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About Cassylvania

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  1. One could argue that if the game crashes every time I try to go for a trophy, that's also out of my control... (Loophole!) But you guys know I'm just pulling your leg. I fully intend to finish that game and any other game I begin. Only Ajna gets off easy, and that's just because she's so adorable. Speaking of adorable, I always forget how charming A Hat in Time is. I just wish the controls were a little less floaty. Up to 72 Death Wish stamps now. Not sure how I would've gotten this far without Peace and Tranquility mode.. I think my only "stack" is Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, but they're different editions of the game and have completely unique trophy lists. At some point, I might play Dark Souls I and II on PS3, just so I can "complete" the series. I'd do something fun to spice it up, though, like a low level platinum run. Not level 1 because that would be unnecessarily hard and boring, but the lowest level I could be to use all the gear I want and still be successful. If I had a Vita, I'd platinum XCOM: EU Plus to complete that series. I don't miss timers in video games either. I know they're still used in speedrunning and sections of games where speed is important, but one of the things I didn't like even in the original Super Mario Bros. was that stupid clock in the corner of the screen, no matter how generous it was. I just wanted to take my time and enjoy the world. The life system was annoying for the same reason. I think a big part of it was to artificially extend the life of that video game, because kids would quickly see how short a lot of NES titles were if they had unlimited lives and a more convenient checkpoint system. I liked Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek. Made for a good Halloween game a few years back. I'm not paying $15 for the sequel, but if I could get 2 and 3 as a bundle on sale, I'd consider it. I dunno about POWGI. I didn't even like the crosswords in P5R. I hate Sudoku. I'm not even sure I liked the Pic-a-Pix games I played. I think the first one was good for a laugh, but it was mostly because the art looked nothing like what it was supposed to. It wasn't as funny when it was in black and white because that made it seem like the lack of color was at fault. I almost put puzzle games in my top 5 list, but I think I prefer them when they're combined with other genres. And then I hate them when they show up because I'd rather just be playing the game.
  2. Ugh, I dunno. I feel like if I had just one trophy left, I'd go for it, but I don't want to grind to level 60, I don't want to beat the game three (?) more times, and I really don't want to deal with Boss Rush if it's going to randomly crash all the time. I hate to say it, but with 100% no longer being possible on my account, I'm more willing to accept skipping trophies that just don't seem fun. I will always have more games to play than time to play them. I guess it has farming elements. Minecraft does too, but I think most people would consider that a building sim or a survival game. If there's one thing I've learned from trying to manage the OP, it's that it's hard to put each game into a single category. I don't know where you draw the line between, say, a building sim and a farming sim or an action platformer and a Metroidvania. I don't even know what to do with survival games. Is Resident Evil a survival game? The Escapists? Firewatch? Yomawari? For me, my list was intended to give you an idea of what aspects of a game I enjoy playing the most, rather than trying to cite particular examples. To that end, I do think I'd put survival first and farming second, but it's hard to argue with the fact that I did notice the number of games I actually enjoy from that genre decrease as you move higher up on the list. I can name a ton of RPGs and platformers I like, quite a few strategy games, and only a few farming and survival. They're more niche, though, and I think I'm more critical of the ones I do play. I'd probably reverse the order if I were to rank my favorite games or do the whole, "If you were on a deserted island and could only play one genre of game, what would it be?" Wait. I'd be living my dream scenario.
  3. Boss Rush crashes for the game for me. I only tried it a few times, but I know other people have had the same problem. There's also the glitch where all enemies spawn in one corner of the map in Arena mode, but that's actually beneficial. I don't mind that glitch. 600 hours, though? Yeesh...
  4. Eh, I was always going to play Ys: MoC. I just didn't realize it was the wrong game when I put the disc in. I see you're playing Duke Nukem Forever. Is it as bad as everybody says? That's another series I never got into.
  5. Ys: Origins, for its ridiculously grindy/glitchy/hard trophies.
  6. As someone who didn't grow up with Castlevania or Metroid, I do wonder how much I actually enjoy the Metroidvania format. I'm not a big fan of backtracking in video games. If anything, I kinda hate the idea that a game actively forces me to come back to an area after I've unlocked a new ability or power that I likely didn't know existed. It destroys exploration and puzzle-solving for me because I'd rather rush through the game to unlock everything than make mental notes of areas I'll have to revisit. I didn't like Axiom Verge and, while I love the aesthetics of Hollow Knight enough for that little dude to still be my avatar, I didn't really like the Metroidvania aspect of Hollow Knight. I liked the graphics. I liked the world. I liked the combat, for the most part. I just don't like having to retrace my footsteps every time I gain a new ability to see what I missed, and I never know if an area is actually locked off until I gain a new ability or if there's some way to reach it now with the skills I have. See, I liked SM64 when it came out, but I thought it was greatly surpassed by the Super Mario Galaxy games. I can recognize its importance to the 3D platforming genre, but to me, it's very much like how Goldeneye revolutionized first-person shooters and then quickly became outclassed. At least SM64 has a catchy soundtrack, though. I just don't think the N64 has held up as well as some of the other older consoles, despite it arguably having the most fond memories for me. That's why I loved Persona 5. Story-driven games can be great. I don't mean to knock them because they're probably not even a genre, but there's a reason why there was so much overlap there between my top five. I think I just prefer open world sandbox games that let you create your own story. It's not always what I'm in the mood for, but I think it's been a consistency for most of my life. Maybe I'll do a tier list about my favorite stories in video games. I'm open to suggestions. I just wanted to test the waters a little bit by talking about a few of my favorite things. It's not like I'm dropping a platinum every week, ya know? Platinum #264 - Ys: Memories of Celceta I don't know how drunk I was the night I started this game. Not only was I drunk enough to consider playing another Ys game, but I played the WRONG GAME. This was supposed to be Ys VIII, which I thought it was because I don't understand all these stupid subtitles. But before I could catch my mistake, a trophy popped (literally for starting a new game), and then the two trophy rule kicked in and...well, 70 hours later, here's a plat I didn't even mean to go for. I don't have much to say about the story, other than it was impressive how many clichés they could fit into a single storyline. The characters are passable. You play as...wait, I have to look it up. Adol. You have the personality of a toaster. The silent protagonist schtick worked in Super Mario RPG because of how Mario would hilariously act out what he wanted to say, but I've never liked it in most games. It just comes across as awkward, especially when you're given dialogue options that your character can speak. Your best friend in this game is a behemoth named Duran. He has the personality of a kitchen sink. I think they wanted to do a "sneaky rogue" thing with him, but he's eight feet tall and built like a refrigerator. I don't know why I'm making all these kitchen accessory analogies. Nobody's going to use Duran anyway because this is an anime game. Now, Karna...oh, look, your eyes lit up. Karna was OK. She probably has the most interesting plotline because she's searching for her brother and also she ties you up. I just kinda hate her because she didn't let me go back in my original playthrough to talk to an NPC that I needed to for a trophy, so I was forced to wait until NG+. Then there's Ozma. Orca? Oscar? Something like that. Pretty sure he ties you up too. Basically, everybody hates you in this game and you don't know why because you lost your memories. (That's not a spoiler. That's the plot and it's literally in the title. You're trying to recover the memories of Celceta, whatever that is. Probably the game I meant to play.) Osmo is a cool dude. I used him for most of my first playthrough, but there's a trophy for playing as each character for six hours, so you eventually have to play as Duran. Then there's...this girl...with pink hair... Calico...maybe. Celeste. Cordelia. Candice? Dammit, where's that walkthrough... Calilica. That's not even a name. OK, she's like 12 years old from what I understand, but she makes fun of Duran, so she's okay in my book. For some reason, she uses a giant mace, which reminds me. Every character does either slashing, piercing, or...some other type of damage, and most enemies seem to be weak or strong against one of those types, so the game expects you to use a balanced team of fighters and cycle through them as the situation demands it. You won't do that because Karna has the best attack, but the nice thing is that there are six playable characters (you can have three active at any time) and only three types of damage, so it's not like you're forced to play someone you don't like. The last character is Frieda, which is the closest thing we've gotten to a real name so far, but the plot has gone off the rails by the time she joins the party. In the Vita version of the game, Frieda isn't even on the cover (and is replaced by a fairly minor character in the game), which makes me think no one cares about her. A shame too since she's the only one who didn't get on my nerves. Combat in this game is OK. Unlike Ys: Origins, you can dodge. You even get one of those cool Matrix-style slowdowns when you time it right. Characters have skills that you can use with SP, which regenerates in battle, similar to Origins. You're probably going to be spamming those the whole game. It's a bit annoying because each character has like 10 of them and you need to max everything for a trophy, but there are accessories you can equip that speed up the process. The game isn't particularly hard. You have to do two playthroughs and, for some reason, they thought you should be given more gold if you play on Easy, so the proper way to play is the first playthrough on Easy and the second on Nightmare (once you're sufficiently leveled up and have the best equipment). Then you drop it back down to Easy for the joke Boss Rush. The only real annoying stuff is missable quests, quests you can fail, and this really dumb trophy for "uncovering" 100% of the map. You need to hug the wall the entire game to make sure you get that. I think it's a little generous, but you pretty much need to fill out all the blurry areas in the overworld. There's also a dumb trophy for opening every chest. I missed one in my first playthrough. Do you think the game lets you know where it is? Of course not. So, I did it all over again in NG+. I had a checklist of how many chests were in each dungeon and then I run around in the overworld with a collectibles map to ensure I got all those chests too. Oh, there's ANOTHER dumb trophy for harvesting all the resource points in the game. Other people had trouble with this one. I didn't. If there's one positive thing I can say about this game, it's that I love how the other characters on your team will harvest stuff for you. If you get near a resource, they'll just run up to it and start hacking away. Not sure if that counts for the trophy, but I like it when a game throws me a bone. I get joy out of a game doing the boring parts for me. It was also fun to equip the relic that spits out gold every few seconds and let your AI companions chase after it for hours on end. I guess it's an OK game. I'd recommend it over Ys: Origins (a game you might never get a review for because none of the remaining trophies are something I want to go for). It didn't make me want to not play Ys VIII, but I don't understand why you'd play this series when Dragon Quest is a thing.
  7. Hooray! I finished my 7. ... Oh. Wait. No, I didn't. Because I played THE WRONG FREAKIN' YS GAME. I would've caught myself if it wasn't for the game rewarding me for a trophy for just starting the game, moments before I realized the graphics sure looked different than the reviews I had watched of Ys VIII. So, congrats, Ys. Once again, you have ruined my life.
  8. I don't recommend having "rules" for your account. I have some basic ideas I like to follow, like limiting the number of active games I have at once or getting at least two trophies in the same game before I switch to something else, but you should be open to exceptions. I think trying to force yourself to play games a particular way is a mistake. I think you should just play games you like.
  9. OK! This is probably a meaningless post. If you've been reading this thread for any length of time, you probably already know what kind of games I prefer. They're the ones I play the most. But if you've ever wondered... My Top 5 Favorite Genres #5 - RPG What a cop-out answer and a cop-out genre. What isn't an RPG? Well, for the purposes of this list, I'm considering "RPG" to mean turn-based RPGs (e.g. Pokemon and Persona) and action RPGs where you make your own character (e.g. Dark Souls and Dragon Age). I don't think that's the formal distinction, but I have an easier time calling the Atelier series an RPG than Sekiro or Horizon Zero Dawn. I don't know if Kingdom Hearts is an RPG. I guess it has some RPG mechanics. But since KH clearly isn't making any top tier list of mine, what does it matter? The thing is, I don't think it matters if you only want to consider subgenres here. Action RPG, JRPG, MMORPG, BBQRPG, whatever -- I'd still put it at #5. They're all great and they're all not good enough to be ranked any higher. I have so many games in every subgenre of RPG that I could probably take a tier list on those alone. Dark Souls (technically Demon's) is the game that saved gaming for me. I don't think I would've gotten back into gaming after my 2005-2009 hiatus if it wasn't for that series. And heck, for as much as I criticize it for being a shallow experience, I can probably thank Skyrim too. Those games made me feel immersed, which is something that older games rarely did, if only because of graphical limitations. But even back in the day, it was platformers that put my butt in a chair, but it was the RPGs that kept me there. I spent so much time playing through Super Mario RPG (still one of the best examples of this genre). Paper Mario was good too, but I loved the mixture of story and gameplay. Back then, you didn't have too many games that were story-driven, so RPGs were something that felt epic, like when your favorite cartoon would drop an hour-long movie special. It was just on a whole other level than what you were used to seeing. Ogre Battle 64. Today, it's nothing special. The gameplay is something I haven't seen replicated very often (it's a mixture of real time and turn-based combat, like Valkyria Chronicles, but almost the opposite in its execution), but the characters had actual personalities and the story just felt so grand to 13-year-old me. I never got the Final Fantasy experience, so maybe that's why I had to rely on Nintendo for my RPGs. Having a game with a rather dark storyline that involved demons and possessions and characters who would cuss and betray you was something I hadn't gotten accustomed to. I remember even restarting the game because one of the early plot twists is that traitors are found in your army and I thought it was my fault for recruiting a certain unit who seemed friendly. Turns out that's the actual path that game forces you to take. There are definitely "good" and "bad' decisions you can make in the game, similar to Paragon/Renegade decisions in Mass Effect (another wonderful RPG), but I played through so many times just to see how many different endings and cutscenes I could trigger. This was before there were guides and video walkthroughs. I had no idea the scope of a game until I played through all of it. Persona 5 Royal blew me away. I don't think there are many recent games that have come out that have made me reconsider what I consider a "top tier" example of that genre. Even after finishing this list, I'm not sure I could name another 2016 or newer release that I'd put in the top 10 of any of these genres. It was that good. But there are just so many games in this genre, guys. Even if I only included JRPGs, we'd be here forever. Where would I even start? I'd just start talking about Fire Emblem and South Park: The Stick of Truth, and you'd be screaming at me that they belong in a different genre higher up on the list, and you'd probably be right. Let's just let RPGs have this spot. Any game can be an RPG if you want it to be. Some are just better at it. Like Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Now that's a REAL MAN'S RPG. Next tier list I'm doing is reasons why KCD is the best RPG. #4 - Action Platformer/Metroidvania Despite my user name (and the joke description of this genre in the OP), it's not going to be my #1. This is just what I immediately think of when I hear the term "video game." Mario. Donkey Kong. Shantae. Simon Belmont. Hollow Knight dude. That chick from Mischief Makers who goes "SHAKE SHAKE!" This is where it started with me and this is probably what I'll go back to playing exclusively if I ever decide to retire from trophy hunting. There's just something timeless about 2D platformers. I know this is where I start showing my age, but I like the simplicity. I like being able to just pick up a game and play it without having to read a wall of text or buy a strategy guide or invest 150+ hours of my life. What the hell am I doing? I would need an hour just to list all my favorite games from this genre, so I won't even try. I will say that if you put a gun to my head on any given day and ask me for my favorite platformer, I'd probably say Donkey Kong Country 2. It's going to be hard to beat that for the same reason that I don't think any farming game is going to beat Harvest Moon 64. No matter what I play in the future, no matter how good it is, it's NOT going to be something I personally grew up with. DKC2 is just a part of a me that I can't remove. And it's not particularly unusual to say that, as I think a lot of people in their mid-30's would put DKC2 pretty high on their list, but I have a hard time thinking of another SNES game that I'd be willing to play at almost any time. That's not something I can say for all my favorite games. I can think of several that I just don't want to go back to, if only because the landscape of gaming has changed so much that I don't think I could enjoy the game in the same way anymore. Old 3D platformers especially. I know a lot of people hold Super Mario 64 in high regard, but I don't think that game is particularly... I better shut up now. This is the internet and I'm about to bash SM64. But seriously, how can you not love this genre? It's not vanilla ice cream. It's ice cream. It never feels wrong to play it. Also, now that I've finished typing the rest of this list... I came back here to say I could see me eventually getting sick of the other four genres. I could not see me getting sick of this. Maybe it does deserve to be higher. #3 - Strategy/Tactical Wow. What a surprise. You didn't see this one coming. Well, maybe you didn't if you expected this to be higher on the list. For some reason, I feel more obligated to explain why it's only #3 than why I like the genre. But let's start by saying the most hipster thing I can: I liked turn-based strategy games before they were popular. (Are they popular now? Fire Emblem Smash Bros. sure thinks so.) While it's true that I never played the original FE games that were only released in Japan, they were my first foray into the genre, unless you want to count real-time strategy games like Command & Conquer. My problem with RTS games was that I never liked the pressure of having to act quickly. I wanted something slower that gave me time to think. Imagine how I felt the first time playing XCOM. It was the first and maybe only time that I've ever felt a game was specifically designed for me. There are probably older games than Fire Emblem that exist in this genre -- and maybe I've played some of them, I don't know -- but I often find myself even now forcing strategy into games that it doesn't belong. Like, I've never done a Nuzlocke run in Pokemon, but I've done things like a Nuzlocke run in Pokemon games. Back in the day, when a new Pokemon game was about to release, I'd plan out a team of six Pokemon and ONLY use those six throughout the entire game. If four of them weren't available until later in the game, I'd have to get through the first few gyms with a team of two. That made the beginning part of the game the most fun for me. Looking back now, that approach probably wasn't that hard to do since the Pokemon games are already easy (and overleveling doesn't exactly make things more difficult), but having to figure out how to beat Brock with only a Charmander and Pidgey was a lot more fun than steamrolling the game. I liked being at a disadvantage. It made my victories feel earned, which is something lost in modern gaming, where accessibility means challenge is dead. I've always thought I'd like to do a Nuzlocke run someday, but I'd want the actual game to be designed around it. It's hard to get back into self-imposed challenges when I've been away from them for so long and when there are so many other games I want to play. Fire Emblem or maybe Advance Wars was my first entry into this genre. Even then, the games were too easy. My favorite way of playing Fire Emblem games was to sacrifice one character per map OR to choose a team of the maximum number of characters you could deploy in a single mission (usually 12 or 13) and kill off everybody else. Again, I think I liked both the idea of giving myself a challenge and having to rely on a smaller team of elite soldiers. Maps became like a game of chess, where I had to outsmart the AI because I couldn't overpower it, as I'd usually stick to characters I liked instead of ones that were powerful. It also got me attached to the characters I did use, which is why I don't think I would've enjoyed the game as much if I, say, only used the weakest possible characters on each map, even if that would be a far greater challenge. That attachment to those 0's and 1's is something no story-based game has ever made me feel. That's why I find myself moving further and further away from AAA games, which are becoming increasingly narrative-driven. They don't tell unique stories. Strategy games do. So, when I say XCOM was a game that felt like it was made for me, you can see why. It made me care, in a way that other games just don't. I struggle to find other games that do that. I'm playing Ys: Memories of Celceta right now (literally -- I'm spamming X to get through the dialogue on NG+) and I couldn't care less about the story. All these characters could die in a flood right now and I'd sleep like a baby tonight. But if my sniper I've had since the very first mission gets ambushed and taken down by a Muton, I'm crying into my pillow until the sun comes up. Because that's MY sniper. When a AAA game can make me feel something again, maybe I'll go back. XCOM and Valkyria Chronicles will forever be my staples of this genre. I don't even like sci-fi and I think XCOM 2 is the best game ever made. Valkyria Chronicles is more of a guilty pleasure. I don't know how good the story actually is, but I love the watercolor graphics, the mixture of real time and turn-based gameplay, and the relationship between Welkin and Alicia (and to a lesser degree Claude and Riley). I love how dorky they both are. I love that Welkin has no place on the battlefield and that Alicia is an overpowered god. I love all the little personalities that come out of the tertiary characters. I love that my Cherry might have carried my team through the entire game while yours got taken down in the third mission. It makes our experiences unique and every playthrough feel different, even if the gameplay is essentially the same. AAA games just don't do that. They tell one story, and they usually tell it well, but I think there's a way to compromise. Other great examples... The Banner Saga, obviously. Anything I said about VC applies here. I like the characters a lot, but I especially like the Norse influence. One of the reasons I cheer for the Minnesota Vikings is because I love Scandinavian culture. Both South Park games were amazing. I played them a bit too far apart to compare them, but I seem to recall The Stick of Truth being more of an RPG, while TFBW was more of a turn-based strategy game. If you want to consider deckbuilders to be TBS, then Slay the Spire is clearly at the top of the list. Frost was OK. God Wars was OK. It had a play-the-game-for-me mode, similar to Langrisser and Fell Seal, which I appreciated. Ikenfell did too, but it just won the battle for you. Kinda defeats the purpose of even trying. That's not what strategy games are about. Phantom Doctrine was...a game... I'm struggling to think of bad examples. Maybe Plague Road? That game was disgusting, just from a visual standpoint. Everything was caked in a greenish-yellow hue. I have issues with Mutant: Road to Eden. Langrisser really wasn't very good. I don't know about Grand Kingdom. It's been so long since I played that, and I'm not sure it even qualifies as a TBS. Children of Zodiacs was pretty good, from what I remember. I liked Fell Seal maybe a little more. Banner of the Maid was...yeah, guys, I'm still putting that with the better games on the list. I mean, I'm not going to crown it the best TBS game ever made, but the more I think about it, the more I feel it deserves to be up there with The Banner Saga trilogy. The story isn't as fleshed out (the boobs certainly are), but the gameplay is on par. Disgaea 5 is worth playing. I don't really get the humor in that series, but it's Japan, so... And then there's Darkest Dungeon. I mean, whether or not you want to consider that a TBS, it's probably in my top 10 favorite games of all time and certainly one of the platinums I'm the most proud of. Invisible, Inc. is pretty great too. Getting it for free on PS+ killed that rarity, but I don't think it was that hard of a game. It has systems you can exploit. And that's what makes this genre so rewarding. It's about finding what works and then absolutely fucking over the AI with it. Marvel's Spider-Man got nothin' on that. #2 - Farming Does this seem out of place? I spent the better part of my childhood thinking that I was the only person who played farming sims. It wasn't until I discovered the internet like Al Gore that I realized other people shared the same interest, and yet it always seemed bizarre to me because these games should not be fun. Why would you want a game that simulates a job? My friends were out there shooting each other in Halo and I was watering virtual potatoes. My brother even asked me one day why I was playing Harvest Moon and I didn't have an answer. I still don't know that I do. But I can say that one of the main reasons I play video games is to relax, and this is probably the most relaxing genre that I can imagine. Puzzles and point-and-clicks require thinking. Visual novels require reading. Even basic Atari games require some amount of skill. But farming games just ask you to show up. I guess it's sorta like when you get sick of trophy hunting and play a Nintendo game, where you suddenly have the freedom to play as little or as much as you want, without the worry of using a guide or carefully checking items off a list so you don't miss anything important. Ironically, though, a lot of the farming games I've played DO have missable stuff, and some of them are a lot more stressful than they should be. Days never feel long enough and the amount of work you need to get done is always just a little bit out of reach. I think I prefer farming games that are a little more lax on their expectations. One of the best examples I've played recently is Graveyard Keeper, which not only switches up the usual cutesy aesthetic of a farming sim by having gothic elements, but essentially gives the player unlimited time and no real penalty for staying up all night. Some of the Harvest Moon games stopped time when indoors, which helps too. I hate feeling rushed when I play something. There are a lot of great farming games. I won't pretend they're for everyone, though. As far as the PS4 goes, My Time at Portia and Graveyard Keeper are probably the best I've played. Terraria and Sakuna too, although those are a little more focused on combat and platforming. The older HM games are OK. Slime Rancher was fun. I'm looking forward to the sequel. Both of the Dragon Quest Builders games were fun and way better than the DQ Heroes series. Yonder was...not the worst thing ever. That belongs to Doraemon. I don't think I've been more disappointed in a game, unless we're including all the crap Natsume is spitting out these days under the "Harvest Moon" name. Farming Simulator probably isn't worth playing. Most games with "Simulator" in the title aren't. I think charm is an important aspect to any farming game and making the graphics and gameplay too real goes against that. #1 - Survival I debated for a long time whether to combine survival with farming or to consider them as separate categories, since they often go hand-in-hand. I treat them in the OP by combining farming with other simulation games and lumping survival with survival horror, but I think the big distinction between them is the stress factor. I don't usually feel stressed out when I play farming games. To that end, I think I might enjoy farming more than any category on this list. The reason I'm putting survival at the top of my list is because I think I like this concept more than anything else, and if I were to describe my perfect game, it'd be a lot more about survival than farming. If there's one thing all of these genres have in common, it's that you're put into a situation, explained the rules (or not), and have to make do with what you have to accomplish all the tasks in the game, whether that means reaching the end or just finding a way to survive. I like being on my own. I like getting immersed in a world that can be both dangerous and beautiful. I hate that 90% of survival games seem to focus on either the multiplayer or horror aspect, but it's great that this genre seems to be getting more attention in recent years. What makes this genre a little weird is that even though I'm putting it at #1, I can't think of very many games in this genre that I've played in recent years that I've truly enjoyed. Certainly not as many as the other categories on this list. Obviously, Don't Starve is the first to come to mind (hence why I used it for the picture), but I don't know that I want to play either version on console after all the time I put into it on PC. Subnautica is great and I'll certainly play the sequel at some point, but having the ability to use console commands in a survival game is...a little too tempting, to say the least. The Long Dark was fun. I could see people hating that. This War of Mine...I dunno, is it considered survival? I guess even TLOU would count, if you're willing to accept that a heavily story-driven narrative can also be a survival game... To me, I guess it's more of a conceptual thing. I like the idea of a survival game more any execution I've seen so far. One of the best examples is that mod that adds hypothermia, camping, and cold weather survival to Skyrim. Skyrim is already an immersive game, but having to bunker down by a campfire or in a tavern while a blizzard rages on is a wet dream of mine. I love Breath of the Wild for the same reason, even though I haven't played it very much. I just wish more RPGs would incorporate these elements. That genre is ripe for more survival-type games and they just don't do it. Probably because most people who play RPGs don't actually want to, you know, role-play. That's why Kingdom Come: Deliverance was such a breath of fresh air, even if it will never get the attention or recognition of something like Skyrim. While it's not a straight-up survival game, it has enough elements that I'm looking for in that type of game to consider it one. That's also why I had such a hard time making this list, because there's so much overlap between these kind of games. So, what would I consider my perfect game? Well, I've talked about it before. It'd be a game that would incorporate all five of these categories into one amazing experience. I'm thinking of something like a Pokemon Snap game that takes place on a relatively deserted island. You would play as a photographer or journalist and be given a lab on the island that would serve as your home base. It would have a day/night and seasonal cycle, and there would be survival elements. There would be some light combat, maybe in the same vein as something like My Time at Portia, but the bulk of the game would be about exploring the island, gathering resources, and trying to expand your lab. There would probably be some evil corporation that wants to take over the island and turn it into a tacky tourist attraction. There would be monster type creatures on the island that you could potentially capture, but instead of battling with them, they'd help you with stuff back at your lab, such as growing crops or protecting your land from nasty little critters that come out at night. I like to think it'd be a mostly casual experience, but there'd definitely be an overall goal and end game. It also wouldn't be piss easy. Going high into the mountains or far out at sea would be dangerous if you aren't fully prepared. Permadeath probably wouldn't exist, but dying would put you back at the lab, and fast travel would be replaced with convenient shortcuts, like in the Souls games. I'm not sure about romance options. I think you should at least be able to hit on your intern. Most of the island needs to be uninhabited, though. You might get a weekly visit from a merchant and maybe your parents would write to you and beg you to come home. Graphics should be cel shaded with a lot of bright colors. The island would incorporate all the usual biomes in an RPG, but with an overall focus on rainforests and shallow coastal zones for a tropical feel. Big ass volcano in the middle of the island that looks ready to erupt at any moment. Snow-capped mountains to the north. I'm depressing myself by describing something that will never happen. Is it weird that the higher up on my list you go, the less games I was able to name from that genre that I enjoyed?
  10. I'll have to figure out what constitutes a TBS. Like, obviously Wargroove, Langrisser, and The Banner Saga (it's even abbreviated TBS), but what about Valkyria Chronicles or Mutant: Road to Eden? They're both like XCOM, but VC plays a lot more like a TBS than Mutant, which plays more like Phantom Doctrine, which is a TBS. That's why I kinda grouped all these together in the OP. But then you have card games like Slay the Spire and Frost, which are both turn-based and strategy, so how can I say they're not TBS? Ikenfell is borderline between a TBS and an RPG. I felt comfortable putting that there, but not Nexomon, Bug Fables, or Cosmic Star Heroine. So, to me, I guess I'd be using all the games I put under "Strategy and Tactical RPG" for my tier list, which would be...difficult. I liked them all. I'm not sure I could even separate out the XCOM, Banner Saga, or South Park games. I was thinking of putting together a tier list of my favorite video game genres, though. (Mostly inspired by your top 5 lists.) Maybe I'll post that later today. I just need to decide what #5 is going to be. Hm. Well, I guess indirectly I have been trying to get my average rarity down (it's usually close to 41%, but I'm aiming for sub-40%). Cozy Grove won't be happening any time soon, though. They have a trophy for playing once in every real world season, so the earliest I could platinum it is probably March or whatever constitutes "spring" in the game. I'm not sure how I avoided an UR plat for an entire year. KCD was amazing, though. If I had an awards ceremony last year, and if it wasn't for P5R, that game would've swept a few categories. I think a lot of the games I'm playing are only UR because of their obscurity. I think Shadow Tactics is probably going to be a harder game than all of the ones you mentioned, but that's not an UR for some reason.
  11. Beating the game isn't too hard. The problem is getting an S rank on every mission. To get an S rank, you have to play on the hardest difficulty and beat the map in a very low amount of turns. You can try to follow walkthroughs online, but they recently patched the game and the AI is sometimes unpredictable. You're basically on your own after a few turns. It's also very tedious to play through arcade mode with every character.
  12. At this point, you probably think I'm just making these games up... 0 - Kingdom: Two Crowns (8540) 1 - Crossing Souls (7171) 2 - Wargroove (9412) 3 - Lair of the Clockwork God (11603) 4 - 5 - Phantom Doctrine (8025) 6 - Banner of the Maid (11256) 7 - 8 - Monster Sanctuary (11858) 9 - Toren (3569) Good game. Terrible platinum. Hard to recommend. Check your mental health first.
  13. 99% club, unite! ✊
  14. Oh, sure. Next you're going to tell me Mara isn't the main character in Summer in Mara. Sure, it's a good one. Probably has the best brick joke I've seen in a video game, outside of the cow in Earthworm Jim. Platinum #263 - Wargroove *** SALT ALERT *** I have a love/hate relationship with this game. Here's the thing: if I was only judging a game by how much I enjoyed the parts of the game I wanted to play, this would be an easy recommendation. I had fun. There's a lot to like here and enough to keep you entertained that you're certainly going to get your money's worth. Unfortunately, guys, it's another one of those games that's utterly ruined by its trophies. There's a reason I've been referring to this game as "Warsnooze" for the past month. (Not to its face, but still...) You're going to have to take the following with a grain of salt because it's not like the devs tied me down to a chair and forced me to go for the platinum. I do this shit to myself. So, let's get started. First, what is it? Wargroove is Advance Wars if Advance Wars was set in a fantasy land. What is Advance Wars? Well, it's an old turn-based strategy series on the Game Boy (that they're actually rebooting this year -- kinda cool). It plays similar to Fire Emblem, except instead of having a team full of unique characters and personalities, you have a single commander (who barely has a personality) and a team of nameless grunts. Generally, the objective of every map is to defeat the opposing commander or destroy his stronghold, while keeping your own commander alive and your stronghold intact. In Advance Wars, each commander has a unique ability, such as refueling or healing all units, and some of them specialize in particular unit types, such as naval and air. In Wargroove, commanders have...grooves. I don't know why they call them that. Basically, they're powerful attacks or abilities. Mercia can heal all units within a few spaces, Caesar can make all friendly units adjacent to him act again, Emeric can summon a defense crystal, and so on. They're actually pretty important to winning some of the maps. There are also four kingdoms in the game and each kingdom has their own unit types, although they're more or less the same from what I could tell. I think they just have different names and character models. As far as the game goes, there are actually four modes that you'll need to complete for the platinum: the main story campaign, arcade mode, the DLC campaign (not required for the platinum, but it might as well be), and puzzle mode. They all play basically the same, but it's probably best to address them one at a time because there are a few things I want to say about each... Main Story Campaign. The main story is painfully generic. You're a princess, there's an evil kingdom nearby, and you can probably already tell me the rest of the plot just from that. It's not worth discussing and the dialogue is almost worth skipping. It's like they gave every character a single personality trait and made every line of their dialogue revolve around that. Annoying little kid has to remind everybody that he's an annoying little kid. Evil vampire lady has to remind everybody that she's an evil vampire lady. They even do the "wise old man" trope three times. cringeworthy as it can be, there's a reason I said it's almost worth skipping. There were times when I laughed out loud. The game doesn't take itself too seriously and some of the interactions are pretty great. I particularly like Ragna, Nuru, and the nameless outlaws (although it is pretty telling when the best lines in your game are from NPCs). So, while I'm not going to give the overall story a pass, you might enjoy the light banter. Advance Wars had that too. The real problem with the story campaign is S-ranking every mission. To get an S rank, you have to beat every mission on the hardest difficulty AND do it in under a certain number of turns. Why do strategy games do this? It was stupid in XCOM 2, it was stupider in Valkyria Chronicles, and it's stupidest of all here because you can't save scum. (I mean, you can. You can suspend your game, back it up to a USB drive, and then resume, but that takes almost more time than restarting the mission.) I misclicked a lot in this game too, which didn't help. Some of these missions have some very tight time constraints, and some of them can take up to twenty turns. Heck, the final mission has a FORTY turn S-rank. How'd you like to redo that on turn #39? I did. Four times. It honestly almost ruined the game for me. I wish beating the mission on the hardest difficulty was all that was required, because that's still not an easy task. By imposing a strict turn limit, you're pretty much forced to be aggressive at all times. That means moving your commander the maximum number of spaces towards the goal each turn and praying for good RNG. (Your units can't miss and always do a fixed amount of damage, which is nice for getting consistent results, but the AI can be erratic and hard to predict. It clearly favors killing your commander over your weaker units, but it also seems to target the units it can do the most damage to.) Arcade Mode. This is the grind. You have to beat arcade mode with every character. There are 18 characters. Most have to be unlocked by playing through the main campaign. Each "run" is five battles long. Assuming you don't lose any, that means NINETY battles, which is made even worse (or better?) by the fact that there are only a small selection of maps. Once you have a strategy that works for one map, you might as well use that same strategy every time, as your starting position and units will always be the same. The only difference is going to be your commander's groove, but that has minimal impact in non-story missions (unless it's Sigrid, who cheats). As far as difficulty goes, you can play on Easy, Normal, or Hard, which will reward you with one, two, or three stars, respectively. And you can bet you'll need to max out your stars for a trophy, so forget about the lower difficulties. UNLESS... Co-Op (DLC). Ten more missions for you to undertake! I have no clue how you'd actually do this with two people, but the free DLC is great because it adds 45 stars that count towards the base game, which means you can be lazy in several areas and still get the 200 stars needed for a trophy. I'd call this necessary if you want to enjoy the game. I got three stars in most of the DLC missions, so I was able to play through arcade mode on Normal and even Easy once or twice. You still have to do Hard once for a trophy, but you can just do it with Sigrid. Also, the DLC is the better than the main game. Wulfar's groove to punt an enemy halfway across the map (either into the water or into a group of his friends for AoE damage) is hilarious. I think he should be the star of the main game and Mercia can go sit in a corner. Puzzle Mode. This is sorta like those chess puzzles where you have to checkmate your opponent in a single turn, except it's harder here because your "turn" consists of moving all of your units. I actually really liked this. I spent up to an hour on some of these (*cough* before I gave up and started using a walkthrough). They can be tricky because you have to take into account critical hits (certain units do more damage depending on where they're standing), in addition to grooves. Sedge, for example, has a groove that lets him move/attack again if he gets a kill, and you can use it multiple times on the same turn, so one of the puzzles required getting several enemies to low HP without blocking Sedge's way so that he could reach the enemy commander. There's a lot of trial-and-error here and sometimes I found it easier to work backwards. I will recommend this game, but not to fellow completionists. There just aren't enough turn-based strategy games out there to pass this one up. I think it was better than Langrisser I & II, but not nearly as good as Banner of the Maid. I'm still surprised how decent that game was. Maybe if I get bored this year, I'll make a tier list for TBS games... Or just play another Fire Emblem clone.
  15. Haven't posted one of these in a while, so... Not A Platinum #RightfullySo - Toren This is probably the most pointless review I'll ever make because it will likely take you longer to read this sentence than finish the game. OK, it's not that bad, but we're talking a 2-3 hour game at my speed. Maybe add a few minutes if you decide not to use a walkthrough for the missable trophies, but why would you when there is very little replay value here... So, what is Toren? Toren is a young girl who...what do you mean "Toren" is the name of the tower? That's stupid. That'd be like if Celeste was the name of the mountain. Anyway, Toren is a young girl who is trapped in a tower for seemingly her whole life. You begin her adventure as a baby and then I think you transition between her childhood and adulthood Ocarina of Time-style to confront an evil dragon that has imprisoned you here. Throughout the game, you will solve "puzzles" and engage in "combat" and...yeah, it's kinda bad, guys. You know those bird/snake/dolphin puzzles in Skyrim? That's about as advanced as you're going to get here. The combat isn't any better. Outside of the dragon (who you only fight indirectly), the only enemies you face are little black goobers that die in one hit. And somehow, the devs fucked up even that. The controls are bad. Like, really bad. Fortunately, you might not even notice because you'll be too busy trying to get the camera to cooperate. I'll admit. I only bought this game because Toren looks like a badass. I just think the developers weren't sure what kind of game they wanted to make. It feels like a walking/climbing simulator with a rather weak narrative and a combat system that was shoehorned in at the last minute. At least the graphics are nice, so it's not like you'd be throwing $2.49 down the toilet if you got this on sale. You'd just be leaving it in the toilet to stew for a while. But since my formula for determining a game's worth is one hour of content = $1...well, I guess they nailed that price tag. I'm sorry, Toren. You belong in a better game. Anyway, if you've been stalking my profile lately, you'll see my hope of ever getting down to three or less active games is absolutely fucked.