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laurenhiya21
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by laurenhiya21 Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:28 pm

With these two reviews, I'll be all caught up! :D These will probably also be my last games for the year. 2018 was a bit of a poop year (yay college!), but at least I managed to beat a good number of games this year. Hopefully next year will be a little better as I start to finish college up and get that degree!

12/15: Endless Ocean (Wii)
If you really need a chill game, Endless Ocean might be a good game to check out. There really isn’t too much to the game, as you are just swimming around various locations, exploring, and looking at different fish, but it’s all done really well. I never really had a problem with swimming (which I know can be a bit tricky in some games) and it was very nice to just look around for neat things hidden around or at all the different fish that you can find. The game is also accompanied by the occasional vocal track, which was a bit surprising to me. I think it fit fine in the game, as they were always calming and well sung, but it’s not often that you hear something like Ave Maria or Amazing Grace being sung in a game.

I don’t really have much else to say about the game, but I’m really glad I got around to playing Endless Ocean. I will definitely have to play the sequel, and maybe Aquanaut’s Holiday as well if I can ever get myself a copy.

12/28: Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky (PS3)
Still working my way through the Atelier series! For my last game in 2018 (unless I beat something super short I guess), I finally beat the conclusion to the Dusk trilogy. I don’t really want to get into the whole spiel about what the Atelier games are, but I thought that Atelier Shallie was a great Atelier game. It’s probably one of the darker ones I’ve played so far, as it takes place in a world where all of the water has almost completely dried up, but it still takes the time to have lighter moments with the characters hanging out to together. Plus the battles are still nice and quick and fun, without being too difficult either (at least on the easiest difficulty). The music here is probably the best I’ve heard from the Atelier games, which is saying something since I have loved the music from all of the other Atelier games that I’ve played so far. There are also some nice quality of life changes that I’ve been wanting forever (the encyclopedia pages for ingredients will tell you where to find them! So handy!) which are very much appreciated.

For downsides, I think that Atelier Shallie has quite a few mechanics that aren’t really explained very well. The biggest one is the alchemy system. While there are a lot of things that make it pretty similar to the system in past Atelier games, it’s also just different enough to be a bit confusing for me. I had a tough time figuring out how to best make good items until very late into the game. It didn’t really help that there is hardly any information for this game online, so it was really tough trying to figure certain things out.

Anyway, despite a few negatives, I really enjoyed my time with Atelier Shallie. I can’t wait to play more Atelier games :) I’ll definitely be playing one or two more games in the series in 2019!
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:53 pm

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

1-20


21-40


41-60
41. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Expansion Pass DLC (Switch)
42. Battle Block Theater (Xbox 360) *
43. Magicka (Steam) *
44. La-Mulana 2 (Steam)
45. Yooka-Laylee (Steam)
46. Snipper-Clips: Cut it Out Together! (Switch)
47. Magicka: Dungeons and Gargoyles (Steam)
48. Hearthstone: The Boomsday Project (PC)
49. Timespinner (PS4)
50. Hollow Knight (PC)
51. Wuppo (PC)
52. Super Mario Party (Switch)
53. Party Hard (Steam)
54. The Final Station (Steam)
55. GARAGE: Bad Trip (Steam)
56. Mr Shifty (Steam)
57. LISA (Steam)
58. LISA: The Joyful (Steam)
59. Divide by Sheep (Steam)
60. The Mummy: Demastered (Switch)


61. Iconoclasts (Steam)
62. Serial Cleaner (Twitch)
63. Silent Hill: Book of Memories (PSVita)
64. Hokuto Ga Gotoku [Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise] (PS4)
65. Pokemon Picross (3DS)
66. 3D Picross: Round 2 (3DS)
67. Vampyr (PS4)
68. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)
69. Slime-San (Steam)
70. Donut County (Switch)
71. Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4)
72. Marvel's Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps (PS4)

73. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) *

I had to dog-sit for a friend today at their place, so I brought my PS4 to pass the time and finally force myself to play through Little Big Planet 3. I wasn't really feelin' LBP3, so I took out the NES Classic that I also brought with me and decided to play through Mario 3 instead :lol: . This time I decided to try and do it not just without warp whistles, but without P-wings either! I was actually able to do it a lot more painlessly than I thought it would go. Managed to 1-try both the airship as well as the warship in world 8 which I thought would NEVER happen. I certainly got some lucky moments more than once I suppose :lol: . Perhaps it has just been so long since I've played it, but the whole game just seems less crazy hard than I remember it being. Particularly world 6 which I remember being HORRIBLE in the past. Even world 7 wasn't soooo bad.

Verdict: Highly Recommended (duh :P )
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:18 pm

First 50
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)
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)
38. Cube Escape: The Lake (iOS)
39. Cube Escape: Seasons (iOS)
40. Cube Escape: Arles (iOS)
41 . Cube Escape: Harvey’s Box (iOS)
42. Cube Escape: Case 23 (iOS)
43. Cube Escape: The Mill (iOS)
44. Rusty Lake Hotel (iOS)
45. Cube Escape: Birthday (iOS)
46. Cube Escape: The Theatre (iOS)
47. Rusty Lake Roots (iOS)
48. Cube Escape: The Cave (iOS)
49. Rusty Lake Paradise (iOS)
50. Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone (Arcade)

51. Knightmare Tower (iOS)
52. 80s Overdrive (3DS)
53. Hitman Go (iOS)
54. Deus Ex Go (iOS)
55. Ecco the Dolphin (Genesis)
56. Double Dragon IV (iOS)
57. Double Dragon Neon (PS3)
58. Double Dragon (GB)
59. Shadow Tower (PS1)
60. Double Dragon 3: The Sacred Stones (NES)
61. Double Dragon II (GB)
62. Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap (SMS)
63. Legend of the Dark Witch Ep. 2 The Price of Desire (3DS)
64. Wonder Boy in Monster World (Genesis)
65. Costume Quest 2 (PS3)
66. Resident Evil (NDS)
67. Pang Adventures (iOS)
68. Resident Evil Deadly Silence (NDS)
69. Cube Escape: Paradox (iOS)
70. Time Soldiers (Arcade)
71. The Dynastic Hero (TG16)
72. Monster World IV (Genesis)
73. Rush (Wii U)
74. 1001 Spikes (Wii U)

Bringing one in under the wire! 1001 Spikes (a/k/a Aban Hawkins & The 1001 Spikes: The Temple of the Dead Mourns the Living) is a very challenging, die-and-retry platformer. The game is exceedingly difficult, but completely fair, and (I know it’s a cliche but...) it plays a lot like Demons Souls. That is, it controls wonderfully; it rewards determination, patience, and problem solving; it requires planning and perfect execution; and beating each level provides a legitimate sense of accomplishment. (You can even backstab the enemies for an instant kill!) It is also a love letter to classic video games - the ridiculous cutscenes are pulled almost directly from Ninja Gaiden; the English is garbled (e.g., “RIP in Peace!); the level map is from Ghosts ‘n Goblins; and you can unlock costumes based on Castlevania, Contra, Street Fighter II, Super Mario Bros., etc.. It also has bonus characters from other indie games, including Bit.Trip Runner, Cave Story, etc. The costumes and bonus characters all bestow unique abilities; the bonus characters frequently have their own stories and cutscenes; and you can play back through the game with other characters to unlock even more features. In short, it is a really, really great, feature-packed platformer that is not for the faint of heart or easily frustrated. Levels frequently take dozens of attempts, if not hundreds of attempts (Level 10-4... :evil: ), but few games provide such a feeling of accomplishment. Highly recommended.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Xeogred Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:43 pm

Last update for the year:

1. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
2. Darkwing Duck (NES)
3. Batman* (NES)
4. Journey to Silius (NES)
5. Aladdin* (SNES)
6. Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse* (SNES)
7. Run Saber (SNES)
8. Batman: Return of the Joker (NES)
9. Ninja Warriors (SNES)
10. Thunder Spirits* (SNES)
11. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)
11. Thunder Force III* (Genesis)
12. Donkey Kong Country* (SNES)
13. Skyblazer (SNES)
14. Super Turrican* (SNES)
15. Donkey Kong Country 2* (SNES)
16. Super Turrican 2* (SNES)
17. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4)
18. Monster Hunter World (PS4)
19. Resident Evil: Director's Cut (PSX)
20. Resident Evil 2: DualShock* [Claire A/Leon B] (PSX)
21. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PS4)
22. Resident Evil HD* (PS4) [PLATINUM]
23. Resident Evil 5: Lost in Nightmares* (PS4)
24. Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition* (PS4) [Vergil]
25. Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)
26. Nioh (PS4)
27. Super Mario Bros 3Mix (NES Romhack)
28. Yakuza 6 (PS4)
29. Metroid: Rogue Dawn (NES Romhack)
30. Front Mission: Gun Hazard (SNES)
31. Metroid II: Return of Samus (GB)
32. The Guardian Legend (NES)
33. Brain Lord (SNES)
34. Assault Suits Valken (SNES)
35. Black Mesa (PC) [May2018]
36. Super Metroid Randomizer [C5708009]
37. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (PC)
38. Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (Arcade)
39. Captain Commando (Arcade)
40. Fallout: New Vegas* (PC)
41. The Punisher (Arcade)
42. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
43. TMNT: Turtles in Time (Arcade)
44. Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder (Arcade)
45. Golden Axe (Arcade)
46. Undercover Cops (Arcade)
47. X-Men (Arcade)
48. Double Dragon (Arcade)
49. Final Fight* (Arcade)
50. Battletoads* (Arcade)
51. Mega Man ZX Advent (DS)
52. TMNT III: The Manhattan Project* (NES)
53. Mega Man Zero* (DS) [MMZC]
54. Mega Man Zero 2* (DS) [MMZC]
55. Mega Man Zero 3* (DS) [MMZC]
56. Mega Man Zero 4* (DS) [MMZC]
57. Shadow Hearts (PS2)
58. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time* (3DS)
59. Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders (PC)
60. Doom 2: Hellbound (PC) [12hr][Complex|HMP]
61. Doom 2: Sawdust (PC) [50m][UV]
62. Mega Man X* (PS4) [MMXLC]
63. Mega Man X2* (PS4) [MMXLC]
63. Mega Man X3* (PS4) [MMXLC]
64. Mega Man X4* (PS4) [MMXLC]
65. Doom 2: Back to Saturn X EP1 (PC) [7hr][Complex|UV]
66. Mega Man X5* (PS4) [MMXLC]
67. Mega Man X6* (PS4) [MMXLC]
68. Doom 2: Back to Saturn X EP2 (PC) [7h30m][Complex|HMP]
69. Doom 2: Plutonia 2 (PC) [8h23m][UV]
70. Doom 2: Lunatic (PC) [45m][UV]
71. Doom 2: Japanese Community Project (PC) [5h57m][Complex|HMP]
72. Resident Evil 3* (PSX)
73. Dragon Quest V (DS)
74. Koudelka (PSX)
75. Doom (PSX)
76. Final Doom (PSX)
77. Super Ghouls'n Ghosts* (SNES)
78. Super Castlevania IV* (SNES)
79. Ninja Gaiden (NES)
80. Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (NES)
81. Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom (NES)
82. Mega Man 11 (PS4)
83. Super Mario All-Stars* (SNES)
84. Silent Hill 2* (Xbox)
85. Silent Hill 3* (PS2)
86. Silent Hill 4* (Xbox)
87. Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PS4)
88. Shadow Dancer (Genesis)
89. Castlevania: Bloodlines* (Genesis)
90. The Revenge of Shinobi (Genesis)
91. Power Blade (NES)
92. Dragon Fighter (NES)
93. Shadow of the Ninja (NES)
94. S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team (NES)
95. Shatterhand (NES)
96. Power Blade 2 (NES)
97. Choujin Sentai Jetman (NES)
98. Vice - Project Doom (NES)
99. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna The Golden Country (Switch)
100. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood* (PS4) [Requiem/Maria]
101. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night* (PS4) [Requiem][Platinum]
102. Dusk (PC)

* = replay

Played:
1. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (PS4)
3. Dark Messiah of Might & Magic (PC)
4. The Metal Warriors (SNES)
5. Nightshade (PS2)
6. Urban Reign (PS2)

-----------------------------------

This year, I wanted to start up a tally of games based off release and types. Well, my method of madness to all this was probably very inconsistent throughout the year and it's a bunch of loose rules in my head, I probably counted wrong and missed stuff too...

Here's what I had down manually:
First: 53
Modern: 14
Replay: 35
Retro: 66

Now with an online counter and a new "Misc" category (rom hacks, randomizer, Doom fan megawads, etc) to make it even more confusing.
First: 56
Modern: 14
Replay: 37
Retro: 79
Misc: 11

So yeah haha... well I guess some of those numbers are pretty loose but oh well. I probably forgot to update the tally along the way at times and the "misc" stuff was maybe counted in the wrong categories. I'll try to refine this and think of more consistent rules for next year.
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MrHealthy
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrHealthy Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:46 pm

February
1. Metal Slug 3 (Vita)

March
2. My Name is Mayo (PS4) Replay
3. The Walking Dead (Vita) Replay

April
4. Killzone Mercenary (Vita)
5. Rivals of Aether (PC)

May
6. Metroid Samus Returns (3DS)
7. Pokemon White (DS) Replay
8. Mirrors Edge Catalyst (PC)
9. Consortium (PC)
10. Mass Effect 3: Citadel (PC)
11. Mass Effect 3: Omega (PC)
12. Mass Effect 3: Leviathan (PC)

June
13. Need for Speed: The Run (PC)
14. Tomb Raider 2013 (PC)
15. CounterSpy (PS4) Replay
16. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4)
17. Call of Duty World War 2 (PS4)
18. inFamous Second Son (PS4)

July
19. inFamous First Light (PS4)
20. Journey (PS4) Replay
21. Titan Souls (PS4 / Vita)
22. The Unfinished Swan (PS4) Replay
23. Deliriant (PS4)
24. The Order: 1886 (PS4)
25. LittleBigPlanet: Metal Gear Solid Level Kit (PS3)
26. LittleBigPlanet: Pirates of the Caribbean Level Kit (PS3)
27. Dragon Age Origins: The Golems of Amgarrak (PS3)
28. Dragon Age Origins: Witch Hunt (PS3)
29. Shütshimi (Vita)

August
30. God of War (PS4)
31. Super Stardust Ultra (PS4)
32. Fat Princess Adventures (PS4)
33. Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds (Vita) Replay
34. Reverie (Vita)
35. A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV (PS4)

September
36. Blasting Agent: Ultimate Edition (Vita)
37. Q.U.B.E: Director's Cut (PS3) Replay
38. King Oddball (Vita)
39. Toybox Turbos (PS3)
40. Critter Crunch (PS3) Replay
41. Battlefield 1 (PC) NEW

October
42. The Long Reach (Vita) NEW
43. Pokemon Moon (3DS) NEW
44. Dead Space 2: Severed (PS3) NEW
45. LittleBigPlanet 2: Move Pack DLC (PS3) NEW
46. LittleBigPlanet 2: The Muppets DLC (PS3) NEW
47. LittleBigPlanet 2: Cross-Controller DLC (PS3) NEW
48. LittleBigPlanet 2: DC Comics Premium Level Pack DLC (PS3) NEW
49. LittleBigPlanet 2: Toy Story DLC (PS3) NEW
50. LittleBigPlanet 2 Special Edition (PS3) NEW
51. Furmins (Vita) NEW

November
52. Minit (PC) NEW
53. Pic-a-Pix Color (Vita) NEW

December
54. Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4) NEW
55. PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate (PS4) NEW
56. LittleBigPlanet Vita: DC Comics Premium Level Pack DLC (Vita) NEW
57. Onrush (PS4) NEW
58. Here They Lie (PS4) NEW
NEW Replay

Hoping to knock out 1 or 2 more tonight / tomorrow.
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pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by pook99 Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:58 pm

1. Skeleton Boomerang
2. TMNT: Hypersonte Heist (genesis)
3. greedy guns
4. Haunted: Halloween 85
5. Fists elimination tower
6. 222 hearts
7. Archrobo: robotic annhilation
8. King of fighters 94 (neogeo)
9. 88 Heroes (terrible game)
10. Iron Commando (snes) (another terrible game)
11. Ersatz
12. Crystal Cosmos
13. Metal Slug (neogeo)
14. Gunhero
15. Gradius rebirth (wii)
16. Kung fu (nes)
17. Ghosts n goblins (nes)
18. Double Dragon 2(gameboy)
19. Ninja Baseballl batman (arcade)
20. Mega man network transmission (gamecube)
21. Aladin(master system)
22. Rastan (master system)
23. Kung fu kid(master system)
24. Alex Kidd in Shinobi world (master system)
25. GI Joe (nes)
26. Sonic Chaos (master system)
27. Double Dragon(nes)
28. Dick Tracy (genesis)
29. Mega man 2(nes)
30. Final Fight (snes)
31. Ratchet and Clank (ps4)
32. Redeemer
33. Mega Man X3(snes)
34. Nex Machina
35. Doodler
36. O Fox life (sucked, but finished in 15 minutes)
37. Tai fu(ps1)
38. serious sam bogus detour
39. Vox Populi Vox Dei 2
40. Mecho Tales
41. Metal Soldiers 2
42. Atomic Adam episode 1
43. Altered beast: guardians of the realm(gba)
44. Mike Tysons Punch out (nes)
45. Strider 2 (ps1)
46. Contra(nes)
47. Batman returns (snes)
48. Double Dragon 4
49. Megaman (nes)
50. Ninja Gaiden (nes)
51. Ninja Gaiden 2 (nes)
52. Axiom Verge
53. The Evil within 2
54. Entertainment hero
55. Miles and Kilo
56. Momodora: reverie under moonlight
57. Aladdin (genesis)
58. Kick ass commandos
59. Carnage in space: ignition
60. Death and return of superman (snes)
61. Save Dash
62. Ultra Goodnes
63. Lady Sia (gba)
64. goldeneye (n64)
65. Dragons Lair
66. Streets of rage: remake
67. castlevania: dawn of sorrow (ds)
68. Wendy: every witch way (gbc)
69. Kid tripp (switch)
70. Lost Castle
71. Splasher
72. Super C (nes)
73. Castlevania (nes)
74. Super Double Dragon (snes)
75. Guardian
76. Golden axe: revenge of death adder (mame)
77. Double Dragon (arcade)
78. adventures of batman and robin (snes)
79. Heads run
80. Final Fight 2 (snes)
81. Mickey mouse -great circus mystery (snes)
82. Super Punch out (snes)
83. Bionic commando (mame)
84. shovel knight: plague of shadows
85. Castlevania: rondo of blood (turbo cd)
86. Castlevania: dracula x (snes)
87. Ruiner
88. Castlevania: the adventure rebirth(wii)
89. Pavel quest
90. Super castlevania 4 (snes)
91. Operation C (gameboy)
92. Not dying today
93. Double Dragon 3 (nes)
94. Hikibyou 2
95. Bayonetta 2 (switch)
96. Boogerman (snes)
97. Rocking pilot
98. Talent not included
99. Overgrowth
100. Shockman (tg-16)
101. Castlevania 3 draculas curse (nes)
102. Streets of rage 2 (genesis)
103. Loyalty and blood: Viktor origins
104. Mega Man 4 (nes)
105. Contra: shattered soldier (ps2)
106. Mega Man 5 (nes)
107. Final Fight 3 (snes)
108. Target Renegade (nes)
109. Renegade (nes)
110. Smashing the battle
111. Kabuki Quantum fighter (nes)
112. Streets of rage (genesis)
113. Kageki (genesis)
114. Batman (nes)
115. Mega Man 9 (wii)
116. Mega Man 6 (nes)
117. Mega Man 10 (wii)
118. Fist Slash (not beaten, completely impossible last world)
119. Wolfenstein 2
120. Final Fight Gold SUper plus (openbor)
121. World Heroes supreme Justice (openbor)
122. Streets of rage 4 (openbor)
123. Final Fight x (openbor)
124. Tmnt and battletoads(openbor)
125. double dragon revolution (openbor)
126. Beats of rage street fighter edition (openbor)
127. SHiva and lisa (openbor)
128. King of fighters beat em up(openbor)
129. Final Fight apocalypse 2nd edition (openbor)
130. Dejin Makai Zero (openbor)
131. Vengeance of kyo (openbor)
132. Street fighter Taiwan (openbor)
133. Fatal Fury Rebout (openbor)
134. Art of fighting vs. double dragon (openbor)
135. A tale of vengeance (openbor)
136. Double Dragon 1 remix (openbor)
137. Fists of legendary heroes (openbor)
138. Rage of the streets (openbor)
149. Beats of rage: xtra (openbor)
150. Final Rage Chaos (openbor)
151. Street fighter rage world olympic tour(openbor)
152. Rushing beat (openbor)
153. Double dragon: evil forces expand(openbor)
154. Battletoads double dragon: return of the dark forces (openbor)
155. Double Dragon: renegade(openbor)
156. Final Fight Alpha plus(openbor)
157. Beast and Blanka in violent world (openbor)
158. Bloodstained: curse of the moon
159. Fatal Fury rebout 2(openbor)
160. Fatal Fury: Final (openbor)
161. Final Fight DC (openbor)
162. Venture kid
163. Final Fight Boss(openbor)
164. art of fighting: trouble in southtown (openbor)
165. Savant: acsent
166. Gunstar Heroes(genesis)
167. Sega brawlers megamix(openbor)
168. Cocoron (nes)
169. Final Fight heroes(openbor)
170. Dragons of rage EX(openbor)
171. Glitchbuster
172. Robot Legions reborn
173. Charlies adventure
174. Rising Islands
175. Blubblub: Quest of the blob
176. Double dragon zero (openbor)
177. Ladies of rage (openbor)
178. Super Ghouls n ghosts (snes)
179. bionic commando rearmed
180. Tupa
181. Indecision
182. Imperil
183. Jet Buster
184. xmen hunt for mutants(openbor)
185. when it hits the fan
186. dead island retro revenge
187. major Mayham 2 (android)
188. Ninja Striker
189. Techno boy
190. Invert
191. Metal Commando (android)
192. Damnation
193. hyper final fight 2 (openbor)
194. shio
195. Titanfall 2
196. Mortal Kombat: outworld assasins (openbor)
197. Dungeon Gambit boy
198. Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (arcade)
199. Art of fighting (neogeo)
200. Shocktroopers (neo geo)
201. street fighter 2 champ edition (openbor)
202. Shadow of the ninja (nes)
203. Art of fighting 2 (neo geo)
204. Pilli adventure
205. Rex
206. Donkey Kong (nes)
207. Ninja Commando (neogeo)
208. Mikey Shorts (android)
209. Bucky O' hare (arcade)
210. Shadow Force(arcade)
211. World Heroes 2 Jet (neo geo)
212. Light Bringer (arcade)
213. Squidlit
214. Art of fighting Beats of rage remix 3 (openbor)
215. Super Blue Boy planet
216. Super Mario Bros 2(snes)
217. World Heroes 2 (snes)
218. Astyanax(nes)
219. Rescue rangers (nes)
220. Life force (nes)
221. Mega man 3 (nes)
222. Contra 3: alien wars (snes)
223. Ghouls n ghosts (genesis)
224. Castle of illusion (genesis)
225. Bonks revenge (tg16)
226. Ninja Spirit (tg16)
227. Legendary axe 2 (tg16)
228. Beats of rage alliance super sayain(openbor)
229. Mega Man unlimited
230. Golden axe 2(genesis)
231. Double Dragon Gold (openbor)
232. Bare knuckle 3 yesterday once more (openbor)
233. Super Mario Lost Levels (snes)
234. Z: escape
235. Squirm
236. Actraiser(snes)
237. Metal Wings (android)
238. Beat Street(android)
239. Crash Bandicoot 3 (ps1)
240. Street fighter 2 (snes)
241. Wonder Knights (android)
242. Super DD (android)
243. Duke Dashington(android)
244. World Heroes 2 (neo geo)
245. King of fighters 95(ps1)
246. Super Mario Land 2: 6 golden coins (game boy)
247. Power Blade 2 (nes)
248. Mega Man: Rock Force
249. Ryu (openbor)
250. Mighty Gunvolt Burst(switch)
251. Super Mario 3mix(nes hack)
252. Streets of Rage 2x (openbor)
253. Mega Man: Super fighting robots
254. Sword of Xolan (android)
255. Kangaroo (atari 2600)
256. Jungle Hunt (atari 2600)
257. Dragons Lair 2: time warp
258. Dead Rain: New zombie virus
259. CLiffhanger: edward randy(Mame)
260. Mystic Warriors (Mame)
261. Vice: project doom(nes)
262. Super Mario Bros (snes)
263. TMNT: Fall of the foot clan (game boy)
264. TMNT 4: turtles in time (snes)
265. donkey kong jr. (nes)
266. Smurfs(atari 2600)
267. Keystone capers (atari 2600)
268. Spider-man (atair 2600)
269. Spider-man(ps1)
270. Shatterhand(nes)
271. Bucky o hare (nes)
272. rescue rangers 2 (nes)
273. Xexyz(nes)
274. Wrath of the black manta(nes)
275. final fight and cadillacs(openbor)
276. TMNT(mame)
277. Castlevania 5 -legacy (nes hack)
278. Shadowgate(nes)
279. Rolling Thunder 2 (genesis)
280. Fatal Fury Special (snes)
281. Aladdin (snes)
282. Castlevania Chronicles (ps1)
283. Street Fighter victory(openbor)
284. Contra (nes) (2nd time)
285. Save the ninja clan
286. Rygar (ps2)
287. King of Fighters 2003 (ps2)
288. Power blade(nes)
289. Mega Man 11
290. bubsy wooly strikes back
291. Little Samson (nes)
292. Castlevania Bloodlines (genesis)
293. Adventure of Heroes
294. Jewel Master (genesis)
295. Stay Dead: evolution
296. Usagi Yojimbo: way of the ronin
297. Osteya (android)
298. Aborigenus
299. Aliens vs. Predator (mame)
300. Gargoyles Quest 2 (nes)
301. Paradox Soul
302. Crash Bandicoot: Huge adventure (gba)
303. the simpsons (mame)
304. Call of duty: black ops 3
305. King of fighters zillion (MUGEN)
306. blood city
307. Sigi - a fart for Melusina
308. Digital resistance
309. Double Dragon Unleashed
310. Ammo pigs: armed and delicious
311. Pac Man World (gba)
312. Crouching tiger hidden dragon (gba)
313. Kirby Dreamland 3 (snes)
314. Fighters History revenge (openbor)
315. the adventures of clive mcmulligan
316. Gunman tales
317. Flem
318. 20xx
319. Ninja Modori
320. Super Mario World (snes)
321. Street Fighter 2 chapion edition (snes)
322. Cabal(nes)
323. Donkey Kong 3 (nes)
324. Darkwing Duck (nes)
325. Shaq fu: a legend reborn
326. Yatrs revenge (atari 2600)
327. Superman (atari 2600)
328. Fighters History (snes)
329. Silent dragon (arcade)
330. Final Fight (arcade)
331. DJ boy(arcade)
332. Desert Striker (arcade)
333. X-men(arcade)
334. Golden Axe (arcade)
335. TMNT: Tournament Fighters (snes)
336. Ninja Warriors (snes)
337. Return of the Double Dragon (snes)
338. Ninja Gaiden 3 (snes)
339. Street Fighter Alpha 2 (snes)
340. Darkstalkers 3 (ps1)
341. Contra Rebirth (wii)
342. Spiderman (arcade)
343. Rescue embassy mission (nes)
344. TMNT: tournament fighters (nes)
345. Tekken Tag 2 (ps2)
346. Kid Icarus (nes)
347. POW remake (openbor)
348. Contra: Hard Corps(genesis)
349. Super Mario Land (game boy)
350. Rival Schools evolution(ps1)
351. Kirby dreamland(game boy)
352. Comit the astrodian 2
353. Street Fighter EX plus alpha (ps1)
354. Sunset Riders (arcade)
355. Super Bonk (snes)
356. Mega Man Xtreme 2 (gbc)
357. Nightslashers x (openbor)
358. Altered Beast (arcade)
359. Rambo 3 (genesis)
360. Dan the man(android)
361. Super Jim Jump (android)
362. Kirby's adventure (nes)
363. Donkey Kong Country: tropical freeze (switch)
364. Cluckles Adventure (android)
365. Violent Storm (arcade)
366. Capcom vs. Snk 2 (ps2)
367. McDonalds Treasure Land (genesis)
368. Cybarian the time traveling warrior
369. Street Fighter Alpha (ps1)


total games beaten: 369

Probably not going to beat any more games this year, and my goal for next year is to play less games overall and play more modern games as well as games that are longer.

369 games seems like a lot, and it is, but most of the games I beat are games that can be played through in under an hour. I played a TON of beat em ups and fighting games this year, all which are typically no more than 30 minutes, replayed a ton of old games like contra which I easily beat in under 30 minutes, as well as a bunch of retro indies which were on the short side(ex: the last game I beat, cybarian the time traveling warrior, took me 45 minutes to beat) So while beating 369 games seems unbelievable, consider the fact that in the time it takes someone to beat the typical 40-60 hour RPG I could easily finish 40-50 games given the kind of games I was generally playing.

Having said that, I definitely played too many games in the early part of the year. I was actually averaging well over a game a day in the earlier part of the year, but began tapering off a bit from August onwards, and began doing things for myself which have been long over due since I moved away a few years ago. I was in a bit of a funk earlier in the year and was very homesick, and I guess to some degree, I still am very homesick, but have actively been trying to do things to make my new home feel like home. After 36 years in one place it is really tough moving away from home, and I spent way too much time living here feeling completely lost, I still feel lost to a degree, but am finally moving in a better direction and look forward to what this year brings.

Breakdown:

PC: 100 games

6 games replayed
94 new playthroughs

NES: 50 games

46 games replayed
4 new playthroughs

GB/GB color: 8 games
5 replays
3 new

GBA: 5 games

all new

DS: 1 game-new

wii: 5 games

1 new
4 replays

SNES: 34 games
10 new
24 replays

N64: 1 game-new

Switch: 4 games

3 new
1 replay

Neo Geo: 8 games

1 new
7 replay

Arcade/MAME: 23 games

12 new
11 replay

Gamecube: 1 game-new

Genesis: 16 games
6 new
10 replay

Master System: 5 games

4 new
1 replay

Turbografx 16: 4 games

1 new
3 replay

turbo cd: 1 game-replay

playstation 1: 10 games

1 new
9 replay

PS2: 5 games

2 new
3 replay

PS4: 1 game-new

Games using the OPENBOR engine: 54 all new

Android games: 13 games, all new

Atari 2600: 7 games, all replay
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:44 am

Unless I slide anything else in, this will be it for me.

I just finished Hollow Knight. If you want a really tough exploratory platformer, this one fits the bill. It has a very dark vibe, despite the cartoon-style visuals. Lots of bugs, and as folks probably know, bugs can be really gross. There's also something very, very wrong with this world, but I won't spoil anything. You'll figure it out in bits and pieces, anyway.

Starting off, the game feels a bit average. Stick with it, though; the reviews hit the truth. Once you start getting movement tech, you'll see the game open up, and platforming challenges present themselves. Much like other exploratory platformers, you can finish the game, but the best ending requires a bit of legwork. I mostly did it without a guide, but was a bit confused at the end with one of the charms (equippable items that boost various attributes). Turns out I needed one more step before triggering the "real" endgame.

The sequence to get that item actually revolves around a bunch of insta-death platforming puzzles. You have to put all of your moveset to use: dash, air dash, wall jumps, wall launch, double jump (acquired surprisingly late), the works. Then you get to get your head handed to you many, many times by the last boss. Whee! I finally settled on a loadout that worked, increasing my magic ability, putting on the quick attack, and the quick focus for fast healing. Still got pretty touch and go, though, but I finally played more defensively in the last phase and got the win.

Graphically, you won't find much out there like this. It really doubles down on the biological nature of its world, and looks splendid and lush (and decayed and disgusting) with those nice hand-drawn graphics. Sometimes games like this can look cheap, but the art style meshes into a cohesive whole. The audio, by the same token, has several somber pieces, lots of atmosphere, and some truly disturbing-sounding enemies. Again, creepy, creepy stuff.

I guess if I had one complaint, it has to be the last boss. You have to take down another boss right before that, and if you lose, you have to fight it again. And again. And again. My patience was wearing very thin. But getting to the easy ending won't prove quite so challenging. (I'm also sure if I'd poked around even more, I could have gotten more health and some better charms to help a bit.)

Final time on "normal" ending: 21h38m. Final time for "secret" ending: 30h45m. I know those times seem pretty inflated, but this game pulls the nice trick of somehow not feeling bloated at all. Truly impressive. I'm giving this one a 9/10. Definitely recommended if you are looking for a dark, somber, and challenging Metroidvania.

(Oh, and jeez, I completely missed a shop in the game that would have made my life so much easier, right at the end. Charms take notches to equip, and this shop sells four of them, along with the quick focus charm. Would have been nice!)
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alienjesus
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Location: London, UK.

Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:50 am

Games Beaten 2018
1. Letter Quest Remastered Switch eShop
2. Batman NES
3. Little Nemo: The Dream Master NES
4. Mickey's Wild Adventure PS1
5. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. 3DS
6. Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy 3DS
7. Nier Automata PS4
8. Legacy of the Wizard NES
9. The Legend of Zelda (starring Zelda) NES
10. Tobu Tobu Girl Game Boy
11. Rhyme Rider Kerorican WSC
12. Sonic Advance 3 GBA
13. Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap PS4
14. Super Adventure Island SNES
15. Dynamite Cop DC
16. Pokkén Tournament Wii U
17. Mega Man 7 PS4
18. Rhythm Tengoku GBA
19. Portal 2 360
20. Shinobi X Saturn
21. Gravity Rush Remastered PS4
22. Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle Switch
23. Metroid Samus Returns 3DS
24. Shinobi 3DS
25. Resident Evil HD Remaster PS3
26. Advance Guardian Heroes GBA
27. Alien Storm Mega Drive
28. Ecco: The Tides of Time Mega Drive
29. Earthbound Beginnings Wii U VC
30. Mega Man 8 PS4
31. Dragon Quest Builders Switch
32. Vertical Force Virtual Boy
33. Snipperclips Plus: Cut It Out,Together! Switch
34. Conker’s Bad Fur Day Nintendo 64
35. Ever Oasis 3DS
36. Wario World Gamecube
37. Solar Striker Game Boy
38. Pop'n Twinbee GBC
39. Halley Wars Game Gear
40. Overcooked! 2 Switch
41. Fire Emblem: Fuuin No Tsurugi GBA
42. Wave Race Game Boy *NEW*
43. Jet Set Radio Future XBox *NEW*
44. Koudelka PS1 *NEW*
45. The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past [Randomiser] SNES *NEW*
46. New Super Luigi U Wii U *NEW*
47. Ghost Trick Nintendo DS *NEW*
48. Ninja Gaiden SMS *NEW*
49. Killer Instinct Gold Nintendo 64 *NEW*
50. Excitebike: World Challenge WiiWare *NEW*
51. Contra Rebirth WiiWare *NEW*
52. Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth WiiWare *NEW*
53. Guitar Hero Live Wii U *NEW*
54. Ranger X Mega Drive *NEW*
55. Silhouette Mirage Saturn *NEW*
56. Vib Ribbon PSN (PS3) *NEW*
57. Flower, Sun & Rain Nintendo DS *NEW*
58. Max Game Boy *NEW*
59. UN Squadron SNES *NEW*
60. X Game Boy *NEW*


I’m way behind on reviews again, but I was determined to get all of my reviews for games beaten in 2018 up before the year was out, so be prepared for the 2nd Official AJ Review Monster Post of the year – it’s incoming. Here are 19 reviews of the stuff I’ve been too lazy to write about:


Wave Race

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Wave Race 64 is a great game for the N64; with water physics which hold up surprisingly well for its time, and fun racing gameplay which is super memorable. This is not a review of that game, because Wave Race 64 is a sequel. The first game in the series, simply titled ‘Wave Race’ appeared on the Game Boy, with all the changes that might imply.

This entry in the series is a top-down racer, and it plays very differently. Holding A makes you go, and turning at speed causes you to drift quite as lot on the water, so letting go of the button in tighter turns is useful. You also have a boost meter which you can use by holding B, which refills gradually, and controlling when to boost is crucial to winning – the computer AI is pretty damn tough and you will need to boost as often as possible.

Some icons can be picked up on the track, including an octopus which lets you steel boost power from opponents for a short time by crashing into them, and a dolphin who gives you superior control for a short time – making you not drift on corners and be unaffected by obstacles in the water. These obstacles are made up of currents (represented by arrows) which slow you down, whirlpools which spin you around and mess with your steering, and shallows which makes you slow down. You can also find jumps which allow you to hurtle over these obstacles on occasion.

Wave Race is very much a product of its time, and it’s not one I’d recommend as a must own. I had an OK time with it, I guess, but for your racing game fix, even top down racing, there’s lots of better and more interesting games out there. Only play this if you’re a Nintendo fan who wants to explore all of their series’ roots.

Recommended Listening:
The soundtrack to this game is mostly forgettable, but the ending theme is quite fun. Click the image below to listen to it:

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Jet Set Radio Future

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Jet Set Radio was an interesting game for the Dreamcast which has its flaws, but which I really loved. Jet Set Radio Future often seems to be the preferred title in the series due to it’s streamlining of the gameplay – quicker graffiti, fights with police to remove them instead of constantly being chased, a trick system to boost speed. However to me, these seemed like they might take away some of the things I liked about the first game, so whilst I looked forward to playing the game, I had some reservations going in.

JSRF is stylistically a very pretty game, with a strong Xbox Green motif and some pretty cel-shaded visuals. It does have some performance issues with a few areas in particularly causing some pretty intense slowdown, although I was playing on 360 so I don’t know how much of that was the game and how much was the backwards compatibility emulation.

On the gameplay front, I’m torn. There’s no doubt that JSRF feels like a quicker, more free-flowing game now, which gels with it’s aesthetic – graffitiing on the fly makes the game feel more arcadey, and although I think the ‘battles’ with the police are crap, not having to find escape routes to get away from them as in the previous game means that you can keep moving and focus on tagging where you need to. On the other hand though, the game feels a lot easier and less thoughtful as a result – part of the trick in the first game to me was figuring out where the biggest tags were and how to get to them early on, before too many troops were on your tail, and then executing your route as carefully as possible to avoid being hunted down in the middle of a huge tag. It’s different, for sure, but I hesitate to say its better – it’s just different, and they both have their merits.

I had a good time with JSRF, and I’d love to jump in with a further entry in the series, so it’s sad that that’s all they wrote for Jet Set Radio. The games are a ton of fun, super stylish and very unique, and I’d love to see another entry in the series. For now though, at least the ones we’ve got are worth a shot, and I’d highly recommend picking this one up!

Recommended listening:
The soundtrack to Jet Set Radio Future is really good, so it's hard to narrow one choice down. Here's 3 I enjoyed, have fun:

Oldies but the goodies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NZHJczt388&list=PL63A0EB302C5357F0&index=4
Birthday Cake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4FGCebHMDQ&index=9&list=PL63A0EB302C5357F0
Sweet Soul Brother: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LBRiu_07aY&list=PL63A0EB302C5357F0&index=12

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Koudelka

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Like a couple of others, I decided to play Koudelka for October’s Together Retro theme. I didn’t know a huge amount about it going in, but hey, I love me some PS1 era RPGs and I was hopeful I’d have a good time with this one too.

Koudelka is certainly an interesting RPG. Apparently the game designer wanted to make a horror game originally, so the game takes on strong survival horror aesthetics – prerendered backgrounds with odd camera angles, a very dark tone, some gory elements, it’s interesting. How well it works is debateable, it still felt very much like other PS1 RPGs of the era in many ways.

One of Koudelka’s virtues is its short length, but one of its weaknesses is its absolute raft of mechanics which don’t get the time they need to really develop. Every spell in the game can be levelled up, whereon it becomes more powerful but doubles in MP cost. Skill with each of the games 8 weapon types can also be powered up, but some of the weapon types are rare enough that you won’t find many, and weapons are breakable so you might find yourself with a skill level 3 in spears and only guns to equip. Enemies also have elemental weaknesses, but weapon elements are literally assigned at random when the weapon is found, so it makes more sense to be swapping weapons to whatever is most beneficial for bosses. With magic, you can cast any type of spell at any time - For these reasons, magic is way better than weapons.

The battle system works on a grid, where you and the enemy can both not move past the row the first alive opponent is on. You can also customise your characters stats on level up, so the best tactic seems to be to make one up front brawler with very high HP and defences, and then two magic casters at the back firing off spells (which can hit regardless of row, but are weaker at range). Because magic is the prime way to attack enemies behind others, and the magic resistance stat is also the MP stat, your casters are relatively safe to most attacks this way.

Koudelka’s other main issue is it can sometimes be a little too obscure on how to progress. It has the classic issue of interactive elements in the background not being clear, so sometimes you just have to wander around hammering X hoping to interact with something. Having a guide on hand is probably a good idea for those moments.

Overall though, Koudelka is definitely a flawed JRPG, but it’s a very interesting one that doesn’t stick around long enough for its issues to annoy you. I really enjoyed my time with it, and I’d recommend giving it a go if you’re interested in PS1 era horror or RPG titles.

Recommended listening:

The most memorable songs in Koudelka are the battle themes, which you will here a lot. Here's 2 of the best, click the images below to listen:

Waterfall:
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Incantation:
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The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past [Randomiser]

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the favourite entry in the Zelda series for a lot of people, and whilst I’ve always enjoyed it, I’ve never been as crazy about it as others. However, a watched a few videos of the ALTTP randomiser, a program which shuffles the location of all items in the game to new places (whilst making sure it’s always winnable!) offering up a new challenge. I found the idea super interesting – suddenly optional caves with 5 chests containing bombs, arrows and rupees could become essential treasure troves containing the fire rod, the master sword and 3 heart containers. Exploration is essential, and sequence breaking is inevitable. It was a challenge I wanted to try…

And so I did! Off I go on my adventure. For my first attempt, I went with basic settings – sword is still with your uncle, enemies and bosses stay in their usual place, keys all stay in their appropriate dungeon (just in different locations inside) - just the item locations change. I actually later did a second run, a race against a friend (MegaJ on Racketboy, he doesn’t post much!) where was added randomised bosses and first sword location into the mix. Run one yielded a magic hammer in links house, and run 2 offered 20 rupees, but my uncle gave me the Bow as my first weapon in place of a sword.

I recommend playing a practice run of ALTTP to 100% completion before trying this game, as knowing where stuff is is truly crucial to success, but in practice this run becomes super interesting. You’ll wander the overworld at first scouring for whatever useful stuff you can find, before then deciding your next port of call from there. My runs both started with the Tower of Hera (dungeon 3) as my first dungeon as the only requirement to getting in is the flute, which I found early each time. Thieves town in the dark world was my second dungeon in my initial trip thanks to finding the moon pearl, power gloves and magic hammer early. The Eastern Palace, the games first dungeon, became one of my final ones to conquer, because the magic lamp, an item normally given to you before ANYTHING else, became ‘that one item’ I just couldn’t find.

In the end it was in Turtle Rock (the penultimate dungeon), but the Cane of Somaria needed to enter there was in a dungeon I needed the lamp for – so I went through half of one dungeon to get the item for another, finished that dungeon to get the item I needed for the first dungeon, before heading back to finish. It sounds frustrating, but it’s actually super liberating – you have the freedom to dictate where you go much more, whilst still being limited by your items – it’s like a halfway house between the rigid Zelda formula of classic Zelda (minus the original) and the open ended approach of Breath of the Wild, and dare I say it, I would rate this as the BEST way to play the title. It’s really changed my opinion of the game, and I absolutely love it. Just writing about it has me gearing up for a 3rd run at it now. If you love ALTTP, you owe it to yourself to give this a go, and if you don’t, well, like me, it might change your mind.

Recommended listening:
Everyone knows all the classics from this game, so here's a lesser played one for you to enjoy - the ending theme. Click the image below to listen:

Ending:
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New Super Luigi U.
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New Super Luigi U was released in the distant pastyear of 2013, half a decade ago (ouch, that makes me feel old). Although it was released standalone too, it’s mainly a DLC pack for New Super Mario Bros U. which gives all new levels to run through – one for every equivalent level in the main game version. The main differences being that each level is shorter and tougher, with no checkpoints, and Mario has been kicked off the roster, with Luigi taking the centre stage. With this comes universal Luigi physics – longer, higher jumps and slippy traction, for the whole game.

It took me a little while to get accustomed to Luigi U’s physics, and early on there were a lot of stupid deaths of the ‘oh no I walked into the first goomba waddlewing in the stage’ variety, but once I got settled in and the game got stuck into the New Super Mario Bros tradition of deluging me with a million 1 up mushrooms, it was fairly smooth sailing. For all the claims of the difficulty being higher here, it still isn’t as challenging as the likes of the NES games, but the shorter stage length and tougher level of difficulty did bring to mind Super Mario Bros. 3, which was nice.

Overall, New Super Luigi U. is an enjoyable and slightly different addition to the New Super Mario Bros. series. For all their sameyness, the games are still a lot of fun, and with the New Super Mario Bros U + New Super Luigi U. disc being one of the most abundant and cheapest on the Wii U, I would say that it’s a no brainer to pick it up and play them both.

Recommended listening:
Most of the music in this game is from the original New Super Mario Bros. U, but there is one unique piece - the title theme, which you can listen to by clicking the image below:

Main theme:
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Ghost Trick

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I’ve played through Ghost Trick a couple of times before now. I first picked it up in a bargain bin on a supermarket trip during my university days. I’d heard good stuff about the puzzle/adventure game hybrid and it was only £10, so I thought why not. I went home, made some dinner, and then absent mindedly placed the game into my DS and started to play. 8 hours later, at 5am, I finally forced myself to go to sleep, and the next morning when I woke up I spent 4 hours playing through the rest of the game before finally making breakfast. I loved it. I boldly proclaimed it to be one of my top 10 favourite games of all time. Ghost Trick is amazing!

Over the years though, I start to question this thought. Maybe the story is a little cliché or silly (it is, by the way). Maybe the puzzles are sometimes a little basic (they can be, sometimes). Maybe the gorgeous visuals and stylish music (both of which hold up tremendously) paint a fashionable veneer over something that’s less developed. And so, for Together Retro in November, I replayed Ghost Trick.

And man, I don’t know why I even worried. Even when I know the story beats and twists (which were amazing the first time round) and have an idea how to solve most of the puzzles right away (which took some experimentation before) there’s just something about the game that I absolutely adore. I can’t put it down. It looks so good and feels so good and plays so good, and everyone should buy it.

Like, now. If you don’t have Ghost Trick already, then go on eBay and buy a copy. The rest of these reviews can wait until afterwards, they aren’t going anywhere. If you do have it, but haven’t played it, then stop whatever you’re doing, go plug it into your DS model of choice, and get to it. And if you own it and have played it before, why not do it again.

Ghost Trick is amazing! It’s one of my top 10 favourite games of all time.

Recommended listening:
Ghost trick has a great soundtrack - my pick of the bunch is Cabanela's theme, which you can listen to by clicking the image below:

Cabanela’s Theme:
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Ninja Gaiden

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Ninja Gaiden is an NES staple – a fast paced and brutally difficult action game with cool story scenes and incredible music. It should be on the ‘must-own’ list for every NES owner. This is not a review of that game though. This is a review of Ninja Gaiden – a fast paced and reasonably challenging action game with decent story scenes and music for the Sega Master System.

Right away, I’ll start with the admission that this game is not as good as the NES title. It’s easier, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not quite as pinpoint precise as that title, the music isn’t as hot, and the story (limited as it is in either version) is nothing special. But don’t let that put you off, because despite that this game still plays very responsively, offers up some interesting level design and nice music and is one of the best games for the Master System.

Ryu can do some different things here – he can still acquire ninjitsu to attack with, including the throwing stars and windmill throwing stars, as well as the first shield and a homing fire ball attack. His sword swings have a few frames of animation now, so he can’t whip through enemies as quickly, but they also have a bit of vertical height comparatively, so it’s more forgiving with your accuracy. Ryu also has a trick straight out of Shadow of the Ninja now as he can grab ledges above him and hag off of them to swing along the ceiling, and combined with his wall jumping, he has a ton of mobility.

And although the game is easier, don’t expect a cakewalk – it’s still an 8 bit action game, and the final boss especially have me some issues. Ninja Gaiden staples are here too, including the horrifying birds, which might actually be faster and more aggressive here than before!

Overall, Ninja Gaiden on Master System is a fantastic experience. It’s on of the best action games for the console, and it looks and sounds and plays wonderfully. Pick it up if you get the chance, as it’s a ton of fun.

Recommended Listening:

Escape from the Jungle:
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Killer Instinct Gold

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So, you know that one website ‘Blistered Thumbs’? I always thought that was a weird thing. Like, I played games for hours on end as a kid and never once did they give me a blistered thumb. Are you just doing something wrong that’s causing that to happen? Is it meant to be a matter of pride, like ‘I pushed the D-Pad so damn hard brah that my thumbs got blistered but I played through the pain because I am a bro dude!’? What a stupid exaggerated concept.

Then I played Killer Instinct Gold on N64 for an hour.

So, I love the N64 controller unlike many, but this game as made on big flaw of it very clear – that d-pad, whilst holding up just fine for me on games like Pokémon Stadium and Mischief Makers – is really not ideal for intense fighting games with quarter circle motions, because after 30 minutes, it had pulled loose all the skin on my left thumb. Blistered thumbs indeed.

Anyway, ignoring the difficulties of the platform it’s on, Killer Instinct was fine. The mechanics are a bit complex to grasp for a fighting game newbie like me, but I muscle through as Spinal and did my best. I broke a few c-c-c-c-c-combos, and I dealt out a few of my own after following the tutorial mode as best I could. Killer Instinct Gold, to my inexperienced eye, seemed like a solid fighting game.

You know what though? I still don’t really like 2D fighters. I only own this to complete my Rareware collection on N64. If you like fighters give it a go, but I doubt I’ll be playing this one too much.

Recommended listening:
The soundtrack to Killer Instinct is probably my favourite thing about it - it's an eclectic mix of heavy metal and 90s techno. The theme below is a good example of the latter, click the image to listen:

Maya’s Theme:
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Excitebike: World Challenge

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Alas poor WiiWare! As a service it’s a weird one, full of a lot of weird shit and some genuine quirky fun. This was one of Nintendo’s own rare contributions to the service, a title in the Excite series of racers which was seeing a little bit of a resurgence at the time thanks to ExciteTruck and Excitebots. This is a more traditional entry in the series though, which is built around the original mechanics offered in Excitebike.

Just like the NES title, you can hold b to boost, which heats up your bike. If you overheat you have to stop and cool off, so it’s crucial to pay attention to your heat meter. Passing over arrow marks will cool off your bike allowing for more boosts. The track is full of ramps and jumps, and you will maintain your speed if you land perpendicular to the ground, but being off balance will slow you down or potentially cause you to bail. In World Challenge, you can choose between tilt and d pad control to determine your bikes rotation.

Like the NES game, there are also racers in the way and touching another racers back wheel causes you to fall off your bike. Now though, pressing back on the d-pad causes you to wheelie, which lets you ride over other riders and hazards without losing speed. If you wheelie before a jump you get extra distance too, and later tracks require this to get good scores.

The game is formatted across several tournaments with 4 time trial tracks in each. Clearing under certain time tiers rewards a bronze, silver, gold or platinum medal, and enough of these unlocks new skins for your bike. Unfortunately, many more skins were unlocked via earning online multiplayer points and are sadly unobtainable now since the service was turned off years ago.

Excitebike World Challenge is a fun little WiiWare game worth your time, but unfortunately I can’t tell you to go out and get it (legitimately) anymore, because it’s impossible to add points to the Nintendo Wii Shop Channel now. If you still have some to spend before the service closes in January, this is a worthy title to spend them on though!

Recommended listening:
The music in this game is 50% new and 50% remixes of the classic excitebike music. I'm pretty sure the Fiji theme is new, but I like it. Click the image below to listen:

Fiji:
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Contra Rebirth

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My experience with the Contra series is fairly limited – I’ve beaten Contra 3 on SNES, the portable version of the same game on Game Boy and that’s about it. I have mixed opinions on it – the little I’ve played of Contra 1 seems more playable to me than Contra 3 and Hard Corps, which whilst fun are punishingly difficult. So with it’s with this mixed perspective that I went into Contra Rebirth, and I’m glad to say that I actually had a great time with the game.

Contra Rebirth has an awful story which is at the same delightfully cheesy and nonsensical and put me in just the right mood for what is a bizarre game in the series. Stage 1 seems par for the course – run through a spaceship shooting aliens before fighting a robot caterpillar whilst falling to earth on the wreckage of the ship, but it only gets quirkier from there – my favourite being the level where you ride a truck through a horde of robot llamas.

Gameplay in the game is pretty similar if you’ve played other titles, particularly contra 3, with you having 2 weapon slots to work with and able to swap between them at any time. Unlike Contra 3 though, there’s no bombs and no spinning jump attack, but you don’t feel the lack of them too much because the difficulty as a whole isslightly toned down, with mid level checkpoints being relatively generous in most levels. However, I will say that I set the default life counter up a bit, so it could be more brutal on the standard 3 lives per continue. Weapons available in this one are also a little more limited, but the crucial spread shot is here, alongside the useful but weak homing missile and the powerful but shite laser.

The main issue I noticed with Contra Rebirth, aside from its brief running time, was the graphics. The actual aesthetic isn’t too bad – a bit mid noughties photoshoppy for my taste maybe, but nice enough. The main issue seems to be the amount of compression necessary to get the game running on the Wii shops paltry 48MB limit though, as even output on component and upscaled by the Framemeister to 1080p, the game had a distinct blurriness to it. To be fair though, it kind of reminded me of playing a game in composite video, so I guess some people might find it somewhat authentic.

Anyway, I really enjoyed Contra Rebirth. As far as difficulty goes, it feels like it was pitched just right for modern me – tough enough to offer some resistance, but compromising enough to allow me to play through on a whim without require weeks of practice like my initial completion of Contra 3 did. Like Excitebike World Rally, it’s not really readily available anymore thanks to the end of the Wii shop channel being imminent, but if you can get hold of it by any other means, it’s worth a play.

Recommended listening:
I'm not a big fan of most of the music here - it does the job, but I wouldn't enjoy most of it outside the game. I do love the Contra theme though, so here's the version of it that is used in this game. Click the image below to listen:

Stage 1 theme:
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Castlevania: The Adventure Rebirth

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A lot of what I said about Contra Rebirth applies here too, particularly around the graphics and blurriness, but I had a different perspective coming into this one. Whilst I have fairly limited experience of Contra, I’ve finished a fair amount of Castlevania titles – the NES original, Castlevania IV, Rondo of Blood, Dracula X Chronicles on PSP, Symphony of the Night and Order of Ecclesia. This game uses the classic Castlevania gameplay style as oppose to the Metroid-likes and is ostensibly a reimagining of the original Game Boy title, despite having little in common with it overall – just a few rolling eyeballs basically. Anyway, I knew what I wanted from a Castlevania title, and unlike Contra, it was basically ‘more of the same please’! Luckily, that’s what I got.

Castlevania Rebirth is a fairly traditional entry in the series. You wander along slowly whipping enemies and picking up weapons which can be used if you have enough hearts. Each stage has a boss at the end, and after about 6 stages you fight Dracula, who has multiple forms. Subweapons available are fairly typical too, with the dagger, cross, axe, holy water and stopwatch making an appearance, but also the key being available to open doors which generally just contain power ups or health. Your whip can be powered up twice, with the first power up increase it’s reach and power, and the second allowing it to shoot fireballs. Unlike the original Game Boy game, these aren’t lost when you get hit, but the fireball power up is on a time limit so it won’t last forever.

As with the items, a lot of other mechanics in the game are based mainly on the original NES title – no item crashes as far as I could tell and you can’t jump onto or off of stairs. There are some refinements though – your aerial mobility is stiff sure, but it isn’t locked like the original NES games by default – you unlock the original jump mechanics as an option after beating the game instead.

Overall, this is a pretty solid Castlevania – it’s never going to be considered alongside the best in the series because it doesn’t do much to stand out. But for what it’s trying to do – be a classic style ‘Vania released in an era of portable only Metroid clones, it does it pretty well. Again, as a WiiWare title the opportunity to purchase this one is basically over, but if you have the points I personally think this one is a must own.

Recommended listening:
I like the soundtrack to this game, there's lots of memorable Castlevania music here, but I particularly like the stage 2 music, Lullaby Sent To The Devil. Click the image below to listen:

Lullaby sent to the devil (stage 2 theme):
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Guitar Hero Live

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The days of pretending to be a musician with plastic instruments are long gone, but that didn’t stop Activision having another go at it a few years back. In the grand tradition of modern gaming, this is a Guitar Hero reboot – gone are the over the top rock star parodies, classic rock tracks and humorous aesthetic, and in comes a rebranded and retooled experience meant to be more appealing to a (more?) mainstream modern audience. Even the guitar itself receives a reboot – gone are the 5 multicoloured buttons in a line, and in are 6 buttons, in 2 lines of 3, and stylish black and white colour scheme. Does it work? Sort of? Maybe? Clearly it didn’t light sales on fire, but the changes are interesting, for sure.

First off, the guitar – learning the button layout feels harder now, and I had issues getting used to whether the top or button rows were the white one, but on the other hand, the 6 buttons lend themselves to a more ‘realistic’ feeling because you’re moving your hands in basic positions that resemble chords on a real guitar. It does mean solos tend to be a little less satisfying and also harder to follow now, but that’s not a big issue overall for this game, due to the set list, which I’ll get to later…

The set-up of the game is positioned as if you’re playing as different bands at 2 festivals – one in the UK and one in the US. Each setlist is therefore designed to fit into a certain bands ‘theme’ and so you play through a few similar songs as far as genre goes in a row. As you play it displays a video of your performance, showing your fellow band members singing and playing along with the music, and the audience you’re playing to. If you play well they scream and shout and jump to the music as if this is the GREATEST PERFORMANCE THEY HAVE EVER SEEN IN THEIR ENTIRE LIFE. However, their allegiance is fragile, as start screwing up and they will be DISTRAUGHT at your terribleness! The gimmick is pretty basic but it’s interesting enough. The festival theme is a bit lifeless though.

And so we come to the main issue I have with the game – the setlist. This is a Guitar Hero game with a fake electric guitar to play, but the setlist includes pop (Katy Perry anyone), Rap (Eminem), Dubstep (Skrillex) and Folk (Mumford & Sons). More than once I found myself playing along with a part that wasn’t even on a guitar, but instead a banjo, or a synthesiser. Even considering the more modern (for the time) artist choices, there was pretty B tier songs here – I didn’t recognise the Eminem, Rihanna or Katy Perry songs for example.

Luckily, (or, as we will see soon, unluckily) there’s an alternative in the form of Guitar Hero TV, a live streaming service that plays back to back music across 2 channels with varying programming, where you can play guitar hero along in real time. The premise is pretty cool, even if it’s hard to practice the songs and get really good at them due to the format it uses. However, the main issue with Guitar Hero TV is that it no longer exists – it did at the time I beat the game, at the end of November, but as of December 1st the licenses have expired and the service has been permanently shut down.

So what you get now is an interesting attempt at a Guitar Hero reboot with some interesting ideas, some questionable executions and an undoubtedly terrible track list. I enjoyed playing through Guitar Hero Live, but in all honesty, if I go back to the series I’ll likely still be picking up the older games like Guitar Hero III before this one.

Recommended listening:

This is an odd one because obviously the music is all licensed. Rather than just choose my favourite song, here's a link to the game's entire setlist:
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Ranger X

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Ranger X is an action game for the Mega Drive where you command a giant robot and shoot stuff. It’s a little more complex than that though, as you have many options for your destruction at your beck and call. You can boost on hover packs for a while, which refill whilst grounded. You can shoot backwards or forwards with A and C, or use your special weapon with B. These special weapons come in 2 flavours initially – a flamethrower, and a shockwave which travels along the ground. You get more later, including a giant laser cannon of doom and a homing eagle drone too. These can be recharged by standing in sunlight, and selected whilst inside your motorbike drone companion, who follows you along the level and can be commanded with X, Y and Z. Oh, and you can also ride along on his back or duck inside him to combine which gives you a homing machine gun. So, there’s a lot to learn in Ranger X, and it might take some time to get to grips with. But you’ll want to, because Ranger X is pretty great, and it brings to mind one of my favourite developers on the console – Treasure.

Ranger X is not a game by Treasure, but it FEELS like a game by them – it’s action packed, full of impressive visual effects, lots of crazy action and a bit of a learning curve. Levels open with 3D Wireframe maps of your target and things explode real good when you get going. There’s variety too, with open levels where you fly about, cave levels where sunlight is scarce for reloading weapons, levels where your bike is replaced by a plane with deadly air to ground lasers, a level where you fly up a massive tower – it’s interesting and exciting to play.

Ranger X is a game that I personally believe is a must play for the Mega Drive, but it’s been going up in price quite a bit lately, so I’d get on it sooner rather than later if I were you. If you love 90s action games, it’s a must own in my eyes.

Recommended listening:
I love the games opening song, and I think you will too. Click the image below to listen:

Opening theme:
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Silhouette Mirage

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Unlike Ranger X, which feels like a Treasure game, Silhouette Mirage IS a Treasure game. It’s kind of a beat-em-up and kind of a run-n-gun for Sega Saturn and Playstation 1, but I played the Japanese Saturn version. The PS1 one was localised by Working Designs and from my understanding they fucked up the difficulty as per usual, but either way it didn’t come out in Europe. The story scenes in the Saturn version which are spread throughout the game will be lost on you if you don’t speak Japanese, but luckily they’re mostly unimportant and the games wackiness and fun campaign are entirely playable to English speakers once you’ve grasped the controls.

The main gimmick of the game is that enemies come in Silhouette and Mirage varieties, blue and red respectively, and your main character is half and half – blue on one side and red on the other. Red enemies will be weakened by red shots but hurt by blue shots and vice versa, and you shoot the type of shot that matches the colour showing when you face either direction – this means you might not be able to deal damage at times depending on the enemies positioning. However, weakening enemies is also useful as it means they do less damage or weakening to you with their shots in general, leaving you safer to deal the other crucial move – the cash bash. By grabbing nearby enemies, you can punch them repeatedly in the face to knock money out of them, which is used to buy more powerful weaponry, of which there are 7 kinds, with 6 levels of power each. Your final crucial skill is the reflector, which lets you bounce back shots of the right colour to deal damage. Green enemies (who are neutral to both other colours) can only be harmed by reflecting shots at them.

Like most Treasure games, Silhouette Mirage puts you in a variety of fun and wacky scenarios, from a boss fight on the back of a car, a boss fight over a pot of soup, inside a giant sheep faced worm and more, and it’s interesting to see what will come next. The Japanese version isn’t too hard, especially when you figure out where to find the powerful level 6 weaponry, and the games only a couple of hours long, but it might take you a little bit to complete the game when you’re first learning, due to its limited continues (although it’s fairly generous, with 9 of them available). The main issue with the game is its inconsistent pacing – the need for money is high as it’s your primary method of powering up and healing, so bashing money out of enemies constantly can slow it down somewhat. However, I still had a great time with the game and think it’s honestly a bit underrated, perhaps down to the dodgy western release. If you get a chance to give Silhouette Mirage a go, definitely do, I think it’s great.

Recommended listening:
The soundtrack to Silhouette Mirage is pretty jazzy and fun, so I struggled to narrow it down. Here's 3 tracks I liked for you to enjoy:

Pinch me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nJHisKPwwU&index=3&list=PL6zFPfLZbcW9rBEXjeRn6G5vzwFme9YKJ
The goat that wore the skin of a sheep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMverLQW9mc&list=PL6zFPfLZbcW9rBEXjeRn6G5vzwFme9YKJ&index=19
Cheerful Shyna: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3CgoxTL6oI&index=22&list=PL6zFPfLZbcW9rBEXjeRn6G5vzwFme9YKJ

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Vib Ribbon

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This is kind of an odd one to call beaten, but I did finish all 3 of the included songs, so I’ll count it. Vib Ribbon is a rhythm game for PS1 with simple vector graphics and a unique gimmick – although it comes with 3 songs included, you can also remove the disc once the game has loaded in, insert a new CD and play the rhythm game along to any of your own music you like.

You do this by pressing one of 4 buttons depending on the type of obstacle which approaches you as you skip along the line – X, down, L or R. The obstacles are spikes, pits, loops and square steps, but they get more complicated when they get combined – for example, seeing a zig-zaggy loop means you must press the relevant button for both the loop and the spikes simultaneously. This means there’s often a lot to recall as you play through.

You play as a rabbit, but as you successfully hit buttons in time, you can eventually become a prince. Missing notes makes you return to rabbit form, then down to a frog, and finally a worm, before losing the song. It takes less missed notes to drop down a rank then successful ones to be promoted, so hitting lots of notes in succession is the order of the day here.

The three included songs are good ones for getting to grips with the game – they change up tempo and they’re kind of eclectic, but they also have relatively simple obstacles, with combination obstacles being fairly rare until the last of the 3 songs. However, the meat of the title is obviously in using your own music to make new courses, which is something I need to experiment more with yet.

From what I’ve played though, Vib Ribbon is a lot of fun, and worth picking up if you want to try out a unique title on PS1 (or PS3, in my case).

Recommended listening:
The music included in Vib Ribbon is eccentric and odd, but none more so than the tutorial track, where the rabbit sings the game instructions to you. Click the image below to listen:

Vib Ribbon Blues (tutorial):
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Flower, Sun & Rain

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Flower, Sun & Rain is a very, very odd adventure game for the Nintendo DS. It’s one of the earliest titles from the supposed genius mind of Suda51, and features you playing as a ‘searcher’ who finds things for people for a living, using Catherine, a hacking device of some sort inside a suitcase. He is hired by the Flower, Sun and Rain hotel to find an item for them, which turns out to be a bomb. However, things are more complicated than that though, as the bomb appears to be on a plane, and is not the only missing thing – the other item that is missing is time, as the same day repeats over and over, ending with the plane exploding and our hero waking up in his hotel room again the ‘next’ morning.

So far, so cool, but this is a weird ass game. Within the first 5 minutes of the game you’ll find yourself ‘jacking in’ to a man’s eyeball using a cable and typing in your birthday to solve a puzzle. All puzzles in FSR take on this format – you must find an object to plug Catherine into, then type in a multi-digit number to open it. The number you need is normally hinted at in game, and is found inside the FSR guidebook, a 45 page long document you’re given in game with information about the hotel and Lospass Island, the Island it’s on. The lack of variety in puzzle solving becomes tedious quickly, and the solutions are often abstract and don’t make sense in the context of the world. The game also revels in breaking the 4th wall constantly, and mocking both the players and game designers frequently, and doesn’t like to stick with a consistent tone, so be prepared for one of the oddest experiences you’ll have had in a while.

Unfortunately, the games habit of mocking players is a sore point for me, because it quickly gets to the point where things become grating and the game veers into deliberately bad and tedious game design just for the sake of annoying you, the player. It even declares so proudly, as it spends its 13th mission making you run in a slightly off angle straight line for 10 minutes to get to a destination, with nothing to see on the way, only to send you back where you came on a fetch quest afterwards, up 5 flights of stairs, down them again, back the 15 minute run, back the other way, up a flight of stairs, etc. The mission took me about 80 minutes and most of it was spent running from one destination to another. Fuck you Suda.

Visually, FSR is pretty ugly too – in some small ways I was impressed by its 3D world, but the DS can do better than this for sure, and it feels like corners were cut all over here. The music is the same too, with annoying remixes of classic songs throughout (which the game calls attention to in one of its 4th wall breaking moments too. The game is full of things which just feel unpolished or unrefined too – for example, when typing in codes to solve puzzles, up decreases the input number and down increases it. Never mind that it’s a DS and we could have just typed in on a keypad anyway. The game is also full of long straight paths which angled between the 8 cardinal directions too, meaning that you constantly have to readjust your direction as you run due to the D-Pad making even going in a straight line frustrating, as if playing Desert Bus.

There’s stuff I like about FSR – the zaniness of some scenarios are amusing, and it has a distinct style I kind of like, but unfortunately the annoying tedium it inflicts on players for the latter third of the game is absolutely unforgivable, stretching the final 3 hours into a 7 hour slog, and that’s ignoring the atrocious and barely comprehensible story, the boring gameplay of fetch quests and number puzzles and the ugly graphics and mediocre music. FSR is an interesting game, but it’s definitely not one I would recommend anyone actually play – there’s far better things you could be doing with your life.

Recommended listening:
As mentioned, the music in FSR is a bit meh. Click the link below to hear an example of the remixed licensed music, or click the image below that for one of the better songs in the game:

The Entertainer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4TzrNyuj1Y

Final Mondo:
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Max

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I’m a big fan of the original Game Boy. There’s something about the system that I really love, it’s just super charming and accessible, and the library is full of tons to unique and classic standalone games that never saw light on other systems – weird puzzlers like Nail n Scale and Mole Mania, adventure games like Roland’s Curse, RPGs like Great Greed, and a whole host of unique little platformers. One that’s fairly well known amongst Game Boy aficionados is a little game called The Adventures of Star Saver, where you play as a little kid in a mech suit as he jumps across planers in outer space to a chirpy fun soundtrack. The game is getting up there a bit in price nowadays, but oddly, no-one ever seems to talk about its sequel, probably because this title (which might be PAL exclusive?) has a name that doesn’t convey it has anything to do with Star Saver at all. Thankfully for me, that means it’s pretty affordable.

Max again stars a young boy in a mech suit on a quest to rescue his sister. You do so by jumping through levels shooting enemies and beating bosses. You start in your mech, but taking a hit will reveal the boy in the cockpit, and another hit will have the boy jumping around mechless instead. Pressing up and B throws a grappling hook straight up which is essential for clearing some gaps, as it allows you to pull up to high platforms and can be used to repeatedly to stop you falling into a pit by shuffling along the ceiling, although this is a bit awkward to do. You can grab gun power-ups which arm you with a few different weapons too, but these are only available to the mech and are lost when on foot. Finally, you can grab a jet pack power up which will save you from falling in a pit once per item, boosting you out of the pit to fly around freely for a short while before dropping again.

Other than that, there’s not a lot to Max. It’s a very simple little platformer – I’ve not played Star Saver, but I think it looks a little bit better than Max, mostly due to its far superior soundtrack (Max is a little lacking there), but this is still a fun little time and a title that feels very Game Boy – and at a far more accessible price point to boot. Worth a go, I think.

Recommended listening:
The music in Max is one of it's weaker elements compared to Star Saver, so for point of comparison, here's my favourite song from Max (stage 6 theme) compared to my favourite from Star Saver (stage 1 theme). The songs are hard to find online though, so they're longplays, sorry about that! Click both images below to compare:

Stage 6 theme from Max:
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Star Saver stage 1 theme:
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UN Squadron

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UN Squadron is a shmup for Super Nintendo which I played for this month’s Together Retro. The original Japanese version is based on some kind of anime, but they obviously decided for the west that the United Nations is way more badass or something.

Anyhow, you choose from one of 3 pilots, all with different skills, to take on the enemy forces. One pilot powers up faster – you grab power ups to increase the strength of your guns, and each successive level takes more power-ups to achieve. Another pilot can carry extra sub-weapons – these can be purchased prior to each level and over alternative methods of shooting – but they’re limited in number, and your plane can only hold so many of each type. The final pilot recovers from damage more quickly – in UN Squadron, taking a hit puts you into ‘danger’ status, but avoiding damage for a few seconds afterwards will see your health recover – each recovery leaves you with a bit less health until you reach ‘danger’ permanently, but the final pilot will recover more quickly until that point, leaving you less vulnerable. He’s the obvious best choice – by the end of the game I was overloaded with subweapons and fully powered, but that regen speed is always handy!

UN squadron lets you choose the order of stages you take on, but it’s important to be prepared for them – the bosses in particular can be incredibly hard, and equipping the best loadout of subweapons for them is very useful. You can also spend your money on better planes to take into stages, but in all honesty only about 2 are worth considering – I bought the cheapest and most expensive planes and nothing else on my through.

My biggest issue with UN Squadron is the difficulty – the bosses are brutal from very early on, and dying after spending loads of money on power-ups sucks. Combined with limited continues and it can be a rough time – I’ll admit to some save state usage at the start of each level to beat this one.

UN Squadron is a decent shmup for SNES, but it’s not top tier in my eyes. Definitely worth playing, but there’s better shmups to try before diving into this one.

Recommended listening:
The soundtrack to UN Squadron is decent, but it's one of those that fits well in game but is unremarkable otherwise. Here's my favourite song though:

Quartermaster Corps:
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X

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As mentioned in the review of Max, I love me some quirky Game Boy games, and this is a real oddity for the system. X is a first person, free roaming 3D space exploration game where you drive a space vehicle around the surface of a planet completing missions. It was created by Dylan Cuthbert of StarFox fame, and for some reason only came out in Japan.

First things first with X – this game is not in English, and unfortunately, there are lots of things about it which are not very accessible without knowledge of Japanese. As one of the non-Japanese speaking plebeian masses, I had a hard time getting my head around this one – in fact, BY FAR the hardest part of this title for me was the tutorial, which is in-depth, and tells you exactly what to do before you can proceed. Unfortunately for me, figuring out what was being asked of me was rather hard in such an open game when I couldn’t read the instruction, and I had to follow a longplay video very carefully for rather a long time to make it past the tutorial. I would heavily advise playing on something with save states if you don’t speak Nippon, because having to redo the tutorial if you game over would be incredibly demoralising – just make a save state at the start of mission 1.

Once you’re past that hurdle, you’ll still need some help – there’s a decent little guide with mission objectives and some of the basics on StrategyWiki that I highly recommend and which should be enough to get you going. In X, you pilot a space craft around a planet shooting enemies and completing missions which range from saving radar stations, bombing enemy fortress and escorting delivery vehicles to a nuclear silo. You can drive around the open map at 3 different speeds, shoot homing missiles, and fly by hitting a ramp at max speed to launch into the air. Radar domes can be visited to restock supplies, and tunnels can be used to access further off sectors more quickly – this tunnel music is probably the best known thing about the game thanks to its appearance in Smash Bros.

X is a very interesting title for the Game Boy – it’s ambitious for the era even for a home console, never mind the meagre handheld, and it’s quite fun to play once you understand what’s going on. However, it’s crying out for a translation because it’s hard to get to grips with, and it’s hard to recommend struggling through the language barrier when a superior sequel exists which has been localised – X-Scape on DSiWare (the atrociously named 3D Space Tank in Europe!) is fantastic and you should get that first, to see if you like this gameplay style, before muddling through on this one. But if you do, there’s certainly worse you can do then give this curio a try. It’s certainly interesting at the very least.

Recommended Listening:
Normally I like to try and avoid obvious choices with these songs, but in this case Tunnel Scene is by far the best track in the game, so that's what I chose. Click the image below to listen to it and enjoy!:

Tunnel scene:
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by dsheinem Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:01 am

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
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)
Crude Buster - Arcade (Wii)
Wizard Fire - Arcade (Wii)
Heavy Barrel - Arcade (Wii)
The Bouncer - PS2
Thor: God of Thunder - NDS
Destiny 2: Warmind - PS4
King Oddball - PS4
High Hell - PC
Postal Redux - PC
Super Night Riders - PC
Slap City - PC
Ultraflow - iOS
Grim Dawn - PC
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus - PC
Postal 2 - PC
Postal 2: Apocalypse Weekend - PC
Street Fighter V (SF1 Story Mode) - PS4
Windjammers- PS4
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR - Dragonborn - PSVR
Demon's Crystals - X1
Blek - iOS
Destiny 2: Forsaken - PS4
Roundabout - PS4
Shoot 1UP - 360
Forza Horizon 4 - X1/PC
Tetris Effect - PSVR
Donut County - iOS
Forza Horizon 4: Fortune Island - X1/PC
Florence - iOS

Total: 70

Previously: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

I don't think I will be completing any more games this year than what I did the other day, so I'm just making a final tally post here.

------

End of Year Totals, Stats, and Thoughts

Since starting to keep track 9 years ago, I have now beaten 770 games!!

Modern: 39 across 5 systems (PS4:14, PC:9, X1:6, PSVR:5, iOS:5)
Retro: 31 across 11 systems (NES:6, PS3:5, Arcade (Wii):4, Vita:3, PS2:3, Retro PC:3, 360:2, NDS:2, GCN:1, C64:1, SNES:1)

Genre Breakdown:

Other: 9
Fighting: 9
FPS: 8
RPG: 7
Platformer: 7
Racing/Sports: 6
Shmup: 6
Beat-em-up: 5
Puzzle: 4
Rail Shooter: 4
Third Person Shooter: 2
Twin Stick Shooter: 2
Run-n-Gun: 1

Best game I've finished that was released this year: God of War
Best retro game(s) I finished for the first time: Postal 1 & 2

Overall not a bad year. I played a lot more retro stuff this year than I have in a while, and took a decidedly slower pace with games in the second half of the year. I am happy with the ratio of short/long games, and oddly I still haven't finished my GOTY (Astro Bot Rescue Mission).

As the year ends, I find myself grappling a bit with how much I want to stick to chronicling the games I have finished. I had been planning to keep going until I hit 1000 (probably 3 years away) but, to be completely honest, I haven't felt the same level of enjoyment in making these posts as I did in previous years. Part of that might just be the larger sense I have that this forum is dying and so there's less responsiveness to people's posts (I, too, am guilty of not really weighing in much), but part of it is also the long grind of trying to make sure that I'm always working on beating something, of planning some of my gaming around various game lengths, and of knowing that I will need to write a few thoughts about each game to keep up what I have been doing since 2010. I will probably try to make good on finishing out the decade at the very least...and maybe the 1000 mark, too. But I can't see doing this much past that...
Last edited by dsheinem on Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by noiseredux Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:14 am

1. Ducktales: Remastered
2. Grand Theft Auto V
3. Diablo III: Darkening Of Tristram
4. Final Fantasy Type-0
5. The King Of Fighters: Neowave
6. Guardian Heroes
7. Puyo Puyo Tetris
8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
9. Gunstar Heroes
10. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
11. Ultimate NES Remix
12. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past
13. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
14. Madden NFL Football
15. Pokemon: Alpha Sapphire
16. Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures

Not the deepest sim out there, but it certainly is fun and looks great on the Switch.
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