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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:26 pm

1. Pokémon Moon - 3DS
2. Tony Hawk's Underground - GCN
3. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising - PC
4. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Retribution - PC
5. Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness - PSP
6. X-Wing: Imperial Pursuit - PC
7. Star Wars Republic Commando - PC
8. X-Wing: B-Wing - PC

The second expansion for X-Wing adds another 20 missions (with 4 having alternates) and a new ship: the titular B-Wing. You end up flying it in about half the missions and are escorting it in another quarter of the missions. It's a really nice ship; it's built like a tank and only slightly slower than an X-Wing with an impressive payload of 12 torpedoes. So right out of the box you can destroy two Corvettes at standoff range or disable three extremely quickly. It ends up being a very awkward dogfighter, though, due to the way the fields of fire on the lasers converge; you tend to only hit with one or two rather than all three while the fire rate is balanced around you hitting consistently with all three.

The missions make full use of the new capabilities of this bomber. You spend a lot of time taking out enemy capital ships or disabling ships for capture. The overall storyline is that you need to disrupt Imperial activity in the sector in order for the main body of the Rebel fleet to make it through to their new base on Hoth (which gets picked midway through the campaign). The climax is taking out the Star Destroyer Relentless. Veterans of the original X-Wing will remember the difficult mission to take out another Imperial Star Destroyer. Here it's much much easier even though the Imperials augment their forces with a squadron of Corvettes. The secret lies in the fact that the B-Wing has Ion Cannons, so once you take down the two shield generators (like in the other mission) you can disable it in a few seconds, rendering it helpless. From there you'll spend more time dogfighting and taking potshots when you can. It's immensely satisfying.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:44 am

1. Pokémon Moon - 3DS
2. Tony Hawk's Underground - GCN
3. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising - PC
4. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Retribution - PC
5. Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness - PSP
6. X-Wing: Imperial Pursuit - PC
7. Star Wars Republic Commando - PC
8. X-Wing: B-Wing - PC
9. Blazing Lazers - TG-16

Ahh, some good old fashioned Compile goodness. I'd say Compile is my favorite non-bullet hell shmup developer. Their style is very approachable and very satisfying as a casual fan who wants to shoot stuff. You're encouraged to pick up everything and get rewarded for it.

So the way Blazing Lazers works is you get nine fairly long stages to work your way through. There's four weapons; spread bullet, angled wave, laser, and circling defensive spheres that gives you just a weak forward shot (but the spheres hurt enemies). The laser is probably the weirdest laser I've ever used in a shmup. It's a slow moving bolt of plasma (it's not just a line drawn instantly from ship to top of screen) and it follows the ship exactly. Even though it's left the ship and is no longer connected in any way. This lets you do some interesting screen sweeping, but it also has a slow fire rate, so you have to be conscious of the dead time. All the weapons have power levels and if you switch weapons it maintains the power level. So a level 3 laser becomes a level 3 wave if you pick up the wave.

There's also four secondary weapons: homing missiles, shields, multibody (options), and full power. If you pick up a secondary weapon when you already have one you get a bomb. So you'll quickly amass bombs. The shields are the best shmup shield ever; you're invincible for something like 100 seconds, and you lose a second every time you get hit. And even when it goes away you get one last hit forever, even if you switch secondaries. Full power instantly takes your weapon to a power level beyond the highest; this tens to be some form of screen clear or other high damage option. The only thing that sucks about the bomb is it isn't really good for panic bombing; it's a short localized explosion on a slight delay so it's better for clearing holes and damaging bosses. But since they're so plentiful it's ok. You also don't lose your bombs when you die, and if you have less than three you go up to three on death.

The final interesting thing that the game does is every so often instead of a fixed powerup you get one that rotates between the four options (either four weapons or four secondaries). Shooting it will cause it to stop falling down the screen and freeze on that powerup. Shoot it enough times OR let it fall all the way to the bottom and it turns into a glowing sphere. Collecting that sphere IS a screen clear AND gives you a golden life. Golden lives are a feature that exist in several Compile games. If you die while you have a golden life you lose that life and respawn instantly. Otherwise you restart at the last checkpoint. These end up being essential to recover from death in the late game; if you're checkpoint restarting you probably will get swarmed every time, but golden lives let you force your way through.

Definitely a must-own for TG owners.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:20 am

I beat Republic Commando years ago on PC, and enjoyed it. My only complaint was the game kind of ends out of nowhere. (To be fair, by the time you reached the wookie resistance part, things had started to get stale anyway.) I read a post-mortem, and the lead director said the publisher made them cut the development short, to just get it out the door. Overall it's a very solid squad shooter all things considered.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:34 am

For my Star Wars fix I think I'll hit that one up soon, then a KOTOR2 replay (excited to play it with the newest patch for gamepad support, higher resolution, and all the "lost content" added from the Steam workshop).
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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:09 pm

Mrpopo, I don't know if you noticed, but homing missiles give you 6 missiles with the weapon 1 spread shot. Also, subsequent missile pickups increase the speed of the missiles. Same for option pods. They are most effective with weapon 1 and they can be powered up to even block shots with subsequent pickups. I just love the complexity of the weapons systems.
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TSTR
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by TSTR Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:13 pm

Mmmm... Compile. Shoot everything, grab everything, yes please.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:30 pm

I did notice both. There was one segment where my shield was used up and I got three missile pickups in a row; by the third they were actually fairly effective at tracking targets and doing damage.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:22 pm

I need to check out Blazing Lazers someday. I had previously ignored it because I assumed it was a $100+ CD game like Lords of Thunder. Compile is rad.
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TSTR
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by TSTR Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:30 pm

I love Gun-Nac, but hell if I'm gonna pay the price for that cart.

EDIT: Ugh, just looked on the Bay for it to check prices. Bootlegs ahoy.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:33 pm

I got u fam. Here's worthy substitute.
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