Games Beaten 2022

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Syndicate
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by Syndicate »

...I finished The Gunk over last weekend, it wasn't bad but was a pretty straight forward 3D platformer. I did enjoy the story and the one and only boss battle was sort of interesting too. It isn't very long, I've just been bouncing between a few different games, if you have Gamepass I think it's at least worth checking out.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

1. Underworld Ascendant - PC
2. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair - PS3
3. Ni no Kuni - PS3
4. Operencia: The Stolen Sun - PC
5. RPM Racing - PC
6. Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem - PC
7. Pokemon Legends: Arceus - Switch
8. Ni no Kuni II - PS4
9. Everspace - PC
10. PowerSlave Exhumed - PC
11. Horizon Forbidden West - PS5
12. Elden Ring - PS5

I'm going to start off by telling you what you already know: Elden Ring is Dark Souls in an open world environment. So if you tried Dark Souls before and bounced off because of the gameplay you will hate Elden Ring, because all of the getting murdered and bosses with huge sweeps that catch you when you mistime dodges are back in full force. And now there are multiple poison swamps. But if you're on board the Souls train then come and experience From Software's magnum opus.

Elden Ring starts off with Dark Souls III's mechanics; mana is back for spells, but can also be used for weapon skills. However, this is the first of many quality of life features they applied to the game. Weapon skills are now part of an elaborate Ashes of War system which also ties in with weapon upgrades. All weapons (and some shields) have an innate skill. Special weapons will have a unique skill that is locked to them, while regular weapons will have a generic skill. You can find items called Ashes of War which will replicate these regular skills, and at any bonfire you can apply that Ash to a regular weapon, replacing its inborn skill. This does not consume the Ash; instead it acts like slotting in materia from FF7. You can remove the Ash from a weapon to give it back its default skill and remove any enhancements. And that's the second part; each Ash corresponds with one of the weapon enhancements like Keen, Bloody, or Fire. While at the start of the game you only get the Ash's fixed element, there are key items you can collect which give you options, such as being able to apply Magic or Cold to any physical, magic, or cold Ash. While there is still a smithing system, this serves only to increase a weapon's base parameters. So you now have a huge amount of customizability AND flexibility for the weapons. Many times I found myself swapping Ashes and elements around for bosses to hit a particular weakness or get a particularly useful skill given their moveset.

As mentioned, this is an open world game. So you have a big wide world to run around in while atop your horse, filled with places to visit, monsters to kill, and loot to snag. The world is dotted with bonfires, which again serve as your respawn points, but also serve as doing all of the non-smithing activities, like adjusting your balance of health and mana flasks, or swapping Ashes of War, and leveling up. Each bonfire also serves as a teleport point, and at any time you are not in combat or inside a dungeon you can teleport to any bonfire. This removes the consumables that would teleport you with your souls from previous games, as it is now an inherent ability. Like before, resting at one refills you and also respawns enemies.

To progress the story you will need to go through the various Legacy Dungeons and beat the key bosses. Now, while their name is Legacy Dungeon they do not count as a dungeon for the purposes of teleporting. Rather, this is a designation From uses to indicate that these resemble the levels of past Souls games, where there is a lot of verticality, opening up paths to before, and doubling back on the path to go new ways. The side content are what I refer to as dungeons, which fall into four categories. Each one consists of a bonfire at the start and a boss at the end. Caves are fairly simple, with the main hazard being their dark nature. Mines are like caves, but well lit, much more open, and full of mining stones and tough enemies. Catacombs require you to make your way through traps and tricks and find the lever to open the boss door. Finally, Tombs are similar to catacombs, but are notable for their invincible spike wheeled chariots that require you to dash from safe spot to safe spot or get one shot.

The game has a wide variety of bosses, with shifts in attack patterns and abilities when they get to half health. While the unique storyline bosses are only fought once, you will regularly encounter other bosses multiple times in the side content and on the world map. World map bosses have the benefit of being completely optional; you just need to run away before it catches you. But the rewards are usually worth it if you're at the appropriate power level.

One of the big things you'll notice as a veteran Souls player is that the open world and easy traversibility means that there is no real reason to bang your head for hours against a particular boss or area. If things aren't going well right now, go do something else and come back later. The majority of the world is available from the start, with some chunks only requiring key items that are not behind bosses (and even some of those can be bypasses with alternate routes). Some content is locked behind bosses, but for the most part you have a lot of freedom and you are encouraged to use it.

Elden Ring serves as a culmination of everything the Souls games have done before and adds in loads of quality of life polish that does nothing to undermine the fundamental difficulty of the series; it merely removes some of the irritants that didn't make the game better. It is a must have for fans of the series, and worth a look if you've never tried one before.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

1. Underworld Ascendant - PC
2. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair - PS3
3. Ni no Kuni - PS3
4. Operencia: The Stolen Sun - PC
5. RPM Racing - PC
6. Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem - PC
7. Pokemon Legends: Arceus - Switch
8. Ni no Kuni II - PS4
9. Everspace - PC
10. PowerSlave Exhumed - PC
11. Horizon Forbidden West - PS5
12. Elden Ring - PS5
13. Shadow Warrior 3 - PC

After two back to back open world games I wanted a palette cleanser, and Shadow Warrior 3 launched just in time to serve. Unfortunately, since it's coming on the heels of two extremely excellent games it really pales in comparison. It doesn't help that it still doesn't reach the level of the first game in the reboot series, but at least it's better than the second game.

Shadow Warrior 3 picks up where the second game left off; a giant dragon has been eating the world, Lo Wang is at an emotional low point, but suddenly Orochi Zilla has a plan that might allow the defeat of the dragon. Cue a bunch of yokai killing and one liners. The story ends up being a bit better than the second game, but the first game has it beaten hands down. Here the story is cut down to the barest amount needed and you're given almost no pauses to take in any of what's going on.

See, just like the second game was inspired by looter shooter gameplay, Shadow Warrior 3 rips off of Doom Eternal. Most of the action is in monster arenas, with waves spawning in as key enemies are taken out. There are also popcorn enemies that spawn regularly so you can take advantage, as you restore resources from kills. Killing with guns gives you health, while killing with melee gives ammo. And ammo reserves are limited akin to Eternal, so you'll want to do a fair amount of weapon swapping. There are also sometimes triggerable deathtraps, and you get a chi blast to push enemies away (onto spikes or off ledges, and in one case expose a weakpoint). The game also has a different take on glory kills; it's effectively merged with the chainsaw, in that you have a meter that builds up charges, with one charge for popcorn enemies and two for the main enemies (and three charges for the late game final enemy, which also unlocks the ability to gain a third charge). Upon glory killing you also will gain some sort of item; for all but one of the enemies this is an offensive weapon, with glory killing the melee popcorn enemy giving you an overheal.

In terms of tools, Wang has his katana again, as well as multiple classic weapons. A revolver, the quad shotgun, the dual SMGs, a grenade launcher, a railgun, and a shuriken launcher (which are frankly more like throwing buzzsaw blades). Each weapon can be upgraded three times with skill points collected in the world and through accomplishing challenges (e.g. kill 10 enemies while in midair with the railgun), and Wang also has four skills that can be upgraded with a separate pool of skill points acquired in the same way. The upgrades are strict; you get the first before the second before the third, but it's just enough to reward going after the challenges and provides a bit of progression. On the mobility side, you've got a double jump, a dash that can be used in midair, and a grapple hook. You can climb up certain walls automatically, and you can wallrun on certain walls. This both adds mobility to the arena fights and provides the main gameplay between arenas, where you are just going along corridors and slides doing a variety of jumps, climbs, and grapples.

Overall, it's a decent diversion, but the game is quite aware that there isn't a lot of depth to it and is short. Which is probably for the best; if the game had gone on longer it probably would have overstayed its welcome. But unfortunately it doesn't nearly match up to the game it imitates, and the first Shadow Warrior reboot game still beats it out in terms of being a well crafted single player experience. This game does provide narrative closure to the trilogy, so it does have that going for it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

1. Underworld Ascendant - PC
2. Castlevania: Harmony of Despair - PS3
3. Ni no Kuni - PS3
4. Operencia: The Stolen Sun - PC
5. RPM Racing - PC
6. Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem - PC
7. Pokemon Legends: Arceus - Switch
8. Ni no Kuni II - PS4
9. Everspace - PC
10. PowerSlave Exhumed - PC
11. Horizon Forbidden West - PS5
12. Elden Ring - PS5
13. Shadow Warrior 3 - PC
14. Ghostrunner: Project_Hel - PC

Project_Hel serves as story prequel DLC for Ghostrunner, giving you a new protagonist with a new feature set, as well as five levels and two boss levels. You play as one of the murder bots you faced in the base game, sent to take out the Climbers who are trying to interfere with the Keymaster's rule. As a result, the DLC is much more combat focused and cuts down on the traversal stuff; there's only a handful of tricky parts not counting twisted passages to collectables.

The first things you'll notice is your protagonist's jump has a much higher amount of spring to it, and when doing the air dash you get a full trajectory meter (though that might have been patched into the base game). You still have the base sword, and you have a single combat power, which is a sword beam. This requires you to spend rage, which is a resource unique to this character. You gain rage by killing enemies, and it drains fairly quickly. If you're at over 50% rage you also gain a shield which makes you impervious to damage but being hit in this state drains your rage entirely. All of this combines to make combat much faster paced than the base game and emphasizes aggression, rather than the more puzzle elements of the base game.

As mentioned, there are two boss fights, and personally I think they aren't as good as what the base game has. The second, in particular, feels very artificial for the first half in terms of obvious video game contrivances to force you to go through the period of dodging before you can deal damage, but it does make up for it by giving you an overdrive catharsis at the end where you get to just spam your beam attack without worry.

Overall, I didn't find it to be as good as the base game, but it's still a solid bit of content. It's only a few hours, but the entirety is action packed, so having it last longer would probably be overwhelming.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
* indicates a repeat

1. Dandy Dungeon: The Legend of Brave Yamada (Switch)
2. Dandy Dungeon 2: The Phantom Bride (Switch)
3. Mon Amor (Switch)
4. Terraria (PC)
5. Puppeteer (PS3) *
6. Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon (PS1)
7. Project Altered Beast (PS2)

8. Devil Summoner II: Soul Hackers (Saturn)

Better known in the West as simply Soul Hackers when it was finally localized via its 3DS port, this is the sequel to the other SMT Saturn game, Devil Summoner. It was the next stop in my SMT series chronological playthrough after Persona 1, and I finally got around to playing it. I'd heard a lot about it, and conflicting things, namely that it was both far harder than Devil Summoner 1 and also that it was way easier, and I honestly can see where both of these opinions come from, but I'll get to that later XD. It took me around 45 hours to get to the end of the Japanese version of the game on real hardware.

Soul Hackers is, as the name suggests, a story about a group of hackers. You play a member of SPOOKIES, a hacker group living out of a supped up trailer truck in the new high-tech Japanese city of Amami. A true city of tomorrow, it contains the HQ of the tech giant Algon Soft, who have just launched their new VR world: Paradigm X. You hack into this world to get access to the very exclusive launch, and very quickly find yourself embroiled in a larger plot involving demons, devil summoning, and a quirky and playful demon named Nemisa who takes residence in your friend Hitomi's body.

I both like Soul Hackers' story more and less than Devil Summoner 1's story. On the positive side, I really like how there isn't some big bad demon behind everything at the end, pulling the strings of mortals to fulfill its wishes. In a much more straightforward and easily analogous to reality way, human greed for more capital and power (in this case coming from the tech sector) is what's plunged the world into peril via their misuse of demons. On the other side, you have the new cast of characters of the SPOOKIES. They're both a plus and a minus, as while they're a really fun cast of characters that add a lot to the character of the game and to the city, they're also not really given enough attention to really meaningfully add to the game outside of what they do for plot stuff. There's a few attempts here and there, but they come off as jarring more than anything else with how much they clash with the more somewhat wacky 'monster of the week' episodic nature of the dungeons you're going into and characters you're meeting (not unlike the more casual ghost-busting formula of Devil Summoner 1). It's something that isn't so much done badly so much as it left me wanting for more, so while Soul Hackers more or less has a better story on paper (particularly with its themes and how they're executed), I still prefer Devil Summoner 1's narrative.

The gameplay of Soul Hackers is the at this point very familiar routine of dungeon crawling while recruiting demons through bargaining and conversation all the way (and fusing them to get new stronger demons), but it's the final time a lot of its mechanics are actually done in one of (what I would consider) the mainline SMT and SMT-adjacent games. This is the last one to do first-person dungeon crawling, this is the last one to have magnetite as a mechanic, and this is the last one to use a demon loyalty system. Thankfully, they manage to end it all on a real high note, and it's one of the best executions of these mechanics yet. The dungeons are very well paced and have their difficulty balanced quite well (for the most part). They have very very little mean design and are generally very approachable and forgiving. They have healing spots and save points in more numerous locations than previous games, and the auto-map you can access even shows them on the map as well as traps you encounter, so you have far less cause to use the markers you can place on it (although the option is certainly nice).

The improvements to the demon loyalty system are well worth elaborating on, though. In the two Devil Summoner games, demons don't just join you: they have personalities. Different demon personalities will like to do different things (not be told what to do at all, prefer to heal, prefer to use physical attacks, prefer to use magic attacks, etc). In the first game, they had these personalities and it would dictate how they would fight if you let them pick their own moves, but to get them to listen to you and go against their natures, you'd need to ply them with gifts and alcohol, and it'd never go up any other way. In Soul Hackers, instructing your demons in battle actually makes their affinity for you go up, so getting loyal demons is WAY easier now. It makes the demon personality system actually a lot more fun to engage with, as even demons with inconvenient personalities can have those personalities changed to something else temporarily. I'm still not sure it's actually a *good* addition to the SMT formula, but this executes on it WAY better than the previous game did, and even if it isn't outright good, it's at least fun this time.

The last positive mechanical thing I wanna mention is the way your GunCom (your gun-shaped portable computer) works. It's what you use in the Devil Summoner games instead of the arm-mounted Power Glove-like computer of previous SMT games to summon and interact with demons. But in this game, you can install software onto it (apps in the 3DS version) and this software allows you to get certain abilities when you're out in about. These abilities can range from giving you a mini-map to preventing back attacks to giving you better/more likely item drops to even being able to save anywhere. The apps are a really cool and good idea with giving the player more choices on what kind of run they wanna do. Do you wanna err on the side of caution and use 2 of your 5 app slots on being able to save anywhere, or would you rather have no back attacks and the ability to recruit dark-type demons in those slots instead? It's a great addition to the game's formula, and I'm almost a little sad it never got the chance to come back (because they both stopped using this style and the new Soul Hackers coming out is pretty clearly just gonna be another Persona game).

On the more negative side of things, the game's balance is good and the information provided you is too, but not always. Bosses in particular can be really brutal roadblocks at times, and a lot of that has to do with the spell set you give Nemisa. Now unlike the first Devil Summoner game, where they made it very explicit when you were deciding your female partner's spell list and what you were giving her, in this game there is strangely 0 indication that you're doing that. This wouldn't be *quite* so much a problem if her electric skillset weren't SO much better than the ice or fire ones, as TONS of bosses are strong against or outright absorb ice and/or fire while comparatively very few do that for electricity. Your demons are useful, sure, but Nemisa is one of the most hilariously powerful human companions ever in an SMT game, and she's where the bulk of your damage output will come from, so making it so easy to screw yourself into a MUCH harder time is something I have a hard time forgiving the game for given how the first game very deliberately avoided doing that. It's not a huge gripe, but it's something to be aware of for sure.

The presentation is once again excellent. Tons of demon sprites have been reused from Devil Summoner 1, but a lot of them have been changed or upgraded too, and I was pretty surprised at just how many new or altered demons there were. Character designs are very pretty, and the environments and battle animations have also gotten a big graphical upgrade as well. This all comes at the cost of some longer load times, unfortunately, but I didn't find them too painfully long myself. The music is also once again excellent, having a more upbeat and funky OST than earlier SMT games, and it's a soundtrack I dig a lot~.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Out of all of the old SMT games I've played, this is easily the one I recommend the most. It's got a good story, fun characters, good balancing, and good dungeons, and it's even available on (mostly) modern hardware via the very good 3DS port! If you were gonna give any older-style SMT game a try, this is definitely the one I'd recommend first and foremost with just how approachable and forgiving it is.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by MrPopo »

This is the last one to do first-person dungeon crawling

Strange Journey and SMT IV say hi.
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REPO Man
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by REPO Man »

Didn't SMT4 do third-person?

Also the Persona Q duology was first-person.

Hope the 3DS MegaTen games get Switch ports.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

MrPopo wrote:
This is the last one to do first-person dungeon crawling

Strange Journey and SMT IV say hi.


I didn't realize SMT IV was first person :O

Though I don't count Strange Journey as one of the main ones enough to consider it here, hence the qualifier before it :b

I've heard that game is *miserable* so there is NO way I'm playing it XP
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by MrPopo »

I count it in mainline adjacent because they were billing it as maybe mainline before they released IV. And personally I think it's very far from miserable. It definitely does have some dungeon design inspired by Etrian Odyssey, so there definitely is some navigation puzzle style dungeon design.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2022!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS3)
2. Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne (XBOX)
3. Streets of Rage 4 (NS)
4. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Master Quest (GCN)
5. Dirge Of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (PS2)
6. Darkstalkers (PS1)
7. Evolution: The World Of Sacred Device (SDC)

8. Ogre Battle 64: Person Of Lordly Calibur (N64)

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I beat Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Calibur tonight on the Nintendo 64.

When I moved into my apartment, there was an excellent retro game store just a short distance from my house. It was so easy for me to go shopping there on an almost weekly basis and that is where I beefed up my Backlog long before discovering the Backloggery. Well, one of those games bought at an excellent price was Ogre Battle 64. My friend had played it and wanted to replay it, so I bought it to do that with him. It took us over 12 years, but we finally were able to do it. Our timing never synced up and I was a little terrified of the game. Well, by default, it became my final N64 game, so I had to finally play it.

Ogre Battle 64 is an epic strategy RPG where you command units on a field trying to take over the bases of your opponent. In each map, there is a boss and after he is defeated, the battle is over and you move onto the next map. Rinse and repeat for almost 80 hours. Yes, make no mistake about it, Ogre Battle 64 is a BEAST of a game. It is one of the largest and longest games I have played since I played NIS SRPG's on the PS2. Maps take between an hour or two and then you have about 30 minutes of upkeep between battles. The game has a large pension to accidentally win, so many times, you will loose those hours on resetting. But, once you get a strategy down and you get a good team, Ogre Battle 64 became one of the most addictive games I have ever played. It is all I have been thinking about for the past month. Defeating enemies and winning the battles is such a satisfying experience. After the battles, you can customize your teams, train them, change their classes and watch them grow. I grew attached to each character and I kept manipulating my teams to optimize them more. I learned so much about the game and I just wanted to keep playing more. It takes a bit, but by the end, I felt like I had an unstoppable army.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with Ogre Battle 64. Once again, it is a BEAST of a game and not something you can beat quickly. Also, the interface is a bit clunky and its easy to loose battles if you aren't too cautious. However, if you want a deep Role Playing experience on the N64, I can't think of a better game. It stands out on the console and should be sought after by anybody who enjoys these types of games. It is definitely one of my favorite games of the genre and on the console!
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