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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:15 am

Partridge Senpai's 2019 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018
* indicates a repeat

1. Night Slashers (Switch)
2. Bye-Bye BOXBOY! (3DS)
3. GTA4: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Xbox 360)
4. Katamari Forever (PS3)
5. Detention (PS4)
6. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) *
7. OctoDad: Dadliest Catch (PS4) *

8. FlintHook (Switch)

Got this on a Switch sale a month or so ago because I dig the art style and I love me a good rogue lite (especially a good'n' on a portable console), and this did not disappoint. Showing it to a friend, she compared the playstyle to MegaMan Zero, which I think is honestly not too far off, save that you don't have a sword and instead you have 360-degree firing capabilities.

FlintHook is a rogue-lite that sees you as the titular FlintHook as they try to save their fellow lighthouse keepers from their prisons aboard the ships of the most dangerous space pirate kings. It is an action-platformer that has you going between rooms and shooting baddies while jumping, wall-jumping, and using your hookshot to fling around on hooks and launch yourself around stages. There's even a bullet-time feature you can toggle for good measure. It's not the most original concept in the world, but it's executed very well and is a joy to just launch yourself around in and fire away at baddies.

Every time you level up you get a new perk or two that you can put on before you start a run, and there are slight upgrades you can buy for yourself with rewards from playing runs, but this is a very skill-based rogue-lite compared to something like Binding of Isaac. Your gun can get some moderate changes to its power, trajectory, range, etc., and you can get slightly better defenses, but generally you can stay alive for as well as you can play the game.

The enemy variety isn't too huge, but it's more than big enough to make for interesting encounters. Paired with the traps and the staggering variety of room layouts for each room type (battle, corridor, and treasure/trap), I played for like 15 or so hours and I'm still finding rooms I've never seen before to test my abilities. There are only 5 different "bounties" you can do (basically a certain number of levels before the same boss ship at the end), but each has a harder variant that seems to add yet more possible rooms to encounter. It's a game that is a perfect fit for Switch, because it's a brilliant time-filler and because your abilities are basically always the same, it's easy to put down and then pick right back up again in a few days when you have time/motivation to continue the run you were on.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Like Binding of Isaac, FlintHook is a rogue-lite that doesn't have THAT much in it, but it uses tight controls and deliberate design of what is there to make for an addicting and replayable experience. FlintHook isn't nearly as difficult as many other rogue-lites on the market, but it doesn't have to be. It's a more casual while still difficult rogue-lite that is ultimately a bit simple but also equally unobjectionable in its well executed design. A good addition to the digital library for any Switch owner for sure~
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by ElkinFencer10 Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:19 pm

Games Beaten in 2019 So Far - 14
* denotes a replay

January (12 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
5. Mega Man 3 - NES - January 6
6. Mega Man 4 - NES - January 7
7. Dr. Discord's Conquest - NES - January 7
8. Mega Man 5 - NES - January 26
9. Just Cause 3 - PlayStation 4 - January 26
10. Mega Man 6 - NES - January 27
11. Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight - Vita - January 27
12. Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space - PlayStation 2 - January 27


February (2 Games Beaten)
13. Earth Defense Force 5 - PlayStation 4 - February 2
14. Fallout 76 - PlayStation 4 - February 3


14. Fallout 76 - PlayStation 4 - February 3

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Fallout 76 is a divisive game to say the least. In a time when compelling single player games with deep lore and world building are increasingly scarce, Bethesda has long been a beacon of light in a dark cavern of multiplayer garbage with its Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. Elder Scrolls Online was sort of to be expected because it's basically just Bethesda's version of World of Warcraft, but Fallout 76 was a game that could easily have been amazing or disastrous depending on execution. It's the first online Fallout game, and that's a hard thing to get right; you don't want a straight up empty world, but it's not very in keeping with Fallout if there are thousands of people in one settlement. Unfortunately on the spectrum between success and disaster, Fallout 76 falls a bit right of center.

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Fallout 76 manages to strike a pretty good balance with the world population. There are something like a dozen and half max per world which, while still leaving the world feel pretty desolate and empty, keeps running into other players from being a rare occurrence even if it's not exactly common. The post-nuclear world of West Virginia is also extremely well done and possibly one of the best and most interesting worlds to appear in a Fallout game yet. Unfortunately that's about all that Fallout 76 gets right. The rest of the game more or less varies between "disappointing" and "what the hell, dude?"

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Let's start with the story. There isn't much. The overarching "main" quest line involves following in the footsteps of Vault 76's overseer as she tries to evaluate the damage Appalachia suffered in China's nuclear barrage and to secure the nuclear weapons still unlaunched in the region. These quests are basically just a scavenger hunt; it's just going from place to place and stumbling upon the supply boxes and holotapes she left behind. There are four "categories" of quests in Fallout 76 - "Main" quests which include the overseer quests and a handful of other major lore-establishing quests, "Side" quests which shed life on what happened in West Virginia in the 25 years between the falling of the bombs and the day that Vault 76 opened, "Daily" quests which are relatively short and simple quests that can be repeated every day, and "Event" quests which are tied to specific regions like restoring a power plant or repairing a food processing facility.

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Because Fallout 76 is an online game, Bethesda wanted to encourage interaction between players. To achieve this, they decided not to include any human NPCs whatsoever. Anyone you encounter is either a player character, a robot, or a mutated horror that's trying to kill you. On the one hand, I can somewhat understand it. It's only been a couple decades since the bombs fell, so most folks are either dead or ghouls. On the other hand, we know from holotapes and notes found during side quests that there WERE people who survived the bombs and were alive fairly recently (since you can find mostly undecomposed bodies around). Not only that, but we know that that there were people long after the bombs because we've all played the older games (shame on you if you haven't), so when you really start to think about it, it's just bizarre that the ONLY living people are suddenly vault dwellers when there had been survivors not long before the vault opened.

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Let's turn now to the mechanics and gameplay. Can someone please explain to me why the hell a game that came out four months ago is built on an engine that's old enough to have a Bachelor's degree? Oh, sure, it's gone through "revisions" and "major updates," but at the end of the day, Bethesda is still using Gamebryo, and that engine has been around since 1997. You should not release a full retail price game that's built with an engine that's old enough to drink in the United States. It shows, too, that they're using an ancient engine and that Bethesda still hasn't learned what the phrase "quality assurance" means. When the game launched, it was a buggy mess. Some quests couldn't be completed because you couldn't interact with certain objects, items were unobtainable because the model would spawn but without any actual hit box or item linked to the model, perks were broken, enemies would randomly regenerate, achievements didn't always trigger....it was atrocious. I was a hardcore apologist at the time, too. "Oh, it's not THAT bad. No worse than their other games!" No, it was worse than their other games.

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When they released the first "patch" to fix some of the bugs, they broke more than they fixed. Suddenly spawn rates were broken so you'd have literally dozens if not hundreds of robots spawning in one location under certain conditions. This put tons of strain on servers that already clearly hadn't been stress tested and resulted in my spending a solid month, maybe a month a half, literally unable to play because I would consistently get disconnected every ten to fifteen minutes. Every little subsequent patch and "hotfix" has been a damn carousel of nerfs and buffs to the point where hardly anyone has any idea what weapons do what damage this week. That doesn't even begin to touch on the Atomic Shop. It's their "totally not pay to win" microtransaction system, and while technically it's not pay to win (yet), it's stupid overpriced. An emote - just a damn 5 second gesture - will cost something like 500 atoms. A costume skin will cost 1800. You know what 1800 atoms translates to in real world money? 18 damn US dollars! For the price of three armor skins, you could buy a brand new copy of the game at launch day price. I'm all for cosmetic microtransactions, but when they're exorbitant like that, I have a problem with it, and when they stop being purely cosmetic, I have a HUGE problem with it. They aren't (yet) outright selling weapons or caps or whatever, but they have started doing things like "from this day until this day, this $15 costume will give you +15 damage resistance!" and crap like that. It's just trying to be sneaky about dipping their toes into the pay to win waters.

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Lastly, I need to vent about the carry limit. I understand that for balance purposes as well as server stress purposes, you need to limit how much weight a player can carry in their inventory. However if food has weight, bobby pins have weight, ammo has weight, fully broken down resources have weight, that adds up FAST. But that's fine because you can put it in your stash, right? Well, maybe. Most players have, I'd say, about 200 carry weight on average. The stash can hold 600 (it could only hold 400 at launch). That fills up FAST especially when some of the powerful weapons that you probably save for Scorchbeasts and Mirelurk Queens weight like 30 or 40. I understand that server stability - or stability with anything really - isn't Bethesda's strong suit, but the whole game is pretty much an exercise in being ALMOST overencumbered.

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Fallout 76 is a massive exercise in missed opportunity and botched efforts. For the plethora of complaints I addressed above plus the fact that entire factions' traders are limited to 200 caps per day (not individual trader robots) which I didn't even mention, Fallout 76 is a depressingly disappointing game that highlights what happens proper time for bug testing and bug fixing isn't allowed. Now to be fair, I have still had a lot of fun with this game, and I've had some great experience with impromptu groups. The base building has been DRAMATICALLY improved from Fallout 4, and the diversity in the locations in the game keep your adventure for looking the same constantly. Unfortunately, despite the fact that it is a lot of fun to play if you manage to avoid the major bugs (or are very patient with them), it's just not a very well made game when you get down to the details and stability. That's a shame, too, because this could have been an absolutely incredible game. As the president of the United States would say, SAD.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:21 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2019 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018
* indicates a repeat

1. Night Slashers (Switch)
2. Bye-Bye BOXBOY! (3DS)
3. GTA4: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Xbox 360)
4. Katamari Forever (PS3)
5. Detention (PS4)
6. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) *
7. OctoDad: Dadliest Catch (PS4) *
8. FlintHook (Switch)

9. God of War (PS4)

I've never been a fan of God of War. The old action games were always somewhere between not having enough meaningful narrative and not really being gripping enough on a gameplay level (as well as just being genuinely nauseatingly gruesome at times). When I started hearing about the new God of War though, which I will call from here on Dad of War as to avoid confusion with the PS2 game of the same title, I was increasingly interested all the time. A shift away from the old character-action games and into something more somber and reflective on a story level and something between a Soulsborne and a Zelda game mechanically, my interest was definitely piqued. Now that it is the second PS4 game I've ever platinum'd, I can safely say that it didn't just not disappoint, it absolutely blew me away.

Dad of War, as the fan-given title implies, frames Kratos not as some power-driven killing machine, but as a settled down with a family. Not in Greece either, as he's run all the way up to Midgard, a land of Norse gods, to try and begin this new life. His wife has just passed, and he and his son Atreus venture off on a quest to fulfill her final wish: to have her ashes spread from the highest peak in the realms. What follows is a slow story commenting not just on how Kratos' has mellowed, but how he struggles to bond with his son and teach him how to be a good person. It's a story of them slowly learning to respect and understand one another through shared adversity and communication borne from that adversity, and it's a slow burn but brilliantly done.

This isn't relegated to the core story moments either. Where a game like Spider-Man struggles to keep up the pace of the main narrative while it throws so many fun, optional side missions at you, the narrative premise of Dad of War really helps it out in overcoming that stumbling block. Because the narrative is driven from a place of personal motivation, it allows the story to take weaves and turns for sidequests without significantly affecting the pace of the narrative. The real point of the plot is Kratos and Atreus learning to understand each other, not them saving the world or something like that. The implementation of this blend of gameplay with narrative is of a quality I haven't seen in any AAA game in recent memory.

The combat starts off a bit hard, even for the first real fight in the game (also quite like Spider-Man), but the combat is just so fast, visceral and fun that it just fit perfectly for my tastes. Kratos' Leviathan Ax is so great to chuck around or slam into enemies, and Atreus' magical moves and bow attacks add in just one more thing to think about, and that's before things like Kratos' runic specials and ALL the special moves you can unlock as you level up. You don't really level up hard with power, rather your gear adds to a general relative power level for your character. What you actually spend XP on is new moves, so you're just constantly upgrading and enhancing your move-set of how you deal with encounters. Normal enemy encounters are something closer to a Soulsborne game, while bosses are more like a Zelda game, but the boss encounters were still some of my top-favorite parts of the playing parts of the game. It's some of the most fun combat has been in a modern game for me recently, and that's saying something with how much I loved Spider-Man's combat.

The world it takes place in is just so beautiful as well. Playing this on a standard PS4 Slim, not even on a Pro, the game still looks amazing. There are a couple framerate stutters in some cutscenes, but the game never suffered during gameplay because of it, and the textures manage to look fantastic the whole time to boot. The fans on my PS4 were going nuts the whole time I played the game, so I could visibly hear just how much strain this game was flexing out of the PS4 to get it looking this good, and it paid off in a great way. Exploring every little nook and cranny for more gear and story stuff is that much more fun when the areas are both designed so well and look as good as they do.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Santa Monica Studios has given themselves one hell of an act to follow. I don't think I've ever played a Zelda-style game this good, and I'm not sure I ever will again. Dad of War takes the mantle that Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom held for me of best non-Zelda Zelda game, and if you like Zelda games, this is absolutely a can't-miss game, even if you don't know or don't like anything about the previous God of War games.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Sarge Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:31 pm

I was expecting the same thing from God of War myself. Decent, but not worthy of all that praise. Boy, I've been totally wrong. I'm working my way through it now, and getting ready to finally start what I believe is the end game run. I just want to try to finish off Muspelheim if I can first. Niflheim has been pretty grindy, but at least both it and Muspelheim are optional.

Combat feels fantastic, the story beats have been compelling, and structurally, it really is akin to Zelda or Majin or Darksiders. Really, really good stuff.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by marurun Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:59 pm

Nippleheim!

Just putting that out there...
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:06 pm

Sarge wrote:I was expecting the same thing from God of War myself. Decent, but not worthy of all that praise. Boy, I've been totally wrong. I'm working my way through it now, and getting ready to finally start what I believe is the end game run. I just want to try to finish off Muspelheim if I can first. Niflheim has been pretty grindy, but at least both it and Muspelheim are optional.

Combat feels fantastic, the story beats have been compelling, and structurally, it really is akin to Zelda or Majin or Darksiders. Really, really good stuff.


I wanna say Nifelheim took me like 4 or 5 hours to do completely. It was something I was kinda just going through to do, but at the same time the encounters are just SO tense that they were always fun when I got through them. It was a side-area I ended up enjoying way more than I thought I would, even though it's basically the 2nd hardest thing in the game other than the Valkyrie fights. Muspelheim I disliked a lot more just because of how you get around and how the rewards for it work. The challenges themselves could be good fun, but the "don't get hit" one was just so anxiety inducing I nearly just didn't do that one :lol: . The combat was definitely something that added a LOT to how this was a game I was sad to see end just because of how FUN it is.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:43 pm

1. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary (NDS)
2. Reigns (iOS)
3. Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
4. Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB)
5. Castlevania Legends (GB)
6. Yankai’s Triangle (iOS)
7. Mega Man III (GB)

This was a pleasant surprise! The first two Mega Man games on the Gameboy are a bit middling, and they never really capture the magic of their console counterparts. The Gameboy series turns a corner with its third entry, however, and Mega Man III (GB) is at least as good as most of the NES games. More importantly, it is very challenging, and beating Dr. Wily (again) provided a real sense of accomplishment, I have always enjoyed the Mega Man series, and I have played through some of the games in this series nearly a dozen times. (I just can’t get enough Mega Man 2.) The fact that there are still good entries in the classic series that are new to me fills me with excitement, and I am looking forward to diving into Mega Man IV and Mega Man V.
Last edited by prfsnl_gmr on Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Sarge Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:03 am

I dug Mega Man III. Found it years ago at a yard sale, complete. Sadly, I traded that copy later. I do have it again, but it's cart only.

I finished God of War. I've been debating whether I want to give it a 9.5 or a 10, and I think I'm holding my opinion of the rest of the series against it... so I'll give it a 10. Understanding, of course, that a 10 doesn't mean it's perfect, but it was absolutely a phenomenal game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by ConsoleHandheldGamer Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:10 am

1. Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal World Duel Championship 3DS
2. Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City DS

EO3 is so good. I only got one ending so far and I'm leaving the postgame for later.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:30 am

Partridge Senpai's 2019 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018
* indicates a repeat

1. Night Slashers (Switch)
2. Bye-Bye BOXBOY! (3DS)
3. GTA4: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Xbox 360)
4. Katamari Forever (PS3)
5. Detention (PS4)
6. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) *
7. OctoDad: Dadliest Catch (PS4) *
8. FlintHook (Switch)
9. God of War (PS4)

10. God of War HD (PS3)

From Dad of War to God of War, I thought I'd give the original God of War a go given that I was able to find the HD Remaster of 1 & 2 for PS3 at the resale shop the other day. I've played the first stage up to a little after the Kraken fight on the proper PS2 version, but I don't have that version anymore, so I went with the PS3 HD Remaster. It took me about 9 hours and I played through on normal mode.

God of War plays a little like a cross between a Mario and a Zelda game. I just don't really know what else to compare it to. It's a character-action game with both a heavy emphasis on combat and puzzle solving but also on platforming (you even have a double jump). It's kind of a lot going on, and it does it all well enough, but a bit frustrating. The combat isn't QUITE tight enough to feel like you can easily make sense of what you're doing wrong when things start going badly. The platforming isn't QUITE tight enough (mostly due to the fixed camera) for the jumping and such to feel too good. It's decent fun to wail on enemies with your sword and glaives, and it's certainly beatable, but it just doesn't play QUITE right and will likely frustrate people used to more modern 3D action games that control better. This goes especially for the SUPER aggravating timed jumping and block-pushing puzzles. Those things more than once made me question whether this was a game I really wanted to care to finish XD

The story is neat and flashy, but largely throwaway. The game actually has like 40+ minutes of making-of featurettes on the disc just like a film would, and they basically admit that this was supposed to be a big angery power fantasy in a Classical Greek setting, and that's exactly how it comes off. The plot itself is interesting, and this is a very pretty PS2 game as far as enemy and environment designs are concerned so the setting is used well, but the actual presentation of the narrative is about as bog-standard talking directly to the player about the story as you can get. The PS3 port is great, especially on the visuals. The game looks really nice upscaled to HD resolutions, and the framerate just about always stays at a nice high point. The only real fault with the PS3 port is how many doors and environmental QTE's require mashing the R2 button, and that's a LOT harder on the PS3's analog triggers than it was on the PS2's digital buttons.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. There is a good time to be had with the original God of War, even if it's just to see where the series started. It's JUST rough enough around the edges that I wouldn't really outright recommend it, but it's far from a bad game. It's a good first try for an action/adventure title, and the combat especially was fun and smashy enough that I'm looking forward to giving the 2nd game on the HD Remaster pack a try soon~
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