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nullPointer
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:34 pm

The List So Far:
1. To the Moon [PC/Steam]
2. Super Mario All-Stars: Super Mario Bros. 3 [SNES]
3. The Goonies [Famicom] [Together Retro - 01/2018]
4. Disney's Kim Possible: Revenge of Monkey Fist [GBA] [Together Retro - 01/2018]
5. The Addams Family [SNES] [Together Retro - 01/2018]

6. The Adventures of Batman & Robin [SNES] [Together Retro - 01/2018]
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The first thing I need to make clear is that I'm completely biased in my views regarding Batman: The Animated Series. For me this version of Batman remains the definitive onscreen version of the character and that includes cinematic adaptations. The Animated Series gave Batman fans something to hold onto during those years when the quality of the Batman franchise was taking a nose dive in theaters (thanks a lot, Schumacher!). The next thing I should make clear is that I'm also pretty biased regarding The Adventures of Batman & Robin game released for SNES in 1994. It's a game I associate with a pivotal time in my life. I had moved into my first apartment, was barely scraping by, and I was still playing 8/16-bit games when most of the world had decisively moved on to Playstation and N64. I bought The Adventures of Batman & Robin for a mere pittance (less than $5 IIRC), and was delighted by its quality and attention to detail. I spent a bunch of time with this game, to the point where I was attempting no damage runs of the entire game. Needless to say I have a lot of nostalgia attached to this one, though I'd not played it in years. So it was not without some trepidation that I donned the tights and took to the streets of Gotham City once again. Would the game hold up after all these years? Was my nostalgia misplaced?

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Well, I'm happy to say that the game still mostly holds up. The first thing you'll notice is that the graphics are a beautiful 16-bit conversion of The Animated Series. The bold iconic style of animation is well depicted here both in terms of backgrounds and characters. Speaking of characters, the Batman cast is also well represented with regards to both the legendary rogue's gallery and supporting cast. It's probably worth mentioning that Robin only makes a couple of minor appearances in the game, and never as a playable character. So in that regard the title is a bit misleading; really these are The Adventures of Batman & … Okay Just Batman. I need to make special mention of the music though, because while it's all music from the TV show, it's phenomenally well done here. Prepare to be humming the Batman theme for days after playing this game. In terms of gameplay it's a game that deftly splits the difference between side scrolling platformer and single plane beat em' up. The in-game fighting feels good, sometimes bordering on a little stiff, but always very solid. The move set carries a certain satisfying weight and reciprocal impact. Nearly every enemy in this game is very pattern based. From the bosses to the foot soldiers once you identify their patterns you can almost walk right through the entire game.

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The platforming is perhaps not quite as well executed as the fighting aspects but it's certainly serviceable. Your jumps can feel a bit weak and lack dynamism when compared against the solid feel of your fighting moves. The wall jumping is well executed though and always fun to pull off. Where things falter a bit is during segments that require you to use the grappling hook in similar fashion to Bionic Commando. Once you get the knack for this, it's not too bad, but it can definitely feel frustrating until you do. Another aspect where the game falters is during the single driving level, in which you're tasked with chasing Two-Face in the Batmobile. I'm not the biggest fan of overhead driving games in the first place (though there are some exceptions), but here the driving just feels incredibly stiff. You can drive in a straight line or you can drive diagonally, but there's no smooth transition in between. It just feels very herky jerky. Driving the Batmobile should feel exhilarating! But here it feels like the developers were just checking off a box that said "game must include Batmobile driving segment". It's a moment of incongruity in an otherwise very solid game.

So hopefully I managed to keep my thoughts here fairly objective. The Adventures of Batman and Robin is still one of my favorite games on SNES though I think it qualifies more as a 'hidden gem' than 'one of the all-time greats'. Still if you're a retro-gaming Batman fan I would say that this one is highly worth your time. It remains one of the best old-school Batman games out there.
Last edited by nullPointer on Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
REPO Man
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by REPO Man Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:56 pm

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Literally the newest game I've played in years (save for Dragon Quest 7 on 3DS), which I bought weeks after its release. The deluxe edition was $40 marked down from $80.

And may I just say holy SHIT! Hoping Wolfenstein 3 is even better, if that's even possible!
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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:43 pm

1) Legendary Axe II (TG16) (6.0) (1/1) (2.5 hours)
2) The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (SNES) (7.5) (1/3) (1.5 hours)
3) Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose! (SNES) (6.5) (1/3) (2.5 hours)
4) The Adventures of Batman & Robin (SNES) (7.0) (1/4) (2.5 hours)
5) The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minney (7.5) (1/6) (1.5 hours)
6) Phantom 2040 (SNES) (7.0) (1/9) (9 hours?)
7) Batman: Return of the Joker (NES) (8.0) (1/10) (0.5 hours)
8) Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (SNES) (8.0) (1/15) (0.5 hours)
9) F-Zero (SNES) (7.5) (1/16) (1 hour)
10) Star Fox (SNES) (7.0) (1/17) (1 hour)
11) Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems (SNES) (8.0) (1/17) (1 hour)

Feeling lazy right now, may update with some verbiage a bit later. :roll:
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:28 pm

1. Antarctic Adventure (Famicom)
2. Nuts & Milk (Famicom)
3. Commando (Atari 2600)
4. Binary Land (Famicom)
5. Devil World (Famicom)
6. Disney's Aladdin (SNES)
7. Popeye (NES)
8. Super Mario Land (Game Boy)
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Would it be remiss to call this game underrated? Sure, it made quite a splash in its heyday, but Super Mario Land has since been overshadowed by its more colorful (literally and figuratively) relatives.

The game's a Nintendo Game Boy launch title. Though, Little Dave (that'd be me) was devastated to discover it was, in fact, not the pack-in game. That would be whatever that falling blocky thing was. Took an additional six months of allowance saving for me to get my hands on handheld Mario.

Nintendo played it smart and safe with this one. No attempts to reinvent the wheel were made. A handheld version of something like Super Mario Bros. 3 (which was out in Japan) would have proven too ambitious. Super Mario Land is an original title in the vein of the first Super Mario Bros. -- a simplistic one-session platformer with no frills. The thirty minute cumulative run-time is easy on both the eyes and the AA batteries.
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Overall design should feel familiar to anyone who's played the NES classic. The primary goal is to traverse from left to right; each stage ends with either an exit or a boss battle. The anticipated control scheme is fluent and responsive, with A being used for jumping and B for running and shootin' balls. There's a superficial "clone" vibe to the whole thing, but a bit of casual play reveals that Mario isn't exactly in the Mushroom Kingdom anymore. In Super Mario Land turtle shells are prone to explosion. Power-up mushrooms now leap from their blocks and must be gathered quickly lest they fall victim to a pitfall. "Fire Flowers" now allow Mario to emit a perfectly spherical projectile (only one allowed on screen at a time): these will bounce off walls with the added ability to gather coins.

There's some shmup action as well. Two stages are auto-scrollers featuring Mario as pilot of a submarine or spaceship. These are undeniably entertaining, and among the easiest segments of the game as there are no tricky jumps to execute. Perhaps most significant to the Mario historians (is this a thing?) is the new damsel in distress: Princess Daisy. For the longest time I was convinced that this was simply Princess Toadstool (uh, Peach) with yet another localization name change, but nope, it's a whole new gal. Can't say I've seen her appear and too many additional Mario games, though she does seem to enjoy golf and tennis.

Structurally, the game contains four worlds with three levels each. Each world contains it's own unique theme and accompanying graphical set: there's an Egyptian world, a sea world, an Eastern Island world, and, finally, and Asian world. Levels are short and fairly simple in design. The biggest challenge stems from the designers' penchant for including plenty of crafty jumping segments, complete with moving platforms a-plenty. Nevertheless, the game is very easy to complete, as it's rife with opportunities to gain additional lives. There are coins everywhere, including some not-so-secretly hid underground areas that must contain about 200 of 'em. One-up hearts (distinguishable from mushrooms on the colorless screen) are housed within conspicuous blocks, and one seems to appear in virtually every stage. Each stage concludes with a bonus area. Access to these is generally earned by completing a simple series of jumps to a door placed at the screen's top. Bonuses range from a Fire Flower to three(!) additional lives granted. Checkpoints - the kind that wipe enemies off the screen - are additionally found in spades. It's clear that Nintendo wanted to grace its new hardware with something "everyone" would be able to complete.
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Though the old standby enemies remain a fixture (Goombas gonna Goomba) some new blood is added with the addition of arthropods, robots, zombies, and seahorses. No more repeated Bowser confrontations: bosses are unique to each area and all follow the same pattern, moving along a fixed axis while repeatedly lobbing projectiles. None are particularly fearsome, nothing like the hammer-tossing Bowser or dieting Wart.

Graphics showcase the new hardware nicely. They're clean, and (most importantly) visible, with an inherent simplicity that allows the screen the breathe. Backgrounds have some sparse but well-executed little details, especially in the later Asian stages. There are few frames of animation, some of the bosses look downright choppy, and don't expect to see anything fancy like parallax scrolling. Veteran composer Hirokazu Tanaka provides the soundtrack here, and it's quite excellent. Stage themes are undeniably catchy, and mesh well with whatever scenery is present. Best of all is the end credits tune, perhaps the strongest of any to appear in a Mario game. Sound effects are a bit strange - there are even some Atari-esque buzz noises - though it's never particularly distracting.

Nintendo took a sound approach with this one: they managed to show off the fledgling handheld without overextending its capabilities. Many more sophisticated Game Boy platformers would follow, including a great sequel to this very game, though Super Mario Land is the one that retains that satiating "pick up and play" quality the best. Essential.
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nullPointer
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:48 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:8. Super Mario Land (Game Boy)
There's a superficial "clone" vibe to the whole thing, but a bit of casual play reveals that Mario isn't exactly in the Mushroom Kingdom anymore.

This is certainly what stands out in my mind about this one, but also why I dig it. It's definitely one of the 'weirder' entries in the Mario franchise. Great write-up man!
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:17 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2018 Beaten Games:

Previously: 2016 2017

* indicates a repeat

1. Tyranny (PC)
2. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PC)
3. SUPERHOT (PC)

4. Hotline Miami (PC)*

I really hadn't had my fill of Hotline Miami yet, so I decided to hop into the first one again.
My hankering when I played the 2nd game was correct: The first entry did control differently. I'd say I'd prefer the way the more fluid and zany way the first game controls, but I'd also say I prefer just about everything about the first game. A story far less bogged down with dialogue, keeping things just vague enough to keep you guessing; a weapons system that's randomized so sometimes a death isn't just a learning experience but a chance to try something totally different the next time; It has far far more masks so way more styles of play to tackle each level with; and yeah, I just really prefer how this game controls compared to the first one. There are still some annoyingly set up levels, but it's great fun all the same. The one notable thing is that I did notice that just about EVERY character who shows up in the 2nd game has some role in the first game, but damn if you'd EVER recognize them in the 2nd game unless you were playing it immediately after, just because of Hotline Miami's severe aversion to actually naming characters.

Verdict: Highly recommended. Still an amazing fun and fast paced action game. A wonderful way to get that score attack or power-fantasy itch pretty quick.
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noiseredux
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by noiseredux Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:16 am

I prefer Super Mario Land to it's sequel personally.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:05 pm

If I had to give games "ratings" I'd probably give 'em each the same one. They both do different things and do them well.

I've never played Super Mario Land 3!
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:23 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:If I had to give games "ratings" I'd probably give 'em each the same one. They both do different things and do them well.

I've never played Super Mario Land 3!


Super Mario Land 3 is great. Better, it serves as an introduction to the bizarre and wonderful Wario Land series. (Wario Land 3 and Wario Land Shake It! Are not just two of my favorite platformers, but two of my favorite games.)
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Segata
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Segata Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:59 pm

Top Hunter NS
Azure Striker Gunvolt NS


Two games from different eras but they feel part of the same generation. Really nice 2D sprites. Music of that mid-90s sound. Azure feels like a 2D game you would find on SEGA Saturn. The music sounds very much in the type and quality you would find there. Top Hunter, of course, a Neo Geo game and would feel at home on a CD-based system of the mid-90s. I loved both and yes they are different games. Just they both give me a warm feeling of mid 90s 2D game nostalgia.
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