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Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:01 pm
by REPO Man
King of Dragons for PS4, via the Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle, as the Wizard.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:26 pm
by pierrot
Note wrote:7. Shenmue II (Sega Dreamcast)

Nice! It's hard to say what the exact cause was, for me, but after I played the PAL version of Shenmue II, back in 2002, my Dreamcast pretty much stopped being able to read GD-ROMs. I sort of blamed it on the boot disc I was using to bypass the region protection, but I had also put many, many, many hours into PSO, and SoA on it. FWIW, I recently played through the Japanese version (bought brand new) on a used JP console, that's given me quite a lot of years and hours of service, at this point, with no issues.

I remember really liking the fourth disc when I first played Shenmue II, but replaying it recently, I was kind of blown away by it. I really love Kowloon, as well, but Disc 4 was both really unique, and really special. I already kind of miss that Shenhua.


Note wrote:I like that the creators set up the story to be a trilogy from the get go.

So, do you mean the "trilogy" of chapters in Shenmue II? Because if not, I feel like you should really know that the series was never meant to be a trilogy, and
Shenmue III isn't the end of the series.
The plan for Shenmue has shifted a lot since its inception. I believe at first, when it was Virtua Fighter RPG, it was going to be a less "FREE" experience on the Saturn, and when it shifted to development for the Dreamcast, it was planned to be a game released in two parts (the first half, and the second half). Sega got impatient with the development, though, and AM2 was pretty much forced to release what they had in installments, with the Shenmue I & II that we got comprising mostly the first 2 chapters of the 11 that were originally planned. Disc 4 of Shenmue II is actually from a later chapter, in the middle of the story.

As it stands the end of Shenmue III puts the story roughly
where part 1 of the original two-part story probably would have ended.

I've kind of been wondering recently how they were even intending to release something that probably would have been Shenmue II x3, on anything fewer than 12 GD-ROMs. :lol: Then do it again for a part 2.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:36 pm
by Note
pierrot wrote:Nice! It's hard to say what the exact cause was, for me, but after I played the PAL version of Shenmue II, back in 2002, my Dreamcast pretty much stopped being able to read GD-ROMs. I sort of blamed it on the boot disc I was using to bypass the region protection, but I had also put many, many, many hours into PSO, and SoA on it. FWIW, I recently played through the Japanese version (bought brand new) on a used JP console, that's given me quite a lot of years and hours of service, at this point, with no issues.

I remember really liking the fourth disc when I first played Shenmue II, but replaying it recently, I was kind of blown away by it. I really love Kowloon, as well, but Disc 4 was both really unique, and really special. I already kind of miss that Shenhua.


Yeah, I wish I had another Dreamcast so I could have tested out Disc 3 on another console. Luckily, I clocked all my PSO hours on my Gamecube, which I think has helped the life of my Dreamcast. However, I have not played Skies of Arcadia yet! It's been on my to get list for years but I haven't run into it at any local shops -- maybe later this year or next I will just go the online route.

Disc 4 is pretty amazing. I really like the setting and totally agree that it's very memorable. Shenhua is an awesome character, I look forward to learning more of her story in the next release. The setting in Disc 4 alone got me interested in the third game.

pierrot wrote:So, do you mean the "trilogy" of chapters in Shenmue II? Because if not, I feel like you should really know that the series was never meant to be a trilogy, and
The plan for Shenmue has shifted a lot since its inception. I believe at first, when it was Virtua Fighter RPG, it was going to be a less "FREE" experience on the Saturn, and when it shifted to development for the Dreamcast, it was planned to be a game released in two parts (the first half, and the second half). Sega got impatient with the development, though, and AM2 was pretty much forced to release what they had in installments, with the Shenmue I & II that we got comprising mostly the first 2 chapters of the 11 that were originally planned. Disc 4 of Shenmue II is actually from a later chapter, in the middle of the story.

I've kind of been wondering recently how they were even intending to release something that probably would have been Shenmue II x3, on anything fewer than 12 GD-ROMs. :lol: Then do it again for a part 2.


That's my fault, I was under the impression that Shenmue III would be the final release. I haven't read too much about it, and haven't checked any in-depth reviews, as I didn't want to spoil anything for myself. I was aware that it was originally in production for the Saturn, then the DC, but I didn't know it was planned to be 11 chapters. Lol. That release would've taken up a whole shelf at the game store. Either way, I hope Yu Suzuki is able to complete his vision for the series, as I really enjoyed the first two games.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:35 pm
by pierrot
Note wrote:That's my fault, I was under the impression that Shenmue III would be the final release. I haven't read too much about it, and haven't checked any in-depth reviews, as I didn't want to spoil anything for myself. I was aware that it was originally in production for the Saturn, then the DC, but I didn't know it was planned to be 11 chapters. Lol. That release would've taken up a whole shelf at the game store. Either way, I hope Yu Suzuki is able to complete his vision for the series, as I really enjoyed the first two games.

Oh, you're good. I almost didn't even want to mention it, because I respect wanting to not be influenced by others' opinions and things, but It seems to have been a really common misconception, even after the game was released. So I was just hoping to save you from maybe being setup for something like that. The series has always had a wild development history, and I've been familiarizing myself with it again lately, but it's pretty tough to keep track of.

Glad to hear you enjoyed Shenmue II, though!

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:54 pm
by dsheinem
prfsnl_gmr wrote:
Have you had the opportunity to play Fantasy Zone II W? It is a god-tier shmup that HG101 considered the very best of both the Fantasy Zone series and the “Defender” shmup genre. It was originally released only in Japan for the PS2, but it is available in NA for the 3DS..


I think I have? Is that on the Sega 3D Classics cart for the 3DS? If so I may have messed around with it for a few...

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:47 pm
by MrPopo
1. Elite Dangerous - PC
2. Soldier of Fortune - PC
3. Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire - PC
4. Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Enemies of the Empire - PC

Enemies of the Empire is the second expansion for TIE Fighter and wraps up the overall storyline that has been going since the base game. Like Defender you get three more battles of ~7 missions each. Unlike Defender you don't get any chance to use the TIE Defender, as the Empire's production capabilities were destroyed in Defender, and a couple missions in to the third battle you also lose access to the Missile Boat, so you're back to using the TIE Advanced (which is still a decent ship, mind you, but it is a bit of a letdown). The first battle is mostly you fighting back against Zaarin, while the second battle is you supporting the build up to the Battle of Endor. You remember how in Jedi Mon Mothma tells the assembled people "many Bothans died to bring us this information"? You're the one who killed all those Bothans. Finally, the third battle has you finally taking out Zaarin.

Overall I think it's a better put together expansion than Defender; I didn't notice any bugs or general scripting frustrations like I did with the previous expansion. However, there was one mission that is a right bastard; it's basically luck based because you have too many tanky enemies and not enough firepower to take them out before they fail a mission objective unless your AI partners decide to actually be effective for once (spoilers; they don't). There's also a couple of missions (including the last one) that start you off in the middle of enemy fire that are quite hectic at the start and can get you killed fast, but at least the restart is fast (vs. losing 5 minutes in to a mission) and if you get past the initial things calm down a lot. Overall I think the TIE Fighter trilogy beats out the X-Wing trilogy in terms of enjoyment; everything is just a little more interesting in TIE Fighter and they, for the most part, got mission difficulty better nailed down.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:46 pm
by Ack
1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)(Adventure)
2. Final Fight [Japanese Version] (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)
3. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)
4. Magrunner: Dark Pulse (PC)(FPS)
5. The King of Dragons [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)

6. Captain Commando [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
7. Knights of the Round [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
8. The Witcher (PC)(RPG)


Knights of the Round

I've kept going with Japanese Capcom beat 'em ups, so I decided to sit down with the import arcade release of Knights of the Round. First and foremost, there aren't any major changes from the Japanese to the US release beyond some kanji that was translated to English. Otherwise, I haven't been able to find any notes on any sort of regional changes, so if you are familiar with the arcade game in the US, this won't be a difficult transition.

As for the game itself...well, I still prefer The King of Dragons. Knights of the Round feels like the fusion point where King of Dragons meets Final Fight. You're still gaining levels like KoD and swinging weapons, but your appearance changes based solely on this as opposed to KoD's gear. You can also perform combo attacks a la Final Fight, but the trade off is no throws. However, you can do a few special attacks depending on the character, you can block similar to KoD's tank characters, and you can also ride horses for some mounted combat. This reminds me of the Captain Commando mechs but with considerably better design.

In execution, not all of this works. Blocking was easier to pull off in King of Dragons, and I have a bad habit of performing some of the special attacks for Arthur and Lancelot when trying to perform other attacks. As a result, combat feels disjointed, and I feel like I consistently get my butt kicked by the boss fights and tougher enemies due to my control issues. That said, this is a me problem, so your mileage will vary.

The Final Fight boss patterns have been thrown out, though the acrobatic Black Knight from KoD does show up with some variations in KotR. Beyond that, it's an original take, with some additional niceties, like getting a rough overlook of the level map at the start and seeing your progress if you wipe and use a continue.

The Witcher

I'm finally getting around to what has become a flagship property for CD Projekt and GOG. Later entries are highly regarded, but not having read the books the series is based on, I wanted more background before considering those, so I hopped into the original. This...may have been a mistake.

The first The Witcher is not a bad game, per se, but it is plagued with a variety of problems. Some of these are technical, such as crashing issues, events not flagging properly, and even issues with character models (some characters have hair that apparently vibrates and beards that grow straight up). Some problems are endemic to the time of release, such as trying to convey an epic adventure in small hubs that eventually feel more like prisons, a not entirely uncommon trait of the time as games tried to expand into open worlds. And some problems relate to lack of knowledge about the book series, as the game ends up throwing a few things at you that you more than likely won't understand without any background. By the end of the game, I felt I had missed something and consulted Popo for help.

And then there is the combat system, which I think was supposed to have a rock-paper-scissor vibe but which results in you just picking scissors for most of the game because it is almost always effective.

Still, I gonna give it credit. It was a largely untested dev team, a property few knew about outside of its native Poland, and an engine that was being radically transformed. That they got anywhere is amazing, and what they managed to do was give us a world populated with interesting characters and altered by choices we make, not in a simple black and white morality system but with massive shades of grey...and a lot of black too.

How do I mean? Well, one central choice is choosing between a heroic order of knights that turn out to be fanatically genocidal or a bunch of elven and dwarven guerillas happy to turn to terrorism and using children as hostages for their own ends. You could stay neutral too...but they're gonna kill each other and everybody else too. Things don't always unfold how you expect, and you're most often going to end up relying on your swords to save the day...and not really save it. It feels dirty and realistic. I appreciate that as a mature view of a fantasy world, much more so than the collectable "sex cards" you earn by getting laid.

Look, most folks I know who have played these games don't see much reason to return to the first game, and now that I have beaten it, I don't see much reason too either. But I do look forward to playing the second game sooner rather than later. If nothing else, I'm more curious to see this world and where CD Projekt goes with it.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:15 pm
by MrPopo
Yeah, the black and grey morality is a hallmark of the games. Whenever you pick between factions they both have things that make them bastards, so you need to decide which brand of bastardy you prefer.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:20 pm
by Ack
MrPopo wrote:Yeah, the black and grey morality is a hallmark of the games. Whenever you pick between factions they both have things that make them bastards, so you need to decide which brand of bastardy you prefer.


Yep. I ended up genocidal as a result. Too bad, the dwarves weren't bad.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:13 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
I like The Witcher but yeah, that weird rhythm-based combat was never my thing. Just let me do Diablo-clicks, dudes.