Author Topic: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!  (Read 19358 times)


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #105 on: March 21, 2023, 07:05:05 pm »
05. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Game of the Year Edition || PlayStation 3 || 03.13.23

Beginning The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion only three months after finishing my Morrowind playthrough, I was hesitant about starting and only did so after being greatly encouraged to play.

As the follow-up franchise entry to Morrowind, Oblivion is actually not what I expected regarding the plot. In this fourth installment, the player does not assume the role of the chosen hero, although the player's role is still heavily tied to who that person is. Similar to before, the narrative focuses on evil being unleashed, although this time unto the game's setting Cyrodiil from Mehrunes Dagon, one of the sixteen Daedric Princes from the Planes of Oblivion. Throughout the plot, the player still is acknowledged as some key figure throughout the events to come and is tasked with stopping this invasion from happening by seeking out and aiding the new king to be.

Throughout my playthrough, I experienced a large percentage of what is offered: every location was discovered, most quests were completed, nearly every skill was raised to at least Expert level, and all Oblivion gates even loosely connected to the plot (about a dozen in total) were closed. While I at least discovered every area, I did not explore them all. Between Ayleid ruins, forts, mines, and caves, there are simply too many areas that are largely the same, so I was not compelled to truly complete the adventure aspect offered. That being said, I did still explore about half of these kinds of dungeons as they relate to quests. Regarding Oblivion gates, I believe only 3 are actually required to beat the game, with the majority of others existing only for the player to pursue of their own volition without any other major reward.

For many of my concerns I had with Morrowind, they were addressed in Oblivion. Perhaps the biggest issue I had before lied in how player actions and narrative information was stored. Unlike before which had information presented as a journal that was ordered by time, information is now ordered entirely by the quest it relates to, with all relevant information pertaining to each questline easily maintained under one sub-section. Another aspect lies in factions which the player may join. Now, questlines are much more direct and generally avoid fetch quest-type objectives or other kinds of busy work, and several are quite successful in introducing a smaller sub-plot for the player to experience. Regarding general quality improvements, I was perhaps most impressed by the voice acting. Instead of being forced to read lines as before, every line of dialogue is voiced. While the number of actors is still a small pool of about 10 voicing the entirety of general characters across all races and sex, the quality was largely successful. At times, the delivery of lines does not match with the events unfolding, and there were even a few instances of two voice actors being heard when choosing a NPC's dialogue options fully. Another issue lies in pronunciation, as some key names or words had more than one. Alongside voice work, NPC facial movements seem impressive given the game's age.

However, this is not to say that everything was addressed or that Oblivion isn't without its faults. Typical of open-world games, there are many, but I will minimize these issues to focus on only the most pressing. Relating to the above comments concerning voice work, there were regularly moments when lines would not be read aloud. Unfortunately, this often coincided when no readable text was supplied, such as when Daedric Princes spoke or throughout other major quests. I am not exactly sure what causes this issue, but it was always something that disappointed me when it happened. A smaller, but still very impactful to me, was the lack of a dedicated map button which is an issue still not addressed from Morrowind. Personally, I like to maintain an exact location of where I am and what's nearby, so constantly being forced to load the main menu and scroll to the map section was a hassle. On that note, the game as a console port suffers greatly from load times. When there were situations where numerous characters were in battle, load times can be quite bad which affects both player-character action and player responsiveness.

Delving even further into the worst, it is known that there are several glitches that can occur. While I only occurred one, it was one which affected over half of my playthrough. Apparently, the quest involving the player to discover the cure to vampirism cannot be completed with a NTSC PS3 GOTY disc. Not knowing this beforehand, I acquired vamiprism and was forced to play as a vampire for the majority of my time playing. As a vampire, I was regularly forced to feed on sleeping NPCs to avoid taking sun damage which only increases in severity as days pass. Taking sun damage is largely an issue because fast travel is impossible while taking damage, as you will die. As a result of this issue, I imagine that numerous hours were spent just on backtracking to an indoor location to wait until nightfall and then sneak unto unsuspecting victims. Still, perhaps the worst issue lies in about a dozen instances which my game failed to load—leaving me with a black screen while playing—which required rebooting my system. With this in mind, there were also three separate instances which my autosave data failed to load altogether, which required me to re-load an older manual save file.

I am interested in continuing forward with The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, but I would like to wait a considerable amount of time before doing so.

With my above comment in mind, I was not expecting to begin Oblivion so soon. I feel as if more time should have passed between experiencing the two games, but that's just not how it happened. Nevertheless, Oblivion was a game I mostly enjoyed. I think that due to how soon I began my playthrough after finishing Morrowind, the Oblivion experience was negatively impacted, as I would have liked a longer break from a game with such length. However, even without this having happened, I think that I would have begun feeling burnt out toward the end of the playthrough regardless. I know that my total playtime was over 200 hours, and I've been ready to move on from it for some time. I am sure that one day I will play Skyrim, but I sincerely hope that day is long from now.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2023, 07:07:41 pm by dhaabi »


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #106 on: March 22, 2023, 10:54:54 pm »
27. Azure Striker Gunvolt 3

I was really looking forward to getting into this, but it ended up being a let down. If anyone played Shinobi or Nightshade on the PlayStation 2, then they'll get an idea of how this plays. Basically, Kirin will throw a talisman at an enemy to weaken and mark it. Then you hit a button to zip towards them with an instant kill, gain an extra jump, and try to keep this  process going until you run out of enemies or you run out of talisman. The problem is that I kept running face first into enemies I zap towards. She had other attacks that were more fun to use but they don't help your score. And it's really easy to run out of talisman, only to end up falling back towards the ground and losing your streak. The idea is there. And I'm sure with enough practice I would be able to play it better. But, I don't have the energy to bother because it would take way too much effort to get to that point. I'll just have to be okay with those A (and a few S and B) rankings. At least the story was somewhat interesting?


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #107 on: March 23, 2023, 04:01:28 pm »
probably gonna end up doing this... 1/4 of the way there lol


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #108 on: March 26, 2023, 12:29:34 pm »
06. I Spy: Spooky Mansion || Wii || 03.15.23

After already having recently played through Ultimate I Spy, I was looking forward to playing through I Spy: Spooky Mansion so began playing shortly after. I remember owning the I Spy Spooky Night book long ago and have good memories of it, so I was hoping a game with similar themes could replicate the qualities found in the book.

As another find-it game, Spooky Mansion is quite similar to what I had already experienced shortly before. However, perhaps the biggest differences lies in how much more of a thematic project this game is. Unlike with Ultimate I Spy which was more chaotic in level design without any connection from one stage to another, Spooky Mansion provides an actual narrative—albeit incredibly simple—which provides an appreciated cohesiveness to the overall experience. In short, the player has entered a creepy mansion and must escape. Before entering, the player is invited inside by the home's host Skelly the skeleton, who is a fun character that helps guide you as you try to escape. To succeed, we must solve puzzles which then Skelly rewards the player pieces of clues and needed items to achieve our goal in regaining access to the exit.

Instead of a more basic level select screen, players navigate through the mansion in its entirety from room to room. As one environment, there is a lot of personality built, as actual find-it stages are part of a much larger area. While I was certainly pleased with the actual level design, I couldn't help but want to more thoroughly explore other sections of rooms and be presented with new puzzles. While there is certainly enough content available, I believe that expanding upon it to whatever degree would only provide a more successful project. Regarding player movement, it is generally slow but fine. There is only slight issue with movement near the game's end when it is not immediately clear which areas are needed to be visited, although, again, this is a very minor problem.

While I was pleased with the environment design, there are some puzzle design choices which do suffer. Throughout the game, there are a few instances of required findable objects being placed incredibly close in proximity to another. When moments like these arise, it is disappointing, as player satisfaction diminishes as a less rewarding puzzle-completion experience is presented. Alongside tasking the player to simply find items, Spooky Mansion requires motion controls to complete interactive elements as part of the puzzle-solving experience. While perhaps all of these moments are elementary in thought level, they provide another welcoming level of cohesiveness. Most puzzles feature 2-3 interactive objectives, such as preparing a gross stew, feeding flies to a lizard, or shining a flashlight at a group of bats to keep them from flying. Overall, these objectives provide a change of pace to the basic find-it formula, although some are more challenging to execute than others due to how the Wii Remote is being needed to use.

In brief, there is one other issue I had relating to how puzzle-solving is presented. When engaging, there is an always-present HUD element overlapping the actual puzzle environment that cannot be toggled off. Simply put, it is annoying as it not only gets in the way of clicking needed items to find but simply blocks a full view of the environment. So, as a result, the player must change the camera view to move around this piece of UI. One reading this may not think this to be that much of an issue, but I personally found it to be the game's worst aspect. It is especially bad because its inclusion is not really a necessary element at all and is something I did not interact with whatsoever. The UI's purpose is to re-read the puzzle—while some players may find this to be helpful, it easily could have been delegated to a corner.

Overall, I was pleased with everything I Spy: Spooky Mansion offers players. While it is certainly not the same as having a physical book in-hand, a similar level of satisfaction and fun was still experienced. Of course, this is a game directed to younger audiences, so my expectations were low. Even so, I think anyone looking for a very casual puzzle experience could appreciate what's offered.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #109 on: March 26, 2023, 01:37:48 pm »
12. God Hand (PS2)

Funny enough, I first played God Hand almost exactly 10-years ago this month. The reason I remember it so well is because around the time i was playing this game for the first time, I got into a really bad car accident. Thankfully everyone was okay (except my car), but it definitely cemented in my mind nearly everything that was going on in my life at this time. I don't think I actually ever beat God Hand though since replayng it now, there are so many sections of the game and bosses I have zero memory of.

But anyhow, having played and beat God Hand in our current year, I have to say that I either remembered this game being way better than it was, or possibly I forgot how frustrating it was to play back then. God Hand's gameplay is fast and engaging, however it isn't implemented the best given how clunky and unbalanced it often can be. I had to take breaks from playing due to my patience completely having ran out while in the middle of certain sections or fighting certain bosses. Sometimes you simply have to cheese your way through certain parts which is in my opinion a sign of a game that could have been way better. Still, the combat combined with the upgrade system and the various extras of this game make it servicable and even slightly enjoyable enough for me to keep on going. However, the real showstopper in God Hand is its hilarious dialogue, characters, and story. This game has quite a few laugh out loud moments, and some of the bosses are among the most entertaining and goofy I've ever seen in a video game. This was by far God Hand's best quality and what I'd say sells the game over anything else, certainly the gameplay. Visually, God Hand is a mixed bag. Many of the stages and areas of this game just look bland and boring, however the cool character models and bosses make up for this to a degree. The audio is good from a voice acting point of view, but the OST other audio is just okay mostly. One other compliant I had about God Hand is its length. I don't normally complain about games being too long, however God Hand is essentially a 10-hour beat em up. Beat em ups are notorious for their monotony and while God Hand does certain things to alleviate this, I feel this game would have been far more enjoyable had it been half as long. You literally fight a few of the bosses multiple times, sometimes looking and acting no different than the previous time you went up against them. By the end of the game I just kinda wanted it to be over with as a result. I'd definitely recommend beat em up fans play this game, just be warned it can be very clunky and frustrating and drag on for way to long. (3/26/23) [32/50]


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #110 on: March 27, 2023, 10:10:27 am »
First game beat of the year! It is Minecraft: Project Ozone 3! Now I'm considering here that a modpack is separate from the base game, as a modpack is akin to a Total Conversion of the past. Technically Minecraft's original challenge/credit path still exists: exiting the End after killing the Ender Dragon. There are modpacks for Minecraft that do not have ends beyond killing the Ender Dragon but some do like this one and have a questbook with a clear goal to achieve completion. In this case, there is a quest called "All the Quests" which unlocks only after you complete... well... all of the quests. There are still more things that can be done afterwards, bonus quests (called Simple Achievements) as well as anything in the Achievements menu proper, as well as additional modes of difficulty. I had done this on Normal mode.

I technically started this pack playthrough before I had done any of the 52 Games Challenge threads, so 2-3 years ago. I decided to add this to the list because of a few reasons. First is that I had never completed a modpack before. There was always some issue in the past with game breaking bugs or world corruption. I had played many packs in the past and they are all rendered unusable. Also, a modpack is not something you can just do a little here and there and have fun. It requires dedicated time and you need to keep fresh on it. Especially if you had designed any sort of system, you would have to relearn everything if you take any sort of break.

This pack was not without bugs. I am running an older version, and at some point I found an issue where the plastic mixer wasn't working correctly. I then updated to the next (but still not latest) version. Then I saw an further update removed the weed seed, so then I updated to that. As I had watched some other people's LPs of the pack, I had found out about the controversy regarding one of the mods, and how that mod was removed. I didn't want to update to a version that removed that, so any future bugs as long as they weren't progression blocking in mechanics, I would just cheat in the item. I had to do that twice. First was the Quantum Compressors and their issue of randomly stopping to work, or not working if you change the input. The fix of "break and replace" is not really a fix and was not viable for me at the time. The Quantum Compressor makes a singularity, you have to make 82 different singularities and you have to make at least 90 something of each of those just to complete the MQ. You can have 1 QC or you can have 82. They each take 50M RF and at the time I encountered the bug I didn't have the capability of pushing enough power into them to get them restarted. They do not retain power when broken, so if you break them you lose the power they had gained. So I had cheated in the singularities that I didn't complete.

The other bug was that half-way through the Astral Sorcery questline, the items were not able to be crafted. So I cheated in those. The only other things I cheated in where a few quest items that were a waste, like the Woot upgrades. The thing about these packs is that sometimes the questbook can be done in a way where you end up having to make things just to make them and never use them. So there is no harm in cheating in those items. Especially for ones with annoying mechanics like Woot's anvil recipes.

Overall it was a good time and now that I have completed a pack (and done the more advanced tech things) I have a better idea of how i'd do things in a future pack. I have added a bunch of other packs to my personal backlog as individual games, so I will be returning to Minecraft again for a long play session in the future. But for now I will take a break and move onto a more standard game.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #111 on: March 29, 2023, 02:03:58 am »
10 - Resident Evil 4 (PC 2023) - BEAT - It feels good to say that I loved this game, as RE4 was always such a great time.  I was hooked on the original RE4 across more than a few generations of hardware, but I'd say I've always wanted an improved version of the game since pretty early on, I think once we hit the HD area, I had always hoped they'd do a version that just gave full movement control to Leon and we never got it unfortunately (Technically RE4VR on the Quest got it first, but that game was a mess for me lol).  The original in the past few years, especially with the big Resident Evil revival with RE7, hasn't aged great for me, and so it kinda fell off that pedestal it was on.

Now it's back up on the pedestal, because it might be my favorite Resident Evil game again.  I still prefer the slightly more stripped down survival horror of RE7 and RE2R, and I worry that Village and RE4R are showing them leaning away from that again, bringing back the memories of the series post-RE4 and the wrong direction things went, but this game is just so enjoyable.  As a remake, I'd say about 85% of the games main content is here (Ada's side stuff was bonus content and isn't here, but is rumored to be getting an expanded version as DLC later on, which makes sense).  I think the biggest thing not here from the main game was a boss and its area, which doesn't bother me personally, and there are some sections that were not brought back or kinda merged with another and there's a few new spots here and there.  Hard to be 100% sure on that being that it's been awhile and I remember the village area more than I do some of the later Castle/Island stuff.

Gameplay is a huge improvement in this as you not only get to move and shoot, you can parry with your knife, dodge some attacks, and do stealth kills.  The knife is breakable to compensate for this, which can be repaired and you can pick up disposable knives as you play.  I think most of the games weapons and items are here other than fire grenades, but you can craft ammo now with gunpowder and scrap.  The general experience I would say is still very much in line with classic RE4, lots of head shots and kneecapping to stun enemies, I think most tactics you did before are still here, though I would say the game on standard is more challenging.  I feel like they overtuned the health of enemies just a smidge as you can dump a lot of ammo into them, especially the ones that don't die on the first go.  I'm kinda worried about Hardcore and Pro modes lol

I adored this game, I can't wait to unlock everything in this, Mercenaries is only a week away from release, and I do hope to see an expanded Ada side story campaign later on to further extend my time with the game.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #112 on: March 29, 2023, 09:03:17 pm »
07. Wheel of Fortune || PlayStation 4 || 03.28.23

After browsing through some of the more casual offerings through PlayStation Plus Extra tier's game catalog, I found myself installing Wheel of Fortune. I'm not sure exactly if I had any expectations upon starting, but I was at least hoping to have some mild fun.

Being a game based on the television game show series, Wheel of Fortune feels like a straightforward and authentic adaption. Shortly after starting, I realized that I hadn't ever really watched the actual televised series before and wasn't that familiar with the finer rules such as money accumulation per rounds and types of puzzles. To be brief, three players compete against another in solving a word puzzle after being given a topic prompt. On their turn, each player guesses one letter to hopefully be revealed on the puzzle screen after spinning a wheel with numerous cash values and rewards. Alongside the valued wheel wedges to land upon, there are a few wedges players hope to avoid, including Bankruptcy which subtracts all round winnings. Ultimately, the goal is to earn the most cash.

As a game requiring three players, both local and online modes are available, with the availability for AI contestants to play. Regarding the game's AI, it is generally dumb no matter which of the three difficulty options are selected. More often than not, an AI contestant will guess outlier letters such as Q, X, Z. They will do this no matter how many letters are available to choose from, no matter how high of a cash value the wheel landed upon, and no matter the difficulty. However, on Hard difficulty, AI are extremely adept at correctly solving Toss Up challenges, which are puzzles that reveal one letter tile at a time while all contestants race to buzz in once they know the answer. I recall one instance of a 2 five-letter word puzzle with only one letter having been revealed, and AI solved it. It seems that AI are set to attempt to guess a puzzle once a certain percentage of the puzzle has been completed. I was wanting to have at least some chance at winning Toss Up challenges, so I generally played at Normal difficulty when AI was involved.

On the other hand, playing against other human players presented a lot of differences. More or less, there are 3 different types of players: 1) newcomers, 2) expert veterans, and 3) casual veterans. Group 1 individuals are quick to rage quit after a round is lost, or even after their first turn ends. Players disconnected causes a lot of lag usually resulting in needing to exit the match, although AI can replace them if everything loads quickly. Group 2 individuals know just about every puzzle answer and successfully do answer them after only a few letters have been revealed. They're very quick in rushing every possible stage of the match. There are leaderboards for this game which is the only reason I can think of why they still play online with this degree of familiarity. And finally, Group 3 individuals typically offer a challenge as their skill level was up to par with mine. Unlike the previous group, they stay for several matches or, at the very least, do not leave unexpectedly. As something to note, Group 1 individuals were almost always using men avatars, whereas Group 3 were mostly using women avatars. This may be an indicator as to what type of person is playing, but perhaps not—after all, I myself went back-and-forth between all avatar types.

Concerning the game's design, the game worked and seems to be a faithful adaption, but there are certainly aspects that could be improved. An issue relating directly to the game show elements itself exists with topic variety. I am not sure how many topics are in the pool, but it is no more than 10. Within my first hour of playing, I encountered the same exact puzzle twice. This only ever happened once, but it did leave a feeling of skepticism in my early time playing. While the game itself is a good adaptation, I felt that it does not translate well to video game in its current form. Since players can only ever see so much information on-screen at any moment, there is little time to study puzzles to form possible solutions, which obviously isn't an issue with people competing in the actual game show. The simplest solution would have been to offer a hotkey option to bring up the live puzzle. Something that relates to the lack of time viewing the puzzle is the limited voiced dialogue. Lines are generic to accommodate for any action taken, but a more robust voice work such as lines reading Do we have any Ls? and There are three Ls would have been a welcome addition to help players continue to think about the puzzle's status even when not being able to view it.

Lastly, I did encounter bugs of varying degree. During one match, letter spaces not actually a part of the puzzle were filled in blank, suggesting that they were a part of the puzzle. Even though I figured out what was going on before the first round ended, the issue still affected my gameplay, as my mind was still processing all blank tiles as letters needing to be solved. Some time later, I encountered an issue with being prompted a Bankrupt sequence despite landing on a cash wedge after spinning the wheel. This issue only happened once, but it seems to be a common reoccurring problem after reading online about it. But, there was one other big issue. Throughout the game, there is a level system implemented which has the player earning stars at the end of each match based on cash earnings. There are customizable aspects to the game, so leveling up unlocks these rewards. However, once I reached level 21, the game glitched and recognized that I was not the maximum level 40 without ever actually earning the rewards. I was unable to solve the issue, so I was unable to utilize these options. With no other option to do aside from deleting my save data to start over entirely, I stopped playing.

Ultimately, I actually did have a fun time playing Wheel of Fortune. When wanting to play a game but not wanting to perform a lot of active involvement, it was something I found myself going back to for a few days. But, unfortunately, I stopped playing altogether due to the level system glitch. I did as much as I could without starting over completely, just not as much as I was wanting to.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #113 on: March 30, 2023, 10:35:48 am »
4. Resident Evil 4 2005 (abandoned)
PC version

I had not actually tried to play a Resident Evil game before. Choosing this one when the remake came out was purely coincidence. My backlog that I keep at home is quite complicated and isn't suitable to be put onto here, and it includes all of the games (and some others) that I have in my collection. It just so happened to have come up this week as the next game. The only other Resident Evil game I had played was the PC demo when that was released in the 90s. I remember that being annoying because of dogs jumping through windows but do not remember anything else of it really, other than playing that demo on the computer at the town library.  8)

First playing using Xbox 360 pad, the controls took some getting used to. Really despise QTE but they weren't annoying enough for me to ragequit just seeing them. Give it a chance. First issue with QTE is that if you fail, the second time you do it the buttons are different. Second issue with QTE is that the on-screen icon for Xbox 360 triggers look like the shoulder buttons, so any of those were first time fails. Second time complete as the second time were two face buttons I pressed on accident both times. Those failure were the TWO! times that the game has the "mindless" villagers be smart enough to push a large boulder into a valley and you have to Indiana Jones from it. Third issue with QTE is that often the prompt is too short before the scripted action takes place.

Was liking it a bit but wasn't too into the game. Not enough to keep me wanting to keep going despite the annoyances. I'm sure that if I had played it when it came out it may have been a different story, but I don't have time to waste on things that aren't fun or interesting. So unfortunately, all I have are complaints. Here are some more:
- can only reload when in ADS
- game has a control for rotating inventory items but is not shown in the control options screen
- snakes suddenly appearing in crates (but fortunately did not apply poison)
- some collectibles could only be acquired using a gun, which alerts enemies
- location damage seems random. Couldn't figure out the headshot hitbox, weapon sway doesn't help.

- using keyboard and mouse was a slightly better experience control wise regarding general movement and especially aiming.
- lack of crosshair no issue since I've played Killing Floor. Laser-sight OK but hitboxes were sometimes too small.

But I give up when I get to the lake and have to deal with things I can't stand all at once
- QTE based minigame
- scripted requirement to complete objective with no ability to be creative
- invisible obstacles
- control sensitivity changed for no reason

Yes the lake battle where you have to fight the giant fish. Dodge the fish coming out of the water (easy), dodge the trees (sometimes easy). The trees in the water are the "invisible obstacles" I noted above, as in some camera angles you can get stuck in a damage loop where they are off camera. You get knocked out, do the swim mini-game to the boat, the boat moves 2 inches and it hits the tree which is off-camera. Had this happen 3 times in succession. When you get to the part where the boat stops and you have to throw the spear, the controls change entirely. Using the control pad is too slow. Using the mouse, the side to side is WAY too fast, and the up/down is way too slow and seems to be limited to grid squares. There is also no visible feedback as to when you do a hit correctly, nor is there any indication of how close you may be to defeating it. OR where you should be throwing the spear.

No point bothering with a mode like that. I found out later there was a mod that disables QTE entirely, but it isn't worth it to me to bother trying it. Onto something else for next week.

Also, I found it funny that when you kill a snake it drops a chicken egg.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #114 on: April 01, 2023, 09:07:39 am »
Since my last post I've been neckdeep into STGs. These two in particular have kept me grinding for the 1CC:

#6 Graze Counter (Steam)
I opted to play the older 2017 release versus the newer GM version, to better appreciate the improvement that will come when I eventually hop onto Graze Counter GM. Either version was recommended for blossoming STG players. After getting the 1CC on both Novice and Normal mode I can see why. The game is designed well and always gives you the means to overcome whatever situation you're in, without it ever feeling like a complete cakewalk. Currently working on the Expert 1CC and will upload it to coincide with my Normal 1CC clear.

#7 Drainus (Steam)
Developed by Team Ladybug, the same team that worked on the solid Metroidvania Record of Lodoss War-Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth-, this shooter checks all the right boxes. Its pixel art and soundtrack is stellar across the board and the "Enhance Functions" system offers a level of creativity you often don't see in STGs. With that said, I felt the game became way too easy once I configured a well-balanced loadout. Thankfully this issue is remedied somewhat as the game goes into a second loop after the Stage 6 boss with more complex bullet patterns and suicide bullets.

As an inexperienced STG player looking to improve I implore anyone in the same boat to get these games. They're great for beginners.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2023, 04:51:40 pm by conduit »

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #115 on: April 02, 2023, 08:45:06 am »
3. Kids on Site: Hard Hat Edition- (PS4)-I decided to take a breather from some of the other longer games I am working on and decided to take a trip to the past with this one. This was an upgraded Remaster of the Sega CD game Kids on Site. It was fun, especially hunting down the trophies. It is not as easy as you think it might be for a kid's game. I really enjoyed the bonus content and the behind-the-scenes footage (I love that stuff as loving FMV games). Not a bad break at all! Onto the next adventure!
Currently Playing: Game & Wario



Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #116 on: April 06, 2023, 03:28:33 pm »
28. Theresia - Dear Emile

I can't remember the last time I felt so polarized about a game. On the one hand, the game is filled with creepy atmosphere that has you keeping one eye on the screen and the other away from the potential horrors you're about to face. The themes of child abuse, mental health, and militaristic violence were handled well. There's also a really satisfying sense of accomplishment that comes from figuring out how to proceed through a certain area. On the other hand, the game is insanely slow. Your character moves at a snail's pace. And so help you if you realize you need to backtrack in order to get over an obstacle - the thought of traveling through some areas again just makes me cringe. So, a very odd game. Ultimately, I'm glad I finished it. It'll just be a long, LONG time before I even consider going through the Dear Martel segment.

Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #117 on: April 07, 2023, 08:32:37 pm »
I finished my playthrough of the Mass Effect trilogy in the Legendary Collection.

The first game is surprisingly quaint these days. It's empty, has limited relationship and conversational choices, but the world is incredibly well realized and overall the revamped controls and game systems are fun.

Mass Effect 2 is a bigger, better game in almost every way.  It does scale back some of the gear and customization options, but more than makes up for it with the story, characters, gameplay, graphics, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

The third game strips away almost all of the RPG elements in favor of simplified gear and level-up options.  However, the writing is incredibly strong and they knock most of the story beats out of the park.  This goes double for the DLC.  Unfortunately Kai Leng is still a lame nothing-burger of a villain, and even though the ending has been tweaked the choose a door finale is pretty blah.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #118 on: April 09, 2023, 09:18:15 pm »
29. Wild Arms 2 - platinum'd

Some games are so special that there really aren't enough words to describe how fun they are. That's the case with Wild Arms 2, which is still my favorite in the series. I first played this in around 2010; years after it was first released. I had a blast during that first run. So much so that I was worried nostalgia glasses and time would impact my run with this campaign. It was quite the opposite. The game has aged like fine wine. The only issues I have are with the font and the sometimes clumsy translation. Otherwise? Close to perfection. The game has great pacing, great characters, great combat, great graphics, great music...the list goes on. Obtaining the platinum trophy was just icing on the cake.


Re: 52 Games Challenge 2023!!!
« Reply #119 on: April 10, 2023, 02:00:43 pm »
08. Moving Out || PlayStation 4 || 03.30.23

Looking for a fun multiplayer experience, I decided to play Moving Out. I had heard many good things about this kind of hectic party game, so I did have some relatively high expectations.

Like the title suggests, Moving Out is about moving out. Playing as employees of the local moving company, players are tasked with responding to clients' jobs as they seek to have their furniture moved and loaded onto a truck. While the game is designed for a multiplayer experience of four players max, the game can still be played and enjoyed as a single-player experience. Stages are timed with medals being earned for besting certain times. Generally, players can avoid the time altogether, but it is required to complete each stage faster than the bronze medal time. There is little to explain about such a straightforward premise, but I will note now that the circumstances revolving the moves themselves increase in absurdity alongside the level of chaos.

To briefly mention the game's characteristics before anything else, Moving Out offers a lighthearted experience where the job at-hand is obviously presented as a joke. Between player-characters, there is ongoing banter before and after stages which demonstrates their ineptitude toward the job as a result of their naive, optimistic loyalty to their employer and craft. Clearly, they are all dedicated but are directed to perform poorly without their understanding of doing so. This extends to all aspects of their job, as players are freely able to move from stage to stage on an overworld where the moving truck simply crashes into traffic and road obstructions. Lastly, players are free to customize their avatar with a small pool of preset options, such as player type, color, accessory, and dance style which relates to a series of emotes that can be performed.

During stages themselves, players will encounter different types of furniture and other miscellaneous items. Some items are designed with teamwork in mind as they are heavy or oddly-shaped, although these aspects change slightly when playing alone. In addition to simply moving the items out of their location, they must also be organized onto the moving truck. More often than not, space is minimal, so remembering not to be so frantic about the time requirements without planning is important. If not, players will almost always carry on work by simply tossing items into the truck, which will almost certainly cause later items to either fall out of the truck or to not even have the necessary space for loading.

Meeting the basic objective of loading the truck within the bronze time limit is generally doable, although meeting all sorts of other objectives and completing other requirements tied to the achievement system makes a frantic game even more so. As players continue through the campaign, all sorts of obstacles increase the challenge, including simple ones like narrow halls or walkways, or more complex ones like rotating walls. As a result of some stage obstacles, items needing to be moved may also break through a variety of means, which will result in items respawning to their initial location. At the same time, there are some items marked as fragile, so dropping these items will simply break them resulting in the same status.

Moving Out offers a high level of replayability with its aforementioned objectives and time medals. From the very beginning, the game provides a myriad of handicaps that are labeled as accessibility options. These handicaps greatly allow for some of the more difficult objectives to be completed all at once. Without these handicaps, the objectives are obviously much more difficult, as they will require patience and mastery. This also extends to the time requirements as well, which honestly require expert mastery of the game if wanting to complete stages faster than their Platinum medal requirements. While these options are available to use at any point of the playthrough, my first time playing through each stage was without using any to my advantage. In addition to the standard play mode where you are tasked with moving out, additional play modes and stages will naturally be unlocked as you progress, including moving in, non-campaign levels, and arcade-style challenges.

While Moving Out excels at many aspects, some could be better. These are relatively minor issues, but I played each stage multiple times after the campaign was finished to complete objectives. These issues relate to the lack of information on pause screens once in the stage. As a game focused on objectives, there is no information relating to it aside from the level select screen. Having to remember these objectives alongside the numerous other achievement objectives which are not in-game was a hassle, and a checklist of some kind would have been a welcome addition. If wanting to clear achievement objectives, there can be upwards to four other items to remember in addition to the three objectives which every stage has. Another issue resulting from this is that there is no way for players to confidently know if an objective has been failed until the stage has completed. Some objectives are genuinely difficult to discern if the condition has been failed or not, which resulted in me having to replay levels after believing I had achieved what was needed.

However, there is one major issue for those wanting to achieve everything, and that relates to achievement glitches. After taking the time to do everything and properly doing so, I still did not receive two trophies. I knew that I could start a new solo save file and finish everything again relatively quick, so I did so. Right before the final level of my second playthrough, both trophies I was missing appeared despite not yet having met either condition for the current save data. I imagine that the issue lies in the numerous play style options such as player count and handicaps which can be adjusted at any time, which is why I strictly played my second playthrough alone and without going back-and-forth between handicap options. It should be known that this is a common problem, as I read the accounts of many others having the same issue.

Overall, Moving Out is a lot of fun, although it can be stressful if actually trying to meet the most difficult of conditions. It is a party game at heart, so the handicap options are an appreciated addition so that a group of players can enjoy the experience without becoming too aggravated. If there is anyone looking to play a modern local co-op game that supports four players, I can't recommend Moving Out enough.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2023, 11:10:47 am by dhaabi »