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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Ack Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:47 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Great review Ack. :o I think you're spot on with the amalgam of influences theory.

I got halfway through Sweet Home many years ago. I should go back and finish it. Such a cool game.

My lack of Silent Hill experience is just shameful. I have no excuse.


Thanks. My Sweet Home experience sounds pretty similar to yours too. I started it up when I first heard there was a translation patch for the ROM but never finished it.

As for Silent Hill, yeah, we should both get on beating the first one. At this point I've knocked out most of the main series, but I've yet to get through the original, Shattered Memories, or Downpour.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:57 pm

Sarge wrote:Best thing to do for the soundtrack for Akumajou Densetsu is give it a listen on YouTube, or grab the NSF. I've got the latter, but here's a link to the former.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2JWRJZ ... B55F0ECFDC

After listening to the Famicom version for a while, yeah the VRC6 version is far superior, I agree. Too bad the USA version got gimped in comparison.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrPopo Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:56 pm

I personally prefer the US music to the JP music, but it's 100% subjective. Objectively the JP music has more instrumentation and is more complex.

Though if you want a really crazy soundtrack you can check out Lagrange Point. Like nothing else on the NES.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:17 pm

Yeah, it almost sounds like a Genesis game. It's really weird hearing that sort of instrumentation coming out of an NES.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Xeogred Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:25 pm

1. Sly 2 Band of Thieves HD (PS3)
2. Black (Xbox)
3. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox)
4. Super Mario Bros Advance 4: SMB3 E-Reader Levels (WiiUVC)
5. Galerians (PSX)
6. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (WiiU)
7. TRAG / Hard Edge: Mission of Mercy (PSX)
8. Soul Blade (PSX)
9. Castlevania Circle of the Moon* (WiiUVC)
10. The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess* HD (WiiU)
11. Mega Man 9* (PSN)
12. Mega Man 10* (PSN)
13. Dark Souls 3 (NG++) [PLATINUM] (PS4)
14. Mega Man 1* (PS4, MMLC)
15. Mega Man 2* (PS4, MMLC)
16. Mega Man 3* (PS4, MMLC)
17. Mega Man 4* (PS4, MMLC)
18. Mega Man 5* (PS4, MMLC)
19. Mega Man 6* (PS4, MMLC)
20. Doom [PLATINUM] (PS4)
21. Quake (PC)
22. Quake 2* (PC)
23. Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)
24. Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon (PC)
25. Quake 2 Mission Pack 1: The Reckoning (PC)
26. Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity (PC)
27. Quake 2 Mission Pack 2: Ground Zero (PC)
28. Quake: Dimensions of the Past (PC)

I like when timing is so awesome like this. As most know by now with word spreading, Machine Games of Wolfenstein The New Order fame have released a brand new complete episode for Quake celebrating it's 20th year anniversary. Literally just a week or a few days after I finish up my Quake 1-2 marathon, this hits!

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https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/06/24/free-quake/

It's damn good too and every level was awesome. Very high quality intricate level designs and the detail with the texturing/placement is insanely good, which is what I loved about Doom's newer expansion No Rest for the Living that dropped a few years ago as well. All the levels are very symmetircal in design, in like, there's often a hub like area where you start and you'll end up back tracking with a key to progress through another route. It's just really awesome and definitely my kind of style. Lots of cramped and tight corridors, so it definitely harkens back to vanilla Quake's design in a lot of ways.

It's got some tricky spots, and ammo management is pretty tough, so it's definitely challenging... but what isn't when it comes to Quake 1. Think there was 9 or 10 maps with one secret level that was rather easy to find, so I hit that one up and played them all. Great stuff.

Oh and they didn't even bother using the stupid exploding slime bob enemies. That's a plus. No new weapons, enemies, or textures, but for a free quality episode of Quake in 2016, that's all we need. It's a good time to be an id fan. Let's hope they retool Quake Champions and give us an awesome campaign as well, or are working on that separately altogether. I'd love to see Quake rebooted and brought back to its weirder neo-gothic origins instead of continuing with the Strogg stuff.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ExedExes Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:09 pm

1. Flag to Flag - Dreamcast (January 12)
2. The Battle of Olympus - NES (January 18)
3. Thunder Force AC - Arcade/MAME (February 6)
4. Golden Axe - Arcade/MAME (February 14)
5. Rod-Land - Arcade/MAME (February 22)
6. Xexyz - NES (March 14)
7. Smuggler's Run: Warzones - Gamecube (March 26)
8. Rad Racer - NES (March 27)
9. Rad Racer II - NES (March 27)

10. Rise of the Triad 2013 - PC (April 23)
11. Call of Juarez: Bound In Blood - PC (June 2)
12. *NEW* Call of Duty: World At War - PC (June 26)
13. *NEW* Medal of Honor: Infiltrator - GBA (June 27)


Both titles I played for this month's Together Retro.

CoD:
The fifth game in the long running Call of Duty series returns to World War II using the Modern Warfare engine. In a CoD first, the series visited the Pacific Theater, something I really appreciated. The other half of the game deals with the Russians' push into Germany. Out of all the early CoD titles, this one easily looked the best, with tons of background activity. Being an M-rated title, this was a far grittier war experience, with stronger language and far more blood than previous versions of CoD. Cutscenes were also more elaborate with narration by Kiefer Sutherland in the Pacific Theater (Sgt. Roebuck) and Gary Oldman in the Russian campaign (Sgt. Reznov). If you played the first few CoD titles, you know what to expect. Lots of on-foot action, tank battles, and being a gunner in a PBY Catalina. Another super helpful featured introduced in the previous CoD (Modern Warfare) was the ability to throw back enemy grenades. The package was a lot more refined than the other CoD World War II games. This game was also considered to be the first game in the Black Ops story arc, and is the first game in the series to feature the Nazi Zombies mode, unlocked after completing the single player campaign.

MoH:
The second MoH title to hit the Game Boy Advance after the poorly received port of MoH: Underground, this game eschews the FPS lineage of its predecessors in favor of a top down isometric perspective. However, the gameplay is not negatively affected. You're still doing everything expected of you in a typical MoH mission, mowing down hundreds of Germans, obtaining documents, driving tanks, destroying installations, and much more. Grainy war footage video is interspersed in between the missions, a major feat for a GBA title. Many of the familiar MoH weapons are available here, but in certain packages that balance guns with explosives (Thompson w/extra grenades, BAR w/fewer grenades, M1 Garand w/explosive charges, M1911 pistol w/bazooka). In one section of each mission there are Operation Wolf-style scrolling scenes where you move a cursor around the screen and survive for a certain amount of time (one of these missions lets you be a tailgunner in the air as well). There are also stealth style missions where the player must avoid searchlights and roaming guards, where the player's ability to melee attack comes in handy. Finally, this game links up with the Gamecube version of MoH: Rising Sun, giving you that game's level maps on your GBA screen. It isn't your average MoH experience, but instead, something completely different and it would be worth your while to check it out.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Fragems Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:11 pm

1. 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors (DS)
2. The Order 1886 (PS4)
3. The Division (PS4)
4. Until Dawn (PS4)
5. The Crew Wild Run Edition (PS4)
6. Mad Max (PS4)
7. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4)
8. Black Ops III (PS4)
9. The Last of Us Remastered + Left Behind DLC (PS4)
10. Tomb Raider Definitive Edition (XB1)

Replaying this before I hope into Rise of the Tomb Raider. Still a very solid game and while the graphics on the XB1 aren't nearly as good as my previous play through on the PC it is still a very beautiful game.

The only thing that really turns me off is the cheap instadeaths from QTE events and etc. it is very easy to die from a mistimed button press. At least the checkpoints are very forgiving and it's nearly impossible to lose more then a minute or two of progress.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:10 pm

Mafia II (360)

My expectation going in was something L.A. Noire-ish, and that was more or less what I got. Given that LA Noire is a very similarly themed game in the not so populated genre of Americana-sandbox (specifically in the 50's in this case), and both games came out around the same time (9 or so months apart), this "review" will contain a lot of comparisons to it. I really like period games though, and this was a great one, so I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Gameplay-wise, where LA Noire is Phoenix Wright meets GTA/sandbox, Mafia II is cover-shooter meets GTA/sandbox. Personally, I prefer the Ace Attorney style of LA Noire, Mafia II takes itself as much more of an action game, and does it fairly well. There's a wide variety of guns which sound very good. Enemies aren't terribly smart by themselves, but where they spawn usually incorporates the level design in some way to make the best of their limited intelligence. You have a health bar that regens, but it regens kinda like in Wolfenstein: The New Order where the more you get hurt at one time, the less max health you'll be able to regen before healing again. On the topic of health regen speed, it differs a fair bit between difficulties.

I played through the story through on hard, then mucked around a ton on normal and easy to mop up collectibles and achievements, and the difference between difficulties is noticeable. Your health appears to regen much faster on lower difficulties, but I'm not 100% certain (sometimes it was very fast, other times fairly slow), but the biggest difference is how hard enemies hit. Enemies have exactly the same amount of health on every difficulty, but you just take WAY more damage on higher difficulties. You aren't invincible on easy mode, but after playing through the game on hard, I certainly felt like it. You can get wiped away REALLY quick by an unfortunate Tommy gun blast on hard mode, and the checkpoints are fairly unforgiving in the later chapters (especially the last one). Hard tends to be a fair challenge, even for someone who sucks at twin-stick shooting like me. Occasionally it runs into problems with the game design though.

There are certain sections where you're being fired upon by another vehicle's occupants. You're ALWAYS driving more or less, and this ain't Saints Row: You can't fire a gun while you drive a car, not even a pistol. Sometimes you're forced to drive on narrow stretches for a few seconds after the respawn point, and on hard mode it's just a gamble on whether you'll make it to the street alive. It's a total roll of the dice on whether the AI will get lucky and completely wreck your health bar before you can even try to take evasive action, and these cars are from the 50's, so they usually aren't terribly agile to begin with. Driving sections like this just clearly don't feel balanced for hard mode (ones I'm thinking of are in chapters 13 and 14, if I remember correctly). There's also one specific driving challenge that cuts the time REALLY close on hard mode. Considering that challenge requires on walking out of your building and getting a car that spawns, if you don't have the luck to have sports car in front of the bar that respawn, you're fucked (that's chapter 11). This leads to my issues with general game design.

For a cover shooter, this game REALLY needs a blind-fire mechanic. To fire at all from cover, you need to stick near your whole damn body out to then take aim and fire. Mostly in the last few chapters, the need for a safer way to fire at things becomes very clear as you have to take on groups of 5+ guys by yourself. The enemies even have an animation which is more or less blind firing, so I don't really see why the player character can't have some variation of that :/. Also, the aforementioned driving is a HUGE part of the game. Broken down, this game is story bits, driving, and action scenes interspersed. There's no LA Noire-style "make your partner drive" feature in this though, you gotta drive EVERYWHERE yourself, and damn do you gotta do it often. There's one chapter that's literally just driving and story stuff, not combat at all. The game really never makes much of an effort to make your destinations close together, relying on the narrative to dictate where the player needs to go. As such, if you have very little patience for driving in games, even with player conversations during, that's a big sticking point I can't ignore.

I didn't find the driving so bad actually, though. Compared to LA Noire, this game has a TON of period music on its radio stations. I really like the early rock, rhythm, and blues tracks of the 40's and 50's, so I always got some enjoyment of being in a car. If the music ain't your thing, it'll be a lot less bearable though.

I really enjoyed the story, personally. Where LA Noire was a fairly sanitized version of the 50's in terms of race relations, misogyny, derogatory language, this game doesn't shy away AT ALL. They never throw down an N-bomb, they throw around just about everything else. The main characters are self-centered, racist pigs, and their language gets that across very well. The main cast of Italian mobsters are voice acted very well, and really bring you into the atmosphere. The narrative, while it doesn't focus terribly well in every area that I'd want it to, is well written and engaging. I won't comment on my deeper complaints with the narrative choices (because that's both beyond the scope of this review, and very spoilery), but the mobster bits are of course the best part.

One final comment is that I didn't quite care for the collectibles in the game. Not the style of their hidden-ness, but of what they actually were. Spread all around the city are wanted posters of mobsters that you can collect, which are themselves fairly harmless. But spread throughout each mission are Playboy (actually branded) magazines to collect. When you get one, you get the "Playmate" poster of that issue. I'm not sure if it's the actual fold-out from that numbered issue, but the're real photos of real women, so it's a constant hunt for tits, more or less. While I'll admit they're attractive, I don't really feel it added anything to the experience other than just pandering to a male demographic. I also don't believe it harmed the game in any real way, but it's just something I wasn't entirely comfortable with in a game that, while it does have sexual themes, otherwise has no nudity and fairly tame gore. (For the record, I had a similar issue to how Splatterhouse essentially did this exact same thing with its collectibles).

Verdict: While the sloppy gameplay mistakes keep me from recommending it to everyone, any fan of history, Americana, or organized crime films will likely adore the story. I'd also recommend it to anyone who loved LA Noire's setting and wants more of that somewhat campy 50's atmosphere and storytelling.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:12 pm

Really nice indepth review of Mafia II, was a fine read.

The original Mafia on PC was one of the hardest games I've ever beaten. Give it a try sometime if you're bored:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia_(video_game)
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:36 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Really nice indepth review of Mafia II, was a fine read.

The original Mafia on PC was one of the hardest games I've ever beaten. Give it a try sometime if you're bored:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia_(video_game)


The local resale store does have it on PS2 for like 9 dollars. If I can play it with a mouse, I'd really rather do that. It doesn't seem like can actually buy Mafia 1 digitally though, so PS2 might be mah only option.
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