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drahkon

Your Gaming Diary 2022

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I was actually so bored a few weeks ago, that I played Resident Evil 6 as Chris. And while I think it's disgraceful to the franchise overall, it's still a pretty kick arse game. That is, if you enjoy shooting up everything.

I wonder what's going with the DLC for Resident Evil Village, because Capcom hasn't had any updates to provide us since June. Not that the game is all that brilliant anyway. They're probably going to do a Lady Dimitrescu side story or something, as fans got very little of her in the main game, because when Capcom was heavily promoting her to the simps through the trailers that inspired those memes about her, nobody knew that she was just a glorified side villain.

You know? :D

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220px-Ys_Origin_cover.jpg

Ys Origin is an action RPG developed by Nihon Falcom that originally released on the PC back in 2006, but only in Japan, the west got it 6 years later. But that's still sorta irrelevant, because I played the 2020 rerelease on the Switch.

You play as either Yunica or Hugo (I went with Yunica) as they accompany various Knights of Ys to find two goddesses who have gone AWOL for some reason. Their search leads them to a ridculously massive tower chock full of demons. So it's up to Yunica and the rest of the Ys Knights (95% Yunica) to climb the tower and find the goddesses.

The plot is simple and serves to just provide context for the gameplay, so not much else to say on that front. Thankfully, the game itself is quite fun. It's kinda like an isometric take on the Castlevania games (SOTN style ones). You have level ups, various things that expand your abilities and so on. It is a lot more linear, however. So linear, in fact, that the game doesn't have a map, and it doesn't feel frustrating.

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This is the only decent picture I could find online, and it's not even the Switch version!

The bosses are definitely the star of the show here. Big, massive monstrosities (mostly) that are all about pattern recognition and feel very old school as a result. I had a lot of fun with them, even though the last few were real struggles. They certainly don't pull their punches.

Anyway, I went into wrtiting this diary entry thinking that I could fill it up as I go, but there really isn't much to say about this. It doesn't break new ground, but it is solid. And that's fine by me.

Spoiler

I am Setsuna
Metroid Dread, minus the Dread
Banjo-Kazooie (One hundred and Tooie %)
Banjo-Kazooie (100%, but faster)
Final Fantasy XIII-2
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
EarthBound Beginnings
EarthBound
Hades
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Ys Origin

 

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So I did eventually beat Rift Apart. Fun game overall although my successful attempt at defeating the final boss was down to a glitch which I found while warming up for a certain other game...

 

Spoiler

 

 

With Rift Apart beaten, the first physical PS5 in the collection down the coast was clear to get the next one. This game has been on my radar as one of the games coming out in 2022 that I really wanted to get and its also only the second SoulsBourne I've ever played... that's right, I now have Elden Ring.

 

My adventure in the land of Limgrave has certainly been an interesting one so far...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm at Level 20 or so right now and I started out with the Samurai class, reason being that by the end of Dark Souls I found myself in a dexterity build because being able to move around and combo the enemy is good. So I'm building towards a proper setup for that, I've moved away from my initial gear and have a +3 Rapier, though I'm hoping to find a weapon with B or A Dexterity scaling in the future. Right now however I'm stuck on Margit, the first phase I can handle but the second phase the move I was abusing to hit him he no longer does and the absolutely massive range he has makes it extremely difficult to avoid his attacks.

 

Yeah, Get Gud and all that (or Margit Margud), I know, but in some ways having more health and more attacks does increase the confidence in me to try new things and learn how to avoid the attacks. The timing is pretty strict with dexterity mind, frame perfect dodges are the only way to really avoid much of the attacks so far.

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Been playing WWE 2K22 this weekend. Despite not watching WWE for a few years I still have a soft spot for wrestling games so it was a nice surprise when I started hearing this one was actually worth getting again. As I mentioned in the Wrasslin thread I do wish it had a better roster but not a lot you can do there with the people they currently have. I'm just glad they didn't hastily remove all the people they let go over the last year.

As people have said it seems like a much better product than most of the previous versions and they definitely needed that extra year's development. Just spending my time at the moment messing about with Rey Mysterio's showcase mode and trying to unlock a load of wrestlers.

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Just Cause 4

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The core gameplay of Just Cause is a ton of fun: grapple hook, parachute and wingsuit (later with booster engine) makes moving around the map extremely enjoyable. It’s an amazing setup for an open world game, and lends itself to loads of potential situations. 

Unfortunately, Just Cause 4 just doesn’t do much with it. The main bulk of the game is clearing enemy encampments, which do have objectives that repeat a lot. This lets your army take over the map. There are a few story missions, then the side missions.

There are three main types of these. One of them is “training missions”. These missions could have been a lot of fun, but sadly these are massively hampered by the abysmal friendly AI, which don’t shoot at things well, often fail to get into your vehicles and just stand around getting shot. One mission has you flying to different locations in a helicopter while just hovering and waiting for the AI to finally take a shot. You won’t want to do more than these.

Next up are stunts…these are fun to start with, but three are way, way to many. Grinding these will unlock missions, which are fun, but it’s really not worth the grind. There are 436 stunts in three categories: drive through a ring with a vehicle, drive through a ring with a particular vehicle and fly through rings in a wingsuit. 

The third type is finding hidden locations on a map, these are fine, but nothing special.

It’s really quite a shame, because the gameplay is such a fun base for the game to build from, but it doesn’t do much with it. 
 

Guardians of the Galaxy

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I really wasn’t expecting to get as invested in this as I did. The dialogue in this game is really great and I quickly fell in love with these versions of the characters. I think I actually prefer them to the MCU versions. Star Lord (who you play as) is still a bit goofy at times, but comes off as less of a (Chris) pratt and is far more endearing, Drax feels less like the butt of a joke and Gamora has much more personality and actually enjoys things. Rocket is a lot like the MCU version, while Groot is difficult to tell based on his unique way of speaking.

The plot follows the Guardians (already a team, but with some of them not fully trusting the newcomer Gamora) on a job in a restricted region of space - naturally, things go horribly wrong and just keeps getting worse. The story has lots of emotional moments, both serious and light hearted, with lots of enjoyable characters to encounter along the way. The game also has dialogue options and choices, which change elements of the story but not the overall narrative (something the game makes clear). Characters will open up (or not) to Star Lord based on these choices, while parts of the story will be different. I often found myself waiting around until I was sure there was no more dialogue (especially when on the Milano in between missions)

Combat is fun, if basic. You get to run and shoot as Star Lord (unlocking elemental weapon powers throughout the game), while giving command to the rest of the team for when to use their special abilities. Enemies are quite varied and you will need to work out the best tactics to defeat each one. As you fight, your “huddle” bar will fill, once its full you can activate it to call characters over to you, give them a little speech (which can actually be ineffective if you choose the wrong option) to boost their abilities, plus a random strack from Star Lord’s walkman will start playing (the game features a great selection of 80s tracks plus a full original metal album from the fictional band “Star-Lord”). I will say that it’s often best to wait for the next fight to use the hudde (you keep it between fights) unless you seriously need it - it revives downed teammates - as quite often I started enjoying the music but I was already near the end of the fight.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a great example of how video games can be used to help a narrative, the characters have time to grow on you and it can focus on small or silly moments when it needs to.
 

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So I've continued on with my Uncharted journey, starting Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

The beginning is fairly reminiscent of 1. The train crash scene is a good opening, but the few levels after that don't really offer much more than the first game did.

That is, until the Nepal level. The graphical upgrade in that level is incredible compared with the first game. Climbing up the hotel building and being attached by the helicopter was great. All of the set pieces so far have been fantastic. The train level was brilliant (a bit Goldeneye-esque)

It's quite a bit longer that the first game too. It seems like I've been playing for around the same amount of time, and I'm only just halfway through. Just got attacked by a yeti, which was a surprise.

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10 minutes ago, bob said:

So I've continued on with my Uncharted journey, starting Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

The beginning is fairly reminiscent of 1. The train crash scene is a good opening, but the few levels after that don't really offer much more than the first game did.

That is, until the Nepal level. The graphical upgrade in that level is incredible compared with the first game. Climbing up the hotel building and being attached by the helicopter was great. All of the set pieces so far have been fantastic. The train level was brilliant (a bit Goldeneye-esque)

It's quite a bit longer that the first game too. It seems like I've been playing for around the same amount of time, and I'm only just halfway through. Just got attacked by a yeti, which was a surprise.

Enjoy, Uncharted 2 is a great game, and I'd argue it's the only great Uncharted game. The opening train sequence was fantastic.

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The "lengthy" game I picked for March was one that I bought a few years ago. However, I ended up buying it again recently due to a deal on GOG that reverted profits to the Ukrainian Red Cross. Because it was so topical, I decided to actually play it as well.

This War of Mine

TWoM_Cover.jpg

Made by Polish developers 11 bit Studio, this is a survival game about civilians trying their best to make it through a vicious civil war ravaging their city, set in a fictional Eastern European country. All I truly heard of the game is that it was heavy and heart-breaking.

Gameplay-wise, I entered it quite blind. I soon found out that the core of the game consists of managing a wartime shelter with a group of civilians (named and with personalities), and doing their best to ensure their survival in the face of an increasingly harsher environment. The usual challenge is to ensure that you can meet basic needs, like food, warmth, security, etc. You can build makeshift devices to help in this (like a stove to cook food, a rainwater collector, etc.), but everything requires various resources only available through bartering or scavenging.

The nighttime segments involve one of your people going out into other houses and neighbourhoods to scavenge for resources, and these play out more like a 2D stealth game, though the combat is quite clunky and inconsistent (purposefully so, I'm sure). In practise, most of these nightly visits will be made to scavenge empty buildings or trade items with neighbours, with actual thieving and looting being more uncommon.

There are a few simple, but effective interactions through the game. You can trade with the different factions of the conflict, or you can risk your hide by sneaking around and taking items from them. You can loot from violent thugs from your area, or you can more safely - but also inhumanely - steal from innocent folk. But you can also spare some food for a nearby homeless man or donate medicine to a clandestine hospital. This variety helps in humanizing the various NPCs, it allows the player to understand the real cost of being generous, and it drives home the fact that everyone's getting desperate.

The consequences for failure are very harsh. If someone gets wounded or sick, that's a few days they need to take off to recover. Grave injuries require bandages, which are rare. And if you lose someone, they're just dead forever. The whole game is quite exhausting on an emotional level, considering the interactions with NPCs, the gritty art style, the harsh radio broadcasts, the dwindling resources, and the usual paranoia of a raid maybe going wrong.

Though you always feel in the edge of despair with this game (vital resources are always scarce, and snowy days are merciless), I'd say that the actual mechanics and optimal strategies to take are fairly straightforward and easy to figure out. In fact, I found myself actually growing bored after reaching Day 14 or so (as time goes on, there's less and less to do and/or improve). Considering each run is meant to last roughly 42 days, that's a long time of maintaining a consistent routine once you've found a steady strategy for survival.

I had entered such a routine, I got sloppy, made a stupid mistake during a raid, and lost one person on the 30th day. Couple of days later, another guy froze to death overnight, out of the blue (my heater was well fed, but apparently there's always a chance of this happening...). Seeing as I lost half of my guys, I also lost the will to play more, and so I stopped.

All things considered, while this is a valuable game to experience (it is very well made, and it tackles a pretty serious subject with tact), I don't think I want to play a second run of this (even though there are other survivor groups to try). It's a weird situation where I admit the game is quite good, and I'm glad I played it, but I'll drop it on the grounds that its themes are too heavy to handle for too long, with the gameplay itself not being fun enough to lighten me up (and I wonder if it ever could, really).

  My 2022 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Steamworld Dig 2 (2017) Completed (January 6th)

-Bit.Trip Saga (2009-2011) No Goal (January 15th)

-Ever Oasis (2017) Beat (February 25th)

 

Dropped:

-Dicey Dungeons (2019) (January 3rd)

-The Room (2012) (January 8th)

-Guilty Gear (1998) (March 13th)

-This War of Mine (2014) (March 18th)

 

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I quite like Song of Horror. It's a PS4 horror game that has fixed camera angles. 

I just can't see Capcom ever doing a game like that ever again. But I think third person is better anyway. Although I wouldn't mind if Capcom decided to become nostalgic for it again. 

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Ghost-of-Tsushima-Legends-title.png

To preface: Haven't finished everything, since I can't start the raid until I've reached a certain "power level". However, I did already put the game into my list and marked it as "finished" because I've completed the story twice.

Anyways: Awesome multiplayer addition to one of the best open-world games out there.

There are a few modes available to tackle:

Story is a two player co-op mode which is way too easy at first, but a lot more challenging and in turn fun on higher difficulties. The plot is nothing to write home about. It's more about the co-op experience.

Survival is basically "horde mode + defend 3 areas". If you like that, you'll like the mode :D 

Rivals is what steals the show. You are put against two other players (not sure if you can play it with more, but I'm only playing with one mate) and it's also pretty much a horde mode. You kill enemies and gain Magitama, the mode's currency. You can spend those to make your opponents' lives hell :p 
For example, a Shade will prevent the other team from spending Magitama unless it's defeated. There's also stuff like a shared damage curse, longer revival curse, flaming arrows raining down on you and more.
Spend enough and you will start last stand: Defend a small area from 3 waves. You can still buy stuff, but so can your opponents. It gets intense.
Finish the last stand and you win the game.

Sony just keeps on giving. A marvelous multiplayer mode added to a great single player game. 
I hope they will do similar things with their future titles. Returnal will get one on Tuesday, so that's a good start :D 

Horizon: Forbidden West would be a perfect match for some co-op goodness.

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On 17/03/2022 at 1:17 PM, Sheikah said:

Enjoy, Uncharted 2 is a great game, and I'd argue it's the only great Uncharted game. The opening train sequence was fantastic.

Well this dampens my enthusiasm for the remaining games...

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I'd say 2, 4 and Lost Legacy are great games. 1 is good and 3 I hated.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I'm like you @Sheikah, 2 is my favourite (in my opinion it's got the best pacing, characters, writing, story, music) and the rest that I've played (all except Lost Legacy) I just thought were fine, even if they had great moments or set-pieces. 

They're all still worth playing I think, and visually 4 is spectacular (as is what I've seen of LL), but, for me, I think it's a series which I would view as generally being overhyped, so maybe that had some impact on my time with them as I didn't get around to playing them until some time later. 

Even though I really liked 2, I genuinely didn't at all understand the modern Naughty Dog hype until I played The Last of Us, but that's just me ::shrug: @bob it sounds like you're having a good time with it at least, so I'm looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts! 

 

Edited by Julius

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I think UC4 was actually quite weak. Looked very pretty but stale gameplay that left me really quite bored. Felt more like a PS4 showcase that resulted in very nice screenshots but an altogether forgettable game.

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OK so I have made major progress in Elden Ring. I have not only beaten Margit but also beaten the next major boss in the game, Goderick.

 

I am now Level 35 and the Jellyfish Summon has been of great help. As was Nephil against Goderick. As a team of three we laid waste to Goderick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friends have been pretty much playing this non stop ever since they got it, so as a result I'm the guy furthest behind in the game so far but that's mainly because I've been working on something else too which was finally released yesterday...

 

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2782300518

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Posted (edited)

Gonna move my Slay the Spire talk over here.

On 3/19/2022 at 6:05 PM, drahkon said:

One more step to the hardest challenge in Slay the Spire: Winning an Ascension 20 run.

And there it is:

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:bouncy: 

A card game got my heart racing...didn't expect that :D 

While I did have an insane combination of relics and power cards (that particular one would be gg ez in anything below Ascension 15, I'd say), the final FINAL boss was the one who gets stronger whenever you use power cards :hmm: 
This only happens during its first phase, though, so I had to gauge whether to play lots of powers, make myself stronger and in turn make the boss hit a lot harder, or try to survive as long as possible without the use of powers.

In the end it was a mix of both. Slow play at first, then power cards en masse before I killed the boss' first phase. The second phase was easy peasy lemon squeezy mathematics to not take a lot of damage while powering up a final attack. :peace: 

 

Edited by drahkon
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Kentucky Route Zero

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I finished this game. I haven’t got the faintest idea what the game is. It wasn’t enjoyable, yet I couldn’t put it down because it was just so strange and intriguing.

 

Tunic

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Heavily inspired by the Legend of Zelda (the main character is wearing Link’s tunic) in terms of its aesthetics - it’s focused on an overworld with a dew dungeon-like setting but it’s a very different kind of game.

Tunic is kind of split into two parts: combat and everything else. The combat is a ridiculous degree of perfect dodging (taking care to allow time for your stamina to recover, too) and timing This includes learning the delay after striking - if you try and dodge too early, you just won’t move at all. It seemed a bit sluggish. I felt like the difficult combat detracted from the aspects that made the game truly stand out. I actually just gave up on fighting and turned on infinite health - sadly, there are no options in between. 

That said, even with infinite health on, the game was an incredibly satisfying experience due to the puzzle experience. These aren’t traditional Zelda-like puzzles: it’s about figuring out how the game works. Throughout the game, you will discover pages of the game’s manual. The manual is written in a runic language with a few bits of English - you have to try and interpret it. It’s a great feeling when you work something out that you can apply to things you have found earlier. 

I do think this could be made a bit more user-friendly: a note/drawing function would be really nice. This game requires a pen and paper - and a lot of it, too. It would also be nice to have a function to translate the language by assigning letters to symbols (with the system allowing you to make mistakes). I also wasted quite a lot of time because some paths are simply difficult to see: parts of the world blend in with the background or are purposefully hidden. Some of these are pretty smart, such as how the exit to areas will sometimes bring you to an easy to access place, meaning it was there the whole time, but when there’s so much stuff to attempt, it’s quite frustrating when the problem was that something was hard to see for the isometric view point, especially when it’s a situation where finding the path isn’t the puzzle.

That said, the puzzle aspects of the game is still a fascinating experience.
 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/22/2022 at 2:00 PM, drahkon said:

One more step to the hardest challenge in Slay the Spire: Winning an Ascension 20 run.

Lol. I may have to take back that statement.

There's a speedrun trophy: Win a run in 20 minutes or less.

First of all: I hate speedrun achievements. I love watching speedruns, I hate doing them myself.
Secondly: HOW? How would you do that? With a time constraint like that, everything that makes this game so great, i.e. thinking about every little decision, gets thrown out of the window. It turns into an RNG nightmare because you need cards/relics/events/enemies/bosses to show up that in combination reduce the time spent on the run. :hmm: 

And after looking at some of the other trophies, there appears to be more RNG heavy stuff to achieve. Like winning a run with a 5 card deck (or smaller), or beating a boss in 1 turn, or beating the game without uncommon and rare cards.
Now I know it's possible to do. I'd say I'm pretty good at the game and know quite a lot about it including combinations that help unlock (unlocking?) those trophies, but getting those is entirely out of my hand.

Don't get me wrong: I will go for the Platinum. It's my favourite game of all time (sorry Elden Ring, after some consideration you're #2) and mechanically it's, in my opinion, perfect in every single way.
But man, these trophies will be frustrating :D  

Then again, I will never judge a game's inherent quality by its achievements. I will, however, judge the people who decided on those. :p

Edited by drahkon
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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, drahkon said:

Lol. I may have to take back that statement.

20220324150346.jpg

It wasn't too bad and didn't take a lot of attempts. Not having to fight against that dual-phase boss at the end makes this trophy much easier.
Also got pretty good RNG with cards. Lots of strength = lots of damage = less turns. 

Thank goodness, this challenge is done :D The run only took 15 minutes...

Now I can take my time again and work around some RNG shenanigans if the opportunity arises.

Edited by drahkon
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Posted (edited)

So, I figure some 2D Platformers were in order.

Flashback

flashback.jpg

Flash back... into the future!

Yeah, that's right, a AAA game. From 1992. Made by French developers Delphine Software (also known for Another World), I first heard of this game from a cousin talking about it, how it was a technical achievement for its time, and how hyped he was about its release on the PC (or MS-DOS at the time, I believe). He tells me that the animated cutscenes were really impressive, and the game felt immense.

So when I saw it with a heavy discount on the Switch eShop a while back, I knew I had to get it, just for the sheer curiosity of it (though I only played it now). Of course, I had looked up what the game was like, and it seemed like an upscaled Prince of Persia (1989), especially with all of the colours in Flashback compared to Prince, but I figured there had to be more.

For those unaware, this is a "Cinematic Platformer". In these types of games, you don't have a very precise control of your character, who'll flail around with more frames of animation than what is usually practical for a platformer. Think Oddworld series, or even how Lara Croft moves in the original Tomb Raider games, they'll have long start-ups for their jumps, and equally longer landings. These were very much in vogue in PC Gaming of the early 90s, likely because that fluid animation is quite impressive.

I figured what truly made waves was the elaborate cutscenes, coupled with a snazzy, chiptuney soundtrack that feels tailored-made for the Mega Drive. This game takes place in a Cyberpunk style setting, and is clearly inspired by Sci-fi references of the time (got major Blade Runner and Terminator vibes, for example). In a way, this may have been the Uncharted of its time, with how much it resembles a respectable Hollywood action flick.

As for the game itself... it has the usual difficulties associated with the genre. The trickiest part is figuring out how its mechanics work, but Level 2 does a good job of teaching you how to play (Level 1 throws you into the wolves, and was not much of a good introduction). You can run, duck, roll, and jump in some limited ways, as well as shoot your infinite ammo gun (amusingly, pistol-whipping is just as damaging as a bullet). What surprised me were the point&click mechanics it has on top of this (another popular genre of the time), for some occasional puzzle-solving and more peaceful interactions with the world. Really makes this game into the whole package, huh?

The plot is fairly basic, but enjoyable. The meat of the game is making your way through complex platforming segments with your limited movement, which... actually hold up pretty well, once you adopt the right mentality. It's a kitschy fun romp like that, though the lategame enemies are really annoying to deal with.

It's a bit shorter than what I was expecting (roughly 8 hours), but it's the right length. I guess part of what made it long back in the day was the sheer absence of online guides and help (which I definitely needed to figure out some obtuse moments), though I actually found a walkthrough from 1992 (!). American guy who played the game in French, so rare to see well preserved content from that era.

So yeah, it was a nice experience. Might be more open to other such games some time later.

Rick's Dream Land 2

Kirbydl2_boxart.jpg

The box may be misspelled, but we can all see who's centrefold

Now back to the 3DS, I recently bought a bunch of VC games, which included this 1995 classic. I hadn't played it (not even on an emulator) since my copy got lost a few decades ago, so this was quite the nostalgia trip.

The game is shorter than I remember, but it's lovely. You can ride animals and use the best core Kirby powers. The level design is a bit harder than what Kirby usually does, but that's fine, better even. Kirby can't run in this game, and I think that gives it the best pace it can have, it's a joy to play this.

 

Rick_thumb2.jpg?imgmax=800

Kirby looks more expressive here than nowadays

I remember this being the first game I played where I bothered to search and find all of the collectibles, the optional Rainbow Pieces that unlock the True Ending. Made me feel great as a kid, figuring out these puzzles all on my own. Even now, I still remembered most of them, and relearning the details of how to get them was a big rush.

So I completed this all over again and had a blast. Feels great.

Wario Land 3

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Major game clear!

Speaking of nostalgia darlings, this is a masterpiece. And one I weirdly... never owned before now? I always played someone else's copy, or an emulator... Owning this is on 3DS great, I ended up playing it on any off-time.

It's the best game Wario has ever starred in. Like in other Wario Land games, Wario controls like a heavier, rougher, more violent Mario. And much like in Wario Land 2, he's immortal, stopped only by attacks that push him back. It works a lot like a Metroidvania divided by individual explorable levels, and in addition to permanent power-ups (because it does have those), there are also items that change the layout in other levels. For example, finding a bar of dynamite in the swamp level causes an explosion at the rocky volcano's base, opening up new level segments there.

It sounds so simple, but it's actually fantastic to explore levels that have parts of it clearly sealed off, only to later find something that finally unlocks that pesky obstacle. Level design is some of the best I've ever seen in a 2D game, not just because of the way it is structured, but also because every level takes into account how to deal with Wario's immortality, and how to push him off a platform. It's a paradigm shift, but one that the designers handled with aplomb. And in good Metroidvania fashion, there are even some very cool bosses here! Very creative, too, considering there's always a way for them to kick Wario out and reset the fight.

The cherry on top of the cake is that our protagonist is an unrepentant greedy git who plays minigolf with baddies and is in this adventure only for the material rewards. And having his power-ups come from enemy attacks? Grade A+ mechanic, as it gels with both the game's aesthetics, as well as with the lack of a health bar or lives.

In a nutshell, it's a lot like a 2D version of Super Mario 64, but with a better protagonist.

I beat the final boss a while back, and now I'm spending my time finding the remaining treasure chests and collecting the musical coins. I adore this game.

  My 2022 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Steamworld Dig 2 (2017) Completed (January 6th)

-Bit.Trip Saga (2009-2011) No Goal (January 15th)

-Ever Oasis (2017) Beat (February 25th)

-Guilty Gear (1998) No Goal (March 19th)

-Flashback (1992) Completed (March 19th)

 

Replays:

-Kirby's Dream Land 2 (1995) (March 20th)

-Wario Land 3 (2000) (Still playn' it!)

 

Dropped:

-Dicey Dungeons (2019) (January 3rd)

-The Room (2012) (January 8th)

-This War of Mine (2014) (March 18th)

 

Edited by Jonnas
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Coo has the best music and best abilities (Cutter Coo is stupid broken!) in Dream Land 2, and I will not hear otherwise.

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Wario Land 3 is so damn good! Amazing game!  Level design is absolutely off the charts! It's just amazing how they made levels which dynamically change over the course of the game... AND then there's a day/night cycle that affects them too!? Bonkers! How do you even begin to design this stuff!?

I think that WL2 is probably my favourite WL game overall, but WL3 is absolutely top shelf stuff! :D

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On 3/24/2022 at 3:07 PM, drahkon said:

Now I can take my time again and work around some RNG shenanigans if the opportunity arises.

"If the opportunity arises" he said, knowing full well that he was always going to immediately try to do that from the start of the run :p 

Managed to acquire several trophies:

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Getting those challenges done can happen in multiple ways and the easiest is a 5 card infinite deck. I got that and of course the final boss had to be Time Eater who ends your turn automatically when you play 12 cards...which ruined my chances of acquiring the "beat a boss in the first turn" trophy, as well. :( 

Time to go for an infinite deck again :p 

Also got this one just now:

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The Ironclad ftw. Searing Blow +11 (it's a card you can upgrade as many times as you want and it increases in power with each upgrade) won me the run easily.

A few more difficult trophies are left: 

  • Beat the game with a deck containing no uncommons or rares - haven't thought about it much, but I guess The Ironclad with a Perfected Strike deck could work
  • Defeat a boss on turn 1 - probably the most annoying one that's left
  • other than those, completing Act 4 with all characters will definitely be a challenge. Thankfully, this can be done on Ascension 0 (will probably go with Ascension 1, though, for more elite enemies and in turn more relics)

Then some random ones like "have 10 or more buffs in combat", "finish Donu with Feed", etc. 

Getting closer and closer to that Platinum :D 

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2 hours ago, drahkon said:

Getting closer and closer to that Platinum :D 

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I believe in you, drahkon.

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 Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors
 

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Originally a DS game, the Xbox version does have some significant improvements, but the actual interface is not one of them. If you’ve never played the game before, you would probably be able to guess that it came from a DS, and navigating the menus and puzzles can be cumbersome.

That said, the main focus is the story, one that is surprisingly very engaging. 999 is very much “anime saw”: a bunch of people (nine) are trapped together and must pass through doors (numbered 1-9) in order to escape in a limited time (nine hours). Everyone is connected to the events in some way, and you have to figure it out by making different choices.

Between story segments are “escape room” moments, where you explore rooms and solve puzzles. Navigating rooms by changing the camera angle can be quite disorientating, but I found that the puzzles followed a solid logic. A big part of the game involves the digital root: For the numbers 3, 4 and 5 you would add them together (3, 4, 5 = 12) and continue adding until you get to a single digit (1+2=3). There’s a handy calculator with this function, although annoyingly you can’t access the calculator (or any notes the game has saved for you) while interacting with any puzzles.

The story has twists and turns, lots of conspiracy theories and a ton of theoretical science - some of it true, some of it not. The game has multiple endings, but you can access a flowchart to jump straight to divergent points to explore other paths.

I did find that some portions of dialogue were pointless, with characters going through what they’ve just done, with flashbacks to remind you, and when the story has a time limit it makes no sense for people to discuss so slowly (playing the game has no time limit), but for the most part it was very engaging and really picks up near the end.
 

LEGO: Builder's Journey

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An incredibly cute, albeit short and sweet game. It reminds me a lot of the mobile game Monument Valley in that it’s a visually interesting interactive journey. Like Monument Valley, there aren't really any taxing puzzles, but how you interact with the world is still engaging. 

The visuals are also quite astonishing, the LEGO elements look photorealistic, with imperfections helping to sell the look: lego bits shine slightly differently due to marks, and some pieces aren’t placed perfectly straight. It’s how you expect LEGO to look after it has been played with. 

It’s a very short story, but has some surprisingly emotional moments and the puzzles do vary up a bit throughout the game.
 

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