Rate the last game you finished!

Megadoomer

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Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition (Switch)

On a whim, I picked up both Guacamelee games on the Switch; the first one was about $10, and it gave a 30% discount on the second. I played the game about five years ago on Steam, and while I'm not sure what the differences are between the base game and the Super Turbo version (aside from four player mode, an added bonus level, and adding three bosses and the goat hermit as playable characters), it still holds up well.

The game's an excellent example of a Metroidvania title, giving you clear indicators for when you need a specific ability to proceed or take an alternate pathway. The collectibles are marked on your map, along with your completion percentage, which makes it easy to tell when you're missing something in the area. The method to getting the true ending is frustratingly vague (if not for guides, I never would have gotten it), and I haven't quite gotten 100% completion yet (I have all of the collectibles, but I need to get Gold medals in every single challenge room, and that's not happening any time soon), but aside from that, the game's quite forgiving, and extremely well-made.

I'm not sure how good the game would be as a four-player co-op game (it seems like the more precise platforming segments would be frustrating with four people, though I've read that characters can turn into bubbles like the New Super Mario Bros. games or Rayman Origins/Legends so only one person has to do the platforming), but as a single player experience, I'd strongly recommend it.
 

Sari

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

9.3/10

Pros:
  • Map is gigantic and the game is beautiful.
  • Lots of side quests.
  • There are a ton of things to collect such as getting all of the Korok seeds and completing the Hyrule compendium.
  • Aside from the first hour or so, there is no specific objective so you are free to explore just about any area as you please.
  • Lots of customization in regards to equipment and weapons.
  • Voice acting is a nice addition to the series even if it could've been better.
Cons:
  • Weapons break way too fast.
  • Overall story is pretty weak.
  • Unavoidable Yiga clan members spawn way too frequently after you defeat Master Kohga.
  • Thunderblight Ganon is probably the most infuriating Zelda boss fight ever.
  • Final phase of Calamity Ganon is laughably easy.

A breath of fresh air for the Zelda series which is exactly what it needed. Has its faults but in the end it was an amazing experience.
 

Tino

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Xenoblade Chronicles - 8.9/10
Great game. Enjoyed the 160+ hours I've spent into it.

Felt weird playing this one after having played Xenoblade 2 though.
 

Kneutronic

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Super Mario Odyssey: 9.7/10

After finishing the main adventure, I have to say this; this was the greatest Mario game I ever played, and one of the best games I played in general.

Pros:
-Cappy. Having him by your side, giving you the ability to control several creatures, not to mention amazing mobility options in good hands, and you have one of the best mechanics in Mario.
-Amazing music throughout. Hearing each theme, going through each kingdom, constantly blows me away and leaves me with the biggest smile on my face.
-The bosses were all unique and fun to go through, and they were epic in their own way.
-Between getting to control a T-Rex, going through New Donk City, and just everything about the Ruined Kingdom, there was plenty of moments in the game that just made me amazed that it was Mario that I was playing.

Con:
-999 POWER MOONS. The 3D Mario games typically end with obtaining about 120 or so collectibles, but this game? Man... I mean, on one hand, it preserves the game's longevity, but on the other, some moons are just flat-out tedious to get, and it makes getting them all more of a chore.

I overall highly recommend this game for anyone interested in it. It is such a wonderful experience.
 

Rizen

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Darksiders 3 for PS4

Have you played the other 2 Darksiders games? It's more of that. You won't find incredible graphics or groundbreaking concepts. But if you liked the other games you'll get a fun, good sized, hack and slash/dungeon buster game that is full of collectables and many hours of gameplay. DS3 can also be compared in ways to the Darksouls games. It has a similar 'Estus Flask' system with 'Nephilim's Respite', weapon upgrades by finding special metal and shortcuts connecting the map.

The gameplay is solid, although a bit repetitive, and there's very little stupid BS. The bosses are challenging so expect to try several times before beating them. If you get stuck there are consumable items to help. Puzzles force you to think one level more outside the box than simple lever pulling or block pushing. They add nice little breaks from carving up enemies. Despite being a hack and slash, DS3 has minimal gore and feels more like a Teen rated game than the Mature rating it got. This is a plus for me but to each his own. After thoroughly exploring the game the first area you can travel to via 'serpent holes' was still locked for me; if anyone knows how to access this please tag me.

The story is good, not great. Being the completionist I am, I got the "true" ending first try. The game follows Fury, a horseman of the apocalypse as she tracks down demons representing the seven deadly sins on a ruined Earth. Along the way she will uncover a deeper plot. Although Death from DS2 is better (IMO), Fury grows on you. The voice acting is great and conversations Fury has with her Watcher companion add much to the exploration.

Overall, DS3 is a fun expansion of the series. 8/10
 
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Sari

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Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

8.5/10

Pros:
  • Lots of characters to play as from across the series, ranging from fan favorites to Midna and Skull Kid to nice niche additions such as Marin.
  • Gameplay is really fun and most of the characters feel really unique.
  • Music is pretty good.
  • Adventure mode alone has an insane amount of challenges to do so this game has a ton of value to it.
  • The maps are great and I like how some of them are directly based on locations from the series.

Cons:
  • Aside from Linkle (and Lana to a certain extent), I hated all of the OC characters both in their designs and their gameplay. I'd rather have the time used to make those characters go to making actual Zelda characters.
  • To play co-op with someone you need to select a level, press in the left control stick (why that of all buttons?) on player 1's controller, press L + R on your friend's controller, and then choose their character for them back on your controller. You also have to do this every time you do a select a level. Would it have been too hard to just press start on the 2nd controller?
  • Companion AI can be really stupid at times.
  • As fun as the game is it can get monotonous after a while.
Overall really enjoyable and much better than FE Warriors.
 
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Kneutronic

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Bayonetta: 8/10

Ok, wow, that was a ride. Bayonetta's one crazy game.

Combat feels amazing, first and foremost. Stringing combos together, killing angels left and right, being aggressive feels so satisfying. And yet, being patient and utilizing your dodges efficiently is also highly advised when in combat. Gives the game a bit of a challenge, which I appreciate. The characters are fairly likable as well, and while the story takes a while to get off its feet, it makes more and more sense as the game goes on, right to the end. On top of that, the game as a whole is incredibly over-the-top ridiculous, what with the bosses you face, the torture attacks (especially the Joy's), the vehicles you ride in certain chapters, and Bayo's provocative nature, this game feels like it doesn't rest.

Combat is amazing, but it's also strict. You don't have a lot of margin for error, so you need to do your best to react to enemy attacks unless you want to wind up dying over and over again; did I mention the game ranks you and lets you know how much you suck or how good you are? :p On the topic of reaction time as well... QTEs are devil incarnate, and they are plentiful in Bayonetta. Don't say I didn't warn you.

If you like games with a lot of action, Bayonetta is right for you. It's a wild thrill ride from start to finish, and it uses the fact to fantastic effect.
 

Sanae

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Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition - 8.5/10

Despite not playing the original, I really enjoyed this game. The Tales of series is my favorite RPG franchise and I'm glad I was finally able to play it, since I heard so many great things about Vesperia.

While the ending could have been better, I was still satisfied.
I liked the the combat but it felt like the inputs were slow at times?
Other than that, I loved it.
 

Megadoomer

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Guacamelee 2 (Switch)

Anything that I had to say about the first game also applies to the second, minus how unclear it is to get the good ending. (this time, it's a lot more reasonable to do so) Guacamelee 2 is an excellent Metroidvania title, though it seemed a little harder than the first game due to it feeling like there were more instant death traps/spikes/lava.

One problem that I generally have with Metroidvania sequels is that they tend to do a poor job at justifying why the player character loses their abilities from one game to the next - there might be an explanation, but it's usually rushed (like in Metroid Prime, where an explosion takes out all of Samus's powers) or makes no sense (like in Metroid Other M, where Adam refuses to allow Samus to use ANY of her abilities, not just the Power Bomb, for no apparent reason). In Guacamelee 2, it's simple - Juan got married, had kids, and has been living in peace for seven years.

The game seems to rely on direct references more than the first in terms of its gameplay, (both games have background posters referencing other games, but Guacamelee 2 has gameplay segments based on Limbo, Bad Dudes, and many more, along with references to trends in video games like lootboxes) but the core gameplay is pretty similar to the first. One change is that the chicken form is much more useful, now that it has a wider variety of attack options.

The game has DLC as well, though it doesn't cost much; one adds three new playable characters (they're not much more than skins, though they give advantages depending on the character and come with achievements), while the second DLC adds six new characters and a challenge mode. (the sixth character seems to require you to get gold medals on all of the challenges, though unlike Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition, they don't count towards 100% completion of the maps)

All in all, I really liked the game, and I'd gladly buy Guacamelee 3 if it comes out.
 
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Dammit I can't remember the last game I finished since I play a lot more multiplayer games >_<

I guess Pokémon USUM

9/10

Great game, but I wished they added more UBs than just 3, and had a better, non-recycled story. Loved all of the post game content tho.

Definitely thinking of grabbing P5
 
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Megadoomer

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Devil May Cry 5 (Steam)

I upgraded my graphics card on my computer in order to play this game, and it was worth every penny. This game is fantastic, and between this, Mega Man 11, and the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection this year alone, Capcom is on a roll in my eyes. Devil May Cry 5 is easily one of my favourite action games, surpassing DMC3 and 4 by a large margin, and only rivaled by Bayonetta 2.

If I had one complaint, it's V's gameplay. It doesn't have the same impact as Dante or Nero, since he controls a bird and shapeshifting panther while staying out of the action for the most part. It can be tough to keep track of everything that's going on, or what move you're using, when it's much more straightforward for Dante and Nero.

Aside from that, I have no complaints. The story is straightforward while managing to include a surprising amount of emotional moments. (actually emotional, not "I should have been the one to fill your dark soul with LiiIIIIIIiiiiGHT!!" where it tries to be emotional but comes across as cheesy) Dante and Nero are both a ton of fun to play as, there's lot of replay value (even if you don't count playing through the game with the pre-visualization cutscenes where everyone's replaced with actual people or puppets), the variety of options at your disposal is downright staggering, and it's an outstanding continuation of the series, and well worth the wait.
 

Tito Lounge

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Persona 5 - 9.5/10

Despite being annoyed by pacing problems here and there, I adored it. The turned based battle mechanics are addicting and offer nice opportunities for strategy, the art direction and soundtrack are absolutely phenomenal, and the game's main cast of characters are so damn loveable. Yes, even Morgana.

I seriously can't wait for The Royal to come out so I can spend some more time in this world.
 

CS_

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Cuphead (200% run)
8/10

I’m obviously a little late in terms of playing and/or finishing this game, but I don’t actually own an XB1, and I don’t do a lot on my PC. I think this game was very high quality in both visuals (props to the developers for drawing each frame by hand) and mechanics. Nothing is too difficult to understand, and the story is almost nonexistent but cohesive enough to mean something. The boss fights are a blast to fight most of the time, and reward you for trying multiple times. The run n gun levels are personally my favorite, as sometimes they actually feel more frantic than any of the boss fights, except maybe king dice (a fight that was crazy but a whole lot of fun). One of my only issues with the game is how sometimes patterns on the bosses are ridiculously jank. For example, Hilda Berg’s Tornado, and Djimmi the Great’s heirlooms. Both of these attacks require very precise movement to avoid, and that can make these portions of the fight a giant pain. The tornado has the issue of being hard to maneuver around with the added bonus of mini blimps and hilda’s laugh hitboxes. The heirlooms have the difficulty of meeting your parry requirements (I liked parrying Puppet Cuphead’s bullets better honestly) and being an absolute cluster. There are other examples of this, such as Cala Maria, but I think I’ve gotten the point across. Some will say, “It’s designed to be hard, you have to play around it,” but I don’t think they’ve gone for the 200% run. This game isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly pretty close to being that way. Thank you.
 
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Sanae

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I beat two games within the past month or so but forgot to post it so I'll just post both.

Persona 4 Golden - 8.5/10
Overall I enjoyed the story and the characters. Of course it had its flaws as some things in the story didn't make sense to me but I really loved it. I was pretty overleveled at the end though so fighting the final boss was a breeze. I've never played the original Persona 4 (I've only gotten into the Persona series about two years ago and started with Persona 5) so I can't really compare it to that.

Tales of Graces f - 7.5/10
I like this game a lot but it's not one of my favorite Tales of games (still better than Zestiria). I felt like it was too short (it took me 49 hours) and it seemed rushed at the end. However I liked most of the characters with Sophie being my favorite. There was a difficulty spike at the last dungeon and I was worried I wasn't gonna beat the game because the spike was pretty significant, but I was lucky and made it through.
 

Sari

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Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Note: I have never played the original versions of the first three Crash games.

9/10

Pros:
  • Fun platforming with a lot of collectibles.
  • Great soundtrack.
  • Visuals are great and they put a lot of effort into the remastered cutscenes.
  • You can play as Coco now across all of the games.
Cons:
  • A lot of jumps are incredibly precise and you will often slip off of the edge of platforms. This is most notable in Crash 1.
  • The motorcycle levels in Crash 3 were incredibly annoying since just one screwup will make you lose. I really wish there was a retry option instead of having to either quit the level or finish the race.
  • Native Fortress and Slippery Climb are just pure torture.
If I had to rank the games in order, it'd go like:

2 > 3 > 1
 

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
9/10

One of the best platformers I've had the pleasure of playing. I enjoyed this game much more than Returns, both in terms of the levels/environments and play mechanics. I remember being a lot less frustrated with this game as well. I think Iwata put it best at the E3 reveal with "dynamic action." Dixie & Cranky were solid additions. David Wise!

That said the game is hard and is more for older audiences. I also felt that at times the amount of actions DK can do resulted in plenty of miscalculations or missed button presses/directional inputs.

It's a shame 2D Mario is in the NSMB rut. I'd love to see what magic an outside studio like Retro could bring as they did here.
 

Lore

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)
9/10

One of the best platformers I've had the pleasure of playing. I enjoyed this game much more than Returns, both in terms of the levels/environments and play mechanics. I remember being a lot less frustrated with this game as well. I think Iwata put it best at the E3 reveal with "dynamic action." Dixie & Cranky were solid additions. David Wise!

That said the game is hard and is more for older audiences. I also felt that at times the amount of actions DK can do resulted in plenty of miscalculations or missed button presses/directional inputs.

It's a shame 2D Mario is in the NSMB rut. I'd love to see what magic an outside studio like Retro could bring as they did here.
This one is absolutely on my list. It looks like a ton of fun.

Have you seen the new material for Mario Maker 2, pulled from 3d world? I'm hoping that it's a sign that they intend to experiment with more mechanics in the next 2d mario title.
 

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This one is absolutely on my list. It looks like a ton of fun.

Have you seen the new material for Mario Maker 2, pulled from 3d world? I'm hoping that it's a sign that they intend to experiment with more mechanics in the next 2d mario title.
I'm definitely curious to see what they do with that content as I loved both 3D Land & World. I'm excited to hear there are more Nintendo developed levels this time around as well. The Cat Suit is on par with the Cape Feather IMO in terms of potential.

EDIT: I don't think the NSMB games are bad. They all just kind of blur together.
 
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Lore

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I'm definitely curious to see what they do with that content as I loved both 3D Land & World. I'm excited to hear there are more Nintendo developed levels this time around as well. The Cat Suit is on par with the Cape Feather IMO in terms of potential.

EDIT: I don't think the NSMB games are bad. They all just kind of blur together.
Yeah I'm super excited to try out the campaign mode, it sounds like fun.

And no worries, I agree that they aren't bad. They do just seriously blend together.
 

MajoraMoon

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Ultimate Spider-Man for the Nintendo Gamecube
6/10

It has a decent story and the controls feel very nice. But, to continue the story you must do Races, Battle Tours, and random events. These are very boring. The levels in the story are either just chases or just very long battles.
 

Frizz

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For the longest time I've gone without playing Generation VII of the Pokemon games, mainly because I didn't have the money to purchase the games or even the console itself to play them. I've gotten around to emulating them so I can prepare for Generation VIII, which I am prepared for this time around. I'll be reviewing two games in this post—Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Ultra Sun.

First impression of the Generation VII games came from the models and the ability to move in any direction. It was definitely a step-up from Generation VI. Gameplay wise, it was absolutely phenomenal. Everything felt more interactive and lively than the previous games, which let me immerse myself into the game more. Despite not naming the protagonist after myself (and instead opting to name him by his canon name, Elio) and customizing him to my liking, I felt like I really was him throughout the entirety of the game. On an unrelated note, being able to see which moves were and were not effective in the battle screen was a really nice addition.

Storywise, it was great too. I'm not going too much into detail here, but my absolute favorite part was the picture that Rotom Dex took of Elio, Hau, and Lillie at the start of the game making an appearance at the end of the game. It really had an impact on me because I really felt like I had bonded with most, if not all, of the characters in the game. It worked especially well since Lillie leaves Alola to go to Kanto by the end of the game, which makes the photo all the more meaningful.

firefox_2019-05-31_03-40-24.png


Of course, Pokemon Sun did have a couple of flaws, but they were honestly passable. I'd rate Pokemon Sun somewhere around 8.5 - 9.5/10

A lot of people said this game fixed the problems that Pokemon Sun had, and I agree. Elio has a much better design in this game than he does in the original Sun, for example. Then there's also Episode Rainbow Rocket or RR for short that makes the post-game redeemable. Not as redeemable as being able to travel to Kanto in the Johto games or the Pokemon World Tournament in B2W2, but it comes very close. Having only played through each game once, I can't exactly pinpoint the small differences in story or even gameplay aside from the obvious (Hau challenging Elio after his conquest of the Elite Four instead of Kukui in the original Sun, Ultra Necrozma being the big bad boss of the main story rather than Nihilego-infused Lusamine, and Lillie not leaving Alola to go to Kanto at the end of the main game). The main gripe I have with it circles back to the aforementioned picture from Sun—it doesn't appear at all in the ending screen of Ultra Sun. I know it's on Lillie's desk in Kukui's house and all, but I still really would've liked to see it. Though, I guess I can understand why. Because Lillie doesn't leave by the end of Ultra Sun, the picture wouldn't really have much as an impact as it did in Sun. I used to think I preferred USUM over SM due to the sole reason that Lillie stays in Alola in USUM, but now I'm starting to reconsider. I don't know, I might have to replay the two games again to get a better understanding of the differences between the two and make my choice.

I wouldn't rate USUM anything less than SM, but I don't think I can rate it any more than it either. It gets an 8.5 - 9.5/10 from me.

Both games are really great, and they've gotten me attached to the characters of the game, Elio included. I genuinely had fun playing as him. I'm sure going to miss him when Pokemon Sword/Shield comes out and we'll be playing as new protagonists instead.
 

Megadoomer

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Xbox 360)

If I was rating this based on gameplay, it would be absolutely perfect. However, the story has a few flaws - I'm only basing this on chapter one, but by my understanding, chapter two is basically "play through the same missions that you already played through, except even harder!" with only tiny bits of story development, so I'm done the game as far as I'm concerned.

Maybe it's due to the fact that you can play as any member of the combat unit, instead of just Big Boss, but it seems like story takes a backseat, and Snake is (outside of tapes that can easily be ignored) borderline mute. Considering that a big part of Metal Gear's appeal is its cinematic approach to story, that's a big loss.

The gameplay is a ton of fun, and one of the few open world games that I've been willing to see through to the end. Everything seems so fluid and allows for a great deal of creativity in terms of how you approach things. I'm not even sure if I'd be able to go back to older Metal Gear games after playing this - it elevates the gameplay to something that the other games can't match.

My main problem is with the story. Spoilers for the end of the first chapter are under the tag. That chapter ends with one major plot point unresolved:

Eli (better known as Liquid Snake) now has access to a parasite that can destroy the English language. This seems like the sort of thing that would be dealt with in Chapter Two (since obviously, he doesn't destroy the English language), but it never comes up again - content was planned for it, but the game was somewhat rushed to release, meaning that it will likely never be resolved.

Other than that, there only seems to be three plot points that I'm missing out on by not beating the hard mode missions:
Huey Emmerich, Otacon's father, descending into outright villainy while refusing to accept that he's done anything wrong; the death of Quiet (the ability to recruit her again was patched in after fan demand, but the method is tedious); and the reveal that the bandaged man from the game's intro is Big Boss, which a lot of people could guess from the fact that he was also voiced by Keifer Sutherland.
There might be more that I'm not aware of, but none of that seems worth forcing my way through the game's hard mode for.

The lead-up to the game treated it as though it would show us how Big Boss made the transition from anti-hero to full-blown villain between Peace Walker and the original Metal Gear, but it never really delivers on that. He crosses some lines, like torturing people, but never descends into villainy. Not helping matters is that the game's antagonist, Skull Face, is about as cartoonishly evil as it gets, and the very end of the game reveals that
you were never playing as Big Boss anyway, so what Venom Snake does doesn't impact the real deal.

The gameplay alone makes this game worth picking up, but the story is nowhere near as focused and deep as previous installments were.
 
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Tito Lounge

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Cave Story+ (Switch) - 9/10

It's still a blast to play through but the secret dungeon and the requirements necessary to unlock it are a tad ridiculous.
 

Megadoomer

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Banjo-Kazooie (Xbox 360)

It's a masterpiece.

...What, you were expecting more?

I replayed this game recently - I started it before Banjo was announced for Smash, though the rumours definitely helped motivate me to replay it. Everything, from the characters to the writing to the music and level design, has aged so well that it's insane. Levels are big enough that there's plenty to do, but small enough that it doesn't feel so overwhelming.

The fact that you can collect almost every Jiggy on your first run-through of a level just seems ahead of its time, considering that Mario didn't implement that until Mario Odyssey. I played the Xbox 360 version, but the main differences seem to be the collected notes and Jinjos being saved even if you leave a level (which is a HUGE time-saver), the Stop 'N' Swop items being automatically available without having to enter a long code, Nintendo logos being replaced with Microsoft logos, the credits being a little longer, and the graphics being a little crisper due to the textures being in a higher resolution.

The achievements are reasonable in terms of difficulty and how naturally you'll get them - in some cases, you have to go out of your way to get them (like solving all of Bottles' puzzles), but it never feels unnecessarily time-consuming, or like the game is forcing you to play in a certain way. (there's no achievement for getting all of the Jiggies or the Stop 'N' Swop items, which was a little surprising, but getting those still feels like its own reward)

The controls for the Xbox 360 version seemed a little off compared to the original (it was tough to figure out how to look around in first person or use Wonderwing without looking it up), but for the most part, they felt natural (unless I tried to adjust the camera while crouching).

I beat the game 100%, and I'd still be willing to go back and play it again just for fun. Replaying it makes me so glad that our favourite bear and bird duo are finally getting their chance to be in Smash after all these years! I cannot recommend this game highly enough - in my eyes, it's one of those "must-play" games.
 
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Tino

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Spider-Man (PS4) - 9/10

Pros
  1. Open world
  2. Great combat system
  3. Great story
  4. Great cast of characters
  5. Voice acting
  6. Swinging all over NYC
  7. Suits and gadgets
  8. J. Jonah Jameson’s epic rants
Cons
  1. Side missions were rather dull
  2. Challenge missions to grind up challenge tokens is too much of a hassle
  3. Repetitive crimes in progress
Overall enjoyed it. Managed to get 100% completion on all districts. Might do the DLCs too but I’m gonna put those on hold for the time being.
 

Megadoomer

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Crash Bandicoot: Warped (Switch - through the N. Sane Trilogy)

I haven't played through the original Crash trilogy before. While I originally planned to play through it in release order (1-2-3), I found out that, in terms of difficulty, it's the exact opposite (3-2-1). With that in mind, I decided to beat Crash Bandicoot 3 first, and wound up beating most of it over the course of today.

The game was enjoyable, and I can see why Crash was Sony's unofficial mascot during the Playstation 1 era. His animations are great, and he's practically a Looney Tunes character. I'm not a fan of how (with the exception of when he has an Aku Aku mask, which seems fairly rare) he dies in one hit - I'm used to platformers being more lenient, with Mario's power-ups, Sonic's rings, or DK's partners allowing you to take more than one hit and still keep going. It wasn't a huge issue, but it made things more stressful than they needed to be.

Despite this, platforming was tough but fair for the most part. When I died, I usually felt like it was my fault. (aside from the last level before the final boss, where you can only see if there's some kind of glowing bug floating around you - once that vanishes, the screen becomes pitch-black, and I wound up falling down a bottomless pit that I couldn't see at the very end of the level) Thankfully, once you collect a crystal or gem, it stays collected even if you die afterwards, or in the process of getting it.

While the game was mostly platforming, there were some segments where the gameplay changed entirely. I found the sections where you ride around on a tiger to be much more forgiving than similar sections in Crash 1 and 2 in terms of level design, though the other sections weren't as fun. Underwater levels in Crash are not great; the floaty mechanics don't work well with a character that dies in one hit, and while he can get a vehicle that lets him take another hit and gives him missiles, it's very easy to have your momentum carry you into a hazard, or dash into something that you couldn't see because it was just off-screen.

The plane sections were incredibly easy, and the motorcycle sections were needlessly frustrating. With the plane, once I followed Peppy's legendary advice ("Do a barrel roll!"), it made the levels a breeze, since you can barrel roll to dodge enemy attacks and keep shooting at the same time. With the motorcycle, trying to steer it was a pain, especially through the tight curves that some sections of the roads had.

The boss fights were a mixed bag. Tiny Tiger has a pretty cheesy strategy to beat him (literally - the audience throws cheese at you for doing it), but Dingodile was challenging. N. Tropy was all right, nothing special, but N. Gin's boss battle was a highlight of the game, in a fight that strongly reminded me of Star Fox. Then you get to Dr. Neo Cortex and Uka Uka, the main villains of the game... and it was incredibly easy. I wound up beating it on my first attempt, and I was anticipating a second phase that never came. Maybe there is a second phase if you get all of the white gems to unlock the true ending, but it doesn't seem like it would be worth the frustration of breaking all of the boxes in every level, especially when that requires deathless runs in some cases.

All in all, I liked the game. It wasn't outstanding, and the difficulty was all over the place, but it was a lot easier for me to get into than Crash 1 was.
 

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Blue and Green
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Lunar: The Silver Star (Sega CD)
7.5/10

A short but sweet RPG (~10-12 hours to beat). The big selling points are probably the novelty of being a 16-bit RPG with CD audio & animated cutscenes and the fact that that Working Designs was behind the localization. The story is pretty straight forward, and quiet frankly very linear, but the large amount of character interactions help everything charming. Party members don't say silent upon being recruited and will join in on conversations with random NPCs, of whom often have 2-3 different sets of dialogue to say. As expected of Working Designs, the dialogues are full of jokes, references, and winks that make it worth it to talk to everyone without compromising the overall story or tone. Ex. They have to trademark "Wheaties" in the end credits because of a dialogue joke in the first town. Think modern NOA localizations/Kid Icarus Uprising but the early 1990s.

Battles take place on isometric grids with each party member/enemy having to more around the arena to attack, which in turn can effect how many strikes you can get in as well as making fleeing a viable strategy. As you have to pay attention to positioning battles are fairly engaging but movement is AI controlled and can sometimes be finicky. The encounter rate I'd say is less annoying than in most traditional JRPGs.

I've heard mixed things about differences between the Sega CD & Saturn/PS1 versions, so I don't know which is better, but if you can also pick up the official strategy guide as it's full of Working Designs jokes and interviews.
 

Sari

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Xenoblade 2

Note: I have never played a Xeno game prior to this and my only experience with the series was with Shulk in Smash.

8.5/10

Pros:
  • There are a lot of worlds and different types of environments to explore.
  • Soundtrack is amazing.
  • Combat is pretty fun once you get the hang of it.
  • Despite some bumps in the story I thought it was pretty good overall.
  • Lots of blades and a very deep skill system.
  • A ton of things to do even after you beat the game such as quests and New Game+
  • "I love you... and all you guys!"
  • There were a few moments that actually made me tear up a bit. Those moments being...
  • Vandham's death.
  • The start of chapter 7 when Poppi said she looked up to Rex when he was about to leave the group.
  • Mikhail's death.
  • Poppi saying that she can't fly Rex over to Pyra/Mythra in chapter 10.

Cons:
  • English voice-acting is a mixed bag. While there were some pretty good English voices (Brighid, Malos) there are also some really bad ones (Obrona, Rex whenever he screams). That one Rex scream in chapter 1 when Pyra first reawakens was the most hilarious thing ever.
  • I never want to hear the phrase "I like your attitude!" ever again.
  • One of Rex's battle quotes is literally "we'll beat them, with the power of friendship!"
  • There are a ton of times where I'd be walking in a low level area only for a level 70 monster to fly in out of nowhere and one-shot me.
  • Indoline Praetorium should just be renamed to Backtracking Land. I lost count of how many times you have to run to Amalthus' chamber and it doesn't help that you can't fast-travel to it.
  • A certain area of the game gets permanently locked in chapter 8, meaning you can't 100% the game if you didn't do the quests there. And no I'm not talking about the merc missions since I know those get moved.
  • Your companion AI will sometimes walk off ledges which will get them killed during battle. This happened a lot in chapters 7 and 8.
  • Soooooooo many flashback scenes in chapter 9.
 
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Spyro Reignited Trilogy

I did technically finish this one back in November, but only just got around to clearing all three games 100% for the first time. I had already completed all three games before this remaster, so in terms of gameplay and design I already knew what I was in for, but it's been fun revisiting regardless.

Spyro 1 is a good, but very raw game, some of the level design is great, and I like how honest it is, but it's always felt like it was a bit lacking in terms of presentation and polish, and had a few holes that needed filling. The remake does help to rectify some of this, like the great redesigns and improved voice acting for the dragons, but some of the things were always going to be difficult for it to tackle without actually redesigning parts of the game, like the awkward "boss battles", as well as the non-great levels that felt a bit too empty. I do think it's the game that's been remade the best out of the three though, it runs the best, and it feels like it's just had more effort put into the redesigns and animations, it's a genuinely quality remake. Also, since I don't know where else to put it, the Trilogy as a whole deserves praise for how well it has recreated the originals' core gameplay mechanics, which was extremely important.

My favorite of the trilogy is Spyro 2, it takes the general formular of the first game and really completes it. The addition of minigames feels natural, adds some nice gameplay variety, and helps assure that none of its levels feel as empty, and I think this game strikes a pretty good balance with them where it's neither too much or too little. It also has the best cast of characters and humor, it doesn't take itself very seriously, which gives it a lot of personality. It also has actual boss fights, which is part of why the game just feels so much more complete, and its flying levels are also not-awful, which is more than can be said of the other two games' flying levels. I don't think the remake served this game as well as it did the first, there are some places where there are significant framedrops, and the redesigns are kinda 50/50, but it's still pretty solid, and when I eventually replay the game I'll likely prefer doing so with the remake.

Finally, Spyro 3. For me this game is, and always has been a significant downgrade on both of its predecessors. The most glaring thing about it is how it goes way overboard with minigames, and not even the fun kind, it's almost always some weird vehicle or gimmick that you have to control, and they feel awful, no exceptions. I also really dislike the four new additional characters, they control poorly with their janky movement, they don't really have any fun abilities, and it feels like you have to go through so many hoops to get them to do what you want to. You don't actually play as Spyro for that large a portion of this game because of both of those things, and that's a shame, because the biggest reason the previous two games were so fun is because Spyro is just a very satisfying character to play as. The remake for this game is pretty bad too, the cutscenes are great, but the in-engine animation quality has dropped off a cliff compared to the previous two games. It also runs horribly in a lot of areas, I might only be playing on a regular Xbox One, but it really strikes me as being the result of nothing more than very poor optimization. It's awfully clear that this game was very rushed, I think it was even outsourced to a different developer, but hey, if any game had to be rushed, I don't mind that it was Spyro 3, there was never any saving it anyways.

As far as ratings go:
Spyro 1 - 7/10
Spyro 2 - 9/10
Spyro 3 - 4/10

Spyro Reignited Trilogy - 7/10
 
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NotAPro Bro

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Until I finally beaten this game, my life has just been going DOWNWELL.
I'm sorry




I finally beaten Downwell, by Devolver Digital. And it's honestly an incredible game.

Story: You play as this dude
Who is (unsurprisingly) going DOWN a WELL. He has useable on the sprite Gunboots he uses to travel his way down the levels. There are 12 stages in one game
1. Cavern
2. Catacombs
3. Aquafier
4. Limbo
and at the end, is an amazing boss fight.

Each time you complete a section, (like 1-1) you are offered a selection of 3 random powerups. My favorite personally is the drone.

In the middle of the level is a time void, this leads to extra charge but random gun change, more health but random gun change, or a crap load of gems.

I highly recommend as it's only $2.99 (If I remember it right)

For the price: 10/10
As a game: 8.5/10
 
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Tito Lounge

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Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon - 8/10

Inti Creates almost never disappoints me with their work and this game is no exception. I love how blatantly Castlevania-esque it is, and it's also got some decent replay value with its unlockable modes. Definitely worth picking up if you enjoy the classic style of Castlevania and have $10 to burn.
 

MajoraMoon

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Sonic Mania Plus
9/10


This game perfects the 2D Sonic formula. It's art-style, music, levels, just everything about it is true to the classic Sonic we all know and love. We get to see forgotten characters return such as Mighty, Ray, and even Fang, Bean, and Bark (only true Sonic fans would know). It includes so many references to Sonic games. I have never seen so many Sonic references in a game besides Lego Dimensions. Also, any Sonic game that references Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine has earned my respect. It also includes a Secret Boss like Sonic Adventure. The only draw-back to this game is it really REALLY lacks in story. I also wish the levels were more unique for every character. They also forgot to call Eggman "Robotnik."

All in all, this is the best Sonic game I have ever played. For both old and new Sonic fans, this is a must have! Now I need to wait for Christian Whitehead to direct a 3D Sonic game.
 

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Blue and Green
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Astyanax (NES)
6.5/10

The standard C+/B- rate NES action game. It's presentation is probably it's strongest point with solid graphics, Ninja Gaiden inspired cutscenes, and nice anime/fairy tale story.

Unfortunately the gameplay itself feels clunky with the Hero's slow movement, large hitbox, and enemy respawn glitches. It uses a Valis-style power meter system to attack, but it never really feels like it's balanced out enough to make combat feel satisfying. Additionally the weapon upgrade system is flawed, as you start of balanced, but then to decreased power/increased magic, to increased power/decreased magic, so you can never really choose your playstyle.

Good ideas, nice presentation, but flawed execution. A little extra time in the oven could have really helped this be something special.
 
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