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  #13831  
Old 09-29-2017, 02:15 PM
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Metroid Samus Returns | 8/10

After the release of Metroid: Zero Mission way back in 2004, Nintendo made fans wait thirteen years for another side scrolling Metroid. During this tortuous span of time, we had an entire two term presidency come and go, three Igarashi metriodvanias released, and a little thing called Facebook took over the planet. (The only franchise fans who know more painful pining are us miserable F-Zero lovers.) But here we are in 2017! A new president, a new Igavania on the way, and all the cool kids use Instagram these days (I guess). It's a new era, and finally Nintendo saw fit to give us a fresh side scrolling Metroid experience. Well, kinda fresh... it's actually a remake. Sorta. It's also rather great.

You'll see no shortage of glowing Metroid: Samus Returns reviews, and well deserved. Nintendo contracted a Spain based developer named MercurySteam to produce this Metroid II: Return of Samus remake. I have to say MercurySteam did a super job. This Metroid (mostly) plays fantastically, looks amazing, runs smooth, sounds excellent, and never stops challenging its player. Samus Returns captures the base concept of Return of Samus successfully. That is to say you play as space bounty hunter Samus who travels to the metroids' home planet to kill them. All of them, a mission of genocide. Yep, that's the primary plot, and MercurySteam didn't mess with that. In reviewing this remake though, I don't think I'd do the reader much good to recapitulate the same glowing praise you'll find across the review-o-sphere. Rather, I will take some time to tell you what's wrong with Samus Returns. That is to say, why I personally rate Samus Returns an 8/10 rather than 9/10. Don't worry, my qualms are minor!

The first thing I don't like is that you have to use the touch screen to change beam and missile types. Considering 99% of the controls are non-touch based, this is ergonomically disingenuous. The Start and Select buttons do the same thing, so the Select button should have changed ammo type, a simple solution missed by MercurySteam. Secondly enemies, metroids, (and bosses especially) are bullet sponges. Even lowly creatures can take a charged shot or multiple standard missiles and keep coming. Considering the legions of enemies in the levels, having to wear your thumb down to a blistering nub to clear constant mobs gets old fast. Also there's not enough enemy types, it's not long before you fighting palette swapped enemies with ever increasing stats. And enemy density is too high for my taste; I miss the sparser more exploratory feel of other Metroids here. Samus Returns is simply overly combat-centric, and trust me the final few bosses will test your patience. The OST while sounding nice consists mostly of reused earlier Metroid tracks, a tad disappointing in its lack of freshness. Lastly the claustrophobic, eerie and forlorn atmosphere of the original Return of Samus? Yeah, that's entirely absent in Samus Returns. This remake has a closer feel to Metroid Fusion and Meroid: Zero Mission in that regard.

So there you have it, my precious few complaints against an otherwise excellent 3DS Metroid. If you're a fan of past side scrolling games in this series, do not pass Samus Returns up. This is possibly the best Metroid since Super Metroid, and certainly the most challenging since the original Metroid. There's lots of new ideas like the aeon abilities and controversial melee counter, plus the mini-puzzles to obtain your upgrades are great. I really enjoyed the amount of detail and animation put into the wonderful backgrounds. Perhaps best of all, Samus is back to her brutal self in this release, a truly confident heroine! I hope all the praise and sales gives way to Nintendo producing further side scrolling games in this series. We should never have to wait so long again.
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  #13832  
Old 09-29-2017, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
I've been playing a romhack of FF4 recently called Unprecedented Crisis, and it's actually really neat!
Even though FFIV is my favourite game, I don't think this is for me. That being said, I find everything about this absolutely fascinating, so thanks for sharing in such detail! This is the sort of thing that I'd love to see an LP of.
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  #13833  
Old 09-29-2017, 05:36 PM
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I beat Mighty Gunvolt Burst, which appears to be the game that everyone wanted Mighty No 9 to be, a completely unambitious, well-executed Mega Man homage. It's a good time.
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  #13834  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:14 PM
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Two recently beaten games:

Panzer Dragoon Saga (Saturn) was quite amazing, but desperately needs and HD remake. Great story and music, super fun battle system (that I don't think has ever been replicated anywhere), a very interesting world to explore... Too bad the game is somewhat out of reach for most people. It looks really bad though.

Ys Origin (PC) was a very different experience, very fast paced. It looked OK, and I liked it enough to go through it with all three playable characters (first with Yunica, and then with the other two at the same time, repeating each section with each character before moving on, so that it was still fresh in my mind and allowed me to go through quicker). Great Falcom music as well. The story was nothing special, but I did enjoy it, and there is enough variation in all three campaigns to make it worth playing all of them (IMHO).

And now, with a potential new job soon, a move to a city 7 hours away from where I currently am, and a webcomic to get back to, I think it's time for a break from videogames. (I was originally planning to take it after PDS, but I had already pretty much decided to play Ys Origin.)
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  #13835  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:21 PM
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Niiice, I only played through Ys Origin with Yunica, do you think it's worth it to do the others?
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  #13836  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:26 PM
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Niiice, I only played through Ys Origin with Yunica, do you think it's worth it to do the others?
Of the three, I'd say Yunica is actually the one to skip, so yes
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  #13837  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbywatson View Post
Panzer Dragoon Saga (Saturn) was quite amazing, but desperately needs and HD remake. Great story and music, super fun battle system (that I don't think has ever been replicated anywhere), a very interesting world to explore... Too bad the game is somewhat out of reach for most people. It looks really bad though.
It'll probably never happen (Even if it was Kickstarted Panzer Dragoon just doesn't have the clout of Shenmue) but a full-on remake would definitely be the way to go if Panzer Dragoon Saga came back today.

Maybe fortunes would've been different for the game (and maybe Sega too) if they had taken a hint from its "rival" Final Fantasy VII and given it a gargantuan advertising push instead of having their entire western division stick their heads in the sand until the Dreamcast came out. As well as releasing their superior versions of the Capcom Vs. fighters with the add-on chip, giving Grandia and Shining Force 3 a serious push, not blowing so much damn money on Yu Suzuki's cinematic ambitions, etc.
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  #13838  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbywatson View Post
Of the three, I'd say Yunica is actually the one to skip, so yes
Huh, I figured the game was made for the classic Adol type experience, and the others would be kind of broken in some way or another.
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  #13839  
Old 10-06-2017, 02:25 PM
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Huh, I figured the game was made for the classic Adol type experience, and the others would be kind of broken in some way or another.
Hugo is certainly the easiest of the three, and heís definitely not similar to Adol, although character #3 plays similar to Yunica.
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  #13840  
Old 10-06-2017, 03:24 PM
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It's worth noting that Origins' story is sort of a Rashomon-type deal; they expect you to go Yunica>Hugo>#3 in terms of how the story is shaped. You can think of Yunica's arc as how the people of Ys proper remember the events, Hugo for what would become Esteria, and #3 is what actually happens (echoing that #3's ending results in the writing of the six books that turn up in Ys I & II).
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  #13841  
Old 10-06-2017, 03:38 PM
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I don't think there's any shame in emulating or playing on a modded console for Panzer Dragoon Saga at this point. It's worth experiencing, but yes, an update, even just to the graphical level of Panzer Dragoon Orta, would be astounding. And I honestly think it might be better received today if it were on a platform that wasn't all but dead from launch here in the States.
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  #13842  
Old 10-06-2017, 06:24 PM
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I honestly think it might be better received today if it were on a platform that wasn't all but dead from launch here in the States.
Definitely. While I seriously doubt it would reach Earthbound numbers in terms of digital rerelease sales, it'd certainly do a whole lot better as a digital rerelease than it did as a barely advertised low print game for a console that was more or less dead at the time.
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  #13843  
Old 10-07-2017, 05:04 PM
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Sonic Mania on easy baby's first Sonic mode (Tails only)! It was a lot of fun. I'm a bit disappointed it's too long to reasonably do in one sitting without speedrun strats - I play Sonic like your grandmother drives. I would have liked it more if it were, say, four or five zones shorter. I would have used Angel Island Zone instead of Green Hill because we've done Green Hill 8,000 times now, and cut down on the returning zones. The most trouble I had was with the Oil Ocean Act 2 boss, game overing me once; though now I'm confident I could do it fairly reliably.

I got two Chaos Emeralds, despite finding five rings ~ I probably won't bother collecting them as Tails, and just do that as Sonic. Before that happens, though, I'll play on easy mode - Knuckles. Then I'll probably beat the game as Sonic and use a guide to find the Chaos Emeralds. Finding Chaos Emeralds has never really been fun for me in a Sonic game. It's always been an annoying thing I felt obligated to do or else I get scolded at the end of the game. Regardless, this is probably the best Sonic game, but also I'm not going to play it as much as Sonic 2 or Sonic Advance because of the length.

Thing I'm Most Surprised By: I really miss Sonic Advance's attack button!



Also, hot damn, that music. SOOOO GOOOOD
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  #13844  
Old 10-08-2017, 06:21 AM
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Well, itís October, the ghosts are washing their bedsheets and the witches are polishing their warts, and that means itís time for me to replay the Gargoyles Quest series.

And since the first one is super short, that means I beat Gargoyles Quest in one sitting.
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  #13845  
Old 10-08-2017, 12:28 PM
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I just did my first run-through of Contra: Hard Corps, with increasingly unfettered use of save states as the game went on. Just experiencing the full spectacle is a ton of fun, and makes me want to go back and try the other characters + branching paths, with fewer handicaps.
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  #13846  
Old 10-08-2017, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by taosterman View Post
I just did my first run-through of Contra: Hard Corps, with increasingly unfettered use of save states as the game went on. Just experiencing the full spectacle is a ton of fun, and makes me want to go back and try the other characters + branching paths, with fewer handicaps.
This makes me happy because Contra: Hard Corps is literally one of my favorite video games, period!
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  #13847  
Old 10-08-2017, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by taosterman View Post
I just did my first run-through of Contra: Hard Corps, with increasingly unfettered use of save states as the game went on. Just experiencing the full spectacle is a ton of fun, and makes me want to go back and try the other characters + branching paths, with fewer handicaps.
Yes. Right on. Hard Corps is great. Working really hard to see multiple endings with my high school buddy is one of my favorite gaming memories. Which ending did you see?

Have no shame in trying out the Japanese version, also, if that option is available to you, because it gives you a three-hit life bar.
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  #13848  
Old 10-08-2017, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Dracula View Post
Yes. Right on. Hard Corps is great. Working really hard to see multiple endings with my high school buddy is one of my favorite gaming memories. Which ending did you see?

Have no shame in trying out the Japanese version, also, if that option is available to you, because it gives you a three-hit life bar.
I've played it a bit more and seen two endings now ó the one where the final level is on a giant missile, and the one that ends atop a space elevator. I think this is instantly my favorite Contra game.

The game actually isn't that tough to wrap my head around when I'm able to use save states to get good at individual bosses and segments. Maybe it's not the real deal, but I definitely consider it a better use of my time than playing the first few levels hundreds of times to practice the later, harder ones. I might use this approach to play a lot of other twitchy, balls-hard Genesis games I never played as a Super NES kid.
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  #13849  
Old 10-08-2017, 09:52 PM
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Yeah, the Japanese version is a great choice if you're not wanting to be a masochist. Also, I found Browny to be the best character for me, but at some point I'm going to try legit runs with others. I also need to do some different paths!
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  #13850  
Old 10-08-2017, 11:14 PM
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The missile ending is the good one for sure. All of them are fun. There's a translation patch of sorts for the Japanese version by MIJET.
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  #13851  
Old 10-09-2017, 08:02 AM
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I'm not sure if I got the Bad Ending to Symphony of the Night more than once in all the many, many times I played through it.

So I did that this time.

Richter is nominally a much tougher final boss than Dracula is in the game but, on the other hand, I found the Holy Mail before the fight so he couldn't do more than scratch me.
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  #13852  
Old 10-09-2017, 10:22 AM
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Forget Me Not: My Organic Garden: a clicker game with a story, and even... gasp! endings! I got the normal ending, or one of them, and since it had been less than fifteen hours long I started over with a new strategy to see if I could get the true ending. Still got a ways to go before I see if it pans out. If it doesn't, I'll set it aside. Twice through is plenty for something like this.

Definitely a quirky game. On Steam it has the same publisher as Kero Blaster, so I wonder if it was originally a Japanese indie.
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  #13853  
Old 10-09-2017, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
Well, itís October, the ghosts are washing their bedsheets and the witches are polishing their warts, and that means itís time for me to replay the Gargoyles Quest series.

And since the first one is super short, that means I beat Gargoyles Quest in one sitting.
Gargoyles Quest 2 is twice the game, so it took two sittings.

Both games end with Firebrand being given dominion over the Earth after having saved Hell from Breager and his army. I don't know exactly how he went about losing control each time. Speaking from personal experience, no human being has the skill needed to beat him.
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  #13854  
Old 10-09-2017, 02:02 PM
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Clearly he got bored and gave Earth to Breager so he'd have someone to beat up again.
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  #13855  
Old 10-09-2017, 02:06 PM
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I felt like the difficulty in GQ2 was rather front-loaded, with several pixel-perfect jumps demanded of the player in early areas.

Loved it all around, though
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  #13856  
Old 10-09-2017, 02:17 PM
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Sidon Forest is unforgivable for that.

Weird that the NES game is the one with the blind jumps, not the Gameboy game.
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  #13857  
Old 10-09-2017, 07:30 PM
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I've been playing a romhack of FF4 recently called Unprecedented Crisis, and it's actually really neat!
So.

One of the things this hack does is punish people who try to use the glitch to get to Mist's back entrance early. If you enter Mist from the right side, after a few steps, you're forcibly teleported to the Lunar Subterrane. There is no exit, nothing's scaled down...you're just brought to the end of the game, with your teens-level Cecil and Kain.

You would think that this is an unwinnable state.



You would be wrong.
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  #13858  
Old 10-09-2017, 07:48 PM
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The hell? What did you do to grind levels?


Also for my own game beating, I finished Super Castlevania 4 for the first time, so that was neat.
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  #13859  
Old 10-09-2017, 07:55 PM
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The hell? What did you do to grind levels?
I actually just explained my strategy to someone over discord, so lemme just copy that over.

[8:35 PM] aturtledoesbite: first, you have to be able to run down to B3F, surviving until you can pick up the Dragon armor
[8:35 PM] aturtledoesbite: you stick those on cecil
[8:35 PM] aturtledoesbite: then you run back up to B1F
[8:35 PM] aturtledoesbite: revive kain if needed, save your game, then look for a Warlock x1 battle
[8:36 PM] aturtledoesbite: Cecil's first action should be to cast Mute
[8:36 PM] aturtledoesbite: you have to pray 1) that the warlock's opening attack doesn't kill kain
[8:36 PM] aturtledoesbite: and 2) that the follow-up Death does hit kain
[8:37 PM] aturtledoesbite: a warlock alone alternates between Fight and Death
[8:37 PM] aturtledoesbite: There's no surviving Death
[8:38 PM] aturtledoesbite: Cecil with the Dragon armor in the back row is taking 1 damage from most physicals
[8:38 PM] aturtledoesbite: so at that point, with Death muted and Fight effectively neutered
[8:38 PM] aturtledoesbite: you can slowly chip away at the warlock, ~20 damage at a time
[8:39 PM] aturtledoesbite: RedGiant enemies are also fine, since all they do is Fight, and that's just 1 damage to Cecil
[8:39 PM] aturtledoesbite: (Kain is presumed to not survive to get EXP)
[8:40 PM] aturtledoesbite: eventually, once cecil's fast enough to get mute off before warlocks can take two turns
[8:40 PM] aturtledoesbite: you can punch a bit higher, with the warlock+kary encounters
[8:41 PM] aturtledoesbite: eventually; the dragon armor neuters Pale Dim, which lets you earn the Hades Plate off him
[8:41 PM] aturtledoesbite: so you can put that on cecil and give kain the dragon plate
[8:42 PM] aturtledoesbite: you'll want to dive deep for the Dragon Lance before too long; i don't recall off-hand what encounter that chest is trapped with, maybe a behemoth?
[8:42 PM] aturtledoesbite: behemoths are pretty easy if you stay to the back row
[8:43 PM] aturtledoesbite: the most i ever saw one punch cecil for was ~50 damage, but the grand majority hit for 1
[8:44 PM] aturtledoesbite: once kain can survive a fight to get exp, it won't be very long before he's jumping dragons for 9999
[8:45 PM] aturtledoesbite: if all else fails in keeping kain alive, cecil picks up Death at level 48
[8:45 PM] aturtledoesbite: Silver D.s and Gold D.s are both susceptible, as are Warlocks, Trickers, and FatalEyes
[8:46 PM] aturtledoesbite: eventually once you get a decent hp buffer (4000+ on Cecil, about 2000 on Kain), you want to bring a couple of Elixirs with you and go fight the D. Lunars
[8:46 PM] aturtledoesbite: After you poke them, they cast Reflect on themselves, then start bouncing Ice 3s off each other
[8:47 PM] aturtledoesbite: If you survive four volleys, Reflect will wear off
[8:47 PM] aturtledoesbite: and they will happily Ice 3 each other to death
[8:47 PM] aturtledoesbite: (though you'll need to finish off the one that survives, of course)
[8:47 PM] aturtledoesbite: with that, you get the Ribbons, so go ahead and clean up Plague next door
[8:47 PM] aturtledoesbite: who can't touch you
[8:48 PM] aturtledoesbite: this also gets you the hades gauntlet (from the D. Lunars), so you can put that on cecil and move the dragon gauntlet to kain
[8:48 PM] aturtledoesbite: After a bit more grinding, it's time to fight Wyvern
[8:49 PM] aturtledoesbite: Kain will almost certainly die to the opening Megaflare
[8:49 PM] aturtledoesbite: that's fine, just pick him up with a phoenix down and x-potion him
[8:49 PM] aturtledoesbite: you only need to get off three Jumps
[8:49 PM] aturtledoesbite: if cecil has dispel at this point, hit Wyvern with it when he tries to put up reflect, then laugh as he flares himself
[8:50 PM] aturtledoesbite: once you kill him, you get the Deathbringer for Cecil, which is his very first weapon upgrade from the Shadow blade from the start of the game
[8:50 PM] aturtledoesbite: unless you were lucky with an icebrand or flame sword drop from blue/red d.s
[8:51 PM] aturtledoesbite: at this point, you can just murder everything
[8:51 PM] aturtledoesbite: pick up the hades shield from ogopogo and move the dragon shield over to kain, and now both should have their full set of gear, except with ribbons instead of headgear
[8:52 PM] aturtledoesbite: from there, it's a short jog to zeromus
[8:52 PM] aturtledoesbite: have cecil berserk himself
[8:52 PM] aturtledoesbite: kain timing his jumps over the big bangs, popping elixirs on cecil when needed
[8:52 PM] aturtledoesbite: and that's pretty much it
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  #13860  
Old 10-09-2017, 10:35 PM
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I beat every level of Rondo of Blood as Richter. Then I went back again and beat it all with Maria but without using any continues. This is the first time I've played it all the way through without lots of savescumming and relying too much on Maria. On revisiting the game, it's clear that Maria is quite broken. And also that the clock tower especially could be the length of two levels if not for the lack of a boss in-between them, which is funny because the game right before that throws 5 bosses in a row at you.
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