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Charlie Cat

Games Beaten In 2021.

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Hi guys,

Wishing all our members and your love ones a Happy New Year. Glad to restart the yearly games beaten thread on Atariage.com once again. :)

 

Hoping everyone will have a better and more prosperous year. Enjoy life, stay safe, and happy gaming fellas. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

 

 

 

Anthony..

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Hi guys,

 

I'll start thing off with Magician Lord for the Neo-Geo AES. The game that made me a buff of the Neo-Geo ever since. ;-)

 

 

 

Anthony...

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1. Marvel's X-Men (NES)

 

I've beaten this six times now (!), so no need to rehash past comments. Oddly I found myself playing a lot more as Cyclops this time around, though Colossus is still the gold standard for his ability to endure the game's penchant for inflicting massive, unavoidable damage.

 

2. Magical Doropie (Famicom) [aka Magical Kids Doropie]

3. The Krion Conquest (NES)

 

This is a textbook case in ruining a game when you localize it for a different region. Magical Doropie, the Japanese version, is a second-rate Mega Man clone with anime cutscenes and humdrum boss fights. Though it's got some major flaws in the controls, programming, and overall design, it's forgiving enough to be playable, with unlimited continues and reasonably frequent health drops. Let's call it a C, which is a bit generous; I used a nice fan translation from 2002.

 

The NES localization removes all of the story, the game's original title screen, its ending sequence, and the transitions before and after each level. Furthermore, it takes away all continues (why not allow 3, at least?), diminishes enemy item drops to near-zero, gets rid of 1UP drops completely, tweaks some hit boxes to the player's detriment, and turns one of the bosses into a ridiculous damage sponge that takes 4-8x longer to beat than in the original game.

 

The underlying, decent game is still there, but now its flaws are just about unforgivable, because The Krion Conquest is holding the player to a standard of quality that it doesn't itself meet -- all in the name of combating the rental market. D.

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3 hours ago, thegoldenband said:

2. Magical Doropie (Famicom) [aka Magical Kids Doropie]

3. The Krion Conquest (NES)

 

This is a textbook case in ruining a game when you localize it for a different region. Magical Doropie, the Japanese version, is a second-rate Mega Man clone with anime cutscenes and humdrum boss fights. Though it's got some major flaws in the controls, programming, and overall design, it's forgiving enough to be playable, with unlimited continues and reasonably frequent health drops. Let's call it a C, which is a bit generous; I used a nice fan translation from 2002.

 

The NES localization removes all of the story, the game's original title screen, its ending sequence, and the transitions before and after each level. Furthermore, it takes away all continues (why not allow 3, at least?), diminishes enemy item drops to near-zero, gets rid of 1UP drops completely, tweaks some hit boxes to the player's detriment, and turns one of the bosses into a ridiculous damage sponge that takes 4-8x longer to beat than in the original game.

 

The underlying, decent game is still there, but now its flaws are just about unforgivable, because The Krion Conquest is holding the player to a standard of quality that it doesn't itself meet -- all in the name of combating the rental market. D.

 

That reminds me of what they did with Bayou Billy except Krion Conquest seems to go even more overboard. At least Bayou Billy has continues and is fairly generous with health refills in the beat em up stages.

 

 

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1. Rez (PS2- Japan ver.)

 

I played just a tiny bit of a PS4 version of Rez back when I got it. Aside from realizing it's the predecessor to Child of Eden on 360, it didn't really hold me right away. This time though- this time I got hooked! Probably becuase I had to put in just a bit more effort to figure out what was going on (I know some Japanese & can read kana, but I'm hardly fluent!) I'm no completionist, so it's the bad ending for me. At least for now- maybe I'll try for butterflies later.

 

In any case, this is a damn good game! Just let the music pull you in & go with it! 😁

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4. Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road (NES)

 

I think Jeremy Parish's recent review of this one is fair: it's a total janky mess, yet it's clear the developers were trying to do something ambitious and impressive. They just didn't figure out how to integrate any of those innovations into the gameplay, as there's no reason to do anything but spam boomerangs (or grenades for the bosses) and buy health potions.

 

The only real challenge comes from the ridiculous boss battle at the end, but fortunately there's a way to manipulate the boss's movements and make the fight nearly as trivial as the rest of the game. D.

 

5. Sword Master (NES)

 

At the opposite extreme -- sort of -- we have a highly-polished game with parallax scrolling, a dynamic soundtrack, crisp graphics, and boss-heavy gameplay that requires real skill (or at least insight) and anticipates trends that became popular years later in games like Alien Soldier. And you even keep all your earned levels after a GAME OVER, which is a nice perk (also seen in the game's predecessor Castle of Dragon) that rewards the player for giving it that "one more try".

 

The only problem is, they didn't figure out how to make the character jump in a sane way. Instead you have two glitchy options: a double-jump that only works 25% of the time even when you've got the timing down; or, you can walk off the edge of a platform and then jump. Without mastering one of those two things (and I'd suggest making it the second one: the double-jump is unusable), or using some other glitchy mechanic, you can't get past the fourth level of this game, which suddenly expects the player to engage in super-accurate platforming.

 

Of course, even once you've got that down, there's still a chance of falling through a platform. Here's an idea, developers: what if you'd left out the platforming completely? Then you might have a borderline "hidden gem" instead of a game that may wear its jank on the inside of its coat, but is still as janky (in its way) as Ikari Warriors II. C-.

 

6. Hyper Final Match Tennis (PlayStation)

 

And in the continuing saga of "games that meant well but failed to execute", we have Hyper Final Match Tennis -- the third and last game in a series whose first entry, Final Match Tennis on the PC Engine, is still cited by some as the best tennis game ever. (I haven't played it yet, though I did play the Super Famicom sequel, which was OK.)

 

Clearly the people behind HFMT appreciated the sport, as it's full of nuances that reflect real-life tennis. Slices are good for getting the opponent to dump the ball into the net, for example, and taking the ball early or late is the key to sending your shot in the correct direction.

 

But the game is just ugly, and epitomizes the worst sins of early 3D efforts: grainy, aliased players, lifeless backgrounds, and a bunch of camera angles, none of them quite right. (Don't try to play the PAL version on NTSC, by the way: the Japanese version jitters when changing camera angles, but at least at 60Hz, the PAL version also jitters during gameplay.)

 

The game's World Tour mode is, for once, the right length. But it screws everything up by forcing you to play a mixed doubles tournament with an AI partner -- a partner with no sense of court coverage, who will sprint in front of you and attempt to take every ball herself. The only antidote is to run to the net as soon as possible.

 

On top of that, the loading times are excessive, the UI is totally underdone (why can't I turn the music off or quit a match in progress?), and it does that annoying thing where you're simply not allowed to hit certain shots from certain positions -- at least not successfully. Overhead smashes are especially hard to pull off: if you're at the net, they'll always go long, and even when you're in the game's preferred location, 50% of them will go in at most.

 

At least that means, unlike some games, the CPU in HFMT doesn't get to lob you to death but smash all your lobs. In fact the CPU is quite vulnerable to lobs, standing there gobsmacked if you hit a sharply angled lob from the correct position. Why does that AI bug show up in so many tennis games, I wonder? D.

 

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Heh. Today I played through all four (4) stages in Barbie Super Model (Genesis) on my second time ever playing it. The biggest challenge was to survive the third stage, the snow level. I was a bit surprised and disappointed it wouldn't continue with more stages or at least loop until you ran out of lives. Since I pretty much never "finish" a game (i.e. most of the games I play loop infinitely, or at least that is how I imagine them to), I figured I might post here for once.

 

And no, I have no guilt feelings for being a 45 year old guy playing an almost 30 year old Barbie game full of matching clothes, makeup and remembering dance moves. Sure the 18 year old me probably never would have bothered if I had the opportunity.

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2. Mezase! Senkyuoh (PS1)

Better known as 'Battle Balls' for its English arcade release, this import is the only home version of one of my favorite puzzle games! I used to play the arcade cabinet at a local restaurant in high school, even when the monitor started going so the balls changed color as they fell! Not surprisingly it got removed when that problem got more serious. Never did finish it back then (not enough quarters), so it was nice to sit down & do it now! Grabbed some pics for posterity... and becuase some of you might be surprised by the developer 🤣20210204_112655.thumb.jpg.c4987aa5aba71a7019b092ecb4bc10d5.jpg20210204_112713.thumb.jpg.197ffbb4a7c6da92301985c2d380a9f9.jpg

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Knocked off a few favorites I like to play through every once in a while and a new one I haven't beaten yet:

Contra and Super C (NES via Contra Collection on the Switch):

No pics for this one. Not hard to do by any means, but they are so much fun to run through every once in a while. 

Kung Fu (NES): 
SUmy9B8l.jpg

Quick lunch break run-through of this one last week. I didn't have time to do multiple loops, but I will try again soon. Game is a total classic. 

Dragon Spirit: The New Legend (NES): 

NkWmH9pl.jpg

Ran through this as the "Gold Dragon" to get used to it; it's been ages since I played this one. I plan on going back and playing it the normal way at some point. It was my first time beating this one. For a NES shmup, it's solid, but it's a tough one!

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Another one down! 
Wizards & Warriors (NES): 

o2dwKe2l.jpg

I have beaten this one before, but not for a long time. This was a childhood favorite, and still remains a favorite today. Great game, although the unlimited continues make it pretty easy. I'd give it a B overall. 

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@Silverfleet

I've been playing through W&W recently (haven't finished it yet) and am really enjoying it.  I think it's aged quite well, and it's interesting how several of the items are optional and exclusive; your item selection can really make a difference in how the game plays, and even adds some minor replayability.

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11 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

@Silverfleet

I've been playing through W&W recently (haven't finished it yet) and am really enjoying it.  I think it's aged quite well, and it's interesting how several of the items are optional and exclusive; your item selection can really make a difference in how the game plays, and even adds some minor replayability.

For an action/adventure game that came out in 1987, it's really great. Graphics are well done, music is catchy (especially that main theme), and it plays well. The items/upgrades and optional stuff is cool, and there are even secret rooms here and there. It would be cool to see a modernized entry in this series released by Rare in a full Metroidvania style game. I plan on tackling Ironsword soon.

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I finished the translated version of the Japanese exclusive "for the frog the bell tolls" on gameboy.

It's a pretty good game with a lot of polish. Not a perfect game, but definitely worthy of an international release. 

Definitely worth the $5 from aliexpress.

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Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

It was a lot of fun revisiting this one!  I finished it back in the day when I was a kid, and it was nice to see that my reflexes haven't really dulled with age.  On top of that, I defeated the last boss while slightly drunk on rum (it went quite well with the pirate theme, imo).

 

I remember this game being universally praised back in the day, then suddenly everyone on the Internet hated it (due possibly to what I think was a made-up quote by Miyamoto saying he thought the game was all style no substance, or something), and now it seems like everyone loves it again.

 

Having revisited it some 25+ years later, I really enjoyed it.  It feels great to play and I found the level design to be generally fair.  When you die, you usually realize exactly what you did wrong, and a second attempt is typically enough to get through a tough spot.  Whenever I hit a spot that I thought was bullshit, it always turned out that I was rushing or not really paying enough attention.

 

There's one slightly unfair spot in the game, and that's the run through the first four stages of Monkey Mines, where you are forced to complete four difficult stages after a boss fight until you get a chance to save.  This means the game peaks in difficulty only in the second of six worlds, which seems unbalanced to me.

 

Even the graphics have aged very well.  This is probably the best looking pre-rendered sprite game out there, behind Killer Instinct (arcade version).  It's something of a tour-de-force for the SNES hardware when you look beyond the pre-rendered sprites, with impressive multi-layered parallax scrolling (surprisingly rare on the SNES), plenty of sprites onscreen with no slowdown, and an amazing soundtrack... all with no additional hardware in the cart.

 

Simply an awesome game.  Now, time to play through DKC2 and DKC3 (for the first time)!

Edited by newtmonkey

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2.) Vice: Project Doom - NES

Its a fun game

 

3.) Bomberman - NES

I finally beaten the original Bomberman. There are better Bomberman games out there, but it is a good game.

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On 2/11/2021 at 11:43 AM, newtmonkey said:

@Silverfleet

It will be interesting to read your thoughts on Ironsword.  I remember renting it back in the day but never got anywhere in it, seemed to be a good followup though.

I gave Ironsword a run yesterday. I couldn't even get past the 1st level. It's probably due to a lack of familiarity with the game, and I felt like I was missing items needed to fight the boss. There's something good in there, but it's a tough game. I'll take another stab at it at some point.

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On 2/11/2021 at 10:58 AM, newtmonkey said:

Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

It was a lot of fun revisiting this one!  I finished it back in the day when I was a kid, and it was nice to see that my reflexes haven't really dulled with age.  On top of that, I defeated the last boss while slightly drunk on rum (it went quite well with the pirate theme, imo).

 

I remember this game being universally praised back in the day, then suddenly everyone on the Internet hated it (due possibly to what I think was a made-up quote by Miyamoto saying he thought the game was all style no substance, or something), and now it seems like everyone loves it again.

 

Having revisited it some 25+ years later, I really enjoyed it.  It feels great to play and I found the level design to be generally fair.  When you die, you usually realize exactly what you did wrong, and a second attempt is typically enough to get through a tough spot.  Whenever I hit a spot that I thought was bullshit, it always turned out that I was rushing or not really paying enough attention.

 

There's one slightly unfair spot in the game, and that's the run through the first four stages of Monkey Mines, where you are forced to complete four difficult stages after a boss fight until you get a chance to save.  This means the game peaks in difficulty only in the second of six worlds, which seems unbalanced to me.

 

Even the graphics have aged very well.  This is probably the best looking pre-rendered sprite game out there, behind Killer Instinct (arcade version).  It's something of a tour-de-force for the SNES hardware when you look beyond the pre-rendered sprites, with impressive multi-layered parallax scrolling (surprisingly rare on the SNES), plenty of sprites onscreen with no slowdown, and an amazing soundtrack... all with no additional hardware in the cart.

 

Simply an awesome game.  Now, time to play through DKC2 and DKC3 (for the first time)!

 

In my opinion DKC is the greatest platformer of all time. All three in the series are good, but I find myself coming back to DKC because it's the most fun for me. It has just the right amount of difficulty.

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I have beaten a few classic games here in 2021 already:

 

Nitro for the Amiga - This is a top down racing game that I only had to play 2x to get to the end.  I was doing a bit of a tour of various Amiga top down racing games, and this one was interesting enough to try for a second time.  At which point, I unexpectedly beat it.  It is a pretty satisfying racer.  The gimmick is that it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where you have to survive the tracks without getting killed.  There wasn't much actual car combat, but you could have your car destroyed.  The tracks have no laps and the main limiting factor was having enough fuel to finish each race.  I read some reviews suggesting that it was a difficult game, but I didn't think so.  Maybe I got lucky 3/5

 

nitro_04.png.433787fa184723770f362da1c9d19eb8.png

 

Zelda: Oracle of Seasons on the GBC - I had put off playing this one for years.  I got Oracle of Ages around the same time when GBC games were going on clearance at GameStop.  I played Ages . . . ages ago, but never Seasons.  I put most of my time into this on the GameBoy player connected to a Gamecube and display lag was VERY noticeable.  I probably would have had an all-around better time with it had I just played it on a handheld.  On the GameBoy player, I tried to defeat the final boss 7-10 times before giving up and trying on a Gameboy Advance.  I defeated him on my first attempt once I switched over.  It is hard not to give this game a 5/5, but they forced a lot of bullsh!+ on you in the form of riding mine cars and kinda silly temporary animal companions.  Also the final boss required using the spin attack which I had to look up.  I don't remember any Zelda boss ever who could ONLY be damaged by a spin attack.  That same fight also required you to use the Staff of Seasons as a weapon which was the only time the entire game it was used that way.  Even for Zelda these things felt a little cryptic and off somehow.  4/5

 

Onox.jpg.36fd20c4246486955beaca9393efe856.jpg

 

Sydney Hunter & the Sacred Tribe for ColecoVision.  I got the rom for this when I purchased the CollectorVision Phoenix.  I dinked around with it last year a little, but I decided to go back recently.  It reminds me most of Montezuma's Revenge.  There's a lot of repetition of the first screens, but once you get the hang of things the progress starts to be rewarding . . . and then they reveal a bonus lives code which kinda made the final stretch of the game too easy.  Still a really nice experience and it has the bonus of not forcing you to do the annoying "ropes" section that ruined Caverns of Death for me.  4/5

 

1608371181_SacredTribe.jpg.91132f8bbcd6636499de1c0be5f5d986.jpg

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7. Bloody Bride: Imadoki no Vampire (PlayStation)

 

Vampire-themed dating sim with a grafted-on RPG mode, playable thanks to an old, creaky, but still charming fan translation. And "charming" is a good word for the whole game -- no small feat when your protagonist is definitionally a predator, though the game takes pains to emphasize that willing victims are preferable (how noble!).

 

Sure, the endgame drags and the RPG elements are on the level of a 2002 Flash game, but does any of that matter? I expect my wife and I will keep quoting lines and humming tunes from this one for some time, especially if we replay it to get one of the other endings (five total). B-.

 

8. Buttsubushi (PlayStation)

 

This rare PS1 game, never released in the US and barely released in Germany and Australia, was made by a developer mainly known for erotic games (strike one) and was published by Phoenix Games in Europe (strike two, and a big one). And it's true that the normal/arcade mode is no great shakes: you make blocks and switches, push them into your opponents, hope to win if everything goes according to plan. It's a bit like Bomberman but not as coherent.

 

However, the puzzle mode is totally addictive. On offer are 100 puzzles, unlocked in groups of 25, that range from stupidly easy to utterly diabolical (I stared at one puzzle for at least 90 minutes before figuring out the very simple solution). Yet the fundamentals of the game are simple enough that no puzzle ever becomes irritatingly labyrinthine in the wrong way: it never succumbs, in other words, to "move this block 1/2 the usual distance and time this other thing exactly right while taking advantage of game mechanics that almost seem like a glitch" syndrome. Everything you have to do is transparent, operates within the game's rules, can be figured out without needing to take screenshots along the way, and doesn't require hundreds of controller inputs.

 

Add to that a terrific, crisp UI that lets you retry without loading times, and the earworm-y music, and you've got a real winner of a puzzle game. B+.

 

9. Jinks (Atari 7800)

 

Did I beat this? I dunno, I cleared all four levels on one credit (one of them twice), and that's it for the game's content except looping at higher difficulty. Too bad, as if Jinks had eight levels and a proper ending -- or 32 levels, a proper ending, and passwords -- its offbeat, Video-Pinball-meets-Arkanoid charm could've amounted to something. As it stands, it feels more like an incomplete prototype than many protos I've played. n/a

 

10. Midnight Mutants (Atari 7800)

 

Sure, Midnight Mutants has the "unavoidable hits paired with lavish health items" tic common to Western developers. The endgame is a bit obtuse (is it really necessary to walk all the way back there?), and an in-game map or passwords wouldn't have been unwelcome. But it's a fun nut to crack, controls well enough, never does anything to you that you didn't deserve, and if the music isn't fantastic at least it's tolerable. B.

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11. Tank Command (Atari 7800)

 

This short, punishingly hard game could have been a floppy disk release on the Atari 8-bit. As a console game, it's more likely to annoy with its brevity and limitations. Still, despite the janky collision detection and near-useless aiming system, I enjoyed it for what it was. (Having my Genesis controller adapter, i.e. not a Proline, was crucial to that enjoyment.) C-.

 

12. Iron Angel of the Apocalypse (3DO)

 

A rare example of a game elevated by its FMV cutscenes, which may well be the best I've ever seen -- not because they're flashy, but because they actually succeed in capturing a moody, foreboding tone. Their arthouse style is effectively used here, and the pleasantly understated voice acting is wisely left in its original language (is this the first console game to subtitle Japanese dialogue?).

 

Too bad the game itself is so low-end, with a poor frame rate, clunky controls, and relatively little challenge -- and I like slow, clunky robot FPS games from the mid-1990s. That said, it also gets points for having zero loading times, a highly responsive UI, and a hypnotic atmosphere. I should give it a D-plus, but it's got an ineffable something, so C-. 

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Posted (edited)

Hokuto no Ken: Seizetsu 10-ban Shobu (GB)

This was released as Fist of the North Star in the US.  The Japanese subtitle is hilarious and I guess I'd translate it as "10 VIOLENT BOUTS."

 

I remember seeing this in ads in video game magazines, before I even knew what Japanese animation was, and being intrigued at the bizarre warriors depicted therein.  The artwork was heavily shaded and detailed with bold colors... totally unlike any cartoon I'd ever seen:

 

1397606599_FistOfTheNorthStarGameBoyAd-721375.thumb.jpg.3ab4ce5128cd5d654aa971de562a54ed.jpg

 

---

 

Thankfully, I was never duped into actually buying this game back in the day, because it is probably one of the worst games ever made.

 

Let's get the minor stuff out of the way.  The source material (comic books and cartoons) features outrageously over-the-top muscle men punching each other in front of ridiculously detailed post-apocalyptic backgrounds, until their heads literally explode.  The interesting choice was made in developing this game to depict these bloody macho men as skinny stick figures in front of mostly empty backgrounds you'd expect to see in a Tiger LCD game—this is not me being stupid like a clueless Youtube guy and describing any game that does not look photo-realistic as LOLZ IT LOOKS LIKE AN ATARI GAME!!!!!!!!  The game literally looks one step above a Tiger LCD game (perhaps the slightly impressive-looking Mortal Kombat LCD game):

 

crbst_fist-of-the-north-star-gameboy-g-boy-005.jpg.96a9409f64c29e56d4f51abf02d3e62b.jpg

 

The controls are floaty and hit detection requires you to be so exact that playing the game normally is nearly impossible.  When punching or kicking, your fist/foot has to land EXACTLY within the hitbox of the opponent (which appears to take up only a slight bit of the actual sprite) during the "animation" (basically a single frame for each attack).  Every enemy behaves the same.  In between battles you earn experience points to level up your character, but I seemed to be doing LESS damage with each consecutive opponent.

 

The key to victory is to completely ignore the floaty controls and overly exact hit detection, and just throw fireballs.  Every character can throw projectiles by holding the "punch" button down until a meter builds up, then releasing the button.  In addition to being much easier to land than normal punches and kicks, this attack also does more damage and (crucially) keeps you away from the enemy.  The enemy AI will constantly just walk into it, maybe jumping over it once out of a dozen times.  This was not because I set the game to "easy"—there is no difficulty setting, this is just how the game "plays."

 

Ten minutes later, I was staring at the credits, which revealed that the game was designed, programmed, drawn, and scored by basically two guys.  That perhaps explains it, but it doesn't excuse it.  This was clearly a licensed cash grab, and the Game Boy library would increasingly suffer from this kind of mercenary product as the years went on.

Edited by newtmonkey
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13. Star Voyager (NES)

14. Super Tennis (Master System)

15. 2048 (Browser-based)

 

Beat all these before -- six times now in the case of Star Voyager, which I've beaten every year since 2016, but just once before in the case of SMS Super Tennis (here's my 2018 post) and time-waster 2048 (back in 2014).

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Sorry, this isn't a Console game, but I don't know if there is a PC game beaten thread so:

 

MicroProse - Magic: The Gathering - Shandalar (1997)

 

"Magic: The Gathering is a video game published by MicroProse in April 1997 based on the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. It is often referred to as Shandalar after the plane of Shandalar, where the game takes place. The player must travel the land and fight random enemies to gain cards, and defeat five wizards representing the five colors. The player must prevent one color from gaining too much power, and defeat the planeswalker Arzakon, who has a deck of all five colors. Adventure and role-playing elements are present, including inventory, gold, towns, dungeons, random battles, and character progression in the form of new abilities and a higher life point total. An oversized version of Aswan Jaguar was included in the game box. "

 

I've had this game forever, and have been playing MTG since around 94-95.  Finally got around to beating this game.  Shandalar is a game where you start out with a crappy collection of cards, but slowly through dueling and buying cards you slowly start building better decks.  I was really never sure how to play the Shandalar game, I would think I was doing well, then the game would end when a wizard played the Spell of Dominion.  I finally watched some YouTube videos on how to play the game.

 

 

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