Games Beaten 2024

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PartridgeSenpai
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Games Beaten 2024

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Welcome to the Games Beaten thread for 2024! I've never gotten to make one of these before, so I wasn't really sure how to go about it <w>

Looking at past years however, I saw what a great job Elkin did with the explanation for this whole thing last year, so I thought it'd just be easiest to put the 2023 intro here again (at least in part)~. Happy gaming, everyone~ ^w^

ElkinFencer10 wrote:Per Racketboy tradition, this thread is not a competition, not a place where we hold to hard and fast rules about what games can count, when, or why, etc. The only expectation is that you perhaps talk a bit about what you've beaten: What were your thoughts? Why did you play? Would you recommend it? This thread is about sharing our personal accomplishments and engaging one another about the games we have played!

Are you curious about what kinds of reviews people like to read in this thread? Take a look at this poll and discussion from 2017.

If you are new to this thread for the year, feel free to jump in any time between now and the end of the year. If you have questions or need help, feel free to hit me up! For reference, here's a couple of past threads so you can see how people have approached their participation, their list making, etc.

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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Partridge Senpai's 2023 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
* indicates a repeat

1. Terranigma (SFC)

Closing out the Quintet trilogy of action/adventure games on the Super Famicom that I started last year, I finished Terranigma just at the start of the new year~. Now, unlike Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia (two games I really loved), Terranigma is a game I knew almost nothing about but have heard great things about for years and years. As long as I can remember, this has been held up as one of the best games on the Super Famicom, as well as one of the best games that never made it to North America. Finally getting a good excuse to play this game in particular was one of the biggest reasons I started playing through the Quintet trilogy in the first place, really. Regardless of any other feelings I may've had on this game, it was very interesting to finally get a taste of the game that people have been praising for all these years. It took me about 17.5 hours to beat the Japanese version of the game on emulated hardware without abusing save states.

Terranigma, or as it's known in Japanese, "Tenchi Souzou" (lit. Creation of Heaven), is the story of Ark. A young man living in the secluded forest village of Crystalholm, his whole life changes one day when he breaks down a forbidden door and finds Pandora's Box (and its resident scrimblo, Yomi) inside it. This sets off a chain of events that sees the elder of Crystalholm sending him on a grand adventure through the underworld. First, a mission to restore the continents of the overworld, and then a quest to guide the newly restored world to life again by saving its residents' souls. It's a story that, in its broader strokes, is very similar to the other two games in this trilogy, and in many ways it honestly feels like a strange midpoint between Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia. However, that comparison is good as much as it is bad. Actually, scratch that, it's actually much more bad than it is good ^^;

Terranigma isn't written by the same person who did Illusion of Gaia (weirdly enough, Illusion of Gaia seems to be the only game that person has ever written, actually). It was written by the same writer as Soul Blazer along with a co-writer. Now however well their writing may've worked for a relatively smaller game like Soul Blazer, it really does not work nearly as well for a much larger game like Terranigma. The narrative pacing of this game is absolutely dreadful, with massive swaths of the middle of the game (I'd say from like the 20% mark to the 70% or 80% mark) having little to nothing to do with the overall themes or premise beyond "it's something else for Ark to do to restore the world or just progress through the map".

That in and of itself isn't usually a bad thing, mind you, as not every game needs to be this grand epic that tells a meaningful story. Terranigma, however, IS trying to be this grand epic that tells a meaningful story, and just how many characters and thematic beats it tries to cram into its last leg comes off very poorly with just how little time we've had to get used to these characters and what they believe in. Even Ark himself, present through the entirety of the game, comes off as a really weirdly written character because he just so infrequently actually gets lines to give his character any sort of meaningful depth over the course of the narrative. There's a kinda sweet love story in here somewhere, and I think there's even something about the nature of good & evil and the cyclical nature of history and the universe, but it gets so confused and hurried at the end that I honestly had a lot of trouble trying to figure out what this game was even going for. Part of that is due to the game's own clumsy writing, sure, but part of it is also that a LOT of this game just feels like a far more poorly done rendition of Illusion of Gaia's story. That game actually had a well paced narrative with characters slowly and thoroughly developed throughout it, and the lack of that narrative writing ability really hurts Terranigma's overall story (not to mention makes it look very poor by sheer comparison in the first place).

Terranigma also has some pretty bad issues with casual racism (particularly towards African Americans and First Nations Peoples) as well. This is something Illusion of Gaia kinda struggles with, but it's WAY worse here. It's hardly the worst instance in the world, granted, and it's certainly not the biggest issue the writing has, but it was so distracting that I couldn't leave it unmentioned here. At the end of the day, though, Terranigma just isn't a very well told story. The bones of the narrative are largely just a poorer replay of Illusion of Gaia's story, sure, but that didn't need to be its death knell. It could've been a perfectly fine story just living here as a vacuum separate from its predecessor, but even divorced from its lack of originality (within its own series), the lack of care and attention in how the story itself is executed causes a lot more harm than any amount of copying Illusion of Gaia's homework ever could.

On a gameplay level, we're kinda stuck between good and bad here as well (though more so leaning towards bad in a lot of ways that matter). In a vacuum, this is (seemingly) easily the best playing of the trilogy. The ways Ark can jump around, dash through enemies, use his run button (which we finally have) to zip from place to place, it all amounts to a game that feels very nice to play around in compared to the previous two games in the series, both of which felt like you were in some way locked to a grid. You also have a neat magic system where you find blue crystals (Magirocks in English), and they act as a sort of total mana. You buy magic rings at vendors (you have a money system now!), and how many Magirocks you have dictate how many total rings you can carry around. One ring is one use of that spell, and once it's spent, you get thost Magirocks back to "spend" again, not unlike spell slots in something like Dungeons & Dragons. We have lots of big, impressive bosses to fight, and there are tons of different weapons and armors to collect to give yourself different elemental damage & status effect resistances and strengths.

However, despite just how far this laundry list of mechanical advancements may make it seem like we've come since Illusion of Gaia, these successes start to fall apart under closer scrutiny. A lot of areas are quite close quarters, so your nimble character doesn't feel like his speed in combat is particularly useful compared to how fast his enemies are. Boss design in particular is quite bad, frankly, and I cannot begin to count how many bosses (including the very first one) not only did MASSIVE amounts of damage compared to enemies in their area but also had quite unclear methods on how to even damage them in the first place. Dodging attacks, getting nuked down in seconds, and waiting very annoyingly long times between opportunities to be able to hit the boss at all are something that plague the fights in this game terribly, and that goes especially for the dreadful final boss. The bosses in this game aren't so much "not fun because they're so difficult" so much as they are "not fun because they're often just as boring as they are frustrating", and that's not something I can even begin to say for the other two games in this series (at least in their Japanese versions).

None of this is helped, of course, by other bad choices or clumsy implementations of other mechanics. The jumping is a "neat" new mechanic, sure, but that doesn't really solve how the platforming in this game just overall kinda sucks. Walking on (or god forbid walking onto) ropes is an overly fiddly experience at the best of times, and most of the jumping that *is* here is either barely necessary or far more frustrating than it needs to be. The painstaking put together magic system is also just basically useless as well. Rings don't cost *that* much, but they cost more than enough that they'll add up very quick with how limited their uses are. They're generally also very ineffective compared to just pummeling things to death, and they're often not too useful for bosses either.

On top of all that, unlike the previous two games, enemies respawn as soon as you leave and re-enter a room now, so using a big magic spell to forever-kill a difficult enemy isn't a consideration anymore either. Factor in as well that the level design and signposting are awful, so you're going to spend a LOT of time being lost and re-wandering around areas over and over. I reckon I spent about 4-ish hours in total lost over several points before I just looked up a guide for it, and I recommend following a guide for this game in general, frankly. To top it all off, the game even has a DREADFUL stealth section full of guards who use have random patrol patterns in areas almost always clearly not actually designed for stealthing (as they're often reused from other castle areas in whole or in part), and it's no small miracle that I managed to get through that section as quick as I did without using save states. On the whole, I found Terranigma's gameplay thoroughly mediocre. It's hardly the worst on the system, sure, but it's a huge pile of bad-to-just-okay implemented systems that do a lot more harm than good compared to the more simple but polished experiences offered by its predecessors.

Aesthetically, at least, this game is very very nice. It's a Super Famicom game from 1995, and damn does it look like it. From environments to NPCs to enemies to bosses, this game looks absolutely incredible, and for all the other bad things I can say about it, the graphics are outstanding. The music is also quite good, but it leans more towards atmospheric tracks than the previous two games. It's not a bad soundtrack, but it's my least favorite of the three, at the very least.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. I wish I could only chalk up how hard this game is to recommend on sheer disappointment. I had heard a lot of great things about this game over the years, and with how much I enjoyed the previous two games, I was excited for a grand crescendo to a great trilogy. But with how bad stuff like the boss fights, signposting, and stealth section are, there are much larger caveats to recommending this game than simply "well it's not as well executed or written as the previous ones". Terranigma is a very pretty game, but it's just not a very good one. While it may not be an outright bad game, you'll honestly be better served playing one of the many other better games in this genre on this platform than trying to have a Just OK time trudging through this game's missteps.
Last edited by PartridgeSenpai on Thu Jan 04, 2024 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2024!
***Denotes Replay For Completion***

1. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

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I beat Mario Kart Wii on the Nintendo Wii this evening!

I have always loved the Mario Kart franchise as it has been one of my favorites from Nintendo. For me, it got off on a rocky start as I wasn't a big fan of Mario Kart on the SNES or the GBA one. But, I absolutely loved the N64 version back in the day, the GameCube one is probably the best one in the series and Mario Kart 8/Deluxe could be nearly impossible to top. I have always played them with my friend except for one and that was Mario Kart Wii. See, the game does not allow you to compete in cups in Multiplayer, so we just skipped over that one. Well, I finally got my own Wii and I enjoy single player games, so I was excited to play the Mario Kart that I had skipped over.

Thankfully, Mario Kart Wii still has a lot of that Mario Kart charm. The courses, besides a few, are actually pretty great. They have some innovative ideas and they are fun to play. The music is some of the best in the series with Maple Treeway being a personal favorite. Also, I love that they added GameCube controller support instead of forcing you to play with Motion Controls. You can also use the Classic Controller as well. The Presentation and graphics are also quite nice. Some of the textures can look a little flat, but overall, they are a step up from the GameCube version. It is a very serviceable Mario Kart, though it never separates itself from the pack.

Also, the nitpicks began to grow as time went on. The random items is absolutely absurd. During races, I would sometimes be hit with multiple lightning bolts, blue shells, countless inks and so many other weapons that it became absurd. I had never seen so much thrown at me. Even though you can use the GameCube controller, you have to use the D-Pad to perform tricks, which means moving your thumb off the stick and is quite annoying. Also, the Rainbow Road course could be one of the hardest in the series as it was absolutely brutal.

Overall, I mostly enjoyed my time with Mario Kart Wii. I did have really high expectations going in from others in the series. I think its better than the 2D versions, but probably no better than any of the 3D versions. The rubberband AI and amount of items thrown at you make the game a little unfair. But, if you just want to enjoy Mario Kart, this is a fairly serviceable one. I'm glad I played it because I appreciate the others, but I would only recommend if you are a hardcore Mario Kart fan!
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Partridge Senpai's 2023 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
* indicates a repeat
1. Terranigma (SFC)

2. Eastward (PC)

While I had my Xbox controller out and the PC all ready to play games, I figured I may as well keep on chugging away at PC games that I've been meaning to play for ages. Eastward is a game my partner got me on Steam a good few months back, so it's been one I've been meaning to play for quite some time. I'd only ever heard good things about it, and though I wasn't *super* familiar with it, from what little I did know, it seemed right up my alley. It took me around 23 or so hours to beat the English version of the game while doing as many side quests and such as I can.

Eastward is the story of John, a miner living in the underground town of Potcrock Isle, who one day finds a little girl underground. Taking on the name Sam, this strange, white haired girl who he found in a strange yellow pod underground quickly becomes close to John, and they spend their days at the mines as John works out a meager living for the two of them. However, Sam's adventurous spirit combined with the turning hand of fate quickly make things difficult for the two of them, and they're forced to journey, as the title says, Eastward, for better or worse.

Eastward was a game I absolutely bunched in with games like Undertale or Omori (two games, mind you, I haven't played) when it came out. It wears its inspirations on its sleeves, and the Mother/Earthbound series is very transparently one of them (to the point there's even a game-within-the-game called "Earth Born" that you can play). However, unlike many other Earthbound-inspired games, Eastward shares its genre with its other big inspiration, The Legend of Zelda, and with its other main inspirations very clearly being Japanese anime like Studio Ghibli films (as if the extremely obvious Hayao Miyazaki didn't make that clear enough), it certainly sets a quite high bar for itself both narratively and mechanically.

Narratively, unquestionably so, I'd say it really lives up to the task it sets out for itself. Where something like the Mother series often uses a tale of growing up to communicate about the main themes of the respective title, Eastward uses being aged to do that. Honestly, I'd say the Studio Ghibli inspirations feel a lot stronger than the Mother/Earthbound inspirations in this regard, since the overall messaging and themes veer more towards contemplations on daily (especially family) life rather than the larger philosophical themes that Shigesato Itoi's works usually focus on. Eastward's main themes of responsibility and guardianship really impressed me. There's so much care and attention focused around the the different aspects of leadership and adult life (whether it's being the head of a settlement, a loving partner, or a parent to a child), it weaves a nuanced and heartfelt story masterfully. It's a story that's not afraid to get dark, but it's also a story that is never needlessly cruel or gratuitous, and that's something else I really appreciated it for. Eastward is easily one of the best written games I've ever played, and it's definitely one of my new favorite stories in media, hands down.

While the narrative of Eastward may be more in the vein of a Studio Ghibli film, the gameplay is unquestionably more along the lines of The Legend of Zelda. It's a top-down 2D action/adventure game where you go through dungeons, solve puzzles, do sidequests, talk to townsfolk, all that good stuff. That said, given that this is a more linear game where backtracking to old areas is generally impossible, I suppose you could say it has more in common with games like Illusion of Gaia than Link to the Past. As a big fan of these types of action/adventure games, I found this to be a really fun one! The dungeon and boss design is really good, and the pacing of the story vs. action segments is also handled very well. There's a fair bit of side content to involve yourself with as well, and you very well might want to, because this is honestly a pretty tough game quite frequently.

You can swap between John and Sam on the fly most of the time, and you can even split them up to operate them independently for puzzle solving. Sam has some attacks, but her main arsenal is a ranged stun move. John is your main pummeler and dispatcher of baddies, and his melee attack of a pan combined with the several guns you get over the course of the game will be how most bosses and such are fought. Rushing blindly forward into battle is often not the best course of action, however. John will step forward with each pan strike, which will usually stunlock most lone enemies, but it's not very helpful for fighting groups. Using Sam to stun enemies as well as dealing out your ammo (your guns all draw from the same pool) and bombs wisely is the key to surviving combats well, and the large enemy variety and well designed bosses make combat always something that's fun, even when it's hard. The game even has a very clearly Breath of the Wild-inspired cooking mechanic to top it all off, so you can always sure up your health bar with big healing items should you need to. On the whole, Eastward's mechanical design is just as well thought out as its narrative design, and that is to say: absolutely excellent.

Aesthetically, Eastward is part of the modern trend of pixel-art indie games, but it's a *very* nice looking one of those. The music is fantastic and compliments each area and scene very nicely. The pixel art is also beautiful, and the enemy and especially NPC design is done so well that it brings each area to life in a way that feels different from the last. So many small touches and flourishes to each NPC, especially Sam, had be grinning ear to ear more times than I can count in just how well they add character and voice to a game with no voice acting. To that point, the localization in this game is REALLY well done. I honestly never would've guessed this game wasn't written originally in English with just how well done the dialogue writing is, and this Shanghai-based indie studio could frankly teach a lot of AAA publishers a thing or two with just how much care and attention can really bring a game to life in a new language.

I'll finish this review off with talking about the game-within-a-game, Earth Born. Rather than being some tacked on little mini-game, Earth Born is a properly fleshed out little game (as well as a not super subtle framing device for the rest of the game), and a really competently put together little rogue-lite RPG. *This* is where the Earthbound-inspired mechanical design is, and you, the knight, have 7 days to train up, get equipped, and assemble a party before the demon lord's ritual is complete. It's a pretty involved little game, and you could easily spend a ton of time learning its ins and outs and optimizing routes if you were so inclined. You can also get little in-game amiibo-type things in Eastward to use as extra items in Earth Born if things get too tough (and I know I needed them), but you thankfully never actually *have* to play Earth Born for any real period of time. I played it once and got lucky enough to get the normal ending in it (but good gods was it close), and that single full playthrough took me almost an hour! With how good Eastward already is, Earth Born is just icing on the cake and one more thing to get invested in if you're so inclined~.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is the 3rd year in a row that I've ended up playing something very early in the year that becomes an all-time favorite game. Two years ago it was Dandy Dungeon, last year it was Disco Elysium, and this year it's Eastward. Eastward is a master craft of storytelling and an excellently put together action/adventure games that's absolutely deserving of standing tall amongst its inspirations. Not many dev teams could've put together something that works this well, but these folks have managed it, and I'm super excited for whatever it is they put out next. If a bit of difficulty doesn't turn you off to it, this is one you definitely don't wanna miss out on if you're at all into quality story telling in games or 2D Zelda-likes because it's one of the best non-rogue-like indie games out there right now, as far as I'm concerned.


-----

3. Pulse (PC)

This is one of a handful of games I backed on Kickstarter well over a decade ago and just never got around to properly playing. My girlfriend of the time and I used to play games like this, very artsy, colorful stuff, all the time back then, and this was one we just never got around to playing together back then. This is a game that's pretty poorly documented online (being a not super stand-out indie game from a decade+ ago), but with how short the HowLongToBeat time on it was, I figured I might as well sit down and finally finish the thing. Playing with a controller, it took me about an hour and a half to finish the English version of the game while getting like 20 out of 50 collectibles (though I more often than not wasn't really trying to find them, admittedly ^^;).

Pulse is the story of Eva, a girl living on a tropical island who has set out to do the trial that all members of her village do to enter adulthood. Eva, however, has generally been kept from ever attempting this, and from her family's perspective, for a very good reason: She's blind. Only able to "see" the world when it's illuminated via pulses of sound in the environment, she nonetheless sets out on a boat to do the trial, and ends up completing a lot more than that in the process. Pulse isn't a super world-changing game narratively, but it's still a well enough written story. It can be a bit hard to follow at times with just how experimental and odd the storytelling can be, but it's still a nicely written tale of facing your fears and not letting other people decide what your limits are.

Gameplay-wise, Pulse is something between an adventure game and a walking simulator. You navigate the world in first-person, and you're really just getting from one end of the level to the next. While there is some platforming and even a stealth section or two to hide from monsters that live on this island, the actual interactions with other entities is (thankfully) quite a small part of the game. Aided by furry little critters called Mokos (which are the only thing that Eva can completely "see" no matter where they are in the level), you can toss them around to solve puzzles or just create pulses to see the world with to progress forward. Really, just navigating levels in and of itself is the game's biggest challenge for the player, as just seeing what's around you can at times be extremely disorienting with both how your "sight" works as well as how levels are designed. The stealth sections involving monsters kinda sucks, but it's short enough that it's hard to give the game too much flak for it. It's quite frustrating sometimes to just find the path forward, but that's also kinda the entire point of the game. If you're playing Pulse, that's the exercise you've signed up for, so while it may be awkward and fiddly, it's hard for me to knock the game *too* badly for just doing what it sets out to do ^^;

Aesthetically, the game is very pretty if a bit too simple looking at times. The sound design is quite well done, but, kinda like I expressed in the previous paragraph, the beautiful world can at times get in the way of actually playing the game. It's quite hard to explain how the visuals in Pulse work in only text, but you don't use echolocation. If a sound is happening in the world, that part of the world is visible due to the sound pulses emanated off of those surfaces. This isn't echo location, however, as it's very easy to "see" something through a wall because that wall isn't illuminated with pulses but the thing beyond it is. The Mokos are cute and the concept of "a world through the eyes of a blind girl" is a super neat one, and it makes for a very visually striking and unique little adventure, but if you're sensitive to flashing lights or lots of quick changing colors, this might be one to steer clear of, because it can get *very* disorienting at times in some stages.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. Pulse isn't a bad game, but it's a very particularly made one. It does what it sets out to do to an OK degree, but what it's setting out to do is in and of itself going to be something that is only appealing to certain kinds of players, and with very little replay value and such a short play time, this is one that will likely be a difficult to justify purchase for many. If reading this review has made you curious about it, I highly encourage you to check out a video or two on Pulse to get a look at just what it looks like, because it's a super neat concept for a game, and it's not like Pulse fucks it up completely or anything. Pulse is a game made for a very specific kind of person, and while I may not be that person, I think there is still a lot of interest to be found in this title for the right kind of gamer.
Last edited by PartridgeSenpai on Fri Jan 05, 2024 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

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I am completely unsurprised to find you enjoyed Eastward, Pidge. Based on your experience with other games, the stuff that bugged me were the exact things you would like.
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

1. Chico and The Magic Orchard DX (Switch)
2. Dusk ‘82 (Switch)


Chico and The Magic Orchard DX is a faux Gameboy Color game inspired mostly by Link’s Awakening. In it, you play as a chipmunk who rolls a walnut in front of him to press switches and solve puzzles. Like Link’s Awakening, the game is played from an overhead perspective, and it features five dungeons full of traps and puzzles. There is no combat, however, and the game is much more focused on puzzle solving. (The primary exception is the “boss” at the end of each dungeon, each of which still plays more like a puzzle than a battle.) Likewise, there isn’t much of an overworld, and while you can play the dungeons in any order, it is pretty linear. You collect seeds as you proceed, and you can use these to purchase color palettes and songs from an in-game shop. Once you beat the game, you unlock a bonus quest, which is better than anything in the main game. Nintendo Life’s 9/10 review score is way too generous - the game is frequently frustrating for the wrong reasons - but it’s still pretty fun and charming. It’s also only $4.99, and it easily justifies its low asking price. Recommended.

Dusk ‘82 asks, “What if boomer shooter Dusk was actually a Sokoban game developed for home computers in 1982?” The answer is: It would be a pretty fun, if easy and short, action-puzzle experience. The game moves like Rogue. That is, the enemies move when you move, and learning how to manipulate enemies’ movements is critical to solving the puzzles. There are hordes of enemies, and you have to dispatch all of them to complete each level. Thankfully, your bullets, bombs, etc. aren’t bound by time; so, you can shoot enemies without taking a “turn”. It all works really well, and it’s a fun game even if you aren’t a fan of boomer shooters. The game was a pre-order bonus for Dusk, but it’s now available as a standalone title. I enjoyed it, despite not having played Dusk, and I recommend it (when it’s on sale for $2.99 or less!).
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

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Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

1. Tormented Souls - Switch

I first saw Tormented Souls being played at GDQ one year. It became clear that this was a modern take on Resident Evil, and I got excited and put it on my Switch wishlist. It recently went on sale, so I snagged a copy and played through. And it definitely meets with expectations, though some of the puzzle design is a bit obtuse.

The game begins with the main character, Caroline, being sent a photograph of two girls with a note on the back "you can't leave them". She decides to track down the return address and finds a creepy mansion, where she is promptly conked out by an unseen person. She wakes up naked, in a bathtub, with a ventilator down her throat. She then discovers that her right eye has been removed. With these mysteries on top of the mystery that brought her here, you are off to explore, solve puzzles, shoot monsters, and discover a deeper horror than the surface.

The game is unabashedly a Resident Evil clone. It uses fixed camera angles with some panning, a la Code Veronica, and it allows for both tank controls and modern controls. Honestly, I found tank controls to be more reliable with the camera angles (and I've never minded them in the first place). You have a mansion that you will crisscross as you pick up key items to use on things in the environment to open locks and otherwise progress. Most of the puzzles are clever in a good way, but there's a handful that require you to do some "how does the dev's brain work?" thinking like old school adventure games. The biggest thing that stood out is many obviously useful objects you pick up still need to be examined and interacted with. Sometimes it's simple, like removing the cap from a gas container. Sometimes interacting with the object reveals the hint for the puzzle on how to use it. This is a departure from RE, where you only needed to examine objects to put them into their final form. It definitely got me a few times.

The combat is about the same quality as RE1. None of the monsters are particularly fast, and they mostly come one at a time. You get a handful of weapons, and they get the job done. There's just about enough ammo to kill everything without having to stress, but there is one monster designed solely to waste your ammo. See, the first time you run into this monster you shoot it, then shoot it again, thinking it's killable. It's not. The fat floating ghost enemy should only be shot to knock it down and get past it (as it loses collision when knocked down). As long as you remember this you should be fine resource wise. The game uses limited saves (finding tape to record your journey), but I ended the game with 8 leftover, so as long as you don't save after every little thing you should be fine as well.

The game definitely shows the fact it doesn't have the highest budget, but it put all its effort in the right places. If you're a fan of old school survival horror games I highly recommend this one.
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

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1. Lufia & the Fortress of Doom (SNES)

My experience with the Lufia games started in the mid '90s, when I randomly picked out Lufia II from a selection of games available at Toys 'R Us. That may have been the best game I ever picked out solely based on the cover art. While I really enjoyed the game, I had a tough time figuring out some of the puzzles and never finished it back then. More recently, I wanted to finally tackle it again, but first I wanted to complete the earlier entry in the series, which I never played.

Lufia is a turn-based RPG, which follows the descendant of a hero named Maxim. When the game begins, you're playing as a leveled up Maxim and his allies, fighting the Sinistrals. This is a good way to help the player along to learn the basic controls and battle system. Once the initial battle and introduction is over, things shift to the present state of affairs, and you control the main character of the quest, who actually doesn't have a canon name to my knowledge. I found the story to be quite engaging, as there were a few interesting plot twists throughout.

Regarding the battle system, there's one quirk here that those who have played the game will usually bring up, which is if your character is selected to attack an enemy (or enemies) that has perished already, they still will attack it, and their attack will simply miss. I didn't find this mechanic to be too burdensome, as it makes the player calculate their approach to each battle. I found this mechanic kept me focused in the battles, as I was always trying to avoid missing enemies. Another interesting gameplay mechanic is the hidden items or treasure chests throughout the game and the ability to acquire Dragon Eggs. When you finish the game, you will receive a status screen that lets you know how many of the items you found and the total amount throughout the journey. After finding eight Dragon Eggs, you can travel to the Dragon Shrine and receive an item or stat upgrade. I went through the Dragon Egg sidequest three times and chose to receive three Might Shields for my party.

The graphics aren't a strong point, as it's an earlier release on the console, but I think the game looks decent overall. There are some fun character sprite animations, and there are even a few large boss sprites that are fairly impressive. The soundtrack is a mixed bag IMO, there are some great tunes and jingles that I really like, but there are a few that I found to be tough to listen to, such as the background song that's playing while you're shopping for items. For the most part, the music has a light and uplifting vibe, which I enjoy.

Overall, Lufia & the Fortress of Doom is a fun adventure, and is worth a playthrough for fans of the genre. The game is relatively short for a RPG on the console, as I completed it in about 32 hours, including a fair amount of grinding and the Dragon Egg sidequests. I recommend this one, check it out if you haven't already!
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Raging Justice
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Raging Justice »

MrPopo wrote:Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

1. Tormented Souls - Switch

I first saw Tormented Souls being played at GDQ one year. It became clear that this was a modern take on Resident Evil, and I got excited and put it on my Switch wishlist. It recently went on sale, so I snagged a copy and played through. And it definitely meets with expectations, though some of the puzzle design is a bit obtuse.

The game begins with the main character, Caroline, being sent a photograph of two girls with a note on the back "you can't leave them". She decides to track down the return address and finds a creepy mansion, where she is promptly conked out by an unseen person. She wakes up naked, in a bathtub, with a ventilator down her throat. She then discovers that her right eye has been removed. With these mysteries on top of the mystery that brought her here, you are off to explore, solve puzzles, shoot monsters, and discover a deeper horror than the surface.

The game is unabashedly a Resident Evil clone. It uses fixed camera angles with some panning, a la Code Veronica, and it allows for both tank controls and modern controls. Honestly, I found tank controls to be more reliable with the camera angles (and I've never minded them in the first place). You have a mansion that you will crisscross as you pick up key items to use on things in the environment to open locks and otherwise progress. Most of the puzzles are clever in a good way, but there's a handful that require you to do some "how does the dev's brain work?" thinking like old school adventure games. The biggest thing that stood out is many obviously useful objects you pick up still need to be examined and interacted with. Sometimes it's simple, like removing the cap from a gas container. Sometimes interacting with the object reveals the hint for the puzzle on how to use it. This is a departure from RE, where you only needed to examine objects to put them into their final form. It definitely got me a few times.

The combat is about the same quality as RE1. None of the monsters are particularly fast, and they mostly come one at a time. You get a handful of weapons, and they get the job done. There's just about enough ammo to kill everything without having to stress, but there is one monster designed solely to waste your ammo. See, the first time you run into this monster you shoot it, then shoot it again, thinking it's killable. It's not. The fat floating ghost enemy should only be shot to knock it down and get past it (as it loses collision when knocked down). As long as you remember this you should be fine resource wise. The game uses limited saves (finding tape to record your journey), but I ended the game with 8 leftover, so as long as you don't save after every little thing you should be fine as well.

The game definitely shows the fact it doesn't have the highest budget, but it put all its effort in the right places. If you're a fan of old school survival horror games I highly recommend this one.


I really love when other devs do the Resident Evil formula. It's nice to have options outside of what Capcom puts out. I just wish someone could do a proper Dino Crisis clone

MrPopo wrote:I am completely unsurprised to find you enjoyed Eastward, Pidge. Based on your experience with other games, the stuff that bugged me were the exact things you would like.


It's kind of fascinating when that happens. Like sometimes journalists will crap all over a game and it doesn't sound like the game is actually bad, it's just that they don't particularly like what the game does. Sometimes that just means that particular journalist is not the target audience
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by marurun »

Raging Justice wrote:It's kind of fascinating when that happens. Like sometimes journalists will crap all over a game and it doesn't sound like the game is actually bad, it's just that they don't particularly like what the game does. Sometimes that just means that particular journalist is not the target audience


Any good or experienced reviewer who hasn’t mistakenly taken themselves as the sole arbiter of taste will recognize this. When magazine used to have stables of reviewers they often tried to pair games with folks who generally liked key genres. But reviews are most useful when they tell us about the game and not just a score. I was really fond of Ebert for movies not because I agreed with him but because the way he wrote his reviews and what I knew about his preferences were helpful for predicting what my opinions might be of a film.
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