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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Sarge Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:45 pm

I stopped playing Octopath at the superboss myself. Didn't feel like doing more grinding, and I'd already dumped a ton of hours in and was ready to move on.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by elricorico Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:05 am

1. Ni No Kuni 2 (PS4)
2. Mario Kart 64 (N64)

3. Spider-Man (PS4)

This game came with my Black Friday PS4 bundle. It would have been very unlikely for me to purchase this otherwise - I have nothing against Spider-Man, just dont tend to seek out these types of games.

After Ni No Kuni 2 I decided I wanted a palate cleanser and put this in. I found myself enjoying it early on, but found that I was struggling a bit with getting used to some of the moves. I died a number of times early in the game, until something clicked and I just started to get it. The game became even more fun when I started to actually feel like my play was starting to live up to the character.

It feels like there was a lot of Spider-Man story crammed into a relatively short game. The game world looks great and most of the visuals in general are top notch. I did find a couple of the vents you have to crawl through were too dark and disorienting, and during one of the boss battles I started to feel that the scenery all was looking the same. The controls are generally good, but I felt that there were just a few too many combinations to remember them all in the heat of battle.

There is a lot to collect in the game and I certainly didn't get it all yet, so I'll likely dabble a bit more before moving on to the next game. I've enjoyed the time I put in and dont see the fun fading away too soon.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:57 am

1. Octopath Traveler - Switch
2. Dusk - PC
3. Forsaken Remastered - PC
4. Tales of Eternia - PS1
5. Resident Evil 2 (2019) - PC
6. Pokémon Trading Card Game - GBC
7. Metro Exodus - PC
8. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales - PC
9. Project Warlock - PC

Project Warlock is a throwback FPS that starts with a base of Catacomb Apocalypse, adds in some Doom tech, and rounds it off with a skill and magic system that adds a lot of depth to your tools of destruction. It hearkens back to a simpler time, when the plot was as simple as "there is evil and you must murder them all". And it's a hell of a lot of fun.

Graphically you'll notice that it's in the 3D level, 2D assets style that id software made their name on. More specifically, it takes a lot of aesthetics from Catacomb Apocalypse, the third sequel to Catacomb 3D. The colors are bold and there are well defined outlines on everything, making everything pop a lot more than you saw in Doom. You also see the influence of Apocalypse in the game's structure; you bounce around several very distinct environments with new enemies each time, though the enemies tend to fill similar niches in each area. You start in your medieval area, then go to an Antarctic base, Egypt, and a cityscape before the Hell levels remix everything for you. It keeps the game's visuals fresh, and there is enough difference in the enemies that you never get bored with them.

The weapons are all a treat to use. You get your standard array of pistols, shotguns, machine guns, rocket launchers, and the like. You also get a magic wand, which makes for a decent backup ranged weapon at the start, but you'll stop using it once you get your spells, as they share usage of your magic meter. Each of the weapons can be upgraded in one of two ways. As an example, the pistol can become either a magnum or a flare gun; the latter sets enemies on fire. The chaingun can have its spin up removed or can be placed as a turret. Each of the two upgrades is exclusive. Upgrading requires collecting a particular item in the levels, and you also can use these upgrade points to learn your magic. Magic is used with your secondary fire and takes up mana and has a variety of effects. Unfortunately, the more magic you delve into the less you can upgrade your weapons, so you have to pick and choose. In addition, there's a leveling system for your character. Picking up gold and killing enemies gives you experience; getting enough experience gives you a level. A level gives you a point to put into strength (+melee damage), spirit (+mana and magic effect scaling), vitality (+life), and capacity (+ammo capacity). Additionally, every 5th level gives you a perk point, which can be spent on a variety of perks (most of which have a minimum stat requirement). These include a health boost and damage reduction, additional ammo for every pickup for a given weapon class, or the ability to walk through enemies. The bonuses are all noticeable, so this lets you customize things to suit your playstyle a bit.

One interesting feature is the game has no mid-level saves. Instead, you have a life system that lets you retry a level from the beginning when you die. Running out of lives will game over you, but in general you won't be at risk of that (as there are extra lives in the levels). Also, instead of having an episode of 10 levels you have to get through the game instead splits up each episode into segments of related levels with a theme. So you'll do two levels, then back to base (which autosaves), another few levels, back to base, etc. Then there is a final boss level for each episode with a giant boss (and a good amount of ammo ahead of time). One thing you'll notice is that your health and ammo are persisted across every level, so you have to pay attention and can't just go too crazy. The base does have a couple of health and mana pickups, so you're never entirely screwed, but you do have to pay attention to your resources.

One final nice bit of polish is the larger enemies show damage; they might lose an arm or even fall over and go into a desperation mode. Bosses similarly will have several stages based on their damage where they might lose their legs and start floating. All the animations are very fluid, and it all fits together very well. If you're a fan of old school FPS's you owe it to yourself to play this one.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pierrot Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:17 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Anyone who has a Famicom seems to own this game. I bet you have Gyrodine too. Games like that just appear in people's collections, I swear.

I have 44 Famicom cartridges and not one of them is Challenger, Gyruss, Atlantis no Nazo, Exerion, or Bokosuka Wars.

Mostly going to throw out a list of games I've beaten so far this year:

  1. Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure (GEN)
  2. The Revenge of Shinobi (GEN)
  3. Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (GEN)
  4. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (GEN)
  5. Go Go Ackman (SFC)
  6. Super Wagyan Land (SFC)
  7. Super Mario RPG (SFC)
  8. Shin Megami Tensei if... (SFC)
  9. Front Mission: Gun Hazard (SFC)
  10. Steep Slope Sliders (SAT)
  11. Valkyrie Profile (PS1)
  12. Sakura Taisen (SAT)

Nearing the one-quarter mark through 2019, and I seem to be looking at another year where my total number of beaten games will be down from the previous year. Even though I also replayed Contra: Hard Corps, and Castlevania: Bloodlines in January, I only really want to know how many games I'm beating that I haven't before, or at least haven't beaten a particular version of (different region, different console, etc).

Moving on to the games themselves: The Revenge of Shinobi, and Shadow Dancer are two games that really try to defeat the player. They do an excellent job with it, too. I ultimately like the games, but the challenge kind of swamps out the fun a bit too much in them. I don't think the quality of those two is quite high enough to completely overcome the deficit in a player's goodwill engendered by the difficulty in places--particularly the jumps in Chinatown, and Stage 7 of RoS, and Scene 5 of Shadow Dancer.

Shinobi III has a pretty nutty final stage, but it is so good it doesn't even matter. The game is excellent: It looks perfect, it sounds perfect, it feels perfect, and above all else it's really fun. Shinobi III will be the King of the Hill for me, this year, unless or until something else really challenges it.

Go Go Ackman and Super Wagyan Land were really just two annoyances. Go Go Ackman has these terrible habits of including the worst auto-scrollers imaginable into every level, garbage bosses, and lame/uninspired level design, along with power ups that are lost upon taking damage. It's pretty terrible to play, but the presentation is half decent. It's not worth anyone's time, but might be okay to watch someone else play, and suffer through. Wagyan Land is just a case of a really average platformer that's stretched out to infinity, and beyond. There are so many samey, average levels, that what could be just a whatever game, becomes this extreme gauntlet of mediocrity, until the last few stages where it starts to beat one down with very technically demanding levels in its very imprecise game world. Also, beating the final boss at shiritori may be one of the most challenging things I've ever overcome.

Super Mario RPG was pretty cool. I was kind of surprised to like it as much as I did, considering I hated Paper Mario. I don't have much to say about it at this point other than that I think it's well worth playing, which is a rare utterance for me concerning a Mario game. There are a number of other SNES RPGs that I prefer, but it's still pretty easily in the upper half of the SNES RPGs I've played.

Shin Megami Tensei if... is easily my least favorite game in the series so far (and I'm including both of the Famicom games in that statement). It was a game I started about a year and a half ago, but got fed up with in the Sloth Realm, and just stopped. You start out in a high school, and this one kid, who is sort of channeling Nakajima from the original Megami Tensei, decides to throw the school into the nether realm. The main character, and his partner--there are a total of four possible partners, and one of the male partners has one realm that's different from the two female partners, while the other male partner changes up the path through the game dramatically--go through six realms based on the seven deadly sins, in order to collect some rings that are supposed to save the school. The different realms are where the game gets into trouble, because the latter half of the realms introduce some really dumb gimmicks based on whatever deadly sin they represent. So the Sloth realm has all these kids from the high school being forced into digging through a spider web of underground tunnels. Any one of the kids you talk to will dig through one tile of the tunnel for each cycle of the moon, but you have to talk to that person again after that cycle of the moon, before he or she will dig through the next tile after the next moon cycle. There's an NPC that sort of hints at this, but you just end up wandering around for hours, wondering when something will actually happen. Out of 12+ different tunnels, two them will actually result in progressing the story (after at least eight cycles of the moon) with the ring, outright, or a boss fight that gives you the ring. It was just a really, really bad idea, and things don't get a whole lot better in the Realm of Envy, either. The Guardian system is also some hot trash, which gates away a lot of the best armor in the game. The only way to get a new, "more powerful" guardian is to die after a certain amount of time not dying. It both sort of trivializes dying in the game (although it could mean that you get pushed back into a weaker guardian), and basically incentivizes it for a stupidly arbitrary reason. I hate it. There's no real player agency over alignment, either. There's only a party alignment determined by the alignments of the monsters in the active party, which doesn't affect the story, and only keeps one from putting lawful monsters in the party with chaotic monsters. Anyway, they done fucked up with this one. Hopefully SMT II is any good.

Front Mission: Gun Hazard was just sort of okay, for me. It's a little repetitive, and boring after a while. At least when it's not throwing bosses at you that can kill you with the most gentle, and loving of breaths on the nape of your neck. I just found it to be a bit too formulaic an experience, for too long. The RPG elements don't really lend much to a game that really should only have 20% of the levels that it actually does. The story is also a little upsetting, because it starts out very interesting, and then seems to just be about how dumb everyone is. I also can't forgive the game for the end of Zambola. The VP's plan just doesn't make any sense. It is one of the most stupid plans ever conceived by a video game character, which is really saying something. Jose is also a pretty colossal idiot for such a high ranking person. Ultimately I didn't really care about the organization the game was really trying to get me to care about. I don't really mean to dump on the game though. It's an all right game, but I just don't find it to be particularly great in any way.

I was kind of surprised by Steep Slope Sliders. It's a fairly competent snowboarding game. I had dabbled with it before, and when I was playing it recently I was trying to remember why I thought it kind of sucked. Then it dawned on me that I was thinking of when I was playing a bit of 1080 snowboarding on the N64 again, a number of years ago. I'll have to reserve judgement on whether or not Steep Slope Sliders is actually better than 1080 on the N64, but while SSS doesn't look super great, it plays pretty well after getting used to it. The unfortunate thing is all the content locked away behind really abstruse requirements that I don't think anyone could actually know about without looking them up. Yeah, the four extra courses, and eight bonus characters are all kind of experimental feeling, but they also add a fair amount of value that most people would never know actually exist just by playing it normally. The hybrid Slalom/shmup mini game, Steep Slope Shooter, is also one of the craziest sequences of inputs I've ever seen for a game. I made sure to beat that too, mostly so I wouldn't ever really feel the need to enter that code again. I also have Steep Slope Sliders for the Sega Titan Video (S-TV), so I'll need to see how the game is in its arcade form, at some point.

Valkyrie Profile is a little hard for me to talk about. I'm still a little sore from it. The prologue (which on its own is a little insane that it can just be skipped) would be so tremendous at setting up a magnificent story, if the game actually cared at all about telling its story. (I watched a video of the prologue in English, though, and it is so bad. I think I actually stopped watching it once they were in the Suzuran Fields.) The character artwork is also outstanding, and I love it. Unfortunately Valkyrie Profile feels like a weirdly incomplete game. It's a little bit like Swiss cheese in that there's a pretty solid structure, just with a ton of holes. I don't absolutely love the combat, but it's still fairly engaging, and I don't love all of the dungeons (the Forgotten Caves are usually a waste of time, even though I got a Learning Ring in the first one), but they're usually not too trivial. The real thing is that there's nothing really tying any of the gameplay together. All of the Einherjar (or 'Einferia,' as Valkyrie always say; it took me a while to figure out that was supposed to be "Einherjar") are really just introduced with their tragic stories, and then have no bearing on anything other than the war in Valhalla (if you send them there), or your party I suppose, if you happen to use them there. At a certain point, the character customization isn't really that important anyway, since everyone other than mages becomes 90% the same as everyone else. The main thing that will differentiate characters is their particular set of attacks, which is one of the main reasons I didn't continue to stumble upon the A-ending, because Luscio's third combo attack is ridiculous, and I wasn't about to send him away to Valhalla. (Also, I wouldn't have ended up removing Valkyrie's earring, but--.) The B-ending is sort of worthless, and does nothing for the game. It actually detracts from it, overall. I ended up watching videos of the A-ending after the fact, but it still doesn't do much for me. There were a few interesting threads to some of the more relevant plot parts in a couple of the chapters, but the A-ending seems to just go off onto tangents, anyway. Valkyrie Profile was sort of a case of untapped potential. I actually enjoyed the game fairly well, overall, but it just feels like it could have been so much more.

Sakura Taisen is weird. Not just because it was trying to get me SWATed in Chapter 4, when a just barely 10-year-old Iris tries to get the main character to kiss her, but because it blends two things that seem like they have no business together: a dating sim, and a tactical combat sim. Weirdly, I kind of enjoyed the game. It plays out as sort of one part adventure game, one part dating sim, and one part tactical combat. The story is kind of basic: Set in Taishou era Japan (1914-1915,specifically, I believe), a recent graduate of the Imperial Japan Naval Officer's Academy, Oogami Ichirou, is assigned as the Captain of a secret troop of the military, the Teikoku Kagekidan - Hanagumi, who outwardly operate as a theater troop, but are normally tasked with the protection of the people of Tokyo from the Kuronosukai. The Kuronosukai are a shadowy group that is hell-bent on driving Japan back into the Bakufu periods (the Tokugawa Bakufu, specifically). It's all pretty standard stuff until the last few chapters, when things go completely off the rails. The ancient city of Yamato rises; There's demons, angels, and giant, 8 kilometer long, flying war ships; Resurrection becomes a thing. It reminds me a little of the end of Megami Tensei, but way less fitting. Anyway, it's a fairly easy game (final boss not withstanding, although I still only lost one unit on it), and really just a matter of making sure that you make the troop happy enough that they get some stat boosts during the combat phases, based on their individual trust levels with Oogami. By the second disc, you're basically forced to "pick a girl," and while I really had no great attachment to any one of them in particular (which isn't to say that they are bad characters; I actually thought they were all fairly decent despite their tropes--Chinese genius, mecha-maniac, who speaks with a Kyoto accent, anyone?) I ended up with Kanna, the nearly two-meter tall Okinawan girl, who's breathed, eaten, and slept Karate for her entire life. The upside there is that she's the oldest of the girls (at twenty years old by the time you have to make a choice, which is also the age of legal standing in Japan), and I also liked her the most, anyway. I also have a little bit of a soft spot for Okinawan girls, although that could just be because I love Okinawan food so damn much. I don't know that I could really recommend Sakura Taisen to anyone. I don't think it could really have a wide appeal, and for me it's probably a real guilty pleasure sort of game. Also the end of the game is totally whack, but there's a fair amount of quality in the whole package. I spent a fair amount of time, after the end of the game, playing hanafuda (koi-koi) in the post game mode. I still don't know how to actually get any of the special bromides, though.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by dsheinem Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:59 pm

Games Beaten 2019

Kentucky Route Zero Act 1 - PC
All Our Asias - PC
Shape of the World - Switch
Hidden Folks - PC
Hyrule Warriors - Wii U
Onrush - PS4 *new*
Assassin's Creed Origins - X1 *new*

Total: 7

I haven't posted anything here since January, largely because my game time has been spent on some considerably longer games (and on too many games going at once). But, in the last week or so, I did clear out these two.

Onrush is a game that I enjoyed a good deal, even if it is quite unconventional in many ways (it is a racing game without finish lines, it uses team-based competitions and loot boxes, etc.). It certainly seems indebted to its Motorstorm roots, a series that I've been sad to see go by the wayside this gen. I don't know if I'd have played it if it weren't a free PS+ game, but I am quite glad I did.

Origins is the longest time I've spent with an AC game - about 40 hours to finish the campaign. I really enjoyed this entry, and would compare it favorably to my previous favorite in the series "AC4: Black Flag" (now it is a bit of a toss up between the two). The story is generally good and happily mostly free of the Animus nonsense. The end drags on a bit - I think I'd have been happier if this was 30 hours instead of 40. The real draw is the beautifully rendered world of Ancient Egypt (and the Mediterranean more generally) and the solid upgrade system and combat/stealthing systems. I am hyped to play Odyssey at some point in the near future.

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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:06 pm

1. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary (NDS)
2. Reigns (iOS)
3. Castlevania: The Adventure (GB)
4. Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (GB)
5. Castlevania Legends (GB)
6. Yankai’s Triangle (iOS)
7. Mega Man III (GB)
8. Mega Man IV (GB)
9. Mega Man V (GB)
10. Sin & Punishment (N64)
11. Love You to Bits (iOS)
12. Mega Man Powered Up - Old Style (PSP)
13. Mega Man Powered Up - New Style (PSP)
14. Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)

Seriously flawed game that I ended up really enjoying, I wrote a lot about it in the TR thread.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:57 pm

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)
5. Galaxian (Famicom)
6. Esper Dream 2: Aratanaru Tatakai (Famicom)
7. Ninja Jajamaru-kun (Famicom)
8. Jajamaru no Daibouken (Famicom)
9. Front Line (Famicom)
10. Field Combat (Famicom)
11. Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (Famicom)
12. Mississippi Satsujin Jiken: Murder on the Mississippi (Famicom)
13. Space Harrier (Famicom)
14. Geimos (Famicom)
15. Attack Animal Gakuen (Famicom)
16. Sky Destroyer (Famicom)
17. Ripple Island (Famicom)
18. Oishinbo: Kyukyoku no Menu 3bon Syoubu (Famicom)
19. Bird Week (Famicom)
20. Baltron (Famicom)
21. Yie Ar Kung-Fu (Famicom)
22. Challenger (Famicom)
23. Ikki (Famicom)
24. Dough Boy (Famicom)

Anyone who's delved into the realm of retro Japanese games has likely run across the term "kusoge." Meaning "crappy games" (I'm using PG language here), the term is applied to those games of the old days that weren't simply "bad" but also downright perplexing, bizarre, capricious, and eccentric. Supposedly, the first game to bear such a label was SunSoft's Ikki. Not the original arcade game, but the TOSE-developed Famicom port specifically. This is SunSoft's third entry on Nintendo's debut home console. I know this because the label says "Series 3." Hilariously, SunSoft stopped numbering their games after this one. Then again, can something this epic really have a worthy successor?

My first impressions of Ikki? Quite good, actually! The plot is excellent. Set in feudal Japan, this is the story of a farmer, Gonbe (or two, Gonbe and Tago), waging a proletarian revolution against a corrupt elite. Since this was the pre-guillotine era, our heroes wield a different type of slicey bois: sickles. Aiming can be an issue in some of these more primitive action games. SunSoft takes care of that by including an auto-aim feature. Sickles automatically head to whatever enemy is closest; it works pretty well. Graphics are fairly spartan and the music is stock "Eastern" fare, but I'm a sucker for those sweet, sweet Edo settings. Environments are top-down and allow for free-roaming, each stage is only four or so "screens" in size. Completing a stage requires that one collect eight gold coins, or capture a feudal lord that occasionally dashes across the scenery.
Unfortunately, Ikki indeed possesses a host of deficiencies that are immediately apparent. Enemies always seem to have the upper hand, as they can materialize out of nowhere at will and are savagely fast and efficient. Most foes are ninjas tossing shurikens, though there are some additional irritating belligerents that can freeze Gonbe in his tracks. There's a handmaiden that will latch on and, uh, "rub" Gonbe as well as a ghost that renders the sickle weapon inoperable for an egregiously lengthy amount of time. Stages are laid out in a haphazard fashion, replete with ambiguous (and sometimes downright invisible) barriers. Power-ups can be hard to spot among the clutter. Avoiding these may be for the best anyway. Most are useless and some are arguably power-downs, like the sickle-replacing bamboo stick that only allows Gonbe to execute short-range vertical attacks. Scrolling is an unmitigated atrocity. Many shoddy retro games feature screens that will only begin to scroll when the playable character's sprite gets extremely close to the edge. Ikki takes it to the next level; Gonbe must be touching the screen's edge to induce scrolling. It's as if he's "pushing" his way into uncharted territory. Death comes frequently, and cheaply. Three lives, no continues. A bonus level appears periodically, where Gonbe can collect falling rice balls for extra points. Trust me, it sucks. Unfortunately (or mercifully?) half of the arcade game failed to make its way to the Famicom, as eight stages have been parsed down to four. The game loops quickly, and really isn't compelling enough to keep playing for score.

With all that said, Ikki certainly isn't great, but I'm puzzled by how and why this became the kusoge flag-bearer. Did Japanese gamers miss out on the two SunSoft Famicom titles that preceded it? Behold the unplayable Kangaroo successor that is Super Arabian, and tedious trawl through purgatory that is Route-16 Turbo. Ikki is at least functional, and has the good sense to wrap up before true pain sets in. I'd liken it to an undercooked version of Sega's Ninja Princess. And seeing as how Ikki can still be obtained for a buck or two, it's sure to satiate the curiosity of those "worst games ever" enthusiasts.

Dough Boy
Hardcore gamers are likely familiar with the Japanese developer/publisher known as Kemco. Lately, they've been absolutely flooding the mobile market with dozens upon dozens of indistinguishable "anime JRPGs." At this moment, several more are slated for release. But, back in those days of retro gaming, Kemco was an intriguing presence. They released some licensed games based on popular cartoon characters, like the Roger Rabbit Famicom Disk System puzzler which became a Bugs Bunny game on the NES and a Mickey Mouse game on the Game Boy. And who can forget the "silly sports" extravaganza - featuring Snoopy in the Americas and Donald Duck in Japan. However, Kemco's greatest contribution was that of bringing Western computer releases to consoles. Most notable, of course, are the ICOM adventures: Déjà Vu, Shadowgate, Uninvited -- though I also have a soft spot for the brutal, weird, and brutally weird FRPG (that'd be a French RPG) Drakkhen.

Let's turn back the clock to 1985 and examine Kemco's first game on the Famicom, or any platform. Released exclusively in Japan, Dough Boy is a port of Doughboy, a 1984 Commodore 64 title by Synapse Software. Dough Boy is also among the worst of the early Famicom releases.

Just look at that title screen. It's horrible. And also paradoxical. While stark and totalitarian, it also invokes a sense of pity, like it was absolutely the best result that some poor overworked Kemco intern could come up with. In any event, it's some great foreshadowing. What lies ahead is even less competent. At first glance Dough Boy looks like a top-down run and gun like Front Line or Commando. But it's not. Not at all. In actuality the game is (or attempts to be) a sort of strategic military operations simulator, with a historic setting. To give Kemco (and the original developer) some credit, each stage feels like a self-contained scenario, each featuring its own objective and approach.
The less said about the game's aesthetics, the better. Dough Boy is hideous to gaze upon. It's predominantly and painfully gray. Sprites are pixelated, twitchy, glitchy, abysmal. The enemy soldiers look exactly like the heroic doughboy, minus a slight color differential. Music consists of nothing but tinny loops of "public domain" schlock. Could anything be worse? Yes, the controls.

Stage one opens with the doughboy plopped down in hostile enemy territory. He's armed with a gun, fired with the A button. Except, pressing the A button while standing still won't fire off a single shot. It's also impossible to shoot while moving. To fire, one must tap A while simultaneously tapping a directional button. This causes the doughboy to quickly crouch and shoot once. It goes without saying that such a maneuver is incredibly difficult to execute properly, especially when enemy troops are advancing. Thankfully, there is an alternative: any enemy in this game can be defeated simply by walking into it. Seriously. I don't know if this is some hilarious programming oversight or a bizarre but intentional design choice. Whatever the case, it's best to just outright ignore gunslinging in favor of behaving like a human steamroller. Moving on to additional questionable game design, all of the game's items are found littered about the first battlefield. Miss them, and it's impossible to advance. Exiting a stage requires that one find a key. Said keys do not unlock doors or chests but allow the doughboy to "unlock" the right side of the screen, which apparently serves as an (invisible) exit. Hilariously, those first couple of keys are placed directly in front of the exit. Collect one, and then simply tap the d-pad right to head to the next battlefield.

Stage two is where things get real. Real bad. The emphasis here is less on gunfighting (which didn't work anyway) but on navigating a treacherous landscape. Here the doughboy must utilize TNT collected in stage one to knock down some satellites, turning them into de facto bridges. Contact with water spells instant death, naturally. Despite the fact that the player can conjure up two different status screens - by pushing the start or select buttons - neither one allows for item selection. Operating the TNT requires one use the A button, again, in ways that I can't even explain. It's like you have to hold the button down to cycle through items and then push it again to use an item, but do it "incorrectly" and you're either getting blown up or firing a gun by mistake. Expect to die, a lot.
Stage three is the most functional area of the game. Here the key is actually hidden, underneath a randomly-assigned barrel. Just blow them all up until it's uncovered. Landmines can be used in lieu of TNT but they're just as hard to plant and somehow even less reliable. The fourth stage requires one utilize ladders to cross brick walls. Ladders are used by pressing - wait for it - the B button. Again, actually getting a ladder positioned is indescribably difficult. Even worse, they need to be recollected after a wall is scaled, which can only be done by, I don't even know, mashing buttons until the Kemco gods approve of your efforts. The game concludes on the sourest of notes. Navigating pixel-by-pixel through an enshrouded minefield, collecting an "AI" operated POW, and then tiptoeing back. Escort missions were never fun, it would seem.

That's Dough Boy. I can't vouch for the Commodore 64 original, but Kemco certainly delivered a disaster. On a final note, I should mention that everything described above is contained within the default "Game A." The player can also choose to attempt "Game B" which is superficially identical, but with the added challenge of dodging rockets that are fired from somewhere off-screen. Do not play Game B. Better yet, don't play Game A either.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:02 pm

Awesome reviews, Bone.

We Need to Talk about Kemco... :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by dsheinem Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:38 pm

Games Beaten 2019

Kentucky Route Zero Act 1 - PC
All Our Asias - PC
Shape of the World - Switch
Hidden Folks - PC
Hyrule Warriors - Wii U
Onrush - PS4
Assassin's Creed Origins - X1
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown -360 *new*
Metro Exodus - PS4 *new*

Total: 9

Previously: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

I ran through the arcade mode of VF5 today. It is cool. 8)

Metro Exodus is one of the best single-player FPS campaigns I have ever played, and arguably the best so far this generation. It combines much of what I loved about the first two Metro games (the setting and characters, the scrounging-for-ammo gameplay, the wonky alternating stealth/rambo sections, etc.) and combines it with a lot of the open-world feel of Far Cry 2, which I still hold in high regard as the most immersive and inventive FPS of the last generation. Exodus doesn't necessarily stick the landing (I thought the second to last section was far more engaging than the last section), but the rest of it is so wonderful to play through that I can't say I minded the lackluster final stretch too much.

Next up: DMC5!
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:15 pm

Ooh, big comparison to put it with Far Cry 2. I'm gonna have to look into this some time.
I have a movie review website now:
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