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Games I Beat In 2014 #61-70: October-November

This is the landing page for the seventh group of Games I Beat In 2014. Note that the games were all beaten in October and November, even though the last entry didn’t go up until December. This time around, eight of the ten games were games I had beaten for the first time. As with the previous groups, the title and first few words of each entry are below.

#61 (#30 NEW!): Vectorman

It’s not uncommon for a game to start out well and then fall apart to varying degrees at the end. The inverse, where a game leaves a negative first impression but that turns out to be enjoyable, is less common, and is a pleasant surprise when it does happen. That brings us to Vectorman. Released …

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#62 (#31 NEW!): Dynasty Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends

The history of video game sequels is strange. Some of the earliest, like Wizardry II and III, would more accurately be called “expansion packs”, and would probably be sold as DLC were they released today. It’s tempting to think of the “standalone expansion”, a la Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, as a new development. That …

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#63 (#32 NEW!): The Legend of the Mystical Ninja

Certain games and series are just very “Japanese” in their presentation. You play these games, and just know “Yep, that’s from Japan.” In a similar vein, there are many popular, long-running series in Japan that the US only got a taste of (For a long time, only 3 of the first 6 Final Fantasy games …

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#64 (#33 NEW!): B. O. B.

To the extent that this series is a review series, most of my writing to this point has been positive. This makes sense–if I’m playing a game to the end, I’m probably enjoying it. That said, there is the occasional game where I shift into still-playing-it-because-I’m-determined-to-beat-it-not-because-it’s-fun mode. Released in 1993 by Gray Matter and Electronic …

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#65 (#34 NEW!): Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II

Sequels are a riskier proposition than they’re given credit for. Change too little from one installment to the next, and you’ll be accused of playing it too safe, cashing in, and so on. Change too much, though, and you risk alienating your core audience for no reward–just ask Yoshio Sakamoto. Finding the right balance between …

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#66 (#35 NEW!): Gradius (NES)

The shoot-em-up, or shmup, is a genre of video game that has existed in some form for almost as long as video games themselves. Defender, from 1980, is one of the earliest examples of something resembling a shmup. When you think of the term today, though, you tend to think of an autoscrolling game where …

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#67 (#36 NEW!): Sword of Vermilion

RPGs are, by their nature, formulaic. At their core, the gameplay will amount to “You visit a town, then you visit a dungeon of some kind, then you repeat the process with a new town and a new dungeon”. Some of the best RPGs do an incredible job of hiding or tweaking this formula. Then …

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#68 (#37 NEW!): Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Suffering Saturdays are making me jaded. The more I take on games that people my age insist are underrated classics, the more I’m convinced that no one actually played those games all the way through. Someone, somewhere (I’ve heard it attributed to Yahtzee, but I can’t find the quote), once said roughly that a bad …

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#69: Golden Axe (Genesis)

Sometimes, you just want to hack down enemies twice as big as you, in an environment with a false title. If that’s your present mood, Golden Axe is the game for you! Released in 1989 by Sega, Golden Axe–which, in a bit of false advertising, does not actually contain any axes made of gold–has you …

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#70: Super Mario Bros.

There is, frankly, not much I can say about this game that hasn’t been said to death by writers who are better than me. If a single game can be said to have saved the video game industry in North America after the Great Video Game Crash of 1983, this is it. Still, this is …

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