Author Topic: I just beat __  (Read 155060 times)


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Re: I just beat __
« Reply #1940 on: July 06, 2019, 03:03:58 PM »

Kirby: Squeak Squad

Most remembered for its notoriously meme-worthy plot, Squeak Squad (or Mouse Attack, for those of you who live in Europe) is another example of a Kirby game that gets far too much hate.  Squeak Squad doesn't do much to shake up the basic Kirby formula, but it's still a pretty solid game in its own right.

First of all, while Kirby games tend to have dark and serious plots, Squeak Squad's is rather...interesting.  It goes like this: Kirby's about to eat a slice of cake.  Suddenly it vanishes, and Kirby falsely accuses Dedede for stealing it.  After battling and defeating Dedede, Kirby discovers that it was actually a gang of thieves known as the Squeaks who stole his cake.  Kirby spends much of the game chasing down the Squeaks to get his cake back.  When he finally defeats their leader, Daroach, Meta Knight appears and swipes the chest away, so Kirby chases him down and defeats him.  Suddenly Daroach steals the chest, opens it, and discovers that the chest didn't have a cake at all.  It held Dark Nebula, the lord of the underworld, who then went on to take control of Daroach.  Kirby chases him for a little while and defeats Dark Daroach and then Dark Nebula, and the Squeaks return his cake as thanks.  So yeah, definitely a nice change of pace, and it might even be my favorite part of the game.

The gameplay is mostly the same as in previous Kirby games; however, there is one new feature.  Kirby can find various Bubble items and store them in his stomach, accessible via the touchscreen, to use later.  These bubble items can contain copy abilities, food, star bullets, or 1-Up pieces.  It's a neat feature and it makes me wonder why it never returned in a later Kirby game.  Kirby's stomach can also hold treasure chests, the main collectible of the game, of which there are 120.  These treasure chests can contain special Ability Scrolls to expand your Copy Abilities, decorative Spray Paints, special Star Seals (necessary to chase Meta Knight into the seventh area), secret keys to unlock extra stages, and more.  Oftentimes you'll find a large treasure chest, and once you collect it, one of Daroach's underlings will attempt to steal it back.  It's interesting at first, but it can get repetitive near the end of the game, so maybe it wasn't a great idea to include it in nearly every level.  There are also four new copy abilities, Animal, Bubble, Ghost, and Metal, all of which are fun to use (especially Ghost), and it's rather unfortunate that none of them have returned in later games.  Lastly, ability mixing returns somewhat, allowing you to apply elemental powers to Sword or Bomb, but it's nowhere near as fleshed-out as in Crystal Shards, and Star Allies gave Squeak Squad's mixing system some much-needed refinement.

The soundtrack, while not the best in the series, is still quite good.  Many of the tracks here are remixes of past Kirby games (mostly from Amazing Mirror, but there are a few remixes from Adventure and Dream Land 3 as well), and the original tracks, particularly the Squeaks theme and the boss themes, are pretty catchy.

Overall, while definitely not the best in the series, Squeak Squad is a solid game with just a few flaws holding it back.  It's definitely an improvement over Amazing Mirror, at least in the single-player department, and perhaps even Adventure due to the game's superior mechanics.  While the first few worlds are a bit too short for their own good, I was glad to see that the level length did get better later on, and that this game didn't make the same mistake as Kirby 2.

Here's where Squeak Squad ranks on my Kirby ranking:

1. Kirby Star Allies
2. Kirby's Return to Dream Land
3. Kirby Super Star
4. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
5. Kirby's Dream Land 3
6. Kirby: Squeak Squad
7. Kirby's Adventure
8. Kirby's Dream Land 2
9. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
10. Kirby's Dream Land


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Re: I just beat __
« Reply #1941 on: July 09, 2019, 11:30:19 AM »

Frontlines: Fuel of War is a 2008 FPS developed by Kaos Studio, a team formed by the core people behind the very popular Battlefield 1942 mod Desert Combat, and who actually assisted DICE on the development of Battlefield 2. As such, the game obviously mirrors Battlefield in a lot of ways and its main attraction was the multiplayer which, with the GameSpy shutdown, is no longer available on PC without LAN tunneling. But there’s still a single player campaign and to my surprise, I really enjoyed it!

The flat shooting mechanics, average (for the time) production values and cliché story about a fuel war between NATO and a Sino-Russian coalition won’t win awards, but what made Frontlines for me is the mission structure: basically you have a big open map with multiple objectives (usually taking over command posts or planting explosives on something), which you can approach any way you’d like, and you can get in or out of vehicles as you please. You can switch between the four character classes with their own weapon loadout and exploring is rewarded with extra gear like airstrike markers and drones (which are actually real fun and useful to use). There are some interesting set pieces in there (my favourite is the pitched tank battle after a nuclear detonation) and though the AI isn’t that clever, it does a good job at making you feel like you’re part of a big battle. It’s a clever way to make the single player train you in the skills and mechanics needed for the multiplayer without just being a series of bot matches.

Plus it ends with a cheesy sung theme song! We need more western games with those

There’s some jank (explosive barrels don’t kill *bleep*, the helipcoter controls are WOEFUL) but Kaos studio was onto something potentially special here. So of course their next (and last) game was a poopy call of duty clone groan
Rest in peace, Walkazo.


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Re: I just beat __
« Reply #1942 on: July 15, 2019, 01:17:33 AM »
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (3DS)

Although I haven't 100% the game due to some tough bonus bosses, I felt that I could write about it. So the game is basically a part of the Dragon Quest series, a very popular RPG in Japan although not as much overseas. Even then, the eighth game in the series is the most popular Western DQ game, which I would attribute to its memorable characters and the fact that it's a huge step up in scope from past games. That is a reason that the Hero of this game is one of the Smash fighters, after all.

The premise of the story is that a king and his daughter, along with his entire kingdom, is afflicted by a powerful curse by Dhoulmagus, but the Hero of this game is somehow not afflicted by it (the reason for this is explained in-game, but it will not be clear for a very long time). On the Hero's travels, the Hero meets with some very useful allies who have their reasons for fighting against the great evil that is terrorising different parts of the world. The game has a certain twist in the first-half of the game so I would not mention it as it would spoil parts of the game.

The monsters in this game is also one of the high points, and I think it's helped by Toriyama's stylings that is used in Dragon Ball. He made each monster very charming, and they seem to make the transition to 3D quite well, even keeping their poses from the games they originated from.

The 3DS version is the definitive version of the game in terms of content and usability, and along with the perks of portability and Quick Save, it makes this the most convenient and definitive version. That is not to say that the original PS2 is without its advantages, since that version has better graphical quality and the orchestral sountrack is what the US version got. Some of the changes that the 3DS got is that it added 2 new characters who have exclusive skills, some new content that could only be found in this version and a new ending if certain conditions are met.

In terms of how the game plays, I felt that the game is pretty well-paced. The basics of Dragon Quest is that the party is facing a group of monsters in a turn-based battle. The commands are executed before anything happens, in which the fastest character performs first, followed by the next-fastest. In my experience the turn order fluctuates a little, so it's not always constant. The skills are also strictly player vs enemy, so the player cannot purposely attack their teammates or heal the opponents. It does not contain the interactive quirks found in Final Fantasy, such as Death healing undead monsters or sapping HP from them hurts the player. The inventory cannot be fully accessed, as each character can have up to 12 items at once, including their equipment. In addition, inns does not extinguish a character's poison state nor does it revive fallen allies. As such, Magic is very useful since it can heal others without using up the inventory. In every sense of word, Dragon Quest is pretty traditional to its systems, unlike Final Fantasy which is not afraid to change things up.

Every character in this game has something to offer, so I can't say that any are useless. As an example, Angelo has a lot of support spells, so he could function as a healer in addition to being an attacker. I read that Yangus was not so useful in the original, so I think it's a good thing his Strength is increased to make up for his lower Magical skill compared to the other characters. Because this game added two new characters, the way it works is that the player can switch the characters up during battle at certain points (such as at the overworld), even with fallen allies unlike Final Fantasy X. They will automatically go to battle if every active member is fallen, which is a nice touch.

Overall, I enjoyed Dragon Quest VIII, and the next Dragon Quest game for me would very likely be the latest sequel: XI.

Thank you for reading.
(Credit goes to Alex95 for this signature)