Games Beaten 2023

Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by MrPopo »

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
16. Kirby's Epic Yarn - Wii
17. Kirby's Return to Dreamland - Wii
18. Mega Man 7 - SNES
19. Mega Man 8 - PS1
20. Conquest: Frontier Wars - PC
21. Theatrhythm Final Bar Line - Switch
22. Octopath Traveler II - Switch
23. Last Call BBS - PC
24. The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure - Switch
25. Dread Templar - PC

Dread Templar is another single-dev boomer shooter that recently came off of early access. The game is divided into five acts with about five levels each (one has six, one has four, one is five with a secret level). The game has two components that acts as its differentiator. The first is it has a slow mo system a la Max Payne. The second is a skill system that enhances your weapons in a variety of fun ways.

The arsenal is fairly straightforward. Your dual katana melee can be converted into a throwing weapon that does a lot of damage but has a super long cooldown. Dual pistols and dual SMGs share the same weapon slot and ammo; the SMGs obviously deal damage faster but also means you're more likely to overspend ammo. A pump shotgun and sawed off give you the standard trade off between fire rate and burst damage. The game has a bow available that automatically regenerates its ammo. The rate is too slow for mid-combat, but it's useful for certain situations. The hardest weapon to use is the trap launcher; it launches out a projectile on an arc that then will explode in a stun when enemies get close. Weapon switch time is just long enough that it never feels worth working. Then there's two rocket launchers. One is a tri rocket launcher, which uses less ammo per shot (three vs. five) and doesn't seem as effective. The last two are a hell-powered magnum and a couple of gauntlets; one fires a BFG-esq blast and the other is a rapid firing drain.

As you proceed through the game you will pick up blood shards which unlock rune slots and runes. Each weapon and the character has two regular slot and one gold slot. The regular slots are simple buffs, like damage, rate of fire, and ammo capacity. The gold rune is the payoff; these are the ones that help define your playstyle. These will have effects like turning your rocket explosion into an ice shard that explodes away, removing all self damage and making it easier to take out groups of enemies, or turning the trap launcher into shooting out time-limited turrets.

The game has a good balance with its secrets. You're very incentivized to find them because they have a bunch of the runes and blood shards, and the ones with runes and blood shards tend to be the ones that are more intuitive. There's also a side area in every level that is optional but always has a good reward at the end. The overall level design is well put together; it pulls you in the right direction and the combat areas don't tend to screw you. My one complaint is occasionally the game likes to teleport in monsters and there is no associated sound, leading to you getting sniped in the ass.

If you enjoy old school shooters this is definitely one to pick up.
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Markies
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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)
6. NES Remix Pack (WiiU)
7. Dr. Mario (GBC)
***8. Bully (PS2)***
9. Dragon's Crown (PS3)
10. Bangai-O (SDC)
11. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
12. Destruction Derby (PS1)

13. X-Men Legends II: Rise Of Apocalypse (XBOX)

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I beat X-Men Legends II: Rise Of The Apocalypse on the Microsoft XBOX this afternoon!

As a Pre-Teen, I loved the X-Men. My friends and I collected their comics and we used to watch the animated television show all the time. That is the main reason for my enjoyment about the X-Men Genesis games. But, I also know those weren't the best games. So, when I played the original X-Men Legends game a few years ago, I was so happy to finally have a good X-Men video game. I had always been meaning to pick up the sequel, so when I did my shopping after I beat my Backlog and found a nice copy, I knew it was the right time to buy it. While looking for a XBOX game to play, it was an easy decision to try out the sequel.

I was very excited to play the game because Apocalypse is one of my favorite X-Men villains because he has a story arc with one of my favorite characters, Angel. Also, with Apocalypse around, it gives an excuse for the Brotherhood to join the X-Men, so it was very cool to see Magneto fight alongside the X-Men. For the game itself, it is very much a rehash of the first game, so it pretty much is identical. You choose a bunch of characters to go through a dungeon that plays much like the later Gauntlet games. You then fight a mini-boss and then you move onto the next chapter. Repeat until the end. Most of the environment is destructible, so it is very fun to just destroy everything in your path while collecting the loot. The story is probably my favorite part of the game because it involves some deep X-Men along with some twists and turns throughout. Seeing all these character cameos and large cast of characters gives a variety to who you can play as.

Unfortunately, the game isn't exactly balanced enough to use them all. It's way too easy to use the overpowered Wolverine throughout the entire game. Also, characters not used don't gain as much experience as others, so they fall behind way too quickly. It is long and important to gain levels, so they become useless rather quickly. The game runs about 20 - 25 hours, which is a great length because I was beginning to feel the repetition near the end as well.

Overall, I still absolutely loved X-Men Legends II. I would say those negatives are more nitpicks, as you can easily beat the game with your favorite 4 characters. The game is just fun to play and the dungeon crawling is always very exciting. The series jumps to Marvel next and I will eventually be there as well!
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by MrPopo »

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
16. Kirby's Epic Yarn - Wii
17. Kirby's Return to Dreamland - Wii
18. Mega Man 7 - SNES
19. Mega Man 8 - PS1
20. Conquest: Frontier Wars - PC
21. Theatrhythm Final Bar Line - Switch
22. Octopath Traveler II - Switch
23. Last Call BBS - PC
24. The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure - Switch
25. Dread Templar - PC
26. The Great War: Western Front - PC

World War I has been a generally underlooked conflict compared to the sequel, especially in games. Battlefield 1 is the most notable example, and it focused on all of the mobile fronts of the war. The Great War: Western Front instead looks at the one that is part of the public consciousness; the seemingly static trenches of the Western Front full of barbed wire and artillery. And if you go into it without considering the realities of that sort of battlefield you will be utterly trashed by the AI.

The Great War: Western Front is a strategy game with real time battle resolution (if you don't use auto resolve). You're given a hex map of the primary area of the Western Front, with the line being garrisoned by various infantry corps and artillery companies for each side. Every turn you are given a cash reserve and research points. The cash is used to purchase improvements to territories, military hardware (tanks and planes), and to rebuild infantry corps. Research is used in the large research web to build out your technologies. You can't get anywhere near enough to get it all, so you'll have to decide what you prioritize, whether it's your logistics, intelligence, air power, or other components. You are able to move your units around between territories, though this puts them in a state where they can only be used to defend during the AI's turn. If you want to attack you need to have moved your forces into place ahead of time. This also means that defenders can be moved in place before you attack. Remember this.

When an attack does happen you have the option to auto-resolve, which is generally not a good idea (it seems to favor the AI), or you can fight the battle. Doing so gives you a two phased operation. The first phase is you building up your trench line and other supporting equipment (such as observation balloons and artillery batteries). Once you're happy with things you engage the real time battle. The attacker has 20 minutes to try and capture the defender's control points; when this time is up an automatic cease fire is called. The attacker can call a cease fire early (which the defender can reject), and the defender can always retreat and cede the field if things are going badly. Once the battle finishes the game will total a score and determine which side won, and by how much. If you can gain a major victory it will remove a star from the opposing territory; removal of all stars allows you to capture it.

Now, in order to capture an opposing control point you need to wipe out all enemy soldiers near it and have soldiers of your own to move a counter. Each side is limited to 30 supply on the battlefield at any time, which covers soldiers, tanks, and artillery. As a result, even bringing overwhelming force does not guarantee victory. You are, at best, bringing an equivalent force against the enemy lines at any moment. Therefore, you need to play smart in order to tilt things in your favor. You need to time your artillery barrages to keep infantry in the trenches from firing at you as you cross over no man's land. You need to quickly get your troops into the enemy trenches so they can fight on equal terms. And you need to make use of your supporting forces (tanks and planes) to help break the balance of power. If you balance these factors correctly you can take the field. If you don't you will be sending your forces into a horrible meat grinder that will piss away your advantage.

The results of battles have two major consequences regardless of anything else. All infantry corps will be replenished to full strength, at a cost of gold. This can put you into the negative, which harms your national will and obviously prevents you from spending gold on other things. And the national will of both sides will change. Winning will increase your national will, losing will lower it. While you can win by capturing the enemy field HQ, an equally valid option for winning is to reduce the enemy's national will to 0. The public pressures their governments that the war isn't worth it.

As it turns out, it's actually fairly easy to keep the AI off your back on the strategic map. If you station every territory with defenders equal to our higher than half of the number of troops in a neighboring enemy territory it will keep the AI from coming in, as it correctly recognizes that it needs overwhelming reserves to try and break your lines. You'll want to have your routine be clicking through the enemy territories to see where they've moved their troops and reinforce those lines before you set up any attacks you want to make.

In addition to the main game mode, there is also a series of scenario battles that are based around historical battles. These are scripted maps that serve as a sort of puzzle map; you have a fixed battlefield (no ability to update trench lines) and only have so many supplies for troops. While you can get fixed reinforcements from the scenario's triggers, at the end of the day you need to make sure you are doing efficient attacks. And unlike a standard RTS game, if you start to fall behind in a battle there is no real catch up mechanism. So that's why I call them puzzle maps; you won't be able to brute force or out macro a win. You need to win it the way the devs want.

Overall it's an interesting experiment. I wouldn't call it an RTS; it doesn't really have any of the prime mechanics that draw people to RTS games. You can't really micro your troops; once you start an attack you're basically committed. The finest tuning you have is with your artillery barrages. Mid-battle economy is just you drawing from a fixed pool, so no economic macro available. And unfortunately, these combine to make the battles start to become samey (especially on defense).
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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)
6. Dragon Quest VIII (PS2)
7. Dragon Quest Monsters (GBC)
8. Mario Party 6 (GC)
9. Last Bible 3 (SFC)

All the games I beat over spring break finally have reviews written for them! :D
Spoilered here for space conservation reasons <w>

10. Mario Party 4 (GC)

Continuing my Mario Party excursions and excitement, I went back in time from 6 to a game I played a TON as a kid, Mario Party 4. This was a game I tried to 100% as a kid, doing the story mode with all eight characters, but got petered out with a few playthroughs left. To call this one “beaten” this time, I went through the story mode twice: once on normal, and then a second time on hard. I played the Japanese version of the game on real hardware.

The whole conceit of MP4 is that it’s a big birthday party! Who’s birthday is it? Everyone’s kinda XD. Playing through the story mode, it’s that particular player you picked’s birthday, going through boards made by the five party planners (Toad, Shy Guy, Koopa, Goomba, and Boo) to get their special presents customized for the character you picked. It’s a light dressing for a story, and the overall setting is certainly less striking than the “sucked into a storybook” pretense for MP3 was, but it’s more than enough for what we need to get our Mario Party on, and seeing what presents each character gets is always super fun and cute~.

As for the gameplay, the real meat and potatoes of the experience, that’s where things are a bit fuzzier. Mario Party was an annual series on the GameCube, with MP4 in 2002, and another game coming out every year until MP7 in 2005, and even though they had a year break between MP3 in 2000 and this, you can tell there were still a LOT of corners cut to get this out in time. First of all is the mini-game selection. It’s overall a pretty good spread of quite good mini-games (with much better 1v3 games than 6 would have, imo), but it’s also a very small spread of mini-games compared to how they usually were, and you’ll find yourself playing the same ones quite a lot. On top of that, letting the quite short dev time shine through a bit more, they’re often quite simple games as well, with not one but two of the 4-player mini-games being just mashing the A button as fast as you can. Item mini-games are also completely gone, and after duel mini-games were so hyped up and trotted out in MP3, MP4 doesn’t have them at all in any way, shape, or form. They don’t even have the board-specific ones like MP2 did. The overall mini-game quality is still pretty good, but it’s pretty lackluster in some pretty important ways compared to a lot of other games in the series.

The biggest fumble as far as I’m concerned is with the board game design though. I make it no secret that I’m absolutely not a fan of Mario Party 3, in large part due to how poorly constructed so many of its boards are. MP4 isn’t quite *that* bad, but it’s still far less than stellar, with six maps in total having 2 I’d say are awful (super random and easy to get screwed over very quickly, very hard just because of a few bad die rolls), 3 I’d say are just okay, and only one I’d say is really even decent. The boards are by and large better than MP3’s were, but there’s still a *lot* of the randomness-focused design philosophy DNA left over that’s still to be ripped out, and it makes the experience suffer pretty hard.

On top of that are the revamped items, with many new additions that MP3 got taken out and a good few new things put in. The most notable change is that normal and golden mushrooms (which gave you two and three die to roll that turn respectively) have been taken out, and mini- and mega-mushrooms have been added in their places. Mini-mushrooms make you small and give you only one die (or two for the better version) that goes from 1~5 to roll (vs. the usual 1~10 die), and mega-mushrooms making you large and giving you two (or three with the better one) 1~10 dice to roll. These are a neat idea, as sometimes you want to go only a short distance so an item is nice for that, and when you’re big with a mega mushroom, while you may steal 10 coins from every rival you pass, you also can’t activate any events (and that includes buying stars!). The bad board design really hampers what could’ve been some interesting design changes. In practice, with item mini-games gone and in their place spaces that give you randomly either a mini- or mega-mushroom, mini-mushrooms are useless trash that clog up your inventory, and mega-mushrooms are still far too good a tool to steal coins from your enemies and get you where you need to go, even with the added risk of not being able to get a star if you over-roll. It’s understandable that the gameplay is still very largely influenced by MP3, given that this is so clearly the preliminary outing for MP on the GameCube, but in retrospect, it holds up pretty poorly in design and mini-game selection to most games before and after it.

The presentation is solidly okay. The music is nice and the 3D models look pleasing as well, but it’s all very stock and boiler-plate feeling compared to just how striking MP3’s art design was. The taking out of the old pre-rendered 2D boards for big 3D environments look awful, with 3D tracks lying floating above poorly textured and ugly 3D planes to give each board their theme, it’s hard for MP4 not to feel like a steep cosmetic downgrade. It’s not bad in a vacuum, but in comparison to what came before (not to mention after), it’s difficult to be too kind beyond, once again, allowing for the context that this was the first one on its console.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. There is certainly worse Mario Party to play, but not by much. It’s missing a lot of features from my personal least favorite, MP3, but it’s also an exercise in higher lows and lower highs. It’s a perfectly adequate Mario Party experience, but whether on the N64, GameCube, or almost any console after that, really, you don’t need to look far for a Mario Party experience that will be much better than this.


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11. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch)

This is a game that I bought back when it came out but then never actually finished once I got it ^^;. I just wasn’t in the mood at the time (I had even tried to cancel my pre-order but it was too late to do so XP). I’d just been sitting on it, meaning to get to it for ages, but then with my partner visiting me over spring break, it was the perfect time to break out the game’s co-op mode and try to get through it~. Thanks to her help, we were able to 100% the game in a bit over 25 hours~. We played through almost the entire game in co-op, and we played the English version.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the story of the titular Kirby, as usual, but this time he’s been sucked into another world along with a bunch of the rest of Dream Land! The evil beast tribe has been snatching up Waddle Dees for an unknown purpose, and it’s up to Kirby, Bandana Waddle Dee, and their new flying friend Elfilin to save them! If you’ve played any main-line Kirby game in the past decade, the premise and its twists will likely not surprise you at all, but they do a good job at making them feel fresh either way, especially with the big console-powered coat of paint they have on display~. It’s a perfectly serviceable story full of colorful and fun new characters that facilitates the gameplay very well, so it’s hard to complain, really~.

The gameplay of Kirby is something like Kirby: Star Allies (minus the partner creation and power-combination) mixed with Mario 3D World. You go through stage after stage, fighting enemies and finding collectibles, getting copy abilities and solving puzzles for goodies, but in 3D spaces rather than Kirby’s traditional 2.5D fare. It’s not quite the “Kirby but Mario Odyssey” I’d first hoped it’d be when the first trailers came out, but regardless it’s still the reimagining Kirby has *desperately* needed for years, and I had a blast. The levels are very fun, the bosses are well-designed and challenging (never before have I thought so much about I-frames on dodges in a Kirby game XD), and, like most modern Kirby games, while beating it normally may be not very hard, they’re gonna REALLY make you work to 100% it with how hard those last few challenges are.

The presentation is really good as well! It’s a beautiful game, as one would expect from Nintendo on the Switch these days, and the music is excellent as well. The only real visual complaint, if I could even call it that, is that it’s not hard to see where corners are being cut to save on processing power in more crowded and spacious areas. Enemies and obstacles that are a bit far away but still very clearly visible will slide-show stutter around, only gaining more animation frames as you get close enough to actually interact with them. It’s very far from a deal-breaker, and I still think the game looks and sounds great (especially that new King Dedede theme, hot damn), but it’s something I can’t help but mention here.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is an absolutely excellent Kirby game! It’s the fresh face and reimagining of mechanics that Kirby has needed so badly for so long, and they absolutely nail it. There’s room for improvement and innovation, sure, but if the template they’re working from is already *this* polished, then I’m very excited for what HAL Labs thinks up for Kirby’s next big adventure. If you’re a Kirby fan, I think it just about goes without saying that this is definitely not one to miss out on~.


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12. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (SFC)

I bought a Super Famicom a few weeks back, largely to facilitate playing GameBoy games via the Super GameBoy (which has been very fun, yes x3), but also to try out and own some SFC RPGs that are super cheap and plentiful around here. Mystic Quest is a game a friend of mine really loves, and given that I was able to find it for just 500 yen around here, it seemed like the perfect thing to finally try out. It took me around 13 or so hours to play through the Japanese version of the game on real hardware.

MQ was made with consultation from SquareSoft’s American branch to make a beginner RPG for both kids and newbies to the genre in the hopes that it would help bring more Americans into the RPG genre. This gives it the weird place of, even though it was written in Japanese and then translated to English, it didn’t actually come out in Japan for another year or so after the American release. The story is, nonetheless, about as light as you’d expect an RPG made explicitly for beginners to be. There are no grand themes or messages to be found here. It’s just a straightforward adventure to save the world as the hero the god fella seems to have found as a legit-seeming world saver. You meet a cast of colorful characters through your adventure, but it’s mostly just silly fun and light fluff as you go from Plot Event to Plot Event. That’s not a bad thing, especially for a game this easy and short, but it’s certainly something difficult to ignore. It’s a perfectly fine story, but it’s nothing that’ll be terribly exciting to more discerning players either now or back when it came out.

The gameplay is a very straightforward turn-based RPG, but it does have some action-based elements as well. There are no random encounters, with monsters instead chilling out on the map, waiting for you to attack them (usually blocking your path as to require you to fight them in some way). The action elements are some light Zelda-style world exploration via the weapons you have. You can cut bushes with axes, bomb walls, push buttons with your sword, and even jump over pits with your jump button (which can also be used to vault over annoying NPCs, thankfully). It’s not much of an action game so much as it still is very much an RPG with action elements, but it gave me some strong Lufia II vibes that I enjoyed nonetheless.

You only have a party of two, which is your main character plus whatever party member the story had placed with you for that duration of the story. You have money, but shortly after the start of the game, it doesn’t really have much of a problem, as most things until the very late game are trivially cheap with how much money you get from things. There isn’t really equipment, per se, either, at least not like a normal game. You don’t even have an equipping mechanic, as when you acquire new armor or versions of weapons, they’ll equip automatically, as they’re always just outright better than what you had before. Your party members, on the other hand, are completely static. Not only can they not get new equipment, but they can’t level up either, so they’re always exactly as good as they’ll ever be (unless the plot increases their strength for you). This isn’t so bad aside from the glitch that will make your party member’s stats not actually change when you get a new one, which can be pretty bad depending on when it happens, but they’re generally good enough with the new spells they get anyhow that it’s not a severe problem.

Enemy encounters are also balanced quite viciously at times, with many fights often being a fight you literally couldn’t win with how fast many enemies with instant-death spells are. However, given that you can just retry the battle from its start when you die, dying has very little consequence despite how mean it sometimes is. The generous retry mechanics turn a battle system whose meanness would make SMT blush to one that’s more so style rather than substance in terms of how difficult they actually are. The mechanics are quite simple overall, sure, but it’s still not much trouble given how short the game is. They will likely outstay their welcome for some, but with only a little over a 10-hour playtime, they won’t be too bad for most, I think.

The presentation is a mixed bag. The previous game this team did was SaGa 3 (aka Final Fantasy Legends 3), and a lot of the UI, battle system, and graphics are reused from that. As a result, it has an even more “8-bit RPG on a 16-bit console) than even a game like FFIV (released the previous year) does. The music, however, is absolutely excellent, with tons of tracks being super stand-out in just how hard they rock. The music quality alone has made me want to try more games by this team/composer in the future, so SaGa 3 and Treasure of the Rudras will absolutely be games I’m playing in the future. I’ll let that speak for the quality of the music itself, I suppose x3

Verdict: Recommended. This is a weird one to recommend, as while it’s a very competently put together and quite short game, it’s also one that I think anyone but retro enthusiasts will have a difficult time justifying giving their energy to these days. It you’re looking for more meaningful narratives or mechanical depth, then you’re better off looking elsewhere. It’s also difficult and not self-explanatory enough (while also being bog-simple enough) that I wouldn’t call it a terribly good beginner’s RPG either (compared to other SNES games like Earthbound or Super Mario RPG, to name a few), so that’s another difficult point in recommending it. But if you’re into retro RPGs and looking for something a bit different to spend a weekend or two playing, I think this will likely fit the bill quite well~.


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13. Chrono Trigger (SFC) *

This is a super lauded and famous game, as far as retro RPGs go, and one I loved and played a ton of back when it came out on DS when I was younger. I’ve been meaning to go back to it for quite a while, and with me picking up the SFC as well as playing through Last Bible 3 (which came out a week before this and shares a major narrative twist with it), it felt like the perfect time to finally sit down and replay this classic. It took me about 23.5 hours to play through it the first time in Japanese on real hardware, and then I spent another 5.5 hours replaying through it to get the dev room ending as well.

Chrono Trigger is the story of the titular (?) Chrono, who is a young man living in a modern/fantasy-sorta village. On the day of the Millennium Fair celebrating 1000 years of existence for the kingdom he lives in, he meets a strange young girl named Marle, and they have fun traveling the fair together. However, upon going to Chrono’s friend Lucca’s demonstration of her new teleportation machine, Marle ends up being sucked into a portal back into the middle ages, and Chrono jumps in to save her. Though he doesn’t know it yet, this is only the first step on a world-saving journey that will encompass the distant past to the far future.

Chrono Trigger’s story is kind of a weird one. It almost feels like SquareSoft was trying to make their own Dragon Quest game, right down to the Akira Toriyama character designs. You have a cast of colorful characters full of personality going through a grand adventure to save the world, but the depth of those characters and that adventure are quite shallow. Despite coming out during a point when RPGs, particularly SquareSoft ones, were really starting to mature in the kinds of stories they were willing to explore and tell, Chrono Trigger isn’t trying to do anything like that. It’s ultimately a very shallow narrative that really made me wanting. If anything, it has some really uncomfortable (albeit likely unintentional) themes around aggrandizing the sanctity of elites’ right to rule, which, thinking about it, is honestly also pretty on the nose for a Dragon Quest game. I think the narrative of Chrono Trigger, not unlike a game like Earthbound (though I think that game does have some Thing it’s trying to say) or Super Mario RPG, is something that you’re either going to vibe with and get sucked right into, or it’s something that you’ll find a bit too dry to find much fun from, and I was more towards the latter than the former for most of my time with the game.

Mechanically, Chrono Trigger is also pretty straightforward and not too bold in any way. It’s a turn-based RPG from Square with active-time battles, making it very standard for the time, and the only thing that really sets it apart is the team-attacks that party members can do for extra damage at the cost of consuming two or three party members’ turns as opposed to just one. You explore dungeons, you fight monsters for loot and experience points, there are bosses with weaknesses and strengths. It’s a competently put together RPG for the time, absolutely, but even something back then that wouldn’t have inspired much shock or awe with its systems. I generally like games like this, for the record, but with just how easy Chrono Trigger is as well, it’s one more thing that made the game drag a fair bit on top of the story that didn’t really grab me either.

The one major thing Chrono Trigger has going for it is the presentation. A ton of excellent music you’d expect from the masters as SquareSoft coupled with some absolutely stunning graphics for the Super Famicom. It’s not quite a PlayStation game, but compared to almost anything else on the system, the detail in the sprites and animations (not to mention just how infrequently so many sprites are reused compared to so many contemporaries) are absolutely nuts to think are actually happening on your SFC. They do an incredible job of making Akira Toriyama’s art come to life (even putting to shame just about any 2D Dragon Quest title), and just how good the presentation is (coupled with a pretty damn good English translation) is no doubt a big reason why this game has had so much cultural staying power over the decades since it was released.

Verdict: Recommended. Even though I think it’s far from my favorite RPG on the SNES, Chrono Trigger is still a very well put together experience. Though it doesn’t appeal to me as strongly as something like a similarly simple game like Mario RPG does, I also don’t have much trouble seeing why I enjoyed it so much when I was younger or why so many people young and old still love it to death now. The striking graphics and relatively easy gameplay also make this a much better beginner’s RPG compared to something like FF: Mystic Quest as well, so whether you’re a veteran retro gamer who somehow hasn’t tried CT yet, or you’re just getting in to retro RPGs, this is one you’ll almost certainly enjoy if you give it a shot.


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14. BoxBoy + BoxGirl! (Switch)

After playing and loving the BoxBoy trilogy on 3DS years ago, I was incredibly hype when a Switch entry in the series was announced a couple years back. I bought it at once, and then immediately set it down for later. Under the impression that the entire game was co-op, I was waiting for someone to play it with to have a better time with it, and my partner visiting over spring break, it felt like the perfect time to finally get to it. It took us a bit over 7 hours to 100% the 3 stories the game has playing in English on real hardware.

Like the other BoxBoy games, BoxBoy + BoxGirl! is a story of the titular characters saving their world from an invasion of shadowy, erm, shadow blob things intent on ruining things on their cube-shaped planet. It’s all told with only gestures and looks, no words, making it great for players of any reading ability, although the puzzles are hard enough that I imagine young children would likely get a bit too frustrated trying to play the game the whole way through on their own. It’s a fun, serviceable story that does a great job of making the characters appeaing and facilitating the gameplay we’re really here for.

And that gameplay is BoxBoy at his boxy-est! With a limited number of blocks to use per stage if you want to hit the objective markers (or an infinite number if you just don’t care), BoxBoy and his friends try to go from point A to point B in each of these puzzle-platformer levels by extending blocks out from his body to make paths and get him places. Only one of the game’s three stories is actually co-op, sadly, but my partner and I solved this by just swapping off the controller level-by-level for the two single-player stories. And there’s a lot here! Well over 100 puzzles populate BoxBoy’s Switch outing, and coupled with a handful of new powers he can learn as well (not to mention tons of silly costumes to wear), they’re an absolute delight to go through.

The presentation is simple but very good in the way that the BoxBoy series has led us to expect. Very simple designs for our quadrangular heroes are nonetheless very appealing, and the same goes for the simple, monochromatic levels you explore. The music is also very fun, though not quite as memorable as HAL Labs often does for their Kirby game’s I’d say.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. If you’re a fan of puzzle platformers and you’ve got a Switch, this is absolutely not a game to miss out on. Even the 2-player levels can be played single-player, so while they’re absolutely better with a buddy, you don’t even need friends to enjoy all the boxy goodness. The masters at HAL have done it again, and I just hope that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of BoxBoy, or at the very least, I hope they keep it up with smaller, puzzle-focused games like this. They’ve made their prowess at designing puzzle games very clear, so whether it’s BoxBoy or something entirely different, my only compliant is that there just isn’t enough of it! X3


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15. The Murder of Sonic The Hedgehog (PC)

My partner is a big fan of VNs, so when Sega released this April Fool’s Day surprise a week and a bit ago, we knew we had to take a look. Her and I had a lot of fun playing through it and voicing the characters ourselves, and it took us about 3 hours to play through it.

The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog is, as the name implies, a story about the murder of Sonic the Hedgehog! Sonic and his friends are all abord a special event train for Amy Rose’s birthday party, and a murder mystery is the event in question! You play a gender ambiguous staff member aboard this train, and it’s your first day on the job, so it’s your duty to make sure everything goes smoothly! But when things start going weird, it begins to look like everything may not be as it seems aboard your murdery mystery train, so you team up with detective Tails to try and solve the case! The end result is a really delightful story! It’s a cute and funny story full of good humor and fun references for those who are big Sonic fans (but still make for fun jokes in themselves for those who aren’t as familiar with it).

The gameplay is a visual novel, but it’s more like a little Ace Attorney-style adventure than a long book with pictures. The mystery itself is far from Ace Attorney-levels of difficult, but it’s still a load of fun either way. Interspersed with those VN segments are parts where you “get your thoughts in order”, which here means an infinite runner that’s themed like the old Sonic 2-style bonus stages (though mercifully without the 3D element). The best part of those action segments is that, while they get pretty damn tough by the end, you have a ton of tools at your disposal in the menu to make them as easy and forgiving as you wish if you’d rather just have a VN rather than a platforming challenge.

The presentation is great! The character portraits do an excellent job of getting across the emotions of familiar characters and they complement the writing wonderfully. The music is also very fun, and the pixel art in the infinite runner sections is very nice and retro-Sonic-y as well.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. A truly excellent game, no two ways about it. It’s not just a funny April Fool’s joke. It’s genuinely a really fun and well-written VN, and one of Sega’s best considered and put together Sonic projects in years. If you like VNs and especially if you like Sonic, this is a free game that is 1000% worth your time and then some.


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16. SaGa (GB)

Better known in English as Final Fantasy Legends, I bought the Switch trilogy of the original SaGa games years ago back on my last GameBoy RPG kick, but then bounced off of SaGa 1 pretty quick in the end. Now that I’m back on another GB game kick, and now that I have my Super Famicom (and a couple cheap copies of the Romancing SaGa games to play eventually as well), I figured it was high time I pushed forth and played through these classics of handheld RPGs. It took me around 15 hours or so to play through the game on Switch in Japanese not using the included speed-up function at all.

Being a game put together in like eight or seven months after the release of the GameBoy and released that very same year, the story of SaGa is pretty simple. At the center of the world, there’s a big tower. Many have tried to make their way up this tower, but not have succeeded. You are one such adventuring party who dare to try and make your way to the top! Along the way, you’ll find yourself in four realms connected to different bits of the tower, and you’ll need to find your way through the quests in those places to acquire the crystal you need to break the seals on the tower’s doors in order to complete your tower-related quest. It’s a very piecemeal story, but it’s presented quite charmingly. Your characters are all created by you, so they don’t really have character to them, per se, but in a very Final Fantasy 3-like move, they’ll chip in to dialogue with quips here and there, which is fun. Granted, all the character dialogue is written with the assumption that your party is all male, which can result in some unintendedly very queer dialogue if your party had a lot of women in it like mine, which made me giggle to no end x3. The whole game has this sorta campy fantasy OVA quality to it in its dialogue, and it makes for a fun and short-ish adventure that I quite liked, even if it’s hardly the most impressive thing in the world.

The gameplay of SaGa is both quite simple and immensely fucked, and it’s also not difficult to believe coming from the guys who had just made Final Fantasy 2. There is money, but there is no experience point or leveling system to advance in power in SaGa 1. Instead, each of the game’s 3 playable races have differently strange methods of advancing in power, though aside from some minor starting gear and stat differences, male and female characters have no difference between them, which is nice. I played through with a party of a female and a male human as well as a female and a male esper, as that was the party Popo recommended I use (and the one I’d generally recommend myself as well).

First, you have the humans. For humans, money is power. They never gain or lose stats from battle. Instead, you can buy items from shops that will permanently increase their max HP, strength, and speed respectively. Though the displayed stats cap out at 99, that’s actually not true. Even though that’s the intended cap (and the enforced one in later remakes), it actually internally caps at 255 for strength and speed before wrapping back to 0, so with some clever math and purchasing, humans can easily be the strongest characters in the game. They also have 8 inventory slots to populate with usable items, weapons (which have durability, so they’ll eventually break), and armor (which mercifully does not break, although a guide to tell you what armor gives what benefits is highly recommended by your author). Humans are the peak of stability, and at least in this version of the game, easily the most powerful characters in the late game.

Next you have espers, which are called “mutants” in the English version (but I’m gonna call espers here, so :b). As their English name implies, where humans are the peak of stability, espers are the peak of instability. At the end of every battle, an esper’s stats have a random chance of raising or lowering (though they always trend upwards, so the lowering doesn’t matter so much). They also have four of their eight inventory slots taken up by reserved spaces for the skills and spells they can learn (and no MP system here. We’re still using old-fashioned spell charges!). These can range from offensive elemental magic, to status and element immunities, to general passives, buff/debuff spells, and even totally useless spells and elemental *weaknesses*. And if that weren’t enough, the game also doesn’t tell you when they gain or lose skills/spells, so if you have espers in your party, you’ll be checking their stats after EVERY battle, and that includes boss fights. If they get a good skill or keep what they have, you save your game right then and there (with the game’s merciful save anywhere system). Because if they replace a valuable skill with a crap one, then it’s time to soft-reset by pressing all the buttons at once, because you’re REALLY going to want them to be powerful. Just what a bastard espers are to use is easily the biggest weakness of the first SaGa game, as even though the game isn’t super hard, it’s far from easy enough that doing an ironman run where you never load saves for better skills is reasonable at all.

Then lastly you have the monsters. Monsters are in the middle of humans and espers, in a sense, as even though they can learn spells/skills like espers, they’re very static like humans. When you defeat an enemy monster, you’ll often find they’ve dropped some meat. Humans or espers eating this meat does nothing, but feeding it to a monster will have that monster become that monster. From its stats to its skills, your monster is now that monster. Even bosses can drop meat! However, this raises several problems. First of all is that, since your monsters can become bosses, bosses trend towards being quite weak, as otherwise you’d be getting absurd powerhouses on your team. Only the final boss is any real challenge, and even then if you raise your humans past 99 stats, he’ll probably be a pushover too. The other issue is that monsters have much harder ceilings on their power. Where humans can just get more money to get stronger and espers can just fight more battles to have their stats rise, you *must* find stronger monsters to eat if you want your monsters to gain power. This ends up making monsters by far the weakest of the game’s playable races, and it’s really difficult to recommend using them for anything outside of a challenge run.

The presentation of the game is certainly simple, but it’s also quite impressive for what was one of the first couple dozen GB games to be released. Monsters sprites are well detailed and impressive even though the worlds you’re in are often populated with quite simple or highly repeated tile textures. The music especially is very good, in keeping with my general experience of the simple GB soundchip putting out some truly excellent tunes in its RPGs.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. If you’re a BIG RPG fan, and you really want to get a taste of the GameBoy’s first RPG, then this is a curiosity you’ll likely find something worthwhile in delving into. If you’re not a pretty hardcore retro RPG fan, though, you’ll more than likely only find frustration and boredom in SaGa. It’s a very old game with a lot of strange and unintuitive and incredibly annoying systems, and that’s as much part of its charm as much as it is a good reason to stay far, far away from SaGa XD.


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17. Wario Land 3 (GBC) *

I’m a pretty big fan of the Wario platformers, having played through all of them at least once at some time or another. WL3 has always been the one I’ve never really liked very much. When I was younger, I grew up on Wario Land 1 and 4, and then when I was a bit older I played 2, so 3 was the last I played of the original 4, and I was much older when I did. They recently added Wario Land 3 to the Switch Online GameBoy service, and after talking to a friend who was playing it for the first time and really loving it, I decided it was about time to give another go at what I considered the black sheep of the Wario Land quadrilogy. I was hoping if I went into it with an open mind and didn’t just expect it to be like the other three, that maybe I could find some of the enjoyment my friend was having. It took me around 10-ish hours to play through the Japanese version of the game with fairly liberal rewind feature use.

Wario Land 3’s story is pretty simple and straightforward. Rather than fighting with his main rival of the past two games, Captain Syrup, Wario is instead this time trapped in a music box. His plane crash lands in a forest where he finds a cave. Inside it is a weird music box that, after inspected, sucks him inside of it. Once he’s there, the protector god of the land tells him that he can only let Wario back out into the real world once he collects the five music boxes of the world, and of course Wario can keep any treasure he finds in the meanwhile. Not one to turn a nose down at treasure, Wario sets to work at finding those music boxes to get his freedom and his payday. It’s a simple story that works just fine, although it does get kinda weird, even for a Wario game, by the end, for my money. It’s a perfectly serviceable story that does a fine job of facilitating the action of the game. And what action of the game it is.

WL3 is largely taking a further step forward from the design of Wario Land 2, where you once again are exploring stages for treasures but lack a healthbar. Instead, getting hit just sends you back. Whether that’s a punch from an enemy with really mean knockback that throws you down a pit, or setting you on fire or inflating you up in the air to fail the platforming challenge you’re on in some other way, it’s a different way of getting hit making the player lose progress than a game with a traditional damage and lives system. However, this operates much differently than it does in WL2, as instead of more linear stages with a treasure hidden in each, WL3 is more of a Metroid-style game, where the treasure is the endpoint of each stage. Opening that treasure will more often than not give a kind of key item that, rather than granting a move, will just open new paths to explore in other levels. Each stage has four of these treasures to find, so you end up going to each stage at least four times. That is, if you can remember what does what.

Collecting one of these key items (be it just an effective key for a lock or a new power for Wario) brings you to the map screen where shining stars will indicate the levels that have changed content so Wario can now progress to the point he can find a new bit of treasure in them. However, they only show you this once, so if you miss it or forget it, you’re gonna be stuck wandering around hoping you can bump into whatever treasure will allow you to progress next. I distinctly remember as a kid *just* how easy it is to spend AGES lost in this game hunting for the next place to go (even speaking to several other friends who’ve played this game in the past, they didn’t even realize the star mechanic was a thing in the first place, and I doubt I did as a kid either). While it not being obvious where to go next is hardly much of a critique when the game DOES tell you were to go, effectively, it doesn’t help all of the other issues the game so often has.

Wario controls a bit worse than he did in 2 (I also just replayed after this 2, so I say this with a high degree of confidence). He moves more stiffly and less easily, and it just makes progressing through levels feel more difficult than it seems it should be. On top of that, Wario also has such a similar move set to WL2, down to even how his sprite looks. Or at the very least, he ends up with almost the same move set. To make it a game like Metroid, they need powerups and new moves for Wario to have, but in lieu of thinking of up any new moves for him, they just stripped out nearly his entire move set and hid them inside treasure chests. Holding up to jump higher, picking up enemies, ground pounding, breaking blocks with your head, and even swimming have all been taken away from his base moveset. It makes his already awkward controls even more strange, and replaying the same levels even more cumbersome.

And that’s the real critical weight of the issues with WL3. In isolation, a lot of them aren’t great ideas, but together they make a whole even weaker than the sum of its parts. A stage-based Metroidvania isn’t a very good idea at the best of times, and these short, nonlinear levels are made even more of a chore to go and re-go through with how often your no-health-system knockbacks force you through parts of them over and over within one playthrough. All of that combined with those muddier-than-usual controls makes for an experience that usually ranges between dull and frustrating, certainly compared to the other Wario Land games of the late-GameBoy era.

The presentation is quite nice, at least. Sprites are colorful and expressive, and the music is full of Wario-y goodness as usual. The sprite and animation work in particular are really flexing the power of what a GBC-exclusive game could do with the big pretty sprites, and the look of the game holds up really well all these years later.

Verdict: Not Recommended. While I don’t quite have it in me to call Wario Land 3 a *bad* game, I do have it in me to call it the weakest Wario Land game by a significant margin, and not really worth your time. It’s clunky and frustrating enough and its sequels are superior enough that I don’t think it’s particularly worth playing these days. There are so many much better games in this genre, some of them also being Wario Land games themselves, that I don’t really think Wario Land 3 is all that worth playing, even through the convenience of the Switch Online GameBoy service.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Beat Metroid Fusion for GBA, emulated on my Retroid Pocket 3+.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by MrPopo »

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
16. Kirby's Epic Yarn - Wii
17. Kirby's Return to Dreamland - Wii
18. Mega Man 7 - SNES
19. Mega Man 8 - PS1
20. Conquest: Frontier Wars - PC
21. Theatrhythm Final Bar Line - Switch
22. Octopath Traveler II - Switch
23. Last Call BBS - PC
24. The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure - Switch
25. Dread Templar - PC
26. The Great War: Western Front - PC
27. GrimGrimoire OnceMore - PS5

GrimGrimoire was one of Vanillaware's two PS2 games that kicked off their studio in the main public consciousness. Like Odin Sphere, it is noted for it's very pretty hand drawn artwork. But whereas Odin Sphere was an action RPG, GrimGrimoire is an RTS, albeit one that has reduced complexity in order to accommodate a controller, rather than keyboard and mouse. The OnceMore remaster adds a skill tree, which locks some upgrades from the original game behind the tree, but also has additional buffs to compensate.

The story begins with our heroine arriving at the Silver Tower, a school for magic. She begins taking classes, which serves as your tutorial for the gameplay mechanics, but then suddenly a bunch of horrible things happen, the teachers and students are all killed, and then the bell tolls... leading to her realizing that she is back to the first night of her stay, but with all memories and knowledge she gained from the previous days. So begins our groundhog day loop, where she must figure out how to avert calamity.

The basic mechanics of the game are you use runes, which are placeable buildings, to summon creatures. You have a basic worker that gathers energy from nearby crystals and a variety of attacking units. The runes come in four types which form a circle of "is effective against", and each type has three runes inside. One is your basic one that has your gatherer and a regular soldier, one is for your ultimate unit, and one is for utility. Runes can be upgraded, which will unlock passive bonuses for your units and the ability to summon different types of units. For example, the basic rune can only summon your gatherer at level 1 and must be leveled to 2 to get your combat unit.

The layout of a stage is a side view of a tower. Most units can move side to side on a floor, and then climb up and down stairs. Sometimes there will be pillars that block movement; these might be permanent or breakable by certain ultimate units. Some units can fly, and that enables them to freely move across the entire stage in any direction. Your goal in almost every map is to destroy all enemy runes. There is one map where the enemy has no runes and you must wipe out all their preplaced units instead, and a few maps that are "survive for X minutes" that can be beaten early by destroying all enemy runes. Completing maps gives you points for the aforementioned skill tree, and every map after the tree is introduced has a bonus objective that will give you extra points.

The game's biggest shortcoming is the controls. While there are shortcuts for quickly selecting groups of units, there is no ability to store groups and quickly switch between the exact ones you want. This makes it very hard to do any sort of real micro, and this is exacerbated by the fact that all special abilities, when activated, are done so for every single member in the group with that ability. While this is a reasonable default for things like self buffs, when you're looking at targeted disables this causes you to piss away all your mana in redundant casts. I ended up ditching the utility casters entirely due to this, as while they are effective when used right the controls don't allow that level of precision. This also means that running a mixed army isn't as good as you would like; you don't really have the ability to maneuver one group or the other depending on what a given force you run into is doing like you might when managing melee and ranged units in a PC RTS. You're better off picking generalists.

That said, the game isn't too challenging overall, as it responds well to aggression from the player, allowing you to get the necessary breathing room. The computer definitely doesn't cheat with its resources, so every reasonably successful push through enemy territory improves your position. The game is also quite short; it's a total of 25 maps that can each be beaten in about 15 minutes before utilizing the fast forward feature. But I see this as a feature; it doesn't overstay its narrative welcome nor its gameplay welcome.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Knocked out a couple more... averaging 1 per month :wink:

1. Sonic Adventure (DX HD)
2. Goldeneye 007 (Remaster)
3. Panzer Dragoon Remake
4.Halo 5 (Heoric & Skulls Replay)


I really enjoyed PD Remake. Unfortunately, some of the magic is lost compared to experiencing a spectacular early 3D game, but I do recommend it for any fans of the series. I'll pick up the sequel remake, Zwei, when it's finally released.

I am slowly playing back through the Halo games I don't have current Heroic save files on. Man... Halo 5 is beautiful especially with the XB1 Enhanced version (running on XSX). I actually think the fan appreciation for this game has gone up over the years (and with recent series turmoil). I have a soft spot for it. Only complaint... it shows I've collected all hidden Skulls in menu (which I did), but achievement is stuck at 92% :roll: seems to be a common tracking bug.

... might be a bit before I check in bc I'm playing 3 games concurrently :lol:

My Retro Achievements | Games Beaten 2023 & 2024 |
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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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)
6. NES Remix Pack (WiiU)
7. Dr. Mario (GBC)
***8. Bully (PS2)***
9. Dragon's Crown (PS3)
10. Bangai-O (SDC)
11. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
12. Destruction Derby (PS1)
13. X-Men Legends II: Rise Of Apocalypse (XBOX)

14. Vice: Project Doom (NES)

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I completed Vice: Project Doom for the Nintendo Entertainment System this evening!

Several years ago, Try4ce and Drumble began playing many of the hidden gems or the second tier level of NES games. These were before many of them became rather expensive and people began to find out more about them. But, as more people began to notice them, the price began to rise. I had a few of these games to my Wishlist, so I was quite surprised to find one in the wild right after I had beaten my backlog. I had to do some TLC to the cartridge, but it eventually came out pretty well, which helped in the price being a bit lower. Looking for a NES game to beat this year, I figured it was time to go back to the console's bread and butter of side scrolling action games.

It is true that the game is a side scrolling action game, but it is so much more as well. The game is centered around Ninja Gaiden cutscenes which are very unique for the time and add a little intrigue for the story. The action is also split up by two driving sections that play more like shoot'em up levels and two gallery shooter stages which are both a real blast to play. Many of the games faults aren't found in those stages and they are a breeze to get through. For the meat of the game, it is the side scrolling action stages and they are mostly great as well. The graphics are fantastic and the music is really well done as well. The game kind of plays like a Mega Man game or a sped up Castlevania game especially with your electric whip.

I think Konami and Capcom knew more about level design and enemy placement though. Many of the side-scrolling levels, you are constantly taking damage and the developers love to put enemies around bottomless pits. So, unfortunately, especially the later levels, they can be a bit of a chore to get through because they become so difficult. Also, I wish the hit detection was a bit crisper too as it would seem I would kill an enemy, but I would just take damage instead.

Overall, I still really enjoyed Vice: Project Doom. I think if the game had a little more fine tuning and refined a bit, the game would be much better. I wouldn't say the game is a classic NES games that you would normally think about. However, if you are looking for a B-Tier Level Game or one that is right underneath those games, Vice: Project Doom would fit your bill. It's a solid NES Side Scrolling Action game and sometimes that is all you need in life!
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Raging Justice »

Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition - Switch

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"Definitive" is pretty subjective, as this is not the perfect, ultimate version of the game. For one thing, it suffers in handheld mode in some ways when compared to the 3ds version. I frequently struggled to see things. Your mini map is TINY. Also, some of the messages that come onscreen are also miniscule. It doesn't feel like the game was optimized for the Switch, at least not in handheld mode. It's like everything is sort of stretched out for the wider screen, but things like the map and ingame text were not changed. Feels like a lazy port. If playing on the go is your thing, the 3ds version is arguably better. A lot of things are more zoomed in and easier to see. You also lose the 3d effect on the Switch. Granted, the game didn't use it in clever or amazing ways, but I like the 3d effect that the 3ds has and it is something that makes the 3ds version unique. You don't get 3d in the "definitive" version.

There are some other changes I don't like. When you use an item in Adventure Mode on the Switch, the game immediately saves. This means that if you used the wrong one, you still lose the item and can't get it back because the Switch version instantly saves. The 3ds version didn't do this, so you could reload your save and not lose your item. Also, they ditched the 2d look of the fairies for 3d models which is arguably a downgrade. Lastly, unless I just wasn't able to figure out how, it seems like you can no longer pause the action to select your items by tapping the touch screen in the Switch version. Fiddling with a long list of items while surrounded by enemies or facing off against a boss is damn annoying. Honestly, item use is one of the weakest aspects of Hyrule Warriors in general, it always felt like an unnatural addition to the musou formula, but I think the 3ds handled it better. On Switch it feels like we've actually lost some touch screen functionality in handheld mode. You also lose out on Spotpass gifts, which includes three somewhat unique fairies that were in the 3ds version.

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The Switch version has some pros though, you get more enemies onscreen. Sometimes even in handheld mode I'd see hordes of enemies onscreen, far more than I ever did in the 3ds version. I forgot how satisfying it is to just wade into a massive crowd of enemies and unleash hell. It actually makes racking up KOs in some levels much easier than the 3ds version. The game runs a bit faster too, when going back to the 3ds version I realized just how slow Link attacks are compared to his Switch counterpart. On a big TV, the game looks amazing and you can definitely see how it's an improvement on the 3ds version's visuals. Control-wise, the right analog is much more comfortable than the one on the new Nintendo 3ds, and I found myself using it more as a result. The Switch version also feels re-balanced in some ways. There's an item shop that lets you buy items in Adventure Mode, which is convenient. Also, you can equip multiple fairy abilities now. In the 3ds version, you could only do this by borrowing extra abilities from friends via local co op or wi fi if I'm not mistaken. I always thought that was dumb because you were always staring at empty slots for your fairy abilities. Fairy abilities are the most useful things in the entire game so this is a nice change

Overall, I wouldn't call this "definitive", but it is just as fun as the 3ds version. In some ways, it's better, in other ways, it is worse. Both versions have their merits and both come recommended. The original Wii-U version remains the worst one, but it is the classic original.

So after several weeks of playing around with my 3ds, this has sort of led me to a renewed interest in the Switch. The next couple reviews from me will probably be for Switch games like Age of Calamity, Super Mario Odyssey, or the smorgasbord of indie titles I see on there. I may even play some Wii-U games if I'm not one of those unlucky people whose Wii-U systems have recently been discovered to no longer turn on due to a faulty chip (google it if you haven't heard about this). I think I am starting to become a Nintendo fanboy all of a sudden. The closing of the eshop has certainly put my focus back on their games...there's also a certain little movie that recently hit theaters that probably has something to do with it too LOL

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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)
6. Dragon Quest VIII (PS2)
7. Dragon Quest Monsters (GBC)
8. Mario Party 6 (GC)
9. Last Bible 3 (SFC)
10. Mario Party 4 (GC)
11. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch)
12. Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (SFC)
13. Chrono Trigger (SFC) *
14. BoxBoy + BoxGirl! (Switch)
15. The Murder of Sonic The Hedgehog (PC)
16. SaGa (GB)
17. Wario Land 3 (GBC) *

18. Sutte Hakkun (SFC)

This is a game I picked up on Wii U Virtual Console forever and a half ago. My last save-state in it was apparently from August 2019, so that’s apparently how long it’s been since I last attempted this as well XD. I’ve been meaning to hook my Japanese Wii U back up and give another crack at this while sourcing my friends over voice chat to help for ages, and something a week or so back finally compelled me to get off my butt and just do it. I finally not only tried again, but I went and did it! I beat all 100 puzzles and only looked at hints for 5 of them, which is a ratio I’m pretty darn happy with~. It took me some 15 or 20 hours to beat the game via my Wii U in Japanese.

Sutte Hakkun doesn’t really have a narrative. It was originally released in chunks over the SFC’s Satellaview service over the course of 1997, with a RAM cart download and a dedicated cart released containing the whole collection (and a little bit more) in 1998. It’s also the first game Indieszero did! (who are otherwise most famous for the Theatrhythm games and the first two Retro Game Challenge games, I’d reckon). There really is no story of any kind though, so far as I can tell. You play as Hakkun, and you need to find your way to getting all of the rainbows in all 100 levels to get to the credits. This is very much a game just about completing the puzzles, to the point it even acknowledges and actively discourages you from looking at the hints, as it warns you it’ll be marked on your save file forever (and they’re not kidding about that).

As for the gameplay, it’s quite simple, but they do a LOT with that simplicity. As Hakkun, a weird mosquito-kiwi-thing, you can use your beak(?) to suck in both colors, blocks, and other objects and then spit them out again. Your colors are red, blue, and yellow, and things you can put them in are blocks as well as your buddy Makkun to give each respectively different behaviors. Red makes blocks go up & down and makes Makkun springy. Blue makes blocks go left and right and makes Makkun walk back and forth. Yellow makes blocks go up and down diagonally and Makkun ground-pound in place (to continuously cycle switches, should you need to). There are some advanced techniques, like holding down the button to maintain sucking in while you jump about, jumping around corners by jumping at the veeery edge of a corner, and quickly spitting out and sucking in several objects over the course of one fall, but other than that, it’s all about your ingenuity on using these simple tools to reach the end of each stage. It’s a very well designed puzzle platformer. It gets pretty bastard-hard around world 6 of 10 (and only goes up from there), but if you’re a puzzle fan, you’ll likely get a lot of enjoyment out of this.

The presentation is pretty simple, but also very effective. It’s very reminiscent of something like Umihara Kawase with the floating platforms over fixed-ish backgrounds, but the stylized simplicity gave me big vibes of later games like BoxBoy as well. There’s never any ambiguity or confusion over puzzle mechanics because of the visuals though, so that’s an A+ design choice in my book at least~. The music is also very fun! Each of the 10 worlds (including the post-game extra world) has its own theme that’ll play in all 10 of its levels, and they’re all jaunty and fun. They gave me just as big Kirby vibes as they did Wario Land vibes, so take from that what you will for their particular brand of jauntiness, but I also enjoyed them a lot either way x3

Verdict: Recommended. The premise might be too simple and the difficulty too high for many, but if you’re into puzzle platformers or just puzzle games in general, you’ll probably have a great time with Sutte Hakkun. I want to and I will say that if you really enjoyed something like Baba Is You, you’ll likely enjoy this a lot, but there are enough levels that do actually require a significant degree of platforming dexterity that I can’t say with complete confidence that the two games have perfect crossover in their appeal. Either way, this is an excellent puzzle game, and a very fun thing to hunt down the translation patch for if you wanted to play it with English menus as well~.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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