Mega Man X Dive Review


I downloaded this game as soon as it came out in America but I hadn’t actually reviewed it until now because I wanted to clear all of the story levels first. Well, I’ve done that and so now it’s time to give my thoughts on the game. Needless to say this one is a definite masterpiece. It’s a mobile game that will have you spending many, many hours on it. The game is highly addictive and just a whole wave of fun.

There is a story mode here although it almost feels like a formality at times as it doesn’t really go anywhere. Basically you are the “Player” someone from the real world who has played the Mega Man games and knows them well. It turns out that someone is ruining the data for each of the games and causing anomalies. It’s now up to the Player to save the day along with Rico and Via, two characters who mysteriously look like existing characters. Can we really destroy all of the corrupted mavericks and is there something more behind the scenes?

At the time of this review there are 14 chapters in the Global version. Each chapter has 6 levels so that’s almost 100 levels and the story hasn’t changed much at all. At this point it’s clear that Via is hiding a lot from the heroes but they aren’t able to do much of anything to stop him so those plot elements may as well not be around. It is nice to see the Mega Man characters so that’s cool but you feel like they could do so much more with the concept. It’s extremely formulaic and with this kind of character roster there’s a lot of experimentation that could and should be done.

It almost goes without saying that the graphics are excellent. Mobile games have been knocking it out of the park in that area for a very long time so there’s no surprise there. The soundtrack is also a 10/10 with all of the amazing Megaman tracks at the game’s disposal. It’s really fun to hear all of those nostalgic tunes one more time. You won’t have to turn the music off because it’s just so catchy.

If you want to talk replay value, well there is a whole lot of that. Now as a disclaimer, if you want to play story levels or boss battles those do require energy so you can’t play them for an unlimited amount of time. You are given a free 80 energy pack 3 times a day though and can get another 80 from friends each day so that’s an easy way to replenish. You also get full energy from leveling up.

Aside from Story Mode, you have 3 modes in Challenge. Boss Battles, The Ladder, and Race Mode. Each mode is important to play each day to grab the rewards. Then you have the event modes, you can complete each permanent event twice a day and then the limited ones have a meter as well so you can usually clear those 3-4 times. The Raid feature was also just introduced into the game and in that one you can fight a giant boss and hopefully contribute a lot of damage to the team. The more damage you land, the more reward points you will get in the end.

There are also the online arena battles and you can play an unlimited number of those. Just keep battling and keep winning to rise up into the ranks and maybe even make it up to GA which is the highest rank in the game. Trust me when I say that running out of content is unlikely. Even just trying to complete all of the daily tasks to maximize your rewards will take a while. I’m talking 3-4 hours a day which is a serious commitment. I make sure to at least get 100 points for the day to open all of the daily prizes but I still lose out on a bunch of rewards by not doing the ladder and various other modes each day. I just don’t have enough time.

But the game does reward your dedication. You will level up quicker and gain more power if you play a lot. Your power level is incredibly important here because that determines how much damage you deal with each attack and how much you take from enemy fire. My power level right now is 424,000 which is enough to clear all story levels even though they have a higher recommended power level but it’s close enough where I need to work on that. I’m at level 78 right now, I feel like if I can reach Level 100 then the sky’s the limit.

There are a lot of other things to keep in mind as well like ranking up your characters, weapons, chips, lab skills, etc. There are just so many mechanics and items in the game that I wouldn’t even know where to start on listing them all. The key thing here is to use your materials carefully. Don’t just start using them all at once. In fact, I would say to hold onto your metals and anything that looks precious until you really start to learn how the game works. Especially because at the beginning of the game you are given a ton of rewards which quickly start to dry up. Definitely keep that in mind.

Still, here are two quick tips to help you get started. One is to always complete the daily tasks as best you can. They add up quick and get you the most amounts of EXP in a short amount of time. This includes cranking your free gatcha every day. The second is to always upgrade your armor, weapon, and chips every time you level up because those have a direct effect on your power level. Keeping those at the top is a good way to keep making progress.

Additionally, you will want to keep working on completing your gallery by playing as different characters and using different weapons because that really makes a difference. Each bit helps after all. Also, you gotta be patient with your metals. That is how you spin the gatcha to try and get a new character. Let me tell you, it’s a very brutal system where you won’t always have great luck getting a new character. I’ve spun the wheel many times and still don’t get the new characters. If you’re patient enough to wait until you have 25000 metals and use them on a dive fest banner then you can guarantee a character but that’s a lot of metals. For context you will probably get around 100 metals a day after you’ve cleared all of the main content.

There are always events running around which give more though so the wait won’t be as long as all that. Personally I just wait until I reach 1000 metals each time and just try my luck. I like to see quick returns but am determined to also stay as a freemium player. Spending money on the app just doesn’t seem worth it to me and I’m having a lot of fun anyway. This is the kind of game where you can still do really well as a freemium player. You might not be at the top of the ranks but you’ll be close enough.

Final tip, I almost forgot to mention this but it’s huge. If you don’t have time to play the game much in a day, don’t worry about it. You can auto skip levels in story mode that you have already completed with 3 stars and it won’t cost any skip pass. The rewards are lower but that’s well worth it for beating 10 levels in a second. The key thing is that you don’t want to waste your energy since you can turn it into EXP. So if you know you won’t play for a few hours, just auto skip all the levels with the click of a button to get your EXP. Note that doing this for special events will cost you auto skip tickets but they are so plentiful that you should just do that. The number one rule for gatcha games like this is that you don’t want to waste your resources if you can help it. So keep on skipping and you’ll see your levels rise at a steady rate.

Overall, Mega Man X Dive is really the dream game for any Mega Man fan. You can play through the levels as many times as you want and you can even play as fan favorite characters like X, Zero, Proto Man, Bass, etc. The roster continues to grow and as long as people spend money, this game should keep on going for years. I certainly hope it continues to go strong without ever stopping at least. You can expect this will be the one mobile game where I am in it for the longhaul alongside Pokemon Go.

Overall 9/10

Warriors Orochi 3 Review


Warriors Orochi has always been a pretty fun series. There was a huge gap between when I played the first two Orochi titles but this time I was determined not to wait so long. I took the plunge and grabbed Orochi 3. Fortunately the PS3 is region free so that worked out pretty nicely. Orochi 3 definitely has a very strong plot and it features time travel so that’s a win win. It’s certainly the best Orochi game so far.

The game starts off with Orochi returning but this time as the Hydra. This 8 headed dragon crushes the entire planet to the point where within 10 minutes of the game’s start there are only 3 heroes left alive. The rest of the Dynasty and Samurai warriors cast have been obliterated. This desperate mission ends in failure but the heroes are saved by a goddess known as Kaguya. She has the ability to time travel part of the way into the past but not so far back that we can prevent Orochi from returning. Using this bonus time we have to alert everyone to the true danger and bring the world to an era of peace. Then we will return to the place of the final battle only this time we will have more of a full roster at the ready. Can the heroes stop Orochi once and for all?

I love crossovers, beat em ups, and time travel. Mix all of that into one game and it’s not surprising in the slightest that this is an absolute win. First off, the story is just very grand in scope. Seeing this dragon show up and just decimate the cast was intense. Especially since these characters are all quite powerful in their own right. It may be a little hard to buy that they would all lose like this but when you factor in that they’re always fighting among themselves they probably were weakened by this point. While the game ends with everyone finally being at peace, something tells me that won’t last for the sequel.

The main campaign is fairly long at 29 levels and there is a good amount of replay value here as well with all of the bonus levels to tackle as well. Getting everyone to level 100 will take ages too although I don’t think there’s a trophy for that so no need to force yourself. There are over 100 characters after all so that’d be pretty crazy. By the time I beat the game I only had 1 person at level 100 so I think it’s safe to say that getting everyone over there would just be too long. I’d say the story mode is maybe around 7-8 hours. I didn’t count exactly and they don’t store the playtime but that sounds about right to me.

As for the gameplay, it’s your standard 3D combat system so you will know what to expect. You rush into battle and slam into enemies using both standard and power attacks. You have super attacks as well but I recommend keeping that in your pocket as a combo breaker in case a boss lays a good hit on you. Typically they go down pretty quickly but if they do start a combo they can take off huge chunks of your health in an instant. You definitely want to respect their power and keep some distance between you and the boss. At least I would recommend that.

One of the most handy tools at your disposal is your horse. I recommend summoning him as much as possible so you can run through the battlefields at top speed. Doing this will help you reach your objectives quicker. After all, aside from conquering enemies you also have to protect your comrades. My strategy in each level was to knock out all of the officers but mainly not worry about the minions. I would still average around 1000 KO’s per stage so those come naturally but getting rid of the officers is key or your allies will end up defeated and you will have to start the level from scratch. Let me tell you, you do not want to start the level from scratch to be sure.

Naturally the graphics for this game are absolutely stellar. The character models are on point and the level designs are really striking. This is the kind of PS3 game where you can tell they spared no expense. It could easily pass for a PS4 title. Likewise the soundtrack is excellent. It’s no surprise as the Orochi games tend to sound quite excellent but this one really manages to even go above and beyond. The battle themes really get you into the action so you feel ready for what comes next.

When you’re not fighting there are still other bonus things you can do as well. One of those is buying new weapons or fusing your older ones into weapons with more slots and abilities. Your weapon is quite important in this game so I recommend working on that right away. Don’t worry about the money it costs because by the end of the game you’ll be swimming in it. At the very least there was never a point in the game where I was low on funds. There is also the tea shop where you can increase your bonds with the other characters but I never really tried that out. I think the bonds mechanic increases your strength when you fight with allies but admittedly I never really tried this out. I tend to run ahead of the others to try and shield them from danger while also getting the fun fights for myself.

Overall, Warriors Orochi 3 is fantastic. It’s a top tier game filled with a lot of life and action. The story is a lot of fun, the graphics are top notch, and so is the soundtrack. There’s a lot of replay value here and the gameplay is a blast. You can easily have fun just playing the levels over and over again. I can see how people would sink dozens and dozens of hours into these games. It would make for a fun ride to try and platinum it, but the trophy for beating all of the levels on chaos difficulty sounds a bit daunting. Maybe someday. Now just one more Orochi game and I’ll finally be caught up!

Overall 9/10

One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 Review


After playing through Dynasty Warriors I knew that it was time to get more classic beat em up games from Kemco. One Piece was the perfect follow up. It’s a terrific game through and through with extremely tight gameplay. Every aspect of the game is just flat out amazing with a top tier soundtrack, amazing graphics, etc. There’s just nothing to dislike about this game. It really delivers and is an excellent tribute to the series. I would highly recommend checking it out whether you’re just a big One Piece fan or like the gameplay in general. It’s quite polished and I definitely look forward to the day they make a 5th installment.

The game adapts 6 of the story arcs from the manga. Naturally there’s no way you could hope to adapt everything from the series so there are a number of big jumps and such as you go through the campaign. They do manage to tackle all of the big stories though such as Marineford and Wano. For the arcs that are skipped the game gives you a quick recap so you know what went on through a set of cutscenes. The campaign is a pretty solid length so there is a lot of detail here. If you list any influential One Piece scene off the top of your head, odds are that it is in this game.

Naturally the gameplay here is your typical 3D hack n slash/beat em up. You pick a character and take down hundreds of enemies as you accomplish the goals of the level which range from defeating enemies to capturing territories. To capture a territory you must beat a large number of enemies in that zone and then take out the leader. This prevents further reinforcements from that area which is a pretty great help in these battles. I always prioritize taking over the area whenever possible. You have your standard attacks, power moves, and specials. There is also a very detailed power up system where you amp your moves up. I really focused on getting Luffy and Sanji to max as their battle styles were already really good so with the extra boost to their abilities it was like cake going through the levels.

The game likely anticipated this though so throughout the game you will be forced to play as many different characters. Then you have the tricky decision of using some of your resources to power them up even though you may never play them again or try to squeak by with level 1 stats. It can be a pretty hard decision. Also one thing to keep in mind when playing as Sanji is that he can’t do much against female opponents. The game even gives you a warning message if you try to play him in a level where they show up. I ignored the warning the first time and it got tricky. Effectively you can only offer a single strike and then Sanji immediately recoils. So you can imagine that defeating an opponent will take forever when you can only land a single move like that. Without the special abilities I would have been there all day so after that I was careful when to pick him.

The power up system also allows you to learn a bunch of new moves which are handy since a lot of them are better than your starters. You can also use transformations like with Luffy activating Gear 4. It’s a really handy move to have here. In terms of pure gameplay this has to be one of the smoothest that I’ve played in a long time. I would put it even above Dynasty Warriors 9 and Hyrule Warriors 2. Both of which tried adding some new mechanics which were fun enough but Pirate Warriors 4 is going back to basics. Just take enemies down right away. I would beat up to 2500 enemies in some levels. The best attack in my opinion is Conqueror’s Haki. Using that causes many enemies to instantly die and it also ignores any shields the enemy may have up. What can beat that?

Then you’ve also got an amazing soundtrack in this game. Pretty much every tune is amazing. I’ve been listening to the tunes online after playing through the game quite a lot. There may not be a ton of different tracks as I only see around 15 online but they are all just pretty amazing. You can feel the energy in each one of them and they really make you want to jump in and get on the action. You’ve got suitably emotional tracks as well. This has to be one of the most complete soundtracks I’ve heard in a minute. Naturally the graphics for the game are also quite good. The characters are striking and same for the various landscapes which are all unique and pretty accurate to the manga/show.

In terms of replay value there is definitely a whole lot to get through here. Aside from the main story you can also play a lot of stand alone adventures in the Treasure log and experiment with all of the characters. Obtaining the Platinum Trophy will also take a very long time. Right now you can get this game for under 30 so it’s definitely a steal. You won’t run out of things to do in this game for a very long time. The main campaign alone would justify the purchase so with all of that extra content you’re definitely good to go.

Overall, The only thing I could say that isn’t positive about the game is that for their original ending to the Wano arc it was pretty uninspired. I wasn’t a big fan since it felt like more of a cop out than anything. Otherwise everything about this game is just incredible. You’ve got a top tier soundtrack, graphics, gameplay, and story. You would struggle to find another game in this genre with smoother gameplay than Pirate Warriors 4. It’s all just so clean and polished that you can’t help but get sucked in to the adventure. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this one. I intend to play some more beat em up games like this in the very near future so definitely be on the lookout for that. It’s going to be a blast!

Overall 9/10

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Review


Hyrule Warriors was one of the best games I played on the Wii U back in the day. The game had a whole lot of awesome gameplay mechanics at its disposal and the levels were intense. To date I consider it to be one of the best beat em ups I’ve ever played. The whole thing was just so seamless and I do love me a good crossover plot. This one is a very worthy sequel though setting us in the Breath of the Wild continuity. Finally we can have a big story with these characters. The story is a pretty solid length at over 10 hours. It took me around 14.5 although I did a lot of the side missions and bonus content because the game was so fun.

The story picks up right before the actual Calamity started. Link is a chosen knight of Hyrule whose mission is to protect Princess Zelda. He does so magnificently as he saves her from an enemy energy blast. Zelda needs to awaken her abilities foretold by prophecy in order to stop Calamity Ganon from wiping out the world. Her best bet in the meantime is to find the 4 guardians and have them awaken their machines of power. If they use these then the prophecy says they will win but has Ganon already accounted for them? We know that in Breath of the Wild the heroes lose so what can tip the scales here? We have a time travelling robot from the future who shows up in the first level so perhaps he will come in clutch.

There are quite a few twists and turns here as the game goes on so the story is always adapting. It’s a very engaging one and we have a lot of cutscenes here. As always Link proves himself to be an excellent main character. It’s hard not to like the guy because he really does have an incredible amount of skill and is always ready to jump into the fray. With Link by your side you can’t help but feel that everything is going to be all right. He’ll step up to the plate each time we need him to do so. Zelda is also a solid heroine. Her voice will take a little getting used to but as a character she is brave and does what she needs to as Princess. She can also fight on the battlefield alongside the others which I’d say is crucial. You’ve always gotta be able to fight, especially in a ruined world like this one. Otherwise you may just hold the others back.

Her father, the King actually gets a good role here as well. It’s rare to see him step up, but he does and it turns out that the guy can fight really well with a sword. I liked him quite a bit throughout the game. I can see why some may find him to be a bit harsh with Zelda but I don’t think he ever crosses any kind of line and had some good points. Zelda was quite nervous at that point and seemed to be dodging her duty. I wouldn’t say it was intentional and I don’t think he thought so either. He just wanted to get her back on track and the stakes were quite high because if they failed then that would be game over.

As for the villains, we have 3 main ones aside from good ole Calamity Ganon. The first is Master Kogha. He’s definitely trying for a charismatic comic relief kind of role here. He can fight decently well but doesn’t take things seriously a whole lot. He didn’t grow on me but I wouldn’t say he was bad. He may make you crack a smile once in a while but he’s not as funny as you need to be for this style of villain to truly work. Fortunately his sidekick Sooga is great and really holds up the villain side here. He’s a talented fighter who even gives Link a run for his money. The guy is incredibly loyal as well so Kohga is lucky to have him by his side.

The main villain here would be Astor though. It’s almost odd to call him the main villain because it feels like the guy doesn’t appear a whole lot here but he is the central focus. He wants to awaken Ganon and end the world. He doesn’t have much personality beyond that but he’s okay. I’ll definitely take most of the other evil Legend of Zelda mages over him. I did like his ability to conjure up shadow versions of the heroes to fight though. That’s a pretty handy trick especially if they are close to as strong as the real deals. Meanwhile Ganon doesn’t do much but it’s always fun to see the blight versions and the final boss has a pretty great design. I do look forward to having more of a sentient Ganon make his return at some point though. He’s just such an interesting villain when he can talk.

Meanwhile the graphics here are naturally top notch. The energy effects all look really good and you can feel the power behind each attack. It makes you have a blast while you’re running around each level. The cutscenes also look really good. In particular there is one cutscene where Link is in a 4 on 1 battle that is great fun to watch. It’s definitely as intense as it gets. Then you’ve got the soundtrack which is also excellent. The soundtrack has a lot of different themes with a good range of action themes to emotional ones as well. In particular there’s one action theme I like a lot which tends to show up when the villains appear. It builds up the suspense quite nicely.

As for the gameplay, it’s sort of like the first game but a bit different. The game adds a new mechanic to the usual beat em up style which is the ability to use 4 skills mid-battle. Stasis, which freezes an opponent; Magnetism, which can manipulate metal; Freeze, which is pretty self explanatory but if you use it on the water it gets to be super effective; and Bombs, which blow stuff up. I really just used the bombs and stasis but both are incredibly useful. Bombs allow you to instantly chip away at an enemy’s stagger meter without having to worry about perfect dodges. Stasis freezes an opponent for a few seconds and you can use it every 10-15 seconds so I recommend spamming that one. It is useful in every different fight so not using it would just be a waste. This new mechanic is quite powerful though to the point where you will be using it incredibly frequently.

The game puts a bigger emphasis on this than your actual final smash which is probably why this is the first warriors game where it can be very hard to replenish your meter at times. I think they’re hoping you use the new mechanic a lot. Well, it’s definitely a fun one so no complaints here. All of the characters have very unique gameplay styles although that is the one area where I would say the game does falter compared to the first one next to the story. While it’s great that the characters have their own unique styles, some feel very difficult to use for battle. Zelda is the biggest character who’s like this. It’s hard to make heads or tails of what her attacks are actually doing in gameplay. Half the time it would be faster for me to just have Link cross the entire field to go and make a last second save rather than letting Zelda or any of the other characters fight in his place. I did like Goruk’s fighting style for example, but Link’s was easily the best.

As mentioned the game’s length is over 10 hours but there’s a lot of replay value that will extend this length. For starters there are over 100 quests to fulfill by gathering ingredients and rupees. Outside of that you will unlock shops where you can level everyone up and upgrade your weapons. These quests even boost all of your characters with more combos and hearts so I highly recommend doing some of these quests. They will help a whole lot when doing the campaign. I did just enough where I was able to go through the main story without dying but I came very close in the final level. If I hadn’t completed 100+ quests I am quite sure I would have died there. Not to mention that completing challenges also helps with increasing your level. There are a wide range of challenges to beat which are separated into categories for every 10 levels. I beat all of them for the first 2 sections and then randomly beat some in the next two. There are still a lot left for if I were to ever go back to these.

Overall, Age of Calamity is a fantastic game. There is a wealth of content here to play through and that’s always good to see. It’s clear that there was a lot of effort put into this game. The story is engaging and the characters are fun. The gameplay is top notch and the same is true of the graphics and soundtrack. When you have a game this balanced there just isn’t anything to bring it down. I do hope they continue making more Nintendo Warrior games because so far they have all been quite excellent. It’s a formula that you can’t go wrong with. If you haven’t bought this game yet then you should definitely change that.

Overall 9/10

Fairy Tail Review


It’s time to look at a fairly recent RPG that came out. Fairy Tail is a game that I was looking forward to for quite a long while. It’s one of those franchises that has an amazing story, top tier art, excellent fights, etc. It’s pretty close to a perfect game and I dare you to find a smoother one. There are a small handful of things that keep me from giving it the 10 star value of course like frame drops and such but overall you are bound to have a blast with this one.

The game starts you off with the big battle against Hades. It’s an interesting starting point but I’m cool with skipping a lot of the early stuff. This way you get right to the heart of things without any kind of delay. That’s how it should be right? After you defeat Hades then it’s time for the big tournament. Fairy Tail has really not been doing well for the last few years after Natsu and friends were wiped off the planet for a few years. It’s going to take some time to get Fairy Tail back to being the #1 ranked guild on the planet but time is definitely one thing that they have a lot of. It may take some time but nothing’s going to stop these guys.

One of the aspects of the game that really works so well is how smooth the gameplay is. It’s a lot of fun just running around the hub world and completing the side quests. Two reasons for this are the convenience of movement in this game and how easy it is to collect resources. There are a lot of different areas to travel to, but you do have quick move points across all of the different hub worlds which is great. You are also told where the resources are so even though it is RNG on where they will appear in the level, you have a good direction of where to go. The instructions are very clear so you’ll never get lost here. There are also options you can use to streamline the game further by cutting out effects. Usually I do that after a while but this game was so much fun I opted to keep them on.

The gameplay is a classic turn based style. It uses turns based on speed so it’s similar to Megaman X Command Mission in that sense. I always thought incorporating speed was a good idea so it’s not just literally going play by play. It gives you more of a reason to actually use status effect abilities as opposed to just launching away at the enemy the whole time. Typically that’s still what I did though. In the hub world you can run around and interact with just about anything. You can also jump a bit but I’m not sure why to be honest as it doesn’t seem like you can ever jump anywhere. I guess they just wanted you to have the ability which is fun enough.

The story is dynamite of course as you tackle a lot of the big Fairy Tail moments and take down all of the opponents who would dare get in your way. Fairy Tail has always had an incredible story but it was held back by the consistent fanservice in the series. The game largely gets away from that. You do have two obligatory beach/pool scenes though so it’s not perfect. Additionally Lucy’s special ability to amplify your team’s speed is about doing a pose and some of the costumes can be tricky. The good part is most of this stuff is optional though so it doesn’t really get in the way of the game as much as it could have. That’s definitely a good thing because it’d be a shame for all of the positives to be overwhelmed like that.

There’s also quite a lot to do in this game. Going through the main story and the epilogue which is surprisingly long should take you around 21-22 hours. There’s a lot of grinding to be done if you want to get through the story easy enough. I went out of my way to upgrade all facilities and do as many side missions and bonding events as possible. I cleared all of the quests for B rank and lower as well as most of the A ones. Even with all of that, I was barely able to beat the final boss of the epilogue. That guy was Level 70 while my team was still in the 50s so his durability was crazy. I definitely recommend having your team a little higher leveled before trying to take down a guy like that. He’s definitely not going to go down very easily that’s for sure.

Leveling up isn’t that bad in this game though. For starters, even when a character is not in your party they get EXP. That includes characters you haven’t recruited yet. They don’t get 100% of the EXP your starters get, but it starts at 50% and by upgrading your facilities that number goes up to 80%. It’s why I recommend upgrading early because you get a ton of passive effects that all add up during gameplay. There are other areas to explore that I never even tried like the Pool which increases bonding and the Laboratory where you can synthesize new items. I got this game on the Switch so there’s no trophies but I do feel like I came pretty close to 100% clearing the game. It would probably still take another 5-6 hours I imagine to clean up all the side missions and character events but I definitely made a lot of good progress and it was definitely fun.

The graphics here are really nice. I would have liked to have had a few more of the big budget cutscenes show up but the fact that we get full voice acting throughout is very good. I always feel like that helps you get to the next level. The in game graphics are quite solid as well. The soundtrack is a little limited but there are some really solid themes in there. I just wish my favorite theme had shown up a little more often. It only appears briefly for some of the big fight moments. Still, With 48 tunes I suppose I shouldn’t say it’s that limited. It’s certainly a lot more varied than a great number of other games I’ve played.

Overall, Fairy Tail really focuses on being a very enjoyable game to play and that’s why it succeeds. The RPG format is one of the greatest formats in gaming because the longer the game is the more time you have to focus on liking the characters and getting used to everything. It’s really a fun journey and the game gets you hyped for the sequel. I certainly got nostalgic for Fairy Tail after this and have been watching some fun reactions to the manga’s big moments. Whether you’re a Fairy Tail fan or not I think you can get a lot out of this. That’s because it’s just an excellent game that was crafted really well. Context or not, you’ll understand what’s going on the same way you understand when starting out a brand new RPG that offers up a lot of questions. This is definitely a game of the year contender and has a ton of replay value which just strengthens the argument.

Overall 9/10

Dynasty Warriors 7 Review


It’s time to look at the next Dynasty Warriors title. It’s been fun going through all the installments from 2-now in this prolonged marathon. The series has come a very long way. I feel like the biggest gap was probably between 4-5 and then from 6-7. 7 is definitely the definitive Dynasty Warriors in my eyes. I’m still working on 8 so it’s not like I’m caught up with the series but at least right now 7 is going to be really hard to beat. It takes every mechanic of the series to the absolute height of where it’s ever been.

As always the story is basically the same and you get to pick from 3 different factions. I always pick the red team which I believe is Wu and so I get to really compare the stories. That said, I’ll be switching for 8. So to make things a little different here this game has a lot of cutscenes and cinematics. There is full voice acting on all of the lines. This ranges from the cinematic cutscenes to even just talking with the guards. It adds a whole new layer of immersion that you just didn’t have in the older games. We get a lot of character development and the story is also more in depth than the others. Some battles are so famous like the war of Chibi that you’ll recognize it while other side battles are finally given more screen time.

Now, none of this would be quite as powerful without some great gameplay behind it and 7 delivers on this front as well. The gameplay is the most explosive that it has been yet. There is now a dual wielding mechanic where you can switch weapons and keep your combos going. It helps keep things dynamic quite well while also working as a combo breaker. It also feels like this is the point where the series begins to feel a lot more like the other spinoffs such as Hyrule Warriors or Fire Emblem Warriors. Gone are the days where you had to watch out for minions. Now you’ll be taking them out by the hundreds. There was one level where I took down over 1000 warriors. It’s all just great and the gameplay is incredibly smooth. It’s hard to see the others improving upon it just because of how responsive it is.

I guess the flip side of this is that the game becomes easier as a result. That’s not really a big deal because you can increase the difficulty if you really need too. It’s also not like it’s a walk in the park either. You still need to make sure you follow the plan and don’t just do your own thing. Otherwise you may beat the enemies but your captain will die which will still result in a game over. So you want to keep a lookout. I didn’t notice any morale system here which would be a big change since the rest of the games had it. I always felt like the system never really helped you out though so I don’t mind losing it if that’s the case.

The graphics are pretty top notch. The attacks are all very flashy and really stand out. The levels have a great amount of detail within them as well which all works out pretty well. The cutscenes are excellent as I mentioned as well. The soundtrack is also great. That’s no surprise though as this series has always been particularly great with this. There are constant rock themes running around to pump you up and get you ready for the action that’s about to unfold.

The campaign should take you a few hours at least. There are 15 levels and assuming you beat each level in around 20 minutes then that’s about 5 hours give or take a bit. Since there are 3 campaigns you’ve got a 15 hour game then and there’s a ton of replay value. You can work to max out your characters or engage in a bunch of bonus levels. As long as you do that then you’ll be pretty much set. The game’s also very cheap at the moment so it’s not like you’ll have to be shelling out a lot to get it. For such a low price it’s absolutely worth it.

Overall, Dynasty Warriors 7 blew me away with how much of an improvement it is over the last few games. Now this feels like a true PS3 experience and Kemco really outdid themselves here. No matter which faction you choose you are in for a great time. Fans of the beat em up genre need to get this game even if it may raise the expectations to an almost unfair level for other games. This is how you do a beat em up and it reminds me of how great this genre can be. I’ve played many beat em ups in my day and while this one won’t be able to climb to the top due to the story not being as strong as others, in pure gameplay it definitely holds its own with them.

Overall 9/10

Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Review


It’s time to look at another Dynasty Warriors game. It hasn’t been so long since I beat the last main title so now it’s time for a spinoff. I’ve owned the Gundam game for a very long time and did complete two of the Arcade modes a while back. I never actually reviewed it though so I went in and did another one for the review. It definitely still holds up as an excellent game and there’s a world of difference to me compared to the mainline Dynasty Warriors games. Even the gameplay itself just feels a lot better which I’m not sure is because of the character models or for Gundam they had a higher budget.

So there are two different story modes for the characters. One is the classic story which is based on events from the TV show. Then you have the original story which is the crossover epic. The crossover story involves a planet that is heading towards Earth. If it lands that will naturally result in the destruction of both planets so Amuro is ready to put a stop to this. Char has arrived and is asking for help. Can Amuro really trust Char to help him save the world or is this all an elaborate double cross? Either way the stakes are high and so Amuro really doesn’t have time to worry about this. At the end of the day he has a world to save.

The story is pretty basic outside of the main premise. You see all of the characters from the other series but we don’t have any big interactions with them or any of that. I haven’t seen the Gundam shows yet but you do at least get the general feel of their personalities. It’s sort of like a tribute to the fans but I would have liked some more bantering. Part of the fun with crossover games like Marvel vs Capcom is seeing these little interactions/potshots at each other. It’s hard to say who my favorite Gundam character is at the moment but I did like Heero here. He was all about attacking and attacking until the enemy goes down which is a pretty good plan if you ask me. You can’t win by playing defense so he made some really powerful points here. All the characters look pretty fun as expected though.

The gameplay as I’ve already hinted at here is a classic 3D Beat em Up. The idea is to take over portions of the map to weaken the opposing army. After a while their general will come out and the goal is to defeat him. I recommend taking over as many parts of the map as possible, but you do want to be careful not to overextend yourself. In Co-Op this becomes pretty easy because you can split up and each take over half of the map. When you’re on your own you just have to remember that a lot of your allies are fairly weak and will be destroyed pretty quick. Fortunately you don’t typically lose the mission on account of that. If someone specific has to live the game will tell you in the victory conditions page. I recommend looking at this page before every mission. It’s always good to know exactly how the fight must go to win or lose so you know who to prioritize.

At its core I think that’s why I really love beat em up games. On the surface it looks like you’re just an overpowered fighter taking down armies, but when you drill in to the specifics it’s really about learning how to strategize. Unless you lower the difficulty to easy you’re not going to have time to help everyone. In these games you’re highly encouraged to follow the plan of attack. If you deviate then you’ll probably lose a lot of allies. A lot of time you have to keep zipping around which will even mean retreating at times because the bosses take quite a bit of time to defeat. If you make the wrong choice you may end up losing. Your character is a lot more formidable than in Dynasty Warriors which helps you deal more damage to the army, but even here I did have to retreat and regroup a few times. I also appreciated the fact that the A.I. here is a lot better than in Dynasty Warriors. They actually assist you in a meaningful way which I was happy about.

As for the graphics, they are definitely high end as you would expect. The robots all look good and the explosions are definitely pretty intense as well. The level designs are also really great to look at. I particularly like how they incorporated space into this as one level in particular actually has to fighting in the vast unknown. That’s certainly not something you would see in a normal Dynasty Warriors game for sure. There are also some full cinematics that play through the game which all look very good. The various Gundam designs are all pretty unique and it’s fun to see them engaging in battle. The soundtrack is fairly large and works well. Admittedly you won’t hear it a whole lot as you’re blasting through everyone but it’s there all the same. The themes are suitably intense for the big moments and will give you the energy needed to clear these levels.

For replay value the game has quite a lot of it. Each story mode should take you a little over 2 hours. You can multiply that X2 for the characters who have both stories and then there are around 20 characters or so which makes for a lot of levels. You can also work on maxing out every character to improve their stats and gathering the items. All of this will take quite some time so you really won’t be running out of content anytime soon. There’s simply way too much to do and it’s part of what makes this game the complete package. The company clearly put quite a lot of time and effort into this one which keeps on holding it up as one of the best beat em ups.

Overall, If you like a good beat em up game then you’ll love this title. The gameplay is very smooth and there is a whole lot of content to absorb here. Each of the character attacks are different enough where you’ll see the benefit of switching things up. I can definitely say that the sequels are higher on my list although right now they seem a bit overpriced so I’ll hold off on that for a bit. Playing as a Gundam is just a lot of fun because of how many attack options they have as well as the stage backgrounds. It all feels very high tech and sci-fi which has really held up over the years.

Overall 9/10

Final Fantasy VII Remake Review


It’s time to take a look at 2020’s Game of the Year title. I’ve been waiting many years for Final Fantasy VII Remake to come out and it was all worth it. You can feel the polish and development time that went into this title. It’s easily the most theatrical game I’ve played since FF XIII-2 and it is fair to say that this one is even higher budget. You could make a case for this being the best Square game yet. I would have to ultimately have it top FF XIII-2 and Kingdom Hearts 2 as the best RPG. It’s really just a definitive title and one that has a ton of content. After beating the game which took around 24 hours, that’s just the tip of the content here.

So the story starts by introducing us to Avalanche. They are a group of terrorists who are trying to blow up various Mako reactors across the planet. The reactors are controlled by a company known as Shinra which basically owns the planet. While this does make life a lot better for many, Shinra excludes the poor who have to live under a dome. Avalanche intends to bring the world back to how it used to be by blowing everything up. There will be a lot of casualties but the idea is that it will ultimately make the planet a better place. To this end, the group has hired a mercenary named Cloud. The guy’s an Ex-SOLDIER which means that he is pretty tough. SOLDIERS in this universe are people who were bathed in Mako and trained by Shinra to be ultimate fighting warriors. Cloud’s just in it for the money but sooner or later he’s going to have to make a decision. Keep on helping Avalanche and fighting Shinra or going his own way.

The plot is ever changing in just about every RPG but especially in something like Final Fantasy. That plot really describes the first few hours and then things change quite a lot. Part of the fun is seeing all of those story details so I won’t go much farther than that. As it adapts the content you’re used to, you will notice one new subplot involving some ghosts that keep flying around and messing with people. It’s a pretty interesting plot and the game gives you a lot of foreshadowing that this will be important. The game goes in some pretty interesting directions by the end. I can’t say much more than that, but what I will say is that I’m not even more hyped for the sequel. It’s really a superb ending in every way.

The climax is pretty great. You certainly have a lot of boss fights to sift through and great visuals. It’s also pretty challenging so make sure you’re ready. I lost the fight the first time so I had to regroup and barely clutched it out the second time. That’s one of the fun parts about the game. There are a lot of times where you will be at the edge of your seat throughout a boss because you’re so low on health and it feels good to get the win. A lot of the battles came down to a last hit situation. It’s a tough game that doesn’t feel unfair. You can always polish up your fundamentals in order to have an easier fight. I didn’t notice many locations for grinding EXP but you could also do that if needed. This is probably the first RPG in a while where I didn’t do any grinding this time. There just wasn’t a need to do so for me.

Some bosses did take around 30-40 minutes as a result though. It’s the price of being low level but it was worth it. I admit that if I had lost any of those fights that would have been unfortunate though. I came really close so many times. My advice is to always make sure you have a bunch of Phoenix Downs and potions. Keep in mind that you can’t use any items unless you have an ATB gauge loaded up so you may also want to equip Revival earrings as well just in case. Those activate automatically so you don’t need to worry about not using the item in time by mistake.

As expected the graphics here are absolutely top tier and same for the audio. It feels like a full movie experience and this game could easily pass itself off as a movie if needed. You could stitch these cutscenes together and just add a few new ones for fights and it could be ready for theaters right away. In particular a game like this always needs a great opening and FF VII delivers absolutely. Then we’ve got the soundtrack which is over 6 hours long according to Youtube’s playlist. That’s pretty crazy. I love to see all the variety here and the various remixes of the classic themes are intense. One of them even seemed to borrow from Advent Children which was a really nice touch.

I haven’t really talked about the gameplay but it is naturally pretty great. It’s a real time 3D hack and slash as you try to destroy the opponents in front of you. One change here that makes it a bit more like an RPG is that you can’t use any items unless you have enough meter which effectively makes it “your turn” to do an action. It makes the battles more intense because you can always choose to use a super attack, use a summon, use an item, or use a spell. Each one costs a spell bar and the only way to build it back up is to attack an enemy with normal attacks. What this means is that if you’re on low health and you just used a bar on an attack, it’ll be a little bit before you can use a potion. Keep this in mind when planning what you will do.

In most battles there will be 3 of you in the party so you can switch to them at any point. You can also just give them orders like which attack to use. For the most part they will never use any super attacks or spells unless you tell them to so when you switch over to them they will probably have a full bar. I recommend telling them to do something whenever they charge up. Also if you have it, give one of them the auto cure spell as soon as possible because that’s a spell they can use on their own whenever you’re low on health. The parry technique is also very handy here. Try to block and counter as often as possible because it builds up the opponent’s stagger meter pretty quickly and can put them in a pressured state. There are a lot of nuances to the gameplay but you’ll pick it up pretty quickly.

There is also the occasional level that uses different gameplay. I always think it’s pretty impressive when a game adds a new gameplay style even if it will only be used for a level or two. A good example of this is the motorcycle levels. There are only two of them in the game but they’re both a ton of fun. It’s a nice change of pace and as I also love racing games what beats mixing the two up like this right? In Advent Children Cloud was definitely a really good expert on a bike so it’s good to see him get to use those skills again here.

As mentioned, the length here is pretty good. It took me around 24 hours to beat the main campaign and that’s considering that I didn’t really do any side quests. The closest to that was when I decided to quickly take a ride on the slide at the park. Beyond that I just played the game straight through and never looked back. I can also see the Platinum Trophy for this game being pretty difficult so that’ll take time too. Even without a post game this would be worth the 60 bucks and with all of the extra content it goes without saying. It’ll be very difficult for any game to take this one down even in the next few years unless they suddenly announce the next Super Smash. Final Fantasy VII Remake did what all Final Fantasy games tend to achieve, it has once again set the bar higher for all AAA titles.

The game has a ton of highs and no real lows so what was the best part? Well, the best part of the game to me would actually be the opening act. Everything up til they destroyed the first Mako Reactor was my absolute favorite part of the game. In part I think it’s because it was the intro so I was still absorbing everything as this really fun movie. It’s all incredibly impressive and while the game never lets up, it’s hard to forget such a beginning. I also liked Cloud’s personality quite a lot in the intro with how direct he can be. The guy was pretty fed up with everything at that point so it made for a lot of great banter between him and Barret. Of course, they had a lot of great scenes after that as well like running up the stairs to the top floor. That segment is great so I hope you don’t choose the elevator there. In general the first act just feels like a really solid mystery thriller. I also liked Cloud’s first confrontation with Reno and Rude. Considering how terrible they looked in Advent Children it’s nice to see how they used to be fairly powerful.

There aren’t a lot of boss fights against human type opponents so enjoy them when they show up. From fighting another SOLDIER to taking on a Shinra boss, it’s always hype fighting another human. These battles really test your knowledge of the parry system as well as your pure fundamentals. You’ll need them if you’re going to take them out. In particular the fight on the roof against the gun wielder was a lot of fun. The fight against Rude was also a lot of fun with the various hand to hand techniques he would use against you.

The cast is also pretty great as expected. Cloud’s basically a perfect lead who does whatever he can to help his friends out. It’s also pretty nice to see his character arc here now that you know the events of Crisis Core and Advent Children so you’ve already got a pretty broad scope of what he’s been through/will go through. Tifa is also a lot of fun as always and tries to be a moral compass for the group. Barret’s probably been helped the most by this remake as I didn’t really notice the guy so much in the original but here he is one of the starring characters. He gets a lot of great moments throughout the game and I really like all of his enthusiasm for the cause. This guy definitely believes in saving the planet whole heartedly even if Cloud thinks he is crazy.

Aerith is more of a mixed bag for me though. She keeps a lot of secrets throughout the game and is intentionally not helpful. Talking a little more early on would have helped out quite a bit. I’m sure she has her own reasons for doing all of this of course, but until we see what those are she can be more annoying than helpful. It doesn’t help that in a fight she’s my least favorite ally to have. She’s good for aerial enemies but beyond that give me Tifa and Barret any day.

The other fighters from Avalanche are cool as well. I’m not a fan of Wedge and he’s mostly there just to give the group more of an unguarded fellow. Biggs is a solid member who seems like your average soldier. He’s got a sense of humor and is a nice guy. I liked having him around. Then you have Jesse who gets a big role here. She’s fun and charismatic although based on some dialogue from the other members she does like stringing people along. Cloud doesn’t fall for it, but this is a bit dubious so it’ll keep her from passing Biggs here. There are a bunch of other supporting characters of course but those are the main ones.

For the villains, well Sephiroth is awesome as always whenever he shows up to mess with Cloud. A lot of the time you have to decide if he is really there or if it’s just Cloud’s head messing with him. Get ready for a lot of seizures. Cloud had a lot of those in Advent Children but he usually didn’t get them quite so much in the OG timeline so you have to wonder what’s affecting him so much. The SHINRA vice president Rufus is a lot of fun here. I didn’t care for him much in AC, but here he seems like a pretty tough boss and in general just a guy that you don’t want to mess with. The other SHINRA leads are less memroable but serve their purpose as good villains. The mad scientist is more on the iffy side. He’d be my least favorite villain if not for the Don also being around. That guy was definitely the weakest one.

Reno and Rude are solid villains as well. Despite all their tough talk and how they act like they have morals they still do everything their boss tells them to do so I still see them as villains. There’s also another SOLDIER who shows up at one point which was interesting. I thought all of the SOLDIERS were already dead by this point outside of Cloud so I wonder how he will play into the sequels or if other SOLDIERS will show up. I guess it makes sense there would be more, we just usually don’t show them. Assuming they are all First Class level that will make for some pretty fun boss fights soon. Somehow I doubt any of them would be quite as strong as Sephiroth, Genesis, or Zack so Cloud should be okay though.

Overall, Final Fantasy VII Remake is a superb game. It is excellent in all aspects and there is not a single weak point to be found in the game. The gameplay is stellar, the cutscenes are out of this world, and the soundtrack is quite dynamic. When you mix all of this together then what you have is an amazing package that ism’t likely going to be defeated anytime soon. I’m hoping the wait for the next installment isn’t too long though. Now that we have all of the character models and assets (Aside from new characters who need to show up) I like to think that we could have part 2 by late 2021 but most likely I guess it would be late 2022. That sounds like ages away though. Ah well, in the meantime it’ll let us discuss the ending a lot more. I’m looking forward to reading the Reddit theories and watching the Youtube ones.

Overall 9/10

Pokemon Black Review


It’s time to take a look at one of the most iconic Pokemon games of all time. Pokemon Black/White got a whole lot of hype and recognition when it first came out. It had one of the biggest stories back in the day and a massive postgame. Well, it’s all deserved. After playing the game I can definitely see why it is known as one of the all time greats. This game really had everything you could ask for and then some. The main campaign does feel a bit short though. In terms of play time it is the shortest Pokemon game I ever played with only 14 hours before being completed. Yes, that’s even counting Pokemon Ranger and Mystery Dungeon.

The game starts with Terry getting ready to be a Pokemon Trainer. He has two rivals in this game, Bianca and Cheren. Both of them want to be the best as well but of course the best they can hope for is second place at this point. Terry won’t let go of the 1st spot. One obstacle in his path though is Team Plasma. They are an organization that believes Pokemon battling is wrong and intends to separate all of the Pokemon from their trainers. While most of the members are radical and downright evil, it is a very interesting premise. The idea of Pokemon battling in any setting other than the Utopia Pokemon exists in would be quite sinister. I’d actually be on Team Plasma’s team to an extent but of course in this game they are the villains so don’t expect them to be too reasonable.

The most neutral character within the team is N. He really believes in the cause and tries to do things the right way. He takes down the Pokemon League including the Champion just to prove that he is the best. He’s not running around committing crimes or anything like that. At the same time he is helping Plasma though so you do have to acknowledge that he is at least complicit in what is going on. He’s effectively acting as an accomplice the whole time. He’s one of the best villains that I’ve seen in a Pokemon game though. The whole climax of the story is also great with a lot of difficult battles and they’re all back to back. I can’t think of another time where I actually felt such a sense of danger and tension while playing through a Pokemon game. It was really quite impressive.

I actually lost to the first few gym leaders a few times. Then when I hit the Elite Four I got slammed by the first member. Granted in part it’s because it takes forever and a day to get the two EXP shares in this game though. Once I obtained them grinding was a lot more efficient. It was fun to actually see wild Pokemon who were stronger than all of my characters except for the main one though. Even when I finally got Reshiram he was stronger than 5 of my Pokemon which was pretty crazy. The game doesn’t hold back in the difficulty and I rather enjoyed that. It made things fresh and kept you on the edge the whole time.

The gameplay is basically the same as always. It’s a classic turn based combat system where you assemble a team of 6 and work to defeat all of the other trainers. There are also caves and such to navigate around as you try to get to the end. Most of the HMs are gone in this game but you will still need Cut at some point. None of the others are mandatory for beating the game which is pretty cool. It’s always sad when you have to throw these moves on a Pokemon because they could have used the spots for something better. I do recommend using Fly once you get it though. It saves you a lot of the legwork. The game follows the usual formula for the most part as you obtain the 8 badges and then fight the Elite Four. The main difference is how you get to skip the Champion and having a real final showdown in the castle at the end. I don’t think Pokemon’s ever really changed things up at the last second like this before so it was pretty awesome.

The graphics look great as always. The sprites are on point and we do get a few cutscenes here. The scene of Zekrom shattering the windows and showing up was pretty cool. It’s always nice to see Legendary Pokemon actually looking legendary. This guy got a lot of hype and it was all pretty deserved. Meanwhile the soundtrack is one of the best that I’ve seen. Pretty much every theme is amazing and I even liked the Team Plasma jingle for whenever you fight one of their minions. This game felt really high budget and was probably around GameFreak’s peak. It takes the best out of the past Pokemon elements while ditching the unnecessary ones. Mix that in with a bigger plot than usual as well as extra rivals and you have a winning formula.

As I mentioned the story is only around 14 hours but when you mix in the post game and catching all of the Pokemon I’m sure you will be here for at least 30 hours. There is a lot to explore and based on the difficulty for the main game I’m guessing that the postgame will be quite challenging as well. It’ll take a while to get your team geared up to deal with all of the threats left. Especially since all of the limited edition Gamestop Pokemon are long gone by now. You won’t be able to rely on them to win you the day.

Overall, Pokemon Black is an excellent game. If you like RPGs at all then I highly recommend checking it out. Pokemon Ruby is ultimately still my favorite Pokemon main game of all time but I would certainly put this in 2nd place. It’s just a ton of fun and delivers a complete experience. I’m definitely pretty hyped to get the sequel at some point. Black 2 and Heartgold are now the only two big Pokemon games that I don’t have yet. Once I have them then I will have finally gone through the entire series which is pretty cool. I do aim to play some more Pokemon games in the near future though so it’s going to be time to dust off the spinoffs.

Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories Review


It’s time to take a look at the second Disgaea game. After the first adventure I knew that it was time to jump into the second one. It’s a tad shorter than the first but by the end my playtime for both of them was basically on the same level. One big difference though is that the second game requires less grinding. At the same time, it’s also in part because I understood the mechanics better and had a more balanced team. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a mage on the team. I got one named Marcia in this title and she saved me more times than I can count.

The story starts by introducing us to a human town that has slowly been corrupted. Now all of the citizens are turning into monsters and it is the work of Overlord Zenon. Adell is the only human on the planet who has been unaffected and he takes this as a sign that he has to be the one to find Zenon. His Mom tries to summon Zenon but they accidentally summon his daughter Rozalin instead. As Rozalin is bound by the contract to stick with Adell for a while he promises to get her back to her father. This way they will both get what they want. Can he really trust this Princess though?

Along the way the duo meet quite a few allies to help in their quest. First up is Tink who is a demon frog with a split personality. He’s definitely a little on the crazy side and is easily the weakest character of the group. He never pitches in when it counts. Then you have Adell’s little siblings Hanako and Taro. Hanako is always calling Taro named and looks up to the demon lord Etna. She is a reasonable enough character I suppose and could be worse. Taro is too lacking in confidence and the fact that his goal in life is to be Razalin’s servant doesn’t really bode well for his character.

One character that shows up later in the game is Yukimaru. She is an assassin who wants to end Lord Zenon once and for all. Her ice abilities are pretty fun and her gimmick isn’t bad. Basically she says zam at the end of every sentence. Her brother also shows up on a similar quest although he isn’t nearly as heroic as she is. By the end of the game Yukimaru is one of the only characters who can keep up with the main two so I recommend keeping her in your party. As a character she is fun to have around as well.

One of the most enjoyable characters is Etna though. Since she was from the first game that made her appearances extra special. Initially she shows up as a guest star character who is at a crazy level 1000. She even takes down Zenon which is immensely impressive. I was glad to see the old characters get their hype since they didn’t get to be main characters this time. Etna is still as ruthless as ever though as she constantly destroys her minions. While she may be hanging out with the main characters for most of the game don’t mistake her for being some kind of hero. She’s definitely just in it to get more power and destroy Laharl once and for all.

Laharl gets a much smaller role as he only shows up for a quick boss fight. It’s still an amazing scene though and reminds you why he is the Overlord. Ultimately Laharl actually meets his match though. I would have liked to have seen him fight longer, but it was a decisive loss for him. Power isn’t everything and he probably could have used some of his old pals to help even the playing field a bit. Part of what makes Disgaea 2 so much fun is how epic these scenes are. It has the advantage of being a sequel to it can utilize the nostalgia of bringing the old characters back like this.

The amazing soundtrack is also handy for this. Etna gets a cool insert song whenever she appears as well and it fits with her amazing boss fight where you are completely helpless. It also builds the atmosphere as well. Axel gets a similar theme that’s really hype and of course Laharl brings in some of the themes from the first game. Despite just playing that one I can see how nostalgic that would be. The game also has a fully animated opening which is pretty awesome. You don’t really see those as often as you’d like. It’s got a little more shipping in it than you’d expect but the action is really hype and the lyrics are catchy. I’ve listened to that theme quite a few times.

Axel The Dark Hero is basically the replacement for the Dark Adonis. He’s another guy who thinks he is the rival to the main character. His story is a little tragic as he just wants to be rich and famous but things never tend to work out for him. When he finally does get his success everyone says he made the wrong choice. I think they were all just jealous to be honest. While I wasn’t a big fan of Axel at the start the game does a good job of developing him into a quality character. By the end he was quite enjoyable. I still prefer the Adonis but they were close.

As for Overlord Zenon, he’s a very unique villain. He takes a lot of losses throughout the game and gets beaten up so badly you keep wondering if the guy is really such a feared Overlord. It’s an interesting take because he clearly isn’t the strongest villain out there, but he’s just strong enough where people fear him. It’s a nice theme that Disgaea has done with the villains. Zenon makes up for this weaknesses with his near immortality and to be clear, he is still immensely powerful. He’d probably be top 10 for the fighters we’ve seen so far. His master plan is definitely twisted but really interesting. I don’t think I’ve quite seen such a plan before and his target’s reaction to it is also amazing. This fighter wasn’t phased in the slightest.

Adell is a great lead and one of the better main characters that I’ve seen in recent years. He’s just a guy who wants to protect his family and doesn’t need to have more of a backstory than that. He’s a very honorable main character who refuses to ever break a promise. While everyone doubts whether he is a human or not for the whole game he never has any doubts about it. His confidence is part of what makes him so solid and the game likely did subvert a lot of expectations with that. I was expecting some kind of twist by the end but Azell just didn’t need one.

Meanwhile Rozalin is a great heroine as well. At first she is constantly scheming to destroy Adell to protect her father but gradually realizes that he is not a bad guy. It’s a nice character arc for her and in particular she gets a pretty solid scene with Laharl. As royalty Rozalin refuses to back down to anyone. The only part that gets repetitive is the line “I’m a being of solitude” which gets old after the first 3 times. It gets spammed relentlessly in some games. That’s really the only thing I can say against the game though. This is pretty much a perfect adventure and the banter between Adell and Rozalin is a lot of fun. Disgaea 2 really does a superb job of balancing the hype scenes with more light hearted comedy/parody elements.

Wait a minute, did I skip the gameplay section? Well, the gameplay is basically the same as in the first one. You are in an overworld map view and your goal is to destroy all of the enemies on the square. You control up to 10 characters in a turn based combat system and use attacks and magic to defeat the enemies. You can gang up on an enemy or divide and conquer them. The tricky thing to keep in mind here is that only the opponent who actually destroys the enemy gets any XP. Everyone else does not so it can be very hard to keep a balanced party. I ended up having Laharl and Rozalin way higher leveled than the others. It takes too long to level everyone up so I just focused on having two. It’s rare where you’ll need more than 2 characters in a level if they’re strong enough.

A huge part of the game is the equipment you get though so make sure to buy the best of the best. It increases your stats way more than leveling up would. I also recommend focusing on attack power because it makes the grinding a lot faster. Also you should turn off the combat animations once you’ve seen them enough because it speeds the game up greatly as well. You’ll need to use the Dark Assembly to unlock higher enemies for the shop. If you want to pass any real bills though you’ll need to bribe them which can get expensive. It’s great for the post game though.

The main story is around 20 hours and then the post game is effectively endless. You can go up to level 1000 and there are so many things to do that it can get a bit intimidating. It’s nice to have though because if you really love the game then you can be here for quite a while. Disgaea never backs down from giving you quite a lot of content to deal with which is pretty awesome. The graphics are also quite sound and you can see how they’ve improved since the first game. It all looks quite clear and I look forward to seeing another upgrade in the third game.

Overall, Disgaea 2 is an excellent game and I would actually say that it surpassed the original. It’s very close in terms of characters but the story of the second game is just a lot more interesting and high stakes. I like the idea of every Overlord deciding to duke it out to see who the strongest one is. It’s a very complete story and one that doesn’t need a sequel but I’d like for these characters to show up again at some point. Perhaps the group would be seen as too powerful at this point but it would be perfect for a 2 on 2 fight, Adell & Rozalin vs Laharl and Etna. I’d definitely buy that. If you like a good RPG with tactical gameplay then I highly recommend checking this one out.

Overall 9/10