The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Review


The Legend of Zelda has returned with a pretty big adventure on the Switch. It took me a while to finally get this one but you know what they say, better late than never right? I’ve always preferred the 3D Link adventures to the overhead ones personally. It’s like how for me 3D Sonic beats the 2D ones and 3D Mario beats 2D. Once you go 3D it’s really hard to go back but this one has a lot of quality of life enhancements and fun features that put it above all of the older Link overhead titles. It’s a quality game all the way through so you should have fun here.

The basic plot is that Link was adrift at sea and gets knocked out. When he wakes up he’s in a bright world filed with various Mario villains, evil Kirby, and a Yoshi Egg on top of the mountain. It’s all kind of weird and doesn’t feel like he’s in the real world anymore. An Owl shows up and tells him that he will need to wake the Windfish up and get all of the legendary instruments across the world. All of the bosses beg Link not to do this though or the whole world will be destroyed. Who should Link listen to here? Is he even on the right side anymore? There’s only one way to find out and so Link gets ready to destroy all of the monsters guarding the instruments.

In a lot of ways the story reminds me of Final Fantasy Tactics where the lead is in a fantasy world and has to destroy everyone even though he knows it will destroy their world. Of course there he knows that he’s in a different world and is sure of how to destroy everyone while here Link doesn’t know anything for a fact and has to really tread carefully the whole time. One wrong step and he may make a mistake that he could end up regretting. It feels like the game has a deeper story than most of the overhead ones so that’s a good point in this game’s favor.

The graphics are definitely really high tier as you’d expect from a first party Nintendo game. It just looks really modern and sleek all the way through. The soundtrack is also a lot of fun. It’s got all of the classic Zelda tunes you can picture and they work well with the gameplay. It’s all got a very light atmosphere to it. Link can also move around decently fast so even though the world is rather big it doesn’t take too long to get anywhere. You also have a bit of a sprint option with the way Link does the dash attack even though bumping into anything will still slow you down.

There’s a fast travel here which saves time on going back and forth. You unlock more travel points the more you go through the game. Each dungeon can be tricky but you should get through as long as you’re really inspecting everything. There’s a lot more direction than in the old games and there are a lot of treehouses where you can call someone who will help you out. It’s a great mechanic because otherwise the game would fall into that hole of not telling you much. This way that is never an issue at all.

In terms of game length it felt reasonably long. I forget exactly how long but I would wager you’ll be playing for around 15 hours before you’ve beaten the game and maybe a bit longer. I wouldn’t say it’s super difficult but some of the puzzles will likely take you more than one try to get through. Legend of Zelda puzzles are never a walk in the park after all and each dungeon gets trickier since you have more and more items which could all be an aspect of the puzzle you are trying to solve.

With all of these options you can also ensure that you will have lots of ways to tackle each boss. There will always be a best way but figuring that out is on you. For me I liked using the Boomerang a whole lot because it dealt a serious amount of damage and could also be launched very quickly. It seemed even more efficient than the Master Sword at times which I think is an issue of getting the sword too quickly. It should be an end game weapon so you can make it like 20 times stronger than a normal weapon and have it live up to the hype. By the final dungeon make all of the other weapons completely powerless. It would be a bold approach but one that could make a lot of sense.

I enjoyed using all the weapons though, they were all handled well. The dungeons also have a lot of variety in them so you never feel like you played the same one twice. If there’s anything I’d want more of in a sequel it would be more cutscenes. The ones we got were great of course but I do think nowadays you could probably push things a bit and give us more cutscenes. Maybe throw in a surprise boss during the game outside of one of the dungeons. That would really shake things up in a really fun way. Do some small things like that and the Legend of Zelda series will stand out even more. If not? Well there’s no issue really, the formula has worked thus far so it can keep on working as is.

Overall, Legend of Zelda is back with another solid title here. I had a good bit of fun and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun time. It’s really done about all that it can with this gameplay style and there are even some fully animated scenes. It avoid most of the pitfalls I usually give these titles which is impressive. It feels like a very focused game with a good story and at the end of the day that’s exactly what I’m looking for here so I was super satisfied.

Overall 7/10

Pokemon Scarlet Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 20h 19m
Badges Collected 18
Paldea Pokedex 54 Pokemon Caught 197 Battled

Pokemon Stats

Skeledirge Level 68
FLoatzel Level 66
Talonflame Level 66
Ampharos Level 67
Lycanroc Level 67
Dugtrio Level 69
Wattrel Level 12
Vivillon Level 12
Yungoos Level 12
Igglybuff Level 14
Psyduck Level 13
Lechonk Level 12
Skiddo Level 15
Gastly Level 15
Hoppip Level 12
Fidough Level 13
Tarountula Level 13
Azurill Level 16
Eevee Level 45
Vigoroth Level 45
Girafarig Level 35
Cubchoo Level 35
Foretress Level 45
Hattrem Level 35
Lilligant Level 45
Mudbray Level 16
Mankey Level 15
Nymble Level 14
Capsakid Level 16
Nacli Level 14
Phanpy Level 16
Dratini Level 35
Deerling Level 12
Rookidee Level 12
Flittle Level 17
Drifloon Level 16
Charcadet Level 16
Shinx Level 20
Indeedee Level 35
Silicobra Level 12
Skwovet Level 12
Foongusd Level 20

Pokemon Scarlet Review


It’s time for the next big Pokemon event game! It’s always fun to have the Gym Leaders and Elite 4 running around. It’s been a little while since we really got to have that whole setup here as Arceus was a bit different from the usual path. All in all I would say this was definitely a big success. The plot may be the weakest one among all of the main-line Pokemon games but the gameplay is nostalgic and you should have a really good time here.

The game starts you off as a new student who will be attending a fun Pokemon school. There are 3 paths for you to embark on, the Gym Leader course, the Titans course, and stopping the Starfall group. Only after you have completed all 3 routes will you be able to unlock the final story and complete the game. Initially I thought it was going to be more like you complete one path and beat the game, then optionally play the others but in the end they’re all interconnected. The levels also match up that way and each path has their perks so I recommend just always going for the one closest to you.

The game has a map which is handy since the world is so big but it also does have its limitations. You can’t tell what level a raid is until you walk over there. It’s also hard to tell which gym/encounter is next on the list but I was okay with that one because it does help to emulate how a trainer might tackle things out of order. I found this to be the most difficult Pokemon game by far as I actually lost some battles and had to go back and train. It turned out that I was playing the Gym Leaders in reverse order by mistake. No wonder one of them had Level 50s early on. I must have taken a wrong turn on one of the routes but either way it was cool.

It did mean that the second half of the game mostly turned into a cakewalk though as I fought a guy with level 15s near the very end of the game. It did explain why my rival Nemona was so much weaker than the gym leaders at first since I guess the programming has a set level for her Pokemon based on how many badges I’ve obtained as opposed to which ones. Once you unlock sprinting and gliding you have a lot more fun traversing the world. It may be hard to adjust to the lower speed after playing Sonic Frontiers for so long but you get the hang of it. It was an ambitious map and I would say the game did a good job of it.

The gameplay feels like classic Pokemon once you actually get into the battles. For the first time in a while I also got to fight blind to an extent as I don’t know almost any of the new Pokemon and their types. It was fun getting that sense of mystery as I struggled to find the right attacks to use. This especially became big during the Elite 4 battles which are handled perfectly. You feel the majesty and mystery surrounding each fighter and the new musical theme that is introduced there works really well. Definitely no issues on the gameplay here.

The game succeeds because it’s just a lot of fun. At the end of the day who doesn’t like just getting out there and fighting in Pokemon battles right? What does hurt the game when comparing it to other big ones like Ruby and Fire Red is the story though. As I mentioned earlier, it’s just not that good. Most of it feels rather aimless and low stakes even for Pokemon. You fight a Titan and get a little cutscene, then this is repeated over and over for each fight. Likewise the Starfall events all have you beat someone and then see their tragic story. For the first time that I can think of, there is no evil group here. (Pokemon Shield may not have had an evil group either although I’m not 100%. If that is the case maybe they’re being phased out) So you’re never in any actual danger there.

The gym leaders are fun even if it’ll take me a while to learn their names. Larry is definitely the highlight there and it’s extremely impressive that he actually performs double duty as a gym leader and an elite four member. That has to be a huge time commitment and he makes it look easy. The game does start to turn up in the climax though so at least the final story event is pretty hype. I enjoyed the last battles but it felt like a preview of what the whole game could have been like. I’m not asking for anything crazy but even having an antagonist like Team Rocket running around would be fun. Give me some kind of trial to surpass as I prove that I’m the true Pokemon master.

A highlight from the characters perspective is Nemona though. She’s your rival here and while she is on the nicer side, she really likes battling. She constantly talks about challenging you and is very enthusiastic. Nemona is a supportive character who just wants to help the lead do his best and the fact that she beat the Elite 4 and the old champion so easily is impressive. Not only was she holding back but she was fairly young when she conquered them based on the dialogue. Yes, this looks really bad on the original champion who may be the least impressive one in the franchise but Nemona makes up for it by being the most memorable rival in a very long time. I am inclined to say that she beats every rival after Ruby in the game series.

As for the graphics, you’ve certainly seen the memes all around. There are a lot of visual glitches running around here like things popping in and out, character models being off point, and some severe lag. It’s clear that graphics weren’t a big point of emphasis here but ultimately it still looks good. In the context of this being a AAA Switch title then it’s well below expectations as it looks more like a Wii game but ultimately you can always tell where you’re at and the colors are fun. I didn’t really have a problem with it and you likely won’t run into any real glitches that affect gameplay so you’re good on this end.

The soundtrack is definitely on the weaker side though. Most of the new tracks don’t really land all that effectively. I liked the Elite 4 theme and the final boss theme but the rest weren’t so great. Still decent though and I don’t mind listening to them but they are a step below what you would expect. I think the issue is that most of the themes try remixing older tunes or taking elements from them instead of trying something completely new and that was a mistake. You always have to try and innovate as much as possible.

The campaign took me around 20 hours to complete so that’s a pretty reasonable amount of time. Between the 3 paths and then the last one it felt like there was a lot of content to play through. The game also has a post game that you can work on completing as well which involves a lot of battles. The game isn’t afraid to get a little difficult so you could look forward to some fun challenges there. In the end it did a great job of not being a cakewalk and so you do have to actually put some effort into the game if you want to complete it.

Overall, Pokemon Scarlet is a great game. At the end of the day it gives you all of the classic Pokemon staples that you would hope to see here. There’s a whole lot to enjoy and just filling up the Pokedex will likely take a very long time. I believe I caught less than 40 Pokemon and there are several hundred in here. Go forth and try to claim your mantle as the champion! Not sure how long it’ll be before we get the next big installment with a bunch of new Pokemon but this game can certainly last a whole lot longer if you want it too and then the gap won’t feel so large.

Overall 8/10

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Review

The Legend of Zelda series has returned and while this one did feel like it’s visually improved a whole lot over the original titles…I can’t give it too much credit either. My main issue with the game is one that tends to occur with a lot of older RPGs which is that the game isn’t too clear on what you’re supposed to do. Towards the end this starts to come back to bite you as the final boss is completely invincible without very specific weapons. This means it’s time to backtrack once again and it gets rough. There are areas that show promise here but ultimately the game just feels too dated and ends up being a miss for me.

The general plot is that Link is called into action to save Princess Zelda. She is in a lot of trouble because a new evil threat has arrived and the castle is taken down. Link must rescue a bunch of princesses and grab some super powerful weapons in order to save Zelda. He definitely needs to hurry but if he can pull this off then it will truly be one of the ultimate feats of a hero. Get ready for a long journey.

This game feels a bit longer than the first ones. You not only have the first hub world to go through but after clearing that then there is a whole second part of the game where you go to all of the areas again but this time in the dark world. So there is a lot going on here for sure but fortunately you actually have a good map this time around. That is massive to have here because without a map you’d be getting lost constantly. It’s a really good upgrade here and near the end of the game you also get a quick travel option. Yes, the quick travel is very limited but it still beats walking everywhere.

Only thing I would change would be how moving between the different worlds works. Instead of only being able to do it at designated areas or using the mirror to go to the light world, you should be able to move between both worlds freely. This would be way more convenient and would be a substantial improvement if you ask me. Not having that ability just slows you down throughout the game and at times you have to backtrack a lot just so that you can change worlds. This doesn’t seem like a necessary feature.

Of course my biggest gripe with the game is how you have to go back and complete side missions that you never remember encountering in order to fight the final boss. There is no indication of what exactly you need either so I don’t think I would have ever figured it out without a guide. To be extra sneaky, for the final boss you can’t even tell that you’re hurting him and just have to keep swinging until he goes down. I had assumed I wasn’t attacking the right way and tried switching things up only to find that it had been working. A little sneaky but not in a good way.

On the positives side, the game does look nice as I mentioned before. This is an SNES game that really used the visuals to its advantage. The soundtrack is also on point with a lot of really memorable tunes. The series is really able to hold its own against against the Mario series with its wide array of themes at the ready. While you’re playing, the game at least looks and sounds really good so that’s also a plus.

I would also say that in terms of raw gameplay the game is solid as well. Overhead Link style may not be my favorite and occasionally you will get hit and feel like that shouldn’t have really hurt you but still, it’s a good style and it can even be a little difficult at times. You need quick reaction times in order to win here. In terms of replay value there is a good amount with a lot of areas to explore and collectibles to find. Don’t expect that you will get all of them in one playthrough as they can be hidden really well.

The dungeons are also crafted better than normal as most of the puzzles in there actually made a lot of sense. Getting to the dungeons is the hard part but once you’re there, then you’re good. If the hub world was a little less confusing and there were less mandatory items that you needed, then the game really could have gotten a thumbs up. I would say this one just had some missed opportunities for me but if you enjoy the exploration aspect of the game and have fun uncovering the secrets within the world then you should have a good time here.

I can’t picture playing this one without the Switch Online features or a guide at the ready because it would just take too long though. So it really depends on what you’re looking for in a game. I tend to want to just blast through to the good parts and enjoy the boss fights so backtracking doesn’t feel great unless the game is super smooth like Shantae or something like that. Give me a good indicator of where I need to go or the general location of a collectible and I won’t mind going back to have to grab it. If it’s something I have to find out with no clues so I have to talk to everyone and run around, then it doesn’t work quite as well for me.

Overall, A Link to the Past is okay but I wouldn’t directly recommend it. You should check out Skyward Sword instead or Wind Waker. That said, if you do like the retro Nintendo games then you can access this one for free with the Nintendo Switch Online subscription so you can’t really go wrong there. Who doesn’t like playing games for free right? One of these days I’ll grab one of the more modern overhead LoZ games and then we’ll really see how they have amped up the quality of life features since the SNES days.

Overall 5/10

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic Review


This was always one of the most well known Star Wars games. It’s pretty much a living legend and for good reason as it is a very detailed action RPG with a ton of mechanics and a detailed story. I would say it lives up to the hype as I had a blast with it. Get ready for a very difficult final level though, the more you train the better.

The game starts off by introducing us to the main character who has amnesia and is aboard a republic ship that is crashing for some reason. He manages to escape with Carth, a reputable republic soldier. They end up rescuing a Jedi Warrior known as Bastila and the three of them have a very uneasy alliance. The main objective is to stop the Sith and to do that they need to find out how the villains have amassed such an unending army. There has to be foul play at work here but finding the source of that won’t be easy. The only clue they have to go on is something called the Star Forge but what that is remains a mystery.

Right away one of the things I enjoyed about the game is all of the dialogue options. You can constantly act like a jerk, take the nice guy approach, or just go for pure chaos. The dialogue options also have a big impact on the game itself so it’s not like you’re just fluffing out the game length. I ended up not getting to recruit two members to the team because I didn’t say the right things. The ending was also very different because of the route I went. It helps to make the whole experience feel a lot more authentic to me.

The story here is also very long so you can expect to be playing this game for a long while. There is a lot of time for the characters to develop and there are tons of side quests and extra content to play. For the most part I stuck to the main story beats but you could easily add several hours onto the play time if you want to go and explore. It can also be useful for EXP as this is one game where it’s not so easy to grind. Most worlds don’t allow enemies to respawn once you defeat them so you will be stuck after you have defeated them all. I recommend beating as many enemies as you can.

The gameplay is pretty much that of an auto battler where you keep changing the moves as they fight. Think of it like you’re the head coach and the fighters have to do whatever you tell them. I would have liked to actually do the battling myself so that part of the gameplay can be a little weak. The whole “Let the A.I. decide what to do” angle usually isn’t really my thing. That said, I would say the game has a good amount of polish to it so it works out well enough. There is definitely a whole lot of depth to this system as well.

Whenever you level up you get to decide which stats and skills to increase. It’s a bit overwhelming with the amount of options so usually I would do the auto level and just let the computer decide. This can make the end of the game even more difficult so it may be worth researching what the optimal build is. Of course it can be fun to just go with your gut so choose the option that seems like it will be the most enjoyable and you can’t go wrong there.

The graphics really hold up here. I like the designs of the levels and characters. Then the actual combat looks good too and it’s all got a very distinctive style to it. It really holds up while playing this port. I also liked the soundtrack well enough although it doesn’t stand out as it’s mainly the kind of Star Wars themes you’d expect to hear. Perhaps they are iconic but at this point you’ve really heard them all before.

The character cast is one of the biggest strengths here. The main character gets a lot of development and of course because you can decide how he develops then that makes the whole game more interesting too. In fact, your choices even determine how you will fight the final boss which is massive. I had to break out all of the cheese strategies for him including using some rather villainous tactics. Look, this guy was going to keep regenerating all of his health over and over so I had to put a top to that. I succeeded and then ran away a while to regain my strength. The final boss ended up being really long but I won in the end so that’s what counts right?

The game also has some quality of life features that I would highly recommend using. For starters you can save the game anywhere. I highly advise having several backup slots at different points so you don’t get stuck. There is one game breaking bug after all which I got trapped in but fortunately I had a backup save just a few minutes away. In one of the final temples just save a lot because the glitch room is the one where there are two light towers. I can’t say I remember the exact planet though so just keep your guard up.

Then for the final boss, don’t be afraid to just run a lot. It may take a while but you’ll win in the end and that’s what counts. The Star Forge itself is incredibly difficult but one thing you should know is that the enemies actually aren’t endless. After a bunch of waves they do finish so just heal up and save between waves. Eventually you will beat them and can move forward. It had to be one of the most challenging final areas I’ve played through in a long while so it felt nice knocking that one out.

As for the other characters, Carth was one of the big ones. I like how he can’t really trust anyone and always seems like he’s about to pick a fight. The guy may not use the Force but he can defend himself and knows how to fight. He was responsible for a lot of the great banter along with Bastila. Bastila is a Jedi who is very by the books so naturally she tends to have a lot of disagreements with the main character since I tend to be more on the impulsive side. I would say the script was always at its best when these 3 were fighting.

Then you also had characters like Canderous the Mandalorian who naturally didn’t get along with Carth due to their respective backstories. Malak also made for a good villain. He perhaps gets a little overshadowed by some of the heroes but he was a very imposing presence all the same. There are a lot of other characters who get big roles here so you’ll want to play the game to see them. The game is also long enough where you really feel like you’ve gone on a full adventure by the end of it.

Overall, This is a great Star Wars game that you don’t want to miss out on. You feel like you were watching a movie here and this could really be adapted for the big screen. It was definitely a lot of fun playing it on the Switch and I can also confirm that it’s the hardest one that I’ve played. An RPG with limited leveling up functionality is definitely not something to take lightly. That said, just fight smart and have a lot of backup saves. You’ll be just fine by the end of it and if you absolutely need to, you’ll be able to go back and level up. Just don’t use up all your saves in the final dungeon because then there really is no way out!

Overall 8/10

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 15h 26m
Camp Level E
Facility Effects 2
Current Renown 173 Points
Achievements Completed 70

Character Levels

Shez 61
Edelgard 56
Hubert 56
Ferdinand 42
Linhardt 12
Caspar 28
Bernadetta 27
Dorothea 15
Petra 15
Monica 51
Ashe 16
Lorenz 22
Ignatz 22
Yuri 39
Balthus 22
Constance 10
Hapi 10
Manuela 25
Jeritza 25
Shamir 60