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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:31 am

Ordinary Gamer wrote:New member, I like this thread. I hope no one minds this post being a bit long, but I've completed a handful of cool games recently. These were all played on PS4.

The Hong Kong Massacre

So if you've played Max Payne or especially Stranglehold, you'll feel pretty comfortable with this game. It gets compared to Hotline Miami a lot, because it's a top down, one hit death game, but it feels to me like its game play roots are more in Max Payne and it's overall style comes from John Woo cinema as exemplified in Stranglehold. You basically run around blasting people using dives, ground slides and bullet time. Graphically...it looks like a John Woo movie. The music is very catchy, so much so that some youtubers have been dancing and free styling while playing this game LOL. The story isn't much to talk about, but it's not that important in a game like this. It basically consists of what you'd expect given the game's cinematic influences. A dead partner cop, a dude seeking revenge, police interrogations, Asian gang members getting murdered, and lots of birds flying around everywhere for some reason.

Since you die in one hit, a good play through of a level really does play out like a well choreographed John Woo shoot out with your character gracefully dodging bullets while popping off head shots, destroying scenery and generally just causing bloody mayhem. There's lots of destructible stuff in the environment, so you can shoot through doors, dive through windows, etc. Again, it's kind of like a top down, twin stick shooter version of Stranglehold. Every level has three challenges. Beat the time limit, kill everyone without missing a shot, and the hardest one which is finishing the stage without bullet time (I really hate that one). If you want to unlock new weapons and upgrade them, you'll need to do some of these challenges

Overall, a fun game if you like bullet time shooters, John Woo cinema, and Hotline Miami. You might also be interested in God's Trigger, a game I may eventually talk about here when I finish it

Astro Bot Rescue Mission

So basically, if you want a game with the magic of a classic Mario title on your Playstation 4, this is it. Honestly, I had more fun with this game than Mario 64 and Super Mario 3d Land. The game is just pure joy in video game form as it's hard not to constantly find yourself smiling while playing it.

It uses VR to great effect not just in creating visual spectacles, but the fun ways the game interacts with the player. You'll move Astro Bot through each level, jumping about and attacking enemies in typical platformer fashion, but you are also physically moving through each stage yourself. This means you'll have to interact with certain things in the environment, while also avoiding obstacles, and even providing assistance to your little Astro Bot through various gadgets tied to your controller, like using the dualshock as a flashlight to reveal hidden platforms for Astro Bot to use. It's almost like you're controlling two characters while playing through this game. It sounds more complicated than it is, basically you're just following Astro through each level. As you maneuver him past various enemies and obstacles, you'll be automatically moving forward through the level just behind him. Basically, you're on rails but he isn't. This creates a fun dynamic in each stage. Just to give an example, in one area you'll have Astro Bot maneuver past some canon balls and as you follow him through the same area, you might have to physically move your actual head in order to avoid one of those canon balls smacking you in the face (which causes a cool shattered glass effect on your screen)

Other than the neat, two character feature, this is your typical, collect-a-thon platformer. In each stage you'll be hunting down Astro Bot's stranded pals (eight per level), while also looking for "space chameleons" that unlock fun (and occasionally frustrating) extra challenge levels. The VR is put to good use as you'll sometimes need to look all around you to keep up with what's going on. At times Astro Bot will be moving around above you, behind you, or to the left or right of you. You'll need to look around in every direction sometimes just to find all of the hidden bots too. It's a fully, 3-dimensional experience in a way that a non-VR platformer like Mario 64 or Spyro could never be. And the first time an enemy attacks YOU instead of Astro Bot will probably catch you by surprise.

The game looks gorgeous, other than the rather low resolution and occasional blurriness and pixelation (which are problems with every PSVR game). Astro and his pals are very cute and bosses look amazing as the sense of size and scale they have in VR is incredible. These are big, giant sized enemies you'll be facing off against and you'll feel pretty small by comparison. The soundtrack is incredible with really catchy, upbeat, feel good tunes. Astro Bot will make you feel like a kid again

Honestly, Astro Bot is probably THE reason to get a PSVR. Though there are plenty of other quality titles as well (like Moss). Astro Bot has serious mascot potential

Volgarr the Viking

Volgar is HARD, like really HARD...and that's why it's great. Because if you stick with it, you WILL eventually make progress and it will feel very rewarding. This game plays a little like a Ghouls n Ghosts game, and it also has a clear influence from Rastan. You lose equipment when you take hits and if you don't have any equipment then the next hit kills you. The game is low on checkpoints, so death means replaying a significant portion of the level again, especially if you die at a boss. The death system is cool. Crystals bring you back to life using the power of Odin, so death in this game is part of the narrative. There's two paths through the game. The second one is harder and instead of crystal checkpoints, you'll have a Valkyrie following you around. She can resurrect you only a limited number of times, so on "The Path of the Valkyrie", you will need to master the game as you can't die an infinite number of times. Did I mention there's no saves? You will need to finish the Path of the Valkyrie in a single sitting, though that shouldn't be so odd to those of us raised on 8-bit, 16-bit and arcade games.

The game is meant to be tough, it's even in the game's original advertising. The thing is though, the more you play, the more familiar you become with the levels, the enemies, and each stage's hidden secrets. Little by little, the game gets easier...until eventually you master it. At which point, the game becomes almost stupidly easy. Volgarr is a methodical, almost puzzle like game. Typically, when you die it's only because you haven't figured out the right way to approach the situation. Each time you figure out how to get past a certain tough part of a stage, it gets committed to memory. Eventually you will memorize the entire level and it then becomes a cake walk. Bosses too, have predictable patterns you will eventually learn, but only after they've killed you and made you replay half a stage at least a dozen times. The game is very old school...and very metal. Seriously, there is an actual heavy metal track you will hear if you beat the game. Heck, just listen to the music in the trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN9mKr_O2og

The game has some neat mechanics, like the variety of ways you can use Volgarr's spear to not just take out enemies, but help him with platforming, and even protecting him from enemy projectiles. You have a very limited number of moves, but it's surprising the number of ways you can take advantage of them due to the game's clever level and enemy design. It's a fun game. If you like Rastan, Ghouls n Ghosts, power metal or vikings, check it out

The Messenger

Ninja Gaiden is back baby! Seriously, if you like the NG trilogy on the NES, stop reading and go play this. Honestly, the less you know about the game the better, it's full of fun surprises. If you want to know more though, read on.

So yeah, it plays a lot like the old NES games. The biggest difference is "cloud stepping". The way this works is any time you attack ANYTHING, you can perform a jump, even if you're in mid-air and have already jumped. This gives you a lot more maneuverability and flexibility than classic Ninja Gaiden. As you play through the game, you will unlock other techniques that give you even more mobility options, like air gliding, and a whip like ability that lets you latch on to objects and enemies. This game must be a dream for speed runners as the number of techniques you will acquire, in addition to cloud stepping, allow you to not only do some crazy platforming the likes of which I haven't seen since Guacamelee, but also keep your forward momentum going at all times.

Oh but there's more, you can purchase upgrades via a shop keeper, who is hands down one of the greatest characters in video game history. Seriously, this character has incredible dialog. Some of it is down right hilarious and some of it is surprisingly serious and insightful. The writing in this game is top notch. The story, while not as complex as the old Ninja Gaiden games, is very interesting and the game's mix of humor and philosophy kept my attention at all times.

Another neat thing this game does is similar to the Valkyrie I mentioned when talking about Volgarr. When you die, a little demon named Quarble will rewind time and bring you back to your last checkpoint. The catch is, he'll follow you around and steal your money until he has collected his debt for saving you, which can slow down the upgrade process for you. Also, he will endlessly troll you every...single...time...you die. Imagine the old men from The Muppet Show following you around and heckling you every time you die...and you will die. Oh yes, this game has a level of difficulty comparable to the old Ninja Gaiden games...well, maybe not THAT hard. It is tough in some parts though, especially if you hunt down the optional Power Seals, each of which requires you to overcome a difficult platforming challenge. And that's AFTER you actually find them.

There's still MORE to talk about. This game is so full of surprises. Eventually, the game will actually switch from 8-bit graphics to 16-bit graphics, for reasons you'll have to play the game to find out. The first time this happens is a true WTF moment, especially if you haven't seen any of the game's trailers. Even crazier, the game eventually goes from linear, side scroller to an actual Metroid style game. You will revisit each of the linear levels you've previously completed, but now you can switch between their original 8-bit versions and the new 16-bit versions, which will give you access to new areas, new story elements, and new bosses! It's f***ing awesome!

This game is fantastic, and it even got a nod of approval from NG's original creators:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctijWWXznFg

Okay, I'm done. That was a lot of typing :lol:


Welcome to the forums! That’s a great post, Please stick around and talk about games.

Also, I am extremely impressed you made it through Volgarr the Viking. It is such a good game, but I start getting crushed by the second level. Nice work!

Also, long time member DSH also loved Astro Bot and said it may go down as one of the all time great platformers.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by marurun Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:38 am

Wow, epic way to step into the Games Beaten 2019 thread! We love those long write-ups around here (but really, we love any write-ups.)
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:44 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)
11. Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch)
12. God of War 2 HD (PS3)

13. Starlink (Switch)

Beat Starlink a week or two ago and only just now have the internet to type about it! I helped a friend beat all the Gummy Ship stuff in Kingdom Hearts 3, and it made me really wanna play a real spaceship game. I looked over on the eShop and noticed the eternal sale that the Digital Deluxe edition of Starlink was still on, so I picked it up. It made a really great simple game to de-stress to while I was waiting for my job to start after moving to Japan.

Starlink is a game by Ubisoft and it is very much still an Ubisoft Game (TM). Large open-world with tons of icons scattered around that you progressively unlock more of with effectively identical activities to do to fill up number percentages, all while a larger story goes on around it. The gimmick this time is that you're a spaceship, but that said, it's a pretty decent gimmick.

There are two parts to Starlink: planets and space. Space has you in your spaceship flying around, getting into dogfights, and attacking larger spaceships in raid-like solo fights. They're really well put together, and honestly I kinda wish the whole game had just been a better fleshed-out space game, because you're honestly barely in space unless you really wanna do ALL the nearly identical raid-like fights. The second part is the planets, where you're still in a spaceship, but your spaceship is basically glued to the ground like a landmaster in Starfox. You zoom about these slightly procedurally-generated planets doing quests for quest-givers, attacking enemies you find, scanning wildlife, and collecting goodies. There is a lot of planet stuff in the game, and honestly I thought it was a shame because it's definitely the less remarkable part of the gameplay loop.

You're a spaceship, so of course you can customize it! If you have the physical toy, you can plonk your IRL guns onto the ship's wings and they'll appear on your ship in the game, same goes for wings on your ship. They'll even face backwards if you plonk them on backwards! It's a really neat gimmick, and the digital replacement for it is honestly really horribly clunky and cumbersome and really would've benefited from a faster way to instantly toggle between loadouts without going into a menu (the game does have loadouts, you just can't go between them quickly).

There are 4 different elemental weapons, fire, ice, stasis, and vortex; and there are also a series of additional neutral weapons that have no element attached. They're all really different and fun to use, and using one with a pilot gets only a certain amount of skill points with that weapon, so you're encouraged to try out loads with different combos to get more skill points and see what works best together. The weird thing is that the number of each is really odd, especially how there is only ONE stasis weapon, and given that vortex enemies are weak to stasis, you're gonna be using that ONE a LOT. The physical versions of the game also never came with at least one of these elemental weapons, and given there are certain in-game activities that require all the elements to complete, the game NEEDED extra toys to be bought to actually 100% if you bought the physical toy (a very crappy, but quite typically Ubisoft move). In summary, weapons are fun, but elemental gunplay is kinda poorly thought out and badly monetized to boot.

The Switch version comes with included Starfox DLC where you can play as fox, fly the Arwing, and play some special Star Fox missions as you try and track down Star Wolf, and at least compared to the rest of the content in the game, it's fairly substantial. Now, there isn't actually THAT much to do, but it's another story side-quest in a game that otherwise has ONE story-related side-quest that isn't a part of the main story, so at least proportionally it's a fairly sizable amount of content. It's quite well put together too, and easily makes the Switch version of Starlink the definitive one despite how much better other consoles can likely run the software.

The story of Starlink is VERY forgettable and a far cry (no pun intended) from Ubisoft's better writing achievements of recent memory (such as the excellent Watchdogs 2). It's very kiddy in the kinda bad way, where it seems like it's trying to feel deep but never really does anything beyond looking pretty and having an atmosphere of something cool happening without anything meaningful occurring. For the sake of selling more toys, the cast is bloated to the point where there were several cutscenes that featured characters I never remembered seeing before, let alone knowing the character traits of. The story was clearly not the focus of this game, and was sacrificed for the sake of selling more toys. Not a deal-breaker (I mean I 100%'d the planet parts of the game, so clearly there's something to the gameplay loop that's appealing despite the story), but a shame given how well Ubisoft has shown they can construct a narrative.

Verdict: Recommended. Starlink may not be anything mind-blowing for most people, but it's a good time, and something fairly easy to recommend if you can get the digital deluxe edition for 50% off like I did. It made me look forward to the upcoming Starfox DLC for it, and even more look forward to the innovations a Starlink 2 may bring, if that ever exists.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:39 am

@ordinarygamer: Welcome to the forums, great first post. I love volgar the viking, probably one of my all time favorite indie games. The challenge in that game is just done very well, and learning how to conquer new areas is very rewarding and satisfying.

I enjoyed the messenger as well, but the shift to metroidvania style took the wind out of my sails a bit. I was loving it at first but there is just sooooooo much backtracking in the later half of the game that it became kind of a slog. I still enjoyed the game(you could find my review somewhere on this thread) but the 2nd half definitely took it down a notch for me. I loved the writing though, probably some of the most genuinely enjoyable writing I have ever seen in a game.

@MrPopo: Mechstermination force is one of my favorite switch games. Although I did not have to grind much to complete it, I definitely agree that just rewarding the player with a heart + weapon/upgrade after every boss would have been a much better way to go. Since I did not really grind much I did not unlock all the weapons, which kind of sucks. I only unlocked the flamethrower and the spread, I would have liked to have seen all the weapons the game offers but I just focused on all my money on health.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by marurun Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:42 am

Wow, nice Starlink review, Partridge. Some folks have called the Star Fox stuff the best part of the game. What are your thoughts on that?
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:12 pm

42. Robonauts (switch)
43. Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 (3ds)
44. Ikao: lost souls (steam)

44: Ikao: lost souls (steam)

Ikao is a hardcore platformer/bullet hell game with a nice visual style, a minimistic story, and 2 different play modes.

You start the game as a blue two-tailed fox who has lost his memory, so of course the best thing to do is just walk to the right and hope you eventually uncover your memory and your purpose. As you progress through the game you will randomnly run into a spirit and your character will somberly put his head down and have a brief memory of his former love. Progression through the game slowly reveals the relationship between the 2 and what happens and eventually ends in a surprisingly somber tone that I completely did not expect. I won't get into any details here but the story is told well enough and does not get in the way of the gameplay.

The gameplay is broken down into 2 different styles. About half the game has you playing as the two-tailed fox, these levels play like a standard platformer. Your fox can jump, double jump, and stick to certain walls. The other half of the game is played as a white spirit who can jump and float around infinitely by tapping the X button. Although your character is flying the best way to describe the control in these levels is like an underwater level in a Mario game, but you can jump off of surfaces as well. Control in both playstyles is super tight, and control of both characters switches back and forth. So you will play x number of levels as the fox, then the spirit and so on.

There are about 100 levels or so in this game and it is an incredibly challenging game. The game starts out simple enough and has a pretty nice difficulty curve but it gets really hard. Every level is riddled with spikes, buzzsaws that seemingly reach forever, and cannons that shoot endless streams of bullets at you. The amount of stuff going on at any given time gives the game a very bullet hell feel to it, which is odd for a platformer but works really well. The levels are designed that there are virtually no safe spots and everything kills you in one hit, you need to be both quick and cautious to navigate some of these nightmarish levels but the feeling of beating some of these levels is incredibly satisfying. You will die alot, but the game offers instant respawns that make you want to jump right back in and give the level one more shot.

There are also orbs scattered throughout the levels. I have no idea what these orbs do and I typically am the kind of player who just ignores out of the way collectables but for some reason I felt compelled to collect all of these orbs. I believe I got them all and I'm not really sure if it did anything, so maybe there is some greater purpose to them, or maybe they are just there for the completionist in you, I don't really know.

What I do know is that Ikao was an amazing game. It retails for $2 and for that price I was expecting some crappy flash game but decided to give it a shot anyway and I'm really glad I did. The game is very unique, very well made, and insanely hard. Definitely worth a playthrough if you are into hardcore platformers.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:56 pm

Sounds awesome. I appreciate all the lengthy reviews.

Have you played Electronic Super Joy? It’s my favorite die-and-retry platformer, and it’s a bit unknown too.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:34 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Sounds awesome. I appreciate all the lengthy reviews.

Have you played Electronic Super Joy? It’s my favorite die-and-retry platformer, and it’s a bit unknown too.


I have, absolutely amazing game, and one of the best soundtracks of any indie I have ever played. I haven't checked out the sequel, groove city, yet but it is on my steam wishlist. Have you played it?
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:39 pm

marurun wrote:Wow, nice Starlink review, Partridge. Some folks have called the Star Fox stuff the best part of the game. What are your thoughts on that?


Thanks! I was honestly feeling a little drained writing reviews for a while, but I'm really enjoying writing them again. I'm glad you liked this one ^w^

On the Star Fox stuff, I'd probably have to agree that it's the best part of the game. Even if ONLY for the fact that Star Fox has more thematic/setting star power than plain ol' Starlink, I would be lying if I hadn't wished at multiple occasions that Ubisoft had just made a giant Starfox game instead of their own IP :lol: . And it may just be nostalgia talking, but I certainly felt like the Star Fox writing was the strongest, granted that may be just because the Star Fox cast was so much smaller than the horribly bloated normal Starlink cast.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:32 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)
11. Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch)
12. God of War 2 HD (PS3)
13. Starlink (Switch)

14. Shin Gundam Musou (PS3)

Flake has been talking up Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn for ages as one of the best Musou games, and I'd been looking for another fairly mindless de-stressing game to play now that I'd finished Starlink, so this game was too perfect to pass up when I came across it for under 800 yen. While I wouldn't say it surpasses Hyrule Warriors as the best modern Musou game, it is a damn close second place that deserves all the praise it gets. I settled in for my first ever PS3 platinum trophy with this baby. In an effort I cannot possibly recommend, I spent over 140 hours getting 100% of the in-game collectable cards (A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF WHICH was grinding the same missions over and over to just kill a certain amount of troops with every single character XP). Couldn't recommend it, but I enjoyed the game enough to slog through that, which says something in itself I suppose XD

As with the other Gundam Musou games, you can play as a myriad of pilots and even more mobile suits. The pilots themselves don't really do anything but add certain passives and skills. Think of them like the character and the mobile suits like the weapons in a normal Musou game. The characters have levels that increase base stats of fight, shot, and defense, as well as certain passive skills that skillpoints can be put into. Every character is different in this way, ultimately, as their max stats and possible skills they can learn are different for every pilot, and each pilot usually has a certain Gundam only they can pilot until you unlock it for free-play with other pilots.

The mobile suits themselves are among the other titanic Musou games for just how many there are. With the exception of one boss character who can't physically move (so there's a good reason you can't play it), every single mobile suit that appears in the game can be unlocked and played for a total count of over 120! They all have quite a bit of difference as well. The big-name Gundams have quite unique and well animated movesets, sure, but even a lot of the smaller, unimportant enemy stooge mechs have meaningful movesets that make them just that much more different to play. Sure, some characters feel quite similar, but on the whole there is a really surprising amount of depth to the differences between each mobile suit, and that is far and away the shining star of this game.

Where the game falls a bit behind Hyrule Musou for me is the stage and map design. The game has an "Official Mode," where you play stages based on the stories of 6 different Gundam series, as well as an "Ultimate Mode," where you play through over 20 "what if" crossover stories between the characters from many series beyond those represented in the Official Mode, usually revolving around some special gimmick for that scenario (like defending an allied ship, or only playing as Newtype characters). While the Official modes are fully VO'd and have some very pretty 3D-animated cutscenes as well, none of the story bits in the Ultimate Mode are voiced, so it's a bit of give and take there.

Official Mode basically has every stage on a different map, or a different take on the same map (different starting locations, restricted to a certain section of a larger map, etc), and while Ultimate Mode doesn't introduce any new stages, it does a pretty good job of not making any maps feel like they're repeating. However, I wouldn't really say this is a good thing, as the biggest reason for this is because so many of the maps are fairly empty and replaceable with one another. It's a symptom the first Gundam Musou game suffered from quite badly as well, and the 4th entry in the series does not escape from.

The combat is as excellent as it's always been, but it's really just as it's always been. The same blocking, dashing, boosting, and melee/ranged attacks that made the first Gundam Musou game a blast are still here, as rockin' as ever, but with a far-expanded cast now. Not really a plus, but certainly not a negative when the game has added like 30+ new characters compared to the 3rd game in the series: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Verdict: Highly recommended. If you're gonna play just one Gundam Musou game, let it be this one. It's easily one of the best spin-off Musou games, and was definitely one of the best Musou games, full stop, at the time of its release. It doesn't quite hit the high of Hyrule Warriors, but it was a Musou entry of a quality heralding the great quality of Hyrule Warriors, and is definitely worth checking out if you need some more Gundam or some more Musou in your life.
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