51 Reviews liked by Rorenado

Pokémon White Version 2 ? More like, PEAKmon White Version 2!... Ok that one wasn't even funny I'm sorry...
White Version 2 is such an anomaly that I'm even surprised it even exists as it is; now-a-days, the concept of the ''Third Version'' of Pokémon games has completely disappeared, with the jump to 3D a ton of stuff began to change, so much so that for the sixth generation there wasn't any kind of third version, for the seventh we got the ''Ultra'' games, and now in the eighth and ninth generations, DLC has been the main focus for a way to add more content to the original games. There's a ton to be discussed about this topic, if the DLC's are worth it; if the extra editions, despite consistently being the definitive version of any given generation, were just another way to scoop more money out of mechanics and enhancements that should have already been on the base games, which were dual releases in the first place… whichever the case, one thing’s for sure: for the longest time, they have been constantly expected, and the expectations for the fifth generation were no different. I mean, c’mon, games called Black & White that also have a third dragon legendary that gas grey as the main color? It was clearer than water that sooner or later Pokémon Grey Edition was gonna appear on the shelves… except no…
Well-over a year into the 3DS life-span and in an extremely surprising and different move (tho that’s kinda in brand for B&W as a whole), B2&W2 were released for the DS, and not only this was the first instance of a generation not having a having an upgraded version as we know it, but also it was the first and, so far, only instance of this franchise having a direct sequel that takes place in the same region. It’s clear that despite the initial controversies among some fans with the original games, the team at Game Freak loved the original Black and White games as much as people (such as myself) do to this day; in several interviews and even in a ‘’Iwata Asks’’, game’s director Takao Unno mentioned the desire within the team to expand further in certain characters and the regions, keep pushing forward the themes of battle of ideals the the original entry stablished, as well as to explore new mechanics within the same world and Unova’s lay-out. Even form its very conception, B2&W2 was conceptualized as anything but a simple repeat of the original, but I also think that calling a more complex remix would also be a disservice, and it’s far more than just a simple follow-up.
Two years have passed in-game and between releases, and it very much shows; while yes, the region of Unova hasn’t seen much big changes, every city is still were it once was and pretty much unchanged from two years ago, we traverse a lot of locations never before seen: from bran new places like Virbank City and its complex, the not so far-off Pokéwood, or even routes that has seen complete revamps, like route 4 turning into a small apartment complex in Black 2 or the results of an archeological excavation in White 2, which not only are some rad differences to have between versions than just some changes of gym leader, but also reflects perfectly on the ideas of duality that these games strive to make the center off. Both past and new locations feel alive and vibrant, and there’s arguably much more variety in the design of the cites and sub-areas here than there it ever was in the original game. The way you traverse the games is also much more refreshing compared to the original game: not only there are a ton more of de-tours in before known places, like seeking Team Plasma in Castelia City’s sewers, which were inaccessible before, but also, while the game is fairly linear, you jump constantly from area to area, and half way through the game you take a plane that takes you to the routes that were once just post-game content, and they are much more expanded and lead to never seen before places, both before and after the league. Some characters also sport brand new looks and teams; both Cheren and Bianca feel a ton more mature and experienced than their younger, more insecure and reckless selves from B&W, and they are a perfect showcase of how much the events of the original game and the 2 years that have gone by have affected them and the entire region; even the gym leaders, while they do leave much less of an impact and don’t have as much of a presence as they did in the original, are still by far the best in the series, sporting new teams, their proudness in showcasing the progress of the region (Like Clay and his beloved Pokémon World Tournament), some even having new looks and gyms, and some of them just retiring, leaving the mantel of gym leader to new aspiring trainers in different places. It’ all just so… natural, the passage of time is communicated incredibly well and makes traversing this brand new Unova so compelling and exciting to discover, and be soaked on its mystique.
Visually and sound-wise is still the same ten out of ten as it was once; the new music is great as ever, but much of the graphics and songs are lifted from its predecessor, and while yes, they are still fantastic, I think that’s more of a victory of the original Black & White than of these games (and believe me, I’ll also talk about those in the future). What was also a victory of the past games was the simply impeccable narrative. B&W explored what it meant to a Pokémon trainer, questioned the grounds for what the series stands for, and crafted a evil team that, while ultimately was head-speared by a disgusting megalomaniac that sought control of the region under the façade of a good ‘cause and manipulated the entire region creating basically a cult for the leader (I really need to get into Ghetsis in the future), the cause of N was and still is well-spirited, a movement that seeks to help the Pokémon and that, to this day, is brought back time and time again in the series as a talking point. B&W questioned itself, and it didn’t take the cowards way out by simply saying that all of Team Plasma was wrong; N truly had a point, and B2&W2 biggest narrative strength is the exploration of one simple question: What happens next? While it was easy to englobe all of B&W’s themes under the fight between different beliefs (or truth and ideals, as the games puts it) and how there are certain things that shouldn’t be looked at through a black or white lenses, B2&W2 are not as easy. Ironically, despite being still being called Black & White, the game does for sure lean into that grey territory; aside of the Plasma and the Rival’s storyline, many of the characters don’t have much conflict, not even the returning N; some characters like Colress bring the interesting perspective of extreme pragmatism and how that inevitably leads people to be closed off from possible positive ideals and ultimately fall into the exact violence and coldness they seem to be against (Funnily enough, is in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon where Acromo gets a really cool ending to his character arch, so I really recommend checking it out if you like his character) and the rival does have a cool arch of leaving behind wrathful vengeance in exchange for compassion and it’s probably one of the most underrated rivals in the series; but the game as a whole doesn’t really center on those topics. Instead here’s this feeling of… resolve, of hope, and despite the past coming back more violent than ever, the people and Pokémon of Unova are more united than ever, and this inner peace and ravenous excitement for the tomorrow can be seen in the champions of the region, both old and new.
It is an interesting perfective to take in the sequels, even if ultimately it isn’t as compelling or gripping as the previous game was; it’s for sure a more celebratory and optimistic take, and it’s warranted considering the ending of the past adventure, but it doesn’t stop it from feeling less grounded, and more akin to what you would encounter in a ‘’normal’’ Pokémon game. The Team Plasma stuff is clearly the winner of the whole narrative department tho; even if at a glance it looks like they ‘’rocketized’’ the Plasma fellows, I actually adore this direction for them; the division of those who follow N and those who follow Ghetsis, with two of the old sages at the front of each, Roof and Zinzolin, it’s the true reason this game is still called Black &White. A division of those who seek atonement for their past mistakes and truly want to help Pokémon, and those who still follow their deplorable excuse for a leader, who now only want to use strength and fear to reach their end, who embrace foolishness and ignorance. It’s so, so fucking compelling, not only it’s the expected outcome since it’s clear some of the past Plasma members would realize their errors and Ghetsis is a petty piece of shit that would inevitably come back, but it’s also just so satisfying to see a brighter future for truly altruistic people, as well as to kick the asses of the Neo Team Plasma and destroy the madman’s aspirations once again. It’s a return to the more classic formula of the Evil Team, but one that works wonderfully, and makes me wish that the game had explored it even more and put the main focus into this division once again, but do not mistake my disappointment in certain regards by disgust; B2&W2 are still fantastic games, probably the ones with the most interesting content, the most interesting Pokémon variety and balancing, and even if I ultimately prefer the originals, they are still a monumental achievement for the series, and even if they back-pedal in certain aspects and I’m not really fond of certain major and minor battles compared to the originals, I don’t think there will be any other game in the main series that reaches this level of pure personality and fulfillment….
The memories I have with this game are as strong as with the originals, and I revisit this game, way, way more simply because of the fun of team building, doing stuff in it and just… taking it in, taking it slow, enjoying the music, the views and the pixelated beauty of it all. Each new change, be it aesthetic, narrative or even in the gameplay department (the Hidden Grottos and the new revamped learn-sets are two fantastic additions that come to mind) showcase just how hellbent the team was on crafting the best fifth gen experience possible, and even if I still believe that it doesn’t quite reach the same highs as its pre-quels, B2W2 is a swansong, and even if it’s up to each if the series never reached the same highs as it did here, it’s for sure that the team left the DS with on a spectacular note.
Man, fuck a possible remake of the original, give us B3&W3 or a Legends: Kyurem/Victini! Give us kino, Game Freak!

A great conclusion to the series,i was honestly afraid of this might be a fast wrap up of the story kind of like Xenogears Disc 2,but thankfully that's not the case.Story is deep,thought provoking,tragic,beautiful,and incredibly well told.There was never a moment where i was getting bored of it,and when it reaches it's pinnacles,amount of emotion it conveys is on another level in anything else i've ever played,this game has so much character development and character moments,along with an extremely fleshed out worldbuilding,it's just insane,it's close to Xenogears with amount of ambition it has.It's not just an incredible story on it's own,but also the perfect ending the series could've had after the planning 6-game series has reduced to 3.Every single payoff is satisfying,and ending,while leave things open for more to follow,might be my favorite in any game ever,i'll just say it has i was in tears by the times credits have rolled
Gameplay is polished to the near perfection,everything feels fast,snappy and fun,regular battles doesn't really does something unique unlike Xenosaga 2, you have your party members,and variety of actions they can perform,which includes regular attacks, tech attacks, which are more powerful physical attacks, and ether attacks, which is magic.Along with a refined boost system,which now you can use special attacks in exchange of the boost,and that's it,but it does all of these in the most polished,fun and balanced way.Maybe with the exception of the break system,which is a gauge both you and enemies had.When that gauge fills,character knocks down and more vulnareble to attacks for 2 turns.And unfortunetly it's kind of useless agains the bosses due the how gigantic their break gauges are,especially compare to your party members,you're better of focusing on raw damage rather than break damage.But that's just a minor problem compare to what the gameplay does right
E.S fights are improved a lot too,you have a fuel gauge to perform variety of attacks,a better generator you have,more fuel you have, and therefore more attacks you can perform.You also have an Anima gauge,which is like boost, but just for special attacks, and unlike boost each party member has an individual Anima gauge. Regular E.S battles doesn't offer much in terms of challange,but most of the time you combat in E.S are for bosses, and all of them are pretty strategic and satisfying fights, especially in the endgame.
Music is both a massive upgrade and kind of a downgrade,enviroment music is a bit dull and forgettable compare to Xenosaga 2,but there are so many incredible combat musics it makes up for it,just look up Godsibb on Youtube.
Overall,Xenosaga 3 offers a complex,emotional narrative,deep and likeable characters and super fun gameplay.It stands right next to Xenogears as THE masterpiece in the videogame medium in my opinion

the rest of the xenosaga series is 70 hours of homework to get to one of the best video games i've ever played period

Bravely Second is great.
It feels like a complete upgrade from Default in most things such as combat/jobs and other QoL mechanics while also removing all annoying parts of Default. You can also be even more broken in this game with the addition of new jobs. However enemies are also somewhat buffed to not just be fodders.
The story is... different, to say the least. Unlike the innovation on the WoL/4 Crystal tale of Default. This one follows on a more original storyline. I don't really consider one better than the other narratively. They're both really good. Though I'll say Default has a deeper story but Second has a really fun story and bigger as well, with double the amount of locations.
BUT what I am sure of is that Second handles their story MUCH better than Default did. Though Default has a really unique/deep storyline, it is overshadowed by how horrid the 4 worlds repetitions are, even though the payoff is rewarding. There is also something similar here in Second, however it is handled PERFECTLY, not only was it really epic but also doesn't keep repeating itself. It has an epic conclusion sequence as well, though not as huge a scale as Default did.
What I find lacking in the story is the fact that, though Chapter 5 was epic all the way through, it does feel like it ties itself too neatly in the end. Like the "Kaiser" plot somewhat feels too convenient in the way it ended. But it's nothing really bothersome, it's just something tugging in the back of my head reaching that part.
Spoilers (Somewhat)
My second complaint is that the build-up to the "True" Final Boss of the game feels too short, though it is hinted at in the previous chapters through a sub-plot, it's not exactly done enough with only Chapter 6 hinting at it repeatedly. This is probably somewhat the opposite of my complaint for Default's story. The true main villain is hinted a lot of the times and the hints are shoved to your face, but there is little acknowledgement from the party members. But here, it's not done enough where the build up to the True Evil feels sufficient. It does however managed to turn a not-so subtle sub plot of a certain "5th" party member to hint at or connect to the existence and purpose of the True Villain in the end which do feel pretty cool.
Another thing I love about this game is the characters. Villains and heroes alike. All antagonists here are not just some random weirdos the big bad found on the streets (except maybe 2 people), they are all prominent figures of a huge event which happened predating the events of the first game that changes the course of the world, an event which was even mentioned back at default and what jumpstarted the events of the series. So they're all huge deals and have a valid reason for their purpose as a villain.
As for the main party, as much as I love Ringabel, I honestly prefer this game's cast than Default's. Mostly because they act more like friends here and they don't take things too seriously.
First of all, there's 2 returning cast, Edea and Tiz. Edea is more mature in this game, instead of confusing things as just black and white, she feels more certain of herself but also kept her usual Edea personality as always. This is pretty much her character in the best possible version.
Tiz, which was a blank slate in the first game turned to an absolute Chad, enough said.
Yew, the new "main" character is really fun. I think he embodies the tone of the game really well. Quirky, fun, doesn't take things too seriously, has a lot of weaknesses and fears like a normal person but also embodies a sense of heroism like Tiz and Duty like Edea. The character development he got was also done really well. Because unlike Tiz in the first game who was pretty much just a blank canvas and feels really shallow and empty. Yew really feels like a junior hero with weaknesses and doubts.
Lastly, Magnolia. She is a very unique character, and probably the most interesting one. She's like the final piece of the puzzle that fits perfectly to the board. Without her, I feel like the party would feel "stiff". She gives off a similar tone as Yew. Quirky, charming and also being really likeable.
There's not a single dull person in the party anymore, if anything the opposite is true.
All in all, they don't feel as duty-bound as the Normandy Crew or bound by being misfits like Berseria. They feel more like genuine friendship above all. With optional camp conversations, you can watch and see that in their down time and on the field they really are just best friends who jokes with or picks on one another. The romance between Magnolia and Yew do feel a bit forced at the very beginning but do get natural development after a certain part.
As for the music, I'll just say that the lack of Revo is noticeable.
All in all, what started as me just wanting to play a JRPG after so long and then pondering on for 2-3 hours on whether I should start the series or not due to a lot of people's warning of the endless eight moment of Default turned into a gem of a series for me. With one of the most endearing casts and the sweetest ending I've ever seen in a JRPG. I'm glad I decided to try the series out and see for myself. I will miss this game and I really do hope that there will be a Bravely third, after all this time. This series is a must play for JRPG fans. I do plan on playing BD2 sooner or later, even though I heard it's pretty divisive.

A fun continuation of what Symphony of the Night did, but a little bit more scaled down to be on a portable. Exploring Dracula's castle is as fun as always, the music kicks ass, and the powerups you find for defeating bosses are always fun to use. However, I didn't really like the way items were handled in this game. Drop rates are incredibly low, and there is no shop so duplicate pieces of equipment become pointless. There are also these cards that you can combine to give yourself various effects, and those cards are also locked behind random enemy drops. I would have liked it more if the cards were something you naturally found around the map rather than something that you have to grind for. The last bit of the game becomes a bit of a slog, with the second to last boss being in a particularly annoying to reach area and the final boss being really cheaply designed imo. Despite that, I still had a lot of fun with a majority of the time in this game, so it's def worth trying if you like metroidvanias.

Wonderful game pulled down by some noticeable pacing issues in the narrative. The art direction and soundtrack are masterful, while the main cast of characters are very endearing. The actual gameplay and combat are a bit one note, but the meat and potatoes lie more in the story and exploration anyways.

This is my favorite 2D Mario game of all time. I know there are many others that people would swear by, like Super Mario World, or maybe even the newer games, but to me, this is the PERFECT 2D Mario game in my eyes.
The story is what you would expect from a Mario game, so no need to go into it, the gameplay is fast and incredibly fun, the controls are heaven, the graphics are great, the art style is very appealing, the music is catchy and iconic, the powerups are incredibly fun to use, the levels are really fun to run through, with something different about each one, the difficulty is just right for me, and the game is much longer than the previous games, giving you a lot to do before you are done with it.
If I could complain about anything, I could say it is kind of annoying how there is no way to save your progress or use a password, especially since this game is kinda lengthy, but that doesn't really bother me that much, as I usually finish it in one sitting whenever I play through it again.
Overall, while there have been many other great 2D Mario games before and since this one, I will probably always consider this game to be my absolute favorite out of all of them, and a must play for anyone who is a fan of the series.
Game #6

To sacrifice storytelling, worldbuilding and actual rpg mechanics to boil it down to a looter shooter is a shit on the actual fallout name, fallout 4 is completely removed entirely to it's predecessors, offering nothing but shallow interactions and only having a few memorable interactions with some actually decent characters.

Coming of off ME2 I had high hopes, despite what the community has said about the game. While it is not as bad as most people make it out to be, it does waste a lot of potential and falls flat being the ending to Shepard's tale. Overall the gameplay, characters, and environments are still amazing. Just the story starts to lack. Plus the citadel dlc is great.
Final score: 8/10

Really liked the combat and thought the overdive mechanic was neat, but not being able to rotate the camera freely really killed the fun and made running away from enemies or trying to focus on enemies really frustrating. (I guess it's because the PSP only had ONE analog nub and they needed to use it for character MOVEMENT instead of camera control. 😤)
The storyline was a pile of crap and Aya Brea didn't deserve to be done dirty like this.
If they (highly unlikely) ever decide to remake a Parasite Eve game, I hope to god it's not this one.

0 Lists liked by Rorenado