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Flake
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Flake Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:41 am

January
Megaman (Switch)
Megaman 2 (Switch)
Megaman 3 (Switch)
Megaman 4 (Switch)
Megaman 5 (Switch)
Megaman 6 (Switch)
Megaman 7 (Switch)
Megaman 8 (Switch)

Megaman 8 remains one of my favorite games in the series and it is peak 90's era Capcom. The game is bright and wacky. The level designs call back to Megaman 1-3 where having special weapons lets you either navigate the level with more ease or reach items. 3 super important changes to the formula are made: Energy tanks are gone, upgrades for Rush are obtained from midlevel bosses, and upgrade items are purchased using finite amounts of bolts that have to be found in levels.

The outcome of these design choices are that the game encourages you to play more defensively while at the same time rewarding you for making progress and exploring levels - even if you can't yet get to the final boss, you'll likely still end up more powerful for the next attempt. It's a type of progression that reminds me a bit of the Rogue Like genre and it's something that was never again used in Megaman games.

I'd say the only gripe I have is that the Switch version (like the PS4 version) uses the playstation 1 version of the game and not the superior Sega Saturn version. So the sprite count is lower than it could be and the secret bosses from the Saturn version are not present. It's not a huge oversight, though. The PS1 version has been the most commonly re-released version so hardly anyone would notice.
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strangenova
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by strangenova Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:08 pm

I love Mega Man 8! I find most people either gloss over it or just dont like it because it looks and plays a bit different. The first time I played it I was immediately charmed by the games graphics and audio. The level designs are all very unique and the weapons, as you mentioned, are fantastic as navigating tools. Also Clown Man is not that bad.

The only negative point I have with it is the way it handled Rush. His abilities are just after thoughts it seems. You never really get to make good use of the motorcycle and the health drop ability is terrible with its rng.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Nemoide Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:34 pm

My memory of Mega Man 8 isn't especially pleasant. What stick out most in my mind are the automatically scrolling parts and some of the worst voice acting in video game history. I'm amused that it canonically establishes that Bass' name is pronounced like the fish instead of the sound.

But it's been many years since I've played it on the Mega Man Anniversary Collection. I wouldn't mind owning a Japanese copy on the Saturn and seeing experiencing that version.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:56 pm

1. Octopath Traveler - Switch
2. Dusk - PC
3. Forsaken Remastered - PC

So a couple years ago I played through Forsaken 64, so when I saw Night Dive did a remaster of Forsaken I initially wasn't interested. But then I found out that there are substantial differences between the levels of the original PC game and the N64 port, so I decided to pick it up. And there are indeed differences in the maps; for the most part, I'd say about 2/3 of the PC levels do not appear in the 64 version, and the remaster adds in several bonus levels which were original 64 levels. My guess is that when they ported it they cut out all the large levels due to technical limitations; I found the levels in the PC game were far larger and sprawling compared to the N64 levels.

So Forsaken came out after Descent, to try and follow up on that 6DOF genre that Descent introduced. It does a pretty competent job at it, but there's a series of design decisions that makes it not feel as good to play as Descent. It's still fun, though. If you like the genre it's definitely worth playing. Like Descent, the game is built around the ability to move and turn in any direction. It is important to get used to strafing along all three axes, as enemies tend to swarm you with fire. You get a selection of primary weapons and secondary weapons; three of the primary weapons share ammo and two of them each have unique ammo. The secondaries are a selection of missiles and mines. You can also pick up a general boost to your primary strength, which starts at level 1 and goes up to level 3. Each increase boosts your rate of fire, and also the rate at which you drain ammo, so it's important to up your accuracy as you get them. Finally, you can get temporary orbital lasers, which spin around you and add damage when you fire. They appear to have their own hidden ammo count, and when you run out they're gone.

One unique thing the game does compared to Descent is have a selection of characters to play as; each one has different stats for speed, handling (which appears to be turn rate), shields, and health. Shields can be replenished, health cannot. Picking one that suits your playstyle is important, though I feel that you're better off going with the speed characters, as the shield pickups restore a fixed amount of shields, not a percentage. So if a level has 1000 units worth of shield pickups the fact that you can hold 250 shields vs. 50 shields at a time doesn't matter as much; the 50 shield guy just has to grab those pickups more often but neither is more survivable than the other. The game has a lives system, and this ties in to the pickups. In every level there is a crystal to grab, and in most of them there are also gold bars. The crystal is needed to unlock the final couple levels, while the gold bars give you lives once you have picked up enough (and are also needed to unlock the final bonus level). You also need to find all the secrets to unlock the final bonus level, and while you will get the majority of secrets by finding the crystals and gold bars, you won't find all of them.

The enemies are a mix of flying and ground based (either fixed turrets or tanks). This leads in to the first major difference between this game and Descent; the level design is much more "standard". Descent took full advantage of the fact that you were in essentially asteroid mines and gravity wasn't really a concern, so things twisted every which way. Forsaken is set on the ruins of Earth, and the level design tends to maintain the idea of a particular axis as down. You'll have pipes which carry you from floor to floor, but there is still a consistent orientation, and many levels tend to feature flat rectangular rooms which wouldn't look out of place in a standard FPS. I think the usage of tanks is what causes this level design, and makes the levels a bit less interesting. There's also stage hazards that I don't recall seeing in Descent, and these are a mix of stuff to dodge and sections which are just straight hazards to even be in the vicinity of (e.g. radiation); the latter is a source of damage you'll just take, which feels a bit bullshit, as Descent damage was always avoidable. You can actually be in a situation where the only way forward is a section that deals damage, and your health is low enough that you die (and if it's your last life, that makes the level unwinnable without restarting). Finally, they managed to actually outdo Descent when it comes to a bullshit enemy. In Descent the Driller Mk1s were everyone's bane, as they scream at you and trash your health with a hitscan gatling gun. But you could also take them out quickly with a couple of missiles, so fast reflexes kept the damage down. Forsaken has an enemy which is partially cloaked and using the transpulse weapon, which has a ricochet that is aimed at the player position (or enemy position when you use it). They are also highly maneuverable, so you can't hit them with homing weapons reliably, nor can you hit them reliably with your main weapon, and even though you're strafing you're taking a ton of damage (as they are frequently in places with narrow confines so the ricochet nails you). Those guys and the bosses both end up feeling super bad; the bosses are fought in areas where you can't dodge their shots most of the time, so it comes down to "do I have enough lives and secondaries to burn through their health in time?"

Still, there's not exactly a lot of 6DOF games, and when the game isn't pulling out some of the aforementioned bullshit it's a lot of fun to play; the movement is smooth and your weapons are pretty good for the most part.
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Violent By Design
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Violent By Design Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:41 am

Flake wrote:Heeeere we go!

January
Megaman (Switch)
Megaman 2 (Switch)
Megaman 3 (Switch)
Megaman 4 (Switch)
Megaman 5 (Switch)
Megaman 6 (Switch)
Megaman 7 (Switch)

I finally got Megaman 11 and decided that it was a good reason to finally play the Switch version of the Legacy Collections that I bought last year. I'm super impressed by how accurate the NES emulation is - even the visual glitches on the loading seam (ala Super Mario 3) are duplicated perfectly. The slow down is in the places I remember it being. I instinctively took advantage of it with the muscle memory I developed as a kid.

Oh, and Megaman 1-6 on the Legecy Collection work perfectly with the Nintendo Switch Online NES controllers. No need to re-map anything at all. That was a super nice bonus. Until the hand cramps set in.

What did you think of Megman 4-6?
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:49 pm

Hey Pops, I'd like to point out that Descent did do some nasty stuff with lava, including at least one level that had a lava waterfall you had to travel through which would cause damage.

That said, I didn't spend time with Forsaken, so I cannot compare it to Descent. It sounds problematic, though I'd still play it for a 6DOF fix.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:55 pm

Ack wrote:Hey Pops, I'd like to point out that Descent did do some nasty stuff with lava, including at least one level that had a lava waterfall you had to travel through which would cause damage.

That said, I didn't spend time with Forsaken, so I cannot compare it to Descent. It sounds problematic, though I'd still play it for a 6DOF fix.

I don't recall a lava waterfall in Descent; maybe that was Descent 2? And I'd be more willing to forgive Descent 2 for that, as it was from that era where many sequels assumed you beat the first game, so they were willing to ramp up higher. With Forsaken, several of those things would occur without warning. Hell, there was one obstacle that I still haven't figured out a way to escape, and you're required to go into it to get a key item to progress in the stage. It's a section of water with a turbine in it that spins you around; you have to go into it to get the item, but then as far as I can tell there is no way out without maybe a nitro, which don't exist prior to that point in the level. So you essentially have to take a death there.

Still, I think you should snag it sometime. You'll enjoy it for the most part, as I did. It's just a few things that pull you out and go "man, Descent did this better". I also left off the hardon some of the map developers have for teleporting in hazards when you pass invisible triggers. It's not so bad when it's a few enemy ships, as you've got a rear view camera and you usually notice quickly when you take damage, but there's a few levels that teleport in mines behind you, and mines are not very visible at the best of times. I took a ton of damage to those sorts of "gotcha" traps (with the worst being you go into an alcove to get a powerup and a mine spawns right behind you; you can shoot it if you turn around, but you're backing up out of the alcove normally).

Frankly, I think the N64 version is actually the most enjoyable. A few of the PC levels are just far too long, which the N64 version tightens up, and there wasn't much in the way of things that made me feel like "that's bullshit level design".
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strangenova
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by strangenova Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:11 am

So far this year I've beaten Dead Cells twice. Once on normal 0 cell mode and then yesterday I beat it on Hard 1 cell mode. Already feeling the itch to get through very hard difficulty.

This game is all about building strong item synergies and being fast on your feet. Combat is fast, flashy and addictive. To anyone who was on the fence with this one, go ahead and pick it up. Highly recommended
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Flake Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:14 am

Violent By Design wrote:What did you think of Megman 4-6?


I love Megaman 4 - 6. Megaman 4 is actually the first video game I ever beat. They definitely stand in contrast from the first 3 in that the level design is simplified to accommodate the mega buster which had the unintended effect of negating the value of using special weapons outside of boss fights.

The Boss fights are, in my opinion, much better in 4 - 6 than in the first 3. The AI is better and as a result, the bosses focus much less on beating you by simply crashing into you. The music is less memorable than the first 3, though. All in all, I find them to be as enjoyable as any game in the NES series though none of the NES games is as good as Megaman V for the Gameboy.

January
Megaman (Switch)
Megaman 2 (Switch)
Megaman 3 (Switch)
Megaman 4 (Switch)
Megaman 5 (Switch)
Megaman 6 (Switch)
Megaman 7 (Switch)
Megaman 8 (Switch)
Megaman 9 (Switch)

Speaking of throw backs to the Megaman 1 - 3 era, Megaman 9! Megaman 9 needs no further praise. Anything good you've heard about it is true. Anything negative you've heard is untrue. It's as simple as that. The music is Megaman 2/3 era good. The Tornado Man theme in particular is really good. The level design returns to emphasizing using special weapons to navigate. It's possible to make it through any level without a special weapon but there are some (looking at you, Plug Man) that can be truly challenging if you aren't equipped. The dedication to level design is so complete that the developers even removed Rush Jet from being tied to any one Robot Master. You get Rush after defeating a certain number, removing the option to 'break' the game early on.

If I had any gripes at all, it's that the recreation of the 'feel' of the NES era games is almost too accurate. There's no option to cycle through other powers using the shoulder buttons - after a decade and a half of Megaman X and later Megaman games where that was possible, it feels weird to have to go through a menu again.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:31 am

1. Dusk (PC)(FPS)
2. Project: Snowblind (PC)(FPS)
3. Soldier of Fortune: Platinum Edition (PC)(FPS)
4. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)

Ziggurat came out about five years ago, but it combines a mixture of inspiration from current indie roguelikes as well as Heretic and Hexen. You play an apprentice wizard who is entering the Ziggurat in your final test to prove yourself capable of joining a powerful wizard's cabal. The Ziggurat is randomized but contains five floors full of enemies, traps, items, bosses, and magic weapons for you to use in your quest. Yes, there are limits to the types of enemies you'll see, and as you replay, you'll notice the same rooms over and over again, but there are some variations that make things interesting.

Though I'm writing now that I've beaten Ziggurat, I've actually beaten it five times, and I'll need to beat it many more times to unlock everything. Ziggurat is a game that you play over and over again, because there are tons of unlockables. You have to kill a certain number of enemies to see them in the bestiary. You have to find lore scrolls with notes on the dungeon. You have to meet certain requirements to unlock various playable characters. And then there is the armory, which contains items you unlock randomly at the end of every playthrough, be it winning or death. And there's about a hundred of those.

Yes, this game is like other modern roguelike FPS, such as Tower of Guns or Immortal Redneck. The Heretic/Hexen influence comes in the fantasy creatures and style as well as your magic weapons, based on on spells, magic wands, and alchemical weapons. These can be a variety of things, such as guns and bombs, and you'll unlock new ones that will then be able to appear randomly in the dungeon. The weapons all handle well, even the ones I don't like. There is also a leveling mechanic that lets you pick an ability based upon two random choices given at each level up, meaning you can end up with some wild upgrades that radically change how you play.

There are also shrines to the gods you can pray at, but these may give you boons, severely hurt you, or lead to indifference from the gods, which will cause a change but not necessarily one you benefit from. What do I mean by this? Your mana pool for wands could increase, but so does the cost of using it. Or you jump whenever you take damage. Or you get to choose two upgrades at each level up, but you no longer gain additional health or mana. And trust me, you'll want that health and mana. That gift from the gods definitely changed that playthrough.

To add to the mix, the playable characters also offer something unique. Everyone starts with a magic wand, but wands are created different, so some folks can snipe, some shoot clusters, one guy has a shotgun-type blast, but everyone feels different. Folks also start with different abilities and stats, so you might play as a character that gets very little health on level up but levels up quickly. Or you might try a character who gains health and mana every time he starts a fight with monsters but barely gets any back from health and mana drops. Hell, there's even a vampire character you can unlock who needs to kill to heal and is slowly losing health in the meantime. In short, you have a variety of options.

Yes, the game does offer a lot of repetition. There are only so many enemies, so many traps, and so many room designs. But these characters, the randomization of level ups, blessings from the gods, and weapons, the variety of enemy arrangements you'll find in different rooms, as well as a few upgraded enemies and challenge rooms that make you destroy targets or deal with things like only being able to move by bunny hopping...Ziggurat keeps itself a lot fresher than I found Tower of Guns to be, despite ToG doing more with the visuals. I recommend Ziggurat to folks who like these roguelike FPS games.
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