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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Blu Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:48 am

1. Super Smash Brothers - N64 (January 3)
2. Shovel Knight - Wii U (January 6)
3. NES Remix - Wii U (January 14)
4. NES Remix 2 - Wii U (January 14)
5. Streets of Rage - Genesis (January 16)
6. F-Zero - SNES (January 21)
7. Super Mario 3D World - Wii U (January 28)
8. Hyrule Warriors - Wii U (February 5)
9. Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D - 3DS (February 23)
10. Double Dragon Neon - PC (March 1)
11. Mario Kart 8 - Wii U (March 3)
12. Hotline Miami - PS3 (March 14)
13. Pokemon White - Nintendo DS (March 17)
14. Pokemon Soul Silver - Nintendo DS (April 2)
15. Pokemon White 2 - Nintendo DS (April 14)
16. Pokemon X - Nintendo 3DS (April 30)
17. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Xbox One (May 3)
18. Pokemon Shuffle - Nintendo 3DS (May 12)
19. Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain - PC / iPhone (May 17)
20. Splatoon - Wii U (June 7)
21. Fallout Shelter - iOS (June 21)
22. Phantasy Star Online Episode II - GameCube (August 24)

Finally had some time to sit down and play for a short while. Chose to fire up PSO and take down Olga Flow. A short while later I was seeing the credits and listening to the lovely closing song. I think once work settles down I'll be jumping into Grandia or Skies of Arcadia.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sload Soap Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:09 pm

Not updated in a while, this is basically the last two months of my gaming, minus many, many hours of ESO.

Batman: Arkham Knight Xbox One
I'm not on the hate wagon with this one. Yes, the Batmobile is forced into a lot areas it shouldn't have been and indeed most of the worst parts of the game are parts in which the batmobile features heavily (Riddler races can kiss my arse). BUT, good lord is everything else just as silky smooth as before. I actually liked a lot of the added enemy types and this was the first Arkham game where I felt I really had to use Bats' full arsenal of gadgets to get by.

The main problem with the Batmobile is that this Arkham game ends up featuring very few indoor locations for Batman to prowl around. The few indoor areas there are tend to also be pretty open as usually they have to be high and wide enough for the Batmobile to parp through at some point. It's telling that the best sidequest in the game is one that features no use for the 'mobile and that one of the better sections of the main story is staged at a film studio.

What's even stranger though is that the Batmobile is actually an inferior way to traverse the city, with Rocksteady really enhancing Batman's gliding abilities to the point where he can, in effect, fly.

It's a shame though because it's a beautiful game as well with excellent weather and lighting effects bringing Gotham to life. I also liked some elements in the story, mostly those that involve *redacted*, even if I did keep thinking that there was some big reveal coming and Scarecrow wasn't the main baddie. Because Scarecrow is cool, but he isn't A-league baddie material.

The Arkham Knight is pretty terrible though. You will know who he is before you start the game if you know anything about Batman. He's a whiny little ball of angst and he outstays his welcome. I was also not a big fan of the way the other members of the Bat family were portrayed in the game, Babs Gordon in particular.

At the end of the day, it's not as good as Arkham Asylum or City, that's for sure. But most games of the last generation weren't as good as them either. Arkham Knight, much like Origins before it, is not the bete noire people say it is. There are far, far worse games you could play, believe me. The Harley Quinn DLC is laughable though.


Batman NES
It was quite amusing to play this after Arkham Knight. In contrast to the issues that can be wrought by over complicating a winning formula to AK had, Batman is just pure action from beginning to end. Nothing fancy, nothing special (aside from that sublime soundtrack) just pulse pounding platforming action.

It's a total blast. It's tough without being cruel, it's fast without being twitchy and it rewards practice and patience. There was a few points where I had to lay down the controller, assured I couldn't get any further but I knew if I stuck at it, I'd be able to as the game is masterful at teaching you how to play it without telling you how to play it.

So you mess around with the wall jump a bit and start to realise you can pull off jumps you thought previously impossible, you can indeed make it through that gap without taking a hit, you can avoid that bosses attack with the right timing. It's pure class. Old school game design of the best kind, rewarding effort put in with more satisfaction gained out.

Probably also has the best soundtrack I've heard this year as well. The level 2 theme might not be very Batman but it's catchy as hell, with the rest of the soundtrack really driving you through the game and adding to the intensity of the platforming.

Real top ten GOTY material.


Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Xbox One
Not much to say about this one really. I certainly enjoyed it, but generally after Lego Marvel I felt it was a bit of a letdown. I actually prefer DC to Marvel, or at least am more familiar with it, but the lack of a true overworld made the game feel more bloated somehow. A good example of this would be that, while Lego Marvel has an open world Manhattan to roam about in between levels, Lego Batman 3 has a cramped space station and some unlockable, but very empty, planetoids all separated by several loading screens.

It's good for fan service, Adam West replaces Stan Lee as the citizen in peril, Kevin Smith and Conan make appearances and there are the usual bevy of unlockable characters and vehicles to obtain. Then there are little things like the John Williams Superman theme playing when you take flight with the Man of Steel and the loving Lego recreations of the various batmobiles past and present. It's a sturdy, if buggy, package, stuffed with charm.

I have dipped in and out a few times over the last few months and there is always something new to find though so maybe I'm just burnt on the formula or perhaps I just preferred what made Lego Marvel a bit of an outlier in the Lego stable. *shrug*



Pac-Man Rally PS2
I saw Joe from Game Sack give this one some praise in a recent episode and I do like kart racers so I gave it a shot. Pac-Man Rally is a very blatant Mario Kart rip-off and feels a bit like a budget release but is actually a lot of fun.

Pac-Man Rally does the two main things, for me at least, that a kart racer should do and it does them well: it has responsive handling and good, varied track design. Races are fast, weapons are the right side of useful without being overpowering and the drift mechanic works a treat (as it should having been pinched almost wholesale from Mario Kart: Double Dash).

Yeah, I was surprised how much I ended up enjoying this really. I beat it pretty much in one go and was pretty much glued to the seat. It's not perfect though, far from it. For starters, the game is waaay too easy. On medium difficulty I'd say it was as hard as a regular Mario Kart on 50cc. There is one fairly obnoxious track that requires heavy memorisation to complete properly that'll give you some trouble but otherwise cups are a breeze. The AI is pretty lame as well. I frequently saw racers get stuck in tight corners and I was once confronted by the sight of Ms Pac-Man driving her pink Impala the wrong way around the track.

As mentioned it does have that budget feel. The wonky AI and lack of challenge, as well as some static backgrounds, make things feel a bit cheap. But it didn't enjoy my overall enjoyment of the game. If you like kart racers I'd track it down.



Shovel Knight Xbox One
My GOTY for 2014 and one of my overall favourite games I played last year, I picked up Shovel Knight on Xbone for the additional content and a worthy purchase it was too.

I've talked about the game before so I'll just say I think it's an incredible game and works marvels in bringing that old school 8-bit game design and pairing it with more contemporary ideas on player punishment and progression.

The Xbone exclusive content is a short Battletoads themed level where you play against the 'toads to earn their respect. It's pretty cool actually, I wouldn't say it justifies double dipping on its own but it is nice nonetheless.

Another playthrough basically did nothing to dissuade me that Shovel Knight is anything less that fucking fantastic. Get it in you!



Battletoads Arcade Xbox One
I think this is the only game on Rare Replay that had never been released on console/computer previously. I'm not very familiar with Battletoads on NES, outside of knowing of its legendary difficulty. I had to credit feed to beat this game to be honest as it is a bit of an arse itself.

I liked it a lot though. Very simple game, more in line with the Konami beat'em ups of the early nineties than more complicated fare like Battle Circuit or Guardian Heroes but fun. The artwork is great, it has a real British comic grubbiness to it like a Viz strip and the animation on the player characters is very good. Battletoads arcade is also amusingly violent with decapitations, groin punching and arse kicking all present. Rare obviously have a thing for dishing out extreme violence to cartoon animals.

There isn't much depth that I could see but I don't think there is meant to be. You punch, you kick, you occasionally bash someone with a bit of pavement stuck to a pole. It's all good. Can be a bit cheap though but I guess that's to be expecting given the games lineage. I think if I'd bought it stand-alone I'd be disappointed because as colourful and fun as it is, Battletoads Arcade never really reaches the heights of say, an X-Men of Armored Warriors. But as a part of Rare Replay its a great addition.



Shadow Warrior (2013) Xbox One
Another GOTY contender I think. Much like Wolfenstein: The New Order, this reboot of a classic PC FPS decides that going balls to the wall is the best way to do it and thank the lord they did. Shadow Warrior is some seriously, deliriously silly stuff, starting off as it means to go on and never letting up.

Much like Wolfenstien:TNO, Shadow Warrior also packs a surprisingly well voiced and interesting story line when one really wasn't necessary. What is great about both games though is that the story never decides to override the gameplay. There are short cut-scenes and exposition is given while you're on the move rather than statically. I like that.

I also like manically running around blasting demons with quad-barrel shotguns so that's another tick on Shadow Warrior's report. Not a single gun in this game is useless or underpowered which is great. Each is upgradedable and even the basic pistol game be still useful as a head popping hand cannon all the way through the game.

That's without getting to this games stand out feature which is the sword-based combat. Melee in a FPS can sometimes be dodgy but in Shadow Warrior a lot of thought has clearly been put into making sword-play a viable means of vanquishing your foes. It's probably possible to combine swordplay with the skills you can learn to buff your sword skills and beat the entire game without firing a single bullet. It's that good. In fact the sword ended up being my default weapon on most occasions.

This is no stop and pop shooter and it's all the better for it. You have to play aggressively choosing the right weapon for the right situation while also being mindful not to get swarmed by the multitude enemies before you. In that respect Shadow Warrior plays like Serious Sam, at least in my eyes. Large areas, many enemies, many ways to kill them. Lots and lots of fun.

I'm digging that games like TNO and SW are being made. If the new Doom can capture some of what these games offer it'll be a pretty worthy successor if you ask me. I'm not calling for a sea change in the genre, just that I really appreciate that the old arena style shooters are still alive and kicking.



King's Quest: A Knight to Remember Xbox One
Another really good game, or part of one anyway. It's not really a King's Quest games in the traditional sense, probably has more in common with Telltale titles than Roberta Williams madcap series. I enjoyed it though.

The story is delightfully told Princess Bride style by an ageing King Graham (wonderfully voiced by Christopher Lloyd) about his early quests to become a Knight of Daventry and the people he met along the way. The script and voice talent is top notch throughout.

It doesn't have that warped sense of logic of a traditional King's Quest game though. A hedge-trimmer will actually trim hedges here, for example, and not be used to combine with a piece of cheese to make a cheese stick to catch a hedge eating rat. Things are much more streamlined, which will be either be a plus or minus depending on your affection for the series that inspired this. Personally, I'm not the biggest KQ fan (I love KQVI but haven't played any of the others) so this approach didn't bother me so much.

A Knight to Remember is a wholly charming affair. As I said the script crackles and the characters are memorable because of it. It's a very warm tale that also has room for some genuinely emotional moments. There's some stuff I imagine people won't like though, QTE's being first among them. I didn't really let that bother me too much. Overall it's a very laid back game so the few scenes that of action that use QTE's don't feel to obtrusive.

You get a good five-six hours out of it as well. As streamlined as the gameplay is, I still managed to get lost a few times but nothing ever becomes a pixel hunt or a case of just trying every item in the vain hope of progressing.

I know there has been some controversy surrounding how the game was funded and I only read about that after the fact but I don't think it would have clouded my judegement of the final product. I can only hope the final four episodes are as heartwarming and witty as this one was.




Shadow Warriors NES
Aka Ninja Gaiden, this is the first time I've ever played the game properly and I actually surprised myself when I actually beat it. It is tough as balls and that final level and boss rush had me fuming obviously, but, like Batman, I found the game to be mostly pretty fair to the player.

So, there's a bit of a theme forming with my gaming this year where I'm exploring these NES games I missed out on in my formative years (I pretty much missed out on the NES altogether to be honest) and finding them to be brilliant, brilliant games. Shadow Warriors can be added to that list.

I don't need to tell people here though how good the game is. From the classy cut scenes to the perfect platforming, to the way the sword has just slightly more reach than it seems, every element is pitched at just the right key. It's a cliche but the game really is a great example of elegance through simplicity.

That last level though. Holy moly. I can take a game with some scamminess if I can eventually learn how to work my way around it, but having to start over from the very beginning of the stage and have to shuffle my way back to the boss just felt like Tecmo artificially lengthening the game, although unlimited continues did soften this somewhat.

But again, without that maddening difficulty, without the hawks that fly into your face just as you leap over a pit, or the cheetahs that pelt out unseen from the edge of the screen to push you into oblivion I doubt it'd be half as memorable.

Still not as hard as the Xbox version though. That game, Christ.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Aug 25, 2015 5:40 pm

Sload Soap wrote:Still not as hard as the Xbox version though. That game, Christ.[/spoiler]


Really? I always though that the NES Ninja Gaiden games were drastically more difficult than the Xbox ones. (It is not my favorite genre - and I don't play many of them - but apparently, I am awesome at modern, third-person action games. Who knew? :lol: )
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Sload Soap Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:11 pm

Well, I'm going by the fact I beat Ninja Gaiden NES in about five days of play, whereas I've had Ninja Gaiden Xbox for ten years and never beat it despite several attempts. Ninja Gaiden Xbox has a barrel full of horrible boss battles as well. Maybe I should give it another go with my newly found Gaiden Skills?
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by MrPopo Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:42 am

First 50:

51. Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne - PC
52. Starflight - PC
53. Skies of Arcadia - Dreamcast
54. Aliens versus Predator Classic 2000 - PC
55. Super Star Wars - SNES
56. Shadowrun: Hong Kong - PC
57. Hexen: Deathkings of the Dark Citadel - PC
58. The Catacomb - PC

Not to be confused with Catacomb, the 10 level game on the Softdisk sampler disk, The Catacomb is a 30 level game on the same engine. The Catacomb has some very simple gameplay that mostly consists of alternating mashing and holding down control (depending on what enemies you're fighting), mashing space whenever your health gets low, and occasionally using N or B for your nuke (area damage good for everything but dragons) or bolt (line damage good for dragons) respectively. The Catacomb goes pretty crazy with the secret passages/items in walls, and you frequently need to trigger them to progress. Some are in areas that make sense, but many times you just need to spam attack the walls. You can hold alt to strafe, which helps, but your character also alternates which hand he fires with, which complicates checking walls with strafe. The game also has a minor puzzle element as once you get to level 10 your path branches to four levels, all of which are there to give hints as to how to go deeper in the game (and in one case be the gateway level to deeper in the game). The hints at the children of level 10 are vital, because at two points you need to enter invisible level exits whose existence is only hinted at thanks to the aforementioned level hints. Finally, on the second to last level there are two exit mirrors right next to each other. One goes to the final level; I'm guessing the other sends you way back. I chose wisely.

The game is a fun little diversion and should only take you an hour or so to beat.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Gamerforlife Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:00 am

Sload Soap wrote:Not updated in a while, this is basically the last two months of my gaming, minus many, many hours of ESO.

Batman: Arkham Knight Xbox One
I'm not on the hate wagon with this one. Yes, the Batmobile is forced into a lot areas it shouldn't have been and indeed most of the worst parts of the game are parts in which the batmobile features heavily (Riddler races can kiss my arse). BUT, good lord is everything else just as silky smooth as before. I actually liked a lot of the added enemy types and this was the first Arkham game where I felt I really had to use Bats' full arsenal of gadgets to get by.

The main problem with the Batmobile is that this Arkham game ends up featuring very few indoor locations for Batman to prowl around. The few indoor areas there are tend to also be pretty open as usually they have to be high and wide enough for the Batmobile to parp through at some point. It's telling that the best sidequest in the game is one that features no use for the 'mobile and that one of the better sections of the main story is staged at a film studio.

What's even stranger though is that the Batmobile is actually an inferior way to traverse the city, with Rocksteady really enhancing Batman's gliding abilities to the point where he can, in effect, fly.

It's a shame though because it's a beautiful game as well with excellent weather and lighting effects bringing Gotham to life. I also liked some elements in the story, mostly those that involve *redacted*, even if I did keep thinking that there was some big reveal coming and Scarecrow wasn't the main baddie. Because Scarecrow is cool, but he isn't A-league baddie material.

The Arkham Knight is pretty terrible though. You will know who he is before you start the game if you know anything about Batman. He's a whiny little ball of angst and he outstays his welcome. I was also not a big fan of the way the other members of the Bat family were portrayed in the game, Babs Gordon in particular.

At the end of the day, it's not as good as Arkham Asylum or City, that's for sure. But most games of the last generation weren't as good as them either. Arkham Knight, much like Origins before it, is not the bete noire people say it is. There are far, far worse games you could play, believe me. The Harley Quinn DLC is laughable though.




I agree with most of your points here, nice write up. The film studio mission was sublime. The highlight of the whole game for me. It felt like the sort of thing we'd get in a Batman sequel modeled after Arkham Asylum

Sload Soap wrote:Not updated in a while, this is basically the last two months of my gaming, minus many, many hours of ESO.


Battletoads Arcade Xbox One
I think this is the only game on Rare Replay that had never been released on console/computer previously. I'm not very familiar with Battletoads on NES, outside of knowing of its legendary difficulty. I had to credit feed to beat this game to be honest as it is a bit of an arse itself.

I liked it a lot though. Very simple game, more in line with the Konami beat'em ups of the early nineties than more complicated fare like Battle Circuit or Guardian Heroes but fun. The artwork is great, it has a real British comic grubbiness to it like a Viz strip and the animation on the player characters is very good. Battletoads arcade is also amusingly violent with decapitations, groin punching and arse kicking all present. Rare obviously have a thing for dishing out extreme violence to cartoon animals.

There isn't much depth that I could see but I don't think there is meant to be. You punch, you kick, you occasionally bash someone with a bit of pavement stuck to a pole. It's all good. Can be a bit cheap though but I guess that's to be expecting given the games lineage. I think if I'd bought it stand-alone I'd be disappointed because as colourful and fun as it is, Battletoads Arcade never really reaches the heights of say, an X-Men of Armored Warriors. But as a part of Rare Replay its a great addition.





I love that the Rare Collection will FINALLY make people aware that this game even exists, as well as highlight other under appreciate gems like Viva Pinata. Lego Batman 3 and King's Quest are games I'm looking to play at some point too.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Ack Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:18 am

Hey, Popo, you planning to play through the entire Catacomb series now? If so, you are in for a treat.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by Luke Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:11 am

Sload Soap wrote:Well, I'm going by the fact I beat Ninja Gaiden NES in about five days of play, whereas I've had Ninja Gaiden Xbox for ten years and never beat it despite several attempts. Ninja Gaiden Xbox has a barrel full of horrible boss battles as well. Maybe I should give it another go with my newly found Gaiden Skills?


I'd agree that Ninja Gaiden on oxobx is more difficult than any of the NES entries. Even the first boss is pretty difficult to beat.

When I bought Ninja Gaiden for the xbox from a friend he told me wait! He ran into his bedroom handed me a thick strategy guide and said "You're going to need this". Up until then, the only strategy guide I had used (besides stuff from Nintendo Power) was one for FF7. But he was right, as I did need help getting through the game.

I have NG2 and 3 as well, but still unopened.


Nice write up on Batman (NES). It's one of my all time favorite NES games and I've played at least once every year since it was released.

And did you know that ninja who is enjoying a cigarette at the tail end of the first level is the KGBeast? Weird right?
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:03 am

I have never beaten a Ninja Gaiden game, but I think the Xbox one is 1000000 times harder than the one on NES. I just suck at modern 3D action games. Too many buttons, too much stuff on the screen, I just can't comprehend what's going on.
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Re: Games Beaten 2015

by prfsnl_gmr Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:08 am

Sload Soap wrote:Well, I'm going by the fact I beat Ninja Gaiden NES in about five days of play, whereas I've had Ninja Gaiden Xbox for ten years and never beat it despite several attempts. Ninja Gaiden Xbox has a barrel full of horrible boss battles as well. Maybe I should give it another go with my newly found Gaiden Skills?


:lol:

That is pretty much the exact opposite of my experience. I owned Ninja Gaiden as a kid, and while I could get to the last level when I was 10, I didn't have the patience to beat it until I was an adult. I purchased Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) as an adult, and I beat it in about five days. (Ninja Gaiden (NES) is all about movement and constant offense, but Nina Gaiden (Xbox) definitely requires a tremendous amount of defense.)
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