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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Xeogred Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:10 pm

1. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia* (DS)
2. Shadow of the Colossus (PS4)
3. Onimusha: Warlords* (PS4)
4. Resident Evil 2* (PSX)[Leon A]
5. Resident Evil 2 Remake (PS4)[Platinum]
6. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze* (Switch)
7. Devil May Cry 5 (PS4)
8. Mass Effect* (PS3)
9. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4)
10. Mass Effect 2* (PS3)
11. Streets of Rage 2 (SMS)
12. Mortal Kombat (Genesis)
13. Mass Effect 3* (PS3)
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PS4)[Platinum]
14. Front Mission (DS)
15. Doom: Sigil (PC)
Front Mission (DS)[UCS Scenario]
16. Doom 2: TNT Revilution (PC)[8h32m55][UV]
17. R-Type Leo (Arcade)
18. Super R-Type* (SNES)
19. Doom 2: TNT Evilution* (PC)[5h55m56][UV/Complex]
20. R-Type III (SNES)[SaveStates]
21. Life Force (NES)
22. Metal Storm (NES)
23. Near Death (PC)
24. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (PC)
25. Adventures of Lolo (NES)
26. Dying Light (PC)
27. Star Wars: Dark Forces* (PC)
28. Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2)
29. Blazing Chrome (PC)
30. Contra Rebirth (Wii)
31. Thunder Force IV* (Genesis)
32. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master* (Genesis)
33. Resident Evil 4* (Wii)
34. Gradius V (PS2)
35. Dragon Quest IV (DS)
36. Dragon Quest I (SNES)

4h30m with guides.

Fun quick romp through history. Probably could have taken a few extra hours without help for sure, but nothing too crazy. Mainly saved me a lot of time buying expensive equipment that would have been quickly replaced. I stuck with the Half Plate Armor and Broadsword for most of the game, then found a Large Shield but was able to buy the Silver Shield shortly after that. From there you get Erdrick's Armor and Sword shortly after, so I didn't waste my time or money on other equipment. Some stuff like the Fairy Flute was bizarre to find, though some random NPC gave a hint on that. I had to backtrack through the world map a few times and had trouble finding Erdrick's Proof or whatever it was for a bit. This made level/money farming a bit natural though. But I wonder when Zooming to towns came into play? Maybe DQ2 or DQ3 I hope. The useable Magic Keys thing was weird in that, when you use them, once you go back to that dungeon or town, the doors were locked again. At least they weren't too expensive once you found a few vendors who sold them. Thankfully there's a more powerful Heal spell near the end, mid-game it started getting a little tiresome having to cast 2-3 Heal's after a battle. Granted I was grinding with some low level equipment for awhile, but the risk reward made this breezy in the end. The SFC version adds in the stat boosting "Seed" items too from what I've heard. Easy to find those in the usual pots and drawers.

Like I said in the Now Playing thread, my suspicion is that the original DQ dating back to 1986 has a lot of roots in Ultima and Wizardry perhaps. Now personally I know next to nothing about those franchises, other than just hearing they were the biggest influences on JRPG design and DQ. If you were to take out the classic Slimes and alter a few things, it's almost hard to trace the DQ series back to this, in subtle but noticeable ways. It was a lot more different than I expected going in. Yet the blueprints are still there. No idea if this makes sense, but I think some veterans of the series probably know what I mean. It'll be really interesting to see how DQ2 evolves things. From what little I played of DQ3 (SFC) last year, everything about it felt like "Dragon Quest" for sure by that point. I suspect it's the same with the NES original. DQ3 probably refined everything for the golden blueprints. Then DQ4 perfected it for not just the DQ series to follow, but the entire JRPG genre.

I remember one friend a few years ago went through the first three NES games and kind of joked about the music. I'd have to agree, some of the tracks here were not that stellar and the initial battle screen chime was a bit annoying. The dungeon theme was awesome though, along with the overworld and town tunes. Visually I thought this version had a lot of charm, the NES originals still look pretty nice to me as well.

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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:21 pm

DQ2 you can warp to the last place you saved, DQ3 you can warp to towns (but the town list is not exhaustive).

And as for DNA, you'll definitely see how DQ1 evolves to DQ2, and that turns into DQ3. And they all were begat by the Ultima series primarily. If you have some patience I'd recommend you play through Ultima 1-3; you'll find that Dragon Quest is built on top of that skeleton.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:12 pm

Awesome review, Partridge. It really makes me want to play the game. Should I play Sticker Star first, though?

.....

First 25
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)
15. Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (NDS)
16. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! (NDS)
17. Detective Pikachu (3DS)
18. Super Fantasy Zone (Genesis)
19. Fantasy Zone Gear (GG)
20. Fantasy Zone - The Maze (SMS)
21. Fantasy Zone (Famicom)
22. Fantasy Zone (NES)
23. Kung Fu Master (2600)
24. Kid Dracula (Famicom)
25. Kid Dracula (GB)

26. Fantasy Zone (TG16)
27. Double Dragon V (SNES)
28. Fantasy Zone II (Famicom)
29. Street Fighter: The Movie (PS1)
30. Fire Fly (2600)
31. Pac Man (2600)
32. Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears (GBC)
33. Fantasy Zone (PS2)
34. Space Fantasy Zone (TG16)
35. Arnold Palmer Tournament Golf Fantasy Zone (Genesis)
36. Mega Man (GG)
37. Konami Pixel Puzzle (iOS)
38. Qix (Arcade/NES)
39. Congo Bongo (Arcade)
40. Phantasy Star Gaiden (GG)
41. Phantasy Star Adventure (GG)
42. Panzer Dragoon Mini (GG)
43. Spartan X-2 (Famicom)
44. BS The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets (Super Famicom)
45. BS The Legend of Zelda (Super Famicom)
46. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (NDS)
47. Double Dribble (NES)
48. Super Pro Football (INTV)
49. Indy 500 (2600)
50. Tecmo Bowl (NES)
51. Ninja Gaiden (GG)
52. SonSon (Arcade)


Tecmo Bowl is a somewhat over-rated NES football game. I wrote more about it 8n this month’s awesome TR thread.

Ninja Gaiden (GG) is a pretty great game by Game Gear standard, but a pretty bad game by Ninja Gaiden standards. It plays well enough, and the cutscenes look cool. The story is pretty terrible though, and the level design is awful (e.g., you pretty much run from left to right, the ability to climb walls is useless, the subweapons are useless, etc.). The boss battles are also pretty bad. Each boss follows a pattern that is pretty easy to figure out, but the bosses can juggle you very easily if you mess up, making for frequent one-hit kills. Accordingly, the fights are simultaneously too easy and too hard. Dying during a boss fight send you back to the beginning of a long, boring level, and since there are no continues, running out of lives results in a hard “game over” screen. Still, the game’s not that hard, just frustrating, and with only five levels, you can get through it easily enough with a little practice.

SonSon is an auto scrolling run-n-gun(?) Arcade game by Capcom based on Chinese mythology. It’s pretty primitive and not that good. I employed generous credit feeding, and since your character can be (and frequently is) killed before you can even input commands, I’m pretty sure the game was designed for that style of play. If you are looking for a game that can be beaten in 20 minutes or so and appears in lots of collections, SonSon is for you.
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by pook99 Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:56 pm

124. Donald Duck Going Quackers (ps1)

Here is a game I have owned for nearly 20 years, never played it, and really wasn't sure what type of game it was. It came out when I was managing Funcoland and in those days I bought nearly anything that even remotely looked decent.

I was actually always under the impression that this was a 3d platformer, similar to mario 64, in actuality it is a crash bandicoot clone. Playing through this game actually made me ponder why there are not more crash inspired games out there. I mean there were TONS of platformers in the ps1/ps2 days and just about all of them either followed the formula laid out by Mario 64 or stuck to a more classic 2d feel, but crash was extremely popular and I can't think of another game that copied the crash formula.

This game plays exactly like you would expect, 4 worlds, 5 levels each, hidden collectables, time trials, a boss at the end. Most levels have you running away from the screen, some have you running towards it as you run from something chasing you, and some are sidescrolling levels. This game is as blatant as a rip off of crash bandicoot as could possibly be, even the bosses stick to the same formula of, dodge attacks, hit when tired, that all the crash bosses follow.

Having said all that, I would absolutely recommend this game. As I mentioned above, it rips off crash bandicoot pretty severely, but if you love the classic crash trilogy you don't have many options for that type of game and this does fill that void nicely. Control is tight and fast, the platforming is really good, the level designs are fun, and there is a nice batch of bonus objectives and collectables for you to get. I'm glad I finally got around to playing this game, and fans of platformers, donald duck, and crash bandicoot should definitely give it a play through.

@prfnsnl_gamer: agree on GG ninja gaiden, definitely crap compared to the rest of the series but given the general low quality of game gear games it is about as good as one could hope for, its a decent time, but definitely not a game I play when I run the ninja gaiden series every so often.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:18 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Awesome review, Partridge. It really makes me want to play the game. Should I play Sticker Star first, though?


Thanks! It was one I really enjoyed writing ^w^

If you already own Sticker Star, I think it mayyy be worth a try just to see how much will be improved upon in Color Splash, but if you don't already own Sticker Star then I would say you can easily give it a pass.

While I would definitely like to pick Sticker Star back up again someday and give it another honest try to get through (it's been like, since it came out, since I last played it, so like 7-ish years), it is an odd game through and through. From a little hunting about Sticker Star I've done online in the past day or two, I get the impression that it'll probably be a lot more fun approaching it as an action-adventure game with turn-based combat rather than an RPG. Sticker Star is a pretty bad RPG, but it isn't really trying to be one, and Nintendo themselves called it an action-adventure game rather than an RPG.

Certainly at the time I was very much hyped for a new turn-based Paper Mario which I thought would be a return to Thousand-Year Door-style gameplay, but I felt very burned when it was not. Going in with the right expectations, I think there is something to be enjoyed with that game (I mean it got pretty good reviews at the time, so clearly there is something the game is doing right). Really the only objectively poor thing it does that Color Splash fixes are all of the Thing-based puzzles with sometimes 0-hint on which Thing you'll need to solve it (or even if you've found that Thing yet).

I'm currently playing through Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, so it may be a while until I move onto my next 3DS game, but I would say for a more definite opinion, gimmie a month or so to pick up and finish Sticker Star :lol: . Otherwise my immediate opinion, largely based on my memory, is that Sticker Star is an all-around inferior version of Color Splash, and if you can only play one, play Color Splash.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by prfsnl_gmr Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:11 am

Good to know. Thanks, partridge. Also, your new avatar is awesome.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:14 am

"I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me"

I feel betrayed!!
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by PartridgeSenpai Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:45 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:"I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me"

I feel betrayed!!


That thought did occur to me when I changed it here :lol:

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Good to know. Thanks, partridge. Also, your new avatar is awesome.


Thanks! I commissioned it from a friend a week ago and she sent the finished product to me this morning~
I love it so much! It came out soooo good <3
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by Ack Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:56 am

1. Dusk (PC)(FPS)
2. Project: Snowblind (PC)(FPS)
3. Soldier of Fortune: Platinum Edition (PC)(FPS)
4. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)
5. Wolfenstein 3D: Ultimate Challenge (PC)(FPS)
6. Destiny 2 (PC)(FPS/RPG)
7. Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris (PC)(FPS/RPG)
8. Destiny 2: Warmind (PC)(FPS/RPG)

9. Destiny 2: Forsaken (PC)(FPS/RPG)
10. Star Wars: Rebel Assault (PC)(Rail Shooter)

11. Castle Werewolf (PC)(FPS)
12. Project Warlock (PC)(FPS)
13. Castle Crashers (PC)(Hack and Slash)
14. This Strange Realm of Mine (PC)(FPS)
15. BioShock Remastered (PC)(FPS)
16. BioShock 2 (PC)(FPS)
17. BioShock 2: Minerva's Den (PC)(FPS)

18. Blood (PC)(FPS)
19. Blood: Cryptic Passage (PC)(FPS)
20. Blood: Post Mortem (PC)(FPS)

21. Shadow Warrior (PC)(FPS)
22. Shadow Warrior: Twin Dragon (PC)(FPS)
23. Shadow Warrior: Wanton Destruction (PC)(FPS)

24. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (PC)(FPS)
25. F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn (PC)(FPS)

26. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (PC)(RPG)
27. Men of Valor (PC)(FPS)
28. Ultima III: Exodus (PC)(FPS)
29. Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space (PC)(Point and Click)

30. Midnight Ultra (PC)(FPS)
31. Amid Evil (PC)(FPS)
32. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)(RPG)
33. Betrayer (PC)(Horror)

34. Borderlands 2: Commander Lilith & the Fight for Sanctuary (PC)(FPS/RPG)
35. Far Cry 2 (PC)(FPS)
36. Apocryph (PC)(FPS)
37. Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor (PC)(RPG)


I knocked out a couple of games over the weekend, so here are my thoughts.

APOCRYPH

Since other folks are busy checking out Ion Fury, I decided I'd go in a totally different direction and check out Apocryph, a throwback FPS that cribs much more from the Heretic and Hexen line of FPS.

Unfortunately, Apocryph ended development well before it was actually ready, so while it has good bones, it never had the chance to really develop. The original idea when it entered Early Access on Steam was that it would feature 30 levels, but over time the design philosophy changed to fewer but significantly longer levels. As this was never communicated to backers, they felt slighted when the game release with only 3...literally 1/10 the expected amount. Content updates further expanded this number to 7, and some of them are massively long (one has you warping between what is effectively a few levels. The enemy count in just this level on the highest difficulty is over 1000), but after that, development ceased. The dev has gone radio silent for a year on Steam, and while a Switch port was apparently worked on, there's been no word on that in months too.

What happened? Well, the dev team apparently consisted of one guy who brought in some freelancers and got too ambitious. As a result, we can see what could have been, but Apocryph in its current state is a shell of that possibility. Enemy AI often screws up and causes folks to run in place, there are clipping issues and problems with differing heights, menus are obviously unfinished, and the mouse cursor pops up after exiting the menu in the game until you finally shoot a weapon. Hey, it was on sale for less than $4, so I wasn't expecting the Mona Lisa here.

As for gameplay, Apocryph is medieval-themed, with weapons consisting of magic wands, gauntlets, and swords and ammo involving different colored mana. The more powerful weapons pull from multiple mana pools at once, and every weapon has an alternate fire that must be found but can be quite fun to use. Unfortunately one of the weapons never actually makes an official appearance in the game, so I was only able to experience it with a glitch, but all of the major archtypes of FPS games get represented: the blue wand is a shotgun with a supershotgun-esque alt fire, the green gauntlets are a rifle with a flamethrower alt, the purple swords serve as a rocket launcher with a railgun alt, and so forth. There is also a kick that can briefly stun certain enemies, so this makes mixing up and stunning enemies a good strategy when you're point blank.

Not all enemies register hits, which sucks because you can't tell if you're actually doing damage until they do. Some of them, however, will literally turn into gory skeletons as their flesh melts off and they keep coming. Hey, there were some cool ideas here, even if they didn't all get worked out.

Even if it had been completed, I don't think Apocryph would ever have been better or even equal to the likes of Amid Evil, but it's sad to see the squandering of potential. It goes on sale fairly often, so if you really have a hankering for a throwback FPS and you've gone through Dusk, Amid Evil, and now Ion Fury, well, don't pay over $5 no matter what. That's my advice.

==============================================================================

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER III: ASSAULT ON MYTH DRANNOR

It's tough to say goodbye, but I have finally managed to finish the Eye of the Beholder trilogy. I started this back in September 2016, so it has been three years of playing these on and off with a dedicated party that I successfully ported between each game. Upon beating the final entry, I felt both happy to be done and sad that the journey was over; at this point, these games were sort of like an old friend. Ah well, I'll always have the memories.

Eye of the Beholder III picks up where the second one ended, with my boys back in a tavern. A guy shows up and asks the party to travel to the sacred city of Myth Drannor, where a lich now resides. What's a bunch of adventurers going to do? Why, grab their weapons and head out the door to go kick some bony ass!

The previous two entries were designed by Westwood, but the third and final game is where SSI officially took over, and it's usually considered the weakest of the three. Certain design decisions that were dropped in the second come back for the third, such as frustrating puzzles which can cause the party to restart unless certain classes are brought along, spinners, one way doors, and so forth. From all of the negative hype, I had been expecting a lot more of these, but the truth is that they're actually nowhere near as common as I had thought. Spinners and one way doors only appear in a couple of places, so it wasn't really a concern.

The bigger threat here was in the choices for those possibly game-ending puzzles, as well as throwing in maze areas and one of the nastiest levels in the whole trilogy, an underwater level with a null magic zone where your party is forced to drown. Having an understanding of 2nd Edition Dungeons and Dragons will help you know who to bring for these kinds of situations, but it was still a frustrating experience at the time. Of course, clerics are still the game's bread and butter, but the wizard is now the subject of many of these class requirements, so you ultimately need both. Beyond that, you need tanks to keep them alive, and that's pretty much it, so fighters and paladins. Rogues are pointless in the third game.

There were some cool attempts to improve things, such as optional areas and big sidequests, changes to the party resting mechanic, and an All Attack button where the whole party is supposed to swing at your foes, though this last one never worked for me. I'd see maybe a couple of folks attack, but never the whole party, even when they could. As much as I wanted to use it, the button just didn't work for me. The party rest mechanic was also changed so that enemies could no longer surprise you while you slumbered; instead, you have a sort of radar that won't let you rest if foes are nearby, which might mean multiple rooms or hallways away. In some cases, the devs strategically placed foes to keep you from resting at certain points, and it seems like enemies spawned into the maps a lot more than in previous games, though some areas could be fully cleared.

The game is at a certain level in player power that makes me feel you were supposed to port over a party, because a bunch of level 1s walking into Myth Drannor would get badly slaughtered by the first enemies they'd encounter. Like really badly slaughtered. Since I was walking in with well-armed troops around level 10, most of this stuff wasn't a threat, but then I'm in +3 full plate with +4 weapons, which is nearly capping out. As a result, the biggest threats came from traps and puzzles, with the sole exception of one enemy type that could hit the entire party and messed up my weaker spellcasters.

By the time I ended the adventure, my party was around levels 11-13, though it is apparently possible to grind up to 18 with a wizard and devastate the final boss through repeated uses of Time Stop. I used it once off a scroll and froze the final boss long enough to get some good hits in, enough that I was able to drop him with limited strategy beyond simply attacking once it wore off. It's tough at this point to really counter the power creep of players, so the game tried to pull out the stops, yet I still found the final dungeon easy. Even the bosses weren't as tough as I was expecting, considering how difficult boss battles had been in previous titles.

Assault on Myth Drannor isn't bad at all, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first two. Implying that it's weaker...I don't feel like weaker is the word, just that it was a new dev team who hadn't learned all the lessons of the last group and were trying some new things but were also facing possible players that could simply push through like it was nothing, because at this point it kinda was. I still had fun, even if the luster of the previous games wasn't quite there; I'd done this before, after all. Yet taking down a god seems like the best way to end a series where I'd already slaughtered some of the nastiest critters in the 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons monster manual.

I will miss it, though there are yet many other games to go play. Ever onward to new adventures!
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Re: Games Beaten 2019

by MrPopo Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:01 pm

It's tough at this point to really counter the power creep of players,

Yeah, that's a fundamental problem in AD&D, and extends to the tabletop experience as well. There's an entire book for DMing high level parties and has a long section on how to challenge players without coming off as a spiteful dick.
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