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Old 01-24-2008, 02:04 AM   #1291
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

So Gene, if the "golf encounter" was a good one for you, can you explain it to me? take it to email or PM if you don't want to spoil, but i *seriously* don't get why people think it's a defining moment... literally, I'd like someone to explain it to me because i just don't get it.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:31 PM   #1292
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

Portal = near perfect game (I deduct points for the warehouse level...the lame design seemed to be teleported in from a lesser game).

But wow - take a simple or straigthforward premise and keep turning it on its head whilst developing/exploring it. The level designs literally seemed to be an extension of that aestethic principle.

Particularly impressive was its ability to take its own ideas seriously as it made complete fun of them. In my view, it is one of a kind - it managed to make the player feel intelligent whilst allowing us to marvel at the ingenuity behind it.

If only I understood its relevance to the outside game world - what does the test, Chell and Glados have to do with Half Life? Either way, it's a testament to its brilliance that the game remains (relatively) self contained.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:23 AM   #1293
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

Chalk it up to Valve's stubborn refusal to just tell a damn story. = /

according to one of the "official" HL please-tell-me-WTF-is-going-on websites, Portal allegedly takes place in the time between HL 1 and HL 2 when Gordon was in stasis, the G-Man's briefcase, or wherever he was when the world was going to hell.

the Portal company was supposedly doing testing on (wait for it) Portals while the aliens were taking over or somesuch, and their company was a competitor with Black Mesa for some government contract or something.

i think.
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:29 AM   #1294
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Gallaway View Post
Chalk it up to Valve's stubborn refusal to just tell a damn story. = /

according to one of the "official" HL please-tell-me-WTF-is-going-on websites, Portal allegedly takes place in the time between HL 1 and HL 2 when Gordon was in stasis, the G-Man's briefcase, or wherever he was when the world was going to hell.

the Portal company was supposedly doing testing on (wait for it) Portals while the aliens were taking over or somesuch, and their company was a competitor with Black Mesa for some government contract or something.

i think.

We should have a thread to explain the plots of all our fav games! I mean....does anyone remember where metal gear solid left off?

I can only really remember the first game on ps1.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:26 PM   #1295
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Gallaway View Post
Chalk it up to Valve's stubborn refusal to just tell a damn story. = /

according to one of the "official" HL please-tell-me-WTF-is-going-on websites, Portal allegedly takes place in the time between HL 1 and HL 2 when Gordon was in stasis, the G-Man's briefcase, or wherever he was when the world was going to hell.

the Portal company was supposedly doing testing on (wait for it) Portals while the aliens were taking over or somesuch, and their company was a competitor with Black Mesa for some government contract or something.

i think.
Brad you need to play Half Life Episode 2 to completion to understand the forthcoming role Aperture Science is going to play in the Half Life universe.

Otherwise Portal's connection to Half Life makes no sense other than the fact that Aperture was a competing contractor around the time of the first incident.

There's no telling when it exactly takes place, but it does seem to happen around the end of Half Life 1.

If you don't mind the SPOILER....





Episode 2 teases the possibility that the portal gun will be available for use in the final chapter of the Half Life series. Portal was a warmup exercise for what is expected to be a larger role for the gun.



END SPOILER

Like idiotic said, it's a credit to the game that it remains self-contained, despite the tie-in with Gordon Freeman's adventure.

Brad I'll email you about the golf encounter later.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:55 PM   #1296
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

Finished Half-Life 2: Episode One last night... it was basically the same as HL2 except better since it was tighter and more focused. i also really like what they've got going here in terms of the post-alien-takeover setting and the whole rebellion-ish characterization of the characters and gameplay.

too bad it doesn't seem to connect much continuity visible to players with what happened in HL1, and also that Gordon's mute. IMO, the game would be *tons* better if he had a damn personality.

moving on to the new NiGHTS or maybe HL2: Ep2 next... still undecided.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:28 PM   #1297
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

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Finished Half-Life 2: Episode One last night... it was basically the same as HL2 except better since it was tighter and more focused. i also really like what they've got going here in terms of the post-alien-takeover setting and the whole rebellion-ish characterization of the characters and gameplay.

too bad it doesn't seem to connect much continuity visible to players with what happened in HL1, and also that Gordon's mute. IMO, the game would be *tons* better if he had a damn personality.

moving on to the new NiGHTS or maybe HL2: Ep2 next... still undecided.
I recommend you take the Half Life gravy train the whole way through. The entire experience feels a lot better in consecutive playthroughs.

I'm also surprised you liked Episode 1. I have full confidence that you'll enjoy Episode 2 even more. IMO Episode 2 is the better game, with better story elements, better graphics, and better pacing. It starts off a little slow, but before you know it the game picks up considerably.

Stop wasting time with Nights and go get No More Heroes.
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:32 PM   #1298
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

I just put about 45 minutes into NiGHTS and came to the conclusion that NiGHTS sucks.

ten years after the original, are we supposed to find the act of making loops in the air fun, somehow? this adds nothing to the original game, and is, in fact, actually worse than the Saturn version.

Moving on to HL2: Ep 2

and i'd play NMH if GameFly would friggin' send it to me. it's been #1 in my queue since a week before release and i still haven't got my turn yet. = /
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:52 PM   #1299
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

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I just put about 45 minutes into NiGHTS and came to the conclusion that NiGHTS sucks.

ten years after the original, are we supposed to find the act of making loops in the air fun, somehow? this adds nothing to the original game, and is, in fact, actually worse than the Saturn version.

Moving on to HL2: Ep 2

and i'd play NMH if GameFly would friggin' send it to me. it's been #1 in my queue since a week before release and i still haven't got my turn yet. = /
I never quite "got" Nights, but mostly because I played it several years after its release. And if the novelty of the concept wore off back then, I don't see how it could be at all successful 10 years later. I was appalled to hear that the new Nights hadn't changed at all. I guess that franchise pretty much died as soon as it started.

As far as beating games, I've been obsessed with No More Heroes. I'm trying to beat the final boss on the hardest difficulty setting, but it's proving to be difficult. NOT because the opponent is particularly skillful, but because he has so much HP, the whole thing becomes an act of attrition. An hour later I had only brought his life bar down to only half, and I ended up dying because of a few missteps early on in the fight. I gave up and may never revisit that battle again, knowing how long it takes to beat him and the fact there is no reward for it. I know I can beat him. I just don't want to wait that long.
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:26 PM   #1300
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

Finished Jeanne D'Arc a few minutes ago and thought I'd come share my thoughts. Overall, the game was quite good. The storyline was excellent. The characters were - with a few exceptions - well developed. And the gameplay was tight and consistent. There were a few spots in the game where the difficulty seemed to spike, but I was usually able to get by with a little character reconfiguration (rather than by needlessly grinding away on the free stages). Really, it's hardly worth mentioning. Also, as tight as the gameplay was, it did start to get a tiny bit stale toward the end. The ending was well worth the effort, though. And I'd gladly recommend this one to anyone who claims to be a fan of the SRPG genre!

Now, I think I'll put in Valkyrie Profile and see what all the fuss is about!

- EJ
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:35 PM   #1301
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

Glad to hear you liked Jd'A... it was easily one of my top games of 2007.

VP is excellent too, just do yourself a favor and get an FAQ before you start playing. don't feel like it's cheating or anything... it's an excellent game, but it just doesn't explain its mechanics that well and the "good" ending is so counter-intuitive and hidden that you'll never find it legitimately.
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Old 02-03-2008, 05:46 PM   #1302
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

I finally managed to finish Mass Effect after a brief hiatus (Paragon Male Shep Soldier), and I would be hard-pressed to name a finer game of last year. Still, I am a little disappointed to see the standard KOTOR vices ingrained in it such as the usual cast of secondary characters that reveal themselves more appealable than the main ones, the parachuted and wooden amorous relations or the "must-finish-game-with-cosmic-shattering-battle" staples. A greater letdown was the New Game+ mode, which doesn't even allow you to change your class, alignment and does not refund your talent points. I can't think of a single reason why I would want to play the game with the exact same character again. Also, while the main storyline is exceedingly gripping, most of the side quests are a frank exercise in boredom. Travelling to a system and navigating the rough and empty planets in search of one or two points of interest is an unimaginative proposition. Worse still, you must trudge through those assignments if you wish to gain the character ally achievements.

Apart from all that, fantastic game. A bit by the numbers when all was said and done, but thoroughly engaging.

Following that, and to commemorate the fact I now have a decent computer, I decided to play S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Calling it a mixed bag is an oversimplification: this game is both brilliant and terrible, often at the same time.

STALKER wishes to enforce the idea that you are exploring an open world composed of free roaming areas but in reality you are confined to the usual narrow paths that permeate the FPS genre. Stray too far from the road and you'll be hit with a lethal dose of radiation or stumble into deadly anomalies. All the areas are fenced, and you the only way to travel between them is by one or two unique checkpoints. You are indeed allowed to backtrack all you want to previous areas in order to finish optional missions or explore hidden stashes but your level of control ends there. The main storyline, if you are kind enough to call it that, inexorably progresses from one area to another, having you thrown around from one mission hub to another.

Of course, since the action is usually found on the vast plains of the Zone, an artificial mechanism had to be introduced in order to prevent the game from becoming too easy. Hence, all your weapons suffer from a ridiculously acute lack of accuracy; no matter how impressive a marksman you are, your shots are bound to miss the mark in a most embarrassing way when using low-grade weaponry. I understand that I'm playing an RPG where progression is measured by your level of equipment and not your abstract stat levels, but this just throws any skill-based gameplay out of the window, especially when aiming with the iron-sights is even more preposterous than shooting from the hip. You may use a mod to counter-balance this, but then usually the last levels have you struggling with impossibly-placed, prescient, all-seeing snipers that can finish you off in one go.

Where STALKER triumphs is in its characterization of The Zone, a post-apocalyptic landscape ridden with desolation, conflict and monstrosities. It's easy to blend in and accept the alternate chronological events, the specific dangers such as mutants, the different tribalistic factions. Also, as a perpetual outsider, the game empowers you to stand above it all and lend your help as you see fit. A loner and a survivor just like everyone else. It's a tightly developed virtual world that conquers you much in the same way as Fallout does; by presenting a gritty, intricate miserable, inhuman depiction of life, and knowing you aren't capable of looking away.

However, I have to admit being confused at the way this game ends. Perhaps someone with a better understanding can set me straight but I believe you must complete a specific mission in order to access the better set of endings. Unfortunately, this mission has you meeting with an earlier contact that stands in the wilderness, in an area routinely scoured by rabid dogs and hungry boars. It's not unusual for him to die a few minutes after you leave you leave him alone for the first time. How am I supposed to find this fellow still alive, five days later? Couldn't the advanced "next-generation" A-Life system make the NPC understand that seeking shelter would be a better option than just standing in some derelict cottage waiting for the hounds to come?

I appreciate what they tried to do with STALKER and I applaud the effort. It had the potential to be a wonderful game, which is why I hope to find a more coherent experience in the upcoming Clear Skies prequel.

(Awfully loose impressions of the game based on a v.1.0004 with Float32 and Faiakes 2.4, Master difficulty).
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:30 PM   #1303
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

I haven't posted here for a while.

Lately, I've been doing plenty of retro gaming. I beat Super Punch Out!'s Championship Mode, and felt that it wasn't quite as hard as Mike Tyson's Punch Out.

Still, it's fun.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:25 AM   #1304
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

Just finished Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and thus ends my time with The Orange Box.

Not quite ready to post final thoughts, but overall it was a good ride and one that I'm glad i took, even though i really only bought the thing for Portal. ; )

Thumbs up, tho.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:50 AM   #1305
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Re: Post here when you beat a game. I mean it!

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Originally Posted by Brad Gallaway View Post
Just finished Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and thus ends my time with The Orange Box.

Not quite ready to post final thoughts, but overall it was a good ride and one that I'm glad i took, even though i really only bought the thing for Portal. ; )

Thumbs up, tho.
spoiler alert...

Isnt it a kick in the pants to fight through the whole game only to see one of the main characters get killed right before you and its out of your hand? grrrr

The ending keeps you interested in what is yet to come, but at the same time i wish the story doesnt go off on a tangent. I prefer what happens to be related to our actions throughout the game.
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