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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by ElkinFencer10 Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:09 pm

Games Beaten in 2020 - 27
* denotes a replay

January (1 Game Beaten)
1. Pokemon Sun - 3DS - January 14*


February (2 Games Beaten)
2. Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order - Xbox One - February 15
3. Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! - Switch - February 29*


March (10 Games Beaten)
4. Pokemon Shield - Switch - March 1*
5. Doom [1993] - Switch - March 6*
6. SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays - PS4 - March 6
7. Lego DC Super Villains - Switch - March 19
8. Doom II: Hell on Earth - Switch - March 19
9. Doom 3 - Switch - March 20
10. Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil - Switch - March 22
11. Doom 3: The Lost Mission - Switch - March 23
12. Doom 64 - Switch - March 26
13. Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth - Nintendo 64 - March 28


April (7 Games Beaten)
14. Wolfenstein 3D - Steam - April 1
15. Doom Eternal - Xbox One - April 3
16. Age of Empires (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 4
17. Age of Empires: Rise of Rome (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 5
18. Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Switch - April 9
19. Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War - SNES - April 18
20. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX - Switch - April 20


Sometime in the Dark Ages of My Life Between May and October in No Particular Order (6 Games Beaten)
21. Battlefield 3 - Xbox 360 - July 27
22. Star Wars Squadrons - Xbox One - October 4
23. The Last of Waifus - Steam - October 11
24. Phantom Doctrine - Switch - ???
25. The Outer Worlds - PlayStation 4 - September 30
26. Resident Evil 3 - PlayStation 4 - October 14


November (1 Game Beaten)
27. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War - PlayStation 5 - November 15


27. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War - PlayStation 5 - November 15

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​Call of Duty is a franchise that we all know, some of us love, and most of us are getting tired of in one way or another. Some (read: most) people play it for the multiplayer or the zombies mode. Personally, I’m in that minority that plays for the story. That’s why I refuse to touch Black Ops 4 with a ten-foot pole (also their insistence on stylizing it with Roman numerals but using the wrong numerals is unforgivable to an academic like me). I admit that I’ve never been one to get Call of Duty games at launch. In the past, the only ones I’d gotten at launch were Black Ops III and Advanced Warfare, and that was because of the actors cast in the game. When I saw the trailer for Black Ops: Cold War in the PS5 presentation a few months ago, though, I was very excited. Those who know me know that while I absolutely despise Ronald Reagan with every fiber of being, I also love Cold War thrillers with every fiber of my being. When I saw a game that involved Ronald Reagan telling me to go do war crimes against the Soviet Union, I turned to my roommate, Rome, and said, “Dude, this is a game I have to get day one.” Or something to that effect.

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Cold War doesn’t take a lot of risks, and that’s a mixed bag, in my opinion. They took a risk a few years ago by returning to World War II, something that I personally thought “made Call of Duty great again,” to paraphrase the outgoing American president, but critics seemed to disagree with scores being a bit lower than previous entries. On the other hand, I would argue that the exclusion of a campaign mode entirely with Black Ops 4 was a risk that I hated but review scores seemed to forgive. With that said, it makes sense that they played it pretty safe with Cold War; you’ve got your fan-favorite multiplayer and zombies, but you’ve also got the campaign for us misanthropes who want to enjoy our video games free from the shackles of human interaction. The odd thing, though, and something that is definitely a frustration for me, is that while multiplayer and zombies are included on the disc, the campaign is not; it requires a separate three-part download totaling nearly 60 GB. I understand the necessity to leave something off the disc as even triple-layer Blu-ray discs only have a capacity of around 100 GB whereas this game clocks in at 140 GB if memory serves, but what strikes me as odd is the fact that one game mode most likely to be played offline is the one game mode that they required a download for. You already have to be online for multiplayer unless you’re playing with bots, so why not make that the download? Most people play Zombies online, so that could be the download. I don’t know exactly what the size of each of the three-game modes is, so it could be that it had to be the campaign that got left off, but I find it unlikely. I think they probably just said, “Most people ignore the campaign anyway, so screw it.” And, in all fairness, that’s a reasonable decision. I’m just a little butthurt about the continued disrespect that single-player story modes are so often shown by first-person shooters, but at least they included one.

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I’ve not managed to find a game in Zombies yet, although I admittedly haven’t tried since the day the game came out; I have, however, played the entire campaign and a good bit of multiplayer, and those are both rock-solid game modes. The multiplayer doesn’t really do anything new, but it does the same old same old very well. 6v6 matches keep the action pretty constant and fun, and there are a ton of attachments to unlock on various weapons. The unlock tokens from WWII are gone (I didn’t play Black Ops 4 or the 2019 Modern Warfare, so I don’t know if they were in those games), so you unlock new weapons by just leveling up. Attachments are then unlocked by leveling up that weapon. The maps are all pretty solid and well crafted for a variety of game types. The campaign is where it’s at in my opinion, though. It’s not the best campaign in Call of Duty or even the best campaign in the Black Ops sub-series, but man, it’s fun as hell. Most of the missions are really well executed but not especially creative, although I do have to give props to three missions in particular. One of the early missions – the one featured in the aforementioned PS5 trailer – involves a super dramatic car chase slash gunfight on an airstrip, and that mission feels like it was pulled straight out of an 80s action movie. There are also two side missions that you don’t have to complete in the campaign. Both of those optional missions have puzzles that you can solve to get the “best” outcome for the mission. To solve those puzzles, you have to find hidden pieces of evidence in the campaign’s required missions and then use the clues in those pieces of evidence to solve the puzzles. They’re not difficult puzzles, but they do require some logical thinking, and I found that to be a very welcome addition to the normal Call of Duty campaign. In addition to optional side missions, you also have some optional objectives that you can choose whether or not to complete in each mission, and there are a few dialogue choices to choose between. I’m not sure how much if at all the dialogue choices change things, but either way, it’s a very nice break from the normal pure linear formula, so kudos to Treyarch for that.

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With the game’s performance, I played on PlayStation 5, so my experience was nothing short of breathtaking. The character models looked so photorealistic that some scenes could be reasonably mistaken for a live-action movie. The frame rate never seemed to drop enough for me to notice, and the ray tracing is just…wow. I never gave ray tracing any thought before, honestly, but there’s one specific mission in which you’re in a helicopter flying over a river in Vietnam, and holy crap, it looked stunning. The sound design is impeccable, as usual, but what really stands out is the use of the DualSense controller’s features. The haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in the PS5’s new controller are used to fantastic effect here, giving every gun a truly unique feel. You can feel in your hand the moment a bullet leaves your gun in a way that was never possible with the DualShock 4 controller, and the adaptive triggers give each gun its own unique trigger resistance. Does that really matter much? No, of course not, but it’s little details like that that will deepen my immersion more than just about anything else. The only things that deepen my immersion more than the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers did would have virtual reality and motion controls, and honestly, I think it’d take the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers if made to choose.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, despite having a mouthful of a title, is quite a solid entry in the series. The multiplayer is exactly what you’d expect, and while most of the campaign is just more of the same done well, the addition of side missions, optional objectives, and dialogue choices really do make it stand out from the rest of the series even if only a bit. Truthfully, on PC, PS4, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X/S, this is just a very good game. On PS5, though, with the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, it really does feel like a great game. Maybe not a masterpiece. Maybe not an amazing game. Maybe not a system seller. But it’s definitely a great game on PS5, and I’m extremely glad I made the last-minute decision to move my pre-order from Xbox to PS5.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:18 pm

No mention of how the Vietnam mission is the best capture of the public consciousness of Vietnam in a video game ever? It's all the parts we had fun with in Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now but without the horror of war parts that turned them into bring downs.
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:30 pm

Markies wrote:Wild Arms is a fairly basic PS1 JRPG with a little bit of puzzles. The combat and story won't blow you away, but I absolutely love the setting. It has this Wild West feel to it that permeates everything, including the beautiful soundtrack. For a game made by a first time developer and released before FF7, I'm rather impressed with what they were able to accomplish. Being able to replay the game in over a decade, I was able to appreciate the simplicity and scope of the game.


I gotta track this game down and play it again! One of my closest friends had it around the time of release and we used to play it together at his place. I don't think we finished it though, so I'd really like to grab it again and finally beat it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by REPO Man Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:47 pm

Beat the last DLC for Borderlands 3 on Normal as Zane, Level 65 Mayhem 10.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by elricorico Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:46 pm

1. NBA Jam (GEN)
2. Astro Bot Rescue Mission (PSVR)
3. Bastion (PS4)
4. Octopath Traveler (NS)
5. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (PS4)
6. Final Fantasy Adventure (NS)
7. LEGO: The Ninjago Movie Game (PS4)
8. Captain Commando (PS2)
9. Thumper (PSVR)
10. Eco Fighters (PS2)
11. Ys:Memories of Celceta (PS4)
12. Super Mario 64 (NS)

13. Diablo 3 (PS3/PS4)


I beat the boss Diablo in Diablo 3 yesterday, which I understand was the end of the game prior to any of the DLC. I played about 80% of the game on the PS3 before happening upon a fairly cheap copy of the Ultimate Evil Edition and transferring over to PS4. I vaguely remember playing a little bit of the original Diablo, but I've never played very far. I don't think I've ever touched Diablo 2.

Diablo 3 is a fast paced hack and slash dungeon crawler that is heavily focussed on getting better and better equipment through looting, crafting and refining your treasures. The most fun I had with it was the short time I played couch co-op with a friend, but overall it was amusing and somewhat addictive throughout. I played a Demon Hunter, which meant I focussed on ranged attacks, so I picked up an NPC that was basically a tank and ran through the bulk of the game as that pair.

By the end of the game I felt overpowered - I did very little extra grinding, just fully explored each area as it came. The last "Act" in the main story never had me feeling threatened. Maybe it was luck, maybe I chose a character type that makes it easy or maybe the game is just easy in general with the expectation that hardcore players will crank up the difficulty for themselves. Either way I didn't really mind, it kept me entertained.

The story is a mess of angels and demons and bad guys, worse guys and worstest guys. Lots of death and betrayal and such. It did the job but wasn't really anything special in my opinion.

If you like this type of game you've probably already played this way more and way deeper than I did - if you've never tried it I would recommend that it is worth grabbing if you find a cheap copy, I think it is a well made game and has a high chance of getting its hooks into you if you give it a try.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:38 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)
82. Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PC)
83. Mario's Picross (GB)
84. Sonic Heroes (GC)
85. Drakengard 2 (PS2)
86. NeverDead (PS3)
87. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (PS3)
88. Gain Ground (Genesis)
89. Bonanza Bros. (Genesis)
90. Golden Axe Warrior (Master System)
91. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)
92. Shadow the Hedgehog (PS2)
93. Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
94. Mighty Switch Force (3DS)
95. Mighty Switch Force 2 (3DS)

96. Pushmo World (Wii U)

I've beaten Pushmo and Crashmo yeaaars ago, and I picked up this game in the middle of last year but didn't quite finish it. As it turns out, I was only a dozen or so puzzles away from seeing the credits ^^; (although counting the optional puzzles, I had like 100 in total left to do). That's something that counts towards this month's theme for Together Retro as far as I'm concerned XD. According to my Wii U activity log, it took me about 17 hours to beat all 250 puzzles in the game (making this the first of the games in the series that I've actually 100%'d~) ^w^.

Pushmo World is, as the other games in the Pushmo series are, a puzzle platformer about solving picture-like puzzles called "Pushmo". The story is very simple, as this time a bunch of children were playing on the Pushmo puzzles when a mischievous doggo hit all the reset switches, trapping them inside. It's our round, red hero Mallo's duty to go and save all of those poor children! It's a very paper-thin plot, but that's all it needs to be. The aesthetic is very toy-block like in how the levels are constructed, and the music is also excellent (particularly the Mario/NES remix tracks~). Mallo himself is also adorable, and I love him <3

The gameplay itself is one of "easy to learn, tough to master", as the mechanics themselves are pretty bog simple. There are panels in the back of the stage, and you pull them out from the front or the side to hop onto them. You can't a block such that you fall off of the platform you're on, and blocks can only be pulled out up to a maximum of three spaces. There are some extra tools like ladders that teleport you from one block to another as well as arrows that can make all blocks of a certain color extend or retract fully, but it's really a case of the game giving you a simple toolset, and then gradually giving you puzzles that push that toolset farther and farther. They're really cleverly crafted, and the difficulty curve is also very well handled (though the last puzzle genuinely took me like half an hour to solve XD).

Thankfully, the game is merciful enough to give you a rewind button you can hold down to turn back time up to several minutes, and it's a great way to quickly undo a mistake, or to test out if a certain solution is even possible without worrying about needing to undo everything you've accomplished up to this point. All puzzles even have a giant reset button you can press (although it'd be nearly impossible to push it on accident it's so far away from the puzzle itself), so you don't need to exit the level if you're truly stumped and just wanna retry from the start. The game doesn't even time your solve times, so there's no pressure at all to solve stuff quickly other than what you wanna put on yourself to try and achieve~.

There are also a handful of some "Mysterious Pushmo" for you to solve, which introduce concepts like ALL blocks of a certain color being affected when you operate just one, "ying-yang" blocks that extend when their opposing color is retracted (and vice versa), and even blocks that only stay extended for a limited amount of time. The game only gives you ten or so of each of these, and that's mainly because interacting with them unlocks them in the game's level editor. Once upon a time when Miiverse was still a thing, you could play tons of user-created Pushmo puzzles, but that time is no more. While this game DOES still have 250 puzzles more or less unique from the 3DS Pushmo game, that big pull of user-created content is sadly no longer something you can interact with.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Intelligent Systems really knows how to make themselves a puzzle game, and the Pushmo series impresses as always. They're not the hardest brain benders in the world, but they're great for puzzle-enjoyers of any age with how good the difficulty curve is. The game is pretty cheap and it'll also give you many hours of enjoyment if you're set to try and solve all the puzzles, so this is a very easy recommendation if you want a charming, well-crafted puzzle game on your Wii U (and you don't even need the main screen to play it, so you can just play on the game pad with headphones if someone else needs the TV~).
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:45 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)
82. Day of the Tentacle Remastered (PC)
83. Mario's Picross (GB)
84. Sonic Heroes (GC)
85. Drakengard 2 (PS2)
86. NeverDead (PS3)
87. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (PS3)
88. Gain Ground (Genesis)
89. Bonanza Bros. (Genesis)
90. Golden Axe Warrior (Master System)
91. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)
92. Shadow the Hedgehog (PS2)
93. Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
94. Mighty Switch Force (3DS)
95. Mighty Switch Force 2 (3DS)
96. Pushmo World (Wii U)

97. Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U)

While I still had the Wii U hooked up, I figured I'd try getting through another game that I'd attempted several times but never finished. ASA is a game that can be played with friends, but any friends I'd played it with had never beaten it with me, so unfinished it remained. This was the first time I'd actually tried playing it by myself, so I finished it wihin a few hours on account of how much easier it is to pilot an affordable spaceship yourself compared to with two other people XD

Affordable Space Adventures sees you as a space tourist with the company Uexplore. Manning your special Small Craft spaceship, you'll take a 3 day tour of Spectaculon, an almost entirely uncharted world that you'll get to claim your own piece of if you get there first! But rest assured, despite the crashed alien vessel and nearly totally unknown nature of Spectaculon, it is COMPLETELY safe as far as Uexplore is concerned. This is all communicated to you with the mock promotional travel video that the game opens with, and as you may've cottoned onto, Spectaculon is actually incredibly unsafe, and the mothership carrying all the Small Craft tourists crashes on Spectaculon, leaving only you alive to try and find an SOS beacon to contact Uexplore HQ with to try and get rescued.

Trekking across Spectaculon, through its dark caves, alien wrecks, and extreme environments, can feel pretty tense and spooky at times, and breathtaking at others. Though this is more of a tense game (highlighted by a very unsubtle pastiche of corporate heartlessness towards its customers), its pretty visuals and subtle music make an atmosphere that is very strong and difficult to ignore as you try and make your way to safety through increasingly dangerous territory.

ASA is a game exclusive to the Wii U's digital store, and definitely one of the best at taking advantage of the opportunities of the game pad. On your game pad (what the game calls you "Heads Down Display" X3), you have a set of controls that allow you to turn on and off different engines as well as all manner of landing gear, secondary systems, and power levels. All of these systems generate their own levels of heat, sound, and electricity, and you can tap on gauges on your screen to see just what is generating what sources. This is a very valuable thing to know too, as using your flashlight/scanner, you can scan the many types of robotic alien life out to kill you and see just what kinds of power they're sensitive to. By operating your ship properly and turning on and off different systems when needed, you make your way through your journey in what is definitely one of the more unique puzzle-platformers I've played.

This was the first time I'd actually played ASA by myself, and the reason I was able to complete it this time is that, much like one of my favorite games Octodad, controlling anything is often much easier by yourself than with others if solo-control is an option. This is very much the same for ASA, although it's certainly far less of a party game than Octodad can be. Your player 2 will get control of the ship's movement, and then a player 3 will get control of aiming the ship's scanner/flashlight, leaving player 1 with only control of your system operations (as well as when you scan things and fire flares). Given how often you need to precisely move the ship in coordination with altering power to systems as well as how tricky many of the shots to hit buttons with your flares can be, this makes the game FAR more challenging, and while a very cool multiplayer experience, I wouldn't recommend it to those who get easily frustrated (even though the game is quite forgiving with its checkpoints more often than not).

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is definitely something under the ever-shrinking (with all these Switch ports) list of "reasons to own a Wii U". The nature of the control scheme makes me doubt very highly it will ever be ported, and it's a really unique and well crafted puzzle experience, especially if you're aiming to play through it with others. If you've already got a Wii U, I'd say this is definitely a game you shouldn't let yourself miss checking out, and if you've been on the fence about picking up a Wii U (maybe to get some of those games that have gotten ports to Switch and have their base versions way cheaper X3), I hope this might tip you a little over the edge to finally picking up one secondhand.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:43 am

Totally. Awesome. Pidge.

My wife and I played through most of that game years ago, and I agree that it’s a fantastic multi-player experience. Also, and as you noted, the atmosphere and sound design are simply amazing. We stopped playing, however, when we moved, and we haven’t picked it back up. Accordingly, it is also a “game not beaten” for me, and I think you’ve inspired me to finish it up later this week (in single player mode).
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:42 pm

Games Beaten in 2020 - 28
* denotes a replay

January (1 Game Beaten)
1. Pokemon Sun - 3DS - January 14*


February (2 Games Beaten)
2. Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order - Xbox One - February 15
3. Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee! - Switch - February 29*


March (10 Games Beaten)
4. Pokemon Shield - Switch - March 1*
5. Doom [1993] - Switch - March 6*
6. SD Gundam G Generation Cross Rays - PS4 - March 6
7. Lego DC Super Villains - Switch - March 19
8. Doom II: Hell on Earth - Switch - March 19
9. Doom 3 - Switch - March 20
10. Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil - Switch - March 22
11. Doom 3: The Lost Mission - Switch - March 23
12. Doom 64 - Switch - March 26
13. Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth - Nintendo 64 - March 28


April (7 Games Beaten)
14. Wolfenstein 3D - Steam - April 1
15. Doom Eternal - Xbox One - April 3
16. Age of Empires (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 4
17. Age of Empires: Rise of Rome (Definitive Edition) - Steam - April 5
18. Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Switch - April 9
19. Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War - SNES - April 18
20. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX - Switch - April 20


Sometime in the Dark Ages of My Life Between May and October in No Particular Order (6 Games Beaten)
21. Battlefield 3 - Xbox 360 - July 27
22. Star Wars Squadrons - Xbox One - October 4
23. The Last of Waifus - Steam - October 11
24. Phantom Doctrine - Switch - ???
25. The Outer Worlds - PlayStation 4 - September 30
26. Resident Evil 3 - PlayStation 4 - October 14


November (2 Games Beaten)
27. Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War - PlayStation 5 - November 15
28. Astro's Playroom - PlayStation 5 - November 15


28. Astro's Playroom - PlayStation 5 - November 15

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The “pack-in game” is a longstanding tradition in gaming for console launches that, depressing, seems to have lost popularity. The Wii U is the last console I can think of that had a pack-in game, and even that was only if you bought the more expensive 32 GB model. To the best of my knowledge, no pack-in game was included with the Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, or Xbox Series X (I’m not counting the subscription games). Sure, the PlayStation 4 had The Playroom, but I doubt anyone would seriously consider that a true “game” given that it was just a few shallow mini-games and how barebones they were. PlayStation 5, however, is a return to form in this regard with Astro’s Playroom. Not only is this a cute little game that comes pre-installed on every PlayStation 5 console, but like Wii Sports and NintendoLand did for the Wii and Wii U, respectively, it also serves as a brilliant tech demo to show customers just what their new console’s controller is capable of.

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Astro’s Playroom is a 3D platformer reminiscent of the genre’s 5th generation glory days. There are four worlds - each themed on one of Sony’s previous home consoles - all connected by a hub world. Each world is broken into four levels for a total of sixteen, and within each level are puzzle pieces that go into completing a huge PlayStation mural in the hub world as well as hidden collectables - models of Sony’s previous console models and their accessories - that show up as decorations in the hub world. It gives the game the feel of an appetizer-sized collectathon platformer like Banjo-Kazooie. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to bother playing the game, let that push you onto the “Yes, Please” side.

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As a platformer, controls are what will make or break Astro’s Playhouse for gamers, and the controls here are as tight and responsive as I would expect from a Mario title. Describing exactly what makes the controls for this game feel so good is hard to describe, though. You know how food reviews will often talk about “mouth feel” as a metric by which to judge food? It’s kind of like that, although I’m not sure what you’d call it. “Hand feel”? “Control feel”? Whatever you want to call it, it’s that thing you can’t quite put your finger on but that just feels right with a game, and Astro’s Playhouse has that in spades. The haptic feedback vibration, the adaptive triggers, the touchpad, the gyroscopes, and the overall more ergonomic design of the controller all come together to form one of the best “feeling” platformers I’ve played in a long time, and all of this is from a free pre-installed game. Even the controller’s built-in microphone plays a role in gameplay.

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Astro’s Playhouse may not show off the new hardware’s visual power like Demon’s Souls or the frame rate stability like Call of Duty, but it’s no slouch, either. The characters models are bright, the worlds are colorful, and ray tracing adds a certain flair that I never even knew older games were missing. The crispness of the detail and shine of the lighting effects, even for a short pack-in game, drive home the point that this isn’t just a stronger and oversized PS4; this truly is a next generation machine that delivers a next-generation experience in every sense. While the sound design doesn’t really show off any neat hardware features or controller gimmicks, it is absolutely worth mentioning here as Astro’s Playhouse has one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard in a 3D platformer. It strikes that perfect balance of unobtrusive yet addicting. It’s not Mariah Carey in November and December, but every song on this soundtrack is an earworm all the same except these songs won’t have you bashing your skull against a cinderblock wall by the end of November.

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hat really sets Astro’s Playroom apart from “just another tech demo” is the underlying theme of the game - an homage to the PlayStation brand’s history. Every major first party accessory for all four previous consoles and both previous handhelds is represented and honored here through the puzzle piece mural and the collectables, and for lifelong PlayStation fans, that’s got to be something special to witness. Even for someone like me who grew up a Nintendo gamer and didn’t jump on the Sony bandwagon until the last year of the PS3’s generation, it hit me in the nostalgia. That’s the thing about video games especially for us Millennials; even if you didn’t have a system growing up or weren’t a fan of a brand, you probably had a friend who did have it and played it with them. I never had a PS1 until 2009, but I played it a lot at John’s house. I never had a PS2 until 2009, but I played the hell out of it at Thomas’s house. This game is a tribute to the legacy of the PlayStation brand as much as anything else. If you have a PlayStation 5, don’t let the “Oh, it’s just a dumb tech demo” mindset deter you; this is a game in its own right, and it deserves your attention.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:56 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Totally. Awesome. Pidge.

My wife and I played through most of that game years ago, and I agree that it’s a fantastic multi-player experience. Also, and as you noted, the atmosphere and sound design are simply amazing. We stopped playing, however, when we moved, and we haven’t picked it back up. Accordingly, it is also a “game not beaten” for me, and I think you’ve inspired me to finish it up later this week (in single player mode).


Thanks, Prfsnl ^w^
It really is a brilliant little game, albeit MUCH harder with other people ^^;
I hope you have as great a time as I did when you get to it later this week :D

------
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)
83. Mario's Picross (GB)
84. Sonic Heroes (GC)
85. Drakengard 2 (PS2)
86. NeverDead (PS3)
87. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (PS3)
88. Gain Ground (Genesis)
89. Bonanza Bros. (Genesis)
90. Golden Axe Warrior (Master System)
91. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)
92. Shadow the Hedgehog (PS2)
93. Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
94. Mighty Switch Force (3DS)
95. Mighty Switch Force 2 (3DS)
96. Pushmo World (Wii U)
97. Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U)

98. Stretchmo (3DS)

Stretchmo is another game I've owned for ages and bought on the 3DS a loooong time ago around the time I finished the original Pushmo and then played through Crashmo. I never ended up really getting into it though, as my obsession with the series petered out, and it's been awaiting me on my 3DS ever since. After finishing Pushmo World earlier this month, I thought it was high time I went through this final entry in the series, and I had a blast doing it. It took me around 15 hours to beat all 300 puzzles in the English version of the game on my New 3DS XL.

Stretchmo is more of a return to form after Crashmo, but it's also a very wild spin in other ways. The story is still quite as similar as always. A troublesome agent goes wild and traps a bunch of kids in the Stretchmo in the Stretchmo Park, and Mallo goes to save them. However, there is a twist! And not just presentation-wise, but also via the game's business model. There are 100 levels in Mallo's adventure, but then three other characters from prior games also get their own 50 levels sets, and there's a super tough final 50 awaiting anyone who finishes the previous 250. The initial download of Stretchmo is actually free, and you pay for as many of the four packs as you want with the total price of all four adding up to the same total as what Pushmo and Crashmo were. It's a really neat approach to selling the games, allowing you to pay for as much as you think you'll play, and I think it's a welcome innovation (even if this was the last game in the series).

Mechanically, it's much more like Pushmo than Crashmo is, but it's also a lot like a meeting of the two. Where Pushmo was about pulling blocks in and out from a fixed picture with a fixed camera, and Crashmo was about pulling and pushing around blocks that could move and fall and had a rotating camera, Stretchmo is about stretching fixed 3D block sculptures with a rotating camera. It's basically like if Pushmo puzzles were 3D sculptures instead of sets of 2D panels you interact with, and you can pull blocks out from any direction two spaces. That's right, two spaces, not three like Pushmo. It may seem like a small change, but in the grand scheme of things, it allows for drastically different approaches to puzzles when combined with the 3D element, and even though a handful of puzzles return from Pushmo, these new rules make them an a totally new beast to conquer.

The four sets of puzzles are also different from one another in theme. Mallo's are very standard, having a mix of "mural" (it's supposed to look like something) and regular "challenge" (it's just blocks that form a puzzle regardless of shape) puzzles. Poppy (the girl whom you help get her birds back in Crashmo) has stages that are all about murals. Papa Blox (the elderly owner of the Stretchmo and Crashmo parks) has his NES Expo all themed around what else but NES sprites. Finally, Corin (the mischievous antagonist-turned friend from Pushmo 1) has his Fortress of Fun, which introduces the very odd addition of enemies to the series. You can ride around on these enemies heads to get you into new areas, and they add a really cool, dynamic mix of gameplay options. His puzzles are also some of the hardest in the game, being that you can actually get killed by these enemies and restart at the bottom of the puzzle. Even though Stretchmo still has the series' rewind feature, Corin's is generally far shorter than the others' rewind clocks, and you can't rewind to before a death. These different characters and different puzzle styles, in addition to helping make the difficulty curve of the game more easily visible and concrete, really help add some variety to the game and keep the experience fresh in a way that none of the other games really approach.

The presentation is as cute and bubbly as ever, with relaxing, chill music as your adorable little character solves bright, colorful puzzles. The level editor is also here again, and given that you share puzzles via QR codes and not via the Miiverse, the ability to make and share levels is technically still totally available here (unlike Pushmo World). It's not terribly original, being that it's aesthetically still very similar to the other three games in the series, but as far as I'm concerned: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is the swansong (for now at least) of the Pushmo franchise, and it's easily the best of the bunch. Toting a whopping 300 puzzles, I believe it also has the most puzzles out of any of them, as well as the best variety of gameplay in addition to one of the better difficulty curves. If you only play one game in the Pushmo series, you should have it be Stretchmo. Between the very approachable business model and the general great quality of the game, this is an excellent addition to any 3DS owner's library, and if we cross our fingers, maybe someday the series will even get a Switch port X3
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