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pierrot
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by pierrot Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:15 pm

That’s sad news, aj. Very sad news indeed. Where would you rank Shenmue II in terms of other open world games you’ve played?


Shenmue III definitely isn’t going to be the final chapter. There was speculation early on, from fans, that it might be, but the first official statement about it from Yu Suzuki was pretty clear that it wouldn’t be. You know fans, though. Sometimes they just hear what they want to hear.

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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by pierrot Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:03 pm

Key-Glyph wrote:Thanks for the warning, pierrot. That extra locked door is just... what?! So aggravating. Out of curiosity, do you remember how many orange knights there were in that corridor? In mine, there were three, and a flying flaming eyeball what pees flame. I'm kinda wondering if somehow the game interpreted one of the enemies' code as a locked door instead. Truly weird.

Oh, sorry I missed this earlier. Yeah, I had the same enemies in the corridor: Three orange knights, and an orange, floaty, whispy dude. Would have been interesting if the game had converted one of them into a door, though.

Out of curiosity, was it the lady telling you to save the kidnapped kid from the island that messed you up, by chance? I can't figure out what the hell she's talking about, and I feel like whatever magic spell she's keeping me from learning is what I need for the boss of the fourth palace. I'm basically done with the fourth and fifth palaces, aside from the bosses, who are both ridiculous. I guess the boss of the fifth palace was added to the western release, specifically to terrorize us.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:36 pm

Key-Glyph wrote:In my own Zelda II news, this is it, son. I'm at the final palace. I barely dipped my toes in before saving and quitting last week, so next Sunday is fully dedicated to the last confrontation with fresh, naive eyes. Can't wait!!


Good luck, Key! The last run in Zelda II is tough!
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by MrPopo Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:54 pm

Your obsessive mapping will pay off.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:44 pm

MrPopo wrote:Your obsessive mapping will pay off.

You know what will help more? Always going to the right...
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by Key-Glyph Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:17 am

1. Karateka (Appl2e)
2. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Yo, we did it! I'm a hero of Hyrule! Looks like whispering to every hedgerow and jumping around like a loon finally payed off. :lol:

Some details of the final push:
My favorite moment was definitely when the Great Palace went Puyo Puyo on me and dropped Big Bean out of nowhere. I was so completely not expecting it that I yelled super loud and, apparently, caused someone to jump out of their chair. :lol:

As far as the bosses go, the Thunderbird killed me in one hit the first time I encountered it (health was super low) before I had a chance to process what was going on, but I took it out without much issue on the second go. It actually seemed pretty anti-climactic to me when I'd done it, since nothing on its body hurt me and all I had to deal with was fireballs... but then we got to the REAL final boss.

I gamed over on Shadow Link the first time, but I found a cheese spot on the next and exploited it to victory. I guess folks refer to that as the "cheap" way, but I actually don't think so, because it makes in-universe sense. My theory is, my own weak spot was totally my shins. So many enemies went for me shins and did me in. So it is only logical that when I searched my heart for what would undo my doppelganger, I came upon that idea... and it is only poetic justice that my own shadow fell prey to it as much as I did.

Question for the rest of you, but please put it under spoilers and warn pierrot not to look: Which boss was more difficult for you? I'm hearing from a lot of folks that the Thunderbird was a beast for them and that Shadow Link was easy in comparison, and I'm amazed. To me Thunderbird seemed like a total pushover, and Shadow Link seemed almost impossible!

So, in general, what did I think about this adventure? Overall, I loved it. It appealed to a lot of my standard gaming behaviors/fixations/enjoyments: systematic exploration, mapping, talking to NPCs, cryptic hints, seeking out and discovering hidden stuff, and fine-tuned battle mechanics. I relished analyzing each enemy pattern and figuring out how to approach them. I also felt that the game did a very good job at pacing your growth as a hero. It would groom you to fully master an area before you moved on, but it was also exactly at that moment of mastery that it would dump you in way over your head again. It was kind of like weight training. "Oh, so you can finally bench 60 pounds without wanting to die? LET'S TRY EIGHTY," says Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

The result is that you constantly feel challenged while also being reminded at every turn of how much better you've become. That's pretty awesome. This balance maintains a sense of hope in you as a player, because even if something kicks your butt, you believe it will only be a matter of time before you conquer it -- because after all, you conquered everything else before it, and all of that stuff seems easy peasy now!

This is definitely a game I will replay in years to come. I'm so glad I finally got around to it. I always knew I'd love it, and always felt connected to it, and I'm so happy the experience was even more than I'd hoped for. Gotta buy a physical copy ASAP.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by Gunstar Green Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:27 am

Man, sorry I missed the ending! Got a new PC that doesn't like sending me twitch notifications.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by marurun Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:01 am

Key-Glyph wrote:This is definitely a game I will replay in years to come. I'm so glad I finally got around to it. I always knew I'd love it, and always felt connected to it, and I'm so happy the experience was even more than I'd hoped for. Gotta buy a physical copy ASAP.


This is definitely what I was hoping to hear, though your progress through the game was foreshadowing this conclusion. This is how I feel about the game. It is such a unique and exemplary experience, even among supposed peers on the Famicom and Japanese PCs. The game is hard and knows it is hard, but it also really does give you all the tools you need to tackle everything it throws at you. This is tied with Breath of the Wild and Link to the Past as the triumvirate of top-tier Zelda games, IMO.
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by MrPopo Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:19 am

In answer to your question

Honestly, neither felt that hard to me. None of the bosses are really hard, when you get down to it. They have predictable patterns and don't go swooping around (which is the big thing in NES games for difficulty).
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Re: Racketboy forums’ Summer Games Challenge 2019

by Key-Glyph Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:43 pm

Aw, AJ, that's a shame to hear you didn't have a great deal of fun with Shenmue 2, but I totally get it. I'd recommended the first Shenmue to one of my best friends because she's a huge fan of open-world settings, environments where all characters have schedules and interior lives, and games that allow you to open drawers and closets and other such minute details. I watched her play through it, and although she enjoyed it as an experience and absolutely CRUSHED the QTEs (I was frequently speechless by this superpower; "I mean, I played a lot of Heavy Rain," she modestly responded), there was a lot that frustrated her and felt poorly-designed.

Her perspective was very interesting to me, because the first open-world game that blew her mind as a child was one of the later Ultimas (possibly VII), which from her descriptions sounds far more complex in the "characters have schedules and you can open drawers" department despite having been published in the early 90s. Shenmue felt like a bit of a step backwards from that vantage point, even though we realize the PC-to-console comparison stacks things in Ultima's favor.

She got very attached to the characters, though, and is currently making her way through Shenmue 2. Due to an oversight with the way the game is coded, however, I'm not able to watch her remotely through PS4's Share Play feature. :cry: She's keeping me updated, though.

Regarding Zelda II, I've been thinking a lot about the game's reputation for difficulty and wanted to pick all your brains. When folks say "Zelda II is a difficult game," what aspect are they usually thinking of? If it's "the game is not always clear on what to do," I would agree, but I wouldn't chalk that up as deliberate difficulty. I think that's a design issue. I have been told by a lot of players that they didn't strategize their battle approaches and instead attempted to bludgeon their way through enemies, which would definitely account for a feeling of crushing difficulty.

I suppose what I'm trying to figure out is... is this game's reputation resting on the fact that most players tried it when they were kids, when we weren't always knowledgeable enough to tease out what a game was demanding of us? As an example, when I was little, it never occurred to me to map where I was going in a video game because I just expected the programming to provide me with all the tools I needed to succeed in-game. "If I needed a map, they would have given me one on the options screen!" was my thinking. Had I played this as a child, I am almost positive I wouldn't have been able to realize things like, "Oh, this random mook only has a vulnerable spot on their head when their shield is in the lower block position" and similar such.

Oh, P.S., pierrot: No, the clue that messed me up was not from the old lady of which you speak.
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