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Beating Games

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Played through Ganryu on Neo-Geo last night. This game is so weird. It's basically an NES action platformer on steroids? But it was released in 1999 when no one was making games like that on anything that wasn't a handheld. Too weird to live, too rare to die. Also, just ok. Really short, only five stages. Boss designs are pretty sick, though.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Finally won a run of Star Renegades. Which means that some of the stuff in Star Renegades that was kept out of my reach is now available to me!

Excellent game for someone hankerin’ for a nice little RPG nugget with naught but combat.
 

madhair60

Video games
Finished Resi 3 remake. Overall enjoyed it. It's pretty bad and short but also it's great. I preferred it to Resi 2 Remake which I just did not enjoy playing.
 

Trar

Grilling
(I am a man)
I really ought to go and do that myself. I only had the crash mode stuff left to finish, and, uh, burned out on it.
Funnily enough crash mode was the first thing I ever completely finished years ago. It's a marathon but it's easier than getting all the takedown trophies.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Yeah, I think the marathon aspect is why I burned out. I had a blast with the other events - I loved taking out rival drivers and whatnot.
 

Mr. Sensible

Pitch and Putt Duffer
It took me seventeen years, but tonight I finally reached 100% in Burnout 3: Takedown, which is one of the finest racing games ever made.
Damn, count me impressed. I've been beating my head against the F1 events for at least a year now, but to no avail. Those cars are just too goddamn fast.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
Metroidvania and Pinball are not the most obvious combination, but Yoku's Island Express is a lot of fun.
 
I finished the two Supergiant Games games that I had bought on sale or in bundles but not played yet so that I can justify playing Hades.

Transistor is probably my least favorite game of theirs. It's beautiful, the music is amazing, and the world building is interesting. But the way it feels to move the character in space never clicked with me. I like the concept of having the special ability to switch between real-time and turn based combat, but in practice I think the player character never quite feels as good to move in real time as you do in Bastion or (later) Pyre, in order to make the ability to shift to being turn based feel more powerful/essential. I think this is a tough balance to strike, and I don't think they quite nailed it. There are ton of different abilities to experiment with, but none of them felt as good to me in real time as anything you could do in Bastion or that they would later create for Pyre. Also, I just didn't care for the role of the trademark Supergiant Games narrator in this one. I don't know, it just struck me as annoying and I didn't buy into the game's core relationship, for whatever reason.

Pyre, on the other hand, ended up being the first Supergiant Games game that feels like a truly great game to me. I loved Bastion but was pretty happy to move on from it when it was over. It didn't stick with me. With Pyre I find myself really lingering on the experience, both narratively and in terms of gameplay. I don't typically like sports games, so I honestly expected the actual rites (a kind of magic sport) to be a chore. But I ended up loving it, and I think it's a return to form to the fluid character control and modular ability systems of Bastion after the slight misstep of Transistor. Combining that with a strong narrative where you are potentially permanently losing one of your top 3 most used characters does a lot to make your gameplay moments with your favorite team members feel precious while also adding weight to the narrative, enhancing both. I think this is also their best implementation of the Supergiant Games trademark reactive narrator so far. I love when he makes a snide "Pathetic" when you fumble a play, and I love when he yells out "Seize the orb!" when no one has the ball. The art and music, as usual, are wonderful.

I want to play Pyre again because I love the world and story and the gameplay, but also I'm so happy with the narrative I created in my first playthrough that I think it's probably best not to touch it and to end on a high note. Too bad that this never took off enough to justify them implementing online multiplayer at some point. What a great game. Can't believe I only owned this because it was in the huge itch.io BLM bundle and that I only played it because I felt guilty buying Hades while I two unplayed Supergiant Games sitting around already. I think this Pyre is very likely to remain my favorite game by this studio.
 

karzac

(he/him)
Pyre is possibly my favourite video game of all time. Glad you liked it, estragon - I agree with everything you said. I think it's got the best integration of theme, structure, mechanics, character and plot in any video game I've played. The way the game is about making these friends, and having to say goodbye to them in order for them to get what they want, and to help the greater good, while also weighing that against the gameplay decisions of "I find this character really fun" and "I don't know how to win without this character" is fascinating. It's truly a game where the core theme is "the true revolution was the friends we made along the way" and I mean that deeply and sincerely. I could write like 6 different essays about Pyre. It's the only game I've ever wanted to write fanfiction for. I've also got like four different tabletop game ideas based on it kicking around. I love it so much.

I've played multiplayer through Steam remote play and it works pretty well. There's a Discord for a Pyre league that I'm in, although I've never actually gotten involved with it.

I also really love Transistor, but I get why it didn't click with you.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
The original Metal Gear Solid holds up surprisingly well. I don't care for the clunky Stinger missile battles, but other than that, really good stuff. I'd actually love to see a demake of this, though, much like how Ghost Babel managed to bring the play to a tiny screen. Said imaginary game would be NES resolution, though.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Blaster Master Zero was fun! Like I said in one of the other threads. It plays a lot like how I remember the original NES one. I've got BMZ2 in the library so will probably load it up and play it as well.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I was going to savor Super Mario 3d World and take it slow; beat a world a day and really take my time.

I finished in 3 sessions. That's a good ass game.
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
Whoops, posted finishing Phantasy Star [Sega Master System {SMS}, Switch Port by M2] in "Hey, Talking Time, Whatcha Playin?" Maybe cover stuff I didn't there?

Phantasy Star held up quite well overall. I can't imagine having to get up to actually pause this or any other SMS game but there's worse things! Besides silliness, about my only issue was the end of the game and making sense of it. I think I killed Lassic, or what appeared to be him in the sky fortress? It was strange because after that I tracked down the Governor on Motavia who was a secret rebel sympathizer and what waited for me was Dark Falz, or a name similar to that. Some sorta energy being that looked like a spirit or demon. Oh, and I was given the choice to become Queen of the Algol star system at the end. Didn't strike me as something Alis would choose but I did it any way, be the change you want and all that right?

I'd just go and parse through wikis but already spoiled something in the sequel that way. Oh well, I'd recommend it to any one who fancies learning about Phantasy Star from the beginning. Though good luck on the second to last dungeon's navigation!
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
An entity, huh? Okay, so maybe he was the corruption or evil that tempted Lassic, and made others fall in line with him through the star system takeover of Algol. That helps in making sense of things, thanks Yangus!
 

Purple

(She/Her)
This is all elaborated on to hell in Phantasy Star 4 by the way, which despite being set some 2000 years later is like... 60% following up plot threads and characters from the first game by volume.

Phantasy Star 2 also has some links in that story chain, but not as many, and it has that weird status of being the kinda bad game that everyone likes (very grindy, dungeons are hell, not actually a lot of meat on the bone plot wise but what's there is interesting).

Phantasy Star 3 though you can basically skip for storyline sense-making because it had a different writer and honestly is just off 100% doing its own thing with threadbare ties to the setting of the other 3.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
The funniest thing about Phantasy Star 3 is that it's supposed to be set like 1000 years after even PSIV (at least in the Japanese localization), but as you say outside of a couple little references here and there in PS4 it's mostly not very plot relevant, and the game is weak enough that I struggle to recommend it
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
IIRC, and maybe it's just a component of the English localization, but it takes place concurrently; a couple of dungeons in PS4 are pieces of the PS3 colony that broke off and landed on various worlds of Algol
 

Purple

(She/Her)
I mean if we're just gonna be spoiling the one interesting that that game has going, not quite. There were multiple escape ships like the one from 3, not all of which made it out properly, and we have chunks of a different one. We also have a different android of the same basic Wren model.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
Yeah the English localization seemingly pushed it back those thousand years -- leads to the rather jarring conclusion that the wars mentioned in the intro would have happened pretty dang close to when the craft launched.

The thing is, PS3 is too heavily invested in the nature of its location as being a twist, and between needing to accommodate the timeline splits, having a very gaunt budget, and lacking a strong relationship to the rest of the series' story, the game isn't able to support it. I strongly advise anyone interested in PS3 to spoil themselves as much as possible, because it's quite frustrating to play.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
Totally fair.

... except in the process you also spoil like the biggest moment from 2, which... I mean you should at least watch a let's play of 2 sometime.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
I understand why people wouldn't want to play 2, but I think if you don't play it you miss out on a lot of the atmosphere that really sells the nature of the world they're living in. That is, the crushing difficulty forces internalizing just how brutal and arbitrary of a world the game is set in, despite its outward appearance.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
And similarly if you work it out, it's the only way to truly understand how Shir Gold is the best thief character any game has ever had.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
PS2 has one of my favourite JRPG atmospheres ever, and yeah, I think playing conveyes that feeling way better than a LP would. Also, if you are willing to use maps, it's most of the time not too bad.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
My biggest gripe with PS2 is that I predicted where the story was going, and I was wrong, and my imagination gave me a way better story than what the finished product could offer.

Was I perhaps asking too much of a video game from 1989 that was struggling not only with the technical limits of a new platform but also a rough early-days of localization script?

Probably!
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
Talk about classic RPGs that are rife for remakes or at least remasters. I played PS4 as a lad and I'd love to get into the classic PS series, but honestly I'm not sure I have the patience for Old RPGs anymore.
 
Phantasy Star 3 is my second favorite game in the series (1>3>>>4>just don't play any other PS games>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>2), but yeah if you're playing in English you should use this translation patch or just skip it. Skimming the English script of the fan translation I did spot a few issues compared to the original text, but this still brings it up to "this would have been a great 16-bit era JRPG localization" instead of the total mess.

It has a lot of adventure game elements in a way that make it most similar to the original Phantasy Star, but the official localization makes them incomprehensible or even cuts them. This fan translation is not just more faithful to the original text and generally better written, but it's also essentially restoring gameplay by bringing back dialogue necessary for the adventure game elements to function.

It also worth keeping in mind that its contemporaries are FFIII and DQIV. A lot of people forget how early this game came out. PS2 was a huge step backwards, but PS3 is honestly a very good JRPG in relative to its contemporaries, even if not as completely amazing for its time as PS1.
 
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