Octopath Traveler was a game that took me by surprise with how much I enjoyed it. Initially, I wasn't interested in the game due to it resembling Bravely Default and because I got filtered by both Bravely Default & Octopath Traveler's demos when those were released. In retrospect, I went into them hoping for and expecting them to be games that I could play and keep my brain turned off. Before & during my playthrough of the first Octopath Traveler I realized I was a total idiot. When I finally gave the game a proper chance, I found the strategy required in taking down bosses and enemies to be one of the best parts of the game. Octopath Traveler II keeps everything good about the first game and improves upon its shortcomings to deliver a fantastic RPG that is sure to become a classic in due time.
The gameplay is mostly the same with all of the primary jobs from the first game coming back. Even the new secondary jobs share some similarities to the ones in the previous game. However, they added one new mechanic and it is one that can become a game-changer in tough situations, Latent Powers. Each traveler has a unique one with different benefits. A few examples would be, Partitio's latent power that allows him to have max BP, Agnea's which allows her single attack moves to attack all enemies, or Hikari's & Ochette's which give them access to special attacks. I can't count the number of times this mechanic saved me from what would otherwise have been a game over had it not been added. There are also EX skills that grant you access to more powerful abilities but I didn't use them as much as I probably could have. They may not have been vital additions to the game, but they are welcome ones that make the game a little bit easier and each character more unique.
The biggest issues with the first game were the story and the 8 travelers you play as barely interact with each other. While there were a couple of travelers from the first game whose stories I ended up enjoying more, in most cases the stories were more interesting and an improvement over the first one. The pacing for each story was better too. Some chapters are split into two parts that give the game a little more breathing room to flesh out the story a little more compared to everyone in the first game where they only had 4 chapters. They fixed my biggest gripe with the first game's story and that was the lack of connection between each traveler's quest. The final chapter unites all of the characters together in order to save the world and also adds some lore that pieces some events in their respective stories together.

The travelers interact with each other a lot more and in a handful of others ways than they did in the first game. There is the banter dialogue which is a lot easier to find than it was in the first game (I didn't even know it existed in Octopath 1 till the end of the game), the crossed paths chapters that involve two of the travelers going on an adventure together, and the final chapter that unites them all. Seeing all your party members interact with each other might seem like a small, unimportant oversight, but it comes a long way in enhancing the experience.
While the first Octopath Traveler may have a special place in my heart, Octopath Traveler II is a game that surpasses it in pretty much every way. If this game is an indication of what is in store for the future of the Octopath Traveler franchise, then its a series that has a bright future ahead of it.

No More Heroes is one of Suda51's best games and by far his most popular one compared to his previous games such as Killer7, The Silver Case, and Flower, Sun, and Rain. Two of which were not released outside of Japan when this game came out. No More Heroes was a game deserving of its popularity not just because it was one of the few mature games released on the Wii, but also because of its simple but fun gameplay, creativity, and good story.
The game starts off with a badass introduction to Travis Touchdown and a first level & boss that give you a feel for how to use Travis's beam katana in combat and some of the game's other mechanics like the quickstep you can do by dodging at the right time or managing & charging your battery for the beam katana. It's a fantastic introduction as not only do you get straight into the action almost immediately, but also is a fantastic setup for the game's main story.
In contrast to just about every other game by Grasshopper, this game's plot while not completely devoid of serious moments is mostly pretty goofy. Up until the fantastic twist at the end of the game, No More Heroes is about a broke dork who enters a tournament where he kills people for money to buy the typical things an otaku would buy and to get laid. However, in order to progress in the tournament, he still needs to earn money by taking jobs around the town of Santa Destroy.
The open world of Santa Destroy might not be the best hub world to exist, but with the odd jobs around town you'll need to do to get money or the places you'll need to visit to get various items and enhancements it still is successful in getting you immersed in the world of No More Heroes. There are a handful of different jobs including lawn mowing, collecting coconuts, or filling up cars with gas. Some of these are more enjoyable than others, but they are all a unique, alternative way to earn money besides just killing goons.
Over the course of Travis's battles, we get a look at who Travis is as a character and how he grows in his journey to becoming the assassin he is. One primary example is when Travis expresses regret for not killing Holly Summers after she berated him for his hesitation. It adds a level of realism and depth to his character that I enjoyed seeing unfold.
Over the years No More Heroes has become a successful franchise with a handful of games. The series even managed to get representation in Smash in the form of a Mii costume for Travis in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Given the amount of creativity and care that went into making this game, it is very much deserving of the success it has received. It is a fantastic hack-and-slash that is more than worth your time and money.

There was a point in time after I initially completed the 3ds remake of Ocarina of Time when I was fascinated with Zelda and was clamoring for more. However, there was a problem, I was a kid who only got money on a few occasions throughout the year. Because of this inconvenience, it took me a pretty long while before I finally got to purchase most of them, but by that time, the Zelda craze I had was long gone so I didn't get far into playing them. Now that I've finally beaten Wind Waker, all I can say is I wish I played this sooner.
In terms of visuals, Wind Waker is a game that I personally don't think needed too much of an improvement as it still looks a lot more presentable than og OoT and MM partly in thanks to its cartoonish art style. Even with that in mind, the remake was still successful in improving how the game looks since it looks more beautiful than ever in HD.
For the most part, it's your typical 3d Zelda which pretty much entails that you will be exploring the overworld doing quests, venturing through dungeons, and solving puzzles. There is one key difference though and that is how you explore the overworld, sailing. It may not always be the most convenient way of traveling as you will have to change the direction of the wind multiple times, but exploring the seas is a fresh take for Zelda that I still enjoyed. The dungeons in the game were pretty enjoyable and filled with plenty of puzzles that while not absurdly difficult or cryptic will still kick your noggin into gear. Another thing that I wanted to point out is how quickly you go from each dungeon. While I did enjoy exploring around Hyrule in OoT and doing certain tasks before exploring dungeons, I still appreciated that you pretty much just go from one dungeon to the next until a certain infamous part of the game.
The Triforce quest while significantly toned down in this version based on what I've read was still an annoyance. Having to find the Triforce charts adds a repetitive step in getting the Triforce pieces and having Tingle decipher the Triforce charts is not cheap and also makes the quest more bothersome. The reduced amount of 3 charts to find and as a result, the fewer amount of times you have to visit the weird fairy-obsessed man, luckily only makes the whole quest slightly annoying. I can't imagine what it was like in the GameCube version knowing you have to find 8 charts and spend a ridiculous amount of rupees to decipher them all.
Triforce quest aside, its a fantastic Zelda game, GameCube game, and an even more fantastic Wii U game.

I was at a used game shop a few years ago while looking for whatever good DS or 3ds games I could find when I came across One Piece: Gear Spirit. Ever since I started watching and reading One Piece I've been a huge fan of the series and I had prior knowledge that this was the only game where Kaku was playable, so when I saw this, I just knew I had to buy it. Overall, it was a good purchase as One Piece Gear Spirit is a surprisingly competent Smash clone.
In terms of gameplay, its pretty much identical to Smash Bros and the characters' special movesets function almost exactly as they would in Smash. There are cards that grant you a variety of different things including stat boosts and the ability to use super moves. You can customize your card deck however you want and the animations for the three supers each character can use look impressive for a DS game. Its got an arcade/story mode for each character with attention to detail to the source material in the form of event fights where you go up against a character as they did in the series (Such as Luffy vs Lucci, Zoro vs Kaku, or Ace vs Blackbeard). Each character's story is short and simple which is a good thing since you will need to clear all of them if you want every single character. The roster is also impressive. With the exception of some of the classic villains and Buggy for some odd reason, this game has pretty much every fan favorite One Piece character you could ask for including Lucci, Shanks, and Vivi to name a few. Kaku was a slightly odd, but great choice in my opinion since he was my favorite out of the CP9 gang and it's a shame he doesn't get included in more games.
Similar to DreamMix TV, this game has the same problem with the lack of variety. From what I can tell there aren't any other modes outside of the arcade/story mode and just playing the game regularly. There are also only 8 stages in the entire game which doesn't help with that. This game is definitely more fun than DreamMix TV, hence the slightly higher score but with the lack of content, players will eventually get bored of it. Outside of the impressive-looking super moves, the graphics for the most part look generic and boring in contrast to similar games like Jump Ultimate Stars & One Piece Gigant battle which have a more stylized look. The standard punches are also a bit too OP which lowers your incentive to use your special moves.
If you're a fan of One Piece, there is some enjoyment to be had from Gear Spirit as it is fun to mess around with, has a lot of cool fanservice, and a solid roster of characters to choose from. It isn't perfect but its a decent Smash clone and One Piece game.

Kingdom Hearts is a series I've had a history with for a long time. I remember the first time I caught wind of the series was when I was at GameStop back when it was called EB Games and saw the cover of Chain of Memories and a banner for KH2 that had Chicken Little on one of the images. I didn't remember the name of the series until a few years later my curiosity kicked in and I looked up the weird Disney game with humans. After this rediscovery, I became very interested in playing the KH games for the reasons mentioned in my 358/2 Days review which eventually led to me purchasing this game. After going back and finally rebeating this game years later, I can safely say that I still enjoyed it just as much as my younger self did.
The combat is extremely fun and the command deck along with the stat matrix are massive improvements over the panel system present in 358/2 Days. The clock gauge while not as powerful as the limit gauge was in 358/2 Days is a cool mechanic that allows you to use a finisher when you max out its level. It's satisfying to pull off and can get you out of some troublesome situations if you max it out in a bind. There are also a variety of finish commands that you can choose such as Faith, Mega Flare, or stronger versions of your typical fire, ice, or thunder spells. The command deck gives you a lot of freedom to choose attacks, spells, or items you want to use. The stat matrix allows you to gain abilities, magic, strength, level-up, and etc by collecting panels across the worlds you visit. I think it's a really clever way of progressively leveling up and strengthening your character since they are pretty common and there are plenty of different panels. Another cool feature you can do with the stat matrix is to change the difficulty at any time. It makes the game more accessable and noob friendly to those who either aren't that good at the game or are new players and it gives those who want more of a challenge to swap to a harder difficulty. It is really a shame most other games in the series do not have this option. Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded also gets a bit experimental as it adds small segments from a variety of different genres such as a stealth segment, a 2d platforming one, and even a part where it turns into a turn-based RPG. Some of them might have fallen flat but its something different and I appreciate it when developers toy with new ideas.
The gameplay may be awesome, but the story feels mostly like a filler arc. There is a small bit of important info that is relevant in the end, but for 90% of the game you're pretty much wandering around the same locations we've all previously been to multiple times just in digitized form. This leads to my other criticism. The worlds in this game are almost exactly the same as they were in KH1 with the exception of Castle Oblivion at the end. All of these worlds are in multiple games and revisiting them with little to no changes starts to get old. 358/2 Days was guilty of this too but even that game managed to add something new to previously visited worlds like Neverland and Agrabah (which is also in this game).
While I can understand the reasons why this game is disliked among fans, I don't think it deserves as much hate as it gets. There is a lot of fun to be had gameplay wise and it is more accessible to people of all skill levels with the added ability to swap difficulties at any time. Unless you only care about the story, I'd give this one a try.

As a kid, I remember being very interested in playing the Kingdom Hearts games for a pretty long while due to its combat and the Disney worlds. During that time I had a DS so when I found out this game existed I was excited and eager to buy and eventually play it. It was on sale at Target when I finally was able to get the chance to buy it. Did I? Nope, I got something else and heard that Re:Coded was coming out in the not-very-distant future so I waited to buy that the next time I had money. Boy am I glad I did because I do not think I would be into what is my favorite video game franchise if it was not for that decision.
The combat is fine but it isn't as fun as most of the other KH games including Re:Coded. The best thing about 358/2 Days combat is the ability to use Limits. Limits are incredibly useful in dealing with a lot of the tough enemies you will encounter on your missions, but outside of them there isn't anything to write home about. The best part of the game by far is the story. While I think other Organization XIII members could have used a little bit more screentime (Marluxia is my favorite one), the Sea Salt trio are easily my favorite trio in the series and I loved the dynamic they all had with each other. It makes the emotional scenes in the game hit that much harder especially when you reach the game's ending.
Everything else about the game I didn't really enjoy. The panel system was a nuisance and outside of the ability to get double, triple, and even quadruple-level panels, I really didn't like the concept of it given how it ties to pretty much everything including magic, items, and even down to the keyblade you use. The command deck in the other handheld games wasn't perfect, but at least you had a bit more freedom to choose what spells, items, and abilities to put in it nor did you have a limit to how many times you could use your commands. The mission-based structure and the missions that come with it make the game feel more like a chore than a video game you're supposed to enjoy. Exploring worlds in Kingdom Hearts is generally more enjoyable when the game keeps them to one visit per playthrough instead of being forced to revisit them multiple times. The last thing is that this game has two of the worst story bosses in the entire series, Leechgrave and Ruler of the Sky. They not only are quite powerful but the way both of these bosses are designed will really test your patience.
I believe this game did have multiplayer functionality that looks fun and with some cool secret characters which I believe would make the game a bit more tolerable if I had people to play it with. Similar to what I said with Sonic Unleashed, I do think this game would also benefit from a remaster that makes changes where they are needed and with online multiplayer for the multiplayer mode. Until Re:358/2 Days becomes a reality, I would suggest only watching the movie in the collections to get the 358/2 Days experience.

Resident Evil 2 remake was not my first Resident Evil game, but it was the first 3rd person Resident Evil game that I have extensively played and I wish I played this sooner. The first thing worth mentioning is that the graphics are absolutely stunning and really utilize the capabilities of the consoles they were on. I'm usually not wowed by a game's visuals but this was an exception. The level of detail present adds to the fear factor of the survival horror elements present in the game.
The gameplay is fantastic. Leon and Claire both feel great to control and some of the different weapons they use help them feel somewhat unique from each other. Leon and Claire both have scenarios where you briefly play as a character present in their respective version of the story. While I didn't appreciate them as much as I did other parts of the game, they were still neat additions and a small breath of fresh air away from the main gameplay.
The survival horror elements that the original Resident Evil captured perfectly are still here. I still felt that feeling of dread running around the police station hoping I didn't run into any lickers or a bunch of zombies that I would not be able to handle all the while managing my health and inventory throughout my adventure. That feeling of tension adds a level of immersion and enjoyment that make Resident Evil 2 and really Resident Evil as a whole great.
The only thing that bothered me was that Leon's and Claire's stories outside of playing as Ada or Sherry for a short time depending on who you choose and the A & B scenarios both don't have enough changes to really make it worth playing again. Most of the same things still happen which makes the B scenario feel redundant. There is the true ending, but even that only just adds a small boss that's pretty easy to beat. I still enjoyed playing through the game with both characters, but really just wanted to see a few more differences to make each playthrough stand out.
Overall, Resident Evil 2 remake is a superb remake and game.

Pepsiman is the hero we needed but didn't deserve.

For the longest time, Devil May Cry 1 was my favorite in the series for its simplicity, aesthetics, and Dante's initial design. This didn't mean that I didn't like DMC3 just as much though, I always enjoyed my playthroughs of the game, watched the cutscenes multiple times, and thought Dante's and Vergil's sibling rivalry made the game's story engaging. After finally getting around to playing the game as Vergil, I think DMC3 is now my favorite in the series.
Dante & Vergil do have some similar weapons and abilities, but enough changes to make them feel different. Right off the gate, Vergil has access to devil trigger which makes the first few missions a breeze to go through. Like with Dante, you still have to buy new moves to unlock his full moveset. I've never fully unlocked either of their movesets, but from what I've played Vergil's is slightly more fun to use and stronger than Dante's. Despite this, Dante is still a blast to play too and I really like the weapons he has too except Nevan, that one didn't really resonate with me gameplay-wise.
DMC3 is a prequel that explains how Dante got the name for his shop and a few other events that happen in the first game. It may not have the most complex or best plot ever, but in this story, Dante and Vergil steal the show. Personality-wise, Dante is at his peak here. His silly quips towards the other characters and the situations he gets in are genuinely funny. His goofy personality with the blend of getting serious when he needs to add that level of realism to Dante which is why he is one of my favorite video game characters. Besides being extremely quotable, Vergil is a fantastic villain whose tragic backstory, more serious personality, and his approach to gaining more power make him a masterclass rival to Dante and a lovable villain. I always looked forward to seeing the sons of Sparda banter with each other and the boss fights you get with Vergil are easily the best parts of the game. The final battle is a very intense, climactic finale that is fun and challenging to fight with an ending that will give you an emotional punch to the gut.
Devil May Cry 3 is a fantastic prequel and character action game that is one of the best in the genre defined by its enthralling gameplay and characters. I'd rank it an SSS.

Before playing The Silver Case, the most experience I had with visual novels was playing through the original Ace Attorney a few times and then eventually giving up on all of those playthroughs from both boredom and my previous lack of consistency when it came to completing games. I eventually did finish a third playthrough I started of that game late last year, partly thanks to The Silver Case as this was the game that gained both my interest and respect for the genre.
The Silver Case is a great visual novel that will captivate your attention with its interesting story, characters, and its unique presentation. While its story can be a little hard to grasp at times, the game's episodic nature and switching between Matchmaker & Placebo were good ways to give players a better understanding of what happened and at keeping players interested.
The puzzle solving isn't the best in this game, but luckily you have the option to skip through them if you just want to progress through the story. There were also some parts of the game where it is easy to get lost or confused without a guide. I briefly got lost in one part involving the Typhoon apartments and in a previous playthrough I remember spending a lot more time than I should have on those ten towers toward the end of the game. Other than those two gripes, there isn't really anything else I can say bad about the game.
The Silver Case is a great visual novel that not only is one of Suda51's best works but also got me to give a second chance to a genre I previously did not care for.

Pokémon Snap's concept is a genius idea that really takes advantage of the vast amount of different Pokémon that are featured in Pokémon Red. Blue, and Yellow. The concept of the game is to go out to a handful of different environments to get as many good photographs of the various Pokémon you'll find on each stage and bring them back to Professor Oak who will then judge the quality of the photos you give him. Not only is it a clever way in bringing Pokémon to the big screen, but also seeing how they live and interact with the world and other Pokémon around them.
The items that Professor Oak gives you not only help you get better photographs of the Pokémon but also require you to get creative in how you'll get the ability to get snapshots of certain Pokémon you otherwise wouldn't see or even how you'll unlock a few of the levels. The best examples I can think of are when you have to knock the Magikarp into the waterfall with your items to evolve it into Gyarados or when you have to use items on Squirtle & Mankey to unlock one of the levels. It makes the game a bit less linear while also adding a level of interactivity that allows the player to get a deeper sense of immersion while sightseeing in the Pokémon world.
I'm probably asking a bit too much given how much work it would take to animate all 151 Pokémon and the limitations of the system, but I think the game should have added all of Gen 1. It could have allowed for a few extra levels to be included in an already short game and it would satisfy those whose favorite didn't get featured. I know I would have loved to see Poliwhirl and a fully animated Mewtwo make an appearance in this.
When it comes to getting a deeper look at the world of Pokémon and in utilizing its unique concept, it delivers. It not only is a game I'm glad I played, but it also made me interested in playing its sequel which took way too long to come out. I hope that one features more of my favorites in it.

Sonic Unleashed isn't a terrible game but there are enough gripes I had with it that made the game a slog to beat. The werehog levels while sometimes enjoyable overstayed their welcome and the combat isn't all that great. The sun & moon coins were also a pain in the ass to collect for a good chunk of the game and will probably take up a good majority of your playthrough. It gets a bit easier to get the amount required to complete the game once you unlock the extra acts, but unless you really pay attention as you play the levels, you're going to find yourself replaying them quite a bit if you want to make progress. Eggmanland is one of the most infuriating levels I have played for quite some time. Not only does it have an absurdly big difficulty curve from every other level, but the level drags on longer than the other werehog levels. Considering my lack of skill at Sonic games, I'm honestly surprised I managed to beat it, let alone without having to grind for extra lives. Even with that in mind it still took me over an hour to do it.
I've complained enough about the downsides so I'll go into the positive aspects this game has to offer. The regular Sonic levels are fun to speed through and there is a lot of variety among the levels which is something I always am clamoring for in a game. The graphics are impressive and hold up nicely in 2023. Despite the werehog levels being far from perfect, I can still appreciate that they at least tried to do something new and unique.
There is a good game underneath some of the issues it has. What Sonic Unleashed really needs is a remaster that adds some QoL changes. Those few small changes can come a long way and are all Sonic Unleashed really needs for it to truly unleash its potential.

My first experience with the original Super Mario Bros was back when I had that bootleg NES knockoff years ago. I had a blast playing it and a handful of other NES games, but even after emulating it and purchasing it on the 3ds virtual console, I never got around to completing it. In celebration of Mario day, I decided I would play through and finally beat the original version of the game that single-handedly saved the video game industry in 1985.
After nearly 40 years, does it still hold up? Overall yes, it's still very fun traversing through the game's levels but it isn't perfect. There are instances where you aren't in complete control of Mario's movement. Because of the slippery movement, it can lead to some cheap deaths that otherwise would likely not have occurred if you were playing one of the later Mario entries. Even the Super Mario All-Stars version that was released nearly 10 years after has the same issue. Regardless, it's still a timeless classic and a piece of video game history that shall not be forgotten.

True love making isn't sex, it's playing CvS2.

Beat this one on NSO and all I can say is that it's definitely a fantastic on-rails shooter and one of Treasure's best. Gameplay-wise, it's near perfect, the difficulty feels just right and the shooting and swordplay are simple and extremely fun to use. There are only a few things that bring the game down a little bit.
Like the controller for the console this was originally on, the controls are a little unconventional and take a bit of getting used to. However, once you do that, it is pretty much smooth sailing from there. One other thing I'd like to point out is that the aiming is a little too slow. It gets annoying when I'm trying to get rid of a bunch of enemies and it takes five seconds to go around aiming across the screen when the aiming could definitely be just a tad faster. It really becomes a prominent issue during the final boss when you have to shoot down all of those tiny green orbs. The last flaw is just that it's pretty short and could have used a few extra levels.
Even with all of the minor issues aside, it's a fantastic game and easily one of the best games on the N64 and out of Treasure's portfolio.