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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:24 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
BoneSnapDeez wrote:How deep into Wonder Boy are you gonna go? So many of those games have several variations. For instance, are you gonna play ports like Dragon's Curse and The Dynastic Hero, or will you just stick to the original "Wonder Boy" titled games?


I’m going in deep! :lol:

Here’s what’s on tap:

Wonder Boy in Monster Land (Arcade)
Saiyuki World (Famicom)
Whomp ‘Em (NES)
Bikkiriman World (TG16)
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (Arcade)
Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap (SMS)
Wonder Boy in Monster World (Genesis)
The Dynastic Hero (TG16)
Monster World IV (Genesis)

I am trying to play the “definitive” version of each iteration, along with each major variant. I still have a few games to go, but after pushing through the Adventure Island series, I am at least halfway through my quest.


If you feel like trying something a little different, there's also a Master System demake of WB in Monster World that is an interesting, if far from optimal way to play the game.

Not long until Monster Boy comes out :)
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Ack Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:35 am

1. Jungle Book (SNES)(Platformer)
2. Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge (SNES)(Light Gun Shooter)
3. Might and Magic VI (PC)(RPG)
4. Revenant (PC)(RPG)
5. Neo Turf Masters (NGPC)(Sports)
6. Fatal Fury: First Contact (NGPC)(Fighter)
7. Pac-Man (NGPC)(Action)

8. Golden Axe (Genesis)(Hack and Slash)
9. Blood and Bacon (PC)(FPS)
10. Gain Ground (Genesis)(Strategy)

11. Flicky (Genesis)(Platformer)
12. Zombie Shooter 2 (PC)(Top-Down Shooter)
13. Phantasmagoria (PC)(Point and Click)

Beating Phantasmagoria as my 13th game this year was unintentional but still fitting.

Phantasmagoria is one of those famous (or infamous) FMV games, developed in the mid-90s at the height of the live actor craze by game designer Roberta Williams for Sierra. While it plays as a point-and-click adventure, the game built upon the horror plot lines that Roberta had tinkered with throughout her career. She actually considers this her favorite of all the games she worked on, and admittedly, there is some pretty incredible stuff here for the medium considering the time.

How does it play? Well, it is a point-and-click, so you'll wander around, finding a few items, and solving puzzles. Often times you're reduced to waving the mouse pointer over the screen to find what you can interact with, though usually objects stand out pretty well. The game is also fairly linear in terms of what you have to do, but a large portion of the world is open from the first day, and part of the fun of the game is going out and exploring all the little things that you didn't realize were there. There's a lot of hidden stuff in the game that serves to bolster the story, so it almost behooves you to seek it all out, even if it means you're going to witness some unpleasant and gory sights.

To make things easier, the game features some fantastic backgrounds that are obviously computer generated but in a way that is actually rather beautiful if unrealistic. And once you get tired of staring at these backgrounds while your character slowly moves about, there is a useful fast-forward button to help you swiftly navigate around. This is a godsend, and you will want to use it. While the puzzles aren't all mind-numbingly hard, there are some things that have to be done in a specific order, so you can fake yourself out at times. For instance, it took me forever to grab a soup bone in one chapter, despite the large 'FREE' advertisement. I was only able to get it after buying drain cleaner.

As for the plot, it involves a couple purchasing a new home, only for the husband to become accidentally possessed by a demon, who happened to have been released by a magician about a century before. Over time, our heroine learns that the magician grew paranoid, murdered his wives, and eventually succumbed to his own horrors and fears, leading to the demon to be temporarily sealed. It sucks that you screw up and release it, but sometimes that's just life.

Since this is FMV, it's worth noting the acting, which ranges from pretty good to pants on fire awful. Thankfully, the lead actress is actually very good, as are bit players like the shopkeeper, the old man who gives you advice, and the telephone guy. Then there are the stinkers, like the gross and hammy real estate guy. And then there's the outright awful, which is the husband. His maniacal laughter after committing ax murder is pretty much the tip of the iceberg, but I generally found him pretty lacking. There are also a couple of homeless people that you end up hiring as caretakers, and while they add some levity, I'm not entirely sure they were supposed to come off as corny as they did.

Oh, speaking of the homeless mother and son, for some reason they also had the worst time with pixelation. I noticed several times their sprites were of significantly lower quality in scenes. I don't know why that is.

Anyway, this game is also famous for several "adult" moments: a sex scene in the intro, a rape scene halfway through, and then some violent murders and gore sequences towards the end of the game. The gore...well, after watching Tom Savini's work or films by Lucio Fulci, it's not that bad. It is well executed though, particularly the famous face-rip scene. The rape scene is more disturbing, and while the husband does a terrible job of handling things by suddenly going all wide-eyed and weird, it's the lead actress' sobbing afterwards that really serves as a gut punch. That's the only time in the game I felt I needed to get up and walk around for a bit before coming back, because it's intensely uncomfortable, even with the guy trying his best to...do whatever it was he was trying to do. I don't really want to call it 'acting' because that would insult actors. This is followed by our heroine getting dressed but still obviously reeling from what has just been done to her. She makes it believable.

Phantasmagoria is a mixed bag. At times it's goofy, perhaps unintentionally. At other times, it can be violent or even devastating for some people. However, I found myself enjoying it. It's a game that encourages exploration, even when your task is as simple as going to buy drain cleaner. Is it flawed? Yes. But it was still something I'm happy to have experienced.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:12 pm

I had no idea that Saiyuki World was based on Wonderboy in Monster Land. Interesting. That being said, I'm not sure Whomp 'Em / Sayuki World 2 even fits, other than being a numbered sequel to the first. I don't even think Westone was involved in that one. Fun game, though. :)
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:57 pm

Sarge wrote:I had no idea that Saiyuki World was based on Wonderboy in Monster Land. Interesting. That being said, I'm not sure Whomp 'Em / Sayuki World 2 even fits, other than being a numbered sequel to the first. I don't even think Westone was involved in that one. Fun game, though. :)


It’s a weird one, certainly. I am following all of the branches on the “wonder boy” tree pit to their ends; so, it is on my list too! (The Adventure Island series is far-and-away the longest branch. It’s like a whole other tree.)
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:51 pm

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 47
* 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 (10 Games Beaten)
35. Phantasy Star - Master System - March 10*
36. Grand Kingdom - PlayStation 4 - March 17
37. Bit.Trip Beat - Wii - March 18
38. Bit.Trip Core - Wii - March 18
39. Bit.Trip Void - Wii - March 18
40. Bit.Trip Runner - Wii - March 22
41. Bit.Trip Fate - Wii - March 22
42. Bit.Trip Flux - Wii - March 24
43. Bit.Trip Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien - Wii U - March 25
44. My Nintendo Picross: Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess - 3DS - March 28


April (3 Games Beaten)
45. Gundam Breaker 3 - PlayStation 4 - April 4
46. Night Trap - PlayStation 4 - April 5
47. Corpse Killer - Sega CD 32X - April 9


47. Corpse Killer - Sega CD 32X - April 9

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When most people think of 90s full motion video games, they usually think god awful bottom-of-the-barrel tier games, and for those who've played it, Corpse Killer is probably the specific game that first comes to mind. There are four different console version of this game as well as two computer versions, and I only have two of those versions, but from what I can tell, the Sega CD 32X version is decent as far as console releases go.

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Corpse Killer is an FMV light gun game that has you play as an unnamed United States Marine who's air dropped (and promptly caught dangling in a tree) onto an also unnamed tropical island to stop the evil Dr. Hellman from using a blend of science and voodoo to create an undead zombie army. Helping you on your quest is a blonde reporter who is definitely one of the most obnoxious companions in gaming history and a Rastafarian driver whose fake Jamaican accent is so thick that he's only technically still speaking English (seriously, I work with like half a dozen Jamaican immigrants, and I can understand all of them just find, but this dude is incoherent).

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In between video cut scenes with excruciatingly terrible acting and writing (despite the fact that two of the actors - Rastafarian chauffeur and mad scientist guy - are actually decent actors otherwise), there are gameplay sequences. Unfortunately, unlike most light gun shooters of the era, these sequences aren't on rails going through an area, per se; it's more akin to being in a jeep that's slowly meandering along on a sight-seeing trip as the screen just sort of slowly scrolls from left to right at a constant pace while zombies rush towards you. The backgrounds are all actual digitized images, and the zombies are all digitized real life people in costume which is actually fairly impressive. What's not so impressive is that there's no background embellishment whatsoever - no burning barrels or anything - and the zombies all look more like a drunk old man stumbling towards the bathroom than undead monsters trying to eat your flesh.

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Being a Sega CD 32X release, this version is obviously inferior to the versions released on the Saturn and 3DO, but there are some noticeable improvements over the base Sega CD release. First and foremost, the picture quality is a bit better with slightly less fuzzy blurring and a noticeable increase in contrast and saturation. There's a bit of an awkward hiccup every couple frames that's a bit more pronounced on CD 32X than on the regular Sega CD release, but I didn't find that to be too troublesome. To this version's credit, it allows the use of an actual light gun. The Sega CD version also allows this, and I've read that the 3DO version does as well despite making no mention of it anywhere on the packaging although I can't confirm that for myself, but the Saturn version oddly omits this feature leaving you with AWFUL D-pad aiming. I tried the D-pad aiming on the CD 32X version just to try it out, and it's....bad. However bad you imagine it would be, it's worse.

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Corpse Killer is not a good game. It's a visual improvement over the Sega CD version, and it has definitely superior controls over the Sega Saturn version, but it falls short of the 3DO version, and even a good version of a bad game is still bad. It's a good example of what, in the early 90s, the FMV and "interactive movie" craze was all about, but it also exemplifies that it's a fad that's worth staying buried in the past. It's a neat piece of gaming history, and it has some definite B-movie cheese charm if that's your cup of tea. Even that, though, wears thin quickly once you realize that the game really just isn't that good. I can't recommend Corpse Killer to anyone unless you just LOVE bad FMV games. It's definitely one of the better versions of the game, but there's just not a lot to love here.
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Michi
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Michi Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:33 pm

Ack wrote:Phantasmagoria

Well said, Ack. I think you summed up my thoughts pretty well.

The acting was a pretty mixed-bag, but overall pretty good. It really helped that Adriane was likable and her performance was so top-tiered compared to everyone else. Though it did bother me that the camera seemed to linger on her reactions just a little too long in some spots. Don was probably the worst of the bunch. Sure, he was going crazy, being possessed and all, but even Zolton managed to handle his possession with a modicum of grace and he knocked off a hell of a lot more people (Though I read that if you foul up the ending Don accrues a much higher body count.) Harriet and Cyrus are sort of the outliners. I don't think they were meant to be anywhere near super serious, but I don't think they were meant to come across as goofy as they do. I feel they were aiming for 'quirky' and missed the mark a bit.

The one thing that bothered me about the game more than the acting was that I'd loose control of the curser whenever a cut scene started. It never seemed to be where I thought it was when I regained control. I'm sure that was meant to add suspense or whatnot, but I found it a bit irritating, especially near the end.

Oh! And that no one seemed to change their outfits. I know that was probably a cost-saving measure due to all those repeated walking scenes, but it's still a little weird.

And I had trouble with the soup bone, too. And that was even after I got the drain cleaner. I think the hitbox for the sign and the bone were too close together or something, because it took me four or five tries before it finally let me pick up the bone instead of going back to the sign.

But overall, yeah. Fun game. I enjoyed it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Ack Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:43 pm

Michi wrote:med to change their outfits. I know that was probably a cost-saving measure due to all those repeated walking scenes, but it's still a little weird.


THANK YOU! I am so glad to hear I was not the only person bothered by the fact that everyone is wearing the same dirty clothes for a week straight. I mean, the homeless caretakers make sense, but the lead? Does she not own at least one other shirt?
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Michi
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Michi Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:04 pm

Ack wrote:
Michi wrote:med to change their outfits. I know that was probably a cost-saving measure due to all those repeated walking scenes, but it's still a little weird.


THANK YOU! I am so glad to hear I was not the only person bothered by the fact that everyone is wearing the same dirty clothes for a week straight. I mean, the homeless caretakers make sense, but the lead? Does she not own at least one other shirt?

Right? I mean, the first scene in Chapter 7 has Adriane packing clothes, so I know she has to own at lest one different outfit. The caretakers I understand. The real estate agent? Him I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume that he just has multiple suites in that color. Hell, I'll even give Don a pass since he's going all wacko. But Adriane? Nope. That one bothers me.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:29 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:It’s a weird one, certainly. I am following all of the branches on the “wonder boy” tree pit to their ends; so, it is on my list too! (The Adventure Island series is far-and-away the longest branch. It’s like a whole other tree.)

That is indeed a deep dive. I also appreciate your insights into the Adventure Island series. I haven't played them all, but I have played quite a few. AI2 was pretty fun, and AI4 is one that I wish were a bit cheaper. If it had crossed the pond, I think it would have been fondly remembered. I also love SAI2, but mostly because it resembles Monster World. That's the side I really like, with MWIV being the real standout title.

That reminds me, if you're not completely burned out on the Monster World side of games, there's an interesting NES game developed by Westone called Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru Gaiden that you might like. It's a bit like Zelda II in that you have overhead segments, but you get into random battles and fight enemies on a single screen there. The combat feels very Monster World-ish.

http://www.romhacking.net/translations/1816/
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by marurun Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:26 pm

I always find it odd that the Master System Dragon’s Trap is considered definitive instead of the Turbo/PCE Dragon’s Curse. They are both solid, but the Turbo version just seems a little nicer to me.
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