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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:12 am

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)
10. Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak (GBA)
11. Dragon Quest Builders (PS4)
12. Dragon Quest (3DS)
13. Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below (PS4)

14. Dragon Quest II (3DS)

Next up on my Dragon Quest kick was the second game! Popo had warned me that this one had some really god damn mean bits, and damn wasn't he kidding :lol: . This game has some really serious design issues, but it really is more up to the growing pains of the genre it was helping pioneer, so I really can't blame the game too much.

I'm just SO glad I was playing the Japanese 3DS remake, because it has the DS remakes' art style but the balancing of the GBC port, so it gets rid of a lot of the miserable grinding of the Famicom original as well as making a lot of the formerly empty or crap loot chests have better loot. I had read the game takes like 20 hours for this version, but it took me only like 14, so right about double what the first game took me, and that's being a little over leveled. (My characters were levels 40, 38, and 33 at the end of the game).

The story is an evolution in depth over the original as well as the world building. A LOT more towns and dungeons really make DQ2 feel like a more real world than the comparatively small scope of the first game. Some of the towns are a bit too far apart and/or guarded by monsters whose level curve is a bit harsh, but it's nothing totally game breaking. It certainly makes it apparent when to grind, that's for damn sure :lol:

This game has some really serious design issues that come about from pioneering new systems while not addressing problems from the original. There are no magic stats, just as in the original. As a result, spells never scale with levels either offensively or defensively. This means that the only way to guard against enemy spells is just raising your HP which will take a crazy level of grinding. And all the grinding in the world won't save you from instant death spells like Sacrifice which I only had happened twice but did a full-party wipe every time it happened.

The other big freaking problem is the dungeons, which are just so mean and maze-like. Some of them, particularly near the end of the game, are just so damn full of annoying enemies that put you to sleep or can 1 or 2-shot half the party in just one turn. This is all on TOP of having bullcrap like pitfalls to previous floors, stairways that lead you backwards, and Lost Woods-style puzzles that constantly lead you back to the start of an area. Some of the dungeons could literally take you hours to get through without a guide map, which is why I used them liberally in the second half of the game. That's probably why my game timer was only about 14 hours instead of 20.

Verdict: Not Recommended. It's a piece of history, that's to be sure, bit it's also really obvious why this is considered the worst Dragon Quest game. It's got a lot of good ideas, but the execution is just so flawed that it's really difficult to recommend as a game unless you're just hellbent on playing all of the DQ games. There are a ton of far better DQ games out there to play, so just go play those and save yourself the frustration :lol:
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:57 am

Great review. I respect DQII more than I enjoy it, and I particularly admire its open world in the last part of the game. (So many JRPGs of that era were so linear.)

I hope you are moving on to DQIII next. That game is a masterpiece.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:09 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Great review. I respect DQII more than I enjoy it, and I particularly admire its open world in the last part of the game. (So many JRPGs of that era were so linear.)

I hope you are moving on to DQIII next. That game is a masterpiece.


I DO own DQ3 on cart for my Famicom, so I could move onto it next, but Kirby Star Allies comes out today~~~, so I think I'm gonna take a little break from RPG's for some Kirby action game fun for the moment :D
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:42 am

There are no magic stats, just as in the original. As a result, spells never scale with levels either offensively or defensively.

This NEVER gets fixed in Dragon Quest. Magic is always a fixed damage range for each spell. Later entries do start introducing elemental resistance, where you can take half damage from a particular element. But magic defense is never a thing, and magic attack is never a thing.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:30 pm

MrPopo wrote:
There are no magic stats, just as in the original. As a result, spells never scale with levels either offensively or defensively.

This NEVER gets fixed in Dragon Quest. Magic is always a fixed damage range for each spell. Later entries do start introducing elemental resistance, where you can take half damage from a particular element. But magic defense is never a thing, and magic attack is never a thing.

Huh... come to think of it, you're right XD
I think it's just especially a problem here with how particularly difficult the enemies are combined on top of how spells like multi-heal do not yet exist.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Markies Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:01 pm

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2018!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. The Granstream Saga (PS1)
2. Perfect Dark (N64)
*3. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (PS1)*
4. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (XBOX)
5. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
*6. Pikmin (GCN)*

*7. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time (N64)*

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I completed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64 this afternoon!

Ocarina of Time is one of the greatest games of all time. The litany of game play inventions from this game is astounding. Everything is done to mirrored perfection that it deserves its place as a standard bearer of games. The game was so forward thinking, but it also preserved its roots with enemies and characters brought to life from previous games in a whole new way. I have beaten this game several times and it will always hold a special place in my heart. It was time to do everything.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by pook99 Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:46 am

71. Splasher (steam)
72. Super C (nes)
73. Castlevania (nes)
74. Super Double Dragon (snes)
75. Guardian (steam)
76. Golden axe: revenge of death adder (mame)
77. Double Dragon (arcade)
78. adventures of batman and robin (snes)
79. Heads run (steam)

71. Splasher: Insanely fun platformer, I would like to write a more detailed review at some point when I have more time, but this is one of the highest quality indies I have ever played and fans of challenging platformers need to give this game a shot.

72. Super C: Probably one of the most under rated games on the nes. The original contra is (rightfully) regarded as one of the best and most challenging games on the nes, but very few people talk about its sequel. The reality is that Super C is every bit as good as its predecessor, and I will never understand why it is not talked about more than it is.

The graphics are improved over the original, the game is more colorful, and there are subtle changes which really add to the gameplay. For example, in this game enemy bullets are much easier to see, in the original many enemy bullets were small and white, making it easy to lose them in the background, in this game they are bigger and glow which make them far easier to see and no longer allows you to make excuses when you get hit by one.

The music is amazing in this game, I would have to say the original Contra has more iconic songs that stick in your head, but this game still has one of the stronger soundtracks on the nes.

There has been a few tweaks to the gameplay as well. They tweaked the guns a bit in this game. While the spread is still the best weapon they nerfed it a bit, allowing less bullets on screen at a time, and also buffed some of the other weapons. The fire weapon was trash in the original, but here it is pretty good, it is strong, shoots a huge bullet, and explodes on impact damaging nearby enemies. I will still always stick with the spread gun but at least the other weapons are more viable here.

The alternate levels in this game play from a top down perspective and replace the 3rd person base stages from the original. I really enjoyed these top down stages, and they play better than most nes games that are done in the same style. There also are alot of slopes in this game, this may seem like nothing more than an aesthetic difference but they introduce a lot of different shooting angles and enemy placements not found in the original game, and add a new layer to the gameplay depth.

In terms of challenge, I can't speak for which one is harder. Youtube tells me that Super C is generally considered the harder game, both for having harder levels, and for only having a 10 life code vs a 30 life code. Personally, I have played both contra games so much that there is no challenge in either of them for me. Regardless, super c is an amazing and under appreciated game that deserves far more credit than it gets.

73. Castlevania: I feel pretty good about saying that every person on this board has played this game so I don't think I need to say anything here, other than getting to death without the holy water is not a good time.

74. Super double dragon: Another underappreciated title. There are so many good beat em ups in the 16 bit era that it becomes easy to miss some great games. Super double dragon has one of the most expansive move sets of any beat em up, this saves the game from getting stale like most games of the genre. It is slower paced than some of its brethren, and I think that is what will turn some people off from it, but it is a deeper experience that most similar games and in my opinion, can hang with the final fights, streets of rages, and turtles games of its time.

75. Guardian: Fun metroidvania on steam, solid graphics and gameplay, nothing remarkable but worth checking out if you enjoy the genre.

76. Golden axe: revenge of death adder: Who knew there was a legit 3rd golden axe game? Sure I played the dumpster fire that is golden axe 3 on genesis, but I never knew this game existed until a few days ago when I fired it up. What a pleasant surprise!!! This game is a proper sequel and has everything you would want from a new golden axe game, new playable characters, new creatures to ride, new villagers to save, monsters to fight, large bosses, dwarfs to kick, and some amazing new magic spells. I was so happy to stumble on this game and it is a game I will replay at some point in the future when I am replaying the golden axe games.

78. Adventures of batman and robin(snes): I will write a seathing review of this game at some point if I have time. It is not that it is a bad game, but there are just a handful of things that really keep this game from greatness.

79. Heads run: Heads run was a fantastic surprise. I bought the game because I like platformers and it was dirt cheap so I figured I would give it a shot and I am glad I did. I was initially off put by the game boy ish color palette, but as you play the game it really grows on you, and while you may die a few wtf deaths in the beginning, you quickly learn what you should be looking for as you race through these levels.

Comparisons to super meat boy are inevitable in a game like this as it has much in common with that game. It is fast paced, has tight controls, instant respwans on death, and fairly short levels where you will likely die several times as you learn the best way to make it past the various obstacles. However there are a few twists that separate this game from meat boy.

First, you have a dash. Your character moves at super fast speeds and when you first start to play it will take a minute to get used to, but even on top of the very fast run speed, your dash is necessary to further accelerate your character for a variety of level specific reasons. As is typical in games like this, you can also dash mid air which will be necessary to navigate tricky jumps between saws and other obstacles, as well as to break through blocks placed around the stages.

Second, the wall mechanic in this game is a bit odd. You can wall jump here, and you can use your wall jump to scale single walls by continuously wall jumping up it, or bounce back and forth between walls. Most games like this have your character slide down the wall slowly when you are not jumping off of it, this game has your character stick in place. When you cling to a wall a meter appears above your characters head, if you are holding the controller towards the wall the meter remains full, once you release the directional pad, the meter drains and when it is empty you fall off the wall. What this means in execution is the walls can be an obstacle, if you are trying to quickly descend down a wall and stick to it, you cannot instantly let go, which can lead to death. The plus side is you can hang on a wall as long as you like to wait for the opportune time to progress. It is a unique mechanic, and while it takes some getting used to, adds another layer to the gameplay.

Third, and probably most important, is that the vast majority of the games 50 levels have these huge, weird looking, creatures chasing you through the levels. They are all pretty freaky looking and chase you relentessly through the levels, they add a real sense of urgency and tension as you navigate the levels and force you to keep a fast pace as you navigate these trickly levels filled with saws, lasers, guns, and all manner of other instant death kills.


The difficulty curve in this game is nice. It starts off really easy as it introduces you to the various play mechanics and there is a nice smooth curve throughout the game. Although you will die a lot, you will never feel unprepared for the challenges the game throws at you. There are a handful of randomnly placed easy levels, that you will likely complete on your first or second try, but they are pretty infrequent and don't detract from the rest of the game. If anything they give your brain and heart a minute to recover from the tension you experience on most of the levels.

This game has everything you would want in a meat boy ish platformer, It is a little on the short side(it took me about an hour 20 minutes to complete the game) but it is also only 4 dollars which is more than fair for a game this much fun. You also unlock various modes upon completion of the game where you can race against your best times, the world record best times, and a hard mode that adds even more crazy stuff to each level. Fans of hardcore platformers can't go wrong with this game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:03 pm

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 37
* 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 (18 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
27. Army Men: Air Combat - Game Boy Color - February 20
28. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA 2nd - PlayStation Portable - February 22
29. Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 - Game Boy Color - February 22
30. Army Men Advance - Game Boy Advance - February 24
31. Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn - PlayStation 3 - February 25
32. Army Men: Operation Green - Game Boy Advance - February 26
33. A Night Out - PC - February 27
34. Army Men: Turf Wars - Game Boy Advance - February 27


March (2 Games Beaten)
36. Phantasy Star - Master System - March 10*
37. Grand Kingdom - PlayStation 4 - March 17


37. Grand Kingdom - PlayStation 4 - March 17

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Grand Kingdom is a game that I pre-ordered on an absolute whim back during my especially financially irresponsible days (as opposed to my normal moderately financially irresponsible days), and I thought it sounded SUPER cool. It was touted as a strategy RPG set in a continent plunged into near-constant war between four rival kingdoms, and that's the kind of game I crave. Having finally gotten around to playing, it, though, I can't quite say that I'm impressed.

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Grand Kingdom's story is a bit broken up. There's a 12 mission main story that follows your character's mercenary company in the Guild, but when you finish that, there are four post-game campaigns that expand the lore of each of the four kingdoms in the game. Unfortunately, by the time I got to mission 9 of the Guild campaign, I was just...kind of done with the game. The gameplay isn't particularly exciting, and neither the story nor any of the characters are all that engaging. The story mainly boils down to this group of bandits that claim to the be descendants of a long dead empire try to resurrect four ancient demons to restore their empire. Not a bad premise, but the execution is just...meh.

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The gameplay takes place on a linear field three lines high and two or three screen widths wide. You have a team of four mercenaries (or three if you have one of the fairly uncommon mounted units which count as two) fighting an enemy force of anywhere from two to six. Each unit moves in turn depending on its stats (rather than one team at a time) until one team is wiped out. Pretty simple stuff. There are a pretty good variety of classes, but unfortunately, there are really only 5 real "types" - melee, magic, range, support, and mounted (which is basically the "murder everything" class). It's not that the gameplay is bad by any means, but it doesn't have the depth of most RPGs that I've played (Valkyria Chronicles, Fire Emblem, etc). There is an online component that pits you against CPU-controlled copies of other players' teams from around the world, but it's...not much more exciting than the standard offline gameplay.

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The game's got a pretty nice visual style that's reminiscent of anime without being the straight up waifu games I usually play when I'm playing an anime style game. The music is okay, but it's pretty forgettable. It serves the purpose of background music, but it's not a musical score that's going to make an impression like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 or Final Fantasy VII. The voice acting, however, is quite good, and while the characters themselves may not be especially exciting in my opinion, their dialogue, at least, is delivered well by actors who seem at least halfway decent at their jobs.

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Grand Kingdom is a game that's presentation and promises are a lot more substantial than the actual product delivered. I think my opinion would likely be a bit better if I had gone into it with lower expectations, but with names like Spike Chunsoft and NIS America tied to it, I went in expecting a fun and engaging game. What I got was a pretty run-of-the-mill SRPG with a bland story, forgettable characters, and monotonous gameplay. If you're into the genre and find it for $10 or less, then it's worth a pick up - it's worth at least that much, I'd say - but this is certainly no "hidden gem."
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:05 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)
10. Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Heartbreak (GBA)
11. Dragon Quest Builders (PS4)
12. Dragon Quest (3DS)
13. Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below (PS4)
14. Dragon Quest II (3DS)

15. Kirby Star Allies (Switch)

I am a HUGE sucker for Kirby games (no pun intended), so I was absolutely all over this when it was announced. After being so enammored by the demo a couple weeks back, this became the first game since Wolfenstein The New Order that I've pre-ordered and then played day one. After being a little underwhelmed but satisfied by Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot, this was a very pleasant upgrade, and definitely my favorite Kirby game in recent memory :D

Star Allies, at its core, is basically a combination of Return to Dreamland and Triple Deluxe with a smattering of Super Star Ultra's charm on top of it. The gimmick this time around is that you can not only play with four players like in Return to Dreamland, but the other three players are re-skinned enemies, like in Super Star Ultra. The art style is very much Triple Deluxe, and the powers in this game are a greatest hits of basically every Kirby game since Super Star Ultra, with yo-yo, wave, whip, beetle, and even some new ones like web (which are very fun). The controls are also the proto-Smash Bros style that Super Star Ultra had, with blocking, directional attacks, and the like, so every power has an "easy to play, hard to master" feel to it (save for one or two). The game also felt a good length. It's not suuuuper long, but it felt like a more finished experience like Triple Deluxe, where Robobot and Return to Dreamland felt like they ended a bit prematurely by comparison.

Gone are many of the more abrupt gimmicks from earlier games. The super powers from Return to Dreamland? Gone. The ultra-inhale seeds from Triple Deluxe? Gone. The robot suit from Robobot? Gone. In their place, are friend-powers, which utilize your number of friends to do a special thing that changes up the flow of that level. You have the friend-wheel (a non-stop forward rolling ball), friend-train (you run forward and can run up walls, like Super Baby Mario in Yoshi's Island), friend-star (basically it's a shmup now), and the friend-bridge (basically you're moving up and down as a platform to allow a friendly enemy to walk past). They're not usually too intrusive, but they're not really as fun as the mech suit from Robobot. The worst sin they commit, tbh, is that they are inherently one-player focused, as EVERYONE can jump during them and move equally, so the best way to do them is to just make everyone else sit and wait until it's over and let the best player among you handle the jumping.

This is really a shame, because this game does SO much to make itself an otherwise awesome multiplayer experience for gamers of all skill levels. For starters, the last gimmick in the game, and the best one by far, imo, are the combo powers you can make between your allies. If you hold up on the D-pad/joystick, you can get an ally to imbue your power with theirs. It doesn't work with all powers, but most of them, as each power in the game effectively falls into being either what I refer to as a base, an augment, or an other.

A base is something like Sword, where it's a power all in its own and doesn't affect others. An augment would be something like Fire, where not only is it its own power, but if an ally with a base holds 'up', you can imbue their weapon with that element. Some powers like Cleaning (the broom from Adventure 3) even have several elements they can imbue. Additionally, a base with an element can even augment other bases, so you don't need to keep fire if you have a fire sword, for example. An other is stuff like Suplex or Beetle that have a kind of throw move as their up-attack, so they don't get imbued or do imbuing, but have their own tertiary special ability.

The design of how the Star Allies even work is also very cleverly done to facilitate easy play among four players. Instead of having to eat a power and then use it up to generate a friend like in Super Star Ultra, this game gives Kirby a throwable friendship heart on his Y-button. This can be thrown at any enemy that could be normally eaten for a power to turn them into a friend. Other player characters also have these hearts, and anyone currently playing can be chosen to become that new befriended character if your roster is full of four characters. This makes getting new powers something easy that every player has agency in, not just Kirby. Something to mention, though, is that only the first player can actually be Kirby, and everyone doesn't get to be one like in Return to Dreamland. However, like in Return to Dreamland, your buddies can get the ability to play as Dedede, Meta Knight, and Waddle Dee, who have some really crazy imbued powers and combos they can pull off (particularly Waddle Dee).

The game also really never wants to kick anyone out. The camera always centers on Kirby (it doesn't do any shared nonsense like in Donkey Kong Country Returns 2 or anything), which can occasionally lead to your friends getting a bit lost. This is generally never a problem, however, because your allies never die when they fall down pits, they just get returned to Kirby's current position. Your allies also never die when they get their health dropped to 0, instead falling KO'd on the ground to be brought back to life by a friend who comes over and holds down X for a few seconds (a little like Castle Crashers). You can even share food with kisses just like you could in Super Star Ultra :D

The only way for an ally to actually get permanently toasted is if they get crushed by a crusher wall, although these are so few and far between that it was never really a problem for me. These features mean that, aside from the unfortunate way that most friend-powers are managed, no one ever needs to be waiting for Kirby to find a new enemy to friendify to come back into the game. They never need to get kicked out of the action. The game is also fairly easy, with every player having a quite generous amount of health, so dying happens pretty darn rarely (I died 3 times, and it was always from doing something stupid, not because that bit was hard XP ). Beating Story Mode also unlocks a speed-run mode a bit like how Robobot had it's Meta Knight mode, but this time going through as a group of allies with no Kirby (you pick powers at the start and have them 'til the end), as well as a boss rush mode, so there are some more difficult modes if that is what one is truly looking for in a Kirby game (although difficulty is clearly not this game's main focus).

Verdict: Highly Recommended. HAL have really knocked it out of the park with this one. This is one of the best multiplayer Kirby games they've ever made, and second only to Overcooked in my mind as the most brilliant couch co-op game of the decade, and second only to Octodad in terms of just sheer easy-to-access fun factor. It also only needs one Joycon to play, so you can do two-player co-op right out of the box :D
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Markies Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:24 pm

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2018!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. The Granstream Saga (PS1)
2. Perfect Dark (N64)
*3. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (PS1)*
4. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (XBOX)
5. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
*6. Pikmin (GCN)*
*7. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time (N64)*

8. Shining Force II (GEN)

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I beat Shining Force II on the Sega Genesis this afternoon!

Back in 2016, one of the few bright spots of that year was me playing through the original Shining Force. It was one of the positive constants that was happening during a troubling and depressing time for me. Eventually, it became my second favorite game that I played all of that year. I had bought the original several years ago and the sequel just a few short months after that. So, I was excited to play the sequel, but I didn't want to rush right into it. Thanks to my New Year Cookie Marathon, I didn't have much of a choice as I would be playing Shining Force II in 2018. It would be my middle game as the meatiest part of my sandwich. And boy, did it take a while.

Shining Force II is a clear example of what makes video game sequels work. They kept everything good from the first game, improved what was bad and improved on some of the original mechanics. They didn't touch the core mechanic of great SRPG battles. In fact, they are even better with more varieties in locations, characters and classes. They also streamlined many of the old RPG ways of the first game. You no longer have to pass items just to pick up a chest as they automatically go to the next person. Shopping is so much easier and choosing your team is just a better experience. The story gets a little crazy bonkers with its twists in the end, but most of the time it is a tried and true formula with a really romantic ending. The first 80% of the game flies by at break neck speed as you never have to stop for grinding and you are just enjoying the ride.

The final 20% of the game is an absolute bear. The enemies levels jump exponentially and take absolutely forever to kill. Grinding becomes an absolute must and the AI skews heavily in the enemies favor. Being Counter Critical Killed was a regular occurrence, especially on the final boss. It is a large wall that you run into the final battles and the incline only gets steeper. Some of those battles are extremely mean and the final battle borders on unfair.

Final difficulty aside, it's hard not to see past the good and the greatness of Shining Force II. This quickly rose to one of my favorite series' on the Genesis and some of the best 16Bit Strategy games out there. Both games are worth your time and I would suggest them to anybody. The first more than the second, but the second continues the tradition if you want to do the same.
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