Author Topic: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.  (Read 9970 times)

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Offline broodwars

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #75 on: August 29, 2022, 12:12:35 PM »
Things are looking grim. Backlaugust is winding up with the traditional day long meeting I'm obligated to attend. Metroid Dread is very close to completion but I might not be good enough at games to finish it! I don't know.
Consider Overland, Ori and 100 Days abandoned at this point.

Gotta respect Broodwars for aiming for 100% trophy collection. God I'm just credits and done. Imagine 100%ing Pokémon Black 2. Crazy talk.

Well, I certainly don't try it with everything, but I do try to do it with games I'm already devoting huge time commitments to. Funnily enough, though, I have Platinumed several Pokemon clones: Ni No Kuni 1 and just this year World of Final Fantasy. And yes, they were both wretched experiences to 100%.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #76 on: August 30, 2022, 11:33:33 AM »
God I'm just credits and done. Imagine 100%ing Pokémon Black 2. Crazy talk.
Have you at least checked out the PokéStar Studios side story? I felt it was by far the best thing about the Gen V games.

When I first beat this game, I found it to be incredibly frustrating, but with redeeming value. Now that I've seen the godawful, tedious-as-hell side content, I hate this game. Seriously, it's sheer, unadulterated grind getting the Dream Eaters leveled-up via dozens upon dozens of play of the same Water Barrel & Balloon mini-games. I don't understand why they have the battle portals randomly generated on a once-per-drop rotation per world per character. Seriously, what is even the POINT of that?

Funnily enough, though, I have Platinumed several Pokemon clones: Ni No Kuni 1 and just this year World of Final Fantasy. And yes, they were both wretched experiences to 100%.
Perhaps this is a stupid question, but I gotta ask, if doing things like this is such a terrible experience and you hate a game, then why do it?

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #77 on: August 30, 2022, 12:05:38 PM »
Things are looking grim.

I'll agree. More and more people have been pulling me aside wanting to know how I'm doing and what it's like going 7 days without seeing a credits reel. Gotta say, it's been hard. But it's also been my own fault. After trying to get regrouped last weekend to finish the month strong, I then proceeded to play nothing since my post last Monday. It wasn't until Sunday night that I played anything again as I dove back in Rime. Not sure I'm going to finish it in time though. Was checking a FAQ to get an idea of how far along I am and it seems like I've kind of hit the middle of it. Went back to Splatoon last night. Got 10 more levels or so to go so that still seems feasible. Not sure if I'll be able to squeeze much more in or not at this point. So many things I got to do and want to do in life.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #78 on: August 30, 2022, 01:07:32 PM »
Continuing with this classic games binge, I next booted up the Castlevania Anniversary Collection. This compilation has save states at least so that helps... or a save state, I guess, woulda been nice to have more. I've never played most of the games in this so now's as good time as any to dive right into the series starting with the very first. And I've gotta say...

...The original Castlevania doesn't hold up at all! Slow, clunky, enemy-spam are the three words I'd use to describe this game. What's that? I used four words? Try re-reading them, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Castlevania: The Adventure - I wish I started with this one as it has other problems on top of the ones above! There's a lot of slowdown in this game which can result in dropped inputs; I'm pretty sure this is just how the game is and not a fault of the emulator, as the second included Game Boy game has no such issues. Good thing it's short, at least. Didn't they remake this for WiiWare? Too bad they didn't also include that version.
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge - I liked this one better than those first two, the level design starts to get more interesting and it generally feels less cheap.
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - Now here's where things start to get interesting. I've tried to play this game before as a kid, but I never managed to figure out where to go after the first mansion. I had a guide handy fully expecting to be referencing it often, but I actually only used it a couple of times, including just to figure out the function of an item (I wonder if this is one of those games where having the manual was a big help in knowing how things work). A couple of things I also recalled from memes, such as the kneeling at the cliff with the red crystal for the warp tornado to appear.

The main source of difficulty in this one is exactly that as well: figuring out how to progress. The general combat feels easier than the three prior games I played, in part because Simon gets pretty powerful with upgrades and some sub weapons have infinite uses. Most enemies just bumble back and fourth and there are few bosses throughout the game. It's also surprisingly forgiving especially as an NES title, as upon getting killed Simon simply respawns on the most recent piece of safe ground touched, so the only incentive to play well is to avoid a loss of currency and EXP which isn't that big of a deal.

This game overall isn't all that obtuse, but since those couple of moments totally stall progress then it's easy to see why it gained such a reputation. To be fair, it's difficult to strike a balance with any kind of puzzle, providing just enough clues to figure it out without flat-out spelling it out, but in this case I think it'd just take a little bit of rewriting (or hiding a few more) clues to make this game work. I still liked it the best of the bunch so far, however I don't think it stands up to its contemporaries like Metroid and Zelda II.

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #79 on: August 30, 2022, 01:18:40 PM »
Things are looking grim.

I'll agree. More and more people have been pulling me aside wanting to know how I'm doing and what it's like going 7 days without seeing a credits reel. Gotta say, it's been hard.

I got your back Khush, here's two more for the pile in my slow bid to start Sega World Report:

Daaaaaytoooooonaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa USA


I'm not very good at this, but with only 3 tracks and a few tries it's still pretty easy to land some first place finishes and call it a day. Really good Sega vibes on this one, an iconic soundtrack, great sense of speed, and since there's so many other racers you get to do loads of overtaking.
I didn't realize Nagoshi directed this, but in retrospect the Monkey Ball to F-Zero GX transition makes even more sense now.

Continuing my Sega journey I also tried NiGHTS Into Dreams... but didn't finish it, so probably shouldn't count it for Backlaugust.


I guess I had somehow convinced myself this would be a really good, overlooked game, and the Wii sequel didn't do it justice at all. But nah, NiGHTS on Saturn has aged terribly. You can't see far ahead enough to really chart a path, it has issues with basic depth perception, and the curved design of everything gave me a headache.

Failing to finish a level within the timeframe is amusing since it suddenly reverts from a 2D flight game to a 3D platformer of sorts with absolutely awful controls and a really warped sense of scale. The game also has issues indicating what the various collectables are needed for, or at an even more basic level... just you're supposed to do. It's not a huge problem, but it stinks to head into a boss battle not sure whether your attack is damaging them or hurting you. I hate to say it, but the Wii game is at least a lot easier to grasp. I suppose the air of mystery around the Saturn title does make it more interesting, though.

It's a very creative setting, and stuff like Christmas NiGHTS is very forward-looking for where the industry would eventually head in terms of expansions/DLC. This whole series feels like something I want to like, but almost everything about it (from the gameplay to the graphics and even some of the music) is kind of off-putting. Maybe I just don't like clowns.

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #80 on: August 30, 2022, 01:54:17 PM »
Perhaps this is a stupid question, but I gotta ask, if doing things like this is such a terrible experience and you hate a game, then why do it?

I'll tell you why I've done it before as I've wondered that myself. Part of it is stubbornness. I don't want the game to beat me as it were by the challenge. Then there's the time factor. I feel that if I walk away from it then my current skills at the game may be rusty so if I'm ever going to do it then now is probably the best time while my mind is still well in sync with the game and what its systems and controls are like. There's a little bit of a personal pride or "bragging rights" mixed in with knowing that most players probably won't have finished this challenge but you conquered that mountain. And there's still a sense of some satisfaction that you can mark off and consider the game fully beat and complete. When you look at the game or see its title, you don't think about how you never finished this or that. There's no niggling feeling in your brain about it. That itch has been scratched.
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Offline broodwars

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #81 on: August 30, 2022, 08:08:21 PM »
Perhaps this is a stupid question, but I gotta ask, if doing things like this is such a terrible experience and you hate a game, then why do it?

I'll tell you why I've done it before as I've wondered that myself. Part of it is stubbornness. I don't want the game to beat me as it were by the challenge. Then there's the time factor. I feel that if I walk away from it then my current skills at the game may be rusty so if I'm ever going to do it then now is probably the best time while my mind is still well in sync with the game and what its systems and controls are like. There's a little bit of a personal pride or "bragging rights" mixed in with knowing that most players probably won't have finished this challenge but you conquered that mountain. And there's still a sense of some satisfaction that you can mark off and consider the game fully beat and complete. When you look at the game or see its title, you don't think about how you never finished this or that. There's no niggling feeling in your brain about it. That itch has been scratched.

Just to add on to this since Khush touched on some of it, I've always been a completionist with my games, long before there were achievement systems. Just as an example, I have a Wind Waker save file on my GameCube memory card with all the statues unlocked, and you get absolutely nothing for doing that. It probably stems from my family being extremely poor for most of my childhood, so when you got a game you played the **** out of it. You squeezed every last drop of enjoyment and intrigue out of every game you played, because outside of rentals you wouldn't be seeing anything new for a while.

I find that you don't really know what a game has to offer until you've explored all its systems. Sometimes that's for good, like when I beat the original Bioshock on its hardest difficulty with the Vita-Chambers turned off (something that was a lot harder in the PS3 version than it is now in the remasters). That really caused me to experience a game I loved in a whole new way, where I had to really learn the environments and how to manipulate it and the enemies to my advantage.

Sometimes that's for bad, like when a charming little turn-based RPG like Ni No Kuni was absolutely ruined by trying to get all the familiars and their variants. But you don't KNOW going in how these things are going to shake out. You don't KNOW going in that NNK's method of managing familiars is utterly tedious and that some familiars have absolutely ridiculous spawn rates. You don't KNOW going into easy-going World of Final Fantasy how utterly grindy it is to clear all the monster ability boards, or how bullshit the post-game dungeons are.

Going back to Kingdom Hearts, you don't know what an utter clown show Dream Drop Distance's design is until you veer off the critical path. You don't know how the portals are tied into the drop system, because the game NEVER explains how the Forecast system works or how portals rotate between drops so you have to keep swapping characters. I played the entirety of the main campaign preventing the game from swapping characters until I cleared each world with one character. The game ENCOURAGES you to do that, so you don't realize you're actually punishing yourself by skipping content. You also don't realize till late in the game how poorly the Dream Eater system is designed, as the their mechanics are only very loosely tied to the main combat and exploration mechanics.

And you know what? Sometimes grind isn't a bad thing. Melody of Memory was an utter grind killing 100,000 enemies across all the songs, as well as beating all 150 songs on every difficulty and Full-chaining at least 50 of them on every difficulty. Despite that, I found the grind relaxing, because you're really just doing what you do in music games: replaying songs to improve your skills and shoot for higher scores. I found grinding for levels in Yakuza quite relaxing. Just throw on a podcast or movie and run around killing high-value targets, same as players have been doing in games for decades. Just don't actively annoy me while I'm doing it.

One final thing worth noting is that with the way modern games have been designed to appeal to anyone and everyone, there just isn't as much joy in merely rolling credits on a game as there used to be. Modern games roll over. They WANT everyone to complete them. I find achievement systems allow developers to still give their game a bit of teeth for those that want just a little more out of their gaming experience. They push me to explore outside my comfort zone a bit. Within reason, of course.
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Offline RABicle

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #82 on: August 31, 2022, 06:02:58 AM »
I did it! I beat Metroid Dread! The pain is finally over. What a great game but damn, those bosses are unfair. Cleared normal difficulty in 10 hours 53.

And that’ll be it for me this Backlaugust, I’d like to thank all my fans for their support, sorry I only got through 5 games. But it’s because these days I have a miserable job*, which I called in sick today so I could beat Metroid on my 20th attempt at the final boss or something. Also I have to close my rings on my Apple Watch. Gotta close the red ring twice today for the August reward. 540kjs to go!

*Amazingly today, whilst “sick” I was called and offered a new job or more pay, full time at the same organisation. I said yes.
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #83 on: August 31, 2022, 10:57:24 AM »
*Amazingly today, whilst “sick” I was called and offered a new job or more pay, full time at the same organisation. I said yes.

Backlaugust pays off!


As for Metroid Dread, it's a funny game. The first time I played it, all the bosses seemed so hard as you had to slowly learn their attacks and get better at those counter attack moments. When I tried playing through it a second time to see if I could bring my time down and start unlocking the images in the gallery, most of the bosses were much easier that second time around. By the third playthrough and then a run through Hard Mode, they'd pretty much lost their challenge.

Even if you don't play it a second time, I recommend at least trying to get all the collectibles. There are some tough and tricky ones to collect and they are sort of mini-puzzles to work through.
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Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #84 on: August 31, 2022, 11:05:48 AM »
Well I had a pretty productive month and was able to finish several other titles I had been playing on and off this summer.

Doom Eternal

This is the sequel to Doom 2016, which I played last summer and I really loved that game.  I see people all the time arguing over which one is better, 2016 or Eternal so I was very interested in finally trying out Eternal.  After finally playing it and beating the base game and the 2 DLC expansions, I really enjoyed the overall game, but didn't like it as much as 2016.  The core gameplay is really fun and when you finally get all the weapons and abilities it's a blast to play, until you get cheapshotted by a bunch of randomly spawning heavy demons that you didn't notice because you were already fighting another hundred demons on a fucking lava floor, with so many lights flashing I can't even tell what the **** is going on anymore.

It's like, was this game designed by meth heads or something?  I mean overall I still had fun, but 2016 felt like a much more polished experience that would still get challenging at times, but never came across as cheap like Eternal does at times.  Plus the last 2 bosses of the base game and the boss of the first DLC were just complete garbage.  If the game didn't give me the option to have super armor for those fights after dying several times I would have quite playing since those were some of the cheapest most poorly designed boss fights I've played in recent memory.  At least the final boss of the 2nd DLC was actually pretty fun so the game went out on a high point for me.

Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation


Well I finally completed all of Fire Emblem Fates this month, with the third and final path complete.  Well it was overall an OK experience, better then the Birthright path, but doesn't hold a candle to how good the Conquest path was.  The developers really should have realized why Flagship when making the Oracle Zelda games, cut the third game, Oracle of Secrets to instead focus on two games.  I mean Conquest itself was great, with every map feeling unique, but both Birthright and Revelation suffer from having lots of generic maps that have hardly any strategy to them.  Would have probably been better off if it was just 2 games, that way the Birthright/Revelations experience could have been a lot better.

Oh and having played Revelation which is suppose to be the true story path, the overall story in this game just sucks.  Seriously, all 3 paths have the worst writing in any Fire Emblem game by far.  That's the only thing Birthright is the best at is it's story was the least bad just because of how generic it was, while Conquest and Revelation are just bash head against wall level of stupid.

So overall I loved Conquest for the gameplay, but Birthright and Revelation are both pretty forgettable experiences since they're about as generic as Fire Emblem's gameplay can get.

Steel Assault

This was a pretty fun indie action game that has great pixel art.  If you can get it on sale for cheap it's worth a play since it only took me an hour to beat on normal so there's not a huge time investment.  Of course since the normal game was so short I played it again on Expert which took me about 3 hours to beat, but kind of disappointment me since the only real difference between Normal and Expert mode is Expert takes away all the checkpoints in each level so you have to get from the beginning to the end of each level on only one life.  I mean I like how the game played and it was so short I didn't have a problem with doing it to truly master the game, but just removing checkpoints is a pretty lazy way to make a hard mode.  Come on, how about we keep the checkpoints but make the enemies and bosses harder.  Removing checkpoints just makes the game more tedious then actually hard.

Demons of Asteborg

This was another indie title that was actually made to run on real Sega Genesis hardware but also on the Switch.  A pretty fun Castlevania style 16-bit action title.  I really liked the level design, and the face each level introduces some new gameplay gimmick halfway through each stage that makes them all unique.  The only real problem is the enemies were kind of lame and the combat is not very engaging outside of the boss fights.  It feels like the developers designed the platforming in each level first which I found really fun, but then threw in the enemies as an afterthought.  Which is why the game is pretty fun, but no where near the quality of an old school Castlevania that designed it's levels with both the platforming and enemies in mind.

Still if you can get this one on sale it a pretty fun experience that should take you around 5 hours or less to beat.  If you like 16-bit action titles, it's worth a look.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #85 on: August 31, 2022, 11:37:15 AM »
I'll tell you why I've done it before as I've wondered that myself...

Just to add on to this since Khush touched on some of it...
Thanks for responses. I can't say I can relate, as I play games for fun, so usually when it stops being fun then I move on to play / do something else. I guess in these such cases for you folks, the enjoyment there is derived from the act of completion itself rather than the journey, which makes sense as the way you described it.

Though I s'pose there are still some examples where this phenomenon did happen to me, but it certainly isn't a way I prefer to play games if I can avoid it. It probably happened more often when I was younger, for example I know I played through all of SMB2j even though I don't particularly like it. Then again, I guess there are a couple examples of this from this very Backlaugust, most notably the case of beating Mega Man X6 even though it's a dumpster fire with no redeemable qualities. But I think this kind of thing is a lot easier with classic games since they're usually pretty short; X6 was just a few short hours of misery. Modern games are so heavily padded that I can't even imagine attempting something like this with them, especially since it tends to involve more repetitious grinding. If I'm going to be performing a mindless monotonous task, I'd rather it be for something more useful, such as chores or learning a new language.

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #86 on: August 31, 2022, 12:33:27 PM »
Splatoon - Story Mode beat. Although there a two secret scrolls I need to go back and collect. Pretty good stuff. When the boss called me a slimy hipster, I was fully committed to taking him down. Want to go back and do some splatting and see what the different Turf War areas are like.

Was wondering if I could also wrap up Just Dance 4 last night but had to stop if I was going to eat anything and shower before bed. 12 songs to go there. Almost had my first 5 star ranking. I seemed to be like a move or two away from it with how the ranking meter looked. I guess I should admit that it is not like every time I dance along I'm doing great in case I've made it sound like these games are a breeze. Have a bunch of two stars and the rare 1 star in which things are not clicking. It can be frustrating when I seem to be perfectly in rhythm with the screen and yet am just getting OKs or misses. But this isn't a game to take too seriously.
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Offline RABicle

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #87 on: August 31, 2022, 07:52:27 PM »
Even if you don't play it a second time, I recommend at least trying to get all the collectibles. There are some tough and tricky ones to collect and they are sort of mini-puzzles to work through.
My collection count was 85% or something, which I was pretty happy with. Backlaugust and other pressing demands of the day meant a few I tried a couple of times and then jsut gave up on because they were too tricky or required too many skills for clumsy fingers like mine. But yeah I can see myself giving it another spin, maybe jsut going straight to hard mode?
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #88 on: September 01, 2022, 12:14:53 PM »
Hades
I completed this last night right at the buzzer, so there was no time to write about it before now. But I've still gotta say...

...It's a clever way of entwining the roguelite setup into its story and theming! The writing has a good sense of humor while still taking its story seriously, a rarity for indie games. It all goes a long way to help contextualize the game and makes for nice incentives to keep playing, as there's lots of little details everywhere to discover based on the player's actions. There are a wide variety of modifiers to unlock and augments to find that allow for different kinds of playstyles and helps keep things interesting, at least for a while.

The gameplay itself however, feels a little shallow. For some reason I was under the impression that this was more of a dungeon crawler, but it's actually just a series of rooms full of enemies that must be defeated to open the entrance to the next room full of enemies. The camera doesn't do a very good job of keeping enemies on screen, instead showing a focus on the protagonist and often making visible far too much of the out-of-bounds areas. Each weapon has few moves at its disposal. With how many runs it takes to complete the story, much less everything else on offer, it starts to feel repetitive sooner than it should for this type of game.

Because of the above, I don't think I quite understand all the accolades it had received. With that said, at least conceptually, it sets a new gold standard for how to handle a roguelite game. I just hope the next one is built upon a better gameplay foundation. Overall, I'd probably call this a solid 8/10 game, maybe 8.5 on a good day.

Offline broodwars

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #89 on: September 01, 2022, 12:48:39 PM »
I tried to get into Hades last year, and it just didn't click with me. I'm sure with enough time I could eventually acquire enough upgrades to beat the game, but I just don't have that kind of time or interest. I've made it to Hades himself exactly once on what was an usually good run, and he stomped me in seconds. I kinda lost all interest in the game after that, especially since I know you have to beat the game many times to get what passes for an ending.

Me and Roguelikes just don't click. The only one in recent memory I liked was Returnal.
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #90 on: September 01, 2022, 06:29:53 PM »
I suppose it is time to update the big board to see how this month has gone.


Khushrenada – Picross e8
Bungle4 – Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Mop it up – Mega Man X
Khushrenada – Shantae: Risky’s Revenge
NWR_insanolord – Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
RABicle – Grand Mountain Adventure: Wonderlands
Order.RSS – Human Resource Machine
Mop it up – Mega Man X2
Mop it up – Mega Man X3
Khushrenada – Elli
Khushrenada – Super Bomberman R
RABicle – 80’s Overdrive
Order.RSS – Space Channel 5 Part 2
Broodwars – Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance HD
Broodwars – Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
NWR_insanolord – Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
Khushrenada – WarioWare: Smooth Moves
Mop it up – Mega Man X4
Bungle4 – Fun! Fun! Minigolf TOUCH!
Khushrenada – BoxBoy + BoxGirl
Khushrenada – Just Dance 2
---------
RABicle - Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Mop it up - Mega Man X5
Broodwars - Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memories
Luigi Dude - Xenoblade 2: Torna - The Golden Country
pokepal148 - Frog Fractions: Hop's Iconic Cap
Order.RSS - Rez HD
Mop it up - Mega Man X6
RABicle - Pokemon Black 2
Mop it up - Mega Man X7
Broodwars - Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance HD
Khushrenada - Rayman Raving Rabbids 2
Khushrenada - Super Mario Maker (Wii U)
Mop it up - Mega Man X8
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TOPHATANT123 - The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve
Khushrenada - Super Mario Maker 2
Khushrenada - Just Dance 3
Broodwars - Yakuza: Like a Dragon
Bungle4 - Sonic Forces
Mop it up - Chex Quest HD
Mop it up - Super Bomberman R
Mop it up - Pokkén Tournament DX
Bungle4 - Talespin
Mop it up - Castlevania
Mop it up - Castlevania: The Adventure
Mop it up - Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge
Mop it up - Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
Order.RSS - Daytona USA
RABicle - Metroid Dread
Luigi Dude - Doom Eternal
Luigi Dude - Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation
Luigi Dude - Steel Assault
Luigi Dude - Demons of Asteborg
Khushrenada - Splatoon
Mop it up - Hades
Khushrenada - Just Dance 4


A strong finish with 22 more games added to the total for the month. I guess the 11th day helped get in a little higher number compared to the 21 games finished during the first ten days. That brings our grand total to 56 for the month. How will the games industry keep up? If there's anyone else that has a game they want added to the total then you better post it quickly over the next couple days.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #91 on: September 02, 2022, 12:41:59 PM »
While it's too late to count it now, since I had started Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse before August ended, I decided to still finish it up. It's a bit of a mixed bag, but is overall an okay game, and better than the three linear Vanias I just played (though the original and The Adventure are both low bars to clear). A nice variety of stages including neat visuals and music, and branching paths at a couple of points which I guess was their way of mixing Simon's Quest with the regular Castlevania formula, and different characters to try out. The game generally feels better balanced, at least until the last few stages which become pretty questionable yet again. I still don't care for the stiff and limited movement and general gameplay flow though.

There are now three games left in the collection, one of which I've played and completed before in Super Castlevania IV, not sure if I'll play it again or not. I don't think this series is for me, the games just don't feel good to play.

And with that, it looks like Backlaugust is over! I seem to have really been in the zone this time, with 17 games in the bag, goes to show what one can accomplish with a little determination! And a lot of insomnia...

Offline Mop it up

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #92 on: September 09, 2022, 11:50:50 AM »
I was trying to not double post, but nothing's been happening so... I have little choice!

Sometimes that's for bad, like when a charming little turn-based RPG like Ni No Kuni was absolutely ruined by trying to get all the familiars and their variants. But you don't KNOW going in how these things are going to shake out. You don't KNOW going in that NNK's method of managing familiars is utterly tedious and that some familiars have absolutely ridiculous spawn rates. You don't KNOW going into easy-going World of Final Fantasy how utterly grindy it is to clear all the monster ability boards, or how bullshit the post-game dungeons are.
I was thinking some more about this point, and, have you heard of a site called TrueTrophies? It's a place where it shows the average completion time for games to obtain all trophies, as well as having a list of all the trophies and a percentage of how many players have obtained each one. This site seems like it may help answer some of these questions before playing a game, possibly being able to recognize which games will be a painful experience and avoid playing them.

Just Dance 4
Almost had my first 5 star ranking. I seemed to be like a move or two away from it with how the ranking meter looked. I guess I should admit that it is not like every time I dance along I'm doing great in case I've made it sound like these games are a breeze.
I've gotta say, I don't think I've ever pictured you as much of a dancer. It must be quite the sight to behold...!

Offline broodwars

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #93 on: September 09, 2022, 12:46:05 PM »
Can't say I'm familiar with TrueTrophies. I generally use sites like PlayStationTrophies or PSNProfiles, which will list completion time if someone creates a guide for it but otherwise don't. And I'm finding less guides these days than there used to be, in which case Google is your friend. I do appreciate that PSNProfiles will tag certain trophies explicitly for being "grindy."
There was a Signature here. It's gone now.

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #94 on: September 10, 2022, 03:09:54 PM »
I was trying to not double post, but nothing's been happening so... I have little choice!

Pshaw! I double post all the time.
Whoever said, "Cheaters never win" must've never met Khushrenada.

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #95 on: September 10, 2022, 03:10:01 PM »
Don't worry about it.
Whoever said, "Cheaters never win" must've never met Khushrenada.

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #96 on: September 13, 2022, 09:15:06 AM »
The gameplay itself however, feels a little shallow. For some reason I was under the impression that this was more of a dungeon crawler, but it's actually just a series of rooms full of enemies that must be defeated to open the entrance to the next room full of enemies. The camera doesn't do a very good job of keeping enemies on screen, instead showing a focus on the protagonist and often making visible far too much of the out-of-bounds areas. Each weapon has few moves at its disposal. With how many runs it takes to complete the story, much less everything else on offer, it starts to feel repetitive sooner than it should for this type of game.

Just out of curiosity, did you try playing with the various Pact of Punishment/Heat levels? Those change up the gameplay considerably, and I don't think the game does a great job advertising them. For instance, the Extreme Measures condition completely changes all the major boss fights, giving them entirely new phases, weapon load-outs, altering their arenas, and adding entirely new storylines for those bosses to unravel over subsequent runs.

I felt using the Heat levels greatly extended the longevity of the game, since the higher you go, the more radical you need to be in upgrades. From Heat 32 onwards I would play with zero boons for instance, relying on the Keepsake from Sisyphus to double strength of moves without an attached Boon. Likewise there are points at which you have to start sacrificing your Mirror upgrades, which in turn leads to characters remarking on that.
Another fun challenge is to only collect the Revenge Damage boons, and stack those. You can absolutely finish boss fights by standing still, doing nothing, and watch your quintuple stack of thunder/poison/drunk/pain/infatuation wreck them.

You do need to make your own fun at some point, though, and the game doesn't do the best job in my opinion to incentivize taking those restrictions - unlike the Predictions Scroll which clearly maps out combinations to try. But a lot of it is still rewarded in the same melding of gameplay and story you find in the first 50 runs.

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #97 on: September 13, 2022, 11:51:23 AM »
Of course I was using those, I wouldn't have played through the required ten successful runs just doing the same exact thing! Plus I needed those to keep getting more rewards. Unfortunately, I was on a bit of a time crunch due to the game leaving Game Pass, so I didn't get to try out some of them such as Extreme Measures. Even so, a majority of the game is the regular enemy encounters so I'm not sure that would have changed how I feel.

The reasons you mention are why I rated the game an 8.5 to begin with; if I were just scoring based on gameplay alone then it would be much lower.

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Re: Backlaugust 2022: Round 3 so we can break our backlogs and be free.
« Reply #98 on: October 12, 2022, 03:44:37 PM »
There was something else I was delayed in posting because I didn't want to double, and then I kind of forgot about it... It's probably way too late to matter now, but here it is anyway: my rating for each game I played!

Hades - 8.5 / 10
Pokkén Tournament DX - 8
Mega Man X2 - 7.5
Mega Man X4 - 7.5
Mega Man X3 - 7
Mega Man X - 7
Katamari Damacy Reroll - 7
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - 7
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse - 7
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge - 6.5
Mega Man X7 - 6
Mega Man X8 - 6
Chex Quest HD - 5
Super Bomberman R - 5
Castlevania - 5
Mega Man X5 - 4
Castlevania: The Adventure - 3
Mega Man X6 - 2