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Retro Achievements |OT| A New Take on Old Games

jshackles

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Welcome to the NeoGAF Retro Achievement OT. Here we can discuss retro achievements, how to set them up in your emulator of choice, what your favorite retro games are, brag about your achievements, and more.

Supported Systems:



Nintendo NES Nintendo NES (Game List)
Super Nintendo Super Nintendo (Game List)
Nintendo 64 Nintendo 64 (Game List)

Game Boy Game Boy (Game List)
Game Boy Color Game Boy Color (Game List)
Game Boy Advance Game Boy Advance (Game List)
Nintendo DS Nintendo DS (Game List)
Virtual Boy Virtual Boy (Game List)



SG-1000 (Game List)
Master System Master System (Game List)
Genesis Genesis (Game List)
Sega CD Sega CD (Game List)
32X 32X (Game List)
Saturn Saturn (Game List)

Game Gear Game Gear (Game List)


Atari 2600 Atari 2600 (Game List)
Atari 7800 Atari 7800 (Game List)
Atari Jaguar Atari Jaguar (Game List)

Atari Lynx Atari Lynx (Game List)


PlayStation PlayStation (Game List)

PlayStation Portable PlayStation Portable (Game List)




TurboGrafx-16 TurboGrafx-16 (Game List)
PC-8000 (Game List)
PC-FX (Game List)
3DO 3DO (Game List)
Arcade (Game List)
Apple II (Game List)
ColecoVision ColecoVision (Game List)
Intellivision Intellivision (Game List)
Magnavox Odyssey 2 (Game List)
MSX (Game List)
Neo Geo Pocket Neo Geo Pocket (Game List)
Vectrex (Game List)
Watara Supervision (Game List)
WonderSwan (Game List)


Supported Platforms:

Since Retro Achievement support is built into RetroArch, you can unlock achievements on any device supported by RetroArch as long as it has an internet connection.


I currently recommend either PC or an Xbox Series X for the most raw power.

Setup:

Setting up Retro Achievements is pretty simple.

1) Create an account on RetroAchievements.org

2) Download and launch RetroArch


3) Under configuration -> achievements: enter the username and password for your Retro Achievements account (Pro tip, you can also enable achievement unlock sounds in this menu)

4) Load a compatible ROM file (don't ask where to get these!) and start playing the game!

Hardcore Mode:

Retro Achievements support what's called "Hardcore Mode" - this mode, if enabled in the settings, will disable a lot of your emulator's modern functionality such as cheats and save states. This is designed to give players the ability to show off their prowess in a similar manor to having the original hardware. Achievements unlocked in hardcore mode will have a gold border around them, and they are worth twice as many points.
 
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InfiniteCombo

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Whoa, this is now a thread!? Sweet!

And yes, I am indeed a RetroAchievements convert! When I get back home I'll write a longer post singing the praises of RetroAchievements, but for now, anybody reading this post will just have to believe me that they're freaking awesome.
 
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Hype! I came across this site a few weeks ago, pretty easy to set up an account and get the sync in RetroArch. However, be careful what version of a game you're playing as it may not be supported. I'm currently playing Phantasy Star IV for example, but it's the Japanese version with an English patch (stuff that was censored or omitted in the original English release is present here).

However, that version isn't supported on RetroAchievements, so my achievements aren't tracked 😢. It does work for games listed there though but I'm presuming it's NTSC official versions; didn't have an issue with Clockwork Knight II for example.

The other programs they have there for creating your own achievements look pretty cool, and I'm glad people were able to get a website like this going and get support for it in many of the best emulators. Helps add a lot of life to the games. I just hope they eventually expand support for English patched versions of Japanese games as those tend to be better than the original English NTSC versions from back in the day. Wholeheartedly recommend everyone playing retro games on (supported) emulators to utilize it if their game is supported.

Ideally I'd like for FPGA-based solutions like Analogue's systems (maybe with their Analogue OS update) to support things like RetroAchievements. That type of QoL perk combined with superior hardware-based emulation via FPGA is the bee's knees for perfect retro gaming IMHO.

Now I just wish I could get the PS2 core to work in RetroArch, it's got to be some very specific file I'm missing but can't tell which, PCSX2 standalone works perfectly fine on the same system 🤷‍♂️
 

jshackles

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However, be careful what version of a game you're playing as it may not be supported. I'm currently playing Phantasy Star IV for example, but it's the Japanese version with an English patch (stuff that was censored or omitted in the original English release is present here).
...
I just hope they eventually expand support for English patched versions of Japanese games as those tend to be better than the original English NTSC versions from back in the day.
The ROM detection that's done for RetroAchievements is done by the game's CRC32 checksum. So unfortunately when you apply a patch to a ROM file the checksum will change and it won't get picked up by Retro Achievements.

There are a few games in their database that have adopted the most popular patched ROMs, for example:



Typically, the "Official Topic" in their forums (link on each game page) will list the versions of the game that work with that set of achievements along with their checksum. For example:


It's a pretty tight knit community, so it might be worth posting in their Phantasy Star IV thread and maybe requesting to have the version you're playing added. Maybe a link out to the file on RomHacking or the CRC32 value of your finished file would probably be useful to them. Never know.
 
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jshackles jshackles Much appreciated with that info! Didn't know patched games did that to the checksums. I'll try to find their PSIV thread and posting about it there, see what they can suggest. Maybe I'll still be able to register the achievements for things done in post but that is probably a longshot at this point.

In any case it aught to be worth trying just in case others play that version in the future and they want achievement support.
 
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DGrayson

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Excellent thread OP! I havent tried RetroAchievements but I love all things Retroarch so very cool to read about this.
 

jshackles

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Been playing Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony for the PSP, which recently got a pretty good set of achievements


Somehow I missed this game 15 years ago, but I'm having a fun time with it (and the achievements are adding an extra bit of motivation to play, I'll admit). The game definitely has mechanical problems, but now it's so archaic that it just seems charming.
 
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Maiden Voyage

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I somehow missed this thread. All the hype around the Analogue Pocket has made me want to pick up some old classics. Glad to see this baked into RetroArch.
I’ll be giving it a go later this week.
 

InfiniteCombo

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Alright, I'm pasting a comment I made in the backlog thread a few months ago:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I play the Retro stuff on RetroArch in between longer games. Some of my current progress:



"Site Awards" is the list of games I've gotten the "Platinum" for, to use a PlayStation trophy term. In the website, it's called "Mastering" a game.

The games I've "mastered" shown, in order:
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
Street Fighter II Turbo (SNES)
Super Mario Bros. (NES)
Super Mario World (SNES)
Resident Evil: Director's Cut (PS1)
Marvel Super Heroes (Arcade)
Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha (PS1)

It was actually jshackles jshackles that told me about it.

I really do like the system. RetroArch has a plugin that ties back to a website called RetroAchievements; in the RetroArch options, you can enable Achievements, and will ask you for your RetroAchievements site credentials (username and password). And during standard gameplay, when you get an Achievement, it will "pop" just as a PSN, Xbox, or Steam Achievement would (even with a chime similar to the Xbox system, I believe).

Some of the achievements for modern games can be grindy, a waste of time, and not really skill based. These retro ones are about evenly divided between standard progression Achievements, and skill-based Achievements that are ever increasing in difficulty. Depending on the retro game, and how well you know it, you could get about 80-90% of the Achievements with ease; but then there's always a small fraction that can be pretty freaking brutal, even for games that you think you know well. I think for pretty much every game I've "Mastered" I've found a new strategy or new technique I didn't know about, even if I had been playing the game on and off for years.

Cool stuff.
 
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InfiniteCombo

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Which reminds me; my main gaming website is always NeoGAF -- it's where I do 100% of any online based gaming engagement with other people -- but if for some reason anyone (including jshackles jshackles ) wants to connect on RetroAchievements, as you can see from my post above, I have the same username there as I do here (and even the same avatar).

I haven't played stuff in RetroArch in a little while since I've been playing games on real hardware; but next year I'm gonna get back to some RetroArch and RetroAchievements goodness!
 
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Faust

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Great OT! Love me some achievement/trophy hunting. Always makes me dive more into the games. Eventually I will get back to RetroArch once I finish up some of the PS3 Trophies I have been working on for a short while now.
 
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InfiniteCombo

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PSA: Capcom arcade games (CPS-1, CPS-2, and CPS-3) can be played with a number of cores, but it seems that only the FinalBurn Neo core works with Achievements.

I tried:
FB Alpha 2012 CPS-x (x = 1, 2, or 3 depending on the game of course)
FB Alpha 2012 (just the vanilla one, minus the "CPS-x" postfix)
MAME 2003-Plus

... and none of those worked. I'll keep experimenting but yea, seems that FinalBurn Neo is the safe bet.
 
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Ionian

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Where is the C64?

Someone forget that? I can imagine the Spectrum. That was a poor expensive machine. Loved PSST though, in fact loads of games. Horace! What a legend.
 

jshackles

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Dat feeling when you miss a missable achievement, and don't have a separate save file to fall back to...
 
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InfiniteCombo

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"Mastered" (got the Platinum for) two more games:



Some of the Achievements (especially for World Warrior) were actually quite tricky to get.

Street Fighter Zero's achievements were reasonable, but I found out one thing: I thought that each character had their own final boss, adding to variety; but for over 1/2 the characters, Dictator (the guy known as "Vega" in Japan and "Bison" in the US) was the final boss. And he's BROKEN, holy shit.

Back to Yakuza 5 on PC I go....
 

Faust

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"Mastered" (got the Platinum for) two more games:



Some of the Achievements (especially for World Warrior) were actually quite tricky to get.

Street Fighter Zero's achievements were reasonable, but I found out one thing: I thought that each character had their own final boss, adding to variety; but for over 1/2 the characters, Dictator (the guy known as "Vega" in Japan and "Bison" in the US) was the final boss. And he's BROKEN, holy shit.

Back to Yakuza 5 on PC I go....

Congrats!

Sadly a lot of fighting game bosses, even in the modern day, are completely busted to the point of absurdity. I have nearly 700 hours into Guilty Gear Strive and still struggle to defeat its final bosses on the harder difficulties.
 
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InfiniteCombo

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Congrats!

Sadly a lot of fighting game bosses, even in the modern day, are completely busted to the point of absurdity. I have nearly 700 hours into Guilty Gear Strive and still struggle to defeat its final bosses on the harder difficulties.
Thanks, man! Yeah I dig getting some of these Retro Achievements, they really test my skills in those games.

Agree on fighting game bosses. Also it depends on the publisher. For example, with SNK, I don't even try (the "SNK boss syndrome" really IS a thing) unless it's Garou, which is the most reasonable game. Capcom's bosses can be hit or miss; for example Dictator in the Street Fighter II games (well, the Street Fighter II games after World Warrior) is somewhat reasonable; but then Gill in Street Fighter III is supreme bullshit. In fact I am also going through the Street Fighter III: New Generation retro achievements, but I'm already resigned to my fate that I won't get the Platinum for that game, since the Achievements call for beating the game on Hardest with every character without losing.

The only ArcSystem game I got intimately familiar with was Guilty Gear XX (and, I'll try to keep it as humble as possible, but at one point I was actually really good at the game). I found I-No to be reasonable, and some of the story mode bosses to be reasonable as well -- even boss-level Sol who was on steroids. But from your comment it seems that they upped the bullshit factor on the bosses? Who's the final boss in Strive? Lastly, and I just thought of this while replying to you -- is your GAF username related at all to the Faust character in Guilty Gear?

Cheers!
 

Faust

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Thanks, man! Yeah I dig getting some of these Retro Achievements, they really test my skills in those games.

Agree on fighting game bosses. Also it depends on the publisher. For example, with SNK, I don't even try (the "SNK boss syndrome" really IS a thing) unless it's Garou, which is the most reasonable game. Capcom's bosses can be hit or miss; for example Dictator in the Street Fighter II games (well, the Street Fighter II games after World Warrior) is somewhat reasonable; but then Gill in Street Fighter III is supreme bullshit. In fact I am also going through the Street Fighter III: New Generation retro achievements, but I'm already resigned to my fate that I won't get the Platinum for that game, since the Achievements call for beating the game on Hardest with every character without losing.

The only ArcSystem game I got intimately familiar with was Guilty Gear XX (and, I'll try to keep it as humble as possible, but at one point I was actually really good at the game). I found I-No to be reasonable, and some of the story mode bosses to be reasonable as well -- even boss-level Sol who was on steroids. But from your comment it seems that they upped the bullshit factor on the bosses? Who's the final boss in Strive? Lastly, and I just thought of this while replying to you -- is your GAF username related at all to the Faust character in Guilty Gear?

Cheers!

Partially related! Faust was my favorite Guity Gear character until they introduced Ramlethal. The other relation is to Goethe's Faust.

As for Strive, its Nagoriyuki. I could just be really bad against the character as I rarely ever see anyone use him online, but it does feel like he is 10x harder as the final boss with numerous unique/OP moves. Not sure if that really *is* the case, but it feels it.
 
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InfiniteCombo

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In fact I am also going through the Street Fighter III: New Generation retro achievements, but I'm already resigned to my fate that I won't get the Platinum for that game, since the Achievements call for beating the game on Hardest with every character without losing.
After I posted this, I thought that maybe I can try to get as many as I could. And.... holy shit, I'm still shocked. Didn't think I'd do anywhere near this well:



I learned A LOT about the game in the process, and learned a good deal about the AI as well.
 
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jshackles

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I finished Parasite Eve (PS1) and had a good time getting a bunch of the game's achievements.



The game has a ton of achievements that are only possible in the EX game mode (basically New Game+). I've probably played through Parasite Eve five or six times, but I don't think I've ever got the "real" ending. Might have to do that so I can get the rest of these. The only one I "missed" was not getting blinded by the bats in the Chinatown sewers, but that's damn near impossible on the first playthrough and is significantly easier on EX mode when you have gear that has blindness resistance. It'll also probably take me a few hours to farm enough "junk" to get all those weapon unlock ones (but I think I can save before I cash them in and just reload and do a different weapon each time to pop them all).
 

jshackles

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Also - not exactly related to Retro Achievements, but I just found out that RetroArch on Steam uses Steam Cloud Saves for backing up save files, configuration files, and save states.

Pretty handy!
 
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InfiniteCombo

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Also - not exactly related to Retro Achievements, but I just found out that RetroArch on Steam uses Steam Cloud Saves for backing up save files, configuration files, and save states.

Pretty handy!
That is pretty neat indeed! How'd you find out?
 

jshackles

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That is pretty neat indeed! How'd you find out?
I usually have my Steam console turned on, and I happened to see in the console output that it was copying my save files to the Steam Cloud after I finished playing.

Here's a video they posted last year about this actually

 
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InfiniteCombo

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I lied. I played one more game this year.



I own this game on Saturn (it's initially the main reason I've hung on to my Saturn, glad I did!) and I played it a lot during my teenage years, so I know this game pretty well. This is the first Retro Achievement set I've completed where I didn't really learn anything major. It did remind me, though, that the "claw" guys (Wolverine and Sabretooth) are fun as hell to play!

EDIT: I know this game so well that Mastering the achievements set took me literally only a couple of hours or so. I started yesterday...
 
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Maiden Voyage

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All right. finally got RA set-up on RetroArch. I am going to do a hardcore playthrough of my favorite game of all time, Earthbound. I really, really want the Steam Deck specifically for this but whatever.

Onward and upward.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
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All right. finally got RA set-up on RetroArch. I am going to do a hardcore playthrough of my favorite game of all time, Earthbound. I really, really want the Steam Deck specifically for this but whatever.

Onward and upward.
Awesome - enjoy! Earthbound has some great achievements. I did most of them in a playthrough in 2016 but mopped up a few more in 2017. I suppose it's been a few years since I've played through it so I might have to play it again soon to clean up the other six achievements I'm missing.

Steam Deck will be amazing for this.
 

petey212

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I've been playing around with retroachievements for a while, a lot of fun :)

I saw someone tried a few arcade cores before stumbling on the fact finalburn is the only one that is supported so thought posting this here would be useful:


That's the documentation on which cores you should use and any limitations on their support.

Mame isn't supported because it doesn't store the data in a systematic way across games from my understanding and this is also why they don't support c64, dos and a few other systems like the speccy.. yet. Dos and C64 I know are being actively worked upon and this is one of the reasons behind the addition of the dosbox pure core.
 

Maiden Voyage

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63/86 achievements done in Earthbound. I am trying to decide what to play after EB. Maybe Super Punch Out? I’ve been meaning to replay Chrono Trigger as well. Decisions, decisions.
 
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BigBooper

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63/86 achievements done in Earthbound. I am trying to decide what to play after EB. Maybe Super Punch Out? I’ve been meaning to replay Chrono Trigger as well. Decisions, decisions.
You playing Hardcore mode? I started up Mike Tyson's Punch Out and all of the achievements are pretty easy to do...except for beating Mike. I never beat him when I was a kid even though I could reliably get to the fight. Getting a TKO on him seems impossible.
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
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63/86 achievements done in Earthbound. I am trying to decide what to play after EB. Maybe Super Punch Out? I’ve been meaning to replay Chrono Trigger as well. Decisions, decisions.
Ever play the NES game Crystalis? I'm always shilling for that game, it was an excellent action RPG made by SNK. The achievement set for the game is pretty easy to master - achievements for leveling up to max (which is almost impossible not to by the end of the game) plus achievements for finding equipment and spells which are I believe all unmissable. Then one for beating the game.

Highly recommended.
 

Maiden Voyage

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Ever play the NES game Crystalis? I'm always shilling for that game, it was an excellent action RPG made by SNK. The achievement set for the game is pretty easy to master - achievements for leveling up to max (which is almost impossible not to by the end of the game) plus achievements for finding equipment and spells which are I believe all unmissable. Then one for beating the game.

Highly recommended.
I will check it out for sure!
 

Maiden Voyage

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Ever play the NES game Crystalis? I'm always shilling for that game, it was an excellent action RPG made by SNK. The achievement set for the game is pretty easy to master - achievements for leveling up to max (which is almost impossible not to by the end of the game) plus achievements for finding equipment and spells which are I believe all unmissable. Then one for beating the game.

Highly recommended.
This game plays incredibly well in 2021 for a NES game. Honestly surprised more people don't rave about it. I just got to Mt. Sabre North & am level 5. Thanks for the rec, man! Sent a friend invite your way as well.
 
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jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
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This game plays incredibly well in 2021 for a NES game. Honestly surprised more people don't rave about it. I just got to Mt. Sabre North & am level 5. Thanks for the rec, man! Sent a friend invite your way as well.
I'm glad you're enjoying it!

I got the game as a Christmas present from my mom in 1990, and I've loved it ever since. It's got a good blend of action but also the RPG elements are on point. Some of the puzzles are a bit obtuse (hope you're using a guide!) but it was a game that lent itself well to me playing it for months on end figuring out all the secrets because I typically wouldn't get a new game until my birthday in October.

I feel like the achievements for this game were well spaced out but also would coincide with actual accomplishments. I'm interested in hearing your final thoughts on the game if you make it through to the end!
 
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Maiden Voyage

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I'm glad you're enjoying it!

I got the game as a Christmas present from my mom in 1990, and I've loved it ever since. It's got a good blend of action but also the RPG elements are on point. Some of the puzzles are a bit obtuse (hope you're using a guide!) but it was a game that lent itself well to me playing it for months on end figuring out all the secrets because I typically wouldn't get a new game until my birthday in October.

I feel like the achievements for this game were well spaced out but also would coincide with actual accomplishments. I'm interested in hearing your final thoughts on the game if you make it through to the end!
I'm making a LTTP thread that should go live in a few.
 

Soodanim

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Noticed this thread for the first time. I use RetroAchievements, but I don’t go hunting. Don’t use hardcore mode either, too many Bluetooth lag spikes to take all the blame myself.

Some of the additional achievement sets are interesting, I might go for some in specific games at some point. I think Symphony of the Night has some that I could go for.
 

petey212

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Noticed this thread for the first time. I use RetroAchievements, but I don’t go hunting. Don’t use hardcore mode either, too many Bluetooth lag spikes to take all the blame myself.

Some of the additional achievement sets are interesting, I might go for some in specific games at some point. I think Symphony of the Night has some that I could go for.
that's kind of how I use it which is similar to achievements elsewhere for me. It just adds a little bit extra cherry on top while I'm playing a game if it has achievements and if I unlock them, great! If not, eh :)
 

Maiden Voyage

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Noticed this thread for the first time. I use RetroAchievements, but I don’t go hunting. Don’t use hardcore mode either, too many Bluetooth lag spikes to take all the blame myself.

Some of the additional achievement sets are interesting, I might go for some in specific games at some point. I think Symphony of the Night has some that I could go for.
I'm trying out hardcore on a few games for now. It's actually been quite tolerable but I also grew up during the era where there were no save states.
 
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Soodanim

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I'm trying out hardcore on a few games for now. It's actually been quite tolerable but I also grew up during the era where there were no save states.
I suppose it depends on what game it is, for me. If it's something I haven't really lost my touch with since I was little then I'll happily go for it, but some of the stuff I'm picking up for the first time might be the ones that might be more frustrating than fun without the occasional rewind. But that does lead to a few times when I get an achievement pop up and think "I definitely didn't deserve that one"
 
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Maiden Voyage

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I am tempted to play Gran Turismo 1 or 2 and try to get my racing wheel working with it. I definitely would not try to 100% either but would probably play on hardcore.
 
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Maiden Voyage

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What a fantastic game. Thanks again jshackles jshackles for the recommendation. It's become my favorite NES game of all time. Though there is not much competition there besides the Mario games.


I am tempted to mess around in Mario Paint for the SNES after watching the Gaming Historian's vid on it yesterday. Not sure yet what will be my next game, though.