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Damm64
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Damm64 Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:08 pm

Resident evil code veronica

So instead of waiting and fix the TV i have lying around on my room for the last 6 months i just said SCREW IT and finally played Code Veronica on Dolphin last weekend. First i have to say that emulator, version 5.0, is amazing i cant believe i could run the game on my laptop at a steady framerate (there were only random dips on loading zones).

Now the game itself... is alright, i get the chance to play it on a dreamcast emulator years ago but never got to finish disk 1. Im not sure if im just more familiar with the other titles or on CV you backtrack way more than in the other games. If i remember correctly i had to grab an item on the far side of a underwater facility... just to go back to the main mansion and use it to open just one or two doors... this process repeated itself multiple times and about 4 or 5 times i got stuck because i knew where i had to go but i could not find the goddamn room on that mess of a map.

Also i feel that CV is completly an action game now, didnt feel the atmosphere from the older games in it, now the mutations and villians either have psychic powers or they can ninja jump from walls. I think i put it on the same level as 3, i do enjoy the game but i dont see myself replaying this one as much like resi 2.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:15 pm

I would still say RE3 is way more action honestly.

But yeah... backtracking is crazy in CV.
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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by marurun Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:43 pm

1. Axiom Verge (Windows/Steam)
2. Fire Emblem Heroes (iOS/no IAP)
3. Fire Emblem Heroes - Hard, Lunatic, and beyond: late game content

I already posted my FE Heroes impressions after beating the Normal campaign mode, but as expected of a freemium game, the game goes on, and it turns out that the game changes quite a bit as it does. Here are my impressions from beating Hard, making some early headway in Lunatic, and playing some higher level training tower missions.

FE Heroes is in so many ways a typical freemium game. You have 50 stamina points that slowly regenerate, and each mission costs stamina to play. Higher level missions cost more stamina to attempt. At lower levels this isn't a problem because there's more than enough stamina. But at higher levels, it can cost a third of your stamina to play a level. That raises the stakes for loosing the battle quite a bit. Further, higher level characters take a lot more experience, slowing level progression quite a bit. You remember how characters who die in battle don't keep any experience they earned? Well, that doesn't help. So you have to fight many more battles to level up, putting a real squeeze on your stamina supply. And that also raises the consequences for failure and death.

And you'll do a lot more dying. In addition to named heroes, the game has generic troops of every type. These generic troops seem to be able to be assigned powers and skills at random. This means you may go into a level thinking you have covered all your bases only to discover a random enemy soldier has massively high stats for his level and a skill that makes him immune to the advantage you thought you had (yes, this has actually happened to me). There's no way you can truly be prepared for these random events. You will inevitably find yourself in a battle where there is one opponent you can only seem to do 2 or 3 damage to with your strongest character. This can create a mess, as this randomly generated powerhouse tears through your troops while you bite your nails hoping you can take him down and get at least one character some experience. At lower levels this kind of randomness is a lot less fatal, but at higher levels you can get utterly crushed without any way of anticipating what you were up against.

On top of this is the cruelty of the random stat bonuses at level-up. You can have an otherwise great character and then just keep getting level-ups with only 1 or 2 stats boosted. In the early game it isn't so bad, but by late game those randomly generated enemy mooks can have wide ranges of stats, and some end up with some godlike numbers.

This aggravates the other freemium aspect of the game, the gashapon aspect. For those who aren't familiar with gashapon, it's basically those capsule machines where you put in your money and it spits out a plastic capsule with a toy or doodad in it. Most are cheap, but a few are really rare or valuable. When you summon, you get characters of varied rarity, and that rarity affects not only the likelihood of better stat gains at level up, but better starting equipment and skills. A 5 star character will start with a much stronger weapon and better innate abilities than a 3 star character. But you can still get shafted on level-up when it comes to stat gains. And when you promote lower value characters to higher star ratings, they don't automatically gain the new equipment or abilities. You have to buy it with SP. So don't promote immediately at level 20 or you'll still end up falling behind due to not having adequate SP to buy the necessary upgrades.

There's also the problem of over-powered characters. Fire Emblem has some neat abilities for combat, but because lower star characters don't have access to the best abilities or stat gains, only the highest-star characters will truly become self-sufficient on the battlefield. And some rare abilities can make certain characters very difficult to overcome. Random enemy soldiers, as mentioned above, can sometimes turn up with powerful combinations, but there are some preset ones. The two current game-dominating characters are young Tiki and Takumi. Both these characters have very solid stats and abilities that help negate their weaknesses, meaning they become game-changers IF you can get them. But they're both 5-star, so you have to get really lucky or summon your butt off.

tl;dr
Fire Emblem Heroes's biggest problems are the interplay between the freemium aspects of stamina and gashapon and the effects of randomness - in level-up, in gashapon summoning, and in random enemy configurations - on game difficulty and balance. At lower levels you always have enough stamina, and characters are relatively easy to level up, and even 2 and 3-star characters can be useful in battles. Once you hit the higher levels, only 4 and 5-stars are viable, poor level-up boosts can neuter an otherwise powerful 4-star character, enemies can generate with randomly overpowered abilities and stats, experience gain is much more grindy and difficult, and the penalties of losing are much more painful.

For free players, the normal campaign is great, and the road to level 20 is pretty fun. After level 20 and halfway through the Hard campaign, things take a turn, and if you want to stay an effective free player you need to be cutthroat and lucky. Or you need to spend money and summon like nobody's business. Takumi or young Tiki could show up right at the next summon... Otherwise, prepare to be frustrated.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:30 pm

Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 17

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


February (7 Game Beaten)
11. Fire Emblem Heroes - Android - February 3
12. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD - Wii U - February 5
13. Dante's Inferno - PlayStation 3 - February 7
14. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - DS - February 11
15. Persona 4: Dancing All Night - Vita - February 12
16. Sniper Elite 4 - PlayStation 4 - February 17
17. Pony Quest - NES - February 19


17. Pony Quest - NES - February 19

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This game might need a little bit of introduction. This is a fan hacked total conversion of Final Fantasy based on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I picked this up as an impulse buy at BronyCon 2014 in the vendors' hall when the folks who made the game - NPCtendo on DeviantArt - were selling cartridges. It wasn't cheap by any means - $60 - but for a My Little Pony RPG on one of my favorite consoles and (most importantly to me) made with all original hardware rather than the cannibalized donor carts that I hate so much, it was worth it. Anyway, the game includes references and foes going all the way up through season 4 of the show and through the second Equestria Girls movie.

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The game progression follows the normal Final Fantasy formula but instead of charging four orbs, you have to recover four of the Elements of Harmony. The items and classes are all the same as Final Fantasy; Twilight Sparkle is your black mage, Fluttershy is your white mage, Rarity is your red mage, Applejack is your warrior, Rainbow Dash is your black belt, and Pinkie Pie is your thief. My playthrough featured the stalwart BoneSnapDeez (Bone) as the warrior Applejack, the sage MrPopo (Popo) as the white mage Fluttershy, the indominable BogusMeatFactory (BMF) as the black mage Twilight Sparkle, and the steadfast Marurun (Maru) as the black belt Rainbow Dash. What's incredibly impressive, however, is that almost every else has been changed. The world map is completely different to match Hasbro's released map of Equestria, most of the music has been changed to 8-bit versions of iconic MLP songs (although two or three Final Fantasy songs - most notably the venerable battle theme - have been left in). The sprites are all new, and not just the player characters. The NPCs have all been changed to ponies, dragons, buffalo, or sea ponies.

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On the topic of changed sprites, the enemy sprites have all been changed to either enemies from the show or just generally redesigned foes. You fight parasprites, diamond dogs, manticores, hydras, changelings, bugbears, and even the Ursa Major. The bosses are the most impressive - they're all bosses from the show, and they're extremely well done. You fight King Sombra in the Crystal Empire. You have to fight your way through the Changeling Hive to defeat Queen Chrysalis. You have to travel to the bottom of the sea ponies' castle and defeat the siren Sonata Dusk. You have to fight the fully powered Tirek (the legitimately epic DBZ-esque final fight from the season 4 finale). They even included as bosses the Smooze and Katrina, enemies from older MLP series. While he's not a boss, Discord makes an appearance as the de facto dragon ruler and grants your heroes their class change. The only major MLP foe that's not included in some form is Nightmare Moon, and since she was just Princess Luna possessed by a demonic entity of malice and this took place before that (Princess Luna is included in the game alongside Princess Celestia as a guide of sorts), that makes sense.

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So let's talk about the plot a bit. The story, as I said, is similar to the base Final Fantasy, but it's not identical. Four of the six ponies in the "Mane Six" (since you can only use four characters) get sent back in time roughly 1000 years by a magical anomaly with a portal. During the trip, their Elements of Harmony get scattered, being spread across the land. The girls have to travel across Equestria, fighting a host of foes, to recover their Elements in order to activate the portal and return to their own time. Because shit hit every inch of the proverbial fan in Equestria 1000 years ago, you end up having to save Equstria from several major threats (the aforementioned enemies from the show). Garland in this game is King Sombra, an exceptionally evil and powerful unicorn who conquered the Crystal Empire and plunged it into darkness. Naturally, he's the first boss you fight, freeing the Crystal Empire from his grasp. At the end of the game, of course, he's the final boss as well, though he's now at the peak of his magical prowess and hell bent on slaying the girls (farther) in the past to prevent them from defeating him in his present (1000 years in their past).

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Naturally, Pony Quest is only going to have real appeal for fans of MLP: FiM, but for those who are fans of the show, it's got a LOT of appeal. I've already mentioned a lot of the enemies from the show who pop up and the music redone for an 8-bit sound chip, but the game is filled with humor based on show references. For example, when you go to Discord to upgrade your classes, there's a random human in his cave with him - the only human in the entire game. When you speak to him, he says "Hi, I'm M. A. Larson. I taught Discord a neat trick!" Now this part requires a bit of explanation. M. A. Larson is one of the writers for the show, and he was the writer for the season 3 finale that ended with Twilight Sparkle ascending to be an alicorn (she had previously been a unicorn) and becoming an immortal goddess. There was a strong negative backlash in the fandom over this change, and a lot of that anger got directed at Larson for writing the episode. Through various convention panels, however, he explained that he hated the idea, too, but that Hasbro assigned him the episode and basic plot, so there wasn't anything he could do. In his characteristic dry humor, he started jokingly threatening to turn the other five main characters into alicorns from time to time, and this turned into a huge inside joke. Anyway, when you talk to Discord with the cane key item (another show reference), he turns all of your characters into alicorns. There's even an NPC in one city who says "I see you met Larson" if you talk to him after your characters all become alicorns. The game also references the fandom joke that Sonata Dusk is completely and totally obsessed with tacos (even though she only mentioned Taco Tuesday once in the movie).

For those who don't know, an alicorn is a pony with a unicorn horn and pegasus wings. In MLP, alicorns are immortal gods who must either ascend to godhood from one of the three regular pony races or be born from an alicorn mother.

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Pony Quest isn't a perfect game, but it's a damn good one for fans of the show, and it's easy to pick up if you're familiar with the original Final Fantasy, complete with the bugs and non-functional spells and special weapon ability bugs. It's clear that the folks at NPCtendo put a LOT of care and effort into this game from arranging songs from the show for NES hardware to drawing new sprites for pretty much every enemy. This wasn't a half-assed project; this was a major labor of love, and even if the items and spells are all the same as the original Final Fantasy along with a few of the musical tracks saying the same, it's clear that they went all out on this one and poured their hearts into it. I've played a lot of fan hacks of games on emulators over the years (mainly MLP and Pokemon), but this is without a doubt the most impressive and the most thoroughly redesigned. I can't give these guys enough kudos; this is a love letter to My Little Pony and 8-bit gaming if there ever were one. While they sold the cartridges at BronyCon, they freely distribute the ROM of the game, and if anyone reading this is a fan of MLP, I STRONGLY urge you to play this game. Heck, even if you're not super into MLP but like 8-bit JRPGs and want to see an impressive hack and a bit of the artistic side of the MLP fandom, you ought to check out Pony Quest.
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BogusMeatFactory
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BogusMeatFactory Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:43 pm

I'm twilight sparkle biznatches!!!
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-I am the idiot that likes to have fun and be happy.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:18 pm

lol awesome.

Does Zephyr Breeze make an appearance?
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:26 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:lol awesome.

Does Zephyr Breeze make an appearance?

Lol, no, he wasn't introduced until season six, after this game was finished.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Mon Feb 20, 2017 7:46 pm

January:
1) The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (PC) (8.5) (1/1) (~5.5 hours)
2) ActRaiser (SNES) (8.0) (1/2) (~4 hours)
3) Bonk's Revenge (GB) (6.0) (1/3) (~1 hour)
4) Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs' Big Break (GB) (6.5) (1/3) (~1 hour)
5) Blackwell Legacy (PC) (7.0) (1/5) (2.6 hours)
6) Blackwell Unbound (PC) (7.5) (1/7) (2.2 hours)
7) Blackwell Convergence (PC) (8.0) (1/7) (2.4 hours)
8) Blackwell Deception (PC) (8.0) (1/8) (4.7 hours)
9) Blackwell Epiphany (PC) (9.0) (1/9) (6.5 hours)
10) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) (8.0) (1/22) (~55 hours)
11) Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (360) (8.0) (1/28) (~.5 hours)
12) Deep Duck Trouble Starring Donald Duck (SMS) (6.5) (1/31) (~1 hour)


February:
13) Quackshot Starring Donald Duck (GEN) (7.5) (2/7) (~2 hours)
14) Fire Emblem Heroes (Android) (8.0) (2/9) (~10 hours)
15) Super C (NES) (9.5) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)

Peeps talkin' 'bout Super C made me want to go play it. I'd actually picked it up a few times in the prior couple of weeks, and just didn't have much luck. This time was much better. Ended up with a perfect stage 1 and 2, not so much stage 3 (stupid spider bot), some deaths in stage 4 (I hate that laser boss so much without the Spreader), and managed to die completely in stage 5 (the boss in that stage is tough with only regular shot, but I have survived it deathless before).

Upon continuing, I somehow put together a flawless run until the end. Even stage 8!

Still one of the best run-'n'-guns of all time. Tough, but fair. Well, mostly fair. ;)
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“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:39 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)
15. Vanguard (Atari 2600)
16. Kangaroo (Atari 2600)
17. Front Line (Atari 2600)
18. Mario Bros. (Atari 2600)
19. Harmonia (Steam)
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Harmonia is yet another "tearjerker" kinetic visual novel by VisualArts/Key, the same folks behind planetarian ~the reverie of a little planet~ (very good) and Clannad (dunno if I'll ever play this as it's sixty godforsaken hours long).

Now, planetarian is a post-apocalyptic tale about human and android relationships, with a notable subplot involving restoration of antiquated technology. On the other hand, Harmonia is a post-apocalyptic tale about human and android relationships, with a notable subplot involving restoration of antiquated technology. Wait, what? Yeah, this sort of plot seems to be incredibly common among visual novels.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RobotGirl

Oh okay then.
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Harmonia switches things up a bit, I suppose. The protagonist is a male android this time, albeit an incredibly effeminate one. He wakes up from a coma in a ruined world with no memory and treks forward until finding a town. Here we are introduced to the additional (named) characters. First, there are the two leading ladies who both fall squarely into the "moe" category: Shiona (super cute and bubbly) and Tipi (sad and snuggly). Then there's a shopkeeper dude named Madd who's always mad. Clever. The characters are pretty stock, but the story and translation are quite good. Things start off slow, as they always seem to in these games, but then the "mysteries" and "twists" emerge and at this point I found myself playing (reading) at a much more rapid pace. Character interactions are believable and it was nice to have a male protagonist who wasn't a complete perv or wet blanket.

The backgrounds are all gritty and gray, highlighting the world's destruction. The characters, however, are colorful with this neat little "charcoal pencil" type effect added to their figures. There's no real animation here, but a sufficient amount of evolving stills are provided. The soundtrack is absolutely beautiful, with a quaint music box vibe throughout.

Text presentation is the only prominent weakness here. The game sometimes layers text over the entire screen, Higurashi style. Terrible idea. There's also a known issue where text doesn't show at all. This happened to me and, following the advice of those on the Steam forums, I changed the font (yes there is a choice) to Courier New. This ended up working, but it looked questionable and had to be reset every time I booted the game.
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The game's strongest writing emerges about 70% of the way through, where the conflict comes to a head and several lingering questions are (partly) answered. I kinda saw "the twist" coming but I was only about halfway correct. Nice work, Harmonia! The ending is emotional, though admittedly predictable, and a bit too drawn out. And much like Lucy -The Eternity She Wished For- (a completely unrelated VN played a month ago), there's a "let's make everything better" happy ending tacked on after the credits. It feels a bit hackneyed.

Overall, this was a solid visual novel experience. The story is compelling and while the characters aren't great they're at least entertaining. Another positive feature: this one can be rolled through in under six hours. I'd ultimately consider this a smidge better than planetarian, and it serves as a great companion to that game. Maybe I'll pick away at Clannad somewhere down the road.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:56 pm

January:
1) The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (PC) (8.5) (1/1) (~5.5 hours)
2) ActRaiser (SNES) (8.0) (1/2) (~4 hours)
3) Bonk's Revenge (GB) (6.0) (1/3) (~1 hour)
4) Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs' Big Break (GB) (6.5) (1/3) (~1 hour)
5) Blackwell Legacy (PC) (7.0) (1/5) (2.6 hours)
6) Blackwell Unbound (PC) (7.5) (1/7) (2.2 hours)
7) Blackwell Convergence (PC) (8.0) (1/7) (2.4 hours)
8) Blackwell Deception (PC) (8.0) (1/8) (4.7 hours)
9) Blackwell Epiphany (PC) (9.0) (1/9) (6.5 hours)
10) Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) (8.0) (1/22) (~55 hours)
11) Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (360) (8.0) (1/28) (~.5 hours)
12) Deep Duck Trouble Starring Donald Duck (SMS) (6.5) (1/31) (~1 hour)


February:
13) Quackshot Starring Donald Duck (GEN) (7.5) (2/7) (~2 hours)
14) Fire Emblem Heroes (Android) (8.0) (2/9) (~10 hours)
15) Super C (NES) (9.5) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)
16) Contra (NES) (10.0) (2/20) (~0.5 hours)

Dang it. Dang it dang it DANG IT. I had a one-life run. And somehow, some way, I miss the last jump leading to the heart. I can't even believe it.
Hardcore Retro Gaming - Talk about games ten years old or older!
“History isn't just the story of bad people doing bad things. It's quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong.” -- C.S. Lewis
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