Game Progress 4/2
April 02, 2016

I've been very productive since my last progress post. In particular, I've been trying to polish off Vessel, since I've been at that game off and on for a few months now (my Steam library shows that I've put 6 hours into it). I finally got through the factory stage and I'm about a third of the way through the orchard. That place allows you to harvest and use fruit juices instead of just water, which can attract certain automatons (who will throw switches and such along the way, thereby unlocking doors).

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I've taken another short break from Vessel, though, to play through Slain!. It's a heavy metal-inspired sidescrolling platformer with hack 'n slash combat. It's presentation and soundtrack are both killer, but its sound effects are weak--you can barely hear them over the soundtrack, and they've very dull and timid in comparison to the rest of the game--and its combat is both clunky and repetitive. You can resolve almost any situation by well-timed button mashing, as long as your blows interrupt your opponent's animation. Although the game looks exciting on the surface, it's been a snooze because of the repetition. As of now, I've completed the Blood Grounds and the Highlands. I'll be doing the Wolf Woods, I think it's called, next session.

While playing 8BitBoy, I stumbled upon a warp zone to the final world, so I'm nearing the end. The only trouble is I didn't want to warp, and since the game autosaves, I can't return to the previous world. The world map isn't unlockable until you've finished the game, and even then I'm not sure how it works. I hope it allows me to go back and play through world 4.

Insanity's Blade has been a hell of a title so far. I'm close to the end of the first area, having completed about three of the stages. One level allows you to ride downhill on the back of a skeleton, holding its arms like you might a jet ski. My only complaint with this game has been that some of the tougher foes so far can be easily taken down with a few throws rather than skillful playing. It kind of demeans their status as big bads when you can cheaply slay them. Then again, it's possible the game will introduce bigger bads later on...

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One Way Heroics has been decent thus far. I can't remember if I discussed it before, but it's an action-RPG where you create a character, enter a generated world (you can input codes to form specific worlds or have one randomly drafted) and advance. It doesn't matter which direction you head, the game scrolls along with you. If you fall behind while the screen scrolls, you die. Along the way, you encounter a variety of standard RPG foes and loot their corpses--or find goods just lying around. The objective is to survive 4000 meters, where you will encounter the final boss. Obviously, it's not likely you'll kill him during your first outing. That's why the game loads you up with plenty of unlockables to stack the deck in your favor, such as a vault to store your best equipment, new classes and fresh starting perks. My only complaint so far is that leveling up requires you to visit a statue, which may or may not appear during your journey. You could chop things up for meters and never find said icon.

I noticed Road Runner was on the site's list of NES games to review. Having rented it as a youngster, I decided to pick it back up. It's an okay game. It takes some getting used to, but even then it can cheaply annihilate you. It seems to be a mostly memory-driven title, as you have to recall which pathway to take while eluding Wily E. Coyote.

I recently recharged my Vita and restarted Shin Megami Tensei: Persona on PSP. I never did beat the game. Hell, I mainly downloaded it when I received Persona 2: Innocent Sin for an RoG review a few years ago so I could see, more or less, where the series came from. I've made it to the alternate reality, still lingering in the school. Right now, I'm trying to level up Nanjo so I can give him a certain persona.

Finally, I started the original Alone in the Dark on PC, but didn't advance very far. Visually speaking, this game hasn't aged well. We'll see how the rest of it turns out.

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Feedback
EmP EmP - April 03, 2016 (03:09 PM)
PSP version? With it's full translation and complete build? You big girl - get the PSX version which was only about 70% completed and swapped in a black kid so America could relate to the game more.
honestgamer honestgamer - April 03, 2016 (04:59 PM)
I look forward to playing through Persona on PSP, too. I never tried the game when it first released in North America, because the cover art looked bland and vaguely creepy and I had other games to buy. But I did buy the PSP version and its sequel when they were new, because by then I realized that Atlus had something worthwhile going with its SMT and Persona stuff.
overdrive overdrive - April 03, 2016 (10:26 PM)
Uck, I remember owning the PSX version. Quite the mediocre game. Even considering my bias for the main SMT series over Persona, that one was lackluster.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - April 04, 2016 (06:06 AM)
EmP:
Ugh, I'm glad I missed out on that one. I almost picked it up quite a few times. A friend of mine worked at a store that had that game in its clearance dump bin since the beginning of time, and I debated buying it.

Jason:
The Persona 2 is slightly better, but it's split into two games (Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment). For some reason, the US only got Eternal Punishment when both came out on PlayStation. We didn't get Innocent Sin until it was released on PSP. I only discovered this after beating Innocent Sin and feeling kind of cheated.

OD:
I think that's why I never bought Revelations: Persona. I wanted Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, and that was the only reason I considered getting R:P. It otherwise just looked bad.
qxz qxz - April 05, 2016 (09:18 AM)
The NES version of Road Runner is an OK game. I've also played the Atari arcade game (on which the NES game is based) in person a couple times in the past, and it's definitely worth checking out. The arcade game's sound is richer (and in stereo), the imagery more colorful (surprising; the NES version came out about five years after the arcade game), and there's a nice little touch to the scoring system in how quickly points tick upward based on how close the Road Runner is to the Coyote.

The only area where the NES is better than the arcade version is regarding earning score from eating bird seed. Both versions have it to where bird seed scores 100, 200, 300, and so on until reaching 1,000 (at which it stays). The NES version is set up so that missing any pile OR losing any lives resets the value to 100. In the arcade version, the value only resets if any mounds of food are missed

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