The Official PlayStation 1 Gaming Threads

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Post by Lord Spencer Fri Aug 20, 2021 2:49 pm

#A57

Game: Incredible Crisis:-
Year: 1999, 2000.
Genre: Mini-Game Collection Party Action.
Publisher: Tokuma Shoten, Titus Interactive.
Developer: Polygon Magic.


The Official PlayStation 1 Gaming Threads - Page 3 23915-incredible-crisis-playstation-front-cover

Incredible Crisis may be one of the weirdest games released on the PS1. In fact, it may be one of the first games to showcase a typical brand of Japanese humor and wackiness that would later be replicated by games such as Captain Rainbow, Rhythm Heaven Fever, and the WarioWare series.

Like those games, this is basically a collection of small Action, Rhythm, and Puzzle mini-games presented in a wacky exterior with a wacky story. Thanks to its excellent music, character design, and art direction, the game ends up being better than the sum of its parts, and worth playing despite the weakness of some of its mini-games.

"Hey! Are you still alive!?"

The game takes place on a single day and follows the lives of the four members of a middle-class Japanese family as they prepare for the grandmother's birthday party. What ensues is some crazy and wacky story that none of them expected, including aliens, bank robberies, and big giant pink bear Kaiju.

Take the opening chapter of Taneo's (the father) day. First, he starts with some office warm-up exercise where he Disco dances with colleagues, and the next minute he starts running for his life. You see, he is working in a high-rise building next to another one where a giant globe is being installed by helicopters (not sure how that should work). However, the globe accidentally rolls into Taneo's building and seems to have a will of its own to crush him. So, as the globe chases him, he finds himself in a falling elevator, clinging to a flag pole, and then struck in the head with the falling arm of a statue.

By that point, you shouldn't be surprised when his day involves dodging traffic while strapped to an ambulance stretcher or a deeply erotic massage session with a buxom lady. All these instances are presented as different mini-games, and after each one, Taneo jumps from one crisis to another.

The rest of Taneo's family do not fare any better, as they survive bank robberies, being shrunk in size, and even some extraterrestrial shenanigans. An interesting throughline through all the four's stories is how one inexplicable event in one story is then explained in another's. This gives the wacky storyline some consistency, and ensures that the game isn't just throwing weird stuff randomly.

Everything around the game works to sell the game's wacky story, from the music to the character design, graphics, and honestly extremely good animation. Even though there is very little dialogue, it's like a slapstick comedy how everything unravels, and it works most of the time.

"Find the pressure points! The lady needs a back massage"

While the entirety of Incredible Crisis can be compressed into a short CGI movie that would still be interesting and funny to watch, I think the fact you are involved in many of the character's crisis-filled moments makes you experience the frantic nature of their story more closely.

That would be the case even if the mini-games themselves weren't that much fun.

Thankfully, the majority of the mini-games are really fun to play despite none of them being absolute stand-outs. Even better, there isn't one mini-game that stands out as being too obnoxious or difficult, even if one particularly annoying game does repeat itself three times.

Each non-repeating game has a unique style and inputs. Generally, the games are divided into three categories with some minor overlap: rhythm, action, memory, and timing. The opening chapter has a rhythm dance game like in PaRappa, running away from the globe is both about timing your button mashing and the action of dodging obstacles, the elevator is the same but with different timing and balance, and surviving the flag pole is all about timing.

Generally, I would say that each game needs you to pay attention to one action while taking care not to be impacted by the obstacles in the way, which is best demonstrated by the annoying "Titanic Away" mini-game. In that game, you mash the X button to fill a bucket with water, then use the Triangle button to dump the water overboard. All the while, you need to press the directional buttons to protect yourself from falling debris that could hit you, interrupting your work, and potentially causing the boat to sink. While other games did have similar button-mashing requirements, this one with its multi-faceted controls had the most and consequently was the most painful for me despite being one of the best games.

"Get your hands off me, you dirty old man!"

Other than the game's 24 mini-games, there isn't anything else to the game, except that is if you want to play it taking turns with others (which honestly can be hilarious). Other than that, there is no real incentive to master the game's many mini-games, and I honestly don't think the game's difficulty will keep this from being anything longer than a 3-4 hours playthrough.

This short length is both a blessing and a curse for the game.

Given the fact that the sheer variety and wackiness of the game's mini-games are what keeps you from noting any of its flaws and shortcoming, it should obvious to point out that a longer game may struggle not to repeat itself or hide its weakness behind variety.

As it is, the brief nature of the game allows you to enjoy the shenanigans the family members are involved with without getting sick of them. It is simply the perfect length to sustain its wackiness and sense of fun.

Still, that experience is simply too short, and therefore would have been difficult to recommend people ever pay full price for it when it's first released.  The game seems to think that unlocking all the mini-games when you complete the game is ample reward, but these games honestly are not very interesting or fun when divorced from the story or setting.

"It's not every day you see a middle-aged man falling out of the sky"

To sell its wacky premise, characters, and story, Incredible Crisis needed to be absolutely on-point with its graphical and sound presentation, and it passes with exploding colors.

The game is a mixture of CGI scenes bleeding into in-engine graphics that are honestly quite close in quality, with just some brief graininess with the CGI scenes. It's not cutting-edge stuff, even for the PS1 graphics, but the limited size of the game allowed the team to cram as much animation and visual details as they could.

As such, the characters move, dance, scream, and shout in both expressive and exaggerated ways that absolutely sell the slapstick shown here. That, coupled with the family's comic and suitable design, more than looks perfect for the game.

If you are trying to imagine a soundtrack based on what you have read so far, I bet you would struggle at identifying how it should sound. In hindsight, nothing would have worked as well as what the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra did for the game.

The Orchestra's Ska soundtrack is highly energetic, funny, and fits the chaotic and incredible events that Taneo and his family face throughout the game. Nothing else could capture the frantic energy of someone trying to empty water from a boat or the comic energy of a morning dance exercise.

Now I am a fan of Ska music.

In Conclusion:

Incredible Crisis is a game that defies categorization. It is simply in a class of wacky Japanese games that work solely based on their wacky premise, which takes precedence over any gameplay quality, length, or supposed replayability factors.

This wackiness is fully supported by some excellent graphical and sound presentation, which helps give an otherwise forgettable set of mini-games a sense of frantic fun and urgency.

All of this makes Incredible Crisis a truly unforgettable experience.

Final: 8/10

Pros:

  • Brilliant and crazy premise
  • Excellent and suitable soundtrack
  • Somefun to be had with the mini-games
  • Very good graphics


Cons:

  • Maybe should have had a little bit more dialogue
  • Not all mini-games are fun
  • Ultimetly a short, if delightful, experience


"Tips"
1-Do not bother with acing the game, just have fun and try not to lose.
2-Button mashing can only get you so far. Also, pay attention to avoid obstacles in the mini-games that have them.

"Next Game"

I am glad I finally finished this game after so many years. I played it back when it was first released but could never finish it because the TV was in the main living room in my grandfather's house, and I simply could never go past the Back Massage mini-game with the sound on (the lady's moans are seriously almost pornographic in nature). Now, I finished the game and really enjoyed it.

The next game in my playlist is a cult strategy hit, Brigandine, which is supposedly as satisfying as it is complex. In fact, if I like it, I will end up buying and playing its sequel which was released 22 years later last year.

Stay Tuned

Lord Spencer
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Post by Lord Spencer Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:53 pm

#A55

Game: Brigandine: Grand Edition:-
Year: 1998, 2000.
Genre: Strategy & Tactical RPG.
Publisher: Hearty Robin, Atlus.
Developer: Hearty Robin.


The Official PlayStation 1 Gaming Threads - Page 3 Brigandine-NTSC-PSX-FRONT

Brigandine is one of the few late 90's games that attempted to combine the Grand Strategy genre with Tactical RPGs. Oddly, all of those games, like Dragon Force on the Sega Saturn, feature a similar anime-inspired character design and story that recalled some of the classic medieval setting anime shows of the 80s.

That retro look at a time where "futuristic" and "realistic" trends were all the rage may have contributed to their relative obscurity, but their undoubted quality led to some of them being cult hits.

I am glad to say that Brigandine on the PS1, in all of its versions, certainly has the quality and pedigree to deserve its cult-favorite status. This is a really good game.

"Even if war covers the world. Even if all of Forseana burns to ash. I will fight on, fight on like a demon, I will rule it all"

The story is set in the continent of Fornesa, where a rebellion breaks out in the old Kingdom of Almekia, thrusting the entire continent into an all-out war between the six nations of the realm. With each nation having its own reasons to fight, unique characters, and perspectives, this means there are nominally six stories to choose from. From the ambitious unification quest of Norgard to the righteous revenge of New Almekia, each story promises to give a unique perspective on the war.

However, as should be expected with a game that straddles the Grand Strategy genre, the story takes a back seat to the gameplay most of the time. Since you have control over how your nation operates, this means that story beats you uncover happen at your own pace, and could be completely missed if certain mysterious conditions were not met.

In battles, characters with established relationships have unique opening dialogue that offers context for the war. Between battles, some scenes between key characters in your nation develop their personality as your quest advances, but these scenes could be missed entirely. Meanwhile, your army consists of several named knights, each with their own unique portrait and backstory, but limited interaction within the game itself.

Yet, I find this paucity of narrative to be more of an advantage than not. I find the story of Forsena's struggle and each character's motivation to be the canvas in which you paint your own story. Similar to the stories we craft for the historical figures we play as in a Romance of the Three Kingdoms or Total War game, Brigandine simply gives us the main ingredients to imagine an entirely unique narrative for the game that advances based on our actions.

That's not to say that the story that is there is lackluster. Not at all. Despite its scarcity, the main scenes and unique dialogue situation you uncover reveal an interesting cast of characters with their own morals and motivation for their battles. These are interesting stories that are sold really well by the excellent character designs and portraits, as well as the occasional anime cut-scenes.

However, the terrible voice acting does it no favors at all. Thankfully, that part is very brief.

"You misunderstand. I want to revive hope from the ashes"

The gameplay in Brigandine is divided into two main parts. The "Grand Strategy" section where you manage your towns and officers as well as direct your armies to attack or defend, and the "Tactical RPG" battles that take place when a battle actually starts. However, the game leans extremely heavily into the battles themselves, leaving the Grand Strategy elements to be more of a cosmetic than an essential element to the game.

So let's talk about the battles themselves first to explain the limitations of the Grand Strategy segments later.

These Tactical RPG battles are great, starting from their hexagonal design basis, which immediately offers more strategy than the typical square grid. At most, each side in the battle has three rune knights, each accompanied by a maximum of 6 monsters. The nature of these 21 units is key during and after the battle.

Rune Knights come in many different classes, which governs they utility in battle (offensive, supportive, defensive, magical, ranged, etc.) and their abilities to control monster unit through their Rune Power and Rune Range stats. These are the named members of your army, and they grow and develop with battle like any typical TRPG, with the ability to class upgrade or change as a result.

Depending on their Rune Power stat, these knights can be accompanied by a variety of monster units that comprise the majority of your forces. Monsters come in a variety of forms of varying Rune Power requirements. Dragons are more expensive than three ghouls for example. As such, the number of your forces may not be as important as the strength of each unit and their suitability in battle.

You mustn't treat your monsters as cannon fodder, as they permanently disappear when defeated. As such, battles become a strategic pull and push match where you try and defeat the enemy Rune Knights (thereby scattering their forces and potentially capturing some monsters) while keeping your army healthy and survivin. This I find very important, because losing monsters too often means your army will be significantly under-leveled at the end of the game.

With widely different maps, terrain structures, Rune Knight, and Monster options, there is a huge variety in the battles you can have. Ideally, this variety should sustain itself further as you utilize your vast and varied army. However, that would actually be a grave mistake. Ironically, it would be a mistake to use more than 9-11 Rune Knights in your conquests, as you will need consistent growth for that core as the enemy gets stronger with each cycle.

"A Utopia... could what starts in treason end in such a noble state"

Outside of battle, your options are limited to summoning more monsters for your armies, moving knights around towns, sending them for quests, and managing the "order" menu where you can equip characters and upgrade their classes.

As you can imagine from the way I described battles, the summoning aspect becomes moot later on since you need to avoid having to actually do it. Sending characters for quests is an automatic activity that may bring with it items you can equip, more monsters, or the occasional characters. Also, it could uncover some story scenes.

Consequently, the majority of your time on the map is simply reorganizing your army around border towns (all other towns don't need to even be occupied) as you plan your next attack. By the end of the game, I didn't have anything to do with my funds, and the map just became a semi-loading screen between my battles.

Oddly, this is not actually a disadvantage of the game as much as lost potential. In fact, it is probably better than a poorly implemented and overly complex Grand Strategy element. Yet, I feel like there were that could have made the game a bit better, like developing an economy or using the money to revive dead monsters.

As it is, the map of Forsena is another tool of self-narrative, where you imagine the story and strategic councils as you plan multiple attacks and continuously expand your territory.

"I swear, I will unite Forsena in peace soon. Perhaps when that day comes, you will sing again"

At the start of the review, I alluded to the game's 80s anime influence, and that's most apparent when you the still-image scenes depicting the game's characters. These still images look like pause screens from a famous Robin Hood anime of that era, and they do justice to the amazing character portrait art by Yoichi Kawade.

These portraits give real personality and depth to characters that otherwise may just have a few lines, and for the key characters, they fit their in-game personality and dialogue very well.

Unfortunately, with a few exceptions, there are very few unique in-battle sprites. This is a shame, because the sprite work is really good in this game. Sprites are well-animated, and the variety of monsters each have their own unique sprites.

Elsewhere in the graphical department, expect some solid if unspectacular special effects with magic attacks and a functional and expressive map (both inside and outside of battle). This is a game that doesn't need to be graphically intensive, and the many still images we get convey a suitable image of the world.

The unspectacular trend continues with the game's music, which unfortunately follows the trend of TRPGs in having a low-key musical score. Sure, there are unique themes for each nation, but the music rarely commands center stage, which is typical of the genre.

In Conclusion:

With its interesting world and an array of characters and creatures, as well as its mix of Strategic and Tactical RPG gameplay, Brigandine offers a sandbox of sorts in which to play in. In this sandbox, you can focus on the limited but solid story of the game as you plan your conquest of Forsena, and you can imagine a parallel narrative that follows your own unique path of conquest.

Thanks to the very TRPG elements and the variety of monsters and characters, you can play the game multiple times with different natures, and I don't think it will ever be boring. Sure, the game may be lacking in certain production elements, and it has some unfulfilled potential. However, the ambition of what's there ensures that fans of the game won't forget it for a long time.

Final: 8/10

Pros:

  • Very good character portraits
  • Strategic elements give you a lot of flexibility in how to play the game
  • A big variety of units that grow with battles
  • Excellent TRPG gameplay with hexagonal style maps


Cons:

  • The Strategic elements maybe should have more things to do
  • Some story segments are hidden behind mysterious conditions
  • Some basic production shortcomings such as few unique sprites and meddling music


"Tips"
1-If you are playing anything more difficult than easy, then just stick with a core rotation of 9-11 characters and their armies.
2-Focus on protecting your border towns by always leaving three officers in them (Even when attacking from those towns when there is another path).
3-Attacking a city from different directions can be very helpful.
4-Aquatic units are extremely helpful on water tiles.
5-Its best to stick together, but pay attention to casters with area-of-effect attacks.
6-Generally, it is best to kill all enemy units before attacking the Rune Knight, but go for the knight if in trouble.
7-Don't forget to equip both your characters and monster with the loot you get from battles and quests.
8-Send the reminder of your army to quests.
9-There is an elemental triangle to attacks. Red vs. Green vs. Blue.

"Next Game"

I enjoyed Brigandine very much. So much that I am buying its long-delayed sequel, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia on the Nintendo Switch.

The next game on my addendum review list is the twin set of King's Field games on the PS1, numbers 2 and 3. I have low expectations of how these early From Software games aged, and might even end up skipping actually reviewing them.

Stay Tuned
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Post by Lord Spencer Sat Sep 18, 2021 6:39 pm

#A53(S)

Game: Mega Man Legends:-
Year: 1997, 1998.
Genre: Action Adventure.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.


The Official PlayStation 1 Gaming Threads - Page 3 7113-mega-man-legends-playstation-front-cover

I think it's weird how much people like Mega Man Legends. Objectively, I don't think it excels in any one thing that it does. It has charming graphics that are terribly constrained by technical limitations. A well-realized world that is absurdly small in scope. Good gameplay ideas that become repetitive and boring on closer scrutiny.

Yet, it combines all these partially flawed systems into a passionate package that manages to charm despite itself. It manages to evoke some special feeling that I think stuck with fans of the game since its release, and grew with its sequel and the unrealized hopes of a third game.

Mega Man Legends managed to become a truly legendary game.

"The Mother Lode--a treasure so great that if it were discovered, it would provide so much power that the world will never fear running out of energy"

Other than the name of its protagonist, there is nothing in Mega Man Legends that remotely suggests a connection to the series at large. Instead, it takes place in an entirely new world that appears to be a vague post-apocalypse of sorts. The earth was flooded at large, and civilizations thrived in pockets of islands in a vast ocean and supported themselves by digging for "ancient" technology. In that world, Mega Man is part of a family unit of diggers comprised of Roll and her grandfather as well as a cute pet robot monkey.

The set-up is unique, and creates a world that is slightly reminiscent of Studio Ghibli films (especially the early Future Boy Conan anime). However, that only works because of the delightful characters which come to life with great animations and some surprisingly competent voice acting. Seriously, it is surprising how much better the VA here is than the legendary bad lines in the Mega Man 8 cut scenes.

At the start of the game, Mega Man and crew crash land into Kattlelox island, a large settlement with a lot of mysterious ruins underground. As they attempt to fix their airship, the island comes under attack by a group of lovable pirates, the Bonne family, who try and discover and steal the island's treasure.

Mega Man's frequent run-ins with the Bonnes and his attempt to uncover the potentially disastrous secret of the island constitutes the rest of the game. Meanwhile, you can get to know the residents of Kattelox and help them with their various problems.

Although the game's final twist does give it interesting lore, Mega Man Legends is all about the feeling of being in a Saturday night's cartoon main hero. The Bonnes are a classicly "evil" pirate family with charming characters, over-the-top acting, and motives, and a weird knack for surviving the explosions and always coming back with bigger and badder robots. In that comedic conflict, Mega Man builds his reputation as a hero for the town.

Obviously, this was the intro to a bigger narrative, and it builds the character of Mega Man and the supporting cast to a great degree.

"There are a lot of stories about the treasure, but no one knows exactly what it is"

With its transition into 3D, I am sure it wasn't immediately obvious how the core Mega Man formula and experience can be effectively translated into 3D space. Maybe Capcom has tried many things before simply coming with something drastically different.

Basically, this is an Action-Adventure game that even predates Ocarina of Time, with dungeons replacing the typical stages in a Mega Man game, and a sort of 3rd Person Shooting action as the core gameplay mechanic.

Mega Man can move around and shoot his buster gun, and can stop and lock on for better accuracy and to hit flying enemies. It's not very smooth in the first Mega Man Legends game, but the kernel of a good thing does exist here.

The main detractor is that enemies simply rush into you too fast, which makes the only viable and best tactic to deal with them is to strafe around them while rotating the camera. This move is the main one you need to learn, and you will need to use it for most fights in the game.

Other than the buster cannon, there are a lot of other sub-weapons that you can use. However, you can only swap between them outside of a dungeon, and using them costs energy that cannot be recouped inside. This significantly reduced my desire to use them, nor did I ever feel compelled to do so for anything except bosses.

As for the dungeons themselves, they are uninspired in their construction, and a poor replacement for the iconic and challenging stages of the past 2D games. With the concept of digging, you would expect more labyrinthian designs and/or puzzles, but the focus is mostly on light confrontations and getting three key items in each dungeon.

"I will use my ultimate digging machine, the Marlwolf, to dig up the treasure myself, and I won't let a little blue boy get in my way either"

Although the main gameplay segments of the game are not really engaging, Mega Man Legends wisely shakes things up with the Bonne family confrontations and bosses. The Bonne family fights are presented as "missions" and they frequently have a unique hook to them and some kind of time limit.

For example, one mission has you protect the government building from their robot tanks, while another is a battle in lack. These showcase a different side to the gameplay, that while not mechanically great, is varied and fun in its execution.

The variety in mission is not matched by the boss fights, which are exciting with how big they are, but you will still deal with all of them the same way, strafing around and shooting until they explode. Admittedly, that's still fun to do with the big bosses, especially since these are the best fights in the game.

Outside of battle, there are some light RPG mechanics and a number of sidequests and mini-games to play. The RPG elements come in the form of upgrades you can buy and install to your buster, or upgrading the sub-weapons with the money you get from enemies. Upgrading all weapons can be extremely expensive, so it is recommended to only upgrade what you are going to use.

One interesting thing is that stuff you find in dungeons can be used to make more sub-weapons and even some key equipment. For instance, you get a helmet that improves your defense, and a skating shoe that makes it a breeze walking around town.

Speaking of the town, this is a well-realized place with a lot of character and side-quests that remind me of a lower-stakes Majora's Mask town. It's fun talking to everyone around, and there are some side quests and fun mini-games you can take part in.

However, a major issue with some of the sidequests is that they are dependant on the passing of real in-game time, which frankly meant I didn't do all of them. This is a shame, because the ones that I did added to my experience despite their simplicity.

"He'll see, it will be the Bonnes who get the last laugh in this game"

The Mega Man series is known for its great graphical design, which culminated with the excellent sprite work of the Mega Man X series. Naturally, the fledgling scene of 3D art could never compete with the absolute mastery that Capcom had with 2D sprites, but the artists had a solid background to work from. This was most apparent in the design of the various Robot enemies, the Bonne family, and the game's own minion-like Servebots.

It resulted in crafting a charing and memorable world that pops despite low polygon count and its blocky edges. Taking a more colorful style than the X series, Mega Man Legends goes full throttle with the Saturday Night cartoon look that hides the limitations of the hardware. Sure, there are clearly some graphical hiccups here and there, but the end result is something that is playable and nice despite its age.

Like many early 3D games, it looks especially good in motion, both inside and outside of cut-scenes, which is due to the good animations which even extend to typical anime-like facial expressions.

Unfortunately, I don't think the music approached the level we are used to with this series, and this is most apparent in the dungeons. Mega Man stages have great stage music that ranges from action-packed and blood-pumping to mystical and atmospheric. Here, with the exception of the last dungeon in the game, it's just a constant mysterious droning noise.

Ironically, I don't think that's due to the soundtrack itself though as much as the sound direction. Simply put, music is not well-utilized in the game.

Other than the music, the voice acting is really good as I discussed above. In fact, it complements the in-scene acting really well, which was actually made using motion-capture.

In Conclusion:

With its charming world and characters and a story that looks like it is directly pulled from the classic cartoons of the past, it was inevitable that the game would make some people fall in love with it. It is a seriously charming game with lots of things to like.

However, I cannot but wonder if perhaps there should have been more substance to the game, especially when it came to its limited dungeons and the repetitive combat. Also, while the story was charming enough, you feel like they shouldn't have kept the stakes so low until the very end and maybe should have explored the mystery of the world a bit more.

I think these faults ultimately keep the game from being a true great like it aspires to be, but I am hopeful that its sequel ironed some of those issues out, because I already love the game despite its flaws.

Final: 7/10

Pros:

  • Charming world and characters
  • A unique feeling that is difficult to explain
  • Just like a Saturday-night cartoon


Cons:

  • Not a very good use of music
  • The combat gets repetitive after a while
  • Simple dungeons and stages


"Tips"
1-Learn the strafing shooting method (run around while rotating the camera and shooting).
2-Look inside holes on walls to find stuff, they are obvious.
3-Upgrade the sub-weapons you want to use first.
4-Play and win the mini-games to get stuff.
5-Look inside trash cans and boxes.
6-Learn how to use the terrible lock-on system.
7-Sub-weapons can be very useful.
8-The big brown walls can only be destroyed by an end-game drill sub-weapon.
9-Learn the strafing shooting method.

"Next Game"

After strafing and shooting my way through Mega Man Legends, I think I can clearly see how the second game improved on it in many ways, but I still managed to love this game nonetheless.

The next game on my review list will Mega Man Legends 2, where I will finally beat this game after losing my save when the game was first released. My guess is that it will just make me wish for a Mega Man Legends 3 game even more than I already do.

Stay Tuned


Last edited by Lord Spencer on Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Lord Awesome Sun Sep 19, 2021 3:17 am

@Lord Spencer wrote:I enjoyed Brigandine very much. So much that I am buying its long-delayed sequel, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia on the Nintendo Switch.


Damn, that is like a huge gap for a sequel there
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Post by rincon Sun Sep 19, 2021 10:30 am

I really wanted mega man legends as a kid, being an rpg and mega man fan at the time, but never had a chance to play the game. Was cool to read your review
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Post by Robespierre Sun Sep 19, 2021 11:39 am

Just yesterday I was talking with my friends on how much I feel luckly to have played on FIFA99 as first football game

ok , it was not so modern etc but it was special. Beginning from soundtracks

I don't know if it depends on fact that I was 9
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Post by Lord Spencer Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:26 pm

@rincon wrote:I really wanted mega man legends as a kid, being an rpg and mega man fan at the time, but never had a chance to play the game. Was cool to read your review


Damn, you read the incomplete review Laughing

I published it because my computer was shutting down Laughing

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Post by Robespierre Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:50 pm

Honestly I can't wait to read recension about the 24th Proud (wipeout)
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Post by Lord Spencer Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:18 pm

#A53

Game: Mega Man Legends 2:-
Year: 2000.
Genre: Action Adventure.
Publisher: Capcom.
Developer: Capcom.


The Official PlayStation 1 Gaming Threads - Page 3 Mega-Man-Legends-2-PAL-PSX-FRONT

The first Mega Man Legends game had a unique charm that made it a cult favorite despite what I consider to be some significant flaws and limitations. It looks like it was just a dress rehearsal for Capcom though, as the second Legends game manage to correct almost all of those flaws, greatly advance the game's formula, and still retain much of its charm.

While not a perfect game, far from it, Mega Man Legends 2 is a flawed masterpiece that encompasses the full meaning of this designation. It's a massive shame that we may never get the third game in this sub-franchise

"The Mother Lode, which has been sought after by all mankind for numerous generations, does lie buried in this island"

While the story of the first Mega Man Legends game took a while to start and was confined to one small island, it immediately gets going in the sequel and is much more expanded in scope. It begins with an expertly crafted scene that shows Professor Barrel and a long-time associate announcing their latest attempt to land in the ominous Forbidden Island in search of an ancient treasure onboard their new airship, The Sulfur Bottom

This fully-voiced scene introduces key characters and concepts, establishes the central intrigue and mystery of the story, and showcases the Saturday Morning Cartoon charm that I found so endearing about the game.

Outside of the Sulfur Bottom, Mega Man and Roll are busy saving their ship from being burned thanks to a cooking accident by their pet monkey, but then find themselves in the middle of having to go to the Forbidden Island to save Professor Barrel. Ironically, it turns out that going to Forbidden Island is just the beginning of the game, and the start of Mega Man's quest to find the four keys to unlock the Mother Lode, an ancient treasure of apparently enormous value.

In the middle of that quest, a Pirate group lead by the lovable Bonnes are racing to find the same keys, and some mysterious human-looking "Ancients" are in the background making thinly veiled threats.

The big-picture story is interesting and full of mystery and intrigue. However, it is truly the journey and the way the characters interact that give the game its unique charm. While the quest for the four keys is a big McGuffin chase, each key is held in a unique location with its own unique story and fun interaction with the pirate army. These are like episodes in a really fun Cartoon, and the scene construction and comedic style takes a lot of inspiration from the shows Mega Man was initially inspired by.

Like those shows, there is real heart behind the comedy, and the games know when to raise the stakes to make you care for these characters and remember who they are. It's not surprising that Tron Bonne and her idiotic Servbots are still popular to this day.

"She's not really searching for the Mother Lode... She is searching for her parents"

The biggest complaints about the original Mega Man Legends was in its stiff 3D movement and camera controls, which necessitated a simpler and more repetitive gameplay loop. That was evident in the simple design of the game's stages (or dungeons a they should be referred to).

That aspect is now massively improved, with much more fluid 3D animations and movements, allowing for full 3D controls rather than pseudo-tank movements. Of course, the movement wouldn't be a big bonus if the camera was still a pain to control. Thankfully, that's mostly alleviated thanks to the advanced lock-on mechanism.

Now, you can lock on while moving, which means combat is much more fluid and there is no need to circle-strafe for 90% for all encounters. Also, you can use most of your special weapons while moving, which makes them more fun than a punishment.

To take advantage of these advancements, Capcom actually bothered to include a much more varied array of enemies and some actual themed dungeons. Now, the drab locations of the past are reserved for the game's few optional dungeons, which means they don't overstay their welcome. In contrast, the main dungeons are closer in variety to a game like The Legend of Zelda (even by having a terrible water dungeon) even if they don't quite reach those highs.

Like with the first game, the absolute highlights of the game are in the both the boss battles and the Pirate missions. Boss battles are self-explanatory, and they shine much better with the improved gameplay of the second game. As for the Pirate missions, these are unique gameplay set-pieces that have Mega Man defending a location from a pirate attack, invading a fortress, or fighting one of the Bonne's massive robots.

It's a shame that with all the improvements the game made, it still retained one of the first game's major flaws; that special weapons can only be changed by talking to Roll outside of dungeons. That limits experimentation in my opinion, and makes it less fun to use the special weapons than it otherwise would be.

"You can make that poor excuse of a spotter boss you around for all that I care"

Outside of combat, there is a lot to do in the world of Mega Man Legends 2, which now consists of several minor hubs instead of one major city. These hubs have varied styles, varying from the snowy lands of Yosyonke to the desert climate of Saul Kada.

Truth be told, there isn't a lot to do in these hubs, and they don't feel as alive and changing as Kattelox island (that game's NPCs changed dialogue after every event). Once a location is liberated from the pirates, it goes into permanent stasis, which is only noticeable thanks to the original's ever-changing NPC dialogue.

This is not an issue, except in that it feels like a game of this style should have more side-quest than it actually has, especially since there are some story threads that feel like they could have more to them. As it is, the game's world is fun to walk around in but feels empty with things to do, although the side quests and mini-games that are included are certainly worth it.

One thing that the game seems to expect you to do is to go back to dungeons and grind for currency, that is of course after you also explore every nook and cranny (and search every box and can) for items to develop new parts. That's because the game's economy is out of whack. It would take an unearthly amount of grinding to fully upgrade some of the special weapons, and upgrades to Mega Man's equipment and stuff aren't cheap as well. Also, gifts you can buy Roll and fit the ship with aren't cheap either.

In fact, with the base "Digger Level" you start with, you get pitiful amounts of currency from the enemies you defeat. A solution to that is taking "Digger Tests" to raise your level, which increases the rewards as well as the difficulty of the game. In my experience, this makes the game more fun and is worth increasing it at least once.

As for upgrading everything, I would just forget about that, since you really don't need to do it, and it would frankly suck the joy out of the game to try and do so.

"Just be true to you yourself, and follow where your heart leads you"

Like with everything in the game, the production design was massively improved compared to the first game.

While it is not really apparent with the game's graphics, which were colorful and charming in the first game, it should be apparent with the variety of 3D assets as well as some neat technical feats. For instance, the entirety of Kattelox's geography was either flat or angular. Here, there are actually hills and uneven terrain. Also, there are some nice visual effects such as snowstorms and shimmering sands.

Thankfully, the game's are design and expressive character models manage to outperform the system's modest 3D capabilities, and that holds true even when you can literally see the seems of the graphics begin to crack.

So it can be said that the game graphically improved, but not massively so. What massively improved is the game's soundtrack, which actually sounds like a proper Mega Man soundtrack now. Individual stages have more personality, and there are some kicking battle tracks as well, as well as some dynamic use of music and leitmotifs throughout.

Seriously, the first game really missed having a decent soundtrack, so it's a massive improvement that the second game has a really good one. The style is different from other Mega Man games, with a focus on more atmospheric sounds that convey the mystery of the game. I can still hear the drums of the "Manda Ruin" theme and the "Nino Ruins" theme almost makes the water dungeon tolerable

A special mention goes to the voice acting, which is a solid effort that continues the good effort of this game without being spectacular. It fits the Saturday Morning vibes of the game really well and is inoffensive at its worst.

In Conclusion:

I am not blind to the game's obvious shortcomings and flaws. It has a flawed progression economy, not many things to do outside of combat, and the graphics and gameplay are still stilted compared to the masters of that genre even in that era. Also, needing Roll to change your special weapons outside of dungeons is a cardinal sin.

Yet, there is a reason fans of the game are still waiting over 20 years for Mega Man to get back from the Moon, there is a reason for such a strong attachment to this flawed game.

I think that reason is this game's extremely unique charm, which is difficult to express in words other than to guess is its sheer audacity and ambition. An ambition to make a game that so closely mirrors a Saturday Morning Cartoon, a game that fits the looks and feelings of a Ghibli film of all things, a game that is unlike any other and yet feels so familiar. While the first game had some of those elements, it felt more like a proof of concept. Mega Man Legends 2 matures that concept and presents it in this semi-glorious form.

Is it any wonder that we are all hoping for a third game that finally fully realizes the potential of that concept and all of its unique and charming glory?

Final: 9/10

Pros:

  • Charming world and characters
  • A unique feeling that is difficult to explain
  • Just like a Saturday-Morning cartoon
  • Really good soundtrack and charming graphics
  • Dungeons are fun and locations are varied
  • Really fun set-pieces against the pirates


Cons:

  • Feels like there should be more to do outside of combat
  • Changing special weapons is a chore
  • Outrageous progress economy (but that doesn't detract from the game)


"Tips"
1-Learn the strafing shooting method (run around while rotating the camera and shooting).
2-Look inside holes on walls, crates, trash cans, and boxes for stuff. The drilling equipment is available early on in this game.
3-Upgrade the sub-weapons you want to use first.
4-Go to all optional mini-dungeons.
5-Immediately go into the first Digger Test. Only take the second one after getting comfortable with the game.
6-Learn how to use the cool lock-on system.
7-Sub-weapons can be very useful, but not all of them are.
8-Some walls can only be demolished by using the drill.
9-The Zetasaber is great against bosses, but makes them too easy.

"Next Game"

My memories with Mega Man Legends 2 were strong coming into this game, but I don't think I was even halfway through the game back then. Now, I finished it and loved every minute of it. Really hope against hope for a third game in the franchise, but it looks unlikely at this point.

Next, I am advancing the spin-off game, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne in the Addendum queue, as I have no idea why I put it so late after all (the addendum list placing has no meaning). I expect to like it for its personality even if the gameplay loop doesn't live up to the Legends series.

Stay Tuned
Lord Spencer
Lord Spencer
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