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VG_Addict
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by VG_Addict Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:36 am

1. Banjo-Kazooie
2. Mega Man 3
3. Mega Man X
4. Donkey Kong Country 2 (102%)
5. Mega Man 2
6. Mega Man X2

All on original hardware.
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Syndicate
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Location: NoVA

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Syndicate Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:37 pm

...I finished Dandara, a pretty interesting Metroidvania. It looks like I'll have to do it again though since some achievements failed to unlock.
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alienjesus
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Location: London, UK.

Re: Games Beaten 2021

by alienjesus Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:30 pm

AJ's Games Beaten 2021:
1. Machinarium Switch eShop
2. Pikuniku Switch eShop
3. Sonic Generations XBox 360
4. Neutopia Wii VC
5. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown PS4
6. Coca-Cola Kid Game Gear
7. Gunstar Heroes Game Gear
8. The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minnie SNES
9. Sonic Mania Plus Switch
10. Mickey No Tokyo Disneyland Daibōken SFC
11. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky DS
12. Yakuza 0 PS4
13. Fire Emblem: Three Houses Switch
14. Soleil Mega Drive
15. Stranded Kids GBC
16. Great Greed Game Boy
17. Crystal Warriors Game Gear
18. Madou Monogatari I: Mittsu No Madō-kyū Game Gear
19. Biomotor Unitron NGPC
20. New Pokémon Snap Switch
21. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots PS3
22. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance PS3
23. Command & Conquer: Red Alert PS1
24. Ape Escape PS1
25. Ys Seven PSN Vita
26. Probotector NES
27. Tetris Attack SNES
28. Magical Pop’n SFC
29. Bubble Symphony Saturn
30. Sexy Parodius Saturn
31. Toree 3D Switch eShop
32. SEGA AGES Herzog Zwei Switch eShop
33. Lego Builder’s Journey Switch eShop
34. Alba: A Wildlife Adventure Switch eShop
35. Later Alligator Switch eShop
36. Mario Party 2 N64
37. Gate of Thunder PC Engine CD
38. Mushihimesama Switch eShop


Remember when I used to have time to play games and write reviews about them? That feels like a distant memory.

However, I've been keeping a record here for 10 years or more now, and I'd hate to lose that just because I don't have the time to write about them, so here's all the games I've beaten since February and some more brief than usual thoughts about them:

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

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For some reason, I got the urge to play this game at the start of the year despite not loving the original Red/Blue Rescue Team and having had no interest in it for the past decade. I'm glad I played it though because I got a fun roguelike romp with pokemon elements sprinkled in. There's a story here which is probably pretty cool if you're in the target age range (and based on the opinions of people who grew up with the game it seems that's the case) but it's a bit hokey if you're a bit older. However, it's charming enough. You can attack normally but also use one of 4 moves that you learn whilst levelling in the same way as the original games. Some mvoes are way better here or way worse here than in the main games but level up moves aren't adjusted so sometimes the balance is a bit off. However it's fun to test them out. I played through as Pikachu with Piplup as my partner, and did post-game content up to the point I could evolve my team, at which point I had enough. I enjoyed my time though!



Yakuza 0

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Yakuza has long been a series I'd suspected I would love and this year I actually sat down with a game in the series and confirmed that was the case. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the grittier elements of the main story but I found it compelling. The main story is quite silly in it's own way actually, but it feels more serious and impactful I think due to the contrast of all the craziness that fits around it in the form of sidequests, mini-games and business sim modes. This is what really captured me, and I did most of the sidequests (98/100) and other content before calling it a day. I didn't go for 100% completion though because there's some crazy shit to do for that and I didn't fancy mastering Shogi or Mahjong at the time. The business management stuff was mixed - I adored Cabaret Czar mode where you run a hostess club and keep customers happy to earn money - it was a fun mini-game with good progression. On the other hand Real Estate Royale was tedious and required lots of waiting in real time which was less fun after I'd finished most sidequests already! Yakuza 0 was a blast from start to finish and I'll definitely be following it up with other entries in the series, even though I've often heard 0 is the best one.



Fire Emblem: Three Houses

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I've been a big Fire Emblem fan since I first played in on GBA, but I've found myself not enjoying the newer ones quite as much. At first I thought I'd managed to avoid that with Three Houses - the new persona like set-up where you can spend time talking and doing stuff around the school is pretty great, and figuring out how to customise my units as they levelled up was fun. However, Three Houses has a pacing problem where the first third of the game is zippy and fun, but as you progress you hit issues where all the optional chapters are focused around the middle of the game, massively slowing the plot, and you gain more points to do stuff in the monastery as you progress whilst simultaneously the game offers less to do with them. The first half is intense as you try to recruit all the students, manage training for promotions, rise your professor rank to gain extra time, and do all the side missions before they disappear. However, in the second half I often ended up just doing stuff to use the points and try to get the game moving because it had slowed down so immensely. Ultimately, I also feel the series has moved from focusing more on the strategy part of it's strategy RPG genre to more focus on the RPG part. Nothing is wrong with that, but as the focus has been put more on character growth and customisation of your team, map design has suffered as they are built to support any possible party composition. To me, this means you end up with less interesting things to do with the party you laboured long and hard to build up. I sound really negative, but I still liked Fire Emblem Three Houses. It has severe pacing issues, but it's still a fun game overall. I can't imagine I'll do the other 3 story paths any time soon though!



Soleil

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Soleil, known as Crusader of Centy in America, is a zelda-like action adventure game for Mega Drive. I hear it's very expensive in America, but when I bought my copy here it wasn't that bad. Even now the PAL copy is way cheaper than the US one, even if it's still a higher end price. In the game you play as a boy who needs to find the evil force being resurrected as usual, but early in the game you end up losing your ability to talk to humans whilst gaining the ability to talk to animals and plants. To progress you make use of animal friends, who grant various abilities. Some give inate skills, like the cheetah who doubles your movement speed when equipped, whilst some give command skills such as grabbing enemies when pressing the action button. The animals are fun to find and use although some are way more useful then others. The game has some fun stages and great visuals and music, but the controls feel a little off - movement is a little stiff and slow (which is probably more pronounced in 50hz!) whilst the sword swings feel a little loose and inaccurate. That aside though, this is a solid game for the system that I enjoyed. Probably not worth the prices it commands over the pond though!



Stranded Kids

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I’ve played Stranded Kids before a few years back, but I only got the first of it’s 8 endings, so for this years Little Big Adventure Together Retro I decided to sit down and really see everything the game had to offer. It’s quite a small and streamlined game, but it’s super charming and compelling, and there’s lots to discover in the game world. Getting all the endings is a pain though, and I managed to screw one ending up and have to replay half the game to get it. It did make it clear just how short the game is once you know what to do though, as I did it in about 90 minutes. The goal of the game is to survive on a desert island after you were stranded there. Eventually you find another kid too who is sick and needs nursed back to health. Depending on the method you use to leave the island, the time taken and the health of the other kid, you can get 8 different endings in total. The game looks nice for Game Boy, with a Pokemon or Harvest Moon aesthetic, and the music is catchy enough. I really enjoyed my time with it and would highly recommend it. I intend to pick up the Japan only sequel and play it with the fan translation soon.



Great Greed

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Great Greed is a weird little RPG for the Game Boy which I played as part of my Little Big Adventure Together Retro theme. It has some slightly confused eco-friendly themes where you must fight the evil bio-haz who is polluting the world, but also an odd food motif where all the characters are named after various food stuff or kitchen ware, and thus you find Princess Cupcake, head of the Royal Guard Lunch Box, and court magician Microwave. The combat system is odd as you and your opponent attack at the same time, but it’s otherwise fairly standard with attack, defend and various spells to be used (although you can only equip 4 at a time, as they are set to the d-pad in battle). There were some fun environments here such as a Record Factory, and some silly scenarios such as a Mayoral Election to sabotage, and it’s a charming game overall. It’s an odd game that stands out for being unique and quirky and yet is somehow simultaneously very standard for an 8-bit RPG. It’s fun but not a must have. I enjoyed it OK.



Crystal Warriors

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Crystal Warriors is a strategy RPG for Game Gear in the vein of shining force. Each battle sets your force againsta wave of enemies to defeat. In between each battle you can visit towns to buy new spells, recruit new units and save, but the town is the same each time so the game is quite streamlined. There are 16 battles to fight with more and tougher enemies as you progress. Units are one of 4 elements, with a weakness triangle to factor in. Water units are effective vs fire, wind are good vs water, and fire are good against wind. All units of these types are melee fighters. Earth units are neutral to all elements with no weaknesses or resistance, and these are generally mages. Your main character Iris is a jack of all trades with decent combat and both healing and attack magic but is notably weaker than specialist units at all 3. Mages can equip spells of the 3 other elements as well as a scan spell to reveal enemy units who are anonymous until scanned or fought. Healers obviously heal but when levelled up to the maximum level 9 they get MASSIVE stat buffs and are by far the most powerful units in all areas. However, you must keep units safe as you level because permadeath is a thing. Luckily, the game is fairly low on the difficulty spectrum so this is easily doable. It’s a basic SRPG, but I enjoyed Crystal Warriors. The Japan-only sequel, Royal Stone, seems better in every way so I look forward to trying that sometime too.


Madou Monogatari I: Mittsu No Madō-kyū

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Another game I played for Little Big Adventure Together Retro, Madou Monogatari is a remake of the first entry in the dungeon crawling RPG series of which Puyo Puyo is a spin-off. It’s a quirky game as your main character is a mage and thus can’t attack normally, only cast spells. The damage inflicted on enemies isn’t obvious, and instead communicated via messages like ‘it really walloped the enemy!’. Equally, your own health isn’t disclosed, instead you must estimate based on your characters expression and comments like ‘I’m feeling OK!’ etc. It’s the type of game where you’ll probably want to map as you go – the game does draw a map but it doesn’t put locations of events, stairs or healing pools on there, just the walls and floors. I drew maps for every floor and planned to post them online but my dog ripped them up before I could – luckily after I’d beat the game! Drawing the map isn’t too hard here as the game doesn’t have too many obtuse mechanics like spinners or things that drop you or teleport you, and when they do it’s clear about the co-ordinates you ended up in (and all floors are the same size!). I really enjoyed playing through this one with the fan translation and highly recommend it. There’s 3 more games in the series on Game Gear, and I’ll definitely be picking them up.



Biomotor Unitron

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Biomotor Unitron is the 5th and last game I played through for my Little Big Adventure together retro. It’s an RPG that often gets compared to Pokémon but to be honest it has very little in common. You get a robot which you can customise with parts, and you must progress through tournaments of various difficulties to become the champion. To earn new parts, you can explore the elemental dungeons which have multiple random floors (not randomly generated, but pulled randomly from pre-set layouts full of monsters to battle for money and treasure chests to find parts in. Each dungeon is themed on an element – the game has 5 core elements (and a few special ones) and there are 4 dungeons in all so one element isn’t represented. As elements beat each other rock paper scissors style, choosing one element will be disadvantageous as you won’t be effective against any dungeon, whereas one is great as you won’t have any you’re weak to. Unfortunately, as each floor gets harder in each dungeon, and you won’t be able to clear them until late game, the game gets repetitive – there’s not much reason to explore dungeons you aren’t effective against until you’re strong enough, but you can get strong enough without replaying dungeons – so you do the one you’re effective against overall. Combat is also very simple, with your Unitron getting 2 attacks, one for each arm. This means you can have one coverage move alongside a powerful same type move that gets a bonus, but generally you just equip the best stuff. Biomotor Unitron is quite basic and certainly not an equal to the far superior Pokémon on GB, but I liked it OK. Worth a play if you’re looking for something on NGPC, but not one of the system’s best.



New Pokémon Snap

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I’ve been waiting for a sequel to Pokémon Snap for about 20 years. It’s crazy it never came to Wii U, but finally it’s arrived on Switch, and it was worth the wait. The amount of content here compared to the original game is staggering, with way more courses and pokemon, plus alternate variations of each course, multiple poses of pokemon needing photographed and more. The game looks great, and really feels like they’ve considered how pokemon would exist in the wild. On that note, whilst the game is great it definitely has a different feel to the original. This one feels more like a nature photography game – it has the points system and stuff as before, but there’s a greater focus on discovering new behaviours or hidden pokemon and environments. Comparatively the first one felt faster paced and more arcadey, and I think both are fun in their own ways. My only real issues with this game are a few moments where it’s unclear how to unlock the next stage, and the fact that it’s much harder to lead pokemon where you want to go or to aim your throws then the original. This can make it more frustrating to set up pictures you want compared to the N64. Overall though, I’m delighted to finally have a sequel to an old favourite, and even more delighted to see that’s it’s something quite special.



Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

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Metal Gear Solid is a series I got into quite unexpectedly, and I played through the first 5 games (including the 2 MSX titles) several years ago now. I’ve been putting off MGS4 for a while now but I finally sat down with it, and it’s certainly interesting. Story wise it’s bat shit crazy, and feels far less grounded than previous entries, even with them already being quite barmy. It’s full of sci-fi mechs and anime ninjas – in fact, I would say it definitely feels more anime compared to earlier games feeling like a movie. Despite this, I did find the story enjoyable to play through. Gameplay wise, I found it hard going at first before you get access to radar functionality again – I also find it weird that despite being set later than MGS1 the radar technology is worse here – no soliton radar showing lines of sight here. As I got back into the flow and got better equipment, I settled back into the routine and also made effective use of the tranq gun a lot. This game takes you to many settings with a different setting per chapter, which is effective at making the game feel larger in scope and allows for novel changes of style for each chapter, however, it did make the areas less memorable compared to exploring around Big Shell or Shadow Moses. MGS4 was a good time, but I would call it one of the weaker entries. MGS3 remains my favourite so far.



Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

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Metal Gear Rising is a game that takes the anime sci-fi elements from MGS4 and leans into them heavily. It’s a character action game starring Raiden developed by platinum games, and they dial the spectacle and craziness up to 11. I was interested to see how inconsequential the story was though, and how much it also feels like it undoes some of the feeling of finality of MGS4. It seems that comes from some development difficulty as this was originally meant to tell the story of how Raiden got his cybernetic body but that isn’t at all part of the final game. The combat here is satisfying, but it relies on a parry system which takes quite a lot of time to get accustomed to and which I never 100% felt in control of by the end of the game. Despite that, and despite the game being rather gory which I’m personally not super fond of, I had a fun time working through the game. The story is crap, but it’s crap in a fun way, and that’s really what fits the game.



Command & Conquer: Red Alert

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Upsetting the resident PC gamers in the forums, my first game of the summer marathon this year was Command & Conquer: Red Alert…. For the PS1. This is the version I played as a kid so was the version I wanted to play this time too, and I think it’s still eminently playable. I played through the Soviet campaign, helping the red army to conquer the world. Some of the new units and structures in the game are fun (I literally only chose the soviets because I love Tesla Coils) and the missions are great. However, compared to the first game, it certainly feels like the PS1 game here is compromised compared to PC. Ignoring expected control or resolution issues, several of the missions are cut – where in the PC version you had options which mission to take, the PS1 game only has 1. This was not the case with Command & Conquer 1 which maintained the missions. A few custscenes were also missing, and rather annoyingly the game uses a password system which is just odd – utilising the PS1 memory cards wouldn’t have changed the production cost of the media format after all! Despite this though, I still had a great time with the game.



Ape Escape

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My second summer game challenge game of the year was Ape Escape. I love a good 3D platformer, but I’ve bounced off a lot of the playstation ‘classics’ of the genre. The Crash games are just OK, and I struggled to enjoy Spyro the Dragon with the PS1 d-pad too. Ape Escape though, feels like it fits on the hardware, and despite some crazy controls (R1 is jump!) it’s a lot of fun once you get into it. The game utilises the dual analogue controls by mapping items to the right stick to use, and changing items with the face buttons. This makes camera control awkward and feels somewhat unnecessary – nothing done here couldn’t be done better with a conventional button press, but it does make the game feel unique. The environments are fun and finding all the monkeys is enjoyable (I 100% complete the game). The game also has a terrible voiceover cast in the PAL version which just added to the charm. This was a great time.



Ys Seven

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I’ve really enjoyed all the Ys games I’ve played in recent years – I loved Ys Chronicles, The Oath in Felghana and Ys VIII, so I decided to pick up the last PSP Ys game I owned that I hadn’t yet played, Ys Seven. Ys Seven was the first game to introduce the party system now standard across the series, which I enjoyed in Ys VIII quite a bit. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the gameplay in seven as much. Enemies feel like they take too much damage and it slows the gameplay down compared to earlier entries, whilst combat doesn’t feel as refined as later entries so the extra time isn’t as enjoyable. Storywise the game is fine, but a little predictable. I also found it a little uncomfortable that the game is set in the continent of Afroca but everyone is very white there. The king is especially white, being a redhead and all! The game is enjoyable enough and I don’t regret playing it, but it definitely goes on a bit too long and the amount of repeat visits and backtracking here also made it feel quite padded. Characters in your party could do with more plot development as well. This is a solid game, but it’s my current vote for weakest entry in the series.


Probotector

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Game 3 for the summer marathon, and this time I went with a classic – Probotector is obviously better known by it’s American title of Contra. But now it has robots because Germany! Anyway, there’s not much to say here that people don’t already know, but I did find I enjoyed Probotector more than I expected, because it’s actually far less demanding of the player than later entries. Nothing here felt overly cheap or unfair compared to many other NES games, and it feels like it takes less time to learn how to play it correctly than, say, Contra 3 on SNES or Contra Hard Corps on Mega Drive. The game is hard, don’t get me wrong, but it feels more manageable somehow. Anyway, I had a decent time with the game. It’s never been a favourite series of mine, and after playing this one it still isn’t, but I can appreciate it at least.


Tetris Attack

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Game 4 of my summer challenge. To beat this one I played through story mode as well as the level clear mode until I faced Bowser. It’s clear when playing that this is a late era SNES game, because it looks and sounds lovely, with the Yoshi’s Island aesthetic being really nice and making it so I don’t necessarily miss the fairies from Panel De Pon. Gameplay wise, whilst I enjoy Panel de Pon, I’ve always found something a little less fluid and a little less impactful about it compared to the likes of Puyo Puyo, but of the games I’ve played in the series this is the one I enjoyed most. The game gets really hard in level clear mode towards the end, and I spent a good few hours swearing at Bowser before I polished the game off, but overall I have fond memories of my time with Tetris Attack.



Magical Pop'n

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I took a break from my summer challenge to play this game for the Expensive Games Together Retro theme. Magical Pop’n is an absolutely gorgeous action platformer game for Super Famicom that unfortunately goes for £500+ cartridge only, so I emulated this time. You play as a princess (who looks like Link!) who has to save her kingdom. She runs out with a sword to save the day and thus begins a beautifully animated adventure with fluid controls and interesting level design. Along the way the princess gets new spells which you can use to progress or to fight enemies, including fire spells and a grappling hook to swing across gaps. The game is made by unknown developers and they did a cracking job here as everything feels very expertly done in the games sound, visuals and controls. There are a few missteps on some later level designs being a bit overly tough, and it’s unfortunately a bit short, but Magical Pop’n is a real blast. It’s a crying shame this game costs so much and that with the unknown developer basically lost to time it’s never likely to be rereleased anywhere. Play this one via whatever means you can, it’s worth it.



Bubble Symphony

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I played through this game in co-op with a buddy. It’s a sequel to Bubble Bobble for Saturn (and arcades) and it looks absolutely lovely. Bub and Bob and their dino girlfriends explore across multiple worlds – some themed on Taito properties like Pocky & Rocky and Liquid Kids – with the usual joyous Bubble Bobble gameplay. Each playable character has different properties but I didn’t really pin these down whilst playing to be honest as it was quite chaotic in 2 player. At the end of each world you can choose between 2 options for where to go next, and there are different endings at the end of each path. Continues are numerous in the port with 99 by default (we totally credit fed) and with the later stages difficulty you’ll burn through them if you don’t limit yourself. The game is pretty short though so you won’t run out. It’s a shame the game ends so soon, but thankfully the alternate paths and endings plus the secrets to discover should make the game very replayable. We had a great time with this.



Sexy Parodius

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After wrapping up Bubble Symphony, my buddy and me then jumped into some Sexy Parodius and played through that too. This one was a lot rougher – having 2 players makes it so you respawn where you die as long as you don’t both die, but we still died a lot and staying fully powered up was hard. Sexy Parodius is the usual Parodius zaniness, but this time with lots of partially dressed girls. It’s not particularly ‘sexy’ really, just a bit weird as usual. There are some alternate levels in the game, accessed by completing or failing missions on the precending level. These missions are things like ‘grab 200 smiley faces’ or ‘shoot 20 mice’ so they’re fairly obvious thanks to onscreen counters. The game has a wide range of playable characters and we took a while figuring our which characters we liked best. In the end I went the little stickmen on a paper plane and my buddy played as the Ocean Sunfish character. We had a good time, but the usual Parodius difficulty level and overly punishing power up system left a few sour notes. Fun, but frustrating for sure.



Toree 3D

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I went on holiday and grabbed a bunch of short download games to enjoy whilst I was there. I tried to target games I figured would be relaxing, and one of the games I picked up was Toree 3D. Toree 3D is a 3D platformer with a speedrunning bent and PS1 style graphics. It’s a really cool looking game and it feels good to play. The game has some weird level elements, especially an odd horror style level in the middle that made me feel like it might be a trick and really a horror game in disguise, but it wasn’t too prevalent. Less relaxing though! Toree 3D is only about 30 minutes long to play through, but it’s also dirt cheap on eshop (like 99p!) and quite replayable, so I think it’s worth it. It’s no masterpiece, but a decent time for what it costs for sure.



SEGA AGES Herzog Zwei

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Back to the summer marathon, and my 6th game beaten was Herzog Zwei. To try and make it easier to find time to play it, I picked this game up on Switch. The Switch port offers some nice quality of life upgrades, including being able to see the map without opening a menu screen, and an in-game training mode to teach you the basics. This was a lifesaver as the mechanics of Herzog Zwei are fairly obtuse. Once you’re past Herzog Zwei’s learning curve though, it’s pretty samey – there are 8 maps with 4 difficulties, but the main thing that changes are which units the AI opponent gets pre-deployed. The anti-air units of difficulty 2 and 4 are way tougher to deal with then difficulty 1 and 3’s ground forces. To beat the game though, you need to beat all 8 maps on all 4 difficulties, and despite the pre-deployed units swapping out, the computer AI doesn’t change, and is very easy to exploit and counter. Setting up strong defences where the computer is focused will more often than not cause them to keep flying in and being destroyed, allowing you to go around capturing elsewhere. Herzog Zwei is interesting, influential and enjoyable in a way, but it got tiresome playing 32 maps which were all basically won the same way. Play it against another human player if possible!



Lego Builder's Journey

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Another relaxing game for my holiday, Lego Builders Journey is a puzzle game where you build paths out of Lego to help a father and son character reunite after the father is dragged off to work. The game is a good few hours long, but early ‘puzzles’ are tedious as you just move one lego piece in front of the character before doing the same with the next. The story is charming enough and told without words, and the worlds looking great, little lego dioramas for each level. Controls are a bit weird though. The game uses an isometric viewpoint and it’s sometimes hard to get the lego bricks to line up at both the right height and the right depth using the d-pad or analogue stick. You might think that it would work better with the touchscreen, but that is even worse. It’s not a game breaker as the game is slower paced, but it’s a shame that it never feels as easy as it should. Unfortunately, I found that the best puzzles in the game also were puzzles that could have been done without the lego contruction mechanics. In some ways, it feels the develop would have made a better game without the lego constraint. The game is a relaxing way to spend a few hours, but it’s not quite the experience I hoped it would be.



Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

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Alba is another game I decided to pick up for my holiday. You play as Alba, a young girl visiting her grandparents on a Spanish island for the summer. You find out the local nature reserve is due to be destroyed to make way for a hotel, and set out to convince people to sign a petition to stop it. You do this by performing favours for people, and by chronicling the diversity of local wildlife by photographing them all. This is the main focus of the gameplay, with 80 animals to discover and photograph around the island. The island itself is wonderfully realised, with you really learning all the characters and locations by the end, reinforced by a gameplay loop where you wake up with a new objective each day. The game has a big ecological theme, with pollution being a focus too. At various points you help out a stranded dolphin, rescue animals trapped in rubbish, cure a cat poisoned by pesticides and more. There’s also subtasks to do such as building bird boxes and tidying litter. The story of Alba is very geared towards children and it has predicable story arcs and conclusions, but it also doesn’t go full black and white – the islanders can see the value a hotel would bring too! Alba isn’t perfect – the photo controls could be smoother, and some animals only appear later meaning you waste time hunting them out earlier on – but I honestly really loved this little game. It’s super relaxing, utterly charming and I would happily recommend it to anyone.



Later Alligator

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Another relaxing holiday game, Later Alligator is a point & click adventure where you explore Alligator New York City to help an alligator figure out who in his family is going to kill him and why (even though it’s very apparent from the outset that it’s actually a surprise birthday party). At least, I thought it was a point & click adventure, but it’s actually a mini-game collection with some point n click elements in between. You need to find the main crocs whole family and get info from them, which requires helping them out in some way with a mini game. Most of these are fun enough, but none really stand out as amazing. The game really tries to stand out on the quality of it’s writing, which is pretty funny, but not amazing. I think the format of the game meant it didn’t get to hit it’s stride as we don’t see any one character long enough for them to develop character – so every character feels fairly similar and the humour doesn’t diversify enough. Honestly, based on the trailer, I expected to love Later Alligator, but the reality of what I got was quite disappointing. The game is fine, but I wouldn’t rush out to buy it.



Mario Party 2

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Back from my holiday, and back to the summer marathon, this was my 7th game beaten for the year. Mario Party 2 is one I played back in the day, and it’s definitely a step up from 1, both in mini-game quality and board design. The whole experience feels more refined and more fun. I had some issues working through as my game crashed on me twice near the end of a game, causing me to lose progress which was frustrating. I also found that despite the obvious step up from 1, Mario Party 2 hasn’t aged quite as gracefully as I hoped – mini game controls can still be quite stiff, and some of the mini-game designs are very unbalanced or not fun for some players – especially some of the ones ‘improved’ from Mario Party 1 like the bowling game or the crane game. Mario Party 2 is fun enough, but the more I replay these N64 titles, the more I think I actually might prefer the Gamecube entries.




Gate of Thunder

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This is the 8th game of my summer challenge this year, and the last one I beat. Gate of Thunder is an excellent shmup on the PC Engine, and I had a blast playing through it. For a shmup, I think this is rather on the easy side. It’s 7 levels long and you get a generous 7 continues and 3 lives per continue to beat the game. That said, it still took me quite a few tries to finish the game – stages 1-4 are pretty manageable, but 5 gets quite tough, and 6 and 7 are noticeably harder. By the time I beat the game, I’d fairly consistently memorised the last 2 stages to be able to get through them from a fresh continue if I’d lost my power ups. The game looks great, and it sounds amazing – a rocking soundtrack in this one really gets you pumped up to play. I struggle to say which I prefer between this and Lords of Thunder – aesthetically and conceptually, I think I prefer Lords, but this I think is more refined and precise when it comes to gameplay. Both are fantastic either way.




Mushihimesama

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A classic cave shmup that I played through on Switch, Mushihimesama has you flying through levels fighting all sorts of giant bugs that spray giant pink walls of bullety death at you. I feel like this leans towards the harder end of the Cave bullet hell spectrum, even on the easier difficulties I played – bullet patterns are both dense and pretty fast moving compared to many other games they’ve made, from as early as stage 2. That said, it’s still a lot of fun to play through, and when you can see the graphics under all the bullets, it looks lovely. I didn’t get to grips with the intricacies of the scoring, and I totally credit fed my way through, but Mushihimesama is a good time and I’m sure I’ll keep coming back again and again to replay it.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by MrPopo Sat Sep 18, 2021 2:13 pm

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

First 50:
1. EYE: Divine Cybermancy - PC
2. Legend of Grimrock - PC
3. Legend of Grimrock 2 - PC
4. Shovel Knight - Wii U
5. Yakuza: Like a Dragon - PS4
6. Yoshi's Island - SNES
7. Vectorman 2 - Genesis
8. Super Mario Sunshine - GC
9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Master Quest - GC
10. Bomberman '93 - TG-16
11. Cannon Fodder - PC
12. Panzer Dragoon II Zwei - Saturn
13. Dragonborne - Game Boy
14. Rock n' Roll Racing - PC
15. The Lost Vikings - PC
16. Blackthorne - PC
17. Contra III: The Alien Wars - SNES
18. Bravely Default II - Switch
19. Axelay - SNES
20. Ryse: Son of Rome - XBOne
21. Killer Instinct (2013) - XBOne
22. Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition - PC
23. Thief: The Dark Project - PC
24. Killer Instinct - XBOne
25. Killer instinct 2 - XBOne
26. Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth - PC
27. Thief 2: The Metal Age - PC
28. Wing Commander II - PC
29. Wing Commander III - PC
30. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - Switch
31. Shadow Man Remastered - PC
32. Wing Commander: Privateer - PC
33. Salt and Sanctuary - Switch
34. The Elder Scrolls: Arena - PC
35. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall - PC
36. Resident Evil Village - PC
37. SaGa Frontier Remastered - Switch
38. Metaloid: Origin - Switch
39. SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions - Switch
40. Metro Exodus: The Two Colonels - PC
41. Metro Exodus: Sam's Story - PC
42. Panzer Paladin - Switch
43. Returnal - PS5
44. Dark Void Zero - DSiWare
45. Panzer Dragoon Saga - Saturn
46. Magic Knight Rayearth - Saturn
47. Cathedral - Switch
48. Final Fantasy VII Remake: INTERmission - PS5
49. Eterium - PC
50. A Street Cat's Tale - Switch

51. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling - Switch
52. Banner of the Maid - Switch
53. CrossCode - Switch
54. Total Annihilation: The Core Contingency - PC
55. Ultima Underworld - PC
56. Betrayal at Krondor - PC
57. Assassin's Creed: Origins - PC
58. Axiom Verge 2 - Switch
59. Elderborn - PC
60. Hellbound - PC
61. Wargroove - Switch
62. Eye of the Beholder - PC
63. Quake: Dimension of the Past - PC
64. Quake: Dimension of the Machine - PC
65. Legends of Amberland: The Forgotten Crown - Switch
66. Anopek - PC
67. Baten Kaitos - Gamecube
68. No More Heroes 3 - Switch
69. Eye of the Beholder II - PC
70. Eye of the Beholder III - PC
71. Hedon II - PC
72. Deathloop - PC

Deathloop is the latest game from Arkane, best known for Dishonored and the Prey reboot. The game builds upon things they've done in their previous works but adds a dimension that really sets it apart as a unique thing in the video game landscape. Deathloop is extremely hard to try and give a short description of; it pulls gameplay elements from Dishonored and Majora's Mask and story elements from Edge of Tomorrow and Groundhog Day, all with a 60's aesthetic that gives it a touch of panache.

The basic premise is that a tear in time space was discovered on a remote island and a group of "visionaries" figured out that they could use it to create a time loop that would keep repeating the same day over and over. You wake up inside this time loop and have the seemingly unique (with one exception) ability to maintain your memories of the previous loop (though your memories are blank prior to that first awakening). After figuring out that you're trapped in the loop you decide to try and figure out how to stop it. However, there is one other person who maintains her memories across the loop boundaries, and she is determined to stop you.

Whenever the day loops you lose all your equipment (as you didn't collect it yet) but retain all your knowledge. Thus, a code to a door you picked up in a previous iteration can be used again without having to find it. There are a handful of codes that change daily, but they are for one-and-done acquisitions. Fairly early in the plot progression you unlock the ability to attune items to you through spending a currency gained from breaking down other items or collected in the world. An item attuned to you will show up on your person when the day loops around, but an item broken down is erased from this looping and will need to be recollected and rebound (if you'd already attuned it). This provides a level of progression on top of the knowledge progression.

In order to break the loop you quickly figure out that you will need to kill all the visionaries, as the loop is attuned to them. However, at the onset this is an impossible task. The island is divided into four areas that can be visited during four times of day; morning, noon, afternoon, night. Leaving an area causes time to pass, and each area has elements that change depending on the time period; many critical things, including the locations of the visionaries, are locked to certain time periods. In fact, at the start of the game the locations of the visionaries are will include showing up in two locations at the same time period. Clearly you're going to need to find ways to manipulate their locations so you can kill them in your fixed amount of time.

The game very helpfully keeps track of all of this; you get a nice big board of various threads to follow to figure out how to achieve your goals. This frequently involves needing to loop a couple times; you might find an important NPC killed at noon so you need to visit in the morning to adjust the environment to prevent that from happening. As you piece together the final sequence of steps to win you'll also encounter various documents giving a bit more insight into how things got the way they are in the first place. Once everything is figured out you roll out on your last mission (assuming you don't mess up) to line up all the dominos and knock them all down.

Now to talk about the actual moment to moment gameplay. The baseline is your Dishonored/Prey stealth engine. Enemies can be alerted based on what goes on in the environment, and have different AI depending on if they see something bad has happened vs. seeing YOU. Enemies present a pretty strong threat, as you can quickly be overwhelmed if you go loud without a plan, but at the same time they aren't the primary focus; rather they are an obstacle to be overcome or avoided. In terms of your toolbox, you have three weapon slots, a remote hack device (great for turning turrets to your side), a multi-function grenade (grenade, proxy mine, silent tripwire killer), and three slots for your special powers. One is locked to you and gives you three chances at a level and time of day; the first two deaths will respawn you where you were a certain amount of time in the past (think Tracer's rewind from Overwatch) but the third loops the day early. The other two are selected from five options available that must be collected from killing visionaries. Each also has a series of upgrades that can be collected, again from killing the visionaries you got them from. Make sure you remember to attune those, as you'll have to recollect them if you don't. They're all fairly standard utilities powers; Dishonored's teleport, a cloak, a damage increase/reduction power for going loud, tossing dudes in the air, and linking dudes together so killing one kills them all. You also get some personal passive upgrades and passive upgrades for you gun, all of which must be attuned to persist.

There's one final element, and that's Julianna. Inspired by Dark Souls' invasion mechanic, you can experience Julianna invading your game whenever you're in the same location and time of day as a visionary. She can either be AI controlled or controlled by a human; you're free to select whether you can be invaded by humans or only the AI before every map. When she shows up she spawns an antenna that locks your access to the exit from the zone; you must hack this or be trapped forever. She only has one life, but has the advantage of not aggroing enemies and thus can pick the terms of the engagement. Killing Julianna, aside from removing the threat, can cause her to drop any of the special powers or their upgrades, as well as good guns and passive upgrades. The one thing that isn't great is that at the time I write this melee weapons are coded to be instant kill once you're in their face; the meta right now seems to be rushing them down and one shotting which isn't really fun for either side.

Overall Deathloop is an extremely well crafted game that makes you feel great as you slowly uncover all the steps to be able to set up your final murder chain. As your character learns you feel rewarded for putting pieces together, and your ability to navigate the maps improves. By the end you should be able to blaze your way through because you know where everyone is and how they tend to react. You have become the apex predator and can finally stop the loop.
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Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by Markies Sun Sep 19, 2021 5:14 pm

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2021!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Midtown Madness 3 (XBOX)
2. X-Men 2: Clone Wars (GEN)
3. Sonic Adventure 2 (SDC)
4. Mega Man 7 (SNES)
5. Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra (PS2)
6. Bust A Move 4 (PS1)
7. Phantasy Star IV (GEN)
8. Gunbird 2 (SDC)
***9. The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GCN)***
10. Fable: The Lost Chapters (XBOX)
11. Growlanser: Heritage Of War (PS2)
12. Double Dragon (NES)
13. Star Ocean (SNES)
14. Pokemon Snap (N64)
15. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (GCN)
16. Castle Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (GEN)
17. Stella Deus: The Gate Of Eternity (PS2)
18. Super R-Type (SNES)
19. Threads Of Fate (PS1)
20. The Bouncer (PS2)
21. Phantasy Star Online Version 2 (SDC)
22. Final Fantasy III (NES)

23. Psychonauts (XBOX)

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I beat Psychonauts on the Microsoft XBOX this afternoon!

When I first bought my XBOX and went shopping for all of its games, one of the games I really wanted to buy was Psychonauts. I remember the game getting rave reviews when it came out and having a degree in Psychology, it highly interested me. However, I never found it on my initial shopping trip and throughout the years, other games began to spark my interest and it fell by the way side. Well, last year, I was looking for a new XBOX game and I wanted something a bit different. I then looked at my list and noticed Psychonauts and how it had been a while since I played a platformer. Deciding now would be a good time, I decided to pick it up and then played it just a few months later.

I must have completely forgotten about the game because when I booted it up, I was not expecting a Banjo style collect-a-thon Platformer. You sneak into a Camp that trains children to become Psychic Soldiers and help out the world. The camp is your base area that you can run around to collect items along with buying upgrades. You then go into somebody's mind for each level to help them out and fix what is wrong with them. The levels make up the bulk of the game and each of them is incredibly unique. It was very fun exploring each level as no one feels the same as any other one. Much like the levels, the characters are very unique and each one of them has its own personality. I felt a joy in helping them out and just listening them talk to you about their problems.

I enjoyed all of the characters except the main character. Maybe it is because I'm old and the Voice Actor does many kids shows, but I found him grating and annoying. Most of the bosses are fairly simple and not too much trouble. However, there is an annoying boss in the middle of the game and the final boss rush is complete B.S. You have to protect a little kid from getting beaten up and he made me miss Baby Mario in Super Mario World 2. Also, one of the final bosses is a timed platforming section that is utterly terrible.

Overall, I still enjoyed my time with Psychonauts. The final part of the game did not damper or sour my overall experience with the game. The majority of the game is a fantastic platforming experience and one that I think any fan of the genre would love. Also, the writing is quirky and funny enough that anybody enjoys a good written game would enjoy it too!
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Sep 19, 2021 6:18 pm

Games Beaten in 2021 - 89
* denotes a replay

January (12 Games Beaten)
1. God of War - PlayStation 3 - January 1
2. God of War II - PlayStation 3 - January 2
3. God of War: Chains of Olympus - PlayStation 3 - January 3
4. God of War: Ghost of Sparta - PlayStation 3 - January 4
5. God of War III - PlayStation 4 - January 6
6. God of War: Ascension - PlayStation 3 - January 9
7. God of War [2018] - PlayStation 4 - January 16
8. Epic Dumpster Bear 2: He Who Bears Wins - PlayStation 4 - January 16
9. God of War: Betrayal - Mobile - January 17
10. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - Switch - January 18
11. Muv-Luv photonflowers* - Steam - January 22
12. Muv-Luv photonmelodies♮ - Steam - January 27


February (5 Games Beaten)
13. Gun Gun Pixies - Switch - February 1
14. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS4 - February 8*
15. Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s - Vita - February 13
16. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4 - February 17*
17. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Steam - February 23


March (3 Games Beaten)
18. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC - Steam - March 4
19. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd - Steam - March 7
20. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - PS4 - March 21


April (7 Games Beaten)
21. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - PS4 - April 5
22. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 00 - Steam - April 7
23. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 01 - Steam - April 10
24. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 02 - Steam - April 11
25. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 03 - Steam - April 13
26. Neptunia Virtual Stars - PS4 - April 18
27. Before Your Eyes - Steam - April 18


May (9 Games Beaten)
28. New Pokemon Snap - Switch - May 2
29. Resident Evil 8: Village - PS5 - May 8
30. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Switch - May 15
31. Torment: Tides of Numenera - Xbox One - May 18
32. Pepsiman - PS1 - May 20
33. Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo: The Card Fighters - Switch - May 20
34. Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure - Switch - May 23
35. Planetscape: Torment - Steam - May 26
36. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne - Switch - May 31


June (17 Games Beaten)
37. Hentai vs Evil - Switch - June 1
38. Troll and I - Switch - June 2
39. Zombie Army 4: Dead War - PlayStation 4 - June 5
40. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - Switch - June 6
41. Military Madness - TurboGrafx-16 - June 7
42. Puyo Puyo 2 - Game Gear - June 17
43. Yakuza 0 - Playstation 4 - June 19
44. Neptunia Shooter - Playstation 5 - June 20
45. Little Samson - NES - June 22
46. Tiger-Heli - NES - June 23
47. Blaster Master - NES - June 23
48. Gun-Nac - NES - June 24
49. Rollerblade Racer - NES - June 25
50. Marble Madness - NES - June 25
51. Metroid - NES - June 25
52. Mario Golf: Super Rush - Switch - June 26
53. Metroid: Zero Mission - GBA - June 28
54. Metroid II: Return of Samus - Game Boy - June 29


July (31 Games Beaten)
55. Super Metroid - SNES - July 1
56. Where's Waldo? - NES - July 1
57. Metroid Fusion - GBA - July 2
58. Neptunia ReVerse - PlayStation 5 - July 3
59. Tetris Effect: Connected - Series X - July 3
60. Battletoads - Xbox One - July 4
61. Chicken Police: Paint it Red! - Switch - July 5
62. The Falconeer - Series X - July 7
63. Astral Chain - Switch - July 10
64. Dynowarz: Destruction of Spondylus - NES - July 12
65. Skull and Crossbones - NES - July 12
66. Sky Kid - NES - July 12
67. Top Gun - NES - July 12
68. Top Gun: The Second Mission - NES - July 13
69. Mega Man 7 - SNES - July 13
70. Mega Man X - SNES - July 14
71. Mega Man X2 - SNES - July 15
72. Second Extinction - Series X - July 15
73. Mega Man X3 - SNES - July 16
74. Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge - Game Boy - July 19
75. Mega Man II - Game Boy - July 19
76. Mega Man III - Game Boy - July 19
77. Mega Man IV - Game Boy - July 20
78. Mega Man V - Game Boy - July 20
79. Mega Man Xtreme - GBC - July 21
80. Mega Man Xtreme 2 - GBC - July 21
81. Portal Runner - GBC - July 22
82. Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind - SNES - July 22
83. Mega Man and Bass - SNES - July 23
84. Cotton Reboot! - Switch - July 27
85. Yakuza Kiwami 2 - PlayStation 4 - July 29


August (2 Games Beaten)
86. Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods Part 1 - Series X - August 7
87. Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods Part 2 - Series X - August 7


September (2 Games Beaten)
88. Maneater: Truth Quest - PS5 - September 5
89. Empire of Angels IV - Switch - September 5


89. Empire of Angels IV - Switch - September 5

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Empire of Angels IV may be the most recent entry in a series that's been around for nearly 30 years, but most of us in the West had never heard of it before this entry. Don't feel bad; while the series dates back to 1993, this is the first time it's made the jump to consoles, and if I'm not mistaken, the first time it's left China. The best way to describe Empire of Angels is Baby's First Fire Emblem made entirely out of waifus. It's a strategy RPG with (for the most part) really simple mechanics, but literally every character in the entire game is female, and while I could be mistaken, I'm pretty sure the smallest cup size in the game (according or character bios) is C. If it weren't full of fanservice for the sake of fanservice, would it really be EastAsiaSoft?

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The story of the game, while nothing special, is perfectly fine. You're soldiers in an empire's army tasked with investigating why people are turning into "Namtars," darkness-touched people who become crazed and violent. From there, you meet a whole cast of waifus with diverse designs, backstories, and abilities, and while the story never gets "gripping" per se, and the ending is a bit lackluster, the interactions between the characters was enough to keep me playing. In the narrative scenes between battles, there's a very nice drawn art style used whereas in battle, a chibi style is used for the character models that reminds me a bit of a lower effort SD Gundam except with boobs instead of robots. The whole game looks a bit bland for a 2021 release, truthfully - not bad by any means but also nothing that the PS3 or Xbox 360 would have had much trouble pulling off, either.

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In addition to the main missions, there are a plethora of side missions that flesh out the characters' backstories, personalities, and relationships with one another as well as unlocking their final class upgrade. There are also side quests to unlock new abilities for your summonable pet unit as well as repeatable random battles you can use to grind money or experience although there's not much need to grind either as the game's difficulty curve is pretty fair, and there are no shops in which to use gold. The exception is if you're trying to do every character's side quests; I found myself stuck with a level 20 character who had to solo a side quest with a level 50 opponent. That definitely required a lot of monotonous level grinding. Thankfully, the music is pretty great for the most part, so while the level grinding is arguably even duller than in most SRPGs since there's no benefit to racking up gold as well as experience, the nice soundtrack makes it a little more tolerable.

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I do need to give a shoutout to my buddy, Joshua French, though for giving the game's script a MUCH needed retranslation before the English release. In the opening cinematic, you can see the somehow-worse-than-Google-Translate quality of the original translation since that cinematic was coded so that he couldn't fix it, but he retranslated the entire script for the rest of the game, and the difference in quality is astounding. Aside from a couple of SUPER minor issues that anyone who's not a grammar nerd wouldn't even have noticed, it reads as if it were originally written in English, not Chinese. The story may not be anything special, but you wouldn't even be able to tell what the story was supposed to be if it weren't for Joshua's hard work.

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Empire of Angels IV is a solid middle-of-the-road game for the most part. It's totally playable and pretty enjoyable, but it's definitely nothing that will stand out that much. The fact that EVERY character is an anime waifu is novel, but as far as story and gameplay go, it's pretty average. The combat is fun, but it's not going to have you addicted the way Super Robot Wars, SD Gundam, and Fire Emblem will; it's the kind of game of which you'll probably play a mission or two and then switch to something else for a while. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you'll probably play this as a side game or pallet cleanser between other big, narrative driven games. It's definitely fun, though, and at just $20, I have no problem recommending this to fans of SRPGs or pointlessly big breasted anime waifus.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:11 pm

Games Beaten in 2021 - 90
* denotes a replay

January (12 Games Beaten)
1. God of War - PlayStation 3 - January 1
2. God of War II - PlayStation 3 - January 2
3. God of War: Chains of Olympus - PlayStation 3 - January 3
4. God of War: Ghost of Sparta - PlayStation 3 - January 4
5. God of War III - PlayStation 4 - January 6
6. God of War: Ascension - PlayStation 3 - January 9
7. God of War [2018] - PlayStation 4 - January 16
8. Epic Dumpster Bear 2: He Who Bears Wins - PlayStation 4 - January 16
9. God of War: Betrayal - Mobile - January 17
10. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - Switch - January 18
11. Muv-Luv photonflowers* - Steam - January 22
12. Muv-Luv photonmelodies♮ - Steam - January 27


February (5 Games Beaten)
13. Gun Gun Pixies - Switch - February 1
14. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel - PS4 - February 8*
15. Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s - Vita - February 13
16. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - PS4 - February 17*
17. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Steam - February 23


March (3 Games Beaten)
18. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC - Steam - March 4
19. Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd - Steam - March 7
20. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III - PS4 - March 21


April (7 Games Beaten)
21. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV - PS4 - April 5
22. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 00 - Steam - April 7
23. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 01 - Steam - April 10
24. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 02 - Steam - April 11
25. Muv-Luv Unlimited: The Day After 03 - Steam - April 13
26. Neptunia Virtual Stars - PS4 - April 18
27. Before Your Eyes - Steam - April 18


May (9 Games Beaten)
28. New Pokemon Snap - Switch - May 2
29. Resident Evil 8: Village - PS5 - May 8
30. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Switch - May 15
31. Torment: Tides of Numenera - Xbox One - May 18
32. Pepsiman - PS1 - May 20
33. Super Blackjack Battle II Turbo: The Card Fighters - Switch - May 20
34. Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure - Switch - May 23
35. Planetscape: Torment - Steam - May 26
36. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne - Switch - May 31


June (17 Games Beaten)
37. Hentai vs Evil - Switch - June 1
38. Troll and I - Switch - June 2
39. Zombie Army 4: Dead War - PlayStation 4 - June 5
40. Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 - Switch - June 6
41. Military Madness - TurboGrafx-16 - June 7
42. Puyo Puyo 2 - Game Gear - June 17
43. Yakuza 0 - Playstation 4 - June 19
44. Neptunia Shooter - Playstation 5 - June 20
45. Little Samson - NES - June 22
46. Tiger-Heli - NES - June 23
47. Blaster Master - NES - June 23
48. Gun-Nac - NES - June 24
49. Rollerblade Racer - NES - June 25
50. Marble Madness - NES - June 25
51. Metroid - NES - June 25
52. Mario Golf: Super Rush - Switch - June 26
53. Metroid: Zero Mission - GBA - June 28
54. Metroid II: Return of Samus - Game Boy - June 29


July (31 Games Beaten)
55. Super Metroid - SNES - July 1
56. Where's Waldo? - NES - July 1
57. Metroid Fusion - GBA - July 2
58. Neptunia ReVerse - PlayStation 5 - July 3
59. Tetris Effect: Connected - Series X - July 3
60. Battletoads - Xbox One - July 4
61. Chicken Police: Paint it Red! - Switch - July 5
62. The Falconeer - Series X - July 7
63. Astral Chain - Switch - July 10
64. Dynowarz: Destruction of Spondylus - NES - July 12
65. Skull and Crossbones - NES - July 12
66. Sky Kid - NES - July 12
67. Top Gun - NES - July 12
68. Top Gun: The Second Mission - NES - July 13
69. Mega Man 7 - SNES - July 13
70. Mega Man X - SNES - July 14
71. Mega Man X2 - SNES - July 15
72. Second Extinction - Series X - July 15
73. Mega Man X3 - SNES - July 16
74. Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge - Game Boy - July 19
75. Mega Man II - Game Boy - July 19
76. Mega Man III - Game Boy - July 19
77. Mega Man IV - Game Boy - July 20
78. Mega Man V - Game Boy - July 20
79. Mega Man Xtreme - GBC - July 21
80. Mega Man Xtreme 2 - GBC - July 21
81. Portal Runner - GBC - July 22
82. Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind - SNES - July 22
83. Mega Man and Bass - SNES - July 23
84. Cotton Reboot! - Switch - July 27
85. Yakuza Kiwami 2 - PlayStation 4 - July 29


August (2 Games Beaten)
86. Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods Part 1 - Series X - August 7
87. Doom Eternal: The Ancient Gods Part 2 - Series X - August 7


September (3 Games Beaten)
88. Maneater: Truth Quest - PS5 - September 5
89. Empire of Angels IV - Switch - September 5
90. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - PS4 - September 19


90. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim - PS4 - September 19

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Atlus really excels with games that pit teenagers against Armageddon, and 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim from developer Vanillaware is yet another fantastic exemplar of that. The game is intentionally enigmatic at the beginning, being told from 13 different perspectives over five different eras, and that makes a bit hard to really get hooked on at the start, but if you stick with the game long enough for a single narrative to start to coalesce, you end up with a fantastic story full of plot twists, intrigue, and mysteries that don't get fully revealed until the very end.

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Without going into enough detail to spoil anything, the game starts with invasions by kaiju that apparently possess the ability to travel through time, destroying one version of the same city after another in different period across time. Built to combat these kaiju are the Sentinels, giant robots that certain people can pilot. Each of the 13 characters from whose perspectives the story is told is one of those certain people (hence the title), and over the course of the story, they awaken to their potential as Sentinel pilots. I know that, just from that synopsis, it sounds *very* stereotypically anime, but like a Russian nesting doll, each time you think you've figured out what's going on, you discover that there's another layer beneath that complicates your understanding of the story and contradicts the revelations you've experienced. It's a wild trip that really challenges your understanding of reality and reinvents itself multiple times throughout the story.

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13 Sentinels is main divided into two main sections, Remembrance and Destruction. Remembrance is principally a visual novel although not totally kinetic like Muv-Luv or When They Cry; you can walk around to a certain extent although the game limits that pretty strictly based on what's going on, and there's some very light puzzle solving needed to progress. There are some mild branching paths as well, but this isn't done in a player-choice way since you need to play through all of the paths to progress; it's more just different parts of that story segment. Destruction, on the other hand, is an over the top real-time strategy combat mode where you control the Sentinels in battles against the kaiju. Destruction has some RPG elements as you can accumulate "Meta-Chips" that can be spent to unlock and upgrade Sentinel weapons, unlock major combat abilities, and upgrade Sentinel stats. You'll end up bouncing back and forth between the two as there are progression requirements that need to be filled once you hit a certain point; you'll need to do a certain amount in Destruction to unlock the next part of a character's path in Remembrance or vice versa.

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Because of how the storytelling is done, my interest in the game was kind of like putting a car in neutral at the top of a hill; at first, it will start rolling super slowly and just creep along, but soon there's enough momentum built up that gravity takes hold, and the car starts to roll faster and faster. That's how I was here. I was absolutely not captivated by the story for the first couple hours as I just felt lost and in the deep end, so to speak, with no clue what was going on. As I stuck with it, though, and the pieces started to fall into place, it became wildly addicting, and I just had to know what happened next and what mystery was going to be solved with the next Remembrance section. I like it when games immediately hook me, but if that's not going to happen, this is slow-but-increasingly-intense burn is definitely the way to go.

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13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a hell of an experience, and it's definitely one that I strongly recommend. It's very anime, so if that style isn't your cup of tea, this might not be for you, but if you either like or don't mind the anime style and enjoy a good mystery that gets slowly unraveled bit by bit over time, this is absolutely a game to check out. Being an Atlus published title, it will probably rise in price physically, but if you can either find a good price on it physically or don't mind digital downloads, this is definitely a solid game that you don't want to miss.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:16 pm

where's my 13 Sentinels PC port?? :evil:
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:42 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:where's my 13 Sentinels PC port?? :evil:

Get a PS4, scrub
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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REPO Man
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Re: Games Beaten 2021

by REPO Man Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:23 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:
BoneSnapDeez wrote:where's my 13 Sentinels PC port?? :evil:

Get a PS4, scrub


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