Games Beaten 2023

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Markies
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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)
***15. Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm (PS2)***
16. Terranigma (SNES)
***17. Super Street Fighter II (GEN)***
18. Guitar Hero II (PS2)
19. Kirby's Dream Land (GBC)
***20. Gunbird 2 (SDC)***
***21. Stella Deus: The Gate Of Eternity (PS2)***

22. I Am Setsuna (NS)

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I beat I Am Setsuna on the Nintendo Switch this evening!

When I got my Nintendo Switch, just a few years ago, there were a couple of games that I already wanted for the system. First and foremost was Streets of Rage 4. After that one came the other games that I really wanted to play and one of them was I Am Setsuna. The game seemed to go after my heart as it hearkened back to the glory days of 16 Bit RPG's. I remember when the game came out that people were gushing about it and I knew that I had to play it. Last year, when I was looking for a new Switch game, I jumped all over it and wanting to play a new Switch game, I knew that it would be my next choice.

The game takes its inspiration from Chrono Trigger, but also many themes and characters from FFX, which are two pluses in my book. My favorite part of the game would probably be the setting. In real life, I cannot stand snow, but in a video game, it is utterly beautiful. Seeing the tranquil snow fallen or the glowing lights reflect off the snow made it quite beautiful. Also, the characters are archetypes, but they are also very unique and likable. Each has its own story and each story is rather heart-breaking. They also brought in a new perspective to the dialogue, so it made the conversations much easier. The game has a simple structure as you move from town to town, solving problems and crossing dungeons, so it moves along at a brisk pace. The battle system is good and can be very enjoyable when you are on top of things.

However, the game likes to sneak up on you and take you down with some fervor. The game can be quite tough with difficult bosses coming out of nowhere and jumps in monster levels. You will need to grind a few times in the game to stay ahead of the curve, but once you do, you are smooth sailing. Unfortunately, you begin killing enemies and bosses in like one shot, so the balance doesn't exactly fit right. Also, and this is such a minor nitpick, but it is weird seeing modern particle affects in a more traditional game. Looks off.

Overall, I still really enjoyed my time with I Am Setsuna. I was expecting a calmer and more story based game, so I was bit surprised in the jump in difficulty. But, once I did some grinding, the game got much better and I began to enjoy myself. It is a very peaceful and tranquil game with some hidden teeth in there. If you like any of the classic JRPG's from the SNES, then this is worth your time.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Games Beaten in 2023 - 22
* 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 (7 Games Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2
7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - PlayStation 4 - February 15
8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16
9. Silver Falls: White Inside Its Umbra - Wii U - February 18
10. Silver Falls: Guardians and Metal Exterminators - 3DS - February 22
11. Silver Falls: Frontier Fighters Mini - Browser - February 22
12. Silver Falls: Ghoul Busters - Switch - February 24


March (7 Games Beaten)
13. Red Colony - Switch - March 5
14. Hentai World - Switch - March 5
15. Silver Falls Gaiden: Deathly Delusion Destroyers - 3DS - March 9
16. Silver Falls: Galaxy Bound Curse - Game Boy Color - March 12
17. Vs. Super Mario Bros - Switch - March 13
18. Dead Space - PlayStation 5 - March 17
19. Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Switch - March 24


April (3 Games Beaten)
20. Super Mario Bros - NES - April 10*
21. Super Mario Bros 3 - NES - April 11*
22. Back 4 Blood - Series X - April 17


22. Back 4 Blood - Series X - April 17

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Have you ever wanted Left 4 Dead but on modern consoles and just slightly less memorable? Congrats, that's Back 4 Blood. To be clear, this game is a TON of fun. To be clear, this game is not as good as Left 4 Dead. What makes it worse? No clue. It's one of those subjective, intangible things that is impossible to really put into words but that just "feels off." Still, though, since Left 4 Dead is pretty old at this point and isn't up to par visually anymore, Back 4 Blood is a pretty solid next best thing.

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The basic premise is that you're part of a group of survivors called "Cleaners" who try to mop up groups of zombies infected with an alien parasite worm and help whomever you can from your base of operations in Pennsylvania. Early on, the game suffered from bugged difficulty making some of the levels significantly - unfairly so sometimes - more difficult than the developers intended, but now that that's been fixed, the game is very doable both solo and with a team. The characters, in my opinion, aren't nearly as memorable as those in Left 4 Dead (I just wanna hear someone shout "Pills here!"), but they're still cool enough, especially Mom who's a total badass.

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As far as gameplay goes, it's almost exactly like what you would imagine Left 4 Dead being with another decade or so of graphics technology. You've got a solid array of guns, and the missions are varied enough to keep it from getting stale. The coolest part, and what really makes it stand out, is the card system. You can build a deck of cards that add certain perks to your character. Things like more health, more ammo, better hip fire but can't aim down sights, heal when using melee, etc. They let you really custom tailor your character to suit your playstyle, and that's something that I very much welcomed.

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It's probably not fair to judge Back 4 Blood up against Left 4 Dead 2 since that's considered to be one of the best zombie shooters of all time, but it's hard not to compare them; Back 4 Blood is a spiritual successor in the most obvious way. What it does, it does extremely well. It's just that it doesn't do quite enough to set itself apart from Left 4 Dead, and that makes comparisons that don't favor Back 4 Blood inevitable. The deck system is definitely awesome, and they get major props for that, but aside from that, it really does play and feel like a slightly worse Left 4 Dead with better graphics. Should you play Back 4 Blood? Absolutely; it's a ton of fun. Just go in with tempered expectations and know that it's definitely not Left 4 Dead 3.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Games Beaten in 2023 - 23
* 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 (7 Games Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2
7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - PlayStation 4 - February 15
8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16
9. Silver Falls: White Inside Its Umbra - Wii U - February 18
10. Silver Falls: Guardians and Metal Exterminators - 3DS - February 22
11. Silver Falls: Frontier Fighters Mini - Browser - February 22
12. Silver Falls: Ghoul Busters - Switch - February 24


March (7 Games Beaten)
13. Red Colony - Switch - March 5
14. Hentai World - Switch - March 5
15. Silver Falls Gaiden: Deathly Delusion Destroyers - 3DS - March 9
16. Silver Falls: Galaxy Bound Curse - Game Boy Color - March 12
17. Vs. Super Mario Bros - Switch - March 13
18. Dead Space - PlayStation 5 - March 17
19. Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Switch - March 24


April (3 Games Beaten)
20. Super Mario Bros - NES - April 10*
21. Super Mario Bros 3 - NES - April 11*
22. Back 4 Blood - Series X - April 17


May (0 Games Beaten)
I suck :(


June (1 Game Beaten)
23. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch - June 10


23. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch - June 10

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The Legend of Zelda is a series that has consistently reinvented itself in one way or another over its history. The first game was a top down adventure; the second game was a side scrolling RPG; the third game returned to the style of the first but with dramatic visual and mechanical improvements. When the series shifted to 3D, each game was distinct in both tone and art direction. That hasn't changed with Tears of the Kingdom, although of the few Zelda games that are direct sequels, it does appear to be the most similar to its predecessor. Don't let appearances fool you, though; this game is quite distinct from Breath of the Wild in a number of ways that keep it feeling fresh and prevent it from being, despite what some naysayers on the internet may tell you, "overpriced DLC."

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Tears of the Kingdom takes place six years after the events of Breath of the Wild. Hyrule is recovering from the Calamity, and Princess Zelda (no clue why she's not Queen Zelda when she's the only surviving royal) is trying to lead her kingdom to a prosperous future and learn from the past accompanied and protected by her faithful knight, Link. When investigating a chamber discovered deep beneath Hyrule Castle, they discover a mummy with a hand stuck to its chest. As mummies are wont to do, it magically reanimates itself and attacks Link, wrecking the Master Sword and Link's arm in the process, and throwing Link and Zelda into a random chasm.

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Upon regaining control of Link after the various opening cut scenes, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you're just playing more Breath of the Wild as the major differences do take some time to sink in. The two most significant gameplay differences are the fusion ability and the world itself. With the fusion ability, you can fuse together elements in the world to create a variety of tools to help you along the way. One of the tutorial elements early on has you make a raft. Half of the puzzles in the game (if not more) can be solved with the universal rule of Tears of the Kingdom - "When in doubt, build a bridge." Eventually, you'll be making cars, airplanes, and giant death mechs. It's at least 20% cooler than anything Breath of the Wild had to offer.

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The big game changer for your average gameplay, though, is the ability to fuse damn near anything you find in the world to your weapons. Have a stick and a curved rock? Now you have an axe. Have a shield and an explosive barrel? Now you have a bomb shield that will explode and send an enemy flying when they hit it. Have a sword and an explosive barrel? You're about to commit a murder-suicide. These weapon fusions have some serious potential, though; you can take a 10 attack power sword and turn it into a 65 attack power sword with the right fusion material. Unfortunately, you can fuse anything to your bows, but you can fuse material in your inventory to your arrows to make bomb arrows, fire arrows, etc.

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Tears of the Kingdom's other main difference is the massive scope of the world. The regular overworld is virtually identical to Breath of the Wild, but you also have a series of sky islands that you can (with a little frustration and creativity) explore and traverse as well as the depths, a realm the exact same size as the Hyrule overworld but mirrored. Wherever there's a valley in the overworld, there's a mountain in the depths; wherever there's a river in the overworld, there's a literally impassable rock wall in your way. I found the depths to be a little boring and same-y after a while, but there are definitely some wicked features to explore, and the combat gets a lot tougher in the depths than it usually is in the overworld.

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The game gets its subtitle from the twelve Dragon's tears that you can find throughout the world. Every time you interact with a new Dragon's tear, you're shown a cutscene that reveals some of the story of what happened to Zelda who has been mysteriously missing after the magic mummy's attack. This is where the bulk of the game's story gets told, and it's a story that I honestly think puts the majority of the Zelda series to shame.

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Tears of the Kingdom is a vast improvement over Breath of the Wild in every way. It's significantly larger in terms of the physical world, it's got more options to traverse the world and approach combat, the story is better, there are TONS of side quests, and the visuals and performance are both much improved. This is a virtually perfect game, and while it's not quite my favorite Zelda game - that title will probably always be with Link to the Past - it's a damn close second. I put in just shy of 180 hours in my playthrough, and the game said I was less than 60% complete. It may be the first Switch game to retail for $70 rather than $60, but trust me, you're getting your money's worth here and then some.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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I have not been posting in this thread, but here are the games I have beat thus far in 2023:
Lufia and the Fortress of Doom (SNES) 1/21/23
A great traditional JRPG. I love grinding and in this game, the grind helped and it was not defeating.

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue (SEGA CD) 4/1/23
I missed out on purchasing this in stores when it came out in 1995. With the magic of the Internet, I found and bought it brand new from the Working Designs (the publisher) website in 1998. $70 was well spent even though it took me 25 years to play through it.

Crystalis (NES) 4/21/23
This was the first game I set out to get when I started rebuilding my collection and haven't gotten around to beating it until now. I loved this game and can see myself playing through it again in the future.

Life on Mars (GEN) 4/30/23
This newly released Metroidvania game is a perfect blend of Turican & Super Metroid on the SEGA Genesis.

Summer Game Challenge Games:
Illusion of Gaia (SNES) 5/31/23
WonderBoy in Monster World (GEN) 6/15/23
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Sega CD, Nomad, SNES, Saturn, PS1, Dreamcast, XBox, PS2, Gamecube, Nintendo DS, Wii, PSP, PS3, WiiU, XBONE & Switch.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

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Games Beaten in 2023 - 24
* 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 (7 Games Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2
7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - PlayStation 4 - February 15
8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16
9. Silver Falls: White Inside Its Umbra - Wii U - February 18
10. Silver Falls: Guardians and Metal Exterminators - 3DS - February 22
11. Silver Falls: Frontier Fighters Mini - Browser - February 22
12. Silver Falls: Ghoul Busters - Switch - February 24


March (7 Games Beaten)
13. Red Colony - Switch - March 5
14. Hentai World - Switch - March 5
15. Silver Falls Gaiden: Deathly Delusion Destroyers - 3DS - March 9
16. Silver Falls: Galaxy Bound Curse - Game Boy Color - March 12
17. Vs. Super Mario Bros - Switch - March 13
18. Dead Space - PlayStation 5 - March 17
19. Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Switch - March 24


April (3 Games Beaten)
20. Super Mario Bros - NES - April 10*
21. Super Mario Bros 3 - NES - April 11*
22. Back 4 Blood - Series X - April 17


May (0 Games Beaten)
I suck :(


June (2 Game Beaten)
23. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch - June 10
24. Resident Evil 4 - PlayStation 5 - June 11


24. Resident Evil 4 - PlayStation 5 - June 11

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Resident Evil 4 is widely considered to be one of the best games if not the best game in the series. I don't personally agree with that assessment, but it's absolutely a fact that Resident Evil 4 is an exceptional game that manages to blend the horror experience that the series is known for with a more action focused experience that was becoming more popular in the mid 2000s. After the huge success of the recent remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, Capcom decided to neglect the only remaining main series game that didn't have a native version for modern hardware and remake Resident Evil 4, a game that has a competently upscaled version for PS4 and Xbox One. You'll get justice one day, Code Veronica...

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For those unfamiliar with the story, six years after the events of Resident Evil 2, Leon Kennedy is working as an agent for the United States government. The president's college student daughter, Ashley, has been kidnapped by a weird cult in Spain, and Leon is sent in to find and rescue her. What he discovers is that this isn't just a cult; it's a violent murder peasant cult. They're not zombies in the T-virus sense, but for all intents and purposes, they're basically zombies in the Haitian voodoo sense.

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While Resident Evil 4 didn't need a remake in my opinion, I'd be lying if I said that they didn't do a good job with this one. It looks absolutely fantastic, and the controls are every bit as modernized as you would expect. It's also got some good accessibility, too with an array of difficulties from "anyone should be able to finish this" to "no one should be able to finish this," and if you find that you've overestimated yourself a little bit, you have the option of lowering your difficulty once you've started instead of having to start over.

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I played on PS5, but I would imagine that the PS4 version looks stunningly good as well considering how good the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes looked on that system. It's a shame that the game isn't available on Switch, but there's just no way that a game this graphically impressive could have run on Switch without downgrading the visuals intensely or making another stupid cloud version. For those who like cosmetic flairs, there are a variety of costume options for both Leon and Ashley. Speaking of Ashley, while the game is still a giant escort mission, Ashely's AI is INFINITELY better than it was in the original. You still have to keep your wits about you to make sure she isn't captured or killed, but you're not going to be tearing your hair out hearing "LEON!!" every four seconds anymore. I was ready to feed her to the monsters and just tell the president I was too late in the original game; I legitimately liked her in this game.

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This Resident Evil 4 remake should have been a Code Veronica remake, but since it wasn't, I'm quite happy with what we got. This is absolutely the definitive way to experience the story, and it's an absolute blast to play. I can definitely see myself replaying this in the future because of how much fun I had this go around. This is a definite must-play for fans of survival horror games even if it did lean just a bit too heavily into the action side of things for my liking.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Partridge Senpai's 2023 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)
19. Kane & Lynch 2 (PC)
20. Burger Time Deluxe (GB)
21. Super Mario Advance 4: World e+ (GBA)
22. Bomberman GB 2 (GB)
23. Mario Party 5 (GC)
24. Klonoa: door to phantomile (PS1)
25. Mario Party 7 (GC)
26. Mario Party (N64) *
27. Crash Bash (PS1)
28. Balan Wonderworld (PS4)
29. From TV Animation One Piece Tobidase Kaizokudan! (PS1)
30. One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 (Vita)

31. Atelier Iris: Grand Phantasm (PS2)

After a brief two year hiatus, I’ve finally gotten off my butt and played through the third and last of the Atelier Iris games. While I really enjoyed the first one, the second one I was far more lukewarm on, and my initial impressions of the writing in Grand Phantasm were mixed enough that I just never got around to getting into this one before getting distracted with other things. I’m finally back in an RPG mood though, so I decided it was high time I finally knock this one out. It took me about 50-ish hours to do most every quest in the game and get the good ending, and I played the Japanese version of the game on real hardware.

Despite the ‘3’ added to the game’s title in English, Grand Phantasm actually has nothing to do with the previous two Atelier Iris games beyond a handful of aesthetic similarities. Our story this time follows the raiders Edge and Iris (no relation) as they complete requests for the guild by venturing into Alterworlds. However, just as they begin to get serious about their jobs as raiders, they encounter a mysterious gem that unlocks a deep secret within Iris’s magical but mysterious tome, the Escalario, and they’re pulled into an adventure far greater than either of them ever expected.

The writing in Grand Phantasm is quite good. I’d go as far as to describe it as even surprisingly good, given my poor first impression with it. Starting the game up and immediately encountering a very tsundere-type, brooding young protagonist like Edge really turned me off the game at first blush, but he’s actually a really fun and well written character. All three of the (eventual) main cast members have a ton of fun character to them, and overall the game’s writing makes them very endearing and memorable. That said, I would still say I prefer the first Atelier Iris’s writing over this one’s still, if even only slightly. I’ll get more into it when I describe the mechanics later, but this game suffers from some pretty bad pacing issues that really harm the impact the main narrative might otherwise have.

We end up with a very mixed bag where the paradoxically mandatory “side content” winds up becoming far more engaging and important-feeling than the “main story”, and the game’s ending winds up feeling quite abrupt and low impact by comparison. While this game absolutely does have some very affecting story beats in it, some of them even in the main story, I think it would've been well serviced by trimming back its scale a bit and leaning into a more low-stakes narrative more like the earlier Atelier games. It’s a kinda frustrating situation where the game winds up being only quite good when its potential to be genuinely great is well within sight, but at least it still manages to be good fun in spite of that.

The gameplay of Grand Phantasm is, like Iris 2 before it, another attempt to square the circle of combining the classic gameplay style of the first five Atelier games with the newer no-time-management style of the Iris series. However, I would say that Grand Phantasm achieves this much more successfully than Iris 2 does. Starting with the combat, we now have a proper turn order sequence at the top much like a game like FFX has, but like the Atelier series had effectively always had behind the scenes. Now you have very well visible the way your attacks will slow enemy turns, how some attacks will take “longer” than others, and other such things. We also have removed MP completely, and special moves are now done with a shared AP bar among all characters, and dealing damage through normal attacks charges this bar you can use to use your special moves. You can even activate a burst mode for MUCH higher damage from your special attacks by dealing out enough hits with your normal and special attacks. This has a sort of knock-on effect of highly discouraging using high-damage low-hit-number moves, but by using equipment creatively you can still get around that a bit.

Speaking of damage vs. combo numbers, now is as good a time as ever to talk about the job system the game sort of has. Instead of having a bunch of characters your party can have like basically every other Atelier game, Grand Phantasm only has a dedicated three people you ever have. To compensate for this, your two non-alchemist party members get the ability to change jobs at your home base which completely changes what weapons they use as well as what special abilities they have access to. This is a cool idea, but the execution is a bit half-baked. Given that your alchemist can never change jobs, and she’s basically always more of a support character you’ll probably have healing (between items and her naturally high magic attack that makes healing spells you give her very good), it just never makes much sense to choose support-focused jobs on your other two party members. Just letting everyone have multiple jobs probably would’ve been the better choice, especially as the new focus to the AP-based combat system makes your alchemist’s items more redundant than they’ve ever been.

This game isn’t the hardest in the world, but even then, I always felt I had way more than enough options to the point that I used items in or out of battle less than a dozen times over 50 hours. This still all makes for a fun and dynamic combat system where you’re trying to account for enemy weaknesses to up your boost gauge faster, but the lack of the ability to change your load-out once already in battle can make some boss battles needlessly frustrating (or just outright doomed from the start in the very late-game optional stuff). I quite liked the combat system in this game either way, though. It was always good fun to mulch up enemies with well activated burst modes, even if battles can become a bit formulaic after a while.

The bits between battles though, back at your workshop, are one of the more interesting and impactful aspects of the gameplay loop, for better and worse. As with the other Atelier Iris games, we once again have a game with no time management, so for those of you who get turned away by that sort of thing, you have nothing to worry about here~. The game has 10 chapters, with there being more “free” periods where you can do both story and optional guild requests, and once you’ve done enough story requests to raise your guild rank, you’re automatically forced onto one of the game’s ten story missions. It’s completely impossible to do any requests during a story mission segment, so it’s best to plan around that fact if there are some in particular you’d rather have done sooner than later. As a general gameplay loop, I think this works really well. Having one main hub that you go out and explore Alterworlds from is a very nice execution of that idea of combining the old and new ways of the Atelier gameplay systems.

However, this well constructed gameplay system comes at a cost. Those ten story missions take maybe an hour each, and in my fifty hours of game time, that makes the main story some barely 20% of your time with the game (likely much less), and this means that, even when the stakes are at their highest, the main narrative’s pacing is incredibly slow and constantly being interrupted. The reasons for this in-narrative are justified well enough, but the effect is still a main plot that feels needlessly staggered and a bit bloated regardless. Most characters get far more fun and interesting characterization through those story-related guild requests during the free periods than they ever do during the story missions, and this makes for a very uneven experience overall. I still liked the story and I think it’s overall a quite well put together one, but this unevenness does make me prefer Atelier Iris 1’s story overall at the end of the day, even if I’d say this one overall has stronger characters.

The presentation is very well done, as usual, especially the music~. This is the last of what I think could could fairly consider the completely 2D game of the mainline Atelier games, and it looks very pretty as a result. There are tons of sprite variations for the main characters including a fair few completely unique ones for certain otherwise not that traditionally important bits of story, and it gives everyone a really delightful sense of personality. Monster designs are fun and big, and the battle animations for the alternate jobs especially are super fun and cool as well. The VN-like talking segments have very nicely designed art for the characters with lots of expressive sprites for each of them, but the character design is probably where the game’s most significant design weaknesses go. While I overall quite like the character design, a few characters feel overly sexualized in way that feels super out of place for their characters. Especially with Nell’s character design, it just doesn’t compliment her character at all, and it ended up coming off as very creepily fetishizing in a way I really didn’t care for. It’s a shame too, since otherwise I’d say the character design and art is really excellent, but this was a big enough sticking point for me that I couldn’t just let it go unmentioned here.

Verdict: Highly Recommended. Warts and all, this still manages to be a really excellent late-life PS2 RPG. The writing and gameplay systems aren’t perfect, but they’re still super fun and a delight to spend time with, as this game’s 50 hours just absolutely flew by I was having such a good time. While I can’t speak to the quality of the English translation, I know enough people who’ve played and enjoyed it to believe that it’s at the very least acceptable if not just good, so this is one well worth picking up in English too if you like fantasy worlds and turn-based RPGs, even if you’re otherwise not that familiar with the Atelier series~.
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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
28. Haegemonia: Legions of Iron - PC
29. Everspace 2 - PC
30. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor - PC
31. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch
32. Warhammer 40000: Boltgun - PC
33. Diablo 4 - PC
34. System Shock (2023) - PC

The five second review of the System Shock remake is that it is a nearly shot-for-shot remake of the original game, with better controls and a balance pass on the bad guns to make them all worthwhile. If you've played the original that should be all you need to know about the remake. For everyone else, read on.

System Shock is the tale of the Hacker, a man who tries to hack into the TriOptimum corporation, gets caught, and takes a deal to remove the ethical constraints on the AI of Citadel Station, SHODAN, in exchange for a military grade implant. Given the alternative is death, he takes the deal. Upon waking up from the medical coma necessary for the implant he finds that the station is oddly quiet. If you've ever experienced any piece of sci fi related to AI you probably already know what's going on. It's up to you to stop SHODAN in her quest to destroy mankind.

The game is a first person shooter with some survival elements (lots of resource management is required) and a general feeling of isolation. You only rarely are communicated with by a friendly NPC; usually it's SHODAN's taunts and a lot of listening to audio logs that both give background to the situation and inform you of various clues as to how to proceed. The game does not hold your hand in terms of objectives, though if you are paying attention it does make them clear.

The station is divided into several levels, each of which is sprawling and mazelike. You'll need to disable cameras to lower the security level to get past some doors, while finding keycards to get past others. The station is infested with mutants, cyborgs, and robots, all seeking to make you one of them. Fortunately, if you can disable the cyborginization process of the local regeneration machine you will find that death is merely an inconvenience, as your corpse is dragged into the machine, but instead of becoming a cyborg you revive at half health. In a change from the original, on all but the hardest difficulty if you haven't disabled the machine on a particular level you will respawn on the next closest level. There is also some light puzzle solving; some doors and features require you to solve one of two types of electrical rewiring minigames. The game does have an item that will auto-solve them, but it is in limited supply and most of them aren't too hard to solve.

You have a variety of weapons, from pistols, shotguns, and sub machine guns to laser rifles and railguns. Some weapons use energy instead of ammo, and they frequently will be your go-to, as they tend to be effective against most enemies and more importantly, once you find one of the recharge stations on a level you have effectively infinite ammo. However, that energy use also competes with some of your mods, like the damage shield and the hostile radar. As I said, managing your resources is important.

System Shock has been described as "that game all your favorite games steal mechanics from". It set the stage for every FPS that wanted to be more than Doom or Quake, and you still see its mechanics in games to this day. The remake is a celebration of everything it did, and it doesn't try to mess with things. It just wants the game to benefit from several decades of learning about how to control a character and how to make your arsenal feel good to use. If you like games like Prey, Dishonored, or Deus Ex, you owe it to yourself to play the granddaddy of them all.
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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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
26. The Great War: Western Front - PC
27. GrimGrimoire OnceMore - PS5
28. Haegemonia: Legions of Iron - PC
29. Everspace 2 - PC
30. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor - PC
31. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch
32. Warhammer 40000: Boltgun - PC
33. Diablo 4 - PC
34. System Shock (2023) - PC
35. Huntdown - Switch

Huntdown is a cyberpunk run-and-gun where you take one of three bounty hunters and go destabilize the gangs that are running roughshod over the populace, in the name of order. There are a total of four gangs to tangle with, each of which has four lieutenants and a big boss that all need to be taken down. This means you have four acts of five levels each full of baddies to kill.

Each character has a handgun with infinite ammo and a throwing weapon with a cooldown. These have some differences between the characters, so spend a bit of time seeing which one feels right. Unlike most run-and-guns, you can only fire forward, so you'll be doing a lot of jumping to hit higher enemies. You have a dash which can also be used to do a ground pound and cover plays a major role in the game. Boxes and cards can be ducked behind to block fire, while open doors in the background can sidestepped into a la Blackthorne to avoid fire (though it won't save you from melee enemies, or enemies from your close ranged melee). You also will find a lot of weapons with limited ammo through the stages; sometimes dropped by enemies and somethings sitting on the ground. These are higher powered than your regular weapon and sometimes have interesting effects (like grenade launchers having an arc), and you can freely switch between a limited ammo weapon and your sidearm. Managing your resources is important, as the action is fast and furious.

The stages throw lots of baddies at you, though it's all fixed spawns and triggers, so no infinite guys like Contra. The game features checkpoints that full heal you upon reaching them, though respawning at a checkpoint loses any weapons you were holding. By contrast, the autosave before a boss DOES save your loadout if you respawn, so the boss fights are bit more forgiving in that fashion. The game has gorgeous pixel art with great use of parallax, and it has a terminally 80s aesthetic that you'll either love or hate, depending on how cool you are. Overall, it's quite the solid title that doesn't try to stretch things out; it gives you exactly the right amount for this type of game.
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2023 - 25
* 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 (7 Games Beaten)
6. Fire Emblem: Engage - Switch - February 2
7. Dragon Quest Builders 2 - PlayStation 4 - February 15
8. Silver Falls: Undertakers - Wii U - February 16
9. Silver Falls: White Inside Its Umbra - Wii U - February 18
10. Silver Falls: Guardians and Metal Exterminators - 3DS - February 22
11. Silver Falls: Frontier Fighters Mini - Browser - February 22
12. Silver Falls: Ghoul Busters - Switch - February 24


March (7 Games Beaten)
13. Red Colony - Switch - March 5
14. Hentai World - Switch - March 5
15. Silver Falls Gaiden: Deathly Delusion Destroyers - 3DS - March 9
16. Silver Falls: Galaxy Bound Curse - Game Boy Color - March 12
17. Vs. Super Mario Bros - Switch - March 13
18. Dead Space - PlayStation 5 - March 17
19. Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars - Switch - March 24


April (3 Games Beaten)
20. Super Mario Bros - NES - April 10*
21. Super Mario Bros 3 - NES - April 11*
22. Back 4 Blood - Series X - April 17


May (0 Games Beaten)
I suck :(


June (3 Game Beaten)
23. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Switch - June 10
24. Resident Evil 4 - PlayStation 5 - June 11
25. Hentai Girls - Switch - June 11


25. Hentai Girls - Switch - June 11

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You remember that game I reviewed a few months ago called Hentai World? Well, for some reason, they made a sequel that nobody wanted. Hentai Girls. The game is as generic, bland, and forgettable as the title, and it's just as bad as the previous game.

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It's literally exactly like the previous game. If anything, it's worse. It's still just a boring sliding square puzzle, but there are fewer levels here, and there's no dialogue whatsoever. Sure, the dialogue was dumb and pointless in the first game, but at least it was there. There's just...nothing here. I literally don't know what else to say about it. Oh boy, I get to do some easy and boring puzzles to see generic topless anime women. Whoopie.

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The game sucks. It shouldn't exist. It doesn't have one single redeeming aspect. Boring puzzles, no dialogue, and less content than the previous game. Don't buy it. It's not even worth it as lol joke game.
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