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Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:23 pm
by chupon
How about Battletoads? Master Blaster? Castlevania? The list is endless.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:03 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
chupon wrote:There are secret warps so the "no password / save" argument is null.

Nah, I don't think one thing negates the other. There are some one-sitting retro games that were just far too long for their own good. Something like Rygar on NES comes to mind as well. That's a solid game, but did it ever need some kind of save function.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:40 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)

24. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PC)(FPS)
25. F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn (PC)(FPS)

26. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC)(RPG)
27. Men of Valor (PC)(FPS)
28. Ultima III: Exodus (PC)(RPG)
29. Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space (PC)(Point and Click)

30. Midnight Ultra (PC)(FPS)
31. Amid Evil (PC)(FPS)
32. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)(RPG)
33. Betrayer (PC)(Horror)

34. Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary (PC)(FPS/RPG)
35. Far Cry 2 (PC)(FPS)
36. Apocryph (PC)(FPS)
37. Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor (PC)(RPG)

38. Menzoberranzan (PC)(RPG)
39. TimeShift (PC)(FPS)

It's no secret that games like Halo, Half-Life 2, and F.E.A.R. were all influential in how the FPS genre reshaped itself in the mid- to late 2000s. Vehicles and their impact on level design, regenerating health, special abilities to augment the player's weapons, limited inventory, and increasing linearity were all a result of the mixing and matching of ideas from games like this. I pointed out those three specifically because they're the games that TimeShift reminds me of the most.

TimeShift is an FPS released in 2007, where the unnamed protagonist dons a time-traveling costume known as the Beta Suit and pursues an evil scientist who has stolen the Alpha Suit and created an alternate timeline circa World War II. Instead of Nazis, it's now Dr. Krone's machines and firepower, a weird mixture of European countryside and design from the beginning of the century, later inventions like computers and helicopters, and futuristic technology such as plasma-based firearms and even a machine pistol flamethrower that shoots fiery bullets. Yes, that gun was awesome.

The game takes place over the course of around 24 levels, though they're generally short, some as little as a single, elaborate room that must be crossed using the Beta Suit's ability to slow, stop, or even reverse time for limited periods. While it keeps with the idea of a continuous world, levels are most definitely confined to themselves and offer little to no room for exploration; there is always only one way to proceed, even in the more open levels where you have to drive an ATV.

Unfortunately, despite the brevity, the game still feels overly long, mainly due to the samey level design. It's not that you're encountering the same layouts, but you'll notice certain rooms are used more than once, the same set dressings, and a limited number of props to make things interesting. It just gets all muddled together after a while, and you feel like you're seeing the same thing over and over again because you are. Case in point, there was a hallway full of insta-death lasers I had to traverse early on. I make it through to nearly the final level, and lo and behold I find myself in the exact same hallway again, complete with an identical laser system. It's like bad deja vu...which is kind of funny in a game involving time travel.

As for how the time travel mechanics work, they're actually pretty cool. The game is relatively smart about which ability may be the most useful at any given time, so you can simply hit one button to have it kick in what it has preselected, or you can set specific commands for any one of the three types of time travel and experiment as you see fit. This sometimes has hilarious results, like the time I jumped off an ATV only to reverse time and have it pull back and run me over. But wading into a gun battle, then slowing time to help set up sniper shots, or simply freezing it before going whole hog with a shotgun on the enemy's face...yeah, it works. It works well, even if it just feels like a slightly enhanced bullet time from F.E.A.R.

The firearms are mostly well designed too, and while most don't reinvent the wheel, there were still some minor tweaks. The most interesting is definitely the machine pistol/flamethrower combo I mentioned, though I also enjoyed an explosive-launching crossbow you could snipe with. The initial impact can actually kill your target, and the follow up explosion can kill folks next to him. Unfortunately, the most common weapon is a bland assault rifle that never feels like it's putting out enough damage. It sounds great and reminds me of arcade light gun games, but enemies are bullet sponges even from the start, so it takes way more rounds to kill than I would have liked.

As for grenades, I didn't play much with these. The one I stuck to was the sticky one, though there were regular frag grenades, bouncy ones, and I think one other type. To be honest, I forgot about these because I didn't need them; time traveling handled most of my problems, and I just ducked behind cover when necessary. Yes, health regenerates; that and auto-saving are explained to be features of the suit, though you can save anywhere. I'm so glad we weren't so far down the rabbit hole as to only allow checkpoint saving. Screw that.

TimeShift is all right...but just all right. It never really excelled. It didn't do anything terrible, but it never really wowed me either. It's middling and forgettable, the kind of thing you can turn to when you have beaten the big names but still need a taste of gunplay. And sometimes, that's exactly what you need.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:25 am
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
27. Super Thunder Blade Switch
28. Gain Ground Switch
29. Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom Switch
30. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Switch *NEW*
31. Comix Zone Switch *NEW*
32. Vectorman 2 Switch *NEW*
33. Light Crusader Switch *NEW*
34. Crack Down Switch *NEW*
35. ToeJam and Earl Switch *NEW*

Sonic the Hedgehog 2


One of the interesting parts of the Mega Drive collection is trying out lots of games I’ve never played before. Sonic 2 is not one of those games – it’s probably one of my most played games of all time, and was a staple of my childhood. However, after a fairly mediocre patch of games on the Mega Drive collection, it was nice to come back to a game I knew I would enjoy, familiar as it maybe.

There’s not a lot to say about how Sonic 2 plays. If there are any members here who haven’t played it, then I’m sure they’ve played other games in the series, or at least know about them. For me, Sonic 2 is the peak of the classic sonic games – the level design is the best it’s been, with just the right balance of intricate platforming and sweeping ramps and loops to keep me engaged.

The music is incredible (I love Mystic Cave Zone and Chemical Planet Zone in particular), the levels are diverse and memorable (as a kid I always loved Hill Top Zone for the dinosaur badniks and breaking through the floor) and overall the game is as good a time as ever. It’s not perfect mind – some levels are a bit of a slog, especially towards the end of the game with stages like Oil Ocean and Metropolis. The last couple of stages represent a pretty mean difficulty spike too. But in all honesty, those are opinions I came up with as an adult after dozens upon dozens of plays. As a kid, it was all magical, and some of that magic is still there, even now I’m a cynical grown up.

Sonic 2 is great. Everyone should play it.


Comix Zone


From a really familiar game to a much less familiar one. I’ve given Comix Zone a few light plays here and there over the years, but my main impression of it after each time is ‘this is too hard’. Well, now I’ve sat down and played it through properly – but my opinion hasn’t changed that much!

Comix Zone has you playing as Sketch Turner, a comic book artist who has been zapped into his own comic by the villain of the comic book. He must fight through the comic book pages to defeat the villain and escape back to the real world. He does this with help from a character from his comic book (can’t remember her name, she’s a very 90s badass lady) and his pet rat, Roadkill.

Comix Zone is quite a late release for the Mega Drive, and it shows. It’s a very graphically impressive game for the system, and it has some great visual aesthetics. The comic book nature of the world is played up, with pop up text boxes naming the locations you arrive in, and borders between panels being flipped over by Sketch, or knocked through when you send enemies flying into them. The comic book layout of panels also allows you to choose between several route options at once. The audio isn’t quite as wonderful, it has that US Mega Drive sound again, but I’ve heard worse.


The weak point of Comix Zone, unfortunately, is the actual gameplay. It’s a beat ‘em up, but rather than the classic multitude of enemies you normally see, only one or 2 enemies will appear on screen at once. To make up for this, they tend to be quite tough to beat, frequently blocking, and having many attacks. This gets very tiresome though, for a few reasons. First of all, there’s only about 5 enemy types in the game, so you see the same ones over and over. Secondly, the game inexplicably thought it was a good idea to make Sketch take damage every time he punches anything, meaning every block wastes your health. This is compounded by the fact that often you need to punch barrels or doors etc to progress, wasting health even outside of fights. This is almost unforgiveable in a game with 1 life. As is the fact that there are several setpieces which can cause instant death if failed – bottomless pits, burning pages etc. Fighting through the same tedious enemies again from the start isn’t much fun.

There are items to help you progress, including health power ups and weapons to defeat enemies more quickly. Roadkill is a reusable item which can be used to uncover secrets and pull switches. The game has interesting ideas overall, and it’s enjoyable enough in it’s own way. But the issues I have with Comix Zone weight down an otherwise decent title and make it into a chore. For me, this is a style over substance title, and I wouldn’t worry about playing it yourself.


Vectorman 2


Vectorman 1 was one of the first games I played on the Mega Drive collection, and for the most part, you could just copy and paste my review of that game here. Vectorman 2 is certainly ‘more of the same’. That’s a shame in my eyes, because I really didn’t want more Vectorman.

The game has had a few style upgrades, it’s another late era title for the system and the devs clearly wanted to show off the tricks they could pull off. Some of them are cool, but a lot of them actually make the game feel more dated than if they hadn’t been used – particularly the games ugly pre-rendered graphics.


The game likes to mix up it’s standard run and gun gameplay with different styles. Vectorman transforms into a lot of different forms, such as a scorpion, a spaceship and a tank (the tank is weirdly redundant though, it’s just a less mobile vectorman surely? He already has a gun!). None of the forms are notable, but they do go a reasonable way to making the games 23 stages feel slightly less of a slog. The problem is the core gameplay of Vectorman is just so overwhelming. Vectorman is too big on screen and moves too fast so enemy attacks often hit you before you see them coming. Enemies all take several hits to defeat too.

I don’t really know what more to say about Vectorman 2. The highs of it were probably a little higher than Vectorman 1, but the lows of it were probably a bit lower too. It’s just another 20 levels of Vectorman though, so if that’s what you want, then great. Personally, I can’t imagine why anyone would want that.


Light Crusader


I’m a big fan of Treasure, the video game developer behind such greats as Gunstar Heroes, Ikaruga and Dynamite Headdy. Their games tend to be unique in how they play, and challenging but fun to experience. Treasure don’t quite have one distinctive style, but there are some definite trends you tend to see – bright colours, Japanese stylings, that kind of thing. They also tend to stick to certain genres of gameplay – Run n Guns, platformers, beat ‘em ups. And that’s what makes Light Crusader so interesting – it’s a Treasure game that doesn’t fit, a black sheep of the bunch. It’s a very western styled isometric action adventure game.

In Light Crusader, you arrive in a town only to find out about a spate of missing people cases – people are disappearing and you set out to find out why and rescue them. Before long you find a secret dungeon under a grave in the graveyard, and from there you begin your quest into the depths to rescue them. At first, it seems as if the world of Light Crusader will be big, but it’s deceptive – the focus here is on that dungeon, and it’s 5 large basements to explore, and the town itself is only revisited to stuck up on equipment upgrades, magic, and on occasion to speak to the king or princess and progress the plot.


Explorign the dungeon is interesting – you move around the isometric landscape defeating enemies and solving puzzles. Most rooms of the dungeon contain one or the other. Combat is not really the focus of the game – enemies are relatively easy. Bosses are tougher but are also not the usual Treasure style focus – although they were rendered simpler by my luck in finding the game best armour from a random enemy drop early in the adventure. You can swing your sword at enemies or do a diving slash, but also make use of magic.
Magic comes in the standard 4 elements, and you buy your spells – each use uses one spell up, so you want to stockpile all 4 elements. Despite only 4 elements though, there’s a ton of spell combinations, as you can mix spells up gunstar heroes style to make more niche or more powerful spells. Unlike Gunstar, where you can only combine 2 guns into 1, spells can be mixed in any combination, up to and including a fusion of all 4 elements. It’s an interesting system, but I mainly stuck to a small handful of spells.

But as I said, combat isn’t the focus here. No, the main focus seems to be on puzzles. A lot of puzzle revolve around pushing obstacles around in the isometric rooms. At first it’s blocks to climb on and lasers to point at switches and activate them, but later levels have barrels which serve dual purposes as stepping stones and weights to weigh down switches, and bombs which can be used to blow open doorways. I had some misgivings initially about isometric pushing and platforming, but this is definitely the best handling of the isometric angle I’ve seen for the era – I always felt like I could land where I wanted, and besides a few, probably unavoidable, perspective issues with pushing barrels, most of the time I felt like I wasn’t being hindered by the camera angle.


And so I had a fun time early on exploring the dungeon, but I started to worry that it was all going to get a bit samey. But I needn’t have worried, because after a slow start easing you in, the game starts to throw a few fun ideas at you on later floors. A highlight is the goblin town that you sneak around using a goblin disguise.

Overall, I quite liked Light Crusader. It’s not one of Treasure’s best, but it holds up surprisingly well and is definitely a worthwhile experience. If you can find a copy of this, I urge you to give it a go. It doesn’t live up to the pedigree of it’s developer exactly, but it surpasses my expectations of the genre overall.


Crack Down


Crack Down is a hard game to review, because there’s not really all that much to it. Each level has you walking around a small map, shooting or evading guards and planting bombs at designated points, before making a break for the exit.

It’s a slightly confusing game at first, because the UI of the game is such an ugly mess, but there really isn’t all that much to it. Your actual gameplay window makes up maybe only a quarter of the screen, so the graphics of the gameplay are very basic due to limited space. It’s appreciated that they did this because it helps widen the view, but I can’t help thinking it could have been better designed. I also played this game in the Switch’s portable mode, so it bought back memories of playing games on the gameboy with my tiny gameplay window! The rest of the screen is used up by player 2’s view or a summary of enemy types in 1 player mode, an indicator showing your current ammo, and a very handy map, which you’ll honestly spend as much time looking at as the actual game window due to the wider view.


Crack Down does have some interesting ideas though. Moving around the map quickly is key as you’re under a time limit (and in later levels, it’s really tight), so sometimes stealth is better than shooting everyone. The game also utilises a cover system, which is something of an innovation for such an early game – you can crouch into walls to dodge bullets, and fire fights often having you ducking to the side or running around corners to dodge incoming fire before popping back out and shooting. You can shoot 1 of 2 shots – a weaker but quicker machine gun shot, which is best for most easy enemies, or a bazooka blast which kills tougher enemies in one hit but has a slower rate of fire and has less available ammo.

Enemy types are colour coded and in 1 player mode are listed to the side of the map. Learning what they each do is useful, as some can be a pain – like the invisible guys who suddenly appear and kamikaze towards you and explode, or the dangerous goons who can hit you through walls.

And that’s all there is to Crack Down. It’s a basic game with some unique ideas and an odd concept. It’s also pretty short, about 30-40 minutes maybe. But I actually found it quite fun. It’s hard to articulate why, because there’s nothing revolutionary about it, but I kinda liked it. The best way I could describe it is ‘kinda like Gain Ground if that game was a bit more fun’. It’s ugly, the soundtrack is forgettable, and the gameplay is basic, but I dunno – I kinda enjoyed myself. Maybe you will too?


Toejam & Earl


ToeJam and Earl is a game I have played through once before, in 2 player mode. At that time, I died just before the ending, but my co-op buddy managed to pull through and finish the game for us. And so coming back to this one I had some unfinished business to attend to – reaching the ending myself.

That can be easier said than done though, seeing as ToeJam and Earl is ostensibly a roguelike. You wander around multiple floors hunting for parts of your missing spaceship, collecting presents along the way. Presents have multiple effects, good and bad, to help or hinder you along your journey. Examples of good presents include health refills, money, wings to fly with and more, whereas bad presents can include a thunder cloud which strikes you repeatedly, an enemy being summoned nearby, or the dreaded ‘total bummer’, which kills you instantly. There are also some presents which could fit in either category, such as rocket skates – handy when you need a quick getaway, but hard to control and not something you want to find by accident in a narrow walkway. You won’t know what each type of present contains until you use it at first, but once revealed the game will track it from then on, so you know to ditch dangerous presents and stockpile good ones.
Unfortunately, one present contains the terrifying randomiser, which re-randomises all the presents, leaving you guessing once more.


Luckily there are means to identify presents through the wise carrot man, and I was fortunate enough to identify the randomiser very early on this run. I also quickly discovered my first total bummer, and that meant I had a fairly safe run present wise through the level. That just left me dealing with the enemies as my main hazard – they can be a pain too, with enemies like the ghost ice cream truck and the nerd herd being quicker than you and very powerful. Toejam and Earl don’t really have any good ways to defend themselves, so a quick escape and some careful manoeuvring is your best bet here.

Anyway, I had a good time with Toejam and Earl. It’s not a game I can replay often due to its slow pace, but the 90s funkadelic vibe of the game is always a delight, and the gameplay is surprisingly compelling overall. I’d highly recommend picking it up and giving it a try.


Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:52 am
by Ack
Sweet, from Gain Ground to Crack Down. Nice choices you're making here, man!

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:32 pm
by pook99
chupon wrote:How about Battletoads? Master Blaster? Castlevania? The list is endless.

Battletoads and castlevania can both be beaten anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour so they did not need a password/save.

I agree that blaster master was a bit too long and could have used some form of save system.

There are 2 points here, first being just because it is not the only game to lack a save feature does not excuse it.

Second, kid chameleon was much longer than any of those other games, it was a game that absolutely required some kind of save feature, you could easily rectify this by playing it with save states today but that still doesn't solve the rest of the games enormous problems.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:57 pm
by pierrot
PresidentLeever wrote:It certainly does have some issues with cheap deaths, slippery control and inconsistent hit detection though, and audiovisually it's about average for the time.

I'm still pretty much just hearing that Kid Chameleon doesn't suffer from anything SMB didn't--.

I've played a little bit of the game before, and was unimpressed, but this is starting to seem excessive, even if it isn't a great game. I almost feel like actually playing through it now, with the expectation of being thoroughly "meh" about it.

PresidentLeever wrote:The middle way is the only way. Give a centrist the time of day!

That's why you da prez, Pres.

alienjesus wrote:I had some misgivings initially about isometric pushing and platforming, but this is definitely the best handling of the isometric angle I’ve seen for the era – I always felt like I could land where I wanted, and besides a few, probably unavoidable, perspective issues with pushing barrels, most of the time I felt like I wasn’t being hindered by the camera angle.

I played Light Crusader, and Landstalker around the same time, and afterward, I had to kind of pause to think about why the isometric space did not deter my love for Light Crusader at all, but did impede my enjoyment of Landstalker, and it occurred to me that Light Crusader allows freedom of movement, with 8-way control. Landstalker, and a lot of other isometric games tend to lock you into their cardinal orthogonal directions for movement, which tends to lead to bad shit happening. Especially when jumping over pits, and onto platforms, where, even though it's completely wrong, physically, it's good to be able to adjust your trajectory in any direction.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:47 pm
by chupon
Check out this review at HG101 of Kid Chameleon.

Better than I could ever write. It's an honest review that lists pros and cons. Very long and very in depth. I even learned a few things myself.

I'm in agreement with almost all conclusions.

Even if you aren't a fan I recommend the read. One interesting point made is that most negative criticisms of the game seem to come from individuals who don't spend enough time with the game / give it a chance to figure out the nuances. There is a lot there to figure out and after reading the HG101 review by Eric Provenza I can't wait to fire up Kid Chameleon again!

Please give that review a read through. I'm no expert on writing but I think it very thorough and honest.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:49 pm
by chupon
Oh - and don't the PS3/4 and Switch Genesis compilations have save states?

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:22 pm
by marurun
I love that some folks can really appreciate Kid Chameleon, but folks are also well within their rights to think it is a crap game, too.