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Games i've Beaten so far in 2016, Part 3

On 10/10/2016 at 06:50 PM by Alex-C25

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By now you shouldn't be surprised that I get to be active only in certain months on this site. I've linked this with the analogy of me being a distant uncle who only visits the family on holidays or reunions. Nevertheless, I can never truly leave this site for becoming a gathering of users who moved after the closing of our beloved 1up and you guys are often a great friendly bunch. Considering i've been wanting to talk about some things, I think it's apropiate I continue to detail the games i've beaten so far in this (hell) year and though not as much as my last two entries, I still consider this to be a sizeable count of beaten games, going by the order I beat them since the last blog.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PC Steam):

Some of you may know I grew up in the 6th generation of consoles with an Xbox. Some may also know I grew up with the modern Prince of Persia games. However, it was mostly with Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, the second and third game respectively. I had the first game, but why didn't I get to experience it that much as a young one? Well, I was stupidly incompetent with wall jumping and couldn't even pass the early area of the game where you had to double jump on a statue and the wall to get to the dagger of time. Yeup. I also lost my Xbox copy, so any chance to return and finally learn how to wall jump went gone... until I finally decided to get the PC version from Steam back in 2014.

In general, it feels to good to return to this game and finally learning how to wall jump. As far as ports go, it's pretty competent on the FPS side (60 FPS yo) and graphical fidelity, but it also has some issues like lack of widescreen support and a bug that makes running with diagonal movement impossible on a gamepad without calibration, but knowing how Ubisoft "cares" about PC gaming nowadays, I guess it shouldn't be surprising some of their devs "cared" about it on the 6th gen. Due to the fact that I could never get to calibrate my 360 gamepad properly for this game, I had to play it with mouse and keyboard, which sometimes it wasn't bad, other times it was a hassle, since unless I don't remember it being that way on the original Xbox, the camera is wonky and can get stuck when you are in combat and the prompts sometimes didn't seem to work they way intended or do an action I wasn't trying to do. Adding to that is the combat, which at first it's actually nice and has some good mechanics to it, but gets repetitive quickly and I hate when the game spawns a large number of enemies, who take a lot of your health and are intrusive. I can maybe find them doable if I had a gamepad, but since i'm talking about keyboard and mouse, it's a hassle that way.

That said, if there's one thing the game does great that manages to overcome the combat is the plataforming. Dear god is it wonderfully made, fun to do and properly challenging, throw in with some good puzzles (except for one section i'd like to ever forget) that make this a blast to play on that side. I also love the old-style pre-muslim Middle East feeling on this game, giving it an apropiate tone, the Prince is an interesting protagonist with nice interactions with the Indian princess Farrah, a fitting if generic adventure style story fitting for a Disney film (albeit with some slight edge) and also a nice soundtrack combining arabian music with Rock. For a fun fact, Yuri Lowenthal, the voice of the Prince, is also Sasuke Ichiha in the english dub of Naruto, among many other things.

Even with those mentioned gripes, I still really liked The Sands of Time. I hope that if I get to play this again, I can finally get to calibrate properly my gamepad to what the game requires, just to see if I fare better with it than with a keyboard and mouse.

Half-Life: Blue Shift (PC Steam):

To climate myself back into Half-Life as I eventually get to play the episodes of the second game, I decided to first tackle the expansions for the original game made by a very young Gearbox before they became (in)famous. Considering this was the shortest of the bunch and apparently was could also be sold alone as something of a demo for those who wanted to get a taste of Half-Life before the full purchase, there's not much to expect. It's entertaining for what it is, feeling very much like a small chunk of the larger Half-Life, what with having the same mechanics and weapons as the normal game instead of varying some things like in Opposing Force (more on that one later on), and going to some samey scenarios like Freeman would do later on in the game as this takes place before some actions from him (like vising Xen before Freeman did). It's also pretty short, roughly 5 to 4 hours. Still, it worked well as intended on getting my mood back to Half-Life, has the same fun mechanics (even if it has some of the annoying bullet sponge of the original) and even some cool cameos and showing of events taking place at the same time as Freeman.

Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS):

Ladies and gents, the first Fire Emblem game i've played and also beaten for the first time.

Although I started this last year, it was only in this year I gave this a proper play and man, was I incredibly addicted and still were over two weeks ago if it wasn't for me stepping in telling myself I should give this a rest and actually beat other games I haven't gotten to.

It's not perfect, what with sometimes getting too easy on the Normal difficulty, but getting a significant spike on Hard (and I'll really dread the day I tackle Maniac and the unlockleable Maniac Plus), simple storyline that only alludes to shades of grey but mostly stays in the black and white spectrum of morality and conflict, some nitpick of plotholes and wasted plot opportunities, and only some certain problems with the localization (the localized Henry and Olivia support is already infamous with the fanbase once the translations of the original japanese version came to light).

Other than that however, it's a pretty awesome game. The tactics and strategy side is well developed, making you really think before acting (specially if you're playing with permadeath on), it's incredibly flexible in terms of character, classes, actions, stats and the ability to re-class characters, and opportunities for grinding that help these aditions (even more so with the DLC that pretty much lets you grind whenever you like). Even with the simple morality, I still thought the story was fine for what the game was looking for, properly emotional when it needed to be (there's an identity revelation that very much got me) and either way, the characters (mostly on the hero side) are the ones that make the game shine and they are all well thought and can initially seem like stereotypes, but get to be more once you learn about them. Finally, the music is pretty awesome and even with some problems in the localization, atleast there's more great stuff than misses and though maybe not in direct translation, it follows the same path as the japanese version, unlike say..... okay, i'm not getting to that potentially flame baiting topic for your sake and mine.

Overall, great stuff and possibly my favorite 3DS game so far. You also won't believe who I decided to marry my Avatar (Robin) with for my first game.

PD: Okay, i'll just say this: DO NOT mention me Fire Emblem Fates (and Xenoblade Chronicles X, the SMT and Fire Emblem crossover, Fatal Frame 5 and Bravely Second for that matter) unless you want me to get salty. I repeat, it's for your sake and mine.

Splatoon: Squid amiibo Challenges (Wii U):

For all intents and purposes, the Splatoon amiibo have what can be considered extra DLC missions on a figurine, but atleast they are things that don't affect the game to advantage the owners of these because of how clothes work in the game, one of them is simply a reskin of weapons you can buy in-game and the minigames are side things for when you're waiting on matches.

Anyway, since Nintendo got greedy by not putting the Squid amiibo as a standalone purchase like in Japan, I imported one from Amazon (thank god there's no region blocking for amiibos). Nothing more to say, only that it does have some of the biggest challenges out of all the first three amiibos, but i'd be lying if I said I didn't want this amiibo for the sweet rhythm minigame of the entire soundtrack, that can even be put as just a simple sound test. I also imagine the dialog of the Squid with the same voice and mannerisms as the let's player Cryaotic.

Half-Life: Opposing Force (PC Steam):

Now here's an expansion.

It's still short, but it's longer than Blue Shift (over 8 hours here), combines familiar elements with new things like enemies, weapons and sectors, has a more involved angle with the Marines, interesting levels and challenges, the same atmosphere of "everything going wrong" as the first game and really, still having the good bits of Half-Life. Of course, there's always the annoying bullet sponge and some plataforming issues, but those are also problems of the original game. I really do feel that if this was longer, I would consider Opposing Force to be equal if not even better than the original game.

Super Meat Boy (PC Steam):

Finally, after 4 years, I finally finished Super Meat Boy.

Back then I instantly fell in love with this game and considered among my favorites..... And it still is!

I really don't need to explain that much why this is an excellent game when many have said it time and again, but i'll just say the basic: a hard but still incredibly fair plataformer (mistakes are more likely the fault of the player than the game), excellent and precise gamepad controls, excellent design, great pacing (you die, you come back instantly), a good learning curve, nice artstyle, enjoyable black humour and last but not least, incredible soundtrack by Danny Baranowsky.

I really don't need to explain the amazingness of Super Meat Boy. It's one of the best plataformers ever made.

Bleed (PC Steam):

I had this since 2013 and only last August I decided to beat this.

I enjoyed it back then, but I mostly considered to be fairly decent but not special. However, after I returned to Bleed, it did grew up on me considerably to point of being pretty good. Maybe not great but still pretty good, mostly thanks to getting more the hang of the controls. It's a tough and pretty short experience, but it has well made mechanics, fun shooting and it's just a pretty happy game overall that doesn't take itself serious.



So anyway, i'll end this here. I've actually beaten two other games recently (those who follow me on Backloggery will know), but because they come from the same franchise and i'm binging many of its games, i'll wait for a blog entry that can potentially only be about that franchise. Aside from that, i've been giving more attention to the DS port of Chrono Trigger, sometimes playing AudioSurf for relaxation and started about a month ago Civilization V after getting inspired by the then coming of the 6th game. Seriously, my Fire Emblem Awakening obsession got nothing to what Civ 5 has done to me in terms of hours passing away. I also have a plan in doing another entry of Youtube gaming channels I recommend as the only time i've done it was in the BaD of 2015 and I always wanted to make other recommendations. So that's all for today.




10/11/2016 at 01:19 AM

I was looking at one of the Splatoon amibos today at Gamestop. Insteresting that they have DLC levels attached to them. 

I guess those Half-Life expansions never made it to the PS2 console version? 


10/12/2016 at 11:27 AM

It's not that the Splatoon amiibos have DLC, but i've compared it to the way some games release DLC that are extra challenges that don't have to do with narrative. In Splatoon on its first batch of amiibos, the challenges are some levels and all bosses of the story mode done with (depending on the amiibo) a different weapon than the one used in the single-player or in the case of the Squid one, with two different conditions depending on the level.

No, they didn't put the expansions. Pretty understandable considering that a PS2 disc couldn't hold that much content and detail. Atleast they put in the PS2 version the exclusive co-op campaign, Decay.


10/13/2016 at 12:59 PM

It's cool when there's new gameplay related to the figures. I love seeing what abilities each Skylander has when I level them up. This guy:

lavalance uses his lance as a pogo stick for one move. I watched Mark playing this character and it looks hilarious bouncing around like that.

Weird. I don't remember playing Decay in Half-Life. I should revisit it. There's a game that needs a HD remake for sure.


10/13/2016 at 02:22 PM

"there's a game that needs an HD remake" It already has an official conversion to the Source engine oficially sold separately on Steam by Valve themselves, and it ALREADY has a remake in the form of Black Mesa, which is still in development by a group of fans, now oficially endorsed by Valve.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

10/11/2016 at 11:58 AM

damn dude, playing Blue Shift and Opposing Force?  That's some retro PC fun!  

Ah, crazy Uncle Alex!  I hope the rest of the year is less Hell.  

I think I downloaded Bleed.  Don't think I've played yet.  I've got like 60 items on my steam wishlist now.  And my backlog is equally insane.  Don't know what to do about that except to PLAY MORE GAMES!!!!


10/12/2016 at 11:29 AM

Snee, remember that you also told me something like that on the Steam chat back when I started the game three months :P

It's been less of a hell for me and more of a hell for almost the entire planet.

Yeah, I remember you've talked about Bleed long time ago. You could give it a try since it's a pretty short game.

Cary Woodham

10/11/2016 at 02:22 PM

I beat a lot of games this year so far, but I don't remember them all off the top of my head right now.  I do know that the last game I beat was Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice!


10/12/2016 at 11:31 AM

I need to get around the Ace Attorney series. Although I have the DS version of the first game, I do plan getting after that the remaster on the 3DS eshop.


10/13/2016 at 01:49 PM

I missed out on Sands of Time when it was a free Uplay game but I have played it a couple of times and I thought it was a fun game but just like the problems you ran into, I'm still a little hesitant on playing games on Uplay (The Division had its share of glitches)


10/13/2016 at 02:24 PM

Don't bother with Uplay unless there's a game you're really itching to play. Get the Steam release since it doesn't need any Uplay requirements.


10/15/2016 at 12:52 PM

Yeah I'm not a fan of Uplay. The only reason why I used it is because when I bought the physical copy of The Division it came with the Uplay code. 

Blake Turner Staff Writer

10/14/2016 at 09:13 PM

Man, I've heard so much about Opposing Force. I really need to play it!

 I tried to play Sands of Time recently but I don't think it holds up exceptionally well unfortunately.


10/14/2016 at 11:36 PM

Very much a great expansion man, definitely worth a look.

I do think PoP holds up well in terms of plataforming and puzzles.

Blake Turner Staff Writer

10/15/2016 at 10:48 AM

It felt a bit sluggish to me unfortunately. Maybe I should give it another go. Yahtzee keeps banging on about it and how it's one of the best stories in gaming.


10/16/2016 at 02:49 PM

I only played The Sands of Time out of that trilogy but man, what a great game! I played through the whole thing twice. The Forgotten Sands was a recent PS+ game that I'm hoping to play at some point.


10/17/2016 at 12:47 AM

Definitely a great one, even if it's dated in some aspects. From what i've seen (and remember), the combat is improved in latter installments.

Super Step Contributing Writer

12/22/2016 at 01:25 AM

PoP SoT was one of my favorite games, and I was really turned off by the direction they went in Warrior Within. So I had kinda the opposite experience of you. I love SMB's death system.

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