Arcesius

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About Arcesius

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  • Birthday 02/05/88

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  1. Hey, absolutely nothing to worry about there! Just happy to hear that other people like how I presented my first post With as many games as you have, it's going to take a while though! Unless you are only planing on listing the games you've reviewed... 🤔
  2. I agree with @rjkclarke, very good start! I enjoyed the format of the review, and the small details such as the quote below the game image And I thought that you touched upon the most important aspects of the game and what it does well (and what it doesn't). The isometric perspective in certain areas is also what bothered me the most, especially for certain ducks, the chain area and the one area where you have to traverse a pit of spikes and firetraps while in an air bubble 😅 That is actually the only place I died during my Old Skool Daze run, and I just couldn't get through consistently... But other than the control issues, and despite me not having played these types of games either, I thought that the game had a lot of charme It's also short enough that it doesn't get boring. Again, good job on the review! And thanks for the shout-out when it comes to the aesthetics of the first post 😊
  3. I won't post my ranking because I don't want people to get mad at me 😶😜 Just to say... It would look WAY different, except the game on the very left 😂 Remnant can be played entirely solo, but it's not a souls-like.. I still don't know why the hell people keep calling it one 😂 You missed Immortal: Unchained, but last I heard it had been delisted? Not sure... And Ashen Those are the two I can think off from the top of my head.
  4. Oh man, both games should have more owners! Splasher was also a lot of fun, even though the platforming in that game is relatively easy. The difficulty comes from the tight AF times, the long speedruns (73 minutes speedrun without allowing for too many mistakes? Ffs...) and the 45 minute deathless run. In The End is Nigh, while there are two challenges that are difficult (Tower of Ascension and all rings in the Super Mega Cart), the game itself is just more challenging than your regular platformer even for a casual playthrough. It's just genious, I hope you'll enjoy it! It absolutely does, and that despite of the absence of typical hazards from the original game.. And it has so many different mechanics, it's crazy! I'm actually surprised by the variety in gameplay... You know, you'd think that an auto-runner simply consists of jumping and sliding, but here you have all that crazy stuff happening, it keeps the game really fresh and fun, but as you say, it still feels like a SMB game I have one deathless run left in the Light Worlds (excluding OxDEADBEEF) before I move to the Dark Worlds... Looking forward to the crazyness! For sure, the sense of community is... not there. Then again, the game counts ~450 owners on PSNP, so even with fixed levels I feel like this game would not generate as much attention here as the original did (and still does). Then again, I played the first game before even joining PSNP, so I was on my own then, too (even though I later shared my own tipps for Impossible Boy after joining this site). And yeah... finding a specific level chunk in another player's video ain't an easy task! 😂 But thanks for the vids, it will at least be interesting to see the differences between our stages Haha your opinion is still welcome! I knew that the game is usually considered mediocre at best, but "the worst in this list of 52 games" is a statement alright 😳 But yes, even though I only have Darksiders III on my account, I played (and loved) the first two Darksiders games on the X360... So you could say that part of why I want to play this game is for the sake of the IP... and hopefully playing through it in coop will make for a fun time Oh well, we both bought this game for cheap, and we have a couple of other coop games in the pipeline that will certainly be better... But thanks for the heads up!
  5. Nice review, man! You sure blasted through this one! The good news is that The Surge 2 keeps pretty much everything that you liked about the first game, but adds more stuff that makes combat even more fun (directional blocking -> parry... ooooh yuuuurrrr), and the DLC in that game is as ridiculous as A Walk in the Park... A colorful, artificial city on a giant ship, with AI controlling everything. It's really good! The game also has way more bosses than 4 😂 And they don't all look the same, imagine that! The bad news is that the level design is still subpar. There are zip-lines that allow you to traverse certain areas faster on your second visit, and the areas are varied in that they are not all sewers, but the levels are pretty linear and so exploration still isn't super fun. Now, I agree with you on the positives about The Surge... Implants are great (The Surge and Nier: Automata both came out in Q1 of 2017 so can't really say that they copied the system..? With the Exoskeleton, implants are somewhat of an obvious idea), and the weapon variety is also large enough that everyone will find something suitable. I would argue that the game is made super easy not only because of the weapons themselves, but because of the combination of weapon and attack options. With your weapon, the running attack seemed to be busted. I used the Spitfire Rod V2.0 from the second boss and... the dodge-attack just killed everything in one hit (high damage + inflict burning). So yeah, I'm sure every single weapon has some sort of busted combo that will demolish everything 😆
  6. Yeah, absolutely! I am having a lot of fun with the game so fur. I'm a sucker for time-attacks, and since the levels are longer than in SMB, going for S-ranks really is a lot of fun. Trying to find shortcuts or time-saves... The design choices really make this game feel like it's its own game, not simply a copy or sequel to SMB. I enjoy that. I think without Edmunds influence, a regular platformer would probably have been a bit of a disappointment. I mean... I won't ever get tired of stating how much I love The End is Nigh. From the gameplay, to the topics and atmosphere, to the challenge it offers... To it just going on and on and on... It's just a fantastic game that Edmund himself says (in the vid) is one of his best games. I agree! The platinum is easier than that of SMB, but it's one of his harder games to play casually. Still, very happy to hear that you might get to it eventually! The game needs more players!
  7. Ha, glad to hear that you enjoyed LitDS! I had a similar experience, where I didnt know much about this game and randomly bought it while looking for something to play in couch-coop. It's one of the games I played with Ms. Arc, and in coop the game was a very fun experience For the both of us, too! As you say, the game is very easy, and it was even Ms. Arc who insisted on playing the game on some higher difficulty because "where is the fun in breezing through it" 😂 And that from a non-gamer.
  8. I couldn't read the game review after reading through the first paragraphs. I... really am sorry to hear what you and your siblings had to experience. I can't even begin to imagine how it must have been for you 20 years ago, but I can definitely feel how it must be for you today, having kids of your own now. I don't want to talk too much about my own experience, but I haven't spoken with my dad in over 20 years now. He never cared for me, and let's just say the last time I saw him was in court. I never cared for this either, I have a wonderful mum with whom I moved to Switzerland, and never thought about the lack of care from my father. Having a son now... yeah, I understand where your thoughts are coming from. Experiencing now what your father experienced many years ago with you and your siblings raises many questions which, unfortunately, will remain unanswered. What you can do is to keep loving your kids as much as you do, and be the best dad to them you can be All the best for you and your family! I hope your spirit brightens quickly again
  9. Damn, I even checked the spoiler tag after publishing the post, but it stopped working. Well, it's my thread anyways so I can video-spam all I want Removed the spoiler-tag, there you go! And man, happy to hear that you might play this one! 😀 You can save-scum the speedrun, there are plenty of other, more fun challenges to do
  10. Update Ok, I just couldn't resist... I was thinking about which game to play next and had several options, but in the end I decided to have plat #99 be a coop-game (either Code Vein with @Baker, if the game can be played in coop, Darksiders Genesis with @Mori, or It Takes Two with Ms. Arc), and instead started the game I have been afraid to start for a while... And the one game I'm determined to make my #100 milestone: - That's right. A couple of days ago, soon after finishing Sine Mora EX, I fired up the sequel to Super Meat Boy. A game I had been waiting for a looong time, one that got delayed multiple times.. and one that - judging by gameplay footage - doesn't necessarily look as fun as the first game. Now that I have indeed played the game myself, I think it's time for a short introduction to the game that will probably keep me entertained for a long while to come, and for some initial thoughts and impressions. Alright so first things first... A bit of background. At the time where Super Meat Boy was released, Edmund McMillen was still part of the development team known as Team Meat. In case I haven't mentioned this enough (😅), Edmund is the genius responsible for other fantastic games such as The Binding of Isaac, the best platformer on PS4 The End is Nigh and a shit ton of creepy Flash Games such as "Dead Baby Dressup" (where the "Blue Baby" first showed up, later known from TBoI) or "Fingered" 😂 This guy is amazing, and if you are interested in his history as a game developer, there is a fantastic Noclip documentary that I highly recommend watching: "Meat Boy is about challenging yourself because the outcome is worth it... and The End is Nigh is about challenging yourself and questioning if the outcome is worth it." Why am I mentioning all of this? Well.. because after teasing the sequel to Super Meat Boy, and after a while with no updates and no information on the game, Edmund left Team Meat. He had absolutely nothing to do with Super Meat Boy Forever, and so I was really unsure about the game. Would it live up to the expectations of SMB fans? Now, all of my doubts were further intensified by the information that followed... Super Meat Boy Forever would be a mobile game! An auto-runner with simple controls. Later down the line, the game was re-branded as a console and PC game, but it would still be an auto runner. Eeeehm... Sorry what? 😕 Initial and final gameplay footage didn't sit well with me either... The game looks gorgeous, sure, but it doesn't seem to flow very well. Hitting enemies results in small pauses that break the smooth movement. Paths don't seem to be all too clear, and even look non-intuitive and confusing. The game uses seeds.. That is, there are 7'200 hand-designed "chunks", and each level is a sequence of chunks which is determined by the seed of the save file.... This all sounded way too weird. But hey, prove me wrong, game! And so far, it definitely did 😳 I would even dare to say that Team Meat (or well, what's left of it) really managed to put together a super fun game that, due to the vastly different nature of the core gameplay, can stand on its own feet as a great game without having to live up to any kind of expectations. Comparing the levels generated on my seed with what other players got has been very fun, too! I re-watched the first two deathless runs by @Joe Dubz after getting them myself, and the levels are vastly different! What I enjoy about this is that I cannot watch other people's videos and learn how to beat sections, but instead have to find my own ways through the stages (and find my own skips / shortcuts!). I love it, since it feels like every runner / player is just on their own and at the mercy of the generated seed 😅 What the game does have in common with the original Super Meat Boy is the challenge it offers. And if you are not just thinking about beating the game but indeed grabbing that platinum... It even ups the challenge further than the original ever did. 😅 But let's not get ahead of ourselves. There is still a long way to go before I grab that shiny trophy named "Ultimate God". Now, I don't want to make this post too long, it's probably not interesting to many people anyways 😂 so let me just wrap-up with what I've done so far. I have played SMBF for roughly 7 hours now. In that time, I beat all Light Worlds (including the 5 bosses) and all Warp-Zones that were available to me, and collected all possible Pacifiers. Since the levels are random... where you find those things is random as well. In my seed, I only found 2/5 Warp Zones in the Light Worlds, the remaining 3 will be in the Dark Worlds. To unlock the Dark World Levels, you have to S-rank the Light World variants. That is achieved by fulfilling two requirements: Beat the Level without dying. Beat the Level in under a given time. So, after beating all Light Worlds, I went back to the first one and proceeded to S-rank all levels. I then did my deathless run of the entire world. I repeated that process with World 2, and currently got all S-ranks in World 3 as well, but haven't yet had the time to do a deathless run (hopefully tonight). I have footage of my first two deathless runs on my YT channel, but they are not too intersting since the levels are not too difficult yet 😅 If you want to see some crazy stuff, I'd recommend watching @Joe Dubz's videos instead 😅 (Btw... huge congrats on getting your last deathless run earlier today! Your #200 milestone is approaching! I watched the Death Heat Girl run already and holy shit.. if that's what waiting for me then I'm in for one hell of a time 😂) My plan is to finish the deathless runs and S-ranks in all Light Worlds and then start clearing the Dark Worlds. There is where the difficulty goes up tremendously. Since it's going to be a while before I finish my next game, I will come back and write about the gameplay in SMBF in another post. I will also write the second episode of my Mini-Series, featuring the "Most Difficult Games I've Completed"!
  11. Man, we seem to disagree more often than not 😂 I really wished I could agree with you on that statement, but I found Child of Light incredibly boring. However, I don't know if you played the game solo, but I saw beforehand that it had some coop-component, and so I played it in local coop with Ms. Arc... It was disappointing. The second player controls that stupid floating "tear" that can interact with enemies and certain objects. It was... pretty boring for the person controlling that thing. Eventually we just started skipping every single battle that we could avoid, and I couldn't wait for the game to finish. I feel like it had a lot of potential.. Artistically it is really beautiful, but the gameplay was... lacking? Meh. Maybe it was just the coop-experience, I dunno 😅
  12. I don't own either of those consoles, so only Sine Mora EX for me But yeah, I'm aware that those versions are harder. Not only does Arcade Primary Only have to be done on Hard, there are more challenges to complete and some of them seem to be a giant pain in the ass 😂 But yeah, since I needed to do Score Attack on Hard, I can kinda gauge how difficult a Primary Only run on Arcade must be... definitely no joke! But the game is fun enough that I think I would enjoy the challenge So, the fastest you can do this game is 24 hours, since one of the promotions has the requirement that you need to play the game for at least that long. The 100% estimate from the guide was 25-50 hours, and I finished at pretty much 30 hours exactly. For being my first Shmup, I'm really glad to be on the lower side of the estimate! For sure... I guess one could think "it's only 6 levels.. should be doable", but then each level is so much longer than in SMB... so even if you can quit to map, you need to redo a much longer chunk each time you retry, which in turns gives you more options to screw up before even getting to the part you resetted for. That being said, your updates and positive impression when it comes to this game definitely has me more excited to finally get to it than a couple of weeks ago. I was indeed one of those people that were sceptical of the auto-runner nature of the game, but I will just approach this game as its own game, instead of expecting a sequel to SMB I hope to enjoy it as much as you! And definitely looking forward to the guide... The most important thing I've taken from your updates in regards to progression is that I should be doing the no-death runs before even starting NG+ to avoid harder chunks... But otherwise I just thought of playing through the game casually, and then start going for the light-world no-death runs (which should automatically unlock the dark-world variants, I guess?) and then go for those. Anything else to look out for while progressing through the game?
  13. I just read your GoW III review and loved it. Have to admit, around the time where I played that game first, I played Final Fantasy whenever I wanted a deep, engaging story and relatable characters, and I played DmC or GoW whenever I just wanted gory and brutal action. As such, I never really stoped to think about Kratos' motives and need for justification. Though I am sure that, would I play the game again today, I would definitely focus more on him as a character, not only on the action. That is also made clear to me because I indeed did care a lot about GoW 2018, and while many people have criticized the game for being story-driven and less "hack 'n slash", I actually welcomed the change, and that game allowed me, for the first time, to really engage with Kratos as a protagonist. Definitely looking forward to what you have to say about that game!
  14. Sine Mora EX The Pitch While superficially an action-packed shoot 'em up, Sine Mora EX is a game that manages to keep the action-junkie entertained, while at the same time delivering a packing narrative filled with plots and twists. The Best Let me start this section by elaborating on the pitch above. I expected this game to be action, and action only. It's a Shmup after all, a game that in principle only needs to offer great gameplay to keep players interested… Not that I would know whether other games in the genre have a flashed-out narrative, but I definitely wasn't expecting one. Sine Mora EX, however, caught me off-guard in this regard. Without going into the plot and avoiding spoiler territory, the game indeed tells a deep, interesting story. Most of the plot is revealed in text-only screens similar to what Final Fantasy XII does occasionally with the archive entries: When the story you are telling is good, you don't need more than this. And mind you, this is not a "lighthearted" story. It is filled with topics such as revenge, treason, slavery and genocide. It is also not one that is easy to follow initially, since you are following the strings of different factions that, while they visit similar places, are temporally separated by many, many years. However, you will have to play through Story mode at least twice, most players will play through it three times, with one of these playthroughs offering an alternative narrative. This helps in combining all threads to one cohesive story being told. What you definitely would expect from such a game, though, is good gameplay. And Sine Mora EX absolutely delivers in this aspect as well! For starters, both the level design and boss design are fantastic. As far as stages go, one moment you'll find yourself in some city outskirts, the next one underwater avoiding mines…you'll travel through caves, factories, canyons filled with dragonflies, … The stages really are varied, and are a joy to play through. As for the bosses… Well, just look for yourself: Though obviously there is more to the bosses than just their looks. They often have multiple phases, and have many different attacks at their disposal. With about 13 main bosses and several minibosses to fight, they really are the highlight of every stage. Now, what I REALLY enjoyed about the gameplay, is how the time-manipulating mechanic is taken further than just the story. In fact, time is the only thing that decides whether you live or die. The classic health-bar of your ship is replaced by a timer that ticks down. If it ever reaches 0, it's game over. Every hit further subtracts some time from said timer, and how much time is lost with each hit depends on the difficulty setting (on Hard and Insane, each hit is 10 seconds lost). But you can also gain time back… killing any enemy adds to the timer. Usually only about 1 second, but destroying boss-parts or killing stronger enemies reward the player with a larger time gain. It's a fantastic system. It feels similar to the rally mechanic in Bloodborne in that it allows the player to be super aggressive, since by killing many enemies you can compensate for the penalties of getting hit. That's not true for the highest difficulty settings though… Any mistake there can be deadly. Other than that, when not playing through Story Mode but Arcade or Score Attack, you can freely select one of three available planes, one of seven pilots and one of three capsules. While there is only one really viable choice of plane and capsule (reflection) for the harder difficulties, the seven pilots are pretty varied and fun to try out. The difference between them (other than their role in the plot being told) is the "subweapon" they can use, of which you have limited uses (that can be refilled picking up specific orbs that drop from enemies). The Worst There are no major issues that affected my enjoyment with the game. I have two minor complaints though… The less important one is the lack of cosmetic customization. There are only three ships, but my preferred choice of ship had only two different cosmetic options, and more would have been welcome. I know, it's a very important, almost game-breaking issue! On a more serious note… I would have to criticize the lack of custom practice options. You see, there are three game modes (Story, Arcade and Score Attack), and many of the challenges have to be completed in a specific game mode (A-rank all levels in Score Attack, complete Arcade with a primary weapon only, etc…). But not all game modes can be played in all difficulty settings. You can only play Arcade on Challenging and Hard. You can only play Score Attack on Hard and Insane. But say that you are having trouble with Arcade on Challenging (assume you are just starting out, ok?). The run takes roughly 45 minutes, and you keep dying in, say, one of the last two chapters… It would be great if you could practice those chapters in isolation, right? But you can't start an Arcade run in an arbitrary chapter, and you cannot really practice those chapters on Score Attack, since Challenging difficulty isn't available in that game mode. Or, for example, I would also have liked to be able to jump to any checkpoint within a specific stage in some sort of practice mode. While going for Stage I in Score Attack on Insane without pick-ups, I would have liked to be able to practice the second half of the stage, after the first boss. This wasn't possible, and getting there in the first place was the hardest part of the run. Being able to practice the second half in isolation would have made a huge difference in keeping calm and being confident throughout the entire run. There is a Boss Training mode… It would have been great to have a "stage section" training mode as well. The Challenge Sine Mora EX was listed in my mini-series post about "games I'm scared to start". Among other things, I thought that Shmups in general would be games that require strong reflexes, and I wasn't sure if I would enjoy the game and, additionally, have what it takes to complete such a game. However, my assumption turned out to be wrong. You see, while reflexes and fast reactions definitely do help in getting through the game (especially for the hardest challenge there is to complete, more on that one below), a big part of getting through levels safely is memorization. That's right. Remembering where specific enemy ships spawn is crucial in certain sections. As an example, I have created two GIFs showcasing what I mean… The exact same section, played differently (only the second one is my own gameplay) You definitely see what I mean, right? By knowing where the ships that shoot the spiraling bullets spawn, you can take them out before they have any chance of making your life miserable. Now, that's not to say that simply by memorizing enemy spawns you will have an easy time. The game is not easy, it just turned out to be more manageable than I expected. There are two challenges, however, that I'd like to mention: A-ranking all levels in Score ATtack. Yep, you need to play every stage in Score Attack, and Hard difficulty is the lowest difficulty you can select. Getting at least an A-rank mostly comes down to having a high kill-% (destroy ~95% of all enemies in the level, more or less), while avoiding getting hit. From my experience, you can get hit at most 7 times to still make an A-rank, though the specific computations in the background are a mistery to me. Stage IV was really difficult, since it was one of the few stages where I was actively fighting time. Especially the first half of the level, a canyon filled with dragonflies, caused a lot of resets due to running out of time. Stage VI was probably the hardest stage overall, mostly due to the type of enemies present in the level. Without proper memorization of the more problematic spawns it was truly difficult to avoid taking damage. The first boss of the level, Domus, was also the only boss that I needed to practice in Boss Practice, since getting through it quickly was not easy at all. Stage IV Stage VI Completing any Stage on the highest difficulty (Insane), without picking up anything. This was without a doubt the hardest challenge in the game, and the one thing that took me the longest to finally succeed at. You need to do this in Score Attack and cannot pick up any powerups. This means your primary weapon is as weak as it gets, you only have 2 uses of your subweapon for the entirety of the stage, you only have one full capsule, each hit subtracts 10 seconds from the timer and enemy explode into revenge bullets upon being destroyed. The challenge sounds like a nightmare, but it was really fun to go for. Like pretty much everyone else, I did this in Stage I. The first part of the stage, before reaching the boss, was really difficult to get through, and even after loads of practice I could never confidently start the run and know I would reach the boss. The second half of the stage will have you fight your way through a narrow cave filled with worms that explode when they die, and you can only afford to miss one of the worms or you'll run out of time before leaving the cave. The pathways are pretty narrow, and you have to make sure you don't touch the walls, all while avoiding the powerups that bounce around and dodging the weird hitbox of the goo from the exploding worms. If you watch the video below... make sure to keep an eye on the timer. You only start with 14 seconds and every enemy only adds 1 second, so you never gain a substantial amount of time and every single hit is deadly. Meaning that you have to be aggressive, all while dodging everything on screen, including power-ups All in all, I think Sine Mora EX offers a decent challenge. But more importantly, it's just a super fun game to play. If you want to try out a Shmup, I think this is a really solid choice
  15. Sine Mora EX The Pitch While superficially an action-packed shoot 'em up, Sine Mora EX is a game that manages to keep the action-junkie entertained, while at the same time delivering a packing narrative filled with plots and twists. The Best Let me start this section by elaborating on the pitch above. I expected this game to be action, and action only. It's a Shmup after all, a game that in principle only needs to offer great gameplay to keep players interested… Not that I would know whether other games in the genre have a flashed-out narrative, but I definitely wasn't expecting one. Sine Mora EX, however, caught me off-guard in this regard. Without going into the plot and avoiding spoiler territory, the game indeed tells a deep, interesting story. Most of the plot is revealed in text-only screens similar to what Final Fantasy XII does occasionally with the archive entries: When the story you are telling is good, you don't need more than this. And mind you, this is not a "lighthearted" story. It is filled with topics such as revenge, treason, slavery and genocide. It is also not one that is easy to follow initially, since you are following the strings of different factions that, while they visit similar places, are temporally separated by many, many years. However, you will have to play through Story mode at least twice, most players will play through it three times, with one of these playthroughs offering an alternative narrative. This helps in combining all threads to one cohesive story being told. What you definitely would expect from such a game, though, is good gameplay. And Sine Mora EX absolutely delivers in this aspect as well! For starters, both the level design and boss design are fantastic. As far as stages go, one moment you'll find yourself in some city outskirts, the next one underwater avoiding mines…you'll travel through caves, factories, canyons filled with dragonflies, … The stages really are varied, and are a joy to play through. As for the bosses… Well, just look for yourself: Though obviously there is more to the bosses than just their looks. They often have multiple phases, and have many different attacks at their disposal. With about 13 main bosses and several minibosses to fight, they really are the highlight of every stage. Now, what I REALLY enjoyed about the gameplay, is how the time-manipulating mechanic is taken further than just the story. In fact, time is the only thing that decides whether you live or die. The classic health-bar of your ship is replaced by a timer that ticks down. If it ever reaches 0, it's game over. Every hit further subtracts some time from said timer, and how much time is lost with each hit depends on the difficulty setting (on Hard and Insane, each hit is 10 seconds lost). But you can also gain time back… killing any enemy adds to the timer. Usually only about 1 second, but destroying boss-parts or killing stronger enemies reward the player with a larger time gain. It's a fantastic system. It feels similar to the rally mechanic in Bloodborne in that it allows the player to be super aggressive, since by killing many enemies you can compensate for the penalties of getting hit. That's not true for the highest difficulty settings though… Any mistake there can be deadly. Other than that, when not playing through Story Mode but Arcade or Score Attack, you can freely select one of three available planes, one of seven pilots and one of three capsules. While there is only one really viable choice of plane and capsule (reflection) for the harder difficulties, the seven pilots are pretty varied and fun to try out. The difference between them (other than their role in the plot being told) is the "subweapon" they can use, of which you have limited uses (that can be refilled picking up specific orbs that drop from enemies). The Worst There are no major issues that affected my enjoyment with the game. I have two minor complaints though… The less important one is the lack of cosmetic customization. There are only three ships, but my preferred choice of ship had only two different cosmetic options, and more would have been welcome. I know, it's a very important, almost game-breaking issue! On a more serious note… I would have to criticize the lack of custom practice options. You see, there are three game modes (Story, Arcade and Score Attack), and many of the challenges have to be completed in a specific game mode (A-rank all levels in Score Attack, complete Arcade with a primary weapon only, etc…). But not all game modes can be played in all difficulty settings. You can only play Arcade on Challenging and Hard. You can only play Score Attack on Hard and Insane. But say that you are having trouble with Arcade on Challenging (assume you are just starting out, ok?). The run takes roughly 45 minutes, and you keep dying in, say, one of the last two chapters… It would be great if you could practice those chapters in isolation, right? But you can't start an Arcade run in an arbitrary chapter, and you cannot really practice those chapters on Score Attack, since Challenging difficulty isn't available in that game mode. Or, for example, I would also have liked to be able to jump to any checkpoint within a specific stage in some sort of practice mode. While going for Stage I in Score Attack on Insane without pick-ups, I would have liked to be able to practice the second half of the stage, after the first boss. This wasn't possible, and getting there in the first place was the hardest part of the run. Being able to practice the second half in isolation would have made a huge difference in keeping calm and being confident throughout the entire run. There is a Boss Training mode… It would have been great to have a "stage section" training mode as well. The Challenge Sine Mora EX was listed in my mini-series post about "games I'm scared to start". Among other things, I thought that Shmups in general would be games that require strong reflexes, and I wasn't sure if I would enjoy the game and, additionally, have what it takes to complete such a game. However, my assumption turned out to be wrong. You see, while reflexes and fast reactions definitely do help in getting through the game (especially for the hardest challenge there is to complete, more on that one below), a big part of getting through levels safely is memorization. That's right. Remembering where specific enemy ships spawn is crucial in certain sections. As an example, I have created two GIFs showcasing what I mean… The exact same section, played differently (only the second one is my own gameplay) You definitely see what I mean, right? By knowing where the ships that shoot the spiraling bullets spawn, you can take them out before they have any chance of making your life miserable. Now, that's not to say that simply by memorizing enemy spawns you will have an easy time. The game is not easy, it just turned out to be more manageable than I expected. There are two challenges, however, that I'd like to mention: A-ranking all levels in Score ATtack. Yep, you need to play every stage in Score Attack, and Hard difficulty is the lowest difficulty you can select. Getting at least an A-rank mostly comes down to having a high kill-% (destroy ~95% of all enemies in the level, more or less), while avoiding getting hit. From my experience, you can get hit at most 7 times to still make an A-rank, though the specific computations in the background are a mistery to me. Stage IV was really difficult, since it was one of the few stages where I was actively fighting time. Especially the first half of the level, a canyon filled with dragonflies, caused a lot of resets due to running out of time. Stage VI was probably the hardest stage overall, mostly due to the type of enemies present in the level. Without proper memorization of the more problematic spawns it was truly difficult to avoid taking damage. The first boss of the level, Domus, was also the only boss that I needed to practice in Boss Practice, since getting through it quickly was not easy at all. Stage IV Stage VI Completing any Stage on the highest difficulty (Insane), without picking up anything. This was without a doubt the hardest challenge in the game, and the one thing that took me the longest to finally succeed at. You need to do this in Score Attack and cannot pick up any powerups. This means your primary weapon is as weak as it gets, you only have 2 uses of your subweapon for the entirety of the stage, you only have one full capsule, each hit subtracts 10 seconds from the timer and enemy explode into revenge bullets upon being destroyed. The challenge sounds like a nightmare, but it was really fun to go for. Like pretty much everyone else, I did this in Stage I. The first part of the stage, before reaching the boss, was really difficult to get through, and even after loads of practice I could never confidently start the run and know I would reach the boss. The second half of the stage will have you fight your way through a narrow cave filled with worms that explode when they die, and you can only afford to miss one of the worms or you'll run out of time before leaving the cave. The pathways are pretty narrow, and you have to make sure you don't touch the walls, all while avoiding the powerups that bounce around and dodging the weird hitbox of the goo from the exploding worms. If you watch the video below... make sure to keep an eye on the timer. You only start with 14 seconds and every enemy only adds 1 second, so you never gain a substantial amount of time and every single hit is deadly. Meaning that you have to be aggressive, all while dodging everything on screen, including power-ups All in all, I think Sine Mora EX offers a decent challenge. But more importantly, it's just a super fun game to play. If you want to try out a Shmup, I think this is a really solid choice _________________________________ Now, what's next for me? Well, @Baker and I are going to try and figure out how much of Code Vein we can do in coop, so what I play next heavily depends on that. If we can do pretty much everything together, I will definitely jump on that game next, which will then be the last game before my #100 milestone... If not... well, then we'll have to see what we do. Either we play solo and do the Depths-grinding together, or I play Returnal / Valfaris / CTR / It Takes Two (featuring Ms. Arc) instead. We shall see! As for the milestone-game itself... I was actually waiting for Solar Ash to come out October 26. You know that I adore Hyper Light Drifter, so making the second game by that studio a milestone seemed like a good idea (depending on the trophy list, of course). But the game has been delayed until December 2, so I think that option was just taken off the table. And so, I think I will just jump into SMBF 😬 That would be the second "game I'm scared to start" in a pretty short time... But hey, why wait!