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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:18 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)
57. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3)
58. Crash Bandicoot (PS1)
59. Nazo Puyo: Aruru No Ruu~ (Game Gear)
60. Jumping Flash! (PS1)
61. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (PS1)
62. Crash Team Racing (PS1)
63. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (PS1)
64. Super Mario Galaxy (Switch)
65. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3)

66. Battle Stadium D.O.N. (GC) *

This is a game I last played through in 2014, and when I saw it for 400 yen a week or two ago I thought it was overdue for a trip down memory lane. The quite strange title's acronym of "D.O.N." stands for Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Naruto, as this is a Smash Bros clone featuring characters from all three series, and it was brought exclusively to Japan near the end of the GameCube's life by the folks at Eighting (who also made the excellent Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen 3 (also for the Gamecube) as well as Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom). It took me around 10-15 hours to unlock all of the content in the game.

There really isn't any story to speak of. There's an intro movie with the characters in the game fooling around and fighting a bit, and when you beat the main single player mode, there's another little cutscene of them all having a big party together. This is a game that really doesn't pretend it's anything other than what it is: A Smash Bros clone with these three series getting together to punch each other up. If that sounds appealing, then you're probably gonna be interested, but if it's not, this game doesn't exactly have any other trappings to draw you in.

Mechanically as a platform fighter, this is a remarkably solid one, and definitely one of the more solid games I've played in the genre. Eighting really don't beat around the bush when it comes to the crossover fighters they make, and this game is not exception. It, like the other Smash clone I've played on the GameCube, confusingly uses the A button to jump and B button for your main attack, and then the Y button is your special attack and the X button is your super. Shoulder buttons do blocks and you can roll just like you can in Smash Bros, and this game also has dashing and throwing just like Smash Bros. One nice feature this game does include is several control schemes you can pick from, which is always welcome in any fighting game.

For the fighting itself, the main mechanical difference to Smash Bros is the addition of the special meter. As like in a more typical fighting game, this meter builds as you take damage and deal out normal attacks. You then use this meter not just your super attacks, but it's also fuel for your special attacks and even your blocking. This means keeping tabs on the super meter hovering above your head is a necessity for both yourself and your opponents. Several characters like Chopper, Nami, and Bu are primarily built around their special attacks more so than their physical attacks, and there are also characters who use them more as supplementary moves to their normal attacks. It adds a cool layer of depth to how the fighting works and makes it feel different than Smash Bros in a more meaningful way than simply how the stage goals work or the nature of this particular crossover. The only mechanical complaint I really have is that it can be a bit frustrating to turn your character around with the joystick, and while you can use either the control stick or the D-pad to play, the GameCube D-pad isn't exactly the optimal way to play, well, anything XP

The way the fights themselves work follows a similar path to many other platform fighters (be it PlayStation All-Stars or TV World Fighters) that have wanted very much to not JUST be Smash Bros with difference licenses, and that's by taking a sort of Power Stone-ish approach. Each player starts the match with a certain number of health orbs they're carrying. Beating someone up makes these orbs fly out of them, and if you collect more than a certain percentage, you go into a super mode where you're faster, stronger, and your attacks will even sometimes upgrade as well (like Goku's super move, his Spirit Bomb, gets WAY bigger). That's really the only mode the game has, as well. This isn't like Smash Bros where there are a few other modes that take new spins on the main mode. This is what you get. There are some survival or tournament modes and even the option to use tickets you win (and we'll get to that later) to throw some modifiers into the fighting, but that doesn't change or hide the fact that there's really only one way to fight. The whole game is designed around only having this one way to fight, so it's not really much of a bad thing, per se, but I think it's worth mentioning when the main point of comparison for this game is Smash Bros Melee, which is a title that not only has a lot more content but also precedes it by like 4 years.

The presentation and overall quality of the crossover on the whole is really sweet, and you can tell that they put a lot of effort into making characters fight and feel like they do in their respective shows. Power levels have been toned up or down accordingly (there's no way any of the One Piece or Naruto folks could stand up to Goku in a real fight, of course ;b), but the attention to detail is still really neat. From one of Kakashi's specials being him summoning his dogs to hold you down (like he does in the Mist Village fight) to Chopper's main attacks being his weak deer mode and his special attacks being "human" mode, there are touches all over the place to make the crossover really make the most out of the characters it has. It's a level of detail that goes way beyond the Saiyans going Super Saiyan when they get into super mode, and it's something I appreciate even more replaying it these six years later.

The stages are mostly pretty good with a couple of the moving ones being pretty bad, and the weapons are pretty underwhelming and not very interesting (such is the problem with basically ever non-Smash Bros platform fighter), but the character roster is pretty beefy. Coming in at 20 characters (8 from Dragon Ball, 6 from Naruto, and 6 from One Piece), there's definitely a lot to enjoy here, even with 8 of the characters being locked at the start. But now that we've touched on how many characters (not to mention stages) are locked from the start, we have to get to what is easily the worst part of the game: how unlocks are managed.

Going through the normal single player mode (six random fights followed by fighting Cell or Bu at the end, depending on the difficulty), there will be missions presented at the start. These missions are of three difficulty sets, with tasks ranging from "jump 100 times" to "win without getting a ring out" to "win within 60 seconds", and each tier of difficulty gets you more coins. You then use these coins at the end of the mode (or, oddly enough, even if you duck out mid-run) on a slot machine. If you get the JUMP jackpot on this slot machine, you get to ANOTHER slot machine which will have its OWN jackpot, and that jackpot MIGHT be a new character or stage. Just like a real slot machine, there is no skill or challenge to this. The slot machine will randomly enter a fever mode where you're basically guaranteed to get a jackpot, and at any other time getting a jackpot is completely impossible (the reels don't stop even remotely close to when you press the button). This means unlocking characters comes down entirely to your patience to play through single player mode over and over and over, doing missions to get coins, to hope the slot machine gods will bless you with more unlocks. It's a dreadfully boring system that really gets in the way of what's otherwise a really nicely put together crossover platform fighter.

Verdict: Recommended. Platform fighters and party crossover games are certainly not going to be for everyone, but even with the dreadful unlock system, I think this is definitely one of the better ones out there. As far as Japan-exclusive GameCube games go, there are guides online to help you suss out which challenges are which, so it's a pretty accessible as well as cheap import. If the crossover sounds appealing to you, the base roster of the game is strong enough that I think it's worth the few bucks it'll run you to run this on a machine that can run imports. Even playing it by myself, I think I easily got my money's worth out of it, and I'm glad that I ran across it again to re-add to my library~.
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Gunstar Green
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Gunstar Green Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:05 pm

I moved on from the original X-COM with a dash to the Firaxis reboot with full expansion and DLC content, XCOM: Enemy Within. I'm glad I played the original game for context, as I saw a wide variety of opinions about the reboot from it being a fantastic re-imagining that streamlines the gameplay whiles others called it a dumbed down oversimplification. I lean more towards the former opinion as I had just as much fun as I did with the original game with fewer headaches. Though my opinions vary on the changes they made I feel like a lot of thought was put into why they were made and it mostly all works out. The important thing about a turn based game is that it keeps you coming back for "one more turn" and it succeeded at that.

The game is very clearly crafted by fans of the original as progression follows the same beats only it's far more directed, which is generally a good thing. In the original game you spend a lot of time just waiting for the game to give you what you need assuming you even know what you need while in the reboot you're clearly directed and the game is a lot more generous in how it presents you with the opportunity to fulfill your objectives, though you can still screw up and kill that alien you're supposed to bring in for questioning leading to wasted time. At least you know that your objective will quickly be there for you to try again next time.

This does have the side-effect of making the game feel a lot more linear along with the scripted events and missions, especially with the expansion and DLC content. You're moving more at the game's pace than your own pace. That said the decisions you make in the strategy layer of the game can lead to a lot of replay value, especially with the Enemy Within content adding genetic splicing and mech construction. There are several paths you can go in strengthening your forces and it seems like it would be fun to experiment with that more.

In most cases the game's streamlining is a good thing. No more managing little things like individual ammo clips, worrying about storage space issues, or wrestling with the awesome yet somewhat clunky Geoscape of the original game. In others ways it goes a bit too far. UFO interception is made even more trivial, the tactical options you with your soldiers in the field and their gear is a little more limited, the economic simulation has been simplified and most of your strategic choices are limited to what you want to research and upgrade in what order. Most of these changes do end up making sense. The original game had serious balance issues as enemies dropped their weapons so you could research them immediately and quickly have an arsenal of the game's best weapons for free. Now research is done in a more linear fashion and enemies only drop their weapons if you stun them which is usually not worth the risk. The ability to sell dropped weapons and gear as well as sell gear that you manufactured was a fun aspect of the original game's simulation layer but it did mean you were usually flush with cash. In the reboot you are limited to selling researchable and other consumable artifacts.

Other improvements like a class system, the previously mentioned gene splicing and mechs, the ability to easily see how close a country is to quitting the XCOM project (and do something about it) and a much more fun and intuitive tactical layer definitely make the game worth playing if you've already experienced the original. One of the key differences is that your squad is now limited to 6 instead of 14-26. This makes battles shorter and more personal but it means that individual soldiers are nowhere near as expendable. As they level up they gain important stats and abilities. Losing a soldier isn't an minor setback and inevitability anymore, it's a massive blow to your effectiveness. Losing an entire squad of experienced soldiers is practically a game over if you're in the late game because a squad of rookies is practically useless against upgraded enemies and since the game's progression is more linear you can't just take a bunch of easy missions to level up new recruits like you could in the original.

Some other issues actually arise from it trying to be too similar to the original. Some aspects like the interceptor and the drone tanks feel like they're there because they're things the original game had so they HAD to have them even if the form they take in the remake is half-baked (not that the interceptor was great in the original but I digress). Most of its strengths come from where it deviates and it probably deviates the most with the tactical combat itself. Though it had the potential to become as repetitive as the original, the scripted missions added enough variety between the RNG missions to keep me engaged throughout and the more linear progression meant that by the time you start getting fatigued the game is coming to a close. At the end of X-COM: UFO Defense I just wanted to be finished while at the end of XCOM: Enemy Within I hadn't quite reached that point yet. The final mission is just about as anti-climactic as the original game's as well, so maybe that's one place where they stuck a little TOO close to the first. :lol:

All in all it was a good time. It had the spirit of the first game while having its own different, yet extremely familiar, take. I almost wish it had tried to do more with the setting and narrative instead of just follow the simple beats of the old game, but hey, that's what XCOM 2 is for I guess.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Flake Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:06 am

January through September:
January
Shovel Knight: King of Cards (Switch)
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (Switch)
Super Metroid (Switch)

February
Megaman X (Switch)
Nekketsu Highschool Dodgeball Club (Switch)
Super Dodgeball (Switch)

March

Garou: Mark of the Wolves (SNK Pro Stick)
Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)

April

Batman The Telltale Series (Switch)
Street Fighter Alpha 2 (Switch)
SNK Gals' Fighter (Switch)

May

King of Fighters 97: Global Match (PS4)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

June
Megaman X3 (Switch)
Megaman X4 (Switch)
King of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match (PS4)
King of Fighters 99 (Switch)
Injustice 2 (PS4)

July

Donkey Kong Country (WiiU)
Cadence of Hyrule (Switch)
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Switch)

August

Shovel Knight Showdown (Switch)
Street Fighter Alpha 3 (PS4)

September

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (Switch)
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (WiiU)
Street Fighter Alpha 2 (Switch)
Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)


October

Super Mario 35 (Switch)

I managed to win first place 5 times today - so I guess that counts as having 'beaten' Super Mario 35?

Mario 35 is like a series of Mario Maker levels where the stages don't suck and weren't designed to be stupid.

This game is pretty amazing, IMO. It really challenged my muscle memory with the original Super Mario Bros. Every aspect of how I played these levels was different - coins became important, it was dangerous to rush ahead without a plan to deal with randomly placed enemies, and I took time to really target certain enemies that I would normally avoid so that I could send them at other players.

There is room for improvement - having everyone share a pool of levels with everyone's choice being weighed equally sucks. If I needed to clear 3-2 to get access to 3-3 and I was playing with 34 people who only had 1-1 and 1-2, there was almost no chance of getting to play the stage I needed to. I also feel like the fire flower is too powerful and too easy to get. I'm hoping that this game evolves over the 5 months that it is available. Adding Luigi (with his physics from Super Luigi Bros from NES Remix) would be a great idea. I'd also love it if the game didn't go away. Or if it did, to be replaced with the same concept done for Super Mario Bros 2 (USA).
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bruhmoment
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by bruhmoment Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:15 pm

I beat ace combat 6, ace combat 7, ace combat 3d, fallout new vegas, fallout 3, life is strange and air combat this year. all wonderful games! my personal favorite on the list is ace combat 6. I love the story and the gameplay too, overall a great game and if you have a system that can play it PLEASE do so.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:29 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
60. Iron Harvest - PC
61. Serious Sam 3: Jewel of the Nile - PC
62, Homeworld Remastered - PC
63. Homeworld 2 Remastered - PC
64. Offworld Trading Company - PC
65. F-Zero - SNES
66. F-Zero X - N64
67. Gauntlet (2014) - PC
68. Gauntlet Legends - Arcade
69. Halo 3: ODST - PC
70. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - PS4
71. Star Wars Squadrons - PC

Given I had spend a good chunk of the beginning of this year finishing up my X-Wing and TIE Fighter games it should come as no surprise that I was excited when they announced Star Wars Squadrons. And every piece of pre-release media seemed to indicate that yes, they actually were planning on giving me exactly what I wanted; a modern successor to X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter. And then release day comes only for me to find that... they delivered on what they said they were. Well done!

Squadrons is set shortly after the Battle of Endor with a fourteen mission campaign (plus two tutorial prologue missions set right after Yavin) that is split evenly between Imperial missions and New Republic missions. You are the newly arrived member of each faction's squadron and get to fly a variety of ships as the two factions collide at cross purposes. While you never fight your opposing squadron directly the greater fleets you are attached to clash again and again. There is a great variety in the missions that keeps things fresh, and the modern engine allows for a lot of interesting battle debris that give you ways to shake pursuit and keeps the flight model interesting.

Each faction has four ships, with each side having a counterpart of the other. X-Wing and TIE Fighter are your generalist ships; they dogfight well and can be equipped to attack capital ships. A-Wing and TIE Interceptor are your dogfighters; they have superior speed and maneuverability but have no anti-capital weapons and lower health. The Y-Wing and TIE Bomber are your anti-capital ships; they are sluggish but have high health and the big guns. Finally, the U-Wing and TIE Reaper are your support ships; they are tough and have a variety of support weaponry but their dogfighting prowess is low. Additionally, you can equip each ship how you like it; they all have a variety of primary weapons, secondary weapons, and changes to the ship's systems. Everything is a series of tradeoffs, so while it might turn out that one tradeoff isn't sufficient to not make a part the best that can be tweaked with patches; philosophically there is no "best".

After the campaign is done you have two forms of multiplayer. The first is 5v5 team deathmatch, with not much to say about it. The second is the main multiplayer mode; Fleet Battles. This involves an attack/defend paradigm that constantly shifts as the match goes on. At the start you have a dogfight to establish the attacker, then the attacker's goal is to first take out two cruisers, then take out the enemy mothership. But the defender can switch the role by destroying enough of the attackers. There is a bar that will push towards one side or the other; when you're attacking destroying an enemy ship will give you five points in your direction, but the defender killing one of yours is ten points in their direction. So on average it will bounce back and forth, but skillful play on one side or the other can amplify this effect or delay the swing. You also have the ability to change your ship between deaths or by flying back to the mothership, which can prove essential as the objectives shift and you need a different role balance.

The game maintains the semi-arcadey flight model of XvT, as opposed to some modern space games like Elite Dangerous or full arcade games like Rogue Squadron. You will be regularly shifting your speed and adjusting your power settings in order to get the upper hand, but you still basically control like an airplane that doesn't risk stalling. It's the right mix of depth and ease of access. In fact, the whole thing is like the transition between the original X-COM and the modern XCOM; taking the core and the spirit while applying a level of spit and polish that 20 years of game development experience provides. All in all it's a fantastic experience for fans of the original series.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:20 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)
56. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PCE)
57. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (PS3)
58. Crash Bandicoot (PS1)
59. Nazo Puyo: Aruru No Ruu~ (Game Gear)
60. Jumping Flash! (PS1)
61. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (PS1)
62. Crash Team Racing (PS1)
63. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (PS1)
64. Super Mario Galaxy (Switch)
65. Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3)
66. Battle Stadium D.O.N. (GC) *

67. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) *

My appetite for 3D Mario was not satiated by 100%-ing Mario Galaxy on the Switch a week or two ago, so I ordered myself a copy of the sequel and finished playing through it to nearly the same extent. When I was younger, I had gotten all 120 normal stars in the game, but my older brother had told me that the green stars that follow them are awful and not worth getting, so I never tried. This time I DID try for those, and got all of them! I only let one star slip me by, since I simply didn't have the patience for the incredible gauntlet that is star 242. It took me a little over 20 hours to nearly 100% the Japanese version of the game.

The story of Mario Galaxy 2 is even more bare than that of the first game, but is largely just a more simple retelling of that game. During the shooting star festival, Bowser comes down to heck stuff up, steals Peach, and disappears off into the sky. Only this time, Lumas are already on the ground when Mario is trying to rescue her the first time, so they launch him up into space to chase Bowser. Mario finds himself on a planetoid with the rather chunky Luma Lubba (Ruuba, in Japanese) who turns it into a spaceship shaped like Mario's head. They then use this spaceship to go from galaxy to galaxy, hunting down grand stars to get to where Bowser has gone. It's a very threadbare story, and it's a logical progression to the nearly totally absent story in Mario 3D World. That said, I think it's perfectly fine. This is Super Mario, not Final Fantasy, and as long as the art and level direction are tip top, I don't really care about the story.

Luckily, the art and level direction are indeed tip top! This game controls more or less how the first game does, but it feels like Mario's movement has been tightened up just a little bit (but it does quite help). He's not quite as nimble as in Sunshine, but he can definitely pull off backflips a little easier than he could in Galaxy 1. Your spaceship eliminates the hub world found in previous 3D Mario games entirely, serving effectively as a cursor to select which level you want to go to. The planetoids that populate SO much of Mario Galaxy 1 have also been, not eliminated entirely, but significantly reduced and improved. It's now much less of that gravity-bending stuff for the sake of it (so far less of those awkward controlling "can't stop running in circles" moments), and a lot more micro stage concepts put together. Even Luigi is playable much earlier than he was in the first game, and he doesn't have his own separate mode either.

The 120 green stars that unlock after the first 120 normal stars are just a part of the overall refinements to how the first Mario Galaxy approached its level design. Each galaxy now has only one prankster comet, not two, so the obligatory purple coin missions are gone. You also need to collect a comet medal in a stage for the prankster comet to show up there in the first place, giving you an extra 50 collectibles through the course of the game on top of all the stars (one medal for each stage). The aforementioned green stars appear once you've beaten the game, and while they aren't totally new content, they're newer content than the "play the whole game again as Luigi" concept that the first game used for its extra 121 stars. The green stars go and hide in all of the old levels, and they make a distinct twinkling sound and sparkle quite brightly in the first place. This turns it almost into a quest of both hunting them down in the stage (a task usually not THAT difficult, but there were two I had to end up looking up the location to), but then also doing the often quite tricky jumps required to grab them. It's not the most compelling content in the world compared to the original 120 stars, but I still enjoyed my time grabbing them.

That isn't to say that I had absolutely no complaints with the game, however. In regards to the normal stars, the manta ray surfing minigame from the first Galaxy has been replaced with flying on birds not unlike the flying in Skyloft in Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and this doesn't even have Motion Plus to help it out. Those sections are so aggravating to control that I'm super glad there are only two of them in the whole game. Beyond that, I have a few more comments rather than outright complaints. The Grandmaster stage at the end is very much like what the Darkest Side of the Moon would be in Odyssey: a morale crushing gauntlet with no checkpoints and only one hit before you die, and I just wish it were a little more forgiving (although given its name, it's certainly not inappropriate that it's this hard). And last, given that there are a few levels that are more simple enemy killing gauntlets or platforming challenges around a certain gimmick, there are also just a fair few stages where the green stars don't really have anywhere interesting they CAN be hidden, so it's mostly just replaying those stages several times to get their green stars. The base game is absolutely fine and totally worth playing, but I can't help but wish at least a little that the post-game green stars felt a little bit less like a fan-made hack of the game, pushing more content into already finished levels.

The presentation of this game is also fantastic. This is easily one of the prettiest looking games on the Wii, and I think just playing this on my Wii at 480i via component cables looked better than the upscaled Mario Galaxy 1 I played on my Switch a couple weeks back. That colorful, whimsical design of Galaxy 1 has been amped up a bit to make things that much more bright and cheery now that the story isn't treating itself quite so seriously (although it isn't Mario Sunshine-levels of bright). Your Mario Head spaceship even gets populated by the little aliens as you complete missions for them, giving you tons of little friends to get hints from or just admire the fun designs of.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is an excellent refinement of the Mario Galaxy formula and still super worth playing. While I will admit, through this replay I absolutely rediscovered just how much I dislike motion controls as a control method, I nonetheless still had a lot of fun playing this (I just really hope that this gets a re-release on the Switch like the first game did). Mario Galaxy 2 isn't JUST the first game with new movement gimmicks tossed in (although that isn't a totally unfair description), it also comes win with a far refined approach to level design that would pave the way for future 3D Mario games. This replay really helped me appreciate this game way more than I did the first time around, and all it's done is make me want to play more 3D Mario instead of whetting my appetite for it like I hoped it would XD
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Flake Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:53 am

January through September:
January
Shovel Knight: King of Cards (Switch)
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (Switch)
Super Metroid (Switch)

February
Megaman X (Switch)
Nekketsu Highschool Dodgeball Club (Switch)
Super Dodgeball (Switch)

March

Garou: Mark of the Wolves (SNK Pro Stick)
Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)

April

Batman The Telltale Series (Switch)
Street Fighter Alpha 2 (Switch)
SNK Gals' Fighter (Switch)

May

King of Fighters 97: Global Match (PS4)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch)

June
Megaman X3 (Switch)
Megaman X4 (Switch)
King of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match (PS4)
King of Fighters 99 (Switch)
Injustice 2 (PS4)

July

Donkey Kong Country (WiiU)
Cadence of Hyrule (Switch)
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Switch)

August

Shovel Knight Showdown (Switch)
Street Fighter Alpha 3 (PS4)

September

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (Switch)
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (WiiU)
Street Fighter Alpha 2 (Switch)
Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)


October

Super Mario 35 (Switch)
Muramasa: The Demon Blade (PSTV)

I think this is the first proper PS Vita game I've beaten. Of course it's a remake of a Wii game I'd also already beaten but let's not worry about that.

Or let's worry about that a lot! The biggest complaint I had about the original Wii release was that the artwork was amazing but I couldn't really 'see' them. It was a limitation of the technology - component cables on my 2005 era SD TV didn't do the game justice. It was a beautiful blur.

Now, thanks to the power of the Playstation TV and a 42" High Definition TV and a bitchin' soundbar, I can finally appreciate the effort Vanillaware put into the backgrounds, music, character art, and flourishes. Life isn't perfect, though. The game was remade for the smaller dimensions of Sony's impossibly successful Playstation Vita, so even though things are better, they could be even better. Here's hoping for a PS5 release one day!

And yada yada, the gameplay. Muramasa is like a Castleroid (or Metrodvania, if you will) except without all the interesting abilities and changes in gameplay. You best amazingly well drawn bosses in order to gain the ability you need to shatter barriers and reach new parts of the map - the ability being to slash your sword at a slightly different color. So that's not exciting.

What is exciting is the constant combat, getting new swords with new abilities, and the rapid increase in strength your character goes through, allowing you to spend more time coming up with clever ways to extended combos. The story is also pretty exciting, too. I played the Princess Momohime route which is less "Princess Maker" and more "Psychopath steals a Princess' body and goes on a bloody rampage while forcing her soul to watch". But it ends up being really endearing, I promise.
The PSTV is amazing.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:32 am

The First 50:
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)
47. The Witcher 3 (PC)(RPG)
48. Dragon Quest (Switch)(RPG)

49. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)(Adventure)
50. Castlevania: The Adventure (Switch)(Platformer)

51. Kid Dracula (Switch)(Platformer)
52. Castlevania (Switch)(Platformer)
53. Akumajō Dracula (Switch)(Platformer)

54. Akumajō Dracula [Castlevania IV](Switch)(Platformer)
55. The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone (PC)(RPG)
56. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (Switch)(Platformer)

57. Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge (Switch)(Platformer)
58. The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine (PC)(RPG)

59. The Darkness II (PC)(FPS)
60. MOTHERGUNSHIP (PC)(FPS)
61. SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighter's Clash - SNK Version (NGPC)(Card Game)

62. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (PC)(RPG)
63. STRAFE (PC)(FPS)
64. Shadow Warrior [2013] (PC)(FPS)
65. Shanghai Mini (NGPC)(Puzzle)

66. Shadowrun: Hong Kong (PC)(RPG)
67. Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Shadows of Hong Kong (PC)(RPG)

68. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords (PC)(RPG)
69. Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet - The Lovecraft Museum (PC)(Point and Click Adventure)
70. The Mummy Demastered (Switch)(Action Adventure)


Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords

I'm not a fan of Jedi. I find them boring. To me, the best parts of the Star Wars films were always the dirty, cruddy parts of their universe, full of weird aliens, tough bounty hunters, and cruel criminals. It's the seedy underbelly that I preferred, and so the basic premise of playing a Jedi or Sith in the KOTOR games was never hugely appealing to me...at least not until I played through KOTOR2. Because unlike previous Star Wars representations of Jedi and Sith as generic good and evil, KOTOR2 strives instead to make them both opposed yet largely neutral and in some ways cruelly amoral. It reminds me of the Night Watch fantasy series by Sergei Lukyanenko, where Light doesn't mean Good and Dark doesn't automatically mean Evil. While the game falls short of its goal in making a Sith Lord entirely sympathetic, it gives a more interesting examination of how to view the Force and therefore makes playing a Jedi character more interesting.

That said, it's still the KOTOR series, so it's Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons with a Star Wars coat of paint. Characters still fall into the Combat/Skills/Caster archetypes, and now that some folks can be turned into Jedi or upgraded into further Jedi specializations, it has a cross-class and prestige class system in place, and it goes beyond the usual level 20 cap, but it's still D&D.

It's also more open-ended, with the meat of the game consisting of traveling to various planets in the order of your choosing and then having to go back to complete various quests. This works pretty well, and even if you've resolved the main plot of a particular place, you will likely still want to return for sidequests or story moments. That said, the game is also buggy as hell, so you might not want to spend more time than you have to.

There are now fan patches to improve performance and even restore sections of the game that were never completed (which leave some plot threads unresolved, I'm sorry to say), and you will definitely want them because without them you're going to suffer from buggy audio, skipped conversation sequences, crashes, video not displaying correctly, controls freezing, quest triggers failing, and so on. There were several quests that I could not complete because they got locked out or bugged in such a way that I could not do anything. I simply had to give up and move on.

That's KOTOR2 in a nutshell. The plot is good, but the game is a buggy mess. Still, it's the most interesting view on the Force I've seen in a while, and I actually didn't mind that I was playing a stupid Jedi.


Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet - The Lovecraft Museum

Hidden away on the CD version of the game Shadow of the Comet is The Lovecraft Museum, a short point-and-click walking simulator through a strange little museum which presents artifacts from HP Lovecraft's stories as if they were real along with some bits and pieces about the author's life. While it focuses more on delving into the stories and shouldn't be taken seriously, it's still a fun experience if you're knowledgeable of Lovecraft's writing.

In terms of presentation, the game is a point-and-click adventure just like Shadow of the Comet, but because it just involves walking around a museum and looking at objects and artwork, it feels more like a predecessor to the walking sim. Not that it's a bad thing, and fans of Lovecraft's stories, or at least his ideas, will find something to appreciate in the references. Don't expect it to be an in depth discussion of Lovecraft's views. This is not one of S.T. Joshi's biographies on the writer, after all, and it won't give any sort of examination on his views regarding race, religion, social class, sexuality, etc. No, it's just a fun piece of kitsch. Enjoy it for what it is!


The Mummy Demastered

This is a Metroidvania. Based on the Tom Cruise Mummy film. Done to look and play like a Super Nintendo game. If that sounds weird to you...it is. Yet it's not badly done. You play a nameless agent receiving orders from a definitely modified take on Russell Crowe to go fight the Mummy in various locales around London. If you're familiar with Metroidvanias, you'll understand how this works: explore levels, find secrets, get gear, fight monsters, and take down big bosses. There is some tedium involved if you're going for 100%, as there are collectable relics which don't actually seem to impact the game any and are hidden in every day objects, but it's serviceable.

It's pretty to look at, with some nice spritework and sound design. The controls are solid, and the gameplay offers a small variety of enemies, though eventually you'll realize that you're seeing certain things over and over again. The one area where the game really excels is in death, where being a nameless agent really shines. You see, if you die in The Mummy Demastered, that character is dead and becomes a zombie. The next nameless agent then has to come along, find the zombie, and kill him to get all his stuff. So you better hope you die somewhere convenient because otherwise you are screwed. It is pretty fun hunting your own zombie though, and if you happened to die holding one of the more powerful weapons, well, good luck, because your zombie is also hostile. I made the mistake of dying to the final boss once with the cluster rocket launcher out, and yeah, that took a lot of skillful timing to get back.

Beyond that...well, The Mummy Demastered is competent but doesn't really excel anywhere. Unfortunately, this makes it a forgettable Metroidvania in an era where there are a lot of Metroidvanias to play, so this one will probably end up being lost in the shuffle over time. I'd rather recommend you Blasphemous or Gato Roboto first, but once through those, well, here you go.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:52 pm

First 60
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)
52. Mega Man & Bass: Challenger from the Future (Wonderswan)
53. Double Dragon (Game Gear)
54. Hyrule Warriors (Wii U)
55. SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters Clash (NGPC)
56. SUPERHOT (Switch)
57. Dogurai (Switch)
58. Ori & The Blind Forest Definitive Edition (Switch)
59. Alchemist’s Castle (Switch)
60. Dear Esther (iOS)

61. Framed 2 (iOS)
62. A Noble Circle (iOS)
63. Lit (iOS)
64. SPL-T (iOS)
65. Florence (iOS)
66. Wurroom (Switch)
67. Warlock’s Tower (iOS)
68. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (iOS)

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (IHNMAIMS) is an episodic, horror/science-fiction point-and-click game based on a Harlan Ellison short story that I played for this month’s TR. It’s pretty good, and I wrote more about it in the TR thread.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by REPO Man Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:55 pm

Another playthrough of Coming Out on Top, which I recently bought on Steam. Like a surprising number of games I've tried, it runs quite well on my Chuwi Larkbox.

I didn't really have any kind of gameplan, but I ended up with the ending where Mark (main character) ends up going to South America to see his roommate Ian, who went there after graduating college. Basically you have to make sure you have $800 or more to get this ending.

Oh, and I went on a date with a pop star.

Also, I beat a Quick Game (literal name of the mode) of Dead Pixels 2: Straight to Video, currently on sale here, which includes access to testing versions. Also a Steam key and DRM-free version of Dead Pixels 1 (which is Windows only), as well as a Steam key and DRM-free version of DP2 when it's released.

Like Dead Pixels 1, which came out back on Xbox Live Indie Games, this new game is a retro-style action game with RPG elements and serves as a love letter to classic zombie films.

But while the first game had simpler graphics and a '70s grindhouse cinema aesthetic, the new game has graphics that are more like 16-bit in the way DP1 had 8-bit (I'm using those terms lightly). Also new is an '80s aesthetic styled after classic zombie flicks that would typically go, as its subtitle goes, "Straight to Video".

Gameplay wise it definitely is a major upgrade. Now, in lieu of buying character upgrades to one's stats, you now level up as you go, getting experience for killing enemies and exploring new locations, such as the buildings you can now fully explore and find loot and enemies, while in the previous game you just simply were greeted with your character in front of a static backdrop of an interior setting with a menu of random items you can loot and not worry about zombies. And each level gives you 5 points to spend on stats, enough of which gets you abilities.

But if you like cheesy zombie movies and killing zombies, check it out.
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