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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:13 pm

Games Beaten 2018
1. Letter Quest Remastered Switch eShop
2. Batman NES
3. Little Nemo: The Dream Master NES
4. Mickey's Wild Adventure PS1
5. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. 3DS
6. Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy 3DS
7. Nier Automata PS4
8. Legacy of the Wizard NES
9. The Legend of Zelda (starring Zelda) NES
10. Tobu Tobu Girl Game Boy
11. Rhyme Rider Kerorican WSC *NEW*

Rhyme Rider Kerorican

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Rhyme Rider Kerorican is a rhythm game for WonderSwan Color. It was created by NanaOn-Sha, who are better known for other rhythm games such as Parappa the Rapper, Um Jammer Lammy and Vib Ribbon.

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In Rhyme Rider Kerorican, you play as the titular Kerorican, a girl in a frog helmet who skips through a series of quirky levels. Enemies and obstacles appear in time with the music and you must react by pressing the correct button to clear the obstacle. So far, so 90s rhythm game.

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Rhyme Rider Kerorican’s main gimmick is the way it utilises the hardware it’s on. The WonderSwan is known for it’s odd control layout – it has a d-pad style layout on the left with an A+B button on the right when held in landscape mode, but it can also be turned vertically, where it has a d-pad style 4 button layout on both sides of the system. Rhyme Rider Kerorican though, is unique in that it’s intended to be played diagonally – using the top d-pad on the left and the 2 buttons on the right as the primary position for your hands, causing the screen to sit at a tilted angle.

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One way in which Rhyme Rider Kerorican draws inspiration from Vib Ribbon (NanaOn-Sha’s previous title) is the way it requires button combinations to react to some of the obstacles. The standard obstacles are reacted to using either the A or B button, any of the 4 X buttons on the console, or any of the 4 Y buttons, depending on the obstacle. Later stages introduce obstacles which require to to combine these – so the teacup obstacle requires a combination of the Y&A/B buttons, for example. There are 6 obstacles in total. Clearing enough consecutive obstacles will cause a crown to appear above an enemy, and getting the correct timing on this enemy will cause Kerorican to skip ahead in the level somewhat.

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Mechanically, the game is solid, but it has some flaws. First of all is the button combination system – it’s OK for most combinations, but the last 2 stages introduce a spray can obstacle that must be passed with a combination of an X and a Y button – if you look at the image of the console I posted above, you can see the issue here – they’re on the same side, and it’s really hard to react fast enough to hit them.

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The main issue though, is the fact that the game is short. Like super short. It took me way longer to write this review than it did to beat the 4 levels included in the game. Each level is only a few minutes long, and they’re not really all that hard until the final stage either to be honest. Rhyme Rider Kerorican feels like a satisfying demo to a full game, only there’s nothing more to see.

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Overall, the game is worth a play for the colourful graphics, jazzy music and fun gameplay, but it’s ridiculously short length is really an issue holding it back. It’s over before you really have a chance to get into it, and there’s not a lot of reason to replay the game either. I wouldn’t rush out to buy a Wonderswan just for this game, but if you have one and you find this cheap it’s at least a bit of short-lived fun.


Required Listening:

So, this game is a bit obscure and I had a hard time finding any tracks to share with you this time. Instead, enjoy this sample of gameplay so you can see and hear what it sounds like to play Rhyme Rider Kerorican. It sure is high quality for an 8-bit handheld!:

Click the image below to listen

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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:07 pm

ah hell yeah gettin some WonderSwan Color up in hurr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by nullPointer Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:19 pm

The List So Far:

13. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions [PSP] [Together Retro - 02/2018]
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Hey I finally finished my Together Retro title that I started in February! I definitely took the long way around on this one, but in the end the journey was highly worthwhile. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions is an enhanced PSP port of Final Fantasy Tactics (which originally appeared on PS1). Among these enhancements, the most noteworthy might be the addition of cut scenes as well as completely updated and rewritten dialogue. I always struggle with keeping my final post-game thoughts short and concise, and this seems to be doubly true with RPGs. Apologies in advance for throwing brevity out the window; let's get right to the meat of this thing. nullPointer casts Wall of Text!

Although the story in Final Fantasy Tactics does eventually reach the requisite levels of Final Fantasy convolution, it's probably the most 'mature' story line I've seen in a Final Fantasy game. Particularly early on, some of the more fantastical elements for which the series is known are dialed back. There are certainly plot devices present that are typical of the series; notably a rag-tag band of underdog rebel heroes fighting overwhelming odds to stop the awakening of some ancient unspeakable evil. But the notable aspect in all of this is that these familiar plot devices take place within the context of a bitter war of succession to determine the rightful heir to the throne in the kingdom of Ivalice. And in most regards, I would say that it's this war that takes center stage. All major plot points are related to the ebb and flow of warfare in Ivalice, all characters defined by their various roles in the war. Your characters are not 'the most important characters in the world', and for the most part they aren't sculpting or redirecting the tide of war either. They're merely swept up in the momentum of the war just like nearly every other character you meet in the game. It really makes for some terrific world building, and in de-emphasizing the player characters 'ultimate importance' in that world, it really makes the story feel more grounded than most Final Fantasy outings. Similar praise can be given to the written dialog which is both sharp and well written. It's certainly a welcome departure from some of the childish dialogue and amateurish localization seen in lesser JRPGs. There were a handful of in-game quotes I really wish I'd written down due to the inspired turns of phrase.

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Do you like stats and systems management? FFT:WotL does. And it really wants you to like them too! This can be a double-edged sword, because while this is a game that both encourages and rewards deep exploration and experimentation within its various systems, it can also punish you unrelentingly if you fail to do so. In some ways your enjoyment of this may come down to how you feel about job systems in the context of Final Fantasy. If you've enjoyed this aspect in other Final Fantasy games that implemented it, you'll likely find Final Fantasy Tactics to be a highly enjoyable experience. If you're not a fan of Final Fantasy job systems, you might not have a good time with Final Fantasy Tactics. If you pay small heed to the assignment of jobs and learned abilities, this game will likely eat your lunch. Jobs and abilities are probably the single most important component to manage in this game, even more so than traditional experience and leveling. In the first half of the game I was more focused on leveling up my party in this 'traditional' sense. Higher level = higher HP, higher physical/magical power, etc. So, in traditional RPG fashion I put time into grinding and dutifully leveled my characters to high level power houses. Except that … they weren't. The problem with this approach is that in Final Fantasy Tactics the difficulty of random encounters scales based on your experience. So I actually reached a point in which random encounters were almost too much to manage. Enemies were doing more damage per strike than I could possibly dish out in reciprocal. I actually had to de-level my characters (thanks to a few traps in the game that will allow you to do just that) in order to manage the difficulty of random encounters. I then adjusted my long-game strategy in order to place more emphasis on job levels and abilities rather than on experience levels. Once I shifted my strategy to focus on job growth and effective combinations of abilities, the game was suddenly fun and manageable again.

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The in-game graphics are serviceable and perfectly functional. As opposed to many Final Fantasy games, there really aren't any moments of jaw-dropping spectacle, but conversely nothing is noticeably bad either. The conversion to a handheld screen means you're dealing with small sprites and backgrounds, but I never had a moment in which I was unsure of what I was supposed to be seeing. Long story short, FFT is more about deep and engaging gameplay than it is a show pony for graphical superiority. One aspect that I did quite enjoy was the infrequent but effective use of cut scenes. I guess you might expect quality cut scenes from Square/Final Fantasy, but stylistically these are different from anything else I've seen in the series. To my eye they look like a melding of anime and LotR era Ralph Bakshi overlaid on a textured surface like a medieval relief wood carving. The result is quite striking. The voice acting runs the gamut, but nothing stands out as bad, melodramatic, or amateurish. The principle voice work on the main characters of Ramza and Delita is quite well done. The music is also quite well done (as one might expect from Final Fantasy), though I don't know that I'd rank it as highly as some of the truly legendary Final Fantasy scores.

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Final Fantasy Tactics is generally regarded both as a classic Final Fantasy title and as a hallmark in the SRPG genre. War of the Lions builds admirably upon that legacy and is a worthy update to the original. They made minor improvements both in the interest of modernization and providing a somewhat more robust experience, but perhaps most crucially they wisely left the core gameplay exactly as it was. If you've never played Final Fantasy Tactics (as was my case) or if you're looking to play it again, War of the Lions is a great way to do that. If you have any interest in JRPGs or SRPGs and have somehow skipped over this title (which once again was my case), I'd advise you to check it out. Its reputation as a classic is well-founded.
Last edited by nullPointer on Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by noiseredux Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:05 pm

Bravo dude.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by alienjesus Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:26 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:ah hell yeah gettin some WonderSwan Color up in hurr


Do you have one too? I only got it fairly recently and with a handful of games. Finding affordable games which are playable in English seems tough!
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:53 pm

PresidentLeever wrote:
23. Metal Warriors (SNES)

Pretty solid mech action here, though the thing that stood out the most to me was the cutscenes. I'd rank it above Cybernator but below Ranger X. Front Mission: Gun Hazard is a lot better overall and the best 16-bit mech game.

Why have I never heard of Ranger X before now? I watched about 15 seconds of gameplay from the first level and you are a mech who rides a motorcycle and can combine into that motorcycle. Gonna have to snag me that game.

I also do not understand why you and Ex rank Gun Hazard above Metal Warriors.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by BoneSnapDeez Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:58 pm

alienjesus wrote:
BoneSnapDeez wrote:ah hell yeah gettin some WonderSwan Color up in hurr


Do you have one too? I only got it fairly recently and with a handful of games. Finding affordable games which are playable in English seems tough!


Yeah, and I have the three Final Fantasy games CIB.......... and that's it! I have a small wishlist and hope to get more stuff soon.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:12 pm

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 45
* denotes a replay

January (16 Games Beaten)
1. Phantasy Star Portable - PlayStation Portable - January 1
2. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War - Xbox One - January 9
3. Duck Tales - NES - January 10
4. Yakuza Kiwami - PlayStation 4 - January 14
5. Xuan-Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament - PlayStation 4 - January 20
6. Doki Doki Literature Club - Steam - January 20
7. Deep Space Waifu - Steam - January 21
8. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter - Steam - January 21
9. Duck Tales 2 - NES - January 22
10. TaleSpin - NES - January 22
11. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers - NES - January 23
12. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 - NES - January 24
13. Global Defence Force - PlayStation 2 - January 24
14. Darkwing Duck - NES - January 25
15. Tiny Toon Adventures - NES - January 26
16. Poi - Steam - January 28


February (18 Games Beaten)
17. Galaxy on Fire 2 Full HD - Steam - February 3
18. Final Fantasy Legend - Game Boy - February 5
19. Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni - Vita - February 5
20. Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo - 3DS - February 8
21. Adventures in Equica: Unicorn Training - Android - February 8
22. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest - SNES - February 10
23. X-COM: UFO Defense - Steam - February 14
24. Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys -TurboGrafx-CD - February 18
25. Army Men - Game Boy Color - February 19
26. Army Men 2 - Game Boy Color - February 19
27. Army Men: Air Combat - Game Boy Color - February 20
28. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA 2nd - PlayStation Portable - February 22
29. Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 - Game Boy Color - February 22
30. Army Men Advance - Game Boy Advance - February 24
31. Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn - PlayStation 3 - February 25
32. Army Men: Operation Green - Game Boy Advance - February 26
33. A Night Out - PC - February 27
34. Army Men: Turf Wars - Game Boy Advance - February 27


March (10 Games Beaten)
35. Phantasy Star - Master System - March 10*
36. Grand Kingdom - PlayStation 4 - March 17
37. Bit.Trip Beat - Wii - March 18
38. Bit.Trip Core - Wii - March 18
39. Bit.Trip Void - Wii - March 18
40. Bit.Trip Runner - Wii - March 22
41. Bit.Trip Fate - Wii - March 22
42. Bit.Trip Flux - Wii - March 24
43. Bit.Trip Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien - Wii U - March 25
44. My Nintendo Picross: Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess - 3DS - March 28


April (1 Game Beaten)
45. Gundam Breaker 3 - PlayStation 4 - April 4


45. Gundam Breaker 3 - PlayStation 4 - April 4

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Bandai Namco has a bad habit of neglecting us Westerners when it comes to Gundam games. We've gotten several, but it seems like for every Gundam game that we get, there's three that we miss. Fortunately, a lot of games that don't make it out of Asia still end up having English subtitles in Chinese or general Asian releases. One such game is Gundam Breaker 3, and if you can get the Breaker Edition, you get all of the DLC on-disc since the PlayStation Store is locked based on your account's region.

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The Gundam Breaker sub-series has a unique premise. Instead of flying giant robots in space fighting some war, you play as some random dude who likes to build Gunpla, the plastic Gundam models. These Gunpla models then interface with some VR-type machine and lets you battle other players' Gunplas. It provides, therefore, a much more light-hearted story than most Gundam games, but what it also allows for is much greater customization. Want the head of a Zaku II, the body of a GM, the arms of a Guntank, the legs of a Rick Dias, and the beam saber and beam rifle of a Zeta Gundam? Go for it. Want to attach seven Mega Particle Cannons to your chest and annihilate everything in your path a golden beam of justice? It's all you, man. Want all of that in a hot pink paintjob with black and electric blue accents? You got it. The customization options are nigh infinite, and you can merge plastic or even other components with your equipment to level it up, strengthening it and keeping it on par with increasingly difficult enemies.

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The game's main story follows the Gunpla team of a small Japanese shopping arcade that's being pushed into obscurity by the encroaching monopolization of a massive American retail conglomerate. Your team takes part in Gunpla tournament to try to get the shopping arcade's name out there and bring in more customers to revitalize it. You play through the City Cup, the regional tournament, the Japan national tournament, and eventually even the world tournament. Then some plot stuff that I won't spoil happens. It's a fairly light-hearted story, and it's not exactly an exemplar of compelling storytelling, but it serves the purpose well enough. The game is broken into five chapters with roughly 13 missions in each chapter, but there are also online modes, arena battles, and, if you have the Breaker Edition, a good number of DLC missions to play.

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Visually, the game looks absolutely fantastic. I'd love to have the Vita version to play and compare, but it looks glorious on PS4. Set your Gunpla's paint to metallic and high gloss, and it's like you're piloting a solid gold robot. If you're as tacky and gaudy as me, anyway. I guess you could give it normal colors, but what's the fun in that? The absolute highlight of the game in my opinion is the customization options. No two players will likely ever have exactly the same mobile suits, and with the merge feature, any mobile suit setup can be good if you put in the effort to craft it into the role you want. It gives the player total agency over his or her Gunpla, and that's EXACTLY what I've always wanted in a Gundam game - the ability to build whatever crazy ass Gundam I want.​

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Gundam Breaker 3 is an absolute gem of a Gundam game, but it's not perfect. The gameplay does get somewhat repetitive, and it's probably best played either with a friend or in short bursts, but it is still absolutely fantastic. It's not exactly cheap - roughly $60 for the Break Edition with English subtitles - but it's well worth it if your'e a fan of Gundam. I can't recommend this highly enough.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:12 pm

1. Ultima V - PC
2. Ultima VI - PC
3. Might and Magic VI - PC
4. Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny - PC
5. Pool of Radiance - PC
6. Curse of the Azure Bonds - PC
7. Secret of the Silver Blades - PC
8. Pools of Darkness - PC
9. Gateway to the Savage Frontier - PC
10. Treasures of the Savage Frontier - PC
11. Champions of Krynn - PC
12. Death Knights of Krynn - PC
13. Dark Queen of Krynn - PC
14. Into the Breach - PC
15. Lords of the Realm - PC
16. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands - PC
17. Lords of the Realm II - PC
18. The Alliance Alive - 3DS
19. Shattered Steel - PC

When you hear the name "Bioware", what do you think of? I bet it's RPGs with large amounts of party interaction and lots of critical acclaim. But what you may not have realized is that this was just the backup plan for the studio. Originally, they made mech games. Well, mech game is more appropriate, as they seem to have realized that they bit off more than they could chew as a new studio and then went and made Baldur's Gate instead, figuring it would be easier. As a result, Shattered Steel stands alone among their back catalog.

Shattered Steel came out around the same time as MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries. In it you pilot a bipedal, usually bird shaped mech on a series of missions against alien invaders of human colony worlds. These aliens are weird mixtures of biological and technological elements, and they tend to come in a couple of forms; your insectoid four legged walkers and your birdlike two legged walkers. While the human mechs are animal inspired, the aliens are much more intended to evoke the idea of them being actual animals. The game is a bit of mash up of ideas. From X-Wing it takes the idea of power management and you having a regenerating shield that is intended to take damage, whereas if you let your hull take hits you quickly die (though the game doesn't have subsystem damage like X-Wing). From MechWarrior 2 you have customization based on weight limits and slots. Every mech slots in a reactor (which affects regen rates of weapons) and a shield generator (shield strength), as well as a mount for a primary weapon. Then you have between one and four secondary slots, which is filled with missiles, mortars, and secondary cannons. Generally, the primary weapon has unlimited ammo (but it regenerates based on your reactor) while the secondary weapon is ammo based. The exceptions are that there are a couple of beam secondaries that regenerate shots and there is an ammo based primary (a chaingun). The total weight of all your gear must be under the weight limit of your particular mech type, and your max speed lowers the closer you get to your max equip weight.

One thing the game does that was novel was the ability to do terrain deformation. While you won't really see this til the later portion of the game (when you get sufficiently heavy ordinance), you can make divots in the terrain, and with the nuke a giant hole. This can be used tactically to trap enemies if it weren't easier to just shoot them straight up. It ends up serving as a curiosity more than anything, except in the very last mission where it's almost required to take out the last boss. Another interesting thing about how the game plays is that nearly every non-flying enemy is composed of legs, a body, and a head. For two legged mechs, destroying the legs is a kill, as well as destroying the body. For four legged mechs, destroying a leg doesn't affect them, so you need to kill the body. Destroying the head of either mechs removes all their weapons and leaves them helpless; this can be useful in some missions as living shields, as friendly fire is definitely on. The game does not use a throttle system like MechWarrior; instead you move forward and backwards and turn your legs left and right, then use the mouse to control the tip of your upper half and to torso twist (though you can't do a full 90 degree twist to one side, which makes circling much less effective as a tactic). Another somewhat weird mechanic is that as soon as you complete your mission objectives you can end the mission, even though you might be hip deep in enemies and about to die. It's treated as if you poof away when you quit.

Unfortunately, overall the game shows the inexperience of the studio. Some of the missions have piss poor balance (a base setup mission and the final mission), with some complication coming from the fact that you need to defend units while splash damage is huge, including from enemies dying. So you can do a great job of killing attacking enemies but they crash into the units you have to protect and you lose. There is also one mission very early on which uses triggers which are completely non obvious; the mission objective is to destroy three enemy spawners, but the spawners don't show up until specific initial enemy units are killed. So while you think you're doing a good thing by clearing the base initially (you have to defend it), you end up hurting yourself in the long run by doing so. You instead want to kill one unit, then the spawner it triggers, then come back and do the next unit. And you won't realize this happens. The weapon balance is also pretty wacky from the enemy side. The hitscan lightning weapon will tear your shields a new one, and you generally need to know an enemy with that weapon is there ahead of time until the very late game where you have an Atlas equivalent with giant guns that can kill it before it kills you while you're flat footed. It doesn't help that the lightning enemies are some of the highest armored enemies. Another thing that stands out is that all the energy regeneration mechanics and hit detection is based on your clock speed; if your machine runs too fast then there seems to be a rollover and the net result is you regenerate extremely slowly and you miss with half or more of your shots. You have to set a 486_slow CPU type in Dosbox to get things working right (and GOG does not set that for you). And even then one early game enemy is still a pain to hit (save your missiles for him and get that splash damage going).

I'd say this game is mostly a historical relic, and I wouldn't recommend it if you aren't a major mech fan who wants to be a completionist.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Ack Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:33 am

I saw someone had beaten Shattered Steel and immediately wondered who had put themselves through pain. Then I saw it was Popo.

I was unaware of the clockspeed issue, which explains the trouble I had with the game. I tried playing it last year and managed to get through that spawner mission, but it definitely turned me off of the title in the process. The level designs just felt so frustrating, and I thought I was missing and getting my butt kicked purely due to balance issues. Shattered Steel does not hold one's hand whatsoever. I had no idea I was supposed to be killing specific enemies to trigger the spawns. That was never explained. And worse yet, when I focused on clearing the base, I managed to kill two of the required enemies and suddenly had two spawners spitting units onto the battlefield. I beat it and quit right then. Good on you for sticking with it, Popo, and figuring out things I never noticed.
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