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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by isiolia Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:35 am

1. DKC Returns (3DS)
2. √ Letter (PS4)
3. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC)
4. Spec Ops: The Line (PC)

While I don't think it has been here, Spec Ops: The Line is an easy game to overlook. On the surface, it's yet another military shooter. It pretty much plays like Gears of War, only with a more grounded (albeit still clearly fictional) modern setting. Purely on those merits, it's...okay. Occasional use of sand as an environmental hazard aside (which I think was novel at the time), it's a thoroughly competent cover shooter.

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...and Anakin thought Tatooine had a sand problem.

Thing is, the gameplay is more a means to an end. There's a reason that scarcely an article about the current Kickstarter for an Apocalypse Now game has failed to mention Spec Ops: The Line. Both adapt Heart of Darkness into a contemporary military stories. Ones that don't glamorize war, or end happily.

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Telling this kind of story via a game actually works pretty well. You aren't just watching hard decisions get made, but are fairly effectively driven to them yourself. Granted, given that it is a game, the full spectrum of choices aren't made available. Within the relatively narrow scope of gaming narrative though, there were some pretty smart design choices made. Especially given that this is a game driven solely by action, not navigating through dialog trees.
In that respect, I actually think that the fairly generic gameplay works in favor of the story and general themes. It makes it very easy to draw parallels to other games, and maybe rethink your virtual actions in other titles - something that might well have been intended.

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Reviews, at least at time of release, seem to be a bit mixed - and sales apparently were not that awesome. In the years since, Spec Ops: The Line seems to have developed more of a hidden gem reputation, including (offhand) from other writeups I've seen in games beaten threads here. I'd say it's deserving of that, as it's a stab at interactive storytelling comparable to the likes of Bioshock or SOMA.
It's not a long game - How Long to Beat claims 6 hours or so, Steam says I played it for 7 (attributable to repeating a handful of sections a lot due to not being very good at video games). It's not a rare or expensive game - the PS3 or 360 versions are currently haunting the $10 and under preowned bins at Gamestop, the PC version is $8.99 on Amazon (or often hits that or less during Steam sales). So, it's an easy recommendation for fans of gaming narrative.
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Blu
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Blu Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:40 am

1. Runbow - Wii U
2. Battlefield 1 - Xbox One
3. Until Dawn - PS4
4. Super Mario Sunshine - Gamecube
5. Titanfall 2 - Xbox One
6. Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Party Game$ - Gamecube

I had some time this weekend to play through some games with my family. We had a blast with the Wario Ware on Gamecube. I forgot how funny, wild, and random the Wario Ware series can be. My family hadn't really ever explored the series and so the GameCube version definitely stacks above the Wii version in my opinion, since everyone can use their own controller, and you're not passing around a single Wiimote. The game is pretty affordable and if you're looking for a quick game to play with some small amounts of downtime, or lots of replayability with the modes offered, give Wario Ware a shot on the GameCube.
Juan Aguacate
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Juan Aguacate Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:52 am

Xeogred wrote:
Juan Aguacate wrote:I've been watching a few Let's Plays of RE 7. I have the game, but I'm still in the midst of playing other stuff and I think also I'm bit too scared to play it just yet LOL

The Let's Plays I have seen have been immensely entertaining though and I really do feel that RE 7 is a return to form for the series. And people seem to like FF XV too, so it's nice to see these two classic franchises that are such a big part of gaming history and fixtures of Japanese gaming have finally gotten their shit together.

Might wanna skim through the FFXV thread here. :P


I'm gonna have to sit down and play that game so I can throw my opinion into the mix LOL

I got so distracted by A King's Tale, which is so damned good, that I never actually played the main game LOL
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Fragems
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Fragems Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:03 pm

FFXV is a good game for the first 2/3rds as long as you don't mind having a bat shit story littered with plot holes that even the kind of crap movie and anime don't fully explain :roll: . The last third of the game however is a linear pile of shit that you have to trudge through and the story goes from a pile of shit to a mountain of shit :lol: . It's very easy to notice where the game went from "A Game for Fans and Newcomers"(as SE loves to remind you every time you open the game) and went to fuck it lets finish this bitch. They are currently reworking the last few chapters though so the game maybe will be finished in a year or two. I really don't see the story line as salvageable, but at least they could expand on a lot of the obviously cut/abandoned content at least the paid brotherhood DLC fills in some side stories for the party that were so obviously chopped for resale.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:23 pm

Oh Spec Ops! Almost started that up yesterday myself. I honestly though it was an FPS until I noticed just yesterday haha, that said yeah I've heard it's actually a lot more serious and better than most in terms of storytelling. Looks cool.
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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by isiolia Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:46 pm

Yeah, I thought it was an FPS as well until I started playing it. :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:46 pm

Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 10

January (10 Games Beaten)
1. Persona 4 Arena - Playstation 3 - January 1
2. Chrono Trigger - SNES - January 7
3. Ys: The Vanished Omens - Master System - January 8
4. MUSHA - Genesis - January 10
5. Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below - PlayStation 4 - January 11
6. Ys I - TurboGrafx-CD - January 13
7. Ys II - TurboGrafx-CD - January 14
8. Dragon Quest Builders - PlayStation 4 - January 23
9. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - PlayStation 4 - January 26
10. School Girl/Zombie Hunter - PlayStation 4 - January 29


10. School Girl/Zombie Hunter - PlayStation 4 - January 29

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Anyone who knows me should immediately think of me when hearing the title for this game. When I first saw the pre-order screen for this pop up on Play-Asia, that flew into my cart faster than the KKK flew to the polls on election day. Having played through all of the main missions and about half of the side missions I can safely say that this game is solidly and in every way "okay."

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For a weeb-perv game, it's fantastic. And let's be honest - no one is going to buy a game called "School Girl/Zombie Hunter" expecting any depth of story or gameplay. Speaking of story, I have no fucking idea what was going on. The whole damn thing's in Japanese, and the extent of my Japanese is "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto," and I don't even know what that means. From what I can gather, there's some king zombie that's opening portals...or something...through which other zombies are coming into this high school, and everyone except these five hella unlucky chicks got out, but they're trapped in the school. Fortunately the school focused on preparing Japan's youth for a second invasion of Manchuria once China and the United States go to war under President Trump because there are dozens and dozens of guns - including a rocket launcher - and an unending supply of bullets. So they've got ammo and weapons to defend themselves. They decide that they're gonna fuck shit up and save the world or whatever, so they start looking for these communication beacons linked to some kind of government zombie killing taskforce and try to hunt down the boss zombie. And their zombie doppelgängers. Not sure if it ever explains why there are zombie versions of the girls, but there are.

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The gameplay is pretty standard from what I've come to expect from D3. It's the spiritual successor to the Onechanbara series, and that's very apparent - it plays exactly like Onechanbara but with guns instead of swords. The controls are a little stiff, and the aiming seems a bit random with regards to whether or not a lined up shot will hit, but for a campy mid-budget game designed from the bottom up to give you an excuse to kill zombies as a girl in her underwear, it does its job well. The graphics are similarly okay. They look fine, but they're not pushing the PS4 to its limits or anything. It is worth noting that, despite the Japanese-only language settings, I did see online someone had translated the menus. I managed to get through the game using Google's instant translation smartphone app, though. It's the kind of translation you'd see from a student who scraped out a D in a class by the skin of his teeth, but it gets the job done.

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You've got a fair variety of zombies - regular zombies, cop with gun zombies, big fat guy with huge butcher knife zombies, big beefy guy with huge hammer zombies, creepy CatDog zombies, gravitationally confused ceiling zombies, explodey zombies, explodey poison zombies, rabid cantfuckingoutrunmebitch zombies, and a handful of boss zombies. In addition to your guns, you've got a melee attack in case they get all up in your grill, but it takes an enormous amount of your stamina bar. The missions mostly consist of find shit in the time limit, kill X number of zombies in the time limit, reach an arbitrary point in the time limit, or defend the thing for the time limit. Honestly, the time limits are the hardest part of the game save for a couple of tricky bosses.

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You've got five girls, and each of them defaults to a different weapon, although you're permitted to pick any weapon you want. You've got pistols, assault rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, sniper rifles, and (eventually) a rocket launcher. Truthfully, though, the rocket launcher is useless; you can unlock significantly stronger shotguns and sniper rifles, and the rocket launcher has to be reloaded after each shot (obviously). It looks cool, and explosions are always awesome, but as a weapon - especially against bosses - it's just not worth it.

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School Girl/Zombie Hunter really isn't a bad game. It's not a good game, per se, but it's definitely not a bad game. It is, however, every bit as shallow as it looks. If you want some T&A with some mindless zombie killing, then look no further (it's fun af if that's all you're looking for). If you want a good story, though, I wouldn't look here. I mean, I don't know Japanese, so I've got no clue if the story is any good or not, but if the Onechanbara games are anything to go off of, it's probably garbage. Gameplay and visuals don't stand out either, but both get the job done for the aforementioned zombie killing T&A. The game's okay. It's not amazing, but it's not bad.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:43 pm

A few updates:

1. 3D Power Drift 3DS
2. Maze Hunter 3-D 3DS
3. Hyrule Warriors Legends 3DS
4. Icarus Proudbottom's World of Typing Weekly PC
5. Paper Mario N64 *NEW*
6. Catherine PS3 *NEW*

Paper Mario

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Paper Mario is an RPG for N64. I first played it over 10 years ago now, when I borrowed my friends copy. That Christmas there were 3 big games coming for the N64 in the UK, a system on it's last legs. They were Pokémon Stadium 2, Mario Party 3, and Paper Mario. At the time, I didn't know what to make of Paper Mario, I wasn't much of an RPG guy outside of Pokémon, but I knew I wanted the other 2 for Christmas. I searched and I searched, but never found them. My buddy though, the lucky bugger, found all 3 under his tree that Christmas. I borrowed them all from him over time. First Pokémon Stadium 2, which I enjoyed. Then Mario Party 3, which I thought was great too. And finally, because I needed something else to play, Paper Mario. And man, did I adore it.

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Fast forward 12 years or so and I finally found my own copy of Paper Mario waiting under the tree this Christmas. The game is one of the pricier big name games for N64 over here, with a loose cartridge easily hitting £60+ when it sells on eBay, and it's been top of my wants list for some time. The game takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom, and Bowser kidnaps Peach yet again, this time abducting her whole castle into space. He also steals the legendary Star Rod, allowing him to grant his own wish to beat Mario, and making him effectively invincible. As Mario, you must journey the Mushroom Kingdom saving Star Spirits who will help you overcome the powers of the Star Rod.

Aesthetically, Paper Mario still looks lovely with it's 2D character models on bubbly, colourful 3D backgrounds. Characters flip over when they change direction, and the idea is played with throughout the game - buildings open up like a cutout dollshouse when you enter or leave then, you float down gently from some heights, you roll into a tube when going down a pipe - it's super cool. The backgrounds all have an impressionist art styling too them and it just looks lovely. The music is super cute and catchy too, and fits the environment wherever it is.

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The game is super inventive and quirky too. As part of the plot you'll fight against Ninja Koopas, defeat a ghost eating monster, ride the back of a tuna to a far off island, explore the inside of a toy box, solve a penguin murder mystery and read Luigi's secret diary and more. The game moves at a brisk pace, with it's 8 chapters spanning over about 24 hours, and it constantly throws clever and entertaining new scenarios at you to keep you interested throughout.

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The battle system takes the basic idea of timed button presses from Super Mario RPG and actually does something worthwhile with it - basically every attack here can have it's damage increased with successful button inputs, which is displayed on screen. It might be timed button presses, mashing the analogue stick left as fast as possible, holding a button and releasing at the right time or more, but it makes battles feel very involving. You can also reduce enemy damage by pressing a just before an attack hits, which can make a major difference to your survivability. RPG mechanics are super simplified here - attacks always do set number of damage, normally in the range of 1-10, and your maximum HP is 50.

You only have 3 stats - HP, FP (read: magic points) and BP. BP is the most interesting as it allows you to equip more badges which give additional effects such as increasing damage, rendering you immune to damage from jumping on spiked enemies, gradually recovering FP and more. Whilst the low stats do mean small increments make a massive difference (a +1 to attack could mean a 50% damage increase!) it also allows you to make some very precise strategies or exploit the game mechanics in fun ways - I used a badge combo that would allow me to deal 50+ points of damage in a single turn easily, in a game where the strongest enemies have 99HP.

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Paper Mario is a wonderful, compelling, charming and hilarious game. I enjoyed every single second of my revisiting this game after all those years. I completed the game 100% (all badges, recipes, optional bosses, star pieces, sidequests etc...) and don't regret a second of it. A wonderful game for one of my favourite systems. If you don't have it, get it, it's worth every penny.


Catherine

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Catherine is a block pushing puzzle game for PS3, but it's better known for it's storyline premise. You play as Vincent, a man who is at a crossroads in his relationship with his long-term girlfriend Katherine. Marriage, a family and a lifetime of commitment is on the agenda, and Vincent is struggling to cope with the idea. Enter Catherine, with a C, a blonde haired temptress who Vincent cheats on his girlfriend with.

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Around the same time, Vincent starts having nightmares where he visits a realm where he must climb towers of blocks to survive a fall into the abyss. Men who die in these dreams have been dying in real life, despite appearing as Sheep to Vincent. This is the main 'gameplay' segment of the game. Blocks can be pushed or pulled if you have a foothold next to them, and you can also drop down and crawl along the edges of them if there's a foothold there. You can push multiple blocks, but only pull one. If an edge of a block is touching the edge of another block, it won't fall, even if no block is underneath it, but if they are seperated it will fall after a short second.

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Learning all these intricacies of block interaction is essential, because Catherine does not fuck about. This is a hard ass game, and just as Vincent is punished for his infidelities in his dreams, so will you be by this games difficulty curve, which closely resembles that of the block towers you'll spend most of the game climbing up.

The story of Catherine was interesting, and I was curious how it would develop next. It manages to keep you guessing well enough, and new elements get introduced at a rate just fast enough to stop it getting stale. There are multiple endings (I got one of the 'bad' ones on my playthrough, not using a guide) but they're basically all 'real' endings - just different potential outcomes.

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The block pushing gameplay can be super satisfying when you solve something satisfying, but overall I had a lot of issues with this, which is an issue when it's the main part of the game. The boss fights where you had to climb a tower as fast as possible whilst being chased by a monster were awful - the difficulty spiked horrendously for the first few (and actually dipped for the last few compared to the normal levels, oddly) and whenever they would attack, the camera would pull out in an awkward manner to show them doing so - an issue when you need to see all the blocks you're handling to move at a speed satisfactory to outrun the damn things.

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In addition, the levels featured really odd difficulty spikes, with earlier levels sometimes being outrageously hard, and later ones being easier than expected. There's a luck element in later levels that broke the whole concept of the logical thinking of the game too in my opinion - making a wrong move early on could cause the tower to collapse in such a way that it would be incredibly difficult or impossible to finish the level much higher up - with no way of knowing that you had that impact. In addition, the last world in particular was riddled with random chance in a way that was incredibly aggravating - curtain blocks would reveal themselves as a different type of block when you stepped on them at random. Monster blocks would randomly shift themselves to a new position, often in a way that made it difficult or impossible to progress, necessitating you rewind some moves and hope they didn't do it again as you replayed.

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Catherine is an interesting game that I'm glad I played, but not really one that I enjoyed my time with. I found myself stressed out by the cutscenes and the gameplay more often than I found myself having fun, and it's a game I could only play in short bursts. Give it a go if you're interested, but I suspect it's not a game many will enjoy. Those who do though, I bet will love it.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:53 pm

Catherine is a weird combination of interesting visual novel and hard block moving puzzle game. It's very possible to like one half of it and not like the other, which is a real shame because the most likely one is you get stuck on the puzzle stuff and be unable to progress in the story.

Paper Mario's mechanics are super straightforward; a 5 damage attack against a 3 defense enemy does 2 damage. The reason most RPGs don't use this and instead go for more complicated damage routines (look up the FFV algorithms guide sometime on GameFAQs) is that each discrete point of attack, defense, and health are all incredibly meaningful, which can make balance very challenging, especially when you what player power to progress over time. The Paper Mario games seem to have put a lot of those "progression" feelings into the acquisition of new partners, which sidesteps the problem (you'll notice most partners are equally effective against most enemies) while still feeling like you're growing in strength over time.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:07 pm

I honestly always forget Paper Mario started on the N64 and not the Gamecube or Wii.
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