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:29 pm

1. Dusk (PC)(FPS)
2. Project: Snowblind (PC)(FPS)
3. Soldier of Fortune: Platinum Edition (PC)(FPS)
4. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)
5. Wolfenstein 3D: Ultimate Challenge (PC)(FPS)
6. Destiny 2 (PC)(FPS/RPG)
7. Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris (PC)(FPS/RPG)
8. Destiny 2: Warmind (PC)(FPS/RPG)

9. Destiny 2: Forsaken (PC)(FPS/RPG)
10. Star Wars: Rebel Assault (PC)(Rail Shooter)

11. Castle Werewolf (PC)(FPS)
12. Project Warlock (PC)(FPS)
13. Castle Crashers (PC)(Hack and Slash)
14. This Strange Realm of Mine (PC)(FPS)
15. BioShock Remastered (PC)(FPS)
16. BioShock 2 (PC)(FPS)
17. BioShock 2: Minerva's Den (PC)(FPS)

18. Blood (PC)(FPS)
19. Blood: Cryptic Passage (PC)(FPS)
20. Blood: Post Mortem (PC)(FPS)

21. Shadow Warrior (PC)(FPS)
22. Shadow Warrior: Twin Dragon (PC)(FPS)
23. Shadow Warrior: Wanton Destruction (PC)(FPS)

24. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PC)(FPS)
25. F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn (PC)(FPS)

26. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC)(RPG)
27. Men of Valor (PC)(FPS)
28. Ultima III: Exodus (PC)(RPG)
29. Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space (PC)(Point and Click)

30. Midnight Ultra (PC)(FPS)
31. Amid Evil (PC)(FPS)
32. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)(RPG)
33. Betrayer (PC)(Horror)

34. Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary (PC)(FPS/RPG)
35. Far Cry 2 (PC)(FPS)
36. Apocryph (PC)(FPS)
37. Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor (PC)(RPG)

38. Menzoberranzan (PC)(RPG)
39. TimeShift (PC)(FPS)
40. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition (PC)(RPG)
41. Shadowgate (PC)(Point and Click)

42. Might & Magic Book One (PC)(RPG)
43. Miasmata (PC)(Adventure)
44. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (PC)(FPS)
45. Legendary (PC)(FPS)
46. Hedon (PC)(FPS)
47. Last Rites (PC)(FPS)
48. Half-Dead 2 (PC)(Adventure)
49. Dishonored (PC)(Stealth Adventure)

Dishonored could technically qualify as an FPS, though I find it's like Thief and Hitman had a weird steampunk baby in Venice. A lot of my playthrough of the game started with my figuring out how stealth mechanics work and doing a terrible job early on, only to later get through levels without murdering anyone or cutting down large groups without ever being seen but still killing them because they pissed me off. You know, for existing.

You are the Empress' bodyguard, a formal position that may have also led to you being her lover, as it's implied heavily that the Princess is your daughter. Unfortunately, you arrive a couple of days early from a diplomatic trip regarding a plague in your city state only to see your Empress murdered, her daughter kidnapped, and you blamed for the assassination. Six months later, a group of loyalists that reject the city-state's Spymaster naming himself Regent gives you to tools to break out and join their merry band of disenfranchised rich, poor, military, religious, scientist/philosopher, etc. They do this because you happen to be good at sneaking around and killing people. Then some kind of pagan god shows up and gives you cosmic powers. Have fun wiping out your targets as you see fit.

It took me a few levels to get the hang of things and unlock some of the powers that suited my playstyle, but Dishonored is a lot of fun once you get into its systems, and it provides a variety of ways to progress through each level. You could sneak past everybody, you could go the overhead route and use rooftops to evade detection, you could use magic powers to get by, you could sneak up and choke or murder everyone, or you could go in guns blazing, chucking grenades like baseballs in a batting cage. The point is, Dishonored gives you options, and that is where its greatest strengths lie. I don't feel like I'm being forced a particular way of doing something, because every fight can be avoided. It is possible to get through the game without killing anybody, or you could kill just about everybody, your choice. Better yet, the game reacts to the decisions you make: kill the guards in the first level while you escape prison, and the propaganda broadcasts talk about how bloodthirsty you are. It really helps tailor your experience.

Now a big part of the game is the plot, and it's pretty straightforward: remove key individuals from power while helping to build up your side, until you eventually topple the big bad and suffer the inevitable betrayal you just know is gonna happen, because come on, it's the kind of game where you know it's gonna happen. From that perspective, there isn't anything new. It's the little interactions though and the decisions you make which can alter the flow of events that I appreciate. For example, you could interrogate a prisoner at one point through gifts or torture, and this effects how he thinks of you. Maybe you save one lady's uncle or get him killed, but both color how she sees you. Beyond that though there is some interesting world building. One touch I love is that a particular nobleman is an alcoholic, but it's never actually said in the game, you just will see him drinking. Constantly. Or hear him demand more alcohol in audio recordings of his memoirs. It's pretty great.

I suppose none of this should be surprising coming from a game by Arkane, who did the likes of Arx Fatalis, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, and BioShock 2 before moving onto this. They've since gone on to tackle recent Wolfenstein titles as well as the 2017 Prey. The one downside to the game are scripting and technical issues. No, I don't mean stability; I never had a crash on my initial playthrough, at least. However, I did notice quirks like throwing a body at an edge could cause it to catch and extend the model in some ridiculous and horrific way. Or I wouldn't do something exactly the game wanted, so a key line of dialogue might not play or a flag wouldn't be triggered, thus not giving me credit for completing a task I set out to do. One small side mission resulted in at least four attempts until I finally got credit for all parts of it; before that, I was getting one or two and even somehow managed to fail the quest outright after having completed it. At least once it became a game breaking issue, so you have to be vigilant about it.

If there is one game I would compare it to, it's definitely Thief. I mentioned this earlier, but the comparison is apt, and if I hadn't known better, I could have sworn Looking Glass Studios came back from the dead to make this. However, it also offers some robust means of killing folks, hence why I mentioned Hitman.

I still have several more runthroughs to do in different styles, along with two expansions and a series of trials and challenges to attempt before I truly finish Dishonored. I'll go over those expansions when I eventually get to them, but for now, I'm pretty content with my experience and would recommend the game to others. If you are comfortably being sneaky-sneaky up until you slip a knife into somebody's rib cage, then this would be a good title to consider.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:22 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)

80. Cadash (TurboGrafx-16)
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Cadash is side-scrolling action-RPG for the TurboGrafx-16. At first glance it looks quite similar to other ARPGs of the era: Zelda II, Ys III, Exile. However, Cadash is actually a port, of a Taito arcade game, and is thus designed to be played to completion in a single sitting. This particular TurboGrafx variant arrived in 1991, and was one of the very earliest titles localized by the legendary Working Designs, before they turned their focus towards CD-ROM RPGs with cute anime girls. This is a unique little romp, whose closest contemporary might be Sega's Wonder Boy in Monster Land. The crucial difference being the fact that Cadash is actually a good game.

The story is kept succinct and simple. A princess is captured and the king sends forth a warrior (possibly with a companion in tow) to rescue her. Holding the princess hostage is a Balrog. Yes, straight out of the Tolkien mythos, though "Balrog" is spelled incorrectly in most versions of the game either due to Japanese/English translating, an attempt to avoid flagrant copyright violations, or both. The land of Cadash is one of medieval fantasy, with the appropriate selection of heroes: a fighter, a mage, a priest(ess), and... a ninja? Well, the game was developed in Japan. While the arcade original could support four-player co-op it's been downgraded to two for the TurboGrafx, which is expected. Naturally, all four character classes differ in various ways. The ninja's my personal favorite, and probably the best choice for beginners. He resembles a maskless Ryu from the Ninja Gaiden cutscenes, and wields projectile weapons (namely shurikens) through the entirety of the game. The fighter is your typical barbarian tough guy: strong attack but with a short range. The mage and priestess wield different types of magic (offensive vs. healing). They're weak physical fighters for a long stretch of the game, but by the end become quite well-rounded. Magic is somewhat clunky to utilize. It requires holding down the attack button to scroll through available spells, then releasing the button once one is selected. Most importantly, the characters complement each other beautifully. While Cadash holds plenty of excitement for the lone individual, a two-player run is absolute bliss (especially with the unstoppable ninja and priestess combo).
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The game's structured in an interesting fashion. There's a series a five lengthy "levels." Most have a town embedded somewhere within, or, at the very least, a shop. Levels may appear mazelike initially, but all require the character(s) take a singular direct path, with certain sections gated off until key items are obtained. Levels in Cadash also "loop" brilliantly in a circular way, eliminating any egregious backtracking. Towns contain NPCs that shockingly dispense useful advice, as well as the requisite inns and item shops. There're weapons and armor to equip, as well as healing herbs and antidotes. The environments are all pretty striking, even if most of the journey takes place within a series of subterranean caverns. The game exudes a surprisingly "dark" (literally and figuratively) vibe, and I wouldn't blame anyone for mistaking this for a long-lost Castlevania entry. Towards the end of the game there's a twisted "death world" comprised of fire, graveyards, and floors and walls built from the bones of slain wannabe heroes. Awesome.

More compelling than the dry "save the princess!" narrative are the various sub-plots that present themselves along the way. One town must sacrifice a local to a kraken each year to remain at peace. When the hapless girl is rescued she reveals herself to be a mermaid, and begs of you not to reveal the big secret to her adoptive mother. A high cliff is unreachable, until a ladder is crafted from silk from a venomous worm. There's a town full of dwarves adjacent to a forest maze, complete with houses that are too small to enter until the hero discovers a way to shrink in size. A robber's hideout -- and the pathway to Castle Cadash -- can only be revealed once one figures out how to communicate with dogs. These little vignettes are tremendously charming, and prevent the game from falling into "mindless" hack and slash territory. As mentioned, Working Designs is responsible for the translation here. The dialogue is straightforward and acceptable for the most part (this isn't a particularly loquacious game), with some occasional funny lines uttered by choice NPCs. Didn't really need a random Carl Sagan joke tossed into the mix though. Victor gonna Vic.

Controls are a touch stiff, but in a way that feels appropriate given the genre. Unexpectedly, the heroes of Cadash can slash/whip/throw in eight directions. The enemy selection is fantastic, with every sort of weird fantasy creature imaginable making an appearance: slimes, manticores, pig men, cave trolls, skeleton knights, even zombies that slowly disintegrate upon being struck. The graphical style differs quite a bit from the arcade and is ultimately more pleasing to the eye. There's a "soft" and warm look to characters and backgrounds alike; it's as if everything is glowing ever so slightly. The playable character sprites are quite striking, and sport various looks as new armor is obtained. Even the NPCs are memorable, with all sorts of cool outfits. The ladies of Cadash are all super-adorable, even with the limited facial graphics. And, yes, this is one of those games with uncensored 16-bit "bewbs." The soundtrack is alright. Sounds a bit raw, as is the case of many of these old HuCard titles. The laid-back pieces played during those moments of rest and relaxation are best. Meanwhile, the more upbeat action tunes are peppy enough but not especially memorable.
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"Arcade RPG" sounds like a strange and contradictory genre blend. As such, there are some odd little quirks found in the Cadash experience. For starters, there are no menus. There's no way to keep track of experience points earned, and a money total is only displayed when a shop or inn is visited. Collected items are used automatically when an appropriate situation arises. This is both a blessing and a curse. It's nice to instantaneously recover HP when it hits zero (thanks, herbs), but consuming an antidote as soon as poison sets in is something of a set-back: some rooms have multiple poisonous enemies and it would be preferable to simply use one antidote after escaping. And the game requires level grinding. Thankfully, experience levels are gained rather quickly, and enemies continually respawn. Those who attempt to forgo grinding shall surely be slain by that first "pudding" boss. The bosses of Cadash hit hard, and it's extremely difficult to avoid their attacks. I personally recommend the Ys III approach: grind heavily and head into each boss lair furiously mashing the attack button. That's usually all it takes, save for those final few skirmishes. Speaking of Ys III, anyone with a modicum of patience will find it extraordinarily easy to overlevel in Cadash, which makes the entire middle section of the game an absolute cakewalk.

Trust me on this grinding bit. You don't wanna die. Because despite it's hefty length, Cadash offers up exactly one life and zero continues. It's a terrifying prospect, but inns are numerous, healing items are cheap, and there are a couple of semi-well-hidden elixirs to be found which restore HP completely when it reaches zero. For these reasons, the first stretch of the game is arguably the hardest, as no shops and inns have presented themselves yet, and while max HP is increased upon a level-up current HP does not rise. One neat feature contained within the two-player mode is the ability to resurrect a dead companion at inns. In this way a more experienced player can "drag" a novice through the game (why yes I do have children that enjoy a round of Cadash).

A first-time player who grinds reasonably and treads carefully (remember, only one life!) will find that Cadash takes a couple of hours to complete. It's just long enough to have me wishing for a periodic password, though it's unreasonable to expect such things out of an arcade port I suppose. Set aside a rainy Sunday for this one, it's a lot of fun. Cadash is essential for all ARPG nuts, but is also straightforward enough to satiate the appetites of "regular" platforming fans as well. When was the last time you saw a ninja and a Balrog share the stage together?
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:51 pm

1. Dusk (PC)(FPS)
2. Project: Snowblind (PC)(FPS)
3. Soldier of Fortune: Platinum Edition (PC)(FPS)
4. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)
5. Wolfenstein 3D: Ultimate Challenge (PC)(FPS)
6. Destiny 2 (PC)(FPS/RPG)
7. Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris (PC)(FPS/RPG)
8. Destiny 2: Warmind (PC)(FPS/RPG)

9. Destiny 2: Forsaken (PC)(FPS/RPG)
10. Star Wars: Rebel Assault (PC)(Rail Shooter)

11. Castle Werewolf (PC)(FPS)
12. Project Warlock (PC)(FPS)
13. Castle Crashers (PC)(Hack and Slash)
14. This Strange Realm of Mine (PC)(FPS)
15. BioShock Remastered (PC)(FPS)
16. BioShock 2 (PC)(FPS)
17. BioShock 2: Minerva's Den (PC)(FPS)

18. Blood (PC)(FPS)
19. Blood: Cryptic Passage (PC)(FPS)
20. Blood: Post Mortem (PC)(FPS)

21. Shadow Warrior (PC)(FPS)
22. Shadow Warrior: Twin Dragon (PC)(FPS)
23. Shadow Warrior: Wanton Destruction (PC)(FPS)

24. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PC)(FPS)
25. F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn (PC)(FPS)

26. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC)(RPG)
27. Men of Valor (PC)(FPS)
28. Ultima III: Exodus (PC)(RPG)
29. Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space (PC)(Point and Click)

30. Midnight Ultra (PC)(FPS)
31. Amid Evil (PC)(FPS)
32. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)(RPG)
33. Betrayer (PC)(Horror)

34. Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary (PC)(FPS/RPG)
35. Far Cry 2 (PC)(FPS)
36. Apocryph (PC)(FPS)
37. Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor (PC)(RPG)

38. Menzoberranzan (PC)(RPG)
39. TimeShift (PC)(FPS)
40. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition (PC)(RPG)
41. Shadowgate (PC)(Point and Click)

42. Might & Magic Book One (PC)(RPG)
43. Miasmata (PC)(Adventure)
44. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (PC)(FPS)
45. Legendary (PC)(FPS)
46. Hedon (PC)(FPS)
47. Last Rites (PC)(FPS)
48. Half-Dead 2 (PC)(Adventure)
49. Dishonored (PC)(Stealth Adventure)
50. Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World (PC)(RPG)

Add another skull to the pile, boys. This time, it's a doozy.

Might and Magic II marks the sixth one from the series that I have beaten. I started with III, which is one of the two best places to approach the M&M series from in my opinion, battled my way through the colorful worlds of 4 and 5 combined, then saw the massive changes the series took when it transformed in 6. Yet I could feel it bothering me, like a tickle at the back of the skull, that I had yet to return to the original two. When I tackled the first Might and Magic earlier this year, it was with the intent of finally wrapping up both of these because of the ability to port a party into the sequel. As soon as it was done, I knew I would move into the second, which in some ways has been the most interesting and challenging of the series so far, as well as the most ambitious.

Let's cover the basics though: M&M2 picks up immediately after where M&M one leaves off. Sheltem has fled to this new world, and the party follows after to take down this almost godlike alien criminal who helped design the mighty spaceships that house many of the worlds that make up the Might and Magic series. Arriving in Middletown, the party discovers a large world with a rich history, difficult challenges to push the player into new tiers, and even the eventual ability to travel through time and see how this new world has reached its current state of affairs. It's a masterstroke, though at times it's also meandering, because once you get through a few initial quests, the hand holding is officially done. From there on, you must seek clues spread out across the land and hidden away in various caves and dungeons. Explore at your own risk, but it's the only way to learn what you must do.

I think this is a brilliant way to force the player to constantly explore, and it also makes M&M2 less enigmatic than its predecessor, though you will still experience that sense of occasional aimlessness as you struggle to find the one clue you need to further wrap up the story. In fact, most things are a step up from the first, and while the overworld is actually the same size as the original, it's presented as an open world here and not the flat dungeon that the original was, so everything seems much bigger. The art direction is also moving towards what we eventually see with Might & Magic 3, but the system still hearkens back to the fight screens of the first game, meaning combat doesn't take place directly in the world the way it does in later games.

In fact, combat hasn't really changed much from the first game. Spells still require you know the specific level code to enter to cast. You have the option of melee or range but usually not both. The one big change I see here is that the game tries to match more enemy groups to your power level, so the higher your level, the more likely you're going to see groupings of 100+ enemies, up to 255, with the ability to call in reinforcements. Though that said, you'll also probably see many of these groups quickly collapse as the enemies all flee over how tough you are, so you might end up only killing a hundred out of the roughly 350 orcs you're ending up in combat with. This also adds to later, tougher fights, where you'll encounter larger numbers of difficult enemies, though even these might flee.

Of course, your equipment helps, and the series has overhauled how it operates. No longer are items either basic or +1 considered separate in the item list; now almost all equipable items can have a bonus stat, and these can continue to grow higher. The biggest I saw was a +12, but if I had tackled some of the greatest fights and gone in on leveling up my sorcerer to cast item-enhancing spells, I'm sure I could go further. Another nice bonus is that now shops can identify items, which show you the weapon statistics such as damage range, so you can finally see whether something is better than something else. It costs gold, but gold is surprisingly easy to earn. I had somewhere in the realm of 10 million when I finished. Character stats also received a change in behavior; previously you could get a stat up to 255 and then it would reset, but no benefits were gained from going past 40. Here, having a stat at 100 or 200 can prove hugely beneficial, and yes, it is possible to legitimately get a stat up to 100 in Might and Magic 2. All of my characters boasted several stats at 100 by the time I was wrapping things up.

As much as I enjoy these changes, the game still has its faults. One of the most notable is in shifting items between party members; in the first game, you would actually be presented with a list of which character was in which slot. That was dropped in the second for some reason, and it felt like a step backwards in a game that was mostly on the up and up. The likelihood you'll wander into a ridiculous combat or get annihilated for stepping on the wrong space is still there, so stay used to dying and make sure you save a lot. A new feature in the game is the addition of extra hirelings to add to your party, but because they cost money daily, I found it was easier to only use them when I had a specific purpose and never bothered with them otherwise. And since the game is constantly trying to adjust to meet your state of power, you'll find it can react in occasionally ridiculous ways. The worst are the completely randomized fights in the final dungeon, where the weakest enemies can appear en masse alongside the most powerful.

Where does this game fit alongside the rest of the series? It's tough for me to say exactly. I see the improvements over the first, the areas where it lagged behind later entries, but that open world potential that runs throughout the series is in its blood. It offers me exactly what I play the Might & Magic games for, an epic yet personal experience based on how I want to proceed and explore. It has its hiccups, but it also has its beauty, and that is something that keeps me coming back to this series.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by lordb0rb4 Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:15 pm

Ack wrote:1. Dusk (PC)(FPS)
2. Project: Snowblind (PC)(FPS)
3. Soldier of Fortune: Platinum Edition (PC)(FPS)
4. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)
5. Wolfenstein 3D: Ultimate Challenge (PC)(FPS)
6. Destiny 2 (PC)(FPS/RPG)
7. Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris (PC)(FPS/RPG)
8. Destiny 2: Warmind (PC)(FPS/RPG)

9. Destiny 2: Forsaken (PC)(FPS/RPG)
10. Star Wars: Rebel Assault (PC)(Rail Shooter)

11. Castle Werewolf (PC)(FPS)
12. Project Warlock (PC)(FPS)
13. Castle Crashers (PC)(Hack and Slash)
14. This Strange Realm of Mine (PC)(FPS)
15. BioShock Remastered (PC)(FPS)
16. BioShock 2 (PC)(FPS)
17. BioShock 2: Minerva's Den (PC)(FPS)

18. Blood (PC)(FPS)
19. Blood: Cryptic Passage (PC)(FPS)
20. Blood: Post Mortem (PC)(FPS)

21. Shadow Warrior (PC)(FPS)
22. Shadow Warrior: Twin Dragon (PC)(FPS)
23. Shadow Warrior: Wanton Destruction (PC)(FPS)

24. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PC)(FPS)
25. F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn (PC)(FPS)

26. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC)(RPG)
27. Men of Valor (PC)(FPS)
28. Ultima III: Exodus (PC)(RPG)
29. Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space (PC)(Point and Click)

30. Midnight Ultra (PC)(FPS)
31. Amid Evil (PC)(FPS)
32. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)(RPG)
33. Betrayer (PC)(Horror)

34. Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary (PC)(FPS/RPG)
35. Far Cry 2 (PC)(FPS)
36. Apocryph (PC)(FPS)
37. Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor (PC)(RPG)

38. Menzoberranzan (PC)(RPG)
39. TimeShift (PC)(FPS)
40. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition (PC)(RPG)
41. Shadowgate (PC)(Point and Click)

42. Might & Magic Book One (PC)(RPG)
43. Miasmata (PC)(Adventure)
44. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (PC)(FPS)
45. Legendary (PC)(FPS)
46. Hedon (PC)(FPS)
47. Last Rites (PC)(FPS)
48. Half-Dead 2 (PC)(Adventure)
49. Dishonored (PC)(Stealth Adventure)

Dishonored could technically qualify as an FPS, though I find it's like Thief and Hitman had a weird steampunk baby in Venice. A lot of my playthrough of the game started with my figuring out how stealth mechanics work and doing a terrible job early on, only to later get through levels without murdering anyone or cutting down large groups without ever being seen but still killing them because they pissed me off. You know, for existing.

You are the Empress' bodyguard, a formal position that may have also led to you being her lover, as it's implied heavily that the Princess is your daughter. Unfortunately, you arrive a couple of days early from a diplomatic trip regarding a plague in your city state only to see your Empress murdered, her daughter kidnapped, and you blamed for the assassination. Six months later, a group of loyalists that reject the city-state's Spymaster naming himself Regent gives you to tools to break out and join their merry band of disenfranchised rich, poor, military, religious, scientist/philosopher, etc. They do this because you happen to be good at sneaking around and killing people. Then some kind of pagan god shows up and gives you cosmic powers. Have fun wiping out your targets as you see fit.

It took me a few levels to get the hang of things and unlock some of the powers that suited my playstyle, but Dishonored is a lot of fun once you get into its systems, and it provides a variety of ways to progress through each level. You could sneak past everybody, you could go the overhead route and use rooftops to evade detection, you could use magic powers to get by, you could sneak up and choke or murder everyone, or you could go in guns blazing, chucking grenades like baseballs in a batting cage. The point is, Dishonored gives you options, and that is where its greatest strengths lie. I don't feel like I'm being forced a particular way of doing something, because every fight can be avoided. It is possible to get through the game without killing anybody, or you could kill just about everybody, your choice. Better yet, the game reacts to the decisions you make: kill the guards in the first level while you escape prison, and the propaganda broadcasts talk about how bloodthirsty you are. It really helps tailor your experience.

Now a big part of the game is the plot, and it's pretty straightforward: remove key individuals from power while helping to build up your side, until you eventually topple the big bad and suffer the inevitable betrayal you just know is gonna happen, because come on, it's the kind of game where you know it's gonna happen. From that perspective, there isn't anything new. It's the little interactions though and the decisions you make which can alter the flow of events that I appreciate. For example, you could interrogate a prisoner at one point through gifts or torture, and this effects how he thinks of you. Maybe you save one lady's uncle or get him killed, but both color how she sees you. Beyond that though there is some interesting world building. One touch I love is that a particular nobleman is an alcoholic, but it's never actually said in the game, you just will see him drinking. Constantly. Or hear him demand more alcohol in audio recordings of his memoirs. It's pretty great.

I suppose none of this should be surprising coming from a game by Arkane, who did the likes of Arx Fatalis, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, and BioShock 2 before moving onto this. They've since gone on to tackle recent Wolfenstein titles as well as the 2017 Prey. The one downside to the game are scripting and technical issues. No, I don't mean stability; I never had a crash on my initial playthrough, at least. However, I did notice quirks like throwing a body at an edge could cause it to catch and extend the model in some ridiculous and horrific way. Or I wouldn't do something exactly the game wanted, so a key line of dialogue might not play or a flag wouldn't be triggered, thus not giving me credit for completing a task I set out to do. One small side mission resulted in at least four attempts until I finally got credit for all parts of it; before that, I was getting one or two and even somehow managed to fail the quest outright after having completed it. At least once it became a game breaking issue, so you have to be vigilant about it.

If there is one game I would compare it to, it's definitely Thief. I mentioned this earlier, but the comparison is apt, and if I hadn't known better, I could have sworn Looking Glass Studios came back from the dead to make this. However, it also offers some robust means of killing folks, hence why I mentioned Hitman.

I still have several more runthroughs to do in different styles, along with two expansions and a series of trials and challenges to attempt before I truly finish Dishonored. I'll go over those expansions when I eventually get to them, but for now, I'm pretty content with my experience and would recommend the game to others. If you are comfortably being sneaky-sneaky up until you slip a knife into somebody's rib cage, then this would be a good title to consider.


I'm at the very end of the first big mission and while i do enjoy the freedom of choice i was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of audio-logs and collectables.
Would you say it's necessary to beat the game?
Last edited by lordb0rb4 on Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:18 pm

lordb0rb4 wrote:I'm at the very end of the first big mission and while i do enjoy the freedom of choice i was bit overwhelmed with so many audio and collectables.
Would you say it's necessary to beat the game?


Not at all. You can beat the game without ever finding any runes, you can fight your way through if you like, you can do low or high chaos...that's all up to you.
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lordb0rb4
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by lordb0rb4 Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:22 pm

Ack wrote:
lordb0rb4 wrote:I'm at the very end of the first big mission and while i do enjoy the freedom of choice i was bit overwhelmed with so many audio and collectables.
Would you say it's necessary to beat the game?


Not at all. You can beat the game without ever finding any runes, you can fight your way through if you like, you can do low or high chaos...that's all up to you.


That was EXACTLY what i wanted to know,it is not that i'm rushing through like crazy ,but i'm happy to know that i don't have to search every corner to enjoy this game.
Thank you!
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:19 pm

Happy to help.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:32 pm

∞ IQ M&M review.
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