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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by marurun Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:52 am

Metroid Fusion does a lot of telling instead of showing with the core plot events, but there’s a ton of environmental storytelling in the design. I think Fusion’s environments are just dripping with little details.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:02 am

marurun wrote:Metroid Fusion does a lot of telling instead of showing with the core plot events, but there’s a ton of environmental storytelling in the design. I think Fusion’s environments are just dripping with little details.


That's a really good point! Honestly, the parts when the game just lets you do stuff and stops telling you what to do, when it just lets itself be a more linear Metroid-y experience, are some of the best moments of the game. Had the game had a bit more time in the oven to work on the things it does well rather than on what it does not, I think it may've had a more positive reception.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:48 am

The First 50:
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)

51. Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall (PC)(Stealth Adventure)
52. Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches (PC)(Stealth Adventure)

53. The Spy Who Shot Me (PC)(FPS)
54. Z.A.R. (PC)(FPS)
55. Bunker Punks (PC)(FPS)

56. Wolfenstein: The New Order (PC)(FPS)
57. Final Fight (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)
58. The King of Dragons (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)
59. Captain Commando (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)
60. Knights of the Round (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)
61. Warriors of Fate (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)
62. Armored Warriors (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)
63. Battle Circuit (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)


I've mentioned it in several places, but I received the import Capcom Belt Action Collection over the holidays, and I promptly sat down and delved through Capcom's history. This isn't all of their beat 'em ups, but it's a healthy chunk and shows off a variety of styles. Many of these I've beaten before, while others I had never touched. Some I had experience with console ports as well as the original arcade games offered up. Also, since I'm an American, I decided my first experience with these should be the English (read: American release) versions. I intend to go back to play the Japanese originals at some point in early 2020.

The overall bundle is fantastic, offering up artwork from the get go, control scheme information and options, how to play sections, some visual options, and so forth. Each game also allows you to modify and tweak difficulty within the parameters of that game, so if you're looking for a more challenging or a significantly easier experience, you have it. However, the games are all set to Free Play, so even when you get your butt kicked, perseverance is your friend.

The games range nearly a decade of Capcom's game development, starting with Final Fight in 1989 and going up to Battle Circuit in 1997. However, the key year is 1991, when in a span of just a few short months, King of Dragons, Captain Commando, and Knights of the Round all released. Because of their proximity (and with Warriors of Fate following less than a year later in 1992), as I was playing I started to recognize recurring ideas that I had never before noticed.

For example, two games in this collection are ostensibly hack-and-slash titles as opposed to your fist-fueled beat 'em ups: King of Dragons and Knights of the Round. KoD stands out for a couple of reasons from the rest of the collection because its lineage feels more like it's borrowing from Golden Axe than a direct line to Final Fight: boss health is styled after GA, skeletons show up constantly as well as thieves, there is a magic system, albeit in a different style, and most importantly, this is the one game that doesn't allow hitting enemies en masse, instead targeting only one in a crowd when you swing your weapon. No other game in this collection does this, even the older Final Fight.

However, a reuse of sprites in Knights of the Round tells me that KoD was at least on their minds when they moved to it. That's right, the Phantom of KotR is the Black Knight of KoD, even with similar moves and attacks. There is also a leveling system in place in KotR which leads to visual changes of characters, much like the changing weapons and shields of the KoD protagonists. But KotR follows much closer to the Final Fight and Captain Commando style in how it showcases boss health and the like.

Another idea that is brought in and then dropped are horses, which appear in KotR and make their way into Warriors of Fate, where suddenly even unarmed protagonists whip out weaponry, showing the hybrid beat 'em up and hack and slash roots of that game. Warriors of Fate is crippled by a butchered storyline (why it was believed American consumers wouldn't want to hear about Chinese history over some fictional Mongolian fairy tale land is beyond me), but it incorporates elements of both lines of its predecessors...

...and then there was silence until 1994's Armored Warriors, which again features the recurring representation of health bars but adapts a totally new system of rebuilding your character on the fly. I was familiar with the characters from Cyberbots and various Marvel vs. Capcom titles, but to finally get to play AW was a great feat. It's a fantastic game where, with a little moxxie and some mixing and matching, some particularly devastating combos of gear can be discovered, some of which accommodate new play styles. The downside? You have to learn all of this, so yeah, learning curve.

And then we jump further ahead to Battle Circuit, with radically different character designs, unlockable special moves, and weird and wonderful level design come together into a masterpiece. I love Battle Circuit; it's my favorite of the set, partly because it's so well done, and partly because it's so strange. However, it seems to pull plot ideas as much from Shadowrun as it does any previous Capcom games, particularly as you play bounty hunters going after an Egyptian-styled disk developed by a mega corp in a giant pyramid and stolen by some kind of street gang. Also, levels are short...really short, basically only there long enough to keep me from thinking of this as a boss rush beat 'em up in the style of Monster Masher or Metamoqester.

This is perhaps a weird point, where my two favorite games in the set, Battle Circuit and The King of Dragons, pull from external sources like Shadowrun, Golden Axe, and Dungeons & Dragons. I'm not quite sure what to make of this.

I haven't talked much about Final Fight, but going back, it just feels rudimentary and cheap compared to later games that Capcom did. Captain Commando I also haven't gone into much, though the zaniness of Battle Circuit seems to hearken back to its ridiculousness, and that I consider a mark in its favor; Captain Commando is weird, but it's a fun kind of weird.

All of these games are worth playing. Some haven't aged as well as others, but played together, they form a tapestry of Capcom's ideas and influences. Is there anything missing? Oh God yes, Alien vs. Predator is glaringly absent considering the inclusion of other titles that never saw any sort of home release. However, I'm guessing that one is stuck in licensing hell. I do wish it could have been a part of the experience though.

Get this collection. By playing through it, I found new games to enjoy like Warriors of Fate and old favorites to return to. I'll be going back, and while I probably won't always include my thoughts here, I'll be savoring and enjoying my time with it. That said, look forward to me bumrushing the Japanese releases at some point!
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by alienjesus Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:58 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
62. ToeJam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron Switch
63. Bare Knuckle III Switch
64. Gunstar Heroes Switch
65. Space Harrier II Switch
66. Sonic Spinball Switch
67. Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium Switch
68. Sonic 3D Blast Switch
69. Rabbids Go Home Wii
70. Alien Storm Switch
71. Alien Soldier Switch
72. Untitled Goose Game Switch eShop
73. Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole Switch
74. Fatal Labyrinth Switch
75. Ristar Switch
76. Golden Axe III Switch
77. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Switch
78. Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine Switch
79. Bonanza Bros. Switch
80. Shining Force II [& Sega Mega Drive Classics] Switch
81. Castlevania Bloodlines Switch eShop
82. Puyo Puyo Sun 64 N64
83. Chameleon Twist 2 N64
84. Cruis'n USA N64
85. Darkwing Duck Game Boy
86. Fortified Zone Game Boy
87. Lock 'N Chase Game Boy
88. Spanky's Quest Game Boy
89. Looney Tunes Collector: Martian Revenge! GBC
90. Puchi Carat PS1
91. Battle Garegga Rev. 2016 PS4
92. Flower PS4
93. FlOw PS4
94. The Longest 5 Minutes Switch
95. West of Loathing Switch
96. Pokémon Sword Switch
97. Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2 DS
98. Ace Attorney Investigations: Prosecutor's Path DS
99. Game Center CX: Arino no Chōsenjō 2 DS
100. Bayonetta 2 Wii U
101. Thimbleweed Park Switch



Bayonetta 2

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Sometimes I play a game I really enjoy, and decide that it would be a good idea to play the sequel soon whilst I remember more of the first title. An example might be Final Fantasy X, where I intended to play X-2 before I forgot the story. Inevitably though, I don’t get around to playing the sequel anywhere near the time I expect to. Bayonetta 2 was an example of that.

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I enjoyed playing through Bayonetta 1 several years ago – and my wife really enjoyed watching it to. It was just on the right side of stupid for me to make the flashy combat, dumb story and hypersexualised protagonist fun, and I think she agreed. And so when I finally sat down to play Bayonetta 2 this year, I was looking forward to it – even if we had to remind ourselves of the first game’s story a couple of times!

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Bayonetta 2 is basically ‘more of the same’ in terms of what it offers. This time, Bayonetta is on a journey to hell to rescue Jean, who has gone and gotten herself killed. Along the way she meets Loki, a child who seems to have some special powers, who guides her to the Gates of Hell (the real ones, not the bar which Rodin runs) on the sacred mountain Fimbulventr. All of the characters from before are here – Jean, Rodin, Luka and Lorenzo all make an appearance even if they feel somewhat underutilised. Loki is very annoying too – especially his god awful accent that I think is meant to be British. It makes Dick Van Dyke look like a born and bred Londoner, is all I can say.

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Anyway, gameplay is the same combo of flash combat with some secrets to find in between. Bayonetta can attack with various combinations of weapons on her hands and feet – my favourites were the swords and whip, but the bow proved very useful on some of the games harder Muspelheim challenges – optional battle with special rules such as ‘don’t get hit’ or ‘maintain a combo the whole battle’. Dodging is super important, with a timely dodge activating witch time, putting all enemies in slow motion for a while. Double tapping dodge turns you into a panther for sprinting around at speed, but I wish this was on another button – I found myself constantly turning into a panther mid battle whilst trying to dodge, so I heard the roar a looooot.

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Bayonetta 2 has some fantastic setpieces, much like the first game. Highlights include the opening battle on a jet, and a battle with a giant demon and angel wrestling in the background. I don’t feel like anything feels quite as impressive as the first game, but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s lesser in anyway, or if there’s just a lot more competition for spectacle these days and I’m more desensitised to it. Either way, it’s still fun.

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One thing I did think about Bayonetta 2 though is that it seemed notably easier than the first game. In the first game, I died a lot, especially on bosses. It had a real learning curve to manage. In the second game, I played on Normal again, but this time I died only once in the whole game – to an unexpected insta-kill move. I only came close to dying one other time, and I never used a single health recovery item. Now, maybe it’s possible I’m just better now after having played the first game, but being that it’s been several years since I did so, I’m leaning towards this title just being more accessible and less challenging than before.

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Either way, it doesn’t dampen the fun I had with the game – I enjoyed the game all the way through. The gameplay is fun, the music is catchy when it wants to be and atmospheric when it needs to be, the graphics are flashy and good for the system, and overall it’s just a real fun game to experience. I’m glad I did so, and happy to reach 100 games beaten in the year for what I think is my first time ever.




Thimbleweed Park

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I quite enjoy the old LucasArts point and click games, so I was keen to give Thimbleweed Park a try. Made by Ron Gilbert, it aims to be a spriritual successor to those old point n click games, particularly the earlier examples like Maniac Mansion, which can be seen through the games art style. The game initially follows 2 characters, the newbie Agent Reyes and the experienced Agent Ray, two FBI agents who are investigating a murder in the sleepy town of Thumbleweed Park. The game takes inspiration from classic TV shows like The X-Files and Twin Peaks in it’s aesthetics for sure. Ray and Reyes are basically immediately revealed to have ulterior motives for being there, but what they are remains a mystery at first.

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As you walk around town trying to solve the mystery of the murder, you uncover the backstories of a few potential suspects – first is Ransome the Clown, a mean spirited ‘insult clown’ who has been cursed to remain in makeup forever and is hated by and in turn hates basically everyone in town. Next is Delores Edmund, niece of the towns most wealthy benefactor, Chuck Edmond. She’s suspected because she ran away to become an adventure game programmer instead of taking over the pillow factory her uncle owned. And lastly, Franklin Edmund, brother to Chuck and Father to Delores, who has been missing for several weeks. You quickly discover he’s dead though – as each new suspect comes with a flashback where you play as them.

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After you finish all the flashbacks, all 5 characters become playable – Ray and Reyes are generally interchangeable, but some other actions can only be performed by Delores or Ransome – Delores is the techy of the bunch, whereas Ransome isn’t scared of heights for example. Franklin is limited to the place he died for movement, but as a ghost can travel without being seen and pass through locked doors.

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So far so good, right? Unfortunately, the game is pretty flawed. First of all, the game really dials back on that classic LucasArts comedy – there’s few laughs here, which means the story has to hold up the game – and it really fails to live up to this requirement, being mostly uninteresting and then having spectacularly poor payoffs at the end. The game world is also huge, and every character has separate inventories and moves independently – meaning lots of moving back and forth figuring out where to go next, and then also sometimes doing this 4 or 5 times to get everyone where they need to be. There’s also little reason given for why people are working together – I see no reason Ransome and Delores would be supporting Reyes for example. The only logic apparent is strictly limited to 4th wall breaking – the player knows, so that’s good enough.

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I often found myself stuck not because the puzzles were complex, but because I had no idea what the next objective was, or I’d missed an item somewhere. The game is full of tiny items, just a few pixels on screen, which are required for progression. Luckily, there’s a phone number you can call in game for hints, but I found myself using it not for solutions but for item locations – usually the last hint given, meaning by the time I could do it, I already had the solution.

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The controls are bad on switch. B is used to walk to a location, and A looks at the item selected. Otherwise you use the stick to control a cursor on screen and must manually navigate it to the verbs are the bottom to use. Touch screen controls are theoretically better, but they feel imprecise and I actually preferred the button controls. Pressing L and R should move the cursor to nearby interactable items on screen, but this felt inconsistent to me, and I sometimes struggled to highlight even items I knew I could interact with.

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Overall, I found Thimbleweed Park to be a massive disappointment. It’s cumbersome to play, the puzzles felt awkward and not fun most of the time, the scope is too big to be fun, and the game is utterly lacking in any of the charm that defined those original titles. I think Thimbleweed Park isn’t worth the time or effort to play through it, and I’d advise you skip it. There’s better options easily available elsewhere.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Dec 31, 2019 10:21 am

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)
81. Cadash (Genesis)
82. Circus Charlie (Famicom)
83. Ankoku Shinwa: Yamato Takeru Densetsu (Famicom)
84. Gyromite (NES)
85. Suishou no Dragon (Famicom Disk System)
86. Captain Silver (Sega Master System)

87. Neutopia (TurboGrafx-16)
88-89. Legacy of Ys: Books I & II (DS)


Neutopia
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I oftentimes hear the term "Zelda clone" applied liberally to a vast array of early action-RPGs, even those that share more DNA with pre-Zelda games like Hydlide and Dragon Slayer. In actuality, there was a grand total of two notable console titles, both released in the West, that unmistakably and unquestionably imitate most every facet of the Nintendo titan. The first, Golden Axe Warrior, by Sega for their own Master System, is rather janky and can safely be skipped. The second, Hudson's Neutopia for the TurboGrafx-16, is a fitting Zelda tribute, crafted by developers who understood what made Miyamoto's game so compelling. And with a 1989/1990 release date (depending on region), Neutopia also nicely filled the role of first 16-bit "Zelda" title, providing sustenance for those gamers (well, PC Engine owning gamers) eagerly anticipating A Link to the Past.

Now, Neutopia is so derivative that it's impossible to review without also constantly referencing The Legend of Zelda, either directly or indirectly. Take the basic plot, for example. The hero of Neutopia is a young man named Jazeta, who is tasked with rescuing the kingdom's princess from the clutches of an evil demon named Dirth. Dirth has also scattered eight sacred medallions across the land, entombing them in the darkest of dungeons. Said medallions represent wisdom, power, and virtue. Only by obtaining them can Jazeta restore peace to the land, and unlock the entrance to Dirth's lair.

Of course, the general game mechanics are lifted right from Zelda as well. Jazeta wields a sword, permanently mapped to one button. The second action button is dedicated to a rotating series of sub-weapons and items. Most often utilized are the bombs and fire wand (no arrows or boomerang here, sadly). Neutopia flips the Zelda conventions in terms of weaponry: bombs have no offensive value and are used strictly for blowing up rock, while the fire wand is often more useful than the sword! In addition to its tree-vanquishing function, the fire wand also serves as the game's projectile weapon, as Jazeta lacks "lazer sword" capabilities. The fire wand's emissions are tied to Jazeta's life bar: when it's nearly full the wand emits a series of flames that linger on screen, causing mass damage to nearby foes. When Jazeta's life falters, the wand shoots forth weaker spherical projectiles. Neutopia succeeds where Golden Axe Warrior fails: the combat is fluid, satisfying, and undeniably Zelda-like. Controls are speedy and smooth, and while Jazeta can only move in the standard four directions he can surprisingly blast the fire rod diagonally. With only two weapons at Jazeta's disposal, combat can get stale after a spell, but on the flip side there's also rarely a need to fiddle with the menus.
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The one aspect where Neutopia differs from Zelda significantly is in the realm of navigation. Zelda offered players a massive overworld, ripe for exploration at the game's beginning. Getting lost was inevitable, progression was conceivably nonlinear, and map-making skills were required. In contrast, Neutopia starts the player in a central hub, connected to a series of small overworld "spheres" which each contain two dungeons. The spheres are thematic: while the first resembles the grassy outdoors of Zelda, the remaining three showcase subterranean, sea, and sky settings. Dungeons themselves are easier to locate as well. Rather than having a compass as a recurring dungeon item, the compass of Neutopia is a persistent tool used to guide Jazeta within each sphere to the location of the next available dungeon. And the dungeon entrances always appear as so, there's no fingers-crossed spelunking into random holes hidden under tree and rock. Speaking of such matters, bombable rock faces are clearly marked with cracks, and trees fit for burning are typically segregated from larger verdant clusters. Step inside to find shops or people just chillin'. The overworld(s) are littered with NPCs, always loquacious and helpful. There are wise men (and women), monks that grant life and bomb increases, and regular old townsfolk. There's a shockingly huge amount of dialogue in the game, all of it very well translated. Isolated bits of the game script are a tad clunky: there are "jokes" that fall flat, and one notable NPC will tell you to backtrack and get the fire rod, regardless of whether or not it's already been obtained. There are save points to be found periodically, though saving the game is dependent on hardware. Those with access to internal memory (TurboBooster-Plus, CD drive, Duo) can simply save to the "file cabinet" while those unfortunate souls who possess but a vanilla TurboGrafx-16 (oh hi there) will have to make do with the insultingly long passwords. Holistically, the game is significantly less intimidating than Zelda: no NES Game Atlas required!

The dungeons themselves are a bit of a missed opportunity. It would have been cool had they been designed around the same concepts as the spheres they resided in (for instance, the land sphere could have had a hedge maze, or a cloud-based dungeon in the sky sphere). Instead, they're all stony rock labyrinths, virtually indistinguishable to the untrained eye. Those specific types of flair that characterized the Zelda dungeons (garish colors, creative shapes, hidden basements) are nowhere to be found within Neutopia. The dungeons don't really seem to get more complex as the game progresses either; they merely increase in length. Dungeons lack keys (save for the one that opens the boss door) so there's more freedom to explore from the get-go. "Sealed doors" are encountered frequently however; these are opened by either dispatching all enemies within a given room or "solving" one of the seemingly infinite "push the right block" "puzzles." There's a neat little bell item that allows Jazeta to open any sealed door without meeting the official requirements, though it's obtained way too late in the game to make a strong impact.
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Each dungeon concludes with a boss, naturally. Some, like the dragon and crab, feel as if they're taken straight out of (wait for it) Zelda, though I swear Ys must have served as inspiration for the stone man that's surrounded by a force field. These are decent fights, though the difficulty is inconsistent, and successfully besting certain bosses seems heavily dependent on having a powered-up fire wand. Thankfully, Jazeta can travel with two HP-refilling potions (oddly enough, purchasing these provides the only practical use for the in-game currency). Frustratingly, standard foes almost never drop those tiny one-square health refills; one is obtained only every ten minutes or so.

Neutopia boasts a solid audiovisual presentation. The graphics have what I like to call that "12-bit" look: like a "beefed-up NES, not quite SNES" sort of deal. Graphics are crisp and colorful, with all sprites and backgrounds kept simple and pleasing to the eye. The soundtrack is interesting. All the best tunes (like the title screen theme, shrine theme, and land sphere theme) show up early on. Things start to wane from there, with those later sphere and boss themes being entirely less memorable. One annoying thing about the soundtrack is how brief the tracks are. That fantastic title screen theme: 26 seconds. And then silence, not even a loop. Most tunes do indeed loop, after a minute or less, which can be a bit grating to the ears.

Neutopia is a good game, with some scattered issues. It can't touch The Legend of Zelda, but it feels like a worthy unofficial sequel. Anyone craving more of Link's shenanigans is likely to enjoy this. As there's one single "route" through the game it lacks the replay value of Nintendo's classic, but is worth taking on once or twice.


Legacy of Ys
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Playing an Atlus-published Ys title on a Nintendo handheld feels a bit surreal. Especially since this is the first Ys game to appear on any Nintendo hardware in North America since the so-so Ys III SNES variant. Legacy of Ys is yet another compilation of the first two games in the series. It's modeled directly after the PlayStation 2 Ys I & II Eternal Story, which itself is based on the Windows PC Eternal versions of the games. Note that every variant of Ys I & II since (and including) Eternal, whether standalone or compilation, is a full-blown remake, sporting some new tunes, reworked graphics, and an extra town plus an extended overworld (though dungeon layouts remain rather faithful to the PC-88 originals).

Legacy of Ys is one of the more intriguing of these releases, as it features some gameplay idiosyncrasies not found elsewhere. Though a compilation in North America, Ys I and Ys II actually received standalone DS releases in Japan.... for the most part. There was something released later on in Japan called the Ys DS / Ys II DS Special Box, which, well, was a large box with both DS releases stuffed inside, plus some additional goodies. But the North American Legacy is the only one to feature both games on a single DS game card.

The hero of Ys is one Adol Christin, swordsman extraordinaire. He begins Ys I unconscious, washed up on the shore of a sleepy seaside town. He soon wakes and is asked to investigate an incident of burglary, a kidnapping, and the whereabouts of a mysterious man in black. In contrast, Adol begins Ys II.... unconscious (my man is on his way to some serious neurological damage). This time he's roused awake by a beautiful young lady. Apparently now marooned on a floating island, it's up to Adol to discover the true meaning of the books he was hoarding in the first chapter.
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It's no secret that Ys Book I & II, in any form, is action-RPG perfection. And such is true for this round on the DS. The two bite-sized quests flow together beautifully to make one hearty experience (though one could elect to simply play the second part). The scenery is breathtaking throughout, boasting some of the most memorable dungeons in gaming history. There's even a bonus area here, exclusive to the DS platform. Known as Vageux-Vardette, it's one of those all-too-rare "outdoor dungeons" and it concludes with a brand-new boss encounter. Combat is ever-present and incredibly satisfying, with level-grinding occurring naturally throughout the course of exploration. NPCs are wholly unique, and yes there are cute anime girls aplenty.

As for the alterations made, there are two big changes that many would consider "quality of life" improvements. First, the classic "bump system" combat has been replaced by a traditional button-press sword swing (for the most part, there's a stylus controls option with limited functionality). Adol's sword is short, but swipes in a decent arc, and kicks back wounded foes a fair distance. As the nuances and challenges inherent to the bump system are also scrapped, enemy abilities have been beefed up a bit to compensate. They have their own sets of attacks, with some lobbing projectiles that can clear a screen. But overall the game is much, much easier when compared to any other Ys. One no longer needs to deeply contemplate positioning while fighting, and it's actually possible to vanquish bosses without taking a single hit. That infamous bat boss? Total chump on the DS. And then there's the issue of navigation. Legacy of Ys features a persistent area map on the bottom screen of the DS, complete with a symbol to indicate Adol's current position, door icons, and an area name. This is extraordinarily useful in the overindulgent final dungeons of both "books" as nearly every floor superficially looks identical. There's even a little "hint box" that indicates the current objective, though these typically consist of rather vague statements.
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Aesthetics are a mixed bag. The game features 2D sprites on 3D backgrounds. And while the 2D looks fantastic, the 3D suffers a bit. Environments are zoomed-in, pixelated, and slanted in a way that's sometimes off-putting. In contrast, the large character portraits that appear while in conversion are absolutely riveting. As are the cutscenes, ripped straight from Eternal. Yuzo Koshiro's musical compositions are utterly peerless, but sound a tad weak coming from the tiny DS speakers. Still, some of these remixed tunes are quite fantastic. The game boasts the best arrangement of "Departure" (the opening town's theme), though in fairness that track wasn't included on the TurboGrafx soundtrack.

Astute observers of all that is Ys may have noticed that the PSP had a compilation of its own (Ys I & II Chronicles) drop shortly after Legacy. I'd give Sony the upper hand here, as Chronicles showcases a smoother and brighter graphical appearance as well as a superior audio presentation. But that's still no reason to skip straight over Legacy. If anything, this is the one I'd recommend to Ys neophytes, with it's (arguably) more palatable combat style and auto-mapping being the main perks. Nevertheless, longtime fans of the series will find enough differences in this one to be satisfied as well. The goddesses are waiting.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:43 pm

Bone, I would love to hear your thoughts on Crusader of Centy sometime.
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I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:21 pm

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)
60. Dishonored 2 (Xbone)
61. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbone)
62. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Xbone)
63. Recore: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
64. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
65. Super Lucky's Tale (Xbone)
66. Snake Pass (Xbone)
67. My Friend Pedro - Blood Bullets Bananas (Xbone)
68. Kirby 64: Legend of the Crystal Shards (N64) *
69. Kirby's Adventure (NES)
70. Super Metroid (SNES) *
71. Metroid Fusion (GBA) *

72. Shantae: Risky's Revenge (DSiWare)

On the trains and planes and automobiles (I did ride a bus and a car or two) I had to take for my vacation to America, I decided to bring my 3DS and try and clear through some of my backlog on it. I brought some really good stuff: The 3rd Chibi-Robo game I was so excited about, Shovel Knight: King of Cards, plenty to keep me occupied. And instead I decided to play through this game I've owned more or less since it came out, and it was a good choice thematically for a year I've given second chances to so many games. Not sure it was such a good choice as far as having fun goes though XD. It took me a little over 4 hours to beat, but just because this was a little "longer" than Metroid Fusion, assuming it was in anyway close to better is a pretty generous assumption XP

This is a metroidvania and was the first in the last decade's series of Shantae revivals (coming out in 2010). All I'd known about it back then was that Shantae was a well-thought of but very rare GBC game, so a new entry in it sounded fun. I picked it up and played it and eventually just got stuck because I couldn't find where to go next. I did manage to get through the rest of the game this time, but the problems I identified ten years ago are all still certainly here.

First, in regards to my getting lost, the game has a map that is at best, functional, at worst, confusing. It's a very general overview of the entire world map, but the myriad of caverns and shortcuts between areas aren't on it, and you can't mark anything on it. A lot of knowing where you are is just as much down to your own memory as it is to that map, and if you aren't gonna play through this game in one sitting, you're gonna spend a LOT of time wandering around and backtracking to try and find that one cave that has a necessary power up in it.

Of course the game already has a TON of backtracking. The game's map design is really uninspired, at least the overworld. The caverns and three dungeons are mixes of platforming challenges and combat challenges, but the overworld is largely just flat/somewhat flat horizontal side-scrolling levels you'll need to trudge through over and over because the warp spots in this game seem like they go out of their way to be as inconvenient as possible. This game has a lot of padding for its content, and the bad overworld is one of the prime sources of that.

The combat and gameplay themselves are alright. I'm glad this game got sequels, because the way spells and your hair-whip attack function are really solid. It's mostly just that they have very little interesting to act in tandem with because the enemies have pretty poor variety despite the few bosses being alright fun. You gain the power to transform into a monkey, an elephant, and a mermaid in order to access new areas and do platforming challenges. They're a pretty good diversion from the tedium of the overworld and they control well too. Even the monkey's wall climbing is more generous and fun to play than it very easily could've been.

The story isn't too complex. Shantae, the half-genie hero of Scuttletown, goes to a show where her relic-hunting uncle is unavailing his newest discovery. Risky comes in to steal it, and you need to find the three magic seals (but not the fun, barky kind TwT) in order to get it back. It's nothing special or memorable in and of itself, but the NPC dialogue is really something odd. There are a lot of genuinely good, quick jokes, I got a chuckle out of, and a lot of them are of a nature that makes me wonder how this game got an E10+ instead of a T rating XD

The presentation is good for the most part. Animations are pretty and fluid, and it's probably one of the things the game does better than most other things. Music is alright, and the character portraits don't look amazing (and I'm not a huge fan of how sexualized the female character design is in the first place, but that's just me).

Verdict: Not Recommended. Maybe this was a serviceable experience for the money back in 2010, but these days there is really no reason to hunt this game down on the couple re-releases it's had since the DSi days. It is a painfully below-average game with TONS of padding that is barely memorable beyond the novelty of being another Shantae game after so so long. There are piles of better Metroidvanias you can get for as much or less money, so there is no reason to waste your time with this unless you just have to see EVERYTHING the Shantae series has been.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:47 pm

Ack wrote:Bone, I would love to hear your thoughts on Crusader of Centy sometime.


I played it a few years ago. Was lucky to get a copy before it got too expensive.

It's decent enough. My memory is hazy... I recall enjoying the colorful graphics, but didn't like the pacing and some of the mechanics. Anyone who tells you it's the "Zelda killer" of the Genesis is just wrong. I'd prob place it in the 7/10 zone, which is where I'd put Beyond Oasis as well.

My favorite top-down Gen/MD ARPG is actually Tougi-Ou: King Colossus. It's a Japanese exclusive that has that PC-98/X68000 vibe. Nice and straightforward and old school. Reminds me of Ys and Xak.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Xeogred Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:03 pm

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62. Tomb Raider (PSX)

12h05m*

I've always joked to others that my initial experience with the first Tomb Raider back in the 90's was playing a demo for mere minutes, walking into an icey cavern, and dying to wolves with no clue what I was doing or how to control Lara. I am not sure if that demo didn't include the Lara's Home tutorial or as a kid I ignored it, but playing that section this time remedied everything. The interest remained for me, as I played Legend, a few of the reboots, and was often exposed to Tomb Raider throughout the years from friends who were fans and all the coverage she got in magazines back in the day. It was only a matter of time before I finally sat down and gave the original its due. Still, nothing could have prepared me for how visceral and wondrous this dense experience would be. There was always an allure to the classic Tomb Raider games to me and from longtime fans they still harbor a strong reputation to this day. This is 1996 and it'll always be hard to re-adjust to a single joystick with limited camera control but once I sunk my teeth into this one, I adored everything about it and could easily see how Tomb Raider became such a household name over the years. There is something very special here. I discovered that it wasn't always Crystal Dynamics, it was Core Design who started it all and I'd like to believe that if you chisel around their logo, you find that their full name was HardCore. Because that's exactly what the original Tomb Raider was, balls to the wall. Of all the games I played in 2019 across modern and retro, I'm absolutely confident that Tomb Raider killed me the most this year alongside Sekiro.

I often love being thrown into a dungeon with little exposition and venturing through a huge adventure all on my own. I never could have predicted that Tomb Raider would carry this weight so confidently and often made me think of the likes of Demon's Souls or the Thief series, with its mysterious and powerful atmosphere. Outside of the opening minutes, 99% of this adventure was spent in the hollow world beneath Earth with barely any sunlight, a crushing and dangerous vibe much like some of the Metroid franchise. Music was extremely sparse and most of the game was just that cold slicing silence or some crackling cavern sounds in the distance. I basked in the silence for awhile but will admit, I started adding my own ambience to the game after a few levels in.

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While there are a few human enemies throughout the game, 99% of the enemies are predator beasts from wolves, lions, bears, bats, and later on apparently demonic and otherwordly creatures in the final act that went places I never expected. Enemy types that just further emphasis how alone and lost you are. And while this constant oppressive closed in atmosphere might sound like it could be repetitive, visually it never was. There are about four major arcs throughout the game with a few short cutscenes in between every few levels when Lara travels to a new location, but even level to level, the settings, textures, colors, architecture, it all constantly changed and evolved. This game was a joy to look at from start to finish and always varied. Probably one of my favorite and most impressive things about the game all around.

The controls are often what turn people away nowadays, it even did for me back in the day! You really need to play the tutorial and spend some time with just getting a feel for the game early on. The difficulty curve felt consistently fair to me overall and naturally, you can expect that mastery of Lara's moves and everything you learn through the game will be ultimately tested by the end. After a level or two picking this game up afterwards felt familiar and I'm sure jumping into the sequels down the road will be easier to adjust to as well. Either way you cut it, the controls are complex and navigating this game is nearly a puzzle in itself. Every move and jump must be calculated, because of the traps, or severe fall damage that easily gets you killed. My guess was that this game would be like a 3D Flashback / Another World and it really was. A set of continual running jumps is what I took issue with the most and seemed extra finicky, however there was literally only one room with a timed puzzle and fire trap platforms that required a set of quick and precise running jumps in a row. So luckily that problem was never a real issue. Once you get into the groove of the intricate controls and mechanics, I actually think what Core did here for 1996 holds up very well in a fascinating way.

Save points are sprinkled throughout the levels and much like finely crafted classics of the old, merely seeing a checkpoint from afar was such a huge sigh or relief. They are however, finite and can only be used once. In the massive levels with branching paths, it was often smart to try and get some work done before using a checkpoint. That was always a risk though. You will die a lot in this game, a LOT, and have to backtrack a lot of extra work at times. That's the * next to my playtime noted in the beginning, all levels added up to 12 hours worth for me, but I would wager it was realistically about 20 some hours in between all my deaths and nailing down some trial and error sections.

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It was interesting how the game was level based. Across the four main arcs there are often exits and entrances chaining levels together that make it feel like one huge area, along with a part or two backtracking to an old level, but for the most part the level system worked very nicely and these areas still felt massive. The only items you really come across are small and large medpacks, along with ammo for your various guns. Items carry over between the levels and your save file. You'll definitely want to take your time and hope to find some secrets along the way for some extra stock. I did have over a dozen medpacks per type to spare in the end though with what felt like unlimited ammo for my powerful weapons, so my pace paid off. Combat is actually pretty fun with Lara's acrobatic abilities, dual wielding pistols, magnums, or uzzi's while she can back flip and side flip all over the place while raining down bullets was always fun. Early on there's some nasty traps that throw animals right in your face, then later on the demonic type enemies can start shooting you with projectiles. A few bosses were just bullet sponges. Overall, the combat and gunplay is obviously secondary to everything else and Core seemed to know that with the first entry here. The majority of this entire game is navigating these dangerous and huge dungeons. If you ever wanted an "Oops all Dungeons" variant of Zelda, this is practically that.

The final act did bring things down a smudge. There was one level that'd I'd call a "human" level in a game like this (Natla's Mines), Lara loses her guns and you have to navigate this big mining cave that was also the least interesting visually. There were some weird new things in this level that you never saw before, so it seemed a bit more experimental and not in a good way. Then the final two levels looked like they took place in hell! A fleshy tomb chalk full of tricks and traps along linear paths with plenty of demons to fight. I actually loved how these last two levels looked. But they were far more linear than the rest of the game and action heavy. Not surprising for a final stretch, but not the best levels to me. Hardly weak enough to hurt the overall journey though.

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I was pretty optimistic going into this game but never dreamed I would end up loving it this much. This was a rich experience I'll remember for sure. Now I look forward to checking out the other classic Core entries, some that even sound harder than the original, but there is a lot that I see from those that don't look quite as appealing. More of the "human" levels and less tombs. Who knows, either way the very first 1996 adventure here was amazing for me. It requires a lot of patience and re-learning to adapt to its dated nature. Thus I think this one could be a hard sell for others to go back and play it fresh or maybe even for fans to revisit. There's a lot to love and respect here though, paving the way for 3D game design, with plenty of elements that would still be nice to see more of today. I'm glad this was more than a historical viewing and really took me be surprise.

Stats:
Caves
Kills: 13
Pickups: 4
Secrets: 0/3
Time: 14:01

City of Vilcabamba
Kills: 24
Pickups: 9
Secrets: 1/3
Time: 27:43

Lost Valley
Kills: 18
Pickups: 24
Secrets: 3/5
Time: 50:41

Tomb of Qualopec
Kills: 7
Pickups: 3
Secrets: 0/3
Time: 25:46

St Francis' Folly
Kills: 31
Pickups: 22
Secrets: 0/4
Time: 55:10

Colosseum
Kills: 23
Pickups: 9
Secrets: 1/3
Time: 46:58

Palace Midas
Kills: 67
Pickups: 22
Secrets: 2/3
Time: 1:33:17

The Cistern
Kills: 40
Pickups: 25
Secrets: 1/3
Time: 1:12:45

Tomb of Tihocan
Kills: 36
Pickups: 63
Secrets: 1/2
Time: 1:19:44

City of Khamoon
Kills: 18
Pickups: 28
Secrets: 2/3
Time: 1:00:56

Obelisk of Khamoon
Kills: 14
Pickups: 35
Secrets: 1/3
Time: 58:14

Sanctuary of the Scion
Kills: 13
Pickups: 26
Secrets: 0/1
Time: 50:40

Natla's Mines
Kills: 4
Pickups: 29
Secrets: 0/3
Time: 1:37:02

Atlantis
Kills: 48
Pickups: 66
Secrets: 1/3
Time: 57:50

The Great Pyramid
Kills: 11
Pickups: 11
Secrets: 0/3
Time: 31:22
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:52 pm

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)
60. Dishonored 2 (Xbone)
61. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbone)
62. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Xbone)
63. Recore: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
64. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
65. Super Lucky's Tale (Xbone)
66. Snake Pass (Xbone)
67. My Friend Pedro - Blood Bullets Bananas (Xbone)
68. Kirby 64: Legend of the Crystal Shards (N64) *
69. Kirby's Adventure (NES)
70. Super Metroid (SNES) *
71. Metroid Fusion (GBA) *
72. Shantae: Risky's Revenge (DSiWare)

73. Overcooked 2 (Switch)

Overcooked was one of my favorite games of the year it came out. So much fun playing it with family over the holidays, and I was super excited when I heard of a sequel coming out. When I first played it, with the same family members no less, I bounced off of it really hard. A combination of an attitude too focused on winning rather than having fun as well as some minor changes in how the game is played really got in my way of enjoying it. I went in with a better attitude this time and ended up loving it a ton, just like the first. It took me and my brother (and sometimes with my sister as a player 3 as well) around 8 or 9 hours (we played it for like, all of one day) to get 3 stars on all the levels in the main campaign.

Largely, Overcooked 2 is more Overcooked. Two to four players go around a kitchen in various immensely hazardous circumstances trying to fill the orders as they come in. One button to pick things up and put them down, and another button to operate machinery (chopping food, pushing a button, etc), a button to dash, and the joystick to move. A game so simple it even has a one-handed mode where you can share the controller with a friend so you can do two players with one controller (although sadly not with the Switch Joycons, those have to be used sideways, much to the annoyance of me and my one-handed friend I tried this with months ago :/ ). There are all sorts of chefs you can be but it's only cosmetic. Some are returning from the last game, some are brand new, but you unlock them by completing more stages, so as long as you're playing, you're unlocking. This should be very familiar to anyone who played the first game.

Overcooked 2 makes some important changes to this though. Most importantly, the button to operate machinery also now THROWS food. Anything that isn't a plate or a bowl can be thrown, and many levels require throwing food back and forth between you or at least have their difficulty greatly mitigated by throwing. Another minor but still important change is that the sink is now two spaces instead of one large area. No longer can you wash dishes by standing anywhere around the sink, it HAS to be in front of the basin. Not a huge change in the grand scheme of things, but when washing dishes is so important to serving meals on time, it can impact how your muscle memory works, particularly when you're people who played so much of the first game like we did. I would say overall they aren't bad changes, per se, but you end up throwing food when you mean to chop it a LOT, and I really dislike throwing not being a dedicated button. A lot of the appeal of Overcooked for me is in its easy to learn, hard to master design, and adding more commands you can possibly do detracts from that for me.

Verdict: Highly recommended. I would say I still prefer the first game over this one, but Overcooked 2 is still a fantastic game. A free holiday DLC level pack just came out for it, so they're still updating it. I'm not sure if we'll ever see (or need, quite frankly) an Overcooked 3, but I've really enjoyed what we've gotten from this style of hectic, co-operative game.


74. KUUKIYOMI: Consider it! (Switch)

Also known as 皆で空機読み (minna de kuuki yomi) in Japanese, this was a game I got on the Japanese eShop a few months back becuase it's like always on sale for about 250 yen. It recently came out in English, to my great surprise, and it worked in English on my American Nintendo Account. It doesn't have a "beaten" state, so far as I can tell, but my sister and I managed to get a perfect run on it, so I'm calling it beaten :b .

"Kuuki yomi", literally "reading the air", is the Japanese phrase for reading a room. The best way to describe this series is "Warioware without prompts". It's got a simple, black and white artstyle, and it puts you (or in this case, the two of you) into odd situations suddenly and you need to intuit the controls and what you should do by the nature of the situation. For example, you're on a train and two people labeled "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" are standing staring at you. The correct "read" is to move over so they can sit together.

This particular version of the game has a two-player mode where one character is red, the other is blue, and you need to work together to read the room. You do a gauntlet of a random assortment of 10 (out of 20 or so) mini-games, and it gives you a compatibility score at the end (because of course it does) X3. For example, in one game, one player is a kid in their bed, and the other is Santa. The kid needs to lay down and pretend to be asleep until Santa passes. In another one, the two of you are on an escalator and there's a girl in very skimpy clothing in front of you, and you need to avert your eyelines to not stare at her. The game is very quirky and Japanese, and it is not ashamed of it at all XD

Verdict: Highly recommended. For the price, it's a great little Warioware clone with a strong theme. It's not a ton of content, sure, but I've had tons of fun with many family and friends just trying to quickly figure out the game at hand together. It's definitely much more fun with friends, so if you have someone to play with, this is a great little party game you can pull out on your Switch.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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