Grand Theft Auto V review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Welcome to another episode of Sunday Review, and this time I have a confession to make.

I like Grand Theft Auto V.

Yes, you heard that correctly, I like GTAV. I had my doubts when I first played it, and when I did, I enjoyed every bit of it. I know some of you here aren’t very keen on the HD GTA games- Titan and ShadyKnights especially – but, well, I really enjoyed this one. And you’ll get to hear a review of the 2013 smash hit from yours truly.

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Snatcher review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

*minor spoilers*

Hi folks, and welcome to another edition of Sunday Review. This time I’m going to review one of the rarest video games. It’s so rare that the only English version is on the Sega CD, and prices for this game are so sky high that it can even rival that of EarthBound’s! Well, what game could this be, Alex? Well, this game is Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima’s second game, and is still one of his most beloved games. The game I’m reviewing tonight is Snatcher, which originally came out on the NEC PC-88 and MSX2 in 1988, was later ported to the PC Engine in 1992, as well as the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in 1996. But, since those versions never got translated into English, we’re going to review the only version that did make it stateside, the Sega CD version which came out in 1994.

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Final Fantasy VII review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Welcome to another episode of Sunday Review. Yes, I’m finally going to review this game. I wanted to review a different game today, but I’ll save that for next time. Today, I’m going to review every old school Squaresoft fan’s favorite punching bag, the game that put the original PlayStation on the map, the most popular entry in the Final Fantasy franchise, Final Fantasy VII, which came out on the PS1 in 1997.

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A Lukewarm Defense to Charizard Pandering

Dynamax is the latest battle mechanic introduced in Pokémon Sword & Shield. It turns your Pokémon giant-sized for 3 turns and transforms whatever moves it knows into nukes similar to Z-moves. There also exist another form of Dynamaxing called Gigantamax forms, which are similar to Mega Evolutions except it comes with a G-Max move exclusive to certain Pokémon who can Gigantamax. There are currently 26 Pokémon who possess, with Charizard being one of them, and this fact has ticked off a lot of fans.

Since its debut appearance in the original games, Charizard has been one of the most popular Pokémon to the mainstream public, and it has led some fans of the series to loathe it for how overrepresented it is and how it’s overshadowing stronger Pokémon in later generations like Ferrothorn, Heatran, Toxapex, and even Landorus. And that’s because Charizard isn’t a very good Pokémon and is usually used by scrubs/newbies in the competitive metagame, so I’m here to justify the special treatment it’s been getting from Game Freak for the past few generations.

It’s true what the fans said about Charizard’s mediocre performance in the metagame. It’s naturally outclassed by Moltres, who, despite that, still isn’t a good legendary competitive wise, and to make matters worse for it, Gen 4 introduced Stealth Rock, a hazard move that gives a certain of amount to Pokémon who switch out based on whether or not they’re weak to rocks. Charizard is a Fire/Flying type, which gives it a 4x rock weakness, meaning it loses 50% of its HP when it switches out while Stealth Rock is in play. This further relegated him into the lower tiers, where some of the worst Pokémon are present. It wasn’t until Gen 6 introduced Mega Evolutions and gave Charizard not one but two of them as a way to buff him to be Overused (OU) material. Of course, this was also when fans started to grow more irritated towards Charizard getting special treatment, but then again, the same form of outrage also happened with Greninja when it received a new form in Pokémon Sun & Moon (it may have something to do with them wanting the other starters from their respective gens to have the same treatments in order to be perfectly balanced).

But now Mega Evolutions, as well as Z-moves, have been removed for SwSh, which means Charizard is back to being Stealth Rock fodder like the rest of the Fire types not named Heatran, Camerupt, and any Fire/Fighting type (all of whom aren’t in the Galar dex btw). That is until Game Freak combined the two removed mechanics in the form of Dynamaxing, to which Charizard could utilize to take out common Water and Ground types with a D-Maxed Grass move, since all Fire types learn Solarbeam, thanks to it bypassing any wind-up, recoil, or recharge effect the move in question normally has. The game also introduces Heavy Duty Boots, an item that prevents the user from taking damage from hazard moves, including Stealth Rock.

It’s understandable as to why fans are upset about Charizard’s special treatment, but they also need to know why they’re doing this. A lot of the original 151 Pokémon have fallen victim to power creep in later generations as new powerful Pokémon are introduced that relegate old favorites worthless. Game Freak had to give them cross gen evolutions, Mega Evolutions, regional variants, and now Gigantamax forms as their way to keep them relevant to the series’ evergrowing competitive metagame. But even then it’s not enough to make them viable because most of them still end up in the lower tiers due to missing whatever key-important stat spreads, moves, or abilities they needed to compete against the powerful new mons. Because of this, it became one of the main reasons to cut down the national dex to 400 Pokémon (435 if you include the unreleased event Pokémon) in Sword & Shield.

There’s also mainstream expectation as a mascot character to be competitively viable for a game that has a meta. Ryu, for example, is Street Fighter’s mascot and has been a consistently high tier character throughout the series up until Street Fighter V, whose metagame punishes projectile-based moves. If your mascot character turns out to be mediocre in a metagame, then it’s time to retire that character and give the title to a top tier character, even if he or she doesn’t appeal to mainstream audiences who grew up with the previous mascot. Like, can you imagine Landorus-T as our new Pokémon mascot instead of Pikachu? It’s why Game Freak has been trying so hard to make both Charizard, Pikachu, and recently Eevee new forms and moves to play with, hoping that they would make them more viable in order to retain their mascot statuses.


And that’s pretty much all I have to say on defending Charizard. I acknowledge the fact that not every Pokémon fan cares about competitive battles and just want to play the games casually, which is where most of the hate towards Charizard is coming from, but they have to understand that they’re not the only fans Game Freak want to appeal. It’s why Sword & Shield has brought so many quality of life changes to make it the easiest way for casuals to get into the competitive scene, to promote their VGC events, without going through those time-consuming methods of yesteryear such as IV breeding. By then, these so-called scrubs will finally have a better Charizard that doesn’t have Fly or Dig in its moveset.

Assassin’s Creed II review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

“I did not choose this path. It was chosen for me. At first, I thought vengeance would be easy. For thirty years I’ve lived in the shadows, visited death upon those who deserved it, and vanished like the wind. I don’t know who started this conspiracy, but I know who will end it. My name is Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Like my father before me, I am an Assassin.”

Welcome to another episode of Sunday Review, and today we’re doing something completely different. Just recently I got into a certain game franchise that used to be great, but went down the toilet once the 3rd entry came out. This is a franchise that VGEditorials regular ShadyKnights is a big fan of as well. And out of all the games in the franchise, I decided to pick this one. This is the entry that put the Assassin’s Creed series on the map, and is the entry that is considered to be the best game in the series by some. The game I’m talking about is Assassin’s Creed II, which came out on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2009.

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Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Welcome to another episode of Sunday Review, and today we’re going to look at another one of Konami’s almost forgotten gems from back in the day. Hideo Kojima was in his prime in the 1990s, putting out hit after hit for Konami, and games like this showed that Kojima was a force to be reckoned with. Today, we’re reviewing Kojima’s 3rd game, the game that set the standard for future Metal Gear titles, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which came out on the MSX2 computer in Japan in 1990, which makes this the oldest game I’ve reviewed as of now.

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Dino Crisis review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Welcome to another episode of Sunday Review, and today we’re taking a look at a game from a long lost classic Capcom franchise that died out back in the 6th generation. This franchise was also created by the man who game the world Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami. This franchise is like Resident Evil in a way. It is survival horror like Resident Evil, but instead of zombies and BOWs, there are dinosaurs instead. Have you wondered what Resident Evil and Jurassic Park would look like if they got thrown together in a blender? Well, it would be Dino Crisis, which came out on the PS1 in 1999, and was eventually ported to the Dreamcast and PC the following year.

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Shenmue review

alex9234’s Sunday Review

Welcome to another episode of Sunday Review. Today, I’m going to review the Sega Dreamcast’s most famous game. When this came out in 1999, it was the most expensive game ever made, with it’s marketing and production costs totaling a whopping $70 million. But, the good folks at Sega AM2 still managed to put out an amazing game, which is also the game that inspired future open world titles like Grand Theft Auto III and the Assassin’s Creed series. This game is Virtua Fighter creator Yu Suzuki’s masterpiece Shenmue, which came out on the Dreamcast in 1999.

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Why Haunted Castle Should Be Canon

Happy early Halloween to those who live within the U.S. by the time I’m writing this. Thought I might make an article related to the holiday before the beginning of November, especially if it’s related to video games. And I know just the right game to talk about during my days at Disquis (until they decided to purge all channels last month), and that game is Haunted Castle.

Haunted Castle is the first arcade installment to the Castlevania series, despite not sharing the same name just to confuse any casuals unfamiliar with the franchise’s lore. The plot is about Count Dracula kidnapping Simon Belmont’s wife Serena right after the two wedded, and now he must venture through his castle to rescue her. This game has a couple of memorable tracks that later appeared in other Castlevania games, including Heart of Fire, which will eventually become Julius Belmont’s theme from the Sorrow saga. But alas, this is one of few titles marked as non-canon to the official Castlevania timeline. This article will go over why this arcade title can easily fit into the canon.

What a horrible night to have a curse.

For those of you who haven’t play through Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (I don’t blame you, the game is easy to get lost in due to its unreliable hints), there are 3 different endings depending on how fast you finished the game in time. The plot of that game is that Simon Belmont was cursed by Dracula to die an early lifespan, and the only way to break the curse is to gather 5 of Dracula’s body parts and destroy them (but he ends up being revived once they’re all gathered). If you beat the game within 8 days or less in-game, you get the best ending, where Simon is free from his curse and Dracula stays dead. Or so we thought until we see his hand popping out of his grave.

The best ending of Simon’s Quest allows Haunted Castle to easily fit into the timeline because it suggests Simon was able to live a peaceful life after defeating Dracula not once, not twice, but three times, and continues to pass on the Belmont bloodline. However, the next Castlevania title that chronologically comes after Simon’s Quest, Harmony of Dissonance, retconned the normal ending, where Simon still succumbs to his curse and dies early after defeating Dracula again, to being canon, meaning the events of Haunted Castle never happened. And that is pretty lame because it gives Simon a bittersweet ending and gives us unanswered questions on whether or not he had kids before or after the events of his second adventure.

The only time you get to play as a female Belmont.

The Castlevania timeline has gone through a few number of retcons before. Castlevania Legends use to be the first game chronologically, explaining the origins of Dracula and the Belmont clan, but then came Lament of Innocence, which became the new first game in the timeline. But unlike Lament of Innocence, there isn’t anything convoluted enough to stop Haunted Castle from being put into the timeline. A simple solution to this problem is what indie game series Gucamelee also did, retconning the best ending of Simon’s Quest as canon instead of the normal/bad ending. Then, when Harmony of Dissonance gets an updated re-release or remake, a simple change in dialogue would help rectify Haunted Castle into the mainline series. Now if only Konami starts caring about their IPs again like they recently did with Bomberman and Contra.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard review

alex9234’s Sunday Review – Halloween Special 2019

(Review of the Xbox One version)

Well, it’s time for yet another game review. And it’s a rather recent one as well.

Anyway, the game I’m going to review is from a series that we’ve all heard of before. Yep, I have decided to try out the most recent installment in this popular Capcom franchise. Today, we’re looking at Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, which came out on the PS4 and Xbox One in 2017. Is it any good? Well, let’s find out.

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