Games Beaten 2023

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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) *
53. Pokemon Gold (GBC)
54. Beltlogger 9 (PS1)
55. 64 De Hakken!! Tamagotchi: Minna De Tamagotchi World (N64)
56. Koudelka (PS1)
57. Pilotwings 64 (N64)
58. Mickey's Speedway USA (N64)
59. Boku No Natsuyasumi (PS1)
60. Pokemon Stadium: Gold & Silver (N64)
61. Chicory: A Colorful Tale (Switch)
62. Pokemon Stadium 2 (N64)
63. Pokemon Yellow (GB) *
64. Pokemon Stadium (N64)
65. Batman (GB)
66. Pokemon Snap (N64) *
67. Diddy Kong Racing (N64)
68. Wipeout XL (PS1)

69. Bomberman 64 (2001) (N64)

Even outside of my recent kick of playing a bunch of N64 games, this is a game that I’ve had my eyes on for quite some time. Ever since I played through the other three N64 Bomberman games a few years back, I’ve had this one on my to do list, but it’s just been too expensive to justify picking it up. Recently, I finally decided that I’d waited more than long enough, and I bit the bullet on paying the 2300 yen for this bad boy to see what it was all about. This is a tricky one to call “beaten” in a couple ways, but the biggest reason is because there is actually no way of wiping the preexisting save data on the cartridge, so the previous owner’s memory was still there and there was nothing I could do about it ^^;. As such, I can’t really fairly give a time beaten for this one, though I did play both the mini-games and classic single player mode until I got the credits in each, so I’m comfortable calling that beaten enough. I did it all with the Japanese version of the game on real hardware.

Bomberman 64 doesn’t really have any story to speak of, so far as I’m aware. Perhaps there’s some in the manual, but at least as far as the game itself goes, there is no story here. The “Bomberman Land” (of which this would end up being one of the first in that sub-series) section has a sort of narrative as you collect more medals and unlock more of the park, but that’s *really* stretching it on what we’d call a “story” ^^;. But this is Bomberman! We don’t need a fancy story to enjoy our Bomberman, or at least I don’t, and it’s very hard to begrudge the game for focusing what it’s good at. This is a perfectly fine Bomberman delivery device, story or no story, and I’m plenty happy with what’s here.

Despite being on the N64, this is an entirely 2D Bomberman game, so if you want traditional Bomberman goodness on your N64, this is your only way to get it. It’s something of a compilation of different games and game modes that make it somewhere between a “Greatest Hits” compilation and a survey course of 16-bit era Bomberman stuff. As such, we have a single-player mode where you go through 10 stages and then fight a boss (where you’re ostensibly trying to get the fastest clear-time you can). You also have a 4-player battle mode that you can access alongside that one as well, and it will be very familiar to anyone who’s played a multiplayer Bomberman game before. After that, we have Panic Bomber, the Tetris-like falling block puzzle game that they made for Bomberman, which you can play whenever you like. You also have a SameGame puzzle game, and I’ll admit I have no idea why it’s here (at least in terms of its relation to Bomberman), but it’s here if you want to play it! XD. Lastly, you have Bomberman Land, which is a big theme park that you can walk around and play a couple dozen mini games in to unlock more games until you reach the end.

As far as Panic Bomber and SameGame go, they’re very good little adaptations of their respective games. It’s a bit of a shame there’s no multiplayer aspect to Panic Bomber, but if you want score attack, this game can give it to you. The Bomberman Land mini-games are also sadly all single-player. That in and of itself isn’t a crime, but with Bomberman as a franchise being SO obsessed with multiplayer, it’s a bit of a shame that all of these decent little mini-games (virtually all of which are put together with assets completely unique to themselves) have no party element to them beyond just trying to beat your friends’ scores.

There’s also the issue of justifying their inclusion in the first place. It’s a bit lost on me why the Bomberman Land stuff is even here in the first place. They’re not particularly Bomberman-y, and just tacking on a mini-game collection to a Bomberman game compilation seems like a very weird choice to me if it came at the cost of fleshing out the multiplayer or classic single-player modes a bit more. A lot of effort clearly went into this, but outside of the neat little spectacle of it existing in the first place, I’m not convinced it really adds much to the overall package. Speaking of which, the classic multiplayer mode itself is a pretty well put together thing for what it is, but anyone familiar with 16-bit era Bomberman games is going to find it *very* lacking. There aren’t many map types or power up types, and there’s even only one kind of Louie to find. It’s a perfectly serviceable multiplayer Bomberman game, mind you, and it having native 4-player support (without the need for a multitap) is in and of itself something to set it apart from basically all previous Bomberman games, but it’s not really going to wow anyone who’s even somewhat familiar with other games in this series from this or the previous console generation.

The classic single-player mode is what I went through a lot of myself, and properly beating it is when I was comfortable calling this game “beaten”. It’s only ten stages, but you go through them along a bit branching path system, where you go into either an up exit or a down exist after destroying all the enemies in the stages, and that will bring you to the corresponding next level on the tree. There are eight different end points on the tree, and getting to the end gets you one of four different bosses (with there being a respective easier and harder version of each, getting us a total of eight different fights). Beating every single level on the tree at least once gives you the final boss fight once you’ve beaten the boss typical to that route down the tree, and he’s a tougher fight against a big guy who has all of the powers of the other four bosses and then some.

As far as single-player classic Bomberman content goes, this is easily some of the easiest stuff they’d ever done, and I’m totally okay with that. With just how merciless the 16-bit era game final bosses always are, I was totally cool with the bosses here being glorified 1v1 multiplayer matches against special opponents, and it made for a really fun time! Like with the other modes, it’s certainly not going to match up content-wise to most other Bomberman games, but it’s a well put together and very fun version of this kind of Bomberman, and my five or so playthroughs through it (to mop up the stages the original owner had missed) were all good fun~.

The aesthetics of this game are very nice. They’re very Bomberman, especially in the modern style they’d start using in the 2000’s (especially in the Bomberman Land series), but they’re very cute and well done. The music is also very Bomberman, to put it as simply as I can. It’s nothing super awesome or unique to write home about, but really to be expected from a “Greatest Hits” Bomberman game like this. It’s all done very adequately, and there’s really nothing to criticize either way.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. This is one where your mileage is *really* going to vary based on what you want from your Bomberman and how much other Bomberman you have available to you. If you only have an N64 and it’s your main multiplayer console of choice, you might have a lot of use for a survey course of 2D Bomberman stuff like this (especially with 4-player support that needs no multitap). However, if you’ve got one or two other Bomberman games (either older or newer), chances are there’s not much this game can offer you that you don’t already have. It’s certainly a neat oddity on the N64, especially when put aside the other Bomberman offerings on the console, but there’s just nothing particularly unique or worth experiencing for the price tag compared to all of the similarly priced Super Famicom, PS1, or Saturn Bomberman games out there (and that’s not even mentioning more modern Bomberman stuff). This game is a jack of all trades and master of none, and while it isn’t a bad game, if you’re at all familiar with Bomberman, the good times you have with this will likely just remind you of better Bomberman games you could be playing rather than continuing to play this ^^;.


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70. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (N64)

The Turok games are ones I’ve heard about but seen very little of for ages and ages. Up until now, the only thing that I really knew about this game was that I’d heard it had some quite annoying first-person platforming in it. In my recent haul of a pile of N64 games, this and its sequel were to of the quite cheap N64 games I’d gotten my hands on. I always love to see how western games localized for Japan end up looking, and especially given that only these first two Turok games (while not Rage Wars nor Turok 3) ever made it over here, that made it even more tempting to pick these up and see what they were like. It took me around 17 hours to get through the game on normal difficulty. I played through the Japanese version and used no cheat codes while playing on real hardware.

The actual IP for Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (or as the game was called here, “Space Time Soldier: Turok”) was actually originally from a comic that started in the early 50’s. Upon learning that this was a property originally created in the Golden Age of comics, that made everything about it make a LOT more sense XD. You play a Native American dimension-hopping warrior that carries the name (and title) of Turok. It’s your job to protect the universe from all manner of danger that may threaten it, and in this case, it’s the evil Campaigner who threatens the safety of the universe. His aim is the legendary Chronoscepter, an artifact so powerful that it was broken into 8 pieces to keep it from ever falling into the wrong hands. It’s Turok’s job to traverse the Lost Lands at the edge of the universe and stop the evil Campaigner in his quest for universal domination!

That’s the story as well as I can remember it, at least, as it’s not really very important. Virtually all of the plot is in the manual, and it doesn’t really relate to the gameplay at all. However, this being largely an action-game, it’s difficult to call that a terribly serious problem. We don’t need much story to think about if we have enough things to shoot at, and Turok follows this philosophy very well. The premise and presentation of certain enemies certainly has a not insignificant problem with casual racism, but it’s also nothing that will read as particularly special in that regard for anyone familiar with western media from the 1990’s. It’s certainly not “good representation” by any stretch for any of the groups portrayed in this game, but it’s hardly unique in that regard, so I can only hold that against it so much.

The gameplay of Turok is a first-person shooter that clearly takes a lot of cues from stuff like Doom (as so many FPS of the time did) while also injecting some of its own ideas here and there. You have 8 big ol’ stages to travel and explore through as you search for the special keys that unlock successive stages as well as pieces of the Chronoscepter (if you happen to want a big Final Boss Deleter after the end of stage 8, which I did, and it was very appreciated to delete that awful bugger). You’ve got over a dozen weapons to do it with, and there are about a dozen or so enemy types that will try and keep you from your goals. It’s not super novel in the ways it does this stuff (especially with just how many of the weapons feel like they were pulled straight from Doom, even down to which guns share which ammo types), but I say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Levels are fun to explore, enemies are fun to shoot with your guns, and the boss designs are (for the most part) fairly good, even if their limited AI often gets in the way of them being any more challenging than the normal enemies you have to deal with.

The problems that this game *does* have are largely where it tries to innovate. The biggest thing its trying to do towards that effort is have fun in 3D spaces, and that generally amounts to verticality and platforming, and the platforming in this game is pretty darn rough. You not only are locked to a first-person perspective, but you also can’t see your player model. Your biggest savior here is the map that you can pull up that overlays on top of your vision. While you can use that little yellow triangle’s position relative to the edges and platforms around it as a pretty darn good platforming aid, it isn’t perfect. There are plenty of places (both secret and otherwise) where the map just doesn’t show you where the platforms are, and just getting good at vibing out how far you can jump ends up becoming a very important skill in Turok, map or no map.

Aside from that, the issues are largely either subjective on my part or just mean design on the game’s part. It’s weird to say, but unlike a game like Doom or what have you, where there are only a fixed amount of enemies per stage, Turok has enemies spawn in but not respawn. What I mean by that is, while enemies will be preexisting in stages and more enemies can and will warp in to replace them, it’s seemingly up to the game’s whimsy which enemies happen to spawn and when and where. I can’t count how many times I thought I’d sussed out which enemies in an area would get a replacement spawned in for them after I’d killed them, they’d end up not getting a replacement spawned at all. Thankfully, you can at least hear the very distinct sound of an enemy teleporting in, but that still doesn’t stop the game from enemies spawning or jumping down behind you SO often in ways you could barely expect.

This lead to me developing an adaptive strategy, often rushing forward with reckless abandon just seeing what enemies (and traps) lie in wait for me until I died, then loading my previous save so I could more smartly deal with what I needed to and ignore what I didn’t. Figuring that out in and of itself was at first frustrating, but it ultimately became a kind of fun in and of itself. It’s certainly not how I’d prefer to play a game like this (especially with this control scheme), but I’d have a hard time saying whether it’s outright good or bad.

However, just how difficult enemies can be to deal with is something that wouldn’t be nearly as much of a problem if you were playing on hardware with a bit more accuracy. On something as accurate as a mouse & keyboard I would’ve had a lot less trouble, but with the awkwardness and relative imprecision of an N64 controller, I had a lot more trouble ^^;. Now, part of this is down to me using an aftermarket replacement joystick that’s far too sensitive, so aiming was always going to be a bastard on any shooter I played on this thing. But even outside of that, the auto-aim the game employs for your hitscan weapons can feel very arbitrary in its usefulness, and this is made no better by the lack of an aiming reticle for your guns. You can usually make do with how the yellow triangle that shows where you are on the map, as it’s *roughly* in the middle of your vision, so it’s a kind of makeshift reticle. However, that’s going to really start losing its effectiveness once you need to use non-hitscan weapons like the grenade launcher or the rocket launcher (the latter being so difficult to aim that I virtually never used it).

Then there are other issues that arise from the limitations of the controller as well, which really just boil down to “the N64 simply doesn’t have enough buttons”. Using the C-buttons to move and the joystick to aim was always going to be an imperfect solution, but this goes for double when A and B are your buttons to scroll through your weapon wheel. This is a double problem if you happen to be using the left handed mode where the D-pad moves you instead of the C-buttons (which I found woefully inferior due to the precision they want out of the button presses, so I gave up after an hour or two), but not being able to both switch weapons and move (or turn) at the same time makes a lot of encounters against spongier enemies a lot more punishing than they need to be, even if you already know what’s coming.

The worst part of all of that is how awful they make strafing side to side. If you double tap left or right, you FLY very far in that direction. I have absolutely no idea why they did this, as there are virtually no spaces large enough where that’d actually be an advantage, and it’s not like your normal strafe and forward move speeds aren’t fast enough already. All this amounts to is a ton of unnecessary deaths off of the game’s MANY narrow bridges over bottomless pits because you dared be slightly hesitant with a rightward strafe (and it’s not even like the game has a multiplayer mode that’d make this more advantageous against other players either).

At the end of the day, Turok’s controls are a really mixed bag. To a large degree, there’s not much I can fault it without just wielding 20/20 hindsight like a hammer. Given that you need Z to fire and R (or L) to jump, there’s really no better solution they could’ve used with this controller for switching guns. Perhaps less guns overall (and given how useless so many of them are, I wouldn’t say that’s a bad idea) would’ve helped a bit, and I’d say the level and game design with the platforming sections and enemy spawn stuff also make this just that much more awkward to deal with. That said, this was a still very young genre when this game came out, and there weren’t really enough games that gave you this degree of movement freedom to know that all this stuff was a poor idea. I think it’s still a *bit* too forgiving to just file it all under “well it’s an old game, so it’s gonna have old game jank”, but I do think that Turok is very much like most FPS games from this generation of gaming. You’ve really just got to be ready to hop back into an era when controlling an FPS on a console was still a bold new science being explored, because if you’re not ready for that, then trying pretty much any FPS on the N64 is likely going to be bad idea, dinosaurs or no dinosaurs.

Aesthetically, Turok is a very impressive looking game at the time. They used state of the art motion capture technology for the human enemy animations, and it REALLY shows with just how fluid and nice looking their animations are (for both fighting and dying!). It’s a bit annoying still that one or two death animations make it look like enemies are still alive, granted, but overall the care and attention put towards enemy animations was time well spent. Levels are well detailed and varied looking, but many worlds *do* share a lot of textures, so remembering your way around can be a bit tricky. Using your map is essential, because not using it means you’re probably going to get lost quite a bit with just how similar levels can look at times. The music is very nice and fits the mood very well, and the only downside I can start to think about here is the draw distance.

The draw distance fog is VERY close by, which can make some platforming quite awkward (especially with how the colored fog can make the map harder to read), but it fortunately only rarely makes enemies harder to fight. 99 times out of 100, you can see enemies before they can see you, and picking them off while they’re still out in the fog can be a very valuable strategy when the environment allows for it. The first footage I saw of this game made it seem like the draw distance issues were going to make playing it a horrid experience, but I was very thankful with just how wrong I was on that front. I can’t say the draw distance (and the slowdown issues that appear when there are a LOT of enemies on screen) aren’t a problem at all, as they obviously are, but they’re far less of a problem than you might imagine they’d be, and they’re way less of a problem than the stuff with the controls or the platforming issues.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. Had I played through Turok on PC, I imagine I would’ve liked it a fair bit more (not to mention completed it faster XD). That said, I still had a good time by the end of it. It was very back and forth, with getting used to the controls/platforming and figuring out that often running was a far more valuable strategy than fighting being their own respective trials to overcome, but once I started getting the feel for it, I was having quite a good time despite how difficult the game was. Figuring out how to get past what was in front of me despite the control issues and enemy ambushes turned into a fun challenge all on its own, and I’m genuinely looking forward to playing the sequel (and not just because I’ve heard that it’s such a better game XD). If you’re into retro console FPS or you’re like me and you just want to check out some classic, lauded N64 games, this is one definitely worth checking out. On the other hand, if all that you’ve read about me complaining about the controls and the game design have made you recoil in horror, then this might be one you’re better off trying out on PC (if you end up playing it at all ^^;).
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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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) *
53. Pokemon Gold (GBC)
54. Beltlogger 9 (PS1)
55. 64 De Hakken!! Tamagotchi: Minna De Tamagotchi World (N64)
56. Koudelka (PS1)
57. Pilotwings 64 (N64)
58. Mickey's Speedway USA (N64)
59. Boku No Natsuyasumi (PS1)
60. Pokemon Stadium: Gold & Silver (N64)
61. Chicory: A Colorful Tale (Switch)
62. Pokemon Stadium 2 (N64)
63. Pokemon Yellow (GB) *
64. Pokemon Stadium (N64)
65. Batman (GB)
66. Pokemon Snap (N64) *
67. Diddy Kong Racing (N64)
68. Wipeout XL (PS1)
69. Bomberman 64 (2001) (N64)
70. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (N64)

71. A Short Hike (PC)

This is a game I’ve effectively owned in one form or another digitally for quite some time, and it’s also one that I’ve been meaning to get to actually playing forever. Recently, though, my partner needed a palate cleanser from the visual novel she was playing, so she decided to play through this. I love being able to chat with her about stuff we play together, and given that I was in the mood for something of a palate cleanser myself, I thought what better time to finally give this a try. It took me about 1.5 hours to beat the English language version of the game after doing as much around the island as I could be bothered to do (and getting 17 feathers in the process).

A Short Hike is the story of Claire, whose aunt May has taken her to a favorite family nature park. On this island are many hills, including the highest point on the island, Hawk Peak. Claire is awaiting a very important phone call, but the island has basically no cell phone reception. Her aunt tells her that the only place on the island she’s likely to get signal is at the top of Hawk Peak, which luckily for her is only “a short hike” away. And so our hero sets off on her (relatively) short journey to the top of this nearby mountain to get the reception needed to receive this phone call.

A Short Hike is a relatively simple and short game both gameplay-wise and narratively, but it’s a very heartfelt little adventure all the same. What you choose to do, where you choose to explore, and whom you choose to help on your way up the mountain will very much make your Claire’s journey feel unique unto itself. There are all sorts of friendly tourists and staff around the island to talk to, help out, and play with, and their dialogue is so fun and charming that I had a lot of fun just finding new people to talk to. Another game I played earlier this year, Lil’ Gator Game, clearly takes a LOT of inspiration from this, so it was hard not to compare the two, but as the sort of progenitor to that later (and for my money, better) game, I think A Short Hike is a lovely story about reflecting upon growing up and how you relate to other people.

As for the gameplay, A Short Hike is mostly about exploration. Your only real goal is to make it to the top of the mountain, but to do that, you’ll need to be good at climbing. While you can jump and glide right from the start, if you want to be able to jump again in mid-air or scale walls, you’ll need to find a gold feather, and you’ll gain more mid-air jumps and climbing time the more feathers you collect. Exploring around the island, you’ll find all sorts of other folks to help or interact with, and they can give you little side quests that’ll reward you with money, feathers, or other goodies. Exploring is often its own reward as well, as you can find money, tools, and even gold feathers just lying around to add to your arsenal of treasure hunting. The island is big, but not overwhelming, and it makes for a fun little adventure even if you’re just trying to get to the top as fast as you can.

Now I played this on PC, and while you *can* use the arrow keys, I very quickly abandoned them for use of my Xbone controller. The platforming and such is hardly difficult, and there isn’t even really a fail state to worry about at any point, so if you don’t have a controller available, it’s not the end of the world. That said, using a joystick was just so much better than the arrow keys that I really have to recommend using a controller for this if at all possible.

The presentation of the game is absolutely adorable. You can tell that the creators are huge Animal Crossing fans, as all of the animal fellas populating the island often look like they could’ve popped right out of it x3. Solidifying that theory for me was how you can not only find a shovel to dig up buried treasure, but the X’s on the ground look just like the Animal Crossing ones, and the shovel sound is even almost exactly the same to boot x3. This isn’t a bad thing at all, though! They do a great job of making that style feel fresh to this game (which the very different mechanics from Animal Crossing also help a lot with), and the very chill music helps add to that whole vibe wonderfully as well~.

Verdict: Recommended. This wasn’t a game I super duper loved and adored, but I’ve had a lot of competition for that sort of thing this year. As it is, A Short Hike is a bite-sized narrative and gameplay experience that achieves what it sets out to do very nicely. The story is cute, the gameplay is fun, and if anything, it was just a bit too short and left me wanting more! Which, out of any problem a game can have, I think leaving you wanting more is far from the worst one you could possibly be stuck with.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Note »

1. Kirby's Dream Land (GB)
2. River City Girls (Switch)
3. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)
4. The Simpsons (Arcade)
5. Illusion of Gaia (SNES)
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (Switch)
7. Shining Force III [Scenario 1] (SAT)
8. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (SNES)
9. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PS1)
10. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (GEN)
11. X-Men Legends (PS2)
12. Snatcher (SCD)
13. Smash Remix (N64)
14. Golden Axe III (GEN)
15. Iridion II (GBA)
16. Fatal Fury Special (SNES)
17. Harmful Park (PS1)
18. Gunbird (SAT)
19. DoDonPachi (SAT)
20. Gley Lancer (GEN)
21. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch)*
22. Water Margin: A Tale of Clouds and Wind (GEN)
23. Demons of Asteborg (GEN)
24. Super Mario Land (GB)
25. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (PS2)
26. Final Vendetta (Switch)
27. Way of the Samurai (PS2)
28. Ys Book I & II (TGCD)

Image

29. Double Dragon Advance (GBA)

I heard good things about Double Dragon Advance and finally gave it a try earlier this year and really enjoyed the game. However, on my first playthrough, I ended up getting a game over in the 7th mission. I was close to the end but just couldn't make it all the way through. After a few months had passed, I decided to pick it up again and give it another shot. This time around, I was able to see it all the way through!

Gameplay wise, Double Dragon Advance pulls from the previous games in the series and includes a large variety of moves, including the ability to run, duck, block, and parry. The parry system is similar to the one found in Super Double Dragon and it feels great to catch an opponent trying to attack you. The spin kick, hyper knee, and uppercut seen in prior entries also make their way into this release. Seriously, it's a lot of moves! There are a total of eight missions in the game, and the development team did a good job with adding some variety in the level designs. Also, many of the weapons you're used to in the series make a return here and you have the ability to either hold them or throw them at an enemy. My favorite weapon in this game and others in the franchise are the nunchucks, as they seem to swing quite fast and seem to take enemies out pretty quick.

The missions have a few settings similar to other games in the series and include a Chinatown level, a moving truck level, a forest setting, a cave setting, and the enemy fortress. In regards to environmental hazards, I think the cave and enemy fortress are the toughest in this regard, as the cave has a lot of gaps that you can either fall into if you don't measure your jump correctly, or get hit into if you position yourself in the wrong place when going up against henchmen. The fortress is pretty tight in regards to where exactly you can move, as there are a lot of enemies and spears extending towards you from above. For the enemies, beware of the guys in the suits. They're probably the toughest enemy out of the regular henchmen roaming around.

In regards to the graphics, I think the characters and level designs look really good for the handheld console. The sprites are a good size on the screen and fairly detailed, which is a nice touch. There are also cutscenes between levels to help move forward with the plot. Usually the cutscenes consist of a large sprite of one or two characters, which is cool to see, but the illustration style for the characters in these scenes isn't my favorite. The music in the game is also good overall, and fans of the series will recognize many of the tunes, as they appear to be mostly remixes from previous games. However, my favorite tune in the series, which is from Mission 04 in Super Double Dragon, the truck level, doesn't appear here. Oh well! Still a good and catchy soundtrack regardless.

Overall, I think Double Dragon Advance is a great beat 'em up, and one of the best games in the Double Dragon series. The vast amount of moves available, the varied level design, and fair difficulty level all make for a great beat 'em up. I would love trying to play this co-op with a friend, especially if there was a way to get it going co-op on a Gameboy Player! Definitely give this game a shot if you're a beat 'em up fan.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by RobertAugustdeMeijer »

That's it for this year, 57 games!

The first 50 here:
1 Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
A lot of slowdown. Smart level design. Fun to practice! Seemed like endless continues on the last level, took me a couple of hours.
8/10

2 He Fucked the Girl Out of Me
Personal story about doing sex work to pay for transgender medication. Hits hard. Glad to see the creator acknowledges that some sex workers love their job.
7/10

3 Dragon Age: Inquisition
Too long and simple. But the supporting cast has its moments. Some great ones even.
6/10

4 Dragon's Dogma
Open world with many quirks and surprises. Combat never gets old. It's really exciting finding out what this game has in stock for you!
9/10

5 God of War 2
Everything in this game is dumb. Unfortunately, it's bad in a mundane way. I guess combat is occasionally engaging?
2/10

6 Gargoyle's Quest 2
This is exactly like the Game Boy version. Amazingly the same.
6/10

7 Automaton Lung
Fascinating world to explore. Within seconds you feel like you're on an unforgettable adventure. It becomes a bit gamey towards the end though.
8/10

8 XCOM 2
Interface is horribly unclear, making the huge range of options a taxing choice. By the time I had confidence in my choices, it was almost over! Could be a bit faster, too. Exciting combat, though.
7/10

9 System Shock 2
Prey 2017 heavily improves on this game's premise. There's still good resource management to be had, and intriguing world. Screw the respawning enemies and monkeys.
7/10

10 Lego Star Wars: The Video Game
Fantastic tutorial (you pay coins for tips and that's all the explaining it has), and cute. But haphazard controls and overly simple combat often makes it a chore.
5/10

11 Twinkle Tale
Pocky & Rocky is better, but this adventurous shmup has some fun level design.
6/10

12 Super Adventure Island II
Borrows a lot from Zelda 2, but the levels are a maze and combat is dumb. Bare bones metroidvania.
4/10

13 Inscryption
Reminded me of House of Leaves: scary because there's no clear boundary between the medium and real life. Play on a PC with internet connection!
8/10

14 Just Cause 3
Too many bases/towns to blow up. Main story has some awesome bits. Occasionally I felt like a hero! Very creative in ways to clear missions, but it should last 20 hours, not 40.
6/10

15 El Viento
It's fast but unruly. Bad level design and feedback. Subpar run 'n' gun.
3/10

16 Super Meat Boy
Sprites are so small I couldn't trust the hitboxes and when exactly I would stick to a wall. But it's fast and really well designed.
7/10

17 Sin & Punishment
Looks and feels awesome when things go well. Still, targets/enemies aren't always clear, and it's taxing to aim at things and dodge other things at the same time.
6/10

18 Kuukiyomi: Consider It
The minigames are fascinating but it's frustrating how what you want to do often doesn't match what you think the controls are for it. Is this supposed to be funny?
4/10

19 Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
This game has so little respect for the player. I guess being unsure what things are is a part of the mental disorder it's trying to portray? Bad puzzles, lacklustre combat, only 8 hours long but still felt way too long.
3/10

20 Demon's Souls
The jankiness and unpredictability of this game is unique: doesn't have the polish of Elden Ring and that's the best part. Fascinating to see how this series started.
9/10

21 Castlevania III
Finally beat it without skipping to later levels. Peak old-school Castlevania, with an amazing amount of great levels and bosses.
8/10

22 Ender Lilies
Well-crafted but terribly lacks originality. A poor man's Hollow Knight. I'm surprised it wasn't made by the same folks who made Momodora!
7/10

23 StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Everything just works so smoothly, pure RTS delight. The missions are mostly tutorials introducing concepts, yet I found myself engaged by the narrative.
8/10

24 Arms
A lot of personality, but even though the combat is deeper than it seems at first glance, I'd rather be playing Fantasy Strike
7/10

25 Psychonauts
Sub-par platforming action in a world that fondly reminds me of the cartoons I grew up watching. The characters are too silly to be seen as representations of the human psyche.
6/10

26 R4: Ridge Racer Type 4
All the extra cars, teams, and divisions add little to the excitement of the core gameplay. Surprisingly difficult and not in a good way.
4/10

27 Dusk
It's fast, funny, and physical. Level design is great. Makes me yearn for more boomer shooters, but can they surpass this?
8/10

28 ROMGADR
Free browser shmup. Dozens of bosses to chip away at, all of them interesting. But why can't I move with WASD or joypad??
7/10

29 Donkey Kong (1994)
Clever design and is full of charm. But also limited in scope compared to proper Super Mario games.
6/10

30 Super C (NES)
Eight more levels of 8-bit Contra. Not as explosive or challenging as the 16-bit versions.
7/10

31 Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order
Well-produced yet shallow mishmash of the usual AAA tropes. The Souls-like respawning adds nothing to the experience.
5/10

32 The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
There's too much content in this collecto-thon, which disturbs the sense of adventure. But everything is well thought out. Often too well thought out.
8/10

33 The Room
A box made out of just barely good enough puzzles. The overarching story is cliche and dumb. But it works well on a phone.
5/10

34 My House
Doom II .wad that goes far both in technology and lore. The way it references the 90's, House of Leaves, and Doom level building culture is sublime.
9/10

35 Streets of Rage 3
This one adds a dash button and tactical use of desperation moves, but the music is just bad.
5/10

36 The Guardian Legend
Grinding around in this adventure/shmup hybrid is fun until this one gets stupid hard and the limited game design gets in the way.
6/10

37 Death Stranding
Helping others online is neat, but all the jank, cutscenes, weirdness and just outright horrible design make it a painful experience.
1/10

38 Magical Pop'n
Fast paced platformer that does little wrong, but neither anything novel
5/10

39 Gato Roboto
To the point Metroidvania that reminds you why the genre is an indie darling, due to its malleability and strong fundamentals.
8/10

40 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
The RPG world is crazy easy but occasionally has interesting bouts. Nice to see all the references. 9/10 competitive experience, but as single player:
7/10

41 Rain World
This harsh world demands a methodical approach. Its esoteric nature is both its greatest strength and greatest weakness.
8/10

42 Golden Axe Warrior
It's Zelda 1, but more linear and the combat is a bit more annoying.
5/10

43 Devil May Cry 5
Lots of combat options enveloped in a silly yet rock'n'roll world. Does the genre right, but that also means neutered exploration and fights becoming puzzles.
7/10

44 C Ya Laterrrr
Personal story about a friend dying. The choices enhance the empathy, even though they don't make much of an impact.
6/10

45 Super Mario Galaxy 2
Like Mario World, a hodgepodge of platforming ideas and the occasional divergence. How I miss the forward dive and Cappy shenanigans.
7/10

46 Mr. Platformer
Terry Cavanagh does it again, albeit the ending perhaps being somewhat disappointing. Still, something to experience! A platformer that plays with expectations.
7/10

47 Bloody Hell
Top down shooter souls-like, it works exactly like it should. Understands it doesn't have to be any longer for a full experience.
7/10

48 Sonic the Hedgehog (Master System)
Lots of cheap deaths and no sense of speed. This is a third rate platformer, not even as good as Super Mario Bros. 1.
4/10

49 Neon White
A puzzle platformer that plays so smoothly you can't help but aim for faster times. Dialogue isn't really that bad, but shallow enough to follow at fast forward speed.
8/10

50 Untitled Goose Game
Slightly marred by funky controls, it's still one of the best power fantasies ever in a game. And you get to wear a ribbon!
7/10


51 Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
This is no Deus Ex, actions are often context sensitive, and missions are fairly straightforward. The AI is pretty good, and you've got your fair share of fun tools, though.
6/10

52 Immortality
Extremely intriguing story, great acting, fairly easy to use (better than Telling Lies!), fascinating themes. I wasn't sure when it was really over, and it took me awhile to get into it.
8/10

53 Guardian Heroes
Enemies are sometimes cheap, but you've got a plethora of moves, so you'll figure something out. As good as it is as a beat-em-up, it just made me want to play a versus fighter.
6/10

54 Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure
Looks, sounds, and plays like it should, but it's still all a bit shallow and unoriginal. Perfect example of a 5/10 game.
5/10

55 And All Would Cry Beware
Nigh-gamejam level 3D metroidvania. Its lack of polish is forgiven for how emergent and honest it is. Could have used more unique ideas.
5/10

56 Batman Arkham Asylum
Constantly in the uncanny level, where you're more in a simulation than really doing what Batman could do. Stealth/combat sections are the best part, but they're all quite alike. Everything else is dumb.
4/10

57 Burnout Paradise

Does exactly what it says on the box: open world Burnout. Plenty to collect and discover. Expect the occasional frustrating crash. But that's the flip-side of being so thrilling. Simple thrills, that is.
6/10
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Raging Justice
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Raging Justice »

Super Mario 3d World - Switch

3d World is a lot like Super Mario Bros. Wonder in that it's a mixed bag of a game. Some levels are great and some of them absolutely suck like every single level that involves you controlling multiple clones of yourself. Who designed that crap? Beep Block Skyway is one that really raised my blood pressure. Also, like SMB Wonder, it's infuriating when you miss a certain thing and don't get another chance at getting it unless you kill yourself (because these stupid games don't have a restart checkpoint feature) or in some cases, have to start the level over. At least 3d World doesn't have the obnoxious flag pole jump requirement for 100% completion of a level that's in SMB Wonder. I really hate when your entire run of a stage gets completely undone right at the end and you have to play the whole level again, which is what happens when you miss a flag pole jump in Super Mario Bros. Wonder or when you finish a stage in any of those Yoshi games without full health and miss the full health bonus. These are the moments when I feel like a game is wasting my time.

3d World also has the same problem that its predecessor 3d Land had. The game alternates between 2d and 3d. The problem here is that some of the 3d sections just feel very awkward and feel like they should have actually been 2d sections. Platforming in 3d is a delicate thing that requires masterful design skills and both of these games drop the ball sometimes. It reminds me of how frustrating some of those early Crash Bandicoot games could be due to the same amount of awkward platforming.

Platforming ALWAYS works better in 2d. That's just a fact. Still, I have played 3d platform games that are better at working in 3d than some 3d Mario games are. Astro Bot Rescue Mission being a perfect example. I tried playing Super Mario Bros. Sunshine recently and my god is that an awful 3d Mario game for a lot of reasons but I digress. I just wanted to see if it's as bad as people say and it is.

One thing that really hurts 3d World as well is not having an actual 3d effect. Its predecessor on the 3ds had two types of stereoscopic 3d and players could usually find one that made judging where your jumps were going to land a lot easier. 3d World does not have this feature for obvious reasons.

Then there is the cat suit. It's great in some situations because it lets you climb walls and you can screw up a flag pole jump and still get the maximum bonus because your character will crawl up to the top of the flagpole. That's actually pretty cool. However, you frequently will find yourself grabbing and climbing up walls by accident with the cat suit and that gets damn annoying. I literally yelled at my Switch at one point, "GET OFF THE DAMN WALL!"

Also, whose dumb idea was it to force you to play as a specific character to get a certain collectible in some stages?

I will say that 3d World has some decent boss fights, unlike SMB Wonder, which has none whatsoever. The first fight against Bowser in 3d World is fun even though it's not particularly challenging. I loved busting up that car of his LOL. There's also nice variety between levels with you doing different things. The final stages in each world in particular are pretty epic and fun for the most part. 3d World is a fun game when the platforming actually works and doesn't feel awkward.

Some of these new Mario games can't beat the classics. SMB 2, SMB 3, and Super Mario World. People who say SMB Wonder is better than Super Mario World are crazy and I'd even rate the Donkey Kong Country games on the SNES over 3d World. Too bad Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze are nowhere near as fun. Kaze and the Wild Masks feels like a much better DKC successor.

3d World is decent though, and fun at times, but I've played superior games. My gold standard these days is Astro Bot Rescue Mission and New Super Lucky's Tale for modern, mascot style, 3d platformers. I'd even rate those over Crash Bandicoot 4 and that Spyro trilogy remaster. The Astro Bot game on PS 5 is amazing too, but pretty short.

I played a little bit of Bowser's Fury, since it comes with 3d World. It's a very interesting take on the Mario formula. You got Bowser showing up randomly to terrorize you like Nemesis from Resident Evil, with a headbanging metal track. Bowser does seem to be getting very metal and just musically themed in general these days in both the games and that movie too (everyone remembers his big music number in the film). You also have Bowser Jr. following you around like Tails from Sonic, but being way more useful. Lastly, the game has frikking kaiju battles! Bowser's Fury is an interesting game...but I've not yet finished it as I ended up focusing more on finishing 3d World.
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Raging Justice
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Raging Justice »

Oh, and on the subject of bad level design (which Super Mario 3d World is full of), I have to mention that douchey level "Mount Must Dash". A stage where you need a cat suit to get the final green star yet the level has ZERO CAT SUITS

Modern Mario games are super over rated. They are FULL of awful game design.
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Note »

1. Kirby's Dream Land (GB)
2. River City Girls (Switch)
3. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)
4. The Simpsons (Arcade)
5. Illusion of Gaia (SNES)
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (Switch)
7. Shining Force III [Scenario 1] (SAT)
8. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (SNES)
9. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PS1)
10. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (GEN)
11. X-Men Legends (PS2)
12. Snatcher (SCD)
13. Smash Remix (N64)
14. Golden Axe III (GEN)
15. Iridion II (GBA)
16. Fatal Fury Special (SNES)
17. Harmful Park (PS1)
18. Gunbird (SAT)
19. DoDonPachi (SAT)
20. Gley Lancer (GEN)
21. Streets of Rage 4 (Switch)*
22. Water Margin: A Tale of Clouds and Wind (GEN)
23. Demons of Asteborg (GEN)
24. Super Mario Land (GB)
25. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (PS2)
26. Final Vendetta (Switch)
27. Way of the Samurai (PS2)
28. Ys Book I & II (TGCD)
29. Double Dragon Advance (GBA)

Image

30. Riot Zone (TGCD)

After finishing Double Dragon Advance, I was in the mood for another beat 'em up and figured I'd go with something on a console, and something that I wasn't familiar with. I decided to check out what the TurboGrafx / PCE had to offer in the genre, as I was curious if they had a game or series that was developed to compete against the likes of Streets of Rage or Final Fight, which led to me Riot Zone, also known as Crest of Wolf in Japan. The cover for the JP version of the game looks badass, so I decided to give it a go.

Gameplay wise, Riot Zone is quite similar to other games in the genre mentioned above. Your character has access to a few basic moves, including a standard punch and combo, a jump kick, a throw, and a special attack which can clear a group of enemies surrounding you. The special attack does drain your health bar though. The move list is rather short here and feels a bit lacking. There are two characters to choose from, Hawk and Tony. Hawk is the more well-rounded character and Tony is the bigger bruiser type, but they appear to play similarly with just a different jump kick attack. Riot Zone is only a one-player experience, which is too bad, as this is a missed opportunity for a co-op experience on the console. Regarding the challenge, the game is fairly easy as you only have to fight a few enemies at a time and the bosses also go down without much resistance. You won't be finding many extra lives but there is a good amount of health power-ups scattered around and the point system here piles on the lives fairly frequently. The game consists of five levels, with each level containing a boss, and the last level containing two boss battles.

Graphics wise, I think the game looks decent overall, but some of the animations could use some work. The levels have a nice amount of color, with some areas really popping, such as the fighting arena where you take on the boss Fuji, and a section that looks like an after hours gambling den or bar. The design and sprite for the Hawk character seems a bit uninspired though, as he looks rather similar to Cody or Axel from SOR, but Tony's design is unique. There are also some cool boss designs here, such as the enemy with all the spikes coming out of his back and hands and the final boss, which is a samurai. Regarding the animation, the walking cycles for each character just look off and really should have been reworked! The game also contains cutscenes before and after each stage, which look well done, but there is a glaring typo (consisting of "whear" instead of "where") in the opening scene! The soundtrack is very strong and a highlight of the title IMO. It also stands out, as it's more rock influenced, which is a nice change of pace to hear in this style of game.

Overall, I did have fun going through Riot Zone, but I would only recommend it to hardcore beat 'em up fans who have already played through the more popular games in the genre. The short moveset, lack of co-op play, and clunky character animation take the game down a notch, but there is still some fun to be had here. With that being said, I'd love to check out more beat 'em ups on the TG / PCE!
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by marurun »

Note wrote:With that being said, I'd love to check out more beat 'em ups on the TG / PCE!


Well, you don't have that many options, unfortunately. Riot Zone is about the only Final Fight-style brawler on the system. There are some Kunio and Double Dragon-style games, though.
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Re: Games Beaten 2023

Post by Jagosaurus »

New adds in bold... this will likely be my EoY update

1. Sonic Adventure (DX HD)
2. Goldeneye 007 (Remaster)
3. Panzer Dragoon (Remake)
4. Halo 5 (Heoric & Skulls Replay)
5. Policenauts (PS1 English Translation)
6. Aaero
7. Gears of War Ultimate Edition
8. Gears of War 2
9. Gears of War 3
10. Doom 3 BFG Edition
11. Halo 2 (Heoric & Skulls Replay)
12. TMNTs Shredder's Revenge

Other notable played considerably in 2023 - Minecraft, Splitgate

... and currently 20 hours into the beast of Dragon Quest XI


Haven't updated in a bit. Been busy with family and life but have been playing some games at night 8)

Slowly going back through Halo titles on Heoric difficulty while grabbing Skulls and activating terminals. Halo 2 is still a blast and looks amazing on MCC in 4K.

TMNTs Shedder's Revenge really surprised me. I went through this and also grabbed all the collectibles. I'm actually still playing it casually with my kiddos. Highly recommend. Great example of how to accomplish old meets new, with a beautiful art style.

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

Post by Note »

marurun wrote:Well, you don't have that many options, unfortunately. Riot Zone is about the only Final Fight-style brawler on the system. There are some Kunio and Double Dragon-style games, though.


That's unfortunate there isn't any other unique IPs when it comes to beat 'em ups on the system, but I'd still like to give the games you mentioned a try.

Jagosaurus wrote:TMNTs Shedder's Revenge really surprised me. I went through this and also grabbed all the collectibles. I'm actually still playing it casually with my kiddos. Highly recommend. Great example of how to accomplish old meets new, with a beautiful art style.


Had a good time going through Shredder's Revenge as well. I want to put some more time into it with my partner.

Also, that's awesome you beat Policenauts! That's one I'd like to get to. I haven't played many similar adventure games, but I really enjoyed Snatcher, so I think I'd like this too.
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