Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

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alienjesus
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Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

Post by alienjesus »

As per annual tradition here at Racketboy, summer is the season for the Summer Games Challenge.

What is the Summer Games Challenge?
Coined long ago by forum member Snickerd00dle, the goal of the Summer Games Challenge is to play a choose a list of 'classic' games you've never played before and attempt to beat them by the time the summer is out. Your list is up to you, but it's extra fun to discuss with other people playing the same games, so worth seeing if there's any games others are playing you've not beaten yet yourself!

What makes a classic game?
It's pretty subjective, but generally it's a game that's highly regarded for the era, system or genre it represents.

How many games do I have to play?
The classic rules of the summer challenge are to pick 10 classic games you havent beaten yet, and try to finish them over the course of the summer. However, there's no reason you cant adjust the number to something more manageable. KeyGlyph has run the thread for the past few years and introduced difficulty modes, so I'll copy those here too:

PEACEFUL MODE:
Make a list of 1-10 classic games you've never beaten
Try to finish 1 before the summer's end

VETERAN MODE:
Make a list of 5-10 classic games you've never beaten
Try to finish 5 before the summer's end

HARDCORE MODE (SnickerD00dle's original stipulations):
Make a list of 10 classic games you've never beaten
Try to finish all of them before the summer's end

I hope we'll get some people joining in - this is one of my favourite traditions on the racketboy forum! Feel free to start coming up with your lists for this summer!
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alienjesus
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Re: Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

Post by alienjesus »

And as per usual, I've already been thinking about my own list. I think I've whittled it down to 10, but I'll post some of my runners-up after my list in case others are playing them too and I might want to swap them in!

1. Faxanadu (NES)
2. Phantasy Star Online (GC)
3. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
4. Mario Golf (GBC)
5. Dragon Quest V (DS)
6. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (Switch)
7. Spyro the Dragon (PS1)
8. LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
9. Radiant Silvergun (Saturn)
10. Star Control 2 (3DO)


And some other options:
- Mario Party 3 (N64)
- Kingdom Hearts (PS2)
- Ape Escape 2 (PS2)
- Klonoa 2 (PS2)
- Mega Man Zero (GBA)
- Tombi (PS1)
- Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES)
- Samurai Shodown (NG)
- Dr. Mario (NES)
- Pokemon Pinball (GBC)
- MUSHA (MD)
- Soldier Blade (PCE)
- Excite Truck (Wii)
- Super Monkey Ball 2 (GC)
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Ack
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Re: Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

Post by Ack »

LET THE PEDANTRY BEGIN!
alienjesus wrote: Sun May 19, 2024 6:10 pm 3. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)
EXPLAIN THIS CHOICE, PEASANT.

And now for my own list, which will surely SHOCK AND AMAZE:

1. Marathon
2. Command & Conquer
3. Rome: Total War
4. Rage
5. Outlast
6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
7. Thief II
8. Ultima IV
9. Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force
10. Tactics Ogre: Reborn


Marathon - This is the start of the definitive 1990s Mac FPS series, which evolved over time in the HALO franchise. It's a pivotal game in terms of FPS history, but due to its Mac release, it has also gone largely unplayed by many FPS enthusiasts. It is time I rectify my life's decisions.

Command & Conquer - An RTS powerhouse that spawned a series and defined the genre, competing directly with the WarCraft line for which game has the best "Ub3r m1cr0", this is considered one of the greatest video games ever made. I stuck to WarCraft as a kid. No longer.

Rome: Total War - Combining Strategy and RTS elements, this has the player commanding the Roman Empire in its attempt to slowly conquer the known world through overall societal management and direct battlefield control. It is heralded as one of the great hybrids and one of the best titles in the Total War franchise. My previous experience with this series has only been with Shogun: Total War, and more people need to play strategy games.

Rage - Heralded more for its technical achievements, this game still managed to make multiple "Best Of" lists in the year of its release, primarily for its graphical wizardry thanks to the developers at id Software. It's also effectively John Carmack's swan song with id Software, and I need to pay homage.

Outlast - Selling well for a horror game and spawning a new franchise, this plays on the "you can't fight, only run and hide" style of survival horror. It garnered attention as one of the best games at E3 when it was shown, and as a horror game fan, I feel I have missed out on a franchise that continued to shape and modernize the survival horror genre in the 2010s.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - A continuation of the hugely popular Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare moving the franchise from World War II towards present day conflicts, this is the next point in the series for me. It also happens to be the best selling video game of 2009 as well as one of the games lauded as the best of that year, and it has been the focus of numerous studies and outrages due to the controversial "No Russian" level. It's time I see where this series was going and how we ended up in the weird quagmire that is the modern COD series.

Thief II - Really? Do I need to explain this? It's like explaining the importance of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Just...just don't. I need to play it.

Ultima IV - Thus begins the evolution of the Ultima series into an examination of morality, bringing the classic RPG franchise in a new direction after the initial trilogy and setting up the next series trilogy from Lord British. Ultima IV is often heralded as one of the best titles in the Ultima series, and even now it stands out uniquely in its genre for how deeply it adhered to its morality system. This isn't as simple as whether you're good or evil, but how deeply do you really adhere to the virtues considered "good" by society. As I have only ever beaten the original trilogy of Ultima, it is time I move into the next block.

Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force - While considered an excellent FPS in its own right, I'm more interested in this game due to its property. Up until this point, Star Trek games were generally viewed as mediocre. Star Wars was killing it; Star Trek simply wasn't in comparison. As a result, this game was heralded as the first "great" Star Trek game upon release. As a fan of FPS and someone who grew up watching multiple Star Trek series, I owe this to myself to see the franchise reach peak video game glory.

Tactics Ogre: Reborn - This is a little tricky to explain, because yes, this technically released in 2022, but its a remastered version of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together from 2010, which is actually a remake of the 1995 Super Famicom game of the same name. So effectively I'm playing a 1995 Super Famicom tactics RPG through the lens of several remasters. That said, having previously played and enjoyed Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen as well as Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis, and having never gotten around to the original Tactics Ogre title via emulation, this appears to be the best way to experience the game today. And I want to see how Tactics Ogre got going, as a fan of strategy and tactics RPGs, a fan of the games in the franchise I have played previously, and also because I love the music of Queen.
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Re: Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

First, DKCR is a first-rate platformer. I loved it. Unpopular opinion…it is way better than any game in the SNES DKC trilogy.

Here’s what I’m thinking for this summer:

BurgerTime - Classic single-screen arcade goodness. I’ll play to beat the default high score and also to loop the levels. Looping the game will undoubtedly involve the use of save states, but so long as I learn the mechanics relatively well, I’ll be good.

GUARDIC - Classic Compile MSX shmup that is the prequel to The Guardian Legend

Herzog Zwei - I’ve read claims that this is the first RTS. Regardless of those claims’ veracity, it’s still a classic. I’ll probably play the Sega Ages port on the Switch, which includes a detailed tutorial.

Prince of Persia - A stone-cold classic. I’ll probably play the SNES port, which includes extra content and which HG101 described as the definitive version of the game.

Snake’s Revenge - The NES-exclusive sequel to Metal Gear released before the “canon” sequel, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. I think it’s pretty bad, and the tone definitely is not in keeping with the later games in the series. Still, I’m interested it it, and I think it’s included in the most recent Metal Gear collection.

I’ll try to get through these before setting on five more.
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Re: Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

Post by marurun »

The SNES Prince of Persia may be the recommended HG101 version, but it also has LOTS of new content and changes over the original. I'd say it's different enough that it's more like PoP 1.5. In light of that, I might actually recommend the PC Engine CD/ TG-CD version or the Mac version. The TG-CD release is a cleaned-up port of the Japanese PC ports of PoP, and the Mac release is the high-res, colorful US-released inspired by those Japanese PC versions. They are probably the cleanest and best versions that are still pretty close to the original.
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Re: Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

marurun wrote: Mon May 20, 2024 1:02 pm The SNES Prince of Persia may be the recommended HG101 version, but it also has LOTS of new content and changes over the original. I'd say it's different enough that it's more like PoP 1.5. In light of that, I might actually recommend the PC Engine CD/ TG-CD version or the Mac version. The TG-CD release is a cleaned-up port of the Japanese PC ports of PoP, and the Mac release is the high-res, colorful US-released inspired by those Japanese PC versions. They are probably the cleanest and best versions that are still pretty close to the original.
I did consider other ports…I own the NES, SNES, and Genesis ports (along with the remakes included in more modern PoP games). I chose the SNES version because it still contains all of the original content and I can play it without having to buy (or download) anything else. I really considered the NES version too, which I understand to be very close to the Mac original (except with regard to the sword fighting).
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Re: Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

Post by Key-Glyph »

AJ, thanks so much for getting this started. I feel like my life hasn't slowed down in two years and I completely forgot about making a post.

I'm not even sure what I'll be playing this time, but... I'll be doing something! At the very least I'll be cheering you all on and grilling you for your experiences.

And regarding Prince of Persia, I played the NES version and liked it, but found out later it's missing two narrative beats that are pretty baffling omissions. I still enjoyed it, but when the game ended I was kind of like, "...huh?" No closure!!

Love you all, let's have a good time.

Edit: ULTIMA IV! Oh, how my heart sings. SINGS. I cannot wait to experience this through your eyes, Ack.
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Re: Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

Post by Ack »

Key-Glyph wrote: Thu May 23, 2024 10:25 amULTIMA IV! Oh, how my heart sings. SINGS. I cannot wait to experience this through your eyes, Ack.
Aww, shucks, Key. You're gonna make me blush.
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Re: Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

Post by marurun »

I want familiar names and hilariously summarized hijinks.
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Re: Racketboy Summer Games Challenge 2024

Post by Ack »

How Ack learned humility, and then promptly failed the game?
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