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Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:17 pm
by MrHealthy
Yay new year new list that I will barely talk about. I like lists.

1. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)
2. Reality Fighters (Vita) Replay
3. SOMA (PS4)
4. FEZ (Vita) Replay

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:49 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
1. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (Famicom)
2. Dragon Scroll: Yomigaerishi Maryuu (Famicom)
3. Ninja-kun: Majou no Bouken (Famicom)
4. Hello Kitty World (Famicom)
Ever play Balloon Kid on Game Boy? Then you've (almost) played Hello Kitty World.

Seriously. See, Balloon Kid has an odd history. Despite being of Japanese origin it wasn't released in its native land. What Japan got instead was a full-color Famicom port, coming two years after the original game, with the female protagonist Alice swapped out for one Hello Kitty.

Core gameplay is essentially identical to that of of the Game Boy original. Taking the "flappy" controls of predecessor Balloon Fight and expanding stages into full-blown auto-scrollers, it's a formula scarcely seen since. Stages move from right to left, oddly enough, where one is given the straightforward objective of guiding Hello Kitty from start to finish. The A button, either tapped or held, keeps Hello Kitty aloft via a duo of red balloons. Said balloons also serve as a sort of lifebar. If hit, one balloon pops. If both pop Hello Kitty plummets straight down, possibly to her doom. Vanquished balloons can also be reinflated by rapidly pressing the down button whilst on solid ground, providing Hello Kitty has a cache of spares (each stage offers up a generous amount).
Additionally, the game features some true platforming elements. Balloons can intentionally be discarded any time by pressing B, whereupon A now functions as a jump button. In early stages this maneuver is useful for snagging items or accessing bonus areas, while later stages force the player to quickly switch between "floaty" and "jumpy" modes of play.

Some would argue that this port outshines its monochromatic forebearer. One undeniable improvement is the scrolling. While the game auto-scrolls horizontally on both the Game Boy and Famicom, the Game Boy also featured player-induced vertical scrolling, as the stages couldn't "fit" on the screen otherwise. That issue is remedied here on the Famicom, with a larger available field of view. The color options here are also quite nice. World has a cheery and quaint look to it, with some of the background elements altered to fit the cutesy Hello Kitty theme. The game also prominently features some adorable cutscenes as well as a nice opening tutorial for new players. Hirokazu Tanaka's soundtrack has been transferred to the home console verbatim, though I think his compositions sounded a bit better when channeled through the shrill and chipper Game Boy sound chip. These are some killer tunes, whatever the case. It should be stated that while this is indeed a Hello Kitty game it doesn't feel like a true Sanrio game. Sure, another kitty (Mimmy?) is available for player two and the boy-in-distress is now a teddy bear, but stage layouts and enemy rosters are otherwise unaltered, which gives the game that conspicuous cut-and-paste licensed feel.
Overall, Hello Kitty's journey is a most enjoyable experience. "Flappy" controls have the potential to turn out disastrous, but here they feel taut and sound, and gracefully maneuvering Hello Kitty around various hazards can be done with relative ease. Unfortunately, the flaws present in the original Balloon Kid floated on over to the Famicom as well. The platforming segments, for starters, are just hot garbage. Hello Kitty perpetually moves like she's on ice. And, quite comically, the jumping controls are looser than the flappy balloon controls. There are also some boss battles shoehorned in. These are incredibly janky endeavors; there's no semblance of "combat" elsewhere in the game, and trying to hop on enemies with these jiggly jelly controls is quite the exercise in frustration.

Is this any better than the original Balloon Kid? I would say yes, slightly, due to the improved scrolling. That said, one's mileage will vary based on how much they appreciate the Hello Kitty character (my daughters prefer this variation of the game, go figure). In summation, this is a quirky and clever little retro title, and while I don't think it's quite a substitute for Balloon Kid, it provides an intriguing supplemental experience.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:45 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
Awesome review. That game looks like a true hidden gem.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:46 pm
by BoneSnapDeez

I actually mistakenly purchased the game in the first place. Thought I was getting a straightforward traditional platformer to play with my daughter. Turns out there are two Hello Kitty games on Famicom.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:53 pm
by Arenegeth
2019 Finished and Completed games:

Finished Games:


Completed Games:

    1. Spyro the Dragon (PS1)
- It was finished before it was completed for all of 20 minutes as I was 100%'ing every stage as I was clearing it. But as people who played the game would know, Spyro ends at 120% due to the one Dragon and Bonus stage that opens up after you beat the final boss. Of course on top of that, I went ahead and farmed 99 lives, simply because I could and it was reasonably quick, just to put a nice completionist bow on this fun game.

Spyro was an easy 3D platformer, I think I would have found it easy even if I had played it back in the day when I wasn't as experienced as I am now. But I also think I would have enjoyed it far more if I had played it on launch also.

You see Spyro was one of those games that 'slipped through the cracks'. I was aware of it when it came out (loved the demo), I wanted to play it and I had both the means and opportunity to buy it, but other things distracted me and it got forgotten and I didn't want to get the sequels because I hadn't played the first game, and that was that.

But these days, unless you are a PS1 fan or longed for the game since its launch like I did, you better of playing the new remake, it includes the sequels and it looks like is pretty faithful to the original gameplay experience.

Finished: 0
Completed: 1

Total: 1

Honorable Mentions:


Half a month and one game completed, which is fast for my standards as I would probably be mired in one JRPG or another for a few months. With my attempt to limit the JRPG's I play this year I will probably be completing and finishing more games than last year, but I guess time will tell.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 12:11 pm
by pook99
1. Kung fu z (android)
2. Celeste
3. Dead Dungeon
4. Defender Faith
5. The Messenger
6. Eroico
7. Awesome Pea
8. Vosaria: lair of the forgotten
9. Vintage Hero
10. God of War (ps4)

After a long and trying journey I finally finished god of war for PS4.

GOW was a day one purchase for me, my hype meter was through the roof, and everything I heard indicated that I would love it. When I finally play it the best word to describe my experience was disappointed. I really enjoyed the story right off the bat, and although I was initially worried that Atreus (his son) would be a whiny annoying brat, he was incredibly well developed and the chemistry between him and kratos was spot on. I also loved the environments of the game, but despite all this, there was something about the game that I did not enjoy and I was forcing myself to play it out of devotion to the series.

And I played it very sparingly, I would pick it up every few weeks, play for 20-30 minutes until I finally decided to just put it down for good, and the last time I played it was probably around May/June. With the new year upon us I decided to give the game one more shot and I am not sure what changed but I absolutely fell in love with the game.

So for anyone who doesn't know, GOW is now centered around Nordic Mythology. After killing every greek god, Kratos meets a girl, has a kid, and settles down into a quiet life in a snowy cottage. The story starts with his wife dying and her dying wish is that he take his son, to the highest peak in all the realms, and scatter her ashes over the peak. It seems like a simple quest, but due to a variety of unforseen cirumstances this quest takes them all over Midgard and its surrounding realms.

I won't spoil any of the story, but I will say that every thing is incredibly well written, and every supporting character you meet is likeable and has an interesting story. If you are into Nordic mythology at all you will love the story, but even if you are not, the story is more than well done enough for anyone to enjoy. Besides the obvious theme of Nordic mythology, the central theme of the game is really about fatherhood and the growing bond between father and son.

At the outset of the game Kratos is kind of an absentee dad, Atreus is clearly a mommas boy and barely knows his father, but they are forced to go on this journey together. Watching their relationship grow and develop is the highlight of the game. As much as I love the old games Kratos was a pretty one dimensional character, he killed everyone he met, and was a non-stop ball of rage. In this game Kratos grows significantly as a character as we watch him struggle with the loss of his wife, struggle with his parenting skills, and struggle to leave his old identity behind him. Kratos' development as a character is stellar, he is still as angry and tough as you want him to be, but his responsibility to Atreus forces him to try and be better so his son does not grow up to be like him. Atreus also shows a tremendous amount of growth as he goes from an innocent little mommas boy to a young warrior who learns about his true past. The dynamic between the 2 of them is probably the best chemistry I have ever seen in a video game and I really hope that make another game that further fleshes this relationship out.

Like any GOW game combat makes up the core of the game. While this game certainly has more downtime than the other games, as well as random puzzles to explore, and loads of hidden stuff in the environment, combat is what this game is about and it is handled really well. I give the developers a lot of credit for making a combat system that feels new. For the most part modern action games fall into one of 3 categories: Devil May Cry clone, Dark Souls clone, God of War clone(original GOW games), but this game plays nothing like any of them.

Combat takes place as a 3rd person over the shoulder view and Kratos has a very nice set of moves. He has an axe that performs basic combos and can be thrown and recalled, he can also fight with his bare hands, and a new weapon is unlocked halfway through the game which adds a whole new dynamic to the combat. Atreus is also present in combat and can shoot arrows to affect enemies in various ways, he can also grab enemies and restrain them so Kratos can beat the snot out of them. Combat is fast paced and a lot of fun, there are danger indicators that pop up around you so you always know where the enemies are. As the game progresses the game throws more and more at you and the amount of moves you could do increase, adding a lot of depth to the very dynamic combat.

The world is very large with TONS of optional content. I am not really into exploring in games like this, but there is a lot of optional content, challenging side bosses, side quests, and legendary items to found. If you are a completionist this game will definitely not leave you with a wealth of things to do.

I still don't get why I didn't enjoy this game at first, but I am really glad I gave it another chance. It definitely deserves all the praise it has received and it was a perfect way to bring god of war to this generation.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:18 pm
by marurun
  1. Blaster Master Zero -- Switch -- ~12 hours

Well, I finished my first game of the new year, and it's one I started over the summer and then dropped for a while. You have to start somewhere, I guess.

Others have reviewed Blaster Master Zero before me, but I'm going to run it down from the top anyway. Blaster Master Zero is a re-imagining of the classic Blaster Master. IntiCreates did the dev work and attempted to mimic the NES in some ways, using low color graphics and pixel art and chiptunes that are meant to evoke the NES sound. Unlike other Blaster Master sequels or remakes, however, they also stuck to a lot of the original model as well.

Most of the game takes place in side-scrolling levels in which you drive Sophia III, an advanced tank vehicle. As you progress in the game you can get cannon upgrades, new special weapons, mobility enhancements, and life bar extensions. Some areas require you to exit the tank as a tiny little dude to proceed. In this form, falling further than your jump height causes damage, and much further instant death. Your little dude can also enter dungeons, which switch to an overhead view and allow you to shoot in 8 directions. You can get better main weapons as you progress, special weapons, and maps, which display the full map for the level AND all dungeons contained therein, including indications of where to find bosses and items. All of these details are identical, or otherwise very similar, to the NES original. This game is essentially an attempt to recreate the original game in a larger, enhanced form.

Levels are somewhat non-linear. There is a definite path through the game, and keyed gates largely prevent too much sequence breaking, but you can sometimes get various upgrades and weapons in variable order, and the levels seem to be numbered arbitrarily. You may progress from level 3 to level 6, and then double back to level 2 later in the game. This is mostly OK, but there are some times the backtracking can be a real pain. More on that later.

Despite the self-imposed graphical and auditory constraints, the game looks and sounds good, and definitely does things the NES could never dream of, much like most retro re-interpretations. Control of the tank feels pretty smooth (except in water) and your dude controls well in dungeons. The game's flow is pretty easy to get into and mostly fun, but there are some hiccups. First is that the game attempts to retain two aspects of the original NES title.

The first of these is the energy bar for Sophia III. To use any of the special weapons, some of the charged shots, and some of the mobility functions of Sophia, you have to expend energy. Energy slowly regenerates, so you can't really get stuck with no way to advance due to lack of energy: just sit there long enough and you'll top up. Enemies frequently drop energy power-ups as well. However, you can often get stuck in a tight spot where you need to expend a lot of energy quickly, and then you just have to sit on your ass for a time while you wait to charge back up. Special weapons and movement abilities discharge energy a bit too quickly, and charge shots probably shouldn't use up any energy at all. They really did make the energy economy just a bit too tight at times.

The second hiccup is that, in true Sunsoft top-down fashion, when your character takes a hit in the overhead segments, his weapon is downgraded. This was a pain in the original and a pain here. But it's worse here. Later on you'll get a special recharging shield that allows you to take a hit and not lose a weapon level, but it it only so helpful (more later). In the NES original, your weapons got more and more powerful but behaved similarly. In trying to make this title more interesting, they made many of the weapon power levels behave dramatically differently. One weapon level is actually a shield that deflects shots and has no ability to deal damage or shoot on its own. But that means that if you take enough hits to lose the particular weapon you need for an area you can get screwed. Also, your dude walks pretty slowly, and many enemies do not. So you can get stuck in spots where you have no choice but to take 3-6 hits right on top of each other, wiping out a ton of weapon options and making the recharging weapon shield far less useful. The end result is occasional frustration when the game puts you in a bad place. And make no mistake, the game does sometimes put you in a bad place.

The game is normally pretty fast, fun, and fluid, but there are a lot of frustrating places. And it's not that those places are more challenging. It's that they feel designed to intentionally be frustrating. There's one spot where you, as the little tiny pilot in the side-view Sophia area, have to take a flying leap and catch a ladder mid-fall. And if you don't, of course, you die. And you jump back a screen and have to go through a small amount of annoying BS to get back to where you can try the leap of faith again. There are some areas in the top-view dungeons where you have to be "stealthy" (avoid the enemy, basically), and if you screw it up, instead of you fail and restart the level, all the enemies crowd in on you. You CAN survive to escape the screen, but if you do your weapon will be very powered down and you'll have lots most of your health bar. It's frankly better to just die and restart at the beginning of the dungeon, because it remembers how much life and weapon power you came in with and resets you. Whereas if you get spotted and manage to escape, you're probably in a much worse state than if you just started over and tried again.

One other frustration I had is that there is no quick travel system. If you discover you missed a power up because you weren't paying enough attention, going back to find and collect it can be an absolute pain. There aren't many shortcuts, and even with shortcuts it takes time.

The game has a normal, sad ending, and a good, complete ending.
In order to get this ending you have to collect all the power-ups in the game, including life extensions. This good ending unlocks a bunch of different play modes.

If this review sounds a little overly critical, that's because it kind of is. When I started playing the game I really liked what they were doing, but by the end of the game, I was just glad to be done. I feel like Blaster Master Zero was a good idea taken too far. It paid too much homage to the original, capturing some bad ideas with the good. On the whole I found it fun, but there were too many frustrating moments, especially near the end of the game. And those frustrating moments felt like bad design, not mistakes. They were simply bad ideas that got implemented, and not oversights by the design team. The game was 70% great and 30% annoying, which is just too much annoying, even given how good the great parts are. This is not a game I will ever go back and replay, sadly. But I am glad I got to experience it.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:37 am
by pook99
@Maruran: Sometimes developers try and take the nostalgic thing too far, I think I enjoyed Blaster Master Zero a lot more than you did, but the mechanic of losing weapon power ups when taking a hit was terrible when the orginal released and is terrible now. They should have used the open world layout to hide guns in random zones and once you find a gun you can permanently equip it and use it, that would have made so much more sense.

Games Beaten

1. Kung fu z (android)
2. Celeste
3. Dead Dungeon
4. Defender Faith
5. The Messenger
6. Eroico
7. Awesome Pea
8. Vosaria: lair of the forgotten
9. Vintage Hero
10. God of War (ps4)
11. Legendary Wings (nes)

Legendary Wings is a game I have been meaning to play my entire life. I remember seeing it in a rental store when I was around 8 or so and it looked really cool and I always wanted to play it. I loved the idea of schmups that were played both horizontally and vertically, ala life force, my favorite schmup of all time. I never did play it when I was young, as an adult it is a game I would randomnly turn on, play for 2 minutes and turn off. I never really sat down and played it, probably because I perceived the game to have soul crushing difficulty.

At the outset of the game you have a terrible gun, 2 lives, no continues, and die in one hit. I would frequently get killed early, realize the game lacks continues, and then turn it off. Today, I was determined to git gud and finally beat this game that I have always wanted to play.

What I realized after playing through it, is the game is not really that difficult, in fact it is pretty easy, and once I mastered the first level, I beat the rest of the game on my first try.

Legendary wings is an odd game, heres how it works: you start the game with a terrible gun, if you collect a P icon your gun gets upgraded and you can take an extra hit, but when you do get hit your gun gets downgraded. When you collect 5 P icons without getting hit you turn into the flaming phoenix, equipped with an ultra powerful wave attack and in this form you can take 3 hits before you get downgraded. So the trick to beating the game is to master level 1, finish level 1 in flaming form, and then never lose it. If you could do that you can beat the game, and it is not as hard as it sounds.

Every level follows the same pattern:

1) Overhead section
2) boss fight with a dragon, all with the same attack pattern
3) side scrolling section
4) boss fight with a spaceship

Because of the lack of variety in bosses the only thing you need to really worry about is the levels themselves, and while they are hard, you should be able to make it from power up to power up without taking more than 4 hits, if you could do that, each new P you collect puts you back into full powered flaming form, if you start to get downgraded too much then you are screwed.

One of my initial complaints about the game was 2 lives and no continues, as it turns out there is a bonus area in each level that grants you continues in the form of collectable hearts. Each bonus level contains 2-3 hearts and by the time I finished the game I had 8 lives and probably about 10 continues. The catch is it doesnt really matter, if you let your gun get downgraded you get put in a really bad position and I'm not sure that all the extra lives will save you at that point.

The overhead levels in this game are fun, they can get loaded with a good amount of enemies and bullets and are generally challenging and well designed . The side scrolling levels are fairly easy and while they are a nice change of pace, they are not nearly as hectic or challenging as the overhead sections. I always breathed a sigh of relief when I made it to these sections because I knew the worst was over and the rest of the level would be smooth sailing.

My biggest complaint about the game is the way the bosses work. Every level ends with an identical part of statues shooting at you, they are the same statues, shooting the same pattern, located in the same places. The first time I ran through this gauntlet I was like holy shit this is totally insane!!! By the 3rd time I knew exactly where everything was and preemptively shot where I knew the statues would be, by the 5th time I could do it with my eyes closed. All 5 levels end in this way and when you reach the end of the statue gauntlet you come face to face with a dragon, the same dragon, with the same attack pattern at the end of every level.

The side scrolling sections also end with the exact same boss fight, a giant spaceship with eyeballs that shoot other eyeballs at you, both bosses were easy the first time I fought them, and although they increased in difficulty as the game progressed, they were samey enough for me to never break a sweat on them. At the end of the 5th level you go through the spaceship and come face to face with the final boss...a square that shoots electricity at you and warps in and out of the screen like Dr. Wily spaceship. Very underwhelming.

I'm glad I finally played the game, despite its flaws I did have a good time with it, but I doubt it is a game I would revisit anytime soon, but I am glad to check it off of my bucket list.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:41 am
by marurun
Haha, I’m just impressed you survived my patented Wall O’ Text.

I will say this. I think if I had completed the game on a much shorter time scale, I would have enjoyed it much more. As it is, I started the game over the summer and completed about 3/4 the available content and then let the game sit until just this week. What that means is I completely lost the flow of the game and was not able to capitalize on having the skill development from the early game fresh in my mind. The annoying aspects of the game would still be annoying, but my own continued skill development probably would help minimize some of the annoyance.

Re: Games Beaten 2019

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:50 pm
by elricorico
Ni No Kuni 2 (PS4)

The first Ni No Kuni is still my favourite game for the PS3, so I had purchased the sequel when it went on sale even before I owned a PS4. On Black Friday of 2018 I dove into the current generation and got a PS4 slim. Ni No Kuni 2 has been all I've played on it since. I rolled the credits last night after more than 50 hours of game time. That included plenty of optional content done already.

This game doesn't break any real new ground for JRPGs, but everything is pretty solid. It does have a kingdom building system that adds a number of sidequests and secondary tasks. Most sidequests are pretty straightforward (fetch this, kill that, find a character). The story is simple but told well. The characters are not deep, but they are likable. Combat is fast paced and not very difficult. All in all I'd say it created a sort of JRPG comfort food. The game takes place in the same world as the first and had plenty of nods to the original, but playing the first would not be a requirement. Being such a big fan of the first made those nods special to me.

I enjoyed my time thoroughly, though I'd say it isnt quite as good as the first game. I felt that the original had just an extra helping of love to most aspects; the world, story, visuals and audio. I do plan on playing more in endgame to grab some more of the trophies, and may even go for platinum if it keeps entertaining me.