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Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:56 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
(^ everyone click one page back to read maureadreun's post)

It seems like there's a group here that feels compelled to play the Joe & Mac games and then exclaim "meh" with great force. Why are we doing this??

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:57 pm
by MrPopo
Because the games SHOULD be good; cavemen fighting dinosaurs sounds awesome.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:28 pm
by marurun
BoneSnapDeez wrote:(^ everyone click one page back to read maureadreun's post)

It seems like there's a group here that feels compelled to play the Joe & Mac games and then exclaim "meh" with great force. Why are we doing this??

I really enjoyed the first Joe and Mac game. It was, believe it or not, a defining early SNES title for me, on account of the great sound and music, colorful graphics, and decent gameplay. I was hoping the second would be awesome, too. It was not. End of story.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:33 pm
by PartridgeSenpai
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)
13. Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point (Xbone)
14. Sleeping Dogs: Year of the Snake (Xbone)
15. Dynamite Headdy (Genesis) *
16. Shovel Knight: King of Cards (3DS)
17. Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope (3DS) *
18. Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows (Switch) *
19. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Switch) *
20. Shovel Knight: Showdown (Switch)
21. Dragon Quest Builders 2 (PS4)
22. ActRaiser (SNES)
23. Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (WiiWare)
24. Mega Man X (SNES)
25. Breath of Fire II (SNES)
26. Ape Escape 2 (PS2) *
27. Doubutsu No Mori+ (GC)
28. Ape Escape (PS1)

29. Ape Escape 3 (PS2) *

And so ends my re-journey through the mainline Ape Escape games. This, like 2, was one I rented and played a decent bit as a kid, and didn't remember being quite as good as 2, but still being very good. While there is a fair bit in 3 that is more "different" from 2 than outright "better", there is also a lot here that is plain better. It took me around 8 hours to complete the Japanese version of the game and capture every monkey.

Ape Escape 3 is the most colorful and wacky of the mainline games, continuing the pace that 2 set down, and that extends into the story. Specter, the evil mastermind monkey from the previous two games, has escaped once again and is using the Freaky Monkey Five and his legion of monkeys (over 400 to capture this time around!) to try and take over the world. But this time, he's got an ace up his sleeve: a human accomplice! Dr. Tomouki (which is a fairly amazing pun that also is nearly a real name "tomo" being "friend" and "uki" being the sound a monkey makes in Japanese) is the delightfully camp, afro-sporting human scientist aiding Specter in his plot to turn all of humanity into hapless couch potatoes by brainwashing them with immensely inane monkey-based television programming. It's up to the series new heroes (the other ones having been couch potato'd), twins Satoru and Sayaka and their super scientist mother, to stop him!

Each level takes the form of a TV show the monkeys are filming on location somewhere, and you're capturing enough of them to shut down their broadcasts, while each member of the Freaky Monkey Five guard a transmission tower you need to beat them to destroy. This gives all sorts of opportunity (which the game takes in spades) for all sorts of pop culture parodies for the kind of shows the monkeys are making, from their horror show "Monday the 16th" to their hotspring documentary to their Star Wars parody (complete, of course, with Darth Vader monkey to fight). All of the silliness, from the main characters to Specter to the Freaky Monkey Five to the absolutely wonderful Dr. Tomouki, has been cranked up to 11, and it's all in a way I absolutely adore. Even the music is a significant improvement, and I'd go as far as to say that 3 has better music than even the first game. The only real downside is that the game hits some significant framerate problems in certain stages due to how much is going on, but that luckily doesn't affect the actual gameplay much (certainly not as badly as the first game's slowdown harms its gameplay).

The gameplay itself is very familiar from the previous two games, but has been modified in a way to further tighten up the gameplay improvements introduced in 2 as well as add a new gimmick entirely. You're still going from stage to stage, using your tools to fight and catch monkeys, but thankfully the incredible bloat of tools in the 2nd game has been massively trimmed back down to a far more manageable 8 (down from the like 14 or 15 in 2). The number of monkeys you need to catch in each stage has been pumped up a fair bit though, and their frequency within the stages (not nearly as many droughts with no monkeys to fight like 2 has in its later stages) as well as their natural ability to avoid your net have also been increased. The level design is significantly better as a result, leading to stages that are often smaller compared to its predecessor, but more content-dense and overall difficult due to just how good the monkeys are at avoiding capture. Even normal enemies are a bit more complicated this time around, as Dr. Tomouki's little robot minions all have turnkeys on them somewhere that you can aim for to do far more damage than a normal body hit.

To even the odds in your favor a bit, the game gives you its most noticeable change to the gameplay of the previous two entries: transformations! By holding down both R buttons, you can initiate a transformation into a super form that you can use for about 30 seconds (or longer if you keep getting powerups to fill your meter more). You unlock more and more transformations as you progress through the game for a grand total of 9, and while there is certainly a power curve as you go along (the 8th being the best and the 9th being a secret finding tool), they all have some kind of special ability (either combat or mobility-wise) that gives them their own sense of usefulness. Each of the two twins even has their own (admittedly predictably gendered) cosmetic version of each costume, like how Satoru has his Fantasy Knight and Sayaka has her Fantasy Witch.

This is sorta where the game hits its stumbling blocks. It can feel at times, particularly as you progress through the game, that the power difference between your normal form and the transformations is too significant. Fighting enemies, especially monkeys, is really difficult as your normal form, particularly with how good their auto-dodges are (not to mention if they hit you hard enough they can steal your tools!), but your transformations are often enough to totally wipe the floor with them. While I would say that the bosses in this game are overall a little better than the ones in 2, if you fight them with the appropriate transformation, you can really trivialize most of the fights difficulty-wise (although they're still quite fun even then).

Beyond that, there are some other presentation issues the game has that serve to harm the overall experience. The twins are effectively entirely similar with the one exception that Sayaka, the girl, is basically an easy mode the game doesn't tell you about. Certain monkeys will see her and be so struck by her that they fall in love and sit on the ground harmlessly waiting to be captured. Ignoring the fact that she's a 4th grader and that this is still a relatively small number of the overall monkeys in the game (less than 10%), it's still a handicap that Satoru doesn't receive in any form, and it's a bad way to make the game de facto easier for people who wanna play as the girl character (presumably from the perspective of the game's developers, girls :/).

Then there's also the fact of how all of the personalities are cranked up in their silliness, and that also goes for Monkey Yellow, whose queer-coded creepiness has been further worsened to make him an outright child predator with how he gives Satoru (a 4th grader) the choice of fighting him or going on a date with him before his boss fight. These are by no means a deal-breaker for me for the game, and Sony had the good sense to remove that Monkey Yellow thing from the English version at least in part (he gives Satoru the choice of fighting him or "being [his] personal chef forever and ever"), it's still something that erk'd me enough that I can't not mention it here.

The last thing I'll mention is the side games in Ape Escape 3. All 3 games have 3 unlockable fairly substantial mini-games you can unlock through the course of the game, but Ape Escape 3 has something really special: Mesal Gear Solid. It's an official crossover with Konami (as MGS3 got its own Ape Escape-based mini-game) where you play as Pipo Snake, guided on your tactical espionage mission by Solid Snake himself (all as a favor for the professor of Ape Escape from his "high school buddy" Colonel Campbell X3). It's a really solid and quite substantial (although obviously very silly) side mode that does a good job of replicating the feel of the first two MGS games but using assets and enemies from Ape Escape 3 that you unlock after beating the main game. It's a really neat historical curiosity, as well as likely the tricky licensing reason that has led to Ape Escape 3 never joining its sister games on PSN, if I had to guess (and also likely why the series never got a trilogy release on PS3 like basically every other major Sony IP did last generation).

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Warts and all, Ape Escape 3 is still the best the franchise ever got. While it's certainly a shame that the series never really continued after this, and that Ape Escape 3 is really only playable these days on this original PS2 release, it's still a platformer that has weathered the test of time really well, and is still loads of fun. If you like 3D platformers and don't mind needing to probably shell out a decent bit for the physical release of this, then this is a game that's a no-brainer to pick up and give a whirl.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:44 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Awesome review, Pidge. The classic Ape Escape games are great. I miss them...

BoneSnapDeez wrote:(^ everyone click one page back to read maureadreun's post)

It seems like there's a group here that feels compelled to play the Joe & Mac games and then exclaim "meh" with great force. Why are we doing this?? one ever plays Congo’s Caper and no one ever, EVER plays Joe & Mac Returns. Why?!

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:50 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
prfsnl_gmr wrote:no one ever, EVER plays Joe & Mac Returns


Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:33 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
BoneSnapDeez wrote:
prfsnl_gmr wrote:no one ever, EVER plays Joe & Mac Returns


:lol: :lol: :lol:

I should have known...I actually had no idea it was available for the Switch.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:33 pm
by PartridgeSenpai
prfsnl_gmr wrote:Awesome review, Pidge. The classic Ape Escape games are great. I miss them...

BoneSnapDeez wrote:(^ everyone click one page back to read maureadreun's post)

It seems like there's a group here that feels compelled to play the Joe & Mac games and then exclaim "meh" with great force. Why are we doing this?? one ever plays Congo’s Caper and no one ever, EVER plays Joe & Mac Returns. Why?!

I've always been under the impression that the first game (particularly the SNES port) is far and away the best one. At least that's why I've never looked at the rest of the series ^^;

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 7:33 am
by pook99
I played congos caper, I didnt like it at first but it did grow on me.

The original definitely is one of those defining SNES games, not because it was great, but because it was good enough and most of us probably played it when we were young and had nothing else to play. I enjoyed all 3 games in the series (never played returns), I think all of them are the definition of your average game but thematically they are fun.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 8:25 pm
by pook99
60. Resident Evil 5 (switch)
61. Streets of Rage 4 (switch)

60. RE5

RE5 is an interesting part of the series, after the ravaging success of RE4 capcom took that game and ratcheted it all up several notches. The game was widely well recieved, though many said it was not as good as 4, it was generally met with positive praise, capcom then ratcheted things up even further and released Resident Evil 6, a game that nobody in the world likes except me.

The story picks up where RE4 left off, at the end of RE4 ada steals the virus to bring it back to Wesker, who is hiding in an abandoned African umbrella facility. The virus spreads through the local villages (much like los plagas did in RE4) and Chris has to team up with a local military agent to figure out what is going on. I won't get into many details about the story here to avoid spoilers, but I definitely feel that RE5 is a nice culmination of everything that happened in all of the previous RE games, and ends on what is, IMO the best final boss fight of any RE game, both in terms of how the fight takes place and the story behind it, the fight is far more than your average tyrant/nemesis/other big monster.

RE5 plays very similar to RE4, the shooting mechanics are nearly identical with enemies that react depending on where they are shot, once they are stunned you can run up to them and do a melee attack that is oddly stronger than a bullet. The shooting in this game feels great and blasting zombies in the face and then punching them is extremely satisfying. The pacing of the game starts out very similar to the pacing of RE4. In fact the first major battle of the game is virtually identical to the first major battle in RE4.

From there the game just continues to ratchet up and up, and includes action game tropes such as an on rails shooter and several parts where you are ducking in and out of cover ala gears of war. There are armed zombies with guns to kill, hordes of lickers, and so much more. This is definitely more of an action horror game than a survival horror and your enjoyment of it will depend on how much you enjoy action over horror.

To compensate for the added action you get copious amounts of ammo to deal with the zombie hordes, as well as upgradable weapons that include all the series staples you would expect . Towards the end of the game I was literally running around shooting everything with the sniper rifle and still had a solid 90 bullets left when I reached the final boss.

You also get a partner, if you have a friend to play coop with they can control sheva, which is probably a ton of fun, if not the AI controls sheva. It works well enough and over the course of the game you will learn how to best take advantage of her to help you without wasting resources. Generally speaking she sticks close to you and if you are on the move she will stay with you and not take damage. Her main asset is she can hold stuff for you which is absolutely required.

Unlike the vast attache case you get in RE4, in RE5 you get 9 slots, when you start taking into account having multiple guns/ammo/grenades/healing items your inventory fills up quickly and you can give stuff to Sheva to free up spots in your inventory but just be warned that anything you give her she will use liberally, so if you are into conserving stuff you should only give her stuff she cant use (Ie: shotgun ammo when she doesnt have a shotgun)

I absolutely love this game and am thinking of replaying RE6 again soon as well. If you liked the feel of 4, enjoy the lore of RE, and dont mind a greater focus on action rather than horror I think you will really enjoy this game but purist survival horror fans may be off put by some of the action sequences

61. Streets of rage 4

SoR 2 is considered by many to be the greatest beat em up of all time, it is certainly one of my all time favorites so my hype for this game was through the roof, did it live up to my expectations? Could it even be possible to live up to the hype?

Short answer is yes, the game did meet my expectations. I was hoping for a solid beat em up that lived up to the legendary reputation of the series and that is exactly what I got.

The game plays very similar to the 2 and 3. You have an attack, jump, grab attacks, a forward forward attack, and 2 specials that take up some health when you use them. The difference here is when you use a special a portion of your life bar turns green, if you hit enemies without taking hits you will restore that portion making that special free, if you get hit, you will lose that part of your life bar. It is a cool mechanic that encourages you to be a little more liberal with your specials and introduces a nice risk/reward ratio to the game. There are also some juggle mechanics and other new combo opportunities that did not exist in prior games.

As you hit enemies you rack up combos, the higher the combo, the more points you get, but if you get hit the combo breaks. Much like me you probably don't care about points, but in this game (like any old school beat em up) points get you lives, and after each level your lives and points reset, meaning you can't horde lives on earlier levels to have a stock on the later harder levels. End of level points also go into a "lifetime point pool" which go into unlocking all sorts of cool things, I have not unlocked everything yet but there is definitely some cool stuff hidden here. It is a cool balancing act that does a nice job of making an irrelevant gaming convention relevant.

The difficulty curve in this game is nice, I played it on normal and beat it with only continuing once(thanks to stage hazards that I didnt understand), but there are 2 harder difficulty levels for vets like me to check out. The inverse of that is when you die you are offered assists when you continue, you can choose to continue with more lives and specials, but doing so reduces your score. What this means is you get a game that anybody can beat, but also offers up a good enough challenge for veterans.

The characters here are all great and pretty well balanced, unlike most beat em ups you can change characters in between levels, which is cool because it allows you to try everyone as well as new characters as you unlock them.

SoR4 is not a game that reinvents the wheel but it does everything right, and is probably the best retro revival I have played since Mega Man 11. Although I have finished the story mode, I am not finished with this game, this is the kind of game I will replay a few more times and will revisit year after year in my annual playthroughs. This is exactly the game I was hoping it would be and look forward to unlocking all the characters and fiddling around more with the combo system