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Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 1:46 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
19. Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4
20. Trials of Mana (2020) - Switch
21. Persona 5 Royal - PS4

Like Persona 3 and 4 before it, Persona 5 got an updated version. Think of it like the Pokémon Emerald to the base game's Ruby. And like before the updates consist of some new characters and a bunch of quality of life updates. P5R also includes a new post-game segment over the course of about a month of in-game time that takes one last look at the nature of the game's supernatural and gives a pretty relatable antagonist (compared to the main game's "I am the embodiment of humans sucking and blah blah blah" (which, in fairness, the other two Persona games also did).

I'm going to focus on what was changed. The first thing you'll notice is that there are two new confidants; you'll encounter the first one when you're still in the railroaded beginning of the game, while the second is introduced after finishing the first dungeon. These confidants are woven in to the story pretty well, and one of them will become a party member in the post-game content. This leads to a reshuffling of the personas as well as a bunch of new added ones to fill out the compendium.

The next thing is that there are a bunch of new activities available. You can hang out in a jazz club with a party member to buff their stats or teach them a support skill, you can play billiards with the team to boost the effects of a technical hit (using a certain element when enemies have a certain status effect), or play darts to buff a teammate's baton pass ability so it does even more damage and can restore their health and SP. Oh, that's another thing; baton pass is now inherent, and you don't have to level your confidants to get it. Speaking of, a few of the confidants have had their benefits reshuffled.

Another thing that has been changed up is the dungeons have all had their layouts tweaked. You have a new grappling hook which can be used in certain places to get up high; this adds some verticality and adds to that feeling of you being sneaky thieves moving through enemy territory. The other part of the layout tweak (besides just generally being a bit cleaner) is they've inserted three rooms where you can get the will seed of the palace master. Getting one restores 10% of the party SP, and getting all three causes them to turn into a special accessory. You will have to fight a hard enemy to get the third one, though.

Similarly, Mementos has been slightly modified. There is a new NPC who sells some nice items as well as letting you increase your experience, money, or item gain in Mementos by collecting items that are hanging around on the tracks. This gives you more reason to go in besides experience grinding (which can fall off rapidly) and the requests.

Aside from the post game it doesn't sound like a lot, but it all adds up to a smoother feeling experience. Another thing that happened was most of the times when you had to go straight to bed after story stuff you now can do stuff in the café, like reading, studying, or playing video games. Overall you just have more time, so a max confidants run has never been easier.

If you played through P5 before and have 110 hours free then I'd recommend snagging Royal. If you never played it but are a fan of the general Persona or SMT formula then P5R is the current pinnacle of it.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 11:21 am
by BoneSnapDeez
1. ACA NeoGeo: Cyber-Lip (Switch eShop)
2. Pengo (Atari 2600)
3. Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
4. Knights of Xentar (PC)
5. Hoshi o Sagashite... (Mark III)
6. Dead Zone (Famicom Disk System)
7. Samurai Sword (Famicom Disk System)
8. High School! Kimengumi (Mark III)
9. Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom (NES)
10. Sindbad Mystery (SG-1000)
11. Steins;Gate (Vita)
12. Champion Boxing (SG-1000)
13. Squidlit (Switch eShop)
14. Skyblazer (SNES)
15. Tokyo Dark: Remembrance (Switch eShop)
16. Bubble Bobble (Famicom Disk System)
17. Steins;Gate Elite (Switch)
18. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Joe and Mac Returns (Switch eShop)
19. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Express Raider (Switch eShop)
20. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (Genesis)
21. Sword of Vermilion (Genesis)
22. Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace (Switch eShop)
23. Oink! (Atari 2600)
24. Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (Famicom Disk System)

Babies have a pretty decent life. They're clothed, fed, adored, and have their every whim catered to. Not Upa though. This baby lives in a magical kingdom where a goat demon has captured all the (other) babies and adults alike. It's up to Upa to save them. Thankfully he's no ordinary infant -- he's the BIO MIRACLE. Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is an 8-bit platformer by Konami. It has one of the strangest release histories among retro games. The original Famicom Disk System variant (this one being reviewed) hit the scene in 1988. Five years later, there was a Famicom cartridge release. The Famicom disk to cart pipeline isn't totally unheard of, but was typically reserved for mega-hits like Zelda and Konami's own Castlevania. The cart version of Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is extraordinary rare and expensive -- in fact, if you already own a vanilla Famicom console it's actually cheaper to buy a disk copy of the game and the Disk System peripheral itself versus ponying up the cash for a cart. Lastly, there was an unexpected Virtual Console (rest in peace) version that even made its way to the West. Strangely, it's based on the FDS original; the load times remain intact though the disk-flipping has naturally been scrubbed out. I've read reports about bootleg copies of the game released way back in the 90s (even in America) under the title Baby Mario but I haven't seen this myself.

Speaking of Mario, Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa is structured in a similar fashion. The game progresses in a linear fashion, with seven worlds each consisting of three smaller stages. It's a relative compact experience, designed to be played in a single hour-long sitting. Controls are of the expected B-attack/A-jump variety, but this baby has some tricks up his onesie sleeves. First: the jumping. Baby Upa jumps exactly like... well, how a baby might jump if a baby could jump. Short on height with some impressive horizontal distance. As such, Upa can clear jumps when low ceilings and overhangs are present, jumps that would present issues for the likes of Mario, Sonic, Simon Belmont, Mega Man, or Michael Jackson. Upa attacks with a rattle, but there are no insta-kills in baby land. The rattle instead inflates enemies; by default they begin to drift up and away in a diagonal direction. Such floaters can thus be repurposed as platforms, though they will "pop" after a few seconds. Inflated enemies can also be used as weapons: a bump to a floater will send it sailing in given direction, clearing out all hapless foes in its path. But beware: bumped floaters will ricochet and can damage Upa himself. Upa does have a lifebar, which can be lengthened via the collection of power-ups, though it will reset after a stage is completed. There are additional health refills (milk, of course) and an invincibility power-up which allows Upa to spontaneously walk and mow down anything in the path of his toddling baby feet.
This is a Konami game, so no expense was spared in terms of presentation. The stage backgrounds are quite lovely. Keeping with the babyish theme, there's plenty of "soft" muted colors: light pinks and blues and so forth. The seven worlds lack the types of cohesive "themes" seen in games like Super Mario Bros. 3, though there are some recurring designs. There are giant cakes to dig through, and sticky ice pops that slow Upa's progress. Air levels and ice levels, and large mazes of computer circuitry (very reminiscent of Esper Dream, those parts). The underwater stages, where Upa dons an adorable swimmer's mask, are especially well-designed. There's a persistent current to move things along, and enemies move accordingly. The music is relatively entertaining. The "stage 1-1" song, which is recurring, feels like an attempt to create a "signature" Mario-esque earworm, and it totally works. This is one of those games where the extra FDS sound channel makes a drastic difference. That aforementioned stage 1-1 tune is downright castrated on the Famicom cart, lacking the needed bass boost.

Enemies are appropriately cute: little penguins, toy airplanes, elephants tossing rice, and a number of other critters. There's a recurring boss -- the "Birdo" of this particular game. Here it's a pig that shoots smaller foes out its mouth. The pig can't be damaged with the rattle directly; like Birdo's eggs the tiny regurgitated creatures must be tossed back in the pig's face. There's a manner of additional bosses too, a fire-breathing snake for instance, and all must be battled in a similar fashion.
The game's most apparent flaw is a massive difficulty spike. It's not even gradual. In fact, it's sudden enough to be pinpointed: stage 4-2. This stage pulls a Metal Storm and flips everything upside down. Not only is it incredibly disorientating, but the stage isn't structured properly to support such a new play mode. Thankfully, Upa's gravity returns to normal come 4-3, but the developer's various "pranks" continue. Enemies that appear out of nowhere, platforms that drop instantly. Stage 7-1 is an absolute failure of design: a long, spike-laden vertical drop. Success is predicated on making a series of "leaps of faith" successfully. Most of the game's later bosses are terrible too. The battles are waged on a series of tiny platforms, making the smack/ricochet technique extraordinarily difficult to pull off successfully. Humorously, the final boss is probably the easiest one encountered in the game's final thirty minutes, as he's challenged within a wide open arena with ample space for maneuvering. Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa does offer up infinite continues, though continuing jets Upa back to the start of a given world (not stage).

Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa reminds me of another obscure Japanese platformer by Konami: Yume Penguin Monogatari. Both boast some creative elements, but feature persistent "gimmicks" that are enough to put off many a gamer. In Yume Penguin Monogatari it's the obesity-related health meter. In Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa it's the rattle attack and perplexing composition of some of the later stages. This is an okay game, and it probably amused many who stumbled upon it on the Virtual Console (rest in peace), but there's no real reason to mourn its lack of an official NES release. There were certainly better platformers that managed to cross the Pacific.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Thu May 07, 2020 10:09 pm
by pook99
@Bone: I remember when I was a kid and my mom took my brother and I to rent our weekly game and boom: Super Mario bros 4: Baby Mario was right there. Super excited being the big Mario fan that I was and 10 year old me couldnt wait to try it, needless to say it was underwhelming. I have not thought about that game or even considered its existence until your review and I may need to play it now that I know the name of it, just for nostalgias sake.

Games Beaten:

65. Dino Strike (wii)
66. Dragons Lair 2 (wii)

65. Dino strike is a simple light gun shooter that has you stranded on an island where dinosaurs still exist. You get shipwrecked there and have to survive long enough to make it back to your rescue boat.

There are 6 levels filled with velociraptors, pteradactals, and some big spiky dino to shoot. Control is responsive as these games are on wii, wiimote points and shoots, there is a reload button and the d-pad switches between your 4 weapons (pistol, shotgun, machine gun, and grenade launcher) You start the game with a health bar that allows you to take 4-5 hits and 2 continues, but there is plenty of health scattered about levels as well as generous amounts of extra continues. The first time (and the only time) I died was on the 4th level and I had 25 continues accumulated at that point. The generous amount of health and continues make completing the game a breeze.

Despite that, Dino strike is a simple, fun light gun shooter, it is not as epic as many of the wii's best light gun shooters but it is fun and if you enjoy the dinosaur asthetic you could do much worse.

66. Dragons Lair 2

This is a game you either love or you hate, you either love the animation, the story, and the idea of controlling a cartoon, or you absolutely hate the fact that the game is essentially one big quick time event that completely lacks checkpoints after the first level and requires a bit of trial and error along with fast reflexes and a bit of memorization.

For me, Dragons Lair 2 is one of my all time favorite games, and hands down my favorite of the "cartoon laserdisc" games that were somewhat prevelant around the early 90's. I definitely think my love for this game is grounded completely in nostalgia more so than I am its solid game design.

Fact is this game was out when I was a kid who went to the arcades weekly, I was very good at it, so good that random people would approach me and give me quarters to watch me play. I have played this game so many times that I have the dialogue completely memorized, like an old song, I have not played the game in over a year, but as I played through it I found myself subconsciously reciting the lines to every level and just found myself smiling throughout the whole thing. This is a game that just makes me feel good and even though it is not the best game mechanically, I just absolutely love it.

This kind of game is not for everyone, I think younger gamers would not be into these kinds of games, but if you are around my age you probably have some kind of nostalgia for these kinds of games because they were pretty revolutionary for their time, and dragons lair is hands down the best of its kind, even if it is from an outdated genre.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 2:41 pm
by alienjesus
Games beaten 2020:

1. Ys: The Oath in Felghana PSN Vita
2. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Switch
3. Super Mario Party Switch
4. Moss PSVR
5. Paper Mario: Colour Splash Wii U
6. The Firemen SNES
7. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SFC
8. Kuukiyomi: Consider It! Switch eShop
9. Valkyria Chronicles Switch eShop
10. Illusion of Time SNES
11. Trials of Mana Switch
12. Undertale Vita
13. Rastan SMS
14. Rainbow Islands SMS
15. River City Girls Switch
16. Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch
17. Streets of Rage 4 Switch eShop *NEW*
18. Dragon Warrior IV NES *NEW*

Streets of Rage 4


I’m a massive fan of the Streets of Rage games – all 3 of the titles on Mega Drive were childhood favourites of mine, but especially Streets of Rage 2. It’s a game I can go back to again and again and not get bored. So I was pretty excited when Streets of Rage 4 was announced, especially due to the involvement of LizardCube, who did an excellent remake of Wonder Boy III not too long ago.


When the day finally arrived, I jumped in, and what can I say – I had a blast. There’s no doubts that this is a proper follow up to the old-school titles, and it really felt great to have the chance to play through a new game in the series. Me and my wife both jumped in and played through it together, swapping characters until we finally stuck with Cherry and Adam.


The characters here all feel unique and fun to use, although I will say that some seem more fun then others. I lean towards Adam and Cherry because they have better movement options (Cherry can run and Adam can do a short dash) which is more my style – I mainly played as Skate back in the day. I found Floyd, Axel and Blaze a lot harder to use due to their limited movement options – it’s a shame they dialled that back from Streets of Rage 3 where everyone could run and roll. I found that some of the approach options from before were worse too. Max and Blaze in SOR2 had good approach moves in the form of their slide and flip attack respectively, but Blaze’s flip is way shorter range now (it’s bad, and she feels much worse overall) and Floyd hasn’t got anything like Max’s slide to help him cover ground.


There are 12 stages in the game, which is a pretty good amount, and it feels a bit longer than the 8 stages of the classic games. The stages definitely vary in length – the first stage is pretty long for example, but a later stage on top of a train is over in a flash. The game mixes things up nicely with some memorable locations, including an art gallery, the top of a train and a biker bar. There are some level hazards in some stages, but I can’t lie – unlike prior streets of rage games where the factory or elevator levels were some of my favourites, I found them more frustrating here – some of the stage hazards feel a bit gimmicky (like the poison water puddles in the sewer) and it feels harder to capitalise on the pits in levels where they are as many characters seem to have less throw options than earlier games and combos often send enemies right over pits to safety on the other side.


There’s a good variety of enemies here, and most of them are a lot of fun to bash through. The bosses are generally pretty cool too, and there’s some fun throwbacks and surprises amongst them. This is where my biggest frustration with the game comes in though – there’s a few too many enemies with cheap attacks for my tastes, especially if you play as the slower characters – Donovans uppercut comes out very quickly and has a big range and high damage, and he uses it even when you’re grounded now for example. The kicking guys are a pain too, and the Molotov throwing enemies in later levels suck.


More frustrating still, for me, is that many enemies now have invincibility on some of their attacks, meaning that you can be punished if you have bad timing. This changes the feeling of the game as you progress and not for the better – sections with many enemies with invulnerability periods can be some of the worst parts of the experience, and I’d rather they just let me punch them to prevent attacks rather than having to tediously dodge them and wait for my opportunity. It’s not a game breaker by any means, and as I get more familiar with the game I’m sure it’ll become easier to deal with, but it went against 25 years of Streets of Rage instincts for me and I didn’t love it.


Visually, the game is stunning, as you can see by watching any trailer or looking at any screenshots. The stages are atmospheric, varied and colourful, whilst still keeping that dingy grimy feel of the series. The music is obviously a big part of Streets of Rage overall, and I won’t lie – I don’t think it’s as good here as the first 2 titles. That said, I have enjoyed it, and part of it might be that I’m less familiar with the tunes currently.

Overall, I’ve had a blast with Streets of Rage 4. I’ve heard many people say it’s the best in the series, and I can see why. I will say that I don’t quite agree with that – some of the furstrations here regarding character movement, annoying stage hazards and enemy invincibility on attacks don’t sit so well with me and hold it back from that top spot. Streets of Rage 2 is still the best in my eyes, but this is sitting pretty at second place – and that’s a pretty great achievement in itself. If you love the series like me, do yourself a favour and pick this up.

Dragon Warrior IV


Warrior 4 is the second game in the main Dragon Quest series I have played, after the original. I wasn’t a big fan of that one – I found that you’d normally found everything you needed to quite early, at which point you had nothing but a very, very tedious grind (it took me 8+ hours) to do to be able to challenge the final boss.


The Dragon Quest series is the most generic RPG of generic RPGs in terms of it’s core gameplay. A party of heroes quests around the world to find magic artifacts and uses them to defeat a great evil, via the medium of turn based battles. Dragon Quest 4 does try to mix things up with it’s story structure though, and that’s where it’s subtitle comes in – Chapters of the Chosen.


You see, this time round you don’t begin the game as the hero – rather, the game is split into 5 chapters. The first 4 of these follow the adventures of various characters who will later come together to form your heroes party in the final chapter. The first follows the Knight Ragnar, on a quest to rescue missing children. The second follows the princess Alena, and her attendants, the chancellor Cristo and the Wizard Brey, as they run away from the castle. The third follows the merchant Taloon, who leaves on a journey to trade and earn enough money to run his own shop, and the final quest follows the sisters Nara the fortune teller and Mara the dancer as they try to avenge their murdered father.


The chapter system is interesting storywise, as it allows for more understanding and development of your party than you might otherwise get, particularly from an NES RPG. It’s a shame they all feel a bit sidelined when they rejoin in chapter 5, but it’s still beyond the normal amount of character development for most 8-bit titles. However, mechanically most are fairly mundane. Chapter 1, 2 and 4 generally just feel like they could be a subsection of any other Dragon Quest RPG, although I did enjoy Taloon’s quest – the buying and selling of items, high drop rate and hiring of mercenaries to fill your party managed to make the experience feel unique enough to stand out.


Once you get to chapter 5, it’s back to the classic Dragon Quest though. Chapter 5 is at least as long as the other 4 put together, if not longer, and it’s the ‘true’ story of Dragon Quest 4. You adventure as the hero on a quest to prevent the resurrection of the evil dark lord. One unique, if not necessarily always welcome mechanic, is that your party members in this chapter are all AI controlled. This makes them still feel like unique individuals, but it does mean that they can sometimes be as dumb as bricks. In all honesty, the AI isn’t too bad overall. The main downsides are that they tend to heal later than you might otherwise like, and that characters with attack spells don’t always make the best options – expect your chancellor to cast instant death on every boss despite the fact they’re all immune to it.


Overall, I liked the game well enough. It’s a big step up from where the series began, despite being on the same console. The story, characters and towns are all a lot more memorable. Graphically it feels like it struggles a bit, and there’s many instances of colour clash where red character sprites overlap with red floor tiles and it looks a bit gross. It’s also a bit less grindy than the original, but only a bit. I played this on my Retron 5 and let me just say that the fast forward function was a godsend. I’m not sure I’d have the patience these days to handle the grinding sections otherwise.


This is a decent game if you like this sort of thing though, and worth a play. I understand the US version is super pricy though – I own it on Famicom myself, but I patched the US ROM onto it with the retron.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Fri May 08, 2020 10:58 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)
14. Kamiko (Switch)
15. Night Slashers (Arcade)
16. Subsurface Circular (Switch)
17. Iconoclasts (Switch)
18. Wonder Boy Returns Remix (Switch)
19. Resident Evil 3 (PS1)
20. The Messenger (Switch)
21. The Messenger: Picnic Panic (Switch)

The Messenger is so, so, so very awesome. It’s a side-scrolling action platformer in which you play as a ninja, similar to Ninja Gaiden II (NES) and Shinobi (3DS). The first half is a fast-paced, incredibly well-designed linear experience. The second-half is a non-linear open-world action-platforming experience. All of it is great. It alternates between 8- and 16-bit graphics and sound, plays wonderfully, has a banging soundtrack, is genuinely funny, has a compelling story, is loaded with secrets, and is perfectly challenging. I loved every minute of this wonderful game, and I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

The Messenger: Picnic Panic is a free(!) goofy DLC pack that sees The Messenger’s ninja protagonist transported to a tropical island. It is accessible after the main campaign, and ramps up the game’s difficulty substantially. It features new enemies, a few new mechanics, and a few new jokes. The first section plays similarly to the turbo tunnel from Battletoads, and the final boss fight is pulled straight from Punch-Out!! So, basically, it’s three levels of extremely intense ninja platforming bookended by the turbo tunnel and boxing. Awesome and also recommended.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 12:47 am
by elricorico
1. NBA Jam (GEN)
2. Astro Bot Rescue Mission (PSVR)
3. Bastion (PS4)

4. Octopath Traveler (NS)

I've been playing Octopath Traveler for months now, started sometime in the fall. Based on all the reviews it was one of my most wanted Switch games, and I spent more money on it than I would usually spend on a game. With about 80 hours invested I rolled the credits, and I'm satisfied that I got value for my purchase. There are still a number of side quests I could do, but I'll probably take a break from this one to play something a little lighter in content.

This game is an homage to the golden age of turn based RPGs, and it hits the mark in a number of ways. Beautiful sprite art, solid music, an interesting (if uneven) plot and a bit of grind all felt like they hit the mark. I played through all 8 characters' stories, leaving my chosen main character, Olberic, for last. The stories ranged from somewhat simple and almost silly in moments, to deep, dark and very adult at times.

I liked the art style, but I did find some quirks. At points that the art got in the way of exploring when some layers took the foreground unnecessarily. I also found it a little too sparkly and overdone in certain areas. The battle system is pretty good, although I didnt quite understand some of the finer points for many of the early hours.

If you miss the old days of sprite based RPGs with a healthy grind built in then this is likely worth your attention. It might not break into my all time favourites, but it did not fail to meet my expectations.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sat May 09, 2020 8:34 pm
by pook99
67. Mario and Rabbids Kingdom battle (switch)
68. Raging Justice (switch)
69. Rodea the sky soldier (wii)

67. Mario and Rabbids

Take the king of platformers, combine him with the crazy part unofficial mascots from the wii era, give them to ubisoft, a company best known for its microtransaction, open world borefests, and then make a grid based strategy game. This literally sounds like the worst idea of all time but somehow this game is one of the most fun, cute, endearing, and addicting strategy games I have ever played.

The game starts off in a lab with some random gizmo that can merge any 2 objects, for some unexplained reasons a host of rabbids warps into the lab and start wreaking havoc, the gizmo gets fused to one rabbids face and chaos ensues. The lab is peppered with mario toys and mushroom kingdom posters and the rabbids fuse them together and plunges the mushroom kingdom into chaos. There is a world eating bug over the mushroom kingdom and Mario teams up with rabbid versions of luigi and peach to investigate. Before long Bowser Jr. appears, kidnaps the rabbid with the gizmo, and begins wreaking further havoc. The story is more or less nonsense but serves as a great vehicle to deliver all sorts of random hilarious scenarios. This is a funny game that takes the rabbids brand of toilet humor and combines it nicely with the mushroom kingdom and mario. Everything just fits really well and just about every cutscene will make you laugh.

The gameplay alternates between solving puzzles and engaging in turn based battles. Exploring the environments in between battles is a lot of fun, the landscapes are filled with hidden chests, coins, and little puzzles that need to be solved. As you walk along the environments there are rabbids liberally sprinkled around doing all sorts of stupid things and there is a lot of fun to be had in just walking around and seeing what the rabbids are up to, the puzzles will make you pause and think but I was able to figure them all out without a walkthrough and I'm a total moron, so I'm sure the average gamer will have no problem making it through.

Of course the star of the show are the battles, many have compared this game to xcom, but I have not played it so I can't make that comparison. At any time you have a team of 3, during your turn you can move each character, perform one attack, and one special move. Navigation and positioning are extremely important and dynamic. There is cover scattered all around the environment and smart use of cover is key to surviving the enemy turns. Cover comes in 2 varieties, big and small, big cover completely shields you from hits while small cover gives you a 50/50 chance of being safe.

Turns play out in an extremely dynamic way, you can run into enemies for a dash attack that causes damage without wasting an attack, and you can run into an ally who will throw you into the air for a jump to cover more ground. These movement options give you lots of options and an optimal turn will have you dashing through enemies, smacking them with an attack, and taking a safe defensive position so you can survive to do it again. Of course the enemies get progressively more difficult and have wild options to disrupt your plans such as teleportations, grenades that ignore cover, moves to pull you out of cover and so much more.

Luckily your team also has a number of options to deal with the increasing threats, there are 8 total team members(Mario, luigi, yoshi, peach, and a rabbid version of each) that are unlockable, each of them is viable, they have their own strenghts and weaknesses and can be upgraded with orbs you find when you complete missions. The orbs go out to your whole team which means no character will ever fall behind in strength and you can switch on and off as you see fit. This is cool since you can always switch around and play with people as you get them. The developers also did a really good job of matching abilities up with their personalities, for example, Mario is strong, inspires his teammates to do more damage, can damage enemies off of the team jump, and is best used to run head first into trouble and bash things with his hammer. Luigi on the other hand is a sniper who is best suited to be hidden far in the background cowering away from their enemies and taking sniper shots from them at a distance.

Each of the 4 worlds and in a boss fight and they are pretty funny rabbid hybrids, the first boss is rabbid kong, a giant rabbid with a red tie and the other bosses are equally fitting for this game. Boss battle are pretty tough, each boss has a giant health bar and each boss must be taken down 3 times, each time you drain their health bar it refills and they enter a new phase with new attacks.

In addition to the 4 worlds with 10 levels each you can also revisit each world to find 10 hidden challenges and a secret level in that world, all that grant you extra experience orbs and gold, so there is plenty of content here to keep you busy for quite a while.

This was an absolute wonderful game, I tend to really enjoy srpg's and this is one of the most unique and fun ones I have ever played, an absolute must play for strategy fans

68. Raging justice (switch)

Raging justice is a beat em up in the vein of streets of rage with cheesy 90's digitized graphics vibe.

The combat here follows a few tropes but adds in some nice twists to the classic beat em up formula. You have a punch and kick with the token combos you would expect from a game like this, there is a special that clears out enemies but also costs you some health, and there is a jump attack, all of this is pretty standard beat em up fare, but a few things set this game apart from the average beat em up.

First off, there is a grab button, rather than just walking into enemies and grabbing them you have to press a button, this works really well and I actually wound up preferring it to the standard way of just walking into enemies. Once you grab an enemy you can punch/kick/throw them and doing so fills their stun meter more so than it drains their life bar. If you stun an enemy you can arrest them, which instantly kills them and gives you a health power up. Balancing ko'ing enemies vs arresting them becomes very important since arresting enemies gives you health which you will definitely need because the enemyh mobs in this game get pretty insane. You also have an upward and downward dash to evade attacks and a dashing move which thrusts you forward and knocks enemies down.

One thing that makes this game stand apart are the weapons. There are tons of weapons in this game, that are standard beat em up fare (knives, bats, etc) but in this game the weapons are brutal, when you grab a bat and smash enemies into the backgorund you can really feel it. Weapons are strong, can hit multiple enemies at once, are liberally scattered around the environments, and are more fun to use than any beat em up I can think of.

Outside of that it is a pretty standard beat em up, 11 levels with a boss at the end, increasing mobs of enemies, and a decent variety of enemies. Raging justice was a bit of a surprise, I do love beat em ups but expected this one to be lame, I bought it on sale but I'm really glad I did, the combat was frantic, a lot of fun, and different enough from other beat em ups to make it stand out from the pack. If you already played streets of rage 4 and are looking for another fun beat em up than give this a shot, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sun May 10, 2020 11:01 am
by gameguru
The only game I've beaten so far in 2020 is Final Doom. Had never played neither TNT Evilution nor Plutonia Experiment before. Wasn't expecting too much from them prior playing, but now I think that both addons are a great gift for every old school Doom player :)

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sun May 10, 2020 7:39 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)
20. Waking Mars (PC)(Adventure)
21. Requiem: Avenging Angel (PC)(FPS)

22. Night Slashers (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
23. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD (PC)(Action Adventure)

24. Strikers 1945 (Arcade)(SHMUP)
25. SiN Episodes: Emergence (PC)(FPS)
26. Crysis Warhead (PC)(FPS)

27. Metro 2033 (PC)(FPS)
28. Good Job! (Switch)(Puzzle)
29. Blasphemous (Switch)(Action Adventure)

Yeah, another productive weekend.

Metro 2033

It comes as no surprise to those who know me here that I am an enormous fan of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series in all forms, whether it be the film, the games, or the novella that started it all, Roadside Picnic. As a result, I picked up Metro 2033 soon after it's release...and then I didn't play it. For one thing, I didn't have a computer that could run it. But time also wore on, and I simply didn't pay attention. Finding myself done with a few other FPS games recently, I proposed a list to Popo, and he recommended it heartily, so I finally got around to checking it out.

I'm glad I did. Metro 2033 presents me with another despairing Russian tale of science fiction in the aftermath of nuclear catastrophe, though this time it was an armageddon that forced the citizens of Moscow into their transit system. Now, two decades later, the world above is a radioactive wasteland in the grips of nuclear winter, while the tunnels teem with life, not all of it human. As a citizen in this world, you find your little station coming across some new kind of menace, known only as the Dark Ones, and you set off on a mission to save your station and possible the rest of Moscow from this shadowy threat. However, the journey involves bandits, mutants, a war between Soviet and Nazi extremists who have nothing better to do than sink into their spiteful ideologies, and the strange S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-themed anomalies that pop up along the way. Yeah, this game took a lot of inspiration, though it feels like an homage in a far more linear setting.

You also have to weigh your survivability against your income, because in this post-apocalyptic future, bullets are now currency. While in lower difficulties, you probably won't have too much issue with this, checking into the more "realistic" Ranger modes will cause you to take stock of whether you should really buy an extra first aid kit or save the rounds and hope you can scrounge one off the dead. Since there's no HUD, guns do a lot more damage, and you're getting fewer rounds off the dead any time you find some, you better have some skills in Ranger difficulties. Stealth becomes preferable, to the point that at times, Metro 2033 is more a stealth game than a proper run and gun. Then again, it also wants to be a horror game at times, though it never quite goes full force in that direction either.

Still, I enjoy this kind of world, so I'm happy to go run through the subterranean tunnels, weighing whether it is better to be ready for loud or spend my bullets on a silenced weapon and hope I've got the skill to get through to the next station. I've gone through the game a couple of times now and am slowly working through the Ranger modes now too, so I guess I'll see.

Good Job!

I picked this charming little puzzle game up to play with my wife, and we had a blast with it, despite it also resulting in some frustration over how often I simply prefer to smash everything.

In Good Job!, you play the child of a CEO who brings you in to work on the ground floor of the family corporation. On each floor of the corporate skyscraper, you find a different department, each with three challenges that must be completed before the fourth Promotion challenge of the floor opens up. Finish the fourth, and you get promoted, granting you access to the next floor of the building and additional puzzles. These puzzles are based on..."realistic" work situations, so they can include things like fixing the office wi-fi, getting lounging employees back to the assembly line, or redirecting lasers to power the company's nuclear reactor.

Yes, your corporation has a nuclear reactor. Yes, they let you play with it. Yes, your rise to power is the height of nepotism and the absolute pinnacle of your ability to get the job done while most likely smashing everything in the way. You will succeed by failing your way up through wanton destruction.

It's probably best not to dig too deeply into the plot here and instead enjoy the fact that you can go into an area, move the furniture, mop up the floor, and use extension cords like slingshots to launch objects through walls, thus completely destroying things in the process but enabling you to get the job done! Sure, I may have drained the pool and filled what water is there with broken glass, but hey, the pool floats got picked up.

Every level also features findable objects to grab for clothing, so you can customize your avatar as you see fit. And since there's no penalty to having a second player, co-op lets you bring out new strategies to get things resolved. It may also result in arguments over where your wife should put that damn mirror to bounce that stupid fucking laser off of, and oh great, now she's not talking to you AND has put the mirror in the wrong fucking spot, but that's ok. You helped the family corporation, mainly by breaking everything you could.

And at the end of it all, you become the next CEO. I probably hospitalized a bunch of my fellow employees, smashed all their hard work, and I don't even have a degree. Isn't nepotism grand? My wife and I congratulated ourselves by going into the developer room in the post-game and then spraying everyone with a fire hose.


Imagine if Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was a lot harder and a lot more Catholic. Yeah, that's Blasphemous. It's a Metroidvania-style game that gives a world full of Spain's Inquisition-style Christian mythology, that while isn't Christian, is certainly borrowing the pomp, circumstance, guilt, self-flagellation, masochism, guilt, and OH MY GOD THE GUILT.

You play the Penitent One, in a fictional land of Cvstodia, who has taken a vow of silence. You have to make your way through the land, using a sword called the Mea Culpa that was birthed from a nun stabbing herself in the chest with a crucifix. You're going up against a religion based around the Great Miracle, which involves pretty much everyone having to suffer in some heinous way simply to prove their devotion to whatever sacred deity is the center of this religion. I don't really know, but whatever god birthed this place, they can go get right proper fucked. Being silent is one thing; imagine your penitence is to heal others by kissing their wounds, or you try to join a convent by climbing up a freezing mountain to prove your faith and likely die on the way up only to have to grievously burn your face when you do make it as an act of faith, or you could simply have been tortured and forced into an iron suit stuck in a tree. Pain is salvation under the Great Miracle. Seriously, does nobody's piety happen to involve something nice? Why is it always suffering?

Anyway, you travel through a variety of locales in this 2D side-scroller, navigating treacherous jumps, fighting nasty monsters, and hoping you don't die, because if you do die, your guilt from doing so will build up until you can recover it by reaching your last resting place. Get used to dying too, because a lot of the game is about learning how to fight the new monsters you encounter, how to survive, and how to traverse points A and B in far more terrible ways than simply backdashing like you were some vampire's prettyboy kid or something. You'll get through an area, figure out the puzzles, finally make it to a save point, and then you fight OH DEAR GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?

And then you fight a boss. Each boss is a feat, both in terms of design and skill. Bosses in Blasphemous can be brutally difficult, and getting through them is a matter of perseverance just as much as getting more powerful. You'll have to memorize how they move, learn their patterns, learn their tells, and be more than a little light on your feet. You'll also probably sacrifice yourself at least once just to learn how to prepare yourself for each fight.

Visually, the bosses are mostly stunning creations, whether it be a giant burned head, a massive bishop's skeleton held up by the pious in glory, an enormous baby that will rip you apart like a rag doll, a tree monster that tears the head off a statue when you first confront it, or in a few cases, a few regular-seeming people in this nightmare holy world...and they're the hardest fights of all, the bastards.

And at the end of the game, you will feel like you've accomplished something incredible, because the adrenaline from what you have overcome is fantastic. If you're ok with witnessing some horrible suffering and more than your fair share of blood, guts, and that face you make when you see something totally horrid, then yeah, play Blasphemous.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Sun May 10, 2020 8:35 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Awesome review, Ack. Blasphemous sounds totally awesome.