Play Time 3h 25m
Items Collected 50%
Map Discovered 83%
Number of Saves 24
Number of Deaths 13
Play Time 3h 25m
Items Collected 50%
Map Discovered 83%
Number of Saves 24
Number of Deaths 13
PS4 Trophies 12/23
The first Jedi Knight game may not have been all that impressive but how about the sequel? Well, you’ll be glad to know that Jedi Academy is a big improvement. This game focuses more on the combat elements of the series so you don’t have to worry about puzzles and mysterious levels anymore. The game can still be challenging but in a straight forward combat sense instead of just tricking you the whole time with a lot of extra elements. It’s why Jedi Academy really ends up succeeding in a big way.
The game starts by introducing us to Jaden. He’s a promising new recruit who was even able to build his own lightsaber which is pretty much unheard of. He’s looking forward to learning a lot at the academy. Things are a little more tense than expected though as someone broke into Luke Skywalker’s computer records and we have reports of Dark Jedi attacking temples. The main goal will still be for Jaden to learn new skills of course but in the meantime he will also have to be on the lookout as well now. He really can’t afford to let his guard down or things could get ugly.
Right from the first cutscene you’ll probably be thinking that one of the other students is fishy though. There’s this one guy who tries to be your friend right away and is awfully pushy. He’s also very quick to talk bad behind the teacher’s back so he’s not someone that you want to get involved with. Additionally he even came close to accidentally murdering Jaden during the very first training mission. Needless to say, he never gets better.
Jaden is a good lead though. He’s pretty reasonable the whole time and a talented fighter. Of course how his character story ends up will really depend on the decision you make at the end of the game. After each level you are able to unlock and power up new skills. You can choose to focus purely on good abilities or grab some from the dark side. Personally I maxed out healing first and then went on to Force Lightning. There’s a good chance you’ll never use any of the other abilities so grab these first and then worry about the rest later. I recommend grabbing the Lightning because it’s incredibly handy for taking out any minion in a single blow.
The key branching off point though is near the end of the game. Effectively you have to choose between destroying or sparing someone. Based on what you answer will determine how the ending plays out. I ended up being on the dark side so the ending was crazy as you have to fight off waves of both Jedi and Sith. At one point both sides were even teaming up to stop Jaden which I thought was pretty crazy. I guess Jaden’s so powerful that everyone has to go after him. I imagine that the good path may have been a bit easier since there’s at least one boss fight you wouldn’t have to go through plus in all the levels the Jedi will be helping you but I’m sure it’ll still be a tough endeavor.
As mentioned, the game’s difficulty here is pretty fair. Most of the time you can just win any fight but it will take some time. You can also go the more reckless path which will be quicker but result in more deaths. If you die enough times then it will ultimately be longer. I enjoyed the gameplay a lot but even I would just jump past the Dark Jedi at times. Keep in mind that there’s no EXP system so there’s no real reason to fight them. You can pretty much always choose to just skip every minion in the room and keep on going. Just watch out for one of them trying the ole Force Choke from behind move though. That can be hard to dodge and deals quite a bit of damage.
The gameplay is pretty much unchanged from the first. You have an array of blasters and light sabers at the ready here as you attack enemies and try to get to the goal. The mission objectives will vary from defeating enemies to just securing some bombs and getting out of there. Your power up tree gives you a point after each level. Once you’ve completed 5 levels you have the option of entering the next chapter or completing a bonus level to power up your fighter more. Naturally doing the latter may make for an easier game experience but since you don’t need anything beyond healing or lightning it’s really optional I would say.
Your lightsaber has more customizations in this game as you can choose to have two light sabers at once, a double edged one, or stay with standard. I went with the double option as soon as it was possible and never looked back. Duel wielding is just too much fun to pass up. I also feel like it’s a lot more powerful in general although I assume they all have their pros and cons. You can even choose which attack strategy you want your moves to have, speed, power, or balanced. I went with full on power which is a departure from my usual pick of speed but it just felt right.
The graphics here are really solid. All of the action scenes are on point. The soundtrack is still more on the forgettable side but it was pretty hype to have Jaden get the Darth Vader theme. I was not expecting that. The story is really engaging as expected. I would have liked to have seen Luke step in a bit more but at least having Kyle from the first game return as a main character was appreciated since it helped to give him some real closure here.
Overall, Jedi Academy is a great game. It’s got a nice balance of action gameplay and story content. It’s a breeze from start to finish. The game feels relatively quick but at the same time I would say there is a satisfying amount of content here. The main campaign is probably around 7-8 hours I would say and then you can go back to quickly get the second ending. Additionally you can also try to get the Platinum Trophy here. That will take a little more time to be sure as some of these trophies can be tricky. I missed out on quite a few myself because I didn’t realize I should have let multiple bosses destroy me…….It’d be nice if we could get another game in this series at some point. There’s always a lot of potential playing as a Jedi.
PS4 Trophies 20/37
This Star Wars game was pretty much out of print for a very long time. Trying to get a copy for Gamecube is pretty tough since you’d need to spend around 100+ usually. Well, it finally got a re-release through Limited Run Games. This was a game I’d wanted to play for a very long time because it just looked pretty excellent. Well, now that I’ve played it, I have to say that unfortunately it was not nearly as good as I thought it would be. This title just ended up falling short of where it could have gone, mainly thanks to a lot of questionable level design choices.
The game follows a bounty hunter named Kyle. He used to be a Jedi but decided to step away from that world. He now relies purely on his gun skills to help him win the day. Unfortunately he runs into a Dark Jedi before long who murders his partner and runs off. Kyle must now avenge her and to do that he will have to relearn the Jedi arts. It’s time to take up the blade once more but will it be enough to defeat a Dark Jedi who possesses this much raw power?
Clearly even with the Empire gone there are still a lot of big problems plaguing the universe. The fact that a Jedi turned to the dark side so quickly is disheartening, particularly as he was even able to murder a few trainees. It feels like no matter what the Jedi do, the Sith are never too far behind. Luke actually gets to appear and even fight a bit during the game which was pretty cool. I will admit that it may not have been his best moment as he doesn’t look amazing here but I suppose he may have been a little out of touch. The actual story was a lot of fun though. It feels pretty cinematic and gives you a complete experience.
Unfortunately the gameplay is where the game falters quite hard. Initially this game plays out like a first person shooter. You try to blast your enemies but the aiming is crazy. Even if you and the opponent are not moving it can be really hard to land any kind of quality hit. As a result you’ll eat a lot of bullet fire. You can switch the camera to third person but until you have a Lightsaber I wouldn’t recommend that as it gets pretty tricky. Moving around can also be risky as you’ll run too fast and just fall to your doom. Every time you lose a life prepare to hear a pretty loud yell as Kyle goes to his doom.
Once you have a lightsaber at least the gameplay gets a step up there. It’s always fun to wield the blade and you do feel the power behind the blade. Even just grazing into someone while your lightsaber is active ends up doing damage which is a nice touch. That thing is as hot as fire so it should hurt you no matter how you make contact. Of course the game does take this a bit literal with even the final boss going down to a blow or two. It had to be one of the shortest final bosses I’ve played in a long time. There are also a number of glitches in the game like pausing too quickly which forces your character to run in circles or something like that. Another time I beat the guard too fast so he didn’t drop his security key and I had to restart the whole level from scratch. Let me tell you, that wasn’t a blast.
If the gameplay just being rather difficult and unfocused was all then this game would still end in the green. Unfortunately that was not the case. The biggest issue with the game is all the random puzzles it throws everywhere. Most of the time you won’t know where to go next at all. You’ll be stuck wandering around for ages and ages in each level until you eventually have to find out what is next the old fashioned away. One of the biggest examples of this is when you’re in the swamp level. You have to actually go underwater into a cave at one point. Good luck figuring out that you’re supposed to do that. Especially when in that same level there is a whole fake passageway leading to a new area that ultimately turns out to be a dead end. The game seems to be intentionally trying to mislead you. This happens in almost every level so the game took way longer than it should have. It was an easy 10+ hour experience but if you take away the wandering in circles phase then this would be several hours shorter.
So at the end of the day the game’s biggest failing here is that it’s just not fun most of the time. It’s an example of a game where you are purely playing for the plot. The hope is that the plot will be enough to overshadow the gameplay. It’s too bad because the lightsaber stuff is fun. A bit glitchy as well but at least enjoyable. I liked using the Force abilities like super speed and lightning as well. Once you fight like a Jedi it’s hard to go back to the gun techniques. So if you take the combat gameplay and put it into a more linear game or one that simply had better level designs, then you would really be set here.
The graphics have aged well to this day. As you’re running around the various levels you get to see some pretty nice lightsaber moves. The bullets from the minions are solid and the cutscenes are good. Some of the areas aren’t very well lit though. If you run out of energy for your night goggles then you may be in trouble though. Additionally you may run across a level like the swamp every now and again which doesn’t look very good. So I guess for level design it’s a case by case basis. The soundtrack is a little on the subdued side. Occasionally you will get one of the classic Star Wars movie themes which is always fun to see though.
In terms of replay value I wouldn’t say there is much to be found here. Once you beat the game that is basically it. Fortunately you can try to get the Platinum in this game which will mean beating the game at least twice unless you try to beat it in that mode the first time. I will say that the game is impressively difficult though so don’t expect this to be a walk in the park. I ended up playing the game on Padawan mode and even then I must have died hundreds of times. One thing you’ll want to keep an eye out for is using the access points. If you try to rely on the game’s checkpoints then you are going to be in for a tough time. With the access points though you can ensure that you are on the right path from start to finish. Just be careful where you save of course but it’ll save you a ton of time in back tracking. Sometimes there is no checkpoint for 10-15 minutes so if you die that can be pretty tough.
Overall, Star Wars tried some good gameplay elements here but in the end it just didn’t quite pan out. There are many levels here where you just feel completely doomed and will be lost for ages. The story was really solid though which keeps the game at the middle. It’s always nice seeing the universe after the trilogy. There’s just a lot you can do in that era and it’s one of the best parts of the Star Wars lore. I’m expecting the next Star Wars title to beat this one pretty quick. In theory as long as you take away the mazes and focus on combat then you should be good to go.
PS4 Trophies 27/37
PS4 Trophies 32/40
Gallery Completion 87%
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
After playing through Dynasty Warriors I knew that it was time to get more classic beat em up games from Kemco. One Piece was the perfect follow up. It’s a terrific game through and through with extremely tight gameplay. Every aspect of the game is just flat out amazing with a top tier soundtrack, amazing graphics, etc. There’s just nothing to dislike about this game. It really delivers and is an excellent tribute to the series. I would highly recommend checking it out whether you’re just a big One Piece fan or like the gameplay in general. It’s quite polished and I definitely look forward to the day they make a 5th installment.
The game adapts 6 of the story arcs from the manga. Naturally there’s no way you could hope to adapt everything from the series so there are a number of big jumps and such as you go through the campaign. They do manage to tackle all of the big stories though such as Marineford and Wano. For the arcs that are skipped the game gives you a quick recap so you know what went on through a set of cutscenes. The campaign is a pretty solid length so there is a lot of detail here. If you list any influential One Piece scene off the top of your head, odds are that it is in this game.
Naturally the gameplay here is your typical 3D hack n slash/beat em up. You pick a character and take down hundreds of enemies as you accomplish the goals of the level which range from defeating enemies to capturing territories. To capture a territory you must beat a large number of enemies in that zone and then take out the leader. This prevents further reinforcements from that area which is a pretty great help in these battles. I always prioritize taking over the area whenever possible. You have your standard attacks, power moves, and specials. There is also a very detailed power up system where you amp your moves up. I really focused on getting Luffy and Sanji to max as their battle styles were already really good so with the extra boost to their abilities it was like cake going through the levels.
The game likely anticipated this though so throughout the game you will be forced to play as many different characters. Then you have the tricky decision of using some of your resources to power them up even though you may never play them again or try to squeak by with level 1 stats. It can be a pretty hard decision. Also one thing to keep in mind when playing as Sanji is that he can’t do much against female opponents. The game even gives you a warning message if you try to play him in a level where they show up. I ignored the warning the first time and it got tricky. Effectively you can only offer a single strike and then Sanji immediately recoils. So you can imagine that defeating an opponent will take forever when you can only land a single move like that. Without the special abilities I would have been there all day so after that I was careful when to pick him.
The power up system also allows you to learn a bunch of new moves which are handy since a lot of them are better than your starters. You can also use transformations like with Luffy activating Gear 4. It’s a really handy move to have here. In terms of pure gameplay this has to be one of the smoothest that I’ve played in a long time. I would put it even above Dynasty Warriors 9 and Hyrule Warriors 2. Both of which tried adding some new mechanics which were fun enough but Pirate Warriors 4 is going back to basics. Just take enemies down right away. I would beat up to 2500 enemies in some levels. The best attack in my opinion is Conqueror’s Haki. Using that causes many enemies to instantly die and it also ignores any shields the enemy may have up. What can beat that?
Then you’ve also got an amazing soundtrack in this game. Pretty much every tune is amazing. I’ve been listening to the tunes online after playing through the game quite a lot. There may not be a ton of different tracks as I only see around 15 online but they are all just pretty amazing. You can feel the energy in each one of them and they really make you want to jump in and get on the action. You’ve got suitably emotional tracks as well. This has to be one of the most complete soundtracks I’ve heard in a minute. Naturally the graphics for the game are also quite good. The characters are striking and same for the various landscapes which are all unique and pretty accurate to the manga/show.
In terms of replay value there is definitely a whole lot to get through here. Aside from the main story you can also play a lot of stand alone adventures in the Treasure log and experiment with all of the characters. Obtaining the Platinum Trophy will also take a very long time. Right now you can get this game for under 30 so it’s definitely a steal. You won’t run out of things to do in this game for a very long time. The main campaign alone would justify the purchase so with all of that extra content you’re definitely good to go.
Overall, The only thing I could say that isn’t positive about the game is that for their original ending to the Wano arc it was pretty uninspired. I wasn’t a big fan since it felt like more of a cop out than anything. Otherwise everything about this game is just incredible. You’ve got a top tier soundtrack, graphics, gameplay, and story. You would struggle to find another game in this genre with smoother gameplay than Pirate Warriors 4. It’s all just so clean and polished that you can’t help but get sucked in to the adventure. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this one. I intend to play some more beat em up games like this in the very near future so definitely be on the lookout for that. It’s going to be a blast!
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.
Play Time 5h 15m
PS4 Trophies 11/17
Main Weapons 2
Sub Weapons 6
Pilot Subs 3
Pilot Counters 3
Pilot Extra 0