May the Pile Be With You - Pile of Shame May 2024

Might be a better "synergy" had I posted this tomorrow.

Anyone up for a Star Wars themed pile month? Just a thought.

Some housekeeping notes.

A quick reminder, in order to be considered "Pile of Shame" the game needs to be at least three months old. Otherwise, it's just a new game you haven't gotten to playing yet.

If you're interested, trueheart78, has the 12 month 2024 pile plan thread over here.

Also, if you are curious about some of the previous threads, Picks of the Pile, etc... Please go here and check out the spreadsheet I setup.

This month's Pick of the Pile is

Lies of P


IMAGE(https://images.rpgsite.net/image/da49c9a1/125203/original/Lies-of-P_Key-Art-2023.jpg)
"You are a puppet created by Geppetto who's caught in a web of lies with unimaginable monsters and untrustworthy figures standing between you and the events that have befallen the world of Lies of P.

You are awakened by a mysterious voice that guides you through the plagued city of Krat - a once lively place that has been poisoned by madness and bloodlust." (Official Site)

Multi-Platform
Chained Echoes - Stele
Darkwood - 93_confirmed
Dead Space 2 - AUs_TBirD
Fallout 4 - jdzappa
Harvestella - brokenclavicle
Jusant - bobbywatson
Kingdom Come Deliverance - 93_confirmed
Lies of P - JohnKillo
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - AUs_TBirD
Marvel’s Midnight Suns - jdzappa
Minit - bobbywatson
Star Trek: Resurgence - AUs_TBirD
Star Wars Jedi Survivor - mrtomaytohead
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life - Forlorn Hope
Zombies Ate My Neighbors - AUs_TBirD

PC
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight - jdzappa

Switch
Luigi's Mansion 3 - Forlorn Hope
Super Mario Wonder - mrtomaytohead

NDS
Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 - JohnKillo

Sega CD
Silpheed - AUs_TBirD

SNES
Actraiser - AUs_TBirD

I started Chained Echoes (Switch, multi) last month and it's a lot of fun. Let's carry that over and see what happens this month.

Put me down for Super Mario Wonder (Switch). The game I'm playing on PC is most likely going to get dropped, so I'm not declaring it.

Two things to declare at the moment: Minit (multi) and Jusant (multi). Hoping to beat both this weekend.

Bringing over Yakuza 6: The Song of life (Multi) (Steam) and adding Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch) to start.

Here are my commitments:

Marvel’s Midnight Suns
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight
Fallout 4

I seem to have fallen down a Harvestella-shaped hole, so that's what I'll be on for May.

Kingdom Come Deliverence and Darkwood will keep me busy through May.

How does KCD not have a Catch All thread?? 40 hours in and its contending for my favorite RPG of all time slot. Tremendous game!

Lies of P (Multi)
Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 (NDS)

Minit is done. It was fine. I like the concept, but execution left me somewhat underwhelmed.

Hemidal wrote:

Anyone up for a Star Wars themed pile month?

I considered declaring Rogue Squadron III, but I'm just not feeling it. I'll do you one better though and declare something from LucasArts and something Star Trek.

Declaring:
Dead Space 2 (PS3/multi) - gonna give this yet another shot. In chapter 5.
Star Trek: Resurgence (PC/multi) - I'm about 1/3 through it in 2 sessions. Really loving it, and it nails the feeling of being a Trek episode.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES/multi) - only ever played a bit of this once a decade ago and got bored quickly. Tried it with the kids the other day, and while they didn't care for it, I really got into it. Assuming it doesn't get stupid-hard later on, I figure I can cross this off this month.

Declaring and simultaneously declaring finished:
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (PC/multi) - As of right now my game of the year - by a light year!
Actraiser (SNES) - somewhat stiff controls during the action sequences, but they were forgiving enough to have it not matter. City development sections were also enjoyable if simple. A nice way to spend a few afternoons.

Also plan to try to finish Rollerdrome (PC/multi), but since I just bought it, it's sadly not eligible.

Finished Jusant. I was somewhat lukewarm on it for most of its runtime, but I did end up liking it in the end. Definitely on the lower half of this year's top games for me.

I will go back to get the collectibles I did not find.

Saved the universe in Star Trek: Resurgence. What an incredible narrative game! I just LOVE how they took a once-and-done race from a 30-something year old Trek episode, as well as a relatively minor once-and-done side character, and elevated them to the central focus in what is basically an interactive Star Trek movie! I say movie, because it took me about 11 hours, and it rarely felt like I was taking my time.
Made by a group of former core Telltale Games staff, this is exactly the type of game you would expect from them. Most of your choices don't seem to matter much in the grand scheme - it's all about the relationships you forge with a few central characters that determines the exact outcomes, but being able to track how your interactions with well over a dozen characters affect their views of you is surprisingly satisfying.
As mentioned, the storyline takes a bit of old, adds a lot of new, and was gripping from beginning to end. I was literally thinking about it while not playing, which is not something many games achieve to any notable degree. Also, it made me rewatch that old Trek episode, and I honestly couldn't tell you if I had never seen it, or just totally forgotten it.
Obviously, it's not a perfect experience - as mentioned, choices matter little (but they do feel tough in the moment), the interactive parts are often extremely simple, and there is one important choice that will anger two crew members, but I felt that if I had had the chance to explain myself, they would have understood. Better yet, I would have liked to be able to enlist more than just one to my cause, since they were all on my side at that point.
Also, Commander Rydek has some bizarre body posture, but lets just chalk that up to her being non-human.

Never have I felt like I was part of a Star Trek experience before....until now. I would love to see more of the U.S.S. Resolute's adventures in the future!

Also:
1. I would recommend going in without watching a trailer or reading up on it, as some of the surprises would be spoiled.
2. If you play on PC, using the mouse for phaser battles makes them infinitely easier than with an analog stick.

And Super Mario Wonder is down. This is hands down the best 2D Mario game since Mario World (My personal favorite 2D). I loved playing every level in the regular worlds. I got every wonder seed in all but the first 2 worlds, and increased my commitment to getting everything as I progressed to the point that I got check marks on every stage of the final two worlds. I know I'll go back and clean things up. I never said that about any of the 'New' Mario games. Definitely a top 10 game this year in what is quickly turning into a great year for games for me.

I'm moving onto Star Wars Jedi Survivor (PC/Multi) and this game is hitting all the right spots for me. I guess I can declare it for this month, but I may end up taking too long to wrap it up as I'm enjoying taking my time.

I'm starting to wonder if I'll be able to get through Harvestella this month. I may be dipping too much into its cozy farm sim aspects and not enough into the JRPG story stuff.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

Saved the universe in Star Trek: Resurgence. What an incredible narrative game! I just LOVE how they took a once-and-done race from a 30-something year old Trek episode, as well as a relatively minor once-and-done side character, and elevated them to the central focus in what is basically an interactive Star Trek movie! I say movie, because it took me about 11 hours, and it rarely felt like I was taking my time.
Made by a group of former core Telltale Games staff, this is exactly the type of game you would expect from them. Most of your choices don't seem to matter much in the grand scheme - it's all about the relationships you forge with a few central characters that determines the exact outcomes, but being able to track how your interactions with well over a dozen characters affect their views of you is surprisingly satisfying.
As mentioned, the storyline takes a bit of old, adds a lot of new, and was gripping from beginning to end. I was literally thinking about it while not playing, which is not something many games achieve to any notable degree. Also, it made me rewatch that old Trek episode, and I honestly couldn't tell you if I had never seen it, or just totally forgotten it.
Obviously, it's not a perfect experience - as mentioned, choices matter little (but they do feel tough in the moment), the interactive parts are often extremely simple, and there is one important choice that will anger two crew members, but I felt that if I had had the chance to explain myself, they would have understood. Better yet, I would have liked to be able to enlist more than just one to my cause, since they were all on my side at that point.
Also, Commander Rydek has some bizarre body posture, but lets just chalk that up to her being non-human.

Never have I felt like I was part of a Star Trek experience before....until now. I would love to see more of the U.S.S. Resolute's adventures in the future!

Also:
1. I would recommend going in without watching a trailer or reading up on it, as some of the surprises would be spoiled.
2. If you play on PC, using the mouse for phaser battles makes them infinitely easier than with an analog stick.

So glad you enjoyed it! I feel it's the best Trek game in years (though the Prodigy game was also very good, this was better). I really hope it does well so we get more time with this crew, because it was such a fun slice of Trek beyond the Enterprise. The Trek universe has so much room for stories like these.

Leave it to me to finally finish a game once I stop declaring it for months on end. I saved the galaxy in Silpheed for the SegaCD!

Technically, it's a sequel to the 1986 PC-88 game of the same name, but it seems more like a reimagining to me. It's a vertical shoot-em-up, but the with a perspective set above, but slightly behind your ship. Everything is polygonal, and features some incredible backdrops, including several large-scale space battles, and transforming landscapes. However, the SegaCD and Genesis/MD aren't rendering all of these hundreds of polygons; instead, Game Arts employed a trick in which the background is actually full motion video, and individual polygonal features are seamlessly placed on top of it. While the individual ships are far less complex than those in Star Fox, to my eyes, the overall effect is far more impressive (heresy!!) - especially, since Silpheed is FAST. I mean REALLY fast at times. Screenshots rarely do the game justice - it has to be seen in motion!

Which leads me to my first two complaints. The color palette is somewhat limited. Couple this with the sometimes intense action going on in the background, and it can be quite difficult to see incoming fire. On top of that, the speed of the game and enemies entering the screen depending on where you are mean that memorizsation only gets you so far, and it sometimes feels almost unfair as you have practically no time to react to some threats. Stage 5 was the worst in this regard, and overall the hardest.

And it really would be unfair if Silpheed weren't so generous. Your shields can take up to 6 hits before they fail. After that you can take another two hits as your engines and weapons fail in turn. Take one more, and it's game over. Luckily, continues restart you on the level you were on, and there are shield repairs. One of the special weapons you gain throughout the game is an additional shield that can take two hits.

In fact, you pick up various different main weapons (phalanx shot, side shot, homing shot), for both of your left and right guns, and you can select the one that suits you in-between stages. On top of that, there are four special weapons (photon torpedoes, anti-matter bomb, some green spread bomb, and shield). You can use the special weapons until your saved up stores of them have been used up.

And here is my final complaint - you absolutely need to save up "shots" of special weapons (ideally the anti-matter bomb) for the final boss, as there is a strict time limit within which it has to be defeated. I failed dozens of times not because it was killing me during the fight, but because I could not do damage quickly enough. It was only on the final attempt I was willing to give the game that I pounded him every chance I got while unloading anti-matter bomb after anti-matter bomb exactly on target. If I had missed with even one of the 14 (the screen moves about!), I would have failed. Again.

I never got far in Silpheed until now, but it was a standout experience for me even in the mid 90's - the great visuals, cool music, and intense action have always kept it in my mind. The sweet cinematics didn't hurt either.

Spoiler:

Side note:
Silpheed is tough to emulate - both from an original disc as well as from an iso ripped from it. I still have both the original game and the SegaCD setup, but I wasn't willing to risk blowing up another system (like I did to the SNES and N64) by trying to use it after several years/decades in storage. I only got it working with PicoDrive on Retroarch. Interestingly, the game didn't run flawlessly on the SegaCD either, and the developer apologized for game crashes (read errors) caused by the layering of a fast game on top of an FMV background by giving the player an extra continue and allowing them to restart on the stage they were on with all aquired upgrades.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

Silpheed

That's a name I've not heard in a long time. A long time.