Author Topic: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!  (Read 19315 times)


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #135 on: April 24, 2023, 08:54:22 am »
32. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Whew-boi. Where to begin with this one. I'll write a review at some point, but for now I'll say that this was a lot. I was under the impression that the Paper Mario games were more on the laidback side, but that's not the case here. That's telling if this is the best in the series. The game wasn't difficult, but it was padded. I ended up mashing the B button just to get to the end of each dialogue sequence. That would inevitably mean I would be forced with more backtracking and (mostly) unavoidable combat. There's no denying that the game is polished, clever, and an all around fine RPG. But man. The game just wouldn't freaking end. If the other games are like this, then this isn't the series for me.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #136 on: April 24, 2023, 09:07:02 am »
Game 6 - New Super Mario Bros. U (2 player co-op, Wii U) - 9 Hours

This is probably the 4th time I've reviewed a game like this on the site, so I won't add much here. It's uninspiring, it's derivative, it's basically just and HD Wii game, all that is true, but I played it co-op with my wife and we had a good time as always. Maybe with this save file I'll actually try to get all the star coins and try out some of the optional levels. Also messed around with the challenge mode which is a fun distraction.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2023, 10:55:14 am by telly »
Currently Playing:
Inscryption (Switch), Ring Fit Adventure (Switch)

My music collection | My Backloggery


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #137 on: April 25, 2023, 10:30:25 am »
33. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2

Inti Creates does it again. I enjoyed the first one more, but this one was still a good time. In terms of content, this one was way ahead of the predecessor. But, that's really about all of the improvements. Everything else is the same. Classic looks, great tunes, and a challenge that's right for everyone. I kind of wish that the episodes didn't require going through the same stages, but the powered up bosses near the end helped a bit with that.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #138 on: April 26, 2023, 10:20:48 pm »
13. Street Fighter EX2 Plus (PS1)

I have mixed emotions regarding the Street Fighter EX series. One one hand I find these games highly endearing since they encapsulate a period of gaming that I deeply cherish, yet on the other hand I find these games vastly inferior to most other Street Fighter games, especially the 2D entries. EX2 Plus is no exception. The game is mostly fun, however the gameplay can feel clunky at times and there are some series character balancing issues that make certain fights downright cheap. Visually EX2 Plus is a mixed bag as well. The 3D character models and special move animations are pretty good looking and even somewhat impressive for the time this game came out. However the backgrounds are among the worst I've seen in a fighting game; they're pretty much all highly blurred and pixelated where you can sometimes barely recognize what you're looking at while fighting. They're certainly a downgrade over pretty much all the other Street Fighter games released up until this point, even the movie games which is pretty sad. And then finally the audio is pretty good for the most part. The OST is catchy and appropriate and the character voice acting is also pretty good too. Overall, I'm glad I finally sunk some time into this game, however as far as Street Fighter games go it's very, very easy to do better than EX2 Plus, or really any of the EX games. (4/26/23) [30/50]

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #139 on: April 27, 2023, 02:18:41 pm »
I'm only about 30 years late to the party, but I finally played Super Metroid, which is odd, considering how big a fan of Metroidvanias I am.  It's still an incredible game, but it does have some growing pains that later titles in the series and genre have hammered out.  Mostly it was the obscurity of some of the things you need to do for the critical path.  If they were just for some secrets and hidden rooms it would have been fine, but there were a couple of times I found myself frustrated about where to go next and when I looked it up it was something that the game hadn't really telegraphed at all.  Overall, though, it is well worthy of its reputation.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #140 on: April 27, 2023, 08:47:05 pm »
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Quote from: Legend
bold games are games that have been beaten, previously beaten, or are unbeatable.
italicized games are in progress.
standard games are games I am not currently trying to beat.
strikethrough games are games that have been abandoned.

Rant about Round1
After taking my kid to Chuck E Cheese for his birthday, I had the intent of actually going to Chuck E Cheese and forking over $20 or something so I could play for an hour and just play TMNT, it's the only game there I cared to play, so I could play through the whole story.  I went to the mall with my kid the other day and found out about Round1, looked around and saw they had a handful of games available on Time Play that I wanted to play.  So my mindset was, I'd come back by myself one day, buy an hour or so playtime, and play 1 game start to finish.  Well today I happened to be in the area and had time, so I did it.  I read all the fine print, I ask specific questions, and I'm on my way.  Come to find out, you only get 3 consecutive plays on a given machine before you're blocked until you swap machines... so it's impossible to beat just about any game in the arcade using time play.  I asked employees about it and they were baffled and took pictures of the error message because they'd never seen it before.  I reached out to the company and complained, they offered me free play time and told them no I'm good, because that still doesn't let me do what I want to do, I spent more of my time chatting with staff and trying to find something to play that I wouldn't have to deal with the BS than actually playing games.  I get that I probably wouldn't go through that scenario again, but it still stands that I wouldn't get anything I want out of that, even for free.  It sounds like it's a new rule because I talked to someone else and they were like I've done the timed play and literally played Beatmania for an hour nonstop.  It sucks and upsets me, but like it's fine, I'll probably do like I originally planned and just go to Chuck E Cheese and drop $20 to try and beat TMNT inside an hour.  I'd call the situation a waste of time, which it was, because had I known, I wouldn't have gone in the first place, but I did at least beat Mario Kart Arcade GP DX while I was there.  I got to the end of level 5 (out of 6) of Halo Fireteam Raven's story mode right when my time ran out... which hurts too, because had I not wasted so much time, or had I known upfront, I would've had the time to finish the game, probably needed another 10-20 minutes.  So close to the end and if I ever tried again I'd have to start over completely.

63. Atelier Ryza 3 (NS)
So hyped to play this one and I've been playing it since release and am still playing it.  This game is huge in terms of size and content, it's staggering how much content is in this game compared to 1 and 2, but it's almost disappointing that you can't visit the Capitol like you can Kurken Island, the Mainland, and the various other regions introduced in this game.  So far this game is a fantastic end to the trilogy... it's also disappointing that tons of characters return from 1, but you don't see Serri or Clifford.  I might have read a spoiler regarding Fi, but it's just a bit disappointing in that regard and almost feels like they only barely want to acknowledge 2 whereas 1 they are fully embracing it.  Gameplay wise, I don't feel like this game introduces much in the way of new features per se, but the game was already pretty great as it is.  I will say, for some reason, this game has me yearning for an action RPG Dark Souls combat style, but with the synthesizing mechanics of Atelier.  Basically Atelier, but an Action RPG instead of semi-traditional RPG.  This game is fantastic, the only complaints I have after finishing the game are as follows 1) I hit the level cap before the end of the game and honestly I missed at least a little bit of content and wound up just skipping fights entirely where I could once I hit the cap. 2) No content in the Capitol, this would have really punctuated this as the end of the trilogy. 3) No Serri or Clifford, feels like a huge missed note not including these characters and including characters from the first game.  Relatively minor complaints though, still a fantastic game and best in the trilogy.
Rating: Solid recommendation

64. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360)
I've been slow playing this one for quite some time, so much so that I really don't recall much from this game to say anything good or bad.  What I do recall is that it exists in the same story world as World at War (I think) because it has some (if not only one) characters that are in both.  Story is a bit trippy and for the time at release it was probably edgy.  Ending is interesting, if not confusing.  I'm not saying these games are by any means bad, but I think peak modern FPS for me is Battlefield Hardline, that game was a tight experience.
Rating: Soft pass

65. Superliminal (XS)
Tried picking out a short game to start up while waiting for Tears of the Kingdom to come out, decided on this.  Very much a perception based puzzle game, it's very cool.  I got stuck 2 times I think where I had to watch a video to figure out what to do... the first video I watched, and it was Youtube's primary recommendation for what I wanted, the guy solved the puzzle by dumb luck of an item launching in the direction he needed and landing where he needed it.  Decided a day later to search again and found a different video where it showed the intended way to solve the puzzle, made me feel kinda dumb.  Game is very trippy with the perception based puzzles, story is mildly interesting, but I didn't quite follow what was going on for sure.  Feels very Portal in more ways than one, like a true successor to Portal as opposed to stuff like Pneuma and Quantum Conundrum.
Rating: Soft recommendation

66. Forza Horizon 2 (X1)
My annual time of playing a bunch of the Forza Horizon games and making progress on extra content.  Again, this game just has so many championships to do, but the problem lies that while the races might be different, I can't recall, you're doing the same 6 areas over and over just with different classes of cars.  It's a ton of content, but fairly limiting.  Additionally, there's no presentation of progression between you "beating" the game and you completing all championships... no achievements, no extra unlocks, it's just racing for racing or eventually getting that 10 gamerscore for beating every championship (I don't know how many actual points you get, but I doubt it's much).  I'm questioning my opinion of this being the best Horizon.  1 is great, but too short and too little content.  2 has tons of content, but maybe loses motivation.  3 has tons of content, but it's too buggy, too many achievements are impossible to earn due to bugs.  4 I'll have to think about once I get back into it.  5 has tons of content, but too much of it is locked behind services so once services go down you'll lose the majority of the game's content.
Rating: Soft recommendation

67. Forza Horizon 5 (XS)
MS Rewards on Xbox had a card for earning achievements in Forza Horizon 5, so I decided to spend some time in the game and try to earn some achievements.  I got 2 pretty quickly and wasn't an issue, but the 3rd achievement I decided to go for was the achievement for earning a manufacturer bonus for a collection of 25 or more cars.  Well I decided to go for BMW because I had the majority of the cars already and it'd be the cheapest to hit... the problem is that while it has nearly 30 cars, the bonus is for earning 24 cars because cars were added after release, so even though I had 25 cars, the achievement didn't unlock... so I had to go and do the progress all over again but this time with Chevrolet.  So I basically earned the achievement twice due to this overlooked issue.
Rating: Soft recommendation

68. Forza Horizon 3 (X1)
I had looked around for more games to play while waiting on TotK, and decided I'd just play Forza at this point because I can make progress and just stop when TotK comes out, no problem.  So I went through Blizzard Mountain and finished up stuff, finished up stuff in main game, and finished up stuff in Hot Wheels... the problem is that I drove all roads in Blizzard mountain but my progress on the achievement reads 98%, I grabbed all bonus boards in the main game, but it says I'm at 149/150, I sat and counted, I've got 150 boards marked as completed on the map, but status shows 149.  So it's not just Xbox's progression failing, but it's the game's internal progression failing too, it's absolutely wack.  It's very much discouraging me from even trying other stuff because what if it's a waste too.
Rating: Soft pass

69. There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (NS)
I think I was in a flustering situation of trying to hurry up and pick a game to play because my kid had an appointment where I'd just be sitting around doing nothing in the lobby for an hour, so I quickly grabbed this because I figured it'd be fun... my wife saw what I was going to play and went and bought the game on the play store and played it on her phone while I was playing on Switch, she also wound up beating it a few hours before me because she played it while waiting at a doctor's appointment.  I tried to insist on playing without using the hint system or looking anything up, I'll need to see if she did the same.  I only googled at the part where I lost my save data, I'm not a fan of that concept even as a joke, but in my case I accidentally picked the wrong answer on the first question so I wasn't convinced that it was supposed to happen regardless.  Googled a guide and read that one part and was like ok, cool, because it did legit look like it deleted my save and I wasn't about starting over, again, not a fan of that, even as a joke.
Rating: Soft pass

70. The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog (PC)
First off, and this could be a spoiler, so be warned... huge disappointment that this game is a murder mystery role play thing instead of Sonic actually non-canonically getting murdered.  That said, it being a quick little free game, I actually really enjoyed it.  It's short, it plays well, the script isn't the worst, they make references to all sorts of Sonic media, and it's just a good time overall.  The fact that it's free and short, I can't not recommend it based on the fact that it's a real good play too.
Rating: Solid recommendation

71. Control (PS4)
Got this game at launch, platinumed it... came back to it after The Foundation and played that DLC, had a tough time acclimating to the controls, so didn't enjoy coming back... came back to it again because PlayTracker has a global quest for the AWE DLC.  It took me a hot minute to relearn the controls, but once I had it, I had a better time, plus the game added tons of accessibility features which make relearning the controls much easier.  The AWE DLC is very tied in with Alan Wake, very much a teaser DLC thing to let you know Alan Wake 2 is coming.  Overall enjoyed my experience and even went so far to get all of the remaining trophies so game is once again 100% completed.  I really don't have much to add because to be quite frank, I don't remember because I'm writing this so long after playing, but I really love Control.
Rating: Solid recommendation

72. Party Hard (PC)
I always come back to this game, especially when my neighbors are obnoxious playing music really loud... and with 4th of July coming up, it might get some extra play time.  Anyway, I think I came back to it specifically because I wanted to get all of the achievements in the game.  At this point I'm down to the last 2 achievements, which I think are earning all achievements and launching the game 100 times.  So I really don't need to play the game, I just need to launch it 100 times, at this point like 80 times or something, but it's not just launch, it's launch and play a level.  So what I've got left is a bit of a grind, but I'll get there eventually.  Anyway, this game is always a little cathartic for me, because I hate my loud neighbors.
Rating: Personal recommendation because neighbors

73. Warlock's Tower (PC)
Another game that I really just went back to to finish up the achievements, I think I left this game beat, but had 2 levels I never did and a little side thing I never did.  So I quickly beat the last two levels I skipped over and went back to do a side thing so I could finish up this game.  This game is pretty good puzzle game, like all puzzle games it starts great and you're really enjoying it but then it gets to the end and you're just kind of clueless and getting frustrated with the fact that the game got so hard.  I probably gave it a better rating years ago, but I honestly can never recommend puzzle games that get frustratingly hard.
Rating: Soft pass

74. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (NS)
Kinda mad as I had a whole thing written out for this game and the tab reloaded so it lost all of what I was typing... tooks me weeks before I could build up the energy to start writing this again.  Hopefully I can remember the majority of what I wanted to write.  Game starts off at some non-descript amount of time after BotW, Swole Ganondorf is dehydrated under the castle, which confuses me because Ganondorf was also the boss of the last game, they don't normally do direct sequels and have you fight Ganon again, so different Ganons, but still Ganon?  I'll try not to get wrapped in that nonsense.  Anyway, the three big things with this game in my eyes is: 1) To make the world bigger, they added an underworld and a skyworld.  Underworld essentially doubles the map on its own and adds tons of stuff to explore.  Skyworld adds something akin to the islands in Skyward Sword/Wind Waker, not a ton to do, but part of the thing is just getting there.  2) To make the existing world more fresh, they made things change due to time and Ganon's influence. 3) All of the shenanigans/glitches people did in BotW, I feel like they revamped the systems in this game to kind of embrace a lot of what folks were doing whilst also hopefully preventing folks from doing the same things they were doing before.  All in all, sets up for a fresh experience and especially if you haven't played BotW in years, the game will still feel fresh.  The game did make me want to, at least a little bit, go back and play BotW.  I think one of the biggest things in this game I appreciated was not having to worry about Guardians lasering you while you are exploring.  I do wish Nintendo would've added accessibility options, even if I personally wouldn't use them.  Stuff like weapons don't break and such, I think lots of folks who complain about the game would have a much nicer time with an option to disable weapon degradation.

75. Olija (X1)
It's been months, so hopefully I can recall, but I think I played this one because it was leaving game pass.  Pixel games are pretty forgettable for me, gameplay can be great, but they all blend and blur to me so unless it's something truly memorable, I'm gonna forget.  Story I really can't recall and I know it wasn't anything special.  Gameplay is generic hack and slash platforming gameplay.  The game has the upside that the world isn't procedurally generated so at least you know the levels were intentionally designed.  Honestly if you're wanting a game "like" this, play something better.  It's entirely forgettable and isn't worth your time even being a relatively short game
Rating: Soft pass

76. Restless Soul (PC)
I won this game in a giveaway and I don't think there was a requirement to play it sooner than later or anything, but I'm part of a backlog group and at the time one of the quests was to beat a game that was gifted to you so I picked this game because it looked great to be honest.  The majority of the game was walking about and interacting with characters and objects like those old fetch quest flash games or whatever, each area will have a tower of some kind where you'll go through and do a fairly simple series of 3d bullet hell shmup sections that ends with a boss fight.  Gameplay loop is fairly repetitive and overly simple, but the dialogue is what makes this game stand out, if you don't enjoy its humor this game will fall flat for you.
Rating: Soft recommendation

77. GAI Stops Auto: Right Version Simulator (PC)
This was another game I won in a giveaway, but this one explicitly was required to play and 100% the game by a specific date.  I played the game over the course of one evening and 100%'d the game.  So it's a real short game.  But this game is just fucking weird and obviously very quickly and lazily made.  It's not a good game by any means and what little story the game has is super non-coherent and even if you piece something together, it makes no fucking sense.  I won't say I regret my time with this game, but I really really can't recommend anybody waste their time with this game.
Rating: Hard pass

78. Time Loader (PC)
I don't recall if I bought this one or traded for it on barter, but it was a real interesting looking game, though the sole reason I really went for this game was there was a screenshot that showed your character (the robot) driving in front of a PS1.  That and the time travel seemed like interesting mechanics, so I knew I was down to play this asap.  Gameplay is great and pretty fluid, though some of the traversal stuff is a bit wonky like trying to swing yourself and even getting over certain weird obstacles, but all in all it is a great experience.  I will say though, if you're going for achievements this game is a bit of a pain, to my knowledge, once you get the 100% ending, there is no way to get the worse endings without deleting your save and starting over.  You can replay sections, but I don't know if you can essentially undo decisions you previously made, but even if you can, I think it requires you to replay the entire game from that point.  I didn't do too much digging into how or if you can do it to be fair, but it just all seems like a rather pain in the ass, so I didn't bother.  I feel like I had some glitch issues on steam deck where I almost abandoned the game because I lost progress, but I won't hold it against the game because I do not remember at all.  I just feel like I remember being real upset with the game at one point.
Rating: Soft recommendation

79. Hexologic (PC)
I wanted a real simple game to play after playing Time Loader, so I picked a puzzle game.  This game is just a series of puzzles where you need to determine how many dots go in each hexagon to meet the requirements kind of picross/kakuro style.  Puzzles are real simple, but the difficult option is essentially whether or not the game tells you if you're right for any rows, not really much of a difficulty option in my opinion but there are achievements locked behind "hard" mode.
Rating: Soft recommendation

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« Last Edit: August 17, 2023, 12:48:20 pm by ignition365 »


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #141 on: May 01, 2023, 11:22:55 am »
34. Mega Man Battle Network 2

A mega (heh) improvement over the first game, but also padded a bit more. The scenarios near the end really outstayed their welcome. Otherwise, a great way to continue the story and to continue my journey with the Battle Network games. It'll be a minute before I start MMBN 3 because this one kind of burned me out. But, I'm excited to see what else they add as the series continues.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #142 on: May 01, 2023, 02:30:11 pm »
14. Star Wars: Jedi Survivor (PS5)

Jedi Fallen Order was probably one of the biggest and best gaming surprises I've had in a long time. Not only was it a way better game than I expected it to be, but it was also the single best piece of Star Wars content I'd experienced since the Revenge of the Sith came out. So to say I had high hopes and expectations of its sequel, Jedi Survivor, would be a huge understatement.

Just like its predecessor, Jedi Survivor nails the look, feel, and sound of Star Wars to near perfection. The game opens the Star Wars universe up in such an incredible way while also throwing a ton of love for both the original and prequel trilogies at you frequently. In fact, I'd say if you're a fan of the prequels or the Clone Wars series, you will be in heaven while playing this game. The a lot of new enemies and enemy types in Survivor, however I wish I could have seen more of a few of them than I did. There also also a bunch of aliens and other types of characters to interact with that you're almost never bored of exploring, seeing new places, meeting new creatures and aliens, and fighting new and interesting enemies. My only gripe with Survivor is the lack of diversity in the planetary and stage environments. There were a few too many areas of the game that took place in sterile looking Empire/High Republic base settings, and while they all looked the part, I just wished there were more outdoor, planetary locations to explore like in the first game. However, I must say that Koboe, the planet you'll be spending the majority of the game is absolutely massive and in a way it has many different environments to explore to where you may or may not wish for more planets to visit.

The gameplay of Survivor is certainly good, however there is no denying that this is a much harder game than Fallen Order. I play most games on the standard difficulty by default and in Jedi Fallen Order I found this to offer the perfect amount of challenge for me while not being oppressively hard. However, I feel like the standard difficulty in Survivor is on par with hard mode in Fallen Order. Most of the game is certainly manageable on normal difficulty, however there are a few sections and fights that are very difficult if not just cheap, specifically a handful of boss and side mission enemy encounters. Luckily the game allows you to adjust the difficulty on the fly, but I resisted doing this with the exception of the final boss who is incredibly cheap. There is also way more platforming and level "parcore" where you're jumping off platforms, running along walls, using objects to fly high into the air, and several other similar things. These parts are great, however there are some unfortunate way finding issues at times as a result of certain objects not appearing to look like something you could use to get from point A to point B, and also a few areas where the progression isn't as intuitive as it is throughout most of the game. Still, the gameplay is overall very good despite a few minor gripes and complaints. 

Then finally the story of Survivor is absolutely great, just not as well written or compelling as Jedi Fallen Order's story. I don't want to get too much into things because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone planning on playing Survivor, but I found some of the writing absolutely incredible including a very unexpected twist in the last 2/3 of the story. On the other hand some of the writing was meh to kind of slopping, particularly the motives of one of the characters and why he decided to do what he did. The character writing and how certain characters interact is probably one of the best parts of this game and for me is what I possibly enjoyed the most.

In conclusion, Jedi Survivor is an absolutely incredible game and another top notch piece of Star Wars fiction. However, despite this, I still find Jedi Fallen Order the superior game for numerous reasons. But with that said, Survivor was by no means a disappointment, but rather another excellent time that I sincerely hope gets a sequel, possibly making this franchise the best trilogy we've had since the prequels concluded in 2005. (5/1/23) [44/50]

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #143 on: May 02, 2023, 05:57:50 pm »
15. Dodonpachi Saidaioujou (360)

It's been a while since I played a shmup and an even longer time since I last played Dodonpachi Saidaioujou. In fact, the last time I played this game was around the time it first came out in arcades and at least at the time I thought it was pretty fun. Also for some context, around that time my exposure to SHMUPs was about a fraction of what it is now, so going into it with the perspective of having played easily over a 100 different shmups, Saidaioujou unfortunately comes across as very generic. There is very little that I found to be remarkable or memorable about Saidaioujou in terms of its design, artwork, or aesthetic. I will say however, this game does have an incredibly catchy OST. It's gameplay is also pretty good, and while the controls are precise and buttery smooth, there are some balancing issues that make certain parts of this game, particularly the final two stages, stupidly cheap and difficult. Even comparing Saidaioujou to other semi-newer Cave shmups, it just isn't nearly as memorable, and therefore, not as enjoyable. Still, if you can play Saidaioujou I definitely would, just make sure you play it in the arcade or borrow someone else's copy lol. (5/2/23) [32/50]

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #144 on: May 02, 2023, 10:25:41 pm »
16. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (Arcade)

I originally began playing UMK3 on the Sega Saturn, thinking it was relatively close to the Arcade version. Unfortunately, my memory of playing this version on the "advanced" 5th gen consoles was not accurate seeing how the Saturn version only looks marginally better than the SNES and Genesis versions, albeit the audio is way better. So to remedy this I just fired up UMK3 in MAME and played it the way it was meant to be played lol.

UMK3 is my favorite of the arcade entries in the series. It and 2 were the ones I remember playing the most as a kid, and due to its cool factor in the 90s I was instantly drawn to it when I came across it. I also rented it for my Genesis quite a bit too. But anyhow, UMK3's gameplay is significantly more streamlined and polished than any game in the series that came before. Everything plays way faster and more smooth. Yet, despite the fairly basic consoles, there is still a surprising amount of depth to this game. Still, it's no Super Street Fighter 2, Tekken 2, or various other fighting games around that time that are objectively superior in terms of gameplay. Audio is great with the noises the characters make, but most of all the super memorable, awesome OST. Visuals are about the best they ever got in terms of digitized 2D graphics too. I adore the character models in this game, as well as the really cool stages with environmental effects and being able to uppercut your opponent through the cealing in a few stages.  Despite all this, I still greatly prefer quite a few other fighting games released during the mid to late 90s over it. However, this game is definitely up there in terms of nostalgia for me which makes it a game I'll always adore. (5/2/23) [33/50]


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #145 on: May 03, 2023, 04:02:40 pm »
Well, been a long time since I participated in one of these (or in this forum in general). As good a time as any to hop back in.
Let's see, thus far this year I've beaten:
  • Pokémon Violet [Switch]
  • Unlock the King [Switch eShop]
  • Sonic Frontiers [Switch]
  • Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon [Switch]
  • Bayonetta 3 [Switch] {Second time}
  • Murder by Numbers [Switch eShop]

Now to catch up on descriptions:
Pokémon Violet
Been years since I've properly played a Pokémon game (Sun was the last one I bought when it was new and beat). Gotta admit, it was fun to play through a Pokémon journey again after so many years. It has technical issues, everyone can see that, but thankfully they weren't as bad as I was expecting (which doesn't excuse them, but still). Overall I enjoyed it fine. Let's be real: with Pokémon, I feel like most people already know whether they're interested or not.

Unlock the King
This is a chess-based puzzle game. Chess pieces are scattered around stages, and the goal is to move them to clear a path for the king to the goal, with the pieces obviously only moving in the patterns they would in real chess. Been chipping away at this one on and off since last year, just playing a few levels here and there. It's a neat little puzzle game, and with the price only being like a dollar, yeah it's worth picking up.

Sonic Frontiers
Gotta admit, I liked this one a good bit, but that may just be that for whatever reason I seem to have a soft spot for Sonic (thanks Sonic 2 movie for making me realise that). It did get a bit monotenous nearing the end, and the combat is pretty basic when you get down to it, but I still enjoyed performing combos and taking down opponents. And the regular levels are solid fun. And yeah, you can totally see the blatant pop-in and other stuff on Switch, but it runs fine and is still fun to play, so eh, I can deal. No masterpiece, but worth playing if you ask me.

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
The Bayonetta series is easily my favourite series of all time, so of course I had to pick this up. Obviously what stands out most is the art style, and it does not disappoint when you play it. This is one of the most gorgeous games I've played in a while. It's plot is both charmingly written and delivered too. Its gameplay is also good fun, with the two-character gimmick being pretty fun and satisfying once you get in the flow. Overall I really recommend this one.

Bayonetta 3 {Second playthrough}
I could write a novel about my feelings towards this game, but I'll try to stay brief. Again: Bayonetta is my favourite franchise of all time, and this game largely does not disappoint. The combat is as satisfying and slick as ever, and the crazy moments are some of the craziest we've seen from the series (which if you know the games, you know says a lot). The second playthrough really helped me appreciate a lot of this more too, as in the first one I was kind of overwhelmed by everything that was happening and the bad beats in the plot. I still cannot recommend this game enough though (or Bayonetta 1 and 2 for that matter). If you haven't yet, please support this series and pick this game up. It's a masterpiece.

Murder by Numbers
This game is charming as hell. Essentially: it's a cross between a murder mystery graphic novel (basically Ace Attorney) and picross. It sounds weird, but it just works. The picross puzzles are exactly that, so if you like Picross you'll like this. But the plot and characters surrounding that are so charming. I love everyone in this cast to bits. Please do give this game a look. It's charming as hell, and deserves more attention.
Huge Nintendo fan and hobbyist Nintendo collector.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #146 on: May 05, 2023, 11:42:52 am »
9. The Day of the Tentacle Remastered
I have not played Maniac Mansion before, so I was going into this green. I remember that Maniac Mansion was always something I wanted to play from magazine ads. Fortunately that game is actually in this one, if you use the computer in the stamp collector's room. So this can stick around for a bit so I can play that in the future. It was also neat you can switch views to have an upscaled pixel graphics version or the modern cartoon version. This game is, I would say, just ok. There wasn't anything in particular that stands out to me about it. I did end up using a walkthrough after about 20 minutes because I had no idea what to do. As I followed the guide, I think to myself "I would never have figured this out" and I don't have the patience to sit around and click on everything and try to use everything on everything, which would have been the only way a person could have finished this when the original came out without a guide. There were times where I knew what I had to do, but other times the things that needed to be done didn't make any sense.

10. Grim Fandango Remastered
The music and voice lines were better than Day of the Tenctacle. The characters were better and none were annoying. Even the demon was kind of annoying but the sounds he made gew on me. This one also supposedly has the pixel view, I saw in the options, but I didn't try it. I also learned maybe half-way through the game that you could run and also control Manny manually with the keyboard. The running ability helped because you have to go back and forth a lot. When I started this, I used a walkthrough from the beginning. I was only disappointed that I didn't get to keep all of the balloon animals I got in the beginning.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #147 on: May 05, 2023, 08:17:04 pm »
12. Yakuza 4 Remastered || PlayStation 4 || 05.01.23

Continuing to periodically play through the Yakuza franchise, I was eager to begin playing Yakuza 4 Remastered. While I am largely blind to series entries, I feel as if I've encountered less coverage about the fourth entry. Prior to playing, this didn't really mean anything, but I believe there may be a reason for that after having finishing its story.

To my surprise, Yakuza 4 does something incredibly different compared to all three previous entries in that the game does not center around franchise protagonist Kiryu Kazuma. In fact, Kiryu is not even seen until a brief appearance at the halfway point and not even playable until the final quarter. Instead, there are four playable characters with their own paths connecting to form a larger narrative. Regarding this decision, I think it is a worthwhile attempt but is generally not executed well which I will detail later on. Be that as it may, it is still interesting to learn about other aspects of the Tojo clan that do not directly revolve around Kiryu. In short, the plot focuses on the effects of a mass murder from 25 years ago that are only now emerging as a prison convict escapes and new murders begin happening.

Throughout Yakuza 4's first half, I admittedly found the narrative pacing to be poor. As players first control playing as one of the two non-yakuza characters, much of the beginning hours feels a little foreign to franchise veterans, although this is not inherently bad. That said, there are a lot of details which unfold that personally did not capture my interest. My impression was worsened by the fact that there is very little gameplay until the game's final quarter as Kiryu. Looking back, it felt as if there was a constant string of cutscenes to watch. Cutscenes are to be expected in such a story-rich game, but the writing felt weak and I did not quite see what the importance of all of the events had until the second half when the narrative starts coming together strongly. So, with minimal gameplay paired with an arguably unsuccessful narrative, my initial impression of the game for quite some time was not positive.

While it is not unusual for games to have information for players to learn even for sequel entries, it felt as if every few minutes of gameplay was being interrupted by text prompts explaining how a function operates. This is obviously fine to do, but for there to have been some way to accomplish this a little more spaced out would have been much preferable. At the same time, players are introduced to many optional game modes and activities far in advance before ever having the means to revisit them. It is only until endgame when all four characters are simultaneously selectable to play that players are able to freely pursue past activities at their leisure. Having gone back to experience some of these offerings postgame, nearly every instance require for me to re-read everything that was initially presented to me as so much time had passed.

As Yakuza 4 is divided into four parts for each playable character, each part is played in-full with the player only being able to control one character. As expected from this choice, each of these characters has their own unique fighting style and abilities. While this is interesting in theory, characters have a lackluster amount of skills to unlock. In some ways, it felt as if a lot of Kiryu's abilities from previous games had been divided into four. As a result, combat is simple and much more repetitive than before. On that note, enemies neither pose a challenge, as the options to overcome them have greatly diminished. Combat could have been designed around the player being required to fight strategically with a limited pool of actions, but the decision to instead have combat being altogether easy was instead made. Something which I'll briefly mention is the ability for enemies to struggle with the player-character resulting in being tackled to the ground if not succeeding. This combat mechanic is not new to the franchise, but there was no way for the first three characters to overcome enemies performing this action. In many instances, the result felt greatly unjustified. While combat was still easy, the struggling mechanic only made fights more frustrating and needlessly longer.

A core aspect of the franchise lies in substories, which are optional events likened to quests. In many ways, substories serve as the game's soul as they are often ridiculous with their offbeat humor. Unfortunately, though, the substories in Yakuza 4 were a huge letdown. In previous entries, substories are overwhelmingly presented with an abundance of personality, but most in Yakuza 4 are just not enjoyable while overstaying their welcome with boring dialogue and minimal active player involvement. An aspect I took for granted is that substories have been known to often connect with others or are told over several episodes. At times, they may even connect from one game to another. However, this was largely absent from Yakuza 4, with only a selection of Kiryu-specific substories doing so.

Looking back at all four entries thus far, Yakuza 4 is—by a longshot—the least impressive. This is not to say it is a bad game, but I was disappointed. While I ultimately did become invested in the narrative and was pleased with how the four paths converged, the steps to get there over the game's first half were difficult. Nevertheless, Yakuza 4 does not disappoint regarding the franchise's capability to recall past events and make them even more relevant and positively complicated due to corruption being made apparent. In this sense, the main plots continue to mimic real life, as it is often many years later when details regarding certain situations are finally known.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2023, 11:12:01 am by dhaabi »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #148 on: May 05, 2023, 11:13:13 pm »
17. Pokemon Snap (N64)

Pokemon Snap is right up there as one of the most sentimental games of the late 90s for me. I was obsessed with Pokemon from around late 1998 until roughly around the time the third Pokemon movie came out in the US. Pokemon Snap was the first 3D, console based Pokemon game we got in the US and despite it not being much like the Gameboy games, that didn't stop me from begging my aunt for a copy for my 12th birthday. I thoroughly enjoyed this unique rail shooter when I was a kid and even to this day I still enjoy playing through it for old times sake.

As the title suggests, Pokemon Snap has you playing nature photographer, but with Pokemon. You have 7 unique stages to get through, all containing mostly unique Pokemon not found in other areas. There are branching paths, special things you have to do to capture pics of certain Pokemon, and events you can trigger by using one of the game's various items, which give you even better pictures than you could get prior. More or less you're judges on your photos of each specific Pokemon based on the size of the pokemon in the pic, the technique (aka did you center your shot), pose, and a few other factors that will give you a better score for your pictures. Eventually once you've snapped pics of all the Pokemon, you're pretty much just trying to get better scores on all your Pokemon pics. While there is little in game incentive to do so, I still found myself wanting to do it if for nothing else than to brag at my sweet photos lol. But most of all, around half the gen 1 roster of Pokemon is in this game, all realized in pretty good 3D graphics for the time. While this game does begin to get stale after too many playthroughs, there is still a decent amount of replay value, and at least for me a lot of nostalgia when playing this game today. (5/5/23) [36/50]

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #149 on: May 06, 2023, 12:55:25 am »
18. Pokemon Puzzle League (N64)

I remember playing this game around the time it came out, however I cannot remember where. I probably rented it from Blockbuster for a night, however, it's probably one of the least memorably pieces of Pokemon product consumption I ever had from that period for whatever reason. This is sad since while no masterpiece, Puzzle League is actually a pretty fun game. It's more or less a game like Super Puzzle Fighter or Puyo Puyo where you're manipulating blocks while they fill a rectangular area. In Puzzle League you're limited to switching the position of different colored blocked horizontally only. While this gameplay is fairly limiting, it actually proves to be pretty fun and also surprisingly deep. This is not an easy game on any setting other than...well, easy, and will really test you. There are also a decent amount of modes to play around with, although they'll all mostly have you doing the same basic thing. Visually, this game is not anything special and in fact I'd say it's fairly subpar for the most part. The only thing that kind of redeems it is it being one of the only N64 games that has FMV from the anime in the intro. Other than that however, this game more or less just uses clipart from the Pokemon anime's characters and pokemon that don't move or do anything special while you're playing. The audio is definitely a step up in quality. While it does have a bit of a distortion, they actually have some really cool remixes of songs from the anime, and while i could be mistaken, the entire cast from the first couple seasons of the anime reprise their roles in this game. Overall, this is a decent Pokemon and puzzle game that I'd definitely recommend despite some noticeable flaws with its presentation and limiting gameplay. (5/5/23) [33/50]