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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:56 am

dsheinem wrote:I fucking loved Dusk. It is one of the best retro-inspired FPSs I've played, and it nails that OG Quake feel in quite a few ways. I have plans to dive into some other games in this sub-sub genre soon, but Dusk will be a a tough tittle to beat.


Amid Evil, Project Warlock, and Ion Fury are good choices if you haven't checked them out yet, Dave. I have also played the Prodeus beta and heartily enjoyed myself, so I am looking forward to it. Avoid stuff like Apocryph, which is an unfinished mess. If you like the more roguelike FPS, Cthon might be up your alley, but look out for games made with GameMaker.
Those tend to lack in quality and can probably be skipped.

Also, some of the recent remasters like Doom 64 and Blood: Fresh Supply are wonderful (despite what Popo says), so look into those... though the fully 3D reimagining of Chex Quest is just bland. Free but bland.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:58 pm

Hedon is also pretty fun if you like a more Hexen-esque feel where more care is put to the level design feeling like real places and telling more of a story.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:11 pm

MrPopo wrote:Hedon is also pretty fun if you like a more Hexen-esque feel where more care is put to the level design feeling like real places and telling more of a story.

Yeah, and if you're really into muscular orc ladies...
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:33 pm

Ack wrote:
MrPopo wrote:Hedon is also pretty fun if you like a more Hexen-esque feel where more care is put to the level design feeling like real places and telling more of a story.

Yeah, and if you're really into muscular orc ladies...

Ack isn't into strong women apparently.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:56 pm

Still waiting on that Death’s Hangover review, DSH...tick-tock, tick-took... :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:46 am

Partridge Senpai's 2020 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019
* indicates a repeat

1-50
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)
43. Neutopia (TG16)
44. Neutopia II (TG16)
45. Bomberman '94 (PCE)
46. Super Mario Sunshine (GC) *
47. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (GC) *
48. Shenmue 3 (PS4)
49. Wandersong (Switch)
50. Ratchet & Clank (PS2)

51. Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando (PS2)
52. Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal (PS2)
53. Nier: Automata (PS4)
54. Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2)
55. Itadaki Street Special (PS2)
56. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PCE)
57. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3)
58. Crash Bandicoot (PS1)
59. Nazo Puyo: Aruru No Ruu~ (Game Gear)
60. Jumping Flash! (PS1)
61. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (PS1)
62. Crash Team Racing (PS1)
63. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (PS1)
64. Super Mario Galaxy (Switch)
65. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3)
66. Battle Stadium D.O.N. (GC) *
67. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) *
68. Dracula Densetsu II (GB)
69. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) *
70. Super Mario's Picross (SFC)
71. Castlevania (Famicom)
72. Castlevania (MSX)
73. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES)
74. Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
75. Castlevania III (Famicom)
76. Super Castlevania IV (SFC) *
77. Castlevania: Bloodlines (MD)
78. Kid Dracula (Famicom)

79. Sonic Adventure (DC)

Growing up, I loved Sonic Adventure 2 on the Gamecube, and I played it all the time. However, the Gamecube DX port of the original Sonic Adventure was a game I rented several times back then, but never ended up finishing. With all the fun I had going back through Sonic Adventure 2 a month or two ago, I had been keeping my eyes out for a copy of the original game on Dreamcast, and I finally happened across one. It was then once I'd already spent my 300 yen on it that a friend asked me if I'd gotten the "fixed version" to which I responded "Fixed version? ^^;" XD. Turns out, Sonic Adventure had not one but two releases in Japan. One in 1998 at the launch of the Dreamcast, and another "International" version nine months later when the game launched in the rest of the world. From what I understand, this "unfixed" version isn't as buggy as the laser Gamecube port, but it does have some wonky cutscenes and, most importantly, an absolutely dire camera. All that said, I did this time what I couldn't do as a kid: I beat all six stories and even the secret one at the end, and it took me around 10 hours to do it.

Sonic Adventure is Sonic's first proper foray into 3D after the absence of any such game in the Saturn generation outside of the hub world of the Sonic Jam collection. Angel Island falls out of the sky one day after an attack by Eggman, and Station Square City is under attack by a mysterious watery entity known only as Chaos that appears to grow and evolve as it absorbs more chaos emeralds. You play through not just Sonic's path through these events, but also Tails', Knuckles', Amy's, as well as two new characters: Big the Cat's and Gamma the Robot's. They experience strange flashbacks to events far in the past that slowly elucidate Chaos' origins as well as those of an echidna civilization far gone.

The story is a kind of weird space between serious and silly in a way the later games don't reach in quite the same way. Sonic's story is fairly standard "gonna save the world", but then you have Tails where he's learning that he doesn't need Sonic to be brave or be a hero and Gamma's story of destruction towards his fellow Eggman-built robots. You also have Amy's story which sort of results in "she helps emotionless characters feel emotions because girl = emotions and also she helps animals" and then there's Big's which is comically entirely about single-mindedly trying to save his friend Froggy, but warts and all there's a corny sincerity to it, and it makes for an experience I found quite memorable and charming.

The game has a very interesting approach to how it constructs its six story campaigns. Sonic's levels are usually all about going from point A to point B through a stage, and he has ten stages in total. His campaign is by far the longest, and it took me about 3 hours in total to do (on a stream, for the record). Most of the other characters, however, have nearly no unique stages, and their stages are constructed in whole or in part out of bits from Sonic's stages. Each of their campaigns ends up coming in at about an hour (with the one exception being Big's stages, which I'll get to later). This would seem like a really awful over reuse of assets (and to a certain point it does feel that way sometimes), but they vary this up by giving each of the six characters different gameplay styles and control methods. They each have different jumps and movements speeds/momentums, but it's more than just that.

Tails' missions are largely Sonic's missions (sometimes literally the same for the shooting side missions), but are otherwise made up of races against Sonic through more streamlined bits of his stages. Sonic's stages certainly weren't built for Tails and his flying (no mech suit in this game), but they're still modified a bit to accommodate him and they work out alright. Knuckles' levels are his famous "hunt the master emerald shards down" levels in more open areas of Sonic's levels, and the main difference they have to later games is that all emeralds are tracked at once, so you won't end up walking past one you simply weren't looking for yet. Gamma's stages are action-based and he plays a lot like Eggaman's and Tails' would in the sequel, where he has a targeting lock-on that he uses to kill enemies. The only catch here is that you have a countdown timer to finish the level, so you need those chain kills to get more time. Amy's are her running from an otherwise invincible robot chasing her, but they're nothing special than how awkwardly she controls compared to the rest. Big's stages, finally, are oddly enough a total shift in genre as you need to play fishing mini-games to catch his best friend Froggy after he runs away from Big's home once he accidentally eats a part of Chaos.

One of this game's biggest black marks is not so much the gameplay conceits themselves but the level design as a whole. I've always maintained that the overworld the game gives you to go between levels is largely confusing more than it is good, but this level design problem extends far outside of that. It doesn't just feel like Sonic's levels weren't designed for Tails. They don't feel like they were really designed for Sonic either, quite frequently. Sonic moves very fast, of course, and the tons of tiny railways they have you walk across and otherwise common precision platforming are far more frustrating than fun. All the characters have this looseness to how they move that makes it feel like you're fighting against the game to walk precisely any time you want to do it (especially to pick up an object, as you often have to do), and that is all irrespective of the camera that plagues this version of the game (it constantly gets stuck on things and in walls and is generally a bad time).

Then you have some campaigns that feel like total afterthoughts like Amy's who only has three levels to speak of and barely a story at all. The only character other than Knuckles whose stages feel all that special are Big's, and those are for the wrong reasons. Big's fishing mechanics, especially for Froggy, are utterly broken and arbitrary. Froggy will bite your line whenever he feels like it, and that is nearly never. The first level took me over an hour, with the second one taking me an hour and a half, with the third and fourth very mercifully taking eight and fifteen minutes respectively. His levels and just how awful they are are what kept me from completing the game as a kid, and if I didn't have my friends to suffer through this with me on Discord while I played it, they might've kept me from completing it this time too XD

One thing this game does not skimp on, however, is the presentation. It's a very pretty game for the time, and even though some facial animations are hilariously broken-looking, they just add to the comedy and silliness of the whole thing. The Japanese voice acting is really nice, and all the characters manage to come across in ways that are appealing (as a side note, I really like this VA for Eggman's Japanese voice, especially over the guy they got to replace him in the games after this one). The music especially is fantastic. Although I'd say Sonic Adventure 2 has stronger vocal tracks, this game definitely has stronger instrumental tracks (with my personal favorite being the pinball stage).

As a final note, while this game DOES have a Chao garden like the sequel has, I never really interacted with it much because the presentation of it is so unclear. You can collect rare Chao in the hub world and bring them back there, and you can also collect animals in levels to feed to them, but it is never super clear to what end you're doing that other than just to play with the Chao. It's a fine diversion for its time, but it's definitely not as user-friendly or as fleshed out as the sequel would make it.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. While I would maintain that Sonic Adventure 2 is still a fine game that has stood the test of time in many ways, I cannot say the same about its predecessor. Even outside of just how heckin' dire Big's levels are, the overall poor level design and looseness of the controls really makes this a difficult game to go back to these days. Sonic has had far better 3D outings than this since 1998, but if you really want a 3D Sonic game, you can certainly do a lot better than this, and you'll likely enjoy a decent enough amount of your time to feel justified with it if you can find it for cheap.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by dsheinem Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:12 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Still waiting on that Death’s Hangover review, DSH...tick-tock, tick-took... :lol:


The gameplay was fun enough that I would certainly recommend a playthrough if you enjoy the genre...but the story and many of the other design elements didn't especially click with me. It reminded me of Wizorb in some ways, but I found that game to be better overall.

Ack wrote:Amid Evil, Project Warlock, and Ion Fury are good choices if you haven't checked them out yet, Dave.



Already on my "to play soon" list for these kinds of titles are:

Strafe
Wrath: Aeon of Ruin
Amid Evil
Ion Fury
Immortal Redneck (I think this fits with these?)

I have played some of Project Warlock and it didn't quite connect, but maybe I'll try it again at some point.

I have Ultrakill, Faith, and Maximum Action on my Wishlist too, as they all look to scratch the same itch...
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:28 pm

Immortal Redneck is more of a roguelike FPS. You'll find it has more in common with Tower of Guns, Ziggurat, and MOTHER GUNSHIP Strafe is more of the crossover point between old school and roguelike.

Good choices. Wrath and Ultrakill are also on my list to keep an eye on.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:33 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2020 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019
* indicates a repeat

1-50
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)
43. Neutopia (TG16)
44. Neutopia II (TG16)
45. Bomberman '94 (PCE)
46. Super Mario Sunshine (GC) *
47. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (GC) *
48. Shenmue 3 (PS4)
49. Wandersong (Switch)
50. Ratchet & Clank (PS2)

51. Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando (PS2)
52. Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal (PS2)
53. Nier: Automata (PS4)
54. Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2)
55. Itadaki Street Special (PS2)
56. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PCE)
57. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3)
58. Crash Bandicoot (PS1)
59. Nazo Puyo: Aruru No Ruu~ (Game Gear)
60. Jumping Flash! (PS1)
61. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (PS1)
62. Crash Team Racing (PS1)
63. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (PS1)
64. Super Mario Galaxy (Switch)
65. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3)
66. Battle Stadium D.O.N. (GC) *
67. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) *
68. Dracula Densetsu II (GB)
69. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) *
70. Super Mario's Picross (SFC)
71. Castlevania (Famicom)
72. Castlevania (MSX)
73. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES)
74. Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
75. Castlevania III (Famicom)
76. Super Castlevania IV (SFC) *
77. Castlevania: Bloodlines (MD)
78. Kid Dracula (Famicom)
79. Sonic Adventure (DC)

80. Drakengard (PS2)

I adore both Nier and its sequel Nier: Automata. When I first completed Nier years ago, I attempted to play through its director Yoko Taro's first big game Drakengard and was pretty firmly not impressed. After finishing and adoring Nier: Automata earlier this year, I decided to give Drakengard (or as it's known in Japanese "Drag-On Dragoon) another try to see what people see about this game. Like Nier, Drakengard has multiple endings and they're certainly all intended to be played through, and up until even after completing the first ending of Drakengard I was really unimpressed and frustrated with my time with it. However, as I went on to see the other endings and content (as the completion percentage in the lower right is keen to inform you, more than half of the game is still waiting for you after you see ending A), I began to respect Drakengard more and more as a game and as a work of fiction. It took me just about 24 hours to get all five endings in the Japanese version of the game. Before the review beings properly, I want to clarify that while I won't get into any discussions that require content warnings in this review (and hoo boy does Drakengard need them), I will be getting into some fairly heavy spoilers for the game in my discussion of the themes it presents.

​Drakengard is the story of Caim, a soldier and prince of the allied army, and the red dragon he has formed a pact with. Despite Caim's hatred of dragons (an imperial dragon killed his parents) and the dragon's general detest for humans, they form a pact between their souls to save their own lives when they're both on the brink of death. Caim and his dragon go on to fight the imperial army headed by an evil empress bent on destroying the world by killing Caim's big sister who is also a goddess that acts as a seal against the aforementioned world destruction. The story itself is somewhat complicated on paper as far as characters, motivations, and places go, but the particulars aren't really important. Most characters in Drakengard don't really change over the course of the story, and this is a game whose message is much more about its themes than the story itself, but we'll get back to that later. First we need to mention the actual gameplay of Drakengard.

​Drakengard as a project started out as something to capitalize on the success of the Dynasty Warriors (aka "Musou") series, which is why Drakengard has big fields of enemies for you to tear down hundreds of. However, midway through its development, it was also decided that it would also be prudent to make Drakengard a vehicle to ALSO jump onto the popularity of the Ace Combat series, which is why Drakengard also has the aerial combat sections on the dragon. Neither of these sections are particularly impressive in and of themselves, and honestly both somewhat work against each other on a more fundamental mechanical level.

The most solid parts overall are the air missions where you have your dragon and can fly around the skies defeating targets. It can be a bit overly difficult to maneuver at times and when characters talk mid-mission they cover up your enemy radar (very annoyingly), but overall these are far more like the simplicity of Star Fox's flying missions than something more technical than Ace Combat. You have a normal breath attack, a homing attack, and a super magic attack as well as the ability to zoom to the right or left to avoid incoming fire. They're quick, breezy, and a little annoying with how you can sometimes get overwhelmed, but they overall work fine.

The on-ground sections are very Musou-like, with you going around and slicing up tons of enemies trying to kill targets to win that particular mission. You have a normal attack, a magic attack you can do if you have enough mana from killing enemies, and a combo super you can do by pressing the button for your magic attack mid-combo (which yes, results in a lot of whiffed magic uses when you meant to do your combo super). You also, quite usefully, have a ground dodge just like the dragon has side-dashes in the air. There are also new weapons scattered throughout the game that you can get to allow you access to new combos as well as new magic spells to fling around.

The ground combat is where most of the outright faults with the game mechanically derive from, however. Very annoyingly, your camera is also the same as in the sky. Turning the right stick just makes you look in that direction temporarily. It doesn't actually properly turn the camera. It turns it like you're looking left and right in a cockpit like in Ace Combat. This is all well and fine for the flying sections, but it is not welcome at ALL in the ground sections, and the only way to refocus the camera is by holding the block button. This was likely a compromise made due to how you can also summon your dragon to fly on during the on-ground missions, but it's still one I could've easily done without.

The new weapons are also not very fun either, ultimately. Despite there being 65 of them, most of them require some real sleuthing or dumb luck to find without a guide, with many being locked behind killing specific enemies, taking specific paths, beating certain enemies or levels within time limits, or even just waiting around as long as 25 whole minutes for the chest to just spawn on its own. Just to top that whole mess off, none of these secrets are communicated to the player in any way shape or form. You aren't even told which verses (segments of chapters) have weapons remaining in them to find. To make matters even worse, you can't even really properly use a weapon when you first find it. Caim and the dragon both level up, but Caim's levels only affect his and the dragon's shared max HP, and the dragon's levels only affect the dragon's attack power. Weapon attack is entirely down to the level of the weapon, and weapons don't really have much of a power creep, and you can't really know how powerful a weapon will be until you level it up. This means every time you want to try out a new weapon to really get use out of in the story, you'll need to grind for like half an hour in earlier stages to get it to max level so THEN you can start really getting a feel for it. HOWEVER, as bad as ALL that sounds (and is), I would argue that a significant portion of it is actually in the positive service of the game as a whole.

Drakengard's endings progressively make the narrative get to worse and worse places. Arguably, the first ending you get is the "good" ending for the story, as it's certainly the happiest outcome for everyone involved. Caim's priest ally even posits whether the "gods" have decided to spare [humanity]. As you go towards further and further endings, playing more and more of the game, you see more and more just how monstrous all the characters, Caim included, are. The further endings all progressively doom the world to differing but all worse fates, with the final ending opening up a portal to modern day Tokyo (and, given that that is the inciting plot incident for Nier's canon, you could argue it ends up destroying all of the real world's humanity).

Drakengard is ultimately a game that is trying to comment on how players interact with games and particularly the narratives within them in relation to the gameplay. When you enter the portal in ending E to the real world's Tokyo, the dragon remarks that you've entered the world of the "gods". When the priest asks in ending A if the gods have decided to spare them, he isn't referring to unknowable gods of his world. He's referring to you, the player, and all of us in our own world. Much like Undertale would get so much praise for more than a decade later, we, the player, will decide if we spare them and their world by stopping at our first ending and not continuing as we are prompted to. Getting ending E requires going through the monotonous task of collecting all 65 weapons in the game. It is an extremely deliberate act that takes no small amount of time (I'd say it's easily more than a third of the game's completion time), and the final rhythm game-like boss battle of that ending is also very difficult. The player is REALLY committing to this destruction all in the sake of completing a game, and Drakengard wants us to ponder the morality of that in the context of its narrative. I think something like Undertale achieves this a bit more successfully, but I can't say that I didn't leave Drakengard impressed with the message it tries to tell with what could otherwise come off as just a quite dark (for a video game, certainly) medieval fantasy story.

Presentation-wise, Drakengard is a bit of an odd mixed bag. Visually, it's quite a nice-looking game for 2003, with the CGI cutscenes (particularly of the later endings) looking very nice even today. The ground enemy designs are a bit uninteresting, but the flying enemy designs are generally really cool (they feel far more Nier-like), and once you get to the giant babies borne from space at the end of the game, it just gets to plain nightmare fuel territory. The music is really weird, being remixes of pieces of classical music. From what I've read about it, they were apparently deliberately put together to evoke the game's theme of "madness", and given how several of my friends who watched me play it over Discord described the music as "brain melting", I think they achieved their goals XD. As a final note, while I remember the English VA being fairly dire, I thought the Japanese VA was really good, although I don't believe any version of the game has any kind of language select option, unfortunately.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. I really liked this game, but it will definitely not be for everyone. Drakengard is a game much more than the sum of its parts mechanically, and that will turn off a lot of people pretty quickly, and I also don't blame them for that. I think Drakengard is a fascinating and fairly bold attempt at creating a narrative in a video game for its budget in 2003, and I really respect it for that, but I also have the good sense to realize that that is SO not what many (or even most) people go to video games seeking. If what this review has described has piqued your interest, then I'd say it's probably worth hunting the game down and giving it a try. Drakengard is a game that most people will quickly dislike and for good reasons, but I think it will always be a game I have a certain fondness for.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:07 pm

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 (XBOX)
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)***
16. Dragon Quest V (SNES)
17. Marvel Vs. Capcom (PS1)
***18. Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition (GEN)***
19. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II - The Sith Lords (XBOX)
20. Disney's Aladdin (SNES)
21. Flatout 2 (PS2)
22. Mr. Driller (SDC)
23. Blast Corps (N64)
24. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (GCN)

25. Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse (PS2)

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I beat Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse on the Sony Playstation 2 this afternoon.

A few years ago, I went through Xenosaga Episode I with a friend of mine. It was a game he had for a long while and that I eventually bought to play with him. It was a game that I really enjoyed, though I was a little lost on the story at times. However, the combat system and the characters made everything worth while. It took a while, but we were actually walking around some local game stores together when we ran across two copies of Xenosaga Episode II. With an agreement to play it together, we both bought a copy and I even picked up a copy of Xenosaga Episode III later on. With not wanting to play them back to back, we decided to play the game together this month.

Without a doubt, the best part of Xensaga II is the music. Besides the final dungeon, I absolutely loved every single track in the music. Some of the dungeons take forever, so it was great to have some catchy and memorable music to hear during the long game times. Xenosaga Episode II takes place right after the end of Xenosaga Episode I. The same cast of characters, including villains and all the familiar faces make a nice return. I loved seeing the characters again as some of them even got some changes. I enjoyed some of those changes, but I did not like some of the others as well. The characters became more fleshed out and I really got to see the back story of the some of them as well. The story is a bit more sensible and simplified. There is some confusing parts, but that is almost immediately explained right away.

My main issue with the game is the battle system. It still plays very much like the first game. However, you just don't do enough damage to make battles go very quickly. At the end, random battles were taking almost 10 minutes and boss battles were over an hour with some bosses healing almost all of their damage. The boss never change their strategies, so they just seem to be the same thing over and over again. Only a few of them are hard, but they do begin to get annoying after a while.

Overall, I still enjoyed playing Xenosaga Episode II. The game felt more of a side story than a continuation of a giant overarching story line. It felt focused solely on one character while the others were just along for the ride. I am still interested in playing Xenosaga Episode III, but I did enjoy Episode I much more.
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