nekunando

Your 2017 Gaming Diary

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3 hours ago, Magnus said:

The co-op aspect is a lot more fun in co-op, shockingly. :cheeky:

Ha, I'm so single player focused it didn't even occur to me that you could have a real person play as Sheva. Would certainly make things much less frustrating.

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I went back onto Assassin's Creed Syndicate the other week, as i realised i never finished the DLC "The Last Maharaja" and "Jack the Ripper".  The Ripper DLC was probably the better of the 2 if i'm honest, the Maharaja was more of the same from Syndicate if i'm honest.

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So, its been a while since I updated this. I have played through a few games the last quarter of the year.

Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone, Blood & Wine (PS4)

Wow!!! What an expansion/DLC! Every game developer needs to take note. This is how you do DLC!. I absolutely loved the main game and I have now played through it twice. I didn't start the DLC until later on as I was a little burnt out.

A masterpiece in every way - I just loved it..

I'm gutted that Geralt's adventure has now come to an end. Witcher 3 (and its DLC) is probably my game of the generation. Everyone should at least try it. 

Shovel Knight (Switch)

I downloaded this to the Switch on launch day and played a little bit at a time. I thoroughly enjoyed this which I found surprising. I am not a fan of NES graphics, I find them frustrating and generally find games from that era unnecessarily difficult to play. However, with this game, despite the NES graphics (which I actually loved) I really enjoyed the game. Yes, some parts are difficult but I found the game fair and not only that checkpoints weren't miles apart from each other.

This is a nice little game and has made me realise that there are some good indie games out there that deserved to be tried out. I will play the DLC expansions in the future.

Bomberman R (Switch)

Now, I bought this at launch due to wanting another retail game to play (that wasn't Zelda). I also loved Super Bomberman and wanted those nostalgic feels, The positive point to be made is that its classic Bomberman which is a good thing. It also looks great on the Switch's screen. Ultimately, I found this game a massive disappointment which is completely overpriced. The single player was uninspiring and the levels were not that interesting. The bosses were dull. I want to play this game online as I really enjoyed playing local multiplayer as a kid but It is rare that I can find a game.

I recommend this game if it can be found cheap.

Final Fantasy X-2 Remaster (PS4)

I absolutely loved FFX. I played it for the first time last year and I can't believe that it had taken me years to play it. I can see why it is highly regards.

This game is just crap. I mean, it is garbage. I started it thinking it might be more of the same as FFX but it is nothing like it. Its like a remix of the assets used in FFX. The story is pointless. I was bored shitless with this game so I gave up and hardly went through it.

Pokemon Sun (3DS)

Having not completed a Pokemon game since Gold I thought to give this one a try. It had good reviews with a lot of them stating that the standard formula had been changed. I'm glad I did pick it up. I did thoroughly enjoyed it and glad that they spent time on creating a half decent story. The new Pokemon are good too and I enjoyed catching them and getting to grips again with the different types and moves. The game was dead easy but enjoyable nonetheless. I have spent 70+ hours with it. I need to do the post game which I will do. I'm tempted to try and fill up the pokedex..

The game reminded me why I enjoyed the series as a kid and I will pick up further titles in the future. I think to improve things I would like a future game to have a RPG indepth stroy and also better graphics.

 

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It's been a long time coming, but i finally finished Pokemon Soul Silver (including the Kanto League).  Going back to a Pokemon game after the improvements in later games, it's a tougher experience.  But all good fun none the less, which is what i like.  How i normally play these is thus, i choose anything up to 3 last gen Pokemon for my team and the rest is made of Pokemon new to the game.

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I eventually got around to starting NieR:Automata. I don't have a lot of time for gaming these days, with life in general, my girlfriend and planning of expanding the apartment taking a lot of time. But man, this game is really pretty, and a classic Platinum Games title. I love the music and the setting, and the characters and story seem pretty interesting. And I've heard the game has gotten a lot of praise for the story. Looking forward to playing this gem. I might get down one hour each day, so... I'll be done in about 70 days :P.

Might also spike my interest in Bayonetta too. I love that series, but it's a chore to play on the Wii U these days :P.

Edited by ArtMediocre
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And adding Rise of the Tomb Raider to the list of completed games.  Overall, a good sequel.

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For my next entry into my diary, I've decided to call this post...

Bloody Hell, Glen. You're Mental!

A small little testament to the insane amount of time I've spent (Probably wasted) reaching particular milestones in games I've played.

So we'll start with Fire Emblem: Awakening.

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Fear the Pie Brigade. FEAR IT!

For those of you not in the know, renown is basically a point based system for fighting people you pass in Streetpass. About 6 months ago, I finally maxed it out. Huh? What'd I get? Actually, an item that sells for a lot of money. Which I suppose would be useful if I ever did a Lunatic difficulty run.

So nothing then...

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Yep, it's bloody Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition again. You might remember me literally punching through Diamond to finish every stage in this incredibly difficult game last year. Well yeah, I wasn't satisfied. I wanted to unlock every character as well. Boomerang Luigi pictured above could only be unlocked by completing the last Score Challenge with a very high score. It demands getting a very strong team (If it ain't Level 99, they might as well not bother), and then pretty much finishing it without ever getting hit. Trust me, not easy. But I did it!

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And then I leveled every character to 99. For that extra layer of crazy.

Not enough 9's for you? Here then, have some more.

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I also maxed out the Rhythmia counter in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call. And amazingly enough, I got something for it. As you can see above. It's nothing big, but at least you get something. To be honest though, this particular loony trip was fine by me. I love this game. I still boot it up and knock out a few quests just because it's so fun.

Which leads me nicely to...

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Final Fantasy is easily one of the most influential games from the NES era. It really kicked off the turn-based RPG over in the west, after all. Of course, it being an old-school RPG, it never actually came out in Europe. Not until 2003 on the Playstation. I played the GBA version that came out in 2004. Fun fact: it's the game that introduced me to the series. But you probably knew that already.

The story follows four "Warriors of Light" who are destined to reawaken the four Crystals and save the world.

Hey, it's an old game. Cut it some slack.

So yeah, the story is about as basic as you can get. And that's about all I can say.

The gameplay consists of very traditional turn-based RPG goodness. You choose what your party does and watch them go. A cool thing is that at the beginning of the game, you can select from 6 different classes to build your party from. Pretty big back in the NES days. It helps with repeat playthroughs, you know? Add some spice to it. Thankfully the game is pretty easy, so no matter what you choose, you should be able to get through the game. Well, as long as you don't do something stupid and choose 4 White Mages. But that's just common...

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Ah...

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So yeah, 4 healer characters, quite a lot of money grinding for spells and whole lot of hammering for 10HP damage. Final Fantasy wasn't really designed for stupid party setups like this. But that's all part of the fun. There was definitely some road blocks that required some unorthodox strategies to break past, but it was strangely satisfying getting these 4 identical pathetic excuses for fighters past some eldritch abominations.

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Including a train from the future! You can't suplex it though...

The graphics translate well from the Playstation version nicely. What's more impressive is the music. Most GBA ports tended to sound horrible, but this manages to maintain a high quality version of the Playstation version. I'm not sure how Square did it, but its sounds really close.

Final Fantasy is worth having a look at, if only to know where the series started. The GBA version is certainly not a bad place for the RPG newbie to start, but there's plenty of other versions out there. Oh, and as for It, Will, Never and Work...

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The comic is 8-Bit Theater, one of the best gaming webcomics I've read. Those 2 pictures were over 9 years apart, making it the longest call back in webcomic history. The comic is hilarious.

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

 

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I have been ignoring this thread for a long time. I have been playing quite a few games that I don't finish, some that I can't finish, and FE Heroes (which might fit both categories), but mostly I haven't had much time to simply sit down and write a review for the one game I properly beat... about a few months ago. Like, 6th June. That's how long I've been ignoring my duties to this thread.

Fire Emblem Awakening

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You know Kellam's in this picture, right?

I'm big on Fire Emblem. It might be my favourite series. However, since I didn't own a 3DS for the longest time, I ended up ignoring what might be one of the most important entries in the franchise. But the moment I got that device, I got Awakening ASAP, and finally got to experience the game that "saved" FE.

For reference, I played Hard/Classic, and beaten the main story, as well as all the side stories/paralogues. I still have to beat the Spotpass chapters, as well as most of the DLC chapters I bought.

So, right off the bat, the cel-shaded FMVs are gorgeous. I initially found the art style a bit off-putting, but the moment I see those opening FMVs, I'm sold. I'm honestly surprised the 3DS could produce something that good-looking. The in-game portraits also grew on me, once I saw how emotive they got (though I still think the armour designs are ridiculous. Especially Sully & Stahl's toilet helmets). The battle animations also flow very nicely, a big step up from Radiant Dawn. Coupled with the amazing soundtrack, I think this game's presentation is 10/10 for sure.

l can't embed music anymore, but I'm posting this anyway

Gameplay-wise, it definitely feels familiar. You got your usual weapons and classes, the grid-based system, terrain, etc. The rescue system was replaced with Pair-up. It's an interesting mechanic for sure, even if very easy to abuse. It also brings back a ton of one-off stuff from previous games, such as skills, reclassing, supports, children... and the most important one, the World Map.

Usually, Fire Emblem is divided into chapters, and you play one after the other in succession. No going back, no grinding, no takesies or backsies. You do this linearly. Some games in the franchise have tried to implement an explorable world map before, but Gaiden's was overly slow and time-consuming, and Sacred Stones' was bland and gave you no real incentive to explore or go out of your way. Awakening decided to fully commit to the idea however, and has an easy-to-navigate world map with so much to do: several side-chapters, incentive to grind, occasional sales in specific spots, and even gave you the ability to fight Streetpass players there. I deviated from the main quest so often because of this.

All of this longevity (some of which is free post-game content), alongside all the DLC this game eventually got, means that Awakening resembles a Final Fantasy Tactics style of play more than a traditional Fire Emblem: you don't devise strategies chapter to chapter, you raise and build a team. You grind your units, you marry them to get optimal children, then you grind them as well, collect several stat-boosting items, and then you use Pair-up to demolish. And why not, it's very pleasant to do so, with that music in the background.

"Surely strategy still plays a part?", you might ask. Turtling, mostly. Multiple chokepoints, if you're lucky. These maps are surprisingly barren of objectives. In other FEs, each map gives you multiple small optional objectives, like visiting villages, stopping thieves, and such, and you're rewarded with rare items. Here, not only are these objectives uncommon, the rewards are trivial, since most items can be obtained elsewhere, they're not limited. And the enemy AI only encourages turtling behaviour, since their strategy consists of rushing you like madmen, all the time, in every map. Set up a defensive formation, and watch them kill themselves on you.

(Also, can I just say the same-turn reinforcements are BS? I can usually see them coming, but occasionally, the game just decided to throw a random Falcoknight out of friggin' nowhere right into the middle of my army (Bye, Olivia). Like, is this their idea of adding fake difficulty? Sheesh)

To cut the game some slack, the side chapters usually provide you with more interesting objectives. There's a couple of defend chapters, an escort mission, a few where they ask you to kill a few enemies with an underleveled character... They're all optional, but they're the most interesting chapters in the game.

It might sound like I'm being harsh on the game, but it was still a blast to play through. Planning and building a team is still fun, and this game certainly plays better than the likes FF Tactics. 8/10 in Gameplay, 10/10 in Longevity (especially if we include DLC).

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It's "Ohmigoshes", Henry. You Plegians and your monotheism...

About the story... it's a mixed bag. On one hand, I gotta give kudos to 8-4 for their translation, as the dialogue they wrote is memorable and compelling to read, whether it's coming from goofballs like Owain and Henry, or from more straight-up serious characters like Chrom and Lucina.

On the other hand, the main plot is... really sloppily written. It's frustrating, because there are some really good moments there (for example, he chapter with Mustafa - and the FMV preceding it - were brilliant!), and yet I see dropped plot threads everywhere, obvious symbolism and potential parallels being ignored, and even plotholes in certain points.

Spoiler
  • So, Plegia is acting hostile now because Chrom's father started a brutal crusade? Nice that we're starting with a morally grey conflic- nevermind. Gangrel is a cackling maniac and Emmeryn is Jesus;
  • Chrom and Emmeryn suffered because of their father's mistakes, and Lucina's world was destroyed due to Chrom's own failures. That's a nice "Sins of our Fathers" direction the plot is tak- what's that? This is never getting brought up again? Drat;
  • Chrom is declaring himself a different ruler from Emmeryn, a more aggressive one. Ah, they're going to discuss the methods and responsibilities of rulers. Or maybe Chrom will avoid the responsibility for two years except when he wants to go to war, and nobody will protest;
  • Wallhart just established a contrast between himself and Chrom/Emmeryn. Is this it? Is this when Chrom finally takes an introspective look in the mirror and evaluates what kind of ruler he wishes to be? Of course not.

To highlight how the themes I mentioned above are solidly ignored, Ylisse and Regna Ferox pay for the war by robbing the Plegian economy and laughing about it. That's a sitcom ending right there.

(Also, everything about the Yen'Fay subplot is stupid beyond belief. He was blackmailed into... attacking the person he was being blackmailed for? They can't kill a hostage if they don't actually have her, Yen'Fay! What is wrong with you!?)

And to bring something positive to the discussion, the message that you can "Challenge your Fate" is actually well done. We're led to believe Ylisse's demise is unavoidable despite Lucina's intervention, that free will is an illusion and we can't escape what fate has in store for us... only to learn that it only seemed that way because a villain was using his own free will, working behind the scenes to actively railroad her changes back into place. Clever stuff.

I wish we had seen more of the original timeline, to see how impactful Lucina's changes were (for example, she said OT!Chrom was injured in the assassination, which dragged the war for years on end. And it's implied Grima was only revived later, when the children characters were already teenagers. I'm honestly wondering if there was a part of OT!Robin that wanted to become Grima), but I can at least understand why they didn't do that. It would be hard to do when a lot of it comes down to player decision.

On the other other hand, the characters are very appealing. They speak when we visit the barracks, they say one-liners when levelling up or critical hitting, and they have voices! Most of the supports are well written, which is good, since there's a lot of them. The cast definitely feels quirkier in comparison to previous games, but that's not a bad thing (especially when the worldbuilding is so poor), as we get a bunch of colourful fellows living their day to day.

I generally like the child characters more, though. They have more fleshed-out histories and upbringings, and it's interesting to see 12 different people dealing with tragedy and loss in distinct ways.

One downside to this support system is that every male can marry any female, and vice-versa. I know this is to flesh out the baby-making (that came out wrong), but there's a severe lack of chemistry for many pairings. Kellam/Cordelia is all about Cordelia learning to be stealthy, and then they marry. Miriel terrorizes Lon'qu for weeks before he proposes out of the blue (in fact, considering Lon'qu is gynophobic, shouldn't he have very few potential wives?). When Henry proposes to Cherche, she actually says "Sure, I'll marry you. I want to get to know you better." as if she only plans to go out for coffee! (Ironically, I think that Henry&Cherche do have chemistry)

That minor flaw aside (those bad pairings are optional, after all), there's no doubt that the supports (and additional DLC convos) were the best part of the story. So that's 6/10 for the main plot (being generous, here), and 9/10 for the characters.

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I'm not giving you context for this.

...Oh, and also, this is the game that introduced Casual Mode in the west. Honestly, even if I was against it at first, I'm over it. It doesn't affect me, it functions as an entry level for strategy newbies, it allows more players to enjoy other aspects of the game and players looking for a challenge still have Classic Mode available to them. Nothing wrong with modular difficulty levels.

*phew*

After what is possibly the longest review I've done here, I'm giving the whole game a 9/10. I can see why this game got so popular, and I'm thankful for it. Even if rough in places, Awakening's qualities shine through, and it's not just fun to play, its charming characters are good enough for a fandom to form (as evidenced by the ton of fanart, comics, and videos on the net that I keep finding). Great stuff.

Spoiler

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)

 

Currently Playing:

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

-Megaman Legacy Collection

-My Nintendo Picross: Twilight Princess

 

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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Finished Uncharted: The Lost Legacy on Sunday.  I gave some thoughts to the game in the thread, but i enjoyed this spin-off a lot.

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Sorry for the double post

Just finished Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.  It was a game I was meaning to get around to, and for what it is, I'm glad to have played it.  Controls were a little frustrating in parts, but looking past that there is a beautiful and magical story.

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Oh boy! Have I got a hell of an exclusive for you. Because I've only gone and played Kingdom Hearts 3...

Spoiler

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...D!

Yeah, obvious joke is obvious, but I couldn't resist. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is the seventh entry in the Kingdom Hearts series. It's an Action RPG set in multiple worlds from Disney and it's made by Square Enix, which still sounds like a concept that shouldn't exist.

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Oh god, I'm gonna have to explain a KH Story. Just kill me now!

Okay, so as far as I can tell, this game takes place after Kingdom Hearts 2, but before the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3. The game follows Sora and his friend Riku. After 6 games of utter nonsense, Sora still hasn't managed to find a Disney Film he's actually seen during his childhood, oh, and stuff about darkness and hearts and darkness and darkness.

Anyway, Sora has this weapon called a Keyblade, which most of the time looks just like a giant key, which makes it more of a club, really. It can unlock stuff, both physical and psychological and is apparently really exclusive, not just anyone can have one. He originally wasn't supposed to have one, Riku was supposed to have it, but he fudged that up after he lost his heart to darkness or something equally as cheesy. So to sort them out for the upcoming tornado of confusion that the next game will no doubt be, Sora and Riku must take the "Mark of Mastery" exam in order to become Keyblade Masters. To pass, they must go into their own dreams and unlock seven "Sleeping Keyholes"

Will they pass? Will Darkness be mentioned more than a hundred times? Will a serious scene be completely ruined by Donald Duck opening his mouth? (Yeah, it will) Will Sora FINALLY find a Disney Film he already knows the plot to?

Oh, but I'm not done, that was just the intro. I'm going all in. Prepare yourself!

Spoiler

Once they go to sleep, Sora and Riku find themselves on a crappy little raft and are attacked by Ursula from The Little Mermaid, because of course they are. This culminates in them falling into a Whirlpool and finding themselves in Traverse Town. But they've been seperated. Sora meets a kid called Neku, who introduces him to Dream Eaters, an assortment of creatures that fight nightmares in the dream world.

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Closest you're ever getting to a sequel.

Remember "The World Ends With You"? That's my favourite Disney Film! Another kid called Joshua tells our heroes that they've been placed in two separate dreams. They look the same, but they're in separate dimensions. Cue Giant Monkey fight! I'm starting to get a headache...

Once Traverse Town is done with, the two blokes go through Disney Worlds including Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tron Legacy and Fantasia of all things. Which thankfully means I don't have to bother explaining Disney movie plots to you, effectively letting me skip 5 worlds.

Throughout the test, Sora keeps meeting this bloke in a dark coat, and he's dropping all sorts of cryptic messages, but despite that, Sora gets along pretty easily. Riku on the other hand keeps meeting up with Ansem, who won't stop following him and saying "Darkness" all the time.

Back in the non-dream world. Mickey Mouse (This is one of the two game series where he's badass) receives a hostage letter from Sleeping Beauty's Maleficent. She's taken Minnie hostage! That naturally needs to be sorted. So they go do that. It doesn't go particularly well. But luckily, @Hero-of-Time's favourite character Axel saves the day just in time. Except he's not Axel now, he's actually Lea. Because he has his Heart back or something. I think...

So far, not as confusing as it could be. It's actually somewhat plausible, and Sora/Riku has reached the last world, effectively called "The World That Never Was" Homestretch, woo!

At this point, Sora has unlocked the seven Sleeping Keyholes, so he should be done. But something is wrong, he's still dreaming (Trust me, he can tell). While trying to figure out what is going on, he stumbles upon what looks like Riku and Kairi (Another friend of his), but when he gets closer they turn into two different people who call him Ven, and all sorts of trippy stuff happens (I think it's something to do with the PSP game, but I never played that). Then a particularly nasty bloke called Xigbar explains that Xehanort (The series main villain) is trying to get 12 other people to volunteer to be turned into Xehanort himself, effectively making 13 of himself. Possibly for having meaningful conversations with himself about darkness. But something went wrong when Roxas (Sora's Nobody, don't ask) joined back into Sora's heart back in KH 2. They wanted to turn Roxas into Xehanort but they can't do that anymore. So their plan was to abduct Sora's dream right at the start of the game and it worked perfectly because they put some kind of sigil curse on him. Anyway, Sora's heart falls into darkness, darkness, darkness and the focus switches to Riku for the rest of the game.

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Yeah, I know how you feel.

In a surprisingly cool twist, Riku got the feeling something was off way back in the Whirlpool and jumped into Sora's Dream, effectively escaping from Xehanort's trap by turning himself into Sora's Dream Eater. After he arrives at The World That Never Was, he sets out to find Sora and wake him up. Of course, Xehanorts are not gonna take that sitting down. They get in the way, explain that their master plan is to make 13 Seekers of Darkness using the multiple Xehanort gambit in order to start some kind of war to make the X-Blade (Prononced "Key-Blade") appear so he can nab it. And even if that doesn't work, he can just go after the Princesses of Heart instead to force the 7 Guardians of Light into fighting, which would make the X-Blade appear anyway. Mickey Mouse suddenly freezes time with a Final Fantasy Spell. (Go on, picture him shouting "Stopza" Hilarious) allowing them to nab Sora and leg it. Problem is, Sora is still asleep. So Riku jumps into Sora's Heart and beats him up in some kind of symbolic fight and rescue him.

Riku then finds himself on that Island he comes from (Destiny Islands, I think) where three different versions of Sora ask him questions about his purpose in life, stuff like that. He meets a bloke called Diz (Ansem before he became Darkness dude) and explains that Sora is gonna be juuuust fine. But because Sora basically died during his test, he fails his Mark of Mastery exam while Riku passes with flying colours. But there's no time for Sora to redo it. Due to Xehanort copying himself 12 times and trying to start a war and no doubt preparing some elaborate speeches on darkness.

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Oh, BTW, Lea gets a Keyblade for himself out of pure stubbornness because reasons. The End!

Except not The End! If you get the secret ending, it's revealed that Kairi wants to learn how to wield a Keyblade.

Now there's no doubt I got details wrong, but if you actually followed that, I have to worry about your sanity. It's incredibly confusing! I mean, wow! That last world throws so much info at you, it's just overwhelming! It really shows how much Kingdom Hearts has written itself into one dark corner.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy the story. It's so mental, you can't help but go along for the ride.

The gameplay plays like a typical Kingdom Hearts Game, you progress through a variety of (mostly) Disney worlds and fight all sorts of stuff with your big club by mashing Triang... uh, I mean A. It's a bit simple minded, but it has it's moments, it also gets pretty difficult near the end, a bit of a difficulty jump, but maybe I just suck at Kingdom Hearts.

One of the defining features of Dream Drop Distance is Flowmotion. Which effectively lets you Le Parkour all over the place and do flashy attacks.

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Kinda like playing a Sonic CD cutscene

The other main feature would be the Dream Eaters themselves. Instead of the usual Disney partners, your AI friends are these "totally not Pokemon" creatures called Dream Eaters. You collect materials throughout the game which lets you make them, allowing you a whole lot of customisation. While a part of me misses Donald Duck shouting Final Fantasy Spells, these partners actually don't die in two hits. Which is nice. Problem is, if they run out of health and you can't get to them in 30 seconds, they're gone for good. Although this never happened to me. It does tend to get a bit confusing to follow at times, it's very hectic and the lock-on camera doesn't always want to co-operate.

The graphics are really nice. But then again, when has Kingdom Hearts not looked nice? Everything is colourful and pops out. The 3d effect is certainly well done as well.

GAH! CGI JEFF BRIDGES!

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As for music, what's that? Yoko Shimomura worked on this? Well then, that pretty much says it all. She knows how to make good music and Dream Drop Distance is certainly no different.

All in all, I'd say Dream Drop Distance is my 2nd favourite Kingdom Hearts game. Sure, it falls into a lot of trappings that Kingdom Hearts games are known for. The confusing story, the button mashy gameplay (although it's nowhere near as bad as Kingdom Hearts 2 was in that regard) But it's still got some great stuff in there. If you're looking for portable 3D Kingdom Hearts and can't be bothered to wait for the inevitable Switch in-between game. You can't go wrong with this. Hey, maybe you'll make more sense of the plot than I could. Ha!

Anyway, I'll just leave you with this...

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

 

 

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... I've been following Somecallmejohnny's retrospective, so I took it upon myself to try and understand the plot Glen-i just described. I thought I was doing fine, but then that last couple of paragraphs happened, and now I don't even know if I'm the one dreaming.

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So, due to a bunch of virtual tokens I won in FE Heroes, I got to download a game from the Nintendo rewards program a few months back. That game was...

My Nintendo Picross: Twilight Princess

8NNubZ2.jpg

It's an emotional and engaging journey -IGN.com

And boy, did this game surprise me. What I expected to be a simple Zelda-themed Picross game, the sort of thing you'd play as a time-waster, turned out to be so much more.

For those unaware, Picross is a regular paper-based puzzle, the sort you find in crossword or sudoku books, and the like. You're given a square filled with tiles (say, 10x10), you're told how many tiles you're supposed to fill per file or column, but not exactly where. You work your way from the clues until you fill the whole thing, and the solution usually involves a basic pixelated picture, like a shoe. As you'd expect, this game features several such puzzles which reveal Twilight Princess-themed pictures, and that's really all they had to do.

Or so I thought. The tutorial is given by Midna, which I thought was just a neat touch, but as I reveal more and more pictures, MIdna starts commenting on them, making references to TP's plot. It soon becomes clear that these comments aren't just fluff, they paint a specific Midna from a specific point in time: when she was attacked by Zant.

In fact, she reads a lot like she's having a fever dream, which would explain all the pictures: she's trying to piece her memories together! This also explains why some pictures look off, such as Zant, who looks more terrifying than his actual appearance, as it's her own mental image of him. Her commentary gets more and more introspective (though she never loses her snarky wit, thankfully), with a surprisingly emotional ending, which I will not spoil here. I did not expect writing this good nor such a fresh take on the genre.

And when the credits roll, who do I see as head writer? Hideo Kojima himself. That's right, I couldn't believe it at first either, but this is totally his style. In retrospect, even the tutorial showed his subtle touch, what with taking so long to explain rules I already knew about, just like Twilight Princess did (Clever!). I don't know when or why he did it (this was likely a side project he whipped out in a day or something), but it provided us with the best-written Zelda game since Link's Awakening.

7QfIzp6.jpg

Great! Dig it! Dig it! -Marin, Link's Awakening

That's not to say the rest of the game is shoddy, or anything. The pictures you unlock feature some beautiful spritework from Simon S. Andersen (of Owlboy fame), and due to the nature of the game, the harder the puzzle is, the more detailed the result. 'Tis proper, each painting a frame.

By the way, those last puzzles might sound like hard work, but Dave Wise's soundtrack in the background (love his take on Hyrule Castle) makes it enjoyable throughout, especially considering the game runs at a smooth 60 FPS, so you'll never get bored.

Nintendo truly outdid themselves with this title. I never expected what is essentially a freebie for fans to have this much care and polish thrown into it. It shows that NIntendo really does care about thei-

OK, FINE! None of the above is true. It really is just a simple Zelda-themed Picross game, the sort of thing you'd play as a time-waster. This game features several puzzles which reveal Twilight Princess-themed pictures, and that's really all they had to do. And all it is. It was fun, though.

  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)

 

Currently Playing:

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

-Megaman Legacy Collection

-Sonic Mania

-The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition

 

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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Damnit, @Jonnas you didn't tell us where on the Zelda Timeline it is though!

I figured out where Game & Watch Zelda was (In between Link's Awakening and Zelda 1. Right in the Gold Era), you put the damn effort in!

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On 15/09/2017 at 9:41 AM, Glen-i said:

Damnit, @Jonnas you didn't tell us where on the Zelda Timeline it is though!

I figured out where Game & Watch Zelda was (In between Link's Awakening and Zelda 1. Right in the Gold Era), you put the damn effort in!

I mean, I didn't want to give too much of the plot away, but since you insist...

It is set during My Nintendo Picross: Twilight Princess, after the beginning of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but before the ending of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. As such, it comes before the games that come after Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (such as Link's Crossbow Training), and after the games that come before Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (such as Super Smash Bros. Melee). It is still concurrent with games that take place in timelines separate to that of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess or My Nintendo Picross: Twilight Princess, such as Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon.

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Sonic Mania is the long overdue 5th 2D platformer console Sonic game. It had been over 22 years since Sonic 3 & Knuckles came out back in 1994. Since then, no other 2D console Sonic game has happened since. No, there hasn't been one. Shut up. It's clearly your imagination. This is obviously Sonic 4. Stop being an idiot. It came out for the Switch, XBone and the PS4. I played the Switch version, though there's no major differences I'm aware of.

The story begins with Sonic and Tails flying towards Angel Island for some reason, but when they get there...

tumblr_inline_moikpr6mM21qz4rgp.gif

...Wait...

Sorry, I've accidentally posted the opening few seconds of Sonic 3. Not sure how that happened. Let me just watch that again...

...

Right! So Sonic and Tails are flying towards Angel Island for some reason, but when they get there. Damnit! It's happening again! What's that? That is the opening of Sonic Mania? Oh. Well, Sonic starts running (probably fast) but suddenly sees a bunch of robots nicking a big emerald like object and... OK! I know that's definitely Sonic Adventure. Screw it! Stuff happens and Sonic is sent back to Sonic 1. BUGGER! I GIVE UP! Knuckles is also involved.

Sonic Mania's story is about as necessary as full voice acting in a Mario game. But it does have some nice cutscenes in between worlds, kinda like Sonic 3, that give a concise explanation of how Sonic gets to each world. But this strangely gets dropped about halfway through, which is a bit of a shame.

Gameplay plays like the old-school Mega Drive Sonic games that so many people love. Your goal is to get to the end of the level without dying, you know, like Mario games. Unlike Mario games, however,

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To be quite frank, I have one major issue with the Mega Drive games. Going fast will more than likely get you killed fast. Now you can tell me it's all about memorising level layouts, but that's not very fun. I find Mario games fun because even at full pelt, you have time to react to what you're running to. Do that in Sonic, and you'll probably get hit. Whenever I play a Sonic game, it always ends up with me taking my sweet time so I don't go too fast, which I always feel defeats the whole entire selling point about Sonic.

Sonic Mania suffers from the same problem, even with widescreen support, I kept stopping myself going too fast in fear of running into spikes and losing all of my rings, and it's just not very satisfying. To this game's credit, it's nowhere near as mean as previous games. Bottomless Pits are not as commonplace as the older games and there's a lot less of those "Ha! Gotcha!" moments. But they're there.

Other than that, this is a really solid game. Most of the levels are well made, even if quite a few of them borrow heavily from previous games. I certainly enjoyed my time with it. Where Sonic Mania shines, however, are the bosses. I was floored by how creative they got. With plenty of cool mechanics, clever throwbacks for Sonic fans and surprisingly fun fights. I mean, Sonic games have some pretty crap bosses. So it was a pleasant surprise. Especially World 2's boss. You people who've played this know what one I'm on about.

There's plenty of unlockables to earn along the way, 3 different characters to play as, (Tails is the best, completely breaks the game) and a multiplayer mode that's very similar to Sonic 2's, the game is certainly not lacking in content.

The Graphics are nothing special, probably because that's the entire point. It's meant to look like a Mega Drive game, and they nail it. Simple as.

The soundtrack is much better, it does consist of mostly remixes. But they're really good remixes. And considering Sonic games have had pretty good tracks to begin with, it's a great thing that Mania's soundtrack is amazing, probably the strongest asset this game has. Flying Battery is my favourite.

Sonic Mania has gotten a ridiculous amount of praise since it has come out, and I feel that it's a bit overblown (Probably on account of Sonic games being more miss than hit). Mario platformers have absolutely nothing to worry about, but Mania manages to place itself firmly in the "Good Sonic games" category. Although I still prefer Sonic 3 & Knuckles. So I feel like I should end this nostalgia bombardment with a reality check.

Sonic Forces is going to sell well more than this game, and you all know it.

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

 

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On 9/24/2017 at 9:03 AM, Glen-i said:

Sonic Forces is going to sell well more than this game, and you all know it

That would be a crying shame, it was pants from what I played at EGX.

Made me laugh actually, I queued for an hour and a half for Mario Odyssey, then when I'd finished playing that, managed to walk straight into a Sonic Forces demo, no waiting. No one cares. Mania always got a decent queue at various expos though.

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5 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

That would be a crying shame, it was pants from what I played at EGX.

Made me laugh actually, I queued for an hour and a half for Mario Odyssey, then when I'd finished playing that, managed to walk straight into a Sonic Forces demo, no waiting. No one cares. Mania always got a decent queue at various expos though.

Oh, I agree. It's gonna be upsetting, but there's one thing to keep in mind.

Never underestimate the power of DeviantArt.

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@Glen-i , it seems your review beat mine by a few days. I needed some time to unlock that super secret ending from the no-save mode, but I guess I was too slow :heh:

Sonic Mania

 

Maybe you saw me gushing about this game in the main Sonic Mania thread. If you did, you know I said a lot of things that I... still stand by. Sonic Mania is a bloody amazing game that I recommend to just about anybody who appreciates 2D platforming. But it is true that, after that initial nostalgia rush, I need to defend this game on its own secular merits, rather than on how well its callback to Wing Fortress was done.

First of all, some background. This game was helmed by Christian Whitehead, a fangame author hired by Sega to handle ports of the original Sonic games (he's responsible for the enhanced ports of Sonic 1&2 for mobile platforms, as well as the brilliant Steam version of Sonic CD that I played a few years back). At one point, he pitched this game, and it got greenlit. So, when people call this "a fangame", yeah, that's exactly what it is. Just like the Spider-Man films are "fanfilms", products made by someone who loves the IP.

Sonic Mania is a fast-paced platformer with a (very) robust momentum-based physics engine that, while accessible and easy to learn, is actually quite deep. Not unlike a skateboard, simply going forward is easy, but to master its flips and jumps takes a nuanced understanding of your movement. The more you play, the better you get. You'll be able to do cool tricks and run smoothly through a level eventually, and not because you obtained new moves: because you mastered the basic moves that were already there.

(General tip: if running fast, curl into a ball! That way you can blast through enemies instead of being stopped by them. It sounds like inane advice, but so many players fail to realise this)

And it isn't just the physics engine, as you have three characters that interact with it in distinct ways: Sonic can drop dash (a useful tool for speedrunning, but dangerous if used recklessly) and use the shields' secret moves (very fun and useful power-ups, but unreliable, since you can lose them), Knuckles can glide and climb walls (giving him more vertical control and access to more areas, at the cost of some horizontal speed), and Tails can fly (a more leisurely chill move that gives him nigh-unrestricted access to the level). A bike analogy: Tails is like going for a stroll in training wheels, Sonic is the regional BMX champion, and Knuckles is that kid who can pull off the specific mountain-climbing tricks.

A quick note about "going fast": some people seem to be under the impression that it's supposed to be the game's default mode. Not so. Sonic Mania is a platformer first and foremost, by all means, play it like you would play Mario. "Going fast" is something the game allows you to do in a fun and intuitive way, but you still need to earn that speed. Going back to the skateboard analogy, you can't expect "cool tricks and flips" to be the default mode, you ride a skateboard because it's fun, and then you learn the advanced stuff because you're pushing the limits of what that plank of wood can do.

MC8nenV.jpg

After all, if you only go fast, you miss cool secrets like this

Anyway, level design is top-notch. It's hard to make levels that accommodate three playstyles, but this game does it. Not only are there secret compartments scattered through the stages (the picture above isn't even the most elaborate "secret room" in the game), but each stage has several branching paths which increase replayability immensely ("Huh, I never tried going that way. Let's do it now"). And this, without lacking in wacky rollercoast-like set pieces (which aren't as mindless as they seem).

The special stages (two kinds of them), much like the main game itself, are tough but rewarding to learn. The bosses are fun and creative. Glen's review already covered them. Though I'd also like to mention the mini-bosses known as the Hard-boiled Heavies, who have unique music, a lot of charm, and some very exciting fights. Certainly a highlight of the game.

As for the presentation... the artwork is jolly, colourful and clean, the backgrounds are detailed (even the ones from returning stages are new) and the spritework is so, so good. The developers wanted it to look like a Sega Saturn game, and boy, did they do it. You have to see the game in motion to truly appreciate it. There are also neat touches scattered throughout the game, like the way your shields interact with the environment. It's a very polished game.

nkMHj11.jpg

Swiggity swooty, Tails' still spinnin' that booty

And the music is gorgeous, remixes and new songs alike. Shout-out to the composer Tiago "Tee" Lopes (Portuguese Mafia strikes again!).

But Mania is not without flaws. The major one I noticed was the timer. I can swear it goes faster than in the original games, but even if it didn't, 10 minutes is not enough time to explore these new, longer levels. It wouldn't be that big an issue if the bosses didn't take so long to defeat, too. It's just annoying to die pointlessly, if the timer is meant to prevent players from loitering too much, 12-15 minutes would be ideal.

Honestly, that's pretty much it. This game is otherwise a fun, well-crafted joyride from top to bottom, and I honestly believe it to be one of the finest 2D platformers ever made. I find it even better than the original trilogy, and I don't say this lightly (those are childhood games). Heck, I booted up the game just to capture that Green Hill screenshot above, and next thing I know, I'm completing Chemical Plant again because it's just that fun. Then I even found out now that the bubble shield protects against blue chemicals. It's like I find something new every time I play. It's awesome!

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Sonic Mania breaks the laws of physiscs confirmed -Jonnas

 

  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)

 

Currently Playing:

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

-Megaman Legacy Collection

-Sonic Mania

-The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition

 

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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What's this? Jonnas actually completed a game quickly? Unfathomable!

The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition

 

Despite the video's title, this is KOF 1998

It might not be immediately obvious, but I love fighting games. I'm not necessarily good at them, but I enjoy most of the ones I played. SNK's King of Fighters has always eluded me, though. I've always heard about the series, but considering its presence was always stronger in arcades than consoles, I never got to try any entry, despite them looking very appealing (I did play Capcom vs SNK 2 for a few weeks, but that's just a half-taste). Even moreso when Evo (the biggest fighting game tournament in the world) started streaming matches online, and featured KOF in its midcard (Evo 2017 in particular had an awesome match in its grand finals). So, when I saw a Steam bundle featuring three of the best games in the franchise, I decided to take the plunge and finally try it for myself.

So, as it turns out, King of Fighters isn't just a simple series, and '98 isn't just a good entry in it. SNK was a strong, prolific presence in worldwide arcades back in the '80s and 90's, supporting multiple franchises and dipping their toe into a lot of arcade genres. Back in 1994, they decided to join several of their franchises (Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Ikari Warriors, and Psycho Soldier) into a single crossover fighter (years before Smash Bros thought of the idea): King of Fighters '94. As such, characters were neatly divided into teams of 3 (each team representing a game, alongside a handful of original characters), and fights even took place in 3 vs 3 matches (no tagging, you just have to defeat all three members of the opposing team individually).

KOF '94 was rough around the edges, and initially not quite as popular as it wanted to be, but SNK supported the series with yearly entries/updates. Some new characters would be introduced, some old characters would be cycled out, the gameplay engine would get improved often and they even had an ongoing, planned storyline that ran up until 1997. The culmination of this "golden age" for SNK was King of Fighters 1998, a celebratory game with no storyline, the most refined fighting system to date, and every character in the series returning for a massive game (ignoring storyline means dead characters can return).

This particular "Ultimate Match" version of the game was a 2008 re-release with balance fixes and a few extra characters. Or rather, it's a 2014 Steam "Final Version" release with online capabilities (which I never tried out, I'm not good enough at it yet). I'm expecting a "Last Time for Realsies" remaster a few years down the line.

So yeah, that's the background behind this game!

G6mqEmR.jpg

About 45 characters in total

But how does it play? For those of us used to Street Fighter (my main frame of reference is Street Fighter Alpha 3), it's odd at first. Characters walk faster, jump even faster (short hops can be pretty long), can roll/dodge, and fights are faster-paced in general. Furthermore, move inputs are unorthodox, to the point that the "advanced" moves such as guard-rolling are easier to pull off than character-specific moves. Compare to other fighting games, where you'll learn the ins and outs of your character's Shoryuken before you learn how to parry or guard-cancel effectively.

Overall, this leads to fast, frantic and fun matches where the usual strategies won't necessarily work: projectiles don't travel far, rushdown tactics can get countered at any moment, and grapplers have to do better than simply approach their opponent (everyone feels slippery here). You need to read opponents good.

There are also more complicated aspects, such as the multiple uses for your super bar, or the two "systems" you can choose from (not to mention that, since it's 3 vs 3 for every match, even the order you choose is important). But that's outside of the scope of this review, so I'll just say that the gameplay is pretty deep, as there are multiple options and strategies to employ.

...But I'm perfectly aware that a deep engine is not enough to make a memorable fighting game. So it's a good thing that this game has a pretty polished presentation.

BEns04H.jpg

Notice how my teammates are wincing at that kick

The characters are very memorable and charismatic. In fact, even if you never played this series, odds are, you have still heard of Terry Bogard or Mai Shiranui. Even Capcom designed Dan Hibiki as an intentional parody of these characters. They have distinctive fighting styles and their moves have a good "oomph" to them. The most impressive thing about it is that they were all designed with '90s sensibilities, but their look has aged pretty well (even the Steven Seagal lookalike). I guess SNK just distilled the best aspects of '90s aesthetic when designing their fighters.

SNK is also famous for their detailed spritework and fluid animations, and KOF '98 is a good example of their craft. The backgrounds are colourful, dynamic and memorable (they change from round to round, sometimes because the sun is setting, sometimes because your fight is gaining an audience). The characters themselves look wonderful as well, as their personality shines through mannerisms alone (and they even have character-specific intros featuring even more spritework).

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Sprites taken from Fightersgeneration.com

And I know not many folk read up on the story, but I like to skim read these things since it helps me paint a picture of what these characters are about. All I did was look up their bios on TvTropes, anyway.

Spoiler

A long time ago, the Evil God Orochi was sealed away. As a result, some families carry special flame powers, either because they carry "Orochi blood", or because they're supposed to prevent his resurrection. Our made-for-the-series protagonist Kyo belongs to the latter group, while other characters, such as Leona and Iori, happen to have Orochi blood.

Anyway, some German asshole named Rugal hosts a large scale fighting tournament to lure these people in, and try to get some of that Orochi power for himself. He succeeds, but his body wasn't ready, so he exploded. Then another, slightly Nazi-er German asshole called Goenitz tries to do the same, but is defeated. Then it turns out, one of the participating teams wanted to revive Orochi all along, and they kill themselves to do it. But then Orochi is defeated by Kyo and Iori anyway. And all is well.

All the while, other characters try to get into some of that action, with varying degrees of success and wacky hijinx.

The music is alright. It's appropriate and there are some good tunes, but very few of them stick with you afterwards. You know what is memorable, though? The Engrish. SNK was always notorious for having voice clips with hilarious mispronounciations, but even their written translations have cheesy issues, both intentional and not. The results are... interesting.

Ni6dUyJ.png

Or should I say, intenseteresting

Spoiler

There are typos...

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...cultural insensitivity...

obw1QvA.jpg

...'90s slang...

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... and even all that at once!

P6K9k5s.jpg

 

Spoiler

1vXcCyk.jpg

According to Terry, his moves are called BUN NACO, POWAH WAIF, CRACK CHUTE, RAIZING TACO, POWAH DAAANK and POWAH TCHAJ

2skZMVQ.jpg

And let's not forget his super moves, POWAH GAYSER and OVA SHIT GAYSER!

Really, I have a whole folder of these things, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

I would say the main issue with this game is the lack of single-player content, which is what you'd expect from an Arcade game. Arcade Mode is just 5 teams and a boss (granted, which boss you get depends on how well you did), and that's it. Decent for practice, but the only reward for beating it is artwork of your team. The re-release adds a Survival Mode and a Challenge Mode (meant to teach you about advanced techniques, but I don't think it does a very good job of it), but none of those provide much. I considered the game "beat" after defeating the 3 potential bosses.

So yeah, my opinion of the KOF series is, so far, positive. I can see how this became such a big hit in mainland Asia and Latin America. Next up is King of Fighters 2002.

 

  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)

 

Currently Playing:

-Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

-Megaman Legacy Collection

-The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match

 

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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Finished Steamworld Dig 2 last night.  I enjoyed it, good follow-up to the first Dig game.  More of a story, enjoyed exploring the mines and caves.

Spoiler

The final stage(s) in the Rosie battle were tricky, but i'm glad it was done.  The hidden areas in the game were a challenge in places, but worth it for the loot at the end.

Onto the next random game i might download, probably back to Downwell.

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Monster Hunter Stories is a Turn-Based RPG that released on the 3DS last month. (Last year in Japan) It's a spin-off of the Monster Hunter series, which is normally more of an Action game.

The game follows you, apparently. You're a resident of Hakum Village, which is populated with people known as Monster Riders. As the name suggests, they befriend monsters from birth and ride them around, doing all sorts of good deeds. Naturally, you can't wait to join that gig. But little Hakum Village gets attacked by a nasty Nargacuga with an ominous purple aura. But you can't do much because you're too young and it's a hulking big monstrosity that can shred you to death.

A year later, you start your Rider initiation and get your own Baby Velocidrome friend, that you most certainly won't replace with a bigger, stronger monster later. Naturally, finding that Nargacuga and exacting swift revenge is the name of the game.

Can you beat the Nargacuga? Will you be able to find a baby monster that isn't incredibly cute? And will you question the fact you're basically stealing babies from their parents and forcing them to fight with you? Probably not, it didn't affect Pokemon...

The story isn't anything amazing, but it oozes charm, thanks to the great dialogue and fun characters. Just like Monster Hunter then.

I'll get the obvious thing about Gameplay out of the way, it smacks of Pokemon. You nick eggs, hatch them and then add use them in your party to help you beat the crap out of other monsters. It feels completely natural, what with Monster Hunter having a smorgasbord of well-designed Monsters to use in a game like this, from hyper little Velocidrome to Bifftastic Brachydios (My personal favourite), you'd be hard pressed to not find a handful of monsters you like.

maxresdefault.jpg

Oh, I just want to squeeze that Barioth!

Battles revolve around a "Rock-Paper-Scissors" system and in true Monster Hunter fashion, each monster has their own preference for fighting, so you can use this knowledge to turn battles in your favour. It's a simple, easy-to-learn system that gets steadily more complex as you progress through the game. It even has a multiplayer mode that plays a lot like Golden Sun, except a lot more thought out and balanced.

The world Monster Hunter Stories takes place in is fun to explore with all sorts of secrets to find, monsters to fight, side quests to complete and dens to raid. Getting to the credits isn't particularly hard, but once you see them, all sorts of Post-Game content gets unlocked and all the challenge is there. Along with plenty of rewards. There's a hell of a lot of stuff to do here, and a steady stream of DLC is currently getting added.

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In case you haven't noticed, the graphics are stonkingly good! Colourful, and full of life. It's all in 3D as well. There are a few moments when the framerate dips a little, but it's no big deal.

Soundtrack is good too, lots of different songs help to make the battles feel fresh. I particularly like the strangely catchy Desert Battle Theme.

Monster Hunter Stories is a game that didn't do particularly well in Japan and I'll never understand why. It's an amazing, well-thought RPG that pushes the 3DS to it's limits, has plenty of stuff to do and a surprisingly deep battle system. You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't play this.

I'm also gonna take this opportunity to add some games I don't want to write up about. Namely, Splatoon 2, Super Mario World, Super Metroid and Star Fox

Mario World and Metroid I've already written about in the past, Splatoon's single player isn't the focus of the game and I found Star Fox thoroughly meh.

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

 

Edited by Glen-i
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