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Thread: Completion Thread 2021 -OVERTURE-

  1. Completion Thread 2021 -OVERTURE-

    1. The Last of Us Part II



    Like the original, this game actually kinda rules mechanically. It's not terribly complex, but there are a lot of options in these combat arenas and they're all elegant and organic. Item distribution and carry limits keep you using all sorts of different approaches. The crafting is fast and boiled right down to the essentials. The menu-y actions are all accompanied by animations that justify things in-world. And while the mix may not be terribly unique these days, I was surprised at how well the stealth is reigned-in to compliment the action: all of the stealth-related enemy and player behaviors are brisk, you'll weave between combat and stealth frequently, and the strict carry limits help encourage you to use your stocked-up resources (which are fun as hell) to occasionally blast through encounters instead of leaving you feeling like you have to get some nonexistent "ghost" rating. Even the cast of enemies gets decently varied by the end, and in general things stay engaging for the entirety of the game's long campaign.

    Outside of that core, the game is huge. Environments are detailed and densely-packed with reasons to search them, and for being a linear game that constantly takes you to new environments and shows you elaborate interactive and non-interactive cutscenes, it's simply long as hell (fortunately without overstaying its welcome). While I have a few minor contentions with it, the narrative plays a huge role and is undeniably gripping, and I'd say that it justifies the game's pacing oddities.

    I also want to mention that I love this game's options. On top of having a thorough amount of accessibility options for those who want to use them, the difficulty level is highly customizable. Each of the difficulty settings AND each of the five individual "custom difficulty" axes thoroughly spell out the ways they affect the game and none of the options are locked before the player starts. I wound up playing on the stock Hard mode.

  2. Put the thread up as a Sticky.
    6-6-98 - 6-6-18 Happy 20th Anniversary TNL

  3. 1. Super Hydorah



    I really enjoyed this. I no longer have my teenage/mid twenty reflexes, so it probably took me longer to finish than it would have in my younger years.
    The 20'ish bit look (better than 16 bit but not quite 32 bit) is really well done. The musical score is great. The voice overs aren't very good though and
    I would have preferred that they left just as text or an option to turn them off. The game draws on a little bit of R-Type, Gradius, Darius and other classic
    side scrolling shooters for its inspiration. This is by the same duo that made Maldita Castilla (Ex), a take on Ghosts n' Goblins/Ghouls n' Ghosts. I think
    the retail price of $20 might be steep for some, but I viewed it more as a vote with my wallet for more games of this type.
    Last edited by Nei; 20 Jan 2021 at 01:06 AM.

  4. yooka laylee and the impossible lair

    I played Yooka-Laylee for about 2 hours before giving up. Bad camera, bad level design, and a crazy amount of character dialog that felt like a chore to get through. And in Banjo-Kazooie fashion, an absurd amount of collectibles.

    Enter, The Impossible Lair, a 2D platformer that is a blast. It looks really good, great soundtrack, clever level design, and characters that don't talk non-stop. I'm shocked at how well designed this game is considering the previous game.

    A reasonable amount of collectibles and one, the tonics, affect gameplay based on which ones you turn on (max of 3 unless you go nuts to unlock the 4th slot). Every level has two stages, many of them have a special switch in the overworld you need to activate to get the 2nd half. Most of the levels are easy to get through, there are some good challenges to get all the coins (5 per stage). The final level, which I'm on now, is way harder than anything else in the game. I've collected all the Bees (48) in the game to get the most hitpoints (it's part of the story) and I haven't been able to get farther than 50%. It's a gauntlet of timing and accurate jumps.

    It's on Game Pass, check it out.

  5. 2. Mechstermination Force



    This game rules. It's a fairly simple action-platformer with a Cuphead-style structure and Contra's control mechanics (including wall climbing and ceiling hanging, which play a huge role), but the gimmick is that each stage is a gigantic mech. It's full of creative attack patterns and mech designs and is pretty much the perfect length for its core mechanics.

  6. 1. Downtown Nekketsu Story (Switch) - I've played a lot of RCR over the years but this was my first time playing the Japanese original version. Seemed too easy compared to what I remember about RCR and I was playing on normal difficulty. I'm going to jump into Downtown Special Kunio-kun's Historical Period Drama here soon since that's the only other game in the series I've never played.

    2. River City Ransom (xbox one) - Decided to 100% the achievements on this after playing the Japanese version. Took about an hour, just had to grind money to buy stuff I'd never use in a normal playthrough. And the difficulty on normal was definitely much harder than the Japanese version.
    Last edited by Timber; 12 Jan 2021 at 02:15 PM.
    Currently Playing: Mario 35 (Switch), Borderlands 3 (X1) & Destiny 2 (X1).

  7. 3. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin



    Super cute game that interleaves day-to-day rice cultivation and Tales-style side-view juggle-heavy combat. Cultivating rice by managing the farm and completing chill mini-games raises Sakuna's stats, and you progress through the story by completing objectives scattered among the island's tons of kinda-samey side-view stages. While Sakuna's moves mostly keep the action crunchy and satisfying, the nature of the game's structure stops any of this combat from being terribly focused. By the end of the game you're left with a general sense of how all of the game's mechanics connect together instead of a clear one. The cast and aesthetics are really endearing and there's nothing else structured quite like it, though, so ultimately I'd suggest it.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by Tain View Post
    1. The Last of Us Part II



    Like the original, this game actually kinda rules mechanically. It's not terribly complex, but there are a lot of options in these combat arenas and they're all elegant and organic. Item distribution and carry limits keep you using all sorts of different approaches. The crafting is fast and boiled right down to the essentials. The menu-y actions are all accompanied by animations that justify things in-world. And while the mix may not be terribly unique these days, I was surprised at how well the stealth is reigned-in to compliment the action: all of the stealth-related enemy and player behaviors are brisk, you'll weave between combat and stealth frequently, and the strict carry limits help encourage you to use your stocked-up resources (which are fun as hell) to occasionally blast through encounters instead of leaving you feeling like you have to get some nonexistent "ghost" rating. Even the cast of enemies gets decently varied by the end, and in general things stay engaging for the entirety of the game's long campaign.

    Outside of that core, the game is huge. Environments are detailed and densely-packed with reasons to search them, and for being a linear game that constantly takes you to new environments and shows you elaborate interactive and non-interactive cutscenes, it's simply long as hell (fortunately without overstaying its welcome). While I have a few minor contentions with it, the narrative plays a huge role and is undeniably gripping, and I'd say that it justifies the game's pacing oddities.

    I also want to mention that I love this game's options. On top of having a thorough amount of accessibility options for those who want to use them, the difficulty level is highly customizable. Each of the difficulty settings AND each of the five individual "custom difficulty" axes thoroughly spell out the ways they affect the game and none of the options are locked before the player starts. I wound up playing on the stock Hard mode.
    Just curious, did you ever have to deal with the infected in this game?

  9. 2. Huntdown



    Continuing with games that tug at my nostalgia, Huntdown is basically how I remember 16-bit to 32-bit era pixel art games (not really how they were).
    The developers have crafted a really nice experience. Everything melds together well. The art is pretty amazing and their attention to detail has lead to
    a nice level of world building through the use of the game's environments. The parallax scrolling cityscape backgrounds would always give me the impression
    that there were a lot of people trying to get by in a version of a futuristic cyberpunk dystopia that only someone that grew up in the 1970'/80's can concoct.
    The game's visual design is incredibly consistent and cohesive throughout. Nothing seems disjointed or like it doesn't belong within the game's world.
    Combined that with the a great soundtrack and awesome sound design (sure some of the quips are little cheesy but that's part of the fun!), and you end up
    with a game brooding with atmosphere.

    Hutdown mixes run and gun shooting with some light cover mechanics and platforming. Something like Rolling Thunder. The controls are tight and responsive.
    The game has 4 areas; each with 5 levels. None of them feel repetitive, they all offer something new, and none over stay their welcome. In short, I think this game
    fantastic! It's too bad it's not getting more attention from the mainstream media or forums. Highly recommended!
    Last edited by Nei; 03 Feb 2021 at 12:57 AM.

  10. Neon Chrome

    3. Neon Chrome



    Sometime during the summer of 2020 I found this on Game Pass. Decided to give it a go. It mixes twin stick shooter and first person shooter controls.
    It's a top down shooter, where you drift and move with your left thumb stick and aim with your right. Your main weapon is on the right trigger and your
    secondary weapon on your left.

    The levels are randomly generated and the game is a rouge-lite; every time you die you loose your weapons and any perks you had gained up until the
    time the run ends, but you keep your stat power ups (health, damage, energy, luck, perk slots). You gather currency as you progress and can use it to
    purchase upgrades to the afore mentioned stats. Alternatively, you can use the currency to start a new run with better equipment/perks. Though,
    only the equipment/perks that you've found during previous runs will be available for purchase.

    The music is pretty good and the game isn't too shabby to look at. But it's the game loop that was really great. The game isn't too demanding.
    You can just pick up and play it for like 30 minutes at a time or as long as your run goes. I would find myself chipping away at the game late at
    night when I needed to decompress from work/kids/the world on fire.

    Unfortunately, the game has since been removed from Game Pass. A couple of days before it was gone from the service, I purchased it
    (titles on Game Pass have a discount applied to them if you decide to purchase). If you like over head twin stick shooters, I think you would
    enjoy this one.
    Last edited by Nei; 03 Feb 2021 at 12:58 AM.

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