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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:20 pm

Which playthrough of Ys Eternal is this for you?
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:58 pm

Ys Eternal specifically? This is just playthrough number 2!!! :lol: I actually haven't played through Ys II Eternal yet, surprisingly, though I do own both the Japanese and Korean versions of the game.

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)
49. New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
50. Otocky (Famicom Disk System)
51. Raging Loop (Switch)
52. Arcade Archives: Contra (Switch eShop)
53. Steins;Gate: Linear Bounded Phenogram (Steam)
54. Steins;Gate 0 (Vita)
55. Steins;Gate 8-bit (PC)
56. Ys Eternal (PC)

57. Bats & Terry (Famicom)
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Every retro gamer has encountered some terrible old licensed games. Here in America we tend to think of the slop dished out by LJN and the like, but Japan had its own share of licensed "kusoge" that never made its way overseas. One such title was Bats & Terry, a 1987 Famicom release by developer Use. Though it features characters from a baseball manga and subsequent anime series, this isn't a sports game at all. Rather, it's a 2D platformer overseeing the journey of two baseball players through a hostile land of demons. I'm unsure if such supernatural events ever transpired in the manga or anime, or if the game was completely "made up" much like Tim "The Toolman" Taylor's SNES velociraptor battles.

While Bats & Terry is far from innovative, there are admittedly some interesting elements to be found within. This is a one-player platformer, but with the option to switch between two characters with different attacks. Bats has a long-range baseball attack, while Terry has a short-range (but stronger) bat strike. The health system is also intriguing. Each character is granted a maximum of five "units" of health (represented onscreen by a series of bat or ball icons). While there are no HP refill items, health is instead replenished by defeating enemies. Thus, there's a (very, very small) type of risk vs. rewards strategy employed throughout the journey, as it can occasionally be beneficial to purposefully fight enemies, in an effort to bump up a low health bar.
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Controls are unacceptable. It all looks simple enough at a glace: B attacks, A jumps, typical NES stuff. Too bad everything is miserably programmed. Bats and Terry both have pitiful attacks. Bats is apparently a poor pitcher, as he can't throw straight. By default, his balls travel at a decidedly inconvenient upward angle. However, holding down while pressing the attack button instead causes him to throw at a downward angle, a marginal improvement. Balls do ricochet off surfaces, but just once. And only one ball can exist on the screen at a given time, Atari style. Terry on the other hand is equipped with a babyish Little League sized bat, and the close-range hit detection is rather shoddy. Enemies are just a random assortment of stock villains. Gangsters, monsters, mummies, speeding cars, the occasional overworked salaryman, irate anime girls. Most simply charge (or lumber) forward, though the latter stages showcase tougher enemies that fire projectiles. Certain foes can only be damaged by the bat, but combat is typically a waste of time. In addition to their baseball training, Bats and Terry have apparently perfected the art of high jumping, as it's most often easiest to simply sail over everything. By default, the jump (of either character) is a giant floaty "moon jump" which can be made even bigger and floatier by pressing A and B simultaneously. The player can switch between Bats and Terry at any time -- ostensibly this is done by pressing the Select button though it only seems to work while jumping(?!). All said, there's no balance of character attributes. It's best to just stick to Bats and leap over enemies that are impervious to baseball strikes.

The level design is utterly bizarre. Some stages, like those taking place in military bases or caves, are comprised of a seemingly random assortments of block and barriers, making them difficult to navigate. Other environments, such as the cloud levels, are essentially long flat planes that can be mindlessly cruised through. There are some additional vertical mountain stages with odd choppy scrolling. These stages feature exactly zero enemies; apparently wrestling with the controls was considered enough of a challenge. The game goes heavy on the ladders and vines. These allow for lateral movement, and thus feel like they're slick with grease. Navigating across a series of vines is absolutely infuriating, and the lion's share of Bats & Terry deaths will be the result of tumbling into pitfalls rather than having HP hit zero (Ryu Hayabusa smiles and nods slowly). Bats & Terry can be cleared in around forty minutes, but it feels exceedingly long. Environments are recycled (with small tweaks) to the point where I was left wondering if there was an ending at all or if I was looking at an endless "looper" like the arcade games of old. There are some occasional power-ups to be found, and collecting 100 hearts grants a 1-up -- I think, I was never able to get more than 85 or so. Most hearts are hidden within blocks that must first be smashed, and there's no time to waste as these baseball players must contend with a surprisingly strict time limit. A flickering dragon appears as a boss here and there. These battles are a crapshoot. Get close and mash the attack button and you may slay the dragon within seconds. But the lack of mercy invincibility goes both ways, as Bats and/or Terry can be similarly roasted in the blink of an eye. The final boss is some "big buy" who lumbers around; he can conceivably be defeated before he unleashes a single shot.
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Visuals are unpleasant to gaze upon. There's little consistency to stage backgrounds. The outdoor stages, for instance, are cluttered with a bunch of arbitrary images (houses with the number "15" on them, for instance) -- it gets to the point where it becomes difficult to distinguish background from foreground. In contrast, the caves sport a plain black background, and the cloud stages are just white upon white. Everything looks excessively "blocky" and the color choices are quite garish. What little music is available is repetitive, shrill, and irritating. Sound effects eschew any semblance of realism in favor of alternating high-pitched squeals and muffled grunts.

Anecdotally, I encountered a number of obvious glitches during my playthrough. Enemy sprites would flicker and stutter to the point where they'd appear to "clone" themselves. Certain ladders that touch to the top of the screen can actually wrap around back to the bottom, resulting in a loss of life should one climb "up into" a pitfall. Slowdown can occur when "too many" sprites clutter the screen (it doesn't take much) -- one specific instance caused my game to lock up, to the point of it requiring a reset and a fresh start. Oof.

Overall, this is a prime juicy slab of kusoge. A cheap, rushed platformer (the "hot" genre of the time) by a no-name developer, designed to cash in on whatever fame the manga and anime had accrued. Mercifully, there aren't any "mazes" or excessively obtuse moments to be found, but the mutilated controls and needless repetition make this one quite the pile. It isn't as bad as the infamous Transformers, but Bats & Terry comes dangerous close.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by dsheinem Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:13 am

I feel like I am about to settle into a groove for getting through some games between now and the end of the year. We shall see...

Games Beaten 2020
Mortal Kombat 11 - PS4
The Force Unleashed II - 360
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom - Wii
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light - 360
Super Fantasy Zone - Genesis
Fable Heroes - 360
Castlevania Bloodlines - Genesis
My Friend Pedro - X1
Darius - Genesis
Ape Out - PC
Doom Eternal - PS4
Dead or Alive 6 - PS4
Plague, Inc. - PC
Space Harrier II - Genesis
Space Harrier - Arcade
G.I. Joe - Arcade
Chaos Control - PC
Super Off Road - SNES
Pyscho Dream - SFC
Psychosis - Turbo Grafx-16
Splatterhouse - Turbo Grafx-16
Minecraft Dungeons - X1
Astro Bot Rescue Mission - PSVR
Samurai Shodown (2019) - PS4
Tank Force - Switch (Arcade)
Call of Duty: WWII - PS4
World War - PC (Arcade)
Death's Hangover - PC
Hotshot Racing - PC
Double-Kick Heroes - X1
The First Tree - PC *new*
Dusk - PC *new*

Total: 32


Previously:
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

The First Tree is a sort of walking simulator/exploration-type game where you play a fox. It is pretty in parts, but the controls feel a little floaty and dual stories being told throughout just didn't land with me at all. It has an interesting ending, I suppose, and it is short enough (a couple of hours) that it might be worth playing through if you are interested in the genre or art style.

I fucking loved Dusk. It is one of the best retro-inspired FPSs I've played, and it nails that OG Quake feel in quite a few ways. I have plans to dive into some other games in this sub-sub genre soon, but Dusk will be a a tough tittle to beat.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:56 am

dsheinem wrote:I fucking loved Dusk. It is one of the best retro-inspired FPSs I've played, and it nails that OG Quake feel in quite a few ways. I have plans to dive into some other games in this sub-sub genre soon, but Dusk will be a a tough tittle to beat.


Amid Evil, Project Warlock, and Ion Fury are good choices if you haven't checked them out yet, Dave. I have also played the Prodeus beta and heartily enjoyed myself, so I am looking forward to it. Avoid stuff like Apocryph, which is an unfinished mess. If you like the more roguelike FPS, Cthon might be up your alley, but look out for games made with GameMaker.
Those tend to lack in quality and can probably be skipped.

Also, some of the recent remasters like Doom 64 and Blood: Fresh Supply are wonderful (despite what Popo says), so look into those... though the fully 3D reimagining of Chex Quest is just bland. Free but bland.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:58 pm

Hedon is also pretty fun if you like a more Hexen-esque feel where more care is put to the level design feeling like real places and telling more of a story.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:11 pm

MrPopo wrote:Hedon is also pretty fun if you like a more Hexen-esque feel where more care is put to the level design feeling like real places and telling more of a story.

Yeah, and if you're really into muscular orc ladies...
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:33 pm

Ack wrote:
MrPopo wrote:Hedon is also pretty fun if you like a more Hexen-esque feel where more care is put to the level design feeling like real places and telling more of a story.

Yeah, and if you're really into muscular orc ladies...

Ack isn't into strong women apparently.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:56 pm

Still waiting on that Death’s Hangover review, DSH...tick-tock, tick-took... :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:46 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) *
67. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) *
68. Dracula Densetsu II (GB)
69. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) *
70. Super Mario's Picross (SFC)
71. Castlevania (Famicom)
72. Castlevania (MSX)
73. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES)
74. Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
75. Castlevania III (Famicom)
76. Super Castlevania IV (SFC) *
77. Castlevania: Bloodlines (MD)
78. Kid Dracula (Famicom)

79. Sonic Adventure (DC)

Growing up, I loved Sonic Adventure 2 on the Gamecube, and I played it all the time. However, the Gamecube DX port of the original Sonic Adventure was a game I rented several times back then, but never ended up finishing. With all the fun I had going back through Sonic Adventure 2 a month or two ago, I had been keeping my eyes out for a copy of the original game on Dreamcast, and I finally happened across one. It was then once I'd already spent my 300 yen on it that a friend asked me if I'd gotten the "fixed version" to which I responded "Fixed version? ^^;" XD. Turns out, Sonic Adventure had not one but two releases in Japan. One in 1998 at the launch of the Dreamcast, and another "International" version nine months later when the game launched in the rest of the world. From what I understand, this "unfixed" version isn't as buggy as the laser Gamecube port, but it does have some wonky cutscenes and, most importantly, an absolutely dire camera. All that said, I did this time what I couldn't do as a kid: I beat all six stories and even the secret one at the end, and it took me around 10 hours to do it.

Sonic Adventure is Sonic's first proper foray into 3D after the absence of any such game in the Saturn generation outside of the hub world of the Sonic Jam collection. Angel Island falls out of the sky one day after an attack by Eggman, and Station Square City is under attack by a mysterious watery entity known only as Chaos that appears to grow and evolve as it absorbs more chaos emeralds. You play through not just Sonic's path through these events, but also Tails', Knuckles', Amy's, as well as two new characters: Big the Cat's and Gamma the Robot's. They experience strange flashbacks to events far in the past that slowly elucidate Chaos' origins as well as those of an echidna civilization far gone.

The story is a kind of weird space between serious and silly in a way the later games don't reach in quite the same way. Sonic's story is fairly standard "gonna save the world", but then you have Tails where he's learning that he doesn't need Sonic to be brave or be a hero and Gamma's story of destruction towards his fellow Eggman-built robots. You also have Amy's story which sort of results in "she helps emotionless characters feel emotions because girl = emotions and also she helps animals" and then there's Big's which is comically entirely about single-mindedly trying to save his friend Froggy, but warts and all there's a corny sincerity to it, and it makes for an experience I found quite memorable and charming.

The game has a very interesting approach to how it constructs its six story campaigns. Sonic's levels are usually all about going from point A to point B through a stage, and he has ten stages in total. His campaign is by far the longest, and it took me about 3 hours in total to do (on a stream, for the record). Most of the other characters, however, have nearly no unique stages, and their stages are constructed in whole or in part out of bits from Sonic's stages. Each of their campaigns ends up coming in at about an hour (with the one exception being Big's stages, which I'll get to later). This would seem like a really awful over reuse of assets (and to a certain point it does feel that way sometimes), but they vary this up by giving each of the six characters different gameplay styles and control methods. They each have different jumps and movements speeds/momentums, but it's more than just that.

Tails' missions are largely Sonic's missions (sometimes literally the same for the shooting side missions), but are otherwise made up of races against Sonic through more streamlined bits of his stages. Sonic's stages certainly weren't built for Tails and his flying (no mech suit in this game), but they're still modified a bit to accommodate him and they work out alright. Knuckles' levels are his famous "hunt the master emerald shards down" levels in more open areas of Sonic's levels, and the main difference they have to later games is that all emeralds are tracked at once, so you won't end up walking past one you simply weren't looking for yet. Gamma's stages are action-based and he plays a lot like Eggaman's and Tails' would in the sequel, where he has a targeting lock-on that he uses to kill enemies. The only catch here is that you have a countdown timer to finish the level, so you need those chain kills to get more time. Amy's are her running from an otherwise invincible robot chasing her, but they're nothing special than how awkwardly she controls compared to the rest. Big's stages, finally, are oddly enough a total shift in genre as you need to play fishing mini-games to catch his best friend Froggy after he runs away from Big's home once he accidentally eats a part of Chaos.

One of this game's biggest black marks is not so much the gameplay conceits themselves but the level design as a whole. I've always maintained that the overworld the game gives you to go between levels is largely confusing more than it is good, but this level design problem extends far outside of that. It doesn't just feel like Sonic's levels weren't designed for Tails. They don't feel like they were really designed for Sonic either, quite frequently. Sonic moves very fast, of course, and the tons of tiny railways they have you walk across and otherwise common precision platforming are far more frustrating than fun. All the characters have this looseness to how they move that makes it feel like you're fighting against the game to walk precisely any time you want to do it (especially to pick up an object, as you often have to do), and that is all irrespective of the camera that plagues this version of the game (it constantly gets stuck on things and in walls and is generally a bad time).

Then you have some campaigns that feel like total afterthoughts like Amy's who only has three levels to speak of and barely a story at all. The only character other than Knuckles whose stages feel all that special are Big's, and those are for the wrong reasons. Big's fishing mechanics, especially for Froggy, are utterly broken and arbitrary. Froggy will bite your line whenever he feels like it, and that is nearly never. The first level took me over an hour, with the second one taking me an hour and a half, with the third and fourth very mercifully taking eight and fifteen minutes respectively. His levels and just how awful they are are what kept me from completing the game as a kid, and if I didn't have my friends to suffer through this with me on Discord while I played it, they might've kept me from completing it this time too XD

One thing this game does not skimp on, however, is the presentation. It's a very pretty game for the time, and even though some facial animations are hilariously broken-looking, they just add to the comedy and silliness of the whole thing. The Japanese voice acting is really nice, and all the characters manage to come across in ways that are appealing (as a side note, I really like this VA for Eggman's Japanese voice, especially over the guy they got to replace him in the games after this one). The music especially is fantastic. Although I'd say Sonic Adventure 2 has stronger vocal tracks, this game definitely has stronger instrumental tracks (with my personal favorite being the pinball stage).

As a final note, while this game DOES have a Chao garden like the sequel has, I never really interacted with it much because the presentation of it is so unclear. You can collect rare Chao in the hub world and bring them back there, and you can also collect animals in levels to feed to them, but it is never super clear to what end you're doing that other than just to play with the Chao. It's a fine diversion for its time, but it's definitely not as user-friendly or as fleshed out as the sequel would make it.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. While I would maintain that Sonic Adventure 2 is still a fine game that has stood the test of time in many ways, I cannot say the same about its predecessor. Even outside of just how heckin' dire Big's levels are, the overall poor level design and looseness of the controls really makes this a difficult game to go back to these days. Sonic has had far better 3D outings than this since 1998, but if you really want a 3D Sonic game, you can certainly do a lot better than this, and you'll likely enjoy a decent enough amount of your time to feel justified with it if you can find it for cheap.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by dsheinem Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:12 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Still waiting on that Death’s Hangover review, DSH...tick-tock, tick-took... :lol:


The gameplay was fun enough that I would certainly recommend a playthrough if you enjoy the genre...but the story and many of the other design elements didn't especially click with me. It reminded me of Wizorb in some ways, but I found that game to be better overall.

Ack wrote:Amid Evil, Project Warlock, and Ion Fury are good choices if you haven't checked them out yet, Dave.



Already on my "to play soon" list for these kinds of titles are:

Strafe
Wrath: Aeon of Ruin
Amid Evil
Ion Fury
Immortal Redneck (I think this fits with these?)

I have played some of Project Warlock and it didn't quite connect, but maybe I'll try it again at some point.

I have Ultrakill, Faith, and Maximum Action on my Wishlist too, as they all look to scratch the same itch...
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