Games Beaten 2023

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StuntDouble
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by StuntDouble »

marurun wrote:
StuntDouble wrote:I finally beat Contra Hard Corps on the Genesis emulator on the Switch, something I've wanted to do since I first played that game in the mid-90's. I had to use the rewind feature quite a bit to get through that game.


Which ending(s) did you go for?


You know, I didn't even realize there were different endings. Looking at a YouTube video of all the endings, I apparently ended up doing the ending where I had to blow up a large rocket.
Current systems: Nintendo Switch and XBox 360,
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MrPopo
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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
12. Kirby's Dream Land 3 - SNES
13. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - N64
14. Fire Emblem Engage - Switch
15. Mechwarrior 5: Rise of Rasalhague - PC
16. Kirby's Epic Yarn - Wii
17. Kirby's Return to Dreamland - Wii
18. Mega Man 7 - SNES

I decided to see if I can finish up some saves on the Mega Man Anniversary Collection that I've had forever, so I started with Mega Man 7. I'd managed to get about halfway through originally, so I had to pick up from the second set of bosses and then do Wily. Mega Man 7 came out after X2 and tries to bring the classic series into the 16 bit generation. It fails at this, hard.

The story begins with Mega Man discovering that Wily has broken out of prison thanks to a failsafe he set up. You also run into a new robot, Bass, who is just hear to help, up until he reveals Wily built him and causes a ruckus. Cue discovering that this game diverges from its classic roots in a big way; there are only four stages available. Once you beat those four an intermission boss fight occurs, followed by the other four stages. It messes with the weakness order, as now a couple robots have two weaknesses so that there are weakness chains for each set of four, as well as the full eight. And this ends up making one of the weapons worthless, due to how they set up the chain.

The first thing you'll notice is how zoomed in everything is. It's almost like a Game Boy game, with sprites that are too large for the overall field. The second thing you'll notice is that your movement is sluggish and the level designs are not nearly as tight as the X series, or even the classic games. I've heard that 7's development was farmed out to the studio that did the Game Boy Mega Man games and I don't have any trouble believing it. This is definitely not coming from Capcom's prime talent.

The bosses skew more towards the X side of things; they tend to be much larger than Mega Man and are less humanoid than the NES bosses. Also, about half of them get their patterns reset on taking weakness damage, which can let you get them into trivial patterns (think Sting Chameleon being locked by the boomerang). This is definitely a blessing, as many of the bosses toss so much shit on the screen that without these resets you would take a ton of damage. The game caps off with the single most bullshit Wily Capsule fight in the series. If you aren't at speedrunner tier you WILL need multiple E-Tanks to get through, as his attacks are very challenging to dodge without a lot of practice, and failing to dodge them applies long stun effects (which is especially bad when his HP is low and he speeds up).

Overall Mega Man 7 is a major misstep. The X games translated the Mega Man gameplay to 16 bits far better. This game doesn't even really feel like it's derived from the NES games in the moment-to-moment gameplay. It's no surprise that Capcom rolled back to NES style when they revived the series with 9.
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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
12. Kirby's Dream Land 3 - SNES
13. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - N64
14. Fire Emblem Engage - Switch
15. Mechwarrior 5: Rise of Rasalhague - PC
16. Kirby's Epic Yarn - Wii
17. Kirby's Return to Dreamland - Wii
18. Mega Man 7 - SNES
19. Mega Man 8 - PS1

Because I enjoy pain I moved right on to my old Mega Man 8 save, which was right outside Wily's Castle. And people who have played this game before know why I got stuck there. Four words: "jump jump slide slide".

Mega Man 8's story begins with a robot crashing from outer space, and then panicking because the evil energy he was guarding has escaped. Naturally, Wily wants that, and you have to do Mega Man things to get it back. It doesn't really make a lot of sense, and doesn't fit with the general tone of the rest of the series. And upon ending the game the robot, Duo, gets the evil energy back and leaves, without any actual impact on the world. Which is probably a good thing in retrospect.

Like 7, the game is set up as four stages, a boss interquel, and then the other four stages before Wily. Here there is no attempt to have a full eight boss weakness chain, just two four boss chains. It's a bit of a shame, as it means you have to buster down two bosses and only get to use weaknesses in the refights. The game features a graphical style similar to the 32 bit X games; you now have a perspective on the platforms, which frankly doesn't work super well in my opinion, especially since the sprites still seem to be drawn for a pure side view.

Compared to 7, the movement feels even worse. While the view is now at the proper ratio of sprite size to screen size it feels like they really shrunk down all your movement. You walk slower, dash shorter, and jump shorter. It never feels smooth, and smooth movement is critical to a good Mega Man feeling. They even screwed up Rush's movement. Now you only get a single Rush move mode, the Rush bike, which is like the bike from X2 but far worse in every way. Rush's other options are to dig up a random item (effectively a one-shot Eddie), to drop bombs on the screen for a bit, or to drop recovery items for a bit. That last one sounds good, right? Well it completely replaces E-Tanks, so make sure you plan ahead in a tricky boss fight so you have time to grab healing items when you're low.

Compared to 7 the weaknesses are not nearly as crippling to bosses. There are two that can be stunlocked by their weakness, while the rest just take damage quickly and are still a threat during this period, which helps keep them interesting. A couple of the weapons have traversal powers; one pushes you up high and one acts as a grapple hook, and the game will require these at times, so keep an eye out. The game also has one new weapon, the Mega Ball, which is a soccer ball you can place and then kick, watching it bounce around like a pool ball until it hits something. This can also be used to do infinite midair jumps if you get the timing right.

Overall I think 8's one redeeming feature is that it feels like it isn't trying to be X OR Classic. But as a result you're left with a platformer that doesn't control well and still keeps reminding you of better games. There's a reason the series went dead for generations while the X series still kept pumping out titles, and it was this and its predecessor.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2023!
***Denotes Replay For Completion***

***1. Dragon Valor (PS1)***
2. Breath Of Fire (GBA)
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (NS)
4. World Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse And Donald Duck (GEN)
5. XIII (GCN)

6. NES Remix Pack (WiiU)

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I beat NES Remix Pack on the Nintendo WiiU this evening!

When I was creating my WiiU Wishlist, I was having a bit of a time with a smaller library. Also, that era would have downloadable games added to their library with no physical release, so it was even harder for me to find games. When I got to the NES Remix Pack, I was so happy to see that it got a physical release as I remember it when the game came out. During one of my last big shopping trips after beating my Backlog, I found a pristine copy and snagged it for myself. I wanted to play something a bit different, so I figured this would be perfect. Plus, I always enjoy playing some NES Games.

NES Remix Pack is very much a trip down memory lane. Both games have a hall of fame worthy of NES games by Nintendo on them and even some obscure ones as well. Every game has their own version of mini-games inside them that are very creative in teaching you how to play the game and then testing your limits. After doing well enough, you are given Remix stages which are extremely unique stages that pose quite a challenge. Beat the first level of Donkey Kong as Link, which means you can't jump or beat a Super Mario Bros. level as you are constantly running. It is fun to go back to experience the classic games along with having a twist on them as well. The NES aesthetic is really prevalent throughout and I had a rush of nostalgia playing through some of these games.

Obviously, some games are better to play through again compared to others. In fact, I actually got to test out more games from my Wishlist that I don't even own. The experience had me add a new game, but I also removed two more just because of how badly they played. It's a little hard and annoying to beat several challenges on games you don't like, aren't good at or just hard in the first place. It's fun when its a game I like (Dr. Mario, Legend of Zelda), but for games I didn't like (Ice Climber, CluClu Land), that was a bit painful.

Overall, I still really enjoyed my time with NES Remix Pack. There are far more games that I like compared to not liking, so I figured there would be some bad apples spread throughout. But, I loved playing through my favorites and I absolutely loved the remix stages. Those were my favorite and seeing the unique spins on the games was almost worth the price. This one has never made it to Switch, so if you own a WiiU or just like to play NES games today, then this is a great game to own!
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Partridge Senpai's 2021 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
* indicates a repeat

1. Super Hero Operations (PS1)
2. Lil' Gator Game (PC)
3. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (PC)
4. Dragon Quest VII (PS1)
5. Dragon Quest III (SFC)

6. Dragon Quest VIII (PS2)

Still not wanting to get off of the Dragon Quest train yet, after DQ3, I hopped right into DQ8~. I’ve technically played a little bit of this before, getting to a bit past the first boss in the English PS2 version over a decade ago, and while I enjoyed what I played, I never went back to it. I was determined to fix that this time, and finally saw DQ8 through to its conclusion. It took me about 70-ish hours to get the normal (non-post-game) in the Japanese version of the game on real hardware.

DQ8’s narrative is about you, the Hero (whose canon name is Eito), traveling with a strange little goblin and a bandit-looking fella in a horse-drawn cart. That bandit-looking fella is Yangus, an ex-bandit who has decided to follow you as part of your adventuring band out of respect, and that little goblin is the titular Cursed King, Torode of the English version’s subtitle, while the horse pulling the cart is the cursed princess of the Japanese versions’ subtitle. Toroden Castle was attacked and cursed by the evil mage Dhoulmagus, and you, as the only surviving member of the royal guard, are on a quest to defeat him and break the curse on your leige and the princess.

Writing-wise, I have very mixed feelings on DQ8. On the more positive side of things, this is easily one of the best presented narratives you’d seen in a game by 2004. The recently born Square Enix was really putting their money where their mouth is, and compared to contemporary Tales of or Atelier games, DQ8’s recreation of Akira Toriyama’s art style is incredibly impressive. While characters don’t have any VA in the original Japanese version, their facial expressions and gestures, when combined with the camera direction in cutscenes, tell a really impressive story nonetheless.

On the more negative side of things, there are the nittier grittier details of the writing and the themes that make me wonder if the game is like this through genuine intent, lack of ability, or just simple lack of time. The game’s first third or so has a lot of really impressive cutscenes and character beats as you pick up the other two members of your party, and it makes for a really strong first impression. However, after you get your fourth party member, what seems like a very character-focused story suddenly pivots back to the more familiar “adventure vignette” style that so many other DQ games (especially 7) use so well. This would be all fine and dandy (albeit a bit disappointing) if not for the game still occasionally wants to have bit character beats.

Near the game’s conclusion, it just suddenly decides to bring up larger political ideas from one of the minor antagonists (who is heavily tied to one of your main characters) that are very quickly discarded and never really addressed. The game then more or less doubles down on the notion that his (good) points don’t matter and are wrong in the post-game content (whose contents I looked up rather than played myself), and the whole game ends up with this weird vibe of being somewhere between glorification/apologia for royalty and the nobility of being status-quo warriors. For most of the game, I figured that the worst things I’d have to say about the writing were the very of-the-time sexism and the unevenness of the character writing/narrative pacing, but instead I was left with something that you need to kind of try and look past its themes to try and enjoy it. Were the character writing more complete and fleshed out beyond the first 20 or so hours (where most of the cutscenes are), perhaps this wouldn’t have been such a big issue, but as it is DQ8 is a very confused product narratively if you peer even a little beyond the surface level.

Dragon Quest as a series is generally pretty good at having stories about adventures that don’t try to say much with their larger themes. While DQ8 is mostly that, it also decidedly isn’t in a way that makes for a very uneven experience. It’s not something that will bother everyone, but it’s something that casts an unfortunate shadow across the whole experience for me. While it at least manages to end on a relatively strong beat, with how confused and messy (or, with a less charitable reading, outright bad) the themes are, it’s well below a lot of other JRPGs of the time for me. If I had to choose in terms of just narrative, I honestly prefer DQ7, if only because it’s such a better realized product than 8 is, and that’s to say nothing of contemporary games with much better realized character beats and themes like Tales of Rebirth or Atelier Iris. I certainly wouldn’t go as far as to say that DQ8’s writing or story are outright bad, but I definitely cannot deny just how disappointed the whole experience left me.

Mechanically, at least, DQ8 manages to be a very significant improvement over DQ7 in just about every way. The basic mechanics are still very DQ (spells, weapon types, items, that sort of thing), but the big change from DQ7 (and by extension 6) is that we are rid of the incredibly grindy job system! In its place is a much better executed skill system, where each of your four characters has five skills that gain levels as you put skill points into them with each level up. Each character has four weapon specializations and one character skill, with each weapon skill giving more power and moves to use when using that weapon, and the character skills giving anything from new spells, to new moves, to even special passives you’ll always have.

This system isn’t perfect, mind you. The total inability to redistribute these skill points is a pretty damn mean choice, as even though you can technically max out all 5 by the time you hit level 100, you’ll also most likely be beating the game around level 42 or so like I did, so if you mess up and try to do a “jack of all trades” build not realizing that that’s terrible, there’s no way other than a LOT of grinding to get yourself out of that hole. DQ8’s difficulty curve is kinda all over the place (it peaks around the time you get the boat, at which point I had to do like 8 or 9 hours of grinding to get to a level where I could survive going forward), and the final boss was definitely one of the easier DQ final bosses I’ve fought, but on the whole I’d say this is certainly one of the harder DQ games I’ve played, so play sub-optimally at your own risk. My main piece of advice is to pick *one* weapon skill and then your character skill, and then max them out before starting to max another weapon, because it’ll make life a LOT easier.

The presentation, as mentioned earlier, is really stellar. The cell-shaded graphics and camerawork do an incredible job of bringing Toriyama’s art style to life in 3D, and it still looks great even through composite cables on a PS2, as far as I’m concerned (which is more than you can say about a lot of other 3D PS2 games, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you). The music in the Japanese version isn’t the orchestral version, but I still liked it a lot, as it’s that familiar Dragon Quest-y goodness that makes the other games so nice to listen to as well~. The game has some performance issues in some areas and even some boss fights, with the framerate very visibly struggling to keep up with the action, but this being a turn-based JRPG, that doesn’t really affect gameplay at least.

The last thing I’ll mention about the Japanese version being different from the English version is the UI, which is very different. Rather than the very stylized and picture-heavy English UI, it’s a UI much more evocative and familiar to what prior DQ games used. It felt like no change at all going from DQ7 to DQ3 to this, which I didn’t mind. Honestly, I like how simple and streamlined the Japanese UI is, but that’s something more down to taste than one being outright better than the other or anything.

Verdict: Recommended. Wonky difficult balance and sloppy writing aside, I did still quite enjoy my time with DQ8. The grinding goes quickly enough that it makes the weird difficulty curve not so bad, and the strength of the presentation does a lot to make the inadequacies of the writing in the places where the themes aren’t in turmoil. I would never say it’s my favorite DQ game, and it’s far from my favorite JRPG on the PS2, but DQ8 is still a good game that a fan of DQ or JRPGs will likely have quite a good time with. The 3DS port also adds some very nice quality of life features like sped up battles, enemies visible on the map, and making alchemy instant (because good god does it take an unforgivable amount of time in this version), and if you’re thinking of playing DQ8, that’s probably the version to play.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by opa »

Really cool that you beat dqviii! The boat is where I put the game down. lol. Very grindy.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Games Beaten in 2023 - 8
* 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


February (3 Games Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2
7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - PlayStation 4 - February 15
8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16


8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16

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Silver Falls is a series that I gush about a lot. I'm a huge fan of both the games themselves and of the series' development ethos of providing games with a variety of gameplay styles so that there's something for everyone while developing a rich and interconnected world with deep lore and character backstories. Silver Falls: Undertakers was originally a 3DS exclusive that just got ported to Wii U as one of the two Silver Falls games released on the Wii U eShop to give the console a good send-off. An homage to the Atari 2600 and the 1970s, this is - so far - the earliest point in the Silver Falls universe. Images below are courtesy of Sungrand.

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The game follows Bull Brandish as a child in the 1970s on a camping adventure with his friend in woods owned by his grandfather, Bill Brandish, the famous creator of hit television suspense series, The Midnight Realm. When Bull goes to his grandfather's cabin to get more firewood for their campfire, he hears strange noises in the woods. After some investigation, Bull discovers massive black monsters in the woods that have been snatching children. Bull must now survive a monster-infested forest as he investigates the missing children. Will he survive this ordeal? Will the sheriff and other adults in town even believe his tale of monsters and strange encounters?

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The original 3DS game had two primary modes - Game A and Game B - but this Wii U port adds a third mode, SurviVS. Game A is the story mode of the game where you play as Bull and explore the forest filled with lurking Undertakers. Game B is a high-score game mode where you have to survive as long as possible while taking out as many Undertakers as possible to increase your score. Shoot the Undertakers that make it to the surface on your TV screen while tapping the giant Undertakers on the gamepad touchscreen to prevent them from surfacing as these are much harder to kill. Game A and Game B both have blocky pixel graphics that would look right at home on the Atari 2600 while benefiting from the sharpness that HDMI output and 1080p resolution bring. The new mode, SurviVS, is an asymmetrical multiplayer mode using more modern visuals. One player uses the gamepad to place the Undertakers on the map, and between one and four players use Wiimotes and Nunchuks to fight off the monsters that the gamepad player spawns. If you've played the ZombiU multiplayer mode, think of that but up to five players instead of only two.

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The story and world-building in Undertakers is really the star of the show in my opinion. I've played at least part of all but one of the Silver Falls games, and this game has the darkest and most intense horror atmosphere in my opinion. The violence depicted in the game is BRUTAL, but because it uses 2600-esque graphics, it's deceptive about it. It looks tame and cute, and even the gore depicted doesn't look exceptionally grotesque because of the simple graphics, but the descriptive text prompts when you interact with things reveal the truly horrific things that young Bull encounters.

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I honestly wasn't sure how deep Undertakers was going to be with its 2600 aesthetic, but I absolutely adored the game. It's short enough to be played in a single sitting - it took me about an hour and a half - and that is by design; it was intended to emulate the kind of experience and relationship you'd have with 2600 games back in the day, so there are no save points, and your play time is dictated entirely by how well you know the game and what you're doing. The high score mode in Game B give it a lot of replay value, and the SurviVS mode make it an awesome party game, too. You've only got a few weeks before the eShops shut down on 3DS and Wii U, so make sure you go snag this one. Ideally, get the Wii U version, but at the very least, definitely download the 3DS version.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

opa wrote:Really cool that you beat dqviii! The boat is where I put the game down. lol. Very grindy.


Thanks! And yeah, the boat is where I just sat and did grinding for like, 8 or 9 straight hours :lol:
It's a NUTS difficulty spike for a game that's otherwise pretty good about not being too mean with its difficulty. I'd certainly say the game's hardest bosses are more towards the middle (as this is another game, much like 7, where I found the final boss surprisingly easy for a DQ game), but the monsters' general power level is SO huge after you get the boat it's like, what on earth was the idea with the game's balancing here? O_o
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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1. Kirby's Dream Land (GB)
2. River City Girls (Switch)
3. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)
4. The Simpsons (Arcade)

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5. Illusion of Gaia (SNES)

Illusion of Gaia is one of those games that I recall seeing a good amount of advertisements and marketing for in gaming magazines and had been curious about around the time of release but never managed to rent, pick up, or even check out a friend's place. All these years later, I was still interested, even more so now due to the fact that I played Soul Blazer last year during the Summer Games Challenge and it ended up being one of my favorite games played throughout the year.

Illusion of Gaia is an action RPG by Quintet and is the second game in a loose trilogy, with the other titles being Soul Blazer and Terranigma. The gameplay mechanics are very similar to Soul Blazer in which you traverse numerous dungeons in order to defeat all the enemies in each area, and look out for special items to advance the plot. Along the way, you will also be able to attain boosts in hit points, strength, and defense to help handle stronger enemies. There is no currency or weapons/item shops in the game however, so you'll have to be sure to manage your healing items!

Regarding the graphics and music, I think these are two strong points for Illusion of Gaia. The dungeons are well crafted, with most of them containing interesting backgrounds and patterns. There are also unique looking towns, each with their own themes. Another nice touch, is there are cut scenes from time to time that have some nice effects as well -- one of my favorites being the raft scene with Will and Kara. The music is also well done, and while I think I like the soundtrack for Soul Blazer a bit better overall, there are some great musical pieces here as well.

Another unique mechanic of Illusion of Gaia is the ability to transform into alter egos, in this case, your original form is Will, a young boy who developed psychic abilities after surviving a shipwreck. Early in the game you have the ability to transform into Freedan, a dark knight who is stronger than Will and can perform a ranged attack. Late in the game you will also be able to transform in Shadow. Each character has unique abilities, and you will need to use them in certain sections of dungeons to get through. The other interesting mechanic in Illusion of Gaia is the ability to gain new powers through the collection of Red Jewels. There are a total of 50 throughout the adventure, and every 10 or so grants you a new item or stat boost. If you collect all 50, you are also able to access a hidden dungeon, which I did manage to access and get through. Unfortunately, the hidden dungeon doesn't offer you any type of special item or major boost, but it was still cool to be able to complete and fight the extra boss.

Regarding the plot, the story is a bit more adult themed than I expected, especially so for a game that was published and marketed by Nintendo in the States. The game contains themes of a slave trade, greed, gambling, and drinking, and even a scene referring to suicide -- all not unheard of in RPGs, but for whatever reason, the screenshots and gameplay I saw made me think it would be a more lighthearted affair. Speaking of the plot, it's all over the place. I think a large part of this has to do with the translation, but even if the translation had been cleaned up, I think there are still some ideas that come out of nowhere. Due to this, I really didn't get a strong feel for the other NPCs in your party. As the game is on the shorter side (I think it can be finished in about 25 hours), perhaps Quintet could have cut some of the NPCs in your party and focused more on Will and Kara.

In regards to my criticisms of the game, I think the issue with the plot takes this title down a notch, in comparison to some other action RPG and JRPGs on the system. I felt like I didn't get a good sense for some of the characters, which then left me not being as invested in the story. It's too bad, because I think the framework of a good story is here, it just wasn't polished and executed. I have some particular scenes in the game that I can point out, but I don't want to include too many spoilers in this review.

Overall, even with it's shortcomings, I do think Illusion of Gaia is worth checking out on the Super Nintendo, especially if you enjoyed Soul Blazer or are a fan of action RPGs in general. The gameplay is really fun and will hook you in, but don't expect a masterclass in storytelling. Check it out!
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2023!
***Denotes Replay For Completion***

***1. Dragon Valor (PS1)***
2. Breath Of Fire (GBA)
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (NS)
4. World Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse And Donald Duck (GEN)
5. XIII (GCN)
6. NES Remix Pack (WiiU)

7. Dr. Mario (GBC)

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I completed Dr. Mario on the GameBoy this afternoon!

If there is one game that I think that I am the best at, it would be Dr. Mario. It is rare for me to lose any matches and I have beaten anybody that has ever challenged me. Because of that, I like to collect and play the different variations of the game. I grew up with the NES version, I play the SNES version with Tetris almost every Saturday night and I have many fond memories of playing the N64 version with 3 other people at the same time. Since I now have access to the GameBoy, I decided to pick up a copy at a local convention. This is one of those rare GameBoy games I had earlier in life. I worked at a calendar kiosk in the mall after college and to pass the time, I would play Dr. Mario on my Gameboy.

The tried and true formula of Dr. Mario really hasn't changed for the GameBoy. You are still stacking pills to eliminate all of the viruses to move onto the next level. The virus colors have changed because of the GameBoy to Black, White and a Polka Dot color. I've tried playing Dr. Mario on a Black and White Television, so I am glad that they made those changes to be able to see them properly. Besides the color change, it pretty much is an exact port of the NES version. Though, when you do a 4 Hit Combo, you get a brief interlude of the Mario Invincible Star Music, so that was a very nice touch for the game. In Dr. Mario games, at a certain amount of pills dropped, the game begins to speed up just a little. That is not present in the GameBoy version, so that is a very touch and makes this version really nice for beginners to learn the game.

However, there are two hurdles in this version for beginners to overcome. One is that the piece selection could be the worst in the franchise. I would start at a bottle of almost one color and I would have to wait for several pieces to get that color. You have to make your own garbage and then remove it as well just to place them somewhere. Also, the screen is so small that when you get to the final levels, the viruses are too high to place them on top. You have to kill them from the sides to beat the final two levels.

Overall, it is nearly impossible for me to dislike a Dr. Mario game. I would probably prefer to play either of the console versions over the handheld one. I would say the handheld is a good place to start if you want to get good at Dr. Mario. But, for anybody else, I would stick with your favorite console version!
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