Last few months' progress
Long overdue update on my progress on retroachievements.org! Lot has happened in the meantime; I've been trying out a LOT of different games, so I'll stick to the ones I made the most progress in.
My full-time employment has sadly ended now, so I'll have even more time for gaming while working only part-time now. I'll try to make these updates monthly now in the future.
New retroachievements.org score:
22325 points - Rank 256 (of 22942 registered players, up from Rank 437)
-) Super Tennis (first person ever!) (SNES)
-) Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R (Super Famicom)
-) Donkey Kong Land (Gameboy)
-) Yugioh World Championship 2005 - 7 Trials to Glory (GBA)
-) Yugioh: Eternal soul duelist (GBA)
-) Wario Ware Inc. Mega Microgames (GBA)
-) Asterix (NES)
-) Pokemon Blue (GB)
-) Pokemon Yellow (GB)
-) Super Tennis
Mastering this game meant beating the season mode 16 times - once with each playable character in the game. One playthrough takes around 3 hours, so do the math. Only challenge in this effort was to bestir myself to finish that game once and for all, and that I eventually did. First person ever!
-) Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R
A mediocre Sailor-Moon-themed beat 'em up, I lucked out as I mastered this when only a few achievements were required (by now the set has been upgraded, which in this case was rightly justified. I remember some of the achievements used to be utterly broken). It's a short and easy game, pretty forgettable.
-) Donkey Kong Land
Quite surprised they could put out such a nice DKC game on the gameboy! Some of the moves feel off (e.g. bouncing off enemies), but it's a decent enough companion series to the classic SNES trilogy. Saving the game via collecting the KONG letters was a big pain. Some of the levels are ridiculously big, less would've been more here. Overall this set wasn't too hard.
-) Yugioh World Championship 2005 - 7 Trials to Glory
Finished this set after all. Gotta admit I looked up the duel puzzles - I can't be bothered with this shit (and even in that era, I don't yet know all of the cards). Playing "uncapped" decks in the shadow realm was a lot of fun. Certainly the point where you can build the most ridiculous Exodia deck in any of the games. All the nonsense with spreading out the tournaments based on the passing of days dragged this game down and accomplished really nothing. There's not even proper documentation for how the special character duels work exactly anywhere on the internet! Still, this game and its set were decent enough overall.
-) Yugioh: Eternal soul duelist
More straight forward than WC 2005. The set requires you to do a LOT of duels. Since the pack system makes it hard to get the cards you want (you can get cards via the password machine though, I did so only 1 time - no clue if there is any restriction on it), the deck choices are rather limited. I eventually went for a discard deck (3 Needle worms), which works extremely well as pretty much every opponent has cards like Pot of greed, Graceful charity and the ridiculous Jar duo (Morphing and Cyber) and hence helps you in draining his own deck. For the same reason it's often not really worth summoning big monsters since they are off the field very very quickly anyway. Funnily enough you can't see the limited list in this game at all, you just notice eventually that you can't e.g. put 3 Cyber jars in your deck. Sometimes the game annoyingly forces random duels on you, which accomplishes nothing since you duel all those opponents in the regular campaign mode anyway. So to cut a long story short, this game was very easy and took a lot of grinding, but at least it got me to try out a new deck type that I'll give a shot in WC 2006 too now.
-) Wario Ware Inc. Mega Microgames (GBA)
Where has this game been hiding all my life! Instant top 20 in my favourite games of all time, and earning that spot is some feat at this stage in my life! The entire concept of microgames both appeals to me and favours my gaming talents, so this one is a hit out of the ballpark in my book. Even after completing the set I'm going back to this title time and again to improve my scores on the leaderboards, especially for the featured minigames (Paper plane etc). Fantastic game, and a huge shame all the sequels are based on shitty gimmicks. First game was the best in the series already? Leave it to those Nintendo dimwits!
Nice enjoyable NES platformer. Controls are mostly tight, although you tend to slip off those narrow platforms a little big too easily (can be very frustrating if you're going for the 25 lives achievement - which is currently broken anyway since it triggers on game over AAARGH). Game is rather short and easy. Checking off a platforming game is always a nice occurrence since those are not exactly my forte.
-) Pokemon Blue
Never imagined I would complete a Pokemon set! This was one of only two Gameboy games I had beaten as a kid, the other one being Link's Awakening. Completing this game proved to be difficult in only two regards, namely in levelling all required Pokemon enough to evolve to their final form, and in obtaining the ridiculously expensive Porygon (which I don't even consider a real Pokemon since it's described as virtual in the game - how would it ever be able to battle physical creatures?!?). Fulfilling these two requirements the "real" way was completely out of the question, so glitches came to the rescue! I usually avoid glitching entirely, since these things are mostly annoying trial-and-error experiments, so I was not looking forward to having to find out how to duplicate items. Luckily, in Blue/Red there's the very comfortable "Old Man method", and so, using several of the myriads of guides that are available for this game on the internet, after quite some trouble with catching those resilient Safari Zone pokemon (you know the ones!), I put this game in its place, feeling very satisfied!
-) Pokemon Yellow
Needless to say, after beating Blue I immediately tackled the next Generation I game. They sure could have put more effort into this revised version! The additional Team Rocket battles are so sparse and crappy there's no point to them in the first place! If this game was supposed to reflect the anime more closely, why didn't they go all the way and let Brock and Misty join the player, complete with banter as in the show! Completely missed opportunity and it's no wonder Yellow is the sole tertiary variation in the Pokemon family, and the only game based on the show.
Since this game was so similar, completing the set should've been just as easy... right? NO. They actually... took. out. the. old. man! As soon as that fact registered with me, I knew I had to learn another item duplication method, and boy, was that tiresome! Documentation on the Ditto glitch is all over the internet, but the sources also contradict each other A LOT. Since I had wasted all of my long-range trainers but ONE (except for another in the water, which I found out doesn't help) I was very close to giving up altogether and only after doing a lot of research (2 hours to be exact!) on my last try (!) I finally made the impossible happen and got MissingNo. to spawn. Heureka! Now only Red awaits my crushing fist before I can finally move on to Generation II - which I haven't played in around ten years.
Other mentionable games:
-) Antarctic adventure (Famicom)
A very early Famicom title. You race a penguin across Antarctica, avoiding obstacles such as holes and walrus (I think) while collecting flags for points. Really not much to this rather bizarre game. It took me a bit to get the hang of it, but I mostly finished it. I'll go for that last missing achievement only when the mood catches me - but recently I've become more concerned about set completions than mere points (because of terrorists medding with perfectly fine sets and even single-handedly changing rom versions (!)), so it might very well happen.
-) Legend of Zelda: Link's awakening (GBC)
One of the two games I beat on the original machine as a kid (though it was the non-colour version to be exact back then). The second best Zelda game after the eternal Link to the Past. But this one got Marin, which is ridiculously superior to the slimy and useless princess (well excuuuse me!), so it's a standout title for that alone. Controls are tight, there's a big world to explore (certainly too big for me, so I standardly have to refer to guides with titles as this one), the story is wonky but that's all right in my book. I can't see myself finishing this set, as the no-damage bosses would require a lot of pattern memorisation and trial-and-error - not to mention beating the game without dying once to see the complete ending! Fantastic game, and there's still a few proper Zelda games for me to look forward to (on the handhelds, that is), since this is also the most recent Zelda game I've ever played for more than a few hours.
-) Yugioh World Championship 2006 - Ultimate Masters (GBA)
Now we're talking! This is the first title in the classic period of Yugioh games on Nintendo handhelds, which lasted until the 2011 incarnation of the World Championship series. With this game, the proper deck building system is in place, and packs FINALLY correspond to their real life equivalents! Limited and theme duels are established, and opponents are selectable at will (once you unlocked them, that is). Coupled with fast gameplay, these revolutions make this game a true classic in the Yugioh video game family. Naturally I'm planning to finish this set.
I've played a lot more games, but this update is long enough already (because I kept delaying it). Next anime review will be Another, and after that one... there are a few choices, but all of them would require a lot of work... *sigh*.