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[WIP] Tales of Lena - 2D (pixel art) platformer

Discussion in 'Works In Progress - Archive' started by SiegfriedCroes, Dec 29, 2014.

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  1. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Tales of Lena
    2D retro-styled platform game

    Introduction
    I started this project about 3 months ago. Some people might remember my previous project called Lands of Treasure which I put aside to work on a simpler game that wouldn't take years to finish.
    I already posted a few bits and pieces of this game in the Small Works Art thread but I felt like it was time to make a thread of its own.

    Story
    In this game you play as Lena, a treasure hunter...
    At this moment I am focusing on gameplay so there I haven't though out the story yet.

    Gameplay
    As in most platform games, the goal is to reach the end of the level. On your way you will find enemies, obstacles and lots of secrets that lead to hidden treasures.
    As this is an Android game, I wanted to keep the gameplay and controls as simple as possible. Apart from walking left and right you have 2 action buttons:
    • Jump: Kill enemies and reach higher places.
    • Interact: Kick and destroy blocks, go through doors,...
    The game is split up in worlds, every world has 2 levels, each level has a certain amount of (optional) treasures to collect and the second level will end with a boss fight.
    .
    Graphics
    As a big fan of Retro games I chose to do pixel art graphics using DawnBringer's 16 colors palette.
    All graphics are made by me using Aseprite.

    Media




    There's definitely a lot more to tell about my game than this so feel free to ask questions and I'll be happy to answer them :) Feedback is also welcome as long as it's constructive ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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  2. ANTMAN0079

    ANTMAN0079

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    This could be an interesting game if it plays different than the other 1 billion platformers out there. Hopefully you have something special to show. I have my ideas for something like this keeping with the treasure theme.
     
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  3. DMONGS

    DMONGS

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    I like retro style :)
    Is there any reason the hero must eat fruits?
    And when it will be released - roughly?
     
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  4. virror

    virror

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    Fruits are good for you!
    Looks awesome, keep it up! : D
    You have any more information how the levels will be built/connected?
    Will you have some overview, or will you just enter new level as soon as you exit the old one? Will it be linear or more metroid style with many choices of paths?
     
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  5. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Well it won't play that much different cause it's still a platformer, and I want to keep it simple. Of course that doesn't mean I'm going to rush it.

    My problem with some of the available platformers is that they either lack polish or content/variety. There's one platformer on iOS that has some really beautiful pixel art graphics. The first level is also a forest, so is the second and third and fourth,... Turns out there are 16 levels that look the same... After that you are in a cave for 16 levels and finally in a town for another 16 levels.

    I'm trying to make my game more like the old Sonic The Hedgehog games, 2 levels for each world/setting, end with a boss and then go to a new world/setting that feels different, has different monsters and collectibles,... It won't be Angry Bird inspired, so no table of 100+ uninspired levels to get 3 starts for ;)

    Thanks :D Me too!
    Actually those fruits are just score collectibles. they will be different for each world. In this forest they're fruits, in a cave they might be mushrooms, in a village marketplace they might be vegetables and bread,... (This idea came from Jazz Jackrabbit 2) I have an idea to give them a bit more purpose but I'm not sure about it yet. In the final game they will also be placed more along the way.

    Roughly? 2015! :p
    It's hard to say really, I try to work on it as much as possible even though I have a full time job that already involves 8+ hours of PC work (3D, programming, web design) ^^' I do have some ideas to release it in episodes :) Haha, that doesn't really sound too positive but don't worry, it'll still be a free game (Idea of it being a free game was back when I was targeting mobile) :)

    Exactly! :p
    Thank you very much! :D

    There will be an overview map. Each time you finish a level you go back to this map and a new marker will appear for the next level. Metroid style would be really cool but as my first game I want to keep it simple ;)

    Each level is split in a number of parts, as you can see in the video, you'll find doorways here and there. These always work both ways, unlike in games like Kirby's Dreamland, you will always have the ability to go back to the previous part.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  6. virror

    virror

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    Sounds great!
    Love the doorways, makes the levels a lot more interesting and also a sense of exploring and mystery as you never know what you will expect : )
     
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  7. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Yep :D Already thinking about a city/village level where you can enter certain houses, revealing a single screen interior.

    I wonder if anyone else had this feeling but I got some feedback that Lena seemed to walk a bit slowly... I'm fixing that now ;)
     
  8. virror

    virror

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    Well, for walking its a good speed, but it looks a lot more like she is running, so increasing the speed a bit will probably help match with the animation : )
     
  9. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    The new speed is definitely better :) I always had the feeling my character was walking a bit slowly but I couldn't do much about it without breaking pixel perfection... I found a solution now which I thought I tried before but it seems I didn't cause it's working really well so far.

    I'm a bit of a perfectionist really, having pixel art graphics isn't enough, everything has to be 100% pixel perfect, else the retro feel is broken. To make this all possible I'm not using any Unity Collision or Physics stuff. I made my own simple collision system so gameobject positions are always integer and not "floaty". Really happy with the result :)
     
  10. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    Your art is clean and pleasing - as well as the smooth gameplay. Keep at it. I like the quality level you are presenting!
    Half of the "1 billion platformers out there" are marred with rough visuals and partially developed gameplay elements. Deliver a quality complete product - that's how you can be different than half of the 1 billion platformers out there. I personally enjoy interesting rpg elements woven into platform game design.
     
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  11. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Thank you very much :D

    I definitely agree with that :) Also, did I already say this game will be free? Quality game for everyone, can't go wrong, right? (Won't be free anymore now that it's targeting PC instead of mobile)

    Even though I'd love to add elements like that, I really have to keep this game simple else I might never finish it ^^'
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
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  12. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Small update:

    I've been doing some "behind the scenes" coding lately so nothing really new to show...
    Next up is making the main menu and level overview interface and link that all together.

    In terms of graphics I made a logo animation (not too interesting to make a gif of) and now I'm mainly tweaking stuff, getting rid of the black outlines on effect, making some small changes to the player animations,... Next up for art will be menu graphics. I will also be getting some help from a friend do make an awesome title screen background. She'll be doing a sketch and I'll turn it into pixel art :) She actually drew Lena in the past (though with different colored clothes):



    With that you can more or less imagine what kind of style the title screen and eventual cut-scenes might look like :)

    I also set up a Trello for myself to keep track of everything I still need to do :) That will definitely keep my work more organized!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  13. virror

    virror

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    Amazing art! Keep it up : D
     
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  14. ANTMAN0079

    ANTMAN0079

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    Er.... um.... SHE GOT ON BLUE PANTIES! MESSED ME UP!

    Sorry, I was totally reminded of Sinbad the stand up comedian for a second.
     
  15. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Thank you very much :D

    Haha, don't ask me why her panties are visible like that :p I didn't draw it ;) Actually I forgot to credit the artist:

    Sarah Stowasser
     
  16. virror

    virror

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    Wow, lot of awesomeness on that page : D
     
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  17. JCRL

    JCRL

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    Looks like Super Mario and Megaman games

    Excellent work
     
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  18. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    I totally agree :D

    Thank you very much :) I was definitely inspired by old platform games on NES but also those on PC like Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure, Commander Keen, Duke Nukem 1 and 2,... :)

    Last week I've mostly been doing "behind the scenes" stuff, nothing you'll notice visually but the code is a lot cleaner now :) I also added an effect that displays the amount of score you gained when collect stuff or jump on an enemy.

    I'm currently working on treasure chests that work similar to the breakable blocks but can spawn multiple collectibles that fly out the moment you kick them. After that I'll be adding some more treasure collectibles like jewels and tweak some more graphics. Also thinking about adding moving platforms. When all that is done I'll work some more on the tileset for the level so I can make a new video :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
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  19. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Been working on lots of different things at the same time ^^' Working on the HUD to display the treasures you collected and with that working on a class that handles what you collected and thinking about the structure of level progress and how I'll be making the save and resume system of all this,...

    In the meantime I thought I'd show you a some small graphical changes/additions :) Nothing major, the level graphics still look the same though they definitely need more work to make them less "flat" ;)

     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  20. virror

    virror

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    Looks cool!
    Could use some background objects like trees or whatnot with a slight parallax effect, might help with giving some more life and depth : ) But i guess you already have that planned : p
     
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  21. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Thanks :D
    I think I'll add 1 layer in between the background and the level and make it scroll at half the speed of the level :)
    I definitely look forward to working on the level some more, I want it to look more alive, with little details and animations :) Look forward to it ;)

    Some more info on the different types of collectibles:

    Fruits: These just count for score. Each world will have a different theme for its score collectibles (For example: Forest = Fruits, Cave = Mushrooms, Beach = Seashells,...)
    Coins: Will be added to your previously collected money once you finish the level.
    Gems: Every level will have a specific amount of each gem type, try to collect them all.
    Treasures (coming soon): Each level will have a special treasure to collect (For example: In the Forest level you might find "Robin Hood's hat" or a (green) "Mushroom of Life").

    I have some more ideas of what you'll be able to do with the coins and gems but not sure about it so I'll think about it some more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  22. mcunha98

    mcunha98

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    Amazing work.

    Can you share with us more details about the images.
    For example, what is the resolution of main caracter and the background images (64x64, 256x256, etc...) ?
     
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  23. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Thanks :)

    The native resolution of my game is 320x180. The player is 32x32. The enemy (not in the gif but in the video a few posts up) is 32x16 but bigger monsters will be 32x32. All collectibles are 16x16, same goes for the level tiles. The background fill the whole screen so it's the same as the native resolution (320x180). Hope that answered your question :)
     
  24. Mister-D

    Mister-D

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    cool game or (vree wijs ;))
    my only critique is that there isnt really some weight when lena is landing, or is there no landing animation?
    also the background could use some more details, keep it up!
     
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  25. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Hehe, heel erg bedankt ;)
    There's no landing animation cause most old games didn't have it (I could add it but it's not a priority).
    Sure, the background will get more detail :)

    This coming week I'll finally work some more on the level graphics. I'm going to try a few things, they might turn out completely different from the way they are now! I definitely want them to be more detailed, less flat. I'll also see what I do with the background, maybe I'll make it tile-based too and make it scroll slower so you see it move slightly instead of being fixed to the camera. I might also add another layer in between ;)

    Look forward to more level art progress next week :)
     
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  26. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Wasn't able to work as much on the level graphics as I had wished last week... But making more progress now :) Just wanted to do a quick update and share WIP screenshot of what I have now (this screenshot also includes a near final HUD).

    Screen.png

    Finally it's starting to look a bit like an actual forest :p Hope you guys like it :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
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  27. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Ah I get a warm and fuzzy "the good old days" feeling. Nicely done so far.
     
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  28. virror

    virror

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    Looking good!
    Only thing is the closest trees does not realy fit in with their bright simple colors. maybe try to darken them slightly and maybe add some really simple details, like a gradient or whatnot?
     
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  29. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Thank you very much :D That's what I'm going for ;) It will be even better with some retro Adlib music :)

    No update without a comment from you, hehe ;) Thanks for always taking the time to give feedback :)
    You don't have to worry, those trees, treetops and grass/bushes are WIP, I drew them in a few seconds, they still need shading. I'll also work some more on the shading of the big tree stump and I think I'll change the collision so you can walk past it (but also still jump on it). I will also give the grass/bushes a little animation as if it's moving in the wind :)
     
  30. virror

    virror

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    I cant keep myself from commenting since your artstyle is so awesome ; )
     
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  31. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Been working on moving platforms and finally got it all working :)

    Also yesterday I upgraded to Unity 5 and I'm noticing my game runs a lot slower on older devices now... (used to be a steady 60FPS but now I see it dropping to almost below 50) :( One part of the slowdown is because I'm using Destroy() which seems to cause a big frame drop now compared to Unity 4 (but I was going to fix this with pooling anyway). Apart from that it's just slower in general, which really bothers me... going to experiment with a few things this evening, I feel it has to do with rendering, maybe rendering sprites has become more performance intensive?

    If anyone has an idea of what could be causing this, please tell me :)
     
  32. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    At the moment I'm considering shifting focus to PC for this game, trying to make it work on all kinds of Android devices is really slowing me down and limiting things like parallaxed layers (which causes too much overdraw on older devices).

    What do you guys think of this idea?
     
  33. Ra1den

    Ra1den

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    Wooo! this takes me back the good old nes days! haha looking great so far any interesting game mechanics you have planned?,:D
     
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  34. StevenWendel

    StevenWendel

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    Never commented on this thread before but it pops up from time to time. Each time, I admire your art style. Great work!
     
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  35. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Thanks :D That's the intention ;) I don't have anything too special or innovating in mind, I just want to make a simple but fun game and actually finish it! Later on I can always add more or make a sequel :)

    Thanks a lot :D It will definitely look (even) better when it's done :) At the moment I'm thinking of just drawing lots of placeholder art instead of always trying to make it look good right away. I should just add lots of different pieces of scenery in my tileset and start building a level, that will sure speed up progress and I'll have more to show off :)

    As I was considering in my previous post, I will be focusing on PC now, this will allow more freedom and faster development :) Hope to show some progress soon!
     
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  36. Lunatix

    Lunatix

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    I love the style of your game :) Reminds me too of the good old days, playing SNES or GameBoy all day long :D
    Would totally buy this as a PC version :D
     
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  37. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Thank you very much :D Nice to hear it also has a SNES feel to it :) I mainly played DOS games when I was a kid so that's where I get most of my inspiration ;)
    Don't know yet how I'll release it... I definitely want everyone to be able to try it so maybe I could make it like a real old game with a shareware episode and if you like it you can pay for the rest :p
     
  38. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    That's odd. I read a couple other posts on the forums where people mentioned Unity5 was much faster for their games. I seem to remember one post saying fps went from about 110 to 150. It'd be crazy if "true" 3D has been accelerated while Sprites (which are also 3D!) actually slowed down by the same amount. LOL!
     
  39. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    It mainly runs slower on old android devices. On my Galaxy Note 8 and Nexus 5 it still works fine, same for PC of course.

    Anyway, got moving and collapsing platforms working, this week I'll be adding more placeholder tiles and build a test level to show it all off in a new video :)
     
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  40. WarriorOfShire

    WarriorOfShire

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    Created an acount just to write this comment:
    Nice work!
     
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  41. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Hehe :D Thanks a lot ;)

    No new video yet but instead a short GIF to show off the current state of my game :) Hope you like it! (Please note that a lot of graphics are still work in progress) ;)

     
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  42. Razputin

    Razputin

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    I'm so jelly of them graphics
     
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  43. virror

    virror

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    Starting to look really nice now! : )
     
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  44. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Hehe, well thank you ^^'

    Thanks :D I agree, now it actually looks like a forest :D Of course it's still not done (especially the foliage needs work) and I want to add little animations to really make the forest come to life :)
     
  45. Stiffx

    Stiffx

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    Great job! I'm already a fan :rolleyes::D keep it up
     
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  46. virror

    virror

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    Welcome to the fanclub ; )
     
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  47. Stiffx

    Stiffx

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    This game makes me remember of my childhood. Very very nice.
     
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  48. SiegfriedCroes

    SiegfriedCroes

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    Yay, I have a fanclub! :p

    What kind of games did you play when you were a kid?
    I mainly played PC games and Game Boy :) A few platform games that inspire me are Commander Keen, Vinyl Goddess, Duke Nukem 1 and 2, Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure, Claw, Rayman, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, Mario Land 2, Wario Land 2,... :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
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  49. Stiffx

    Stiffx

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    I love Third person games such as Resident evil, Silent hill. But the ones I've played most are Legend of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Chrono Trigger, FInal fantasy 4, 5 and 6... :) But I've played Mario and other games when I had my Nes console, ahh those good times :rolleyes:
     
  50. virror

    virror

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    "Legend of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, Chrono Trigger, FInal fantasy 4, 5 and 6"
    I like you already : D
     
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