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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:23 pm

First 50
1. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary (NDS)
2. Reigns (iOS)
3. Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
4. Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB)
5. Castlevania Legends (GB)
6. Yankai’s Triangle (iOS)
7. Mega Man III (GB)
8. Mega Man IV (GB)
9. Mega Man V (GB)
10. Sin & Punishment (N64)
11. Love You to Bits (iOS)
12. Mega Man Powered Up - Old Style (PSP)
13. Mega Man Powered Up - New Style (PSP)
14. Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)
15. Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (NDS)
16. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! (NDS)
17. Detective Pikachu (3DS)
18. Super Fantasy Zone (Genesis)
19. Fantasy Zone Gear (GG)
20. Fantasy Zone - The Maze (SMS)
21. Fantasy Zone (Famicom)
22. Fantasy Zone (NES)
23. Kung Fu Master (2600)
24. Kid Dracula (Famicom)
25. Kid Dracula (GB)
26. Fantasy Zone (TG16)
27. Double Dragon V (SNES)
28. Fantasy Zone II (Famicom)
29. Street Fighter: The Movie (PS1)
30. Fire Fly (2600)
31. Pac Man (2600)
32. Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears (GBC)
33. Fantasy Zone (PS2)
34. Space Fantasy Zone (TG16)
35. Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf Fantasy Zone (Genesis)
36. Mega Man (GG)
37. Konami Pixel Puzzle (iOS)
38. Qix (Arcade/NES)
39. Congo Bongo (Arcade)
40. Phantasy Star Gaiden (GG)
41. Phantasy Star Adventure (GG)
42. Panzer Dragoon Mini (GG)
43. Spartan X-2 (Famicom)
44. BS The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets (Super Famicom)
45. BS The Legend of Zelda (Super Famicom)
46. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (NDS)
47. Double Dribble (NES)
48. Super Pro Football (INTV)
49. Indy 500 (2600)
50. Tecmo Bowl (NES)

51. Ninja Gaiden (GG)
52. SonSon (Arcade)
53. Wonder Girl: The Dragon’s Trap (iOS)
54. Minit (iOS)
55. Ninja Gaiden (SMS)
56. Surround (2600)
57. Pocket Bomberman (GBC)
58. Shadowgate (iOS)
59. Kuru Kuru Kururin (GBA)
60. Metroid Prime Hunters - First Hunt (NDS)

A NDS launch game! I wrote about for this month’s TR.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by REPO Man Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:32 pm

Replayed The Room on my tablet. It's an interesting puzzle game revolving around ornate boxes.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:21 pm

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
45. Astral Chain - Switch
46. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw - PC
47. Blasphemous - Switch
48. Daemon x Machina - Switch
49. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Switch

Link's Awakening is an incredibly faithful remake of the original. The team was given a directive of "start with the original, give it pretty graphics, but don't fuck with anything else." As a result, the base review is "If you liked the original you'll like this, and if you hated the original you'll hate this." So I'm going to focus on the material changes.

The first change is the controls; now you have sword, shield, boots, and bracer permanently bound to buttons. This leaves two buttons for your other items, and it makes the whole thing flow much nicer. It cuts out a lot of menuing that the original had without actually removing any actual difficulty from things. Related to that, you can now purchase back the item you trade for the boomerang, which is nice considering the shovel is needed for seashells way into the late game before you get enough for the sword upgrade. The game has added three faerie bottles that can be used to store faeries. However, unlike every other Zelda game with bottles these faeries will not save you on death; that's still reserved for Tracy's special treatment. Instead, treat the faerie bottles as red potions.

The second change is they added in a bunch more pieces of heart and seashells. There's now enough pieces of heart to get a full 20 with all the bosses plus the one container you get from finishing challenge dungeons (more on that in a second). I finished missing three, and I know of one that I had to pass up and forgot to get again (mostly because I forgot where it was). On the seashell front there's now a total of 50 seashells available, with 40 required to get the sword upgrade. A mid level reward from seashells is a version of the compass for seashells, in that it will sound a tone when you're near one. The 50 reward is something related to the challenge dungeon feature and isn't worthwhile in the least, so it's not hard to have the sword upgrade before the seventh dungeon (and possibly earlier). Combined with the red tunic (the color dungeon returns) and you can do some serious damage by end game.

The final addition to the game is the challenge dungeons. While feature reels focused on "you can make your own dungeons", the meat of that is you being given parameters to build under and then complete the dungeon. This starts off simple, but then gets more challenging; you might have to set particular room features in particular spots on the grid, or work around an impassable barrier, or fill up the entire grid (constrained to a shape), or deal with a challenge when you run it (no sword, time limit). Completing enough of these challenges gives you a heart container and unlocks a final super challenge tier. You slowly unlock these challenges through the game, as the rooms you use to build are based on rooms you visit in the dungeons. The rules of the dungeons are fairly simple; every room exit must be connected to something, you must have enough chests for keys (and the game checks to make sure a dungeon is beatable), stairs must be connected, and opening all the chests gets you the master key in the last chest. The stairs are the only thing that got kind of annoying, as there are some arcane rules around how stairs connect that is not obvious. This is important when you're working on some of the more constrained challenges, as you need to use stairs to get into an area that has very specific tile requirements, so you might only have one or two valid configurations from your inventory. It's a nifty feature, though it's no where near Mario Maker in terms of complexity. The fun comes more in dealing with the constraints of the challenges around creation and trying to create as fast a dungeon as you can (as a long dungeon doesn't give you any benefit).

There's just enough here to be worth playing again for fans of the original, and if you never played the original but enjoy Zelda games you owe it to yourself to snag this, because Link's Awakening is one of the best 2D Zeldas.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:38 pm

Does it include the extra “color” content from Link’s Awakening DX? Or, is it just a remake of the base game?

EDIT: Nevermind. I see now that you wrote, “the color dungeon returns.”
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:59 am

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) *
22. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC) *
23. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC) *
24. Yoshi's Island (SNES) *
25. Super Mario World (SNES) *
26. Super Mario RPG (SFC) *
27. Kaeru No Tame Ni Kane Wa Naru (GB)
28. Final Fantasy VI (SFC) *
29. Final Fantasy IV (SFC) *
30. Final Fantasy V (SFC)
31. Final Fantasy III (Famicom)
32. Mother 2 (SFC) *
33. Mother 3 (GBA) *
34. Hebereke (Famicom)
35. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SFC)
36. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SFC)
37. Donkey Kong Country (SFC) *
38. Wario's Woods (Famicom)
39. Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
40. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)
41. Luigi's Mansion (3DS) *
42. Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
43. Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga & Bowser's Minions (3DS)

44. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story & Bowser Jr's Journey (3DS)

And so wraps up my adventures through the 3DS Mario & Luigi games. To start as I mean to go on, I'll admit that Bowser's Inside Story has always been my least favorite Mario & Luigi game, and I never actually intended to play this remake. the only reason I did is because, while buying the first game's remake on Amazon, I saw this one was half the price I've seen if for anywhere ever, so I figured I may as well snag a deal as an excuse to try this out and give this game another chance for the first time in 7+ years. It took me 43 hours to play through the Japanese version, and I beat both the main Mario & Luigi adventure as well as the both the main and post-game content of the Bowser Jr's Journey side game. The game doesn't keep hard time stats for each mode (confusingly enough, as the first remake did), but I'd wager that the main game took me about 30 hours, and Bowser Jr's Journey took me about 13.

The game's premise is, as the title implies, inside Bowser. Fawful, the vengeful minion of the first game's main antagonist, is back with a plan for revenge all his own, and feeds Bowser a mushroom that gives him the ability to vacuum up things down into his gullet. He then tricks Bowser into unleashing it inside Peach's castle, vacuuming up the Mario Bros and knocking Bowser unconscious. Fawful being rid of his biggest obstacles to conquering the Mushroom Kingdom, he sets to work in his evil plan. Bowser sets out to stop him in the overworld, as the Bros go around Bowser's insides to help augment his abilities. It's' an interesting premise, but one that divides the game into two halves that don't often meet.

Bowser's parts are on the overworld using a top-down view, while the Bros' internal parts are a side-scrolling view. Sometimes there will be enemies or bosses who Bowser can suck up minions of and then the Bros will fight them, but there's no back and forth between the two halves most of the time. The Bros finish their internal fight and then Bowser's part starts up again. Given the Bros mostly fight as they always do, and their side-scrolling dungeons are much more aggravating to navigate than the top-down sections, I always enjoyed Bowser's parts far more. Bowser's fights also go a lot faster, in general, but the combat in this game is a whole other story.

Where the previous remake felt like there were a lot of balancing changes, I really didn't notice that here, at least not in a positive way. Normal enemies feel very powerful, especially for the Bros. You're constantly using Bro Moves to help defeat enemies in a timely fashion, and you wanna fight lots of stuff because otherwise you're gonna start falling behind in power. I remember this being a problem in the original game, and it's just as much one in this game. Where in the previous two M&L games (that being the remake of Superstar Saga and Paper Jam), normal enemies could be taken out quickly with normal attacks most of the time, that is a sure-fire way to make battles take FOREVER in this game. It makes each half's section feel very drawn out, and it makes going back to the other half disorienting as you remember how to do the special move timings again (albeit they are fairly generous). Bowser's special moves require using the touch-screen while his normal moves require the face buttons, and constantly going back and forth between them is really annoying. It's not even like items that restore BP (this game's mana) are that uncommon either. It's super easy to purchase and carry around scads and scads of them, or even just use the ones the game throws at you for free, so there's very little element of resource conservation in how often the game encourages speeding up combat with Bro Moves. The combat is more or less the same as it's always been, but this game's fights last SO long that it really drags down the pace of the adventure in ways that I really can't excuse given the previous two games before this and how they easily could've rebalanced this game to fix that.

The writing is definitely far from its strongest in this game as well. It was a neat idea to bring back Fawful, but he's just not a very intersting villain. He's always steps ahead of the main characters, and it feels like he's leading them around by the nose. It doesn't help that both Fawful AND Bowser are far less entertainingly written in Japanese either. Bowser is much more just a more generic feeling somewhat eccentric villain, compared to how he's flinging around lines in English like "Did someone call for the King of AWESOME?!" That's more a tip to the English localization team than an explicit mark against the game overall though. What are explicit marks I hold against the game, however, are how uninteresting the overall story is compared to Superstar Saga (and being the other remake, this game puts itself in direct competition with that game's pacing, narrative, etc).

The intrigue and back-and-forth between the Bros and Cackletta has been replaced with Bowser's overworld misadventures. Bowser's own adventures are fine (and I remember wishing we'd gotten just a Bowser game with no Bros, back when I played this originally), but they have trouble standing on their own compared to the large, listless Bros sections. Bowser talks, but Mario & Luigi don't, and it's not exactly like they interact with many NPCs inside Bowser's body other than Starlow. She's effectively a personification of Nintendo's love of over-tutorializing EVERYTHING in the late 2000's to early 2010's, and she has very little to her character beyond just telling Mario & Luigi how to approach the latest power they've been given, and there is a LOT of that. Even with the fast-forward button the remake adds to speed it up, there is a LOT more outright talking at you that you are forced to watch compared to the previous two games. It makes the Bros parts constantly feel like the fun being taken away and the overall pace of everything grinding to a halt, and it also doesn't help that the Bowser parts are heavily stacked near the front of the game while the Bros have far more parts in the 2nd half. That's not to say the game NEVER made me laugh, but this is definitely far weaker when put next to the last couple games in the series, where originally it's main point of comparison was Partner's in Time.

Aside from the normal stuff mentioned above, there're the Giant Bowser fights as well as the mini-game sections in Bowser's body. Bowser's parts are occasionally broken up with touch-screen mini-games that the Bros are activating inside his body. Activating super strength, helping him fly, helping him run faster. They're not terrible, but they are far too frequent, and come off as padding out the game's clock rather than varying up the pacing of the other gameplay. The Giant Bowser fights aren't as bad as I remember them being, but they're still not very welcome. It all being touch-screen based and all about holding the 3DS sideways, it is very impractical to hold when playing on any XL model of 3DS, and some of the attacks (especially the ones based on rapidly hitting the screen) have some serious input-detection problems. I'd personally prefer there be none of these at all, but they're not as bad as I remember (however they're still inferior to Paper Jam's mech battles).

As far as general changes to the remake go, there aren't many. There are SOME balancing changes, but they're not super noticeable compared to how Superstar Saga's were. There aren't really many quality of life changes either, as Inside Story already did away with the position-switching of Superstar Saga, and it's mostly down to menu design being tightened up a little as well as the emergency guard and universal jump button features coming back (although it was changed from X in the previous game to now being Y, which is difficult to get used to). There are even some perks that Superstar Saga DX added that were not carried over to this, such as the ability to pick an overworld ability (like the spin jump) via the touch-screen,or the ability to place pins on the mini-map for places of interest (likely because of how both screens are used for movement, one for Bowser and one for the Bros). The main perks here are the updated graphics and music, although I didn't really find any of the music in this game particularly good outside of the Bowser Jr's Journey mode.

Speaking of Bowser Jr's Journey, let's talk about that for a bit, as it's the part of the game I definitely enjoyed most. The premise here is that it's what Bowser Jr was doing while Bowser was out fighting Fawful, and revolves around a similar kind of bildungsroman coming of age story as Bowser's Minions did, but a bit more seriously told this time. It fumbles a bit in the second half, and I saw the outcome of the set-up coming from a mile away (and I usually can never see where a story is going), but it was still a story that was able to touch me with how it was told. It's a fairly thoughtful look at the kind of brat you'd be if someone as self-important yet overly affectionate as Bowser raised you, and Bowser Jr coming to terms with the responsibilities he has to now carry. It lacks the number or quality of comedic moments from Bowser's Minions, but it's still a story I enjoyed. An added perk is that you can entirely ignore the Bros mode to play this, where you needed to beat Superstar Saga to unlock Bowser's Minions' last levels.

It's hard to call it an outright mechanical improvement on the Bowser's Minions mode from the M&L 1 remake, but it's mostly good. It's still the "set up and watch them go" simple strategy game, but with more added mid-fight as well as in the planning stages. You can now actually position your fighters on a 3 x 5 grid, so you can position your troops of the 3 rock-paper-scissors types to best fit the army you'll be facing (as you can reference they're layouts before each battle). There are no longer different commanders, but now 8 different sub-commanders. Bowser Jr can toggle pre-fight between a melee, ranged, and flying character, and he'll get a new 4th attack for each form (but his other 3 are always the same). Each of the 8 sub-commanders gets two abilities of their own to use as well tied to their own resource point wheel, opening up when/how you can use them in battle.

It's got a couple issues like the difficulty curve being a lot harsher than Bowser's Minions due to the more advanced toolset (at least in part, anyhow, sometimes fights are just SUPER hard and you've gotta grind a bit to get ready for them). Another issue is that one sub-commander is very obviously far better than all the others due to one of his activateable abilities, so despite each sub-commander giving a different army-wide passive buff, there's no real reason to use anyone but the best one. Other than that, it's a pretty long campaign (if not somewhat because of the grinding I had to do) that is a great palate cleanser for the main game's pacing issues, although you sadly can't access the mode from the in-game menu anymore. You've gotta back out of the Bros mode to get into this.

As one last note, this game does have amiibo functionality, but nothing remotely close to how the last game had it. You can just scan any Mario series amiibo to get some extra beans to use for passive buffs to your characters. Nothing nearly as extreme as the locked (albeit very simple and unimpressive) battle stages that Superstar Saga included.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. I only paid 1500 yen for this, and I'm glad I did. It seemed like an unnecessary remake at the time it was announced, and playing through it, that's what it feels like too. Inside Story could already be played on a 3DS in its original form, didn't need the quality of life improvements Superstar Saga did, and was far from the strongest entry in the series to begin with (despite it being the highest selling). In early 2019, it does not impress, and the relative strength of the Bowser Jr's Journey side-addition is nowhere near enough to justify buying this at full price. If you're a fan of the original, this is certainly the definitive version of the game, but not by very much. While this certainly isn't a bad game, you've got much better options for cheaper prices in the Mario & Luigi series on 3DS.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:34 am

Games Beaten in 2019 So Far - 54
* 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 (8 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
28. Team Sonic Racing - Switch - May 29
29. Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse - PlayStation 2 - May 30


June (5 Games Beaten)
30. Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprache Zarathustra - PlayStation 2 - June 2
31. Gato Roboto - Switch - June 3
32. Katana Zero - Switch - June 4
33. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct - Wii U - June 8
34. Dark Savior - Saturn - June 12


July (12 Games Beaten)
35. The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim - Switch - June 7
36. The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim: Dragonborn - Switch - June 7
37. The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim: Dawnguard - Switch - June 7
38. Tiny Troopers - Switch - July 8
39. Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops - Switch - July 8
40. Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth - 3DS - July 10
41. Super Robot Wars T - Switch - July 13
42. Super Mario Maker 2 - Switch - July 13
43. Command and Conquer - Saturn - July 16
44. Command and Conquer: Covert Operations - PC - July 16
45. Super Neptunia RPG - PlayStation 4 - July 18
46. My Girlfriend is a Mermaid!? - Switch - July 19


August (5 Games Beaten)
47. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Switch - August 10
48. Wolfenstein Youngblood - Xbox One - August 24
49. Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem - DS - August 27
50. Metal Wolf Chaos XD - PlayStation 4 - August 31
51. Fire Emblem: Archanean War Chronicles - SNES - August 31


September (3 Games Beaten)
52. Golf Story - Switch - September 2
53. Red Dead Redemption - PlayStation 3 - September 7
54. Far Cry 4 - Xbox One - September 14


54. Far Cry 4 - Xbox One - September 14

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My first foray into modern Far Cry games was Far Cry Primal on PS4, and boy, that game was dope. So when I saw that Far Cry 4 was all modern and had a fabulously psychopathic dictator to topple, I was instantly interested. However, I was also poor, so I waited. I'm still poor, but now Far Cry 4 is hella cheap, so I'm FINALLY getting around to playing it, and WOW, good things truly do come to those who wait.

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The premise of Far Cry 4 is that you're a native of the island nation of Kyrat raised in the United States who has returned to Kyrat to scatter his mother's ashes as per her dying wish. Then your bus gets attacked, your companions get shots, your tour guide gets tortured to death, and you get drugged and wake up at a dinner table with the merciless dictator of Kyrat, Pagan Min. From there, you could either sit and wait for like fifteen minutes, have him come back and kill you, and get the bad ending; OR you could actually play the game you paid for, help the resistance group that your dead dad started overthrow Pagan Min, and blow up everything in sight.

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The game, as is standard for the series, is a first person shooter. You can craft storage upgrades from materials you hunt from animals to hold more ammo, more medical items, more explosives, etc. You can also purchase new weapons although some of these get unlocked for free as you progress through the game. Once you purchase a weapon, it can be reacquired for free at any shop, so that's a nice feature. With enough upgrades, you can equip up to four weapons - a sidearm and three main weapons. I usually ended up keeping a revolver, an assault rifle, a rocket launcher, and a sniper rifle with me. You also have four throwable weapons - molotovs, grenades, throwing knives, and bait meat that lures tigers and the like to eat your enemies. All in all, you get a lot of leeway to play how you want. You can be stealthy and sneak around using stealth takedowns, silenced weapons, and throwing knives. Alternatively, you can run in guns blazing with machine guns and shotguns and grenade launchers. The sky's the limit, and if that limit isn't filled with flying dismembered bodies, you're doing it wrong.

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Visually, you can tell that the game was designed for last generation consoles and ported to Xbox One, but it still looks pretty nice. The soundtrack is extremely well done, providing solid atmosphere without distracting from the action on screen. The voice acting, as well, is extremely well done, especially Pagan Min's voice actor. 10/10 would listen to again. A well voiced antagonist can really make or break a game, and Pagan Min's voice actor definitely made this game. The highlight of the game, however, is the hunting. I don't mean sneaking around the hunting deer with a bow. GTFO with that redneck real-world garbage. Na, man, I mean a REAL MAN'S hunting. Far Cry 4 is like a Cabela's game if it were actually fun. I'm talking about hunting tigers by driving cars into them at 100 KPH, hunting elephants with a rocket launcher, or hunting rhinos from a helicopter with a semiautomatic grenade launcher.

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My experience with the Far Cry series is still fairly limited, but from what I have played, Far Cry 4 is an exceptionally fun and well crafted entry. The story is interesting, the map is detailed and a blast to explore, the voice acting is exceptional, and the gameplay is addicting to say the least. AND THE HUNTING. I felt like the Terminator roughing it in the wilderness. Sure, rocket launchers tend to leave the animal's hide too damaged to use, but good GOD, it is fun. Far Cry 4 isn't perfect, and it still has its share of shortcomings with frame rate dips, glitches, and profoundly challenged AI at times, but as a whole package, it's an exceptionally fun experience, and with the price it goes for used these days, I high recommend it to fans of open world shooters.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Sep 25, 2019 6:59 pm

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)
42. Xak III: The Eternal Recurrence (PC Engine CD)
43. Blue Blink (PC Engine)
44. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys (PC Engine CD)
45. Cally's Caves 3 (Steam)
46. Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet (Steam)
47. Contra (NES)
48. Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Switch eShop)
49. Arcade Archives: Moon Cresta (Switch eShop)
50. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Joe and Mac Caveman Ninja (Switch eShop)
51. Ice Hockey (Atari 2600)
52. Indy 500 (Atari 2600)
53. Video Olympics (Atari 2600)
54. Fast Eddie (Atari 2600)
55. Muv-Luv (Steam)
56. Air-Sea Battle (Atari 2600)
57. Combat (Atari 2600)
58. Street Racer (Atari 2600)
59. Food Fight (Atari 7800)
60. Galaga (Atari 7800)
61. Donkey Kong (ColecoVision)
62. Cosmic Avenger (ColecoVision)
63. Mouse Trap (ColecoVision)
64. Zaxxon (ColecoVision)

65. Armor Battle (Intellivision)
66. Armor Ambush (Atari 2600)
67. Basic Math (Atari 2600)
68. Astrosmash (Intellivision)
69. Astroblast (Atari 2600)
70. Donkey Kong (Intellivision)


Armor Battle
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The Intellivision launch line-up looks suspiciously like that of the Atari 2600. You've got a blackjack game, a "Fun" (with a capital F) math game, even a two-players-only game about fighting tanks. Dismissing Mattel's Armor Battle as an outright clone of Atari's Combat would be ill-advised. Though both adhere to the same subject matter, Armor Battle is much more complex and detailed. Does this make it a "better" game, though? Let's find out!

Armor Battle consists of a series of single-screen tank skirmishes. Grab a buddy, as there's no computer AI to go up against. The big gimmick here is that there are four tanks present when a given battle commences. Each player is assigned to two (of the same color, blue vs. black), but can only maneuver one at a time. A press of a single button swaps the active/inactive status of two tanks. This is a rather ingenious mechanic, as it forces each player to master both offense and defense. Success in the game is predicated on smart tank swaps, knowing when to go in for the kill and when to hide under cover. While Combat had a timer and a score meter, the tanks of Armor Battle are destroyed after three hits. When a tank fires (successfully or not) its turret rotates slightly, requiring a bit of realignment. A smart anti-button-mashing measure.
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In Combat, battles were conducted in open areas, or in those with an arrangement of bulletproof "barriers" to hide behind. Such barriers are back in Armor Battle, in the form of buildings, but there's also varied terrain to contend with. Forests slow down tanks, but provide a small amount of cover. Water is also slowing, sans cover. Roads allow for quick driving, while the spacious grassy fields are traversed in a more moderate "default" speed. There are 240 battlefields contained within Armor Battle. One is randomly selected each time a stage loads, which (arguably) ups the game's replay value a perceptible amount. In addition to the typical shooting, each tank can drop one mine per round. These are silently deposited, and invisible. Thus, each player will have no clue about when and where their opponent has dropped one. Mines take down tanks in a single hit, and yes, you can run over your own. The addition of these mines makes for some anxiety-inducing matches, and opens the door for come-from-behind wins.

The graphics are good. Rich and detailed and miles ahead of what the Atari was putting out in '79. Most appreciated is the fact that whatever tank is under a player's control is given a slightly different sprite than the resting one. Sound effects are sparse, chirpy, and somewhat annoying. Speaking of annoying, the play control takes the game down a few notches (I suppose you could say it "tanks" it). Moving a tank is counterintuitive and tedious. Tank controls are inherently bad (yes I know the game is about actual tanks, I don't care), but Mattel found a way to make them even worse. The controller's "dial" (the very primitive pseudo-d-pad) is used to turn and position a tank in a given direction. Pressing up does not move the tank forward, as one would anticipate. This is instead mapped to an entirely separate button on the side of the controller. Moreover, everything moves at a glacial pace. When I said that the roads allowed for "quick driving" I meant relative to everything else. In actuality, everything is slow. Driving, shooting, turning. It can border on excruciating. Oh, and the game doesn't end until one player has 50(!!) of their tanks destroyed. So, you're looking at a minimum of 25 matches.

There's a lot going for Armor Battle, but Mattel's fledgling "keypad" controls make for some monotonous and frustrating gameplay. So, yeah, Combat is certainly superior, but we're really looking at two different genres here. A pick-up-and-play action title vs. a "strategic tank operations simulator." As a launch title for a then-groundbreaking console, this is worth taking for a spin or two. I just can't stomach the idea of playing for more than ten consecutive rounds.


Armor Ambush
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Even small-time Atari collectors have encountered a certain type of cartridge. Cheap-looking, brittle black plastic, no front-facing label. These carts, which eerily resemble Intellivision games, come to us courtesy of an enigmatic publisher called "M Network." Turns out the "M" stands for Mattel, and these releases are in fact Intellivision games ported to the 2600. It seems odd to see a company craft releases for a competitor's console, but this was standard procedure during the second generation. Everyone remembers the oftentimes questionable Coleco-branded releases on non-ColecoVision systems, and of course Atari had their vast Atarisoft line (wanna play Centipede on the TI-99/4A? You can!). Interestingly, Mattel had a habit of changing the names of games that underwent this conversion (except when said titles were arcade ports or based on a media franchise). Perhaps this was to avoid complaints of shoddy porting ("it's actually a different game!"), or maybe Mattel was trying to trick consumers into double-dipping. In any event, the most notable M Network title is probably Dark Cavern, based upon Night Stalker. But the subject of this review is Armor Ambush for the 2600, based on the Intellivision launch title Armor Battle, which itself was heavily inspired by Atari's own Combat. We've come full circle.

Armor Ambush retains the core gameplay elements of Armor Battle. Two players (no computer AI) are each assigned two tanks, though only one can be controlled at a time. The goal is to eliminate the tanks of the opposing player, by blasting each one three times each. Additionally, each tank can drop an invisible mine in the path of an enemy, for a one-hit kill. Warfare is conducted amid varied terrain: fields, roads, trees, water, buildings. Each element has an effect on maneuvering and gunfire in various ways: slowing or speeding up tank movement, hindering or outright blocking shots. While Armor Battle boasted some seriously impressive graphics, things are much more ambiguous in Armor Ambush. Roads are straight horizontal bars. Forests are clusters of small, dark green rectangles. Buildings resemble Tetris blocks. The water... well, I do read it as water, I'll give them that. This is a sloppy looking game, though it's far from incomprehensible.
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The controls in Armor Battle were fairly poor, but the controller at least had enough buttons to support every function. As Armor Ambush is played with a single-button joystick, the control scheme thus had to be greatly modified and compromised. The "classic" tank controls are actually superior here on the 2600. Right and left rotate the tank, while up moves it forward (just like Combat). Meanwhile, pressing down on the joystick is used to switch tanks, which makes it far too easy to switch by accident. As for the mines, those are released by pressing down and the attack button simultaneously. As mines are both invisible and silently-dropped, it can be difficult to gauge whether one has done this successfully. If you blow yourself up, it "worked."

Despite the overall jankiness of the controls, Armor Ambush moves along at a much quicker and smoother pace when compared to its forefather. And a full game is completed when (a reasonable) 25 tanks from one player's team have been destroyed, as opposed to (an insane) 50. Overall, I don't think Armor Ambush is any worse (or better) than Armor Battle. They're just different. Anyone who was seriously bummed about the cancellation of Combat II will find this relatively enjoyable.


Basic Math
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Yeah, there's no way around it. Basic Math is really bad. I try to be forgiving. I really do. When Basic Math was released (1977), developers and consumers alike weren't even quite sure what "video games" were. Forget the action-adventure and fantasy titles we have today. Video games of this era were either sports and racing simulations, consequence-free gambling simulations, or, uh, stuff like this. Being able to interact with onscreen objects was fascinating in those early days, leading to a bunch of short-lived crap "genres" like whatever this is. A 2600 launch title, Basic Math was quickly replaced with an extremely misleading alternate version called Fun With Numbers. No-nonsense Sears was just straight up brutal with their variation: it was simply called Math.

Basic Math presents a series of math problems for a player to solve. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Make no mistake: this is no edutainment game. There are no mascot characters, no cute monsters to "eat" whatever answer you choose. Basic Math is a sequence of digitized math worksheets. There are eight modes to select from. Four allow you to have some control over what problems are presented, while the final modes consist of "random" problems. Answers are inputted using the joystick. Pressing up or down scrolls through numbers 0-9, while pushing left or right moves the cursor to a different place value. Press the fire button to submit an answer. Note that you're given more space than is typically necessary. So for instance, you could respond to 2+2 with an answer of 9999 (this is wrong, by the way). When writing a quotient and remainder, a space must be made to distinguish the two. Rounds are timed, though this can be toggled off by flipping a difficulty switch on the console.
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The game's presentation is stark and totalitarian. Giant blocky numbers against a monochromatic background. Colors vary by mode; some of the choices are painful to gaze upon. I even have a (specific) problem with the sound design. When you solve a problem correctly, a happy little jungle plays. Fair enough. But when you input a number the game emits a sort of low bassy "fart" type of noise. It's a negative-sounding audio cue, something I'd expect to hear when submitting a definitively wrong answer, rather than a simple number input. Each session of Basic Math consists of ten questions, with a score (__/10) displayed upon completion.

I like math. I didn't particularly enjoy this. It is a neat little collectible, being an Atari launch title and all, but that's about the only positive thing I can say. Want to do some elementary-level math and feel fulfilled after? Help a first-grader with their homework.


Astrosmash
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Astrosmash (or Astrosmash! as the title screen calls it) is a fixed shooter for the Intellivision, released by Mattel in 1981. Clearly inspired by the Japanese titans of the genre, Astrosmash also incorporates elements of the Atari mega-hits Asteroids and Missile Command. It makes for an interesting experience, if not an extraordinarily memorable one.

In Astrosmash the player takes control of a spaceship, moving horizontally and firing vertically at descending enemies. The enemy roster mostly consists of asteroids: giant rocks tumbling downwards that will split into tiny erratic pieces once hit. Said pieces can be blasted as well. There are some other hazards, occasionally, like homing bombs, meteors(?), and an alien mothership. But it's mostly rocks and more rocks. A level is completed once a specific point threshold is reached, whereupon the speed of the inorganic villains increases.

The control scheme is rather intriguing. The fundamentals are basic: use the control disc to move the ship left and right, press one of the side buttons to shoot. But the game also makes use of buttons 1 through 3 on the keypad. The first two will toggle autofire on and off. Keep it on; it's undoubtedly useful and the game is a thumb-destroyer otherwise. Button 3 executes "hyperspace" mode. This shifts the position of the player's ship a small amount, instantaneously. Useful in those situations where taking a hit looks unavoidable, though in the heat of the moment I tend to forget such a function exists.
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In terms of the audiovisual presentation, Astrosmash does alright for itself in that "I guess it's better than the 2600" sort of way. Each stage provides a different background color, which is pleasant enough, and the multicolored asteroids make me feel like I'm battling an ever-cascading rainbow. There's a single stationary background: space mountains and shining stars. Though what stands out most about Astrosmash is the scoring system. Like Missile Command, defense is one of the objectives here. While blasting asteroids nets points, allowing them to hit the planet's surface docks them. It's even possible to get bumped back a level, or achieve a negative score.

One would surmise that this auxiliary element of "playing defense" would up the game's difficulty, but that simply isn't the case. In fact, this is one of the "easiest" second generation games I've ever played. In contrast to Missile Command (or Atlantis for that matter) you can never actually lose the game by letting asteroids slip by: the aforementioned point loss is the only penalty. Additionally, extra lives are earned by racking up points, and even the weakest players will net 1-ups at a much faster rate than they can lose them. Hitting upwards of 50 lives during a single play session is not unreasonable. I've only ever quit playing Astrosmash out of boredom, never out of frustration.

Though its influences are readily apparent, Astrosmash is indisputably a unique little game. However, its supremely repetitive gameplay style and flaccid difficulty prevent it from rising to the top of the ranks. There are plenty of better shooters, in outer space and on Earth.


Astroblast
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Astroblast is another one of those "M Network" Atari 2600 releases by Mattel. In this case it's a "downgraded" port of the Intellivision game Astrosmash. Epic way to change the title, guys. Astroblast was released in 1982, one year after the game it's based on.

The goal of Astroblast is identical to that of its progenitor. The player takes control of a spaceship, which moves along a fixed x-axis and fires vertically. Asteroids (and other various stuff) rains down from the sky. Points are gained if enemies are shot down, while also deducted if enemies manage to hit the planet's surface. Point increases will eventually open the way to new stages, with faster enemies and varying background colors. The graphics have taken quite a hit in this conversion. The backgrounds are purely monochromatic (no dotted starry sky) and the space mountains resemble an oscilloscope reading. Sprites are big, chunky, and fuzzy. As far as sound design goes, anyone who's played an Atari 2600 game knows exactly what to expect.
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Autofire (pew pew!) is back, pleasantly enough, this time toggled on and off by a difficulty switch on the Atari console itself. The other difficulty switch swaps between the game's two base difficulty settings: choose between very hard and absolutely insane. I don't believe the "hyperspace" warp maneuver from Astrosmash is present; if it is then your humble reviewer couldn't deduce how to execute it. Interestingly, Astroblast is one of those rare Atari games that officially supports both joystick and paddle controllers. The paddle controls are vastly superior, and that type of slick movement is really needed to keep up with the constant rocky onslaught. While the game supports just a single player, the box suggests "making" it a multiplayer experience, by allowing a friend to play the game at a separate time. Ingenious!

As I hinted at, Astroblast is much harder than the original Astrosmash. The asteroids drop at a faster rate, right from the start. Ten lives are provided, but they are drained extremely quickly, and the player isn't continually granted point-based extra lives. The two games are essentially polar opposites in this department: Astrosmash can be played seemingly "forever" (until the player starts nodding off from boredom), while a game of Astroblast can conceivably conclude within a minute or less. Also, Astroblast slams the player with a severe point deduction upon death. It's tough to get ahead.

Astroblast really just comes across as "hard mode / worse-looking" Astrosmash. Neither game is essential, nor particularly good. Those who are looking for a more challenging experience and don't want to use a telephone as a controller should look here, I suppose. Or, ya know, just play a truly exemplary shooter instead, like Galaga.


Donkey Kong
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I think that "everyone" agrees that the ColecoVision port of Donkey Kong was the strongest home console variation of the early 1980s. The Atari 2600 and Intellivision ports (both suspiciously developed by Coleco as well) come with some noticeable flaws. On the Atari, half the game is missing, and Donkey Kong appears to toss chocolate chip cookies in lieu of the trademark barrels. As for the Intellivision port, my God.... It's something all right. Let's first start on a positive note. Donkey Kong is an all-time classic, an inherently great game, and a sliver of goodness is bound to slip into any kind of port, no matter how compromised. Single-screen platformers are a fantastic bygone genre; Donkey Kong is one of eight or so available on the Intellivision.

The same stages that were excised from the 2600 are missing here as well. What's left is the iconic "ramp" scene, which opens every version of the game, and the "rivet" scene. Both adhere to the same platforming style of gameplay, albeit with slightly different goals. In the ramp stage our pal Mario must ascend to the top to reunite with his love Pauline, while the rivet stage is dedicating to walking over (and thus removing) a series of structural rivets to topple the ape villain Donkey Kong. Enemies include tossed barrels and the ever-spawning flames. The game is played with the Intellivision disc used as a d-pad, with one of the side buttons utilized for jumping. That leaves 15(!!) useless buttons, for the most part. The number pad is used briefly when the game boots to select between one and two (alternating) players, as well as for setting the difficulty level.
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Visually, the game looks so bad that it feels intentional. Mario appears to be wearing his trademark overalls, but apparently he forgot to put on a shirt. The first stage is a blinding pinkish-red. Pauline is purely monochromatic, colored the same shade as her surroundings. Stage two doesn't fare much better. A dull blue landscape with blurry fiery enemies. Pauline must really be sad about her situation at this state, as she's blue too. Donkey Kong himself looks atrocious. I'll spare the obvious scatological comparisons. Let's just say that he looks like a greenish-brown smear. His only facial features are pair of black eyeballs. Sound design is mostly acceptable, though there are some key tunes missing, like the one that's supposed to play when Mario wields his barrel-smashing hammer.

Controls aren't anything to write home about either. Mario's movements feel fluid enough, but the jumping is garbage. Mario makes these tiny awkward slow motion bounds that must be executed when an approaching enemy is still some distance away. It's pretty clear that Coleco put a minimal amount of effort into this port, cranking it out quickly just to get it on the shelves. As a giant Donkey Kong and Mario fan, I find it historically interesting and playable at the very least. Objectively, it's of very questionable quality and probably the worst interpretation of the arcade juggernaut.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:30 pm

That Basic Math review...it’s a 2001-stoner-movie-level IQ post. I literally laughed out loud reading it. (Also...”the ape villain, Donkey Kong”. :lol: ). I also laughed out loud reading Elkin’s fabulous Far Cry 4 review. (Like a Cabela’s games, but f**king awesome. Got it.). My wife is looking at me like I’m some kind of weirdo. (I am. She knows this and married me anyway.)

Keep up the good work, guys.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:42 pm

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)
42. Xak III: The Eternal Recurrence (PC Engine CD)
43. Blue Blink (PC Engine)
44. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys (PC Engine CD)
45. Cally's Caves 3 (Steam)
46. Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet (Steam)
47. Contra (NES)
48. Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Switch eShop)
49. Arcade Archives: Moon Cresta (Switch eShop)
50. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Joe and Mac Caveman Ninja (Switch eShop)
51. Ice Hockey (Atari 2600)
52. Indy 500 (Atari 2600)
53. Video Olympics (Atari 2600)
54. Fast Eddie (Atari 2600)
55. Muv-Luv (Steam)
56. Air-Sea Battle (Atari 2600)
57. Combat (Atari 2600)
58. Street Racer (Atari 2600)
59. Food Fight (Atari 7800)
60. Galaga (Atari 7800)
61. Donkey Kong (ColecoVision)
62. Cosmic Avenger (ColecoVision)
63. Mouse Trap (ColecoVision)
64. Zaxxon (ColecoVision)
65. Armor Battle (Intellivision)
66. Armor Ambush (Atari 2600)
67. Basic Math (Atari 2600)
68. Astrosmash (Intellivision)
69. Astroblast (Atari 2600)
70. Donkey Kong (Intellivision)

71. Beauty & the Beast (Intellivision)
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No, Imagic's Beauty & the Beast for the Intellivision has absolutely nothing to do with the fairy tale or subsequent film adaptations. Rather, it's an interesting little climbing-platformer from one of the second generation's premier developers. An Intellivision exclusive, the game feel like an adequate "replacement" for Donkey Kong, which received a rather questionable release on Mattel's hardware. Beauty & the Beast is a damsel in distress tale. It chronicles the journey of a young man in a yellow bodysuit, whose lover has been kidnapped by a villain racing to the top of a skyscraper. The antagonist here is actually a very large bearded man, way more terrifying than a fictional ape.

In the vein of Donkey Kong (or at least certain stages of the Nintendo classic), the goal is to guide the hero to the top of several consecutive segments of a building, until the peak is reached. While Donkey Kong featured the "How High Can You Get?" tagline, no one environment ever felt like it was truly "stacked" upon the previous one. In contrast, Beauty & the Beast is structured like an actual tower ascension. Environments are repetitive (reminiscent of Nichibutsu's Crazy Climber), the tower decreases in width as the hero scales higher, and there's a nice "height chart" cutscene between each stage to display progress. There's even an entrance door and fire hydrant included as part of the background of stage one. Very cool, Imagic.
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Controls are quite good. The game utilizes the disc for movement and a side button for jumping. That's it. The Intellivision "keypad" is useless, though the game humorlessly still came packaged with a controller overlay. Each stage contains three or four horizontal segments upon which Yellow Bodysuit Man can walk. He climbs not ladders but windows. Open ones only, if one slams shut during his climb a small tumble results. Irritatingly (though also rather hilariously), it's possible to fall off the side of the building. This sends the player all the way back to game's starting point, complete with the classic old-timey cartoon whistling sound effect. There are hazards to avoid, naturally. "The Beast" tosses a series of balls, and there are malicious birds and rats as well. Instead of a more traditional one-hit-death "life" system, Beauty & the Beast essentially gives the player one life, but also a health bar. If Yellow Bodysuit Man is hit he loses one block of health and a small amount of altitude. "The Beauty" occasionally tosses hearts (flashbacks to Nintendo's Popeye, also of '82), which grant temporary invincibility.

Those who reach the tower's summit are treated to a delightful scene where the Beast tumbles and Beauty and Bodysuit Man are whisked away by a small airplane. The game then loops, this time a bit more challenging with some additional hazards to dodge. Difficulty levels off quickly, however, and this feels like a game that could be played "forever." Like most Imagic titles, the graphics are super sharp. There's some fine attention to detail in the scenery and characters alike (with the exception of the kidnapped damsel, who is but a blue blob). The aforementioned airplane drags messages across the screen between each stage: these start out sarcastic but get more inspirational as the player progresses. Music is limited, but competent, and the sound effects are quite good. Overall, this is one of the strongest single-player experiences on the Intellivision, and a fine reason to begin exploring Imagic's non-Atari output.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by noiseredux Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:47 pm

Looks like a rip-off of Fix It Felix.
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