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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:02 pm

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2020!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Pikmin 2 (GCN)
2. Banjo-Tooie (N64)
3. Contra: Hard Corps (GEN)
4. Super Baseball Simulator 1,000 (SNES)
5. Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers 2 (NES)
6. Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection (PS2)
***7. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PS2)***
***8. Cruis'N USA (N64)***
9. Arc The Lad Collection (PS1)
10. Halo 2 (XBOX)
11. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean (GCN)
12. DuckTales 2 (NES)
13. Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (PS2)
14. Rocket Knight Adventures (GEN)
***15. Skies of Arcadia (SDC)***

16. Dragon Quest V (SNES)

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I beat Dragon Quest V on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System this evening.

Several years ago, a local game store had several Reproduction cartridges that I decided to snag up. I completed my Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series in one fell swoop. Since then, I've been slowly going through my Dragon Quest games, playing them every other year. This time, it was Dragon Quest V's turn. I've had an interesting experience with the Dragon Quest series so far. I loved DQ8 and DQ4. I enjoyed DQ2. DQ7 was okay. While I did not enjoy DQ1 & DQ3. So, it seemed like I would enjoy the even numbered Dragon Quest games more. With a friend telling me he did not enjoy the SNES version of DQ5, I went in with some trepidation.

At the beginning, my fears were held true. However, once I got past the second town, the game really started to flow much better. In fact, besides one dungeon that was mean and completely out of place, I pretty much cruised through the game until the very end where I did some cautious grinding. The story of the game really drives it home and it is one of the most unique experiences I've ever had. There were some touching moments that I had for these tiny sprites as life kind of sucks for him at times. But, to see him grow into an adult with a wife and children was kind of touching. I'm not a family person in real life, so it was great to experience something like this in a video game. Besides the story, the game play is much pretty much the same. There is a hot button, thanks to the SNES controller, that makes the menu so much easier to navigate. The battles actually have backgrounds instead of black screens. The graphics are a bit minimalist, but this was an early SNES game, so I understand why.

Besides the one terrible dungeon, my main complaint in the game would be the monster attacks. Many monsters have abilities that let you summon/call/revive other monsters. Since you only have a party of three, it sometimes takes your entire party to kill one monster. When you are fighting several enemies and they can just bring back an enemy on a whim, that got really annoying in a hurry.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with my Dragon Quest V experience. The story is the best part of the game and well worth the time to play it. The game play won't change anything, but if you like a solid Dragon Quest game with an exceptional story, then do not miss out on Dragon Quest V.
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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by marurun Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:16 pm

  1. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Switch)
  2. Joe and Mac 2 (SNES via Switch Online)
  3. Stardew Valley (Switch) - New
  4. Cosmic Star Heroine (Switch) - New
  5. Grandia HD (Switch)

I'm going to lead this review with the executive summary, because I don't want folks to have to read everything I've typed to get the meat of the review. Grandia stands with the best of the 16- and 32-bit RPGs and has withstood the test of time well. It pairs a compelling and involved combat system with a coming-of-age tale told with great characters that takes more of a Disney-esque all ages approach rather than trying to be dark and edgy. Despite many flaws, the “HD” release for Switch and PC is the best way for most to be able to experience this classic RPG, and if you like classic JRPGs you should absolutely play it. The game took me 62 hours to beat doing all the optional content and referencing a guide.

Grandia came out on the Sega Saturn in late 1997. It was given great reviews in the Japanese press and still ranks highly in Japanese Best RPG lists. Even US publications raved about the Japanese Saturn release. About 18 months later a port was released for the PS1, which is how many Japanese gamers, and most US gamers, came to know it, which is a shame.
Grandia mixes 2D and 3D content in largely the opposite manner as Square's output at the time. All the characters and enemies are 2D, but the navigable dungeons are 3D environments, with a rotatable camera (which locks to a set view in boss rooms).

Grandia’s story and characters are top-notch. The main protagonist is Justin, a young teenager who wants to be an adventurer, just like his late father. He’s raised by his mother who was formerly a successful pirate before settling down to raise Justin and run a cafe. He starts his adventure with his even younger friend, Sue, who lives with her aunt and uncle, both her parents having died in an unspecified manner some time prior. This rambunctious pair sets off to explore ancient ruins and dig sites and ultimately gets wrapped up in a quest to save the world. This is really the story of Justin’s coming of age, of how he learns to become a real adventurer and hero. The story also ends up being a coming of age tale about the world itself, and how history will proceed going forward, differently from the past. While there are certainly serious moments in the game, the core story for the game is pretty serious, on the whole the game maintains a very optimistic and positive tone. It feels to me like 90s era Disney films, which were targeted to younger audiences but still grappled with serious ideas and villains and were accessible and even enjoyable to viewers of all ages.

Grandia's combat is arguably the highlight of the game, and with any RPG is where you will spend most of your time. It is like a creative mix of Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and Lunar.Grandia's combat takes place on a 2D plane where positioning is important. In order to attack, your character must run up to enemies (or move into position if using a ranged weapon). If you're too far away or enemies or party members present too much of an obstacle you can expend your movement without being able to attack. Spells and special moves have varied attack shapes, some hitting individuals, some with small to large circular blast radiuses, some attacking on a line, and some affecting the entire battlefield, so targeting and enemy clustering can be very important. One of the Defense action options allows you to move to a new spot on the battlefield so you can control your movement and positioning to keep these same characteristics in enemy attacks from being too effective. There’s an IP bar that displays when everyone will act in combat and what action they will be taking, so you can pick your targets. This is important because taking damage or status effects can delay or even push back characters on the IP bar, and in some cases do additional damage and cancel planned actions, creating lots of strategic opportunities to stun lock and even negate enemy actions at times. But beware, if you are ambushed, enemies can do this to you. On the whole, combat is pretty easy, but an ambush can result in you getting stun locked and your actions cancelled. Some ambushes can actually prove quite fatal. Fortunately, you can see enemies on the dungeon screens, so you can try to make sure you have the upper hand. Some of the early bosses are also rather challenging, but in the late game, as long as you haven’t been avoiding most battles and you’ve been working to unlock new special moves and spells, you’ll make short work of things.

Your weapon categories and spell elements level up as you use attacks and spells, unlocking new spells and special moves linked to those elements and weapon categories. And as they level up, your spells and moves also increase in execution speed on the IP bar. You also get minor stat increases with each weapon and element level on top of your regular leveling up, so there are valuable boosts to be had there, as well. The end result is that even a relatively easy battle has strategic elements because you’ll want to be trying to boost your various weapon and element levels to unlock new abilities and increase your stats. There were very few fights where I just mashed attack, even if I could have easily triumphed just by doing so.

The combat and story are ushered along by a fantastic soundtrack that’s orchestrated in places and great sound effects delivered by Skywalker Sound. There are also a few FMV CG cut scenes with 2D animated characters. Grandia was clearly designed with the Saturn in mind, because it takes advantage of the Saturn's capabilities well: great 2D sprite work and colorful 3D backdrops that are geometrically sound and run at a stable frame rate, excepting a couple long pans and moving 3D set pieces (I suspect engine limitations for the latter rather the fundamental 3D capabilities of any of the platforms the game has been released on, since those hitches persist across all ports). The Japanese voice acting is fantastic to boot.

Grandia is not a short game. I used a guide and did all the optional content and it took me 62 hours to beat. There were several spells I hadn’t unlocked for one character (spellcasting wasn’t really his forte, so it wasn’t an issue). I do advise you to look into a guide. There’s a good on-line one at https://i-njoy.net/gd1e_top.html. The main reason is that some of the dungeons are a little mazelike, and in the late game there are a couple you have to approach a particular way because they dynamically respond to where you go and in which order. There are also some items worth having that require going out of the way and which will not at all be obvious to first-time players.

Grandia on the Saturn is awesome, but Japanese-only. It was ported to the PS1, though it didn’t arrive in the US until mid-2000. That release timing is only one of the reasons Grandia didn’t do well in the US. The other reason is that the English voice acting is atrocious. Not only that, but the localization is a bit odd in places. On the whole, the localized text is pretty good. It reads well for the most part and represents character personalities well. But mentions of alcohol were replaced with coffee, halfway through the game Justin suddenly decides “Bogus!” is an appropriate way to express his disappointment, and most of the dialogue in Zil Padon, a trading town with 3 different races of NPCs, feels stilted and awkward. I initially thought that section of the game missed a final editing pass, and perhaps it did because main character dialogue also takes a hit around that time, but coming back to Zil Padon later in the game has me thinking at least some of that awkwardness came out of an inability to figure how how to appropriately localize the tone of the town. And the next town after Zil Padon is well-localized and represents the inhabitants pretty well. If I’d had only the horrible English voice acting to accompany this text, however, I’d probably have dismissed Grandia’s story and characters right out the gate and only tolerated them if I felt compelled to stay with it. Fortunately, the recent “HD” version released by Gung Ho for PC and Switch provides the option to use Japanese voices, and the great Japanese voice acting really helps me appreciate the quality of most of the text localization a lot better. And there is a LOT of text in the game. You can talk to every villager 2 or 3 times, and sometimes the entire town’s dialogue will change after an event. And the towns are well-populated, too. A lot of attention was given to make each town feel well-realized, and the localization mostly does this justice.

So let’s talk about ports and how to play this game. The original Saturn version has a localization patch that is nearing completion but still isn’t done. For the hardcore this is probably the way to go, but it’s also the most complicated way to go. Avoid the PS1 port at all costs. In addition to the horrible voice acting, there were some other issues with the port. On the positive, it did add rumble and the ability to use the second analog stick on the Dual Shock to manipulate the camera instead of the L and R triggers. It also leaned more heavily into transparencies and added some additional minor flash to some of the spells, but the frame rate suffers more. And for some reason portions of the game were textured differently, in ways that make those areas of the game look less distinct. The PS1 port is also missing shadows in towns and dungeons and some water effects and the like. On the whole, the US PS1 port is not great. The “HD” release was based on the PS1 release and was supposed to incorporate some of the Saturn content, but it does not. It is the PS1 release with the option to toggle between Japanese or English audio and Japanese or English text. The font is redone, as are a few UI screens, but mostly the “HD” content is upscaled and filtered sprites and textures. The FMV segments look pretty good upscaled and filtered, and the world textures actually look pretty good, too, but the characters and monsters don’t fare quite as well. It basically looks like an emulated PS1 game with filtering and a few redone UI screens. This release also lacks any kinds of save states or fast-forward/speed up features. Fortunately, the game scatters around lots of save spots. Oh, and there are also a couple bugs. At two different points in the game, the wrong character portraits displayed for almost every character involved in a conversation scene. Despite all this, the “HD” release from Gung Ho is probably the best way for most people to play the game. You can read the mostly good English text and hear the Japanese voices and play the game with the analog and rumble affordances from the PS1 release. You don’t have to emulate or patch, just pick up and play. On Switch, playing handheld minimizes some of the fuzziness of the upscaling and filtering, but you have to pay $40 for this and Grandia II. On PC you can buy the 2 games separately, at $20 apiece. In my opinion, the original Grandia (and Grandia II) is a good enough game it’s worth the price, even without the extra features and attention we’ve seen in Square re-releases of Final Fantasy titles. But I can understand if someone doesn’t arrive at the same calculus.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:23 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)

11. Lichdom: Battlemage (PC)(FPS/RPG Hybrid)
12. Star Wars: Republic Commando (PC)(FPS)

13. DOOM 64 (PC)(FPS)
14. Half Dead 2 (PC)(Adventure)

15. Powered Gear - Strategic Variant Armor Equipment (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
16. Torchlight II (PC)(RPG)

17. Battle Circuit [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
18. Hard Reset Redux (PC)(FPS)

19. The Stanley Parable (PC)(Walking Sim)
20. Waking Mars (PC)(Adventure)
21. Requiem: Avenging Angel (PC)(FPS)

22. Night Slashers (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
23. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD (PC)(Action Adventure)

24. Strikers 1945 (Arcade)(SHMUP)
25. SiN Episodes: Emergence (PC)(FPS)
26. Crysis Warhead (PC)(FPS)

27. Metro 2033 (PC)(FPS)
28. Good Job! (Switch)(Puzzle)
29. Blasphemous (Switch)(Action Adventure)

30. Two Worlds: Epic Edition (PC)(RPG)
31. Chex Quest HD (PC)(FPS)

32. NecroVision: Lost Company (PC)(FPS)
33. Icewind Dale (PC)(RPG)

34. Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter (PC)(RPG)
35. Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster (PC)(RPG)

36. Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession (PC)(RPG)
37. Singularity (PC)(FPS)
38. The Witcher 2 (PC)(RPG)
39. Still Life 2 (PC)(Point and Click Adventure)
40. Myst IV: Revelation (PC)(Point and Click Adventure)
41. Gato Roboto (Switch)(Action Adventure)
42. Painkiller: Overdose (PC)(FPS)

43. Battle Realms (PC)(RTS)
44. Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf (PC)(RTS)
45. Terminator: Resistance (PC)(FPS)
46. Picross S (Switch)(Puzzle)

I appreciate puzzle games more than I talk about, particularly ones that are slower and focus on my thinking through problems as opposed to relying on lightning reflexes. That's not to say that block dropping games like Tetris or Dr. Mario are bad, just that they're not what I turn to when I seek out a puzzle game, because I tend to want something more on the soothing side that I can wrack my brain over. Yeah, that's soothing. Games like forms of Sudoku or Mahjong Solitaire just tend to grab my interest far more....though I do love me some Puzzle Bobble.

Anyway, Picross games fall into this area, so when I spotted some on the Nintendo eShop for the Switch, well, the choice to purchase was easy. That's how I got my hands on Picross S, and I don't regret it, even if the game isn't exactly everything I've ever wanted.

First though, a quick overview on Picross for those of you who don't know: you have a square or rectangular playing area composed of a grid. Along one side and top, you have numbers. Those numbers correspond to squares of the grid which need to be filled in. Once the proper grid sections are filled in, a picture is revealed. Since it's large squares, the actual images come out looking like 2D sprite work, which just helps fuel my nostalgia for the game art that I grew up with. The bigger the grid, the more complex the image.

Picross S starts off with 5x5 squares and works its way up to 20x15 rectangles, with 150 puzzles to figure out in its basic Picross section. If you're new to Picross, it also provides several tutorials and numerous tips that can help build your skills, as well as a few help modes and mistake finders to help you better your abilities, no matter what level they are at. The beginner can find success just as much as the master with the right combination of instruction and options, though one in every 15 puzzles will require you do it without aid, which provides the opportunity to see yourself grow in skill. As you go, puzzles you once struggled on will likely become significantly easier, and eventually the headscratchers will seem like cake walks.

I appreciate this ability to use options, though admittedly they can also be a crutch and overly relied upon if you get lazy. But hey, the music is soothing, the puzzles interesting, and the Picross section I enjoyed immensely.

And then I finished them and moved into Mega Picross, which now uses larger combo letters that reveal arrangements across multiple rows or columns. I don't care for Mega Picross; it feels like every puzzle at some point requires a leap of faith of guess work and then cleanup at the finale. While there are certain large numbers which mean specific arrangements, it often feels like instead of following the rules of Picross, planning my steps, looking for the next block to fill in, I find myself having to step into a void and guess at the arrangement of a larger selection. It just doesn't work for me.

Yet still I sat to do them. 150 Mega Picross levels, exactly the same as the number of regular Picross levels. And then I completed one and realized the end goal was the same too...that instead of 150 new levels, I was merely doing variations of the basic levels I had already done. This unfortunately only helped further sour my thoughts.

I enjoyed what I got out of Picross S, even if I wasn't thrilled with the Mega Picross portion. There are a lot of Picross puzzles here to enjoy, so in the end, I feel I got my money's worth. It's not a bad place for someone with a little or a lot of Picross experience to get going. But the Mega Picross section faltered for me and never gave the same sense of reward that regular Picross did.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:32 pm

1. Elite Dangerous - PC
2. Soldier of Fortune - PC
3. Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire - PC
4. Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Enemies of the Empire - PC
5. Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter: Balance of Power - PC
6. Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - PC
7. Phoenix Point - PC
8. Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter - PC
9. Descent II - PC
10. Inbento - Switch
11. Ori and the Will of the Wisps - XB1
12. Doom Eternal - PC
13. Serious Sam 2 - PC
14. Black Mesa - PC
15. Descent 3 - PC
16. Darksiders II - PC
17. Resident Evil 3 (2020) - PC
18. Overload - PC
19. Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4
20. Trials of Mana (2020) - Switch
21. Persona 5 Royal - PS4
22. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered - PC
23. Sublevel Zero Redux - PC
24. Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age - PS4
25. Maneater - PC
26. XCOM: Chimera Squad - PC
27. Sakura Wars - PS4
28. Stela - Switch
29. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 - DC
30. Darksiders III - PC
31. Shadow Warrior (2013) - PC
32. Robotrek - SNES
33. Shadow Warrior 2 - PC
34. EVO: The Search for Eden - SNES
35. Blast Corps - N64
36. Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations - PC
37. Command & Conquer Red Alert: Counterstrike - PC
38. The Last of Us Part 2 - PS4
39. Exodemon - PC
40. Halo: Reach - PC
41. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC
42. Halo 2: Anniversary - PC
43. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS3
44. Halo 3 - PC
45. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4
46. Command & Conquer Red Alert: Aftermath - PC
47. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 - Switch

Curse of the Moon 2 is the purest sort of NES-style sequel to the first game; there is more and it is harder. While the game still contains the Casual mode option which removes knockback and provides more resources it still can be nasty, and it also (as of this morning) also includes a new mode which amps up the difficulty even more. For a given difficulty mode the game is harder than the first, so depending on how rough the first game was for you this one might be over the top.

CotM 2 ignores all the endings of the first game in favor of just going "you know what, more demons, slash them all". You have a new set of three helpers who aren't just stand-ins for the originals and have their own unique play patterns. One is basically Eric Lecarde from Bloodlines, one is a weak sniper who fires slow but can hit the entire screen's range, and one is a corgi in a steampunk mech with an invincibility move, less knockback, and a hover. If the last one sounds like amazing from a gameplay perspective you're right.

Like the first game you start off with just Zangetsu and pick up your three party members after each of the first three bosses. This time you don't have the option to kill them to gain a power; instead after beating the fourth stage you'll gain some additional moves for him. Well, at least in the first episode. See, the game, like the first, has multiple playthroughs with different options. The first is the basic one, and at the end a party member sacrifices themselves. The second playthrough is without that member, but the other two are at the start (and Zangetsu has his special moves already unlocked). There's then a branching point; if you get the "bad" ending you unlock episode EX, where you have the party from the first game and Zangetsu has no powers. If you get the "good" ending (or beat episode EX) you unlock the final episode. This one, interestingly, lets you visit the first seven stages in any order. Six of them have a random partner and one is empty. Beating a stage with a partner gives you that partner, so yes, by the end you'll have everyone. Beating the empty stage gives you a part for your ship; with that part you can take off (the other stages just make the ship better). This leads to a shmup stage that is either balls hard or super easy, depending on if you are just solo Zangetsu or not. After this is a brand new final episode with moon physics. And let me tell you, moon physics with committed jumps is a hell I didn't even know existed.

As mentioned, the game is harder. There's a lot more pits and enemy placements to make your life difficult, and it is much more important to have the right characters for the right sections. And on episode 2 on the bosses also get in on the harder action. You'll notice that bosses have much more difficult patterns starting in episode 2, and it becomes much more important to learn how to react to those patterns; you can't just bum rush your way through. But man, is it satisfying when you finally get it down. And that aforementioned super hard difficulty they added today? It adds in more enemies and the mechanic from Ninja Gaiden where enemies respawn when off screen (plus changing the death mechanic where one character dying kills your life).

Curse of the Moon 2 is a great successor to the first, and if you're a fan of Castlevania and aren't put off by hard difficulty you should snag it.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:04 pm

114. Kore Gang (wii)
115. Chicken Shoot (wii)

114. Kore Gang:

Kore gang is one of those games with a huge developement cycle, this game got bounced around from developer to developer for over 6 years before being released at a budget price of $20, with a backstory like that it would be natural to assume that this game would be a dumpster fire.

The game starts with you playing as trixie, a young girl who loves climbing everything, she is climbing a skyscraper and falls down, drops into a hole in the ground and winds up somewhere between the surface and the center of the earth. Why this fall doesn't kill her is beyond me and never explained, but we will just go with it. She finds herself standing in a lab with a giant mech suit, which she hastily climbs into. This mech enhances the abilities of whoever its pilot is, so as you step into the mech it dons climbing gear giving you the ability to double jump and use a grappling hook for all different things. As the story progresses you meet 2 allies who climb into the mech with you and each get granted their own set of abilities. You meet a boy names max, who serves as the figther of the group and gets all sorts of combat abilities and his dog, rex, who runs really fast, can sniff out secrets, pick locks, and eavesdrop on random conversations to find information. Each character gets extra abilities as the game progresses as well.

The Kore gang is a 3d platformer broken up into 32 levels. Graphically this game has a very cool visual style. The environments are not what you would expect from your typical 3d platformer, many of these levels look like they would feel right at home in psychonauts and range from drab ice levels, to prisons, factories, and toehr psychadelic looking levels. I really enjoyed the look of this game and it stands out from the bright and cheeky landscapes typical of this genre.

The levels here are more straight forward 3d platforming then they are exploring colllectathon. Every level has multiple objectives and while accomplishing all of them requires a small amount of exploring, most of the level designs here are more focused on platforming, fighting, and random mini games than they are on exploring every nook and cranny, which is a gameplay style I greatly prefer. The levels are designed in a way where you have to constantly switch between characters, luckily switching is really fast and easy, hitting the c button switches your character instantly so completing a platforming challenge with trixie and then quickly switching to max to bash enemies works really well. Boss fights are scattered around every couple of levels and they each present a unique experience, beating them is usually pretty easy but it is fun to try and learn their patterns or how to defeat them.

The story here is silly and quirky, there is lots of dialogue sprinkled around between levels and cutscenes that tell the story in between levels. The story here is funny in a weird childish kind of way. It had me chuckling every so often and I really looked forward to meeting new characters and watching the story play out.

The camera here is not as good as it should be, it is not the worst in the world, you can hit the z button to center the camera behind you, or move the d pad on the wiimote to manually adjust it. It is functional enough but there were a few odd spots where the camera was just atrocious.

That being said, kore gang is a really fun game, with solid gameplay, cool levels, and a quirky storyline and is definitely a hidden gem on the wii.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:36 pm

[quote="Markies"]Markies' Games Beat List Of 2020!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Pikmin 2 (GCN)
2. Banjo-Tooie (N64)
3. Contra: Hard Corps (GEN)
4. Super Baseball Simulator 1,000 (SNES)
5. Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers 2 (NES)
6. Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection (PS2)
***7. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PS2)***
***8. Cruis'N USA (N64)***
9. Arc The Lad Collection (PS1)
10. Halo 2 (XBOX)
11. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean (GCN)
12. DuckTales 2 (NES)
13. Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (PS2)
14. Rocket Knight Adventures (GEN)
***15. Skies of Arcadia (SDC)***
16. Dragon Quest V (SNES)

17. Marvel Vs. Capcom (PS1)

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I beat Marvel Vs. Capcom on the Sony Playstation 1 this evening!

After discovering Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, I have slowly been going through the series from the beginning. I started with X-Men Vs. Street Fighter and then I moved onto Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter, all of them being on the PS1. All I needed to beat was Marvel Vs. Capcom and then I would have been caught up in the series. I could then move onto the Marvel only subtext of the series. I picked up a copy sometime last year when a local video game store had a copy sitting in their rarity case. It was a game high on my PS1 list, so I jumped at the chance to finally own it. I then decided that I was going to play it this year as it would be a nice reprieve from the long RPGs that I was slated to play this year.

Going into Marvel Vs. Capcom, I was hoping more for Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, but instead I got more of Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter. Once again, on the Playstation 1 version, you are only doing 1 Vs. 1 fights with other characters being able to act as an assist. In the Arcade and DreamCast versions of the game, you can actually do a 2 Vs. 2 match. I knew that going into the game, but it was still a little disappointing. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the surprising amount of depth and amount of assist characters. You have normal characters like Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, and Magneto. But, you also have Jubilee, Thor, Arthur from Ghosts 'N Goblins, Michelle Heart from Legendary Wing and other deep characters from Capcom's lore. To see this characters was an absolute shock as I had never seen them before or in a fighting game. It really brought back some nostalgia for me. Also, the stages have some great hidden moments and I liked the ending. All the characters interact with each other during the credit roll and it has some genuinely funny scenes. Besides that, it still is another Marvel Vs. Capcom fighting game. The final boss was annoying, but he wasn't too difficult once you knew where to hit him.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with Marvel Vs. Capcom. I went into the game knowing that it'd be another PS1 iteration and I wouldn't have the tag team bouts. With that out of the way, seeing characters I had never seen before was a true joy. The fighting system is the same as always and is still just as incredible to play. If you love the series, then this is a great entry into it!
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:32 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) *
16. Shovel Knight: King of Cards (3DS)
17. Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope (3DS) *
18. Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows (Switch) *
19. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment (Switch) *
20. Shovel Knight: Showdown (Switch)
21. Dragon Quest Builders 2 (PS4)
22. ActRaiser (SNES)
23. Castlevania: The Adventure ReBirth (WiiWare)
24. Mega Man X (SNES)
25. Breath of Fire II (SNES)
26. Ape Escape 2 (PS2) *
27. Doubutsu No Mori+ (GC)
28. Ape Escape (PS1)
29. Ape Escape 3 (PS2) *
30. Maken X (DC)
31. Cubivore (GC)
32. Wario World (GC) *
33. Hatoful Boyfriend (PC)
34. Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (SFC)
35. Baku Bomberman 2 (N64)
36. Chameleon Twist (N64)
37. Gato Roboto (PC)
38. The Messenger (PC)
39. The Messenger: Picnic Panic (PC)
40. Baku Bomberman (N64)
41. Bomberman Hero (N64)
42. Blazing Lasers (TG16)
43. Neutopia (TG16)
44. Neutopia II (TG16)
45. Bomberman '94 (PCE)

46. Super Mario Sunshine (GC) *

I've been in a bit of a nostalgic mood lately, and I saw they had one copy of this game lefta at the resale mall and picked it up. It's been maaaany years since I last played this game, and while I did beat it when I was a kid, I never got all 120 shines. Well this time I did! With the help of a guide for a few of the most hidden ones as well as 50-some odd blue coins, and after 20 or so hours with the Japanese version, I 100%'d Super Mario Sunshine~.

Mario Sunshine sees Mario & Peach & Co taking a vacation to Dolphic Island (as it's called in Japanese). Mario is framed of painting graffiti all over the whole island, and is ordered by the island government to clean it all up before he can leave. Luckily, he has the aid of his mechanical sidekick Fludd (or "Pomp", as he's called in Japanese) who can spray water to clean stuff up and help Mario with his platforming. It's as lighthearted a story as ever, but it does introduce Bowser Jr. to the cast and also gives us some of the first instances of Bowser just trying to be a good dad, which is super wholesome and I love it ^w^

As in Mario 64, you go around 7 stages doing 8 missions in each (as opposed to the 6 missions in Mario 64) for the reward of a Shine (the collectible here instead of stars). There are additionally two extra hidden shines in each level, which are often just doing a red-coin time trial of a particular stage, but not always (and some are damn deviously hidden). The main plaza of Dolphic Island also has over a dozen shines to collect, hidden all over it, as well as 240 freaking blue coins hidden throughout the game (and you can trade in 10 of for a shine).

While the game does have a lot of really fun mission designs, ranging from platforming puzzles you need to complete without Fludd (like Odyssey would replicate later with Cappy-less platforming challenges) to a hotel mystery where you need to find your way through all the secret floors/walls to your objective, the game overall has a weaker mission design than the other 3D Marios. This is what I would say is its biggest flaw, and often 2 or 3 of the missions in each stage do not really feel terribly substantial and the game overall feels like it has a bit less content than Mario 64 did despite having just as many stars. A lot of the hidden blue coins are also really deviously hidden, falling into a trap that Mario Odyssey also falls into in terms of trying to 100% it, but this is way worse. You'll likely appreciate coming across those kinds of minor collectibles in playing the game normally as they'll help you get towards the Shine total you need to beat the game, but it's a real pain trying to find ALL of them without a guide. The blue coins are a fairly minor complaint though unless you're going to try and get every Shine in the game.

While I feel the mission design to be overall weaker (although still very good) compared to Mario 64 and the other 3D Marios, the way this game plays is WAY better than Mario 64. Mario starts to control in large part how he would for the rest of his 3D games, particularly in how wall jumps are far less difficult now that you can hug a wall for a bit before jumping off of it. In addition to that, Mario also has Fludd to assist him with its various nozzles. There's the default nozzle for shooting out at enemies and cleaning up spills, but there's also a hover nozzle that lets you hover for a short time in addition to 2 different sub attachments you can find in each level. It really varies up the ways Fludd can help you move around, and it does a great job of varying up the platforming, much like how Mario Galaxy would spice things up with gravity switching.

The game holds up aesthetically really well, looking really nice played through the component cables on my Wii. The music is also great, and the main plaza theme is as catchy as ever. The VA in the game curiously is all in English even in the Japanese version, only having Japanese subtitles to aid Japanese players in understanding what's going on. The English VA that's there isn't terribly frequent or of an amazing quality, but it was very interesting to see them continue that after Mario 64: Rumble Edition also had all English VA here in Japan.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Fludd does certainly change up how Mario moves compared to the other games, and the mission design may be all around weaker, but this is still a fantastic 3D platformer. I understand that some people may not like it for how much it changes Mario's basics of moving around, but I still think this game is a blast and is totally worth checking out for fans of the genre who haven't gotten a chance to try this one yet.
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pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:02 pm

@Partridgesenpai: Glad you enjoyed mario sunshine, I feel like that is a game that I "hear" people don't like but I have never met or seen anyone who hasn't, I think the game is a lot better received than most people think it is and there is just a vocal minority that complains about it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:32 pm

1. Elite Dangerous - PC
2. Soldier of Fortune - PC
3. Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Defender of the Empire - PC
4. Star Wars: TIE Fighter: Enemies of the Empire - PC
5. Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter: Balance of Power - PC
6. Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - PC
7. Phoenix Point - PC
8. Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter - PC
9. Descent II - PC
10. Inbento - Switch
11. Ori and the Will of the Wisps - XB1
12. Doom Eternal - PC
13. Serious Sam 2 - PC
14. Black Mesa - PC
15. Descent 3 - PC
16. Darksiders II - PC
17. Resident Evil 3 (2020) - PC
18. Overload - PC
19. Final Fantasy VII Remake - PS4
20. Trials of Mana (2020) - Switch
21. Persona 5 Royal - PS4
22. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered - PC
23. Sublevel Zero Redux - PC
24. Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age - PS4
25. Maneater - PC
26. XCOM: Chimera Squad - PC
27. Sakura Wars - PS4
28. Stela - Switch
29. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 - DC
30. Darksiders III - PC
31. Shadow Warrior (2013) - PC
32. Robotrek - SNES
33. Shadow Warrior 2 - PC
34. EVO: The Search for Eden - SNES
35. Blast Corps - N64
36. Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations - PC
37. Command & Conquer Red Alert: Counterstrike - PC
38. The Last of Us Part 2 - PS4
39. Exodemon - PC
40. Halo: Reach - PC
41. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary - PC
42. Halo 2: Anniversary - PC
43. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS3
44. Halo 3 - PC
45. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4
46. Command & Conquer Red Alert: Aftermath - PC
47. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 - Switch
48. Carrion - Switch

Carrion is a unique Metroidvania where you basically play as The Thing. And not the rock monster from Marvel Comics. The game starts with you breaking out of containment and nomming on nearby scientists who were studying you. You now need to escape, and woe betide any humans who get in your way. But it won't be easy; you start off as just a small horrifying tentacled blob with teeth. You'll need to evolve new abilities and in general get larger to make it through the obstacles in your path, as well as dealing with some of the heavier armament as they try to keep you contained.

The game controls fairly uniquely. Since you have a host of pseudopods for movement you basically are able to fly around the level using one stick, and then the other stick is used to aim your powers and your main interaction tentacle. You can grab humans or other objects in the world to drag them into your maw or swing them around and bust them up (important for robots). And later on you'll get various special powers. One interesting thing is that you have a separate offensive and defensive power per form, so you'll either need to grow big or leave something behind to get small to get through certain areas. But your size is also linked to your health, so being small means you die more easily. Conversely, when you get really big you can have trouble maneuvering around, and naturally you are much easier to hit.

The level design is well crafted to keep moving you to your next area, so you shouldn't need to worry about getting lost. There is no map, but you should only need that if you are trying to backtrack for the handful of optional hidden items that make your life a bit easier in the manner of energy tanks. But you don't need to backtrack from a previous major area to do so; you just might need to backtrack in the current area once you've gotten a necessary power. The level design is quite neat; there are a lot of areas that move you around the main human areas so you can sneak up on them (important when they get heavier hardware) and there are a lot of puzzles to solve in terms of manipulating gates and switches to open paths, as well as the aforementioned growing or shrinking your form. In order to clear an area you need to activate a certain number of spots on the map, and these also serve as save/health points, so you never lose much progress by dying. The game has a good difficulty curve and introduces stuff up until the last level, where it instead just gives you the toughest combat challenges (though they are all appropriately scaled). There are no boss fights; you are the boss.

The game is a lot of fun, though if you gross out easily you might bounce off it. And it very well executes the fantasy and nails the total feeling of being this horror rampaging through. It's a pure delight from start to finish.
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:16 pm

Awesome review, Popo. That game looks really great, and I’m looking forward to trying it out.
.....
First 40
1. Her Story (iOS)
2. Elminage Original (3DS)
3. Legend of Grimrock (iOS)
4. Silent Bomber (PS1)
5. Crash Bandicoot (PS1)
6. Bust-a-Move 2 Arcade Edition (PS1)
7. Transformers Cybertron Adventures (Wii)
8. Squidlit (Switch)
9. Sydney Hunter & The Curse of the Mayan (Switch)
10. Mega Man Legends (PS1)
11. Revenge of the Bird King (Switch)
12. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (Switch)
13. Gato Roboto (Switch)
14. Kamiko (Switch)
15. Night Slashers (Arcade)
16. Subsurface Circular (Switch)
17. Iconoclasts (Switch)
18. Wonder Boy Returns Remix (Switch)
19. Resident Evil 3 (PS1)
20. The Messenger (Switch)
21. The Messenger: Picnic Panic (Switch)
22. Samsara Room (iOS)
23. Heroes of the Monkey Tavern (Switch)
24. Sayonara Wild Hearts (Switch)
25. Gris (Switch)
26. Donut County (iOS)
27. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES)
28. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SNES)
29. Contra (Arcade)
30. Super Contra (Arcade)
31. Minesweeper Genius (Switch)
32. Kuso (Switch)
33. 20XX (Switch)
34. Spooky Ghosts Dot Com (Switch)
35. Aggelos (Switch)
36. Quell+ (iOS)
37. The White Door (iOS)
38. Grizzland (Switch)
39. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Switch)
40. Silent Hill (PS1)

41. Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio (Switch)
42. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch)

Since I’m old enough to have played the Gameboy and Gameboy Color games at release, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Switch is my third trip to Koholint Island, and it was just as enjoyable as ever. The gameplay is basically the same as the Gameboy releases, but the game has been given a fresh coat of paint inspired, I think, by 3D Dot Game Heroes. (I think it’s great when a brilliant game inspired by a classic series inspires a later entry in that classic series....which is what I think happened here, at least aesthetically.) Moreover, the game has some new features, most notably a dungeon-building tool that adds a lot of post-game replay value. I’ve also played a lot of games in the series since I last played Link’s Awakening, and I’d forgotten just how brilliant the dungeon design is in this game. IMO, the dungeon design in Link’s Awakening is among the best in the series, and my time with the Switch remake reminded me why Link’s Awakening ranks among the best games in the Legend of Zelda series. Highly recommended.
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