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Beating Games

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
I'm sure a more faithful fan localization was a boon for the game but compared to those contemporaries Phantasy Star 3's map designs were extremely bland and featureless. It's a shame we'll probably never see an official remake of Phantasy Star 3, 'cuz a world that looks more lived-in (and less My First RPG Maker Project) would be a huge improvement.
 

spines

behold my godlike
(she/her, or something)
demi and i played a ton of monster hunter rise for a few weeks, and then she was basically like "now i'm really curious about the old games again" and since it was something i'd heard about for so long before actually playing it i was too. so we got freedom unite up on our psps and played through some of the early stuff before her attention drifted to something else, as it tends to after a month or so in a row.

and since we weren't playing rise together either (i'm sure that'll happen again at some point, just not now) i slowed up a lot in that game, got lazy about coordinating with anyone and decided not to just do the ffxiv/wow thing of just hopping on to queue into a few random quests a day, plus the further i got into the old game the more i got hooked by the intoxicating combination of feeling so good when something that took a lot of time and effort finally came together progress-wise and being stumped by how bizarre and unfair some things were. and so, yesterday, i finished the village quests by killing the akantor, and got the credits.
pretty much played lance mainly, though i used dual blades a fair amount due to the tremendous annoyance of trying to fight enemies like gravios and garuga with weapons that can't avoid bouncing very easily in the midgame and not really wanting to sink a lot of resources into ranged sets during the part where everything felt tight. the fact that coincidentally water works on both of those and making a water spear was painful (if not as bad as ice...though at least that was worth it) really made that one investment in the water swords really pay out in the end, even if i think the weapon is a little boring. though i think hunting horn is funny even though the song mechanic is awful (they last forever and are way overbalanced so i guess it balances out how jank they are to play) and the weapon basically has two usable moves. lance feels great though, i liked playing it in rise because it was like "yeah that didn't look like much but i know i played super well there" and it's fundamentally about the same except that charge is relatively way stronger and cheeses a lot of enemies to an unreasonable degree. that alone makes up for not having the sweep/charge sweep from rise, and i don't even really like the wirebug moves that lance has anyway, they just feel finicky and distracting so not having them was hardly anything to complain about.

the first big tigrex fight was kind of the turning point in me actually starting to understand the game, because after i barely pulled through it once by using up almost everything i could think of i decided to check it out in the arena to try and understand it better, and was just completely stumped by the idea that greatsword (in particular) could fight against the thing at all. so after an hour or so i finally looked up a youtube video and actually seeing the more in and out pace that you have to do (at least solo) really helped me put it together. which is not to say that it was the last or biggest wall by any means, because oh my god, the quest with the two diablos near the end of low rank was really too much, definitely the point where i really, really thought about giving up on the game. (then later i made a couple weapons to look at their upgrades and accidentally saved, and that kinda stung too when i had such a small amount of money, though i eventually realized i hadn't used anything particularly rare at all and i might well eventually end up using them anyway, so...)

after all that shit the giant crab was a pretty anticlimatic boss, though it kind of led into how high rank felt mostly not that much harder at first due to all of the enemy types massively downranking. except for the quests where everything has attack values set twice as high so you just get one-shot when they go in rage mode if you mess up. hahaha. i pushed through 7 mostly pretty quick, and 8 wasn't that much harder except for the wounded garuga (i didn't fight one in low rank and wasn't ready for how many awful tricks it has). nargacuga wasn't too bad at all with lance, even though i think it's obviously supposed to be much harder than tigrex for most weapons since it's faster and doesn't always move in straight lines. but you can charge through it, and can't get caught in some of the weird death situations, like getting caught under its wing or blocking something like a roar at a bad time. (the only thing that's truly unsafe to try and turtle is the 180 tail flip, but that's only because it can hit on the wrong side sometimes; the recovery is so long that you can always flee and heal if you didn't get killed by it)

9* was the point where i realized i'd truly fallen behind and that trying to jump straight from azure rathalos armor to the next tier of the same one was not going to work, so i ended up backtracking and grinding for quite a while to raise up gear since i could see what most of my options were going to be, while also waiting for some of the village items (particularly rare scarabs) to trickle in. also, i guess you have to kill a certain number of things anyway to get the quests for metal dragons to appear so apparently i was going to have to grind that out one way or another. but after i'd finished all that and gotten my shiny kushala poker, i was able to beat rajang, kirin, and even the ludicrous one-horned diablos that does a bunch of stuff none of the earlier ones do and has an ungodly health total, then i used the kirin stick to poke a bunch of dragons out and the last fight appeared. i thought it was gonna be awful and i did restart pretty quick after i died the first time in a few minutes, but in the end it was KINDA just sitting under it and stabbing it as much as possible like the other things that are too big to fit on a screen. it's a lot more dangerous than those other ones, and a little more fun, but in the end not even close to the biggest obstacle in the game.

loved it. hated it. if i have to start bus commuting to work again i'll probably either start doing hub stuff now that i'm not so weak and bad that everything takes forever. or move up to 3p or one of the 3ds games because a game that's just incrementally better than this one but not completely effortless like rise sounds like something that'd be pleasant for those 10 hours a week. until then i'm probably mostly going back to other games and poking rise a bit from time to time again when there's people to play with.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Finished the regular and Aftermath stories of Mortal Kombat 11

I like how, in addition to the armies of advanced cyborg assassins and immortal hell skeletons (or “helletons”), Kronika also saw it fit to recruit a bunch of rowdy Australian Bikers for her epic cross-time army.

I also like how everyone is quick to trust the guy who has habitually betrayed literally every single person he has ever interacted with.

Cary Takagawa was having perhaps the most fun of anyone in the whole run of this franchise and I’m thankful he got a whole separate story mode all to himself
 
I finished all the story cases for L.A. Noire.

That game was an odd beast. Its the first Rockstar game I've played since GTA1 on PC.

Investigating crimes scenes was fun but also simplistic. Murder victims have business contracts in their pocket or on their desk leading you to the next location.

Rockstar used real actors to performance capture. So talking with people generally felt pretty good in the game. However, interrogating suspects was felt like a pure guessing game with no real tells (that I could pick up on) as to which technique is right.

Rockstar recreated 1947 Los Angeles for the game according to their loading screens. However the map is mainly used for is to drive from one crime scene to another. Yes its cool that I'm traveling through a recreated 1947 Los Angeles. But I couldn't help but think the game would be just as appealing if I had a map of Los Angeles and just fast traveled to locations. Outside of crime scenes and a few specific buildings. Most buildings are not open to you as a player; the illusion of traveling through a real Los Angeles is easily broken.

My main problem with L.A. Noire is that I keep thinking about Quantic Dream games Heavy Rain and Detroit while playing. I vastly prefer the Quantic Dream games for detective work and character interaction.

I reinstalled Heavy Rain and will be playing it again.
 
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Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Finished off Astalon: Tears of the Earth, which I’m quick to call one of the best Troid-em-ups I’ve played in years. Loved every inch of it.

Easy recommendation for anyone wanting a tough but entirely fair entry in the genre. Like if Hollow Knight was turned down, say… 30%
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
I also like how everyone is quick to trust the guy who has habitually betrayed literally every single person he has ever interacted with.

I appreciate that, in the plot of Mortal Kombat 11, you could be talking about, like, three different dudes. Maybe four.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Wrapped up Metal Unit + a hardcore run for the achievo (permadeath--this is not a hard game).

On the balance it's a fun time, but it feels a bit content light despite it being in the 5-8 hour range (which is pretty good for a sidescrolling action game). I think that mostly stems from the very limited encounter tile selection per stage (of which there are three currently), and the equally limited enemy palette per stage. Most of the interesting bits are buried behind light platforming challenges, which reward you with light puzzling or some more demanding platforming to get some decent gear rewards.

Bosses are a bit hit and miss? They're all visually interesting and have a blend of mechanics and attacks to respond to, but there's so much visual flash going on that it's hard to make out tells and attacks and there's one gimmick boss whose gimmick is entirely unclued where I spent a few minutes just beating on it to do half its health and then accidentally did its gimmick right to instantly shave off the other half.

Translation is serviceable, as is the music. It's a very mid-00s caliber translation, which may just be because it's coming from Korean instead of the more established Japanese loc industry. It is oddly horny though; the reward for doing the challenge mode stuff is another title screen variant that's just a cheesecake shot of the main character lounging in her underwear with a glass of wine in hand.

Depending on how fond you are of Mega Man style games with light randomization elements, this is probably worth the $15 asking price and definitely if it's on sale.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Played through Arcade Spirits, the visual novel from last years itch.io bundle that I talked about in another thread. I really enjoyed it. The humour might be a bit lame, but it's full of heart, all the time. The art- and sounddesign are well done, and use retrogames to great effect. It's very queerfriendly and everyone is just so plain nice. A reason why I enjoy visual novels is, that I can actually play someone who is competent with people.

The first half of the game is pretty slow, but I think that's ok. You get to know the characters and the world of the game. The antagonist is a bit over-the-top evil, and I like how they painted this dark world of what arcades would become, if this guy had his way any longer. Not a problem, you just need to roll with it, and it becomes great fun to take him down.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I finished Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright. It still seems messed up that what is actually the true story of that game is locked behind an expensive DLC.
 
I finished Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright. It still seems messed up that what is actually the true story of that game is locked behind an expensive DLC.

If it's any consolation, the True Ending DLC is also not very fun to play.

(Conquest is, though, if you like traditional FE maps at all. Also, it has the dumbest story, which by default makes it the best story, because none of them are actually good.)
 
Do you mean none of the Fates stories or none of the Fire Emblem stories

I think there are Fire Emblem stories that are pretty engaging within their genre space (young adult fantasy), but basically every Fates branch is best enjoyed if you treat it as a parody where everyone makes the dumbest possible choice in every situation.

edit: Thinking back on it, the DLC where you play as the children in extra challenging puzzle maps in Fates has a narrative that I did enjoy straight and also has a really satisfying climax in the final map that none of the full length routes really achieved, in my opinion.

It's possible that what I am actually remembering is "I liked that DLC's unique version of the final encounter song" and that is overwriting my memory of the story, though. Music is very tricky like that.

 
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Just polished off Bioshock Infinite.

I don't wanna undersell it, because it was certainly a "good" and entertaining game, but I found it seriously lacking in atmosphere compared to Shock 1 and 2. It just isn't nearly as immersive as those games, and feels much more confining and shooter-y.

Also, Elizabeth's Pixar-y design really bothers me. I started up the Burial at Sea DLC and seeing her model next to Cohen's (pretty well done) more Bioshock-y weirdo face was really jarring. Weird dissonance in tone, there.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Finished Earth Defense Force: World Brothers, which was definitely one of the easier EDF games (only wound up needing to retry two missions in Normal Mode), but it also made a bunch of tweaks to the formula I wound up liking (being able to bring a team of 4 with distinct loads outs and abilities took a lot of trial and error out of the game).

It’s about as shallow as every other game in the series; run around wide open levels and explode bugs and robots until the game says your done, but who plays EDF for deep tactical combat? The intensely disappointed, that’s who! This is a series about exploding a whack of space bugs while people scream nonsense over the radio. And while there’s a lot of repeated voice clips, the overall VA and writing is a lot better than any other game in the series. Really light hearted and goofy for a game about aliens breaking the earth apart like a badly constructed Lego set.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I finished RE8 tonight. Got the last achievements. Technically have one more "challenge" so I can get infinite ammo for the last gun, but basically, we're done here until the DLC hits.
 

Lance Noble Aster

did his best!
(he/him)
Finished Earth Defense Force: World Brothers, which was definitely one of the easier EDF games (only wound up needing to retry two missions in Normal Mode), but it also made a bunch of tweaks to the formula I wound up liking (being able to bring a team of 4 with distinct loads outs and abilities took a lot of trial and error out of the game).

It’s about as shallow as every other game in the series; run around wide open levels and explode bugs and robots until the game says your done, but who plays EDF for deep tactical combat? The intensely disappointed, that’s who! This is a series about exploding a whack of space bugs while people scream nonsense over the radio. And while there’s a lot of repeated voice clips, the overall VA and writing is a lot better than any other game in the series. Really light hearted and goofy for a game about aliens breaking the earth apart like a badly constructed Lego set.
EDF is at it's strongest when it's a goofy radio drama that happens to feature combat.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Also finally managed to get a Hard Mode win in Solitairica, after a couple years worth of trying.

Trick was to try other classes; turns out it’s way easier with a Sorceror
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
Congrats!

I vaguelly remember the sorcerer being kind of hard? And having my best games with the speed-focused(?) classes. You know, with the abilities to draw more cards.

Haven't played it in ages. The luck factor seemed pretty big, there was often a fight that made my strengths useless.

I also only played on hard, after some time, because the biggest roadblock, by far, was the greedy jerk that you always fight on normal, and never on hard. It's so early, that one really felt like pure luck.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Lord Guppington is definitely a tough opponent for how early he shows up; but it helps a lot once you realize he always uses the same attacks in the same order; just gotta know when to prioritize defense cards so you can take his heavy attack. And that fight is full of coin cards so you can really clean up early on.

Sorceror is a good choice for Elite Mode since it has so many opportunities to heal, especially if you get lucky and can get access to healing magic relatively early on; biggest speed bump is the Gremlin; that little jerk can potentially knock you out before your fifth turn and you might fight him second
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Wrapped up a 100% completion run of Astalon, so that's in the bag aside from doing some quick extra mode runs to snag the last few chievos.

Very solid all the way through in a Curse of the Moon meets Circle of the Moon way I guess? Few control hiccups, mostly involving ladders and inconsistent jump registration at times. Art style is kinda eh, though the alternate portraits you unlock by recruiting the fifth party member are better and the enemies are pretty good overall. Challenge wise it's mostly front loaded; if you do any exploration at all it completely defangs the game even if most of the really good ones are backloaded or very hidden, and the extra characters are just that, and only required for the 100% completion.

True ending's hidden behind 100% completion, by the way, and it's a very big and visually homogenous map so good luck there! I spent a half hour looking for one square with an upgrade I'd missed because it was completely out of the way.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I finished Quantum Break, which probably is Remedy's worst full length third person action game, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.
 
I finished a replay of Heavy Rain on PS4.

I like the game a lot. Like a lot of adventure games the replay-ability is pretty low. I remembered a lot of the story beats and puzzle solutions from my PS3 play through of the game.

Despite the familiarity, I do like how immersive the game feels. For me, mimicking character actions with the control sticks draws me into the game. The character models and motion capture still holds up pretty well. I think the game does character building pretty well. There are some action sequences. But there are a lot of sequences where you have conversations or are doing every day life activities which I enjoy.

Overall, I enjoyed revisiting this game. Its one of my favorite adventure games.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Doom Eternal is done and dusted.

Wound up enjoying it a lot more once I dropped the difficulty to the easiest setting (game really front loads it’s difficulty), but even then I felt like it was a huge step back from 2016 in just about every way. It’s still fun to dash around a battlefield exploding demons while heavy metal blares (you know, Dooms entire reason for being), but it feels less like you have full control to fight as you want and more that you have to fight the way the game insists you should, at least until near the end of the game when you finally get access to all your weaponry. The games plot was also bafflingly hard to follow; considering how, you know, it’s Doom.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I finished Turok: Dinosaur Hunter last night. It’s been a looong time since I last played it on the N64, but I still remembered most of the memorable bits. Namely, how the game saves nearly half the enemies for the last two stages. You’re fighting generic hunters, magic tribal fighters, and a few dinos and monsters for most of the campaign. Then, at Stage 7, you’re hit with a battle armor triceratops, demons, Tremor worms, aliens and big robots. It’s a whole different game!
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Wasn't sure how much I'd like Panzer Paladin going in, but it turns out it's pretty much firmly in my wheelhouse. A sort of mix between Mega Man and Natsume's NES output, with a rockin' soundtrack to boot. Highly recommended.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Two provisionally beaten games for the ol’ backlog; cleared Slay the Spire with the Watcher (I find him easier to use than any other character, thanks to how easy and effective a Lightning focused deck is to set up) and I cleared Resident Evil 2 Remake with Leon.

Id put the game at about the middle of the pack re: RE; at least of the games I genuinely enjoy playing; better than 5 or 6, not as good as 4 or Revelations 2
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
I finished Control and then went through the first DLC, which was one of the best parts of the game. Towards the end and into the DLC I got increasingly thankful for having turned immortality on as I ran into more and more frustrating one-shot hits and annoying enemies (though I'd also stopped increasing and augmenting my health because, y'know, immortal, so it might have been a self-fulfilling prophecy?). I still enjoyed it overall, but felt like the combat wasn't mechanically quite tight or deep enough to justify the difficulty level of some of those later encounters. The Charge gun in particular kept blowing up in my face by hitting an obstacle that did not at all appear to be in the rocket's line of fire; I suppose I could have been very strategic and only used it in certain exact situations, but even times it appeared perfectly safe I'd 100-0 myself because apparently the corner of some box was a centimeter too high or something? Another was that any time I tried to get in close with my boosted shield and its dash and fling moves, seize a low enemy, or use melee - even if I sky-slammed and was anywhere near another enemy - I'd immediately get bodied by melee attacks and other enemies at range, so of all the options it came down to nothing but launch and gun in the end. Which, don't get me wrong, launching things (including enemies' own grenades and other enemies) around and shooting off my magic gun were still pretty neat.

I'm interested in the just-announced sequel, mostly in hopes that goes a bit more into the astral plain and stuff, because there are a lot of...not loose ends, but ambiguities (Casper, Polaris and/or Hedron, Former and the Board) that are really fascinating - but maybe they're more fascinating exactly because it's so ambiguous. I don't want explanations in the next game, just...more. If that makes sense. The idea of a multiplayer co-op PVE Control game (also just announced) is moderately intriguing, but depends a lot on what they do with it.

You may be saying hey wait, there are two DLCs, what gives? And, well... I had previously started the other DLC, which felt weird because I knew I recognized the name Alan Wake from somewhere, until I realized that it was a game (the Control team's previous game) and the whole DLC was basically a tie-in/crossover. A friend who absolutely loves Control said I wouldn't get much out of that DLC unless I'd played it, which I haven't, and the DLC is apparently just kind of mediocre without that context. I also don't particularly feel like following up the Foundation DLC with a seemingly less-related story that I won't get half of, so I've called it there and feel ready to move on.
 
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