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Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:17 am
by I am nobody
#73, #74, #75. Deathsmiles, Mushihimesama, and Ikaruga (10/29)

I cleared out my bullet hell backlog while listening to an audiobook last week. Didn't review them until now because I don't have much to say. Deathsmiles is the best of the lot mostly due to what seems like pretty decent replayability and the horizontal scroll being pretty neat. Mushihimesama is the worst because the movement speed is so slow and it's hard to make out enemies and bullets against the background and pickups, although the game does have a fantastic soundtrack. Ikaruga also has great music, but far too much of the game is spent fighting nondescript bits of metal that shoot tons of bullets in patterns that aren't very interesting.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:34 pm
by I am nobody
76. Final Fantasy IX (11/5)

Gonna lead with a disclaimer: After a very early boss (Black Waltz #1) turned out to be a level/item check and I couldn't be bothered to grind, I turned on all the boosters and kept them that way for the rest of the game. I finished the game ridiculously quickly (14 hours) as a result, but I can't really comment on anything to do with combat. Not having to deal with random encounters was definitely welcome, though.

My two favorite things about FFIX are the soundtrack and the art direction. Neither of those is particularly surprising considering the series' pedigree, but they're standouts even with that context. Save for a few disappointing moments when boss fights kept the music from the preceding cutscene, the music is consistently effective, and it's probably going to join the list of OSTs I keep on regular playlists. Similarly, the art (aside from the overworld, anyway) manages to make familiar environmental tropes feel fresh and interesting throughout the game, to say nothing of when it's completely original. I was already looking for FF art books, but this is further encouragement.

That said, while FFIX undoubtedly stands among the series best on those elements, I play these games for the stories. IX starts off strong on that front with a great play sequence that's mostly slapstick. The game is almost always successful when it takes that tone, and had it stuck with it for the entire plot, I'd probably be considering it for the best FF game.

Sadly, it doesn't. Most of the game is played entirely straight-faced, and the writing is bad. If you told me that 25% of this game's dialogue consisted of "[character name]..." or just "...", I'd believe you. It's like the audio and visual teams stole all of the writer's creative abilities and left them as husks capable only of regurgitating genre tropes. Pick any fantasy JRPG cliche and I can almost guarantee this game does it, probably paired with embarrassingly amateurish dialogue like "Do you know what it means to meet your maker?" It alternates between being so predictable that you call every plot twist from the moment it begins to develop and randomly tossing out new developments and characters without any buildup or narrative justification whatsoever. I'll admit that it's significantly improved from the utter nonsense that was FFVIII's story, and even that it's better written than most of the games that came after, but it's still a long way from being good.

Overall, it's alright. I can see why someone more able to ignore the writing than me or who is less familiar with genre tropes might enjoy it. I spent too much of the game groaning at the plot to feel much of anything positive.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:35 pm
by I am nobody
77. Super Mario Odyssey

Despite all the praise this got, I went in with pretty low expectations. I'd already been majorly disappointed by BotW building itself on ludicrous numbers of tiny challenges instead of a few big ones earlier in the year, and Odyssey seemed to be following that model. Possibly by coincidence, everything I'd seen of the game up to that point had been challenges that amounted to getting moons for free, like the musicians, and none of it looked remarkable. I ended up buying it only because a friend insisted I had the wrong idea and I figured I could resell it for almost full price.

Well, I had the wrong idea. Odyssey absolutely does have gimmee moons, of course, but they're just a tiny fraction of the hundreds upon hundreds in the game. The overwhelming majority are clever environmental puzzles, many of which in turn have clever-er environmental puzzles within them, or classic platformning challenges. The main moons in each world are just as substantial and enjoyable as they've ever been in 3D Mario, but the paths to them are littered with smaller events that frequently steal the show. There were plenty of times when I thought I'd rush through a world as quickly as possible only to finish with three times as many moons as I needed because I just couldn't stop finding fun distractions.

There's really almost nothing I can criticize about it. I wish it would stop trying to harass me into using motion controls and that they'd made better use of the buttons (why does air dive require two presses when A/B and L/R both pointlessly do the same thing?), but those were only minor annoyances that I was mostly over by the end game. It was also a little disappointing that the story was that dull in a game that's otherwise so creative, but I can't pretend to care much about that in a Mario game. There's nothing I'd consider a major flaw.

In that sense, this review is broadly interchangeable with what I said about A Hat in Time. They're both near-perfect 3D platformers that are definitely better than anything I'd seen from the genre previously, and even though I don't enjoy the genre enough to seriously consider either of them for game of the year, I can completely understand why others would go even further than that. Which is really just a roundabout way of saying that it's awkward that the best Mario game came out right after I said another game was better than any Mario game and that I'm not going to comment on whether that's still true right now. It's really close. >_>

I kind of want to go back and give Galaxy another shot now, but I still have 600 moons left. Choices.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:03 am
by Marilink
I'll also give some thoughts on Mario Odyssey.

I loved this game.

The movement in the game was always responsive and felt great. The objectives in the game were fun, and I have not felt bored with any particular thing in the game even after getting my 700th moon. The story was simple, but I still thought it was very fun. The side characters and new races are all endearing and great to have around. The music is so good that I've been listening to the level themes basically on repeat for the last two weeks. The boss battles are the best in any Mario game to date, and I'm not exaggerating. The costumes were just fun, and I still have a good time switching up my outfit whenever I'm in a new world. The level design is brilliant, especially seeing all of the ways that the different capture-able enemies are put to use in specific situations. And the visual conveyance of game mechanics is deliberate and effective--I never needed to ask myself "Ok, how do I control this thing or use it to my advantage?" I could always figure it out by simply observing the world and how things interacted.

It's hard to say anything about this game that hasn't already been said, unfortunately. This game is the evolution of the Mario franchise in an incredibly positive and encouraging direction. The game is just joyful from front to back. It had some nostalgia pieces along the way, but it never relied on them to accomplish anything other than icing on an already-delicious cake. I'm close to 100%ing the game, and I'm excited to accomplish that. (I've been able to do it so quickly because the game came out right as my wife left town with my daughter for a long weekend, so I poured...a lot of time into it while they were gone)

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:17 pm
by X-3
19.) Super Mario Odyssey

It's too late to read this sentence. This is easily the most disappointing game I've played this year. Now that you've read that large text first and I've forced your attention, let me tell you how I really feel. This is easily one of the best games I've played this year, if not the best, and it wasn't actually disappointing. It feels like Banjo-Tooie with crisp movement, "transformations" worth using for more than once, size-appropriate worlds with tasks properly spread around, world inter-connectivity, and more. Unlike most Mario games, coins in this game stay valuable to collect until the very end of post-game, which is surprising and appreciated. Moons are in someways an evolution of the Star system in previous Mario games, in other ways a freak side-mutation. You can find them by doing a variety of tasks. Some will make you go "aha!" and make you feel like you're the smartest player ever. Others will make you feel like you can press the A or B button and move the control stick. They can't all be winners, I guess. While SM64 vets like me might be a bit put off by being unable to 100% clear stages on a first visit, the benefits of such design soon become apparent: you're encouraged to squeeze out all you can out of a first visit, leave when you've had enough, and then return much later. There is also a much appreciated QoL addition in regards to hunting for Moons and Purple Coins: if you revisit, Cappy will tell you if there's anything still there to collect, and tell if there's nothing left. Oh, and the game has a lot of fanservice, some of which goes places that I would have never anticipated. Avoid spoilers like the plague.

I do have some minor complaints off the top of my head:
-as stated earlier, some Moons feel almost criminally easy to get. Others can end up being "yeah just ground pound here I guess." There's also Moons that feel rather routine from world-to-world, like talking to a recurring NPC or catching an animal. Sometimes they manage to vary the task so it feels unique to each world, but sometimes it literally is just talking to a NPC.
-There are two Kingdoms in particular that would make for great settings but end up as small samplings instead. Additionally, one early Kingdom feels underdeveloped and almost entirely outclassed by a later Kingdom.
-Purple Coins can end up being a bit of a pixel-hunt to find, with no real way to track them down outside amiibo.
-The game never really gets particularly "tough", even in post-game. This is only a minor complaint because the focus is not on difficult stages but rather the thrill of exploration and discovery. Well, at least there's no Rainbow Ride-tier level. (edit: okay one or two mini-games are tough but they're different)
-I noticed you reusing those 2-3 side-areas, game!
-there is one Kingdom that has a really cool theme but ends up being a bit disappointing. Actual spoilers ahead
Bowser Kingdom is, as it's name says, knee-deep in Bowser's territory. It has a really cool Japanese fortress theme going on with Japanese architecture, music and clothing, (Samurai Mario) making you anticipate just what'll find inside. What do you find? Some peasant Goombas that appear once, some spinies, a lot of weird poke birds (that you capture to scale walls over and over again) and some oni Whomp. Where are the Samurai Koopa? Where are the Shinto Magikoopas? Why are the shopkeepers at the Crazy Cap humans? Why are there no Koopas in the land of the Koopas? Argh!
If I had to summarize the root of most of my minor complaints, it'd be "I want to play more of this game." If someone complains about that I'd say you've made a pretty good game.

6/12, it's the Citizen Kane of being okay

edit: Oh, and the game runs at a smooth 60 fps most of the time which is cool.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:27 pm
by Booyakasha
I am nobody wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:17 am
#73, #74, #75. Deathsmiles, Mushihimesama, and Ikaruga (10/29)

I cleared out my bullet hell backlog while listening to an audiobook last week. Didn't review them until now because I don't have much to say. Deathsmiles is the best of the lot mostly due to what seems like pretty decent replayability and the horizontal scroll being pretty neat.
Man. Good old 'Deathsmiles'. I should play that one a bunch again. I'm not good at bullet-hell shooters, but that doesn't stop me.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:17 pm
by I am nobody
^Same. There's a few I'm okay at, but many continues were used in getting through those three.

77. Emily is Away (11/11)

Humble gave me the sequel, and this was both free and 20 minutes long, so I figured I should play it. I don't know why I keep trying these desktop simulator/found phone slice of life games when I've hated all of them.

Emily is Away was one of the earlier entries in this bizarre subgenre, but it's no exception to the rule. You spend 20 minutes talking to some faceless person about eachother and some even more faceless people each of you supposedly know. The relationship between the main characters is initially unclear, but you get railroaded into apparently being involved even if you don't say anything to remotely suggest that. Similarly, the game repeatedly tries to get you to say you're involved with another character who is almost literally just a name no matter how many times you say otherwise. Nothing interesting ever happened, and I never cared about anyone in the story.

I will readily admit that, as someone who wasn't in college in the early 2000s, went through no notable drama in high school, and mostly kept to myself in college, I am not the target audience for this game. But a good story isn't dependent on the audience having lived exactly the same life as its characters, and plenty of other games have overcome exactly the same barriers. Persona 5 and Night in the Woods both did it within the last year.

tl;dr: I talk to myself while playing games, and my reaction on finishing this one was "What the **** was the point of that?" Hadn't intended that as a review, but in retrospect, I can't top it.

I did end up briefly playing the sequel afterward to see if it was any better. It is a very accurate simulator of those times in high school when people I was barely friends with somehow caught me in the minute I was logged into Facebook and I got stuck talking about nothing for 20 minutes.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:41 am
by Apollo the Just
Sonic Forces is the best game in the franchise with phenomenal visual storytelling in its levels, a damn killer OST, and of course avatar customization which is literally the best thing to happen to Modern Sonic. see my other thread for more details

I'm not "done" tho bc I'm gonna be grinding for all the customization options and individual level ranks for the next always.

Check out my edgy OC posing next to my currently-7th-best worldwide time on Imperial Fortress, which is a good enough level I have spent 2 solid days grinding it and trying to skip pretty much all of it with the drill wispon:

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:33 pm
by I am nobody
78. The Lab (11/18)

It's to the Vive what Wii Sports was to the Wii: a well-designed tech demo that everyone plays. The archery game and the arcade shooter are pretty fun and I'll probably go back to them. Everything else is either a one-off or difficult to even call a game. Still, it's free, so I can't complain much.

R-4. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2005) (11/19)

Darth Vader was unlocked right away and it never asked me for money. I think my game is broken.

All the furor around the new one made me wonder if the old one still holds up. It kind of does.

Compared to this year's game, 2005's Battlefront II doesn't feel anything like Star Wars. The effects are all wrong, there's way more bunny hopping and rolling than I ever saw in the movies, and even X-Wings feel more like space boats than starfighters. There's also a lot more suicidal flights into the bows of Star Destroyers and crowds of soldiers getting trapped in door ways or rushing headlong into grenades in what I can only assume is a deep commentary on the inhumanity of warfare.

But if you can look past the fact that it's no longer a very good Star Wars game and probably never was a very good battle simulator, it's still pretty fun as an arcade shooter. This game and its prequel have possibly the worst AI ever seen in this kind of shooter, which means both that you can have a 200-0 round if you know what you're doing and that, sometimes, your allies are so braindead that you'll still lose the battle even with 100 individual kills. Are either of those signs of a technically good game? Probably not, but it's fun if you're willing to turn your brain off for a bit and be Darth Rambo.

Also, Galactic Conquest mode is still great. The most fun I had with the game was when all of my idiot allies had gotten themselves killed and I had to finish the defense of Naboo by myself against 20 (admittedly, just as stupid as my guys) Stormtroopers. It's probably longer than it needs to be considering that there's only a handful of troops to unlock, but I'd love to see it in a newer game.

"Good" is probably too strong of a word for it, but it's still fun if you're in the right mood.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:05 pm
by X-3
20.) Resident Evil (Remake)

You know, this game is pretty cool. It's just satisfying to use your resources wisely and survive. Tank controls are awkward but seem kind of appropriate in a tense, claustrophobia environment like the Mansion. The camera angles can be a bit unfair when it comes to encountering and dealing with zombies. The incentive to replay the game is nice and there's a lot of little secrets to be found here and there. No idea how anyone at Umbrella used their faculties on a day-to-day basis though.

also was Wesker shooting bees in a cutscene? What a loser lmao

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:41 am
by I am nobody
I did 77 twice.

80. 1bitHeart (11/20)

Miwashiba has carved out an interesting niche over the last few years. LiEat and Alicemare were (extremely) graphically basic top-down games that were best described as surreal fairy tales. The basic story beats were broadly familiar, but it was all just a bit weird, and the stories were communicated in a way that kept you from ever being completely sure you understood. They're also obscenely cheap.

1bitHeart mostly keeps to that trend. It's a sidescroller rather than a 2D game, and it's set in the future rather than being a fairy tale, but it's still got that strange not-quite-right atmosphere. It's also way more Japanese, which is a mixed blessing. On the positive side, it's taken some hints from TWEWY in the art and music direction (there's even some vocal tracks now) and has a cool animated opening. The negative side is obviously that we've now got the odd wildly inappropriate comment about breasts and all those other tropes - because that's apparently ****ing obligatory - but it at least isn't anywhere near as bad as I've seen in other games.

The game itself follows Nanashi, a shut-in, on his quest to make friends. This takes place in the midst of a larger plot about mind-hackers, and the friend-making itself plays out as a mix of Harvest Moon-style bribery in free time and, bizarrely, Danganronpa-style debates for required friends. The debates start out needlessly obtuse and quickly become pointlessly easy, but the story itself is largely entertaining, if not exactly prize-worthy. The free time friends I saw were painfully cliche, so I stopped bothering very quickly. You only need one to get the normal ending.

It's probably more interesting than good, but that's enough for me at $3. I'd have been happy paying the combined $5 for just the soundtrack DLC, so the game is basically a bonus.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:54 pm
by X-3
I bought Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 off of GMG so I'm replaying 7-10. I'll just throw 7 and 8 into this post and 9 and 10 into the next one.

21.) Mega Man 7

I hate this **** ing game. Most of the bosses are either obnoxious or brain-dead, your invincibility frames are too short, the level design is boring, the Weapon Get screen sucks and everyone won't stop yelling really slowly in this game for some reason. The game is pretty easy until the final boss, at which point the game realizes it hasn't left any impression upon the player yet and decides to make them suffer. The music is good though.

22.) Mega Man 8

I like this game. I don't love it, but I like it a lot better than 5-7. The bosses are actually kind of fun to fight against, with weaknesses that a.) do reasonable damage without shattering the AI (with one exception, poor Astro Man) and b.) don't cause them to get stunned for 5 or more seconds. The Bolt system is pretty cute: there's 40 Bolts across the first 10 stages of the game, and you can exchange them for power-ups. There's a lot of good stuff to be bought, like a Faster Charge, an Energy Balancer, and the almighty Arrow Shot. This kind of system is actually what I like to see in a Mega Man game once in a while, because it shows that the devs were trying to add whatever they could to the admittedly short game formula.
"but megaman 7 had a shop"
Anyway, the one major gripe I have with 8 is the level design is pretty bland overall. The only two standout stages to me (that aren't gimmick stages) are Grenade Man and the 3rd Wily Stage. Also the sound Mega Man makes when he lands on the ground is really annoying.

On a Collection-related note, the Challenges seem rather undertuned so far. I died like 3 times on the MM8 boss rush challenge and still had minutes to spare for a Gold Medal.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:46 pm
by Calamity Panfan
mega man 7 is asscheeks. worst mainline mega man.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:33 pm
by Marilink
I like Mega Man 7

I went through and counted up the games I've reviewed in this topic so far--

1. Breath of the Wild
2. Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment
3. Super Mario Bros. 2
4. Sonic Mania
5. Golf Story
6. Samus Returns
7. Metroid II
8. Super Mario Odyssey

Which means I've got 9, 10, and 11 on the way.

9. Donkey Kong Country

This game holds a special place in my heart. It's one of those games that I know all 101% of the secrets, and I can't think of a time in my life when I didn't know where they all were. I had a great experience beating this game again, because I got to tag-team the game with my sister when I was at her house last weekend. She and her husband got an SNES Classic, and we had a fun time revisiting DKC.

Full disclosure, I did speedrun this game back in college. My PB, using the map warp glitch, was 41:22. Not great, but it's something. The only problem is that for the speedrun you basically have to use Diddy for the whole game. When I played with my sister, I was Player 1...AKA Donkey Kong. This threw me off considerably from what my muscle memory learned from speedrunning.

Either way, I still think this game is all kinds of brilliant. Any flaws it has are solved or at least improved in DKC2, which is easily the better game. I'll still revisit DKC1 more often though, just for the nostalgia.

10. Metroid Fusion

I remember not liking this game that much, at least as far as Metroid is concerned. I had it in my head for some reason that it was just a Metroid game except someone was holding your hand the whole time. The thing is, I don't think I've played this game in 10 years or maybe more. I played it once when it came out and then had this notion in my head of what it was like up until I booted it up two days ago on my 3DS VC.

I was wrong. This game is great.

Yes, there's still too much direction for a Metroid game. On the other hand, though, the over-guided nature of certain parts of the game end up having the effect that the parts of the game that aren't guided are all the more lonely and challenging. I still prefer Super Metroid's style of free roaming, self-discovery, and visual storytelling. But Fusion definitely is better in this regard than I remember. And there are still some poignant storytelling beats that are conveyed by visuals alone--particularly, when you get to the Restricted Lab near the end of the game and see what's really going on the whole time. And the dialogue, though different in tone from Super Metroid and others, does help create a cool story.

This game's harder than I remember. Things hit really hard. Touching an enemy takes, on average, like 35 health. And you don't have a whole lot of I-Frames, so I got combo'd to death a few times. Ridley and Nightmare really hit like trucks. When I first started the game, I was surprised and disappointed with how many health drops there were throughout the whole game...but I eventually realized that the copious health drops just gave the devs an excuse to really punish you for getting hit. I liked it.

Overall, this game is a thousand times better than my faulty memory led me to believe. I think one of the biggest things that helped me enjoy the game this time around is that I have now played Metroid fact, I've played Metroid II three times over now! Every single Metroid II reference in this game escaped me the first time I played through. I'm glad to say that's no longer the case, and I'm better off for it.

11. Gunman Clive

I had this game from a Humble Bundle a while back, but never played it. It's good! A fun little Mega Man-like. The physics are a little floatier than I like, but it's designed well around the floatiness. I've gotta go back and play it on Hard Mode just to see what that's like. The aesthetic of this game is what really shines, though--it looks awesome.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:24 pm
by X-3
23.) Mega Man 9:

I remember a time when a new Classic Mega Man game was just a pipedream. While other series (X, MMBN, SF, Zero, ZX) were getting frequent releases, it had been a good 12 years since MM8 came out. (MM8 is seriously 20 years old, what the ****) A continuation to the Classic series seemed nigh-impossible to most fans, a sort of fanfiction game you'd come up with in your spare time. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Nintendo Power revealed that Mega Man 9 was happening, and it would look and play like the NES games. So, how it'd turn out?


9 doesn't play around. This is easily the hardest Classic Mega Man game, save for maybe Mega Man & Bass & Knuckles but that game is **** ing stupid anyway. And let's just say that this is what I signed up for. Getting through a stage in this game is so much more rewarding than it is in 5-8. The weapons are somewhat infamous for being overpowered, but honestly that's a lot better than them being mostly useless. (ie: 5) Bosses have the ideal MM pacing, and some of them try to incorporate weaknesses in more clever ways than the older NES games.

I do have two complaints though. The first is that Mega Man can't slide. They were trying to recapture 2 and went a bit too far, because the slide is a great move. They gave it and the Charge Shot to Proto Man, but he takes much more damage and knockback. On a related note, the initial release of the game had a sizable amount of DLC content: playable Proto Man, two harder difficulties, Time Attack (which includes a Special Stage and boss) and an Endless Stage. This content is all free in the LC2 release.

The second complaint I have is more of a general design complaint than anything that really affected me personally but I feel like the game gets a bit too unyielding towards the end. Entering the Fortress makes you unable to access the shop again, which means that you can't buy more Tanks. What makes this particularly brutal is that the final level (the obligatory boss rush) has no Tanks in it, meaning that what you use is gone forever. Unless my memory fails me, in other MM games with tanks, the boss rush will have at least 1 Tank available, meaning that you won't end up completely SOL in terms of resources. To make matters worse, this is the one game where all 3 of Wily's forms are fought right after the boss rush. (in 4-6, Wily's last form at the very least was fought in a separate stage)

But yeah, it's a pretty satisfying game overall.

24.) Mega Man 10:

Compared to the megaton that was 9's announcement, 10's reveal was simply a nice surprise. In a way, that describes 10 to a tee: a nice game but nothing too amazing. 9's lack of mechanics seemed novel when it was released, 10 doing the same thing is just :shrug:. 10 introduces a nice QOL feature in the form of letting you swap weapons on the fly at least. The game isn't as good as 9, but it isn't a snoozefest like some of the other games in the series. If I had to make a cheap food analogy for the benefit of Americans, the release of 9 was eating a great burger for the first time in months while the release of 10 was eating that same burger 2 days later.

While I remembered 9 as being more cruel than 10, playing them back-to-back this time has left me feeling things aren't that simple. While 9 is tougher overall, with tricky jumps and the occasional “haha SURPRISE YOU DIE LOL GG” moment, 10 has a **** of things that knock you into pits. Never before in the series have I been knocked into so many pits. Bosses are also noticeably fiercer in this game, with fast, dangerous movement and in several cases more awkward weaknesses. For instance, Blade Man takes more damage from the Commando Missile's shockwave than the missile itself, and Nitro Man takes more damage from running over the Chill Spike than getting shot by it directly. The weapons aren't bad save 1 or 2 duds, but they are more one-note than the versatile and perhaps overpowered weapons of 9. My personal favorite is the Nitro Wheel because it can climb walls. The endgame has been reeled in a bit, with the final Wily fight being separated into its own stage.

The complete version of 10 in LC2 has a lot of bonus content, such as harder difficulties, a playable Bass and 3 Bonus Stages that include fights with the Mega Man Killers. (with their weapons as a reward) Additionally, like the initial release, Proto Man is playable from the start of the game. As in 9, this amount of relevant bonus content is much appreciated in an otherwise-short Mega Man game. Mega Man still can't slide though.

What's next for the series?

With the deaths of Legends 3 and Universe, Mega Man 10 is the last* Mega Man game. Despite being billed as Capcom's mascot series, Mega Man has never sold as much as some of the company's other properties. There were two major things that kept the series alive: they were quite cheap to make, and there were high-ranking people in Capcom (Inafune) willing to push for their development. Neither of those are really true anymore, unless you're going for a budget title like 9 and 10.** While those games are good, I feel like the fanbase (or maybe just me) has higher hopes and ambitions for the series than budget NES throwback games. Unless Capcom- a company today noticeably poorer in both cash and talent- decides to take a major risk, a budget game (or a mobile game) is the most to expect. An announcement of some kind if planned for December; I expect a cheap outsourced phone game to tie-in to the upcoming animated series.

*last game that wasn't a low-effort port and/or animated in Flash by interns
**why didn't they just make 11? The idea was floated at one point, but they decided instead to make Universe, a HD level maker/remake of 2(?). That game ended up being canceled, perhaps for the best.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:12 pm
by I am nobody
I also did R-4 twice. Counting is hard.

R-6. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (11/30)

Considering I remembered almost everything about the world and plot of this one, it's remarkable how little the game itself resembled my image of it. I'd thought that it had the most forgettable soundtrack of any Zelda game, save for a handful of standout tracks. I'd also thought that it had embarrassingly bad faces even when I was first playing it in early 2007. Turns out that neither of those things are true - the music is consistently fantastic, and the facial animation is frankly astounding considering the hardware they were working with and how bad the contemporary competition was even in the PS3 and 360. The rest of the game actually looks surprisingly good, too - at least once you up the resolution. It's not going to pass for anything modern, but there's nothing as egregious as Mass Effect's clothing textures on anything you're made to look at frequently, and they did a reasonable job with lighting.

...Unfortunately, most of the ways it doesn't resemble the game I remembered are more important and less positive. I could go into every little thing about the gameplay that's either aged badly or should never have been acceptable, but they all pretty much fit into three broad categories:

First, this game's camera is garbage, and the game is somehow unaware. The Wii version camera is largely autonomous since you've only got one stick, and for reasons that I doubt will ever be understood by mortals, it is largely uninterested in facing the way you're going. That means that, unless you just really want examine wall textures, you're going to be pressing Z to reset the camera every time you make any significant turn. If you've got to turn with any precision, you're going to be making tiny c-stick adjustments and mashing Z, which is choppy, but only mildly annoying. The bigger problem is that Z is also your lock on button, so if ANYTHING is remotely near you while you're trying to reset the camera, Link will instead snap to face that. You can get around it by using C instead of Z, but that's even slower, and both of them make the game's attempts at platforming feel like navigating a barge.

Second, the controls are wildly unreliable. Shaking the nunchuck does a spin attack, but punching with it does a shield attack. In practice, doing anything except a full-on punch probably does a spin attack, except when the game decides it's bored with that and does four shield attacks in a row. Waggling the Wiimote does a regular attack, except when it doesn't. You can aim by pointing the Wiimote at the screen, except when the game decides you can only aim at the top right corner or stops following you completely. You can get around that by auto-targeting with Z, except when things randomly aren't targetable. And so on.

Finally, it has no idea how to be challenging. Combat in this game is pointlessly easy, and some of the bosses, despite their admittedly great visual design, were so woefully inept that fighting them was just sad. The game realizes this around the Temple of TIme, and rather than making enemies compelling, it decides to cycle between spamming you with mobs, making bigger enemies take forever to kill, and just being cheap. Even though the game has 7 special sword moves and loads of different equipment, you basically never need anything except your regluar attack, the spin attack, and the rolling jump attack, and there's never any doubt about when you should use which. The only times you'll ever really take damage are when it decides that birds coming at you on tiny platforms is fun or that letting enemies start attacking in cutscenes is fair.

There's more I could say on both the positive (Malo is great!) and negative, (So much of the characterization happened in my imagination!) but most of it got drowned out by those points. As much as I'm sure it's still a great game in 2006, I can't call it much more than alright today. Maybe the Gamecube version has fared better.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:43 am
by I am nobody
#81. Princess Remedy in a Heap of Trouble (11/30)

A game about curing people's ailments by shooting their inner demons with medicine until they die. It's a ridiculous concept that's only made more so by the fact that said ailments are usually something like "I think I'm right about everything", which becomes "I KNOW I'm right about everything" when cured. It's stupid, but it knows that, and the writing is consistently entertaining.

It's also just a really good arcade shooter. You can get extra powers by "dating" people (or plants, or slimes, etc) after curing them, and the bosses are bigger and more varied than in the first game. It's only about 40 minutes long, but there's almost nothing to criticize in that time, and it's more than fairly priced at a whole $3. Can't go too wrong if you're looking for a top-down shooter or comedy game.

#82. Nex Machina (12/2)

This game's sales failure prompted Housemarque to declare arcade dead, and after playing it, I can't say I disagree with them. It's not that Nex Machina is a bad game - it's perfectly serviceable - but there's nothing to it beyond score attack. If, like me, you'd struggle to care much less about that, then there's no reason to come back after one (coincidentally, also approximately 40 minute) playthrough. And although the game is fun, it's not nearly varied or new enough that I'd have been happy paying $10 to get less than an hour out of it.

I spent most of my time playing it thinking about how much better if would've been if it had had more crafted/varied/difficult levels like Assault Android Cactus, entertainment value outside the gameplay like Princess Remedy, or metaprogression like any of the dozens of twinstick rogue-lites out there. As it stands, I can't think of any future scenario in which I'd go back to this over one of those games.

#83 Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds (12/3)

Playing Horizon directly plugged in to my monitor instead of streamed from across the room made me realize two things: this game is unbelievably beautiful and the combat is far better than I gave it credit for back in March. Both of those things are helped tremendously by seeing a clear image instead of one at whatever tiny resolution my PS4 was managing to stream.

Frozen Wilds isn't much of a departure from the base game, nor does it add an especially huge land area relative to what was already available. Rather than trying to impress us with a huge, empty map or new gimmicks, it just sets out to be the best 10 hours of Horizon, and with the possible exception of one or two of the original main quests, it absolutely is.

The most important change is that, where the base game's had a ton of sidequests and activities that were basically just open world/RPG cliches, FW has a smaller number of quests that are all unique and interesting. I completed all of them and even got all of the collectibles without ever feeling like I was doing it just to tick boxes. The cauldrons were really the only outstanding optional content in the base game, but almost everything is up to that standard in FW.

Beyond that, it adds some weapons that give combat a bit more depth and has a main questline that, while relatively short, meaningfully adds to the story and is every bit as great as the real main quest. This probably isn't going to change your mind if you didn't like Horizon for some reason, but if you did, it's pretty much essential. It's definitely bumped up a few places on my yearly list.


Also, that's number 500!

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:32 pm
by I am nobody
#84. Passpartout: The Starving Artist (12/3)

It's a game about painting in an editor even more limited than MS Paint and selling your works to caricatures of French people. It started out pretty brilliantly - the AI seemed to do a reasonable job of judging what was and wasn't a decent painting, and I felt like my paintings were more or less fetching their value for about the first hour. After that, it's similarity check becomes baffling. The paintings that ultimately won me the game could fairly be described as all being the same, but I had plenty of others that didn't sell because the game decided they were copies of earlier, completely different paintings. The most egregious example was when I tried my had at MS Paint kanji calligraphy and had to trash the painting because the game declared it a copy of (I assume) an earlier "work" that was just English text in the same colors insulting the punks that didn't like my paintings.

The bigger issue is that the game stops being so open after the first level. Depending on whether you sell more paintings to punks or old men, you'll either end up in a modern gallery or an art shop. I ended up at the latter, which is frequented by ladies and businessmen. I spent a frustrating hour not selling anything to either group before resorting to a guide and learning that the ladies like portraits, which are way beyond my ability, and the businessmen like bright colors and shapes, which I can do.

The rest of the game could generously be interpreted as a social commentary: it turns out the businessmen really like the Google colors. I started out selling them a painting evenly divided into those colors as a joke, then sold them the Chrome logo and the actual Google logo for bajillions of dollars. The rest of the game was just me coming up with random shapes and painting them the same four colors until I won - every attempt to do anything different was rejected by the cult of Google.

It could be something great with some more refinement to the judging algorithm, but it's too easy to see behind the curtain as it is.

#85. Road Redemption (12/5)

A rogue-lite in which, in theory, you race motorcycles and knock your rivals off their bikes with pipes and swords. In practice, you only do that until the game starts sprinkling guns and explosives willy-nilly, and then you just shoot them all to death. The final levels are particularly bad about this, since they're mostly races in which you can just ignore everyone or go slowly behind them and shoot them in the back. You could keep fighting in melee, sure, but that's incomparably more difficult, so there's very minimal incentive to do so. I guess you're supposed to keep replaying to unlock more stuff, but I didn't enjoy it enough to go back.

#86. Battle Chef Brigade (12/9)

It's Iron Chef if that competition required you to brawl your food to death and then cook it via match-3. It's a great idea handicapped by the writing and some bizarre difficulty decisions.

The problem with the writing is that it's basically an unbroken sequence of cliches. You've almost definitely seen everything that happens before, and you've probably seen it done more effectively. It's not the worst story I've ever played, sure, but there's far too much of it for how generic it is. They could've cut every scene in half without losing anything, because the player isn't going to have any trouble filling in the rest. I also thought the voice acting ranged from mediocre to actively terrible, but it's done in cartoon style, so mileage may vary depending on your preferences for that.

The difficulty is more of an issue. 95% of the game feels like you're supposed to win. Whenever I did well in a competition, the AI performed reasonably. Whenever I did badly, the AI conveniently mad massive mistakes so that I still won by the same margin. It's hard to have any sense of accomplishment once you realize this is happening, but the bigger problem is the two matches were it abruptly doesn't. There's one fight at the end of Chapter 4 and another in the finale where the AI's performance seems to be (with some random allowance) scripted. It will get a certain score regardless of your performance, and that score may be astronomically more than what you'd been winning with in previous rounds. It's like getting the entire learning curve of the game at once - I think the final boss's difficulty could have been fine if there was a smooth curve to it, but the spike they made is just absurd.

There are three kinds of "challenge" that you'll do 13 times each throughout the game that are even more baffling. I'm not sure it's even possible to lose one of them, the second allows infinite resets, and the third seems like an afterthought since a majority of them are just "kill x enemies" where none of the enemies could ever realistically kill you. They're pointless wastes of time, but you need to do them if you want money for equipment.

It's a great idea, and it would've been a great game if they hadn't shot themselves in the foot with those difficulty decisions. Hopefully they can learn from it.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:27 pm
by I am nobody
#87. Doki Doki Literature Club (12/16)

There's really no way to meaningfully criticize this one without spoilers. If you think you're going to play it and haven't, I'd strongly suggest doing that before reading anything about it. It's a good game, but having things spoiled or, like me, having your expectations set incorrectly, will lessen that. Anyway, spoilers:
Ignoring the context of other games or my expectations, the only serious criticism I have of this game is that it wears the generic dating sim mask for far longer than I needs to. I get that that was setting up scenes to be corrupted later, but it lasted very nearly half of the entire game's runtime, and it's both not the point and (I think deliberately?) painfully cliche.

It makes the most of the ~90 minutes it's got left after that, though. I can't exactly say it ever really surprised me - both of the deaths I saw (Sayori and Yuri) were pretty telegraphed from the beginning of their routes, and Monica's role was similarly clear from the beginning of the horror game - but it's nonetheless largely effective and entertaining.

The only reason it's not more than that, at least for me, is that I think it's well short of what it could've been. The parts where it plays with your file system, while cool, are just a fraction of what OneShot did last year, so I was prepared for that as soon as it started dropping hints. On the other hand, I thought the game was going to do something really cool where it'd turn out the player was an NPC all along and Monika was the real protagonist, all leading up to some criticism of how dating sims work. And while what it did was very close to that and clever in its on right, the twist I got was less interesting than the twist I was expecting, so it was a bit of a let down.

It feels weird to criticize a game because I imagined one I like more while playing it, but that's pretty much where I'm at with this one.
So yeah, I'm not as in love with it as most people, but it's still worth playing.

#88. Finding Paradise (12/16)

To the Moon was always going to be a tough act to follow. It's one of the most widely loved indie games ever, made everyone cry, and has had six years to benefit from nostalgia. In the interim, we've had A Bird Story, which got middling reviews, and two minisodes that nobody played. If Finding Paradise couldn't compare to its older sibling, it would've been understandable.

Thankfully, as you might've guessed from the bold title, it absolutely can. It starts out following a very similar structure to To the Moon, but it's much more creative with its mechanics, and the story hits a wider range of emotions. It's a braver, more confident game, and the narrative and gameplay risks it takes almost all pay off. I honestly don't have any real criticisms of it beyond wishing that they'd made it in a more modern engine. It's impressive that they pulled this off in RPG Maker XP and all, but the tiny resolution and terrible mouse support are somewhat less so.

Everything that was good about To the Moon is good about Finding Paradise, and it has some things you probably didn't know you wanted. Unless you've somehow not played TtM (do it!) or somehow didn't like it, (we can't be friends!) I really cannot recommend this one enough. It's made an already impossible game of the year choice even harder.

Now I just need to beat NieR's other endings once I get back from holiday travel and that'll be everything from 2017 that seemed special.

Re: Review the last game you finished

Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:01 pm
by X-3
25.) OKAMI (okami) (okami)

I'd describe this as a game that's better than the sum of its parts. First of all, the Zelda aspects aren't so hot. There aren't a lot of dungeons and the ones that are there are easy, linear and usually spell out answers for you. You'll also never, ever, ever be close to dying. I think the most obvious, borderline-insulting instance was the Ninetails fight, when the game zoomed-in when she pulled out her sword. I know Clover and Kamiya sought to make a much easier game than Viewtiful Joe, but come on. This game is much better when you're doing godly feats for mortals to earn praise. There's a lot of side-quests and treasures to be found, though admittedly at the end of the day it kind of feels like the rewards aren't up to snuff. (Stray Beads should have given incremental rewards imo) The combat system is pretty simple in some respects, but it gets the job done. Throwing in brush techniques in-between attacks feels great. The plot is segmented in such a way that it feels like the retelling of a series of connected tales about a deity, which I thought was perfect for the type of game that they were making. Also, kudos for having a fishing mini-game that's actually relaxing.

So, that's 3 Capcom rereleases in a row. Can I go for 4 before the end of the year?!