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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Exhuminator Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:14 am

ElkinFencer10 wrote:X-COM: UFO Defense (or UFO: Enemy Unknown if you're in PALand) is definitely a game that shows its age, but if you have the patience to figure out the archaic menus and rough-around-the-edges presentation, there's an extremely fun and addicting game underneath. It's not a game for everyone, and its age makes it a lot less approachable than the more modern XCOM games, but if you like sci-fi and/or strategy games, I absolutely recommend it.


Nice job beating that one Elkin, I'm impressed. Good luck with Terror from the Deep. "Terror" is right. :?
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:42 am

Exhuminator wrote:
ElkinFencer10 wrote:X-COM: UFO Defense (or UFO: Enemy Unknown if you're in PALand) is definitely a game that shows its age, but if you have the patience to figure out the archaic menus and rough-around-the-edges presentation, there's an extremely fun and addicting game underneath. It's not a game for everyone, and its age makes it a lot less approachable than the more modern XCOM games, but if you like sci-fi and/or strategy games, I absolutely recommend it.


Nice job beating that one Elkin, I'm impressed. Good luck with Terror from the Deep. "Terror" is right. :?

Well, I did play on super bitch mode, but yeah, even so, there were some tough fucking missions. Everyone says that Terror from the Deep is balls hard. I'm scared.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:19 am

I have that game. Have you ever seen me make a "Games Beaten" post about it? No, you haven't.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by REPO Man Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:34 am

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse and Shantae: Half Genie Hero, both for PS4. And both with 100% of all the items.

It seems like each Shantae game is even better than the one before it, while still maintaining its classic "Monster World"-style Metroidvania-lite gameplay.

Really really REALLY wanna see a new Shantae game, hopefully with a full-realized Metroidian style of gameplay.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Exhuminator Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:08 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:Everyone says that Terror from the Deep is balls hard. I'm scared.

I don't think it's as hard as Jagged Alliance 2 or Fallout Tactics, but it's still no joke. You can late game screw yourself if you crawl up the wrong research tree (lock yourself out of vital kit). I think the original UFO games are cool, but I'm not a fan of their interfaces. If you want to play something in the same vein (as in a Julian Gollop jam), but with a better interface, give this a try:
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Exhuminator wrote:
ElkinFencer10 wrote:Everyone says that Terror from the Deep is balls hard. I'm scared.

I don't think it's as hard as Jagged Alliance 2 or Fallout Tactics, but it's still no joke. You can late game screw yourself if you crawl up the wrong research tree (lock yourself out of vital kit).

That's why you should use at bare minimum XComUtil to fix the TFTD research bug.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Stark Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:09 pm

Once again I begin my journey to document and review the games I've beaten in a year. I always tail off towards the end of the year, but maybe this one will be different!

Virginia - XB1
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Virginia is a FPS, mystery game and is effectively in the new-ish style of "walking simulator". Please note that I don't consider that label to be negative, but it does have that certain style, so I thought it best to mention up front. In the game you play an FBI agent, who is investigating the disappearance of a young man and as you investigate you get lost in this world and the characters.
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The story is "told" though a series of vignettes and in such a way where sometimes you don't always know how they're connected, but a lot of it comes together as you play along. I say "told" in quotes, because there is no spoken dialogue, all the story is told visually either by what plays out in scenes and some brief reading. Quick scene transitions also give it a certain feel. It definitely has the feeling of Thirty Flights of Loving (a game I highly recommend) by Brendan Chung. Music also plays a huge part in this game, with movement from light, quick music, to grand-scale concert hall pieces, that bring the tension up and maximize everything about the staging and set of the game.

I left the game feeling like I completely knew these characters and was a little in awe of what I felt during the 2 hours or so of the game. If this sounds like a game for you, then it is one of the best of those types. Enjoy!
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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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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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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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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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