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Backlaugust 2022 - Backlog Legacy Collection
 
It's that time of year yet again! Now to copy over this post from ludist210...

Backlaugust: The Official Negative World Month for Decimating Backlogs!™ is back again for more action! So start looking through your backlog and get started! The idea is to finish games during the month of August.

Here are the "rules":

Games can be on any system, not just Nintendo systems. I know we're a Nintendo fan site, but most everyone here is a multi-console owner. So play a game on any system you want.

Let us know what you're playing. Mostly just so we can cheer each other on.

Play games you already own. A lot of people tend to buy a game then not play it, or play it for a significant amount of time and then put it down. This is what we're aiming for. Games that launch in August don't count.

Try to pick up games you aren't actively playing right now. Games you're currently playing can be allowed, but in the spirit of Backlaugust, let's try to make them games you aren't playing at the moment. Make it a game you haven't touched in a month or more if possible.

When is a game done? That's up to you! Mark a game off your backlog when you've seen the ending or end credits, or once you've seen enough of the game in a game without a "proper ending" (like an arcade-type game). You don't have to do or get everything unless you want to.

Finished games will be posted in the OP. Because everyone likes to see their accomplishments recognized. Just post when you're done and I'll try to update daily.

Last year, we finished a whopping 23 games. That might be a tough number to top, but if everyone pitches in, I think we can do it!

THE FINISHED PILE:
1. Katamari Damacy Reroll - Xbone - Mop it up
2. Mega Man X - SNES (NSwitch) - Mop it up
3. Banjo-Kazooie - N64 (Xbone) - TheBigG753
4. Mega Man X2 - SNES (NSwitch) - Mop it up
5. Mega Man X3 - SNES (NSwitch) - Mop it up
6. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - DS - Stan McStanly
7. NEO: The World Ends with You - NSwitch - Hero_Of_Hyrule
8. Castlevania: Bloodlines - Genesis (NSwitch) - TriforceBun
9. The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe - NSwitch - nate38
10. Mega Man X4 - PSX (NSwitch) - Mop it up
11. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon - GBA (NSwitch) - TheBigG753
12. Mega Man X5 - PSX (NSwitch) - Mop it up
13. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles - NSwitch - Stan McStanly
14. Frog Fractions: Game of the Decade Edition: Hop's Iconic Hat - PC - pokepal148
15. Mega Man X6 - PSX (NSwitch) - Mop it up
16. Super Metroid - SNES (NSwitch) - Stan McStanly
17. Mega Man X7 - PS2 (NSwitch) - Mop it up
18. Lost Judgment - Xbox S|X- PogueSquadron
19. Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance - GBA (NSwitch) - TheBigG753
20. Mega Man X8 - PS2 (NSwitch) - Mop it up
21. Banjo-Tooie - N64 (Xbone) - TheBigG753
22. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance - 3DS (PS4) - PogueSquadron
23. Chex Quest HD - NSwitch - Mop it up
24. Super Bomberman R -NSwitch - Mop it up
25. Pokkén Tournament DX - NSwitch - Mop it up
26. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles - Wii - TriforceBun
27. Donkey Kong - Game Boy - GameDadGrant
28. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow - GBA (NSwitch) - TheBigG753
29. Halo 2 Anniversary - PC - Brick
30. Conker's Bad Fur Day - N64 (Xbone) - TheBigG753
31. Castlevania - NES (NSwitch) - Mop it up
32. Castlevania: The Adventure - Game Boy (NSwitch) - Mop it up
33. Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge - Game Boy (NSwitch) - Mop it up
34. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - NES (NSwitch) - Mop it up
35. Hades - Xbox S|X - Mop it up

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Posted: 07/29/22, 08:48:42  - Edited by 
 on: 09/02/22, 19:17:57
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Yah. That wont take long though.

Mop it up spammed through 7 x games in like 2 1/2 weeks. I guess i could do the Celeste B/C sides.

By the end of today we only have 11 days to slap more games onto the list.
Posted: 08/20/22, 00:41:10  - Edited by 
 on: 08/20/22, 00:54:18
Some of those Celeste c-sides... oof.
Posted: 08/20/22, 01:24:03
Cruised through the remainder of Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance this morning. I initially beat the game at 198% completion. I missed one hidden room on the map, so I looked it up and completed the rest of it.

There are some things that Circle of the Moon did better, and some things that Harmony of Dissonance did better; ultimately I enjoyed HoD more because it was more akin to Symphony of the Night's game design (albeit maybe a bit too akin at times). However I do think that the map design of HoD mostly served to pad the game's length, with a lot of unnecessary backtracking, and the game's big hook - the layered castle maps - didn't really shake up the experience in nearly the same way that SotN's big hook did. In HoD, it mostly just inflated the playtime.

I did appreciate that by the end of the game, I had the sort of abilities to make getting around the map a relative breeze, something that CotM never really did. Neither game really felt balanced appropriately, though. CotM was really frustrating at times, while HoD didn't offer much of a challenge after a while. Hopefully I'll find that Aria of Sorrow strikes that balance a bit better.
Posted: 08/20/22, 20:21:18
Mega Man X8
We've finally arrived at the (current?) conclusion to the series. I'd heard a little about this one, the consensus seems to be that it managed to bounce back after the dreck streak. I've gotta say...

...I'm not so sure it's any better! While this game retains 3D graphics like X7, it largely eschews the 3D movement sections, featuring mainly 2D gameplay. There are still a couple of 3D stages that feature a speeder bike, one of which is a chase sequence that zips around like crazy and makes it unclear exactly where objects will pass by. It's easily the worst stage in the game and one of the worst in the series in general. The 2D stages have a few interesting setpieces which take advantage of the added depth, such as a battle with a giant construction robot that involves knocking around cranes in the background. The character switching returns with some improvements, including being able to recover a portion of lost health when changed out; auto-switching to the second character if one gets killed instead of ending things there; and a new powerful double attack.

Introduced this time around is a currency system, which is now used to purchase various upgrades from a shop. I was never a fan of this idea in Mega Man 9 and 10, and it's done to worse effect here. Some upgrades still need to be located within stages before they can be bought. The main issue is that many upgrades are obscenely expensive, I played through the whole game and could barely afford more than the simple life upgrades because of how much everything cost. I can only imagine the amount of grinding it would take to afford everything, it just wouldn't be worth it. The one upside, in theory anyway, would be that it allows choosing which upgrades to obtain first, rather than luck of the draw of whatever was found in a stage.

Overall, I can see why people would find this to be the better game and it probably is, but I feel I got more enjoyment out of X7, if that makes sense. Which it doesn't.

And with that, the Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is complete, as well as the whole series! Once again, there are medals and bonus challenges, but I think I'm especially not going to bother with those for this set of games. While X8 and maybe X7 are worth trying out, this part of the collection is most likely not worth it. It was fun to play through this series and experience the history, even if I didn't find any of the games to be particularly good. With that said, seeing just how bad things could get with these later entries, it kind of has given me a better appreciation for the first four titles; they have their share of issues but at the very least they turned out as something playable!
Posted: 08/20/22, 20:52:55
Well, thanks for making it clear that stopping at X4 was the right decision.
Posted: 08/20/22, 21:50:47
Finished Lost Judgement (XBox Series X)! Overall I think we liked it even more than the first one. There’s some pacing issues towards the end, and there’s some bad parkour/observation sections, but I really got into the combat and story by the end. That’s the bad part of some of these games with RPG elements. Some of their systems don’t feel super fun until the VERY end of the game, when you can really start unlocking abilities and perks that start working together more effectively. (For example, in Xenoblade, I always feel like the combat just starts clicking at the very end).
Posted: 08/20/22, 22:56:01
Finished Banjo-Tooie 100%. Did the Stop 'n' Swop stuff with Banjo-Kazooie for the helluvit...

The last world was definitely the weakest @Mop it up, but I still had fun with it. If nothing else, it offered something different than the other levels in the game, despite feeling scattershot in its design.

Overall I had a great time with both of these games. If I had to pick one over the other, I think I liked Tooie more. The gameplay and QoL improvements (warp points, hanging on ledges, first-person aiming, faster swimming, etc.) eliminated many of the frustrating moments that I had in the first game. With all of the abilities from the first game carried over and so many new abilities on top of that, Tooie offers a much richer experience. And by focusing even more on the adventuring/exploration/puzzle-solving elements over platforming, they really established an identity for these games here, whereas the first game was more directly comparable to Mario 64.

If Rare (or some other hired gun Microsoft picks to do it) were to ever make a true Banjo-Threeie, I'd love to see them continue leaning into the massive, sprawling worlds and have even more interconnectivity between them. Even a remake of Banjo-Tooie with all areas connected seamlessly would be pretty awesome.
Posted: 08/21/22, 22:46:24
@TheBigG753 Glad to see you liked the game! I'm curious, what was your final play time on the two games?

Yeah, I don't think the final world is bad, just not as good as most of the rest. There are a few things I like about it and it is a good place to fly around, though it does contain my most-hated moment by far in the game with Canary Mary. Be honest, does your thumb hurt?

This brings me to the last of the few things I didn't like as much as Kazooie: the final fight. While did I still enjoy the quiz show and how that element carried over into the tank battle in a way, the final sequence in Kazooie is definitely better. But to be fair, Kazooie's finale is just so creative and epic, it'd be pretty tough to top it. What did you think of it?
Posted: 08/22/22, 22:54:43
This has been the worst year of Backlaugust for me. I haven't played anything!
Posted: 08/23/22, 08:09:29
I'm roughly halfway through Conker's Bad Fur Day. Going from remastered versions of Banjo to what is essentially the N64 version of Conker was a bit jarring; in hindsight I probably should have played this one first. The camera is especially rough (the right-stick camera controls are horizontally-inverted from what I'm used to, and it can't be changed).

The game itself is...interesting. In some ways it's a product of its time, and in other ways it feels ahead of its time. What stands out the most to me is how its story is very self-aware about being a video game, often breaking the 4th wall, while the game itself has stripped away most game conventions. There's no obvious level/mission structure, semblance of progression or any real indication of what the objectives are. You kinda just stumble from situation to situation amid escalating chaos with nothing really telling you where to go next, and aside from sometimes getting cash, the "reward" for solving a problem is generally intangible - Conker stumbles his way into something else, and the plot moves forward.

Even putting aside the crudeness and over-the-top violence in such a cute, colorful mascot platformer, a game with this sort of structure must have felt really unusual back in 2001, especially for a platformer. Contrast it with Banjo, which has clearly defined levels gated by your progress collecting certain items, with each level having its own list keeping track of how many collectibles you've found. Even today, a game like this would be rare outside of the indie realm, with so many modern games drowning in menus-upon-menus and overcluttered HUDs, keeping tabs on your mission progress and pointing you where to go next at all times.

Not everything in this game works, and a lot of things frustrate the poo out of me, but I admire what it's trying to do. Despite so many elements which are so obviously dated, as a whole it feels fresh.

I've also started Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. Only played about a half hour, but the opening few minutes were absolutely ridiculous from a story perspective and I couldn't help but laugh.

Mop it up said:
@TheBigG753 Glad to see you liked the game! I'm curious, what was your final play time on the two games?
A little over 20 hours in Kazooie, and a little over 35 hours in Tooie. I was really driven to 100% both games and resisted the urge to look anything up. In Tooie, I managed to get through it all without any help, except one instance where I needed some advice...

Mop it up said:
Yeah, I don't think the final world is bad, just not as good as most of the rest. There are a few things I like about it and it is a good place to fly around, though it does contain my most-hated moment by far in the game with Canary Mary. Be honest, does your thumb hurt?
...and this was that instance. This was quite the adventure. After how manageable the race was in the mines level, I thought for sure I was missing something here. There's a signpost in Cloud Cuckooland about "she who mends carts also mends mice" which confused the heck out of me, because I thought that meant I needed someone to fix the mechanical mouse to make it go faster (but apparently this signpost is only there for if you got to the last world without ever doing the first races in the mines). I wasn't even coming close to winning by mashing with my thumb, and from what I read online the race is even more unforgiving in the Xbox remaster (compared to N64) and even worse when running on Series X. I thought about just giving up. But I read one suggestion to not use your thumb, and instead use your index finger and essentially mash with your entire arm. And with a gratuitous amount of pausing during the races, this worked! So my thumb is not too sore, but my index finger is.

Mop it up said:
This brings me to the last of the few things I didn't like as much as Kazooie: the final fight. While did I still enjoy the quiz show and how that element carried over into the tank battle in a way, the final sequence in Kazooie is definitely better. But to be fair, Kazooie's finale is just so creative and epic, it'd be pretty tough to top it. What did you think of it?
I didn't care for either final boss fight to be honest. I felt both were frustrating with cheap enemy attacks, and simply ran on too long. That said, I have to agree with you that Kazooie's was better. At the very least it was more creative and varied and made use of more of your abilities. The FPS sequences might be the worst thing about Tooie, and that the final boss is essentially more of that was lame.

I think you may be right that they simply ran out of time, and this is reflected in the later worlds and ending sequences. I felt even Hailfire Peaks was a little bit thrown together. I was expecting a lot of interplay between the hot and cold sides when it came to solving puzzles, but there was very little of this. It's mostly just half of a lava level and half of a snow level spliced together down the center. That's not to say it wasn't good, but it felt to me like it was supposed to be more than it was.
Posted: 08/23/22, 17:36:41  - Edited by 
 on: 08/23/22, 17:45:45
@TheBigG753 I can't even imagine it being worse than the original! That button-mashing is one thing they should have fixed for this version. On that note, I was kind of disappointed in the Xbox 360 version of Banjo-Tooie, since it wasn't as improved as 360 Kazooie. Sure, the smoother framerate is nice, though honestly that never bothered me much anyway. They didn't improve the draw distance of objects over the original, so it's still the same as the N64 version. Some of the sound effects don't play properly, either. There may be a couple other small things I forget at this point.

Sounds like you're going through quite the N64 hit list! I think the main thing that ages Conker's Bad Fur Day is the control, it feels a bit clunky even compared to its contemporaries. Otherwise, I think the game holds up fairly well from its uniqueness, and I actually prefer these graphics over the Xbox remake since I think this style better suits the tone and theme. It helps that it has quite possibly the best presentation values of any N64 game, and all this without the Expansion Pak even!

If you hated Tooie's FPS segments though, then, uh, uuuummmmmm... well good luck mate!
Posted: 08/24/22, 23:19:36
Finished up Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance! (On PS4 as part of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue). Years in the making!

I know it’s stupid and convoluted but I actually love Kingdom Hearts. The games can be frustrating and repetitive, but the music and stories and convoluted setups stick with me long after I put the games down. I’m looking to play A Fragmentary Passage next, followed by the Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover movie. THEN it will be time for Kingdom Hearts 3…if I can find it on sale soon. I think it should mostly run smooth on Series X, but it will be weird playing Kingdom Hearts on an XBox controller…

(I’d love to finish Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy before the end of the month…but I think I’m only halfway through it. I’m at some part with eggs currently)
Posted: 08/25/22, 01:45:04  - Edited by 
 on: 08/25/22, 01:48:41
Chex Quest HD
I bought this out of curiosity when it was on sale for 18 cents. For those unaware, it's a remake of a promotional FPS game in the 90s that some lucky kids found in boxes of Chex cereal. What a strange thing to bring back, nostalgia knows no bounds! And I've gotta say...

...I'm hungry for Chex Mix! It's only 5 stages long and they're about as large as a midsize DooM level, so it was a pretty quick completion. I mentioned DooM since the original utilized the DooM engine, though this one is a full remake that redesigns the stages with some 3D elements like moving platforms and room-over-room architecture. The whole thing feels very amateurish, like something a fan makes in Unity; I can't help but feel the actual original game has more charm, it's a shame they didn't also include it in this package. This remake also appears to be missing several features from the original, such as difficulty settings, a map, and some sound effects.

Super Bomberman R
This is a game I put down years back since I wasn't into it. I had gotten it mainly for multiplayer, but even way back when, it was already dead online. Going back to it, I can see that I had left off at 3-1 in the story mode. Resuming play, I gotta say...

...I can see why I didn't stick with it! Each stage is basically defeating all enemies or avoiding enemies, without much to switch up the monotony. The bosses are a little more interesting, but drag on a bit long. At least it can be played in 2-player co-op. I finished all the worlds including the bonus world. I regret buying this game, but oh well. There are cosmetics and battle arenas to unlock from collecting coins, but story mode hardly doles out any, so I can only imagine how long that would take to get everything. I wonder if playing online gave out a lot more coins...

Pokkén Tournament DX
On a whim I decided to try out this game about a month ago, and have been playing it in short bursts off and on. I don't normally care for fighting games but my significant other is into them so I figured I should try out some more of them. And I've gotta say...

...I liked it a lot more than I thought I would! It strikes a good balance of complexity and accessibility, and avoids a number of elements that I dislike about the genre. The controls and mechanics are pretty simple to pick up and learn with no complex combos or button inputs, but there's still a good variety of moves to keep things interesting. There are a lot of visual indicators which make it fairly easy to keep track of what types of moves are being used and understand what happened in an exchange to do a better job dealing with it next time. The phase shift mechanic is clever and helps fights be a real back-and-forth affair instead of just getting trapped in combos a whole match. The game featuring Pokémon characters makes it feel more goofy and less dramatic than a typical fighter.

Anyhoos, the credits rolled after beating the single player leagues, so I'm counting it as a completed game though I'm not done playing it. There's one bonus league to play, plus some more mission panels to finish. There isn't a whole lot to the game so I don't know how long it will last, it could use some more modes and options. The roster feels a little light with 21 characters (+2 as expensive DLC, no thanks), but each one has a fairly unique moveset so there's a lot of variety amongst them. I wonder if we'll ever get a sequel to expand on this solid foundation...
Posted: 08/25/22, 03:42:27
Lots of things I wanna comment on--I should've dropped in more often.

I have completed Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles! I even bought me a Wii Zapper online halfway through so I could wield that sucker while pretending I was a member of S.T.A.R.S.

All in all, it was a pretty good shooter. The story ended up being fairly fun to follow since it goes through so many time periods and plot threads, and while it's nothing great, it's got that irresistible campy feel that I enjoyed so much in RE4. The missions themselves are pretty uneven; some of them (RE0 and RE1) are largely quite fun and polished, bringing back cool memories of the games they're from. But the RE3 section feels like a casualty of a lower budget, with barely anything of interest in the story scenes and a pretty nondescript set of locales.

The gunplay itself is good, with lots of destructible environments. The game really pushes you to make critical (between the eyes) headshots since the zombies are annoyingly hardy without them (I'm talking 5-10 shots to the head or like 15 to the body otherwise). And if you pop them in the head but not their critical spot, their head flops back and makes the next shots even harder. This kind of makes 2P a bit frenetic as you're both kind of screwing up each other's shots.

So in that way, the blasting isn't quite as satisfying as in something a little more visceral and arcadey like Time Crisis. But I did appreciate the number of upgrades you could do to your weaponry and the various unlocks in the game. If I cared to, pursuing all the S ranks and unlocking everything could easily take me another 20 hours of play (and I already spent a dozen or so to beat it). So all in all, a very decent light gun shooter which has a few niggling issues. Some of which are solved in Darkside Chronicles...which incidentally has its own problems! Oh well.

@Mop it up
Interesting to read your thoughts on X7 and X8 (neither of which I've played). How would you rank the 8 games in the series against each other? Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 has gotta be one of the worst compilations of a good series ever... :p

I like how you've "gotta say" stuff!

@Stan McStanly
What'd you think of Super Metroid, my all-time favorite game?

@TheBigG753
Tooie is a good game and very ambitiously designed, but although I beat it back in 2000, it's a bit too chunky for me to return to it and really commit (I end up losing interest halfway the last couple times I tried). There's a lot of effort put into it, which I appreciate. And being the T-Rex was cool decades before Mario did it. Gotta say though, the Grunty fight in B-K 1 might be my favorite boss fight on the entire N64! I loved the music and how it challenged you to utilize your entire moveset, what a battle.

Rare removing Gruntilda's rhyming sucked though. Biggest mistake of the generation, bigger than Nintendo alienating third-parties with carts.

@TheBigG753
Conker is one of my favorite N64 games, and you're right about the structure--you're largely just stumbling into new bizarre sequences under the loose pretense of wanting to find your way back home. I also enjoy the game's Looney Tunes style approach of irreverence; it's not all potty humor, there's a definite wry Bugs Bunny appeal to Conker himself.

My buddy and I still play the multiplayer from time to time. It's surprisingly varied and surprisingly fun throughout its different modes. Beach, Heist, Raptor and Colors all get tons of play from us in particular, and there was the span of a month or so where we were obsessed with Tanks.
Posted: 08/25/22, 07:24:36  - Edited by 
 on: 08/25/22, 07:28:07
TheBigG753 said:
a lot of things frustrate the poo out of me

Posted: 08/25/22, 10:50:51
@Shadowlink
Hah, that prune juice segment is probably the grossest part of the game in my opinion. Poo is fairly abstract when you're listening to a brown blob sing about his corn teeth, but watching it pour out of a cow's butt, no thanks!
Posted: 08/25/22, 16:46:13
How many bosses are there after the first 8 in MegaMan X2? I got to the second one at the Arctic base, after the wrecking ball guy.

I feel like most of the abilities only have practical use in a few parts of different stages. The saw wheel, fire blast, bubbles, and the rock throw seem like the most all around useful ones.
Posted: 08/25/22, 21:09:58
I think it's just 3? stages, and then the stage where you have to fight everyone again, and then the end area?
Posted: 08/26/22, 01:15:08
Not sure if replays count, but i beat metroid fusion a second time and got a different ending.
Posted: 08/27/22, 18:28:31
Not sure if this counts, since I didn’t name it at the beginning of the month…but I beat the Game Boy version of Donkey Kong tonight. That was sitting on my backlog for a WHILE.

Counts? Doesn’t count?
Posted: 08/28/22, 03:48:35
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