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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:06 pm

1. Antarctic Adventure (Famicom)
2. Nuts & Milk (Famicom)
3. Commando (Atari 2600)
4. Binary Land (Famicom)
5. Devil World (Famicom)
6. Disney's Aladdin (SNES)
7. Popeye (NES)
8. Super Mario Land (Game Boy)
9. Ys: The Vanished Omens (Sega Master System)
10 Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter (Famicom)
11. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)
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Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is arguably the first "true" Final Fantasy series spin-off, released in 1992. For reference that's between the fourth and fifth mainline installments. Ostensibly a "streamlined" RPG, this was developed specifically for North Americans, to help them ease their way into the genre. Ya know, cuz RPGs are tough! It's a humorous assertion, really. America, of course, is the birthplace of monstrosities like Wizardry IV and Deathlord. And, yeah I know, Square was certainly thinking of the inaccessibly of certain JRPGs whilst developing this one, but most of those are "hard" only because of the inherent tedium that accompanies grinding and incessant lack of direction. Simply remedy these two issues and one is left with a palatable JRPG. In fact, Square did create that game about two years after this one. It was called Final Fantasy VI.

Viewed through a modern lens, Mystic Quest does come off as a bit awkward. That said, it's completely undeserving of all the negative reception that's been heaped upon it. Though far from a noteworthy classic, this is a fine game regardless.
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The storyline has been stripped of all pretension. In fact, it verges very closely to being a self-aware parody of the genre. The hero, canonically known as Benjamin, is tasked with retrieving four magic crystals from the fiends who possess them. An elderly man pops up periodically to vaguely assist Benjamin, before disappearing into a puff of smoke leaving a hapless shrugging hero (best animation in the game). It's a clever little nod to the "wise but useless" sage trope. Allies come and go - there's a max party size of two - though everyone in this motley crew is rather generic and interchangeable. The characters' reasons for leaving Benjamin's side are rather contrived and hilarious; I'm particularly fond of the guy who falls off a bridge.

Wait, what's so "easy" about the game? Well, progression is completely linear. The world map is essentially a location menu screen, in the vein of Ys III. A specific pathway must be taken to complete the game, which is generally apparent. There's no penalty for Game Over, as the option to immediately restart a battle is presented. And treasure chests respawn, so it's theoretically possible to grab 99 heal potions before even leaving the first town. Ben's allies are also pretty buff. Most can take down virtually any standard enemy in a single blow. And there's no equipment management whatsoever. Weapons and armor are automatically equipped, and Ben's buds are fully decked out from the get-go. Some notable mechanical modifications have been made as well. Allies are controlled by AI by default (this sucks, change it in the options menu) and HP is represented by a health bar rather than numerically (this sucks, change it in the options menu).

Combat visuals are somewhat reminiscent of the early SaGa games. Enemies are static portraits, and they face the player as opposed to a side-view. Enemy sprites "devolve" as they take damage, looking more and more beat-up, before expiring. The effect is best seen in boss battles, as so many stock foes can be taken down in a single hit. Most battles are extremely simplistic due to low enemy HP, though the game did make an effort to mix things up. Many foes posses not only elemental weaknesses, but are also best fought with certain weapons. Benjamin can change weapons on the fly, even in the heat of battle. There are also bombs that divvy out less damage per foe but hit everyone; these are especially useful in the middle stretch of the game. There's a pleasant veneer of complexity, but eventually it becomes possible to just spam super-powered spells, which renders every other battle strategy moot.

Speaking of magic, the system here harkens back to the original Final Fantasy. Spells don't deplete MP but "charges" which are separated into the categories of white, black, and wizard magic. Depleted magic charges are restored by seed items, which are extraordinarily plentiful by game's end. Oddly enough, spells are not bought or "learned" but simply obtained by opening specific treasure chests. In fact, there's very little reliance on shops at all.
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Dungeon design is where Mystic Quest truly shines. Navigation is handled in a sort of "action-adventure" style, as Benjamin can use weapons to manipulate objects and jump over pitfalls. There are puzzles abound, most of which are solved simply by having the correct weapon handy. Swords can activate switches, bombs blow up walls, axes cut trees, and claws are used as grappling hooks. A clear Link to the Past influence is apparent. Not just in the way weaponry is handled, but in the nuanced design choices well. Some pitfalls are meant to be fallen into in order to progress, and "significant" chests are distinct from their ordinary peers. The JRPG-styled battles are not randomly initiated. Instead, enemies occupy a fixed location represented by icons. Many of these are impassable, due to the narrow hallway-laden design of most dungeons. Enemies won't respawn unless a dungeon is exited and re-entered, so one can use the presence (or lack thereof) of enemy icons as a sort of "breadcrumb trail" navigational tool.

Most dungeons romps are well-designed and entertaining. Environments are purposefully cliché (fire, ice, the final "doom tower," and so on) but aesthetically sound with a fitting assortment of enemies. Though the game possesses a short overall run-time (about twelve hours) most of that is spend dungeon-exploring, and I'd argue there are perhaps two dungeons too many. "The tree" and "the ship" are both tedious crap (especially the tree, which is loaded with mandatory battles) and Mystic Quest would have been better off had these environments been presented as, dare I say, "cutscenes."

Graphics are rather utilitarian. This almost looks like an 8-bit game. Yuki Yasuda's monster designs are varied, though they're a bit kiddie for my tastes and left me missing Yoshitaka Amano dearly. The music, on the other hand, is fantastic. Composed by bassist extraordinaire Ryuji Sasai, the soundtrack has a persistent electro-rock vibe. It assists in creating an invigorating atmosphere, particularly in certain combat-heavy spots where the game would perhaps drag otherwise. This same composer worked on the first two Xak titles, which feature some of the best tunes in all of gaming.

Mystic Quest doesn't set my world on fire. But it does what it set out to do, and does it well. Its brevity is perhaps its biggest asset, and those seeking a quick 'n easy retro JRPG experience should give it a go. It certainly can't hold a candle to titans like Final Fantasy IV and VI but I'd take this over a modern series entry any day.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:08 am

1. Ultima V - PC
2. Ultima VI - PC
3. Might and Magic VI - PC
4. Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny - PC
5. Pool of Radiance - PC
6. Curse of the Azure Bonds - PC
7. Secret of the Silver Blades - PC
8. Pools of Darkness - PC
9. Gateway to the Savage Frontier - PC

Gateway to the Savage Frontier was written by the team that would go on to do Neverwinter Nights (the AOL game). As such, you will notice a lot of small differences, even though it's still on the same engine. Engine-wise, the game is similar to Pools of Darkness; you have a large overworld that you explore, only things ends up requiring multiple screens, and has multiple travel options (foot and river boat). Like Pools there's a bunch of places to visit, though here they are all full sized towns (except for one, as far as I could see). About half of these towns tie in with the main quest specifically, while the other half just have some flavor and an implied side quest.

I suppose that's the first thing I should mention. This game ends up playing like an early version of an Elder Scrolls game. In addition to the main quest that you sort of have to wander around to find all the pieces of, there's a ton of small side quests. However, none of them actually are implemented as quests (aside from one). So one town you'll run into some dwarves hiding from a medusa, who is at the end of the path, but killing the medusa doesn't give you extra quest experience, or even acknowledgement of what you've done. The only one that actually has a reward is the quest to get a meteorite to forge into a weapon. Still, it helps make your wandering more interesting.

Presentation-wise, the game is a lot more casual than previous games. The portraits are in a different art style that's a bit more whimsical, and the descriptions and dialog are in first person and just have a more cavalier tone to them. There's also party dialog in these scenes; rather than SSI's "your party greets <NPC" style, you have things like "<Party member> says hello to <NPC>, and <party member 2> claps him on the back." These two things are what really gives it a different feel. The other thing you'll notice is that all the monster icons in battle have been redone, with black outlines rather than the outlineless style of SSI.

The main story is your standard "you need to find the things to stop the big bad from invading." The game has a rather interesting end game, where you stay permanently in combat mode, moving from one to the next when a character gets to the edge. It's sort of like dungeon diving in Ultima IV. And the final boss is actually not intended to be fought. You can win if you bring all the resources you can and get lucky with dice rolls, but it's quite obvious that you're supposed to run away. In fact, the end game cinematic assumes you did. I have to imagine a lot of gamers got themselves killed a bunch trying to force their way through it.

This game definitely makes good on my request of "I wish Pools of Darkness had been done at low level with these improvements." Definitely a good case of another team still being able to do well.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:36 pm

1) Legendary Axe II (TG16) (6.0) (1/1) (2.5 hours)
2) The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (SNES) (7.5) (1/3) (1.5 hours)
3) Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose! (SNES) (6.5) (1/3) (2.5 hours)
4) The Adventures of Batman & Robin (SNES) (7.0) (1/4) (2.5 hours)
5) The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minney (7.5) (1/6) (1.5 hours)
6) Phantom 2040 (SNES) (7.0) (1/9) (9 hours?)
7) Batman: Return of the Joker (NES) (8.0) (1/10) (0.5 hours)
8) Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (SNES) (8.0) (1/15) (0.5 hours)
9) F-Zero (SNES) (7.5) (1/16) (1 hour)
10) Star Fox (SNES) (7.0) (1/17) (1 hour)
11) Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems (SNES) (8.0) (1/17) (1 hour)
12) Saturday Night Slam Masters (SNES) (7.0) (1/20) (1 hour)
13) Shinobi (GG) (7.0) (1/22) (2 hours)
14) Iconoclasts (PC) (9.0) (1/27) (11 hours)
15) Final Fight 3 (SNES) (8.0) (2/3) (1.25 hours)
16) Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (PSX) (7.0) (2/6) (0.4 hours)
17) Sol Divide (PSX) (6.5) (2/9) (0.65 hours)
18) Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (SNES) (7.0) (2/10) (12 hours)
19) Donkey Kong Country 3 (SNES) (7.5) (2/12) (~5.5 hours)
20) Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES) (6.5) (2/12) (~2.5 hours)
21) Picross S (NS) (8.5) (2/12) (~20 hours)
22) Bonk's Adventure (TG16) (7.0) (2/17) (0.8 hours)

Finished Bonk's Adventure on TG-16. I've never really loved the series. I realize they tried to have it go toe-to-toe with Mario and Sonic, and it just doesn't come out very favorably. However, what's there is actually a good game. Controls are a bit finicky, though; there's some odd quirks and it's a little more complicated than just hop-and-bop. On top of that, Bonk has a bit of heft to his controls as well; precision platforming takes time to get used to.

Still, the game has a lot of charm. I think perhaps that's why I want to like it more than I do the game as a whole. If this was developed over the course of three months like I read somewhere, then that's even more impressive. It's a solid game that could be a bit smoother, but certainly not a bad way to spend just shy of an hour. Just make sure you've stocked up on lives for that end boss rush. You'll probably lose a lot of them there and against the last bosses.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:55 pm

Sarge wrote:22) Bonk's Adventure (TG16) (7.0) (2/17) (0.8 hours)

Finished Bonk's Adventure on TG-16. I've never really loved the series. I realize they tried to have it go toe-to-toe with Mario and Sonic, and it just doesn't come out very favorably. However, what's there is actually a good game. Controls are a bit finicky, though; there's some odd quirks and it's a little more complicated than just hop-and-bop. On top of that, Bonk has a bit of heft to his controls as well; precision platforming takes time to get used to.

Still, the game has a lot of charm. I think perhaps that's why I want to like it more than I do the game as a whole. If this was developed over the course of three months like I read somewhere, then that's even more impressive. It's a solid game that could be a bit smoother, but certainly not a bad way to spend just shy of an hour. Just make sure you've stocked up on lives for that end boss rush. You'll probably lose a lot of them there and against the last bosses.


So cool to see someone else trying out Bonk for the first time! I got all three on the VC when I was younger (more or less by total random), and ended up loving them all <3

If you're interested, Bonk 2 and Bonk 3 (3 especially) REALLY put forward a dedicated effort to fixing the weird art style and finicky controls. My favorite will always be the 5th on the Super Famicom (Super Genjin 2), but the PCE originals will always be fond to me as well <3
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:26 pm

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 24
* denotes a replay

January (16 Games Beaten)
1. Phantasy Star Portable - PlayStation Portable - January 1
2. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War - Xbox One - January 9
3. Duck Tales - NES - January 10
4. Yakuza Kiwami - PlayStation 4 - January 14
5. Xuan-Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament - PlayStation 4 - January 20
6. Doki Doki Literature Club - Steam - January 20
7. Deep Space Waifu - Steam - January 21
8. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter - Steam - January 21
9. Duck Tales 2 - NES - January 22
10. TaleSpin - NES - January 22
11. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers - NES - January 23
12. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 - NES - January 24
13. Global Defence Force - PlayStation 2 - January 24
14. Darkwing Duck - NES - January 25
15. Tiny Toon Adventures - NES - January 26
16. Poi - Steam - January 28


February (8 Games Beaten)
17. Galaxy on Fire 2 Full HD - Steam - February 3
18. Final Fantasy Legend - Game Boy - February 5
19. Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni - Vita - February 5
20. Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo - 3DS - February 8
21. Adventures in Equica: Unicorn Training - Android - February 8
22. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest - SNES - February 10
23. X-COM: UFO Defense - Steam - February 14
24. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys -TurboGrafx-CD - February 18


24. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys -TurboGrafx-CD - February 18

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Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys is actually one of two games with the title "Ys IV" and one of three games considered to be "Ys IV." Super Famicom saw Ys IV: Mask of the Sun, and PlayStation Vita saw Ys: Memories of Celceta. Before Memories of Celceta, Mask of the Sun was considered to be the "canon" Ys IV, but Memories of Celceta superseded that. So where does that leave Dawn of Ys? Since I haven't played Mask of the Sun or Memories of Celceta yet, I can't really speak to those two, but I'm pretty confident in saying that Dawn of Ys is the supreme Ys IV simply for the fact that it's on the PC Engine CD (or TurboGrafx-CD as we in the West know it although this game was never released outside of Japan). It's worth noting that the PlayStation 2 remake of Mask of the Sun took enough liberties with the story that some folks consider that to be a separate Ys IV subtitled "Mask of the Sun: A New Theory."

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Fortunately for us non-Japanese speakers, there is a fan translation of Ys IV available online. Unfortunately for me, my disc burner won't burn CDs slower than 16x, and my PC Engine CD has a fit when it tries to read anything burnt faster than about 4x (8x is hit or miss). We're talking graphical glitches, audio distortions, outright freezing. The whole nine yards. So, to my chagrin, I had to resort to a PC emulator to play Ys IV. Not my preferred method, to be sure, but it got the job done. It also came with the added perk of being able to speed up the emulation to facilitate faster grinding and get me through the lengthy cut scenes that, while very well done, still had the Japanese voice acting in the translation I played (although I've heard that there's a version with some English fan-dubs). Because those cutscenes were voice in Japanese and without subtitles to translate, my grasp of the story is a bit shaky, but I got the basic gist of it. Unfortunately, most of the game's lore and world building was conveyed via voice cutscene, so I missed out on that. :cry:

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After his and Dogi's adventures in Ys III, Adol returns to Minea, the setting of the first Ys game. Upon visiting Sara, the fortune teller from the first game, Adol learns that the land of Celceta across the ocean is in trouble. Upon arriving in Celceta, Adol learns that the Romun Empire (can't possibly imagine what they were alluding to) has begun occupying the land and their commander, Leo, searching tirelessly for treasure. There's also a trio of villains with colorful hair and an evil angel guy, but I'm less clear how they fit into the story except that the evil angel guy wants to restore some ancient castle and take over the world or something. If anyone actually knows the plot of this game beyond that, please let me know; I'd just be making up if I tried to go any further on my own.

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For the most part, the game looks about like Ys Book I+II did on TurboGrafx-CD, but the backgrounds have a bit more detail thanks to the use of the Super CD card. Once again, the anime style portraits of characters that appear on screen during dialogue are a very nice touch to the game. The music is the same impressive CD quality as well, although the soundtrack itself isn't as good as the TurboGrafx-CD releases of Ys I+II or Ys III. My only complaint with the audio is that the music volume wasn't balanced particularly well with the dialogue volume. The game lowered the volume of the music during voice clips, but the voice clips were so quiet and muffled that it almost didn't matter. My roommate, who speaks a conversational level of Japanese, struggled to pick out more than a few words here and there because of the volume balance.

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Taking the negative reception of Ys III's side scrolling gameplay, Ys IV goes back to the overhead perspective of the first two games, and while I personally enjoyed Ys III, the overhead view and "bump" combat suits the series much better. As is common for Ys, you're pretty much expected to be at max level to clear the game; I beat the final boss on my first try, but I had 42 hit points left and was at the maximum level 50. Fortunately the game provides a good number spots to grind for experience although it does get irritating in the upper levels when the amount of exp needed increases as well as the standard decrease in received exp from enemies as you level up. All in all, though, this is a fantastic return to form for the series, and while Ys III's side scrolling was a cool change, it's good to see the series return to its roots.

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Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys is definitely a must play for fans of the Ys series. Because of the voice acting - a positive for the game, for sure, and impressive for the time - there's still a bit of a language barrier as far as story goes unless there is, in fact, a fan dubbed translation, but even with just the text translation that I played, it's well worth experiencing. It brings back the iconic "bump" combat from the first game and the magic system from the second in what honestly feels more like a true sequel to Ys II than Ys III did. While I haven't played the Super Famicom, PlayStation 2, or PlayStation Vita Ys IV games, the PC Engine CD one here is absolutely worth playing. Not quite as good as Ys Book I+II, but those are big shoes to fill; falling short of that in no way diminishes how fantastic this game is.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:19 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2018 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017
* indicates a repeat

1. Tyranny (PC)
2. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PC)
3. SUPERHOT (PC)
4. Hotline Miami (PC)*
5. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PC)
6. Mario X Rabbids Kingdom Battle (Switch)
7. Nine Parchments (Switch)
8. X-com: UFO Defense (PC)

9. Chocobo Racing (PS1)

I've had this game for AGES because it looked cool. It's a Chocobo-themed kart racer by Square. What could be cooler? This month's Together Retro seemed like a perfect opportunity to try it out! However, playing it as soon as I'd bought it would not have even saved my opinion of this train-wreck. It's a beautiful game, but there are key components that absolutely kill it. For the record, I played through the story mode once and it took me about two hours.

The presentation of this game is freaking awesome. All the characters are cute and chibi. There are 8 default characters (Chocobo, Moogle, Black Mage, White Mage, Golem, Behemoth, Fat Chocobo, and Goblin) and then several more like Bahamut and Squall whom you can unlock by going through story mode repeatedly. The music on the tracks (there are 8, one for each character, by default and more you can unlock just like the characters) are all cool remixes of tracks in other Final Fantasy games. The graphics are pretty, and pop-in isn't really a problem either, despite that it's noticeable. The story is also funny and light-hearted, and a very pleasant parody of a grander, typical Final Fantasy plot line. It's a fantastic localization job, and probably one of the best I've seen in the era that I can remember off the top of my head. The controls are also totally customizable and I thought they were very tight and responsive.

Where this game really falls apart into an unrecommendable level for me is the power-up system. There are little item balls scattered around the stages just like in Mario Kart, and you can bump into them to pick them up. They each correspond to different spells from Final Fantasy like fire, ice, thunder, doom, mini, and even ultima. They'll drag behind you, and you can have several at once (I never had more than two, but maybe you can have more. I'd guess three). You can even steal ones from opponents by bumping into the item trail behind them (though that is VERY hard).

However, you can also combine all of these spells (save doom, I believe) into a combo of up to three stages (like Fire, Fira, and Firaga) with increasing effectiveness. The first stage is very localized and almost useless, the second one is usually a far better chance to hit, and the third one is a guaranteed hit on EVERY OTHER RACER. This means that ANY power up can be a Mario Kart-esque blue shell on EVERY racer, not just the guy in first place. Ultima also ALWAYS affects every other racer, just with varying degrees of badness with each level. Add to this how your characters have special ability bars and a selectable pre-race ability, once of which is "mug" that allows you to steal a random rival's item whenever it fills up (it fills on a standard timer that cannot be increased), and you have a system that not only makes the game insanely dependant on your luck of your enemies not getting good items and nuking you from halfway across the map, but also a system that can be heavily stacked in one player's favor.

The game even knows how stupidly broken mug is. The fourth level in the story mode (of nine) is where it's introduced along with the ice item. At this point, there are only four racers in these races (out of a possible six) and only the first three items (boost, fire, and ice). Unlike any other new character's skill, the game explicitly tells you what Goblin's ability mug does because it is SO fucking broken and they know it. Due to how few items and how few racers there are, Goblin will get an item for one he's already dragging just about every single time he uses mug. With so few racers, this makes it so he'll ALWAYS be stealing from you as well before you can get up a level three power to fight back with, so he has a total monopoly on those ultra power ups. That level is such an ungodly difficulty cliff that I nearly stopped playing the game right there after some seven tries where he stole victory from me right at the last 5 meters of the race by getting a last second third level ice attack that not only completely stops you but spins you around (usually into a wall). You can't race better. You just need to get lucky to win that stage. The story mode took me 2 hours to beat. 45 minutes for stage 4, 45 minutes for stage 9, and 30 minutes for the other 7 stages.

Verdict: Not Recommended. This is almost a great game, which is why I hate to crap on it so much, but the power-up system is so damn broken that the only real appeal this game has is its presentation. If you can live with a 2-player kart racer where the 4 AI opponents will thrash the shit out of you with their cheap power-ups, then feel free to check this one out, but with SO many fantastic racers, kart racers or otherwise, on both PS1 and N64, this is a very easy game to skip.
Last edited by PartridgeSenpai on Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:57 pm

1. Ultima V - PC
2. Ultima VI - PC
3. Might and Magic VI - PC
4. Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny - PC
5. Pool of Radiance - PC
6. Curse of the Azure Bonds - PC
7. Secret of the Silver Blades - PC
8. Pools of Darkness - PC
9. Gateway to the Savage Frontier - PC
10. Treasures of the Savage Frontier - PC

Treasures picks up almost immediately after Gateway, with your party helping finish off what was an implied sidequest in the first game. Once this finishes you are given summons to escort some diplomats as part of a grand alliance. Naturally, things go pear shaped and you get framed and have to set things right. The entire Sword Coast is set to erupt in war if you don't untangle what's really going on behind the scenes. Then when you do all that, suddenly you're given a final quest to retrieve a magic gem from a dragon's lair. It's very tangentally related, in that the destabilization of the area was an attempt to buy time for the bad guys to find it. But it still feels like it comes out of left field.

The main thing I noticed is that this game builds on Gateway's emphasis on your party members as actual characters. You'll have NPCs in and out of the party as the story warrants, and one of them can fall in love with your party members. This actually has a mechanical impact, as if one of them falls in battle the other will go berserk. And the dialog keeps using your characters to say something as well. They've gotten the tone to be a bit better than Gateway; it no longer feels like someone just transcribing a D&D session. The other thing I noticed was the game really enjoys having enemy reinforcements in battle. It was neat initially, but as the game went on it started to wear, especially in the fights where there were three or four waves of reinforcements.

Not much else to say about this one without repeating what I've said in the last several game writeups. The game caps around 10-12 depending on class, which is, as I've said before, a good ending point. You have lots of power, but not so much that they have to toss a bunch of bullshit enemies to keep you busy.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:58 pm

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 25
* denotes a replay

January (16 Games Beaten)
1. Phantasy Star Portable - PlayStation Portable - January 1
2. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War - Xbox One - January 9
3. Duck Tales - NES - January 10
4. Yakuza Kiwami - PlayStation 4 - January 14
5. Xuan-Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament - PlayStation 4 - January 20
6. Doki Doki Literature Club - Steam - January 20
7. Deep Space Waifu - Steam - January 21
8. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter - Steam - January 21
9. Duck Tales 2 - NES - January 22
10. TaleSpin - NES - January 22
11. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers - NES - January 23
12. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 - NES - January 24
13. Global Defence Force - PlayStation 2 - January 24
14. Darkwing Duck - NES - January 25
15. Tiny Toon Adventures - NES - January 26
16. Poi - Steam - January 28


February (9 Games Beaten)
17. Galaxy on Fire 2 Full HD - Steam - February 3
18. Final Fantasy Legend - Game Boy - February 5
19. Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni - Vita - February 5
20. Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo - 3DS - February 8
21. Adventures in Equica: Unicorn Training - Android - February 8
22. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest - SNES - February 10
23. X-COM: UFO Defense - Steam - February 14
24. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys -TurboGrafx-CD - February 18
25. Army Men - Game Boy Color - February 19


25. Army Men - Game Boy Color - February 19

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I love Army Men. It is the game series nearest and dearest to my heart. It was a hallmark of my childhood, and a full set of the game has been a gaming goal of mine since I started collecting. They are not, however, "good" games, and no game in the series that I've played so far better illustrates that than the Game Boy Color port of the original Army Men. The definitely has some positive aspects, but those positives are sadly few and far between.

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As a whole, it's actually quite impressive that 3DO managed to port as much of the game as they did from PC to Game Boy Color given how relatively primitive the GBC's hardware is. The port includes two of the three campaigns from the PC original - desert and alpine - and while the missions themselves aren't exactly the same, the gist of the story remains intact. The Tan Army invaded the Green nation, and Green intelligence learns over the course of the fighting that the Tan are constructing some kind of "uberdevice." The objective of the latter half of the game becomes securing the uberdevice for the Green Army. The end of the game doesn't show quite the same events as the PC original - there are newspaper headlines that mention that Sarge is a big damn hero and that the uberdevice is in Green hands, but it doesn't say anything about the uberdevice being a key that opens a portal like you got in the closing cutscene of the first game.

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Unfortunately, the amount of the original game that got crammed onto a Game Boy Color cartridge is where the impressive aspects of the game end. Visually, it's absolute trash. The desert levels look almost like one of the more impressive Atari 2600 games, and the alpine levels look like an Atari 5200 game. Considering that the Game Boy Color is significantly more powerful than both of those consoles, that's not a plus (okay, so maybe it's not QUITE that bad, but it's not too far off). The music is even worse. It takes the exact same painfully repetitive theme from the PC original and turns that into a digitized and garbled 8-bit monstrosity that assaults your eardrums like the German blitzkrieg over the Franco-Belgian border. The only redeeming part of the game's sound is that Sarge's digitized voiced dialogue actually sounds really good given the system that it's on. It sounds better than Pikachu's voice in Pokemon Yellow Version in my opinion.

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Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing compelling about the Game Boy Color port of Army Men. The gameplay is competent enough, but the controls are stiff and clunky, giving it an even more awkward feel than the already hard to play PC game. It looks like rubbish, and the music is downright offensive, but if you're either really into the series like I am or just LOVE Game Boy Color games, it's playable. Unless you're a hardcore Army Men fan or GBC collector, though, there's absolutely no reason for you even to bother emulating this game. It's really got nothing whatsoever to offer.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:47 pm

Thanks for the writeup on Ys IV, Elkin. I've been playing that off-and-on as well. There's a dub patch out there that I'm using, though.

As for getting it working on my Duo, it took me getting a drive that would burn at 4x, and using Sony-brand discs. Even that isn't perfect, but it's the best I've gotten. These were older Sony discs, so I'm hoping they haven't changed the production with the spindle I ordered the other day.

1) Legendary Axe II (TG16) (6.0) (1/1) (2.5 hours)
2) The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (SNES) (7.5) (1/3) (1.5 hours)
3) Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose! (SNES) (6.5) (1/3) (2.5 hours)
4) The Adventures of Batman & Robin (SNES) (7.0) (1/4) (2.5 hours)
5) The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minney (7.5) (1/6) (1.5 hours)
6) Phantom 2040 (SNES) (7.0) (1/9) (9 hours?)
7) Batman: Return of the Joker (NES) (8.0) (1/10) (0.5 hours)
8) Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (SNES) (8.0) (1/15) (0.5 hours)
9) F-Zero (SNES) (7.5) (1/16) (1 hour)
10) Star Fox (SNES) (7.0) (1/17) (1 hour)
11) Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems (SNES) (8.0) (1/17) (1 hour)
12) Saturday Night Slam Masters (SNES) (7.0) (1/20) (1 hour)
13) Shinobi (GG) (7.0) (1/22) (2 hours)
14) Iconoclasts (PC) (9.0) (1/27) (11 hours)
15) Final Fight 3 (SNES) (8.0) (2/3) (1.25 hours)
16) Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (PSX) (7.0) (2/6) (0.4 hours)
17) Sol Divide (PSX) (6.5) (2/9) (0.65 hours)
18) Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (SNES) (7.0) (2/10) (12 hours)
19) Donkey Kong Country 3 (SNES) (7.5) (2/12) (~5.5 hours)
20) Legend of the Mystical Ninja (SNES) (6.5) (2/12) (~2.5 hours)
21) Picross S (NS) (8.5) (2/12) (~20 hours)
22) Bonk's Adventure (TG16) (7.0) (2/17) (0.8 hours)
23) The Legendary Axe (TG16) (6.5) (2/18) (1.5 hours)

Anyway, I went through The Legendary Axe. Decent game, way too hard at the end. I abused save states like crazy. I think I'd have to play a lot more carefully to make it through legit.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:25 am

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 26
* denotes a replay

January (16 Games Beaten)
1. Phantasy Star Portable - PlayStation Portable - January 1
2. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War - Xbox One - January 9
3. Duck Tales - NES - January 10
4. Yakuza Kiwami - PlayStation 4 - January 14
5. Xuan-Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament - PlayStation 4 - January 20
6. Doki Doki Literature Club - Steam - January 20
7. Deep Space Waifu - Steam - January 21
8. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter - Steam - January 21
9. Duck Tales 2 - NES - January 22
10. TaleSpin - NES - January 22
11. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers - NES - January 23
12. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 - NES - January 24
13. Global Defence Force - PlayStation 2 - January 24
14. Darkwing Duck - NES - January 25
15. Tiny Toon Adventures - NES - January 26
16. Poi - Steam - January 28


February (10 Games Beaten)
17. Galaxy on Fire 2 Full HD - Steam - February 3
18. Final Fantasy Legend - Game Boy - February 5
19. Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni - Vita - February 5
20. Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo - 3DS - February 8
21. Adventures in Equica: Unicorn Training - Android - February 8
22. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest - SNES - February 10
23. X-COM: UFO Defense - Steam - February 14
24. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys -TurboGrafx-CD - February 18
25. Army Men - Game Boy Color - February 19
26. Army Men 2 - Game Boy Color - February 19


26. Army Men 2 - Game Boy Color - February 19

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Army Men 2 is the direct sequel to the first Army Men, but unlike the Game Boy Color port of the first game, this one isn't a particularly faithful adaptation of the PC version. It still keeps a few of the iconic scenes, but whereas Army Men on Game Boy Color was a slimmed down version of the PC game, Army Men 2 on Game Boy Color is a "based on" situation.

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The game follows the same story as the PC version on a very basic level. You play as Sarge in the "real world" where everything is GIGANTIC because you're literally just a toy soldier. Unlike the PC game, you don't got back and forth between the toy world and the real world, but the three or four environments you play in are pretty dope. You fight in the front yard of a house, on the kitchen cabinet of the house, and in the basement (or maybe toy room?). The story is bare bones - you have to find the primary Tan base on the real world and destroy it.

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Visually, Army Men 2 look very similar to Army Men, but the environments are a lot more detailed and attractive, and everything generally looks just slightly more detailed and refined than in the first game. The biggest improvement, though, is the music. It still isn't great, but it's a hell of a lot better and less painful than the music in the first game. It's still repetitive, but it's much better repetitive music. One thing that I found disappointing (but something that only a hardcore fan would notice) is that the voice clips are repeated from the first game whereas in the PC versions, the second game has COMPLETELY different voice clips than the first game.

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The biggest improvement over the first game is the controls. The difference is like night and day. The controls still aren't perfect, but they're quick and responsive whereas the first game's controls were slow and painfully cumbersome. The aiming is the same as the first game and still takes a good bit of getting used to, but once you do get used to it, it's pretty easy to get your shots on target. The first game felt like a chore to control, but this game feels completely natural is actually fun.

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Army Men 2 is a huge improvement over the first Game Boy Color Army Men in pretty much every way. The only thing it did worse was staying true to the source material. Other than that, it's an improvement all around. The sound design is much better, the visuals are a little better, and the control is SIGNIFICANTLY better. I couldn't recommend Army Men on GBC to anyone, but I actually would recommend Army Men 2 on GBC. I wouldn't pay more than $5 max for a cartridge, but if you can find one that cheap or emulate it, it's worth playing. It's not an amazing game, mind you, but it's fun and a HUGE step up from its predecessor.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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