One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 Stats and Records

Stats time!

PS4 Trophies 32/40
Gallery Completion 87%

Stage Ranks

Level 1 A
Level 2 S
Level 3 S
Level 4 A
Level 5 S
Level 6 A
Level 7 B
Level 8 S
Level 9 S
Level 10 S
Level 11 A
Level 12 S
Level 13 B
Level 14 A
Level 15 A
Level 16 B
Level 17 A
Level 18 A
Level 19 A
Level 20 S
Level 21 A
Level 22 A
Level 23 A
Level 24 S
Level 25 B
Level 26 S
Level 27 A
Level 28 S
Level 29 S
Level 30 S
Level 31 S
Level 32 S
Level 33 S
Level 34 S
Level 35 S

Dynasty Warriors 9 Review


After many years I have finally made it to the final game in the main Dynasty Warriors series. A while back I had done a bit of a marathon in this series but I didn’t own 9 so it had to go on break. Well, I was finally in the mood to fire it up and it’s a game that’s definitely a lot of fun. The new open world setting takes a little getting used to. Ultimately I prefer the usual structure for how Dynasty Warrior games are set up, but I do appreciate the attempt at something different. It does work well in its own way.

As always the game adapts the story of the 3 Kingdoms so if you’ve played any of the first 8 Dynasty Warrior games then you’ll know how this all plays out. This game is able to go into great detail though and it’s easily the longest title in the series. I decided to follow Cao Cao’s path for my playthrough but you have a lot of characters to choose from here. There are dozens and dozens of playable characters in the game and they all have their own story which is pretty impressive. Some are shorter than others of course. For example Cao Cao’s is much longer than the average story since he is one of the 3 main Kings. That’s why he felt like a fair one to go with.

How the open world setting comes into play is between battles you can run around the kingdom and help people out with side quests or expand your kingdom on hand. One thing that was fun was to finish off skirmishes on the outskirts of the kingdom and watch as the map turned into your color. The enemies will take over the territory after you leave so it’s not like it’s permanent or anything but it is a really good way to allow you to quick travel later on. For example, I had fun taking over a lot of settlements and this saved time later on in the game since you can fast travel to anywhere you’ve been. So instead of crossing half the country to join the next big story fight, I was already there.

It’s really worth it in the long run and since the open world was one of the things heavily promoted about on this game, I’d say it’s worth seeing exactly what all the fuss is about. How I see it, it does heavily help the replay value of the game. The world is pretty huge so the developers did not hold anything back here. There’s also just a lot to do including upgrading your character and getting better equipment. It can all be a little overwhelming if anything so definitely take it one step at a time. The main campaign took me around 9 hours. If you try to complete the game with everyone I’m thinking you’ll be here for at least 40+ which is really good. Then if you work on getting all of the PS4 trophies and exploring every inch of the game you can add even more time to that.

Naturally the graphics look really good as well. All of the character models are on point and the whole thing is just very striking from the backgrounds to the combat animations. It looks like a PS4 title through and through. The series may not especially be known for its graphics but at least for this installment I would say it definitely qualifies as a great showing. The soundtrack is a little more forgettable which is unfortunate because the series has had some really excellent rock themes over the years. This time they held onto the brakes a little more I guess and were going for a much more low key kind of soundtrack. You do still get the occasional rock theme though.

As for the gameplay, it’s pretty similar to most of the other Dynasty Warrior titles although it took a page out of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Well, I guess it would be the other way around) and now you have 4 different special attack options in addition to your normal special attack. It’s an interesting change, and a fun way to spice up the gameplay from just using the same super all the time. I can definitely get behind that. It’s definitely very smooth throughout so you’ll have no problem dealing with the bosses as long as you remember your fundamentals.

One aspect that was also interesting is that in each mission you could head straight for the boss if you wanted a challenge and he would be at a super high level. Or you could weaken defenses and put some plans into motion. This acts like a more realistic strategy if you were fighting a war and so the boss’ level would drop accordingly. Usually I would always run straight for the boss but it was a fun way to have multiple options and also a good way to allow players to challenge themselves a bit or just have fun at a steady pace. This is definitely an element I’d like to see return in future games as well.

Overall, Dynasty Warriors 9 is definitely a great game. I admit I do like just being able to jump into the battles right away but the open world approach was still fun. If you like exploring that should add a little extra boost to the experience as well. You do wonder if the series will eventually try something new with the story or if it’ll always adapt the same one though. I suppose it’s a classic story that never gets old but it would also be fun to see the characters in new situations. If you liked the previous Dynasty Warrior titles then I expect you will definitely like this one as well.

Overall 8/10

Blaster Master Zero Review


I remember playing Blaster Master recently thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online game selection. It’s a pretty classic game with a fun dynamic between switching from the pilot controls and over to the tank. Well, Zero is a modern take on this while keeping the core gameplay intact. It definitely works out quite well and it’s why I say a lot of these old NES and SNES titles have a lot of potential with modern reboots. If you just bring them up to date with the graphics, soundtrack, and all of that then you will be in a good position. I’m ready to play the sequel to this later today.

The game starts with Jason working on his machines when he meets a frog named Fred. The frog is pretty interesting but then he falls into a portal so Jason jumps after him. He’s now in an odd world where everything just looks foreign. Fortunately there is a tank lying around and it has sensors which can detect Fred. Jason is determined to find this guy but it does mean that he is going to have to do a lot of legwork in order to find him. He’ll have to traverse across the entire planet to locate this guy and the sensors keep picking up a lot of false readings as well. When he runs into a lady named Eve who is in a rough state Jason knows that things are about to get complicated.

For the gameplay we have two main styles here. When you’re in the Tank you progress as a 2D shooter/platformer where you look around the area and use the maps to get to the next world. You’ll come across caves and caverns along the way. At these points you exit the tank and as the pilot head through these labyrinths. The gameplay style changes a bit at this point as it becomes more of an overhead shooter. Think of the original Legend of Zelda and it’s sort of like that only you have a gun here as well as your sub weapon. From all of the sub weapons I got the most out of the grenades to be sure, but once you unlock the tank weapon that is incredibly handy to have at the ready. It would have certainly been a lot more difficult without it. You can only use the tank once but it can even take the final boss down to half his health so it’s a must have.

You can actually miss out on some power ups if you skip dungeons so watch out for that. In particular in World 3 you’re supposed to get a light bomb of sorts which lets you see through the pitch black dungeons. It’s not easy to complete these with no light although if you missed it, it’s not the end of the world. You can still complete the dungeons, it’ll just be a little trickier. If you manage not to get hit much and store up a lot of weapon power then as the human fighter you can use different guns. You lose them when you get hit so keep that in mind.

There’s a lot of solid platforming going on here and a healthy amount of save points and health items so you can confidently challenge the unknown and go as hard as you can. The main thing to watch out for is the minions. If you shoot one make sure you keep going until you destroy it because otherwise it is definitely about to become a big handful and you will have a hard time dealing with it.

The game looks very good graphically. It’s definitely got a nice Mega Man vibe to it with all of the sci-fi backgrounds and the energy attacks in general. Then you’ve also got a solid soundtrack here including a classic Warning message that pops up before bosses like something in Mega Man as well. There are also illustrations that appear from time to time so you can really see how the characters look outside of their sprites and the overall world landscape. You can see how an anime would work out quite nicely with this concept since there’s a lot to explore.

The game has a bit of a cliffhanger ending although it’s also the kind of climax where a sequel isn’t really needed. It depends on how you interpret the ending. There’s also a True Ending which can be unlocked and a sequel that was already created so there’s a lot of ways to take it. Of course you all know my position on this is that everything should get sequels and keep the franchise going while you can. There’s a lot the sequel can dive into so I look forward to seeing what the plot is.

The game took me around 5 hours to conquer. If you intend to grab all of the power ups and beat all of the dungeons I’m thinking you could probably boost the time to around 8-10 hours. Some more replay value can also be found by trying to get the Platinum Trophy in this game. I got quite a few of the trophies in this title but definitely not all of them. That would take more effort to be sure.

For the characters we’ve really got 3 main ones. Two if you don’t count Fred since he’s more a part of the story than actually being a character especially since he’s gone most of the time. Jason is a solid lead. He’s pretty determined to follow Fred and is also quick to help Eve out. He’s your classic protagonist who is always willing to do the right thing and takes the whole portal situation in stride. I liked his focused nature here. Then you have Eve who is a solid heroine. Certainly a very secretive one and there are a lot of moments where the game shows her as being a little shady or at least cryptic to an extent. I can see the sequel delving more into her character. Eve’s certainly a solid assist character though and it does make a difference having someone with you when you’re isolated in a strange planet with tons of creatures out to get you.

Overall, Blaster Master Zero is definitely a solid game and one that I would recommend. There’s a lot of action going on here and various worlds to explore. It’s the kind of game that rewards searching quite a lot as well as the more power ups you get, the easier it is to move around and fight. Minions which took a lot of hits to beat early on could be taken down in a single blast by the end of the game. I certainly made my tank nice and overpowered so it was tough to beat although I had a little more trouble as the human form. If you’re looking for a modern shooter title to check out, this is definitely the one to get.

Overall 7/10

Knack II Review


It’s been a very long time since I played the original Knack. It was a fun game but not exactly anything to write home about. Well, it was only a matter of time before I would eventually head out to get the sequel. Knack II certainly improves upon the first one. Elements like the gameplay are quite similar but more streamlined. Graphically the game has improved as well and I would say that the story is better as well. With all areas of the game improving, it’s no surprise that the sequel manages to hold your attention the whole time.

The game starts off with Knack and Lucas being under attack by a bunch of robots. Knack manages to take most of them down but just when he is about to be destroyed we cut away to a few months earlier. Knack and Lucas were having fun exploring with Uncle Ryder when all of a sudden a lot of robots start to come back to life. These robots used to belong to the goblins back during the Crystal Wars but for some reason they are active again. Lucas will need to team up with some scientists as well as the government leader Xander in order to stop these guys. One of the head monks is a girl named Aya and she is always ready to help Lucas and friends. They’ve got a pretty good system set up here but will they really be able to conquer an entire army? One thing’s for sure, they’re going to need Knack to bring his A game.

The plot is fairly basic of course with robots ready to take over the planet. You can probably predict all of the twists and turns that will commence fairly early on into the game. One thing the title does effectively though is the various time skips that happen during the game. The characters will be in a jam one minute and the next 4 months have passed. The villain definitely got a whole lot done in that time so the heroes really cut it close. I wasn’t able to buy into the origin of the Crystal Wars though. I’m not really bale to buy that a bunch of humans with swords were able to take on an army of giant robots. That’s just hard to buy.

It’s a fairly minor plot point though I suppose. Some of the characters here do not look great this time around though. First lets take the main scientist Vargas. For some reason here he just does not trust Lucas in the slightest and it ends up forming quite the rift between them. You get the feeling that if he had been at least a little supportive then things would have played out differently. I don’t really get why everyone was telling Lucas he needed to get serious and accusing him of being distracted by Ava. The game never showed for a moment that he wasn’t serious.

I wouldn’t say Lucas looked great either though. He definitely gets very emotional during the game and makes some questionable decisions like deciding to hand the orb away. He’s also very slow on the uptake during someone’s speech later on. It has to be completely spelled out for him to understand what’s happening. That’s definitely not the ideal hero that you’ll have been looking for. Knack is okay but he still doesn’t have a whole lot of character. He follows orders and is a nice guy. That’s about it. I like his confidence but you just get the feeling that he is as unoriginal as they come. If he had more character moments that would be good.

Ava is a solid new character at least although she definitely makes the wrong decisions a whole lot. She ends up seeming a bit naïve with how she didn’t realize what was going on until the very end. I dare that during one of the multi month time skips there would have been a lot of red flags everywhere. Meanwhile Xander’s okay if not just a bit generic. He doesn’t have any of the witty dialogue you need his character to have in order to stand out so that was unfortunate. He’s a big improvement over the goblins from the first game though.

As for the gameplay, Knack II is your classic 3D action game. You can rush in and mess enemies up with hand to hand combat as well as your other tools. During the course of the game you learn new moves like a boomerang, the ability to pull opponents to you, and things like that. Once you unlock the boomerang I recommend using it as often as possible. It’s definitely got to be the most useful ability in the game and it’ll never steer you wrong. There’s actually a decent amount of strategy to this combat style as you can’t just run in trying to punch everyone. That’ll end up with you being defeated very quickly most times. Learn to use your boosts to dodge a lot and you’ll be fine. There are also upgrades you can unlock to strengthen Knack using EXP from enemies and you also have a lot of quick time events to master as well. There’s just a good amount of depth to the title so you’ll be in good shape for taking on the enemies. Make sure you always stop to open the crates for bolts since improving your size is incredibly handy and makes all of the combat moments a lot easier.

Unsurprisingly the graphics in the game are pretty good. This definitely looks like a modern game with a lot of great visuals throughout. Whether it’s the characters themselves or some backdrops Knack II does not pull any punches here. The soundtrack isn’t as impressive though. None of the tunes ended up sticking out. It’s unfortunate because an action game like this should have a lot of great rock themes or something but this title avoided those. Well, that’s something it can shoot for in the third game.

The main story took me a little under 9 hours. For replay value I suppose you can play through hard mode in order to get the rest of the collectibles as well as aim for the Platinum Trophy. That should take some time to be sure. I saw you also get to unlock Colosseum mode at the end so that should be a fun mode. Sounds like it would have a lot of battles at the very least. Right now the game tends to go for cheap so now’s a great time to take the plunge and go all in.

Overall, Knack II is a pretty fun game. I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a solid action game to play through. It’s definitely not going to win any big awards for its character or story but the gameplay is strong which is definitely important. You won’t grow bored during the game and the trial and error tends to be enjoyable since each section is quick so you never have to replay a whole lot. I’d be game for a third Knack game coming out someday although it looks like the odds of that happening are not great.

Overall 7/10

Sackboy: A Big Adventure Stats and Records

Stats time!

PS4 Trophies 16/46
Adventure Progress

Costumes 32% Complete
Mastered 2% Complete
Orbs 50% Complete

World 1

Orbs 31/48
Prizes 15/44
Knightly Energy 1/1

World 2

Orbs 39/54
Prizes 22/48
Knightly Energy 1/3

World 3

Orbs 34/54
Prizes 18/39
Knightly Energy 2/4

World 4

Orbs 31/46
Prizes 20/43
Knightly Energy 4/4

World 5

Orbs 28/43
Prizes 8/36
Knightly Energy 2/2

World 6

Orbs 0/17
Prizes 0/17
Knightly Energy 0/1

Armored Core 2 Review


This is a game that I’ve owned for an incredibly long time. I made it pretty deep into the game a while around 10 years ago but I could never make it to the end. The game was just so difficult and the way it always moves forward added another wrinkle to the whole thing. Well, I finally started the game over and managed to conquer the game in the last instant. That final level is crazy tough. I think the game had a lot of promise but the gameplay mechanics end up really holding it back in the long term.

The plot involves a group of bounty hunters known as Ravens. You are one of these guys and your suit is pretty powerful. You accomplish missions on behalf of your benefactors and it is a pretty good gig to be honest with money coming in like crazy. Still, there’s something shady about the group and you become less and less sure about your goals as the game goes on. Perhaps its time to just get out of this job while you still can? Only time will tell if you are able to make the right move in time or if it will be game over by then.

The gameplay is that of a 3D Shooter. You can equip your robot with all kinds of weaponry and supporting weapons as well. Money doesn’t grow on trees here and there is no way to go back and earn money so that means you have to decide what to buy very carefully. You’ll want to have good weapons of course but also fundamental parts that will let your robot jump and move around without consuming too much energy. Naturally it can be difficult to balance all of this together so that’s definitely something to keep in mind. If you buy the wrong item then you’re definitely going to end up regretting it. The toughest thing to get used to is probably aiming. You have to use the L2 and R2 buttons to do this instead of looking around as you usually would. There is also no lock on feature which is unfortunate. Only missiles will lock on by themselves. Everything else requires you to do the ground work.

There are a decent amount of levels here so the game should take you 7-10 hours I would expect. There is also the Arena Mode you can play to have fun with. The objective there is to take down robots in 1 on 1 battles. Each win moves you up a spot and it also helps you unlock new weapons and such. Now this would have been a great way to earn money but you only get money the first time you complete a level. That part’s definitely unfortunate but I will admit that it’s a fun bonus mode.

I’ve already referenced this, but my main issue with the game is how restricted you are. As you lose you will end up in the final stretch of levels. The issue is that you will also be out of money so there is no real way to earn more. If you’ve got a bad loadout then that means you are basically stuck with nowhere to go. There should always be a way to earn money or replay old levels to continue improving. Locking that mechanic away just strikes me as being a bad idea right from the jump. It makes the game feel a lot more like a grind since you can’t even lose in peace. You have to quickly load the old file up again since otherwise you’re stuck in a worse position. The one thing you never want a game to do is lose the fun factor and unfortunately that’s something that Armored Core 2 is definitely guilty of.

At least the graphics are really good. The cutscenes are really ahead of their time. The story also seems pretty engaging. The final bosses were really intense as the final guy even had more than one form. It made for a very intense boss battle. Some of the levels could be a bit too ambiguous on what you were supposed to do and ironically the best option is sometimes to skip the enemies and just rush to the goal. Not really something you would expect from this game but battling minions only depletes your health and there is no way to gain any back during a level so why bother with them in the first place right? This is definitely a game where you learn as you play.

Overall, Armored Core 2 has a nice premise but really ended up underperforming in every area. While the gameplay is okay, it’s definitely weaker than all of the other big mech series if you ask me. Then you’ve got the level mechanics where they keep going even if you lose and there’s no way to earn money. That’s the part that really bites. At least in most games you could play older levels to get better but in this one you’re just stuck. That just seems like such a bad mechanic to me. I don’t understand what’s going on there. It’s a mechanic that has never worked and I really don’t expect that to change anytime soon. It’s unfortunately just the way that it is. If the game could have fixed this and given you a way to grind it would have easily jumped 2 stars. In a way that’s the most tragic thing about this one. If you’re looking for a fun PS2 game to play then I would recommend almost anything else. You’re bound to have a better time rolling with a different title like the Transformers PS2 game or one of the many Gundam adventures.

Overall 5/10

Bonds of the Skies Review


I can’t say that I was familiar with this game before it came out but the fact that it’s from Kemco was a really good sign because they have quickly solidified themselves as one of the leaders in mobile gaming. Whenever their games get ported to PS4 you know you’re in for a treat. To date Asdivine Hearts is one of the gold standards for RPGs. I would put it up there with fellow titans Kingdom Hearts 2 and Final Fantasy XIII. The sequel was a little weaker thanks to the story but the gameplay was still top notch with a lot of strategy. I’ve never played a game like that where I got all the characters to the max level 99 and still couldn’t beat the final boss without working on my magic some more. This game is on the shorter side next to those but still delivers a complete experience.

So in this world there exist a few Grimoa. These are the deities of the land. 3 of them decided to split their powers into a kid of sorts while the flame one decided not to do so. Well, many years later various towns start being attacked by a fire monster and all of the deities assume the fire one is responsible. This leads Nogard, the wind Grimoa to go to a small town and recruit the help of a man named Eil. Eil is a mild mannered guy who just wants to do the right thing. He’s not really much of a fighter but will absolutely help in order to stop these villains from having their way with the world. He suits up but this will be no easy quest. He must find two other humans to partner with the other two deities. Only then will they be strong enough to take on the Fire dragon and save the planet.

The story is pretty straight forward with a classic formula. You go to each town to find a new partner until you have a full team of 3. After that you go to different islands to find the kid deities and then you’re set for the final boss. There aren’t really any big twists or turns here beyond the usual although you do get a ton of dialogue. The game should take you between 7-10 hours to complete. There isn’t a whole lot of grinding necessary as your levels will do well for the most part but it’s also worth noting that grinding isn’t all that painful here for people who don’t like it. As I mentioned, Kemco is an old pro at this. The gameplay speed is incredibly fast. You can also put your guys on auto battle mode in order to take out the minions. Now, it’s a little less advanced than in their later games as auto mode means the can only fire off a generic strike so spells are off the table. It’s still a fair compromise for not actually having to control them. It means instead of running away from encounters you can fight through all of them in order to keep your level doing well. The EXP you can earn in the dungeon right before the final boss is insane so don’t be afraid to stay there and grind for a bit. In less than 10 minutes I got my guys from level 60 to 75 in this place and it was just enough to claim victory.

The gameplay is that of a turn based style. You have the option to use physical attacks, magic, or items. In general I recommend only having one skill equipped because then you can equip a lot of passive boosts which are far more useful in my opinion. You only ever need 1 real skill here. Perhaps 3 for Avi as the team’s medic you want her to have the main 2 healing spells as well. Fight like this and you’ll have a very balanced roster. In addition to the usual equipment you can also equip which monsters you want to have at the ready. I stayed with the default ones throughout the whole game but it’s a nice way to add more variety.

The graphics look pretty nice. I was surprised that only one of the Grimoa got a character portrait as the others talk so having one would make sense. In general you get the feeling that this game didn’t have a big budget the way some of the others had but they still did a pretty good job of getting all the fundamentals in. The animations are really smooth and the game does look quite nice. I definitely wouldn’t dock any points there. This is a game that’s aged really well. The soundtrack is also pretty solid. It’s all nice and fast paced which works pretty well with how quickly the gameplay moves. Note that you can speed up the gameplay to 3X by clicking L1.

Aside from the story you do have some post game content to work on. There will definitely still be some quests around and I think there are two dungeons. The Platinum trophy is definitely pretty achievable. I don’t expect it should take you more than an extra 2-3 hours to get the rest of the trophies. It’s something that’s worth doing if you completed the game since you’ll already be so close to doing so.

As for the main characters, Eil is decent but not great. He’s a very timid character. Throughout the game everyone mocks him quite a bit for being too nice and always talking in a worried way. It’s a fairly interesting character arc at times but I never felt like he really came into his own. A little more confidence would have gone a long way. His ally Iks is a lot more outgoing by nature and isn’t afraid to stand up for himself. If anything you’ll feel bad for him a bit when Eil sets up a trick against him. Iks is a solid companion to have. Finally you have Avi who wants to do her part to save the world but has a hard time being straight with the group. She’s used to withholding her feelings at all times. She gradually becomes close with the group though and the 3 make for a solid team. I’ll give her props for being bold enough to walk up to the other two demanding they hand over their Grimoas at the time they met even if that’s probably not how transferring ownership works.

Overall, Bonds of the Skies is definitely a pretty great game. It’s like a pocket RPG that you can quickly blast through and get a feel for the genre. I can’t state enough how seamless the gameplay is here with all of the quality of life upgrades in. Even little things like speeding up the gameplay for grinding and auto battle are things that more RPGs should add but surprisingly this is one of the only companies to do so. Playing through it just never feels like a chore and this is a very balanced game. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone that wants to check out an RPG title.

Overall 8/10