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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:25 am

I'm not interested in the Modernvanias. Modernvanias erased Sonia from the timeline and then rebooted instead of giving us Castlevania 1999.
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sarge Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:50 am

Well, to be fair, Castlevania Legends was pretty bad.

Was Castlevania '99 the canceled Dreamcast version?

Anyway, I wouldn't hold that against the rest of the series. Lament of Innocence was fun back in the day, and has a fantastic soundtrack. I didn't like Curse of Darkness as much, but it also has a wonderful soundtrack.

As for the reboots, Lords of Shadow is the best of them. Mirror of Fate is a competent if unspectacular game, and Lords of Shadow 2 is good but very uneven, with some real tone issues as compared to the first game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by noiseredux Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:58 am

Sarge wrote:Was Castlevania '99 the canceled Dreamcast version?


nope.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:31 pm

noiseredux wrote:
Sarge wrote:Was Castlevania '99 the canceled Dreamcast version?


nope.

It would be the tale of Julius Belmont as he defeats Dracula once and for all and seals Castlevania in an eclipse.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:36 pm

Have you already tackled this one?:

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I mean it counts as a classicvania I would think.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:37 pm

I have not. I always forget about that game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sload Soap Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:44 pm

Cyber Speedway (Saturn)
Cyber Speedway is an earlyish future racer which kind of plays out like Wipeout's gameplay married F-Zero's aesthetic. It's no way near as good as either of those two, few are, but it's a pretty fun way to spend an afternoon on the Saturn.

What makes Cyber Speedway somewhat different is a proper story mode, with little scenes playing out between races (fully voiced!) setting the tone. It's not a great story, somethig about winning the championship to free humanity from galactic slavery, but it's fun and adds character.

I think the main problem people will have with the game are the visuals. I myself have a it of a soft spot for janky 5th gen 3D but, yeah, this game has aged terribly. Lots of pop-in, terrible draw distance and flickering make it hard to deal with. The controls, sense of speed and soundtrack are all above par though so it's more about preference than anything else.

It's a small game and a short one. There are five tracks and a racer for each. The game has two difficulties, normal and expert and neither are particularly demanding. As I said it is a couple of rungs below classics like Wipeout 2097 and F-Zero X but I'd say it wasn't too far off the first Wipeout in terms of quality.

Also it's called Gran Chaser in Japan which makes me laugh. 6.5/10, would chase your Gran again.


Life of Pixel (PC)
Life of Pixel is to platformers what Evoland was to RPG's: a game that wants to be homage but is flawed in execution and ends up as replication instead.

In Life of Pixel you play as the titular Pixel who is a square that goes on an adventure through early gaming history, from the ZX Spectrum through to Snes and Amiga. And while the backgrounds change to reflect the graphical capabilities of each platform, the gameplay does not.

The game has a retro look (although I have to add that it isn't terribly authentic and very much flatters the abilities of the hardware it tries to replicate), but Life of Pixel plays more like the modern one hit death platformers of today (VVVVVV, Meat Boy, etc). As such it delivers a double blow of "me too" indie game design.It's not that it's technically incompetent, just utterly devoid of imagination.

There are cheaply placed spikes to catch you out, many bottomless pits and annoyingly placed enemies. Unlike VVVVVV and meat boy though the levels also sometimes want to be reasonably long and intricate like Sonic or Mario. This makes for some highly frustrating moments when you reach the end of a level, after collecting all it's crystals, only to die on a spike jutting out of a seemingly normal rooftop. It might not seem much, but some later levels reach up to two-three minutes in length which is a pretty damned long for this sort of game.

And I'm not asking for more checkpoints or anything, nor is this necessarily a complaint that the game is too hard. Rather it's that the two types of platformer the game wishes to be simultaneously, retro and modern, are basically incompatible with each other. If you want instakills and leaps of faith you need frequent checkpoints or you either slow things down and give the player a proper life bar so exploration isn't punished. As it stands Life of Pixel does neither and in doing so inherits the worst aspects of both gameplay styles.

Like Evoland, it starts off cute (I admit I liked the Spectrum themed levels) but as you progress you realise it's a hollow experience. I guess what I want is some critical thinking; why were Spectrum games the way they were as opposed to C64 games? It's just the surface you get here.

I don't want to pour scorn on an indie dev but in both cases a bit more effort could take a middling game into some truly groundbreaking territory. As is, it's okay for a couple of quid in a steam sale but a bit too in love with the past.


Final Fantasy Type-0 (Xbox One)
Much like Dsh I find there's a lot to love but also plenty to dislike with Type 0. Thankfully, while the story and characters are trite, cliche and mostly uninteresting throughout the gameplay and structure does a lot of the heavy work of pulling the player through the game.

Firstly the gameplay is refreshingly action orientated while not completely forgoing the traditions of the series. The battles take place in real time but there are still world maps, random encounters and the usual chocobo/airship/Cid trivium to connect it to the mainstream series.

The combat itself is excellent. You choose a team of three out of fourteen cadets and Square have done a great job of making each one play differently from the other. Even characters in the same class have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example Trey and King are both ranged characters but whereas Trey favours waiting for an opportunity to take a powerful and precise shot from his bow, King is more about keeping enemies under pressure from his twin pistols.

Strangely one aspect you'd think would be a weakness turns out actually to be a plus, at least for me. Having such a large party provides variety but also brings with it a lot of potential for grinding as each character gains EXP only when in party (or occasionally from lessons taught at the school they attend) which means a lot of time in the field. So yes it can get quite grindy but it also gives you time to get a good feel for each character.

You may initially pass off a cadet for being too slow or weak only to find out that they have a talent that may work best against a certain enemy type of when paired with another cadet. For example I had passed over the slow moving but heavy hitting Jack for being unable to get in on faster moving targets only to realise his game is all about waiting for enemies to come to him and then countering.

And through experimentation you will find a squad that suits your needs. It's fun and while there aren't a great many enemy types it doesn't get overly repetitive nor does it feel like busywork like JRPG grinding often can.

To keep things more lively in combat most enemies can be killed or critical hit with one blow if you wait for the right opening. This means just mashing away will usually result in fights lasting longer than they could if you cool your jets a little.

Type 0 is structured differently from your regular FF outside of battle as well. Your characters are students at a military school and as such the school functions as the hub you return to after missions abroad are completed. It's a place to learn new skills, gain side-quests, buy goods, interact with the team and generally bum about. There are other towns of course but none are so detailed or grand as the school and none become your base of operations.

It all moves along at a good clip although sometimes I felt I was being rushed past some interesting side-missions or location on the world map because of that.

Those side-missions themselves can be a bit of a mixed bag and I'm not sure if they are scripted or randomly generated as you start to get quests that are either too far above your level or in a part of the world you haven't opened up yet. Too many of them also provide slight rewards and annoyingly you are limited to taking on one quest at a time.

So I enjoy the gameplay and how the game sets itself out and I also enjoyed the world of Orience which like the game on the whole is tradition with a twist with it's crystals and dragons and what not.

What I didn't enjoy was the weak narrative, poor voice acting and fumbled themes (which I guess actually is a FF tradition at this point).

It starts out quite well telling a fairly unsubtle but straightforward story of nations at war and the people caught in that war, but soon takes a kamikaze dive into tedious teenage drama and high school level philosophical musings ending with yet another end boss that wants to destroy the world for reasons beyond rational comprehension.

There are intriguing ideas here and there, one that using magic essentially deletes peoples memories of the dead or that summons are used as magical WMD's, but at each step they are hampered by a clunky script and sub-par voice work.

The script also makes the egregious error of chucking in a load of the l'Cie, fal'Cie bullshit that tried its best to ruin FFXIII trilogy and terms like these are used without context or full explanation. I'm still basically unsure of what being "Agito" actually means. More worrying is that Type-0 has three credited writers so, unlike say the end to ME3, it's not something you can pin on lack of rewrites or workshopping, but rather a group who are so involved with what they are writing they can't take a step back to see it from an outsiders viewpoint.

This poor script is then further lost in translation by some lousy voicework. Nine for example ends sentences by dropping in "hey". I guess this was meant to make him sound dumb or something but because it's not something that'd you'd end a sentence with in English (aside from perhaps in Canada, eh) and because it's obvious the voice actor thinks it sounds weird as well, it just comes off as, well, weird on the ear. And that's when the VA's are actually trying and not just delivering their lines flatter than Mr Flat of Flat Lane.

And don't mistake my praise for the characters as gameplay systems earlier on for praise of them as actual characters because they aren't. With fourteen player controlled characters to go round the grab bag of JRPG stereotypes is spread thinly between them all. I went on the Type-0 wiki and it was my great surprise to find out that the quiet Ace also had a reckless side, despite never once displaying such traits in the game.

Comparisons with boy/girl bands are apt I feel; Eight is the cute one, Trey is the clever one, King is the moody one etc. I find it quite the feat on the writer's part that they can create characters you spend so long with but learn so little about.

But enough plot bashing. As I said the story is the wobbliest pillar holding up the Type-0 roof but it's not enough to bring the whole thing down. The world and especially the action flavoured combat more than make up for it. If I gave out scores I'd say it's a solid 7/10. It's flawed but it's fun and I'd like to see a bigger budget version of the game with more attention paid to the script. That'd be something special.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by hashiriya1 Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:21 am

January - March games beaten:

Grand Theft Auto V - PS4
Lost in the Rain - PS3
Remember Me - PS3
Red Dead Redemption - PS3
Shin Bokenjima - PC Engine
Super Mario 3D World (100%) - Wii U
Obocchamakun - PC Engine

Not much here. I'm in the process of moving so all of my consoles have been packed away.
No console gaming for a month or so. :(
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:44 am

1. Painkiller - PC
2. Front Mission 4 - PS2
3. Wasteland 2 - PC
4. Arcanum - PC
5. X-COM Terror from the Deep - PC
6. Military Madness - TurboGrafx-16
7. Unreal - PC
8. Shadowrun - SNES
9. Warcraft III - PC
10. Dungeon Keeper - PC
11. Final Fantasy X-2 HD - PS3
12. Descent - PC
13. Quake Mission Pack 2 - Dissolution of Eternity - PC
14. Quake 2 Mission Pack 2 - Ground Zero - PC
15. Sokobond - PC
16. Hybrid Heaven - N64
17. Sonic the Hedgehog - Genesis
18. Castlevania - NES
19. Super Castlevania IV - SNES
20. Castlevania III - NES
21. Castlevania II - NES
22. Castlevania Rondo of Blood - Turbo CD
23. Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders - PC
24. Fractal - PC

I'm not sure how this game originally ended up in my Steam account, but I gave it a bit of a try and found it to be a fun, interesting puzzler. The basics is that there is a board made up of hexes, and that you can push new hexes onto the playing field. When a cluster of seven hexes forms (six ringing around a center hex) then it forms a bloom, which causes it to push everything around it and disappear (and I think it generates some temporary hexes that disappear if they don't match with anything to form a second bloom). Blooms can overlap, and so that gives you your basic multiscoring and chaining. Hexes come in multiple colors so obviously you need to match colors to make a bloom. You can only push hexes onto the board by moving existing hexes; when you click it attempts to radiate in all six directions by pushing any adjacent hexes and then placing a hex for each one moved. There are two modes; the first is a "get a high enough score in a certain number of moves" arcade mode and the second is a pure puzzle mode where you're given an initial board, a limited number of moves, and an end condition. The puzzle mode also includes things like spaces on the board that will act as a conveyor of hexes and then there's one specific puzzle where there's a lightning tile that is completely unexplained that can cause a super chain reaction across a bunch of like tiles when a bloom happens.

The actual puzzles start off easy and fun and get more diabolical, but they take a real turn for the nasty at the top end. And it's not the good kind of nasty where you have a vague idea of what your end state really needs to be; a lot of times I stumbled upon the solution by pure luck. Additionally, one of the final puzzles is bugged and unbeatable. The devs are aware of this and supposedly had a fix on another branch but it seems they've abandoned the game.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Exhuminator Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:04 am

1. Devil's Attorney (Android | 2012 | strategy) (7/10)
2. Resident Evil 5 (360 | 2009 | action adventure) (8/10)
3. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (360 | 2010 | kart racer) (8/10)
4. Dragon Quest VIII (PS2 | 2005 | JRPG) (9/10)
5. Gears of War (360 | 2006 | cover shooter) (6/10)
6. Uncharted: Golden Abyss (Vita | 2012 | action adventure) (7/10)
7. Orcs & Elves (DS | 2007 | dungeon crawler) (7/10)
8. From The Abyss (DS | 2008 | action-RPG) (5/10)
9. Army of Two (360 | 2008 | cover shooter) (7/10)
10. Psychic World (Master System | 1991 | platformer) (4/10)
11. Endless Ocean: Blue World (Wii | 2010 | adventure / simulation) (9/10)
12. Journey to Silius (NES | 1990 | platformer) (6/10)
13. Sword Master (NES | 1992 | platformer) (3/10)
14. Project: Snowblind (PC | 2005 | FPS) (7/10)
15. Yakyuuken Part II - Gal's Dungeon (Famicom | 1989 | maze / puzzle) (5/10)
16. Bishoujo Sexy Derby (Famicom | 1988 | horse racing) (2/10)
17. SiN Episodes: Emergence (PC | 2006 | FPS) (5/10)
18. Seirei Gari (AKA Ghost Hunter) (NES | 1989 | puzzle / adventure) (4/10)
19. The Guardian Legend (NES | 1989 | action-RPG / shmup) (9/10)
20. Prey (PC | 2006 | FPS) (7/10)
21. Ys IV: Mask of the Sun (SFC | 1993 | action-RPG) (4/10)
22. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (GameCube | 2001 | combat flight sim) (3/10)
23. Ys V: Lost Kefin, Kingdom of Sand (SFC | 1995 | action-RPG) (7/10)
24. Bonk's Adventure (TurboGrafx-16 | 1990 | platformer) (6/10)
25. Lost Kingdoms (GameCube | 2002 | CCG-action-RPG) (8/10)
26. Bonk's Revenge (TurboGrafx-16 | 1991 | platformer) (6/10)
27. Blazing Lazers (TurboGrafx-16 | 1989 | shmup) (7/10)
28. Heatseeker (PS2 | 2007 | arcade flight combat) (7/10)
29. Castlevania: The Adventure (Game Boy | 1989 | platformer) (3/10)
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A century prior to the events of the original Castlevania, the player controls an ancestor of Simon Belmont, one Christopher Belmont, whom goes on an adventure to whip Dracula on the posterior because he was double dog dared to do it.

Yeah so Konami's first attempt at a Castlevania game on the Game Boy wasn't great. Actually it's flat out terrible. While the graphics are competent given the early release on the fledgling hardware, and the OST is fairly good, everything else suffers in this offering.

First off the overall speed of this game is molasses slow, apparently to offset the ghosting issue of the Game Boy screen. You constantly feel like you're trying to move in slow motion, a big problem when trying to fight enemies that move faster than you. The biggest issue is this game has some seriously sadistic platforming areas that would be more at home in a Mega Man game than Castlevania. This wouldn't be so bad except the overly confined jumping physics are trash combined with way too tight landing boxes for edges. Not to mention unfair copious enemy placement designed to knock you off a ledge if you manage to land on it at all. One can only assume the platforming difficulty was made extremely high purposefully to artificially extend the time it takes to finish this very short game. Bosses on the other hand are very easy to defeat, a good thing considering the timer constantly ticking down on each stage. You don't even get secondary weapons to throw. It's just your whip and grit here and a whole lot of spikes to land on.

Overall I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone, not even Castlevania fans. Its small positives are greatly outweighed by huge negatives. With not a single innovation brought to bear for its series either. This is one "adventure" you can feel safe missing out on.
Last edited by Exhuminator on Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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