Games Beaten 2023

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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

1. Kirby & The Forgotten Land (Switch)
2. Kirby’s Dreamland 3 (SNES)
3. Earthbound Beginnings (NES)
4. Super Mario Bros. - The Lost Levels (NES)
5. Tuff E Nuff (SNES)
6. Star Fox 2 (SNES)
7. Rival Turf (SNES)
8. Brawl Brothers (SNES)
9. The Peace Keepers (SNES)
10 Arm Champs II (Arcade)
11. All-Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (FDS)
12. Super Mario Bros. Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 - World e (GBA)
13. Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Arcade)
14. Super Mario Bros. Special - 35th Anniversary Edition (NES)
15. Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (3DS)
16. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (3DS)
17. Vampire Survivors (iOS)
18. Ninja Spirit (TG16)
19. Earthbound (SNES)
20. King’s Field II (PS1)
21. Commando (Arcade)
22. Commando (NES)
23. Commando (7800)
24. Commando (2600)
25. Bionic Commando (Gameboy)
26. MERCS (Arcade)
27. MERCS (SMS)
28. MERCS (Genesis)
29. Bionic Commando: Elite Forces (GBC)
30. Blazing Lazers (TG16)
31. The Legendary Axe (TG16)
32. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch)
33. Mappy (Arcade)
34. Windjammers (Neo Geo/Switch)

So much fun! Windjammers is a made up sports game in which competitors try to throw a frisbee past each other into a goal. It is played from an overhead perspective, making it a bit like Pong. It is a way more exciting, though, with that wonderful Neo Geo sports aesthetic (i.e., everything is flashing and has an exclamation point!), and there it requires way more strategy. First, you choose from one of six unique competitors each with unique speed and power stats. (Speed determine how fast you move around your side of the court, and power determines how hard you throw the frisbee.). Additionally, you are free to move about your side of the court, allowing you to attack the net, and you have a lot of control over the frisbee once you catch it. That is, you can fire it back immediately, bounce it against the side of the court, lob it at your opponent, or perform a special move to send it back with speed and power. (Each character also has a unique “special” throw.) In short, it is like Pong’s ultimate form, bathed in glorious 16-bit Neo Geo aesthetics.

The single player experience, which I beat, requires you to defeat all six opponents, and you get a “congratulations” screen, followed by credits, at the end. The game really, really shines in multiplayer, though, and has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance since it was rediscovered a few years ago. (The game received middling reviews on release, but is now frequently included in fighting game tournament events.). I played DotEmu’s Switch port of the game, which is mostly a straight port of the Neo Geo original, with a few added features (e.g., online multiplayer, multiple single-player modes, the ability to play the fetching and bowling mini-games at will, etc.). The game is frequently on sale, but I still recommend it at full price for anyone remotely interested in it. (There’s also a modern sequel. Have any of you played that? If so, how does it compare to the original?)
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Limewater »

prfsnl_gmr wrote:(Also, the game just loops, and it doesn’t have an ending. I considered it “beaten” when (1) I was skilled enough to beat the default high score; and (2) I had toured all of the levels in a loop. The difficulty really spikes at stage 6, and I was able to reach stage 8 on a credit. Stage 14, right before the end of the loop, is so tough it’s basically a kill screen!)


You looped Mappy!?! Wow!
I don't think I've ever gotten past about stage 6. It is a fun game, though. It and City Connection are probably the two games I've played most on my bootleg famicom multicart. I've played the actual arcade game on a multicade, but also never come close to looping it.

They're both games that I think I would have felt really ripped-off if I had paid fifty dollars for, but are great to pick up and play.
Systems: TI-99/4a, Commodore Vic-20, Atari 2600, NES, SMS, GB, Neo Geo MVS (Big Red 4-slot), Genesis, SNES, 3DO, PS1, N64, DC, PS2, GBA, GCN, NDSi, Wii
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

Limewater wrote:
prfsnl_gmr wrote:(Also, the game just loops, and it doesn’t have an ending. I considered it “beaten” when (1) I was skilled enough to beat the default high score; and (2) I had toured all of the levels in a loop. The difficulty really spikes at stage 6, and I was able to reach stage 8 on a credit. Stage 14, right before the end of the loop, is so tough it’s basically a kill screen!)


You looped Mappy!?! Wow!
I don't think I've ever gotten past about stage 6. It is a fun game, though. It and City Connection are probably the two games I've played most on my bootleg famicom multicart. I've played the actual arcade game on a multicade, but also never come close to looping it.

They're both games that I think I would have felt really ripped-off if I had paid fifty dollars for, but are great to pick up and play.


I definitely didn’t loop it legit! The difficulty picks way up at round 6, and round 8 is as far as I could get on a credit. I used save states to between rounds on my quest for a loop. Round 14 is just merciless, and I think it would take years of practice to loop Mappy on a single credit. Still, I wanted to see what the game had to offer, and interestingly, it introduces some new mechanics (e.g., bells and trapdoors) as late as round 10. My guess is 99% of players never saw these!
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

1. Kirby & The Forgotten Land (Switch)
2. Kirby’s Dreamland 3 (SNES)
3. Earthbound Beginnings (NES)
4. Super Mario Bros. - The Lost Levels (NES)
5. Tuff E Nuff (SNES)
6. Star Fox 2 (SNES)
7. Rival Turf (SNES)
8. Brawl Brothers (SNES)
9. The Peace Keepers (SNES)
10 Arm Champs II (Arcade)
11. All-Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (FDS)
12. Super Mario Bros. Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 - World e (GBA)
13. Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Arcade)
14. Super Mario Bros. Special - 35th Anniversary Edition (NES)
15. Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (3DS)
16. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (3DS)
17. Vampire Survivors (iOS)
18. Ninja Spirit (TG16)
19. Earthbound (SNES)
20. King’s Field II (PS1)
21. Commando (Arcade)
22. Commando (NES)
23. Commando (7800)
24. Commando (2600)
25. Bionic Commando (Gameboy)
26. MERCS (Arcade)
27. MERCS (SMS)
28. MERCS (Genesis)
29. Bionic Commando: Elite Forces (GBC)
30. Blazing Lazers (TG16)
31. The Legendary Axe (TG16)
32. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch)
33. Mappy (Arcade)
34. Windjammers (Neo Geo/Switch)
35. Karate Champ (Arcade)

I may finish my Summer Games Challenge after all! :lol:

Karate Champ, released in 1984, is the first true one-on-one fighting game, a genre that would later include Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and, most importantly, Ballz 3D. In it, you play as an unnamed martial artist wearing a white gi who spars against an unnamed opponent wearing a red gi. Unlike modern fighting games, there is no “life” bar in Karate Champ. Rather, you get a point or 1/2 point each time you hit your opponent, much like an actual martial arts tournament (…think the matches at the ent of The Karate Kid). The first martial artist to two points wins the match.

Interestingly, the game is controlled with two joysticks. The left joystick moves the fighter, while the right joystick is used, in combination with the left joystick, to perform various attacks. (For example, pressing the right joystick down with the left joystick in a neutral position results in a low kick, but pressing the right joystick down while also pressing the left joystick down results in a sweep.) It takes a while to get used to the controls, but they’re mostly intuitive and very functional once you get the hang of it. The controls also permit a lot of unique attacks, each of which is animated very fluidly (by 1984 standards).

You start the game in a Karate school, but progress (very quickly!) to the Japanese national championships after defeating a few opponents. There are fun mini games between fights where you can boost your score. One involves breaking thrown objects; another requires chopping through a stack of blocks, and the beat involves hitting a charging bull before it runs you down. (The timing there is tough, and my poor fighter has so much brain damage…) The game starts to loop a few fights into the national championships, and your opponents get faster and more skilled until you lose. (Over the weekend, I was able to develop a fighting strategy that carried me through a loop and to about 3x the default high score. I considered the game “beaten” at that point since it has no ending.)

Interestingly, there are two versions of the game. The first, released exclusively in Japan is a single-player game which contains the dojo and national championship competition. This game is the version available through Hamster’s Arcade Archives series. The second, released a few months later, is the “world wide” edition. It features a two-player “vs” mode, has more varied backgrounds, and, I think, has an actual ending. Most home conversions, such as the NES port, are based on this version of the game. It looks much better than the initial release, and I cannot fathom why it is not included in Hamster’s Arcade Archives release.

Still, I enjoyed Karate Champ, and I hope I encounter an actual arcade cabinet again someday. I really had to “git gud” for this one, and I can’t wait to try out my new skills on an actual machine!
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Limewater »

prfsnl_gmr wrote:
I definitely didn’t loop it legit! The difficulty picks way up at round 6, and round 8 is as far as I could get on a credit. I used save states to between rounds on my quest for a loop. Round 14 is just merciless, and I think it would take years of practice to loop Mappy on a single credit. Still, I wanted to see what the game had to offer, and interestingly, it introduces some new mechanics (e.g., bells and trapdoors) as late as round 10. My guess is 99% of players never saw these!


Ah! That makes me feel better.

I always felt like it was a shame when I was younger that people would work so hard to create so much content for a game but hide it behind extreme difficulty meaning very few people would ever see it.
I would love to hear the perspective of someone who worked on later levels of games like that. Are they disappointed, or just happy to have been paid?
Systems: TI-99/4a, Commodore Vic-20, Atari 2600, NES, SMS, GB, Neo Geo MVS (Big Red 4-slot), Genesis, SNES, 3DO, PS1, N64, DC, PS2, GBA, GCN, NDSi, Wii
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PartridgeSenpai
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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

1~51


52. Gyakuten Saiban 3 (GBA) *

Bringing my time with the original Ace Attorney trilogy to a close, I finally finished up with the last of the GBA games. I certainly remembered enjoying this one significantly more than the second game when I was younger, but with how much I’d clearly forgotten about the second game, I didn’t want to assume that I’d remembered this game anything close to accurately either XD. That said, I ended up really enjoying my time with it. It took me about 25-ish hours to play through the Japanese version of the game on real hardware via my GameBoy Player.

This is the third game focusing on the adventures of our titular Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright. Introducing yet another new mysterious prosecutor, Godot, this entry brings the trilogy to a close by wrapping up the major plot threads left by the previous two games. Those who read my review of Ace Attorney 2 will be no stranger to just how much I disliked the writing in that game, and I was very much prepared for this game to ultimately be just as much of a failure as that one. No matter how positively I remembered this one, there was no telling how much bad stuff I’d missed in my last playthrough eight years ago.

Thankfully, my memory was by and large quite accurate! While this game’s writing certainly isn’t perfect (with the homophobic stereotype character and some more than slightly problematic age-gap relationship stuff being stand out examples to that point), this game seems to really go out of its way to improve on basically everything the second game suffered so badly with. Returning characters are lessened down significantly, and those who do return do so for reasons that feel important and relevant to their characters. Women overall are written WAY better in particular, and they feel much better represented with a much better depth and variety of character than they had had in the previous two games. The sense of humor has been tuned far better in this game as well. While we’re not completely free of comedy through cruelty for the sake of cruelty by any means, it is *far* less prevalent as a source of comedy than it was in the last game and it lets the better written humor shine that much brighter.

The fundamentals of writing are also thankfully back to a familiar strength from the first game as well. This game has a much stronger and more deliberate meta-narrative running throughout it, and it leads to a much stronger conclusion as a result. With major themes of what it means to trust someone and what who we fight for says about who we are, you can really tell that this game had a lot more time and effort put into it than the last game managed to. While it’s certainly an unfortunately flawed game in the places that shine less well, it was still a narrative I enjoyed a lot and feel was really well done. While it may have lower lows than the first game did, those lows are not only quite infrequent, but they’re easily outweighed by just how frequent and high the highs of the narrative are.

The mechanics and puzzle design have also thankfully been polished up very significantly since the last game as well. There really aren’t any new mechanics, with the health bar and psycho-lock systems and such returning just as they were in the second game, but what is here has been polished up VERY significantly since the last game, and they’re far more fun as a result. The signposting and overall logic have been improved to the point that I never even needed to look up the solutions to any puzzles to make it to the end of the game~! (Something I was at least a little proud of myself for). A big reason why the puzzles in this game are *so* much better, though, is that we have finally gotten a reasonable save and penalty system.

Where the second game only had temporary saves mid-chapter and hard checkpoints only between chapters (so if you died, it was back to the last checkpoint, which could be more than half an hour before where you’re at), this game finally makes those temporary saves become their own hard checkpoints, effectively giving you the ability to save and load at will. This means you have much more leeway to trial-and-error your way past a difficult puzzle you’re stuck on, and it’s far less frustrating to hit a puzzle you just can’t quite solve. Another feature that makes the whole game just better is that we *finally* have a speed-up button for the dialogue. While it isn’t an outright skip button, holding the B button to make text fly by was SUCH a badly needed feature, it’s kinda amazing that it took them three games to add it ^^;. Be that as it may, it’s still better late than never, and this game is far better for its presence.

The presentation is still very much the GBA, but this is the GBA of 2004, not the GBA of 2001 and 2002 as the first two games had to deal with. As a result, not only do we have some of the best looking and strongest designed character sprites we’ve ever had (and a lot of my favorite character designs in the trilogy at that), but we also have SUCH better music as a result. The earlier games didn’t have bad music by any means, but you can really tell that the guys at Capcom have gotten a *lot* more comfortable with this hardware over the past couple of years with just how much more technical these tracks are. Songs like Tigre’s theme and Mask Demasque’s theme are easily two of my favorite tracks in the whole trilogy, but they’re standing atop a mountain of other great songs on top of that. My only real complaint about the aesthetics are that we’re reusing *quite* so many things from game to game that older music and especially sprites can kinda stand out and look less than nice compared to the nicer newer stuff (Mia’s original sprite in particular is one I’ve never been a huge fan of, and it looks even more rough next to just how nice everything else looks here).

Verdict: Highly Recommended. This is a sequel to a quality that the original Ace Attorney really deserved. With as wonderful a presentation as ever and writing to a quality either at or better than what they’d ever done before, this completely blows Ace Attorney 2 out of the water, and that’s absolutely not just because of the mechanical touch-ups for quality of life features. Had I played a version that had the extra fifth case added to the first game, perhaps I’d feel differently, but with the versions I played and the language I played them in, this is definitely my favorite of the original trilogy on GBA. It might go without saying at this point in the review, but this is absolutely not a game to miss out on if you like logical deduction puzzles or are just a visual novel fan in general~.
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Raging Justice
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Raging Justice »

13 Sentinels - PS4/Switch

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So I replayed 13 Sentinels, it's such a good game. This and the remake of Odin Sphere are some of Vanillaware's best work IMO. Two games that are fun and polished to absolute perfection, or pretty close to it at least.

I don't usually play visual novels. I have nothing against them or the people who enjoy them. I just don't really view them as real video games. They are interactive books. That said, 13 Sentinels has such a fascinating story with lots of mysteries and sci fi twists and turns. Plus, discovering all of the different story branches (and completely new stories with new characters) as well as the secrets that they reveal is engaging. Though I mostly knew what to do already being that it was a second playthrough.

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Then there is the strategy rpg side of it (or real time strategy gameplay depending on your point of view), which is a big reason why I was willing to play this game versus typical visual novels. This is where 13 Sentinels becomes an actual video game with actual gameplay, The mechanics are fairly simple and streamlined. This isn't Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Fire Emblem, or Advance Wars. It can still be fairly challenging though if you play on "intense" difficulty, which is what I recommend. Don't play on normal. Once you unlock various upgrades and enhance your various abilities though, the game gets substantially easier. There are some interesting mechanics at play here, like the fact that you have to regularly switch up your party as using these mechs takes a toll on the mind of the pilots. They can't keep fighting consecutive battles.

One thing I really love about the battles is that they are fast paced compared to other strategy rpgs. While your characters do have "turns" and cool down periods, the enemy never stops attacking and it feels like everything is happening in real time. You also face a LOT of enemies in combat. It feels like your mechs are constantly fighting off swarms of enemies. You always get the sense that you are vastly outnumbered. Fortunately, your mechs are pretty strong and it can feel really empowering when you wipe out a horde of Kaiju enemies with a single powerful attack. I'd compare it to the feeling you get playing a musou or Dynasty Warriors game. The large number of enemies are there to remind the player though, that your characters are ultimately fighting a losing battle and I love that feeling of impending doom that the game conveys. It makes every battle feel like one with high stakes as you're defending your base, the city, and YOURSELVES from destruction.

It's a Vanillaware game, so it goes without saying that it's GORGEOUS, even the switch version. Speaking of which, the Switch version initially had extra content in the form of new attacks that was exclusive to that version of the game. They did later patch it into the Playstation version though. Oh, and it's Vanillaware so expect some...fanservice

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The soundtrack is one of the best video game soundtracks of all time and I mean that shit. Much of the combat music in particular is great and really conveys the sense of a desperate, epic struggle to save humanity against a never ending onslaught of Kaiju. I'll post some samples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3abA3m3ujg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFlCpKHWOo0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm9Bqi3o2VQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyWRUZIwmSo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWuuA0lSTRA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iWxf5IruMQ

I mentioned the story, there's a lot going on and a lot to digest. Fortunately, the game has detailed "mystery files" that are like an encyclopedia of information that you can review at any time. You can also rewatch scenes from the story and replay any part of the game. There's lots of interesting characters in the game. I really like Megumi Yakushiji and Nenji Ogata

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If the game has any flaws, it's that it can be tricky sometimes figuring out how to unlock certain story branches and characters. The game also had some minor controversy surrounding its localization. The meaning and context of one scene was altered a bit, affecting how one views one particular character in the story. This sort of stuff happens sometimes with Japanese games. It is what it is.

13 Sentinels is a great game and would make for an AMAZING anime. If you love science fiction, the game has just about every sci fi element you can think of in its story. The game is also a love letter to Kaijus and mech anime.

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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Finally writing my review backlog!

Games Beaten in 2023 - 38
* 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 (6 Games 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
26. Halo Infinite - Series X - June 12
27. Star Trek: Resurgence - Series X - June 14
28. Redfall - Series X - June 18


July (8 Games Beaten)
29. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare [2019] - Xbox One - July 15
30. Neptunia: Sisters vs Sisters - PlayStation 5 - July 17
31. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered - PlayStation 4 - July 18
32. My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure - PlayStation 5 - July 18
33. Final Fantasy XVI - PlayStation 5 - July 26
34. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II [2022] - PlayStation 5 - July 27
35. Gears of War Ultimate Edition - Xbox One - July 27
36. Gears of War 2 - Xbox 360 - July 30*


August (2 Games Beaten)
37. Call of Duty: World at War - Xbox 360 - August 2*
38. Call of Duty: World at War - Final Fronts - PlayStation 2 - August 6


38. Call of Duty: World at War - Final Fronts - PlayStation 2 - August 6

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Activision used to have this habit of trying to include Call of Duty releases for weaker hardware. Call of Duty 3 was full on multigen, Call of Duty 4 got releases on Wii and DS (although the latter was a totally different game), and Call of Duty: World at War got the same treatment with a Wii port, a different DS version, and now a PS2 side game called World at War - Final Fronts. This is basically the precursor to the Vita side game, Call of Duty: Black Ops - Declassified. Fortunately, Final Fronts isn’t as bad as Declassified, but it still leaves you feeling like it was a bit of a fumble.

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Like the main World at War on PC, PS3, 360, and Wii, Final Fronts has you fighting across different theaters of World War II. Unfortunately, it’s not just the visuals that took a big hit being on the PlayStation 2; it already felt like the B team did the writing for World at War, and Final Fronts’s script must have gotten the new hires’ unpaid interns. It’s just bland and uninspired, like eggs fried over hard with no salt or pepper; it’s not actively bad, but it’s definitely not especially good. If anything, the visuals actually are the highlight of the game as they look pretty impressive for the PlayStation 2. The controls are a bit clunky - odd considering that the PS2 controller is basically the PS3 controller plus a wire and minus the gyro controls - but they’re serviceable.

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World at War - Final Fronts has no multiplayer whatsoever despite the fact that the PS2 was capable of online play as well as LAN plan. That exclusion isn’t terribly surprising as relatively few games outside of Dreamcast and Xbox featured online play that generation, but the absence of any local multiplayer is rather disappointing considering that local multiplayer with AI bots was pretty commonplace on PS2 and its competitors. In fairness, though, by 2008, the world had moved on to favoring online multiplayer, and the AI bot multiplayer features had largely died off. It’s a bummer, but it’s not wholly unexpected.

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Call of Duty: World at War - Final Fronts is a cool piece of Call of Duty history in that it was an attempt to cater to the PS2 audience two years after its successor came out. Granted, the PS2 had some lingering third party support long into the PS3’s lifespan, but still, most of that was from sports games and shovelware; this was a major staple IP. It’s a shame, then, that it’s such a lackluster game. I definitely wouldn’t call it the worst game in the Call of Duty series - that dubious title goes to Black Ops - Declassified on Vita - but it probably is the second worst game in the series. It’s worth a play if you’re a World War II enthusiast, and it’s worth a purchase if you’re a PlayStation 2 enthusiast, but don’t go in expecting a blockbuster game.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

First, @pidge, I’m glad you enjoyed the third Ace Attorney game (again!). I missed Miles Edgeworth in all the sequels - he and Phoenix have such a great rivalry! - but I still really liked the third game.

@elkin, your devotion to forgotten CoD games is admirable. You’re probably the only person on the planet who’ll play through that game this year.

…..

1. Kirby & The Forgotten Land (Switch)
2. Kirby’s Dreamland 3 (SNES)
3. Earthbound Beginnings (NES)
4. Super Mario Bros. - The Lost Levels (NES)
5. Tuff E Nuff (SNES)
6. Star Fox 2 (SNES)
7. Rival Turf (SNES)
8. Brawl Brothers (SNES)
9. The Peace Keepers (SNES)
10 Arm Champs II (Arcade)
11. All-Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. (FDS)
12. Super Mario Bros. Advance 4: Super Mario Bros 3 - World e (GBA)
13. Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Arcade)
14. Super Mario Bros. Special - 35th Anniversary Edition (NES)
15. Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball (3DS)
16. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (3DS)
17. Vampire Survivors (iOS)
18. Ninja Spirit (TG16)
19. Earthbound (SNES)
20. King’s Field II (PS1)
21. Commando (Arcade)
22. Commando (NES)
23. Commando (7800)
24. Commando (2600)
25. Bionic Commando (Gameboy)
26. MERCS (Arcade)
27. MERCS (SMS)
28. MERCS (Genesis)
29. Bionic Commando: Elite Forces (GBC)
30. Blazing Lazers (TG16)
31. The Legendary Axe (TG16)
32. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch)
33. Mappy (Arcade)
34. Windjammers (Neo Geo/Switch)
35. Karate Champ (Arcade)
36. Trojan (Arcade)
37. Trojan (NES)


Getting closer on the Summer Games Challenge…

Trojan was the last game designed by the legendary Takashi Nishiyama (who, after designing Moon Patrol and Kung Fu Master for Irem, went on to, among other things, direct Street Fighter for Capcom; produce Fatal Fury, KoF, and Metal Slug for SNK; and found Dimps, which is still developing games today). The game plays a lot like Kung Fu Master except that, instead of using his bare hands, the hero in Trojan is armed with a sword and shield. The sword attacks, obviously, and the shield can be re-positioned to deflect attacks from seven different angles. Certain enemy attacks will remove your sword and shield, however, and if this happens, you fight with you bare hands and feet, just like Thomas from Kung Fu Master. (Also, you still press up to jump.) The game’s odd North American title is probably a winking reference to Kung Fu Master’s off Japanese title: Spartan X.

Despite the many similarities to Nishiyama’s earlier work, Trojan differs from, and expands upon Kung Fu Master’s mechanics in many ways. First, the game has a very unique post-apocalyptic, cyber-punk setting, in which you’ll fight enemies inspired equally by The Road Warrior and Shaw Bros. kung fu films. The game also features additional level mechanics, with some levels scrolling vertically, and others requiring limited backtracking. The game features many more one-on-one boss fights, which clearly Nishiyama iterated upon to when he developed Street Fighter and Fatal Fury, and the game frequently requires much more defensive play (likely to take advantage of the shield mechanic).

The arcade version looks pretty great, with that mid-1980s, muted, Capcom-arcade-game aesthetic. It also plays very well. Unfortunately, however, it is brutally difficult, and while the first two levels are fun, beating the game is an exercise in frustration. I ended up really hating it, and I can’t recommend it to anyone.

The NES port, like the NES port of Kung Fu Master, is radically better than its arcade counterpart. The gameplay mechanics are preserved completely, but the hit detection is better. Moreover, the NES port has more features, more varied levels, and even more unique bosses. Better yet, the game is very challenging, but not unfair, and looking back it plays a bit like a 2D, 8-bit From Software game. (That is, the bosses and enemies will wreck you unless you play smart and learn to dodge and defend, but if you play carefully, you can likely make it through the entire game unscathed.) I really, really liked the NES port, and I’m sad I didn’t appreciate it until now.

So, in short, Trojan is an interesting milestone in the career of a legendary game designer who would go on to create game like Street Fighter and Fatal Fury (but not Ballz 3D…he played no part in that). If you’re interested in it, you should likely just play the first two levels of the arcade version, but it’s worth sticking with the NES port until the very end. (PRO-TIP: Hold the “up” button and press start on the title screen to continue!)
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

prfsnl_gmr wrote:@elkin, your devotion to forgotten CoD games is admirable. You’re probably the only person on the planet who’ll play through that game this year.

I'll play through Finest Hour and Big Red One at some point.
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