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MeteorBear's finished games

Sep 22, 2017 at 5:03:22 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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< Kratos >
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Edit~ I decided to make a list after all

PS1
Tomb Raider- Finished
Tomb Raider III
Tenchu- Finished 
Tenchu II
Warhammer SotHR
Warhammer DO
Kings Field- Finished
Kings Field II- Finished
Panzer Front
Armored Core- Finished
Armored Core PP- Finished
Armored Core MoA
Tecmos Deception
Return Fire
Carnage Heart
Front Mission III
Shadow Tower- Finished

PS2
Nocturne 
Digital Devli Saga
Kings Field CotA
Armored Core- the Last Raven

PS3
Dark Souls- Finished
the Last of Us (grounded difficulty)- Finished
the Evil Within

SNES mini
Super Mario World- Finished
SMT I
SMT II
Front Mission


I really enjoy Killer64's list of games to beat and thought I would do something similar. I dont have a list but as I beat Playstation games I will leave my thoughts on the game here.

To start things off I will begin with the first Tomb Raider, it was also my first Playstation game and I loved it the first time I played through it. Going back and beating it recently I still feel it is one of the best Playstation games ever. Its mix of exploration, enviornmental puzzles and very exact platforming is well realized. All of this is wrapped in the tomb raiding theme and complements all these elements and the technological limits of the PS1. 
The games graphics have aged really well too, even better than Tomb Raider 2 I think. Unlike TRII the lighting is completely ambient, so all the level look gorgeous. The focus on actual tombs and caves works really well with playstations limited graphics. The lack of depth of view so prevlent in Playstion game works in Tomb Raiders favor too, creating this illusion of darkness that can only be found in 90's era games. So the on a development view of the game and the technology they had its impressive how well they used the limitation of the Playstation as a strength and combined it with such rich game play.

My favorite parts of Tomb Raider were the section of climbing throughout the game where you had to figure out how to get from point A to point B, half climbing puzzles, half platforming. The Greek level in particular had some amazing levels. The levels didnt seem as big or complex as they did twenty years ago.

The one flaw with the game for me is the Alantis levels, the last and fourth section of the game. They are ugly, dont fit the theme as the are pretty much alien, and the game seems to have already pushed the mechanics of the game to thier limit with the previous three sections. The exception is the last level which was amazing. Its called the gauntlet and thats what it is, a pure platforming level where you cant stop and it was a great way to end one a great game. 

The fighting in Tomb Raider is fun but not a focus, almost like a break from the exploration. The fighting mechanics work well enough but you can tell it was never meant to be the core of the game play (I looking at you TRII!).

Anyhow I love this game. I was working on Tomb Raider II and pretty far into it, but the memory card I had it on died. That really sucks when your Playstaion reads the card and tells you the card is unformated. ARRGGHH. But I do want to mention the game. I liked it... with a lot of 'Buts' though. The game had way too many gimmacks that added nothing the core of the game. The flares, which are limited made you play in the dark and forced you not to take your time and explore, completely contrary to a core element in the game. The city levels were also a problem both with the graphical capabilities of the playstation and the theme of Tomb Raider. Finally you have the combat, there is a LOT of it. There was so much it was predictable when it would happen, which was after every climbing section, every puzzle section, ever freakin corner. They also changed the save system, you could now save anywhere at any time giving the whole game a very unbalanced feel. This was lazy design, uneven levels, uneven sections, the game would have played horribly with the save system of the first game and thats a testement to the speed which the developers brought the sequel to market.
That said it was a Tomb Raider game and forcing my way through the fusteration was worth it. I can only hope Tomb Raider III, which is on my list, redeems all the errors of TRII.


Edited: 07/12/2018 at 03:15 PM by MeteorBear

Sep 22, 2017 at 6:13:40 PM
hammerfestus (8)
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I've honestly never played any of the tomb raiders beyond a tiny bit here and there. Your homage does make me want to give it a shot though. The bit about it aging well despite the technical limitations of the time really hits me in the nostalgia. Makes me think of silent hill where that fog was so beautifully implemented as an atmospheric element that defined the game and helped make it so horrifying when really it was just a clever trick to cover up draw in. That's why I love ps1 really. The creativity levels were off the friggin charts. It's the same reason I love nes but find Snes dull. An era where the sky was the limit and developers weren't afraid to test their limits. Damn. Now I've got to go take a crack at tomb raider.

Sep 23, 2017 at 11:57:46 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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Yeah Silent Hill is a great example, same with Tenchu and any game that took place at night or underground. I feel the PS1 Tenchus looked better than thier PS2 counterparts solely for that reason, the darkness felt so encrouching, I loved it! PS1 is easily my most played system and I have so many fond memories of it.

Sep 24, 2017 at 10:39:20 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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Armored Core
I bought this one when it first released and it was my favorite game until the second one came out. Going back and beating it I think it holds up pretty well, but it feels a little incomplete. My biggest problem and I saw this back then too, but it seems so obvious now, is most of the parts are obsolete compared to other parts. They are cheaper so for the campaign it makes sense, but it really limits optimal builds. Its also the first game so it has the smallest number of parts, and about 10 of the parts are hidden and have to be found.
Thats really my only complaint, building the mechs is still just as engaging as it was all those years ago. I never really noticed but the mech building is really about half the game, for me at least. Im looking forward to getting to the PS2 games because I think I like this part the most now and I think they added some stuff later on. Just think if you could combine the AC mechbuilding with the programming blocks of Carnage Heart, THAT would be awesome!
The missions are fun and the story of 2 warring corporations is cool enough, and you have the choice of who to side with. Its funny, when I was younger I sided with Miroko Millinuim instead of Chrome. Millinuim was very polite and talked about how evil Chrome was. This time through though they didnt seem so clean, while Chrome was threatening and blunt, they did things out in the open while Millinium was a bit more subversive, using terrorist groups and experimenting on people. Both sides were bastards but its funny what you remember.

The feel of the PS1 AC games is great, it feels a little looser than the PS2 games and I like that. It also feels faster than the PS2 games soley due to the draw distance of the PS1, and I like that too.
I certainly not as good as I was back then, the final battle I had to lure 9 Ball into a tunnel to beat him, where as when I was younger I could take him out by flying circles around him. Honestly I dont know how I did it back then, do to the level which is a confined vertical tube and the nature of the camera you have to fight him almost completely by radar and listening to the lock on sound of your targeting system because your targeting square is actually off camera.

Back in the day me and my buddy would cart our tvs to each others houses, link up our playstations and fight it out. He unfortunately sucked at the game and there were not many vs level, but we still had fun. Next up on the AC games is Project Phatasma, my favorite of AC games from those days, mostly due to the added VS maps, and an Arena mode that lets you freely fight your way up a ladder vs other AC's.

Sep 24, 2017 at 11:18:41 PM
Killer64 (0)
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< Klonoa >
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I actually finished almost every AC game in the series except Ninebreaker, Last Raven, Armored Core 5 and Verdict Day. Most of Project Phantasma is actually a pretty easy game if you import your save file from the original game, especially if you have the Karasawa and Moonlight Blade make most of the missions just feel like an action game with how easy it is. A bit of warning though, do not underestimate Phantasma! It's the final boss in the game and the easiest way to defeat him I have found is by using a mech with quadruped legs and a grenade launcher because even the Karasawa doesn't really do much damage on him and he has some serious AP so you're going to have to bring out the big guns to take him down. If you have ever played Master of Arena, its a similar situation to Project Phantasma but the final boss of the game Nineball Seraph makes Phantasma look like a toy with how difficult he is. The one and only time I defeated him and finished the game I had to immediately boost backwards while firing a grenade launcher and keep track of him while shooting him with grenades until he dies. Nineball Seraph tends to switch between flying mode and attack mode, in flying mode he'll be using missiles on you but while in attack mode he switches to his pulse rifle, grenade launcher and moonlight blade which he'll use to get in your face and if you can't retreat and counterattack fast enough you're dead before you even realize what happened. 

As for TRIII, that's on my list as well although I haven't started on it yet. I'm still on TRII near the end of the game on the first level in Tibet. So far TRII is actually my favorite of the series so far because you can actually save as much as you want and whenever you want so you could pretty much just load swap your way through the entire game. I have heard that one of the most difficult things to adjust to in TRIII is how save points become a consumable resource just like ink ribbons in the Resident Evil games meaning there's only a finite amount of save crystals throughout the game so if you save in the wrong spot then you could really end up being screwed over. 

Currently the AC game I am working on right now is Ninebreaker as I have finished every game before that one and even managed to reach 100% completion in AC Nexus finding every single hidden or unlockable part both discs of that game had to offer. I'm trying to unlock the hidden parts in Ninebreaker to prepare for my play through of Last Raven to make sure I'm as fully prepared as possible because I have heard that's the single most difficult game in the entire series. If you ever need advice or helpful tips, don't hesitate to ask because I have a whole notepad file on my computer full of AC designs for some of the most difficult AC missions I have faced so far in the series. 


Edited: 09/24/2017 at 11:20 PM by Killer64

Sep 25, 2017 at 11:34:21 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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Im torn whether to play all the AC PS2 games or pick up where I left off 15 years ago. I Finished the first 2 for PS2 and half way through the third game... Silent Line? I gave up and was pretty tired of the franchise. I had been playing thier games since they came out and was a bit burnt out.

Project Phantasma was probably my favorite because of the memories. I had a new friend and we sort of sealed the friendship over countless night playing linked up back to back in his parents livingroom playing Armored Core all night. We would watch the replays after a good match and then back to the assembly shop for the next build. They also added some much needed parts like the lightwieght core and a solid rifle. Even the Finger that everyone complains about doesnt really work well against anyone that can fly half way decently. I think the Finger was balanced for multiplayer just like the moonlight. The only weapon we banned was the Kurasawa. I do need to finish Master of the Arena, I had started it but by then all I wanted to do was play the Arena matches and I think they made you play the campaign to unlock them or something like that, so I never finished. The game feels very fresh again though, so I would like to at least finish all three of the PS1 games. Then I might start with AC3.

Sep 25, 2017 at 11:37:37 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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Originally posted by: Killer64

I actually finished almost every AC game in the series except Ninebreaker, Last Raven, Armored Core 5 and Verdict Day. Most of Project Phantasma is actually a pretty easy game if you import your save file from the original game, especially if you have the Karasawa and Moonlight Blade make most of the missions just feel like an action game with how easy it is. A bit of warning though, do not underestimate Phantasma! It's the final boss in the game and the easiest way to defeat him I have found is by using a mech with quadruped legs and a grenade launcher because even the Karasawa doesn't really do much damage on him and he has some serious AP so you're going to have to bring out the big guns to take him down. If you have ever played Master of Arena, its a similar situation to Project Phantasma but the final boss of the game Nineball Seraph makes Phantasma look like a toy with how difficult he is. The one and only time I defeated him and finished the game I had to immediately boost backwards while firing a grenade launcher and keep track of him while shooting him with grenades until he dies. Nineball Seraph tends to switch between flying mode and attack mode, in flying mode he'll be using missiles on you but while in attack mode he switches to his pulse rifle, grenade launcher and moonlight blade which he'll use to get in your face and if you can't retreat and counterattack fast enough you're dead before you even realize what happened. 

As for TRIII, that's on my list as well although I haven't started on it yet. I'm still on TRII near the end of the game on the first level in Tibet. So far TRII is actually my favorite of the series so far because you can actually save as much as you want and whenever you want so you could pretty much just load swap your way through the entire game. I have heard that one of the most difficult things to adjust to in TRIII is how save points become a consumable resource just like ink ribbons in the Resident Evil games meaning there's only a finite amount of save crystals throughout the game so if you save in the wrong spot then you could really end up being screwed over. 

Currently the AC game I am working on right now is Ninebreaker as I have finished every game before that one and even managed to reach 100% completion in AC Nexus finding every single hidden or unlockable part both discs of that game had to offer. I'm trying to unlock the hidden parts in Ninebreaker to prepare for my play through of Last Raven to make sure I'm as fully prepared as possible because I have heard that's the single most difficult game in the entire series. If you ever need advice or helpful tips, don't hesitate to ask because I have a whole notepad file on my computer full of AC designs for some of the most difficult AC missions I have faced so far in the series. 

Whats your favorite AC game for the PS2? 
 

Sep 27, 2017 at 10:38:11 PM
Killer64 (0)
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< Klonoa >
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Originally posted by: MeteorBear
 
Originally posted by: Killer64

I actually finished almost every AC game in the series except Ninebreaker, Last Raven, Armored Core 5 and Verdict Day. Most of Project Phantasma is actually a pretty easy game if you import your save file from the original game, especially if you have the Karasawa and Moonlight Blade make most of the missions just feel like an action game with how easy it is. A bit of warning though, do not underestimate Phantasma! It's the final boss in the game and the easiest way to defeat him I have found is by using a mech with quadruped legs and a grenade launcher because even the Karasawa doesn't really do much damage on him and he has some serious AP so you're going to have to bring out the big guns to take him down. If you have ever played Master of Arena, its a similar situation to Project Phantasma but the final boss of the game Nineball Seraph makes Phantasma look like a toy with how difficult he is. The one and only time I defeated him and finished the game I had to immediately boost backwards while firing a grenade launcher and keep track of him while shooting him with grenades until he dies. Nineball Seraph tends to switch between flying mode and attack mode, in flying mode he'll be using missiles on you but while in attack mode he switches to his pulse rifle, grenade launcher and moonlight blade which he'll use to get in your face and if you can't retreat and counterattack fast enough you're dead before you even realize what happened. 

As for TRIII, that's on my list as well although I haven't started on it yet. I'm still on TRII near the end of the game on the first level in Tibet. So far TRII is actually my favorite of the series so far because you can actually save as much as you want and whenever you want so you could pretty much just load swap your way through the entire game. I have heard that one of the most difficult things to adjust to in TRIII is how save points become a consumable resource just like ink ribbons in the Resident Evil games meaning there's only a finite amount of save crystals throughout the game so if you save in the wrong spot then you could really end up being screwed over. 

Currently the AC game I am working on right now is Ninebreaker as I have finished every game before that one and even managed to reach 100% completion in AC Nexus finding every single hidden or unlockable part both discs of that game had to offer. I'm trying to unlock the hidden parts in Ninebreaker to prepare for my play through of Last Raven to make sure I'm as fully prepared as possible because I have heard that's the single most difficult game in the entire series. If you ever need advice or helpful tips, don't hesitate to ask because I have a whole notepad file on my computer full of AC designs for some of the most difficult AC missions I have faced so far in the series. 

Whats your favorite AC game for the PS2? 
 

So far my favorite is actually Armored Core 2 one of the games you said you started on but never finished. Out of the entire series, AC2 is my favorite because it has that just right balance of challenge and fun (especially if you unlock all of the Human PLUS abilities then the entire game will be so easy you'll fly right through it in a few hours). I always do my best to go through the game without those abilities first and then if I feel like playing through it again I'll unlock the Human PLUS upgrades so that I can just have fun with it instead of being frustrated with the difficulty. However, after AC2 was when the gameplay really started leaning towards being more and more difficult that started with AC2 Another Age until they put out Last Raven. The AC3 and AC Nexus generation are some of the most difficult in the series because in AC3 they had something similar to Human PLUS called OP-Intensify which is only rewarded after you beat AC3 and even then you have to go through a list of like 10 insane challenges just to unlock the abilities to even use it. When AC Nexus came out though, they made OP-Intensify unavailable to the player yet they designed most of the enemy AC's in the game to use it to make the game artifically more difficult. In the AC Nexus games such as Ninebreaker and Last Raven, they really nerfed the Karasawa by significantly reducing it's ammo count and damage yet still made it super difficult to obtain in AC Nexus even though in reality it's not really worth it going out of your way to unlock it unless you want to go full completionist. Nexus is the only game in the series I actually managed to go full completionist on meaning I put my blood, sweat, and tears to get all of the hidden parts only to find out in Ninebreaker that I have to complete more insane challenges to unlock even more hidden parts before I'll finally be ready for Last Raven. Also, I don't know if you're going to attempt it but if you do attempt going through AC2 Another Age just be warned that it's also one of the most difficult games in the series and with over 90 missions to complete to beat the game it's going to take some serious determination and balls of steel to finish that one because some of those missions are just so difficult that they feel virtually impossible. 
 


Edited: 09/27/2017 at 10:46 PM by Killer64

Sep 28, 2017 at 3:28:05 PM
hammerfestus (8)
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< Kratos >
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btw MeteorBear, love the avatar. I played through that Warhammer game when I was a teenager and I thought it was great. If I remember correctly, thanks to severely limited resources it was hard as crap but I enjoyed it. The last battle was brutal and took me forever to beat.

Sep 28, 2017 at 5:14:09 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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So far my favorite is actually Armored Core 2 one of the games you said you started on but never finished. Out of the entire series, AC2 is my favorite because it has that just right balance of challenge and fun (especially if you unlock all of the Human PLUS abilities then the entire game will be so easy you'll fly right through it in a few hours). I always do my best to go through the game without those abilities first and then if I feel like playing through it again I'll unlock the Human PLUS upgrades so that I can just have fun with it instead of being frustrated with the difficulty. However, after AC2 was when the gameplay really started leaning towards being more and more difficult that started with AC2 Another Age until they put out Last Raven. The AC3 and AC Nexus generation are some of the most difficult in the series because in AC3 they had something similar to Human PLUS called OP-Intensify which is only rewarded after you beat AC3 and even then you have to go through a list of like 10 insane challenges just to unlock the abilities to even use it. When AC Nexus came out though, they made OP-Intensify unavailable to the player yet they designed most of the enemy AC's in the game to use it to make the game artifically more difficult. In the AC Nexus games such as Ninebreaker and Last Raven, they really nerfed the Karasawa by significantly reducing it's ammo count and damage yet still made it super difficult to obtain in AC Nexus even though in reality it's not really worth it going out of your way to unlock it unless you want to go full completionist. Nexus is the only game in the series I actually managed to go full completionist on meaning I put my blood, sweat, and tears to get all of the hidden parts only to find out in Ninebreaker that I have to complete more insane challenges to unlock even more hidden parts before I'll finally be ready for Last Raven. Also, I don't know if you're going to attempt it but if you do attempt going through AC2 Another Age just be warned that it's also one of the most difficult games in the series and with over 90 missions to complete to beat the game it's going to take some serious determination and balls of steel to finish that one because some of those missions are just so difficult that they feel virtually impossible. 
 
Thanks, I think I will start from the begginning then. I did finish Another Age over a decade ago, it was the last in the series that I have played through completely, and I remember it being a very humbling experience. I enjoy the hard, one on one AC fights, its the really hard missions that I find fusterating. 


@Hammerfestus, thanks! Yeah, you couldnt just win the battle, you had to have enough men for the next battle! I like the wargaming dice being rolled under the hood, it makes for some epic victories and disasterous defeats. The little sprite soldiers are awesome too lol. "My men fear the beast!"

 


Edited: 09/28/2017 at 05:16 PM by MeteorBear

Sep 29, 2017 at 2:13:28 PM
Killer64 (0)
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< Klonoa >
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Originally posted by: MeteorBear
 

So far my favorite is actually Armored Core 2 one of the games you said you started on but never finished. Out of the entire series, AC2 is my favorite because it has that just right balance of challenge and fun (especially if you unlock all of the Human PLUS abilities then the entire game will be so easy you'll fly right through it in a few hours). I always do my best to go through the game without those abilities first and then if I feel like playing through it again I'll unlock the Human PLUS upgrades so that I can just have fun with it instead of being frustrated with the difficulty. However, after AC2 was when the gameplay really started leaning towards being more and more difficult that started with AC2 Another Age until they put out Last Raven. The AC3 and AC Nexus generation are some of the most difficult in the series because in AC3 they had something similar to Human PLUS called OP-Intensify which is only rewarded after you beat AC3 and even then you have to go through a list of like 10 insane challenges just to unlock the abilities to even use it. When AC Nexus came out though, they made OP-Intensify unavailable to the player yet they designed most of the enemy AC's in the game to use it to make the game artifically more difficult. In the AC Nexus games such as Ninebreaker and Last Raven, they really nerfed the Karasawa by significantly reducing it's ammo count and damage yet still made it super difficult to obtain in AC Nexus even though in reality it's not really worth it going out of your way to unlock it unless you want to go full completionist. Nexus is the only game in the series I actually managed to go full completionist on meaning I put my blood, sweat, and tears to get all of the hidden parts only to find out in Ninebreaker that I have to complete more insane challenges to unlock even more hidden parts before I'll finally be ready for Last Raven. Also, I don't know if you're going to attempt it but if you do attempt going through AC2 Another Age just be warned that it's also one of the most difficult games in the series and with over 90 missions to complete to beat the game it's going to take some serious determination and balls of steel to finish that one because some of those missions are just so difficult that they feel virtually impossible. 
 
Thanks, I think I will start from the begginning then. I did finish Another Age over a decade ago, it was the last in the series that I have played through completely, and I remember it being a very humbling experience. I enjoy the hard, one on one AC fights, its the really hard missions that I find fusterating. 


@Hammerfestus, thanks! Yeah, you couldnt just win the battle, you had to have enough men for the next battle! I like the wargaming dice being rolled under the hood, it makes for some epic victories and disasterous defeats. The little sprite soldiers are awesome too lol. "My men fear the beast!"

 
The mission in Another Age that gave me the most trouble was the one in the Zearm Desert where you had to fight 3 AC's at once with one of them using dual grenade launchers, the other one using mini guns, and then the third one using a sniper rifle with all 3 AC's attacking you at the same time. It took me several days of attempting it over and over just to get past that mission without using Human PLUS so that when I started a new file on that game with Human PLUS carried over I played right through it and I swore to never play that mission again. That one mission was one of the only missions I played so far in the entire series where I had to not only come up with the perfect AC build for my strategy but also perfect my strategy for that mission by playing it over and over again. Even with the significant drops in frame rate because of how much was going on all at once in that mission I still had trouble getting past it. 
 


Edited: 09/29/2017 at 02:14 PM by Killer64

Oct 11, 2017 at 4:06:07 AM
MeteorBear (0)
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Kings Field II

I liked this game but it was a bit of an odd duck. Its part RPG, part Dungeon Crawler and I think its own ambition hurts it quite a lot. My biggest problem with the game was how big it was, which is normally a good thing, but niether the fighting nor the exploration were good enough to make me want to carry through to the end.

The exploration was the best part of the game to me, there were some interesting areas and for the first half of the game I was always wondering what further down the road. The game had about 50 maps, all interconnected on a larger map of Verdite which you had to fight and explore through to get to the castle. The problem was many of the maps were fairly boring and by the final third I wanted to drop the game and not come back. Lots of sections where you are exploring hallways that you could drive a mac truck through and still have room, with the same enemies you just circle strafe over and over. Many maps felt like filler and I hate that. They could have done so much more with the 3d too, and when they did it was great, but the world was overall very flat.

The character progress stuff was good even if there was little choice in your characters focus or progession. The fighting was engaging enough, and I especially liked how they did the bow, there was an arc to the arrows and no reticle. Skyrim couldnt even get bows right and I rarely see a game that does so this was great to see. There were plenty of weapons and magic was secondary which was fine with me. The way they did light I did not like, in Shadow tower when you had light you could see farther, here it just made everything slightly brighter with a little more color but you couldnt actually see farther.

Overall I think if they had taken out about 1/3 of the maps and spent that time making the other 2/3 more unique then I would have loved the game. This game is basically a dungeon crawler that wants to be an epic rpg. The problem with that is a dungeon crawler thrives off confined spaces to make circle strafing harder, limited supplies and that ever present fear of death where you are one herb away from oblivion.

The good thing is the game had a good sense of itself. There was fast traveling, a mirror you could hold up to lots of stuff to get lore on it, you would sleep at an inn and always dream of upcoming places, lots of neat little concepts.

I havent played the first Kings Field but I have played Shadow Tower and I think Shadow Tower is the superior game. Its focus is more on combat, and while I prefer exploration, all of Shadow Towers parts fit together very efficiently and work well together. And that reminds me, the Music for Kings Field was occasionally great, but often annoying or meh.

I did look up how to beat the game as at first I couldnt figure something out and ended up getting the bad ending. It was pretty obscure too, without looking the problem up I would never have truly beaten the game.
Overall I liked it but it got old long before the final curtain. I think next time I play I will have to play the game in 2 sections half a year apart.

Jan 09 at 5:01:07 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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Dark Souls - Prepare to die Edition

I am a big fan of the Souls Franchise, with my favorite being Demon's Souls by far. Liking Demon's Souls so much I was disappointed by some changes in Dark Souls and I will try to list those real quick here.

Bonfires- They work well enough but without the warp ability they added to DSII its incredibly fusterating transversing from one side of the world to the other looking for how to progress.

Weapon Smiths- In Demons Souls there were two smiths and I could reach either one in three minutes including load times. In DS there are Four and they are scattered through the world, meaning anytime you want to even see if you can upgrade a weapon you have to spend ten or fifteen minutes going to some out of the way place to upgrade and then travel all the way back to what you were doing.

Frame Rate/Lighting issues- DS runs on the same engine as Demons Souls, the difference is they tried to make the levels much more epic in scale. To do this they made whole areas have bad frame rate and they jimmied with the lighting too, trying to artificially make areas darker when looking in certain directions. The lighting was wierd and I wonder what exactly they did to pull off the effect.

Death not Punishing/ Theme- In Demons Souls the theme worked perfectly with the mechanics of the game. If you died you lost your life and turned into soul form. Once in soul form you had half health and the only way to regain your living form was an uncommon consumable or beating a boss at the end of a level. Not only that but if you died you lost all your soul which is your currency for leveling up, buying and upgrading item. I loved the threat of this. In DS there was no loss of your healthbar when you died, to me this takes so much away from excitement you feel trying not to die. To add to that each time you lost your life in human form in Demons Souls you pushed the whole area to a darker World Tendency, which makes enemies tougher and eventually new powerful enemies begin to appear.

The Estus Flask- God I hate this thing. In Demons SOuls you could buy healing items but it was with the same currency you level up and buy everything else, so everytime you healed you would just think, 'I cant waste anymore, I cant take anymore damage!'. With the Estus Flask they took away the healing items for the most part and gave you this Estus Flask that had so many heals inside it that could not be refilled except at a bonfire. Gone was the fear of wasting your currency and limited supply of healing items, down a 3rd of health, top off! who cares you get more for free later. By the end of the game you have 20 each time you reach a bonfire. Its stupid and my the biggest gripe to the changes made, add to it the other design changes to levels, save points, dieing and you have a much more forgiving game. Im not sure I could say its 'easier', but its not as nail biting and I really missed that.

Theme- Demons Souls was Gothic Horror and it was awesome, dark, clausterphobic and original. Dark Souls felt more like Gothic Fantasy with more HUGE weebo weapons, silly looking armor and less realistic weapons and armor in general. This leads me to the next complaint

Change of Combat Focus- Demons Souls had difficult levels because they were expansive (in the dark, clausterphobic sense) and long and at the end you had to defeat a boss. Most of the Bosses were difficult but I would say the levels were usually more difficult, Bosses were more like the icing on the cake. DS on the other hand had shorter gaps between Campfires and sometimes Campfires just before bosses. Levels in general seemed easier and bosses harder. While the distance between campfires were smaller than the levels in Demons Souls, DS levels had much more room to maneuver, meaning dodging was now a much bigger focus in the game and nessesary to survive. You now fought much bigger enemies and needed bigger weapons to engage them effectively too, which circles back to the huge weebo weapons now so prevalent. I blame the PvP community for the influences and changes made to DS, in this aspect at least.


With all these criticisms you would thing I didnt like the game but I did, I really enjoyed it, Especially the first half. In the first half the interconnections of the levels conceptually is amazing, it just needed some warp ability. The second half of the game I could care less to ever play again, its expansive as it is empty. I think they both, ran out of time and didnt want to repeat environments, so you get these large, fantastical, boring levels. The DLC bosses were really good, the levels so so. As you can probably tell by now the levels are what I play the game for, I like the exploration and fighting and conserving strength and limited supplies, its the essence of dungeon crawling. Its a great game, but my least favorite of the PS3 Souls games.

Jan 12 at 2:32:29 AM
MeteorBear (0)
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Shadow Tower

Finally got around to beating this game, if I had known I was so close I would have finished it off last year.
I enjoyed the game enough, it had its flaws but it was a dungeon crawler, something I dont see a lot anymore.
The setting of the game is basically an inverted tower, almost like a giant well that you can never see the top or bottom. There are stairs descending this giant, underground shaft at various points that lead to doors into different dungeons, eventually leading you down to the door to the final boss, which will only open if you defeated the bosses of teh previous 6 dungeons.

The game is pretty simple, you fight a lot of monsters, occasionally you will come across various tombstones that are doorways to shops and savepoints. Theres many secret walls but thats about it. There are a few NPCs you will come across who say obscure things and the game had great atmosphere, but it was just missing something. A little more interactivity with the envionrment or maybe a need for food would have evened the game a lot.

The system of weapons, currency and health was circular which was very interesting. You occasionally found a tombstone here or there and it might sell a few items, namely healing potions being the most useful, or it could be a trader that you can trade weapons for a health potion. Money was more rare that finding a weapon in the game but the interesting part was you weapons, magic rings and armor all wore down rather quickly, especially the former two. The only way to repair your stuff was by finding that rare tombstone that traded your health to repair an item. So to get health potions you would trade away items you no longer wanted, to repair the stuff you did want you needed health potions for the life you were trading for the repairs. I liked this sort of balancing act for dungeon crawlers, to me any good dungeon crawler is all about limited supplies and making the best of what you have.

The fighting was ok, there was a lot of it but this was alleviated a bit by there being so many monsters, over 100, so it was always something new. I wish the difficulty had stayed strong throughout the game but the last third I was getting over powered. I did find a lot of secrets but I still felt like I was missing stuff, I know a few places I left behind from a locked door I never figured out how to get past.

The atmosphere was great, very dark, no music, your only company was the sound of your footsteps. Every now and then a strange sound, half the time I would never figure out was it was. The silence often let you know when something was ahead in the dark though. You could get a torch that would let you see farther, but like everything those were in short supply. Once you beat the boss of a certain area the lights came on. Also the certain weapons and armor might put off some light so by the end the light isnt nearly as much of an issue. Sadly by the end nothing is really an issue, youre overpowered and marching through everything, to me this takes away a lot for this sort of game.

Overall I liked it, much better than Kings Field II if only because it did not overstay its welcome. I hated all the secret doors, way too much strafing against walls pressing the x button rapidly. There was no map which I really liked. The first half was much more engaging than the second because of the difficulty. The were tons of different weapons and armor. Cant think of much else. Its one of those game I feel could have been great, for me at least, if it just had a little more to it.



DuckTales Remastered PS3

My brother and I played this over the Thanksgiving holidays and it was really good. I played the original Nintendo version as a kid over a weekend rental at a friends and have foggy but fond memories of it. The game mechanics hold up well and it at least felt how I remembered it, and it felt like a Nintendo game.
Bouncing is fun, and Ducktales proves its. Great themes too for the different levels, and hearing Scrooge McDuck exclaim 'Women, Children and Millionaires' first never gets old. We didnt actually beat it, in typical NES fashion after you beat the last boss you get this ridiculous platforming section, timed and if you fail it you have to play the whole robust last level, and beat the boss again just to get to it. We did it a couple of times and after not getting even close to beating the times section we agreed that we beat the game enough for our satisfaction.

Jan 13 at 8:45:32 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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Last of Us- Grounded difficulty

I finally polished off this playthrough on the DLC Grounded difficulty. It was a fun difficulty in some ways and a little boring in others. The major differences are the AI is more aggressive, no health bar and you cant tell how many rounds are in the chamber, less supplies, die easier, longer distances between checkpoints. I liked most of the changes, was neutral on the lack of no health bar and cant tell how many rounds in the chamber. The only thing I didnt like about it was the incredibly chronic shortage of any sort of supplies, which makes the game a little more one dimensional as you are forced to sneak through most of the game. I like the sneaking, but I like the combat too and being able to recover from mistakes without reloading the last check point.
I loved this game and its my fifth or sixth time to beat the game. I think I might have beat the game on Normal, then I went through Hard, Hard+, Survival, Survival+ and now Grounded. I doubt I will play the Grounded plus, I would rather go back to Survivalist difficulty for at least a little bit of supplies.

The game is broken up into 3 acts, and within those three acts the game play alternates between making your way through Human foes, and Zombie foes. The Zombie levels can be really good and atmospheric, though fighting Humans is where the game shines for me, especially in the second act. Also the finale of the game is great, you finally can go all out and stop conserving everything. The feel of the game, the controls, melee combat, firearms, sneaking, all these aspect feel so good that for the first couple of years I had the game anytime I tried to play any other game that was half way similar I just quit playing itbecause it just made me want to go back and replay the Last of Us. Its a bit ironic that I passed on the game for a the first few years it was out because all everyone ever talked about was the story and I figured I wouldnt like it because I didnt like the Uncharted franchise. Great game!

Jan 26 at 6:56:04 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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Kings Field

This was a great dungeon crawler. The game takes place on a fabled island with a lot of history surrounding it. In the manual it tells how in the begginning a ship fell from the heavens and how a god or demon lived there. In ancient times the Elves moved to the island before monsters came out of the depths to destroy them. Then a great King of the surrounding lands colonized the place and planned to make it his home, again monsters came out of the depths and his Empire broke up into three kingdoms, the monsters overran two of them before being stopped.

The island is basically a mountain sticking out of the ocean, and the game almost exclusively takes place within the mountain. I liked how as you made your way through the labyrinth you were walking through the history of the island. The levels design was excellent, though it didnt really have levels in the typical sense. All the areas interconnected and unlike Kings Field II where all the levels fit perfectly into a map, these 'levels' covered and shared multiple maps and I would be at a loss even trying to break some very large areas up.

The atmosphere was perfect for the most part. The music was good to very good, though I would have preferred moments without music and the constant sound of your footsteps. Its an early ps1 game so the game is dark which goes well with the theme.

The game was more difficult than Kings Field II which was a welcome surprise. The Enemies were tougher and the areas to maneuver were smaller. I didnt like how certain types of merchants were scattered throughout the game. The levels were already labyrinthine and running from one area to the next looking for the right guy to talk to was annoying.

The game felt like it took a lot of inspiration from Ultima Underworld, a western CRPG and first of its kind to be full 3d and shared the same sort of descent into a mountain with civilization and history stacked on top of one another.

I did miss the diversity and abundance of weapons that Kings Field II had. The pickings were fairly slim in this one.

This game easily goes into my top 5 Dungeon Crawlers. It also made me appreciate Kings Field II a little more. For all its flaws they tried to make it a different game from the first one.

Overall the game was a little short. If I had to guess I would say I spend 30-35 hours on it. As I get older I appreciate this sort of length more and more.

I have to say I am finding the From Software games really easy to go back and play unlike some other games I have started and never finished.

For anyone interested in Dungeon Crawlers I will list my favorites. I still havent played Arx Fatalis for the original XBOX and I dont really consider Demons Souls a pure Dungeon Crawler.

1- Dungeon Master
2- Kings Field
3- Ultima Underworld
4- Legend of Grimrock
5- Shadow Tower

Jan 27 at 5:39:55 AM
hammerfestus (8)
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I never really got into dungeon crawlers as a whole although I did pretty thoroughly enjoy playing through Diablo 3 recently and the original Diablo was awesome way back in the day.

Shadow Tower looks cool but damn is that a pricey pickup. I've actually got the PSM issue where it was previewed as a game released in Japan and it looked intriguing even then.

Jan 31 at 3:09:07 AM
MeteorBear (0)
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The price is a bit ridiculous. I bought it on PSN to try it out and decided I liked it enough to buy it, now Im just waiting for a good price.

Feb 11 at 6:39:21 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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Tenchu Stealth Assassins

I love this game. Its nice to see it hold up so well from how I remembered it. Its a little hard to get into at first because its very focused game. Its also a unforgiving in terms of being good at the game, your line of sight is short and if you can see the enemy then they can see you unless crouching. This is another game where the theme turns the weak draw distance of the PS1 into a strength. Every mission is at night and it feels like a night that no PS2 game ever did as well. The combat is funtional but not much more, encouraging stealth. Stealth is also encouraged by your rewards for completing a mission at a higher grade. The game is presented in stages, each stage has three versions and as far as I can tell, which stage you get is random. The stealth rating, stage formula, rewards and variations to enemy placement add a lot to the replay value. The game is short, you can beat it with one of the two characters in about 15 hours if you dont die often.

The music is amazing, its in my top three greatest video game soundtracks of all time. Up there with Might and Magic 6 and FFVII for the curious. I read that one of the develpers wifes insisted the opening music be done in a language I had never heard of, its beautiful. Theres a lot of it too so it never comes close to getting old. The music also helps for those must have patient moments waiting for the kill.

The graphics are good, I personally love them and thier simplicity has aged well. The grey and earth tone pallete matches well with the limited view at night and the feudal theme.

The controls a tight, I finally sat down and just practiced the one move I had never mastered which was the 180 flip, took about 10 minutes. I still cant tell if there is a stealth kill animation for jumping off a room onto an enemy, if there is I have never been able to do it. The controls are simple but give you all the tools you need to have a great time, just takes a little while to master them.

Some levels are better than others, but almost all of them are well designed with plenty of different possiblities for going through them.

This game was a complete package, a stealth game that is distilled to the very heart of a whole genre. Im surprised they did so much right for the first game in this genre. The music, the theme, the precise control, level design, excellent all around.


I just want to mention Tenchu II since I doubt I will ever finish it now. I give it credit for trying some new stuff but so much of it doesnt work as well. A few of the changes didnt even make sense, now when you change your item instead of the highlight moving across the items your item move toward the highlight.
I guess I had three big gripes with the sequel.
1- The music, there is now silence through most of the game. It is more ambient with wind blowing or cicadas chirping but I sorely missed it.
2- Most of the game is during the day, Why!? You have ninjas running around in black during the middle of the day, it doesnt work with the draw distance and doesnt match up with the theme of the game.
3- Backgrounds- They added still backgrounds which would be fine except for the notorious Playstation pop up. So you will being walking towards something and a mountain just fades in front of the back ground or a tree, building or whatever. Even the foggy day levels and night levels had these backgrounds. Its jarring and looks plain bad.
4- Level design, the levels are weak compared to the first game. A lot of jagged outdoor levels that have little to post up against. Few city levels and an annoying water mechanic that runs counter the core principle of the game.

They also changed the grappling hook to only hook on ledges, I didnt like it but not a big deal. Same with weaker looking character models. The whole game was brighter, more colorful. The enemies were downright goofy a points. Overall more of a anime feel to the art design.

They did add some cool stuff. The girl now runs faster that Rikimaru, which is good since Rikimarus sword is better than her twin daggers. The sight distance is longer which is nice, but they combined it with a larger ki meter which makes the game quite a bit easier.

The level editor was also a disappointment. You have 5 levels of height, not nearly enough, and a fairly small area to build. I didnt mess with it a lot because I hated the building materials, after 7 levels I had Mountain area, Inside a castle, Swamp area, Sea area, training area (caves), sea temple and village. Its like playing wilderness ninja.

Its Tenchu so still fun, but a lot of added stuff that doesnt feel like it meshes well with the core concepts of the game. Sneaking along walls, rappeling to roofs, not swimming because you want to be quiet.

May 29 at 6:04:09 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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Armored Core Project Phantasma

This is the second Armored Core game in a series of three for the PS1. As a teen I bought all three of them soon as they came out and was a huge fan, looking back PP was my favorite at the time, barely edgeing out the first Armored Core. The first Armored Core had the best campaign in the trilogy, but it was PP that came with the new and now pretty standard arena mode. I was a little bored with it at first and thought arena mode wasnt as fun as I remembered it, then I got to the final 10 mechs and it all came back. Epic battles that are intense and a joy to watch in replay after the match it over. Once you get to the harder battles then the building aspect gets more fun as you try and create the perfect mech.
Building a perfect mech is impossible of course and thats one of the things that always drew me to these game. Anything you gain in one area is a sacrifice in another. Each mech has to be piloted in sometimes completely different ways, and you often have to sit there is silence for a minute as you retrain your view on how to react in each mech.

The combat in the arena is just as fun as it was years ago. This isnt like a first person shooter, thats mostly reflex gaming with a nod to positioning, Armored Core combat is chess at a 50 mph. Every gun has a range, every mech has a running speed, boosting speed and flying speed, most good levels have a fair amount of cover and finally you have to be facing you opponent to hit them (we wont go into energy drain, output, turning speed, wieght and boost power). Within this simple framework you have to kill the mech opposite of you and there are tonnes of ways to do it. There isnt a better feeling than beating a particularly tough mech, then watching the replay from a different angle as you dodge in and out of buildings and fly like a madman to beat your opponent, the replay is the best reward you could recieve.

Unfortunately I played the first Armored Core through on my PS2, but after discovering that my PS2 was leaving these circular marks on any PS1 disc I had to switch to the PS3. I had to restart PP and without the saved data from the first game, which was fine except I had all the secret weapons which cannot be obtained in the second game... They are mostly OP anyways so not a big loss, but the completionist in me is still a bit sore about it. Luckily the campaign for the first game is quite enjoyable, unlike PP. With PP there is no choice in who to back, less missions and not nearly as original. In the first AC you destroy an huge cannon in space by flying into it, roam huge underground labyrinths and generally see a lot of diversity in the locations. With PP most levels are short and pretty basic, so I just ran through all the arena matches first, beat the #1 mech which gives you the 'the finger' and proceeded to take the most OP weapon ever concieved and blitz the campaign in a couple sittings.

PP is a perfect companion piece to the first AC, weak on campaign, but more than making up for the fact with Arena mode, (and a lot of new VS maps). My favorite VS map is underground city, and I consider it the most balanced with any build being able to preform decently there.

I have Armored Core fever again and ordered Master of the Arena soon as I finished PP. It has been a fun ride down memory lane, and it nice to see a game I was so fond of back in the day hold up well.

Jul 08 at 3:17:40 PM
MeteorBear (0)
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Super Mario World

My brother took a vacation and came to visit for a week. Growing up we had family computers like the Commadore 64 and we had Atari Lynx's. So Nintendo games were sort of these larger than life games we never got to play much less beat. Every night for the last week the two of us would play for an couple of hours and on his last night we beat the game. I really enjoyed it! Its a Mario game so Im not sure what else needs to be said. Played on the Super NES mini. The save anywhere feature was great and the controllers felt excellent.