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Messages - kashell

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General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: September 18, 2023, 09:53:40 pm »
48. Gal Guardians: Demon Purge

Both Labyrinth of Zangetsu and Gal Guardians: Demon Purge are helping set the stage for when it's time to get spooky-with-it when I get into horror games next month. Gal Guardians is inspired by classic Castlevania. It might as well have come from Konami. The difference is that it has Inti Creates' crisp polish and snappy writing. It's also a spinoff of Gal Gun. I never played any game in that series but I'm familiar with the premise. So, the story is wild and pervy in a hilarious way. The game is packed with content. There are tons of secret rooms, collectibles, sub-weapons, and there even multiple endings. The soundtrack is sadly forgettable, which is a surprise since the developers tend to make some real bangers. The ability to change difficulties at anytime is a great perk. I definitely recommend it to all 2D, side scroller fans.

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: September 16, 2023, 11:26:00 pm »
47. Labyrinth of Zangetsu

This was a dungeon crawler that seemed to slip by everyone. I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as others I've played recently. I think this game was trying to emulate what Experience, Inc. has done with the genre but missed the mark. I still recommend it to dungeon crawler fans, though. I just warn them to use a guide when building a party. Don't do what I did and go in with your own ideas because the way stats, class changes, and alignments work can royally screw you over. Also, since the game has an autosave, you can essentially permanently lock yourself out of any hope of advancement. Some might find that challenging. I found it unfair. But, I finished this game by the skin of my teeth.

General / Re: Secret Santa 2023?
« on: September 16, 2023, 11:49:16 am »
I think the good times begin around the first of October or so. Crazy how soon that is - this year is flying by!

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: August 29, 2023, 08:37:15 am »
46. Albert Odyssey

Despite all of its ups and downs, this is still one of my favorite Saturn games. Working Designs did what they did best: gave the game extra "personality" by implementing a generous helping of 90s cultural references and questionable programming changes. Their translation notes in the instruction manual claimed they made some improvements to overall playability. I don't see them, and I suspect they took it a step further and increased every boss' HP, too. If I ever get a chance to play the original Japanese version, then I'd be curious to see what other stunts they pulled. Still, the game epitomizes classic role-playing. Aside from two tedious boss battles it's an easy-breezy quest from the start. And it's also one of the most gorgeous 2D games I've ever played. My first time playing it was long, long after its release but it still had this ability to "take me back." The same can be said for this replay. Leos is best girl. Gryzz is the MVP.

General / Re: Your Own Opinion About Collecting Today
« on: August 27, 2023, 09:24:13 am »
I've always been 90% gamer, 10% collector, so my opinion about collecting really hasn't changed much. Sure, there were moments when I caught a collection bug and wanted to get my hands and things, but most of the time I had to take a step back and think.

Would I actually play this? Am I buying this because it's fun or because it's rare? Wouldn't this money be better spent on a different hobby?

And yes, the prices of a lot of things is insane so that doesn't help much, either. When I think about it, my game collection has been hovering around the same count since I joined this site.

Ultimately, I think I'm aligned with turf. If I see something that looks really fun/my style, then I'll get it.

General / Re: New Low Poly Games?
« on: August 24, 2023, 08:43:04 am »
A lot of those games would make me kind of dizzy due to the camera trying to keep up with the character (Glover, Gex, etc.). How is the camera with Pseudoraglia?

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: August 21, 2023, 08:44:18 am »
My stance on XVI is that it is a very good story trapped in a terrible game!

The combat is terribly basic, I had an attack pattern for normal enemies & a pattern for bosses, this needed no variation. This could have easily been solved if they put Elements into the combat system. Take the Bomb Enemy, usually it is weak against Ice but in XVI there are no elements intergrated into the combat system so its just attacks - What's worse is that you gain summon abilities which have no elemental attributes either.

The sidequests are as generic as generic can get, fetch quests or monster hunts - Oh and the seperate monster hunts are all re-skins of enemies you've already beat with the basic combat layout wokring again. As soon as I would advance the story and see al new sidequests appear I'd sigh, it owuld take 2-3 hours to get rid of them at times.

The biggest offence is the Map system. The game isn't open world, which is fine but the game doesn't even have areas that connect - Like in Final Fantasy X or XII. You reach the end of one area and then are thrown onto the map and have to select the next area. This gameplay structure ruins all sense of adventure & journey, it felt like experiencing a heavily cut movie.

XVI is ranked in the lower end of FF games for me, I just found it a chore to play in the end.

The bold/italic part could not ring more true. As soon as a new chapter started, and as soon as I saw those disgusting green exclamation points, I would groan. Then, I'd go get my iPad and put on a show so I could have something to watch while I skipped through the dialogues during the side-quests. I think there were only like seven of them that were worth doing (one for Ambrosia, two for increasing your item limit, and four for getting the best weapon for Clive) but even with those I'd skip the dialogue just so I could carry on.

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: August 19, 2023, 06:42:18 pm »
Agreed on FFXVI, although I hold it in a higher regard. I just earned the platinum in it and doing so really took the game down a few notches because of how tedious combat got.

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: August 09, 2023, 01:09:42 pm »
45. Final Fantasy III

This was part of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collection. All I can say is, FINALLY. Off the top of my head, I've tried to go through this a few times on NES' wild emu and at least four or five times on the PSP version. And each time, I just. Couldn't. Do it. The Pixel Remaster version is exactly what I needed to get through it. I took full advantage of 2X experience points and the ability to turn on/off encounters with the push of a button. Otherwise, the game is a chore; just so many moments in which the game feels 100% engineered to screw the player over. Credit does need to be given, though. The job system is neat, especially for its time. And when the game works, it works. My final party was a Ninja, Dark Knight, Sage, and Devout.

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: July 31, 2023, 08:30:25 am »
44. Legaia 2: Duel Saga

This was either my third time through. This is one of my top five games of all time. I remember feeling very skeptical about it years ago when it was first released because I felt burned by the first game (I did manage to finish the first one eventually - after another replay of Legaia 2!) It ended up being one of those games I couldn't put down and that trend carried into this replay. It's just a wonderful adventure; a reminder of why I like RPGs so much. And the thing is, I still have yet to do everything that the game offers. I finished the game around 35 hours but with all of the remaining recipes, mini-games, bonus battles, and character titles it's tempting to keep going. The game lacks any New Game Plus, which is very unfortunate. A part of me wants to go back and do it all, but the purpose of this playthrough was to cleanse the palette for the platinum run in FFXVI. Which, by the way, has a lot of parallels with this game. Heroes blessed by fire. A world slowly dying by creeping darkness. Markings that cause the general population to turn their weapons towards them. The list goes on. This was also the first time I had the official strategy guide from Prima by my side. Surprisingly, the guide did a good job of keeping track of side missions (there's A TON) and providing strategies for bosses. It had some errors, of course. The most egregious were missing Arts. But, it was still nice to have it along for the ride. Next time I play, I'm going to use Kazan and Maya. It'll be tough because Sharon is so good but I want to do something to keep each replay fresh.

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: July 26, 2023, 08:21:31 am »
43. Mercenaries Saga: Will of the White Lions

I played through this on the side while playing a bunch of other things. This really surprised me. The game doesn't do much to reinvent the wheel, and I'm quite pleased with that. It's a standard, somewhat challenging, by the books strategy RPG with some impressive dialogue, a likable a cast, and neat setting. I'm glad I took a chance on it (and the other two games in the collection).

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: July 15, 2023, 04:46:13 pm »
42. Final Fantasy XVI

Very, very fun game that does everything the series is known for but with a dark, bleak fantasy setting. Almost everything about the game was high quality and polished to a shimmery shine. Combat started with a bang and continued to improve the further I got thanks to so many abilities trickling in at just the right pace. My only gripe is the main villain. Even for FF, he was so damn over the top; chewing the scenery every goddamn time he was onscreen. At point during the final encounter, I thought I was watching a synchronized swimming routine. His camp took away from an otherwise solid tale.

General / Re: Anyone else suck at finishing RPGs?
« on: July 10, 2023, 09:17:05 am »
This year, there were four RPGs I dropped: Avalon Code, Shadow Madness, Jeanne d'Arc, and The Caligula Effect: Overdose. It's hard to pinpoint a reason why four very different RPGs grabbed me. On paper, they all sounded like a lot of fun.

Otherwise, chances are that I'm going to finish an RPG. Looking through the 52 Challenge, I knocked out 15. Not all of them have been stellar, but they at least had a certain something that kept me engaged until the end. As long as the game has that "something" then I'm going to finish it. RPGs are my favorite so I guess that helps me with finishing them.

General / Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« on: July 05, 2023, 11:23:52 am »
While most people were celebrating the 4th of July by blowing things up and terrifying local wildlife/all indoor pets/veterans with PTSD, a buddy and I hit up a new arcade. Once again, I spent most of the time on pinball. I also busted some moves on Dance Dance Revolution 3rd Mix. But, I did manage to complete two classics.

40. The House of the Dead
This game is still campy and cool after all these years. Younger me was gob smacked by the janky polygons, the voice acting, the "plot", etc. Adolescent me was like, "This game looks so unrealistic!" Current me? I appreciate all its stuff even more. Playing two-player with this is the way to go because some of the enemy placements are bananas. Head-shotting zombies never gets old no matter which game it's in.

41. Splatterhouse
In all of my years of gaming and going to arcades, not once have I ever seen a Splatterhouse cabinet. The level of detail to this game (from 1989!!) is crazy. It's over the top. It's bloody. It's a non-stop mayhem. I heard talks about it back in the day and how violent it was but never saw it. I first played it on the mini-TurboGrafx-16. Loved it. But playing it on an arcade cab? It felt like I was rebelling against censorship and being PC. This was a bloody blast to go through and next time I visit this arcade, I plan on making it my first stop.

General / Re: Steelbooks with Games
« on: July 02, 2023, 11:00:54 am »
Never cared 'em, and never saw the point.

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