Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 13h 21m
Shadow Pokemon 32
Purified Pokemon 7
Poke Dollars 109521
Poke Coupons 1100

Pokemon Levels
Ampharos 53
Espeon 52
Starmie 41
Lapras 44
Marowak 44
Solrock 41
Mawile 22
Makuhita 18
Duskull 19
Delcatty 18
Voltorb 19
Snorunt 20
Pineco 20
Roselia 22
Meowth 22
Baltoy 17
Raticate 34
Lunatone 25
Aron 19
Teddiursa 20
Hondour 20
Seel 23
Zangoose 28
Snorlax 43
Poliwrath 42
Dugtrio 40
Kangaskhan 35
Farfetch’D 36
Lugia 50
Moltres 50
Carvanha 15
Spinarak 14
Schroomish 17
Numel 14

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Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness Review

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There are a few games that you see as a kid but simply weren’t able to get because they were too pricey or simply lost out to other games at the moment. This is one of them and I decided that it had simply been enough time of not owning the game. It’s a solid Pokémon adventure but one that keeps the negatives of Colosseum without embracing its positives making this a rather lackluster title compared to the others in the franchise. It’s a relatively weak Pokémon installment but certainly still a solid entry overall.

The game takes place 5 years after Colosseum. Terry has seemingly retired or something as he is nowhere to be found. However a new protagonist has arrived, Terry. I’ll put the older version in bold to differentiate them. Terry is a nice kid who helps out a professor when performing his crazy experiments. This Professor has hit the jackpot though as he has figured out a way to purify Pokémon through your PC. It takes a little longer but this way you don’t have to personally fight alongside each Shadow Pokémon for a while. Of course, buying Perfume is still the easiest way to go about it but it’s only viable if you have a lot of money. The villains over at Cipher hear about this and steal the device. The organization had seemingly been destroyed in the last game but they have regrouped and are stronger than ever. They now want to make the ultimate Shadow Pokémon who cannot be purified. Terry decides to stop them but as the professionals would say, “What can some kid do!”

Terry is a good main character. He gets the job done and is always ready for a fight. Unfortunately he also doesn’t have a shred of character personality. I’m serious here, he doesn’t do anything. He saves the day and beats all of his opponents but he doesn’t really have any expressions beyond his neutral face so it’s hard to know what he’s thinking. Ah well, he’s still a good lead who doesn’t mess around so I’ll roll with it. You just can’t compare him to Terry as that guy really stole the show with his cool motorcycle and trench coat. The character was more of a rebel and was always making the tough calls.

The blame may also lie in part with how low key this story is compared to the last one. It’s fairly short as it ends in only 13 hours so you feel like they could have done more with it. It’s mostly just a matter of showing up to each location and winning. Their big plan of creating a bunch of Shadow Pokémon to take over the world is solid I suppose. It just never felt like as big of an adventure as it really should have. More like a sequel dlc than anything else. It’s not as if it’s a slice of life adventure or anything as it’s still about action but it just doesn’t come across as all that dramatic.

Further supporting this is the fact that the game feels rather low budget. Almost all of the stages in the game are taken straight from Colosseum. I somehow doubt that they were rebuilt from the ground up either. The budget just begins to show itself. Just about every character has the same fall animation and even the length is artificial. If you didn’t have to fight the same minions over and over again in battles that are basically 10 minutes long each time, it would be a lot shorter. Honestly if we just look at the plot moments then the game would probably be half its length.

Now Colosseum has this problem as well so it’s not XD exclusive but the long loading times for each battle need to be mentioned as it’s an issue that has plagued the home console Pokémon games for a long time. Even Battle Revolution has this to an extent and Yugioh is another offender. On the portable consoles the battles go by very quickly which is why they’re fun. On the big consoles I guess they want to show off the graphics as every Pokémon gets a big animation for attacking and getting hit. There is no way to turn this off which is why every battle takes forever. I actually ended up marathoning Detective Conan while playing this game. Just pick the two attacks you want to use and read in the meantime. You’ll be surprised (Or not really) at how many chapters you are able to read while waiting.

As a result, I knew from the start that leveling all of my 6 Pokemon was not going to be a good idea. Instead what I did was I just picked two of them and focused on them exclusively. I basically didn’t even use the other Pokemon and if my main 2 died I just knew that it was game over. It was a risky strategy sure, but it saved me a lot of time. I’m definitely glad that I started out with Espeon as well since Psychic attacks are good against just about everyone and Espeon even knows Bite so he can shut down other Psychic types. It’s the perfect starter and I highly recommend using that strategy if you ever play this game.

The soundtrack is decent. A lot of classic themes are in here so those are nostalgic, but not much in the way of new ones. I believe the final boss theme may have been new but since it appears whenever the trio of villains shows up it may have been in the first game as well. Hard to say, but if so then it loses some points for originality. The graphics are pretty good. They haven’t really changed at all since the first one, but I guess in this case you don’t really need to change things up. As long as it looks clear enough where I can tell what I’m doing and enjoy the backgrounds, then it’s all good. The game definitely gets a passing score there.

As far as replay value goes, there is certainly a lot of it. The main game is around 13 hours so that’s already a good length and throwing in all of the Shadow Pokemon that you can catch just makes it all the more impressive. You could stick with this game for a Very long time and still have more to do. With how long the Pokemon battles take I wonder how long it would be to complete the Tower of 100 Pokemon battles. I think the most devastating part would be making it into the 90s and then losing though. Now that would just be tragic and I don’t plan on tackling that challenge. After all, I’d have to level up all 6 of my Pokemon to stand a chance and we know that would take a while. Still, for those who really enjoy this game there’s definitely a bunch to do.

Definitely don’t get the wrong idea, Pokemon XD is a solid game. It may not fare well against the original in any category, but it’s a good game when standing on its own. The plot is decent, there are a variety of levels, and there are a bunch of fights. The gameplay is slow, but it’s smooth and it looks/sounds good as well. The game will breeze by as long as you have something to do during the fights, but that shouldn’t be too hard. Purifying a Shadow Pokemon may seem tedious at first, but once you buy perfume and unlock the second way to purify them then it gets very easy. I’m not sure about some of the extra features like leaving Pokemon some food to try and capture them since it adds luck to the equation and stretches the game out even further, but maybe it’s handy to have around. All I know is that I’m really glad I stopped to read the email and went back to the lab to grab my Master Ball. Without it the Lugia fight could have actually been difficult as opposed to just catching him on my first turn.

Overall, I have finally gotten to play the sequel to one of my favorite Pokemon games of all time. I definitely recommend the game. You’ll enjoy it a lot if you haven’t played Colosseum and if you played it when you were a kid then you’ll also enjoy this game for all of the nostalgia. Just don’t play both games back to back as that doesn’t seem like a good idea. Sequels can’t always beat the original and I’ll have to accept that, but this is one big game that I can check off my list. My Gamecube collection is one step closer to being completed as well as I have just about every interesting game for the console. More are still on the way for someday though, but the next game I review will be a newer title. It involves the iconic Pac-Man in one of his startling adventures!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Stats and Records

Stats time!

Stage Bonuses 26/48

Mission 1 2/3
Mission 2 1/3
Mission 3 2/3
Mission 4 2/3
Mission 5 1/3
Mission 6 2/3
Mission 7 1/3
Mission 8 2/3
Mission 9 1/3
Mission 10 0/3
Mission 11 2/3
Mission 12 3/3
Mission 13 3/3
Mission 14 0/3
Mission 15 2/3
Mission 16 2/3

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review

Star Wars The Clone Wars
With the new Star Wars film in theaters it was only fitting that I go back and finally play the next Star Wars game. It’s had a pretty good track record thus far and this one continues the saga on a high note. It has quite a few different gameplay modes considering that this is a movie tie in and the quality is surprisingly good. Throw in the multiplayer feature and we have ourselves a winner. It may not be Star Fox Assault, but it does as much as it can to try and rival it.

The Empire continues to be quite powerful. I believe they are referred to as the separatists this time around and the Jedi warriors have their hands full. They are fighting a losing war and need something to tip the scales. Luckily they have their two aces, Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. The two of them are quite powerful and that is good since the heroes need every warrior that they can get. The real question is….will these two be enough? If they aren’t, then the Dark Force stealer will end up sucking their powers dry and bringing the universe to the brink of ruin.

Right off the bat you can tell that this game wouldn’t be at the level that you may have expected from it. For starters, the controls are seamless and you can play this game as well as any AAA title. There are several gameplay modes as mentioned earlier so lets run through them all. First, we’ve got the tank gameplay. You control a tank and move quite quickly through the terrain, blasting all who stand in your way. You have your booster and missiles at your disposal. An endless supply of energy blasts also makes your tank a force to be reckoned with. This mode was a lot of fun and may have even been better than Star Fox Assault’s version.

Next, we have plane mode. You fly around using your green lasers to smite your opponents along with normal blasters and bombs. You feel truly powerful while in plane mode and it’s fun to rain bombs on the dozens of robots that get in your way. Again, this mode is actually smoother than Star Fox Assault’s and it’s crazy just how much destruction you can cause. You still have to be careful not to just rush in and get blasted, but you can survive for a while at 1 HP. I got caught on my last breath in two levels, but took advantage of the high speed turns to complete the level anyway. It was pretty exhilarating!

One mode that only appears once or twice in the game is where you control one of the large Tripod robots. It’s very slow which is a big weakness, but more than makes up for it with overwhelming destructive power. Most enemies will crumble after a second or two of being blasted. This mode was also a lot of fun. Finally, we have human combat. This is the only area where the game failed. It’s incredibly hard to hit anyone because the controls are too sensitive. Using the Force isn’t recommended either because you’ll have gotten blasted many times as you try to land a single hit. Throwing your lightsaber is easily the best attack, but try not to move as you do so or you’ll start running in circles. We didn’t get many human levels and perhaps that was for the best. Typically that would be the best mode of gameplay, but it was clearly less refined than the rest. It was still not bad though. If anything, it was just a little campy and I can get behind that.

There was also one racing level where you had to jump on a little scooter and breeze through the forest. That was probably one of the toughest levels as it was hard not to crash against all of the trees. There were so many obstacles lying about that it was pretty crazy, but also very satisfying to get past. That’s one thing that the game really did well, it was satisfying to play and complete the levels. The check points were put in good places for the most part so redoing the sections over and over again wasn’t too annoying.

I had to go back a few times because the game is actually fairly difficult. I played it on normal mode and most levels took me 3-4 tries to complete. If you wander into an enemy ambush then you’re going to die. There’s not much that you can do at that point. I had to resort to run and gun tactics for some levels when I was low on health. It’s very tense when you’re at low health and are still outnumbered 20-1. The difficulty was at the perfect notch where it was too hard to beat in one shot, but not cheap where an opponent could one shot you. You had to treat some of the enemies like Mega Man foes where you memorize the pattern and then rush in. Even then, I beat several bosses with only a sliver of health left.

My recommendation is to really use the health packs sparingly. If you’re at half health, don’t waste the full health pack yet. Wait until you’re as low as you feel comfortable waiting. It’ll end up paying off big time by the end. The ammo packs are also really handy since I just spam my full arsenal as soon as I get it filled up. It makes a big difference when you’re outnumbered since the missiles will scatter the opponents and take a lot of them down.

The graphics are pretty good. I like how the energy blasts look and the character models are sharp. The faces can be funny to look at though as they do try to be very expressive and it can result in some interesting results. The game did the most that it could with the barren landscapes that it had to work with. The soundtrack is excellent as it uses many themes from the movies. You’ll probably recognize just about all of them. Even Darth Vader’s theme plays several times as you go through the game. A lot of the music is reused over and over again as the soundtrack is quite small, but it is effective.

Another factor that helps the game is its replay value. The title has a multiplayer mode in it so that helps a lot since you can always challenge a friend at the game. Multiplayer mode is a must if you want to earn an extra star from me and it really helps solidify this game as an 8 instead of as a 7. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I definitely will within the next few days or so. There is also some single player replay value as well as you can try to complete all of the bonuses to unlock illustrations and such. I got a good chunk of the bonuses naturally, but the ones that are left do seem quite difficult to unlock. Keeping your allies alive seems to be a recurring theme and that’s one thing that I’m not so good at.

If I had any complaint for this game, it’s that I’d like for less of the levels to be about protecting people. I lost quite a few times because my allies died as opposed to it being due to me losing. The levels where it was just me still had me die sometimes, but it felt more legitimate as in those cases it was just an instant where the villains planned better than I did. At 16 levels, the game had a good amount of missions in its arsenal so I just think that they could have redistributed it a little better.

Overall, This is a very good Star Wars game. I’m not going to say that it is the absolute best because I believe that Bounty Hunter may still deserve that title, but it is really close. The fact that it can actually beat Star Fox Assault in some areas really speaks volumes since that is a completely elite title. Star Fox ultimately wins though because of a superior story, multiplayer, graphics, and soundtrack among other things, but that’s not a strike against The Clone Wars. It has a good amount of content for the low price that you can get it for and I’d highly recommend it even if the game was a little more money. It’s just a solid game through and through. Trust me, you’ll have a blast blowing everything up with your crazy arsenal. I can’t say that I’ve played many games at all where you have this much power to unleash on the environment.

Overall 8/10

Yugioh The Falsebound Kingdom Review

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It’s time to review another Yugioh game, but unfortunately it is easily the worst one that I have ever played. I’m sorry Yugioh fans, I didn’t think it was possible to have a bad one…but here we are. For starters, it doesn’t feel like a Yugioh game at all. The plot is laughable and the gameplay is as bad as possible for its turn based style. It makes Digimon Data Squad and Pokemon Colosseum look like they had lightning fast loading times. It doesn’t help that Yugioh overstays its welcome as well. Prepare yourself for a rocky experience when playing the game!

You can choose to play as Kaiba or Yugi initially. I believe that after completing both stories you unlock Joey’s mode as well. You’d have to be extremely dedicated to do that though since this game is very long and completing both stories could easily result in a 20+ hour long game. Kaiba’s mode sees him in Ancient Egypt. He leads an army, but unfortunately his brother was kidnapped by a guy called Scott, whose clothes look like modern day gear. Kaiba quickly pursues this villain, but he will have to fight off many other armies, bandits, and other such fighters who get in his way. Can Kaiba rescue Mokuba and stop this random guy from messing around with the past?

I didn’t like the plot for a lot of reasons. The main one is that I really don’t like AU stories a lot of the time unless the concept is super good to actually justify having the characters here. There is a plot twist that makes this moot by the end, but also reminds you how pointless the whole charade was. Kaiba and friends didn’t need to be here and this could have easily been a Dynasty Warriors game instead. The monsters felt really out of place as well if you ask me. I don’t like Ancient Egypt as a setting and most of the characters were either generic or annoying. It was fun to see Yugi show up for a quick cameo, but that was it. He was gone as soon as he appeared and then it was back to fighting Scott in a battle of no interest to anyone playing.

This game also felt very low budget. The soundtrack is essentially nonexistent and the only tune that I can recall was very dead and lifeless. Certainly not what you’d like to hear while having a nice duel. All of the cutscenes were just little picture boxes with text after it. Once in a while, the background would change which was a nice little touch and Slifer got a quick cutscene, but that was basically it. The graphics were all right I suppose, but not while on the overhead map. Everyone looked the same there and the creatures were so tiny that you typically couldn’t see anything. Moving on the map was a pain and likewise, using any item took way too long there. Travelling to enemy camps would take forever and by the time you made a move, the enemies were already on top of you. Typically, the best move was to simply beat all of the minions and then attack the castle, but that would mean a very long level for you to play. The quickest way to win is to dash over to the enemy castle, but odds are that your monster wouldn’t be fast enough to pull this off. I was able to do it a handful of times, but mostly my strategy didn’t pan out.

This wouldn’t be terrible…if the combat system was any good. On the surface, it is the classic turn based system that Pokemon uses. You take turns with the opponent on who gets to attack and each battle is a 3 on 3 match. The problem is that everyone’s attacks take a little long since you have to watch the whole animation and every member has a lot of health. You have a limited amount of actions in a battle so if both teams run out, then you have to fight again after a 0 second intermission. It can be 5 seconds if you are fighting from a castle. Rinse and repeat for all of the minions and this can be tough. Especially if you send out 9 teams and the opponent has 9 as well. Personally, I recommend sticking to 2 and just using them the whole time. Even if you lose, the level ups save so you can keep retrying until you win. I also recommend avoiding any optional minions as the mild EXP boost isn’t worth it and just focus on completing the level. Pegasus was extremely valuable and Ishizu was good as well. Kaiba was actually pretty weak, which was a shame.

Items are crucial as well since the computers will constantly be healing themselves. You’ll want to have some kind of healing array on your side as well if you really want to win. It costs a lot of money, but you should naturally have enough while playing through the game. I only ran out after the final level was over and by then I didn’t need to buy any more items anyway so it was all good. Either way, the matches will drag on quite a bit. You’ll need to use some strategy rather than just attacking over and over, but since every character only has 1 attack, prepare to see the same one spammed over and over and over again.

There is some replay value here as you can try to beat the game with all 3 characters, but there’s not much of a purpose to this beyond just doing it for fun. I didn’t find the game to be all that fun at all so I certainly don’t plan on doing that. The game was long enough as it is so it will definitely satisfy you considering how cheap the game is. You can get it for under 5 dollars, but should you? Think carefully on that because it is a Yugioh game in name only. Seriously, there is no card playing to be found here at all and that is rather tragic if you ask me.

Really, this game should have been good, but it really felt like a bad fanfic. The story just makes no sense and is not interesting in the slightest. How did this Scott guy go and kidnap everyone anyway? The game doesn’t bother to explain this at all. The computer also gets sentient by the end and suddenly turns into an old guy with a beard. The concept is cool even if it has been done to death (By other Yugioh games as well) but the design was pretty bad. Fighting against a God card was cool, but it had way too much health so it was tedious to defeat. Not hard, but tedious. If the gameplay had only been sped up 2X, I could have easily seen this game grab a 6. Probably not a 7 anyway since it just wasn’t interesting, but gameplay plays a huge role in any title so if it was as smooth as the average Pokemon game, this review would be quite different.

Overall, The Falsebound Kingdom is a game that I recommend avoiding. It is easily the worst Yugioh game out there and that is even including the odd GX game where you follow a calendar and as such, there is no real plot to the game and nothing to do either since if you miss a day, you miss an opportunity. I can’t stand the day system, but luckily I’ve only encountered 2-4 games that do such a thing. Back to this game though, I don’t see if being surpassed as the worst anytime soon. Even the Duelist of the Roses game for PS2 (Something like that) should be better since it uses the standard gameplay. I’ve had this game on the backburner for many years (And I can see why) so I am glad to have it done once and for all!

Overall 4/10

Finding Nemo Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 4h 44m

4/60 Stars

Stage Stats Record Stage Completion Time and Shells Collected

Going to School 2m 14s
Field Trip 4m 13s 4670 Shells
The Drop Off 2m 37s 236t0 Shells
Mask Chase 4m 53s 1920 Shells
Catch Dory 5m 7s 810 Shells
Minefield 12m 28s 9020 Shells
Submarine 65m 43s 4020 Shells
Mine and Seek 17m 57s 550 Shells
Mask Search 32m 56s 2120 Shells
Anglerfish Chase 1m 26s 600 Shells
Mount Wannahockaloogie 19m 51s 700 Shells
Jellyfish Race 6m 39s 9790 Shells
Training with Gill 6m 22s 820 Shells
East Australian Current 5m 8s 470 Shells
The Plan 11m 22s 1180 Shells
Whale Chase 4m 42s 9490 Shells
Treatment Plant 18m 41s 3520 Shells
Fishing Net Rescue 21m 19s

Finding Nemo Review

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It’s rare for me to actually dislike a video game, but sometimes you just end up pulling out a bad egg. This was one of those times and it is safe to say that without exaggeration…Finding Nemo is one of the worst video games of all time. It is simply a sad experience and the puzzles will frustrate you to no end. Mix that in with the bad graphics and drawn out story mode, and you’ve got yourself a broken game. It’s too bad since I went to great lengths to finally get this game again after selling it many years ago. Of course…I can see why I sold it the first time around.

The plot of the game is just like the movie of course. Nemo gets kidnapped by some humans so his father and a fish that he meets along the way must travel to save Nemo. This leads to a lot of missions which will have you solve puzzles, navigate through dark tunnels, and play tag sometimes. In theory, this sounds pretty good…maybe that’s a stretch. It doesn’t sound bad anyway, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, I was about to be amazed as how sad it was.

For starters, the graphics are really bad. The whole game is so dark that you can’t really see where you are going a lot of the time. You just have to crawl forward and hope that an enemy is not there to greet you. The dark levels are almost unbearable at times and you have to alter the brightness settings on your TV to keep yourself from dying over and over again. It helped a little, but I feel bad for my TV. I definitely should not have to adjust my settings just for the sake of this video game.

Let’s jump to the worst part of the game right away though. There are puzzles in this game that are so long, so boring, and so artificially difficult that I can’t imagine how it ever lived in the final version. There is no way that the kids in this game’s target audience would be able to complete the puzzles. It was so boring that I would have to play the game while on the phone to keep myself from falling asleep. It’s essentially a Rubix Cube and you have to arrange the pictures without harming the others. That’s not terrible in theory, but with no way to reset the puzzle once you’ve started, you can constantly set yourself back quite a few plays and never even know about it. It’s madness. One level took me over an hour as a result..an hour on a single puzzle. That’s not cool.

The average level is more like 1-4 minutes so you can see the contrast. The puzzles don’t seem like they’re supposed to be so long, but it just ends up happening that way because of how they are constructed. It’s a shame since the rest of the game could have probably gotten a 5 or so, but the puzzles destroyed it. They’re hardly the only issue of course, but certainly the most important one.

Even the final boss is fairly annoying because Nemo dies due to a single hit. That’s present in the whole game of course, but you can at least gather little fish to protect you in certain levels. In the final boss, that is not the case. You have to tag Dory 10 times while dodging falling rocks that move very quickly and appear out of nowhere. It took me quite a while to finally beat the level and it’s not an experience that I would want to have again. The game is really just annoying and I feel like the developers did not know what they were doing. Just about any company could make a better game than this.

It’s also a little hard on the hands. You have to keep pressing the A button to swim faster and faster during the levels and it’s really hard to keep up the pace. There are booster rings that help with that, but it’s hard to hit them because of the graphics. It’s a bad mix of elements that combine to make each one all the worse. Let’s also talk about the long loading times, which are pretty sad.

I usually don’t even bother with the loading times in my reviews, but these are infamously bad. You have time to go and make a sandwich while the game is loading between levels. They just drag on for minutes at a time and it’s very uncanny. It’s not surprising once you actually play the game, but it’s like adding insult to injury. My salt levels would always rise when playing Finding Nemo so you should be sure to have a bottle of water at the ready during your playthrough of the game.

How about replay value? I’d say that it’s basically at a 0 since the game is no fun to play. There are some collectibles though. You can get 3 stars during each level by doing certain things. Of course, these things aren’t actually explained so you’re completely out of luck unless you’ve picked up a strategy guide or can find a good walkthrough. It would be a very loooooong case of trial and error otherwise to find out the requirements for each star. They’ve thought of everything haven’t they?

Overall, Finding Nemo is a game that I highly recommend avoiding at all costs. The graphics are terrible and make games from 20 years ago look good. The loading times make Super Smash Bros look instant and just having the fish float around while staring at the audience doesn’t look very impressive. The soundtrack is very bland and while the game only has 18 levels, the puzzles really stretch out the play time. If you’re curious about this game, watch some Youtube videos of it. It’s definitely not worth purchasing at any price and you will likely regret getting this game. There really aren’t any positives to say about Finding Nemo. The only promising parts of the game, like hopping across little lily pads, are wrecked by the fact that any contact with any enemy will send you back to the last checkpoint. Not having any health in a game where enemies pop out of nowhere is definitely not cool.

Overall 2/10