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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Sarge Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:24 pm

This deserves a post: I beat The 7th Saga. Roughly 22 hours, Lux and Valsu at levels 36/37. Enemies in the final castle wrecked me in one hit, but I basically just dodged as many battles as I could and ran from the rest.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:45 pm

Sarge wrote:This deserves a post: I beat The 7th Saga. Roughly 22 hours, Lux and Valsu at levels 36/37. Enemies in the final castle wrecked me in one hit, but I basically just dodged as many battles as I could and ran from the rest.


High five, bro. Welcome to the Winner's Club.
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pierrot
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pierrot Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:00 pm

Oh, crazy. Congrats, Sarge. I've been streaming Elnard, and hope to be done with it on Sunday, but I'm really very happy to not be playing the US version. You 7th Saga apologists are nutty.

I've been fairly happy with Elnard, in general, though. It's become a bit of a trip.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:52 pm

Ziggy587 wrote:
pook99 wrote:@Ziggy: I agree that a romhack would be great, the odd thing about the castlevania series is there are DOZENS of rom hacks for the original castlevania and a pretty large number of fan games but the rest of the games in the series have virtually no hacks outside of asthetic stuff. Even the wildly popular Super Castlevania 4 only has 1 or 2 level hacks which is just crazy. I think if konami made a castlevania maker in the style of mario maker it would sell by the boatloads and I would love to see the kinds of things people could come up with.


A little late on the reply, but I only just saw this comment now.

It would be awesome if Konami made a Castlevania Maker. They could call it Castlevania Creator! The market for 2D Castlevania games probably isn't nearly as large as it is for Mario, and Konami doesn't seem to care much about 2D Castlevania games. But this would be awesome!


So sad, but so true. While the market is definitely not as big as Mario(what is) it definitely is sizeable enough that konami could make some serious money by giving the fans some love
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Sarge Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:34 am

pierrot wrote:Oh, crazy. Congrats, Sarge. I've been streaming Elnard, and hope to be done with it on Sunday, but I'm really very happy to not be playing the US version. You 7th Saga apologists are nutty.

I've been fairly happy with Elnard, in general, though. It's become a bit of a trip.

I definitely played through The 7th Saga just on sheer reputation alone. I love a lot of what the game does, regardless, but I'd definitely recommend folks that don't care for some insane difficulty spikes to play Elnard instead.

Honestly, though, I think its reputation might be a little overblown. It's hard, even brutal at times, but there are quite a few ways to mitigate that. The fact that I finished at such a low level comparatively should attest to that. Level 50-55 like the FAQs state is just overkill, methinks. But then again, I did use one of the best teams, and a Elnard-boosted Valsu by swapping to him late in the game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:15 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)
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)
15. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS)
16. Banjo-Kazooie (N64) *
17. Super Mario 64: Rumble Edition (N64)
18. Mario Party 3 (N64) *
19. Paper Mario (N64) *
20. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) *
21. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC) *
22. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC) *
23. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC) *
24. Yoshi's Island (SNES) *
25. Super Mario World (SNES) *
26. Super Mario RPG (SFC) *
27. Kaeru No Tame Ni Kane Wa Naru (GB)
28. Final Fantasy VI (SFC) *
29. Final Fantasy IV (SFC) *
30. Final Fantasy V (SFC)
31. Final Fantasy III (Famicom)
32. Mother 2 (SFC) *
33. Mother 3 (GBA) *
34. Hebereke (Famicom)
35. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SFC)

36. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SFC)

Didn't quite have the DKC itch out of me yet (and still might not :lol: ) so I decided to postpone my "current" games a little longer and do a full 103% run of DKC3 for the first time. Like with DKC2, I have beaten the game before, but never a full run of all the bonus coins, DK coins, and banana birds until this time. I have been somewhat converted over to the school of "DKC3 is the best of the original trilogy", but still think DKC2 is a fantastic game. DKC3 is largely a somewhat more polished version of that game. It took me about 5 and a half hours to do on the Japanese Wii U Virtual Console.

In refining the DKC2 formula of a more meta-goodie-focused DKC, DKC3 does a much better job than 2 of designing levels and barrels that all fit well with each other. None of the bonus rooms or DK coins (which themselves are now a special enemy and not just another coin lying around) feel unfairly hidden, and the challenges you have to do to get them all feel better thought out and interesting than in 2 where a good handful of them feel like filler. The roster of animal friends have also received a slight change again, as Rattly the snake has been completely removed (while he was fun, I feel 2 really exhausted his potential), and the purple Skwaks the parrot who in 2 could only descend as well as not spit eggs can now both fly upwards as well as pick up barrels. Finally, the overly invincible (yet very fun) Rambi has been replaced by Ellie the Elephant, whose water spitting mechanics and fear of mice have her as the star of many of the more unique levels.

DKC3's best points, as far as the series go lie in these refinements and uniqueness of levels. Very rarely do two levels feel much alike in this game, as each one tries to do something in a way you've not yet seen. Sometimes it falls flat and is a bit miserable, like the rocketship level or Ellie's stampede level, but most often it provides a new challenge in an interesting way, like Ellie's mouse-avoidance level or the level where you need to keep a hungry fish fed behind you. This extends to even the boss fights, which also break beyond the mold of the more typical "dodge and smack with barrel" that 2 had mostly carried on from 1. All this on top of a really well thought out difficulty curve really do make the general quality of 3 stand above the other 2 original DKC games and puts it definitively as one of the best platformers on the system for me. Where 2 was as much of a sequel as it was a re-imagining of what DKC could be as a franchise, 3 is everything a sequel should strive to be in how it succeeds in innovating on the good ideas and paving over the not-so-good ideas and mundanities of its predecessor.

But no game is perfect, and neither is DKC3. In trying to innovate so hard, it does occasionally fall flat in some quite annoying ways. This mostly lies in the occasional gimmick that doesn't work quite right, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, as sometimes that drive to innovate struck on an idea that just didn't work as well as it needed to in its execution. That problem is most present in the final boss and secret final boss fights, which rather than feeling like tests of platforming skill and timing like they do in 2, feel like boring memorization tests with battle mechanics not always very clearly explained.

The other source of this also comes up with something I mentioned in the DKC2 review in the inherent problems with making a game with two main playable characters. Kiddy (or as he's amusingly called in Japanese, "Dinky") is a clever re-imagining of a "heavy" kong like DK was in the first DKC weaved into the throwing and partner mechanics expanded on in 2. However, this also just gets in the way of playing the game quite often. Dinky largely succeeds in feeling like a worse kong to be stuck with than Dixie, as he not only can't hover but also isn't faster like Diddy. He's also worse than Diddy in that he's physically larger, and the issue with the kongs being less pixely and more-animated makes Dinky's hitbox really difficult to judge compared to Dixie's, and this can make some of the trickier boss battles and enemy dodging really frustrating at times. They also made it so that Dinky's throws do the platforming leap like is done in DKC2, but Dixie's throws slam Dinky onto the ground to both attack enemies and break open the very occasional floor-hidden secret (not unlike slamming into the ground from a great height can do in DKC1). It's a neat idea, but the throwing for height is used SO much more often that it just makes it annoying to have to switch between the kongs so often.

Edit: Another important thing I forgot to mention; this game has very noticeable slowdown where DKC2 does not. The waterfall levels are quite pretty with how you can go in front of and behind the falling water, but if you have more than one or two enemies on screen while one is on screen, the game is gonna start to chug. It doesn't happen too often, but one bonus room in particular is made FAR harder because you're fighting against both the slowdown and the challenge of the room itself.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. DKC3 isn't a perfect game, but it's still a fantastic one. Even its biggest problems are still minor at best, and barely get in the way of an otherwise very fun experience. If you like SNES platformers, this is definitely not one to overlook.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pierrot Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:14 am

Nice write-up on DKC3, Partridge. That was the only one of the three games that I actually finished, and collected everything for the max%. So it was interesting to read your thoughts on the bonus rooms, and coins. I didn't think about it that much when I was playing through them.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:42 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)
15. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS)
16. Banjo-Kazooie (N64) *
17. Super Mario 64: Rumble Edition (N64)
18. Mario Party 3 (N64) *
19. Paper Mario (N64) *
20. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) *
21. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC) *
22. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC) *
23. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC) *
24. Yoshi's Island (SNES) *
25. Super Mario World (SNES) *
26. Super Mario RPG (SFC) *
27. Kaeru No Tame Ni Kane Wa Naru (GB)
28. Final Fantasy VI (SFC) *
29. Final Fantasy IV (SFC) *
30. Final Fantasy V (SFC)
31. Final Fantasy III (Famicom)
32. Mother 2 (SFC) *
33. Mother 3 (GBA) *
34. Hebereke (Famicom)
35. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SFC)
36. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SFC)

37. Donkey Kong Country (SFC) *

I decided to at least attempt to finish what I started and played through the original DKC this afternoon. I already owned it on my SFC Mini, so I figured I may as well give it a try and I'd put it down if it got too hard like when I tried to play it a few weeks ago. Roughly two hours later, I'd finished the game with about a 60% completion rate. Getting 101% doesn't actually involve unlocking any content that you don't see through the course of the game normally like the sequels' extra boss fights and Lost World stages, and I've had more than enough snipe hunts for super secret bonus stages in DKC2 to want to bother try and getting full % completion on this game XD. It's still my least favorite out of the 3 games, but not nearly by as much as it was before this playthrough.

The lack of the concretely defined bonus stages that the sequels' use, with their bonus coins and such, and a focus on more fluid platforming through the stages really sets this apart from DKC 2 and 3. I'd go as far as to say that the feel of playing the later two games differs so much from this one that I almost don't feel quite fair making direct comparisons between them as the design philosophy of the sequels vs. the original feel so different. For a Mario analogy, DKC 1 is Mario 2/USA, while the sequels are Mario 3 and Mario World. It's unmistakably the same series, characters, etc., and a lot of the DNA you see in later games is still there, but one of these things is clearly not like the other. Nonetheless, I played through all 3 in succession to compare them directly to one another, so I'm gonna keep doing it here :lol:

On the topic of bonus stages, DKC1 does have them, sure, and they do add to the completion percentage, as I mentioned before, but their end purpose is different. Where the sequels' bonus barrel challenges are meant to be something to achieve in and of themselves, almost like mini-games using the main game's mechanics, DKC1's bonus areas are primarily towards the purpose of racking up extra lives and you're gonna NEED those extra lives. DKC1 is definitely the hardest of the 3 DKC games. While 2 does have some very tricky stages, particularly the bramble ones, DKC1's love of levels that require many very accurate timings of successive spinning barrel blasts or weaving juuust around enemies makes the whole difficulty curve of the game jump all over the place.

Even as a kid, I had a TON of trouble getting past the game's 6th stage because the barrel timings were just so difficult to get past, and the same goes for the minecart stage (of which there are mercifully only two in the whole game) in world 2. DKC's design is very tight and the game plays great, but the momentum-based platforming, many difficult barrel timings, and many auto-scrolling stages (minecart-based or otherwise) make it really stand out from other Nintendo-published SNES platformers of the time for me. Especially lacking Dixie, so you have no hover to use to help with more difficult platforming sections, you have no choice but to learn the game's jumping and physics to the point where they're second-nature. I finished the game with nearly 50 extra lives this time, but a lot of that is due to not only playing the game in one sitting (this game has save points! Why doesn't it save your lives too? O_o), but also the practice of the series' platforming physics by playing the other two SNES games over the past few days also really helped me achieve what is otherwise an anomaly for me in this game XD

DKC1 has some great level design that begins to peak at the kind of "one level one gimmick" formula that DKC3 executes so thoroughly on, but the lesser focus on different styles of play as well as a much more optional status of animal friends again sets this apart from its sequels. Rambi the rhino and Engarde the swordfish are in this game, but lack any kind of charge moves like they gain in 2. There's also Winky the frog and Exspresso the ostrich, but Winky's strange hop-walking and Exspresso's inability to actually harm enemies makes them very awkward to use, and while Winky wasn't quite as bad as I'd remembered him, I did not miss his presence in later games (Rattly is basically Winky but better, tbh). Squawks is here, but he's only in one stage and just carries your light for you in one stage, and is basically just Glimmer from DKC2 as opposed to mechanically resembling anything of how he plays in later games. All that said, none of the animal friends are ever transformed into or required for any stages, and are effectively treated as powerups to reward the player for exploring. This goes a long way towards making the game largely feel like an exercise in how well you can master how DK and Diddy move rather than a succession of more unique experiences. Not a bad thing, for sure, but it's one more feature that makes DKC1 stand apart from its progeny.

Even on an aesthetic level, DKC1 looks quite different from 2 and 3. The game is still beautiful and the music is great, but I noticed a lot of little differences I'd never noticed in the other games. Barrels, K. Rool, the Kremlings, and even Diddy all look just a little bit different than they do in the later games. DKC1 has a much more naturalistic approach to its level and character design than the later games, and it's something that jumped out to me this playthrough more than past ones.

Verdict: Recommended. DKC1 is a great platformer that, while not quite the same as its sequels in overall design philosophy, it a game that is tons of fun in its own right and one I learned to appreciate more this time around. I definitely prefer the design of the later games rather than the strict platforming of this game, but I see the appeal now in a way I didn't before this playthrough. The main thing that keeps this from getting a higher recommendation is the difficulty. This first venture for DK & crew has a noticeably higher barrier to entry on that regard, and I would recommend it more to people who like difficult platformers or fans of 2 and 3 rather than a more universal recommendation as I can more easily give the other two games in the trilogy.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:45 am

pierrot wrote:Nice write-up on DKC3, Partridge. That was the only one of the three games that I actually finished, and collected everything for the max%. So it was interesting to read your thoughts on the bonus rooms, and coins. I didn't think about it that much when I was playing through them.


Thanks, Pierrot! (sorry for the double post. I didn't see this until I'd already written my review of DKC1 XP).
Comparing games that were released in quick succession like this, like I did with the Final Fantasy games 3-6 before this, has been so fun. Just seeing the evolution of a series, even if it's in a backwards round-about order, is just so interesting, and it's something I've really enjoyed writing about here in this past month or so ^w^
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:18 am

Those were good reviews of DKC, I still havent played 3 but I definitely need to get to it.

Random question for the thread, does anyone here ever replay the same game twice in one year? If so how do you personally keep track of it on your games beaten lists?
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