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blcdude1

Video Games Finished in 2020

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Beat: Gunbird 2, Switch

Beat: Samurai Aces, Switch

 

Also, we're updated to this post now! Let me know if I missed something.

Edited by blcdude1

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7/18- Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 for 3DS 

 

In my opinion, Azure Striker Gunvolt is one of the best successful indie games of the last decade. Even though it had a few shortcomings, I found it to be really fun. So, since I thought that the next game was going to be as short as the first, why not play it immediately after?  

Gunvolt took down Sumeragi's plans for Lumen, and his former boss from QUILL. A while later, a new force called Eden, a group of Adept users, wants to try their luck on taking over the world. Zonda, one of the bosses of the past games, never really died in the events that happened and is in fact the leader of Eden. Their first plan is to kidnap a girl named Mytyl, who is Copen's twin sister and doesn't seem to have any real importance. Gunvolt and Copen arrive to stop the ship Mytyl is on from crashing. The two fight, but Zonda and a henchman interfere, trap them, and shatter Joule (an adept who merged with Lumen and is living within Copen because of the true ending of the last game). Most of the shards, and most of Joule's power, is taken by the forces of Eden, but Copen and Gunvolt each have their own shard. Gunvolt asks Copen to join him, but like last time, Copen still sees Adepts as a threat to humanity. Gunvolt needs the shards to get Joule back to her former strength, while Copen needs the shards to help cure his sister from a terminal illness. And, this is where things get interesting. Players can control Gunvolt or Copen in their own stories. Each protagonist gets their own supporting casts and three unique stages. They both have one stage in common, and face their respective normal stage bosses in the late game. And even though the last stages have different routes, it all comes together with a challenging final boss that uses a different desperation attack depending on the character chosen. And, that's pretty much all. The stakes are just like last time, but just with Copen being playable. And, even though he wants to save the world, Copen might is so driven by revenge and hatred that I genuinely don't like him. His relationship with Gunvolt never changes, even though they both have parallel goals. Copen might be the worst anti-hero ever. 

Like the last game, game, stages, and characters are amazing, so it would just feel redundant talking about the detail.  


Joining Gunvolt this time as a playable character is Copen. His gun is very powerful against normal enemies, but like Gunvolt, battling against bosses require him to tag. But, his guns don't do the job like Gunvolt's, so how does he tag? He can use his dash to tag enemies, although doing so drains his energy and makes him susceptible to more attacks because of his close range style. Copen is also accompanied by Lola, and AI that can produce similar abilities used by Gunvolt and can also use other Adept's abilities when they are defeated in battle. Lola's abilities work a little bit differently, so dodging attacks is not as easy as before. Copen also can buy and equip gear to help him in battle, and can make use of his own skills. Think of Gunvolt as X, and Copen as Zero from the Mega Man X series. 

So, what about the ending? I got to say, the way to achieve the true endings and the true final bosses are not as bad as the last game. And, the false final boss isn't as punishing as before. Still, the endings, like before, are not really happy, as Gunvolt and Copen both have to leave behind the person they care for the most and move on. And, from what I know, it's not the end for the both of them.  


Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is a great sequel, but it has some nitpicks I really think could be handled better in the third game. Will the tagging system be better implemented?! Will the true final boss and so on not have a B.S. way to get to them? And will Copen have a redeemable character arc?!... Still, there are the other expandable games in the Gunvolt universe. Maybe I should check them out. 

 

7/18- Mighty Gunvolt Burst for Nintendo Switch 

 

A great 8-Bit Mega Man homage where Gunvolt and Back from MN9 team up, and it's perhaps the best use of the MN9 un-ironically. Sometimes unfair and challenging at times, but it's a Mega Man homage. What else did I expect?!  

 

7/29- Dragon Quest VII: Journey of the Cursed King for 3DS 

 

The last three games I played in the series, III, IV, V, all prepared me for the moment of playing perhaps the most highly acclaimed of the series: VIII. I had to know if it was just hyperbole, so I downloaded the game from the eShop days after V. And... it instantly grew on me. But, would that feeling last forever? 

The story begins with two men, one simple (Eight) and the other a brute (Yangus), accompanying a small troll and a horse. The troll and horse were once a king and a princess of a kingdom, named King Trode and Madea, but an evil jester named Dhoulmagus stole a magical scepter belonging to the king. Dhoulmagus turned the king and princess into their current state, turned the staff into green statues, and destroyed part of the castle with humongous thorns. Somehow while on guard, Eight is knocked unconscious, but is not turned into a statue. With no clues on where to go, the four set on a quest to defeat Dhoulmagus to return things back to normal. On their journey, the company is soon joined by Jessica, a prodigal mage, and Angelo, a flirtatious knight, who also have good reasons to hunt down the jester. Although the goal of the game is to defeat Dhoulmagus, there's still a sense of underlying and unknown dread that comes around during the halfway point.  

The 3DS version might have some frame-rate and pop-up issues, but I will say that the I still really enjoyed the style of it. I'm a huge sucker for Akira Toriyama's work, and with the original transition of models going from 2D to 3D, it makes each character stand out more. Heck, even in battles, the cameras show everyone now, including the main fighters. Even though the 3DS game is critiqued the use of the MIDI samples (because the composer is a well-known snob or whatever), the music in general is pretty amazing. War Cry is one of the greatest and most simple battle themes of all time. And, I especially love the boss music and Dhoulmagus' theme. The instrumentation is top notch... even when it is sometimes louder than when characters need to talk. That's right; for the first time in the series, there's voice acting. Compared to the delivery of two other Square Enix games that came before it, Final Fantasy X and Kingdom Hearts, I think this one is perhaps the best. Though, it too has its moments of corniness at time. And, most of the actors have formal British, Cockney, and Scottish accents. Stereotypical, perhaps, but the series is known for its Western-influenced ideas. It would be better if the music didn't blaze over the voice acting, however. Still, there is a way to adjust the volume for each, so maybe I should do something about that. 

Even though I jumped from V to VIII, I will only talk about what VIII and the remake brought to the table. Characters can raise their tension to deal more damage, but I myself never used it recently. One quick Oomph spell is all I need. Alchemy can be used to create items out of others. When leveling up, the main party can acquire skill points to increase the potential of certain weapons and to gain certain skills, like Heal and Kafrizzle. In the 3DS version, there's no random encounters. Instead, they can now be seen in the overworld. If one person thinks that's a blessing, it's also a curse. Some monsters WILL hunt the party down real quick. But, with the turn the camera, new enemies can spawn. Because I was looking for a certain EXP monster for some time, this exploit actually helped me in the long run. There's two new characters that join the party, but I only got one of them through a story beat. New content has been added as well, but I played this game for the main story mostly, and the photo stuff seemed really unnecessary. But, I will get to the rest of it later. But, the biggest surprise is learning that the bosses in the 3DS game are harder and have more hit points. This really frustrated me, as some of the bosses by the end were huge jerks because they were able to attack twice in one turn. But, through sheer force, I defeated them... when I ended my EXP monster grind. If this game is playing dirty, so will I.  

I can understand why Dragon VIII is so beloved by its fans. It perhaps made the series once more famous after a decline after IV came out. To be perfectly honest.. this is the best Dragon Quest game I've played as of now. Sure, it might not have the best story, the best bosses, the best characters, and/or anything that makes this game stand out in terms of gameplay, but it perfectly captures the essence of the series: character customization. (I haven't played VI nor VII, so they might have done that better, but I won't play them.) For now, since IX is a bit in a tough situation with co-op, and X is an MMORPG only available in Japan, XI: Echoes of And Elusive Age for the Nintendo Switch will be my final Dragon Quest game in the series. But, due to VIII taking a long time to beat, I'll play it later. 

 

 

8/15- Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon 2 for Nintendo Switch 

 

 



 

For some time, I refused to play games from the "Halloween-ish" genre until October. That also goes for Ritual Of The Night. But, maybe out of sheer curiosity, I felt like playing this game. I thought the first game was a really amazing successor to Castlevania, so I had to know if Curse of The Moon 2 would genuinely surprise me as well. 

 

Zangetsu is still fighting demons as before, but this time it's also because a priestess named Dominique told him of a fabled "Demon Tower". Joining him on this journey this time are Dominique, a sniper named Robert, and a steam robot thing piloted by... a corgi of all things. (The game says it's by alchemy.) What was really interesting is that Zangetsu seems okay being with these new characters compared to his old allies in the first game. I'm pretty sure he liked being the solo guy before, as he was okay with killing potential comrades back then. (This game doesn't have that option too.) I think not getting the NIGHTMARE ending in the last game and not playing Ritual Of The Night might have skipped some context of his character arc. Sure, Robert is the skeptical one at first in this game, but he too starts to see Dominique and Hachi the corgi differently. (He and Zangetsu apparently knew each other by the beginning of this game.) I forgot to bring up alchemy, the church, Shardbringers and other key things about the lore of this series in the last review, but it's still the usual strange team of misfits joining to save the world from evil cliche here. 

 

Since the game is visually and audibly stunning like the last game, I'll jump straight into the gameplay. Zangetsu still plays like his old counterpart, so what about the rest? Dominique uses a spear similar to Eric Lecarde from Castlevania: Bloodlines. She's also the healer of the group, as she can grow fruit trees by using stamina. Robert is a sniper. He can attack long range, but his health is pitiful, his attack size is small, and bigger enemies pose a threat to him. He can also wall-jump, and his sub-weapons make up for his stortcomings. Last is Hachi. Hachi rides a slow-moving mech that can destroy hazards, has the most health, can easily hit most things in his range, has a hover ability that has a time limit but uses no stamina, and can slam the ground beneath him. As for his special move, he drains stamina to turn invincible. The only drawback is that Hachi works as a CQC fighter, and he lacks attacks that hit smaller enemies. His hover ability to some players could also feel awkward to perform as well. But, Hachi is the best used in most boss fights because of his special move and long health. I'm not sure if they were in the last game, but players can also acquire upgrades like HP Boost Up in certain secret places. This game is full of nonlinear paths/ different paths and shortcuts that lead to the bosses. 

 

This game also brings back the Casual, Nightmare, Veteran modes, and the challenging boss fights. But, getting to the true final boss might be less frustrating but more tedious this time around. In the last game, playing it on Nightmare allowed players to fight a demon-controlled Zangetsu using his allies. For my sanity, I passed on playing that game again. This time... it plays out like Ghosts N' Goblins. Defeating the game once unlocks Episode 2. Episode 2 is nearly like the first round, except that because of story-related events, Dominique is unplayable, one can control all of the other characters from the start, and there are new enemies. But, there's more! Defeating Episode 2 with certain requirements unlocks the FINAL EPISODE. Remember Alfred, Miriam, and Gebel from the last game? They come back, because they heard that... the demons' headquarters is on THE MOON. So, Alfred suggests using the blueprints of Hachi's mech to create a huge ship. But, he needs parts to make the trip to the moon more functional. So, Zangetsu goes to the stages in the game, recruits the other six characters, and beats up the six bosses a third time to retrieve the parts. ... Let me just say that in a game about fighting demons the thing I really never saw coming was flying to the moon. Words have been truly evaded me. So, going to the moon turns the game into a shoot-em-up. Lives are depended on the total members recruited among other things. The boss there was a complete joke. Finally, the gang arrives on the moon. Moon physics platforming in a game with Castlevania controls. It's not perfect thanks to no mid-air control, but it's not impossible. So, onto the final boss. The boss' pattern are maybe too fast in this scenario, but with well placed timing of HACHI INVINCIBILITY, and attacks from Dominique (because she's the only one with a multi-directional spear), and sacrifices of the other five team members who don't really help as much, the true evil goes down eventually. The fortress on the moon is gone, and the demons as well. It's a happy ending compared to the last game. I got to say, even though the true last boss and the first two playthroughs of the game were maybe a bit excessive, the first 3/4ths of the third playthrough were extremely satisfying. What kept me driven after a lot of hours of going through each stage three times was how the whole moon section would play out. Preparing for, going to, and finally arriving at the moon are the best moments of this game. Take that moon away, and this game would've been like Ghosts N' Goblins. Some people don't want to replay a game again for mediocre and unsatisfying results. If this game cut the first two playthroughs, and integrated parts of the first and second playthrough into the third, this game would've been more fun as a result. Replayability does not have to be taken literally. Games like Mega Man X do it better. But, with my critique aside, this game is better than the first. Maybe I should play Ritual Of The Night now. 

 

Edited by Link, the Hero of Dreams

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Updated my list on the front page.  I now have 23 games beaten this year.

 

Dragon Warrior I (Game Boy Color):

what is their to say about this one?  It is a run of the mill pioneering RPG.  Not much to it but it was fun to finally get this off my backloggery.  Guess third time is a charm since the save battery died in my NES cart 3/4th of the way through and the save battery died again on my 2nd run on the Game Boy Color version right at the end.  This was more of a personal goal just to beat the game out of pure spite.  That being said, it is a fun little romp as long as you keep your expectations in check.

 

Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4):

What can I really say about this that hasn’t already been said?  It is absolutely amazing game and does the original justice.  Only quip that I have is it was a bit long in the tooth for only encompassing nothing but Midgar, but it was an awesome ride.  Almost perfect if some of the chapters didn’t carry on for too long, can’t wait for part II.

 

The Last of Us Part II (PS4)

This one was very controversial for most people.  However, for me, I loved every bit of it.  I even enjoyed playing as the new character Abby and really liked her.  I don’t believe that every prominent female lead needs to look sexy and have nice tits and ass on her.  Most of the criticism on her is because of her characterization (which make perfect sense) and sexist gamers having a conniption over her lack of sex appeal.  Regardless, I think it is one of the best PS4 games to come out in a very long time and it lives up to to the high bar of it’s predecessor even if it is far more controversial than the first game.  I really loved it.

 

Demon’s Crest (SNES App)

I haven’t played much of this even though I own it on the 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console as well.  A lot of it was because I didn’t understand it at first.  That being said, this is one of those games that is Better if you use a guide to nowhere you need to go.  You have some really cool transformations with Firebrand, and there is a lot of hidden secrets.  It is honestly one of the better games on the SNES and it is one of those “hidden gems” most people didn’t know about during it’s release back in 94.  If you haven’t played it, it is one of the best games on the SNES App for the Switch and would probably be up there with the best SNES games had it gotten more exposure back in the day.  It was a really good time.  

 

Yoshi’s Island (SNES App):

This one has eluded me for years.  I have played the ever living fuck out of this game, but never saw it all the way through for whatever reason.  Most of that can be blamed on baby Mario and his annoying cry that makes me want to go get a vasectomy every single time I play this game lol.  I played the GBA version a ton and even have the ambassador version of it on my 3DS.  It is one of those games that I kept getting lost in trying 100% all the stages.  I only ever got up to world 4 and would always quit.  This time, I saw it through and I am glad I did.  It really is one of the best SNES titles out there and has aged extremely well thanks to it’s unique art style.

 

C: 18

H: 5

O: 23

 

 

 

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Fallout 76 Main Story+Wastelanders DLC - XB1

Started a new character and played through the entire main storyline and all of the Wastelanders DLC storyline

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- #Funtime (Switch)

Solid twin-sticks shooter with some novel ideas to keep the gameplay fresh and varied. Could probably use a better name though.
 
- Rainswept (Switch)
An engaging little detective story that deals with some heavy topics, though I would've preferred more actual gameplay elements.
 
- Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX (Switch)
It has all the fast, frantic 2D action gameplay that I'd expect, but eh, kind of wish there was more to it.
 
- Paper Mario: The Origami King (Switch)
Honestly much better than I thought it would be. I'd still prefer to see Paper Mario return to its RPG roots but this is an entertaining alternative.
 
- Murder by Numbers (Switch)
Really loving this trend of combining Picross puzzles with other game genres. This one is a solid detective story with a great deal of puzzle game charm as well. I'd love to see this generate some sequels.
 

Console: 70

Overall: 70

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Night Trap - Nintendo Switch

Black Bird - Nintendo Switch

Yomawari: Night Alone - Nintendo Switch

Chex Quest HD - PC

Yomawari: Midnight Shadows - Nintendo Switch

Frog Fractions - PC

 

Console - 12

Handheld - 1

PC - 31

Overall - 44

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