Review the last game you finished

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#241

Post by X-3 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:42 pm

24.) Final Fantasy VI

This game is good, but I liked FFV better. The reason why comes primarily down to the method of character progression: I prefer the class-based progression system of FFV to the item-based progression system of FFVI. I find that the former system manages to stay engaging until the endgame (at which point you start swimming in AP) whereas the latter system is not all that engaging until you get the right Relics/Equipment at which point gg. The Esper system doesn't quite measure up either, and Gau's Rages are too auto-pilot for me. On a fairly random positive note, being a Dragoon is a lot cooler here than it was in FFV due to actually having support.

The Tower of Kefka is an interesting idea for a final dungeon (everyone must fight!) but the very format of the game's battle/party system kind of gets in the way barring grinding to get everyone on par. Escaping battles in this game is also a pain.

While he does sell the idea of "humanity created its own monster" better, I'm pretty iffy about Kefka as a villain. (ironic, considering my last post was praise of Plot-Armor: the Villain) Early-on his shtick (being an insane monster) works because the basic assumption is "the Emperor is so power-hungry he'll sign this monster's cheques." Then the Emperor brings him along to the Floating Continent for some reason. It's not like he needed a bodyguard or anything, he just...brings him along. Surprisingly, things go south. Am I nitpicking? Also, sadly, Goku could probably defeat him.

It'd be cool to replay FF7 now to complete the Hippie Trilogy but I don't think I'm up for another JRPG right now.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#242

Post by Validecember » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:51 pm

Kung Fu for NES.

I remembered this game being kind of mindless and bland, but it's actually a lot of fun. There's a surprising amount of strategy involved, considering your character only has 2½ attacks—the combat reminds me somewhat of the swordfighting from Zelda II. And for a NES title based off of an arcade game, it never feels unfair. When I die, I feel like it's my own fault, not because the game has thrown a bunch of crap at me that I can't possibly handle.

I give it three out of four stars. It's been a surprisingly fun game to revisit.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#243

Post by I am nobody » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:49 pm

70. Fortune-499 (11/10) (PC)

It's Rock, Paper, Scissors, but you're a fortune teller. You're allowed to draw up to four cards every turn that affect the probability of your opponent throwing each sign in various (potentially contradictory) ways. Each level is a series of battles that progressively introduce more complex gimmicks and then let you use spells and modify your deck to overcome what it threw at you. Genre-wise, it's something between a puzzle game and a card battler - you'll probably need to like both to get much out of it.

You're playing as Cassandra, a cursed oracle working for the Magical Resources department of some anonymous bland major corporation. Given that, it's probably not going to shock anyone that the story is about (over)working a dead-end job that doesn't appreciate you and that there's a lot of jokes about corporate culture. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it's entertaining enough for a three hour game.

I'd say it's an interesting game that's worth checking out if the concept interests you. I don't think it's going to blow anyone away, but it's unique and memorable, and that's probably good enough for what they're asking.

71. Heartbeat (11/10) (PC)

Heartbeat has a whole lot of influences that it draws enough from to be obviously related to each of them while still very much doing it's own thing. It's got allies who are sentient elemental monsters from another world like SMT, the graphics and world tone are a mix of Pokemon and Earthbound, and the non-combat gameplay and story take cues from everything from Final Fantasy to Zelda. It's a 15-20 hour game with a dozen-plus party members who all have unique traversal abilities, fishing and card collecting, sidequests and optional areas, and an alien that eats garbage and morphs into your friends to help in battle. As a $10 game seemingly made primarily by one person, it should be a classic example of trying to do too much, but it somehow all comes together brilliantly.

The world and characters are consistently charming and entertaining, and there's a ton of variety in both the people you'll meet and the scenery. One puzzle that asks a bit too much of RPG Maker controls aside, the dungeons are fun to explore and don't overstay their welcome. Combat was a bit grindy for my tastes, but dropping to easy fixed that without making what remained overly tedious. But that and a few of the music tracks aside, it's a game that moves from strength to strength almost without interruption.

Its narrative is its strongest point, however, and shows a really impressive range. It starts out rather happy-go-lucky and develops darker undertones as you learn more about the world, but it does so by mixing those competing themes instead of suddenly becoming a gritty game. It's as brightly colored and silly as Pokemon can be, yet it realizes that doesn't stop it from telling a story with serious themes. I've wanted an RPG like this for a long time, and Heartbeat delivered in spades.

It's only on Itch for the moment and didn't get much attention at launch, but it's a fantastic game that's absolutely worth your time and attention.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#244

Post by I am nobody » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:19 pm

I decided to try out all the weird short Humble Trove games that weren't available on other platforms. Turns out that, excluding a couple preview builds that don't really count, there are good reasons they're not on other platforms. Also, Hitman.

72. Hitchhiker: First Ride (11/10) (PC)

You ride in a car with a grape farmer who says some stuff that sounds profound but isn't, and then it abruptly turns mystery thriller before ending even more abruptly without payoff. Interaction is minimal and the car is obviously doing circles around a tiny track, so there's not much to see. I think it's supposed to continue in a later game.

73. Elephant in the Room (11/10) (PC)

You're an elephant in a room who has to escape the house without being "acknowledged" by the absurd number of humans in the house. I put that in quotes because someone looked at me, pointed, and screamed for several seconds as I was leaving, and that apparently doesn't count as being acknowledged. It could maybe work if it was fleshed out more, but it doesn't do much for me as a single level, 10 minute game.

74. Hitman (2016) (11/11) (PC)

It makes you play the tutorial mission three times in an attempt to demonstrate all the different ways you can play, but that had the effect of making me bored and deciding to just shoot the target from the spawn point. I missed, because guns are wildly inaccurate at range, and ended up having to fight off every security guard in the level while hiding behind a plywood box. Turns out that you have a massive amount of regenerating health and get an absurd amount of ammo with every gun, and that enemies are slow, prone to charging in solo, can't shoot straight, and always die to headshots. This is not a good combination of traits for a stealth game.

Since I can't resist beating a game in a stupid way when it lets me, I proceeded to beat every level by hiding in an L-shaped room (usually a bathroom) and shooting every guard that came after me, then walking up to the target, shooting them, and walking out of the level. It's actually still pretty fun this way, but I engaged with so few of the game's actual mechanics that I don't know if it's really fair for me to give it much more of a review than "you can Rambo it, and that's kind of dumb in a stealth game."

75. Thorn (11/11) (PC)

You spend a couple minutes doing repetitive tasks in order to upgrade a machine to do your repetitive task for you. Then you do that two more times. Then you realize that the last room doesn't unlock until you've purchased many times more upgrades than any reasonable person could possibly have before reaching the end of the meaningful upgrade and video content, and you stand in front of the upgrade machine for 15 boring minutes grinding out the points needed to unlock the door where something interesting supposedly happens.

Then you immediately get nuked and the credits roll. It's an aggressively pointless and boring game that dragged me along for thirty minutes by promising to do something interesting and then completely failed to deliver.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#245

Post by I am nobody » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:08 am

76 and 78. Lost Constellation and Longest Night (11/12, 13) (PC)

Free supplemental games for last year's Night in the Woods. LC is a wintertime forest myth that's basically a proof-of-concept for the engine, and LN is a dialogue demo where Mae and friends sit around a fire and talk about the zodiac. LN is probably only interesting if you enjoyed NITW, but LC is a pretty solid game in its own right, especially for free. They're both 20-30 minutes long.

77. A Hat in Time: Seal the Deal (11/13) (PC)

This made my top 10 just ahead of Odyssey last year, so I was really looking forward to the expansion. Unfortunately, despite being a 3D platformer, they decided to set it almost entirely in the narrow halls of a cruise ship, and the camera is no more capable of handling that than you'd expect from this genre. Even putting aside the camera issues, the ship's layout is bizarre and the objective indicators are useless in this kind of multilevelled environment, so you spend almost all of your time mindlessly following the objective arrow. It's only three levels long, but they're frankly awful.

The other additions are probably more worthwhile, but I haven't checked them out much. The "deal" part of the title refers to a series of 100+ challenges spread across the existing levels that'll unlock new cosmetic options, which seems fun. It also added six time rifts (basically the challenge levels from Sunshine), which were one of the best parts of the base game, and local co-op, which is always welcome.

I can't complain too much since I got it in the free period, and the extra additions are probably worth the $5 asking price even without the new level, but it's really unfortunate that said level is so bad.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#246

Post by X-3 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:52 pm

25 26 27.) Spyro Reignited Trilogy

I found the first game to be a lot better than its sequels. Spyro 1 has simple but effective gameplay where you explore labyrinthine levels for all of the secrets they possess. Spyro 2 and 3 I find get bogged down by dramatically simpler level design and more gimmicky tasks. 3 in particular seems almost unconfident in the base Spyro gameplay. I also find the bosses in 2 and 3 to be pretty annoying due to the camera scheme. Also I like the music in 1 better.

I don't have much experience with the original games, save playing the first game for a bit one time over 10 years ago, so I can't really speak to whether the Reignited games are better or worse than their originals. I imagine the camera and controls are better/easier in each game. Spyro 1 probably gets the most out of the HD remake treatment, what-with every dragon getting a unique design. One quirk however is that gems can be easily missed due to blending in the grass, which can be pretty annoying.

All things considered however, Reignited Trilogy is a good budget game.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#247

Post by I am nobody » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:06 pm

79. The Darkside Detective (11/21) (PC)

A comedy adventure game that mixes parodying X-Files and Twin Peaks. The humor is funny enough to be entertaining without really ever threatening to get an audible reaction. The point-and-click puzzles honestly aren't bad, but I remembered I don't like this genre halfway through and used a guide to stop having to deal with them. The leaps in logic were just bad enough to annoy me despite not being particularly egregious compared to what this genre is known for.

I'm probably not going to remember much of it a month from now, but there are much worse ways to spend a few hours.

80. Deal or no Deal (11/25) (PC)

I brought back a bunch of decade-plus old games from my parent's house after Thanksgiving. Most of them either don't run anymore or were too awful to bother player, but I did finish two gameshow ports just because they took so little time.

Anyway, this one is pretty stupid as a video game. Obviously your objective is to win the million, but setting that as a goal removes the even the minimal amount of thought required in the base game. You pick a case and hope the 1:26 odds come out in your favor. You also can't skip most of the animations, so it takes forever to figure out what you got. It's pretty bad.

81. Who Wants to be a Millionaire? 3rd Edition (11/25) (PC)

Everyone knows how this works. It's from the original version of the show when you got 30 seconds per question and had to actually phone a friend, but it's still just a series of trivia questions. Pop culture questions that would've been dated on its 2001 release aside, it's actually surprisingly easy. The last two questions might not exactly be common knowledge, but they'd be pretty tame for any trivia game. That's a weird contrast with the current version of the show, where nearly everything over $50,000 is so stupidly obscure or specific that it basically becomes a guessing game.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#248

Post by X-3 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:36 pm

28.) Demon's Crest

The Metroidvania elements are kind of limited, the transformations end up being kind of situational and the last two boss fights are a real slog. What holds the game up for me is the setting and general ambiance. The SNES sound font and graphics are perfect for a dark fantasy game like this. Just look at the title screen. You know what else is cool? The title of the game. See, previous games in this little spin-off series were called Gargoyle's Quest. So you go from Gargoyle's Quest to Demon's Crest. That's sick, it's like the title of the series digivolved or something. The japanese title is Demon's Blazon which doesn't quite sound as cool but the general meaning is still sick. On the other hand...

Image

...

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#249

Post by I am nobody » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:07 pm

82. Pokemon Let's Go Eevee (12/5) (Switch)

It's weird to me that this is being described as a game for kids as though that hasn't always been the case for Pokemon. Although the sheer number of Pokemon is pretty overwhelming at this point, they've never been anything approaching difficult games, so there wasn't much room to make them easier without basically insulting the new target demographic.

And that's pretty much what they've done. Eevee can learn 90 strength, 100 accuracy fire/electric/grass moves almost from the get-go and eventually picks up more for every one of its evolutions. Each of them comes with a ridiculously broken secondary effect, from inflicting burn or paralysis 100% of the time, to putting up a reflect, to also being a Giga Drain. That'd be bad enough, but your Pokemon (particularly Eevee) can also heal their own status effects, resist death, score critical hits, and dodge attacks with a decently high random chance. Add to that the fact that almost all battles are horribly underleveled and that the final battle is the only one with six Pokemon and you're left with a game so easy that you barely even need additional Pokemon. Eevee can pretty much mindlessly handle everything by itself, and that gets boring. There's not much variation in the original 150 to begin with, but it's so much worth when you're in a themed area fighting the same type of trainers over and over again. Sylph Tower in particular is basically a sequence of fighting one-off Wheezings, Arboks, Ratticates, and Golbats over and over again a few dozen times in a row, and it isn't even remotely interesting. And yes, previous games had this problem as well, but not to this extent. Nearly every battle in this game is just completely pointless - losing is practically impossible, and you'll probably end up one or two-shotting everything they send out.

It's also probably too faithful of a remake - R/G/B had to fit on a GB cartridge, so there's really not much to the world. LG doesn't add much of significance and even removes the Game Center, cycling, and fishing, so you never really do anything new until some block puzzles near the end. Meanwhile, the Safari Zone has been replaced with the Go Park, which is literally useless if you're like me and never played Pokemon Go.

Having said that, the removal of random battles is exactly what this series needed and was such a positive change that I actually really enjoyed the first 4-5 hours despite everything else. You never have to choose between exploring for items and wasting time running away from a dozen Zubats because the Pokemon are all visible on the map. If you want an Abra, you run around until an Abra spawns and don't lose any time to fighting Rattata. I think there's room to improve on the new catching mechanics (basically copied from Go), but I honestly might also prefer them to wild battles, since there's not much less skill involved and it's a lot faster.

Overall, it's a pretty mediocre game as a result of both problems it inherited from Gen I and an extraordinary lack of faith in the player's intelligence, but it's somehow also a promising new direction for the series if they learn the right lessons. Still probably not worth playing if you've ever played Pokemon before, though. It's an acceptable gateway game and not much more.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#250

Post by I REALLY HATE PRESENTS! » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:56 pm

X-3 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:36 pm
28.) Demon's Crest

The Metroidvania elements are kind of limited, the transformations end up being kind of situational and the last two boss fights are a real slog. What holds the game up for me is the setting and general ambiance. The SNES sound font and graphics are perfect for a dark fantasy game like this. Just look at the title screen. You know what else is cool? The title of the game. See, previous games in this little spin-off series were called Gargoyle's Quest. So you go from Gargoyle's Quest to Demon's Crest. That's sick, it's like the title of the series digivolved or something. The japanese title is Demon's Blazon which doesn't quite sound as cool but the general meaning is still sick. On the other hand...

Image

...
How does it compare to the first two? I was thinking about playing it but from a cursory glance it seems a bit different.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

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Post by X-3 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:55 am

I haven't played its two predecessors so I can't really accurately say how it compares to them aside from being darker and edgier.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#252

Post by Apollo the Just » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:10 am

So the other day I made a comment about how I was considering speedrunning Super Paper Mario as a "shorter" alternative game to Tales of Symphonia because it helps to have multiple speedgames to avoid getting burned out on your main, but how that's kind of funny because a really really amazingly good SPM run is still 4+ hours long. A friend of mine responded "speedrun PS1 Harry Potter." I was like, nice meme, but the only HP game I would play would be Prisoner of Azkaban because it is the only one with Remus Lupin in it.

....So, naturally, I bought the GameCube version for 5 bucks on eBay with free shipping and speedran it today. 8)

First of all, I want to commend this game for having the most gloriously screenshottable cutscenes in video game history. The faces are actually pretty amazingly textured for 2004 and the facial expressions are all absolutely **** golden (made more hilarious by the fact that their hair looks like complete garbage). It's the completely perfect combination of "legitimately good in ways that still hold up" and "holy crap this is terrible but in a great way."

Pretty much everything about the game is like that. There are some legitimately great things about it: I love that even though it is visually clearly inspired by the movie adaptations, it re-inserts book canon details back into the world (like Peeves and the house points hourglasses, to name a few) so it feels like an adaptation of Harry Potter and not of specifically Movie Harry Potter. I love how it feels populated with all the students wandering inside and the grounds honestly feel expansive and magical. I love how each of the main playable characters have different strengths and abilities that genuinely work together well. That all said, there's so much stupid ridiculous **** that is also great but not in the intended way. Like dragging Harry across Potions, having your slider puzzle get messed up because Ron was standing in the way and got knocked over, the fact that you can straight up just walk through the trees on the grounds because they don't actually exist.

Like most 3D early 2000s games, it makes up for having the **** camera and ally AI imaginable by having an idiot-proof lock-on targeting system that applies not just to enemies but also to pretty much every single thing you could possibly interact with, because they know that otherwise trying to play the game would be a chore. There is an almost half-second delay between inputs and them going through in the game, too, which is kind of incredible to be honest. Your allies sometimes decide they're going to get stuck 3 rooms ago. The usual.

Surprisingly, the game is... not really broken. It almost fully goes the way it was meant to and even the speedrunning community has found relatively few ways to hack it to bits and go faster. That's not to say it's the most flawless gaming experience I've ever had, but it's still pretty impressively solid. It does certainly have a few fun glitches and skips, though, one of which is currently being developed because it lacks a consistent setup.

The storytelling is hysterical in how atrocious it is. This is "we all know you've read the books 8 times and seen the movies 20 times so we're not gonna even **** bother": the video game. It has several cutscenes throughout that are basically "and then we are now at the equivalent of chapter 5" and then you go do some completely unrelated puzzle platformer dungeon sequence and unlock a new spell. The Whomping Willow cutscene is a cinematic masterpiece because it just goes "yeah and then this guy was a bad guy and this guy was a good guy and that guy was a werewolf and now it's a full moon" and then - because they didn't want to bother trying to animate the transformations - REMUS DUCKS OFF SCREEN AND RESURFACES AS A WOLF, and then Sirius ducks offscreen and comes back on as a dog, it's so blatant it's incredible?

Honestly for HP fans I would genuinely give this a 6-7/10 because it is fun and fleshes out a Hogwarts that feels inspired by the books and movies alike. For non HP fans it would probably be like a 4/10 at best. As a speedgame, it's probably a 5-6/10 because controls are pretty terrible but it's pretty easy to pick up and there are lots of minor things to optimize: spell menus, which characters to control, movement/secret passages, etc. For me personally 11/10 it was great.

The biggest problem with this game is that unlike the PC version (also for reasons unkonwn to me the PC version is LITERALLY COMPLETELY DIFFERENT IN ABSOLUTELY EVERY CONCEIVABLE CAPACITY) when you have to cast the Patronus Charm a bunch to fend off the dementors, Harry doesn't shout EXPECTO PATRONUM 8,000 times which was a hilarious meme and I'm sad it's not in this version.

PC version I haven't played btw but it looks broken and jank as hell and is probably great.

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Re: Review the last game you finished

#253

Post by I am nobody » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:21 pm

Got a bunch of board game ports from a bundle:

83-88. Splendor, Abalone, Colt Express, Harald, King and Assassins, Le Havre: The Inland Port

Splendor and Le Havre seem like cool games that are let down by less-than-stellar interfaces. There's a lot of information to keep track of, especially in the later case, and it's more difficult than it needs to be to find it. I'll still probably go back to them.

Abalone is the best of the bunch. It's an abstract game about moving stones to push the other player's stones off the board, and like any good abstract there's a ton of depth in a fairly simple ruleset. The AI probably doesn't hold up if you play it a ton, but it's a good introduction.

Colt Express seems like it probably gets by on the peripherals being cool. Without those, it's just a basic action programming game where you never seem to have very many interesting options. The AI is also unbelievably bad.

I don't know what Harald was trying to do. You play one card (of four) to each of two locations in every turn, one of which determines scoring for both players and the other of which gives you points. There aren't that many types of cards and they all set up specific combos with another type, so it's immediately obvious what you want to play where and you just stick with that for the whole game. Maybe there's more depth and the AI just couldn't bring it out, but I didn't care for it.

King and Assassins is a 1v1 game where one player tries to move the king and his guards through a crowd with three hidden assassins in it. I tried both players, and the assassin has all the fun. The king is basically obligated to move in a phalanx and arrest/push anyone that gets nearby since you don't know if you've arrested a hidden assassin and revealed ones can kill guards in one hit and the king in two if they're adjacent. The assassin wastes the king's time by moving civilians in his way and tries to get the guards out of formation so they can reveal an assassin and do damage. That part is fun, but it's hard to pitch a game where only one player has fun.

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