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Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:00 pm
by dsheinem
It's been too long since I updated...hope I caught them all :roll:

Games Beaten 2020
Mortal Kombat 11 - PS4
The Force Unleashed II - 360
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom - Wii
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light - 360
Super Fantasy Zone - Genesis
Fable Heroes - 360
Castlevania Bloodlines - Genesis
My Friend Pedro - X1
Super Fantasy Zone - Genesis *new*
Darius - Genesis *new*
Ape Out - PC *new*
Doom Eternal - PS4 *new*
Dead or Alive 6 - PS4 *new*
Plague, Inc. - PC *new*

Total: 14

2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

one sentence blurbs on each:

Super Fantasy Zone - The best game I have played in the series, aside from perhaps the ace 3DS entry/remake.

Darius - A game that deserves to be considered among the best in its genre on the Genesis; it alone should function as a system seller for the Genesis Mini.

Ape Out - Another great Devolver Digital title with cartoonish gore, challenging twitchy gameplay, and inspired funky style vibes.

sentences are too long. going with analogies now...

Doom Eternal - Doom:Doom II::Doom (2016):Doom Eternal

Dead or Alive 6 - Tekken 6:Tekken 7::DOA 5:DOA 6

Plague, Inc. - Living during Cold War:playing Missile Command::Living during COVID-19 Pandemic:playing Plague, Inc.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:59 am
by MrPopo
What is this, the SAT?

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:44 pm
by ElkinFencer10
I know the Definitive Edition was released as one thing, but it was originally a game and an expansion, so that's how I'm counting it.

Games Beaten in 2020 - 17
* denotes a replay

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

February (2 Games Beaten)
2. Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order - Xbox One - February 15
3. Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! - Switch - February 29*

March (10 Games Beaten)
4. Pokemon Shield - Switch - March 1*
5. Doom [1993] - Switch - March 6*
6. SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays - PS4 - March 6
7. Lego DC Super Villains - Switch - March 19
8. Doom II: Hell on Earth - Switch - March 19
9. Doom 3 - Switch - March 20
10. Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil - Switch - March 22
11. Doom 3: The Lost Mission - Switch - March 23
12. Doom 64 - Switch - March 26
13. Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth - Nintendo 64 - March 28

April (4 Games Beaten)
14. Wolfenstein 3D - Steam - April 1
15. Doom Eternal - Xbox One - April 3
16. Age of Empires (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 4
17. Age of Empires: Rise of Rome (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 5

16. Age of Empires (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 4
17. Age of Empires: Rise of Rome (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 5


Age of Empires is a game that always has had and always will have a special place in my heart. It was my first introduction to the real-time strategy genre, and it was my first non-shareware or freeware PC game. I first played the original Age of Empires back in elementary school - I think in the second grade - when my friend, Thomas, had it on his computer (probably a whim-of-the-moment purchase of his dad's). I vividly remember playing it on his dad's laptop on the counter in their kitchen sitting on barstools and being completely enthralled by the ability to build a city, raise an army, and destroy our enemies. That game set me on the path of RTS obsession that has lasted into the present day. Not that I've ever gotten any good at the games, but whatever, they're fun.


Age of Empires II, a sequel that was far superior by pretty much every metric, was definitely more popular and went on to receive both an HD remaster with new content as well as a later UHD remaster with even more new content. When a UHD remaster of the original game was finally announced (sadly without any cool new expansion like AoE2 got), I was obviously ecstatic. I did, however, make myself wait until it went on sale in one of my VERY rare moments of good financial sense. After all, I downloaded the HD remaster of Age of Empires II on day one (in one of my VERY common moments of bad financial sense), so other than nostalgia, there was no pressing need to download the remaster of the original game. That sale finally came (at least the one I noticed) during this COVID-19 pandemic - 50% off on Steam, marked down to $10 from $20. Normally $5 and below is my threshold for buying digital games I probably don't need, but whatever, I'll bite at $10 for the sake of nostalgia.


So this Definitive Edition includes both the five campaigns from the original Age of Empires as well as the five campaigns from the Rise of Rome expansion pack. Visually, they didn't rework the models for everything to the point where it looks like Starcraft II or Halo Wars, but the visuals definitely got a very nice overhaul, and there are three specific parts of the visuals that do deserve extra praise for looking especially outstanding - the water animations, the fire animations, and the destroy building models and animations. They really went above and beyond on those three things specifically, so much so that it almost looks out of place with the rest of the game just how good those look.


It's been so long since I've played the almost-quarter-century old release, so I can't be sure if the audio was actually good then, or if it's nostalgia coloring my memory, but everything sounds as crisp in the remaster as I remember it sounding in the original. Your villagers still say the classic "Rogan?" when you select them, and the priests still chant the famous and heavily memed "Wololo!" when converting an enemy unit. Honestly, "Wololo" and my fond memories of that are half the reason I took the 20+ hours to replay all ten campaigns. Another thing gloriously retained from the original release are the cheat codes. It's worth noting that the cheats do NOT disable achievements (although the achievements are all really easy to get without cheats except for the one that requires winning a ranked match online), but who cares about achievements - I can spawn babies riding tricycles with shotguns or stormtroopers with nuclear-armed rocket launchers at my Town Center! Also worth noting is that Microsoft has integrated Age of Empires's achievements with the Xbox achievement system, so your achievements give you points for your Xbox Live Gamerscore.


The campaigns themselves have always been a bit of an annoyance for me in their pacing. They jump around chronologically. You'll do a campaign taking place in the 300s CE and then the very next campaign is in the 200s BCE. As a history teacher, I know full well that you don't always teach history in a strictly chronological order, but when all of your campaigns (in the second half, anyway) deal with the Roman Empire, I feel like chronology is a good thing to maintain there. At least the campaigns themselves are pretty fun, and they do a good job of talking about the events they're depicting in the instruction section before you start each mission. I also need to give the devs a shout-out for using CE and BCE as opposed to the archaic and inherently sectarian AD and BC. For those who don't know, AD is "Anno Domini" which is Latin for "In the year of the Lord," and BC is "Before Christ." Those are, for reasons that should be obvious, not fit for a secular academic context. Instead, academics use CE for Common Era and BCE for Before Common Era.


All things considered, Age of Empires Definitive Edition is an exemplar of what a remaster should be in my opinion. They don't add much, but they don't take away, either; they give you a game you remember fondly from childhood (or adolescence) but make it prettier and smoother to fit with modern standards. The scenario and campaign creators are kept fully intact, the campaigns are kept intact, and the cheats are kept functional. They've also increased the number of units you can select at one time and the number you can have assigned to a specific hotkey (up to 36 from an original of 8 or 16 if memory serves). It's Age of Empires that you don't need Windows 95 to run well, and it looks great on modern displays. What more could an old school RTS fan ask for?

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:14 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
1. Her Story (iOS)
2. Elminage Original (3DS)
3. Legend of Grimrock (iOS)
4. Silent Bomber (PS1)
5. Crash Bandicoot (PS1)
6. Bust-a-Move 2 Arcade Edition (PS1)
7. Transformers Cybertron Adventures (Wii)
8. Squidlit (Switch)
9. Sydney Hunter & The Curse of the Mayan (Switch)
10. Mega Man Legends (PS1)
11. Revenge of the Bird King (Switch)
12. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (Switch)
13. Gato Roboto (Switch)

Gato Roboto is a brisk, monochrome Metroidvania in which play as a cat piloting a robot suit and, occasionally, other vehicles to help your person after crash landing on an extraterrestrial research facility. The game is incredibly charming, and while its primary inspiration is Super Metroid, the ability to exit your robot suit to explore narrow passageways demonstrates that it was also influenced, a bit, by Blaster Master. Most importantly, the game “feels” more like Super Metroid than any game since, well, Super Metroid. Movement is quick, and the game world can be navigated very quickly. Backtracking for upgrades and equipment is both rewarding and painless. The boss fights are intense, but not overly challenging. Save points are a bit too frequent, but the game remains challenging. All of your abilities are consistently useful, and the game throws obstacles at you encouraging you to test their limits, especially if you are hunting down optional upgrades. Everything about the game just works, and while it’s not purr-fect (I couldn’t resist) and a bit short, I enjoyed the game tremendously. Highly recommended.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:29 am
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
5. Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter: Balance of Power - PC
6. Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - PC
7. Phoenix Point - PC
8. Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter - PC
9. Descent II - PC
10. Inbento - Switch
11. Ori and the Will of the Wisps - XB1
12. Doom Eternal - PC
13. Serious Sam 2 - PC
14. Black Mesa - PC
15. Descent 3 - PC
16. Darksiders II - PC
17. Resident Evil 3 (2020) - PC
18. Overload - PC

Overload is a spiritual successor to Descent, done by the two founders of Parallax Software, the company that made Descent. So going in I knew I was in good hands. And I was not disappointed. Overload hits all the great parts of Descent while updating it with modern technology and some improved design sensibilities. This is the Descent 3 we should have gotten.

The premise of the game is that the colonies spread through the moons of Saturn have suddenly started transmitting distress signals. You are sent in to investigate and find that their mining robots have gone insane and started killing everyone. You're going to need to take them out by overloading the reactors of each base and then escaping before you get caught in the explosion. You also are going to want to rescue people in cryotubes so they aren't caught in the explosion either. As you go through you'll pick up audio logs from people involved in the incidents and slowly unravel the deeper reason behind the killer robots.

Now, let's talk about how the game iterates on Descent's design. The first thing is that they did a major pass on all the weapons. Like Descent 1 the weapons are all fairly distinct from each other, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Five of the primary weapons use energy, while three of them use a shared ammo resource (with different ones using it at different rates). You'll want to find the ones that feel best for your playstyle. But there's more; as you go through the game you'll find unlock points which can be used in between missions to upgrade your weaponry and ship stats. The first upgrade is a general "do this better", while the second upgrade (which needs super upgrade points) for your weapons give you a choice between two options. One of them tends to be a "do this even better", while the other will make a change to how the weapon feels. For example, the basic pulsar (the laser from Descent) can either have upgraded damage and rate of fire, or can go to a four shot which doubles the damage (though it slightly reduces fire rate).

The next thing you'll find is how they approached the level design. The game eases you into the twisting and turning levels; while you never just have straight corridors, the early levels tend to stay on a basic plane with a bit of multi level stuff, and it's not until the later levels that you do a lot more vertical movement. This helps ease people into things, but the later levels are just as interesting as the old games. Another thing the game does is make fantastic use of lighting. All lighting is dynamic, which makes the tunnels dark and claustrophobic. There are two general types of terrain; base and tunnels. The base ones are blocky and look manufactured; they have an abundance of lights. The tunnels are naturalistic looking, that look like they were bored out by machines. They have more twists and turns, but they tend to only have a handful of maintenance lights. Fortunately, you can see enemies by their glowing engines and eyes, and you have flares. The whole thing is very atmospheric. And the map is just as good as the original two games; it comes up instantly and doesn't try to map all the textures like the Descent 3 map does, so you can focus on the walls rather than getting lost in the terrain elements.

And the last thing worth mentioning is the game's three boss fights aren't bullshit. They have a lot more health than a regular robot, and a lot more firepower, but it isn't a bunch of high damage homing weapons and they don't arbitrarily cloak and teleport around. While this can make them fairly easy if you have a good amount of ordinance it still requires you to keep moving so you don't take a full broadside. It feels like it rewards you for having gotten decent at flying your ship, whereas Descent 1 and 2 assumed you were a master and balanced accordingly.

Overload is a must play for fans of Descent.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:13 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)

9. Tenchi wo Kurau II (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
10. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands (PC)(RPG)

11. Lichdom: Battlemage (PC)(FPS/RPG Hybrid)
12. Star Wars: Republic Commando (PC)(FPS)

13. DOOM 64 (PC)(FPS)
14. Half Dead 2 (PC)(Adventure)

15. Powered Gear - Strategic Variant Armor Equipment (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
16. Torchlight II (PC)(RPG)

17. Battle Circuit [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
18. Hard Reset Redux (PC)(FPS)

19. The Stanley Parable (PC)(Walking Sim)

I've only played a handful of walking sims. It's not that I don't think they're interesting, but one issue I tend to find is that they're quite limited in what they can do, so justifying that I spend a certain amount of money on them for what generally entails one or two playthroughs with little variation means that I just don't find the experience worth the cost. There have been certain instances where experiences have been particularly interesting and rewarding, and I admit that in those instances, I've had a wonderful time. Don't besmirch the genre, for when it works, it can hit with an emotional weight that most games never muster.

The Stanley Parable doesn't have this problem, because The Stanley Parable wants you to follow the story...and then break the story, explore it for its twists and turns, see how we can split it off. How does the narrator react when we do X? How about Y? Because The Stanley Parable is about choice, sometimes giving you more choices than you realize, and sometimes claiming you have choice when in fact the only options are to do something or simply stand there and not play.

Here's the deal: you are Stanley. You are stuck in a boring job. One day, everyone vanishes, and you find yourself with a narrator as you set off to find out whatever you can about your office...or not. You could simply not leave your office. That is an option. You could listen to the narrator; that too is an option. You could buck the narrator and do your own thing. You could explore and find "bugs" that the game intentionally left in place or quirky secrets. You could hang out in a broom closet. Every now and again, the game will throw a curveball at you too, something small like a visual change, papers scattered on the floor, or something like a hall layout being radically different.

All to come back to your choices largely coming down to YES, NO, or DON'T PLAY, though I admit that is sometimes not really an option either.

Hell, The Stanley Parable does a better job with handling choice and destiny in a limited video game world than BioShock ever did. It also offers up a narrator who may love you, or hate you, or be amazed by you, or saddened by you depending on your choices.

In short, The Stanley Parable is a video game. I spent money on it. It was worth it.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:30 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Great review, Ack. I’ve never played a walking simulator before. Which ones have you enjoyed?

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:45 pm
by Ack
prfsnl_gmr wrote:Great review, Ack. I’ve never played a walking simulator before. Which ones have you enjoyed?

Dear Esther was the first one I ever tried, and it left me with an appreciation for what these can be and how you can choose to interpret their stories. I would suggest that one, preferably the Landmark Edition version for the commentary. Dear Esther is generally considered the starting point for the walking sim genre, and the devs share their thoughts on how it shaped things as well as the design choices they made.

I enjoyed Thirty Flights of Loving when I played it years ago, but I had also enjoyed it's predecessor, Gravity Bone. There are others that I have yet to try, such as Gone Home and Firewatch, which interest me.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:40 pm
by retrosportsgamer
I'll second Dear Esther: Landmark Edition. I finished that game a couple years back and wrote about it in the games beaten thread.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:58 pm
by Note
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) [3x]
5. Beyond Oasis (Sega Genesis Mini)
6. Super Double Dragon (Super Nintendo)
7. Shenmue II (Sega Dreamcast)
8. Shining Force 2 (Sega Genesis)
9. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (Super Nintendo)
10. ActRaiser (Super Nintendo)
11. OutRun (Sega Genesis)
12. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (Sega Genesis)


13. Captain Commando (Super Nintendo)

I felt like playing some beat 'em ups again the past few nights, as I've been playing mostly platformers the past month. I was going through some SNES titles and I finally tried Captain Commando. This is a game that I wasn't aware of back when it was originally released, and I had never played it or seen it in the arcade when I was young. I heard good things about it years ago, and I'm glad I finally gave it a shot, as it lived up to expectations.

The controls are a little stiff, but overall they seem pretty similar to Final Fight, so if you're familiar with that, then you should be at home here. I like the variety in this game, as the levels are all totally varied, the characters you can choose from are weird as hell, and you face a lot of strange enemies too. Capcom did a good job of mixing things up, staying away from the genre's cliches or repetitiveness, and throwing in some bizarre elements. The characters also have a nice amount of moves to utilize, with a variety of combos, throws, dash attacks, and jump attacks. You're also able to find ranged weapons throughout, but I found it odd that some of the weapons you find do less damage than your regular attacks. IMO, the music is only mediocre, and not as good as some other games in the genre, but it's not terrible or offensive.

Overall, this was a really fun playthrough, and I'd definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a different beat 'em up. I'd like to sit down and play it in co-op with a friend, as it'd be even better that way.