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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by ElkinFencer10 Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:18 pm

Bone ain't the only one playing so-so ports of old Ys games.

Games Beaten in 2019 So Far - 2
* denotes a replay

January (2 Games Beaten)
1. Army Men 3D - PlayStation - January 1*
2. Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished - NES - January 4


2. Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished - NES - January 4

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Over the past couple years, I've fairly rapidly become something of a major fan of the Ys series. With my transition to Everdrives for my old cartridge consoles and the addition of a RetroPie to my HD set-up, I've decided that I'm going to play through every different version of the original Ys game (and probably Ys II and III). Joining the Master System and TurboGrafx-CD ports on my "Versions of Ys Beaten" list now comes the port to the Famicom which, thankfully, got a fan translation.

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Given that my previous experiences with the original Ys was on the TurboGrafx-16 (the greatest of all 16-bit consoles) and the Master System, a 8-bit system with superior specs to the NES, I went into this playthrough with tempered expectations. I knew it was unlikely to be as visually impressive as the Master System version, and given that I played the Master System version with the FM Sound enabled, I knew this Famicom port wouldn't hold a candle to the Master System version. I was pleasantly surprised, though. I mean, it definitely met my expectations in general, but it wasn't as severe a step down as I had feared.

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Visually, the game looks a lot like Hydlide. It looks like an older NES game with less detailed sprites, but the only area where I felt that was at all to the game's detriment was enemy sprites. The sprites aren't bad, but they leave some....interesting interpretations. There are blue gummy bears, self-immolating porcupines, random amorphous grey blobs that look suspiciously like the eggs in a high school cafeteria, etc. The music is honestly the biggest let down. I'm certain that part of my disappointment is because I was spoiled first by FM sound on the Master System and then the CD quality audio on the TurboGrafx, but the music in this game just felt mediocre. It was definitely a solid 8-bit rendition of the music from other versions of Ys, but it felt like playing a classical flute solo on a recorder. I mean, yeah, it works, I guess, but it's...just disappointing.

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The combat - the core of the experience - is thankfully 100% Ys. It's the bump combat we all know and love (and if you don't love it, you're wrong). The same strategy still applies; his them from the side, back, or the edge if you have to hit them head on, and you're fine, but if you hit them dead on, you're going to end up taking a ton of damage. It's a fairly unconventional system for those who haven't played a version of Ys before, but I absolutely love it, and it's iconic Ys. By no means do all Ys games use this system (I'm not even sure that most do although I've not played past IV, so I can't speak to that), but from my experience, when you mention Ys, what first comes to mind for most people who've played it is the bump combat, and in that respect, the NES port of Ys I is true to form.

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Ys I for NES is definitely not the best version of the game to play, but if all you've got is a Famicom, there are definitely worse ways to experience Adol's first adventure. The music is a far cry from Master System's FM Sound or the TurboGrafx-CD's perfect everything, but it serves the purpose. Likewise, the visuals aren't quite as nice as the other two version I've played, but they're totally decent. It's like playing Call of Duty 4 on Wii as opposed to PS3 or 360. It doesn't play as smoothly, and it definitely doesn't look nearly as good, but judged on its own merits, it's still a perfectly competent and enjoyable game. I wouldn't recommend this version if other options are available to you, but if you don't have any other options, it's totally worth a playthrough.
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laurenhiya21
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by laurenhiya21 Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:41 pm

First review for 2019 woot!

1/1: Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)
Starting off the new year with a visual novel! Not too surprising there haha. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a bit different from most visual novels I play though, since it takes place in a western setting (something that’s not incredibly common with visual novels) and it’s also part puzzle game. I actually didn’t know about the puzzle aspect of it before playing, and unfortunately that aspect of it may have dimmed my enjoyment of the game a bit. Let me start with what I like though.

First off, the story, characters, and setting are all incredibly engaging. The main character is an ex-cop who’s on a mission to find his old cop partner. In the game, his next place to dig around is Hotel Dusk, a small hotel in the middle of no where. There he meets the various other gusts staying there, and he finds out all of the secrets they’re hiding along with all of the various connections between the hotel, the guests, his partner, and all sorts of various shenanigans. It’s all very well told and I wasn’t bored in the story or character sections. This was especially true when the main character had a chance to be snarky to some of the other characters. While he is a good guy and will try to do the right thing, he’s also had enough of people’s nonsense and will not be afraid to say it. It’s pretty refreshing and different from many other protagonists.

Another positive about the game is that it looks pretty good. The characters all have a sketchy, grayscale look to them (with some colour in some scenes), like someone sketched them out on paper. It looks really neat.

However, there is one big problem I had with the game. Like I said earlier, Hotel Dusk is also a puzzle game. Unfortunately, I found the puzzle aspects to be very tedious and boring. You have to figure out which characters to talk to, what tools you need to find and where they are, and do various tasks that rarely seemed logical for me to know about without endlessly combing the entire hotel. Because of that, I ended up resorting to following a guide for most of the game. I did not want to spend that much time on puzzles that I didn’t enjoy, especially since the main character moves incredibly slowly. They were still annoying to do sometimes, but at least I wasn’t confused the whole way through.

I also have a few other, smaller negatives that don’t really need much explanation:
- This is more of a preference than anything (plus I read fast), but the text moves pretty slowly and you can’t speed though it any faster. While it was a bit annoying, thankfully it wasn’t slow enough to really get on my nerves too much.

- In addition to the more point and click type puzzles, there are also some puzzles that utilize the DS’s touch screen to poke around certain objects. These just were annoying and kind of gimmicky to me. There was one kind of clever one, but I knew about the gimmick from one of the developer’s previous games (Trace Memory) so it wasn’t as neat to me as I think the developers intended it to be.

- This might not be a problem with the game, and more of a problem with how I played it, but the game was really difficult to control for me. You play the game with the DS sideways, like a book. You control most things using the stylus, although you can move around with the D-pad if you want. While it was an interesting idea, it was physically painful to hold my 3DS XL this way. It was alright if I laid down my 3DS on a flat surface, but I like to lay down when I play handheld games and so this control scheme made the game really tough to play. Maybe this would have been better with a normal DS, but this was the only way I could easily play the game as my DS Lite is currently a bit borked.

While I did have quite a few issues with Hotel Dusk: Room 215, I’m still glad that I played it for the story and characters. If you’re a bigger fan of puzzles or adventurey games than I am, then this would probably be a lot more enjoyable for you.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:19 pm

I legit dislike Fami Ys. It's the worst version of the game.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:28 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)

I'm a big Katamari Damacy fan, and replaying/playing through all of them in one big marathon a couple years back, I stopped after my 4th game and left Katamari Forever on the shelf. I finally took to trying to finish it these past few days, and while I'm glad I waited, this was still a fantastic experience. It took me about 12 hours to do the whole game, and that was mostly just playing each stage once (although failing some quite a few times XP).

The main reason I'm glad I waited is because this is more of a greatest hits collection than a brand new game. This is a collection of 32 stages, almost all of which are comprised of a selection of the best levels from the previous 4 Katamari games. However, as a result of how previous entries reused actual stages for many levels, you don't often actually repeat the stages, meaning this has the best stage variety out of any previous Katamari game. On top of that, there are tons of remixes of songs from previous games as well as a "Katamari Drive" mode that you unlock upon completion of the main game where your Katamari is SUPER fast (making some stages very easy and some SUPER hard).

Other than that, it's the same old Katamari you know and love. You use the joysticks to roll the Katamari around the stage, rolling into smaller things to clump up your main Katamari into a bigger and bigger destructive force as you try and meet the goal of the level before time runs out. The physics engine is great, so it plays as well as you could hope for. The load times are also SUPER fast, and there's FINALLY an instant retry button on the pause menu, and those two quality of life features alone make this a very easily recommendable game. The only slight negative is that when you start getting REALLY big or in really item-packed levels, the framerate tanks pretty hard. This doesn't really affect play though, as the whole game slows down too, so you aren't losing time or anything.

The story is as light as ever and the writing is as silly as ever. The King of the Cosmos has knocked himself unconscious by hitting his head on a star, so The Prince and the Cousins build a giant Robo King to replace him until he wakes up. Going back and forth between the Robo King's more general "build it really big" missions (as he contemplates the terror of his existence as an explicitly temporary sentient being) and the sleeping King's dreams (which are more specialized levels, like the first game's "get one cow or bear" level) while he spouts nonsense about how he's supposedly lost his memory are both very entertaining.

The graphics have a kind of style that makes them look less matte and flat as previous entries and now have more of a sketchbook look, like there are pencil hashes on textures instead of them just generally being flat, bright colors. It looks nice, but has some occasional very annoying problems. The King's levels have a monochromatic tint to every type of item you haven't collected yet, and this can make already hard levels (like where you need to collect/avoid very certain kinds of items that were made more obvious in their original games by their coloring) far harder than necessary. That poor decision on how to color the King's levels is really the only serious complaint I have with this game.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. If you're only gonna get one Katamari game, make it this one. It has a crazy amount of levels and stages, online play, local co-op, smaller mini-games, and tons of high-scores to aim for as well as presents & cousins to collect. This game's mission statement was to be a Greatest Hits collection for everything Katamari, and it has succeeded in flying colors. Considering how well Katamari ReRoll sold on Switch, I really hope we can get this game a Switch port because it absolutely deserves it~
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pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:56 pm

1) Kung Fu (android)
2) Celeste (steam)
3) Dead Dungeon (steam)


Dead Dungeon is a simple, but challenging 2d platformer. The game is made up of 50 single screen levels and your character has a jump/double jump that can vary in height depending on how long you hold the button for. The goal of each level is to get the key, then make your way to the exit.

Level design in this game is excellent. Levels are made up of the usual things you would expect in a game like this, spikes, buzzsaws, flying buzzsaws, portals, and a few random enemies, but the levels are set up to force you into some pretty crazy precision scenarios. Luckily the controls are spot on so when you die(and you will) you have no one to blame but yourself. Levels are also really short and have instant respawns, so although you may get stuck on some particularly hard levels(41 and 49 were both nightmares for me) when you actually do complete them most levels take 30 seconds or less.

The single screen layouts also mean there are no cheap deaths, as soon as the level begins you can stand there and figure out the best way to make it to the exit knowing exactly what lay ahead of you. This is not one of those annoying games with cheap hidden deaths and there is absolutely no trial and error. In every level you will know exactly what to do and exactly what can kill you, the challenge comes in mastering the precision necessary to navigate the challenges in front of you.

There are also collectables scattered throughout each stage in hard to reach places, as well as a timer that tracks your completion time per level, although these features don't interest me it is nice that they are there for speed runners/completionists.

If you are a fan of challenging platformers then you will enjoy this game, it doesn't reinvent the wheel, nor does it do anything particularly innovative, but it is a solid, well made, and fun to play game.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by ElkinFencer10 Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:48 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:I legit dislike Fami Ys. It's the worst version of the game.

I absolutely agree that it's the worst version of the game (at least of the versions that I've played), but I didn't think it was outright unlikable. It was just rough around the edges. Really rough.
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Flake
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Flake Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:19 pm

Heeeere we go!

January
Megaman (Switch)
Megaman 2 (Switch)
Megaman 3 (Switch)
Megaman 4 (Switch)
Megaman 5 (Switch)
Megaman 6 (Switch)
Megaman 7 (Switch)

I finally got Megaman 11 and decided that it was a good reason to finally play the Switch version of the Legacy Collections that I bought last year. I'm super impressed by how accurate the NES emulation is - even the visual glitches on the loading seam (ala Super Mario 3) are duplicated perfectly. The slow down is in the places I remember it being. I instinctively took advantage of it with the muscle memory I developed as a kid.

Oh, and Megaman 1-6 on the Legecy Collection work perfectly with the Nintendo Switch Online NES controllers. No need to re-map anything at all. That was a super nice bonus. Until the hand cramps set in.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by noiseredux Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:28 pm

Flake wrote:Oh, and Megaman 1-6 on the Legecy Collection work perfectly with the Nintendo Switch Online NES controllers. No need to re-map anything at all. That was a super nice bonus. Until the hand cramps set in.


Funny. A part of me really wanted to buy those controllers until it dawned on me that I'd much rather use the Pro Controller anyway, haha.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by laurenhiya21 Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:03 am

1/6: Regency Solitaire (Steam)
Every so often I like to play a simple casual game, and Regency Solitaire fit that bill quite nicely. It’s basically just golf solitaire (a variation on just regular solitaire that’s not really that’s also easy to play) with a few additions.

One addition, is a story set in the Victorian era. It’s a pretty simple one (main character has to earn back the family’s fortune or be married to a cranky old fart), but it’s kind of fun. What’s better about this though is that with the story comes a pretty nice theme throughout the game. It just looks really nice! I like it when developers pay close attention to how little things look, and it just works really well here.

Another, more major addition, is various powerups that you can earn throughout the game. As you beat levels, you’ll get a certain amount of gold to spend on items for the main character’s house. Each item corresponds to an upgrade. Some of them are passive (like the chance for a random card to go away), but you’ll also unlock three different powerups to help throughout the game. This is really nice since these powerups, if used well, can greatly reduce the chance of failing the (optional) objectives because of some just rotten luck.

There’s really not much more to add about the game, since it’s really that simple. There are a few extra gimmicks here and there, but overall Regency Solitaire still just a fancied-up version of golf solitaire. There’s nothing wrong with that though, and I had a good time playing it! Just keep in mind that if you want something a bit more complex, this game is probably not for you.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Flake Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:30 am

noiseredux wrote:
Flake wrote:Oh, and Megaman 1-6 on the Legecy Collection work perfectly with the Nintendo Switch Online NES controllers. No need to re-map anything at all. That was a super nice bonus. Until the hand cramps set in.


Funny. A part of me really wanted to buy those controllers until it dawned on me that I'd much rather use the Pro Controller anyway, haha.


It's definitely a nostalgia thing. They are super accurate reproductions but definitely not a comfy way to play. It's one of those products that I'm kind of surprised Nintendo made since the audience for it has to mostly be people like us, and we're not a huge part of the gaming demographic these days.
The PSTV is amazing.
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