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-   -   March 2021: 31 days game review challenge (http://www.flashflashrevolution.com/vbz/showthread.php?t=152883)

Hateandhatred 03-1-2021 10:47 PM

March 2021: 31 days game review challenge
Sup guys, long time to see! I'll be cross posting the challenge I'm doing on Facebook these days since everyone who's helped completing my grid is also a member on here. I also figure you might be interested in this stuff, and I'd love if some discussion could spawn from the challenge.

Note that the reviews won't be super complicated, or else I'll burn out pretty quickly.

Here's the schedule.

Hateandhatred 03-1-2021 10:56 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

Sup everyone!

Back in June, my bro Félix convinced me to do a one month video game challenge about video game music. I was initially reluctant to commit to it, but it ended up being fun enough so that I'd want to do something like that again, and that time is now! Basically, for the whole month, I'll be posting a small overview of a video game that best represents whatever theme corresponds to that day on the grid, on the written date. I initially didn't know what to do exactly, but after talking to T-Force about it, he sent me a basic version of this grid which only had 24 tiles. The additional 7 tiles were decided by other people, who are conveniently all members of the Flashflashrevolution community. As an added rule, I'll only do one game per franchise. I've already made a list of picks by never using a console more than once, and it was pretty easy, so this extra rule should pose little challenge while making the whole thing much more interesting.

Today's challenge is: Favorite game of all time.

It's easy enough, as there can only be one title there, and that title is Gravity Rush 2. A sequel to Gravity Rush, which was basically made to show off what the Playstation Vita could do, and which was granted a massive budget for a sequel out of absolutely nowhere, and they sure as hell gave it everything they had.

Gravity Rush is about a girl named Kat, a mysterious girl who fell from the sky and who can manipulate the way gravity affects her with the help of her feline familiar. She can fall in any direction, make objects falls in any direction, increase, decrease or negate gravity as a whole, and use a whole bunch of gravity/time/space powers.

The second game picks up shortly after the events of the first game, and immediately after the OVA made to bridge the two titles (sort of, it's a little inconsistent). As with its predecessor, the story is set in a large fictional world inspired by early 20th century Europe, and the characters speak a fictional language loosely based on a mixture of French and Japanese. The game does a great job at portraying this accurately amidst all of the fantasy elements mixed in. It is also heavily inspired by Belgian and French Superhero comics such as Tintin and Asterix, which, combined with typical Japanese game features, makes for a very unique setup.

The world itself is insanely vibrant, and the Jazz influenced OST supports the visuals like I've never seen a game do before. And as you're given more and more liberty to do as you please in this world, you start to realize the true greatness of what it is you are playing. There's a LOT of game content to go through, but all of it is secondary to the immersion into this world, sort of like the way Breath of the Wild feels, except a LOT better.

The only thing better than the universe itself is the controls, over which you are granted a LOT of freedom. There's extremely little you can't do with a character that pretty much controls the laws of physics, especially late in the game, and the fact that the game is incredibly disorienting only adds to the fun once you master the sometimes counter intuitive mechanics. There are a ton of objects to interact with, to a point where it feels almost completely unecessary to have this much, but hey, no complaints. And let me tell you, once you start moonjumping and wormhole warping all over the place, you just can't stop doing it. It feels AMAZING.

Then there's the story, which is sweet, melancholic and endearing, but I'd be lying if I said this was the story to end all others. None of the characters are super interesting aside from Kat, and this is mostly due to the first game in the series completely botching that aspect. Never the less, it does enough for you to care, and that's alright with me.

I've yet to meet anyone who has given this a fair shot who wasn't completely blown away, and while it absolutely isn't a perfect game, it is most definitely a special experience for any gamer who can enjoy an open world action game. If I had to point any major issue, it's that the camera has a lot of trouble keeping up, especially when manoeuvering around tight spaces, but even so, it's still an incredible step up from its older brother.

So why is this overall fantastic game my favorite ever? Aside from the obvious, it also checks every single “gaming fetish” checkmark I could possibly have. High speed action, female protagonist, deep aerial mechanics, movement freedom, extreme colors and contrasts, counter intuitive physics, it does everything.

Gravity Rush 2 has only been released for the PS4 so far, but it is a Pro enhanced title. If you have a PS4, or a PS4 Pro, you owe it to yourself to at least try out the demo!

Hateandhatred 03-2-2021 09:59 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

Today's challenge is: Best Story

I pondered on this one for a while, and I really don't have a choice. I have to pick the “Trails of Cold Steel” saga, from the Legend of Heroes franchise. I know this is technically 4 games, but in my mind, it's really one game, like a PS1 game with 4 discs. At worst, you can compare it to the Mass Effect Trilogy, with the save carrying over and all that.

So what is this game? I'll keep it short, because that's not really why it's here. It's a turn based RPG made by Falcom (which easily reigns as my favorite company of the 2010s and beyond), running on the same engine as the recent Ys and Xanadu games, which are completely different, gameplay wise.

These kind of games are really, really not my cup of tea. Straight up turn based combat pisses me off to no end, and easily ruins an entire game for me if other distractions aren't constantly thrown my way. It's just how I feel about the genre as a whole, even though I've played a lot. However, this one gets a pass from me.

As with all modern Falcom games, the soundtrack alone makes playing it worthwhile. It's also bright and colorful despite not boasting top tier textures in comparison to other modern games, and has VERY HEAVY anime style. There are also no random encounters (which is DEFINITELY a good thing), features a lot of side activities (sort of like a Persona title), has a High Speed mode to ease the pain of fighting non boss enemies, and a bunch of other good things.

But again, none of this is why I'm talking about this today. Cold Steel directly ties with the setting of the previous Legend of Heroes sagas and takes world building to a new level. You're looking at a 600+ hours adventure, with hundreds of important characters and well over 50 factions, all with diverging goals and political interests, and somehow you never feel lost or feel like someone's story has been butchered. Falcom manages to keep everything interesting despite handling so much all at once, and that is worthy of praise.

I've stuck through from start to finish, and I'd love to do it all over again, especially with hindsight, trying to take a fresh look at character development. A+.

Episodes 1 and 2 out on Vita, PS3, PS4 and PC, Episodes 3 and 4 out on PS4, Switch and PC!

T-Force 03-2-2021 10:01 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge
: popcorn :
Excited to see what comes up in the days to come.

XelNya 03-3-2021 02:36 AM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge
I need a spoiler, is the Indie pick Celeste? Please say yes.

Hateandhatred 03-3-2021 05:47 AM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

Originally Posted by XelNya (Post 4756795)
I need a spoiler, is the Indie pick Celeste? Please say yes.


Originally Posted by ElectricZap9 (Post 4756796)
Is the depressing game TeRa: Mad of Fire?
perhaps the game with favourite music is 'Madvillany' by Madvillian?
And the "Game you played as a joke but enjoyed unironically" is Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing?
ps: Is the "Cereal Box Game" Chex Quest?


also lol @ zap

the sun fan 03-3-2021 07:14 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

Originally Posted by Hateandhatred (Post 4756787)

Its tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that's right on time its tricky
tricky tricky tricky tricky

Hateandhatred 03-3-2021 08:59 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

March 3rd

Today's challenge is: Favorite Art Style

Tough call today. I wanted to pick a game out of several interesting yet beautiful titles from the past, and even though there are some more modern games out there with beautiful styling, I still prefer colorful sprites and sexy scanlines. But I guess I don't really have a choice but to pick Cuphead today. It really bums me out because it's yet another modern game, and everyone ever knows about this one. Plus, it didn't get a physical release yet, and that's just nope for me. I did cave in when the PS4 version was released because I'm a sucker for platinum hunting (and also needed an excuse to actually play this one on at least something). I bought a Switch partially for this game, but it took over 6 months for me to boot it for the first time because I was waiting for that fucking physical release that never came out. RIP.

There's literally nothing to say about the game's artstyle that hasn't been said to death already, but I'll try to point out a few things that meant something to me. Cute 'em ups tend to be among my favorite shmups (at least design wise, because they often play like ass, and I was pleased to see a LOT of that influence in the game, especially the airplane levels. Nothing to say about the animation that hasn't been said before, but the grainy filter applied all over was a guilty pleasure for me, especially on a CRT.

And about the game itself, the one thing that has been said a lot that I'd disagree with is that it's too hard. Honestly, the game is more than fair, regardless of the difficulty setting. Even when going for top ranks, you only have to play well for about a minute every time, and you have infinite continues. Some of the power ups GREATLY reduce difficulty as well, so it's really not that hard. Comparing with other run and gun games, it's a bit harder than Contra on NES, but wayyyyyyyy easier than any Metal Slug or Contra Hard Corps.

That being said, well it's really fucking good and y'all should play it if you haven't already. Out on PC, Switch, Xbox One and PS4.

Hateandhatred 03-3-2021 09:00 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

Originally Posted by the sun fan (Post 4756834)
Its tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that's right on time its tricky
tricky tricky tricky tricky

if only that minigame played half as good as that lmao

Hateandhatred 03-4-2021 10:59 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

March 4th

Today's challenge is: “I'll finish it some day”

I thought this one was gonna be hard, but turns out it isn't at all. I usually commit whenever I start a game, or quit and don't intend to come back unless I feel like I have nothing else to play on the same console whenever I want to play it. I have a huge backlog, sure, but they're games I've never even booted. Therefore, the list is quite short, and from that list, I'll pick Star Ocean on the Super Famicom.

This game initially piqued my curiosity because of its use of the S-DD1 chip. The only other SNES game with it (and the only one we got in the West) is Street Fighter Alpha 2, a game that pretty much had no business being on that console. I later took a look at some game footage, and to no surprise at all it absolutely blew every other SNES JRPG out of the waters, at least when it comes to the graphics. I also found out that the game was remade for the PSP (and officially translated), but then playing it would “feel pointless”, as the whole point of it to me was because it was some juiced up Nintendo 16 bits.

I ended up ordering 2 reproduction carts from a shady as fuck dealer from Northern Montreal, which we made a 1h long detour for while driving to Anime North, got the two light pink repro carts from the guy and shoved one up Kommisar's ass (true story).

But anyway, let's talk about the game. It's just as pretty and technically impressive as I expected. It's otherwise your standard JRPG, except for the fact that the combat isn't really passive and more of a hybrid like Parasite Eve, something that I love a LOT. I was also surprised to see 3D cutscenes and voice acting, that SNES might start to leak smoke after a few hours of gameplay. I haven't played it enough to know how much I like it, but I can say that the game kept me interested the whole time.

So, why haven't I finished it? I don't really know. I tell myself “I should continue Star Ocean today” but never end up actually playing it. I last played it like 2 years ago! I still feel like playing it right now, but I'm not gonna do that. Soon™.

The game is only available on the Super Famicom (but playable on the regular SNES if you break the region locking edges inside the console's casing), in Japanese only (it has been fan translated, however). Additionally, there are the remakes, which came out on PSP, PS4 and Switch.

Hateandhatred 03-5-2021 10:49 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

March 5th

Today's challenge is: Big Personal Impact.

Despite today's theme, I actually have little... tangible (?) experience with the game I picked. That because the VAST majority of my time playing the game was spent before I had turned 5. Which means I only remembered the bare minimum to be able to find what the game was as an adult... As well as something else. Therefore, today's review will be less about the game than about how it impacted my life.

The game I picked today is Montezuma's Revenge for the SEGA Master System (my favorite console, by the way), and something I learned as an adult is that this title is a reference to the violent diarrhea one might get while travelling abroad, especially in South America. I mean, there's no way I couldn't mention this. And while I'm slightly off topic, I might as well mention that this is possibly the first videogame I've ever played, at least at my place, as I did play Super Mario Bros. 1 at a hospital when I was a toddler. Other candidates would be Hang-On, which ran on my console whenever you wouldn't have a cart in (or if it was reading it poorly, which happened a lot), or Kenseiden, which I could only find out about because I could remember the first boss enough for Marionintendo to find it for me.

Anyway, it's kind of a classic exploration game based on Indiana Jones. You select your level as you enter the temple (more on that later, this is extremely important), then you rappel down into the first area. You have to avoid monsters and other enemies and collect gems and keys to open doors. I guess you could call that a Metroidvania, except all the screens are static and there are no powerups or bosses (that I know of anyway). It's also not really good, and you're better off playing Zillion instead for a similar kind of game on the Master System.

So, why did I pick this game? Here's the thing. If you select a high enough difficulty, you can only spend a VERY limited amount of time on any given screen. Once you've been in it long enough, an eerie sound effect will play, and a bat will come screeching to capture Panama Joe (the bootleg Indiana Jones you play as). That bat is also invincible and can fly through walls. Basically, if you heard that sound effect, you had to leave the room immediately, or else it'd carry you off screen and you'd lose a life.

As a 3-4 years old kid, I thought it was a crow or a raven, and my parents also referred to it as such. I also wasn't a fan of that crow AT ALL, and my parents would use it against me whenever they'd want me in bed: When they wanted me to go, they'd say that the crows came every night into my room to check if I was sleeping, and if I was still awake, they'd grab me with their talons and carry me into the night's sky, where they'd shred me into confetti or whatever. You can bet your ass I was ducking into my covers every single evening, crying and probably pissing myself most of the times, and regularly had nightmares about it.

Looking back, I think this shit is hilarious and I wanna high five my parents for doing this (they probably never realized how much it terrified me), and honestly I was a difficult kid and I'm surprised that's really all they did.

I of course bought this game again once I could figure out what it was, and I love it because the sticker on the cartridge is white instead of red like pretty much every other Master System game.

Hateandhatred 03-6-2021 06:07 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

March 6th

Today's challenge is: Best Combat.

Of course, since today's theme is about combat, I'm gonna talk about my favorite JRPG: Microsoft Excel.

Just kidding, I'm going to have exactly none of that here. Instead, I'll talk about Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie... For the SEGA Game Gear. Bet y'all didn't expect this right? Usually, when talking about this game, people usually think of the SNES and Genesis versions, but I'd argue the Game Gear version is the most impressive. Sure, it's pretty limited and the music sucks, but the controls more than make up for its shortcomings.

So how is this one different from the other two? Well, they pretty much scrapped the whole thing and instead of a side scrolling beat 'em up, they made a 1v1 fighter that sort of plays like a beat 'em up. You can play as any ranger, including the megazord whenever it's appropriate. You usually fight a bunch of goons, then the boss, then a Megazord/kaiju fight. Rinse and repeat, and the game will be over after half an hour or so.

So about those controls... How do you program like 20 moves per character, on top of general movement (like jumping, which you do a lot of), with only 2 buttons and a directional pad, and make it so all of them are super fun and easily pulled off, and so all the characters play so differently from each others they might as well each be from different games? Well I don't know, but this game does it and does it PERFECTLY. It's not like I had never seen this before, I've always thought that Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams on the Game Boy Color was one of the greatest titles in its franchise, but it's still not AS good as this Power Rangers game. Give it a shot and you'll see what I mean. I recommend messing around with the Pink Ranger first, as I think she's the most fun going up close and personal (yeah, I know, the one with the bow, but I don't care). That leg grab is so much fun.

This game is exclusive to the SEGA Game Gear, even though an arcade version of this would kick ass.

the sun fan 03-6-2021 06:14 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge
sven doesn't want to feel lonely
power rangers game looks really cool not even gonna lie

Hateandhatred 03-6-2021 06:30 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

Originally Posted by the sun fan (Post 4757007)
sven doesn't want to feel lonely

<3 I actually love you for pointing that out high five man

Hateandhatred 03-6-2021 07:41 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

Originally Posted by ElectricZap9 (Post 4757012)
Does Ivan Ooze appear in this game? and if so, is he as op as he is in the fighting edition?

If you don't know how op he is in the fighting edition, here's this educational video from 2007 that will tell you so. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-g4TqMFemY

He is. However, he's pretty easy, much like everyone else.

Also, that's like a gentle version of Parace L'Sia of Arcana Heart 3.

Hateandhatred 03-6-2021 08:26 PM

Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

Originally Posted by ElectricZap9 (Post 4757018)
I'm guessing she learnt PSI (hence why she's cheap when up against normal characters).
Also, Parace L'Sia being the only character to be able to move before a section starts reminds me of Kazuya being the only character in 'Tekken 2' to sidestep.

Well other characters have broken shit, like uh Angelia, who was the boss of the second game. Parace is just legendarily broken lol.

I think all characters can move before a fight however, if memory serves right at least.

The video doesn't show her most bs move sadly, which she can execute at any time, is unavoidable/unblockable, is instant, and basically takes half your half bar or more. If you are unlucky, she will use it twice at the beginning of the fight, and you won't even have a chance to move before you're dead in mere seconds.

The reasoning behind this is that in the arcade, if you are to die against her, and insert coins while game over'd, you can fight her again, and she starts with less healths. Therefore after blowing like a hundred bucks on her, she goes down with a love tap.

That being said, there's no such mechanics in the love max!!!!!! edition, and she's just horrible to defeat. It took me several thousand retries to get her lol.

Also I actually never knew that about Tekken 2. All I do in that game is to spam Paul's burning fist to troll my friends.

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