By: Justin Hopkins
I never really got into Open World games. Having the tendency to go toward more linear style games or real loose open world ones. It wasn’t until a year or two ago when I started going back and playing some open world ones and games like Fallout 3 or New Vegas and even then stayed away from 4. Most of the people I knew tended to talk down on it and that kept me away until my tenth run through of New Vegas when I just got bored enough to give it a go, but I went into it with a little different. Normally, I jump into a world and just make random decisions based of off spur of the moment thoughts. Never really embracing the RPG aspect of the game. Going into Fallout 4, a game I had very little knowledge of, decided to do so, by playing as the blue Sim in so, so many thumbnails. Why, a few reasons actually. Having using Fionna on the page for nearly 2 years and thought it might be interesting to put a little bit of character for Fi on the page. Things are slow and like doing different things from time-to-time. Plus, can do a proper discussion on what seems to be a mixed reviewed game in the process. So, with that said, lets dive in shall we.
The game started like all games do. Designing the character to be as close to Fionna, before the bombs started dropping and getting Frozen, seeing Shaun being Kidnapped and let loose on the world. Being pointed toward Concord and ran into everyone’s favorite, Preston Garvey and helped them to Sanctuary. Helping rebuild her hometown and doing settlement runs during which she is distracted by The Brotherhood Of Steel. Helped them get their tech back, but after hearing them out, knew she wasn’t helping them anymore. Saying goodbye and went back helping with Settlements. Getting an offer about the Castle, but after hearing about the Castle, knew she didn’t have the ammo to deal and held off and headed toward Diamond City. Where she met her first companion, that wasn’t Dogmeat, Piper. Amused and inspired by her plight and happy to take her along. Saving Valentine and started on the road to take out Kellogg. Whom she eliminated with glee and went on a wild adventure through his memories which she largely ignored, he did kidnap her baby, didn’t care for his sob story. Getting the mission Glowing Sea, but didn’t go right away. Instead she opted to find the Railroad everyone talked about. Helping them in their missions and side missions to become besties with the companions that she met. Exchanging Piper for Cait. Cait for Valentine. Was having a blast during the Silver Shroud Missions when disaster struck and she couldn’t save Kent. With a heavy heart and tears in her eyes, Fionna hung up the costume and turned her focus to the Glowing Sea. Mixture of fighting and running till she found Virgil. Agreeing to do what he wanted and after her time spent in the Railroad, gladly hunted down the Courier, but before we could make the Relay, She turns her ire to the Mechanist. The robots are chewing through the .50 caliber bullets and keep attacking her settlements. What should have been an easy fight turned into a nightmare thanks to a Bethesda Bug and took way to long, but with the robots nullified, time to infiltrate the Institute and learned the shocking revel that Shaun became Father. Which put her on edge, but Fionna played nice. Working both sides, being nice and meeting Patriot. Unsure of what she should do. Taking a minute to go clean up Far Harbor and hearing of Raiders in Nuka Cola, which she painstakingly eliminated all of them, cause if anyone was going to be in charge of a Theme Park, it was going to be her and wasn’t sharing with Raiders. Back in the commonwealth, she ended up in Vault 81 and became friends with Curie and made up her mind, she would back the Railroad and destroy the Institute. She played nice, despite her murderous urge to kill Shaun. Getting things in line, removed the Brotherhood and it was finally time, but first, she went back to Sanctuary and swapped Currie for Piper. Someone who fought to expose the Institute. Only seemed right to have her for the end. When the Infiltration began, made sure to send out the alert to clear out the innocent, shot Shaun on the way by and set up the bomb, sending the Institute up in a fiery explosion. There wasn’t much left in the post, did most of the Missions and Settlement builds during breaks from the main story. Only major one was ruining the experiments of Vault 88. After that, it was time to sit back, with Piper and Dogmeat. Discuss what could happen in the new world. The potential team of Minutemen and Railroad. Synth knowledge of their time in the Institute can make new tech and use their knowledge to build a whole new world with everyone prospering.
Why the Railroad
Before we get into my thoughts on the game, figured I would start with the big question, Why the Railroad? Really had to think about how Fionna acts and operates along with the lore me and a friend of mine have created behind her and.. was pretty difficult to place Fionna. Fi is very split in her personalities. Wants everyone to have a good time. Doesn’t care for labels, or genders or anything. If you can think and have emotions and try your best. She considers you a friend and willing to share anything to make the world better, but cross her and has no problem running through you. When she sees something she wants, will continue to circle back to it until it is hers and Proud Parent of many of her own. So, 4 factions, would help the Minutemen, for desire to help and dream of them building statues in her honor when she leaves, but wouldn’t think they got the might to hold onto the Commonwealth. Wouldn’t tolerate the Brotherhood hording tech that can help, nor take an order from Maxson. Leaving the Railroad and The Institute and it was a challenge. The Railroad do fight for a good cause that no one else seem to do, while giving her the feeling that she is a secret agent fighting against the Big Evil, but she would be impressed by what her Son had created and want to support him for being her child despite the evil that he created. Would be torn between the two until she realized all the Synths are theoretically hers. Being made by Shaun’s DNA which is her own. Her Friends, Valentine and Curie and so many other depending on Fi to make the choice. Which is why I believe Fionna would side with The Railroad. With the Institute gone, they could unite with the Minutemen and build from there.
Know I have talked a lot, so I will make this quick. I had a blast playing Fallout 4. It was different then most Fallout Games, and I get the reason why my friends didn’t like it, but pretty sure that is what I liked about it. Getting to build up world in the way you choose. Whether they are forced to serve the greater good of the Brotherhood or Raiders of Nuka Cola or just rebuilding the new world. Not to mention gave a reason to the junk we picked up, which was so nice. Companions were so much fun. Liked that you had to make them your friend before they would tell you their stories instead of just passing things that triggered it. Sure some could cause you to act in ways you aren’t playing like, but you don’t have to bring them along. Fi didn’t deal with X1 and Sent Strong to Red Rocket early. Leaving them for future gameplay. The side quests for Cait and Valentine felt genuinely awarding when you helped them and was amusing seeing Currie learn about the world and becoming a Synth. Loved the DLCs for Nuka Cola and Far Harbor. Both giving a lot of fun missions and ways to break up the Main Story. Would love to say that about the Mechanist, but the Bethesda Bug really made that part a nightmare. Even after finishing, eagerly restarted as someone new, because I felt like there was so much left to do.
Before I finish off, want to give credit to the excellent Mods that I used throughout my playthrough and the hard workers behind them. Aloots’ Home Plate, Demon Hunter Female Armor by NCRRanger5x, Everyone’s Best Friend by Valdacil, Lots more female Hairstyles, by Recluse, Steampunk Gunslinger Outfits CBBE and Bodyslide by Elianora and Nuka Tech Rad Bans which I unfortunately couldn’t re find to give credit for, but found them all on Nexus Mods. Thank you to everyone who made these awesome mods.
This was much more weird then normal. Promise the normal reviews to come. To those who did make it through, I hope you enjoyed and as always…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
My recent Resident Evil kick has probably become a problem. With it being December and looking back and playing Resident Evil 2 and 3 and looking forward to Village. When I remembered I haven’t played Code Veronica yet. Made especially more appalling since I downloaded the game a few months ago and just haven’t sat down and played it yet. Claire is my favorite character in the world of Resident Evil, have no idea why I held off. May not know what happened going in, but she is on the cover. So, riding the wave I have been on for the series, figured now was the time to finally play and share my thoughts not only on it, but where I stand on the whole remake thing. So, lets dive right in shall we.
The game kicks open with a hood being pulled off Claire’s head and being struck down into a cell by the butt of a gun. Flashing back, seeing her racing through an Umbrella site in Paris. Bullets flying and high paced. Gets confronted, looking like she was outnumbered by ends up firing into gas canisters and taking them all down, but one guy comes up from behind and she is out of ammo. Coming too in her cell to the sound of explosions. The base they are holding her is under attack and the guard is injured and lets her go. Under the impression she won’t make it out alive regardless. Leaving him and the dead begin to rise from the ground and chase us off into another cut scene where we meet Steve, a prisoner who runs off, believing we would only slow him down. After checking out the barracks we make our way forward to a Palace, belonging to the Ashfords, Alfred and Alexia. After a bit of exploring. we run into Alfred who after trying to shot us, blaming us for the attack and going to enjoy hunting us. Before we can leave the Palace we have to go back in and save Steve, who wont give us the guns, unless he gets automatic ones in return, cause he is a nightmare, but we move along any. Opening up more areas, in the form of the Training facility and Underwater area. Beginning to bounce around all the areas, trying to get access to the plane and escape. Encountering the Bandersnatches after walking into a trap from Alfred and even more terrifying encounter with Albert Wesker, the man who was responsible for the attack on the base. Who after ragdolling Claire around, leaves after being called away. Leaving us to continue trying to finish our tasks. When we finally gain access to the plane and putting the final touches on getting it ready, we are confronted by a tyrant. Who not only fights us on the ground, but ends up on the plane and we have to get him thrown out of it. Only for the plane to be hijacked and flown Rerouted to Antarctica Base and we again, start our search for an escape. Steve finds a base seven miles away and all we got to do is use the drilling devise to punch through a wall, but Steve of course, screws it up and Claire has to fix it. Dealing with Alfred again, but we need to fight an even more dangerous Tyrant, Nosferatu. Who hit hard and poison us and the fight was a challenging one, but we finally took him down. Looked like we were finally free, but we see Alfred, holding on just long enough to unleash his Sister, Alexia, who easily flips our escape vehicle and knocks us out. Then we jump to see Chris arriving at the base we were at at the start, and we start again as Chris this time and that is where I will leave it for now.
Now, there is a lot to unpack and praise about this game and I am going to start with the monsters. The Bandersnatches were a great addition to the games. Being both a scary and imposing, but felt like legit threats that you had to account for. Not only being able to attack you from afar with their stretchy arm, but use the same arm to move from one floor to the next making it a challenge to runaway from and tended to have to deal with them instead of just run. Loved Alexia’s transformation into a giant flying bug monster at the end. Nosferatu is hands down the best in the game and ranks high on the list with Nemeses and Mr. X as best of the series. Monster wise, Code Veronica X delivers in spade.
The inclusion of Albert Wesker was pulled off spectacularly. The cutscenes that he was apart of were the best, especially when he fights Alexia. Feeling every bit of a big boss fight of these two superpowered being going right after that left me wanting so much more then we got. Add on the scenes where he meets Claire and facing off with Chris for the first time, Wesker kind of steals the show a good bit of the time. Only scene that comes close to matching was the reunion of Chris and Claire.
Alright, lets talk about the story. The game starts off really good. Claire getting fast and hardcore opening, with her taking out everyone in her search of her Brother and loved going around the base and setting up the Ashford Siblings as the big bads. Had so many types of threats and dangers and puzzles were numerous. Making you think about your next several moves and where to go, because going the wrong way could cost both health and ammo which could be detrimental later, but things seemed to start going downhill about the time you get to Antarctica.
One, last thing before we get to the negatives, I loved Steve’s death. He is the first main protagonist, that I can remember, who does not make it out alive. It at gravitas to the universe that not everyone will make it out live and really, the heroes kind of lose in the fact that Wesker is not only left standing, but he walks away, with Steve’s body. Building suspense for where they would go from there. This is also the only good thing I can say about Steve, because…
I actually think I hate Steve. Between the amount of cringe dialogue he has. Fact he kept turning his guns side ways and just opening fire like an idiot. Every single time I saw him on the screen. Had to fight the urge to skip the cutscenes cause it was so bad and early Resident Evil had plenty of cringe but Steve was pinnacle and just the worst. I get where they were going with this character, love interest of Claire, with full on stupid romantic song and it misses the mark in every possible way.
Going into this games, we seen Claire hold her own and fight her way through Resident Evil 2. Setting her up as a powerful character who can hold her own against anything that comes her way. This game starts off with, Claire running through an Umbrella Lab, with Guards chasing her, Planes firing at her location and blowing up gas canisters. By the end, she is constantly shoved aside by Steve… BY STEVE. Then, when Chris is introduced, that is really the end of your time with Claire. Only get control of her long enough to see Steve mutate, tell her he loves her and dies. She doesn’t even get her revenge. She is suppose to care about his death. should at least be the one who gets revenge for him. That goes to Chris. We open the game with her. We should really be finishing the game with her.
The last of the negatives is the way they handle the item sharing situation between Claire and Chris. A little bit of a heads up or some other way to pass stuff off. Had to reset the Nosferatu fight, because I wasn’t expecting the switch and left Chris with nothing to work with. They really do punish new players. Most of which I didn’t mind. All for playing smart and not dumb, but in this aspect, a little bit of foreknowledge would have been a massive plus.
Code Veronica X does need a remake, but not as is. The story and playthrough is just not good. Would pass hard on it if that is how they go. Especially, after the Claire we go in Resident Evil 2 remake. She started down down Stage three Birken. You can’t have her getting pushed aside by Steve and if they are going to keep the love thing. Do it better. Just so bad here and let her get the final fight against Alexia. Instead of Chris, who never met Steve. Let Claire avenge him while Chris runs down Wekser and we can end with a Wesker vs Chris fight. That we actually get to play out instead of watch.
I know that I have been rampaging, but Code Veronica X is a pretty fun game. Had a lot of what made Resident Evil special. Has plenty of horror, suspense and puzzles and replay value. Just going to skip the cutscenes. Final Grade – B
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading
By Paul Anthony
Back in 2002 we were in the height of the Bow Wow Era and also Jonathon Lipnicki as well, one was a cute little young rapper and the other was cute little kid that was pretty much in the prime of his acting career. So why not get these two kids together and make a film about orphans finding a pair of Michael Jorden’s shoes that some how actually fit and gave him powers to be the G.O.A.T the movie had all the magic and was a good little hit. The film had the budget of just 30 million and mad just around 62 million. so you know what that means, yes a sequel was coming. Sadly Lil Bow Wow grew up and so did Lipnicki which meant that they weren’t going to be in a sequel and worse of all the film would be direct to video which in 2006 these films were still a knock off basically unlike today. the biggest stars of this film was basically Kel Mitchell and Mark Cuban. the film stars Jascha Washington in the lead role where the kid finds the shoes. Now the biggest question of the day would be did this film live up to the first film? I best answer would be no of course but let’s take a look at why it didn’t.
In this film we meet a young boy named Jerome Jenkins Jr, one day playing basketball with his friends, they learn that a streetball team is coming to town and is looking for talent. Needless to say Jerome and his friends aren’t very good even though street ball is in Jerome’s family, his dad is often referred top as a good player though chokes during the big games. One day Jerome finds a pair of shows hanging on a street light, what catches the his eyes the most is the fact that the shoes says MJ on it. And that night the shoes are struck by lightening which Jerome learns has given him more abilities to play basketball but only when he wears them. Soon he starts to gain attention from other people and even joins a streetball team and leads them to the championship game however life isn’t perfect off the court. He stops making time for his friends, he becomes a ball hog which begins to turn his teammates against him as well. Meanwhile Ray who is like his mom’s distant relative friend becomes his agent to get him sponsors but in the long run he was only using him for the money and not looking out for his well being. Finally everything catches up to Jerome and he realizes all the wrong he is doing. In the end he makes it up to everyone he has hurt and screwed Ray with making money.
Okay so we know it didn’t live up to the first film, the film did have some over the top scenes that just didn’t seem like it fit in with the rest of the movie, which made these scenes even more over the top and just hurt the film. The film also tried to recreate the magic from the first film with a new cast which just didn’t happen. The Character of Ray was a joke he was called cousin Ray living with them and really wasn’t family at all. That made no sense. In the end I am giving this film a C for being average at best!
By: Justin Hopkins
Just weeks left in what has been an.. interesting 2020. If anything, this year has been a blast with some fun video games coming out. From Ghost of Tsushima, Resident Evil 3, and return of Crash Bandicoot, but it is about that time to begin to look forward and there are more then plenty of video games to look forward to. Was a difficult task to not only dwindle the list down to just five, but in what order they should fall into. Before we begin, I do want to note that some of these games don’t have exact dates, only marked as coming in 2021 and one has less. As we know, that doesn’t always mean they can stick to it. Alright. good, lets dive in shall we.
HONORABLE MENTION: Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2
This feels like Deja Vu. If you go back to my top six games anticipated games of 2020, this was my honorable mention as well. If they had slapped a date of 2021 on it, would be my number 1, with ease. While it would be nice to hear some more news about this game. Seeming to find nothing outside of a trailer that I have watched to many times at this point. Don’t get me wrong though, will gladly put this down again next year too if that means Ninja Theory are taking their time to do it justice. For now though, can only fall as an honorable mention.
5. Hogwarts Legacy
I am not a Harry Potter fan. Have read the books, watched the movies, and played the games and never really cared all that much for them, but would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about the idea of an RPG around this world. Creating my own character, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite features in a video game. Running around being an absolute villain. Sounds like a good time and earning the number five spot on my list.
4. Werewolf The Apocalypse: Earthbound
This game sold me on one thing, can play as human, wolf, or werewolf. I am a simple person, and the idea I get to play as a werewolf is amazing to me and the trailer was a lot of fun. It sounds like the game will have a fare amount of lore based off the little bit I read about the game on it’s web page. Playing as a man named Cahal, a man born under the full moon. Protector of Mother Earth Gaia, which is dying at the hands of the Wyrm. Both of which lay in the Greek Mythology and look forward to see how much they pull from that or something new or both, but in the end, had me at Werewolf. If things stay on track, can look for this to drop February 4th.
This one, seems like it is going to be a blast and maddening at the same time. Playing as Colt, trapped in a place called Blackreef where it’s inhabitants, including a skilled assassin named Julianna are trying to kill him. If you die, they day restarts and only way out is to kill 8 key individuals, before you are killed. Making you learn from each attempt to figure out how to achieve said goal. Trailer made Blackreef look like a colorful, a lot of orange, but colorful. Has a dark comedy feel with plenty of ways to kill and die and I will probably suffer them all and going to have a great time trying to figure out how to win. According to the sight, game should be releasing May 21st.
2. Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines 2
Hey, another familiar game from last years list. It got pushed back which turned into a blessing and got to play the first game and now I am at a fever pitch to play Bloodlines 2. The first one had so much replay ability with so many different endings and paths to go down. Gameplay that changes depending on which class of vampire you select. So much love and care went into the first story and expect no less in the sequel. Oh I just can’t wait to play as the Malkavians again. They are the best, and this game is so close to being number one, but there was just one more that had to take the mantle.
1. Resident Evil: Village
It had to be. This is a series that I have a lot of love for. Even weaker entries in the series, I still love. I know that a bunch of spoilers have been leaked or something, I don’t know because I am actively avoiding that. Resident Evil 3 may be my favorite game of the year, Resident Evil 2 is a game I still play through and wouldn’t be surprised if Resident Evil: makes it a threepeat, but they got some competition.
And that is my list of five video games that I am looking forward to in 2021. I know it is on the shorter side of things and that is my own doing. I only ever want to know a little bit about a game. Wanting to avoid all else and get to experience it all when I sit down to play. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
So, I wasn’t going to do this game till the end. Since, I had already played Silver, but with the journey kind of stalled at the moment till I can play Pokemon X or Y. I figured I should go back to this one now. A remake that is often applauded as one of the best in the series. Which I am hoping for. Gen 2 was never that interesting, but open mind this time. So, with that said, lets dive back into another playthrough with Mui and see how this goes.
We kick off our journey with being told about Ethan and Elm wanting us to do him a favor. See Ethan with his Marill out of the pokeball. Which is something we get to do with one of our pokemon in this game. We get to Elm, who gives us our Pokemon, which was easy this time, how can I pass on a baby alligator and his name is Leon. Picking up the egg and stomped on the villainous Paulie. Before dropping off the egg so we can get the show on the road. Doing a bit of grinding when I encountered a Geodude, who shaped this run. It would have been easy for me to just build up a team like I would from Kanto, but decided, lets run with a team I never have before. Choosing pokemon for one reason or another, never made a run with. So, Mui and Leon welcomed Chris the Geodude to the team. Sweeping through the first two gyms and picked up a Wesker the Drowzee from Before Whitney and Jill the Beedrill from an attempt at the Bug Catching Contest. Who ended up being a powerhouse against Morty’s Gym. Paybacking his way through nearly the entire gym alone, only needing a little help from Leon with Morty himself. Chuck stood no chance, but Jasmine’s Steelix was a pain. Chris needed a bit more time, before he could handle it and even then was more of a fight then expecting. Along my way from the Saffir Zone, we added Rebecca the Misdreavus and the four of them made light work of Team Rocket at Mahogany Town and Pryce. Taking a break half way through the Radio Tower to mess with Breeding and hatching eggs before finishing the gym circuit. Leon’s Ice Fang and Rebecca growing into a beast made easy work of Claire and off to the league. Were we adding Claire Ursaring we went, but the nightmare. It’s no one’s fault but my own, with some of the team being really frail, but it was more then that. We are not out speeding anything and the RNG Gods were not on our side. Every confusion seemed to hit us and even when we got by Will. The same fate was waiting with Koga, but I had a game plan at least. Rebecca was becoming a dominate force on the team and after more grinding with Chris and Leon, made painful by wild Graveler’s penchant to self-destruct at the first opportunity, Mercifully punched our way through and became champion and we were finally onto Kanto, but we will talk more about that in a bit and end it here.
Alright, for starters I loved the fact that you can have a pokemon follow you around. I know they brought it back in Let’s Go and all, but they should have kept that in place after this game. It such a small little thing, but being able to interact with them is probably the most fun I had in these runs so far. In a game that spends so much time telling you it is all about bonding with your Pokemon and this is such an organic way to do that, and got such a laugh from the box saying that Mismagius roaring at me.
On this run in particular, got to have fun playing with a team I would normally never play with. Figuring out ways to pull out wins with Beedrill and Geodude. Pokemon that I like, but have always run into to late to do anything or would have been more hassle then it was worth. Gaining a a lot more respect for Misdreavus then I had before. Kind of ignored it for Haunter, but was a big reason why I was able to get through without so much more grinding.
The post game is just stuffed with things to do. Picked up the Dusk Stone to Evolve Rebecca. Beating my way through the Kanto Gyms, taking special delight in destroying Misty for the countless defeats I suffered during the Poke World Tournament. Caught the five Legendary Birds the game has to offer, Mewtwo and defeated the Elite Four a second time and.. called it there. The Dogs tried my patience way to much and couldn’t bring myself to do more grinding to beat Red. Know there is more to do when you beat him, just isn’t worth it.
Now, the flaws and there are flaws. Complaining about grinding my seem like a dumb thing and it is, but it feels so much more brutal here. Feels so much harder to build up the team in victory road. Forcing you to suffer through or go else were but taking longer off smaller EXP Gains. Then after all of this, still have the grinding for the Red fight. Something that actually feels like it has gotten smoother in the later generations.
I actually found myself missing a story. Gen 5 had such a great story with N and Team Plasma. Would even take Team Magma. Team Rocket was just a small little footnote that never get going. They are here because of their presences in the first game and gave them nothing to do. Which is a shame, because they were nice way to break up the gym circuit a bit.
I had a good time with it and was better then Silver. The world is more colorful and can see why people hold it in such high regards, but think I prefer the other games in the line up to this one. There are a ton of things to do and all. Just none of it really gets me to want to push on and definitely want to replay it any time soon. Final Grade – B +
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Despite the slight break. Was actually looking forward to getting back to it and play Pokemon Black 2 after how much fun I had with Pokemon Black and was looking forward to returning to Unova. Having a quick peak at the pokedex and changed up my rules just a little bit. Be a little more relaxed in building my team. Not try to be stringent on what gen they come from. With that said, time for Mui to shake off the two years of rust and restart her journey in Aspertria.
Journey began like all journeys do, Mom getting a call from Juniper about sending Bianca to deliver the pokedex and starter. After being called selfish cause I said I didn’t want one, off to get my Starter, but ran into the villainous Paulie. Who tags along and we find her on the landing and I pick… Oshawott. Really wanted Snivy, but forced myself to pick someone new and liked Oshawott better then Tepig. We named it Samus, slogging through the tutorials and off we went. Fighting off Team Plasma and made quick work of Cheren. Finally get on my way. Being very careful on who I add to the team, I don’t catch anything till Growlithe popped up in Virbank, named it Jill and after getting her caught up with Samus. We took down Roxie for the second badge. After the painfully slow movie making experience. Took a bit of delight in ramopaging through Team Plasma to get out and finally back to Castelia. Where I immediately got lost before Iris lead me to the Sewer and forced my to partner with Paulie. Getting away without adding anymore to the team and knocked out Burgh with no issues, but Elessa proved to be a brick wall. Couldn’t deal with the Emolga’s Vault Switches. During grinding we added Daisy the Roselia and with some team work. Walked down the runaway victorious. Clay stood no chance and I spent a lot of time in the Poke World Tournament, trying to forget that Paulie’s Motivation is over a stolen Purrlion, before moving on. Thanks to Alessa the Zebstrika we picked up on the way to the tower, Skyla was no problem, but I immediately turned around. Missing an important teammate, Gothita. Psychics are one of my favorite typing and Gothitelle is worth the added grind work. We caught one outside of Nimbassa and Senua joined the team. Helping Bianca with her Research and learned about the mysterious third dragon and told to go ask that of Drayden as well as if he heard anything about the other two… As soon as I can beat him. My team not equipped to deal with Dragons. After some grinding cheesed it by with poisons, but going to need to address it at some point. Not now because, after learning about Kyurem. Zinzolin froze the town. Getting away with the DNA Splicer ad we chase his ship down to Route 21 and back to the Big Chasm once I figured out the pipe puzzle. Ghetsis proving to be a handful, before finally being beaten and off to the league. Where I was still not prepared for Iris in the slightest. Had a Vanillish that I was going to train up, but ran into Druddigon and loved that Play-Doh looking dragon so much, he took the Ice Cream Cones spot and the name, Sheik. The team was set and on a run through that was purely to get some money and Experience. We hit a hot streak that took us all the way to Iris. Chipping it down to Haxorous vs Samus and Senua and Samus delivering the final blow to put us back into the Hall Of Fame. Post game, was spent catching the legendries, spending way to much time in the World Tournament and restring to her office on the Avenue.
Review and Discussion
While this wasn’t as strong as Pokemon Black, there was a lot of thing to love about this entry. The designs of the gyms were spectacular. The runway for Elessa made me laugh seeing the picture pop on the big screen after winning and walking down with everyone at the end. The rock concert with Roxie and the Koffing mural. Burgh’s Spider-Webbing was gorgeous. Even thing the elevator dragon worked better here for Drayden. Really got me to look forward to each time I went to a new gym, albeit, missed the cannons.
They incorporated Bianca and Cheren back into the story in a thought out way, that suitted their characters in the perfect way. Cheren’s competitive nature would lead him to being a Gym Leader, while Bianca being more of an explorer. Yearning to not only discover her place among the world and life with Pokemon made a good assistant for Juniper and liked the fact I was dealing with her most of the time.
The cherry on the sundae has to be the Poke World Tournament. Such a fun mini game. Could spent all day facing all the gym leaders from the various games. Seeing how the brackets would turn out and hope you got the coverage. Misty’s Starmie really becoming the vain of my existence but just wanted to play again to try and get another win.
On the negative side, Team Plasma suffered without N. He was an intriguing villain that incorporated the elite four and its social standing. Ghetsis was just to paint by the numbers to care about and even as I am typing this, I can’t get over how mind numbingly dumb ” Paulie’s” motivation is here. I gave Platinum shade over the friend being a nuissance, but here was so much worse. His motivation is his sister’s Purrloin being stolen five years earlier when he was to small to do anything and he is trying to find it. None of this works First off it is a Purrloin. They are everywhere, I get the idea of pokemon being special individual but it is literally the Pokemon Bianca teaches you how to catch Pokemon with. At least make it a Meowth or something different to make it special. The Shadow Triad who has it isn’t even the only one Team Plasma has and not Memorable enough to remember. Not to mention he doesn’t even take in the fact that it had plenty of time to evolve after five years and all. Just a bad and his screams Feel my rage made me hate teaming with him.
At the end of it all though. Still had a great time playing Black 2. Unova has been a genuine treat. Difficulty scale felt smooth. Able to keep your party balanced and wild pokemon string enough to grind efficiently off of. The designs were nice and can’t say enough good things about it. Grade – A+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
It is that special time of year. The best time in fact. Scary movies abound and might as well throw in a few Horror Themed Games while I am at it. With the sequel due out next year and desperately needing a break from Pokemon. No better time to go back and check out Vampire The Masquerade The Bloodline. I didn’t play it when it came out. Never heard of it in fact, till I saw the sequel, but they had me the moment it said, Vampire RPG. So, I picked it up on Steam and played through and now am here to talk a bit about my playthrough and how nine yards. Lets dive in shall we.
When you select new game, you are given two questions. One, can skip to your create a character option or go to a short questionnaire, in which your answers will dictate your clan. Which is what I did and the powers to be placed my in the Brujah Clan. Dished out various points. Leaning heavy into the Melee and intimidation and away we went. Getting a cut scene where it shows you becoming a vampire and are attacked and the two of you are taken to a committee. Seems that turning someone without permission is against their laws and they kill the guy who turned me. Before my verdict is said, a man interrupts. Getting everyone worked up and Lacroix decides to take you in and sends you on a mission to Santa Monica, but not before getting to know a Vampire named Jack through the voluntary tutorial. As well as the Sabbat. A clan of more viscous vampires. Once you get set loose on Santa Monica, tasked with helping your contact who got beaten down, get a bomb to use on a Sabbat warehouse, but once you get the bomb. You have to find a Vampire who is in hiding from another vampire named Therese and she isn’t going to call off the vendetta till you help with a ghost issue and all made worse due to her issues with her split personality Jenette bubbling to a boiling point and you get caught in between. Once one of them wins out, you get to find the Vampire who can help, blow up the warehouse and off to downtown you go. To report in with Lacroix, only to be attacked by Sabbat and saved by Nines. The same man who intervened during the opening scene and the leader of The Anarch Clan. Wanting you to meet him at the Last Round for the real story. Before though, we got to report in with Lacroix, who will give you a job of checking out a ship called the Elizabeth Dane. Which has a sarcophagus which may house an Antediluvian. An Elder Vampire who will kick of Gehenna, The end of time. After checking it out, he wants you to steal it from the museum. Only it is stolen before you can get to it and now you have to track down the Nosferatu to find out who else knew and get it back. Along the way, you meet various other groups and colorful characters and try to decide which group you want to side with at the end or if you want to make a run at the end, solo.
This game has got so much going for it. The Main Story arch was enticing. Wondering just how far down the well you have to go. Wondering what group you want to side with and is this all real. Is Gehenna really upon you or is it all just a superstition. My first playthrough I sided with the Anarchs, but there are so many different avenues you can go that I hyped to play again and see all the various endings for myself and the main story is only part of why I want to play again. The side quests and various clans all play heavily on replay value.
Clan wise, you got the Brujah, who are the Anarch rebels. Gangrel are your brooding loners who get a bonus for frenzy. Nosferatu is your hardcore mode. They are mutated to the point where you can’t be seen and stealth is a must. Torredors are all about sticking close to human as you can an being more class while Ventures are your high society type who will vomit if you drink from Prostitutes or homeless. Tremer are magic and Malkavians are your wild ride. They are schizophrenic and minds are broken. Can see bits of the future and have the craziest dialogue options because of it. If you want a crazy ride, Malkavians are defiantly the way to go, but regardless of which. They will change up how you want to go at things. Making each run something a little different.
The side quests are abundant and highly enjoyable throughout. Mostly due to the charismatic characters and just how much detail and time they put into them and kind of entwinning them together. In Santa Monica, you meet a group of Thin Bloods, who want to know who they are and see his Lily again, but can’t find her. So you set off to find her and takes you to a Bail Bondsman, who needs help finding his Bounty Hunter. After finding him, you are asked to check to see if Muddy skipped town and he has and that ties in with a serial killer story down the line. You can become a silent partner in the club Confessions, by helping Venus and get an 250 every once in a while. Fight off zombies, a Plaguebearer, and deal with a Werewolf, and the best man, Jack. So much you can do besides the main story and your choices, humanity and deciphering the insanity that is the Malkavian.
Now this game does have some flaws and I made it a lot harder on myself then it probably should have been by making a full blown melee character. Waves of enemies towards the end starts to become a bit daunting and Ming Xiao fight towards the end was nightmare fuel because of how difficult she was for me. I didn’t have a lot of ammo due to the fact that wasn’t the style I was going for, my fault, but the fact you have the option to build up melee characters and drop a boss fight like that on you is almost a bit uncalled for. All for difficulty but Ming Xiao is on another level. So make sure to drop a few points into ranged and have some ammo.
It is a bit rough around the edges fighting wise. Playing very much like a game from 2004. I read a lot in the comment section of game breaking bugs in this game if you don’t download the unofficial patch to fix some of it. I never had anything like that. Had one bug that was more entertaining then frustrating. I died in the maze at the FU Building, but during the Final Death animation I was teleported to where they were keeping the vampire prisoner and succeeded the quest, but when I still had to go through the level anyway. Bringing up the patch, because I do suggest picking this game up.
This game has some deep extricate stories, even some of the side quests and everything is really up to how you want to play. Mix all of that with Vampires and various monsters running around. Makes just the perfect game to play, especially during this, the best time of the year. Looking forward so much to the sequel. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed, and….
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
I went into this generation a little more nervously and a little more cautiously. Going into Pokemon Platinum blind ended up making my run more difficult than it probably should have been and in this generation, it is all new Pokemon to the table, till after you beat the Pokemon League. Which as much as I like the idea of. Was kind of nerve racking at the same time, so this time I looked up the Pokedex and skimmed through it. Nothing about Gym Leaders or story. Wanting to experience all of that as blindly as possible. Scouting out potential Pokemon to keep an eye out for and after a few minutes, it was time for Mui to leave her Villa behind and begin a new. Lets dive in and chat a bit shall we.
The game kicks off with Professor Jupiter going through the normal spill but some little differences. This time we get two pals, Bianca and Cheren ( One friend and one rival, looking at you Cheren) and the Pokemon are delivered to Mui’s House and the game’s biggest question is upon us… okay, so it wasn’t really hard, it was Snivy. I know I just used a Grass type in Turtwig, but really didn’t like the evolutions for Tepig or Oshawott. Bianca got Oshawott and Tepig went to Cheren. After wrecking them and the bedroom. We go to leave, but make pitstop to pick up Bianca where we learn her Dad is arguing with her. Vehemently against her going on an adventure at her age. We keep it a secret and after Jupiter sends us on the usual got to catch them all quest, the three of us take our first steps out of town and into what feels like an endless wave of tutorials and a walkthrough of the Pokecenter. When we are introduced to Team Plasma. The villainous group that runs off the idea that Pokemon are slaves to their trainers and shouldn’t be forced to battle and demands their release. Even if it means stealing them. We encounter a trainer named N, who can speak to Pokemon and get the feeling we will be seeing him a lot. After the battle the game starts to open up to the normal routine. Fighting gym leaders and traveling around. Encountering Team Plasma, who are some evil people. At one point, one of their grunts are kicking a Pokemon. When things change at Niambasa City. While chasing Team Plasma through a theme Park. We board a Ferris Wheel with N to get a better viewpoint of the city. To find out that he is the King of Team Plasma. Telling us that he plans on defeating the Pokemon Champion and using the pull they have, to make everyone release their Pokemon. Making it so much more important for us to get the badges to stop him.
I really love a lot of what they did with this game. Giving you the two friends who are each trying to find their way in the world. At odds with her family. So badly wanting to find her way in the world and being overwhelmed with it all. Cheren was not as interesting, kind of a weaker Gary. Kid who they were forced to hangout with because there were only three kids in town and it would be rude not to include him. Wanting to be the very best, but having no idea what that means or what to do is he became the best. They were effect as friends though and having them meet up and taking their first steps together was a rather sweet touch.
Everything about the Gym Leaders were great. First, they were all charismatic. Every encounter I had with them was a blast. Their gyms had great aesthetics and designs. Between getting shot out of cannons at Mistraltron and the coaster at Nimbasa. The honeycombs of Castelia and the museums of Nacrene. Was genuineuly hyped any time I got to go to a new gym, but then they were actively apart of the story. They are hunting down Team Plasma and marked out when they arrived at the Mansion at the end to fight the sages so I could go forward and by having them being involved to this extent. Heightened the danger Team Plasma were. The Élite Four were a little underwhelming, but being four of my favorite types. Ghost, Psychic, Dark and Fighting. Can’t be to upset over it.
Team Plasma stole the show. They were shown just how ruthless they were. Attacking weaker Pokemon and stealing Bianca’s Pokemon. Build a relation between N and your character that hasn’t been seen. Recognizing that you are the threat instead of scoffing or playing it off. Ghelsis little about face was a little dumb, but after everything that you got to go through is nothing really. In a way, there argument for releasing your Pokemon is kind of better than the one against them. We do force them to fight till they feint. Getting poisoned and paralyzed. Forcing them into a small ball to wait till they have to do it all over again for money and our own pride. Not to mention dress them up and actually dance for our entertainment. While the counter argument is.. love. They do all this for love. Which is fine, but trainers could treat them a little better. Try not cramming them into a ball and take them on the Ferris Wheel… I really loved Nimbasa City.
I really enjoyed a fair amount of the Pokemon designs. My favorites obviously are the one’s in my party. Gothitelle, Krookodile (My MVP during the Elite Four and against N), Gurdurr, Chandelure and Serperior. Purrloin almost had a spot, but was being a little too annoying in the early going to level up. Loved the beautiful colors of Archeops. Were there some that I didn’t like, sure. Didn’t care for the Ice Cream Cone and really hated Cofagrigus. Seriously, it was a Sarcophagus with ghost limbs and looks ridiculous, but they had way more hit then misses and that is fine. Not going to bat a thousand and they tried hard.
Pokemon Black honestly rivals generation one for me. Had such a blast playing through this game. Had a fun group to be traveling with, charismatic Gym Leaders that are actively trying to face the threat instead of being blind to it, or only care about their town. Fun Pokemon designs and loved the city backdrops and settings. Team Plasma were great to square off against and a massive Post Game. Genuinely look forward to my next playthrough of this game. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
After having a blast playing my way through Pokémon Ruby. Went into Platinum with a bit more enthusiasm. Unlike Ruby, I had no idea what to expect going into the fourth generation and wanted to keep it that way. Which was sort of a mistake since my next self-imposed rule of trying to use new pokemon as much as possible and away from what I just used in Ruby and none from Generation 1. As you saw from the thumbnail though, that rule fell apart. With that said, time for Mui to depart the cave and begin a new journey. Lets dive in shall we.
We had to make two important questions this time. Having to name the rival (I refuse to call him friend no matter how much they try to push it) and I named him, Paulie, cause he is the enemy and then we get to pick our starter, after managing to get Paulie out of the house. It was a little difficult this time around. Kid of liking all three. Eliminating Chimchar since I picked Torchic. Came real close to Pinplup, but choose Turtwig named Pamela. A move I would regret later, but off we went. Trudging slowly through tutorials, but managing to catch Roxy the Starly and Electro The Shinx. Making my way through the tutorials in Jubilife and glad to see things open up after getting the Poketech, but things stopped for a vastly different reason in Eterna Forest. First, I really liked the team up missions. Different spin on things and any time they shake up the game play, I am always up for, but I also added two more Pokemon. Buneary named Harley, and a Ghastly named Trickster. My rules say I can’t have him on my team, but had to evolve him to the Best Boy, Haunter. My favorite Pokemon of all time and had to have one at least in my PC. So, took a bit of time and when he evolved, with a heavy heart, put him in the PC and continued on. Had already met Team Galactic, but thought so little of them, due to how Rowan treated them early on, but they were quick to grow on me. Their Grunts were insane, running around with explosives and while they were cheesy. Right kind of cheesy to hook me in. Loved encountering Mars, Saturn and Jupiter and was pretty much running through everything to keep going with their storyline and wanting to see how it ended, and loved the finale. The Distortion world was great and Cyrus was a tough battle. I used the Master Ball on Giratina and named it Spectre. With Team Galactic behind me though, was kind of sad to carry on with the Gym Leaders because the mistakes I made were beginning to catch up to me.
I had some real issues with Bryon and Candice and while Volkner and Victory Road were a non issue. The league was a different story and Unlike before it was more than a leveling issue. My team was not balanced well at all. Even with Giratina taking hits to heal, barely making it past Aaron. Bertha was easy enough with Lopunny rocking Grass Knot, but Flint was devasting since I didn’t have a water type and when I did manage to get by him, Lucian finished me off fast. I needed a new strategy. So, I turned my attention to collecting the three Mythical pokemon, Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf and training up a fire pokemon and well, was going to make the painful transformation of Magmar to Magmortar, but thankfully couldn’t due to the trade stipulation, but Magmar was needed for Aaron Than added Uxie for its Yawn move. After some time up at Snowpoint, was ready to go. With Magmar sweeping Aaron, Lopunny hossing her way through Bertha, and Torterra Earthquaking through Flint with Starraptor and Luxray assisting. The team working together on Lucian. It was on to the wall known as Cynthia. Lost counting on the number of times Garchomp destroyed my team. Had nothing to slow it down and had to pull out a ton of tricks. Uxie yawn to put it to sleep. Torterra used Leech Seed and managed to widdle it down enough before dying, and Lopunny finally put it down. Magmar put her final Pokemon, Roserade down and we became the Pokemon Champion. Had a great time in the post game. A ton more places to journey through and more pokemon to seek out, but after all the extra grinding and Cynthia. Did just enough to stop Team Galactic one last time and retired to the Villa, with Haunter in place of Uxie.
Platinum was a game of steep ups and downs. I hated the rival/friend. Mostly because he didn’t feel like either. Just annoy sight to constantly run into and other characters constantly telling me how nice our friendship got old. The gyms ascetics were nice. Like the clock in the garden and the gym setting, but none of the leaders were memorable, except for maybe Crasher Wake due to the mask but none of them were exceptionally interesting to interact or battle. I only had an issue cause I didn’t do a good job building my team. Torterra being strong, but would be destroyed with ice, fire, dragon, or aerial. Pinplup really should have been my choice. The overreliance on older Generation Pokemon as well. If you didn’t pick Chimchar you would need a generation 1 or 2 Pokemon. Unless you had traded for Magmortar, who is as drastic downgrade on Magmar, I don’t care about stats, Magmar is awesome in my opinion. Same with Electabuzz for that matter.
With that said, the pros easily out do the negatives. To have a powerhouse such as Cynthia be your final obstacle was great, because she was a champion. Her team were unbelievably tough and required thought to overcome and just a joy to deal with. Team Galactic stole the show. Building off Team Magma using Pokemon to change the Earth. Cyrus just upped the game by rewriting everything. As B-Movie story arch as it might be, was great fun to go against. So much Pokemon and Sinnoh Lore. Then you get to the Distortion World which really built up the whole adventure to a whole other level and made the finale with Cyrus feel special.
While Platinum may not be as good as Ruby was, still had a fun time and glad I finally played. Final Grade – B+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You for Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
I lost my mind when the Trailer revealing that they were remaking this game. Destroy All Humans is a game series that I have held close to my heart since it first came out in 2005. From over the top violence and comedic lines. Thrown in with some levels that have made me and my friends absolutely insane. So was all for them updating the graphics and bringing it back. So, lets dive into the invasion shall we.
They really didn’t mess with the story in anyway. Bringing us the exact same story in all of its glory. Telling the tale of how the US Military accidentally blew up a UFO and captured the alien, Cryptosporidium-136. While high up in the Mothership, Orthopox watches on. When another Crypto comes up behind him asking what happened. Turns out they are a race known as Furons, and they reproduce via cloning, and this one is Crypto – 137. An ultra violent one who demands to not only go and rescue his brother, but to destroy everything in the process. Pox agrees, but to a point. Humans see have buried in their DNA, Furon DNA. Which is needed to help restore the degrading cloning process. All the while, Crypto is being chased by the Military and shadow organization known as Majestic. Lead by the mysterious leader called Silhouette. Which was the perfect way to go.
Not changing the game to much may not make for any exciting changes or new little surprises, but didn’t really want any of it from this game. Being more of a remaster than an outright remake. Wanting to relive the magic of the first game, with the witty dialogue and challenging boss battles with newer graphics and they gave us just that and the game looks gorgeous.
Crypto looks amazing. The purple veins and hues around the side of his head. Opening and closing pores, and especially his eyes. Deep red that had layers beyond, that looks so alive and ominous. Loved the fact the humans kept a cartoonish look. The colors of the Mothership and the UFO really pop out at times. Then you get the color burst explosions from his weapons which were both a blessing and a curse we will talk about later on.
Most of the voice acting was done with using the archived voices and yeah they still sound great. J. Grant Albrecht is stellar as Crypto. So was Richard Steven Horvitz and Nika Futterman as Pox and Silhouette. Would have liked some newer dialogue from the NPCs. When you blow through the town on a side mission. Tend to hear the same the lines on repeat kind of gets old pretty fast and going to have the line, “…My name is Bill and I am right” in my head for the next fifteen years, but the main cast does well enough to make it worth while.
Okay, we got to talk about that nightmare of a final level. Wow, I have seriously forgot how hard the older bosses were. Before I go into it, I did enjoy how hard this fight was. Seriously miss when the final boss was a force to be reckoned with, but this had some serious flaws to it. First you get the infuriating UFO fight against the Robo-Prez and the UFO controls that makes it the least fun flying a UFO can be when you are trying to do anything more than casual destruction. Then you go right into battle with Silhouette. Which was fun, difficult and overloading all at the same time. Destroying you if you dare try to retreat. Having to juggle her variety of destructive weaponry, mounted guns and ever back up Majestic Soldiers and Mutants and keeping the Disintegrating Ray loaded at the same time. As well as a Robo-Prez electrocuting the ground intermittently. At times that there is so much going on and colors flashing wildly that it overloads your eyes and will miss something that will end up destroying you and then I made a horrible mistake. I backed out to Upgrade Crypto and had to restart.. from the Robo-Prez fight. Seriously spent more time on these two fights, then I had with the entire game leading up to it. Like I said at the start. Love the fact Silhouette is no pushover. Made it one to remember, but everything around it was a nightmare.
With that said, I had a blast playing Destroy All Humans again. Getting to relive the fun moments, challenging levels, and a difficult boss level. So, if you missed it the first time. Check out the remastered classic of a game. Fingers crossed they green light the second one. Final Grade – A
As always, I hope you enjoyed and..
Thank You For Reading.,