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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:39 pm

I’ve always loved the music in Double Dragon, especially in the last level when the already great music switches back to the game’s theme for the final showdown. Just so awesome.

I also agree that some of the gameplay hasn’t held up that well, having played through it again recently. It is one of the few arcade games I beat multiple times as a kid, and it was absolutely mind-blowing at release. Nothing in the genre really touched it until Capxom released Final Fight (and began dominating the genre) several years later.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:06 pm

1. Antarctic Adventure (Famicom)
2. Nuts & Milk (Famicom)
3. Commando (Atari 2600)
4. Binary Land (Famicom)
5. Devil World (Famicom)
6. Disney's Aladdin (SNES)
7. Popeye (NES)
8. Super Mario Land (Game Boy)
9. Ys: The Vanished Omens (Sega Master System)
10 Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter (Famicom)
11. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)
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)
27. Donkey Kong 3 (NES)
28. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Game Boy)
29. Exerion (Famicom)
30. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Bad Dudes (Switch eShop)
31. Arcade Archives: Double Dragon (Switch eShop)
32. ACA NeoGeo: Ninja Combat (Switch eShop)
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Ya know, I've always been kind of ambivalent about the Neo Geo (using "Neo Geo" as a collective term for the MVS, AES, and CD hardware plus their respective games). Don't get me wrong - the holistic Neo Geo library is undeniably solid, the massive carts are legendary, and SNK certainly had their own unique flair and style. That said, as a pure "arcade system" there's an overabundance of fighters, shooters, and brawlers, and a complete lack of substantial RPGs and adventure games. And the price of admission was, and is, completely insane. And the investment wasn't always justified. Why pay $200 for Cyber-Lip when NES Contra is a thing that exists?

Thankfully, SNK has been quite gracious in continually porting and re-releasing their classics. One game that recently arrived on the Switch (via Hamster and their ACA line) was the (AES) launch title brawler, Ninja Combat. This is a game about ninjas. A couple of good ninjas, identical twin brothers Joe and Hayabusa, battling bad ninjas. The game is structured like an average beat 'em up from the era: walk to the right and kill or be killed. Combat is rather shallow: there are no punches, kicks, combos, or grappling. Instead, playable characters utilize a sort of rapid-fire projectile, somewhat reminiscent of the weaponry seen in Data East's Gate of Doom. There's also a roll that can aid in dodging, and a hit-all special attack that drains one (of four) unit of life. Strangely, one may opt to skip the bats, axes, and other implements that litter the city streets, as while they ostensibly increase attack power they significantly decrease attack range.
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One unique feature of Ninja Combat involves character selection. Upon booting the game, only the stock ninjas are available. Progression throughout the game unlocks a trio of allies, and the player can opt to switch between them at the start of each new level. In tandem with this recruitment comes a "story" relayed via cutscenes. It's absolute crap, though the exaggerated muffled Engrish voice-acting is guaranteed to illicit a few laughs. Unfortunately, there's very little discernible difference between each playable character, no reason to ever select one over the other. I just went with my personal favorite: Kagerow, the wind-spirit female shinobi.

On paper, this game looks pretty great. Unfortunately, the deficiencies are immediate, obvious, and persistent. Animation is slow and stiff. The sheer number of enemies on-screen is comical, and many are prone to utilize nigh-unavoidable two-hit combos that spell certain doom. It's a "cheap" quarter-munching experience, and there's absolutely no incentive to practice to build competency. Bosses are downright puzzling. Some are equipped with instant-death attacks, while others can be defeated without taking any damage. During the final boss battle I found a "safe zone" onscreen where the Big Bad was unable to land a single attack; it felt like a semi-glitch straight out of the NES era.
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Graphically, the sprites look fantastic but environments are drab and unimpressive. There was an attempt to mix things up a bit with the addition of climbable chain link fences and a conveyor belt segment, but it all seems to come too little, too late. Music exists, but is a mere footnote.

Despite the well-deserved criticism, I can't hate on this one. It isn't great, but it is a fascinating glimpse into the early Neo Geo capabilities. As the cliché goes, it's probably worth trying once. For a legitimately cool Neo Geo ninja game, check out the run and gun Ninja Commando.
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lordb0rb4
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by lordb0rb4 Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:34 pm

Oh nice write up Bones, i finished Ninja Combat this week but i intend to set up my neo geo cd to play it on real hardware tomorrow!
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:33 pm

Ah, the CD! There's a handful of games I still want for the NGCD. Lots of stuff is "cheaper" there.
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lordb0rb4
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by lordb0rb4 Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:42 pm

Can't hardly wait for tomorrow guys...
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NeoGeo all weekend long!
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:14 pm

Time for an update...

1. Bastion (iOS)
2. LaserCat (360)
3. Zombie Incident (3DS)
4. Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (3DS)
5. Monument Valley 2 (iOS)
6. Zenge (iOS)
7. Master of Darkness (Game Gear/3DS)
8. Wonder Boy (SMS)
9. Full Throttle Remastered (iOS)
10. Adventure Island (NES)
11. Adventure Island II (NES)
12. Adventure Island (GB)
13. Super Adventure Island (SNES)
14. New Adventure Island (TG16)
15. Adventure Island III (NES)
16. The Legend of the Ghost Lion (NES)
17. Part Time UFO (iOS)
18. Adventure Island II: Aliens in Paradise (GB)
19. Adventure Island IV (NES)
20. Super Adventure Island II (SNES)
21. Adventure Island: The Beginning (WII)
22. Quell Memento (3DS)
23. Wonder Boy in Monster Land (ARCADE)
24. Saiyuuki World (FAMICOM)
25. Whomp ‘Em (NES)
26. Bikkuriman World (TG16)
27. Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (TG16)
28. Go Series: Picdun (DS)
29. The Keep (3DS)
30. Dooors (3DS)
31. Ninja Gaiden (ARCADE)
32. Advance Guardian Heroes (GBA)
33. TMNT (GBA)
34. Double Dragon Advance (GBA)
35. Mighty Final Fight (NES)
36. Double Dragon II (ARCADE)
37. Kung Fu Master (GB)


I ended up playing through a bunch of games for this month’s TR, which I ended up enjoying way, way more than I anticipated heading into the month.

Advance Guardian Heroes (GBA) Is a solid follow up to the best beat ‘em up. It’s a very different game, and it pushed the GBA a little too far at times. It is classic Treasure, though.

TMNT (GBA) Is a really solid, great-looking beat ‘em up with pretty deep mechanics and a fun upgrade system. (The game is like a cross between TMNT: The Arcade Game and River City Ransom.) It’s really too bad it’s based on a pretty weak movie and, as a result, doesn’t feature any classic TMNT enemies. If it had featured characters like Krang, Bebop, and the Shredder - and also a better soundtrack - it would have been outstanding.

Double Dragon Advance (GBA) is the best version of a classic arcade game (that I still love, warts and all). It incorporates enemies from Double Dragon II and Super Double Dragon, along with elements from the NES game and a drastically expanded move set. Just outstanding.

Mighty Final Fight (NES) was the stand out this month. It looks and sounds great, like a classic Mega Man game, and I absolutely adored it. It is just so much fun and so rewarding. I have loved a lot of NES games, but this one might be in my personal top ten. It is so, so good, and it may be the best beat ‘em up on the system.

Double Dragon II (ARCADE) was pretty disappointing. It starts out OK, but it is just inferior to its predecessor in every way. I mean, it’s OK, but I don’t think I’ll be coming back to it.

Kung Fu Master (GB) is a solid portable sequel to Kung Fu (NES) or, if you prefer, Kung Fu Master (ARCADE). It looks fine, and plays OK. The difficulty also ramps way down after the third boss for some reason, and you can beat it pretty easily if you practice at it for an hour or so. In any event, it is way better than Vigilante.

.....

I’ll be traveling a lot next month; so, that’ll be “clean up” month for me. I still need to beat Shadow Tower, and I’ll try to get through a few left over beat ‘em ups from this month (i.e., Double Dragon 3, Gekido, Renegade, and Vigilante). If I’m lucky, I may even knock out a Wonder Boy game or two...
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by noiseredux Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:28 am

I didn't know Advanced Guardian Heroes was a follow up to Streets of Rage :wink:
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:40 am

noiseredux wrote:I didn't know Advanced Guardian Heroes was a follow up to Streets of Rage :wink:


:lol:

Fair enough.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:57 am

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)
30. BOXBOXBOY! (3DS)
31. Blossom Tales (Switch)

32. Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (Steam)

I really like Wolfenstein The New Order. It's one of my favorite FPS I've ever played with its big, meaty guns, fast-paced shooting, and alt-history Nazi-brutalizing story. All things I really enjoy. I'd held off on getting the stand-alone expansion for this long because I'd heard it was basically a re-hash of the first's biggest points but not quite as good. Having just beaten the first game twice in a row, I held off on getting TOB because I thought more of the same would probably burn me out. Having waited these 3 or so years to play it, it's played more or less exactly as I'd heard it did. I played on hard mode and it took me just about 10 hours.

The Guns:
The shooting and gameplay is effectively identical to New Order. You can dash, lean to see stuff, dual wield most guns, all familiar stuff. There are some new weapons in the form of a standard rifle (not the crazy moon laser ones from New Order), a kind of "emergency" grenade pistol, a pipe melee weapon you can use like a bat, and a sawed off shotgun. Unlike New Order, however, no guns in Old Blood have an alt-fire mode. None of the new weapons are that special though.

You can mow down enemies like nobody's business with the sniper rifle, because they love standing still so you can get headshots, so even someone like me who can't aim worth crap can even take down Nazi's like a champ. The pipe is pretty worthless though, as is the sawed-off, as Nazi's can melee you so quickly that you can never get in close to use it against them, and the sawed-off shotgun is basically just a gimmick weapon that's 100% worse than the New Order shotgun that it doesn't replace. It was just something to look cool in the trailer, as far as I can tell. The grenade pistol is neat, but ammo is so limited for it that I often just conserved it so much that I forgot I even had it XP

With the silenced pistol and the pipe melee weapons, this game has more of a stealth-emphasis than New Order did, but I don't think it was really to the game's strengths. By having so many encounters so heavily encourage stealth (as so many have commanders that will summon TONS of reinforcements if you're seen if they're not silently taken out), it really takes away a lot of the frantic, fun running around from cover to cover that made New Order so much fun for me. A lot of this game's elements don't really gel well with the engine that it's building off of, and the level design is just one of them.


The New Enemies:
The other element of the game that really hampers enjoyment would be the new enemy type. The heavily armored Super Soldiers appear very briefly in New Order, but they're a regularly encountered enemy in this. They're a neat stealth-gimmick in the first level when you're unarmed, but later on when they're patrolling, they make a non-stealth approach basically suicide. They're usually patrolling an area with commanders about, so encountering them directly is mostly just a great way to die as they must first be shot near the head until they collapse, special melee'd to break off their chest, and then shot in the chest until they explode. Given the giant gattling gun they carry which can easily mince you, they're really best saved until last. The prevalence of Super Soldiers really makes the stealth approach the only viable one in most situations, especially in the late game, which is why I believe Old Blood was designed as a whole with a stealthy approach in mind and it's not just a case of me being dumb and doing it in a not fun way :P . The game just isn't designed around its strengths, and it really suffers for it.

The other new enemy type is zombies, which while neat the first time are just so generally non-threatening that they REALLY feel like a gimmick. A quick shot with any gun to the head will kill them, and they never really appear in great enough numbers to pose any kind of threat worth taking seriously like the Nazis with guns are. Zombies occasionally have guns, but they move so much more slowly and aim so badly that they're only slightly more lethal than the normal unarmed ones. The zombies being so nonthreatening but only appearing mostly in the second half of the game is why the first 4 chapters took me
about 5 hours to get through while the next 4 took me about half as long. Sure, they make it more action-y, but it isn't in a way that's really interesting or better when compared with the game this one directly compares itself to. I will say though, the final boss fight fucking rocks, and it's definitely the high point of the game.


The Story:
The game is very similar to New Order in story-beats as well. You go into a suicide mission, you get captured, your friend you go in with is killed by a horrible bad guy, you go kill that bad guy, you find the resistance, etc, etc. The main problem Old Blood has is its length though. You don't have time to get to know or care about any of these characters to really give enough of a shit about them. The only exception are the first big bad guy and the friend you go in with, who are both fun, good characters, but they're both death halfway through the game and all you're left with are the resistance members you barely interact with and a bad guy who is nowhere near as compelling as the first (although the game REALLY wants you to think that she is). That combined with how quickly the last half of the levels can be completed just give the second half of the game
a weird, unfinished feeling compared to the first half.


Verdict: Not Recommended. If you're a big fan of the way New Order plays and you NEED more Wolfenstein a like that, then this really isn't much of a game for you, because I'm that guy and I didn't really like it. If you like FPS games in general and you want something a bit different, then this may interest you. It's not as good as the first one. If anything, it succeeds at making New Order's mechanics feel mediocre and rushed. But it's far from a bad game, and it's far from unenjoyable. This is just another game that doesn't really do much anything that is both unique and actually an improvement on the games its directly comparing itself to (i.e. New Order). Anything it does well isn't done as well (or done just about as well) as New Order, and most anything unique it does isn't actually an improvement. Definitely not a bad pick-up if you can get it in the bundle for PS4 and Xbone that has it bundled with New Order (as it costs basically exactly the same as New Order stand-alone), but New Order is just SUCH a better game that it's really hard for me to recommend Old Blood for the price it still asks.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:50 pm

Finally up to date with these posts...

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)
27. Donkey Kong 3 (NES)
28. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Game Boy)
29. Exerion (Famicom)
30. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Bad Dudes (Switch eShop)
31. Arcade Archives: Double Dragon (Switch eShop)
32. ACA NeoGeo: Ninja Combat (Switch eShop)
33. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Wizard Fire (Switch eShop)
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Data East's Wizard Fire (1992) is the sequel to their RPG 'em up Gate of Doom. Much like its predecessor, Wizard Fire arrived on the Switch in 2018, courtesy of Johnny Turbo himself. By default the game is displayed in stretched-out CRT mode. I kinda like it.

Those familiar with Gate of Doom will find this one easy to pick up and play, as few core mechanics have been changed. That said, Wizard Fire does feature some significant alterations elsewhere. First and foremost is the expanded roster. The ninja is out; apparently Data East felt he didn't quite fit into a medieval fantasy world (Taito would beg to differ). In his stead are a male dwarf and female elf. Once again the differences between the characters are rather contrived. I go for the elf as she's apparently the fastest and most certainly the cutest. The story has been upped in this installment. Each stage is bookended by a conversation between the valiant warriors, as they approach the evil floating castle of doom. Voice-acting is comically bad and meme-worthy, but the character designs look awesome. They're decidedly amateurish, a strange hodgepodge of anime and Saturday morning cartoon, and I can't help but adore how everything and everyone looks. Despite the cornball factor and stilted dialogue, there's actually a decent sense of camaraderie among the heroes.
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In-game aesthetics have been greatly improved upon as well. Significant attention to detail was paid to level designs, and the environments are much more interesting overall. The journey begins in a ransacked town that wouldn't feel out of place in the Capcom Dungeons & Dragons games that would soon follow. Sprites are big and bold with fluid animations. And instead of being buried under the static of combat, Wizard Fire features a rousing soundtrack that takes center stage. Even the little jingle that plays upon level completion is fantastic. A final observation: the HUD has been flipped around so it's much less obtrusive compared to that of Gate of Doom. Overall, this is just a visually and aurally appealing slab of arcade action.

The two-button controls are back, with an isometric viewpoint utilized for navigation. There's a bit of additional depth to regular attacks. For instance, button-mashing will cause Eminna the elf to freeze in her tracks and unleash a sort of rapid-fire sword swipe, reminiscent of Chun-Li's lightning leg kicks. On the flip side, one should avoid button-mashing with some of the bulkier heroes, as they can unleash built-up charged attacks instead. "RPG" elements are kept very light: there are status effects, treasure, and equippable items, though the game doesn't do a great job in relaying what most things are actually used for.
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While this may appear to be objectively superior to Gate of Doom, there's one serious offense. The difficulty. This game is way too hard in a way that feels cheap, lazy, and exploitative. Only one life is allotted per credit. Status effects like poison and confusion are doled out constantly, and are essentially synonymous with instant death. Bosses are an absolute chore: massive HP tanks that can take hundreds of hits to kill. A certain duo of golems is the most obnoxious. They can only be harmed by direct hits to the head and the battle drags on for seemingly an eternity. The final boss is almost as obscene. Brew a pot of coffee before that fight and have a sack of quarters ready. Wizard Fire is designed to drain one of money (in this case: virtual money) and the constant need to continue screws with the overall pacing and progression.

Wizard Fire is fun, historically compelling, and often humorous, but oftentimes a slog, and it pales on comparison to Capcom's output and even Taito's Dungeon Magic. Still worth it for the cutscenes, though.
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