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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:28 pm

Immortal Redneck is more of a roguelike FPS. You'll find it has more in common with Tower of Guns, Ziggurat, and MOTHER GUNSHIP Strafe is more of the crossover point between old school and roguelike.

Good choices. Wrath and Ultrakill are also on my list to keep an eye on.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:33 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) *
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)

80. Drakengard (PS2)

I adore both Nier and its sequel Nier: Automata. When I first completed Nier years ago, I attempted to play through its director Yoko Taro's first big game Drakengard and was pretty firmly not impressed. After finishing and adoring Nier: Automata earlier this year, I decided to give Drakengard (or as it's known in Japanese "Drag-On Dragoon) another try to see what people see about this game. Like Nier, Drakengard has multiple endings and they're certainly all intended to be played through, and up until even after completing the first ending of Drakengard I was really unimpressed and frustrated with my time with it. However, as I went on to see the other endings and content (as the completion percentage in the lower right is keen to inform you, more than half of the game is still waiting for you after you see ending A), I began to respect Drakengard more and more as a game and as a work of fiction. It took me just about 24 hours to get all five endings in the Japanese version of the game. Before the review beings properly, I want to clarify that while I won't get into any discussions that require content warnings in this review (and hoo boy does Drakengard need them), I will be getting into some fairly heavy spoilers for the game in my discussion of the themes it presents.

​Drakengard is the story of Caim, a soldier and prince of the allied army, and the red dragon he has formed a pact with. Despite Caim's hatred of dragons (an imperial dragon killed his parents) and the dragon's general detest for humans, they form a pact between their souls to save their own lives when they're both on the brink of death. Caim and his dragon go on to fight the imperial army headed by an evil empress bent on destroying the world by killing Caim's big sister who is also a goddess that acts as a seal against the aforementioned world destruction. The story itself is somewhat complicated on paper as far as characters, motivations, and places go, but the particulars aren't really important. Most characters in Drakengard don't really change over the course of the story, and this is a game whose message is much more about its themes than the story itself, but we'll get back to that later. First we need to mention the actual gameplay of Drakengard.

​Drakengard as a project started out as something to capitalize on the success of the Dynasty Warriors (aka "Musou") series, which is why Drakengard has big fields of enemies for you to tear down hundreds of. However, midway through its development, it was also decided that it would also be prudent to make Drakengard a vehicle to ALSO jump onto the popularity of the Ace Combat series, which is why Drakengard also has the aerial combat sections on the dragon. Neither of these sections are particularly impressive in and of themselves, and honestly both somewhat work against each other on a more fundamental mechanical level.

The most solid parts overall are the air missions where you have your dragon and can fly around the skies defeating targets. It can be a bit overly difficult to maneuver at times and when characters talk mid-mission they cover up your enemy radar (very annoyingly), but overall these are far more like the simplicity of Star Fox's flying missions than something more technical than Ace Combat. You have a normal breath attack, a homing attack, and a super magic attack as well as the ability to zoom to the right or left to avoid incoming fire. They're quick, breezy, and a little annoying with how you can sometimes get overwhelmed, but they overall work fine.

The on-ground sections are very Musou-like, with you going around and slicing up tons of enemies trying to kill targets to win that particular mission. You have a normal attack, a magic attack you can do if you have enough mana from killing enemies, and a combo super you can do by pressing the button for your magic attack mid-combo (which yes, results in a lot of whiffed magic uses when you meant to do your combo super). You also, quite usefully, have a ground dodge just like the dragon has side-dashes in the air. There are also new weapons scattered throughout the game that you can get to allow you access to new combos as well as new magic spells to fling around.

The ground combat is where most of the outright faults with the game mechanically derive from, however. Very annoyingly, your camera is also the same as in the sky. Turning the right stick just makes you look in that direction temporarily. It doesn't actually properly turn the camera. It turns it like you're looking left and right in a cockpit like in Ace Combat. This is all well and fine for the flying sections, but it is not welcome at ALL in the ground sections, and the only way to refocus the camera is by holding the block button. This was likely a compromise made due to how you can also summon your dragon to fly on during the on-ground missions, but it's still one I could've easily done without.

The new weapons are also not very fun either, ultimately. Despite there being 65 of them, most of them require some real sleuthing or dumb luck to find without a guide, with many being locked behind killing specific enemies, taking specific paths, beating certain enemies or levels within time limits, or even just waiting around as long as 25 whole minutes for the chest to just spawn on its own. Just to top that whole mess off, none of these secrets are communicated to the player in any way shape or form. You aren't even told which verses (segments of chapters) have weapons remaining in them to find. To make matters even worse, you can't even really properly use a weapon when you first find it. Caim and the dragon both level up, but Caim's levels only affect his and the dragon's shared max HP, and the dragon's levels only affect the dragon's attack power. Weapon attack is entirely down to the level of the weapon, and weapons don't really have much of a power creep, and you can't really know how powerful a weapon will be until you level it up. This means every time you want to try out a new weapon to really get use out of in the story, you'll need to grind for like half an hour in earlier stages to get it to max level so THEN you can start really getting a feel for it. HOWEVER, as bad as ALL that sounds (and is), I would argue that a significant portion of it is actually in the positive service of the game as a whole.

Drakengard's endings progressively make the narrative get to worse and worse places. Arguably, the first ending you get is the "good" ending for the story, as it's certainly the happiest outcome for everyone involved. Caim's priest ally even posits whether the "gods" have decided to spare [humanity]. As you go towards further and further endings, playing more and more of the game, you see more and more just how monstrous all the characters, Caim included, are. The further endings all progressively doom the world to differing but all worse fates, with the final ending opening up a portal to modern day Tokyo (and, given that that is the inciting plot incident for Nier's canon, you could argue it ends up destroying all of the real world's humanity).

Drakengard is ultimately a game that is trying to comment on how players interact with games and particularly the narratives within them in relation to the gameplay. When you enter the portal in ending E to the real world's Tokyo, the dragon remarks that you've entered the world of the "gods". When the priest asks in ending A if the gods have decided to spare them, he isn't referring to unknowable gods of his world. He's referring to you, the player, and all of us in our own world. Much like Undertale would get so much praise for more than a decade later, we, the player, will decide if we spare them and their world by stopping at our first ending and not continuing as we are prompted to. Getting ending E requires going through the monotonous task of collecting all 65 weapons in the game. It is an extremely deliberate act that takes no small amount of time (I'd say it's easily more than a third of the game's completion time), and the final rhythm game-like boss battle of that ending is also very difficult. The player is REALLY committing to this destruction all in the sake of completing a game, and Drakengard wants us to ponder the morality of that in the context of its narrative. I think something like Undertale achieves this a bit more successfully, but I can't say that I didn't leave Drakengard impressed with the message it tries to tell with what could otherwise come off as just a quite dark (for a video game, certainly) medieval fantasy story.

Presentation-wise, Drakengard is a bit of an odd mixed bag. Visually, it's quite a nice-looking game for 2003, with the CGI cutscenes (particularly of the later endings) looking very nice even today. The ground enemy designs are a bit uninteresting, but the flying enemy designs are generally really cool (they feel far more Nier-like), and once you get to the giant babies borne from space at the end of the game, it just gets to plain nightmare fuel territory. The music is really weird, being remixes of pieces of classical music. From what I've read about it, they were apparently deliberately put together to evoke the game's theme of "madness", and given how several of my friends who watched me play it over Discord described the music as "brain melting", I think they achieved their goals XD. As a final note, while I remember the English VA being fairly dire, I thought the Japanese VA was really good, although I don't believe any version of the game has any kind of language select option, unfortunately.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. I really liked this game, but it will definitely not be for everyone. Drakengard is a game much more than the sum of its parts mechanically, and that will turn off a lot of people pretty quickly, and I also don't blame them for that. I think Drakengard is a fascinating and fairly bold attempt at creating a narrative in a video game for its budget in 2003, and I really respect it for that, but I also have the good sense to realize that that is SO not what many (or even most) people go to video games seeking. If what this review has described has piqued your interest, then I'd say it's probably worth hunting the game down and giving it a try. Drakengard is a game that most people will quickly dislike and for good reasons, but I think it will always be a game I have a certain fondness for.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Markies Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:07 pm

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

1. Pikmin 2 (GCN)
2. Banjo-Tooie (N64)
3. Contra: Hard Corps (GEN)
4. Super Baseball Simulator 1,000 (SNES)
5. Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers 2 (NES)
6. Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection (PS2)
***7. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (PS2)***
***8. Cruis'N USA (N64)***
9. Arc The Lad Collection (PS1)
10. Halo 2 (XBOX)
11. Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings And The Lost Ocean (GCN)
12. DuckTales 2 (NES)
13. Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (PS2)
14. Rocket Knight Adventures (GEN)
***15. Skies of Arcadia (SDC)***
16. Dragon Quest V (SNES)
17. Marvel Vs. Capcom (PS1)
***18. Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition (GEN)***
19. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II - The Sith Lords (XBOX)
20. Disney's Aladdin (SNES)
21. Flatout 2 (PS2)
22. Mr. Driller (SDC)
23. Blast Corps (N64)
24. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (GCN)

25. Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse (PS2)

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I beat Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse on the Sony Playstation 2 this afternoon.

A few years ago, I went through Xenosaga Episode I with a friend of mine. It was a game he had for a long while and that I eventually bought to play with him. It was a game that I really enjoyed, though I was a little lost on the story at times. However, the combat system and the characters made everything worth while. It took a while, but we were actually walking around some local game stores together when we ran across two copies of Xenosaga Episode II. With an agreement to play it together, we both bought a copy and I even picked up a copy of Xenosaga Episode III later on. With not wanting to play them back to back, we decided to play the game together this month.

Without a doubt, the best part of Xensaga II is the music. Besides the final dungeon, I absolutely loved every single track in the music. Some of the dungeons take forever, so it was great to have some catchy and memorable music to hear during the long game times. Xenosaga Episode II takes place right after the end of Xenosaga Episode I. The same cast of characters, including villains and all the familiar faces make a nice return. I loved seeing the characters again as some of them even got some changes. I enjoyed some of those changes, but I did not like some of the others as well. The characters became more fleshed out and I really got to see the back story of the some of them as well. The story is a bit more sensible and simplified. There is some confusing parts, but that is almost immediately explained right away.

My main issue with the game is the battle system. It still plays very much like the first game. However, you just don't do enough damage to make battles go very quickly. At the end, random battles were taking almost 10 minutes and boss battles were over an hour with some bosses healing almost all of their damage. The boss never change their strategies, so they just seem to be the same thing over and over again. Only a few of them are hard, but they do begin to get annoying after a while.

Overall, I still enjoyed playing Xenosaga Episode II. The game felt more of a side story than a continuation of a giant overarching story line. It felt focused solely on one character while the others were just along for the ride. I am still interested in playing Xenosaga Episode III, but I did enjoy Episode I much more.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:40 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) *
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)
80. Drakengard (PS2)

81. Pole's Big Adventure (WiiWare)

This is a game I read about in Nintendo Power yeaaars ago that at the time was only available in Japanese and the author writing about it hoped would eventually get an English release in some form. Well, it never did, and now that the Wii Shop Channel is gone forever, you technically can't even buy this game anymore (although from what I understand, emulated solutions are possible through some means). A Super Mario Bros. parody made by Sega, it was something really weird and neat-looking to me, and I finally jumped on it when I bought a ton of stuff on the Wii Shop Channel before it went away a couple years ago. I can certainly see why it never got an English release, but I still had fun in the hour it took me to beat it on stream earlier today.

Pole's Big Adventure is the story about the titular character going through six worlds to save his lady love Sharon from the evil bull-like antagonist who has kidnapped her. In five of the six worlds, Sharon is just some poorly disguised enemy character instead of the real thing, and you must go to yet another location to save her. It's all very tongue-in-cheek parody of Mario Brothers mechanically, but stylistically it's also a very loving parody of Famicom games in general.

Mechanically, it's a very standard 2D platformer somewhat reminiscent of Super Mario Bros., but not by much. You can jump, sure, but you don't get any kind of health powerups, and you don't jump on enemies, you shoot them with your shotgun XD. The main gimmick of the game is that it's presented somewhat like a Japanese variety show. Lots of silly, parodical things will happen to Pole and he'll loudly complain about them in a heavy Osaka accent, and the words he's saying appear on the screen in big blocky letters (just like on a variety show). It adds a fun layer on top of the parody already there, and a lot of those jokes (or "neta") are hidden quite well. The game even has a gallery where you can view neta you've found, and it even has a counter in the lower right to count the total you've found in the game. The game even has a world select feature, so going through the game to try and catch all the neta is absolutely the intended gameplay loop if you're gonna spend more time with this game than the hour or so it takes to beat it the first time (as it's not a terribly hard game).

Presentation-wise, it's quite a nice-looking game. The graphics are bright, colorful, and Famicom-y. The animations are a little too smooth to be the real thing, but out of all of the retro-style platformers in last decade and a bit, this one is definitely more on the end of looking like an actual Famicom game. The music is also really nice too. There aren't many tracks, but what's here is pretty boppin'.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. Given that to play it now you'd NEED to get it for free, the original 1000-ish yen price tag doesn't really factor in here. The bigger hesitation I have is that you don't NEED to know Japanese to play through the game, but Pole's quips are really one of the main reasons you're showing up. If you can't understand those, you can still appreciate the visual jokes (some of which are even graphical glitches like an old Famicom game would have), but the rest of the humor will remain quite inaccessible. If you're fine with missing that or you can understand the Japanese, then this is a game that may be short, but it's definitely sweet as well.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:24 am

First 70
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)
69. Cally’s Caves 2 (iOS)
70. Paratopic (Switch)

71. Limbo (Switch)
72. INSIDE (Switch)
73. Electronic Super Joy II (Switch)

I love Electronic Super Joy. It’s likely my favorite precision, die-and-retry platformer, and I was very excited when it received a sequel last year. Unfortunately, however, the sequel is a pretty big step down from the original, and I ended up not enjoying it that much. First, and while the game still controls like a dream, the level design is much spottier. Despite moments of inspiration, there are too many “gimmick” levels, and while I admire the game trying to do something new, many of these levels are more annoying than trying. (The less said about the dire FPS levels - a tribute to Doom, since the game is set in Hell - the better.) Too many times, success feels like luck rather than planning and execution. Second, the soundtrack isn’t nearly as catchy, and while the original game’s soundtrack is one of my go-to workout playlists, I doubt I’ll download the sequel’s soundtrack anytime soon. Finally, the current version of the game is buggy. This genre lives and dies by precise controls and smooth gameplay, and the slightest frame-rate hiccup or input lag can ruin the experience. Unfortunately, I had several good runs ruined by a hiccup or glitch. (“Awesome. I’ve died 40 times trying to complete this level and game hiccuped while I was trying to jump to the platform just before the exit...”) These issues render the included Groove Wizard’s Tower DLC unplayable, and I’ll wait for an update attempting them to complete the game entirely.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:08 pm

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)

71. Just Cause 2 (PC)(Action Adventure)
72. Prey (PC)(FPS)
73. Prey: Mooncrash (PC)(FPS)
74. The Signal From Tölva (PC)(FPS)

75. Death Rally (PC)(Racing)
76. Bastion (PC)(RPG)


Death Rally

I played through the remake of Death Rally, which originally released for phones and got the requisite Steam release a little under a decade ago.

Death Rally is a remake of the mid-90s PC game of the same name which proved very popular for shareware users. In the original, you picked a car, your weapons, and then you raced while trying to remove other racers from the track by a combination of murder and murder. The game was handled from a top-down perspective, and you had an array of faux sports cars, monster trucks, hummers, VW beetles, minivans, and the like to choose from for all your racing and killing needs. Think of it like if Twisted Metal had the perspective of Micro Machines and was way fixated on 1970s car movies.

In the remake...it's exactly the same thing. Same top down perspective, same blasting the crap out of your fellow racers, even many of the same weapons and cars. The big thing now is that you have a few more options for possible special matches, such as only being allowed to use a specific weapon, always having the nitro boost activated, or the 42 lap Marathon mode. You also have online multiplayer or multiplayer versus bots, and you have a fame level that goes up to the stupid high amount of 50 million points. Considering I beat the game's central storyline at around 1 million fame points...yeah, a lot of folks complain about the fame system.

Of course, while you can beat the story mode, there are other things to do, like hunting down specific AI enemies, including the big boss, a racer known as the Adversary. The game does offer a handy statistics section which lets you see things like who you've killed, the numbers of specific cars, your lap and overall race times on each track, and so on. In fact, mostly it's a lot of fun. The one issue is that for completionists, grinding out that amount of fame is painfully ridiculous. Oh, and if you don't play over a period of weeks to months, you lose fame, so if you want to go for the 50 million, you better be prepared to keep working on it.

If you like top-down racers and want to blow something up, it's really not a bad game at all. I had fun with it.


Bastion

Bastion is an Action RPG that popped up out of the indie games boom and made a decent name for itself. You play as the Kid, a nameless character who must rebuild his floating world after it was destroyed in The Calamity, some kind of apocalyptic event. To do this, you find cores which you use to power the Bastion, a sort of safe area/escape pod in case of apocalypse. You also find survivors, find weapons, gain experience to level up and drink boos, smoke a pipe to travel to a battle arena, and listen to some interesting sort of folksy country song about serving in the military on the Wailing Wall.

It's a weird game.

It's also a fun game, with some interesting ideas to get around development issues. For instance, to engage the players, the devs used a narrator who is telling the Kid's story, but both major and minor actions will influence what he says. Instead of programming in a mini map, the devs also decided to make the world rise up to meet you so you can tell if you've been somewhere. And this post-apocalyptic world is colorful, as opposed to the pervasive brown tones which often signify the end of everything and have been a heavily featured color palette for the last...oh, 15 years or so? Longer? In truth it's hard to tell nowadays.

Bastion is a short RPG, complete with a surprising plot with betrayals, terrible reveals, and a final choice about how to proceed. The combat system emphasizes the action part of Action RPG, and while I don't find the controls as intuitive as I'd like, they get the job done. To lengthen the game, the devs added in a variety of modes and challenges too, such as the "blessings" of the game's deities, which make things harder but also boost rewards. This is where the real challenge starts coming in. Beyond that, it's about learning your weapons, unlocking techniques, and leveling to be able to get more liquor. I'm really not kidding, the liquor gives some amazing power ups.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:48 pm

Great review, Ack. I really enjoyed Bastion too, and I need to get around to its follow-ups, Transistor, and, eventually, Hades.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:19 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)
80. Drakengard (PS2)
81. Pole's Big Adventure (WiiWare)

82. Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PC)

This is a game I got ages ago for free via Twitch Prime, and it's just been languishing in my Twitch game library ever since (like so many other games :b). But this month's TR being point and click stuff gave me the perfect excuse to try it out (after Ack gave me the go-ahead that it counted as a horror game enough for the TR, at least X3). I've never played many point and clicks, let alone LucasArts ones, but I've watched a few be played. I got sorta stuck a few times, but only had to look up one thing (and I felt a bit silly once I had, since I really should've realized what I had to do there XP), and it took me around six and a half hours to beat the game.

Day of the Tentacle is a sequel to Maniac Mansion, with Bernard from that game getting a letter in the mail from Green Tentacle that Purple Tentacle has mutated and is trying to take over the world. Bernard and is friends Hoagie and Laverne journey from their college dorm back to Dr. Fred's mansion to try and help Green Tentacle, but all they do is let Purple Tentacle loose. Dr. Fred tries to use his time machine to go back in time to the previous day to keep Purple Tentacle from turning evil, but the cheap diamond in his time machine breaks, throwing Hoagie 200 years into the past, Laverne 200 years into the future, and Bernard is stuck in the present with Dr. Fred. Even for a LucasArts game, this is a pretty darn strange game, but it's also quite a funny one. There were plenty of times I got a really good laugh out of just how funny the dialogue is. There's some humor that's aged fairly poorly (an instance of homophobia here and there and a fair amount of ableist jokes as well), but it's a far more tolerable amount than in something like Sam & Max: Hit the Road, for example. As far as comedy games from the 90's go, I think Day of the Tentacle is probably about as well-aged as you're gonna possibly get XD

The mechanics of the game are a point and click adventure game, and there's really nothing too special about it in that regard. The main gimmick of the game is the three characters being stuck in the three time periods, and you can send small (or rather, whatever the game decides is "small" enough) inanimate objects between the time machines between each person to help someone out in a different time period. It's a bit of a pain to go back to the time machine constantly if you're stuck and just throwing items back and forth, but it isn't the worst thing in the world. The game also has a lot of cases where you'll use an item for the last time, but that item doesn't get consumed, so you just have a seemingly still useful item in your inventory (and there are a few items that are entirely useless red herrings, so far as I could tell). All that said, out of all the 90's point'n'clicks I've played or watched, this easily has the least moon logic out of all of them. This is a game that is very completable without using a guide, and that's honestly one of the best things about it aside from the good writing.

The remaster has the original graphics/UI and the new remastered graphics/UI that you can switch between at any time via the settings menu. In the remastered UI, you don't have all the commands on the lower screen, but instead if you right click on an object, the possible interactions you can do with it appear on a scroll wheel that you can choose from. The item list will also automatically hide below the screen and it'll pop up by mousing over the lower left corner. It's a really nice way to improve the UI and make the whole game just that much more convenient to play. The music and VA is also all great and sounds nice in the remastered stuff. The music is very fun, and has a happy vibe to it that really reminds me of something like Banjo Kazooie.

What is NOT nice about the remaster is that it runs like absolute trash (and while my PC isn't a behemoth, it ain't no slouch in terms of power). It almost feels like they old engine is simply making the new parts work on my Windows 10 PC, because there was a ton of mouse lag and even lagging audio clips. It seemed to get better if I shut down the game and booted it back up again, but it still felt baffling that a remaster of a game this old still runs this badly.

Edit: A lot of the gameplay lagging (although I'm not so sure about the audio lagging, as I think that's just the emulation) was due to faulty drivers on my end. Definitely sucks to find that out so much later, but good to know it wasn't the game's fault~

Verdict: Highly Recommended. While I haven't played that many old point and clicks, I think this one has aged fantastically. From the humor that is still for the most part palatable to modern sensibilities to the almost complete lack of moon logic, this is an excellent game to pick up if you want a taste of that old 90's point'n'click fun without all the bull crap frustration that goes along with them (at least if you can get past how it runs).
Last edited by PartridgeSenpai on Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Oct 27, 2020 8:25 am

Great review of a great game, Pidge. I am surprised it runs so poorly, however. I played the iOS port, and it played just fine. Do you plan to play any of the other LucasArts remasters, such as Full Throttle or Grim Fandango?
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:43 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Great review of a great game, Pidge. I am surprised it runs so poorly, however. I played the iOS port, and it played just fine. Do you plan to play any of the other LucasArts remasters, such as Full Throttle or Grim Fandango?

Pidge is trying, though they're having some technical issues with their PC that may be the root of the problem.
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