Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
User avatar
BoneSnapDeez
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 19680
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 1:08 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:15 pm

1. ACA NeoGeo: Cyber-Lip (Switch eShop)
2. Pengo (Atari 2600)
3. Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
4. Knights of Xentar (PC)
5. Hoshi o Sagashite... (Mark III)
6. Dead Zone (Famicom Disk System)
7. Samurai Sword (Famicom Disk System)
8. High School! Kimengumi (Mark III)
9. Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom (NES)
10. Sindbad Mystery (SG-1000)
11. Steins;Gate (Vita)
12. Champion Boxing (SG-1000)
13. Squidlit (Switch eShop)
14. Skyblazer (SNES)
15. Tokyo Dark: Remembrance (Switch eShop)
16. Bubble Bobble (Famicom Disk System)
17. Steins;Gate Elite (Switch)
18. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Joe and Mac Returns (Switch eShop)
19. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Express Raider (Switch eShop)
20. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (Genesis)
21. Sword of Vermilion (Genesis)
22. Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace (Switch eShop)
23. Oink! (Atari 2600)


Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace
Image
Well, two things here were inevitable: 1) the fact that this game came to exist and 2) the fact that I played it. For the uninitiated, Steins;Gate is an absolutely phenomenal visual novel. Originally released in 2009 in Japan, it slowly but surely made its way to the West via a series of ports. The game showcased intriguing time travel mechanics, an endearing and hilarious cast of misfit wannabe-scientists, and an empathetic and relatable protagonist. Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace is not in fact a true "sequel" to Steins;Gate (that would be Steins;Gate 0), though it is the first of several spin-offs. Those who are dead set on experiencing the series in order (by release date, not the insane in-game chronology!) should hit this one up after playing the original.

As the title hints at, My Darling's Embrace is a dating sim set in the Steins;Gate universe. It's an intriguing idea. The original Steins;Gate was almost a dating sim: every route and subsequent ending expanded on the relationship between the "mad scientist" Okabe Rintaro and one of his female companions. But the relationships in the original game weren't exactly deeply romantic (for the most part), they were more like cutesy little crushes. As for My Darling's Embrace, expect more of the same! Mercifully, the developers did not delve into anything hot and heavy: there are no "h-scenes" and the relationships play out in an exaggerated and comedic fashion, which is completely consistent with the characters' personalities and attitudes. The possible situations Okabe finds himself in are all pretty amusing. In one he's almost literally "attached at the hip" with his pal Kurisu due to an experiment gone wrong. In another he decides join a band as bassist despite having no discernible skill, talent, or aptitude (this one cut me deep). In yet another he tries to prevent a relationship between two individuals; as a time-traveler he's aware the consequences.
Image
Mechanically and aesthetically, My Darling's Embrace is basically identical to the original Steins;Gate, which is a good thing. The art is, once again, gorgeous, and there are plenty of new stills to unlock. The music is lovely -- this time around the "fun" pieces are used more often, and the new tunes (like the great opening track) are a welcome addition. Navigation is of course managed via Okabe's cell phone, as strategically replying to emails and sending messages to the past determines the progression of the storyline. The "common route" (the game's mandatory opening sequence) is around four hours; following that the player will be locked into a specific character route based on choices made. Some players may be disappointed to find out that this one doesn't "flow" in the same way most dating sims do. In other words, Okabe doesn't end up with a specific girl by "showing favor" towards her: the world of Steins;Gate is much more chaotic and unpredictable. Locking into each route does admittedly feel rather arbitrary. And while the game assists the player by keeping a log of sent and received emails, a walkthrough is almost certainly required to view all possible outcomes.

My Darling's Embrace is a lot like Muv-Luv photonflowers* (but better). It's a love letter to fans of the original, folks who couldn't get enough of these zany characters and their time-bending science exploits. Any fan of the original Steins;Gate will surely enjoy this "darling" set of fluffier side stories. As for those who didn't care for Steins;Gate... well I'm not sure those folks exist.


Oink!
Image
There really aren't enough retro games about pigs. While Japanese arcades gamers were treated to the likes of Pooyan and Butasan, American Atari owners had the opportunity to take Activision's Oink! out for a spin. This one's based on "The Three Little Pigs" fable, with one "B. B. Wolf" assuming the role of villain.

Oink! is an action game with a simple premise. In a single-player game, the player takes on the role of three pigs (in succession), who must defend their straw, stick, and brick residences from the huffing and puffing of the wolf. In each stage, the player's pig occupies the top in-house area of the screen, while the wolf is outside at the bottom. The wolf's periodic blowing (represented by a diagonal line) chips away at the house walls. To stay alive, the pigs must grab new building materials from a the vertical row under each house's roof, filling in gaps left by the wolf's assault. When a row of materials is depleted, a new one instantly appears. Controls are very fluid, pixel-perfect precision isn't required to either grab or drop materials successfully -- as the manual states, being in the vicinity is sufficient enough. There are two primary difficulties, which determine whether a pig can drop materials into a hole from afar or whether he must venture closer to the danger zone.
Image
The wolf's breath apparently has a secondary function. Should he create a large enough gap in a house wall, the wolf can "suck in" a pig, which results in the loss of a life. Progression through the game is a bit strange, as one must lose a life to continue to the next stage. Thus, Oink! hard-locks after stage three and the game is over. Now, Oink! does demand a bit of strategy: the player must learn to fill holes quickly whilst taking the shortest routes possible, and it's essential to focus on plugging big gaps rather than diverting attention to spread-out smaller holes. That said, this is one of the easier Activision games. 25,000 points is necessary to earn the "Oinkers" badge -- I hit 27,000 on my first serious attempt.

To mix things up, there's a multiplayer option where two players alternate control of the pigs. Additionally, there's an amusing battle mode where one player takes on the role of the wolf! Graphically, the game looks quite detailed, especially in regards to the pig and wolf sprites, though as one would expect the houses are differentiated by color alone. The sound design is pleasing enough, featuring a persistent rhythmic beat via the dropping of materials. Overall, this may not be one of Activision's elite, but it's a cheery slice of good fun.
User avatar
Note
64-bit
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:39 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:57 pm

1. Streets of Rage 2 (GEN)
2. The Ninja Warriors (SNES) [3x]
3. TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)
4. Golden Axe (GEN) [3x]
5. Beyond Oasis (GEN)
6. Super Double Dragon (SNES)
7. Shenmue II (DC)
8. Shining Force 2 (GEN)
9. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
10. ActRaiser (SNES)
11. OutRun (GEN)
12. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (GEN)
13. Captain Commando (SNES)
14. The Pirates of Dark Water (SNES)
15. Final Fight (SNES)
16. Gradius III (SNES)
17. Super R-Type (SNES)
18. U.N. Squadron (SNES)

Image

19. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)

This is another game I played through a large portion of multiple times, but never finished previously. Last night I finally made the time to beat the game. This was my introduction to the Castlevania series, as my cousins had this game back in the day. Even though I liked it, I never revisited it until I got a Super Nintendo Classic. Also, I didn't own the cart until more recently.

Regarding the graphics, I think this game looks good for an early entry on the SNES. The levels and backgrounds are detailed, and although I'm not too familiar with the original trilogy on the NES, it seems like Konami did a good job of sticking to the themes introduced in those games. The creators gave each level it's own unique theme and look, as you'll traverse through forests, flooded ruins, a library, and even a treasury. Also, the use of Mode 7 for Stage 4 is a really unique touch, and a very memorable level design. Another major strong point in this game is the soundtrack. The soundtrack is amazing, one of the best on the system IMO, and gives the game a great atmosphere. This is something I can probably put on in the background, even while not playing the game.

Gameplay wise, I have to say the controls feel a bit stiff or clunky, and took me some time to get used to, but perhaps it's because I'm not as experienced with this series. Even as a newcomer, I didn't find the first half of the game too challenging, but the difficulty definitely ramps up later on. The later levels have a lot of instant death spikes, and you'll need to maneuver through more waves of enemy attack patterns.

Overall, I definitely recommend Castlevania IV. This is one of the best platformers on the system, and something that's easy to revisit. I'd like to finally try to beat Bloodlines on the Genesis and Symphony of the Night on PS1 later in the year.
User avatar
opa
64-bit
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:25 am

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by opa Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:34 pm

bone - Oink! sounds pretty cool. I've never run across it in my searches (granted I wasn't necessarily looking for it). I'll have to keep an eye out.
visual_death
24-bit
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 12:28 am

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by visual_death Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:34 pm

I’ve had a lot of time to play games since being on lockdown.
- life is strange before the storm
- death stranding

I can’t remember if this was end of 2019 or beginning of 2020:
- diablo 3 (Nintendo switch)
- beyond two souls
pook99
128-bit
 
Posts: 756
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:27 pm

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:01 pm

Note wrote:
Gameplay wise, I have to say the controls feel a bit stiff or clunky, and took me some time to get used to, but perhaps it's because I'm not as experienced with this series. Even as a newcomer, I didn't find the first half of the game too challenging, but the difficulty definitely ramps up later on. The later levels have a lot of instant death spikes, and you'll need to maneuver through more waves of enemy attack patterns.

Overall, I definitely recommend Castlevania IV. This is one of the best platformers on the system, and something that's easy to revisit. I'd like to finally try to beat Bloodlines on the Genesis and Symphony of the Night on PS1 later in the year.



This is an interesting perspective from a newcomer, as someone who grew up with castlevania on the NES, CV4 was amazing because of how fluid and dynamic the controls were in comparison, but as someone who is not experienced with the series I could definitely see how the controls would feel clunky.

SOTN is amazing and deserves all the praise it gets, I definitely feel that bloodlines is a very over rated game, it is not a bad game by any stretch, but some put it on the same level as CV4 and it is nowhere near as good.

Rondo of blood is also a very good game, many people say it is TEH BESST GAME EVARZZZZ!! and while I feel that is a dramatic overstatement, it still is an absolutely great game and definitely worth playing if you are exploring the series
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
 
Posts: 23157
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by MrPopo Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:42 am

pook99 wrote:This is an interesting perspective from a newcomer, as someone who grew up with castlevania on the NES, CV4 was amazing because of how fluid and dynamic the controls were in comparison, but as someone who is not experienced with the series I could definitely see how the controls would feel clunky.

I find that the problem with CV4 is it's not dynamic enough compared to the graphics. With the NES Vanias you quickly lock into the stiffness because it's the NES. Then CV4 comes along, looks extremely pretty, is a bit more controllable, but still not quite enough. Now you have dissonance between what you think it should be controlling like and what it actually controls like. By comparison, Bloodlines is a bit less pretty graphically and doesn't try to give you as many options, so it's easier to fit your brain into "this is Classicvania". And then Rondo actually does add some more dynamic movement to give you options.
Image
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
Note
64-bit
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:39 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:54 am

pook99 wrote:This is an interesting perspective from a newcomer, as someone who grew up with castlevania on the NES, CV4 was amazing because of how fluid and dynamic the controls were in comparison, but as someone who is not experienced with the series I could definitely see how the controls would feel clunky.

SOTN is amazing and deserves all the praise it gets, I definitely feel that bloodlines is a very over rated game, it is not a bad game by any stretch, but some put it on the same level as CV4 and it is nowhere near as good.

Rondo of blood is also a very good game, many people say it is TEH BESST GAME EVARZZZZ!! and while I feel that is a dramatic overstatement, it still is an absolutely great game and definitely worth playing if you are exploring the series


Since I'm not as familiar with the series in it's earlier NES days, my only reference point for the controls are other 16-bit platformers, and I think in comparison to a similar platformer such as ActRaiser, the controls are not nearly as fluid, IMO. However, with time and practice the controls can definitely be picked up.

I definitely want to play SOTN, my issue at the moment, besides not owning the game just yet, is that I currently do not have an extra PS1 memory card with free space, so I need to handle that. I played a little bit of Bloodlines earlier this year on the Genesis mini, and enjoyed what I had played of it. I got through about the first three levels of the game.

Also, I do not have the hardware to play Rondo of Blood but the gameplay footage I've seen looks pretty good too. I'll have to go the emulation route for this one, so I'll most likely play this last, perhaps next year.
Last edited by Note on Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Note
64-bit
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:39 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:30 am

1. Streets of Rage 2 (GEN)
2. The Ninja Warriors (SNES) [3x]
3. TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)
4. Golden Axe (GEN) [3x]
5. Beyond Oasis (GEN)
6. Super Double Dragon (SNES)
7. Shenmue II (DC)
8. Shining Force 2 (GEN)
9. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
10. ActRaiser (SNES)
11. OutRun (GEN)
12. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (GEN)
13. Captain Commando (SNES)
14. The Pirates of Dark Water (SNES)
15. Final Fight (SNES)
16. Gradius III (SNES)
17. Super R-Type (SNES)
18. U.N. Squadron (SNES)
19. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)

Image

20. Arrow Flash (GEN)

After binging through some SNES shmups, I wanted to play through a few on the Genesis as well. I'd heard good things about this game in the past and wanted to finally give it a go. For starters, I wanted to check out this game simply from the box art, as the box art from Renovation looks great. Both the US and JP Mega Drive releases had awesome covers.

Regarding the graphics, I'm a bit mixed on them actually. The plane and robot sprites are detailed and look good for the main ship sprite in a shooter, but some of the level backgrounds are pretty plain for a game of this era. Some sections have little animation or parallax scrolling that signify movement, and for a shooter, I think this takes away from the game. However, for the most part the levels are colorful and the boss sprites are large and look good. Also, I really liked the end cut scene in this game. I also like the anime influenced artwork for the game and ending cut scene. The soundtrack is pretty good IMO, with an upbeat vibe that pairs well with this style of game.

Gameplay wise, the game plays very smoothly and I don't miss the slowdown experienced on some of the SNES shooters released around the same time. Also, a unique aspect to this game is that you have the choice at any time to morph between a ship or a flying robot. However, the flying robot sprite is much larger than the ship. I think the decision to make that sprite so much larger than the other pretty much negates any usefulness with switching between the two, unless I missed something. I played the whole game as the ship. In hindsight, it would've been cool if some levels were designed specifically for the robot and others for the ship. Also, there isn't much variety in power-ups. This wasn't a big deal, as the enemy patterns are also not too complex, but it's something to note in comparison to other titles in the genre. While I found the game challenging (especially the last two levels), it wasn't nearly as tough as some of the other shmups I played recently, and the game's quite short, with only five levels.

Overall, I recommend Arrow Flash to fans of the genre. This is a short fun title that's very easy to pick up and play, and I'd definitely revisit it in the future. Maybe I'll try to play the whole game as the robot next time, and see how well (or poorly) I can do. I'm glad I finally checked this one out!
User avatar
BoneSnapDeez
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 19680
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 1:08 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:45 am

Note wrote:This is another game I played through a large portion of multiple times, but never finished previously.


This is where I'm at. Love the game, but have never committed to it fully. Perhaps now is the time!

opa wrote:bone - Oink! sounds pretty cool. I've never run across it in my searches (granted I wasn't necessarily looking for it). I'll have to keep an eye out.


Kinda stating the obvious but "buy the Activision games" is some of the best advice I can give to Atari 2600 owners.
User avatar
Ack
Moderator
 
Posts: 21580
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Ack Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:34 pm

1. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch)(Adventure)
2. Final Fight [Japanese Version] (Switch)(Beat 'Em Up)
3. Ziggurat (PC)(FPS)
4. Magrunner: Dark Pulse (PC)(FPS)
5. The King of Dragons [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)

6. Captain Commando [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
7. Knights of the Round [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
8. The Witcher (PC)(RPG)

9. Tenchi wo Kurau II (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
10. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands (PC)(RPG)

11. Lichdom: Battlemage (PC)(FPS/RPG Hybrid)
12. Star Wars: Republic Commando (PC)(FPS)

13. DOOM 64 (PC)(FPS)
14. Half Dead 2 (PC)(Adventure)

15. Powered Gear - Strategic Variant Armor Equipment (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
16. Torchlight II (PC)(RPG)

17. Battle Circuit [Japanese](Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
18. Hard Reset Redux (PC)(FPS)

19. The Stanley Parable (PC)(Walking Sim)
20. Waking Mars (PC)(Adventure)
21. Requiem: Avenging Angel (PC)(FPS)

22. Night Slashers (Arcade)(Beat 'Em Up)
23. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD (PC)(Action Adventure)


Night Slashers

Numerous arcade games have been successfully ported to the Nintendo Switch, and having gone through the Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle, I wanted something else to sink my teeth into. Lo and behold, Data East delivers. Night Slashers is a ridiculous, violent, and fun experience that doesn't do anything necessarily new for its genre when it came out but still delivers the most important part: fun.

Sometime in the near future, monsters get unleashed upon the world. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, and the like wander the streets. The three top monster hunters from the United States, Europe, and East Asia decide to team up and go find the source, but since that's gonna take some work, they also opt to kick some ass long the way. Night Slashers debuted in 1993, and while it cribs a lot from Final Fight and Capcom's early '90s catalog, it brings in a few tweaks of its own that make it worth checking out.

What kinds of things will you find? Basic combos, a solid throw system that even works on bosses, a couple of different air attack options for each character, crowd clearers for when you get trapped, and even a massive room-clearing super attack that eats health but annihilates your competition. One amusing trick is also a throw that will plant an enemy in the dirt, and then you can do low kicks to their faces while they struggle to get out. While the weapons you'll come across are pretty lackluster, your regular hand to hand moves stay useful for pretty much the entire game, and every now and again the game mixes in a running section or funny bonus games to vary things.

The other thing that makes Night Slashers worth tracking down is the tone. The game begins with our heroes driving a van over a bunch of zombies and into the side of a hospital. From there, you're literally melting, crushing, and splattering enemies in a gore-fueled frenzy of action that feels intensely rewarding, complete with awesome sound effects and badly read voicework which just adds to the charm. I absolutely love picking up a zombie, slamming him into the ground, and watching his skull splatter into pieces under the weight of his body. So satisfying.

If I have any complaints, it's that the emulation on Switch swapped the controls around, so they're reversed from both the Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle and what the game's attract screen tells you when it goes over the controls. It's a minor quibble in the face of a lot of fun action, but purists may be turned away.


Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD

The Oddworld games have a weird mix of ideas, and this one goes in a completely different direction from the Abe-focused titles. Stranger's Wrath is a hybrid of 3D action platforming and First Person Shooter design, with some fun twists. You play as Stranger, a bounty hunter who must use an array of living ammo to bring down bounties and turn them in, dead or alive. At least for half the game. And all of this is in a pseudo-Western setting. At least for half the game. Then the whole thing goes into this weird jarring shift, and suddenly it's not a Western, though you're still shooting squirrels out of a crossbow.

That's perhaps my biggest issue with Stranger's Wrath is that the game feels split down the middle about a lot of things. It works great as an FPS, but you get some trade offs, like not being able to run. It works well as a Western, but then you reach the change, and it drops those trappings entirely for you to go take on dams and battle through what are basically war zones. Your character even admits in the opening video to not liking guns, which lends a sort of anti-violent sentiment, further enhanced by the game showing a definite preference for taking enemies alive, yet most of your most useful tools are the violent ones, and you inevitably half to kill. Hell, the bounty system gets dropped midway through too, and the reason you take enemies alive after that is solely so you can feed them to your ammo supplies so they'll breed and create more.

Yeah, that's right, I captured a guy alive so I could breed more wasps in his body. What is the tone they're going for here?

This is further not helped by everything being bright and colorful, yet characters swear, there is a lot of toilet humor, and there is at least one subtle reference to a character possibly being traumatized from a prison rape that I detected.

Throwing all that aside, you get some interesting options in your ammo choices, and the gameplay is generally well executed. If Stranger's Wrath had been more focused as a pure FPS, I would have loved it, because that gameplay is well handled. Stranger is responsive, the ability to swap out ammo quickly leads to some good options, and there are some fun combos you can come up with while also mixing in melee to help keep a crowd of enemies under control. The platforming elements are jarring, and unfortunately some of the forced swapping to third person makes things frustrating. Likewise, third person swaps you to melee only and does not let you use your crossbow, so what is perhaps the most interesting component of the game gets lost at the same time.

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is a good game, but it's too confused to be a great one. I like it well enough, but there are a lot of things I wish had been more focused. That detracts from the experience, because while I'm having a good time, I keep seeing things that I just wish had been handled differently. Still, I'm glad to have this piece of my backlog done.
Image
Image
I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
Return to General Gaming

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: isiolia and 8 guests