Author Topic: 52 Games Challenge 2020  (Read 3665 times)

Cartagia

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #45 on: January 24, 2020, 08:56:38 am »
Game #3

Sonic Spinball
Looks great, but the controls were a little laggy.  There's also only 4 levels, which explains why they were so cryptic and non-explanatory.  Fun way to kill a couple of hours, but not much else.



Playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II @ https://www.twitch.tv/shauntrek

shfan

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #46 on: January 24, 2020, 01:29:40 pm »
Collection of Mana - Switch - 2nd abandoned game (traded in)

This one's been a bumpy road.

Final Fantasy Adventure/Mystic Quest Adventure is a game I have a lot of good memories about and playing through it again has been a real buzz. The quick-save feature on the cartridge was a real help because there's time this one tested me and I was left having to backtrack, I also needed to consult gameFAQs a few times. It's seriously dated but remains a cracking adventure for such a basic system as the original gameboy, nice soundtrack too!

Secret of Mana is where the wobble begins. The overall package is as good as I remember it, in terms of graphics, 'feel' and soundtrack, but there's a stark difference between the game's size and scope compared to how I remember it. The early stages of the game see you getting lead back and forth through the same few areas, then when the world does open out it's just a few different zones like 'snow' and 'desert', along with a couple of others which very quickly disappear in the rear view mirror. The tail-end of the game features a few large dungeons which help give a sense of exploration, but it's too little too late. Something else the game suffers with is the lack of rewards for exploring - you can find a few weapon upgrade orbs, but that aside there's nothing to actually gain. Several endgame enemies drop equipment randomly, though not often, but for the rest of the game it's only restoratives you'll find in drop chests. It's another way the game saves something for the end which should have been there from the start. Not an unpleasant trip down memory lane, but certainly a case of a game not being as I remembered it. Wouldn't call it 'rose tinted specs' so much as things moving on, YS VIII for instance is a massive departure from SoM in terms of scope, and that's comparing a retro triple-A with a modern double-A.

'Trials of Mana' (Seiken Densetsu 3) is where the wheels came off for me. The senes of scale is considerably ramped up from the previous games (SoM in particular), but it's far worse in terms of the sense of exploration and characters. I couldn't give a damn about ToM's characters, they're completely cookie-cutter. It doesn't feel like 'The World's in DANGER', so much as the world's about to be mildly inconvenienced. Different baddies appear without rhyme or reason ("it's Spiteful Sylvia, oh noes, and there's Knoblord Dread, ruler of Cakeland"). Seriously. Weapons just come from shop upgrades, as with SoM's armour and accessories, but this time there's not even weapon orbs to find. So, with zero loot to find, traversing the game's larger locations often devolves into running from the end of area into the next in simple mazes. It gets extremely boring. Then there's level-grinding just to make sure you're not KO'd by an overpowered enemy's sneeze. Even the combat itself - no more waiting for the bar to charge to 100% before striking, but instead mashing attack produces a short combo, after which your character just sits there a second or two before they'll attack again. It just doesn't feel like the mechanics work very well.

So yeah, got a good bit through ToM before deciding I really don't care any more and want to play something fun or at least compelling.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2020, 04:13:31 pm »
Game #3

Sonic Spinball
Looks great, but the controls were a little laggy.  There's also only 4 levels, which explains why they were so cryptic and non-explanatory.  Fun way to kill a couple of hours, but not much else.


This was one of my favorite games as a kid.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2020, 09:58:59 am »
I'd like to give this a go, it's a fun idea. I just counted up and I beat 36 last year...a lot more required in 2020 then!

I will start from scratch from today.

Games Beaten
1. Metro Exodus (PS4)
2. 11-11: Memories Retold (PS4)
3. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (PS4)
4. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4)
5. Final Fantasy XV (PS4)
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 02:13:18 pm by zenrhino »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #49 on: January 27, 2020, 08:45:53 am »
Main List
Previous List

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.

25. Doom Eternal (X1)
Started this game up after finishing Doom 64 because Amazon delivered my copy around when I finished Doom 64, out of nowhere too because they were telling me that they wouldn't deliver until mid April.  The missions in this game are like an hour and a half long, it's insane.  It took a couple of missions before I really got into the game because I had enjoyed Doom 64 so much and this is an entirely different thing.  I'm a big fan of collectibles in games in general, and I really really like them when you get their locations on the map so it's not hard to find.  Very enjoyable experience, makes me wish we had more shooters that were rip and tear style instead of cover style shooters.
Rating: Rip and Tear! Highly recommended.

20. Devil May Cry 5 (X1)
Current Progress: Mission 5
Started this up right after finishing DmC.  I'm really not feeling it, so I'm taking some time to play other games for now, mostly PS1 games.

21. Atelier Ryza (NS)
Current Progress: Chapter 3
I've heard a lot of good things about this game, and I've been meaning to try an Atelier game and this sounds like the best one yet.  I'm mostly pushing myself to play it because from what I heard it sounds like a game my wife would like.  The combat system is more complex than I think I'm willing to learn, so I'm expecting to hit a wall where I need to learn the inner workings of this system before progressing and I don't look forward to that.  I'm still learning things about this game, I highly expect once I figure things out that I will greatly enjoy this game... but a lot of the features just seem very unintuitive.

9. Wreckfest (X1)
Current Progress: 4th Championship
Again this is one I'm mostly only playing when I need to earn achievements for Xbox Rewards.  Xbox Rewards is kind of being my bane right now in gaming, I could be playing and beating games on X1, but I feel it's a waste to earn achievements that could otherwise go towards rewards.  I need to get over it.  Anyway, I'm at the tail end of the 4th championship where I've just got to do 800 points worth of races or something to win it.

10. Human Fall Flat (X1)
Current Progress: Demolition
I started playing this a while back for the easy achievements to meet my goals for Xbox Rewards, so when I need achievements I hop on this.  It's definitely a frustrating game, but it seems easy for quick achievements.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 09:43:32 am by ignition365 »


Cartagia

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2020, 08:30:49 am »
Game #3

Sonic Spinball
Looks great, but the controls were a little laggy.  There's also only 4 levels, which explains why they were so cryptic and non-explanatory.  Fun way to kill a couple of hours, but not much else.


This was one of my favorite games as a kid.

Yeah, I found myself thinking about how much I would have dug it as a kid.


The GF and played through Gears of War as couch co-op.  These games are hilariously over-the-Top macho.  The gameplay is fine, but we probably had just as much fun yelling about protein shakes.



Playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II @ https://www.twitch.tv/shauntrek

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2020, 06:27:25 pm »
7. Mega Man Legends (PS1)

It's always a real shame when all you hear about a specific game for years and years on the internet is how incredible it is, only to finally play the game and wonder what the hell those people are smoking. That was exactly my feelings with Mega Man Legends. I know for context this game came out pre-Ocarina of Time so in regards to 3D adventure games it didn't have a lot of competition and the bar was certainly not raised very high. However, even if someone grew up with this game and thought it was incredible back in the late 90s, I'd find it hard to believe that someone could return to this game over the past 15-years and say that Mega Man Legends is a good, solid adventure game.


Let's rip the bandaid right off; the gameplay in Mega Man Legends is terrible. As in you spend more time finding with the awkward, rigid, and clunky controls just as much, if not more than the actual enemies you encounter. Controlling Mega man involved a combo of using the d-pad and the R1 and L1 buttons to rotate him. While this doesn't sound too complicated, the way it is executed is awful. You will often be fighting with the controls to gain the right angle to hit an enemy, jump on a ledge or pretty much do anything within the game. On top of that, the auto aim can be fairly janky at times where Mega Man will attempt to shoot an enemy in another room even though there's an enemy right in front of you. Essentially all the controls whether it's aiming, shooting, or simply moving are cumbersome and annoying to control.


The game takes a lot of notes from Zelda and has you explore various bland, boring dungeons to find various items and money. While there are several different dungeons in the game, you'd be forgiven for thinking many are the same with basic color and texture swaps. The enemies are a variety of robots that give you money and energy to recharge as well, however there aren't many enemy types and you'll continuously run into the same kinds over and over again. As for the special enemies and bosses, these are all beat the same way by simply taking a few pot shots, running away enough to get a few more in, rinse and repeat. Some of the boss and enemy designs are fairly cool, but again there is far too much repetition in Mega Man Legends, and the way you beat most of them is pretty much the same formula.


Mega Man Legends story is nothing special either; you play as Mega Man and travel around with Roll, Roll's grandpa, and a monkey names Data as you explore the game's ruins which are all connected to an island that serves as the setting for the game. While doing this you'll be met with helping the island's townfolk defend themselves against the efforts of the Bonne gang of pirates that include the famous Tron Bonne character as well as her servbots. Storywise this is about as boring as it sounds, however there is some funny and occasionally adorable dialogue and writing that takes place between the characters, all of which is voice acted well in a very late 90s, anime-ish style. the characters and their interactions were probably my favorite part of Legends, but sadly it isn't nearly enough to forgive the actual gameplay and everything else wrong with this game.


The graphics in Mega Man Legends are pretty bland and boring for the most part. I already mentioned how dull the dungeons are, but the towns looks very basic in design, the connecting areas is this very generic forest setting with very little variety, and many of the game's other artistic attributes and how they're executed in 3D just looks so uninspired. I do have to give props for the character designs though, especially the facial animations of he characters during the games cut scenes; these really give a lot of emotion to the characters and is part of the reason why they remain my favorite part about this game. But other than that, this is not a good looking game, nor is it terrible, but somewhere in that just okay middle ground.


Sound is also a mixed bag in Mega Man Legends. The voice acting is well done, at least for what the game is, but outside of that there isn't much to praise. There are some fun tracks, but nothing sticks out. The part that really drags this game's audio down is the actual lack of audio in a lot of parts, mainly the main area of the island that connects a lot of the towns and sub areas. There is literally no sound in this area, other than the sound of birds chirping. It just comes across as incomplete, like there was supposed to be music and the devs just forgot about it at the last minute.


So if you've read this far you can tell I did not enjoy most of my time with Mega Man Legends, and you'd be 100% right about this. I knew the game was fairly short, and because of that I was willing to grit my teeth and get through it. However, the lack of save points in the dungeons and the fact that I felt I was on the verge of not wanting to play the game anymore finally broke me towards the end of the game when I just spent around half an hour in one of the final dungeons you explore, when i encountered three boss characters that demolished me. Truthfully I could have probably gone back and beat them eventually, but knowing that i'd have to play this game for another half hour longer than I would have otherwise was enough for me to abandon the game. I honestly didn't care that I was an hour or so away from finishing it; I'd been done with the game after the first hour and hopelessly held out for the game to click with me at some point, which it never did.


I get that a lot of people have nostalgia for this game, and as I pointed out, this game was pre-Ocarina of Time so playing this in 1997 probably felt like one of the best 3D adventures games ever made. However, I'd challenge anyone to defend this outdated mess of a game in our post-Ocarina of Time world, where this game's obsolescence is astounding. After playing this I'm essentially done with the entire Legends series, including Tron Bonne. While they aren't all going up on ebay this evening, my desire to play anymore of the Mega Man Legends series is significantly diminished after my experience with the first game. (1/28/20)

Abandoned




Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2020, 11:42:32 pm »
8. Wipeout (Saturn)

Despite having barely any experience with Wipeout or any other game in the franchise, I do have several unique associations with it. For one, there is some sort of arcade version of it in the 1995 movie Hackers that also happens to be one of the coolest scenes in the film. Also, on a personal level, the night my parents decided they were getting a divorce in 1997, my mom too me and my two younger sibling to my Uncles house, which we never did outside of Christmas Eve. While I was confused by the whole thing at the time because my mom wouldn't tell me what was happening until the next day, I was distracted by my cousin's PS1 console and games.


Too my knowledge this was my second experience playing a PS1, the first being on a road trip my parents, siblings and I took to Idaho, where i played the PS1 along with Destruction Derby at a second cousin's house or something. But that evening at my Uncles house I played several of my cousin's games including Loaded, Resident Evil, and Wipeout. Since they were very different than anything I was used to, Loaded and Resident Evil were only played briefly before I turned them off. Luckily Wipeout was something I was more familiar with, but from what I do remember I sucked badly at it, as in I struggled to even make it past the first level. All these years later I never played it or its various sequels, until this evening. I don't own the PS1 version of Wipeout, but I do own the Saturn version and I decided to pop it in and see if the game holds up or if it's another relic of the past like Mega Man Legends (yes, I'm still salty about that game lol).

Wipeout is a cool, futuristic racing game where you pilot a aerodynamic hovercraft through a very sloped and angular race track against 7 other hovercraft. Each track is set on some fictional futuristic track. The gameplay of Wipeout is umm, interesting. It feels very floaty, which I guess you'd expect from a vehicle that isn't bound to the laws of gravity, but this doesn't necessarily lend itself to a game with good, tight controls. Getting used to this floatiness takes getting used to as you are required to master a weird air drift technique to whip around sharp turns without hitting the walls of the track. Hitting the walls or other drivers has little consequence beyond slowing you down, same with the game's various weapons you and other racers use against one another. There is no permanent destruction, which is probably a good thing since you will hit the walls and drivers a lot, especially on the more advanced tracks later in the game. The creates an issue with the pacing of the race as you'll feel more like a bumper car than a 1000mph futuristic race craft.

Wipeout's graphics are fine. They have that fairly early 3D, highly pixelated look, but for what it is it probably looked great back in 1995 when this game came out, and even today it doesn't look completely awful. Still I'm judging this more by the standards of the time which it gets an above average score on. There is also the cool track and ships graphics as well, which while pixelated as well, still look cool and really compliment the Wipeout's futuristic setting.

The absolute standout of Wipeout is the soundtrack which is a excellent variety of mid/late 90s trance and drum and bass electronica. While the graphics and art style lend themselves to the game's futuristic feel, the music absolutely does to an even greater degree. Funny enough, playing this game with the cool 90s techno OST reminds me more of the 90s than a game about the distant future; it just has this unique quality that I remember being indicative of that time period, and i find games and movies that use that absolutely intoxicating. Sadly the sound effects in this game are fairly lacking, but you won't care with how good that soundtrack is!

Wipeout is absolutely one of those time capsule sort of games; a game that really captures the look, feel, and sound of the time period it was made. Just like I watch a movie like Hackers to remember the time period around 1995 and 1996, I'd play this game mostly to remember those years too. This is coming from someone who didn't see Hackers until probably 2012 for the first time, and someone who barely played Wipeout in the 90s. Too bad the gameplay is fairly rough, and does unfortunately spoil some of the experience while playing this otherwise fun and unique game. (1/28/20)

Gameplay: 6/10
Sound: 8/10
Graphics: 7/10
Fun: 11/20
Overall: 32/50

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2020, 11:44:34 pm »
Well damn! 8 games already (7 completed)! I think this might be a personal record for me in a single month, certainly the first month of the year! It makes me happy I've been sticking to my plan to mostly play games I never played or barely played before too. However, I'm about to change that soon with a game I haven't played since probably 2004 or so; Resident Evil 3. I'm not sure if it'll be the next game I play, but if not the next then the one after it for sure.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #54 on: January 30, 2020, 03:27:41 am »
5 - Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (PS4 2020) - BEAT - Took awhile, but I finally finished up Kakarot.  I went into the game not exactly the most hyped for it, even as a DBZ fan, but it ended up coming across better than I expected.  Not that it's an amazing game, it's more like Xenoverse 2, but cleaned up abit gameplay.  As a retelling of the DBZ saga, it mostly works, not a full experience or a Kai level, but more so than I think most of the other games have.

The side stuff works to add a little more fun to the experience from a fan service point of view, but most of the side stuff is pretty basic delivery and fight stuff.  I tried to do as much as I could, but by the time the Buu saga came, I kinda dropped that, though the Buu saga in general seemed less open than before.  But you can go back at the end of the game to finish everything up and do all the endgame stuff which has the harder fights.  Camera can be wonky, which is annoying, but it's not a dealbreaker.

Overall it was enjoyable enough and when the high quality cutscenes kick in, that is where I got really drawn in, because if it's gonna rehash well known moments, it's gonna make those moments look even cooler than the anime.  I do feel like they don't do it enough though, but when they do put the money in, it's so good.

One thing this game does do though, is get me interested in the potential of Xenoverse 3.  If it plays and looks like this, but we get the customization and variety of Xenoverse 2, and finally we get a full original story, not just another rehash, it could be a pretty fantastic game.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 11:58:49 am by kamikazekeeg »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #55 on: January 30, 2020, 09:35:15 pm »
9. Virtua Fighter 3tb (Dreamcast)

Beyond the first two Virtua Fighter games, my experience with the rest of the franchise is pretty limited. I have played all the other Virtua Fighter games to varying degrees, but at the very most I've probably played 5 cumulatively for about two hours. As for 3tb, I've probably played it for about an hour total and ended up turning it off as soon as I was forced to rematch a specific, cheap character more than 5-times. However, I fought through the game, getting past those ultra annoying characters, and can now say i've beat a Virtua Fighter game outside the first two. Sadly, my opinion of Virtua Fighter 3tb is less favorable than the first either of the first two games.


The first thing that became obvious as I was playing through Virtua Fighter 3tb was how outdated and irrelevant it felt for a game ported to the Dreamcast a year after its arcade debut. Beyond the fact that the graphics look pretty outdated (think of a game that looks better than the first two games, but subpar for a Dreamcast game), the gameplay is grounded in a pseudo realistic approach to martial arts combat that had been outdone many times by the time Virtua Fighter 3tb came out. We had 4 Tekken games, the 3rd and Tage Tournament being way better then this game, as well as various other 3D fighting games that had not only surpassed the first two Virtua Fighter games, but especially 3tb.


The fighting mechanics in 3tb manage to feel slightly more clunky, inaccurate, and cheap than they did in the first two Virtua Fighter games, which may have been a bit of a novelty at the time they came out, but for the third game in the series to be continuing on with this is fairly inexcusable. That's not to say the fighting in 3tb is totally terrible, however it does lack the smoothness and polish of many other 3D fighting games that had been released at this point, especially the Tekken games I mentioned earlier. I certainly didn't hate it, well, except when I was having to fight the same cheap character, with the same inconsistent hit boxes over and over, and over again, but when I didn't have to do this the game was decent enough in terms of gameplay.


As mentioned, Virtua Fighter 3tb is not a very good looking game, especially when compared to many of the Dreamcast's other 3D fighting games, or even other fighting games on older consoles like the PS1. There are some very cool stage and background visuals, but sadly there character models look like they're barely a leap in terms of graphics over the arcade version of Virtua Fighter 2. Sadly, playing this game before or after Dead or Alive 2 or Tekken Tag Tournament on the PS2 (sorry I keep bringing this game up lol) will show you just how bad this game looks in comparison.


Without a doubt, Virtua Fighter 3tb's greatest asset is its stellar soundtrack! Like so many other AM2 developed games 3tb is no exception in how excellent its soundtrack is. It has this unmistakeable 90s Sega arcade sound that not only sounds awesome, but really takes me back personally to the time when Sega ruled the arcades, and to a lessor extent the console market as well. It was actually a motivator to help me continue to playing to hear a new song for a new stage I hadn't been to yet, that's how good it is!


Virtua Fighter 3tb is no fighting game masterpiece or hidden gem, but then again neither were its predecessors. Sadly though, it's predecessors are still better then it, and playing 3tb will really show you how much it was left behind as a 3D fighting game by the time it was ported to the Dreamcast. Hell, this was even true when it came out in the arcades a year earlier. 3tb is an okay game, but certainly don't go into it expecting an amazing fighting game. (1/30/20)

Presentation: 6/10
Gameplay: 5/10
Sound: 9/10
Fun: 11/20
Overall: 31/50




Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #56 on: January 30, 2020, 10:32:35 pm »

I've been battling some pretty bad insomnia for the last two weeks and am desperately trying to get my sleep schedule on track. At least for me the best way to stay awake in the evening after work, at least until my normal bedtime around 11pm, is to play video games and write out some reviews.

10. Daytona USA (Dreamcast)

Any person who was over the age of 5 during the mid to late 90s no doubt remembers walking into at least one Arcade and seeing a row of Daytona USA arcade machines as people raced each other in one of the best arcade racing games ever made. Like many Sega arcade games of the 90s, this one would be eventually ported to home consoles. Daytona USA on the Saturn is definitely compromised, but for what it was it was still a fun way of playing this classic at home with a friend. Where the Saturn version fell short was definitely its visuals and its ability to capture how awesome it was to play the arcade version with many other people. Daytona USA on the Dreamcast, a remake of sorts, does somewhat rectify the visuals issue of the Saturn version, however that specialness of the arcade is lost on this version too.


To call Daytona USA on the Dreamcast a remake isn't entirely accurate; it's more or less an enhanced port with completely revamped visuals, a lot more stages and modes, and just overall it's a more comprehensive game than the arcade or Saturn versions. Despite these enhancements and editions, it still fails to capture that amazing arcade feel of the original, but in a way this isn't necessarily a bad thing, at least in a way. The Dreamcast version suffers from the arcade emersion of the arcade version, but also lacks the controls of the arcade version as well. Sega and various other developers outdid themselves with many other racing games throughout the 90s and into the 2000s, making Daytona USA's gameplay feel more like a relic of the past than anything. This is very apparent when playing Daytona USA with a controller, which isn't that big a deal on the less technical tracks, but on stages with many sharp turns this game becomes almost borderline unplayable.


Visually Daytona USA on the Dreamcast looks pretty good. It's far from being the best looking Dreamcast game, but it manages to revamp the visuals with colorful stages and vistas. As mentioned, this game has many more tracks than the original version, and each of them is easily distinguished from the others. This game is actually more fun to look at then play at times, and I really have to hand it too the developers for doing such a great job in the graphics and arts direction of the game.


The soundtrack is also excellent, using all the very memorable tracks of the original game including the iconic "Dayyytonnaaaa!" theme as well as various other exciting tracks to race too. The sound effects are also mostly lifted from the arcade version including the engine and tire noises of the cars, as well as the menu and car select chimes and bleeps; even the Game Over screen at the end of the race is the same.


Daytona USA will always be a classic game, at least it will in the arcade. If you were dying to play a good looking port of it with a lot of bonus content that this version will mostly scratch that itch, however don't expect the same high octane, exhilarating experience you had with your buddies at Dave and Busters that one time. Daytona USA is a game meant to be enjoyed at the arcade, and no matter how you're playing it at home, minus having an actual arcade machine in your basement or garage, you're going to be missing out on the real Daytona experience. (1/30/20)

Presentation: 7/10
Sound: 8/10
Gameplay: 3/10
Fun: 8/20
Overall: 26/50
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 10:34:40 pm by bikingjahuty »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #57 on: February 01, 2020, 01:17:28 pm »
11. Battle Garegga (PS4)

I find myself, maybe more than any other SHMUP going back and playing Battle Garegga. The game has this quality to it that it almost indescribable in how polished, unique, and cool everything about the game is. While I do pop it in from time to time when I don't feel like playing anything new or in depth, and just want to play a video game, I find myself playing it this time around because of a high score competition going on in a local Facebook group I belong to. While competing for high scores I thought I might as well re-evaluate where this incredible shooter ranks in my top shooters.


As I was playing Garegga this morning it certainly crossed my mind that I may like this game more than Radiant Silvergun, my favorite SHMUP of all time. Before replaying through the entire game again this morning Battle Garegga placed behind Mushihimesama Futari, Dodonpachi, Layer Section, and Radiant Silvergun as mentioned. While I was fairly certain it would jump a place or two, I legitimately thought there was a chance that Radiant Silvergun could get knocked from its perch as being the best SHMUP I've ever played. Before I reveal if it ended up doing this, here's a quick review of Battle Garegga.


Maybe more than any other SHMUP I've ever played, Battle Garegga's gameplay, at least in terms of SHMUPs is among the most deep I've ever played. While you can certainly play this game like most other SHMUPs, collecting power ups, blasting every thing in front of you, there are a surprising amount of nuances with this game that can make the game easier or harder without you even realizing it. For example, the game punishes you in a way for collecting power ups in the form of making the amount of bullets and other projectiles thrown at you increase. It's almost as if the game balances out how much more powerful you've become by making the enemies you come up against more powerful themselves. There are also a trove of secrets and other things that you won't just stumble upon in the game. This aspect of Battle Garegga becomes very important if you're going for high scores. Aside from all that, Garegga's gameplay is buttery smooth, pretty well balanced with the exception of a few later levels, and is one of the best crafted shooters ever made. Perhaps its biggest and most blaring fault is how it decides to use a metal color for the vast majority of bullets flying at you, which can make them very hard to see; you'll often die because of an unseen bullet as much as you'll die from being in a pinch from having nowhere to go. You do acclimate to this to a degree, but it's still a fault with the game. Luckily the PS4 port allows you to make these bullets different, bright colors, mostly remedying this issue.


The graphics and visuals in Battle Garegga top notch. Battle Garegga is one of the most visually impressive 3D, sprite based games I've ever played; the amount of detail and polish in the visuals is absolutely stunning and deserves a lot of recognition. The stages in Garegga are all very unique from one another, and contain some of the most atmospheric levels in any SHMUP ever. The absolute standouts are actually the first level as well as the Clouds level which at first glance might not seem like anything special, but having two massive storm cells below you with lighting passing between them truly creates an incredible effect. This is even further complemented that the Cloud stage's final boss, Dark Heart, is the most memorable boss in the game. Speaking of enemies and bosses, the ship and vehicle design in Garegga is super cool and surprisingly varies as well. While you will encounter a lot of the same enemy types, particularly your basic cannon fodder tanks and planes, there are a lot of other ship and vehicle types that all present their own challenge in dispatching and avoiding their attacks. Visually, Garegga is truly a difficult game to fault, and is among the best looking SHUMPs, of not the best looking I've ever played.


I have possibly saved the best quality of Battle Garegga for last, which is none other than it's soundtrack. While I've certainly played SHMUPs that look as good as Garegga, if not slightly better, I can say without any hesitation that Battle Garegga has the best OST of any SHMUP ever! In fact, it is one of my all time favorite video game soundtracks. The sound effects of ships exploding, power ups, and background effects and everything are also excellent. The audio in this game is absolutely perfect.


Battle Garegga was originally released in the arcade, and playing it that way absolutely is an idea way to play it. The Saturn version is also excellent, capturing the look and feel of the arcade version down to near perfection with the exception of some annoying loading screens. However, the ultimate version of this game is M2's PS4 port which not only captures the arcade version perfectly, but adds so many options for customization that it would make it nearly impossible for you not to be able to make this game exactly how you'd want it. It possesses everything from the amount of credits and ships you get, to adding bonus fighters, to increasing or decreasing various attributes regarding the scoring and difficulty, to changing the look of the game, to being able to change the soundtrack in various ways. You get the idea; there are literally hundreds of configurable options making this one of the most customizable gaming experiences I've ever played. As I said, this also remedies certain issues the original arcade version of the game had, making this the idea version to play, although you certainly could play just like the arcade version if you wanted to.


I'm very happy I decided to replay Battle Garegga and evaluate how I feel about it again. While there were certainly SHMUPs I played that I liked more, I feel like Garegga has arguable stood the test of time longer then any of this in regards to being a SHMUP I often find myself wanting to play. With that said, I still very, very, very slightly prefer Radiant Silvergun over Battle Garegga despite them possessing the same score. The reason for this has to do with me subjectively enjoying Radiant Silvergun more since it was the shooter that really, really got me into this genre. However, I can safely say that Battle Garegga is an objectively better looking and sounding game, and the gameplay is only slightly inferior to Radiant Silvergun. However, one thing Battle Garegga has done since I last really scrutinized it is leap over over other SHMUP I've ever played, landing it as my second favorite STG of all time. I honestly can't think of a more worthy SHMUP as being my second favorite. (2/1/20)

Presentation: 10/10
Sound: 10/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Fun: 16/20
Overall: 44/50

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #58 on: February 01, 2020, 08:16:04 pm »
3. God of War 3 Remastered (PS4) - 1/17
The more I play of this series the more I love it; I cannot believe I’ve slept on these games for so damn long. 3 really felt like a turning point for the series, you can see exactly how the game evolved from a fixed camera action game into the 3rd person, single shot masterpiece that was God of War 2018.

4. Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon (3DS) - 2/1
Not going to lie, early on I wasn’t really digging it, it just seemed to lack some of the charm of the first game; BUT, I kept with it and I’m really glad I did. I wish they would have kept the unique “named” ghosts from the first game since catching the same like 8 ghosts gets old pretty quick, but having 5 different mansions each with its own theme and mechanics really helped keep the game fresh. Originally I was planning on skipping Dark Moon and going right to LM3 but in the end it was worth it.

shfan

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2020
« Reply #59 on: February 02, 2020, 12:39:13 pm »
I think you're going to love LM3 Justin!  ;D