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Arcade Classics No. 3: Galaga & Galaxian (Game Boy)

Game Console Genre
Arcade Classics No. 3: Galaga & Galaxian Arcade Classics No. 3: Galaga & Galaxian Game Boy Fixed Shooter

Greetings! Yes, the time has come once again to fight back those terrible alien bugs! Who knows what their deal is - but, we all know peace was never an option. Galaga and Galaxian largely need no introductions - they’re classics! So, what makes this set stand out?

Well, to answer that, you must ask yourself: Can you clear a level in Galaga before the bugs even start fighting back? Or what if you could only shoot enemies that were flying down at you? How about clearing a stage in Galaxian one row at a time? With perfect accuracy? Blindfolded??

These are the questions I asked to take things a bit beyond your standard arcade set. Well, alright, maybe not the thing about the blindfold. But it encourages you to approach game play from a whole new direction than you would otherwise. If you find these ideas interesting - or maybe you just like shooting space bugs - I’d certainly be honored if you gave my set a shot!

Kwirk (Game Boy)

Game Console Genre
Kwirk Kwirk Game Boy Action Puzzle (Maze)

Kwirk is part of the Puzzle Boy series by Atlus and it features a rad tomato with a green mohawk. You are on a quest to save your missing tomato girlfriend Tammy from the puzzle maze with the occasional help from your produce friends. The game is a sokoban puzzler with two distinct game modes, both with three difficulty settings; easy, average and hard. Going Up is the traditional puzzle mode with each difficulty consisting of ten static floors that you can play in any order you like.

Heading Out mode lets you pick a difficulty and then the amount of rooms you want to challenge in a mini-puzzle gauntlet with a randomized selection of rooms, a timer counting upwards and scoring based on how fast you clear the rooms. You can even play Heading Out as a versus mode with a Game Boy link cable, and to top it all off, each mode also supports two viewing perspectives for the game play; the slightly angled Diagonal View and the top-down Bird’s Eye View.

The puzzles themselves revolve around walls, turnstiles, blocks and holes of varying sizes with the occasional multi-character level sprinkled in. Walls are there to innately limit your play area, turnstiles need to be set up in a certain way to progress, blocks need to be pushed out of the way or into holes to create new space to walk on and in multi-character levels it’s all of that while cycling between different characters.

The difficulty curve is very satisfying when playing through the Going Up mode as most puzzles have clear goals in sight with some devious misdirection thrown in. Couple of the later levels can be real headscratchers but the game never goes too far with its puzzle design in my opinion and there is a magical button named Back in the options menu in case you flub something up. In Heading Out the puzzles are more tame for the most part and you can learn to solve all of the rooms over time but the randomized order, occasional flipped room variants and scoring make for a fun change from the static campaign of Going Up.

Atlus has done a great job with Kwirk and you should give it a shot of tomato juice.

Little Big Adventure (Playstation)

Game Console Genre
Little Big Adventure Little Big Adventure PlayStation Adventure

While developing this game, I started to really see that this was not a Little Big Adventure but really a Big Little Adventure. Now you might be confused but don’t worry because I can explain. In the world of Twinsun, there lies many different kinds of inhabitants such as the Rabbibunny or the more familiar Quetch, a type of npc that is based off humans.

While traveling this world, you will be meeting characters that help you advance in the game either by offering you advice or by helping you along your journey. The game is split up into different parts and with the completion of each part, you learn more about Twinsen, our main protagonist. From breaking out of an Asylum to stealing motorbikes there is a lot to enjoy in this game. Did I mention you get to throw a bouncing ball around as a weapon? This ball comes in three different colors represented by your power level and only comes in one shape and size. At this point, you might be wondering “What is this game?”. This is an open-world RPG with no character customization but a ton of things to do and complete such as side quests.

Now onto the set design. This game has a few missables but are marked with triggers so you can expect an icon to appear when your attention is needed. Completion of this set means 100% the game as you will have to collect every item in the game and defeat at least one of each type of enemy. The set has been ordered in the order of events you should proceed should you ever feel lost. This was an enjoyable game to play as it was to develop a set for. I hope if you give this a chance that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (Playstation Portable)

Game Console Genre
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII PlayStation Portable Action role-playing

Get ready to join SOLDIER as Zack Fair. This game precedes the story of Final Fantasy VII and lets you see Midgar through the eyes of a down to earth hero who learns more and more about what SOLDIER is all about. While getting introduced to two new characters like Angeal and Genesis you also get reacquainted with Sephiroth before incidents take place in VII. As you play the game you’ll get to partake in side missions as you follow the story path, receive emails from coworkers and even fan clubs.

Didn’t you always want to know what type of shampoo and conditioner Sephiroth used in his hair? On top of that there are plenty of mini games sprinkled throughout the game to keep you learning new things. Despite this being a final fantasy title this game actually is an Action RPG and not just the classic turn based style, dodging is your friend. This was my favorite game on the PSP growing up and if you play it I think you could understand why. Give it a shot! For Gongaga!

~Unlicensed~ Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (NES)

Game Console Genre
~Unlicensed~ Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children ~Unlicensed~ Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children NES Role-Playing Game

Final Fantasy VII was well known for bringing the series into the next console generation on the original PlayStation, but what would it have looked like on the NES like the first three entries? Thanks to efforts from people like Lugia2009 to polish it up, I can easily answer that it would be pretty fun.

Regarding how much of the original game’s story is here, it has almost everything of disc 1, but quickly skims the events of everything after that (If you went for the ultimate weapons early, you could probably beat the game in under an hour after that scene).

The EXP system is similar to games like Kiseki, Ys, and Super Mario RPG from what I remember. The max EXP from a single enemy seems to be around 700. Once you have reached a high enough level, earlier areas will start to give you less EXP and therefore less Gil (since it is based on EXP earned), but later areas will still give you around 700. This system is very forgiving with how high of a level you need to be before the amounts earned start to be reduced.

Speaking about EXP and combat, I really found the leveling system to be fun (Kinda reminds me of what Final Fantasy II tried to do but on a smaller scale). What can be a little annoying however is getting all the ultimate weapons, which can only drop from enemies (along with a few other weapons that are stronger that those from the shop). While getting Aeris’ weapon is fairly easy (only three drops for her), some characters require you to get eight drops for theirs! Thankfully the game was balanced enough for these weapons to not be necessary to finish the game.

Overall, if you’ve played the original FF7 (or if you’re a fan of the earlier games in the series) and want a little twist with how it works, along with seeing what could be done with an NES game, then I would highly recommend trying this set. Many thanks to mickyt888 mickyt888 for creating the set, which was what finally convinced me to try this bootleg out after hearing about it for so long.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! Bonus (NES)

Game Console Genre
Punch-Out!! | Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! [Bonus] Punch-Out!! | Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! [Bonus] NES Sports (Boxing)

Many of you may be familiar with Punch-Out for the NES, and many have even beaten the likes of Mike Tyson. For those who’ve already beaten the game, but want to go one step further and be truly tested on your skill and knowledge of it, Punch-Out [Bonus] is your next great challenge.

The challenges progress in difficulty is just like the original game, so the first few fighters will have relatively simple challenges. Glass Joe challenges, for example, can be done even by non-experts of the game. However, as you go on you’ll quickly see difficulty ramping up to well beyond the original game.

The Major Circuit contains a lot of challenges that will require a bit more time than you’re used to. The World Circuit is when the bonus difficulty really starts to set in, requiring both knowledge of the fighters patterns, exploits, and really tight timing on each of your moves.

No two challenges is the same for a fighter and will require an attempt of their own. The greatest challenges lie in the final three fighters, with most of their conditions being the most simple, so toughen up and get ready to be fully committed if you want this badge on your page.

The glitch achievements provide a small level of fun, as they’re relatively simple to pull off. The other hardest challenges, however, lie in the full circuit achievements. Be prepared for the gauntlet and reattempt the hardest fights many times before you feel confident in doing all 14 fights without getting knocked down once. One slipup, and a Tyson uppercut may send your run spiraling to the floor faster than Little Mac!

If you feel like you want a incredibly hard but fun and varied set of challenges to tackle in a boxing game you’ve conquered, Punch-Out [Bonus] is the challenge to accept.

Mega Man Powered Up (Playstation Portable)

Game Console Genre
Mega Man Powered Up Mega Man Powered Up PlayStation Portable Action Platformer

The original Mega Man is a real cool game. Memorable bosses, fun stages, and some seriously catchy tunes. It’s pretty short though, and there’s not a lot to it. That’s where Mega Man Powered Up comes in. Featuring a cutesy aesthetic (It grows on you I promise!), two new bosses, and re-imagined stages, you’ll be able to enjoy Mega Man in a whole new light.

The biggest selling point though is the addition of playable Robot Masters, alongside Mega Man’s siblings. Beat any of Wily’s stolen bots with just the Mega Buster and they’ll join your roster, allowing you to play through the entire game with new abilities. This makes the game incredibly content-dense, as for full completion you’ll be jumping & shooting through 13 stages with a dozen characters. On top of this, there are 100 challenge stages that will test your ability to handle each robot’s powers and nearly thirty official “dlc” stages delivered by the power of the Internet.

If all that sounds like too much you can also play the original game, complete with the original stages and music, using the new visuals. It’s Mega Man…But Powered Up!

Colony Wars Vengeance (Playstation)

Game Console Genre
Colony Wars: Vengeance Colony Wars: Vengeance PlayStation Space Combat Simulator

Colony Wars Vengeance is arcade space dogfighting game, featuring 41 missions, non-linear progression and 5 ships for player to operate. Sequel to the original Colony Wars, it tells a story of how Navy forces, banished into Sol system by League of Free Worlds, attempt to recover from isolation and scarce of resources under the leadership of Kron. You will take a role of Navy pilot, Mertens, to assist in Navy’s vengeance on League forces.

Personally I still revisit this game due to how much I like it’s combat. There are not that many games in the genre that I’d get same amount of satisfaction from, either they have very complex controls and gam eplay elements, or there’s not that challenge in aiming your weapons. I also like ship designs and variety of missions. The love for the game ended up in making an achievement set for it.

If you happen to be Ace Combat fan like me, it’d be another reason why I’d recommend you trying out Colony Wars. The controls will feel similar, and the fact you have to aim with your ship makes for challenging dogfights.

Mastering the achievement set will make you experience every mission, often paired with additional challenge. I was probably inspired by Ace Combat ranking system which usually requires player to be efficient. Some of the achievements will force you to play in completely different styles you probably wouldn’t on regular playthrough.

Beware, Vengeance can be tough! Do not let first three missions to make you think otherwise, because these are merely a “tutorial”. You’ll have to finish several missions at once before being allowed to save, sometimes you will deal with very tight time limits. Understanding how to dodge enemy attacks while keeping fire on capital ships is essential to survival. Grapple controls you either adapt to or will hate them forever. This is a game in which suggesting you to practice certain achievements in softcore first can be a good advice.

I also left some commentary on set development in the forum thread, if you’re achievement developer yourself, maybe you’ll find it interesting.