I just beat Metorid: Other M, only to find out that there is more game after the ending! Considering I bought it for $9.99 brand new, I am really getting my money's worth! I love getting nice surprises like that!
3. Mega Man 2: I've beaten the hell out of this game in the past, but I recently got a CIB copy off ebay and I wanted to put it through its paces. Completed it on both normal and difficult settings with minimal casualties. It's honestly not the crown jewel of the Mega Man series that I remembered, but still a fantastic game.
I beat a lot of games last year, but I didn't record or number all of them in the last thread. So I think I'll start this year.
There's a few games that I'd love to replay this year on like Super Mario RPG, Yoshi's Island, Earthbound and Psychonauts. Why am I even saying that here? I'm getting ahead of myself.
This year I have completed, thus far:
1: Mother 3
I actually started this one as soon as the English translation patch came out, but I really hate playing 2d games with keyboards. After getting the GBA emulator on the PSP working, I decided that I'd finally get around to completing it.
I haven't played a ton of JRPGs that have been released this last decade, but I'd go as far as to say this is probably one of best, if not the best. The battle system hasn't changed at all since Mother 2, but the developer added a really cool rhythm component to it, which probably would have worked a little better if I was playing it on real hardware.
In terms of the game's story, it's definitely the weirdest game I've ever played, but also one of the most depressing. One section of the game in particular seems to illustrate this better than perhaps better than any other is when Lucas and company wind up on an island completely so weak, that they will die if they don't eat magic mushrooms. Kind of funny sounding, but the trips that Lucas has would probably be extremely traumatizing. During this part of the game a hallucination that looks like Lucas' missing brother Claus said things to him like "Everyone's waiting to throw rocks at you, spit on you and make your life hell", and a hallucination of his father blaming himself for the death of his wife, who was killed at the very beginning of the game when Lucas was a small child.
The game's story isn't perfect in the way it's told though, there's a part near the end where there's quite a bit of exposition that reveals more of a connection with the previous two Mother games' world which I think probably could have been told better.
Play this game. It's easy to get into, and it won't eat away at your time like the next game that I beat this year.
2: Mass Effect 2
(can't find a small enough screenshot)
I don't even know where to start with this one. My friend gifted this to me on steam as a Christmas present, let me tell you, I'm glad college didn't start right after New Years day, because this game is a time sucker.
Well, despite that, it's an unforgettable experience that will be different for each person that plays it. There's tons of dialogue options, and multiple paths that you can get the story to play out in. The third person shooter elements of the game aren't bad at all as well.
I'll definitely be getting Mass Effect 3 when it comes out this year, despite how much I dislike EA at this time.
Give it a try, it's available for most consoles, and the PC right now.
1. The Faery Tale Adventure (Genesis)
Not altogether easy to figure out what to say about Faery Tale Adventure. First of all, it has what may be the best password system I've ever seen in a RPG -- as painless as it's possible for such a thing to be. It basically acts exactly like a game with battery-backed save, except you of course need to write down the password before powering down. Kudos for that.
Graphics and music are serviceable, but no more, so enough about those. The game is put together in a highly unusual way, with a world map that seems dozens of times larger than any other RPG I've played -- but most of that is essentially empty space. Journeying between locations takes five minutes or more. Even the dungeons have huge tracts of land, entire wings, devoted to...absolutely nothing. And the NPCs are pretty few and far between, and say very little.
In some ways I really like that, since it subverts the "a purpose to every room and a treasure chest 'round every corner" trope common to RPGs, and makes playing the game actually feel a bit like walking in the wilderness. It reminds me of Lord of the Rings Vol. 1 for SNES, though that game is more overtly structured.
The manual includes a map of the entire game world, which is obviously crucial, though it can be a little demoralizing to realize that walking for two minutes translates to about a centimeter's worth of map. The manual also has a weird, almost adversarial attitude towards the game, at one point advising you to use the equivalent of save-state cheating to game the treasure chests! The people who ported the game seem to have been ambivalent about it, and even before you get to the walkthrough at the end (which covers the whole damn game), there are broad hints in the item descriptions and so forth. That said, there are notable omissions (like, say, not telling you how to sleep) and at least one outright error, each, on the map and in the walkthrough.
As it turns out, the difficulty curve is reverse-exponential -- you start out weak as a kitten, but after you reach a certain threshold of strength (Bravery), there's essentially no reason whatsoever to ever get killed. I kept expecting to be challenged, but even the final enemy was a pushover. Probably the hardest part of the game -- after surviving the beginning, that is -- is making it through the game's two major dungeons, where the mapping items (Bird Totems) don't operate. Similarly, the puzzles and fetching-quests mostly get easier as the game goes on, as long as you follow the principles of visiting every named location on the map, and carrying enough Bird Totems to know where you are.
The anticlimactic ending (albeit with one nifty mini-puzzle that I solved by accident) has kind of left a sour taste in my mouth after a game I otherwise enjoyed. Still, I think it's a fine game, and certainly a distinctive one. When the CRPG Addict said he was giving up on the DOS version of the game because it felt boring and empty, I think someone invoked the cliché that "it's all about the journey, man".
And actually, Faery Tale Adventure really is an RPG about traveling. And that mostly works for me. 8/10.
2. Abobo's Big Adventure (Flash/Online)
This love letter to the NES is totally fun, pretty amusing, and well-designed to boot. I played through it start to finish in one sitting last night, though I haven't unlocked all the achievements. It's pretty easy, and occasionally a bit obvious -- we didn't need the moveable blocks to flash in Zelda, right? -- but the subtle touches make up for that.
3. WarpSpeed (Genesis)
After beating all the individual scenarios on Expert a few days ago, I completed the full Campaign mode today in one sitting, finishing with the best ship, weapons, and shields, three of every medal, and no continues used. I'd played through the game on Novice at the end of last year, and Expert wasn't really much harder -- only one of the scenarios gave me any trouble.
By any objective measure WarpSpeed is lousy, with extremely repetitive gameplay, hilariously inappropriate music, graphics that are no better than mediocre, and a bizarro combat system that features the slowest projectiles I've ever seen (though the control scheme itself works surprisingly well).
I'm sure it compares poorly to its peers like Wing Commander, though I haven't played those games enough to pass judgment. Heck, the gameplay compares poorly to Atari 2600 games like Starmaster and Star Voyager: there's no sense of urgency and the laggy projectiles force you to constantly lead your shots, so there's almost no sense of satisfaction at having nailed an opponent.
And yet...there's something about it I like. Despite the frustrating combat system, I find the game strangely relaxing. Maybe it's the silly, almost bossa-nova-like music; maybe it's the game's low expectations; maybe it's just me. But when I need to zone out, WarpSpeed seems to work surprisingly well. Perhaps I parse it as a minimal RPG with shooting elements, rather than a space shooter with minimal RPG elements.
Either way, I've gotten almost 24 hours' worth of gameplay out of this thing, and that's more than I can say for a lot of others. So, um...3/10? 4/10? One of those, anyway.
While I beat some of these games last year, these games are part of my classic series Megaman marathon that I've decided to do.
A pretty good start for a great serries, but overall I think this is the weakest game in the classic series.
Great concepts, but there's some moments in the game that are fairly frustrating, and not because they're hard, just designed badly. (Flames you have to freeze in Wily's stage come to mind)
4 Megaman 2
A huge improvement over the first game, but I don't find it to be the best game in the Megaman serries for some of the same reasons why I think the first game is the weakest. There's a boss in Wily's castle where if you run out of a power, you have to purposefully get a game over, losing all the E tanks you had and then try again. The last boss of Wily's castle in this game is really cool though, and the tunnel right before hand seems to take place outside of the game (if that makes any sense at all, it probably doesn't)
A very good entry to the series, a huge improvement over the first game, I just find it a tad overrated.
5 Megaman 3
I think this is the best out of the original three games, being able to slide is really cool, and makes the fight with the Yellow devil pretty enjoyable actually. The robot master's in the game are pretty cool, you get to play revamped versions of four of their stages and fight the 8 masters from 2, and you get a save point afterwards. No straight breakthroughs of an eight stage castle here.
6 Megaman 4
I was playing all these games on the Anniversary collection on the Nintendo GameCube with a SNES controller. I think this game got a bad port because there's something really off about the sound in this version that doesn't really seem to affect other games in the collection, something that I think probably affected my enjoyment of this game. It has a really cool introduction scene, and it's got some pretty cool stages. I don't like it as much as three though, playing through the revamped stages and fighting previous robot masters was a lot cooler than an eight stage wily castle you have to start at the beginning of if you decide you want to sleep.
7 Megaman 5
A lot of people seem to not really like 5 and 6, but I've found 5 to be rather enjoyable. There's some pretty nice parallax scrolling in a lot of the stages and more animation in the backgrounds which make it pretty nice graphically, and some of the most memorable stages in all the games on the NES (Gravity Man and Wave Man). Definitely a worthy addition to the series.
Finished Rayman Origins yesterday, including the bonus level and optional boss. Good god, what an excellent game. It's been a long time since I've had such pure unadulterated fun with a (modern) game. Highly recommended to anyone who likes platforming and pretty 2D graphics (which is probably everyone around here).
#1 Portal 2 (PC) - Won this for free during Steam's Christmas contest by trading in seven coal. Fun game as one would expect, but this one got a little drawn out in spots. Not gratuitously so, but a few levels could have been trimmed out.
#2 Duke Nukem Forever (PC) - It's not a bad as some reviews make it out to be. It's not as good as DN3D to be sure, but some fun can be had if you can find it cheap.
#3 D-Force (SNES) - I've owned this game for quite a few years, and never sat down to really try and beat it because it's so bad. But now it can collect dust, having been turned into another notch on my SNES victory belt.
Currently Reviewing: Steel Talons
Coming Up:TF3 Side by Side, Gods
Done: RDF Global Conflict
8: Megaman 6
The last of the NES Megaman games, although people were probably getting a little sick of seeing them at this point, Megaman 6 is a fantastic game. It's got the best set of robot masters, my favorite rush powers in the series, and the soundtrack is one of my favorites in the series. It doesn't seem to have the graphics as good as the 5, it doesn't seem to have as much animation, and the intro cutscene as well as the ending aren't nearly as colorful. I'm a little biased though with this game, simply just because it was the first NES game I remember playing, but this is another title that doesn't deserve all the hate it gets. It's great.
9: Megaman 7
This was the first game I played in the marathon (I'm just putting it here because I feel like putting the games in chronological order).
It's another game that people seem to hate on a lot ( I was guilty at one point too I think too IIRC), but I think it perfectly recreates the classic series on the SNES. It has one of the best soundtracks in all the classic series (I like it better than 2s'), there's lots of really cool stuff to collect after you've got all the robot master's powers, and the Wily bosses are some of my favorites as well.
This game is awesome, if I had it on the SNES it would be one of my favorite games on the system. I think I also might like this game better than the first X game, I'll have to replay it though to find out.
I'm not going to play Mega Man 8 on the anniversary collection, why would I when I can play the superior Japanese Sega Saturn version?
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