Games Beaten 2024

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PartridgeSenpai
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Partridge Senpai's 2024 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
* indicates a repeat
1. Terranigma (SFC)
2. Eastward (PC)
3. Pulse (PC)
4. Lost Ruins (PC)
5. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion (PC)
6. Dropsy (PC)
7. Call of Juarez Gunslinger (PC)
8. Pokemon Ruby (GBA) *
9. Secret of Mana (SFC)
10. Fire Watch (PC)
11. Bokura (PC)
12. Romancing SaGa (SFC)
13. Trials of Mana (SFC)
14. Castlevania Legends (GB)
15. SaGa 2 (GB)
16. SaGa 3 (GB)
17. Celeste (PC)
18. Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit (PC)
19. Celeste 64 (PC)
20. CB Chara Wars: Ushinawareta Gya~gu (SFC)
21. To The Moon (PC)
22. LOVE (PC)
23. Pikuniku (PC)
24. Night in the Woods (PC)
25. The Beginner's Guide (PC)
26. Suikoden (PS1)
27. Chocobo Dungeon 2 (PS1)
28. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Advance! Fire Adventure Team (Wii)
29. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Go! Storm Adventure Team (Wii)
30. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Aim! Light Adventure Team (Wii)
31. Line Attack Heroes (Wii)
32. The Quest for Camelot (GBC)
33. Tales of Destiny (PS1)
34. Metal Walker (GBC)
35. Frog Detective 1 (PC)
36. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (GBA) *
37. Frog Detective 2 (PC)
38. Frog Detective 3 (PC)
39. Super Robot Wars Alpha for Dreamcast (DC)
40. Brain Lord (SFC)
41. Lagoon (SFC)
42. Dark Hunter: Jou Ijigen Gakuen (PS1)
43. Ys: Books I & II (PCE)
44. Ys III: Wanderers From Ys (SFC)

45. Ys IV: Mask of the Sun (SFC)

Continuing my journey through the 16-bit Ys games, next on the list was IV, a game I knew next to nothing about outside of it getting a remake on the Vita some decades later. Before even starting it, I was made very aware that this is one of two versions of the game, with the PC Engine version being developed by Hudson Soft and being completely different outside of sharing some similar plot beats, but this was the version I chose to play (if only because I already had all the stuff set up to play it and couldn’t be bothered to do the same for the PCE version X3). It took me about 8.5 or so hours to play through the Japanese version of the game on emulated hardware without abusing save states.

Mask of the Sun begins with Adol, our hero of Ys, finding a message in a bottle on the beach one day. The unfamiliar language inside, once translated for him by a friend, simply reads as a message to save a far-off land named “Celceta”. Adol quickly hops on a ship and sets off towards adventure in this land that apparently so badly needs saving. As was the case with Ys III, this is yet another good step forward in story writing for the series (despite effectively being written by completely different people). We have a more tightly paced story with better developed characters, and though I’d say we’re not quite at the level yet where we’re telling a story with deeper themes and messaging, we’re very nearly there! Granted, some of the messages you can read into Ys IV are less than positive in some respects, but they’re unintentional to the point that I don’t think they hurt the overall story too much ^^;. Oddly enough, even though this game has a ton of connective tissue to Ys I & II, it never mentions Ys III’s story at all. This isn’t really a problem, of course, but it was something that made me giggle nonetheless, especially with just how much this story so easily reads like an actual narrative sequel to Ys II, far more than Ys III ever did XD.

This goes beyond narrative as well, for Ys IV actually has a ton of connective tissue to I & II in its mechanics as well: Bump combat is back! I’ll admit, I was pretty bummed to see the return of bump combat, as I didn’t particularly enjoy it in Ys I & II, but I actually enjoyed it here a fair bit more than I did in those games. I understand that the overall premise (hitting enemies not dead-on deals damage where dealing direct bumps tends to just get yourself hurt) is basically the exact same way that bump combat works in I & II as well, but I noticed it far FAR more here than I ever did in those games. It’s an element of this game’s combat that’s far more unignorable than it ever was in those games due to how this game is balanced, and it makes for a much more challenging and interesting version of bump combat as a result. I found myself actually enjoying normal combat far more than I ever had in I & II, and it made combat feel a lot less overall pointless as a result.

Honestly, the mechanics overall are much stronger than I & II’s were, which I was very happy to see. Though there’s still some rough signposting here and there, it was never anything nearly so bad as plagued the far earlier adventure game designs of I & II. Though there were some things I had to look up in a guide at some points, they were almost always things that had just totally slipped my mind rather than things that I’d had no way of knowing the way those earlier games struggle with signposting. Level design on the whole was something I found markedly improved from the first two bump combat games, and the same goes for boss design as well.

These bosses felt far more actually designed than the first two games’ bosses usually did, and there was always some meaningful element of figuring out the strategy I needed rather than the old bump combat strategy I’d gotten used to where I just charged forward, hoped for the best, and usually won almost instantly. Magic is also back, and it depends on the sword you’re using instead of having bespoke spells you’re choosing from. I never found it super useful, as bump combat on its own was generally more than enough, but it was nice to have the option at least. I’m not sure this is going to convert anyone who already hated bump combat, and this game is certainly just as grindy as those old games were for having the right levels to take on the challenges you’re facing, but it was at least nice to see Ys return to that old formula and improve on it so significantly (despite the dev team being completely different x3).

The presentation is a bit simple for a mid-/late-life SFC game, but I still liked it quite a bit. Enemy, especially boss sprites, are well designed and cool looking, and the cutscene animations are very fun despite the relatively simple character and environment sprites. There’s a charm to things much like RPG Maker games would later have, with characters spinning on the spot or running around to indicate emotions in a way that I found very delightful, and some bespoke animations for certain cutscenes that had me giggling like a madman in my seat (like when Adol gets struck by lightning XD). The music is also unsurprisingly excellent. There were a lot of times where it almost felt like I’d stepped into a Mega Man X soundtrack all of a sudden, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. An Ys game through and through, this game is packed with good and rockin’ tracks to fight monsters and witness drama, and that’s about all you could hope for, even in an Ys game not developed by Falcom themselves.

Verdict: Recommended. This is one that is very borderline between a hesitant and a normal recommendation, but I think it’s overall solid enough that I’d recommend it about as much as I would other less-than-perfect 16-bit action/adventure games I’ve played recently. Combat is quick and fun, boss battles are great, music is awesome, and the signposting is usually right on point. It’s honestly very confusing to me that this game has such a negative reputation. While I’d certainly believe the PCE version of Ys IV may indeed be better, I’d have a very hard time listing basically any way that the PCE version of Ys I & II is better than this game outside of that game’s CD-quality audio. This may not be the best of the Ys series, but I think that’s something you can really safely say about any of the Ys games made before Ys Origins. This game is good fun! Even if, as I said before, this probably won’t convert anyone who was already a non-believer in bump combat, I can still say with a good degree of confidence that, if you liked Ys I & II, I think you’ll probably really like this game too~.
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2024!
***Denotes Replay For Completion***

1. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
2. Jackal (NES)
***3. Evolution: The World Of Sacred Device (SDC)***
4. Skies Of Arcadia Legends (GCN)
5. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PS2)
6. Sunset Riders (GEN)
***7. Tactics Ogre (PS1)***
***8. Forza Motorsport (XBOX)***
9. Riviera: The Promised Land (GBA)
***10. Darkstalkers (PS1)***
***11. Splatoon (WiiU)***
12. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising (NSW)
***13. Dusty Diamond's All-Star Softball (NES)***
14. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
***15. Puzzle Kingdoms (Wii)***

16. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall Of The Foot Clan (GB)

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I completed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall Of The Foot Clan on the Nintendo GameBoy this evening!

Before I had beat my Backlog, I thought I was finished with TMNT games. I owned and played through all of the classics on the NES, Genesis and SNES. A few short years ago, they made a new Turtles game that was amazing. I played that with a friend and then got it as a present. I was looking through my Wishlist and I realized that I had forgotten about the GameBoy games. The Backloggery Streams got me interested in those games, so when I did a big day of game shopping last year, I decided to pick up a copy of the first one. Now, I wanted to play a short and simple game for my GameBoy and I was glad that I did.

TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan is a rather short and simple game. It only has five levels with a boss at end of each level. You can actually select which level to start on from the menu screen, which is very forgiving. But, it is a single plane Beat'Em Up where you scroll to the right and enemies pop up behind you or in front of you. There is some platforming, but it is mostly just slowly walking and stopping to kill a little enemy here and there. It's actually really comforting and once you get in the groove of the game, it can feel a bit hypnotic. The boss fights can be a little annoying, but none of them were too difficult. If you have enough health, you can normally beat them as they all have very simple patterns. For a GameBoy game, it has some pretty nice visuals and the music is almost spot on. You hear the Turtles theme even from a GameBoy game and it is instantly recognizable. You know, sometimes, with these giant games with so much to do, it is nice to sit back and play a rather simple game that isn't too difficult. This one hits that target perfectly.

Overall, I really enjoyed TMNT: Fall of the Foot Clan. The controls can feel a little sluggish, so it is easy to feel overwhelmed with all the enemies surrounding you. Also, the final level is a bit annoying. But, overall, the game is still really well done. It is nothing that blow anybody away or even top a list of the best GameBoy games of all time. But, this is a perfect game for the platform. It is something that can be beaten relatively easily and it is something that you pop in while on a car ride. If you can find the game for a decent price, I would recommend it. It is not a bad game to pass a few short hours on!
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by REPO Man »

Just beat Picross S7 for Switch.
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Ack
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Ack »

1. Live A Live (RPG)(Switch)
2. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion (Action)(Switch)
3. Pathway (Strategy [Tactics])(PC)
4. Rewind or Die (Horror Adventure)(PC)

5. Tomb Raider (Action Adventure)(PC)
6. Remnant: From the Ashes (Action RPG)(PC)
7. House Flipper (Simulation)(PC)
8. Might and Magic VII: For Blood and Honor (RPG)(PC)
9. Wild West and Wizards (FPS/RPG)(PC)
10. SPRAWL (FPS)(PC)
11. Lunacid (RPG)(PC)
12. PowerWash Simulator: SpongeBob SquarePants (FPS)(PC)
13. PowerWash Simulator: Warhammer 40,000 (FPS)(PC)
14. PowerWash Simulator: Back to the Future (FPS)(PC)


I'm gonna knock these out as a chunk because I went through them while the forums were down.


SPRAWL

Do you like mobility in your cyberpunk FPS? Because SPRAWL makes you move and makes you shoot. The game goes for a retro style but also brings in more modern mechanics, combining things like wall running into double jumps, shotgun jumping, stunning and decapitating enemies at point blank for sprays of items to keep you armed and going, and so on. You fight your way through a futuristic city run by the Junta, a militaristic government comprised of former arms manufacturers in a ruined world, and you're a well designed killing machine being up with an AI that wants to kill itself. You're gonna do the most of the killing.

The mobility and music were what got me; the weapons felt a little lackluster at first because the base pistols are so good, but after a while, you learn about the uses of your arsenal, what weapons work for what situations, and they open up new possibilities that had me continuously reevaluating. I like that. And I ended up really liking SPRAWL.


Lunacid

An ancient being awoke, covered the world in poison, and reduced the land to ruin. Centuries later, you're thrown into a pit where bodies get dumped, a subterranean prison that no one escapes from, but many try. And you're one of them. By exploring the depths, entering new areas, facing the hordes of sometimes bizarre monsters, finding new weapons, and gaining levels and stats, and all in a despairing world.

Yeah, it's inspired by King's Field. Is it as difficult? No, I don't believe so, though secrets around. There are multiple hidden endings, a variety of weapons and magic spells to find, and a couple of big, bad bosses to wipe the floor with you. I loved it, checking the depths, especially certain nasty areas where Death stalks.

It's a fun one, and a nice homage to these kinds of games. I hope it finds the audience it deserves.


PowerWash Simulator DLC

I'm wrapping all this up in one package. The three DLCs are similar, containing a handful of levels based on the theme. Each one features you clean items related to whatever the DLC is, from the Krusty Krab to the clocktower of Back to the Future to a Dreadnought for the Imperium of Man to slaughter the [REDACTED - HERETICAL]. The 40K levels seem the most ridiculous because of the nature of what isn't said, though activating the holographic shark from Back to the Future Part II is pretty awesome.

The biggest issue with the PowerWash Simulator's DLC has nothing to do with the game, it's honestly more that it's priced relatively highly for a few levels compared to how much you get with the base game. Truth be told, it's most likely due to the IP. More are apparently in the works, so we'll see.
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elricorico
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by elricorico »

1. Sonic Lost World (WiiU)
2. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (NS)
3. Kinect Adventures (XB360)
4. Metal Slug (PC)
5. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (SNES)
6 Modnation Racers (PSP)
7. Mario Kart 8DX - Expansion Pass (NS)

8. Splatoon! (WiiU)


I finished the single player portion of Splatoon! last night. I've probably mentioned it before, but the WiiU is really the only system that I jumped on at launch, and this was one of the latest games I ended up getting for the system. Shooters aren't really my top of my list, so I didn't want to spend retail, but there aren't many Nintendo first party games I won't grab for $5 when they show up like this one did last fall.

The premise is about as oddball as you can imagine. Anthropomorphic "Squid kids" go to battle with octopus like creatures(including anthropomorphic ones) where the greatest weapon is brightly coloured paint. Fast paced, tight controls, bright and colourful with addictive gameplay, this is a worthwhile play even if shooters aren't really your thing. You might be surprised.

I spent about 7 hours with this game, even squeezing in a handful of online matches just before the service shut down. Mostly the single player campaign was easy and enjoyable, but the final boss was quite a difficulty spike to overcome. I'm happy to have it in my WiiU collection as I think it would have left a conspicuous gap if I hadn't found a copy.
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Games Beaten in 2024 - 12
* denotes a replay

January (1 Game Beaten)
1. Army Men: World War - PlayStation - January 9
February (1 Game Beaten)
2. Silver Falls: Guardians and Metal Exterminators S - Switch - February 18
March (3 Game Beaten)
3. Army Men II - PC - March 14*
4. Army Men: Toys in Space - PC - March 20*
5. Army Men: World War - PC - March 22
April (7 Games Beaten)
6. Army Men: Mobile Ops - Java-based mobile - April 10
7. Army Men III - PC - April 11
8. Army Men: World War - Land, Sea, Air - PlayStation - April 15
9. Army Men: World War - Final Fronts - PlayStation - April 18
10. Army Men: World War - Team Assault - PlayStation - April 20
11. Army Men: Air Tactics - PC - March 21*
12. Army Men: Sarge's Heroes - Dreamcast - March 28*
12. Army Men: Sarge's Heroes - Dreamcast - March 28*

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Army Men, as you’ve realized by now if you’ve followed my reviews of the series, is a bit of a bell curve series; a few games are horrible, and a few games are great, but most are middling and solidly okay. Sarge’s Heroes is planted solidly in the “great” camp. At the very least, it’s great in the context of Army Men. This game is a departure from the main series in that it’s an alternate universe; the characters are all different, and you discover the portals to our world all over again and in a different way, effectively serving a reboot of the series (despite the fact that the main timeline series kept releasing right alongside this...). It’s primarily a 5th gen game with most people having played it on either Nintendo 64, PlayStation, or PC, and I originally played through it on Nintendo 64 as a kid, but the version I just played through from start to finish for this review is both the best version of the game and the only version to release on a 6th gen console - the Dreamcast port of Sarge’s Heroes.

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I’ll go through some of the differences between the versions as I played through parts of each game to compare them, but the most significant difference divides the versions into two camps. The PS1 version and the PC version are both visually inferior to the N64 and Dreamcast versions, but they do have one important thing that those versions don’t; PS1 and PC got full motion cut scenes. N64 and Dreamcast, on the other hand, got in-engine rendered scenes with regular character models, and while it serves just fine to tell the story and honestly flows more smoothly than the cutscenes with the gameplay, Army Men’s cheesy cut scenes have always been one of my favorite things about the series. They all play largely the same - the console versions, anyway; I didn’t play it on PC - but look radically different, and there’s a clear hierarchy of quality here. The worst looking version hands down and by a lot is PlayStation. That’s no surprise, really, as it’s a good bit weaker in terms of hardware than the Nintendo 64. It looks better than Army Men 3D or the World War games, but it’s pretty close. The bronze medalist is the PC version. Since it was essentially a port of the PlayStation version, it has the bad textures and low polygon models of the PlayStation version just running at a higher resolution. Silver goes to Nintendo 64. It was made separately from the PS1 version to take advantage of the Nintendo 64’s powerful hardware and 64-bit capabilities, and that shows with much better quality textures and higher poly count models. If you have the RAM expansion, you also have the option of running the game in 480i instead of 240p, an option PS1 wasn’t capable of. The supreme visuals, no surprise here as it’s a generation ahead of the other two consoles, is Dreamcast. It’s a port of the N64 version, so it starts out with baseline superior visuals, but the textures are improved and the rendering is smoother. Not only that, but if you have a VGA box or a SCART cable, Dreamcast Sarge’s Heroes can run at 480p, the highest resolution version out there. Full disclosure, you have to force it to run at 480p as it technically doesn’t support VGA, but there are some pretty easy ways to do that, and forced 480p works flawlessly.

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There is only one thing (okay, two things, but mainly one) holding the Dreamcast version back from being a truly definitive Sarge’s Heroes experience - the cut scenes’ absence. It made sense for Nintendo 64 - those cartridges have much less storage capacity than a CD - but not only is that not an issue for Dreamcast, but Dreamcast GD-ROMs have a greater capacity than the PS1’s CD-ROMs. It would have been perfect to take the PS1’s cut scenes, polish and render them at the Dreamcast’s higher resolution, and put them in the Dreamcast version. That ways you’d have the superior N64 visuals with the Dreamcast’s enhancements plus the PS1’s cut scenes which could also conceivably have gotten some polish from the Dreamcast’s superior resolution output. That’s the main thing. There is one level that is completely exclusive to the Nintendo 64 version - a level where you move along pipes and wires inside the walls - and while its absence is missed in the Dreamcast version, I think the cutscenes’ inclusion would more than make up for that.

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Anyway, now that I’ve rambled about version differences and extolled the Dreamcast’s supremacy, I guess I should talk about the actual game. As I mentioned in the beginning, this isn’t the same timeline as the first several Army Men games. Instead of “Sarge,” you play as Sergeant Hawk - who, confusingly, is still called Sarge - who commands the Green Army’s elite Bravo Company commandos. The game opens with General Plastro, the tyrannical Tan commander, launching a massive surprise offensive against a major Green base. Colonel Grimm, the Green military commander-in-chief, is at this base and needs to be rescued and escorted to an escape chopper. Note that Colonel Grimm is not the leader of the Green nation; Air Tactics, which takes place in the Hawk universe, had you rescue the Green president, implying that the president is the civilian political leader of the Green nation whereas Colonel Grimm - don’t ask why he’s not a general - is the leader of the Green military, presumably a step below the president in overall authority. Playing as Sergeant Hawk, you fight your way through the Tan forces occupying the base until you link up with Colonel Grimm. From there, you have to fight your way to the helipad, escorting Colonel Grimm along the way and ensuring he survives to escape. Unfortunately, the Bravo Company commandos are all captured by Tan forces. The rest of the game is Sarge’s missions to rescue his comrades and uncover and foil Plastro’s schemes.

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The gameplay is a standard 5th gen third person shooter. Your control stick moves your character and camera, and firing your weapon is done with pseudo tank controls. You can fire while moving, and it will mostly auto aim if you’re pointed in the general direction of a Tan soldier, but when you’re manually aiming, it’s all tank style control. It’s not ideal, but it works, and it’s extremely in line with game conventions of the time. Camera controls are annoying and a little wonky, but it’s a minor issue. The bigger issue is the difficulty curve. The early missions in the first quarter or so of the game are short and easy. The second quarter gets longer and a bit tougher with ambushes, but it’s still reasonable. Then you hit the second half of the game, and it goes balls to the walls. It’s not even that the levels spike in true difficulty that much; outside of the giant robots, the enemies and difficulty stay pretty fair. The problem is that the levels get EXTREMELY lengthy, and there are no checkpoints. Fort Plastro is one of the mid-game levels, and I made it through like half an hour of the level sneaking through hills and minefields, taking out every enemy without taking a single hit, deactivated the electric fence, hopped the walls of the fort, took out the first few guards without being spotted...and then got ambushed and virtually insta-gibbed by a guy with a flamethrower. No problem, now I know where he is...is what I would normally say if it didn’t send me back to the beginning of the entire level from the start.

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While the camera is annoying, and difficulty spike due to the level length and ambushes is infuriating, Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes is still more than worth it to play through. The music is rad as hell, and the game is just genuinely fun. It’s not just good for Army Men; the game is just plain good. Sure, it’s not a Game of the Year contender, but it’s definitely earned the nostalgia millennial gamers have for it, and it will absolutely stay a cult classic of sorts as it deserves to. Dreamcast is definitely the version to play, but Nintendo 64 is a bit more accessible and nearly as good. Play it on PS1 if you have to; it’s still fun, and while the visuals are...not great...you get the full motion cut scenes to make up for it. Regardless of whether you collect for PS1, Dreamcast, or N64, though, I definitely recommend giving Sarge’s Heroes a play.
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Jagosaurus
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Jagosaurus »

I played TMNT Fall of the Foot Clan so much as a kid on my OG Gameboy. I've gone back through and beat it a few times in emulation... need to revisit it soon.

My first reply this year below. Here's to beating more.

2024 Games Beaten
Bold = new add
1. Wolfenstein 3D (XB360)
2. Gears of War Judgement
3. Gear of War 4


Believe it or not, despite owning the DOS version of Wolf 3D in the early 90s, the only version I had beat prior to this was on the Atari Jaguar :shock:... which is actually quite good on its own & ported by Carmack himself, but truncated. The 360 port is based on the Apple version with enhanced music, higher resolution, improved sprite work, and additional weapons. I really enjoyed going through it.

And yeah ... I'm "gearing up" for a potential GoW Collection or GoW 6 announcement this summer. Here's to dreaming about both :lol: but I imagine we do get one dropped during showcase season with all the rumors flying.

Edit/Add: Archiving my 2023 games beaten here:
Games Beaten 2023
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
13. Sonic & All Star Racing Transformed
14. NiGHTS Into Dreams (HD)
Last edited by Jagosaurus on Sun May 26, 2024 12:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Post by PartridgeSenpai »

Partridge Senpai's 2024 Beaten Games:
Previously: 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
* indicates a repeat
1. Terranigma (SFC)
2. Eastward (PC)
3. Pulse (PC)
4. Lost Ruins (PC)
5. Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion (PC)
6. Dropsy (PC)
7. Call of Juarez Gunslinger (PC)
8. Pokemon Ruby (GBA) *
9. Secret of Mana (SFC)
10. Fire Watch (PC)
11. Bokura (PC)
12. Romancing SaGa (SFC)
13. Trials of Mana (SFC)
14. Castlevania Legends (GB)
15. SaGa 2 (GB)
16. SaGa 3 (GB)
17. Celeste (PC)
18. Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit (PC)
19. Celeste 64 (PC)
20. CB Chara Wars: Ushinawareta Gya~gu (SFC)
21. To The Moon (PC)
22. LOVE (PC)
23. Pikuniku (PC)
24. Night in the Woods (PC)
25. The Beginner's Guide (PC)
26. Suikoden (PS1)
27. Chocobo Dungeon 2 (PS1)
28. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Advance! Fire Adventure Team (Wii)
29. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Go! Storm Adventure Team (Wii)
30. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Aim! Light Adventure Team (Wii)
31. Line Attack Heroes (Wii)
32. The Quest for Camelot (GBC)
33. Tales of Destiny (PS1)
34. Metal Walker (GBC)
35. Frog Detective 1 (PC)
36. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (GBA) *
37. Frog Detective 2 (PC)
38. Frog Detective 3 (PC)
39. Super Robot Wars Alpha for Dreamcast (DC)
40. Brain Lord (SFC)
41. Lagoon (SFC)
42. Dark Hunter: Jou Ijigen Gakuen (PS1)
43. Ys: Books I & II (PCE)
44. Ys III: Wanderers From Ys (SFC)
45. Ys IV: Mask of the Sun (SFC)

46. Dark Hunter: Ge Youma No Mori (PS1)
The second half of the story of the Dark Hunter game that my partner and I played last week. We played the first half, and it ends quite unceremoniously, so we obviously had to carry on to finish the second half as well. Just as with the first one, she played on emulated hardware and I watched her, but the actual “gameplay” is so simple that I felt it more than adequate to call this one “beaten” for myself as well once we hit credits, and it took us a little over 2 hours to do it (as this game is a fair bit shorter than the first half for reasons we’ll get into later).

The second half of the story of our three unlikely heroes (the school girl, the vengeful loner, and the secret agent) fighting against the interdimensional invaders trying to take over the world via a remote Japanese high school. While I do say second “half”, that’s not strictly true. As our playtime implies, this chunk of the story has dramatically less content than the first part, though only part of that is gameplay related. This would more accurately be described as the last third, or even the third act of the story, and it honestly suffers for being so short. We really exhaust most of our narrative momentum in the first part, and this part of things mostly just feels like a long walk to the end. Granted, we do get some hilarious moments here and there with certain action scenes and the performances of the actors, but we found it overall less entertaining than the first half.

The gameplay is still more or less the same, though there are still some very notable changes. So far as things being similar go, we still have our English-language education-focused presentation. You can still switch between Japanese and English for your subtitles and voiceover, and you can still also rewind things however you like. The actual value of this as an educational tool remains just as dubious as I felt it was in the first part, but at least it hasn’t gotten any worse XD.

There are still some video game-y parts as well, but they have mercifully been tuned down significantly compared to the last one. The dreadfully long and poorly constructed first-person adventure sections, in particular, are thankfully completely absent from this game (and that’s another big reason for this being so much shorter than the first game to go through). We still have the non-light gun sections, a bit of outright English practice, and some reaction time tests, but it’s all inoffensive and pretty quick to get through. Strangely enough, a large amount of the fights that happen aren’t even mini games you get to partake in. While I wouldn’t call the fights “fun”, per se, it’s yet another thing that robs the ending of its climactic nature because you don’t even get to do the fights against our big foe we finally meet up with. Would it have massively improved the game had we gotten to do those fights? Absolutely not. However, I think it would’ve at least made the climax more memorable rather than the wet thud we’re left with in the version we have.

The presentation is just as amusing and funny as the first game. Japanese VA continues to be quite good while the English VA continues to be hilarious. The translation also continues to be good while the animation continues to look very uncanny (and very funny). The music (of what there is) is very forgettable, and the 3D animations also look about as rough as you’d expect for ’97.

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. If you played and enjoyed the first half, then you’ll find this half worth playing through as well. Despite the worst of the mini games taken out, I still find this one underwhelming compared to the first game, however. While I certainly would’ve preferred a better put together conclusion to the game, it’s at least short enough that you can treat it as a slightly interactive B-movie to laugh at with a friend, and at least in that regard, I think that’s the least you could ask of it.
47. Ys V - Expert (SFC)
It took me a few days to get through it, but I have finally reached the end of my journey through the 16-bit Ys games. I wouldn’t have originally played this version, honestly, but a partner of mine told me that the original version of Ys V was so easy that it had a reputation for feeling pointless, so I erred on the side of caution and picked the harder of the two to go through instead. Some research afterwards revealed that that may have been just as much of a mistake as it was the correct decision, but we’ll get into that later XD. It took me around 10.5 hours to make it through the Japanese version of the game on emulated hardware without abusing save states or rewinds.

Ys V finds our hero Adol getting off a ship in a new land as usual (though oddly enough without Dogi, who went sailing off with him at the end of the last game). In this mysterious new land, there’s a legend of a lost, legendary city of gold called Kefin. In his usual fashion, he sets out to find it, helping out the local moneybags in a crystal hunt that’ll see him ultimately saving the world! (as if that’s a surprise to anyone). Narratively, this is the best Ys has been up to this point (though that’s hardly a high bar to cross). Ys had managed to be this funny and this functionally well put together as a narrative before, but this is the first time that we’d managed to rise beyond that. Though its pacing is a bit rougher than Ys IV (SFC) and its narrative in many ways a fairly direct retread of Ys I & II, it manages to have actual themes and messaging in its story in a way that none of those games ever managed to.

Granted, it’s hardly the biggest achievement of storytelling on the console. Heck, it’s not even the best written action/adventure game on the SFC. That said, I’d still say it’s one of the better written action/adventure games on the system, and it certainly manages to be better put together than a mess like Terranigma and more interesting than something a bit more typical and uncinematic like Brain Lord. The narrative is hardly a reason to rush out to play the game at once, but it being better put together than a lot of its contemporaries is certainly something worthy of praise in my book.

It's good that the narrative is decent and fun, because the gameplay is decidedly not. In a significant departure from both versions of Ys IV, we’ve once again abandoned bump combat in favor of pressing a button to swing our sword! What’s more, you can even press another button to actively put out your shield, and you’ve even got a jump button! We also have a magic system that revolves around collecting elemental stones and taking them to merchants to combine into alchemy stones (which you can affix to your equipped weapon (permanently) to give it the ability to do various magics). It’s a relatively linear adventure with some quite good signposting, but it’s got a pretty tough balancing act to manage with getting all of those new mechanics to work in harmony, and it’s a balancing act it fails hard.

The most glaring and obvious issue that cannot go without elaborating on is that the hit detection is absolutely dreadful. Swinging your sword at things is a constant gamble on if you’re actually going to harm them at all, as enemys’ sprites very rarely actually indicate where their hit box is in relation to your sword. This goes even more so for bosses, who are naturally the most difficult things you’ll usually be facing (even though you can actually carry around tons of healing items if you want, which does trivialize a fair bit of combat). There’s even a stat that makes enemies move faster (as you are “slower”) as you equip better armor and weapons!. All of this results in combat routinely struggling to be tolerable, let alone fun, and it's miserable. You could theoretically use magic to fight things instead, of course, but Ys V goes out of its way to make that an extremely unappealing alternative with one of the most poorly implemented magic systems I’ve seen in a while.

Unlike other Ys titles with magic systems up to this point, there is no dedicated magic button. Instead, you hold the R button down until a gauge hits 100, and then pressing your sword swinging button launches the magic attack and depletes that gauge a bit, meaning you can’t spam magic (you need to wait for the gauge to hit 100 again before firing another shot). This is already very awkward, but to make matters even more awkward, those elemental stones you combine into spells are almost universally hidden in invisible hiding places around the game. You’ll randomly be hugging a wall and suddenly find one, and it happens all the time, particularly in the late game. As if that didn’t make magic annoying enough to use, there are not only a limited amount of these stones in the game, but you also have no idea what spell you’re even making at the alchemy merchants until you just make it and then test it out. This means that you’re going to be doing a *ton* of save-loading looking for decent spells if you’re keen to use magic a lot, not that you really have much reason to use magic all that much.

The most farcical thing about magic isn’t just that it seemingly can’t harm bosses at all. That’s bad enough all on its own. What’s most absurd of all is that magic actually has an entirely separate experience tree! You gain one kind of experience for killing things with your sword, and another type for killing with magic. While this is a pretty typical Ys game in that there’s a fair bit of grinding, this makes the game have a truly unforgiveable amount if you want to use magic meaningfully at all. Never mind that you get magic late enough in the game (compared to your sword) that it’s a rough choice to start grinding magic in the first place, or that killing things with magic gives you NO money from kills. That’s just all insult to injury. Ultimately, a lot of this just doesn’t matter, as you basically never really need magic to fight enemies even a little, but it is truly baffling just how poorly put together the magic system is in a game with already miserable combat.

And the bad combat is a real death blow in an action/adventure game of this kind. It doesn’t matter that dungeons are nicely put together (if a bit puzzle-barren and small) or that bosses are varied in their designs. It’s honestly barely worth mentioning that the jumping puzzles aren’t too bad, that different swords almost pointlessly have different kinds of attacking (as there are only like 5 swords in the whole game), or that they removed the earlier games’ save anywhere feature in favor of quick saving anywhere and only being able to perma-save at inns (which is indeed a baffling change that just makes the game worse). Like Trials of Mana that I played earlier this year, there’s barely any point in praising or slagging off other aspects of the design in an action game like this if fighting basically anything always sucks.

The boss design isn’t that well done in the first place, frankly, with a lot of them (particularly later in the game) being really easy to just mulch down with barely any strategy at all. The combat is so bad, of course, that a lot of later “harder” fights being so simple is a small blessing, and even if you’re having a bit of trouble, you can always dip into that huge stockpile of healing items you can carry around.

The strangest part of it all is that this is Ys V – “Expert”. This is purposefully the harder version of the game, and my research actually shows that a decent amount of these are features, not bugs (as it were). The number one surprising thing I learned in looking into differences between the original version and this game is that the poor hit detection (on top of shielded enemies just blocking more) actually was added for the Expert version to make it harder! They certainly accomplished that, I’ve got to say, as enemies that not only hit harder but are harder to hit certainly does make for a harder experience, though I’d struggle to say it makes for a very fun one. The thing is, it’s weird to even describe this game as “harder” in a lot of ways due to the only real changes being worse hit detection and higher enemy stats. Bosses and such still aren’t that hard because you can bring so many healing items with you, especially later in the game. The changes Expert brings to the table largely just make the game more frustrating and grindy than they actually do to make it any more of a fun challenge, and it’s a damn shame.

Tragically (and ironically), it’s not even much of a way out to play the original instead, as site after site on the Japanese internet bemoaned just what a constantly freezing buggy mess the original release of Ys V was and just how far Expert went in fixing those issues (I can confirm I never hit a single freeze during my 10-ish hours with it). Expert may be the “better” version in that it doesn’t crash anymore and has a little bit of extra content, but the overall experience has been made so much worse that either version frankly sounds like a big waste of your time.

Thankfully, the presentation does manage to at least hold its own for what you’d expect for an Ys game. The music is excellent, with Falcom’s music team once again putting out a game packed with good music. Additionally, where Mask of the Sun didn’t really impress for a mid-life SFC game, Ys V really does look like a game released in ’95, as it’s absolutely beautiful. You’ve got a bit of slowdown here and there, and there are some weird graphical hiccups and flashes (though nothing nearly as bad as the flashing in Mask of the Sun) which honestly seemed to be the game trying not to crash, but it all at least runs pretty darn well for how good it looks, and that’s a nice silver lining to everything else, I suppose.

Verdict: Not Recommended. If you can get past how often the original version of Ys V apparently crashes, then perhaps the better hit detection and less grinding in that version makes it a better time. As it is, Expert may be less boringly easy than the first one (if its reputation is to be believed), but it’s worse in so many ways that I cannot in good conscience possibly recommend it to even a big fan of the genre. The combat is something to trudge through the whole way through, and it only gets easier when you’ve finally done enough grinding to be able to easily plow through (or safely ignore) the enemies that give you so much grief. There is no shortage of far better action/adventure games on this console, so you are far better off experiencing the story and aesthetics through a lets play on Youtube than wasting your valuable time banging your head against something as clumsily and poorly put together as this frustrating mess of a late-life SFC game.
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RobertAugustdeMeijer
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by RobertAugustdeMeijer »

First 20:

01: Monster Hunter Rise
Still too much time spent in menus for my liking, and the enemies could have used more attacks, but otherwise enough experimentation possible to make it worth my time.
6/10

02: Age of Empires II
Because it's so easy to understand what buildings/units do, this is probably a great starting point for folks new to RTS's. It has pretty much everything you'd hope from the genre, but I prefer the armies and fluidity of StarCraft II.
7/10

03: The Last of Us
Stupid, schizophrenic, and pretentious. The mechanics are lacklustre in scope, and inhibit the game's narrative more than it supports it.
1/10

04: Spelunky HD
Having to start over and over as a mechanic does not gel well with exploration. But you can't help but admire how everything works together as a system, offering the suspense of a great platformer and the ingenuity of an immersive sim.
8/10

05: GoldenEye 007
It's fun to see how the developers went all out to simulate Bond movies. Bad level design, stupid AI, horrible controls, and confusing objectives make this a slog to play, but what a sight to behold!
04/10

06: Injustice 2
Compared to anime fighters, this one plays stiff and defensive. But it still has everything a good fighting game has. Really stupid story and edgy dark aesthetic put me off.
05/10

07: BioShock
15 years ago I gave it a shot and figured I might was well watch a Let's Play. Now that I've beaten it, yups, the combat options expand but never make a fight exciting. Really cool setting that, however, mostly only makes a good first impression.
6/10

08: Infernax
Way more than a remake of Castlevania II. The multiple characters and story options make it interesting, while the combat is an old-school good time. Ultimately, rather dumb, but gruesome without reservation.
7/10

09: Storyteller
The decade old demo was mind-blowing, so this might be a bit disappointing. Still, pretty clever, occasionally funny, and most of all, very original. It still has me wondering if this could be expanded into something greater!
7/10

10: Sega Rally Championship
Fairly unique premise, as you have to ride four races after another fast enough to win. Has way more depth to it than say, OutRun. But it's no Richard Burns Rally, either. I wish it had the pizazz of Daytona USA.
6/10

11: Pathologic 2
Outrageously sophisticated and simply unforgettable. Don't be intimidated by the difficulty because you'll want to see the 'bad' ending anyway. Aim for better endings your second playthrough. The Hbomberguy video essay is spot on!
9/10

12: Cocoon
Well balanced puzzles in a fairly interesting psychedelic world. The 'worlds in worlds' element never blew my mind, but was pretty cute.
6/10

13: Adventures of Lolo
Sokoban taken to the nth degree. Occasionally some dexterity is required, so get your emulator save states ready! Clear, punctual, and hard to put down. But it's still Sokoban.
6/10

14: Fable II
If you can bear the painful frame rate, and painfully simple combat, there's a lot of fun to be had in this lively world. Sculpting it to your whims is done better than Fable 1, but don't expect too much. Just more adventures with way more personality.
7/10

15:Dragon Quest III
In hindsight, this is an extremely generic RPG. But it throws the occasional oddball out there, the kind of thing you don't see anymore, as the NES's limits clash with the designers' intent. Often bland, at times fascinating.
6/10

16: Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blades
You can royally screw up your party if you don't level them up correctly. Expect to restart many battles, or be kind to yourself and use save states. Also way too much talking. But the fights show some creativity and are executed well.
5/10

17: Days Gone
I guess the motorcycle physics are fun to check out, as are a couple of fights against 50+ zombies. But other than that, horribly written, and just shallow gameplay, despite all the mechanics. Also, way too long.
3/10

18: A Highland Song
Majestic hike through Scotland, with many different paths to discover. You probably won't get the good ending on your first run, partially due to the frustrating controls. Don't worry, you'll probably want to play it three+ times, and by then you'll easily make it. Lovely main character, and touching revelation at the end. <3
8/10

19: Crackdown
Gets straight to the point, quite refreshing, but stupidly easy. As you mow down enemies you'll improve your stats and weaken the enemies' bases. Jumping controls are nerve-wrecking, would love to see how it's improved by air dashes in the sequels.
6/10

20: Gears of War
Terrible. If you're delighted by the idea of a gun with a chainsaw on it, perhaps this will be your cup of tea. Dull story, slow combat, amazing lack of color, low frame-rates, wonky controls... really puts into perspective why I didn't get an Xbox 360 until 2010.
2/10
21: Bayonetta 2
Awwyeah, fast and stylish, this is peak hack 'n' slash action. Has a lot of depth for a single player game, but why delve into this when there's Guilty Gear / Soul Calibur / UNI2 / etc.?
8/10

22: Prince of Persia
There's some fascinating stuff, like the mirror image. But the slow platforming, tedious puzzles, and random combat keeps this from being worth your time.
3/10

23: Papers, Please
In retrospect, perhaps the choices are shallow, and the document checking too taxing. And yet, striving for a just society via paperwork is an unforgettable and often touching experience.
8/10

24: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
It's more Tony Hawk! I'm not sure if this one features anything that weren't already in the second game, but the levels are cute, and long strings still feel great.
6/10

25: Doronko Wanko

Within an hour, you get to totally mess up a house because you're a cute dog. And collect accessories to dress up. And it's free!
7/10
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Markies
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Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Markies »

Markies' Games Beat List Of 2024!
***Denotes Replay For Completion***

1. Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
2. Jackal (NES)
***3. Evolution: The World Of Sacred Device (SDC)***
4. Skies Of Arcadia Legends (GCN)
5. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PS2)
6. Sunset Riders (GEN)
***7. Tactics Ogre (PS1)***
***8. Forza Motorsport (XBOX)***
9. Riviera: The Promised Land (GBA)
***10. Darkstalkers (PS1)***
***11. Splatoon (WiiU)***
12. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising (NSW)
***13. Dusty Diamond's All-Star Softball (NES)***
14. 3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)
***15. Puzzle Kingdoms (Wii)***
16. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall Of The Foot Clan (GB)

17. Steel Empire (GEN)

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I beat Steel Empire on the Sega Genesis this evening!

Many years ago when I was creating my Genesis wishlist, I was amazed at how many good Shooters I found on the system. I now know that the Genesis is known for its Shoot'Em Ups, but discovering many games that looked interesting was eye opening to me. Unfortunately, that left me rather paralyzed as I never knew where to get started. Randomly, I found a video on YouTube talking about some of the best Shooters for Beginners and Steel Empire was on it. It looked very interesting and I was happy to see it was on my Wishlist, so it jumped up on my games to buy for the system. Looking for another Genesis game to play, I decided to jump in and see what it was all about.

Steel Empire is a horizontal Shoot'Em Up set in a SteamPunk style environment. With so many space Shooters, the Steam Punk style is the game's best characteristic. One of the planes you can choose from is a Zeppelin, which is very large, but it does have the most HP, so it is perfect for Beginners. The Steam Punk setting goes into the enemies, Bosses and story as it feels like a weird take on World War II. Besides the Zeppelin, the game has different difficulty settings and you don't have to mash the fire button as you can just hold it. With a large life bar and these quality of life improvements, the game was a nice step into the Shooter pool. Also, you have the unique ability of being able to fire backwards and forwards, which works remarkably well when you fight the large bosses and different enemy patterns.

Unfortunately, some of the bosses have incredibly tiny and hard to reach hit boxes, so it can be quite challenging to hit them on a consistent basis. And if you lose your two Option planes, then it becomes even harder. Also, there are parts in the game where you are forced to take damage. You don't know where to go and whats coming next, so you just have to plow through walls and hits the floor or ceilings of wherever you are.

Overall, I still really enjoyed Steel Empire. I have been getting into Shooters because of playing through several arcade games, so it was fun to play one on a console and be able to beat it. I think the game is a great Introductory Shooter game and something that anybody can enjoy. The music, graphics and slowdown aren't very technically impressive, but the ease of play and difficulty make them somewhat of a hidden gem. Give it a try if you are interested in trying the genre!
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