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Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:53 am
by dust_hound
@Ack - thanks for posting your thoughts on BR: Winter of the Wolf. I think I might eventually pick it up and give it a go, based on your impressions, and will skip playing the first game.

19th July 2020 - Steamworld Heist (PS Vita)
I recently had a few euros left in my PSN account after purchasing a couple of games, and picked up Steamworld Heist since it was on sale for 3.50EUR at the time. Although its whimsical cartoony steampunk graphical style isn't really my cup of tea, it's nonetheless a great game that anyone with an interest in turn-based tactics games should check out.

The setting is the future where robots are pretty much the only thing left of Earth's population. Earth itself has been destroyed and reduced to a bunch of chunks floating in space, with the steam-powered robot population leading a wild west frontier-style existence, trying to avoid being crushed under the heel of the diesel-powered empire who own the space closest to Earth's remains. You play the role of pirate captain Piper Faraday, and lead a rag-tag pirate crew of steambots through an adventure that starts with a small crew trying to eke out a living, then coming into conflict with the empire, and progressing from there. Story development is done via in-game conversations between characters you meet along the way, some of whom can be recruited to your team, as well as comic-book style cutscenes complete with old-timey narrator and music. The latter is very well done by the steampunk band Steam Powered Giraffe, and you can hear their vocal tracks in the space-bars you can enter, and after defeating certain bosses. There's no voice acting apart from the narrator - instead the robots all speak in authentic frontier robo-gibberish.

Gameplay is centred around boarding spaceships or space stations with the purpose of grabbing loot or meeting objectives like destroying a specific target. Once in combat, you have a limited movement range with two separate distances - sprinting where you can go further but can't act afterwards, or walking a shorter way then performing an action like shooting or using items. When shooting you first set the direction of aim, and depending on the weapon your shots may ricochet, spread out, fly in an arc etc. The steambots all have a slight arm waver when aiming so timing also comes into play when you are about to commit to a shot, and some weapons have laser sights to make this easier. Later on in the game there are other factors like areas covered in oil which you can detonate to cause extra damage, and enemies who exploit this by lobbing oil grenades your way. This leads to various tense moments, and it's enjoyably frustrating when you mess up what you thought was the perfect shot and instead ignite the floor and cost your team valuable HP. Characters level up in a not-overdone way, with level 10 being the maximum, and each new level brings things like a new skill or an increase in health. You can also find various shops along the way where you can purchase weapons, extra storage space for your inventory, repair kits etc.

Oh yes, there are hats too. You can buy them in shops, or knock them off enemies' heads with a well-placed, or unintentional, shot. Lots of hats. That said, they don't seem to confer any special properties - just a different look for your characters.

At the end of the day, I had a great time during my approximately 15hr playthrough, and there's also a new game plus mode for those who can't get enough. Definitely worth buying for anyone who likes the themes of Steampunk, cowboys, lovable misfits, good music, and overall great videogames.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:59 pm
by pook99
prfsnl_gmr wrote:@pook99

Thanks for reading my Momodora review! I’m glad someone else has played it. I liked it so much, I’m going to figure out how to play the first three games in the series, and I am looking forward to the developer’s next effort. Also, great review of RE: Darkside Chronicles. I really want to play those, but I’d like to (at least try to) get through Code Veronica first. They look like a lot of fun.


Momodora 3 is still on steam if you ever use that, the first 2 are freeware and can be found with a google search but are very glitchy, I tried playing the first and it kept crashing so I never bothered finishing it or trying the 2nd. I couldnt tell you much about the 3rd entry as I played it a long time ago, I definitely remember enjoying it but it is not as good as the reverie.

and as someone who couldnt pull himself to finish code veronica I was more than content to see the events of the game through the darkside chronicles.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:56 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
First 30
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)
22. Samsara Room (iOS)
23. Heroes of the Monkey Tavern (Switch)
24. Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch)
25. Gris (Switch)
26. Donut County (iOS)
27. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES)
28. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SNES)
29. Contra (Arcade)
30. Super Contra (Arcade)

31. Minesweeper Genius (Switch)
32. Kuso (Switch)
33. 20XX (Switch)
34. Spooky Ghosts Dot Com (Switch)
35. Aggelos (Switch)
36. Quell+ (iOS)
37. The White Door (iOS)
38. Grizzland (Switch)
39. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Switch)
40. Silent Hill (PS1)

Silent Hill Is a legendary PS1 horror game that I played for this year’s summer games challenge. It is really, really good, and I wrote about it a lot in the Summer Games Challenge thread. First, the game looks great. The models and textures are (relatively) detailed, and the dynamic lighting effects are stupendous. The limited visibility add immensely to the game’s atmosphere, and the game is full of really effective graphical flourishes. Moreover, while the voice acting is stilted (and has that distinct PS1 echo effect), the sound effects are first class. The game is full of static, glass breaking, giggling, metal grinding, objects falling, etc., and all of it is very unsettling. Finally, the relatively non-linear open gameplay is very compelling, and while the combat is almost absurdly easy, the puzzles are genuinely challenging. The game also, despite rank controls, handles really well, and I never felt the controls impeded my progress. (This game would be a great introduction to the survival horror genre.) Highly recommended.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:23 am
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)

30. Two Worlds: Epic Edition (PC)(RPG)
31. Chex Quest HD (PC)(FPS)

32. NecroVision: Lost Company (PC)(FPS)
33. Icewind Dale (PC)(RPG)

34. Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter (PC)(RPG)
35. Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster (PC)(RPG)

36. Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession (PC)(RPG)
37. Singularity (PC)(FPS)
38. The Witcher 2 (PC)(RPG)
39. Still Life 2 (PC)(Point and Click Adventure)
40. Myst IV: Revelation (PC)(Point and Click Adventure)
41. Gato Roboto (Switch)(Action Adventure)
42. Painkiller: Overdose (PC)(FPS)

43. Battle Realms (PC)(RTS)
44. Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf (PC)(RTS)
45. Terminator: Resistance (PC)(FPS)

There have been a few Terminator video games over the years, but it's never been a franchise that really nailed it. Actually, let me back up; it's not a franchise that's really nailed anything after the release of the second film. The first two films are fantastic. After that, it's all downhill. The games have been a mixture of genres but generally lackluster and aren't particularly memorable, despite in a few rare instances such as Future Shock bringing true innovation.

I find it difficult to judge Terminator: Resistance because of this history, because I compare it both to its franchise and to its genre. It is both mediocre and fantastic, bland and nostalgic. It offers up some ideas that are generic samey revisions of what we regularly see in FPS nowadays along with some moments of genuine, heart swelling awesomeness. I like it, but I think I like it more than I should, and as much as I like it, I also found myself constantly staring at its faults.

Resistance takes place after T2, and it continues based on that storyline, so the only stuff that appears canon in the game are the first two films. You play a regular soldier named Jacob Rivers who is a Resistance fighter against Skynet 30 years after the nuclear holocaust. You're stuck in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, fighting through places like Pasadena and the Hollywood Hills, as well as Downtown, and eventually forced to confront a new model that has been chasing you for months, one that looks human but is completely relentless. What's most surprising is that it's a new model of Terminator, but it's been after you a while, and the prototypes only just started coming off the line... Ah, time travel storylines.

In practice, Resistance offers up some decent gunplay, but your weapon types are limited. It has some classic enemies you'll recognize from the films, but after a few levels you'll realize you've seen them all. It offers a small crafting system that has the emphasis placed on small. It has a leveling system that seems mostly irrelevant beyond locking you out of certain skills, and it has an inventory system and weapon mod system that are both bland and generic. It's like if Fallout 3 were considerably smaller and had Terminators wandering around. Apparently it still had the same amount of bugs as a Bethesda game on launch, though that's thankfully been patched out in many cases. Oh, and there is a linear plot with some non-linear aspects related to different characters, but ultimately it comes down to whether these folks ultimately live or die and whether you have to be an asshole to get there.

If it's sounding pretty generic, that's because it is. That's not to say it doesn't have things I appreciate; for instance, hacking is basically a Frogger-rip off minigame that I ended up liking a lot. But then there is lockpicking, which was lifted directly from Elder Scrolls IV. You can use pseudo nightvision to see through walls and eventually take photos, but the photos have absolutely no point beyond a couple of quest purposes and an achievement. It's just a grab bag of ideas from the last fifteen years, thrown in together to see what it achieves.

And yet... And yet, at the end of the game, I find myself assaulting Skynet's fortress, leading the charge of Resistance fighters against waves of massive robots, while a reprogrammed HK tank is driving along behind me, literally smashing its way through barriers, and John Connor is shouting orders to me about how Skynet has powerd up its time travel device and has begun sending Terminator models back in time, and an extended version of the Terminator theme is blasting as I fire plasma lasers at T-800s streaming through security gates, their eyes glowing with red fury as I put a shot in one's dome and send it crumbling to the dirt...

Yeah, when Resistance works, it works.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:36 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
First 40
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)
22. Samsara Room (iOS)
23. Heroes of the Monkey Tavern (Switch)
24. Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch)
25. Gris (Switch)
26. Donut County (iOS)
27. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES)
28. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SNES)
29. Contra (Arcade)
30. Super Contra (Arcade)
31. Minesweeper Genius (Switch)
32. Kuso (Switch)
33. 20XX (Switch)
34. Spooky Ghosts Dot Com (Switch)
35. Aggelos (Switch)
36. Quell+ (iOS)
37. The White Door (iOS)
38. Grizzland (Switch)
39. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Switch)
40. Silent Hill (PS1)

41. Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio (Switch)

Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio is a gauntlet of 60 platforming challenges and three boss battles. The challenges get progressively more difficult as you proceed through the game, and each can be completed in just a few seconds. All of them are completely ridiculous, though, and the game provides no explanation regarding how to complete them. Accordingly, the game’s micro platforming seems like something that would be produced by WarioWare, Inc. That is, it is very fast-paced, funny, and a lot of fun. On one level, you jump over Frankenstein’s monster to grab a key, and a few levels later, you’re dodging a soccer ball bouncing around the screen like something from Breakout. You’ll jump off your pet poodle like Mega Man bounces off Rush before grabbing keys while running away from fire-breathing dobermans. Other highlights include: firing missiles at a giant baby, jumping over zombies as they’re slain by a sword-wielding hero, skateboarding through a house, and shooting small dragons with a laser firing out of the Venus de Milo’s missing arm. Finally, the game has great music, and it’s loaded with ridiculous, low quality voice samples. (When you start the game, it yells, “Cowabunga!” just like the NES version of TMNT: The Arcade Game. That put a smile on my face.)

The game has two modes: a “classic” mode where you get nine hits, but only one life, to beat the game, and a “try harder” mode where you have unlimited lives, but only one hit point, to beat each level. I beat the “try harder” mode, but I can get a little past half way through the classic mode. The platforming can be a bit stiff at times, but the levels are still mostly fair. (The “try harder” mode illustrates that you can beat all of them without getting hit. It may take you 50 tries to figure out how to do it, but it’s possible.)

Despite the game’s very limited content, I feel there’s enough creativity and fun here to justify its price. (It’s normal price is $4.99, but I got it on sale for $2.49.) I will definitely be making more runs at “classic” mode, and the game’s pick-up-and-play, die-and-retry nature make it great for short gaming breaks. Highly recommended.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:57 pm
by Markies
Markies' Games Beat List Of 2020!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Pikmin 2 (GCN)
2. Banjo-Tooie (N64)
3. Contra: Hard Corps (GEN)
4. Super Baseball Simulator 1,000 (SNES)
5. Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers 2 (NES)
6. Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection (PS2)
***7. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PS2)***
***8. Cruis'N USA (N64)***
9. Arc The Lad Collection (PS1)
10. Halo 2 (XBX)
11. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean (GCN)
12. DuckTales 2 (NES)
13. Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (PS2)
14. Rocket Knight Adventures (GEN)

***15. Skies of Arcadia (SDC)***

Image

Skies of Arcadia is probably my favorite DreamCast game and could be my favorite game Sega has ever created. It is such a perfect RPG that feels like a love letter to the golden age of the genre. With lovable characters, a fantastic battle and leveling system and a story that never gets old, the game is perfect in every sense of the word. I just feel great playing it and I just want to always play more. Truly, one of my all time favorite games and a beloved classic.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:40 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) *
30. Maken X (DC)
31. Cubivore (GC)
32. Wario World (GC) *
33. Hatoful Boyfriend (PC)
34. Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (SFC)
35. Baku Bomberman 2 (N64)
36. Chameleon Twist (N64)
37. Gato Roboto (PC)
38. The Messenger (PC)
39. The Messenger: Picnic Panic (PC)
40. Baku Bomberman (N64)

41. Bomberman Hero (N64)

This is a game I rented as a kid but got stuck in and never ended up beating. I remembered liking it a fair bit, but when I picked it up a couple years back I bounced off it hard. This time I ended up liking it more than ever, and I completed the main game 100%, even getting all the gold medals in addition to the purple ball thingies. I played through the Japanese version, and the game doesn't keep track of how long you've played it (and neither did I), so I really have no idea how long it took me ^^;

Where Baku Bomberman 1 and 2 are more like "classic Bomberman meets action platformer game", Bomberman Hero is Bomberman staring in a proper action platformer. In an intro that is a delightfully silly homage to Star Wars Episode IV, Princess Mirian is captured by the bad guys while trying to flee them in a tiny escape ship, and gives her robot companion Pibot a very important data disc to escape with to find Bomberman. It's a very lighthearted story that doesn't take itself seriously at all, but it's a delightful framework for the adventure with how campy and colorful it is. The game itself is overall very colorful and nice looking with a good soundtrack to boot (in grand Hudson fashion).

The gameplay is much more standard action platformer than either Baku Bomberman game. You can jump with the A button, throw bombs with the B button, kick bombs with down on the C-stick. You can tilt the camera with the other C buttons, but only temporarily. The game is played with a fixed camera going through linear stages one at a time, and for the most part the camera is never really an issue (on the normal final boss it can be a bit awkward, is all). There are point totals to aim for in each level (which are annoyingly only told to you after you beat the stage XP), and getting a 5-rank in all the stages unlocks a secret 6th world after you beat the normal final boss. The point challenges for the boss levels themselves are very cleverly done, with your score starting at 10,000 and counting down to 0, so they're more like time attack challenges.

The normal platforming stages rarely outstay their welcomes, even if ultimately they don't have a ton of variety to them. Bomberman controls quite well, but throwing bombs can be a bit of an inexact science at first and takes a bit to get used to, as aiming a shot diagonally is something the game often wants you to do but doesn't make easy XP. There are also many vehicle stages. They're gimmick levels that range from Star Fox-like Bomb Jetpack levels, similar but more controlled (you can go backwards if you want) underwater levels, infrequent but very easy to control Bomb-Copter levels, and the utterly terribly hoverboarding stages (which there are mercifully only two of). The vehicle stages aren't so bad if you're not aiming to hit the point totals on every level, and even then the point totals in them are often very mercifully low compared to the total point totals possible to get in each level. The hoverboarding parts are easily the worst and most difficult parts of the game, but overall the game itself is fairly easy.

Verdict: Recommended. It's not gonna set your world on fire, but it's something a bit different and it's a very competently put together game. If you like 3D platformers on the N64 and want something that's a little different from all the collectathons on the platform, this game can be a great way to spend a weekend. It's a bit of an oddball in that it's probably the only console Bomberman game to lack a multiplayer mode of any kind, but it's a good single-player experience that's easily worth $10 at least.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:21 am
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) *
30. Maken X (DC)
31. Cubivore (GC)
32. Wario World (GC) *
33. Hatoful Boyfriend (PC)
34. Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (SFC)
35. Baku Bomberman 2 (N64)
36. Chameleon Twist (N64)
37. Gato Roboto (PC)
38. The Messenger (PC)
39. The Messenger: Picnic Panic (PC)
40. Baku Bomberman (N64)
41. Bomberman Hero (N64)

42. Blazing Lasers (TG16)

I asked Maru, the resident PCE super fan, on what games I should start with on my PCE Mini that arrived earlier this week. This was one of the three he recommended as foundational games for the system. A good introductory shmup, he called it. I overall agree with that sentiment, as this was a game I thoroughly enjoyed. I beat it in one sitting, nearly 1CC-ing it, but needing to resort to save states at the final boss (who took me many tries to kill XP).

Blazing Lasers was originally a licensed tie-in for the movie Gunhed in Japan, but had all of the licensing scrubbed out of it for its US release on the Turbografx (which is likely why that's the version included on the PCE/TG16 Mini). You're a space ship going through 9 areas on a mission to save the world, I guess. Aesthetically the game is all over the place, going from inside some sort of horrific meat tunnel to over a rocky desert covered with pyramids and Moai heads in the span of going from one level to the next, but the sound is pretty darn good and the framerate & graphics all look great, een for an early HuCard game.

Mechanically it plays VERY similarly to Star Soldier, with 4 main weapons you can upgrade through as well as several sub weapons as well. The main difference between this and Star Soldier that I found was that in Star Soldier is that in Star Soldier your weapon powers down when you get hit (in some games), while in this game you just die XP. I personally preferred weapon 3 (the shield laser) and the shield sub weapon as well. That shield can take a TON of punishment, and even when you get hit, your weapon also provides a shield. Sure, the weapon powers down when you get hit, but the lower rank shield laser weapon is arguably better than the higher ranks in many regards, so that never bothered me much XD. There is also a golden extra life mechanic, where instead of going backwards to a checkpoint, you immediately respawn. While I never figured out how that was activated, it was still nice to get here and there.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is a very fair shmup, and there were only a time or two (the last level when you die to the final boss, for example) where the place the game respawned me at was just utter trash and I had no chance of possibly surviving. It's a really good balance of quick reactions and diversity of powerups (although weapon 4 kinda sucks). The presentation is good and the length is just right. It's a nice easing into the genre for newer players (especially with that awesome shield) and a good but fair challenge for experienced players as well. It may not be as memorable as something like Star Parodier or Parodius, but it's still a great time and it absolutely deserves its good reputation.

------

43. Neutopia (TG16)

Moving onto the next game Maru recommended, this is the Zelda clone series of the PC Engine. Neutopia is a game I've heard Maru talk about before but I've never tried. He said it was just okay, and that's about the place I'm at if not a bit lower. I played the English version of this and used save states a lot mostly for preserving bombs and making getting through the game a bit less time consuming.

Neutopia is a really shameless Zelda 1 clone with some NPC elements from Zelda 2 thrown in for good measure. You have a top-down perspective with a main character going through 8 dungeons to get 8 power objects to then fight a big bad guy and rescue the princess at the end. It's not a terribly memorable game in regards to anything about its presentation, but it's doesn't really fail at any element of the presentation. It's honestly a really surprisingly well translated game for 1990, with only some minor punctuation errors here and there. The game just isn't terribly ambitious, so it didn't leave much of an impression with me.

This is pre-LTTP, so your main character Jazeta's main attack is just sticking his sword out directly in front of him like Link does in Zelda 1. This wouldn't be so bad if Jazeta weren't also taller than his feet are wide, so you have a big problem of your sword hitting a relatively small area in front of you compared to how tall your hitbox is. The sword is borderline useless a lot of the time with how numerous and fast enemies are, and that never improves throughout the game. Your sword only gets more powerful, never wider or larger.

This is heavily mitigated, though, by the fire wand that you get relatively early in the game. This is something Neutopia copies from YS moreso than it does from Zelda, but that fire wand is an invaluable tool with how it can not only fire at range, it also gets more powerful the higher your health is (and it gets stronger the higher your max health gets as a result), and it's also a ranged attack that you can fire even diagonally. All that said, the combat is routinely quite frustrating and while the bosses tend to be easy to very easy, the normal enemies swarming you is easily the most difficult thing in the game.

Outside of that, the dungeons aren't terribly interesting, and are very derivative from Zelda 1 in how they're mostly just a series of rooms. There aren't really ever any larger puzzles or even rooms bigger than one screen, and dungeons don't even have keys aside from locking the boss room. The dungeons are more exercises in bomb conservation/use to find the increasingly numerous hidden rooms in each successive dungeon, and battle gauntlets as you fight through trying to find the crypt key and the crypt itself to fight the boss in it. There is also one hidden upgrade for either your shield, sword, and armor (to help you block more projectile types, hit harder, and protect against damage better respectively) in each dungeon and sometimes hidden in the overworld.

The overworld itself differs a bit from Zelda in that there are basically four of them, and you unlock a new one every time you beat the two dungeons in the previous one (with the last two simply unlocking the path to the final boss). There are NPCs scattered all over the place, either in staircases behind bushes you need to burn down or behind a very obvious wall you need to use a precious bomb on, but most of them simply give a little (often nearly useless) information or yet another potion or bomb shop. It really does suck that there's no overworld map, but none of them are too terribly huge, so it's not so bad. It is a little funny how even the way you talk to NPCs, automatically walking halfway up the screen to them so text can appear on the screen, is also nearly exactly how Zelda 1 does it XD

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. This isn't an utterly terrible game or anything, but it's definitely not a good game. It's got a lot of unpolished, unambitious, and uninspired design to it, sure, but it doesn't do anything particularly unforgivably poorly. What this reminds me of more than anything is Blossom Tale on the Switch. A Zelda clone that mostly just reminds you of better Zelda games you could be playing instead. However Neutopia has the added hurdle of not having aged that well in the nearly 30 years since it came out, and also needing to use passwords to save if you're playing on the real hardware. It's not a terrible use of your time, but I don't think I ever would've played it had I not gotten it on the PCE Mini.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:56 am
by o.pwuaioc
Maru chose well for you. I do love Neutopia, but Neutopia II is even better, and so maybe you'll like that more.

In the meantime, try Castlevania and Ninja Spirit, which I think would be in my top 3. Splatterhouse, Military Madness, and Alien Crush are classics if you like those types of genres. However, you have plenty of shooters to choose from, and for me that's where the Turbo really shines. Try your hand at Sapphire, Soldier Blade, Spriggan, and Dragon Spirit (closer to the arcade version than the NES game, which is actually pretty different in many places). I'd say Lords of Thunder, too (why no Gate of Thunder!?), but apparently there are some slowdown issues with it.

There are some glaring omissions or the Turbo Mini. No Legendary Axe I/II, Devil Crush (although Alien Crush is there), or Ys III.

Re: Games Beaten 2020

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:31 am
by PartridgeSenpai
o.pwuaioc wrote:Maru chose well for you. I do love Neutopia, but Neutopia II is even better, and so maybe you'll like that more.

In the meantime, try Castlevania and Ninja Spirit, which I think would be in my top 3. Splatterhouse, Military Madness, and Alien Crush are classics if you like those types of genres. However, you have plenty of shooters to choose from, and for me that's where the Turbo really shines. Try your hand at Sapphire, Soldier Blade, Spriggan, and Dragon Spirit (closer to the arcade version than the NES game, which is actually pretty different in many places). I'd say Lords of Thunder, too (why no Gate of Thunder!?), but apparently there are some slowdown issues with it.

There are some glaring omissions or the Turbo Mini. No Legendary Axe I/II, Devil Crush (although Alien Crush is there), or Ys III.


I plan to at least try everything on the mini at some point~
I tried Splatterhouse the other day and I don't think it's really my thing. I did try Soldier Blade a little earlier and had a lot of fun with that. I think I'll give that another go once I finish with Neutopia 2 tomorrow~