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pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:36 pm

@Partridge: Sleeping Dogs is a lot of fun, I usually hate open world GTA style games but something about this game just hooked me.

@BoneSnap: I enjoyed squidlet as well, pretty fun, easy game to blow through for less than the cost of a value meal

@Prfsnl_gamer: despite the lukewarm review I will probably check out that transformers game since I have been collecting wii light gun shooters lately and didnt know that one existed

@isiola: Nice review of Code Vein, I almost bought it because of the cool visuals but then I read it was a souls like and ran away, I hate that style of game with a burning passion
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by chupon Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:22 pm

@Bonesnap - great review of Steins; Gate!

Hope it inspires others to experience this gem!
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by banzini Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:00 pm

1. 007 Quantum of Solace (Wii)
2. Sonic the Hedgehog (Gen)

1. I don't understand the poor reviews QoS gets. It does have its moments where you go "wtf am I supposed to do here" and you will die many times before figuring out what the game wants you to do. But it never feels cheap and checkpoints are plentiful. Very easy to pick up, kill some bad guys, progress a bit, walk away and then come back and repeat.

The graphics are...decent for the time on an sd console. They're over-shadowed by how well done the story and music are. Going in, I had no idea that they plugged the plot Casino Royale into the game. A pleasant surprise to play through the two decent Daniel Craig flicks. The soundtrack was one of the highlights for me - moments where the music cued perfectly to the action, peaks and valleys at the correct moments. The music never seemed out of place. The voice acting is just the icing on the cake, better than GoldenEye. The story flowed well, though there was a moment or two where it seemed like they skipped a chunk of plot to move on to something else.

Combat was enjoyable. You can hide behind walls and fire at baddies, much more effective (to me) than GoldenEye's duck and peek. If you don't pick off enemies quickly, they will eventually swarm and engulf you. The game gives you the option of stealthing your way though most of the levels, but if you decide that all you want to do is shoot things instead it will be more than happy to throw a bunch of enemies at you. The Wiimote is accurate enough along w/ the aim assist, though the option to use the classic controller would have been nice. My only regret was not playing on a higher difficulty. A satisfying experience.

2. What can be said about Sonic that hasn't been already? My first complete play-through since the 90's. Man, this game needs the spin dash; it was always hard coming back to play this after Sonic 2 came out. Game still looks fantastic, always enjoyed the colors in this one more than the other two. It was good to see the ole' girl again, maybe again some day....
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:32 am

Partridge Senpai's 2020 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019
* indicates a repeat

1. Invisigun Reloaded (Switch)
2. Human: Fall Flat (Switch)
3. Shantae: The Pirate's Curse (3DS)
4. Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (PC)
5. Splatterhouse (PS3) *
6. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
7. Tokyo Jungle (PS3)
8. Pictobits (DSiWare)
9. Puzzle Quest: The Legend Reborn (Switch)
10. WarioWare Gold (3DS)
11. Disaster: Day of Crisis (Wii)
12. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
13. Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point (Xbone)
14. Sleeping Dogs: Year of the Snake (Xbone)

15. Dynamite Headdy (Genesis) *

I suppose this is technically a PS2 game, since I played it on the Gunstar Heroes Treasure Box, and even then I played that via PSN on my PS3. Though this is a game I've beaten many times, this is the first time I've beaten the Japanese version. The last time I tried, Funny Angry (aka Twin Freaks) stopped me, but I persisted this time and managed to beat him! It took me a little over an hour and a half to beat the game.

Dynamite Headdy is an action platformer made by Treasure for the Genesis. Headdy, the Puppet Hero, must battle his way through the Puppet Kingdom to defeat the evil King Dark Demon and save the land. Headdy attacks by flinging his head to headbutt things, and you can get all sorts of different power ups to help you through various parts of each stage, ranging from heads that shink you, make you hit harder, heal you, or even a booby-trapped head that basically makes you just sit and do nothing for like 20 seconds XP. Stages are very varied from world to world, as are the bosses, as they utilize all sorts of gimmicks ranging from a shoot-'em-up world to messing with 3D-ish effects.

There are numerous changes between the Japanese and international versions of the game that largely serve to make the Japanese version more story-rich and easier than its counterparts across the sea. In the Japanese version, there's a lot more dialogue and much more of a story, Headdy can take more of a beating before dying, earning continues from defeated bosses is easier (and you actually start with some banked continues), and there are quite a few cosmetic differences (sometimes as small as some color changes, and occasionally an enemy design with be totally different, such as the boss Rebecca, a giant doll in the Japanese version, but a giant lego-looking robot in the American version). I'm much more practiced on the American version, so changes particularly to Funny Angry make that fight a lot harder for me (his hit box is larger in this version, but he also has a lot more health), but overall the Japanese version is a far easier time.

The Treasure Box collection itself is a really cool way to experience this, despite it taking a decent while to come to grips with playing this on a Playstation controller rather than a Genesis controller. You can choose to play either the Japanese or the "OVERSEA" version of the game, as well as look at tons of concept art, read through the American or Japanese manuals for the game, access a sound test, and even save and load replays. Given that it also has Gunstar Heroes and Alien Soldier with their own respective versions of those extra goodies, it's a really stellar pick-up for like 800 yen on the Japanese PSN store.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Dynamite Headdy is my favorite game on the Genesis, and I enjoy it every time I play it. The American version will always be closer to my heart than the Japanese one because of how much more I've played it, but I'm really glad to have finally seen the Japanese version in its entirety. Dynamite Headdy, and by extention the Gunstar Heroes Treasure Box, are two games I can easily recommend for a great time with some Treasure games ^w^
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by ElkinFencer10 Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:15 am

Games Beaten in 2020 - 4
* denotes a replay

January (1 Game Beaten)
1. Pokemon Sun - 3DS - January 14*


February (2 Games Beaten)
2. Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order - Xbox One - February 15
3. Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! - Switch - February 29*


March (1 Game Beaten)
4. Pokemon Shield - Switch - March 1*


3. Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! - Switch - February 29*
4. Pokemon Shield - Switch - March 1*
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:47 am

Partridge Senpai's 2020 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019
* indicates a repeat

1. Invisigun Reloaded (Switch)
2. Human: Fall Flat (Switch)
3. Shantae: The Pirate's Curse (3DS)
4. Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (PC)
5. Splatterhouse (PS3) *
6. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
7. Tokyo Jungle (PS3)
8. Pictobits (DSiWare)
9. Puzzle Quest: The Legend Reborn (Switch)
10. WarioWare Gold (3DS)
11. Disaster: Day of Crisis (Wii)
12. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
13. Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point (Xbone)
14. Sleeping Dogs: Year of the Snake (Xbone)
15. Dynamite Headdy (Genesis) *

16. Shovel Knight: King of Cards (3DS)

The end of last year brought us, at long long last, the final expansion to the base Shovel Knight game that the original Kickstarter promised. They really saved the biggest (and best?) for last too! King Knight's prequel campaign is one of the most different of the campaigns, and has proven that Yacht Club Games really can keep teaching an old dog new tricks. I spent a good few hours trying to just grind for the last of the playing cards, but all in all it took me 13-ish hours to 100% the collectibles.

King Knight is a foolish momma's boy and a selfish simpleton, but he's utterly driven by his desire to be a real king and not just some guy with armor still living with his mother. There's a tournament for the hot new card game Joustus going on, and whoever wins it will be declared King of Cards! All they need to do is defeat the three Joustus Judges. Seeing an opportunity for greatness, King Knight sets out on his entirely selfish and silly quest with his armor full of gold polish and his head full of hot air. Where the original Shovel Knight was a fairly typical but silly adventure homage to old games, Plague Knight's story was a silly but sweet side story to his tale, and Specter Knight's story was a bit more serious and somber at times, King Knight's journey is very much focused on being silly. King Knight is a selfish jerk and the game really doesn't bandy that point about as it continuously puts him in situations where he'll embarrass himself. Yacht Club's usual writing is as top notch as ever, and the story elements are very entertaining despite their ultimately surface-level importance.

The game Joustus, mentioned in the story isn't just for fun. It's an actual card game you can play against all kinds of opponents (over 40 different opponents) during the story if you want to. It's entirely optional to partake in it, but there's good fun to be had if you decide to. Joustus revolves around cards with arrows on each of their four edges. You place cards on a small board, trying to get them underneath specific gems that start out placed on the board. The thing is, you can't place your cards directly on them. You need to push your cards under the gems, and your opponent is trying to do the same thing. There's a lot of strategy involved with it, but the game ultimately has a fair bit of power creep with many later cards just being outright better than earlier cards. I'm sure there is SOME strategy to be used with the weaker earlier cards, but that is never a level of strategy needed to beat the in-game opponents. It's a fun diversion from the main action, and has a lot of pretty art to go with it.

The main action itself is as excellent as ever and mixed up once again. Where Shovel Knight had pretty standard platforming, Plague Knight propelled himself with bombs, and Specter Knight could home in on targets, King Knight has a shoulder charge not unlike Wario. Quite different from Wario, however, is that King Knight launches himself up in the air once he hits an opponent or a normal wall (there are some walls that he just bounces off of lightly, very similarly to how there are some walls that Specter Knight can't climb on). It takes a little getting used to through the first few stages, but it's a really interesting new way of maneuvering that really makes King of Cards feel like an entirely different game.

To go with these new movement mechanics are an entirely new set of levels, but many of these levels are just reaching the end of a stage with no boss at the end. Many of them even have hidden exits to unlock more stages, kinda like Super Mario World. The other members of the Order of no Quarter are just world map-roaming encounters without their own stages (for the most part), and the Joustus Judges are your real opponents to look out for (as you just defeat them in combat rather than at cards). Similarly to Specter Knight's campaign, you also have a home base of sorts where you can purchase upgrades and chat with characters you've gathered along the way. It's a nice convenence for a one-stop-shop for your upgrades, and it's where you can play Joustus with characters outside of the Joustus dens on the world map.

The graphics for the stages are the standard Shovel Knight-fare, and that is to say they are as beautifully animated as ever. The music is absolutely fantastic though. I don't have a brilliant memory for the old Shovel Knight music, but there was never a time I wanted to turn on anything but the in-game sound because the music is always so excellent.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Shovel Knight's main adventure may finally be coming to a close, but dang did it go out with a bang. All 3 extra campaigns are included as free downloads with any physical copy of the game, so if you like retro platformers and somehow haven't picked up Shovel Knight yet, there's never been a better time. I can't wait to see what's next from Yacht Club games, as Shovel Knight has proven that they really know how to deliver on the projects they're passionate about.
Last edited by PartridgeSenpai on Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Thu Mar 05, 2020 6:11 am

Partridge Senpai's 2020 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019
* indicates a repeat

1. Invisigun Reloaded (Switch)
2. Human: Fall Flat (Switch)
3. Shantae: The Pirate's Curse (3DS)
4. Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (PC)
5. Splatterhouse (PS3) *
6. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
7. Tokyo Jungle (PS3)
8. Pictobits (DSiWare)
9. Puzzle Quest: The Legend Reborn (Switch)
10. WarioWare Gold (3DS)
11. Disaster: Day of Crisis (Wii)
12. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
13. Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point (Xbone)
14. Sleeping Dogs: Year of the Snake (Xbone)
15. Dynamite Headdy (Genesis) *
16. Shovel Knight: King of Cards (3DS)

17. Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope (3DS) *

I hadn't quite kicked the urge for more Shovel Knight after finishing King of Cards, so I decided to just start replaying all the campaigns. It's been since Shovel Knight came out back in 2014 since I last played the original campaign, so I was long overdue for a replay of this game anyhow. This is technically my third time through the game, as back when it first came out, I didn't realize that the other campaigns weren't done yet, and thought maybe you unlocked them by beating hard mode XP. It took me a little under 5 hours to 100% all the collectibles and beat the game on normal mode.

Shovel of Hope is the original story of Shovel Knight. After his companion Shield Knight fell in battle to the curse of an ancient medallion, Shovel Knight went to live in isolation and grieve. But now the evil tower has reopened, and the Evil Enchantress with her Order of No Quarter seek to rule the land. It's up to Shovel Knight to set out and save the kingdom from their evil doings!

The banter between Shovel Knight and the various members of the Order of No Quarter is fun and silly, as are the townspeoples' interactions with Shovel Knight (who doesn't talk all that much, comparatively speaking). There's less overall dialogue compared to the later campaigns, but given that this is the first one, it's an understandable shortcoming. While on the topic of presentation, the graphics are as pretty as they've ever been, but the music is probably the weakest of the 4 games (again, an understandable shortcoming). Then, that may just be the result of me being more familiar with this soundtrack compared to the other 3 campaigns.

The last bit of presentation I'll mention is something I think was added around the time Shovel of Hope was given it's own subtitle (and not just called "Shovel Knight"), but I had completely forgotten about. You have the option at the start of the game to change both the gender of any of the main cast of characters (Shovel Knight, Shield Knight, and all the main bad guys). Even cooler, this can be selected individually for each character's body presentation AND the language used for them (pronouns, basically). Male bodies with male pronouns, female bodies with neutral pronouns, male bodies with female pronouns, anything is allowed and can be changed via the pause menu at any time. It's a really cool feature that I was really jazzed to see put in a game like this ^w^

The gameplay is the NES homage action platformer Shovel Knight has become so famous for. A short-ranged melee attack combined with a NES Duck Tales-style downward pogo strike make up the bread and butter of your attacks, and you can also find Castlevania-style sub-weapons to use as you progress that you can use by expending what are basically a stand in for Casltevania's hearts. It's honestly really annoying that the sub-weapons don't have their own dedicated button and you have to use the attack button + up on the D-pad to use them. HOWEVER, since Yacht Club Games are so smart, they put in the ability to make the older campaigns play like the newer ones, with the sub-weapons having their own dedicated button instead of that old button combo! It's been polished up a bit since the original release, and it's still a really solid action game that takes place over a series of over a dozen stages, each with their own boss encounter at the end (aside from a couple side-stages with no bosses).

The only real downside to Shovel of Hope is how much it's been overshadowed by the successive Shovel Knight games in what is now the Treasure Trove pack. Compared to Plague Knight's explosive bomb throwing and jumping, Specter Knight's wall running and homing slashes, and King Knight's shoulder charges and spinning jumps, plain ol' Shovel Knight's simple slashes and pogos feel REALLY slow to go back to. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but after knowing how fun the later Shovel Knight campaigns are, Shovel of Hope left me wanting a little bit more with its action elements.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. It may live in the shadow of its three sister campaigns, but the original Shovel Knight is still as good as it ever was. Though it's a bit simple, it's an easier game overall as a result of this simplicity, and it makes for a really nice entry-level adventure for Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove. It's not the best Shovel Knight game, but the competition in that department is so damn stiff, that being so close to the quality of those games is still a really impressive achievement.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:25 pm

1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)(Adventure)
2. Final Fight [Japanese Version] (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)
3. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)
4. Magrunner: Dark Pulse (PC)(FPS)
5. The King of Dragons [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)

6. Captain Commando [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
7. Knights of the Round [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
8. The Witcher (PC)(RPG)

9. Tenchi wo Kurau II(Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
10. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands (PC)(RPG)


Tenchi wo Kurau II

Tenchi wo Kurau II is better known in the US as the heavily bastardized arcade game Warriors of Fate. While I realize storylines in beat 'em ups aren't exactly high art, the original game is based entirely on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms classic of Chinese literature. But hey, American's couldn't possibly understand, right? So the story was ripped out entirely, including numerous scenes between levels or even during levels and an ending that is entirely changed, to be replaced by some pseudo Mongolian fantasy land in which dudes get names like Portor.

I could have been a god of war, but no, I'm named Portor. Damn.

While the core gameplay wasn't changed between regions, this gutting away of a classic to make crap is why I vastly prefer the Japanese original to the US release. I'm a fan of spin off material based on the RotTC, so this appeals to my senses. You know what else appeals to my senses here? That I can take down a freaking army barehanded. Yeah, TwK2 is now a favored gem of the Capcom beat 'em up line, because I have a ton of special moves, including special commands to input for some, I can go totally throw happy, I have a variety of weaponry to find, and it feels legit that I'm taking on ten foes at once and stomping the everlasting crap out of them. Why's that? Because I'm freaking GUAN YU, bitches! The characters you get to play at are so bad ass, later dynasties declared some of them to be dieties. Their enemies calculated they could kill thousands in a fight, and they were known to do things like compose verse during battle.

Yeah, that's right. I'm killing dudes AND writing poetry. At the same time. Come on.

On top of this, I get some smooth controls that feel nice, a variety of enemy types that pull from Capcom's history but now feel more varied and interesting, and level designs that are varied and reminiscent of historical battles such as Red Cliff and anecdotes like Zhang Fei holding off a thousand soldiers on a bridge to protect his fleeing master. If there is one area where things don't quite hold up, it's that the horses in this game were basically lifted from Knights of the Round and don't really improve anything; enemy AI is smart enough to go around, and the horse controls feel sluggish compared to what you can do on your own feet.

But that's my one complaint. Dudes, Tenchi wo Kurau II is where it is AT.

Dark Sun: Shattered Lands

Ok, by the time this game came out, SSI was still making Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games but weren't putting them in gold boxes. No matter, the Dark Sun duo still gets lumped into the set of classics, even if it's not as fondly remembered as titles like Pool of Radiance or Eye of the Beholder. This might at least partly be because the entire dungeon crawler approach was dropped for a top-down third person overview with more tactical elements, sort of like Pool of Radiance's combat system but amped up considerably.

The world of Dark Sun is a desert that has been sucked dry by magic under the heat of a red giant sun. You begin the game as slaves and gladiators forced to face monsters in the arena for the amusement of a sorcerer king, his templars, and his subjects. You quickly say "Screw this", get your gear, and get out, only to discover you're being prophesied about by some halfling mad man who has gotten way too much sun. Now you have to take the nearby slave villages and build yourself a ragtag army to face off against the sorcerer king's legions as they try to wipe out the poor schmucks just trying to get by outside the gates. To do this, you travel to other villages or meet with folks and do quests to help them out. They don't all offer to fight, but they try to help however they can.

Unfortunately, Dark Sun: Shattered Lands has some problems of the technical variety. I only had a hard crash once, but it has a lot of problems with visual artifacts staying on screen. You can accidentally drop items behind other items and lose them for good. You will sometimes be unable to cast spells for some reason that was never explained to me. You will even get stuck or have triggers that do not work or work when they aren't supposed to, causing dialogue to trigger repeatedly that you've already seen, to the point you may have to reboot.

Also the final battle sucks, but that's because it's stupid difficult even with a fully kitted out party at max level, because the enemies are a higher level than you AND there are way more of them, but hold up a second, let me get to that.

I'm not gonna lie, I was pleasantly surprised by most of this game. When it got things right, it got them really right. I enjoyed watching my possible coalition come together, and often times there were numerous ways to get through different situations. Some outcomes were definitely better than others, but if I had wanted to do something different, I easily could have. It just doesn't come through in the end, partly because the level cap is too low (I had three times the amount of experience necessary to hit max level when I beat the game), and partly because it appears there are some key choices in the last minutes leading up to the final battles that will directly impact what happens. As a result, it makes the rest of the experience feel a little cheaper.

When it did come to the final battle, I abused a trick to pop into my inventory immediately after casting a spell so that I could bombard my defenseless foes with magic and cut down their numbers. While this strategy was highly successful, I only learned I could do this on accident after spending a couple of evenings trying to win the "right" way. Even worse, the game had given me false information on what the win condition was, so I spent much of it launching headfirst to kill the enemy commander, not realizing that I was going to be forced to kill off all enemies too. Even when I did manage to assassinate him, I'd get creamed due to the risk. This soured what was otherwise a generally enjoyable experience.

That finale aside, and barring the glitches, there is a lot hidden in the work of Dark Sun: Shattered Lands that I loved uncovering. If you want to check out the Dungeons & Dragons games of the early 1990s and appreciate some tactical combat, this isn't a bad choice at all. I recommend checking it out, and I'm looking forward to whenever I finally get around to the sequel.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:05 am

Partridge Senpai's 2020 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019
* indicates a repeat

1. Invisigun Reloaded (Switch)
2. Human: Fall Flat (Switch)
3. Shantae: The Pirate's Curse (3DS)
4. Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (PC)
5. Splatterhouse (PS3) *
6. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
7. Tokyo Jungle (PS3)
8. Pictobits (DSiWare)
9. Puzzle Quest: The Legend Reborn (Switch)
10. WarioWare Gold (3DS)
11. Disaster: Day of Crisis (Wii)
12. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
13. Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point (Xbone)
14. Sleeping Dogs: Year of the Snake (Xbone)
15. Dynamite Headdy (Genesis) *
16. Shovel Knight: King of Cards (3DS)
17. Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope (3DS) *

18. Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows (Switch) *

The Shovel Knight-palooza continues, but on a new console! My hands were really starting to cramp after so many hours holding the NEW 3DS XL, so decided to spring for a Switch copy of Shovel Knight to give my back and hands a rest from using the 3DS so much ^^;. It's been a little under 2 years since I last played Plague of Shadows, so it's way fresher in my mind than Shovel of Hope was. That said, it was still surprising just how much about it I'd forgotten. It took me a little over 5 hours to beat the game on normal mode and getting all the collectibles.

This is not a prequel, but an alternate story telling what Plague Knight was doing in the meanwhile of Shovel Knight's quest to rescue the kingdom from the Enchantress. He wants to brew a potion of ultimate power, and to do that he needs to steal the essence of all of his "friends" in the Order of No Quarter. Plague Knight is a really eccentric character compared to someone a bit more muted like Shovel Knight, and the wacky way he views the world and interacts with people is a fun window with which to view this sideways glance into the world of Shovel Knight. Out of all the expansions, I'd say this one has the strongest writing, as Plague Knight's quest and what the actual ultimate goal is may not be the most original story in literature, but the way its told here is a really sweet counterpart to the bittersweet twist of the original Shovel Knight.

This being the first expansion of Shovel Knight's eventual three, Plague of Shadows exists in a weird middle ground of "new but not quite that new" content. Plague Knight himself plays radically differently to Shovel Knight. Where Shovel Knight is more about pogos and jumps and slashes, Plague Knight has no use for traveling along the ground. Just as his boss fight does in Shovel of Hope, Plague Knight has all sorts of bombs he can throw to attack. More than just attacking, however, he also can charge his main attack to do a detonation on himself that sends him flying for a ton of extra distance, and that's in addition to a small double jump. This new method of platforming takes a while to get used to and can be really daunting at first, but luckily one of the first power ups you can buy is something that gives your explosive burst jump less damage power but a slow hovering fall after instead of a hard drop to the ground.

You can get all sorts of sub weapons (which this time work on a recharging mana bar rather than Shovel Knight's meter bound by mana pickups) as well as tons of different blast jump effects, fuse timers, bomb types, and explosion effects. You can also hold R to quickly freeze time and toggle between these different main attack varieties. It can be a bit of a pain doing these toggles all the time to deal with different enemies, and it would've been really nice if you could've used the ZR and ZL buttons to toggle between presets or something. However, given this had to be a game that would work on the original 3DS (which lacked such buttons), the absence of such an option is understandable though unfortunate.

All that said, the main reason I think all of these different types of weapons are at your disposal and can be swapped between at any time are as much an addition of necessity as they were a creative design choice. Plague Knight for the most part (aside from a few optional side-stages) has almost no levels crafted specifically for him. He's going through all of Shovel Knight's stages from Shovel of Hope, but with some slight changes here and there to incorporate using Plague Knight's bomb jumps. Even the bosses are largely exactly the same with only a couple new additions (although with how different Plague Knight has to fight them, that is a pretty insignificant lack of change compared to the lack of new levels). Even the music is mostly reused from Shovel of Hope, or the remixes are very similar (they seemed largely exactly the same to me).

The lack of new stages isn't entirely bad, as I dread to think just how incredibly difficult custom-crafted stages would be if they really took advantage of just how much you can do with Plague Knight's platforming abilities, and they do feel quite different to go through given how different your mode of travel is. This is yet another aspect of Treasure Trove's earlier campaigns that look bad more in retrospect than in and of themselves simply due to how much more ambitious the later two expansions were.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. It may not have changed that much from Shovel of Hope, but that doesn't ultimately matter that much. Aside from just being a free bit of content in Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove in the first place, Plague Knight's new attacking and platforming abilities breathe new life into old stages and boss fights in a way that isn't immediately obvious when you look at how little has been changed on paper. It may not be my personal favorite out of the Treasure Trove, but it's still a fantastic 2D action platformer well worth your time.

19. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Switch) *

My Shovel Knight replays come to a close as I wrap up Specter of Torment. Specter Knight's campaign was what I would've called my favorite until this session of replays. Now I'm not sure quite what to think, given how much I've enjoyed all of them X3. It took me around four and a half hours to complete the game and get all the collectibles.

Specter of Torment isn't a side story, but a prequel to the main game. As a servant of the Enchantress, Specter Knight must travel throughout the land to recruit the members of what will become the Order of No Quarter. Throughout, he is haunted by memories of a tortured past of how he came to be in these circumstances in the first place, and has to choose what he is ultimately fighting for. Specter of Torment still has its silly and lighthearted moments, but it's certainly the most serious and somber out of the four campaigns in Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove.

The construction of the game itself is also quite different from the other expansions. Instead of a kind of post-level shopping center (or a main village like Shovel of Hope has), Specter of Torment doesn't even have a world map. You operate out of the Tower of Fate (the Enchantress' base), and while you can talk with the NPCs there to upgrade your equipment and play a mini-game or two, you also talk to the magic mirror's operator, who gives you a list of playable missions. There are no side-levels like in the first two campaigns, but you can play any of the 8 main stages in any order you like. Certain ones have higher bounties than others, implying a kind of intended order of play, but the ultimate choice of in which order to do most stages is up to the player. The music is also pretty drastically remixed, and I prefer it significantly over the first two expansions' soundtracks.

Also a first for the expansions (which King of Cards would later continue and expand on further) is no more reused levels. Specter Knight plays very differently to Shovel Knight and Plague Knight, as he has a wall run as well as a homing slash. The levels are sorta familiar and have some areas to them that are recognizable to a point, but they've been drastically altered and added to to make them compelling and challenging to operate with this new set of controls. There's been a few new bosses added, but just as in Plague of Shadows and King of Cards, the new fighting mechanics you have to use make old fights feel as new as ever. The sub-weapon system is even changed again, with it being a bar that refills as you do combos to enemies or do pick-ups (and in hard mode your mana bar and health bar are the SAME THING, so you need to constantly be going fast and doing combos just to stay alive). I really love how Specter Knight's combat plays. It has a really fun fluidity and tempo to the action given by his homing strikes, and it makes for really satisfying boss fights.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. I think I might like King of Cards just a little bit more than Specter of Torment, but I still love this expansion a lot. The mechanical action and level design feel great and are some of the best in the Treasure Trove. The writing may not be my favorite, but damn if this isn't an impressive piece of modern retro platforming goodness.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by ElkinFencer10 Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:20 pm

Games Beaten in 2020 - 5
* denotes a replay

January (1 Game Beaten)
1. Pokemon Sun - 3DS - January 14*


February (2 Games Beaten)
2. Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order - Xbox One - February 15
3. Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! - Switch - February 29*


March (2 Games Beaten)
4. Pokemon Shield - Switch - March 1*
5. Doom [1993] - Switch - March 6*



5. Doom [1993] - Switch - March 6*

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Doom is one of those games that pretty much everyone has played. Part of that is because it’s just a damn amazing game, but it’s also largely because it’s been released on almost every system imaginable. Doom has been released, if I’m not mistaken, on fifteen different platforms since its original release 27 years ago. While most versions, especially the early versions, have their own inclusions and exclusions that make each somewhat distinct, this port to Switch has propelled itself to the position of my favorite Doom port without a doubt.

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The story of Doom is pretty simple. You play as an unnamed space marine (usually referred to by fans as Doomguy) who was transferred to Mars after assaulting a superior officer who ordered his unit to fire on civilians. Doomguy acts as security for a company experimenting with a transporter to instantly move people between Mars’s two moons, Phobos and Deimos. Unfortunately, what they did was open a portal to Hell, and next thing you know you’ve got demons and possessed marines running around and killing. Time to kill.

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Depending on the version of the game you play, the game is broken into either three or four parts; the Switch port that I played has the fourth chapter. The first three chapters, “Knee-Deep in the Dead,” “The Shores of Hell,” and "Inferno,” are the chapters that tell the story and the part of the game that I personally feel is most worth playing. The fourth chapter, “Thy Flesh Consumed,” wasn’t available until the release of Ultimate Doom and has very little in the way of story content. Between the lack of story elements in Thy Flesh Consumed and the bizarre difficulty curve (more on that later), I personally only found the first three parts to be truly worthwhile.

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Doom definitely hasn’t aged well in the visuals department - after all, it was released before 3D technology was really a common thing - but man, the gameplay holds up just as well today as it did in the 90s, at least in my opinion. The fast and fluid gameplay, the simple point and shoot gameplay, and the hordes of demons and undead to slay make for an amazing experience even in 2020. The relatively short length of the levels makes it a perfect game to pick up and play a little at a time. Gotta take a poop? Kill some demons. Waiting in a doctor’s office waiting room? Slaughter some barons of Hell. Wife shopping for purses? Massacre some imps.

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Knee-Deep in the Dead, The Shores of Hell, and Inferno all have a pretty standard, reasonable difficulty curve. Except for the boss level, Knee-Deep in the Dead is generally pretty easy once you get a feel for the controls. Shores of Hell definitely ratchets things up, and it gets a lot harder to start from just a pistol if you die and have to respawn, but with some effort and practice, it’s a challenge you can definitely overcome. Inferno, however, gets tough. Environmental hazards and hordes of increasingly powerful enemies make those levels a seriously tough endeavor. It always feels like a natural progression, though. Thy Flesh Consumed is another matter entirely. That episode feels like a pack of random levels thrown together haphazardly. Not only is it a huge difficulty spike, but it’s not an even difficulty curve at all. With the exception of the boss level, the first level was the hardest one, in my opinion, meanwhile, the third level felt like the easiest.

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Whether you dust off the red SNES cartridge, rock the silent glory of the Atari Jaguar port, or kill on the go with last year’s Switch port, Doom is a damn good time. It’s violent as hell (pun intended) with gore for days, but it’s endlessly satisfying to play. It’s a definite challenge as you get on in the levels, but it’s a challenge worth tackling and feels so satisfying when you finish. I found myself getting HOPELESSLY lost in a lot of these levels and ended up with times easily 10x the par, but at no point did it stop being fun. Frustrating? Sure. But it was always fun.
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