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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:49 am

Markies wrote:I have fairly high expectations for that game. And I fully believe it will meet them.

It will probably exceed them I'll bet.

There may be more Castlevania games than you know, have a look at the right side bar of this link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castlevania#Games

I've beaten almost every 2D Castlevania. Starting at the point past Castlevania III, the ones I recommend most strongly:

Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Game Boy)
Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1)
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DS)
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia* (DS)

A lot of people swear Castlevania: Rondo of Blood is the best 2D Castlevania. I don't share that opinion, but I do encourage you to check it out. I personally adored all the GBA and DS Castlevanias (except Portrait of Ruin).

You have a tremendous amount of fun ahead of you!


*Of all the "metroidvania" Castlevanias, this one is probably my favorite. Symphony is a more grand experience yes, but Ecclesia is actually challenging, whereas Symphony is not.
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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:50 am

Markies wrote:The only Castlevania game I grew up with as a kid was the first one, so all of this is very new to me. And since I love to play series' in chronological order, I haven't gotten that far yet.

But, yes, that is the game I am MOST looking forward to playing. That is the game that got me interested in playing through the Castlevania series.


You are going to love Rondo of Blood on the PC Engine, that's for sure. And once you have Castlevania 2 and Rondo of Blood behind you, Symphony of the Night will be even more interesting, because there's so much that comes from those two older games.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:40 pm

1. Chrono Trigger (SNES)
2. Gyromite (NES)
3. Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- (Steam)
4. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Famicom)
5. Radical Dreamers (SNES)
6. Video Games 1 (TI-99/4A)
7. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (Famicom)
8. Exile (TurboGrafx CD)
9. Exile: Wicked Phenomenon (TurboGrafx CD)
10. Xak (PC Engine CD, Xak I・II)
11. Xak II (PC Engine CD, Xak I・II)
12. Neutopia (TurboGrafx-16)
13. Captain Silver (Sega Master System)
14. Märchen Veil (Famicom Disk System)
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I got duped into playing this, I tell ya. See, I have a thing for these old Famicom Disk System RPGs. And websites like GameFAQs told me that Märchen Veil was in fact some sort of (A)RPG. It isn't. It's a three inch crusty magnetic turd.

The game comes to us courtesy of Sunsoft (publisher) and System Sacom (developer). Sacom was pretty prolific back in the day, cranking out a plethora of titles for home consoles and computer systems. Very few games were localized though you may be familiar with "classics" such as Jennifer Capriati Tennis, Mansion of Hidden Souls, Seal of the Pharaoh, and Lunacy.

FDS Märchen Veil, released in 1987, is actually part of a larger series. Märchen Veil I and Märchen Veil II were released for Japanese home computers in 1985 and 1986, respectively. I'm not quite sure where this particular entry fits into the timeline. Some websites tell me it's a port of the first game while others call it an amalgamation of those first two entries à la Adventures of Lolo and Evolution Worlds.
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This is a certainly a unique game, that much can be said. It combines two distinct gameplay styles, with alternating visual novel and action scenes. "Visual novel" may be an overly generous misnomer here; there are simply lengthy cutscenes between each stage with lots of text. They're okay I suppose, but look downright amateurish when compared to the likes of something like Ninja Gaiden, which followed just one year later. The plot involves a young prince who has been cursed and transformed into a satyr. He lacks nipples on the box art and in the game which concerns me a bit. Because of his beastly appearance and/or missing nips the prince is shunned by god and human alike. His quest is a desperate attempt to regain normality. The storyline is told in an incredibly depressing manner, really.

Speaking of depressing, the "action" sequences are unmitigated slop. Now, as I claimed earlier, the game appears to be an action-RPG based on screenshots. In actuality it's one of those top-down platforming shmup-ish games in the vein of KiKi KaiKai, Valkyrie no Densetsu, Fray CD: Xak Gaiden, and Märchen Maze (no relation). However, the levels in Märchen Veil are not so straightforward. Progress is usually granted after completing some arbitrary task or collecting specific items.
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Almost everything about these stages is horrible. The game feels like it's on the verge of glitching. Movement of hero and foe is accompanied by screen blinking and/or slowdown. Our satyr boy walks like he's knee-deep in quicksand. Enemy AI is dumb, spastic, and haphazard. The primary weapon is a bunch of random geometric shapes emitted from the satyr's body. There are pitfalls everywhere, presented alongside the requisite terrible top-down jumping controls. The graphics are monumentally deficient. Everything is either dull and washed-out or painfully bright. Music and sound effects fare no better: a frothy cacophony of beep-bloop bullshit.

I'm just getting to the real issue, however. Märchen Veil is virtually impossible to complete without a walkthrough. Stage objectives are unclear and capricious. Sometimes exits won't materialize until certain enemies are defeated. Other events are triggered only if a random item is in the satyr's possession. There's no pause/inventory screen and no indication regarding what items "do." To add insult to injury, the developers decided to add some lame semblance of non-linearity by inserting portals in each stage that will lead back to the previous one. There are times when it's necessary to backtrack, grab an item, and then proceed forward, but it's never made clear. Also, wanna guess where the portal in level one leads to? Game Over. Märchen Veil was developed by trolls, clearly.
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You get one life and dying returns you to the last save point utilized. So, saving is important. Unfortunately Märchen Veil has a bizarre and incomprehensible save system. I hate to dedicate an entire paragraph to such a blasé topic, but I'm also astounded by how badly the developers fouled this up. Now, as far as I know every FDS game has a save feature of some sort whether it's for progress or just for high scores. More sophisticated games, like Esper Dream, feature actual "save points" the likes of which would later become commonplace in RPGs and, eventually, video games generally speaking. Other games feature a more rudimentary system that you may recognize if you've played The Legend of Zelda on NES. That is, a save is available upon death or a save menu screen will appear if the up and A buttons are pressed simultaneously on controller two. Märchen Veil decided to awkwardly combine elements of the two aforementioned methods. There are a couple of blue portals per stage. These are the save points. You'd expect a "save? yes/no" type menu to emerge when making contact with these but no, instead up and A must be pressed on controller two while standing on a portal. I figured this out on a hunch after playing for about an hour (and being sent back to the game's beginning upon each death). It's completely bizarre. I'm now credited on GameFAQs for making this "discovery." Fantastic.

Conclusion: this is pretty rough game. It's ambitious but wholly uncomfortable to play. Silver linings include the fact that it's short and not particularly difficult with a walkthrough handy, as the satyr is given an ample lifebar and HP-restoring items are plentiful. Still, it's bad. Real bad. I can't hate it though, as bad (retro) games still always manage to amuse me in some way or another. To end on positive note, check out this absolutely killer artwork from the original computer game:
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by noiseredux Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:59 pm

marurun wrote:
Markies wrote:The only Castlevania game I grew up with as a kid was the first one, so all of this is very new to me. And since I love to play series' in chronological order, I haven't gotten that far yet.

But, yes, that is the game I am MOST looking forward to playing. That is the game that got me interested in playing through the Castlevania series.


You are going to love Rondo of Blood on the PC Engine, that's for sure. And once you have Castlevania 2 and Rondo of Blood behind you, Symphony of the Night will be even more interesting, because there's so much that comes from those two older games.


Agreed.

I am in the camp that SOTN is one of the best games ever by the way.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:08 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:a frothy cacophony of beep-bloop bullshit

Best line I've seen in a review so far this year.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:20 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2017 Beaten Games:

1. Tales of Hearts R (Vita)
2. UPPERS (Vita)
3. Volume (Vita)
4. Overlord: Minions (DS)
5. Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)
6. Overlord II (PS3)
7. Overlord: Dark Legend (Wii)
8. La-Mulana (Remake) (PC)
9. Infamous: Second Son (PS4)

10. htol#NiQ: The Firefly Diary (Vita)

So, I did an Exhuminator the other week and bought some random Vita game because it looked cool and I'd never seen it before. Though I did look up some reviews online in the store before I checked out, I was fairly interested with a weird-ass title like that, although healthily skeptical given that this is a game published by NIS. I heard of several comparisons to LIMBO, and was warned to change the controls ASAP to version C as to turn off all touch controls and switch them to joy-stick ones. Both of these turned out to be very true.

The comparisons to LIMBO were very apt. It's a very beautifully drawn puzzle platformer that has virtually no text in its story-telling elements. However, the story telling is a good bit more in depth and complicated than LIMBO's, as well as the gameplay. There are cutscenes between each chapter, as well as one memory fragment in each stage which reveals the backstory to what you're going through (you need them all to get the true ending and final boss, but that's not too hard a task with the stage select feature). The story does get fairly dark, and really had me switching on who I was actually rooting for, which I commend, given that its told completely without words of any kind. The simple interactive cutscenes portray their story well, and I was satisfied with the true ending (the regular one is like "wut").

You have a fairy you control with the left stick, and the player character follows it. Follows it down passages, up ladders, can tell her to sit still, interact with objects, the works. You also can toggle the world into shadow with triangle, and move with the darkness fairy through the shadows of the world to activate far-away items or switches. They're fairly neat mechanics and are explored in quite fun ways. There was never a time when I was just completely, unfathomably stuck. There was always some way to progress. The only puzzles I straight up didn't like were the "don't touch the walls" mazes, which could be very annoying because of how somewhat inaccurate the sensitivity with both the touch controls and analog controls can be though. Far from a game breaker though. Just a bit annoying.

Verdict: Recommended. If you enjoyed LIMBO, this is a good one to pick up to scratch a very similar itch. It's not too long a game, and the art and music are great, so that someone could very easily enjoy watching you play a fair bit if you were to slap it onto your PSTV.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:26 pm

Bone...your reviews are awesome. I think I know a lot about video games, but you always teach me something new. Keep fighting the good fight!
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Fragems Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:02 am

1. VVVVVV (Vita)
2. Firewatch (PS4)
3. Watchdogs (PS4) replay

It's okay bot exactly amazing though :P. Rushed through it again to catch up in case there were any connections to it in the sequel. Game was a hell of a lot easier this time since I basically didn't bother trying to go none lethal since there is no reward for not killing and the game interprets downing an enemy as a death pretty much anyways :P. AI is insanely dumb to so 99% I basically just equipped my silenced 1911 and murdered everyone in the area in a matter of seconds with no one ever really noticing :P.

Updates have definitely helped it out a lot since my last playthrough on PC although the driving still sucks. Controls are just really stiff and vehicles slide off one another whenever there is a collision which is weird but intentional.

Surprisingly there still seems to be a pretty active online community although that may have just been thanks to the boost from people drawn back by Watchdogs 2.

Anyways still working on Mass Effect which I should be only an hour or two away from completing and I'm probably about 1/2 - 2/3rds of the way through Persona 4 Golden. Will probably run through Watchdogs 2 before sinking back into those though.
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Damm64
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Damm64 Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:11 am

Xeogred wrote:Nice, yeah I'm getting a little bored of RE3 the more I replay it. It's extremely linear and more action focused, but not the refined RE4 at all. Still has some good music, the Nemesis concept is cool, and the late gen PSX pre-rendered backdrops make it look gorgeous... but yeah it falls flat a bit. The plot is about as pointless as it gets haha.

I have many issues with CV, but it's easy to see how that one is more truly RE3 than RE3 itself, and it did start in development first apparently. Or they started up around the same time.

RE2 is perfection and ages like a dream. I just wish it was longer, it's so easy to knockout in one session thesedays haha. Been awhile since I did Claire's scenario. It's a shame Capcom is doing a remake of this and saying they're going to change the gameplay. REmake is perhaps my favorite game in the entire series now and I wish RE2 would get that treatment... give it a facelift and maybe some new areas, but don't change how it plays.

Yeah dude, that Dualshock version of RE1 is something else... I need to get the original or original Directors Cut sometime haha.


I really like REmake and is another game that i have barely played more than 1 time, now to think of it the only games i have played numerous times are Resi 2,4,5, need to give that and 0 another go sometime in the future. I still need to actually beat CV, i did try it on a dreamcast emulator a few years back but never get pass Claire.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by dsheinem Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:42 pm

Not a lot of game playing so far this year, but I did knock off a few today and hopefully can get back on the horse, so to speak, before the month is out.

Games Beaten 2017
Inside - PS4 *new*
Street Fighter V - PS4 *new*
TIMEframe - PC *new*
Rituals - PC *new*
Mother Russia Bleeds - PC *new*

Total: 5


Previously: 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

Inside is a nice follow up to Limbo, and in many ways I think I much preferred it. The sense of mood and the feeling of mystery are both exquisite in their presentation, and there's a lot of reads that can be mapped onto the game. Fun to play and hard to put down.

Street Fighter V has a story mode. It is ridiculous, and only the last few fights are any kind of challenge. Not worth your time, really.

TIMEframe and Rituals are two "walking simulator" type games with some light puzzle solving along the way. Each has a distinct visual style and both of them do little of anything to help you figure stuff out along the way (this is a good thing).

Mother Russia Bleeds may be the best side-scrolling beat-em up I have played. Cross Streets of Rage II with Hotline Miami, add a heavy dosage of Soviet imagery, and crank the difficulty on the later levels, and you have a really solid entry in the genre. Beautiful pixel art, rockin' chiptunes, and raunchy themes - it is the complete package and highly recommended.

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Also, WTF? How are there 60+ pages in this thread already and its only mid-February? :shock: :?
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