Games Beaten 2022

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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)

9. Draogn Quest VI (SNES)

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I beat Dragon Quest VI on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System this evening!

I have had a checkered and interesting past with the Dragon Quest series. I jumped around and played them completely out of order along with having varying opinions about each game. My favorite is Dragon Quest IV followed closely by Dragon Quest V. In the next tier, I have Dragon Quest VIII and II as a good games. Dragon Quest VII is the next tier as it is an okay game and I did not like Dragon Quest I and III at all, even though I respected both of them. So, I was actually looking forward to Dragon Quest VI as I loved 4 and 5 and this finished off the Zenthian trilogy along with being a favorite of a friend of mine. As my last Super Nintendo game and the final classic Dragon Quest game, it was finally time to play it.

I think my favorite aspect of Dragon Quest VI is the music followed closely by the graphics. I love the Tower Theme and the entire soundtrack is a delight to listen to. Dragon Quest V was also very simple in the graphics department, so I like seeing the detailed sprites and upgrade throughout the entire game. Dragon Quest VI has once again did some incremental changes to the old formula. You now have a Caravan, where you can have multiple party members and you can store multiple key items. This helps so much in inventory management and the extra party members are needed to get through the dungeons unscathed.

Those extra party members became desperate healing resources as the game is incredibly uneven, frustrating, long and very hard. The first half of the game, I was flushed with cash, but kept dying so I had to grind for levels. The second half of the game, I had no money but they kept throwing new equipment at me all the time. Almost every single enemy in the game either attacks twice, can just kill/paralyze party members or has a spell that hits everybody. The class system is interesting, but it doesn't affect your character besides giving them more useless skills.

Overall, I liked Dragon Quest VI less the more I played it. The story is uneven and directionless, especially the middle part. I liked the characters, but they also had no development besides being introduced to the party. For me, this was a frustrating experience from the first hour and it just never became enjoyable. I am glad that I finished it as I beat all of the classic Dragon Quest games, but VI ranks close to VII in my book.
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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
15. Triangle Strategy - Switch
16. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - PC
17. Nightmare Reaper - PC
18. Kur - PC
19. Gundam Versus - PS4

When I first saw footage of Gundam Versus I thought it looked like Virtual-On, which, to me, was a match made in heaven. I was warned that it was mostly going to be a multiplayer game, but I figured there would be at least enough fun to have with Heavyarms. And in retrospect, I probably should have skipped, because the single player content REALLY wants you to have a human partner.

The game, at its base, consists of two on two fights. Every time a mech is killed, that side loses points equal to that mech's value. When a side runs out of points it loses. So if you bring a top tier machine you'll lose after a couple of deaths, while using one of the weaker ones gives you more wiggle room in that regard. However, when you're engaging in the vs. CPU content the rules will change, depending on the game mode. There are two kinds of modes. The first is survival; you engage in five waves of fights against one or more enemies, carrying over health and your overall point supply. After five waves you have a break, where you can spend currency you earn from winning on healing your point supply (which carries over), or pumping your stats. The other mode is trials, where you go through a series of predetermined fights that can fall into a few categories. One is standard, where it's the same "kill enough to exhaust their supply" rules. One is target, where you have to kill a specific unit(s) to win, which usually are the last of a few waves of weak enemies. The final is boss, where you have one extremely hard target to take out. Sometimes you have a choice of routes to take through a given trial, and they get harder over time. One thing you'll notice is in addition to all the suits you can use, the CPU will get fodder enemies like Leos from Gundam Wing, as well as giant mobile armors like the Psycho Gundam.

Now, I can confirm that the general feeling does resemble Virtual-On, though the specifics are different. The camera is fixed behind you and locked to your target, and you can swap targets at any time. You have a primary ranged, a primary melee, and then three sub weapons that are achieved by hitting combinations of jump, melee, and ranged. While these fall into very general categories, they vary greatly from suit to suit, so you'll want to check your move list. All non-melee weapons have ammo that you need to manage, though it all restores over time. You then have boosting, which both can be used for long dashes like Virtual-On turbos as well as short dodges. Unlike Virtual-On these use a boost resource which regenerates quickly, but means you can't just spam nonstop. You need to be vulnerable at points. Managing these dodges and hitting windows of vulnerability is critial.

Unfortunately, the biggest problem you'll run into playing solo is the later trials and survival courses get brutally hard. You get a CPU partner, but they straight up don't pull their weight. In trials the partner is fixed, while in survival you get to pick. Generally it behooves you to pick one that has a low point cost (and CPU costs half the cost of humans to make up for being CPU) and hopefully they can tie up enemies long enough for you to do the real damage. But the very top stuff requires far more luck than skill, and some specific mobile suits that have enough damage output of relative safety to deal with the fact you tend to be majorly outnumbered.

Overall I have very mixed feelings on the game. The engine is great, and the moment to moment feel of the mobile suits is fantastic. But man, I would have loved to have seen it applied to a proper single player campaign, rather than a fighter that has some admittedly amusing fight setups (near the end of hard survival you fight the entire Wing team and the final wave is against all the Char clones). Personally, I'd skip it if you don't have someone to play with.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

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I beat TUNIC about a week ago, but I haven't had time to post until today. I do not have much time to play video games these days, so it was a treat to experience this one. I have followed this game for years, so buying it day one was a given. It took me just over 16 hours. TUNIC is available for Xbox (1 & XS), PC, and currently on the Game Pass subscription service.

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TUNIC is an action adventure game, presented in an isometric perspective, although the camera does move around in different sections and boss encounters. You play as a fox, a Ruin Seeker, waking up on a "far shore" and his quest to find the great power there. The player or the Ruin Seeker cannot read most of the writing throughout the land. The player does not get the pages to the manual in order. Although manual pages seem to be placed where you get the basics of the game, early. Even the in-game manual, which the player finds throughout the land page by page, is mostly unreadable without translation. It tells you just enough to play the game. The manual reminds me of old 8 and 16-bit manuals with great illustrations. I'd love to have a hard copy. The story is more mature and touching than I expected, with more than one ending available based on player actions. I know I did not experience everything in one play through.

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The game looks like a homage to Legend of Zelda, but it also borrows a decent amount from Dark Souls. Namely, rolling with some invincibility frames, a shield parry mechanic, estus flasks, bonfires which reset enemies, leveling up stats, and a stamina (Vigor) gauge. Rolling and blocking are the only actions that require vigor. The player can perform attacks and sprint as much they want. When you run out of vigor, you become unbalanced, take more damage, and have heavily reduced mobility. Combat is similar to 3D Zelda games. You have a focus button that lets you target enemies. You can cycle through targets with the Right Stick.

The player can map any three items or equipment to face buttons. The game actually rewards item usage by giving the player some more on re-spawn as a gift for using so many. Equipment will be pretty familiar to anyone who has played games in the genre. There are however equipment combos by pressing two buttons together at the same time. You'll find better gear that let you traverse more of the world as you go on, like Metroid. The game is very challenging, but fair. Practice and persistence will see the player through the game. If the player thinks the game is too hard for them, there are "easy mode" options in the settings.

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The game is very much about exploring a mysterious land that has fallen, but still retains a powerful treasure which attracts those who think they can brave the land. There are secrets and shortcuts everywhere. The "dungeons" don't have the puzzles of classic Zelda, they are simpler. However the late game puzzles and search for secrets can really stress your brain if you try to figure it all out on your own. I cannot over stress the importance of the in-game manual. (So I underlined it :p) There is hidden information littered on its pages. Heck, there's a dedicated button to access it on the controller.

The music in the game is awesome, really adds atmosphere to the areas and some of the tracks you'll want to listen to over and over again. You can listen to it hear (pun intended, sorry) https://youtu.be/nnvjKf_mRYM

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There is a lot of little things in TUNIC I'm leaving out, some because of time, others because I do not want to spoil too much of the game. I think this game is best played mostly blind the first time through. On my second play through I reckon I'm going to try to see how differently I can tackle the game. I suspect there's some sequence breaking possible. Speed runners will probably also enjoy the game. I know IGN already posted a video of a 24 minute run. I highly recommend TUNIC to fans of the genre. To me, the game makes you feel like a kid in the late 80's, early 90's again because you don't understand much of what the game presents initially. Through discovery, you uncover the depth of the world overcome adversity. You may even realize
what the Holy Cross is.


Launch trailer to see game in motion: https://youtu.be/f3GHq3fd5KY
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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)
9. Draogn Quest VI (SNES)

10. Batman: The Video Game (GEN)

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I completed Batman: The Video Game on the Sega Genesis this evening!

The original Batman on the NES is one of my favorite games for that console. It has one of the best soundtracks and has absolutely fantastic controls. With great weapons as well, it was a blast to play. Obviously, I wanted more Batman, but I didn't know where to turn. So, doing what I do best, I went historically and looked for the next release of a Batman game. Even though there is a Batman II on NES, the next one was a similar game on the Genesis. In 2020, I was looking for a shorter game that wasn't too overpriced, so I settled on picking up Batman. Just by chance, it became my final Genesis game and a nice pallet cleanser after Dragon Quest VI.

Much like the NES game, the Genesis game is based off the movie. Though, I would say the Genesis version is more true to the movie as it actually uses scenes from the movie. You climb the Cathedral at the end and you go through a museum. With a short little cut scene, the adaption is done pretty well. The game has 6 levels with a few acting like Kung Fu style beat'em Up levels, a few more that involves platforming and two Shoot'em Up levels were you are in the Batwing and Batmobile. Those Shoot'Em Up Levels are probably my favorite in the game and do well to break up the pace. In fact, they are almost like beginner Shoot'Em Up Levels, which I always approve of. There is a way to get up 9 guys in one level, but even with that, the game is fairly easy. I beat it on my second try as the re-spawning of Batman really helps.

However, the game is incredibly frustrating at points. Batman has a somersault that he has to pull off to make some jumps and I could never do that move on cue. Also, Batman has such little health, that the re-spawn saves the game as you keep dying over and over again. At the end, the game becomes about taking damage, but always moving forward to get more weapons or to hopefully finally make that annoying jump.

Overall, Batman is a very flawed experience. The controls are fairly terrible, especially that somersault move. Also, Batman is made and felt to look weak and that is not a good look for Batman. However, if you can power through, the unique levels and simple nature of the game makes it beatable to play through. It nowhere near hands a candle to the NES game, but I was still able to make progress and get through the game. It could have been worse, but it also could have been better.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by Ninjamaster »

I finished Double Dragon Neon (Switch) funny but too short imho!
My collection Updated 2021: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=31763
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

It took me a while to beat another game, but that's because after I posted my Arceus review, I put in another 250 hours finishing all roughly 7100 research tasks for every Pokemon in the game lmao

Games Beaten in 2021 - 22
* denotes a replay

January (20 Games Beaten)
1. Project MIKHAIL: A Muv-Luv War Story - Steam - January 1
2. Shin Megami Tensei V - Switch - January 9
3. Halo 2600 - Atari 2600 - January 10
4. Cruis'n Blast - Switch - January 13
5. Alan Wake - PlayStation 5 - January 15
6. Alan Wake's American Nightmare - Xbox 360 - January 15
7. Apsulov: End of Gods - Playstation 5 - January 16
8. Captain U - Wii U - January 16
9. Raji: An Ancient Epic - Xbox One - January 17
10. JankBrain - Switch - January 22
11. Would You Like to Run an Idol Café - Switch - January 22
12. Bury Me, My Love - Switch - January 22
13. A Normal Lost Phone - Switch - January 22
14. Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story - Switch - January 22
15. Cthulhu Saves Christmas - Switch - January 23
16. Armed 7 - Dreamcast - January 24
17. Satazius Next - Dreamcast - January 24
18. Wolflame - Dreamcast - January 25
19. Metal Slug 1st Mission - Neo Geo Pocket - January 25
20. Metal Slug 2nd Mission - Neo Geo Pocket - January 26


February (1 Games Beaten)
21. Pokemon Legends: Arceus - Switch - February 5


March (0 Games Beaten)
wow I suck ass lmao


April (1 Game Beaten)
22. The Last of Us Part II - PlayStation 4 - April 9


22. The Last of Us Part II - PlayStation 4 - April 9

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I clearly remember when The Last of Us first came out on PlayStation 3. It was my junior year of college, and I remember going to Gamestop to pick up my copy as soon as my last class ended that day. I hadn’t seen much about the game, having only recently gotten my PS3, but my roommate, Nick, and our friend, John, had been hyping it up hugely, so I was thoroughly swayed. As soon as I got home with the game and got it installed, I had so many errors and problems just trying to get through the first 20 minutes of the game that I knew my hard drive was in the process of dying. I immediately ran across the street to Staples, bought the first 500 GB hard drive of the right type, and swapped it out that afternoon. I then spent the whole night playing because, from the very first scene of the game, I was hooked. For the past nine years, I’ve said that The Last of Us is one of the greatest masterpieces of the medium. I know that’s a controversial opinion with a lot of folks who think the game is overrated, but I’ve never been that sucked in by writing, voice acting, and top-notch motion capture. For whatever reason, though, I waited a long time before playing The Last of Us Part II, not getting to it until early 2022. It had some big shoes to fill, so maybe I put it off knowing that it wouldn’t be able to live up to my adoration for the first game.

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The Last of Us Part II picks up a few years after the first game ended. Ellie and Joel, having completed their journey to the Fireflies, settle in the town of Jackson and live, for the post-apocalypse, pretty peaceful lives. However, Overarching Story Event happens (I’m not going to spoil it for in case - somehow - someone else hasn’t played it and miraculously managed to avoid online spoilers), and Ellie sets off with her girlfriend to hunt down the perpetrators of the aforementioned event. That’s the basic premise of the game. It’s a wholly less intriguing premise, in my opinion, than “kid is immune to the disease that destroyed humanity and sets out to find a doctor who can use her blood to make a vaccine,” but it’s a classic revenge story. The character interactions are once again the highlight of the game, but nothing quite matches up to seeing Joel’s prickly exterior soften towards Ellie in the first game.

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The gameplay and combat is what you expect from Naughty Dog - fun and responsive but not stunning in any way. You get a number of skills you can level up by finding vitamin supplements throughout the world, and you can upgrade your guns at workbenches with parts that you find. Ammo is scarce as are the materials used to make bombs and health packs which gives the game a bit of a survival horror feel. While most of the game is more tension than horror, there are some parts like the hospital and some of the apartment buildings that are legitimately straight-up classic Resident Evil style horror. Those were my favorite parts of the game. My least favorite part, honestly, is the last third or so. The game’s perspective shifts about 2/3 of the way through and makes you spend a few hours playing as the antagonist. On the one hand, I have to applaud this choice as it definitely does make the player empathize at least a little bit with the antagonist. This works decently well from a narrative perspective, but it introduces characters that I just found myself wanting to explore more and being left unsatisfied, and it sets up a game-ending that I found completely unsatisfying. The ending isn’t bad, per se, but I absolutely hated it. It didn’t give me a sense of finality, but it also didn’t leave me wanting a third game. Underwhelming is the best word I can think of for that ending, and that’s a shame given how dramatically the game started and how amazing the first game was.

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The Last of Us Part II was good. Taken as a whole, I’ll even go as far as to call it great, especially since my problems with the ending are largely my personal taste and not actual bad writing or execution. It’s a major letdown compared to the first game, though. I wholeheartedly reject the online complaints of “It’s too woke!” Yes, the protagonist is openly gay. Yes, there’s an explicitly transgender character in the game. Those aren’t bad things, and they aren’t “forcing diversity” because, like it or not, gay and trans people exist in the real world, so of course, they should exist in our games, too. I loved those aspects. It was the disappointment I felt at the ending and the overall lack of care I felt for some of the philosophical points the game tries to make that let me down. It tries to make the points of “Revenge doesn’t help anything” and “Violence only begets violence,” and I absolutely endorse both of those points, but while the game shows that, it doesn’t make me feel that. I sympathize with some of the antagonist’s friends and companions, but I never actually empathize with them. I kept thinking “Oh, I get why they did that. Now let me butcher them.” Maybe that was the point - that unlikable characters can still have understandable motivations - but it just didn’t do it for me. If you played the first game, I recommend playing this one, but you’re not missing a monumental masterpiece if you skip it, and there’s definitely no reason to play this if you haven’t played or didn’t like the first game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by Note »

Markies wrote:
I completed Batman: The Video Game on the Sega Genesis this evening!


Awesome you finished Batman: The Video Game, Markies! I like this game as well, but haven't been able to finish it yet. I've reached the last level multiple times, but I think the museum level is the area where I take the most damage or lose the most lives. I gotta brush up on that part, so I can reach the last level with enough lives and health to finish the game. I totally agree with you regarding the different level types, I think it's cool that the shooter levels break things up a bit. The controls are a little stiff, that's probably my main criticism. The soundtrack is amazing too, IMO.

ElkinFencer10 wrote:
22. The Last of Us Part II - PlayStation 4 - April 9


Awesome review, Elk! I need to try The Last of Us one of these days.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by Note »

1. Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth (N64)
2. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (Arcade)*
3. Metal Slug 6 (PS2)
4. Time Crisis II (PS2)*
5. Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown (360)

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6. Shining the Holy Ark (SAT)

I'm a huge fan of the Shining Force games on the Sega Genesis, with the second title probably my personal favorite RPG. With that said, I was very interested in playing through some of the other Camelot games that I missed earlier. I tend to really get into their games, and Shining the Holy Ark was no exception. There are a lot of great and unique gameplay mechanics, and STHA has that Camelot charm that we're accustomed to. After months of playing Shining the Holy Ark on and off, I finally binged the game for a good five hours last night and finished it.

For starters, Shining the Holy Ark is a first person dungeon crawler, in the same vein as Shining in the Darkness. However, with this game being a spiritual successor to Shining in the Darkness, there is more features than the earlier title. For instance, there is a world map here with different dungeons and towns to explore. Each dungeon has its own type of enemies, and some type of puzzle gimmick to get through. Most of the puzzles are fairly straight forward, but there are a few that I needed the help of a guide with. The game also has a detailed map for each dungeon, which lets you view every area you have explored by pressing the start button. It even shows which staircases lead to a lower level or upper level, to help you navigate the dungeon faster if you have to leave and come back.

Unfortunately, there are no save points in any of the dungeons, which is one of the few criticisms I have of this game. This means that if you get quite far into a dungeon but need to step away because real life happened, you'll have to exit and save in a town and find your way back again. I wish there was some type of teleport item to save your spot. Due to this approach in the game's design, I only fired it up when I could set aside large chunks of time.

There is a total of eight characters to join your party along the way, each with access to their own unique attacks and abilities. The party I stuck with for most of the game was Arthur, Doyle, Akane, and Melody. I really liked Doyle's heavy regular attacks and Akane's group healing spell. Melody also has access to healing spells early in the game and some helpful buffer spells. Like some of the other Shining titles, the game also includes Mithril, which is a material you can find to create powerful weapons and armor. You'll want to get Doyle's Mithril Claw, trust me! That item is a complete game changer at that point in the adventure. STHA also features the promotion mechanic, which is seen in some of the other Shining titles. After level 20, you can promote your character to upgrade their class, which will boost their stats, and change their appearance a bit. With the Shining games, I always look forward to reaching that promotion, and seeing what the character's next class would be.

Another unique aspect to STHA is the pixie system. There are a total of 50 pixies which are hidden throughout the game in the different dungeons. When an encounter with an enemy occurs and a battle is about to start, you can press a button to send out one of your pixies to do extra damage. The catch here is that you must choose the pixie type that corresponds to the direction the enemy appeared from. Really unique mechanic and I've never seen a system like this in any other RPG I played. The pixie system definitely helped to keep me engaged as I was always attempting to get that extra damage in. However, you only have a limited time to select the correct pixie type.

Regarding the graphics, I do like the look and visual style of the game, but they are not the most impressive compared to other titles at the time. I think the design of the characters and enemies look really good though. I especially enjoy the animations of the different party members popping up during battle. Many of the visual effects that are found in Shining the Holy Ark remind me of the approach later taken by Camelot in the Golden Sun series. The music here is good too, as there are plenty of catchy background tunes in the dungeons.

Also, I need to add that the cover art for this game is amazing! The illustrator behind the cover art Shin Yamanouchi did a fantastic job with the illustrations for this game and Shining Force III. I don't recall ever seeing this game in stores when I was young, but I think I would've been blown away if I saw this art on a game store shelf. I don't collect player's guides or art books, but I would love an art book for this title.

Overall, I think Shining the Holy Ark is a great game and I really enjoyed my time with it. It took me about 54 hours to finish, and I had an item collection rate of 91%, based on my stats that appeared at the end screen. Previously, I wasn't too big of a fan of dungeon crawlers, but this game definitely opened me up to them. I think anyone that's a fan of RPGs, the Sega Saturn, or Camelot should give this one a go. It's an under appreciated title that holds it's own, and I think it's one of the best experiences to be found on the Saturn. I highly recommend 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
15. Triangle Strategy - Switch
16. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - PC
17. Nightmare Reaper - PC
18. Kur - PC
19. Gundam Versus - PS4
20. BIOTA - PC

BIOTA is an indie maze exploration platformer with a 4-color aesthetic akin to the Gameboy or CGA graphics. You are part of a mercenary team sent to stop an outbreak of some sort of biological threat on a mining asteroid. You must jump, shoot, and explore until you can clean out the infestation, and hopefully figure out what's behind it along the way.

The defining feature of the game is that you are free to swap between characters at any time when you're back at your home base. Each character has a primary weapon and a secondary that is ammo limited. One character has a very long range shot and the secondary lets you move a crosshair and hit anything on screen but does not maneuver well and the shots are slow. Another character has a short range, high damage shotgun and can drop bombs that will explode in a wave on the ground. In the end, I found that getting the right balance of shot power and shot range was what worked best for me, but it's neat that you have that level of flexibility (and you unlock two more when you beat the game).

I mentioned the 4-color aesthetic. The game has a ton of palettes available; about half are selectable at the start with the rest being unlocked through the obligatory "collect them all" items scattered through the game which have seemingly no other purpose. While the default palette is various shades of reddish, you also have both Gameboy and Gameboy Pocket as well as three CGA palettes; both the high and low intensity red green yellow and the high intensity cyan magenta oh god why. For the most part this aesthetic works, though there are a handful of spots where hazards blend into the background.

Now, I very specifically did not call this a Metroidvania. It might look like one at first blush, but importantly all progress is gated behind keys, rather than abilities. While you can gain a second secondary attack for each character, none of them provide mobility. And most of the keys you need to progress are purchased from shops dotted across the map. You will also have to find wallet upgrades to be able to purchase those keys, with one upgrade per zone, so progress tends to be go to a zone, fully explore to get the wallet and the key item you can get at that point, go to the new zone you unlocked. Now and then you go back to an old zone to visit the shop that you now have enough money to be able to afford its key item. A nice quality of life feature is that your map will show if a shop has a key item in it and what it is, so you know which one to go back to if you've exhausted your current possibilities. But all of this put together removes it from the Metroidvania genre in my opinion, as there's no mobility gates and you don't really ever half explore a zone.

Overall it's a solid little title, though I do feel it has an overreliance on instant death traps. This is mitigated by the ability to save on any screen that has no enemies left on it. It's also quite short; I finished in under four hours, and while I missed a handful of secrets (including one that unlocks the good ending) I still had 97% map completion, and secrets are just destructible walls. I plan to go back and get the good ending once the devs patch it to let you have a save prior to the point of no return, rather than autosaving after that point. I'd say it's a decent value for its price.
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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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
13. Shadow Warrior 3 - PC
14. Ghostrunner: Project_Hel - PC
15. Triangle Strategy - Switch
16. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands - PC
17. Nightmare Reaper - PC
18. Kur - PC
19. Gundam Versus - PS4
20. BIOTA - PC
21. Chantelise - PC

Chantelise is an action game by the same devs who did Recettear. While it was localized after Recettear, it was actually released first. Like Recettear, it stars two characters whose names are jammed together for the title. In this case it's Chante the older sister and Elise the younger sister. The game starts with the two sisters looking for the witch who cursed Chante into being a fairy. However, the sisters get drawn into a quest to stop the unsealing of an evil archdemon and learn a bit more about how Chante got cursed in the first place.

The game has a fairly unique graphical style; it's 2D sprites on a free-rotating 3D world. Now, that's not too unique for an FPS, but here it's an action game with light platforming elements. Elise can run around, do a sliding dash for a bit of extra distance to avoid attacks (though there are no i-frames and enemies will block the movement), she can jump, and she has two kinds of attacks. The first is a three-hit combo, the second is a jump attack which does more damage at once, but less damage over time (and is important for flying enemies). You can lock on to enemies, which is especially important for flying enemies. And then there's a magic system. Attacking enemies can cause them to drop one of four kinds of magical crystals. These get picked up and put in a stack (last in, first out). You can then old down the magic button to charge it, with different spells being cast based on how many gems are consumed (2 at the start of the game, but up to 4 at the end). Like gems will change to a different, more powerful spell, while non-like gems will add affects to the base spell. For example, if you charge up a red gem, then a blue gem, the regular fireball from the red gem will have a status effect from the blue gem. Some enemies are quite resistant to attacks, or must be killed with magic altogether, so you'll need to master this system (as this includes certain bosses).

You proceed through five levels once you're out of the tutorial. Each level consists of several areas. To beat an area you must kill all enemies inside; at this point the exit will become unblocked. Moving through areas keeps your status, so you are definitely at risk of dying as you progress through a level (as healing is scarce). If you die in a level it says game over and respawns you back in town. However, any areas you've completed stay completed, though enemies respawn. So you can book it to the end and keep going on. It's likely you will need to take advantage of this. Each area also has a hidden chest that spawns when you do some sort of task; some of these are obvious, others are obtuse. This is your prime source of gear (which provides all your stats, this is not an RPG with levels), so you'll want to seek these out (and frankly, look up a guide).

It's not a terribly long game, and considering it was made by a total of three people it's quite solidly put together. There are some quite annoying enemies, and several of the bosses are just an utter chore to fight. But once you get the hang of things it's a pretty fun ride overall. But you 100% will want to use a controller; playing on the keyboard makes the camera controls really awkward.
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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