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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by ElkinFencer10 Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:12 pm

I finished Fire Emblem: Fates - Birthright last night. A buddy from high school is coming to visit tonight and stay the weekend, but I'll probably start Conquest Sunday afternoon. Since I also got my Couchmaster the other day, though, I may spend Sunday afternoon playing PC games and start Conquest Monday. Who knows? :P
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Key-Glyph Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:51 pm

01. MagMax (NES)
02. World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (GEN) [2-player]
03. Sonic Spinball (GEN)*
04. Sonic Spinball (GEN)* [complete]
05. Comix Zone (GEN)*
06. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)
07. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project (NES)

08. WCW World Championship Wrestling (NES)

I was sick today. It was for this reason that I found myself sitting in front of my NES, cross-legged on the floor in bathrobe and pajamas, at 7:30 in the morning. Was I caught in a time warp? When was the last time I was capable of this? I thought about it and realized that these particular variables had not occurred together since I was maybe six years old. The only thing missing from the picture was a bowl of Kix.
Although it made me smile to realize this, my NES memories are in general a mixed bag. I was frustrated more often than not, and over time I developed a weird little narrative that this console and I were involved in a personal struggle. I not only felt as though NES games were being unfair on purpose (which sometimes they are), but also that the system was gloating over its ability to stump me. It was a competition: me against the console.

With the NES games I kept from my childhood, I've always wanted to beat them to... well... prove something. Prove that I may have been too small and clumsy in the 90s to succeed at these titles, but that things are different now! I'm a grown woman! And by the same token, when I can't beat these games, a little part of me feels like the console is grinning wickedly and saying, "Oh, you can't get past this level? I guess you still are small and clumsy... just like when you were a LITTLE GIRL AAHAHAHAHAHAHAH."

Just keep this in the back of your mind for a moment.

Now, one of my legit favorite NES games growing up was WCW. I could never get particularly far or anything -- I never even beat all the competitors once through -- I just found it immensely satisfying. The music, the sound effects, the specialty moves... it was probably the closest to pure fun I'd ever had on the NES.

Too bad then that as the game gets harder, it gets really cheap. The basic routine is this. You connect with your opponent four times via punch and kicks, winding them; at that point you grapple them to use a regular move, pick them off the mat by their ears afterwards, and repeat. You do this over and over, hopefully throwing in your signature move when your opponent's power is low enough, and eventually pin the other guy and win.

The problem, though, is that I can't figure out how the programming decides whose punch or kick connects. As a kid I thought it was up to timing; as a teenager I thought it was button mashing; and now as an adult... I just have no clue. It seems random, except that the tougher your challenger, the less likely you are to be the kicker than the kicked. Add to this the fact that the tougher challengers' move strengths increase much faster than yours, and things get pretty infuriating.

The only way I could ever beat Ric Flair was to sucker him into a ring-out violation. Suddenly my brother's old hatred of him makes waaaaaaaay more sense.

So I spent the whole day at this. And because I felt I wanted to show this game who was boss, I stuck with it even past the point of having fun. Granted, it was only one or two matches that really drove me up the wall, but they drove me enough up the wall that I'm a little disgusted with myself that I didn't just let it go and do something else with my day. My right thumb joints weren't just sore; they were in a legitimate kind of pain that I'm not sure they've ever felt before. I realized I was probably going to have to put ice on them later. But that was okay, because I could take it. I'm a GROWN WOMAN, remember? I'm not a LITTLE GIRL anymore -- do you HEAR ME, NINTENDO? WELL, DO YOU??!

Then, finally, I'm at the final stage. The battle against the WCW Master, the likes of whom I have only seen in creepy silhouette during the game's opening demo. I am psyched, and nervous, and... suddenly very confused, because the gameplay has changed. There is no grappling, which means no moves, specialty or otherwise. I had no idea what I was even supposed to do at first.

Long story short, I spent I don't even know how long figuring out that in the final battle, suddenly timing and strategy does matter, and I'd picked a particularly bad wrestler for what I needed to do. But I STILL DID IT.

This may be my proudest NES conquest, personally. Take that, Nintendo!

And now to go rest my thumb. Good GRIEF.

* = replay
Last edited by Key-Glyph on Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by flash1987 Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:55 pm

Well done, sounds like an absolute mission. I don't remember WCW being a very good wrestling game!
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:23 am

Now I'm kind of curious about the game. I had a friend that had it many years ago, I was never that good at it, honestly. Not that I played it much, but just figuring out what the heck to do was a big deal.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by TSTR Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:34 am

Wow, congrats again, Key! That game has some crap mechanics for sure. It's better than all the WWF games on the system, though.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrPopo Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:53 am

TSTR wrote:Wow, congrats again, Key! That game has some crap mechanics for sure. It's better than all the WWF games on the system, though.

Untrue; WCW lacks Hulk Hogan. Thus, the WWF games are best.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by TSTR Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:46 am

MrPopo wrote:
TSTR wrote:Wow, congrats again, Key! That game has some crap mechanics for sure. It's better than all the WWF games on the system, though.

Untrue; WCW lacks Hulk Hogan. Thus, the WWF games are best.

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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrPopo Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:02 pm

1. Oni - PC
2. Donkey Kong 64 - N64
3. Yoshi's Story - N64
4. Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide - PC
5. Forsaken 64 - N64
6. Bloodrayne: Betrayal - PSN
7. Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu - SNES
8. Fire Emblem Shin Monshō no Nazo: Hikari to Kage no Eiyū - Nintendo DS
9. Valkyria Chronicles 3 - PSP
10. Ready 2 Rumble Boxing - DC
11. Rise of the Tomb Raider - PC
12. XCOM 2 - PC
13. Shadowrun Hong Kong Bonus Campaign - PC
14. Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest - 3DS

First campaign down! I probably should have done Birthright first, but Conquest was the physical copy I got and I decided to play that first. Conquest is the harder of the two main campaigns (with the third supposedly somewhere in between the two) and it definitely showed. There were many maps that got really nasty and required you to plan several turns ahead. Frequently you needed to take advantage of the Dragon Vein activated tiles which would affect the map in some way; this might be knocking down or creating barriers or affecting some sort of map effect.

The game makes some changes to the Fire Emblem formula. Weapons no longer have a durability (aside from some staves) which makes things feel like Seisen no Keifu (where there was durability but you could repair and money was easy to get). The weapon triangle now incorporates magic and bows into the primary triangle, along with the new ninja weapons. Bows and axes, swords and magic, spears and ninja. So you need to think more about what weapons you use for the ranged attacks, since you can fall victim to a disadvantage. The ninja weapons are lower damage but inflict a stat debuff after battle, which can make a huge difference on tough enemies.

They also modified the pair up system from Awakening. If two units are standing next to each other they are an offensive pair up, and the second unit will join in the attack (regardless of that unit's attack range). The other option is to join two units together (like Awakening), which gives a stat boost based on the paired unit and your support level and has two important battle effects. The first is that your partner will automatically block the follow up attack of an attack stance. The second is that as you attack and are attacked (hit or miss) you build up a shield bar; once this is full the next attack is nullified. So there is a risk/reward system of offense and defense and proper use of each is critical.

I'm not sure how I feel about the story. You're given a choice between the family you've grown up and loved all your life ruled by an obviously evil king and your birth family you hardly know. So the game does present a decent case for both storylines, but then the Conquest story has a lot of soul crushing for your character. It all works out in the end, but I can't help but feel like they could have just tried to assassinate the evil king much earlier in the story and avoided a lot of the really bad shit.

Let's see how Birthright goes.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:06 pm

1) Bonk's Adventure (NES)
2) Little Samson
3) Holy Diver
4) Holy Diver (legit!)
5) Mitsume Ga Tooru
6) TMNT II: The Arcade Game (NES)
7) Mighty Final Fight
8] Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
9) Monster In My Pocket
10) Battle of Olympus
11) Gunstar Heroes (repeat)
12) Dragon Age: Inquisition
13) Dragon Age: Inquisition - Trespasser
14) Captain America and the Avengers (NES)
15) StarTropics
16) Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES) (save states)
17) Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES) (legit)
18) Crisis Force
19) Esper Dream 2
20) Felix the Cat
21) Moon Crystal
22) Panic Restaurant
23) Frankenstein (NES)
24) Crystalis
25) Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu

26) Killer Instinct (GB)
27) Mashin Hero Wataru Gaiden
28) Sly Spy (Arcade)
29) The Red Star (unreleased XBOX, also on PS2)
30) Adventure Island 4
31) Cocoron
32) Batman: Arkham Knight
33) Xeodrifter (Vita)
34) Doom 2
35) Brandish: The Dark Revenant
36) Magical Pop'n
37) The Ninja Warriors (SNES)
38) Phantasy Star (SMS)
39) Phantasy Star III
40) Super Smash Bros. for 3DS

Yeah, quick and dirty play of Classic mode. On difficulty level 5.0, nothing strenuous, but also not insanely easy (just mostly so). Kirby, of course. I played the demo a while back, and was surprised how well it translated to the handheld. I probably shouldn't have been, the 3DS is a pretty capable little platform, and it's not like the basic gameplay has changed much from the N64 or GC days. (Also, picking it up for $4.43 was pretty awesome.)
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by alienjesus Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:58 pm

Another update:

1. Ys Book II: Ancient Ys Vanished - The Final Chapter PSN Vita
2. 3D Streets of Rage 2 3DS eShop
3. 3D Gunstar Heroes 3DS eShop
4. 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 3DS eShop
5. 3D OutRun 3DS eShop
6. Mugen Senshi Valis II: The Fantasm Soldier PCE CD
7. Mugen Senshi Valis III: The Fantasm Soldier PCE CD
8. Bomberman PCE CD
9. Rocket Knight Adventures Mega Drive
10. Trax Game Boy
11. Panic Bomber Virtual Boy
12. Arcana Heart 3: Love MAX!!!!! Vita
13. Super Monkey Ball Gamecube
14. Lost Kingdoms Gamecube
15. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle Gamecube
16. 1080° Avalanche Gamecube
17. Bubble Ghost Game Boy
18. Catrap Game Boy
19. 3D Thunder Blade 3DS eShop *NEW*
20. 3D AfterBurner II 3DS eShop *NEW*
21. 3D Fantasy Zone II W: The Tears of Opa-Opa 3DS eShop *NEW*

3D Thunder Blade

Like many of the games in the 3DS 3D Classics series by Sega and M2, this is a port of one of Sega's old super scaler arcade games. If you've ever played Super Thunder Blade on the Mega Drive, you might be inclined to avoid this one - but lets clear this up right away - the Arcade version of Thunder Blade is significantly better than the god-awful home console port.

Thunder Blade consists of 4 scrolling levels where you fly a helicopter against a bunch of enemy tanks, planes and choppers. It's big gimmick is how it changes the perspective - at some points you'll be flying into the screen dodging enemy attacks as they come at you. At other points you'll be shown a top-down perspective and shoot down at targets on the ground.

As well as shooting normally, you can also fire missiles which target enemies in the in-to-screen perspective, and travel across the ground in the top down. You can speed up and slown but this isn't too useful.

Like most of these 3D Classics ports, there are some bonus features. The main one here is an unlockable mode which powers up your missiles so they explode bigger and which rewards you with a ton of extra lives at the end of a stage based on how many enemies you missiled. It's OK, but it's basically easy mode, so kinda dumb you need to beat the game for it.

Thunder Blade is OK, but it's not great. Of the shooty shoot super scaler games, I prefer Galaxy Force to this, and probabl Space Harrier too, even if I don't love that game. I think the Super Scaler racers are generally better though - they feel less cheap and awkward.

3D Afterburner II
Aaaaand here's another super scaler shooter port. Afterburner 2 features you flying a cool jet and shooting down other cool jets and stuff. It's fast and action packed. I also think it's kinda meh.

In Afterburner, as well as shooting, you can scroll your targeting reticule over enemy planes to lock on and then shoot a homing missile at them. This is kinda awkward though, as the reticule is super twitchy and the planes come at you pretty fast. They tend to shoot missiles at you too, which are hellish to avoid. I died a lot. Enemies also approach from behind and crash into you or shoot you there too. I died an awful lot.

Missiles are the better method of attack, but they are limited. You can get them refilled every couple of stops when you make a pit stop or connect to a refuelling plane.

The problem with Afterburner is that everything comes at you way too fast and way too often and your method of attack is really kinda awkward to connect with and your giant ass plane blocks your view and you get hit with a missile and die a lot. The game doesn't change up often (a few levels where you fly between a cliff and shoot at the ground) and I got tired quickly.

If it sounds like I hated Afterburner, that;s not true. But I certainly didn't love it. For my money it's one of the weakest in the 3D Classics series. You could get i for completion, but there are so many better games in the series to pick up first.

3D Fantasy Zone II W: The Tears of Opa-Opa

3D Fantasy Zone II W is a very interesting entry in the 3D Classics series. The original Fantasy Zone 2 was created solely for Master System, rather than being an arcade port. However, when Sega released it's series of SEGA AGES PS2 remaster bundles, M2 decided to recreate the game on system 16 arcade hardware, using real arcade hardware, before emulating that for the PS2 game. In addition, they refined and changed some of the elements, such as making the warp gate system the core of a light/dark mechanic instead of having individual areas to shoot in. This System 16 version is what M2 have based this game from here.

Fantasy Zone 2 plays much like the first, complete with weapon shops, a wide selection of items to use and cool screen filling bosses. To fight the bosses, much like the first game, you must take out all enemy bases in a side scrolling area where you can freely move left and right, like in Defender. New to Fantasy Zone 2 are warp gates - they switch you between the light side (easier enemies and less money) and the dark side (harder but more lucrative). Bases in one side stay destroyed on the other. Whichever side you're on after the last base is blown up determines whether you fight the easy light side boss or difficult dark side boss. One of my favourite things about this game is that nearly all the power ups feel useful - Opa-Opa is slower and less twitchy, and unlike the first game where only the big wings were worth buying in terms of speed upgrades, you might prefer faster engines here. Upon dying on a boss you're allowed to buy a new engine too, so no dying to bosses because you're too slow!

This dual mechanic is part of a morality system that determines your ending - defeating all the light side bosses makes you fight all the dark side bosses in a boss rush on the second last level. You then become dark opa-opa, and upon beating the game you get the bad ending. This is the first one I got. You have to beat all dark mode bosses to get a light side boss rush, and become light opa-opa for a better ending. There's also a best ending for being light opa-opa and using the special 'teardrop' weapon on the final boss once defeated.

The 3DS port looks lovely in 3D, and offers a bunch of cool new features - maybe the most of the whole 3D Classics collection. A coin bank saves up all the coins you collect so that you can start off with more coins in a future run. You can also choose to start from any level previously reached, but you will be dark opa-opa if you do. Hitting certain milestones in the coin bank unlocks rewards such as infinite weapon time, extended weapon time and double coin drops. It's good stuff. In addition, there is a special high score mode called Link Loop Land available that is a unique experience all to itself and can be quite addictive.

3d Fantasy Zone 2 is really something special. I love the original Fantasy Zone (and I'm working on the 3D port now, but it's pretty tricky!) but this one is even better. It's more refined, it plays smoother and it feels fairer. The 3D port is brilliant. This is one of the best entries in the 3D Classics series, and everyone should go and pick it up.
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