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Re: All the way through?

Posted: April 14th, 2020, 4:07 pm
by TheEagleXIII
Retro STrife wrote:Nice going Eagle - that list reads like a "Who's Who" of must-play PS1 games. I played each of those series back in the PS1 days. Crash Bandicoot 3 was the first game I owned for my PS1; great game and it remained my favorite in the series even after playing Crash 1 & 2 (I think 2 was the weakest). Never was a big Spyro fan, but still it's a solid platformer. Great memories playing the first Syphon Filter - that was an impressive series when it started out on PS1, but I'd be surprised if a third-person shooter like that still holds up today (how was it?). Played the hell out of the THPS series, loved THPS 1-4 (2 and 3 were my favorites), lots of good times with siblings spent playing those.

And naturally Final Fantasy VII is one of my all time favorites. Like you, I had heard all the statements that it no longer holds up these days. Well, after going about 20 years without playing it, I finally revisited it a year or so ago. And like you, I found that it is still an excellent game. If you ask me the biggest factor in FF7's enduring success - I think it's undoubtedly the characters. The cast of characters (especially Cloud and Aerith) is probably the best of any RPG ever, and arguably the best of any game ever. The characters and story hold up as classics today, even if the gameplay is becoming dated. IMO the lifelong connection that gamers developed with those characters in the '90s is why the FF7 universe still remains popular today, despite being 20 years old and having no real sequels.

Have you played Metal Gear Solid? If you haven't, I highly recommend that for your next PS1 game. I think, viewed objectively, Metal Gear Solid is the best PS1 game. And it still holds up great today. I played it a few years ago, and was shocked it still played so well. As I played it, I kept thinking "Man, this could be released as a new game today and still be considered great." Fun gameplay, great story, and the best cutscenes of its time. Worth playing for sure.


Yeah I really did miss out on some absolute essentials back in the day! I usually had some experience with them, even if it was only briefly at a friends or in demos. I'm gonna blame it on not getting a Playstation until mid 1999 and entering my awkward teenage years at the same time affecting my gaming choices. ;)

Apart from CTR, Crash Bash and an underwhelming demo of the first game - I never properly checked out Crash Bandicoot until a few years ago. Totally agree 3 is the best, it's got the best variety, bosses and replayability - it's the only one I'm really tempted to try to 100%. But oddly, despite that, 2 is my favourite and I felt 1 was the weakest. Still massively enjoyed all three.

Spyro, again was only a demo experience. I've started playing the 2nd one and I've enjoyed both a lot more than I was expecting to. In some ways I actually prefer them to Crash, but I tend to dip in and out of them. I can only really handle playing 2-3 levels in a row before needing a break for a day or two, whereas Crash I could sit for a marathon session and only need a 10min cool down if a bit of nerd rage started setting in. :lol:

I do have a real soft spot for Syphon Filter. I owned 2 and 3 back in the day (never completed either, but played and completed the first game a few years ago) and I remember thinking even then that they seemed outdated with their blocky graphics. :lol: I can't put my finger on what about it really engaged me and still does. But how does it compare today? I still can't put my finger on it but it really does have a certain charm about it. The voice acting and the dialogue is even worse than I remember but it's mostly cheesy in an entertaining way like a late 80s action movie. It's weird as well, because all the games have their own over-the-top set-pieces straight out of a 80s action movie that are just so ridiculous... but the gameplay takes itself seriously. It might even be the gameplay that's the real winner, it seamlessly blends action and stealth (the 3rd game not so much though), even the mission objectives change on the fly. It's rarely ever boring. Everything about it, right down to the conspiracy storyline is dated, but I still had a lot of fun, and maybe that's what I find so endearing about it.

FF7 made me care about the characters so much. I knew the Arieth bit was coming but it still got me. In some ways it made her dialogue and actions in the build up to the infamous moment even more heartbreaking. The whole game took me on a rollercoaster of emotions I wasn't expecting, all the characters have their own flaws and heartbreaking moments and it all just mixes together perfectly.

I can't wait to go replay MGS. :D I owned it when it was newish but never managed to complete it. I revisited it a few years ago intending to see it through, but I think life just got in the way. Got a few games in mind lined-up to play, but MGS is definitely near the top of my list.

Re: All the way through?

Posted: April 21st, 2020, 3:58 pm
by Ozzybear
Just finished Lords of the Fallen on Ps4 .
excellent game!

Re: All the way through?

Posted: April 30th, 2020, 1:39 pm
by velcrozombie
Finished the Jill playthrough of Resident Evil: Director's Cut (Dualshock version). I even gave the Chris campaign a quick look but I'll probably move on to something else for the moment.

Also completed a co-op run of Streets of Rage 2 with my cousin on Normal difficulty (I used Axel, he used Skate). I've previously beaten the game solo with Axel on Hard and Max and possibly Blaze on Normal. I should go back to Skate to see how well I could do with him - he definitely takes the most finesse to succeed with. In general I want to see if I can beat the game on Hardest with all the characters - it took a few games but I started picking up on my bad habits from playing the game as a younger kid and could see all the little strategies and optimizations I could make to avoid taking cheap damage.

Re: All the way through?

Posted: May 3rd, 2020, 6:56 am
by velcrozombie
Accidentally completed a 1cc run of Streets of Rage 4 on Normal with Blaze last night - wanted to try another character before bed with the intention of saving on the stage I ran out of lives on but I just kept clearing the bar. I'm sure I'll find more nitpicks as I become more familiar with the game but I'm still in the honeymoon phase - this is just so much better than I expected it to be and I can see myself going back again and again. I will say to set aside some time if you want to complete the game in one sitting - in single player it took over two hours, even with me skipping some cutscenes that I'd already watched before.

Re: All the way through?

Posted: May 3rd, 2020, 9:33 am
by Retro STrife
velcrozombie wrote:Finished the Jill playthrough of Resident Evil: Director's Cut (Dualshock version). I even gave the Chris campaign a quick look but I'll probably move on to something else for the moment.


Nice. I've never played the Chris campaign. There's some differences and it's harder, but that wasn't enough reason for me to try it when I beat this game back in the 90s. The Jill campaign is the experience most people probably played and remember, so you got the gist. I haven't tried the remake version that I downloaded last week on PS4, but I'm thinking about it.

Re: All the way through?

Posted: May 3rd, 2020, 9:48 am
by Retro STrife
Last night, I beat The First Tree. It's a very short indie game.. I beat it in a single 2-3 hour sitting. It's available on several systems, but I played the PS4 version which I bought on sale for $3 awhile back.

The game is a "walking simulator" adventure game, so there are no enemies - just exploration and story. The game's story is based on themes of loss, death, mourning, and overcoming that. You play as a fox seeking out her 3 missing baby cubs. But the fox's story is just a dream, and the dream is had by a guy (in his 20s or 30s) who is experiencing the grief of his father passing away. He wakes up in the middle of the night and explains the dream to his wife, while he also reminisces about his troubled history he had with his father, with all the good times and regrets.

I like a good story, so I play the occasional adventure game like this. Reviews are very mixed for the game. I was intrigued by several reviews praising an amazing ending, so I wanted to give it a shot. I was annoyed with the gameplay and the grating dialogue of the husband and wife characters, but I kept hoping the ending would make up for it. Without spoiling the ending, I can say that it was not good enough to make the game worth it but it does incorporate one cool element when you reach the "first tree" at the very end. But overall I can't recommend.

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Re: All the way through?

Posted: May 23rd, 2020, 1:39 am
by velcrozombie
Still playing Streets of Rage 4. At this point I've beaten the game with Blaze (1st try), Floyd (2nd try), Adam (2nd try) and Axel (4th or 5th try) on Normal and have unlocked all the playable characters from the previous games.

Axel has been the most difficult character to get used to (I don't want to say "the worst character" since I don't know if I've been using all his tools effectively yet). I would frequently get ganged up in the later stages on as I desperately tried to catch up my much faster opponents and as I got punished for using Grand Upper more and more I felt I didn't have the tools to compete. I adapted, using Grand Upper more to add extra damage at the end of combos than as a go-to move. I also began using more grappling (especially to take advantage of invincibility frames) and the jumping version of the crowd-control move to catch faster enemies. Throwing weapons (which you can catch on the rebound and reuse) also kept some of the more agile enemies at bay and allowed me to extend combos for extra points. You can bunny-hop with slower characters for a small increase in speed as well.

After playing all the characters I'd probably tell a beginner to use Adam or Blaze - I completed my playthrough with Adam almost in spite of myself, whereas I had to really work with Axel and Floyd (who is tons of fun to use for his damage output alone). I need to go back to Cherry (who I've only messed around with - she's very fast and it's easy to do extended combos with her, but I don't know yet how her health and damage output will fare as the game progresses).

At first I didn't know how I felt about the new special move/crowd-control move system, but now I've come around to how it rewards skill and encourages taking chances. Every time you use one (whether you hit an enemy or not), a portion of your lifebar turns green. As you damage your foes with your regular move-set, you earn the green life back one hit at a time - until you get hit again, that is. Take a hit and you lose any green health remaining on you lifebar. As you get better and more confident, you become more willing to gamble bits of health to get out of tough situations or to keep combos going.

Armor on enemies is annoying sometimes, especially when even a few cannon-fodder enemies suddenly gain it near the end of the game. In Streets of Rage 2 there are boss characters that are nearly untouchable at times or who could break out of holds but you knew you could use a special move to knock them down reliably when you needed to - here enemies have phases where they take damage but can't be stunned or knocked down and sometimes you have little choice but to get out of the way the best you can. Not only does it break the flow of combat and slows down the game at times, there's also something unsatisfying about wailing on an opponent who refuses to "sell". Ultimately it's more strategy to keep under your belt but it's not necessarily one that makes for a more enjoyable experience.

Re: All the way through?

Posted: May 23rd, 2020, 6:02 pm
by Retro STrife
Just finished up a playthrough of Guns, Gore & Cannoli. I played the PS4 version, but I think it's on most current systems. The game caught my attention because it looks a lot like Metal Slug. As it turns out, the Metal Slug influence is clearly there, but the game moves at a much more methodical pace. You still get tons of enemies, lots of side-scrolling shooter action, bullets flying everywhere, etc., but you move along more deliberately and try to position yourself for safe shots. Not as good as Metal Slug, but it was a good diversion for some old school action on the PS4.

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Re: All the way through?

Posted: June 27th, 2020, 10:39 pm
by Retro STrife
Well, everyone in the world seems to be playing Last of Us Part II right now. Me too? Nahhh, not enough time to start that right now.

Instead, I went back and played Last of Us: Left Behind, which was the expansion game that was released shortly after the first game. I played the first game several years ago and loved it, but I skipped Left Behind because I was ready to move on. But with the series back in the limelight, I figured playing Left Behind was a good diversion to hold me off for now. And good news: Left Behind is very short (around 3 or 4 hours). The game is played as Ellie, and it provides backstory to Last of Us, with the main draw being the flashback story to Ellie and her friend Riley spending a night hanging out together in an abandoned mall.

If you're interested in Last of Us backstory, it's worth the short trip. It's also a good refresher if you plan to play Part II soon. But since it's a story-focused expansion, there isn't much reason to play it if you haven't played Last of Us first.

Re: All the way through?

Posted: July 22nd, 2020, 11:11 pm
by nesfan
I just completed I Am Setsuna for the Switch. It was a pretty good RPG but it wasn't quite great. Variety is mostly what held it back. As much as I love snow and winter and seeing snow in video games, I was kinda wishing for some more vibrant environments to spice things up. The enemy monsters you fight didn't have much going for them either. I'd say there's only a few types of enemies and as you go through the game, you just fight palette-swaps of those enemies. I would say that but the colors are so muted, you can barely tell they're palette-swapped. The whole game just kinda ran together as a result. The saving grace was the battle system, the story, and some of the characters are pretty darn likable. The battle system is very similar to Chrono Trigger's but they added a Super Mario RPG-ish timed hit mechanic that was pretty cool. Worth a playthrough but I likely won't be going back to it any time soon. My final save was around 23 hours so if you'd like a shorter game, it'll do you just fine. It just won't blow you away.