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Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:29 am
by dsheinem
Welcome to the Games Beaten 2019 thread! In this thread, we list and discuss what games we've beaten this year.

Per Racketboy tradition, this thread is not a competition, not a place where we hold to hard and fast rules about what games can count, when, or why, etc. The only expectation is that you perhaps talk a bit about what you've beaten: What were your thoughts? Why did you play? Would you recommend it? This thread is about sharing our personal accomplishments and engaging one another about the games we have played!

Are you curious about what kinds of reviews people like to read in this thread? Take a look at this poll and discussion from 2017.

If you are new to this thread for the year, feel free to jump in any time between now and the end of the year. If you have questions or need help, feel free to hit me up! For reference, here's a couple of past threads so you can see how people have approached their participation, their list making, etc.

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:35 pm
by Ack
1. Dusk (PC)(FPS)

Well, let's get 2019 started.

Dusk is a throwback in the best of ways; it took the various gameplay ideas of first person shooters of the 1990s and combined them into one nasty Lovecraftian slaughterfest, complete with level designs that will first blow you away and then later mindfuck you. The things that Dusk does, it does damn well. And the modern touches that are implemented are both simply to make the action that much faster to get to and to enable some ingenious ways to explore, hide puzzles, and kill your enemies. It's light on story, but...hey, it gives you what you need.

The game is broken into three episodes, each of which come with 10 base level and a secret level to find. Once a level has been accessed (including the 3 secret levels), you can travel to it directly with a level select option, which also allows you to adjust your weapons loadout as you see fit. The screens are straight out of DOOM, but there's more to it: even if you beat it, you're not done. Levels have titles that can be won by doing certain things: Completionist, Pacifist, Low Tech, and Untouchable. Completionist requires finding all secrets and killing all enemies. Pacifist means you didn't kill anything. Low Tech means melee only. Untouchable, well, you didn't get hit. You can see what you've been awarded in level select, though none of these tell you if you've found the soap. I'll get to that in a second.

Your enemies range from generic Blood-style Cultist and Half-Life Marine-wannabes to the terrifying likes of invisible Wendigos, flying orbs that spit skulls erratically, and the Cart Dog. You will fear some more than others, and many of the bosses are beefed up versions of regular enemies, though not all. This game likes to throw bosses at you too, so expect to fight a bunch, particularly in later levels when you end up taking on multiple in a row or at the same time. Level design is also used to keep you hopping platforms or dodging down corridors, so it's not always the same thing over and over again. Some of the bosses feel fresh, while others require the standard side-stepping. It all comes down to a case-by-case basis.

To kill these nasties, you get a bunch of firepower that recalls the best of games like DOOM, Heretic, Hexen, Quake, and so on. Yep, there's your double-barrel shotgun, a personal favorite, though more interesting are the pair of single-barrels you can get in each hand which "reload" a la Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2. I say "reload" because you'll never actually reload, you just spin your guns. Hit 'R' and you also spin your guns. I think this actually does damage to enemies. The base pistols also get a dual variety, and your rivet gun (read: rocket launcher) and grenade launcher can be used for throwing you...or you can engage in what I prefer, crossbow jumping. Yeah, the etheral crossbow knocks you back, and in the right situations, you can use it to fly certain distances. This is key for hunting secrets. Most impressive is a magic sword that gains a special attack if you have enough health and enables blocking if your Morale (effectively armor) is high enough.

If you prefer to conserve health and ammo but need to climb, you can also pick up just about anything that isn't nailed down. Many secrets and even some standard doors require you stack boxes, barrels, or whatever you can find so you can climb up to them. Be wary of your location, and you can just about always find whatever it is you need, though it's more fun to hurl these objects at enemies. Do you know what the most powerful weapon in Dusk is? It's a thrown bar of soap. Seriously.

That isn't even getting into the levels, which generally fit together and borrow the best of ideas from the greats of its era. I like that things feel continuous, just like I experienced in Unreal. However, each level is its own set piece, and by the end, you're hopping portals to places where physics doesn't exactly understand its own rules. The final levels...well, you'll need to play it and see. I can't even begin to pick a favorite at this point. I'm just blown away by how good it all continued to be.

Say you get bored of the base game though. Well, you have alternate difficulties, including Duskmare, where enemies are way faster, and one hit will kill you. There's also an endless mode where you kill waves of enemies for points. You can also jump into multiplayer deathmatch and frag your friends! If you really just want street cred with the Steam kiddies, there are achievements too. I'm currently in the hunt to get Completionist in all 33 levels. As of now, I've got 6 to go...

Dusk is awesome. It's exactly what I want in a retro-style FPS. I'm very happy with it.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:36 pm
by noiseredux
1. Super Mario World


When the Super Nintendo was announced I was interested... but the Genesis was my preference at the time. The next Christmas I thought about asking for a Super Nintendo, but there just weren't enough games that interested me to compete with the new hotness that was the Sega CD. So that's the one I asked for. And so I didn't actually get a Super Nintendo until the Christmas of 1993, at which point Super Mario World was now three years old. And yet it still was absolutely incredible. And y'know what? Here we are in 2019 and Super Mario World is STILL absolutely incredible.

I've long considered Super Mario World to be my favorite 2D Mario game (followed by Super Mario 2 "US" - come at me). Yes, there are many a gamer who will tell you that Super Mario Bros 3 is the clear winner. And while I have more nostalgia for SMB3, I've always said that Super Mario World is better. And having replayed SMB3 just a few months back after its launch on Switch, I can now say that I stand by my 1993-self. Super Mario World is the business.

After Christmas this year I decided to buy a WIi U - a bit late to the funeral of dying system, I admit. But the Wii U had been a system that I at least thought was interesting during its lifetime. I just could never find a reason to buy one - especially once the Switch hit last year and seemed to one-up the Wii U in every regard.

But since we found out my wife was pregnant at the beginning of October, my game habits have changed. I've been spending a lot more time outside of my game room just to be more accessible to her needs. So the vast majority of my gaming has been done on my Switch or 3DS since then. And it recently occurred to me that with a Wii U I could add to my library of 'portable' games, including our already existing library of Wii games. So I went out and got a new old console with Christmas gift cards.

I must say that I'm super pleased with the Wii U's virtual console, which I'm now convinced is superior to that of the 3DS. For one thing those SNES games look amazing on the Wii U's gamepad versus the 3DS's screen. And second, it gives me the option to play it as a handheld, or on my TV (just like the Switch! Woah!). You might say that the Wii U gamepad isn't a portable, but honestly my definition of portable generally means in the living room while the TV is on in the background, or on my back patio in the summer. I've got the 3DS for the handful of times I might play in a waiting room or while my oil is getting changed or something.

But I ramble! Super Mario World is still incredible, as I said above. Personally, I prefer the look of 16bit graphics to 8bit. That's just a personal preference. And the SMW sprites are so bright and colorful and full of charm. Not to mention that SMW's character designs seem to take a lot more inspiration from the rather anime appearance of a lot of that old Super Mario promo art that just didn't quite translate to Super Mario Bros 3.
The music is also fantastic. And there's little things like how jumping on Yoshi's back brings in an extra layer of percussion. I mean, damn!

But none of this would matter if the gameplay wasn't good. Super Mario World is a masterclass in game design when it comes to 2D platformers. The physics are spot on and I feel like I can control Mario down to a pixel whether that means just barely standing on a ledge, or jumping up and around a block to land on top. This is perhaps most obvious in the final Bowser battle which involves tossing objects up to land on top of his moving head. I was able to pull that off effortlessly via muscle memory.

Speaking of - I've probably played through this game every five years or so since launch. And it shows. I seem to have no problem speeding through levels and remembering what items are in which blocks, or where alternate exits exist. I guess it's a game I've explored so thoroughly in my formative gaming years that it's just in my DNA now. And yet it still feels compelling. I had times at the grocery store thinking "I can't wait to get home and finish this game," which I did in two sessions starting on New Year's Eve.

I didn't bother with much extra stuff this time around. I didn't open up Star Road or mess around with paths I didn't need to. I just dashed my way to the end credits in a fit of nostalgic joy. But I will say this - I will never tire of Super Mario World.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:16 pm
by MrPopo
1. Octopath Traveler - Switch

Octopath Traveler is a Switch exclusive RPG from Squeenix that is all kinds of awesome. It has a very involved battle system and I found the game's stories to be interesting. And there's a nice team building component to it. Plus, the visuals in the game are quite unique and work really well.

Octopath is set up as eight independent stories told over four chapters; an intro and then three acts. You pick a main character to be in your party until you finish their story and then can collect the other seven as you go through. Each chapter is a higher required level than the last one, so you're encouraged to do all the chapter ones, then all the chapter twos, etc. The chapter story only involves the character the story belongs to, though during the chapter you can activate Tales-style skits where your other party members comment on what's going on. These stories stay completely independent until they've all been finished; you will find that there is some underlying plot going on across the stories that comes to a head after all eight have been completed, leading to the true final boss. The stories have different themes to them; one is a revenge story, another is a story of self discovery, and a third is a story of trying to rescue a mentor. They're all well told.

Combat-wise the game is based around exploiting enemy weaknesses. Each enemy has one or more weaknesses to the game's six weapons and six magic elements, and a defensive number. Once you hit a weakness that defensive number goes down, and when it reaches zero the enemy gets broken. This cancels their turns in the current round and the next round, and they take a major increase in damage. Bosses have the ability to manipulate their weaknesses and defensive numbers, and your manipulation of this is a major part of the game's strategy. The other part is in the BP system. You gain a BP every turn, and you can expend up to three BP in a single turn to enhance your attacks. For basic attacks this will cause you to hit an additional time (which is great for breaking enemies), while skills gain a multiplier to their damage, which is great for when enemies are broken to toss down as much damage as possible. Bosses also sometimes have the ability to charge a major attack, so managing your breaks to cancel that out is a great way to go. Many later game bosses have a variety of interesting statuses to jam up your plan, and so you need to be able to react to that.

Party building is based around a class and subclass system. Everyone has a base class, and then you will gain the ability to give everyone a subclass of one of the eight base classes, with only one person able to use a given subclass. There are also four advanced classes in the late game available. Classes affect what weapons you can equip and each class has a series of skills available when in it. You can unlock those skills in any order you want, and unlocking them also unlocks passive skills. Passive skills can be used by any class, and there are four passives per class, so you will find yourself skilling up multiple classes to build the perfect set of passives (which can be quite impressive).

My one complaint is the game sort of blind sides you right before the true final boss in that the final boss requires two parties, one for each form. It's very easy to just have a main team and then swap out one member for doing the stories of the other four, and this will leave your party critically underleveled for the final boss. You can grind it back up, but it is quite tedious. So I'd encourage you to rotate your team around more if you're just starting the game. The final boss also has a pretty RNG heavy second phase, where you can just get wiped because the game decided that the random variance on speed values means you just get trashed before you can get any defenses up. This wouldn't be so bad if there wasn't a boss rush and a long first phase bvefore the second phase. Fortunately, the second phase can also be cheesed hard, so if you do get the turns in your favor then you can get through it quickly before it can drop more BS on you.

If you're a JRPG fan you owe it to yourself to play this one.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:04 am
by Markies
Markies' Games Beat List Of 2019!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Power Stone 2 (SDC)

Image

I beat Power Stone 2 on the Sega DreamCast this evening!

Back in 2016, I played through the original Power Stone game on the DreamCast. I thought it was fun and rather original game. It had its flaws, but I liked Capcom taking a risk in a different fighting game genre. Obviously, I became interested in trying out Power Stone 2, which was also released on the DreamCast. It took a while to finally find it as the game is a bit expensive and I had to pay a little more than normal for it. However, the intriguing fact about the game was that they changed it from a 1 Vs. 1 fighting game to a 4 Player Free For All. I was curious to see if it mattered or how the game would play out. Thanks to my 2019 Fortune Cookie Marathon, I got to play through it all on the first day of 2019.

The best part about Power Stone 2 are the characters. Capcom usually has some unique characters in their fighting games, but they also have some repetitive ones as well. Here, there are so many characters that you don't see in other games. A little boy who is the son of an inventor, basically Jasmine from Aladdin, Voldo from Soul Calibur, a crazed chef and a Victorian woman dressed in a Victorian Dress are all the crazy characters you will see. And they all play vastly different and very unique. It was fun to go through the game and see each special move. The four player mechanic really didn't do much for me. Though, the two winners of two stages would go on to face a boss together and that was a very interesting mechanic. The fighting is very fast paced and it is hard to see what is going on some of the time.

The game is incredibly short, like almost too short. There are only 5 stages, 3 regular and 2 large bosses. And the final boss' stage is the worst as you have to fight waves of enemies and then the boss all in one life. Unless Power Stones randomly drop, you become severely handicapped and can be killed in moments. Also, you get the same ending with each character which was a shame because the characters were my favorite part.

Overall, I think Capcom tried to create a Smash Brothers game with Power Stone 2. Unfortunately, it made it feel more generic and took away any of the strategic combat. It became more of a button masher. The fighting was enjoyable and the characters were good, but it just did not have that tense or satisfying element compared to the first game. A unique idea and a fun game, but somewhat lacking.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:03 am
by Sarge
1) Kangaroo (2600) (6.0) (1/1) (0.15 hours)
2) Donkey Kong (2600) (5.0) (1/1) (0.15 hours
3) Defender (2600) (6.0) (1/2) (0.2 hours)
4) Samurai (ARC) (5.0) (1/5) (0.5 hours)
5) Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4) (8.5) (1/12) (35 hours)
6) Jumpman Jr. (CV) (7.0) (1/12) (0.35 hours)
7) Gateway to Apshai (CV) (7.0) (1/13) (0.5 hours)
8 ) Jake Hunter: Ghost of the Dusk (3DS) (7.5) (1/14) (17.5 hours)
9) Pitfall II (2600) (7.0) (1/19) (1 hour)
10) Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (NS) (8.5) (1/23) (20 hours)
11) Mega Man 11 (NS) (8.0) (1/26) (3.75 hours)
12) Moon Patrol (ARC) (6.0) (1/31) (1.5 hours)
13) God of War (PS4) (10.0) (2/7) (40 hours?)
14) Radical Dreamers (SFC) (6.5) (2/10) (3 hours)
15) Hyper Iria (SFC) (6.0) (2/10) (1.5 hours)
16) Alcahest (SFC) (7.5) (2/12) (5 hours)
17) Mystic Ark (SFC) (7.0) (2/28) (29 hours)
18) Danan: The Jungle Fighter (SMS) (6.0) (3/2) (0.5 hours)
19) Aladdin (SMS) (7.0) (3/2) (1 hour)
20) Spellcaster (SMS) (6.5) (4 hours)
21) Ninja Gaiden (SMS) (7.0) (2 hours)
22) Masters of Combat (SMS) (5.0) (3/4) (1 hour)
23) Zillion II: The Tri-Formation (SMS) (6.0) (3/6) (2 hours)
24) Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (SMS) (8.0) (3/10) (2.5 hours)
25) Asterix (SMS) (7.0) (3/11) (1.5 hours)
26) Renegade (SMS) (6.5) (3/12) (0.5 hours)
27) Fortified Zone (GB) (7.0) (3/18) (1 hour)
28) Hang-On (SMS) (7.0) (3/18) (1 hour)

Just three quick 2600 game runs. I haven't played these in years, and since we're doing pre-Famicom stuff over at HRG, I figured I'd get a few in to start the new year.

Kangaroo was one of the best Donkey Kong "clones", although it does enough on its own to make it worthwhile. The 2600 port is pretty fun, too.

Donkey Kong looks pretty terrible on 2600, and it only has two stages, but it captures most of the essence. Even if Mario morphs into a ketchup blob climbing ladders.

Defender was a game I rocked back in the day at my cousin's house. I don't remember how long I kept going, but it was a while. Anyway, my best run now was to get to wave 15, with a score of 89,350. Not too shabby for a third attempt. I was hoping to break 100,000, but let's see what the other forum members do with it first. ;)

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:12 am
by Ack
Sarge wrote:Defender was a game I rocked back in the day at my cousin's house. I don't remember how long I kept going, but it was a while. Anyway, my best run now was to get to wave 15, with a score of 89,350. Not too shabby for a third attempt. I was hoping to break 100,000, but let's see what the other forum members do with it first. ;)


Defender was the first game we ever played in Together Retro, nearly 11 years ago. Most of us who were competing for score went with MAME and not the 2600 port. Unfortunately, most of our images with our top scores are long gone, but most of us tapped out in the mid-30k after a week. Hey, TR was short in its infancy. My best was 33,475, and I was fourth place at the end! Man, good times.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:35 pm
by noiseredux
1. Super Mario World
2. Super Mario Bros 2

Super Mario Bros 2
1988, Nintendo


The new year (and Virtual Console) has me in a real retro mood lately. So I decided to revisit an old classic - Super Mario Bros 2. This is a game I loved upon release and continue to love to this day. Of course it wouldn't be until years later, with the release of Super Mario All-Stars that I'd learn this wasn't a Mario game to begin with. But back in '88, I just figured it was like Zelda II - a totally different and weird remake of a classic game.

It's weird that you jump on enemies but that doesn't kill them. It's weird that you can play as Toad (though you SHOULD play as Princess Peach). It's weird that Shy Guys replaced Goombas and Koopa Troopers. It's weird that bosses are birds that spit eggs, a mouse that throws bombs, a crab that throws rocks, and a hydra. It's weird that Wart replaced Bowser. But guess what? All this weird is awesome. I don't even care about the dreamland cop-out ending. This game rules.

Apparently Nintendo agreed with me since all this weird Doki Doki Panic stuff eventually became cannon. Shy Guy is still hanging out in Mario Kart to this day, and many other elements of Subcon have carried over and become part of the Mario universe.

Speaking of Subcon, this world is so much prettier and brighter than that of the Mushroom Kingdom of the first game. And the music straight ROCKS, you guys. So hummable. Super Mario Bros 2 remains a lovely game to look at to this day.

I've said before - and stand by this - Mario 2 is my favorite of the NES trilogy. It's the one I continue to replay the most. Though I'm playing the NES original today, I've played the SNES and GBA remakes in the past. It's the NES Mario game I've played the most. So you'd think I'd breeze through it as quickly as I recently did Super Mario World. Well, I did... I beat it over two nights. But that was after a proper game over screen and starting all over again. So it's definitely still a challenging game even when you're super familiar with it.

On my second attempt I got brash and used warps in 3-1 and 5-3 to jump straight to 7-1. But that was after playing all the way to 7-1 before my previous game over, so whatever. I appreciate the save states that the WiiU Virtual Console allows, though I tried to use them sparingly as saves between each level.

Anyway, bottom line is I love this game and it still rules. Hard.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:04 pm
by PartridgeSenpai
Partridge Senpai's 2019 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018
* indicates a repeat

1. Night Slashers (Switch)

I had some down time at a friend's place while we waited for their boyfriend to do some errands (we were effectively in between games of Super Mario Party), so I just decided to kill some time and show them some Night Slashers because it's silly campy fun.

It's a pretty shameless Final Fight clone from Data East in '93, but it's a fun clone. It's got a graphic horror movie theme, and the VA is SO bad it's hilarious. It's also a great port to the Switch and you can play it with 3 players with only Joycons, so that's another plus. It's easy to play with only 3 buttons (attack, jump, and special), so anyone can play and at least muck about for fun as you also have infinite continues/credits.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. It's a great little game I love having as something I can just play on the Switch whenever, a lot like how I feel about something like Snipper-Clips. $8 well spent, and if you can find it on sale, even better!

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:09 pm
by Xeogred
Yeah man... SMB2 freaking rocks! Weirdly awesome like you said. I don't know if I'd put it above SMB3 or SMW personally... but I seriously have no issues with SMB2 and love everything about it. I love how the end and beginning of a lot of levels interconnect. I love how it has some weird non-linear design in a lot of areas. I love how it brought verticality to Mario. Wart's castle is huge with different branching paths and it's always fun to change up the approach, or even backtrack to get two heart upgrades. Music is incredible like you said. I love using all the characters and switching them up. Shy Guys are some of the coolest enemies in the entire Mario franchise. Having to jump on a Birdo egg mid shot to get across a huge gap in one level is so wack but awesome. I got stuck on this game a ton as a kid because of it's weirder ideas but always loved it.

Yep... SMB2 is BOSS.

I prefer the All-Stars version of SMB1 nowadays and the NES version of SMB3, but with SMB2 I can go both ways and love both versions.