Post by Apollo Chungus on Jun 18, 2022 10:36:28 GMT -5
Celeste (Switch; First Time; Gave up at Chapter 3)
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (PlayStation; First Time; Gave up at the boss of Vision 2-2)
Sonic Rush Adventure (Nintendo DS; First Time; Gave up at Sky Babylon Act 2)
I'm not writing detailed entries for all three games, as the reason I gave them up all came down to the same thing - their attempt at increasing challenge or being challenging only resulted in frustratingly insurmountable guff that I couldn't overcome.
I found Celeste too hard in the first place, to the point where I had to have the Assist 50% speed mode on all times, but Chapter 3 pushed things too far with how many moving objects you have to avoid. Klonoa is pretty good, but the boss battle for Vision 2-2 is too awkward and cumbersome that I can't manage to get in more than one hit. I actually really enjoyed Sonic Rush Adventure, but the insta-kill laser pits combined with balloon ascension segments that you can't avoid make for unbearable challenges that kill my ability to progress through the game stone dead.
I'm honestly fed up with the concept of video games trying to add a sense of increasing challenge. It works for most people, but all it ever seems to do for me right now is to create overwhelming nonsense that I can't overcome no matter what I do. It makes me feel like I've wasted my time, and I just don't have the tolerance or patience for it right now. (I know it's the root of some anxiety but I wish I knew how to overcome it.)
Altered Beast (Genesis via NSO, beaten with rewind feature)
There's been a few games that have come out this week that I really want to play but I've personally placed a moratorium on buying full priced games for a while. So as a way to take my mind off that I decided to play...Altered Beast. Think of it as a sort of gamer self-flagellation.
Altered Beast is a real B-movie of a video game which graphics that look simultaneously cheap and impressive, and contains a theme that is both engaging and eye rolling. It's a decent port for the era I think. It's very challenging and unforgiving which offsets. You have 3 lives, zero continues and no way to gain any additional lives. Getting caught between two enemies will drain your health very quickly and the final boss requires either a full complement of lives to outlast or expert timing and patience. In my case I had to resort to the rewind feature.
It's ultimately a very average, maybe even below average but still memorable game. 5/10.
Thought I would give another twin stick shooter a try after my failure at Xeno Crisis! Well, I beat this one...kinda. I ended up playing it in a few different segments using the level select code as a save system of sorts. The code starts you out with a full complement of lives and continues but I ended up using more than I would have in a straight playthrough. In other words, I cheated.
Smash TV is basically an updated version of Robotron but with some pretty blatant Running Man and Paul Verhoven vibes. It's quite challenging and tense. Getting pressed down into a corner and slowly blasting your way out while avoiding your foes is always satisfying. My only real complaint is that I wish the weapons lasted a bit longer (they spawn frequently at least) and that you got extra lives from score as well as pickups. It would also be nice if there was a way to detonate the mines in some rooms.
This is a really stellar port. The screen is flooded with enemies with ZERO slowdown. The four face buttons mimic the twin stick setup of the arcade game. Also it had surprisingly little censorship. The standard stick-wielding enemies explode into red chunky bits and the spokesmodels aren't covered up. Lots of fun to be had here. 8/10.
I think the short time length for weapon upgrades works in the games favour since it encourages you to take more risks in venturing away from safe points to gain a new item. Whilst still really tough it's a a fair bit easier in 2 player where you can cover each others path. A good strategy is each to take a corner creating the most distance, and some enemies can't get you that way. Of course the semi competitive nature might discourage some from this kind of cooperation.
I do really like the game. I believe it was the third SNES game we had back then, or possibly the second so it got a good amount of play as our only co-op game at the time.
Fire Emblem (GBA, First Time, Gave up on final stage) I've mentioned this elsewhere but I basically played myself into a corner here. There are optional stages which the game advises will be particularly hard and so I avoided them. You can't save until after making the choice so you can't try it both ways to see how it pans out which is a real shame. A few of my units were behind in levels (the lords are pretty useless anyway) and a couple died late on - at least in some part by the late game not offering any weapon restocks except in the optional challenges. The game is a gem but the series is generally poor at communicating with the player when it comes to challenges offered. Had the advice been to play these rather than avoid them if you're not a high skilled player I perhaps would have done differently. A lesson for if I should decide to play again.
Global Defence Force (PS2, First Time, Gave up on end boss) I really enjoy this series and this PS2 entry was a good look into it's earlier days. I haven't actually beaten any of them since they become chaotic and require quite a bit of grinding at times. The slowdown can be an issue as it was in particular on the last boss but it also is at times part of the charm. Later entries really embraced the B-movie corniness through the dialogue which is absent and also can handle more on screen - though that perhaps makes them harder still. Ninja Spirit (PC Engine, Beat using a large number of continues) Generally speaking Ninja Spirit offers a fair level of challenge, but the pit on the final stage is a real annoyance and requires a good deal of practice. This stage was the only reason it didn't qualify for the Game Finish Challenge. Anyway, I shall write further in the PC Engine thread when I get to it.
Super R-Type (SNES, Beat with Save States) I played this through as a reminder for the SNES thread. There's stuff to be enjoyed but even on easy mode where the design is at the right level the lack of checkpoints means I can only beat it through an emulator.
Last Edit: Jul 25, 2022 9:32:08 GMT -5 by excelsior
Was fishing around for something that I've never beaten but seemed like it would be manageable. So a Capcom licensed game? I remember reading a preview of this in Nintendo Power and asking it for my birthday. The whole riding (or...inhabiting in some cases) animals as powerups seemed like a really cool gimmick. Even at that young age. I knew a Capcom label meant it'd be an excellent game. I liked it quite a bit but could never beat it myself, though I once borrowed a friend's Game Genie so I could see the ending.
Nemo is a platformer with some light exploration elements. At the end of most levels is a locked door and you have to have found a certain number of keys to open it. Your only weapon at first is a bag of candy that you can use to stun most enemies. However, some animals you come across will eat it and fall asleep after eating a few pieces. At this point you can jump on them and use their abilities (or in some disturbing cases, wear them like a skin). The frog lets you jump high, the lizard can climb, the bee can fly etc. It's pretty fun though I think the hit detection is a little unforgiving and it can be extremely frustrating to make it to the end of a level and not have enough keys, and having to backtrack.
The final level is pretty nuts, a massive level with multiple difficult sections, insta death spikes everywhere and 3 tough bosses. And if you have to continue it's back from the beginning of the world. I guess it's thematically fitting - you go from the slower paced and exploratory Slumber Land (though, eff that train stage) to the hellish Nightmare Land. You don't have to pick up keys here and you get a weapon, the Dream Rod which you can swing like a staff or charge it up and shoot a fireball at a 45 degree angle. I made it to the very last section before the final boss and lost my last life and didn't have it in me to go through the first two sections and bosses again. The game does have a level select code which would allow me to start at the onset of the final level so I may actually see this through one day. I have a weird moral obligation to beat all the games I never could as a kid...
Post by Apollo Chungus on Sept 9, 2022 14:55:39 GMT -5
God, I haven't touched this thread in ages. I think I kept having the thought to post in here with the games I did give up on, but I kept forgetting to do so, seeing as things have been busy enough that I only really remembered to post the games I did finish. With that in mind, I'm just gonna post the games and give very short opinions on them.
Thomas Was Alone (Switch; First Time; Gave up around Scenario 2's levels)
Neat enough puzzle platformer, the narrations during the stages are a cool way of contextualizing characters who are inexpressive beyond their shapes. But a level got too frustrating and awkward, and I gave up since there's seven more worlds worth of puzzles to get through.
Prototype (Xbox 360; First Time; Gave up at the "Things To Come" mission)
Been wanting to play this and the following game for years, though amusingly I did play Prototype 2 yonks ago. This is a fairly okay open world action game, but one that kinda runs out of steam early on and just spends the rest of its time spinning its wheels. Enemies pile up on you very quickly with little way of really fighting back - even on the easiest difficulty. That's especially in this mission where you had to protect a bomb. Not for me.
Child of Eden (Xbox 360; First Time; Gave up between Archives 2 and 3)
Thought this would basically be Rez again, given that it's a spiritual successor. It sorta is, but there's lots of things it does I couldn't stand. Everything moved too quickly and the flashing lights were too much; physically knackered after a while but without the enjoyment that Rez brought with its tightly controlled gameplay and visuals.
Sonic and the Fallen Star (Windows; First Time; Gave up at Thunder Turbine Act 2's boss)
Pretty cool Sonic fan game that's been doing the rounds, but the penultimate boss can sod off and die. It betrays the "smash em up" mentality of the game's previous bosses for a more typical "dodge attacks and hit me when I let you" pattern that is irritating enough but exacerbated by deeply cruel attacks that you can't break from, throw you across the room and far away from your rings. Garbage design.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (PlayStation 2; First Time; Gave up around Chapter 4)
Had this for years and years, so I finally gave it a whirl. When you're wandering streets and doing some jetpack platforming, it's actually pretty cool. But when you're just blasting enemies down corridors and big rooms for hours, it gets dull very quickly. Got overrun by lads at some point, and considering there's a fecking lives system where you'll restart the entire stage if you run out, I called it quits.
Alternate Jake Hunter: DAEDALUS The Awakening of Golden Jazz (Switch; First Time; Gave up at Chapter 1)
A Jake Hunter spin-off game, and the only other one localized besides the first and last DS/3DS compilations. Called "Alternate Jake Hunter" because it reverts to using the Japanese names and origins of the source material, gameplay is quite different. I'd like to say more but Chapter 1 was horrifically dull, having you jumping back and forth between slowly loading locales while two pieces of music played for over an hour. Unbearably dull with no way around it.
Road Rash (Mega Drive; First Time; Gave up around the Level 2 stages)
Started checking out EA's games for the Mega Drive, mainly to disprove my belief that their games had inherently obnoxious or awful music. Road Rash is quite cool, and I appreciate how its campaign is structured so you always win money no matter what position you come in, letting you slowly get better bikes and come out on top eventually. Sadly, it got too overwhelming for me with a few bad races where I kept wiping out and lost my position after working for ages to obtain it. Dang.
This isn't a failure but a warning. Even if you're absolutely starved for picross, stay away from this. It's an unmitigated disaster. I'm getting dizzy just trying to collect my thoughts. This is seriously that bad. There are problems with everything on such a low level that some of the puzzles literally can not be completed!
Last Edit: Sept 21, 2022 11:22:32 GMT -5 by dsparil
Gaiares (Genesis, emulated on 3DS; used cheats to finish)
Been in a shmup mood lately and just deiced to try this out tonight since work has been slow. I remember save state scumming my way through this one back in highschool and I said I enjoyed it... but really with how many hours I spent struggling to get past the damn robot sword and shield lady I've always been hesitant to revisit it. Well that hesitation was warranted because Sam fucking Hell this game is hateful bullshit. By first break at work I tried to get through it legit and used up all my continues on the second stage. Tried again at lunch and same thing happened on the third stage. Managed to just barely get to the fourth and lost my last life to something pretty much zipping straight to me in a flash as soon as the stage started.
Yeah I had it after that. But I am a stubborn ass so first I looked up to see if there was a hidden option mode to turn down the difficulty, games did that sort of thing back then. I instead ended up finding out there are really powerful weapons that are only obtained via dumb esoteric means, for instance throwing your little option thing out six times and then grabbing an enemy on the seventh cast will get you the T.Braster which is homing and is very strong. I decided to give it a shot with this since one of my big complaints with this game is most of the weapons are really weak and boring, least this could be satisfying to blow everything away with. Even that only helps so much because you have to repeat this process with each stage and that was a task sometimes. Even THEN when you get on later in the game the fucking homing this weapon has just stops working... which will happen right in the middle of a damn boss rush. Hells bells weapons in this game are awful, even the 'cheat' ones. Fortunately I found out there was an invincibility cheat so I slapped that on and called it a day.
It might be my frustration talking here but this game really isnt great to begin with. The stage design has a lot of things I really didn't care for like having to navigate tight spaces even Gradius wouldn't dream of and putting you under fire when you don't dare move... only you must because the stage itself is moving and you will crash into the geometry. Hows about a gauntlet full of traps that'll nail you before you can see them on screen as you struggle to manage your speed? That's a classic. Also I think damn near all enemy fire tracks you perfectly. Shooters do this plenty but far as I've seen usually things that closely zero in on you are a bit slower so you can react you know? Here everything is like greased lightning and if you blink you're likely dead. That's not how this works. Bosses are very fond of boxing you in a corner and raining hell on you too, very sporting, thanks guys.
Yeah I freaking hate this game now if you can't tell.
People seem to look back on it fondly and I want to ask those people: have you played it recently? Of course I say that and I'm sure there is plenty of people who practiced this to hell and back and can cycle their speed and be in the perfect place with their eyes closed but what can I say, I'm getting older and don't have time for that these days lol. Frankly I can't help but think its remembered because it is a looker both in fidelity and in style. Frankly it's bizzare, it has some story bits with everyone looking like they came from Phantasy Star, which is cool. Then most of the bosses are fantasy themed robots that looks like they belong in a 80s anime which makes sense, this came out in 1990. Hell the third stage has you go through a castle dungeon... in space. Complete with guillotines you have to zip through and the boss is a freaking grim reaper. It's a trip. And the main villainess is named ZZ Badnusty so theres that. The sound effects are terrible but the first stage's theme has always popped in my head over the years.
So yeah, I try not to do this diatribe thing anymore but this one just got to me tonight lol. This game is not a classic, its like they wanted to make a quarter muncher arcade game that you couldn't put quarters into. A real difficult for difficulties sake affair and that is a big pet peeve of mine. Gonna delete this off my 3DS and don't believe I'll touch it ever again.
"You know, I hate the fact that I am like a 87' Chrysler LeBaron trapped in a human body. Its not fair!"
Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine (NES, emulated on 3DS; gave up after curiosity and nostalgia wore off)
This was one of the first games I ever owned, picked it out when I got my NES. I was obsessed with space craft and jets and stuff, its all I needed lol. (same reason why I picked Star Force and Xevious along with it) While I was never too fond of this game it always stuck with me a bit since it was damn eerie. It also doesn't seem to be like I remember which is driving me crazy. Like the rom I found and all the footage I've looked up things appear like how I remember but it sounded much different. I vividly remember that there was no music in this game but instead there was this constant droning in the back ground and that was it. Combine that with the visuals which look organic in the kinda unsettling alien way this one always kinda felt off and got my imagination going. Heck when you get a game over you're addressed by this random ladies' anime head that matches the color of the weird foliage so I thought she was like some kinda sentient fungus mass lol.
Anyways this version has a cheerful little tune playing which changes the tone entirely, and your weapons are silent which I distinctly remember an awful screeching sound each time your fired on the cartridge I had. But I can't find any evidence of that anywhere so did I just dream this up? I swear that's the way it was though... huh, mystery for the ages I guess. So the game itself? Eh. It is interesting, its like a almost puzzle platformer shmup were you can fly but you're constantly being pulled down by gravity and need to navigate an obstacle course that way. It's pretty odd and I'd be more willing to give it a chance to see the end if it wasn't for me constantly getting caught on crap and its just dumb that they want you to advance into a side of the screen where enemies constantly spawn from. Feels like you have to do everything perfectly and grab dumb secrets you'd have no idea are there to get through it, yeah no I think I'm good thank you.
"You know, I hate the fact that I am like a 87' Chrysler LeBaron trapped in a human body. Its not fair!"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue (Game Boy via Switch Cowabunga Collection)
The final game in the GB Turtles trilogy dares to give us something different in the form of an honest to goodness Metroidvania style game! You start as Michelangelo who can float Racoon Mario style by twirling his nunchucks above his head. Leo can drill through certain blocks with his swords, Don can climb walls and Raph can retreat inside his shell to go through tight passages (shouldn't all the Turtles be able to do this?). The general gameplay functions just like the other one in the series. Aside from their abilities, the turtles all play the same. Giving them some unique stats or special moves would have given them some more combat utility. The only ability that is useful during the boss fights is Mike's.
It's pretty simple for a game of this genre. Wander around and use the abilities of the turtles to find keys that open up new areas and fight bosses. Speaking of the bosses, there aren't many but Konami dug into the bench a bit. Scratch and Scale Tale never made it beyond the action figure line, Triceratons only appeared in the Manhattan Missions game and Dirtbag was in Manhattan Project. Outside of Shredder, none of the "regulars" appear which is a bit refreshing. Shredder is now "Cyber Shredder" and I'm not sure where Konami got that idea, but the 2003 series uses the same name...Oh and the bosses are completely infuriating. They're all pattern based and you can get them but they attack VERY quickly and have aggressive hitboxes. The final part of the game is a boss rush, and while your health is restored between each fight, you don't get a way to replenish your pizzas. Cyber Shredder has two forms and does a ton of damage. I got tired of running the boss rush over and over again so I just used save states to start at Cyber Shredder every time I lost. I never used save states during the fight proper but...I'm going to count it as cheating, so that's why this entry is here.
Oh and the game limits your continues but gives you a password at the game over screen...which starts you right where you left off and doesn't remove a continue, essentially allowing you to password-scum. Why not just allow infinite continues at this point?
The version on this collection includes a guide with a full map and offers an option to add detailed icons on the in-game minimap. Both very nice features. It's nice to see a game in this series try something different but the overall experience is pretty light and the bosses are a bit too tough compared to the rest of the game. 6/10.