Games Beaten 2018

Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Post by GSZX1337 »

I'm a bit disappointed to hear you guys' lackluster Mega Man 11 experience.

Gunstar Green wrote:-First and foremost the music. There are some OK tunes and none of them are bad, they're just bland and forgettable. The sound design seems like a missed opportunity as well and could use a few more homages to some of the classic 8-bit sounds. Again none of it is bad, just none of it is great either. It's just always disappointing for a Mega Man game to not be awesome in this department.

That really sucks since even my least favorite Mega Man games have great music.

-Lack of characters like Protoman and Bass. Maybe they're holding back for DLC or sequels but it's still disappointing after the last two games. Not a major complaint but a complaint regardless.

Perhaps because this is a revival Capcom wanted to keep things simple and streamlined by focusing on the main character and making sure he was done well? I personally only liked playing as the other two classic Mega Man robots in Mega Man and Bass, but I can see that it's disappointing to not have all three of the main robots. Sonic Mania had all three of the main characters and it was great!

-Overly long levels with punishing checkpoints and old-school lives system. I get it, it's Mega Man, but this entry is more grievous than most in this regard though I guess it's mitigated by being able to buy lives from the shop. I'd just prefer a more modern way of punishing for deaths instead of just sticking rigidly to tradition for the sake of it.

Ugh, I remember that shit in Rocket Knight. It just felt unnecessary and got in the way of enjoying the game.

+Boss weapons. Some of the best since Mega Man 9. The lightning weapon was the only one I really didn't have a lot of uses for and even that had situational uses. They put a lot of thought into make them useful and fun.
+The bosses. Though nothing too stand out they're all nice looking and fun to fight. I can't think of any stinkers.

At least it has a couple of the important parts of a Mega Man game.

Xeogred wrote:I don't want any half baked ZX Metroidvania elements, but they could probably do something new with ideas based off the X games and now the Gear stuff... how about like "Mega Man Z" or something, I dunno. I just think another reboot and fresh start would be cool right now.

I think calling a new series Mega Man Z would be confusing and perhaps redundant, but I do like the idea of a reboot. Since Inafune isn't able to tell his Mega Man story I wouldn't be saddened to see the entire thing scrapped. It's not like I'm anxious to see if the plot holes are eventually filled.

I already posted my thoughts on Phantasmagoria in the Month of Horror thread, but I thought it'd also fit here.

Phantasmagoria - PC (1995)

I was pleasantly surprised by this title as I was expecting it to just be a technical powerhouse with mediocre gameplay. Instead, I got a technical powerhouse with quite good gameplay. It's not my favorite Point and Click, but it's pretty good. Because I'm a negative prick, I'm gonna start with the downsides. First, I didn't care for the soundtrack much. With the exception of the title track, I found it to be pretty forgettable and generic. I also hated the stingers as they didn't have the desired effect. The stinger that played when Don, the game's main villain, taps Adrienne, the game's heroine on the shoulder didn't even cause me to move my half-lidded eyes. I had thought that all of the FMV scenes were shot on-set, but it looks like most of it was green-screened which I find disappointing. I'm guessing it's to keep the film budget down because it looks like shit. It doesn't mesh with the characters at all and is about as aesthetically pleasing as you'd expect 90s low-budget CGI to be. Maybe this looked better on old CRT screens (I have none to try test my hypothesis.), but on my LED-LCD, it's terrible. I suppose it gives the game a campy charm, but I just hate bad CGI. It is kinda funny when I think about how less than a decade later movies like Star Wars Episode II are the same way (The Star prequel trilogy had a much larger budget, obviously.). I don't know too much about FMV games, but it kinda seems like this game is a trailblazer in this regard. Maybe it's the Attack of the Clones of FMV games. :lol: I'll admit this last problem is sort of a nitpick, but I got frustrated with how long shots lingered. Do I really need to see Adrienne tear down a wall with a hammer for 1 minute and 22 seconds (Yes, I timed it.), or close a cellar door for 20 seconds? It feels like someone at Sierra said, "We have 7 CDs with 650 MegaBytes each, and goddammit, we're gonna use it!" Admittedly, the lingering shots are funny a lot of the time as they show Adrienne returning back to her standing position she assumes when you control her in a robotic way.

Which brings me to the first thing I liked: I'm so glad this game has a skip button. It makes traversing the giant mansion and town bearable. I also loved the progress bar that appears in the pause screen. It not only displays the chapters but also your progress in the chapter in an accurate manner. It made scheduling playtime incredibly easy. While I didn't use the feature, I liked the fact that you can start the game on any chapter of the game. I still cringe whenever I think about PC game saves that I've lost either to computer problems (This was my case with Half-Life.) or problems with the game itself (KOTOR.) and this feature is something I wish more games, PC games especially, had. With the game being a Sierra title, I expected the same frustration I had with Space Quest VGA and the fan remake of Space Quest II, but I didn't feel much frustration at all. I had a guide handy for the whole game, but I didn't even need to consult it the few times I did. There were no dead ends, and I didn't encounter any deaths or copy protection puzzles. Well, there were deaths, but they're handled much better as they're in the last few scenes and when you die you were just sent back to before you messed up. I was also surprised that the game didn't have the same mouth, move, hand, and eye interactions that Space Quest VGA had. This is probably because that would require more footage that didn't really need to be shot, but I think it's a positive as I've found the Sierra Creative Interpreter to be quite obtuse and clunky when I played the remakes of Police Quest and Space Quest. This and the lack of dead ends and made it feel more like a LucasArts game, which I greatly appreciate as I prefer their interface in games like Sam & Max. Phantasmagoria felt simple and elegant in comparison to the SCI games. The puzzles made sense and the built-in hint system was very good. The downside to the hint system though was that it just straight up tells you what to do during the last two scenes, which partly spoiled it for me.

Though the acting and plot are campy for a large portion of the game, it didn't seem to really affect my enjoyment of the FMV scenes. I was expecting to enjoy this game like I did the movie Pumpkin Head II, in that I think it sucks so good. Instead, I ended up unironically liking it in a similar fashion to the first Halloween film. The best example is the rape scene in the fourth chapter. Adrienne is groped by and eventually seduced by her possessed husband Don, and then was violated when the actual intercourse happens. It was ambiguous as at first, it felt romantic, then disturbing. It got me thinking about the hotly debated topic of sexual consent. When exactly was it rape? Was it when Don first groped his wife, or when the penetration and horror music started? Would it still have been rape if Don wasn't possessed and instead just be make-up sex for the arguing couple? At the end when Don had a horrified expression on his face, was that some of his humanity emerging in defiance of the demon, or could it be that deep down even the evilest monsters feel remorse for their actions? This short scene was a thought-provoking rollercoaster despite me making jokes before the scene and making fun of Don's stamina because of the scene's brevity. Even the scenes shortly after made me feel bad. It felt like the dichotomy of The Last House On the Left's comedy and discomfort merged together.

While I do have more to say, I've already written much more than I thought I would, and need to get back to my tasks. :)
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Post by MrPopo »

1. Ultima V - PC
2. Ultima VI - PC
3. Might and Magic VI - PC
4. Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny - PC
5. Pool of Radiance - PC
6. Curse of the Azure Bonds - PC
7. Secret of the Silver Blades - PC
8. Pools of Darkness - PC
9. Gateway to the Savage Frontier - PC
10. Treasures of the Savage Frontier - PC
11. Champions of Krynn - PC
12. Death Knights of Krynn - PC
13. Dark Queen of Krynn - PC
14. Into the Breach - PC
15. Lords of the Realm - PC
16. Dark Sun: Shattered Lands - PC
17. Lords of the Realm II - PC
18. The Alliance Alive - 3DS
19. Shattered Steel - PC
20. Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition - PC
21. Battletech - PC
22. Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part I - PC
23. Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part II - PC
24. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - Switch
25. Pillars of Eternity II - PC
26. Dragon Ball FighterZ - PS4
27. Detroit: Become Human - PC4
28. Call of Duty: United Offensive - PC
29. The Last of Us - PS4
30. The Last of Us: Left Behind - PS4
31. Prey: Mooncrash - PC
32. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds - PS4
33. Resident Evil 7 - PC
34. Resident Evil 7: Not A Hero - PC
35. Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War III - PC
36. Overwhelm - PC
37. Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation - PC
38. Hard Reset Redux - PC
39. Nier: Automata - PS4
40. Darksiders - PC
41. The Banner Saga 3 - PC
42. Guacamelee! 2 - PC
43. Spider-Man - PS4
44. Shadow of the Tomb Raider - PC
45. Star Control Origins - PC
46. Valkyria Chronicles 4 - PS4

Fresh off the heels of its mediocre spinoff, Valkyria Chronciles comes roaring in and gives me hope that Sega might actually be starting to make good business decisions. 1 was a sleeper hit, 2 was on PSP and thus doomed to failure in the West (and had some problems due to the platform), 3 was JP only (but fixed mostly of 2's problems), and now 4 is back on console. It really feels like what 2 should have been, had they made it on the PS3 instead of going "Let's do handheld!"

VC4 is set during the same war as VC1 & 3 (2 is set afterwards), only this time it focuses on the main part of that war. The original VC said in the backstory that Europan War 2 had just broken out, and the neutral country of Gallia got invaded for its resources, and VC3 is an alternate front in that conflict (penal squad). VC4 follows the main thrust of that war, with you on the side of the Federation against the Empire, which was the country that invaded Gallia for its resources. This change of focus draws the war into the realm of shades of grey; while Gallia was pretty much in the right (participation in continent-wide racism aside), here you discover that while from a 10,000 foot view the Federation is Good and the Empire is Bad, once you start peeling back the onion you realize that things aren't nearly so clear cut. The way I see it, VC1 presented the conflict like how WWII is presented in media, while VC4 is much more akin to WWI, in terms of how the sides are presented.

Adding to the feeling of being the real VC2, VC4 doesn't pull in anything from the handheld installments. Instead, you have the classes of VC1 and one additional class; the grenadier. The grenadier uses a man-portable mortar to attack across elevation barriers and behind blocking terrain. The default model is anti-personnel, but there is an anti-armor varient. One place they shine is during interception, as nailing a unit with their fire will massively decrease their speed (for infantry) or knock out their AP (for tanks). This adds another dimension to the combat, and another consideration for planning your turn (as enemy grenadiers will become your bane). Unfortunately, this also means that the recurring boss tank is really only able to be dealt with by anti-tank grenadiers (barring stacking a few late game orders), as the designers decided to put the radiator on top of the tank.

There are more effects that can happen during battle, such as fire (that burns infantry that try to cross), steam (blocks visibility in a localized area), and thin ice that shatters when hit with explosives, sending anyone on top to the briny deep. There's more usage win conditions beyond "capture the final base/all the bases", though these are mostly in the form of get units to a location, and then some bosses. The game is still very susceptible to scout rushes, but it does require more work from you, as you don't have any equivalent to Alicia with her busted potentials. I don't remember if VC1 had these, but another big thing (which actually does come from the handheld games) is the side stories for your regular troopers. Once you have a particular three and have used at least one enough you'll unlock a side story with all three, where you delve a bit more into their background and get to replace one of their bad potentials with a great one.

The whole game is just as fun as the original, and I wish this had been VC2, instead of the one we got. I'm curious where they will take the series from here; one option would be another front in this conflict, but another would be to follow up on the threads laid in VC1 and 4 and be in a new conflict. They'd have to decide if they're going to try and keep it at a WWII tech level, or upgrade things to Korea.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Post by Xeogred »

GSZX1337 wrote:I'm a bit disappointed to hear you guys' lackluster Mega Man 11 experience.

Oh, I have those disappointments here and there but otherwise I think it was really fun and awesome. Knocked it out in 3 hours last weekend, I might work on the hardest difficulty now or some trophies/challenges. I think it's a good blueprint for some more potential games, but I think they just played it safe in some areas (Wily Stages, there's only like two of them really, then the boss rush, then Wily), and the music isn't up to par with the rest of the series but there's definitely a few tunes I've got stuck in my head.

I don't think it'll blow anyone away but I think it's a nice comeback and still holds it own against similar indie titles out there thesedays. I couldn't stomach much of Mighty No 9, this is definitely 100x better and proof that Mega Man doesn't require Inafune.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Post by nullPointer »

The List So Far:

28. Castlevania: Dracula X [SNES] [October Horror]
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Castlevania: Dracula X is often remembered as being one of the weaker entries in the Castlevania lineage, and that's only if it gets remembered at all. Because for better or worse it also tends to be shuffled off as an extremely scaled back port of Rondo of Blood. But that's only half true. While Dracula X shares some DNA with Rondo, it's largely its own thing. Is it a top shelf entry in the Castlevania franchise? Well … probably not by most measures. Does it deserve the reputation it's been saddled with? Read on to find out!

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The main problem with Dracula X, as I see it, is that it stands in the shadow of giants. Let's make no bones about it, the 16-bit era was very good to the Castlevania franchise. The SNES fired the first shot across the bow with Super Castlevainia IV, an early release for the system. This title set the stage for what was even possible for Castlevania in the 16-bit era. It was an absolute treat for the senses and (at least at the time) revolutionized the gameplay we'd seen in the 8-bit generation. Gamers overseas were treated to a remarkable 1-2 punch in the form of Castlevania Chronicles and the legendary Rondo of Blood. As opposed to Castlevania IV, these games pushed the 'classic-vania' formula farther than ever before. Massive levels and branching paths made each of these titles feel like a vital evolution to the series. And let's not forget the release of Bloodlines for Genesis, another consistent fan favorite from this era. So it's only after the release of all these landmark Castlevania games that we finally got Dracula X. How well does it fare in comparison? Well after these earlier games had steadily pushed the series forward in new and interesting directions, I'm afraid Dracula X feels a bit regressive by comparison. But how could it not? It was basically the video game equivalent of having to go onstage after The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Led Zeppelin had already brought the house down.

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But the thing is that on its own merits, Dracula X isn't half bad at all! The graphics are faithful to the Castlevania tradition of quality even if they don't pack quite the same visual punch as the other 16-bit-vanias. The music though can easily hold its own against anything else in its generation. What we have here is essentially a greatest hits album of your favorite Castlevania tracks upgraded to 16-bit levels of quality. Likewise the gameplay feels solid, responsive, and true to that classic-vania feel. Are the graphics on par with Castlevania IV? No. Are the levels as intricately designed as Chronicles? No. Does it replicate Rondo's endlessly branching paths through the game? Sorry, Tiger. If anything the closest comparison to Dracula X within the series is probably the very first Castlevania game. But when framed under that light, it doesn't seem like a bad thing at all! I think fans of the first game can find a lot to love about Dracula X.

Unfortunately Dracula X didn't seem much longer than the first game. This is a short game, yo. The challenge level likely helps to balance out some of this shortness, due to the fact that some of these levels take some time to master. But once you have the game down pat, you can buzz thorough it pretty quickly. It makes the password feature feel almost laughable. The other legitimate complaint I'd level against Dracula X is that the final fight against Dracula … well it's honestly just not that difficult. It does take place on a series of pillars, which is interesting, but if you use the Axe sub-weapon, the only time you really have to move is if Dracula literally tries to materialize on top of you. Beyond that you can just take cheap shot after cheap shot until he takes on his second form at which point you can mostly just axe-spam him to death. Like most Castlevania games, Dracula X is not a game without its challenges. So the fact that Dracula is a bit of a pushover … well it feels like a letdown, especially when it occurs at the end of an already abbreviated game.

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Still, I can't knock Dracula X down too hard. There's plenty of series fans to do that already, lol. As a longtime player of Castlevania though, there's still a lot here to love. I only wish there was more of it to love. And really if the game leaves you wanting more, is that really such a bad thing? Recommended for Castlevania series completionists. Even in light of this 'redemptive reading' you'd probably be better off playing the other 16-bit-vanias first.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Partridge Senpai's 2018 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017
* indicates a repeat



41. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Expansion Pass DLC (Switch)
42. Battle Block Theater (Xbox 360) *
43. Magicka (Steam) *
44. La-Mulana 2 (Steam)
45. Yooka-Laylee (Steam)
46. Snipper-Clips: Cut it Out Together! (Switch)
47. Magicka: Dungeons and Gargoyles (Steam)
48. Hearthstone: The Boomsday Project (PC)
49. Timespinner (PS4)
50. Hollow Knight (PC)
51. Wuppo (PC)

52. Super Mario Party (Switch)

I don't really have people over much these days, and when I do we always just play Jackbox Party games if there's more than one of us. That being the case, I was absolutely ready to give Super Mario Party a pass on the grounds that I'd just never have a good excuse to play it, but after seeing the praise on the Switch thread here on Racketboy and catching one of Nerd-Cubed's Twitch streams of it, I was absolutely sold. It's not the 100% BEST Mario Party ever made, but it's damn near up there (and depending on whom you are, it may well be the best ever for you). "Beating" the game to see the credits involves unlocking all the characters, mini-games, and winning on each board/route of each mode once, and that took me about 20-ish hours, but it was very fun, even mostly by myself :P

The Mechanical Changes
Super Mario Party is at once a return to form as well as an evolution of the old and new. From the older Mario Party's 1-8, we have a lot of the aesthetics/themes of Mario Party 1 (in Nintendo's current trend of nastolgia-pandering in EVERY game it releases, granted I'm not complaining about it :lol: ) as well as individual movement of each player. Gone are the mini-stars and group-car from the more recent games, and now each player can once again move on their own to traverse a board, earn coins, and reach the star location to purchase one and get ahead in the rankings. Depending on what spaces they land on, they'll get a 4-player, 2v2, or 1v3 mini-game at the end of each turn (although battle mini-games and item-mini games are both absent here). Even items are back (no orbs!), and you can hold 3 at a time. The items are all great too. There aren't any that are super circumstantial or flat-out useless like in the old games. Getting an item is always a good thing now!

From the more recent 3DS entries as well as from 9 and 10, it takes a more balanced approach to make the game a better party game and not just a wash for the person who owns it (and who is best at the mini-games). First place for a 4-player mini-game gives 8 coins, but 2nd place gives 4 coins, and 3rd place gives 2 coins. No longer can the best mini-gamer shut-out the other players simply by matter of being good. This, combined with how stars only cost 10 coins, means that while doing well in mini-games is good, it is by no means an assurance of victory. From the most recent 3DS entry it also makes your choice of character more than just cosmetic. In addition to their normal 1-6 die, each player has their own special die they can roll whenever they want (for example, Mario has a die with 1,3,3,3,5,6 on it, and Wario has a die with two 0's that make him lose 2 coins as well as four 6's). This adds a TON to how Mario Party is now actually a good board game.

Several core features have been seriously changed to make Mario Party not only a more accessible party game but also a much better board game. While the boards (of which there are 4) are more the traditional Mario Party-style, they're much smaller, meaning where you go on them is very important but also very doable, even with only 10-turns (10, 15, and 20 are the options for each board, and 5 turns is about 30 minutes) to go around it. Stars are also now only 10 coins, so it's very difficult for a player very good at mini-games to shut-out the other players from ever being able to afford one. Cheaper stars combined with the special die and smaller boards means that how you move and where is now a very important strategic decision, and the strategy of how you move as well as the chances you're willing to take on your special die are much more likely to win you the game than just earning tons of coins in mini-games.

This is all on top of the new ally mechanic. If you land on an ally space, you'll randomly get a character who isn't currently one of the 4 playing as an ally. This not only means that you'll get their character die to roll whenever you want, just as you can your own, but your new ally will also roll a die each turn that has an equal chance of giving a 1 or a 2, and that roll is added to whatever your normal roll is! Allies are by far the most important part of the new mechanics, because you can have up to 4 allies at once! The ally spaces are quite uncommon, but when they get landed on they can really be game changers.

My only real complaint with the new mechanics is that the AI can be kinda dumb at times. I've had enemy AI on hard mode (the 2nd highest difficulty of 3) go the entire game without using mushrooms or golden pipes (the new magic lamp items) for absolutely no reason. I think there may be some issues with how the AI hits flags on when it thinks it should use items.

The Mini-Games
The mini-games are good quality, but suffer sometimes from a kinda lack-luster AI (although that isn't a huge problem, as I'll explain in a little bit). Most mini-games are very quick (under 30-seconds), and also very simple. Almost none of them require more than two button pushes or a waggle of the joycon, meaning they're very easy to just pick up and start playing even having not done them before. Intros to them have been massively improved as well. There is no longer an initiation of a practice for the mini-game. Now, where there used to be a demo-screen of the AI playing the game, THAT is your practice where all 1-4 of you can practice the mini-game just as it will be when you're really doing it. Add onto this how instead of one player pressing START, EVERY player now must ready-up for the mini-game by pressing both shoulder buttons (buttons never used for anything else), and you have a situation where a player should never have to go into a new mini-game feeling unprepared just because another player hit a button by accident or was impatient. Finally, this game can ONLY be played with a joycon (no pro-controller or even handheld-mode), so you can do 2-player right out of the box, and there are only 6-buttons on the controller to worry about. All this means that the mini-games are now more party-friendly than ever as they're super accessible to new players.

There are 80 mini-games (and 4 special ones in a side area, Toad's Rec Room) that you could play between the modes. They're all good quality and fun, but none especially stick out to me as fantastic new ones. They're very much there to support the board-game element rather than the other way around (as imo the previous entries really leaned on). There is a interesting tilt away from 2v2 games during the normal Mario Party (I think I played 3 out of 50 turns of different boards), but I think that's because you play SO many (one about every other turn) in the Team Party mode.

One interesting part about mini-games is how the game encourages good sportsmanship very subtly through the "high-five" system. Whenever you win a game you were on a team with, you can coordinate with the other players to all pump the joycon (or just press A) in unison to do a group high-five for a job well done. This isn't just flashy, but also gives you 2 extra coins (so instead of 8, you get 10!). It's a very clever team-building exercise that tries to emphasize how you're all in it to win, but you all do still need to work together (even irl) at the end of the day, so being a good sport pays literal dividends :D

The only real dampener on the mini-games is the lackluster AI I mentioned before. The AI is very good at most of them, but has some serious issues navigating in some others. This is largely due to how a lot of the mini-games have been designed to be very good games for humans to play together, but not so much for AI to navigate. Especially mini-games that require rowing, some of the motion-controlled timing ones give the AI a LOT of trouble and they're either trouncing you or they had no chance in hell of ever winning. Perhaps the Very Hard AI is better balanced, but I haven't given them a try yet.

New Modes & Features
Aside from the normal Mario Party mode, there are 4 other main modes in this game.

First up is Team Party mode. In this mode, 2 teams of 2-players compete against one another in drastically revamped versions of the 4 boards from the Mario Party mode. For starters, there are no set paths! You can move anywhere you want, from square to square, using the rolls you get each turn. You and your partner each roll a die, and you each get the sum total of those dice to move (although any ally bonuses or used items apply only to the player who has/used them). It's a really cool mode that I really want to give more time to play with real people. It makes the strategy of picking a character a lot bigger simply on the grounds that you need to think of whose character die syncs well with or makes up for the shortcomings of whose. My only real complaint is that you're playing the same 2v2 mini-games over and over a lot in this mode, because there are far more 4v4 mini-games than 2v2 mini-games. An extra 10 2v2 games really would've made this mode's mini-games feel less repetitive.

Second is River Survival. This is a completely co-op mode where 4 players work together to row a river raft down a raging river. There are 5 different ends at the end of a series of forks in the roads, but reaching them isn't too easy: you're on the clock! You need to coordinate your rowing to both avoid obstacles to maintain speed as well as collect stopwatches (for +3 seconds) and hit mini-game balloons to do 4-player co-op mini-games that are only in this mode (which can get you up to an extra 40 seconds (and an extra 3 if you nail the high-five ;3)). To "beat" this mode, you need to get to the end of each of the 5 paths, but as with Team Party this mode really suffers from a dearth of mini-game variety. There are only 10 of these special co-op mini-games, so you're playing the same ones a TON to get to the end of this mode. At least playing by myself with 3 computers, I thought this mode got really boring because of how often you were playing the same mini-games, and was by far my least favorite part of the game. 1 character is locked behind completing a few of these, and I was glad I unlocked him ASAP XP.

Third is the Sound Stage, which has 4 players competing in a series of mini-games that involve waggling the joycon properly in rhythm to a series of 3 mini-games. It feels almost like competitive Rhythm Heaven and it's really fun! There are only a total of 10 rhythm mini-games, but to "beat" the mode you only need to beat each sequence of them once, so it doesn't wear out its welcome and it's something I'm looking forward to trying out with friends sometime :D

Last is Challenge Road. It's a mode that will seem very familiar to people who've played the first two Mario Party games, as it's a sequence of every mini-game in the game (you need to have unlocked all the other mini-games in order to play this at all) and you need to do well enough (usually either just win or get however-many points/coins that they tell you to) in order to finish it. It's WAY easier than past ones though, as not only do you have unlimited lives, you can even skip one you're having trouble on if you fail at it 3 times. All you have to do to beat it is reach the end, and that doesn't mean beating every single challenge, really just the challenge at the end of each of the 6 worlds. This means that even though two character are locked behind completing worlds, even if you REALLY suck, as far as I can tell you only need to beat 6 challenges (the one at the end of each world) to beat the whole of challenge road.

The last new mode I'll comment on is the Mariothon Mini-Game Challenge, which is this game's online mode (although not having Switch Online I never tried it out). Bafflingly enough, despite Switch Online launching just a few weeks ago, Super Mario Party has no way to play the actual Mario Party (the ones with the boards) online. The only online mode this has is the Mariothon, which is a series of 10 mini-games that you play against others online to see who does the best out of 10. And the selection of mini-games isn't chosen by you, it's chosen by Nintendo which mini-games are competed in on a rotating basis (like how Splatoon 2 has some modes available on a rotating basis). You can play with friends in this mode, but I really just cannot fathom why this game doesn't have a proper online mode when I would assume the hardest part for latency (the mini-games) have been proven to work well enough online that they're actually a part of the game. Perhaps Nintendo has said something about making the actual board modes playable online eventually, but I am unaware of anything like that as of the time of this writing. It's not a deal breaker for me personally, but I wouldn't fault anyone for having gripes at its omission to the point where they wouldn't want to spend the $60 on the game.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. The lack of proper online play will certainly turn off some, but for those who want to play alone or couch-multiplayer, this is one of the best Mario Party games in a LONG time (perhaps the best ever!). The new elements of strategy as well as the simplification of needlessly messy UI and introductory elements have reborn Mario Party as an actually good party game in the mold of the older games (which weren't very good party games). Absolutely a good pick-up if you're at all a fan of Mario Party :D


53. Party Hard (Steam)

The Humble Store is just finishing up its "Build your own Tiny Build Bundle" sale, and this is one of five games I picked up on it this morning. I'd heard it was a little janky mechanically back at launch, so I decided to wait on it. I'm not sure if it actually plays any better now, but it ended up being quite fun :D . The main game took me about 3 hours, and the remix stages (kinda harder versions half of the main 12, but not exactly) took me about another 2. For the $3 I paid for it in the bundle, I more than got my money's worth. (I tried the free Castlevania-parody-ish DLC, but that level is long and horrible, so I just said screw-it pretty quickly XP).

Party Hard is about a guy who just CAN'T SLEEP because of the parties going on next door, so he gets up, gets a mask and knife, and goes on a murder spree to let himself get some peace and quiet. Apparently this is a country-wide crusade for peace and quiet, as the 12 stages take you from San Francisco to Miami, but the narrative really isn't the most important thing here. The narrative is told through stills coupled with voice-over between stages, and it's nice window-dressing for a little extra context flavor, but it's nothing great (and really doesn't have to be :P ).

The game is a top-down stealth-action game to try and kill all the party's attendees without getting arrested by the police. You can do this in a manner of ways ranging from setting environmental traps (like turning on a car's engine to flatten a huge queue of people), using items you find in the stage (like a stun-bomb to knock out a bunch of party-goers dancing in a big group), or good old-fashioned marching in with a knife and going crazy (although that's pretty dangerous XP). If a party-goer spots a dead body, they'll go call the police, but if you're far enough away they'll just assume it's some random dead person I guess, because the cop comes, puts it in a body bag, and leaves :lol: . There is no attempted reason to try and explain why people keep partying with body-bags everywhere, but it's just a video game at the end of the day, isn't it :lol: . Regardless, if they spot you, the cop will come after you (until he gets bored and gives up, but he'll be more persistent every time he's called for you), so using your limited sprinting to get out of the way before you're seen is key!

The game's 12 stages (although some of the main 12 are already "remixes" of one another, aside from the extra 7 remix stages) could technically be completed in a couple minutes a piece, but that's if you're both VERY good and VERY lucky. Each stage will probably take you at least a try or two because of either getting lost keeping track of everything important, or because you don't get very good trap-RNG. Each stage has a randomized series of traps that can be present in it, to a punch-bowl that can be poisoned to a horse you can frighten to kick people in the face to a speaker system you can make explode. Given that the game does give you a score at the end, it's a little odd that it has these randomized elements, as some make each level FAR easier to complete than if they weren't there. The score attack element really clashes with these RNG elements, although I'm not one for score attack stuff, so making the stages a little different each time was a fun bit of challenge.

Verdict: Recommended. It's not the best 2D action-stealth game on Steam, but it's a damn good one. At an MSRP of $15 normally, such a short game is going to be a difficult sell to most people. If you can get it for $3 like I did on sale, then it's an easy recommendation, but a lot of my hesitation to Party Hard comes down to how much you value time/money in your games. It's a tiiiiny bit buggy here and there, but any I ran into were always in my favor, so I didn't mind :P . It does have local co-op (which I didn't get a chance to try) and Twitch-integration (the chat can vote on things to fuck you over with :P ), but it's a hard M-rated game, so it's not really a family game for most people. Nevertheless, it's a fun way to spend an afternoon (home alone with no kids, anyhow :lol: )
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2018!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. The Granstream Saga (PS1)
2. Perfect Dark (N64)
*3. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (PS1)*
4. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (XBOX)
5. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
*6. Pikmin (GCN)*
*7. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time (N64)*
8. Shining Force II (GEN)
*9. X-Men Vs. Street Fighter (PS1)*
*10. Mafia (XBOX)*
11. James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire (GCN)
12. ChuChu Rocket! (SDC)
*13. Super Metroid (SNES)*
14. Final Fantasy II (NES)
15. Devil May Cry (PS2)
16. Mega Man: The Wily Wars (GEN)
17. Secret of Evermore (SNES)
18. Test Drive: Eve of Destruction (PS2)
19. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (GCN)
*20. Paper Mario (N64)*
21. Grandia II (SDC)
22. Ghostbusters: The Video Game (PS2)
23. Bomberman Hero (N64)
24. OutRun (GEN)
25. Dragon Warrior IV (NES)
26. Super Monkey Ball (GCN)
27. Mischief Makers (N64)
28. Dragon Valor (PS1)
*29. Beyond Good & Evil (XBX)*
30. Tokyo Xtreme Racer (SDC)
31. Black (PS2)
*32. Street Fighter II (SNES)*

33. Koudelka (PS1)


I beat Koudelka for the Sony Playstation 1 this afternoon!

While looking through the Playstation 2 library, I discovered the Shadow Hearts series. I was vaguely familiar with the series, but I never too much about them. The alternative history setting directly appealed to me and the ring system for combat was also incredibly interesting. And after watching Drumble stream one of the games, I instantly became interested in the series. However, I noticed that the series had a quasi-prequel in the form of Koudelka for the PS1. So, I went looking for it coming up empty handed several times. Finally, while walking around the vendor floor of MAGFest, I saw the game. Instantly, I knew it would be mine and I was so excited to finally play it. With it being October, I finally decided to play a Gothic Horror Strategy RPG.

Koudelka is very much the mixing of Resident Evil with an RPG using a Strategy RPG combat system. You walk around a large monastery collecting items and solving various puzzles. Your movement is very stilted and the camera is fixed. It is a very slow paced game and you have to be in that mindset to play the game. The atmosphere is probably my favorite aspect of the game. It has the other world Victorian Gothic theme to it that permeates through every screen. I wish they used more of the time period as some of the dialogue and items are a little too modern. The characters are all really interesting as they aren't the best people in the world. But, their stories eventually unfold and you begin to understand their journey. They aren't perfect, but you understand where they are coming from. Much like the movement, the combat is also rather slow. Battle animations take a while along with moving on the grid along with bosses that have too many hit points. But, the regular enemies usually die rather quickly, so it offsets it quite nicely. However, it is not very clear why some of your attacks/magic do less damage over time or what enemies are particularly weak against.

Overall, Koudelka is not a perfect game. It is easy to find a single fault in every aspect of the game when you dive deeply into the game. However, once you gets past its shortcomings, the game is generally good and fun to play. If you look at its positives and cope with its negatives, you can really enjoy yourself. It is one of the few games that walk that fine line between RPG and Spookiness. I'd recommend for fans of either.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

Lovin’ the reviews! It is great reading what people with a modern perspective have to say bout some of these old games. (I also think Dracula X (SNES) gets a bad rap, and I actually really enjoy it too.)


First 50
1. Bastion (iOS)
2. LaserCat (360)
3. Zombie Incident (3DS)
4. Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (3DS)
5. Monument Valley 2 (iOS)
6. Zenge (iOS)
7. Master of Darkness (Game Gear/3DS)
8. Wonder Boy (SMS)
9. Full Throttle Remastered (iOS)
10. Adventure Island (NES)
11. Adventure Island II (NES)
12. Adventure Island (GB)
13. Super Adventure Island (SNES)
14. New Adventure Island (TG16)
15. Adventure Island III (NES)
16. The Legend of the Ghost Lion (NES)
17. Part Time UFO (iOS)
18. Adventure Island II: Aliens in Paradise (GB)
19. Adventure Island IV (NES)
20. Super Adventure Island II (SNES)
21. Adventure Island: The Beginning (WII)
22. Quell Memento (3DS)
23. Wonder Boy in Monster Land (ARCADE)
24. Saiyuuki World (FAMICOM)
25. Whomp ‘Em (NES)
26. Bikkuriman World (TG16)
27. Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair (TG16)
28. Go Series: Picdun (DS)
29. The Keep (3DS)
30. Dooors (3DS)
31. Ninja Gaiden (ARCADE)
32. Advance Guardian Heroes (GBA)
33. TMNT (GBA)
34. Double Dragon Advance (GBA)
35. Mighty Final Fight (NES)
36. Double Dragon II (ARCADE)
37. Kung Fu Master (GB)
38. Cube Escape: The Lake (iOS)
39. Cube Escape: Seasons (iOS)
40. Cube Escape: Arles (iOS)
41 . Cube Escape: Harvey’s Box (iOS)
42. Cube Escape: Case 23 (iOS)
43. Cube Escape: The Mill (iOS)
44. Rusty Lake Hotel (iOS)
45. Cube Escape: Birthday (iOS)
46. Cube Escape: The Theatre (iOS)
47. Rusty Lake Roots (iOS)
48. Cube Escape: The Cave (iOS)
49. Rusty Lake Paradise (iOS)
50. Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone (ARCADE)

51. Knightmare Tower (iOS)
52. 80s Overdrive (3DS)
53. Hitman Go (iOS)
54. Deus Ex Go (iOS)
55. Ecco the Dolphin (Genesis)
54. Double Dragon IV (iOS)
55. Double Dragon Neon (PS3)
56. Double Dragon (GB)
57. Shadow Tower (PS1)
58. Double Dragon 3: The Sacred Stones (NES)
59. Double Dragon II (GB)
60. Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap (SMS)
61. Legend of the Dark Witch Ep. 2 The Price of Desire (3DS)
62. Wonder Boy in Monster World (GENESIS)
63. Costume Quest 2 (PS3)

Costume Quest 2 (PS3) is more of the same great personality and Paper Mario-inspired gameplay found in the original. Like it’s predecessor, it is also the perfect game for Halloween. It celebrates trick-or-treating, costumes, candy, decorations, and everything else that makes the holiday so great for children and families. While it ends on kind of a weak note - and while the gameplay is by no means flawless - it is consistently fun and engaging, and it is great for anyone looking for a lite RPG that doesn’t require a significant time commitment.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Partridge Senpai's 2018 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017
* indicates a repeat



41. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Expansion Pass DLC (Switch)
42. Battle Block Theater (Xbox 360) *
43. Magicka (Steam) *
44. La-Mulana 2 (Steam)
45. Yooka-Laylee (Steam)
46. Snipper-Clips: Cut it Out Together! (Switch)
47. Magicka: Dungeons and Gargoyles (Steam)
48. Hearthstone: The Boomsday Project (PC)
49. Timespinner (PS4)
50. Hollow Knight (PC)
51. Wuppo (PC)
52. Super Mario Party (Switch)
53. Party Hard (Steam)

54. The Final Station (Steam)

Another game I got in the Tiny Build bundle that I bought solely because the trailer looked cool, and another game that really didn't disappoint. It's a weird thematic story combined with a weird mish-mash of gameplay mechanics, but it's fun and it just all kinda works :lol: . It took me about 4 hours, and I got just about all the achievements.

So the theme/story to me felt a bit like Evangelion but if it were about zombies from space, but even that is REALLY inaccurate to the actual plot. Apparently it's based off of the work of a famous pair of Russian brothers (Arkady and Boris Strugatsky), given that there's a statue honoring them in one side-area of the game and it's by two Russian devs, but having never heard of them before that realization meant nothing to me Xp . Regardless, the narrative is interesting and engaging, even if at the end of the day it's all a bit too vague for any really obvious message about the human condition to be discussed around it. The main thing that hurts the story is the game's pretty bad translation. MANY places in the game, in both side and main dialogue, characters will confuse "has" for "had" and also drop articles and identifiers ("a" and "the") for words and it makes the dialogue read confusingly. It's not EVERYWHERE, but it's often enough that it's jarring when it happens. Given that no localization element is credited in the credits, I can only assume they did it themselves.

The gameplay is like a 2D action/adventure survival horror game intermixed with a train maintenance sim, which sounds insane as well but I can explain :lol: . The game is mostly the former, intermixed with the latter. You're a train driver (perhaps not the best, but you ARE the last) going from stop to stop in a zombie-ish (it's very complicated) apocalypse. You go from stop to stop going out to collect the code to allow you to progress the train, and to do this you need to shoot and punch enemies you encounter as you try to find cash, materials, ammo, medkits, food, and survivors. The aiming is done with the mouse, but the game is on Xbox as well apparently, so you can also use a controller (although I used a mouse). There are basically 4 types of enemies, with two of them having stronger versions you eventually meet, but the environments are varied enough that fighting them never really gets boring with how relatively short the game is.

You collect all that stuff to use during the other part of when you drive the train. Now the driving of the train is automated, but the maintinance isn't. As you drive, at one of 2-4 systems in the train will need you to do a very simple mini-game (like holding down the mouse, or timing mouse clicks correctly) to keep the train from super-dying. Your survivors you've collected don't take care of themselves either, as they'll need food and medkits accordingly when their bars run out. They'll have pretty interesting text conversations to one another during the train ride, but their conversations all happen in real-time. If you're doing something like working on maintaining the front of the train or getting a medkit so the one with the head injury doesn't bleed out on the floor, you won't "hear" what they're saying because you aren't in the passenger compartment. There's more than just achievements at stake for saving them too, as each one gives you a cash reward as well as possibly some more ammo, materials, or even a weapon upgrade at the time they reach their destination. It's a really neat mechanic, and even though when you really look at it the train bit is not that brilliant as far as gameplay, it really works well to even out the pacing of the more tense action sequences (as the game itself really isn't THAT hard, as even I didn't need to use a single medkit while playing).

The game actually does a really good job of building a tense and mysterious sci-fi atmosphere between the two gameplay types. Talking to people in the town segments (the non-train bits with no combat in), overhearing survivors on the train, reading notes as you explore for access codes and supplies. Rough localization aside, They all add up to create a pretty tense feeling and slowly reveal to you (or not) what may or may not be actually happening in the world to cause all this madness.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. If you enjoyed a modern take on indie survival horror like Lone Survivor, you will probably have a lot to enjoy about The Final Station. It's not quite as polished as that game, but it's also not as derivative. I'd hesitate to call it an indie Resident Evil, but I also don't think that's too off the mark. Where Party Hard made me kinda question the original MSRP of $15, I think The Final Station is unique enough and engaging enough to quite fairly justify that price tag, and if you can get it for $3 on sale like I did then it's an absolute no-brainer if you like 2D action games with survival horror elements :D
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Post by GSZX1337 »

Xeogred wrote:I don't think it'll blow anyone away but I think it's a nice comeback and still holds it own against similar indie titles out there thesedays. I couldn't stomach much of Mighty No 9, this is definitely 100x better and proof that Mega Man doesn't require Inafune.

Now that's what I'm hoping for, as I backed Mighty No. 9 for 50 bucks and I only played the game for three hours (Two of those hours were just futile attempts to delude myself into thinking I didn't waste a fifty.) and sold the NES style box.

List of games (that I remember) beaten so far:
1. Phantasmagoria [PC]

I already posted this in the Month of Horror thread but reposted it here.
2. Dark Seed [PC]
Part of me was expecting it to be mediocre based on comments I've seen saying its only outstanding feature is its art. I also had high hopes for this game as I really dig H.R. Giger's art and have become infatuated with point and clicks recently. I'm pleased to say that my high hopes weren't only met, they were exceeded. I think I'll start with the art since that's its major draw. It looks great. The alien landscapes all feature Giger's er, Alien-style with each screen looking unique. The alien creatures stand out from each other and are memorable with the Keeper of the Scrolls being the prime example. There weren't any graphics that look lame, rushed, or samey. The visuals for Earth are serviceable as intended for a pedestrian small town. You might not be surprised to see Giger's signature mixture of biomechanics and sex, but you might be surprised at how in-your-face it is. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I was just testing the game and I have an image of a man getting his head spread open like a vagina and having a parasite shot inside by a phallic machine.

Funnily enough, the second thing to strike me wasn't another piece of art, but the game's interface. It's a great interface that almost perfectly balances Lucasart's simplicity with Sierra's interactivity. There are three icons available: a mouse pointer to move the character, a question mark for inspecting items both in your inventory, and a hand for interacting with items and scenery. The question mark will turn into an exclamation mark when there is a description available, and the mouse pointer will change to four arrows facing inward when hovering over an entrance or exit. The latter is very much appreciated as I found moving from one screen to another irritating in the other adventures I've played recently. In addition to a great interface, the game is very well thought out and telegraphed. Dialogue and descriptions are worded to clue the player toward the proper path. A prime example of this is if a door is inaccessible in the Ancients' planet, the description box will show something to the effect of "There's nothing in this world you can do to open this door." By using the words "this world" the dialogue not only sounds natural, it also informs the player that there's something that needs to be done on Earth to open the door. Sublties like this make the game a joy to play.

Gameplay-wise it's a standard adventure, but one that's done really well. Dark Seed progresses in a sensible fashion with no moon-logic needed to advance. Pixel hunting is kept to a minimum with only two occurrences, neither of which are very bad due to the contrasting colors and great interface respectively. There are deaths and dead ends, but they aren't too bad as there aren't too many of them and the game is rather short making a restart less painful. Saving often is still recommended. The short-length does hamper the game a bit, but it is used to good effect as well. As already stated, restarting is less punishing, but with the game's premise of the main character only having three days to accomplish his goal the game feels like Majora's Mask, or to keep to the horror theme, The Ring. Because of this, I can't say that it's entirely negative and mostly positive. While I did use a guide to complete this game, I don't think one was necessary, and I might have actually spoiled the game for myself in doing so. I have a rule of keeping a guide open when playing a non-Lucasarts adventure and it seems that I now have to rethink that rule.

The music is nice with each screen having its own distinct-theme, but I largely found it to be forgettable with the exception of the themes for the house and town. You spend so much time there that those songs bore themselves right into the back of your skull. That said, the soundtrack did have its impact and worked in conjunction with the art to create an unsettling atmosphere. Not everything is a bed of roses, however, as there is one considerable drawback: The game runs like shit. At least it does in DOSBox. Oftentimes the animation is very choppy like the CPU can't keep up and has to drop frames. Whenever the screen fades to black the player has to press Enter and wait for the game to slowly load the next scene. Sometimes the fade in won't happen because the game hangs on the black screen, necessitating a Force Quit. For some reason, there are three files that launch the game, two executables and a batch file, but only the batch file will progress without guaranteeing to hang on the first black fade-to-black. I'm not sure if this is actually a problem with the game, but oftentimes the doorbell will chime or the phone will ring, but there will be no event that triggers upon answering. I understand that this is a horror game and that it might be doing some Eternal Darkness mind-games, but there is no message saying no one is there like there is for other events. Also, whenever it's a phone ring or bell chime that advances the plot, there will be a message on the bottom of the screen saying there is a ring or chime. These problems do make the game feel a bit janky, but I don't think they detract too much from the experience.

All in all, I was very pleased with this game and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone that like Point and Click Adventure games, H.R. Giger, horror, or just the Alien movies; just be sure to be aware of the game's problems up front to prevent frustration.

3. Five Night's at Freddy's [PC]
Also posted in the month of horror.
Unlike Phantasmagoria and Dark Seed, which I expected to be mediocre, I expected this to be a full-blown suck-fest that was just some dumbass jump-scare game that merely exists for the sake of streamers. It turns out I was only half-right. Taking the dumbass game streaming culture around this game out of the equation, this game is a challenging, old-school-ish experience. I say it's old-school because of its use of security cameras reminds me of Night Trap, and the use of prerendered graphics felt like something from a PlayStation game. Having to both conserve your power while also using the cameras, which consume said power, to monitor the killer animatronics is challenging stuff. The challenge also contributes to its "horror" atmosphere. It does feel spooky and it, of course, has jump-scares, but I wouldn't say it's scary. I view it more as a dark comedy that screams in your ear a lot. I don't feel the same fear that others describe when talking about horror games, but I do get what I call "game-scared." This game keeps me in that game-scared mode for the most part as having an animatronic teddy bear stare into you with its cold dead eyes and having a weird fox pirate race down the hallway leading to your office definitely sets off that "He's gonna get me, I'm gonna lose!" switch in my head.

This leads me to my main problem with the gameplay. The levels take about 9 minutes real time to complete, and for the most part, you just sit there. There are buttons to press and cameras to view, but the length of the levels make the game feel dull in parts. The last night fixes this to an extent, but that boredom does rear its ugly head sometimes. I think if the levels only took 5 or 6 minutes to complete the game would feel more engaging. The other problem that I have with the game is nearly a deal-breaker for me. It's quite janky. At first, I thought the lack of graphics/resolution options, pausing, and the limited functionality of the main menu lent the game a bit of charm considering its setting of a low-rent Chuck E. Cheese, but then the jank started affecting gameplay. The door switch and light buttons stop functioning at times, and I'm not entirely sure why. I searched on the Steam guides and some forum threads, and the best I can find is a post saying that the door becomes jammed. I could accept that if the animatronic would just show up and kill you if that happens, but the only way to die at that point is to open and then close the camera to trigger the jump-scare. Every time the button fails to activate, I just purposely trigger the jump-scare as it's not likely to use the jammed door to your advantage. I'm thinking the "door jam" is a case of the "it's not a bug, it's a feature" maxim. I also used a cheat code to skip the fourth level because when I was about to succeed, the game triggers the power outage early at 5% instead of at 0% like it's supposed to. That really frustrated me, and if it weren't for the short length of the game I would've just quit right then and there. While I understand the appeal of the game, I don't understand why it's such a huge franchise with its simplistic gameplay and lack of polish.
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

Post by noiseredux »

I got MMN9 as a Christmas present last year, so I paid nothing for it. I played about an hour a few months ago and then it sat next to my Xbox One as I kept thinking I'd at least try every level and then write something snarky about it on my blog. But eh, I ended up just getting rid of it over the weekend haha.
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