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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by dsheinem Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:18 pm

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
Assassin's Creed Origins - X1
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown -360
Metro Exodus - PS4
Split/Second - 360
Far Cry: New Dawn - PS4 *new*

Total: 11


Previously: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

Slow going so far this year on getting games on my list but, in fairness, most have them have been on the longer side.

Far Cry New Dawn is a great follow up to Far Cry 5, making it one of the better entries in the series. I'd rank the Far Cry games thus:

Far Cry 2
Far Cry Primal
Far Cry Blood Dragon
Far Cry New Dawn
Far Cry 5
Far Cry 4
Far Cry 3 (haven't finished)
Far Cry (haven't finished)
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pierrot
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pierrot Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:18 pm

Markies wrote:Overall, Soul Blazer is perfect for what it is. The game never goes too deep in its combat and you will have the same experience throughout the entire game. However, sometimes a fun romp through a game is needed as it doesn't need to be too bloated. Soul Blazer went out to make its style of game and it made it exceptionally well. The SNES is filled with great RPGs and Action RPGs and this is another one to add to the list. I feel bad not playing it first, but now Terranigma jumps high up on my list as I have loved every game in the series.

Nice, I really liked Soul Blazer. It never got boring, and I was always happy to play it, which is way more than I could ever say about games like Secret of Mana, or Illusion of Gaia. On a scale of 1 to 10, for me, if Soul Blazer is an 8 or a 9, Terranigma is a 20. It's damn near perfect, and even more rewarding to play than Soul Blazer, I feel. It addressed some of the weaknesses I felt IoG had, and turned them into strengths, while also generally building upon a lot of the good things about Soul Blazer. You're in for a treat.

Also, if you liked the Gauntlet aspects of Soul Blazer, I would highly recommend Dungeon Explorer on the Sega CD. It is an absolutely fantastic 'destroy the enemy generators' game. It's by Westone, which is often a really good thing, and has fantastic music, with a very subtle story, but one of my favorite twists in video games.


I've beaten another bunch of games somehow (determination of will?):
  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)
  13. Shenmue Chapter 1: Yokosuka (DC)
  14. Shinobi (PS2)
  15. Gungrave (PS2)
  16. Assault Suit Leynos 2 (SAT)
  17. Sakura Taisen 2: Kimi, Shinitamoukoto Nakare (SAT)
  18. Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World (PS2)
  19. Ganbare Goemon! Karakuri Douchuu (FC)


Well, it was almost a month ago now, but I finally finished my replay of Shenmue via the Japanese version of the game. I started it back in June of 2015, when the third game was announced. My goal initially was to "complete" it, with as full a notebook as possible, all moves, items, and miscellany. I ended up progressively giving up on these goals as I went; I missed a fortune entry in Disc 1 that I didn't notice until much later, I got tired of only getting Dural Silvers, put a lot of effort into clearing Hang-on, but could never manage to finish the final stage, and I just couldn't get enough payouts to get to 50000 coins from the slot machines. So, last month I just ended up saying to hell with it all, and flew through to the end of the game. I was still technically trying to get all of the rest of the notebook entries that were left, and anything I could still easily get to carry over to Shenmue 2. I ended up missing another fortune entry because I was hanging out in the break room at the docks, waiting for 8pm, when I could actually leave to go back to Dobuita, but totally forgot that the trigger for the scene that I needed to avoid until getting that fortune entry was right outside the door. I also wasn't able to get as many capsule toy sets as I would have liked to, with the time that was left. It doesn't really matter, though. The clear file makes it so I can't load it back up in the first game, anyway, but I did leave an older save from before talking to Goro about getting a job at the docks.

I still love the original Shenmue, but still not as much as Shenmue II, I think. It was actually a little more apparent to me this time that the team was probably scrambling to finish up this entry, as a few of the cutscenes at the end feel a little more slapped together than a lot of the earlier ones. I really enjoyed wandering around, and interacting with the world/characters again, but it's a little unfortunate, also, that by the time Ryo picks up his part-time work, the game is kind of funneling the player to the ending, and sort of strips away a lot of that freedom the game provides before that point. Still a great game. Still would recommend; Haters be damned.


In sort of keeping with a theme, the next two are both Japanese versions of games I had back when they were new. Shinobi for the PS2 was actually my introduction to the Shinobi series, and probably not a great place to start--I was a poor Genesis owner as a kid, in both senses of the word, and mostly played sports games, and Sonic. I remember always thinking that Shinobi on the PS2 was very cool, and stylish (cutscene animations not withstanding), but once the game started removing floors in Stage 5-A, and treating instant death from falling off of walls as a good thing, I had pretty much met my teenager limits. So it took me a while, but I've beaten some Shinobi games at this point, and decided to revisit the PS2 reboot. It wasn't great. It's a functional game up to Stage 5, but at that point, the controls, and camera start to really show their limitations, while the game gets progressively more shitty with enemy placement, and instant death. It wouldn't be as much of a problem if it didn't always restart you at the beginning of the stage. That's really the most unforgivable thing about it. It would be okay if it at least had a checkpoint or two thrown in, like every other Shinobi game before this, but it doesn't. The bosses are also pretty annoying. The goal of each one is really just to get the Akujiki as powered up as possible (from paralyzing normal enemies) and hope there's enough time on the kill timer to land a hit or two on the boss, killing them in an instant. Every boss has about a minute before any of these normal enemies show up, though. So you just have to jump around dodging for a while before the fight really begins. The final boss is also a nightmare that proceeds one of the most nightmarish stages in a video game, so be prepared for that if you have any inclination to play PS2 Shinobi. I wouldn't recommend it, though.

Gungrave was a game that I played through a number of times back in the day. It's a pretty simple game, but it gets the job done. I'm not sure if I would have been quite as happy to replay this, if I hadn't just finished Shinobi. It was a bit cathartic to just prance around destroying everything in my path for an hour and a half or so. I can't remember if I actually took any deaths. Maybe one or two in Stage 6. Anyway, it's a pretty quick, and easy game. The replay value is in unlocking a bunch of 'figures' of the enemies and such in the game. I think I may have actually unlocked all of them in the US version, but one play through was enough for me, this time. That only got me the character models from the first two stages. I used to have Overdose, too, but never beat it, for whatever reason. I remember it not being as good, though. Anyway, Gungrave has some cool music, nice style, and is pretty rote fun, that's short enough to not get boring. I think it's still pretty cheap, so I'd recommend giving it a play or two.


Juusou Kihei Leynos 2, or Assault Suit Leynos 2, did not sit well with me. It's a very short, but also extremely frustrating game. Part of it, I think, is that the game is just too busy, and separating the signal from the noise is a bit challenging. It also gives really dumb penalties to your score for leaving any enemies in the dust, or losing any of your partners during the mission. I barely even knew when one of the partners was actually around, and I don't think they ever actually helped me at all, so getting penalized for their stupidity is pretty infuriating. Just taking care of yourself is tough enough. The points at the end of the stage seem to determine what new weapons and armor you get, so it really does affect the game beyond pride. The characters really didn't do anything for me. They're all a bunch of derelicts, and the script tries way too hard to make them out as some badass group of maverick pilots, like a bunch of John McClane's in Assault Suits, or something. It's pretty insufferable, and cheesy. I got stuck on Stage 6 because the boss was wrecking me with one of his attacks. What I ended up figuring out is that I needed to max out my B-type resistance, and just equip a laser (which required changing the AS body that I was using), because the laser rips through everything like they aren't even there. This is not a good game. It could almost be good, but it just has too many problems. Somehow a lot of people find enjoyment in it. I find that hard to believe, but oh well. As I understand it, the director for the first Leynos, and Valken, left Masaya after those two games were released, and formed Omiya Soft, with a few other ex-Masaya employees. So maybe it's not that surprising that Leynos 2 is a bit weak. I didn't care much about Front Mission: Gun Hazard, but I'll likely play the first two Assault Suit games soon to see if there's actually anything redeeming in the 'series.' It's hard to top Ranger-X, but so far this line of mech games hasn't even come close to it.


Sakura Taisen 2 is pretty much more of the same, but with a bigger budget. There are a few new mechanics in the sequel, like responses that can change after a set period of time in the timer, or sections where there is one long timer for a set of interactions. The combat is also mostly the same, except that they reduced the number of times Oogami can cover one of the other Hanagumi members to 3 (as opposed to 8). There's also a 'Fuu-Rin-Ka-Zan' set of tactics that slightly increase a certain parameter at the expense of another, with Rin being a baseline, and something like Ka giving a bonus to attack while reducing defense of all party units. That's about it, aside from some tweaks to some of the spacial characteristics of a number of special attacks (Sakura's Ouka Houshin no longer extending in a straight line to the end of the map, for instance). There are also two new characters to woo, in Orihime (who's like Sumire mk. II), and Lenny (who's a little like a mini Maria). I had hoped that Sakura Taisen 2 would address some of the instances of the first game jumping the shark toward the end of its story. Unfortunately, that really didn't happen. Sakura Taisen 2 at least didn't do any more jumping of the shark, but it was also pretty uninterested in providing any more context to the ridiculous shit that happened at the end of the first game. However, the ending of ST 2, and even its subtitle, seem like very subtle, self deprecating, jabs at the ending of the first game. It kind of seems like Sakura Taisen 2 is a bit of a fan favorite, and I can kind of see that. I think it has a couple of more useless chapters in the middle of the game, than Sakura Taisen 1, but the jump in quality between the two is fairly evident, at a glance. So far, I think Sakura Taisen 3 is way better than either of them, though. So, the first two Sakura Taisen games are pretty interesting, but probably non-essential experiences, even for Sega fans. I wouldn't dissuade anyone from playing them, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them, either.


Kino no Tabi is one of the few things from my extra weeby days, in middle school and high school, that I can still tolerate (along with GitS, anything by Satoshi Kon, some Gundam, and Last Exile). I've had the OVA collector's box since about 2004, after seeing one of the episodes in a disc included with an issue of Newtype USA (because I had subscribed to it from the first issue--I know, it makes me sick just thinking about it, too). I started reading the novels around 2008, or 2010, and have read the first few volumes. I also have the first volume of Gakuen Kino, but I've never really been sure if I actually want to read it, or not. So, naturally, I also have Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World, and its sequel, for the PS2. I haven't played the second one yet, but it is a bit different than the first. The first game is largely a sound novel, like Kamaitachi no Yoru for the Super Famicom, or Machi for the Saturn. My previous experience with sound novels was pretty limited to the fourth (?) chapter of Cross Tantei Monogatari for the Saturn, which was an absolutely beautiful story, and one of my favorite chapters in that game. Anyway, Kino no Tabi also has three (or technically four) chapters that are "adventure" chapters, that have some choices to make, puzzles to solve, etc. They are pretty light on those mechanics, but there are multiple endings for those chapters, based on choices made. Unfortunately, these scenarios don't appear to have been written by Shigusawa Keiichi, so I didn't bother to do more than one ending each. All of the sound novel chapters are actually just chapters from the first six novels, with voiced narration, and some images, and slight animations in the background. A number of the chapters coincide with episodes from the OVA, as they were made around the same time, and even share VA for Kino, Hermes, Riku, and Shizu, and I wouldn't have it any other way. There are a total of eight of the sound novel chapters, including the ~1 minute long prologue and epilogue, plus a bonus chapter, unlocked after the credits, that's included as one of the two printed booklets that come with the game (although it seems to have a few passages removed, and there is one choice added at the very end of the chapter). Including the prologue and epilogue, five of these chapters were ones I had already read in the novels. Finishing the game unlocks a special mode with chapter select, art gallery, BGM, and even a stupid little compatibility test. Basically how the game goes, is there are three main story chapters, with a few lesser chapters sprinkled in between them. The three main chapters are immediately followed by "Another Story" variants of the chapters, which act as the adventure parts. They act basically as fan interaction with the chapter content, sometimes giving some more (non-canon) details, or allowing players to interact a bit more with certain characters (Kino, Shizu, Sakura, etc). I mean, overall, this is a game for fans, and it does, in some ways, enhance some of the stories from the novels, but I would just recommend the novels, first and foremost. I went back to watch a few episodes of the OVA, as well (ep 4, 10, and 13, in particular), and I was a little disappointed to realize that it was a lot more fast-paced than I recall. There were still some thoughtful moments, but there was a lot of missing details, and changed sequences; Beats moved along at a much faster clip than I had thought. The run-time I think was just too short. It really needed 30 to 40 minute episodes, especially for episode 13.

Since, in a few cases, these were stories that I had been through in the novels, and the OVA, I put some effort into looking for more subtle, literary, details like symbolism, metaphor, etc, which can be a bit of a weakness for me. I wouldn't say that I necessarily improved greatly in that regard, from playing Kino no Tabi, but there was one particular simile, in the last 'real' chapter (Yasashii Kuni) that particularly stuck out to me: Kino is riding Hermes down a foliage laden road, and her path is described as 'kicking up fallen leaves, and dispersing them like the wake of a boat at sea.' That's exactly the sort of thing I would expect to read in Japanese literature, but I enjoyed the imagery, nonetheless. Shigusawa Keiichi has generally seemed to me to have a bit of a dry, and pointed writing style, though, so I'm not sure there's a terribly great amount of subtlety that I tend to be missing out on, in this case.


The last game was the very first entry in the Ganbare Goemon (Legend of the Mystical Ninja) series, Ganbare Goemon! Karakuri Douchuu, for the Famicom. This is a game I've tried to play in the past, and not done well with. This time I was a little bit more determined to figure it out, and I mostly did. It took quite a few attempts of making it to the fourth stage, and falling off magic pixel ledges, before I was able to put a solid run together. The first thing I had to realize was that the candles actually show where the secret staircases in the stage are. Next, I needed to realize what armor protects against what. Then I realized that I could get the three gate passes needed in each stage for free (I say "free," although technically you have to pay to enter the 3D maze areas, but if you search for everything in them, there's enough money that you'll come out ahead, anyway, and there's often extra lives in them, too). Finally, I realized that by jumping over where the hidden staircases are, they appear, without holding a candle (which is nice because candles are removed from your inventory after a certain amount of time, and all items get more expensive each time they're purchased). After figuring those things out, I was able to ABJ (Always Be Jumping) my way to Stage 10 without losing all my lives (although I had already resolved to use the continue code, if needed). At Stage 10, I had already been on my last life for quite a while, but was running out of time (the stages are timed), and couldn't find the gate for the stage. It turned out that the game forces you to hug a ~1-pixel ledge, multiple times, in order to finish the stage, and I have no idea how anyone would figure that out. It's also extremely easy in this game to just fall into insta-death by walking too closely to the edge of something. Those annoyances aside, it's a pretty decent game. I ended up relying on maps of the stages for the last three, just to have it finished. Without the maps, I have no idea how long it would have taken me to beat the game, but I didn't want to find out. I was able to finish the first loop without having to continue at all, too, which was kind of nice. It's a tough game, and apparently there are eight loops, with slightly different messages at the end of each one. I don't know who is crazy enough go through all of them, though, since even knowing what to do, it's not a really fast game. I enjoyed one loop of it, once I figured out how to approach things, though. It can be infuriating at times, but I still had a fair amount of fun with it.
Last edited by pierrot on Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:18 pm

@Markies

Nice job man. Out of curiosity, how do you plan on tackling Terranigma hardware/software wise?

@pierrot

Epic post. Is Iris in Sakura Taisen 2?

Oh, and by the way, writing the number 8 followed by an end parenthesis makes the sunglasses man emoji. 8) 8) 8)
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Markies Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:43 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:@Markies

Nice job man. Out of curiosity, how do you plan on tackling Terranigma hardware/software wise?


When it comes to that, I prefer Reproduction Carts.

I'd rather feel like I'm playing an actual SNES game, so I'll buy the Repro Cart and then play it on my SNES.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pierrot Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:05 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Oh, and by the way, writing the number 8 followed by an end parenthesis makes the sunglasses man emoji. 8) 8) 8)

Ugh, I'm pretty sure I'd noticed that, and just forgot to turn off smilies, too. Thanks for being my editor, Bone.


BoneSnapDeez wrote:Is Iris in Sakura Taisen 2?

She is. All six of the girls from the first game return, but only Sakura and Iris are around for the first few chapters. The second chapter is dedicated almost exclusively to Iris again, also. She's still very cute, and I find it difficult to not dote on her a bit, so she ended up in my third spot, after Sakura and Kanna, in the trust list. Any of the top four can be chosen as the heroine for the final chapters, but I can't bring myself to choose her to be the heroine, because the way she always talks about Oogami being her lover kind of creeps me out. I feel like the developers even kind of knew it was creepy, because, if you do a combo special with Iris, in some of the earlier battles, she magically has the form of an "adult" (probably meant to be 15 or something, but she at least looks over 18): https://youtu.be/INDcOV86wjo?t=421. The combo attack when she's chosen as the heroine makes me a lot less comfortable, though. I don't even want to link to it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:34 pm

@Markies

Ah! I totally forgot about repro carts. Good call there. Easiest way to play it on a vanilla NA SNES. It's a fantastic game.

@pierrot

Thanks for the info playa. I've played the first installment and part five, but all those middle entries are unknown to me.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Markies Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:15 pm

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

1. Power Stone 2 (SDC)
2. Radiata Stories (PS2)
3. Dusty Diamond's All-Star Softball (NES)
***4. Saiyuki: Journey West (PS1)***
5. Shining In The Darkness (GEN)
***6. Metropolis Street Racer (SDC)***
7. Half-Life 2 (XBOX)
8. Soul Blazer (SNES)

9. Mario Party (N64)

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I beat Mario Party on the Nintendo 64 this evening!

My college roommate was the one that got me into the Mario Party series. I knew him from High School and I use to visit him throughout my college days. We would get together and play 50 turn Mario Party games. I am such a nerd that I would spend my Friday and Saturday nights in college playing Mario Party while eating Papa John's pizza. It was glorious. When we transferred to different colleges, I made a point to pick up the Mario Party games for myself. Funny thing, I only ever played the second and third game. I never played the original until many years ago when I finally got a copy and started playing through maps by myself. I decided this year to sit down and finally play through all of the maps so that I could beat all of the N64 Mario Party games.

Starting with Mario Party 2 and 3, it's hard to go back to the original as I am used to so much more for my Mario Party Games. There is so much that is missing. However, if you take out those two games and just focus on this one alone, you can see the great foundation here. All of the maps are very interesting and highly unique to each other. Since it is more of a bare bones approach, you don't get any of the craziness later on in the series. So, most of the mini-games are 4 Player Games and the maps don't have many different spots. They are littered with Chance Times, which are the bane of my existence, but it's nice to play a bare bones approach sometimes.

However, the Mini-Games aren't all that memorable. A few of them cause you to rotate the thumb stick rapidly and that is not a smart idea. There are several mini-games where you are fighting off people taking money from you, so the money gets really small. The maps have odd star placement, so you can go through most of the game and nobody ever get a star. Also, Chance Time is seriously terrible. Seriously.

Overall, Mario Party is an interesting concept and I can see how they improved greatly on it in the other games in the series. Mario Party 3 is my favorite as it has the most variety, but it all started here with a great foundation. They took out what didn't work and improved on what did work. If you are a fan of the Mario Party series, then this is worth owning and playing as there is enough there that is good for you. However, if you are new to the series, it is better to start with a latter iteration.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:09 pm

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)
15. Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (NDS)
16. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! (NDS)
17. Detective Pikachu (3DS)

I like Detective Pikachu’s concept, settings, personality, graphics, music, and voice acting. It’s gameplay, however, leaves something to be desired. There is no failure state; so, the gameplay boils down to, “Talk to NPCs for eight hours.” There are also a few quick-time events, but there is no penalty for failing those either. I probably am not the game’s intended audience, but I think even my children would have found the game a bit boring. (My daughter was watching me play it, and she said, “ All you do is talk to people?!”) I had to push myself a bit to get through it, but I finally have it under my belt. Now...back to old games!
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pierrot Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:05 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Thanks for the info playa. I've played the first installment and part five, but all those middle entries are unknown to me.

Oh, how is V? I don't have that one. I mostly just wanted to play 3, and thought I should play the ones before it, too. I'll probably be done with 3 and 4 fairly soon, though, so I'll have to think about whether or not I want to continue with the series after those. Maybe debate getting the remake of the first game on the PS2, also. There's apparently a new Sakura Taisen scheduled for release at the end of the year. I saw the opening trailer for it; It seems they wanted to include some tiddy-monsters this time, though.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:55 am

Yeah part five's okay. Not as good as part one. Can't beat the Sega Saturn tho.
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