Samurai Warriors 5 Stats and Records

Stats time!

PS4 Trophies 32/56
Play Time 15h 42m
Objective Clearance Rate 46%
Percentage of Events Unlocked 53%
Percentage of Background Music Unlocked 86%
Total K.O.s 83055
Total Musou Attack K.O.s 15538

Character Levels

Nobunaga 41
Mitsuhide 39
Hideyoshi 25
Ieyasu 9
Yoshimoto –
Shingen –
Kenshin 11
Motonari –
Nagamasa 11
Hisahide 13
No 17
Mitsuki 22
Toshiie 6
Katsuie 9
Oichi 9
Toshimitsu 21
Shikanosuke 17
Hanbei 11
Kanbei 25
Kazuuji 22
??? –
Tadakatsu 11
Hanzo 11
Sandayu 14
Takakage –
Magoichi –
Yasuke 30
Nobuyuki 7
Motonobu –
Katsuyori –
Motoharu –
Terumoto –
Dosan 7
Yoshitatsu 9
Yoshikage 23
Yoshiaki 21
Fujihide 21

Wizards of Brandel Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 14h 19m
PS4 Trophies 33/33
Money 14,335,863
Diamonds 90
Purple Coins 277
Challenges Completed 15/20
Flowers Gained 679
Side Jobs Completed 10/20
Story Quests Completed -All
Sub Quests Completed 15/15
Treasure Chests collected 208/357
Familiar Spirits 24/38
Deca Demons defeated 149
Bomb Demons defeated 130
Union Magics launched 0
Synergic Spells learned 5
Max consecutive hits 160
Max damage 28162180
Overkills 45
Weapon Max amalgamation level 166
Weapons Crafted 210
Paces walked 262734
Enemies Suppressed 3733
Physical Skills used 1486
Magic Skills Used 3018
Limit Burst Gauge used 16

Darius Level 669
Erica Level 629
Phelia Level 617

Madden 20 Review


It’s definitely been a long while since I played a Madden game. It’s always somber waiting for the next one because even if there aren’t any big changes, the series just has fantastic gameplay. To date it has to be one of the all time greatest series out there. This one’s certainly no different even if I wouldn’t say that it is quite able to compete with some of the older ones. Mainly I feel like scrambling has been nerfed and the deep ball is still nonexistent. Still, if you’re looking for a quality Football game you can’t really top this one.

Right off the bat you can jump into a ton of different modes like franchise, story mode, play now, online modes, or the skill trainer. Of course for me the first stop is just the quick matches to get a feel for the game. I always make sure to do one game on each difficulty level before I review the game so see how I stack up.

I was able to defeat most of the difficulties but I did get stomped in All Madden. I kept it rather close in the first half at 17-6 but as I got more and more desperate the A.I. would take advantage of that and ultimately go on to score a total of 40+ points. All Madden is as tough as it ever was but this time it did feel pretty legit. Usually I walk away shaking my head but in this instance I thought it was fine. I just got out played there.

The gameplay is pretty much the same as always. The goal in Football is to carry the ball across the goal line. At that point you will have claimed victory and will be in the home stretch. If you allow your opponent to do this, then you have to do it again as well. Whoever scores the most points at the end of the game is the winner and then that would be a wrap. It’s easy to understand if you’re familiar with the sport but otherwise Madden would not be the best place to start learning. I would recommend watching a real game first to see this in action.

Granted, you won’t be calling plays as if you were a real team but it’s still helpful for learning the fundamentals. As mentioned the game is a blast but there are a few aspects that are weaker than in most of the other titles. One of those is the QB scrambling which is when you decide to make a break for it instead of throwing the ball.

I can see how this could be a little overpowered in some of the games but I just love doing it. Often times I will make a break for it instead of throwing the ball because I don’t really have anyone open. Now you have to be a lot more careful because it takes a lot longer to actually start running and that’s an issue for when you just want to take off. I’m thinking it’s the game’s way of telling you that you should be throwing.

The QB throwing accuracy has also been given some more in depth features such as your ball not being thrown where you want it to be if you’re under pressure. You’ll suddenly throw in odd directions and while this is an interesting way to factor pressure in, I don’t think it’s needed. It should all go to your individual skill and where you throw the ball. That’s definitely a lot more straight forward.

I also just miss being able to toss the deep ball around. Find a receiver in a 1 on 1 matchup and just throw the ball over. Nowadays if you try that it will be incomplete 6/10 times and intercepted the other 3/10. Actually completing one of these balls is never worth the risk and that’s a shame because they’re the most fun to complete. Instead it’s often best to go for most short length passes and chip your way to the goal.

Running the ball is as solid as ever though. I don’t typically run a lot but it does make me feel like I’m using some real plays so I’ll do it here and there. You always get that feeling of being so close but so far away when running the ball because every time you get tackled you’ll think about where you should have run instead. It’s definitely a blast making your picks.

A lot of the modes also have the ability to skip all defensive drives which is pretty cool. Defense isn’t bad but I definitely do prefer being on the offense so that’s definitely more my speed. You have control of the ball and what you do with it at that point which is what makes the game fun. There is a lot amount of RNG in most of these plays.

As for the other modes, well there is a classic Story Mode once again but as always the cutscenes are completely unskippable. This has been the case for 3-4 years now and that’s unacceptable. Surely the devs have heard of the complaints before now so there’s no excuse for not being able to skip these. Especially since the story mode just isn’t all that engaging. You’ll really only be playing through the mode for the trophies.

Outside of the story mode the graphics are very solid though. It’s always great just loading up the game and seeing how nice the uniforms and backgrounds are. This is where 99% of the effort goes into so it makes sense that this part would look good. The soundtrack is very forgettable as while you’re in the games you won’t be hearing it anyway. You’ll just have the classic Football sounds at that point which is really what you want to have to focus on anyway.

Beyond that there is naturally a whole lot of replay value here. You can play games endlessly with a variety of different things to do. If you have the PSN subscription you can also take advantage of the head to head battles which is probably the most enjoyable mode. There’s nothing quite like battling others online. It’s why I would snap up a Switch version if that ever came out, but alas it doesn’t look like EA and Nintendo are ever going to mend the fence here.

Overall, Madden 20 is definitely a blast. While there are some specific changes that make it weaker than some of the other installments, ultimately it’s the core gameplay that you know and love. The series gets a lot of shots fired at it for not changing things up between years and keeping in every glitch which is valid. Still, you’re unlikely to see much of that while playing normally and it’s just too fun to put down. So ultimately the positives vastly outweigh the negatives.

Overall 8/10

Fast & Furious Showdown Review


Fast & Furious Showdown is one of those games that is easy to forget about. I didn’t even know it existed until I was on Ebay looking for the new game and came across it. That said, this should not be mixed up to say that it isn’t a high intensity title. The racing is solid and while the game is short enough, there is a tough level or two that should take you some tries. Ultimately it’s a good racing game that is hindered by its short length.

The game takes place before film 6 where the heroes had their big team up with Hobbs. So the campaign follows the introduction of his new partner who is trying to learn about Hobb’s objectives and enemies. To do this, the heroes basically talk about how great Dom and his crew are as well as Shaw and the villains. As they continue defeating us in each encounter, the partner gradually sees why Hobbs wants to recruit Dom and his gang since Shaw is unbeatable otherwise.

As for the gameplay, it’s your standard racing game for the most part, but throw in a bit of Need for Speed type combat as well. After all, either the cops or the villains will always be trying to stop you depending on what side you’re playing as. So you have to move as fast as possible and always stay one step ahead. For the traditional driving levels, the gameplay is on point and you feel like you’re going rather fast. The toughest levels are when you have to win through drifting which is not a mechanic I use a whole lot in any title.

Then you have the double driver levels where one person jumps to the top of the car and blasts away at the others while someone drives. I would always switch myself back into the driver’s seat because I’m not the biggest FPS fan. Additionally, I found the A.I. to be a pretty bad driver in most instances so driving on my own was the best bet. Otherwise you’re just crashing all the time and at times it also feels like you’re just moving really slowly which was kind of odd. I don’t see how that would have an effect on anything as long as the A.I.is holding down the accelerator.

There is one level where the obstacle feels a bit odd though. That’s when there are these little bombs on the ground and the shockwave feels like it’s a whole lot bigger than the animation. It doesn’t matter where you are, the bomb will ultimately catch you. I thought this was a bit much and died numerous times but I suppose I eventually got out of there which is the important thing. That’s the only time I let the A.I. drive so I could snipe as many bombs as possible.

There are also some quick time events where you have to jump on a truck once in a while. I like quick time event type scenarios but this one does feel like there is no true purpose to even have it here. It’s a small instance once in a blue moon for something that will not actually affect the level since it usually ends at that point. I’ll give the game credit for coming up with new modes and all but I think you could have done more with it. Imagine quick time events for some hand to hand fights among the main characters? Now that would have been pretty awesome.

As for the graphics, well they’re fairly standard stuff. Not as good as you’d find in one of the big AAA titles but I would say they are good enough not to be called bad. So they’re fairly passable and better than what you would find in the Madden cinematic moments. The soundtrack is more on the bad side. It’s going for an EA kind of feel with a lot of modern lyrical songs but most of them definitely felt more annoying than good. They’re loud and all but the lyrics don’t work so well and I wouldn’t count this as a net positive.

In terms of replay value, there doesn’t seem to be much of anything here. No extra levels or big collectibles to grab at all. I suppose that means you will purely be here to re-experience the story levels again but the thing to note is that you cannot skip the cutscenes. So that will present a bit of an issue I imagine. There may have been some kind of challenge mode so hopefully that will help but for the most part this is definitely the kind of game that you play for the story and after that you’ll likely leave it around. The story’s around 4-5 hours so it’s good enough if you find this for a small price. For full pricing it would not have been worth it though.

Overall, Fast & Furious Showdown is a fun title. I’m always up for a good racing game and the combat part is also nice since it expands on the concept a bit. What’s more thrilling than trying to turn the corner as someone is blasting as you right? The A.I. uses a lot of rubber banding though so they tend to catch up to you no matter how far ahead you are. Definitely makes it difficult to truly get away without defeating them so you always need to be on the attack. It should have had more of an in depth story mode and more replay value though. I look forward to seeing how the new version plays out one of these days and if it’s able to improve on these areas. If it does then I think we will have a true winner on our hands.

Overall 7/10

Neo: The World Ends With You Review


The World Ends With You was a game I owned for many years before completing. Once I did knock it out though, it felt pretty good. The game had a very fun dynamic and an excellent plot. Throw in a sizzling soundtrack and you were good to go. Neo is definitely a great follow up. While I would give the original one the slight nudge over it, you can really expect a complete experience out of this game. It will will leave you in a pretty happy place.

The game starts with Rindo and his friend Fret hanging out around Shibuya as always. Rindo is also texting with his FanGo friend and it turns out that the person is somewhere in Shubuya too. They’ve never met in person so Fret declares that they should find this mysterious “Swallow”. Unfortunately this doesn’t work but they do get roped into a cool new app game. It involves doing a lot of little quests and fighting monsters. There’s no big prize at the end which is disappointing but the two friends split up to hang out another day.

Trouble is, they wake up the next day in the middle of Shibuya once again. Rindo doesn’t remember coming back here so the whole thing is odd. Well, turns out that he and Fret are stuck in the game now. It’s a survival game too which makes things even worse. The heroes can’t interact with ordinary people anymore and have to clear the quests with a certain level of urgency. After all, the lowest ranked team after the 7 days are up will be eliminated. Can Rindo and Fret stay alive or are they doomed? One thing’s for sure, with other teams having well over a dozen members, they are going to need some backup.

The only survival item the heroes have is a pin which allows them to fight back against the monsters as well as other players. Each pin has a different power ranging from elemental attacks to TK type abilities. Some players are nice enough to chat with you while others will try to murder you on sight so these are all things to keep in mind when trying to survive. At the very least they will certainly know Shibuya like the back of their hands once this is all over.

As a 30+ hour RPG there is a whole lot more to the story beyond the premise. Still, part of the fun is finding out what is going on and turning the tables. You will get to see a lot of characters return from the first game as well so those moments are always hype. They always show up with an excellent opening scene that is definitely worth the wait. It’s something I’m glad about because nothing’s more satisfying than seeing the characters you played as a few years ago return as complete legends and powerhouses.

As for the gameplay itself, it’s a little unique so it’s tougher to describe than most. It’s a 3D environment where you press a button to use your Pin. Each character can have a pin equipped and you have to choose pins which are locked to different control inputs. So you can have one on the R1 button, 1 on the L1 button, etc. Later on you unlock an upgrade so you can have more than one per button which is pretty handy but that won’t happen for a while.

Each pin’s ability is quite different. For some you have to hold the button down, others require rapid tapping, and others have you hold it down for a little bit and then release. It’s important you get used to how each Pin works but fortunately the menus are quite elaborate so that shouldn’t be a problem. The game also has a lot of good customization options available which you can use if things get dicey. You can also lower your own level to get more pins per victory. It makes each fight higher risk but higher reward which is a cool feature.

The battles can get tough at times so don’t be afraid to exit and train against minions. I had to do that several times but it’s over before you know it. It’ll help you get closer to trophies as well since there are some for beating thousands of enemies and things like that. Meanwhile you will also want to time your pins well to land combos. Landing combos increases your sync levels. When you hit 300 (Available after a certain point in the story) you can use a terrific final smash which also completely refills your health. I highly recommend saving this to use against the final boss. It really came in clutch for me at one point. I was nearly about to get a game over when the full health kicked in.

As you’d expect the graphics are definitely top tier here. The cutscenes are portrayed like a comic book with the characters going in and off panel all the time. Occasionally you will get full on cinematics as well but most are in the comic format. From those, you have the intro and end cutscenes to each chapters that have full voice acting and then the regular text ones. A lot of budget was put into this game for sure. Not sure if the voice actors for the original characters were the same as some of them sounded pretty different to me but it’s been a while since I played the first game. Also they are older so I suppose you’d expect the voices to change a bit.

The soundtrack is also a lot of fun. You’ll be hearing the tunes a whole lot so of course you’re hoping that the songs are on point. They definitely don’t disappoint. It’s also really nostalgic whenever a song appears from the original game. Now that’s a blast. The game is everything you could want and more from a technical perspective as well as the gameplay.

Aside from the main campaign being quite long, there is also a lot of replay value here. First off you have a bonus day set in an alternate universe that should make for a good bit of fun. Then you’ve also got the trophies to go after like completing a bunch of side missions and maxing out your social network. Obtaining the Platinum doesn’t look super difficult but it is absolutely time consuming so you can expect to be there for a long while. The game easily earns back the $60 value and then some.

As for the characters, we’ve got a pretty solid cast here. The main character is named Rindo and he’s not a big people person. Not to the extent of Neku who really didn’t get along with anyone but Rindo isn’t exactly the kind of guy who will seek anyone out. He does his own thing that’s for sure. As the game goes on he learns more about being independent and making his own decisions while still being a good people person. It’s a solid character arc.

Then you have Fret who is pretty much the opposite. He’s great at talking to anyone and just gets along with people. At the same time, he takes everything pretty lightly and you have a hard time seeing what he is really thinking. That’s what he has to contend with as the game goes on. He’s a fun enough character, I prefer Rindo but they’re both solid.

Nagi is the first member to join the group and is the main heroine here. From the 3 she is definitely the weakest character though. For most of the game she is pretty mean to Fret for no real reason. They definitely didn’t get off on the right foot but he always tries to be nice and she constantly reminds him that she isn’t talking to him. Even when she has a direct response she plays it off like they aren’t talking. Gradually she learns to get along with him a bit better but it takes a while.

Then you have the best character in the game: Minamimoto. This guy’s great, every line he has is some kind of number pun. He talks about everything as if they were fractions and number crunching. While the characters never know what is going on, it’s easy enough to follow what he’s saying. His goals are rather mysterious so you really never know what he is thinking. The scene where he confronts Susukichi is amazing though and one of the best scenes in the game.

Then you have the Ruinbringers who are a decent team. Susukichi is the member you have to deal with the most. He’s a true powerhouse and can deal a lot of damage. He also likes being a troll as he leads you on a bunch of wild goose chases. He’s definitely not bad. Then there’s Tsugumi who is very silent but immensely powerful. Her toy cat makes for a difficult adversary to fight as well. Her opening battle is impressive as she seemingly murders one of the original cast.

Then you have the other groups stuck in the game. Fuya is the leader of Team 1 but there’s not a lot to say about him. He seemed okay I guess but didn’t get to do much. Kanon is the leader of Team 2 and gets a much bigger role. She’s a nice character who is pretty helpful even while trying to achieve victory. Definitely not someone to underestimate as a fighter. At most her weakness may be that she tries to tackle everything by herself but it’s not a trait I would ever blame any character for. At the end of the day sometimes that’s the best way to help your team out so I can support that.

Then there’s Motoi, the leader of Team 3. I definitely didn’t like that guy at all. He’s pretty annoying the whole time. After a certain point there was just no way he was ever going to go up. The opportunity for him to do the right thing had come and gone. For the main villain there is Shiba. He definitely loves his announcements. Shiba makes for a good villain. While his overall motivations may not be the best as even by the end they seem shallow, he does get the job done. He also has enough power to back up his ambitions.

Kubo is a wild card but I couldn’t take him as seriously as some of the other villains. While everyone seems to have their own motives and agendas, he seems like the only one who really enjoys messing wit everyone else. So as a villain he may be the most devoted to the role. Then there’s Shoka who is another one of the Shinjuku reapers and she gets a really big role. I was actually surprised at just how extensive it was. You can expect to see quite a lot of her as the game goes on, that’s for sure.

Shoka is a fun character, I would say she is easily the best reaper. She clearly has more morals than the rest and is always around to give a good pep talk. She throws a lot of insults around as well to be sure but does so in more of a playful way. She doesn’t seem to detest the players the way some do. Also I give her credit for actually acting while many of the reapers stay in the sidelines.

For example, I would say Uzuki and Koki look pretty bad here. They talk tough of course but for the most part they just watch what is going on. By the time they start to act they are quickly defeated and don’t stand a chance. You’d expect the big bad Shibuya reapers to be more impressive but they never actually do much of anything. At least Coco actually made some pretty loud moves on the board. She may not have acted much directly but she still contributed.

All right, the next two paragraphs are spoiler territory so skip these sections if you haven’t played the game yet. It’s time to talk about the old characters.

Neku is naturally a pretty big deal. I think everyone expected he would appear at some point in the game but I don’t want to spoil his big moment. It is a great way to jump in though and he shows why he has earned the title of living legend. The guy one shots an opponent that the main cast absolutely couldn’t deal with. It’s very impressive and very cool. I liked his portrayal throughout. You can tell that he is a veteran.

Then you have Beet who helps out a lot during the game. His skills may not be as high as Neku’s but they are still considerable. He has a lot of confidence and really gets a lot of work done throughout. I can definitely appreciate his commitment. The rest of the characters get less of a combat role but you’ll still see Shiki and Rhythm at different points in the game. Even Joshua appears briefly.

All right, spoilers are over now. So does the game have any weak points? Well, I do think the gameplay can at times feel a bit like pure button mashing. There’s so much going on in the screen when you’re firing a bunch of pins at once. You can use strategy but most of the time you may as well just spam the attacks and it’ll have the same effect. So that can be a bit repetitive and same with the time traveling. There’s one point where you basically play through the same cutscene like 5-6 times. I love time travel as a concept but I do think it could have been used a little less or maybe there was a way to make each visit a little more different.

The story itself is definitely very compelling and epic. Each week continues to increase the stakes and scope of the plot. If you’ve played the original game then you’ll really be able to enjoy a lot of the references and guest stars. If you played the Switch version with the extra epilogue during the 3 year jump then you’ll be able to get even more out of it. This game doesn’t hold back on trying to get every kind of reference thrown in as well. It’s cool how the games are all so connected as this one even gives closure to the first game.

That said, if you cut beneath all of the deep dialogue and characters wondering what is going on…you do feel like the Reapers could have done a lot more. There’s no way the villains should have even been able to get into the position that they did. It’s just hard to buy that they could suddenly change things so drastically and nobody stepped in. Shibuya has a Conductor after all and many top tier Reapers. Why did they all cower in fear or just vanish? I am definitely going to need some more details before I can really buy into this. So at the moment I am pretty skeptical. Maybe they’re just like the Gold Saints of Athena in that they love making the situation as bad as possible I suppose.

Overall, Neo: The World Ends With You is a great game. It’s a real page turner from start to finish. The characters are on point, the gameplay is solid, and you’ve got great graphics at the ready. You’ve got every reason and more to just keep on going with the game all the way through to the end. There are quite a few plotlines that are still open and story ideas to be explored so I’d like to see another sequel at some point down the road. There’s just too many cool items to leave on the shelf.

Overall 8/10

Final Fantasy II Review


This game has certainly been sitting on the backburner for many years. After beating the original Final Fantasy I tried to get in on the action with the sequel but I just couldn’t pull it off. The gameplay didn’t click. Well, I finally played it from start to finish and I have to say that my view hasn’t changed a whole lot. The story is the strongest part of the game even if it doesn’t touch the newer ones.

The basic plot is that the world is under attack by the Emperor. He has decided to rule over everything just because he can. The heroes are in a rough spot so the queen will now rely on a talented swordsman named Firian, a mage known as Maria, and a strong axe user named Guy. The three of them will need to travel the world and get strong enough to defeat the Emperor. Do they actually have enough strength to do so though? The Emperor has many powerful allies as well as pretty impressive tech at his disposal as well.

This is one of the first games where it took me way longer to complete than the estimated time on the “How long to beat” site. My time nearly doubled it I think at around 20 hours. It’s pretty difficult and that’s due in large part to how the level up system works. See, you don’t have straight level ups like 1, 2, 3. Instead you level up your proficiencies and stats in battle one by one.

Lets say you defeat a minion but you took a hit in the process. You have the potential to increase your max health, speed, defense, and attack power. If you used magic during the battle you may increase that as well. You passively level up your weapon skill as well depending on which kind you have equipped. You can already see how a lot of this is luck based. You increase the chance of increasing your proficiency but it’s not guaranteed. There are a lot of other factors here as well like the strength of your opponents and the duration of the match.

It’s not a very satisfying way to level up though because it’s hard to see when you’re really getting better. You also need to make sure you choose the right spells and weapons or you’ll be wasting your time leveling up something that you’ll never need. Your 4th member of the team also tends to change every other chapter so don’t get too attached. Often times when they leave they will never return so say good bye to any level ups you got.

The weapons also don’t seem very balanced to the point where I discarded them entirely by around the halfway point of the game. Instead I focused on using the barehanded techniques for the climax and honestly they seemed better than weapons anyway. I would always deal heavy damage while the weapons would falter at the worst moments. I have little doubt that the weapons would ultimately be better than bare handed but at least to the point where I was up to this did not seem to be the case.

The final boss was very difficult to defeat like this though. RNG is partially what got me through. See, his attacks were strong enough to not only finish me in a single hit but also replenish almost all of his health. Of course, that was only with physical attacks. On one of my runs I got lucky because he kept spamming magical spells which deal far less damage. I was able to buy just enough time to defeat him before he healed. Even now I think I would have a very hard time trying to defeat him again. It’s rare for things to work out in quite the same way they did here.

I don’t understand why the game went so far as to also make the equipment work against you. Wearing heavier items makes it harder to dodge but you can’t see how heavy something is without going to your character status page and leaving the item screen. Everything just did not feel very intuitive at all. Perhaps there was an easier way and I just didn’t find it. It seems like Final Fantasy II was meant to be very experimental but in this case I felt like it just back fired completely.

FF II’s spawn rate is also extremely high. Enemies are constantly attacking you every few steps. I was able to get in a lot of good reading during every dungeon. I would just keep spamming the attack button as I read through the God of High School chapters. I finished over 100 chapters as I played through this game because the battles took forever and there were so many of them. It was also uniquely useful to multi task in this game since I didn’t need spells and could just use normal attacks for every minion encounter. If I had nothing to distract myself with that would have hurt though.

Final Fantasy II also suffers from being unclear at times. You just don’t know where to go or what to do in order to advance the plot. The worst is when you’re supposed to talk to someone again and forgot to do so. So you go to the next temple but it’s still closed so you have to travel the world again in order to open it. You don’t get to fly until the very end of the game so prepare for a ton of walking. The game doesn’t give you any real shortcuts either so you really feel like an explorer. Just not in a fun way this time.

I could go on, but as you can tell pretty much none of the gameplay elements worked for me. It’s just a title that offered no qualify of life features. The graphics are good though. The character portraits are on point and I did like the minion designs. The game has a very retro sprite look which works well enough. The soundtrack is also very classic Final Fantasy with how each tune sounds. It’s all got a lot of energy and works really well.

As for replay value, by beating the game it seems like you do unlock some kind of new game+. I’m sure that will take you quite a while. Considering that the game is 20 hours long to defeat once, this is probably a 40 hour game or so. I’m not sure what the price is nowadays but it was pretty cheap before so I doubt it would set you back all that much.

Overall, Final Fantasy II is one of the weakest Final Fantasy games for me. In fact, I would have to say it loses to Final Fantasy VII and is my least favorite title. VII has the better gameplay, characters, and stories so II loses around the board to me. Don’t get me wrong, the story is fun and all but it just doesn’t make up for the game’s weaknesses. I don’t really see myself recommending this title to others as well. I’m glad that it helped continue the franchise into its current state but this is an entry you can skip.

Overall 5/10

Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair Review


Yooka Laylee may not be a big series yet but you’re always guaranteed to have a good time with the sound effects in each title. At this point it’s just hard to forget them even if the sounds are really just nonsense that’s repeated a lot. It shows what good sound direction can really go for you right? The game is pretty fun and also has a cool concept with the whole lair aspect.

Basically, Chief B is back once more to reign terror on everyone who opposes him. He has defeated the Bee squadron and taken over the whole kingdom. The queen is forced to call in Yooka & Laylee to take this guy down. Everyone knows where his lair is so the heroes can attack right away bus his fortress is guarded extremely well. The queen feels it would be best if we go and find the royal guard members first. There are 48 bee members in the game so you can have a maximum shield of 48 hits. Each bee you save is another hit you can endure so you can see how these guys would be really handy.

The gameplay is that of a 2D platformer. You can use a sort of spin dash to barrel into enemies and also to cross some of the larger chasms. You can spin attack enemies if they get too close or to stay in the air for an extra second. Due to this, you have a whole lot of aerial mobility which is always good. Each level has 5 golden coins which are also helpful since they’re how you take down the various paywalls scattered across the world which hide extra bees and levels behind them. Make sure you grab a lot since you will want to have at least 100/200 of the coins in the game. This will ensure you can max out your shield.

As I mentioned, part of the fun is that you can try to tackle the level without any shields but I can safely say that this is incredibly difficult. The odds of pulling it off are really not in your favor. Even the best of players will not breeze through it, but of course you will get a lot of satisfaction for pulling it off. Surprisingly there is no trophy for doing this so even the developers may have felt that it was too steep a challenge. The level itself is over 20 minutes so it would certainly be rough to lose near the end since there are no checkpoints either.

I did give it a shot but without bees the best I would make it was around 5% into the level. Now that I’ve cleared the game I’m confident I could probably bump that up to at least 10% but beating all of it still does sound pretty impossible. The game throws every kind of obstacle and challenge at you so you’d need to play basically perfect to pull it off. It would truly be one of the most impressive showings that I have ever seen. Number 1 would probably be some kind of speed run but I’m not really sure which one I would choose for that title.

There’s a good amount of content here. The game will certainly last you over 10 hours. There are 20 main levels in the game plus the lair. Each level has a second level you can play by reversing it so effectively there are 40 levels. When you’re not having fun in the stages you can also investigate the hub world to find special items, and extra bees. It’s a very immersive hub world where you are actively reshaping the levels and changing things so that’s pretty cool.

Now, I do think the game is a little too intentionally harsh on finding the items scattered around. There are 69 potions in the game and they can be anywhere on the hub world. By anywhere, I mean you can find some by randomly ground pounding during the level. I think this is a bit much because it takes forever to do that so without a walkthrough or something, you’re probably not going to be able to get all of them. Not unless you want to waste a few hours trying every spot you can think of.

I also wasn’t a huge of how you have to grab so many coins to make it through the paywalls. Mandatory collectibles are still something I’ve never been a fan of. I feel like it defeats the entire purpose of a collectible if you have to locate it no matter what instead of just being able to relax and enjoy the level. You’ll see what a big difference it is to be able to just blast through a level once you have enough coins to clear the game. They finish so much quicker since you don’t have to check out every passageway.

As for the graphics, I would say they look very good here. The character models are solid with the levels being nice and bright. It all pops out at you well enough. I can’t say I particularly remember any of the tracks though so I wouldn’t call them very impressive. They do the job but that’s about it. In general that’s why I would say this is a fairly standard platformer. It’s fun and will last you for a while but there’s probably nothing here that you are really going to take home with you. At the end of the day you’ll just move onto the next adventure.

Overall, The Impossible Lair is a fun platformer that has some good ideas. I really like the idea of being able to challenge the Lair whenever you want. Additionally, the gameplay is solid and the hub world being so interactive was cool. Pro-tip, when using your spin dash you can float on the air for a second which is really helpful for many jumps. It’s basically mandatory in the lair. On the minus side, the forced collectibles certainly got old and the game is practically cheating with how it hides the potions. All in all the game certainly has ways to improve but it will hold your attention. Also make sure you stick around for the stinger leading up to the next game. After playing this you can tell that we absolutely need a third game to complete the trilogy.

Overall 7/10