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Beating Games

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
Buddy Simulator 1984 is a neat meta game experience worth checking out. More explicit description in spoiler: It's a horror tinged game that starts as a DOS-like interface, which turns into a text adventure, which turns into an 8-bit-style RPG before it wraps up.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Rolled credits on Bard's Tale IV, with 100% Steam achievements and just over 100 hours on the clock. Solid puzzles, a fun and novel combat system, a good sense of humour, and a stellar and unique authentic Gaelic soundtrack that will lodge itself in your brain and not let go. Also, it's just utterly charming. Absolutely recommended, even if you've never played the previous Bard's Tale games (although, if you have, it calls back to them heavily).

I adored this game, and it is a real bummer that basically no one has played it. Pretty much my only complaint is that it drags a bit at about the 3/4 mark with a too-long dungeon hike before really picking up again for the end-game.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
Managed to get both the Bad Ending and Good Ending in Blaster Master Zero 3. Not gonna lie, I think I actually prefer the bad ending. Unlike the bad endings in the previous two games, it actually feels like an ending, and feels somewhat (somewhat) poignant. While the area leading up the good ending is an excellent sendoff to the trilogy, the ending itself is just one big giant ball of corn.

Also, the criteria to be able to unlock the good ending is so dumb it's brilliant.

Anyhow, aside retaining BMZ2's horniness, I thought the game was good. Easily on par with BMZ2 in my mind (so not as good as the first one).
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
I’m not quite done with it yet (I’m pretty close though), but it put it safely between 1 and 2 for quality; none of the levels are as out-right frustrating as those in 2, but they’re not as easy to navigate as those in 1 and there’s not a lot of variety to them (of the seven, 6 are variants on Techno Base, and one is reusing a map from 2).

And while the horny designs are, if anything, hornier, they at least are far less prominent this time around.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Yeah, I finished it early this morning myself. The True Ending is basically just pure fanservice for long-time series fans, which is both funny and sequel bait-y and I could see it being a YMMV sort of deal for anyone who's only played the BMZ games.

Quality-wise, yeah, it's definitely at 2's level of quality while occasionally hitting above it. Level design was generally pretty good except for a few spots where the devs got a bit too clever with their one-off gimmicks (looking at you, last regular area, in particular), and gameplay was better than 2 in most respects though some of the True Ending bosses are stupid until you can find a pattern to exploit that works for you.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Just spent almost 20 hours total with Blasphemous, a grisly, macabre - and somehow gorgeous despite that - Metroidvania. Didn't even have to drop cash on it, since it was given away through Twitch/Amazon games with Prime. Absolutely worth the time spent.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him)
though some of the True Ending bosses are stupid until you can find a pattern to exploit that works for you.
tbqh I found those boss fights to be the highlights of the game --- lots of really fun attacks where you could tell that the devs really loved the characters. The Leibniz fight in particular was my favorite --- reminded me of Undyne in more ways than one.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Leibniz was the best of them, yeah. But fighting the Stranga family was just an exercise in eye strain for me with the background just being one samey color and then the screen being filled in large chunks with explosions if you're letting stuff fall through.
 

Octopus Prime

Jingle Device
(He/Him)
Now I too have finished Blaster Master Zero 3! My earlier stated opinions did not change!

I liked the idea of the final area, but I honestly didn’t much care for the Metal Attacker fights from Zero 2, so a rush of harder versions of each of them really wasn’t my idea of a great time; I’m sure I had to retry the fight against Leibniz more than every other boss in the game.

The Good Ending tying in to Blasting Again was genuinely unexpected; not that I’m honestly expecting that to be anything but a continuity nod
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Just did back-to-back no-miss clears of Contra on NES. Never managed that before. I was dialed-in tonight.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Major props. I haven't tried to do a back-to-back run, myself, although I probably should at some point. I think it was you that told me that the second loop is basically the Japanese version's default difficulty.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I can’t even get past the snow level in NES Contra. It’s the tiny bullets that always get me.

Does this recent playthrough have something to do with an upcoming video?
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Nicely done. Very clean-looking record - my own run is a little fuzzy despite using FCE Ultra X. Lots of encoding shenanigans and whatnot that I could probably figure out better. I think I'd be better off recording off the MiSTer going forward. What do you use for your capture card?
 

Pajaro Pete

(He/Himbo)
i finished Dragon Quest Builders 2's storyline the other night and while i had a lot of misgivings about the storyline in chapter 2, it really pulled it together in chapter 3 and particularly 4.
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
Finished 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim last night. Going to go through and S-rank battles I didn't manage to the first time through so I can get 100% of the mystery files unlocked, because that 99% in between the two 100s mocks me. Also I like the battles so I'm going to mess with them just a bit longer. Which is good because there's another battle area that unlocks post-game that I want to do!
 

q 3

here to eat fish and erase the universe
(they/them)
Axiom Verge 2 is the most fun I've had with a Metroidlike in a good long while. It really captures the vibe of "trapped in a weird world and both you the player and you the character are aligned in your goal of exploring and solving mysteries and not necessarily committing robot genocide". I hope someone with more time, smarts, and focus than me will go to the trouble of explaining all the connections between it and the first game (and, for example, why there seem to be multiple Hammonds) so I can get a good knowledge buzz without having to replay both games right now.

Also I really wish I'd known at the start that there's an opening cutscene that only plays if you sit on the title screen for a while, it would have made some of the initial plot points a lot less confusing.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
I wish I had known that too but also trying to piece together just some of the basics I found to be engaging and core to the experience that in a way I'm glad I missed it.
 
Finished Link's Awakening Remastered a couple of days ago - I didn't bother getting hold of it for ages as the reviews at the time were lukewarm, and I can totally see why - as a remake it felt like a very perfunctory exercise and oddly lacking in the original's charm. There were things about it that were "nice" like some of the soundtrack arrangements and improved item slots, etc but overall there was nothing that justified the full price tag (which I'm relieved not to've paid).

Towards the end I had that horrible feeling when you realise you're only playing something out of obligation because you've spent money on it but aren't having any fun. Maybe I'd have got more out of it if it was my first time through instead of the 4th or 5th, I appreciate this version is aimed at the current generation rather than old gits like me, but still it felt like something was lacking. The original felt like a miracle given the limitations imposed on it and you could tell the team had slaved over every pixel to make it as good as it could be, whereas this version feels like it was made to fill a gap for Zelda product, with the new team not being permitted to put their own stamp on it in any meaningful way (to the extent of the original script being re-used word for word).
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
El Gato HD60. (NOT the 60S.)
Gotcha, appreciate it.

Regarding Link's Awakening, I had two big gripes - no d-pad controls and performance issues. The art style grew on me, and the QoL features were appreciated, but I do tend to agree it doesn't have the magic of the Game Boy release. Still, having the core of LA means that it was excellent by default, even if slightly diminished.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
Astro's Playroom is a fun, easily digestible platformer that shows off the PS5's new controller tech and bathes in nostalgia for Playstation hardware and accessories. Very good for a pack-in.
 
I finished Blaster Master Zero for the first time (good and bad endings).

I have Zero nostalgia for the NES game. This is the first Blaster Master game I've played. I think BMZ is my favorite of the Inti Creates "8-bit" games (I've played the two Curse of the Moon games).

I generally liked the game. Walking around with Jason and instant death fall damage. Why? Is that in the original NES game? Its not fun at all to replay a sequence with instant death fall damage.
 
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Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I just finished up Hey! Pikmin. It's an extremely pleasant little adventure game. It's not very difficult, but the levels are fun and it was interesting enough for me to stick around for the end. Highly recommended, if you want the game equivalent of walking around in a garden.
 

Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
And now I finished Suikoden. I guess this was a slow week at work.

I did not have a very good impression of this one when I first tried it a year or two back, but this time it clicked. I loved collecting party/liberation army members and upgrading the castle. The big battle scenes were neat as well. Otherwise it was a standard RPG, but a good one, and pretty quick. I especially enjoyed when minor characters from early in the game would show up again later on.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I beat Demon's Souls on PS5. I enjoyed it more than when I played it on PS3. Partly it's the enhanced visuals, partly it's playing a magic build which generally made things easier, partly I think this version just feels a bit better to play. I know people complained about some of the visual design changes, but it felt like it had the Souls spirit to me. I really wish they were a bit less slavish to recreating the original game, right down to the design choices that ignore all of the quality of life improvements over the last decade of Souls games. Would it be wrong to add an Estus-like item to Demon's? What about getting rid of the weight limit? How about if you max out on an item and it gets sent to storage, after dying your supply gets automatically refilled without having to get it out of storage manually? Can I at least get a meter telling me how close I am to getting a status effect? No? Okay.
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
I beat Blasphemous the other day. After one loss against the final boss, I went around picking up stuff I'd missed, finishing off a few sidequests, then came back and put the kibosh on him with remarkable ease. Got the good ending and all! I didn't do any of the DLC stuff and frankly don't feel much desire to, so I'm probably one and done unless I get an itch to revisit it later, though I don't feel like I will. Competent, interesting enough, but ultimately not particularly inspiring.
 
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