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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:39 am

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)
30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)
31. Star Fox Adventures (GC)
32. Atelier Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 (PS1)
33. Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg (GC)
34. Mole Mania (GB)

35. Gargoyle's Quest (GB)

Known as "Red Arremer: Makaimura Gaiden" in Japanese, this is a game I know I owned as a kid in English, but I don't really remember if I beat it or not. I had so much fun with Demon's Crest earlier in the year, I decided to pick up this (and a GameCube and a GameBoy Player ^^;) so I could play more of Firebrand's series on stream~. It took me just about dead-on two hours to beat the Japanese version of game on stream.

The game opens with a text scroll about how the underworld is under attack my a mysterious army, and a few dying monsters relate that directly to Firebrand as you start the game. Getting through the first stage past the gates of hell, you enter into the underworld to a grim sight. The underworld is crawling with the lackeys of the lord of destruction, Breager. He was defeated eons ago by a legendary hero, and you're entrusted by the lord of the underworld to do it again! There are a few characters in the game who are silly fun in a way, but this is a GB game from 1990 (the first GB game Capcom even put out, so far as I can tell), so we're here for action more so than story, and the game knows that.

Gameplay-wise, this game plays like Zelda 2 had a baby with Mega Man. You have an overworld you walk around in and can get in random battles into, and you also how towns you can enter as well as dungeons to get through to progress the story. The overworld and towns are from a Zelda 1-like top-down perspective, but all the action is sidescrolling that feels more like Mega Man. You get upgrades to your health, jumping/flying power, and attack power as the game goes on, but I don't think any of it is actually optional. The game is for all intents and purposes stage-based with the illusion of a more open experience, as most often beating the big dungeon and/or boss of the section of the world map you're in will dump you into an area that you can't return from. That said, the adventure parts, isolated between stages as they may be, may be simple but are still well executed for what they are. As evidenced by how I beat it in two hours, it's not a super duper long game, but you do have a password system to let you come back and play it in multiple sittings if you want to.

But this is first and foremost an action game, and that's where the game really delivers. Firebrand has a main attack of spitting fireballs, and different fire breaths can be acquired through the course of the story that have different power levels and effects such as making temporary safety blobs on spiked walls, but you generally just always wanna use the most recent one you got. You can also hover with your wings for limited (at first) amount of time. The level design and boss design is pretty darn solid, but the game's main issue is a serious inverse difficulty curve problem. The first and especially the second bosses are really hard because you only start the game with two hearts between you and death. It's not an impossibly hard game, but just getting past the start can be really daunting. And that's unfortunate, since the rest of the game is generally really well balanced and fun, but that first hurdle is likely going to frustrate even people like myself who are quite comfortable with Capcom's action games.

The presentation is pretty good, even for this early in the GameBoy's life. Sprites are fairly well detailed and environments are as well. The music is also quite good, as one would expect from any Capcom game of this era, with my personal favorite being the theme that plays in Breager's Castle.

Verdict: Recommended. This is a really solid, if short, action platformer with an action/adventure twist. It's hardly Capcom's best 2D game, let alone their best GameBoy game, but it's still a very enjoyable, if a bit frustrating, way to spend an afternoon.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:48 pm

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

1. EYE: Divine Cybermancy - PC
2. Legend of Grimrock - PC
3. Legend of Grimrock 2 - PC
4. Shovel Knight - Wii U
5. Yakuza: Like a Dragon - PS4
6. Yoshi's Island - SNES
7. Vectorman 2 - Genesis
8. Super Mario Sunshine - GC
9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest - GC
10. Bomberman '93 - TG-16
11. Cannon Fodder - PC
12. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn
13. Dragonborne - Game Boy
14. Rock n' Roll Racing - PC
15. The Lost Vikings - PC
16. Blackthorne - PC
17. Contra III: The Alien Wars - SNES
18. Bravely Default II - Switch
19. Axelay - SNES
20. Ryse: Son of Rome - XBOne
21. Killer Instinct (2013) - XBOne
22. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition - PC
23. Thief: The Dark Project - PC
24. Killer Instinct - XBOne
25. Killer instinct 2 - XBOne
26. Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth - PC
27. Thief 2: The Metal Age - PC
28. Wing Commander II - PC
29. Wing Commander III - PC
30. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - Switch
31. Shadow Man Remastered - PC

Shadow Man originally came out for the N64; it was a dark adventure that was the first game I ever played that required a controller pack to save (which meant I needed to run out that night and get one since it was a rental). I got about a third of the way through before the rental period was up, then in my adult years tried picking it up on GOG but found the controls unusable; there was no configuration available. Then Night Dive decided to do a remaster and restore some content and I decided to give it a try. And I'm so glad I did, because I can confidently say this game is a stand out title.

The game stars Michael LaRoi, the titular Shadow Man who has the power to travel between Liveside and Deadside as the immortal voodoo protector of both realms. The majority of the game is spent in Deadside as you search for dark souls (no, not those ones) to keep them out of the hands of the big bad (and fortunately power yourself up in the process). The big bad is Legion and his team of serial killers known as The Five; they seek to rule both realms with a horde of immortal warriors powered by the dark souls.

Now, something I didn't realize until about midway through the game on my current playthrough is that this game actually beats Metroid Prime to the punch; it's a 3D Metroidvania. You've got mazelike levels, progression gated behind abilities, lots of stuff to collect to boost yourself, combat that is serviceable but not the star, and an overall sense of increasing progression as you revisit areas and get to areas you couldn't get to before. Its these elements that separate it from the standard collect-a-thon platformers that were popular at the time. It all fits into an experience that encourages you to explore and rewards that exploration, rather than you just needing to hoover up the landscape.

The horror vibe is expressed in several ways. Deadside is made up of three general types of environments. The first you experience is the shadow roads that allow quick traversal between locations in Deadside. This is a sort of bleak landscape with rivers and waterfalls of blood instead of water and hordes of zombie-like lost souls (some of which are flying and some of which are fused together into a two headed monstrosity). The second are the temples that gate your best abilities; these draw upon Mesoamerican architecture and feature the guardian sisters who start off in stasis before waking up when you trigger them. The temples also feature a lot of traps, like swinging blades and pools of lava. The third is the creepy Asylum levels; a structure built by Legion to build his army. You have to plumb these levels to rescue dark souls from Legion's clutches and acquire the key items necessary to take the fight to The Five and ultimately Legion. These levels are all metal with strong enemies that serve as Legion's enforcers and a variety of indications of experiments done as part of setting up the army. These are the creepiest of the levels. There's one final set of environment types that don't fit into the above three; the Liveside levels of the serial killers.

Which brings us to the restored content in the Remastered edition. There are three levels that were brought back from design docs and partially complete content available in the game's resources. One of them is an extra Asylum level (which is extra creepifying) and two are levels for the serial killers. See, in the original game three of The Five shared the same prison level; now everyone gets their own level. This ends up being a bit of a mixed bag. Starting with the original three levels we have two that are based around going through a creepy serial killer's murder house and one that is basically a big combat area (as it's during a prison break). The first added level is a junkyard; this level is short but doesn't really feature any horror, other than an occasional victim here and there. Certainly not at the level of what we see in the original levels. The second is a summer camp, and the first half is great; it's exactly the sort of bad shit you'd expect from "serial killer at a summer camp". But once you get past that section you start to explore the area around the summer camp and it turns into a Tomb Raider level, with a ton of mazelike caves and swimming which utterly kills the pacing of the level (and the level design doesn't channel you where you need to go like all the others do). So while the junkyard is boring it's also short, while this one massively overstays its welcome.

A thing to note is the game really doesn't know what to do with its boss fights. There is one prior to the end game sequence; a fight against a giant slug like monster that was also part of the restored content. It is pretty dull, as you just circle strafe to avoid the shots while shooting while relatively close so your auto aim hits him. After that it's just the serial killers and Legion, both of which involve you pulling out the rapid fire weaponry you've collected, unloading it while strafing a bit to dodge what you can, and then when they go into a kneeling state you nail them with your Shadow Gun (required to kill them). The game's movement and aiming just doesn't support a boss fight more interesting than that, so it's a good thing you don't have to deal with them for the majority of the game.

Overall, Shadow Man is a well put together adventure that should be in everyone's N64 collection, especially if you enjoy Metroidvania gameplay. The Remastered edition brings it to PC in a form that controls well (once you get used to a handful of idiosyncrasies) and brings in one really great level and two meh levels that still serve a good purpose of giving everyone their own level. I highly recommend it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:21 am

Awesome review, Popo. Despite owning it for the N64, I wasn’t really interested in that game. I am keenly interested in it now, though.

.....

1. Horace (Switch)
2. Ghostrunner (Switch)
3. Mickey’s Adventure in Numberland (NES)
4. Mickey’s Safari in Letterland (NES)
5. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross (3DS)
7. World of Illusion starring Mickey & Donald (Genesis)
8. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
9. Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
10. Legend of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
11. Portal 2 [co-op] (PS3)
12. Operencia: The Stolen Sun (Switch)
13. The Knight of Queen (Switch)
14. Q.U.B.E. - Director’s Cut (PS3)
15. What the Golf?! (Switch)
16. Prune (iOS)
17. Kenshō (iOS)
18. For the Frog the Bell Tolls (GameBoy)
19. Holedown (iOS)
20. King’s Field (PS1)
21. My Friend Pedro (Switch)
22. MO: Astray (Switch)

The oddly-titled MO: Astray is an action/puzzle platformer where you play as a small blob escaping a ruined space station. The blob can creep along the ground, but it can also leap by aiming the right stick and pressing one of the triggers. The little blob can stick to walls, and you gain additional abilities, such as a double-jump, a dash, etc., as you progress through the game. You can also “possess” enemies (and corpses) by leaping onto their heads, allowing you to move them around a bit and read their memories (for hints and, also, to fill out the game’s lore a bit).

Refreshingly, the game is not a metroidvania, but rather an incredibly well-designed liner platformer. Rather than requiring you to backtrack through the station, the game simply doles out new abilities before throwing a bevy of new obstacles and challenges to test them. The platforming is consistently challenging, and the puzzles are well-designed without being too cryptic. Checkpoints are just frequent enough, and the game’s boss battles are incredibly intense - but fair! - akin to something you would find in a classic Treasure game.

I really cannot stress MO: Astray’s design enough. It really is quite spectacular and a remarkable freshman achievement for the team that designed it. Moreover, it looks great, with some of the best, most-detailed pixel art I’ve seen in some time, and while the game isn’t perfect - the storytelling’s a bit weak, some cutscenes cannot be skipped, some of the secrets are too well-hidden, it’s a bit too gruesome, etc. - it’s pretty close for an indie platformer. I knew the game was supposed to be good when I bought it, but I was still pleasantly surprised by its quality, I really enjoyed this game, and I highly recommend it to all of you.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:17 am

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)
30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)
31. Star Fox Adventures (GC)
32. Atelier Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 (PS1)
33. Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg (GC)
34. Mole Mania (GB)
35. Gargoyle's Quest (GB)

36. Rock Man 4 (Famicom) *

I last played most of the original Mega Man games on the Anniversary Collection on my GameCube when I was much younger, and it's been way too long since I've played them. A friend of mine in the UK asked me to pick her up a few Famicom games, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to indulge in a couple of them before I sent them off to her X3. Rock Man 4 is one such of those games. I didn't remember damn near any of this game, having only played through it once so long ago, but I ended up being quite pleasantly surprised (especially by how much I love the rightfully lauded dog bone-style Famicom controllers I used to play it X3). It took me about 4 hours to complete the Japanese version of the game.

Most Mega Man games don't really have a terribly important narrative, at least in the original series, and this is no exception. The bad guy this time isn't Dr. Wily, but a new evil inventor: Dr. Cossack! Of course it's revealed that Dr. Wily was really behind it all in the first place, but the fact that there's such storytelling at all in a Mega Man game at the time is sorta neat, and it really caught me off guard when text suddenly started appearing on screen once I'd beaten Dr. Cossak XD. It's a neat twist to the formula as it'd been done up to that point, and it sets up the action at play more than well enough.

The action at play is, predictably, Mega Man as it'd been up to that point, but with a bit of a twist. In addition to his dash he gained in Mega Man 3, this is the first game in the series that allowed you to charge your main weapon: the mega buster (or "Rock Buster", as it's called in Japanese). Like the dash, the ability to charge the mega buster is an addition to Mega Man that is pretty divisive among fans on if it's actually a good change, but I at least love it. The mobility and lowered height that the dash gives you combined with this new ability to charge one big shot makes boss fights so much more fun than they were in the past. Instead of it being a choice of a quite hard fight with only your normal pea shooter or demolishing the boss with their weakness, now you have a middle-road option via the charged mega buster. There was only one boss I ended up not fighting with only the mega buster as a result (Dive Man, who was just too hard for me XP), because it was just so much fun fighting them that way.

There are of course eight robot masters to fight, and they're all pretty good fights. My personal favorite was Pharaoh Man, as he makes for a really great fight if you're fighting him with only the charged buster (though I did use their weakness when fighting them in the boss rush. I'm not quite THAT gung ho about it ^^;). The level design is really solid as well, with only really Bright Man being the one I thought had a pretty unfair part or two. It's what you'd expect from a Mega Man game, and it's a very polished version of that experience.

The presentation is again what you'd expect Mega Man 4 to have. The enemy and robot master designs are fun and interesting, and Mega Man himself is as iconic as ever in his traditional 8-bit look. The music is also predictably excellent, with my favorite track being Dive Man's stage. He may be the hardest robot master in this game, but his stage's music is really good~

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This was only the first of what has proven to be quite the dive/re-dive into retro Mega Man stuff, but it was one I enjoyed a lot! It's a very polished experience that brings both old and new together in a really satisfying and fun way. If you've got it on one of the loads of collections its been released on over the years, or can somehow find an original copy, this is absolutely a Mega Man game not worth skipping.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Flake Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:03 pm

January Thru March:
January
Thirteen Sentinels: Aegis Rim (PS4)
Dark Stalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (PSTV)

February

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PS3)
Metroid Prime (Wii)
King of Fighters 14 (PS4)
King of Fighters 2002: Ultimate Match (PS4)
Splatoon 2 (Switch)
Super Mario 3D World (Switch)

March

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Switch)
Bowser's Fury (Switch)
Triggerheart Exelica (Xbox Series S)
Guardian Heroes (Xbox Series S)
Megaman 4 (Xbox Series S)


April

Megaman 2 (Xbox Series S)
Megaman 3 (Xbox Series S)
Megaman (Xbox Series S)
Megaman 5 (Xbox Series S)
Megaman 6 (Xbox Series S)
Disgaea 1: Complete (Switch)
NiGHTS into Dreams HD (Xbox Series S)
Megaman Zero (Switch)


"If you put the Megaman Legacy Collection on a console, Flake will buy it"
- Elkin Esquire, c 1847 (colorized)

That quote pretty much sums it up - if I get a new video game console, I will buy and play through the Megaman games on it. It actually had been quite awhile since I last played through the Megaman Legacy Collection Vol 1 and it was pleasant to be reminded how much great content is in it. The challenge modes, the rewind option, the artwork. Other than a few of the options that came with the old Anniversary Collection, it's pretty perfect. And at a time in my life where I need my games to be simple so that I can clear my mind for a few hours, the Megaman series is perfect. The power of the Xbox Series S also makes the games better!

Disgaea 1: Complete was a lot of fun and I let myself really get invested into it. The main campaign is challenging the first time through but if you're clever and willing to grind a bit, you can really turn the title on its head. This game includes Etna mode which (I think) had never been on a home-console release of Disgaea before. I didn't clear all of the post-game content but I think I got more than my monies worth. Disgaea is always a good time, especially if you need a laugh.

NiGHTS into Dreams HD is low key the reason I've never gotten rid of my PS3. It's wonderful that the game is available on Xbox Series X|S so that I can continue to play it without having to keep a legacy console plugged in. NiGHTS will always have a special place in my heart - I never got to play it back in the day but I would read articles about it and marvel at the integrated features from the Sega Saturn it used like the advanced (for the time) 3D play fields, using the system clock to vary gameplay by season or even day, and the A-Life system. I finally got to play NiGHTS when I was in college and could afford a Saturn. This version of NiGHTS is not perfect - it is missing a lot of the Christmas NiGHTS unlockables like the Sonic: Into Dreams level - but it controls great with the Xbox One/Series controller and the improved resolution makes the game feel just a little less frantic. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to get some Team Sonic love in.

Megaman Zero on the Megaman Zero/ZX Collection is a great time. I'd previously played it on console using the GB Player for my gamecube and a Super Nintendo controller via adaptor but it wasn't the prettiest solution. The cleaned up graphics are great and the Switch Pro Controller feels great for a game with this much action and speed. There are also some great quality of life solutions like auto save locations that make some portions of the game much more enjoyable - even if it does it at the cost of some of the game design like extra lives or HP management. It's a change aimed at people who don't care to S-Rank and just want to hack and slash and blast and it is wonderful. The same fantastic story is in place, too. Megaman Zero's storyline is much more coherent and impactful than the majority of the narrative in the franchise's other sub-series. Zero's return to action in a dystopian future where his best friend has taken over the world still motivates me to keep playing.
Maybe now Nintendo will acknowledge Metroid has a fanbase?
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Ack Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:03 am

1. Frog Detective 2: The Case of the Invisible Wizard (PC)(Adventure)
2. Revulsion (PC)(FPS)
3. Nonogram - Master's Legacy (PC)(Puzzle)
4. Sekiro (PC)(Action-Adventure)
5. Grim Dawn (PC)(Action RPG)
6. Grim Dawn: Ashes of Malmouth (PC)(Action RPG)
7. Grim Dawn: Forgotten Gods (PC)(Action RPG)

8. Viscera Cleanup Detail: Santa's Rampage (PC)(FPS)
9. Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior (PC)(FPS)
10. Shrine (PC)(FPS)
11. Record of Lodoss War - Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (PC)(Adventure)
12. Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone (PC)(Action)
13. Red Alliance (PC)(FPS)

Red Alliance is a Russian indie first person shooter clearly developed from Half-Life 2 assets. It tells the story of an unnamed everyman working as a rebel in an authoritarian government. Unfortunately, he gets arrested and subjected to mind control experiments that fail. Tossed into prison to rot after the experiment, he ends up escaping, joining back up with the rebels, and taking down the mad scientist who has since gone rogue and begun experimenting on both sides of the conflict.

We don't play FPS for plot, and this one is generic. It's also not the best English dub I have ever heard, but it's serviceable. Most important is that it's Half-Life 2 at its core, so the gunplay is solid. The shotguns feel good, the pistols are accurate, the explosives go boom, and while the assault rifles have a bit more kick than I like, they still can mow down guys with some well placed headshots.

There is also a variety of weapons, and they occupy specific numeric slots. For example, shotguns and sniper rifles take up the same slot, so you can only have one at a time. Assault rifles may use different ammo, so you might grab something that you have a lot of...or not. Keep in mind some of the rarer weapons also have nice features, like silencers, but they may not have a lot of ammo available, so it's best to keep strategy in mind.

The game features a few stealth sections, though stealth is not required if you prefer to play loud. There is also a tonal shift midway through where things become more horror focused. There are also subtle references to S.T.A.L.K.E.R., so the devs had good taste. Unfortunately, there are some moments of heavy reliance on jump scares and spawning enemies in right behind the player, but at other times the horror experience incorporates a puzzle vibe while keeping the player on their toes. Between this, the stealth, the gunfights, and even a driving section, the game offers a variety of gameplay styles to make things interesting.

Overall, it's not a bad game. While not everything is fantastic, the general experience is fun and interesting. It's a poor man's Half-Life 2, but HL2 was a great experience, and I am always willing to give indie devs the benefit of the doubt. Not a bad pickup if you're interested in the more obscure FPS games on Steam.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:49 am

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)
30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)
31. Star Fox Adventures (GC)
32. Atelier Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 (PS1)
33. Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg (GC)
34. Mole Mania (GB)
35. Gargoyle's Quest (GB)
36. Rock Man 4 (Famicom) *

37. Wai Wai World (Famicom)

This is a game I've known about for ages, but only got a proper look at a little while before I ended up buying it when I caught an episode of GCCX it was on. I then luckily managed to find one being sold in my town, and was super excited to finally give it a go. It definitely wasn't what I thought it'd be, given that it was a Konami game released in 1988, but that was more often a good thing than a bad thing XD. It took me around four hours to beat the game on the original hardware.

The world is under threat from the evil alien Waruda, and he's locked up just about all the Konami heroes that could stop him! But fear not, as Dr. Cinnamon has a plan to save it! Enlisting the help of Konami Man and Konami Lady (as this game has co-op play~), he uses his teleportation machine to get them to where they need to go so they can save all the captured heroes to finally take down Waruda once and for all. This is in a certain respect an adventure game, but the story is all just silly fun to enable the crossover goodness, and I'm all good with that~.

The gameplay involves you going to several side-scrolling worlds to rescue the Konami hero trapped in each. You start with Konami Man and Konami Lady, but you'll eventually come to rescue Ganbare Goemon, Simon Belmont, Getsu Fuma (from a Japan-only Konami RPG of the same name), Mikey (from the Goonies), a walking Moai head from Gradius, and even King Kong (who Konami also made a game or two about). Each character has their own method of attacking, as well as nominally different attack, defense, and speed values.

You can pick from any of the first six stages, but there is actually an order you have to play them in due to the Metroid-like style the game is put together. The levels are often fairly linear with some limited branching paths, but each character has an attribute or ability special to them that will allow you to progress through a certain other character's stage. For example, King Kong can jump higher than any other character, so only he can get over the relatively high wall blocking progress the hell stage that Getsu Fuma is hidden at the end of. Each character has their own normal attack, but each also has a projectile weapon that can be found hiding somewhere (almost always in their own stage), but the thing is that they themselves must pick it up. There are even some passive pick ups that effect everyone, like boosting your attack or defense permanently. The game also has some interesting but ultimately effective ways to control all of these characters and weapons with only two buttons. You press up and jump to change character outside of the pause menu, and down and jump to change from melee to ranged weaponry and back. It can get a bit confused at times, but it all works pretty darn well in the end.

Though the main way this isn't the typical Konami game from this era is in its relatively fairly challenging (as opposed to frustratingly difficult) difficulty, there are absolutely annoying, janky things about it in places. For starters, each character only gets one "life" at a time, so if Goemon jumps down a pit and dies, you'll need to play as someone else until you can bring him back. Meaning if he dies before he gets an item only he can have, you gotta exit and come back to try again. This can be extra annoying if the only character who can actually progress through a roadblock in the current area dies, as then you're basically forced to game over and continue to progress.

When you continue, you return to only Konami Man and Konami Lady alive back at Dr. Cinnamon's base, where you can revive dead characters at any time. However, it costs 100 ammunition to bring characters back from the dead, and having to grind out 600 bullets (at five at a time) even from safe, easy grinding spots takes a while and is just so annoying. Especially given that this game is far from easy, it's just not so hard compared to other Konami games from time. It's not a deal-breaker, and the game does have an eleven-character password system you can use if you don't mind going back to before the things you just did at the cost of having whoever was alive then back again, but it's still an unfortunate annoyance that really doesn't respect the player's time.

The presentation are really nice. The levels all look very different from one another, and the characters sprites are all well designed, if a bit simply animated. What's both cool and unfortunate is that the stages themselves don't usually have music. Instead, the characters have their own music, almost always an upbeat iconic tune from the series they're from (for example, Simon has the Vampire Killer theme). Thankfully, it's all good music that's well mixed here, but it's an odd quirk nonetheless.

Verdict: Recommended. It's got some annoyances in its design, but Wai Wai World is overall a very surprisingly solid and well-balanced game, particularly for when it came out. It isn't a particularly expensive import, and it's also not a game where text is all that important either, so there isn't much of a language barrier if you're willing to stumble through the dialogue sequences you gotta do to get your passwords and revive people. If you want a more linear Metroid-like NES game with the difficulty balancing of a Mega Man-type game, you'll likely find a lot to enjoy with this game.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by PartridgeSenpai Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:09 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
* indicates a repeat

1. Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3)
2. Portal 2 (PC) *
3. Atelier Judie: The Alchemist of Gramnad (PS2)
4. Pipo Saru 2001 (PS2)
5. Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon (N64)
6. Atelier Viorate: The Alchemist of Gramnad 2 (PS2)
7. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SFC)
8. The Legend of Mystical Ninja (SFC)
9. Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg (PS1)
10. Ganbare Goemon 2 (SFC)
11. Paper Mario: Origami King (Switch)
12. Star Fox 64 (N64) *
13. Super Paper Mario (Wii) *
14. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GC) *
15. Demon's Crest (SNES)
16. Cathedral (Switch)
17. Super Mario 3D World (Switch) *
18. Bowser's Fury (Switch)
19. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch)
20. moon (Switch)
21. Casltevania 64 (N64)
22. Captain Rainbow (Wii)
23. Doraemon: Nobita To Mittsu No Seireiseki (N64)
24. Blast Corps (N64)
25. Doraemon 2: Nobita To Hikari No Shinden (N64)
26. Custom Robo (N64)
27. Doraemon 3: Nobita No Machi SOS! (N64)
28. 64 Trump Collection: Alice No Wakuwaku Trump World (N64)
29. The Sunken City (PS4)
30. Lair of the Clockwork God (Switch)
31. Star Fox Adventures (GC)
32. Atelier Elie: The Alchemist of Salburg 2 (PS1)
33. Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg (GC)
34. Mole Mania (GB)
35. Gargoyle's Quest (GB)
36. Rock Man 4 (Famicom) *
37. Wai Wai World (Famicom)

38. Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge (GB)

The only GB Mega Man game I owned as a kid was the second one, and I remember quite liking it. In my most recent Mega Man marathon craze, I thought it was about time I give some time to the other GB Mega Man games, and I picked up the first one to finally give it a go. It took me about 3 hours to complete the Japanese version of the game on my GameBoy Player.

The plot is very standard Mega Man, even for Mega Man. Dr. Wily wasn't actually defeated even though you thought he was, so you'll need to go back and defeat the four old robot masters he's reconstructed to put him away "once and for good" (I'm sure we'll get him this time, everyone ;b). This being a GameBoy game, it is in more of a GB-sized package in not just literal format but in gameplay as well.

Unlike the NES counterparts, there are only four robot masters to select from at the start. Even though this game started development and was released after Mega Man 3, there are four stages containing bosses from Mega Man 1 which you can pick from at the start. Though the bosses themselves are ones you've seen before, their stages are totally new, and even their patterns can be quite different. I often found the bosses here to be re-balanced in a way that made them much more enjoyable fights than the NES games, particularly Ice Man and Fire Man. Of course, after those four main stages, you have a handful of Dr. Wily stages containing their own bosses, but instead of a boss rush of bosses you've already fought, it's four more bosses from Mega Man 2. Though these fellows don't have their own stages, they do grant their powers after defeating them, and they also are followed by this game's sole unique robot master, Enker, who also gives his own special power after being defeated. Overall, the bosses are pretty darn solid, and I really liked the reworks they received to make them make more sense on a GB-sized resolution.

The stages are generally pretty well designed and fun, but damn are they hard. Despite coming out after Mega Man 3, you have no special platforming tools or E-tanks to aid you in this adventure. Some stages, particularly that five-boss Wily stage at the end, are really damn tough to do with only three lives, even fighting bosses with their weaknesses. This is easily one of the hardest games in the series that I've played. The game also doesn't have the best difficulty curve, with some robot master stages being quite significantly harder than others. It's not quite Rock Man 2 levels of hard, but it's not gonna be easy to get to Dr. Wily at the end. This has to do not just with the aforementioned lack of help devices, but also with the GB's natural resolution. In order to get that same look the NES games have, Mega Man is quite big on screen. The stages are generally designed around this, but stages and boss fights can still quite often feel cramped.

The presentation is quite nice, if nothing really unexpected. The large sprites look right out of the NES game, and are very pretty on the GB screen. The framerate manages to be quite stable and solid too, thankfully. Although there isn't much new designed for this game, what is there looks pretty too, and Enker is a robot master as faithful as any. The music is largely recycled tunes from the NES games, but that isn't really a bad thing. Good music is still good music, although on that note, it's a shame that a lot of it is from Mega Man 1, as that game has a decidedly weaker soundtrack than its two immediate sequels.

Verdict: Recommended. This is a really solidly done portable version of Mega Man. The difficulty and slight areas that need design polish are really the only things that makes it at all difficult to recommend. If you're a Mega Man fan, this is definitely a game you should pick up, especially given that it's only a few bucks on the 3DS Virtual Console, and a relatively cheap game to acquire physically.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by prfsnl_gmr Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:41 am

1. Horace (Switch)
2. Ghostrunner (Switch)
3. Mickey’s Adventure in Numberland (NES)
4. Mickey’s Safari in Letterland (NES)
5. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross (3DS)
7. World of Illusion starring Mickey & Donald (Genesis)
8. Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
9. Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
10. Legend of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse (Game Gear)
11. Portal 2 [co-op] (PS3)
12. Operencia: The Stolen Sun (Switch)
13. The Knight of Queen (Switch)
14. Q.U.B.E. - Director’s Cut (PS3)
15. What the Golf?! (Switch)
16. Prune (iOS)
17. Kenshō (iOS)
18. For the Frog the Bell Tolls (GameBoy)
19. Holedown (iOS)
20. King’s Field (PS1)
21. My Friend Pedro (Switch)
22. MO: Astray (Switch)
23. EQI (Switch)

EQI is a psychedelic first-person puzzle-platformer with a great vaporwave soundtrack. In each of its 20 stages, you will see a faint line representing the stage’s axis. Pressing one of the triggers will rotate the stage clockwise or counterclockwise around the axis. Gravity is consistent regardless of how you rotate the stage, and completing each stage requires you to rotate the stage to create a safe pathway to the exit. While there are some puzzle elements, the game leans heavy on platforming, with some of the later levels reminding me of bonus stages from Super Mario 3D World (but from a first-person perspective). The biggest difference being that, like a Castlevania game, you can’t change direction in mid-air; so, you really have to commit to your jumps. Moreover, momentum matters a lot, with a few levels requiring you to rotate the level in a way that “throws” you from one platform to the next.

Despite really liking the game, I do have two complaints. First, the physics felt inconsistent, and even at the end, I had trouble controlling the my jumps. Sometimes, I’d just hop a bit, and sometimes I’d fly across the stage. Momentum associated with the moving platforms probably had something to do with it, but it nonetheless felt unpredictable. Second, the game is incredibly short. You can beat it in 1-2 hours, and with some practice, I suspect someone could speed run it in 15 minutes. I like short games, but I think the developer could have doubled the length (and fleshed out some ideas) without the game overstaying it’s welcome.

That said, the game is only $5 (and on sale for $2.50 at the time of this review); so, I can’t complain too much about the length. Moreover, it is just a cool game that would be worth playing for the mysterious atmosphere and excellent soundtrack alone. The last puzzle’s setting is particularly cool (if a bit annoying) and hints at much broader mysteries. (Maybe? The game has no explicit story at all.)

I am really excited to see what this clearly talented developer does in the future, and I encourage anyone even slightly interested in the game to check it out. Despite the short length, it’s a bargain at $5 and a steal at $2.50.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:50 pm

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

1. EYE: Divine Cybermancy - PC
2. Legend of Grimrock - PC
3. Legend of Grimrock 2 - PC
4. Shovel Knight - Wii U
5. Yakuza: Like a Dragon - PS4
6. Yoshi's Island - SNES
7. Vectorman 2 - Genesis
8. Super Mario Sunshine - GC
9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest - GC
10. Bomberman '93 - TG-16
11. Cannon Fodder - PC
12. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn
13. Dragonborne - Game Boy
14. Rock n' Roll Racing - PC
15. The Lost Vikings - PC
16. Blackthorne - PC
17. Contra III: The Alien Wars - SNES
18. Bravely Default II - Switch
19. Axelay - SNES
20. Ryse: Son of Rome - XBOne
21. Killer Instinct (2013) - XBOne
22. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition - PC
23. Thief: The Dark Project - PC
24. Killer Instinct - XBOne
25. Killer instinct 2 - XBOne
26. Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth - PC
27. Thief 2: The Metal Age - PC
28. Wing Commander II - PC
29. Wing Commander III - PC
30. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - Switch
31. Shadow Man Remastered - PC
32. Wing Commander: Privateer - PC

Wing Commander: Privateer is a side entry in the Wing Commander series; instead of being a recreation of the WWII Pacific Theater it's Origin doing their own version of the classic game Elite. You're a private pilot trying to make a buck in the frontier of human space. You can trade cargo, take on missions, become a pirate, or follow the plot. But don't do that last one until you've maxed out your ship doing the first two (definitely don't do the third one, the rewards are almost non-existent).

The game features the best version of the 2D Wing Commander engine. It plays butter smooth and the enemy ships have far more angles drawn so they move much more naturalistically. Combine with a larger cockpit window and you have the most playable of the 2D Wing Commander games. Except for the whole "we kept in asteroid fields and loved to toss them around jump points that the plot sends you through."

As mentioned, the game has a plot, unlike some other space trading games. It's kinda hard to stumble upon if you don't know how to find it, as it requires you going to a specific system and going into the bar. Thing is, the game doesn't really give you reasons to go to the bar in general, as the bartender's "rumors" are awful and there's nothing else going on there. But once you find the plot you'll discover it is extremely padded. The actual plotline is a guy hires you for a mission, gives you an alien artifact as collateral, you then see three different people trying to find out what it is, finally find a fourth guy who knows and sends you to get an alien gun, the gun gets a probe to chase you, and you blow up the probe. But almost all of those plot points is wrapped in "I won't help you until you do four missions for me". What's worse is that the game balance is such that trying to do the plot without the best ship fully kitted out is a good way to get killed, which means the plot, while giving you a good amount of money, is giving you no real rewards; you have nothing left to buy.

One other thing that sets the game apart from the mainline series is the focus on humans. The factions you run into are militia, military, free traders, pirates, bounty hunters, and religious nutjobs. And every so often some Kilrathi. As a result you will be flying against different ships than you do in the mainline games, and for the most part they aren't as threatening as what you might be used to. Meanwhile a fully kitted out Centurion isn't too far off from a heavy fighter in the mainline series; fast, armored, good guns and missiles.

The game is overall kinda rough; as mentioned the plot is thin and padded and they got too happy with the asteroids. They also didn't get the balance right. Not only do you need to be fully kitted out for the plot, the game's economy is such that you'll do so in the very first system. Trading can earn you maybe 30 credits per unit on a trade route with a 225 cargo bay on the best trade ship. Meanwhile you can take a mission to visit five waypoints and afterburner past any enemies and earn 10k. And you can stack that mission with a second patrol over the same waypoints (if you're lucky) or just a couple of scout missions to a single waypoint you're already visiting, making that by far the fastest way to make cash. So while the game as a lot to do, for the most part there's not a lot compelling you to do so.

Fortunately, the game isn't terribly long and is definitely the easiest of the 2D games. So if you're interested in experiencing the 2D era of Wing Commander this might be the most approachable.
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