Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
User avatar
Note
128-bit
 
Posts: 687
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:39 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Note Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:34 am

1. Golden Axe II (GEN)
2. Time Crisis [Special Mode] (PS1)
3. Streets of Rage (GEN)
4. Time Crisis: Project Titan (PS1)
5. Rayman Origins (360)
6. Borderlands (360)
7. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch)*
8. King of Dragons (SNES)
9. Wild Guns (SNES)
10. Star Fox (SNES)
11. Guardian Heroes (SAT) [2x]*
12. World of Illusion (GEN)
13. Raiden Fighters Jet (360)
14. Raiden Fighters 2: Operation Hell Dive (360)*
15. Streets of Rage 3 (GEN)
16. Street Fighter III: Third Strike (Xbox)*
17. Mushihimesama Futari (360)
18. Guwange (360)
19. Star Fox 64 (N64)*
20. Soul Calibur (DC)*
21. Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition (GEN)
22. Xeno Crisis (GEN)

Image

23. Galactic Attack (SAT)

I originally played the shooter Galactic Attack (aka Layer Section on the JP Saturn aka Ray Force in the arcades) through a Saturn emulator about two years ago and immediately was really into the game. After just playing through the first level or two I was really into the graphic style, the mechanics, and the awesome soundtrack. Needless to say, I was excited to come across a copy in good condition earlier this year.

Regarding the game mechanics, this shooter is unique in the fact that you don't get a screen clearing bomb, instead you have the ability to lock onto multiple targets on the ground and bomb them. However, if you're not fast enough or don't lock onto the targets in time, they can eventually move into your immediate area, making your path through the level tougher. Like most other space shooters, you have the ability to upgrade your standard laser. Another feature I like about this game is that rapid fire is a given, so you don't have to constantly press the fire button. For those that are new to the shmup genre or not great at the games (like myself), I think this is a good choice on this console, as the mechanics are straight forward, and there's no complex scoring system involving combos or bullet dodging, just destroy everything in your way!

The Saturn was a 2D powerhouse, and this is a good example of the great 2D graphics the console could produce. Your ship and the enemies are all well detailed, also the boss sprites in some areas are huge and well designed IMO. The background in the first level or two in space look good, but I think the later levels have much more impressive background graphics. Especially when you reach the mountain/forest and the cityscape areas, I have to admit I was pretty blown away by that section of the game. The soundtrack to this title is really great and reminds me of some of the music in late 80's anime. The score was composed by Tamayo Kawamoto of Zuntata, the in-house band that worked on the music for many of Taito's games.

The only gripe I have with the game is that I feel like your ship's sprite is a bit large in Galactic Attack in comparison to a lot of titles in the genre, and your hitbox seems a bit big. It took me some time to get used to that. It doesn't take away from the game, but just something I had to adjust to.

If you're a fan of the shooter genre or curious about it, I think Galactic Attack is a great game to put time into. There is also a co-op mode, which is a fun feature as I feel like it can be uncommon for this style of game. I haven't had a chance to try it out in co-op just yet, but would love to down the line. I highly recommend Galactic Attack on the Saturn!
User avatar
Note
128-bit
 
Posts: 687
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:39 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Note Sun Aug 15, 2021 12:41 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Great review, Note! I have that game on my Switch “want” list, and your review really piqued my interest in it.


Thanks, prfsnl! I definitely think it's worth a purchase, but it's a tough game. Fair warning! Lol.
User avatar
marurun
Moderator
 
Posts: 10881
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 8:51 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by marurun Sun Aug 15, 2021 3:24 pm

Galactic Attack has one scoring trick: locking-on to your max number of targets before firing gives you more points that firing the lock-ons as soon as you’ve locked onto a single enemy.
Dope Pope on a Rope
B/S/T thread
My Classic Games Collection
My Steam Profile
The PC Engine Software Bible Forum, with Shoutbox chat - the new Internet home for PC Engine fandom.
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 23472
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:08 pm

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

First 50:
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
33. Salt and Sanctuary - Switch
34. The Elder Scrolls: Arena - PC
35. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall - PC
36. Resident Evil Village - PC
37. SaGa Frontier Remastered - Switch
38. Metaloid: Origin - Switch
39. SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions - Switch
40. Metro Exodus: The Two Colonels - PC
41. Metro Exodus: Sam's Story - PC
42. Panzer Paladin - Switch
43. Returnal - PS5
44. Dark Void Zero - DSiWare
45. Panzer Dragoon Saga - Saturn
46. Magic Knight Rayearth - Saturn
47. Cathedral - Switch
48. Final Fantasy VII Remake: INTERmission - PS5
49. Eterium - PC
50. A Street Cat's Tale - Switch

51. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling - Switch
52. Banner of the Maid - Switch
53. CrossCode - Switch
54. Total Annihilation: The Core Contingency - PC
55. Ultima Underworld - PC
56. Betrayal at Krondor - PC
57. Assassin's Creed: Origins - PC
58. Axiom Verge 2 - Switch
59. Elderborn - PC

Elderborn is a first person melee combat game that takes some mechanics and a boss from Dark Souls, but importantly does not take its difficulty. Instead it is more of a boomer shooter power fantasy game that fits into the short but sweet category. The devs might have been able to squeeze out another hour or so of gameplay, but beyond that it would become very samey and I think they recognized that and paced things appropriately.

There's not much story; a cataclysm hit Earth, then the survivors made a cool city, then became dicks, then got overthrown but no one came out of the city. Now your village has a yearly tournament to send a champion to try and break into the city, because rumor has it they found the secret to eternal life. You are this year's champion, and begin your journey in the catacombs that serve as the only entrance to the city.

The game features five types of weapons, with two individual ones for each type. One handed swords are your all rounders; good speed and damage and can block. Spears are slightly less damage than swords with more range and slightly faster attacks, and they can parry. Two handed maces are your slow and heavy beaters that can bash through shields and are used for blocking. Dual knives have the best attack speed and can parry, with the most variance in how the two kinds handle. Finally, greatswords are similarly heavy but have more reach with their heavy attacks than the maces, and they can be used for blocking. Blocking prevents attack damage, though some attacks are unblockable. Parrying must be timed but leaves enemies open to a counter attack (and with an upgrade can reflect projectiles), but some attacks cannot be parried. In practice parrying is the better mechanic, as enemy attacks are highly telegraphed and the damage boost is huge on a counter attack. You also have a short range dash that can be used to get you out of range of enemy attacks and has a very small amount of invincibility; you won't be using it to roll through enemy attacks like in Dark Souls.

Killing enemies gives you essence, and when it's full you can trade it in for a skill point you can allocate to damage, speed, or health. When you've invested 5, 12, and 20 points in a skill you can get a bonus feat; you choose from one of two for the first two and then can unlock a third one at 20. All of these are active abilities that you will roll into your toolbox for dealing with enemies. All are useful, but none are necessary, so build your character how you like. If you die you will respawn at the last fountain you activated and drop your essence at the spot you died. You also need to be at a fountain to allocate your skill points. You have the option of resting at an activated fountain; this will respawn all enemies and refill your three health vials. Health vials take a couple seconds to use but heal you to full, and they slowly refill as you kill enemies. Also, like Bloodborne when you take a hit you have a chance to regain the lost health by hitting enemies (though subsequent hits or waiting too long will lock in the health loss, and there's a minor amount of lost health on every hit that cannot be recovered). This leads to an overall gameplay the rewards aggressiveness and keeps you going, rather than trying to play things super safe.

The game is divided into three chapters, each with a different feeling. The first features weaker enemies that have simple attack patterns and a series of tunnels that funnel you in the correct direction as you snake through and backtrack while unlocking the way to eventually get to the city. This allows you to get your footing with the game's systems and slowly introduces more interesting enemies. The boss of act one is a big guy with a sword and a ton of health; if you've gotten comfortable with parrying you can use it to great effect here, as well as just getting him into AI loops. The second act is a more open hub where you need to activate three towers and collect the key item at the top of each. You have some freedom in how you explore the three zones, but once you've picked one you're generally locked in to that zone until you've completed it. Here the enemies have more health and far more combat options. You need to approach fights more careful, rather than smashing your way through hordes of weak guys. But as you get comfortable with what they can do the power fantasy reasserts itself. This is the point where you start to get the really good weapons, and they serve as a noticeable improvement over what you had before. The boss of act two is Ornstein and Smough; I'm not making a joke here, it's literally a slow fat guy and a small fast girl and whoever you kill first powers up the other one. However, by this point you should have become very adept at parrying and they have less combined health than the act one boss, so you shouldn't have too much trouble (not to mention not having a stamina system means it is MUCH easier to dodge them than in Dark Souls). The third act is a series of combat arenas with no boss. These are weighted more towards the first act's enemies and give you a chance to indulge in some crushing your enemies before you and hearing the lamentations of their women. There is no act three boss, which is a bit of a disappointment.

Elderborn is a game that gives you a fairly simple set of tools and then does a good job of building up enemies that encourage you to use all the tools at your disposal to deal with the enemies you face. It wants you to feel like a badass barbarian warrior and succeeds brilliantly at it. It also is smart enough to wrap things up before you reach the point of becoming bored because you've mastered everything. Highly recommended for people who enjoy boomer shooter feelings but want to try something on the melee side of things.
Image
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
Ack
Moderator
 
Posts: 21854
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Ack Mon Aug 16, 2021 1:37 pm

Now turn it around and go for Iron Man mode, Popo.
Image
Image
I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
User avatar
TristanX
8-bit
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:24 pm
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by TristanX Mon Aug 16, 2021 1:55 pm

A lot less active in gaming, Just finished 2.

Trials of Mana (PC)
DJMax Respect V Estimate DLC all tracks (PC)

Starting to clear backlog games since now I have some free time.
Play with the best or lose like the rest.
Image
Image
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 23472
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:14 am

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

First 50:
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
33. Salt and Sanctuary - Switch
34. The Elder Scrolls: Arena - PC
35. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall - PC
36. Resident Evil Village - PC
37. SaGa Frontier Remastered - Switch
38. Metaloid: Origin - Switch
39. SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions - Switch
40. Metro Exodus: The Two Colonels - PC
41. Metro Exodus: Sam's Story - PC
42. Panzer Paladin - Switch
43. Returnal - PS5
44. Dark Void Zero - DSiWare
45. Panzer Dragoon Saga - Saturn
46. Magic Knight Rayearth - Saturn
47. Cathedral - Switch
48. Final Fantasy VII Remake: INTERmission - PS5
49. Eterium - PC
50. A Street Cat's Tale - Switch

51. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling - Switch
52. Banner of the Maid - Switch
53. CrossCode - Switch
54. Total Annihilation: The Core Contingency - PC
55. Ultima Underworld - PC
56. Betrayal at Krondor - PC
57. Assassin's Creed: Origins - PC
58. Axiom Verge 2 - Switch
59. Elderborn - PC
60. Hellbound - PC

Hellbound is an indie boomer shooter that can be summed up in one sentence: the first episode of Doom in a 3D engine. The game makes absolutely no secret of its influences, and while it is overall inoffensive it also just lacks that certain je ne se quais that the enduring titles have.

The game consists of eight levels, with the last one being a boss fight. It's your pretty standard mixture of blasting through enemies, collecting keys, and getting to the end trigger. And it's all pretty much Doom. Your weapons consist of fists, a club (better melee), a semi automatic rifle (pistol), triple shotgun, minigun, and rocket launcher. All the weapons have a secondary fire, though the rifle and minigun is just an aim down sights that doesn't really zoom any and is utterly pointless. The melee weapons do a bit more damage but slower, the shotgun unloads all three barrels, and the rocket launcher launches grenades which are never useful. So a pretty underutilized feature overall.

On the enemy side you have pistol dude, shotgun dude, minigun dude (thank god it's not hitscan), and budget imp as your obvious Doom enemies. The stuff that isn't one-to-one are a club dude, rocket launcher dude, a pinky replacement that can leap at you, and a floating guy who teleports and is like a hellish cacodemon. The final boss is a big slow guy who spawns three waves of enemies which actually serve as the difficulty; once a wave is down he won't spawn the next until his health is lowered by a certain amount, and when it's just him he is piss easy to dodge (and would have been piss easy to dodge using the original Doom control scheme of keyboard only).

As mentioned, the game has a proper 3D engine, and this shows up in the level design with a bit of jumping stuff. The rest is just room over room stuff that could have been done just as easily by making levels wider. There are two instances where the game also has a combat area section. The first is a narrow confines one that serves as a bit of a preview of the last boss, while the second is a wide open one that the game even tells you what it's referencing by having the main character go "It's time to get Serious" as you approach it. The levels are decent enough, though the designer is a bit too in love with spawning monsters rather than pre-placing them or using actual closets (not to mention spawns from behind) and a couple are longer than they should be.

One thing to mention is that the game suffers from a bug around mouse buttons where it random decides not to have them register. This is bad enough for normal people when they can't fire, but it was doubly bad for me because I use right click for move forward. I definitely took damage and some deaths because of that (and I'm not the only one). Overall it's a game that lacks the soul of Doom while having the basic trappings, so it'll probably leave you feeling like you should have just played Doom instead. It doesn't really bring anything new to the table. But if it's on sale for a few bucks it's probably worth those few bucks.
Image
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
Ack
Moderator
 
Posts: 21854
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Ack Tue Aug 17, 2021 9:38 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)
14. The Forest (PC)(Horror)
15. Pixel Puzzles: Japan (PC)(Puzzle)
16. 12 is Better Than 6 (PC)(Top Down Shooter)
17. Torchlight II (PC)(RPG)

18. An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire (PC)(RPG)
19. Port of Call (PC)(Walking Sim)

20. NeonCode (PC)(Walking Sim)
21. Carrion (PC)(Adventure)
22. Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist (PC)(Walking Sim)
23. Helltaker (PC)(Puzzle)
24. Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr (PC)(RPG)

25. Castlevania: Bloodlines (Switch)(Platformer)
26. Treachery in Beatdown City (Switch)(RPG)
27. Zeno Clash (PC)(Action)
28. Borderlands: Enhanced Edition (PC)(FPS/RPG)

With the release of Borderlands 3, Gearbox decided to go back to the first in the series and give it a few enhancements to update it along the lines of Borderlands 2. Most of the changes were aesthetic: 4k resolution and HDR support, character customization options that had previously been lacking, a mini-map similar to later games, etc. With these adjustments, I thought it would be a good idea to go back and try it out again. It's been years since I played through Borderlands, so I felt it was time to revisit.

Not much else has changed from my memories, both for good and ill. I recalled the original game being drab, and yeah, it's a very brown world with occasional bits of color, but only bits. It might look more impressive than it used to, but it's still a world from a 2009 video game release, and it looks like it. Despite the upgrades, it feels dated in comparison to later entries based solely on the color palette, though thankfully the Enhanced Edition includes the expansions which shook things up a little. Expect mud, dirt, and trash, with undertones of more mud, dirt, and trash.

As for the gameplay, it does change a little depending on character, but you're running around with a gun and grenades, shooting enemies and taking loot. More loot means better guns for killing more enemies for levels up and better loot. Roland the Soldier was always my preferred character, and I once again chose him for my playthrough, and yeah, my memories on how to build him hold up: build him into a monster that gets overpowered when he kills a single enemy and then mows everything down while regenerating ammo. His special power turret is there as a distraction, but Roland is the real threat, a hybrid of how the later Soldier and Gunzerker characters would play in Borderlands 2.

There are also some dated frustrations, like the lack of a bank or storage system. The bank is fine, since money lost on death is a means to try and stop the player from going full suicidal, but a storage system would have been a fantastic addition. Instead, items you want to hold onto take up valuable inventory space, and even when the inventory size is maxed out, it's a looter shooter; it's supposed to be for loot, dang it! In general this is the one enhancement that I feel the original game really sorely lacks. As much as I appreciate the character enhancements that the sequel brought, they're not necessary in the way storage is.

Yes, the core game isn't really changed despite the prettier, or "prettier" if you don't like brown, visual options. If you want to play the game today for the first time, the Enhanced Edition is probably the best way to go, as the additions are improvements to help tweak some of the dated visuals, but the game is still pretty dated compared to its sequels.

And Roland is still the best character.
Image
Image
I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 23472
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Wed Aug 18, 2021 12:22 am

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

First 50:
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
33. Salt and Sanctuary - Switch
34. The Elder Scrolls: Arena - PC
35. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall - PC
36. Resident Evil Village - PC
37. SaGa Frontier Remastered - Switch
38. Metaloid: Origin - Switch
39. SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions - Switch
40. Metro Exodus: The Two Colonels - PC
41. Metro Exodus: Sam's Story - PC
42. Panzer Paladin - Switch
43. Returnal - PS5
44. Dark Void Zero - DSiWare
45. Panzer Dragoon Saga - Saturn
46. Magic Knight Rayearth - Saturn
47. Cathedral - Switch
48. Final Fantasy VII Remake: INTERmission - PS5
49. Eterium - PC
50. A Street Cat's Tale - Switch

51. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling - Switch
52. Banner of the Maid - Switch
53. CrossCode - Switch
54. Total Annihilation: The Core Contingency - PC
55. Ultima Underworld - PC
56. Betrayal at Krondor - PC
57. Assassin's Creed: Origins - PC
58. Axiom Verge 2 - Switch
59. Elderborn - PC
60. Hellbound - PC
61. Wargroove - Switch

Wargroove is a turn-based strategy war game that takes a lot of cues from Advance Wars, but in a fantasy setting instead of a modern military setting. It does make several small changes to the formula to be its own thing, but in the process produces an experience that is far lesser than its inspiration and shows just how tricky it is to develop a satisfying experience in this genre.

The game begins by taking Advance Wars; you gain gold every turn from structures, can build units at bases, you have land, air, and sea units, and units do damage in a bit of a range (so enemies can survive a near lethal hit if you roll a bit low). Taking out the enemy HQ is a standard victory condition (some campaign maps have alternate ones). So now let's talk about differences. The first is that each side gets a named commander unit; this unit is quite powerful and counts as infantry for the purposes of interacting with structures. As your commander engages in combat you build up a meter, and when it's full you can use your Groove power (akin to CO powers). These will be some effect that emanates from your commander; it could be an area heal, putting down a defensive boost crystal, or summoning a weak unit that can immediately move. Different powers charge at different rates. Killing the enemy commander is the other standard victory condition.

However, this is the only way that sides are differentiated. Unlike Advance Wars the different commanders provide no other bonus/penalty to their army. This ends up drastically reducing the depth of strategy, as your capabilities are identical. This also makes the standard campaign "the enemy is far more built up than you" scenario much trickier because you don't have the ability to lean into your strengths like you can in Advance Wars. Many maps will come down to you capturing a key structure or choke point at the right moment; if you don't you'll be buried under the enemy's material advantage. This frequently requires you to be aggressive with your commander, which is a double edged sword. While they are powerful and their Grooves can turn the tide, the enemy also is smart enough to swarm it. A bit of inattention and the map goes right in the toilet. Fortunately, commanders do heal 1 per turn.

The way structures work has also been changed. While infantry are still the only units that can capture structures, now non-neutral ones have to first be taken down. Each structure has the same 10 health as a unit, regenerating 1 per turn. They have the ability to counterattack against adjacent units (but cannot initiate attacks) and have fairly high defense, so you first have to batter them down before sending in an infantry. Upon capture the structure has HP equal to half the HP of the capturing unit. This can lead into a cycle of enemies knocking down a structure and you recapturing it, which is nice when you end up locking down a powerful enemy unit. This also means that infantry end up being deemphasized, as you can ruin the enemy's economy with your big units taking out structures, even if you aren't also capturing them yourself. Overall I didn't care for this change in mechanic; it's different for the sake of different and once you have some decent units it doesn't actually slow down your ability to deal with structures compared to Advance Wars.

One of the things that really bothered me as the game went on was the size of the maps. On average the campaign in Wargroove features bigger maps than Advance Wars, and when you factor in the additional ways to lose and the symmetrical sides (when the enemy isn't higher on the tech tree than you) you end up having some real frustration ahead of you; a bad turn can completely undo all the work you went through. If you're lucky, like I was in one late game mission, it'll merely massively push back the number of turns it takes to finish the already long map. If you're unlucky you get to start things over.

Finally, I was very put off by the tone of the cutscenes in the game. The game has some nicely animated sprite work, but the cutscenes involve a lot of exaggerated movements, hammy written dialog, and the same handful of single word utterances that frequently aren't delivered in a tone that matches what's going on in the scene. The whole thing comes off as very silly in a bad way.

Overall I found Wargroove to be a major disappointment. While there's nothing technically wrong with it the devs really missed the mark in terms of understanding what made Advance Wars so fun and compelling. Every change they made feels like it's for the worse. It starts off solid enough, but about midway through the various design decisions start to really pull the experience down. And that's before the requirement to A rank most of the missions in order to do the true ending map.
Image
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
alienjesus
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 8551
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:10 pm
Location: London, UK.

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by alienjesus Wed Aug 18, 2021 6:42 am

The Groove Power mechanic actually sounds quite like the CO Power mechanics of Advance Wars Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict, so I think that was probably still inspired by the Advance Wars franchise.

The way that game works is your CO can be deployed into a normal unit (any one you want). That unit gets buffed stats, and by fighting with it you can charge up your CO aura. Units within the aura get various buffs, but other units are all identical between commanders, as in Wargroove. The Aura can be extended to cover more squares by defeating units, but when fully charged you can use a CO power to extend it to all units on the map along with additional boosrs - however, afterwards your aura returns to the default size until charged up again.

You also don't lose your CO if the unit they're in blows up - you just have to wait a turn and then they can be deployed in a new unit you build - however, their CO meter needs to start from scratch.
Image
Return to General Gaming

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Nemoide and 5 guests