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Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sun May 26, 2019 2:28 pm
by REPO Man
Shakedown Hawaii for PS4/Vita, though I've got a few things left to get 100% and the platinum trophy.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sun May 26, 2019 3:05 pm
by alienjesus
BoneSnapDeez wrote:What are the best Harvest Moon games, Popo? I like the original and 64, but haven't tried much else.

I highly recommend either Friends of Mineral Town on GBA or Back To Nature on PS1. They’re similar enough to where they’re essentially ports of the same game, but they have a lot going for compared to both earlier and later games in the series I’ve tried.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sun May 26, 2019 6:43 pm
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)***
7. Half-Life 2 (XBOX)
8. Soul Blazer (SNES)
9. Mario Party (N64)
10. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (GCN)
11. Street Fighter Collection (PS1)

12. Pokemon Stadium 2 (N64)


I beat Pokemon Stadium 2 on the Nintendo 64 this afternoon!

During High School and College, my friend got me really interested into Pokemon. At the time, Pokemon was a huge fad for children, but my friend slowly changed my ways and we got heavy into the games for several years. Eventually, as the games moved to different consoles and my friend moved away, I lost interest. I eventually got rid of all my GameBoy games, but I still kept my N64 Pokemon Stadium games. They have fantastic mini games and can still be fun to play. However, doing regular battles with Rentals was nearly impossible. So, my friend introduced me to a coworker of his who is a giant Pokemon fan and he was kind enough to give me some Pokemon to do battles. With better Pokemon, I went about trying to beat Pokemon Stadium 2.

Much like the original Pokemon Stadium, the main purpose of Pokemon Stadium 2 is to be able to play Pokemon Gold/Silver on your television. And for that, the game is perfect. That is how I used to play Pokemon Silver and I beat that game several times. I don't like playing handheld games or looking at such a small screen, so to be able to play it on my TV without using batteries was perfect. Also, the mini games are so much better than the original. They seem more varied and far along with a different variety in choosing them. To this day, I still love to go back to them every now and then.

Now, the actual battling of the computer trainers is a different story. Much like the first game, it is still interesting to see 3D Pokemon, but the novelty of it was wearing off. But, once you get into the actual battling, you begin to realize how random the game really is. From the strange percentages to if the move hits or not to how effective status ailments are, the game feels like it is trying to screw over the play. In fact, unless you have your own Pokemon, it is nearly impossible to beat the game just with Rentals. So, strategy and control goes out the window as you just hope and pray to the RNG Gods.

Overall, Pokemon Stadium 2 is such an improvement over the first game and once again provides a great opportunity to play Pokemon Gold/Silver on the TV. It's much easier to play and the better mini games makes it a better package. However, I would only buy or play this game if you have the Gameboy games as well because playing without them is an increasingly frustrating experience.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sun May 26, 2019 9:53 pm
by MrPopo
BoneSnapDeez wrote:What are the best Harvest Moon games, Popo? I like the original and 64, but haven't tried much else.

I haven't played too many of them; I've really only done original, 64, the first DS game, Rune Factory, and Rune Factory 4. The first DS game definitely had a lot of stuff going on that was pretty overwhelming. By contrast, while Rune Factory has a lot going on it also makes it really easy to manage; you can capture monsters to do your farm chores and that gives you time to focus on either townsfolk or dungeons as appropriate. Personally, my favorite of the ones I've played is still the original because it stayed true to a core theme without adding in a ton of busywork.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 6:10 am
by PartridgeSenpai
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) *

Watching a Twitch streamer poke around in this last week, I really got itching to play LTTP again. Once I remembered that I could just DO that because I brought my SNES Classic to me from America, I hopped right in over the weekend and played through it over just under 7 hours on Sunday morning. It was a lovely nostalgic romp through a game I haven't played the SNES version of in MANY years (it was a game I lost as a child, though still have no idea how).

I played the GBA version a LOT more than the SNES version growing up, and I was surprised at just how many things I had assumed were quality of life additions in the port were in the original all along (keep in mind I had that game from the ages of like, 3 to 5, so my memory of it from then is very rough). Fantastic bits of signposting like the village boy actually marking on your map where the elder is, or the dark world dungeons being listed in order on your map are there in all their glory (and apparently always had been XD). Early Zelda games have always had shaky relationships with good signposting of where next to go and how to do it (especially Link's Awakening) in my experience, so it was a really cool realization of just how well this game had been put together back then. That said, my 7 hour completion time is very largely due to how good my memory is of this game up to about the second to last dungeon, so the real benefits of the signposting were something I couldn't really enjoy organically as if it were my first time playing.

This game is also so much harder than I remember it being. Maybe they made the GBA ports easier or something, but there are SO many enemies, especially early bosses (and MOST especially the one you fight in the first dark world dungeon) deal SO much damage, like two hearts in one hit, that you can die in like 3 or 4 hits if you haven't been tracking down every heart piece you can get your hands on. Certainly not the the extent of something like Zelda 2, which is a game I find so hard that it's very difficult to enjoy playing it, but it was still a surprising entry for me of back when Nintendo made HARD games that did not hold your hand.

Going back to the short completion time, it was weird to see JUST how small and short so many of the dungeons are. Some of the quickest can be done in like 10 or 15 minutes barely trying if you're just following where they point you to go and don't get stuck on some logic puzzle or lost inside them. They always seemed SO huge and sprawling to me as a kid, it's weird to go back like, 10 years since I last beat this and see just what a relatively tiny experience this game is (granted it has like a dozen freaking dungeons, so it's not that bad that they're small. If anything I prefer them this way).

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Still not my favorite 2D Zelda game, but I do certainly appreciate it more this time around than my memory had treated it before. Not really enough NPC interaction for my tastes, as this is still very much an exploration-based action/adventure game more in the style of the games that came before it, but it's still easily and obviously one of the best action adventure games on the system (shocking news to you all, I'm sure :lol: )

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 12:44 pm
by ElkinFencer10
Games Beaten in 2019 So Far - 27
* denotes a replay

January (12 Games Beaten)
1. Army Men 3D - PlayStation - January 1*
2. Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished - NES - January 4
3. Mega Man - NES - January 6
4. Mega Man 2 - NES - January 6
5. Mega Man 3 - NES - January 6
6. Mega Man 4 - NES - January 7
7. Dr. Discord's Conquest - NES - January 7
8. Mega Man 5 - NES - January 26
9. Just Cause 3 - PlayStation 4 - January 26
10. Mega Man 6 - NES - January 27
11. Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight - Vita - January 27
12. Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space - PlayStation 2 - January 27

February (2 Games Beaten)
13. Earth Defense Force 5 - PlayStation 4 - February 2
14. Fallout 76 - PlayStation 4 - February 3

March (4 Games Beaten)
15. Octopath Traveler - Switch - March 2
16. Resident Evil 0 - PlayStation 4 - March 9
17. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered - PlayStation 4 - March 10
18. Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade - Game Boy Advance - March 30

April (3 Games Beaten)
19. Moemon - Game Boy Advance - April 5
20. Yoshi's Crafted World - Switch - April 10
21. Wargroove - Switch - April 26

May (6 Games Beaten)
22. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Switch - May 5
23. Battlefield V - PlayStation 4 - May 9
24. Timespinner - PlayStation 4 - May 12
25. Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain - PlayStation 4 - May 17
26. Shenmue - PlayStation 4 - May 19
27. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht - PlayStation 2 - May 26

27. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht - PlayStation 2 - May 26


Xenosaga is the second game in the lengthy and fairly disjointed "Xeno" series after the PlayStation's Xenogears. The first Xenosaga game, subtitled "Der Wille zur Macht," is the first in the Xenosaga trilogy, each game in which is named after a book by German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche. "Der Wille zur Macht" translates to "The Will to Power," a concept Nietzsche described as the driving force behind humanity, the drive in humans to do more than simply subsist. It's clear that the game's director was influenced by Nietzsche's philosophical ideas, but the execution of translating those ideas into a video game is, like mankind itself, somewhat flawed.


The basic story of Xenosaga revolves around Shion, a brilliant young engineer with the Vector corporation, and her anti-Gnosis combat android, KOS-MOS. What are the Gnosis, you might ask? That's a good question and one that the game never really answers. The best it tells you is that they're creatures from another dimension that are made almost entirely of salt, normally have a non-corporeal existence in our dimension, and that either turn victims into piles of salt or into Gnosis upon contact. The Gnosis serve as the primary antagonists in the game, but they're by no means the only antagonists. You'll also fight the U-TIC organization (again, they're not really explained very well), occasionally Galaxy Federation troops and mechs, and more bosses than you can shake a stick at. To clarify before I go further, the story here isn't bad. It's just badly told. The rule of thumb with good storytelling is "Show, don't tell," but Xenosaga tries to tell a whole lot and doesn't even do it particularly well. It reminds me of my experience reading Joseph Conrad's novella "The Heart of Darkness" back in high school. It's not badly written, but it's so dense that you have to pay close attention to have any hope of keeping track of what's going on. Passive viewing here won't cut it and will only leave you saying "Wait, what the hell is happening?"


Visually, the game is nice even if pretty standard for a 2003 release on the PlayStation 2. The PS2, in general, has some pretty garbage video output and is atrocious in my opinion over composite video, but using YPbPr component cables usually cleans that up pretty nicely, and while there's still some text that can look a bit blurred, the game looks nice and clean over that superior A/V output. I actually found myself thinking "Man, I wish I had that early 2000s 480i skin." When was the last time you saw a blemish or pimple on the face of a PS2 JRPG character? Like the game's visuals, the game's soundtrack is quite nice and probably the best aspect of the game. The sound effects are well done, and the music composition is actually superb. Given the nice but largely par-for-the-course visuals and the overly convoluted story, I was expecting the music to sit solidly in "Okay" territory, but I found myself pleasantly surprised.


What people will most remember about Xenosaga are the cutscenes. Seriously like a third of the game is cutscenes. I didn't time it myself, but according to Reddit and GameFAQs, Xenosaga Episode I contains literally more than eight HOURS of cutscenes. I'm normally a big fan of cutscenes, but it just gets excessive here. I found myself seriously bored after a cutscene hit the ten-minute mark, and a LOT of them (if not the majority of them) went well past that. Fortunately, you can pause the cutscenes, so no worries about "Damn, I really have to poop, but I have another three hours in this cutscene," but unfortunately, there's no option to fast forward. You can just skip the cut scenes entirely, but since that's how like 90% of the story is delivered, that's not really an option for a first playthrough.


Xenosaga is definitely an interesting JRPG experience, and it's one I would recommend fans of the genre play through at least once, but it's definitely not one I can see myself replaying, and it's not one back on which I'll be looking particularly fondly down the line. It's dense, it's pedantic, it's poorly paced, the storytelling is dry, and while the combat is fun even if a bit simple, it's just a wholly average game all things considered. The pedantry and monolithic (no pun intended) cutscenes are the most memorable aspects of the game. It's worth playing for the experience, but I don't think it's worth replaying.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 1:25 pm
by Ack
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)

Part of me always felt like there was a missed opportunity with the second Shadow Warrior expansion. They could have called it Wonton Destruction, and it would have totally fit their aesthetic. Too bad.

Yep, if you haven't figured it out yet, Twin Dragon and Wanton Destruction are the two official expansions for Shadow Warrior. Neither were created by the original dev team, which had moved on to better, less racist things. However, since we are now in the territory of level designers looking for work, the amount of experimentation going into the expansions is actually kind of cool, with some stand out ideas, even if the execution is sometimes marred.

Twin Dragon

The first expansion involves Lo Wang having to go up against his brother, Hung Lo, who also happens to run some kind of criminal cabal. There are no changes to enemies or weapons, and the game feels like it was put together by a bunch of design enthusiasts who wanted to show off their skills, since it was released for free by a group called Level Infinity. You'll know it too, because they put their freaking logo in every level. You're going to see it. Just get used to it.

That said, their work is actually pretty nice. It starts with Lo Wang returning home and then leads to him tracking down his brother through the streets and eventually to his castle. While I do have gripes about one new addition that I will get to in a moment, the levels provide a lot of the kind of backtracking ability I saw in Blood. They vary in size, but they're visually interesting and form a nice package. There is also a new final boss, Hung Lo. This is the only time you'll see a new final boss in these games, so appreciate it. Then appreciate the ending where Lo Wang kills his own brother with a nuclear missile. That's hardcore, dude.

The one addition I don't like? Landmines. Some of the mines blow up, some go off like a flashbang, some shoot out caltrops, but damn it, you'll hear the beeping and then stop running so you can try and probe around until it jumps up and you backpedal out of range, because these suckers WILL kill you if you don't react right. They're introduced in level 2, and thankfully after that they're used sparingly, because they are a massive pain in the ass.

Wanton Destruction

This one is a little odd. This expansion was developed by Sunstorm Interactive, who also did expansions for Duke Nukem 3D and Blood. The weird part is that the guy working on it got swooped up by 3D Realms when he showed them his work, and the company closed a few years later. In 2005, two years after closing, the former president of SunStorm found the full expansion they had been developing, so it got release for free nearly a decade later. How's that for a bizarre history?

There are some changes here, mainly to the visuals. Enemies have been redesigned to look like stereotypical Chinese gangsters circa 1930, but I find something infinitely more satisfying about putting them down, so I actually dig the vibe. In this one, Lo Wang is now searching the world for evidence of Zilla, so levels include a variety of locales, including one awesome fight on an airplane where visual screen stutters were used to symbolize turbulence. This is perhaps my favorite idea in the whole game, because even if it's a hindrance and bears no practical effect, it's such an ingenious idea.

Ultimately, Lo Wang finds Zilla and puts him down after a big battle across several skyscrapers. Then he learns he has been tracked the world an ugly woman who loudly declares she wants to crap every time she thinks about sex. Sunstorm didn't have to do anything special for that, either, as it was in the base game. It is perhaps the most fitting way to end this.

Shadow Warrior, I'm good. I don't need any further pidgin English, farting sumos, or sexually harassed anime ladies. I've now beaten every base game and official expansion of the Build Big 3: Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, and Blood. Blood was probably my favorite, but the Life's a Beach expansion for Duke 3D was my favorite add-on content. Shadow Warrior, I just wouldn't recommend. Some things are better left in the past, like Mickey Rooney's impression of a Japanese man in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 7:58 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
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)
Atlantis (1982) is an early Atari 2600 game by Imagic. Well-regarded and heavily-ported, Atlantis was, alongside Pitfall!, one of the earliest console games to soon be followed by console sequels. The premise here is very similar to Atari's own Missile Command. The player controls a trio of gun towers, which are used to blast airborne enemies. The story is rooted in fantasy, Greek mythology specifically. This is indeed the lost city of Atlantis, sporting a cool retro-futuristic look. The invaders are those of the Gorgon tribe, piloting attack vessels.

The control scheme is simplistic and ingenious. Unlike Missile Command, there's no cursor used to aim shots. Instead, pressing the action button fires a straight vertical shot from the middle cannon; meanwhile pressing the button while holding right or left on the joystick will cause those respective cannons to fire (to opposite corners of the screen). The Gorgon fleets, comprised of two distinct ship styles, fly horizontally across the screen, looping across and getting lower with each pass. The enemy ships won't fire until they're on their fourth "wave." When they do attack, the player's middle cannon is the first target. After that, the architecture of Atlantis itself. Once all buildings have been destroyed, the game is over. Gorgons never shoot the side cannons, and destroyed objects will eventually regenerate over time. Atlantis is a pure score-chaser. The speed of enemies increases gradually, to the point where they're too fast to contend with. There's some great foreshadowing occurring at Game Over -- a saucer, housing the survivors of a denuded Atlantis, escapes. This saucer being the ship featured in the game's sequel: Cosmic Ark.
The game controls well, with unlimited ammo and surprisingly rapid fire. Bullets are pretty tiny though, as they typically are in Imagic games, to the point where I eventually felt like I was "sensing" them rather than seeing them. Some players (not me) have noted that the default mode is a touch "too easy" as the middle cannon can reliably take out most enemies. Game mode 2 disables this cannon (also known as the Acropolis Command Post, apparently) leaving the player to rely solely on angled shots from the screen corners. There's also a two-player mode, again with a disabled middle cannon, with each player taking command of a corner cannon. And for the kids: an easy mode.

Visuals are simplistic, but pleasing to the eye. Of special note is the underwater Atlantis dome. Always a shame when that beauty gets demolished. There's no music here, but a varied plethora of pleasing sound effects: the drone of the Gorgons, pew-pew of bullets, and of course the classic Atari lasers and explosions. Overall, solid game, and one of Imagic's best and most simplistic offerings.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 8:49 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Atlantis is great. One of the Crown Jewels in the 2600 library. What criteria did you use to “beat” it?

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 6:24 am
by PartridgeSenpai
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) *

My desire for more 2D Zelda goodness was not fulfilled by completing LTTP last weekend, so I picked up Link's Awaking DX on my Japanese 3DS eShop for the super good price of 600 yen (seriously the eShop has a lot of really good deals on Gameboy games even when they aren't on sale, certainly compared to a physical cart that may have a dead save battery, anyhow). As with LTTP, I played this one a LOT growing up, so I could basically go through most of it by memory and didn't need to fumble through the Japanese too much to figure out where to go, and could mostly just sit back and enjoy the original version's dialogue. It took me about 7.5 hours over the course of a few days, and I got all but 3 heart pieces as well as the ultimate sword (which I didn't even need a guide to find all the shells for, and I was very proud of myself :b ).

Given that I started it the evening after I finished LTTP, the first thing I noticed was just how much easier this game is than that one. Most enemies, even bosses, don't do THAT much damage, certainly not compared to the heavy hitters in LTTP, and the combat overall just felt a lot more easy and forgiving. Especially in the DX version, where you can do the
bonus color dungeon after the 3rd main dungeon to get a tunic that either doubles your damage or defense permanently (and you can go back to swap between them whenever), the boss battles almost become trivial at a point when you kill them in like 5 or 6 sword hits. Especially when you get the ultimate sword (so you're dealing 4 normal sword hits-worth of damage per attack), anything that can be killed with a sword dies REALLY fast XD. That said, around the 5th dungeon, most bosses and mini-bosses aren't even attacked with the sword, and are often hit with either bombs or by throwing things at them, so they clearly anticipated you wrecking things with your ultra sword at least a littttle bit XD.

The world and map design are things I'm kinda torn on. On one hand, if you know what you're doing, the world map and dungeon design are super fun to navigate and conquer over and over, and have a good blend between feeling like something you're naturally constantly wanting to explore and simple puzzles to navigate. On the other hand, if you DON'T know what your doing or where to go, you can wander around for AGES trying to find the ONE bit of the map where the area you can progress through is. Especially once you get to around the 6th and 7th dungeons, the game can be pretty unforgiving in expecting you to basically remember the entire map and what bits contain elements you couldn't get past before, and even then the ways you get to those places aren't always very intuitive *glares angrily at Flying Rooster*.

Dungeon maps aren't super detailed, but they often get the job done. The real stumbling block they hit is that there are a lot of staircases that lead to 2D platforming sections which will wrap you around to other areas of the dungeon. These staircases nor their 2D sections are shown nowhere on your map, so again, the game really expects you to have a keen memory for how a dungeon is laid out or you're gonna spend a LOT of time lost. Especially in the 8th dungeon, which has a much more non-linear design than the others in the game, and I can specifically remember I just got so lost and confused in that dungeon I gave up on it on two separate playthroughs growing up (and the gimmick to finish the 7th dungeon is also one that stumped me a lot as a kid, and I had to look that up eventually too).

This is really Link's Awakening's biggest problem. The limited graphical hardware of the GameBoy made it so a lot of important map details couldn't really easily be made to the player, and outside of remembering what the Owl tells you when you beat a dungeon (that makes sense in context I promise), you often have very little clue of where to go next or what to do it outside of remembering where you have or haven't been. Most areas of the map are visually distinct enough that you'll remember them, at least, but there aren't enough tile sets in the game to keep that from happening EVER, and there are fields I frequently confuse the locations of still to this day despite how many times I've played through this game. The overworld map is almost comically useless with how unspecific and vague it is about the locations of things, so while you can kinda use it for the general location of things, it's useless for actual navigation (in stark contrast to the map in LTTP which had basically EVERYTHING on the map which you could see on it).

Verdict: Recommended. The bad signposting is really the only thing keeping me from giving this game a whole-hearted highly recommended mark. Losing where you're supposed to can be SO frustrating that it really just makes it feel like the game isn't respecting the player's time. This wouldn't be something I'd complain much about if this where any other game, as that bad navigation that expected a lot of the player was very common in old action/adventure games. But Link's Awakening unlearns so many good design lessons from LTTP that I cannot leave it unpenalized in good conscience. This is a great game, but do be expecting to use a guide to get through some of the later (or even quite early) overworld sections if you do decide to pick it up and don't want to spend ages wandering around the overworld trying to remember where to go (or if you like making really meticulous maps with notes for your retro adventure games, then I suppose you'd probably love this game).