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Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:20 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
prfsnl_gmr wrote:Challenger is one of the games in my small Famicom collection

Anyone who has a Famicom seems to own this game. I bet you have Gyrodine too. Games like that just appear in people's collections, I swear.

Ack wrote:Hey Bone, did Challenger give you any StarTropics vibes?

There are some small superficial similarities. The big difference is that StarTropics is good while Challenger is not.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:49 pm
by MrPopo
I am the Famicom owner who does not have Challenger. But my Famicom collection consists of one game: Lagrange Point that I had the ROM swapped out for a translated one.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:39 am
by Markies
Markies' Games Beat List Of 2019!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Power Stone 2 (SDC)
2. Radiata Stories (PS2)
3. Dusty Diamond's All-Star Softball (NES)
***4. Saiyuki: Journey West (PS1)***
5. Shining In The Darkness (GEN)

***6. Metropolis Street Racer (SDC)***


I completed Metropolis Street Race on the Sega Dream Cast this evening!

Metropolis Street Racer is one of the more in-depth and surprising racing games I have ever played. It plays like a lighter version of Gran Turismo as it mixes perfect reality with arcade driving. The amount of tracks are staggering along with the different amount of cars. It also has unique venues and radio stations as well. However, the game is very long and nothing really changes after a while along with a large rubber band effect. But, it is an enjoyable and complete racing game.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 2:40 am
by MrPopo
1. Octopath Traveler - Switch
2. Dusk - PC
3. Forsaken Remastered - PC
4. Tales of Eternia - PS1
5. Resident Evil 2 (2019) - PC
6. Pokémon Trading Card Game - GBC
7. Metro Exodus - PC
8. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - PC

I was in the mood for more card games and it was on sale, so I picked up Thronebreaker. It's based around the Gwent card game from Witcher 3 that was spun off into its own thing (a la Hearthstone). It serves as a 25-30 hour single player game where conflict is resolved through the card game. And it does a pretty good job at it; they put a lot of time into making it not get routine.

The game follows Meve, queen of Rivia and Lyria during the second Nilfgaard invasion. This is a period set before the games, and falls in the middle of the book series (the fourth chapter ends with intersecting with the end of the third novel). Meve finds herself deposed and must raise an army to regain her kingdoms and help beat back Nilfgaard. These battles are carried out through the Gwent card game, which was designed to simulate army-style battles, so the fights feel like a good proxy for what might be an RTS of you moving around medieval units.

Now, if you've played Witcher 3 you'll notice some changes. Gwent was first ported pretty faithfully, but they discovered there were some fundamental issues that made it a less than compelling PVP game. So they gave it a revamp right before Thronebreaker came out, and that's the form we get now. Gone is the siege row, and gone is the requirement that a given unit can only go in one row. Rather than a game of trying to out bluff your opponent into overcommitting into one of your action cards (such as fog, rain, or scorch) now your units have a large number of abilities. Some of these trigger on entering, some on dying, some are on demand, and some trigger when you use your leader's ability (which has a cooldown). There's a lot of potential synergy between your units, and there's a few high level strategies (going for destroying enemy units, going for buffing your units) that have numerous variations. That said, there isn't always the best balance between versions of various strategies; there's some pretty degenerate stuff you can do and several things that feel quite underpowered.

The game is structured with you moving around a map and having various things to interact with. This might be resources (used for crafting cards or upgrading your camp to buff your cards), story encounters, and battles. Story encounters might be simple (choose from a few options which might give you benefits or penalties) or a bit more complicated (mediate between humans and elves in a town), but generally don't have a fight associated with them. Battles come in a few varieties. Sometimes it's a standard Gwent game of best of three, sometimes it's a shorted game where only one side needs to win the round to take it all. In these latter ones there are frequently some special conditions, like one side starting out with units on the field, or being able to take victory by eliminating a key unit. And then there's the puzzle battles, which are the most interesting of the bunch. These are one-round battles with a preset deck for each side and a bunch of custom cards and rules. You have a specific victory condition that usually requires some lateral thinking to achieve, and they are quite satisfying to complete.

This use of puzzle battles and the short battles with conditions tends to keep things fresh. Your army is restricted to a general set of units, and you'll be facing a variety of opposing deck types. Over the course of the campaign you'll be able to get additional card types depending on your choices through the story. You can't just stick with one deck, as some deck types can hard counter particular strategies. And as you unlock more specific cards you can evolve your strategies over time, which again, keeps things fresh.

My biggest complaint is the final battle (not counting the two gimme battles that wrap up afterwards). While the game overall has a pretty good difficulty curve that requires you to play smarter and treat battles as more of a puzzle (how do I deal with this general card sequence I'm going to face without being overwhelmed by card advantage) the final battle is a difficulty cliff. The opponent has two extremely powerful abilities that will bury you in advantage unless you do something stupid and degenerate to either outrace them or keep them contained. Keeping them contained pretty much requires a bunch of unique cards you may or may not have, depending on story choices, so you probably have to outrace. And if you don't know you need to do this ahead of time you get booted back to your last checkpoint, which is before a puzzle and a bunch of story that occurs before the final battle. It's unfortunate that it ends on such a misstep.

But aside from that issue the game is great fun. You get lots of choices to make that have a variety of hidden consequences that won't manifest for quite a while; sometimes the consequences will span chapters. And they aren't just moral consequences; you can gain or lose cards based on those choices. There's no real way to game it without a walkthrough, so make the choices you feel are right and then get taught that even the best intentions can end poorly at times. It's a really good example of an interesting moral choice system, because it keeps the world as complex as it actually is, not just "omg I do all the good things and I get all the rewards."

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:45 pm
by Sarge
I stopped playing Octopath at the superboss myself. Didn't feel like doing more grinding, and I'd already dumped a ton of hours in and was ready to move on.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:05 am
by elricorico
1. Ni No Kuni 2 (PS4)
2. Mario Kart 64 (N64)

3. Spider-Man (PS4)

This game came with my Black Friday PS4 bundle. It would have been very unlikely for me to purchase this otherwise - I have nothing against Spider-Man, just dont tend to seek out these types of games.

After Ni No Kuni 2 I decided I wanted a palate cleanser and put this in. I found myself enjoying it early on, but found that I was struggling a bit with getting used to some of the moves. I died a number of times early in the game, until something clicked and I just started to get it. The game became even more fun when I started to actually feel like my play was starting to live up to the character.

It feels like there was a lot of Spider-Man story crammed into a relatively short game. The game world looks great and most of the visuals in general are top notch. I did find a couple of the vents you have to crawl through were too dark and disorienting, and during one of the boss battles I started to feel that the scenery all was looking the same. The controls are generally good, but I felt that there were just a few too many combinations to remember them all in the heat of battle.

There is a lot to collect in the game and I certainly didn't get it all yet, so I'll likely dabble a bit more before moving on to the next game. I've enjoyed the time I put in and dont see the fun fading away too soon.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:57 am
by MrPopo
1. Octopath Traveler - Switch
2. Dusk - PC
3. Forsaken Remastered - PC
4. Tales of Eternia - PS1
5. Resident Evil 2 (2019) - PC
6. Pokémon Trading Card Game - GBC
7. Metro Exodus - PC
8. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - PC
9. Project Warlock - PC

Project Warlock is a throwback FPS that starts with a base of Catacomb Apocalypse, adds in some Doom tech, and rounds it off with a skill and magic system that adds a lot of depth to your tools of destruction. It hearkens back to a simpler time, when the plot was as simple as "there is evil and you must murder them all". And it's a hell of a lot of fun.

Graphically you'll notice that it's in the 3D level, 2D assets style that id software made their name on. More specifically, it takes a lot of aesthetics from Catacomb Apocalypse, the third sequel to Catacomb 3D. The colors are bold and there are well defined outlines on everything, making everything pop a lot more than you saw in Doom. You also see the influence of Apocalypse in the game's structure; you bounce around several very distinct environments with new enemies each time, though the enemies tend to fill similar niches in each area. You start in your medieval area, then go to an Antarctic base, Egypt, and a cityscape before the Hell levels remix everything for you. It keeps the game's visuals fresh, and there is enough difference in the enemies that you never get bored with them.

The weapons are all a treat to use. You get your standard array of pistols, shotguns, machine guns, rocket launchers, and the like. You also get a magic wand, which makes for a decent backup ranged weapon at the start, but you'll stop using it once you get your spells, as they share usage of your magic meter. Each of the weapons can be upgraded in one of two ways. As an example, the pistol can become either a magnum or a flare gun; the latter sets enemies on fire. The chaingun can have its spin up removed or can be placed as a turret. Each of the two upgrades is exclusive. Upgrading requires collecting a particular item in the levels, and you also can use these upgrade points to learn your magic. Magic is used with your secondary fire and takes up mana and has a variety of effects. Unfortunately, the more magic you delve into the less you can upgrade your weapons, so you have to pick and choose. In addition, there's a leveling system for your character. Picking up gold and killing enemies gives you experience; getting enough experience gives you a level. A level gives you a point to put into strength (+melee damage), spirit (+mana and magic effect scaling), vitality (+life), and capacity (+ammo capacity). Additionally, every 5th level gives you a perk point, which can be spent on a variety of perks (most of which have a minimum stat requirement). These include a health boost and damage reduction, additional ammo for every pickup for a given weapon class, or the ability to walk through enemies. The bonuses are all noticeable, so this lets you customize things to suit your playstyle a bit.

One interesting feature is the game has no mid-level saves. Instead, you have a life system that lets you retry a level from the beginning when you die. Running out of lives will game over you, but in general you won't be at risk of that (as there are extra lives in the levels). Also, instead of having an episode of 10 levels you have to get through the game instead splits up each episode into segments of related levels with a theme. So you'll do two levels, then back to base (which autosaves), another few levels, back to base, etc. Then there is a final boss level for each episode with a giant boss (and a good amount of ammo ahead of time). One thing you'll notice is that your health and ammo are persisted across every level, so you have to pay attention and can't just go too crazy. The base does have a couple of health and mana pickups, so you're never entirely screwed, but you do have to pay attention to your resources.

One final nice bit of polish is the larger enemies show damage; they might lose an arm or even fall over and go into a desperation mode. Bosses similarly will have several stages based on their damage where they might lose their legs and start floating. All the animations are very fluid, and it all fits together very well. If you're a fan of old school FPS's you owe it to yourself to play this one.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:17 pm
by pierrot
BoneSnapDeez wrote:Anyone who has a Famicom seems to own this game. I bet you have Gyrodine too. Games like that just appear in people's collections, I swear.

I have 44 Famicom cartridges and not one of them is Challenger, Gyruss, Atlantis no Nazo, Exerion, or Bokosuka Wars.

Mostly going to throw out a list of games I've beaten so far this year:

  1. Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure (GEN)
  2. The Revenge of Shinobi (GEN)
  3. Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (GEN)
  4. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (GEN)
  5. Go Go Ackman (SFC)
  6. Super Wagyan Land (SFC)
  7. Super Mario RPG (SFC)
  8. Shin Megami Tensei if... (SFC)
  9. Front Mission: Gun Hazard (SFC)
  10. Steep Slope Sliders (SAT)
  11. Valkyrie Profile (PS1)
  12. Sakura Taisen (SAT)

Nearing the one-quarter mark through 2019, and I seem to be looking at another year where my total number of beaten games will be down from the previous year. Even though I also replayed Contra: Hard Corps, and Castlevania: Bloodlines in January, I only really want to know how many games I'm beating that I haven't before, or at least haven't beaten a particular version of (different region, different console, etc).

Moving on to the games themselves: The Revenge of Shinobi, and Shadow Dancer are two games that really try to defeat the player. They do an excellent job with it, too. I ultimately like the games, but the challenge kind of swamps out the fun a bit too much in them. I don't think the quality of those two is quite high enough to completely overcome the deficit in a player's goodwill engendered by the difficulty in places--particularly the jumps in Chinatown, and Stage 7 of RoS, and Scene 5 of Shadow Dancer.

Shinobi III has a pretty nutty final stage, but it is so good it doesn't even matter. The game is excellent: It looks perfect, it sounds perfect, it feels perfect, and above all else it's really fun. Shinobi III will be the King of the Hill for me, this year, unless or until something else really challenges it.

Go Go Ackman and Super Wagyan Land were really just two annoyances. Go Go Ackman has these terrible habits of including the worst auto-scrollers imaginable into every level, garbage bosses, and lame/uninspired level design, along with power ups that are lost upon taking damage. It's pretty terrible to play, but the presentation is half decent. It's not worth anyone's time, but might be okay to watch someone else play, and suffer through. Wagyan Land is just a case of a really average platformer that's stretched out to infinity, and beyond. There are so many samey, average levels, that what could be just a whatever game, becomes this extreme gauntlet of mediocrity, until the last few stages where it starts to beat one down with very technically demanding levels in its very imprecise game world. Also, beating the final boss at shiritori may be one of the most challenging things I've ever overcome.

Super Mario RPG was pretty cool. I was kind of surprised to like it as much as I did, considering I hated Paper Mario. I don't have much to say about it at this point other than that I think it's well worth playing, which is a rare utterance for me concerning a Mario game. There are a number of other SNES RPGs that I prefer, but it's still pretty easily in the upper half of the SNES RPGs I've played.

Shin Megami Tensei if... is easily my least favorite game in the series so far (and I'm including both of the Famicom games in that statement). It was a game I started about a year and a half ago, but got fed up with in the Sloth Realm, and just stopped. You start out in a high school, and this one kid, who is sort of channeling Nakajima from the original Megami Tensei, decides to throw the school into the nether realm. The main character, and his partner--there are a total of four possible partners, and one of the male partners has one realm that's different from the two female partners, while the other male partner changes up the path through the game dramatically--go through six realms based on the seven deadly sins, in order to collect some rings that are supposed to save the school. The different realms are where the game gets into trouble, because the latter half of the realms introduce some really dumb gimmicks based on whatever deadly sin they represent. So the Sloth realm has all these kids from the high school being forced into digging through a spider web of underground tunnels. Any one of the kids you talk to will dig through one tile of the tunnel for each cycle of the moon, but you have to talk to that person again after that cycle of the moon, before he or she will dig through the next tile after the next moon cycle. There's an NPC that sort of hints at this, but you just end up wandering around for hours, wondering when something will actually happen. Out of 12+ different tunnels, two them will actually result in progressing the story (after at least eight cycles of the moon) with the ring, outright, or a boss fight that gives you the ring. It was just a really, really bad idea, and things don't get a whole lot better in the Realm of Envy, either. The Guardian system is also some hot trash, which gates away a lot of the best armor in the game. The only way to get a new, "more powerful" guardian is to die after a certain amount of time not dying. It both sort of trivializes dying in the game (although it could mean that you get pushed back into a weaker guardian), and basically incentivizes it for a stupidly arbitrary reason. I hate it. There's no real player agency over alignment, either. There's only a party alignment determined by the alignments of the monsters in the active party, which doesn't affect the story, and only keeps one from putting lawful monsters in the party with chaotic monsters. Anyway, they done fucked up with this one. Hopefully SMT II is any good.

Front Mission: Gun Hazard was just sort of okay, for me. It's a little repetitive, and boring after a while. At least when it's not throwing bosses at you that can kill you with the most gentle, and loving of breaths on the nape of your neck. I just found it to be a bit too formulaic an experience, for too long. The RPG elements don't really lend much to a game that really should only have 20% of the levels that it actually does. The story is also a little upsetting, because it starts out very interesting, and then seems to just be about how dumb everyone is. I also can't forgive the game for the end of Zambola. The VP's plan just doesn't make any sense. It is one of the most stupid plans ever conceived by a video game character, which is really saying something. Jose is also a pretty colossal idiot for such a high ranking person. Ultimately I didn't really care about the organization the game was really trying to get me to care about. I don't really mean to dump on the game though. It's an all right game, but I just don't find it to be particularly great in any way.

I was kind of surprised by Steep Slope Sliders. It's a fairly competent snowboarding game. I had dabbled with it before, and when I was playing it recently I was trying to remember why I thought it kind of sucked. Then it dawned on me that I was thinking of when I was playing a bit of 1080 snowboarding on the N64 again, a number of years ago. I'll have to reserve judgement on whether or not Steep Slope Sliders is actually better than 1080 on the N64, but while SSS doesn't look super great, it plays pretty well after getting used to it. The unfortunate thing is all the content locked away behind really abstruse requirements that I don't think anyone could actually know about without looking them up. Yeah, the four extra courses, and eight bonus characters are all kind of experimental feeling, but they also add a fair amount of value that most people would never know actually exist just by playing it normally. The hybrid Slalom/shmup mini game, Steep Slope Shooter, is also one of the craziest sequences of inputs I've ever seen for a game. I made sure to beat that too, mostly so I wouldn't ever really feel the need to enter that code again. I also have Steep Slope Sliders for the Sega Titan Video (S-TV), so I'll need to see how the game is in its arcade form, at some point.

Valkyrie Profile is a little hard for me to talk about. I'm still a little sore from it. The prologue (which on its own is a little insane that it can just be skipped) would be so tremendous at setting up a magnificent story, if the game actually cared at all about telling its story. (I watched a video of the prologue in English, though, and it is so bad. I think I actually stopped watching it once they were in the Suzuran Fields.) The character artwork is also outstanding, and I love it. Unfortunately Valkyrie Profile feels like a weirdly incomplete game. It's a little bit like Swiss cheese in that there's a pretty solid structure, just with a ton of holes. I don't absolutely love the combat, but it's still fairly engaging, and I don't love all of the dungeons (the Forgotten Caves are usually a waste of time, even though I got a Learning Ring in the first one), but they're usually not too trivial. The real thing is that there's nothing really tying any of the gameplay together. All of the Einherjar (or 'Einferia,' as Valkyrie always say; it took me a while to figure out that was supposed to be "Einherjar") are really just introduced with their tragic stories, and then have no bearing on anything other than the war in Valhalla (if you send them there), or your party I suppose, if you happen to use them there. At a certain point, the character customization isn't really that important anyway, since everyone other than mages becomes 90% the same as everyone else. The main thing that will differentiate characters is their particular set of attacks, which is one of the main reasons I didn't continue to stumble upon the A-ending, because Luscio's third combo attack is ridiculous, and I wasn't about to send him away to Valhalla. (Also, I wouldn't have ended up removing Valkyrie's earring, but--.) The B-ending is sort of worthless, and does nothing for the game. It actually detracts from it, overall. I ended up watching videos of the A-ending after the fact, but it still doesn't do much for me. There were a few interesting threads to some of the more relevant plot parts in a couple of the chapters, but the A-ending seems to just go off onto tangents, anyway. Valkyrie Profile was sort of a case of untapped potential. I actually enjoyed the game fairly well, overall, but it just feels like it could have been so much more.

Sakura Taisen is weird. Not just because it was trying to get me SWATed in Chapter 4, when a just barely 10-year-old Iris tries to get the main character to kiss her, but because it blends two things that seem like they have no business together: a dating sim, and a tactical combat sim. Weirdly, I kind of enjoyed the game. It plays out as sort of one part adventure game, one part dating sim, and one part tactical combat. The story is kind of basic: Set in Taishou era Japan (1914-1915,specifically, I believe), a recent graduate of the Imperial Japan Naval Officer's Academy, Oogami Ichirou, is assigned as the Captain of a secret troop of the military, the Teikoku Kagekidan - Hanagumi, who outwardly operate as a theater troop, but are normally tasked with the protection of the people of Tokyo from the Kuronosukai. The Kuronosukai are a shadowy group that is hell-bent on driving Japan back into the Bakufu periods (the Tokugawa Bakufu, specifically). It's all pretty standard stuff until the last few chapters, when things go completely off the rails. The ancient city of Yamato rises; There's demons, angels, and giant, 8 kilometer long, flying war ships; Resurrection becomes a thing. It reminds me a little of the end of Megami Tensei, but way less fitting. Anyway, it's a fairly easy game (final boss not withstanding, although I still only lost one unit on it), and really just a matter of making sure that you make the troop happy enough that they get some stat boosts during the combat phases, based on their individual trust levels with Oogami. By the second disc, you're basically forced to "pick a girl," and while I really had no great attachment to any one of them in particular (which isn't to say that they are bad characters; I actually thought they were all fairly decent despite their tropes--Chinese genius, mecha-maniac, who speaks with a Kyoto accent, anyone?) I ended up with Kanna, the nearly two-meter tall Okinawan girl, who's breathed, eaten, and slept Karate for her entire life. The upside there is that she's the oldest of the girls (at twenty years old by the time you have to make a choice, which is also the age of legal standing in Japan), and I also liked her the most, anyway. I also have a little bit of a soft spot for Okinawan girls, although that could just be because I love Okinawan food so damn much. I don't know that I could really recommend Sakura Taisen to anyone. I don't think it could really have a wide appeal, and for me it's probably a real guilty pleasure sort of game. Also the end of the game is totally whack, but there's a fair amount of quality in the whole package. I spent a fair amount of time, after the end of the game, playing hanafuda (koi-koi) in the post game mode. I still don't know how to actually get any of the special bromides, though.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:59 pm
by dsheinem
Games Beaten 2019

Kentucky Route Zero Act 1 - PC
All Our Asias - PC
Shape of the World - Switch
Hidden Folks - PC
Hyrule Warriors - Wii U
Onrush - PS4 *new*
Assassin's Creed Origins - X1 *new*

Total: 7

I haven't posted anything here since January, largely because my game time has been spent on some considerably longer games (and on too many games going at once). But, in the last week or so, I did clear out these two.

Onrush is a game that I enjoyed a good deal, even if it is quite unconventional in many ways (it is a racing game without finish lines, it uses team-based competitions and loot boxes, etc.). It certainly seems indebted to its Motorstorm roots, a series that I've been sad to see go by the wayside this gen. I don't know if I'd have played it if it weren't a free PS+ game, but I am quite glad I did.

Origins is the longest time I've spent with an AC game - about 40 hours to finish the campaign. I really enjoyed this entry, and would compare it favorably to my previous favorite in the series "AC4: Black Flag" (now it is a bit of a toss up between the two). The story is generally good and happily mostly free of the Animus nonsense. The end drags on a bit - I think I'd have been happier if this was 30 hours instead of 40. The real draw is the beautifully rendered world of Ancient Egypt (and the Mediterranean more generally) and the solid upgrade system and combat/stealthing systems. I am hyped to play Odyssey at some point in the near future.

Previously: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:06 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
1. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary (NDS)
2. Reigns (iOS)
3. Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
4. Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB)
5. Castlevania Legends (GB)
6. Yankai’s Triangle (iOS)
7. Mega Man III (GB)
8. Mega Man IV (GB)
9. Mega Man V (GB)
10. Sin & Punishment (N64)
11. Love You to Bits (iOS)
12. Mega Man Powered Up - Old Style (PSP)
13. Mega Man Powered Up - New Style (PSP)
14. Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)

Seriously flawed game that I ended up really enjoying, I wrote a lot about it in the TR thread.