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Beating Games

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Monster Hunter World is done! Of course there appears to be 100s of hours of more content here.

I'll take a short break, play something else, and then probably get back to the hunt! It was fun! Is it worth going back to older ones? Or are they more primitive/harder/etc?
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
Yes and Yes. I mean, Monster Hunter Generations (Ultimate, but I played the original version), is worth giving a go. It is definitely a more primitive game; it started as a 3DS game, but there is just so much more there. World has 30 some odd monsters, I think Generations count is up around 90. Earlier than that and you are going back to dead hardware and increasingly archaic mechanics, but there are certainly things to like about 3 and 4.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Credits rolling on Final Fantasy IV: Unprecedented Crisis, an FF4 romhack that starts off being a slightly tweak to the original game and then, right around Mysidia, veres *wildly* off track, with huge swathes of the plot either happening entirely differently or not happening at all.

Only real complaint is that, while you can change your end-game party, it's not nearly as elegantly as in the later ports of the game you can do a side-quest that removes a character from your final party, and also side-quests which ADD characters to your final party, but each transaction is one-way-only. If you drop Edge, he's gone forever.
 
I finished one co-op play of Dark Pictures: Man of Medan. It was a blast. If you like adventure games and have someone to play with, I think it is well worth a try. I think Man of Medan is on sale in the Halloween PSN Sale.

My friend and I are going to play through it again and we will pick up Dark Pictures: Little Hope at some point.

***
Is it worth going back to older ones? Or are they more primitive/harder/etc?

I've only every played Monster Hunter Tri (Wii) and Monster Hunter World (PS4). I have no idea if you can play old MH games with multiplayer. If you can't play old games in multiplayer...I would skip them.

MH Tri was great. It was definitely harder to learn and more primitive than World from a control perspective. You had to put paintballs on the monsters in Tri in order to track them. And Tri had underwater monster battles, which is a big omission in MH World. Underwater battles against Lagiacrus are probably my favorite MH battles to this day.

MH World has tons of stuff to do though and is a better game than Tri. I think my World play clock is at 300+ hours. Its probably the game I've spent the most time on in my life. There is lots to do, if you enjoy getting new costumes for your avatar.
 
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Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
I was hoping Flying Warriors would be another Culture Brain hidden gem, but it's just way too rough to be more than average, despite the interesting ideas on display. The Magic of Scheherazade and Baseball Simulator 1.000 remain their high water mark for me.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
I was hoping Flying Warriors would be another Culture Brain hidden gem, but it's just way too rough to be more than average, despite the interesting ideas on display.
That was a game I was interested in back in the day (due in no small part to the GamePro comic about it) but have never played. So what did and didn't you like about it?
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
There's a lot to break down there, but it might be better if I just copy all the stuff I wrote up over at Hardcore Retro Gaming. I wrote a lot in the aftermath, even if it's a little scattershot.

So I went and did what I said I should do when I finished Flying Dragon for N64: beat Flying Warriors for NES. I'm not even sure where to begin.

Well, let's start with the structure. So the game has three distinct modes. Two are used a lot, the other pretty sparingly.

Normal exploration: This is where you run around a non-linear but fairly small side-scrolling map to accomplish tasks. It's usually to track down some item you need to beat a boss, or proceed deeper into the stage.

Fighting mode: Here, you fight enemies using a sort of karate tournament-style with some extra moves thrown in that I'll get to shortly.

RPG mode: Just you, mano y mano with a boss where you pick attacks, heal, and defend.

Sounds pretty wild for an NES game, right? Well, too bad Culture Brain flubbed the execution. The exploration mode comes closest to being enjoyable, but the level layouts are generally trash. The game loves to put platforms in places where constant enemy spawns knock you into pits. Hit detection feels very strict - it's hard to land precise hits, and you lack range on your attacks - and many enemy patterns frustrate.

The fighting mode would be fine, honestly. There's a sort of give-take early on where you wait for the mark to appear on your opponent to attack, and make sure to defend when it appears on you. You fill up a K.O. gauge that will eventually let you unleash the Hiryu no Ken, if you can land it, and later on you have magic spells you can cast in your superhero mode. Speaking of superhero mode, there are fights where you absolutely have to transform, or you can't block enemy spells. The real problem is that enemies toward the end are very fast, with vulnerabilities often not staying open long enough to engage in fisticuffs. In fact, doing so will likely get you hit. The strategy becomes defending as much as possible to max the K.O. gauge and hoping you can land a magic attack without them blocking. To the game's credit, these fights are incredibly tense, as things can go badly in a hurry. But the real problem I started having toward the end was the game eating inputs. Ah, yes, the time-honored tradition of making sure you can't get a block in through no fault of your own. Thanks, game! Even without this, the controls tend to be quite stiff.

RPG mode only gets used for two bosses. It doesn't feel like it was implemented well - it's more RPG flavor than actual RPG, since your options are limited. You can choose to erect a barrier, which gives you a chance to block attacks... but the only other option is to use magic water to heal yourself or change to other folks during the boss turn. After he hits you, you can hit back with a spell, or if your K.O. gauge is full (better hope your barrier held!), unleash a Hiryu no Ken. Especially for the last boss fight, you're going to want to grind and buy as much Magic Water as you can carry. You do have to swap to another character briefly for the final boss, but that's about it - there's no major advantage that I can tell, although it wouldn't surprise me if I discovered there were some elemental bonus for using particular members (both here and in the tournament mode).

All this sounds terrible, but there really are some good ideas in here. I like the RPG trappings. The art, while not impressive, also isn't terrible. There are some legit good tunes here. For a while, the combat, while clunky, has a sort of measured, methodical pace before it takes a dive at the end. There are also some interesting mechanics where the only way to reveal a Tusk Soldier in disguise is to finish them off with a particular move. This sounds like it would be awful, but in practice, it's fine, as you have an item that will take you directly to those fights again. The game even tells you what you need to do to finish them off correctly. You can buy "Windy Shoes" that let you teleport within the area you're in (so you can go back to the shop from the last area, for example, and then back). You can technically grind if you so choose, either on Tusk Soldiers or regular enemies. (You will need to do this for money against the few enemies that drop it unless you're amazing at the game.) The game not only gives you passwords, but also gives you continues, which actually work more like extra lives so you don't have to start areas over again until you run out... and even then, it lets you keep all of your obtained items and progress. The only thing you have to do is traipse back to where you lost, which isn't generally that bad once you know where to go. And there's a decent amount of game here. A legit run took me almost six hours. Of course, I'm sure that could be shrunk much smaller, as several longplays I checked will attest to.

Basically, this game embodies much of the Culture Brain ethos. Take a "normal" game, and add RPG elements. And in this case, a sim-ish tournament fighter. Interesting, but it just didn't come together for them like their better titles. I'm still really happy to have finally finished it. I've always been very intrigued by it, both for the structure and the comics that I would see in GamePro for it. With some tweaks, I think this could have been fantastic, but in the end, I'm left leaving it a very uneven 5/10.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Not in time for the end of Halloween but I did complete this morning, the Return of the Obra Dinn. Highly recommended!
 

Mokrap of Croton

(he/him/his)
Rolled credits on Control today. I know some people found the combat frustrating, but I relied pretty heavily on Launch throughout most of the game and that felt good enough for me. I really enjoyed this one! Though I do feel it ended a little abruptly. I'm definitely going to start in on the post-game missions/DLC expansions tomorrow, I'm not ready to leave the game's world yet.

I have just recently started it! So far I really love the atmosphere. I am also using Launch willy-nilly and just slamming stuff to death, which rules. Fun fact: a lot of the architecture of the Oldest House looks a lot like the law school at the University of Alabama, down to the blood red carpet. So, I was already prepared to dread the place even though I found it aesthetically pleasing!

I'll probably save the DLC stuff for later, as Yakuza: Like a Dragon is up next on my list.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I am also using Launch willy-nilly and just slamming stuff to death, which rules.

If you're anything like me, you'll max out your Launch abilities ASAP so that you can Launch three things at once. It rules three times as much!

I finished the first DLC last night, but since I never played Alan Wake most of the story was wasted on me. I've heard the second DLC is excellent all around, and I'm really looking forward to that. Probably going to play through a ton of it tomorrow to try and keep the anxiety at bay.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
I started playing Control on my PC, but I upgraded my old 1080p monitor to a 1440p and my 1070 Ti can't keep up anymore. So my playthrough's on hold until I get a newer graphics card.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
I was hoping Flying Warriors would be another Culture Brain hidden gem, but it's just way too rough to be more than average, despite the interesting ideas on display. The Magic of Scheherazade and Baseball Simulator 1.000 remain their high water mark for me.

Interestingly there are actually three of these games on Famicom, and I always forget which one was localized into what we got as Flying Warriors. They're called Hiyru no Ken (Fist of the Flying Dragon), and they all have that wacky contact-choice battle system. The only one I have is the third one, which mixes up 2D Ninja Gaiden-esque levels with occasional 1v1 bouts and then boss battles where you have to initiate a Power Rangers-like transformation. It's all pretty neat and cinematic, but the engine is so strange that I'm gonna have to sit down and learn it before I give it a real go. I should have sprung for a copy with the manual!
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
I had a random issue of GamePro as a kid that had comics serials for Flying Warriors and Little Ninja Bros. It was very weird to see this treatment given to something that wasn't Mario or Zelda, and so these games have always stood out in my memory as special somehow.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I don't remember the Gamepro comics, but I DO remember the weirdly verbose two-page ads they had for it, and Culture Brains other games.
 

Dracula

Plastic Vampire
(He/His)
Culture Brain is odd in general. All those sprites with the weird buggy eyes. The first time I played Kung-Fu Heroes (called "Super Chinese" on Famicom, in case you were wondering), I was totally baffled by the bizarre maps screens, weird bonus rooms, and stolen sound effects. It's fascinating how that company progressed through the NES era.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Interestingly there are actually three of these games on Famicom, and I always forget which one was localized into what we got as Flying Warriors. They're called Hiyru no Ken (Fist of the Flying Dragon), and they all have that wacky contact-choice battle system. The only one I have is the third one, which mixes up 2D Ninja Gaiden-esque levels with occasional 1v1 bouts and then boss battles where you have to initiate a Power Rangers-like transformation. It's all pretty neat and cinematic, but the engine is so strange that I'm gonna have to sit down and learn it before I give it a real go. I should have sprung for a copy with the manual!
Yeah, it's pretty wild. I was actually checking them out to see if they were better than Flying Warriors. We got one in mostly intact form with Flying Dragon, but Flying Warriors apparently takes bits from both the second and third games, although graphically it's much closer to the third. From the bits I looked at, some of my major concerns look like they're not quite as pronounced, so I may give them a go and see if I like them better. I'm surprised that no one has translated them yet!

Those GamePro comics were most certainly what spurred my interest in both of those games. In the end, I think Little Ninja Brothers is the better game of the two, but it's also very, very grind-heavy.

Oh, speaking of Super Chinese, a couple of games have recently had translations drop, and the same folks are working on Super Chinese 3 now as well!

 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Devil May Cry 2 gets a bad rap. From an expectations point of view, it's a massive failure, but... I still think it's a good game. Probably not one I revisit, but good. Some rebalancing here and there would probably produce a much better product overall, but mainly in making the game harder and requiring a bit more skill and pattern recognition for bosses.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Finished the Foundation DLC for Control, which for all intents and purposes means I'm done with the game. I definitely enjoyed it more than AWE, probably because it had more lore/worldbuilding. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there's more DLC planned to follow these plot threads any farther, so I guess I'll have to cross my fingers for a sequel at some point.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
Finished the Foundation DLC for Control, which for all intents and purposes means I'm done with the game. I definitely enjoyed it more than AWE, probably because it had more lore/worldbuilding. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there's more DLC planned to follow these plot threads any farther, so I guess I'll have to cross my fingers for a sequel at some point.

Since they left a lot of threads open in AWE (and AWE was released after Foundation) I'd say the devs definitively expect Control 2 to happen.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Since they left a lot of threads open in AWE (and AWE was released after Foundation) I'd say the devs definitively expect Control 2 to happen.

Yeah, for some reason I thought AWE came first. Don't know why.

They have said they are working on a game in the same universe as Control and Alan Wake.

Judging by the end of AWE, it seemed like they were setting up another Alan Wake game to me.
 

ASandoval

Old Man Gamer
(he/him)
Judging by the end of AWE, it seemed like they were setting up another Alan Wake game to me.

::Slides into the thread::

Control follow up you say? I have some *thoughts* on what direction they might go based on what we know so far:

Control 2: Jesse Faden returns, could take place in either Bright Falls as hinted by the end of the AWE DLC, Ordinary, where Alan Wake 2 was originally going to take place or possibly both using a similar fast travel system/level set up as the first game except instead of taking place in the Oldest House, it's spread across a bunch of mini open world maps in different areas of America, possibly other countries as well. On the one hand, Control is probably the most successful Remedy game since Max Payne so it's hard to imagine them not following it up with a true sequel. On the other, Remedy hasn't really done a true sequel since Max Payne 2 and they might want to keep switching it up to explore other game mechanics in the same world or possibly make...

Alan Wake 2: A direct follow up to Alan Wake starring everyone's favorite (?) grumpy writer. Remedy has tried multiple times to get this game off the ground and always hits a snag somewhere, so now that their hands aren't legally tied up they might be itching for a follow up. But on the flip side, having Alan just... escape the dark place, or having a game entirely take place in the dark place, wouldn't really be a satisfying conclusion to the story and I doubt publishers are chomping at the bits to throw money at a sequel to a ten year old shooter that got mediocre sales and critical reaction.

Alice Wake: I'm only including this one because this is what I imagined would make a great follow up to AW when I first beat the game. Because seriously, a gender flipped take on Orpheus/Eurydice where Alice has to conquer her phobia to save her husband would be a super interesting narrative with plenty of opportunity to deepen the lore. The least likely option but I can still dream.

Alex Casey: So according to a pretty easily found document in the AWE expansion, Alan's much resented but highly successful crime fiction protagonist is apparently a real, living person now and they're searching for information on Bright Falls. He's also mentioned cryptically by Dylan Faden in the main game as well. It's been theorized for a while now that Casey is a cheeky allusion to Max Payne, who Remedy doesn't have the license for any more. Combine all of this with the ways that Alan has been re-writing the universe (the FBC, changing Zane into a film maker, etc.), it's easy to see Remedy setting up a game that brings their three biggest franchises under one roof. What's more, there's no reason Casey couldn't function as Control 2 *or* Alan Wake 2, but with a different protagonist. If I had to put money on it, this would be what I'd guess the next game was going to be. My only hope is that Alex Casey isn't just a bland white dude (not that I ever get tired of seeing Sam Lake as Max Payne, but still), but we've never seen what he looks like so it's possible for him to be black or BIPOC and make him sort of an allusion to Alex Cross.

Something else entirely: I'm just a rando on the internet, what do I know? Regardless, the follow up will more than likely have something to do with Alan Wake and I'd bet he's going to be an antagonist or at least be an anti-hero and obstacle of sorts. Because you don't get to play God and re-write people's lives without *someone* being a little upset.
 

SabreCat

Sabe, Inattentive Type
(he "Sabe" / she "Kali")
Played through Carrion this week. Super gross! There's a couple of spots where the way forward is not well signposted, but nothing a thirty-second walkthrough lookup can't solve. A few hours of violent fun with a "protagonist" unlike any you've ever controlled before (ok, maybe the Huddle from the end sequence of INSIDE comes close).
 
Beat Windbound tonight. I enjoyed the game but it really needs some more polish/playtesting. There's a lot of frustrating things about sailing, combat never quite worked. Glad I bought and played it, but I wouldn't play it on the survivalist mode where your inventory is lost when you die as I died in some frustrating ways.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
Someone on the old forum recommended Gorogoa at some point and I bought it on my phone, and I’ve just now gotten around to playing it. I really enjoyed it. It’s got puzzles that can be briefly frustrating, but I figured them all out and then felt smart when I did (I think a few early on when I was figuring out how the game worked I got by luck). I think my playthrough took about an hour and a half or two hours in a single session, which I like. Didn’t really follow the plot, if there actually was a clear narrative to be found.
 

Riot.EXE

Fighting Game Enthusiast
(He/Him)
Had the random thought to head on back to Infamous: First Light, and ended up beating it. Guess I was really close to the "end". NOW TO PLAY SECOND SON...at some point. (Yeah, I played the prequel game first. I doubt I narratively ruined anything for myself...)
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Since the two games use the same world map, but one has way more stuff to do, you made the right call
 
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