Games Beaten 2023

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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2023 - 4
* denotes a replay

January (4 Games Beaten)
1. Banner of the Maid - Switch - January 2
2. Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars - 3DS - January 8
3. Silver Falls: Episode Prelude - Switch - January 8
4. The Pathless - PlayStation 5 - January 12


4. The Pathless - PlayStation 5 - January 12

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I first heard about The Pathless when I was doing a Secret Santa with my Twitter DM for the 2021 holiday season. My person had the game on her wishlist, and I saw that it was a fairly affordable PS5 game, so I ordered it for her. I thought it looked cute and wanted to give it a go, but I never got around to pulling the trigger on it myself; it's one of those games that I wanted to play but that always had something else get bumped above it on my priority list. Well, about a week ago, my buddy Danny gives me his copy out of the blue. He'd beaten it and knew that I was a big game collector, so he let me have his copy. What an awesome dude. Almost made me feel bad for having relentlessly shot him with paintballs earlier in the day. Almost.

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The Pathless is a super artistic puzzle adventure with some light platforming elements. You play as a hunter who is on a quest to defeat the Godslayer and save the world from his evil plan. Along the way, you have to lift the curse on the four Tall Ones, huge god-like spiritual beasts. To do this, you have to restore the light at three obelisks. To do THAT, you have to collect two glowing token things that you get by solving small puzzles that feel a bit like the shrines in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The plot is honestly just wrapping paper on the game to give some context to what you're doing; there are some very nice cinematic events voiced in some language - dunno if it's real or fictional, but it definitely isn't English - but the story itself is very shallow. You do get some neat little bits of lore from floating spirit orbs around the map, though, so that's a nice plus.

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Each of the four Tall Ones is in its own section of the map, so there is a lot to explore with some decent environment diversity. That said, exploration is more tedious than exciting as there's no map of any kind, so you're kind of just wandering around half aimlessly with only a red glow visible while using your magic spirit vision to guide you. It's certainly not difficult to find your way around, but it's definitely tedious. The game itself isn't terribly difficult, either; there's no health bar, so you can't die but instead just get knocked back if you're hit during boss fights, and while the puzzles definitely get tougher as the game progresses, I was able to solve every puzzle I came across within ten minutes of discovery. The puzzles are fun and definitely the highlight of the game in my opinion, but traversal just isn't as fun as it looks.

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I do have to applaud the graphic options, though. As is often the case with PS5 games, you can choose between Performance and Graphics presets. If you choose Graphics, the game will run at 2160p and 30 frames per second. If you choose Performance, the game will use a variable frame rate between around 1440p and 2160p to keep a solid 60 frames per second. As I always do, I chose Performance, and while the game itself may have been so-so, the gorgeous art style mixed with the buttery smooth 60 FPS definitely made for a sublime-looking experience. I honestly didn't notice a big difference visually between Performance and Graphics whereas the frame rate difference was extremely noticeable, so I highly suggest current-gen players stick to Performance.

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The Pathless is a cute and competent but ultimately mediocre game. Don't misconstrue that to mean that it's not good; it's definitely an enjoyable experience. It's just not one that will sink its teeth into you and have you itching to get home from work and play. If you're looking for a chill game to spend a Saturday playing, this would be a good choice as it only took me between five and six hours to clear. I'd spend an hour or two per night playing after work and finished it in three days. As a game so short with no post-game content, I definitely wouldn't pay more than $15 for it, but if you can find it for that price or less, it's definitely worth a pick up.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

1. Void Destroyer - PC
2. Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights - Switch
3. Raging Blasters - Switch
4. Citizen Sleeper - Switch
5. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon
6. Hands of Necromancy - PC
7. Project Downfall - PC

Project Downfall is a puzzle FPS with some cyberpunk themes; everything is set in a run down city run by gangs and the populace is kept in line with a steady diet of medication. You discover this medication gives you bullet time and decide to clean up the city. Or something. The game does an atrocious job of telling its story, which is not good when it wants to sell the feature of there being 12 endings depending on the choices you make.

The game has this sort of dirty, chunky visual style that I think is supposed to sell the fact that you aren't really seeing the world properly. For the most part it tends to get in the way; most notably when the lighting engine decides to be weird. Many of the light sources seem to turn on and off based on whether or not you're facing them, with a slow fade, which can put elements into and out of visibility. And this is all after you turn off SSAO; leaving that on makes the game excessively shadowy, which is not good when you have gameplay like this. The one notable thing is the game has an optional ASCII rendering engine, which is just a novelty, given how much harder it makes visual recognition.

The game's structure is you start in your apartment and can explore the city. There isn't really a lot of point to this, other than hitting various triggers and finding side levels. The main levels all come from activating a car and choosing the next mission from the displayed list. Exploring the city is also quite annoying, as all transitions are one way. This means you usually need to move forward a few different transitions until you find one that goes back to the apartment, but once I found I had to jump into a side level to proceed, one that I had already beaten. Fortunately, you can quit out of a level and you're in your apartment. Theoretically this is all supposed to be moving the story forward, but you don't really get enough information to really follow what's going on.

When you get into a mission you are presented with one or more screens. Each screen starts you off with no weapons and three pills. Your goal is to kill all the enemies to open the end door, then make it through that door. Many of them will have a weapon or two (or a special pill) at the start, but others require you to bait enemies to melee kill and steal their weapons. There is a score counter that wants you to chain kills and varying up your kills, though there is no in-game reward for doing well.

The player and the enemies all die extremely fast; while your health regens between screens, inside a screen you only have so much health and you will die to a melee weapon or a couple of bullets. This is where the puzzle aspect comes in; you need to approach the enemy positions in a way that maximizes your ability to kill them before they kill you. And this is where the game negatively contrasts with similar games like Severed Steel. Your toolkit just sucks. You have a jump and a slide, neither of which does anything for you, and that's it for mobility. So it's just strafing and hitting enemies as soon as they activate. Most of the weapons have balls accuracy, and the spawns tend to be very ammo limited. The harder levels require you to be very exacting with your shots or you'll run out and have to fall back to dangerous unarmed strategies. And your unarmed attacks utilize a poorly-implemented stamina mechanic. Stamina drains when you run (which is the only tolerable move speed both for not going insane and being able to dodge) and you can only get off a couple of unarmed hits on a full bar. While you can run with empty stamina, you cannot use unarmed attacks. This is a big source of deaths.

This combination of very frustrating gameplay (it never feels satisfying to pull off) and an incomprehensible story made me transition from "hmmm... this is not my usual thing" to "I am now hate beating this game". If you are a very specific type of gamer (the type who really enjoys challenge platformer types of gameplay) you might like this, but otherwise there are much better examples of the genre, like the aforementioned Severed Steel.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2023 - 5
* denotes a replay

January (5 Games Beaten)
1. Banner of the Maid - Switch - January 2
2. Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars - 3DS - January 8
3. Silver Falls: Episode Prelude - Switch - January 8
4. The Pathless - PlayStation 5 - January 12
5. Modern Combat: Blackout - Switch - January 14


5. Modern Combat: Blackout - Switch - January 14

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There's a reason I'm deeply prejudiced against mobile games; most of the are rubbish. There are some genuinely good mobile games, for sure, but the overwhelming majority are garbage or, at best, mediocre. Modern Combat: Blackout is a mobile game that got ported to Switch, and even with a port to a home console - even an underpowered and aging one - only got it up to "mediocre," although with a generic search engine bait name like "Modern Combat," I can't say that I'm terribly surprised.

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The premise of the game is that your character works as a mercenary for a private military company (which is just a modern euphemism for band of mercenaries to avoid issues with international law) but finds out that the PMC is up to some shady and unethical shit. You know, like literally every PMC that's ever existed. So now you and your handful of allies get to play hero and try to expose the plot or whatever. Honestly, the story is paper thin; it makes Steven Segal movies look like well-constructed narrative events. This game is obviously a creative legacy of the Xbox 360 era where every game involved modern combat, a barely sensical plot, and various shades of brown and occasionally green (although, to its credit, this game does use a couple other colors, too).

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The game is your run-of-the-mill first-person shooter. When you're looking around or firing from the hip, you use the right analog stick to aim; when you're aiming down the sights, you can use gyroscopic controls. Since the stick aiming is jerky as hell, you're basically going to be using gyroscopic aiming 99% of the time if you ever want to hit anything. The game awkwardly has auto sprint enabled by default, so if you want to move while crouching - and you will - you'll need to disable that. Mechanically, the game runs fine. It only crashed once on me. It looks okay I guess, although it's painfully obvious that it's a cell phone game that got ported. The biggest problem is that it's just not that exciting. Some of the missions are fun, but the game as a whole is just extremely okay. The explosives suck, too. Honest to god, they feel like they have no more power than a slightly larger-than-normal firecracker.

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I got this game on the eShop on sale for $1.99, and truthfully, that's all it's worth. For seven hours of something to do - I'm not going to go as far as to call it truly entertainment - $2 is fair, and the online matchmaking will at least put AI bots in to fill gaps in the team rosters from the lack of real humans who actually want to play this game, but there's just no reason to go out and download this game unless you just desperately want a bad dollar store rip-off of Call of Duty 4 on your Switch. Given how cheap it is when it's on sale, I'm not going to say "omg avoid this game," but I'm most certainly not going to suggest that anyone go download it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

1. Void Destroyer - PC
2. Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights - Switch
3. Raging Blasters - Switch
4. Citizen Sleeper - Switch
5. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon
6. Hands of Necromancy - PC
7. Project Downfall - PC
8. Chasm: The Rift - PC

Chasm: The Rift is the first game from the devs who went on to make the Carnivores series. It's a blatant Quake clone that does better in some aspects and worse in others. It's a bit short, but overall it's a solid title for the era.

Unlike Quake, Chasm actually puts a modicum of effort into the story, including having cutscenes. The premise is alien invaders called the Timestrikers are attacking Earth. You first go to a handful of terrestrial levels before you unlock the secret of their time jumping. The next three stages are then across Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, and the alien base. In between stages in the first episode and in between the other episodes you get an in-engine briefing from your CO and a scientist. It's very primitive, but the fact they put in the effort is surprising.

The game definitely is cribbed from Quake. It's a full 3D game, and many of the initial enemies have the "drop a backpack with some items" that the Quake grunts have. The game has a similar overall use of its models that Quake does. But one thing it doesn't have is room over room. It's really more Doom in that regard, which allows a good auto map but also makes the levels a lot more cramped feeling than Quake. You can jump, and it's used in some puzzles, but you have a weirdly low jump height and the ceiling is super low; there's one stage where you think you can make a jump, but you can't due to the ceiling (you have to lower a wall to clear the jump). Ths also means you can't jump over ground enemies, which can get you pinned.

The game has a solid weapon selection. The default gun has infinite ammo, then you have a workhorse super shotgun that I found myself using half the time for the high damage and large amounts of ammo. You get a chaingun that never gets enough ammo but is great when you have ammo for it, and then you go into the more unusual stuff. There's a gun that shoots sawblades at a high rate and a laser crossbow, which is a slow firing bolt. There is a rocket launcher and a completely useless proxy bomb (you set it at your feet). Finally there's a super gun that fires an arcing shot that explodes and nukes everything near it. Interesting, it feels like every gun before the explosive stuff has the same DPS, which means you're looking more at available ammo and how well weapons stun or dismember enemies.

Which leads to the game's unique feature; you can shoot off enemy arms and heads. Shooting off the arms will remove that limb from eligibility for attacks, while the head is lethal on most enemies (I found at least one enemy that was an animated suit of armor and it just gets confused when it happens). There is one enemy that MUST be killed with decapitation, as they are a zombie wizard. Sometimes it's a side benefit, but many enemies can be regularly disarmed before dying, which saves on health. The boss fights are all puzzle bosses; you need to accomplish some sort of trigger, rather than pumping it full of ammo. This means you shouldn't be shy about using your heavy guns on the levels, as you don't have a boss to save them for.

If you're a fan of old FPS games this is worth a look, though since it is only 16 levels (4 episodes of 4 each, with the boss level being short) you'll probably want to wait for it to be on sale.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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1. Northern Journey (PC)(FPS)
2. Hatchpunk (PC)(FPS)
3. Might and Magic IX (PC)(RPG)

Might and Magic IX is an interesting experience. It was released way too early in development, described by devs as "pre-alpha". A few patches helped fix some of the most egregious bugs, but whole systems were planned and never developed. Technical flaws run the gamut from typing mistakes to visual issues, scripting errors, animation problems, balance problems, the list goes on and on. Yet the game is still in a beatable form, even if it comes across as limited and rudimentary when compared to the previous six games.

Yeah, Might and Magic IX reminds me more of the early days, where the world felt limited and constrained as opposed to the open worlds that would follow. Explanation is lacking, giving a sense of mystery but also frustration. The world is also small, mainly connected through boats until you finally become powerful enough for spells to handle your transit. That adds to the frustration, because the boats operate on weekly schedules not revealed until much of the main cities have been explored.

Also, it's disturbingly unbalanced. Classes have a short two-tier system beginning with the basic choice of melee or magic, but most of the end classes are pointless compared to others or take too long to really get going. Magic spells also suffer from a parity problem, where your offensive abilities vastly outweigh your healing options, but the potential damage ranges are ridiculous. Will you do 2 or 250 damage? No idea.

There are some interesting ideas though. You can hire NPCs to give non-combat benefits like increased gold gain or automatic item identification. The game world explains Might and Magic's system of death (where you don't die but show back up in town missing some money) as simply not being allowed into the afterlife yet because you have not completed your destiny. Eventually you do earn your way in for plot purposes, which involves you advancing the game by killing yourselves. Yes, suicide is a plot element.

There are also side quests to do, ranging from the simple and silly (finding goats and selling beer) to the massive and complicated (there is a long string of side quests running the length of the game to summon and slay a dragon). But most of the game is spent on the main story, and that follows a far more Nordic theme that drops nearly all of the science fiction elements that appear in the Might and Magic stories. As a result, in this way too, IX feels like a step backwards.

IX might have been good. Unfortunately, it didn't get to cook nearly as long as it needed, which results in it being one of the weakest entries in the main series. This is a game only for the series diehards, and even they are likely to be turned off by broken systems and the backwards slide of the world. I wanted to like the game, but it's nowhere near the high points I experienced with previous titles.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

1. Void Destroyer - PC
2. Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights - Switch
3. Raging Blasters - Switch
4. Citizen Sleeper - Switch
5. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon
6. Hands of Necromancy - PC
7. Project Downfall - PC
8. Chasm: The Rift - PC
9. Cultic - PC

Cultic is a retro shooter that is basically the dev going "what if Blood wasn't awful to play?" It's very well crafted, avoiding basically every pitfall of early FPS design to create a tight game whose only fault is that we only have one episode. The episode is jam packed, though, so on balance things are fine.

The setup is in the early 60s a cult has begun doing insidious cult things. You are a police investigator who was tasked with investigating the murders and disappearances going on before the cult pulls strings to have you removed in disgrace. So you decide to follow up on your final lead on your own, which leads to you waking up in a shallow grave. Cue you blasting through cultists as you try to get to the bottom of all the freaky stuff going on.

As mentioned, the game is very heavily influenced by Blood. The primary enemies are the human cultists, with a variety of weapons. The dev has enemy behavior dialed in just right; they don't immediately notice you and they aren't pinpoint accurate, so staying on your toes can keep you alive. Even when the snipers are introduced they don't serve as "oops, you ded" obstacles, but rather something that rewards listening to tells and staying mobile. There are also some more supernatural creatures that you will encounter; turns out the cult actually has tapped into otherworldly forces.

The visual style is that retro 2.5D, but it features a fully 3D engine that supports large open areas. This allows each level to be quite big, with lots of different setpieces. You'll explore abandoned villages and crumbling mines as you try to get to the bottom of what's going on, capping off with a large asylum that was the original target of your investigation. The game signposts very well; you never feel lost as you progress, even though there are lots of twists and turns and side paths for goodies.

The game does a fantastic job on the weapon side. Basically every weapon has a use and you will find yourself using your full arsenal throughout the game. You start with a hatchet, and picking up additional ones gives you a ranged option. The pistol serves as your primary early weapon while you build up ammo, while the lever action rifle is a great weapon for mid-range sniping. The sawed off shotgun always gets its job done, while the Sten can mow down hordes once you've acquired enough ammo to use regularly. For your "once in a while" set, you have a sniper rifle, grenade launcher, and flamethrower available, and the flamethrower is very satisfying to use, though ammo is limited. Finally, you have two different throwables available. Molotovs leave a pool of fire for a time and are excellent at large hordes. Dynamite is a great way to get in extra damage thanks to the ability to off-hand throw an unlit bundle and then tag it with gunfire. It really rewards staying on your toes and making quick decisions.

All in all it's a fantastic retro shooter and I'm looking forward to the next episode. If you like the atmosphere of Blood but hate the terrible balance you should give this one a try.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by elricorico »

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(Arcade)(XBONE)

Played through the original TMNT Arcade game on the Cowabunga Collection today. One of the all time great beat-em-ups from my youth I definitely have a ton of nostalgia for this.

I've more recently been playing TMNT2:The Arcade Game on NES and it was both better and worse to get the arcade experience. Better in the way that the visuals are far nicer, some of the enemies can just be beat on without thinking early on and some of the bosses actually seem affected by your attacks rather than just damage sponges. Worse in that the enemies really seem to gang up like crazy by the end levels and there is a little less game content in total.

A true arcade classic that I imagine most of my generation still loves. I'll admit to some credit feeding but it could certainly have been worse. No rewinding to correct my failures. I'm rusty, but not completely useless at this one! This was the first selection I've beat in the Cowabunga Collection and I'm sure I'll knock out at least a couple more in the near future.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

1. Void Destroyer - PC
2. Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights - Switch
3. Raging Blasters - Switch
4. Citizen Sleeper - Switch
5. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon
6. Hands of Necromancy - PC
7. Project Downfall - PC
8. Chasm: The Rift - PC
9. Cultic - PC
10. Kirby Super Star - SNES

Kirby Super Star is a collection of small Kirby games on the SNES. It iterates on the gameplay of Adventure, but adding in features now that it has the higher power of the SNES. The first is the much higher animation count. This gave the devs the ability to make some of the powers more interesting, as well as adding in a couple new ones that weren't seen in Adventure. Most of the powers now have multiple different kinds of attacks depending on if you are in air, on the ground, dashing, up close, or far away. The second big component is the helper system. When Kirby abandons a power he now will create the original monster that he got the power from; that monster is now a helper that will follow Kirby around and attack. A second player can take control of these helpers; otherwise the CPU does a fairly good job (it helps that there are catch up warp mechanics). If you pick up healing items you can share them with your helper by running into them and giving them a hug; this will heal them the same amount you were healed (or would have been, if you were full when picking up a healing item).

The game is divided into seven primary games and two minigames. The minigames are reminiscent of the minigames in Adventure. The first main game is Spring Breeze, which is an abridged remake of the original Dreamland. Next is Gourmet Race, where you need to get to the end before Dedede while eating more food than him; this mostly consists of needing to decide when to jump for extra food and be good about staying dashing. Dyna Blade and Meta Knight's Revenge are both new adventures for Kirby that are a step up in difficulty from Spring Breeze. Meta Knight's Revenge is notable for all the enemy dialog freaking out as Kirby smashes his way through their forces.

The final three are a bit more interesting. The Great Cave Offensive sees Kirby going through a huge map to collect treasures, defeat the final boss, and bring the treasures back to the surface. Collecting the treasures sometimes requires specific powers or some fancy reflexes, and the maps tend to loop around on themselves as you progress. Some of the treasure requirements can get nasty, as you need to carry a specific power across several screens without losing it. Milky Way Wishes removes Kirby's ability to gain powers from enemies; instead you need to find a specific power in a level, at which point you can change to it at any point a la Mega Man. You can tackle the stages in any order; once you beat all the stages you trigger the end game sequence. Having powers on demand means you can always have a helper out, which can be used to get through some boss fights. Finally, after beating all of the above you unlock the Arena, which is a boss rush with a limited number of between-fight heals. You also will get a selection of powers available in between, so swapping for maximum effectiveness is crucial to shepard your HP.

Overall it's a fun way to spend an evening; it doesn't have quite the depth of Adventure but at the same time nothing overstays its welcome. If you're a Kirby fan this one is worth a play.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

1. Void Destroyer - PC
2. Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights - Switch
3. Raging Blasters - Switch
4. Citizen Sleeper - Switch
5. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon
6. Hands of Necromancy - PC
7. Project Downfall - PC
8. Chasm: The Rift - PC
9. Cultic - PC
10. Kirby Super Star - SNES
11. Kirby's Dream Land 2 - GB

Dream Land 2 takes the power copying gameplay of Adventure back to the Game Boy, where Kirby started. The number of copy moves is reduced, but this is made up for with the animal companions. They provide some variety in the gameplay, not to mention various mobility options that can make getting through stages a breeze (or a chore, if you need to use Kine on a land stage).

The setup is similar to Adventure; you go through a series of worlds, with each stage unlocking after the previous one. You can revisit beaten stages, which is nice to get a particular power or companion you need. Unlike Adventure, there are no minigame stages. Instead, after beating a boss you can reenter that stage and try to do a minigame that is some variation of the original boss fight. In each world there is a single level that holds a Rainbow Drop; collecting these all are required to fight the true final boss. These all require you to come in with a specific power (and usually a specific animal companion); while the early ones are straightforward the later ones will require you to come into a stage prepared.

The copy powers all are modified when you are mounted on an animal companion. As an example, cutter is a regular throw of the blade on foot, while when riding Rick the Hamster he throws a boomerang Kirby. When flying with Koo the Owl you throw out three cutters in a spread pattern, while Kine the Fish will throw out a sort of sonar-like wave. Finding the right abilities and companions for each situation is paramount. However, the final boss gauntlet does not let you use an animal companion, and like Adventure the true final boss is more of a shmup level that gives you a fixed piece of gear that is cumbersome to use.

Compared to the original Dream Land this game has far more meat. I think I still preferred Adventure due to the level design; Dream Land 2 featured a fair number of autoscrollers that weren't very fun and the smaller real estate of the GB screen means there just isn't as much that can be going on. Still, it's a very solid Kirby game.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Note »

Games Beaten 2023:

1. Kirby's Dream Land (GB)

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2. River City Girls (Switch)

My partner and I are both fans of beat 'em up games and we've played through quite a few of them together. We started River City Girls up last year and while we enjoyed it, it became a slow burn for us, as my partner started dealing with carpal tunnel issues and isn't always able to play games that require a lot of button mashing for long periods. We sat down this weekend to play through a bit more after not touching it for a while, and this time around we made it to the final boss and beat it on our first attempt. For this playthrough, my partner played as Misako and I was Kyoko.

The gameplay in River City Girls is mostly your standard 2D beat 'em up fare, with your character able to do weak attacks, strong attacks, special attacks, throws, and a block ability. When the game starts, you have a limited number of moves, but as the game progresses, you gain experience, level up, and earn additional moves. You're also able to buy more moves from dojo locations throughout the city. Each of the two characters, Misako and Kyoko, has a unique move set. You also have the ability to purchase and equip items which either give you a stat boost or access to some type of passive ability. As usual with this series, the game isn't totally linear, and you're free to explore the city while handling your current objective.

You can also purchase healing items from various shops and have the ability to hold a certain amount on you, which I found critical to getting through some of the longer missions. And with another beat 'em up tradition, there is also the ability to pick up a ton of different weapons; including bats, yo-yos, whips, benches, volleyballs, baseballs, frying pans, garbage cans, and a ton of others. Another unique mechanic to River City Girls is the ability to recruit enemies as an assist character to jump in and provide an attack to help out when you're in a sticky situation. Enemies will randomly drop down and plead, with a heart icon appearing overhead, and you can then recruit them join.

I think the development team at WayForward did a great job on the graphics, the sprite work for the characters is sharp and detailed and the backgrounds are colorful, bright, and there's quite a lot of variation throughout the game, which is a nice touch. You will take on henchmen in all types of settings including the beach, playgrounds, malls, casinos, gymnasiums, and offices. There are also anime cutscenes in various sections of the game which are well drawn and superbly animated. The soundtrack is also great and while the gameplay resembles a style harkening back to a previous era of gaming, the soundtrack is modern and fresh. The voice acting is impressive too, and the funny dialogue adds to the charm of the game. My partner and I usually found ourselves laughing at the ridiculous scenarios and conversations the main characters found themselves in.

Overall, I think River City Girls is another great beat 'em up, that is well worth your time. It brings a lot to the table in terms of gameplay, visual style, and replayability. My partner and I didn't unlock everything available in our first playthrough, so it'll be fun to revisit the game later and try to finish up the tasks we missed. Definitely check this one out if you're a fan of the genre or Kunio-Kun series!
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