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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:13 am

@Ack
@marurun

You’re both doing it right. I usually start with Flash man, but I can see the argument for starting with Air Man. (I used to start with Metal Man because his weapon is effective against so many other bosses. I stopped doing that once I learned how to get through Quick Man’s level effectively.

@noise

Great post. I’m playing some Castlevania games right now too, and while I’ve beaten Castlevania and Castlevania III several times, I’ve never beaten Castlevania II. You’ve inspired me to give it a run one I wrap up all the Gameboy Castlevania games. I’ve read that some of the game’s cryptic-ness is due to a very poor translation, and rather than playing my cart with a walkthrough, I’m thinking about playing with a translation patch. Does anyone here know if that improves the experience.

@Bone

There’s a boss rush at the end. I never found it too tough, though. Give the game another go sometime!
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by noiseredux Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:38 am

Cool, I look forward to your thoughts. Personally, I don't feel like I could even rank the three NES Castlevania games. They are each so unique.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by ElkinFencer10 Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:54 am

Games Beaten in 2019 So Far - 4
* denotes a replay

January (4 Games Beaten)
1. Army Men 3D - PlayStation - January 1*
2. Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished - NES - January 4
3. Mega Man - NES - January 6
4. Mega Man 2 - NES - January 6


4. Mega Man 2 - NES - January 6

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A year after the release of the first Mega Man (two years for North America), Capcom saw fit to bring the Blue Bomber back for another platforming pew-pew party on the NES. The box art for the North American release still looks more like a Chinese knock-off Power Ranger than Mega Man, but at least it's not as ugly and downright creepy as the cover of the first game was.

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Everything about Mega Man 2 is an improvement over its predecessor. The robot masters feel generally better designed, and there's more of an open ended weakness system with them. Whereas in the first game, each robot master had one specific weakness, your options are a bit more varied in the second game. The basic mega blaster will usually take care of them easily enough in a pinch, but they usually have a couple of weaknesses rather than just one, and they have specific resistances this time, too. In one instance, a certain boss is actually healed by a specific weapon, and in another, a boss is weak against his own weapon. It's clear that more time and energy went into the weaknesses and strategy in the sequel which makes sense given that the first game actually didn't perform particularly well commercially.

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Another area in which Mega Man 2 excels over its predecessor (in part because of the aforementioned attention given to the boss weaknesses and strategy) is the difficulty. In the original Japanese release, your only option was "balls hard," but when it got brought over to North American and Europe, they added in a "hard but not emasculating" difficulty alongside the "balls hard" difficulty of the Japanese release. You can also get three special items - creatively called Item-1, Item-2, and Item-3 - in addition to the robot masters' weapons that can make traversing levels MUUUUUCH easier (and I'm pretty sure are required in a few areas) which add to the problem solving that the game requires. The difficulty still doesn't feel as finely tuned to me as some of the later games, but it's an astronomical improvement over the original.

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Mega Man 2 is an entirely different breed of game from the original. I seem to be in the minority in that most folks seem to think that Mega Man 2 is the best of the six NES games, but even if I don't necessarily think it's THE best, it's definitely in the top three of the six. The difficulty is much more approachable, the robot masters have some legitimate strategy elements to them with regards to weaknesses, the platforming takes a bit more thought and planning, and the overall game mechanics just feel more refined and polished. This is basically everything that a sequel should be; fix what's wrong with the previous game and expand what was right.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:01 pm

1. Dusk (PC)(FPS)
2. Project: Snowblind (PC)(FPS)
3. Soldier of Fortune: Platinum Edition (PC)(FPS)
4. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)
5. Wolfenstein 3D: Ultimate Challenge (PC)(FPS)

Ultimate Challenge is the last of the mission packs created by FormGen as an expansion to Wolfenstein 3D. They're generally tied to Spear of Destiny since they use that as the true base, and in both mission packs, you go for the spear and fight the Angel of Death instead of confronting Hitler. There are some questionable design decisions in the FormGen content, though of the two, I vastly prefer Ultimate Challenge to Return to Danger.

Why? Simple: better level design. In Return to Danger, FormGen decided they wanted stuff on the map to look like Nazi iconography, to remind the player that you're in World War II and shooting evil members of the Third Reich...because the Nazi soldiers and swastikas all over the walls somehow wasn't enough. The problem is that doesn't make for good level design. There were also issues with level layout, letting you bypass large chunks without ever having to bother with them (I beat one level in 11 seconds due to this), and necessary keys and doors hidden behind secret walls.

Ultimate Challenge does suffer from some of the problems with secret walls housing keys, but it happens much more sparingly and only in later levels. The layouts are significantly better, and you'll likely see most of the level even if you know where to go to grab necessary keys and get to the correct elevator. There are also no terrible map designs like in Return to Danger; in fact the few things I saw repeated were actually highlights, such as a 9-room chamber where firing your weapon in one attracts a horde of guards from the others and gives you a real firefight. Now that's something I can get behind.

Unfortunately, Ultimate Challenge does have to play second fiddle to Return to Danger since most of the enemy sprites haven't been changed back from the terrible choices FormGen made for their first outing. Yes, you're still fighting blue dogs and bright green Nazis. Bosses also appear on the same levels again, and they're not changed at all from RtD, so while it made sense that you'd be fighting Barnacle Wilhelm in a submarine base, now you're fighting him in some kind of laser guidance lab. It doesn't make much sense, but I guess they were stuck. There are two texture changes that I notice though: ghosts in the final level are now green clouds, and there is a UAC crate texture from Doom used for some of the walls. That was a nice little reference.

With the better level layouts, I liked Ultimate Challenge more than Return to Danger, which I now consider to be the worst of all Wolf3D expansions. Since folks usually play RtD first, it appears Ultimate Challenge has to suffer being forgotten since RtD leaves a bad taste in the mouth. UC is not perfect, but it is way better than the previous mission pack. I'd recommend it over RtD any day for fans who have made it through the original Spear of Destiny expansion for Wolfenstein 3D. Yeah, you gotta worry about those ugly sprite recolors, but it could be a lot worse. I know from experience.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by dsheinem Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:59 pm

Games Beaten 2019

Kentucky Route Zero Act 1 - PC
All Our Asias - PC
Shape of the World - Switch
Hidden Folks - PC *new*
Hyrule Warriors - Wii U *new*

Total: 5


It is only January, but I feel it's unlikely that I will play a game more adorable than Hidden Folks before the year is out. This is a "hidden object" game but one that has a really detailed series of hand-drawn animations playing out in a series of cleverly designed settings. I think my nine year old enjoyed playing it as much as I did, and it even offers a fair degree of challenge (especially if you want to find everything on each level). More than anything, the game's sounds and its sense of humor make this one worth checking out. It can usually be found for around $5 on Steam, I think, so maybe check it out in a future sale...

Hyrule Warriors was my first experience with a Warriors-style game and I quite liked it. The game controls well, has an enjoyable set of combat mechanics, a big cast of characters that you can play as (or not, if you prefer), and a few different plot twists that keep things at least nominally interesting in the narrative department. I don't know if I want to play any other games of this style yet (any suggestions?), but I am certainly more open to the possibility after sinking my time into this over the past week.

Previously: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Last edited by dsheinem on Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:01 pm

And here I was thinking it was a video game adaptation about black women who worked at NASA and never got their due credit for their contributions to the space race.

But...well, I do like hidden object games from time to time...
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by dsheinem Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:13 pm

Ack wrote:And here I was thinking it was a video game adaptation about black women who worked at NASA and never got their due credit for their contributions to the space race.

But...well, I do like hidden object games from time to time...

:lol:

My bad: the game is called "Hidden Folks" not "Hidden Figures". Corrected above.

I'd totally play a hidden object game based on Hidden Figures, though. :P
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:57 am

Yay! It’s DSH!

I’m thinking of digging into Hyrule Warriors soon. I’ve never played a Musou game either, but I am intrigued by them. Based on your review, it looks like Hyrule Warriors May be a good place for me to start.

.....

1. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary (NDS)
2. Reigns (iOS)
3. Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
4. Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB)

While it doesn’t offer the white-knuckle thrills found in level 3 of Castlevania: The Adventure (GB), Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB) is otherwise the superior game in (almost) every other way. It looks better; its difficulty curve is more gradual; it has more content; it has more complex mechanics; it’s more fun; and it controls way, way better. (IMO, the music isn’t quite as good, though.) It is a solid game through-and-through, and a worthy entry in the series. I recommend it to anyone looking for a new challenge ater playing through all the classic Castlevania games on the NES, Genesis, and SNES.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by dsheinem Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:46 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:I’m thinking of digging into Hyrule Warriors soon. I’ve never played a Musou game either, but I am intrigued by them. Based on your review, it looks like Hyrule Warriors May be a good place for me to start.


I think the version to play, from most of what I have read, is the Switch version. It includes a ton of DLC from both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game and some added exclusive content. The Wii U version does offer some unique second screen/second player options, but overall runs less smoothly than the Switch version (especially when the second screen is being used in co-op). The 3DS version also has a lot of slowdown on any non- New 3DS system, since it was optimized for that version of the handheld.

That said, I played through the single-player campaign using a Wii U Pro Controller, and the slowdown wasn't a regular headache (or game-breaking or anything like that). Apparently the Switch version also has some slowdown issues (especially in handheld mode), so you may want to read up a bit before deciding. This covers things well.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:02 am

Thanks!

I have the 3DS and WiiU versions, but I don’t have a New 3DS or Switch. Looks like it’ll be the Wii U version for me.
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