Godzilla Defense Force Review


When they announced that three new Godzilla mobile games were coming to the app stores I quickly ran to see if they were already there. At the time none of them were, however there was an old Godzilla game that I hadn’t even known about. Needless to say, I needed to check that out right away! The mobile game is actually a lot of fun to the point where I have a hard time picturing the other 3 beating this one. I poured in over 20 hours in an instant and had to tear myself away from the game before all my time was spent. This is definitely a very addicting title.

The basic plot of the game is that you are an army commander, the final one on Earth. Everyone else has been wiped out by the aliens who have mind controlled each Kaiju including Godzilla himself. Furthermore, they have gone through time and plucked out different versions of each Kaiju. They have over 20 different Godzilla creatures at their disposal for example. You have to command the Army to slay each Kaiju and save the world. It will be difficult so as a last resort the army has also given you a time travelling device. If you are about to die, quickly run to the past and save yourself.

This game has a lot of attention to detail. Pretty much any Kaiju you have ever seen in a Godzilla film will make their way here. How the game works is you have around 5-6 worlds. Each world has 120 levels with a unique Kaiju showing up after every 10. There will be 3 points where Godzilla himself will show up and these levels are G levels so they aren’t numbered. The worlds can keep going endlessly after the 120 but only old monsters will cycle in. The final world is the Moon where you can make your final stand against the enemies. It should take you around 20 hours to make it there, I don’t see how you can do so sooner without paying.

The gameplay is a Tower Defense style where you have to tap the screen in order to proceed. The faster you tap the screen the more damage you do, at least for the initial weapon. As you defeat enemies you will earn money which you can use to power up your default weapon or to buy new weapons. Each world has around 6 weapons and usually they are a magnitude more pricey to buy. The first weapon might cost around $1000, the next weapon $100,000, then $1,000,000, and from there the numbers get insane. After the trillions they just start showing initials like BB, DD, EE, and so on. I made it to around the JJ amounts before stopping.

Earning the money is really where the game gets to be more of a grinding mobile game. You will inevitably get stuck on a boss many times because you are out of money. At that point you can choose to keep fighting them since you earn money for each battle until you have enough to get to the next level or you can watch a 30 second ad to get a ton of money. Additionally you can watch ads to slowly boost your units as well. The game is very ad intensive so be prepared to “watch” a lot of ads throughout the game to get the money you need.

There are also a wide range of achievements in the game. Completing them will earn you a lot of jewels. Don’t worry, the achievements come naturally like tapping the screen 1 million times or beating 10,000 Kaiju. You should have most of them by the time you’re done with this. However, no matter how many ads you watch and battles you fight, it seems impossible to make it to The Moon on your first playthrough. That’s when time travelling comes into play. The cost for time travel is that you lose all of your money, upgrades, and even all of your levels.

I know that sounds awful but the benefit is that you get time crystals. These let you buy artifacts with permanent upgrades. For example, dealing an extra 50% damage while you’re in Tokyo. I time travelled quite a few times and by the end I had a permanent +1050% damage increase. It’s really worth it to time travel but even then you have to decide when to do so. The longer you go without time travelling as you rack up Kaiju victories, the more shards you get. Ideally you want a ton of shards so that you can get as many upgrades as possible.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg for the various gameplay mechanics here. I recommend reading the Toho Kingdom articles on the game since they break down all of the mechanics. The game doesn’t actually tell you a whole lot beyond the basics so it’s worth knowing. For example, it’s heavily advised that you save your blue crystals. You can then double your time shards when time travelling which is incredibly handy. It’s a game changer and better to use them at that point than for a quick 1 time money boost.

The graphics are pretty solid. All of the Kaiju look goo. There isn’t a big variety in the level designs and effects but the fact that they got character models for every Kaiju is impressive. I’ll also give the game credit for having a real plot even if there isn’t much to it. It’s enough to connect the stages together but that’s about it. It won’t compare visually to the newer mobile games of course. The soundtrack is solid. I like that they incorporate various themes from the films such as original tunes and even Final Wars themes. My only gripe is that the music often plays for around 5 seconds before it’s quickly cut off by an explosion sound effect or something going on.

What Defense Force really did well is show you a solid rate of progression. You always felt like you were getting closer to the next level. It’s an important thing for any game that is centered around grinding because if you don’t feel like you’re making any progress then of course you will quickly lose interest. That doesn’t happen in this game so that’s impressive. Each battle only being 30 seconds long for the bosses also helps since you don’t have to stick around for a while to move forward if you don’t want to. Even while the game is off you will be earning money (At a slower rate of course) so that’s a nice feature too.

Overall, Godzilla Defense Force is a great game. Definitely one of the best mobile games I’ve played in a while. I didn’t even touch on some aspects of the game like the card collecting system or the Moon Stones but it just goes to show that the game really has a lot to offer. This title is also completely over so it’s a mobile game that actually has an end to an extent. I wouldn’t call it much of an ending story-wise but at least there are no more levels so you can feel like you’ve finished it all. If you’re a big Godzilla fan or like the tower defense style then I would really recommend this game. There are a lot of options to spend money to progress faster in the game but I can safely say that you can make it to the end even without spending a single dime. The free content here and rate of progression is quite solid.

Overall 8/10

Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits Review


RPGs tend to always be a lot of fun because you get to have a blast hanging out with a group of characters for a while. In this case the game took me close to 40 hours so you’re not likely going to forget about these guys anytime soon. The plot is solid and the cast of characters is good. The game also has you switching between two sides which is handled very effectively. This is definitely a game you won’t soon forget.

There are two main characters as I mentioned. First you have the humans led by Kharg. He is a prince who fights for the humans against the Deimos, a race of creatures that seemingly want nothing more than chaos and to destroy all humans. Kharg has no reason to doubt this and continues slaying them all but one day he meets a girl named Lilia who is on the run from a corrupt government. She explains that there are 5 magical stones and if they are all collected then the person who has all 5 will gain unlimited power. Since the Deimos are after this, Kharg realizes that he will have to assemble them himself.

The other story follows Darc, who is a slave who lives a rather brutal life. One day his owner is destroyed by a pack of deimos and when Darc is unable to protect his furby he comes to believe that power is everything. He ends up going on a rampage and becoming King of the Deimos. He now wants to slaughter all humans and aims to collect the stones in order to do so. He also meets up with Lilia who is determined to help him see the light but it’s rather difficult since both species are so opposed to each other.

I can’t think of another game like this where you keep switching between both sides and ultimately have to pick one at the end. Certainly not any RPG that I know of so this was pretty fun. Every chapter the game forces you to change sides so you get to really see their point of view. Everything about the sides is isolated which includes your items, level ups, and money. It makes you feel like you’re playing 2 20 hour games at the same time. The stories are connected of course by the plot and such but the characters don’t actually get to meet until you are almost at the very end of the game. This allows for a whole lot of build up which is always a good idea.

Adding to the tension is that Kharg and Darc are brothers who are half human and half deimos. This is something both of them try to hide since being a hybrid in this world would certainly be frowned upon. Naturally there is also a lot more to the story than I’ve mentioned as they both accumulate a lot of allies and the story has a lot of twists. That is often the case with RPGs after all and part of why the genre is so great. It’s definitely got to be one of the best game styles out there.

The gameplay is similar to Disgaea as you move each character around the board and unleash their attacks. After everyone has made their attack then the enemy team is allowed to do so. Additionally, your EXP is based on how much damage you deal and on who gets the finishing blow. As a result you will likely end up with a very unbalanced team depending on how you fight so keep an eye out for that. You can learn skills to help you out through the game and of course you will want to make sure you grab some great equipment as well. It can be the difference between victory and defeat here.

There are a few aspects of the gameplay that could be improved though. One if that this is a game where the cutscenes are all unskippable. Trust me, it’s never fun to have to watch cutscenes again after you have been defeated. The final boss is especially guilty of this since you will likely expect to lose there a few times and getting back through all of the cutscenes takes around 30-40 minutes each time. I got beat down 2 times before winning eventually so it was a long path. It does make sure that you will do a lot of training before you try a second time though.

The gameplay can also be a bit slow and would have benefited a whole lot from having some king of speed up feature. Something to make the turns go by faster would have just been genius since the turns can take a while and absolutely add up. I’d also like to say that the final boss is incredibly cheesy. Defeating him requires a rather unusual battle style that feels like it is exploiting the battle and yet, it’s the only viable way to win. It also takes a while as a result since my team was not built for long range encounters. I had to level up my fighters like crazy.

Graphically the game certainly holds its own though. It’s a PS2 game that has a good amount of polish and definitely wasn’t just thrown together at the last second. The character designs are on point and the battles we get inside of the cinematics are good. The soundtrack is a little on the forgettable side though. There aren’t a whole lot of tracks but they get the job done.

Really the game’s biggest strength here is how good the plot was and how the game utilized having two main characters the way that it did. I thought that was a really good way to do things. The game is also long at around 40 hours. There isn’t a ton of replay value after beating the game but with that kind of length you don’t really need a lot like that. If you can get the game for a decent price then you’ll definitely want to do so. It’s a unique game with a lot of features that are different from usual and I thought it pulled this off.

Overall, Arc The Lad is a great game. I’ll admit that it could use a little more polish in some areas of the gameplay. There are things that can be improved like the speed and the design of the final boss. That being said, the story is just really solid. The game absolutely can hold its own with the bigger RPGs out there and I look forward to playing through the sequel someday. Hopefully more games use this style of two main characters some day because the build up and the inevitable confrontation is always a blast.

Overall 8/10

Asdivine Dios Review


It’s been a while since I played my last Asdivine game but they definitely never get old. The Asdivine series consistently delivers with excellent gameplay and a solid cinematic experience. Pretty much any RPG title could learn a thing or two from this series on quality of life updates. Granted, this one gives you so many different features that you’ll likely be stomping your way through the game but of course you don’t have to use every feature.

The game starts by introducing us to the world of Asdivine. In this world humans exist in relative peace as they are guarded by the guild. The world also contains many spirits and sprites who protect the world from the shadows. Or, at least some of them do. Unfortunately monsters have been attacking a lot more lately. Izayoi, the creator of the world was having an ordinary talk with Iris when all of a sudden he loses a lot of his magical abilities including teleportation. The same is true for Iris as well.

It seems that a human by the name of Odium is going around and destroying all divine beings. One way to destroy a god/goddess in this game is to take down their tree which is what he is doing. Izayoi needs to stop him but without his teleportation that means he will actually have to walk the ground as an ordinary person. He never liked humans in the slightest but he’ll have to get over that now. He will team up with his three most powerful followers, Iris, Minerva, and Friya. Together they aim to save the world and themselves by taking Odium down. Meanwhile there is a guild fighter named Keith who also wants to save the day but doesn’t exactly know who the main threat is.

We’ve got a proper gods vs humans kind of dynamic here and it’s pretty fun. In these things I’m usually with the humans side since the gods tend to be pretty corrupt but naturally it does depend on the setting. In this case the gods do seem pretty suspect like Izayoi basically ignoring the humans for hundreds of years. Based on his character setting it seems to me like he would have let a ton of humans die over the years since he couldn’t care less. Iris likes humans but she really seems to be the exception for the most part. Of course, the humans show their negative colors quite a bit too though like the random mobsters who assisted in murdering a town or everyone immediately thinking the worst of Izayoi.

As the creator, Izayoi isn’t really good at everyday conversation. He’s not sure how to act around humans and is even awkward around his friends. He’s pretty oblivious and lets them beat up on him if it makes them feel better. He definitely doesn’t have the same charisma as Zack from the first two Asdivine games but in fairness that is a very high bar. The original cast was always likely going to be the best. Izayoi gets better as the game goes on but he’s never all that passionate about anything. You’ll probably need to wait for a sequel to really see that.

I found the main cast to be a little on the weaker side as Iris was the only one I was a big fan of. She’s always trying to help out and do the right thing. No matter how often the other members of the group tease or even attack her, Iris always stays strong and keeps on smiling. That’s not exactly an easy thing to do in these circumstances to be sure. She manages to play around a lot while also getting her work done. Minerva is the more serious member of the group who is always taking shots at Iris. She eventually mellows out a bit by the end but it’s not easy to forget all the low blows. She’s also the youngest/weakest member of the group since she’s only around 100 years old so don’t expect her to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Then you have Friya who is probably one of the more violent teammates you’ll ever see. She’s constantly threatening the other characters and even threatens Izayoi quite a bit. She isn’t afraid to rough him up a bit either if it’ll get her point across. As the most powerful ally, she fears nobody including Izayoi. It was impressive to see her dispatch Odium when he first attacked. Up to that point none of the other characters had been able to do much against him. She’s a powerful ally to have but at the same time, probably not an ally you will want to have with you since you will always be in danger.

Keith is the main supporting character and he’s fun. He’s pretty much a homage to the classic RPG hero. He has a lot of shiny armor/weapons at the ready and likes to talk about justice. He takes some losses but always gets right back up to fight again. It can be hard to reason with him but then you have Izayoi being intentionally vague at times too so a fight was basically inevitable from the start when you think about it. I liked Keith, he was a good rival to have at the ready. The main villain Odium was also really good. He’s definitely one of the standout characters here with the classic goal of wanting to destroy everyone. Effectively he blames the gods for standing by as everyone got slaughtered and now he aims to destroy everyone. The guy is pretty strong but to be fair his plan wouldn’t have gone very far at all without his partner Adusk.

So in a lot of ways Odium was really lucky throughout the game. He also did take his share of defeats so he’d have to keep teleporting away. The heroes didn’t have the best reaction times to be sure but teleporting is pretty much instant, so what are you gonna do right? Adusk doesn’t really have any character personality until the literal end of the game but he is a pretty interesting character. I enjoyed his origin since it makes a lot of sense and added some depth to the game.

I talked about the plot for quite a while so I should quickly talk about some other aspects. Needless to say, the story was a lot of fun. The gameplay is your standard turn based combat system but you are given a lot of freedom. You can turn attack animations off for example to streamline the battles. You learn magical abilities, physical skills, and normal attacks. You can also put your character on automatic but the catch is that he will always use the absolute weakest attack in his arsenal so choose wisely. As for battle strategies, personally I would recommend making Friya the leader over Izayoi because that grants a +5% stat boost to all attributes while he gives a 10% but only to speed.

Then for equipment there is the Berserk talisman which is actually really good. It raises your strength by 40% but the catch is that you can’t control your character. The boost is worth it. Additionally, you will earn ADP every other fight and a lot of buster tickets to exchange for weapons. This is where things get interesting. With the ADP you start the game with 1000 so I highly recommend as your first purchases buying the double EXP, double ADP, and double SP upgrades. That will leave you with around 400 so you can also get double coin or something but after that I would usually recommend the ability seeds. These abilities are key because you’ll be playing literally hundreds of battles as you got through the game so the doubles add up.

Near the end of the game you unlock the S level Buster minigame which can get you powerful weapons that are easily stronger than anything you will find in the story. I highly recommend grabbing these are any cost. It’s all luck based but you should get something good. With these weapons I was one shotting even the final bosses to the point where I made sure to crank up the difficulty to expert which made the final phase of the final boss a lot closer. You really feel like a champ by the end of the game and that’s always fun. There are a few features that the game is missing from Asdivine like triple speed for gameplay but the battles go quick anyway.

If I have one thing to say against the gameplay it’s that the enemy spawn rates are crazy. A battle is triggered every few seconds so if I wasn’t one shotting my opponents that could get old quick. There is an item called Mighty Salt that you can use to bypass minions but you can’t buy it so you just have to hope that you run into it. I think this could have just been made an option in the shop since I had literal millions worth of gold and would have gladly bought 100 servings of it. Pretty minor thing in the end though.

The graphics are really good. The game stands out and really looks top notch. The artwork for the Asdivine games is always super solid though so this definitely does not come as any surprise. Then you have the soundtrack which is top tier. The Asdivine games always have fresh themes that sound similar but are quite different. This is more of the same with each tune being perfect for action and really throwing you into the heart of things. There’s just no way to come out of this one without immediately looking up some of the tracks on Youtube.

Overall, Asdivine Dios is a great game. The main campaign should take you a little over 15 hours and then there are a bunch of trophies and multiple endings to try and acquire as well. It’s definitely something to work towards although I hope there is an easy way to get each ending without having to go all the way back. The gameplay is very streamlined and what I like about this series is that pretty much everything is customizable. You can really adapt the gaming experience to your preferences and have maximum fun. You won’t get lost as the directions are always quite clear. The story is satisfying and I’d definitely like to see these characters return and meet the originals at some point. This game did mention there being a ton of different worlds and universes so it is set up perfectly for a crossover.

Overall 8/10

Star Ocean: Second Evolution Review


This game has been on the backburner for quite a while. It’s one of the last PSP games I hadn’t played yet so this was cool to knock out. Mixing the classic RPG setup with some Sci-Fi is always fun. The game has a good story and the fact that all of your partners are basically optional is pretty interesting. Apparently the game has over 80 variations of endings depending on how you use your team which is also cool. The game gets pretty difficult towards the end and there’s even a trick you can do to make the final boss even more difficult. You must be a master of the game to even attempt that I would imagine because otherwise that sounds pretty crazy. I was in the mid 80s for my level when I beat the game and while the last two bosses were quite easy thanks to this, taking down some of the earlier Wisemen was brutal with how they would petrify each member.

The game starts off with Claude and his father working on a spaceship. Claude has always wanted to follow in his Dad’s footsteps by becoming a pilot himself one day but unfortunately this isn’t to be. On one of their expeditions he gets a little too close to an artifact and is teleported to a primitive planet on another star system. He now has no way of getting back home. He decides to pretend he is around there. Claude meets a girl named Rena who explains that he is likely the fabled Hero of Light here to save them all. Calamity is approaching after all. More and more monsters have been appearing in the land and nobody is able to stand up to them. Well, Claude will do his best to help out until the crew can find him but does he even want to go back now?

The monsters are the main plot for most of the game but then towards the end we get a full villain group known as the Ten Wise Men. These guys are interesting because the game is definitely trying to go for something with their names here. You’ve got Zadkiel, Lucifer, Michael, and Gabriel all on the same team. Effectively the Angels and Demons have all decided to team up to destroy the universe. Why? Well, to be honest while usually I’d say I couldn’t tell you for spoiler reasons, they don’t really have any reason in particular. They want to either rule the universe or destroy it just because they can. They make for a pretty fun group I have to say. Their inclusion was a little last second but it definitely did help to increase the stakes here. I also tend to like villain groups in general.

As for the main characters, Claude is decent but not quite as good as the average RPG main character. He gets really jealous whenever Rena talks to her old friend Diaz which can get a little iffy. This often makes Claude act rather petty around her which isn’t a good look. I also think he should have come clean with the group about being from another star system a lot earlier in the game. It would have helped a lot particularly since he knew that the aliens were using high tech items as well. A little heads up could have gone a long way to saving more lives.

The death count in this game is absolutely massive. The villains just have more abilities and tech than the heroes so stopping them is really a difficult task. In any head to head confrontation you can really assume that the heroes are about to get wrecked. There are quite a number of fights in the game that you have to lose in order to progress the story. It’s a fun concept for sure but the only dicey thing is you may end up wasting a lot of potions and revives in this fight since you think you have a shot here.

Star Ocean ends rather abruptly without much of an after-ending so don’t expect a lot of closure for the characters. In particular I was expecting one of the old characters to show up again but I guess their premonition that they would never see him again was correct. You get the feeling that this game was left rather open ended for a sequel at some point. You could end the series with this game and it still works but there is definitely enough material for that third game. It’s definitely a satisfying story. I liked the way things turned out and the end of the game got to give Claude a good rage mode so he was more intense at the climax than he was for most of the game. You like to see it because he needed some more intensity the whole time.

As for Rena, she’s a solid heroine. Rena has her own story in the game and I’m sure that would give her even more backstory and personality like exploring her scenes with Diaz and all. She does well and keeps up with Claude the whole time. They have their share of disagreements but Rena is always reasonable about the whole thing. She’s a fun character to have around and has more of a presence than the other characters. Due to the optional nature of the rest of the party they don’t appear in any of the animated cutscenes. Even in the text ones their characters can be interchangeable. For example, I lost one fight with the Wisemen a lot to I had to keep seeing the cutscene over and over again and the side characters would take turns on who would talk to him but with the same dialogue each time. It was pretty interesting to see.

The best of the side characters would definitely be the travelling thief though. Her backstory got more time to shine than the others and since she was with the team near the beginning we at least got to see a lot of her. Some of the guys near the end came in rather late to the point where I intentionally left one of the kids back at base since he would just slow us down. I did like the rival Diaz quite a lot though. His skill with the sword was really impressive. Even by the end it’s hard to say if Claude had truly surpassed him or not. The tournament was a nice little event to show the gap in their abilities.

Not surprisingly the graphics here are really good. The fact that there are cutscenes which are completely animated at different points in the game was also very impressive. You definitely don’t see that every day I can tell you that much. The in game graphics are also on point. Not totally graphics related but I do think the game could have made the animations a little shorter though. Whenever the characters use a super attack there is a long unskippable cutscene that draws out the battles just a bit. Considering that you are going to need to grind out a lot of battles this can add up quite a lot.

As for the soundtrack, that was pretty good. It’s not quite at Tales of tier where each game has a super standout track but it still works out pretty well. There’s a lot of depth to the game so in addition to the 25-30 hours it takes to beat the game you’ve got a ton of replay value. You can beat the game again as Rena or work to get all of the other endings. It’ll definitely take a lot of time to do this so this game will last you an extremely long amount of time. It’s part of why RPGs tend to be some of the best games, you’ll almost always be very attached to what is going on by the end.

Overall, Star Ocean: Second Evolution is a great game. The plot is excellent and the characters are fun to root for. The anime cutscenes help to make this game feel high budget and the whole climax with the Ten Wise Men showing up was really good and kept a high energy approach the whole time. I liked the way you could allocate your abilities into skills as you leveled up since it made you have to decide on what to upgrade first. Strategy plays a huge role in this game. Star Ocean the series is off to a good start so I look forward to checking out more games in the series at some point. Either way if you have a PSP then I highly recommend picking this game up.

Overall 8/10

Mega Man X Collection Review


Mega Man X Collection is one of those games that I have always wanted to get. Who wouldn’t want to play a collection of 6 titles all packed into one mega experience? The X Collection is a treasure trove of important moments in Capcom’s history and it’s fairly out of print so I had to pay a bit of a premium to grab it. It was worth the trouble though and ended up being a pretty masterful game. The titles are all about as hard as I remember as well. Good luck taking them down.

As I had already played X1 and X4 previously I didn’t replay those. The collection brings all of the games up through X6 and I already got X7-X8 on the PS2 a while back. It’s pretty fun to see how the games have improved over the years. There is a noticeable jump in the graphics as you go through. I would say the biggest jump was from X3-X5 in that it now looked like a fully modern experience. You could release that game today and nobody would bat an eye because it would not feel out of place. The core gameplay for each of these titles is largely unchanged though. They are 2D shooters with some platforming involved.

The goal of each level is to make it to the end and then destroy the robot master who is in your way. This won’t be an easy task of course but it is one that you will need to complete. Once you’ve beaten the 8 bosses of the game then you always head to the final stages is around 3-4 back to back levels of taking on new opponents as well as beating up the 8 masters once again. For each game I would focus on beating the 8 masters initially as my completion and didn’t go for the gold with the climax levels this time around. It was nostalgic enough going through those moments so I didn’t think I needed to go further.

Sigma tends to make an appearance in every game but the plots are very different. One of them has the Sigma virus going around and mutating everyone while another one has the Nightmare virus which even affects Zero. Sometimes you have Zero available to play with from the start and other times he is presumed dead so you don’t see him for a while. The various plots are always a lot of fun. X definitely goes all in with the stories compared to the classic Mega Man games. This is why we need an anime to adapt them at some point but in the meanwhile the manga has done a good job of this.

The game gives you the ability to customize the controls which is handy. I always switch the boost to R instead of X. I don’t see how you can boost efficiently with it there. You can also toggle the difficulty level and even start off with a super armor if you want. I like these little tweaks. They are good quality of life upgrades that you want to see in these games. Even with this the games are suitably hard so you don’t need to worry about that.

Naturally the graphics are really good here. The character models are on point and the stage designs are good as well. The soundtrack is also excellent. The X series has so many winning themes that you will lose track by the end. It’s just another reason why the X series is so good. It knows exactly how to deliver on its strengths. As for replay value, each game has some since you can look for power ups and new armors. Additionally each game is difficult enough where it should last you a good amount of time anyway. You won’t be finishing this game very quickly at all so content is the least of your worries. That said, the price is definitely excessively high right now so good luck finding it at a value price. Most likely you will have to shell out a lot for this one. It’s definitely worth it if you are a big fan of the series though.

It’s crazy to think that Capcom has completely ditched this series and yet they really have. I dare say Mega Man could still be a household name if Capcom had kept going instead of ditching it for other things. The storylines alone are enough to make this super engaging for future gamers. Just show them X and the other reploids who helped him out through the years like Zero and you’re set. Keep in the fully animated cutscenes for the games as well since they also helped to establish this as a very big game series with high stakes.

The collection also brings Battle and Chase but to get this you have to complete the first three games completely which is definitely difficult. I didn’t go back to the first one at all anyway but it is a really cool reward for the fans who managed to pull this off. What could be better than getting another complete game for your troubles right? Battle and Chase is also pretty obscure so this would likely be your first time playing it. The X Collection certainly didn’t go cheap with the content and it’s one of the reasons this became an eternal classic. It may not have as many games as the Mega Man Anniversary collection but that one has less story and cutscenes so I imagine it was easier to fit them all there.

Overall, Mega Man X Collection is a great collection of games. Each title here is a complete game from the original Mega Man X days and they all hold up well. Naturally the most polished ones are the final two but they were all developed well and without shortcuts. I don’t see you having any issue with any of the titles presented here. They will absolutely test your gameplay fundamentals though. With the exception of one moving spike level, I thought all of the levels were pretty fair as well. If you learn and memorize the villain’s fighting pattern then you should be all good to go here.

Overall 8/10

Tales of Legendia Review


Time to continue the Tales of Series with Legendia as my next stop. It doesn’t exactly seem to be one of the more popular titles in the series but it’s a great title in its own right. It doesn’t quite match up to the Symphonia titles but then again what does right? The gameplay is on point and we have a good story here so at the end of the day that’s all you need. This is definitely not a game that you can try to just knock out real quickly.

The game starts with Senel and Shirley crash landing on the Legacy. The Legacy is a huge boat that is so big it serves as the hub world of the entire game. See, this ship is bigger than most countries combined to the point where it is practically the planet. It’s an interesting concept. Well, Shirley and Senel are on the run from a powerful group of villains led by Vaclav. Naturally the reasons for this are rather secret and Senel doesn’t intend on telling anyone. Unfortunately Shirley ends up getting kidnapped by the group. Senel meets up with a local authority figure named Will and a self proclaimed hero named Chloe. Eventually they also team up with a cheerful girl named Norma, a bandit named Moses, and a scholar named Jay. Together perhaps they can take this villain group down for the count.

In a 30+ hour RPG like this you can expect a whole lot of twists and turns. This is just the basic premise. Every character is keeping at least a few secrets in the back pocket for later on. The climax is a lot of fun and there are even a few loose ends which are likely either handled in the post game or left for a sequel. I didn’t really go into the postgame so I wouldn’t know if anything big occurred there. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case for at least some though.

Senel’s a good character. He is quick to get into fights which is always a quality you want to see in a hero. He has his own character arc of course so he will change a bit as the game goes on. Naturally one thing that will make his life a little tricky is that 4 of the heroines seem to like him so there will be a bit of tension there. Mainly his goal is to help Shirley out though and everything else is secondary. As long as he saves her then the rest will all come into place eventually.

Shirley’s a solid heroine as well although things definitely get a little dicey with her. She starts to weaken in the second half due to a lot of dicey decisions that she made. It almost turns into a bit of a guilt trip against Senel with the paths she ultimately went on. It makes her not always appear as selfless as you would think. I preferred her sister Stella although her role is a lot smaller than Shirley’s. Stella is more powerful and also just seems more heroic in general.

Then we have Will who may have the biggest role from all of the side characters. My main issue with him is that he seems to think he’s better than the other characters a lot of the time. He spends a lot of time lecturing the other characters and if they don’t agree with him then he will just smack them. Not exactly the kind of leadership you want to see from one of your allies right? He never quite got into my good graces by the end. Chloe’s a much more developed character. Her goals of being a true hero as well as her revenge plot are handled well. She definitely gets a ton of development as well and is really a key player in all of this. The fact that Chloe is a good warrior from the start is also important.

Then you have Norma who is mainly here to throw a bit of levity into the scenes. She is always having a good time and doesn’t take things as seriously as the other members. I thought her character was handled really well and she was consistent in being the voice of hope in the game. Whenever things were dire she would think of something to do. Norma also likes trolling the rest of the characters quite a lot which I can definitely appreciate. Moses is another member of the group but he’s a little more forgettable. The characters always give him a hard time and yell at the poor guy but at the end of the day he is a loyal ally. He’ll help out as much as needed.

Next up is Jay but I didn’t care for this guy. He’s not loyal in the slightest as he plays the field and tried to keep on grabbing more and more intel to stay ahead of the pack. Someone like that isn’t someone you can trust to have your back. Additionally by the end of the game he is quick to decide that he is cool being on his own. This guy was usually more trouble than he’s worth. Finally you have Grune but I’m still not sure what the point of her character is. She shows up near the end of the game as a playable character and then proceeds to do nothing for the rest of the game. If you ask me she could and should have been cut out. It feels like there must have been a big plot for her that was cut out or something because otherwise her whole role here just doesn’t make any kind of real sense.

Then we have the villains such as Vaclav and his 3 generals. They make for a solid villain group. Definitely not the most memorable ones around but the armor was fun. They had better designs than character personalities but they did manage to be a real threat when they arrived. There are a number of villains and factions here as well so the heroes always have to watch their back or risk being attacked while they’re busy. The soundtrack is pretty good. It may not be Symphonia level but the tunes we get are reasonable. There’s enough of an assortment where you are bound to enjoy at least one or two of them. It could be better but I’m satisfied with what we got.

Naturally there is a lot of replay value here. The base game is already around 30 hours and then after that you have the post game which involves character stories for each member of your party. I don’t know exactly how long this is but coupled with what you already have you are going to have a lot of content to play through here. It’s always one of the big advantages of being an RPG, the fun never really has to end. The graphics are also solid of course. We get a few fully animated cutscenes and for the rest there is a good amount of voice acting as well as details to the backgrounds.

Oh yeah I almost didn’t talk about the gameplay. It’s fairly standard for Tales of. You play as the heroes in a 3D or at least 2.5D gameplay style. You can hit the opponents in real time and use basic attacks as well as items and super attacks. The gameplay flows pretty smoothly and there’s a decent strategy element here as you have to decide which enemy to attack and how to go about it. There are numerous options for each scenario so it’s not as simple as just deciding to run and gun it. That may work for a while but eventually you will need to do some level grinding to keep that sustainable.

Overall, Tales of Legendia is a great game with a lot of emotional moments. You should be pretty well attached to all of the characters by the time you end things off. The gameplay is smooth and the graphics are on point. The game is just a strong experience that I could recommend to any gamer. Whether you’re a fan of RPG titles or action games, you should enjoy this one. I’d definitely be down with a sequel coming out someday to revisit the cast.

Overall 8/10

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Review


The first Jedi Knight game may not have been all that impressive but how about the sequel? Well, you’ll be glad to know that Jedi Academy is a big improvement. This game focuses more on the combat elements of the series so you don’t have to worry about puzzles and mysterious levels anymore. The game can still be challenging but in a straight forward combat sense instead of just tricking you the whole time with a lot of extra elements. It’s why Jedi Academy really ends up succeeding in a big way.

The game starts by introducing us to Jaden. He’s a promising new recruit who was even able to build his own lightsaber which is pretty much unheard of. He’s looking forward to learning a lot at the academy. Things are a little more tense than expected though as someone broke into Luke Skywalker’s computer records and we have reports of Dark Jedi attacking temples. The main goal will still be for Jaden to learn new skills of course but in the meantime he will also have to be on the lookout as well now. He really can’t afford to let his guard down or things could get ugly.

Right from the first cutscene you’ll probably be thinking that one of the other students is fishy though. There’s this one guy who tries to be your friend right away and is awfully pushy. He’s also very quick to talk bad behind the teacher’s back so he’s not someone that you want to get involved with. Additionally he even came close to accidentally murdering Jaden during the very first training mission. Needless to say, he never gets better.

Jaden is a good lead though. He’s pretty reasonable the whole time and a talented fighter. Of course how his character story ends up will really depend on the decision you make at the end of the game. After each level you are able to unlock and power up new skills. You can choose to focus purely on good abilities or grab some from the dark side. Personally I maxed out healing first and then went on to Force Lightning. There’s a good chance you’ll never use any of the other abilities so grab these first and then worry about the rest later. I recommend grabbing the Lightning because it’s incredibly handy for taking out any minion in a single blow.

The key branching off point though is near the end of the game. Effectively you have to choose between destroying or sparing someone. Based on what you answer will determine how the ending plays out. I ended up being on the dark side so the ending was crazy as you have to fight off waves of both Jedi and Sith. At one point both sides were even teaming up to stop Jaden which I thought was pretty crazy. I guess Jaden’s so powerful that everyone has to go after him. I imagine that the good path may have been a bit easier since there’s at least one boss fight you wouldn’t have to go through plus in all the levels the Jedi will be helping you but I’m sure it’ll still be a tough endeavor.

As mentioned, the game’s difficulty here is pretty fair. Most of the time you can just win any fight but it will take some time. You can also go the more reckless path which will be quicker but result in more deaths. If you die enough times then it will ultimately be longer. I enjoyed the gameplay a lot but even I would just jump past the Dark Jedi at times. Keep in mind that there’s no EXP system so there’s no real reason to fight them. You can pretty much always choose to just skip every minion in the room and keep on going. Just watch out for one of them trying the ole Force Choke from behind move though. That can be hard to dodge and deals quite a bit of damage.

The gameplay is pretty much unchanged from the first. You have an array of blasters and light sabers at the ready here as you attack enemies and try to get to the goal. The mission objectives will vary from defeating enemies to just securing some bombs and getting out of there. Your power up tree gives you a point after each level. Once you’ve completed 5 levels you have the option of entering the next chapter or completing a bonus level to power up your fighter more. Naturally doing the latter may make for an easier game experience but since you don’t need anything beyond healing or lightning it’s really optional I would say.

Your lightsaber has more customizations in this game as you can choose to have two light sabers at once, a double edged one, or stay with standard. I went with the double option as soon as it was possible and never looked back. Duel wielding is just too much fun to pass up. I also feel like it’s a lot more powerful in general although I assume they all have their pros and cons. You can even choose which attack strategy you want your moves to have, speed, power, or balanced. I went with full on power which is a departure from my usual pick of speed but it just felt right.

The graphics here are really solid. All of the action scenes are on point. The soundtrack is still more on the forgettable side but it was pretty hype to have Jaden get the Darth Vader theme. I was not expecting that. The story is really engaging as expected. I would have liked to have seen Luke step in a bit more but at least having Kyle from the first game return as a main character was appreciated since it helped to give him some real closure here.

Overall, Jedi Academy is a great game. It’s got a nice balance of action gameplay and story content. It’s a breeze from start to finish. The game feels relatively quick but at the same time I would say there is a satisfying amount of content here. The main campaign is probably around 7-8 hours I would say and then you can go back to quickly get the second ending. Additionally you can also try to get the Platinum Trophy here. That will take a little more time to be sure as some of these trophies can be tricky. I missed out on quite a few myself because I didn’t realize I should have let multiple bosses destroy me…….It’d be nice if we could get another game in this series at some point. There’s always a lot of potential playing as a Jedi.

Overall 8/10

Warriors Orochi 2 Review


After many years it was finally time to jump into the second Warriors Orochi title. The first one had definitely been a lot of fun so I was eager to see how the sequel would respond. Once again this is definitely a great title. I do think there’s a bit more they could have done with the story to highlight the crossover aspect but on the whole you should be very satisfied here.

The game lets you choose between playing as the Dynasty Warrior series, Samurai, or Orochi. I went for Dynasty and it’s fun that the fire team gets to be the head fighters here. The Sun clan is always a fun team to get behind even if the leader Sun Jian doesn’t look his best this time. He is determined to keep the kingdom at peace so he doesn’t make a move against the new villains until he is effectively forced into doing so. Then he is ready for action but it all feels a bit late in the game.

With Orochi destroyed everyone is just trying to get used to living in this strange world since there appears to be no way back. Unfortunately peace isn’t something that will be maintained for long as Lu Bu has returned along with one of Orochi’s trusted followers and they intend to plunge the world into chaos once more. Meanwhile, a bunch of other villains from Samurai Warriors and Dynasty have decided to use the confusion to take over as well. It’s going to be a tough few days for the Sun clan but they have to take them all down without mercy.

The gameplay is pretty self explanatory but I’ll quickly run over it anyway. The goal of the level is to take down the enemy generals. You have to do this without letting your own men be destroyed. You have your standard attacks, power moves, and super attacks. Use them wisely as you take opponents down. As this is a hack n slash there are hundreds of opponents to defeat to the point where they are practically never ending. Never let yourself get distracted in any one area too long or your partners will die pretty quickly. I died in the first level but never after that. As long as you stay sharp you’ll be fine. It’s also worth noting that this is a rare game where you keep your EXP even when you lose a level. I was really glad to see that.

There are 8 levels in the game and on average you should complete them between 10-13 minutes. The levels feel fairly short but that’s because they are a lot of fun. Your attacking speed is a little on the slow side but you can call up your horse to move great distances when needed. Initially you’ll want to beat a lot of the minions to gain EXP but then in latter levels you can run straight for the enemy generals. Once I unlocked the 5 hit combo which burned my opponents I was definitely ready to go with a more aggressive strategy. This combo could even be used repeatedly if the opponent didn’t block the launcher move which would result in a lot of damage Without that move the levels would have certainly been a lot more difficult to navigate.

The graphics here definitely look good as expected. The character models are on point and the stages are suitably ominous. I like how everything looks, the game just has an epic feel from start to finish. It feels like a grand crossover and that’s exactly how this game is supposed to be. The character roster is also impressive although not surprising since the warrior games usually shine like this. The soundtrack is always very good. Optic Lines is the most memorable track (The name is at least something like that) but there are a lot of good tunes throughout.

Naturally there is a lot of replay value here. You can play the other story modes and really perfect your skills. Maxing out all of the characters is bound to take a lot of time as well since there are so many and level ups can take some time. I think I got my character to around Level 50 by the end though so that was a pretty reasonable jump. You’ll easily be able to find 20+ hours here by the time you do everything.

One unfortunate thing though was that in the end I beat Orochi before I could even see his little pre rendered cutscene. I had too many backed up by this point as I ran through the level so it wasn’t quite up to his I suppose. Unless he didn’t have one but I would be surprised since every other boss has one. It was definitely cool to see him there though. I’m wondering how Orochi 3 will handle the plot since I’m sure they don’t want to go for the same angle of him reviving again and yet it feels like that is what they will have to do. A lot of tough decisions there to be sure.

Overall, I am one step closer to being caught up with all of the Warrior Orochi games now. Orochi 2 was definitely a blast and I expect the rest will be as well. It’s a fairly simple/direct game so there isn’t much more to say on it. If you like the main Warrior games then of course you’ll like this one. The more you’ve played the other two series, the more you will really enjoy the unique interactions here as well. I’d like to see more interactions in future games but as it is, it was fun seeing the final boss of Samurai Warriors Katana show up here since I just beat that game the other day.

Overall 8/10

Samurai Warriors 2: XTreme Legends Review


It’s been a very long time since I played the original Samurai Warriors. I had been focusing on Dynasty for a while but now that I’m caught up with that series it was definitely time to go and check out how this one was doing. Well, it’s definitely a game that has aged really well. You can feel the power behind your attacks and taking down hundreds of opponents all at once certainly never gets old. I definitely look forward to playing the next installment in this series soon.

As with most warrior games you can pick whose story you want to play through. There aren’t a whole lot of options initially but I believe you can unlock more characters as you play through. I played as Kojiro Sasaki. I always like to pick the fire type fighters in these and since Yukimura Sanada wasn’t an option yet I figured this could do the trick. That said, he’s certainly more of an antagonist than I would have figured. Effectively he just wants to destroy a bunch of people but he feels like it’s all a waste. He wants to find someone super powerful to destroy so he goes around on the battlefield until he finds such a person.

I did not warm up to this guy by the end. He’s definitely crazy but would make for a solid antagonist to someone else’s story. At the very least you can’t deny that the guy has some pretty serious skill here. It’s his story so his abilities probably get embellished a bit but he ends up taking everyone out.

The gameplay is fairly standard of course. You go around beating the life points out of all your opponents. You have your standard moves, power moves, and your super attack. I recommend keeping your super on hand for whenever an opponent general shows up because it works as an immediate combo breaker. Just activate it when the opponent lands any kind of hit on you and you’ll be set. The gameplay is very smooth and landing hits is fun. To add some depth here you can power up your weapon at the shop and even buy special abilities that amp up your stats or even control your level ups.

I recommend spending all of your money on this because it’s just a great way to keep your guy ready for action. Your weapon’s important too but the upgrade doesn’t seem to do a whole lot there. The only part of the gameplay where you can tell they haven’t fine tuned it yet is the speed. Your character walks incredibly slow throughout the levels. So it can take a while to get anywhere. I suppose this helps to prevent you from running straight to the goal though. It also adds a little strategy here because moving too far away from your camp is dangerous as a result. After all if your leader dies then you lose the mission instantly.

The game had 5 levels in the campaign I played and I believe it can go up to 7 in some cases as well. It’s fairly short if you’re just playing one character and you should have it beat in around 2 hours. If you do it with all of the characters though then this definitely ought to take a long while. You have no shortage of replay value in this game which is no surprise because that is often the case with any game in the Dynasty franchise. Considering that the games go for around 10-20 bucks now, it’s a good bargain.

The graphics look pretty good here. I always appreciate the fact that there are loads of cutscenes and cinematics everywhere. You’ve got the big budget ones which appear at the beginning and end as well as the mini ones that show up whenever an enemy officer appears. It helps to make these moments feel like a big deal. The attack animations are also on point. As for the soundtrack it’s a little more on the forgettable side but it’s not bad. I’d like to have had more of a signature theme show up at some point. That would have been neat but maybe in the sequel.

The game is reasonably challenging. In particular what makes it pretty tricky here is how long the levels are. If you’ve already polished off about 600 enemies then nothing will be more disheartening than losing at the last second right? There were a few levels where I just had to run for a while to look for health items. The nice sweet spot to be in is when your health is in the red since you can use unlimited super attacks as long as you run a bit. That’s also a good strategy but they take time and it gets pretty intense. You know that a hit could be the end for you. That’s a fun feeling when you come out on top. Fortunately I didn’t end up losing here but that could have been tricky.

Samurai Warriors 2 feels very basic in a lot of respects but it’s part of the charm. You have a pretty direct plot and a lot of good gameplay for each level. In some ways this plot felt a lot more direct than the more extended one in Dynasty Warriors 9. It’s less grand of course but Sasaki’s plot was just interesting and the whole rivalry aspect with Masashi was cool.

Overall, Samurai Warriors 2 is definitely a very good game. I’d call it a great one at that. If you have time then beating it with all of the characters would be a blast since the stories should all be fairly different. I’m far less familiar with the base story here compared to Dynasty as well so it all feels pretty fresh. It seems to take place way after most of the Sengoku Basara anime since the main kings are already gone. The new characters look fun though and I wonder if the rest of the games in this series will deal with the same era and plot like Dynasty or if we’ll be jumping around a little more here. I’m not sure when I’ll get the third game but it shouldn’t be too far in the future I would say.

Overall 8/10

Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice Review


It’s been a little while since I played Disgaea 2, but I’ve been meaning to jump into 3 for a while now. The strategic gameplay of the series is always a blast. It really brings you in for a big challenge from start to finish that’s for sure. You have to consider a lot of angles when playing. While the core story is definitely a bit weaker than the first two, it makes for a great game either way and one that you don’t want to miss.

The game starts by introducing us to Mao. He’s the son of the Overlord and his goal is to rise to that position by destroying his father. The reason he wants to do this is because the Overlord broke his video game console a while back. To that end, Mao has decided that he will need to figure out what powers a hero since heroes usually take the Overlord down. Once he is able to figure that out then he will be ready to roll. To that end he captures a hero named Almaz and steals his title. Now, this gets a little meta and the game isn’t afraid to break the 4th wall but bear with me here. So effectively everyone has a title which actually affects how you act and think. Now that Almaz’s title has been taken he is slowly becoming a demon. He has to find a way to get into Mao’s heart (Which is located as basically a department store that you can walk into) to steal his title back. Will either of the characters get what they want?

Most of the game takes place at school or on campus as Mao tries to locate how to find a lot of power. Heroes are almost mythical in the demon world because of how rarely they appear. Everything is backwards in this world so to be an honor student you need to keep on cutting class and just being mean while the delinquents are people who attend class and are nice to others. It’s a fun dynamic and there are 3 little minions who show up in basically every chapter of the game to try and cause trouble. They’re always fun to have around for sure.

As a main character Mao is decent. He has his entertaining moments and I do like that he is always trying to set the record straight that he has no friends. The guy has a lot of secrets and a fascination with live experimentation so even by the end he isn’t a true hero. Still, he does end up fighting with the villains so you are at least glad to have him on your side at the very least. Almaz is the other main hero and he’s pretty fun. His plot is about getting Princess Sapphire to finally notice him but he is content to stay in the shadows until he works up the courage. He protects her from a distance and all. A one way romance like this can always be rough but at least the demons aren’t too hard on him about this.

Sapphire is a solid Princess though and one of the better ones of recent years. She has the brilliant idea of going to destroy the Overlord before he even thinks of kidnapping her. That’s pretty proactive so I can certainly get behind that. Princess Peach should consider capturing Bowser next time instead of waiting for the inevitable. She can fight which is always a pretty good skill to have as well. Her super strength punch and Buzzsaw even scare Mao at times.

Mao’s rival is a solid character as well. As leader of the delinquents you’d expect nothing less. One supporting character who could be annoying most of the time was the cook though. Literally all of his lines are using food lingo. I can appreciate good puns and all but I felt like he would never actually get to the point so he didn’t really serve much of a purpose at times. He gets a lot of hype and is apparently super strong but the game doesn’t do much with that concept.

As an RPG there are tons of other characters of course but those are the big ones. You’ll enjoy the story, there’s a lot going on. For the gameplay, it’s the same as in previous titles. You control up to 9 characters and maneuver them through a chess board of sorts. The idea is to take out the opponent fighters. Sometimes this will be straight forward and you just run to take them out while at other times there are a bunch of obstacles to get past. The levels become more like a puzzle as you have to decide how to attack the enemy. A good strategy is just as important as your level ups here.

The game holds nothing back so you will likely need to go replay levels a bunch before clearing the game. It’s difficult to level everyone up here since only the character who beats the enemy gets the level up this time. So by the end of the game I had 4 really strong fighters and my other guys were scrubs. It was worth it though. Then you want to save money to buy excellent equipment. The equipment will really come in handy since it boosts your stats massively. For example you can switch out your weapon with 100 attack power for one with 700 and suddenly you’re blasting through everyone. The toughest part is always choosing between buying a new weapon or new armor. I always prioritized weapons first since it makes the grinding quicker but ultimately you will need armor or you will fall. My strategy is to sell off all the equipment of all my other fighters and only stick to 4 but of course this is risky. It’s a great way to raise funds short term though.

There’s a whole lot of depth to the gameplay as you can also upgrade attacks here. Doing so makes them more powerful but drastically costs more magic meter as well so sometimes getting it too strong can actually be a bad thing. Then you can go to class to have the students give you money or unlock more levels at the shop. There is definitely a whole lot to consider here. The main story took me over 20 hours and there is a sizable post game story as well. This game can easily last you 50+ hours so there is a ton of replay value here. I would definitely recommend sticking with it

Naturally the soundtrack is also pretty solid. You’ll recognize a theme or two from the original game in addition to the new ones. Then you’ve got the solid graphics which go all out with the special attacks as always. It really knows how to make everything look really high tier. I do low key wish you could skip the cinematics on the special moves eventually since it takes up some time but I suppose after putting so much effort into the attacks they don’t want people just skipping them each time.

Overall, Disgaea 3 is a solid way to end the trilogy. The game has a lot of heart and depth to it. It’s a very complete RPG that excels in all areas. While I would say that the first two defeated it, you’ll definitely be invested in the game. It may be very difficult but you always feel like you have hope even if you need to go back and earn some more level ups again. Sometimes that’s just something you have to do. Going back to get stronger is a noble quest at all times.

Overall 8/10