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Beating Games

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
That's interesting to hear. What had you thought was like?
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
@R.R. Bigman Congrats! I beat that one several years ago, and it was quite the experience. Not sure I've got it in me to go at it again, but I definitely have an appreciation for what they were trying to do. And you're right, those Stage 7 bosses feel uniquely suited to making the Goddess Bracelet feel terrible to use.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Maybe I'll get the PSP one that everyone hates before the store is but a memory.

Hot tip: Get the Japanese re-release (Goku Makaimura Kai). It fixes what a lot of people hated about Ultimate GnG. (It's also on PSN, if you have a Japanese account.)
 

Issun

TT's Resident Ace of Base Superfan
That's interesting to hear. What had you thought was like?
Hard to describe. I wasn't expecting the atmosphere to be so dense for one thing, and the apocalyptic feel was unexpected.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I have finished Yakuza 6. I'm not too interested in the direction they've taken the series so this may be the last I play of it. I'll miss Kazuma, one of the best protagonists in video games.
 
I feel pretty good about this.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
If you liked Hitman and Hitman 2 you will probably like Hitman 3. It messed with the formula a fair bit in telling its story, but I didn't mind it.
 
Thanks. In hindsight I probably should've put this in the "proudest accomplishments" thread. I told a buddy of mine that one was going on my steam profile page, he said it should go on my freakin' resume. It was tough but mostly fair. And I enjoyed every minute.
 

Lance Noble Aster

did his best!
(he/him)
I beat Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Zwei!
If we lived in a world where the Panzer Dragoon games had mid-stage healing, checkpoints, and/or demanded less perfection, I'd be making a thread about them telling everyone how kick ass they are.
We don't live in that world, so they're firmly in the "shooters that look cool but are a pain in the ass and not worth it" pile alongside Einhander.
Instead you should play Bulk Slash. Or DonPachi. Or DoDonPachi. Or Star Fox. Or Ace Combat. Or Airforce Delta Strike. Or Drakengard 3. Or Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing Transformed.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Beat Crash 4. Absolutely stunning. Loved every second of it. The last stage took me over a 150 lives (and I finished it with no gems lol). The skin you get for beating the game is crash all banged up and in a cast. Perfect. I'm in no way done with this game. Simply finishing is only the first challenge. Plenty of gems, skins, relics, and tapes to go!
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Finished off a run of Guardian Heroes.

Turns out that if a beat-em-up has a branching story, it can get really weird really fast
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Beat Crash 4. Absolutely stunning. Loved every second of it. The last stage took me over a 150 lives (and I finished it with no gems lol). The skin you get for beating the game is crash all banged up and in a cast. Perfect. I'm in no way done with this game. Simply finishing is only the first challenge. Plenty of gems, skins, relics, and tapes to go!

Sounds great. Which of the original three games did it feel like the most? I mean, maybe that's a silly question, but they feel quite different.

Also, how much play time did you put in, up to now?
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Got to the end of the Early Access version of Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth. I'm of mixed feelings about this being a licensed game. It's so conservative with the source material. The characters are basically cardboard cutouts of Lodoss War fanart, making incomprehensible quips about rage and love, leading me to suppose that we're headed for an "it was all a dream, an evil wizard did it" sort of anti-reveal ending. It's not like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night had a deep, page-turning sort of story, but at least it didn't feel fake, you know?

Still, the animation is beautiful, gameplay is smooth, and it doesn't overstay its welcome with an overly padded-out map. Plus you can cheese your way through half of the boss fights with the first spell they give you, ha.

And then this week finished out the full game. It gets a lot better in that back 1/3 that wasn't available until the full release! It still plays it safe with an "it was all a dream" premise, but within those bounds, it does pull off quite a bit of character development and emotional weight. Plus a couple of fun endboss sequences!
I just beat the full version of this today. Overall I liked it more than I loved it. It is a nice, short experience (I clocked about 9 hours total) but I don't think I'll re-visit it unless the devs add a new game+.

The gameplay in it can be pretty brutal. Deedlit can dish out lots of damage but can't really take it at all - she is one of the most fragile Search Action characters I have ever played as (I would assume that only rogueli*e characters could be more fragile). I think I died more while playing as her than in any other Search Action game I have played - and those deaths even included dying to regular enemies. But my SA playstyle can be fairly sloppy and this game can be pretty punishing to that style.

When it comes to using enemy placement to challenge the player I do think the game does a better job than other games in the genre. But some of the later challenges started to feel a bit ridiculous to me - especially the navigation puzzles / challenges. I also felt the same about some of the later bosses.

I think if you like learning and exploiting enemy patterns and using the in-game mechanics against them (and if you're good at doing that) then you will find the game much more enjoyable than I did. It is a very solid game of this type.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
The thing with Team Ladybug's games is that their protagonists are much more fragile than most others in the genre, but consequently are always equipped with integrally featured and integrated restorative abilities that are applied on an inherent level to their mechanics and playstyle, not just ancillary potion-guzzling and what have you that becomes the norm elsewhere. Mistakes made in play seem harshly punitive and death can result in seconds as opposed to the inevitable consequence of minutes's worth of incremental slip-ups, and at the same time recovery and miraculous comebacks are built into the mechanics at every turn so fundamentally that the games could not function properly without the concepts. The push and pull engendered in the style of design they deal in delivers thrills the sort of which I haven't been able to find in any other expression on the genre.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
I beat Psychic World, a puzzly side-scroller on SMS that I've wanted to play ever since I read Yimothy's LP back on old Talking Time. Well, the very same Yimothy happened to have an extra copy, which he sent me, and which I played through the very same day it arrived in the mail. This is easily my favorite game I've played on SMS so far, and one I'm sure I'll enjoy replaying many times in future.

 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
Sounds great. Which of the original three games did it feel like the most? I mean, maybe that's a silly question, but they feel quite different.

Also, how much play time did you put in, up to now?

I'm not sure how long, apparently PS4 doesn't track time spent in individual games? 20- 25 hours feels about right, but that's with quite a bit of time spent replaying levels for gems.

It doesn't really feel like any of the three games, other than it feels exactly like the three games. It's very much Crash 4. It evolves from those games just as if 20 years hadn't passed. Unlike 3 it doesn't have any vehicle levels (no biplanes thank god) but it does have a lot of variety, its just all of a platforming bent.

I'm fond of the original trilogy but I think 4 is my favorite. It's very fun, very hard, and very polished.

Plus you can dress Crash up as a dino saur.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
Got through Master of Darkness, my other recent SMS grail. This game is 90% Castlevania, 9% From Hell, and 1% Ninja Gaiden. Nine out of ten experts can't distinguish a screencap of MoD and any classic Castlevania. The primary difference is the lead character: Dr. Ferdinand Social is no backwoods bare-legged Belmont, he's an English gentleman, a mystic, who only learns his country is beset by evil forces because his Ouija board gives him the clue. Oh, and there's also the matter of the exsanguinated bodies they keep finding.

Not content to sniff incense in his reading room, Social grabs his handy stabby dagger and heads to the Thames River in search of the culprit. His journey eventually takes him to a haunted wax museum, a cemetery overflowing with restless dead, the trap-filled castle of the mad Count Massen, a laboratory buried beneath an ancient forest, and finally, a dungeon in the depths of the Carpathian mountains, where Massen is revealed to be channeling the spirit of none other than Count Dracula.

Along the way, Social can stab thugs, bats, wolves, zombies, skeletons, cultists, animated wax sculptures, and Jack the Ripper, among other horrors. He can also stab torches alabaster masks to find items better than his stabby knife, like a cane (the manual calls it a "stake"), a rapier, or an axe. He can also find limited-use subweapons including a silver bullet-shootin' gun, standard cartoon-style bombs, straight-up boomerangs, and stakes (the manual amusingly calls these "projectiles"). There's also point-giving stones, enemy-slaying gems, extra lives, and energy-refilling potions.

The game proceeds left to right in the standard Castlevania fashion, and Social even climbs stairs in the same way. Each stage has several sub-stages, between which Social gets a new life meter, and at the end, a boss which he must defeat.

If this were just another asleep-at-the-wheel Castlevania clone, it'd still be worth a look, but Master of Darkness feels less like a knock-off and more like a forgotten classic of Castlevania canon. Each level is tonally distinct - from the rolling waters of the Thames, to the poltergeist-beset halls of the wax museum, to the looping corridors of Dracula's castle. There's specific challenges unique to each set of levels, including a few that riff directly off of Castlevania (like a swinging pendulum as a platform), but others which feel fresh (like rooms where you must navigate a short platforming puzzle to stop infinitely respawning ghosts). There's lots of little hidden areas, and almost every screen has a minimum of two layers, with each providing different rewards and challenges.

The game is tough, of course, but there's plentiful life pickups and (I think) unlimited continues. I made it through the game in a couple hours worth of playtime, and I think I ate two credits on the way through. The ending bizarrely ties into Dracula, the novel, by off-handedly mentioning that none other than Jonathan Harker (never seen or heard from in any other part of the game) gave Social instructions on how to return to England, somehow, before he was teleported to Transylvania. Oh yeah, and there are fun little story vignettes between every stage...man, I could just go on and on.

It's a sweet morsel to sink your fangs into.

I realize that "SMS" stands for "Sega Master System" here, but I'm really kind of charmed by the idea of a side-scroller that you play by texting.

Surely, surely, someone, somewhere, has programmed a game using SMS, or made a game where you have to text in your SMS to play it. Surely!
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Got through Master of Darkness, my other recent SMS grail. This game is 90% Castlevania, 9% From Hell, and 1% Ninja Gaiden.

This is probably my favorite SMS game. I grabbed it not long after I got my Master System, because I just searched YouTube for Brits giving their top 10 SMS games, and one dude had it as #1. I'd never played the Game Gear version we got here, so I was going in completely fresh, and it just blew me away. It came so late, it didn't have a prayer of coming to North America, but the EU version plays fine on a US Master System. I also have some admittedly weird nostalgia for it, because it was the only Halloween video (and one of only two videos, period) I managed to do in 2013 when I had temporarily moved back in with my parents. I was job hunting for a new gig in Washington, DC, where my wife had already gone to start law school, and paying two rents just wasn't happening.

Anyways, that game rules super hard, I like it more than Simon's Quest, all Castlevania fans owe it to themselves to play it.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
Earlier, somewhere, pretty sure some thread here, someone was talking about Hydlide, and I thought to myself, you know, I've never actually played Hydlide. So I decided to rectify that...

... and like 5 minutes later quit in disgust because a slime got a lucky hit in and my painstaking grinding to get halfway to level 2 fully reset.

Then after A- learning that hitting select allows for this weird quicksave quickload mechanic that's jank as hell and that there's a fan rebalance patch floating around that makes the grinding significantly less tedious, I just sat down and played the whole thing, getting most of the way through before needing a walkthrough and... still getting stuck because turns out no items are optional and the one I gave up on because it wouldn't drop was one screen over from where everyone says. But honestly the parts where it wasn't guide-mandating or super frustrating were a pretty fun romp and it took me less than an hour. In particular I am genuinely baffled why so many people talk about the combat being arbitrary and full of RNG. Combat seemed pretty straightforward after grinding out of level 1.

So yes. I have Hydlid.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I’ve said it before and I’ll sez’s it again;
As much appreciation as I have for Hydlide, Fairube is the same game but with all the flaws ironed out.

And you can get the entire Fairune series on Switch for dirt cheap.

Cheap as garbage-dirt! Not potsoil!
 

Lance Noble Aster

did his best!
(he/him)
Also if you like Hydlide and Fairune, you should definitely play the fan translation of For The Frog The Bell Tolls, which is like those games, but also there is jumping and climbing in side-scrolling sections.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I'm not sure how long, apparently PS4 doesn't track time spent in individual games? 20- 25 hours feels about right, but that's with quite a bit of time spent replaying levels for gems.

It doesn't really feel like any of the three games, other than it feels exactly like the three games. It's very much Crash 4. It evolves from those games just as if 20 years hadn't passed. Unlike 3 it doesn't have any vehicle levels (no biplanes thank god) but it does have a lot of variety, its just all of a platforming bent.

I'm fond of the original trilogy but I think 4 is my favorite. It's very fun, very hard, and very polished.

Plus you can dress Crash up as a dino saur.

Thanks for the info, that sounds good. Especially that there are no vehicles, they are the reason why I liked 3 the least.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Beat that SaGa 4 fangame that got linked in the SaGa thread. It was alright, but felt like it was missing something compared to its inspirations.
 
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