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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:05 am

1. Her Story (iOS)
2. Elminage Original (3DS)
3. Legend of Grimrock (iOS)
4. Silent Bomber (PS1)
5. Crash Bandicoot (PS1)

Crash Bandicoot is an early 3D platformer starring a character that was briefly Sony’s mascot. Like a lot of early 3D platformers, it’s a little rough around the edges, but it is still a surprisingly good time. Crash controls well, and the level design echoes 2D platformers (which, I suppose, were the primary reference points during the game’s development). I was pleasantly surprised by the game’s difficulty, finding it much more challenging than I anticipated. Moreover, the game still looks good, with a relatively smooth frame-rate, lots of color, and decent textures. The game has a few secrets, but to obtain them you have to make “perfect” runs of the game’s levels, which is kind of tedious. The password/save system is also deeply flawed; you can only save your game on certain levels and, then, only if you find and complete a short bonus level. Super Mario World had a better save system than that; so, I’m not sure what Naughty Dog was thinking there. Otherwise, though, the game is a lot of fun, and I somewhat regret not playing it earlier.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:05 am

I played Crash around launch but not much since. I recall it getting really hard really fast.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:38 pm

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2020!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Pikmin 2 (GCN)
2. Banjo-Tooie (N64)
3. Contra: Hard Corps (GEN)
4. Super Baseball Simulator 1,000 (SNES)

5. Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers 2 (NES)


I beat Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers 2 on the Nintendo Entertainment System this afternoon!

Growing up, I remember loving the Ducktales and Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers cartoon shows. I have fond memories of watching them after school every day. Also, I have fond memories of playing the NES games. In the last couple of years, I have been able to find and play through them. Of course, I started with the classics as I first played through the originals. I preferred Ducktales just because it is so iconic, but Chip & Dale was really good as well. After a long while and more dollars than normal, I was finally able to buy their sequels. Thanks to my Random Fortune Cookie, I was able to play the Chip & Dale sequel first to see what it was like.

The only thing I knew about the game going into it was the title. I had only seen a GDQ run of it many years ago, but I didn't remember hardly any details about the game. So, I mostly went into this game completely blind. I would say the major difference between Chip & Dale 1 and 2 would be that you cannot choose your path in Chip & Dale 2. The game is much more linear with only a small choice of the order in stages later on in the game. Also, the story is much larger as each time you beat a level, you are awarded with a cut-scene. Besides that, the same classic and fantastic game play is here. There were jumps that I thought I had made, but the game thought otherwise. Besides that, I had no real complains about the controls or how the game feels. It is a very solid playing game. The music sounds fantastic as some of the tracks were very catchy. The graphics seemed to get a slight overhaul, but nothing too shocking. The game isn't too hard, though I would say the first game is much easier. In the sequel, there are limited continues and I died several times on bosses. They don't provide a red ball like last time, so you have to dodge their attacks and pick up the weapons they left behind to damage them. But, the patterns are easily recognizable and none of them felt too cheap.

Overall, I really enjoyed myself with Chip & Dale 2. It's not a long game as I beat it in a little over an hour. But, it plays really smooth, has some great stages and music and still has that Capcom feel to it. It is a bit expensive nowadays, but I thought it was worth the price. It's actually quite good and I'd recommend it to anyone that loves NES platformers.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:08 am

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
5. Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter: Balance of Power - PC
6. Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - PC
7. Phoenix Point - PC

Phoenix Point is a new X-Com-esque game from Julian Gollop, one of the original creators of X-Com. While XCOM was X-Com if we made it now, and Xenonauts was X-Com with slightly better graphics, Phoenix Point takes several cues from X-Com Apocalypse and continues the idea of iterating on the base idea with its own twists. It ends up having some good ideas and some well intentioned ideas (even if the execution falls short). It's biggest sin is that the optimal play patterns can run counter to what players are used to, and the game expects you to utilize all the most broken shit you can.

The premise is that a new virus, called the Pandoravirus, has started appearing in the oceans and mutating life on Earth. Many people are also receiving compulsions to walk into the sea, and they come back as horrific mutated shock troopers. It's clear this infestation is spreading, and something needs to be done or humanity will be consumed. Enter Phoenix Point, the shadowy organization that has existed for decades studying the early hints of this virus, before it became a full outbreak. But you aren't the only ones who hope to help humanity; out of the chaos of societal breakdown three factions have arisen. New Jericho is your standard "keep humanity pure" sci fi conservative, the Disciples of Anu are your standard "embrace the winds of change" sci fi cult, and Synedrion is the "can't we all get along?" middle group, who sees each side as going too far with their plan to save humanity and strike to find a middle path. You will need to interact with these factions as you proceed, as they are the only source of new recruits and are a source of much of your technology upgrades. But the factions don't like each other, so at some point you'll have to choose one over the others. Or you can say screw it, they all suck, and once you've bled them for tech forge your own path.

The strategic lair ends up being a mix between X-Com and XCOM 2. You start with one base that you can build facilities in like X-Com, but the only way to get more is to discover mothballed old bases. This is where the more XCOM 2 aspects come in; you spend a lot of time having your dropship fly from node to node on the map, scanning them to uncover their secrets. Much of the time they are towns for the other factions, and there you can transact business like hiring new soldiers (including their unique classes), trading resources, or engaging in sabotage and stealing missions. You only need to head back to base when you want to rest your troops; they lose energy when they go on successive combat missions, and if they take damage they need to go back to base to heal. Managing exploring the world is a major part of the strategic lair. Sometimes you will be ambushed by the creatures, which are a timed defense followed by running to the extraction point, while other times you will have the option to drop down and secure resources the creatures are trying to destroy. Towns can come under attack (including your bases), and while sometimes they will fight off the attackers you usually have to step in and help. This is the best way to build up your reputation with the factions (though when it's faction on faction violence you'll take a corresponding hit with the invading faction). And when you uncover Pandoran strongholds assaulting them will help take the pressure off the attacks and push back the doom timer. Oh yeah, like XCOM 2 there is a doom timer, though this one is extremely generous, and not really worth worrying about.

The tactical lair is mostly XCOM, but with one major twist; instead of you having 2 AP which can be used to fire a regular weapon, move a distance, use an item, and so on, instead you have 4 AP, but your standard damage dealing actions take 2AP. This gives the game more flexibility with the action economy; heavy weapons are now 3 AP, giving you 1 AP to reposition as needed, while things like reloading only take 1 AP. Another quality of life improvement is that when you move you use portions of an AP, so you can much more easily inch your way around cover, rather than committing. And the game even stops your move when you have an enemy come into view. No more "oops, I ran into a nest of baddies because of the fog of war".

Two other things of note are specifically in the combat. The first is that the game puts a lot more focus on the non-shooting abilities of your soldiers. As your soldiers level you gain a lot of activatable abilities that are governed by spending a shared resource; each ability costs some amount of will points, which are also gained or lost when enemy units or friendly units die. Your will points also govern your panic; if you lose will while at 0 will points you panic. So abilities are both more spammable than their equivalents in XCOM (which are cooldown based) and more risk/reward, as burning through can leave you vulnerable to a bad panic session. The other thing to note is that instead of the raw calculation for to-hit numbers that XCOM uses, Phoenix Point brings back the firing cone ballistics of X-Com. So when you take a firing stance you get a Valkyria Chronicles-style aiming reticle, with a large circle for "all the shots will fall in this circle", and you get to decide how to take your shot. Now, the game will default to center of mass (or visible mass), but you can go for fine aiming when you want to take down specific body parts, which is a pretty major component of the game. Taking out a creature's head can shut off special abilities, its arm can shut off the ability to use its weapon, and its leg will reduce its movement ability. You are also vulnerable to these effects. These changes mean that cover is not nearly as advantageous as it is in XCOM; now the protection cover provides is literally whatever piece blocks a shot before it hits you if that's the trajectory the projectile takes, and cover is pretty easily destroyed (again, hearkening back to X-Com).

Now, to go into the parts where the game falls short. One feature of the game is an adaptive difficulty; the enemy troops get stronger the more you fight them. This is presented as the enemy evolving in response to you shooting them, but it pretty much only manifests in increasing health and armor. The thing is, unlike X-Com and XCOM there isn't nearly the sense of tech progression in your weapons and armor. The faction weapons, while all upgrades to your basic gear, are only minor upgrades, and the end game only provides an enhanced sniper rifle that, while the best sniper rifle, is only another 10-15% damage increase over what you were using. The bulk of your increased lethality is as your soldiers level and gain abilities that can effectively multiply their damage output in the right circumstances. So the problem is that the optimal play pattern is to avoid a lot of combat. Town defenses do not trigger the enemy powering up, so you still want to do those (as well as story missions), but all the "hey, let's go get resources" are traps; they only make things harder for you. The story missions have enemy levels either fixed or at a min level, so you can have a situation where the enemies have 300 HP in a story mission, then in the subsequent random base defense they have 120 HP.

I ended up keeping my main troops at home to passively level from training centers while sending our my max stealth troops to do my information gathering, then pull them out to do story missions. It's a weird play pattern compared to the starndard X-Com and XCOM "definitely do the missions because you get penalized if you don't and rewarded if you do." Here you mostly get penalized for doing missions (by things getting harder and you not really getting material rewards). The fact that the bulk of the tech comes from the factions adds to the lack of reward; while in XCOM you're excited to fight a new enemy because you can research their drops for an upgrade, here the upgrades from the monsters themselves are a 10% damage bonus to that monster type for capturing a live monster and vivisecting it. Allying with the factions or stealing tech from them are the real way you get ahead.

Additionally, the final mission is mostly a pain; you have a giant fight with 12+ enemies, including two bosses and several mortar enemies that spam shit on you, so if you haven't gotten used to some sort of game breaking combo (either abusing stealth or wiping out hordes in a single turn) then your lack of numbers compared to them are going to screw you. And then once you're past that there is an HP sponge boss with a nasty attack (though you can negate it with the right class) that infinitely spawns adds and has limited vulnerability windows. It feels like the devs realized they had created a bunch of gamebreaking stuff and force you to rely on it, rather than rebalancing everything.

On the whole, it's a decent strategy game that still needs a few balance patches to really become something great. But I like that it has its own ideas and wants to try and see how they do.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:56 pm

Wow, I have been REALLY lazy this year...

Games Beaten in 2020 - 2
* denotes a replay

January (1 Game Beaten)
1. Pokemon Sun - 3DS - January 14*

February (1 Game Beaten)
2. Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order - Xbox One - February 15

2. Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order - Xbox One - February 15

Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order is pretty much the first AAA purely single-player Star Wars game that we’ve gotten in quite a while thanks to EA’s “gamers don’t want single-player experiences” bullshit. Fortunately, their heads took a quick peek out of their asses and gave Star Wars fans what we’ve been clamoring for for years - an engaging Star Wars story with well-developed characters and the opportunity to murder things with a laser sword. Between the outcry about the lack of the single-player that the Battlefront reboot got and the exceptional sales of Fallen Order - more than 8 million copies sold in two months - I’m hoping that EA has finally started to realize that Star Wars fans want solid stories more than hollow online arenas. Or at least I do, and I’m always right.


Fallen Order takes place between the end of Revenge of the Sith and the start of A New Hope shortly after the Jedi Purge initiated by Order 66 as the Empire is first flexing its control over a war-weary galaxy. The game follows the Jedi Cal Kestis as he hides from the Imperial Inquisition (no one expects the Imperial Inquisition!). Throughout your journey, you travel to an explore five planets and face off against Sith-trained Jedi hunters and mafia bounty hunters like as you follow the clues left behind by Jedi Master Endo Cordova to find the key to rebuilding the Jedi Order.


With regards to gameplay, Fallen Order felt to me a lot like a cross between Batman: Arkham Asylum and Dark Souls. While it’s definitely a LOT more forgiving than Dark Souls even on the harder difficulties, I’ve taken to calling it Star Souls in jest because of how reminiscent the focus on timing blocks and parries is. The various difficulty levels make it a mercifully approachable game, but even so, even the lowest difficulty setting needs a bit more than simple brute force. I, naturally, played it on Bitch Mode because I generally play games - especially Star Wars game - for a God-complex power trip, not for personal challenge, but fighting Purge Troopers still required actual blocking and dodging. By no means is that a complaint, mind you, as the combat is EXTREMELY well-crafted in this game especially with the lightsaber combat options; you can fight with a regular single-bladed lightsaber, a double-bladed lightsaber like Darth Maul, or perform a special attack with your weapon broken into two single-bladed lightsabers.


As far as length goes, it’s a pretty average length for a single-player game. All things considered, I’d estimate it’s a roughly 15 to 20 hours experience for most folks depending on how much time you spend exploring each planet. There are a lot of outfits, ship paint jobs, and lightsaber customizations to find in the world and unlock, so there’s definitely incentive to explore for those who like a good collectathon. As is usually the case with me, I took the time to find about half of the world’s unlockables before I got bored and went to kill more things, but the lightsaber customization is definitely a nice touch.


Jedi: Fallen Order is a definite must-play for Star Wars fans, and I’d make it a strong recommendation for action game fans who don’t care for Star Wars. Attached IP aside, it’s an extremely entertaining and rewarding game. Tragically, it skipped Switch, but with support for the improvements offered by PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, it’s a gorgeous space-romp for folks with 4K set-ups. Whether you play on console or on PC, Fallen Order will definitely scratch your space-samurai itch.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:34 pm

1. Streets of Rage 2 (Sega Genesis Mini)
2. The Ninja Warriors (Super Nintendo) [3x]
3. TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (Super Nintendo)
4. Golden Axe (Sega Genesis Mini) [2x]
5. Beyond Oasis (Sega Genesis Mini)
6. Super Double Dragon (Super Nintendo)
7. Shenmue II (Sega Dreamcast)


8. Shining Force 2 (Sega Genesis)

Continuing with my goal of finishing games I started in 2019, I turned back to my Shining Force 2 save. I got pretty far into the game last year, with only about 10 battles and one (time consuming) side quest to complete. I consider Shining Force 2 to be my favorite RPG. When I was young, my neighbor had this game and we would take turns playing the battles -- great times. If I remember correctly, this is the first game I purchased on eBay when I made an account back in 2000. I finished the game a few other times but had not played through to the end since the early 2000's, so it was great to get through the game again.

Regarding the gameplay, I think the battles are extremely fun, and the item and equipment management isn't overbearing in comparison to other strategy RPGs with a large roster. Also, while Shining Force 1 is more linear and the player is only able to explore certain areas since the game is divided into chapters, Shining Force 2 is a bit more open, giving the player freedom to explore. The addition of hidden characters, multiple promotion classes for certain characters, and the ability to field a team from a large selection gives the game a lot of replay value.

I think graphics are impressive for a 16-bit game, and the animated scenes when a character attacks during the battles still look superb IMO. I look forward to seeing how certain characters and enemies appear in this view, and it's cool to see how certain environments are represented in these battle scenes too. I really enjoy the soundtrack to this game too -- the music is a bit more upbeat than the usual RPG offering, but I think it fits the game well. Also, there are some more mellow songs that sound great, such as the music during Mitula's Shrine.

Also, I have to give the character design a lot of credit. For a strategy game with a large roster of characters, I think the creators did a great job of mixing it up. You have the ability to control and fight with all types of creatures such as centaurs, birdmen, dwarves, robots, scientists in vehicles, wizards, archers, wolfmen, tortoises, and golems. It's a really weird and fun mix of character types, and lets the player customize the team to their liking.

Overall, this is still one of my favorite games and I highly recommend it, especially for anyone with interest in RPGs or strategy games, that may have overlooked it previously. The battle system is easy enough to get the hang of, but fun and deep enough to get the player wanting more. This is still my favorite RPG, and one of the best games on the Sega Genesis. I look forward to playing through it again in another few years!
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Flake Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:22 am

Shovel Knight: King of Cards (Switch)
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (Switch)
Super Metroid (Switch)

Megaman X (Switch)
Nekketsu Highschool Dodgeball Club (Switch)
Super Dodgeball

Look at me posting 3 games at once! Not going to bother with a blurb on Megaman X except to say that it doesn't work very well with the SNES Switch controller. Maybe it is my imagination or maybe my house has a lot of bluetooth frequency overlap but controls felt sluggish, like there was a tangible delay in the inputs registering. The Switch Pro Controller was much better even if it was less authentic. Shame.

Of way more interest is Nekketsu Highschool Dodgeball Club and Super Dodgeball. I played Super Dodgeball back in the day and my interest in why it and River City Ransom used the same character sprites led me to learning about the Kunio-Kun series. The new Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun collection that just landed on Switch has been my first chance to play the original Famicom versions. I talked about this with the Slack Pack a bit but the differences between Super Dodgeball and Nekketsu HS Dodgeball Club are both interesting and hilarious.

First of all, the difficulty level of Nekketsu Dodgeball is totally different. This is a Megaman 2 situation - Super Dodgeball is way easier. You have more health, the harder teams are shuffled to earlier seeds defaeating what little difficulty curve there could have been, and it seems like the input buffer for super moves is much more forgiving. I was able to reliably use Kunio...I mean, Sam's, murder rage ball over and over again.

Then there are the funny "only in the 80's" changes. Like team USSR being moved from an early seed in Nekketsu Dodgeball to being the big bad "final" team in Super Dodgeball. Total Cold War era move and I totes approve. Something that is equally silly but less nostalgic is the white-washing of the game. You still play as the Nekketsu team but you're changed to be Team USA, the characters pupils are changed to be green, and the names are all swapped with generic boring Sams and Steves. I know they did the same thing in River City ransom but it's not as charming here.

One last thing I love is that with the USSR made to be final bad guys instead of Team USA, the true 'final' team being the Team USA Shadowcorps but playing in the USSR makes the whole thing so completely awesome - like Joseph Stalin cloned the USA dodgeball team and deployed them as his final directive to win over the West.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Sarge Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:54 pm

Super Dodge Ball is amazing. I still maintain the NES game is the best of that particular sub-series. I also understand the changes for the US market - most players would want to play as US team.

Also, Team USSR's music is freaking awesome. It's absolutely one of my favorite tunes in the entire game, and I love how it even changes the instrumentation a bit on the third loop. It's quite ornate for an NES chiptune. (Russian asset confirmed. ;))
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:09 pm

Sarge wrote:Super Dodge Ball is amazing. I still maintain the NES game is the best of that particular sub-series. I also understand the changes for the US market - most players would want to play as US team.

Also, Team USSR's music is freaking awesome. It's absolutely one of my favorite tunes in the entire game, and I love how it even changes the instrumentation a bit on the third loop. It's quite ornate for an NES chiptune. (Russian asset confirmed. ;))


You’ve been kompromised, komrade Sarge. We’ve got to get you out of there!
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:21 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2020 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019
* indicates a repeat

1. Invisigun Reloaded (Switch)
2. Human: Fall Flat (Switch)
3. Shantae: The Pirate's Curse (3DS)
4. Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (PC)
5. Splatterhouse (PS3) *
6. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
7. Tokyo Jungle (PS3)
8. Pictobits (DSiWare)
9. Puzzle Quest: The Legend Reborn (Switch)
10. WarioWare Gold (3DS)
11. Disaster: Day of Crisis (Wii)

12. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (Xbone)

I heard Jim Sterling praising this game a few months back, and I stuck it on my list of games to look out for to try and get cheap during my stay in the States. Luckily for me I was able to find it, and I finally got around to playing it now~. I knew it was a bit like GTA, but other than that I really didn't know much more about it. I was very pleasantly surprised with what I found. It took me around 40 hours to get all the collectibles and do all the missions/jobs/tasks in the main game as well as the two smaller DLCs part of the main story.

Sleeping Dogs is the story of Wei Shen: A cop who was raised in Hong Kong, moved to San Francisco as a young boy, and has now returned to go undercover in the triads just like he did back in San Francisco. The cast is pretty huge, so there sadly isn't a ton of character development into anyone other than Wei and a couple of his friends, but it never felt like it was outright wasting my time with its story. It even has a fair number of good, plot-involved (or as involved as any of the side characters are, anyhow) female characters, which is a nice change of pace for mafia-centric video game stories. One of my personal favorite smaller quests is when you're following one of the girls you're dating for cheating on you, and when you confront her she calls you out on your double standards for sleeping around, storms off, and then that's the end of the mission XD. Another cool thing is that a fair bit of the dialogue is in Cantonese (with some characters speaking entirely in Cantonese), although that does mean that you'll need to read some subtitles (although, also quite cool, you can turn subs off completely if you want).

The story is just as much about Wei's decent into making his infiltration personal rather than professional, but it's not a story that has a ton to say, ultimately. It deals with some very interesting themes, especially about how difficult it can be to have grown up between two places (feeling like an ex-pat in your own country), but it sadly never does much with them. There's certainly an aspect of what feels like missed potential with its narrative, but it still succeeds well in being an entertaining gangster drama that is very often funny but also occasionally horrifically brutal and violent with its portrayal of the dangers that a life of crime can lead to (this is not a game for those with weak stomachs).

Mechanically, Sleeping Dogs does a good job of fitting into a role between Yakuza and GTA, albeit not a perfect one. It's got driving I found tons of fun, and the missions and side missions that these sorts of games tend to have. It's got a good variety of mission styles that never got boring for me. You can also buy clothes to get certain passive perks (more XP, better damage, higher health), and also some very silly Squenix-themed super outfits if you want to do the game dressed as Adam Jenson X3. The different kinds of XP are interesting, as they reward you for doing different but not mutually exclusive things. You have Face XP (which is gotten for doing non-story missions, generally), but then you have Triad XP and Police XP, and each kind of XP allows for upgrades in entirely different upgrade paths. Triad XP is gotten for getting kills or doing combat in interesting and varied ways, while Police XP actually starts out maxed and you lose from your total when you do non-cop-ish things (like property damage or harming innocents). It incentivizes playing in a safe but brutal kind of way that I found very enjoyable and fits the games themes well.

It has a fair bit of gunplay, but the main focus is on an Arkham-style melee combat system. There aren't a ton of enemy types, but the challenge in combat generally comes from just keeping on top of the numbers around you. For people who've played a ton of games with that style of combat, they might find it a bit easy, but it was always just challenging enough for me. The gunplay is a bit more meh. There's a lot more in the later game than the early game as the narrative heats up, but a lot of the guns aren't that interesting to use, and I often found myself just looking for a pistol instead of a shotgun or a rifle because the pistols were so much more accurate and one headshot kills every enemy. Now, this is Hong Kong, so guns themselves are pretty rare to find outside of missions, so you have no inventory with which to hold a gun (you can stow a pistol in your belt, but even something like fast travling via a taxi will take that from you). They tried to balanced their melee-focused combat with their gunplay that a gangster story usually has and didn't quite hit the mark. The gunplay isn't bad, per se, but it's unremarkable to the point that I kinda wish they'd just leaned harder into making the (already reasonably move-rich) melee system more involved.

The presentation is quite nice, but you can tell it's a remaster. Hong Kong is pretty big, but pretty obviously not as large as the actual city. The environments are pretty and the remaster has treated them very well. Hong Kong is a colorful, beautiful city that comes alive in a way that looks fantastic for what's effectively an up-res'd last-gen game. What the remaster hasn't treated so well are the character models, whose lip movements especially can look, ironically enough, like a bad English dub at times with how they don't quite seem to sync up with what's being said. The music selection is good for missions, but the car radio stuff is less than stellar (at least from how I can remember enjoying other, similar game's radio selections). What I did LOVE about the music is not only the karaoke minigame (where the voice actor for Wei is actually singing songs like Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Take On Me), but they actually made original songs for the game's in-universe pop idol. I love when games go that little extra step to make their worlds feel more alive ^w^

Regarding the two DLCs in the main story, that's Wheels of Fury and The Zodiac Tournament. Wheels of Fury is a fun diversion to get yourself a super car among super cars. It's a really fun set of missions to get through (especially the first one) to get a nearly indestructible, super fast EMP-enabled car with retractable mounted gun turrets XD. The game's aesthetic and presentation already lean into a sort of Hong Kong action movie-style, but The Zodiac Tournament cranks that up to 11. Complete with its own opening credits crawl (totally separate from the main game's) and film-grain effect, it's meant to be a campy, old action movie about a bunch of martial arts experts from around the world all brought to one island to fight for tons of cash by a crazed drunken master! It's mostly just some fairly difficult melee fights, but it rocks its theme so hard that it's a good time despite the relatively unremarkable mission design.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. If you are a fan of GTA-style open world games, this is absolutely one not to pass up. It was really cool seeing a game in that style that takes place in such a different setting, despite the narrative shortcomings. It's not mechanically perfect, but it's really solid in all the ways that matter. It's a damn shame that we'll almost certainly never get another one, because with some more polishing, Sleeping Dogs could've been an all-time great in the genre instead of just another fantastic entry.
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