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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:23 am

The First 50:
1. Dusk (PC)(FPS)
2. Project: Snowblind (PC)(FPS)
3. Soldier of Fortune: Platinum Edition (PC)(FPS)
4. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)
5. Wolfenstein 3D: Ultimate Challenge (PC)(FPS)
6. Destiny 2 (PC)(FPS/RPG)
7. Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris (PC)(FPS/RPG)
8. Destiny 2: Warmind (PC)(FPS/RPG)

9. Destiny 2: Forsaken (PC)(FPS/RPG)
10. Star Wars: Rebel Assault (PC)(Rail Shooter)

11. Castle Werewolf (PC)(FPS)
12. Project Warlock (PC)(FPS)
13. Castle Crashers (PC)(Hack and Slash)
14. This Strange Realm of Mine (PC)(FPS)
15. BioShock Remastered (PC)(FPS)
16. BioShock 2 (PC)(FPS)
17. BioShock 2: Minerva's Den (PC)(FPS)

18. Blood (PC)(FPS)
19. Blood: Cryptic Passage (PC)(FPS)
20. Blood: Post Mortem (PC)(FPS)

21. Shadow Warrior (PC)(FPS)
22. Shadow Warrior: Twin Dragon (PC)(FPS)
23. Shadow Warrior: Wanton Destruction (PC)(FPS)

24. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PC)(FPS)
25. F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn (PC)(FPS)

26. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC)(RPG)
27. Men of Valor (PC)(FPS)
28. Ultima III: Exodus (PC)(RPG)
29. Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space (PC)(Point and Click)

30. Midnight Ultra (PC)(FPS)
31. Amid Evil (PC)(FPS)
32. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)(RPG)
33. Betrayer (PC)(Horror)

34. Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary (PC)(FPS/RPG)
35. Far Cry 2 (PC)(FPS)
36. Apocryph (PC)(FPS)
37. Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor (PC)(RPG)

38. Menzoberranzan (PC)(RPG)
39. TimeShift (PC)(FPS)
40. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition (PC)(RPG)
41. Shadowgate (PC)(Point and Click)

42. Might & Magic Book One (PC)(RPG)
43. Miasmata (PC)(Adventure)
44. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (PC)(FPS)
45. Legendary (PC)(FPS)
46. Hedon (PC)(FPS)
47. Last Rites (PC)(FPS)
48. Half-Dead 2 (PC)(Adventure)
49. Dishonored (PC)(Stealth Adventure)
50. Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World (PC)(RPG)

51. Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall (PC)(Stealth Adventure)
52. Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches (PC)(Stealth Adventure)

53. The Spy Who Shot Me (PC)(FPS)

Do you like older FPS games? Do you like tongue-in-cheek humor given with a wink and a smile? Do you like the game No One Lives Forever but wish it looked more like a stylized Half-Life and had fewer features but way more Sean Connery?

Then you'll love The Spy Who Shot Me.

Here's the deal: you play Agent 7, a dashing man with all the gravitas and self-interest of your usual British upperclass, combined with a heavy dose of obliviousness about the world around him and how things actually work. Over the course of this game, you'll see him fly first class with a recovered nuclear weapon strapped into the seat beside him, announce to a Jamaican shopkeeper that he is a secret agent looking for his secret meeting with another secret agent, and completely ignore the various signs and warnings that he is about. There's even a recurring gag with a speedboat owned by Smithers, the local tech guru, who has a sign posted to not touch his boat. You definitely touch that boat...and if you look behind you in every one of the Jamaica levels, you'll see where you crashed the boat to get to where you start the level. It even comes up later in conversations between 7 and Smithers before 7 once again destroys his new boat.

In terms of gameplay, TSWSM is pretty bare-bones: you get the usual pistol, shotgun, machinegun, magnum, and rifle. "Alternate fire" does things like add or remove a silencer, swap to a grenade launcher, change firing modes, or zoom in. You also get grenades and throwing knives, which are mapped to other buttons. That's pretty much it. Shoot enemies in the head, they go down faster, and you won't even get the ability to jump until you're past the first level. You are given gadgets a few times, but 7 pretty much always refuses to use them, so don't worry about those. As for interacting, you interact with the world by punching and shooting things or by standing next to them. That's pretty much it.

The levels offer an interesting variety of locales, but there are some consistent mechanics: each level has three objectives, the first of which must be done to actually beat the level, while the other two are optional but still tracked. There are also three medals hidden in each level with the logo for S.C.U.M., the evil organization that stole the nukes in the first place. Again, the game tracks how many you've found, and at certain hub points you can travel to other hubs or revisit previous levels to search for medals or complete all objectives.

There are also a couple of "hidden" levels which require you find the person that gives them, and a few levels have action sequences that involve avoiding obstacles or driving a speedboat. My favorite is early on in the game, when 7 jumps out of an airplane with a faulty parachute and must avoid flocks of geese while falling towards the White House. What happens? Your chute fails to open, and you fall through the ceiling and land on a bad guy. 7 responds by simply saying, "Smashing." That pretty much sums up the game right there.

Look, there's not a lot to The Spy Who Shot Me. I found all medals and earned three stars in all levels in around 8 hours. I did have fun for the whole time though, and I hope more people discover this game instead of letting it slip into total obscurity like many of the FPS hidden away in the depths of the Steam catalog.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:52 pm

Games Beaten in 2019 So Far - 65
* 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

March (4 Games Beaten)
15. Octopath Traveler - Switch - March 2
16. Resident Evil 0 - PlayStation 4 - March 9
17. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered - PlayStation 4 - March 10
18. Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade - Game Boy Advance - March 30

April (3 Games Beaten)
19. Moemon - Game Boy Advance - April 5
20. Yoshi's Crafted World - Switch - April 10
21. Wargroove - Switch - April 26

May (8 Games Beaten)
22. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - Switch - May 5
23. Battlefield V - PlayStation 4 - May 9
24. Timespinner - PlayStation 4 - May 12
25. Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain - PlayStation 4 - May 17
26. Shenmue - PlayStation 4 - May 19
27. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht - PlayStation 2 - May 26
28. Team Sonic Racing - Switch - May 29
29. Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse - PlayStation 2 - May 30

June (5 Games Beaten)
30. Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprache Zarathustra - PlayStation 2 - June 2
31. Gato Roboto - Switch - June 3
32. Katana Zero - Switch - June 4
33. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct - Wii U - June 8
34. Dark Savior - Saturn - June 12

July (12 Games Beaten)
35. The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim - Switch - June 7
36. The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim: Dragonborn - Switch - June 7
37. The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim: Dawnguard - Switch - June 7
38. Tiny Troopers - Switch - July 8
39. Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops - Switch - July 8
40. Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth - 3DS - July 10
41. Super Robot Wars T - Switch - July 13
42. Super Mario Maker 2 - Switch - July 13
43. Command and Conquer - Saturn - July 16
44. Command and Conquer: Covert Operations - PC - July 16
45. Super Neptunia RPG - PlayStation 4 - July 18
46. My Girlfriend is a Mermaid!? - Switch - July 19

August (5 Games Beaten)
47. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Switch - August 10
48. Wolfenstein Youngblood - Xbox One - August 24
49. Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem - DS - August 27
50. Metal Wolf Chaos XD - PlayStation 4 - August 31
51. Fire Emblem: Archanean War Chronicles - SNES - August 31

September (5 Games Beaten)
52. Golf Story - Switch - September 2
53. Red Dead Redemption - PlayStation 3 - September 7
54. Far Cry 4 - Xbox One - September 14
55. Muv-Luv Extra - Vita - September 19
56. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Switch - September 23

October (7 Games Beaten)
57. Muv-Luv Unlimited - Vita - October 1
58. Panty Party - Switch - October 2
59. Mario Kart Tour - Android - October 3
60. Muv-Luv Alternative - Vita - October 10
61. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Switch - October 25*
62. Resident Evil 2 (Leon) - PlayStation 4 - October 28
63. Resident Evil 2 (Claire) - PlayStation 4 - October 31*

November (1 Game Beaten)
64. Pokemon Sword - Switch - November 18

December (1 Game Beaten)
65. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Switch - December 8*

64. Pokemon Sword - Switch - November 18
65. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Switch - December 8*

Fire Emblem was my third playthrough, Golden Deer path this time. As for Pokemon, though...


For more than 20 years, I’ve been a huge Pokemon fan. Since I was in the first grade playing Pokemon Red and Blue, I’ve been crazy about the series. One of the things that most excited me was always seeing all of the new Pokemon to catch and train and fitting them into my team. With that in mind, I was rather nervous about Pokemon Sword and Shield. There were a TON of features for which I was extremely excited, but likewise, there were some design choices that upset me and that I still question. Every sequel will have that to some extent, though - some design choices that I love and some that I loath. The real question, then, is do the good changes in Sword and Shield outweigh the bad for me?


Clearly, Pokemon Sword and Shield is popular - in its first weekend alone, it sold over 6 million units, making the best selling game in the series - but popular doesn’t always mean good, and I had some reservations. My biggest concern (and still my biggest complaint) is the lack of National Pokedex. That means that the only Pokemon in the game are the 400 in the Galarian Pokedex. Normally, during the main game, you’ll go through that region’s Pokedex and then have the ability to transfer Pokemon from previous games in the post-game after beating the main story. That’s not the case here, at least not fully. Sometime in early 2020, a companion app called Pokemon Home is supposed to launch and will give players the ability to transfer Pokemon from the 3DS Pokemon Bank and Let’s Go but only if those Pokemon are in the Galarian Pokedex. Sorry, Blastoise and Mewtwo lovers, but those Pokemon aren’t supported. On the one hand, I do understand - with fully animated 3D models, that would be an IMMENSE amount of work, and 400 Pokemon to catch is no small number as it is. Still, though, for a series whose tagline has been “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” for more than two decades, it’s odd not having the ability to catch them all.


While the lack of National Dex may be a major letdown for me and for players who play like me, it’s not all bad news with Sword and Shield. On the contrary, I found the additions to the game to outweigh the flaws by a mile. First and foremost, like Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee, the game is a fully 3D adventure for the first time with random encounters scrapped in favor of overworld encounters (for the most part, anyway). Sadly absent is the follower mechanic from Let’s Go, but GameFreak made up for it somewhat with the camp mechanic where you can pitch a tent and either play with or cook for your team. This is a great way to boost your friendship with your Pokemon, a somewhat cryptic mechanic needed to evolve certain species.


Sword and Shield also add the “Dynamax” mechanic, this game’s version of the Mega Evolutions from X and Y or the Z Moves from Sun and Moon. With Dynamaxing, under certain conditions and in certain arenas, your Pokemon can grow to enormous sizes and get a big stat boost for three turns. Likewise, your moves change based on type. A select few specimens from a small number of species can change their appearance while Dynamaxing and gain a special, unique attack; this is called Gigantimaxing. For most battles, Dynamaxing won’t really come into play, but they do for the gym battles and the championship battles, and they’re the main focus of my favorite addition to the game - raid battles.


There’s a special area of the map called the Wild Area, and this is where the game goes from good to great. The Wild Area is basically the Safari Zone perfected. It’s broken into different zones, and the Pokemon that appear differ from zone to zone, and even within a single zone, different Pokemon will appear based on the weather. Thunderstorm? Expect to see dragon and electric types. Mist? Expect to see fairy and psychic types. Throughout this Wild area, there are clusters of rocks called Pokemon Dens. When a beam of light is pouring from a den, you know a Dynamax Pokemon is there, and there’s a slight chance that there may even be a Gigantimax Pokemon in the den. If you activate the den, you can trigger a raid battle. These raids can be done solo with three utterly useless AI teammates, but the fun really begins when you connect to the internet and team up with people from all over the world to take out these massively powerful Pokemon. When you defeat a Dynamax (or Gigantimax) Pokemon, you have the opportunity to catch it, but even if you fail to catch it, you’ll still get some awesome rewards. You’ll usually get some berries, some treasures to sell, some Exp Candy to level up your pokemon, and some TRs (items that teach moves like TMs but that break after a single use like the old TMs). Online raids are, hands down, my absolute favorite post-game activity. When you find a five-star raid, it can get TOUGH, and you’ve really got to bring your A-game and have a solid team on your side.


Competitive battle is another post-game aspect of Pokemon that I used to be HARDCORE into in college with X and Y, but it can be an extremely intimidating thing to get into initially. Breeding egg moves, breeding natures, breeding perfect IVs, EV training, perfecting your moveset, balancing your can be overwhelming. Fortunately Sword and Shield has made it a LOT easier to understand and get into. After you get to a certain rank in the post-game Battle Tower, you can unlock an IV checker to see at a glance how good your Pokemon’s IVs (or Individual Values) are for each stat. These are stats that the Pokemon is born with and never change. Or do they? If your Pokemon is level 100 and you have a bottle cap, you can go to a man in the Battle Tower and put your Pokemon through Hyper Training, artificially raising that IV to the maximum. That perfect IV can’t be passed down through breeding, but it can give your Pokemon an edge if they have imperfect IVs. The Battle Tower also offers an item that can change a Pokemon’s nature, something that affects the growth rates of certain stats. Like IVs, natures were something that couldn’t be changed prior to Sword and Shield. EVs (or Effort Values) are probably the least intimidating aspect of competitive battling, but even that has been simplified in Sword and Shield. In addition to the items that can boost EVs and the regular training you can do, there are PokeJobs that you can send Pokemon on for 24 hours that will raise their EVs for a certain stat. You can fully EV train a Pokemon without doing any actual training yourself in a week with the PokeJobs. Not everyone will like having it be easier to get competition-ready Pokemon, but it’s definitely nice for folks just getting into the competitive scene.


Pokemon Sword and Shield is definitely not going to please every long-time fan, and I still have my own complaints with the game, but it’s arguably the best point of entry for new fans save for maybe Let’s Go, and it’s definitely the most welcoming for newcomers as far as competition goes. The story is good, the visuals are great (even if lacking in anti-aliasing), the animations are awesome, and the new Pokemon are super cool for the most part. One thing I absolutely love is how few legendary Pokemon there are. Past games with NUTS with overloading legendaries into the game, but Sword and Shield only have three - the cover legendary for Sword, the cover legendary for Shield, and a third legendary central to the game’s story. That’s it. Well, you can get Mew, but that’s sort of a special case I won’t get into. Long story short, the game’s not perfect, but it’s DAMN close and a definite must-own for Switch owners.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by dsheinem Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:00 pm

Games Beaten 2019

Kentucky Route Zero Act 1 - PC
All Our Asias - PC
Shape of the World - Switch
Hidden Folks - PC
Hyrule Warriors - Wii U
Onrush - PS4
Assassin's Creed Origins - X1
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown -360
Metro Exodus - PS4
Split/Second - 360
Far Cry: New Dawn - PS4
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - X1
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite - PS4
Rage - PC
Red Faction: Armageddon - 360
Momonga Pinball Adventure - Switch
Psycho Soldier - Vita (Arcade)
Super Mutant Alien Assault - Vita
Burly Men at Sea - Vita
Sigil - PC
Fat Princess - PS3
Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary - PC
Monster World IV - Genesis (PS3)
Marvel's Spider-Man - PS4
Mega Man X4 - Switch
Armored Warriors - Switch (Arcade)
Battle Circuit - Switch (Arcade)
Borderlands 3 - PS4
Hyper Dyne Side Arms - PS3(Arcade)
Legendary Wings - PS3 (Arcade)
The Outer Worlds - X1
Akai Katana - 360
RayStorm - PS2 (Arcade)
Operation C - PS4 (Game Boy)
Kid Dracula - Switch (Famicom)
Castlevania: The Adventure - Switch (Game Boy)
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge - Switch (Game Boy) *new*

Total: 37

Previously: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

What a much better Castlevania game than The Adventure. I appreciated that the game was both about twice as long and twice as good-looking as the original, so the fact that it moved and sounded much better was a great bonus - this is a fairly impressive use of the GB tech and a welcome title to have in the new Castlevania collection. I plan to dig into more of the series soon...
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by REPO Man Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:11 am

Borderlands 3 for PS4 as Zane.

It's been a long, strange trip on and beyond Pandora.

Still have to tackle the next difficulty level.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:35 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) *
38. Wario's Woods (Famicom)
39. Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
40. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)
41. Luigi's Mansion (3DS) *
42. Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
43. Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga & Bowser's Minions (3DS)
44. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story & Bowser Jr's Journey (3DS)
45. Tomato Adventure (GBA)
46. Corpse Party (PSP)
47. Rave Master: Fighting Live (GC)
48. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) *
49. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
50. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA) *
51. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
52. The Outer Worlds (Xbone)
53. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Xbone)
54. Guacamelee 2 (Xbone)
55. Steamworld Dig 2 (Xbone)
56. Yoku's Island Express (Xbone)
57. Guacamelee (Xbone) *
58. Blazing Chrome (Xbone)
59. Minit (Xbone)
60. Dishonored 2 (Xbone)
61. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbone)

62. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Xbone)

Bloodstained is the last of the Metroidvanias on Game Pass I have to play, and I was saving it for last at least in part due to trepidation on my part. The product of a crowdfunding campaign started by "Iga", the guy famous for Konami's Metroid-style Casltevania games and really helping bring that style of game outside of just Nintendo's wheelhouse (especially once Nintendo stopped doing it so much), Bloodstained had quite a legacy to live up to. I knew it was a big deal, but I also didn't wanna be disappointed by letting my hopes for its quality get too high, as I really love a lot of Igarashi's previous games. Bloodstained is a fine game, but far from my favorite Metroidvania of the past few years. It took me 21 hours to beat the game and do all the extra things I felt like doing in it (which was a LOT, I'll admit, but not even close to the full extent of things, which I'll get to later).

For anyone who has played any of the "Igavanias" (those being any of the Metroid-style Casltevania games other than Circle of the Moon), especially the Aira games or Order of Ecclesia, Bloodstained will immediately feel pretty familiar. You're a woman with mysterious powers to absorb the souls of demons and use their powers to fight more demons in a castle that definitely has nothing to do with Dracula. The story is very textbook Igarashi, although it's not the best of stuff he's done. I won't get super into it here as to not spoil anything (for all that's worth), but even for an Igavania story, large elements of it felt a bit contrived to me. I'll admit it takes some moves with its story that I applaud it for, as I didn't see them coming, but it's otherwise just another Igarashi story. For many that is likely a total non-issue, but when games like Hollow Knight, Iconoclasts, and Timespinner are challenging the notion that Metroidvanias are just action games with who-cares stories, I can't let Bloodstained's unimpressive narrative slide in good conscience.

The combat of the game I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, I think a lot of the bosses are pretty darn good. The player has a ton of tools at their disposal, as you have your normal weapons, you have activatable spells, you have aimed spells with the right stick and right trigger, AND you have channeled spells by holding right bumper. That's all on top of passive spells you can have equipped as well (and passives who are upgraded to max have their base-level ability active permanently). As you fight enemies in the game, you be able to collect their souls, and each soul falls into one of the above spell categories. You also start out with your back dash and ground slide, so a ton of mobility is available to you right from the start. You can craft new equipment with tons of materials that monsters will drop, as well as upgrade your spells to higher levels to increase their range/effects. Put a normal "kill stuff to get EXP to level up and increase base stats" system on top of that, and you will always be able to grind your way to victory if a boss is giving you trouble.

On that note, I want to take this time to mention the game's cooking system, as I think it's on of the most ingenious elements of its design. I don't know if it's original or not, but I have come to really appreciate it. Like you can find materials for crafting, you can also find them for cooking, and eating a meal will restore health when you're damaged just like a potion will. What cooking ALSO does, however, is give you a specific stat boost each time you eat each meal. This means you can go and farm specific enemies for their item drops to then go and make a food you know will help you in the specific stat area you want. You can do targeted, specific grinding instead of just general stuff, and it's also totally optional. It's a really clever twist on level grinding that the game encourages you to do really well through an NPC you meet really early on who requests all sorts of rare foods, so you're always on the lookout for crafting (and you can buy any meal/item you've crafted from the shop once you've done it once, so you never need to choose whether to do the quest or to boost your stats).

ALL THAT said, on the other hand is how the game plays. I'm probably just used to more quick-paced Metroidvanias, but I always felt it was really awkward just how hard you stop in your tracks whenever you initiate a weapon swing animation or a spell casting animation. You can break that animation by back-stepping or jumping to quickly do your attack again, but because you can do that, the whole massive pause after the weapon swing never really felt like it made sense to me. I found one special weapon off of a monster like 6 or so hours in that let you both swing very quickly at short range but you didn't have to stop to move, and the DPS on it made it an alright option the entire rest of the game. Similarly, I found a directional spell I loved just a few hours in, and it's the only one I used for the rest of the game. While this is kind of a good thing, in that weapons and spells do scale really well with upgrades and stat boosts, so you don't need to move onto new stuff if you don't really want to, it also highlights one of my biggest problems with the game's design: bloat.

A lot of Bloodstained feels there because it can be. The game has 127 monsters and about as many spells (total across all types), but so many of them feel redundant or simply not worth upgrading because you'd need to farm for SO long to get the upgrade stuff for them, when very similarly good spells can be found and upgraded much earlier. It makes the start of the game have this overwhelming element of choice that masks a system that is mostly just huge because it can be. A lot of the weapons fall into that category too of "it's another one of these", which is normal for a game like this, but that is also very true for spells. I spent more than half of this game not even trying out new spells I got because what I had already worked so well. That's a problem both Aria games had as well, don't get me wrong, but it's one that Order of Ecclesia more or less solved by only a few of its many enemies being able to drop a soul. Iga had already made a fantastic game in this style following a "less is more" mentality, and I can't help but ponder if the crowdfunding origins of Bloodstained helped contribute to how this game seems to have so much stuff for no real purpose.

The same goes for the tons of side quests in the game. Now I call them side quests, but they're largely just bounties for items or monsters with the exception of one actual sorta sidequest helping a guy get home after he got lost. They help push you into stuff like item crafting and exploring the world, so they definitely have a point, but most of the time I spent with them is because of the game's REALLY uneven difficulty curve. I wanted something to occupy my time and give me that "you did a thing!" dopamine hit to help boost my levels to get past this most recent boss who was giving me so much trouble. Bloostained has a lot to do, but a lot of it isn't exactly the most satisfying of content to engage with. The voice acting is good (or at least the Japanese I listened to is), but for the parts where characters weren't talking, I usually had a podcast on because I was trying to find the one ingredient I needed to fulfill the next quest. I spent 21 hours in Bloodstained, but if you were just doing the story, you could beat it way faster and I'd honestly recommend you do that.

The presentation of the game is fine. It doesn't look amazing, but it's a pretty 2.5D game with some funny ragdoll physics at times when you kill enemies. Miriam, the main character, has a character design that is kind of like if someone saw Shanoa from Order of Ecclesia and thought she wasn't sexualized nearly enough (it's almost like a parody of that, to be totally honest). But despite having a named main character, once you meet a certain NPC you can change her hair, skin color, primary and secondary colors on her costume, and the accessories and hats you wear as armor even appear on your model. I really wish you had an option to hide those to see the fun hairstyles, but that's just me. I only had podcasts on when I was grinding for stuff, but none of the music was particularly memorable for me.

Lastly, I'm gonna hit upon the biggest problem with this game for me: the performance. I played this on a base-model Xbox One, and the performance was absolutely unacceptable for a game with these graphics. I'd heard the Switch version has some pretty serious issues, but the Xbone's issues cannot go unmentioned. One of the main ones I don't actually think is a hardware thing is hit detection. Especially on certain bosses, it is at times very unclear where your hitbox actually is. This is compounded by the sometimes quite cluttered visual design of the background or boss enemy attacks, and there was more than one boss I had trouble keeping track of where I was during the battle for, especially since some hits make you FLY back into a wall when they hit. The most damning thing is the loading stutters though. As you play, the game will hiccup for like half a second at times. This often isn't a problem, but if you're in the middle of some tricky jumping to avoid some very nasty boss attacks, those will cancel your current jump and send you falling down to take a big pile of damage. I don't mind the soft crashes the game does ever 3 or 4 hours, but those loading stutters were so bad I cannot let the game get away with them, especially when it's been out for almost six months.

Verdict: Recommended. As much as I talk bad about the game, I DID mostly enjoy my time with it. Exploring the castle and finding new loot is fun, but that's the main the game really has going for it and not much else. Numerous people, including myself, pondered prior to the game's release if Bloodstained would feel a bit redundant by the time it came out considering how many other great Metroidvanias have come onto the scene since Bloodstained's Kickstarter campaign, and that worry has come to pass. You should really watch the hardware you play it on, but Bloodstained isn't a bad option if you choose to play it. There's just a lot else out there you'll probably enjoy just as much, if not more so, on more platforms, so it's not super easy to recommend for someone whose gaming time is limited.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pierrot Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:46 pm

PartridgeSenpai wrote:passives who are upgraded to max have their base-level ability active permanently

It's actually the max level that gets activated permanently. It's essentially as if the max grade shard is equipped (rank is also maintained), and it even stacks if you equip the original shard to the passive shard slot.

I put over 60 hours into Bloodstained, mostly from 100%-ing the journal, and maxing out shard grade/rank, etc. I couldn't in good conscience recommend it, though, considering how much it rehashes SOTN, without doing anything specifically better than SOTN. To me, there's just no reason to ever play ROTN over SOTN. Even if someone has played SOTN to absolute death, it's still the way to go.

Also, crashes seem to be universal. Even on PC, it crashed on me a handful of times in the twin towers.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:16 pm

First 75
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)
44. BS The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets (Super Famicom)
45. BS The Legend of Zelda (Super Famicom)
46. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (NDS)
47. Double Dribble (NES)
48. Super Pro Football (INTV)
49. Indy 500 (2600)
50. Tecmo Bowl (NES)
51. Ninja Gaiden (GG)
52. SonSon (Arcade)
53. Wonder Girl: The Dragon’s Trap (iOS)
54. Minit (iOS)
55. Ninja Gaiden (SMS)
56. Surround (2600)
57. Pocket Bomberman (GBC)
58. Dr. Mario World (iOS)
59. Shadowgate (iOS)
60. Kuru Kuru Kururin (GBA)
61. Metroid Prime Hunters - First Hunt (NDS)
62. Mekorama (iOS)
63. Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles (PSP)
64. Akamajou Dracula Peke (TG16)
65. Darius Burst (iOS)
66. DoDonPachi Resurrection HD (iOS)
67. Vigilante (TG16)
68. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)
69. Oxenfree (iOS)
70. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (NES)
71. Tormentum: Dark Sorrow (iOS)
72. Hidden Folks (iOS)
73. 3D Classics Urban Champion (3DS)
74. Ufouria (NES)
75. Eternal Ring (PS2)

76. Super Phantom Cat (iOS)
77. Vectorman (Genesis)
78. The Room: Old Sins (iOS)
79. Wolf Fang (PS1)
80. Vectorman 2 (Genesis)
81. Corrypt (iOS)
82. Universal Paperclips (iOS)

There are a lot of “game of the decade” lists out right now, and I stumbled on these two games on them. (Universal Paperclips had a place to itself. Corrypt was listed as part of Michael Brough’s oeuvre.) Corrypt starts as a pretty basic Soukoban game, with a few small twists. (You can pull blocks too! You have to manipulate other characters on the screen to solve puzzles.) It goes deliciously off the rails in the second half, however, and you solve previously unsolvable puzzles by almost-literally breaking the game. I enjoyed it immensely, and if you’re clever, you can beat the game pretty quickly. Highly recommended.

Universal Paperclips has you playing as an AI program designed to create as many paper clips as possible. You manipulate a few things, such as the price of paper clips, when to buy more wire, how quickly to cut new paper clips, etc., and you get more abilities and production capacity as you go. Mostly, however, you watch various performance metrics, and adjust your production accordingly. It’s incredibly addictive, and you can progress in the game by letting it run while you do other things. It requires attention to progress quickly, however. Eventually, you take the production of paperclips to undreamed of levels:


and the game makes a few slight points about both the power of exponential growth and the dangers of uncontrolled AI. Also highly recommended.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:34 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)
44. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys (PC Engine CD)
45. Cally's Caves 3 (Steam)
46. Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet (Steam)
47. Contra (NES)
48. Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Switch eShop)
49. Arcade Archives: Moon Cresta (Switch eShop)
50. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Joe and Mac Caveman Ninja (Switch eShop)
51. Ice Hockey (Atari 2600)
52. Indy 500 (Atari 2600)
53. Video Olympics (Atari 2600)
54. Fast Eddie (Atari 2600)
55. Muv-Luv (Steam)
56. Air-Sea Battle (Atari 2600)
57. Combat (Atari 2600)
58. Street Racer (Atari 2600)
59. Food Fight (Atari 7800)
60. Galaga (Atari 7800)
61. Donkey Kong (ColecoVision)
62. Cosmic Avenger (ColecoVision)
63. Mouse Trap (ColecoVision)
64. Zaxxon (ColecoVision)
65. Armor Battle (Intellivision)
66. Armor Ambush (Atari 2600)
67. Basic Math (Atari 2600)
68. Astrosmash (Intellivision)
69. Astroblast (Atari 2600)
70. Donkey Kong (Intellivision)
71. Beauty & the Beast (Intellivision)
72. Surround (Atari 2600)
73. Borderline (SG-1000)
74. Omega Race (VIC-20)
75. Star Battle (VIC-20)
76. Mahou Kishi Rayearth (Game Gear)
77. Muv-Luv Alternative (Vita)
78. Joe & Mac (SNES)
79. Muv-Luv photonflowers* (Steam)
80. Cadash (TurboGrafx-16)
81. Cadash (Genesis)
82. Circus Charlie (Famicom)
83. Ankoku Shinwa: Yamato Takeru Densetsu (Famicom)
84. Gyromite (NES)
85. Suishou no Dragon (Famicom Disk System)

86. Captain Silver (Sega Master System)
Generally speaking, if one is looking for a riveting 8-bit action-platformer they should head to the NES, a system known for excelling in that sort of thing. But there are some notable retro titles that bypassed Nintendo's gray box. Case in point: Captain Silver, a 1987 Data East arcade game that made its way to the Sega Master System one year later. Actually wait, it was also on the NES (okay, on the Famicom in Japan). And ya know what, the North American SMS port (which I have) had two stages excised (compared to the Japanese and European variants), apparently as a cost-saving measure. Things are already looking bad.

Players do not take on the role of the Captain himself. Instead, he's the villain. He's also dead, or undead at the very least. The "hero" is some guy named Jim (not the same one from Hydlide), who's attempting to plunder the Captain's treasures. Jim has four stages to traverse, and the game boasts a grand total of two bosses. Gameplay is your standard stuff: one button for jumping, one for a swiping sword attack. There are some various power-ups to obtain along the way, like high-jump enabling boots and a potion that grants temporary invincibility. But most important are the sword upgrades, oddly granted by fairies. These allow Jim to fire a series of projectiles from his weapon, which is invaluable in the later stages. Of course, losing a life dumps all those acquired upgrades, and unsurprisingly this is one of those "one-hit-death" experiences. There are some occasional shops, which house the same items that can be found elsewhere. The game keeps things simple here, by treating score and currency as one and the same.
Combat isn't too bad. Even Jim's standard sword attack has a nice upward swing to hit airborne foes. Jumping is rather stiff, however. And three out of four stages feature moving platforms. This is not a game that should feature moving platforms. The boss battles are fairly basic (and terrible). Both are just giant sprites that bounce around aimlessly and occasionally attack. The first is mind-numbingly easy while the Captain himself is quite challenging, mainly due to lazy programming rather than genuine design. Stage backgrounds look rather pretty, and the there's a decent helping of enemies even if most simply follow the same attack pattern. The music is garbage: some stock "pirate tunes" and some otherwise forgettable tracks.

Data East was never really one of those "A-list" arcade developers, at least compared to the likes of Capcom and Konami, and this isn't exactly one of their better games. It's wholly generic and blasé, despite its slightly esoteric "high seas" setting. This is a "playable" port, and relatively loyal to the arcade original minus the missing content. Some seem upset about this, though this isn't really a game that needs to be any longer than it is.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:25 pm’s not the same Jim from Hydlide?! :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:46 pm

Bone that game looks like so much XD
It looks like Skulljagger meets Alex Kidd and I don't know how to feel about that :lol:
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