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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:30 pm

The only ancient console VN I have played is Square's Suishou no Dragon. I do plan on playing Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken, Oishinbo: Kyukyoku no Menu 3bon Syoubu and Kaguya Hime Densetsu when I have a chance. (Not all murder mysteries, but all 8-bit VNs).

And holy crap Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken has an average eBay price of <$2. :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:33 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:And holy crap Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken has an average eBay price of <$2. :lol:

I know! That's why I own it! :lol:

I need to pick up Murder on the Mississippi, which doesn't sell for much more.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by alienjesus Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:04 pm

1. Ys Book II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter PSN Vita
2. 3D Streets of Rage 2 3DS eShop
3. 3D Gunstar Heroes 3DS eShop
4. 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 3DS eShop
5. 3D OutRun 3DS eShop
6. Mugen Senshi Valis II: The Fantasm Soldier PCE CD
7. Mugen Senshi Valis III: The Fantasm Soldier PCE CD
8. Bomberman PCE CD
9. Rocket Knight Adventures Mega Drive
10. Trax Game Boy
11. Panic Bomber Virtual Boy
12. Arcana Heart 3: Love MAX!!!!! Vita
13. Super Monkey Ball Gamecube
14. Lost Kingdoms Gamecube
15. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle Gamecube
16. 1080° Avalanche Gamecube
17. Bubble Ghost Game Boy
18. Catrap Game Boy
19. 3D Thunder Blade 3DS eShop
20. 3D AfterBurner II 3DS eShop
21. 3D Fantasy Zone II W: The Tears of Opa-Opa 3DS eShop
22. Ikaruga Gamecube
23. Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & The Monster Seal Vita
24. New Adventure Island PCE
25. WarioWare Twisted! GBA
26. Dragon Warrior NES
27. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D 3DS eShop
28. Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors DS
29. Gargoyle's Quest Game Boy
30. Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee PS1
31. Puyo Puyo CD PCE CD
32. Retro City Rampage DX 3DS eShop
33. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition 3DS eShop
34. Super Puyo Puyo Tsuu Remix SFC
35. Super Aleste SNES
36. Sega Rally Championship Saturn
37. Knuckles' Chaotix 32X
38. Mystic Quest Game Boy
39. Nano Assault EX 3DS eShop
40. BOXBOY! 3DS eShop
41. Gunman Clive 3DS eShop
42. Persona 4 Golden Vita
43. IA/VT Colorful Vita
44. Persona 4: Dancing All Night Vita
45. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards N64
46. Quartet Master System
47. Die Hard Arcade Saturn
48. Metal Slug: 1st Mission NGPC
49. Child of Eden PS3
50. Rayman 2: The Great Escape Dreamcast

51. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA X PSN Vita
52. Um Jammer Lammy PSN PS3
53. Space Channel 5: Part 2 PSN PS3
54. 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros. 3DS eShop
55. Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryuu To Hikari No Tsurugi Famicom

3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros.


I love me some Sega 3D Classics on 3DS, and until recently, of all the games released in Europe from the series, I had finished all bar one. That one game was 3D Fantasy Zone: Opa-Opa Bros.

3D Fantasy Zone is a port of the Arcade version of the original game. As a 2D sidescrolling shmup, the 3D affect is fairly tame compared to the effect in the likes of Streets of Rage or the super scaler arcade games, but it's still nice, and the enemy spawning capsules especially have a nice rotund look to them.

In Fantasy Zone, you fly freely left and right around a level, Defender-style, shooting down all the enemy spawning pods in a level before taking on the boss once all are destroyed. Enemies drop coins which can be used at in-game shops to buy weapons, speed boosts and bombs. Weapons are time limited, and bombs have limited usage, but speed power ups last until you die.


In terms of new features, this game has a few - first off, the game has a level select by default, meaning you can start wherever you want once you reach it - the levels can only be jumped to once you've reached them in gameplay. Secondly, the game banks your coins - coins can then be withdrawn from the bank and taken into future runs - allowing you to take on later levels with lots of cash to buy the best weapons with.

There are also some unlockables - one which increases money dropped, and one which makes weapons last longer/infinitely, which unlock when you have certain amounts in the bank. These amounts are pretty high though, and I never actually got any of them. You also unlock new game mode - Upa-Upa mode, upon beating the game. In Upa-Upa mode you have all the weapons by default, but turning them on consumes money per second - this allows lots of flexibility, but costs a fortune in coins - you'll definitely need a lot of banked cash to beat the game on this mode.


3D Fantasy Zone is a good game, and I liked it a lot. I have to be honest though - I still prefer the Master System port of the game to any of the Arcade accurate versions. The SMS version has better screen scrolling, a fairer difficulty level, a fun bonus in the form of the infinite weapons trick and somehow manages to feel even brighter and bouncier then the Arcade one. Whichever version you play though, Fantasy Zone is a fun little romp, but one which will have you tearing your hair out in rage. It's certainly not an easy game to finish. Like all the 3D Classics, this is worth the money, it's a pretty definitive version of the Arcade original.

I'm sad that I've beaten all the games available here so far, but the physical collection is out next month in Europe, so 3D Power Drift and 3D Puyo Puyo Tsuu (urrrghhh...) will be up for a playthrough soon. I'm really hoping we get to see the Sega 3D Classics from the 3rd compilation in Japan here too - Thunder Force III, Turbo Outrun, Columns and Alien Syndrome should all be worth a bash!

Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryuu To Hikari No Tsurugi


So, this years summer marathon started off well for me. I'd finished 3 of my 10 games in 2 weeks or so in May, and it was looking good for my prospects throughout the summer. With that, in early June I started up game number 4 - the original Fire Emblem. Fast forward 4 and a half months, and I've finally gotten to the end. My summer marathon didn't end up going so hot this year. :lol:

So, first things first, don't let the time it took me fool you - this game is great and whilst it's certainly a mammoth game for NES, it's not ridiculously long either (about 35-40 hours or so). The main issue I had with it was actually that I'd beaten Shadow Dragon, the remake of this game, last year, and it all felt a little too familiar. It perhaps says something of it's core mechanics that the 2008 remake and the 1990 original manage to feel so similar - they were very well established from the start, and besides a few intricacies and improvements they added over the years, the basics of the series are very set in stone from the outset.

I'm going to assume people know how fire emblem works (move your army around a grid, attack enemies, level up your guys, but if they die they're dead for good). Instead, I'm going to list a bunch of interesting considerations that make this game feel a bit different, especially if, like me, you've previously only played the greatly refined and user-friendly english language releases.


First of all - lots of staple features of later entries are missing. There's no weapon triangle here - although 'super-effective' weapons exist (like dragon killers for taking out wyverns and manaketes, bows to kill flying units etc), they rock-paper-scissors mechanics of Sword beats Axe beats Lance beats Sword isn't here. In fact, that generally means swords are the best weapons overall. Silver Swords hit equally as hard as silver lances, there are not silver axes. Swords are more accurate and lighter too, which is critical in this game, as I'll discuss soon enough. Basically, swords are king here!

Secondly, there's no support conversations to pair up units and give them bonuses to stats. This means party composition is a lot simpler, but story development is pretty limited - you get short conversations between Marth and other main characters at the start and end of chapters, but that's your lot really. Lots of other mechanics are missing too. Slightly tangentially, you can't rescue units either, so expect your winged and horeback units to dominate the large maps as they can get to enemies so much faster. Most of your units can't visit villages either - just Marth, your main character. This means he spends a lot of time running around to villages whilst the rest of your army fights.


The game is also pretty unfriendly about showing you the odds of you winning an encounter too. Unlike later games where you are shown the damage you'll do, your hit rate, critical rate and whether you'll double attack when trgeting an enemy, here you have to know the formulas and do the maths yourself. The game also doesn't draw out a coloured grid showing how far you can move, so you just select units and give it a test yourself. Weapon stats are also hidden - you'll need a manual or a guide to know the weapons weight nd power - absolutely crucial info for planning your strategy.

Some stats work differently too. All your team and the enemies team have 0 resistance by default, meaning magic is a realiable damage source for both sides. However, the magic stat doesn't exist either, meaning magic does set damage equal to it's power - a 7 power spell does 7 damage, always. Clerics have to level up by being attacked and surviving, which is dumb, as using staves grants no exp. Units double attack if they're just a single point faster than the enemy, which means heavy weapons are crucial to avoid, as speed - weapon weight is how the battle speed stat is calculated.


Units are odd here too. Half of them don't promote, including thieves, horsemen, knights, fighters and even your lord. The other half do, and thus end up way more powerful. Some unit types are odd - Hunters are like Archers but better, but they can't promote and Archers can, so Archers are better in the end. Ballistae are like tank units with a bow - unlike in later games, they can't shoot 10 spaces away - just 2 like any other bow user. They're so slow that they're worthless.

Fire Emblem 1 suffers from the most unfair mechanics of the series - instantly moving reinforcements. They show up, move and attack instantly, meaning an unlucky spawn can totally ruin your day - like if an archer appears near a peg knight, you might as well just reset.


For all these oddities, unrefined elements and complaints though, Fire Emblem 1 is a pretty great Famicom strategy game. The core Fire Emblem gameplay is there, just slightly less polished, and it's a real joy to play through. A little more music variety would be nice, and the graphics aren't the greatest, especially for 1990 on the Famicom, but they do the job and they don't detract from the experience. Fire Emblem is a game I'd highly recommend.

Oh and yes, I played this on a Retron5 with a translation patch. If you don't speak Japanese, you can probably play through the original with some trial and error, but I'd personally recommend patching it and enjoying it in English - there's already enough unclear mechanics to figure out, without complicating things with another language.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrPopo Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:36 pm

The needing to figure out the combat stats was the case until the GBA generation I believe; you certainly need to calculate it manually in FE4. FE4 was also the entry that introduced the weapon triangle, and it went with the second triangle for the three Anima magic types. I believe rescuing didn't happen until FE5 (either that or 6; I know 5 had capturing and I don't know if rescuing came at the same time or was an offshoot). I believe FE2 was nice enough to let you know how far a unit could be move but it's been a long time since I've tried the game. FE2 had its own share of oddities, like no weapon durability and mages casting spells from hit points.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrHealthy Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:27 am

I've been living / traveling overseas this past year so I haven't been active at all here. But I still sneak some gaming in whenever I can. I haven't updated this since January so excuse the large post.

1. Fez (PC)
2. Sakura Spirit (PC)
3. Mega Man 1 (PC - Legacy Collection)
4. Mega Man 2 (PC - Legacy Collection)

5. McPixel (PC)
6. Tower of Heaven (PC)

7. Spyro the Dragon (PSP - PS1 Classic)
    My first time with Spyro, aside from the flying levels I had a ton of fun. Looked great on the PSP screen as well. Will definitely check out the sequels at some point.

8. Reveal the Deep (PC)
    A short, atmospheric, creepy exploration game set on a sunken cruise ship from the 50's. Worth a look if you like indie 2D horror.

9. Real Horror Stories Ultimate Edition (PC)
    A flash game that should be free somehow made it onto steam. Its dog shit. Avoid with your life.

10.Mega Man 6 (PC - Legacy Collection)
    Great as always. My laptop is not fantastic so some choppy frames coupled with a bad keyboard forced me to use save states mid level a few times. But I've beaten it legit before so I'm not fussed about that.

11. Retro Game Crunch - Super Clew Land (PC)
12. Retro Game Crunch - End of Line (PC)
13. Retro Game Crunch - Wub-Wub Wescue (PC)
    Super Clew Land is a mini metroidvania about finding food to evolve your little green blob monster. Pretty cute and fun. End of Line was a puzzle game about killing your robot in every level. Was a bit boring. Wub-Wub Wescue is a platformer where a Pug has to save his master from the natives of the land. Gave me strong Pit Fall and Donkey Kong vibes. Overall a fun collection of games, I need to get back and finish the samurai themed shmup that it has.

14. Stick RPG 2 (PC)
    Silly mindless fun. Had a big nostalgia factor because I played the original flash game when I was a kid.

15. Uncanny Valley (PC)
    Another 2D indie horror. I have become a fan of this style of game. As the name implies it is about AI. Its got multiple endings based on your actions in the game. While it doesn't do anything ground breaking I really enjoyed it.

16. Type:Rider (PC)
    Found this to be a generic indie platformer relying on a gimmick of learning about and jumping across different fonts. Not very fun.

17. The Binding of Isacc (PC)
    Normally I don't like this type of game. In fact I had tried this game before but shelved it in frustration. This time it clicked though and I sunk a bunch of time into it. I still try a run every now and then.

18. Space Pilgrim Episode I: Alpha Centauri (PC)
19. Space Pilgrim Episode II: Epsilon Indi (PC)
20. Space Pilgrim Episode III: Delta Pavonis (PC)
    First 3 episodes in an episodic indie story game made with RPG maker. I talk about these further down below.

21. AM2R (PC)
    Bloody amazing. Fan remake of Metroid 2 that brings the game up to modern standards. Adds some new areas and re-themes old ones to be more unique but does so it a way that feels like an official Nintendo product. An absolute must play for any metroid fan. Easily my favourite game so far this year.

22. Snakebird (PC)
    Don't be fooled by this puzzle games kid friendly graphics. This game will kick your god damn ass. It took me dozens of hours to solve some of the puzzles in this game. Months total to finish it. If you are a puzzler fan you owe it to yourself to pick this up. If I had not played AM2R this year, Snakebird would be my contender for favourite game this year. Its mind numbing, its aggravating, its gorgeous, its magical. Its worth your time.

23. Daytona USA (PS3)
    Okay so this game is an arcade racer. Doesn't really have an end per say, but I got first place on all 3 tracks, got all the trophies and did everything that I wanted to do in it. So I am counting it as finished.

24. Sonic the Fighters (PS3)
    This was uh ... interesting. Not sure it holds up as a fighting game. But it was fun to mess around in.

25. Tennis in the Face (PS3)
    A bland puzzle game about hitting tennis balls to knock people down. Easy trophies, but it has nothing else going for it.

26. Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate (PS3)
    Story mode was lame as hell. But I had a blast playing people online, doing arcade runs, etc. Typically not a fan of fighters but I found the mechanics in this to be very rewarding.

27. Marvel Super Heroes (PS3 - Marvel Vs Capcom Origins)
    Another surprise for me. As a fighting game noob the arcade mode was easy enough that I wasn't overwhelmed, but challenging enough I wasn't bored. Enjoyed my time with this a lot. Finished the arcade with every character, including the hidden ones.

27. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes (PS3 - Marvel Vs Capcom Origins)
    I beat the arcade mode with every character, but I did not enjoy this as much as Marvel Super Heroes. It was just too complex chaotic and difficult for me to really enjoy.

28. Space Pilgrim Episode IV: Sol (PC)
    The final episode in the series. I started it in July but just got around to finishing it. These are essentially indie visual novels made with RPG maker. Its no looker, but the story was interesting enough to keep me engaged through each episode. It falls into the usual shortcomings of games of this genre (particularly with RPG maker) where you end up doing some busy work that just amounts to clicking buttons on a menu. Considering how cheap it was though, and that I did enjoy the narrative, I would say that it was a decent experience.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by pierrot Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:24 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Higurashi

My sophomore year of college, I lived with an exchange student from Japan who would shut herself into a room to marathon the show and drama CDs with a couple other people. I enjoyed scaring their socks off sometimes. Not really sure why she liked it so much. I watched a little of it once, and only remember it as, 'that yandere thing.'
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrPopo Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:08 am

First 50:
1. Oni - PC
2. Donkey Kong 64 - N64
3. Yoshi's Story - N64
4. Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide - PC
5. Forsaken 64 - N64
6. Bloodrayne: Betrayal - PSN
7. Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu - SNES
8. Fire Emblem Shin Monshō no Nazo: Hikari to Kage no Eiyū - Nintendo DS
9. Valkyria Chronicles 3 - PSP
10. Ready 2 Rumble Boxing - DC
11. Rise of the Tomb Raider - PC
12. XCOM 2 - PC
13. Shadowrun Hong Kong Bonus Campaign - PC
14. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest - 3DS
15. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright - 3DS
16. Lagrange Point - NES
17. Fire Emblem Fates: Revelations - 3DS
18. Cybernator - SNES
19. Outwars - PC
20. Resident Evil - GC
21. Resident Evil 2 - GC
22. Resident Evil 3 - GC
23. Resident Evil Code Veronica X - GC
24. Dino Crisis - PSX
25. Resident Evil 5 - PC
26. Dark Souls 3 - PS4
27. The Banner Saga 2 - PC
28. Bravely Second - 3DS
29. Star Fox Zero - Wii U
30. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - PC
31. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Winter Assault - PC
32. Doom (2016) - PC
33. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade - PC
34. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm - PC
35. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine - PC
36. Doom 64 - N64
37. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - PC
38. Super Empire Strikes Back - SNES
39. Might & Magic 3 - Isles of Terra - PC
40. Mirror's Edge Catalyst - PC
41. Sonic 2 - Genesis
42. Resident Evil Revelations - PC
43. Resident Evil Revelations 2 - PC
44. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE - Wii U
45. Kirby: Planet Robobot
46. Sin: Wages of Sin - PC
47. Torchlight II - PC
48. Star Ocean: Integrity & Faithlessness - PS4
49. Axiom Verge - PS4
50. Shadow Complex Remastered - PS4

51. Ori and the Blind Forest - Xbox One
52. AM2R - PC
53. Total Annihilation - PC
54. I Am Setsuna - PS4
55. Planetary Annihilation Titans - PC
56. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - PC
57. Dark Reign - Rise of the Shadowhand - PC
58. Dragon Age Inquisition - Jaws of Hakkon - PC
59. Dragon Age Inquisition - The Descent - PC
60. Dragon Age Inquisition - Trespasser - PC
61. The Witcher 3 - Hearts of Stone - PC
62. The Witcher 3 - Blood & Wine - PC
63. ReCore - Xbox One
64. Final Fantasy Tactics - PS1
65. Resident Evil 6 - PC
66. Knuckles Chaotix - 32X
67. Assault Suit Leynos - PS4

A remastering of the original Genesis game, Assault Suit Leynos was graciously brought to the states by Rising Star Games. The localization is pretty bare bones; all the voices are the original Japanese and the bonus material isn't translated (design docs for the remake and the original and the JP manual). But that's ok, because you've got a solid game that started off the Assault Suit(s) series.

The game has undergone some level of difficulty adjustment compared to the original, and apparently this makes it easier. Having never played the original I can't comment on that. There's also a Classic mode available which I believe makes it only a graphical remaster, without any gameplay changes. But again, I have no standard of comparison.

What sets Leynos apart from Valken (Cybernator) is the pre-mission outfitting. In Leynos you get six slots to put in gear. This includes a variety of weapons plus the shield, Vernier booster, and additional armor (which is effectively an extra health bar). Different missions want different loadouts for maximum success, and unfortunately you don't really know what you want until you're already mid-mission. As an example, I found the final mission to be neigh impossible with my loadout of offensive weaponry and armor, but when I switched out two pieces of armor for the shield and Vernier I was able to sail through smoothly. You earn the gear after missions based on your performance, and you can get multiples of gear to use multiple in your loadout. This lets you go for the aforementioned lots of armor approach or to double up on bazookas. One important thing to note is that aside from the starting Machine Gun and a laser you can get further in the game (which I didn't) all the weapons have limited ammo. So make sure you take at least one of the two unlimited ammo weapons, unless you're going for some sort of challenge playthrough.

The stages are not nearly as interesting as Valken's. Several of them are straight lines where you need to either get to the end or stop an enemy from getting to your side. A couple are more interesting base assaults where you navigate through corridors, taking out turrets and other enemies in your path. Still, of the side scrolling mecha games it definitely has the weakest stage design. The game also has some bullet hell elements once you get deeper in. A few of the later bosses require a lot of fancy movement to dodge curtains of bullet fire. It feels a little out of place given the momentum your machine has.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:50 pm

First 50:
1. Tenchi Sōzō (Super Famicom)
2. Eternal Senia (Steam)
3. Tombs & Treasure (NES)
4. Magic Knight Rayearth (Super Famicom)
5. Zelda no Densetsu: The Hyrule Fantasy (Famicom Disk System)
6. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
7. Seiken Psycho Caliber: Majū no Mori Densetsu (Famicom Disk System)
8. Deep Dungeon: Madō Senki (Famicom Disk System)
9. Deep Dungeon II: Yūshi no Monshō (Famicom Disk System)
10. Suishō no Dragon (Famicom Disk System)
11. Dandy: Zeuon no Fukkatsu (Famicom Disk System)
12. Lagoon (SNES)
13. Contra (NES)
14. Super C (NES)
15. Wonder Boy (Sega Master System)
16. OutRun (Sega Master System)
17. OutRun (Genesis)
18. Ninja Gaiden (NES)
19. Written in the Sky (Steam)
20. Wendy: Every Witch Way (Game Boy Color)
21. Mario Bros. (NES)
22. Popeye (NES)
23. Super Mario Bros. (NES)
24. Super Mario Bros. 2 (Famicom Disk System)
25. Phantasy Star II Eusis's Text Adventure (Steam - Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics)
26. Phantasy Star II Nei's Text Adventure (Steam - Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics)
27. Phantasy Star II Rudger's Text Adventure (Steam - Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics)
28. Phantasy Star II Anne's Text Adventure (Steam - Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics)
29. Phantasy Star II Huey's Text Adventure (Steam - Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics)
30. Phantasy Star II Kinds's Text Adventure (Steam - Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics)
31. Phantasy Star II Amia's Text Adventure (Steam - Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics)
32. Phantasy Star II Shilka's Text Adventure (Steam - Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics)
33. Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (Famicom Disk System)
34. Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)
35. Super Mario Advance (Game Boy Advance)
36. Gunman Clive (Nintendo eShop)
37. Zaxxon (Xbox 360 - Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection)
38. Zaxxon (Atari 2600)
39. Zaxxon (Intellivision)
40. Zaxxon (ColecoVision)
41. Cosmic Avenger (ColecoVision)
42. Mr. Do! (ColecoVision)
43. Pepper II (ColecoVision)
44. Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy)
45. Sakura Spirit (Steam)
46. Ys Eternal (PC)
47. Moon Patrol (Game Boy Color - Arcade Hits: Moon Patrol & Spy Hunter)
48. Ember Kaboom (Steam)
49. Hoshi no Kābī: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari (Famicom)
50. Guardian Heroes (Saturn)

51. Akumajō Dracula (Famicom Disk System)
52. Castlevania (NES)
53. Classic NES Series: Castlevania (Game Boy Advance)
54. Guardian Heroes (Xbox Live Arcade)
55. Metal Slug (Neo Geo MVS)
56. Metal Slug 2 (Neo Geo MVS)
57. Metal Slug 3 (Neo Geo MVS)
58. Soul of Darkness (DSiWare)
59. Code of Princess (3DS)
60. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
61. Super Mario Land (Game Boy)
62. The Legend of Zelda 2: Link no Bōken (Famicom Disk System)
63. Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst (PC)
64. Shan Gui (Steam)
65. Space Fury (ColecoVision)
66. Smurf: Rescue in Gargamel's Castle (ColecoVision)
67. Gateway to Apshai (ColecoVision)
68. MURI (Steam)
69. Pink Hour (Steam)
70. Pink Heaven (Steam)
71. Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet (Steam)
72. Princess Remedy in a World of Hurt (Steam)
73. Haunted House (Atari 2600)
74. Gremlins (Atari 2600)
75. Alien (Atari 2600)
76. Xenophobe (Xbox - Midway Arcade Treasures 2)
77. Frankenstein's Monster (Atari 2600)
78. Ghost Manor / Spike's Peak (Atari 2600)
79. Higurashi When They Cry Hou - Ch.1 Onikakushi (Steam)
80. Dracula II: Noroi no Fūin (Famicom Disk System)
81. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES)

Recently I've been playing both the FDS original and US cartridge version of certain "NES classics." Sure, it's a more than a bit pedantic and unnecessary but I'm having fun. I've now finished both versions of Super Mario Bros. 2, Zelda, Zelda II, Castlevania, and Castlevania II. Still need to do the Metroid and Kid Icarus doubles.

So Castlevania II... I had heard many things. Some sorta-good, some bad. Ultimately... I liked this one! So much so that I ended up playing through the NES version in a single night.

Castlevania II is either the second or third entry in series, depending on whether or not you choose to count Vampire Killer as a the second game or just a port of the first. It's one of the earliest entries to experiment with a nonlinear world and light RPG elements.

Aesthetically, the game completely slays. The soundtrack is an absolute beast, and "Bloody Tears" (had to look up the name) is now one of my favorite 8-bit tracks ever. There's tons of spooky gothic scenery to traverse - both inside and out - cemeteries, poisonous swamps, crumbling castles, and so on. The combat controls are solid, and I was thrilled to see that the sub-weapons have unlimited ammo.

In some respects, the game is much easier than the first. In fact, it has a bizarre - almost unfinished - quality to it. Most enemies are complete dunces, they just pace back and forth mindlessly. Very few are equipped with projectile weapons. Likewise, the three bosses in the game are a complete joke: the first can be skipped entirely, the second relies on a dead-simple easily-avoidable attack pattern, and Dracula can be cheesed to death immediately with the correct sub-weapon.

In his review of the game, James Rolfe (the Angry Video Game Nerd) mentioned that water (of the insta-death pitfall variety) is the biggest hazard to be found here. And he's right. This is mostly due to the unwieldy jumping controls. Certain leaps need to be made with pixel-perfect precision. In fact, throughout the course of both Castlevania II iterations I only suffered one defeat that wasn't caused by water (hai spiders!).

But the biggest issue cited by most involves the cryptic nature of the game. And had I played this in 1988 I would be tearing my hair out. There's little direction to be found here, and unlocking certain pathways requires some ridiculous maneuvers (ie: ducking for several seconds in a specific spot with the correct crystal equipped transports Simon Belmont to the next dungeon). Moreover, the towns of the game are populated with NPCs - most of whom are either nonsensical or straight up lying! I suppose I "get" what the developers were going for here - Simon Belmont is the lone beacon of hope in a world gone mad where no one can be trusted. Still, it's annoying as hell. Thankfully, today there are plenty of detailed walkthroughs available for the game, and the NES Game Atlas (1991) has some great maps.

The differences between the FDS and NES versions are what you'd expect: different title screens, load times on the FDS, music varies a bit based on the sound chip. I do want to mention that the "gameplay" text of the FDS original is almost entirely in Japanese. Even the item names and phrases like "Loading", "Game Over", and "Turn to Side B." A bit unusual, as most games of this era seem to contain a mixture of languages. The intro and ending are in English though, for some reason.

So, I said I liked the game, right? Yes, with a walkthrough by my side I found this to be quite the relaxing experience. Barring the few areas with annoying jumps this was a captivating trek through a haunted landscape. I'd certainly recommend a playthrough, though two may be a bit excessive.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Xeogred Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:57 pm

I loved what I played of 2 last year during my Castlevania marathon, but the onslaught of invisible blocks killed it for me. Wasn't really up for throwing fire on every block before walking... I know there's a rom hack that just makes those visible holes though. Might check that out sometime. Otherwise yeah, seemed like a cool game. Gave me Zelda 2 vibes, and I love Zelda 2.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:00 pm

I actually didn't find the invisible blocks to be too bad! A couple of times I fell down a floor, or perhaps into a poisonous swamp, but I never plummeted to certain doom.
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