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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:20 am

Did you just happen to play through Chronicles of Mystara like a week after flake and I did, or did my review make you want to play it?
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:41 am

ElkinFencer10 wrote:Did you just happen to play through Chronicles of Mystara like a week after flake and I did, or did my review make you want to play it?

I actually went through it a few days before you guys and only now got around to posting about it... :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:54 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
ElkinFencer10 wrote:Did you just happen to play through Chronicles of Mystara like a week after flake and I did, or did my review make you want to play it?

I actually went through it a few days before you guys and only now got around to posting about it... :lol:

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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:17 pm

Games Beaten:
1. 3D Power Drift 3DS
2. Maze Hunter 3-D 3DS
3. Hyrule Warriors Legends 3DS
4. Icarus Proudbottom's World of Typing Weekly PC
5. Paper Mario N64
6. Catherine PS3
7. Glover N64
8. Blast Corps N64
9. Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! Switch eShop
10. Pullblox 3DS eShop
11. Pokémon Picross 3DS eShop
12. Bare Knuckle III Mega Drive
13. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja SNES
14. Alisia Dragoon Mega Drive
15. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Mega Drive
16. Dynamite Headdy Mega Drive
17. Runbow Wii U eShop
18. The Mystical Ninja starring Goemon N64
19. 3D Puyo Puyo 2 3DS
20. Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa 3DS
21. SteamWorld Dig 3DS eShop
22. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Switch
23. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped PS1
24. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time GC
25. Pilotwings 64 N64
26. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones GBA
27. Puyo Puyo Tetris Switch
28. Life Force NES
29. Bionic Commando NES
30. Bonk's Revenge TGCD
31. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia 3DS *NEW*
32. Splatoon 2 Switch *NEW*
33. Shantae & The Pirates Curse 3DS eShop *NEW*
34. Devil May Cry PSN *NEW*
35. Team Kirby Clash Deluxe 3DS eShop *NEW*
36. Blaster Master Wii U VC *NEW*
37. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes GC *NEW*

1. Bare Knuckle III Mega Drive
2. Die Hard Arcade Saturn
3. The World of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Mega Drive

Hello, I have been very very lazy and have not been posting my thoughts on games I have beaten. Thus, prepare for a barrage of barely coherent mini-reviews of everything I've beaten for the last 2 months!

Here's part 1, which is game 1-7 of 14(!) I have to write up. If I can type it up fast enough, part 2 will arrive tomorrow.

Fire emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia


Fire Emblem Echoes is the latest in the long-running strategy RPG series and is a 3DS remake of the second Famicom title Fire Emblem Gaiden.

Fire Emblem Gaiden is known for being a classic NES/Famicom ‘black sheep’ second entry thanks to its many experimental mechanics that didn’t return in the series for some time. Nowadays though, many of the things that made it unique (unbreakable weapons, grinding opportunities, multiple reclassing options for certain characters, multiple tiers of promotions) have been reused in later entries, and so it feels like less of a side step for the series, and more of an early innovator. There are still some unique mechanics to consider though, such as the fact that mages can now learn multiple spells from a list, unique to each character, and can choose which to cast at will. However, all spells cost HP , making the bigger spells a risky option due to the damage you will take when casting them.

Echoes dials back a lot of the more complicated elements of the newer fire emblem games, and even some of the long running staples – the weapon triangle is not present, support conversations are limited, there’s no child units. However, a big new mechanic it introduces instead are the explorable dungeons – mazes which can be explored in an action segment complete with enemy encounters which are small scale Fire Emblem battles. These encounters are very bite size and thus work well for a portable title such as this. Random encounters also appear on the world map and are also very brief.

The main chapters on the world map are split between 2 separate parties, and most of the time you can progress each party freely, until they achieve their objectives for the chapter. The interesting thing about this mechanic is that you end up using a much larger force of at least 20 good units – 10 per each team (the amount needed for dungeons). You also end up training the leftover units somewhat too, as all your troops are forced into overworld encounters, so it’s helpful for them to be able to defend themselves, especially as many enemy units can teleport.

Difficulty wise, Echoes starts more challenging than other Fire Emblem games, especially the recent ones, as your units all have low base stats to begin. However, by the end some of your units will steamroll the enemy, especially the overpowered bow knight class.
Fire Emblem Echoes isn’t perfect. The basic nature of encounters means theres not much innovation in the enmy encounters, so limited terrain, NPC concerns etc to consider compared to other games with more planned out chapters. The plot is basic (but serviceable) and some of the characters aren’t very likeable or memorable, but on the whole I found the game to be a refreshing change of pace from the more flexible but complex systems of the newer Fire Emblem games, and a bit more challenging to boot. It’s a good time, and I had a good time with it.

Splatoon 2


This is just going to be a review of the single player campaign, as I have yet to put much time into the multiplayer.

Splatoon 2 is a third person shooter for Nintendo Switch, developed and published by Nintendo themselves. You play as a squid kid. One second you are a kid now, running around and shooting your ink blasting weaponry, and the next a squid now, able to swim quickly through the ink, even up vertical services. The multiplayer game uses these mechanics in a 4 vs 4 team battle with various rulesets, but the single player does something slightly different. Facing off against the evil octarian army, it’s your job to blast through levels shooting tentacled bozos and finding secrets in order to make your way to the zapfish at the end. Zapfish are basically this games equivalent of Mario Galaxy’s power stars, and the level design of the game also reminds me of Galaxy – lots of floating island sections with surreal hazards to navigate.

New to this game is the ability to wield multiple weapon types throughout the main story, as opposed to the original games splattershot (read: machine gun) only. Being able to wield other weapons such as the dual pistol Splat Dualies, sniper rifle Splat Charger and melee focused Splat Roller completely changes how you tackle a level. Some missions also force you into using one weapon or another the first time you play them, which lets them be tailored nicely to teaching you new weapon mechanics – something put to the best use with the new Splat Brella weapon – a weird umbrella gun which can shield, fly forward as a defensive and offensive weapon, and shoot short range blasts of ink.

Splatoon 2’s single player, like the first, is fun, but short and clearly not the main focus of the game. It also felt more underwhelming than the first game, which had a great final encounter to finish the campaign. In comparison, the final boss of Splatoon 2 was a bit of a limp fish (heh).

Someone play some online with me at some point soon and I’ll add an addendum to this review saying my thoughts on that too. I’m sure it’s great though.

Shantae and the Pirates Curse


Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is the third game in the Shantae series. I played it on 3DS, but it’s available on just about every modern console too.

The big gimmick of this game is that Shantae has lost her genie powers so cannot transform into animals this time. Thus, in order to stop the big bad, she teams up with Risky Boots and can find pirate equipment which gives her new abilities instead. What this ACTUALLY does is improve the game substantially – it feels more like Metroid where new abilities get added to your own moveset and makes the game move much faster and more fluidly than the old system of transforming into animals. Which is a shame really, considering that is Shantae’s main gimmick.

I wasn’t a fan of the original Shantae when I played it a few years back. I found it a bit rough around the edges, and with far too much random enemies spawning on top of you and the likes. This game though, was fantastic. The music is awesome, the visuals are gorgeous, and the game moves along at a fast and brisk pace. Some of the level design is a bit too basic for my liking, and the writing is a bit too ‘Indie’ for me at times (ie. Too many in-jokes, 4th wall breaks and fanservice) but overall I had a good time with this one. I haven’t played the 2nd game or 4th game in the series though, so I guess I’ll get to those sometime and see if they’re more like this or the first game in the series.

Devil May Cry


Devil May Cry is an action game for PS2, but I played the HD Remastered version on PS3 via the Playstation Network (thanks, Humble Bundle!). It was also the 7th game I beat as part of the Summer Games Challenge.

Devil May Cry is game mostly about running and hitting things. You have 2 types of melee weapon to do this with, both of which can be upgraded with a variety of new skills. In addition, you also have a variety of guns which can be used alongside them, including dual pistols, a powerful shotgun and a long range grenade launcher. Combat flows in a way where attacks can be chained together, and it’s possible to juggle enemies with your guns as well as your attacks.

Devil May Cry is a game with a reputation for difficulty, but on the Normal difficulty it really wasn’t so bad overall. It was however a bit uneven – the early sections were some of the hardest due to your smaller health bar, meaning enemies could kill you in about 3 hits, and also just some pretty mean boss fights (that lava scorpion first boss is one of the hardest encounters in the game. These issues are compounded early on by the odd lack of linearity. Whereas later levels are very obvious in where to go to progress, the first few give you a very open area to explore with no hint on which way to go really, leading to some confusion for new players. This is compounded by the game not making it obvious which background elements are interactive and which are just background, meaning it’s easy to miss essential areas. All of these are probably remnants of it’s origins as a Resident Evil game, but they do detract from the game, as do the static camera angles that cause you to run the wrong way as the camera transitions and get smacked about by enemies just off screen.

The other thing that holds Devil May Cry back is the fact that it’s just been bettered since. I played Bayonetta a few years ago, and it does everything DMC does but better. It even does the OTT protagonist better, and the soundtrack too. Forget about the story, DMC barely has one.

DMC is OK, but I feel as a ‘classic’ it was only really one in it’s day. It’s genuinely a generally underwhelming experience these days, and I wouldn’t say it’s a necessary game to revisit.

Team Kirby Clash Deluxe


Team Kirby Clash Deluxe is a free-to-play eShop title for Nintendo 3DS. The original concept appeared as a mini-game within Kirby: Planet Robobot named Team Kirby Clash, and features a team of 4 Kirbys fighting a series of boss fights with RPG elements thrown in. Each Kirby can switch between 4 job classes before battling, which are all modified versions of powers from Planet Robobot.

The classes include the Sword Knight - a fast attacker who now creates a large shield to protect the whole team when blocking, the Hammer Lord – a slow but very powerful hammer wielder who can deal heavy damage with his charged attack, but is not very mobile, the Beam Mage – a modified version of the beam power which can stop time for opponents if it hits them enough with it’s charge shot, and finally Doctor Healmore, who wields the new ‘Doctor’ power from Robobot, and has a variety of projectiles as well as a chargeable healing skill.#

In addition to character classes, other RPG elements come into play, with a levelling system, experience points, equippable weapons and armour and statistics to raise including attack, defence, vitality, team attack power and charge speed. Upon level up you can also sometimes raise Kirby’s kindness and rosiness statistics, but these literally do nothing in game, it’s just a silly joke.

Kirby Clash Deluxe is a lot of fun, but there’s an elephant in the room, and it’s called ‘free-to-play’. New weapons, new bosses and many other things in TKCD require ‘jewel apples’ to unlock or purchase, and these are available at a rate of 5 every 12 hours real time, or by purchasing them with real money. Buying more jewel apples increases the rate at which new free jewel apples grow also. You can obtain jewel apples from completing special challenges too (beat a boss as all sword knights for example, or beat a boss in under 40 seconds) but these are finite and often difficult. I’ll come right out and say it – beating this game is a long and drawn out process without buying jewel apples. I spent about £5 on some myself, and that gave me enough to beat most of the game over the course of a few weeks, but I’m a long way from completing everything. Frankly, I’d rather this had just been a standard eShop release, where it would’ve been priced at the price of about £13 or something and been a brisk and fun experience.

As it is now, TKCD is very hard to recommend because of the layer of tedium strapped between the fun you’ll be having every so often when you finally accrue enough apples. It’s a shame, because the core game is a fun blast otherwise. Don’t commit yourself to this unless you’re willing to spend at least a bit to give yourself a decent start in the game.

Blaster Master


Blaster Master is a metroid-style platformer for NES which also features some overhead run and gun sections, and it was the 8th game I beat for my Summer Games Challenge.

Blaster Master is a game I’ve tried to beat before and failed, and that’s because it is quite hard and quite long, and it has limited continues. Dying 3 hours into a run without any remaining continues is heart wrenching, that’s for sure. This time through I made sure to scout out grinding spots to help me progress. The reason for this is that the hardest parts of Blaster Master are undoubtedly the boss fights, and they’re made substantially easier with the benefit of a fully powered weapon.

The weapon system might be one of Blaster Master’s biggest flaws in all honesty. The gun is all but useless unless almost completely powered up, but it powers down every time you get hit. Dying resets it to the minimum power level, to the effect thatg a single death on a boss can cost you a whole continue as you no longer stand a chance against him. This is compounded by the games frankly atrocious hit detection, especially on the best gun, with me hitting bosses some times for THIRTY SECONDS or more without actually damaging them.

It’s not all bad though, in fact it’s quite good. The overworld sections are fun, if a bit too labyrinthine, and completing each boss gives you a new power up for your tank, creating a fun sense of progression. It’s confusing getting the wall climbing power up near the end though as you can no longer drive off a ledge due to sticking to it, and it almost cost me my successful run through the game. For the record, I made 3 other runs, 2 of which ended on the world 6 boss, and 1 of which ended on the world 7 boss. Both of those bosses would be easy if my fucking hits registered once in a while…

Blaster Master is a sold and fun game for NES overall, but I hesitate to call it a classic. It’s too flawed in design, too cheap in enemy placement and too janky in collision detection to be worthy of such a title. It is a decent game though, with a great soundtrack and it’s at least worthy of your time. I don’t think it’s a ‘must beat’ though, considering the difficulty involved in doing so.

P.S. I used online maps. I couldn’t be arsed drawing my own, and it gets very confusing to do so anyway.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes


Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a Gamecube remake of the classic Playstation action/stealth title Metal Gear Solid. It was also the 9th game I beat for my Summer Game Challenge.

A few years back for the Summer Challenge, I played through Metal Gear Solid for the first time. It wasn’t a title I thought I’d enjoy, but I ended up really liking it, and have made a tradition of beating an entry in the series each year for the challenge. After clearing MGS2 and MGS3 over the last few years, this year I decided to try my hand at the 6th gen remake of the original, which from my understanding is slightly controversial with fans.

This is for 2 reasons – the first is that it introduces mechanics from MGS2 to the original game, which makes it easier in many ways – you can jump over railings to hang from underneath, stuff dead or sleeping enemies into lockers to hide their bodies from other guards, and importantly, aim in first person mode to dispatch enemies easier. If you use this successfully, you can destroy sections of the original game that were quite hard in the PS1 original. You can also use the newly introduced tranquiliser guns to do so without killing anyone too.

The other reason it’s controversial is the cutscenes. MGS as a series has always been over the top and silly, but Twin Snakes takes it to another level. It’s actually kind funny – Snake matrix jumps through bullets (complete with the classic matrix air ripple trail), surfs on missiles, kicks grenades and at one point does a cartwheel over a door frame to the other side to get a better view or something, even though that makes no sense and looks totally stupid. I agree with the fans on this one, the original version was better. However, I still enjoyed this version because it was so stupid it was funny.

Other than these changes, the game is pretty faithful to the original. Very little has changed besides a few conveniences saving you time which is appreciated. I’m sad to say that despite having played 6 MGS games prior to this, including the original, I died a whole bunch of times in the opening heliport and tank hangar sections of this game just like when I first played MGS for PS1 3 or 4 years ago. I guess I didn’t improve much XD

Twin Snakes is a fun way to play the game, but the PS1 game is cheaper and probably better. Play that one if you’re deciding which to buy, but if you can get both, it’s worth it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by ElkinFencer10 Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:59 pm

Games Beaten in 2017 So Far - 97
* denotes a replay

January (10 Games Beaten)
1. Persona 4 Arena - Playstation January 1
2. Chrono Trigger - SNES - January 7
3. Ys: The Vanished Omens - Master System - January 8
4. MUSHA - Genesis - January 10
5. Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe and the Blight Below - PlayStation 4 - January 11
6. Ys I - TurboGrafx-CD - January 13
7. Ys II - TurboGrafx-CD - January 14
8. Dragon Quest Builders - PlayStation 4 - January 23
9. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard - PlayStation 4 - January 26
10. School Girl/Zombie Hunter - PlayStation 4 - January 29

February (12 Games Beaten)
11. Fire Emblem Heroes - Android - February 3
12. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD - Wii U - February 5
13. Dante's Inferno - PlayStation 3 - February 7
14. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 - DS - February 11
15. Persona 4: Dancing All Night - Vita - February 12
16. Sniper Elite 4 - PlayStation 4 - February 17
17. Pony Quest - NES - February 19
18. Halo Wars 2 - Xbox One - February 22
19. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions - PlayStation Portable - February 24
20. Hotline Miami - PlayStation 4 - February 26
21. Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light - Famicom - February 27
22. Bad Dudes - NES - February 28

March (6 Games Beaten)
23. Root Letter - PlayStation 4 - March 2
24. Vroom in the Night Sky - Switch - March 10
25. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch - March 17
26. Super Bomberman R - Switch - March 18
27. Super Mario Run - Android - March 24
28. I Am Setsuna - Switch - March 24

April (9 Games Beaten)
29. Mass Effect: Andromeda - PlayStation 4 - April 1
30. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army - PlayStation 4 - April 2
31. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 - PlayStation 4 - April 2
32. New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers - Switch - April 3
33. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 3 - PlayStation 4 - April 4
34. Persona 5 - PlayStation 4 - April 17
35. Alienation - PlayStation 4 - April 18
36. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - PlayStation 4 - April 23
37. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair - PlayStation 4 - April 29

May (14 Games Beaten)
38. Puyo Puyo Tetris - Switch - May 4
39. Fire Emblem Gaiden - Famicom - May 6
40. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Switch - May 6
41. Outlast II - PlayStation 4 - May 7
42. Dishonored - PlayStation 4 - May 10
43. Snipperclips: Cut it Out, Together! - Switch - May 12
44. Pikmin - Gamecube - May 12
45. Metal Slug - Neo Geo MVS - May 13*
46. Dariusburst CS: Chronicle Savior - PlayStation 4 - May 14
47. Batman: The TellTale Series - PlayStation 4 - May 17
48. Batman: Arkham VR - PlayStation 4 - May 18
49. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - 3DS - May 25
50. Farpoint - PlayStation 4 - May 27
51. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Xbox 360 - May 29

June (10 Games Beaten)
52. Star Trek: Bridge Crew - PlayStation 4 - June 2
53. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier - PlayStation 4 - June 3
54. Rebel Galaxy - PC - June 18
55. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Vita - June 20
56. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault - PC - June 21*
57. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault - Spearhead - PC - June 21
58. Medal of Honor: Allied Assault - Breakthrough - PC - June 22
59. Aliens Versus Predator - PC - June 23
60. Army Men - PC - June 24*
61. Apartment 666 - PC - June 26

July (20 Games Beaten)
62. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist - Genesis - July 12*
63. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone - PlayStation 4 - July 15
64. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine - PlayStation 4 - July 22
65. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - PlayStation 4 - July 24
66. Splatoon 2 - Switch - July 25
67. Kamiko - Switch - July 25
68. Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge - Xbox - July 26
69. Panzer Dragoon - Saturn - July 27*
70. Snake Pass - Switch - July 27
71. Buck Bumble - Nintendo 64 - July 28*
72. Castlevania - NES - July 29
73. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - NES - July 29
74. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse - NES - July 29
75. Super Castlevania IV - SNES - July 30
76. Castlevania Adventure - Game Boy - July 30
77. Castlevania Adventure Rebirth - Wii - July 30
78. Contra Rebirth - Wii - July 31
79. Heavy Fire: Special Operations - Wii - July 31
80. Heavy Fire: Black Arms - Wii - July 31
81. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn - July 31*

August (9 Games Beaten)
82. Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius - Steam - August 4
83. Panzer Dragoon Saga - Saturn - August 5
84. Sunrider: Liberation Day - Steam - August 6
85. Emily is Away - Steam - August 8
86. Ys III: Wanderers from Ys - SNES - August 19
87. Nights of Azure - PlayStation 4 - August 25
88. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy - PlayStation 4 - August 26
89. Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut - Xbox One - August 27
90. Devil's Third - Wii U - August 30*

September (7 Games Beaten)
91. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle - Switch - September 4
92. Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom - Wii U - September 4
93. Daytona USA - Xbox 360 - September 6
94. Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara - Wii U - September 6
95. Cave Story+ - Switch - September 10
96. Cosmic Star Heroine - Steam - September 14
97. Lego Worlds - Switch - September 16

97. Lego Worlds - Switch - September 16


My childhood hopes and dreams are crushed.  Lego Worlds had so much potential and lived up to absolutely none of it.  This game should have been like Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign - even if it's not a perfect game, there's no way Traveller's Tales should have been able to screw this up.  Unfortunately, just as Clinton found a way to lose to a xenophobe who open mocked a disabled man during a campaign event, Traveller's Tales found a way to make a sandbox Lego game kind of suck.


A lot of people have described Lego Worlds as "Minecraft with Legos," but that's not entirely accurate.  I would say it's like No Man's Sky crossed with Minecraft  but all made out of Legos.  The box boasts "infinite worlds," and it's important to note what that means.  The worlds are not infinite.  On the contrary, the worlds are distressingly finite.  The NUMBER of worlds are infinite because they're all procedurally generated.  In fairness, some of the worlds are pretty big, but some of them are smaller than the Super Mario 64 level "Bob-omb Battlefield."  As with Minecraft, you can build whatever you want, but it very quickly becomes apparent that the focus is more on the exploration than the construction.  That's not necessarily a bad thing; especially when you find a huge subterranean cavern, it's a lot of fun to explore.  What can make things a bit dull is that, given the size of Lego bricks, construction from scratch takes a LONG time, and the controls for it are extremely finicky.  This is one way in which Minecraft's admittedly boring "literally everything is a cube" design is a boon; it makes construction much quicker and much more intuitive.


The reason that I say that Lego Worlds is a bit like No Man's Sky is not just because it's ridiculously disappointing (although that's also true of both games) but because the game turns into a mindless trudge through random worlds that all start to look the same on a hunt for increasingly hard to find objectives.  The end goal of the game's Adventure mode is to collect 100 gold bricks and become a "Master Builder."  At first, this seems like it shouldn't be too hard because the game throws gold bricks at you left and right for the simplest quests.  The problem is that as your collection of gold bricks builds, the game gets stingier and stingier with them to the point where I explored whole worlds and couldn't find a single gold brick.  That's not to say that there weren't any in that world, but that does bring me to the next major issue with the game - it's riddled with bugs.  I haven't played on PC or the Switch's more powerful companions, there were a lot of instances in which there was a marker on my map - either a green marker for a quest, a blue marker for the shop balloon, or a gold marker for a special chest - but nothing was there.  The chests are typically underground, so it makes sense that those aren't always immediately visible, but even after excavating right on top of the marker all the way down to the bottom of the map's Z axis, there would sometimes be no chest.  Those instances weren't a majority of the time by any means, but I'd say that happened a good 10% or 15% of the time, and that's just way too much.


I suspect that the mysteriously empty quest and chest makers are rooted in this next issue, but there are a PLETHORA of performance issues in the game, or at the very least, in the Switch version.  The frame rate on land is usually pretty fair - a few dips now and then, but nothing major - but the frame rate seems to drop to 10-15 frame per second underwater.  When you're using the landscape tool to remove areas of land, the game will lag behind what you're trying to do if you try to remove more than a little bit.  I used this method with the largest removal area that I could to dig down for chests, and the game would lag a full second a half behind the bricks I'm removing.  Another issue with the caverns (or being underground in general) is that the camera will occasionally clip up above ground on its own, and about half the time, your character will get warped to the ground above.  This may not sound like a big deal, but when you've spent the better part of a half hour exploring caverns to hunt for treasure chests in hopes of finding a gold brick or two, it's extraordinarily irksome to be ripped away and have no idea where the entrance to that cavern was or even where in it you were.


One of the GOOD features of the game is the second function of your "discovery tool," the tool with which you discover things.  The second function of that is to place any object, person, or animal you've "discovered," but if you've found blueprints for Lego buildings or structures, you can "place" them as well, automatically building them.  One of the BAD things about this feature is that no one bothered to spend any time on quality assurance for the Switch port as building these structures causes the game to absolutely CHUG along and - on rare occasion - completely freeze entirely.  I was trying to build a big ass castle (because it's like a rule that in any sandbox construction game, you build a big ass castle) after I had found a couple gold bricks in a cavern, and about halfway through auto-building my castle, the castle just sort of quits building itself.  The "bricks flying into shape" sound doesn't quit, and the little spinny white loading symbol is still in the middle of the Switch screen, but I can't move more than a few steps in any direction, and it just sits there.  After like three minutes, I gave up and just closed the game and restarted.  That doesn't happen too terribly often, but in my playthrough, it probably happened to me two or three times.


The one thing that the game does get right is the visuals.  The game definitely looks pretty, and there are some really nice light effects on the bricks from which the world is made.  The problem (yes, even with the stuff it gets right, the game screws something up) is that the draw distance is ABYSMAL.  We're talking legit PlayStation 1 draw distances here, but unlike Silent Hill, Lego Worlds doesn't use any kind of pseudo-fog effect to hide its craptastic draw distance; the world just pops in an out of existence abruptly.  This REALLY kills an otherwise pretty good initial presentation.  To make matters worse, not only does the world wait until you're basically on top of it to render, but with a lot of the NPCs in the game, they take time to appear even when you're standing right beside where they should be.  There were a few instances in which it took legit like 10 seconds for a quest person to appear, begging the question of whether those aforementioned empty quest makers were really empty or just taking their sweet damn time to load into the world.


Six paragraphs in, and I've barely even addressed the actual gameplay.  As I mentioned, the game is more about discovery and exploration than anything else, and you've got a "discovery tool" to add stuff to your database.  You can then summon anything in your database wherever you want including animals and vehicles to ride (I like the spaceships, personally).  You also have a "build tool" that lets you build things from scratch with bricks, and a "copy tool" that lets you save a copy of anything you find in the world within a set three dimensional space and recreate it later with the discovery tool.  Next you've got your paint tool that let's you - you guessed it - paint things.  The thing that's kind of neat about this is that the color paint you choose can change the bricks' properties in some situations.  If, for example, you paint a house with the "River Water" color, that house literally becomes water.  Gravity doesn't affect water in Lego Worlds like it does in Minecraft (remember, the world world is made out of bricks), so the house will stand up like normal, but if you walk into a wall, you'll suddenly be swimming underwater.  You can also open an inventory to select the various weapons that you've found for the admittedly limited combat in the game as well as a character customizer that lets you customize your character with parts from any of the various Lego characters you've discovered.  I've not spent much time playing around with different options, but I do know that some character parts have different effects.  For example, with your default character, you have a limited oxygen supply underwater, but if you use the skeleton head once unlocking it, you can breathe underwater (although I guess it would be more accurate to say "not have to breathe anywhere").


Lego Worlds is a functional game, but it stretches that description at times on Switch.  I haven't tried multiplayer, either online or local, and I imagine that it would actually be decently fun with a friend, but it gets so monotonous so fast solo.  There's some post-game stuff I could do, but honestly, I have zero incentive.  If I find someone else who has the game for Switch and wants to play together, I may pick it back up and give it another shot, but really, it made a horrible first impression, middle impression, last impression, and every impression in between.  Nothing about this game really impressed me, and because I had SUCH high hopes and hype for it, that made the disappointment sting so much worse.  I really can't recommend this game to anyone unless you're a SUPER hardcore Lego fan.  Hell, I'm a super hardcore Lego fan, and I still thought the game was pretty much garbage.  There's definite potential, but without some No Man's Sky-level content updates, that potential is probably going to remain wasted.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:19 am

Front Mission Alternative | 6/10


The Front Mission series has always been about giant mechs destroying other giant mechs. Typically these battles have been played out in a strategic turn based format. However, from time to time the series has seen deviations from that core design. Examples include Front Mission: Gun Hazard being a side scrolling platforming action-RPG, and Front Mission Evolved being a third person shooter. And then you have Front Mission Alternative, which is a real time strategy game as opposed to a turn based one. The west never saw Front Mission Alternative localized. This game remains twenty years later to this day a Japanese exclusive, and doesn't even have an English fan translation. However, there's an option to convert all menus to English. Doing so makes the core gameplay functional for non-Japanese players, although the player still misses out entirely on all plot exposition and dialogue as those things remain in Japanese. This is sad, because characters in Alternative are constantly talking, even while in battle. Unfortunately I can't tell you much about the plot, except it takes place in Africa, and appears to occur before the original Front Mission.


I can however tell you about the gameplay. The first thing I have to say is this is the easiest strategy game I've ever beaten. Finishing 31 missions took me about 4.5 hours, with barely any effort. During a mission you press Start to bring up an area map. You then choose where your mech platoons go. All you really have to do, is simply guide the blue units (yours) to the red units (enemies) and let them duke it out. Sure you have the ability to upgrade your platoon mechs, alter their stats and camouflage colors, level up your pilots and other such fluff. Really, none of it's necessary. The best option is to just choose the Storm layout for your platoons, and then go kill every enemy. Thankfully the graphics are very nice for their time, with cool stuff like solar flares, depth of field, big explosions, and plenty of particle effects. The OST is incredibly eclectic, focusing on the drum 'n bass electronica style which was so vogue in 1997. Controls are simple, but the numerous menus will take getting use to. At most you can have three platoons consisting of three mechs each, so a total of nine player units on the field. You can set each platoon to Offensive or Defensive, and change their targeting format to wide (Diffusion) or focused (Local Raid). It's all just window dressing really, as Front Mission Alternative is a total cakewalk. Often a slog of a cakewalk as you watch your mecha platoons slowly traverse the battlefield. And don't even get me started on how bad the AI's path-finding is. You'll be hand holding their every step often.


One of the strangest things in Front Mission Alternative, are the names of the weapons in English menu mode. For some reason nearly every weapon is labeled using a euphemism for a penis. Words such as "boner", "weiner", "schlong", "bushbeater", "manhood", and many other slang phallic terms are used to describe machine guns, missile launchers, and the like. I guess one of the developers was having a naughty laugh when they put that stuff in. So if you're wondering why I bothered to beat an RTS I couldn't understand the plot of, it's because I'm a Front Mission diehard. Someday I plan to have beaten every Front Mission game, and Alternative was on the list. Should it be on your list? Well, if you love mechs, PS1, and RTS, I suppose Front Mission Alternative is worth a shot. But I realize now why Square chose to skip this one for the west. Alternative is simply not as good as Front Mission 3 is, and Front Mission 3 was a much better introduction to this series for westerners than Alternative would have been. But hey, if you're in the mood for a mecha sausage party complete with drum 'n bass DJ, look no further than Front Mission Alternative.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:39 pm

1. Pokémon Moon - 3DS
2. Tony Hawk's Underground - GCN
3. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising - PC
4. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Retribution - PC
5. Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness - PSP
6. X-Wing: Imperial Pursuit - PC
7. Star Wars Republic Commando - PC
8. X-Wing: B-Wing - PC
9. Blazing Lazers - TG-16
10. Tales of Xillia 2 - PS3
11. Shining Force CD: Shining Force Gaiden - Sega CD
12. MUSHA - Genesis
13. Sonic CD - Sega CD
14. Final Fantasy Legend III - GB
15. Tales of Zestiria - PS3
16. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch
17. Horizon Zero Dawn - PS4
18. Tales of Berseria - PS4
19. Battlefield 1 - PC
20. Turok 2: Seeds of Evil - PC
21. Mass Effect Andromeda - PC
22. Starflight 2 - PC
23. Armored Hunter Gunhound EX - PC
24. Space Megaforce - SNES
25. Persona 5 - PS4
26. Torment: Tides of Numenera - PC
27. Cosmic Star Heroine - PC
28. Prey - PC
29. Strafe - PC
30. Mystic Origins - NES
31. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - 3DS
32. Ultra Street Fighter II - Switch
33. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - PC
34. Ultima IV - PC
35. Environmental Station Alpha - PC
36. Dust: An Elysian Tail - PC
37. Hollow Knight - PC
38. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter - PC
39. The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd - PC
40. Call of Duty - PC
41. Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 - 3DS
42. Sonic Mania - Switch
43. Mighty Gunvolt Burst - Switch
44. XCOM2: War of the Chosen - PC
45. Metroid: Samus Returns - 3DS

Nintendo's remake of Metroid 2 that got AM2R taken down, Samus Returns seeks to evolve the gameplay of the series (as compared to Zero Mission, which brought the original up to the standards set by Super Metroid and Fusion). While the overall structure is the same, the maps have undergone some pretty radical changes and the overall feel is a bit different from previous Metroid games.

The biggest change is the fact that holding down the L button puts you into a free aiming mode with the circle pad. This also locks you in place (minus jumping) and is the cause of the difference in feel. Previous Metroid games let you lock your cannon in a 45 degree angle, so combat came down to maneuvering to hit with that angle as much as possible. Here you can always get the right angle, so the emphasis is more on finding the breaks in enemy patterns to be able to unload. The other major change is the addition of a parry mechanic. On regular enemies this puts them in a vulnerable state and lets you instant kill them with a follow up shot (which is always aimed right where it needs to be). On bosses this opens them up to a series of counter attacks in a cinematic (though you still need to provide the actual firing). Several enemies have now become far more aggressive than they were in the original to fit in with this mechanic. While Metroid 2 generally consisted of enemies that patrolled around floors and enemies that flew a fixed pattern in the sky, now most of these enemies will charge you when they notice you, opening them up to a parry. Given that it would have been far too easy to kill everything with the free aiming, this adds in a degree of challenge that wasn't there (other than the terribly zoomed in screen that meant you might run into enemies accidentally in the original).

Like Fusion you once again have an integral power grip to vault ledges, and the Spider Ball was improved to be triggered off of the L button, allowing you more maneuverability (especially when combed with the Spring Ball) and making the whole thing more usable. In order to keep you from spending all your time in the Spider Ball they've added in a surface covering that keeps you from gripping a wall or ceiling; this also blocks the wall jump (which is also in game and easy to pull off). Also, like Fusion, enemy damage is tuned very high. Picking up Energy Tanks is pretty mandatory to keep going, whereas in Super you ended up reaching a point of "I'd really need to try to die". Here you're never far from death if you get cocky.

Map-wise, the overall shapes of each area are kept intact, and major features are still there (most noticeable in the areas that had large open sections). But the interiors were completely redone, and you can't really rely on previous Metroid 2 knowledge to know the right ways to go. Rather than an earthquake arbitrarily triggering when you kill the Metroids in an area, you have to visit a statue and turn in the DNA of killed Metroids. This statue will also reveal the location of a Metroid husk if you visit it with some, but not all, of the DNA in an area to give you a hint as to the location of the missing Metroids you need to kill. Once the statue gets all the DNA it releases a lock and drains the damage juice keeping you from each area.

Unlike Metroid 2, here you are expected to backtrack to get 100%. A SotN-style system of warps facilitates this, but it's never required. Every major upgrade is collected in its area and needs to be collected to hunt down every Metroid in the area, so if you don't want to backtrack for that extra missile expansion you don't have to.

All the Metroids have been made into proper boss fights. They have patterns and additional abilities, and combing those with different areas and you never feel like "oh yawn, another Gamma". The game has a nice system of checkpoints that trigger right before a Metroid room, so if you die you can immediately try again, rather than having to go from the nearest save station. Considering you are probably going to get trashed the first several times on a new kind of Metroid this is a godsend. My advice is to remember that every attack is dodgeable and everything has a tell. A really skilled player (i.e. not me, though I did have an almost perfect on one Omega) will be able to do every boss damageless by approaching each attack in the right way.

I was overall extremely happy with this game. It's definitely longer than previous handheld entries; I finished in six and a half hours, and my understanding is the best ending requires under four hours (compare to under two hours for Fusion and Zero Mission). it's a very well done remake that stands on its own as an evolution of the franchise, and I hope to see them do a Metroid 5 set after Fusion. Metroid is back.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:53 pm

I think each is good in its own way. Someone would define "better" for these two based on something they are specifically looking for that one has which the other doesn't.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Sarge Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:03 pm

I haven't quite finished, but I would agree with that assessment. They're both good, but they're also very different flavors of remake.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:50 pm

It's like asking whether X-COM: UFO Defense or XCOM: Enemy Unknown is better.
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