Games Beaten 2022

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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by BoneSnapDeez »

Great series, but I blame the original DKC for creating this "100+%" completion thing. 103?!?! Come on man!
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

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BoneSnapDeez wrote:Great series, but I blame the original DKC for creating this "100+%" completion thing. 103?!?! Come on man!


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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

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

1. Dandy Dungeon: The Legend of Brave Yamada (Switch)
2. Dandy Dungeon 2: The Phantom Bride (Switch)
3. Mon Amor (Switch)
4. Terraria (PC)
5. Puppeteer (PS3) *
6. Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon (PS1)
7. Project Altered Beast (PS2)
8. Devil Summoner II: Soul Hackers (Saturn)
9. Kirby Star Allies: Heroes in Another Dimension (Switch)
10. Kirby's Dream Land 2 (GB)
11. Tales of Vesperia (PS3) *
12. Art Style: BOXLIFE (DSi)
13. Super Robot Wars F (Saturn)
14. Super Robot Wars F Final (Saturn)
15. Super Robot Wars 64 (N64)
16. Knight Gundam Monogatari (SFC)
17. Knight Gundam Monogatari 2 (SFC)
18. Mega Man Legends 2 (PSP)
19. Mighty No. 9 (PC)
20. Mega Man Xtreme (GBC)
21. Mega Man Xtreme 2 (GBC)
22. Super Robot Wars Alpha (PS1)
23. Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden (PS1)
24. Vampire Hunter D (PS1)
25. Super Robot Wars Alpha 2 (PS2)
26. Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 (PS2)
27. Super Robot Wars 2: Complete Box Edition (PS1)
28. Super Robot Wars 3: Complete Box Edition (PS1)
29. Super Robot Wars EX: Complete Box Edition (PS1)
30. Super Robot Wars IV Scramble (PS1)
31. Biohazard (PS1)
32. Hero Senki: Project Olympus (SFC)

33. Shin Super Robot Wars (PS1)

Though I didn’t quite realize it starting out, with this game ends my journey through the Super Robot Wars games released on the original PS1 (granted I didn’t play F and F Final on this console, they were still released on it!). I’d originally heard, way back like when I was actually playing through the F games and thinking about playing more of these games, that Shin wasn’t very good and that it wasn’t worth playing. I figured after playing the glacially slow and very much a SFC port SRW 4S, that this would be a similar sort of slog before I got onto bigger and better SRW things released after the turn of the millennium. Imagine my surprise when this turned out to be something I enjoyed so much! Sure, it ain’t perfect, but it’s a game I’m super glad I played at any rate. I played through both routes to get the secret final mission after them, and doing that all on real hardware probably took me about 70 or 80 hours over the course of 2.5 weeks (as we are never allowed to have playtime counters in these things no matter what console generation we’re in, it seems XP).

Shin SRW’s story (as the name implies) is an explicit departure from the series’s narrative up to that point, with a whole new continuity and a bunch of new appearances. Not only do we have Gaiking and SPT Blue Layzner making their first appearances in the series, but we also have the first console appearances of G Gundam and Victory Gundam (those last two taking up a lot of the narrative in their respective parts). When it comes to U.C. Gundam stuff, we also get some interesting laser focusing on specifically Char’s Counter Attack rather than as the first three series as a whole, and lastly we even get the debut of SRW’s second original series-within-a-series: The SRX Team (who are written quite differently as to how they’d appear in later incarnations). The game also has design very similar to SRW EX’s scenario system, but instead of completely separate scenarios that take place over the same period of time, you have a route split around 6 mission in that determines which of the next 30 missions (i.e. the rest of the game) you’ll experience. All of these interesting focuses on particular series in ways that don’t get done again on top of that design choice make this game have a very cool style all its own, and I absolutely loved it. While it’s hardly high art with meaningful themes beyond the bits of the stories that it’s adapting, it’s a thoroughly entertaining romp in ways that the other WinkySoft SRW games really aren’t, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing through both halves of it.

Shin Super Robot Wars (also called Neo Super Robot Wars by the game itself, for whatever reason) was released after SRW4 and SRW4’s remake(s) via F and F Final. It was originally intended to be the start of a new sub-series within SRW (as some hints dropped in the secret final mission very heavily (albeit bittersweetly) imply), but as the project that would become F and F Final ballooned in scale, it was decided that this would simply be a one-off as to pool resources more wisely and not confuse customers as to which series they were partaking in. Part of that division of resources is why this game’s writing feels so different to the WinkySoft games both before and after it, as this wasn’t written by the usual writer (who was apparently feeling a bit burned out at the time), but instead by WinkySoft’s president himself. He did a bang up job, in my personal opinion, as especially with the original characters, this game is oozing with funny moments and personality. I especially loved how clueless and not always on top of everything the main antagonists were by the nature of their overconfidence. It made for a dynamic that you very infrequently get to see in SRW games like this. While I wouldn’t call it a tragedy that we never got any more games in this sub-series, this was a super fun experiment that stands on its own really well, and it’s still at least a bit of a shame that WinkySoft never got the chance to try this again.

Mechanically, we’re both far improved on where we were in SRW 4S, but also noticeably behind where we’d be by SRW F. As far as the basics of upgrading weapons individually as well as stats with money, pilots being unique from their units, spirit abilities that each unit has, basic SRPG Fire Emblem-ish gameplay, that’s all still here. This is still very noticeably SRW, so no surprises there. On the incredibly important point of loading times (given that this IS a 1996 PS1 game), they’re better than SRW 4S (thank gods), but they’re still not amazing, and you also still can’t skip or turn off battle animations yet. You can at the very least tell that we’re playing a game designed from the ground up for the PS1, as everything for navigating around the map is just so much nippier and faster than SRW 4 was.

Map design is also a fair whack better, though you can really feel them struggling to get to that 35 mission counter with how incredibly short some missions are (and the underwater and truck defense missions are AWFUL, even if they aren’t too long). While it’s nice to have some shorter missions for a change in this era of SRW, these are SO short it’s pretty obvious that they’re just padding. This game is also quite easy. It’s not *too* easy, and it’s far from how mean SRW F and F Final can be, but for someone looking for something to cut their teeth on, they’re really not gonna find that here. I enjoyed the difficulty as it was, but I certainly would’ve preferred something at least a little harder.

On the topic of more just outright bad things, we’re tragically still chained the item acquisition system from SRW 4, though this is mercifully the final game to have it. You still need to either look up a guide to where items are hidden in invisible places in each map, or use the Search spirit ability to find any equippable item. While it’s still the case that every unit across the board can only equip 2 items at once instead of it being specific to each unit like it is starting in F, we do get the small mercy of significantly more units having Search in the first place.

Another annoying holdover from the earlier games that is again the last game to have it is that support units still do not get EXP from healing or refilling ammo (that’s another innovation that F brings to the table). It’s not awful, as the game is easy enough that you don’t really need dedicated healing or ammo refilling units anyhow as opposed to just using spirit abilities for that stuff, but that they even went as far as to give healers only 1 or 2 charges of healing before they’re tapped out for the battle (unless you’re gonna waste a reload charge on them) just feels so unnecessarily mean on top of all that. It’s not like healers were particularly good or even a little bit useful in SRW 4, so this nerf of an already bad unit type is nothing but baffling to me.

Aesthetically, it’s generally quite nice although a pretty mixed bag. We’re clearly no longer using glorified SFC tracks like we used to be in SRW 4S, and a lot of the arrangements here are really good (especially the original tracks), but a few are arranged so strangely. Very familiar classics like the Getter Robo theme or the Mazinger Z theme (they’re in damn near all these games so any SRW fan would be very familiar with them) are arranged in a way that makes it sound like one instrument is doing the melody amongst a smattering of backing tracks (like they just took out the vocal part and replaced it with an instrument). It doesn’t sound awful, but it pales pretty hard in comparison to other versions they’ve done of these themes they’d do very shortly after (or even had done on the SFC). Even some of the newcomers to the series like Trider G7 have themes with this One Instrument Syndrome, making it even all the more perplexing as to why they chose to do it like this.

While the music may be a mixed bag, graphically it’s basically all positives. As the final SFC game had also done, we’ve abandoned the iconic super deformed style (and by loose extension, the SD Gundam license) and all of the included robots are just drawn with their normal proportions in their normal styles. Some robots like the Shin Getter Robo look pretty weird, but most of them look really good. We also have a lot of very nice animations for the time, with neat little flourishes like with how the Layzner does its punches on the small end, and really cool high-detail cutaways for a very significant amount of the super/special moves (like Mazinger Z’s Breast Fire or the Shining Gundam’s Shining Finger). I was very skeptical of the lack of the SD style going in, but it had me sold on how nice it looks pretty quickly. We even get some cool pre-rendered 3D cutscenes for one or two of the super robot combining sequences, which is a neat extra aesthetic treat~.

Verdict: Recommended. As a strategy game, I’m not sure this is necessarily the best of the WinkySoft games, but as an overall product (particularly in regards to the writing), this may be my new overall favorite of their tenure over SRW. The interactions between and during missions had me in stitches more times than I can count, and I had a ton of fun relating them to friends after (and even ones who aren’t into mecha stuff just about always enjoyed them x3). The gameplay is fun and mostly well designed, and even though the rough edges with certain missions and the whole need to Search for items makes this hard to Highly Recommend, this is still one very worth playing if you can deal with the loading times and battle animations (and of course if you can read Japanese ^^;).
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by Note »

1. Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth (N64)
2. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (Arcade)*
3. Metal Slug 6 (PS2)
4. Time Crisis II (PS2)*
5. Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown (360)
6. Shining the Holy Ark (SAT)
7. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)
8. Soul Blazer (SNES)
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)*
10. Warriors of Fate (Switch)
11. Knights of the Round (Switch)
12. Armored Warriors (Switch)
13. Battle Circuit (Switch)
14. OutRun (GEN)*
15. Kirby's Adventure (NES)
16. Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
17. Shadowrun (SNES)
18. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (PS2)
19. Ratchet & Clank (PS2)
20. Final Fight 3 (SNES)
21. The House of the Dead (Arcade)
22. Die Hard Arcade (Arcade)
23. Final Fantasy II (SNES)
24. Streets of Rage 2 (GEN)*
25. Double Dragon (SMS)
26. Ninja Warriors (SNES)*

Image

27. Mega Bomberman (GEN)

Mega Bomberman is another title that I completely missed out on when I was younger. I really didn't have much experience with the Bomberman games until I was a bit older, and attended a friend's birthday get together, where had a multi-tap hooked up and battle mode going. After enjoying that experience, which was years ago, I wanted to eventually track down a few of the Bomberman games. Last month, I had a chance to grab a copy of the Genesis release and went for it. I played through the single player campaign over the course of a few weeks, as the last world gave me some trouble.

Mega Bomberman is a port of Bomberman '94, originally developed by Hudson Soft for the PC Engine and released in 1993. Mega Bomberman was re-developed by Westone and released on the Genesis and Mega Drive the following year, in 1994. The game has a single player campaign, which consists of five worlds, with four levels and a boss in each world. Once that's completed, an additional world and the final boss is unlocked. There is also a battle mode, which can four players can join in on. I found the first few worlds of the campaign to be quite easy, but the difficulty spiked in the fourth world. The game contains about fifteen different power-ups, which took me some time to learn what each did. Another cool feature, is the inclusion of Louies, which are rideable creatures that let Bomberman take an additional hit before you lose a life. There are five different colored Louies, and four of them have powers that can be used by the player as well.

Once the final area and boss is opened up, it becomes quite a task to complete, as you have to get through a long stage and the boss battle in one go. If you happen to lose a continue while fighting the boss, you have to start all the way back at the beginning of the stage and get through it again. I found this to be really difficult, and it took me a number of nights to get decent enough at the final level, that I could reach the boss with power-ups and a good amount of lives on hand. However, as I'm not as experienced with the series, I'm wondering if others found this area to be as painful as I did. It was definitely satisfying to get through the end of the game, after the various trials. The only criticism I have gameplay wise, is the appearance of slowdown in the later levels, when there are more enemies on the screen.

Graphics wise, I think Mega Bomberman looks pretty good for the time of it's release, however I do have some criticisms. The game contains some sprawling levels in which the maps spans multiple screens, which I think is a nice touch for this style of game. Regarding the sprite work, I found a lot of the enemy animations, (when they've been hit by a bomb), to be entertaining. I do think the color palette could be expanded a bit though, as by 1994, we had seen some impressive and vibrant Genesis games. I feel the palette presented in this title more closely resembles earlier Genesis releases. Another minor issue, is there seems to be a glitch with the sprite of the object that holds the moon piece in each stage. Once you beat a level and the object explodes with the collectable piece, sometimes, there's a glitch where a single colored block appears under the exploding object. It's not a big deal, but just a weird glitch I noticed.

Regarding the soundtrack, I found the music to be hit or miss; however, I wouldn't consider any of it to be bad. There were certain themes that I really enjoyed, and there were others that I felt seemed a little out of place. For example, towards the end of the game, when you're in the ice themed world titled Thrashin' Tundra, the background music here sounds similar to something I would expect in a carnival themed level. The music isn't bad but I just think the developers could've picked a tune that was more in line with theme of the area.

I had a lot of fun playing through Mega Bomberman. It was a change of pace to play through a puzzle game, in comparison to the titles I usually put time into. I would also like to track down a few other Bomberman titles on the SNES to see how they compare. I can't wait to play the game in a multiplayer setting as well, to get a taste of what the battle mode is like. I definitely recommend checking this one out! It's a unique experience on the console.
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REPO Man
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by REPO Man »

I'm probably the only person on this planet who can say they'd fuck HARD with a good game of Bomberman. I'm shocked it's not considered a bigger franchise than it is. I even heard that the first HD video game was Hi-Ten Bomberman in '93, made primarily for their Super Caravan events in Japan and supporting 10 players as Saturn Bomberman would later do.
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by Note »

1. Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth (N64)
2. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (Arcade)*
3. Metal Slug 6 (PS2)
4. Time Crisis II (PS2)*
5. Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown (360)
6. Shining the Holy Ark (SAT)
7. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)
8. Soul Blazer (SNES)
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)*
10. Warriors of Fate (Switch)
11. Knights of the Round (Switch)
12. Armored Warriors (Switch)
13. Battle Circuit (Switch)
14. OutRun (GEN)*
15. Kirby's Adventure (NES)
16. Shadow of the Colossus (PS2)
17. Shadowrun (SNES)
18. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (PS2)
19. Ratchet & Clank (PS2)
20. Final Fight 3 (SNES)
21. The House of the Dead (Arcade)
22. Die Hard Arcade (Arcade)
23. Final Fantasy II (SNES)
24. Streets of Rage 2 (GEN)*
25. Double Dragon (SMS)
26. Ninja Warriors (SNES)*
27. Mega Bomberman (GEN)

Image

28. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)*

Donkey Kong Country is one of the titles that I grew up playing a ton, as my sister was into video games to an extent as well during this time, and she was gifted a copy of DKC for Christmas one year by my parents. We used to spend a lot of time together playing this and trying to maneuver through the later levels. Eventually, I did manage to best King K. Rool when I was young, but I had not revisited the game in years. Due to it being my sister's cartridge, I would only play it from time to time when I was visiting her. That was until last year, when I finally picked up my own copy. After all this time, I do think the title has aged really well and it's still one of my favorite games on the console.

Regarding the graphics in Donkey Kong Country, I think Rare did a great job with the look of this game. I'm aware that some don't like the look of the pre-rendered graphics, but I think the developer pulled it off here. IMO, the game looked stunning when it first hit store shelves in late 1994, and I think the look holds up to this day. This game really showed what the SNES could do late in its lifespan when pushed to the limits. Also, I feel DKC gave us a glimpse as to what the next generation of gaming could potentially look like.

The soundtrack also has to be mentioned, as I think the compositions here are pretty iconic. Even friends of mine who are (or were) casual gamers are familiar with the themes in this game and are aware of the status of the water level song, formally titled Aquatic Ambience. David Wise, a British music composer who worked at Rare from 1985 to 2009 composed most of the soundtrack, including the Aquatic Ambience track. From what I understand, he was able to play demos of each level, and wanted to put together a soundtrack that was as equally impressive as the visuals. I think he delivered on that goal, as the amazing music in this game certainly helped to cement its status over the years.

The gameplay in DKC is pretty straight forward, as it's a side-scrolling platform game. However you have the option of controlling two different characters, Donkey Kong who is a bit slower and larger on the screen, but can take out some of the heavier enemies, and Diddy Kong, who is smaller and quicker, but can't deal with some of the stronger baddies by just jumping. Other than your jump move, you're able to do a roll with Donkey Kong and a cartwheel with Diddy -- this move can be used to either attack enemies or dodge something when jumping would also be a problem. And if you hold down the button to do this additional move, you can also use it to run. You can switch between the characters at will, as long as one hasn't been taken down earlier in the level. While the gameplay mechanics are simple, the access to both characters at most instances give you a choice on how to handle situations. There are some sequences when Donkey Kong might be better and others where you're going to want Diddy leading the way.

The first few worlds in the game are pretty easy to get through, but the challenge starts to ramp up when you get to the ice world, known as Gorilla Glacier. There is an infamous level here titled Snow Barrel Blast that my sister and I used to get frustrated on. In a lot of playthroughs we started, this is where we would put down the game. Towards the end of the game, there are a lot of levels like this, that take many attempts to understand the patterns and get the timing down just right. Rare really threw in some tough sequences towards the end here. Another element that adds to the challenge is there is only one save point located in each world, and usually it's about three stages in. So you'll have to get through those stages in order to record your progress, otherwise you'll have to do it all again. In order to mediate this, I normally would load up on lives on the first level, using the convenience by Funky Kong's flights around the overview map, and then try to attempt the harder stages, once I'm stocked up.

I really don't have much criticisms, as the gameplay is smooth, the graphics are well done IMO, and the music really adds to the experience of the game. For the sake of younger players and casual gamers though, I do wish the latter parts of the game were a bit more forgiving.

Overall, Donkey Kong Country is a must play title if you're interested in the 16-bit era of gaming or are just beginning to explore the SNES library. We did own DKC3, which I enjoy, but actually we did not own Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong's Quest back when originally released, so I'd like to play through that game as well to experience the second title in the series. This one is highly recommended! Give it a go if you haven't.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

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

1. Dandy Dungeon: The Legend of Brave Yamada (Switch)
2. Dandy Dungeon 2: The Phantom Bride (Switch)
3. Mon Amor (Switch)
4. Terraria (PC)
5. Puppeteer (PS3) *
6. Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon (PS1)
7. Project Altered Beast (PS2)
8. Devil Summoner II: Soul Hackers (Saturn)
9. Kirby Star Allies: Heroes in Another Dimension (Switch)
10. Kirby's Dream Land 2 (GB)
11. Tales of Vesperia (PS3) *
12. Art Style: BOXLIFE (DSi)
13. Super Robot Wars F (Saturn)
14. Super Robot Wars F Final (Saturn)
15. Super Robot Wars 64 (N64)
16. Knight Gundam Monogatari (SFC)
17. Knight Gundam Monogatari 2 (SFC)
18. Mega Man Legends 2 (PSP)
19. Mighty No. 9 (PC)
20. Mega Man Xtreme (GBC)
21. Mega Man Xtreme 2 (GBC)
22. Super Robot Wars Alpha (PS1)
23. Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden (PS1)
24. Vampire Hunter D (PS1)
25. Super Robot Wars Alpha 2 (PS2)
26. Super Robot Wars Alpha 3 (PS2)
27. Super Robot Wars 2: Complete Box Edition (PS1)
28. Super Robot Wars 3: Complete Box Edition (PS1)
29. Super Robot Wars EX: Complete Box Edition (PS1)
30. Super Robot Wars IV Scramble (PS1)
31. Biohazard (PS1)
32. Hero Senki: Project Olympus (SFC)
33. Shin Super Robot Wars (PS1)

34. Gaia Saver (SFC)

After really loving Hero Senki a few weeks ago, I was really excited to get to this game, the next in the Gundam & Kamen Rider & Ultraman crossover JRPGs. Not only was it a different company helming the project, but it was Arc System Works! Them guys that make Guilty Gear! Sure, this was a long time before they made that stuff, but I was pretty confident I’d be in for an interesting time if nothing else. Well, now that it’s all over, with my heavy use of save states (for saving time, more than anything else) as well as maps online, I’m just glad Gaia Saver was mercifully short compared to Hero Senki XD. It took me most of the weekend, so some 15 or 18 hours (this is yet another game that doesn’t count playtime) to play through the game via an emulator in Japanese.

Gaia Saver: The Ultimate Hero Operation is, as the title implies, a big operation to save the world! The world is in incredible peril. Under assault from Neo Zeon forces, Shocker’s Army, and all sorts of hostile aliens, the Earth’s livability and population drop significantly day to day, week to week. Earth’s last hope is an alliance of heroes (the Gundam, Kamen Rider, and Ultraman fellas that make up this game’s crossovery premise) who are gonna fight against all the odds to save the world! Your party rotates a lot as the story demands it, but the playable Gundam pilots are Amuro and Seabook, the Kamen Riders are Amazon, Super 1, and Black RX, and the starring Ultras are Ultraman, Ultra Seven, and Ultra Leo. Not that any of it matters, of course.

This game’s story is the first primary piece in the absolutely amazing disaster of a game that is Gaia Saver. Characters in your party, and really all throughout the story, are barely characters. When they do get lines, they act wildly out of character, and it’s pretty clear that the scenario writers had almost no familiarity with the properties they were adapting beyond the very basic premises of each. The story is entirely original, and doesn’t really follow arcs or what have you from any of the adapted shows, but that just serves to even more drive home the vapidness of the story you’re going through. The story itself is *incredibly* dark, with hundreds of millions or billions of people dying and large amounts of the Earth becoming uninhabitable (often as a result of your actions), but the tone set by the graphics and music doesn’t compliment that at all. The actions you’re doing that’ll have those consequences are also almost always so poorly telegraphed that you’d have no idea there were even consequences for them at all, making them fairly poor as far as moral choices in games go. I did manage to get the best ending for both remaining population as well as Earth condition (albeit barely), and it was honestly really not worth the effort Xp.

That brings us to the general design as a whole, which is similarly pretty damn embarrassing not just for a game from 1994 (the same year that gave us stuff like SMT2, FF6, and Mother 2), but as a follow up to Hero Senki. Case in point is how, in contrast to just how good and forward-facing the “consult” feature in Hero Senki was in reminding you where to go (and just having generally very good signposting), Gaia Saver has chronically horrible signposting. Massive swaths of the game are no better than a point & click adventure game in just how aimlessly you’re expected to wander around hoping to bump into the next NPC you’re meant to talk to. There’s a ton of asset reuse, even in dungeons, so they’re rarely hard to navigate, but that copy-paste philosophy is extended to towns as well, filling them with scads of useless NPCs and rooms they can be in for you to hunt for the next bit of plot within. There also aren’t even dedicated shops, and merchants don’t update, so finding just where to buy stuff in any given town, if it has a shop at all, it also a huge pain. Had I not used a guide for this stuff (as well as which decisions made the fewest people die/Earth get damaged), I’m positive it would’ve taken me at least another five or six hours of wandering around lost as heck just looking for the next NPC I’m supposed to talk to (providing I even realized I’d talked to the right person). And that’s especially thanks to just how awful the encounter rate is, which really adds a lot onto the playtime.

Speaking of the random battles, let’s move on to the battle system itself, because it’s also absolutely awful and worth elaborating on (for what little there is to elaborate on). In short, Gaia Saver is an auto-battler, but it’s a 1994 SFC game instead of a modern mobile phone game. The game defaults each turn in battle to your 1-4 turn-based little fellas just picking their own best moves for that turn (no true auto-battle), and for the large, large majority of situations (including bosses), just mashing that button until combat ends will get you out of it perfectly fine. It wasn’t until chapter 6 of 8 that I had to intervene and use some healing items to get through a boss battle, and the remaining four or five bosses in the game I had to do similar for.

And that’s all just assuming you get lucky enough for your attacks to hit in the first place, since accuracy of attacks (especially for bosses, but for normal enemies too) is absolutely horrible. My rough guess would be that 40 to 50% of all attacks miss, with that number going down against very weak enemies, and going substantially up (closer to 60% or higher) against certain tough enemies and bosses. It’s just one more thing that makes combat a miserable chore and not engaging at all, since even sweeping enemies is difficult to enjoy when so many attacks will just do absolutely nothing. It’s never fun, especially when you’re fighting later bosses, for seven or eight attacks in a row to just miss (and I wish that were as rare an occurrence as it probably sounds like).

HP even completely refills at the end of battles, so no need to worry about what that does either. MP doesn’t auto-refill, but it does refill when you level up (or walk over a stone circle on the map), and even then, I’m not 100% sure what MP even does. My guys seemed perfectly capable of still casting “spells” even when they were totally tapped out, but they may’ve been a little bit weaker? Even what stats do is fairly confusing. They have weird names like “courage” or “friendship”, and it’s extremely unclear what tons of stats do at all. It’s also very confusing what equipment or items do. Items don’t have a description outside of shops, and it’s also not possible to tell who can equip what items until you just test it out in your inventory (and absolutely nuts thing for an RPG to have in 1994, imo). There isn’t even UI to indicate what effect your new equipment has, as the only way to do that is to look at your stats, write down what they all are, equip the item, and then compare the numbers. Mercifully, just leveling up (or simply stockpiling more healing items) seems to usually be more than enough to get by without caring much about equipment, and the game doesn’t even have treasure chests or side quests to get you extra stuff if you wanted. But it’s yet another confusing waste of time in a game that seems to be primarily an exercise in frustration and misdirection.

As described earlier, the aesthetics of the game do nothing to help the tone or plot, and they for the most part aren’t even particularly nice or coordinated on their own. There are maybe 5 music tracks in the game, and they’re all hopelessly generic and forgettable the moment you stop hearing. The music that’s playing in the area you’re in even resets every time you enter a door, so even though virtually every town has identical music, you’re gonna hear the first few bars of the town song SO many times as you scour buildings for necessary NPCs over and over. The general color palette of the game isn’t very nice, and the over-world sprites are also noticeably uglier on the whole than Hero Senki’s were. Even the quite pretty opening cinematic is strange and wrong in how it shows a bunch of Heroes that will supposedly feature in the game (Rider Man, Alex Gundam, Gun Cannon), only for literally all of them to not only never appear in the game, but never even be mentioned.

The singular strong point of the game is that the battle sprites and animations are quite nice. Enemy sprites are big and detailed, though they generally lack any animation and also very confusingly have American comic-style “Woosh!” and “Shoot!” effects in English to indicate they’re attacking. Your party NPCs are also very nice looking, and their animations have a fair few little flourishes here and there that make battles at the very least look cool, even if they’re a boring chore to experience.

Verdict: Not Recommended. As if there would be any doubt I’d not recommend this after reading this far ^^;. Gaia Saver isn’t quite the worst game I’ve played this year. I’m not sure it’s even the worst SFC JRPG I’ve played this year, as the first Knight Gundam Monogatari game being nigh incompletable it’s so poorly balanced just about takes the crown in that regard. However, it’s easily still one of the worst games I’ve played this year and one of the worst of these mecha/crossover games I’ve ever played. While Hero Senki is a neat curiosity worth checking out for fans of the properties involved, Gaia Saver, mercifully lacking any sort of English translation, is one to stay far, far away from unless you simply must experience how boring and frustrating it is for yourself.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2022!
*Denotes Replay For Completion*

1. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (PS3)
2. Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne (XBOX)
3. Streets of Rage 4 (NS)
4. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Master Quest (GCN)
5. Dirge Of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (PS2)
6. Darkstalkers (PS1)
7. Evolution: The World Of Sacred Device (SDC)
8. Ogre Battle 64: Person Of Lordly Calibur (N64)
9. Draogn Quest VI (SNES)
10. Batman: The Video Game (GEN)
11. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (NES)
12. Mario Kart: Super Circuit (GBA)
13. Pokemon Red (GB)
14. Wii Sports (Wii)
15. Splatoon (WiiU)
16. Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (PS2)
***17. Final Fantasy IX (PS1)***
***18. Out Run (GEN)***
19. Assassin's Creed (PS3)
20. RBI Baseball 2 (NES)
21. Puzzle Kingdoms (Wii)
22. Operation C (GBC)
***23. Illusion Of Gaia (SNES)***
***24. Super Mario Brothers 2 (NES)***
25. Forza Motorsport (XBOX)
26. Super Mario Strikers (GCN)
***27. Grandia II (SDC)***
28. Shadow Hearts (PS2)
29. Shovel Knight (WiiU)

30. ***Bust A Move 99 (N64)***

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I completed Bust-A-Move 99 on the Nintendo 64 this evening!

I used to play Bust A Move with a friend of mine quite frequently. We most played on the N64 versions. Both of us are giant puzzle game fans, especially Tetris and Dr. Mario, which we play almost every single weekend. So, when we would want more puzzle action, we would put in Bust A Move and fill each other's screens. Of course, I picked up both versions for myself. I bought and beat Bust A Move 2 back in 2012 and then did the same with Bust A Move 99 back in 2013. In 2015, I completed Bust A Move 2 and last year, I beat Bust A Move 4 on the PS1. Every couple of years, I get a Bust A Move itch and it hit me this year as well. Looking for a simpler game to Complete after Grandia II, I figured Bust A Move 99 would be perfect and I finally finished every mode this evening.

Bust A Move is broken down into separate parts of the game. There is the Vs. Mode, either against a human or computer, where you drop Bubbles to appear on the opponents side and the last person standing wins. Then, there is the Puzzle Part, where you have to empty the board before it comes crashing down on you. I much prefer the Puzzle part, but the Vs. part can be fun in its own right. It can be quite frenetic as you are dropping bubbles back and forth on each other, trying to kill off the other person. For this iteration, the game introduces playable characters, who offer a different challenge when played against in Vs. Mode. Also, besides the regular pyramid style Puzzle Mode, there is a collection mode. That has over 1000 Puzzles designed and submitted by fans, which was mostly fun to go through.

Bust A Move still has its shortcomings, which is apparent in most versions. The balls can be super sticky and it is frustrating to miss a certain shot. Also, some puzzles are just impossible unless you are perfect and get the exact colors throughout the entire level. Unlike other puzzle games, its hard to get of trash, so you are at the mercy of the game sometimes.

Overall, I still really like Bust A Move. I think it fits right underneath Dr. Mario and Tetris for me. This version has a ton of different puzzles and also offers a 4 Player Vs. option which is absolutely hectic and crazy. Some of the shortcomings and frustrations become more apparent the longer you play the game, but for a short Puzzle game, it is rather enjoyable and can be quite a blast to play.
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RobertAugustdeMeijer
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by RobertAugustdeMeijer »

Would you care to say if I should play more AAA games next year? Perhaps more long games? Do I play too many indies/retro? Serious question! 8)

My top 50:
1 Disco Elysium
2 Tunic
3 Elden Ring (AAA)
5 Alba: A Wildlife Adventure
4 Frog Detective 3
5 Chicory
6 Spiritfarer
7 Nioh
8 Death's Door
9 Unisghted
10 Shadowrun (Super Nintendo)
11 It Takes Two (AAA?)
12 Vampire Survivors
13 Dying Light
14 Polytopia
15 R-Type III
16The Looker
17 Vanquish (AAA?)
18 Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (AAA?)
19 Le Morte D'Arthur
20 Donut County
21 Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion
22 Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (AAA)
23 Telling Lies
24 Luigi's Mansion 2: Dark Moon
25 Kentucky Route Zero
26 Unpacking
27 Windjammers
28 Minoria
29 Inside
30 Before Your Eyes
31 Shadowrun (Genesis)
32 Super Turrican 2
33 Sonic All-Star Racing (AAA)
34 Poinpy
35 Final Fight 2
36 Ratcher & Clank PS4 (AAA)
37 Star Fox 64 (AAA?)
38 Vice: Project Doom
39 Beyond Oasis
40 Revenge of Shinobi
41 Streets of Rage
42 Boneraiser Minions
43 Ys: Wanderers of Ys
44 Truxton
45 The Punisher (Genesis)
46 Resident Evil 4 (AAA) - finally! God I detest this game
47 Super Empire Strikes Back
48 Strider (Genesis)
49 Little Nightmares
50 A Plague Tale: Innocence (AAA)
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2022

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

First 60
1. Space Warrior (Switch)
2. Itta (Switch)
3. Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn (Switch)
4. Mask of Mists (Switch)
5. Metagal (Switch)
6. Foxyland 2 (Switch)
7. Submerged (Switch)
8. Back to Bed (Switch)
9. Thoth (Switch)
10. 140 (Switch)
11. Infinite: Beyond the Mind (Switch)
12. Ninja Striker (Switch)
13. Kid Tripp (Switch)
14. Miles & Kilo (Switch)
15. Neon Junctions (Switch)
16. Golf Zero (Switch)
17. 198X (Switch)
18. Macbat 64 (Switch)
19. Kiwi 64 (Switch)
20. Toree 3D (Switch)
21. Toree 2 (Switch)
22. #RaceDieRun (Switch)
23. Micetopia (Switch)
24. Tomena Sanner (Wii)
25. Contra ReBirth (Wii)
26. Unstrong Legacy (Switch)
27. Quarantine Circular (Switch)
28. Infernax (Switch)
29. Cosmos Bit (Switch)
30. Ape Out (Switch)
31. Return of the Double Dragon (Super Famicom)
32. Contra (Famicom)
33. Summer Carnival ‘92 RECCA (Famicom)
34. Bionic Commando (Arcade)
35. Shinobi (Arcade)
36. Super Meat Boy (Switch)
37. Chex Quest HD (Switch)
38. King’s Field II (PSX)
39. Mechstermination Force (Switch)
40. Swords and Bones (Switch)
41. The Solitaire Conspiracy (Switch)
42. Super Cyborg (Switch)
43. Blazing Chrome (Switch)
44. Son Wukong v. Robot (Switch)
45. King’s Field III: Pilot Style (PS1)
46. Kirby’s Dreamland 2 (GB)
47. Metal Gear (NES)
48. Vampire Killer (MSX)
49. Super Skelemania (Switch)
50. Just Shapes & Beats (Switch)
51. Super Cable Boy (Switch)
52. Rainbow Laser Disco Dungeon (Switch)
53. Elden Ring (Xbox)
54. Rite (Switch)
55. Journey of a Broken Circle (Switch)
56. Don’t Touch This Button! (Switch)
57. Back Again (Switch)
58. What Remains of Edith Finch (Switch)
59. Bleed (Switch)
60. Tunic (Switch)

61. Beeny (Switch)
62. Fatum Betula (Switch)
63. Once Upon a Time on Halloween (Switch)
64. Hatchwell (Switch)
65. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion (Switch)
66. The Turing Test (Switch)
67. Bug Honey on Adventure Island (Famicom)
68. Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World (Switch)
69. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom (Switch)


A few weeks ago, I decided to press through the rest of the games in the Adventure Island and Wonder Boy series, and I can happily report that I have now beaten every game in both series (…except one, the elusive Japan-exclusive Adventure Island remake for the GameCube and PS2)!

Bug Honey on Adventure Island is a bizarre Famicom exclusive based on a manga/anime. After spending a few minutes, it’s pretty obvious why this game never left Japan. That is, it’s terrible in the most Famicom way possible. In it, you play an action-platformer section as either Master Higgins or his fairy companion, searching for hidden eggs. When you find one, the game abruptly transitions to an Arkanoid/Breakout section, where you break blocks to reveal letters. Collecting the right letter gets you closer to completing the password you need to beat the level. Collecting the wrong one kills you. Only finding a special hidden egg in the platforming section do you get a hint regarding the password, and there’s an unwinnable “hell” breakout section in each level. (Enjoy!) Oh…yeah…I forgot to mention…the enemies in the platforming section fly at you aggressively and respawn constantly - if you’ve played Romancia, you know what to expect - and your character controls terrible. Defeating the bosses is mostly a matter of luck, and you have only three lives to complete the game’s four levels. Based on the wild aesthetic dissonance between the platforming and block-breaking sections - the platforming is set in ancient China or Greece, apparently, but the block-breaking occurs in the distant future(?) - I strongly suspect Hudson shoehorned a terrible action platformer and an awful password mechanic into an OK Arkanoid clone, and we ended up with this abomination. It is easily the worst game I’ve beaten this year, and I strongly recommend against even considering it.

Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World is a remake of Monster World IV for the Sega Mega Drive. The original is a very good action platformer with adorable, absolutely amazing spritework. The remake is that game exactly, but it unnecessarily replaces the adorable, absolutely amazing spritework with OK-looking cell-shaded polygons. It also adds a few QoL features, which are nice, but the switch from great-looking sprites to OK-looking cell-shaded polygons makes it harder to ignore the original game’s shortcomings. (That is, the original game is a pretty straightforward action-platformer that was very good in the 1990s, but doesn’t do anything interesting now.) Accordingly, if you’ve never played Monster World IV before, this might be an OK place to start since the QoL features make the game more accessible. If you’ve already played the now easily accessible original, though, there’s no reason to play the remake.

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom was a fantastic way to cap off my run through the Wonder Boy series. That is, it is a phenomenal metroidvania, that serves as a successor to all the games in the series, adopts all of the series’ best elements, and grinds down all the rough edges. It also looks and sounds great, with beautiful hand-drawn graphics and instrumental renditions of the best classic Wonder Boy music. The map is huge, with a secret or puzzle in almost every screen, and it contains many coy references to classic Wonder Boy games (e.g., the hero of each preceding game appears in the chapel’s stained glass, the first boss from Monster World III is seen frozen in ice, there’s a shooting section directly inspired by Monster Lair, etc.). The game also adopts many gameplay elements from classic Wonder Boy games; you’re constantly shifting forms, as in Dragon’s Trap (and your first form is the pig shopkeeper from Monster Land!); and you buy or find new equipment to upgrade your attack power, defense, and mobility. Mixing and matching these upgrades with each form’s unique abilities is critical to completing the game and finding all of its secrets (e.g., using the ice boots’ secondary ability to freeze the surface of water to create a platform to a small hole and then quickly switching to your naked form to wriggle through, etc.). The end result is not only the very best Wonder Boy/Monster World game, but one of the very best metroidvanias and my runner-up GOTY. Despite one really good secret that a bit too well hidden, I really can’t recommend this game highly enough.
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