By: Justin Hopkins
So, I had a lot of fun talking about Vampire Masquerade: Rivals last month. So, much so that decided to do it again. This time with Prospero Hall’s Horrified. Pitting you or a group of players against some of Universal’s Classic Monsters in the form of Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, Creature of the Black Lagoon, Invisible Man, Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein. Seeing them on the cover was more than enough to sell me on adding the game to my collection. With a bunch of play throughs done, lets jump in and discuss.
The goal is pretty simple. You sit down by yourself or with others, and decide first, which monster, or combination of monsters you want to terrorize the village this fine evening, and set the board accordingly. The Monster with the highest Frenzy Marker. Then you pick you character, each with various abilities to help you move, pick up items and some can teleport to certain spaces. Along with a perk card. Place 12 random item tokens across the map and the game begins. A player starts their moves picking up necessary items and try to complete tasks that will allow you to defeat the monsters you have chosen. You need to break 3 coffins for Dracula, deliver evidence of the Invisible Man, find a cure for Wolfman, solve a puzzle for The Mummy, get the boat to the lair for the creature, and teach the Frankenstein’s to be human. After a player has taken a turn, it’s the Monster turn in the form of drawing a Monster Card. Which will tell you what to do, which monsters are moved, and some will place villagers on the board. All needing to go to a different location. If a player can get them there, they are awarded a Perk Card. If a monster is to land on the spot. They roll a number of dice dictated on the monster card to see if they are attacked or not. The good guys win, by meeting the achievements and defeating the monsters. While the monsters win because the terror meter has filled, from successful attacks on the players, killing villagers and Frankenstein and the Bride encountering one another before they are humanized. The monsters also win, if you have taken to long and run out of Monster Cards to flip over.
The game’s biggest positives is it’s replayability. Trying to defeat different combinations of monsters and adding more to the mix the more you play. Not even when you play with other people, but when you play by yourself. Trying to think about what you are going to do multiple steps ahead to deal with the number games. Had multiple games come down to the last monster card and have squeaked out the win and suffered brutal losses that get me to readjust and think about what I did wrong while setting up for another game.
It has a real sense of lulling you into a sense of safety and security. Believe your team has everything in the bag and going you way. Before you know it though, the terror meter is getting dangerously close to filling and running out of monster cards. Regretting not detouring to grab a villager or playing a perk card and the victory you thought was certain is now slipping from your grasp.
They put a lot of time and love into making everything that comes in the box. The board coming with places you’d find in the various monsters world. Each character feeling special and unique in the challenges they present to beat them. While the miniatures feel a bit fragile, especially The Mummy, they do look gorgeous and absolutely loved being able to paint them. Which, was a first and I have a long way to go to get good at.
I don’t have any real negatives, but I do have a want. Cause this game does have the potential to be more. They can really make some fun expansion packs for it, and kind of surprised that they haven’t. Seen some people’s suggestions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Headless Horseman Elvira and such. Would love to see an 80’s horror slashers. Would be so much fun having a game, where you have Frankenstein and his Bride, The Headless Horsemen, and Freddy Krueger on the board at the same time. I love the seven we get, but I feel like this can just be scratching the surface and could get more from it.
With all that said though. It is not a complex game that you can play and have a good times with friends or family or even alone. Which is something I love the most. Since even when I can’t get people to play. I can still bust this out and enjoy myself and adore the fact that they did use the classic monsters and rekindle my appreciation I have for them and would gladly suggest picking this up and adding it to your collection.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
So, this is a new one for me. We have covered movies, shows, Video Games, Wresting, Audio Books and even a comic, but never a Bored Game. An ever growing hobby of mine during the Pandemic, thanks largely time spent watching to lovely folks over on No Rolls Barred at YouTube ( Who are fantastic and you should check them out if you are into bored games.) It was only a matter of time before it merged with my other budding love of the World Of Darkness, which has been taking over since Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines. Have picked up the V5 Core book for some tabletop madness. Play test The Bloodhunt Closed Alpha, and got Vendetta, which I will play one day when I get more friends and now we get to the newest additions, Renegade Game Studios, Rivals By Matt Hyra. I didn’t know much about it, besides the fact it’s World Of Darkness and Card Game and that it can be played with 2 so I was sold. As me and my buddy started to play, was just amazed by how much fun I was having and decided wanted to talk about the game in the blog. So, lets dive in and see what the World Of Darkness conjured up in the Game of Rivals.
While this game can be a bit difficult to understand and run with, but at the heart of it; It’s all about taking charge of a Coterie (Group), and take charge of San Francisco. The game comes with 4 premade decks to choose from, Brujah, Toreadors, Ventrue, and the Malkavians. Each having their own set of skills to collect Agenda Points. Brujah being the fighters, Toreadors being the ones to collect retainers (Humans) Ventrue building up ranks and Influence Points, and the Malkvains going for cerebral with their conspiracies. Along with an expansion deck so once you have a few games in, can start making coteries of your own, with differing vampires and agenda and such. Which ever you choose, you set up your side and in the middle goes the general store and the City Deck. City deck filled with events that can hinder or reward you, Second Inquisitors out to ruin your night and humans for the feasting. Along with the Prestigious, Prince Of The City Card. Can win in multiple ways, by collecting thirteen Agenda Points, knocking out your rival, or you lose if you run out of prestige.
There is so much going on with this game that I don’t know where to start to praise it. There is simply so many ways to play that it feels fresh every time you. From building up influence and power with the Ventures. So, you can sway conflict votes and build up the Agenda Points that way. Racking up Retainers with the Toreardors. It’s always satisfying to win fights with the Brujah. That’s before I even mix up the decks and seeing how well things work and mesh together.
The balance of the game is handled pretty well. The game feels competitive throughout and on more than one occasion the games I played came down to the wire. Losing one game because I didn’t have a vampire to put a title on, and for me that’s what makes this game so exciting. Every turn really matters and makes you reflect. Think about what went wrong and get better because of it.
I loved the art style on the cards. From really bringing out and highlighting what makes the clans them, but making all the other cards pop as well. From the influence conflicts cards to the various weapons. A lot of work and love went into the art work and it shows.
This is a soft negative, but it comes to the Malkavians, most specifically their Conspiracies. This is a soft negative because I could just be overlooking some tactic to use with this side of the conspiracy and in a month, change my tune entirely, but for the most part it’s almost detrimental to play as them. The way it works is you got conspiracy cards you play facedown, and you can put prestige points on them. Show them to another players if you wish to pay on it, and when it has reached the pay limit you can enact it. Which can net you some rewards and come back to hurt who doesn’t, but none of this works in a two player game. You’ll just bleed prestige points and even in larger groups, the other clans just have to many ways to build a lead on you or just outright attack you and with Malkavians having some low Blood points. Can have some trouble weathering the storm.
With all that said though, this game is still worth the purchase. The World Of Darkness did a wonderful job at putting Rivals together. There is so much replay value and with the fact they give you an expansion pack allows you to start making your own decks. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it is definitely worth the purchase.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
Resident Evil 8 Village has finally arrived and I was all kinds of excited for it. Follow up to the fantastic Resident Evil: Biohazard and the stellar work they did with the remakes, I couldn’t wait for this game. Plus, it was getting to dodge all of the promotional and advertisement for it. Which I was nearly spot on doing, although, not completely. Lady Dimitrescu certainly made the rounds online. Some good, with some great cosplays and fanart and some very wrong ways, but the game is here and now that I have played my way through, lets discuss shall we.
Game kicks off with an animated Fairy Tale, which turns out is being read by Mia to her baby Rose, much to Ethan’s chagrin. Still hung up on the events if what happened 3 years prior in Louisiana. After we put the kid to bed, we get into an argument with Mia, who just wants to move on. Which is interrupted by her being riddled with bullets and special ops rush in, being led by Chris. Whop take Ethan and baby rose. After a quick flashback, of another argument between Ethan and Mia, where she is about to tell us something, only he is interrupted by a call from work. When we come to, the car we were being taken in has been flipped, agent is dead and Rose is gone. So, down the trail we go. Coming out over a rampaged village, with a castle looming overhead. Finding a knife and a villager lives long enough to give us a pistol, before being killed by a Lycans. Managing to take him and another down, which sets off a siege. Despite, finding a shotgun, I elect to run around like a lunatic, to preserve ammo, not needing a Resident Evil 5 situation again. Using the ammo when needed and burning the clock to them leaving and enter The Hag. Who was kind enough to lock us in where we needed to be. After a bit of stumbling around, we find some Villagers, who are killed during a cutscene when the one turns, but lucky for us, we get a screwdriver and the crest we need out if the whole situation. Which allows us to gain access to the castle, only to be kidnapped by a guy who can manipulate metal with his mind. Taking us down with easy and dragging us off to the family. Who are arguing over who gets to kill Ethan Heisenberg won, but we escape his little track and manage to backtrack to where we were grabbed. Starting off to the main castle where we were greeted by The Duke, this games merchant. A jolly guy who knows more than what he says, but as long as he sells me ammo, he can take his time. Finally getting into the castle and started destroying the valuable, till we are yet again, whisked away by the three sisters, who stab us with sickles, and drag us to their Mother, Lady Dimitrescu. Who hang us on the walls and goes to inform Mother Miranda. Leaving us time to mangle Ethan’s hands that much more to escape. Starting to explore, loot and try to find the Bedroom Chambers. Where Rose might be held. Along the way, we learn that the sister’s are made vulnerable to the cold, and manage to take one of them out. When we learn that Rose isn’t here. Our objective changes and we are now looking for masks to escape. Dealing with the two remaining sisters, staying one step ahead of the roaming Lady Dimitrescu. Once we manage to get the doors open, it’s boss fight time, with the mutated version of Lady Dimitrescu. In a fight that felt like should have been harder. Regardless we get a treasure and a dirty flask. Moving back toward the village, The Duke informs us that we have indeed found Rose, a part of her anyways, her head to be exact, inside the flask. After finding a part to add to the key, he tells us the score. That Rose can be saved, but we must collect the three remining flasks, from the three remining Lords; Beneviento, Moreau. and Heisenberg, and that is where I will leave this for now.
This game is absolutely stunning. Right from the start, you get a really fun and pretty animation style for The Village of Shadows. When you stumble onto the Village. The scenery shot of the looming castle overlooking the small village was breathtaking. From the Rustic down trodden design of the village. The décor and architecture of the castle was stellar. The light and shadows blended through and glistening gold trim that was around the rooms. With the dank, claustrophobic sensation when you were running around the dungeon and basements. Quaint, beauty and unnerving feeling that lingered over Beneviento’s Dollhouse. Along with the swamp and the factory. They delivered on the graphics and arty department throughout and deserve the highest of praises for their work.
They really hit it out of the park when it came to the cast of characters in this game. Heisenberg oozed charisma, to the point I was upset that Ethan didn’t agree to team up with him. Moreau was both grotesque and sad. Seriously, felt bad when he was screaming out for Mother throughout the fight. That carried over to the sisters, Bela, Cassandra and Daniela. Besides just being fun little side bosses. When they were in trouble and started begging felt genuinely sad. Lady Dimitrescu got a loot of attention going in, for good reason. She was an awesome villain. An imposing figure to say the least and although her A.I didn’t feel like it was on the same level of Mr. X, but if she did catch up, her attack was devastating. Really wish she had more screen time, but for my money, Donna Beneviento was the best of the bunch. Her area was staged perfectly. Ramping up to the suspense and building on the psychological aspects was done to perfection and stole the show and I haven’t even talked about Mother Miranda yet. Who made for an intense final boss, who was a nightmare to everyone beneath her. Heisenberg saying that everyone, from him and the Lords to the people in the village have all been subjected to her terrible experiments, all to bring back her long deceased Daughter. Showing just how cruel and dark this desperate women would take things. Them you throw on characters like The Duke, a returning Chris Redfield, the Hag, and the constant mix-up of “Cannon Fodder” Monsters, made for a terrific ensemble.
All of this was made possible by the strong performances from the Voice Cast. Maggie Robertson was excellent as Lady Dimitrescu. Speaking with Class and sophistication that Lady Dimitrescu carries herself with. Nicole Tompkins, Jeanette Maus and Bekka Prewitt were great fun as the Sisters. Paula Rhodes was terrifying as Angie the Doll. Neil Newborn gave so much swagger and character to Heisenberg. Aaron LaPlante made Duke feel like the larger than life character that he is. Andi Norris may have had only one line as Beneviento, but I have so much love for that part of the game, I am shouting her out anyways, and so many many more. They put together a great cast who pumped so much love into each of their characters.
Spoiler time, Adding the bit that Spencer had been to the village, and Mother Miranda’s work with the Mold is what inspired him to create Umbrella and the T-Virus is an interesting choice that works for me. I appreciate the end they had so much they created and it actually caught me off guard. We have seen characters take a beating, but to have the twist with Ethan being dead. Dying at the hands of Jack at the start of Resident Evil 7, and this whole time, the mold has been keeping him alive was not only well done, but a needed one that took the story and elevated it to another level.
They needed that Jolt, because Ethan was a terrible Protagonist to have here. He worked so well in Seven, because they made it with VR in mind. Kept his personality next to none, because you were getting into the game and becoming Ethan. Something they did not have here. One step forward, even if you didn’t play VR. He was a new character, stuck in a house and dealing with all of this from new eyes and everything was shocking and could play to naivety. That doesn’t work here. He just says dumb things and started annoying me right from the start when he was complaining about the Village of Shadows story. They were aiming for a sad ending, but I was happy when he died and we got the play as Chris. Would have been happy to have ended the story with Chris, but as long as this is the end of Ethan’s road. Glad to move on from him. He isn’t the worst character, still better than Steve, but not mourning his loss. To be honest, think they could have kept everything with his sacrifice the same, but made Mia the main character at the end to fight Miranda may have worked better or just had Mia be the main character throughout.
A much smaller negative. they could have cut back on the number of puzzles. I know puzzles are a mainstay and should keep some, but when you have a Piano Puzzle, where all you have to do is slap buttons till you hit the right ones. That is not a puzzle. Just put the key on one of the Sisters, it’s fine and not just spam piano keys.
Despite the lackluster protagonists and tiny bits of negativity that really aren’t worth mentioning. The Pros far outweigh the cons. Resident Evil Village is still a great game. With gorgeous graphics and art design. A pretty decent blend of horror and action. Along with some great characters, I would strongly suggest picking up Resident Evil Village. Can’t wait for RE:Verse and where the series goes from here. Final Grade – B+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
We have come to the end of the line. Having started my little trek with Pokemon Ruby. May have taken a little bit longer then I expected it would, but here we are and as happy as I was going in, was sad at the same time. Have been having a lot of fun so far and didn’t want it to end quite yet. I know that there was a lot of dislike for this game, but other games had negativity around them that I really enjoyed so, with an open mind, lets talk about Mui’s final journey… for now that is.
The game kicks off with a cinematic of a battle about to start, with the undefeated champion, Leon. Hyping up Dynamax before we jump to Postwick. Meeting up with Mui, who was rudely interrupted by her friend Hop. Whop was excited for Leon, his brother, was coming with Pokemon. After having to go get him because he would get lost.. walking a straight line, but he did have pokemon and it was very hard. Wasn’t really fond of any of the three, but settled with Stormy the Sobble. After beating Hop and a BBQ. Had to go rescue a Wooloo who busted through the gate and into the dangerous Slumbering Weld. Encountering Zamazenta in the fog. Only he disappeared when Leon came to get us out and the journey began. Meeting with Sonia for the Pokedex, Adding a Nickit named Ripley, and Professor Magnolia, who gave us a Dynamax Band, made from a wishing star that fell during me beating of Hop. Each of us earning sponsorship to the gym challenges by Leon. Getting some camping gear from Mom and after the train couldn’t continue because of more Wooloo, ventured into the Wild Area. A place that I loved. So much fun running around. catching Pokemon that I wouldn’t use and messing with the Dens. Keeping a close eye to make sure I didn’t over level or anything but had fun exploring before finally arriving at Motostrike. Exploring around the town, buying some clothes and made a card. Dedicating my run to the Pokeball Mascot before going to the hotel. Where I encountered this game’s gang. Toxic fans of Challenger Marnie from Spikemuth, called Team Yell that I imagined all talked like NXT’S Pete Dunne. Beating them in battle and a conversation with Marnie, time to call it a day, before registering at the Gym. I picked the number four and they forced ,e into a uniform and head out to basically say hello to the crowd, because that was it. I stopped in to buy a new uniform, Poison, but wasted my money, because I was never able to change from the white one during gym battles, yeah I was bitter about that. Anyways. On my way, another Hop beating and made our way to the beautiful Gala Mine number 1. Where we meet our next Rival, Bede. Sponsored by big CEO Rose for the challenges and to collect wishing stars. The rude jerk we have been missing for so long. After knocking him out, it was off the the next city. Learning a bit of Galar Lore from Sonia but I was sweeting the Gym fight. Milo was grass and Ripley and Nickit were badly matched. Took two shot, second had my team stacked to survive the Dynamax to take him down. From there, I ran into Hop was kind enough to warn me ahead of his next beating and off to Hulbury. Where my ignorance struck again for not building more than a team of 2. I added an Electrike after my first loss to Nessa. Meeting up with Rose at a restaurant as he talked about all the good stuff he has done, really hoping we weren’t going where I thought we were when I left. Venturing back toward the hotel, fighting with off Bede and Marnie back at the hotel, making a mental note of how tough her Morpeko was. before going to gym 3, with Kabu. Our first easy gym and as they saw me and Hop off. Knew I had to come up with a better team for the second half. While Bede was beating Hop, I added Angelica the Timburr, Iggy the Sizzlipede and replaced Electrike with Jamie the Helioptile. Learning some more lore before making my way to the next city, where me and Sonia are interrupted by Bede trying to break apart a memorial to get wishing stars. A very cross Rose revoked his sponsorship for it. When they leave, the memorial falls apart and another lay beneath. Throwing the mystery up in the air. From there I went and stomped on the Ghost Leader. Then it was Opal’s turn, who, even after beating her and answering her questions, wouldn’t’ give me her gym. Getting to mock Bede back in Hammerlocke, but to my dismay Opal takes a liking to him and forces him to come along. The long to Circhester and two more Hop fights later and not just Iggy who shined, but after he dropped, I forgot to heal before the Campion, Ripley came in and started tanking and dodging everything, and able to win the day. Adding my final team member, Jaime the Sneasel as I went to Spikemuth. A town in desperate times. They don’t have a power spot and without the ability to Dynamax, people don’t come. Despite Pier doing his all to show you can have entertaining battles with and generally felt rewarding fighting him. From there we were back off to Hammerlocke, to fight Riahan and I was worried. Was able to get what I needed to evolve Jamie to Weavile but wasn’t sure if she was strong enough to handle it and got even more worried by finding doubles, but she held fast and the 8th badge was ours. Trekking to Wyndon where the Semi Finals began. Having to first fight Marnie and Hop, kind of wish they were reverse, but I did win the cheer squad and Team Yell which was a nice bonus. After Leon was late for dinner we had to fight our way to the Rose Tower. Where we hear them talking, Rose is concerned about Power running out in a thousand years. Leon says he will help, but tomorrow, after the tournament, but Rose is not happy about that, but we are done for today. The next day, we got the next half of the finals, but after Bede comes out, with the position that I was suppose to have, Fairy Gym Leader and challenges Mui to a fight. Accepted and defeated. Followed by Nessa, the Ghost Leader and Raihan. Setting up for Mui vs Leon… but no. Rose kicks off another Darkest Day, and me and Hop have to rush to gather the Sword and Shield from the Slumbering Weld. Heading back, learning he summoned Externatus. To harness for unlimited power. Having to beat him to get access to the roof. Where we need to help Leon. The first fight was simple enough but when he Dynamaxed we used the sword and shield to call Zaican and Zamazenta to help fight. Weakening him down to find a new home in my bag. After a few days, Leon ordered the Championship Match and after a fun finale, Mui handed him his first L and became champion. Post Game had a full on story, with Sordsward and Shielbert made off with the sword, after Hop couldn’t beat him. Running around the gyms. Forcing Pokemon to Dynamax and go wild. Even have their sister infiltrate Sonia’s Lab to get access to Wishing Stars. Building up to a finale where they expose Zaican to too much power and made him made. Zamazenta came to the rescue. Ending with each of us having one, and during the final fight got to tell Hop I wasn’t feeling it. There was still plenty left to do, but after all this, time for Mui to return home and retire a bit.
There is a lot of positives to talk about. The graphics and colors were all pretty good. The City and routes were all nice and appealing. Felt special and unique. Liked the U.K touches, dialogue especially, The conversations were fun to have and looked forward to the conversations because they were different. I loved the Cinematics. Felt like they got the most out of them. How they hyped up the the Dynamaxes at the beginning of the game. Properly building on the idea of having a rival that could push you. Making Leon feel like a champion and they did a good job showing how powerful Externatus was when he broke a Pokeball that was used to try and catch him. Simple scene that they made feel like a big deal.
Bede felt like a much needed character. Missing the jerk character and the fact that you got the option to be a jerk later was such a nice touch. At the same time, he had a character arc. That his attitude lead him down a bit of a bad path, even with Opal but he was taking the idea that he was a Gym Leader now seriously. Marnie was fun to interact with. That she knows Team Yell can be rough and out of line, but they were her fans and appreciates them. Her hometown friends who just want to be happy for her success. Then there was Hop, who, although was another friendly, got an Arc that separates him from the last bunch, in that his losses matter. They affected him on a deep level. Knowing that the pressure is on, by being Leon’s brother. Not just a smiling goof who shrugs off loses and that makes Hop such a deeper character in my eyes. All three were well done.
I loved the Wild Areas. A lot of time just biking around and exploring. Amused by all the Pokemon that would not just show up, but legit just come at you. Sneasels are terrifying when you see one come out of nowhere like its about to take out an ankle and it was great. We didn’t get the follow option back, but did have fun with Camping. Playing ball with my Pokemon and seeing what concoctions I could cook up at random and that is one of the things I love about these later games is how much interaction you can have with your Pokemon and this was no different.
Then, there was Spikemuth and the whole idea around the idea of this town. A town of nice people who care for one another and even though they have a gym, people didn’t want to come watch the battles because they didn’t have the new shiny thing and that was very clever and well done. Kind of making Spikemuth one of my favorite towns in the series and of course we got to talk about Team Yell. They were great. Loved the fact they were based around Toxic Fandom around sports team. That they aren’t necessarily bad. Are not trying to take over the world or steal Pokemon. They just get caught up in the moment and are doing dumb things. Good change of pace for the gang idea.
Onto the negative, and it is with the finale. Going with Rose was a boring and never rackingly cheap way to go. I thought they maybe had an interesting seeded planted to swerve and have Opal turn evil. Which would have been an Interesting way to go. The closest way we have had to an Evil Gym Leader was Giovani. When she pulled Bede that could have set something up, but no. They went with Rose. Who even when he broke bad, didn’t make any sense for him to do so. He waits five minutes and Leon was offering to help him with his problem. Would have made sense to, now that Nui is the Champion, Leon could dedicate all his time and him and Rose set off to find a solution for the Power problem. Instead, the took an easy way out.
Why, oh why would you sell uniforms if you couldn’t change them for Gym Battles. I get that you can wear them outside of the gyms, but no, they sell them separately from the regular clothes. Why even give us uniforms if we can’t change them. They did a good job at making this feel like a sport but they handled the uniforms horribly.
And, I continue to complaining about lack of Roller Skates, could have been a lot of fun to roller skate around here. Please give me the skates back.
That’s all I got for negatives. I had a lot of fun with Pokemon Shield. There were some issues with story, uniforms, and no roller skates, but the positives far out weigh them The characters were a lot of fun to interact with. Hop, Bede and Marnie were all enjoyable to be around. Liked the fact we got to watch Sonia grow into a Poke Professor. All of the gym challenges and Gym Leaders and they left me excited for what they put out next. Final Grade – B+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
As we inch closer to the end of the series. We take a short detour off the main road, for Pokemon Let’s Go. Their first on the Switch Platform and I was both excited and a little worried. Call myself Genwunner for a reason and the fact I got to go back and relive Kanto again, but I was a little nervous about what I was walking into. I knew a little about what I was getting into. About Catch Combos and Pokemon wondering about in the overworld and such. Picked Let’s Go, Eevee due to the fact I dislike Pikachu more, but still not a huge fan of Eevee either, but was still excited to get started and now that Mui’s journey is over. Lets break it down and discuss.
(Blogger note, Let me address Ultra Sun and Moon. I haven’t forgotten about them. Paulie held a poll about whether Ultra Moon was different enough from Moon to warrant a playthrough and the vote came back No. If you feel differently, please say so and I will take it under consideration.)
The game kicked off with Mui waking up and being greeted by the villainous Paulie. Eager to get out and get our Pokemon. Like a pro that I am, skipped the Lab and went to the trail, where we were the one to catch an Eevee and watched the ball bounce away. Catching up to it at the Lab and despite my best efforts. Picked Eevee and named hum Majin Buu and after delivering Oak’s Package and smacking Paulie around. We were off to the races, but kind of slowed down. Playing with Buu and debating about how I was going to build a team. Had a pretty set team when I was a kid, but choose to try out another to mix it up. So, before we made it to Viridian Forrest. Added female Nidoran named Bulma. Building them up along the way by mostly catching Pokemon that I dumped into the bag. My focus staying on Bulma and Buu. Getting to Pewter where I got way to excited over babysitting a Slowpoke and getting real thankful over the fact I caught a Bellsprout and took my rage out on Brock for that dumb rule and had a true geek out moment at seeing Blue. After the nightmare in Moon and a slew of friendly rivals. Was so glad to see Blue. Whop lost a bit of an edge through him maturing, but still had a bit of sarcastic wit and happy nevertheless. Rejuvenating my spirit and tearing through Mt. Moon’s Rockets and Jessie and James. Saving Misty for later. Running through second Paulie fight mostly off Eevee. Wasn’t even over leveled. Eevee is just a hoss in this one. I went this way because I had a memory off Oddish and Abra being up this way. After spending an embarrassing amount of time. Started to doubt myself until I pulled up a list. They moved Abra a few routes south and to my horror. Oddish is Pikachu exclusive. Caught Vegeta the Psyduck but he wasn’t long for the team. Thanks to Zippy Zap, Eevee dealt with Misty and we moved on. Catching 18 the Abra on the way to the S.S Anne. Training him up during my run through the boat, but I was worried about Surge…Not as a trainer but his stupid trash can puzzle. That thing would hang me up for so long and it still rages on. I beat Surge faster then it took me to open the door, but it allowed me to move on to the next leg and I really needed to start building a team. It was still just Buu, 18 and Bulma and I wasn’t sold on Bulma yet. While I didn’t find any in Rock Tunnel. That changed quickly. Adding Tien the Hitmonlee and 17 the Gastly while we were saving the poor Cubone, in a satisfying ending to the Poketower that I never knew I needed. Once I got the flute though, it was a mad dash to Fuchsia Stopping only to catch Caulifla the Ponyta. Excited to see the Safari Zone. Only there is none. Replaced it with the Go Park. A place to shift Pokemon from Pokemon Go and after a bit of playing around, sent some over. Frieza the Alakazam and Kale the Vileplume. They were not over level. I never committed to Go long enough for that. Highest was Alakazem at 28. So grinding was necessary still, but the team was complete and it was time to start knocking off challenges. Caulifla dealt with Koga and Erika. We took Giovani in Silph-Co before 17 and Frieza tag team to down Sabrina and team effort for Blaine and Giovani again. Getting by Paulie with ease and immediately got lost in Victory Road. Stumbling on Moltres byu accident, but was luckily prepared for it. Managing to find my way to the League. Team of Frieza the Alakazam, 17 the Haunter, Kale the Vileplume, Tien the Hitmonlee, Caulifla the Rapidash and Buu the Eevee, and after one shot, became Champion of Kanto for the first time in decades. Kicked off Post Game by collecting the other two Legendary Birds and a slugfest between me and Mewtwo. Leading to the best encounter in the game, with Green. I laughed way to hard at her throwing pokeballs at me. Rematching the gym leaders and then came the hard part, The Master Trainers. Replaced Kale and Caulifla for Psyduck and Charizard (because I knew where they were) and started Catch Combos. One set included a 116 Gravelers which included no shines. i was high enough to win 6 and finally took down Red for a change. With all of that done, it felt like it was time for Mui to retire home and wrap up this adventure.
I had such a great time playing this game. They really brought Kanto to life in a beautiful way. The colors all popped and the designs of the Pokemon were gorgeous. Places like Mt. Moon and Cerulean Cave were just amazing. The cinematic scene were a lot of fun that added to the place or situation. From little things like Eevee getting excited and running to inspect the fountain in Cerulean or even the dumb celebration of high fiving his tail. I was fine with the changes they did make, like seeing the heartbreaking Cubone Story and loved the fact he got to go with Paulie and grow into a Marowak of his own. To the more intense moments of encountering the Birds or Mewtwo. As corny as it sounds, they brought my childhood to life in the best possible ways.
I found that they really made it fun to catch Pokemon again, in my opinion. Finding myself just walking around. Watching what Pokemon came out. Going on random catch combos just to see which rare pokemon came out. Seeing pokemon like Chancey so early blew my mind, but got so much more fun at the end, when you see Dragonites and Charizards flying overhead. I spent so much time walking around and had a great time.
I loved the focus they put on interacting with your Pokemon. Eevee growing on me, from a pokemon that I didn’t care for going in and ended up loving it by the end. Interreacting and feeding him berries. Watching him moving around during the cinematics to see his reaction when around the Legendries. It carries over to the Pokemon that you pick to follow you. A component that should be in every game. True happiness is riding on the back of Haunter. I love the fact that you have the option to interact and feel like you get to bond with your pokemon and they are more then just go and fight the others.
It was fun seeing Red and Blue, despite how much it really throws the storyline out of the window. It was good to see Blue continue to grow and mature a bit. Being able to fight Red was fine, but Green stole the show. I wish we could have had her for a rival cause it was a blast dealing with her during the short time you do.
Mixed wise, Paulie was fine. Another friendly rivalry, which has run its course, but after the Nightmare known as Hau. He was fine here, and I feel like they could have done more with Jessie and James and having Meowth talk wouldn’t have been a big deal.
Negative… I am really hung up on the roller skates being taken away from me. They were so much fun. Please give me my skates back, but that is it for complaints here. Call me bias if you like, but I had a lot of fun with Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee. Brought the first Generation back in a wonderful way, love the cinematics, and adored the fact I got to interact with the Pokemon and seeing them in the wild was a nice way to go. Final Grade – A
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
As we inch closer to the end of the series, we arrive at the Seventh Generation, with Pokemon Moon. Going in I knew just a handful of things about Moon. Knew there was islands and that they replaced gyms with trails and added something called Z Moves and that was about it. While X was a fine game, thought they left a lot of places to grow on and was excited to see which way they went in Pokemon Moon. An unexpected change actually happened because of the Islands. Normally I would add a Pokemon or two as I go. Slowly building a team, but in this game, I really went in a different direction and staggered my team. Mixing and matching as I went till I had a team I liked. So, instead of telling who I had at what time. Just tell you how I had when I left each island. So, lets dive into Mui’s next chapter in the Genwunner series shall we.
The game kicks us off with a chase scene of a little girl being chased around a facility by guards. When something in her bag teleports them to safety after being surrounded. Before we catch up to Mui and her first day on a beautiful night on Melemele Island. Professor Kuki comes around and takes us to meet the Island Kahuna. Which turns into us having to go find someone we never met before. When we bump into Lillie, the girl from the beginning and we save her Nebby, Cosmog, from a group of Spearow and leads us to being saved by Island Guardian Tapu Koku. Leaving a stone for us when he departs. Leading them back, meeting the nightmare known as Hau, we get to pick our pokemon. Which is a change from before the pokemon has to chose us to, but in the end, Kristen the Popplio is on the team. Getting our Z – Ring and Rolodex, and off to training school. After dealing with that and a regrettable first encounter with Team Skull. Finally slog our way to the first Trial. Were we chase Alolan Rattatas and fight Skulls till we Trigger the Totem Pokemon, an Alolan Raticate. Earning our first Z-Crystal. Which I took back and beat Kahuna Hala, with Kristen, Tree the Pikipie and Nacy the Alolan Grimer. Allowing me to move on to Akala Island. After a bit of confusion and battling the “edgy” Gladieon, who didn’t like Hau either. After a tough fight with his Null. We finally get to move on to some more Trials, Akala being home to three. First being to fight off some Wishiwashies. Getting 10 dive balls that I will never use. Two was a huge let down revolving around dancing Marowak and photos, but loved the third. Where we had to collect ingredients to make some food to tempt the Totem Pokemon out of hiding. Along the way we stop off at the Battle Royale, where we meet the Masked Royal and have an interesting 4 way fight and have to fight Pulmeria of Team Skull. Battling the Island Kahuna Olivia, with a team of Kristen, Tree, Sally the Sylveon, Sydney the Marowak and Alexandra the Phanthump. After we are rushed off to the Aether Institute. A place to protect and house abandoned or Pokemon in need. Lillie refuses to go, leaving me alone with Hau. Meet Lusimine, whose goal is to find an Ultra Beast and one appears, but leaves just as fast. They gave us a lift to the next island. Going to meet Kuki at the park and see not just him, but Guzma, the leader of Team Skull and the fight ensues and the fight with Team Skull continues at the Aether House after we leave the Park. While I was out taking pictures of Ghosts and fighting the Totem. They circle back and steal someone’s Pokemon. Leaving a message that we have to go alone to get it back. Which we did, but learn that Team Skull consists of people who have failed their own Trails along the way. This, of course, was a distraction, and Team Skull kidnap Lillie and Nebby. I want to just go and get them, but we have to fight the Kahuna, Nanu. With our team of Kristen, Tree, Sally, Sydney, Jaime the Panchum, and Minxie the Absol. ( I think. I forgot to note down when Absol made the team, but I believe she was added before this) Despite our best efforts and learn that Gladioen and Lillie are siblings to an awful mother Lusimine. She uses Nebby to open a wormhole and her and Guzma are sucked in and Nebby evolves. Leaving me and Lillie to go collect flutes. Which should help. Not before I fight Hapu, newly elected Kahuna. After playing the flutes, Nebby evolves again into Lunala and we enter the portal. Having to battle Lusaminie after she merges with an Ultra Beast, the Beast Mother, in a boss fight. Which was grueling. After, Lillie asks us to catch Nebby, which we do, and we drop Jaime from the team. Team going into the Elite four, is Kristen, Tree, Sydney, Sally, Minxie, and Nebby. The Elite four was nothing special, but Kuki ended up being a bit of a fight due to his snorlax, but third time is a charm, and the celebration began and we caught Tapu Koko. The post Game kicks off with a sad goodbye to Lillie, who is on her way to Kanto. To find help for her Mother, in Bill. Post Game has plenty but after Catching the Ultra Beasts, I was ready to move on and Mui retried back home.
Pokemon Moon did so much right. I’ll start with the story. Which I didn’t think much off at first. I button mashed my way through a lot of the start, thinking it was just the usual quick stop tutorials, but as we went along. I found myself getting into it. I really liked seeing Lillie grow as a person. Going from someone who was scared and sheltered and watched her grow into her own person and she wasn’t a trainer. Which I liked a lot. When we ran into her she was there to talk and not challenge me and ramble about fighting me again. Team Skull got on my nerves, with the worst form of cringe, the moment they would approach me, but they were made almost deeper when you learn that they were trainers who couldn’t complete their trails and and came together and acting out because of their failures.
Really upped the graphics from X. The movements feel more smooth and loved the addition of the Z moves. Which looked amazing and loved the idea of this one time, all out powerful blow. Loved the designs of the Pokemon they added and the Alolan Pokemon ranked from awesome in Marowak to nice with Alolan Persian. Was amped up to see the Ultra Beasts, cause I avoided looking at them a head of time and the designs all hit the mark for me and the idea that your starter pokemon had to pick you too. Kind of wish that they would build on that idea and of course, the ride pager was spectacular. Loved running around on a Taurus.
The mix up from Gyms to Trails was a welcomed addition. Really fitting the Alolan atmosphere. I wasn’t a fan of the Marowak one. Thinking they could have done more with that, but I loved the idea of not only having to fight Totem Pokemon but find ways to lure them out. Whether it is making food or taking Pictures of ghosts to make Mimikyu want to come out for a picture. At the some time, battling was important and had to earn the right to fight the Kahuna.
One quick mixed feeling was the layout of the Islands. Got lost so many times and Island hoping felt weird and hard to backtrack for something specific. Not counting it as a straight negative because I’m fairly certain that it is on me. Just weird.
On to the negative and his name is Hau. Living Breathing nightmare known as Hau. Never wanted to beat a character more in a pokemon game more than Hau. We have been having this friendly rivalry for a few gens now, but this is the worst. Seriously, wanted Barry back and never missed Blue more. Even give me Silver. There are threats going on and he just keeps going on about the Trails and keeps smiling. At some point his tone needs to change and it doesn’t. Would trade for any rival just to get rid of his stupid smiling face.
They do hold your hand a bit to much. at the start. Button matched my way through some stuff that was probably important and they could have spaced some of this stuff out more. Which could have given you a bit more of freedom to play with. At least feel like it.
On a minor negative, way more personal, I hate the fact they got rid of the Roller Skates. They introduced such a fun way to get around and may never get over them being removed.
And that is all the negatives I got. Really had fun in Moon and loved what they brought to the table. From the designs, the story and Z moves. It did have some negatives, granted, looking at you Hau, but I can look past most of them. Seriously miss the Roller Skates though. Pokemon Moon was a blast to play and would gladly play again. Final Grade – B+
As always, I Hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading
By: Justin Hopkins
So, this has been a project that got set aside for a bit. Having left off with Soul Silver back in December. Knew it was going to take a bit to circle back, but took me a bit longer than even I was expecting, but I am glad to be back to it. Enjoying myself more than I thought I would and looked forward to X in particular. There move to 3ds and a jump from 2d sprites. Curious to see how they would change with it. So, with that said, lets jump in and talk bout Mui’s journey through and my thoughts.
Mui’s journey kicks off in Vanivelle Town. Daughter of a former Rhyhorn Racer and Professor Sycamore has called upon the five kids from town. Meeting up with them one town over, Shauna, who wants to make memories with her friends. Trevor, wants to fill Pokedex. Tierno, the dancer and Calem, Mui’s rival who you will grow to despise. Mui’s first act was declaring herself as Lady M… and took Fennekin and named her Asuka. Joined shortly after by Io, the Scatterbug. Working our way toward Santalune City where everything stopped when we got he Roller Skates and spent so much time skating around town. Getting a little to carried away and forgot to heal and lost my first shot at the gym. Got it the next time and went to finally meet the Professor. Meeting us all, and while he wants us to all have our on reason for adventure, really wants to know about Mega Evolution and challenges me to a fight and I get to pick from the original starters. My mind told me to go with Squirtle, but my heart won the day and Bayley the Bulbasaur joined the team. Trying to leave but bumped in Lysandre. The obvious baddie. Retreating a bit, to put off with meeting with Calem, I added a Honedge who I named Abadon, but I eventually went and met Calem. Listening to more of Lysandre’s rant to Diantha and finally got to move on. Becoming a duke and woke a sleeping Snorlax. Finding Maki the Mawile in Glittering Cave and chased off Team Flare. Picking the Jaw Fossil and the second gym badge. Added Hawlucha that I called Lita for a bit, but was short lived. After beating Korrina for her badge and lost the rematch, she won on a one hit crit. I decided to finally run with Lucario after passing twice before and Hirsch was added in place of Lita. Taking care of Flare at the power plant and destroyed Clemont for his stupid quiz. Getting lost trying to find Sycamore and spent a fortune in Cab fair all for a Calem fight and Lysandre rant, I felt cheated. Cleared out the Pokeball factory and stumbled into the Fairy Gym by accident, but wasn’t a problem, my team, may not be over-leveled but still swept her with ease. At the next town everything stopped again. Going to fetch a pokemon for the lonely widow, in the form of a Zigzagoon. Barely escaping another Calem fight after the gym because Lysandre finally went crazy. Threatening to kill everyone not involved with Team Flare. Fighting my way through his knockoff Team Rocket layer. Just to have them activate the Ultimate Weapon anyway. Powered by Legendary Pokemon Xerneas. Which I masterballed, didn’t have the resources or health to widdle him down. Escaping the explosion and went back to the circuit. Where I not only had to deal with Sycamore one time, but fight Shauna, Tiern and Trevor in a fun battle on a rope bridge. Which I had fun with, beacuse these three hadn’t hounded me the whole game for a fight. Asuka dealt with Wulfur with ease and off to the Elite Four. Where Bayley stepped up as MVP. Where she not only sole survived twice, one of which against Malva, to bring home the Championship. Post Game, I caught Mewtwo and Zygarde, which I named Sonya and Shayna. I did a few rounds in the Battle Mansion and traded a Kirlia for Dantha’s Ralts and since Shauna was so nice and didn’t challenge me every other town, traded Xerneas for Chespin, before retiring back home.
We are going to kick off with the pros, and want to start with the obvious and the designs of the pokemon. Which I did really like. Pokemon like Honedge, Skiddo and Hawlucha had some really cool designs and relit my desire to catch as many different pokemon as I could. The introduction to the Fairies not only opened themselves up for some interesting designs but breathed some new life into Pokemon like Mawile who needed some love. Then you got the Mega Evolution. A fun mechanic that while I was fifty fifty on some of the looks, the ones I did like, I loved. Really built up the desire to seek out as many of the stones you could to see them all.
Thought this was a good first step into the world of 3d for them. It could be a bit wonky at times, when you are entering doors or trying to get someone’s attention at times, but felt like it was fine. The scenery looked good and liked the fact they added stuff to design your character and just help try to pull you into the game a bit more. A few of the gym designs, like the one in the city and the Fairy one were knockoffs of ones from Generation 1, but I did like the dollhouse aesthetic. Really loved the spider web and circular dimension in the psychic one and the roller skate rink which brings me to the next one.
I loved the Roller Skates. I was so happy and just skated around for the sake of it. Love roller blading and fact I got to skate around in game was such a blast. It is officially my favorite way to get around and, little hint, I have finished Moon as of this blog, hurts that they got ride of it. Was one of my favorite parts of the game.
To round off the pros, I liked the group dynamic they were trying for. Friends who all had their own desires. Not all trying for the same thing. Liked Shauna just wanting to have fun with her friends and Trevor just wanting fill out the Dex and got a kick out of Tiern just wanting to dance. None of them really wanted to fight but find different objectives, but at the same time they felt incomplete.
This game for all the good they showed, all seemed to leave things incomplete. We could have done more with Tiern and his desire to find dancing pokemon. That could have lead to a fun side mission. Didn’t even try with Trevor. Just reads your pokedex and says you won. That could have been a fun challenge to have in the game. To try and beat him in completing the Pokedex and Calem just got annoying. Friendly rivals don’t work. Pick a lane or don’t try.
Don’t get me wrong. I kind of feel bad for Team Flare. Team Plasma was such a good group, that it would have been difficult for them to have to follow them, but they didn’t even try . They are just there to be in your way and Lysandre feels so hollow. Seeing him die in the end was probably the only interesting thing they do with him because you don’t expect it to happen. But short of that, he falls short and that kind of carries over to Sycamore as well. He is just boring. Wants you to go for Mega Evolutions, but every time just shrugs his shoulders and says or whatever you want. Speak with some conviction, show you care. Only reason he is memorable is because you get a second starter.
Pokemon X almost sits perfectly on the middle. Some good things, some bad things. Had Megas and Roller Skates. Pokemon designs that love to hollow characters and a pest of a friend, but I didn’t hate my time in Kalos. It is an easy playthrough and glad I played and would play again and for those reasons I would give it a grade of B-.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Growing up, me and my cousins spent countless hours versing each other in video games, especially Goldeneye and Mario Kart. The favorite seemed to be the Siberian Special Forces characters, so to avoid the argument, I just picked a new character, Natalya. In my childhood mind, thought it would be amusing to beat them with the girl and it carried to Mario Kart and would beat them with Peach as well. As time went on, the motivation changed but I kept picking them Female Characters. From Mortal Kombat and Tekken. When I had the option to choose would go with a female, in games like Fallout and Pokemon. Tended to gravitate more toward games with women leads. With this being Women’s History Month, figured I could take and spotlight some of my all time favorites. Considered doing a best of or toughest , but those are kind of everywhere and all kind of read the same, not to say mine is special or unique, but saying favorites can open the door with some other names and helps add a little more variety. Going off of power, style charisma, character and general knowledge. A strong enough contender may not make the list, because I just never got around to playing their game don’t know enough to put them on my list. Alright, lets jump in shall we.
Sniper wolf – Bloody Mary – Heather Mason – Zelda – Jill Valentine – Ellie – Laura Croft – Alma Wade
Again, these are all great character, but for one reason or another, I couldn’t put them in my top 5.
5. Samus Aran – Metroid Series and Super Smash Bros.
Got to pay respect to Video Games Frist Human Protagonist. A character that I know more from getting stomped on by Samus players in Smash Bros. Her entry into the world of Video Game World was legendary. A hard Bounty Hunter in some orange armor and the biggest surprise at the end where you learn Samus is a woman was such a delight and her impact is still felt today. When a new entry is announced, it’s still a big deal because of the star power she has remained.
4. Jennifer Mui – The Mercenaries Series
Okay, I may have lost some of you. I am aware that there are bigger names that could easily over take her, but not in my book. Mercenaries was one of the first games I really jumped into after not really playing much in the way of Video Games and the former Paratrooper turned Merc was a big reason for my love of those games. Even named my character in The Genwhunner Series after her. She never felt out of place in the world. Having a smart mouth and fiery temper. Believable that she was fully capable of not only running alongside the likes of Mattias and Christopher Jacobs, but outshine them as well and got me to play through this game way more times than I probably should, but had an absolute blast seeing how many things I could destroy and how much money we can drain out of the factions with Mui.
3. Bayonetta – Bayonetta Series and Smash Bros. Ultimate
Waited way to long to get into these games. Bayonetta is crazy and over the top in the most spectacular ways. Just does nothing in half measures. She holds nothing back in the slightest. Overflowing charisma, power, sexuality and all comes together in a badass fighter. She is a one woman army, with guns on her boots, which is awesome, who is not afraid to take on anyone and will trash talk while beating them down and keeps you engaged to see what she is going to do next. Saying some of the funniest things and is so close to leapfrogging to the top spot.
2. Senua – Hellblade Senua Sacrifice
Senua had to be on the list. A fighter in every sense of the word. Her plight pulled me in like almost no other. Another amazing warrior, who suffers from Psychosis. Whop believes that it is a curse that has not only plagued her but her village as well and she just brings you in and makes you feel all the pain and suffering the she experienced, except she had something good, in Dillian and that too was now gone and gets you behind her and believe that she is fully capable of tearing down the walls of Hades and fight with all she got to get his soul back and so excited for her return in Senua Saga. Been pumped since that trailer and cannot wait to experience her next story.
1.Claire Redfield – Resident Evil
I have harped on a ton about my love of Claire Redfield. I get it, this list could have been majority from the Resident Evil World. They have made some amazingly strong memorable women, but for my money, it is Claire. She has had training to take care of herself, but she isn’t a top cop or solider or super spy. A person who was thrown into a horrifying situation and took it head on. A character who has grown and evolved throughout the years. Even when she is not in the thick of things. Still working to make the world a better place to live. Her hope and humanity separates her from the Resident Evil Crowd and the fact that when she pops up in a game, they are always that more special, especially in Resident Evil 2, puts her at number 1 on my list.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.
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