5 Reasons why I won’t main a low tier in Super Smash for Switch.

I take no credit for the images used in this article. Credit goes to their respective creators

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So the next Smash Bros game is coming out soon and you’re wondering who to main. I don’t blame you, this is the kind of decision that is super important and will come back to bite you if you aren’t careful.I’m going to impart some wisdom to you here on not only why I won’t main a low tier, but why you shouldn’t either. I mained Fox in the first 3 iterations of Smash Bros and upgraded to Bayonetta for Sm4sh. For Sm5sh I fully expect to be maining a top tier fighter as well. You need to choose quickly because otherwise you will become stuck. For example, if you approach most players who main a low tier they will deny it. You can yell it as loudly as the character in the picture above but they can no longer recognize that their character is low tier. You simply lose sight of the character’s faults and that’s why you need to make the right choice the first time around.

1. You have to develop your own Metagame.
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When you pick a top tier like Diddy Kong or Bayonetta you’re in for a fun time since you can just toss out the same old combos that you see the top players pulling off. For Bayonetta just keep using her witch twists until it gets the KO. It’s an extremely safe attack so don’t worry about getting punished for it. See, the thing with low tiers is that everybody is always eager for someone else to main them, but nobody wants to do it personally. That’s because you are the guinea pig here. They want you to learn the combos so they can just steal it along with the character once you prove that they can be viable. Of course, that’s hardly a guarantee in the first place. Odds are that you’ll be doomed. Worst case you think you are picking a great character as seen in the picture above, but then the reality is a little different.

2. You can’t have any Johns
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If you lose to someone when you’re playing one of the best characters then you can easily make an excuse like you didn’t sleep well or something and people might believe it. After all, how else could you lose to a low tier? However, if you lose to someone while playing a bottom 5 character then you only have yourself to blame for picking the character. At least that’s going to be the counter argument and it will be a very tough one to get around. How do you debunk such a statement? It gets tricky and this actually leads into my 3rd reason.

3. You always have to settle for 2nd best
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Whether you are second in your pool, in the tourney, or in your half of the pool, there will always be a ceiling that you can’t shatter. After all, when was the last time someone saw Buff The Puff win a big tourney or Melee Kirby doing anything? You’ll ultimately never get to see most of the prize money for the Smash tournaments and that will turn the game into a very expensive hobby. If you can’t make money off of it then why continue to spend money to enter the tournament? It just doesn’t make any sense. Character loyalty will only hold you back in bracket. Better to be just another Bayo than to be known as the Zelda guy who is always stuck at pools. If you don’t know any better you’d think you were out of the range of another character’s attack like in this picture, but hitboxes can be very deceiving.

4. You won’t get Top Player privilege.
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Prepare to be treated like everyone else. Overslept through a pool and want the TOs to give you mercy? Not unless you’re a top player and last I checked, to be a top player you can’t use a low tier. It’s a tough predicament, but one that you will ultimately have to live with. A loop hole that you could use for any of the reasons on the list is to pick a top tier and just call him/her a low tier. Some top players have attempted this and while most will smirk you can probably trick a few into thinking this. Top character privelege is a thing as well. Top tier characters have a lot of cheesy gimmicks and techniques to break their fall so the player can afford to get outplayed the entire set and still win anyway. If you main a low tier then there is nobody to save you from the fall.

5. The more you play, the worse your results get
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This may sound contradictory but it’s true. Low tiers thrive on match up inexperience and gimmicks. Most of them are really one trick ponies. At first they will terrify the opponent but then they realize that their attacks actually aren’t so dangerous. Zelda has her down throw to up air, but that’s it. Ganondorf has his powerful attacks, but will get combo’d to death way before that. Buff the Puff dies against anyone with range, etc. Once your opponents figure out what you are doing then it is over. Unfortunately for you, they will inevitably figure it out since this will become obvious the more you play them. You want to play a character who is really OP so even once they know what you are doing it won’t matter.
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I say all of this to help you enjoy the game more. You may think that as long as you enjoy a character that you will be fine, but this isn’t usually the case. After all, if you are still losing a lot then that will take away the joy. You can play a boring character all day meanwhile but if it delivers the wins then you won’t mind so much. Of course it will be tough to tell who the top tiers for Smash 5 are right away (Assuming it’s not a port although I have my doubts) but just listen to the general consensus and stick with it for a while. Listen to the Twitch chat or the Reddit professionals and just copy their ideas. It will help you win a lot of tournaments before everyone has picked up the pieces. This was a relatively short editorial, but one that I felt was necessary to release before the game came out. Pick a main wisely as you won’t be able to switch right away without the world taking notice.

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Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 50m
Event Play Time 10m
London Party Play Time 40m
London Party Complete: Gold Medal
Challenges Complete 4.8%
Events Won 3%
Stickers 9/104

Character Stats (Times Played)

Shadow 3
Sonic 1
Metal Sonic 1
Terry 1
Everyone Else 0

The Best Video Games of Each Year

It’s time to take a look at the best video game of each year! This was definitely a tough project since some years have a ton of great games. Naturally I am only counting games that I have played in some capacity. Collections aren’t counted and I just count myself as playing each game individually. I’m going with the original release date so if it came out in Japan a year sooner than America then I go with that date. Remakes get iffy, but if it’s from the ground up or there is something to make it significantly different then it is counted. Without further ado, lets look at the best games of all time!

2018 Dragon Ball FighterZ
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2018 is still going, but it already looks like FighterZ is here to stay as the champ. The game is just spectacular in terms of gameplay and visuals. It’s the complete package and everything you could ask for from a DBZ title.

2017 Super Mario Odyssey
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This was a tough one, but Odyssey manages to barely edge out Sonic Forces and Fire Emblem Warriors for the title. It’s definitely a great Mario game and it feels like the next big installment to the series. Nintendo will have to work hard to possibly top this one and I don’t expect the next big Mario game to come out for several years as they work to make it a masterpiece.

2016 Pokken
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When they first announced this game I knew that it was going to be awesome. How do you possibly top a Pokemon Fighting game? The answer is that you don’t. The Rock Paper Scissors form of combat is used well and you really have to play it a lot to get the mechanics down.

2015 J Stars Victory Vs
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Finally, the Shonen Jump fighting crossover that I always wanted. It’s a great blend of DBZ and Naruto 3D gameplay as you get to pit fan favorite characters against each other. It’s a really fun game that has largely gone overlooked, but is definitely a top fighter.

2014 Super Smash Bros Wii U
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The greatest game of all time! Super Smash is a game that I’ve put in well over 1000 hours and counting. It’s just the perfect game that has unlimited replay value. While you do get an edge over other players if you pay the 5.99, it just helps you reevaluate if you want to get a sandwich outside or skip lunch to start winning.

2013 Sonic Lost World
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Lost World was a fun Sonic game that may not have gone down as one of the all time greats, but I guess 2013 couldn’t offer us anything better. It just goes to show that Sonic games are underappreciated and Lost World helped to brighten the year up. It was a different take on the Sonic series, but one that worked well.

2012 Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations
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Definitely the best of the Ninja Storm games that I’ve played. It was cool to see Naruto characters from Part 1 and 2 go at it with the solid 3D gameplay that I’ve come to expect from the series. It’s definitely a game that you can play at any time.

2011 Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
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While it may not be the best Marvel vs Capcom game in the series, it is definitely iconic and a game that will bring you endless amounts of fun. The combos are flashy and the character roster is pretty solid. You will get sucked into the game as you find more and more team combos to pull off.

2010 Tenkaichi Tag Team
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The best portable DBZ game and one that does a good job of emulating Tenkaichi 3. The Tag Team mechanic is pretty fun and the 3D combat is as good as ever. We definitely need to bring the Tenkaichi gameplay back since it’s so fun. Playing as Goku and Vegeta makes for an excellent team.

2009 Final Fantasy XIII
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Final Fantasy XIII is still my favorite part of the Final Fantasy franchise with the second game upping the intensity even further. The graphics are excellent and the game set the tone right from the start by having one of the best intro cinematics out there. With an awesome protagonist like Lightning and a solid gameplay system in place, this was the game to beat in 2009.

2008 Super Smash Bros Brawl
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Brawl was the first Super Smash Bros game to have a story and boy did it deliver. I’ve seen the cutscenes numerous times and it’s so surreal to see the characters all in one place interacting. Sonic really stole the show here and the gameplay was as great as ever. While it may be a little hard to get into after playing the Wii U version, its legacy will not be forgotten. There’s always a lot to do here so the fun never stops.

2007 Dragon Ball Budokai Tenkaichi 3
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For a while I had this listed as my favorite game of all time. It may have been surpassed but it’s still up there as one of the best games of all time and is still my favorite DBZ title. The huge 150+ character roster is amazing and the story mode was excellent as well. You just can’t get tired of playing this game and the controls are easy to learn, but hard to master. The perfect blend for a game like this.

2006 Sonic The Hedgehog
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Sonic 2006 may have been mocked by fans and critics, but it still has one of the best stories in a Sonic game and was hype all the way through. You’re unlikely to actually run into the infamous glitches and will instead have a blast powering through the game. Silver was a great new character to the franchise and his boss battles are a lot of fun. Psychic abilities are tough to get around and Silver does a good job of demonstrating that.

2005 Kingdom Hearts II
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Kingdom Hearts has had a lot of great installments, but Kingdom Hearts II is still the best one. It finally ended the main plot of the arc with a lot of intense battles and the final boss was intense. I barely survived with one health left and so this really felt like a bout of skill. Seeing Cloud go up against Sephiroth was naturally an awesome payoff as well.

2004 Custom Robo
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This game actually came out on my birthday which is pretty awesome. It’s the ultimate 3D robot experience. The story was really epic and the gameplay is amazing. You feel like you are in control the whole time as you are able to customize your robot to your liking and then fight for all the marbles. There are a lot of customization options here which are really what makes the game feel authentic. It just doesn’t get better than this.

2003 F-Zero GX
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The graphics for this game were amazing for its time and still look awesome to this day. F-Zero is easily the best racing game of all time and even the story mode was awesome. It’s a shame that we haven’t gotten a new game so long because clearly the series still has a ton of potential. It’s just an awesome game through and through and revolutionized the genre.

2002 Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
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The best Sonic game and one of the best games of all time, Adventure 2 Battle introduced us to Shadow while also perfecting the Sonic formula. The gameplay is amazing and the multiplayer modes are excellent as well. Seeing Sonic and Shadow team up like this has never been topped by another moment in the franchise and the cutscenes will still give you the chills. This is definitely an all star title.

2001 Super Smash Bros Melee
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While Smash Wii U is the best game, Melee is still the most intense fighting game. You move at incredible speeds and the sheer amount of effort it takes to pull off combos is incredible. People even damage their hands from playing this game at a competitive level and it’s where I first realized that Fox would be my main for life. He’s just such a great character here while also being completely fair and balanced. Aside from Smash Wii U I feel like I was the most dedicated to this game for the longest period of time.

2000 Marvel vs Capcom 2
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Marvel vs Capcom 2 still has the best fighting game cast of all time aside form Super Smash Bros Wii U. It was huge for its time and basically all of the big Marvel and Capcom characters got to make an appearance. Playing as the beam spammers is a ton of fun but getting in close is satisfying as well. This is definitely what you think of when you think of the MVC series.

1999 Super Smash Bros
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The start of the greatest franchise of all. The game may not have had a whole lot of fighters, but the gameplay was way ahead of its time. Super Smash Bros is as addicting as it ever was and being able to have iconic characters like Mario and Link fighting it out was a dream come true. This game is absolutely amazing!

1998 Marvel Vs Capcom
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Marvel vs Capcom is one of the few fighting titles that can even compete with big shots like Super Smash. The concept behind the game is genius and the fighting style has become a whole sub genre. It’s a fantastic game that holds up very well and just about every character feels viable. They can all pull off crazy combos so you can play this for hours.

1997 Mega Man X4
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Mega Man X4 is the first X game that I’ve ever played and it also happens to be the first one with a real solid story and animated cutscenes. It’s a blast to play through and it was a fun title for the PS2. Playing as Zero was a lot of fun and while the difficulty was high, I’d consider it to be one of the easier X games. Definitely a title that is worth checking out.

1996 Mario 64
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The greatest Mario game of all time. This one is legendary and it’s easy to see why. Being able to actually punch and kick your enemies is awesome and the levels are amazing. The final boss is also the tensest one in all of Nintendo. You will walk away from this game a very changed person.

1995 Street Fighter Alpha
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Street Fighter Alpha is really the iconic retro Street Fighter game. It had an ongoing plot during the trilogy along with a sizable cast. It was really quick so playing the matches was fun as you had to keep up with your opponent. It’s easy to see why the game series became so legendary.

1994 Mega Man X2
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Mega Man X2 was a solid game with that nice motorcycle game. I may not have as much experience with it compared to the classic series, but the X games always look really nice with the graphics and their difficulty is brutal without feeling unfair. It’s a great sidescroller that will take a lot of time to complete.

1993 Kirby’s Adventure
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The definitive Kirby game, Kirby’s Adventure really brought an intense final boss to the series with the fight even taking place in space. The whole game is a blast and Kirby does a good job of keeping its gameplay creative with the flying ability while also not letting you cheese the whole game by just flying over everything. It was certainly an excellent game to keep 1993 exciting.

1992 Fatal Fury 2
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Fatal Fury may not be as popular as some of the other fighting game titles around, but don’t doubt its quality. This fighting game can absolutely hold its own against any of the other big titles. The controls are on point and any game where one of the fighters is called Terry is destined for greatness. Not a game that you want to take a pass on.

1991 Sonic The Hedgehog
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Sonic has finally entered the fray. The instant that he came in it was time for Mario and the other titles to move aside. While his games aren’t generally as fun as Mario’s, they are a nice change of pace and are solid in their own right. Being able to move so fast through the levels was probably a very fresh experience at the time.

1990 Mario World
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Widely considered to be one of the best Mario titles of all time, I would easily say that this is the best 2D one. It’s between this game and Mario 64 for the absolute best and I’m inclined to give the 3D one the edge here. Mario World has a ton of replay value and you could play it over and over again because of how much fun it is. I’m super nostalgic for the game as well and have completed it 3 times over the years.

I didn’t play any 1989 games which is sad. In my defense, Mega Man skipped that year, Sonic wasn’t out yet, and Mario released Super Mario Land which is one of the few 2D adventures that I have not played. It’s how it goes I guess. (-____-;)

1988 Super Mario Bros 3
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With Luigi finally getting his due credit, how could Super Mario Bros 3 not make it? This is definitely a game to remember and it was a fun way to start closing out the 80s. The levels are well made and you’ll have a blast playing this game.

1987 Final Fantasy
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This may not have been the final Fantasy, but it was a great way to start things off. Between this and Pokemon, the turn based style of combat really got big and Final Fantasy did it justice. There may not have been a huge plot back in the day, but exploring and leveling up made this game a real hit.
1986 Legend of Zelda
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I remember playing this at the arcade before watching Wallace and Gromit back in the day. It’s definitely a fun classic and the overhead actually worked well for the game. The series has come a long way, but the classic will always be remembered.

1985 Super Mario Bros
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Now this game’s a classic. Who hasn’t died to the first goomba at least 10 times by now? He comes to suddenly and the game never relents as it pushes you into trial after trial. You can’t take the game lightly and its difficulty and fun graphics are what makes it such a classic.

I didn’t play any games from 1984. Yes, I know that I’m a casual (-_-)

1983 Mario bros
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This stage is iconic since Mario Bros had you dodging the fireballs and creatures as you racked up a high score. It’s a fun game with a high amount of replay value even if the gameplay is a little different from most of the other Mario games.

1982 Ms. Pac Man
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With more levels and colors than the original, Ms. Pac Man is a strict upgrade over its predecessor. It’s a really fun game and one that tests your skills of memorization and reaction times as you dodge the ghosts. It’s hard to beat this classic.
1981 Galaga
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I’ve definitely put many hours into this classic game. Galaga revolutionized space combat back in the day and it’s a lot of fun to try and beat your high score. Play it safe and play it smart, that’s how you’ll get the record.

1980 Pac Man
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Now this game is a living legend. Who would have thought that Pac-Man would end up being one of the greatest games of all time? There is basically nobody alive who hasn’t heard of the famous icon and the game holds up just as well now as it did back in 1980.

1979 Galaxian
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Potentially the best video game of the first year’s batch that I ever got to play, Galaxian is one to remember. It’s a rough version of the classic Galaga and is definitely one that you can have fun playing for a long while. It’ll remind you of the good ole days.

Congrats on making it all the way to the end! I’ll be sure to update the main page when new years pass by so be sure to check it out in the future. Who knows, perhaps some of these entries will be surpassed by other old games at some point as well. Gaming has certainly come a long way, but one thing’s for sure, surpassing Super Smash Bros for Wii U will be nearly impossible!

Sonic Boom Review

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The first time I started watching Sonic Boom I knew that I had a winner on my hands. The series is the perfect blend of action and comedy. Due in part to the solid animation and naturally the strong writing as well, Sonic Boom is one of those all star titles that is not to be trifled with. It’s rare to see a comedy centered show actually be really funny throughout as opposed to once in a while but Boom pulls it off.

The basic plot of the show is that a group of friends live on an island. Their names are Sonic, Amy, Sticks, Tails, and Knuckles. This town is fairly isolated so the friends have to try and not get tired of each other or the fact that there is only one eatery in the entire town. They just have to learn to live the sub par food. Meanwhile, we also can’t forget about the evil Dr. Eggman who uses his evil inventions to try and conquer the town or sometimes to fight off tax corruption. One thing is for sure, there is always something happening in this show.

Sonic Boom may be a CGI show but the animation is so smooth and colorful that it is basically on the level of hand drawn animation. The character designs are really on point. At first people did make fun of some of the designs like Knuckles and Sonic but you quickly get used to them. The bright animation works well for the action scenes as well as the back and forth banter. It’s very versatile. Then there is also the solid soundtrack. It’s quite large as some episodes will have guest star montage themes. The normal everyday themes work well too and one of the big ones is the theme that plays when Sonic fights Shadow for the last time. It will keep you guessing throughout the show and that’s the sign of a good soundtrack.

The writing is certainly 5 Star material as the jokes just work so well. Part of it is the delivery of course, but you also have to give credit to the script for coming up with the jokes. In particular Sonic and Knuckles tend to get all of the best ones although every character has their moment. Eggman naturally gets a lot of time to shine as well with all of the banter between him and Sonic.

One thing you’ll also notice about Sonic Boom is that the show can get serious when necessary. Not all of the serious arcs may have always worked out, but for the most part they were pretty hype. The final two part event for the series certainly brought in the hype as Shadow’s battle with Sonic was as good as it gets. We haven’t had many battles with the two characters so it was cool to see them go at it. Shadow certainly had the edge in the fight which certainly makes sense since his speed is comparable to Sonic’s plus he has his chaos abilities like teleportation. It was fortunate for Sonic that Metal Sonic showed up and that fight was certainly epic as well. He was really doing pretty well against both of the hedgehogs even though he was outnumbered. The best part of the episode was still the early part though as Shadow’s takedown of the main cast was particularly brutal and showed him to be a legitimate threat. He did have a rather similar role in both seasons, but because his screen time was rather rare and limited it never actually felt redundant.

All right, let’s look at the cast. Sonic is essentially the perfect lead as he acts just like his hand counterpart, but dialed up to 11. This let him bring in a lot of snappy dialogue while still wrecking everyone when it came time for combat. This is definitely the Sonic that I remember from the games and his character is really done Justice. Whenever he faces off with someone you basically know that he is going to come out on top. Occasionally he will even subvert whatever the message of the episode was on account of being so talented. That just goes to show his skilled he is. He also does a good job of insulting everyone without being all that mean about it. He just tells it like it is and manages to look cool while doing so.

Knuckles certainly isn’t a very smart character and the show makes this as extreme as possible. Such an exaggerated character would certainly be either a big hit or a disaster and fortunately this portrayal was spot on. I think what really sells the character is how absolutely confident he is of being right. If someone tries to correct him Knuckles will typically put on a smug expression and explain why they are wrong. He has delusions of grandeur and at times he has gotten so big into his own ego that he ends up forgetting his bonds with the others. Knuckles is a nice guy, but one who just can’t cope too well with being the head honcho. He is still the power hitter of the team as well so you want to have Knuckles on your team.
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For Tails, it’s an interesting case because rather than simply play up the genius angle, they play up the “genius wannabe” card. He is consistently shown to not be as smart as Eggman in this version and his inventions have to be fixed many times. Still, he does send up saving the day a lot through his inventions as well so it basically cancels out. Tails is a good character and he also has a bit of a rivalry with Sonic at times which is pretty fun. Sonic tends to come out on top, but the same can basically be said for all of his rivalries in the show (except Shadow) so that’s not bad. Tails’ best invention was certainly the one that could make clones of the individual. That’s a useful piece of tech for any situation.

Amy has her girl power sticker on for the show and loves to remind Sonic that not all problems have to be responded to with violence. Although, she is typically the one to jump into a fight. Her split personality is played up a lot in the show and makes her a character that can be feared by others aides. You just don’t want to make her angry. Her part time job as a psychiatrist also makes for a lot of entertaining scenes. She may be a little on the gullible side, but she is also the hero who gives the villains the benefit of the doubt more than the others which is surely a nice thing to do. Sonic never tends to buy into the villains actually having a change of heart in this show for better or worse.

Sticks was made up for Sonic Boom so it was always going to be interesting to see what route they took her. She is the big conspiracy nut of the series and spends a lot of her time yelling and trying to tell the cast what is actually happening. Her refusal to use technology does come in handy at times like when the villain tries to mind control everyone through the TV. Such tactics won’t work on Sticks. In a fight she does appear to be the weakest member but it’s not all about strength when you’re looking at a character. She’s definitely not one of the best members of the main cast, but she’s a reasonably solid member of the team:

Then we’ve got Eggman who is definitely a very important character in the series. He keeps everyone in check and seems to have a fairly formalized deal with Sonic that he will attack the town every week or so. They reference these plans quite a bit. Of course, a Eggman does sometimes switch things up if the town gets on his nerves. It’s not a great defense but if we’re being honest the town can be pretty annoying. They’ll try to cheat you out of money or cut out in line. Other townsfolk will try to guilt trip you into helping them and the mayor is absolutely corrupt. Some characters may just sit there and take it, but not Eggman. In all of these instances I am actually rooting for Eggman since he just seems to be in the right. It’s the town that really needs to change, not really Eggman.

Shadow only appears in 2 different stories but they are both quite good. He sounds intimidating for sure and just isn’t someone that you want to mess with. Especially when you consider how strong he is. Shadow may be a little gullible which is an unusual trait for the character and the only one that doesn’t work well, but he looks really good beyond that. His style of chaos control based combat is always fun to watch. As Sonic Boom surprisingly didn’t use guest stars all that often, it made their appearances even more special than usual.

Then we have Dave the Intern. Well, he has many jobs to be honest but he is most well known for his time over at Metburger where he sells fast food that isn’t healthy for you and the ingredients are also very suspect. He tends to get everyone’s order wrong and you run a risk whenever you go inside. So why do people eat there? Well, it’s the only food place in the small village. This is actually mentioned quite a few times and you wonder why the heroes would even live in such a village. There are probably quite a lot of fun theories about this, but I like to think that they are just trying to lay low for a little while. They don’t want to have to constantly be fighting so this was a way to get some r n r, but Eggman showing up definitely broke that plan. Dave is a really fun character thanks in large part to how his voice sounds. He clearly doesn’t want to be at the burger shop and has a lot of goals. Dave just isn’t particularly skilled enough to pull any of them off.

Another fairly big character in the show is Eggman’s twin brother robot from another dimension. His name is Morpho and his accent is certainly on point. I imagine that it must have taken a while to perfect it. He uses his shape changing abilities to great effect as he makes it hard for the heroes to trust each other. Eggman’s mother was also a quality character as she kept everyone in line. The supporting cast is just so great in this show and all of them get their due screen time. Even the old lady who is always losing her baby manages to be a solid character. There’s also a whole group of villains who work at the club house who are sort of like the Cutie Mark Crusaders, but the evil version.

For other guest stars, we’ve got Metal Sonic and Vector. It was a surprise to see Vector show up, but definitely a nice one. He’s not one of the coolest Sonic characters, but it was certainly about time that he got to be in something animated again. Metal Sonic was awesome as expected with his abilities still being top notch. Eggman’s lackeys Cubot and Orbot show up constantly and while their comedic moments don’t work quite as well as some of the others, they have their moments. It’s hard to totally be a bad character when you’re in this show. Even relatively weaker characters like the girl fox who showed up a bit and the old man who guilt trips everyone are more passable than they usually would be.

What really brings the humor home for Sonic Boom is how self aware it is with the characters and what is happening. When it pulls off homages to old sport films or classic moments in the Sonic franchise it works because the writers clearly know what they are referencing. Research was certainly being done on this show throughout. Superman is naturally referenced as well which is hype. Sadly the show did not last long enough for us to get to Super Sonic, but I like to think that the next season would have managed to squeeze that in at some point. There are so many more possibilities for episodes here.

In the end I’d definitely have to say that this is the best Sonic TV show. Sonic X isn’t far behind and then from there they all get rather close. I’d give the original Sonic The Hedgehog cartoon third, Adventures of Sonic 4th and then Underground would take a respectable last place finish. Sonic’s never really had a bad show before and that’s a credit to how good the franchise is. The original movie was excellent as well and hopefully the upcoming one will continue the trend.

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Overall, Sonic Boom is an excellent show and one of the best non anime shows that I’ve seen in a long time. You could always expect high quality episodes from week to week. I’m still not a big fan of how many shows like to divide their episodes into 2 parts nowadays, but Boom pulls it off as well as it can. Hopefully it does get another season someday although its odds aren’t looking very great at the moment. I doubt the next Sonic show can surpass this one, but hopefully it is quite solid as well. So if you haven’t seen Sonic Boom yet, be sure to check it out asap.

Overall 8/10

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Stats and Records

Stats Time!

32 Gold Medals
3 Silver Medals
Olympic Medals 11 Gold 2 Silver 3 Null
Dream Medals 6 Gold 1 Silver 4 Null
Emblems 16/80
Music Collection Complete
Square Decals Complete
Banner Decals 52 to go
Paint Sheets 24 to go
Boutique: Everything left

Sport Records

Dream Alpine 2m 13s
Dream Ski Jumping 560 pts
Dream Snowboard Cross 2m 5s
Dream Short Track 2m 7s
Dream Figure Skating 379.2 pts
Alpine Skiing Downhill 1m 37s
Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom 57s
Ski Jumping Individual Large Hill 245.1 pts
Moguls 23.10 pts
Ski Cross 1m 1s
Halfpipe 35.120 pts
Snowboard Cross 59s
Speed Skating 32s
Short Track 1m 36s
Figure Skating 96.500 pts
Skeleton 1m 11s

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Review

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Whenever someone yells “MARIO AND SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES” you can’t help but get very nostalgic. I rented this game a long time ago and had quite a lot of fun with it. While the games are more limited than in the first one, it has improved in every other area. This title feels like the high budget Olympics game that we had been waiting for and the soundtrack is certainly one of the all time greats. My main character that I use in this game is Shadow of course but there is a solid roster of other characters to use as well.

Unlike the last one, this Olympics actually has a story mode of sorts. Essentially you have to play in the Olympics to try and secure the gold trophy. To do this you will have to prove that you are a well rounded athlete who can excel in many different events. You play the Olympics one day at a time. At first there are 2 events per day and then 3 for the second half. You also get 2 break days to relax and go to the shop. It would be pretty sad to play the whole thing and then lose so the A.I isn’t too crazy. Not to mention that many of the events are training so you can’t actually lose. It’s a way to get free points and move up the ranks of you were beginning to lose. You still need to win most of them if you are going to succeed though. As I hinted at earlier though, most of the mini games are rather similar so you shouldn’t have a problem after you’ve gotten used to them.

The best mini game is probably the Snowboard one. It’s very simple and straight to the point. You have to drive down a slope as fast as you possibly can. No gimmicks or anything like that, it’s just a pure bout of skill. You just can’t top it. There is a similar mini game where you are on Skis, but you have to utilize the motion controls more. It’s really the same thing but slower and with more stuff going on to distract you. Nothing wrong with that, but it just can’t compare to the style of the board.

We’ve also got Ice Hockey which would usually be in first place but it’s really hard to move much at all without getting slammed by the other team. That part makes it tough to enjoy the game because you don’t actually get to be playing it much. Good concept though. The game that seems to be the main attraction in this game is the figure skating. You have to pull off moves with the utmost precision at just the right time of you want to get the maximum score. While defeating the computers can be pretty easy you will want to do your best if you’re fighting a human opponent. It’s not my favorite game since it’s very slow paced, but it’s not the worst either.

The worst mini game is the one where you have to slide the discs across the floor. Many party games have this and I can never get any since it has never been good. The very concept ensures that it won’t be good if you ask me since it is a very slow paced game by nature. I’m sure it has its fans, but I am not one of them.

There are also some mini games called dream events which have items included and can get quite chaotic. The Snowball fight game is probably the most memorable one and it’s definitely a lot of fun. Your teammates may actively sabotage you as they get blasted, but it’s a pretty balanced game in that respect. Who doesn’t like a good snowball fight right? Another monk game has a glider where you have to fly and catch rings as you make it to the end. Naturally you’ll want to aim for small rings for maximum rings, but your opponents may have the same idea which will make things tricky.

After a while you will probably grow bored of the snow theme, but at least you can basically say that the game tries out every possible idea. Some mini games may seem like slight rehashes of each other but at least do have things that make them unique. Other party titles just make all of the games the same and don’t even attempt to hide it.

The presentation of the game as a whole is quite impressive. From the main menus to the shops and the levels, this game looks quite great. They spared no expense on the visuals. All of the character models are on point and the level designs are great as well. We even have a Challenger Approaching icon that is sort of like Super Smash which is pretty neat. It shows up before each boss battle and feels quite thematic. Then there is the soundtrack. It’s quite impressive as it takes many of the best Mario and Sonic themes and then throws them into the games/bosses. Listening to the Sonic Adventure themes is always nostalgic and naturally the Mario ones are good as well. I haven’t played the next Olympic installments yet, but I think it’s fair to say that they are going to have a very tough time surpassing this one.

There’s a lot to do in this game so length is certainly not an issue. The main campaign isn’t very long but that’s only the tip of the iceberg as you try to earn enough money to buy everything. You can also go for new records in individual events as well as challenge friends in multiplayer. Multiplayer mode certainly adds a lot of replay value to the game. You really need this in any sport game and in particular, offline multiplayer is a must.

Overall, it’s impressive just how much the series stepped it up with this installment. The game is just a lot nicer to play, listen, and look at. Boss battles was a real good addition and I like having a ceremonial story mode even if it is relatively small. It’s certainly better than nothing. The game’s only weakness is its limited amount of games, but at least the one that we do get are really fun which is certainly the important thing. I’d definitely recommend getting this game. While it may not be as unheard of as it used to be, a crossover with Sonic and Mario is always worth noting.

Overall 7/10

Mario & Sonic at The Olympic Games Review

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I got Mario and Sonic at The Olympic Games a long while ago so it’s cool to finally get to play it. I did dabble around with the game briefly before now but the intense difficulty and length of the games temporarily caused me to retreat. Going back to the game, it’s still quite difficult but fun nonetheless. It’s just made solely for multiplayer as the 1 player option just won’t have a great deal of entertainment value in comparison.

There’s no plot of course as you are here for the games. There is a reasonable amount of variety with the games although there isn’t quite as much as the game will have you think. You unlock a game after each tournament but these are effectively just longer versions of the games you already have. Of course I’m still glad to have more options so it’s not as if this is a bad thing. For the first game in the series it’s a rather solid start. You’ll be spending most of your time in this game in the Circuits. There are 5-6 tournaments in each difficulty level. Progress as far as you can in order to beat them all and unlock all of the games. The tournaments tend to have 4-5 games inside. You are given a token which you can use to double your points for claiming victory in one event per tournament, but use it wisely. If you don’t come in the top 3 at the event where you’ve bet your chip, it will be lost. If you use it right, you can afford to bomb one event as long as you do well in the other ones.

Another mode is Mission Mode. There you play one event at a time and accomplish the objective. Finish in 2nd place is one for example. It’s a pretty nice little mode although I didn’t play it too much. I completed Shadow’s missions and called it a day. It’s a nice way to add in some replay value though. At the very least you can’t say that this game was lacking in content. It’s got enough to keep you busy for a very long time and then some. You can unlock emblems, music, and of course the games. Completing all of the tournaments should also take a while. I’d say we’re looking at a game that’s at least 10 hours which is really solid for a Sports title. Although I guess sport titles usually last a while if you think about it. Lets talk about the games.

The first one is the Swimming event. This one’s pretty fun as you just push and pull the Wii Remote/Nunchuk as fast as you can while pressing whatever the screen tells you too. It takes fast reactions to complete, but is certainly a game of skill. There is no luck to be found here and it’s pretty satisfying. I was able to wrap my head around this one pretty quickly. Next up is Archery which isn’t nearly as good. The instructions were unclear and it felt heavily luck based with the wind factor and all. I may just not be properly appreciating the nuance of this event though, but it was one of the weaker ones for me.

The sprinting event is the best one. It’s very simple, just shake your remotes as fast as you can and get to the goal. You’ll get a real workout here, especially in the longer versions. You also have to jump over obstacles in some versions, throw a baton to a teammate, or even use items to slow the others down. I enjoyed these levels quite a bit and wouldn’t have minded seeing more of them in the tournaments. It’s just an event that you can get behind really quickly and we never did get that Track and Field Mario game that I always wanted.

There are also the jumping/spear throwing minigames. Essentially you have to make a throwing/jumping motion as you approach goal. The problem is that the game is incredibly unclear and misleading on when you have to time your jump so you have to do it quite early in order to get it right. Otherwise the game penalizes you. I figured it out the hard way after several shots, but with something like this you should be able to tell where you have to jump on the spot.

There’s also sword fighting which is pretty decent. I’d enjoy it more against a human opponent, but any kind of combat is always hype in my book. It plays out like a Pirates of the Caribbean game as there is a lot of parrying and feints. There’s also a Trampoline minigame which is handled really well as you press a lot of buttons and go for a high score before you finally land. I feel like this was my best minigame as I always beat the computers here. Finally we can’t forget about Ping Pong. That game is a classic and certainly one of the best ones. The computers don’t just roll over either so you really have to earn your win here. Watch out for their slams.

There are quite a lot of games here and for the most part they were all solid. There were a few lackluster ones, but they were in the minority. While these are all of the main minigames, there are also several variations of each one so the gameplay stays fresh. I do have to question what Nintendo was thinking when they made the A.I. though. I seriously can’t imagine a kid being able to beat most of the tournaments. The computers are simply too merciless and you have to really compete to take them down. I beat all of the tournaments under Beginner and Advanced, but Master Class is really something else. Even Beginner was really tough at first and I lost a few times there. Having a practice run before doing the real minigames would help a lot since I didn’t understand quite a few of them.

The graphics are really good and certainly hold up well. It’s definitely nice to see Mario and Sonic racing side by side. I feel like Sonic was still faster, but Mario did a good job of keeping up. The music is also on point to be sure. The technical aspects of the game were certainly on point and as a result this is a very complete game. You’ll have a lot of fun playing it for sure and at this point you can get the game at a good price. I will say that the game is a lot more fun when you’re playing with someone else though. As with most party games, the minigames are made for multiple people. With the emotionless computers, it’ll feel a little repetitive after a while. They’re also surprisingly good as I mentioned earlier so while you may post a score that you feel would have won the bout in multiplayer, that may not be the case here.

Overall, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is a lot of fun. If the game didn’t have a multiplayer mode, then I would take off one star so keep that in mind if you’re buying it to play by yourself. I’ve played a lot of party games over the years so I can definitely confirm that this is one of the better ones. Actual effort is put behind it and there were no glitches that I could see. I already own the next game in the series so I’ll definitely be playing that one pretty soon. I remember thinking it was a significant upgrade so I’m excited to check it out.

Overall 7/10

Sonic Forces: Speed Battle Review

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It’s time for the latest app game that I decided to check out. Given that Sonic Forces was basically hype confirmed I was thrilled to hear about the mobile app. On the surface Sonic Forces is just another free runner so there’s nothing really special about it. Sonic already does have a free runner game when you think about it and that one has many more levels and characters. At the same time, I’ve never played any of those before so it all felt fresh to me. It’s definitely a fun game but one with diminishing returns unlike Pokémon Go which only gets more enjoyable as you level up. It’s a fun game but one that won’t last for very long.

There is only one mode, free run. If you were hoping for 1V1 battles or mini games/a story then you’re out of luck. Every race brings 4 random racers together and you race for the goal. 1st Place will give you around 10 trophies and it typically takes 500 to level up. As you can see it takes a lot of races to level up towards the end and especially when you are fighting tougher opponents who won’t let you take 1st. You start out with 2 stages to play on and as you level up you unlock better stages and better rewards. The rewards are the points you get towards unlocking a specific character. It’s randomized and the characters are divided into rarity tiers so you’ll see how eventually you will have far more cards for characters like Sonic than Metal Sonic for example. Since this is the only mode in the game you will want to really enjoy it.

The game suffered from bad connection errors for a little while but eventually it was able to fix itself. Now there are no issues with the gameplay which is certainly good since that is the entire game in a nutshell. There is definitely a lot of skill involved as you jump over obstacles and slide under others. You want to optimize your run and figure out the fastest way to clear a level. Given that you will be playing the stages very often, that shouldn’t be hard at all.

There are three different levels in the game. The first is your user level. Upgrading this will help you with rings and your special attacks will be stronger. You get the exp for it by leveling upyour characters. Second is your online level, this is what gets you the better loot boxes and allows you to play more stages. You level this up by winning battles online. Finally there are the individual character levels. You beef these up by getting their cards from treasure chests. They amplify the character’s abilities by a small amount but it’s enough to rip the scales your way. As far as I can tell each character has 16 levels total. I can’t confirm that of course as I don’t have anyone who is over level 8 but it’s based on a little guide they have in the game on what you unlock with each level. I’m sure the exp requirement skyrockets by the end so only the most serious of players, or the ones who pay a bunch will reach that point.

The graphics are really sharp. The character models are really well done and the backgrounds are a blast. It at least does feel like a lot of effort went into the graphics. I also enjoy the music but it’s just the one theme which can be a bit repetitive at times. It’s the inspirational version of the main Sonic Forces theme so it’s fitting for any fast paced race I’d say. They should definitely add more themes in as you level up though. Each stage should honestly have its own theme and I can’t even see how that would be tough to implement. Shouldn’t they just grab the songs they need from Sega and put it in?

There’s definitely a lot of replay value to the point where it’s infinite but how fun is this replay value? After all, there’s no point if you’re not going to try and collect everything. As I alluded to in the intro, the game slowly loses the joy that it had from the start. I think the biggest detractor is how you will actually lose points once you level up if you get 3rd or 4th which is unfortunate since the competition does get a lot stronger do it will be tough to get in the top 2 after a while. The sheer repetition of playing the same level over and over again will get to you. If you think about it, most mobile games effectively have you doing the same things over and over again but they cleverly mask this or the gameplay is so fun that it doesn’t even matter. You can say that Pokémon Go is incredibly repetitive but at least it is also a blast at the same time. That’s not to say that this game isn’t fun though. I think it’s the kind of game that is best in small doses. Just play a few races every day and you’re set. I’ll give it some props for being lenient on how long you can play as well. Some games have an energy meter so you can only play a certain amount each day. Fire Emblem has that but it’s so lenient that it barely ever matters. Forces limits how many chests you can get in a day, but that’s all. You can keep playing to your heart’s content.

Overall, Speed Battle is a good app. I think it’s definitely a title that you can have fun with for a little while. I don’t think you will enjoy it quite as much if you’ve played any other free runner though as then this one won’t even feel fresh from the start. Even aside from the fact that there isn’t much variety in the gameplay, I’d at least like for the rewards to be more reasonable. You’d have to win hundreds of races to get to one of the higher levels and I just can’t see myself doing that. It would be such a large time commitment and at the end of the day these apps are fun for playing a little here and there. Not for big play sessions. I’d recommend checking this game out as it is free and all so there’s really nothing to lose but don’t expect the game to hold you over for very long. That’s just the kind of game it is and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There is a lot of missed opportunities here though. (No Infinite?)

Overall 7/10

Why Mario Odyssey is better than Sonic Forces

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2017 has been a pretty stacked year when it comes to video games. At the same time, many figured that Mario Odyssey would win the title of Game of the Year, or perhaps Sonic Forces would get to claim it. I wrote an editorial a while back about how Sonic Forces would certainly claim victory. Here’s a link to that original article if you’re curious.

https://dreager1.com/2017/08/20/why-sonic-forces-is-going-to-be-better-than-mario-odyssey/

Unfortunately, I hadn’t expected the game to get skimmed down all the way to 3 hours. It’s just too short to really compete with Odyssey but let’s break this down.

When it comes to the story, Sonic still destroys Mario. We have an end of the world plot going with a hype new villain called Infinite. In comparison, Mario has the same ole Bowser kidnaps Peach plot which is neither fresh nor imaginative. It’s a plot that we have all seen many times before to the point where it is fairly stale. It’s just not the kind of story that excites you anymore and the game even pulls a cop out for the ending to keep the status quo. In this area at least, Sonic Forces stil claims the win.

Now let’s look at the graphics. Well, this one is a pretty close one. Both games look pretty solid. Mario is top of the line for Nintendo and they spared no expense for him. On the other hand, Sonic Forces doesn’t look quite as good as it should considering that it’s on the PS4 but it does have a nice advantage of being on the stronger console from the start. It also has more explosions and better level designs to really use the graphics. Odyssey does look a little better on the whole, Sonic Forces is just more striking to look at. This is purely for graphics though so Odyssey wins here.
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When it comes to gameplay, Sonic has 3 different styles while Mario has just one. Mario’s does beat retro Sonic’s gameplay style but loses to the Avatar and Modern Sonic. You just can’t beat Boost 2 Win and It would have been cool for Mario to have been able to do that when running around the worlds. It’s pretty close though and the difference is relative since both games have really solid gameplay.

Now at this point it probably seems like Sonic is demolishing Mario so what’s the problem right? Well, one of the big areas that hurts Sonic is the length/replay value. The main story will only take you 3 hours in Forces. After that you need to get all of the S Ranks and obtain all of the rings. This will buy you some time, but not a whole lot. Moreover, thanks to the daily login bonus, getting S Ranks is really easy in this game. You can definitely 100% this game in a week if you don’t mind some grinding for the enemies and coins. On the other hand, Mario’s main campaign is at least double of not triple as long. Grabbing all of the moons in the post game and completing the new worlds will take quite a few more hours as well. You’re likely looking at a 20-30+ hour game right there. It’s a world of difference and this is crucial for a game. You don’t want to drop 40-60 dollars on a game that you will play and then immediately throw back in the drawer. You want a game with a lot of replay value and that’s exactly what Odyssey is. It’s the game that keeps on giving. The sheer amount of content and minigames in Odyssey puts Forces to shame.
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You can’t really stress this enough. I’ve put in over 35 hours in Mario Odyssey and there are still a bunch of moons to get. I’ve already gotten all of the S ranks in Sonic Forces and around half of the Red Rings in a third of the time or potentially even less than that. It’s just not an equal ball game when you’re looking at the content. It’s not as if being long makes you an automatically better game, but when you’re a solid game that also happens to be long, then it’s a winning combo. It’s even more lethal to the short game when it’s only around 3 hours long.

Mario Odyssey will likely last close to 50 hours by the time all of the Moons have been obtained which is definitely very impressive. It’s also less repetitive than getting everything in Forces since in that game you have to keep replaying the same levels over and over again. It doesn’t really get old since the levels are so well done and the soundtrack is so awesome, but it still feels like a shortcut by the devs. In Mario, you have a lot of variety among the worlds for finding Moons so it never becomes a big issue of repetition. I can only hit this point for so long though so this editorial is coming to a close.

So when it all boils down to the center of the game, Odyssey is simply better. Sonic Forces may sound better than Odyssey but that’s not the issue. It may be more fun to play as Avatar and Modern Sonic as their gameplay modes both destroy Odyssey’s but that’s also not the point. Odyssey has the slightly better graphics. You have to forget about the plot and the technical aspects and just look at the replay value. Mario’s the longer game and you really feel like you’ve spent your money’s worth there. I don’t regret buying Sonic Forces since it was still an incredible game, but I certainly can’t reward the developers with the same stamp of approval that I can give Odyssey since they really didn’t give it enough effort. So, Sonic Forces is the more enjoyable game, but Mario Odyssey is the better game and actually managed to defeat Sonic this time around. It may seem like Mario only won in one area (length) while Forces had the advantage just about everywhere else, but it’s a very important advantage and one that you can’t overlook. It’s shocking for Sonic to lose and and I have to keep asking myself if this is really the answer since this basically never happens and I’m a little worried, but 3D Sonic shall return. You can tell how confident his fans are because even if you google things like “Mario beating Sonic” you get more pictures of the reverse happening which made the images for this article a little difficult. It is quite fitting though that the time Mario finally manages to beat Sonic, it’s because they quickly went through their old Adventure 2 Battle memories and thought to do a Mario version. Food for thought!
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