Games Beaten 2023

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opa
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by opa »

Since today is the last day of January I'll do a quick list.

1. Metal Torrent (easy mode) - DSiWare
2. Dear Esther - PC
3. Harvest Moon: Light of Hope - Switch
4. Spirit of the North - Switch


If anyone needs thoughts on these just post or hit me up in a pm. Don't have much time to type up stuff these days, sadly.
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marurun
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by marurun »

Maru's 2023 Games Beaten
As always, short and sweet! (The list, not the write-ups. God no, not the write-ups.)

  1. Vampire Survivors (iPhone)

Vampire Survivors (iPhone)

My first beaten game of 2023 is Vampire Survivors, a game that's been on Steam several months and has been all the rage in certain gaming circles. Apparently the developer wanted to outsource the mobile versions while they were focused on DLC but there were so many knock-offs appearing, including blatant full asset rips, that they decided they needed to shelve the DLC for a little bit and just do the mobile versions themselves. All in all they did a fine job, in part maybe because Vampire Survivors feels like it has some mobile-friendly or even mobile-derived mechanics in the core game.

Vampire Survivors is a game about managing waves of enemies and also managing your weapons and accessories. There's tons of content to unlock and lots of secrets as well. The graphics are fairly rudimentary 2D pixel objects, clearly Castlevania-inspired. You start out with a single character and unlock new characters, weapons, and accessories as you progress. Killing enemies yields a little experience gem which you can collect. Every time you level up you can pick from a selection of 3 or 4 available weapons or accessories, randomly selected. If you pick something you already have equipped it will level up (up to a pre-set maximum level). You have a limited number of weapon and accessory slots. Once these are full you'll stop getting new weapons and accessory options. Each weapon has a distinct attack behavior with strength, speed, area, number/amount, and duration of effect. Leveling up improves one or more of these factors. Accessories can affect this. One accessory, for example, adds 5% strength to attacks. Depending on which character you are using, leveling up may also increase a specific effect. There are also weapon evolutions and unions to unlock.

Getting into the mechanics in greater detail, Vampire Survivors isn't really an action game, at least not in the traditional sense. There is no attack button. Your character auto attacks at the speed of the various weapon you have, and all the weapons you have are always active all the time. Most weapons fire off at either set angles or auto-(or randomly) target. Your job is to move your character so that the specific attack patterns and timings of your weapons hits enemies and keeps you from getting hit by enemies or, rarely, their projectiles. For a small number of weapons you can direct their attacks with your character's facing. Basically, from the moment you start the game your sole role is to steer your little dude around the level so your auto-attacking weapon flurries can kill enemies, who sometimes sprinkle in towards you and sometimes crush in in massive waves. You also collect all the exp gems they drop. As you keep leveling up from exp drops you increase and enhance your always-on arsenal, becoming potentially an agent of chaos and destruction. And if you collect the right complement of weapons and accessories you don't even have to interact with the game except to level-up. Yes, you can put the game on autopilot simply by virtue of having an omni-directional wave of death emitting from you to hold back the hordes swarming you from every direction. Play for 10-15 minutes to get the right weapons powered up enough and then hang our another 10-15 letting your auto-attack do all the work, stepping in only to level up and maybe navigate around a little to nab some out-of-range exp gems.

There are also periodic fires or candelabras you can destroy for money or other special items like short enemy freeze (think Castlevania stopwatch), instant screen-clear, or temporary fire-breathing enhancement. Money can be used to buy access to new characters you unlock or activate enhancements (again, once also unlocked) to the games varied stats, like your speed, health, or armor or weapon speed or amount. Fortunately, not every new unlock has to be purchased. There's a tarot system that lets you pick interesting boosts or effects for the level, for example. Each card has to be separately unlocked but not also purchased. New stages also do not need to be purchased. The varied addons can also be disabled if you don't want to use them for a specific run.

The game doesn't have strictly linear levels. Beating levels or hitting certain goals can unlock new stages, and those new stages will have different enemy selections, a few set weapons or accessories scattered about the level, and different qualities like a shorter or longer level timer, increased enemy strength, or whatever. When you hit the level timer the level ends* and your money is tallied and anything you managed to unlock is revealed.
*
If you survive the timer length Death flies onto the screen at high speed and wrecks your shit, ending the level pretty much right there**.

**
Unless, that is, you're powerful enough to beat death, which is a daunting task.


Now, this is a desktop game crammed into a mobile device, so the graphics are all small and so is the text. If you're old like me have your reading glasses handy to play. But you can play landscape (either orientation) or portrait and you can use touch controls or a controller to move. And the game moves a metric crap-ton of stuff around on the screen once things really get going. My iPhone 13 Pro definitely got warm but never skipped a beat. Then again, the iPhone 13 Pro is also a beast, so YMMV. I did find, however, that when I was completely overpowered and throwing weapon fire and damage out in every direction, getting crowded by massive, screen-filling waves of durable enemies, and the screen was covered in exp gems and items (basically, the screen was an unintelligible wash of colors and moving objects) that the game would temporarily suspend some of the object collision rules and enemies would sometimes collide with me without damaging me and levels with walls suddenly had no power to obstruct me. And yet my deadly attacks kept hitting their targets. I suspect the developers wisely set a cap on certain interactions so that mid-level devices don't just get hosed.

The final detail of note is the soundtrack. It's not up to Castlevania quality (OK, maybe a few tracks actually are) but it is fantastic. The sound effects are certainly functional (if a little monotonous for some things like money pickups). Truth is, I typically play with my phone on silent, but the soundtrack is worth a dedicated listen. There's a variety of tunes in there and they're all pretty fantastic.

The mobile versions of this game are completely free with some ads, though they are surprisingly unintrusive. You never have to watch ads unless you want a little bonus money after a level or a single extra revive per stage attempt. Early on you'll definitely be watching some Unity ads, but later on you probably won't see an ad at all. It's always your choice whether to do so. In this way this odd little game completely won me over, and I will likely be ponying up for the DLC when it drops.

That's not to say the game is perfect. It can be frustrating early on as you stumble around blind, trying to figure out what to do and how the game works (it's not good at tutorializing, but it's also not so obtuse as to be impenetrable). But once you crack that nut it's a blast. There are some time commitments, however. Most levels have a 30 minute timer. That means if you have the skills to survive you can be playing up to 30 minutes***. Fortunately you can pause the game and background the app, and as long as your phone has enough RAM to not have to relaunch the game before you get back to the level you won't be interrupted in your progress.
***
You can unlock an endless mode.


I listened, bemused, to podcast hosts talk about being addicted to this game and had no idea even what it was. And then it came out on mobile and I tried it and I understood.

So I guess my recommendation is... don't play it unless you're OK with a possible short-term addiction? I mean, it's on your phone, so you can't even really escape it by getting away from the TV or the computer. I imagine for some folks it might actually be more fun on Steam, and if you've got the time, sure, go that route. So maybe don't do mobile because you'll be trapped. IT'S A TRAP!
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

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

1. Super Hero Operations (PS1)
2. Lil' Gator Game (PC)
3. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (PC)
4. Dragon Quest VII (PS1)

5. Dragon Quest III (SFC)

After playing DQ7, I still very much had the bug for more playing Dragon Quest, so I thought what better time to finally tackle the one DQ game between 1 and 7 that I’d yet to beat: DQ3. I’ve technically given this a slight attempt before many years ago on a Famicom copy, but as soon as I saw that the game auto-scrolls text until that particular text box is done (meaning especially with my poorer reading skills of the time, there was no way in hell I was reading anything), I immediately put it down and shelved my DQ3 ambitions indefinitely. Until now! It took me around 35~40 hours (once again we have a game that doesn’t count playtime) to beat it in Japanese on emulated hardware using save states instead of saves (and for one or two things in particular that I’ll get to later).

DQ3 is a prequel to DQ1 and 2. Loto (or Erdrick), the legendary hero they bang on about all the time in those games? That’s the main character here! Your father goes off to slay the demon lord many years ago, he never comes back, and on your 16th birthday, your mother sends you to the king. He tells you to go slay the demon lord Baramos where your father failed, and that’s how your adventure begins! Though this is technically a remake from December 1996 (which does add a few things that I’ll get to later), the text part of things is largely unchanged from the Famicom original from 1988, so it’s a pretty simple story that does what it needs to. It’s still largely remarkably solid for 1988, though. A lot of the silly and fun aspects of miscellaneous character writing are very much here, and there were a few NPCs in particular who absolutely had me in stitches with the weird stuff they’d said x3. The narrative even has some cool twists I really didn’t see coming, which was an added bonus. It’s hardly anything thematically meaty to sink your teeth into (with an exception or two here and there), but it’s a simple and fun story that it’s pretty easy to see where the DNA of successor DQ games originated in.

The mechanics are for the most part pretty typical Dragon Quest of the time. First-person turn-based battles against several enemies; your four party members each get a turn and then things play out from there; you explore the world, dungeons, and town in that familiar over-head style: It’s nothing that will be unfamiliar to anyone who’s glanced at an older JRPG before. What’s quite novel for a JRPG from ’88 is the job system. Instead of the party being bespoke characters like most DQ games (not to mention DQ2 and 4), your first stop after meeting the king is going to the bar in town to recruit some generic party members to add to your merry band of heroes (i.e. just you). There are an assortment of classes to choose from, and you can change classes later in the game (similarly to DQ 6 and 7), but unlike later games, class isn’t an aspect of your character. It IS your character. Your main hero can’t job change, because it’d mean they stop being a hero, but any of your recruited guys can. Once they hit level 20, they can get a new job at the job changing temple, which will halve their current stats and set them back to level 1. This means that there’s a fair amount of replayability and experimentation in this game in terms of finding which parties work best, and if your current loadout seems bad, you can either job change your party members or just get whole new ones. You can even dump your whole party right before the final boss and regrind them up to more useful versions if you so chose, though it’d likely take quite a while. All it’ll take is your time to grind it up. I stuck with my same team of warrior, fighter, and priest (who became a fighter, warriors, and sage respectively later on, all at the advice of our resident Popo).

This remake (as well as all successive versions of DQ3) also add in a personality system, where at the start you take a personality test to determine your personality (and you even get to pick your gender, in a neat change from the Famicom original), and then for all of your other party members, they get assigned one based on their stats & job when they’re created. If you don’t like your personalities, you can always find skill books in the world that’ll permanently change them, or almost every accessory in the game also comes with the added feature of changing your personality as long as you have it equipped if you want a more temporary change. Nowhere in the game does it tell you the stat biases for which personality you have, so it’s well worth looking up a guide for that. I don’t really love the personality system, myself. This game isn’t super hard, but it’s not terribly easy either, and it just adds a lot of weird new min/max-ing to something that honestly has enough of that already. I don’t think it ruins this game, and depending on how you like your DQ, you might even quite like it, but I certainly don’t think any other DQ game is worse for lacking it.

Something else you’re likely going to want to use a guide for is actually completing your adventure as well. For the most part, the signposting is really good for a game of this era, but there are more than a few places where I was utterly stumped on how to progress, and the game really shows its age in just how arcane finding that path forward is. This game also adds in mini-medals for the first time, and the remake adds in even more of them. Between story-important items and all them mini-medals, investing in a thief early on so you can get their ability to help find treasure on the ground will likely be well worth it. Dungeon design is quite good and so is the encounter rate and design. It’s also an extra neat feature in just how few bosses this game has compared to a typical JRPG, which only adds to the charm of its simplicity in my eyes. Overall the difficulty curve was one I found just right, even if I had to put in a good 3 or 4 hours at least to grind to get tough enough to beat Baramos.

Aesthetically, the game is pretty darn good, as you’d expect from not only a DQ game, but also a late ’96 SFC title. The graphics are very pretty and the game has gotten a really nice face lift in both theatrics and animations. The remake the gave it via the DQ6 engine has really paid off, that’s for sure. That also extends to the music, which is very nice and very Dragon Quest in a way you’re no doubt already intimately familiar with if you have any prior experience with the series.

Verdict: Recommended. I don’t think it’s one of my favorite RPGs ever, not even on the SFC, but it’s still a really fun time well worth playing. This SFC version has a fan translation, I believe, and the English-released Dragon Warrior III on GameBoy Color is this same game with little dashes of extra extra content here and there as well. If you’re curious on Dragon Quest, I’d much sooner recommend 4 or 5 if you wanted a retro one to start out on (or 8 or 11 if you wanted a newer one), but this game is still a very approachable and enjoyable entry if you’re looking for a JRPG experience that’s relatively short, simple, and still charming & fun~.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Limewater »

PartridgeSenpai wrote:DQ3 is a prequel to DQ1 and 2. Loto (or Erdrick), the legendary hero they bang on about all the time in those games? That’s the main character here!


Dude! Spoilers!

Just kidding. The game is 35 years old. Still, at least in the NES version, the fact that the player is Loto/Erdrick is an end-game reveal, though it is pretty clear a bit earlier in the game. For all I know the Famicom version announced it proudly on the cover. From what I've seen in the game "Catch a Catch Copy" on Game Center CX, I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Great review!

I played it at Dragon Warrior III and loved the game, despite being completely underwhelmed by Dragon Warrior I.
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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Limewater wrote:
PartridgeSenpai wrote:DQ3 is a prequel to DQ1 and 2. Loto (or Erdrick), the legendary hero they bang on about all the time in those games? That’s the main character here!


Dude! Spoilers!

Just kidding. The game is 35 years old. Still, at least in the NES version, the fact that the player is Loto/Erdrick is an end-game reveal, though it is pretty clear a bit earlier in the game. For all I know the Famicom version announced it proudly on the cover. From what I've seen in the game "Catch a Catch Copy" on Game Center CX, I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Great review!

I played it at Dragon Warrior III and loved the game, despite being completely underwhelmed by Dragon Warrior I.


Thanks! It's a really neat game, and it's SO cool to see the HUGE steps Enix was taking in terms of innovating the JRPG genre at the time. DQ3 is just SUCH a huge and more modern-feeling leap from DQ2, and then they do it *again* with DQ4. Heck, a friend who first played DQ3 back on the GBC when they were younger (so they've been into DQ for a while) didn't even know DQ4 was originally a Famicom game until I told them a few days back XD

I'm currently playing through DQ8 (and having a great time :D), but if I just can't shake the itch for DQ after this, I'm really heavily considering replaying 4 or 5 again. They're just so fun~ ^w^
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

1. Void Destroyer - PC
2. Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights - Switch
3. Raging Blasters - Switch
4. Citizen Sleeper - Switch
5. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon
6. Hands of Necromancy - PC
7. Project Downfall - PC
8. Chasm: The Rift - PC
9. Cultic - PC
10. Kirby Super Star - SNES
11. Kirby's Dream Land 2 - GB
12. Kirby's Dream Land 3 - SNES
13. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - N64
14. Fire Emblem Engage - Switch
15. Mechwarrior 5: Rise of Rasalhague - PC

Rise of Rasalhague is the second story DLC for Mechwarrior 5. As the name implies, it is set during the Ronin War that began upon the announcement of the formation of the Rasalhague Republic in the game's universe, though a couple of missions that serve as an initial hook are set about a year prior. You will meet the great personalities of that conflict, help take down some key enemies, and see why Tor Miraborg is such a grumpy fuck when we see him again in the Blood of Kerensky novel trilogy.

Like Kestral Lancers before it, the DLC gives you the option of starting a career that gives you a fairly equipped force, though it also lets you import another playthrough instead. And frankly, you probably want to. Once you get on the main track, which removes control of your timing and forces you to work on the story's timetable you'll discover that the game ramps up the enemy forces hard. Your starting force includes multiple assault mechs, and the initial couple missions have a max tonnage of over 200; the final missions of the campaign have the max 400 ton cap, and you'll need every bit. You have about a year in between the start and the main campaign, and you need to use that time to get some heavy equipment and a bankroll as fast as possible. The game recommends a full company (12 mechs), and you'll want that to all be assaults if possible, or at least 70+ ton heavies. And you will 100% want to take advantage of the mech dealers on the middle two planets of the main campaign, as those are the only ones selling assault mechs. The last planet only has a couple of lights, so if your force doesn't have two full lances of assaults repaired by the time you transition you should probably just roll back to a much earlier save, as both missions throw a ton of firepower at you.

The campaign is a mix of missions. About half are fairly standard quickplay-style missions, like beachhead and war, though they are on fixed maps. The other half are on custom maps for a good old fashioned brawl, but the maps weren't as interesting as the Kestral Lancers maps. This DLC was very unexpected, and I suspect PGI didn't throw a lot of resources at it. The biggest bit of care is in the lore tidbits; lots of stuff fans of the universe will recognize, as well as bringing back a character from Mechwarrior 2: Ghost Bear's Legacy for a bit of a cameo that shows at least someone on the team is a long term fan of the universe.

Overall, it's mostly an excuse to stomp around in the game some more. Your enjoyment will directly come down to how much you enjoy the lore of the universe and the mechanics of piloting your mech, as there isn't really anything new from a gameplay perspective.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2023!
***Denotes Replay For Completion***

***1. Dragon Valor (PS1)***
2. Breath Of Fire (GBA)
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (NS)
4. World Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse And Donald Duck (GEN)

5. XIII (GCN)

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I completed XIII on the Nintendo GameCube this afternoon!

During college, I would watch X-Play on G4/Tech-TV on an almost daily basis and I remember XIII being reviewed on the show. The visuals instantly grabbed me and I always remembered the game being rather interesting. So, when it came to creating lists for the PS2/GCN/XBOX generation, I made sure to add XIII to the list. After beating my Backlog, I found the game in one of my last trips to rebuild my Backlog. Starting a new tradition this year, I used the Fortune Cookie to randomly pull an Unfinished Game and XIII was my choice, so I decided it was time to give it a go.

The absolute best part about XIII is the music. It has this 1960's Jazz Vibe to it that seems to go with the game play in a beautiful experience. It is so rare to hear and it made the game feel like I was going through it in a second. It rushed the game and the story forward and I always wanted to hear what was next. Also, the visual style makes you feel like you are playing a comic book. The cell shaded graphics and the cutscenes give such a unique visual representation. It is also very unique to see.

I just wish the game play came even close to matching any of those aspects. The game obviously sees James Bond or Goldeneye as its inspiration, which many games have in the past. But, it never takes of the great aspects from those games. The frantic gunplay is rather generic and I was amazed at how much the enemies become bullet sponges. Also, your gun flails around so frantically that most of your shots miss anyway. However, the worst aspect are the stealth missions. They are completely miserable, stop the game of its frantic pace and you can fail rather easily. You have no map or radar, so you have to use your "senses" to know where the enemies are and that hardly ever works. Unfortunately, there are quite a few of these stealth missions and everyone of them is an exercise in patience because they are also just go on and on and you must do each one perfectly.

Overall, I grew not to enjoy XIII as the game grew on. The music and the visuals along with the average gunplay carried me mostly through the first half of the game. By the end, the stealth missions began to pile up along with uninteresting boss fights made me just want to finish it. If you are a veteran of the First Person Shooter Genre, especially the older ones, this might be fun. For everybody else, just watch somebody else play it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Games Beaten in 2023 - 6
* denotes a replay

January (5 Games Beaten)
1. Banner of the Maid - Switch - January 2
2. Silver Falls: 3 Down Stars - 3DS - January 8
3. Silver Falls: Episode Prelude - Switch - January 8
4. The Pathless - PlayStation 5 - January 12
5. Modern Combat: Blackout - Switch - January 14


February (1 Game Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2


6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2

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Fire Emblem is my absolute favorite Nintendo IP, and as such a huge Fire Emblem fan, I'm pretty easy to please. I even like Fire Emblem Heroes, and I'm notoriously prejudiced against mobile gaming (it's for peasants). As such, I absolutely adored Fire Emblem: Three Houses even though a lot of my friends either outright disliked it or were at least disappointed that leaned so heavily into the social sim aspects and put such an emphasis on the monastery as a hub world. Fire Emblem: Engage, however, I didn't enjoy just because it was Fire Emblem (and had an axe-wielding anti-religion cutie) like I did with Three Houses; unlike the previous mainline entry, Engage brings back a lot of the classic Fire Emblem feel that Three Houses lacked while still also feeling modern and fresh.

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The basic premise of the game feels very similar if you've played previously Fire Emblem games (or any JRPG, for that matter). You play as Alear (whom I renamed Rozemyne because my current hyperfixation is Ascendance of a Bookworm and whom the Internet nicknamed Toothpaste-chan since her hair looks like Colgate), the child of the Divine Dragon Lumera and thus a Divine Dragon herself (or himself if you're a loser and play as a male). You awaken a thousand years after a cataclysmic war with the Fell Dragon, but just as you're awakening (with amnesia, as is tradition for everything made in Japan), oh no, the zombie-esque Corrupted soldiers are appearing again! What could this mean? Surely the Fell Dragon hasn't returned (not-really-a-spoiler alert - the Fell Dragon has returned). So the story isn't original, but hardly anything in anime or Japanese RPGs are; what matters is the execution, and the execution is fantastic here.

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You still have a hub world called the Somniel where you can interact and bond with characters, shop, use your amiibo for some extra cooking ingredients, etc, but unlike Three Houses, the Somniel is like 95% optional. There are a couple of story segments that require you to interact with something there, but for the vast majority of the game, you can choose to go straight from the post-battle area to the world map and immediately to the next battle. This helps to keep the game's pace moving swiftly if you're not interested in the social sim aspects while also giving a relatively robust social sim element if, like me, you actually enjoy that. As for the core gameplay - the battle maps - it's exactly what you would expect from Fire Emblem. It's a well-designed and robust strategy RPG with balanced battle mechanics that invite - and eventually require - the player to develop strategies that go far beyond "send your single overpowered unit in as a tank." There are the usual mechanics that you're used to - the familiar weapons triangle and the weapons that are better against certain traits like mounted or armored - but there's also a new one, and that's Break. If you have the advantage in a weapon match up - swords against axes, for example - there's a chance that you can break the enemy's weapon, making them unable to counter attack during their next battle that turn. It only works during your turn - you can't keep them from attacking on theirs - and it only works once, so you can't just bum rush them with half a dozen units and have them all safe, but it's a great mechanic that opens up a lot of new strategies.

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As Fire Emblem games since the 3DS era have, Engage gives you a variety of difficulty options. First and foremost, you'll choose between Casual and Classic. Casual is how I always play on the first playthrough and removes the permadeath for which Fire Emblem is traditionally known. That way, if your character falls in battle, they're not gone forever; they can be redeployed in the next battle. Classic, on the other hand, keeps permadeath intact; if a stupid mistake leads to a character death in a random grinding battle, that character is dead forever unless you go back and redo it. After you choose which mode to play, you choose your difficulty. These two choices let you craft the game to be as easy or as infuriatingly difficult as you want it to be.

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There is a pseudo-multiplayer aspect with the Relay Battles, but frankly, I have zero interest in those battles, so I did one token battle and then never touched it again. Still, though, it's a nice inclusion that's reminiscent of Awakening on 3DS. Something else that harkens back to the 3DS games (and all of the games before that) is your main gameplay gimmick, the emblems. Each of the 12 emblems represents one of the previous 12 Fire Emblem games (excluding Mystery of the Emblem, Shadow Dragon, New Mystery of the Emblem, and Echoes since they're remakes). There are also two DLC emblems if you bought the season pass. I know better than to pin my hopes on Nintendo's decision making, but I'm hoping against hope that this is an indication that they're preparing to either remaster or re-release some of the older Fire Emblem games because this is bound to get newer players (3DS and later) interested in the protagonists from the older (Wii and earlier) games.

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Fire Emblem: Engage definitely feels the much more like a "classic" Fire Emblem game than Three Houses did. I personally loved Three Houses, but Engage surpasses it in pretty much every way except maybe character design; I love Toothpaste-chan, but even my anime standards, her hair is kind of out there. It reminds me a lot of Path of Radiance as well as Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, and I mean that in the best way possible. This is, in my opinion, the best Fire Emblem game since Awakening. If you love Fire Emblem, you need to play this; if you love the Switch, you need to play this; if you love SRPGs, you need to play this. It's not perfect, but it's pretty damn close in my book, and I'm extremely eager to see what story content the upcoming DLC adds.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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1. Kirby's Dream Land (GB)
2. River City Girls (Switch)
3. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)

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4. The Simpsons (Arcade)

Last weekend I had a chance to visit some family in upstate New York and my sister wanted to take me to an arcade that opened up in her neighborhood. She had wanted to bring me there for close to a year, but we just never made it happen. Well, last Saturday we finally made it! They had a nice selection of games and a large comfortable space. Some of the highlights for me were a Neo Geo cab with Metal Slug 3 and Aero Fighters 2, Soul Calibur, Cruis'n World, and Hang-On. However, we came across a four player The Simpsons cabinet, and since it was something we all could play together, we decided to give it a shot. For this playthrough, I played as Bart, my sister played as Homer, and my partner played as Lisa.

The Simpsons has a lot of similarities with the style and gameplay of the TMNT beat 'em ups of the same time, also by Konami. I'm a big fan of those games, so I figured I would enjoy this one as well. The developers did a great job mimicking the look of the main characters and creating an environment that resembles the source material. Bart uses his skateboard, Marge has a vacuum, Lisa has a jump rope, and Homer simply swings away. Similar to other beat 'em ups, you will have to get through waves of common enemies and take out a few more recognizable villains at the end of each stage. You can also find a few different weapons throughout the game, such as a sling shot, which lets you attack enemies from a distance. There is also food items to be found to help replenish your health.

Gameplay wise, you only have an attack and a jump button, but it's enough to get the job done. You also have access to a co-op combination attack, which will occur if you and a friend are nearby and an enemy is also in the vicinity. My sister and I accidentally came across this, but thought it was entertaining, so later on, we were trying to execute it on a more regular basis. The game consists of eight levels, and most of them take place in locations that you will recognize from the show. I thought it was funny and cool to see Moe's Tavern as a level here! Also, there are a few bonus levels, in which you will be placed in a friendly competition with your co-op buddies, which will consist of button smashing to blow up a balloon. My sister was the champ in these levels, as we were never able to best her.

The Simpsons is a really fun beat 'em up that I think stands the test of time. While the game was acclaimed, it never received a home console port back in its day, which is a shame. I think a port on the 16-bit systems would have been awesome and had the potential to sell well due to the popularity of the license. Strangely enough, the game had toned down releases on the Commodore 64 and MS DOS home computers. Years later, the game was also released on XBLA and PSN but unfortunately it was delisted from the platforms about a year later.

Overall, I think anyone who is a fan of the beat 'em up genre or the original TV show would enjoy this one! Check it out if you get a chance.
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REPO Man
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by REPO Man »

Konami made some damn fine licensed beat-em-ups back in the day. They also did Bucky O'hare, Asterix and X-Men, which also had a six-player cabinet with two monitors.

I'd fuck hard with a compilation of their licensed beat-em-ups, especially if it had the six player version of X-Men with local co-op on Switch.
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