Games Beaten 2024

Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
User avatar
prfsnl_gmr
Next-Gen
Posts: 12240
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by prfsnl_gmr »

1. Chico and The Magic Orchard DX (Switch)
2. Dusk ‘82 (Switch)
3. Dusk (Switch)
4. Rock Boshers DX (Switch)
5. Metal Slug 4 (Neo Geo)
6. Bleed 2 (Switch)
7. Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS)
8. Mighty Gunvolt Burst (3DS)
9. Love 3 (Switch)
10. Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge (3DS)
11. Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Switch)
12. Mother 3 (GBA)
13. Princess Peach: Showtime! (Switch)
14. Avenging Spirit (Arcade)
15. Blossom Tales II (Switch)
16. The Fall of Elena Temple (Switch)
17. Finding Teddy II (Switch)
18. Animal Well (Switch)
19. Runner 3 (Switch)


Finding Teddy II is open-world action platformer designed similarly to a Shantae or Wonder Boy game. That is, it has multiple worlds, connected by a central hub, each with a “dungeon” and boss battle. As you obtain mobility upgrades, you may revisit some of the world for additional items and upgrades, but you never have to revisit the dungeons. Combat is remarkably similar to Zelda II, which has held up really well since Nintendo introduced it in 1987. The hero has a short sword with which she can execute high or low strikes, and when jumping, she can also execute upward or downward strikes. She can also block attacks with a small shield. The puzzles mostly consist of gathering clues, listening closely, and inputting a musical code similar to the classic LucasArts adventure game Loom. (Interestingly, Finding Teddy I is not an action platformer, but rather a point-and-click adventure game largely styled after Loom. Despite the genre switch, the puzzle structure carries over from Finding Teddy to Finding Teddy II largely intact.) The whole game is permeated by a sad, mysterious atmosphere, and the faux 16-bit sprite work is excellent. Overall, I enjoyed Finding Teddy II, even if a few of the secrets are too well-hidden and despite a lack of enemy variety causing the game to drag a bit at times. It didn’t hold my hand, but respected my time, and I appreciated its fair challenge. Recommended.

Animal Well is a brilliant game. It is an open-world puzzle platformer that scrolls one screen at a time, much like its micro-computer puzzle platformer predecessors. While there’s plenty of platforming, there’s no combat…which is replaced entirely with enigmas, mysteries, and puzzles. There are so, so many puzzles. Discrete puzzles; puzzles within puzzle; multi-screen puzzles; logic puzzles, physics puzzles…just so many puzzles…all wrapped in a mystery…within an enigma. Mostly, getting through the game involves exploring (literally) every nook and cranny on the game’s expansive map, experimenting, using your meager tools in creative ways, carefully observing your environment, and taking copious notes on the clues hidden throughout the game. There’s also some pretty precise, challenging platforming, and a few intense chase sequences. (In short, it’s tough and occasionally exasperating.). The game takes place in a uniquely uncanny environment - a cave/well full on animal ghosts - and it features no music, further adding to the atmosphere. I loved it, and the game is wholly deserving of its accolades and status as an early GOTY contender. Highly recommended.

Runner 3 is the third game in the “Runner” series, which split off from the earlier Bit.Trip series. As the name implies, Runner 3 is an auto-runner, and in it, you play as Commander Video, Commandgirl Video (or one of the various guest or hidden characters) running, jumping, and sliding through various levels. (It’s an auto-runner, not an infinite runner.) The game also mixes in some new mechanics such as riding on a small plane, driving a go-cart, minecarts, etc. The running never stops, but the perspective and controls shift a bit. From a difficulty perspective, the game picks up right where Runner 2 dropped off, making it, perhaps, the most difficult game in the Runner series. (I bounced off it pretty hard when I first picked it up a last year, which was almost a decade after I beat Runner 2. After a bit of practice this time. though, I got back in the groove pretty quickly.). Despite a steep learning curve, however, the game offers a host of difficulty options, optional content, completion goals, etc., making it also the most accessible game in the Runner series. I respect that, and while I challenged myself to complete the game entirely, i had to turn the difficulty down to get through the game’s “impossible” levels - the difficulty’s right there in the title! - and even then, I gave up trying to get the the last few collectible diamonds on those levels. In short, Runner 3 is a very well-designed game with hours of content backing a simple mechanics. (I forgot to mention that each level features branching paths, hidden collectibles, and side quests, and I also forgot to mention that there’s an extra “retro” game hidden within Runner 3 that plays like a traditional platformer…so…a lot to do.). It features pure “twitch” gameplay that fees great when you get the hang of it. While I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as its predecessors, it was still a good time that I’m happy to recommend to anyone.
User avatar
MrPopo
Moderator
Posts: 23953
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by MrPopo »

Previous Years: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

1. Tormented Souls - Switch
2. Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II - PC
3. Fantasy Empires - PC
4. Vagrant Story - PS1
5. Might and Magic 7: For Blood and Honor - PC
6. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown - Switch
7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project - NES
8. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth - PS5
9. Tomb Raider Remastered - PC
10. Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth - PS5
11. Unicorn Overlord - Switch
12. Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries: Solaris Showdown - PC
13. Princess Peach: Showtime - Switch
14. Fida Puti Samurai - PC
15. Fallout New Vegas: Dead Money - PC
16. Fallout New Vegas: Honest Hearts - PC
17. Fallout New Vegas: Old World Blues - PC
18. Wrath: Aeon of Ruin - PC
19. Fallout New Vegas: Lonesome Road - PC
20. Super Buff HD - PC
21. SaGa Emerald Beyond - Switch
22. Blasphemous 2 - Switch
23. Trepang2 - PC
24. Homeworld 3 - PC
25. Blood West - PC
26. Marathon - PC
27. Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord - PC
28. Little Kitty, Big City - PC
29. Dread Delusion - PC
30. Alan Wake 2: Night Springs - PC

Night Springs is DLC for Alan Wake 2 that presents three alternate realities that explore more of the Alan Wake 2 world. They are presented as episodes of the in-game Twilight Zone-esque show Night Springs, and each features a different protagonist which centers the experience.

The first one stars Rose, the waitress at the diner who is Alan's self-nominated number one fan. This is the catharsis DLC; you have a ton of ammo and an automatic shotgun and don't need to fiddle with the flashlight. And it's the embodiment of every bad self-insert fan fic ever created. It's delightful.

The second one stars Jesse from Control. It tells a story that has the same basic bones as that of Control, but transplanted into the environs of Alan Wake 2. There is some light puzzle solving, but ends up being the least interesting of the three. It's also hard to describe why it exists without major Alan Wake 2 spoilers.

The final one stars the protagonist of Quantum Break. The setup is that you are the actor for a new video game that's going to be a sequel to an old one, implied heavily to be Quantum Break (but they don't mention it for legal reasons). But then you get pulled into multiversal shenanigans which consists of Remedy really taking advantage of the medium and the fact that they have one of the last auteur directors at a major studio running things. From an execution perspective this is the best of the three.

Overall Night Springs is an excellent addition to Alan Wake. It's Remedy doing what Remedy does best, and while it's not a long experience, it is definitely worth playing if you're a devotee of what Remedy is putting out.
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
User avatar
PartridgeSenpai
Next-Gen
Posts: 3006
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:27 am
Location: Northern Japan

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

1~50
51. Adventures of Lolo (Famicom)
52. Adventures of Lolo 2 (NES)
53. Adventures of Lolo II (Famicom)
54. Adventures of Lolo 3 (NES)
55. Kickle Cubicle (NES)
56. Adventures of Lolo (GB)

57. Cocoron (Famicom)

This is a game I’ve known about for ages, but I’ve just never gotten around to actually playing it. I’d always heard it described as a “build your own MegaMan” type game, and as a big MegaMan fan that was obviously very appealing, but it was never a big enough priority to actually sit down and play it. The other day, however, a friend of mine brought it up out of nowhere, and in looking up more about it, I discovered that this game was actually made by the dev studio formed by the director of the first several MegaMan games after he left Capcom! That made this one I could ignore no longer, and I finally got to playing this thing x3. It took me around an hour (my in-game timer said like 46 minutes, for whatever that’s worth) to beat the Japanese version of the game on emulated hardware with very slight save state and rewind usage.

Cocoron is the story of you! You’re peacefully dreaming in your house one night, when, all of a sudden, you’re visited by Tapier, the magical dream mage. He whisks you away to the magical dream world and informs you that Princess Lua has been kidnapped! You’re the only one who can save her, apparently, so he gives you the ability to make your own hero (the first of ultimately six) and you set off on your adventure! It’s a neat little story, and certainly one of the cooler ones I’ve seen for a Famicom action game in terms of the little cutscenes and twists it has. It’s hardly the most impressive game on the system in that regard, but I still think it's a cool story that sets the premise for the action at hand very nicely.

The action at hand is a very unconventional approach to a MegaMan like experience. First things first, you actually build your own hero, and you get to build another one after each of the five main bosses for a total of six. There are eight different heads and eight different bodies to choose from as well as eight different weapon types. Heads and bodies each have a weight and life point total, and each of the eight types has two or three different styles you can pick from too. Health points are of course your health, while weight determines your movement speed and *I think* your jump height/airtime. While heads are just aesthetics, bodies give all sorts of different abilities, so boat bodies float on water, wing and jet bodies can hover like Princess Peach in Mario 2, and tank bodies don’t slide down on slopes. Weapons are also quite varied, and while some are very straightforwardly worse than others, you thankfully get a little screen to test out how your character moves before you’re forced to commit to your new little buddy, which is very appreciated. Weapons will upgrade as you collect powerups in levels, though you sadly can’t see the more advanced versions of the weapons in that test screen.

The level design is also rather unusual. Rather than outright levels, you have five different destinations that you can choose from the start (with your beginning location just being your house transported into the dream world). The next thing you’ll play is effectively half a level on your way to that particular destination where you fight a boss. From there, the four other main destinations all have different levels between them based on where you’re coming from and where you’re going. Going to the Fairy Forest from the Card Castle will give you a significantly different level than if you’d chosen to go to the Fairy Forest from the Sea of Milk, for example. It’s a pretty neat premise, though it’s not without its faults.

For starters, the character creation is a very neat idea, but the balancing on it is pretty awful. With eight head and body types each with respective weight and health stat, you’d assume that it’d be a linear scale from one end to the other, with high health corresponding to high weight and vice versa, but that’s actually not the case at all. Many head types are simply worse versions of others, and there’s very little reason other than just a self-imposed challenge to select an alien head (200 weight, 4 health) when a ninja head (110-ish weight, 8 health) is also available. The same is true for weapons as well, with some weapons like shuriken, baseballs, and pencils being very straightforwardly far better than junk like the flower or crystal weapons.

There’s also no way to remake a party member after you’ve made them or swap out pieces, so once you’ve made what turns out to be a really cruddy hero, you’re just stuck with them. A lot of this wouldn’t really be much of a problem if the game were kinda easy, but this game is frankly one of the hardest MegaMan type games I’ve played (and I’ve played nearly every single MegaMan game out there, so that’s saying something). However, that isn’t so much due to the technical skill required so much as it is due to just how clumsy and hostile so much of the design can be. You’d assume quite fairly that head/body combos that give you lots of hover and lots of health are the best options, and you’d also logically assume that hard hitting weapons with decent verticality options (like shuriken or pencils) are also the best. While you may be tempted to go for more variety (as it is the spice of life, after all), both of these assumptions prove very true, and you deviate from them at your own risk.

The boss design ranges from trivial (like the Harvest Moon) to absurdly unfair (like the Joker King), and there will absolutely be times that you’re just a dead man walking attempting a stage and/or boss that you actually have no chance of winning against because your body type isn’t mobile enough or your weapon is just too weak to win the rush down battle. The game design also kinda peters out pretty quickly once you’ve beaten the first five bosses. After that, you need to find Princess Lua. At the midway point of any non-house-bound stage, there’s a giant egg that has either enemies or a power up in it, and Princess Lua is hidden in one of the remaining one of these at random once you’ve beaten all five bosses. I happened to find her immediately, as she was actually in the very first egg I came across once I started looking, but there are theoretically another six stages to hunt through at that point, and that assumes that you’ve already broken the eggs on the first four you’ve gone through *and* you’ve got a weapon that can fire high enough in the air to actually break the big egg in the first place.

Once you find her, you’re immediately brought to the penultimate level, and things get FAR harder from here. You lose all of your companions save for the one you’re using, as you’re going to be rescuing them one at a time in the order they were created. What awaits you is six very hard, very deadly stages that are both long and packed with enemies, and you have to do it ALL in ONE LIFE. This game does have both extra lives and continues, but that doesn’t matter for the penultimate level. If you die a single time anywhere in it, you go right back to the very very start of it, and you don’t even get to keep any weapon upgrades you collected along the way. I was pretty lenient on the game’s faults up until that point, and it was overall a good fun challenge (if a bit too tricky in places), but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back and getting through those levels without rewinds and/or save states is frankly a fool’s errand that sucks a lot of the fun out of the game with just how merciless it is (and we’re talking “timing puzzles whose possibility is dictated by how fast you happened to scroll the screen” too. It’s really bad).

The aesthetics of the game, at least, are very nice. The graphics are great and just what you’d expect from a Famicom game this late in the system’s life. You’ve got three heads of each type and two types for each body, so you can mix and match all sorts of different weird heroes to go through the game with. Enemy and boss designs are all well animated and neat, and environments are also very distinct and pretty. It’s always fun to see what strangeness happens to lie on this particular bridge between two destinations. The game doesn’t have a ton of music, but what it does have is very fun and catchy just like early MegaMan stuff was (as it even shares a composer with MegaMan 2~).

Verdict: Hesitantly Recommended. The good stuff is good, but the bad stuff is really rough. The repetition of going between boss-less levels while hunting for Princess Lua is pretty dull, the balancing between different head/body/weapon types is fairly dire, and that penultimate level is just misery incarnate. The game gets so hard that you’re frankly quite strongly discouraged from making more varied or unconventional hero builds, because you run the risk of making a character who simply cannot beat the challenges in front of them due to the fragility of their health or the weakness of their weapon. If you’re a big MegaMan fan and don’t mind using an emulator’s tools to help you through the rougher sections, then Cocoron can be decent fun and an interesting curiosity, but it’s far too hard and unpolished for me to ever recommend it to more casual retro action game fans.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
User avatar
Jagosaurus
Next-Gen
Posts: 3960
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:15 pm
Location: Houston area, Texas

Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Jagosaurus »

DKC was visually impressive & I have fond memories of playing it at my uncle's after school. After our NES, my family went with a new 486 & PC gaming that gen vs a SNES or Genesis. Now ... I owned Donkey Kong Land on Gameboy, and I prefer that version of the series. If I'm honest with myself, the visuals of the SNES game at the time were the main draw for me. I have been meaning to try Kaze which looks great and is a love letter to this series.

SpaceBooger wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:49 pm 06/10/24 - Fable (oXBOX)

Fable was my second game of the summer challenge this year. I posted my thoughts in that thread.

Will check out your write up over there. I've been looking into playing Fable Anniversary later this year after seeing Playground's trailer for the upcoming title. One of those series that's strangely always interested me going back to original release, but I haven't got to yet. Only been 20 years :lol:

My Retro Achievements | Games Beaten 2023 & 2024 |
xJAGOx = Xbox Gamertag | Console Mods
User avatar
Ack
Moderator
Posts: 22352
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

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)

15. Marathon (FPS)(PC)
16. Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force (FPS)(PC)

I played through Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force as part of the Summer Classic Gaming Challenge, not because of its importance to video game history, but because it is considered one of the greatest Star Trek games ever released. While there has been numerous Star Trek titles before this, they mainly consisted of simulators, which while inspiring never really captured the attention that Star Wars games did. Which is not to say Star Trek hasn't been a major inspiration to gaming, just that the actual property never got the treatment it really deserved.

We rave about games like Dark Forces and the follow up Jedi Knight series. But with its emphasis on attempting peaceful resolution (despite a considerable amount of violence), Star Trek may not seem suitable for an FPS. And yet, Elite Force does it and does it damn well. Not only is it a solid FPS, it's also a love letter to the Star Trek franchise, including references to the previous series (particularly the original) and even an expansion that simply lets you walk around the Voyager like you were a regular crewmember.

But as much as I enjoy the banter between crew and the myriad foes including Klingons, Borg, and original creations, none of this would really work if the shooting wasn't good. Which it is. You have a variety of weapon types, which share two different ammunition types (not including the regenerating ammo of the basic phaser). Different weapons have different uses and alternate fire, and you can zoom in to snipe with pretty much everything. Fighting Borg? You have a special gun for that. Alternate universe bandits? Your starting rifle works well with headshots, especially it's sniper alternate fire mode. Scavenger machine guns, alien machine guns, stuff that goes boom...yep, it feels good to use, and with the ammo split evenly, you can swap between types and still have options.

The game is also forgiving with ammo and health regen, which is done at stations throughout every level. While they're not unlimited, you can still get a fair amount of firepower from one or keep topping off your shields to make sure you don't die. While you are also stuck with AI crew members for much of the game, and you cannot command them, they're at least not total idiots...just mostly idiots. Still, they never actually got in my way, so I'll take it.

All together, I really enjoyed Elite Force, and I feel I have a greater appreciation of the Voyager series and Star Trek games in general. And, in an era where the Trek franchise is hit or miss and spread across different streaming services and not providing that sense of hopefulness I felt with TOS and Next Generation, Elite Force felt like a shot in the arm. It was the game I needed to play.
Image
User avatar
ElkinFencer10
Next-Gen
Posts: 8705
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:34 pm
Location: Jonesville, North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by ElkinFencer10 »

Well shit, I accidentally edited and overwrote my previous post instead of quoting it. Hell, whatever. Here's a link to that review on my blog if you're curious about Army Men: Major Malfunction on Xbox.
ElkinFencer10 wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 9:37 pm
Due to how many I'm including here, I'm going to put them in spoiler tags. These are all between two and eight years old.

Games Beaten in 2024 - 28
* 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 - April 21*
12. Army Men: Sarge's Heroes - Dreamcast - April 28*
May (7 Games Beaten)
13. Army Men: Air Combat - Nintendo 64 - May 2*
14. Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2 - PlayStation 2 - May 4*
15. Portal Runner - PlayStation 2 - May 5
16. Army Men: Green Rogue - PlayStation 2 - May 13*
17. Army Men: Green Rogue - PlayStation - May 18
18: Army Men: Air Combat - The Elite Missions - Gamecube - May 21*
19. Army Men: RTS - Gamecube - May 29*
20. Army Men: Sarge's War - Xbox - May 31*
June (8 Game Beaten)
21. Army Men: Major Malfunction - Xbox - June 4*
22. Epic Dumpster Bear - Wii U - June 10*
23. Epic Dumpster Bear 2: He Who Bears Wins - Switch - June 10*
24. JankBrain - Switch - June 10*
25. B3: Game Expo for Bees - Wii U - June 10*
26. Apartment 666 - Steam - June 11*
27. Hello Kitty Kruisers - Wii U - June 11*
28. Chicken Police: Paint It Red - Switch - June 12*
22. Epic Dumpster Bear - Wii U - June 10*
23. Epic Dumpster Bear 2: He Who Bears Wins - Switch - June 10*
24. JankBrain - Switch - June 10*
25. B3: Game Expo for Bees - Wii U - June 10*
26. Apartment 666 - Steam - June 11*
27. Hello Kitty Kruisers - Wii U - June 11*
28. Chicken Police: Paint It Red - Switch - June 12*


22. Epic Dumpster Bear - Wii U - June 10*
Image

"What the hell? The fuck is this? 'Epic Dumpster Bear?' What kind of a name is that? Just more Wii U eShop shovelware...." WRONG, FOOLISH AND IGNORANT PLEBIAN FOOL! This is the practically-no-budget indie platformer of which we've dared only dream for years. This is the game that recaptures the beloved bullshit "why the fuck not?" spirit that game conception has so woefully lacked these last 20 years! THIS is the masterpiece system seller that the Wii U has needed!

Image

Okay, so maybe I made up the last part. But seriously, don't let the name or visual presentation fool you; Epic Dumpster Bear is a legitimately fun game. It's an indie game made in Unity by one person, and it shows, but not like The Letter or Cutie Pets Pick Berries (though I love the latter for the lol factor). It uses its obviously low budget to enhance its charm. This isn't a platformer for people who don't know what the word "fun" means, and it's not one for people who are too hardcore to get over themselves and won't play anything that doesn't have the tightest, most mechanically flawless controls around. It IS for people who want to play a silly game with a ridiculous plot and learn about bears. It's also Canadian as fuck. Just read the official synopsis from the developer.

Image
An evil corporation destroyed his forest, forcing him to eat dumpster food to survive. Now its his turn to take out the trash.
How can you NOT love that? And every loading screen will teach you a bear fact. It's fun AND educational. It's your standard run-of-the-mill platformer for the most part. It's broken into six main worlds with a seventh "bonus" world, and each world fits a theme (forest, tundra, desert, ridiculously busty blonde babes, etc). The second to last level in every world is a castle (think the last level in every Mario world), and the last level of every world is a boss battle. Surprisingly, except for the World 6 boss, they get easier each time. I seriously think the first boss is the hardest in the game, and I beat the World 5 boss on my first try without taking a single hit.

Image

The game is a total cake walk in the first world (minus the boss), the second world is still really easy, but halfway through the third world, the challenge kicks in. Not too bad at first, but you'll have to actually pay attention to what you're doing. By the second half of the game, you'll probably hit some frustration. I legit had a neighbor who lives two houses down from me tell me yesterday that he could hear me screaming "FUCK!!!" from his front yard the night before (but he's also a gamer just a couple years older than I, so he thought it was hysterical).

​The bosses are, truthfully, a joke. But they're fun and ridiculous. Take, for example, a 25 foot tall wasp brainwashed by the unnamed evil corporation whose last words were "Avenge me..." You can't make this shit up. This game is indie gold, and it seems like us North Carolina folks are the only ones who've tapped into this unabashed brilliance. I know it's hard to live up to Jordan's and my magnificence, but yall seriously have got to play this game.
23. Epic Dumpster Bear 2: He Who Bears Wins - Switch - June 10*
https://elkinfencer10.weebly.com/upload ... 2_orig.jpg

This is the game I've dreamt of since I first played Epic Dumpster Bear on my Wii U years ago. I spent sleepless night wondering what became of Dumpster Bear after he destroyed the evil corporation's space station and put a halt to their nefarious plans. Finally, at long last, I have an answer...but will this answer my questions, or will it just raise more? -cue ominous music-

Image

Let me be up front right here at the beginning; I know Epic Dumpster Bear is not a masterpiece of platforming perfection. It's an indie game made in Unity. It does, however, have something that a lot of bigger budget 2D platformers lack - soul. This game just oozes personality and style. It's message is a serious one - a warning about the dangers that unchecked and unrestrained capitalism poses to the environment and wildlife - but that message is delivered in a way that's both humorous and interesting. Not necessarily interesting in a compelling narrative with deep characters and philosophical undertones but rather interesting in that the writing is so clever that you can't help but be curious what the next bit of text dialogue is.

Image

Visually, it's identical to the first game. Even the icon is the same except for the addition of fire behind the dumpster and the number 2 with the subtitle. The obviously low budget aesthetic is part of its charm, though, and I don't mean that ironically. It really does just ooze charm. You can tell that this was a dude's passion project, and that's one of the most endearing things about the game for me. The sound design is pretty much like the visuals - virtually identical to the first game. The enemies and level traps add a bit to the first game, but you'll still see fire jets and barrel gators return. God, I missed the barrel gators. So stupid but so awesome. You do get two cool new mechanics; a forward attack and some special hats. In the first game, you could only attack by landing on enemies a la Super Mario Bros. In this game, you get an attack kind of like Mario's Tanooki suit tail. Depending on the level, you may also get one of two hats. One hat lets you throw curling stone bombs that slide across the ground until they explode, and the other hat lets you throw more traditional looking bombs that explode on impact. You have be on a level that gives you these hats, but they add a super cool element both to enemy destruction as well as obstacle destruction.

Image

The controls are mostly pretty good. Dumpster Bear's movement feels super slick almost as if he's sliding on ice whenever he moves, but it didn't take me long to get used to that. Jumping feels good, and aside from a few instance of spotty hit detection, the attacking feels solid and responsive. If this were a $10 or $15 game, I'd be complaining more about the controls, but between the game's charm and its low price point, it's really a solid package here. The controls aren't bad by any means; there's just a little bit of a learning curve to get used to the rather slick movement.

Image

Epic Dumpster Bear 2 may not be a Sonic Mania or a New Super Mario Bros, but for its price, it's a solid game, and it's probably my favorite indie platformer simply for how charismatic the game is. It's normally $5 - a completely reasonable price in my opinion - but for PlayStation Plus subscribers, you can get it and the first game for just under $5. I'm not sure if that's a regular PS+ deal or a limited time sale, but that's what I paid, and it's MORE than worth that price of admission. If you're good at platformers, it'll probably only take you a couple hours to get through the game. If you're not so good at platformers (like me), it may take a few more hours, but even then, I played through the game start to finish in an afternoon. Whether you're playing on Switch, PS4 or Windows, I absolutely recommend both the first Epic Dumpster Bear (psssst...play it on Wii U) and Epic Dumpster Bear 2.
24. JankBrain - Switch - June 10*
Image

From the brilliant mind that brought you Epic Dumpster Bear and Epic Dumpster Bear 2: He Who Bears Wins, the video game indictments of unrestrained capitalism that you never knew you needed, comes JankBrain, the video game indictment of cryptocurrency and global plutocracy that you never knew you needed. I, along with my friend Jordan, have a truly bizarre and irrational adoration for Epic Dumpster Bear, so when we saw that a platformer in the same style starring one of the bosses from Epic Dumpster Bear 2 was coming out on Switch, we knew that we had to play it.

Image

JankBrain, like Epic Dumpster Bear, is a 2D platformer that is, truthfully, rather simplistic. That's not a criticism, though; it doesn't get bogged down with added gimmicks or anything. The only gimmick here is the humor. As far as control and mechanics go, the only major differences between JankBrain and Epic Dumpster Bear is that JankBrain doesn't slide nearly as much as Dumpster Bear did, and JankBrain has a laser attack. While you can still bounce on top of most enemies to damage them, it doesn't do nearly as much damage as the laser. The bounce is really more useful for landing safely than dealing damage. The music, while not as catchy as Epic Dumpster Bear's in my opinion, fits the action in the game better; most people who went in blind without any Dumpster Bear experience would almost certainly say that the music is better in JankBrain.

Image

I keep comparing JankBrain to Epic Dumpster Bear not only because they're the same style of game but also because they're at least ostensibly in the same bizarre universe. I think. JankBrain was the boss in World 4 of Epic Dumpster Bear 2, so they definitely exist in the same universe. I haven't finished all the bonus levels in JankBrain, so I'm not sure if the Dumpster Bear will make an appearance there, but at the very least, the titular character made his debut as an enemy in the second Dumpster Bear game. They also have the same type of humor. The premise of JankBrain is that JankBrain is an alien from a species with a body mass that is roughly 90% brain (make sense considering that he's just a brain with arms and legs), but rather than argue about philosophy like everyone else on his planet, he wants to go subjugate another planet, so he goes to Earth and, seeing how obsessed with money we are, decides that the best way is to take over the global economy by stealing all of the gold from the world's central banks. From there, the cutscenes after each boss lampoons how money is at the core of all human existence and, eventually, how stupid and actually worthless not only fiat currency but also cryptocurrency is. For a teacher of history and economics like me, it's fantastic.

Image

JankBrain is definitely not nearly as smooth or polished as a AAA platformer like Mario or Donkey Kong, but for a $5 indie game, it's extremely competent and a ton of fun. The controls are tight, and while the hit detection is a little bit screwy - you'll find yourself dying to hits you're positive you should have avoided albeit barely - it's a ton of fun. The levels themselves are a great balance of easy to clear but very difficult to 100%, and the bosses are extremely challenging until you figure out the pattern. All in all, it doesn't have the charm that Epic Dumpster Bear does, but it's an arguably better-made game. If you're a fan of platformers, you absolutely owe it to yourself to play JankBrain.
25. B3: Game Expo for Bees - Wii U - June 10*
Image

B3: Game Expo for Bees! The newest super quirky indie game exclusive to Wii U does not fail to deliver in the departmentsof style and uniqueness. What it does fail to deliver, however, is a worthwhile gaming experience or any real substance. You play as Security Bee, the security officer (obviously) at the B3 bee game expo. The dreaded RoboBear attacks the expo, and you have to defeat it! You'll spend the next 30 minutes (maybe 60 if you EXTREMELY stuck looking for one not-even-all-that-well-hidden item like I did) solving basic puzzles, shooting five enemies and two bosses (and it's just the same boss twice), and generally wondering why you're spending your time on such a sub-par game.

Image

It's not that the game's bad, per se, but more that it's just so minimal and short and - frankly - pointless. It feels less like a game and more like a college student's project for a programming class. It does, at least, control well, and if you see it on sale (its new regular price is $5 down from $10), then I'd say give it a download just to have the quirky title on your Wii U, but it's not something anyone should rush out to buy. It is, at the very least, unique and quirky.
26. Apartment 666 - Steam - June 11*
Image

Sit down, kids. It's time for a cautionary tale. Do NOT buy a game on Steam just because it's on sale for $1 and you think it looks cool. Read reviews first. Watch gameplay videos first. Look it up online first. I didn't do any of those things before I bought Apartment 666, and look at where I am now. I'll never get back the 30 minutes I wasted playing through this game or the $0.99 I paid to download it. Truly, it's the tragedy of our time.

Image

Alright, let's break this train wreck of a game down. It's basically a "horror" walking simulator. Picture PT but really shitty and made by a 14 year old. That's Apartment 666. The layout of the apartment looks almost the same as PT, as well; just a right angle. You play as a 12 year old kid who can't find his parents in an apartment full of locked doors. When you get to the door at the end of the hallway, you end up in your bedroom again. Repeat this about 50 times, and that's the game. There's a little more to it than that, but it all pretty much involves the two doors on either end of the damn hallway. Every now and then one of the doors along the hallway will open. You'll usually have some newspaper clipping to read or some obscure and infuriatingly specific spot you have to stand on to trigger the door to unlock (because of course it closed behind you on its own). The latter is the part that really killed it for me. There's one particular part where you're in a "storage room" (although that's TOTALLY a casting couch and the kid just had no idea what his dad did for fun when he and his mom weren't home), and to unlock the door, there's a VERY specific spot in front of the couch that you have to stand on. It took me 10 minutes to figure that out; that's a third of the time I spent playing the damn game.

Image

The next problem is the voice acting. Jesus Christ, the voice acting. I legitimately think the developer got his 12 year old kid cousin to read lines from a hastily written script one afternoon and called it a done job in one take. They're not even well written. It's crap like "I wonder where my mom and my dad are," "I knew that this was a bad idea..." and "I am back in my room again?" The kind of shit that sure, you might think in that situation but that even protagonists don't often say aloud, and protagonists never say them in that silted a manner. The dialogue is stiffer than a middle school boy spying on his 16 year old sister's sleepover. Also - and here's the kicker with functionality - the game has three achievements, and one of them is bugged. All three of them are story achievements; start the game, get like 10% through the game, and finish the game. The "finish the game" achievement is bugged and won't unlock. The dev says "Look, 2% of people have unlocked it! It works!" and we're all like "Bro, you've got a 15 minute game, and you're telling me that only 2% of people who start it finish it?" All of this in spite of the fact that there are dozens of people on the Steam discussions saying "Hey, I finished it, and it's still bugged."

Image

Apartment 666 is fucking garbage, and I'm ashamed of myself for even spending $0.99 on it. The premise is interesting enough, even if it a blatant copy of PT, and it actually does manage to create a fairly creepy atmosphere early on...until its severe flaws become glaring. There's no real options menu, and your only graphical settings are to change "quality" between low, medium, and high (with absolutely no discernable difference between medium and high) and to change the resolution. No brightness setting despite severely needing one; parts of the game are so dark I literally had no idea where I was going and couldn't tell if the game had crashed or just plunged me into pitch black darkness. I almost wish the game had crashed. It sucks. Don't buy it. Go out and play Chasing Dead or rip your fingernails off with pliers before you buy this; both are infinitely more fun.
27. Hello Kitty Kruisers - Wii U - June 11*
Image

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you a serious contender for 2014 Game of the Year. Just kidding, this game is shit. I know I shouldn't be surprised; licensed games - especially modern ones - are usually total rubbish, especially when they're aimed at a younger audience. Especially especially when that younger audience is female because I guess girls can't appreciate a good game like boys can? Patriarchal bullshit aside, I was legitimately disappointed. Not like "Wow, this is a bad game," but "Wow, this is a really bad game and I actually thought it would be decently entertaining."

Image

I'm a fan of Hello Kitty. Not a huge fan - I don't have any Hello Kitty shit - but I think she's a cute character, and I like her. I also like uncommon and rare games, and knowing that this was a game printed in low numbers on an unpopular console, I know this is going to be a rare game in the future, so I picked it up before prices got out of control. Sure, that was the main reason that I ordered this last week, but I also really did think it would just be your typical Mario Kart clone (complete with shitty Rainbow Road rip-off). Oh, how wrong I was.

Image

My gaming friend Jordan mentioned this in a thread on the Racketboy forums after I said I had ordered the game, and I can't help but agree with him - the game plays soooo slowly. Like, I'll compare it to Mario Kart. Mario Kart's difficulties are listed by speed - 50 cc is slow/easy, 100 cc is normal, and 150 cc is fast/hard. And on Mario Kart 8, 200 cc is plaid/you're-going-to-lose. Well, Hello Kitty Kruisers would stack up around 15 cc with no difficulty settings in sight. It's just....you might as well be racing on tortoises.

Image

It plays like Diddy Kong's Racing less successful little sister (and looks like it, too; Jordan was right about this looking almost like a 5th gen game); some races are done in karts, some are done in boats, and some are done in planes. Anyway, as for game modes, there are three - Quick Race, Tournament, and Adventure. I started with Tournament since it seemed the most straightforward and would unlock characters and stuff. There are four tournaments, and you unlock each one by beating the previous tournament. Each tournament has four races. At no point after the first 10 seconds of each race was I ever out of first place for all sixteen races. The AI in this game would make President Bush (the second one) look like a Rhodes Scholar. I saw racers driving the wrong way. I saw racers driving in circles. I saw racers driving straight into walls and just staying there, wheels spinning. During one race, I lapped every single opponent twice because they decided to have a giant clusterfuck of driving into the same rock wall all at once.

Image

If you haven't gathered yet, this game is laughably easy. I can't imagine four year olds having any difficulty with this game. Any difficulty to be had here is not due to level design - that's literally more uninspired than any game I've ever played - or even to cheap AI but to floaty controls. The planes control fine. The cars control okay - a little slippery, but not bad. The boats, though. Jesus fucking Christ, the boats are the floatiest fucking shit in the whole world. You try to turn in the boat. You're facing the direction you want to go. Your boat says "NOPE" and keeps fucking traveling in whatever the fuck direction it feels like. Normally this isn't a huge problem because the AI is so god damn useless. Enter the "Adventure" mode.

Adventure mode is really just 20 "challenge" levels, and THOSE are just the same four things repeated five times - collect every cupcake in the time limit, drive through every gate in the time limit, complete one lap in the time limit, and collect 99 apples in the time limit. I beat 19 of these 20 levels in one attempt. The third to last one, though....fucking collecting the cupcakes in the god damn FLOATY ASS BOAT. That one took me legit like a dozen tries. It's not that the GAME is hard. It's not that it's a cleverly designed level. It's that the boat is fucking broken if ANY semblance of control or precision is called for.

Image

You have a minute to collect 12 cupcakes in this level with a moderately twisty river course. Well, I say river, but it was more of a lackadaisical creek. Anyway, the first four cupcakes are in two pairs, side by side. I first tried getting one, turning around, and getting the other one before continuing, clearly overestimating the ability of my motorboat to do anything I told it to. That failed spectacularly. I then though "The course isn't that long; I could probably grab one as I go by and then just pick up the other two after finishing a lap in the last few seconds." Indeed, that is what you are supposed to do, and that would have been as easy as any other stage if it weren't for a couple of problems. Problem A - the aforementioned fact that the boat is impossible to steer. Problem B - the hit detection is ridiculous; sometimes you can miss an object entirely and hit it, and sometimes you go straight through it and the game won't register that you've hit it. This is rather problematic when your stages is "collect soggy ass cupcakes." Problem C - the banks of this creek have the gravitational pull of small stars. God forbid you brush up against one pixel of the bank; that fucker is going to have your boat in a death grip that it takes you a good three or four seconds to break out of. When the creek is just a series of 90 degree angles, that makes this tough.

Image

The racers are all identical in terms of performance, and while there does seem to be some real performance difference between the various karts/boats/planes, no where is there a stat screen, so who fucking knows what's better than what in what area. It's a total crapshoot. This is most noticeable with the boats - the motorboats feel faster but are literally impossible to steer with ANY precision whereas the hoverboats are slower but if you try REALLY hard and sacrifice a virgin to an eldritch god, you can actually steer it. Sort of.

Image

This game is garbage. Unless you're going for a full Wii U set or particularly like collecting low print Wii U games (like me), don't bother with this game. Don't even waste your time emulating it or downloading the $10 digital version. It's just rubbish. Are you or your kids fans of Hello Kitty? I don't care; still avoid this game. It will just hurt you on the inside. I beat and unlocked everything - all 16 tournament races and all 20 adventure courses - in an hour and a half. And I still feel like I wasted an hour and a half of my life.
28. Chicken Police: Paint It Red - Switch - June 12*
Image

I bought this game completely on impulse and purely off of the cover art. It looked like a gritty noire mystery but where every character has an animal head; as it turns out, that's exactly what it is. And it's a freaking masterpiece. I expected a stupid "lol meme" game, but this is a legitimately amazing mystery story.

Image

The main character is soon-to-be-retired Clawville PD detective Sonny Featherland, one half of the titular "Chicken Police" duo along with his partner, Marty MacChicken. When a young impala somehow makes her way into Sonny's apartment and asks for his help on behalf of her employer, Natalia Catzenko, who has been receiving concerning threats, he approaches Marty to get the band back together, so to speak, for one last case. Little does he know that what seems at first to be a simple harassment issue will turn into a conspiracy large enough to turn the power structure in the city-state of Clawville on its head.

Image

Aside from the fact that every character has the head of an animal on an otherwise human body and the subsequent animal puns, this is a completely serious and legitimately fantastically written noire mystery. The whole game is in black and white except for Natalia's green eyes (that's how you know she's at the center of the story) and red blood. There's also an option to turn on a film grain filter to give it that authentic 50s noire look. It's a lot like Ace Attorney in that it could principally be described as a visual novel but with a lot of interactive moments; you pick locations to investigate, who to talk to, specific questions to ask during interrogations that can determine how well the interrogation goes, and you have to put pieces of the puzzle together on a cork board at a few different points in the game. There are also some timed mini-game sort of segments. It's got enough variety to break up the potential monotony of a primarily text-driven game (although it is 100% fully voice acted).

Image

The fact that this game got minimal marketing and, from what I can tell, is sold only at Gamestop physically, you'd think this is a fairly mid tier quality game, but literally every aspect surpassed my expectations by a mile. The art style is just astounding. They manage to nail that old noire look PERFECTLY with the monochromatic color, the film grain filter, the character's outfits, and dialogue all working in tandem. Speaking of the dialogue, the voice acting is fantastic. Some performances were naturally better than others - Kerry Shale's performance as Sonny Featherland is legitimately one of the best voice acting performances I've ever heard in a video game - but not a single character had a bad voice acting performance. The choices of music as well perfectly complemented the zeitgeist of the game. The world building also has to be complemented; despite being a game that only lasts maybe six or seven hours, they manage to drop enough details of the world into conversation that you get a feel for the culture in Clawville, the situation of the world in the game, and the political tensions within the city-state and the real-world situations of which they're allegories. I'm being completely serious when I saw that most AAA studios don't make games that impress me as much as this game that seemingly came out of nowhere did.

Image

Chicken Police absolutely caught me off guard and swept me off my feet. I expected six hours of bland story-telling, so-so voice acting, and bad jokes, but what I got was six hours of brilliant mystery writing, deep characters, S-tier voice acting, fantastic writing, and an overall experience that I cannot recommend highly enough. It may not have enough interactivity to keep some more easily distracted gamers' attention, but for those who enjoy mystery stories and are into primarily narrative-driven games, but this is a true masterpiece in my opinion. There are optional side bits to discover and add to the codex that fill in some additional information about the world and characters, some collectibles to find, and different dialogue bits that play out depending on how you conduct your interrogations, so there's definitely some replay value to be had here. Overall, for a $20 asking price on the eShop, this game is a downright bargain when you take into consideration the quality. I really can't sing this game's praises enough, and I can guarantee that it will end up being one of those games with a cult following that not nearly enough people play.
Patron Saint of Bitch Mode
User avatar
alienjesus
Next-Gen
Posts: 8806
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:10 pm
Location: London, UK.

Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by alienjesus »

AJ's games beaten 2024:

1. Yakuza 3 Remastered PS4 *NEW*
2. Gley Lancer Mega Drive *NEW*
3. Flink Mega Drive *NEW*
4. Zero Wing Mega Drive *NEW*
5. Super Bomberman 3 SNES *NEW*


As usual, I'm way behind on reviews, having not posted any yet for 2024. So here's my first attempt to play catch up. These reviews bring me up to February 18th in terms of games I beat this year, so lots more to come yet...

Yakuza 3 Remastered

Image

I’ve been slowly working through the Yakuza games over the past few years and loving the series. However, they seem to come out faster than I’m getting through them – there were 3 new entries in the series in the last year! I decided this year I would do my best to get through the series a bit so I can start to catch up, and so the first game I properly dived into in 2024 was Yakuza 3, the next entry in the series for me.

Yakuza 3 is often considered one of the roughest experiences for new series fans because many start with Zero, and then play Kiwami and Kiwami 2, modern remakes of the first 2 Yakuza titles. Yakuza 3 on PS4 however is simply a remastered PS3 port and so feels like a big step backwards in terms of controls, visuals and polish as it’s the likely oldest title in the series new players will encounter. I found that was somewhat the case, as the mini games and fighting definitely felt less refined and a bit more janky, and the game balance was a bit off with way too much blocking from enemies making fights take longer than they should. That said, I actually thought it held up pretty well overall – there was much less of a difference between this early PS3 title and the new titles than you might expect.

Storywise, Yakuza 3 has some highs and lows. The overall plot I thought was a bit messy, with unclear villain motivations and stakes, and one of the weakest villains so far in my opinion. However, I thought the character moments in the game were some of the best in the series so far, with Kiryu’s interactions with the children of the orphanage he runs and the local Okinawa mafia group being really charming.

It's probably the weakest of the Yakuza games I’ve played thus far, but I feel that saying so does Yakuza 3 a disservice. I still thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game despite some of the quality of life improvements being missing, and I’m still keen to keep working through the series. Definitely a ton of fun, but I’d only recommend it to people who started with Kiwami or Zero and want to continue working through the ongoing saga.


Gley Lancer

Image

Gley Lancer is a shmup released for the Mega Drive only in Japan. It’s been a bit of a cult game with a hefty price tag over the years, and it was finally released in the west on Wii Virtual Console during the Wii era. Unfortunately with Wii VC going the way of the dodo, it was unavailable again for a while but more recently it’s seen a bunch of rereleases – not only an improved port to Switch, but also several official reproductions for the Mega Drive too.

My play-through of the game was on original hardware using the retro-bit reproduction of the cartridge, and I’m glad this is how I experienced it, because Gley Lancer is a really impressive title for the system. The game opens with an animated cutscene explaining the plot, where your father is abducted by an evil alien empire, and your character, a young girl in the military, steals an experimental fighter ship and goes after him. The quality of the animation is fantastic, and this continues into the graphics and music for the actual gameplay, which is equally stunning. Stage 1 features an awesome parallax effect as you pilot through an asteroid belt, and the music is really something special – definitely go and check out the OST, it’s some of the best music on the Mega Drive.

Thankfully, the gameplay also holds up as well as the presentation. It’s a fairly simple horizontal scrolling shooter with a few different weapon options you can pick up, and options which surround your ship and shoot alongside you. You can choose how you want these options to behave at the start of the game, with multiple behaviours to select from. I chose the option that homes in on enemies on screen which I feel was probably the most beginner friendly for the majority of the game.

The game is reasonably ‘easy’ at least by shmup standards and offers infinite continues, although you’ll start from the beginning of the stage when you use one so you still have to play well. It’s also a surprisingly long shmup, with 11 stages to play through before you hit the credits.

I’m really glad I sat and played through Gley Lancer, because it really is a great game, and one it’s a shame the western world missed out on originally. Now it’s a bit more readily available, I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who likes old-school shmups. It’s great.



Flink

Image

Flink is a platformer for Mega Drive where you play as Flink, a wizard who sets out on a journey to defeat an evil sorcerer named Wicked Wainwright. It was developed by Psygnosis, and it’s immediately apparent it is a European title from the distinctive graphics which look fantastic for the system, and the distinct soundtrack which sounds completely unlike most games on the Mega Drive, but which I ultimately found a bit disappointingly generic despite that.

Flink has the usual set of platformer control options being able to jump on enemies and slide down slopes. He can also pick up items and throw them to defeat enemies. More distinctive though is his ability to cast spells. You have to learn these spells by mixing different spell ingredients you gather throughout the game. You can use trial and error to figure these out, but throughout the game you will get scrolls which tell you how to concoct them, or at least provide some hints towards the correct combination. These allow you many options, such as growing plants to use as platforms, summon a familiar or attack enemies with lightning and help the game stand out.

The games levels are all pretty simple but decently designed. There’s a lot of them too, with the game taking quite a long time to get through. It doesn’t suffer too much from some of the worse elements of European platform design either – you get ample invincibility frames after taking a hit and there’s not much forced damage, nor one hit kills – instead opting for a sonic style system where you drop your magic upon first hit and can gather it back up before taking another. I think there are a few of the classic water drops which hurt you though! Difficulty wise the game isn’t too bad but lives aren’t super abundant and I did find I frequently needed to return to an earlier level to grind for lives by replaying it over and over as continues were limited and losing my progress in such a long game would have been devastating.

Flink was a game I thought was pretty OK overall. I don’t think it’s a must own for the system but it was fun enough and it had some interesting ideas and a unique presentation. Worth a try if you’re interested, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to get it.

Zero Wing

Image

How are you gentlemen!! Following on from Gley Lancer, I jumped into another, better known, mega drive shmup. Zero Wing was released only in Japan and Europe (North America, what happen?), and is of course mostly infamous for it’s iconic introduction cutscene where somebody sets up us the bomb. It’s a pretty generic story for a shooter, but the amazing Engrish translation really manages to make it feel more distinct than many of it’s contemporaries, and prepares you to take off every ‘zig’ for great justice.

Zero Wing has a reputation for being on the easier side, but to that I would say ‘what you say!!’. It’s certainly not amongst the hardest for the console, but there is some teeth to Zero Wing that it’s chunky rounded art style tries to hide away. The game starts off pretty manageable, but in a few of the later levels I felt that you are on the way to destruction. If you can’t match the sudden difficulty in pace then you have no chance to survive make your time.

The gameplay of Zero Wing is pretty basic – you can switch between a few different weapons by collecting power ups and they can be powered up further by collecting another of the same weapon type – you know what you doing. However, the game does have one unique mechanic with it’s tractor beam – you can use this to pull in enemy ships which you can then use as a shield to protect you from bullets. Bigger enemies can also be pulled in but due to their weight they will constantly pull you down towards the ground, requiring you fight against gravity and slowing your movement. Thankfully you can fire them back out as projectile at other enemies too, which seems harsh but alls fair in love and war and war was beginning

Zero Wing is ultimately not a particularly amazing shmup. It’s decent fun and reasonably well made, but other than it’s distinctive intro it really doesn’t stand out much. The gameplay is basic and has a slightly wonky difficulty curve and the graphics are a bit basic. Thankfully the music is pretty good so if nothing else that’s a great reason to have your main screen turn on and give this one a play. Zero Wing is a fun little time but nothing that will set your world on fire.

P.S. All your base are belong to us.

Super Bomberman 2

Image

Super Bomberman 2 is the second entry in the Super Bomberman series (obviously) but is the first one I’ve played. An interesting thing about the bomberman series is how it feels there are multiple different distinct story scenarios and canons, and yet the gameplay feels pretty consistent across entries. This one is no different.

You come up against 5 dastardly bomber enemies who capture bomberman in a prison, and you must blast through each themed world of the dungeon to escape whilst defeating the dastardly bombers along the way. Each has a different set of powers you have to combat, and world themes related to their abilities – for example magnet bomber’s world has magnets that can push and pull bombs depending on their polarity if they are in line with them.

Each of the 5 worlds contained multiple levels, a battle vs one of the dastardly bombers and a final boss fight against a bigger mech. The game follows the old-school bomberman approach of needing to defeat all enemies on a stage and then exist through a hidden portal. Accidentally blowing up the portal releases a bunch of extra enemies into the stage so best to be careful with bomb placement. It’s fun, but I preferred some of the refinements of Bomberman 94 and Saturn Bomberman where they had defined level ends and interesting power ups in the form of Louies and Dinos you could ride.

Super Bomberman 2 is a bit of a fan favourite for many I think, but in my mind that’s mainly due to it being one of the more widely available Bomberman titles of the era. I had a good time with it, but there’s better Bomberman titles out there I’d recommend first. I’d recommend Bomberman 94/Mega Bomberman as my 16 bit bomberman game of choice.
Image
User avatar
Jagosaurus
Next-Gen
Posts: 3960
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:15 pm
Location: Houston area, Texas

Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Jagosaurus »

@AJ - Did flink come out on MD cartridge over there? Was Sega CD only in the States and is pricey.

Did you play Adventures of Lomax on PS1? Those games share some heritage and you can see it in art style.

My Retro Achievements | Games Beaten 2023 & 2024 |
xJAGOx = Xbox Gamertag | Console Mods
User avatar
alienjesus
Next-Gen
Posts: 8806
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:10 pm
Location: London, UK.

Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by alienjesus »

Yeah, we got both a Mega Drive and a Mega CD version. I have the Mega Drive version, which isn't the cheapest but costs less than the CD version.

I havent played Lomax but it's been on my wants list for a while.
Image
User avatar
Jagosaurus
Next-Gen
Posts: 3960
Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:15 pm
Location: Houston area, Texas

Re: Games Beaten 2024

Post by Jagosaurus »

@AJ - I owned & sold Lomax CIB before the prices sky rocketed. WOW :shock: a complete copy now runs $200+. Both the play and art style make it Flink 2.0 to me.

2024 Games Beaten
Bold = new add
1. Wolfenstein 3D (XB360)
2. Gears of War Judgement
3. Gear of War 4
4. Doom 3: The Lost Mission
5. Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil

Doom 3 ROE was an expansion released 8 months after the original game and was developed by Nerve Software vs Id themselves. It's a considerable expansion and was even sold as a standalone game for the OG Xbox (for $30 with Doom I & II included). It has a new storyline, plot driven cutscenes, and new characters introduced. I am playing it as part of the BFG package on 360.

HLTB has the average playthrough at 4 hours. It took me a little over 5 hours as I was hunting all 21 of the collectible PDAs.

You'll also have access to new weapons such as the Double Barrel Shotgun & a Soul Cube replacement, and there's a variety of new enemies. My favorite being the Vulgar. This monster is an Imp style creature that closely resembles an Alien Xenomorph. Ive never gotten into Star Trek, but also read it favors Species 8472.

Image

Image

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. At 4 to 5 hours, the pacing was quick. Ammo and weapon upgrades are plentiful, as are the horror themed elements. Overall, definitely recommend to any fans of Doom 3 and the series.

My Retro Achievements | Games Beaten 2023 & 2024 |
xJAGOx = Xbox Gamertag | Console Mods
Post Reply