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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:09 pm

1. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Famicom)
2. Dragon Scroll: Yomigaerishi Maryuu (Famicom)
3. Ninja-kun: Majou no Bouken (Famicom)
4. Hello Kitty World (Famicom)
5. Galaxian (Famicom)
6. Esper Dream 2: Aratanaru Tatakai (Famicom)
7. Ninja Jajamaru-kun (Famicom)
8. Jajamaru no Daibouken (Famicom)
9. Front Line (Famicom)
10. Field Combat (Famicom)
11. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (Famicom)
12. Mississippi Satsujin Jiken: Murder on the Mississippi (Famicom)
13. Space Harrier (Famicom)
14. Geimos (Famicom)
15. Attack Animal Gakuen (Famicom)
16. Sky Destroyer (Famicom)
17. Ripple Island (Famicom)
18. Oishinbo: Kyukyoku no Menu 3bon Syoubu (Famicom)
19. Bird Week (Famicom)
20. Baltron (Famicom)
21. Yie Ar Kung-Fu (Famicom)
22. Challenger (Famicom)
23. Ikki (Famicom)
24. Dough Boy (Famicom)
25. Atlantis no Nazo (Famicom)
26. Bio Senshi Dan: Increaser tono Tatakai (Famicom)
27. Yume Penguin Monogatari (Famicom)
28. King Kong 2: Ikari no Megaton Punch (Famicom)
29. Congo Bongo (Atari 2600)
30. Coconuts (Atari 2600)
31. Arcade Archives: Donkey Kong (Switch eShop)
32. Dragon Quest V: Tenkuu no Hanayome (Super Famicom)
33. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Super Burger Time (Switch eShop)
34. Fire Fly (Atari 2600)
35. Fire Fighter (Atari 2600)
36. Space Jockey (Atari 2600)
37. Airlock (Atari 2600)
38. Makai Hakkenden Shada (PC Engine)
39. Squeeze Box (Atari 2600)
40. Lagoon (SNES)
41. Atlantis (Atari 2600)
42. Xak III: The Eternal Recurrence (PC Engine CD)

43. Blue Blink (PC Engine)
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Blue Blink (or Aoi Blink) is a Japan-exclusive PC Engine platformer, released in 1990. It was published by Hudson (who else?), but actual development was handled by Westone (of Wonder Boy fame). The game is a licensed one, based on the anime by the legendary Osamu Tezuka, who died during production. I haven't seen said anime, but the game provides something of a plot synopsis during its opening. A boy named Kakeru saves a blue pony named Blink that falls from the sky. Upon returning home, it's discovered that Kakeru's father is missing. Thus begins his journey to rescue the old man. Accompanying Kakeru are two thieves (dressed in stereotypical striped garb), a swole sailor, and a cutie pie princess. Yeah, I think I'm definitely missing some context from the source material here. Though the game contains little text, a complete fan translation for Blue Blink was released in 2001.

Blue Blink is certainly a unique platformer, albeit one that feels like a hodgepodge of ideas seen in previous titans of the genre. There are five "worlds" each consisting of a series of stages, some of which can be conceivably skipped. It's heavily reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 3, but with some odd aesthetic inconsistencies. The world maps all display city streets, while individual stages are comprised of "random" environments: castles, caves, forests, trees, whatever. Gameplay is fairly inventive. Each level begins with the game assigning three (of five) characters to the player, always with Kakeru in the lead. All three move, attack, and jump in tandem, and only the lead character can be damaged. Falcom's Sorcerian comes to mind immediately, as does Hudson's own Mickey Mousecapade. Kakeru's a pretty useful protagonist, with a decent jump range and quick-moving horizontal projectile attack. Pressing the select button shuffles the lead around, and Kakeru's pals have varying capabilities. For instance, the sailor launches an arcing projectile that can reach otherwise inaccessible items, but his jump range is pitiful. Meanwhile, the princess has some great jumps, but can't attack at all. While this "swap" mechanic is intriguing, it's severely underutilized. All characters share a lifebar, and Kakeru's abilities seem perfectly sufficient for 90+% of the game. Controls are a little looser than I'd prefer, which makes the pitfall-laden stages the most difficult overall. Interestingly, Kakeru and friends will automatically climb up small platforms if they run into them, a rarely-seen mechanic that I mostly associate with 2016's Super Mario Run.
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The stages of Blue Blink are typically short affairs. All scroll horizontally, with some employing auto-scrolling. Certain stages have two exits. Most exits are represented by doorways, which will lead to an interaction with a choice NPC before whisking Kakeru and co. away. Other exits are, oddly, located at the screen's top edge, at the peak of a staircase. Items are found scattered about each stage, with the majority being invisible. They're uncovered by shooting the air at their specific location. It's straight out of Milon's Secret Castle (hi again Hudson). There are extra lives, health refills, speed upgrades, coins, and keys to open treasure chests. The treasure chests simply contain more of the aforementioned items, which makes the whole thing seem a bit extraneous. Gathering 100 coins results in a permanent increase to the party's lifebar, rather than a 1-up, so it can be useful to repeat stages to "gold grind." Actually, repeating stages is an inevitability anyway. See, unlocking the door to each world's boss requires the acquisition of a special red key. Once again, it's hidden somewhere in the void. Searching for these keys... well, it ain't fun. Mercifully, the NPCs scattered across each world will spell out the location of each key, but they have to be tracked down first.

Combat is rather enjoyable, mainly due to the flurry of projectiles that fill the screen. The game's not particularly tough, generally speaking, though some of the bosses put up quite a fight. These skirmishes see Kakeru mount the pony Blink, who blasts rapid-fire bubbles across the screen. Bosses are all competently crafted, with some devious attack patterns that need to be studied before success can be achieved. I did find the boss difficulty to be a little inconsistent, however, with the second one being the most difficult in the game! In addition to his job as bubble-pony, Blue has a secondary role as the Keeper of Lives. The "life system" of Blue Blink is rather unorthodox. If the party's lifebar hits zero, Blue immediately revives them (arcade-style), with partial health restored and one life subtracted from the total. However, the player may also pause the game at any time and summon Blink to refill health to the max, which also comes at the expense of one life. With proper timing, this mechanic can be heavily exploited to break the game in the player's favor.

Blue Blink is unmistakably a PC Engine title, in the best way possible. It has those gorgeous distinct "12-bit graphics" that make the game resemble a late-era NES platformer, or an early-era SNES platformer. Except few are as bright and bold as Blue Blink. This is a colorful game, with a cheerful aesthetic. The accompanying soundtrack is also rather quaint, with the "house" theme being one of the most memorable tunes on NEC's hardware. This is one of those single-sitting hour-long experiences, supposedly with limited continues (I was lucky enough to not find out).

Overall, I like Blue Blink. It's undeniably experimental, and while not every element is finely-tuned, there's enough good here to put a grin on any old platforming fanatic's face. If anything, this provides a good excuse to get into PC Engine fan translations.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:26 pm

Solid review, Bone. Maybe we’ll get Blue Blink on the TG16 Mini? :lol:

......

First 25
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)
8. Mega Man IV (GB)
9. Mega Man V (GB)
10. Sin & Punishment (N64)
11. Love You to Bits (iOS)
12. Mega Man Powered Up - Old Style (PSP)
13. Mega Man Powered Up - New Style (PSP)
14. Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)
15. Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (NDS)
16. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! (NDS)
17. Detective Pikachu (3DS)
18. Super Fantasy Zone (Genesis)
19. Fantasy Zone Gear (GG)
20. Fantasy Zone - The Maze (SMS)
21. Fantasy Zone (Famicom)
22. Fantasy Zone (NES)
23. Kung Fu Master (2600)
24. Kid Dracula (Famicom)
25. Kid Dracula (GB)

26. Fantasy Zone (TG16)
27. Double Dragon V (SNES)
28. Fantasy Zone II (Famicom)
29. Street Fighter: The Movie (PS1)
30. Fire Fly (2600)
31. Pac Man (2600)
32. Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears (GBC)
33. Fantasy Zone (PS2)
34. Space Fantasy Zone (TG16)
35. Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf Fantasy Zone (Genesis)
36. Mega Man (GG)
37. Konami Pixel Puzzle (iOS)
38. Qix (Arcade/NES)
39. Congo Bongo (Arcade)
40. Phantasy Star Gaiden (GG)
41. Phantasy Star Adventure (GG)
42. Panzer Dragoon Mini (GG)
43. Spartan X-2 (Famicom)


I am coming to the realization that, perhaps, the Gameboy’s vastly superior library played a larger role in it besting the Game Gear than its superior battery life...Panzer Dragoon Mini is a bad rail shooter I wrote about into thos month’s TR thread. You can easily beat it in a sitting, but I don’t recommend doing that.

Spartan X-2 (Famicom) is a solid Japan-exclusive sequel to Kung Fu (NES). I wrote more about it in this month’s TR thread.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:38 am

@Bone: Great review of another game I had no idea existed. It looks pretty fun and I will have to check it out sometime

@prfsnlgamer: 100% the gameboys superior library is what led it to dominance, the other portable systems at the time did not hold a candle to it.

I'll have to check out your review of spartn x 2 when I get a minute, I have always been meaning to play it since i discovered its existence given my fondness for kung fu.

79. Uncharted: lost legacy (ps4)
80. Guns, Gore, and cannoli 2

79. Uncharted: lost legacy

It is exactly what I expected and well worth the playthrough for fans of the series. Outside of one impossibly stupid puzzle I would have never solved without a walkthrough, I really enjoyed this game.

80. Guns, Gore, and Cannoli 2

Super fun run n gun style game. Control is set up so left stick(or d pad) moves and right stick aims. Lots of awesome weapons, lots of stuff to shoot and a ridiculous story that involves the mafia, zombies, and nazis. I will try and write more if I have time later, but this game(and its predecessor) are both really fun playthoughs and well worth your time if you enjoy run n gun games.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Markies Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:56 pm

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2019!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Power Stone 2 (SDC)
2. Radiata Stories (PS2)
3. Dusty Diamond's All-Star Softball (NES)
***4. Saiyuki: Journey West (PS1)***
5. Shining In The Darkness (GEN)
***6. Metropolis Street Racer (SDC)***
7. Half-Life 2 (XBOX)
8. Soul Blazer (SNES)
9. Mario Party (N64)
10. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (GCN)
11. Street Fighter Collection (PS1)
12. Pokemon Stadium 2 (N64)
13. Burnout (PS2)

14. Phantasy Star III (GEN)

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I beat Phantasy Star III on the Sega Genesis this afternoon!

Before my backlogging days, I picked up the entire trilogy of the Phantasy Star games on the Genesis. Recently, I have been playing them along with the Dragon Quest series as I work through my yearly old RPG grindfest fix. Two years, I went through Phantasy Star II. I remember it having fantastic music, but it was ultimately forgettable and incredibly grindy for its own good. Now, it is time for Phantasy Star III as I slowly build to playing through the best game in the series, Phantasy Star IV.

Phantasy Star III is the interesting black sheep of the franchise. It doesn't feel anything like Phantasy Star II as most of the Science Fiction elements are gone for a standard fantasy fair. Also, the fantastic music is gone and replaced with an interesting score. Some of it is not bad while other times it is a prime example of the Genesis horrible sounding qualities. I do have to give it credit where the Overworld theme changes and adds new music each time you get a new party member. For graphics, I really like the character portraits and the enemy design is actually fairly unique. The story does a little to tie in the previous game and it adds some science fiction parts near the end, so it does feel like a Phantasy Star game. The idea of a generational theme with different characters is actually really interesting and I love the small stories compared to one over arching plot.

However, the speed of the game is probably its biggest problem. You walk incredibly slow and you don't get a vehicle until the final generation. However, everything in the game is a dungeon or a maze. Just to talk to somebody, you have to walk through a maze. The entire second generation, you keep going back to the same place several times which is inside of a dungeon filled with monsters. It really bogs the game down and makes everything feel like you are moving rather slow. Add to the fact that you need to grind heavily at the beginning and everything is very expensive, you really begin to feel the grind.

Overall, Phantasy Star III is a rather average game. There is nothing there that is utterly fantastic or anything that is completely terrible. It is a very slow moving game with interesting ideas and unique parts about it. If you are this far into the series, then I wouldn't skip over it just to see the progression. But, I would say it is only for diehard fans of the series.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:06 pm

1. Octopath Traveler - Switch
2. Dusk - PC
3. Forsaken Remastered - PC
4. Tales of Eternia - PS1
5. Resident Evil 2 (2019) - PC
6. Pokémon Trading Card Game - GBC
7. Metro Exodus - PC
8. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - PC
9. Project Warlock - PC
10. Magic: The Gathering - PC
11. Ghost 1.0 - PC
12. Call of Duty 2 - PC
13. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - PS4
14. Revelations: The Demon Slayer - GBC
15. Mechstermination Force - Switch
16. Shadow Warrior Classic Redux - PC
17. Lost Sphear - Switch
18. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal - PC
19. Dragon Quest III - NES
20. Rage 2 - PC
21. Blood - PC
22. Harvest Moon 64 - N64
23. Battlefield V - PC
24. Sigil - PC
25. Shining Force III: Scenario 2 - Saturn
26. Shining Force III: Scenario 3 - Saturn

And now I have wrapped up the Shining Force III trilogy. In terms of being Camelot's Shining Force magnum opus it delivers, though unfortunately it looks like Scenario 3 had the money run out at the end; the last chapter has some very obvious instances where they wanted things to stretch out by another couple of battles and the terrain straight up has you walk over water because they didn't have room/time for it to naturally flow or something. But it's a suitable end to the trilogy that wraps up the major conflicts while still leaving the world in a state that they could make more games.

Scenario 3 picks up after chapter 3 of Scenario 2, and the end of Scenario 2 matches with the end of chapter 3 of Scenario 2. In the process of the first three chapters you resolve the rest of the mysteries around the events that kicked off the conflicts in the first two scenarios and resolve them, leaving you with one major objective; journey to the north and defeat the Vandal Bulzome. The final three chapters then cover this journey. You have to unlock the power to defeat him, as well as link up with the armies of the other two protagonists. Once you do so you will be on the steps of Bulzome Temple and ready for a final battle. It consists of two parts; the first has you bounce between all three armies as they open the path to the Temple, and the second battle has the Julian army defeat Bulzome and end the threat once and for all.

Since the game starts with you already being at a low promoted level it should come as no surprise that there is a second promotion tier that is unlocked; at level 20 after a story event (which happens about the time you reach 20 on your first characters) you can promote to a final tier. This mostly serves as another statistical boost and model change; almost all the characters will have gained all their spells by level 25 promoted, so the promotion means they'll learn it within the first couple levels. One thing you'll probably notice is that while the Julian characters have some nice portraits post-promotion, the Synbios and Medion characters frequently have some pretty crappy portraits. The first sign of some corners being cut.

This second promotion tier also means that you're in for some grinding at the end of the game. The Julian army will be between level 2 and 5 second promotion, while the other armies will be in the low to mid teens promoted. You're going to want to at least get them up to the second promotion, if not a couple levels beyond (though you don't need to get beyond that if you have reasonable strategy). To do so you'll have to take advantage of the challenge dungeon you unlock at the end of the game. Now, this challenge dungeon also existed in the other two scenarios for grinding the secondary team, but I never tried it. Here it definitely is required, as there is no ability to either cheese the end or shuffle around your force for a balance (each character can only stay with their leader, unfortunately). Fortunately, the enemies in the challenge dungeon are coded to have a very high effective level for the purposes of experience gains. So while the enemies on the first floor of a 10 floor dungeon might die in one to two hits they give max experience on death (and about 40/100 experience on hit if you don't kill them). So it actually isn't too bad of a grind session. The final floor also has the hardest boss in the game that drops a super powerful weapon for each army leader. I didn't end up going for it because he has a stupid amount of HP; twice that of the final boss, and his minions surrounding him are deadlier than the minions around the final boss. It's one of those "if you can beat this you get a reward you don't need" things, which is unfortunate.

The final boss was a bit on the wrong side of being too endurance focused. The thing is that the Shining Force games have a finite battle length available against hard targets, as they generally have infinite uses of their powerful AOE moves, while you are very MP limited for healing and magic damage. I had to burn all of my MP restoration items and I was sucking fumes by the end. That said, they did keep it a bit interested by the infinite respawning enemies that forced you to balance everything between keeping the adds off you while damaging the boss (who also self healed every turn). I was happy to see that I didn't have to grind my main team, so they managed to get the balance pretty good.

All in all, the Shining Force III trilogy serves as the final Shining Force game (as Camelot joined Nintendo and Sega proceeded to run the Shining brand into the ground) and serves as an appropriate capstone to the series. They pulled out all the stops and produced the biggest adventure ever that never falls into being dull or "ugh, another battle?" Now if only we could get Nintendo to buy the IP from Sega so Camelot could make Shining Force 4: Jogurt Rising.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:26 pm

Awesome reviews, guys. I’ve always been curious about Shining Force III since I love most of Camelot’s other output.

@markies

Good work getting through PSIII. I just started the second generation (which sounds like a slog...), but I took a break to play some games for this month’s TR. I should be back to it soon, and I’d like to be through it and it’s sewuel before the end of the summer.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Flake Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:22 pm

January Games:
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)
Megaman 10 (Switch)
Kirby's Dreamland (Wii)
Time Spinner (PS4)

February Games:

Megaman Legends (PSTV)
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne (PSTV)
Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)

March Games:

Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)
Mario Galaxy (Wii)

April

Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS4)

May

Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope (Switch)
Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows (Switch)
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (PS4)
Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Switch)
Castlevania (Switch)
Dragonball Xenoverse 2 (Switch)
Sonic Forces (Switch)

June

SNK: Heroines (Switch)
Cadence of Hyrule (Switch)
Saint's Row The Third (Switch)


As someone who adores Crypt of the Necrodancer despite being bad at it, Cadence of Hyrule is everything I wanted it to be. Same gameplay, a little more accessible, randomly generated dungeons and overworld, great music, can ACTUALLY PLAY AS ZELDA, and a surprisingly good storyline. CoH is not a game I think Nintendo could have made on their own, to be absolutely honest. I think that Brace Yourself games brought that unique indie creativity along with a whimsy that Nintendo only allows itself to have with newer IP before their 'identity' is set in stone. I still don't have a clue what was added to the coffee machine at Nintendo HQ for them to pitch this opportunity to the creators of Crypt of the Necrodancer but I am so glad they did.

I'm not really sure where my headspace was when I bought Saint's Row The Third on Switch. I've never played a game in the series, I don't really like Grand Theft Auto esque games and I especially don't enjoy super violent games. I am happy I made an exception, though. Saint's Row 3 was a real blast. The over the top violence was so over the top that it became cartoonish and enjoyable again. Over the top describes this game perfectly, actually. Jumping into a miltary VTOL, jetting off, jumping out right before it crashes into a sky scraper, parachuting into a gun fight between two rival gangs, calling down an air strike on everyone, and then racing around a corner to purchase both a boob job and the plastic surgeon's office because then people will stop shooting at me. That's like 5 minutes of gameplay. TOPS. I don't know if this genre will be one I revisit often but I had a blast.
The PSTV is amazing.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:30 pm

1. Octopath Traveler - Switch
2. Dusk - PC
3. Forsaken Remastered - PC
4. Tales of Eternia - PS1
5. Resident Evil 2 (2019) - PC
6. Pokémon Trading Card Game - GBC
7. Metro Exodus - PC
8. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - PC
9. Project Warlock - PC
10. Magic: The Gathering - PC
11. Ghost 1.0 - PC
12. Call of Duty 2 - PC
13. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - PS4
14. Revelations: The Demon Slayer - GBC
15. Mechstermination Force - Switch
16. Shadow Warrior Classic Redux - PC
17. Lost Sphear - Switch
18. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal - PC
19. Dragon Quest III - NES
20. Rage 2 - PC
21. Blood - PC
22. Harvest Moon 64 - N64
23. Battlefield V - PC
24. Sigil - PC
25. Shining Force III: Scenario 2 - Saturn
26. Shining Force III: Scenario 3 - Saturn
27. Borderlands 2: Commander Lillith and the Fight for Sanctuary - PC

So as part of the Borderlands 3 reveal Gearbox put out some free DLC for Borderlands 2 to sort of bridge things to the next game. What can I say about it? Well, it's free, and it's short. It's not strong like Assault on Dragon Keep, but it doesn't drag on like Sir Hammerlock's and the actual bad guy has relevance. It also doesn't really do much of a job of bridging the stories. You ended Borderlands 2 with a map to other Vaults, you end this going "yeah, we're totally going to go to the other Vaults this time for realz!" The trailer for Borderlands 3 has Lilith mention she lost her Siren powers; this DLC doesn't explain how that happened. About the only thing it does is mention that Scooter died off screen, but I'm sure Borderlands 3 would do the same. I guess the best thing I can say is that Tiny Tina is in the game for one mission and appropriately hams it up, so I guess that's a positive. It's one outdoor area and four small indoor areas, so it's not much of a time commitment. If you want to get back in the swing of Borderlands before the sequel you might as well snag this.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Markies Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:08 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Awesome reviews, guys. I’ve always been curious about Shining Force III since I love most of Camelot’s other output.

@markies

Good work getting through PSIII. I just started the second generation (which sounds like a slog...), but I took a break to play some games for this month’s TR. I should be back to it soon, and I’d like to be through it and it’s sewuel before the end of the summer.


I would say I did the most grinding in the first generation, so that was probably the slowest part.

But, yes, the second generation can be a slog. You will be backtracking and repeating the same places over and over again. It's not exactly the most exciting experience in the world, but it would be great to play an hour or so before bed to wind down.

I look forward to hearing about Phantasy Star IV. Much like most people, that game is the reason I have wanted to continue the series.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:21 pm

Hey Pops, can I do the new DLC for Borderlands 2 right from the start, or do I need a character who has beaten the game? I'm curious about it, but I don't want to have to replay the game for one short DLC.
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