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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:57 am

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)
14. Kamiko (Switch)
15. Night Slashers (Arcade)
16. Subsurface Circular (Switch)


Night Slashers is an extremely corny Data East beat ‘em up in which you beat various monsters, mutants, and zombies until they explode in a shower of blood and guts. I played through it with my eight-year-old sone, and we had a blast. The game is both intentionally and unintentionally hilarious, and the gameplay is remarkably deep with multiple players. (That is, two players can perform moves, such as two-person throws, combinations, etc., and I suspect two or three skilled players could absolutely rock this game.) We’re still chuckling about it, and I suspect we’ll play through it again relatively soon.

Subsurface Circular is a text-based adventure game by Mike Bithell in which you play an android detective investigating the disappearances of another androids. It looks great, and it features some solid puzzles, writing, and world building. You can also beat it in about an hour and a half; so, it doesn’t wear out its welcome. It didn’t blow my mind or anything, but it’s a fun little narrative experience I don’t hesitate to recommend.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:46 am

I'm surprised by how much I liked Night Slashers. The aesthetics really sell the game; it's so corny and amusing.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:58 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:I'm surprised by how much I liked Night Slashers. The aesthetics really sell the game; it's so corny and amusing.


It is! I love how they drive the sketchiest brown striped conversion van in the world through a horde of zombies at the very beginning of the game, crashing it into a hospital and throwing off their coats before starting to beat zombies to a literal bloody pulp with their bare hands. (That first level, by the way, has so many great set pieces. It may be one of the best first levels in any beat ‘em up.)

The garbled voice samples are also glorious. The guy with the robot arms and blond perm - seriously - yells, “Time to clean it up!” at the beginning of the level before making a HUGE mess by spraying zombie and mutant viscera everywhere. (Our best guess, based on the ending, where he alludes to making money by killing monsters, is that he is, in fact, a cyborg janitor who gets paid to clean up all the blood and guts on the back end. He apparently needs the money to feed his crippling gambling addiction.) For the last two days, my children and I have been giving it our best impression before embarking on tasks like cleaning up from dinner or folding laundry. (I also yelled, “I destroyed the AAAALLLLLL!” while shaking my arms in the air after finishing a basket of laundry the other day. My children laughed uproariously. My wife rolled her eyes.)
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:02 am

Prfsnl, were you playing the emulated Night Slashers on the Switch or some other way? I've heard the Switch version that was out up has swapped controls.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:08 pm

I played it on the Switch. The controls were just fine, and I didn’t notice them being off in any way.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:13 pm

I think "swapped controls" is a Data East staple. Dunno if I'd even notice that in a beat 'em up, as compared to a B-jump/A-attack platformer.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:39 pm

In that case, I may just wishlist this and look into picking it up. It's been on my radar, but I wasn't sure whether I wanted to pull the trigger.
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Thu Apr 16, 2020 1:01 am

1. Streets of Rage 2 (GEN)
2. The Ninja Warriors (SNES) [3x]
3. TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)
4. Golden Axe (GEN) [3x]
5. Beyond Oasis (GEN)
6. Super Double Dragon (SNES)
7. Shenmue II (DC)
8. Shining Force 2 (GEN)
9. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
10. ActRaiser (SNES)
11. OutRun (GEN)
12. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (GEN)
13. Captain Commando (SNES)
14. The Pirates of Dark Water (SNES)
15. Final Fight (SNES)
16. Gradius III (SNES)

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17. Super R-Type (SNES)

After finishing Gradius III the other night, I was in the mood to sit down with another SNES shmup and thought I'd give this another try. I did briefly play this game when I was younger and revisited it and got through the first few levels earlier in the year. I'm familiar with the R-Type series and aware of the earlier port on the Master System and TurboGrafx-16, but this title was my first introduction to the series in the early 90's. To give myself a chance, I played it on the easy setting.

Regarding the graphics, I think this game looks good for it's time. The ship sprite is a bit larger but it looks fairly detailed, and it has a variety of enemies. Some of the enemies also resemble robots, and some look more like something from the movie Alien. Also, the boss sprites are pretty impressive in this game. I also found Stage 4 particularly good looking, as you are flying alongside a large enemy ship throughout the whole level and have to take down the ship's defenses. It's a cool concept for a level in a shmup.

The soundtrack to the game is awesome, some of the music reminds me of something you might hear in an 80's anime soundtrack. And some of the level's tracks have almost a jazz feel to them. I really enjoyed the music in this game, especially the soundtracks for the first level and third level.

Gameplay wise, the game is a bit slower paced and methodical in comparison to Gradius III. And just like that game, this is another title that suffers from tremendous slowdown depending on how many enemies are onscreen or your ship's current actions (firing, charging). I noticed in certain areas of the game, if I would be repeatedly using my normal shot then the game would be slowed down, but if I was charging my blast shot and not firing, the game would be running at full speed. I found this to be disorienting, and it felt like having to figure out two different patterns for that section, depending on what was going on. Another issue I have with the game is the choice to not include checkpoints throughout the level or at boss battles. This makes an already tough game pretty brutal. I suppose this choice was made because of how short the game is, but I find it to be unnecessary. On a positive note, I found the force bit to be a cool gameplay mechanic. It's nice to have an extra weapon that also doubles as protection, and can be tossed to other sections of the screen to wipeout specific enemies.

Overall, I also really enjoyed Super R-Type and recommend checking it out if you're looking to try out shmups on this console. I'd like to give it a few more playthroughs and maybe even try the game on a bumped up difficulty setting, even though I found the easy setting to still be really tough.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by marurun Thu Apr 16, 2020 9:57 am

The reason Gradius III and Super R-Type slow down has to do with collision checks. In games you have to constantly check to see if sprites are touching so you can register hits and damage. Early SNES programmers did not use good collision detection routines, and when there are too many objects on screen to run collision checks on the games slow down. The CPU just can’t keep up with managing everything and continually checking that many sprites for collisions. That’s why charging your shot didn’t cause slowdown but shooting did. Your shots need to be checked for collisions every frame.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by alienjesus Thu Apr 16, 2020 4:20 pm

Games beaten 2020:

1. Ys: The Oath in Felghana PSN Vita *NEW*
2. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Switch *NEW*
3. Super Mario Party Switch *NEW*
4. Moss PSVR *NEW*
5. Paper Mario: Colour Splash Wii U *NEW*
6. The Firemen SNES *NEW*
7. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SFC *NEW*
8. Kuukiyomi: Consider It! Switch eShop *NEW*
9. Valkyria Chronicles Switch eShop *NEW*
10. Illusion of Time SNES *NEW*
11. Trials of Mana Switch *NEW*
12. Undertale Vita *NEW*
13. Rastan SMS *NEW*
14. Rainbow Islands SMS *NEW*



alienjesus wrote:Because this is quite a lot to write already, I'll post the remaining reviews tomorrow!



Not quite 'tomorrow' but here's part 2:

Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles is a game with a bit of a learning curve, if - like me - you come from a background of playing games like Advance Wars or Fire Emblem. It's a turn based strategy RPG, but it has some unique play mechanics which change how you approach things. First of all, moving units plays like a third person shooter of sorts, with you running units around the environment, aiming and shooting. Secondly, instead of each unit being able to move once per turn, you get a certain number of movements each turn - and they can be used to move one unit multiple times, although they're less effective each time.

The game suffers from some balance issues - Scouts are broken compared to other classes due to decent stats overall and far superior movement (the best stat), and the Tank is situationally either incredibly useful or almost worthless depending on the map due to it using 2 movement turns to move it rather than one. The game also feels a bit lopsided in difficulty like many games of the genre - earlier missions require more care due to a smaller squad of weaker units who are very vulnerable to enemy fire, whereas late game missions often have you running 1 scout around right up to enemies faces to shoot them point blank over and over. Despite the balance issues though, I had fun with this one - the story is cliche but still felt fresh enough with it's psuedo-WW2 setting. Recommended.


Illusion of Time
Illusion of Time is better known by it's US name, Illusion of Gaia. You play as Will, a psychic kid who sets out on an adventure to save the world and his parents or something like that. The game is quite fast paced, with you being whisked from each area to the next with your cavalcade of friends, but the story feels like it's lost a lot in translation, with some unclear plot points and rushed pacing not allowing the themes to come across clearly. Gameplay is action based, with lots of fighting (clearing a room of enemies is actually how you level up here) and some puzzle solving and exploration. You can switch into different forms throughout the game, but they don't feel too different, and most exploration abilities require you to stay in your base form anyway - so often you'll swap to something stronger for fighting and back to Will when needed to progress. Overall, despite the pacing, I enjoyed playing through this game. I'd be keen to try Terranigma and Soul Blazer at some point, even if they're only related tangentally.


Trials of Mana
Following up from my last SNES action RPG, I picked up another with Trials of Mana. I have mixed feelings on Secret of Mana - I enjoyed it well enough but it's a very flawed experience overall. Trials of Mana is a big improvement in many ways - the new English translation is much easier to follow than Secret's original storyline, hit detection is much improved (although still not perfect), and the battle system is improved with less spell grinding nonsense. I played through the game with a party of Hawkeye, Reisz and Charlotte and it was a good team - Hawkeye used stat down magic, Riesz used stat up magic and Charlotte provided elemental weapon buffs and healing, so I dominated late game bosses with my super buffed team. Early game is this games biggest flaw though, with it taking a good 50% of the game before you have any real battle options other than pressing A to attack with most characters. Still, I liked the game well enough, and I think it's worth a play through. I still think the Game Boy original is the best in the series though!


Undertale
I've played through Undertale before and had a blast with it, and this playthrough again on Vita was no different. The game has a lot of charm and the characters are very fun and likeable - I can see why this was such a hit. I also find the battle system to be fun, regardless of whether you're going pacifist or not, with the bullet hell style defence mechanics. The game isn't a looker but it has style, and the music is really quite great. I also enjoy getting to play through an RPG where the length is so brisk, but it doesn't feel like the story was cut short. I know some people avoided this due to the hype, but I think it really is worth a play if you've never played it before. It's great fun.


Rastan:

This was a game I played for March's Together Retro (arcade games on 8 and 16 bit consoles), and I think it's a pretty good experience for the Master System. You walk and climb through multiple stages hitting things with your sword, and along the way you can grab several power ups, including weapon upgrades to increase damage and range. There's platforming to be done, and this can be quite tricky with your stiff jumping you have to commit to, but luckily there's no instant death - you just take damage and have to jump out again. Whilst jumping is restrictive, there's some interesting stuff here in platforming as you can wall jump too, which was surprising to me. The game is very challenging, and I admit I played it using an infinite continues cheat which allowed me to restart from the beginning of a level if I game overed. I had fun though. The game is not the best looking game for Master System, but the soundtrack is decent if repetitive. It has FM sound option too though, which is a nice touch. Worth playing.


Rainbow Islands:

I also played through this one for March's Together Retro. I was a big fan of Bubble Bobble on the Master System, so it only felt right to play through the sequel there too. Rainbow Islands is quite a departure from Bubble Bobble, with you climbing up a vertical stage using rainbows as platforms. You can also defeat enemies by shooting rainbows at them, or by dropping them on enemies from above - this is key for getting power ups including the 7 rainbow gems in each world required for unlocking world 8 (which I did). The game isn't too difficult overall, even going for world 8. It did crash on me during the final cutscene though, meaning I sadly took to Youtube to watch it instead. Not sure if this was the cart or my Retron 5 though! The game's music is ok - relatively catchy but quite repetitive. Visually, it looks nice, but doesn't really make use of the Master System colour palette like it should for a game focused around Rainbows. It seems this is because it's based on an NES port, which is a shame. Still, this is a solid game for the platform - just pick up Bubble Bobble first.
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