nekunando

Your 2017 Gaming Diary

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44 minutes ago, bob said:


 

 


OMG, just had a flashback to that Al Gore fight. Hardest part of the game, that one, and so frustrating too! Reminded me of Whitney's Miltank in Pokemon Gold.
 

 

Don't get me started on that fight, it was bad enough i had to take a break and come back to it later.  Otherwise i'd probably have a broken controller.   Once i saw Canada on the map, i was wondering how long it would take before they'd take the mick out of it.

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I've just realised that I didn't make a post for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier in this thread. I finished this a while back and had a fantastic time with the game. I just really enjoy this series and felt that the new characters and setting were a good addition to the game. 

Spoiler

The introduction sequence is perhaps the best scene of the entire series. Wonderfully crafted when it leads into the title of the game and a great little flashback to the time before the outbreak spread.

There were a few moments where I gasped, such as the big reveal at the end of episode 2, when the brother shows up. :D

Overall, I had a great time with the game and can't wait until the fourth (and final!) season to wrap it all up.

 

I finished South Park: The Stick of Truth yesterday. I've been wanting to play this for a long time as I'm a fan of the show, although I tend to watch individual episodes and so haven't been keeping up with it and the sequence of storylines. It's a supremely faithful adaption of the show and it virtually feels like you're wandering around during an episode or season of the show. I can't think of many characters who don't turn up during the adventure! It's hilarious in places and there were so many sections where they just absolutely nailed it, particularly the:

Spoiler

Sex scene when you're battling the gnomes. Only South Park could pull that off.

Cartman is a gigantic prick as usual and Butters was his usual pathetic self. Loved it. Two of my favourite characters and the transition for them between tv and game was seamless. Bravo!

I'm looking forward to starting The Fractured But Whole next. Think I may start it later on today.

 

Games of 2017

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Beyond: Two Souls

Metro 2033 Redux

Metro Last Light Redux

The Last Guardian

Horizon: Zero Dawn

PaRappa the Rapper 2

Mortal Kombat XL

The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier

South Park: The Stick of Truth

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SOT is not only a fantastic adaptation of the TV show, it’s also a surprisingly good RPG in its own right! It’s clearly based off of Paper Mario and does a great job of melding its battle system with elements from pen & paper RPGs.

 

Certainly the most faithful adaptation of a TV/movie to a game ever made; and it does it while being a great game too! That’s a true rarity!

 

I haven’t played Fractured But Whole yet, but if it’s even half as good as SOT, it’ll still be a must play for fans of the show!

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So I decided to play the latest game in the Fire Emblem franchise.

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Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is... huh? It's no longer the latest game in the Franchise? Bugger...

Still! It's a Strategy RPG that came out recently for the 3DS, a remake of the second ever Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Gaiden, which never released outside of Japan.

The game follows Alm, a bloke who isn't important enough to feature in a Dynasty Warriors spinoff. He lives in a humble little farming village with a group of friends, one being secondary character Celica, who apparently is important enough to feature in a Dynasty Warriors spinoff. Probably because she has boobs, you know what Koei Tecmo is like. They're attacked by soldiers from the neighbouring country, Rigea. Leading to Celica having to be taken away from Alm for her own safety.

Years pass, and the Fire Emblem equivalent of Hawlucha (It should have been in Pokken...) finds himself thrust into repelling Rigel forces.

Can Alm stop Rigel from taking over? Will he find Celica before she swans over to Fire Emblem Warriors? And will the final boss be yet another bloody dragon?

The plot in this game mostly goes the same way as the original Fire Emblem Gaiden, but there are a handful of plot changes and some new characters so that even people who can read Japanese have something new to see here.

I enjoyed what was there, even if some of the twists were a bit obvious. What has to be credited is the voice work. Unlike the other 3DS games, everything is fully voiced. No incredibly annoying grunts and half sentences that Awakening infuriated me with. And it's really good. High quality voices here. Especially this guy.

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Berkut plays a key villain and single-handedly justifies playing this game. His voice actor did an absolutely stonking job in nailing his character. Quickly became my favourite character.

The Gameplay plays like most Fire Emblems, you manipulate your army around a grid-based area and complete objectives while trying to not get them killed. Unless you're playing Casual, which I did, because it's the only way I enjoy Fire Emblem. And nothing is ever going to change my mind.

The major thing with Echoes is that dungeons show up in it. Yeah, fully explorable dungeons in a Fire Emblem game. Running into an enemy while exploring gets you into a mini Fire Emblem style battle It's very strange, there's no denying that, but I quite enjoyed them. Adds a bit of variety to the whole experience. They're certainly not on the level of Zelda dungeons not BOTW, they're pretty fun. Although I'd imagine that playing with Perma-death would make these terrifying to go through.

Another new feature is Mila's Turnwheel, which allows you to basically pull a mulligan and let you redo previous turns. Because I'm sure any Fire Emblem fan has had that moment when they've been hit by a 1% Critical hit. You don't get infinite uses of this, so it's not completely broken.

Graphics look fine, much nicer than Awakening. But nothing along the lines of Monster Hunter Stories and stuff like that.

The music is much better though, there's some great tracks here. My personal favourite is Berkut's theme. (That guy gets all the best stuff here)

 

The track that plays in the final chapter is pretty spectacular as well.

Fire Emblem Echoes is probably my favourite game in the Fire Emblem series, something about it just appeals to me in all the right ways. I recommend it to those who are curious about the series.

Spoiler

Shantae: Risky's Revenge - DS

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse - 3DS

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King - 3DS

Shining Force - The Sword of Hajya - Game Gear

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime - DS

Final Fantasy IX - PC

Super Mario Land - GB

Chrono Trigger - SNES

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap/Monster World II: The Dragon's Trap/Dragon's Curse/Adventure Island/Turma da Mônica em o Resgate - Switch

Tales of Game's presents Chef Boyardee's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa - PC

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment - 3DS

Final Fantasy - GBA

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance - 3DS

Sonic Mania - Switch

Splatoon 2 - Switch

Super Mario World - SNES

Super Metroid - SNES

Star Fox - SNES

Monster Hunter Stories - 3DS

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - 3DS

 

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Played The Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier.  Not a bad 3rd chapter in the saga.

Spoiler

They put Clems story on the back burner, but still had a small focus upon her.  Felt sorry for the younger brother, but this was his chance to redeem himself.  How did i do it, well i nicked his older brothers wife.

Choices i made, i tried to save David and the son.  But they both died in the streets, which is a shame but still.

8

Bring on the 4th and final season now

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The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match

Team Yagami always has the best theme

Continuing from my previous post, the next milestone in the KOF series is 2002. After KOF '98, SNK continued releasing yearly entries in the franchise, and much like '98, this game is a plotless celebration of the entries of '99 to '01. Sounds straightforward, but oh boy, these things are never as simple as they seem.

You see, after 1998, SNK took some risks, like releasing home consoles and portable systems (such as the Neo Geo CD and Neo Geo Pocket Colour) during a time where Arcades were starting to fall out of fashion. These consoles flopped, the financial hit was too great, and SNK filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Its intellectual properties were sold to other parties, with KOF in particular going to a Korean company called Eolith. Thankfully, they seemed to respect the franchise well enough, seeing as Eolith developed King of Fighters 2001 and 2002 both (now with more Korean characters!).

But wait! A week after SNK filed for bankruptcy, the company's original founder established another company called "Playmore", and made its life mission to reestablish the company he previously had. He steadily rehired old staff, acquired the rights to its old IPs, and by 2003, he even had the right to use its old name. "SNK Playmore" was now the second coming of the former Arcade giant. (Reading upon SNK's history is fascinating stuff)

Why is all of that relevant? Not only to explain the troubled development of the original KOF 2002, but also of the "Unlimited Match" port. Because it's not just a port, SNK Playmore was apparently unsatisfied with the game Eolith produced, so they redid backgrounds, music, added a bunch of missing characters, and even replaced one of them entirely (more on him later) for this 2009 rerelease. SNK essentially finetuned the game into the celebration it ought to be.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the game itself.

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66 characters. And you thought the roster in Marvel vs Capcom 2 was impressive.

Gameplay-wise, it's very similar to '98, with the 3-on-3 matches, the rolls, the long hops, etc. though it's all much faster-paced and fluid. Besides the speed, I'd say the biggest change is how the MAX mode and the Super moves work: in '98 you could use these fairly often for consistent damage, but in here the Super moves are more costly and the MAX mode doesn't cause extra damage anymore. I'm personally not a fan of that change, as it feels like you have less offensive options, but everything else is a joy to play.

Not to say I'm that good, though. I managed to find a couple of online matches, but I lost every time. Still good enough to learn, and definitely a better experience than the Challenge mode. The single player is as barren as before (not even team endings), and while fighting difficult bosses can be fun, the requirements to face them are ridiculously frustrating, so not even that's worthwhile. Multiplayer's the way to go.

The roster is as impressive as it looks. Sure, some characters are clones visually (and literally. There are 3 clones of Kyo), but that still leaves us with 55 visually distinct characters. The newcomers definitely look great, such the boxing secret agent Vanessa, the innocent ice girl Kula, or the self-explanatory Whip.

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I love that spritework

The veterans look just as good, most of them with updated sprites, moves and mannerisms. I find it fascinating how they hide bits of character development that way. For example, Chang and Choi have actually incorporated some of Kim's moves into their own movesets (in-story, Kim is helping them clean up their act), Kyo has a new attire due to graduating high school, and Yuri's father and brother now treat her with more respect in their pre-fight intros (they used to be more condescending towards her). These nice touches of polish add so much to the world.

One thing that irks me is the technological, sci-fi direction of the game's aesthetics. SNK's games from the 90s were all about martial arts, what with street brawlers, karate youngsters, drunken masters, ninjas... and this saga gives us robots, guns, genetic freaks and secret agents. They look good and all, but still, there's a contrast. And the hi-tech-looking menus don't help.

I also miss the old backgrounds. They changed with each round, you could see your teammates on it... These backgrounds are plenty detailed and have tons of SNK cameos, but they're otherwise standard.

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At least the guys from Metal Slug are here

The music's a step up from '98, though. A rocking soundtrack filled with catchy themes that feels very energetic, and a great complement to the faster matches. Though the electric guitar may get on your nerves if you wear headphones.

As for the main story... it got messy. You see, after that Orochi saga from last time, SNK decided to start a new arc (almost like a new season of a series), and they had some new ideas, like coming up with a new protagonist, or give a more sci-fi direction to the plot. However, due to the backstage problems I mentioned, that arc ended up changing writers and being quite incoherent, and the fact that it involved clones didn't help (Spider-Man fans know how bad that can get). Still, here's a synopsis:

  Quick Synopsis of the '94-'97 story (Hide contents)

After Kyo defeated Orochi in '97, a secret evil organization called NESTS was impressed, so they decided to kidnap Kyo when he was weakened. They planned to clone him in order to replicate his fire powers and/or create an army of super soldiers.

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Our new protagonist, K' (pronounced "Kay-dash"), is a fugitive from NESTS. An orphan who was kidnapped and experimented upon with Kyo's cells, gaining his fire powers in the process. He keeps trying to destroy NESTS alongside other people who have also been wronged by them.

KOF '99 is about NESTS sponsoring a tournament to test out their clones before taking over the world, but K' defeats their top soldier Krizalid and rescues Kyo in the process, causing NESTS to reconsider their plans. KOF 2000 is about C.Zero, a NESTS official going rogue, stealing a nuke and threatening to nuke things, but he's stopped by K' (or not, I think he nuked a city). KOF 2001 is about K' taking the fight to Igniz, the CEO of NESTS who resides on a space station and wanted to become God through nebulous means and they defeat him and everything's peachy, including the nuked city. And NESTS is gone except not really, I guess.

Why were there tournaments in 2000 and 2001? No clue.

You can tell they lost the direction they were going with the plot early on. At least the clone thing looks easy to follow, right?

Spoiler

Here's a list of clones and other such ordinance during this arc

  • K' - Thought he was a clone of Krizalid, but is actually a random orphan injected with Kyo's cells.
  • Krizalid - Thought he was a random orphan injected with Kyo's cells, but is actually a clone of K'.
  • Whip - Clone of K''s sister
  • Kyo-01 - Clone of Kyo. Has one of his old movesets.
  • Kyo-02 - Clone of Kyo. Has another of his old movesets.
  • Kusanagi - Not a clone! He's apparently an evil Kyo-looking ghost who appeared in KOF 2003, and they retroactively included him in this port since there were so many clones already.
  • Kula Diamond - Female clone of Kyo (I think), but his flame powers were genetically reengineered into ice powers (is that how science works?).
  • C.Zero - The rogue Tom Selleck look-alike who wanted to nuke things is the clone of a dude who looks nothing like Tom Selleck. Don't ask me how that works.
  • K9999 - The 9999th clone of Kyo. Does not resemble him in the slightest.
  • Nameless - The REAL 9999th clone of Kyo, forget about the other guy. This one was created with cells of both Kyo and K', and looks the part.

To clarify: the character called K9999 was an Eolith creation, and a blatant rip-off of Tetsuo from AKIRA. When SNK started reworking this game, they were so disgusted at the sheer lack of creativity, they came up with a new character with a new backstory (not relevant at all, since this game has no plot), just so they could retain that fighting style while preserving their perceived creative integrity. This character was then called Nameless. Something about this whole mess makes me laugh.

Phew, too much plot nonsense. What else did I want to mention...?

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Ah yes, the goofy translations.

Spoiler

We still have typos...

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...weird slang...

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...some silly puns for good measure...

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...unexpected references...

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...uncomfortable innuendo....

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...whatever these are...

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...and William Shatner

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And that's all, I guess. Hard to say whether I prefer this game or '98. The latter is a more polished game, but this one has a really fun roster.

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...Yeah, I like this one better.

All sprites in this post were taken from Fightersgeneration.com

 

  My 2017 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Huniepop (2015) Completed (January 8th)

-Super Meat Boy (2010) Completed (February 3rd)

-Fire Emblem Heroes (2017) Beaten (February 25th (Base Content))

-Fire Emblem Awakening (2013) Beaten (June 6th)

-My Nintendo Picross: Twilight Princess (2016) Completed (September 11th)

-Sonic Mania (2017) Completed (September 28th)

-The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition (1998) Beaten (September 30th)

-The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match (2009) Beaten (October 20th)

 

Currently Playing:

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

-Megaman Legacy Collection

-The King of Fighters XIII

 

Dropped/Hiatus

-Edna & Harvey: The Breakout

-Dungeon Keeper

-Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

 

Misc.

-Freedom Planet 2 Demo

-Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade Replay

-Various 3DS in-built games Not actual playthroughs

Edited by Jonnas
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Following on, i've been playing The Wolf Among Us.  Didn't know what to think to begin with, it was on sale on PSN over Halloween so i snapped it up (the Vita edition).  Loved it, can see why people rate this the better of the Telltale games series.  Ok, the controls on Vita were a little dodgy (and the game crashed twice during my play).  That's not including the rickity framerate and audio drop-outs i encountered either.  None the less, it was a good experience.

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FF6.0.jpg

Final Fantasy III is a Turn Based RPG for the Super Nintendo. No, I'm right, it's for the Super Nintendo. It is not to be confused for the NES game of the exact same name. It's named as such over here because at the time, it was the third Final Fantasy to make it out of Japan. In actuality, this is Final Fantasy VI, the sixth game in the series and the last mainline Final Fantasy to appear on a Nintendo console to date. It was released only in America in October 1994. It wouldn't be until March 2002 that Europe saw it on the Playstation.

For context's sake, I played the SNES version, on the recently released SNES Mini.

The story mainly follows a woman called Terra Branford. She's quite special in that she can use magic. She and a couple of soldiers arrive in the town of Narshe in some kind of mech. They then proceed to invade the town looking for a creature known as an Esper. Upon finding it, something strange happens, killing the soldiers and destroying a special piece of headgear that robbed Terra of her own will, setting her free from it's hypnotic spell. Terra tries to escape Narshe, (Because they kinda want her dead) runs into difficulty, but gets saved by a treasure hunter (Blatant thief) called Locke. He helps her escape and asks Terra for help with fighting an Empire.

Terra finds herself with a difficult decision, should she help Locke take down the empire? Does she even know the reason why she's so sought after? And just why is the Empire looking for these Espers? And more importantly, why are there so many random monsters harassing her all the time? Maybe they're trying to sell her Time Shares...

Up until this point, Final Fantasy games have had straightforward plots. Save the world, crystals are involved, yadda yadda yadda. Final Fantasy VI marks a remarkable departure from those plot points. Crystals are nowhere to be seen, the setting resembles more of a Steampunk setting instead of the expected medieval fare and while Terra is the main character, the story switches between different character's viewpoints quite often.

There is no doubt in my mind that the story in this game is much better written than the previous games in the series. This is thanks in part to the more complex story and also the surprisingly good localisation (RPG's back then had... let's go with odd writing) thanks to Ted Woolsey's great work. (He worked on Mario RPG and Chrono Trigger as well)

Spoiler

One of my favourite things about this game is the whole opera motif prevalent throughout the game. You get hints of it throughout. The fine arts is a big theme in this game. And it truly hits home in the final battle against Kefka, which to this day, is still the most impressive final boss sequence I've seen in an RPG. From the opening conversation where the heroes dictate to Kefka why he's a nutjob, (The characters start getting their own little pillars when they start talking, which makes no sense in the scene, but is just the kind of thing opera would do for dramatic effect) to the entire 5-stage battle with it's incredibly chilling music.

 

I can't stress enough how amazing the production values are in this SNES game. The sequence I detailed in the spoiler is something you don't really see in RPG's these days. Sure, they're epic and all, but there's something intricately special about how this game builds up to that final climactic moment and manages to blow me away every time I play it. It's truly chilling and to this day, is my favourite RPG moment ever.

The Gameplay plays much like the Final Fantasies you see in the Playstation Era, it utilises the ever present ATB (Active Time Battle) system the series is well known for. Turns happen in real time and stuff happens even when you're going through menus. While this game is certainly not the hardest RPG game you'll ever play, it has it's moments where you might have to rethink a strategy.

This game's key feature is the Esper system, throughout the game you can collect Espers and equip them to your party. Do this and win some battles and sooner or later, your characters will start learning magic. It depends on what Esper they have equipped, which means that there's a lot of customisation options here. Each character has their own special ability as well. Locke can steal items, Edgar can use special tools and Cyan can never be in my party setup because he's utterly worthless. With 14 characters available (3 [or 4] of them being completely optional), there's a lot of fun to be had experimenting with what works.

If you've been reading my previous Final Fantasy write-ups, you'll remember my grievances with how obtuse some of the more hidden goodies are. So in the interest of fairness, I decided to consult a guide for this playthrough so I can see if Final Fantasy VI falls into the same trappings. The answer is, well... Kinda? I should probably explain.

My major issue with the Playstation Final Fantasies is that if you want some of the more useful equipment, you're gonna absolutely need to consult a guide. There's no way around it. It was no doubt done to sell the player's guides that were quite prevalent back then. Final Fantasy VI most definitely has a few items that no normal sane person would ever even see. But there's one major difference that makes this fact much more tolerable to me. All of these ridiculously hidden goodies are stuff you can easily get later on in the game.

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Well, that's reasonable...

Sure, this Ribbon is in a stupid place. But as long as you are even remotely thorough in opening chests, the average player will still end up with a couple by the time you fight the final boss. In other words, it's all stuff you can get pretty easily later on. And that makes it much easier to swallow. In fact, in a strange way, it sort of becomes a little helping hand for people who speed run games. Speaking of...

Spoiler

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That's how long it took me.

This game is not without some issues though. This game is ambitious for the hardware it's on, and with ambition comes Glitches. And this game has some whoppers! Word to the wise...

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Never use Sketch, trust me on this

I touched on the music a little while back, but that was in a spoiler, so I'll reiterate. This soundtrack in Final Fantasy VI is nothing short of masterful. Opera plays a huge part and this little SNES game cranks out some remarkable tracks. From the hilariously catchy battle theme to some great somber pieces. And I can't stress enough how amazing the Final Boss track, Dancing Mad, is.

The visuals are a step above previous SNES Final Fantasy games. Character animations are full of life and the sprite work is top notch. Definitely one of the prettier SNES games.

Final Fantasy VI still remains my favourite Final Fantasy game to this day and is part of my personal "Holy Trilogy" of SNES RPG's. You can't call yourself a proper RPG fan until you try this game at least once. Go on, give opera a chance.

Spoiler

Shantae: Risky's Revenge - DS

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse - 3DS

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King - 3DS

Shining Force - The Sword of Hajya - Game Gear

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime - DS

Final Fantasy IX - PC

Super Mario Land - GB

Chrono Trigger - SNES

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap/Monster World II: The Dragon's Trap/Dragon's Curse/Adventure Island/Turma da Mônica em o Resgate - Switch

Tales of Game's presents Chef Boyardee's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa - PC

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment - 3DS

Final Fantasy - GBA

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance - 3DS

Sonic Mania - Switch

Splatoon 2 - Switch

Super Mario World - SNES

Super Metroid - SNES

Star Fox - SNES

Monster Hunter Stories - 3DS

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - 3DS

Final Fantasy VI - SNES

 

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Finished Horizon's DLC The Frozen Wilds.  It's nice, additional content for Horizen.  Which to be fair, for a game as good as that it's well deserved,

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What a procrastinating bastard I am. I've had this game since launch, and only now did I finally get around to beating it.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

 

As Glen-i said, this is an unexpected remake to Fire Emblem Gaiden (a.k.a. FE2). But did you know Gaiden was considered a "black sheep" in the series? Not because it was bad, mind you, but because it was so different. There was a world map, you could grind, there was only one item to equip per character (otherwise they'd attack with a generic weapon), you could visit dungeons and villages... It was different from what came before and after. Think of Zelda II, Metroid 2, etc. Nintendo during those days was all about experimentation.

(I actually tried to play Gaiden on an emulator before. The game was interesting and showed quite a few cool ideas, but I couldn't stand how slow everything was back in the NES, and gave up before the end of Act 1. Gaiden sorely needed this update)

Fast-forward 20+ years, and Fire Emblem Awakening pretty much defined the direction the franchise would take going forward. Many fans were worried that the older games would be forgotten, destined to obscurity. So, earlier this year, it came as a surprise that Intelligent Systems not only decided to take a step back and develop a remake for an older game, but that they also ignored a lot of "Awakening-isms" when making it (so, no children, or wacky script, or any of those things that characterized Awakening so much).

One such example is the art style. Gone are the toilet helmets, quirky weapons, modern accessories, and wyvern riders in lingerie. Back is the tasteful clothing, practical armour, and human-looking villains. The artwork is so detailed, you can even see scratches on those chest plates. The only odd thing is the existence of greek motifs in murals and architecture. Is it an inconsistency, or an intentional design feature on "ancient" buildings? Who knows?

The anime FMVs use 3D models in CGI, and they look good for the most part, though the models' animation gets oddly janky at times (the Gamecube/Wii games also used 3D CGI and those never had such issues). Nothing too grave, but still noticeable.

The soundtrack is pretty darn phenomenal (no kidding), and so are the voices. Berkut is pretty memorable, but every actor brought their best for this game. Mae's upbeat behaviour, Leon's campiness, Clair's poshness, Gray and Tobin's bickering... the list goes on. Surely, IS could afford to voice this game in its entirety because it was small enough to begin with, but it's still good to see them spare no expense. This has to be the best presentation on a Fire Emblem game to date, 10/10 on that department).

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Celica the Priestess

The story from the original is fleshed out immensely. The plot consists of a continent divided into two countries, each governed by a God. The God of War Duma made a harsh militaristic country to the north where humans could grow strong, whereas the Goddess of Kindness Mila made a bountiful country to the south where humans were pampered. A food shortage in the north, alongside a petty response from the decadent southern king, lead to the invasion that kickstarts the plot.

Alm and Celica are childhood friends from a southern village, and each follows a separate path in order to end the war. Alm joins the resistance and fights tooth and nail in the frontlines, whereas Celica takes a more diplomatic route and attempts to appeal to the Gods (fighting monsters and outlaws along the way).

Besides the usual cutscenes, we're also given a ton of world building thanks to the villages we can visit. We get to see how life is like in each country, what kind of political tensions there are, what kind of environment bandits thrive in, etc. It's great stuff, and surprising, after Awakening was so poor in this aspect.

Interestingly, the story here goes in a slightly different direction than the original:

Spoiler

Gaiden went for a "warlord vs. messiah" dichotomy, in which Alm was aggressive and could only solve the war by conquering everything (not unlike Duma), and Celica was more diplomatic, to the point of being excessively idealistic (not unlike Mila). In the end, Alm blindly runs into a trap, Celica saves him by negotiating with Jedah, and Alm returns the favour by saving her with his army. A middle ground is implicitly achieved, and Duma acknowledges humanity's valour and ability to compromise during the final battle.

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I used to think he was a bearded man with a big nose

Meanwhile, Shadows of Valentia adds a more subtle theme of rebellion. It starts with Alm's conflicts within the deliverance (filled with nobles too proud of their birth), continues with his rivalry with Berkut (Alm won his battles on his own merit, whereas Berkut believes he's entitled to glory), and culminates in the final Act when humans collectively rebel against the Gods' ultimate decadence.

It's interesting, because monarchic right of rule (and accompanying noblesse) is usually tied to divine right. This is usually only implied (at best) in non-European media, and yet, here's a Japanese game blatantly using that as a major theme.

Compared to Gaiden, Alm is made less aggressive (his decisions are always presented as inevitable) and Celica is made to look more emotionally unstable (she's supposed to give in to Jedah when Alm is stuck in the volcano, not after he's won the entire war. I honestly think someone made a mistake when putting those scenes together), which is a shame, but the themes of humanity's strength in the face of divine failure are made better than ever. I am impressed.

Portrait_duma_dragon_fe15.png

And hey, at least I was right about the beard

Side-note: This game's writing is so good, they even managed to make Awakening's plot better. The post-game dungeon is all about giving a backstory to Grima where none had previously existed, and it is told beautifully. Great job, SoV!

In a nutshell, the game's story gets a 9.5/10, with only a couple of hiccups along the way.

306923_w926.jpg

Alm, the warlord

Finally, the gameplay. Even though world maps and grinding are common nowadays, Echoes still has a bunch of unique quirks. Archers have way more range, utility spells have infinite uses, items present more drastic improvements, mages feed off their own HP, and the weapon triangle is gone.

Though the what really defines the gameplay in this game is how sturdy every enemy is. HP totals are huge, and you might need 4 or 5 attacks to bring down each enemy. Furthermore, enemies are a tad more cautious, actually bothering to retreat if they're low on health. This means that the focus here is less in solving complex maps, and more in defeating genuinely sturdy enemies and bosses. Sure, this might lead to slogfests, but good (and creative) strategies are that much more rewarding in the end.

Speaking of maps, they're very faithful to the originals, so they might feel quite bland, with no chests or villages to save. However, enemy placement is much trickier, meaning that each map's "main" goal is more than enough to keep you on your toes. Despite the multiple complaints I've seen about bland maps, I'm actually satisfied with the main overworld maps.

The main exception are the dungeons. The dungeons are pretty bland and uninteresting in both design and aesthetic, the enemy encounters take too much time, and the maps where you fight them are just as bland. In fact, I went on two separate hiatuses because of dungeons, because going through them was such a chore. The only dungeons I liked were the final one (it actually threw some interesting maps at you, and it had a creepy atmosphere) and the post-game dungeon (interesting lore, genuinely tough and challenging enemies, and its length actually adds to the ambience).

Another complaint I have is how skills work in this game. Being tied to specific items is fine, but each character needs to grind in order to learn that skill. It wouldn't be an issue if skills were purely offensive, but if I want to use utility skills like Swap and Shove, I need to grind each character individually? Too tedious, and the idea of grinding to unlock creative solutions for a map is counter-intuitive.

Finally, the biggest change in the series is the introduction of Mila's Turnwheel, which allows you to effectively save scum. I wasn't too high on the idea at first, but going back on an unfair crit saves a lot of stress and frustration. Furthermore, dungeons and battles run for so long, that these wheels are a hell of a boon. However, I can't help but feel that it's a solution that works for this game alone. If a Turnwheel were to be implemented in other games, it would need to have far less uses than this.

Anyway, all things considered, the gameplay gets a 8/10. I like how different it is, and how it rewards good planning, but its crappy dungeons are difficult to ignore.

I've beaten the game on Hard/Classic, post-game dungeon included. There's still extra stuff to do (Lunatic mode, some of the DLC episodes next time there's a discount on FE stuff, and the dungeons unlocked by the Amiibos I have (if I ever get an Amiibo reader)). But as of right now, I'll give the series a rest.

I'll just say that Fire Emblem Echoes is a superb game, and possibly my second-favourite in the series. And since I gave Awakening a score... this one gets 9.5/10

  My 2017 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Huniepop (2015) Completed (January 8th)

-Super Meat Boy (2010) Completed (February 3rd)

-Fire Emblem Heroes (2017) Beaten (February 25th (Base Content))

-Fire Emblem Awakening (2013) Beaten (June 6th)

-My Nintendo Picross: Twilight Princess (2016) Completed (September 11th)

-Sonic Mania (2017) Completed (September 28th)

-The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition (1998) Beaten (September 30th)

-The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match (2009) Beaten (October 20th)

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Vaentia (2017) Beaten (November 16th)

 

Currently Playing:

-Megaman Legacy Collection

-The King of Fighters XIII

 

Dropped/Hiatus

-Edna & Harvey: The Breakout

-Dungeon Keeper

-Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

 

Misc.

-Freedom Planet 2 Demo

-Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade Replay

-Various 3DS in-built games Not actual playthroughs

 

On 26/10/2017 at 6:23 PM, Glen-i said:

No incredibly annoying grunts and half sentences that Awakening infuriated me with.

 
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Finished the main story to Assassin's Creed Origins.  Full thoughts are in the Origins thread, but overall it was worth Ubi missing a year.  It shows with vast improvements over previous iterations, especially combat and story.

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Mega Man Legacy Collection

mega-man-legacy-collection-listing-thumb

As an incredible coincidence, I completed this game 100% a day after Megaman 11 got announced. I didn't even know it was the Blue Bomber's 30 year anniversary before then.

In a nutshell, this is a collection of the NES Mega Man games, plus a few dozen challenges (gauntlets with the trickiest bosses and level segments throughout the NES era), plus sound tests, plus a lot of artwork from this era (conceptual artwork, adverts, boxarts, etc.). I (re)played every single game here, and got Gold on every challenge.

This collection allows for save states, and my opinion on them is mixed. I do not like to use save states on games that were never meant to have them, and as such, I only saved when the Password screen popped up (because those were the only "save points" these games were meant to have)... but I have to admit, Mega Man 1 (which lacked a password system) is just hell to play in a single sitting, so they were quite welcome there. I stuck to saving between stages, though.

Anyway, just a brief rundown of each game

  • Mega Man 1: Brutally difficult, to the point of unfairness. It feels more like a gauntlet than any of the challenges. Still, the robot masters are among the most memorable, and the weapons are all useful and fun.
  • Mega Man 2: My favourite in the series, every problem from the previous game was addressed. The robot masters are all fun, the weapons are all useful (except Heat Man's), the music is awesome, and I honestly feel it aged gracefully.
  • Mega Man 3: I always thought this entry was overrated. Megaman feels heavier, the menu is ugly and confusing to navigate, the robot masters are nothing special (Needle Man might just be the worst RM in the series), it's got some of the shittiest weapons in the franchise, and the Doc Man intermissions are an unacceptable spike in difficulty. Still, Rush and the slide work well, and the music is good.
  • Mega Man 4: Not a bad game, and in most aspects is certainly better than 3, but between the high-pitched sound, the rough Mega Buster, and the alternate paths that don't have anything on them, it feels a tad rushed.
  • Mega Man 5: This one's so bland, It's like they threw a bunch of cool ideas they didn't actually like into this entry. I say this, because this game has a ton of ideas with no passion or effort behind them. The Jet Ski segment mindlessly throws enemies at you with no care for their placement, the more original weapons are sloppily implemented (for example, they give you a Charge Kick, but nothing to kick), and even the plot, which could allow for a couple of cool boss fights, is ignored. Everything in this game is about presenting stuff with potential, and then squandering it. I'm assuming this is what Mighty No.9 feels like.
  • Mega Man 6: This one was surprisingly improved. Useful weapons, cool-looking robot masters, level design that actually takes advantage of the new Rush adaptors, and several alternate paths with substantial content to provide replay value. This is also the best implementation of the Mega Buster. This entry's often ignored, but is among my favourites.

2 > 6 > 4 > 3 > 1 > 5

Playing all of these games in a row was interesting. The small adjustments made to Megaman's movement, how incremental these changes were, and how, instead of patching stuff, they'd just improve a new gameplay aspect over the course of 3 games.

(Also, a small pet peeve: what's with these games giving you items when they could be weapons? Why have a "Super Arrow" or a "Wire" as random items, instead of an "Arrow Man" or a "Wire Man" to give them? I understand when they're non-combat, but these absolutely cause damage. And they're more prominently advertised than any of the robot masters! What's up with that?)

The Challenges are fun, though since they work a lot like speedruns, the same sort of frustrations from that playstyle might pop up. Still, nothing's more satisfying than beating the "No items" challenges and realizing you're a Mega Man Master.

Anyway, as fun as revisiting the NES games was, I must say: the Game Boy games were way better! When are we getting a collection with those, huh?

 
  My 2017 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Huniepop (2015) Completed (January 8th)

-Super Meat Boy (2010) Completed (February 3rd)

-Fire Emblem Heroes (2017) Beaten (February 25th (Base Content))

-Fire Emblem Awakening (2013) Beaten (June 6th)

-My Nintendo Picross: Twilight Princess (2016) Completed (September 11th)

-Sonic Mania (2017) Completed (September 28th)

-The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition (1998) Beaten (September 30th)

-The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match (2009) Beaten (October 20th)

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (2017) Beaten (November 16th)

-Mega Man Legacy Collection (2015) Completed (December 5th)

 

Currently Playing:

-The King of Fighters XIII

-Rhythm Paradise

 

Dropped/Hiatus

-Edna & Harvey: The Breakout

-Dungeon Keeper

-Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

 

Misc.

-Freedom Planet 2 Demo

-Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade Replay

-Various 3DS in-built games Not actual playthroughs

 

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Doki Doki Literature Club

header.jpg?t=1509687157

So, I got curious, seeing the Game Grumps play this game, and noticing that it has become popular as of late. Since it's free on Steam, and apparently short, I decided to take a look

...

It's a nice and uneventful dating sim. Pretty girls, Ecchi moments, the usual works. There's poetry, too. Happy thoughts. Happy, happy thoughts.

Spoiler

Okay, so you might have heard that this game gets weird later on. If you're expecting depressing endings and graphic deaths, well, you're not off the mark, but it's a very small part of it. I highly recommend going through this blind.

If, despite that recommendation, you still want to get spoiled, then click ahead:

Spoiler

Holy shit, what a good horror game. I did not expect this genre, and I certainly did not expect it to do that so well.

I do admit, I was actually enjoying the "conventional" dating sim in the first act. There was talk of writing styles, the characters clearly had some depth to them, and the poems were genuinely well written (seriously, try rereading them after knowing what you know by the end of the game). It was good drama, even if in a lighthearted coating. Plus, it's a good setup for the rest of the game. Sayori's depression hit me hard, as I found it to be a realistic depiction of the condition, and needless to say, her suicide disturbed me immensely. The scene was very well made.

And after that, everything gets visceral. With Yuri getting obsessive and Monika getting creepier and creepier, this is a full-blown horror show. I love how the game keeps messing with the interface, and that's enough to keep anybody on edge. Like, the mere act of animating Yuri's eyes makes her so deeply disturbing. To be honest, I was more afraid of seeing drawings of Sayori than anything else, but I guess that just made Yuri's inevitable madness all the more intrusive.

And finally, when Monika talks to you... that's so creepy. I mean, has she truly gone through my computer? Am I actually having a conversation if it's just a pre-written piece of dialogue, albeit one also directed at me? Am I behaving unethically when treating fictional characters like fictional characters? The game convinces us to think of character files as the characters themselves, but since their personality and dialogue aren't actually in those files, are we being played? Or is this more like the difference between mind and soul? Is there something to be said about the way we personify objects or, in this case, files?

So yeah, the game has disturbed me on a mental, visceral, and spiritual level. Good stuff.

(I did not unlock the "Good Ending". I honestly don't want to go through that again. I'm just not in the right state of mind right now)

 

Dating sims are not a shame, but just one type of game.

I care not how much you jeer, as this makes my fifth this year.

(For a Fire Emblem waifu, too, is larger than laifu)

I hype them up, all I want is to share.

I haven't lost my marbles, I swear.

 
  My 2017 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Huniepop (2015) Completed (January 8th)

-Super Meat Boy (2010) Completed (February 3rd)

-Fire Emblem Heroes (2017) Beaten (February 25th (Base Content))

-Fire Emblem Awakening (2013) Beaten (June 6th)

-My Nintendo Picross: Twilight Princess (2016) Completed (September 11th)

-Sonic Mania (2017) Completed (September 28th)

-The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition (1998) Beaten (September 30th)

-The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match (2009) Beaten (October 20th)

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (2017) Beaten (November 16th)

-Mega Man Legacy Collection (2015) Completed (December 5th)

-Doki Doki Literature Club (2017) Beaten (December 9th)

 

Currently Playing:

-The King of Fighters XIII

-Rhythm Paradise

-Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

 

Dropped/Hiatus

-Edna & Harvey: The Breakout

-Dungeon Keeper

-Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

 

Misc.

-Freedom Planet 2 Demo

-Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade Replay

-Various 3DS in-built games Not actual playthroughs

 

Edited by Jonnas
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Dedided to pick up Guns, Gore and Canaloni in the recent PSN sale.  Finished it today, not a bad game.  Played the sequel at EGX this year, the first is pretty good.  Basically it is exactly as the title says.  Plenty of Guns, Gore and Canaloni.  It's roughly 3 hours from start to finish, and i didn't get bored at all

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Thank you @Jonnas, you've inspired me to write a petition to completely ban "Laifu" from the English vocabulary.

Hey, you know what has the exact same letters as Laifu?

Lufia_Fortress_of_Doom.jpg

tenor.gif?itemid=4969108

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom is a turn-based RPG published by Taito of all companies (Made by Neverland). It came out in 1993 on the SNES. America only, mind you, because it's an early 90's JRPG, so of course it never came out in Europe. Despite it's naming style, it's actually not a rip-off of the Harry Potter Books. Coulda fooled me...

Some of you may recall me playing the Game Boy Lufia game last year. You know? That game where he killed Conan for no reason? This is the first game in the series and is my second Lufia game.

The story begins with a bloke called Maxim. He and his group of friends are in the very definite Final Dungeon, Lv 80 and ready to kick some Final Boss tushie. They then do, but a final trap leaves Maxim and his friend Selan in a pretty hopeless situation.

And then they're never seen again for the rest of the game.

100 years pass and you play as a bloke with no name who is blatantly Maxim's descendant. He's friends with a strange girl called Lufia. However, history decides to pull a Secret of Mana and repeat itself. The 4 villains (Called Sinistrals) that fought Maxim all those years ago have shown up again. So it's up to Not Maxim and Titular Character Girl to defeat the Sinistrals and probably blow up the Fortress of Doom (Actual in-game name).

The story hasn't got that much going for it. It's pretty standard fare for JRPG's. Which is fine, this was the 90's, after all. I will say that the opening is pretty novel, giving you control of a full party of 4 characters for 5 minutes before unceremoniously ditching them for the actual main character. I have to say the big late-game twist is pretty novel as well.

Spoiler

qXgaEWw.png

That's a pretty good twist. The second party member sticks with you throughout the entire game before betraying you and leaving you to do the entire Final Dungeon (And Boss) with a 3-man party. Harsh, but cool.

Apart from those, don't expect anything too amazing, do expect some ropey translation though.

The gameplay is your typical Turn-based RPG fare. You explore the world, advancing the story, exploring some dungeons and get into all sorts of random encounters. Even for it's time, there's not really anything that helps Lufia stand out from other RPG's. Not a bad thing, and I certainly wasn't expecting anything more. It does it's job and it does it pretty well.

The visuals are pretty unambitious as well, it's pretty early in the SNES's life and it kinda shows. It is weird having the battle screen just be an overlay instead of a separate screen.

The music is also pretty safe, nothing that memorable, but nothing truly offensive either.

Lufia 1 is not going to light your world on fire, it's a pretty standard, by-the-books RPG that sets out to do just that and nothing more. I certainly enjoyed it, but on a console with a great amount of quality JRPG's, Lufia just kinda fails to live up to the lofty standard. Still...

Lufia_(SNES)_25.png

Why yes, yes it is. Your pie sucks!

Spoiler

Shantae: Risky's Revenge - DS

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse - 3DS

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King - 3DS

Shining Force - The Sword of Hajya - Game Gear

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime - DS

Final Fantasy IX - PC

Super Mario Land - GB

Chrono Trigger - SNES

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap/Monster World II: The Dragon's Trap/Dragon's Curse/Adventure Island/Turma da Mônica em o Resgate - Switch

Tales of Game's presents Chef Boyardee's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa - PC

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment - 3DS

Final Fantasy - GBA

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance - 3DS

Sonic Mania - Switch

Splatoon 2 - Switch

Super Mario World - SNES

Super Metroid - SNES

Star Fox - SNES

Monster Hunter Stories - 3DS

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - 3DS

Final Fantasy VI - SNES

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom - SNES

 

Edited by Glen-i
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Hey, you know what has the same letters as Lufia?

logo.gif

tenor.gif?itemid=5570073

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals is the sequel to SNES RPG Lufia & the Fortress of Doom. Making it the second game in the Lufia series, and the third Lufia game I played. But it's a prequel, making it the first Lufia game? OK, I confused myself...

It came out for the SNES in 1996, and amazingly enough, did come out in Europe.

I'm gonna assume you read the above write up for Lufia I did 2 days ago, it's not that far back.

The story follows a guy called Maxim who appeared in the first 5 minutes of Lufia 1. He's a Monster Hunter, making money by keeping his hometown safe. One day, a strange ball of light is seen flying through the sky, this immediately causes the local monsters to nick a key for a door in a cave for no reason. Maxim steps in to save the day and meets a strange woman called Iris. Iris informs Maxim that he is destined to fight against a group of evil super-beings known as the Sinistrals. And so Maxim is sent on a quest and you can figure out the rest.

Taken on it's own, the story is your typical Retro JRPG shlock, but if you've played Lufia 1, you'll immediately realise it's a prequel, and I can't think of any games from that era that tried to pull something like that off. It's quite ambitious for it's time, with lots of small little references to the original game that provide a bit of backstory to the, admittedly, simple story. It's a nice treat for people who played the original and adds a little bit of depth to the proceedings.

Spoiler

Wait, is this a spoiler? I mean the ending is literally, word for word, the exact same as the opening scene of the first game. It's quite novel, knowing the outcome of the story straight away. Maxim and main heroine, Selan die in the end, which is quite surprising, considering it's a SNES game. The only difference is it shows what happens immediately after, with an exciting "Villain tries to do a last-minute "Destroy the world plot that you have to stop.

The twists do kinda suffer a bit. They're not as cool as Lufia 1's, but when you already know how the game ends, it's kinda hard to throw something surprising in there.

The basic gameplay is similar to Lufia 1, and a lot of JRPG's. There's a few QoL improvements and neat little features (An optional dungeon that temporarily reduces your party's level to 1, a handful of recruitable monsters that fight alongside your party, a lot like Pokemon, they even evolve and learn new moves. [This came out before Pokemon in Japan])

But the key difference that took me completely by surprise are the dungeons, specifically the puzzles.

treasure7.1.jpg       Lufia_II_(SNES)_35.png     light2.1.jpg

Puzzles, in a JRPG! From the 90's! That's unheard of! And some of them left me absolutely stumped for bloody ages. That one on the right has one of the most amazing solutions. I couldn't believe it actually worked when I tried it.

The dungeons are such a massive improvement over the original, or pretty much any RPG of the time, it reminded me a lot of Golden Sun. And this game should be commended for it's puzzle design. They're great.

But I can't overlook the fact that this game has a few bugs to it. Most of them are pretty harmless, some are even quite funny. But there is one point in the game where you're gonna have to look up a guide because a room you have to go through is completely and utterly borked.

37-Lufia_II_-_Rise_of_the_Sinistrals.139

Perfectly navigable

Thankfully, it's a small room that just involves constantly going up and turning left or right when you hit a wall. It's also only an issue in the American version. The European one doesn't have this issue.

The visuals are nicer than Lufia 1, even if the enemy animations are still a bit basic. The music, on the other hand, is a noticeable step up from the original game, the normal battle music has an insanely catchy beat that I will never truly get out of my head. And the music that plays when you fight the Sinistrals is definitely a highlight.

I am absolutely astounded by how good this game is. Especially after playing Lufia 1. The RPG gameplay is solid. The puzzles could give some Zelda games a run for their money and it all just feels so much more satisfying, it's a shame about the glitches, but you can look past them pretty easily.

Currently, Taito is owned by Square Enix, which going by their attitude towards the Virtual Console during the WiiU era, doesn't give a good chance of this game getting released anytime soon. I really hope it does make it though. Because this might just be the most underappreciated RPG on the SNES.

Spoiler

Shantae: Risky's Revenge - DS

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse - 3DS

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King - 3DS

Shining Force - The Sword of Hajya - Game Gear

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime - DS

Final Fantasy IX - PC

Super Mario Land - GB

Chrono Trigger - SNES

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap/Monster World II: The Dragon's Trap/Dragon's Curse/Adventure Island/Turma da Mônica em o Resgate - Switch

Tales of Game's presents Chef Boyardee's Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Chapter 1 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa - PC

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch

Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment - 3DS

Final Fantasy - GBA

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance - 3DS

Sonic Mania - Switch

Splatoon 2 - Switch

Super Mario World - SNES

Super Metroid - SNES

Star Fox - SNES

Monster Hunter Stories - 3DS

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia - 3DS

Final Fantasy VI - SNES

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom - SNES

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals - SNES

 

Edited by Glen-i
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Finished a replay of Arkham Asylum, as good as ever.  I still think this is the better of the 3 (well, technically 4) Arkham games.  Close quarter combat, perfect stealth environments and a pretty decent combat system.  I remember this game blew minds of everyone as people were not expecting this to be good.

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https://www.resetera.com/threads/the-best-selling-switch-games-of-2017.12046/

 

So Nintendo of America just sent out a list of the top 20 best selling Switch games in the US of 2017! And it includes both eShop AND retail titles combined!

 

Here’s the list...

 

Quote
  1. Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  2. Super Mario Odyssey
  3. Mario Kart 8 DX
  4. Splatoon 2 (yay!)
  5. Mario + Rabbids
  6. Arms
  7. 1, 2 Switch
  8. Minecraft
  9. Stardew Valley
  10. Snipperclips
  11. Sonic Mania
  12. Pokken DX
  13. Super Bomberman
  14. Skyrim
  15. Ultra Street Fighter II
  16. Binding of Isaac Afterlife +
  17. Xenoblade 2 (yes!)
  18. Puyo Tetris
  19. Shovel Knight Treasure Trove
  20. Overcooked Special Edition.

@Glen-i, you lost the bet about Sonic Forces outselling Sonic Mania! (Sometimes, good things DO happen :) )

 

Thrilled to bits to see PPT and Xenoblade 2 make the list as well! :D 

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On 15/12/2017 at 10:07 AM, Glen-i said:

Thank you @Jonnas, you've inspired me to write a petition to completely ban "Laifu" from the English vocabulary.

Hey, you know what has the exact same letters as Laifu?

Lufia_Fortress_of_Doom.jpg

tenor.gif?itemid=4969108

 

 

Don't be hatin'. Just look at the cool wordplay we got going on here, dawg. Such oki-doki neologisms are exactly the sort of creativity one can dish out in poetry sessions!

Anyway, in the past few weeks I unlocked the last ending in Doki Doki, and also, I finished Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies. I was going to write an entry for that game, but then the DLC case went into sale, so I'll play that first before declaring my verdict. What I did complete was a game released this month:

Finding Paradise

 

 

You ever played To the Moon? It's pretty much like that game. 10 outta 10.

 

  My 2017 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Huniepop (2015) Completed (January 8th)

-Super Meat Boy (2010) Completed (February 3rd)

-Fire Emblem Heroes (2017) Beaten (February 25th (Base Content))

-Fire Emblem Awakening (2013) Beaten (June 6th)

-My Nintendo Picross: Twilight Princess (2016) Completed (September 11th)

-Sonic Mania (2017) Completed (September 28th)

-The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition (1998) Beaten (September 30th)

-The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match (2009) Beaten (October 20th)

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (2017) Beaten (November 16th)

-Mega Man Legacy Collection (2015) Completed (December 5th)

-Doki Doki Literature Club (2017) Completed (December 17th)

-Finding Paradise (2017) Completed (December 29th)

 

Currently Playing:

-The King of Fighters XIII

-Rhythm Paradise

-Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies (DLC)

 

Dropped/Hiatus

-Edna & Harvey: The Breakout

-Dungeon Keeper

-Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

 

Misc.

-Freedom Planet 2 Demo

-Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade Replay

-Various 3DS in-built games Not actual playthroughs

...

Okay, okay, I'll elaborate. To the Moon was a short game (4-5 hours) made in RPG Maker by Ken Gao. That might sound like an amateurish flash game, but it was anything but. That's because it wasn't an RPG at all, it was a linear, story-driven game (much like the so-called "Walking Simulator" genre, but as a 2D in top-down perspective), and it told a pretty beautiful story.

The premise is that, somewhere in the future (say, in the 2070s or later), there's a device that allows scientists to access a person's brain in order observe and/or modify their memories. A research company called Sigmund made a business plan out of it by marketing it to elderly ("Anything you regret in your life? We'll give you the experiences you always wanted to have"). Our protagonists are two such scientists who regularly fulfill the dreams of elderly clients by delving into their life stories.

To the Moon is the story of one such client. Finding Paradise is another. Think of those "Case of the Week" series, where an observer (usually a detective) examines a different client/crime/life every episode.

Anyway, what these "Episodes" have in common are engaging, heartwarming stories with a silly sense of humour and accompanied by an excellent soundtrack (composed also by Ken Gao). You don't need to first play To the Moon to enjoy this one, but I recommend doing so anyway (both because it's cheaper and because it comes first chronologically). Both entries are damn good stories in their own right.

I just wish Ken Gao would name the series already :heh:

Edited by Jonnas
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Well, I'm done for the year. Here's my final tally. I finished less than half as many games this year, but I tried to go for quality over quantity (I also got addicted to Dark Souls...).

Edited by Magnus
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I played the DLC case in 2018, but I completed the main bulk of the game in 2017, so I'm counting it as my last game of 2017:

Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

latest?cb=20140107175938

 

Anybody who remembers the Ace Attorney Mafias I ran in this forum back in the day knows that I'm a big fan of this series. However, due to not owning a 3DS, I had to abandon it for a while. This is me trying to catch up.

Generally speaking, it's like previous games in the series. The 3D environments are a good addition, the Mood Matrix is a smooth interrogation technique, the character writing is still enjoyable (Athena&Apollo have a good dynamic)... The music is phenomenal, too.

My main issue is... This is the first mainline game not helmed by series creator Shu Takumi. Instead, the director is Takeshi Yamazaki, who previously directed the AAI games. This is certainly noticeable, as many of the flaws I noticed in AAI are present here. Namely, while Takumi is great at writing mysteries and building complex puzzles with no obvious answer, Yamazaki seems to miss the point: with him, solutions are telegraphed all the time, genuine twists are handed to the player, investigations are very railroaded, and "cleaning out your inventory" is counterproductive (seriously, don't tell us from the get-go a piece of information is useless!). He's writing a visual novel where player input is merely a formality, and it shows.

And I could forgive that if the writing and characters were perfect, but that's not the case:

Spoiler

"Dark Age of the Law"? Are you kidding me? We never see this. We keep being told there's a "dark age" of fake evidence, but other than the philosophy of one law professor, we see zero signs of this supposed corrupt system. But then they say it's actually just public perception, that the public doesn't trust the justice system because... a prosecutor was properly convicted of a crime. Ignoring the fact that this is like the 4th prosecutor to be convicted in the series, are they seriously telling me a law agent being judged regardless of profession, connections and rank makes the public lose trust in the legal system? Also, Miles Edgeworth has allowed this guy to just walk around and keep his job despite getting the death sentence, but that shit's fine and forgiven!

And it's not just that. I never felt attached to Blackquill (whose shtick is similar to Godot's silver tongue) or Fulbright (who's one of the blandest and shallowest Captain America parodies I've ever seen), Case 1 makes zero sense and The Phantom was a terrible villain with no presence or thematic connection to any question raised by the plot.

Even good stuff (like Professor Means' philosophy, or Apollo doubting Athena to the point of hijacking a trial) doesn't quite stick the landing as well as it could, because the plot insists on having a neat resolution with a black&white approach to morality.

Also, the game's filled with typos. What's up with that?

Regardless of my complaints, I honestly had great fun with this game. The filler cases in this game were great fun, with colourful characters and breakdowns, and the DLC case with the orca might just be the best "filler" case in the series. Well worth the DLC price.

I'm sure to play Spirit of Justice this year. Until then, I'm done with 2017.

  My 2017 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Huniepop (2015) Completed (January 8th)

-Super Meat Boy (2010) Completed (February 3rd)

-Fire Emblem Heroes (2017) Beaten (February 25th (Base Content))

-Fire Emblem Awakening (2013) Beaten (June 6th)

-My Nintendo Picross: Twilight Princess (2016) Completed (September 11th)

-Sonic Mania (2017) Completed (September 28th)

-The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition (1998) Beaten (September 30th)

-The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match (2009) Beaten (October 20th)

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (2017) Beaten (November 16th)

-Mega Man Legacy Collection (2015) Completed (December 5th)

-Doki Doki Literature Club (2017) Completed (December 17th)

-Finding Paradise (2017) Completed (December 29th)

-Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies (2013) Completed (January 8th 2018)

 

Currently Playing:

-The King of Fighters XIII

-Rhythm Paradise

 

Dropped/Hiatus

-Edna & Harvey: The Breakout

-Dungeon Keeper

-Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

 

Misc.

-Freedom Planet 2 Demo

-Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade Replay

-Various 3DS in-built games Not actual playthroughs

 

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Spirit of Justice is such a massive step up from Dual Destinies it’s ridiculous.  You’re going from something like Justice for All to Trials and Tribulations with the jump!

 

SOJ is probably my second favourite AA game (next to TAT).  Amazingly enough, the foreign setting actually helps you suspend your disbelief better than the regular setting! And they do some brilliant stuff that I wanted to see from the AA series for some time (which I obviously can’t talk about because, you know... spoilers)

 

But yeah, SOJ is so much better than DD!

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49 minutes ago, Dcubed said:

Spirit of Justice is such a massive step up from Dual Destinies it’s ridiculous.  You’re going from something like Justice for All to Trials and Tribulations with the jump!

 

SOJ is probably my second favourite AA game (next to TAT).  Amazingly enough, the foreign setting actually helps you suspend your disbelief better than the regular setting! And they do some brilliant stuff that I wanted to see from the AA series for some time (which I obviously can’t talk about because, you know... spoilers)

 

But yeah, SOJ is so much better than DD!

I hope you're right. The fact that my goddess Ema Skye returns has me pumped, but if that infuriating "getting rid of useless evidence" feature returns, I'm gonna get peeved regardless.

Also, AA has always been foreign to me in the first place, on account of me not living in Japanifornia :heh:

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On 5/28/2017 at 2:06 AM, GenericAperson said:

Games I still have to finish with immediate interest

Fast RMX

Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Mass Effect 3

Golden Sun

Well, those two worked out well, I haven't touched them since I posted that.

 

On 5/28/2017 at 2:06 AM, GenericAperson said:

And other games I'm looking to finish at some point are:

 

LEGO Star Wars II

Burnout 2

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

Donkey Kong (Game Boy)

Of these four games the one in bold was the only one I actually managed to finish.

The permanent introduction of a PS3 and PS4 into the household (both of them are my brother's) expanded the possibilities of a gaming library and combined with the Switch took my gaming in some interesting directions.

One of the first games I got was the PS3's download version of Crash Team Racing. I played this game years ago on a friend's and reacquired Crash Bandicoot games after getting a PS2, except for this one. So the PS3 version was a good opportunity to correct that. This is still a very solid racer, although I was able to find some rather unintended shortcuts especially on Oxide Station.

I picked up Soul Calibur IV' on the cheap. Enjoyed messing around in the character creation feature and getting back into playing Soul Calibur, in the midst of a big fighting game obsession. Still looking forward to Soul Calibur VI but I'm glad I picked IV up.

July arrived as did Splatoon 2. Played through the single player, which was a big step up... and then never touched it after that despite many Splatfests going on. Mainly because other games were coming out that I was interested in.

One of those was Sonic Mania. This is really good, I got repurposed Sonic fan game Freedom Planet a couple of years before this and really enjoyed it. It's sequel was on my games list to watch but Sonic Mania changes the circumstances a lot and having the real thing be good again is nice, I have not bought Sonic games with regularity like I used to despite liking the series and that's down to the rather mixed reception the series has had, but getting this was worth my time.

I dived into Codemaster's F1 games for the first time when I bought F1 2017. I've not tried online on account of not paying for a PS Plus subscription that I'm probably not going to use a whole lot but I like this, it's a very solid racing game, the classic car content is a nice bonus and it has some of the best designed F1 cars of the modern era. I'll be playing this from time to time after F1 2018 is out I reckon.

I ranted earlier in the thread over Prime Federation Force's ending. Thankfully ]Metroid: Samus Returns is a return to form and has restored my faith in this franchise's future. MercurySteam did a great job with this game, taking Metroid 2 and updating it with new moves and powers, even if I wasn't too fond of the scan Aeon feature the others were really useful and it was great to play a game which reminded me why I used to play this series so much. Also I really liked how the final battle played out.

FIFA 18 Switch is FIFA, nothing more, nothing less. It's more complete than FIFA 13 on the Wii U and having modern teams as opposed to five years out of date is a bonus. I have fallen behind on my career mode though, I reached December and stopped playing, it had been my intention to keep up with real life on that front.

Now for my game of last year, Super Mario Odyssey. It wasn't a game I was immensely hyped for but I wound up really enjoying it. Best Mario game in years, I loved nearly everything about this game with a few exceptions, namely that the moon requirements were perhaps a bit TOO easy at times. But the whole scope of the levels, the inventiveness of some sections, the soundtrack and the post game rewards were all really cool and I wasn't even too bothered by how easy the final boss was because that whole ending sequence was great. I intend to go back to it later down the line to do post game rewards.

Rounding off the year with a few games. I finally got round to playing Dark Souls. I haven't got too far but I've made a decent amount of progress, reached the Undead Parish last time I played which hasn't been since November last year as...

...I finally acquired a game I've been wanting to play for years. Chrono Trigger. A game I have seen compared with my personal favourite game of all time, Final Fantasy VI. As you can imagine, I really wanted to play this game... but having finished it some parts of the game did not make as much impact on me as other games as I have since seen them in other RPGs whereas when I played FFVI it was my first exposure to the genre outside of Pokemon and the Game Boy Colour Harry Potter and the Philiosopher's Stone (yes, there were Harry Potter RPGs on the GBC). Still, I won't deny this is a very solid game, I think the gameplay and party structure overall is better than FFVI but I still like FFVI's story more. That's not to say that Chrono Trigger doesn't have a good story because it does. I like how it all connects together and the big twist after the Undersea Palace really surprised me. How they resolved it made sense in the context of the game too. It's rare though that an RPG could be praised moreso for it's gameplay over the story but I feel CT is one of those games. Oh and the soundtrack is a classic without a doubt.

With The Last Jedi coming out I also found the motivation to start playing LEGO Star Wars II and finally beat the game after 8 years of owning it. Going into 2018 then I also had started playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2... to be continued in 2018...

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