Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The 1000 Games I've Beaten (#284 - 298)

#284 Final Fantasy IV Advance (Game Boy Advance) – Winter 2008

2008 was a bit of a new beginning. Went to college on a part time basis, was doing better in general than the previous couple years, and had most of my backlog obliterated from the 2007 finishing-fest. Probably the last time I was ever "caught-up" on games (except the Zelda Crusade, of course). Played a lot of new stuff in 2008. Today we've got the entirety of 2008 in one post.

So FFIV Advance. Big step down from the original IMO. Yeah it's portable FFIV and that was a really cool thing in the 2000's (not that it applied to me because I emulated it and played it on a large monitor). However they made a few mistakes with this. There was some bad slowdown and the battles didn't flow right at all. The postgame content was kind of neat because it let you add Yang back to the party (F you Edge lolol). Always thought Yang would have been a superior endgame character to Edge, and it turns out I was right. Endgame Yang dishes out serious damage. Hitting him with Fast/Berserk turns him into a damage beast.

However there wasn't much meat here for your customizable endgame party to chew on. The one real postgame superboss (Zeromus EG) was pretty easy and didn't necessitate any kind of careful preparation or effort. The postgame areas were also kind of strung-together copypasta areas. It didn't measure up to what we got in Dawn of Souls for the first two. (Wait...what happened to 3? Get used to asking that question, as FF3 got skipped multiple times during remake phases of this series)

Editor's Note: I've been informed that there's another postgame uberboss, Brachiorados, that is the REAL uber-challenge of the game. I don't remember that, but it's certainly the Toughest Part for this one.

All in all I thought that this game was inferior to the SNES version and wasn't that into it. It's basically the same thing only worse, outside of the postgame area which is really the only reason to check this version out at this point.

Hilarious Memory: I kinda thought maybe they'd throw Culex into this version of the game for the lulz and maybe I'd finally get that FFIV Culex fight. Nope, of course not.

Character of Choice: Rydia is probably the most fun to build up, as elemental weakness-striking is a big part of this game and she's got almost all the elements. I always give her all of my +HP and +MP consumables.

Fondest Memory: From the postgame, adding Yang back to the party and getting super weapons for characters was a cool extension of the game.

#285 Final Fantasy V Advance (Game Boy Advance) – Spring 2008

This one is significantly better. They got rid of the slowdowns and other problems from the previous game. The postgame is more robust here, adding four new classes, a plethora of superbosses, and a final fight that poses a real legit challenge unless you've really maximized your characters and their DPS. Good game here.

Fondest Memory: Doing the postgame stuff, like the previous one. New classes were cool and useful, everything felt like a worthy expansion to the game.

Character of Choice: Lenna is the cutest of the bunch.

Toughest Parts: Neo Shinryu, Neo Omega, and Enuo are the three big superbosses in this one, along with a number of other lesser postgame bosses. There's a set of new classes to help with these fights. All in all finishing this was a great time. Would I take this over the new PR version? Not sure, but it's a tossup if anything.

#286 Samurai Warriors – Spring 2008

Like Dynasty Warriors, only Japan. I can't really tell the games in this particular series apart, but I remember playing as Nobunaga first and he had a purple fire sword. This was a fun one and didn't take long.

Character of Choice: Finished this with a couple of characters. Nobunaga was the one who really stood out, as well he should.

Favorite Tune: Ise Nagashima. Good stage theme, up there with the high-energy stuff from the Dynasty games.

#287 Fire Emblem 8: The Sacred Stones (Game Boy Advance) – Summer 2008

No connection to the previous two FEs that I was so into, but it is a bit more polished and pretty. Main thing I remember is how damn gorgeous the main character Eirika is.

This one was significantly more challenging than the two I played before this, and as the game went on it demanded a real understanding of the systems at play. This one is also a standalone with no connection to the games around it storywise, which is rare for this series.

Character of Choice: Eirika, of course.

#288 Spider Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage (Super NES) – Summer 2008

Game I played in 1997 and couldn't beat. Did a rematch, this time stockpiling superhero summons for the tough lategame fights, and managed to eke out a win. Game is super hard unless you have a good strategy going in, and most of that strategy involves collecting as many summons as possible and not using them except at specific parts.

Was good to finally knock this one out legitimately. Technically I beat the game once before, in 1999, by cheating. It was right around the time I played Separation Anxiety, answering the question of why I'd beat that mediocre game and not this one. Turns out I DID "beat" this one but didn't count it as a legitimate point until this replay in 2008.

Character of Choice: Venom. He's slower than Spidey, but hits a lot harder.

Toughest Part: That big boss rush at the end of the game. That's what you save most of your summons for (using a couple at certain earlier points).

Post HERE.

#289 Devil May Cry 3 (Playstation 2) – Summer 2008

Now this is a video game. Main thing I remember about this game is doing a lot of shaboinking with a friend from elementary school (pause, she and I were the same age, and both now 12 years older) and dying to the Cerberus boss repeatedly when I wasn't hanging out with her.

Anyway, this is a STELLAR game, and I don't use that term lightly. Probably the best action game on the PS2, and maybe the only 3D action game to date that plays as well to me as Mega Man X/X2 on retro 2D systems. There's even an air-dash.

It's also very, very tough. Legitimately tough, not a tough you can just go outlevel. There are a bunch of very cool and memorable boss fights throughout the game, and most of them are blistering. It's "Souls hard" before Souls games existed, and it's harder than any of those games. I had to really dedicate myself to playing this one and spend a lot of time on it, but I was rewarded with an incredible and memorable experience that remains one of my fonder game memories from the 2000's.

Favorite Boss: Nevan. Vampiric redhead with a hair-bra who blasts you with lightning, kind of hard to forget such a foe.

Toughest Part: Cerberus. I mean this whole game has lots of really tough parts, but I think Cerberus is the toughest because the fight is so early, you don't really have any powers yet, and you don't know what you're dealing with yet. It's a huge early-game filter that probably knocks a lot of players out of the running. Winning gets you the Bruce Lee Nunchucks with ice elemental power. Which is awesome.

#290 Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) – Summer 2008

Tremendous game here that I played all of at a friend's house over a few evenings. Yes, all of it. Did I get all 150 Stars? Unsure, but I definitely beat the game. Hard to remember too much about this game since it was so long ago and it all blends together with the sequel a couple years later. I mainly remember how gorgeous the game looks.

This is the Wii punching way above its weight visually. 480p resolution? Don't tell this game that. With all the vibrant colors and smooth animation, this game could hang with the graphics on much more advanced competing systems. Especially considering the late 2000's were the era of dull grey/brown gunmetal colored games on the PS3 and 360. This was like stepping into a technicolor world in comparison. In any case, this whole game is a fond memory, especially playing it with my friend cheering me on.

#291 Fire Emblem 9: Path of Radiance (Gamecube) – Summer 2008

Speaking of visuals, this game was kind of dull-looking. It went 3D compared to the flat 2D graphics of the previous games, with a slanted overhead perspective and 3D fight sequences. However everything was muddy and brown compared to the bright pastel colors of the previous games. Regardless, it was a good time, and is likely in the upper tier of Fire Emblem games. Lot of people swear by this game, for sure. After FE8 I wanted more and this was the next logical step. I think FE10 on Wii was out at this point, but not sure. It'd be a few years before I got to it, or the Wii, however.

#292 Final Fantasy IV 3D (Nintendo DS) – Summer 2008

Much harder version of FFIV than any of the others, adding several new superbosses (the last of which is among the hardest fights in the entire FF series, Proto Babil). I didn't do the superbosses in this playthrough and basically just scraped through to the end of the base game. Entire game is a struggle even if you only do the main story. This is one version of FFIV where I'd actually recommend stopping and level grinding at a few points, like right after getting Paladin Cecil on Mt Ordeals (have him solo everything in that area for a few hours).

Later in time (like...2022 I think) I played the Android version of this game* and fought the superbosses. However, it isn't just a simple matter of picking up a save file and fighting them. Nope. You have to start the game from scratch, play through it 3 times, and follow a very specific strategy of collecting augments and giving them out to your party members. The game only goes up to New Game ++, and to have a chance against the superboss you need your characters to be decked out in the right augments by then and plan out how you'll dole out said augments in each cycle.

It's a LOT of work, but it breathed new life into FFIV and I'm glad I eventually went back and did it. Defeated Proto-Babil in a couple tries after all that preparation. IIRC your levels reset on each cycle, but you retain the augments, which makes things easier. Not totally sure about the levels.

As for the 2008 run, that was a basic run in comparison but I remember enjoying it and especially liking the increased challenge after years of just kinda mowing FFIV over. That said, I could probably do without any more of these 3D FFs and would rather they put that effort into more expansive 2D remakes. At least they stopped with 3 and 4 and DID do more 2D remakes later.

* - The Android version won't be on the list, because it's the exact same game as the DS version outside of having better resolution...and giving you one Limit Break augment instead of two for some reason. So beating Proto-Babil on the Android version is actually even more of an accomplishment than on the DS. Yeah, definitely the toughest uberboss in the FF canon so far.


Toughest Part: Of the regular game, probably Doctor Lugae. They made him a total bastard in this game, nullifying your heals and dishing out all kinds of statuses. The one-two punch of Calbrena and Golbez is also a huge hurdle in this version. Even Mombomb puts up a serious fight. If counting the postgame, Proto Babil is the big challenge. That thing dishes out everything you can think of, like Emerald Weapon on steroids. With careful planning and a strategy formulated an entire game in advance, you can take him down. The other superboss, Geryon, is a more normal superboss and isn't much stronger than Zeromus. He's a cool idea though, a fusion of the four elemental fiends.

Character of Choice: In this one, Kain is probably the most OP character with endgame augments. Interestingly enough, most of the offense against the uberbosses revolves around him and Jump.

#293 Mega Man 9 (XBox 360) – Fall 2008

At this point I got an XBox 360, my first new-generation system...and immediately played retro budget game Mega Man 9. Hell I would say this game was half the reason I got the system. Not sure why I chose the 360 over the PS3, but later I'd regret that decision and get the PS3.

Mega Man 9 was the first new classic Mega Man game in a decade and it was a real blast to play, living up to the early games in the series and then some. The robot masters are all well-designed, their weapons are useful, and so on. Just a damn good time here. It's also super hard. Probably the hardest game I played in this calendar year, more than DMC3.

Oh yeah, and it's the first and only Mega Man game with a woman boss. Splash Woman, who is also the best entry-level boss out of the eight and attacks with siren sounds. She's very welcome on the board and hopefully we get another woman boss in the future. ...hopefully we get another classic Mega Man game at all in the future.

Favorite Boss: Splash Woman, partly because she's the only stage that wasn't a total bastard to try and clear first.

Toughest Part: There are lots, but what I remember being the most frustrated with was probably Jewel Man's stage and the several awful jumps within it. This game pulls no punches at all, and took me way longer to clear than any other Mega Man game. At least it doesn't have any on-rails levels like the MM8 Wily Fortress 1 nightmare.

Post HERE.

#294 Devil May Cry 4 (Xbox 360) – Fall 2008

The first actual high-def game I played on my new system. Considering how supremely good DMC3 had been, this was the other half of what sold me on upgrading systems (besides Mega Man 9 lol). Unfortunately this game is a notable step down from DMC3, even though it looks a lot prettier given the high-def graphics. You don't get to play as Dante until the second half of the game, and the second half is just a reverse order of the first half's stages. For the first half you play as Nero, who is basically just...a less-cool version of Dante. It's kinda like when the Mega Man series added Axl. Like, he's alright and everything, but why?

The story is dull, the villains are dull, and the whole thing has this weird vibe to it. It's all about taking on a nefarious faction of white-robed guys in a bright and shiny city, compared to the previous games which were all about demons and creepy undercities. Pretty much all of the creepy factor of the previous games is missing here. Well, it's a lot better than DMC2 at least and it does handle well, like all of them do. However on a series replay I'm liable to just run DMC1 and DMC3.

Character of Choice: Dante, because it ain't Nero.

#295 Doom 3 (Xbox) – Fall 2008

Speaking of creepy, this game knew what it was doing in that department. The 360's backwards compatibility proved useful here as I got to check out Xbox games I missed out on. This one is nothing like the first two Doom games and while I find it a lot less enjoyable, it does do "horror" quite well and is a good predecessor to things like Dead Space. While the other Dooms have you rampaging around to metal soundtracks, this one opts for a more Alien vibe where you're sneaking around dark corridors with a flashlight and a low ambient soundtrack, being stalked by various demonic entities.

It didn't get the best reviews, but if you go in without expectations that it'll be like the others, accept that it's a slower, scarier game, and play it in the dark, this can be a very good time.

#296 Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks (Playstation 2) – Winter 2008

MK spinoff that I just covered recently. It's debatably a series-best game, with only MK9 ranking above it for me personally at the moment. Funny thing is, both of those are retellings of the events of the early series. Shaolin Monks is more of a beat 'em up, and it's a super fun game with two players.

Fondest Memory: The whole finale (arena fight vs Shang Tsung, Kintaro, and Shao Kahn) is really damn good.

Post HERE.

#297 Dynasty Warriors 2 (Playstation 2) – Winter 2008

Main thing I remember about this game was that everything was a proto version of DW3 and that was pretty cool to see. DW3 was/is my favorite DW game so a proto version of it was interesting the same way something like Earthbound Zero would be. And like that game, this one was full of earlier versions of tracks I liked from DW3. Ran it a few times with different characters and had a good time.

Character of Choice: I played Zhao Yun a lot in this one.

#298 Chrono Trigger DS (Nintendo DS) - Winter 2008

Another port where the only thing really setting this apart from the original is the postgame content. Unfortunately, the postgame content in this one is pretty bad. It's one of those situations where they just kinda stuck other areas together willy-nilly and it's very obvious a different group of people made it compared to the content from the main story. I don't think Chrono Trigger needs anything added to it unless you can somehow rise to the level of the existing game, which has basically no weak points whatsoever.

Other than the subpar additions of the postgame, it's a perfectly decent port of a tremendous game. I debated even including it on the list because it's so similar to the SNES version, but I've included other ports that added postgame content.

On the plus side, I DID really like that the postgame stuff tied CT together with Chrono Cross very well, considering CC didn't do much tying of its own. At the end is a very cool uberboss fight with Dream Devourer that quite frankly the original game kinda needed something like. Yeah, Nu Spekkio is a worthy adversary, but you have to grind to nearly level 99 to make that fight available.

Character of Choice: Magus. I like that he's got all of the elements, and Dark Bomb / Dark Matter are really cool spells. Since he's sort of a secret/optional character, of the main cast my favorite is probably Lucca. She's the most "pure damage caster" of the bunch, and her Flare spell looks awesome.

The 1000 Games I've Beaten


  1. Just out of curiosity's sake, how have you kept track of this? Not just knowing every game you've played since you were a little kid but IN ORDER is very impressive!

    1. Started keeping a list in...I want to say 2008 or so, with some notes and whatnot. Everything before that was just me having to run off of memory (as of 2008). I'm pretty sure there are a number of mistakes early-on, like some 2004 things might have actually been in 2003, etc. Hopefully nothing was left out entirely.