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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Mon May 29, 2017 1:05 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)
11. Blood Bowl (360)
12. Dead to Rights: Retribution (360)
13. Bioshock Infinite (360)
14. Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Part 1 (360)
15. Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Part 2 (360)
16. Singularity (360)
17. Seifuku Densetsu Pretty Fighter X (Saturn)
18. Ultraman: Hikari No Kyojin Densetsu (Saturn)
19. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) (repeat)
20. Song of the Deep (PS4)
21. Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 3 (GCN)
22. Banjo-Tooie (N64) (repeat)
23. Wario Land (VB)
24. Yakuza HD Edition (PS3)
25. Yakuza 2 HD Edition (PS3)
26. Vanquish (PS3)
27. Watchdogs 2 (PS4)
28. Pikmin (Wii)
29. Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
30. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U)
31. Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
32. Tales of Innocence R (Vita)
33. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
34. Boing! Docomodake DS (DS)
35. Kirby Triple Deluxe (3DS)

36. Magicka 2: Learn to Spell... AGAIN! (PS4) (repeat)

Spent the weekend with some friends at my sister's place. We had some down time, and I'd brought the PS4 for Jackbox games, so I sat down and played some Magicka. Our friends thought it was pretty cool, so the three of us went through the first half of the game on normal, then the second half on hard, and then the first half on hard to round off the whole hard-mode experience :P

This was the first time I'd played Magicka 2 multiplayer, and it really holds up to the single player experience. 4-player mode has some pretty ludicrous amounts of enemies at times, it felt, but so does 3-player mode (just not to quite the same extent). 2-players felt the most player-tilted in terms of number of enemies Vs. how strong you as two separate entities are, but that may just be down to which levels we 2/3/4-playered respectively (depending on who was awake at the time :P ).

Hard mode REALLY don't fuck around. You can get through normal mode fairly comfortably without regarding mechanics like shields or weapon enchantments too heavily, but DAMN do you really gotta think with everything you have on hard mode. The game REALLY wants to kill you, and it tells you exactly how it's gonna do it (you can see exactly what modifiers hard mode and BANANAS!? (very hard) mode impact on the game. I also feel like some encounters have more enemies in them, but that may just be my imagination. Still loads of fun though. It really forces you to think strategically, and not just go in beams-blazing. I cannot imagine doing hard-mode in single player with how damn hard some of the hard-mode bosses are. BANANAS!? mode is like literally twice as difficult as hard mode, so I cannot imagine playing through that in any capacity ever XP

As a side note, perhaps it's just nastolgia talking, but I still liked the jokes in Magicka 1 better than this one. Magicka 2's main story is a little better nuanced (for what that's worth), but Magicka 1's story campaign modes really beat it out in terms of flavor (I don't think there have been any mission DLC's for Magicka 2 ;_;).

Verdict: Still Very Recommended. It's a fantastic game to play with people who are familiar with gaming. If you have an evening with the lads, this is a great one to crack out to see just how coordinated you are at action games.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Mon May 29, 2017 7:00 pm

Xeogred wrote:It would be interesting to hear what you guys think of the current state of VR.

It's definitely still in its infancy as a widely available gaming medium, but I think it's doing well, all things considered. It's just got to get through the growing pains that every new technology goes through before we figure out what works and what doesn't.


Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 51
* denotes a replay

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 (12 Games 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
18. Halo Wars 2 - Xbox One - February 22
19. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions - PlayStation Portable - February 24
20. Hotline Miami - PlayStation 4 - February 26
21. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light - Famicom - February 27
22. Bad Dudes - NES - February 28


March (6 Games Beaten)
23. Root Letter - PlayStation 4 - March 2
24. Vroom in the Night Sky - Switch - March 10
25. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch - March 17
26. Super Bomberman R - Switch - March 18
27. Super Mario Run - Android - March 24
28. I Am Setsuna - Switch - March 24


April (9 Games Beaten)
29. Mass Effect: Andromeda - PlayStation 4 - April 1
30. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army - PlayStation 4 - April 2
31. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 - PlayStation 4 - April 2
32. New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers - Switch - April 3
33. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 3 - PlayStation 4 - April 4
34. Persona 5 - PlayStation 4 - April 17
35. Alienation - PlayStation 4 - April 18
36. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - PlayStation 4 - April 23
37. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair - PlayStation 4 - April 29


May (14 Games Beaten)
38. Puyo Puyo Tetris - Switch - May 4
39. Fire Emblem Gaiden - Famicom - May 6
40. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Switch - May 6
41. Outlast II - PlayStation 4 - May 7
42. Dishonored - PlayStation 4 - May 10
43. Snipperclips: Cut it Out, Together! - Switch - May 12
44. Pikmin - Gamecube - May 12
45. Metal Slug - Neo Geo MVS - May 13*
46. Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Savior - PlayStation 4 - May 14
47. Batman: The TellTale Series - PlayStation 4 - May 17
48. Batman: Arkham VR - PlayStation 4 - May 18
49. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - 3DS - May 25
50. Farpoint - PlayStation 4 - May 27
51. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Xbox 360 - May 29


51. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Xbox 360 - May 29

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I'd been putting off playing this game for quite a while. I kept meaning to - I'd enjoyed the story in the first game, and I've heard the third game's praises sung non-stop for like a year and a half - but I knew I'd want to keep playing once I started, so I was waiting for a long weekend. Well, what better time to start a mid-length RPG than Memorial Day weekend? Luckily for me, I seriously had my shit together with gaming as I managed to put in about 30 hours and clear the game in two days.

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The Witcher 2 picks up the story of Geralt of Rivia a few months after the conclusion of the first game. Still without the memory of his past, Geralt investigates the mysterious assassination of two of the Northern Kingdoms' monarchs and rumors that witchers may be involved. Graphically, the game looks pretty much like its predecessor did, but thankfully, the combat feels much more fluid and natural in the sequel. It's not perfect, mind you; the commands to lock on to enemies and draw your weapon still felt a bit sluggish, and the combat mechanics didn't feel quite as polished as they could have been, but it felt significantly more intuitive and responsive to me than the first game. Granted, I played the first game on PC and the second on Xbox 360, so there's a little bit of apples-to-oranges here, I suppose, but regardless, I felt much more comfortable and confident in the combat this go around.

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One thing that I did notice is that there seemed to be a lot less non-humanoid monster slaying in this game than in the first one. You still kill a lot of rotfiends and nekkers (try saying that in frustration with a deep Southern accent; makes for some awkward misunderstanding), but those are bipedal and generally humanoid looking. There isn't nearly as much "beast" killing as there was in the first one. I'm not saying that's either good or bad, necessarily, but it definitely felt just a little less "fantasy" than the first one without the flocks of wyverns to kill (although there were, thankfully, plenty of harpies to massacre).

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My one big complaint with this game is the amount of bugs I encountered, especially given that the game's age has passed the half-decade mark. Most of the bugs weren't game breaking, but there was some noticeable screen tearing from time to time, a fair amount of texture pop-in, and extremely finicky button command prompt triggers. I did, however, encounter two or three instances where a major quest flag failed to trigger, forcing me to reload an older save, and four or five instances of side quests being bugged and rendered impossible to complete. The minor bugs, I can ignore and live with, but quest-breaking bugs and main quest flags that don't trigger aren't minor. It's also worth noting that I was playing with the game installed on my 360's hard drive; I shudder to think the frequency and type of graphical glitches I'd have encountered without installing.

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Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with The Witcher 2. The story definitely kept me hooked, although I found it a little less intriguing than that of the first game, and the characters were decently well developed. Graphically, it looks just fine for an Xbox 360 title, although it certainly doesn't push the system's limits, and the texture pop-in was disappointing. The bugs, however, are definitely an issue worth noting, and from my wiki perusing, it seems as though most of the game's quests have known bugs in one situation or another. Despite all that, however, I finished feeling satisfied and excited to fire up the third game once summer break begins, especially since I have the GOTY edition with all of the DLC.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Mon May 29, 2017 10:09 pm

Xeogred wrote:It would be interesting to hear what you guys think of the current state of VR.


Although I do not own any high-end VR, my opinion of the current state is definitely underwhelming. I have yet to see anything that has convinced me as a gamer that VR adds anything actually meaningful to the gaming experience. For example, how does it compare to how two sets of shoulder buttons change a gaming experience? On top of that, I have yet to see anything meaningful enough to warrant biting the bullet of that price tag. I haven't been convinced that it's just motion controls 2.0, where it's a big fad that doesn't really add anything and will be nothing but a interesting footnote for gaming.

The real potential for VR, I've thought, is a virtual monitor. You don't need any big fancy monitor if you can just VR a giant screen television right in front of you. Maybe you can already do that, tbh. It's not that I see VR as a whole as a waste of time and effort and people should feel dumb for liking it, but it's that I am very skeptical as a consumer that VR as a central aspect of the gaming experience will ever add enough to warrant the high pricepoint.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Mon May 29, 2017 10:19 pm

VR needs to solve for the inner ear problem and the more general problem of how to move your avatar in a way that feels reasonable. So far the best applications are simulation games because the avatar is you sitting in your vehicle manipulating controls, just like you are on your couch.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Markies Mon May 29, 2017 10:52 pm

1. Phantasy Star II (GEN)
2. Guitar Hero (PS2)
3. Adventures of Lolo (NES)
4. Animal Crossing (GCN)
5. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES)
6. Beyond The Beyond (PS1)
7. R.B.I. Baseball (NES)
8. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (PS1)
9. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (GCN)
10. Project Gotham Racing (XBOX)
11. Ristar (GEN)
12. Conker's Bad Fur Day (N64)
13. Crash Bandicoot (PS1)
14. Pikmin (GCN)
15. Syberia (XBOX)
16. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht (PS2)
17. Tetris Plus (PS1)
18. Metropolis Street Racer (DC)

19. Darkwing Duck (NES)

I completed Darkwing Duck on the Nintendo Entertainment System this evening!

When I was a child, I remember watching the Duckwing Duck animated show a few times, but I never got into it. I was always a Ducktales and Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers fan. I enjoyed the few episodes, but it never really thrilled me like the other shows. I also remember renting the game a few times, but it not having much of an impact later on.

I bought the game as an adult mostly because of the Disney Capcom reputation. I had heard that Darkwing Duck was almost a retooled Mega Man and I knew that I was instantly hooked. Fearing the rising prices of NES games, I decided to pick it up.

The trademarks of Capcom on the NES and the Disney collaboration are all there. The utterly fantastic music, the outstanding graphics, the tight game play and the platforming action of the Mega Man games are all there and they are done wonderfully. The game is easy to play and get into. I had no problems getting into the game as there was literally no learning curve. The only differences were some few tweaks like the ability to hold onto ledges, duck, shoot while ducking and you can block projectiles with your cape.

Your only gun is a simple pea shooter, but there are different guns throughout the levels. You also get a choice of levels at the beginning, but all the upgrades are throughout all the levels anyway. It would be nice to get a better weapon sometimes as the ammo is few and you need to save it for the boss.

See, the bosses are all pretty easy. They all have very recognizable pattern and after a few tries, you can beat them without taking any damage. The hard part is getting to the bosses. The levels seem very long, compared to Mega Man levels and there are way too many enemies. It would be easier, but most of the enemies take way too many hits to kill. It can get overwhelming at times and you feel kind of weak in comparison.

Also, the controls are not spot on. Sometimes, you will fall through ledges that you thought you could grab onto and Darkwing always feels a bit sticky.

Overall, besides some issues, Darkwing Duck is another fantastic Capcom Disney NES game. I would rate Ducktales and Chip N Dale higher along with the Mega Man Franchise, but for a lesser title, it is still wonderful. It has that Capcom feel to it, good and bad, and it is one of the good NES games. If you love 8 Bit action platformers on the NES, Darkwing Duck should not be missed.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Mon May 29, 2017 11:20 pm

I was old enough to recognize all the parody elements for Darkwing Duck, so I ended up loving it.

Also, excellent Mega Man-style game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by pierrot Mon May 29, 2017 11:56 pm

1. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys (PCE-CD)
2. Mega Bomberman (GEN)
3. Lost in Shadow (Wii)
4. Kirby's Dream Land (via Wii Dream Collection) (GB)
5. Kirby's Dream Land 2 (via Wii Dream Collection) (GB)
6. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (via Wii Dream Collection) (SNES)
7. Saturn Bomberman (SAT)
8. Rent a Hero (GEN)
9. Tricolore Crise (DC)
10. Super Mario: Yoshi Island (SFC)
11. Clockwork Knight: Pepperouchou no Daibouken (Joukan) (SAT)
12. Mickey to Donald: Magical Adventure 3 (SFC)
13. Kishin Douji Zenki: Battle Raiden (SFC)
14. Super Donkey Kong (SFC)
15. Super Donkey Kong 2: Dixie & Diddy (SFC)
16. Anearth Fantasy Stories: First Volume (SAT)
17. Panzer Dragoon (SAT)
18. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei (SAT)
19. Panzer Dragoon Orta (XBOX)
20. Cross Tantei Monogatari (SAT)
21. Dragon Quest V (PS2)
22. Ryu ga Gotoku (PS2)
23. Dragon Slayer: Eiyuu Densetsu II (GEN)
24. Rokudenashi Blues: Taiketsu! Tokyo Shitennou (SFC)
25. Ranma 1/2: Bakuretsu Rantou Hen (SFC)
26. Contra Spirits (SFC)
27. Dennou Senki: Virtual On (SAT)
28. Dead or Alive (SAT)
29. Fighting Vipers (SAT)
30. Last Bronx (SAT)
31. Steeldom (SAT)
32. Street Fighter Zero (SAT)
33. NinPen Manmaru (SAT)

Virtual On is a great game, but probably not as good, in general, as Oratorio Tangram. I wish I could use the twin sticks for more than just the Virtual On games, but I feel like they're required in order to get the most out of VO. The Saturn version runs pretty well, but it does have some hiccups in the frame rate, at times. It's really tough to get used to not having super versions of all the standard attacks, and it's especially obnoxious when fighting the final boss. It's only really vulnerable for two, roughly five second, periods during the minute long fight, and it's really tough to do enough damage to kill it in that time. Not to mention, just staying alive is pretty difficult. I would recommend VO:OT over the original, but they're both good.

----

Amazingly, Dead or Alive is more than just some hilarious bouncing boob physics. It actually holds up pretty well. DoA2 is superior in every imaginable way, but there's still some value in playing the original. The danger zones, in particular, can add some nice tension to the battles. I was doing a little bit of reading on this game, and it apparently was a real showcase game for the Saturn, in its later life. Itagaki was a little unsatisfied with the arcade version of the game, and the team poured a lot of work, and effort into trying to make a game that surpassed VF2 (and everything else) on the Saturn. Some seem to believe they were successful in their endeavor, and it seems DoA actually plays more smoothly on the Saturn than in the arcade.

They played around with the AI a bit as well, and my personal feeling is that the AI ended up pretty shitty. By that, I mean 'shitty good.' Playing against Tina is maddening, in this game. You had better be ready to get your parries in line, or the CPU is going to eat you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The final boss, Raidou, was kind of tough, but not bad. The match I won against him ended with a round that I perfected him on, after a series of the greatest parries in my, fairly limited, DoA playing career. It was a really good way to finish up.

Anyway, the game does still look really great, and plays well. There were a couple times that I did notice the framerate drop, briefly, but nothing that hampered the experience. Seems the PS1 version has a couple more characters, and I would guess that they added at least a couple extra costumes to it also, but there doesn't seem to be much of a breakdown of the differences in performance between the two versions, which leads me to believe that they're pretty similar in that regard. Doesn't really matter, since the XBOX version exists, though.

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Ugh, man, Fighting Vipers is not what I remember it being. Perhaps the biggest problem, for me, is that the frame rate is wildly inconsistent. Generally it doesn't negatively impact the game-play too much, but it's pretty noticeable. I'm guessing that it's part of the reason the game is usually sold for about $1. Otherwise, I guess it plays well enough, but the combat is really simple. I guess it would be pretty cathartic if it weren't for the systems (grabs, and counters, for instance) being so loosey goosey. There are some cool extras, light Pepsiman challenging you in the Arcade mode, and becoming a playable character, if beaten. Also, being able to unlock Kumachan, the bear statue, is cool. My main problem, is that Fighting Vipers 2 is just so much better in terms of balancing fun with functional systems, that I really can't give the original FV any slack in where it falls short, these days.

Conclusion: Pepsiman is cool, and all, but Fighting Vipers 2 is the FV to play. No one should play the original over the sequel, and it pains me to say that, because of the memories, from my childhood, that I have of the original.

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While I've heard some pretty good things about Last Bronx, the Saturn version seems to be viewed a bit negatively in Japan, for some reason. So, I wasn't necessarily expecting a whole lot from it, but I kind of like it. The backgrounds have a lot more visual range of depth than a lot of 3D fighters (on console) from the era, which is cool to see. It runs really well, although the camera angles during win poses cause a lot of the 3D models/textures to disappear, and/or flicker. That seems like it could have been avoided.

There's a message in the manual, from the designer of the game, which says that he hoped to make a fighting game that wasn't quite as daunting to get into for newcomers--apparently the reason for the Special Disk. In that sense, I think the game succeeds. It's fairly simple, but there is some good depth. It plays well, with some flash, and doesn't appear to get bogged down in frame analysis. It kind of reminds me a little bit of Rival Schools, in terms of the characters. A bit more apocalyptic, but I get a similar vibe from it. Yeah, I don't have a whole lot to say about it. It's the most complete package out of the 3D Sega fighters I played through recently. It might be a little overly simplistic in some ways, but not nearly in the same way as Fighting Vipers.

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Steeldom is, supposedly, the 'not bad' follow-up to TechnoSoft's Hyper Reversion. I read through the developers' notes, left on the disc, and they apparently wanted to make a game that wouldn't just be compared to Virtual On, and that filled a niche similar to what the Senkou no Ronde games were able to do: Make a competitive, fighting game, with some spaceship shooter trappings. I don't feel they did a great job. For starters, the game doesn't even have a great soundtrack, and--I mean--this is from TechnoSoft, dammit! The story picks up right after Hyper Reversion's, I guess, with the basic premise being a standard tournament. I think the greatest error in the design of this game was including ring outs. The mechanics aren't great to begin with, but I have not raged at being knocked out of the ring like I did in this game. So, all the 'Ryouga' (spiritual armor suit dudes, donned by the main characters) handle like complete crap. The controls are just a mess, in part because playing with twin sticks isn't an option. I'm not even going to go over all the ways this game does a poor job of mapping out maneuvers. Instead I'm just going to lay out the recipe for winning:

Pick Gouran (the wolf beast dude); strafe in your preferred direction with the L or R button (I liked to move clockwise around the ring); use the down diagonal button that corresponds with the shoulder button you're using, between strafes, to keep the enemy in your view (eg. if strafing left, tap or hold down-left); if a good distance away from the enemy, and no attacks that need to be avoided, input left, right, A; if slightly closer range, and feeling saucy, input down, up, up, A; if enemy was caught in last attack, hold A while in the air, and release about a half second after landing; rinse and repeat.

Also, the game is incredibly imbalanced: I think it's probably impossible to win with any of the female characters. Special mention goes to the god awful character voices, as well. The final boss' voice actor is so bad that I am 100% certain the person responsible for it was embarrassed while recording the lines.

The game isn't an abject disaster as a whole, I suppose. I just didn't really care much for it, and it felt like I had to be incredibly cheap to make it playable.

----

I don't really care about anything post Third Strike, but while this may be a bit unpopular, I think the Street Fighter series improved with each installment in the series (Alpha 3, not withstanding, and up to 4), because I don't really care all that much about SF II, and its iterations. It was nice to actually play Street Fighter Zero, because I haven't really played it much (mostly just 2, 2', and 3). The systems are a little bit more simple than the later iterations, but I really like the foundation laid out in this one; I really like Zero Counters, and Zero Combos. It's all a little rudimentary at this stage, and the presentation, of course, is a little lackluster in comparison. That said, it feels a lot more welcoming than SF II (where a lot of that game's systems seem to have been born out of unintended exploitation of the code).

I played as Guy, and got tripped up on the shoto twins (those assholes). I had a real bitch of a time with Vega, too. There was this one round against Vega where I bodied the crap out of him, and Alpha Countered just about everything he tried to do, but I couldn't get any more Alpha Counters out after that, for some reason. I ended up beating him by mainly avoiding down+HK when he had meter for Psycho Crusher. Guy has some nice buttons, but his QSF+MK/HK, K seems to be unsafe, for some reason, and the Izuna Drop has a really weird window. At least QSB+K worked pretty well.

----

I hesitate to say NinPen Manmaru is a fantastic game, but I like it quite a bit. Partly, it's a nice showcase game for the console/era. The art direction is tremendous, and it's quite a visually appealing 3D game, for the era.

So, Manmaru is a Penguin, and also, a Ninja. Imagine that. He's also friggin adorable, and that is aided in large part by his voice actress. Manmaru is the disciple of Genma in the way of the Nenga style of ninjutsu. Manmaru is also a bit of a dumb-ass, and Genma feels like giving him a kick in the rear, because he feels Manmaru has potential as a Nenga ninja. So, he hands Manmaru a trial, with the promise of a gold sheet of his favorite origami at the end--there's usually only a single sheet of gold paper in packs of origami, to make it extra special. The unlikely hero sets off, and along the way, is challenged by a bunch of his friends: Tanu-tarou (the Tanuki), Kitsu-jirou (the Kitsune), Ranko (the rabbit Henoichi--I mean Kunoichi), along with a few others. This is actually a licensed game, which means there's potentially more to the characters and story that's established in the comics/anime, but for the purposes of the game, the story is told through some voice acted stills, which are very pleasant.

For the most part, Manmaru controls well, but it can take a little getting used to, and there are a few quirks that I would have preferred were not handled the way they were. Part of that has to do with the camera, which is also respectable, but has its issues. By the third level, the challenge in the game ramps up significantly, with the sixth level being an unholy, merciless, gauntlet of pain, sweat, and tears. Fortunately there are unlimited continues, as long as you can beat Borotto (the Robot) in a mini-game to collect the most coins. Levels play out in a series of four platforming stages, and a "boss" stage, where Manmaru has to compete against one of his friends in some minigame: tag, collect coins, a maze. It's all pretty inoffensive, and fun. Level six is a real ball buster, but it's a good game, in general. While I haven't played Jumping Flash, from what I've seen of it, it seems like NinPen Manmaru probably looks/plays very similarly, but without the first person view.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Tue May 30, 2017 12:59 am

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)
11. Blood Bowl (360)
12. Dead to Rights: Retribution (360)
13. Bioshock Infinite (360)
14. Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Part 1 (360)
15. Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Part 2 (360)
16. Singularity (360)
17. Seifuku Densetsu Pretty Fighter X (Saturn)
18. Ultraman: Hikari No Kyojin Densetsu (Saturn)
19. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) (repeat)
20. Song of the Deep (PS4)
21. Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 3 (GCN)
22. Banjo-Tooie (N64) (repeat)
23. Wario Land (VB)
24. Yakuza HD Edition (PS3)
25. Yakuza 2 HD Edition (PS3)
26. Vanquish (PS3)
27. Watchdogs 2 (PS4)
28. Pikmin (Wii)
29. Pikmin 3 (Wii U)
30. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U)
31. Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
32. Tales of Innocence R (Vita)
33. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
34. Boing! Docomodake DS (DS)
35. Kirby Triple Deluxe (3DS)
36. Magicka 2: Learn to Spell... AGAIN! (PS4) (repeat)

37. The Swindle (Vita)

This is the second Limited Run game I've bought and now beaten, and it's really living up to the name of the retailer. From what I understand, this is an issue with the Vita port at large, and not the physical release, but this game does "run" very "limited[ly]." A rogue-lite stealth game is a touchy proposition in the first place, and this game has some mechanical areas where it just really falls flat.

The Swindle is a 2D rogue-lite stealth game where you need to go through procedurally generated mansions to steal the loot within. Scotland Yard is turning on some big steam-powered AI (yeah, it's like 1872 but there's computers and AI and stuff. It's basically an excuse to have a steam-punk aesthetic (kinda) with stealth-hacker gameplay. It's middlingly successful at meshing those two fairly distant thematic ideas) and you have 100 days (i.e. lives) to steal it. You have all sorts of upgrades to buy with the cash you find, from more double jumps, to stronger melee attacks, to faster hacking abilities, to permits to the next levels. You can never get more than just one hit until you die though: You're always made of paper. That all sounds like a fairly interesting prospect and what could be a good game, but The Swindle really doesn't hit the mark. It's VERY close to being a good game at it's base design.

First up, let's get this out of the way, because this was a huge source of my rage with this game: This game runs like fucking dog shit. The Vita version is borderline totally unplayable because of how badly the framerate lag-spikes are. The first and second stages run just about perfectly, but after that EVERY stage (yes, even the final one) run like trash. Some more than others (to the point where it's a total waste of time even trying to play them), but they all dip into single-digit framerates more than often enough to get you killed. I can't count the number of times a framerate dip made me die to fall-damage or on spikes in a narrow corridor. I ended up having to repeatedly play the third level (which usually runs okay) to get enough money for the last two stages, because the 4th stage runs so fucking trite. The 5th level gives such good money, I fought through the shit to get some of it, but it wasn't enough in the end. This said, I will give the benefit of the doubt that the Vita version alone is utter trash in this regard in how I speak about the game in the rest of this review.

The sixth and final level has no money because you only need to beat it once, but good fuckin' luck, m8. You absolutely need just about all the upgrades to even have a chance at doing it. Especially bombs, because you very well might run into a final level you literally can't win because you can't carry enough bombs to get to all the security points. That's a real problem this game has: It's much more about what upgrades you have than how good you may or may not be at stealth. Don't get me wrong, learning how to get good at the game is important, but you will very quickly learn if you have the upgrades in jumping, bombs, etc. in a new area once you get to a point where you can't escape out of it (you must return to the entry point to leave).

It's a really lazy design decision, in my opinion. I really didn't appreciate the de facto upgrade-gating. ON TOP of all the upgrades which you must buy, there're also those level permits. And that really hard final level, you need to buy the very expensive permit for it EVERY time you fail it. The procedural generation is so all over the place, it can give you radically different experiences of levels. of the two times I attempted the final stage, one time it had virtually no enemies and was just long empty corridors, while the other time it was swarming with enemies and I had a much more difficult time with it.

This is made more difficult on how imprecise the controls in the game are. As with many things in the game, the technical aspects are almost good enough, but no cigar. Hit detection on your simple melee weapon is all over the place. Especially attacking from a ramp, it can be very frustrating to attack an enemy that's right in front of you, as sometimes it seems their hit-boxes extend beyond or into their physical sprites arbitrarily. Jumping onto walls and into vents above you is needlessly complicated, as sometimes your little thief will decide to lift themselves above where your max jump is to grab it, and other times they just won't. There are also many mechanics involving enemies the game just never explains in any way, shape, or form, meaning you need to just guess, avoid them like the plague, or waste any number of your 100 lives on them until you figure out empirically what they even do. There is an exceptionally persistant theme of not providing the player enough information because the game is so obsessed with maintaining its aesthetic and theme. (For example, sure, it doesn't make sense that your thieves guild would know how the security robots work exactly, but it would certainly make the game more fun if you did!).

Further mechanical complaints include how the world is constructed and how the game persists it. Windows are terrible and enemies (and you) seem to walk through them occasionally if they feel like it. This might be due to how all of the enemies in the level only move when you can see them, effectively respawning as you left them when they come back on screen. This can lead to some very annoying enemy placement glitches which get you killed. My "favorite" (most hated) were when robots would not only spawn on the roof, but in the air, above the roof, where they'd then fall down, so when you'd already started climbing on to that part of the roof (and therefore have no ability to react), they'd definitely spot you and your run of that level would be buggered (the cops come once you get spotted, and they're so immensely powerful you might as well kill yourself the times they come if you can't get out before they get there).

The game does an Atelier on you if you run out of time, where if you run out of your 100 lives (which you can extend, somewhat), you get a bad ending and game over, but you still get to see the credits (which I call beaten, because there's no way to save anywhere in those 100 lives, meaning you need to start another 10+ hour run from the very start to attempt it again).

EDIT: I did actually play through the game again, using what I learned the first time. I avoided the levels that are unplayable, and spammed the earliest playable one. I actually beat the final stage with some 28 days left, so it's very beatable, even on this wank port, but it's still a right pain in the arse.

Verdict: Absolutely Not Recommended. If this game only had the mechanical issues talked about after the second paragraph, I'd probably say it's a 6-ish game on a scale of ten. Something not everyone would like, but a fun game if you were willing to sit tolorate its shortcomings. I'd like to imagine that's how the PS4 and PC versions play. However, the Vita version is so utterly broken that there's no reason anyone should ever play this version. Stay far, far away from this game, because it's just a "swindle" to your wallet and your time.
Last edited by PartridgeSenpai on Tue May 30, 2017 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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dsheinem
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Posts: 22976
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:56 pm
Location: Northeast Pennsylvania

Re: Games Beaten 2017

by dsheinem Tue May 30, 2017 6:28 am

Games Beaten 2017
Inside - PS4
Street Fighter V - PS4
TIMEframe - PC
Rituals - PC
Mother Russia Bleeds - PC
Horizon: Zero Dawn - PS4
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch
Here They Lie - PSVR
Dexed - PSVR
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - PSVR
Last Voyage - iOS
Ghost Blade HD - PS4
What Happened to Edith Finch - PS4
Fast RMX - Switch
Puyo Puyo Tetris - Switch
Garou: Mark of the Wolf - Vita
Star Wars: Republic Commando - PC
Battlefield 1 - PS4
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Switch
Shock Troopers - PC (Arcade)
Shock Troopers 2nd Squad - PC (Arcade)
Gravity Bone -PC
A Thousand Flights of Loving - PC
Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels - PC/X1

Total: 24


Previously: 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

This is arguably one of the best pieces of DLC for any game ever, and well worth the $20 to zip around on a bunch of orange track, through loop-de-loops, and under a T-Rex at 200+ MPH in both Hot Wheels cars and any other car from the game. The pacing/structure of the campaign works well to make you explore almost everything the game has to offer, and it looks gorgeous on PC.

This is also the first game I played through using MS' "one code for both PC and X1" approach to first-party games and I am sold on the concept. It is great to be able to hop between the PC and the TV as needed to play the same game (with the same save file, etc.).
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alienjesus
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Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:10 pm
Location: London, UK.

Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Tue May 30, 2017 6:46 am

Games Beaten:
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
6. Catherine PS3
7. Glover N64
8. Blast Corps N64
9. Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! Switch eShop
10. Pullblox 3DS eShop
11. Pokémon Picross 3DS eShop
12. Bare Knuckle III Mega Drive
13. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja SNES
14. Alisia Dragoon Mega Drive
15. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Mega Drive
16. Dynamite Headdy Mega Drive
17. Runbow Wii U eShop
18. The Mystical Ninja starring Goemon N64
19. 3D Puyo Puyo 2 3DS
20. Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa 3DS
21. SteamWorld Dig 3DS eShop

Replays!:
1. Bare Knuckle III Mega Drive
2. Die Hard Arcade Saturn
3. The World of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Mega Drive

I actually have 2 games to update, but the 2nd one is going to take me a bit to write up and get my thoughts together, so I'll post that one seperately later. Also, it means you guys get to avoid a double length wall of text from me!

SteamWorld Dig
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SteamWorld Dig is a game for Nintendo 3DS eShop which clearly takes some inspiration from the Minecraft and Terraria ilk of games, only without the crafting. Mining is the order of the day here, with the goal being to dig down to the very bottom of the mine to find the final (and only) boss of the game.

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You play as Rusty, a steam powered robot cowboy, who has just inherited his uncle's mine. His uncle seems to have discovered something down there in the mines, but now he's copped it and you're tasked with mining and exploring the depths.

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You start with a basic pick, and as you dig you can uncover ore to take back to the surface to sell for money, which you can use to buy upgrades such as a stronger or faster pick, more health, more water (which is used for certain abilities) and more. As you hit certain amounts of ore cashed in, new upgrades become available, but the price increases fast. However, there's more than enough money to get everything by the end of the game.

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Whilst mining, you can also stumble across caves. Smaller caves just have extra loot to find in the form of rare gems, but some caves give you new abilities, such as the ability to super jump, the ability to drill through tough rocks, or the ability to dash. These are all very useful. You can come across enemies to fight whilst mining too, but they're a bit of a pain in general. For 2/3rds of the game you have to fight them slowly with your drill or pick, and they'll do plenty of damage to you in that time. Once you get the rocket punch power near the end of the game it becomes a breeze to take them out though.

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The mechanics of SteamWorld Dig are fun - your mined blocks stay mined, so being careful to give yourself a way back is crucial early on, but the game has one major issue in my eyes. It mostly feels redundant. The story is minimal, and whilst the power ups are nice, most of the time they're not really essential. The gameplay cycle devolves down to 'mine for money, spend money on upgrades, use upgrades to mine faster for more money, spend money on more upgrades, use upgrades to mine faster...'. It's a pretty basic gameplay loop and it quickly became apparent that there wasn't all that much more to the game. It was very 'smartphone game-y' in it's feedback loop, and I was left wishing there was a bit more to it.

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I had fun with SteamWorld Dig for the 3 or 4 hours I played it, but it was all a bit repetitive and simple really. Definitely worth playing if you can pick it up for cheap like I did, and it worked great for a game to play on my commute as it could be played it bitesize chunks. Overall though, it's nothing spectacular.
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