Hello, and welcome to another installment of Rapid Fire Reviews. I know Cory usually writes these, but I’ve played several games over the past month that are worth talking about. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
The period leading up to the release of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield was full of controversy. It seemed like every day people were complaining about the games, most notably due to the graphics and many Pokemon not being able to be transferred to the games. Those two things never really bothered me, so since I needed a Switch game to play, I got Sword for Christmas. I thought it was… okay.
Gameplay-wise, there really isn’t much to say. It’s Pokemon, and plays about as well as any other game in the series. The big gimmick that Game Freak introduced was the concept of Dynamax, which makes Pokemon grow to Kaiju-level sizes. It’s neat the first time you see it, but the novelty wears off pretty quickly. As for the plot, I liked it fine for what it was. It wasn’t as good as Ruby and Sapphire, but it was more engaging than X and Y. The player’s friend/rival, Hop, is the younger brother of the Galar region’s champion, Leon, and that instantly made him a more memorable character than the four(!) friends from X and Y. Speaking of the Galar region, that’s easily my favorite aspect of the game. Based on the United Kingdom, it houses some cool-looking cities. My favorites were Hammerlocke, with its castles, Ballonlea, situated in a cool forest, and Spikemuth, with its dingy punk aesthetic. This game also has some good music, as well. As for Galar’s Pokemon, they’re alright. I went with Scorbunny as my starter, but some other pocket monsters that stuck out to me were Nickit, Corviknight, Centiskorch, Clobbopus, and Falinks.
Sword was a fun enough time, but it’s far from the best Pokemon game. I hope the series’ gameplay sees an actual evolution next gen.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Why didn’t I play this game sooner? I had known about it for years, but it took me and Cory until 2020 to finally sit down and play it. Let’s get right to it: I love this game. I love the music, the environments, the gameplay, the story, and the characters. Mallow had an extremely satisfying character arc, and I now understand why so many people want Geno in Smash Bros. Peach and Bowser also had their moments, as well. Something I appreciate about the story is the weirdness of it. Square, the RPG maestro and the developer of the game, were given a lot more creative freedom than a lot of teams working on Nintendo games today are. Characters such as the main villain, Smithy, and others like Booster and Valentina are fun to chase down and defeat. The battles’ timed hit system is also fun to use, and you can also see it in the first two Paper Mario games and the Mario & Luigi series. The music is some of the catchiest I’ve ever heard in a video game; Yoko Shimomura deserves a big round of applause for her work here. If you want to introduce people unfamiliar to JRPGs to the genre, in my opinion, this is the game to do it with. It’s dang near perfect.
Midway’s sports games of the 1990’s and early 2000’s are some of the most exciting games I’ve ever played. MLB Slugfest, NHL Hitz, NFL Blitz, and NBA Jam were and still are insanely fun. In addition, wrestling games can also be insanely fun, especially my favorite, WWE ’13. On paper, this game should be amazing. The controls in Impact are simple and fun to use, and the presentation is also well done. I can see multiplayer being extremely fun, but my grievances came in the story mode. Once it made me participate in tag team matches, the game had a very noticeable framerate drop. I played the PS2 version, but the other versions are probably better in this regard. In addition, I came across several glitches while playing. While TNA Impact can be a fun two player game, that’s all I can really recommend it for. That and the novelty of playing a TNA game.
Interestingly enough, the campaign’s main character, Suicide, was made into an actual character on TNA TV. As episodes of Impact were ending after the game came out, a special URL flashed on the screen. This site then teased the arrival of the character. This domain name has since expired and now links to another site. I don’t recommend typing it today, but it did return results in a WaybackMachine search.
Well, that’s a quick summary of some games I’ve played recently! Thanks for reading!
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