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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:09 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:so my eShop backlog doesn’t get out of control.


I don't even want to admit how many Arcade Archives releases I've purchased this year.......
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:06 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:
prfsnl_gmr wrote:so my eShop backlog doesn’t get out of control.


I don't even want to admit how many Arcade Archives releases I've purchased this year.......


Those don’t count as backlog!
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:29 pm

1. Streets of Rage 2 (GEN)*
2. The Ninja Warriors (SNES) [3x]
3. TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)*
4. Golden Axe (GEN) [3x]*
5. Beyond Oasis (GEN)
6. Super Double Dragon (SNES)*
7. Shenmue II (DC)
8. Shining Force 2 (GEN)*
9. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
10. ActRaiser (SNES)
11. OutRun (GEN)*
12. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (GEN)
13. Captain Commando (SNES)
14. The Pirates of Dark Water (SNES)
15. Final Fight (SNES)
16. Gradius III (SNES)
17. Super R-Type (SNES)
18. U.N. Squadron (SNES)
19. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
20. Arrow Flash (GEN)
21. Forgotten Worlds (GEN)
22. Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES)
23. Wonder Boy in Monster World (GEN)
24. Resident Evil 6 (360)
25. Skies of Arcadia (DC)
26. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch)

Image

27. Star Fox 64 (N64)*

Star Fox 64 might be my favorite title on the N64. This game is a go to on the console for me, something I can always pick up and get into. I originally got this game on July 4th, 1997 at a Toys R Us location, a few days after its June 30th release -- it was the big box version that came bundled with the rumble pak. I vividly remember my parents taking me to pick up the game, and then we went straight to a family barbecue event for the remainder of the day. I appreciated seeing my extended family, but was pretty amped to finally go home and try it. Lol. Anyway, I hadn't played Star Fox 64 in a few years, and felt like taking it out again.

The graphics are impressive in this title for the time of release, and I especially like the opening of the first level, starting with your ship being over a body of water, and then moving into a destroyed city environment. The soundtrack is very memorable and has both sequences that add a dramatic flare to the title, as well as pieces that are really calming (the level select screen, for example). The tunes bring back good memories of playing the game with friends when I was young. The voice work for Star Fox's buddies is also hilarious, and gives the game great personality. My cousins and I would sometimes say lines from the game to joke around, but it's fun to see people still mention these phrases all these years later. Hey Einstein! I'm on your side!

Gameplay wise, I like how there is multiple paths in the game, based on events that happen (or don't) during gameplay. This adds a lot of replay value, especially as one plays more often, gets better, and is able to manage the harder paths. It's also cool that you can earn gold medals on each level, based on the amount of hits you get. This is something I still haven't achieved all these years later, and will bring me back to playing the game some more, to try to get the gold medals I'm still missing. The controls are very smooth and accurate. I have mixed feelings about the N64 controller, and have an issue with it for some games, but it works well for this title. The additional feature here of the packed in rumble pak is also a huge bonus. This was the first time I ever experienced a rumble feature for any controller or game, so the experience was pretty mind blowing at the time.

During my session the other night, I managed to beat my original high score, which was still on my cart from 1997. Was not expecting to top that old high score!

Star Fox 64 has aged very well IMO and is one of the best titles on the N64. For anyone that's a fan of the console or a fan of on-rail shooters, I encourage you to check it out. Try playing it on original hardware with the rumble pak for the best experience! But just play the game any way you're able to. I highly recommend it!
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:43 pm

1. Streets of Rage 2 (GEN)*
2. The Ninja Warriors (SNES) [3x]
3. TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)*
4. Golden Axe (GEN) [3x]*
5. Beyond Oasis (GEN)
6. Super Double Dragon (SNES)*
7. Shenmue II (DC)
8. Shining Force 2 (GEN)*
9. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
10. ActRaiser (SNES)
11. OutRun (GEN)*
12. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (GEN)
13. Captain Commando (SNES)
14. The Pirates of Dark Water (SNES)
15. Final Fight (SNES)
16. Gradius III (SNES)
17. Super R-Type (SNES)
18. U.N. Squadron (SNES)
19. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
20. Arrow Flash (GEN)
21. Forgotten Worlds (GEN)
22. Contra III: The Alien Wars (SNES)
23. Wonder Boy in Monster World (GEN)
24. Resident Evil 6 (360)
25. Skies of Arcadia (DC)
26. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch)
27. Star Fox 64 (N64)*

Image

28. Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (SNES)*

I haven't shown much love to fighting games this year, so it's something I'd like to do a bit more in the upcoming months. I still remember the first time I saw the original version of Street Fighter II being played on a SNES, it was pretty amazing as a young kid to see that game in action. When I received my SNES console on Christmas day 1992, SF II was one of the games that I got with it. Two years later, I received Super Street Fighter II on Christmas day 1994, and was pretty excited to check out this updated version of the game.

To start, the opening for this game is pretty awesome -- with a huge animation of Ryu covering the whole screen. This edition in the SF II series adds four new characters (my favorite of the bunch being Cammy), spruces up the graphics from the earlier titles, and adds a few additional gameplay modes including group mode, tournament, and a time challenge. A combo system was also added in this title. The turbo aspect of the game that was introduced in SF II Turbo: Hyper Fighting is still present, but I don't believe you can bump up the speed as much as you could on Turbo. Even on the default setting, the game still runs a lot faster than the original SF II: The World Warrior. The sound effects in this title is also different than the earlier versions. I've read complaints about the sounds effects being changed, it never bothered me, but I do agree the chunkier sound effects of the hard punch and hard kick in the earlier games is more satisfying.

Gameplay wise, this is what you'd expect if you've played any of the other SF II titles, with the same move sets, and everything be easy to pull off once you have a grasp of it. The Super Nintendo controller is great for this type of game, with the four face buttons and shoulder buttons very convenient for fighting games. I played the single player mode with Ken this time around, as he's my preferred character in the game. To switch it up though, I sometimes play with Cammy or Sagat.

My only nitpick complaint is that I wish the cover art for the US release was different. The Super Famicom had good art but for the US we got this dud. The other console releases of SF II had illustrations of fight scenes, but for this game we simply get the title text breaking through a brick wall, which always seemed lame to me. It could've been an awesome illustration of a fight with a mix of the original characters and new characters, and maybe one of the new levels as a backdrop.

This is my preferred Street Fighter title on the SNES, as this is the better of the two titles that I grew up with. However, I'd be interested in hearing if anyone prefers SF II Turbo over this one. There is so many versions of SF II out nowadays and it's appeared on so many consoles, but if you're looking for a fighting title to play on the SNES, I definitely recommend this one! The release of the original SF II was a huge moment in gaming, and I'm glad I was able to be there for it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:55 pm

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

1-50
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) *
47. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (GC) *
48. Shenmue 3 (PS4)
49. Wandersong (Switch)
50. Ratchet & Clank (PS2)

51. Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando (PS2)
52. Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal (PS2)
53. Nier: Automata (PS4)
54. Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2)

55. Itadaki Street Special (PS2)

Known as Fortune Street in America (or Boom Street in Europe), Itadaki Street is a board game by Enix (now Square Enix) that has been around for over 30 years (the 30th anniversary game coming out on PS4 a few years ago). Itadaki Street Special was the first game in the series published by Square Enix after their merger, and it's the first one to start featuring their licensed characters. It's a game I've had my eye on for a long time but never had an opportunity to buy for cheap until recently. After a week of a lot of playing (I'd say at least 40 hours), I finally finished the last of the normal tournament mode. There's still more to do, technically, but I've beaten every map on single player mode and seen the credits, so I'm calling this game finished. It's begun to show its age a bit, but it's definitely still a really fun entry in the series.

Itadaki Street is a variation to the popular game Monopoly. It's the same sort of idea, going around a board trying to get properties in a set to gain a monopoly there all in an effort to earn more money than your opponents, but Itadaki Street adds some very significant changes beyond the fan service to really make it a far more compelling board game. Firstly, there are many maps with different shop values and gimmicks in each. Some maps are more circuit-like, but many have multiple paths, meaning that there is often some element of player choice in how to best utilize their die rolls. You also don't just need to get back to GO (in this case, the bank) in order to get your free payday, and instead must collect 4 playing card suits from around the board, and knowing when trying to get your paydays isn't worth it can be a really big deciding factor in your victories. Another big change is how districts don't increase in value as you go around the board, with shops instead having varying values within each district that can go from 80 gold to 800 gold for the base market price. These spaces can even be outright taken (at great cost) with a hostile takeover after you land on them, at least if you're wiling to pay five times the current market price of the property. There are also casino spaces where you can play little minigames (sometimes alone, sometimes with the other players) for a little boost of extra quick cash.

The most significant change, though, is how Itadaki Street has a stock exchange system. You can only buy stocks at the bank, but you can sell them anywhere. Factor that in with how you can invest in a property even if you only own a single property in that district (think like building houses in Monopoly) and how you can buy stocks in ANY district, not just your own, and there is a LOT of strategy on when and how to invest your money. There is even a good strategy on when to divest yourself, as slowly selling off stocks in the district of a player ahead of you (something my friends and I call "investment bullying") to make their more numerous stocks lose value, meaning they'll take longer to hit the target goal of net worth they need to win the game.

There is still a lot of luck in this game, don't get me wrong. Landing on the space a suit sits on will get you a chance card, and some chance cards are so good they can easily turn the tide of the game (or at least give you a very healthy lead quite early on if it's something like a free payday from the bank). Then there are special "empty plot" property spaces, where you can build special buildings that have different effects depending on the type you build and what you do with it. These spaces are incredibly overpowered, and those who control them often control the game (with some buildings like the temple making the player that lands on them lose 10% of their NET WORTH to the player who owns it). You can absolutely get hecked over by bad luck in this game, but it's still possible to play from behind and come out in second or even end up winning if you play your investments right in most games.

After finishing the main single-player mode, you unlock another tournament set of the same boards but with "Sphere Mode" rules. Sphere Mode introduces a lot more opportunity for calculated risk, as it gives each player a Sphere Die to roll after they've done their normal move. You can find certain spheres as you play the maps to slot into your Sphere Die, and rolling it gives you the benefit of that sphere whether you like it or not (you may not always want to roll again immediately, for example). It's a neat idea, but it added a bit too much randomness for me to want to engage with after having just beaten all of those maps, even if half of the unlockable characters in the game are locked behind winning that second set of tournaments.

The appeal of this particular entry, at least historically, is that it was not only the first game where four players could play together, but it was the first one to have licensed characters in it. Flexing their Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy franchises, the game has 20 playable characters with another 16 unlockable ones. The characters don't have any differences between them other than aesthetics (although I think they do have different mechanics on the Sphere Mode boards), at least for player characters. Different characters have different levels of AI difficulty inherent to their characters instead of the AI being able to be assigned manually. The AI also isn't super amazing even on S Rank difficulties, and I've seen some of the AI do massively foolish things even at that high difficulty. It's not dead easy by any means, but it can really surprise with how foolish it is as times regardless.

The series representation is both very good and quite disappointing. For Dragon Quest, it has a really good variety from DQ1 all the way to DQ8 and even Terry from DQ Monsters. From Final Fantasy, however, there isn't a single character from before FF7, and there are even TWO Yunas in the game (FFX-2 Yuna and FFX Yuna). It's not a super big deal, but for a game where the fan service is so fun with how much silly personality the characters have to them when they do their lines as NPCs, it's disappointing to see how heavily stacked the newer games are all for the effort of promoting Squenix's newer games (like FFXII, which wouldn't even be out for another year and a half).

Verdict: Highly Recommended. I really loved my time with this game. It's got silly and fun writing, good mechanics, and tons of boards and characters to play with. While it's a bit hard to recommend this particular version to anyone who can't speak Japanese, the Wii game is well worth tracking down if the mechanics of this sound appealing to you. Enix hit a good formula here, and it's good to see Square Enix not seriously messing with something that was never broken.
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Syndicate
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Syndicate Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:10 pm

...so I've been playing through the Mega Man Legacy Collection and have finished games 1-4 and will be wrapping up 5 and probably 6 this weekend.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:07 pm

1. ACA NeoGeo: Cyber-Lip (Switch eShop)
2. Pengo (Atari 2600)
3. Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
4. Knights of Xentar (PC)
5. Hoshi o Sagashite... (Mark III)
6. Dead Zone (Famicom Disk System)
7. Samurai Sword (Famicom Disk System)
8. High School! Kimengumi (Mark III)
9. Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom (NES)
10. Sindbad Mystery (SG-1000)
11. Steins;Gate (Vita)
12. Champion Boxing (SG-1000)
13. Squidlit (Switch eShop)
14. Skyblazer (SNES)
15. Tokyo Dark: Remembrance (Switch eShop)
16. Bubble Bobble (Famicom Disk System)
17. Steins;Gate Elite (Switch)
18. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Joe and Mac Returns (Switch eShop)
19. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Express Raider (Switch eShop)
20. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (Genesis)
21. Sword of Vermilion (Genesis)
22. Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace (Switch eShop)
23. Oink! (Atari 2600)
24. Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (Famicom Disk System)
25. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
26. Phantasy Star Online (Dreamcast)
27. Chaos;Child (Vita)
28. Scar of the Doll (Steam)
29. Kirby's Adventure (NES)
30. Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (PlayStation)
31. Hangman (Atari 2600)
32. Metal Slug (Neo Geo MVS)
33. Metal Slug 2 (Neo Geo MVS)
34. Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man (Intellivision)
35. Shark! Shark! (Intellivision)
36. Videocart 1: Tic-Tac-Toe / Shooting Gallery / Doodle / Quadra-Doodle (Channel F)
37. Haunted House (Atari 2600)
38. The Earth Dies Screaming (Atari 2600)
39. Vroom in the Night Sky (Switch eShop)
40. Sonic Mania Plus (Switch)
41. Arcade Archives: The Ninja Warriors (Switch eShop)
42. 8-Bit Adv Steins;Gate (Switch eShop)
43. Kid Niki: Radical Ninja (NES)
44. Dracula II: Noroi no Fuuin (Famicom Disk System)
45. Centipede (Atari 2600)
46. Infiltrate (Atari 2600)
47. Valis II (TurboGrafx CD)

48. The Song of Saya (Steam)
Image
Within the great and wide world of visual novels, Saya no Uta (or The Song of Saya, which is a literal translation) occupies its own little niche. A Lovecraftian tale of terror and romance (using the term "romance" loosely here), it's undoubtedly the most "extreme" VN to receive a mass-produced mainstream release. Written by Gen Urobuchi and developed by Nitroplus, several variants of The Song of Saya have been made available since it was first unleashed in 2003. As of 2019, it's easiest to obtain digitally. The Steam version is censored, naturally, but a patch that restores all cut content is available from Jast USA. And one can simply elect to bypass Steam and download the uncut game from Jast directly, of course. Note that the patch costs money, but the Steam game itself is discounted -- this means that both uncensored variants end up the same price.

The game's opening pulls no punches. A screen-filling blob, deformed beyond recognition, begins screaming at the protagonist (and, in turn, the player). Its speech is represented by an incoherent string of characters. The screaming is unceasing, but eventually letters begin to take shape and form somewhat lucid sentences. Something about a ski trip? It's here that we're introduced to the decidedly unlucky protagonist: a medical student named Fuminori Sakisaka. Prior to the events of the game, Fuminori suffered severe neurological injuries from a car crash that left his parents dead. Despite receiving some experimental treatment, Fuminori is left coping with an extreme form of agnosia. To him, the once "normal" world is now a disgusting mess of decaying ooze, slime, and rotted meat. Fellow humans are similarly disfigured, quivering gelatinous chunks of bloody flesh. All sounds have morphed into unpleasant screeches and all food tastes rotten. As such, Fuminori finds himself repelled by his friends and the once-mundane daily activities. He lies to his doctor who's shrewd enough to suspect that something's gone awry.

The only relief for Fuminori lies in something even more insane: Saya. Taking the form of a young woman (using the term "woman" loosely here), Saya first encounters Fuminori during his hospital stay. She's the one thing that violates the rules of "meat vision" as she appears as a cute and perky female. But if she looks beautiful to Fuminori that means that in the "real world" she's obviously... something else altogether. Saya, while initially presented as mischievous and endearing, is soon revealed to have an insatiable bloodlust. And her influence on Fuminori is undeniable.
Image
The story is taut and well-written, with plenty of twists and little filler. Technically speaking, the game employs the "NVL" style of presentation, with large blocks of "storybook" text covering the screen, as opposed to frequent back-and-forth bits of dialogue/thoughts. It suits the narrative well, as The Song of Saya tends to lean towards the descriptive with lengthy stretches of character silence. The game flirts with some moral quandaries. Fuminori is like the classic tragic vampire: malicious but lamentably so, due to circumstances beyond his control. And as for Saya herself, she's an "alien" who surely can't be bound to the human concept of morality, right?

At least that's how things are presented initially, though Fuminori's quick transition to the "dark side" along with the unrepentant Saya leaves little room for sympathy. However, this feels like an intentional move by the author. Fuminori isn't designed to be relatable or the typical "stand-in" for the player. His first-person narration progressively gets more absurd, the rantings of an absolute madman. And as the viewpoint deftly switches to third-person we're left looking at two pathetic perverted creatures. The typical themes of "cosmic horror" are present here -- the terrors of incomprehensible phenomena, the unveiling of uncomfortable truths, the fragility of sanity -- but The Song of Saya works best as a cautionary tale, of the dangers of unbridled egoism and maladaptive codependency.

Getting back to the plot itself, some foils to the Fuminori/Saya blood-soaked rampage present themselves, in the form of three concerned friends (one of whom is the aforementioned "blob") and Fuminori's physician (who may have some ulterior motives of her own). This group works, separately and cohesively, to uncover the mysteries of Fuminori's newfound mindset and the nature of the "thing" that's been driving him into madness. These interpersonal conflicts drive the tale forward, to a riveting climax... maybe? The Song of Saya, though mostly a "nothing but reading" VN, does contain two choices and three possible endings. The first choice can lead the player to a premature ending, while the second choice leads to one of two "final" endings that are about equal in length. In contrast to most visual novels, there are no definitive "good" or "bad" conclusions here, as all are uncomfortable in their own way. One ending is marked by feelings of impending paranoia, while the other is bizarrely extravagant and grandiose (perhaps a bit too much). Some could argue that that "premature" resolution is the best, as it spares a good many humans from inevitable carnage.
Image
Okay, time to address the, uh, "selling point" of the game: The Song of Saya contains a heaping of sex, violence, and sexual violence. It's graphic, it's uncompromisingly brutal, and, yes, it's mostly "necessary" to advance the plot. The "h-scenes" are undeniably the most disturbing part of the entire experience, owing to the fact that Saya doesn't exactly resemble a grown adult. It's a purposeful juxtaposition, that between the innocent and the profane. As Fuminori plunges deeper into the relationship and ups its intensity we're left wondering if perhaps the human element here is more twisted than the "alien" itself. Note that much like other "great" dysfunctional relationships seen in media past, the game is totally unapologetic about this one, leaving the acceptance or revulsion completely up to the observer.

The game's aesthetics are extremely striking. The character art is great: it's certainly "anime" but everyone looks wholly realistic and proportional. The backgrounds are incredible. Fuminori's "meat vision" is finely detailed, his world a dripping oily mess of red and pink pustules, twisting entrails, blood in various states of clotting. And the "normal world" (as seen by everyone else) is additionally unsettling, as the characters travel to an arrangement of drab, burned-out, broken-down, skeletal locales. In a (morbidly) humorous way, it's oftentimes Fuminori's world that looks the most engaging and comfortable. As for the soundtrack, this is one of the best heard in any visual novel. Every song (they all start with the letter "S") is fundamentally spooky, albeit in various fashions. There are industrial pieces that verge on being intentionally "annoying" used to highlight some of more manic episodes. Fuminori's treks through vomitous urban wastelands are aided by the presence of electric guitar: heavily distorted and slowly played, accompanied by some seriously gorgeous delay and reverb. But it's those literal "songs of Saya" that rule over all: catchy, synth-driven, with creepy vocalizations that sound as if they may be emitted by the alien dame herself.

Strangely enough, despite the persistent horror, I often see The Song of Saya recommended as a "starter" visual novel. This is likely owing to its length. Fast readers will blow through this in a matter of hours. It's a single-day visual novel (though a single "sitting" may be pushing it). And that's just fine: stretching this one out could/would cross a line from properly disturbing to an overindulgent gross-out marathon. As it stands, this may not be one of the elite all-time best VNs, but it's certainly unforgettable. Highly recommended to some, hesitantly recommended to most.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:49 pm

First 50:
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
49. Ninja Gaiden - NES
50. Earthworm Jim - Genesis

51. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - Switch
52. Star Control Origins: Earth Rising - PC
53. Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX - Switch
54. Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith - PC
55. Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls - PS3
56. Silicon Zeroes - PC
57. Warcraft - PC
58. Serious Sam 3: BFE - PC
59. Wasteland 3 - PC

After Wasteland 2 successfully brought back the franchise that begat Fallout inXile knew they could keep things going, and so we have Wasteland 3. While Wasteland 2 was split between Arizona and California in exploring the post-apocalyptic wasteland of America Wasteland 3 takes us to the snowy wastes of Colorado. Daylight is almost unheard of and exposure is a surefire way of executing someone. Your team has been sent as part of a program to help out the man who rules Colorado take care of some personal affairs in exchange for badly needed supplies for Arizona. But in a world with no saints you will have to make hard choices about how to apply your strengths to the region, and your final choices will have long reaching consequences for Colorado.

Like the first game you build a force of four player created rangers and can take on two more NPC companions. You'll want to spread out your selection of non-combat skills, as they provide important tools for acquiring loot, solving quests, and managing dialog options. And you can't max them all; a given character will be able to max out four skills (including a weapon skill), and there is no respec option. This ends up making things a bit harder for the later joining companions, as they will already be fairly specced into a skill that you might already have on another character, basically costing you skill points. Since skill point costs increase as skills go up this means the early companions are effectively blank slates; at worst they have a level or two of "wrong" skills. Also, in a weird decision, the last two companions available are unlocked at the tail end of the game, so in addition to the specialization issue they just don't get much time with your team (especially notable in that the last major area before the end REALLY encourages you to use specific party members).

One thing I was delighted to see was that every weapon type is viable. The devs did a lot of skill combining (which also applies to some noncombat skills) which gives you a bit of flexibility. So pistols and shotguns share a combat skill, same as assault rifles and SMGs. Since each character can equip two weapons this lets you swap between weapons as needed for a given job. Every weapon has a strength and in their strengths they all do comparable amounts of damage, so having a broad selection means you can manage combats better and that you don't get starved for upgrades. They redid damage types and armor this time around; armor is a percentage damage reduction that kicks in if your armor is higher than their penetration, with a minimum of a 20% reduction if you are even one point higher. There are elemental damage types which have full penetration (the hard number is higher than any armor value in game) but have a 30% damage bonus/reduction against organics/mechanicals. So it pays to run the numbers quickly in your head to see if it might still be better to use a "bad" damage type against a particularly highly armored target.

The game is built on choices in how you manage the encounters, and a lot of times you will be picking between which faction you want to piss off. You can talk your way out of a lot of combats, but you certainly can't do it every time. The factions are colorful; the best is a faction of Reagan worshippers called the Gippers. Without spoiling anything their storyline gets more and more amazing as you progress through it. It was the highlight of the game for me, and it's clear the writers had a ball with it. The choices you make will affect things mid game as well as end game; the final showdown depends on your ultimate choices and the description of what happens to everyone depends on what you've done. There are a lot of unintended consequences of your actions and there is no golden playthrough. Pick with what feels right to you and own your choices.

Overall it's another solid RPG that takes what made the previous games good and gives us more of it. It will be interesting to see if they decide to make a fourth which way they decide to go with things, both due to the nature of the possible endings and the general idea of what the rest of the country is like.
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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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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:54 am

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

1-50
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) *
47. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (GC) *
48. Shenmue 3 (PS4)
49. Wandersong (Switch)
50. Ratchet & Clank (PS2)

51. Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando (PS2)
52. Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal (PS2)
53. Nier: Automata (PS4)
54. Ratchet: Deadlocked (PS2)
55. Itadaki Street Special (PS2)

56. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PCE)

This is largely known as one of the best of the classic Casltevanias, and it's honestly one of the biggest reasons I got my PCE Classic. I played through it for our Birds are Jerks Together Retro, and at Maru's pushing I then went and 100%'d the game, rescuing all the maidens and finishing all the stages. I'm gald he did, because it was really worthwhile! It's not the longest game in the world, nor is it the hardest Castlevania game out there, but it's still well worth going through.

The story is pretty bog-standard for a Castlevania game, Dracula's back and you gotta go give him his lumps again, but this game does spice things up a bit by adding some animated cutscenes with spoken dialogue using the POWER of the PC Engine's CD add on. An intro in German (with Japanese subtitles) as well as cutscenes and voicelines throughout the game help bring the story to life in a more entertaining way than prior Casltevania games. A lot of them are especially entertaining because the VA (when you can hear it, as it's very quiet due to PCE CD voice clips just not really emulating properly on modern televisions) is quite campy and silly (like how all the maidens Richter rescues are SO thirsty for him XD) and the animations used in them is often uncanny and unintentionally funny as well. It's a story that does the job of adding the set dressing, and it was fun to indulge in as someone who knows enough Japanese to know what they're saying.

This is a PC Engine game, so sadly the ability to throw a subweapon with a shoulder button is lost due to there only being 4 face buttons (including "run" and "select"), and the ability to whip in 8 directions is also scrapped from Castlevania 4, but the game plays great. It's still the case that there were a lot of times I ended up throwing weapons when I didn't mean to due to how the PCE's controller is a bit fiddly, but Richter always controlled well. This game even adds a second playable character, Maria, and once unlocked, she's basically an easy mode. She can double jump, has a weapon that does way more DPS, and has a sliding dash she can do. While it's a shame you need to unlock it, it's really awesome to have accessibility options, of a sort, in an old action game like this. And as an added cherry on top, Maria even gets her own versions of all the cutscenes for rescuing the other three maidens and beating Dracula.

The level design is top notch, and you never feel like you're getting horribly dicked over like so many of the earlier Castlevania games can feel like. Checkpoints feel fair as do bosses, and there was never a point I was frustrated to the point of wanting to just give up. After beating the game with Maria, I even went back to play most of the stages as Richter and had a lot more fun than I thought I would. There are a total of 13 stages (if you wanna count the prologue and the one that's just the Dracula fight as "stages") and they're all totally worth playing. Four of those are even hidden stages that you need to do certain requirements in each stage to find your way to, and the bosses guarding the secret stages are different from those guarding the normal stages. The hidden paths and cutscenes give the game a feeling of of being this sort of missing link between games like Castlevania 4 and later Castlevania games like Symphony of the Night, and that's really neat~.

What also makes this game feel like a missing link is the presentation. For the music, it's a greatest hits of the best of the old tracks as well as a bunch of new great ones. The soundtrack is heckin' excellent, and easily one of the highlights of the game. Looking towards the future, the graphics in this game are excellent pixel art, and it's art so excellent Konami would keep on using a LOT of them for as long as Igarashi was making Castlevania games. It was really uncanny seeing so many familiar sprites, from bosses to the simple medusa heads, that I knew so well from games that came out well over a decade after this one, and it just goes to show how well the presentation holds up (and how well asset reuse can serve those who wish to indulge in it, I suppose ;b).

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is a game that I can easily say deserves its reputation as the height of classic Castlevanias, even dethroning my old favorite of Castlevania IV. Konami really outdid themselves with this one, and this is absolutely a must-play if you've already got a PC Engine Mini in some form, and if you don't have one of those already, then this is a pretty darn good reason to think about picking one up.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:01 pm

First 50
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)
43. Stories Untold (Switch)
44. Boxboy! + Boxgirl! (Switch)
45. R-Type Leo (Arcade)
46. Cybarian: The Time-Traveling Warrior (Switch)
47. Duck Souls+ (Switch)
48. Daggerhood (Switch)
49. Gravity Duck (Switch)
50. Biolab Wars (Switch)

51. Legends of Amberland (Switch)

Legends of Amberland is a beautifully pixelated tribute to classic WRPGs like The Bard’s Tale, Dragon Wars, etc. You roll out a party of seven characters, and embark on a first-person, grid-based quest that consists of slaying hordes of monsters, going on fetch quests, exploring both a large open world and various caves, dungeons, and towers. You also spend a lot of time fiddling with your equipment to make sure you have the right combination of immunities and stat boosts. Monsters don’t regenerate, and it took me a little under 17 hours to render all of Amberland devoid of life. (Unlike old WRPGs, this game has an abundance of quality-of-life features, such as auto saving, fast, travel, and streamlined combat, that make it play extremely quickly.) I had fun with this game, and it wasn’t that tough on “normal” difficulty. Accordingly, I recommend it to anyone, like me, looking to dip their toes into this genre.
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