Games Beaten 2024

Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
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Stark
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Stark »

  1. Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (English patch) - TurboGrafx CD - January 3rd
  2. Castlevania: Bloodlines - Genesis - January 5th
  3. Castlevania: Dracula X - SNES - January 6th
  4. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - January 16th
  5. Castlevania 64 - Nintendo 64 - January 23rd
6. Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness - Nintendo 64 - January 27th

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Well, after playing Castlevania 64 and this back-to-back, I believe the only reason to play C64 is to increase your appreciation of the changes for Legacy of Darkness. Made just under a year after C64, this is basically a remix/remaster of the original content and an addition of a prequel storyline. If you've played Dark Souls 2 and then the remix/remaster Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, it is the same feeling. Monsters and locations and everything is improved with intentionality.

First off the camera. Whoa, what a difference. In the first you had multiple options and had to fiddle with each, in this you have two options "Action" and "Battle", but I left it at "Action" the whole time and was very satisfied. They also included a lock-on option which was super handy in flying boss sections. Second the save points. If you read my review on C64 this was a huge problem (leading me to using save states where there should be save points.) They've completely fixed this by putting save points all of the locations that needed them. I will say that I didn't play the remastered versions of Reinhart's story, so I don't know how they handled the two egregious examples I list in my review.

This story follows Cornell, a werewolf and takes place 8 years before the events of C64. It feels a little weird in light of playing C64 since a lot of the levels are the same and have the same thing happen in them, so not sure what the deal is in regards to story there, did both things occur or not? Maybe I am looking too closely haha. Overall the story flows nicely though so no complaints there.

Gameplay-wise, it plays a lot like C64, but feels just better tuned, it's hard to explain, but what I wanted to whip I did, whereas in the original I felt like I would make mistakes that felt like the controls hindering me. If this was the first 3D entry into Castlevania it would be amazing, but I think C64 ruined it and a chance was lost. Play this game!
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Hell yeah! I'm glad you enjoyed Legacy of Darkness! That game is great! ^w^
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Limewater
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Limewater »

I'm still a little confused.
So Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness contains a full remake of Castlevania 64? Featuring the same protagonists and settings?

Is it an option on the menu, or something that becomes available after beating the main game?
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Limewater wrote:I'm still a little confused.
So Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness contains a full remake of Castlevania 64? Featuring the same protagonists and settings?

Is it an option on the menu, or something that becomes available after beating the main game?


Iirc, it's something you unlock after you beat the game once? I wanna say you beat the game once to unlock the first sorta "remix" mode, as such, and then beating it with that new character unlocks the ability to play as the characters from the original game?
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Stark
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

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Limewater wrote:I'm still a little confused.
So Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness contains a full remake of Castlevania 64? Featuring the same protagonists and settings?

Is it an option on the menu, or something that becomes available after beating the main game?

First game has two protagonists Reinhart and Carrie and they have about 8/10 of the same levels shared between them. 2 of the levels for each are different.

Second game has Cornell, a lot of the levels are remastered versions of the ones I played as Reinhart. In one of the levels with a garden maze, you have to save a child of the manor named Henry. When you beat the game as Cornell, you unlock Henry as a playable character when he is older as a knight. He does a timed thing through some of the levels where you have to save children (6 I think?) each child you save unlocks something, 2 of which are Reinhart and Carrie, which are essentially their original stories and levels all of which are the remixed versions. So 4 characters to play through total, a little confusing. At some point I may go back and play through to unlock Reinhart and see the differences, but it is irritating the hoops you have to jump through to get it unlocked.
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elricorico
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by elricorico »

1. Sonic Lost World (WiiU)
2. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (NS)
3. Kinect Adventures (XB360)
4. Metal Slug (PC)

5. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)


This cart has been in my collection for a long time, but it's reputation kept it low on my priority list. I wanted to play something old, that I was confident I could beat, and that wouldn't take terribly long. This fit the bill.

This has been described as a JRPG made for beginners, and that seems to be largely accurate. The systems are super simplified, for example you never have to equip any armor, you automatically benefit from whatever you have in your inventory. You have 2 party members max, and the second can be left to play automatically if you choose. The world is small, even if it had been an 8-bit RPG it wouldn't have been considered large. The story is barely there and tends to be delivered with short bits of goofy dialogue. Many "cut scenes" end with one character saying something silly and leaving the room while the protagonist delivers his shrugging animation.

It plays alright though, battles move pretty quickly and you tend to have continuous progression. The music is fairly solid, I even had one of the battle themes in my head the other day. Graphics are adequate, mostly simple, but the enemies are fairly clean looking - more of a Dragon Quest art style for the enemies than a traditional Final Fantasy style. There are some minor puzzles, most of which are very straightforward, but a couple a just poorly designed. For example there was a puzzle where you have to move a statue in a tower to allow you to jump across a span. The tower has multiple entrances and you must leave after moving the statue and re-enter to take advantage of its new position. If you have moved the statue and it isn't the "correct" place it moves back to its original location when you re-enter the tower. So if you don't know the answer the first time you may find yourself wondering how you make use of the statue if it keeps going back where it started.

The difficulty is low, especially since losing in battle has no real consequence. You can choose not to "give up" after you party is killed and the battle simply restarts with fresh RNG. Having only two party members is a double edged sword. It does keep battles simple and relatively fast, but if one of your members has bad luck and falls to a critical hit or gets turned to stone, you are just one more unlucky strike away from your whole party being gone.

The biggest thing I found myself wishing for was a "run" button, as the protagonist seems to be in no rush to walk along the world, stretching a short game to about 16 hours of playtime for me. Otherwise it was a bit nostalgic and a bit relaxing to cruise through this game. I wouldn't skip any of the more popular SNES RPGs to get around to playing this one, but when you've played the big names this one is a different approach to the genre in that era.
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ZRofel
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by ZRofel »

elricorico wrote:
5. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)


This cart has been in my collection for a long time, but it's reputation kept it low on my priority list. I wanted to play something old, that I was confident I could beat, and that wouldn't take terribly long. This fit the bill.

This has been described as a JRPG made for beginners, and that seems to be largely accurate. The systems are super simplified, for example you never have to equip any armor, you automatically benefit from whatever you have in your inventory. You have 2 party members max, and the second can be left to play automatically if you choose. The world is small, even if it had been an 8-bit RPG it wouldn't have been considered large. The story is barely there and tends to be delivered with short bits of goofy dialogue. Many "cut scenes" end with one character saying something silly and leaving the room while the protagonist delivers his shrugging animation.

It plays alright though, battles move pretty quickly and you tend to have continuous progression. The music is fairly solid, I even had one of the battle themes in my head the other day. Graphics are adequate, mostly simple, but the enemies are fairly clean looking - more of a Dragon Quest art style for the enemies than a traditional Final Fantasy style. There are some minor puzzles, most of which are very straightforward, but a couple a just poorly designed. For example there was a puzzle where you have to move a statue in a tower to allow you to jump across a span. The tower has multiple entrances and you must leave after moving the statue and re-enter to take advantage of its new position. If you have moved the statue and it isn't the "correct" place it moves back to its original location when you re-enter the tower. So if you don't know the answer the first time you may find yourself wondering how you make use of the statue if it keeps going back where it started.

The difficulty is low, especially since losing in battle has no real consequence. You can choose not to "give up" after you party is killed and the battle simply restarts with fresh RNG. Having only two party members is a double edged sword. It does keep battles simple and relatively fast, but if one of your members has bad luck and falls to a critical hit or gets turned to stone, you are just one more unlucky strike away from your whole party being gone.

The biggest thing I found myself wishing for was a "run" button, as the protagonist seems to be in no rush to walk along the world, stretching a short game to about 16 hours of playtime for me. Otherwise it was a bit nostalgic and a bit relaxing to cruise through this game. I wouldn't skip any of the more popular SNES RPGs to get around to playing this one, but when you've played the big names this one is a different approach to the genre in that era.


Yeah, I've always felt FF: MQ's reputation as being a terrible game is somewhat undeserved. It's certainly not great, and coming out at a time when so many other SNES RPGs were genuine bangers made it look poorer by contrast. But playing it isn't a miserable experience. It's just kind of OK. You can knock it out pretty easily in a weekend, and as experiences go you'll feel like you had the Final Fantasy equivalent of eating fast food. I do think the soundtrack is genuinely fantastic, though. Especially the music in the final dungeon and during the last boss battle.

I just wrapped up a quick play-through of Dragon Quest II last night. I played the Switch port, so it's the remake with difficulty adjusted to be more in line with the rest of the series (I've hear the original NES version is just miserably brutal). It was a pleasant enough experience, but I definitely see why this series really took off with Dragon Quest III. By this point I've played almost all of the Dragon Quest games in one form or another, but never felt particular compelled to play the original or this sequel. And now that I have, I feel like my initial understanding was pretty accurate.

The Dragon Quest series from the third entry on genuinely feels timeless. Sure, the earlier games might be a touch grindy, but there's a comfort-food quality that really permeates the whole series. Playing Dragon Quest XI fairly recently, it's almost shocking how little the series has changed since its earlier entries, particularly in contrast to its oldest rival, Final Fantasy. Sure, the graphics might be prettier, and the music might be richer, but the enemies, the spells, the world design, the tone of the stories, the pacing of the game-play, all of it feels like it's taken from the same set of tools going all the way back to the NES/Famicom games. But that's not a bad thing. They really discovered this sweat spot where the games feel comfortably familiar without feeling boring or repetitive. And I think that sweat spot was discovered with the third game. Dragon Quest II (or at least, the remake) isn't a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but it definitely feels like it's missing something compared to III, IV, V, etc. The characters aren't as interesting, the world doesn't feel as rich and colorful, combat lacks a degree of pleasant depth, and so forth. No part of it feels bad, but I absolutely felt like the designers were building towards something great that they just hadn't reached yet.

In a way it's funny discussing Dragon Quest II right after a review of Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, as I feel like they're somewhat similar. Mystic Quest isn't terrible, it just feels like it lacks some of the building blocks of a classic Final Fantasy in the same way Dragon Quest II feels like it lacks some of the building blocks of a classic Dragon Quest. Of course, the designers of Dragon Quest II went on to apply the lessons they learned to Dragon Quest III and its predecessors and never looked back. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest came out after Final Fantasy II(IV) and the Famicom Final Fantasy III, both of which are far superior games. So I can definitely see why it feels like a bit more of a misstep :P
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Note »

elricorico wrote:5. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)[/b]

This cart has been in my collection for a long time, but it's reputation kept it low on my priority list. I wanted to play something old, that I was confident I could beat, and that wouldn't take terribly long. This fit the bill.


ZRofel wrote:Yeah, I've always felt FF: MQ's reputation as being a terrible game is somewhat undeserved. It's certainly not great, and coming out at a time when so many other SNES RPGs were genuine bangers made it look poorer by contrast. But playing it isn't a miserable experience. It's just kind of OK. You can knock it out pretty easily in a weekend, and as experiences go you'll feel like you had the Final Fantasy equivalent of eating fast food. I do think the soundtrack is genuinely fantastic, though. Especially the music in the final dungeon and during the last boss battle.


Just wanted to chime in and say I liked Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest as well. I went into it knowing it wasn't going to be a great game but I enjoyed it for what it is. Also, I totally agree with ZRofel's sentiments about the soundtrack, which I think is pretty great.
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

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1. Lufia & the Fortress of Doom (SNES)
2. OutRun 2 SP (PS2)
3. Dynamite Cop (DC)*

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4. Soul Calibur (DC)*

I've already reviewed Soul Calibur on the forum a few years back, so I'll keep this short and sweet.

While I was revisiting a few Dreamcast games and checking out whether my discs were playing properly on the console, I fired up Soul Calibur, and of course I couldn't put it down after just a round or two. I ended up going through the game as Kilik, who is my character of choice. Soul Calibur's graphics, soundtrack, and voice acting still all hold up today and it's just a very overall impressive package and one of the first examples where I saw a home console port actually top the arcade. Soul Calibur was not only one of the stronger launch date releases for the Dreamcast, but I think it's one of the best games on the system. While there's still some 3D fighters I need to check out, out of the ones I've played, I'd have to say Soul Calibur is still my favorite game in the genre.

If for whatever reason you skipped out on Soul Calibur, definitely give this one some time! Highly recommended.
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

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1. Lufia & the Fortress of Doom (SNES)
2. OutRun 2 SP (PS2)
3. Dynamite Cop (DC)*
4. Soul Calibur (DC)*

Image

5. Melfand Stories (SFC)

Lately there's been a lot of fan translations released, opening up the audiences for some great titles, and Melfand Stories happens to be another title that recently received an English patch. It's a side-scrolling beat 'em up with a fantasy theme, which instantly piqued my interest as I'm a fan of the genre and always looking for 16-bit and 32-bit beat 'em ups that I missed out on.

There are four characters to choose from, each with a different regular attack. The game consists of one male character and three female, which I think is a cool design choice, as it's usually the opposite in these games. There's one male named El who has a small sword, there's Corse who has a spear, Lemon who has a wand with her main attack being a light magic spell, and Nora who has a whip. Regarding regular attacks, I think Lemon's attack has the most range, and Nora's whip would come next. El and Corse have to attack pretty close up. For this playthrough, I went through the game mostly as El, but tried the other characters to compare.

Melfand Stories is played on a single plain, similar to The Ninja Warriors on SNES, so you are somewhat limited in your movement, and you'll need to learn to use the guard feature early on, because there's no place to run when a few enemies are on screen and gunning after you. Unlike The Ninja Warriors though, there is two-player co-op here. While you aren't able to upgrade your weapon, you can pick up a magic spell or two throughout each level, which I usually saved for a boss encounter. Each stage had a boss at the middle of the level and another at the end of the level, with the bosses being pretty unique for the genre! Some of the enemies you'll face are a pirate lizard, a golem, a flying skeleton, and a hellhound. The game also has branching paths, which is always a nice touch for a beat 'em up, as it adds some replayability. There are nine total levels, but throughout each playthrough you'll only go through five levels. There's also two bonus levels in which you don't have a life meter, with the first being really nice graphically and taking advantage of the Mode 7 functionality.

Graphics wise, I think Melfand Stories looks quite good. The visuals are inspired by anime, which I've found usually makes for a good looking 16-bit game. The characters and backgrounds are very bright and there's an interesting mix of settings throughout levels. Regarding the stages, you'll battle through a forest, a pirate ship, a beach area, a castle, a town or two, and there's even a level where you're riding on the back of a large bird, which reminded me of Golden Axe. There's also some good use of parallax scrolling, especially in the tower level, where you're walking up stairs. I have mixed feelings about the music, as I think it's mostly well done and fits with the theme of the game, but none of the songs really grabbed me.

One criticism I have is with the guard feature and how it's implemented here. To guard or block, you have to hold the same button as attack, which I think is a bit odd, considering there's an open face button, with one being assigned to regular attack, one being assigned to jump, and the other to magic. I think the last face button should have been dedicated to guard.

Overall, I think Melfand Stories is a fun and interesting release on the SFC, which is worth a look if you're a fan of beat 'em ups or action games. I'd love to play through it again with one of the characters that has better range on their weapon and I think it'd be a lot of fun in co-op mode as well. Check this one out if you haven't already!
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