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StarTopic The 2024 Completed Games Thread

Replay 2: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Switch)

I last played Ace Attorney (and Justice For All, haven't played any of the others) years ago on the DS. Since I recently picked up the AA Trilogy along with the AJ Trilogy and GAA Chronicles on Switch, I figured I may as well just start from the beginning.

And... it's still a really good game. Some of the humour perhaps doesn't land as well for me now, but it's still wacky fun and the HD graphics are overall pretty good. They felt, to my dodgy memory, like the DS sprites. There's a nice escalation through the first four cases and the 4th feels like a great capstone to the game with a great villain and satisfying character development.

Then there's Rise From the Ashes.

This case is like marmite, I guess. People either seem to love or hate it. While I couldn't remember the details beyond the basic plot structure, I vaguely remembered not liking this one much on the DS and my opinion hasn't changed now. It's a complete momentum killer, with padded investigation and trial sequences, obnoxious minigames (though at least here they don't rely on DS gimmicks, but that just makes most of them sorta pointless), and weird difficulty spikes.

It's a real shame because the story is actually pretty decent and the villain is fantastic, but the case just sapped my enthusiasm. Spending what felt like ages to do the rotate the jar to make it look like the Blue Badger puzzle, which felt punishingly and ridiculously exact, pretty much was the point I just wanted to get it finished.

If ever a time comes I replay this again, I think I'll just do the original four cases and skip RFTA. In the meantime, I'll take a break, play some other stuff, and come back refreshed for Justice For All.
PC Engine has a ton of cute little games so have a whole lot of them because I'm depressed and have only been playing old games for the past 2 days

49. Gokuraku Chuka Taisen

One of the most surprising things about this title is its release date. Gokuraku Chuka Taisen feels like an NES shooter as opposed to one that was released when next-gen systems were already on the market. While originally an arcade game, this release does nothing to make it better than approximately 8000 other shmups already available for PC Engine.

The enemies are samey, and the minibosses only differ in their presentations and how many bullets they shoot.

The game is a bit of an asshole, sometimes spawning enemies without any warning from any number of direction, but aside from that is ultimately very boring. Stages barely differ aside from a watery cave one which actually has some unique enemies that are thematically appropriate, and bosses, save for the last one, are easy.

It's not the worst horizontal shmup, but it feels very dated. Only worth it if you have a craving for something of its theme.


50. Gradius on the TurboGrafx

I might not know a lot about shmups, but I do know Gradius, and Gradius rules.
Even as a straight port of the arcade, this game still kicks ass due to some good enemy variety and a neat power-up system.

I believe there's also an additional level in this version, but I can't say I like this version too much, mainly because of the slowdown. Starting with level 2 you're basically looking at the game in slow-mo.

I'd also say that this game doesn't sound as good as the NES version, but that's not much of an issue, since the music is still quite good.


51. Legend of Hero Tonma

A Ghosts 'n Goblins-like platformer that's fairly cute, but about just as unfair.

Just because the game is a platformer doesn't mean it was spared TurboGrafx' curse of not having shmup elements, as you power-up your weapon and collect subweapons.

The game feels chaotic, and not really in a good way. It'll endlessly spawn enemies from every corner in a way that never feels designed, and more just like they were haphazardly placed all over. The levels are short but with lots of going on, and the main attraction are bosses who are all pretty easy but really fun to figure out.


52. Legendary Axe II

An interesting platformer/beat-em-up that feels a lot like Classicvania. You fight almost endless enemies, power-up your weapons and can switch to one of three main weapons if you pick up the drop.

Way easier than the first title which I couldn't beat, mainly because every second enemy likes to drop health replenishments. However, the last level is an insane maze that features some really awful fights and even bosses from previous stages.

The game doesn't control that great especially in places where it wants you to platform and can be a bit scummy with never indicating falling platforms in vertical levels, but I've had a good time.

10. Stellar Blade (or maybe Stettar Blade based on the logo, idk) (6/10)

I was hyped by the demo, but unfortunately it was pretty average. By trying to put everything into the game, copying everything left and right without understanding the choices made by the titles that inspired it, none of the combat mechanics seem really accomplished, and I'm not even talking about the approximate platforming in these overloaded levels (despite the yellow paint).

The story is utterly dull, and I'd have happily skipped the cinematics if only it was possible. Even the music, which isn't all that bad, bored me out because of the short loops and compositions that all sound a bit the same. But the worst thing was undoubtedly the side quests, which made me relativize the lameness of the ones in NieR.

What's left is the costume search, which is fun because we're not used to games giving out that sort of stuff for free anymore, and the boss battles, which are really challenging (unlike the rest of the game) and quite exhilarating when after several tries you reach that kind of osmosis where you block and avoid attacks perfectly to finally win. But that's not enough to save the experience for me. A popcorn game that's not awful, but that I'll have forgotten by tomorrow.

1. Hentai Golf (0/10)
2. Hitman: Blood Money – Reprisal (6/10)
3. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All (7,5/10)
4. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth (10/10)
5. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations (8/10)
6. Captain Tsubasa: Rise of the New Champions (3/10)
7. Unicorn Overlord (6,5/10)
8. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (9,5/10)
9. Megaton Musashi W: Wired (4/10)
10. Stellar Blade (6/10)
53. Power Gate

Pretty nifty horizontal shmup where you control a really wide plane.

The game doesn't have the most involved power-up system, but does give you plenty of consumable abilities from shields to 8-way bombs and even invincibility (without which I wouldn't beat this game)

Your main arsenal is actually pretty crappy consisting of really tiny bullets and downward bombs, but the enemies' also feel very real, rarely shooting more than one bullet at you. The real danger is always in the fact that you have to stay in the middle of the screen because there are as many enemies coming at you from behind as there are from the front.

The game feels like it gives up in the backhalf, with two stages being fairly samey corridors with moving layers that don't even have a boss, and the last level constantly throwing the same challenge at you.


54. Psycho Chaser

I think if you call your game Psycho Chaser you owe it to the world to at least create something pretty badass.

Psycho Chaser isn't. It's a vertical shmup where a RoboCop looking player slowly jogs at enemies.

It's fairly mindnumbing. You can switch between four weapons and in between levels upgrade them as you see fit. The lite RPG system is fairly solid, but you end up upgrading everything before the final level easily, so there's not much point to it.

There are also multi-shot upgrades of which I've seen two in the whole game that add a second shot to your weapon, but no more than that. Aside from that you auto-shoot missiles.

I feel like there's a solid game somewhere here, but the levels are long and samey and the backgrounds are pretty bad, often making you wonder what you can stand on and what you can't. Don't lightly jog into the pit, Robo, it'll kill ya!

The music might be ok, but the sound effects are overpowering. Also, maybe it's just me, but I think two of the weapons are at all points outclassed by others. You don't really need side shot ever, and thunder, while homing, gets easily beaten by any obsticle and has a tendency to go to any enemy it sees fit, leaving you defenceless. Compared to Fire - a standard laser, and multishot, I honestly think they're just bad.

I also question the part where the game puts you on a narrow walkway with an enemy closing in you can't defeat only to ask you to effectively walk through it at a certain angle, because no weapons can kill it in time.

It's pretty bad.


55. Psychosis

I think Psychosis tries way too hard.

It's a fairly standard horizontal shmup that really wants to be weird, but I think fails at it. Barely anything about it stands out outside of level start and level end screens, and its colorful graphics are sometimes to its detriment as you can't even tell what's what. My only deaths in this game after the second boss were to the walls I couldn't recognize as walls.

I also think arsenal sucks. You have three weapons and only the main wide beam feels like it can do everything right. The alt fire comes from your options which you can rotate so I question the need for a back laser, and the thunder shot is a pitiful little wall you erect from the orbs around you that I never picked up after level 1.

The game's fairly easy after you realize that some bosses' pattern has an almost blind spot that's not hard to figure out, and look, maybe it does get harder since the game welcomes you to WORLD II which is just the game again. Honestly, fuck any game that tries that Ghosts n Goblins crap. No.


56. Super Star Soldier

I think I'm outshmupped. I have no desire to play them anymore, and when I started dipping my toes in the PC Engine collection I didn't know that every first game would be one. A magical girl game? Shmup. Dragon games? Shmups. Helicopter? Shmup. Ninjas? Shmups. Toilets that spew piss at you? Yes there's a shmup about that!

Due to this I think Super Star Soldier didn't hit as much as it would've. It's another vertical space shooter in the vein of Super Aleste and Gun Nac with tons of weapons you upgrade. The sense of speed and the enemies are different and the levels are short enough, never feeling like the same situation over and over. It's probably one of the better games on the platform! However, due to playing so many of these things it's hard to compliment the game in a way that'll make it feel that distinct. It also likely deserves a better score, but I can't anymore.

1. Super Mario RPG (Switch)
2. Metroid Fusion (NSO)
3. Super Mario 64 (3D All-Stars, Switch)
4. Dredge (Switch)
5. Baten Kaitos I (Switch)
6. The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (NSO)
7. A Highland Song (Switch)
8. Super Mario Sunshine(3D All-Stars, Switch)
9. Chants of Sennaar (Switch)
10. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown (Switch)
11. Super Mario Galaxy (3D All-Stars, Switch)
Did a pretty quick 60 star hit-the-credits run the last few days. I had a blast with it, because there's a lot I admire here. In a way it reminds me of this generation's open world Zelda games: Nintendo using clever technical decisions to make next-gen feeling games on pretty limited hardware. Visually and musically this is such a step up over Sunshine, with gorgeous colours, stunning lighting, and tactile looking characters, objects and surfaces. Splintering apart the levels into discrete chunks and masking the loading with the swooping sequences combines with the often soaring music and frequently automated camera to make this a surprisingly cinematic Mario game. It's also frequently inventive and still looks and sounds stunning today.

But, all the praise to one side, the controls just feel that little bit too slow and clunky, and the game really takes a long time to ramp up. Those early levels are largely atmospheric and wondrous cosmic spaces, but it takes several sets of galaxies before it feels like the game is flexing its muscles. That's understandable given the context the game hails from, but it's also why I prefer the sadly unavailable sequel. How I wish I had that up next!

As it is, I'm most of the way through the delightful but very short Fall of Elena Temple and have barely scratched the surface of Star Ocean 2.

12. The Fall of Elena Temple (Switch)
This was a really fun diversion paid for with gold points. A simple premise, simple controls, and visuals, but it becomes a pleasing brain teaser as it goes on. It'll likely only last people an hour or two, but in the UK it's £2.59 - so less than a pint in most places!

I actually bought it to get a feel for PlayDate, the system this debuted on, which I've thought of getting but am yet to jump on. Kudos to the developer, because I'm even more curious about the system from whence this came.
A Highland Song
• Baldur's Gate 3
Baten Kaitos I
• Baten Kaitos II
• EarthBound
• Final Fantasy II
• Final Fantasy III
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
• Metroid Fusion

Star Ocean The Second Story R
Super Mario 64
• Super Mario Sunshine
• Super Mario Galaxy

• Super Mario 3D World (+ Bowser's Fury)
• Super Mario Odyssey
Chants of Sennaar
• Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

• Ristar
• Crusader of Centy
• Bayonetta Origins
• Unicorn Overlord
Fall of Elena Temple

Italics mark in-progress games
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With a few games coming out only tomorrow, and my husband unable to put down Baldur's Gate 3, I didn't have anything to do so I went through Turbo CD library and I guess I lied. Here's to some more goddamn shmups because those are there, too

57. Gradius II on PC Engine

I'm not sure I've ever played any sequels to Gradius despite loving its central mechanics.

Gradius II is for insane people. I've played maybe 50 shmups in the past few weeks. Some I've beaten, some I didn't, but I think this might be the hardest of them all.

It doesn't deviate much from the original game, just has new enemies, levels, and bosses, but the difficulty has been turned up significantly. Starting from high-speed maze that has a ton of dead ends and continuing into insane gauntlets of bosses and enemies, I'm not sure how anyone's supposed to beat this game without memorizing its last three stages to the point of needing a TAS.

That said, it's still a very impressive game that I've enjoyed, but I had to put a few more checkpoints than I usually would.

Welp, it's time to say goodbye to emulation for now. Some cool indie games came out so my attention won't be focused on smaller games. Kinda felt bad for basically just hogging this thread but hey, old games are short! Here's to the last of PC Engine's insane library of shmups:

58. Steam-Heart's (yes that's how it's spelled)

A mediocre PC Engine CD shmup. Fairly simple mechanic-wise with only two weapons. Thankfully gives you a lot of health so pretty easy even on middle of three difficulties.

The real stars of the show are obviously the music and the anime aesthetic which both boosts and hinders the game. The 90's anime artstyle is gorgeous, but the cutscenes are often just still images and the game features a lot of in-stage dialogue, some of which isn't skippable.

The main draw here is that the game features a lot of softcore images of characters after every stage, although funnily enough the most risque pictures come after the first level. I can say that I'm pretty happy that I couldn't understand a word of the story because it seems """funny""", but I've had a pretty good time overall since modern emulators have a fast forward feature.

It's a simple game with very few features, but sometimes you don't really need to decide between one of eight weapons and just want to shoot some space stuff to arcadey music. As far as games that have boobs go, this one doesn't just use sex for its selling point.


59. Lords of Thunder

A really fun shmup with some basic economy that lets you purchase things between stages.

The game is a little Mega Man-y in that it allows you to choose stages and, it seems, has some sort of elemental strengths and weaknesses system as chosen before the stage armor sometimes would melt through the boss.

It's a fairly easy game on Normal, letting you replenish your health and buy a whole lot of goodies for yourself which, in addition to already fairly massive health pool, really helps. The economy is such that usually doing fairly good lets you completely refresh power and health and buy something extra after each of the stages.

It's a really fun time, and every stage feels different.


60. Chou Aniki

On the surface Cho Aniki seems like a game I should've loved. It's a bonkers horizontal shmup that's full of homoeroticism and strange contraptions you slowly disassemble.

Often feeling like a parade of bosses, the levels are small and often are just there to provide you power-ups: the single pill that seems to power up your shot after you get a few, and options, who, I'm guessing are your titular Aniki.

The music is strange and operatic, and it all has great vibes, yet it didn't click with me. The gameplay is fairly mediocre and bosses, while great looking, often either have unclear hitboxes or gotcha attacks. With some, it's hard to tell where you're supposed to shoot because some just refuse to flash red like the Elvis Boat House Thing? Some others take up the whole screen and you should just get lucky understanding what's a hit box and what isn't.

I think Cho Aniki is worth a play especially since Easy mode is definitely easy, but it's lasting appeal comes only from how it looks and sounds.


61. Zero Wing

To finish up this journey of shmups I wanted to find a game that could act as an ending to my journey, and I remembered this one! I suppose a weird title known only for a meme is a good place to end. At least people know this one.

I suppose there is a reason for why Zero Wing is only remembered for one thing and not its gameplay or its music or its graphics. It's a pretty bad video game.

You have your standard color-coded power-up system: get more of same color in a row to upgrade your powers. Yet I've never felt the need to switch from green once the game gave it to me for the first time. Three homing projectiles are just that good. Unlike other games where homing stuff might be weaker, I'm fairly sure the fact that all bullets are almost guaranteed to hit enemies means this is also your main cannon for DPS.

The game takes a page from Gradius and tries to make some stages their own characters with things you can destroy and dodge, but when most stages are various bases everything just runs together. I have JUST beaten this game and I can barely remember how the stages differ aside from the one where strange machines eat the path for you.

There's nothing wrong with an easy game, but Zero Wing is samey and boring. There's not much sense of speed and enemies either shoot exactly one bullet at you or have a shotgun-like spread. This changes only at the very last level where some enemies get homing missiles of their own. One of the weirder things about this game was learning that apparently the Sega game is fairly tough and the PC Engine port which I didn't play (if you play Zero Wing you GOTTA experience the "story") makes it even easier.

There's not much memorable about the designs or bosses and some levels can drag on just sending wave after wave of the same enemies at you.

Aside from that cutscene, this game deserves to be forgotten.

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Hey hey, my first post on Famiboards! (months after making my account...)

Anyhoo, I went a little crazy during the eshop sale last December, and I had plenty left to play even before that. Tagging this to come back to and keep a record of everything I finish this year. I don't have a ton of time at home, but I'm hoping I can get some good play time in during my work commutes. Just have to keep myself off Pokemon long enough to finish other stuff.

2024 Completed List:
Pokemon Scarlet: Indigo Disk
Light Fall
Pokemon Ultra Sun
Pokemon Emerald

Okay, I'm not going to predict what game I think I'll finish next anymore. I did get a bit further in Symphonia since my last post, but I got sidetracked and blitzed through Emerald instead in the meantime. It's not my first run through Gen 3 (I played a lot of Ruby back in the day), but I was able to appreciate the updates Emerald made to the region a lot more this time around. I also really appreciated the extra emphasis on double battles, which I'm almost positive were barely used in Ruby. I've already started digging into the post game, and I imagine that'll keep me pretty busy for a bit... But we'll see. Maybe Symphonia's on deck? Finally?
Finished Little Kitty Big City. Good game. Highly recommend playing it if you love cats.

1. Another Code 1
2. Another Code 2
3. Saga of the Moon Priestess
5. Mario Vs. Dk
6. Apollo Justice
7. Dual Destinies
8. Spirit of Justice
9. Star Ocean 2 Second Story R
10. Princess Peach Showtime
11. Unicorn Overlord
12. Crypt Stalker
13. Little Kitty Big City

It's been a good few weeks for indie games, huh? There's been a lot of very good indie games lately, such as Little Kitty Big City, and ANIMAL WELL is another one. First revealed 2 years ago, and featured in an Indie World last year, ANIMAL WELL is the first game (that I can see) by Billy Basso; and another Metroidvania game at that. So, what makes this one stand out?

The game starts with your awakening in the titular "Animal Well", guided only towards four coloured flames in the four corners of the world. The game makes an incredible first impression with the visuals and sound design; ANIMAL WELL has an 8-bit art style, but uses layers, various lighting techniques, fluid simulation and particle effects to give the game a depth and detail that you don't normally see in 8-bit games. The game is very dimly lit much of the time; when combined with the excellent sound design, the well has a foreboding yet enchanting atmosphere. This is likely in part due to the denizens of the well, including an adorable ghost dog, rabbits, a mischievous kangaroo and more, range from cute to outright horrifying, giving the game a unique vibe I've simply not seen elsewhere.

Unlike most Metroidvania games, ANIMAL WELL is much more of a puzzle-platformer than an action-platformer. As you progress, you gather items needed to progress: yet none of these are weapons (and only a select few can distract more aggressive foes, such as the firecrackers). From the Bubble Wand to the slinky, items instead facilitate progression by allowing you traverse the world in new ways and solve increasingly intricate puzzles. In particular, the Bubble Wand is reminiscent of the Bubble Flower from Super Mario Bros. Wonder, with similar high-level tech involving repeated bubble jumps: a technique the creator has seeminly recognised when it comes to some post-game collectibles.

Unlike other puzzle-platformers such as Toki Tori or Mario vs. Donkey Kong, ANIMAL WELL instead places greater emphasis on execution rather than figuring out a series of "steps" (towards a solution) - meaning the game is excellently paced despite taking place in a very dense map. It is incredibly fun to explore, find new areas and secrets, and discover each area at a steady pace, complemented by the atmosphere (as mentioned earlier). However, the gameplay really hits its stride when items are used in tandem. Most of the four "biomes" can't be finished on your first attempt unless you have the key item from another biome, meaning items get strong use throughout the game (rather than being forgotten about outside their intended area). Movement on the whole feels smooth and frictionless, with exploration also a breeze thanks to the detailled map and stamp/pencil functionality to draw and label points of interest.

As you explore, you slowly realise that something is afoot. There are strange murals and hints towards bigger puzzles, tiny side rooms crammed into the smallest gaps on the map, and a large number - 64, to be exact - additional collectible "eggs" to find. It is then you realise that ANIMAL WELL isn't your bog-standard game, but itself one giant puzzle. The creator describes the game as three-tiered: beating the game, getting all the regular collectibles, and then solving the mystery of the game itself. Similar to Fez and Tunic, the game contains puzzles that the community must solve, such as a giant mural that required 50 people to put together; and this makes the game rewarding to explore. Your curiosity is always rewarded, using items is always rewarding, and finding neat tech with the items is useful, because it puts you one step closer towards solving the game's mystery. Even after 15 hours, I'm still discovering - and hearing about - new things I didn't see on my fairly exhaustive playthrough! It's been a while since I've seen a game so dense, yet thoughtfully designed.

I look forward to seeing how the community solves the remaining puzzles; as of this post, it isn't yet possible to see ANIMAL WELL's true, true ending: but I'm eargely awaiting the solutions of the remaining puzzles to see the finale for myself. That said, the regular endings are both very good - the first ending is absolutely terrifying, while the second is so incredibly bizarre yet awe-inspiring.

There are only but a few nitpicks I had about my time with ANIMAL WELL. Primarily, that while the lighting is fantastic, the game is very dim at times, which obscured some foreground elements needed to solve puzzles at times, leading to the odd Google as I found myself stuck looking for something I could only barely see. This was rare, however. I'd also say the checkpoint / save system, while good, could've done with some tweaking. The odd insta-kill obstacle led to short bouts of repeated backtracking, which didn't bother me too much but could've been avoided with more careful placement of save points.

In all, I'm glad I gave this game a shot. This is so far the best game I've played this year, and a richly deserved


  1. Yooka-Laylee (05/01/2024, 7/10)
  2. Buckshot Roulette (06/01/2024, 8/10)
  3. Another Code: Recollection (19/01/2024, 8.25/10)
  4. Saga of the Moon Priestess (24/01/2024, 7/10)
  5. Super Kiwi 64: Doomsday [Update] (26/01/2024, 7.5/10)
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (03/02/2024, 8/10)
  7. Mario vs. Donkey Kong (15/02/2024, 8/10)
  8. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (22/02/2024, 8.5/10)
  9. And Yet It Moves (27/02/2024, 6.5/10)
  10. Mario Golf (GBC) (15/03/2024, 7/10)
  11. Psalm 5:9-13 (17/03/2024, 8/10)
  12. Crypt of the Necrodancer: SYNCHRONY [DLC] (18/03/2024, 8/10)
  13. Princess Peach: Showtime! (22/03/2024, 8/10)
  14. Dragon Quest (Switch) (30/03/2024, 7/10)
  15. Froggo's Adventure: Verdant Venture (01/04/2024, 8/10)
  16. Otogi Katsugeki Mameda no Bakeru: Oracle Saitarou no Sainan!! (07/04/2024, 7.75/10)
  17. Amazing Hebereke (13/04/2024, 5/10)
  18. Tsugunohi (15/04/2024, 7/10)
  19. POOLS (01/05/2024, 7.5/10)
  20. ANIMAL WELL (11/05/2024, 9/10)

(plus a large amount of small (free) indie horror games and some kaizo Super Mario World hacks)
(gold - my current Game of the Year)
Guess who’s been playing tons of GameCube/ Wii games? This guuuuy. In fact, I‘ve played so many games that I decided as writing this to review each game in ten words or less. Additionally, I will review one game here that I didn’t actually play, and if you find that game you get a cookie!
-F-Zero GX: Fun game, best part sound that title screen makes, 7.5/10
-Godzilla Destroy all Monsters Melee: Really fun, love Godzilla and game make me happy! 8/10
-Godzilla Unleashed: Not fun on Wii, definitely not Godzilla approved, 5/10
-Custom Robo: Would be fun with friends, but nobody else playing, 7/10
-Zelda Four Swords: For this I refer to what I said about Custom Robo, 6/10
-ExciteTruck: Really cool, different from other racers in cool way, 8/10
-ExciteBots: Not as good as truck, fun ideas tho, 6.5/10
-DDR Mario Mix: Fun game, loved the funny mo-cap, 7/10
-Wave Race Blue Storm: Good graphics, N64 one more fun, 6/10
Katamari Forever

Drive mode turns this from a fun little "best of" collection for Katamari into a fucking hell game. I hope whoever came up with it faces many mild inconveniences.

I will have nightmares about Hot Stuff Drive until I die.
Guess who’s been playing tons of GameCube/ Wii games? This guuuuy. In fact, I‘ve played so many games that I decided as writing this to review each game in ten words or less. Additionally, I will review one game here that I didn’t actually play, and if you find that game you get a cookie!
-F-Zero GX: Fun game, best part sound that title screen makes, 7.5/10
-Godzilla Destroy all Monsters Melee: Really fun, love Godzilla and game make me happy! 8/10
-Godzilla Unleashed: Not fun on Wii, definitely not Godzilla approved, 5/10
-Custom Robo: Would be fun with friends, but nobody else playing, 7/10
-Zelda Four Swords: For this I refer to what I said about Custom Robo, 6/10
-ExciteTruck: Really cool, different from other racers in cool way, 8/10
-ExciteBots: Not as good as truck, fun ideas tho, 6.5/10
-DDR Mario Mix: Fun game, loved the funny mo-cap, 7/10
-Wave Race Blue Storm: Good graphics, N64 one more fun, 6/10
The best of the Pipeworks Godzilla games is Save the Earth, shame it isn't on GameCube/Wii
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Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

I played it on Switch and I have to say this must be the most impressive "miracle port" I've played so far, even more than Doom Eternal. It really looks great for an outdated tablet. I never played New Order so I was kind of lost with the story, but I really enjoyed the narrative even though it ends anticlimactic. The thing that wowed me the most is the acting direction in cut scenes. Maybe the best I've seen in gaming overall, it really felt like an actual movie instead of the usual wooden performances and dialogue you see in most videogames.
The gameplay though... wasn't the best. I feel many of the AAA fps games feel similar, with minimal differences between them. The guns have a nice feeling, but there's no meat in the game.
The level "readability" is terrible. This is a linear game and you don't know where you're supposed to go. You have to constantly spam the (super tiny) waypoint icon just to see where the hell is the next door. Maybe I was too harsh with the yellow paint in Resident Evil.
You get hit all the time, but you don't even know it cause there's no indication until it's too late. Often the enemies are hidden in such dark shadows you can't even see them let alone shoot them.
Overall it was nice, but I had many problems with it.

Resident Evil: Village

This one was freaking great!
The truth is that it's a mix and match of every previous RE game. An amalgamation of different RE styles in one game.
You have fps perspective like 7, mansion to explore like 1, stalker enemies like 2 & 3, heavy action sequences like 4 & 5 and batshit set pieces like 6.
It even has a level straight from Silent Hill, P
T. style psychological horror with cursed dolls and all.
It's like Capcom didn't know how to follow 7 and thought "let's throw everything there!"
And surprisingly... it works!
The truth is that it feels like the game doesn't have its own identity, but in the end it's genuinely great.
The village hub is actually fantastic, perfect in size. Not too large to feel boring, not too short to feel useless. The castle is one of RE best levels ever, but the factory is imo way too long and the sudden shift to straight metroidvania was bizarre.

The story was batshit insane and I don't know how I feel about it. It's not that I don't like crazy RE stories, but it feels like we only get those instead of something more grounded like 1 or 2. After the reboot with 7 I didn't expect that they'll go immediately to craaaazyyyyy so soon.

In the end I still loved it much more than 7. Top tier RE.
I don’t usually make separate posts for games beaten (see my post on the first page for all the games beaten on the year) but I had to make a post because I finally got the Dead God achievement in Binding of Isaac: Repentance. For those who don’t know, this requires beating the game on hard 10+ times with each of the game’s 34 different characters, along with dozens of various other challenges. This took me ~1,500 hours of gameplay time and roughly 7 years on and off of real world time.

Undoubtedly the greatest video game achievement of my life. Now I’m looking forward to never playing that godforsaken game ever again!
Main Post


GAME 25: Super Mario RPG
Switch | Finished 11/05/24 | 11 Hours Played | 8/10

There's little that can be said about this hasn't been said many, many times before. Mario RPG is an incredibly creative, easy-going, and joyful experience that still holds up fairly well in its new modern form. It's also, at the same time, a time-capsule of an era in Nintendo and Mario's history that is long since past. There is so little of what you really 'expect' from modern Mario in this game, with so many unique characters, locales, and narrative elements that have yet to appear since. In that sense, it's really quite fascinating, and made the entire thing so endearing. In a way I'm not sure I'd want to see these characters again, given how 'of the era' they are. Could a post-everything Mario game capture the same spirit as one that came out before even Mario 64? I don't know.

The remake effort itself is amazing. Going back and looking at the original game (which I did play back in the Wii era, but I was a dumb kid who couldn't handle its 'difficulty'), it really does feel like the exact same game. The art-style and general 'vibe' of its world, characters, and so on are kept perfectly intact, whilst also looking gorgeous to boot. Meanwhile, its new gameplay elements definitely hamper the game by making things a bit too easy, allowing one to essentially just spam attack for most battles (why use AoE spells when normal attacks can do those with no FP cost?). It's the anti-Demon's Souls PS5 in that sense lol. The aforementioned difficulty issue is perhaps my biggest criticism (though, to be fair, I didn't do the post-game superbosses... just couldn't be bothered), but there's definitely some SNES jankiness there as well in a few platforming segments.

I also have to commend the game's pacing, which is just so breakneck that it never gets dull. That's despite the samey combat. In an era where every RPG is a 60+ hour monster with a billion side-quests, a globetrotting main quest, and gameplay-systems as far as the eye can see, it was really refreshing to have a game that is just a small, linear adventure with basic upgrades and a constantly-moving, simple narrative. Again, it's a reason why I doubt a game like this could be made today. "11 Hours for an RPG?!?!?!" would be the controversy of the year; you'd never hear the end of it.

All in all, though, this was really fun, and I'm happy to have finally experienced what all the fuss is about. This isn't something I'm going to return to all the time, but for a game to play just after hours stuck in the depressing Act of Baldur's Gate 3, it was well-needed.
I finally got the Dead God achievement in Binding of Isaac: Repentance
Holy shit! Congratulations, you are the most hardcore Binding of Isaac player I know.

I just solved the mystery behind Thimbleweed Park, and uhh (ending spoilers) the characters getting deus ex machina trinkets to resolve their respective arcs, was somewhat deflating. Which embodies my primary's issue with it-- its entire identity is poking fun at itself and the point and click genre. Meta humor is something I find works better as accompaniment rather than as the main dish, so yeah, personally a little unsatisfying for me.
1. Price of Persia: The Lost Crown - 9/10
2. The Talos Principle - 7.5/10
3. Hitman: Blood Money - 8/10
4. Subnautica - 7.5/10
5. Katana Zero - 8/10
6. Hyper Light Drifter - 7.5/10
7. Hotline Miami - 8/10
8. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number - 5/10
9. Another Crab's Treasure - 8.5/10
10. Petiment - 8/10
11. Animal Well - 9.5/10
1) Super Mario RPG | 8.5/10 | I didn't play this as a kid as it didn't come out in Europe on the SNES, but I loved this remake. Short and sweet!

2) Like a Dragon: Gaiden | 8/10 | Very much enjoyed this shorter Yakuza game. It still had all of the nonsense of the regular games, but the story itself was far shorter. I got the platinum too.

3) Persona 3: Reload | 8.5/10 | I had this on PS2, but thanks to a late-game memory card malfunction, it reformatted and I didn't have it in me to re-play. Smashed through it this time, thanks to a week off work (which my body timed perfectly so that I would be sick for the entire week) - earned the platinum on this one too.

4) Gnosia | 7.5/10 | I imported this one from Japan so that I could have a physical copy. It's a Mafia/Among Us type of deception game where you interrogate other people on the spaceship to figure out who has been infected with Gnosia, a disease that threatens the lives of everyone on board. A slow-burner as it tells a story in a visual novel format, but a decent narrative once wrapped up. Another platinum.

Currently playing Dave the Diver and enjoying that, whilst looking forward to Paper Mario: TTYD releasing in 11 days!
Replay 3 - Fallout: New Vegas (Series S)

Been a long long time since I played this one. The Fallout series got me hyped up enough for a replay.

After I played, and abandoned, Starfield, I wondered if I was perhaps done with the Bethesda open world format, or whether Starfield just failed to play to the strengths of the format. After this FNV replay, I'm completely confident it was the latter. FNV - at least the main game - remains a tight, compelling experience with great writing and memorable characters.

I appreciate how close the game puts you to the titular destination at the start, inviting you to go there straightaway, at which point you get slaughtered by Cazadors and Deathclaws on the way. I'm older and wiser these days, so I just stuck to the story path, which sends you round the map in the opposite direction, introducing the various factions and power players as you go, and building up the world. It's arguably a bit of a slow start, and the main plot thread always amounts to 'go to the next town along the way', but of course, you still have the freedom to wander off the beaten path and go explore as you go round.

Of course once you get to New Vegas then you start getting involved in all the politics. None of the factions are particularly upstanding, but apart from the Legion (who I would never side with, because they're what happens when you let cosplaying alt-right Twitter posters actually live out their fantasies), there's decent reasons to side with any of them. Back when I first played, I went Wild Card. This time, I went with House. Next playthrough, in however many years that may be, I'll probably go NCR instead.

It has all the usual caveats of a Bethesda game - the combat isn't very good though at least you can bypass it with VATS, and the game in general has that Bethesda jank. Surprisingly, I was expecting more bugs, but other than a number of crashes (especially in the Old World Blues DLC), it actually ran surprisingly well on the Series S. It also has FPS boost up to 60, and as you'd expect it kept that consistently. It's a shame there's no resolution boost, so it still ran at 720p (kinda weird, since apparently FO3 has this?), but I didn't find it especially offputting.

The DLCs were new to me, as I've never played them. I found them to be interesting attempts at doing something different with the game, but really hit and miss and with only one DLC I'd really say was great. I'd rank them in this order:
  1. Old World Blues
  2. Dead Money
  3. Honest Hearts
  4. Lonesome Road

Old World Blues was easily the best one for me. The characters were memorable, and funny. Once you get to the end and uncover the twist, it hits that sweet spot of silly 50s culture (specifically sci-fi in this case) and tragedy that often defines the best of Fallout. I also appreciated the meta-commentary on simply running to do the objectives instead of taking the time to explore. Building up the Sink as my home base was pretty fun too! My only real issue with it was that the Roboscorpions were a pain in the ass and way too tanky for my liking.

Dead Money has the most interesting gameplay premise of the four - what if Fallout went survival horror? The execution is, sadly, pretty lacking, and the gameplay is more frustrating than fun at times - especially the Sierra Madre vault, which really feels like trial and error as you figure out how to get past the speakers and holograms. However, it does have top-notch atmosphere and the strongest companions in the entire game with fantastic personal stories, and I can appreciate it just on those alone.

Honest Hearts is... well, it's kinda there. Zion is nice to explore and much more vertical than the Mojave, but the story is paper-thin and relies heavily on problematic white saviour tropes and depictions of indigenous-coded people that rely on stereotypes. It doesn't help that the central conflict is between a tribe of irredeemable savages vs 'uncorrupted' peaceful tribes and your choices are to either help them flee at the behest of a guy who clearly sees them as children, or encourage them to stand and fight and 'corrupt' them in the process, making them aggressive and warlike. The more I think about it, the worse it gets.

Finally, Lonesome Road. I outright hated Lonesome Road. It is a boring linear slog through a setting that would have been significantly more interesting had it kept to the open world format, occasionally punctuated with twee robot backstory or philosophical babble from the antagonist, Ulysses. And Ulysses just sucks. He's been built up over the course of the DLCs as your dark counterpart and I just found him irritating to the point I ended up just picking the options that would get the conversations over faster. Much about him reads like an awful self-insert, and to make matters worse, the DLC suddenly foists this random backstory on your character (in a game that had pointedly avoided discussing your past), to make his motivations make sense. I really did not appreciate that, to the point where I don't even want to acknowledge this DLC or the backstory it gave my character ever actually happened.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap

I don't have any nostalgia for the Wonder Boy franchise, I've only played the original in the arcades. I did however played Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom and that was an absolute masterpiece of a game.
So I decided to play this one knowing it's a remake of the original 8-bit game. Although calling it a remake is kind of cheating. It's the exact same game with just new graphics and music (that you can change on the spot, really cool) which means you're playing a 35 years old game as it was today.
There's a reason when indie devs go for the 8-bit aesthetic they don't also go for the 8-bit gameplay. Cause apart from some very rare instances it's archaic. And this game is archaic. And in a bad way.
As impressive was the level design back then (and it really was, one of the fathers of the metroidvania genre, especially the mouse man sections) today is simply bad. Boring screens where nothing exists except one enemy, dead ends, places where your character can actually stuck.
The hit detection is bad, the platforming is bad, enemies hit stun you left and right. The bosses are easy as hell, but they can hit stun you all over the screen. Cryptic bullshit sections.
This "remake" changed nothing for the best. The worst part? Dying means you lose all your items, but by quitting you can keep them. So you have to manually quit the game just before you die.
The new art and music is great at least.

This is a perfect example of a game that was 10/10 in 1989, but 5/10 today.
14) SW Jedi Starfighter

Much like the first game, a really tight and solid experience where you can spend a weekend clearing the story then a few weeks unlocking things. That sequel hook that never happened hurts tho, same with Nym and the havoc never showing up in the clone wars cartoon

1) Riccchhhhhaaarrrrd Metal Wolf Chaos XD
2) Toree 3D
3) Piczle Cross Adventure
4) Macbat 64
5)Metroid Prime Remastered
6) Good Job!
7)Golden Sun
8) Crash 4
9)Star Wars Starfighter SE
10) EDF2025(ranger normal)
11) Klonoa Door to Phantomile
12) Just Cause 2
13) Final Fantasy IX
By system:
3DS - 3
DS - 5
GBA - 1
PS5 - 3

  1. Pokemon X [3DS] - 15.5 hours - 5.5/10
  2. Elite Beat Agents [(DS game on) 3DS] - 2 hours - 8.5/10
  3. The Sims: Bustin Out [(GBA game on) 3DS] - 9 hours - 9/10
  4. The Urbz: Sims in the City [(DS game on) 3DS] - 12 hours - 11/10
  5. The Sims 2 [(DS game on) 3DS] - 9 hours - 8/10
  6. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity [3DS] - 12 hours - 7/10
  7. Rhythm Heaven [(DS game on) 3DS] - 5 hours - 8/10
  8. Pokemon Conquest [(DS game on) 3DS] - 11 hours - 10/10
  9. Fire Emblem Fates: Revelations [3DS] - 12 hours - 10/10
  10. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth + Big Swell [PS5] - 145 hours - GOAT
  11. Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth (Legend difficulty) - 55 hours
  12. Persona 3: Reload [PS5] - 80 hours - 11/10
    Just amazing. Absolutely loved it from start to finish. The main squad is really well written and the story is enjoyable too. Koromaru is the best animal companion too - I wanted a proper social link with him though.
I played through the GYAAR Studio games that came out on Steam a while ago. My understanding is GYAAR exists as a sort of idea incubation/employee onboarding "indie" unit within Bandai Namco, so their stuff has a very "game jam" energy that most of the time would just remain internal prototypes; they've only recently started putting these projects on Steam (all for free), and even more recently started localizing them (should note of these 3, only Boomeroad played in English out of the box, and I needed to dig through Japanese menus to toggle the other 2 into English). I found these games pretty refreshing in how straightforwardly "here's a concept, let's see what we can do with it over 20-ish minutes" they are; definitely a cool way to spend a weekend afternoon

16. Doronko Wanko (PC): I showed this to a friend who immediately went "omigod it's Untiled Goose Game but dog" and yeah, that pretty much sums up the premise here. You're an absolutely adorable pomeranian who's been recently adopted and, left unattended, you immediately make a mess of your new home. We're talking mud everywhere, dishes knocked over, and don't get me started on what you do to the wine cellar

It's not a long game, but it sure is fun while it lasts. You can "beat" it in maybe 20 minutes, but there's some in-game achievements that point you towards some secrets and optional goals that gave this game a bit more runtime for me

Also you can put a dog in a cute elephant hat that shoots ink out of its trunk. 11/10 GOTY no contest

17. Nottolot (PC): You're a cute little ball-shaped robot who wants to escape a factory and does so by "hacking" other robots basically by ramming into them and taking control for a limited time. There's 3 levels each made up of 3 rooms, maybe half a dozen kinds of robots each with their own mechanical gimmick, and 3 hidden collectibles per level. It's sort of a puzzle-platformer, I guess?

This is counter-intuitively the most "an actual game" of the bunch imo and also my least favorite. It's not bad by any means but it also just wasn't terribly compelling. A very middle-of-the-road "there's a difference between doing something good and merely not doing anything wrong" kind of game. Still, for the time (maybe half an hour or so) and cost (again, free) you'd need to invest, I would recommend giving it a shot

18. Boomeroad (PC): This game, by contrast, is the least "feels like a proper game" but also the most "wow do I ever wish this was a full game" of the bunch. I think the central concept is really neat; your primary "verb" here is that you can throw a couple boomerangs and they leave temporarily Sonic-style grind rails in their paths, which you then use to platform around an area made up of buildings and rocks and whatnot just floating in the air. It looks cool, it's fun, the controls are solid enough, I think there's some neat things they could do with it over the course of say a 6-10 hour game... but it's just two short levels, so pretty much as soon as you get the hang of things, the game's already over. It left me with a mix of "wow this sure does feel promising" and "wow it sure is disappointing they'll probably never do anything more with it"
19. Escape from Tethys (Steam Deck): Here's the thing about metroidvanias; very few of them are genuine Metroid-likes, instead usually borrowing more from the -Vania branch of the lineage. NPCs, extensive lore and plot, side quests, badge systems/inventories/skilltrees, etc.

But that is not Escape from Tethys. Escape from Tethys is a bona fide Metroid-ass metroidvania through and through. You're dropped on an alien world, there's some computer logs here and there to give a vague impression of a story and to offer general signposting, and beyond that you're pretty much on your own against hostile native life forms and various robots

It's not perfect, by any means. Certainly not up to the standards of actual Metroid games. For instance, I found the pace at which I was getting meaningful upgrades hit a bit of a slump in the last third or so of the game. And (at least on Steam Deck) I did encounter a couple bugs, most notably softlocking the game by dashing through screen transitions which cost me progress on more than one occasion. But nevertheless, there's something I really enjoyed about having such a pure, stripped down, competently-made back-to-basics metroidvania. It's a good time

(also this was an instance of "I don't remember how this even got in my Steam library", so I looked into it and apparently the dev gave it away towards the start of the pandemic. So if you were also following Wario64 around that time like I was, there's a solid chance you too have this game and forgot all about it)
62. Crow Country

Crow Country is a very classic survival horror game with a Final Fantasy VII look to it. It's a real fun time overall.

It's a bit friendlier than actual survival horror games of the era, letting you choose between tank and 3D controls, and having an item limit only on consumables.

It's also a little short and easy. I've only died once because I wanted to see the death animation and it took me 4 hours to complete it. This might all sound like the game isn't worth your time, but it's far from the truth.

Crow Country is really good. I was in love with exploring the abandoned theme park and collecting items. There are a TON of secrets in this game of which I've only found a third. The enemy variety is also pretty nuts, with around 7 or 8 different types or clearly different enemies, along with 4 or 5 different traps. The game clearly doesn't want to be the scariest game ever as evidenced by the Final Fantasy 7-like look, and it is in parts more funny than it is actually scary. That's not to say it doesn't have the understanding of the atmosphere. Enemies might look a little goofy, but when you barely have bullets and are in the dark, it's pretty damn spooky!

The story is quite good and reminds me of the original Resident Evil with a few NPCs just hanging around the park, as most of the time story is told through the notes.

One of the things that made me breathe a sigh of relief is a feature that any short game must have: Crow Country does have unlockables. I was really sad that the newest Alone in the Dark game didn't, but Crow Country has a new mode along with some goodies that are given to you based on your rank. Hell, maybe something more too, I've just completed it once!

If you've enjoyed Signalis, you should play this game. It's not as out-there presentation wise, but if you like Metroid-y gameplay of old survival horrors, it's a must play!

My heartfelt apologies to @Suswave, but I had completely forgotten to include her Nintendo General Discussion ST in my list of completed games. You may ask, does that count as a video game, even? Well, first, it's my list. Second, read that thread. It has stats, it has skills, it has cutscenes. It's a goddamn game. And third, sit down and eat an apple or something. There's no need to get all up in semantics. It's a goddamn game, and a fun one at that.
Finished in 2024 #20: Nekketsu Renegade Kunio-kun

Originally released as "Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun," this title was massively influential on the beat 'em up genre. It introduced staples such as belt scrolling, a bigger focus on combos, and urban environments. The reason I'm playing it, however, is because it is the first in the long line of Kunio-kun games, the birthplace of a favorite game of mine, River City Ransom.

...well, sort of. This is the home version, freshly translated for the Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle. This port makes some changes from the original, namely having less enemies on screen at a time and dividing levels into multiple segments. However, the aspects that made the original famous are still here.

Nekketsu Renegade Kunio-kun uses a two button attack system based on Kunio's current direction. B always makes you attack to the left while A always makes you attack to the right. Depending on where Kunio is facing, this means either a quick forward punch you can mash or a slower, longer ranged backwards kick. This also affects some of the other moves you can pull off. You can grab a stunned enemy, hitting them for more damage with the forward attack and throwing then with the back attack. You can pummel grounded enemies by pressing down and using the forward attack. You can dash forward and knock enemies down with a running punch. It takes time to get used to remembering the directional aspect of these moves. I initially struggled with crowds and bosses, relying heavily on save states in between levels and before bosses to survive. But with some time and practice, you can master spacing and crowd control, and I can more reliably get through the rest of the game without help.

There is one move I neglected to mention: the jumping kick, pulled off by pressing both buttons at the same time. This move is kinda busted. It stuns enemies in one hit, letting you go in for a grab. It knocks enemies down in two, letting you focus on another enemy or pummel the now grounded foe. It is the only attack to deal with motorcycle enemies in stages 2 and 4, and it is the best attack for dealing with bosses assuming your timing and spacing is good. Sure, enemies can duck sometimes, but most times, you can just...do it again to hit an enemy. Master this move, and the game can become a lot easier.

To further even the playing field, there are hidden power ups you can find by performing specific techniques. Bust open a wall at the right time to get health. Defeat the third enemy of each room with a pummel when the timer is even to get an extra life. Jump kick an enemy at the right time to get a power boost that lets you send your enemies flying in a single punch. A good reason to check the manual of any retro game you play - you get to learn stuff that isn't necessarily communicated by the game itself.

You'll need a bit of broken stuff, however, since these bosses are devious. Jump kicks are enough for the first two, but they're much tougher without it. The third boss can easily grab and drain tons of health quickly, requiring good spacing on your attacks. That final boss is the smartest brawler boss, bringing a gun to a fist fight that can instantly kill you, though good timing with jump kicks can leave him unable to use his weapon. It is these tougher fights and need for timing, alongside the maze in the final level, that help to maintain the difficulty even with the jump kick at your disposal. This challenge goes even higher in the second and third difficulty levels, which add more weapon wielding enemies and make the final level maze even tougher. I tried with level 2, but having to fight multiples of the third stage boss in just two minutes was extremely frustrating and I had to tap out.

If you're not interested in the history of the beat 'em up, you can skip Nekketsu Renegade Kunio-kun. This is a super short game with awkward controls and wild endgame difficulty spikes. But the nuances in mechanics that shined in the 80s still have merit today.

Now, Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun did see an international release back in the 80s, but you might know it better as...

Finished in 2024 #21: Renegade

(Hey, if Double Dragon & Kunio-kun: Retro Brawler Bundle counts them as two different games, so will I!)

This is the localized version of Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun. It is mechanically identical to the Japanese version, but the original setting with high school delinquents (inspired by director and designer Yoshihisa Kishimoto's childhood of getting into fights) are replaced by an American setting with street gangs and mob bosses. The story, originally about saving a fellow student from a yakuza boss, has also been replaced with saving the lead's girlfriend, but while the Famicom game keeps the story in the game, the NES game lacks the intro and ending. This makes Renegade marginally worse than Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun in my eyes, but if you only have access to one of the two, this is a fine version to play.
2. May 12th: 1000xRESIST (10/10)

This shit just doesn’t happen.

An impulse-bought indie game I have no prior knowledge of managed to completely shake me down to my very core and become an all-time favourite over the course of 2 days.

But that’s exactly how good 1000xRESIST is. Despite it being often referred to as a “for fans of” game, referring to NieR:Automata and Millennium Actress, it’s wholly unique. First of all, it tells one hell of a story. As many great stories, it knows that you can’t kick off well unless you have an interesting premise, and this being a game about a teenager creating a society out of her own clones makes for a narrative that immediately offers a plethora of enticing scenarios, something 1000xRESIST follows upon with expertise. There’s such a load of interesting ways that this story unfolds itself in, where it kicks off in the portrayal of Iris’ life, only to spiral further down one extremely deep existential rabbit hole.

That’s half of it. But the game’s story is also told in such a great way. Perspective shifts, upended conventions and surreal dream sequences makes even the most mundane of plot elements incredibly striking. Zig-zagging across gigantic pianos and school desks, only to wake up in a first-person exploration of someone tossing you out of your room after you grab your toy whale. A visit in the cool-looking but confusing hub world later, you’re sprinting across a side-scroller which spells out the story as the stage. It’s all vividly experimental, and is so extremely powerful because of it. Towards the very end, I was left breathless with emotion.

I adore this game so much. It’s even in my Top 10. A brand new game not part of a prior franchise just instantly cracking it hasn’t happened since 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim.

2024 so far
1. March 3rd: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth (9/10)
2. May 12th: 1000xRESIST (10/10)
15. Little Kitty, Big City (Series S)

Cute, cozy little metroidvania-esque where it is a beautiful day in the city and you are a horrible adorable cat. You go around doing cat things as you try to get back to your high-rise building. It's pretty chill.

The main path isn't very long, and revolves around finding and eating four fish that give you stamina to climb ivy. That's not really the draw here though, the draw is all the silly little sidequests involving the city's other animals and exploration. You can find hats! You can go find a bunch of ducklings in funny places!? You can destroy jars of jam for another cat?

It's short even with side stuff, although admittedly I didn't even unlock whatever a third of the achievements are. But I did do every quest and got every hat, so I'm satisfied. The controls are kinda janky, and sometimes frustratingly imprecise, and there's clipping issues, but a patch is coming that will fix some stuff at least, and while it could get a bit annoying, it never really soured the experience. The cat animations are spot on and pretty charming.

Well worth a shot, honestly. Not GOTY material or anything, but it's not really aspiring to be. Sometimes games can just be little wisps of whimsy.
Again, it's a reason why I doubt a game like this could be made today. "11 Hours for an RPG?!?!?!" would be the controversy of the year; you'd never hear the end of it.
I honestly feel like this game is evidence of the opposite. Think about it, Mario RPG sold 3.3 million copies in just around 6 months, an incredible return on investment considering the likely low cost of the remake. In comparison the last three blockbuster final fantasy games, all of which likely costing 100’s of millions to make, have been increasingly less successful, likely costing square massively. If there is one thing square could use right now, it’s a series that isn’t that expensive to make and can bring in sales, and Mario RPG is the perfect gateway to have something like this. I can’t imagine after the remake Nintendo wouldn’t be down for a sequel, especially if square is developing, so I don’t see any reason not to
So I went through PC Engine's shmup library and wanted to end playing those games for a while but I figured... what if shmup... on a gameboy?
Not surprisingly they're all either too simple or just bad, but I had fun seeing what the devs trued to do on the hardware

63. Burai Fighter Deluxe

Burai Fighter Deluxe somehow manages to not even come close to being good for such a simplistic game.

The game is a shmup that switches scroll types and gives you free choice of shooting direction, while holding the shoot button makes you strafe. The power-up system is simple and in any other game would be a color-coded one. Each letter gives you a level in the weapon, and you can switch to others. I find that the R is way too good compared to others, providing you with a spread shot. Others fire in an X or a plus pattern which kinda doesn't matter in a game where you can just turn around at any time.

The game controls alright, but I find that it's unreasonably janky once it tried to switch up the scrolling methods. Often you might find yourself heading towards a dead end realizing it way too late.

There are other parts of the game which feel like they were made unfair for padding purposes. I initially dismissed constantly falling from the sky blocks as a glitch: you can see the initial one fall, and it just keeps wrapping around. Basically imagine seeing a thwomp in a Mario game falling into a pit and then they just start raining from off-screen on the same Y axis. However, no, it's intentional. The game uses the constantly falling blocks as the only attack of one of the bosses.

The bosses in general are really stupid. I get it, it's a Game Boy game, but are you really saying you couldn't display more than one bullet at a time? It's a little pathetic considering the game has 4 difficulties which are barely distinct and asks you to complete it at least twice (on the hard and then ultimate difficulty). Game Boy COULD run Gradius which had you, two options, and often 6-8 bullets on screen from enemies.


64. Nemesis

If there's one thing I associate with console Gradius games, it's tons of slowdown.
Due to that I have no idea why Konami decided that a kind-of-a port/sequel to Gradius on a Game Boy is a good idea.
It's not a bad game, but it's a flickery mess that runs in almost constant slow-mo.


65. R-Type

I usually don't really like R-Type games, but this one being an easier remake of the original appealed to me.

It's pretty much just R-Type for your pocket, and it works well! Some challenge has been scrubbed off to the point that a few bosses have blind spots, but if you, for some reason, want a shmup on the Game Boy, this is probably one of the better ones, if not the best.


66. Solar Striker

A first-party Nintendo shmup for the Game Boy basically exists just to show that you can do this kind of game for the platform.

Solar Striker is exceedingly simple. It's a vertical shmup with one power up that gives you double, then triple, then double (but stronger) shot.

Levels often repeat obstacles, and it's fairly easy, but it does have quite a few mini-bosses and bosses, which surprised me.

An interesting page in Game Boy history, worth playing nowadays only if you want something almost Galaga-simple.

Oh, Daisy! Was pleasantly surprised to see Super Mario Land on NSO this morning so I had to quickly finish it on my break. My most vivid memory of this game is playing it at a relative's place, thinking this is the most goddamn difficult game of all time. I don't think I ever made it past World 2 when I was a child but it's actually not that difficult beyond the iffy hit detection and some weird surprises here and there. Undoubtedly a weird game in a good way, with hints of what was to come later in the series with Wario Land. Now I'm in the mood to continue the series.

  1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  2. Alan Wake II
  3. Rytmos
  4. Pizza Tower
  5. Hi-Fi Rush
  6. Humanity
  7. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  8. Jusant
  9. Momodora: Moonlit Farewell
  10. Panzer Dragoon (Remake)
  11. Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
  12. Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix
  13. Astro's Playroom
  14. Ghost of Tsushima
  15. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
  16. Birth
  17. Final Fantasy VII
  18. Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
  19. Sifu
  20. Minishoot' Adventures
  21. Final Fantasy XVI
  22. Botany Manor
  23. Super Mario Land
Ah I have not been very good at keeping lists updated this year.

Me and partner finished The Suicide of Rachel Foster on an afternoon off work together. I won't go into too much details as there is a lot of controversy I wasn't aware of surrounding this game until I looked it up after our play through. It had been gathering digital dust after buying it in a sale many years ago. Ignoring the subject matter I will say that the game looks fantastic on Switch and there are some genuinely quite scary moments. The plot didn't make much sense to me and was quite unbelievable, but who doesn't love a good rummage through a big ol' creepy building? It doesn't reach the heights of Gone Home, Firewatch, or What Remains for Edith Finch, but we both agreed we enjoyed the game despite its flaws. 3/5

I also "beat" Under Leaves the other night. I had been chipping away at the hidden object puzzler on and off whenever I needed to chill. It's beautifully drawn but there isn't much variety in the puzzles and you will definitely need to make use of the inbuilt zoom function when playing on a TV. The game is made by a small indie dev team from Czechia, which is cool. The game sorta just comes to an abrupt ending once you've completed all the puzzles. It was alreet. 2/5

I have quite the backlog of unfinished games I still need to get through. I'm part way through Eastward and I'm not loving it the way I assumed I would when I saw the video clips online. It's growing on me but it is so slow paced. Been reading a lot more lately and also listening to audio books while I complete actual physical jigsaw puzzles.
1. Super Mario RPG (Switch)
2. Metroid Fusion (NSO)
3. Super Mario 64 (3D All-Stars, Switch)
4. Dredge (Switch)
5. Baten Kaitos I (Switch)
6. The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (NSO)
7. A Highland Song (Switch)
8. Super Mario Sunshine(3D All-Stars, Switch)
9. Chants of Sennaar (Switch)
10. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown (Switch)
11. Super Mario Galaxy (3D All-Stars, Switch)
12. The Fall of Elena Temple (Switch)
13. Super Mario Land (NSO)
Another bonus completion. A quick 45 minute blast through one of the strangest Mario games. Quite a bit of fun, despite the jank, and there's a lot to be said for short games. Glad this is finally available and the GB library's beginning to shape up on NSO. I'd really love to be able to transform into a Mario plane or submarine in the next 3D Mario, please Nintendo. Also if Mario Maker 3 happens we need full GameBoy visuals next time as an option.

Also very funny that after complaining a little about Nintendo's reliance on Mario to carry the Switch lately I've completed five Mario games so far this year and have another four at least go. Gotta summon that new 3D game, though.

• A Highland Song
• Baldur's Gate 3
• Baten Kaitos I
• Baten Kaitos II
• Dredge
• EarthBound
• Final Fantasy II
• Final Fantasy III
• The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
• Metroid Fusion

• Star Ocean The Second Story R
• Super Mario 64
• Super Mario Sunshine
• Super Mario Galaxy

• Super Mario 3D World (+ Bowser's Fury)
• Super Mario Odyssey
• Chants of Sennaar
• Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

• Ristar
• Crusader of Centy
• Bayonetta Origins
• Unicorn Overlord
• Fall of Elena Temple
• Super Mario Land

Italics mark in-progress games
67. Trax

Possibly the best shmup on Game Boy. Relatively fast, with tons of enemies and power-ups.

I question the decision to bring what's trying to be a dual-stick shooter onto Game Boy, but it works relatively well: one button shoots, the other turns your turret clockwise in one of 8 directions.

The game is pretty simple power-up wise: you hold onto one until hit, there's no upgrade system at all, but power-ups are fairly solid and there are a number of them.

The real star here are weird bosses which are absurd and pretty funny. If not for them you could tell me that Trax is trying to be a realistic military game, but thnee you start blowing up clown head and it all goes out the window.

It's a pretty easy game, where most danger comes from slowdown or you running into a boss (if the screen stops scrolling, move to the side). There are also no additional modes at all, which is a shame.

However, aside from the fact that you need to be aware of killing enemies during slowdown as the game restoring its speed can be sudden, I've enjoyed this game a lot. It's charming!


68. The first part of an endless saga known to some as Shenmue

This is the only video game I've seen where nothing happens.

Shenmue is a cozy open world game whose traditions can be seen continued in titles like Yakuza, but not really much else. Instead of going for large world, it tries to make its world wide and interesting, with tons of named NPCs and quite a few interactions.

That said, I don't think it succeeds at all.

Shenmue is often described as mundane, and at first I could see what it was going for: the amount of interactivity is staggering, and unlike nothing else I've seen even today. However, this interactivity really only applies to your own house, and the rest of the game is fairly barebones when it comes to interacting with the world.

I suppose Shenmue is mostly a detective game of sorts, with you asking for hints and gathering clues trying to find the man who killed your father. What it boils down to is that through maybe 70% of the game you will leave your house at sunrise and start asking every random NPC pointless questions like "can you translate this?" "can you point me to the man who can translate this?" "do you know where this area is?"

Throughout the game you get no closer to figuring anything out except for what the artefact stolen by your father's killer might do, and that there are two of them. This is effectively the whole story of Shenmue.

There are a few ways to pass the time, and you will sometimes need to pass it as there's no quick way to do so, but they're fairly basic: old emulated games, gacha machines, and a few side-quests that don't seem to lead anywhere important.

The game often resembles Majora's Mask with its time gimmick and a singlular main location, but aside from coziness of your hometown, there's really nothing to it. Every NPC including the main character could be replaced with a plank of wood to a better effect. The english localization is, at best, funny, but those instances are rare, and you're usually left with robots speaking to each other.

Ryo, the main character, is one of the biggest problems of this game. I never connected with him. His silly revenge quest is idiotic, and he can't be a badass in a game that features maybe 10 fights in total. He's a bumbling fool who never has any emotion and who is solely responsible for the most infamous part of the game.

Closer to the end of the game's story Ryo gets conned because he doesn't know what a receipt is, losing a whole lot of money. This forces him to look for a part-time job, which makes already tedious game even more boring. Every day you will do the same routine. This happens maybe half-way through actual game time, and your forklift adventures take up HOURS of gameplay, while the story barely progresses anywhere.

Do you remember opening hours of Twilight Princess? Link living in Ordon, doing mundane jobs, training, but his girlfriend (?) gets captured so he has to save her. This is the entirety of Shenmue, and it doesn't take mere few hours. Also I'd like to add that Link and Ilia's chemistry far surpasses Shenmue's lovebirds, as they're both stiff and just so boring.

Shenmue is interesting. It's baffling that someone was given so much money to do a whole saga of games where first chapter is effectively you asking people for directions and driving a forklift. It's commendable, and hell, it's sometimes charming. And the music? Oh, the music is damn fantastic. Overall, the presentation of the game is on a whole other level. Yet it's so damn tedious.

No NPCs have any stories other than the few that just leave the game by the end. A few of them have pretty weird voices, but that's the extent of their character. It's just you, and a crowd of people through which you walk asking for sailors or whatever other breadcrumb Ryo has to look for.

I believe some of Shenmue's developers later became RGG Studio, and honestly, even at its worst Yakuza takes all the right lessons from the mistakes of this game.

I respect Shenmue, it's weird. However, don't expect me to play it ever again.

I didn't want to be a liar so I also played Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. Due to me not being that tapped into the Mario fandom I'm not sure what the consensus is with this one but I have a soft spot for it. The level design seems to take the somewhat stiff controls more into account though it is way more claustrophobic than its predecessor, really showing the limitations of the GB screen. Other than that it feels like an improvement over the original in every single aspect. Plus it gave us Wario.

  1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  2. Alan Wake II
  3. Rytmos
  4. Pizza Tower
  5. Hi-Fi Rush
  6. Humanity
  7. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  8. Jusant
  9. Momodora: Moonlit Farewell
  10. Panzer Dragoon (Remake)
  11. Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
  12. Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix
  13. Astro's Playroom
  14. Ghost of Tsushima
  15. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
  16. Birth
  17. Final Fantasy VII
  18. Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
  19. Sifu
  20. Minishoot' Adventures
  21. Final Fantasy XVI
  22. Botany Manor
  23. Super Mario Land
  24. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Def Jam Vendetta: This game is wild. Cool soundtrack, fun story, and some crazy mechanics, I love all the reversals and crazy throws going on at all times. 7/10, definitely didn’t grab me that much, but it’s still a great time that was fun while it lasted
6. Super Mario Land (Game Boy) [9/10]

I recently played through this last year for the Super Mario community event, but this classic being added to NSO is a good enough reason to break out the Game Boy and play through.

What struck me the most this time is how tightly designed everything is. I was able to quickly breeze through the game with minimal deaths thanks to how precise the controls are and how straight forward the level design is, I never even missed a bonus door! Unlike something like Kirby (which I also love), despite being easy breezy Mario Land also is just tough enough to make you feel cool for breezing through it, which is nice. I will say I was surprised by how generous the checkpoints were in a few spots, however.

All in all this is a game you can play over and over and find something new to appreciate each time!

12. Super Mario Land

The game's addition to NSO has prompted the badge event to reopen, so I decided to give this a go – mainly so I could tell VolcanicDynamo I've beaten a 2D Mario game. And also because I won't say no to a handful of easy badges.

And... I actually had a good time. Uh-oh.

I'm joining the people who have finished Super Mario Land for the event! I've never actually finished it before, so I was glad to finally accomplish that. I didn't think much of it back in the day, but now its theming is soooo weird relative to the usual Mario stuff. And now I see those cool shmup sections @oldpuck!

  1. Six Cats Under
  2. Maneater
  3. Chained Echoes
  4. Sylvie Miniature
  5. The Dead Mines
  6. Good Pizza, Great Pizza
  7. Portal 2: Designed for Danger
  8. Super PunchOut
  9. They Are Billions
  10. Bear and Breakfast
  11. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
  12. Celeste 64
  13. StarTopicNintendo General Discussion |ST29 Feb. 2024| Two Handhelds, Both Alike In Dignity
  14. Graceful Explosion Machine
  15. Blast Corps
  16. Ironcast
  17. Chrono Trigger
  18. LEGO Builder's Journey
  19. A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build
  20. Gorogoa
  21. Blanc
  22. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
  23. Drainus
  24. West of Loathing - Reckonin’ at Gun Manor
  25. Streets of Rage 2
  26. Mario Tennis GBC
  27. The Ramen Sensei
  28. Metroid Fusion
  29. Thimbleweed Park
  30. Super Mario Land

May 2024 - Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

I've heard so much good things about this game and so I was really looking forward to it. Metroidvania really relies on fast reflexes and so I was prepared for many deaths. Many, many deaths. Death to spikes. Death to swords... That came so frequently and so often at the start of the game. I think the biggest obstacle I faced was Vahram himself. Specifically the second encounter. He fell me so many times that it was not funny.

But then after that... I never died again. The final two bosses, including the FINAL boss, I managed to take down within the first try. Was I that good? Or did the second Vahram encounter polished my reflexes so much that everything else was a piece of cake? Was that new ability THAT much of a game changer? Did I stumble upon some amazingly OP amulet combo? idk. I even checked the settings if I accidentally changed it to anything easier. Nope. Maybe something just clicked at that point of time and my Sargon just went super Saiyan without the color change.


I managed to get all the collectibles other than that one costume locked behind the impossible puzzle room. Didn't even make an attempt at that. Saw the Youtube video and just nope. The gameplay was mostly smooth other than an occasional, barely-noticeable frame rate dip. Only encountered two bugs. One that crashed me out of the game while the other one made Sargon invisible till he used his teleport ability. Of all the biomes, the most impressive one was that of the Raging Sea. A ship wrecking frozen in time? Those visuals were amazing. I'd love to see the concept art for this game.

Overall, I love this game. Played the entire game in Farsi dub. Not bad for a first impression of any Ubisoft games. If Ubisoft releases another metroidvania, I'll be happy to give that a shot.
1- Dragon Quest Treasures (Switch)
2- F-zero (SNES)
3- The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey and Minnie (SNES)
4- Gunple: Gunman's Proof (SNES)
5- Go! Go! Ackman (SNES)
6- The Legend of Zelda (NSO)
7- Super Bomberman 3 (SNES)
8- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
9- Castlevania III (Switch)
10- Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition (Switch)
11- Toem (Switch)
12- Super Castlevania IV (Switch)
13- Cuphead (Switch)
14- Cuphead - Delicious Last Course (Switch)
15- Super Mario RPG (Switch)
16- The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe (Switch)
17- Journey (PS4)
18- Hollow Knight (Switch)
19- Super Mario Bros 3 (NSO)

20- Pikmin 2 (Switch)

My first Pikmin game was 3 on the Wii U, and last year I bought 1+2 so I could play the entire series before moving on to 4. I loved 1 to bits, but was prepared for a different and divisive experience with 2. Thankfully, I'm on the side of people who love it!

The complaints about it being extremely hard are exaggerated, I think the game is well balanced for what it is. As annoying as some of the caves are, the game gives you all the time you want, purple Pikmin and it saves automatically between each floor, which means you can just retry a floor if you happen to lose half your squad to some bullshit enemy placement. I'm sure that is how the game is intended to be played, if you had to do the entire cave without retries, then it would be hellish, yeah. The only thing it's missing is a reload option without having to reboot the game, but oh well. It works as it is.

I do have two criticisms. The first is that most of the caves are way too samey. I love the game the most when I was going through the caves that present an unique challenge by limiting you in some way or introducing a new mechanic. The best examples are the cave where you're limited to blue Pikmin and there's an invincible boss that chases you if you take too long, and the boss gauntlet cave, those were incredibly fun. If the early caves were as memorable, the game would be way way better. As it is, I think they could have done with less caves, or least making them shorter.

The second is that, to reach the true ending of the game, you need to 100% it, and that's quite an investment. Going for completion isn't a simple task and requires a lot of patience, unless you're really into the game (like I was), so I think it's a bit unfair that the ending is locked behind that. As much as we got a "fake" ending and as hilarious as that was.

Overall, I think the game is a solid entry, and a spectacular expansion of the first game that tries something very different. Way to do a sequel that doesn't feel "same, but more". I respect the boldness, and I really enjoyed my time with it.
1. Super Mario Wonder (Switch)
7/10 - Did not love it as much as I thought I would. I did play the entire thing in 4 player co-op with my wife and kids and I think that impacted my enjoyment. I think the game is better appreciated as a single player experience.

2. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch)
10/10 - It's my favorite Zelda game ever. It instantly made Breath of the Wild irrelevant. I really did not think I would love it as much as I did. I put 100+ hours into it and felt like I barely scratched the surface. Wow, a Zelda game with a story I actually care about. The building was handled in a way that made it not annoying for people that aren't usually into things like that. My only complaint is that I think the control scheme could have been more streamlined.

3. RedFall (XSX)
9/10 - Huge disconnect here with my opinion and the crowd. I just really loved this game. The artstyle was beautiful. The world was so vibrant and detailed. I loved exploring it.

4. Borderlands 3 (XSX)
8/10 - Played through it with my son and despite it's reputation as being worse than 2, it was on par for me. I liked the environments and many of the quality of life features. The heroes weren't as good as 2.

5. The Evil Within 2 (XSX)
8/10 - A good survival horror game that felt like a mix of Silent Hill and Resident Evil.

6. Metroid Dread (Switch)
9/10 - Beautiful graphics, precise gameplay. The EMMI encounters felt cheap. Thankfully, I played this after Rookie Mode was added because it was the perfect difficulty for me. Had I played it on a harder difficulty I don't think I would have liked it.

7. Minit (Switch)
6/10 - Interesting concept but just not my kind of game. I like good graphics and clear direction. I'm just not into obscure indie games.

8. Xenoblade Chronicles: DE (Switch)
8/10 - JRPG's were my favorite genre when I was a kid and I just stopped liking them like 20 years ago. This game came close to capturing the feelings and emotions that made me like the genre. The cast of characters, music and story were top notch. Side missions were garbage filler and some of the gameplay systems were confusing.

9. Immortals of Aveum (XSX)
6/10 - A "Fun, dumb game" that wasn't as fun as I hoped.. Graphics were impressive but the design was bad. They wen't overboard with the color and vibrancy to the point where nothing stands out. The variety in spells and attacks was appreciated but bordered on cumbersome a times.

10. Ape Out (Switch)
9/10 - This indie game was more of my thing (as opposed to Minit). Visuals and music were clean to look at it. The goal was straightforward and it's bite-sized nature made it a very easy to play game.

11. Doom 3 (Switch)
7/10 - A doom game that was more survival horror sounds like it would be right up my alley but I was somewhat disappointed. The levels were too linear and felt very repetitive. The visuals of the environment were impressive from a technical standpoint but the models were dated. The audio logs, emails and environmental storytelling was a strong point.
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16. Super Mario Land (Switch - NSO)

Never actually completed this before, but since it dropped on NSO I figured I'd put in the hour or so to beat.

It's a quirky game, with such weird enemies as Chinese Hopping Zombies, The Cloud That Shoots Birds At You and The Controls Which Are Really Bad. At the end Mario even defeats the Bro Code as he runs off with his brother's girlfriend.

I don't think there's much serious to say on Land. It's a relic, not especially fun to play (the shmup levels are ok I guess) but it's also pretty weird and I can get behind weird. Plus portable Mario probably blew people's minds in 1989. I wouldn't know, I was two.
Chicory: A Colorful Tale

I give this the official @juuso certificate of a good video game! It was a nice spin on the 2D Zelda formula with a meaningful story and enjoyable puzzles. The painting mechanic was a bit mundane at times, and I very often resorted to the fill tool (which was a completely optional upgrade - I wonder if I would have liked the game so much had I not found it). The bosses, which I didn't enjoy at all, were apparently skippable (should have paid more attention to options).
Finished in 2024 #22: Pokémon Yellow Legacy

The first generation of Pokémon games are important titles, launching one of the biggest media franchises in the world. But the first go-around is definitely a bit janky and lacks more modern quality of life features. Game Freak themselves have remade these games twice for a reason! Fans have also taken it upon themselves to clean up these classics, though most of the biggest efforts focus on Red/Green/Blue. How about the version that stars the Pokémon mascot?

Enter Yellow Legacy, the latest in TheSmithPlays' series of hacks for classic Pokémon games. You got pretty standard quality of lfe improvements - all 151 Pokémon available, gender selection, running shoes, more inventory space, better access to rare items in end/postgame, that kinda thing. More significant are the efforts to rebalance the game. Certain Pokémon have received stat buffs (such as your Pikachu), moves have been tweaked to buff weaker types, Bug no longer beats Poison, Psychic is now weak to Ghost, learnsets have been updated across the board, and Pokémon availability is adjusted for more diverse team options at earlier points in the game. Battle mechanics are generally the same, in the effort to keep that Generation I feel, but the options made available to the player are improved. Trainers and especially boss fights have been updated to match this increased standard, with better movesets and tougher rosters, but this is not strictly a difficulty hack - just bringing things up to the options you also have at your disposal.

Pokémon Yellow offers a specific Kanto experience with its partner Pikachu mechanics and Pokémon anime inspirations. These aspects are retained in Yellow Legacy, and I think these are the reasons why (or why not) you should play this over other Generation I QoL hacks. While I usually will go for the more traditional Kanto experience, be that in Gen I or Gen III, this is now my preferred Pokémon Yellow experience.
69. Crow Country again

Rebeaten Crow Country. Still a good game, finished it with Rank A. Want to share more thoughts on the game. Nothing spoilery, but more in-depth.

When replaying a game like this it's flaws come bubbling up, but thankfully there aren't many. Getting a new rank requires you simply to use few saves and heals, and complete the game with all secrets. I wanted to go for an S, but I guess I used something too much.

Crow Country feels like it could be an entry to survival horror. A Kirby of the genre. That's not to say it's bad, but it's easier than I thought. You basically don't have to conserve ammo at all. I started using a weapon given to me at rank B but promptly died, so I wanted to shoot my way through the game with basic weapons. Unfortunately, nothing stopped me. I know they're adding a hard mode later, and it's a relief.

I really enjoyed figuring out all the optional puzzles this time around. The game has 15 secrets, some of which provide you with upgrades, ammo, or new guns, and they're mostly great! The crypt gate puzzle is fantastic, in particular. Of course the downside is that they can feel superfluous. I've beaten the game using flamethrower on ONE enemy, and I remind you that I still had enough ammo at all times. Then there's a magnum which is just "save for final boss" thing.

It does feel like the game runs out of steam towards the end (like pretty much every survival horror game ever made, so I guess it's a tradition). The underground section is a little more empty, and features no optional collectibles that unlock after you beat the game once. It's very short if you know what you're doing, but I think I'd prefer if map was made to accomodate needed rooms on the surface, as it's very samey-looking.

Still, a fantastic entry in the genre which I can now confidently say is a great way to start: not scary, just a little tense, fairly easy. If you want to try survival horror games, it's an easy recommendation.

13. Unicorn Overlord

I'm a big sucker for SRPGs, and I adore what I've played of Vanillaware's works. So it's no big surprise this was my most anticipated game of the year going in, and it definitely lived up to my expectations.

The game has the typical style you'd expect from a Vanillaware title. The art is gorgeous, the animations are superb, the soundtrack is outstanding. Combat mechanics are engaging. With a nice mix of RTS and a system reminiscent of FF12's Gambits, there was no way this wouldn't be up my alley. But perhaps a bit unexpectedly, the real star of the show for me was exploration. It's something you don't see often in a SRPG, where the overworld is mostly reduced to a world map you move your chess piece around to select the next mission. But here, you get to actually move around the world and not only do your typical liberation of towns and settlements, but also go gathering resources, do some mining, rebuild the settlements you've freed along the way. Going in, I wasn't all that convinced it would add to the overall experience, and yet I ended up loving that aspect.

I spent ~45 hours with this game until the credits rolled, and while I feared it would end up outstaying its welcome towards the end, it wrapped things up quickly enough from then on out for it not to have become an issue.

Definitely going to be one of my favorite games of the year!


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