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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:44 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)
12. Lunar: The Silver Star (Sega CD)
13. Otenba Becky no Daibouken (MSX)
14. Metroid (Famicom Disk System)
15. Mahou Kishi Rayearth (Game Boy)
16. Wabbit (Atari 2600)
17. Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy)
18. Warpman (Famicom)
19. Final Fantasy (NES)
20. Transformers: Convoy no Nazo (Famicom)
21. Arcade Archives: Moon Patrol (Switch eShop)
22. Gremlins (Atari 2600)
23. Arcade Archives: Ninja-Kid (Switch eShop)
24. Shining in the Darkness (Genesis)
25. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Gate of Doom (Switch eShop)
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Well, this is one of the stranger releases I've come across in recent years. Allow me to explain. Gate of Doom (Dark Seal in Japan) is an isometric brawler, released in the arcades by Data East in 1990. Emerging during a generational transition, the game couldn't have been (effectively) ported to 16-bit systems and the CD-dominated era was still years away. Thus, Gate of Doom languished in the arcades (okay, technically it was a downloadable Zeebo title in Brazil at one point, so I've read). When Data East Arcade Classics hit the Wii in 2010, Gate of Doom was frustratingly excluded even though its sequel Wizard Fire (Dark Seal II) found a home on the compilation. Fast forward to 2018. North America finally receives a proper non-arcade version of Gate of Doom as part of Johnny Turbo's Arcade series. Johnny Turbo, as you (probably don't) know, was the terrible cornball mascot for the otherwise excellent NEC TurboGrafx-16. So what's the connection between ancient Data East games and an obsolete Turbo mascot? I don't know. But here we are. And Johnny apparently has plans for several more Data East re-releases. I approve.

Gate of Doom is a "beat 'em up" in the absolute loosest sense of the word. The game features no punching, no kicking, no grappling, no combos, no hugging, no kissing. All four playable characters are instead endowed with a simple long-range attack and (conditional) magic abilities. Of the foursome, I gravitate towards the Egyptian(?!) wizard, Freya, as I've always had a penchant for playing as female characters. She apparently possesses the most powerful spells. Rounding out the roster are a knight with crushing physical attacks, a speedy ninja, and a bard who's impervious to poison.
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This is the first of a cluster of (great) 90s beat 'em ups to feature a medieval setting, as opposed to the tired urban environments. Also present are some very light RPG elements (armor and status effects, primarily) -- I'd be tempted to call this sort of game an "RPG 'em up" but I don't want people to hate me more than they already do. Gate of Doom may have nothing on the Capcom brawlers to follow, not to mention the god-tier best-in-genre Guardian Heroes, but it's a valiant start. The stages themselves look pretty cool, if not predictable: castles, dungeons, and the like. Interspersed between stages are some cheesy cutscenes, where a king urges the player to move forward and recover the sacred relics. Though this is an isometric game, movement is eight-directional and "normal" (none of that Landstalker crap). Progression is perfectly linear, though one may choose to stop and raid treasure chests. Combat is fairly shallow, primarily just button-mashing. Foes are your typical fantasy fare: skeletons, goblins, bats, and so on. Enemies can technically be avoided, though combat is usually a worthwhile endeavor as it aids in filling the magic gauge. When the gauge is full a powerful spell can be unleashed. What results depends on what's displayed on the continually page-flipping "spell book" in the screen's corner. There are the standard fire and wind types of attack, but also some bizarre ones that transform the player into a giant rolling ball or a Medusa head. Each stage concludes with a boss, naturally. Expect to see dragons and other monstrosities, even a copyright-infringing "Beholder." These battles are kind of terrible, really, as bosses are hard to damage and have about a million hit points apiece. Also, magic is not available during these skirmishes, a sloppy mechanic reminiscent of Zoom's Lagoon.
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Visuals are pretty standard, and the screen tends to get quickly cluttered with enemy sprites. By default the game's display is a pseudo-CRT screen which charmed me so much I didn't bother to change it. The sound design is more humorous than anything, as digitized speech takes center stage and foes are prone to emitting death screams upon defeat. If there's anything resembling a competent soundtrack I can't hear it under the din of battle.

Ultimately, what we have here is a pretty standard "kill everything" quest with some nice swords & sorcery window dressing. I'm not complaining though; if anything I'm overselling this a bit as I'm a sucker for anything medieval fantasy. That said, while Gate of Doom is a fun romp, and probably worth the eight bucks admission, it simply lacks the style and pizzazz of its successors.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:17 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)
12. Lunar: The Silver Star (Sega CD)
13. Otenba Becky no Daibouken (MSX)
14. Metroid (Famicom Disk System)
15. Mahou Kishi Rayearth (Game Boy)
16. Wabbit (Atari 2600)
17. Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy)
18. Warpman (Famicom)
19. Final Fantasy (NES)
20. Transformers: Convoy no Nazo (Famicom)
21. Arcade Archives: Moon Patrol (Switch eShop)
22. Gremlins (Atari 2600)
23. Arcade Archives: Ninja-Kid (Switch eShop)
24. Shining in the Darkness (Genesis)
25. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Gate of Doom (Switch eShop)
26. Front Line (Atari 2600)
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Front Line comprised one-third of the "holy trinity" of one-man-army run and gun arcade ports available on the Atari 2600, alongside Commando and Ikari Warriors. This Taito classic was first to arrive, both in the arcades (1982) and on this particular console (1984). Truth be told, I've never been much of a fan of the original, due to its wonky rotary dial controls, so the presence of a joystick kicks this port up a notch immediately. Note that this particular version was handled by Coleco, and was thus also available on the ColecoVision. Cue the conspiracy theories about Coleco purposefully crippling their Atari releases so consumers would turn to their brand of hardware instead.
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This is a delightfully simple experience. Traverse four stages of rough terrain, reach the enemy base, and annihilate it. On the way, kill or be killed. Like Front Line's contemporaries, the four available "stages" are really just seamless sections of one long singular level. There's a forest, brushland, desert, and the enemy fort, all differentiated by immediate, conspicuous, and garish changes in background and scenery. Shooting and movement is eight-directional and relatively smooth. All sprites seem to move at the same speed, so yes, it is possible to outrun enemy bullets in Atari-land. Unsurprisingly, the protagonist of Front Line is equipped with both bullets and grenades (squares and somewhat different looking squares). What's odd is that the weapon is swapped automatically based on the given scenario. It's an inconsequential cosmetic change, but I appreciate the effort.

I believe this game started the "empty tank" trend. These can be found lying around the battlefield. Hop in one and your protagonist becomes slightly more mobile and can take an additional hit before expiring. There are enemy tanks to contend with too, naturally. I'm amused by the fact that the "final boss" can only be damaged by thrown grenades but not the tank's weaponry. Seems realistic.
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Graphically, the game holds up pretty decently, with the rocks, trees, water, cacti, and so on all standing out well against the backdrops. There's no music to speak of, just "Atari explosions" and the rhythmic beat of heroic footsteps. Difficulty can be altered slightly by derping with the switches on the console itself, by altering how many enemy sprites will appear per "screen." There's also a two player mode, but it's alternating and thus rather pointless. Just pass the joystick, man.

My only gripe with Front Line has to do with the size of hitboxes. They're too big. The resulting problem has little to do with "pure combat" (you're an easy target, thus so are enemies) but the fact that it's so easy to get stuck on the scenery. Ever seen a supersoldier foiled by a two-foot bush? You will.

Overall, a noble outing from Coleco. Some would argue that the soon-to-follow NES conversions of games like Commando and Heavy Barrel make something like Atari Front Line all but obsolete, but I'll always appreciate the brevity, unpretentiousness, and quiet dignity of the Atari classics.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:55 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
BoneSnapDeez wrote:Elkin on summer vacation now.


:lol:

Yep...

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:39 pm

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 63
* 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 (7 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
48. Corpse Killer - Saturn - April 11*
49. Area 51 - Saturn - April 16*
50. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers - Sega CD - April 17
51. SD Gundam G Generation Genesis - PlayStation 4 - April 28*


May (6 Games Beaten)
52. Detention - PlayStation 4 - May
53. Guacamelee - Wii U - May 6
54. EDGE - Wii U - May 7
55. RUSH - Wii U - May 9
56. Pokemon Snap - Nintendo 64 - May 27
57. Doom VFR - PS VR - May 27


June (6 Games Beaten)
58. Jurassic Pinball - Switch - June 8
59. Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn - Switch - June 9
60. Lost Sphear - Switch - June 11
61. Medal of Honor Heroes 2 - Wii - June 12
62. Medal of Honor: Vanguard - Wii - June 14
63. Pokemon Quest - Switch - June 15


63. Pokemon Quest - Switch - June 15

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Pokemon Quest is the game that no one asked for, no one really wanted, but most of us are enjoying nonetheless. It was a bit of a surprise announcement at Nintendo's E3 conference, and what was more surprising to most of us was that it launched on Switch several weeks before launching on mobile as the game seems to be developed with mobile in mind given its freemium model.

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Pokemon Quest is a strategy...ish...game. You can have a party of up to three Pokemon each of which knows one or two special moves in addition to the default attack. You use these Pokemon to battle wild Pokemon on your "expeditions" to explore a bizarrely cube-shaped island. You can buy decorations that have various effects with tickets, and you get an allowance of tickets every 22 hours as well as a new Pokemon friend that wanders into your camp every 22 hours. You can get more tickets by completing some quests, and cooking with ingredients that you find from defeating wild Pokemon can attract new Pokemon to your camp. There's also a paid aspect to the game that can get you some paid DLC decorations that have some REALLY good effects, but those are totally unnecessary to complete the game. They just make it a hell of a lot easier. If you want to go all-in, the combo pack that gives you all of the extra content plus a bonus is $30. A little steep for a F2P game, but if you think of it as a $30 game instead, it seems a bit more reasonable (although still a little overpriced in my opinion).

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Inevitably, you'll hit a wall where you just aren't strong enough to progress. It's at this point that some grinding becomes useful, and I don't just mean experience grinding although that's certainly part of it. Each Pokemon can equip up to nine power stones that boost either HP or attack strength, and the number of slots increases as the Pokemon's level goes up with the ninth slot not unlocking until you hit level 100. These power stones are random drops from defeating wild Pokemon and completing expeditions, so that's the second benefit of grinding after experience. The other benefit is grinding to stockpile ingredients that you can use to cook more (and better) recipes to attract stronger Pokemon to your camp. You may find a Pokemon that's a higher level and/or has better moves that you want to put in your team, or you may end up using the new Pokemon as training fodder for the Level Up training which gives the trained Pokemon experience in exchange for sacrificing the Pokemon used to help with the training.

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Since grinding will be necessary especially if you plan to dive into the postgame content, it's an absolute godsend that there's an auto function. If you press up on the D pad when you get into an expedition, your Pokemon will act on their own. This can make it EXTREMELY useful for grinding as long as you pick a stage you're a bit overpowered for because you can have your Pokemon pretty much grind on their own while you go do something else be it clean or play another game. One more benefit of grinding for ingredients and cooking to get Pokemon to use in training is that it gives you an opportunity to find an elusive shiny Pokemon. While they're MUCH more common in Pokemon Quest than in the main series game - I played for around 40 hours and found three or four in that time - they're still a pretty special occurrence when one wanders into your base camp.

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Pokemon Quest was a huge surprise for me. I wasn't a big fan of the art style at first, and the gameplay took a couple levels to grow on me, but once I was hooked, I was hooked hard. The $0.00 price tag is certainly appealing, but if you really love the game, don't feel bad about buying some of the DLC. It may be a bit steep with regards to price, but for those of us for whom the game just "clicks," it might be a game worth spending a little money on. Either way, if you have a Switch or, once it releases for Android and iOS, a smartphone, it's definitely worth downloading since there's no cost to download.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:13 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
10. Treasures of the Savage Frontier - PC
11. Champions of Krynn - PC
12. Death Knights of Krynn - PC
13. Dark Queen of Krynn - PC
14. Into the Breach - PC
15. Lords of the Realm - PC
16. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands - PC
17. Lords of the Realm II - PC
18. The Alliance Alive - 3DS
19. Shattered Steel - PC
20. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition - PC
21. Battletech - PC
22. Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part I - PC
23. Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part II - PC
24. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - Switch
25. Pillars of Eternity II - PC
26. Dragon Ball FighterZ - PS4
27. Detroit: Become Human - PC4
28. Call of Duty: United Offensive - PC
29. The Last of Us - PS4

After I saw the footage of a red headed woman murdering a bunch of religious zealots in a variety of fun and impactful ways in a post apocalyptic wasteland I new I had made a mistake in skipping The Last of Us. So I decided to rectify that. I originally passed on it because it looked like "yet another zombie game" in that glut we had a few years ago. And while it is a zombie game, it's as much a more standard post apocalyptic story, examining humanity in a world where society has broken down. Zombies are just the catalyst. And finally, it's a major example in the "Dad Game" genre, where you play the role of someone who grows into fatherhood, as part of the devs making penance for the fact that they've missed out on being proper fathers to instead focus on work.

The Last of Us involves a zombie outbreak that is probably the most plausible; a mutant strain of Cordyceps fugus, which in the real world is a parasite amongst insects and screws with their internal chemistry, is able to affect humans, and in the process of replacing their brain tissue causes them to become vicious. After the initial intro that sets up why Joel is biter and cynical you flash to 20 years later, in a world where small enclaves of people hold out against the hordes in the wilderness that can spread fungal spores through saliva (i.e. bites). Joel is now a grizzled survivor and gets tapped to escort a girl named Ellie who is seemingly immune to the infection; the hope is that she can be used to create an immunization and thus allow society to come back. Initially your job is just to get her to the hand off point, but naturally events happen and you end up having to take her all the way. Along the way the two of you grow closer, and eventually forge a parent child bond.

Now, the strongest part of the game is the storytelling. The plot is well crafted and extremely well delivered. The characters growing together is not just being told to you; there's a lot of little things and the various stages of their relationship are all believable. One thing that helps is some really good facial mocap, as well as some good voice acting. The heavy parts are delivered well, and you could easily turn this game into a TV miniseries adapting the plot without losing much. While you will probably see all the story beats before they happen (because they're all standard for the general story genre), they are still impactful due to the relationships you build with the characters.

The gameplay is unfortunately the weaker part of the game. There's some stuff that is just infuriating, and other parts that are only mediocre. The parts that do story through the gameplay were honestly my favorite parts. Segments where you are walking through the wasteland and talking with other characters and exploring the ruins of society, as well as parts where you are just traversing physical obstacles allow for more of that character and world building, which fuels into the game's strong point. By contrast, the combat is half the time blah and the other half intensely frustrating. You tend to bounce between two types of enemies. The first is the zombies; these come in a few forms. Your standard shuffling zombie make up the majority. They run at you and try to eat your face, and go down relatively easily, though they frequently can get in a hit and slowly wear you down with attrition. The other one (not counting the third boss-type) is the clicker, which is an advanced stage zombie that has a mushroom replacing its head, making it blind. Instead it uses echo location, and so they become the centerpiece of a stealth focus. The other part of that is that they can't be stealth killed without spending a consumable, and if they're active the only way to take them down without getting instant killed is with your guns (or get super lucky with a melee weapon and swing at the right time to win priority). Early game these guys require stealth, because your pistol isn't good enough to take them down. But the regular zombies are a pain in the ass to deal with stealth wise, because they like to randomly rotate and see you and trigger everyone else coming after you. Later game you have enough good guns to go loud when necessary.

By contrast, the human enemies are much more standard. The combat is never satisfying; you generally will stealth kill several before you get boxed in and then need to trade cover shots at each other using anemic feeling weaponry. The other thing that annoyed me is I'm using dual analog controls to try and do very precise aiming; I missed a ton of shots because I was off by a millimeter on my aiming. I compare it to Horizon Zero Dawn, where you aren't trying to hit a tiny target at long range, which was much more suited to the shitty precision of dual analog. An annoying part of the human enemies is that in many segments they tend to come in waves, and if you finish a wave in a bad spot the next wave immediately spots you. Fortunately, the game is extremely generious in its quick save system (which is also nice for when the super zombies instant kill you), even saving in between waves and reloading with them reset so you are hidden and they aren't fully alerted, so you can try again without getting screwed over. The sheer number of human enemies at times strains credulity, given the setting and the various explanations as to why this particular group is antagonistic against you. You would think that after you kill the first ten that maybe they just cut their losses, rather than sending in more into the meat grinder. It's a video game trope, but it sticks out more here because it's at odds with the story.

The other thing to note is the game very much is on the survival side of survival horror. Your max ammo capacity is small and you never get much ammo to begin with, so you never feel like you can just rambo stuff. Which is appropriate for the setting, but again has a bit of cognitive dissonance when you kill a bunch of pistol toting enemies but only one drops three bullets and the rest drop nothing. If this were a TV series there would be less enemies that take more shots fired to kill (with many being misses) to maintain the scavenger feel.

The good definitely outweighs the bad, and I'm definitely glad I played. It looks like they've made the combat more serviceable in the second game based on the trailer, so I'm looking forward to that. And I'm most interested to see what the arc is going to be, as things are wrapped up pretty cleanly by the end of the first game.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:27 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
11. Champions of Krynn - PC
12. Death Knights of Krynn - PC
13. Dark Queen of Krynn - PC
14. Into the Breach - PC
15. Lords of the Realm - PC
16. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands - PC
17. Lords of the Realm II - PC
18. The Alliance Alive - 3DS
19. Shattered Steel - PC
20. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition - PC
21. Battletech - PC
22. Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part I - PC
23. Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part II - PC
24. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - Switch
25. Pillars of Eternity II - PC
26. Dragon Ball FighterZ - PS4
27. Detroit: Become Human - PC4
28. Call of Duty: United Offensive - PC
29. The Last of Us - PS4
30. The Last of Us: Left Behind - PS4

Left Behind is a short piece of story DLC that comes bundled in the PS4 release. It's set during a specific time skip of the original game, but half of it is also flashbacks to Ellie before the start of the base game. The flashbacks are done entirely as the exploration story stuff that was so good in the base game, and it continues to be excellent here. It gives you another look into Ellie and I now have a greater appreciation for the E3 TLOU2 trailer, so it's recommended playing. The parts set during the time skip are more of the same in terms of the explore a bit, then deal with some zombies, then more explore cycle of the base game. One new thing that is pretty awesome is they finally had segments where both zombies and humans show up; you can exploit this to severely reduce the odds against you, as the enemies tend to attract the zombies and they kill each other off. The whole thing clocks in at a couple of hours, and it's worth playing for the flashback parts alone.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:30 pm

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

1-20

21. Deadbolt (Steam)
22. Legend of Grimrock 2 (Steam)
23. The Witness (PS4)
24. Uurnog (PC)
25. Fire Emblem Warriors (Switch)
26. Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)
27. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
28. Magicka 2 (PS4)*

29. Tales of Phantasia (PSP)

I started going through the GBA version of this about a month ago, and then realized that I really wanted to play a different port of it on a TV, because the 4-button controls of the GBA were driving me crazy :P . Flake had brought to my attention a week or so earlier that you could play PSP games on the TV through a PSTV, so I fumbled through getting PSN cash onto my Japanese PSN account and bought the PSP remake of Tales of Phantasia on the Japanese PSN store, and boy was it ever worth it! I played through it in Japanese, on normal mode, and with only slight use of a guide to get past some of the less self-explanatory puzzles, it took me just about 36.5 hours. This is my 8th game completed in the main Tales series, so I have finally completed half of them :D

I'm unsure on if there's a translation patch available for the ROM or anything, but the PSP ports (a slight variation of this version is packed into the PSP remake of ToP's GBA sequel) are definitely the ways I'd most highly recommend playing through ToP. Fully voiced main-story dialogue really brought some emotion and life to the story that I'd really not felt in the GBA version. Quality of life features that were added after the SFC version like 8-directional movement and a lower encounter rate are also present. The music is also beautiful, as I believe it was taken from the PS1 port. The music and overworld as well as much of the battle sprites were taken from the PS1 version, with a lot of the in-town designs taken from the SFC version. However, most of the item placement is more like that of the PS1 version (from what I can tell from guides online XP). The 3D overworld is a bit hideous compared to the how pretty the 2D towns and dungeons, but it's far from a deal-breaker, as you spend far more time in towns and dungeons than in the overworld. Playing through it on a PS3 controller was way more comfortable than using the PSP or GBA controls ever would've been, and I never had any problems controlling it on the PS3.

The controls and battle system are very Tales but with some notable differences from later versions of the fairly familiar way the 2D games operate their battle system aside from the fact that only the main character can be played. The most notable differences are firstly that you cannot select your target and that "manual" control mode isn't a default control option. You just sorta need to point yourself at what enemies you're trying to fight, but the PS1's battle sprites are so big and well detailed compared to earlier versions that I never really had a problem with this. This does, however, also mean that you can't have a life-bar on any enemy unless you're actively using a Lens on them, which is annoying but not unique to this game (although it's something I would've liked to see fixed in an enhanced port like this :? ). It's also worth mentioning that even though this version still has the battles freeze while most spells are happening, the port of ToP found packed in with the remake of the sequel also on PSP allows the battles to keep moving during spells, which will likely make them move much faster but also I imagine would make them more difficult.

The semi-auto mode of control in this game has your main character running forward and back trying to automatically do doges and sprints, when mostly what it does is mean you're letting off pressure allowing the enemy to regain its composure to start attacking you back. You can only stop this by putting your character control on manual mode, but that can only be done while wearing the "Technical Ring" accessory, so you need to sacrifice an accessory slot to actually not play in a way that will kill you. There are some times where playing in semi-auto is more beneficial just because the game handles upward/aerial attacks so much better than you, but it's still a really stupid design decision. They did move the technical ring much farther forward in the game (you get it like 10-ish hours in instead of right before the end of the game), but that's another thing like how Lenses work that is just a stupid design choice from the original that really had no reason not to be updated for a modern release. The game controls just fine and the annoyances can certainly be operated around, but that doesn't negate that fact that those annoyances are still there.

The story is a bit rough, but the voice acting really helps carry it despite the fact that it feels disjointed and slightly unfinished at times. Given that the story was adapted from an unreleased book the creator had originally written, that's not to be entirely unexpected, but it's still an issue. Things like the relationships between the main party members and how sympathetic/unsympathetic the main villain may or may not be are done adequately but still feel rushed or incomplete at times, particularly the details surrounding the main villain's motivations and the party's speculations about them. Daos is far from the worst villain the series has had, and is more than serviceable even if it feels like he probably should've been given more screentime, and while the main cast are almost entirely archetypes the Tales series would come back to again and again, they're done well enough not to feel boring just as the other Tales games tend to portray them.

Verdict: Recommended. It's far from the best Tales game, but it's also very far from the worst. It shows its age and its being first in the series through annoyances in its combat system and gaps in its story, but they're far from deal-breaking. This is a fantastic port of Tales of Phantasia, but if you like retro ARPG's then this is definitely one to check out no matter what port you're playing :D
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:50 pm

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 64
* 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 (7 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
48. Corpse Killer - Saturn - April 11*
49. Area 51 - Saturn - April 16*
50. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers - Sega CD - April 17
51. SD Gundam G Generation Genesis - PlayStation 4 - April 28*


May (6 Games Beaten)
52. Detention - PlayStation 4 - May
53. Guacamelee - Wii U - May 6
54. EDGE - Wii U - May 7
55. RUSH - Wii U - May 9
56. Pokemon Snap - Nintendo 64 - May 27
57. Doom VFR - PS VR - May 27


June (7 Games Beaten)
58. Jurassic Pinball - Switch - June 8
59. Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn - Switch - June 9
60. Lost Sphear - Switch - June 11
61. Medal of Honor Heroes 2 - Wii - June 12
62. Medal of Honor: Vanguard - Wii - June 14
63. Pokemon Quest - Switch - June 15
64. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth - 3DS - June 17


64. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth - 3DS - June 17

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Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is basically the result of Atlus execs getting together and saying "How can make a game that embodies fan service for our IPs?" The answer, of course, is to put Persona 3 characters and Persona 4 characters into one game that uses the Etrian Odyssey style of dungeon crawling with a few cameos and references to other Atlus IPs like Catherine thrown in for good measure. Somehow, through what I can describe only as Atlus wizardry, they manage all of that without having the game feel like a haphazard cash grab (looking at you, Project X Zone).

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The base story of Persona Q is that the characters of Persona 3 and Persona 4 both find themselves inexplicably pulled into this mysterious world to which a small bubble of the Velvet Room connects. You pick either the P3 protag or the P4 protag to be your "main" character when you start the game, but the choice is almost completely meaningless; the only thing it affects is what party you get for the very first little tutorial dungeon. After that, aside from a couple unimportant lines of dialogue here and there, it really doesn't make any difference. The story is the same, the dungeons are the same, the enemies are the same. Once you get past that tutorial, you can mix and match P3 and P4 characters in your party however you want.

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Let's start with what I loved about the game. It has the Persona 3 characters AND the Persona 4 characters. That alone was enough to sell me on the game. As for what I didn't like so much, the dungeon crawling is a big one. It's less that I hated the dungeon crawling and more that the dungeons were too long and, as a result, started feeling monotonous and boring about halfway through each one. I've never played an Etrian Odyssey game, but if they're all like this, I think it's a series I'll continue to avoid. The other issue is a common problem with Persona and, more generally, Shin Megami Tensei games - game fatigue. It's just too long for what it offers. The dungeons get so long and complex that, while fun if viewed in isolation, they just start feeling like padding to lengthen the game. It took me just under 70 hours to finish Persona Q, and while that did include some side stuff, I feel like 40 hours would have been a good length for this game. It just wore out its welcome, so to speak, and I found myself finishing the game not because I was still enjoying it but because I had already invested 50+ hours and wanted to call it done.

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Problems with pacing aside, anyone who's had any experience with the Shin Megami Tensei series - ESPECIALLY the Persona sub-series - should know that a killer soundtrack is basically a pre-requisite, and Persona Q is no exception. I personally don't think it quite matches the greatness that was Persona 4's OST, but Persona Q is an absolute auditory delight. The visuals are also quite nice and are stylized to make best use of the 3DS hardware. If Atlus went for the normal relatively proportioned art style in most Persona games, it would have highlighted the relative deficit in hardware power that the 3DS has, but by going for a more chibi style, the characters all had a cute, artistic look while avoiding the perception that they were trying to hide the system's graphical limitations not unlike the use of cel shaded visuals on the Wii. It works brilliantly and really showcases the artistic talent at work in Atlus.

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Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is not only the first Persona game to be developed specifically for Nintendo hardware but its also a P3/P4 crossover alongside the two Persona 4 Arena games. As is often the case for Shin Megami Tensei games, it's a big longer than I think it needed to be clocking in between 60 and 70 hours, but it's not quite as extreme in that regard as Persona 3 FES. The first person dungeon crawling breaks from the norm for Persona, but then again, so did a 1v1 fighter and a rhythm game, so I guess it really shouldn't surprise me much. While I got tired of it about 3/4 of the way through, I did get a LOT of enjoyment out of the first half of my time with this game, and I have no problem recommending it for fans of Persona 3 and Persona 4 or fans of first person dungeon crawlers in general. It's not a game for players of low stamina, and the gameplay style wasn't quit suited to my particular tastes, but it's an excellent game in design and execution. It's a very good game, but as is par for Atlus games, I suspect it will hold its value relatively well.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by dsheinem Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:33 pm

Games Beaten 2018

Darkwing Duck - NES (PS4)
DuckTales - NES (PS4)
DuckTales 2 - NES (PS4)
Talespin - NES (PS4)
Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers - NES (PS4)
Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers 2 - NES (PS4)
Scarecrow - PS1 (Vita)
The Heart of Dark - PS1 (Vita)
Justice - PS1 (Vita)
Caligo - PC
Tomb Raider (2013) - X1
Nephise Begins - PC
Diablo III: The Darkening of Tristam - PC
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - X1
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest - SNES
Forza Horizon 3 - X1/ PC
Elbub - PC
Tekken 4 -PS2
Injustice 2 -PS4
Apollo 11 VR - PSVR
Star Wars Battlefront II -PS4
Unearthing Mars - PSVR
Jenny of the Prairie - C64
Part Time UFO - - iOS
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite - PS4
War of the Monsters -PS2
Far Cry 5 - PS4
Uncharted: Lost Legacy - PS4
Soul Calibur 2 - GCN
God of War (2018) - PS4 *new*
Orcs and Elves - NDS
Tekken 7 - PS4
House of the Dead 4 Special - PS3
S.A.R. (Search and Rescue) - PS3
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR - PSVR
Time Crisis: Razing Storm - PS3
Time Crisis IV - PS3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance - PS4
Dodonpachi Saidaioujou - 360
Ketsui Kizuna Shigokutachi Extra - PS3
Bad Dudes - Arcade (Wii) *new*
Crude Buster - Arcade (Wii) *new*
Wizard Fire - Arcade (Wii) *new*
Heavy Barrel - Arcade (Wii) *new*
The Bouncer - PS2 *new*

Total: 45


Previously: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

Most of these are things I have been playing for this month's Together Retro, so I have been/will be posting about them in that thread...
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Markies Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:28 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)
*9. X-Men Vs. Street Fighter (PS1)*
*10. Mafia (XBOX)*
11. James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire (GCN)
12. ChuChu Rocket! (SDC)
*13. Super Metroid (SNES)*
14. Final Fantasy II (NES)
15. Devil May Cry (PS2)
16. Mega Man: The Wily Wars (GEN)
17. Secret of Evermore (SNES)

18. Test Drive: Eve of Destruction (PS2)

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I beat Test Drive: Eve of Destruction on the Sony Playstation 2 this evening.

I knew enough about the Test Drive series to stay far away from it. Early last year, I tried the very first game and it was an absolute horrible racing game. However, there is one bright spot in the series and that is Test Drive: Eve of Destruction. My friend picked up this game on the original XBOX several years ago and so I bought it rather quickly afterwards on the PS2. However, it was far behind my PS2 backlog for several years until I finally changed my gaming style. With me being able to choose whatever game I want to play, I decided I had to play one of my most excited and known games for some car crashing fun.

I have lost track with the amount of hours my friend and I have put into his XBOX version. In fact, I sometimes play it to unlock some features while he is not around. The game is one of my favorite playing racing games and just the most fun you can have. It takes the concept of an old Demolition Derby and ramps it up as far it would go. Just imagine an event called a Figure 8 Jump Race and you can imagine the amount of joy and carnage that you can muster. Another favorite event is entitled the Suicide Race where 8 drivers drive one way and 8 more drive another way. You can do all those events with a friend and it is just an absolute blast to play. For a single player, you can do the Career Mode where you start with one car and are Rank 100. You can have a total of 4 cars and you try to become Rank #1. Every event that has several races in it and if you win the event, you gain 5 rank spots. All of your cars take damage and some of it is permanent, so you spend your earnings on fixing your cars, upgrades and buying new cars. There are also numerous races around that you can do to earn more money. But, near the end, you need strategy to decide which car you can throw out to an event and which you need to save for later.

The music and PA Announcer get annoying real fast and the final events get frustrating as you start at last place in every single race. However, those are the smallest of nitpicks. If you have ever wanted to see cars crash in mid air or head on collisions at 80 MPH or School Buses making huge jumps, this is the game for you. One of my favorite and the best mindless fun racing game you could ever find. Don't let the Test Drive name full you, this is a great racing game!
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