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Thread: What Game/s are You Playing? Daily / Whenever Check :) (GAMEPLAY)

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    I'm still chipping away at and very much enjoying Fuga: Melodies of Steel on Steam, now up to the last battle of Chapter 10. The game is presenting it as if it's the final confrontation of the game, but I'm guessing once I clear the battle, they'll explain more stuff and whip out a bigger, badder baddie. I went and dropped even more cash on more merch related to this game, so I guess that shows just how much I've been getting into it. It's reignited my love for all things Little Tail Bronx, even if it's totally different from the prior games.

    Outside of that, in a harebrained scheme to squeeze more exercise into my busy, hectic life, I pulled out Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Dancing Museum for N64 and the dance pad that goes with it. I've never been much of a rhythm game person, let alone a dancing game person, but I do have two of Konami's DDR controllers that I acquired for reasons other than "I want to play DDR". I've got one for PS1/PS2 that my brother-in-law left with us when he moved out. I'm guessing a friend probably convinced him to get it because rhythm games have never been his thing either, as far as I can tell. But I don't have a single DDR game for those platforms, so the pad is useless to me for the time being. The N64 game and pad I bought simply as part of my goal to collect every Japan-only N64 game that isn't sports or some sort of Japanese board or parlor game like pachinko, mahjong, shogi, etc. But there's no reason the stuff should just sit untouched, collecting dust. It's pretty fun and is a decent workout for days when I don't want to or can't get out for a brisk walk. I'm starting to wonder if I may have a dead battery inside the cart, though. According to Google results, data is supposed to save to the cartridge, but my copy isn't retaining my scores or the puzzle pieces I've acquired in Session mode. I'd like to unlock all the extra songs, so it's quite annoying. I don't know if there's something I'm missing about saving or if I do indeed need to crack it open and replace a battery. I've only ever had to replace one battery before, and it was in a SNES game, so I'd be surprised if I got a N64 cart with a dead battery, especially when so few N64 games use batteries to begin with.

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    I already posted in the Beaten in 2023 topic that I finished Fuga: Melodies of Steel and then blew through a homebrew horror game called Phobos Dere .GB. The next thing I started up and am still playing is Imagine Figure Skater on my DS Lite. I know most people assume every Imagine game is total shovelware garbage, which isn't an inaccurate description of many of them, but this particular one is a localization of the first Kuru Kuru Princess game, a series from Spike, a Japanese company behind a lot of cool games, especially in the realm of visual novels and similar games (Danganronpa, Zero Escape, etc.) That's not to say this is anything on that level, but I'm having fun with it so far. It's a very simplistic game and feels a lot like a dating sim. You travel around town, see who you can run into and talk with, and increase stats. Except here you're increasing stats via mini-games for the purpose of skating better. There is a little romance subplot, so you could even call this an otome game, but that's not the focus. What is the focus is winning the competitions, which are also pretty basic. You just have to move the stylus in a particular way when prompted to successfully pull off the various moves. The heroines you get to choose from are in middle school, so I imagine (to make a bad, unintentional pun) the target audience is girls the same age or younger. So with such a young target audience, it's no surprise the game has very little challenge. So yeah, it's nothing amazing, but it's not terrible like people assume either. It works just fine for me as something cute to relax with at the end of a long day.

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    I've cleared both the town and city competitions in Imagine Figure Skater for DS. In the first, I easily took first place, but I only got third, the minimum to progress, on the second. I think creating my own short program probably hurt me, as I don't know enough about figure skating to have a sense of what's worth the most points, so I just picked things at random. Anyway, next comes the state competition, then regional. I assume after that it's national and world. I also assume "state" was originally the prefectural competition. It's funny the lengths they went to westernize the game, like how all the character names sound like an assortment straight out of a boomer's yearbook (Cindy, Nancy, Karen, Julie, Sharon, Sally, etc.), yet there still are so many things that are distinctly Japanese. For example, the start of the game has the protagonist entering middle school (though it's 7th grade), yet it's the beginning of April and there's a sign reading "opening ceremony". And then there's the sushi-eating mini-game, where you grab the pieces off a moving conveyor belt. Speaking of which, the mini-games are growing a bit tiresome, but I know I'm partially to blame there. Since you can get one level-up for each stat each week, that's what I've been doing, rather than solely completing the weekly tasks. Even though the newer mini-games increase multiple stats, they seem like a less efficient way to raise stats, given the amount of time they take. It's even more of a waste if I fail to earn the highest ranking with them. So I'm just endlessly doing the sushi, penguins, and cake decoration mini-games. None of the mini-games are bad, but they're not particularly fun either. I was thinking the stats might max out at 9, since there didn't seem like enough room for two-digit numbers, but sure enough, they cram the digits in there. The localization isn't great in that regard either. A lot of the graphical alphanumeric elements don't look quite right.
    Last edited by Aussie2B; 11-20-2023 at 04:06 PM.

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    Just been checking out random PC games and emulations to be honest.

    "Destroy All Humans 2" seems to work but crashes now because I literally need ram for the machine.
    I mean amazing to think that a PS2 era game could be so fun right now.

    "Hylics 1 and 2" both are auwsome. Just to show you what a person could do with RPG-maker and
    Unity. Only sad part is that Unity does not use the same font as the first game did.

    "Ex-Zodiac" is more or less if Starfox was a Twinbee game. This game was made in Godot I mean wow,
    just wow.

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    I really haven't had time to game lately until today. After all the cooking (about 4 hours) the eating (I thankfully didn't gorge myself this year...I can't do that anymore) the kids went to play their games. My wife and my eldest two were (or still are right now) working on decorations for my wife's musical show next month. That means I can go off and play....and play I did!

    I've been working to get my OG Xbox online with Insignia. I had some time late last night to get the setup stuff taken care of but kept running into connection errors at reboot. It didn't occur to me last night that the softmod settings were overwriting my Xbox dashboard settings. Once I set that to static (and reserved the IP address on my router)-connecting to Insignia was quick and easy! Then after discovering I needed to install patches for some games, I was able to get online and play!

    The first game I tried was "Star Wars: Battlefront 2". I hopped on and just joined a session and got onto a team that lost all of its spawn points. Next game I got into my team was getting mowed down. The names didn't look right-I wonder if the host had bots running. Anyway, I stepped in and began to carve through to a base point (flag...my brain can't think of the actual name right now). I was able to wipe out the opposing droids and secure the point. Suddenly I could become Yoda...which I gleefully accepted. My little green booger with legs rans through and mowed down Separatist droids like a Ginsu through tomatoes! Spawn points were getting captured by my team! I only wished folks used voice chat! Anyway...suddenly we started losing the points. I got cut down and by the time I got back in the game, our last point was taken and it was game over.

    The second game I attempted was "Phantasy Star Online Episodes I & II". The ISO I downloaded, unfortunately, was a modded version so I could not get online. I was able to find an American version, downloaded the DLC/patches for it and I was off to the races! Again, the person I was with had no voice and I have no idea how to easily chat. Someone chatted with me and we got into a fight but I died quickly. Gotta read up on this some before I jump back in.

    Last game I tried was offline: "Soul Calibur 2". It's been years since I played this and I was gunning to give it a go. It came on and out of what I played today, THIS was the most gorgeous of the bunch! It's hard to believe the OG Xbox came out 20 years ago and that the games visually aged so well. I got through the Arcade mode with Cassandra (as I'm a Sophitia fan, so had to play the sister). Voldo and Raphael gave me some trouble but I got through them on the next try. I unlocked an extra Arcade mode and a couple costumes.

    All in all, I really dug playing the ol' Box again. I moved my tower computer upstairs in the boys' room so they can play on it while I transferred all my personal stuff to the laptop I'm typing on now (which is a gaming machine as well). I was going to use my laptop as a desktop from time to time but the wires between my laptop with USB dock and my step daughter's laptop (she uses my circa 1960's desk for her virtual schooling-she can't stand a ton of noise like my third eldest, who uses the Airbnb during the week to do his work. Both are in a spectrum of autism and his threshold for noise while working is way lower than hers). So I plopped my Xbox on the file cabinet my laptop was on and hooked it up to the HDMI switch that goes to a nice Dell multi format monitor (HDMI, Display Port, component, etc.). That screen really made the graphics pop! Sure I could see some stair stepping but dang, I did not care.

    I forgot to add last night I did play some "Burnout: Revenge". Ooooo the graphics look sooo good and the fast ramming of rivals against the scenery is just sooooo satisfying.

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    I guess I spoke too soon about the difficulty of Imagine Figure Skater on DS. It's still far from what I'd call a hard game, and I cleared the State Competition at 3rd place on my first try, but I actually got a Game Over on the Regional Competition (which they also refer to as the Block Competition; the localization isn't good about keeping terms consistent). I like how it gives you different options for retrying, like going back to the start of the month if you skipped opportunities to improve stats. But as far as I know, I have the max stats possible at this point (gaining one level in each category every week), so there's no point in that for me. And this was with choosing the harder of the two prebuilt programs each time and only making one mistake in each program. I don't know if it'd even be possible to earn enough points to clear the competition with choosing the easier programs. One thing I noticed is that the prebuilt programs are random, resulting in a variety of potential scores, so I guess if you get programs worth less, it'd be harder to clear the competition unless you're perfect. Custom programs really seem to be the way to go now. I like how the prebuilt programs offer a variety of skills, making it more like a real program, but I'll probably just have to build my own with high-scoring jumps over and over, haha. That makes it more difficult, of course, but I assume I could screw up more and still earn a decent enough score.

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    I got in a little Switch action over the weekend, with some late night "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" play. I bumped into the wisp, which sent me on an ectoplasmic body part hunt throughout my island. You'd think I walked past all the areas but of course, one little spot I walked around had the last piece I needed. I wasn't even close enough to hear it when I went through the area.

    Today I loaded up "Tron 2.0: Killer App" on the Xbox. I originally played this game back on PC but my machine just didn't have enough oomph to totally run the game. Plus I was (and still am not) great at the mouse/keyboard combo of PC Land. The folks that consolized the game did a decent enough job and it looks and sounds great. One con with the conversion is that the dialog was never redone, so the character that tell you how to do things mention PC controls (like arrow keys or something like that) or "action button" while the printed dialog shows the proper instruction. The light cycle mode is still a pain in the keester as the stick is used to not only go faster or slower but a slight wiggle makes you turn....in a 90 degree angle. This can get very disorientating when you are using the trigger to turn and you want to get past an opponent and then you turn.....I died a lot when that happened.

    One thing I find I took for granted thanks to modern gaming is the auto save. "Tron 2.0" has none. So when I got past the first light cycle area and back into FPS mode, I died not soon after arrival to the new area. I forgot about the lack of autosave and had to go back to the last race, where I did remember to save. I do remember sporadically but the act of saving religously hasn't completely sunk in yet. I'm currently in the "prison pits" or "cell block" or whatever you want to call it. I'm on my way to get my disk back from the leader of the security programs called Kernel.

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    I had some fun with my sons this weekend. Ended up getting a free TV someone was getting rid of and finally decided to vertically mount one in my basement for Tate mode shooting.
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    The wife had to get some leg surgery done, so I took off of work so I could drive her to the hospital.and back. While waiting, I read an issue of "Joystik" magazine and then played "Sonic the Hedgehog" from the "Sega Genesis Classics" I bought on the Switch. I haven't really played that game that much si ce I origi ally owned it back in '91. I have it in so many compilafions and ways to play it but just haven't. Until now. I got to the Marble Zone and acquired a Chaos Emerald before I saved and shut down to go to my own appointment (contact lens check and put my old lenses back in my eyeglass frames...which the tech broke....)

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    I got the fever to play some Money Puzzle Exchanger for Neo Geo MVS yesterday. I love it as one of my personal top 10 puzzle games, but good lord are those last 2 battles tough. I beat it 3 times yesterday, but I would not want to admit the shameful number of continues it took.

    After the kids went to bed last night, I decided to play on the vertical screen some more, as it's new enough to me to still be exciting. I played Homura on PS2 for awhile, and my opinion on it has changed a LOT since first getting it back when it came out like 15 years or more ago. I didn't like it as much back then. It was the peak of my shooter (shmup) playing and buying, and came out in the same window as the posthumous Dreamcast games and all those Cave ports like ESPGaluda, Mushihimesama, Dodonpachi Dai-ou-jou, and Ibara, and I really didn't care for its dark color palette and polygon models instead of sprites. Really giving it a fair shake, I truly enjoyed its mechanics this time around. You move slightly slower while shooting, which helps with micro-dodging, and faster when not for macro. There are no bombs, and instead you use your sword when you can (from a slowly-filling automatic gauge) in two ways, almost like in Mars Matrix with the bullet absorbing attack. First, when in striking range, you will do a lock-on, invincible attack to up to 5 enemies of the same type, destroying them all in a flashy animation. Second, you van use it to reflect away a swarm of nearby bullets and send them back at your attacker, netting a poimt multiplier for each bullet. There are no power-ups to collect, and the sword mechanic is really the only scoring gimmick aside from the usual dropped point bonuses from enemies and percentage of enemies destroyed. It's a nice change from the gimmicky scoring in Cave and Treasure games, and it even has a standard 3 credit limit, making it to where it can't be just credit-fed. I'll probably go for a 1cc for the first time in a long time on this one!

    My sons have taken a shine to Marvel Super Heroes for arcade and Sega Saturn. My older boy likes Shuma Gorrath, and thr younger likes Blackheart. I had to feel bad for my younger son, though. My daughter wanted to try, and beat him while mostly looking away from the screen and mashing buttons. He got her back after a few tries, but I could see the frustration on his face.

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    I got some Atari action last Monday testing out the four-game cartridge that came out with Atari's new modern paddle controllers. They all played as they should and the controllers felt like I stepped back in time, playing like it was 1982 all over again.

    I did also partake in Nintendo's eShop sale and picked up "Goat Simulator" (as it looked goofy fun) and "Gris" as it gave me "Journey" vibes in its presentation. "Goat" was stupid fun and "Gris" was an artful feast for the eyes. I didn't get too far in either as I just wanted to get a taste of them before I went to bed that night.

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    Last weekend I decided to bust out the TurboGrafix-16 Mini to see if I still wanted to keep.that thing. After about an hour or so of play....yeah, it's a keeper.

    This system (the TG-16 in general) has had a "buy/sell" relationship with me since high school. I owned this system at least three times in my life and sold it not long after owning it. The Mini was a knee jerk purchase that had me going "why did I do this?" Chalk it up to Internet influence and a lack of a good game hunt locally.

    Anyway, I fired it up and gravitated to the PC-Engine side of things. "Salamander" took up most of my time as Incarved my way through it, making liberal use of save states. I think I'm on level 5. Next game was the original "Bonk's Adventure"...which is weird that the Japanese version is here but not the English version to go with "Bonk's Revenge". "Daimakamura" came next followed by "Castlevania X". All this time Inwas sitting on the living room floor and my legs didn't want to be curled up anymore. I will definitely put this in rotation for play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiM View Post
    Last weekend I decided to bust out the TurboGrafix-16 Mini to see if I still wanted to keep.that thing. After about an hour or so of play....yeah, it's a keeper.

    This system (the TG-16 in general) has had a "buy/sell" relationship with me since high school. I owned this system at least three times in my life and sold it not long after owning it. The Mini was a knee jerk purchase that had me going "why did I do this?" Chalk it up to Internet influence and a lack of a good game hunt locally.

    Anyway, I fired it up and gravitated to the PC-Engine side of things. "Salamander" took up most of my time as Incarved my way through it, making liberal use of save states. I think I'm on level 5. Next game was the original "Bonk's Adventure"...which is weird that the Japanese version is here but not the English version to go with "Bonk's Revenge". "Daimakamura" came next followed by "Castlevania X". All this time Inwas sitting on the living room floor and my legs didn't want to be curled up anymore. I will definitely put this in rotation for play.
    There's a hack coming for it finally but not available yet for the public.

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    More less gave up on Metroid Prime, now moved onto Mario Wonder.

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    It's been pretty quiet on the gaming front lately beyond typing in a maze game for my CoCo 3. On a non game front, I got my Macintosh 512K in place and I did some writing on it. It took a few tries to boot from the floppy but I got it going. Other than the keyboard being a prime cause for carpal tunnel (that sucker is TALL), it was enjoyable to type on a CRT again. A New Year's resolution would be to negotiate with the wife to see if can organize some of her shhh....tuff in the basement so I can set up a bigger desk for retro computing. I want, nay, NEED my CoCo to be on a CRT.

    Today, though, I did do some gaming. Played some N64 and dang....just not feeling it. I've touched it a couple times in the past several months and each time I don't play long. I played some "Excitebike 64" followed by the "Goldeneye" hack "Goldfinger 007". It was....ok. I used to be pretty fond of Bond but after a few generations and playing games like "Doom 64" on my Switch with dual stick control really spoilied me. It's really hard to go back to that configuration.

    Afterwards it was some Wii time and there too, just not feeling the motion controls. I played a couple levels of "Warioware: Smooth Moves" and I had enough. I played some "Excitetruck" which was exciting but there too, just not feeling it. One of my younger step sons wanted to play "Tom and Jerry: War of the Whiskers" (Gamecube) and he pounded on that for a while.

    Later on this night I fired up the OG Xbox and played a through Arcade with a couple of characters. Then I continued on Fable for a while until my hip hurt from being on the floor of the living room and it was time my daughter went back to her mom (she was in deep with some Roblox with her step brothers-my Macbook still is down so I couldn't join). When I got back I needed to kill some demons so I played some "Doom 64" on the Switch and got through level 5. I thought I unlocked a bunch of crap BUT I didn't save! I totally forgot that it doesn't autosave! Dang modern conveniences!

    Tomorrow I'm debating going to the Garcade for an early birthday treat (and because they are closed on Monday).

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    The last few weeks have been pretty crazy for me, between traveling, all of us getting sick, trying to keep up with work deadlines, and of course the holidays. So not much gaming since beating Imagine Figure Skater. I tried to start up NeuroVoider on Vita, if only because it's supposed to be a fairly short game, but I quickly realized that I have so little experience with twin stick shooters that the control scheme doesn't feel natural to me. I got a game over almost immediately, and since the game is also considered to be on the more challenging side, I decided I didn't have the patience to get used to the game while also being sick.

    So I decided to go with something a little more familiar and started up Gaia Seed: Project Seed Trap, a PS1 game that's available on US PSN despite receiving no localization whatsoever. It's a very import-friendly game, though, so there's almost nothing that would need to be changed for an actual localization anyway. The menus are in English to begin with, and the opening and endings can be watched with either English narration or English subtitles. That said, the English narration is done by a Japanese man with a heavy accent and tenuous grasp of English, and the subtitles are very Engrish-y too, so either way you go, it's tough to understand. But it does have that Zero Wing kind of charm. It would've been nice if they had at least made an English manual for the US PSN release, but it's a very simple, straightforward horizontal shmup so no biggie. What isn't import-friendly about the game, in terms of actually acquiring an original physical copy, is the absurd value it has secondhand. I bought it on PSN mainly because of that, since I figured I'll never own a physical copy. I first played on the Practice difficulty mode, which abruptly stops after Stage 4, but I've since beaten the game on Normal twice over, once getting a bad ending and then getting the good. It's interesting how it's got three different endings which aren't even related to your usage of credits but rather what you do on the final bosses. To get the good ending, you have to be a pacifist and let the timer run out. You can do that on every boss in the game, but it only makes a difference on the last two. The whole game has a weird vibe, from the messages in the story to the eclectic music and trippy visuals. But in terms of the gameplay, it's nothing remarkable, though it's still fun enough. Some diehard shmup fans complain that it's way too easy, but I'm not surprised. I always kinda regret looking up what other people have to say about shmups online, haha. It seems like only diehards talk about them and make it out like anybody else who plays them should be as good as them. I see people recommending starting straight on Hard in Gaia Seed, saying they got a 1CC on their first try, and claiming anybody can credit feed their way to victory on Normal, even though the game only offers something like 5 credits on Normal. I'd say the game is relatively easy on Normal, but I ran out of credits and lives on the last stage my first go. The second time I had it beat, but even after the third time, I'm still far from achieving a 1CC on Normal, let alone Hard. But I've never been great at shmups and don't play them super often. I think I'll check out the other bad ending, and then maybe I'll move on to something else. I've been seeing the endings with Japanese narration and English subtitles, so I could replay to see all the endings with the English narration, but eh, that'd probably be overkill for me.
    Last edited by Aussie2B; 01-02-2024 at 02:16 PM.

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    I got the other bad ending in Gaia Seed on my Vita. It's the hardest one to get, as you have to wait out the turtle boss and then defeat the angel boss. If you're going for the good ending, you don't have to deal with the angel boss attacking, as it does nothing until it's fired at. Even though I had already beat the game twice over, I had a couple failed runs before I got the last ending I hadn't seen. So I've had my fill at this point, and I watched all three endings again, with the English narration, on YouTube, rather than putting in the time to do 3+ more sessions with the game with the voice setting changed. Now to decide if I want to try NeuroVoider again or play something entirely different.

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    I did get some "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" time in on New Years, playing through the whole celebration. After that I plugged away at some "Doom 64" and got to, I guess, "Hell".

    For my birthday I took my daughter and son to the Garcade in Menomonee Falls for a few hours. I had a good time but discovered that my desire to play stand up arcade games is finite. I played my usual cabs, dabbled in some others but when I had to head back to town to drop my daughter off, i was "done". I never had the opportunity (or the skill) to just stand at a classic (as in no ending) machine and play it as far as I could go. Favorite games like "Time Pilot" or "Tron" I'd get a good run then try to do it all again but would choke and get worse scores.

    I think I miss the potential loss of not having enough cash to get better at a game or trying to get as far as you can on one play. Sure I could artificially limit myself by either only playing a game X number of times, putting my own tokens into a small can to simulate the amount of cash I have. In the end, I'm a realist and I *know* I'm B.S.ing myself and the desired effect is gone like smoke in the wind.

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    This on the TG16 recently i been giving the system run through to make sure it runs proper still.I been thinking about selling it.

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    Still not feeling NeuroVoider on Vita, and I considered starting up another PS1 game from Techno Soleil, the short-lived developer behind Gaia Seed, called Rapid Angel. Like Gaia Seed, it must've got a small print run and went completely under the radar because it too is insanely expensive to acquire physically these days. Also like Gaia Seed, it's on US PSN for a mere 6 bucks but completely unlocalized. Since it's an action game, though not a shmup, I assume the lack of a localization doesn't hurt its playability much for people who know no Japanese, but it's not quite as import-friendly as Gaia Seed. Once I saw there's a bunch of story presented only in Japanese and menus in Japanese and such, I decided I wasn't in the mood for playing a game in Japanese right now, since I know I would try to understand as much as I could with what little Japanese I do know and don't feel like putting in that effort right now.

    So instead of those, I started up Rock Boshers DX: Director's Cut, which is another twin stick shooter, but it feels infinitely more intuitive to me than NeuroVoider and not as punishingly difficult, so far at least. It's also got a lot more style, from the goofy story to the cool graphical options (8-bit console or 8-bit computer) and chiptune music. NeuroVoider just comes off as very dark and bland to me. I've cleared a few stages in Rock Boshers DX and grabbed the tea, cheese, and jammy scone in all of them. It feels like there's a bit of a puzzle aspect to the stages, figuring out the proper order to do things so you don't get stuck in a bad situation. Since the stages are a single screen and pretty quick to clear, I don't mind having to redo them until I get things right. I've tried the game with both sets of graphics, and the 8-bit computer mode seems a little easier to me, if only because the simpler graphics make things more obvious, but I still prefer using the NES-style graphics anyway, which I believe were added for this "Director's Cut" version (don't know if anything else got changed or added). The game isn't stingy with the trophies either (not that there are many of them, and there's no platinum), so it's nice getting the little dopamine hit from those popping up, haha. So yeah, I'm liking it so far, and I figured I'd have better luck with it considering it's the same developer as Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender DX, which I haven't played a ton of but really liked from what I did try (and that surprised me, as Defender-style shooters usually don't appeal to me much).

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