World of Light - 2019 Games Completed Thread

Karkashan

Married to Chrom
#1


This thread is for one very specific purpose; to keep track of all the games we complete during the year of 2019. Post the games you complete throughout the year and under the spoiler I'll do my best to have an up to date list of all the games you post in here. (up to date process will probably be once a week)


Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X (Vita)
Pokemon: Heart Gold (DS)
Resident Evil 2* (XB1)
Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (DS)
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (DS)
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PS4)
Devil May Cry 2 (PC)
Devil May Cry 5 (XB1)
Kingdom Hearts 2 (PS4)
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PC)
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (3DS)
Kingdom Hearts 3 (XB1)
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep - A fragmentary passage (PS4)
Final Fantasy V (GBA)
Secret of Mana (Wii)
Resident Evil 2(OG)* (PS3)
Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4)
Resident Evil 3* (PS3)
Metal Gear Solid (PS3)
The Secret of Monkey Island (PC)
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS3)
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS3)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
Paper Mario (N64)
Super Mario World (Wii U)
Kirby's Dreamland (Wii)
Kirby Nighmare in Dreamland (Wii U)
Super Mario Sunshine (GCN)
Ys Origin (PC)
Streets of Rage (PC)
Resident Evil 2* (PS4)
Spyro The Dragon (PS4)
Pokemon Red (3DS)
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3)
Sonic Mania* (PC)
Pokemon Let's Go Eevee! (NS)
Gris (NS)
Dead Cells (NS)
Turok (NS)
Yoshi's Crafted World (NS)
Spider-Man (PS4)
Resident Evil 2 (PS4)
Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4)
Okami HD (NS)
Fallout: New Vegas (PS3)
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA)
Ninja Gaiden (NS)
Travis Strikes Again (NS)
Ikaruga (NS)
Zero Gunner 2-* (NS)
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (NS)
Strikers 1945 II* (NS)
Blazing Star* (NS)
Astebreed* (NS)
Xeodrifter (NS)
Hollow Knight (NS)
Another Metroid 2 Remake (Fangame)
Hyper Light Drifter (NS)
Half-Life (PC)
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Half-Life 2 - Episode 1 (PC)
Half-Life 2 - Episode 2 (PC)
Alien: Isolation (PC)
Dead Space 1 (PC)
Into The Breach (NS)
Travis Strikes Again (NS)
Gorogoa (NS)
Furi (NS)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (NS)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All (NS)
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations (NS)
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (NS)
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna The Golden Country (NS)


Please remember to type out your game title as Insert Game(Platform Abbreviation) (example: Mega Man 5 (NES)) Please do not italicize or bold it or anything like that, as it can bork the formatting.

Also, a game that is rereleased on a later platform (as in, Virtual Console or what have you) is counted as the platform the game was rereleased on. So Ocarina of Time on the Wii VC is counted as 'Ocarina of Time (Wii)' instead of 'Ocarina of Time (N64)'

(NES) Nintendo Entertainment System
(SNES) Super Nintendo Entertainment System
(N64) Nintendo 64
(GCN) Nintendo Gamecube
(Wii) Nintendo Wii
(Wii U) Nintendo Wii U
(NS) Nintendo Switch
(GB) Game Boy
(GBC) Game Boy Color
(GBA) Game Boy Advance
(VB) Virtual Boy
(DS) Nintendo DS
(3DS) Nintendo 3DS
(NESCL) Nintendo Classic
(SNESCL) Super Nintendo Classic

(PS1) Sony Playstation
(PS2) Playstation 2
(PS3) Playstation 3
(PS4) Playstation 4
(PSP) Playstation Portable
(Vita) Playstation Vita

(Xbox) Microsoft Xbox
(360) Xbox 360
(XB1) Xbox 1


(Mobile) Games on Phones
(PC) Games on PC
(C64) Commodore 64


(WS) Wonderswan
(NG) Neogeo
(NGP) Neogeo Pocket
(NNG) Nokia NGage
(3DO) 3DO
(SMS) Sega Master System
(SG) Sega Genesis
(SS) Sega Saturn
(DC) Sega Dreamcast
(GG) Sega Game Gear


What counts as a completed game? This is mostly open to personal judgement, but if you see a credits sequence more than likely I'll say you've beaten the game (fighting games being an exception due to their nature, however they can be completed if you beat a dedicated story mode and/or the arcade mode with all characters). Episodic games only count after you finish the last part of the game, although there are some exceptions to this. Certain expansions, spinoffs, or DLC's can count as their own game, but a lot of times I would prefer to stick them on as an addendum to the main game instead of their own thing (so that means if you've beaten the main game this year, let me know that you have so I can put the DLC being completed on the same entry as the main one).


An asterisk * denotes a second+ playthrough (in the year of 2019). For example, if I beat Mega Man 5 in January 2019 and March 2019, I'd get the *, but if I beat it in December 2018 and March 2019 it would just be put up normally.


-Note- I either have to know you from another site before you joined TNE or you have to have had a semi active account for six months to be included on this list. (so basically all the old TNE crew is fine. This is just a note for potential new members)


Praise Grima Every Day
 
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EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#2
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA)

So I didn't intend to beat this on New Year's Day, but it just worked out that I was basically an item away from getting to the end.

Everyone bags on this one, and to be fair, I understand why. The movement is a little slow and creaky, like they tried to mash together SotN with the NES games' platforming. And the music is...like they tried to take the title of the game a bit too seriously (it's interesting from a composition standpoint, like they have a major third liberally sprinkled in for that dissonance, but it grates on the nerves). It's also the most overtly Zelda-like 'Vania I've played, so it doesn't have retraversal that feels particularly Metroid-y.

But...I ended up really liking it, maybe more than Aria. Once you're in a groove (dashing, sliding, and jumping), the moveset feels completely appropriate. The bosses aren't very challenging, but there was enough to give me a few game over screens. And the castle...ummm...layout (trying to avoid spoilers) had a thematic rationale, and was a fun quasi-puzzle in its own right.

Solid game, like a good mac and cheese. Not a meal I'll always remember, but one I'll come back to.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#3
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA)

So I didn't intend to beat this on New Year's Day, but it just worked out that I was basically an item away from getting to the end.

Everyone bags on this one, and to be fair, I understand why. The movement is a little slow and creaky, like they tried to mash together SotN with the NES games' platforming. And the music is...like they tried to take the title of the game a bit too seriously (it's interesting from a composition standpoint, like they have a major third liberally sprinkled in for that dissonance, but it grates on the nerves). It's also the most overtly Zelda-like 'Vania I've played, so it doesn't have retraversal that feels particularly Metroid-y.

But...I ended up really liking it, maybe more than Aria. Once you're in a groove (dashing, sliding, and jumping), the moveset feels completely appropriate. The bosses aren't very challenging, but there was enough to give me a few game over screens. And the castle...ummm...layout (trying to avoid spoilers) had a thematic rationale, and was a fun quasi-puzzle in its own right.

Solid game, like a good mac and cheese. Not a meal I'll always remember, but one I'll come back to.
Mac and Cheese sounds about right. I do like the game, and have played it to completion at least 4 times. I do like how fluid the movement gets once you get all your movement upgrades, and I like the magic system. Just moving around whipping skeletons feels great.

The big complaint I have about it is the skim milk level design and boss battles. It's why I like Portrait of Ruin so much these days, it feels like they actually put effort into designing the boss battles instead of just dropping these screen-filling damage sponges in a room.

I actually like the music of HoD, though. It's compressed to hell, which is a disservice to it, but I can't hate on it. This one right here:





Also, I don't know if you've played Richter Mode in Portrait of Ruin, but it's worth going back to on a rainy day.
 

Karkashan

Married to Chrom
#5
have finished Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X (Vita) for my first game of 2019. This is my second overall playthrough of the game.

It's such a great game. I love how they actually did a bit of remixing in terms of item placement and how they did an almost complete overhaul of the Sigma Palace. Makes things familiar while keeping things fresh.

Also the colors pop so beautifully on the Vita's OLED screen.

Also also holy shit X some of your dialogue is hella.... well let's just say some of Copy X's attitude towards rebels was a faithful recreation, is all I'm saying.

Also also also .... SIGMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!

grimabepraised
 
#6
Final Fantasy V (GBA)

Like the previous years, my first completed game is a Final Fantasy I started around Christmas time.

I quite enjoyed this one. I was hesitant to play V because Bravely Default kinda scared me off of the Job system. I border line love Bravely Default but the game was pretty easy for a nice majority of it, then those chapters happened. They made me just want to zoom through the game but they did increase in difficulty, again maybe because I was just blowing through it. The last few bosses smeared me across the ceiling to the point where I had to knock it down to easy, and even then it took me a few tries. Did I pick the "wrong" classes? Did I not experiment enough? Is the game not properly balanced? I didn't know so I wasn't in a rush to play V with a similar mix-and-match Job/Ability system.

If the last few years taught me anything though is that once the holidays roll around I just get in the mood for a JRPG. V was the only one I didn't play from IV-X so I figured I'd put on my big boy pants and give it a go. Surprisingly it's one of the easier games in the series I played, even the last boss gave me little trouble. I did experiment more with jobs in this one, once I gained a Job Level I'd switch to another and another getting all sorts of abilities. Giving my thief/archer the ability to perform White magic was a good call, and having another character with White, Black and Time magic was amazing. I made one character able to dual-wield swords and another was just a monster tank. I think what saved me was Ribbons though, as the last boss had the typical Final Fantasy cutscene move, but it didn't do anything, so I'm thinking without the Ribbons I would have had a pile of status effects on me.

This actually makes me want to pick up Bravely Second again. I didn't get too far in that one, I guess I just wasn't feeling it at the time, but now that I have a bit more experience with mixing and matching jobs I do want to give the series another honest go. That said, it probably won't be for awhile. As much as I enjoyed V, I'm sort of happy it's done. The story wasn't as engaging as other titles. I'm not sure what it is exactly but it wasn't bad by any means. It's much more lighthearted than your typical FF, and the main characters kinda blend together. I don't mind lighthearted stories, but there are some cutscenes where you can swap character's dialogue boxes and it wouldn't matter much. Characters do die, and shit gets pretty real towards the end, but the main characters get over it pretty quickly for the most part. I feel like Krile is the character with the most emotion in the game so I tended to like her the most. Exdeath is also a weird villian. He actually manages to mess up the world and is a threat, but there's (minor spoilers here) one part where he disguises himself as a splinter in someone's hand. It's...a bit silly, not offensive or anything, just, silly. Still, the story did make me laugh out loud a few times, and I can't complain too much because everyone is likable. Gilgamesh may also be one of my favorite side-villians/characters in the series, and his music "Battle on the Big Bridge" is the definition of hype mode.

With that done, I believe my beaten FF games totals 10 now, unless I'm forgetting one. V isn't my favorite but it's definitely a good'un. I'm tempted to play I-III but those are more curiosities than anything. I guess I should play XII at some point too. With Kingdom Hearts 3 due out soon though I doubt I'll play another FF soon. I'm in the mood to replay games too, and I managed to buy Secret of Mana on the Wii before they took down the option to add funds, so there's that too, and of course Bravely Second.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#7
Final Fantasy V (GBA)

Like the previous years, my first completed game is a Final Fantasy I started around Christmas time.

I quite enjoyed this one. I was hesitant to play V because Bravely Default kinda scared me off of the Job system. I border line love Bravely Default but the game was pretty easy for a nice majority of it, then those chapters happened. They made me just want to zoom through the game but they did increase in difficulty, again maybe because I was just blowing through it. The last few bosses smeared me across the ceiling to the point where I had to knock it down to easy, and even then it took me a few tries. Did I pick the "wrong" classes? Did I not experiment enough? Is the game not properly balanced? I didn't know so I wasn't in a rush to play V with a similar mix-and-match Job/Ability system.

If the last few years taught me anything though is that once the holidays roll around I just get in the mood for a JRPG. V was the only one I didn't play from IV-X so I figured I'd put on my big boy pants and give it a go. Surprisingly it's one of the easier games in the series I played, even the last boss gave me little trouble. I did experiment more with jobs in this one, once I gained a Job Level I'd switch to another and another getting all sorts of abilities. Giving my thief/archer the ability to perform White magic was a good call, and having another character with White, Black and Time magic was amazing. I made one character able to dual-wield swords and another was just a monster tank. I think what saved me was Ribbons though, as the last boss had the typical Final Fantasy cutscene move, but it didn't do anything, so I'm thinking without the Ribbons I would have had a pile of status effects on me.

This actually makes me want to pick up Bravely Second again. I didn't get too far in that one, I guess I just wasn't feeling it at the time, but now that I have a bit more experience with mixing and matching jobs I do want to give the series another honest go. That said, it probably won't be for awhile. As much as I enjoyed V, I'm sort of happy it's done. The story wasn't as engaging as other titles. I'm not sure what it is exactly but it wasn't bad by any means. It's much more lighthearted than your typical FF, and the main characters kinda blend together. I don't mind lighthearted stories, but there are some cutscenes where you can swap character's dialogue boxes and it wouldn't matter much. Characters do die, and shit gets pretty real towards the end, but the main characters get over it pretty quickly for the most part. I feel like Krile is the character with the most emotion in the game so I tended to like her the most. Exdeath is also a weird villian. He actually manages to mess up the world and is a threat, but there's (minor spoilers here) one part where he disguises himself as a splinter in someone's hand. It's...a bit silly, not offensive or anything, just, silly. Still, the story did make me laugh out loud a few times, and I can't complain too much because everyone is likable. Gilgamesh may also be one of my favorite side-villians/characters in the series, and his music "Battle on the Big Bridge" is the definition of hype mode.

With that done, I believe my beaten FF games totals 10 now, unless I'm forgetting one. V isn't my favorite but it's definitely a good'un. I'm tempted to play I-III but those are more curiosities than anything. I guess I should play XII at some point too. With Kingdom Hearts 3 due out soon though I doubt I'll play another FF soon. I'm in the mood to replay games too, and I managed to buy Secret of Mana on the Wii before they took down the option to add funds, so there's that too, and of course Bravely Second.
I wholly recommend Secret of Mana. Great music, good visuals, the combat is alright, and it's got a great sense of adventure.
 

BobSilencieux

Well-Known Member
#8
Pokemon Let's Go Eevee! (NS)

As a big fan of Yellow, Fire Red, and Leaf Green, I really love this one too. Got all 151 entries in the pokedex for the first time ever, too. Played almost exclusively in handheld mode after I discovered that the motion controlled capture mechanic is pure, undiluted, unfettered, grade A, 100-proof bull-fucking-shit.

Also, the pokeball+ is like a 90's Pokemon fantasy made real; awesome piece of tech.
 

sjmartin79

White Phoenix of the Crown
#9
Pokemon Let's Go Eevee! (NS)

As a big fan of Yellow, Fire Red, and Leaf Green, I really love this one too. Got all 151 entries in the pokedex for the first time ever, too. Played almost exclusively in handheld mode after I discovered that the motion controlled capture mechanic is pure, undiluted, unfettered, grade A, 100-proof bull-fucking-shit.

Also, the pokeball+ is like a 90's Pokemon fantasy made real; awesome piece of tech.
I got the full pokedex for the first time ever as well!
 

Karkashan

Married to Chrom
#10
Finally finished getting all my living dex transferred from Pokemon: Heart Gold (DS) (well, the ones that are on there. I still have a bit of the dex on SS, Plat, and Pearl to transfer as well). So since I started a new game of HG solely for this living dex monster I created, I'm gonna mark it down as complete.

(Thankfully Gen 5 has no ribbons, so I just have to finish collecting those mons when the time comes and transfer them to the cloud)

praisegrima
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#11
Ninja Gaiden (NS) [NESflix*]

Man.

Fuck this game.

You know that scene in Order of the Phoenix, when Harry is being possessed by Voldemort, and he tells him that he feels sorry for him, because he will never know love or friendship? That's how I feel about the developers of this game. I feel sorry for them. They will never know fun.

This is an objectively bad game. Not because of the mechanics (which where clever for the day), but because the developers made it arbitrarily difficult, so that it would be nigh impossible to finish. That is what makes this game suck. They had something good, something with promise and potential, but then they decided to make it worse. It's like someone had a great cake, but they decided that it would be a good idea to put human teeth in the batter, just to fuck with people.

This is probably the worst game I've ever played. I would rather have a game that outright sucks, because then you can just say "these developers didn't know what they were doing, or were learning on the job, or were under an excruciating deadline." That didn't happen here.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninja_Gaiden_(NES_video_game)#Development
They knew exactly what they were doing. The game, in its first four stages, feels like what they set out to make - a sort of beat 'em up married to Mario platforming, with Castlevania items. They had a great idea; a great cake batter. They were delivering on it, although stages 3 and 4 were getting pretty cheap. And then they made the final 2 stages and ruined the whole thing. I wouldn't have beaten this game without suspend points; I save-scummed stage 6 past the point of reason.

But I couldn't let it beat me, not with all of the modern save tech we have. This, paradoxically, makes me feel kinda dirty, like I'm the cheap one. I was thrilled to beat the game last night (I totally jumped off the couch and air-punched a dozen times), purely for the relief of getting this off my plate. Now? It's like I woke up and someone left a couple of Bennies on the dresser for my efforts. I feel so used.

[*Re-reading the criteria for what platform counts for beating a game @Karkashan and I realize I probably messed all of last year up. I would've put this as a straight NES game before.]
I actually like the music of HoD, though. It's compressed to hell, which is a disservice to it, but I can't hate on it.
The super-compressed audio quality doesn't to it any favors (the dissonant notes sound even worse when they're so cold and harsh, quality-wise). There is most certainly an interesting soundtrack, composition-wise, though. And that Fresh Prince version is one of the greatest things I've ever heard.
 
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BobSilencieux

Well-Known Member
#12
Gris (NS)

What a thoroughly beautiful game. The visual presentation is beyond reproach. The gameplay is surprisingly engaging for a game of this genre, with some great puzzle-platforming and light exploration. The soundtrack though, the soundtrack is something special: the whole world is held together by the strength of its string section. I really love it.
 

sjmartin79

White Phoenix of the Crown
#13
Spider-Man (PS4)

Finished it last night. Damn, that is a beautiful game... well, except for the character faces. Most of the people don't look super hero attractive close up.
Great story, great side quests. Not a huge fan of part of the ending, but overall the game was truly amazing.

Truly hoping we get a sequel for this.
 
#14
Secret of Mana (Wii)

Overall I did enjoy it. I can see why many consider an all time classic or favorite of that generation, but I guess I just played it too late.

I found combat fun but it did have some jank. Sometimes it seems you can stun lock enemies forever and other times it seems your attacks just whiff. I guess it's a mix of real time combat with the stats of turn based RPG's, but it's weird how sometimes enemies will actually do a dodging animation and sometimes just nothing will happen. I did enjoy how there were just 8 weapons in the game to upgrade and master, and the magic system was pretty great too. I enjoyed experimenting with different weapons and finding out what elements were effective with certain monsters. Getting started was a bit weird but it eventually clicked and became quite the journey. It wasn't a game I could marathon though, I even stepped away from it for a day or so just to cool off after some boss battles (some of the early ones I found were quite the "well figure it out champ" and one of the final bosses is an absolute pig and it may be my least favorite boss battle ever and I hate it.)

I was a bit disappointed in the story though. Being a 90's Square game I guess I expected something as imaginative and far out as the Final Fantasies but this was pretty basic. The thing that jumped out to me the most was just how it seemed like there wasn't enough dialogue. Bad guys just come and go without much fanfare, the main characters don't seem to react enough to the things around them and I just couldn't help but feel there should have been more to it all. So there's the main bad guy with 4 generals, a team of bandits that you encounter three times I think, missing friends and a world spanning adventure to restore the balance of mana, but I can't really recall anything about anyone. When you reunite with a friend towards the end of the game it's just a "cool, we're still friends. See ya". It also seemed like the rules of this world changed a bit, but that's probably me. I guess I expected more.

So yeah, good game, I'm glad I played it finally but I think this is something that would have had more of an impact if I played it years ago.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#15
@CitizenOfVerona you're absolutely right about the story, and it's because the game got rekt by Sony-Nintendo negotiations. Secret of Mana was originally meant to be on the Nintendo Playstation and was going to have a ton of content, which had to be cut to fit on the SNES. Some stuff ended up in Chrono Trigger later, though I don't know what parts these are.

https://www.chronocompendium.com/Forums/index.php?topic=10102.0

Have you played Chrono Trigger, by the way?
 
#16
@CitizenOfVerona you're absolutely right about the story, and it's because the game got rekt by Sony-Nintendo negotiations. Secret of Mana was originally meant to be on the Nintendo Playstation and was going to have a ton of content, which had to be cut to fit on the SNES. Some stuff ended up in Chrono Trigger later, though I don't know what parts these are.

https://www.chronocompendium.com/Forums/index.php?topic=10102.0

Have you played Chrono Trigger, by the way?

That makes sense.

And yeah, I've beaten Chrono Trigger in college. I enjoyed it but didn't think much of it sense. It's on my list of games I need to replay.
 
#17
Into The Breach (NS)
I'm going to call it here since I'm too much of a chicken to attempt any of the remaining achievements I have left in the game as well as even going into the harder difficulties. But Its gotten over 10 hours out of me so I aint mad.
Roguelike SRPG. Tight, condensed, missions where you are given just enough leeway and moves to pull off some amazing. Every turn feels like a "close call" moment, its neat but also bad for your heart. Its got a good look and soundtrack. Idk, its fun and pretty perfect for Switch. I wouldn't pay too much for it, each single run of the game is pretty short and its heavily designed around replayability (roguelike things). Still, its baller if you're into that design.
 
#18
Travis Strikes Again (NS)

Its good. Its Suda. Its a fucking romp. I'm not going to go into the shitflinging I saw occurring on review sites and shit, I'm spent on that.
Is it perfect? No. There's a couple of things that annoy me. Some of the level design is mean, chances are one of three levels will bug you to no end, for me it was Coffee and Doughnuts. As for gameplay, its adequate and can be pretty fun if you have the ability to be creative and engage with some of its quirks. You're kind of always on your toes, spacing and timing become important. Its engaging. The one thing I would complain about here is the dodge roll. Its useless, there are no i-frames at all. Its good for moving around to attack from a different angle, and thats fine, but the game would feel a lot cooler if it allowed you to evade properly. Oh, and you can get stunlocked and damaged while down if you aren't careful, so thats "fun".
Writing and story is a return to form for Suda. Sure, its still silly and weird, and definitely starts off with more metanarrative than in previous games, but it serves a purpose. Its funny too. And then as you go along it gets more serious and introspective. It becomes clear, at least to me, how personal this project is to Suda. There might be a message or two in it when all is said and done, maybe its me reading to much into things but thats how I feel. Its kinda beautiful.
ANYHOW
Music is also pretty fucking good. It all flows well with the combat and themes of each world, with the feelings imparted by each dialogue scene. I fucking dig it. This track right here especially is just a dagger to the soul

Got pretty much 100% of everything in the game, the only thing I would have to go back for are SS rankings on boss fights and some missing skill chips that are presumably going to be added sometime soon. And for the DLC. And to study more of the dialogue and lore. In-game clock says 28 to do all of that, but I'd say like 25ish is more accurate. Still. a far cry from some of the exaggerated playtimes people who never beat the game said it would be (7 hours Shawn, IGN??????????????????). But I digress. Cant wait for No More Heroes 3 :^)
 
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#19
Resident Evil 2 (PS3)

I know, RE2 Remake is taking the spot light this week but I wanted to play the original again before picking it up (although I don't think I'll be picking it up anytime soon). This is still a great game.

I was surprised at how nervous and on edge I was throughout it. Mr X and Lickers bursting through walls or ceilings never failed to make me jump. The Raccoon City Police Department is also one of my favorite settings in a game. There really needs to be more games structured like RE1 and 2.

For this playthrough I did Leon A - Claire B. I think the canon scenario is Claire A - Leon B so I will do that. I may wait until after Kingdom Hearts 3 since when that game comes out that takes priority. Something to look forward to in a post Kingdom Hearts 3 world though. This game is just so damn replayable.

At some point after this I will finally give RE3 a go. I've never played it so out of the old classics prior to 4 it and Zero are the ones I'm least knowledgeable about (unless you include Umbrella Chronicles). I hear Zero is a fucking hard game so that one will be my last classic RE game, not sure when I'll get around to it but I will eventually.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#20
At some point after this I will finally give RE3 a go. I've never played it so out of the old classics prior to 4 it and Zero are the ones I'm least knowledgeable about (unless you include Umbrella Chronicles).
RE3 is so underrated. It might not be as good as RE2 (though I may feel that way because RE2 was my first RE), but it's damn good either way.

I will say, though, right now REmake 2 is killing it for me. I'm still in the police station, but right now it feels like they've not only made the game feel more naturally scary (less jump-scares, more "I don't want to go down that dark corridor"), but they've also taken one of the things that made RE3 really cool and injected it in a way that feels completely logical in RE2, and makes it more terrifying. I won't spoil it.

But, generally, you know how there were always people that would say, "I wish RE4 was less action and more horror"? This is it. I envy the people that never played the original and are walking into REmake 2 completely fresh.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#22
Travis Strikes Again (NS)

Beat it in a shade under 12 hours. Probably could've done it in 10 if I didn't screw around a bit. If you want to find all the Ramen and collectable logos and alternate paths, it'll probably be closer to 20. Anyone saying they beat it in like 6 hours is probably lying.

The first half of the game is the most polished stuff Suda has ever done. The back half introduces some enemy counters that hurt the balancing, though, so I'll still give original NMH the nod as the better game (getting stuck in place as an enemy fires an automatic gun at you sucks, not being able to deflect with your beam katana sucks, eating an attack that cancels your special sucks, etc). But this game is still far more strategic than the other NMH games. Button mashing won't save you. And despite those frustrating encounters in the second half, I think the overall difficulty is fair. I went down to sweet difficulty and had some rather close calls, so anyone saying this game is "too easy" are either gaming gods, or they wrote their review after the tutorial.

The soundtrack is baller, the humor is gleefully absurd, the visuals are stylish as fuck. But it's a Suda game. Other games fool you - "why yes, I'm really doing something here" - when you're really just pushing a stick and pressing buttons. This game breaks the fourth wall before the opening trailer is done, so there is no room for suspending disbelief. You're playing a game within a game (sometimes within another game), and you're always aware of that.

I think that's why people call the gameplay repetitive. Pretty much all gameplay is repetitive. It's usually just cloaked behind other activities and "immersion."

So yeah, it's still probably a "7.5 game," because it can seem rough and sparse in places. But I think this is one of the more inventive games I've played in awhile. Can't wait to see what Suda has in store for NMH3.

...which will be a thing. TSA took place in a trailer because it's pretty much a 10-hour trailer for NMH3.

(Brief note on the camera - if the whole game had the penultimate level's camera, no one would have complained. Reviewers are sheep. They spent years calling Other M a "2.5D game" because they don't understand basic camera systems. Now they're moaning about zoomed out cameras in parts of TSA because they apparently don't understand that the section of game they're playing is a Pac-Man homage. It's truly amazing how simply moving the camera perspective confounds some people.)
 

sjmartin79

White Phoenix of the Crown
#23
RE3 is so underrated. It might not be as good as RE2 (though I may feel that way because RE2 was my first RE), but it's damn good either way.

I will say, though, right now REmake 2 is killing it for me. I'm still in the police station, but right now it feels like they've not only made the game feel more naturally scary (less jump-scares, more "I don't want to go down that dark corridor"), but they've also taken one of the things that made RE3 really cool and injected it in a way that feels completely logical in RE2, and makes it more terrifying. I won't spoil it.

But, generally, you know how there were always people that would say, "I wish RE4 was less action and more horror"? This is it. I envy the people that never played the original and are walking into REmake 2 completely fresh.
I couldn't agree more with what you're saying about RE2 remake. I'm having the best time with it. It definitely feels overall scarier, and that is from the atmosphere, and the mood.
The music for the Tyrant gets your heart pounding too. You hear his footsteps, but then when you hear the music you know you're screwed.
 

sjmartin79

White Phoenix of the Crown
#24
I don't know if this counts, but finished the Leon play through of Resident Evil 2 Remake (PS4) last night.
Next on to the Claire play through.

The remake is much scarier, and honestly just overall better all around than the original. I truly loved this game.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#25
Ikaruga (NS) - Free Play mode only

This was on sale, and I've always heard that it's a legendary game, so I decided $10 was reasonable for a legend.

Oof.

This must be the sort of game that half-cyborgs play when they decide Ninja Gaiden and Dark Souls are too easy for them. But...it's still remarkably fun. Not something I usually think of with tough-as-nails titles like this. There are very few games where I feel in a zone when I'm playing, and that's usually in racing games (or occasionally in MonHun, when I put together a perfect dodge into a part break or something). I made it past level 2 legit, then decided I wanted to see the final levels, so I put it on Free Play. I saw the last stages.

Then my brain hurt. So I decided to watch a run to see how a pro plays it, and my brain hurt more. There's a death in here, so I'm pretty sure this isn't a TAS.


Watch the bit at 16:15 or so - polarity switching with the music after the boss. That was the part I realized that I would never be as good at anything as that person is at Ikaruga. Would I trade a few hundred hours of the less-memorable games I've played to be this good at one game? Probably not, but damn. It makes me wonder.

So back to the Switch version. This is probably the definitive version of the game. It has all of the display options (make sure you make the menus larger, and it's worth playing it in horizontal mode just to see what it feels like), and you can fip the Switch to vertical in handheld to play it as Treasure intended. It's a tiny file size. It was $10. And it'll let you beat it out of the gate...but only with the knowledge that you'll have to come back to it to play straight up.

Maybe one day I'll put another star on this. But only when I beat it semi-legit. Maybe 5 continues.

OK, 10.
 
#27
Kingdom Hearts 3 (PS4)

I have mixed feelings. I'm normally a gameplay first guy, a game could have a crap story but if it's really fun to play then that's the more important thing for me. With KH, the story is a big part of it. I haven't timed the cutscenes but I swear this one goes into Metal Gear Solid territory for length. No joke, sometimes after watching a long cutscene you literally move forward a few seconds before another one. The thing is, well, I'll put it in spoilers. I'm not gonna spoil anything specific, I'm just gonna talk about the pacing and structure. If you've played a KH game before this shouldn't be surprising but just in case.

So there's a crap ton of dialogue and cutscenes, and the game was built as the end of this saga, but it really goes nowhere. Out of all the dialogue and cutscenes I didn't really learn a lot. There were some great character moments sure, but after years of trying to keep up with it and making sense of it, this one loudly says nothing if that makes sense. This is also probably the worst example of mixing Disney worlds with the main story. While in Disney worlds, the plot flat out stops for 99% of the time and the other 1% boils down to basically nothing. There's a few cutscenes between worlds but they also don't do much in the long run. Once the Disney stuff is done the game tries to tie up everything in the last few hours. Characters just show up, characters I was interested in learning about don't get time to shine, and they also try to set up future games amidst of all this. Plot points they hyped up before launch also didn't get resolved. For an "end of a saga 17 years in the making" it was a let down in that regard.

That aside, as a game KH3 is pretty tight. The combat is fun but pretty easy. I was never one for fighting secret ultimate bosses but the one I found in this game took me three tries. There may be too much going on with combat but it becomes manageable in time. You have melee attacks and magic, party specials, Disney rides, keyblade limit breaks (which sometimes stacks) and Rage mode. I know the joke is "mash X to win" but it seems their solution to that was "mash triangle to win". Not really a big complaint, but can be a bit overwhelming when you have a stack of three of four specials to choose from.

The Disney worlds are an absolute treat though. They nailed the style, humor and visual characteristics of Tangled perfectly. Exploring the sea in Pirates of the Caribbean was flat out amazing to me. Exploring Galaxy Toys with Woody and Buzz Lightyear while searching for Ham, Rex and the army guys was something else entirely. Frozen was probably the low point just because it was pretty linear and all areas looked the same. Big Hero 6 was also done well, I like exploring the city (and all the music here was amazing) but they didn't really make the most out of the map. It's just a shame the ''real story'' doesn't mesh with the Disney part.

As a game: Pretty damn great. As a story based action RPG: Maybe it's time Nomura gets help with the writing process. I get wanting to plant seeds for future titles, but don't let it sacrifice the story of a game many people were waiting for for 12 years.



Also Kark you can add a * to Resident Evil 2. I just finished up my Claire A - Leon B run through. I just love this game so much. I will take a bit of a break before putting on my big boy pants and playing 3 but it's gonna happen soon.
 

BobSilencieux

Well-Known Member
#28
Dead Cells (NS)

Damn son. It's a rogue-like, which means a good run through the game clocks in at around an hour. When I was approaching my 80th run through, I started doubting I would ever actually beat the game. I'm 40 years old now, and I just don't have the skills like I used to have to take down hard games like this one. Well, I got it on my 104th attempt. I'd like to hear from anybody else who's played it, how many runs they've attempted, and how much success they've had.

And for anybody who hasn't played it, I'd definitely recommend it; it's a hell of a lot of fun to play. It has this great game-feel where you're constantly doing inputs and getting faster and better all the time. Great game.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#29
Since I got a new 1440p, 144 Hz monitor a month ago, I've been replaying the hell out of PC games. I've been putting off writing about them, but I'll get started now.

--

Half-Life (PC)

I wanted to break in my new monitor with the proper ceremony, and I couldn't think of a better game for it than Valve's breakthrough FPS.

Half-Life surprised me with how well it scaled with new technology - it ran nearly flawless at 144 fps, and the UI looked amazing at 1440p. I felt like I was playing a remastered version, which is a testament to the game's original quality. The one glitch it suffers from, at high framerates, is the slower turning speed of enemies. This was just fine to me since I'm not interested in dealing with enemies that can face you and shoot you with perfect accuracy at any time. The hardest difficulty actually seemed fair in this way.

The game itself holds up well. From start to about two-thirds of the way, it's frenetic and perfectly paced. While the story is delivered in real time without interrupting the player, it's understandable and effective at propelling the player forward. It helps that it's pretty simple - everything wants to kill you and everything you know, so you better go kill them first.

It falls apart in the last portion of the game, where there is suddenly a much larger focus on platforming, enemies that shoot homing magic missiles at you, and a tedious final boss. Maybe the upcoming fan remaster of this section will fix these issues and give us the game we were meant to have.


Mechanically, it's a shooter with fun guns, and it feels good to move around. That sums it up.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#30
Half-Life 2 (PC)
Half-Life 2 - Episode 1 (PC)
Half-Life 2 - Episode 2 (PC)

These games are harder to write about.

Like the original, these games scale perfectly to a higher resolution and framerate. However, the gap between the graphics of the first Half-Life and Half-Life 2 is not just a gap - it's a valley. The animations of the characters are so expressive that they bring Marc Laidlaw's writing to life.

This writing, by the way, still stands above most modern efforts in the genre. The characters in Half-Life 2 don't act like gun-bros with one-liners, or like ironic, politically-savvy teenagers, or like rip-offs of our favorite action movie stars. They act like normal people - some being the type to join a resistance movement, others with a particular sense of duty, or neurosis and pedantry, that leads them to become scientists. In other words, they act like humans first, like professionals second, and like videogame characters last.

The plot itself is much more involved than in the first Half-Life. And just like in the first game, it's all revealed in real-time, with minimal player interruption. It sort of goes like this: Inter-dimensional aliens have subdued humanity, and are in the process of harvesting all the resources on Earth. Some humans have accepted the chance to become genetically-modified slave-soldiers for these aliens in exchange for their lives being spared. Other humans have started a resistance movement to free themselves from the alien yoke. You play a part in the latter, while a mysterious "G man" shows up every once in a while to remind you of a mysterious secret agenda that, unfortunately, has never and probably will never be revealed to the player.

The pacing of the game attracted some criticism in the past due to two driving sections in the game. For me, these sections fit in just fine with the rest of the game: a series of mechanical showcases for the Source engine. See, Half-Life 2 is a shooter with fun guns in which it feels good to move around, but that doesn't sum it up. There are elements of horror, tower-defense with sentry guns, squad-based shooting, bosses, semi-open-world road trips, using insect minions to fight off hordes of soldiers, stealth, and probably other things that I'm not remembering right now. On top of this structure, there is the constant use of a new physics engine-based Gravity Gun, which is used for puzzles as much as it is used for combat. It really was quite revolutionary when it was first released, and mostly stands up to modern standards.

The biggest issue with this series, then, is that it will forever remain unfinished: Valve has been too busy beefing up Steam and releasing other eSports money-printers to care about making Episode 3. In 2016, Marc Laidlaw, the writer, departed from Valve, which doesn't necessarily rule out any involvement with the franchise in the future on a freelance basis, but still indicates that Episode 3 is not currently being worked on. The final nail in the coffin is a 2017 blog post from Marc Laidlaw titled 'Epistle 3' in which he not-so-secretly detailed the story obviously intended for Episode 3.

Call me a dreamer, but I still think a full new single-player Half-Life adventure might exist in the future - a proper Half-Life 3. There's just no guarantee that it will be as good as the Half-Life 2 games were. After all, it's been a very long time since the last installment (there is more time between the release of Episode 2 and today, than there is between the first Half-Life and Episode 2), Valve is a very different company with probably very different goals, and the talent necessary for a good single-player adventure game might not even be there anymore.

But hey, even Retro Studios is making a new Metroid Prime, so there's no point in ruling out miracles.
 

Karkashan

Married to Chrom
#31
Well, I've played through all 4 campaigns in Resident Evil 2 (XB1) and also did the 4th survivor as well.

I did Leon A (standard) (9:23) Claire B (standard) (7:33) Claire A (Hardcore) (2:17) (Only 3 Saves) And Leon B (Assisted) (2:56)

My Claire A run was a pain . So many failed runs, lol. But in the end it was all worth it, as I got an infinite pistol (you get for getting an S rank on Standard or higher) an infinite sub machine gun (S rank on Hardcore) and an infinite freakin' minigun (S Rank on Hardcore with Claire, and only are allowed to save a maximum of 3 times using ink ribbons).

I might've gone nuts and had fun killing everything I could see on my last Leon run, lol.
 

SkywardCrowbar

Twintelle's loyal Husbando
#32
Fallout: New Vegas (PS3)

One of my favorite games ever made. Is it perfect? No. What it has however is some of the most personality packed into any game I have ever played.

My New Vegas can reign for as long as I live!

9.5/10.
 
#33
Resident Evil 3* (PS3)

I'm a bit mixed on this one - mostly positive though. I always find with RE titles the beginning of the game is the most interesting. The Spencer Mansion/Garden House, RC Police Department, Village from RE4, etc. Once it gets to the standard secret facility I find it becomes less interesting (not bad, I guess where every game has it it gets a bit dull). Part of why I was excited to finally give 3 a go was to explore more of Raccoon City. This didn't disappoint: ducking into restaurants, bars, media building, etc was pretty cool. We also explore a clock tower, hospital and park, and the "secret facility" is basically a water treatment plant so even that keeps things fresh. Of course having more of the city streets and smaller buildings kinda sacrifices having a bigger Metroidvania building like the Mansion or Police Department (although you do explore a small part of the Police Station). Still, it was nice exploring the city as I can't help but feel that Raccoon City is one of the most iconic settings in video games.

This game on my first run through kicked the shit out of me though. I died quite a bit but when I looked back at it I wasn't exactly sure why. I ended the game with quite a lot of ammo left so I thought maybe I played a bit too conservatively. One my second run I barely used my pistol; mostly using the shotgun and grenade launcher. The ammo crafting mechanic is pretty neat, I only found out CCC powder gives you 30 Magnum bullets at the end, nifty info if I replay it again. I still died a few times on this run though and I think it's because they made the enemies tougher and more powerful.. A basic zombie killed me when I was in the Caution state which surprised me. I feel like since they give the player the 180 quick turn, powder for crafting ammo of your choice and the janky as hell quick-dodging, they made the enemies tougher to compensate, which is fine but then they decided that wasn't enough and added Nemesis.

I think I hate Nemesis. Most of the time he's actually quite easy to just run from. It's a PS1 game so he's not gonna follow you everywhere after all, but the first two mandatory fights can kiss my ass. The first one he has a rocket launcher unless my boi Carlos destroys it (because this game has some branching paths/narrative points). Although if he doesn't have a rocket launcher he can kill you quite easily from grabbing you. On the second fight the best thing to do is shoot valves that pours acid on him, but he can back away from it and the biggest thing is the auto aim is wonky in this fight. Throughout the game if you want to shoot red barrels or other environmental objects you can conveniently press R2...except for this fight for whatever reason. Weirdly, I did this fight first try on my first playthrough but the second time took me 3 or 4 tries. Maybe certain weapons work better for this fight? I ended up using the magnum to temporarily stun him, but even then aiming for the valves was still a bitch and by the time I turned to them, he would stand back up and beat me up.

After typing this up I realize maybe I'm needlessly hard on it. It's not like the boss fights in RE2 were masterpieces or anything. I did get salty sometimes throughout the game, I swear the zombies can turn around and grab you in one or two frames. I also find it's harder in general to avoid them but that could be just me. I do like this game overall and I'm glad I finally knocked this off the list. I will say one thing though, the ranking system is pretty tough. First run through was 5.5 hours with 19 saves and that was an E, second was 3:22 and 8 saves....D rank. Hate to see what an A rank is.

All that's left for classic RE is 0. I never played the original 1 so I might do that too for curiosity and completion sake. I don't own 0 so I'll wait a bit.
 
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mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#34
Resident Evil 3* (PS3)

I'm a bit mixed on this one - mostly positive though. I always find with RE titles the beginning of the game is the most interesting. The Spencer Mansion/Garden House, RC Police Department, Village from RE4, etc. Once it gets to the standard secret facility I find it becomes less interesting (not bad, I guess where every game has it it gets a bit dull). Part of why I was excited to finally give 3 a go was to explore more of Raccoon City. This didn't disappoint: ducking into restaurants, bars, media building, etc was pretty cool. We also explore a clock tower, hospital and park, and the "secret facility" is basically a water treatment plant so even that keeps things fresh. Of course having more of the city streets and smaller buildings kinda sacrifices having a bigger Metroidvania building like the Mansion or Police Department (although you do explore a small part of the Police Station). Still, it was nice exploring the city as I can't help but feel that Raccoon City is one of the most iconic settings in video games.

This game on my first run through kicked the shit out of me though. I died quite a bit but when I looked back at it I wasn't exactly sure why. I ended the game with quite a lot of ammo left so I thought maybe I played a bit too conservatively. One my second run I barely used my pistol; mostly using the shotgun and grenade launcher. The ammo crafting mechanic is pretty neat, I only found out CCC powder gives you 30 Magnum bullets at the end, nifty info if I replay it again. I still died a few times on this run though and I think it's because they made the enemies tougher and more powerful.. A basic zombie killed me when I was in the Caution state which surprised me. I feel like since they give the player the 180 quick turn, powder for crafting ammo of your choice and the janky as hell quick-dodging, they made the enemies tougher to compensate, which is fine but then they decided that wasn't enough and added Nemesis.

I think I hate Nemesis. Most of the time he's actually quite easy to just run from. It's a PS1 game so he's not gonna follow you everywhere after all, but the first two mandatory fights can kiss my ass. The first one he has a rocket launcher unless my boi Carlos destroys it (because this game has some branching paths/narrative points). Although if he doesn't have a rocket launcher he can kill you quite easily from grabbing you. On the second fight the best thing to do is shoot valves that pours acid on him, but he can back away from it and the biggest thing is the auto aim is wonky in this fight. Throughout the game if you want to shoot red barrels or other environmental objects you can conveniently press R2...except for this fight for whatever reason. Weirdly, I did this fight first try on my first playthrough but the second time took me 3 or 4 tries. Maybe certain weapons work better for this fight? I ended up using the magnum to temporarily stun him, but even then aiming for the valves was still a bitch and by the time I turned to them, he would stand back up and beat me up.

After typing this up I realize maybe I'm needlessly hard on it. It's not like the boss fights in RE2 were masterpieces or anything. I did get salty sometimes throughout the game, I swear the zombies can turn around and grab you in one or two frames. I also find it's harder in general to avoid them but that could be just me. I do like this game overall and I'm glad I finally knocked this off the list. I will say one thing though, the ranking system is pretty tough. First run through was 5.5 hours with 19 saves and that was an E, second was 3:22 and 8 saves....D rank. Hate to see what an A rank is.

All that's left for classic RE is 0. I never played the original 1 so I might do that too for curiosity and completion sake. I don't own 0 so I'll wait a bit.
If you have a GC I have a copy of 0 you can borrow
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#36
Zero Gunner 2- (NS)

[Skip to part 2 if you want to read abut the gameplay.]

I. History

If I were to tell you that an acclaimed Japanese developer of arcade shooters released their (arguably) greatest game in 2001, you would tell me "yeah, I know, that's when Treasure released Ikaruga."

But this ain't about Treasure, fam. It's about PSiKYO, who has a resume a mile long in the STG genre - Gunbird 1 and 2, Strikers trilogy, Samurai Aces, Tengai, (batshit-crazy) Cannon Spike, the bullet-hell nightmare that is Dragon Blaze, and on and on.

PSiKYO was known for their less-hellish games, though, and their very best may have been Zero Gunner 2. But unless you lived in Japan and frequented arcades or owned a JDM Dreamcast, you have never even heard of this one. A series of events conspired to push this game out of our collective consciousness, and to doom PSiKYO. This is a game in which you shoot airplanes out of the sky; two of the seven stages are over metropolitan cities. It released on Dreamcast on September 6, 2001.

That might be the hardest luck of any game released. Ever. It came out on a doomed (but beautiful) console, on the Thursday preceding 9/11. No publisher was going to touch this game to bring it to the West. No one did. And so a cottage industry sprang up for the rare copies that do exist in Japan, and the prices are something to behold. I remember when I scoffed at the used prices of ICO, from $80-$90, before it was remastered. ZG2 runs you $170 to $300. And that's me ignoring the most ridiculous offers out there (and all of these offers were probably higher before the game was re-released on Switch).
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dreamcast-...h=item34008191d1:g:B7EAAOSwUjVcTXR8:rk:7:pf:0
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sega-Dream...=item21385bb992:g:Js8AAOSwrslad2ZX:rk:12:pf:0

PSiKYO was purchased in 2002, its name and pedigree whored out as games were released under its banner, but developed and created under that most early-aughts of words, "outsourced." They had tried, with their last collective gasps, to bring in cash with titillating arcade trash, like the quiz-game themed Quiz De Idol. The final indignity left arguably the greatest STG creator of them all to have its name plastered on, I shit you not, erotic mah-jong.

So. If you wanted to play ZG2 in the past, you had to buy a system no one had, to import a game no one bought, from a developer that no longer existed. Provided you had cracked the DC region lock and had $200+ to spend on a game that, in the hands of a pro, can be beaten in under half an hour. Since this is a value proposition that is, shall we say, lacking, ZG2 died.

No one attended the funeral. While the pieces were picked up for a franchise like Gunbird, re-released to bring honor back to PSiKYO's name, Zero Gunner 2 was lost to time. Literally. A company called Zerodiv now owns the rights to the PSiKYO library, but within that library, you won't find ZG2 there. The original code was either lost or corrupted. So how on Earth was it released on Switch?

"Much of the data from the original game was lost, so we decided to rebuild it from the ground up. To show our respect to the original and so not as to diplease the die hard fans, we therefore added the '-' to the end of the title."​
-Takayuki Harakami, Zerodiv CEO​

This is not the happy ending this game deserved, because now we're actually talking about another game (the "-" version of ZG2), but it's far better than the alternative.


II. The actual gameplay part of this post

So. Lemme get the bad stuff out of the way first. There are a few odd bugs in this game. I once started playing, died, changed ships, and then had no music. I once picked the game up out of the dock to play it in handheld, and all of the boss-intro animations played at double speed. There was a glitch in the game where people died from invisible bullets (likely bullets that existed in the higher difficulty sections that were still registering in the lower difficulties); this has since been patched, but I've had a few iffy deaths that have made me wonder. All of these are resolved with IT logic - turn it off, then back on again.

That aside? This game is so damn good. You will read some people try to puff this particular STG up as "the first omni-directional shooter," but that is, of course, nonsense (Asteroids came out in 1979). So why is it great? The balancing, mainly. Where a game like Ikaruga goes for your throat and tries to overwhelm you by stage 3, Zero Gunner 2- is still warming up. Its first 4 stages are interchangeable; each time you boot up the game, you could get any of them (this also helps with the monotony of replaying a short shooter; there's a little spice to being tossed into a stage you normally breeze through because you are now playing it with no power-ups). Only by stage 5 does the game start gently reminding you of who developed it. By stage 6, you are in a typical PSiKYO shooter, and by stage 7, there is a bit of hell to the surroundings. But only if you want it there. There are 7 degrees of difficulty, and you can back it all the way down if you simply want a power trip. 3 is "easy" and 4 is "normal," and will give you plenty of tune up time into stage 7. Difficulty level 5 is "arcade" and what you would've found at a Japanese coin-collecting facility, which, for my money, is the best balance. As an added bit of difficulty balancing, there are 3 types of helicopters to choose from. They're all pretty powerful when you power them up, but the lowest on the rung still requires more finesse. The most OP chopper, meanwhile, has homing missiles when topped off, which is a hoot, but does substantially lower the overall difficulty.

The controls are perfectly tailored to the enemy waves and bullet patterns, too. Although it may look like it, this is not a twin-stick shooter. You have a "pivot" button that places an icon onscreen, which turns your helicopter in the direction you'd like to aim. It sounds unwieldy, and you will probably wish for stick controls the first time you play it. But persevere. This works really, really well. This aiming scheme makes it feel like a vertical shooter, but one in which you get to shift the aiming axis yourself. And when it clicks with you? Super satisfying.

There is also a "magnetism" sort of mechanic. If you stop shooting, power-ups will be pulled towards you. This creates a damn-near balletic sort of gameplay loop. Shoot, stop shooting to pull in power-ups and reorient yourself to aim for the next wave, dodge bullets and shoot enemies while maneuvering to the power-ups. This isn't a bullet hell game. It's far more elegant than that, and when you're exploiting all of these interlocking mechanics, you understand why the original game goes for such outrageous prices. This was a shooter for the masses, something everyone could appreciate.

Of course, this also has some late-90s, early-00s graphical punch. It isn't as artistically interesting as Ikaruga, but it holds up. Some of that is due to ZG2- being a new game made with new assets, but Zerodiv stuck pretty close to Dreamcast-age visuals. This was the age where you could make a pretty damn good looking arcade shooter, focusing on the ships and fire, and leaving the finer parts of the foreground for some pre-baked imagery.

Oh, there are also crazy multi-stage bosses. Ground-bound tank-ish thing turns into a death submarine that becomes a robot that climbs buildings. God bless ya, PSiKYO.

So. That's that.

I really like this game. You may not. But this is an important eShop release. This is a piece of gaming anthropology that only exists because arcade shooters have sold decently well on Switch. Someone saw an opening, gave enough of a damn about this, and remade a legend that barely anyone knows about.

It's $8. You'll spend that much at Burger King. If you care about the history of our hobby, that's a good price.
 
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#38
@EvilTw1n

You ever play Sin and Punishment? I got the first one on Wii U and it's a weird interesting Treasure shoot-em-up/on rail shooter. Might be worth looking into. The original never left Japan and with WiiWare finished, the U VC is the only way to play it.



Metal Gear Solid (PS3)

Those who know me knows I love a good stealth game. Splinter Cell Chaos Theory remains one of my favorite games ever. I always wanted to get into MGS because "Splinter Cell vs MGS" was a topic I've seen when both franchises were on the go. Around 6ish years ago my roommate at the time and I decided to tag team the MGS series. He did Metal Gear, I did 2, we both played Solid, I watched him play Solid 2, and I did Solid 3.

After finishing 3, I honestly could not see how MGS could be considered the better "stealth" series. Splinter Cell has more mechanics going for it and MGS is mostly stay out of their field of vision and avoid certain noisy floors. Splinter Cell had light and shadow indicators, your sound and environmental sounds, more moves, etc. As a game, MGS does have a more unique story and a very unique charm to it so in terms of which you liked more came down to preference but I found the actual stealth mechanics kinda limited.

A few years ago I booted up MGS 1 again and gave up at the part where Meryll got shot and you had to backtrack for a sniper rifle. I just wasn't in the mood for how much dialogue this game had. Following my playthroughs of RE2 and 3 I was still in the PlayStation 1 mood so I said fuck it and gave MGS 1 another go. I really enjoyed it this time. Granted, it's not like I ever hated the series but it also never clicked in the way I wanted it to. This time around I was engaged with the characters more, found myself laughing at the right moments and just caring more in general. I also felt like I appreciated it more in general, this game has full voice acting, an epic score, sweeping camera movements. It truly does feel like a next gen title for it's era. Psycho Mantis' boss fight is also really neat, and just reminds me of a time where games where meant to inspire and really push boundaries of what a game can do, instead of most AAA titles of today just being prettier versions of what we've gotten before (not to shake my old man stick or anything, I do enjoy quite a number of modern games). I was ready to say MGS was finally connecting with me in a way I've always wanted it to.

Until the climax. Yikes. Despite my enjoyment of it so far I realize it hasn't aged well in some regards. Combat is pretty dang clunky. Aiming with guns is pretty janky and hand to hand combat isn't ideal. It wasn't a deal breaker because most of the time if I had to shot people it was because I got spotted. Even the boss battles that demand combat was designed in a way that it wasn't too painful. Let's be real here, I'm the person who still loves the first Tomb Raider, I've beaten the trainwreck known as Angel of Darkness. I finally love classic Resident Evil so I'm no stranger to the concept of jank. That is until the final battle.

Maybe I was off that night but Metal Gear Rex was a bitch. Looking back it was one of "those" fights where at the time I died many times and felt impossible but now I think about it, I'm not sure why. Sometimes when I locked on to fire it would just miss anyways. He dealt a lot of damage if you weren't in the exact place. Get too close he has a laser, get too far away and he shoots homing rockets. It's just a weird fight that's a lot harder than it seems. After that you have a hand to hand fight with Liquid Snake and again, just janky as fuck. Often times you don't connect, or sometimes instead of getting him into a combo, the first punch will make him in the flashy invincible state and he can run away or hit you while you're still doing you 3 hit combo. Took me a few tries. Lastly is the get away scene where you're on a gun turret. The aiming is slow and the enemies can hurt you quick. I just couldn't do this because there is no aiming reticule and the camera was slightly off center so lining up shots was tough. I had to look it up, and turns out there was another hidden health pack before getting aboard and you could enter first person aiming. That was a "duh" moment.

So yeah, I really enjoyed the game until the last bit. A lot about the game hasn't aged gracefully but I still really want to love this game because of everything it does right. I'm still tempted to hunt down a copy of the HD Collection for 2, 3 and Peace Walker, then jump into 4, 5 and Revengeance. Maybe one day soon.

At the end of the day, I can't stay mad at a game with a soundtrack this good.
 
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#39
Gorogoa (NS)
1 hour long puzzle game. Maybe 2 hours, but I'm almost certain I beat it all in around one hour.
Its pretty, and there's a clear passion behind it. But its just way simple. The puzzle designs are kinda fun but you very quickly understand the main concept of it all and can bust through them with no problems. It doesnt help that there is no real fail states, and the game basically leads you to the solution, felt hand-holding.
Could have been cooler if it was longer and had maybe another quirk to its design. Doesnt overstay its welcome at least, and I like the art. Overpriced imo at I think $15 (I used some points on this), very much regret wasting money on it. Oh well.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#40
MHGU (Switch)

The online portion of the game is G4 Complete and I consider that the “end” of the online part of the game. Anyhow I’ve finished the single player also so whatevs............and anyhow.

Having now beaten the game in English I can for sure say that even with google translate, the language barrier was a major hinderence for armor skills and being at your peak ablity as a G rank hunter. While it was an amazing experience with @FriedShoes and @EvilTw1n goin thru my first Japanese game with them I know now just how badly I was handicapped in MHXX.

As for MHGU I’m personally about this MH. It’s retains the gameplay I’m fimiliar with, all while delivering MOSTLY great maps, but for sure an all-star cast of monsters, plenty to do single player and online multiplayer wise, with I’m sure over 500+ hours if you wanted to attempt to finish everything. For sure tho the monsters are much more aggressive in MHGU than any other MH I’ve played yet, if they want you dead you will have a difficult time preventing that from happening.............but we’re not ordinary either.

Finishing all of the G rank keys from 1-4 and the final boss, 2 man hunts with @EvilTw1n and we killed the final boss last night. As for the 2 man hunts we had great armor, great weapons and hunting strats. The most difficult of the monsters this way was most definitely the flagship monsters of G3. The Mitisua (or bubble weasel) particularly giving me fits of rage and disgust. We pushed thru all that tho and we have depleted boxes but we’re still here to tale the tales (and I wish I could say more about the G4 Rajang and Deviljo hunts but they both didn’t fare well).

Outside of the we almost have @Goodtwin and @Juegos out of G rank and we’re lookin forward to doin deviant and hyper monsters and explore that aspect of the game.

Overall tho it’s still MH with my peeps and I love it! I hope to see more and more on Nintendo’s consoles!
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#41
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (NS)

[H/T to @Goodtwin and @Koenig for springing this one.]

Like Matt, I'm counting this one as done after G4. There's plenty of post-game content to go take care of, but my level is unlocked and the skies are clear, so to me the game is done. I already said pretty much everything I have to say on this game last year. The only difference is that it is definitely easier with proper armor. So my end-games notes are really just weapon notes.

I learned to use the Great Sword this time. With 3U I learned duals, then picked up the switch axe a bit; with 4U I learned the long sword (and a bit of the gunlance). This time, I rolled with the most anime sword possible. I was shocked at just how easy it is to use. When I started playing MH, I wanted action-action-action, and I hated how slow and methoidcal the GS felt. But now I have a greater appreciation for hitting one good shot instead of constant DPS. I've probably only put 40-50-ish hours in with the GS, but it feels pretty natural now. I mean, don't get me wrong, I still soak up damage, but that's because you're gonna have to put yourself in danger to use it. The biggest misconception* I had with this weapon was thinking it would have mad range; you might as well be using duals - it has far less reach than it looks like it should have. But once you wrap your head around that? All those hours with duals came in handy, because the GS is all about positioning and finding windows. And even though you get hit more, the weapon still takes care of you. I had no idea how handy it's guard/block was. It's not something you can use quickly, but it has its own meta game to it. "Alright, I'm out of stamina, that monster is eyeing me up; do I have time to break guard, regain stam, and get my guard back up again?" It's a really elegant weapon. Gets you out of tight spots if you're crafty. Cuts tails like nothing else. And it's super-satisfying to finally land that triple when the opportunity presents itself. Yeah, I'm a fan. @Juegos is right - it's the mother weapon.

So now I find myself wondering if I should polish up my GS skills more, or move to another weapon? I'm thinking of trying out bowguns, but maybe truly diving into them should be a project for the next proper MH.


[*The second biggest misconception is that you gotta always hit a charge. Sure, you can play that way, but you'll be attacking a lot of air. The monsters move too quickly. If you sit around waiting to land only-triples, you'll never land anything. Sometimes the Lao-Shan Lung is about to bust your castle, you're out of cannonballs, and ground tremors prevent you from charging up to even a single. So you gotta settle for an unsheath attack. After that, I started using the GS differently. You still have to hit your triples when those windows are open, but you're leaving damage on the table if you get greedy with every attack.]
The most difficult of the monsters this way was most definitely the flagship monsters of G3. The Mitisua (or bubble weasel) particularly giving me fits of rage and disgust.
I dunno what was up with G3. Maybe it was just the game giving us a run of rage-filled monsters, but damn, they were all hardasses.

...well, not the Gammoth. But the Astalos, Glavenus, and Mizutsune were all absolute nightmares. And the Valstrax was just about as bad. Helluva string of hunts, though.

We do still need to go kill the Bloodbath Diablos, though.
You ever play Sin and Punishment? I got the first one on Wii U and it's a weird interesting Treasure shoot-em-up/on rail shooter. Might be worth looking into. The original never left Japan and with WiiWare finished, the U VC is the only way to play it.
I've never played the OG S&P, and unfortunately, my Wii U's memory is completely packed, so I can't DL anything else. But I do have Star Successor, which I played for a bit. That's on the "need to go back and replay/finish list."
 
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EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#42
Strikers 1945 II (NS)

Well, you can't win 'em all, PSiKYO.

Doing a little shoot 'em up research made this one sound like another forgotten classic. It is impressive in its own way, don't get me wrong. The color palette doesn't do this one any favors, but the sprite work is nice, the attacks/firing are a nice contrast against the backdrops, and there is a lot going on when you up the difficulty. You don't really get waves or patterns that you can memorize like Ikaruga; you just get the kitchen sink thrown at you. That's why there aren't any real "must go left, must go right" obstacles; there isn't even really level design to speak of. You fly up through a gauntlet and try not to die. That's it.

And that's totally OK if the combat is great. ZG2- is pretty much always using its screen real estate for combat exclusively, and because it's satisfying to aim and shoot in that game, it works. But Strikers isn't quite good enough to make up for this "no level design is our design" thing, IMO. For example, the "special" bomb attack? For most planes, it calls in support airplanes...that act as shields. It's like the developers knew "yeah, no one will get through this" and tossed this in. The charge attacks are a good idea, though - set up an attack on one side of the screen and let it do its work, then while that's happening, go to the other side to clear things out. When you get that mojo working? Good fun. But when you mess up a charge, die, and hit continue? Good luck. If you're in a later level, that means you go back to the beginning of the level - with no power ups at all. On higher difficulties, you might as well restart the whole game.

Strikers II is probably harder* than Ikaruga, in its own way. The lack of save states makes it harder than Ninja Gaiden. However, unlike NG, this is not a bad game; it gives you tools to kick ass, and death isn't from the "stepped back one pixel too far and now that damn hawk is after me again"-sort of cheapness. But geez, dude, this one is still needlessly damn difficult. And it's not like they didn't have the means to balance it. This one (like ZG2- and most PSiKYO games, I guess) has 7 degrees of difficulty. 1 is "Monkey," and it is still stupidly hard (should've read this review first). But here's the odd thing - 1 will catch you napping in early levels. Nothing-nothing-nothing-nothing-oh shit that's a lot of things to dodge now. I actually found the mid-stages to be easier on 4 ("Normal"); there's more flow to dodging bullets there. But then the bosses will tear you apart, especially the later ones, who can be full-on bullet hell if you lack a bomb/support planes.

So I suppose if you're better at these games than me, this is worth playing? I haven't played arcade shooters in depth since I was frequenting old arcades in middle school. As an adult, perhaps part of the unwritten code for a game like this is realizing that you're gonna suck. That's the point. These weren't games developed to be bought for a fixed amount of cash and enjoyed to completion at home. They were designed to suck in quarters at an arcade.

...still, with 7 difficulty gradients for a home console release, this could have been balanced better.




[*One caveat here: I wonder if this is a case where a Pro controller might actually help. Bigger sticks with more gradual sweep and movement may make bullet dodging a bit easier. With the Joy-Cons, I often felt like I was subtly moving, then moving far too quickly, and would hit bullets. So there's that.]
 
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#44
Furi (NS)
PLAY THIS GAME WITH FRENCH VOICE ACTING

Beat this just now. Stats say 5-6 hours, but I don't think they take into account failed attempts, because I died a lot.
This game is pretty fucking cool. Took me a bit to warm up to it, a lot of that has to do with some visual quirks. I'm still not really a fan of the main character's style and some of the arenas are pretty bland, but the bosses all look fucking great, and that's what matters. This is a boss rush game, after all, meaning its just boss fight after boss fight after boss fight. The only thing that breaks them up are these slow walking segments (you can put he character on autopilot and he'll walk along with the beat of the music, very cool) where your NPC buddy will wax poetic about the plot and, as you enter the next area, the boss itself. These are very much inspired by Silvia's phone calls in No More Heroes 1. They set up the mood and drama so nicely. The music also just BUMPS, an electronic soundtrack that fits the setting and fights perfectly.

Gameplay is described as an Action Shoot Em Up, which is accurate, though I'd say there's a lot of shoot em up compared to straight action. The mechanics basically boil down to learning how to navigate and counter bullet hells (ah, the purest of gameplay genres) and parrying melee combat. You often dont have the opportunity to attack the enemy freely aside from chipping damage with your ray gun, so fights are predicated on pattern recognition and counters. It could feel samey, but the whole presentation, the boss' constant taunting with awesome quotes, and intense challenge make for interesting fights every time. There's a couple of frustrating moments, but its always something you can overcome with practice.
That said, I wish there were more opportunities to use your charge attack and I wish the evade dash didnt have a slight delay to it, you'll almost always forget and take a hit to some evil attacks.

Oh, and Switch specific pet peeves, damn game could have used and abused HD rumble. Criminal lack of rumble, its there but sparingly used. Ah well.
tis a good game, will probably go back to it immediately to play on the hardest difficulty and grab some unlockable bosses.
 
#45
The Secret of Monkey Island (PC)

The only point-and-click adventure game I beaten was Machinarium and maybe a Carmen Sandiego game as a kid. I did own a Monkey Island game (I think Escape or Return) but never got far into it. I decided to give this a go, I've been wanting to get into the old Lucas Arts games for awhile.

I really enjoyed it. It made me laugh numerous times and the writing is just spot on. I did get stuck a couple of time, and while the game has a built in hint system, I still hated that I had to use it. The solutions were usually "duh" moments, but I guess that's part of the genre.

I will play the sequel one day and give Grim Fandago and others a go as well eventually.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#46
Blazing Star (NS)

Decided I needed a horizontal shooter in my Switch collection (Ikaruga and Stikers II are vertical, ZG2- is omni-directional). Turns out I picked a pretty good one. Blazing Star is an old SNK shooter, made by Aicom/Yumekobo, for the Neo Geo. It's been ported to iOS and Android, so I guess you can play it with only a touchscreen if you have a deep-seated desire to hate the game.

First thing - disengage the visual filters. The default one muddies up the overall picture to blunt the (quite obvious) jagged edges. And it's not worth it. The game is so much more vibrant and clear without it, and the visuals are worth seeing in the raw. I think this is a very pretty game. Maybe you don't dig...whatever this aesthetic is (I'm guessing this is all old-school pixel art, but there's a whiff of DKC-style digetized-to-pixel work), but it hits me in the 90s feels pretty hard.

Second thing - turn on auto fire. Not as in "it fires for you," but as in "it fires when you hold the button down like in other arcade shooters." The game is totally playable if you want to flail away on one button as the designers intended. I think it actually helps with the framerate to have less data on the screen this way, too (and you'll notice more of the background-to-foreground enemy transitions). But that's a lot of button presses. Even though I think the game flows very well with the semi-auto system, in which you hold down the fire button for your charge shot, it's not worth the button mileage. Auto-fire moves the charge shot to another button, and you can be reasonably judicious with burst firing.

Complaints? Really, only the framerate. But that's a half-complaint. The bullet hell-ish sections actually go all Witch Time on you. I am bad at videogames, so I appreciate that. YMMV.

That aside? Darn fun. This is a popcorn game. Blazing Star trades in the power-ups that Strikers is built around for more setpieces and some actual crafting of the terrains and levels. And as an old horizontal shooter, it's a little simpler to keep track of everything (there's more natural screen real estate in a horizontal shooter; you have to shrink down the screen with borders in a vertical shooter, and still have a longer section of gameplay terrain to keep track of live shots on). That isn't to say this one is easy - it took me 10 continues to beat it on "easy," and there are some moments in the game where I don't know if there's any way to actually dodge; it seems like death is built-in. This game is actually pretty damn hard. But it's also forgiving. You don't have an elaborate power-up system, so if you die, you can get your ship topped off in short order. And the continues work like an old arcade machine - before you start, you decide how many credits you want to use. It feels cheap to go into "Free Play" mode in Ikaruga. But here? It feels more like "yeah, I'm going to use all of my lunch money on this." That's why I beat it so quickly. I put 4 or so hours into Ikaruga before I decided to wave goodbye to continues and see the end; it was frustrating the hell out of me and I wanted to at least get through the end stages once. But I beat Blazing Star on my second go-through. It's hard, but by having an actual "easy" mode and the credits system, it's beatable, and I'm far more likely to go back and replay* it for that reason.

Plus, this game is batshit, man. Not only does it have the greatest Engrish localization ever done, but the final boss is a mutant space-baby.


[*Not that I won't go back and replay all of these games. I guess I paid about $30 for all of these shooters, and to me, this was an investment in quick pick-up-and-play games. I'm gonna buy one more to round out the collection, then I'll call it a day on new purchases, and I'll keep replaying these to get a little better at them. I figure five good old games for the price of one new one is a decent investment.]
 
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EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#47
Please put a star by the following, Kark:

-Zero Gunner 2- (NS)
-Strikers 1945 II (NS)
-Blazing Star (NS)

I'm certainly going to beat these all quite a few more times during the year, but I'm not gonna spam the thread with those completions. Since they're such short games, I'll only add another star if I beat 'em legit on their higher-tier difficulties. But I did spend a decent chunk of time with them (probably could've beaten Zero Mission two or three times in the time I played ZG2-), so...reassessments?


ZG2- is still the best of the lot. Downsides? The more you play it, the more you'll wish there was more real crafting of the levels (the "Asian Slum" level is great because it makes you aim between buildings). And the music can sound like a ripped Bandcamp sound file, a copy of a copy (although I suppose the original could have had a more demure soundtrack to begin with). But it's so damn fun. Even after a few days away, you kinda have to relearn the feel of the pivot, but once you do, the controls snap into place. This is a really well-balanced, accessible shooter; the shoot 'em up for the rest of us. No wonder the DC version goes for such crazy money. Ya went out on top, PSiKYO.

======

Strikers is more fun on subsequent replays. I hadn't thought of it before, but I think the reason it's so freaking hard is because...


...yeah, it doesn't seem like the game really scales for single player. It's truly made to be played by 2 players. It's an arcade shooter, after all. The difficulty levels still could have used some more polish, though, for the home release. But once you realize its 7 levels of difficulty are more like 1-3 for sane single people, it's easier to forgive.

======

Blazing Star is a gas. More personality stuffed into 30 minutes than other games manage in 30 hours. I found a few spots to escape some shots that I thought couldn't be avoided, but others...not so sure. Still, good times. It's manic-pixie-dream shooter. Great fun to be around for a weekend, but you might not want to marry it as your only shooter. Fun roller coaster, though. Ride it a few times, come back to it when you need a smile.

======

Any of these old shoot 'em ups are worth a purchase. $8 might seem a little pricey for 30-minute games, but they're designed to be played over and over, on higher and higher difficulties (I've already put like 5 hours into ZG2-). But for like $30, you can buy 4-ish games with a ton of replayability. Highly recommend.


[Notably absent from this list is Ikaruga. I love the mechanics, the look, the music. It is a superb game. It's just so damn hard. Story for another day.]
 

sjmartin79

White Phoenix of the Crown
#48
Kingdome Hearts 3 (PS4) - Wonderful game, gorgeous graphics, satisfying gameplay. An end and a beginning to a long and convoluted story.
There were soooooo many cut scenes, especially at the end. It didn't really get to me till near the final boss fight where it was 30 seconds of fighting, 5 minutes of scenes, rinse, repeat.

but for anyone who has played the series, this is, of course, a must.
 
#50
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS3)

Thanks to an Amazon gift card I got, I used part of it to buy the HD Collection for PS3. I never played this one before although as I said in my MGS 1 post, I did watch an old roommate play the entire thing. I believe that was around 7 years ago, but it was one of those games I could never truly forget. I've said before that where the last few years involved clearing my backlog that my memories of a lot of them are shaky. To this day I still remember my roommate fighting the second last boss fight, the scene where your nanomachines are malfunctioning due to the virus, and some of the dialogue scenes in between all that. It was hypnotizing.

So now I can say I finally played it myself and my word, what an improvement over MGS 1. Granted, your 3-hit combo is still a bit clunky, and using the right analogue stick for your sword is a bit annoying, but the game just has more polish. I also think the bosses don't demand as much precision either. The last boss fight ain't so bad despite being locked into using your sword.

Of course, the big thing is the story and dialogue. This game has around five and half hours of cutscenes and codec conversations but thankfully I loved them. During some 20 minute conversations I found myself excited to get to the next one. Whatever prevented me from fully engaging in this series before is gone. Maybe it's because I'm fully over the whole "I want another Splinter Cell series" and am now just appreciating MGS for it's own merits. It's also crazy how relevant this story is today, probably more than when it came out in 2001. Even the admittedly corny relationship conversations of Raiden and Rose was something I enjoyed.

This is one of those scenes that stuck with me. Running through this section, the colonel keeps calling you. Sometimes it's mission objectives from previous games, sometimes it's complete nonsense. Out of context this may not be too meaningful, but the music, voice alterations of the colonel, the visuals of the environment, everything just comes together to create something so magnetic. Same with the last gauntlet fight, just brilliant use of music, visuals, ambience, etc to create something I never forgot in 7 years.


It's nice when a video game franchise can finally click with you. Recently Resident Evil and now Metal Gear. I really want to just dive into MGS 3 but I should give it a little break, but it probably won't last long.
 
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