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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:11 pm

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For the record not only is this cover disingenuous to the actual game, it looks terrible and I really don't like it.

77. Hammerin' Harry | 7/10

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Hammerin' Harry the construction worker's girlfriend is kidnapped by a ghost, so now he's gonna pulverize everything paranormal until he saves her. That's the gist of this Game Boy platformer anyway, not that you'll care about the plot. You'll probably care more about the exemplary graphics, catchy music, fun gameplay, and general wackiness. I say "fun gameplay", but there comes a point where Hammerin' Harry starts hammering the player instead, to the point of extraordinary irritation. The main problem concerns the player's temporary invulnerability upon being hit, being rather too temporary. This is further compounded by a lack of balance in enemy numbers and offensive aggression. For all its impressive special effects and stage variety (there's shmup bits even), too often the fun factor is sabotaged by overly punitive design. In short, this game is often unfairly hard. However, if you're looking for a decent Halloween title for Game Boy, and you've got plenty of patience, Hammerin' Harry hits the nail on the head more often than not.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:31 pm

Huh, wonder why the game never really caught on? :roll:

Does sound like a game I need to add to my list, though.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:33 pm

Sarge wrote:Does sound like a game I need to add to my list, though.

It was good enough for me to want to try other games in the series. There's a surprising amount of Hammerin' Harry games. Albeit most of them didn't get a western release.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:46 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2017 Beaten Games:

Previously: 2016

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. Pokemon Moon (3DS)
38. Pokemon Black 2 (DS)
39. Pokken Tournament (Wii U)
40. The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth + (Switch)
41. Dynasty Warriors: Gundam (360)
42. Saints Row (360)
43. Saints Row 2 (360)
44. Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell (PS3)
45. Shadow of Mordor (PS4)
46. Youkai Watch 2: Honke (3DS)
47. Youkai Watch Busters Shiroinutai (3DS)
48. Cave Story+ (Switch)

49. Youkai Watch Sangokushi (3DS)

I really didn't know what to expect going into this game, given that it was a Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Youkai Watch crossover developed between Level 5 and Koei Tecmo. I really only bought it because I love Youkai Watch, but I was blown away by what I got. It was a game I could just not put down. This is up there with Rocket Slime 3 as one of my favorite ever games on 3DS.

The concept of Youkai Watch Sangokushi is that Jibanyan, Komasan, and Usapyon are sucked into a magical Romance of the Three Kingdoms book and must work to unite the kingdom and collect the 8 (not 7, but 8 ) magical orbs of power in order to have their wish to return back to the real world granted. The story is very light-hearted and funny in a usual Youkai Watch fare. Although I must say, perhaps it's because of the Three Kingdoms influence, this is one of the most tightly plotted and consistently funny Youkai Watch games I've played. All the youkai are dressed up as their corresponding Three Kingdoms counterpart, with the counterpart's name tacked on to the end of their normal Youkai Watch name (e.g. Jibanyan Liu Bei). This makes the parody more clear for people who know their Three Kingdoms stuff. The presentation is excellent, with a lot of attention to detail given to the costumes, maps, and jokes ranging from topics to Dragon Ball (hence the 8, not 7, orbs that grant wishes) to general jokes about Three Kingdoms and how the youkai's Youkai Watch personalities clash with whom they're supposed to be representing from Three Kingdoms.

The gameplay is a little like Fire Emblem, but more like Dynasty Warriors Tactics. Although I have not played DWT, it's another game by Koei Tecmo, and the most similar looking thing of theirs that I could compare to this (it even uses some of the same art assets for the Three Kingdoms portraits). The over-world consists of different territories, some of which you control and some of which you don't. Each day, there are a certain number of time units that pass before the next day, and doing things like training up your troops, taking/turning in a quest, or doing a conquest will take up a time unit. When the day ends and the next day begins, the enemy soldiers get their turn, which really just consists of picking one of your bordering territories to invade. If you don't have anyone defending it, you can't fight back against them! This relates to the Youkai Watch aspect of the game.

Being Youkai Watch, as you finish a battle, one of the defeated youkai might approach you and ask to join your ranks. They will then go to an empty space in a territory (armies are only 6 youkai big, so each territory only holds 6). You can only defend as much territory as troops you have to defend it. Given that some youkai are better suited to some roles than others (tank, attacker, healer, buffer/debuffer), this led to some really tough decisions for me during certain points as I had to decide where it was best to focus the concentrations of my best troops in anticipation of the enemy's next move. Even though a day can have up to 6 turn units, a particular troop can only do one training or invasion a day, so you can't just sweep around all the time with one uber-army. You are encouraged very much to diversify, especially later when you need to defeat two quite difficult boss missions within the same day cycle (that was the hardest part of the game for me by far). You can do as many generic training battle missions as you want (or at least as many time-cycles you an afford) to try and recruit new youkai though, so it's not so bad.

The battles themselves are very well designed, albeit not perfect. First off I'll start with what I did not like. Given that this IS a Youkai Watch game, there by law needs to be an inadequate amount of information provided to the player. You can't actually see individual enemy's move ranges or attack ranges. You can't even see your own troop's move ranges or attack ranges until it's their turn to go. You can however turn on a toggle that lets you see the entire enemy team's movement range, but not the corresponding attack ranges. That's really my only major complaint with the combat though.

The combat takes place on a grid of squares Fire Emblem-style, and your guys move around them. These battles are fairly small scale compared to FE though: Armies of both allied and enemies can only contain a maximum of 6 troops, and as a result the maps tend to be fairly small. /Every/ unit has a normal attack they can do infinitely, a magic attack they can do only a limited number of times, and a buff or debuff they can do only a limited number of times. Those limited number of times can be replenished with stamina potions scattered around the battlefield. Each youkai also has a super move that builds up as you take damage and collect youkai power scattered around the stage, and these, as in the normal game, can do anything from massive damage over an area, to healing debuffs of your guys, to dealing big debuffs to an area of enemies. There is NO friendly fire ever, which can take some getting used to, as that includes environmental hazards you can activate. Another very interesting mechanic is only ONE buff OR debuff can be active on any troop at any time. Ally have a nasty debuff? Give him any buff to make him better!

Aside from the recruiting missions, quest missions, and story invasions and repelling invasions, there are also side modes you can do. There are not only missions with certain conditions in which to fight them (start with just 1 HP, kill only the enemy leader, use only Pretty-family youkai, etc.) and boss challenges, but also co-op challenges that can be played with a friend who also has the game. There are also pre-set mini-campaign missions you can embark on outside of the story with pre-set youkai where none of the ones you recruit will follow you back to the main story. The aforementioned mode can also be played in a competitive multiplayer mode against 1 to 3 other people. All of the multiplayer features, including youkai trading, can all be done either locally or online. However, as I have no friends who are into niche Japan-only 3DS SRPG's, I was never able to test any of those multiplayer modes.

This also has the privilege of being by far the best paced Youkai Watch game I've ever played. A problem all of the other games in the series, mainline and spin-off, have up to this points is a brutally difficult end-game and a monstrously difficult post-game to the point where you'd need to spend dozens and dozens of hours grinding to see any of it. Sangokushi has a very low difficulty curve the whole game through. It was still hard at points, but it was never something I felt I wasn't equipped to handle or could figure out how to get past reasonably quickly. Big props to it for actually having all the content not be locked behind dozens of hours of grinding for a change.

Verdict: Highly recommended. This is probably, if not my favorite, one of my favorite SRPG's I've ever played. It's one of my favorite 3DS games I've ever played. The whole thing is just so clever and designed so tightly and fits so well in handheld bursts or longer play sessions that this is one I cannot recommend enough if it even sounds a little appealing. This may very well be my favorite Youkai Watch game, period, although we'll see what Youkai Watch 3 does to combat that! X3
Last edited by PartridgeSenpai on Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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pierrot
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by pierrot Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:17 am

Exhuminator wrote:
Sarge wrote:Does sound like a game I need to add to my list, though.

It was good enough for me to want to try other games in the series. There's a surprising amount of Hammerin' Harry games. Albeit most of them didn't get a western release.

I have the one for SFC, and played it last year, I think. It was all right. I didn't love the controls, but it was-- charming, I guess one might say. There are some tricky spots, but it's fairly short, regardless.

Kind of weird seeing the GB release. I didn't know that one pit Gen-san against ghosts.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:50 am

pierrot wrote:Kind of weird seeing the GB release. I didn't know that one pit Gen-san against ghosts.

There's another GB one which pits Gen-san against robots:
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But from what I've read, the best GB version of HH is the GBC one:
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:49 pm

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78. Haunted House | 8/10

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You've entered a haunted house, you must find all three pieces of an urn to leave. Ghosts, spiders, and bats try to stop you as you stumble through the dark, with only match light to see by. If the player is hit by the baddies nine times, the game ends. If the player escapes the house with the urn, the player wins. Can you escape with the completed urn? Or will you die from fright (or falling down a flight of stairs)? There's nine levels of difficulty, and depending on what difficulty mode you play, the fear can be palpable. The fear of losing your progress that is, as ghosts or spiders lurch from the dark. Sometimes doors will be locked, and you must find the key. Sometimes bats will steal your urn pieces. Sometimes foul creatures follow you from floor to floor. The match light effect is pretty cool, because you can't see urn pieces unless they're in your lighted circle. If a baddie enters the same room as the player, a howling wind from the monster will blow out any lit match. And you've got to love how the player is represented as a pair of disembodied eyes. Haunted House hails all the way back from 1981, yet still manages to be suspenseful fun even today.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:57 pm

Ah hell yeah. I love the horror-themed 2600 games. Alien, Ghost Manor, Frankenstein’s Monster, and Gremlins are also worth a try.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by laurenhiya21 Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:51 pm

1/15: Aviary Attorney (Steam)
1/16: Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star (Steam)
1/27: Sweet Fuse: At Your Side (PSP)
1/31: Harmonia (Steam)
2/21: Yakuza 0 (PS4)
2/28: Cooking Mama: Cook Off (Wii)
3/17: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
3/22: Kirby Super Star (SNES)
4/6: Nier Automata (PS4)
5/11: Persona 3 Portable (PSP)
5/28: 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (Vita)
6/2: DOOM (GOG)
6/10: Utawarerumono (PC)
7/16: Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception (Vita)
7/16: Gardens Inc: From Rakes to Riches (Steam)
7/20: Mystic Inn (BigFish Games)
8/3: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)
8/19: Persona 5 (PS4)
8/24: Astebreed (PS4)

*NEW*
9/14: Yakuza: Kiwami (PS4)
10/10: Ar Tonelico 2 (PS2)

Total: 21 games

Gah it's been way too long since I last posted! (school is poop :( ) Hopefully I can post a little more frequently now that I've gotten a little more used to my new school.

I tried to not make huge long reviews, especially since I still to write one more, but that kind of failed a bit with Ar Tonelico 2 :|

Yakuza: Kiwami
- Combat is fun with a lot of beating people up and smashing their heads in with random nearby objects

- I enjoyed the story, but I got a bit confused in a number of places. I can’t remember what parts exactly, but I do remember a few times I was told to go to a certain place, but I didn’t know why. Not sure if I misunderstood some things or if the game didn’t explain it well though.

- Really liked Kiryu and Haruka. Kiryu is just awesome and Haruka was surprisingly not an annoying brat.

- Majima Everywhere got kind of annoying. I like Majima, and I did like fighting with him, but he popped up way too often for my liking. There were a few times that I just wanted to continue with the story but noooooo! Got to deal with Majima first! Fighting him does allow you to get a few fighting moves and abilities, but I just wish I didn’t have to deal with him every time I want to go somewhere.

Despite my complaining, I did enjoy Yakuza: Kiwami quite a bit. I think I probably wouldn’t be so harsh on it if I hadn’t played Yakuza 0 first haha.

Ar Tonelico 2
It’s bit a long while since I’ve played the original Ar Tonelico (over four three years!), but I really enjoyed it and it’s probably one of my favourite games. Not sure why it took so long for me to get to the sequel (especially since I’ve heard nearly everyone say how much better Ar Tonelico 2 is compared to the original), but now that I’ve finally beaten it, is it better than the original? I’m not going to go into a super detailed review, but here are my main thoughts (not in any particular order):

- The song with vocals are still AMAZING! Not sure which game has the better vocal tracks, but I don’t think I disliked any of them (and there are a lot of them).

- I don’t think the regular BGMs are as good. There were a few BGMs in the original that I still like listening to, but I don’t remember liking any in the sequel.

- Characters are better, with more depth. They just seem to get a lot more growth than the characters in the original.

- It got really confusing on where to go at times. The game just sort of expects you to know where most of the places are, even if it’s in a really weird place and it’s not on the map. I had to use a guide a few times to figure out where to go next, which I don’t remember being a problem in the original. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but they're just kind of average.

- Story was interesting and a lot more complex than the original. At some points I liked this (yay more interesting story!) and other points I didn’t (just because I was confused on what was going on). Not sure if the confusing parts was a translation thing or if I was mostly confused because I was trying to figure out where to go next, but I was really expecting to enjoy the story more than I did.

- Combat is a little confusing but I eventually did sorta figure it out? I still don’t quite understand how everything about it works since the tutorials are really bad. It’s a lot more interactive than the original, since it’s more actiony, but I wish it didn’t take me over half the game to figure out how to attack well.

- It’s SUPER ANNOYING to do crafting. There are four different places that you can craft and you can only craft certain items in each place. At first I was alright with this, but it got really annoying when I wanted to craft one thing, but then found out that I had to go to another place and craft a different item before I could craft the item I wanted. I’m not sure why it’s like this, since I’m pretty sure that the original allowed you to craft at any save point (could be wrong though).

- Poor translation at times. Not sure how much of the game is poorly translated (I’m not particularly good at noticing that sort of thing), but there were definitely quite a few sentences with bad grammar or spelling. Plus there was a line or two that wasn’t translated at all (luckily it wasn’t important).

- Voice acting cuts out for most of the game. I’m sure there are lines which just aren’t voiced, but the voice acting just didn’t load for me in many of the main story scenes. Not sure if the English voices also have this problem (I stuck with the Japanese voices), but it was a little disappointing.

- There’s a REALLY BAD late-game boss glitch that will freeze game. This was really annoying since the only way to not trigger the glitch is to beat it in three turns or less. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past it with normal methods (I just wasn’t quite strong enough), so I had to resort to using an exploit to get past it. What’s even more annoying about it is that the glitch isn’t even in the JPN or PAL version of the game! NISA somehow added it in during localization :l

With all that said, did I enjoy it more than the original? Well… I think I might like the original a little more. I did appreciate the better characters, the good parts of the story, and the combat was nice once I mostly figured it out, but man there are a lot of negatives. Perhaps if it got a better localization job then it might have been more enjoyable, but I’m not sure. I do still plan to play the other games in the series though. Hopefully it won’t take me another four three years to get to the next one! :lol:

EDIT: Apparently I can't math :l
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:35 am

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79. Jack Bros. | 7/10

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Jack Bros was developed and published by Atlus for the Virtual Boy in late 1995. It's a spin-off from Megami Tensei, and was the first MT entry to be released outside Japan. The player takes the role of one of the three Jack brothers – Jack Frost, Jack Lantern, or Jack Skelton (Skelton is best) – who have visited the human world for Halloween, but need to return to the "fairy world" (it's Hell actually) before the portal connecting the two worlds closes. The player guides one of these characters through six areas, which consist of 60 some-odd floors total. Basically you're running around mazes, killing enemies, avoiding traps, and collecting keys to open the gate to the next floor below. Every so often you'll fight a boss, and the boss fights are all great! You have no life bar, instead you have a time total. If you get hit, you lose time, but time ticks down regardless. So you're always in a hurry to get to the end of the level before time runs out. Because if it does, it's game over. (Thankfully you can find time adding power-ups fairly regularly. ) Jack Bros. is very arcade-like, but it has cute graphics and a really great chiptune OST. I thought this was going to be a hard game given its concept, but actually Jack Bros. is a piece of cake. You have continues galore and passwords to save progress. A helper fairy guides you through the first 3/4ths of the game as well. The 3D effects were pretty good too, mostly in being able to see floors below you as you run around above, a nice parallax 3D effect. As long as you go into playing Jack Bros. not expecting anything too deep, you should have a good time racing back to Hell.
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