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NerfedFalcon

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To be clear, I was talking about Amygdala from the Cursed Pthumerian Defilement chalice dungeon.
Fair enough.
I actually really liked the chalice dungeons. I think it would be cool if Fromsoft made an entire game around the concept.
The bespoke worlds and setups are a huge part of the series, and replacing that with randomly generated dungeons full of randomly placed enemies just never felt quite right to me. But, I guess an entire game built fully around the concept rather than having them tacked onto a game that was already brilliant could be possible. Never liked the Wild Area in Pokemon Sw/Sh either but Legends made the 'fully open world Pokemon' concept work.
 
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FRC, you mean the bonus rites Fetid, Rotting, and Cursed? I never did any of the chalice dungeons with those on. I do remember fighting Amygdala for several hours though.
Yup, it was my personally generated one. Definitely memorable and I considered these dungeons to be a good idea for rare loot farming.
 

Drathnoxis

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Yup, it was my personally generated one. Definitely memorable and I considered these dungeons to be a good idea for rare loot farming.
See this is part of the reason that I think the chalice dungeons need their own game built around them. You say it's good for rare loot farming, but, like what loot do you actually need? Once you've got your weapon to level 10 and have a good stack of blood and quicksilver you're pretty much set for anything the game throws at you and it doesn't matter how many more slabs of titanite you get it's not helping you. The chalice dungeons were crying out for a loot system that Bloodborne just didn't have.
 
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See this is part of the reason that I think the chalice dungeons need their own game built around them. You say it's good for rare loot farming, but, like what loot do you actually need? Once you've got your weapon to level 10 and have a good stack of blood and quicksilver you're pretty much set for anything the game throws at you and it doesn't matter how many more slabs of titanite you get it's not helping you. The chalice dungeons were crying out for a loot system that Bloodborne just didn't have.
I like trying out different weapons sometimes without having to run through the whole main game again, so being able to trick several out at certain points independently of that progression is nice.
 

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Finished Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. I started this like a year ago, stopped like 5 missions in because I got distracted and came back and took a minute to get back into it.

Overall really liked it. Atmosphere is top notch and it nicely translates the Homeworld persistent fleet and mobile base concept into a C&C type RTS. It also is fairly tight 10 or so hour runtime with little filler, where most if not all missions feel like they advance the story in some way. There's one exception and I'll get to that in a moment.

One of the best and the worst bits is the persistant fleet concept coupled with the finite amount of resources in any give mission. In general, units can die extremely quickly and if you make a bad call or get caught napping, you could lose a substantial chunk of your forces and have to spend a lot of resources to replenish them. Since everything carries over to the next mission, if you have enough losses you could find yourself in a situation where you go into the next mission with minimal resources and units and at some point it's better just to restart the mission or reload a save to avoid a death spiral. On the bright side, if you load a mission from the menu screen, you have the option of picking "Start with default fleet" which overrides anything you carried over in favor of a presumably balanced fleet/resource state.

It makes the whole thing stressful because you can often feel very desperate for resources, especially in the later game where the best stuff uses a rarer resource in addition to the common one. It incentivizes harvesting every scrap of resources on a particular map before finishing it, though that does tend to make missions take longer because you don't want to leave anything behind.

However, that fits the game perfectly. From the get go, you're told your desert aircraft carrier was rushed into service(3 months ahead of schedule) because the crazy desert nomads, the Gaalsieans, launched a full scale attack against your bases and the choice was to launch the carrier underprepared and underpowered or be caught at the dock when the attack came. The very first mission has you doing basic checks(teaching you how to do the basics) at home base while at the same time hearing loudspeaker announcements in the background of other bases being attacked up and down the frontier. As soon as you leave the base, you see video footage of the base you just left being wiped out by an attack and you have to make an emergency stop at a depot to meet a transport plane with your senor array to be installed and last minute supplies picked up as survivors from other attacks begin trickling in to join up with you. It's made clear from the start that you're more or less on your own out in the desert and can expect little support from home, so it's just your carrier, whatever you can scavenge from various shipwrecks in the wastes and occasional assistance from another carrier which escaped from a different base and is traveling parallel to you for much of the game. But it allows a nice power escalation as you slowly upgrade your carrier with supplies and tech you find along the way, so you start with a barely functional carrier and end with something akin to a battleship that can launch full air wings and cruise missiles.

So remember I mentioned most missions seem to move the plot along and there's little filler? So late in the game, it's mentioned you're getting critically low on food and water and need a resupply from home to avoid dying out in the desert. Transport aircraft full of supplies are sent and you have to secure a long mesa that the planes can land on. One of the planes lands safely as the other carrier shows up to assist. However, as the 2nd and 3rd are coming in to land, the other carrier decides to suddenly betray you and shoot down one of the others and damage the third(which can be salvaged). The penultimate mission is a battle against the other carrier with the same units and abilities you now have and...it's fine, but it feels like it comes out of nowhere. There's a couple really subtle hints they might not be totally on your side in the game but it turns out you have to read the backstory in the manual, which explains there was a big war called "The Heresy Wars" some time back between clans and you and the other carrier(which belongs to a different clan) were on opposite sides on that conflict. Apparently they haven't gotten over it and decide to fuck you over hard because religious reasons.

And yeah, Religion is a big part of the game and one of the reasons it's so fascinating. The Gaalsienas are religious fanatics who insist on killing you because they believe that by going into to space you're making god very very angry and he will punish everyone in his wrath for trying to leave Kharak. To them it's a holy war and you are Infidels trespassing on holy land that they control. There's a lot of mythical and religious allusions you can draw from all of this and honestly one could write an essay about it. And it's fascinating because in a way they're right.

In Homeworld, it's revealed that the reason the people on Kharak are there to begin with is because they lost a war in the distant past, were exiled and promised never to use hyperspace again in a legal surrender treaty, whereupon breaking the treaty carried a death sentence for the entire people(thus the genocide that happens early in Homeworld). The Gaalseans remember this as part of their religion as a doomsday prophecy, which your side apparently forgot or dismissed as mythology. And when you reach the end of the game and find the Khar-toba, the remains of the initial ship that brought the people to Kharak long ago, scans reveal an ancient city buried in the sands around it. It's flat out said that this is the first city, from their mythology. It's basically like the wierdos who insist that ancient myths about gods are basically just about aliens and noah's ark was actually about a spaceship, except in this case the wierdos were actually right and they found the spaceships to prove it.

The big issue with the in-game reveal that the other clan is going to betray you is that you pretty much have to read the backstory in the manual to really get that context, because the subtle hints in game are very easy to miss if you're not paying close attention. I appreciate the fact the backstory is explained in great detail in the manual while the game only tells you what you need to understand the story in the game, I feel like expecting you to have read the manual to understand that twist is asking a bit much from the average player.

Aside from that, there are some weird retcons for the series(the idea that the hyperspace core in the Khar-Toba keeps pulling passing ships out of hyperspace, sometimes teleporting them deep underground is a bit weird and for some reason the Taidan don't do anything about this despite allegedly knowing that it's been happening for decades if not centuries) but honestly I'm not very bothered by them and it generally fits as a prequel to Homeworld rather nicely. There's a couple rough edges connecting the lore but nothing terribly bothersome for me anyway. And honestly I feel it's not as bad as some of the weirdness in HW2.
 
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bluegate

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See this is part of the reason that I think the chalice dungeons need their own game built around them. You say it's good for rare loot farming, but, like what loot do you actually need? Once you've got your weapon to level 10 and have a good stack of blood and quicksilver you're pretty much set for anything the game throws at you and it doesn't matter how many more slabs of titanite you get it's not helping you. The chalice dungeons were crying out for a loot system that Bloodborne just didn't have.
Blood Gems.

There were some pretty good ones to be found in the chalice dungeons that would give your weapon that extra statistical oomph.
 

meiam

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Finished Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. I started this like a year ago, stopped like 5 missions in because I got distracted and came back and took a minute to get back into it.

Overall really liked it. Atmosphere is top notch and it nicely translates the Homeworld persistent fleet and mobile base concept into a C&C type RTS. It also is fairly tight 10 or so hour runtime with little filler, where most if not all missions feel like they advance the story in some way. There's one exception and I'll get to that in a moment.

One of the best and the worst bits is the persistant fleet concept coupled with the finite amount of resources in any give mission. In general, units can die extremely quickly and if you make a bad call or get caught napping, you could lose a substantial chunk of your forces and have to spend a lot of resources to replenish them. Since everything carries over to the next mission, if you have enough losses you could find yourself in a situation where you go into the next mission with minimal resources and units and at some point it's better just to restart the mission or reload a save to avoid a death spiral. On the bright side, if you load a mission from the menu screen, you have the option of picking "Start with default fleet" which overrides anything you carried over in favor of a presumably balanced fleet/resource state.

It makes the whole thing stressful because you can often feel very desperate for resources, especially in the later game where the best stuff uses a rarer resource in addition to the common one. It incentivizes harvesting every scrap of resources on a particular map before finishing it, though that does tend to make missions take longer because you don't want to leave anything behind.

However, that fits the game perfectly. From the get go, you're told your desert aircraft carrier was rushed into service(3 months ahead of schedule) because the crazy desert nomads, the Gaalsieans, launched a full scale attack against your bases and the choice was to launch the carrier underprepared and underpowered or be caught at the dock when the attack came. The very first mission has you doing basic checks(teaching you how to do the basics) at home base while at the same time hearing loudspeaker announcements in the background of other bases being attacked up and down the frontier. As soon as you leave the base, you see video footage of the base you just left being wiped out by an attack and you have to make an emergency stop at a depot to meet a transport plane with your senor array to be installed and last minute supplies picked up as survivors from other attacks begin trickling in to join up with you. It's made clear from the start that you're more or less on your own out in the desert and can expect little support from home, so it's just your carrier, whatever you can scavenge from various shipwrecks in the wastes and occasional assistance from another carrier which escaped from a different base and is traveling parallel to you for much of the game. But it allows a nice power escalation as you slowly upgrade your carrier with supplies and tech you find along the way, so you start with a barely functional carrier and end with something akin to a battleship that can launch full air wings and cruise missiles.

So remember I mentioned most missions seem to move the plot along and there's little filler? So late in the game, it's mentioned you're getting critically low on food and water and need a resupply from home to avoid dying out in the desert. Transport aircraft full of supplies are sent and you have to secure a long mesa that the planes can land on. One of the planes lands safely as the other carrier shows up to assist. However, as the 2nd and 3rd are coming in to land, the other carrier decides to suddenly betray you and shoot down one of the others and damage the third(which can be salvaged). The penultimate mission is a battle against the other carrier with the same units and abilities you now have and...it's fine, but it feels like it comes out of nowhere. There's a couple really subtle hints they might not be totally on your side in the game but it turns out you have to read the backstory in the manual, which explains there was a big war called "The Heresy Wars" some time back between clans and you and the other carrier(which belongs to a different clan) were on opposite sides on that conflict. Apparently they haven't gotten over it and decide to fuck you over hard because religious reasons.

And yeah, Religion is a big part of the game and one of the reasons it's so fascinating. The Gaalsienas are religious fanatics who insist on killing you because they believe that by going into to space you're making god very very angry and he will punish everyone in his wrath for trying to leave Kharak. To them it's a holy war and you are Infidels trespassing on holy land that they control. There's a lot of mythical and religious allusions you can draw from all of this and honestly one could write an essay about it. And it's fascinating because in a way they're right.

In Homeworld, it's revealed that the reason the people on Kharak are there to begin with is because they lost a war in the distant past, were exiled and promised never to use hyperspace again in a legal surrender treaty, whereupon breaking the treaty carried a death sentence for the entire people(thus the genocide that happens early in Homeworld). The Gaalseans remember this as part of their religion as a doomsday prophecy, which your side apparently forgot or dismissed as mythology. And when you reach the end of the game and find the Khar-toba, the remains of the initial ship that brought the people to Kharak long ago, scans reveal an ancient city buried in the sands around it. It's flat out said that this is the first city, from their mythology. It's basically like the wierdos who insist that ancient myths about gods are basically just about aliens and noah's ark was actually about a spaceship, except in this case the wierdos were actually right and they found the spaceships to prove it.

The big issue with the in-game reveal that the other clan is going to betray you is that you pretty much have to read the backstory in the manual to really get that context, because the subtle hints in game are very easy to miss if you're not paying close attention. I appreciate the fact the backstory is explained in great detail in the manual while the game only tells you what you need to understand the story in the game, I feel like expecting you to have read the manual to understand that twist is asking a bit much from the average player.

Aside from that, there are some weird retcons for the series(the idea that the hyperspace core in the Khar-Toba keeps pulling passing ships out of hyperspace, sometimes teleporting them deep underground is a bit weird and for some reason the Taidan don't do anything about this despite allegedly knowing that it's been happening for decades if not centuries) but honestly I'm not very bothered by them and it generally fits as a prequel to Homeworld rather nicely. There's a couple rough edges connecting the lore but nothing terribly bothersome for me anyway. And honestly I feel it's not as bad as some of the weirdness in HW2.
Yeah it was pretty good but not as good as 1, wonder what 3 will be like (all the finder crossed)

Gameplay wise, I like that capturing return more fully (unlike its weak version in 2) but iirc there's only one point where its actually useful. Leveling units is fun in theory, but in practice most of the initial unit you use will die far too fast for any of them to reach a high level, and the bigger stuff that can survive most fight doesn't show up till most of the game is done anyway and so might reach higher level at the very end.

Storywise I liked it, the out of nowhere double cross was a bit weird, but properly foreshadowing it would either take too much time or be too obvious. I don't think it detract from the story. A far as the ship hyperspacing into the planet, its been awhile but I though it was the remnant from the fleet that first showed up when they originally were exiled to the planet. In 1 its explained that the fleet barely made it to the planet in the first place and most ship were barely functioning, and so plenty would have missed the jump coordinate of the planet and jumped out into it.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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I'm playing Minoria. It's related to them Momodora games although you couldn't point a gun at me and ask me how they're all connected. All I can tell you is that the plot is some weeb nonsense that boils down to nuns vs witches and, like Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, the cast is exclusively populated by lolis in Halloween costumes, which definitely underscores the highschool-level writing.

Reverie Under the Moonlight actually had fairly robust gameplay and a Souls-y approach to combat where you take your time and don't get greedy because absolutely everything in the game can kill you in 2 hits. So the first disappointment about Minoria is how easy it is by comparison. Your character is faster and stronger than everyone, her basic attack has a ridiculous reach (meaning you can basically run-n-gun everything without ever stopping) and she can parry most attacks (with a super generous window) wherein a successful parry kills anything instantly and somehow AoE's eveyrthing on screen. Everything feels too easy. It's like when you play an old school game that kicks off by showcasing an OP character that's gonna get replaced by the actual main character, except you stick with the OP character throughout.

Some weird design choices. There's no mana or MP meter, instead each spell has its own "munition" count, which nullifies tactical tradeoffs. Your basic charge-up attack is limited, for some bizarre reason, and has to be replenished at checkpoints along spells. You gain EXP and level up ala Castlevania but there're no stats to view or skills to unlock and gear doesn't have level requirements. So I'm never sure what it is that I'm leveling up or how it's affecting gameplay. You start at Level 5, too, which is also weird.

Coming in from Prince of Persia I'm missing basic quality of life stuff, like the ability to take pictures or at least place markers on the map (and that the map help visualize the world, too, using a color system or something). This would help immensely since the enviroments are so samey looking. Characters keep talking about "the library", "the cellar", "the cathedral". Lady, it's all the same wallpaper and decor. I need more than just a name and a light filter.

Lastly the overall aesthetic is kinda lame. Momodora had fairly conventional pixel art but it was nice and distinctive to look at. Here they're using that cheap-looking cardboard puppet animation you see in Flash ads and such. Not a great first impression. So far Minoria feels like a fangame take on Momodora but also easier, cheaper and uglier.
 
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BrawlMan

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Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure (GBA) - Great for a first outing on a portable console and the GBA. This and second GBA game kills all of the 3D games released in the 2000s. These feel like proper follow ups to the PS1 trilogy. For further irony, these games even feel more like Donkey Kong Country clones, but still doing their own Crash thing.

I did some RE5 again, got a few more infinite weapons for fun.

I tried giving Rushing Beat another shot, because there is a "run" button (your character's walk cycle is sped up) and tried. I did slightly better than last time, but the game is still mediocre. The enemies are cheap and you have to be cheap back. If you have a friend with you, it's a bit easier, but you have to share continues. You can only go up to 5 continues. The most you can get are 5 lives per continue. If you're into SNES brawlers, play once out of curiosity and go straight for the sequels.
 
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Dalisclock

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Yeah it was pretty good but not as good as 1, wonder what 3 will be like (all the finder crossed)
1 is still my fav for sure. I finished 2 once but have no real urge to ever replay it because of how it annoyed me in a number of areas(the fact the enemy always scales off your fleet size so if your fleet size is too large you can fuck yourself hard by accident).

I've tried cataclysm and really need to give it a proper go someday, because it feels like a video game adaption of the novel "A Fire Upon the Deep" by Verner Vinge which was awesome. I love the idea, but the UI felt really fucking clunky.

I'm hoping 3 is good but a peak at the Homeworld subreddit and their take on the HW3 demo is not encouraging. Regardless, we'll see when it releases.
 

meiam

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1 is still my fav for sure. I finished 2 once but have no real urge to ever replay it because of how it annoyed me in a number of areas(the fact the enemy always scales off your fleet size so if your fleet size is too large you can fuck yourself hard by accident).

I've tried cataclysm and really need to give it a proper go someday, because it feels like a video game adaption of the novel "A Fire Upon the Deep" by Verner Vinge which was awesome. I love the idea, but the UI felt really fucking clunky.

I'm hoping 3 is good but a peak at the Homeworld subreddit and their take on the HW3 demo is not encouraging. Regardless, we'll see when it releases.
Didn't realize there was a demo of 3, hopefully the delay will help smooth any issue.

My memory of 2 was that at the start of every mission you'd get attack by a fleet big enough to wipe out most of the fleet you were bringing over which would just reset you back to default everytime. iirc it was even a good idea to recycle all your ship at the end of missions just to avoid this.
 
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Drathnoxis

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Finished Dark Souls 3. Midir wasn't actually too bad for me, maybe 20 tries. He was pretty susceptible to the old pestilential mist spam, so that was nice. After that Soul of Cinder went down like a chump. I missed fighting Grundyr. Apparently there was an illusory wall after Orceiros that I didn't find. I already selected the option to start NG+ so oh well. I'm also not going to platinum this one or get the other endings, seems like a pain.

Overall I think I liked Dark Souls 3, but the DLC really burned me out. I think I was quite enjoying the game before I started it and it would have been the perfect length without it. I don't think I'd rate the game above Bloodborne. The game is much more reflex heavy than the first game, except the combat doesn't feel as good to control as Bloodborne did. Shields were borderline useless a lot of the time for me. Because I didn't invest heavily in stamina an enemy would frequently knock off the entire bar with one hit, stagger me, and then follow up with a riposte that would kill me, leaving me worse off than if I just didn't block to begin with. With the DLC bosses I just stopped blocking entirely and relied on dodge rolls. I said before that magic is useless and I stand by it. You need Great Heavy Soul Arrow and Pestilential Mist, no other sorceries can compare to the damage to FP ratio and are useless except in a few edge cases.

Anyway, that's that and I'm glad to be finally done. Not sure what's next, maybe I'll do a game of Evilhack since I kind of feel obligated to after putting it on my gaming resolution list.
 

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Didn't realize there was a demo of 3, hopefully the delay will help smooth any issue.

My memory of 2 was that at the start of every mission you'd get attack by a fleet big enough to wipe out most of the fleet you were bringing over which would just reset you back to default everytime. iirc it was even a good idea to recycle all your ship at the end of missions just to avoid this.
Yeah. I get what they were going for but the problem is it felt like a no win situation and not in a good way. I think the other part of the problem was trying to have it both be a war story and a religious story which can work but in this case it really doesn't seem to mesh, whereas HW1's idea of a Pilgrimage or an exodus story worked nicely. Especially since from the get go you're given no option to retreat. Kharak was wiped out and the only out was forward with the 50,000 remaining members of your entire civilization on the mothership. Whereas in 2 it feels like there's a war going on in the background while you're running around in the hinterlands looking for a mythical wonder weapon.
 
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The Adventure of Bayou Billy/Mad City (NES/Famicom) - The American version sucks; play the Japanese original. I don't know how any kid was supposed to get past this game in the '80s without cheat codes in America. The Japanese version is easier, but it gets more difficult on each loop. So I don't know why they couldn't just bother with an easy, normal, and hard mode. Konami had some really dumb design decisions back then. Otherwise the Japanese original is a fun genre roulette game. Basic brawler stages, rail shooting, and driving. If you had the NES Zapper, there's a separate mode where when it went to a shooting section you were busted out and use it instead of the controller.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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Still playing Minoria. It's not a very long game - 5 hours in and I can already feel the curtains closing.

So the game maintains this weird balance where everything can kill you in 2-3 hits but your sword is slightly longer than their sword so all you really need to do is just run-n-sword and you're good. You find other swords, all of which have different kinds of swings but do the same damage, so there's no point swapping.

Magic is overpowered as hell and makes mincemeat out of bosses. Since each spell has its own ammo count rather than drawing MP from the same pool of mana, and you're free to equip and unequip spells anytime from the pause menu (which, yes, pauses the game), that means you can just unload absolutely everything in your arsenal and eat the whole boss's health bar before you run out. It really feels like emptying every kind of gun possible, which is fun in its own way.

It's just as well that you can equip spells anytime since you have such a limited number of slots and one of them is permanently occupied by the healing option.

I still can't get over how horribly designed the map is. Areas aren't named or differentiated, nothing is marked down but checkpoints, you can't put markers yourself and you're permanently zoomed in wherever it is you are without the option to zoom out and get a good look at the whole map.

As for the metroidvania thing... I guess it passes though the gating is mostly based on gathering different keys and pulling levers rather than picking up new traversal abilities (of which you get a couple of the really obvious ones).
 
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I am playing Panzer Bandit for the first time. A PS1 brawler that came after Guardian Heroes and is in that style. I decided to pick the girl who has the dual knuais and the robo dog with her. I'm loving the fast pace action and combos in this game! You can only switch between two planes and there are no RPG elements. Though I don't consider it a bad thing as there are a few more way advance combat mechanics compared to the original release of GH. As far as clones go it's better than Code of Princess and I like that game. It's definitely better than the actual sequel to GH that was released on the GBA.

Another PS1 brawler I played a little bit of is called Nekketsu Oyako. It's a Final Fight style brawler. It's decent, but don't expect anything new. Don't bother picking the grappler, he's way too slow. All that said, it's a fun and wacky brawler. I haven't finished it yet.
 
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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Grabbed Anomaly Collapse. Its a really interesting turn based strategy game where all the combat is on a single plane. So you maneuver your characters around to get flanking, avoid attacks, block in enemies etc. Its also got really cute graphics and I'm curious to see where the story goes. I do think that the roguelike nature of it kinda holds it back a bit. It means that the story is a bit more disjointed and since thinking takes a big part of combat, it means that you can outhink a hard encounter so it kinda feels a bit easier then I feel a roguelike should feel. But, I have a weird relationship with roguelikes. Either way, I like the game.

 

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Riot Zone (T-16/PCE) - Average brawler that is a port of an average arcade game with a name change and revamping the characters. Nothing else special, other than a kick ass rock and funk soundtrack.