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Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:29 am
by alienjesus
BoneSnapDeez wrote:
ElkinFencer10 wrote:Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem is a remake of the second half of the SNES game, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, which itself was a combined remake and sequel to the original Fire Emblem on NES. It's a companion game of sorts to Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon on DS as Shadow Dragon remade the events of the original and the first half of Mystery of the Emblem whereas this game remade the events of Mystery that took place after the events of the first game. To give a little more incentive to buy this game, though, it also bundles the four maps from the Satellaview streaming exclusive BS Fire Emblem: Archanean War Chronicles which aren't (legitimately) playable any longer outside of this DS release.

This is why I stick to Shining Force.

Explain to me how all the GG games, sega cd game and the different regional releases of Shining Force 3 work :lol:

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:42 am
by noiseredux
alienjesus wrote:
noiseredux wrote:
ElkinFencer10 wrote:Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem is a remake of the second half of the SNES game, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, which itself was a combined remake and sequel to the original Fire Emblem on NES. It's a companion game of sorts to Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon on DS as Shadow Dragon remade the events of the original and the first half of Mystery of the Emblem whereas this game remade the events of Mystery that took place after the events of the first game.

I read this several times and I don't get it.

But Fire Emblem games rule.

Fire Emblem 1 on Famicom is just one game.

Fire Emblem 3 on Super Famicom is 50% a remake of Fire Emblem 1, and 50% a sequel to Fire Emblem 1. The first half is all levels from Fire Emblem 1, and the second half is all new levels.

Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon on DS is a remake of Fire Emblem 1 on Famicom. It is all remakes of the maps from Fire Emblem 1.

Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem on DS is a remake of Fire Emblem 3, but only the second half. It includes no maps from Fire Emblem 1, but all the maps from the second half of Fire Emblem 3. It also contains the satellaview game levels, which used characters and places from Fire Emblem 3.

Thank you! Confusing... but I get it now, haha.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:01 pm
by marurun
alienjesus wrote:Explain to me how all the GG games, sega cd game and the different regional releases of Shining Force 3 work :lol:

Easy-peasy! Note that I know nothing about EU releases, just JPN and US.

GG Shining Force Gaiden (JPN-only) is a story continuation from the original MD Shining Force, taking place 20 years later. It also opens a new story arc that is continued by GG Shining Force Gaiden II (known as The Sword of Hajya in the US).

Shining Force CD (JPN and US) is both GG games remastered a bit and with two extra chapters added onto the end.

Shining Force III is a 3-chapter (and 3 game) saga, with chapter one focusing on one side of the central conflict, chapter two focusing on the other side of the central conflict, and chapter 3 focusing on a heretofore mysterious third party in the conflict and clearing up some unknowns to finish out the story. The only regional issue is that the US and EU (?) only got chapter one and neither of the following games. There was a premium bonus disc for purchasers of all 3 titles (redeemable with UPCs or somesuch) that had some bonus scenarios and other fun info. It wasn't really a full game, though.

This is far less confusing to me than the Fire Emblem remake stuff.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:41 pm
by MrPopo
You left off Final Conflict in your summary of the GG games Maru.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:29 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Too confusing. Best not to play SRPGs at all.

Also, great review, Elkin.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:10 pm
by ElkinFencer10
lol, sorry, it's convoluted, so I'm bad at explaining it. It's like...

Fire Emblem (NES) = A
Mystery of the Emblem (SNES) = AB
Shadow Dragon (DS) = A 2.0
New Mystery of the Emblem (DS) = B 2.0

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:39 pm
by alienjesus
Games Beaten 2019:
1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch
2. Alex Kidd in The Enchanted Castle Switch
3. Streets of Rage Switch
4. Vectorman Switch
5. Galaxy Force II Switch
6. Flicky Switch
7. Phantasy Star 2 Switch
8. Sonic the Hedgehog Switch
9. Altered Beast Switch
10. ESWAT: City Under Siege Switch
11. Columns Switch
12. Virtua Fighter 2 Switch
13. Kirby Star Allies Switch
14. Katamari Damacy Reroll Switch eShop
15. Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! Switch
16. Octodad: Dadliest Catch Switch eShop
17. Sword of Vermilion Switch
18. Decap Attack Switch
19. Golden Axe Switch
20. The Revenge of Shinobi Switch
21. Beyond Oasis Switch
22. WarioWare Gold 3DS
23. Shining in the Darkness Switch
24. Kid Chameleon Switch
25. Streets of Rage 2 Switch
26. Bio-Hazard Battle Switch *NEW*
27. Super Thunder Blade Switch *NEW*
28. Gain Ground Switch *NEW*
29. Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom Switch *NEW*

Bio-Hazard Battle


Bio-Hazard Battle is the lone shmup on the Sega Mega Drive Classics collection, and it’s one I’ve seen mixed thoughts on. It seems to be a thoroughly 6 to 7 out of 10 game by most peoples standards, and I wasn’t that excited by the thought of playing it. The game has a real ‘American Sega’ look to it too, reminiscent of the likes of Sonic Spinball or The Ooze, which makes it feel very low quality to me. And yet, I had a pretty fun time with Bio-Hazard Battle.

You can choose from 4 bio-weapon monsters to play as in the game, each of which has a different combination of attacks when collecting the games power ups – there are 2 variants of the red, green, blue and yellow power ups. All of the enemies in the game also generally have an organic feel and it’s quite a unique aesthetic for a shooter. This is good, because it’s otherwise not an especially impressive looking game, but I manages to get by through it’s interesting concept nonetheless. It does have some nice use of parallax on occasion though.

The audio also manages to mostly get by on the same merit – it’s honestly not especially great, and it definitely has that American developed Mega Drive game sound, but the odd noises it puts out kinda work for the bio-science theme so it’s passable.

Difficulty wise, Bio-Hazard Battle is relatively forgiving for a shmup of its era, but it still offers a challenge. There’s a few interesting setpieces on display, like a fun rollercoaster stage for the 2nd level and some giant flowers in the jungle stage, but mostly it’s a fairly straightforward game with an interesting aesthetic. I’m not sure I’d disagree with people’s assessment that it is a 6 or 7 out of 10 kinda game, but I guess I’d caveat that with ‘but it’s quite a fun 6 to 7 out of 10 kinda game.


Super Thunder Blade


This is the game I was dreading getting to on the collection, because Super Thunder Blade is complete and utter tosh. It’s based on the honestly quite decent Thunder Blade arcade game, only it takes everything that made that game interesting and butchers it, with boring, monotonous gameplay lacking in spectacle, incredibly disappointing graphics and performance, stiff controls, bland level designs and terrible music.

You pilot a helicopter through 4 levels, destroying tanks, planes and more as you go. Each level is divided into a 2 segments – a classic Sega scaling shooter where you fly into the screen, and then a top down segment that plays a little bit more like a classic shmup. Both are awful. In the scaling mode, the scaling of enemies is incredibly choppy, and your helicopter is super slow to react to anything making dodging enemies become a game of just flying in circles as you’re too slow to react otherwise. This is fine in open areas – enemies just shoot at where you used to be, making the game a breeze, but a few levels offer environmental hazards to crash into and these will cause no end of pain. This is made worse by the terrible jerky scaling – you’ll try to line yourself up with gaps only to massively misjudge where it will be as it appears 20 yards further forward in an instant and kills you. Firing back is equally bad – you shoot bullets forward constantly but these are weak and hard to hit with, meaning they’re basically useless in this mode. You also shoot 2 homing rockets which will do all the real work, and which mean that aiming is unnecessary.

Top down mode is also bad. Your helicopter is still slow to move, but your bullets fire fairly slowly too meaning your bullets trail after you as you move. Nothing interesting or exciting happens in these segments, and they’re over in no time.

And thankfully, that’s the case with the game in general – 4 or 5 (it’s been a while since I actually beat it) mercifully short (but very difficult – I used save states because fuck playing this legit) stages and it’s over. And you will thankfully never need to inflict Super Thunder Blade on yourself again. I was glad to be done with theoretically the worst game on the collection – but despite it’s awfulness, I actually think it’s only the second worst. Kid Chameleon was equally as awful, but Super Thunder Blade is 30 minutes as opposed to Chameleon’s 3 hours, so I’ll take the smaller amount of shit any day.


Gain Ground


The best way to describe Gain Ground is ‘interesting’. I’ve never played a game quite like it before, and I’d be very surprised if there really is anything out there that is similar. It’s an odd kind of strategic action game where you take a cast of characters throughout history to clear out levels and progress. Levels can be beaten in one of 2 ways – either progress all your characters one by one to the exit area of the map, or kill all the enemies on the map. You start with 3 characters at the beginning, so it’s not unreasonable to try heading for the exit at first, but as your cast of characters grows, winning by rout becomes much more reasonable a task than trying to run 20 characters to the exit one at a time within a time limit.

Each character can shoot around themselves by default, although they use different weapons to do so. However, they also come with a secondary fire which works differently for each one. Some only shoot upwards, some shoot to both sides simultaneously. Some shoot low to the ground but others arc upwards allowing you to hit enemies on raised platforms or over the other side of walls. Characters also move at different speeds and have different firing rates, so choosing the best character for the level is essential. Unfortunately, if you having the Viking choosing the best character is easy, because it is him. He can shoot his bow in all directions and it arcs over walls, plus he has the fastest move speed, so he is undoubtedly the most useful in nearly all situations. However, if a character dies in a map, then the only way to get them back is to rescue them as the next character and get to the exit without dying – if that character dies too, the first character is now gone for good. Luckily, you can also find additional captives in later levels, including some repeat characters if you lose someone good.

And so, like I said, Gain Ground is interesting. You choose characters carefully, optimising between saving the best characters for later or using them frequently because they’re so good. You analyse how the levels will benefit or hinder each one. Gain Ground is interesting. It’s just a shame it’s not much fun. The game is slow paced, ugly and without great music. Levels feel samey, and either method of winning takes too long for how simple the game feels. Gain Ground is noteworthy for it’s experimentation, but it’s really a game you can probably skip. Not one of Sega’s best.


Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom


Phantasy Star is an odd one for me. The Master System game is one which I thought had aged incredibly well for its era, and which impressed me for the system it was on. The Mega Drive sequel felt like a slog and a step down from its impressive predecessor, despite seemingly being quite a popular title. And now I come to the 3rd title, the so called black sheep of the bunch. I actually find it interesting because people say it stands out for feeling like it backed away from sci-fi influences – but I don’t really see it. Yes, the towns look more classic RPG, but within the first 30 minutes you recruit a cyborg to your team and walk through a fancy cyber tunnel fighting robots.

The main gimmick of Phantasy Star 3 is the generations system. The game starts with you on an adventure with an intial cast of characters, but at the end of the short adventure (maybe 5-8 hours long?) you are given the choice to wed one of two lady friends and create a sprog. The game then continues 18 years later with your main character now being your first characters son, with one of 2 storylines dependent on who you married. This choice happens once more at the end of that generation for a set of 4 optional 3 part stories which lead to the ending. This is a cool system, but I found it to be sorely under-explored. There needed to be more revisiting of towns and seeing new developments, changing landscapes, reoccurring characters. Instead the story is super duper duperlight and only a handful of party members seem to crop up in multiple stories. A real missed opportunity.


However, one thing that has been drastically improved in this game is the grinding. Phantasy Star 2 featured endless amounts of grinding for money and exp, but PS3 massively streamlines this. Level ups come quickly and frequently, and the story being divided up into 3 different parties makes it feel like a briskly paced title to play through overall.

The game has some interesting ideas – I liked being able to pass down artifacts via your cyborg party members between generations, and I liked the generations system a lot. There’s a very odd but unique system where you can balance your magic focus to specialise in certain spells. Unfortunately, that backfires because they balance status curing spells by making them less likely to work at lower levels – seeing as poison is the only status effect in this game and it’s horrendously common, you’ll be spamming the antidote spell 10 times to try and actually make it work.

Graphically, the game is really not great looker for the system. It’s clear that the game was rushed to completion based on the visuals and many other elements – so many ideas seem like they’ve not been fully fleshed out yet. The music is also often considered weak and I generally agree, but there’s a few highlight tracks, including the title theme.

My overall summary for Phantasy Star 3 is that it’s better than it has any right to be, but worse than it both wants to be and should be. It’s a fairly enjoyable title despite it’s many flaws, lacking story and very basic gameplay, but it also feels like it wanted to do so much that it never got to do. I wish they had been given more time, budget and memory space to work with, because I’d love to see the Phantasy Star 3 that could have been. As is, I would say it’s another disappointing sequel to a game series that started off as a genre defining masterpiece and, at this point, only a few years later, is feeling underwhelming and stale.


Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:00 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
God bless you, AJ. You are slogging through some of the Genesis’ most mediocre offerings. I’m one scenario into PSIII, and I am having a hard time summoning the motivation to see it through to the end.

Also, great reviews. I find them immensely entertaining.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:08 pm
by Ack
...I actually like Gain Ground for being so unusual...

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:20 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
10. Magic: The Gathering - PC
11. Ghost 1.0 - PC
12. Call of Duty 2 - PC
13. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - PS4
14. Revelations: The Demon Slayer - GBC
15. Mechstermination Force - Switch
16. Shadow Warrior Classic Redux - PC
17. Lost Sphear - Switch
18. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal - PC
19. Dragon Quest III - NES
20. Rage 2 - PC
21. Blood - PC
22. Harvest Moon 64 - N64
23. Battlefield V - PC
24. Sigil - PC
25. Shining Force III: Scenario 2 - Saturn
26. Shining Force III: Scenario 3 - Saturn
27. Borderlands 2: Commander Lillith and the Fight for Sanctuary - PC
28. Gato Roboto - Switch
29. Timespinner - Switch
30. Amid Evil - PC
31. Pillars of Eternity II: Beast of Winter - PC
32. Pillars of Eternity II: Seeker, Slayer, Survivor - PC
33. Pillars of Eternity II: The Forgotten Sanctum - PC
34. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Switch
35. Orphan - PC
36. Project Nimbus - PC
37. Hardcore Mecha - PC
38. Grey Goo - PC
39. Giants: Citizen Kabuto - PC
40. Wolfenstein: Youngblood - PC
41. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Switch
42. Metal Wolf Chaos XD - PC
43. Ion Fury - PC
44. Final Fantasy Adventure - GB

The last of the fake GB Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy Adventure is actually the first of the Mana games, though its original tagline was "Final Fantasy Gaiden", so it has the most right to be titled Final Fantasy during its localization (compared to the SaGa games). Since it starts off as a Final Fantasy spinoff there are some definite elements taken from the original series; both Chocobos and Moogles show up (the latter as a status ailment), the dwarves use the FFIV spritework, and the equipment uses FFIV icons where appropriate. Everything but the Moogle ailment will go away by Secret of Mana, and Moogle disappears starting with Trials of Mana.

The game plays similarly to Link's Awakening in terms of the sprite and weapon proportions, but unfortunately things are a bit more slippery when it comes to hit detection and enemy knockback (or lack thereof depending on how they're feeling; sometimes they even knock INTO you). A large chunk of the damage you take in the world is due to being hit due to these issues; those who have played the other 2D Mana games will remember that this never gets fully fixed. There's also a system of enemy resistances that comes into play; for the most part it tends to be "this enemy is only vulnerable to elemental damage"/"this enemy is immune to elemental damage". This can be quite irritating, as you start to get into the Crystalis "switch weapons every other enemy" thing, which is painful when menus are this slow. It's never quite bad enough to ruin things, but it does get annoying.

The game's story is limited due to being on the Game Boy, but they do manage to cram a surprising number of events into it. This ends up leading to the world being quite linear up until the very end (and even then there's only two more places to go to with your new freedom). There are a lot of points of no return and so it loses some of that exploration magic that the Zelda games have. The game's dungeons are decent enough (and VERY Zelda 1 patterned). Late game they start to toss in some annoying traps that will warp you out and force you to start a long dungeon over. There's also a key mechanic where you purchase keys from merchants to get through certain doors (which do not permanently unlock). Always make sure you have a supply of (very cheap) keys on you so you don't get soft locked. There are also Zelda-style false walls which can be detected by hitting them and then broken into with a pickaxe (or later on your mace weapon), which is another way you can softlock as those walls don't stay destroyed either and it has limited uses.

On the nice side, the game has a plethora of weapons available with various attack ranges and effects. This would be fleshed out a bit more in Secret of Mana (which also picks up the limited use items as being weapon effects). While you do get a few weapon upgrades that replace an existing one, many of them have utility that you will keep using even after you have better gear. A predecessor to SoM's charge attacks shows up here; not attacking fills up a bar, and when it's full you can use a more powerful attack (which has more range). It's incredibly clunky at the start but by end game you have enough Will to use it regularly.

Which brings me to the final thing I liked about this game; the leveling system. The game gives out levels extremely regularly, and they come with a health and mana refill. You can plan your dungeon diving around getting a few levels to preserve resources. And when you level you can choose how your stats go up. You choose one of your four stats to get two points, then two other ones will gain one (which ones are based off the primary stat you choose), with the final stat getting nothing. This lets you customize your character to suit your playstyle (weapon heavy, magic heavy, or a mix).

The game is quite good for a Game Boy RPG, though it isn't as good as LA in terms of gameplay. It's fun seeing all the things built up in this game that then show up in SoM and ToM; even the little Game Boy character sprites get turned into large versions for the SNES titles in a faithful recreation that frankly makes you think they did the SNES ones first and then downscaled. It also isn't too long; you should be able to bang it out in 8-10 hours. And since you can save anywhere it is perfectly suited for the gamer on the go.