Post by Digitalnametag on Oct 6, 2019 4:15:46 GMT -5
Illusion of Gaia SNES FTP 12 hours
Weird game. A surprisingly dark game with slavery, cannibalism, a version of Russian Roulette featuring alcohol, and two characters being roasted alive on screen. Sadly the story isn't told very well and you don't develop much attachment to any of the characters. Also frustrating that you cannot get access to the secret dungeon without collecting 50 red jewels about half of which can be permanently missed. I used a guide for these. Not sure the extra dungeon was worth the effort.
Game play is typical overhead Zelda stuff with a greater focus on killing monsters. Enemies do not respawn within a dungeon and once you kill all of them on the screen you get a permanent stat up. Some of the boss fights were kind of tough but not every dungeon ends with one.
Eh. Illusion of Gaia was okay. Decent fun but kinda forgettable.
Post by halftheisland on Oct 6, 2019 16:32:36 GMT -5
Been a while since I've completed anything but trying to get back in the swing of things.
Yoku's Island Express (PC, 1st time, probably 8 hours)
A fun little game, finished the main story and save file is showing 59% completion. I was really hoping for something a bit more from this - I love pinball games and I generally enjoy Metroidvania style games, so something which combines elements of both should be perfect.
I think the main problem for me is that the pinball mechanics are very floaty and you never really feel in full control of your shots. This seems to be down to the fact that, unlike a normal pinball table, each "table" in the game represents a small puzzle with one specific end-goal - open a barrier to allow further progress, power up an element elsewhere in the world to open a new path, etc. This ends up resulting in most shots being forced around specific orbitals or ramps as these are the required ones. The boss tables were also a bit disappointing and all felt like they followed a classic three-phase boss design.
I had some other issues with the gameplay as well, in particular the amount of backtracking at certain points (at least until you start to unlock the Beeline fast travel). This was actually the main reason I ended up pushing forward to end the main story so quickly - the movement mechanics are just not fun enough to make traipsing around the world in search of collectibles a fun activity. This also doesn't combine well with a fairly unhelpful and hard to read map.
There are some fun mechanics buried in there, particularly the leash which lets you grab on to certain objects and orbit them to alter your trajectory / slingshot yourself across the map. As a result Ivory Peaks, which made most use of this mechanic, was definitely my favourite part of the game.
Visually it's a very pretty game with a slightly off-kilter art style and until the end credits I'd actually assumed the development studio was French as it reminded me very much of that distinctive kind of style - think something like a Michel Ancel, Rayman-esque vibe.
Aurally, it initially seemed fine but I actually ended up playing most of it with the sound off as the sound effect for the "party horn" is incredibly annoying and, as the game requires that you use it all the time (I mean literally hundreds of times) it quickly became maddening.
I feel like this has been a really negative take on a game which I actually quite enjoyed my time with - it's not a bad game by any means, and it has a certain charm to it, but by the end the flaws were starting to show a bit for me. I got it for free through Twitch Prime but I think most people could have some fun with it if they picked it up at around the £5 - £10 range.
I don't usually do scores but this is probably something like a 6/10 - not bad, but not particularly good.
Dry Drowning (PC/Steam, first time, approx. 8.5 hours)
An Italian visual novel, for the first work of its studio I'd say it's quite good. Basically it's an investigative story (with only vague similarities to the Ace Attorney series) set in the future in an enclosed city-state. Main characters are the typical noir hard-boiled detective and his cute assistant, investigating about the return of a serial killer who murders people in the fashion of Greek myths. The case however has all sorts of ties to politicians, businessmen, scientists, artists and other kinds of people, for a plot that tackles several present-time issues (such as immigration, hate crimes, use of personal information by media companies etc.); it's a bit heavy-handed, however the game and the story itself are mostly interesting and well-made even if the various mini-games are mostly simple. Then again the important part of the game is not to "win" or "lose" but rather find the story branches represented by tough moral questions, which will then shape later events and lead to one of three endings (I managed to get one and now I'll start New Game+).
I still don't understand what the title means in the context of the game though.
The style is cool and interesting, reminds a bit of Hotel Dusk but with more realistic character designs, and the music (mostly piano tunes) is good too. An enjoyable title with good replayability. Last bit of trivia: among the mini-games there's also an in-story video game (a puzzle game with a cutesy chibi-style future policewoman mascot) which is pretty much stated to be one of the means through which the populace is indexed and controlled. I should finish all levels and see what happens then...
AER: Memories of Old (Linux; First Time), which is a charming, though short, indie exploration/adventure game. Unfortunately, not successful enough for the dev, who has since shut down. 7/19
and, at long last...
Phantasy Star IV: End of the Millenium (Genesis; First Time). I tried to play this a few years ago, but my save battery died about halfway through. I replaced it, but didn't feel up to playing it over again until recently. Very charming plot and characters, with a great comic cutscene style. The sense of humor still shines through despite the stilted translation of the era. With the exception of two spots (one infamous boss, and the warehouse of all places), I found the game rather easy. Most regular battles didn't require much in the way of strategy or conservation, though some bigger physical or magical focused enemies benefited from having the corresponding defense spell active.
Post by Digitalnametag on Oct 7, 2019 19:11:00 GMT -5
Super Mario World SNES replay 5 hours
Yup still great. Completed the game other than one exit I somehow missed. Ah well. I played the GBA version a lot more and did find myself missing some of the upgrades made in that version like the exit tracking and the Dragon Coin collecting goals. At least the music is better on the SNES.
I finished another game: Supraland (Linux; first time). A rather enjoyable first person puzzler, with a bunch of other elements thrown into the mix. I enjoyed thinking my way through the game's puzzles, even if some of them stumped me for a little while. Could have done with less combat though. 9/10. Saved-game stats report 13h, 32 minutes, 49% completion.
Lighthouse: The Dark Being (macOS via ScummVM, First Time)
Sierra's only attempt at a Myst-style game is unsurprisingly a bit of a misfire as it largely doesn't seem to understand what actually worked about Myst. It mainly copies the generally solitary atmosphere, but it's still basically a Sierra adventure game but from a first person perspective along with some not that great mechanical elements. There's thankfully no deaths though.
There is a certain amount of ambition in the game. The brief hint book that comes with the GOG release says that there's multiple paths and 16 endings. How much of that really matters is debatabe. It's still obtuse enough that you basically do need a walkthrough to finish anyway. That aspect feels largely unnecessary, and just leads to feeling like you're totally stuck even if you technically might not be. There is a built in hint system, but it's generally vague enough to not be too helpful. It isn't really clear what you're technically supposed to do for quite some time without reading the hints or the guide which is another problem.
The story is largely nonsense too. You play as a writer staying at a house on the coast when you receive a phone message from your neighbor, a scientist living in a nearby lighthouse. You get to the house, read the his scattered notes and find out that he's invented a device that created a portal to another world/dimension. An initially benign but ultimately malevolent creature, the title Dark Being, stole his notes, created its own machine and kidnapped him. Plus his baby gets kidnapped while you're in the house which seems excessive. The only other story comes in a few big info dumps from the only real character in the game. When you finally confront the Dark Being, it is beyond anticlimactic.
So, not that great or really all that worth playing. I kinda feel like this is one of the most obscure Sierra games and for good reason.
Post by halftheisland on Oct 10, 2019 18:05:24 GMT -5
Crimsonland (PC, 1st time, about 1.5hrs)
Not a tremendous amount to say about this one - a fun enough arena shooter that's relatively quick and easy to complete in regular mode. Really nothing very complicated going on, but all the weapons feel nice and chunky and there's a bit more depth to the combinations of perks and weapons than initially appears to be the case.
In playing through I seem to have unlocked a bunch of modes including a typing one(?!) and I can definitely see this sticking around in my library for a little while as something to drop into for a quick blast.
Not a chance I would pay the £10 it's asking for at full price, I seem to recall I picked this up in one of those ridiculous $1 bundles off Fanatical or IndieGala or somewhere and can't complain at that price.
Post by Digitalnametag on Oct 10, 2019 22:13:40 GMT -5
Super Metroid SNES Replay 5 hours
Clear time was 4:45 with 65% item completion. A far cry from under 3 hours for the best ending but probably my fastest time yet. Died to Draygon twice but other than that the game was easier than I remember. I did learn about the grapple beam trick for Draygon while glancing at a guide. That will be useful next time. I wish the map was more detailed and space jumping is still annoying but minor complaints aside Super Metroid still rightfully deserves it's status as one of the best games ever.
Cleared Pokemon Ultra Moon for Nintendo 3DS in 27 hours, 26 minutes. First time playthrough.
Rating: 8/10. Never played the original Sun/Moon to know what the differences are, but despite that its definitely a solid game, minus the performance problems with the 2 vs 2 battles. I also like the new Hawaii-based setting just for a change of pace from the other games in the series, and the fact they obviously tried to shake things up with the different trials and totem Pokemon, instead of having to do the same song and dance of going through gyms to collect badges yet again.
Last Edit: Oct 13, 2019 5:55:15 GMT -5 by Null0x00
Finished Super Mario Advance/Super Mario Bros 2 (GBA; Replay based on finishing original game, though first time for this version). Still a classic, even with the weird stuff added onto it. Surprising that there was nothing like the springing bush in 1-1 anywhere else. It's just Robo Birdo (which was a nice change), then just a few double-sized items every so often. And, of course, all the extra health pickups which made things a fair bit easier. I'm completely forgetting how it was originally, so I will probably replay the first couple stages on NES to remind myself. I don't think I will do the Yoshi challenge mode, but that's a nice bonus if you didn't have many GBA games to play. 8/10