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REPO Man
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by REPO Man Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:41 am

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid for PS4. Decent fighter but if you're not a Power Rangers fan don't bother, especially for its price. Really wish they'd make a Power Rangers games that was a great game first and a piece of merchandise second. But at best, a Power Rangers game is always a decent rental. Mostly they just suck, especially post-MMPR.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:35 am

Partridge Senpai's 2019 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018
* indicates a repeat

1. Night Slashers (Switch)
2. Bye-Bye BOXBOY! (3DS)
3. GTA4: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Xbox 360)
4. Katamari Forever (PS3)
5. Detention (PS4)
6. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) *
7. OctoDad: Dadliest Catch (PS4) *
8. FlintHook (Switch)
9. God of War (PS4)
10. God of War HD (PS3)
11. Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch)
12. God of War 2 HD (PS3)
13. Starlink (Switch)
14. Shin Gundam Musou (PS3)
15. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS)
16. Banjo-Kazooie (N64) *
17. Super Mario 64: Rumble Edition (N64)
18. Mario Party 3 (N64) *
19. Paper Mario (N64) *
20. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) *
21. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC) *
22. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC) *
23. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC) *
24. Yoshi's Island (SNES) *
25. Super Mario World (SNES) *
26. Super Mario RPG (SFC) *
27. Kaeru No Tame Ni Kane Wa Naru (GB)
28. Final Fantasy VI (SFC) *
29. Final Fantasy IV (SFC) *
30. Final Fantasy V (SFC)
31. Final Fantasy III (Famicom)
32. Mother 2 (SFC) *
33. Mother 3 (GBA) *
34. Hebereke (Famicom)
35. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SFC)
36. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SFC)
37. Donkey Kong Country (SFC) *
38. Wario's Woods (Famicom)
39. Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
40. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)
41. Luigi's Mansion (3DS) *
42. Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
43. Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga & Bowser's Minions (3DS)
44. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story & Bowser Jr's Journey (3DS)
45. Tomato Adventure (GBA)
46. Corpse Party (PSP)
47. Rave Master: Fighting Live (GC)
48. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) *
49. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
50. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA) *
51. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
52. The Outer Worlds (Xbone)
53. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Xbone)
54. Guacamelee 2 (Xbone)
55. Steamworld Dig 2 (Xbone)
56. Yoku's Island Express (Xbone)
57. Guacamelee (Xbone) *
58. Blazing Chrome (Xbone)
59. Minit (Xbone)
60. Dishonored 2 (Xbone)
61. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbone)
62. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Xbone)
63. Recore: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
64. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Xbone)

65. Super Lucky's Tale (Xbone)

The Game Pass train keeps on a chuggin' as I try and get in as much as I can before my sub expires in a few days. All I really remembered about this game was that it was basically the only thing Microsoft had at the launch of the Xbox One X, and people were kinda like "this is IT?" for the launch of what was apparently the new most powerful console ever. I don't have an Xbone X, but I DO have Game Pass, so I figured why not. It took me about 4 hours and 15 minutes (according to the Xbone's Stats clock) to get all 99 clovers in the base game.

It's a really simple story about a fox boy named Lucky who really wants to be a hero just like his cool big sister. Lucky gets his chance when his sister brings back a magical book with the power to contain whole worlds inside it. The evil Kitty Litter (this game has SO many cat puns, omg), a gang of evil cats, tries to steal the book, and Lucky saves his sister by jumping into the book after them but locking them all in in the process. He needs to collect lucky clovers (the stars of this game) in order to unlock gates so he can beat each member of the Kitty Litter and stop their evil father from changing history to rule the world (the book can also change history as well as connect to alternate worlds. It's exactly as confusing as it is entirely unimportant XP).

Super Lucky's Tale is a stage-based 3D platformer that reminded me a lot of the first Sly Cooper game. You run around, can swing your tail to hit stuff, double jump, and there's a fairly generous climbing mechanic to get you on top of a ledge you juuuust can't reach. You can also hold RT to dig underground, and it's an interesting way that they create some timed platforming challenges, as you can't stop your momentum while you're underground, and you exit the underground with an auto-jump. It handles well, but Lucky moves a bit slow. You only have 3 hits before you die, and the game isn't thaaat frivolous with health power-ups, so especially if you're going for max completion the game is surprisingly difficult for what I expected from it.

Each level has 3 goals and a final objective. Get 300 coins, find the secret clover, and collect the 5 letters of "LUCKY". Completing one will give you a clover, with a total of 4 clovers in each level. There are also some bonus stages you can access from the hub areas of each of the game's 4 worlds which are divided into auto-runners, pushing block puzzles, and marble-tilting mazes, which award a single clover each. The level design is good, with lots of nooks and crannies to explore to find coins and LUCKY letters. I'd heard the game had camera issues on the Xbone original, but those must've been patched out or something because I never encountered them. The camera is fixed at one point, for the most part, but you can tilt it from side to side if you need to. The only real flaw to the game is that there just isn't much to it (and also I fell through the floor a few times when I got hit by a projectile from above XP).

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. If you can get SLT for like $15 or $20, or if you can play it on Game Pass, I'd say it's worth a play. It's a good game, if utterly unambitious in its genre, but it's also just way too short to justify a high price tag. That new Switch version for $40 does not add THAT much content, and honestly if the game were twice as long it'd only barely begin to approach being worth $40. Maybe for some people this game will be worth that much money, but for any veteran of 3D platformers like me, you'll likely blaze through it fast enough that you'll feel your money could've been better spent despite the good time you had with this.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Dec 21, 2019 4:36 am

Partridge Senpai's 2019 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018
* indicates a repeat

1. Night Slashers (Switch)
2. Bye-Bye BOXBOY! (3DS)
3. GTA4: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Xbox 360)
4. Katamari Forever (PS3)
5. Detention (PS4)
6. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) *
7. OctoDad: Dadliest Catch (PS4) *
8. FlintHook (Switch)
9. God of War (PS4)
10. God of War HD (PS3)
11. Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch)
12. God of War 2 HD (PS3)
13. Starlink (Switch)
14. Shin Gundam Musou (PS3)
15. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS)
16. Banjo-Kazooie (N64) *
17. Super Mario 64: Rumble Edition (N64)
18. Mario Party 3 (N64) *
19. Paper Mario (N64) *
20. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) *
21. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC) *
22. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC) *
23. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC) *
24. Yoshi's Island (SNES) *
25. Super Mario World (SNES) *
26. Super Mario RPG (SFC) *
27. Kaeru No Tame Ni Kane Wa Naru (GB)
28. Final Fantasy VI (SFC) *
29. Final Fantasy IV (SFC) *
30. Final Fantasy V (SFC)
31. Final Fantasy III (Famicom)
32. Mother 2 (SFC) *
33. Mother 3 (GBA) *
34. Hebereke (Famicom)
35. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SFC)
36. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SFC)
37. Donkey Kong Country (SFC) *
38. Wario's Woods (Famicom)
39. Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
40. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)
41. Luigi's Mansion (3DS) *
42. Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
43. Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga & Bowser's Minions (3DS)
44. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story & Bowser Jr's Journey (3DS)
45. Tomato Adventure (GBA)
46. Corpse Party (PSP)
47. Rave Master: Fighting Live (GC)
48. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) *
49. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
50. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA) *
51. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
52. The Outer Worlds (Xbone)
53. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Xbone)
54. Guacamelee 2 (Xbone)
55. Steamworld Dig 2 (Xbone)
56. Yoku's Island Express (Xbone)
57. Guacamelee (Xbone) *
58. Blazing Chrome (Xbone)
59. Minit (Xbone)
60. Dishonored 2 (Xbone)
61. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbone)
62. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Xbone)
63. Recore: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
64. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
65. Super Lucky's Tale (Xbone)

66. Snake Pass (Xbone)

Still going through Game Pass games that are shorter but look neat, I tried out the coincidentally named Snake Pass today. Yet another 3D platformer (of sorts) in a jungle as an animal, it was a choice between this and Super Lucky's Tale the other day, and I'm glad in retrospect I didn't pick this one XP. Though it took me almost twice as long as SLT to get all the collectibles in (around 8 hours), I enjoyed my time with Snake Pass far less.

If you thought that Super Lucky's Tale had a threadbare and unimportant story, just get a load of Snake Pass! The story is so threadbare it may as well not even be there. Doodle the hummingbird comes to wake Noodle the snake after one of the stones to the warp gate in that area of their forest has been dislodged. Noodle and Doodle then go around from area to area putting the stones back and being given very obvious (and very unskippable) cutscenes of who dun it. Even upon replaying a level, cutscenes (the few there are) are unskippable, and the story is otherwise so unimportant to the game that it may as well just not be there and save us the unskippable cutscenes.

The gameplay of Snake Pass is you as Noodle the snake going around and collecting the 3 warp stones in each of 15 levels. Also in each stage are 20 wisps to collect and 5 gatekeeper coins (which are functionally identical. The coins are just usually harder to find/get to). Now you may be asking yourself, "but Pidge, only 15 levels, I know you went for 100% collectibles, but how is that an 8 hour game?" Well, fair reader, the reason is very simple: Noodle is a snake, and for better or worse (usually worse) he controls like one.

Holding RT moves Noodle forward, the left joystick moves his head, and holding A makes him look upward. Holding LT "tightens his muscles", which basically means that your friction increases to whatever you're clinging to, allowing for time for some more precise movements for when platforming gets tricky. The right stick also moves the camera around, and pressing Y makes Doodle grab your tail and hold it up for you (invaluable for lightening your weight if just your head is on a platform and you're desperately trying to get up and not fall). To give the game devs credit, Noodle does genuinely move like a snake. You can't just move in a straight line, as that's not how a snake moves. Winding from side to side makes you speed up, whether you're on the ground or trying to climb up one of the game's many bamboo climbing poles (or trying to Skyrim your way up a rock face you definitely shouldn't be able to but can regardless).

This game's level design is generally fine. The main issue the game has is that the control layout is inexcusably terrible. RB re-positions the camera behind you, sure, but your thumb has SO many jobs between A, Y, and the right stick that there were an uncountable number of times that I died because I couldn't simultaneously raise my head and call for Doodle, or keep my head raised and reposition the camera to see what I was even doing. There is absolutely no reason you cannot re-bind the buttons, there is no reason lifting your head couldn't also be LB, heck I think the B button literally does nothing, so who the heck knows why calling Doodle is bound to Y and not B (X is for diving in water).

The game's main challenge and conceit is that it's awkward and difficult to control, and the bad controller layout does not help that. But this isn't a game where awkward controls are part of the silly design of the game like Surgeon Simulator or Octodad. Ohhhhh no. This is just THE GAME. World 2 (out of 4) is probably the hardest part of the game because suddenly the game forces you, not even for extra collectibles, to master how to cross a horizontal climbing beam and the nearest checkpoint is quite far away. It does not surprise me even remotely, looking at the achievement stats, that so few people who play this game actually finish world 2, let alone beat the game (heck I think even beating world 1 is something less than 10% of players have done).

Most of what could be called the fun levels are the first four that make up the game's first world. After that, the kid gloves are off, and the game starts upping the challenge just enough with each stage that you constantly need to reevaluate just how well you've learned to control Noodle, and it's never not frustrating. Dying is an ever constant part of this game as you wrestle with the control layout, the control design, and the not always clear physics of how Noodle moves. The only saving grace is that respawns are so quick, but the pain in the butt is that checkpoints are not so frequent (although thank goodness you can reuse them as many times as you want).

Verdict: Not Recommended. Snake Pass feels like a student project about snake movement that was pushed into being a full-fledged game before they actually had the main meat of it fully thought out. "Surgeon Sim, but a challenging platformer" is a pretty bad look for any game, but it's really the only way I can describe this. If you have it for free through Game Pass like I did, maybe it'd be worth your time if you have genuinely nothing else to do, as conquering the game's awkward controls does feel rewarding (and that rewarding feeling is honestly the best part of the game), but I would never say you should pay money for Snake Pass. Your time and money are almost certainly spent on some other indie game, because Snake Pass is largely just a ticket to frustration.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
pook99
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:17 pm

@markies: Sonic and knuckles is a game that has been on my bucket list forever, I don't know if I'll ever get around to playing it and I think since we have games like sonic mania and freedom planet now I would probably be better served playing them instead of that. I do love knuckles though which is my main draw for wanting to play it.

Secret of mana is also on my bucket list, I definitely need to play that at some point, I may even pick up the collection on switch, I may be more inclined to play it if it is portable

@aj: have you played nes darkwing duck? From your screen shots it looks like they are the same game, but I dd is one of my favorite nes games, mainly because I was a huge fan of the cartoon and mega man as a kid.

@partridge: I had the same criticism of ori as you did when I first started playing it, I was about to quit the game completely because of the visual clutter, but then I turned the brightness on my monitor all the way up and it become much easier to see what was going on and I subsequently fell in love with the game. I'm not sure if that would help, but it did work for me.

188. Shovel knight: King of cards

This may be the last game I finish this decade, and if it is, I couldn't have asked for a better send off to an amazing decade of gaming.

I want to start by taking a moment to gush over yacht club games and their amazingly consumer friendly business practices. I bought shovel knight: treasure trove a few years ago for about $12, for that price I got 4 of the best 2d platformers ever made and a smash clone that I heard was good but havent played myself yet. In an age where every developer tries to rob consumers of money on just about every front, it is great to see a developer reward their customers for their patronage. I would gladly pay full price for every game in the shovel knight saga and I will day 1 buy any game yacht club puts out, their good business practices deserve to be rewarded.

King of Cards is the tale of king knight and bears the mark of being a story about a completely unlikable protagonist, and I mean that in the most endearing way possible. The other 3 heroes in the series were all endearing in their own way and made you root for them/empathize with them, but king knight is a complete pompous jerk, who is materialistic, detached, bratty, and a complete jerk to everyone around him. Despite his pomp, the story in this game is extremely well told and will make you laugh out loud on several occasions. As the story goes, King knight is a spoiled loser living with his mom and he wants to be king. There is a card game called Joustus and king knight sets off on a quest to become the king of cards by besting the 3 joustus judges.

The story is silly and the characters are exactly what you want them to be, the dialogue is well written and light hearted and it is hard to interact with other characters without smiling. As endearing as the story is the game play is where the game truly shines. King knight starts with the ability to shoulder dash, but when he successfully bashes into enemies/walls/platforms, he then performs a spin jump, if you bounce off anything while spinning you will gain some height and the ability to perform another shoulder dash, which could potentially repeat an infinite number of times under the right circumstances.

The game uses this mechanic in incredibly clever ways and every level is designed around it. In typical shovel knight fashion, every level presents new obstacles, and every level does a great job of easing you into the mechanics of that new obstacle. This game is a master class in game design, you never feel unprepared for what comes next, but at the same time there are some very challenging segments, combine this with the sheer amount of variety in the stages and you have a game that is an absolute joy to play from start to finish.

KOC takes a slightly different approach to level design than the other games, the levels in this game are short(usually with only one checkpoint) but there are a lot more levels in this game than the other games, and most levels do not end in a boss fight. There are also 3 medallions hidden throughout each level as well as secret exits. One of the things i love most about these games is how there are always subtle cues to where the secrets are, this is not one of those annoying games where you have to bash every wall hoping to find hidden stuff, there is always a hint which makes exploring for secrets a lot of fun. I rarely 100% games but I did 100% just about every game in the shovel knight collection.

The medallions collected throughout the levels are used to buy relics(think of them as subweapons from castlevania), the relics have a wide variety of uses, some help attacks(like a throwable lance) some help movement(like the bubble float that lets you shoulder dash again in mid air without having to bounce off something) and some help both(like the flame sword which acts as a huge power move against bosses but also functions as a double jump). The relics are a lot of fun to use and smart use of them makes the platforming and combat much easier.

In addition to the absolutely amazing game, there is also a card game that can be played as a side game. The card game is completely optional, you can beat the game without ever playing it, and when I first read about it, I thought I would never touch it as it would just distract from the platforming. I was wrong, and I found myself sinking alot of time playing the card game and wound up beating every card player in the game, it would be too hard to describe the rules of the game here, but it is simple enough to learn while also having a surprising amount of complexity. There are tons of cards to collect and I had a lot of fun customizing my deck to take on the increasingly difficult opponents.

I haven't sat down and thought too much about my game of the decade yet, but I honestly think treasure trove may be it, or at the very least in my top 5. The quality of these games are all unmatched, if you haven't played any of them yet, you need to pick up the shovel knight treasure trove and if you already did then you should be playing king of cards right now, it is just an amazing end to an amazing series of games.
dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by dsheinem Sat Dec 21, 2019 2:56 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
Metro Exodus - PS4
Split/Second - 360
Far Cry: New Dawn - PS4
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - X1
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite - PS4
Rage - PC
Red Faction: Armageddon - 360
Momonga Pinball Adventure - Switch
Psycho Soldier - Vita (Arcade)
Super Mutant Alien Assault - Vita
Burly Men at Sea - Vita
Sigil - PC
Fat Princess - PS3
Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary - PC
Monster World IV - Genesis (PS3)
Marvel's Spider-Man - PS4
Mega Man X4 - Switch
Armored Warriors - Switch (Arcade)
Battle Circuit - Switch (Arcade)
Borderlands 3 - PS4
Hyper Dyne Side Arms - PS3(Arcade)
Legendary Wings - PS3 (Arcade)
The Outer Worlds - X1
Akai Katana - 360
RayStorm - PS2 (Arcade)
Operation C - PS4 (Game Boy)
Kid Dracula - Switch (Famicom)
Castlevania: The Adventure - Switch (Game Boy)
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge - Switch (Game Boy)
What the Golf - iOS
Ninjin: Clash of Carrots - PS4 *new*

Total: 39


Previously: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010

This is arguably the best .99 I’ve spent on the PSN. This is an exceedingly fun game - a compelling combo of a hack-n-slash crossed with a runner...imagine a Bit-trip Runner game focused on combat instead of platforming...with a charming cast of characters and better-than-servicable plot, lots of gear and perk upgrades, etc. A really fantastic surprise that I would recommend to anyone who likes fast-paced arcade-style gameplay.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:22 pm

First 50:
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
10. Magic: The Gathering - PC
11. Ghost 1.0 - PC
12. Call of Duty 2 - PC
13. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - PS4
14. Revelations: The Demon Slayer - GBC
15. Mechstermination Force - Switch
16. Shadow Warrior Classic Redux - PC
17. Lost Sphear - Switch
18. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal - PC
19. Dragon Quest III - NES
20. Rage 2 - PC
21. Blood - PC
22. Harvest Moon 64 - N64
23. Battlefield V - PC
24. Sigil - PC
25. Shining Force III: Scenario 2 - Saturn
26. Shining Force III: Scenario 3 - Saturn
27. Borderlands 2: Commander Lillith and the Fight for Sanctuary - PC
28. Gato Roboto - Switch
29. Timespinner - Switch
30. Amid Evil - PC
31. Pillars of Eternity II: Beast of Winter - PC
32. Pillars of Eternity II: Seeker, Slayer, Survivor - PC
33. Pillars of Eternity II: The Forgotten Sanctum - PC
34. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Switch
35. Orphan - PC
36. Project Nimbus - PC
37. Hardcore Mecha - PC
38. Grey Goo - PC
39. Giants: Citizen Kabuto - PC
40. Wolfenstein: Youngblood - PC
41. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Switch
42. Metal Wolf Chaos XD - PC
43. Ion Fury - PC
44. Final Fantasy Adventure - GB
45. Astral Chain - Switch
46. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw - PC
47. Blasphemous - Switch
48. Daemon x Machina - Switch
49. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Switch
50. Borderlands 3 - PC

51. Valfaris - Switch
52. Unreal: Return to Na Pali - PC
53. The Outer Worlds - PC
54. MechWarrior 4: Black Knight - PC
55. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - PC
56. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: System Rift - PC
57. MDK - PC
58. Pokémon Sword - Switch
59. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - PC
60. Blazing Chrome - Switch
61. MDK 2 - PC
62. Heavy Gear - PC
63. Virtual-On - Saturn
64. Virtual-On: Oratorio Tangram - DC
65. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - PC

Back in 2002 MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries was released, and ended up being the last single player MechWarrior game to be released. The license went fairly dormant afterwards as market trends changed and the Battletech IP went through some shakeup due to FASA closing and Wizkids taking over (we got the MechAssault games, but those are pale imitations). Then in 2013 we got MechWarrior Online. While it was multiplayer only, it had a pretty good feeling combat system. The biggest problem the game had was that the IP fundamentally was not designed around first person PVP balance, which lead to a lot of arbitrary mechanics added on top. But finally, we have a new MechWarrior single player game. And it's pretty damn great.

MechWarrior 5 is set starting in 3015, and the game will let you run all the way to 3048. I'm not sure what happens at that point in-game (I just hit 3039), but in-universe that's when the Clans invade, and that's a story for another game (expansion, sequel, DLC, etc). It starts off with your dad getting killed and you taking over his mercenary unit. But your dad wasn't just randomly killed; there's something he had that people are trying to get. So you have a dual mission of getting revenge, as well as figuring out what was so important to be worth killing for.

The game gives you the entire Inner Sphere to play in, and the map and markets evolve over time as events happen in universe. When the Fourth Succession War hits you get to watch the Capellen Confederation get savaged by the Federated Suns, for example. This mostly serves as a backdrop to things, as your unit is lance-strength and thus never really can make a huge impact on the wider events. But that also means you're free to move from faction to faction, taking jobs as you like. There is a rough path you have to take due to mission difficulty; it'll take you in a wide circle and give you experience with every faction.

There are three high level styles of missions available. Campaign missions are heavily scripted, and they tell the ongoing story. On the flip side are all the randomly generated missions. These are instant-action style in one of five types. Then there's this sort of middle ground, where you can do a short mini-campaign. This usually involves having to do missions on a couple different planets, and those missions have unique voice lines. Some of these mini campaigns have branching paths, which will affect your final rewards. That's one of the reasons to do the campaigns; in addition to the rewards per-mission you also get special rewards for finishing, which can include mechs and special weapons.

When you get read to do a mission you go into the contract negotiation portion, and I think it's the best implementation yet for the series. Every mission has a base payout and some base salvage shares. Then you have a certain number of negotiation points. Some of these are granted based on your global reputation (experience meter). This is then modified by your standing with the faction giving the mission; if they like you then you get more points, if they don't like you then you lose points. These points can be spent to increase your base pay, the number of salvage shares available, or for hazard pay. Hazard pay gives you more cash per negotiation point, but it only pays out to cover damage you take. So if you negotiate 350k of hazard pay but only take 250k damage you only get 250k. Additionally, each of these is capped, so in the later game you will be forced to split your points across multiple categories. The salvage shares are what are used at the end of mission to loot your defeated enemies. Every salvaged mech and component costs a certain number of shares. Basic medium lasers will cost 1, while an AC20 might cost 4-6. Mechs start at 6 shares for a Locust and range all the way up to 26 shares for an Atlas. So there's a lot of thought that goes into how you're going to negotiate, as it'll affect your mission results.

Like previous entries the game has mech customization, but it is at its most restricted here. Every mech has a series of hardpoints of a certain size and type, and you can replace them with another weapon of the same type and same or smaller size. So a mech that normally has a PPC (large energy) can have it ripped out for a Large Laser (large energy), or a Medium Laser (medium energy). This means the smaller slots are much more restricted in what can go in them. Your customization tends to be more about tweaking things to either go from long range to brawling (swap LRMs to SRMs, downgrade energy slots to medium lasers) or to do minor downgrades to max out armor or add heat sinks. This makes every chassis and variant still reasonably unique, whereas before it would come down to something's tonnage and your willingness to spend money.

The moment to moment gameplay really nails the feel of being in a giant walking tank. Weapons feel weighty and kick up a lot of collateral damage. Trees catch fire, smoke billows off particularly good hits, and getting smacked by a flight of missiles effectively disables you from the shake and obscuring your viewscreen. One class of missions involves you needing to level a settlement, and the most effective way is to Kool-Aid Man your way through anything three stories or smaller. Vehicles show up as your regular minor enemy; while they die fast they also carry the same weapons as you, so ignore them at your own peril. The game really gets you into a "one more mission" loop, and if you play well you'll see your forces slowly improve into better hardware. One thing to keep in mind is you'll want to have at least one chassis that's a bit underweight compared to your main forces, as the campaign likes to give slightly more restrictive drop weights than you might be currently used to.

We've been waiting over 15 years for a new single player MechWarrior game and 5 delivers. It's certainly not perfect, but it gives the core of what I want, and that's all that matters. I can only hope it does well and PGI can produce more content; now that they've got the framework down they can only get better.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:22 pm

Partridge Senpai's 2019 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018
* indicates a repeat

1. Night Slashers (Switch)
2. Bye-Bye BOXBOY! (3DS)
3. GTA4: The Ballad of Gay Tony (Xbox 360)
4. Katamari Forever (PS3)
5. Detention (PS4)
6. Donkey Kong 64 (N64) *
7. OctoDad: Dadliest Catch (PS4) *
8. FlintHook (Switch)
9. God of War (PS4)
10. God of War HD (PS3)
11. Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch)
12. God of War 2 HD (PS3)
13. Starlink (Switch)
14. Shin Gundam Musou (PS3)
15. Battle & Get! Pokemon Typing DS (DS)
16. Banjo-Kazooie (N64) *
17. Super Mario 64: Rumble Edition (N64)
18. Mario Party 3 (N64) *
19. Paper Mario (N64) *
20. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) *
21. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (GBC) *
22. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (GBC) *
23. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (GBC) *
24. Yoshi's Island (SNES) *
25. Super Mario World (SNES) *
26. Super Mario RPG (SFC) *
27. Kaeru No Tame Ni Kane Wa Naru (GB)
28. Final Fantasy VI (SFC) *
29. Final Fantasy IV (SFC) *
30. Final Fantasy V (SFC)
31. Final Fantasy III (Famicom)
32. Mother 2 (SFC) *
33. Mother 3 (GBA) *
34. Hebereke (Famicom)
35. Donkey Kong Country 2 (SFC)
36. Donkey Kong Country 3 (SFC)
37. Donkey Kong Country (SFC) *
38. Wario's Woods (Famicom)
39. Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
40. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)
41. Luigi's Mansion (3DS) *
42. Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
43. Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga & Bowser's Minions (3DS)
44. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story & Bowser Jr's Journey (3DS)
45. Tomato Adventure (GBA)
46. Corpse Party (PSP)
47. Rave Master: Fighting Live (GC)
48. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GBA) *
49. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
50. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA) *
51. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
52. The Outer Worlds (Xbone)
53. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight (Xbone)
54. Guacamelee 2 (Xbone)
55. Steamworld Dig 2 (Xbone)
56. Yoku's Island Express (Xbone)
57. Guacamelee (Xbone) *
58. Blazing Chrome (Xbone)
59. Minit (Xbone)
60. Dishonored 2 (Xbone)
61. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Xbone)
62. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Xbone)
63. Recore: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
64. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition (Xbone)
65. Super Lucky's Tale (Xbone)
66. Snake Pass (Xbone)

67. My Friend Pedro - Blood Bullets Bananas (Xbone)

A quirky action game, this is very on-brand for Devolver Digital, and I'd heard it bandied about on some GOTY lists, so I thought I'd give it a try on Game Pass. It's a good game, but I don't really think it's for me. That said, I enjoyed the 3 or so hours it took me to beat it on normal mode, even if I don't see myself ever going back to this game.

If you've ever played Hotline Miami, then My Friend Pedro's core conceit should be very familiar. Go through a level doing kills as quickly and efficiently as you can to try and get a high score (or at least finish the level). The twists MFP brings to the table are that this is a side-scroller instead of top-down, you have far more health than the basically one-hit deaths of Hotline Miami, and it has a bullet-time feature where you can slow down time to aim shots better. You can use 5 different types of guns, you can wall jump, kick stuff, make barrels fall onto people, kick a gas canister into their face and then shoot it before it falls onto the ground to make their buddies blow into tiny pieces and then kick the pieces into the face of the buddy who didn't get blown up. There's a lot of silly nonsense you can pull in this game if you get into it enough, and the top scoring runs for this game must look suuuper awesome.

The story is neat, but not that important. You're an amnesiac who wakes up in the back of a butcher shop about to be killed, but your hallucinatory banana friend Pedro gives you bullet time powers and helps lead you on your quest to horrible bloody murder (and safety). The world has a very neon, flashy look to it that clashes with a grungy, dirty dystopian flair. It's not the neon super-vomit style of Hotline Miami, and it's not entirely unique, but it looks nice.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. At least for my tastes, this hasn't really come close to replacing Hotline Miami (coincidentally enough also a Devolver Digital game) in my heart. The lower recommendation is almost entirely down to it not really meshing with my tastes and it not really overcoming the quality of Hotline Miami for me. If I had to tell you which of the two to pick, I'd say HM every time, but if you're all Hotline Miami'd out and want something similar but different, this game is something you'll probably like a lot.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by alienjesus Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:04 pm

Games Beaten 2019:
First 50:
1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch
2. Alex Kidd in The Enchanted Castle Switch
3. Streets of Rage Switch
4. Vectorman Switch
5. Galaxy Force II Switch
6. Flicky Switch
7. Phantasy Star 2 Switch
8. Sonic the Hedgehog Switch
9. Altered Beast Switch
10. ESWAT: City Under Siege Switch
11. Columns Switch
12. Virtua Fighter 2 Switch
13. Kirby Star Allies Switch
14. Katamari Damacy Reroll Switch eShop
15. Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! Switch
16. Octodad: Dadliest Catch Switch eShop
17. Sword of Vermilion Switch
18. Decap Attack Switch
19. Golden Axe Switch
20. The Revenge of Shinobi Switch
21. Beyond Oasis Switch
22. WarioWare Gold 3DS
23. Shining in the Darkness Switch
24. Kid Chameleon Switch
25. Streets of Rage 2 Switch
26. Bio-Hazard Battle Switch
27. Super Thunder Blade Switch
28. Gain Ground Switch
29. Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom Switch
30. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Switch
31. Comix Zone Switch
32. Vectorman 2 Switch
33. Light Crusader Switch
34. Crack Down Switch
35. ToeJam and Earl Switch
36. Dynamite Headdy Switch
37. Golden Axe II Switch
38. Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi Switch
39. Columns III: Revenge of Columns Switch
40. Shining Force: The Legacy of Great Intention Switch
41. Kirby No Kirakira Kizzu Game Boy
42. Klonoa Wii
43. Looney Tunes Collector: Martian Alert! GBC
44. Mario Tennis N64
45. Fire Emblem Warriors Switch
46. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time [Randomiser] N64
47. The New Zealand Story SMS
48. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana Switch
49. Shenmue 2 Dreamcast
50. Castlevania GBA

51. Mario Party N64
52. ActRaiser SNES
53. GoldenEye 007 N64
54. Mom Hid My Game Switch eShop
55. Money Puzzle Exchanger Switch eShop
56. Gunbird Switch eShop
57. Tokyo School Life Switch eShop
58. Musynx Switch
59. Gremlins 2: The New Batch NES
60. Subsurface Circular Switch eShop
61. Yoshi's Woolly World Wii U
62. ToeJam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron Switch
63. Bare Knuckle III Switch
64. Gunstar Heroes Switch
65. Space Harrier II Switch
66. Sonic Spinball Switch
67. Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium Switch
68. Sonic 3D Blast Switch
69. Rabbids Go Home Wii
70. Alien Storm Switch
71. Alien Soldier Switch
72. Untitled Goose Game Switch eShop
73. Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole Switch
74. Fatal Labyrinth Switch
75. Ristar Switch
76. Golden Axe III Switch
77. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Switch
78. Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine Switch
79. Bonanza Bros. Switch
80. Shining Force II [& Sega Mega Drive Classics] Switch
81. Castlevania Bloodlines Switch
82. Puyo Puyo Sun 64 N64
83. Chameleon Twist 2 N64
84. Cruis'n USA N64
85. Darkwing Duck Game Boy
86. Fortified Zone Game Boy
87. Lock 'N Chase Game Boy
88. Spanky's Quest Game Boy
89. Looney Tunes Collector: Martian Revenge! GBC
90. Puchi Carat PS1
91. Battle Garegga Rev. 2016 PS4
92. Flower PS4
93. FlOw PS4


Puchi Carat

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I regularly visit a retro gaming market event in London which runs 3 times a year. I often go with an idea of what I want to find, but just as often I find myself leaving with a stack of completely unplanned purchases. On one such occasion, I ended up purchasing a selection of PS1 games. I picked up Hogs of War, which I remember enjoying as a kid, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, which I picked up for much the same reason, Bishi Bashi Special which I chose because it was a childhood favourite of my wife’s and Sheep Dog & Wolf which I remember seeing in a magazine as a kid which lauded it and thinking I’d like to play it. And finally, I picked up Puchi Carat. Unlike the other games, I had no experience of any kind with it, but I saw the box, thought it looked like a fun competitive puzzle game like Puyo Puyo or Puzzle Bobble, and as it was cheap and in a genre I liked, figured it was worth a punt.

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And so when I came to play Puchi Carat after, I booted it up and was greeted by the familiar Japanese puzzle game stylings. Colourful and cut characters to choose from, badly translated engrish localisation, and some bouncy happy music. And then I played the game, and was surprised to discover that it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. See, Puchi Carat puts across the appearance of a Puzzle Bobble clone, but when you play, you realise that it’s actually more like head-to-head Breakout.

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You bounce a ball around the screen hitting into gems up above you and destroying them. Like Puzzle Bobble, taking out a gem which has other gems beneath can cause the whole bunch to drop off at once, and this is the aim of the game – as this will send more lines of gems to the opponents screen. You can press down to make more gems appear on your own screen too, which can be essential to continuing to press the attack, but obvious it carries the risk of an enemy attack sending your gem stack over the lines and causing you to game over.

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And that’s basically all there is to Puchi Carat. There’s an arcade mode where you play through 10 or so stages against various computer opponents, but there’s little different between levels. The music of the game is bouncy enough but basically forgettable, and the graphics are nice looking but not exactly top tier for the system.

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The main problem with Puchi Carat then, is that it just…doesn’t really work. Breakout doesn’t feel like a balanced and fair game to play head to head, because its too hard to take out the blocks you need – it’s not as direct or controllable as shooting bubbles in Puzzle Bobble, so it just feels luck dependent if you can save yourself after a big attack. Puzzle Bobble does often require a bit of luck to get the right colours to save yourself, but it’s much quicker to take action and feels much more fair. Puchi Carat, unfortunately, whilst a surprise from what I was expecting, was not a good one. I wish it had been the generic puzzle game I thought it was, because I suspect I would enjoy it more.





Battle Garegga Rev. 2016

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I often find it hard to shmups like Battle Garegga because I often don’t understand or appreciate all of the complex underlying mechanics for scoring, gaining credits and powering up that many of these later shmups have. So I just give my review from the perspective of someone who enjoys playing games where you have to avoid the brightly coloured bullets and leave it at that.

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Battle Garegga Rev. 2016 though, ended up being a game where having at least a basic understanding of some of the underlying mechanics really felt necessary to appreciating it properly. This is a game that doesn’t mess around, and understanding how and why some things happen feel necessary to being able to handle it appropriately.

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And so, I researched a bit, and found out about how there are hidden patterns of options if you grab 5 of the same power up in a row before getting an option power up. Or how point medals increase in value for each one you grab without missing them. Or how there are secret points where you can set stuff off in the background of the stage for extra points, such as releasing a flock of flamingos in stage 2. Or how you can kill enemies by kamikaze-ing into them and defeating them with your exploding shrapnel. And most importantly, that you might actually want to do that if you’re playing especially well, because this game gets harder the better you’re doing, and having too many lives and scoring too highly can result in the game becoming unwinnably hard.

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Not that that mattered too much, though, because Battle Garegga is pretty damn tough. Even earlier on, enemies can be pretty relentless, and this is pone of those awkward games that’s kind of on the cusp between the modern idea of a bullet hell and the more old school type of shmup – there’s plenty of bullets flying about, but they’re often a bit faster and less predictable that the likes of Caves shmups.

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This port was done by M2, and they’ve done a lot to try and make the game accessible. There are various difficulty options available, including the arcade original and various easier arranged modes. Playing modes with limited continues unlocks extra credits each time you game over for later attempts. And there are a ton of optional widgets you can show on screen which display things like which power ups you’ve recently grabbed and what’s next for handling point acquisition and options etc.

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Overall though, I think the appeal of Battle Garegga is really in these complexities. As a game just played for the sake of playing a shmup, it feels underwhelming to me – setpieces aren’t especially exciting for the genre and the levels, standard ships and weaponry aren’t too memorable either. But overall, I’d say I had a decent time exploring the game in a little more depth than I might normally, even despite how obtuse it can be. This is worth a play, and hardcore shmup fans swear by it. As a more fairweather fan though, I’d give it a recommendation, but it wouldn’t be my top choice.





Flower

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Flower is a game that I’ve been fairly interested since it was released on PS3 several years ago. It seemed like a relaxing and beautiful game, and at the time of it’s release it was one of only a handful of games that interested me on the system. It wasn’t until years and years later I’d actually get the game though, as part of the Journey collection on PS4.

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And wow, this game really does look great. I purchased myself an OLED TV earlier in the year, and the colours look incredible on it with this game. As you soar through the levels between the blades of grass and the flowers bloom, it really is joyous in a way that’s hard to describe.

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The gameplay of Flower is fairly simple – you control a gust of wind full of petals by tilting the controller to move. As you fly past flowers, they bloom and petals from them join your trail, creating a wave of colour in the wake. Once you bloom multiple flowers in an area, then colour will often burst forth and grass and flowers will grow in the area all around them.

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The game only contains 6 levels, but it does mix things up on occasion. One stage has you flying around at night, able to illuminate the environment instead of just colouring it in. One has you flying around on gusts from windmills. And one has you navigating a valley full of electric pylons which jut out from the environment. Unfortunately, this last level is by far the worst in the game – the game is at is best when it’s relaxing and allows you to move at your own pace, but the clumsiness of the controls don’t lend themselves to dodging hazards very well. I can see what they’re going for, as this level is the penultimate one and they wanted the game to have an emotional low point to build up to a finale, but it was the one level I didn’t enjoy, and it was because it just didn’t feel like it worked.

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Overall though, Flower was a relaxing couple of hours. It’s a good game for a relaxing weekend afternoon, and it makes you feel good just from how it looks and feels to play. The controls are loose and imperfect, but it doesn’t really feel like a problem most of the time. ThatGameCompany would go on to make the superior Journey after this, but Flower is still worth a play. I’d recommend it.





FlOw

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Having now played both Journey and Flower, I decided to play the final game on the Journey collection (and the first game of the 3 released): FlOw. Flow (which I’ll be writing like this now because screw the stupid stylisation) is a game where you play as one of several microorganisms and must consume others to grow your body and become bigger and stronger.

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The first of these micro-organisms is a worm like creature with mandibles on the front. You can speed up by pressing X, and by passing over edible parts of another organism with your mouth will eat that part, adding it to your own body. Small creatures will be eaten instantly, but larger creatures will need each individual part eaten to defeat them. Other creatures are capable of eating parts of you too, so it’s survival of the fittest.

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Each stage takes place on a 2D plane, but you can move ‘up’ and ‘down’ from these planes to other ones at will, to escape from danger or to advance further. You can move up and down by eating red or blue enemies who will send you up or down depending on the colour. This can be done at any time – there’s no need to eat everything on each level.

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Reaching the bottom will give you a boss fight of sorts vs a powered up enemy, and then beating them will release an egg for another creature, which you can then play as. Each creature has different abilities – the jellyfish can lure enemies in by spinning, a poison worm can paralyse enemies it contacts, and a fish creature can dive at enemy weak points. The core gameplay is ultimately the same though, which is the games main flaw – it’s short, easy and repetitive. The game is relaxing enough, but it lacks depth, despite going deeper being the core of the gameplay.

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Overall, Flow feels like more of a style over substance kind of game. The bold colours and minimal aesthetic are very stylish, but there’s not a lot to the game besides. I was fed up of it way before I beat it as all 6 creatures, and I have no real desire to go back to it now I’m done. Flow is an OK game, but it’s not one I’d recommend. It definitely outstays it’s welcome.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:48 pm

First 50:
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
10. Magic: The Gathering - PC
11. Ghost 1.0 - PC
12. Call of Duty 2 - PC
13. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - PS4
14. Revelations: The Demon Slayer - GBC
15. Mechstermination Force - Switch
16. Shadow Warrior Classic Redux - PC
17. Lost Sphear - Switch
18. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal - PC
19. Dragon Quest III - NES
20. Rage 2 - PC
21. Blood - PC
22. Harvest Moon 64 - N64
23. Battlefield V - PC
24. Sigil - PC
25. Shining Force III: Scenario 2 - Saturn
26. Shining Force III: Scenario 3 - Saturn
27. Borderlands 2: Commander Lillith and the Fight for Sanctuary - PC
28. Gato Roboto - Switch
29. Timespinner - Switch
30. Amid Evil - PC
31. Pillars of Eternity II: Beast of Winter - PC
32. Pillars of Eternity II: Seeker, Slayer, Survivor - PC
33. Pillars of Eternity II: The Forgotten Sanctum - PC
34. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Switch
35. Orphan - PC
36. Project Nimbus - PC
37. Hardcore Mecha - PC
38. Grey Goo - PC
39. Giants: Citizen Kabuto - PC
40. Wolfenstein: Youngblood - PC
41. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Switch
42. Metal Wolf Chaos XD - PC
43. Ion Fury - PC
44. Final Fantasy Adventure - GB
45. Astral Chain - Switch
46. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw - PC
47. Blasphemous - Switch
48. Daemon x Machina - Switch
49. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Switch
50. Borderlands 3 - PC

51. Valfaris - Switch
52. Unreal: Return to Na Pali - PC
53. The Outer Worlds - PC
54. MechWarrior 4: Black Knight - PC
55. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - PC
56. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: System Rift - PC
57. MDK - PC
58. Pokémon Sword - Switch
59. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - PC
60. Blazing Chrome - Switch
61. MDK 2 - PC
62. Heavy Gear - PC
63. Virtual-On - Saturn
64. Virtual-On: Oratorio Tangram - DC
65. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - PC
66. Metaltech: Earthsiege - PC

Back when I was a kid I saw a magazine review for a game called Earthsiege, where you would pilot giant robots to defeat a computer force that was trying to wipe out humanity. It sounded awesome, so I asked for it for Chanukah from my parents. They got me MechWarrior 2 instead. And now, having played both games, I can say that I am glad they made the decision/mistake they did. Earthsiege is a decent title for an early 3D game but it has some very rough edges and some major balance issues that force you to play in a pretty specific way if you want to get through.

The basic premise is that humanity developed AI, let it pilot giant robots to so humans wouldn't have to die in the wars between nations, then the AI was like "fuck that shit" and nuked humanity. Now the human resistance must take back Earth in their own giant robots. The game consists of five campaigns chosen from eight total campaigns; if you are on the "win" path you will only ever see a fixed set of five campaigns, as the other three are alternate campaigns for the middle of the game if you fail the final mission of a campaign. A campaign consists of 7-8 missions that are a mixture of fixed missions and missions drawn from a pool. The fixed missions are used for introducing technology (do this mission successfully and you capture a new weapon/unlock a new mech) and as the main "story" beats (I use quotes because the story is extremely thin). Then the missions in between are drawn from a series of generic missions. These are randomly chosen when you choose to move on to the next mission (so if you reload beforehand you can potentially get a different one), and by the end of the game you'll definitely see some repeats. They do have some randomized parameters within them (the save a pilot one has him randomly appear somewhere on your patrol route, for example), so it isn't "I just did this exact thing", but it's close. You can fail these missions at no real penalty, though too much failure will end the campaign.

To do the missions you and up to three other pilots will use giant stompy robots. These are much more utilitarian than the anime-inspired designs of Battletech. Basically they take the form of legs, a tower, and a bunch of guns stapled to that tower. You are free to customize what weapons are on each mech, but a given hardpoint can only fit a subset of weaponry. So you can use the biggest weapon available on each hardpoint, but one hardpoint might only be for missiles, or only big guns, while another is more versatile. Your weaponry can be divided into four categories. The first is your basic guns, which are lasers and gatling guns. These are your bread and butter, with the main difference being one uses ammo and one uses energy (which replenishes, but also powers your shields). Next are the missile weapons, which are very ammo constrained and have various ways of homing. They're also a perfect example of a great AI weapon, as the computer is able to use them well while they are quite hard for the player to use well. The third is your big guns; these have a slow refire rate and big damage. They're also useless due to a quirk of the engine I'll get into in a bit. Finally there's the ECM item, which is used in certain missions but mostly isn't worthwhile. Passive radar gives you basically all the real benefits of ECM without announcing your presence.

Speaking of passive radar, the game is very heavily inspired by flight sims. It has a few too many toggles and goes for using things like MFDs you have to switch between for information and one screen that requires you to look away from your cockpit windows to see. If your radar is on passive you only see enemy emissions but enemies have trouble finding you. You can switch to active which acts as a magnet but also lets you guide your radar aimed missiles. For the most part active radar isn't worth it; I usually only toggle it quickly to get a quick view of what's going on, as well as dealing with fighters (which are the most obnoxious enemy in the game).

Now, the game engine has a pitiful draw distance, something like 100-200 in game meters. The game does not let you deal damage to anything it hasn't actually rendered, even if you're locked on. Your main guns have that range. So all those big guns with a huge standoff range? Pointless. And the best way to take out a mech is by quickly taking out the legs. There's two reasons; one is that one leg disables it and legs aren't that strong. The second is that legging a mech means you get the most rewards at the end of the mission. So those big guns again just end up falling flat. You're best off just packing guns and lasers (all lasers would deplete your energy too fast) and leg everything you see. This also means that there's a couple of mechs that are better as AI mechs, as they have less gun hardpoints than the mech before it but have a bunch more missiles.

The game does have a decent mission variety. You have patrols, base destructions, base defenses, but then you also have recons (get in, target something, get out) and infiltrations (go on this circuitous route and then do something at the end). So there's reason to keep around the little mechs in the end game to do some of the recon stuff. Otherwise you'll replace it as you run out of space for the bigger mechs. You should always be building a new mech, as the game introduces them when you need more firepower and they have a build time. You will not be able to have a full stable of the best stuff because of the time involved, so always have something in the hopper.

The biggest problem the game has is they came at it from "what if our flight sim was a walking tank?" rather than focusing on the power fantasy of "I have a giant mech". MechWarrior 2 adds in a lot of quality of life improvements that, while maintaining the feel of a sim, smooth out the rough edges so that the player can focus on the fun parts. If we're set in the future (500 years in the case of Earthsiege) then let's imagine that user interfaces aren't as clumsy as modern military hardware.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by alienjesus Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:52 pm

Games Beaten 2019:
First 50:
1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch
2. Alex Kidd in The Enchanted Castle Switch
3. Streets of Rage Switch
4. Vectorman Switch
5. Galaxy Force II Switch
6. Flicky Switch
7. Phantasy Star 2 Switch
8. Sonic the Hedgehog Switch
9. Altered Beast Switch
10. ESWAT: City Under Siege Switch
11. Columns Switch
12. Virtua Fighter 2 Switch
13. Kirby Star Allies Switch
14. Katamari Damacy Reroll Switch eShop
15. Pokémon: Let's Go, Eevee! Switch
16. Octodad: Dadliest Catch Switch eShop
17. Sword of Vermilion Switch
18. Decap Attack Switch
19. Golden Axe Switch
20. The Revenge of Shinobi Switch
21. Beyond Oasis Switch
22. WarioWare Gold 3DS
23. Shining in the Darkness Switch
24. Kid Chameleon Switch
25. Streets of Rage 2 Switch
26. Bio-Hazard Battle Switch
27. Super Thunder Blade Switch
28. Gain Ground Switch
29. Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom Switch
30. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Switch
31. Comix Zone Switch
32. Vectorman 2 Switch
33. Light Crusader Switch
34. Crack Down Switch
35. ToeJam and Earl Switch
36. Dynamite Headdy Switch
37. Golden Axe II Switch
38. Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi Switch
39. Columns III: Revenge of Columns Switch
40. Shining Force: The Legacy of Great Intention Switch
41. Kirby No Kirakira Kizzu Game Boy
42. Klonoa Wii
43. Looney Tunes Collector: Martian Alert! GBC
44. Mario Tennis N64
45. Fire Emblem Warriors Switch
46. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time [Randomiser] N64
47. The New Zealand Story SMS
48. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana Switch
49. Shenmue 2 Dreamcast
50. Castlevania GBA

51. Mario Party N64
52. ActRaiser SNES
53. GoldenEye 007 N64
54. Mom Hid My Game Switch eShop
55. Money Puzzle Exchanger Switch eShop
56. Gunbird Switch eShop
57. Tokyo School Life Switch eShop
58. Musynx Switch
59. Gremlins 2: The New Batch NES
60. Subsurface Circular Switch eShop
61. Yoshi's Woolly World Wii U
62. ToeJam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron Switch
63. Bare Knuckle III Switch
64. Gunstar Heroes Switch
65. Space Harrier II Switch
66. Sonic Spinball Switch
67. Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium Switch
68. Sonic 3D Blast Switch
69. Rabbids Go Home Wii
70. Alien Storm Switch
71. Alien Soldier Switch
72. Untitled Goose Game Switch eShop
73. Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole Switch
74. Fatal Labyrinth Switch
75. Ristar Switch
76. Golden Axe III Switch
77. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Switch
78. Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine Switch
79. Bonanza Bros. Switch
80. Shining Force II [& Sega Mega Drive Classics] Switch
81. Castlevania Bloodlines Switch eShop
82. Puyo Puyo Sun 64 N64
83. Chameleon Twist 2 N64
84. Cruis'n USA N64
85. Darkwing Duck Game Boy
86. Fortified Zone Game Boy
87. Lock 'N Chase Game Boy
88. Spanky's Quest Game Boy
89. Looney Tunes Collector: Martian Revenge! GBC
90. Puchi Carat PS1
91. Battle Garegga Rev. 2016 PS4
92. Flower PS4
93. FlOw PS4
94. The Longest 5 Minutes Switch
95. West of Loathing Switch
96. Pokémon Sword Switch




The Longest 5 Minutes

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After playing through a bunch of Game Boy and PS4 games, I decided to play through a selection of Switch RPGs back to back. It wasn’t really planned, it just ended up being what I played. The first of these 3 games was The Longest 5 Minutes, a game that I’d picked up because I found the premise interesting. The game starts with you fighting the demon king, with only 5 minutes until he destroys the world – however, you quickly realise that you’ve lost all your memories and you can’t remember anything – how or why you’re here, any of your skills or magic, or who these other people are who are with you. Thus begins the Longest 5 Minutes of your life, as you try and remember everything whilst also defeating the demon king before the end of the world.

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You remember everything in the form of flashbacks. These throw you back to an earlier point in the story. You’ll be sent back to an earlier time and told what level you’re at (RPG level 5 for example) and then you play through a segment of the earlier game until you remember something important. This can then normally be used during the fight against the demon lord (which takes place as a visual novel type more than an RPG. Each time you jump back in time you’ll find your spells, equipment, money and level different to before – you can’t keep it, so might as well make use of everything you can.

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Unfortunately, there are a few issues with the way the flashbacks are handled gameplay wise. The game sets you back to an earlier point, but without fail you’re already strong enough at the beginning of the flashback to beat the boss at the end of the flashback without too much difficulty. This results in a few issues – first of all, there’s no sense of challenge as it’s so easy. Secondly, there’s a lack of a feeling of progression as any grinding is unnecessary and will be lost by the next flashback. And finally, it makes battles quite worthless because of this – if you just want to experience the story, the best way is to cast the spell which makes enemies not appear over and over, and just walk through each dungeon to the story points.

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So the RPG gameplay isn’t really the focus here – in truth, this is really a visual novel masquerading as an old-school RPG, and so the story is the focus. Thus, the game lives and dies on the quality of it’s writing, and if I’m being honest, that isn’t the greatest either. Plotlines are predictable and kinda immature overall, and the interesting premise of the flashbacks is somewhat wasted – I expected this to result in lots of non-linear storytelling where you piece together parts from all over the story gradually, but in reality, each successive flashback generally takes you to the next part of the story in order – so you’ll experience the adventure from beginning to end as normal, just broken up by the demon king encounter every so often.

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That’s not to say there’s nothing to like about The Longest 5 Minutes though. Despite it’s numerous missteps, the game is still enjoyable in it’s own way, and the characters whilst simple and cliché are charming and likeable too. The story isn’t phenomenal, but there are a few highlights here and I actually found the ending in particular to be both a little tropey but also pretty affective and emotional. The graphics of the game are very simple, but some of the enemy designs in particular are really amusing and creative, and I’d be absolute remiss if I didn’t mention the quality of the soundtrack, which shines well above the decentish story and basic graphics – this is an absolutely phenomenal score that I highly recommend giving a listen to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RZpHyRCChs&list=PLzMaKUs3kzJQUzwu2ElITdEuInfvTIcv-&index=2&t=0s

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In honesty, it’s hard to recommend The Longest 5 Minutes. It’s a game with a super interesting concept but a really disappointing execution. But there is something about it – I did have a decent time with the game and I definitely wouldn’t say I disliked it. The game had enough charm to make the ending hit home, and it was probably helped along a lot by it’s fantastic score. If you find it cheap, it’s worth taking a gamble on this, but don’t expect it to knock your socks off.





West of Loathing

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After finishing The Longest 5 Minutes, I decided to start up West of Loathing. West of Loathing is a game I picked up when it was being sold by Limited Run Games. I’d not really hard of it at that point, but whenever they sell something that looks interesting, I always check out some reviews to see if it’s worth getting, and reviews of West of Loathing were pretty glowing. And so I gave it a go.

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West of Loathing is an RPG set in the wild west, drawn using a simple stick figure art style and black and white graphics. It’s by the guys who did Kingdom of Loathing, the old browser based RPG game – which I’d previously heard of but knew little about. You set out on an adventure to make your fortune, or help people, or for the sake of the adventure itself (depending on your choice) as one of 3 character classes – the melee focused Cow Puncher, the magic wielding chef the Bean Slinger, or the silver tongued, rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ Snake Oiler. I went with Snake Oiler personally.

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The game is a very simple RPG – early on you can recruit one of several partners who join you in battle. You can equip a pistol and melee weapon to use in battle, plus various armour pieces (hat, body, trousers, boots, off hand item and lapel embellishments) to boost your stats. Normal attacks are free and use up your turn, but you also get special abilities which use up a limited stock of AP (replenished after each battle) with various effects – as a snake oiler I got some which showered enemies with bullets or pulled out snakes from my suitcase to join me in battle. Finally, you can use items too – these are limited but often can be used without taking up a whole turn, making them incredibly strong.

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The game uses a progression system based on stats and abilities. Your core stats are Muscle (attack and defence), Mysticality (Magic attack and defence), and Moxie (Ranged attack and defence). However you also have other stats in Grit, Gumption and Glamour. These affect things like HP, speed and luck, but all stats also have other uses – certain options are available to people with high enough stats in any of the 6 – allowing you to use your glamour to swindle someone out of an item instead of fighting for it for example, or using muscle to break through a door without a key.

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In addition to stats, you get perks and skills which offer other role-playing advantages. Some of these are straight up benefits – such as Goblintongue which allows you to speak to goblins, whilst others need to be levelled up too, such as Hornswogglin’ which lets you con people – higher levels lets you pull off more ambitious deceptions. There are also negative perks which lower stats. All of these abilities often present multiple options to solve tasks and puzzles – this game has an impressive range of options of how to progress.

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For all of it’s role-playing achievements though, the true reason to play West of Loathing is the writing. This is a genuinely laugh-out-loud funny game. The humour is often silly (one of the first perks makes you walk in stupid ways every time you move) but it can also include some incredibly funny wordplay. I’m sure some of my screenshots will show some of the humour off. There’s so much good writing here too – the game has a surprisingly large amount of content, with tons of sidequests and secrets to find. In game options often lock out other options too, so there’s likely a ton of fun content I’ll experience for the first time if I replay the game in future. The story is lacking a bit in it’s finale – it feels like it’s trying to wrap up something that wasn’t really set up, but having done as much content as I could find up to that point, I was fine with that.

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Obviously, this isn’t an astonishingly good looking game, but it pulls off the art style in a way that feels deliberate and charming rather than lazy and lacking. The music of the game is wonderfully on point, with a fun classic western vibe that I really loved.

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I can’t recommend West of Loathing enough. It’s creative, charming and incredibly funny. I enjoyed every minute I spent with the game, and I’m looking forward to replaying it as another class some day. I would go out and pick this up right away if you’re a fan of RPGs and silly humour. It’s fantastic.





Pokemon Sword

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Pokémon Sword was a game with a lof of controversy leading up to it’s release. People were angry about every little thing it seemed, and they weren’t afraid to show it. I know some people who have been put off by the changes this game made and vowed not to play it. Personally, I thought that was rather short sighted, so I avoided the internet as much as possible leading up to the games release and gave it a go so I could see it based on it’s own merits.

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Pokemon Sword and Shield are set in the Galar region, a region modelled after a rather idyllic version of the UK, so I may have some biases here, but I had a great time playing through the game. It makes some changes, some for the better and some for the worse, but overall I still found myself enjoying the game for what it is – this is still the same old Pokémon at it’s core, and I actually think if you’re going to level a criticism at it, that’s the one it might deserve – it’s still the same old Pokemon. That is fine by me though.

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The plot of the game is back to basics, with you setting out to beat the gym challenge and challenge the champion of the region. I really like what they did with this challenge though, with it feeling more like a sports league – there’s professional organisations dedicated to setting up the league, and matches take place in big stadiums with cheering crowds and are broadcast on TV. The gym theme is also fantastic and I love it, take a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcV6xVukj60 . There’s a few little twists along the way, but this is as close to the set-up for Red and Blue as pokemon has been in a while. Another new features I really liked was the Wild Area. This is a large open area with tons of pokemon available, where you can roam freely and find pokemon whoa re much too strong for you early in the game. The area has a free camera, a first for the series, and it really feels like it could be a tentative first step to a more open future pokemon game.

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There are also some things I disliked – the game feels a little narrow in scope, even compared to the already narrow feeling Sun & Moon. There are less trainers in routes, routes feel smaller and sparser, and there are less of them. The postgame is rather lacking too, and most of the caves and forests that made up dungeons in the mast are now short and linear, with no puzzles. The game has made the exp. Share compulsory (giving your whole party exp for every battle) which feels like a move to make up for the lack of trainers. It feels like there should be more here than there is, all things considered.

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Graphically, the game really isn’t a looker for the Switch, but it gets the job done. It’s a pretty basic looking title overall with a few surprising performance issues, but at the same time there are a few sections where the game just looks really nice. The pokemon still look great, if not really any better than on 3DS, and I really liked the new selection of Pokemon available this time. My team was made up of Dubwool, Corviknight, Coalossal, Polteageist, Sirfetch’d and Hatterene by the end of the game. There’s a lot being said about the lack of being able to catch ‘em all this time, but that really doesn’t bother me much – I acknowledge that they can’t just keep adding forever, I rarely transfer old pokemon anyway and the 400 available in game are more than enough to offer diversity in team building.

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So, the thing with Pokémon Sword is know that it could and should be a better and more polished game than it is – as a new game in a super popular franchise that’s one of Nintendo’s biggest IPs, it really should have done more. But I can’t deny the fun I had playing it – I truly had a blast from start to finish with this game, and so I can’t help but to happily recommend it. For all it’s flaws, Pokemon Sword and Shield is still a ton of fun.

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