Games Beaten 2022

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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2021 - 29
* 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 (3 Games Beaten)
22. The Last of Us Part II - PlayStation 4 - April 9
23. Metro 2033 Redux - PlayStation 4 - April 14
24. Sakura Angels - Switch - April 26


May (3 Games Beaten)
25. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures - Gamecube - May 8
26. Metro Last Light Redux - PlayStation 4 - May 14
27. Metro Exodus - Series X - May 28


June (2 Games Beaten)
28. Cyberpunk 2077 - Series X - June 11
29. Sniper Elite 5 - Series X - June 12


29. Sniper Elite 5 - Series X - June 12

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Sniper Elite is one of my favorite series, and that's something that most of my friends don't expect. I'm usually not a great sniper in games, and I hate stealth games. Sniper Elite is nice, though, because it has some really robust and well-fleshed-out options to tweak difficulty, and it doesn't force stealth; if you want to play like an idiot (read: like me) and just start blasting Nazis away as loudly as you want, go for it. It'll be harder as the enemies swarm you, but you're welcome to do it. It's got great co-op, too; I played through the whole thing with Grant, one of my best friends from elementary school.

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Sniper Elite 5 picks up where the previous games left off and follows the trend of each game focusing on a different theater of the war. Sniper Elite III took place in North Africa, Sniper Elite 4 took place in Italy, and Sniper Elite 5 takes place in France. On the one hand, that means that you have to put up with French characters. Gross. On the other hand, it means that it's all Nazi killing all the time instead of having Italians interspersed. I mean, yeah, the Italians totally earned the slaughter they got in World War II, but no enemy is quite as satisfying to shoot in the head or the heart (or the testicles) as Nazis. You hunt down a Nazi general running up the secret Operation Kraken, discovering what the operation is and putting a stop to it before it can pose a risk to Allied plans or threaten the United States directly.

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Graphically, Sniper Elite 5 is a bit of a mixed bag. Based just on graphics themselves, it obviously looks better than ever since it's using pretty much all of the PS4's and Xbox One's capabilities, and it can leverage some of the extra power of the PS5 and Series X for those versions. I, personally, didn't like the kill cans quite as much, though. It didn't put as much focus on the visceral bone-shattering carnage of the sniper rounds. A little more detail on the x-ray views actually kind of obfuscates the few of bone and organ damage. It's not worse, per se, but it's not a change I particularly cared for. Even with that, though, it's an absolutely excellent close view of Nazis getting what they deserve.

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One of the things I love about this game in particular is that there are a TON of customization options for your weapons. As you go through the game, you'll unlock new sniper rifles, new secondary weapons, new handguns, and various attachments for all of them. You can change the sights, the stock, the grip, the barrel, and even carry two types of special ammo - subsonic rounds to stay quieter, armor piercing rounds to penetrate material better, soft rounds for more body damage, etc. It makes it worth playing through and doing the challenges and hunting down the workbenches in the levels to unlock the various weapons and attachments.

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Sniper Elite 5 is an awesome game. It's perfect for co-op, tons of fun solo, and lends itself to lots of styles of gameplay from super secret squirrel stealth to Rambo murder rampage. It looks great, it sounds great, and it plays great. My only real complaints are that the story isn't quite as interesting in my opinion as
Sniper Elite 4, and I didn't like the x-ray kill cams quite as much as in 3 or 4. Those are both very opinion-based criticisms, though. If I could change anything, it would be to have the story just fleshed out and expanded a bit. It just didn't feel quite as epic as the past game or two. Still, though, I absolutely recommend this game to anyone who at all enjoys sniping gameplay.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by Ack »

1. Record of Lodoss War - Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (PC)(Action Adventure)
2. The Citadel (PC)(FPS)
3. Gothic 3 (PC)(RPG)
4. Witchaven (PC)(FPS)
5. Unpacking (PC)(Puzzle)
6. Firewatch (PC)(Adventure)
7. Perilous Warp (PC)(FPS)

8. The Ascent (PC)(RPG)
9. Borderlands: Game of the Year Enhanced - The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned (PC)(FPS/RPG)
10. Borderlands: Game of the Year Enhanced - The Secret Armory of General Knoxx (PC)(FPS/RPG)
11. Borderlands: Game of the Year Enhanced - Claptrap's New Robot Revolution (PC)(FPS/RPG)

12. Kingdom of the Dead (PC)(FPS)
13. Monument (PC)(FPS)
14. Bloodwash (PC)(Horror Adventure)
15. Dead Estate (PC)(Isometric Shooter)

16. Lost in Vivo (PC)(Survival Horror)

Hey kids, do you like Silent Hill? Do you want to wander a hellish sewerscape full of bizarre monsters and gross spectacle? Do you enjoy the thoughts of battling rat monsters, fleshy things, and crawling giants with mouths for eyes? No? Too bad, that's Lost in Vivo.

You are a nameless protagonist who is out walking your dog one day, when a sudden storm creates a flash flood that washes your precious pooch down the storm drain. Being the responsible owner you are, you go in after him...and what you find down there is terrifying. Haunted subways, animal experimentation labs, and abandoned mineshafts are what await you, along with disturbing puzzles and strange notes. And while you will find a few weapons along the way, combat is rudimentary, so you have to learn how and when to fight to be able to survive.

And that's not even considering how the game attacks the player directly. Fake unity errors, deleted save messages, a false credit sequence, and a player view that gets crushed and shattered as you crush a doll head in a vise are all things where the game reaches out to mess with the player directly. Boss fights are also like puzzles; one requires you run like hell from an unkillable ghost, while another requires you trap the boss and bash its face in while it's pinned. Another cannot move when you can see it, but if you turn your back or let it out of your vision, it will come for you, and its rat friends will eat your eyes. I'm actually serious, that is how you die to it.

There are also numerous secrets. For example, if you play the game at midnight, an entirely different game becomes playable involving you running around a giant castle and hunting a vampire. Beating the game and playing with the options enables access to a hidden developer room. And the game offers both a New Game + with increased difficulty and multiple endings. You can even get the worst ending by bringing a pistol from the previous playthrough and shooting your dog...you monster. The game will give you grief for being a bad person about that.

Unfortunately, it's also not without its bugs. Enemies sometimes clip into walls, and they can hit you while you can't touch them. While weak weapons are also not unknown in survival horror, the game also has a surprisingly terrible shotgun. The best weapons you get are also the first two you get, a pistol and a sledgehammer. And the puzzles can be obtuse, with the explanations hidden in stories or left almost entirely up to the player to decipher the meaning. Plus, you have to die a couple of times, a mechanic that may frustrate even a dedicated survival horror fan.

Despite these issues, I like Lost in Vivo overall. And I like dogs, so it's got that going for it too.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

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Nice work everyone!
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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
22. Xenoblade Chronicles - Wii
23. Forgive Me Father - PC
24. Xenoblade Chronicles X - Wii U
25. Steel Assault - Switch
26. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge - Switch
27. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - Switch
28. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country - Switch
29. Kirby and the Forgotten Land - Switch
30. Toejam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron - Genesis
31. Postal Brain Damaged - PC

Postal is a series that I've always been aware of, but never really knew a lot about. The main thing seemed to be that it was the game all the hand wringers were complaining about. Then I saw a new game was coming out, done by the devs who did Elderborn, which I enjoyed, so I figured I'd give it a try. And I gotta say... it was a waste of that studio.

So this game is the fever dream of the Postal Dude (that's literally the name of the protagonist of the series). It's set up as three episodes of five levels each, the fifth being a boss level (two of the three are only the boss fight). The goal of each is incredibly mundane; get a TV, get some TP, get Elon Musk's autograph. The fever dream scenario lets them have some interesting architecture in some levels, but they don't go as deep into it as they should have to make things interesting.

The game has your usual assortment of weapon styles, with a couple being weird guns (including one that is entirely for "shock value"). They all have alternate fire, with the most notable one being the Doom Eternal style hook on the shotgun that can pull you to enemies or at navigation points. There's also an inventory system where you can save up various items and use on command. It falls into that old half being useless, half being useful but you horde them thing. FPS's would be better off capping the carrying capacity of items to force you to use them.

The moment-to-moment gameplay is average, but what stands out is the "humor" in the game. It's like an edgy teen played Duke Nukem 3D and decided to make their own attempt at it and failed miserably. My understanding is this is a major part of the series, so I'm willing to give the devs a pass that they needed to stick with the series tone. But it really takes an average FPS and pulls it down, which is a real shame.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by opa »

Ack, how long did Lost In Vivo take you to beat. Its on my list to check out soon.

Bloodwash - PC

A short little, first-person horror title. You play a pregnant woman who has to go the laundromat in the middle of the night. The player discovers that there's a serial killer in the area that the local police have never been able to track down. You spend the game waiting on your laundry to get done. Your time can be spent (quite literally) staring at the washers and dryers to finish their load or you can talk to the quirky workers of the other local shops that are bizarrely open at midnight. I opted for the later which allows you to uncover more of the mystery that has been looming over the shopping district. I don't want to spoil any more of it so I'll stop there. I really recommend it if you like horror games but I will say I enjoyed the build up towards the end.

Sagebrush - PC

A short walking simulator (a short walk?). You are the lone survivor of a Jonestown-esque style cult. In returning to the compound, you get to explore the abandoned buildings that were left untouched since the mass suicide. Rummaging through the buildings you discover clues about the cult and the leader's real motivations. All this to bring the protagonist some closure on the whole event.
You need to play this.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by Ack »

opa wrote:Ack, how long did Lost In Vivo take you to beat. Its on my list to check out soon.


Lost in Vivo took maybe 4 hours for my first playthrough, with subsequent playthroughs going faster despite tougher enemies since I knew the layouts and puzzles. You should be able to knock it out fairly quickly.
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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)
9. Kirby Star Allies: Heroes in Another Dimension (Switch)
10. Kirby's Dream Land 2 (GB)
11. Tales of Vesperia (PS3) *
12. Art Style: BOXLIFE (DSi)

13. Super Robot Wars F (Saturn)
14. Super Robot Wars F Final (Saturn)

I originally bought Super Robot Wars F to bond with a friend who loved mecha anime over spring break. Little did I know that I’d end up loving it so much that I’d wind up playing a ton ton more of them XD. Now this is two games being reviewed at once primarily because these are actually really one game whose two halves were released about 5 or 6 months apart. You import your save from F into F Final, and you pick up right back where you left off. Now they are technically both stand alone, but starting with F Final would be the equivalent of starting 25 episodes into a 50 episode show, as it does not do anything to catch you up to the pretty involved story you’ve missed up to that point. Now these games don’t save how long your playtime is, and they’re so long that I can really only guess at how long it took me to beat them, but a likely low-ball estimate is that F (which is like 35 missions) took me around 60 hours to beat, and F Final *which is more like 40 missions) took around 80 hours to beat. I played the Japanese versions of them on real hardware using a super robot start.

Before getting into the story, it’ll probably help if I first explain what Super Robot Wars even is. SRW is basically a Super Smash Bros for mecha anime, but it’s a strategy RPG instead of a fighting game. The story of F/F Final is a remake of the last part of the first sub-series of games known as the Divine Crusaders (the primary antagonists) series. The principle players are the main casts of Getter Robo, Mazinger Z, the U.C. Gundam characters, and a big smattering of others too (from Aura Battler Dunbine to Neon Genesis Evangelion). The actual plot is packed with characters, and much like the game itself, is largely here for the spectacle and the fan service. But it’s pretty entertainingly written fan service, I will say. Everyone is introduced and fleshed out just enough that even a mecha anime newbie like myself found a lot to enjoy in how the game is written, and it serves the purpose it was written for very well. I imagine knowing the series present makes it even better, but even only having base summaries provided by my friend was more than enough to let me get a lot of fun out of the writing in this game.

Mechanically, this is an SRPG that will be very familiar to anyone who has played a Fire Emblem game. It’s a top-down SRPG where you move units around a map to complete an objective, so the base moving and attacking was super easy to figure out. Though even with the surface level stuff being so similar, the details past the exterior made for an experience I ended up enjoying a lot more than I generally do with FE games. For example, you can not only design your player avatar at the start for a different first 5 missions or so, and there are various route splits later on to give you some more variety in how you’ll experience the story.

Going onward, characters and the mechs they pilot are different entities. Granted you don’t usually have much of a reason to swap people out of the mech they came with (as it’s most often what they’re best suited for), pilots level up with experience gained in battle while mechs can be upgraded with money. Speaking of money, that’s also how this game changes another thing that often irks me about most FE games: no permadeath. Instead, when a unit dies in battle, unless it’s a critical unit tied to your failure condition (much like a lord in FE), you’ll get them back at the end of the mission after paying a repair fee to get them back into fighting shape. It means that losing units is still something you don’t want, as you can’t grind for resources and money is a limited resource, but losing a unit near the end of the battle is a much easier thing to stomach than in an FE game from the same era.

Money is also how you upgrade your mechs’ weapons, as they simply have respective bespoke weapons that use either ammo that must be refilled at a ship or from a refueling unit, or a general energy pool that’s refilled very similarly. No swapping swords or weapons like that. Even though it can take a bit of experimenting to figure out what weapons are worth upgrading and for whom, it’s a pretty simple system at the end of the day. What you can swap around are equippable items that mechs can equip to buff their armor, accuracy, HP, etc. They’re pretty straightforward, but they also provide invaluable buffs, and who gets what is a very important choice.

Going back to what makes pilots special compared to their mechs, each pilot has a total of four spirit moves they can learn as they level up in addition to passives respective to each unit. The latter involve things like getting better parry chance (ability to nullify damage from an incoming physical projectile or sword), shield chance (ability to halve damage from an incoming attack), or simply how good a NewType you are (which is a general upgrade that gives buffs to accuracy and evasion). The former are activatable abilities that cost a certain amount of spirit points that refill at the end of every mission. Wisely spending your spirit points will likely be the difference between life and death, as a 100% chance to dodge the next attack, a full HP restore, and more such things are invaluable for just about every unit. The last thing about pilots is their willpower stat, which starts at 100 and goes up for every unit the party kills, every unit they kill, and every time they take a hit. Willpower can be anywhere from 50 to 150, and it acts as a flat multiplier on your stats, so a character with 120 willpower will have 120% stats. Unfortunately, willpower is a good segue to the fairly significant list of issues the game has that are symptomatic of both the era’s notions of game design and the technology it was built on.

There are several two-part missions in the game, and something that isn’t really made clear to the player is that pilots who take part in the first half lose 50-ish willpower as they move to the 2nd half. You can still deploy them, but their utility will be severely harmed, and it really pays to upkeep 2 effective fighting forces that you can use for these harder 2-parters. Using a guide to keep track of when and what those are helps a lot. Using a guide is also very helpful for recruiting secret characters, as even compared to FE games, the flags you need to hit to recruit most characters are quite well hidden (sometimes impossibly well hidden) and you’d almost never accidentally stumble onto them, which I can only imagine was the intention.

Another big issue the game(s) has is balancing. Now SRW splits its units between two general descriptions: Super Robots (more like Getter Robo or Mazinger Z) and Real Robots (think more like Gundam). The former generally trend towards higher defense and attack but worse evasion and accuracy, and the latter are generally the reverse. The only issue there is that this is a game very much balanced towards one-hit kills. If you’re dealing a hit, you’re probably trying to outright kill whatever you’re firing at, and if you’re taking a hit, it’s likely gonna nearly kill you if not outright kill you (especially for the weedier Real Robots). Long story short, enemies get so hilariously tanky and evasive by even the ending of F (so well before F Final even starts), that dodge-tanks are really the only way forward. Super Robots are really only valuable as damage nuke machines, as their biggest moves are often immune to enemy beam shields or parry skills, and even then, once they run out of their 100% hit spirit moves (if they even have them), they’re basically useless. This isn’t a massive problem, per se, but it does kinda take away from the crossover fun element by so heavily gating which units are even worth using.

That said, this also factors into the game’s pretty bad enemy AI. While F generally has enemies who stand still and wait for you for a good while before charging, and F Final generally has much more aggressive enemies who charge at you much earlier, enemies will primarily shoot first and foremost towards the easiest kill they can make. At least, the easiest kill they *think* they can make, as they basically never factor in evasion to their priorities. This makes dodge tanks incredibly powerful as decoy units as well, as enemies will harmlessly waste tons of ammo and turns trying to hit units they literally have a 0% to hit.

The last most significant problem is moreso related to issues that tons of 32-bit era CD games ran into, and that’s luxury animations and load times. Now the presentation of the game is really nice. The fight animations aren’t really animated very much, as the mechs are more high-detailed sprites that move more like paper cut-outs than FE-style animations, and honestly their load times are super quick. The thing is though that you can’t skip these animations, and those animations and their half-second load times add up *fast*. A fairly short mission in F/F Final is two hours long, with most taking more like 3~4 hours, and the longest ones took me more like 5 or 6 hours. Luckily the game has an incredibly generous and fast quicksave feature. You only have the one mid-mission save, but you can use it at any time to suspend the game or even just save/load your way to a necessary critical hit. This certainly isn’t a deal-breaker, but just how long missions take is easily the aspect of these older SRW games that makes them the most hard to recommend.

Continuing on the presentation, the game really looks quite nice. The limited animations are a bit of a bummer compared to something like Fire Emblem of the time, sure, but the big beautiful sprites and the slight animations they do have still look very nice. There’s also a lot of very fun music in the game too, as the battle music for each of the mechs is the theme song (or a famous insert song in the case of the U.C. Gundam crew) from their series. There’s even a karaoke mode in the options menu to sing along yourself if you want! The game is unfortunately a tad buggy though, as two or three times animations just didn’t actually kick me back to the map screen when they were done, and I had to load a quick save. This can be mitigated by saving early and often, of course, but it still sucks when it happens.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. Honestly, I enjoyed these games quite a good deal, and if you want SRW fun on your Saturn, there’s nothing more for you than these. The biggest reason I hesitate to recommend them is just how much better SRW gets in this same generation of consoles, and that if you wanna give SRW a go these days, there are much better polished ways to do it. Still though, if you wanna give these ones a go, even as a mecha newbie, there’s a lot of fun to be had helping the Super Robots in their Super Robot War~.


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15. Super Robot Wars 64 (N64)

Totally hooked on SRW even after playing through the F series, I immediately went out and found the next one released back then. Going to the N64, I knew that at least load times would be markedly faster, but I also figured there’d be more changes to come. Almost all the SRW games up until that point had been made not by Banpresto, but by Winky Soft. This was the first one by the new dedicated 3rd party, AI, and their approach to the series is decidedly different than their predecessors. Once again, this game doesn’t record playtime, so I can only guess how long I actually spent playing it over the 2 weeks it took me to beat this, but I reckon about 60 to 70 hours. I played through the original Japanese version on real hardware using a real robot start (to provide a bit of a change from last time).

SRW 64 takes a markedly different approach to the writing in its story than F/F Final did. Where that game was more hopping between the biggest bits of each of the myriad of stories represented in its narrative and had a much more fun and lighthearted tone, this game goes for a much more serious presentation to its story. The overall tone is much darker and more serious, but I don’t think it really works all that well. Partly because I think a good deal of the fun in SRW is in those more lighthearted and silly fan service moments where characters from different series get to bounce off each other in new and interesting ways, but it also has to do with how the story is constructed on a more fundamental level. SRW 64 *exhaustively* plays out the story of nearly every series represented in it, and this means there’s a TON of time dedicated to exposition exposition exposition. There were a small handful of silly moments that made me laugh, but most of my time with the story in this game was just sorta waiting for the next mission to start ^^;.

Mechanically, this is still very much the same SRW that we used to have (with discrete pilots and mechs, individually upgraded weapons and units, convoluted secret unit recruitment, anytime quicksaving, and no permadeath), but with a few new and important changes and spins on things. Most notable among outright new things is the paired unit system, where pilots who like each other (or sometimes just one pilot who likes another) will get a 30% bonus to attack and defense when standing within two tiles of each other. There aren’t many units who fall into these categories, but damn do they hit like a truck when they do. This also works really well with the general rebalancing that super robots and real robots have gotten in the favor of the former, so dodge tanks don’t dominate your strategy nearly as much as they used to, and the changes to enemy AI to make it actually take dodge chance into effect also makes dodge tanks nowhere near as invincible as they used to be.

The last most notable change comes from beginning to shift towards more varied mission objectives and shorter missions. You still can’t skip fight animations, and loading animations are indeed cartridge-fast, but missions in general don’t last nearly as long as there aren’t nearly as many units to kill. While F Final started towards more varied objective types, 64 goes even further, and it makes for a much more polished experience.

Presentation-wise, the game still looks nice, but it’s definitely a step down from the games available on CD-based consoles. No CD storage means no voice acting, and while there wasn’t exactly more than a handful of voiced story lines in previous games, you will notice the silence of battle barks very quickly, and it makes for a very uncanny experience. The renditions of the anime themes in this also aren’t terribly good arrangements either. Part of that might be due to being balanced for TV speakers rather than the headphones I usually use (as I found to be the case for at least one or two songs), but even with that, neither the audio or the visuals can really stand up to the earlier SRW offerings on CD-based consoles. That’s not to say this game is ugly or sounds awful, as it looks and sounds just fine, but it’s to drive home that the N64 was really not blowing anyone away with the SRW offering it got compared to what was available anywhere else.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. I would put this even more hesitantly recommended than the F series of games on the Saturn and PS1. Even though there are a lot of factors that add general quality to the gameplay, the presentation is just as if not stronger than the draw of the mechanics in these games, to me at least, and the lackluster presentation really hurts this entry for me. Of course, this IS the N64, so RPG offerings of any stripe are slim pickings, so being a pretty decent one is something to be proud of, and if you can read Japanese and want to add a quite solid SRPG to your N64 library, this is a pretty good choice, but in the larger spectrum of SRW games, this one fails to impress where it really matters most in an era with a lot of steep competition on other consoles.


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16. Knight Gundam Monogatari (SFC)

During my time playing Super Robot Wars, one of my mecha anime-loving friends mentioned this series to me. I told her if she could hunt me down a way to play them, I’d love to give them a try, and she was kind enough to do that for me~. I didn’t really know what to expect from an RPG parody series of SD Gundam trading cards-inspired JRPG that itself is effectively a remake of some earlier Famicom games, but I got what I more or less should’ve expected? ^^;. This is another game that doesn’t count your playtime, but I reckon it took me about 25~30 hours to beat in total. I played the game in its original Japanese emulated with a fair bit of savestate use when things were most optimal to do so (and I will elaborate on just what those parts were in due time, believe me XP).

Knight Gundam Monogatari wasn’t just trading cards. It was also a manga that had four different stories through the time of its publication, and this game’s four chapters cover the events of the first of those four stories (as well as the events covered in the first two of the three Famicom KGM games). You play as the titular Knight Gundam who crash lands in the kingdom of Lakuroa, and are given a mission by the king to save the kidnapped Princess Frow Bow who has been kidnapped by the evil Satan Gundam. The whole thing is a giant, silly fan service-y exercise in turning events from the original U.C. Gundam series into a Dragon Quest-style JRPG, and it hits its mark pretty well. The actual story beats are played pretty straight, but the inherent sillyness of things like partying up with Minister Guntank, your first caster party member, is difficult to ignore. It succeeds very well (in its 1991 JRPG way) of realizing that story in an entertaining way, so it’s hard to give it much flak for being relatively narratively shallow.

Mechanically, it’s just Dragon Quest in a flavor of something similar to DQ4. You have a party of characters who come and go as the story progresses, they each have their own inventories (and the inventory management is an appropriately cumbersome nightmare, I assure you), some party members are more melee-focused while some are more magic focused, battles are done in a first-person view, you go through dungeons and you even talk to the king to save your game. This game is in no way trying to reinvent the wheel, and it really didn’t need to.

The only places that really becomes a problem is when it runs into problems presented by that old DQ formula. In some ways, this is present through the bad inventory system and how shops don’t tell you if the weapon you’re buying is actually better than the one you have, but it’s especially present in the game’s difficulty balancing. The game becomes absolutely brutal in chapters 3 and 4 despite being very pleasantly balanced in the first two chapters. The signposting also takes a nasty hit in those bits too, and it all feels much more down to deliberate choice rather than any kind of not knowing any better due to how young the genre still was. The game also has a ton of taking party members away and returning them significantly later exactly as strong as they were before, and that’s a big reason chapter 3 is so brutally awful. You’ve gotta rely on some pretty godly RNG luck to be able to level up your awful new main character in that one, and the game makes it about as hard to do that as it possibly could be (and that’s where I ended up save stating a lot). Encounters in general just get way nastier and meaner in the game’s back half, and it ended up having the game end on a really sour note compared to how much I’d been enjoying the first half.

Presentation-wise, it’s hardly the prettiest SFC game, and the music is also pretty forgettable, but being only 1991, it’s easy to forgive if not exactly overlook that. But even then, the most fun aspect is seeing all those familiar Gundam characters in their DQ-ified forms. Tons of care has been taken to recreate iconic DQ monster poses and armor designs in all sorts of styles, and it adds a ton to the charm. However, that does sorta put a restraint on the game’s appeal. Compared to something like Super Robot Wars, you’ve really gotta have a pre-existing knowledge of and fondness for U.C. Gundam and Dragon Quest to really appreciate the aesthetics of this game. If you don’t fall into those categories, particularly the former, you’re probably not going to get a ton of enjoyment out of this game unless you’re a massive retro JRPG fan.

Verdict: Not Recommended. This game’s aesthetics are cool and well designed, but it’s ultimately too held down by being too darn much of a DQ clone for its own good. The bad design and brutal difficulty in the game’s second half make it really hard to recommend but to the staunchest of U.C. Gundam and retro JRPG fans. If you’re one of those kinds of people, you may get a fair bit of fun out of this one, but if not, I’d say just look up the original CardDasu trading card Knight Gundam art and appreciate that on its own, as its more or less the exact art they took to use for everything in this game anyhow.


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17. Knight Gundam Monogatari 2 (SFC)

Despite my rough time with the first game in the series, I was nonetheless curious to see if its sequel fixed anything. Given what a boilerplate shameless mechanical clone of Dragon Quest the first game was, I basically just hoped that this would be a fixed up version of that. No matter how fair my expectations were, there was no way in heck I ever would’ve expected what I actually ended up getting. It took me about 13 hours to beat the Japanese version of the game on emulated hardware.

Where the first Super Famicom KGM game was based on the first Knight Gundam story, this is based on the second, so while our main character is once again the titular Knight Gundam, this is an entirely new character in an entirely new world. You play as Knight Gundam, the sole survivor of the royal house after the Zeonic Empire invaded your kingdom and slew your father King Gundam I. When the empire’s grasp finally reaches the tiny village you were secreted away to, you must take up the challenge to avenge your father and free your kingdom from the Zeonic Empire’s evil clutches. This is a much less silly game than its predecessor. Really, it feels more like a more typical JPRG that just happens to have Gundam fantasy aesthetics. While you do have some U.C. Gundam-homage characters here and there, many of the main characters that you’ll meet are only loose inspirations if not entirely original characters. It works pretty well too! It’s not exactly high art, but it succeeds in being an engaging and good story with well presented, charming characters.

Now not just the story is different, but so are the mechanics. They’re so different I don’t really know what else to compare it to, though people I’ve talked to say it sounds most similar to Chrono Cross to them. Now while there are still random battles from a first person perspective, you only actually gain money from battles, and money stops being terribly useful pretty darn fast, so for the most part, battles don’t mean all that much. Not having any experience point system, the game doesn’t even have individual character levels either, and instead you have a shared level for the whole party. Your whole party is composed of up to THIRTEEN MEMBERS (including yourself), and your party level goes up every time you recruit a new character, so there’s a lot of incentive to keep your eyes peeled for potential new recruits and to check towns at both daytime and nighttime for secrets.

Now most of your party will head off after each chapter ends, but you can get them back later on near the end of the game (and you only have one possible final party composition anyhow for plot reasons), so while you don’t often have a full party, you will have one for a fairly significant amount of time. This all makes for a very unconventional gameplay loop, and as you possibly could already tell from just how fast I beat the game, the game is well aware of that too. Knowing that your only new sources of power are finding/buying (though usually finding) new armor and finding new recruits, it doesn’t dilly-dally around throwing massive dungeons at you most of the time, and story beats move pretty quickly and are signposted quite well too. The game’s balance is also very well tuned, though the VERY hidden character to get you an extra 15 levels was something I wasn’t super happy to discover existed (after looking up a guide), given how tough a bugger the final boss is. I really loved searching for hidden characters, as they always had fun and interesting designs, and I managed to get all but one of them (I think XP).

The game’s presentation is once again really nice. As most SNES games do after ‘91, it looks much more “next gen” than its predecessor, with much more well detailed sprites and better use of colors to make some really cool looking allies and enemies (my favorite of which was the Zakutopus boss). The music is pretty good too, albeit quite generic and nothing especially memorable.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. I went into this game with expectations basically below the floor and walked away from what’s easily one of the coolest hidden gems I’ve stumbled across on the SFC. I don’t believe an English translation exists for this, but if one ever does, this is absolutely a game worth playing if you like Gundam or JRPGs, as this is easily one of my favorite surprises this year.


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18. Mega Man Legends 2 (PSP)

After procrastinating on it for almost dead-on a year, I finally got back to finish off my Mega Man Mega Marathon from last year and play the second Mega Man Legends game. It took a little while to get back into the swing of things in both the narrative and the controls, but I was hoping and blasting again in no time~. I played the Japanese PSP port via my PSTV with a PS3 controller, and it took me around 14 hours to complete.

Continuing from a little bit after where the last game left off, this game has Rock and the crew of the Digouters on a quest to try and find the mysterious Mother Lode by assisting the crew of the giant Sulpher Bottom ship. There’s a beautiful in-game cutscene to open the action with, and that combined with the first brief mission introduce a ton of new hooks to old questions about the history of the world, the nature of the Mother Lode treasure, and just what happened to Roll’s parents. However, as Rock goes off on his quest to find the four keys to unlock the Mother Lode, this original setup isn’t really touched much at all, as each of the four locations involve fairly self-contained stories (or at least ones only distantly related to that initial premise) until we get to revealing and expositioning everything else after our some 10 hour long key hunt. The story isn’t bad, but I definitely preferred how the original game told its story. This game doesn’t seem to be able to decide if it wants to be one longer story or a more episodic adventure, and that indecision of the parts harms the pacing and quality of the whole. This is best exemplified in how the game is just drowning in relatively flat side-antagonists compared to how involved and detailed an experience you got fighting the Bonne family in the first game. Again, I wanna stress that I don’t think it’s a bad story. I just think that the first game’s story is better.

The gameplay is a significant evolution on the gameplay of the previous game. Where we still have dungeons to explore, puzzles to solves, and bosses, now you have a world map where you can fly around in your airship between different hubs. There are a fair few more mini-games in this game, and some fairly annoying bosses at times, but on the whole I think the gameplay, very similarly to the story, isn’t so much “better” than the first game so much as it is very differently focused. We have a much more linear approach to the design here compared to the last game’s bigger emphasis on exploring more and more of one location. Again, I personally prefer the approach the first game takes, but I’d still say that on the whole this game’s dungeon and boss design is more solid than its predecessor’s.

The presentation is once again very good. The way the game’s painstaking use of all sorts of 2D sprites on 3D models once more brings forth that feeling of “playing an anime” that the first game did so well. The music is also once again quite good, but that isn’t a surprise either given the quality of the first game’s tracks.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. As much as I may prefer its predecessor, this is still an excellent game still worth playing. It is a great Zelda-like action/adventure game on the PS1, and if you like that sort of thing, this is definitely not a game to sleep on.


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19. Mighty No. 9 (PC)

This is another game I’ve had in my sights, and even owned, since last year’s Mega Man Mega Marathon. In all but name, it’s a Mega Man game to me, so I figured it was only appropriate to include it. A friend of mine had an extra Steam key for it lying around, and she was kind enough to give it to me so I could finally experience this controversial title. I had heard all the hate for it back when it came out and since then, but I’d also heard several people I trust say it’s pretty decent, so I went in not really knowing what to think but being pleasantly surprised with what I found. It took me around 4.5 hours to beat the English version of the game.

The game followed our titular Mighty No. 9, Beck, as he tries to get his rampaging fellow Mighty No.’s under control after they suddenly go berserk. There’s a fair bit of intrigue between stages around the reasons why the robots went bad and who was involved, and it all has a very Saturday morning cartoon-vibe to it, right down to the voice acting. I know some people really didn’t care for how the Mighty No.s are characterized and found them annoying, and while I think that’s a fair opinion to have, I really enjoyed their banter, especially for the one who constantly talks like he’s a traffic helicopter XD. The whole game gave me vibes very similar to something like Vanquish but a bit more kiddy, and I really dug it. I understand not vibing with it, but I think the story fits its purpose just fine.

The gameplay very much feels like its made by Inticreates (which it is), as it really does feel like a lost Mega Man X or Mega Man Zero game. Beck controls very much like Mega Man, even down to how he can absorb weapons from defeated bosses and can’t fire up or down, but with the extra addition of a charge move much like Bass or X can do in their Mega Man games. If you weaken an enemy, you can charge through them to destroy them and absorb a temporary buff from them (from more speed to more damage to E-tank fuel), and this is also how you deal permanent damage to bosses (as otherwise they’ll just heal the damage back). That last point isn’t actually properly explained to you, for whatever reason, and that lack of explaining is probably one of my main presentation complaints with the game. I don’t think it works perfectly, but the quick, hit and run style that it encourages was a quite fun way to approach one of these games, and between the stage design and the boss design, I thought this fit right into the quality of Inticreates’s more mid-range titles (right down to the final stage that’s a bit too hard with the final boss that’s a real battle of attrition).

The presentation is just fine. I’m not exactly in love with the 2.5D design of everything, but I don’t dislike it nearly as much as some people. Compared to another Kickstarter 2.5D action game like Bloodstained, I’d say this game’s aesthetic is pulled off much better than that. The music is also by and large just fine, although there weren’t any particularly memorable tracks to me.

Verdict: Recommended. While it’s hardly the best Mega Man-like game and certainly not Inticreates’s best title, by the time I was done with Might No. 9, I really didn’t understand the hate pile it got. With how badly the Kickstarter was run, I can certainly understand people being set up to dislike it, but the actual quality of the game just doesn’t reflect that at all to me. As a big Mega Man fan, I quite enjoyed it, and if you’re someone who enjoys Mega Man or Inticreates games too, you will likely have quite a good time with Mighty No. 9 too~.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

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I beat ZeroRanger like a month ago. A damn fine videogame.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

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Games Beaten in 2021 - 30
* 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 (3 Games Beaten)
22. The Last of Us Part II - PlayStation 4 - April 9
23. Metro 2033 Redux - PlayStation 4 - April 14
24. Sakura Angels - Switch - April 26


May (3 Games Beaten)
25. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures - Gamecube - May 8
26. Metro Last Light Redux - PlayStation 4 - May 14
27. Metro Exodus - Series X - May 28


June (3 Games Beaten)
28. Cyberpunk 2077 - Series X - June 11
29. Sniper Elite 5 - Series X - June 12
30. The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker - PlayStation 4 - June 15


30. The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker - PlayStation 4 - June 15

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I've been on record before about my love of FMV games. It was one of the best parts of the 90s, but after the turn of the century, we kind of abandoned them. Fortunately, they're seeing a bit of a renaissance, and The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker is an excellent example of the kind of experiences that modern FMV games have to offer.

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You play as a psychiatrist who's come in to fill Doctor Dekker's position. He was murdered on Valentine's Day night, but who killed him? That's part of what you have to figure out. Suspicion is that it was someone close to him meaning that it was likely a patient or office staff. So you're investigating who could have killed Dekker, but you're also a psychiatrist who was hired to replace him, so you have to meet with his patients, as well, and help them with their problems. Those problems are...unique...to say the least. I won't spoil anything because the characters are absolutely fantastic to delve into, but it's a story with some heavy Lovecraft influences.

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As you meet with each patient, you're given a list of questions you can ask them. As they answer your question, new questions you can ask pop up, and sometimes they ask you questions that you can answer. Asking the questions that pop up in the question menu only tell you part of the story, though, and you'll have to think of the right questions to ask on your own and type them with the on-screen keyboard. On the one hand, this gets really obnoxious with a game controller and on-screen keyboard, so that's a definite check in the PC column. On the other hand, it takes this from the realm to interactive movie and turns it into something that even the most staunch FMV critics can't claim isn't a video game because you have to come up with the questions yourself. It does throw you a bit of a bone, though, and let you just type in keywords that will register for the question, but some of them require the right format - "Why" something something, or "when" rather than just a single keyword. It can be frustrating, but it's also really rewarding when you get the green light that indicates that you've gotten every bit of information that character has to give.

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The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker may not be *the* best FMV game I've ever played, but it's definitely up there. Top 5 for sure. It just does so much right. The premise of the story is fascinating, and the mystery gets unraveled and revealed with such great pacing. The acting, while not Hollywood A list, is solid and doesn't break your immersion at all. The way you do your questioning is fantastic, and it really makes you work for the information. All in all, this is an exceptional FMV game, and I really can't recommend it highly enough. It'd be nice to have a notepad to make a little easier to reference what you've learned when you're making your accusation, and I'd love to have a little more information about some of the characters' eccentricities, but who the killer is changes from playthrough to playthrough, so what specific information you get changes to some extent from game to game, and that gives it a ton of replay value.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2021 - 31
* 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 (3 Games Beaten)
22. The Last of Us Part II - PlayStation 4 - April 9
23. Metro 2033 Redux - PlayStation 4 - April 14
24. Sakura Angels - Switch - April 26


May (3 Games Beaten)
25. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures - Gamecube - May 8
26. Metro Last Light Redux - PlayStation 4 - May 14
27. Metro Exodus - Series X - May 28


June (4 Games Beaten)
28. Cyberpunk 2077 - Series X - June 11
29. Sniper Elite 5 - Series X - June 12
30. The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker - PlayStation 4 - June 15
31. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge - Xbox One - June 16


31. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge - Xbox One - June 16

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Like most millennial men, I'm a huge Ninja Turtles fan. I'm especially a fan of the games from the late 80s and early 90s - TMNT 2, Manhattan Project, and Turtles in Time are some of the greatest beat 'em ups ever made - but after the SNES/Genesis era, the games just felt lackluster. I'd buy, hope, and play new TMNT games, but they never managed to capture the glory of the old days, and that wasn't just my nostalgia talking; most gamers seemed to agree that Turtles games from the past 25 years just weren't as good as the games from 30 years ago. Then Tribute and Dotemu come in and were like "Hold my beer, guys. We got y'all." It's pizza time, guys; the Turtles are back.

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From the moment you boot up Shredder's Revenge, it just *feels* like classic TMNT. It's got some modern quality of life improvements, but it's a 2D beat 'em up just like the glory days, and it even kept a pixel visual style. The sprites definitely look a bit more detailed than you'd have seen 25 years ago - these are more reminiscent of 32-bit 2D games than 16-bit games in my opinion - but the feel is every bit there. The length is perfect, too; there are 16 stages, so it's got enough length to give you a solid game experience while also short enough to be able to replay with friends and without having to devote the entire day. Speaking of playing with friends, this game supports SIX player co-op local and online.

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Because of the number of players it supports, you start off with six playable characters - the four turtles plus Splinter and April - with Casey Jones being unlockable after finishing the story mode once. Each of these characters can be leveled up independently with ten power levels and each level giving you a bonus like an extra ninja power meter, extra HP, an extra life, etc. Being able to level up each character independently gives the game a ton of replay value. There are also multiple types of collectibles to find and gather. Each of these collectibles is tied to a request from side characters. If you find the character in a level and each of the collectibles they're looking for, you can talk to them on the world map and complete their request which grants you experience points for whatever character you're using at the time.

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I cannot gush over this game enough. It feels like sitting down to play Turtles in Time with your friends after school except now we're all old, can't afford to fill our gas tanks, and our backs hurt. Now, with that said, the chances of any of us having five friends who are free to game and not exhausted, dealing with kids, or running errands is pretty slim for adults, but with the power of the internet, maybe you've got a gaming community or Discord group that can play with you, and I guess it's worth mentioning that video games are for kids, too, and not just nostalgic former kids. This is genuinely the perfect Ninja Turtles game. Some have said that it's a little shallow on content, but I think it does what it needs to - nothing more, nothing less. It's a blast to replay, there are multiple characters to play as, and the multiplayer options give you some real bro (or sis) bonding opportunities with some gloriously wacky chaos if you can get all six players. It is, in my opinion, the perfect TMNT game.
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