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Shrek Forever After

A pretty good supposed end to a mostly amazing series
As a lover of the first 2 films, I didn't know if I was ready for another disappointment like the third, since it was very forgettable and sloppy. I didn't hate it, as there were good things about it, but ultimately, it was a massive letdown in the grand scheme of things. Even as a kid, I knew some crucial things were missing. So, you can imagine my fear for this film and my almost as big surprise after the credits rolled. This movie finally gets the series back on track, and while it's far from a classic like the first 2, it retained a decent number of magic that the third simply had little of. For one, the villain wasn't lazy. In fact, Rumpelstiltskin is just awesome, as he's not only funny, but well written with the narrative. The premise behind this movie is pretty interesting, too. It's essentially another take on the story used in "It's A Wonderful Life", but, of course, with some twists like meeting a whole other colony of ogres. The humor, overall, is pretty good. I wouldn't say I was ever busting a gut, but I was chuckling more than I was with the third film. Overall, this film is a massive step in the right direction. With that said, though, this still isn't a great movie, as it does falter hard with a few things. For one, the pacing and buildup is a bit sloppy. I never really felt like anything really transitioned that well, which makes the film feel uneven at times. Also, this movie is predictable as all hell. It takes plot elements from the first 2 movies, and while that's not a terrible thing on its own, the lack of any big pizzazz to the story structure can lead to little surprises, which is a bit disappointing. So yeah. It's a bit harder to digest than the first 2 films, but it shows the studio learning from some of their mistakes from the third one, even if they haven't learned them all quite yet. It's a pretty good, but not great supposed end to a mostly amazing series. Recommended if you want a somewhat fun ride with the characters you love from the movies. If your standards have been lowered from the third, you may be pleasantly surprised here, as I was.

Star Fox

Incredible, especially for its time.
While video games have been around for more than 4 decades, 3D gaming has only just started getting big only 2 decades ago, and that was in the late 90s. So, you can imagine how shocked and skeptical I was when I heard a full fledged 3D game before that that was on a 16 bit console of all things. Sure, one could say the likes of "F-Zero" was kind of 3D, but it was only pseudo 3D and not actually objects moving in a 3D world. This, on the other hand, managed to pull it off and do it surprisingly well, because not only did it push the SNES to its limits, but it's also still a very fun game that's fun to this day. This is essentially a 3D shmup, and the gameplay is spot on. It feels great moving your R-Wing and shooting down enemies and bosses. This is also helped by great section structure, meaning that the game progresses very well with each place you travel through. The characters are all awesome. The idea of animals fighting for the greater good and taking orders from a general dog may sound silly on paper, but it's a premise so good, that it's still being used in later Star Fox. The sound design is top notch, as well. Whether it be the satisfying sound effects from shooting or the goofy, yet charming dialogue sounds from the characters when they reach you, it all sounds fantastic. The music is iconic from start to finish as well, with it's bombastic and almost spacey feel to it. It never fails to be stuck in my head every time I finish playing this game. The visuals, for what they are, are jaw-dropping considering the hardware it is running on. It almost feels like an N64 game, yet it somehow plays on its predecessor. With that said, though, if you were to look at this game in comparison to how far we've came from this game, this game looks incredibly primitive. Everything is modeled with plain polygons with no texture whatsoever, and they have aged like milk. Given the context, still very impressive, but this is to N64 games what Atari 2600 games are to NES games in terms of visuals. Playing this in comparison to even "Star Fox 64" is night and day to the point where this game doesn't even seem like the same type of game. The only thing helping with that are the 2D rendering of all the characters and places you travel through. Still though, the fact the visuals in this game are even able to happen on the SNES is incredible, so don't think I'm knocking it too much. This is still a fantastic game, which is why I recommend this to anyone who hasn't played it yet, especially those interested in gaming history, as this is not only a massive landmark, but also something still fun to this day. While the likes of "Star Fox 64" may be more recommended in some areas, this is still something awesome.

Sonic Spinball

A great premise ruined by awkward execution
As the video game mascot to curl up into a ball and go full speed, having a pinball game with the blue blur seemed like such an amazing idea. So, when I heard about this game, I was excited. It seemed like something that would go perfectly hand in hand. And then, I played it, and was incredibly confused and disappointed. Before we get into why I felt this way, I want to go over what this game has going for it. The presentation is top notch, as everything is detailed, colorful, and bursting with its own identity. The music is bumpin', as it's catchy and just well composed. The amount of variety in this game is pretty staggering, as well, so there's rarely ever a dull moment in terms of visuals and mechanics. The controls are pretty good, too. That's about it in terms of pros, as everything else is either meh or simply bad. The physics in this game are awkward, as you never really have control as to where sonic will land when the paddles hit him. The levels, despite having variety, are more annoying than they are fun. Whether it be tediously having to knock out barrels or weird worm faces or birds, doing this over and over with wonky physics is a pain. And the worst part is the fact that the enemies respawn every time you get back to that point, so there's not much in terms of progression. The aesthetic, despite being well detailed, just doesn't look that good to me. For some reason, this game first takes place in a big sewer, and it's just not pleasant to look at. There's a lot of green and dark colors that make the game look almost lifeless, and while, again, they aren't visually bad, there's no sense of charm or liveliness you got with any Sonic game beforehand. All of this wouldn't be too bad on their own. Sure, the levels are annoying, but I can get better at them, right? And the visuals are murky, but that's not a huge deal, right? Well, that would be the case if the game wasn't so cryptic. This is a game where if you die once, it's 100% game over. You get shown your score and get brought back to the title screen where you have to start all over. If you mix that with the unorthodox level design, this game is ruthless, especially if you're almost at the end. The aforementioned problems wouldn't be that bad if I didn't have to be forced to play through the whole thing over and over again. It started to feel unfair and just stopped being fun for me, and I don't think I can see myself playing this again anytime soon. I can see the appeal to this game, as it does have its moments that shows promise here, but the execution of everything is so awkward, that it's hard to recommend this game to anyone just getting into Sonic, as it has so little of what made the games before this so great to begin with. I really wanted to like this game, but I can't. If you think you're able to look past awkward and sloppy design and a relentless difficulty curve that feels mostly unjustified, then you might enjoy this, but if not, then I wouldn't bother.

Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island

A pretty good time with the right mindset
(I give this a 6.5/10, but 7 is fine, I guess)

As the primary mascot for Sega, a jump to the third dimension was inevitable. After 3 (4 if you count "Sonic and Knuckles" as a separate game) fantastic games back to back, it was a bit of a shot in the dark to see how good the next main game would be. And, to the surprise of almost nobody, this game doesn't come close to the greatness of any of those games. What is surprising to me, however, is how many people call this game just "meh" or even "bad", and while I definitely see where they are coming from, as this game does away with a plethora of things that made the first 3 (4) games so amazing to begin with, but I feel this game has enough to still be a solid time in its own right. For one, the visuals are fantastic, as the sprites, levels, enemies, and cutscenes all pop with personality and color. I feel this game does a decent enough job to feel mostly 3D, and while it's technically not, since it is isometric, the fact that this game looks this good and runs this well is definitely applaudable on Travelers Tales's part. The music is amazing from start to finish, as it's not only peppy, but catchy as all hell thanks to excellent composition and memorable melodies aplenty. The gameplay is also surprisingly good. While it's certainly not as fast as any of the games beforehand, it made the transition to this game surprisingly well, as Sonic is fluid and free flowing. The premise behind this game is pretty cool, too. It's essentially a fetch quest where you defeat badniks and collect 5 birds called "Flickies" to move on to the next stage. While I understand how some may think that this would be bad in a Sonic game, I feel it's inclusion adds a lot of depth to a game that would seem painfully bland otherwise. Overall, this game does a lot right. However, it does some things wrong too. The level design is a very mixed bag. Some levels can be decent, while the others can be very sloppy. I wouldn't necessarily say any level is awful, but it's clear that the level designers didn't quite have a full grasp as to what to do with Sonic in an isometric perspective, which, to be fair, isn't entirely their fault. Since this is a Genesis game, the inclusion of camera controls are of course nowhere to be found, and while that wouldn't be an issue on its own, the perspective, in this game, is wonky. It makes jumping from one ledge to the other more tough than it needs to be. Same thing can be said for boss battles, as you never 100% know where Sonic will land after jumping thanks to the isometric nature of this game. It doesn't ruin the whole game, mind you, as it's able to be mastered with enough playtime, but those who haven't played the game yet may find the game awkward at times. If you take that into account, this game isn't great by any means. However, with the aforementioned pros, I still had a good time with it, and while it's not as fun as any of the main Sonic games before it, I'd argue that it's better than "Sonic Spinball" any day of the week. I recommend this to anybody with an open mind, as for what it offers, it's actually not bad. With Sonic Team not being at the helm with this game, this could've been a LOT worse, and for it to be as decent as it is, I can say that this was almost a blast to play, even if it's nothing that'll ever set the world on fire. Approach with an open mind, and you may be surprised.


Distinct enough to work for the most part
(I give this a 7.4, but a 7 works fine)

Disney sure seems oddly content with making remakes nowadays, and while it can sometimes work, there are times where the only thing the remake will do is wonder about it's existence. While I can understand how some may feel that way with this film, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised with it. After watching the incredibly dull remake of "The Lion King" (which I saw before this), I was worried. The original film is one of my childhood favorites, and to see that be poorly remade would hurt. Thankfully, that's not entirely the case here. The performances were all spot on and awesome, which helped give new life to classic characters. Sure, the likes Jafar and the Sultan seem to be different characteristically than their animated counterparts, but it's not enough to ruin them in any way. The music, overall, is also fantastic, as it's not only classic, but it's got its own style that helps it be its own thing. Speaking of, Will Smith's portrayal of the Genie was shockingly great, and while no performance would be anywhere near as iconic as Robin Williams version of the genie, Will Smith, as well as the writing surrounding the character, does a great job in bringing something familiar, yet fresh to the table. I also appreciate how the writing in this film, while true to the original, mixes a few things up a bit, such as Jasmines friend wanting to be with the genie, as well as Jasmine wanting to do what's best for herself. While that's all well and good, this film still suffers from a few problems. One of them being the pacing. The original always had a somewhat simple story, and this film is no different. However, there are times where the film can feel a bit stretched out, whereas the original never had this problem. A few minor characters, such as Iago and the sultan have way less characterization than the 1992 film. Iago is now a normal evil parrot that can sometimes shape-shift at the end, and the sultan has very little backstory, which is somewhat disappointing, since both of them were far more interesting and memorable in the original. The CGI is good, but not the best I've seen in a Disney live action film. It's all gorgeous, colorful, and lively, but they didn't quite look as real as they feel like they should be. It still worked well enough, but there were times where the CGI stuck out more than it would've if it were handled a little better. Again, far from bad, but something still worth noting. Overall, this movie is a bit harder to digest than the original for more than one reason, but I give it major credit for having its own identity. Sure, a lot of the things have been recreated, but never to the point that it seems pointless. I was still invested because of how distinctive it is and how well everything that worked was executed. It's beautiful, faithful, and often flawed. While this isn't quite as fun as the original, it's still a good time that's distinct enough to work for the most part. It's nothing essential, as the original is still far superior, but it's got enough magic to be a good remake, making this an easy recommendation for those with an open mind.

The Lion King

Beautiful, yet soulless
It's a bit of a weird time for Disney nowadays, as they seem very content with making mostly remakes nowadays. And while sometimes it can work, like with the great "Jungle Book" remake, there are times where the only thing that the remake will do is make you wonder why it even exists. This film takes the latter to a whole new level, as it is one of the weakest remakes I've ever seen from Disney. It takes everything great about the original 1994 classic and either changes absolutely nothing or does them worse. The story, premise, characters (with the exception of Timon and Pumbaa), and structure are all the exact same with little to nothing fresh about them. The facial expressions from all of the animals are incredibly static from start to finish, meaning that it's really hard to get any sort of sympathy for any of the characters, since they look bored all of the time. I understand Disney was going for realism, here, but when the lions from National Geographic show more emotion than this, then there's definitely a problem. Because of this, this was one of the most boring and predictable films I've seen in recent memory. I felt no soul or excitement. To be honest, I was mostly bored. That's not to say the movie was a complete train wreck, as the animation and CGI are incredibly stunning. They look lifelike and just beautiful throughout. The voice cast is fantastic, and everyone did a great job in trying to bring life into characters that would've been as close to dead in the face as possible without these performances. The writing of Timon and Pumbaa is the only thing that's truly new and appreciated, as they had some of the funniest lines in the film, as well as the most memorability. Aside from that, however, I am struggling to find any good reason for anyone to bother with this, as this is the exact same film as the original, but not as engaging or as fun. It's a case of flair over function, as it looks beautiful, but it's completely devoid of any of the soul or heart that made the original such a classic to begin with. Do yourself a favor and just stick with the original.


Lazier than a fat lazy cat
When I saw the trailer, I was confused as all hell, as I'm sure many others were. Weirdly provocative humanoid cats in a big musical? Uhh...okay. Then, I saw that some of the people who worked on Les Miserable did this, too, so that actually gave me some hope, considering how good that film turned out to be. Did this movie succeed? GOOD GOD. NO. First off, the story is some of the most padded crap I've seen in a film, as it's mostly about cats just wanting to find a mate, and pretty much nothing else. The end of the movie has some sort of plot happening, but before it gets any good, the movies over. Doesn't help that the pacing is needlessly slow for how dumb and nonexistent the story is. The CGI is just not good either. I thought the CGI in the trailer looked weird and creepy, but actually sitting through 2 hours worth of it, you really begin to notice how poor it is. The faces are weirdly tracked onto the cat bodies, and they're just not detailed at all. It all looked like 2009 era Pixar cats with real human faces on it, and it's just weird in an unsettling way. The performances, here, are completely wasted, as the sloppy writing hinders the otherwise fantastic cast, here. I can see some trying here, but when nothing lands thanks to the padded script and story, I still feel nothing from anyone. The attempts at humor are more often than not sad and cringe-worthy. I'll admit that the music is pretty good, but that doesn't really matter considering that it's all from the broadway, so I can't really give that to this film. This film has nothing going for it, as it's something that's not only stretched out unreasonably long, but also nightmarish in more ways than one. If you haven't seen this film, please keep it that way. It's not only weird and creepy, but it's lazier than a fat lazy cat.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

A monumental step forward in just about every way
After the release of the first "Sonic The Hedgehog", it was clear as say that Sega was onto something pretty special. However, while the game is fondly remembered by millions upon millions, it was clear that they haven't quite nailed the fast-paced game design that is needed for a Sonic game. Everything still worked decently, but they could do better. And better they did, because this is far and away one of the biggest step forwards any video game franchise has ever seen in the span of just a year. It almost makes the original look bad thanks to the countless amount of improvements it brings to the table. Instead of only being fast in the first zone, EVERY zone is like that here. The level design is superb, as it perfectly mixes speed and fun paths that never feel half baked, and that goes for every level. The music is amazing from start to finish, as well, with some of the most iconic music in gaming history. Same goes for the visuals. Everything pops with color and is full of detail all the time. The gameplay has been carried over from the first game as well as the introduction of the spin dash, which has become an absolute must for every game moving forward. The new character "Tails" is awesome and distinct enough to really work, which makes it all make more sense as to why he's been in mostly every game after. Overall, this game is simply better in almost every way. The only thing I would consider worse, here, are the special stages. They're not terrible, but thanks to Tails being part of the adventure, going through these stages are just unfair at times. When you jump, Tails doesn't jump until around a whole second after you do, which makes it unreasonably hard to get through them. They're just not that fun after a while and are more annoying than anything else. At least you get Super Sonic, which is essentially a god mode for the game, which is a pretty great reward, so I'm not harping on the special stages too much. Thankfully, the Christian Whitehead port refined the stages and made them far less frustrating, so, for me, that'll always be my definitive way of playing this game. Even with that, though, this game is so fantastic in many other ways, that playing this on anything that can run it is very recommended, as it is a monumental step forward in just about every way. I may prefer S3&K, but this is still one of the best fast-paced games out there, and will be remembered for many more years, if not decades to come.

The Office

I'm sure many people have already heard praise for and seen memes from this show, but there's a damn good reason for that. The reason being that this really is one of the best comedies out there. Whether it be the seemingly endless amount of memorability in the characters, excellent writing, and comedy that lands more than most of the time, this show has it all. This is all helped by both the excellent performances and the documentary style filming that helps this feel that much more authentic, therefore, helping the comedy be more effective. The writing is top-notch from start to finish. While it's understandable that people may not have liked the show as much when Michael Scott left, I'd argue the consistently great and funny writing helped the show afloat all the way to the end. That's not to say Michael is the only great character, as everyone else is awesome, as well. Whether it be the nerdy, yet old fashioned Dwight Schrute, the laidback, yet heart-felt Jim Halpert, the talented, yet clueless and hot-headed Andy Bernard, or pretty much everyone else, the characters are well written and fantastic, overall. Even the minor characters, such as Gabe, Robert California, etc., while not as in depth as the others, are excellent as well in their own way. All in all, that is all just the tip of the iceberg as to why everyone should give this show a shot if they haven't already, as it is not only funny, but also well written and incredibly memorable from start to finish. Even as someone who has seen every season more than a few times, I can definitely see myself coming back for more, as it is nothing short of legendary.

New Super Lucky's Tale

A fun and adorable time that gives me hope for the future of video games.
Even as someone who has never really had an interest in getting the Xbox One, missing out on the games "Super Lucky's Tale" and "Cuphead" definitely hurt for me, since both looked like games I would love to bits. Seeing how the latter finally came to Switch and me loving it to bits, I was curious to see if SLT would ever follow suit. At first, it really didn't seem so, since the game, despite having its fans, was given mediocre reception across the board. I never played it, so I couldn't comment, but that led me to believe that it was all fluff and no stuff. So, you could imagine my shock hearing that the game would not only get a complete upgrade, but be a Switch exclusive. At first, I was confused and worried, since it looked like the same game, but with a few UI touch ups and the word "New" slapped on it, and if Nintendo has taught me anything, having "New" in the title never really means that it's truly new. That is, of course, until I picked this up and played it for myself. And, oh my god, what a delightful surprise this is. All of the mediocre reviews I have read are all completely null and void here, as all of the stuff I was worried about is gone. Before we get into that, I just want to gush over this games presentation. This game is ADORABLE. No joke. Every character, whether it be the main ones, the NPCs, enemies, bosses, etc. all just have that cute charm that you don't really see often in games nowadays. This is all helped by the goofy Banjo-Kazooie like gibberish spoken by everyone. I love the design of Lucky himself, too. It's simple, yet adorably effective. The writing, too, is surprisingly silly and entertaining, and works hand and hand with the style of the game. The visuals, as a whole, while simple, are very clean and brimming with color and detail. The music, too, is good and fits the aesthetic, and while I wouldn't say it's on the same level as some other platform games OSTs, it's still pleasant, as a whole. At this point, one could be asking "but what about the gameplay and the game itself?" Well, I'm pleased to report that everything is great across the board. The camera that I was mostly concerned about works excellently, and the overall gameplay has a near perfect flow. Lucky may have a somewhat simple move set, but thanks to the way the levels are made and how everything is, it all works close to perfectly. The hubworld and level designs are also great, which is all thanks to creative and fun design. There's a shocking amount of variety here, too. Some levels can be normal 3D ones, while others can be auto-runners, 2D side scrollers, or top down puzzle solvers. There are also some side puzzles to do, like having statues of Lucky land on green spaces and rolling a ball on a maze, and more. All of these are great fun. Even the bosses are awesome. Sure, they're nothing complex by any means, but they're all fun, too. In terms of problems I have with the game, it'd probably have to be the low difficulty. However, if there's one thing I'm shocked by was how much fun this game is, considering that it's pretty damn easy. I'm not saying it's a complete hand-holder or anything, but if you were hoping for a huge challenge, then you might not get it here. However, it does get mildly challenging at the end, but even then, it's nothing that'll make you come close to raging. Again, though, this game manages to be almost every bit as fun and every bit as memorable as a hard game in this genre would be, so it not being that hard is hardly a deal breaker by any means. It's still harder than the likes of "Kirby Star Allies", that's for sure. This game shocked me in more ways in one. It's varied, colorful, well-paced, adorable, charming, and most importantly, fun. As someone who grew up with the PS2 and played classics like Jak and Daxter as well as every Ratchet and Clank game, this is the game I've been wanting for years. I know anyone in my shoes or those that have played games like Spyro, Banjo Kazooie, Super Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot, Sly Cooper, etc. will feel right at home with this game like I did. In a world where games like this haven't been as popular as they were years ago, this is a huge refresher that we don't need loot boxes or micro transactions to have a full and great experience, and the more we get amazing games like this, the better. This not only gave me hope for video games in the future, but it also made me feel like a kid again, and I am lucky to have checked this out.

Epic Movie

Could've been funny, but literally never is
I don't think I remember seeing a film so desperate and crude in my life, because this film (if you can call it that) is just sad. It relies way too hard on just making fun of the source materials with no thought, care, or originality whatsoever. All the jokes are either relentlessly immature or have been said by audiences before this film was even made. Nothing is fresh and nothing is funny. The film doesn't even try to be clever. If anything, the attempts at humor are cringeworthy at best. Hell, every single source material here is at least 10 times funnier than this film will ever be. Doesn't help that everything flows poorly, making an already hard thing to sit through that much harder. It's close to unbearable. I personally think a parody movie can work if the jokes aren't rehashed and randomly crude so that only 12-13 year old teenagers could find any sort of enjoyment out of, but that is so far from the case here, that it makes the moon seem like it's 5 minutes away. If you couldn't tell already, I recommend everyone to avoid this like the plague. It's dumb and nothing more. As I said, it could've been funny if the writers knew what they were doing, but since they clearly didn't, it literally never is. Go watch every source material instead, because watching all of those back to back is more fun than watching less than a minute of this crap. The only thing "epic" about this movie is the fact that this was even released, but other than that, I have absolutely nothing.

Sunset Blvd.

Film Noir at its finest
After watching the Christmas classic "It's A Wonderful Life", I was stunned by how amazing it was, and became curious how great other films from around the same era would be. It wasn't until one of my college classes played this film where I finally experienced that love of a classic film from 4-5 decades before I was even born once again, because this film surprised me. Thanks to the over abundance of films nowadays using huge budget CGI, the story telling can sometimes get cast aside for something that looks wonderful, but has no substance; a perfect example being the stunning, yet dull "Transformer" films after the first one. The beauty of these types of films is that it wasn't like that. Thanks to Hollywood not over relying on how a film looked at the time, the story is fantastically written and has a ton of depth. The way the characters are written are all fantastic, whether it be the charismatic "Joe Gillis", or the crazy and almost menacing "Norma Desmond", or even the mysterious nature of "Max", etc. They all have tons of depth that helps the story flow perfectly. This is all helped by the memorable performances from everyone. Whether it be William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Nancy Olson, Erich Von Stroheim, etc., they all gave performances that perfectly portray how the characters are. Especially Gloria Swanson, as her portrayal of the former silent film star is delightfully crazy and unpredictable. William Holden as the up and coming screen writer was phenomenal as well, but the thing that helps put that cherry on top of the awesome film sundae is his narration. It makes this film feel like a true detective case, as well as help the story flow very well, which, is also fantastic. All in all, if you haven't seen this film, I guarantee you that if you watch it with an open mind, you won't regret it one bit, as it is a masterpiece in the Film Noir genre. Sure, it's an old film from the early 50s that's much different in film making than anything today, but I would argue that this film is all the better for it, as it is a timeless classic that will be loved by many for many more decades; maybe even centuries; to come.

WWE 2K20

So much for progress...
After playing WWE 2K19, I was shocked by just how damn good it was. With it's slightly tweaked gameplay that was funner than ever before, first time excellent My Career mode, return of 2K Showcase mode (which was also great), fun towers mode, added customization to WWE Universe mode, funny and awesome big head mode, and added features to the creation suite, such as the creation of block bodies and MITB briefcase, it was a huge step in the right direction. Sure, it still had some room to grow in a few spots, but all of the aforementioned improvements made 2K19 one of, if not the strongest WWE game on consoles from the 8th gen. That comes to little surprise, since Yukes has worked on every WWE game since the PS1/N64 days, therefore, giving them around 2 decades of experience. So, you could imagine my shock and worry once I found out that Yukes would no longer be making wrestling games after 2K19. Instead, Visual Concepts would be at the helm of making the game, and at first, I was skeptical, yet hopeful. Without any experience of making wrestling games, how could this turn out well? Then again, if they can make basketball fun, then wrestling shouldn't be that hard, right? Well, it turns out that the finished product would be far worse than anything I could've imagined, so, in other words, yes, it's apparently very hard. This is essentially what you get when you take 2K19 and simply make it worse in just about every way. The visuals have been downgraded SIGNIFICANTLY, as everything looks like it was straight out of an early PS3 game. The My Career mode, while structured similarly to last years, is dull and dumb. The charm and decent progression from last year has been replaced by slow sequences, unlikable characters, and a dumb script that's sloppy. Sure, this does include a female in My Career, but when it's this worse than last year, then it almost doesn't matter. 2K Showcase, while awesome to see return once more, is also worse, but not in the same way as My Career. Much like most other WWE 2K games, it's structured pretty much the same. However, the subject of the showcase, in my opinion, is WAY too recent to really warrant its own showcase, yet. Don't get me wrong. I'm super pumped about women getting the spotlight in WWE, and I hope it keeps going. But, when the earliest this showcase takes place is only 3-4 years ago, it takes away a lot of the magic of what makes the Showcase mode so great to begin. This is because since all the events happened in recent years, most of us have already experienced what the mode has to offer with it still fresh in our minds, so unless you weren't around when the events of the showcase took place, then you may find it hard to be that invested. Doesn't help that the video quality of the four horse-women in interviews looks like something straight out of 2008 era YouTube. At least the universe mode does get some improvements, albeit minor. Being able to assign 3 shows to a PPV instead of 2 and having up to 14 matches in one is pretty sweet, and while it's not anything major, it's still a high point of the modes of this game. Same can be said with the inclusion of the weapon wheel customization, as it adds a lot of depth to extreme rules matches, which is awesome. The game still has the fantastic creation suite, as well as some additions to the already impressive roster from last year, and while it stings to be missing a few legends, the new superstars we got is pretty cool. I know "Create A Championship" isn't in the game yet, but it will via an update, so I'll let it slide. This game debuts 2K Originals, and it is pretty awesome, as you get cool skins and places to wrestle in. It's a cool idea, and I'm glad to see it here. So, you might be thinking "Sure, the modes and visuals aren't as good, but everything else seems to be decent so far. Why did you give this 3/10?" Because the gameplay is shockingly bad and the amount of glitches ruins the game in more ways than one. I get that expecting a studio who doesn't have the necessary amount of experience to make anything as fun as last years would be unrealistic, but Visual Concepts dropped the ball HARD. The game is not only slow again, but the hit detection is just bad. Hitting your opponent is harder than it needs to be, and the amount of glitches that can occur butcher the experience quite a bit, even if some of them are admittedly hilarious to watch. Because of these issues, this is the least fun wrestling game I've played in years. It's actually more frustrating than it is fun. Glitches don't stop there, however. The creation suite, for as robust it is, suffers hard from either the game simply crashing, or parts of a superstar disappearing or appearing somewhere else, making them look like abominations. Sure, the latter can be funny, but it shouldn't be an issue to begin with. Overall, this game simply wasn't ready to be released. It's as clear as day that it's not finished, as the amount of glitches and awful hit detection show how important delays can be. If it means that we must wait for a game, just as long as it'll be in the state it's intended to be in, then so be it. I know if this game got that treatment, it would've turned out better. But, as it stands, this game simply isn't fun or worth your time. Say what you will about 2K15, but at least that game had great visuals, gameplay, and modes. This, however, does not. I recommend everyone to stick with 2K19 or just get that game instead if you haven't already. This game is the biggest step back the series has seen yet. I can't really say I'm shocked, because I knew things wouldn't be great when Yukes left, but I didn't know it would turn out this bad. Until 2K hopefully patches this game to make it better, save your money and your sanity, because while there are a few very minor step forwards, that almost doesn't matter when there are an almost endless number of steps back. Don't let the cool cover art of Becky Lynch and Roman Reigns fool you, as this game is nothing more than a big mess.


Superman 64? More like Super-Bad, What a Bore!
I didn't think it could be done, but somehow, Titus software did it. They somehow made a full game that's horrible throughout the whole package. What makes that even more weirdly impressive is the fact that this was done in a time where the standards of video gaming were much lower, so for it to be this abysmal even for that is quite the feat. The visuals look blocky and lazily put together, the gameplay is either awkward or fights against you, the game structure is stupid and tedious what with all the tokens you have to find and the rings you have to fly through, the world design is uninspired; same can be said for the stock music and bland UI, and the performance is shockingly really bad at times. All of this makes for an experience that is painful more than it is fun. It is one of, if not the laziest game I've ever played. To add salt to the wounds, every single time you fail (which is 100% guaranteed to happen, since some missions literally don't give you any time to read what to do), you have to do the tedious ring section before it every single time. Not only that, the aforementioned tokens are for your powers, and they WILL deplete if you keep using them. You read that right. The one Superhero that can do pretty much everything is locked behind petty gimmicks that adds nothing, but annoyance to the game. It wouldn't be that bad if they didn't deplete, because that would feel like a nice progression for every token you found. But, NOPE. Everything is temporary, no matter what. You will not be able to be the Superman you want to be, unless your idea of Superman is him not being, oh, I don't know. Super? What doesn't help is the fact that this game doesn't run that well. When you have to do combat against enemies (which isn't fun either), the game can sometimes slow to a crawl, especially if there are a lot on the screen. Sure, there is a way to shrink the screen so that it runs a little better, which also sacrifices visibility, but I have a few questions: How in the name of all that is holy does a game this bad looking and this simple run so bad in the first place? How do games like "Super Mario 64" or "The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time" (both of which came out before this did) run so well on the same console despite being infinitely more complex than this game? There's no excuse for this. Even with emulation, this game simply isn't optimized fully. Not that it matters a whole lot, because nothing about is fun. The only fun that can be had here is showing this to friends just to show them one of the most poor excuses of interactive media on the planet. Even as someone who's not that big of a fan of Superman (I don't dislike him, I just never really read any of his comics yet), I'm insulted. So, if you are, avoid this like the plague, because it takes everything great about the Kryptonian Hero and flushes it down the toilet. This goes for everyone else, too. Save your sanity and your time by playing literally anything else. I wanted to be one of those that found some good in this game, but I simply can't, as there is nothing. Even if you're a fan of the show this game is based off of, none of the charm made its way here in the slightest. Would I say this is the worst game of all time? I don't know, as there are other games that are also deserving of that moniker. Hell, I'm not even sure if there is one game that can be classified as the "worst of all time". However, I can say that this is certainly the worst game from the 5th generation, that's for damn sure. Superman 64? More like Super-Bad, What a Bore!

WWE 2K15

A pretty good time with the right mindset
(I give this a 6.7/10, but 7 is fine, I guess.)

I'm sure me liking this game may ruffle a few feathers, but I do genuinely believe that this game offers just enough enjoyment to stand on its own. It was never great, as it lacks in many areas that even PS3 games didn't, but at its core, it's still a good time with many refinements and excellent modes. The visuals are fantastic and they do a great job in bringing the WWE into the 8th generation. Of course, they don't look as good as the likes of 2K18 and 2K19, but I would argue that they hold up a little better than the visuals in 2K16 and 2K17. They also look better and are much more consistent than the visuals in 2K20, so there's that, too. The gameplay is the best it's ever been up to this point, as everything flows a lot better than any game beforehand. It balances simulation with fun very well, in my opinion. The 2K Showcase modes are fantastic. They play close to the same as 2K14s "30 Years Of WrestleMania" mode, but instead, you play through 2 iconic feuds, being CM Punk vs. John Cena from the early 2010s and Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels from the early-mid 2000s. They offer a ton of relatability to the game, and the stuff you unlock and how you unlock them is all good fun. My Career mode, while admittedly cryptic at times, is actually pretty decent for it being the first of its kind. The fact that you get to have a custom wrestler be the main focus of the mode, as well as take him on the journey to WrestleMania is really cool. It's not great, as it can drag on a bit, but it's a neat mode, nonetheless, and one that would get better with each game (with the exception of 2K20). The universe mode did get much better with a much more user friendly interface and awesome structure. Gone are the days of having most of the mode squished to one side of the screen, because now, everything is more centered and more inviting, and I know that may sound minor, but it makes a bigger difference than one would think. The ability to fully customize the attire of the in game wrestlers is just awesome, and is the one part of the creation suite in this game that's better than any game beforehand. However, this is where the game, in my opinion, falters the most. There's no beating around the bush when I say that the creation suite is just bad. If you want to create divas, arenas, championships, videos, original entrances, finishers, stories, or logos in this game, then I've got some bad news, as the options of creation are only limited to superstars, move-sets, superstar attires, and entrances from other superstars. In terms of other flaws, they're not as major. The smaller number of match types is incredibly unfortunate, as it puts a big damper on the longevity of the game in terms of casual play. It doesn't necessarily ruin the entire game, mind you, as universe mode offers a lot of longevity on its own, but it's still a big bummer. The roster is decent, but not as good as 2K14s. Most of the legends from the previous game are nowhere to be seen, and there aren't enough big standouts to really make an impact. There's mostly everyone you would expect at the time with a few legends from the Showcase modes, but that's about it. Serviceable, but nothing special. Aside from that, this game is something of a wasted opportunity. What could've been an easy improvement over 2K14 is ultimately held back by a terrible creation suite that only offers the absolute bare minimum and missing match types. Something we haven't seen since games from the N64/PS1 era, which is kind of sad. Hell, even if the creation suite was the exact same as 2K14s, it would've helped, but since we got so little to do, it stings. However, if there's one thing time has been kind to, it's this game. Sure, if you compare this to the likes of 2K19, then it's almost laughable, but thanks to it not only being cheap nowadays, but also being affected the least when the servers turned off (since the creation suite wasn't good to begin with), I can say that this is definitely worth it nowadays for wrestling fans. I'm not saying it's great, as it stumbles hard in many areas, making the criticisms towards this game well deserved, but I would argue that it's still a much better time than 2K20 as of me writing this review. For around 5-10$, the amount of stuff in this game is definitely enough to keep fans of the WWE happy, which is why I recommend anyone who's a wrestling fan who hasn't played this yet to check it out, as the excellent story modes and the few improvements over 2K14 really help this game stand on its own, even if it's nothing to write home about. It's not brilliant by any means, but it's a pretty good time with the right mindset.


A thought provoking masterpiece that tells a story you never thought hard about.
As someone who isn't that big of a fan of the DCEU thanks to the quality of the films being kind of wonky (a few are great, a few are just okay, a few are really bad), I wasn't expecting that much here, considering that this film, besides having the Joker, has nothing to even do with the DCEU. Plus, as great as Joaquin Phoenix is as an actor, he was never exactly the first guy to come to mind when thinking of who to play the demented clown himself. So, you can imagine my shock and amazement after coming out of the movie theater, because, oh my god, this film is incredible. It takes everything you thought you knew about the Joker and not only flips it on its head, but expands upon it tenfold. The way this film portrays what Arthur is going through and how he evolves into the Joker is some of the best character development I have ever seen in a film. This film has a perfect balance of making you sympathize with the main character, while also making you mindful of the terrible acts he has done. It can feel a bit disturbing to almost side with someone who's obviously dangerous, but the way this film manages that is genius. All of this is helped by two things. Smart and excellent writing, as well as the performance. The story is great. It's well paced, thought provoking, smart, poignant, and constantly almost eye opening. Joaquin Phoenix was pretty much perfect. His performance is Oscar worthy here, as he really did become the main character. When Arthur laughed because of his condition, I really felt the pain behind it. Seeing how his life is and how he lives it really seemed real, and that's what helped me sympathize with him, even though, again, he's dangerous. If all of that wasn't enough, everything else about this movie is great too. The direction from Todd Phillips really shines, as the way this film is structured and put together helps the film not only flow really well, but to be delightfully dark and twisted. The performances from everyone else were all great too. Robert De Niro was phenomenal as Murray Franklin, as he was very committed, which helped him really turn into the talk show host from this film. The same thing can be said for everyone else, whether it be Frances Conroy as Arthur's mother or Zazie Beetz as his love interest. Everyone did great, as well as Todd Phillips for making such an incredible film that delves into the mind of the demented clown while making it extremely heartfelt. I also loved how they linked the Wayne family to the story. I won't say what happened to avoid spoilers, but that really helped this feel like a true part of Batman's past, all of which happened in a movie where the caped crusader isn't even around yet (I hope, because a Batman film after this would be awesome in my opinion). Overall, this film is amazing, and I recommend anyone who hasn't seen it to do so, because it not only has fan service aplenty to longtime fans of the Joker, but it also has everything that makes a great movie great so that it can be enjoyed by anyone. One last thing to note is that there is a lot, and I mean a LOT of gore in this film, so if you're squeamish about that, then I'd probably wait until I'm ready to see it. I say watch this with an open mind, and what you'll experience is a thought provoking masterpiece that tells a story you never thought hard about and tells it damn near perfectly.

Supa Mario Kato

A pretty good start to a legendary series that hasn't aged well
I know that me giving this a 7/10 seems low considering this a classic, but, to me, this really is a series that just gets better and better with each console game, so the fact that the first one is riddled with things that haven't aged all too well makes sense. That's not to say this isn't good even after all these years later, because it's a classic for a few reasons. The visuals are impressive for the time and are filled with color and Mario charm. Seeing locales from "Super Mario World" brought into a pseudo 3D plain is just awesome, and the fact that the SNES could give us that is still mind blowing to me. The music is all fantastic and very memorable, whether they're new tracks, or remixes from previous Mario games. The gameplay is simple, yet effective. It's essentially the same exact fair you're used to, but with a D-pad, and thanks to this being made with that in mind, controlling this game with a D-pad is far better than you think it is. The roster is pretty great for a first game, as you got most of the Mario characters you would hope to see, as well as some unique inclusions like Donkey Kong Jr. and Koopa Troopa. The track design is pretty good, as well. While there's not a lot of variety in terms of themes, they're all structured well enough to be fun. One of, if not the best part of this game, however, is the battle mode. It is excellent fun, and while it's not as robust as a few games afterwards (which is understandable, considering this is the first in the series), it's still fantastic. All of these pros make this a classic in its own right, but there are things holding it back from making it anything essential nowadays. The drifting, for one, SUCKS. While I still stand by the gameplay being good, the drifting keeps it from being great. It's very finicky and seems to never be reliable. I always just brake while turning, because drifting always results in me smacking against the wall or a hazard. I just don't bother. The item distribution is the most unfair it has ever been in a Mario Kart, as no matter who you choose, you will always be at a disadvantage compared to the CPU, because they can spam any item they want. While this doesn't happen enough to necessarily ruin the game, it happens enough to dampen what could've been a fair race, as it can sometimes be cheap. The screen is always squished by a map of the whole track under it, and while it's a good idea on paper, having an option to disable that would have been awesome. Not a deal breaker by any means, but still something worth noting. So yeah. The game hasn't aged well. But, with all of the stuff this has, and for it being the first in the series, it's still something special, which is why I recommend anyone who's a fan of the series to check this out, as it's a pretty good start to a legendary series. However, if you're new to Nintendo games and haven't played a Mario Kart yet, almost every game after is a better option than this. It's still a good time, but in terms of racing games on the SNES, I personally prefer the original "F-Zero".

The Carbonaro Effect

A fun novelty that wears thin
I'm not going to be a party pooper and say that I don't like magic tricks, because I do, especially when they really provoke the mind. With that said, if they were going to be the main focus in a show, I would expect them to be fresh and fun with each new episode to keep me interested. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, that isn't exactly the case here. I say "unsurprisingly" because I don't think coming up with fresh tricks in every episode for a long time is even possible, but then again, I'm no magician. That's not to say Michael Carbonaro isn't talented at what he does or that he isn't entertaining, as he most certainly is. However, this show really doesn't have much at all in terms of variety. It's always magic tricks and shocked reactions of people, and that's it. Rinse and repeat every episode. I would be fine with this if things were shaken up a bit each episode, but I feel like I got the whole gist of what the whole show is like just from 2 episodes. The spark (no pun intended) was lost after watching a few more after that, because I knew how everything was going to turn out. Magic trick, shock and awe, repeat a few times, and credits. It is cool for a few episodes, but, to me, there's no substance or really a big reason to go back. I can certainly see how some may disagree with me entirely and adore this show, because there are some times where the tricks are super cool. But, in my opinion, it's a fun novelty that wears thin after a while. I'm not against the idea, but I just wish there was more to it.


A fun and futuristic racer that's still fun to this day
As someone who's real big into Mario Kart (then again, who isn't?), it was interesting to find out that there was another racer before "Super Mario Kart", which was, of course, this game. I didn't think much of it at first, but after playing it and taking in all the circumstances surrounding this game, I gotta say that I may actually prefer this to SMK. That's not to say SMK isn't a massive classic on its own, but most of the problems I had with that game aren't present here. That's not to say this game is perfect, because it has key thing missing that sort of hinders it for some, but it's still great nonetheless. The visuals, for starters, are fantastic. I love the futuristic vibe and the colors. It all looks great, and the fact that Nintendo managed to put such amazing pseudo-3D graphics in a 16 bit game in 1990 still impresses me to this day. I'm also very happy that the screen isn't squished here, because the game actually looks and plays like it seems like it should, unlike SMK. The music is GODLY. The composition and melodies work perfectly with this game, and won't fail to be stuck in your head, even after turning the game off. The gameplay is fun as all can be. While I'm not that big of a fan of how drifting worked in these classic racing games, everything else is spot on, and with the lack of an unbalanced and unfair item system, everything flows so much better, and is more inviting. The boost you get after each lap, as well as the recharging pads as an immense amount of strategy, which gives this game some depth. The track design is phenomenal as well, as they're all super fun to play on and get better at. One thing to note is that this game can get hard the more you play it, but it's fair, since you have every bit of advantage as everyone else, unlike SMK, where everyone can just spam an item you'll never get and go out of their way to cheat. It's still easy to master everything in that game so that you can still win, don't get me wrong, but I feel this game did it better. However, if there's one thing that keeps this from being a masterpiece, it's the lack of multiplayer. This is a very early SNES game, so I'm not going to tear it apart too much, but this is the only time where I would definitely recommend SMK more if you've got a SNES and want a multiplayer racing experience. When it comes to problems, that's about it. This is a superb first in the series, and while it may have aged poorly due to it being a single player racer, it's still a fun and futuristic racer that's still fun to this day. I know that me preferring this to SMK will probably be controversial, but this may be the only time I do, because thankfully, the Mario Kart series has gotten miles better after its debut, much like the F-Zero series, but not to as large of an extent, with the exception of GX.

Batman Forever

A wacky time that's good fun, despite its problems
I'll be the first to admit that seeing Jim Carrey on the poster peaked my interest in seeing this film, as a Batman film mixed with a chaotic villain played by the man from Dumb and Dumber himself seemed like a dream come true. I loved the first film and really liked "Returns", so finding out there's a third one in the series helped with me being interested. At the same time, though, I was a bit worried, seeing how I haven't heard of this at the time, nor was the reception anything I expected. Mixed results compared to the praise of the first 2 films. Seeing how this has a 5.4/10 here proves that point and then some, so I didn't know what the heck to expect. After finally seeing it, I can say with confidence that this is one of the most overhated films out there, as it is much better than I thought it would be. That's not to say it's amazing or even that great, as it does have its fair share of problems, but they are never enough to outweigh what awesome things this bring to the table. The visual style, action scenes, cinematography, music score, most of the performances, and well varied dialogue are all awesome and make this film look and feel like something straight out of a comic book. Of all the Batman films, this might have my favorite music score, as it is appropriately menacing and bombastic. It fits the tone and theme of the film perfectly, and it never fails to be stuck in my head. With that said, it's important to note that the dark and gritty tone from the previous 2 films is very sporadic, here. This film, instead, goes for a more light hearted, colorful, and goofy approach, which, understandably, may put off fans of the caped crusader. However, I found this new tone to work well enough for this film. There is still a little darkness carried over from the first films, but not much. It's obvious that Tim Burton didn't direct this one, as it has its own style, and it is more colorful than ever. This is also where we get to meet Robin, and I love how they introduced him and incorporated him into the story. Speaking of, it fits very well for a comic book movie, and while it's nothing necessarily deep, it works, with action, alliances, and a love interest all in tow. The villains, speaking of, are wonderful. Sure, some could argue Tommy Lee Jones's "Two-Face" is very similar to Jack Nicholson's "Joker", and while that may be true, I feel the dialogue, here, is fresh enough for "Two-Face" to stand on his own, and if you mix that with the aforementioned light-hearted tone, "Two-Face" really works. Of course, talking about villains in this film is impossible without bringing up Jim Carrey's "The Riddler". He is wonderfully eccentric and crazy, that he is easily one of the most memorable parts of this movie. I like the way they built up the character as well, with him going from Edward Nigma to the question mark wearing villain we all know and love. The villains, here, are awesome, and while they're not entirely original, they still offer more than enough to be highlights of this film. While all of that is well and good, this is sort of where my problems come. The partnership between the villains, while certainly awesome, seems like a bit of a retread of what happened in "Returns" with "Penguin" and "Catwoman". Another thing that sort of bothered me was the casting of Batman. That's not to say Val Kilmer was bad by any means, as he does a good job portraying Bruce Wayne. However, as Batman, he's just okay. He's alright enough for me to not notice entirely, but his mouth can sometimes be open when he's breathing in some scenes and his voice can sometimes seem forced. Again, not bad. But an absolute far cry compared to Michael Keatons version. The one thing that brings this film down from being anything amazing is the pacing. For as much fun this film can be, it can also drag a little bit in some scenes. I never necessarily got bored, but it is much less even than the 2 films before, making this film seem kind of wonky at times. Aside from these problems, I liked this movie for what it was, and while it is much different than what one would expect after the previous films, it's still a good time, which is why I recommend anyone who wants a fun movie to check this out if they haven't already. One thing I notice with some negative reviews against this movie is that they compare this to the greatness of the first 2 films, and while it's not quite as good, to say that it's bad because it's too different isn't exactly fair. If you look at this movie for what it is instead of what it isn't, you'll most likely find this to be a wacky time that's good fun, despite its problems. It may not be anything that'll light the world on fire, but it's still a good comic book movie that, in my opinion, really deserves a 2nd chance.

Batman & Robin

A hilariously misguided film in the series that was made to sell toys.
I'm one of the few that actually enjoyed Batman "Forever" quite a bit. It was nothing great, but it was a good enough to sequel to the two prior films, even if it was still inferior. With that said, I was a bit iffy on Joel Schumacher cranking out another Batman film, seeing how Tim Burton nailed it with the first two films. At the same time, I was also hopeful, seeing how decent "Forever" turned out, in my opinion. Unfortunately, all of that hope was thrown out the window the minute I heard the opening lines:

Robin: "I want a car! Chicks dig the car!" Batman: "This is why Superman works alone"

The minute that happened, I knew I was in for a cornball cheesefest of a lifetime, which is something I never wanted out of Batman. And, this is, indeed, a cornball cheesefest of a lifetime. The dark tone and intense action that made the first two films work very well is completely absent, here. Sure, it was sporadic in "Forever", but at least that film had fun action scenes that worked. Here, everybody and their mother is attached to a line, and it's incredibly obvious as the physics are way over the top and are never convincing in the slightest. Everything is more goofy than anything else. Speaking of goofy, the performances are all off. Whether it be the incredibly tame Batman who's literally nothing more than George Clooney in a Batman suit, or the overly cheesy Poison Ivy, the performances are certainly memorable, albeit, for the wrong reasons. Of course, talking about over the top performances from this film is impossible without bringing up the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze. He's just so brainless and hilariously miscast (like everyone else, but not to this extent), that I can never do anything else but laugh when he's on screen, and, again, for the wrong reasons. The dialogue helps with this by being incredibly stupid, and it's not just with Mr. Freeze, but with everyone else. Every bit of dialogue is straight up cheese, and it never goes deep, even when the film really wants it to. Need I remind you of the opening lines I went over earlier? This wouldn't be that big of an issue, but none of the films beforehand, even including "Forever", were anywhere near as cheesy, making this film mesh horribly with the the series. Nothing gets better from then on, either. Not even the sets are that good. Sure, I can see some effort into a few of them, but for the most part. A perfect example being the ice that Mr. Freeze left on a car. It's as clear as day that they're plastic, as they even move slightly from someone barely touching it. The costume designs are okay, but they are incredibly obviously made to sell toys. Literally everyone in this film looks like an action figure in one way or another. That's mainly because the toy manufacturers actually helped design the costumes in this film. Yes, you read that right. They butted in to make revenue with recognition of their toys. So, not only was little to no effort put in to making a film that's at least the tiniest bit commendable, but this is essentially a huge toy commercial. Besides that, I did find myself laughing at how poor everything turned out to be, as the dialogue is so stupid and the performances are so out of whack, this film certainly falls into the "so bad, it's good" sub-genre. It's still a shame that this would be the film to follow the 3 successful films beforehand, because it shows how out of touch the film makers were here, as nothing really works whatsoever, and what almost does gets ruined by the hilariously cheesy performances and dialogue. Overall, this is a hilariously misguided entry in the series that was made to sell toys. Watch it for the unintentional humor, but whatever you do, do not take it seriously.

Back to the Future

Misguided in pretty much every way
While I am sad to have missed the video game renaissance of the mid 80's with the NES, if there's one thing that I'm very thankful for missing out on, it's the LJN era. I never thought a developer could miss the mark on so many games, but after playing most of theirs via emulators, there's literally not one that doesn't follow this trend. One game that stuck out to me in an incredibly negative way is this game. The Back To The Future films are some of my favorites of all time, and to see a game on the NES based on the masterpiece that was the original, I was excited. That is until I saw the dreaded rainbow with the 3 cursed letters on the box art, so my expectations were instantly lowered. Even with that, however, this game is insultingly bad. Marty McFly looks nothing like he does in the movie, the gameplay is an awkward vertical shmup that doesn't control too well where you collect clocks and die in one hit (which is weird), the music is sped up to hilarious levels, the films story is barely reference (besides the ending, which was still butchered here), the mini games are monotonous, and the overall replay value and fun factor just aren't here whatsoever. It takes something genius and makes it boring, as well as annoying. If there's one thing I gotta give credit for, the visuals are pretty great, as they look well detailed and decently colorful for its time. But, that's it. Everything else has little resemblance or any of the fun or heart from the film it is based off of, which is a damn shame, because a good video game based off of the first film sounds amazing, but LJN made something too different, yet not fresh enough to really call anything more than unbearable. Funnily enough, for as abhorrent this game is, it's not the worst I've played from the cursed rainbow, but it's easily one of the most insulting. Anyone reading this, don't play this. It's got literally nothing that made the original so great. In fact, everything is butchered in some way. That, or things are way too different to make any BTTF fans happy. It's a dumpster fire that is misguided in pretty much every way, and deserves to be buried by the obscurities of time.

Super Mario 64 DS

A really good remake that came out on the wrong place at the wrong time
Super Mario 64 is not only one of the biggest leap towards in the gaming industry, but is arguably one of the best games of all time, with its excellent gameplay, great world design, memorable music, and so much more, all in a time where an exceptional 3D platformer was still seen as fantasy. Nintendo somehow pulled it off, and it left a huge mark in the world of gaming. So, hearing about that game being available on the go really got me excited, because having such an amazing game in your pocket just seemed too good to be true, considering the hardware limitations of the DS. After playing it, I was very impressed with how Nintendo pulled this off, but also a bit sad to see such an amazing game kind of downgraded thanks to the compete lack of an analog stick. But, before we get into that, I wanna go over the positives. The visuals are phenomenal for an early DS game, as everything is well modeled and detailed. Sure, everything is a bit pixely, but the technicalities of this game is still very impressive. The updated models for everyone really help this game stand out from the original, as well. Everything amazing from the original is here and accounted for, meaning that the excellent worlds, great music, and fun challenges that made the original such a classic is here and everywhere you go. There are even more challenges and stars to collect in the form of silver stars, and they are all very welcome additions to the game. The mini-games, by the way, are also super fun, too. Sure, most, if not all of them reappear in NSMB 2 years later, (which is a better experience on the DS in my opinion - YOU'LL KNOW WHY IN A BIT), but I gotta give props for them being here first. Also, I appreciate this game for mixing up the story with Yoshi starting instead of Mario to go save Mario and the game. This helps keep the game fresh and adds some identity to it. Also, the inclusion of a few new bosses, like King Goomba, is also great to see here. Overall, this game sounds like something of a dream come true. So, what's keeping me from loving this game? The control. It's just not that good at all, here, as you either have to awkwardly use a D Pad and a run button, or awkwardly use the touchscreen as an analog stick. I know this is a DS game, so I'm not gonna fault on it too much, but just imagine all the precision and fluid gameplay from the original just flat out gone. That's this game's control in a nutshell. I found myself dying a lot and running into walls because of how awkward the controls are. The lack of the great gameplay makes this game more frustrating and not as fun to play, as it just doesn't feel good to anything. I even tried it on a 3DS with a circle pad, but it still didn't really feel right, because of the D Pad just being remapped to the circle pad. It's a real shame, too, because all of the assets for an amazing Super Mario 64 remake are here, but thanks to the DS's limitations, it suffers a lot from awkward controls. They're not horrible, as I'm sure many can get used to it. But moving in such big and creative worlds with just the D Pad and no actual analog stick sucks a lot more than you think. My thumb just cramps while playing, and I always find myself just wanting to go back to the original because of it. With that said, if you're willing to let the D Pad and awkward touch screen controls slip, then you'll probably enjoy this much more than I did. This is still a good game that I'm willing to recommend to anyone with a DS/3DS who hasn't played the original, but this is in no way the definitive version. Overall, despite me not being that big of a fan of the controls, personally, this is a really good remake. But, I can't help but feel like it came out on the wrong place at the wrong time. Here's hoping Nintendo brings the original (or maybe even another remake like this one) to the Switch via their Online service in the future.

Atsumare!! Meido in Wario

A somewhat underwhelming package that's still a lot of fun
(I give this a 7.5/10, but an 8 is fine, I guess)

After checking out the phenomenal "WarioWare inc.: Mega Microgrames!" on the GBA, hearing about this made me happy. A bigger and better version of that game on a home console? What could possibly go wrong? Surprisingly, a bit more than I thought. Not to say this game is bad by any means, as it still has more than enough to be good, maybe even close to great, but this is somewhat disappointing, for sure. Before we get into why, I wanna go over what makes this game good so it doesn't seem that I'm harping on it too hard. All of the microgames from the GBA version are here and accounted for, and are all super fun, if not moreso thanks to the amazing GameCube controller, the whole structure is here as well for the most part, the amount of multiplayer content is through the roof, the visuals are close to the same, but are much more detailed and vivid this time around, and the overall package has more than enough to be thoroughly enjoyable. Unfortunately, this game loses a lot of what made the GBA version so great, mainly in the single player mode. The structure of the story mode is there, but every cut scene, style, and every bit of charm from each character is just flat out missing, as instead, you got elevators for each character, no matter what, with no variety or cutscenes in sight. This is strange, because I'm not sure how the GBA can handle all of it, but the GameCube can't for some reason. Sure, the microgames are all every bit as fun, as I said, but the single player, here, is shockingly kind of lackluster, which is disappointing. I'm sure this was done partly to focus the players intentions to the multiplayer part of the game, which, to it's credit, is where the game shines the brightest. It's a chaotic and super fun time that rarely gets old thanks to the quippy times of the microgames. But, aside from that, it's the same game from the GBA, but not as good. It's still super fun to play, especially in multiplayer, which is why I recommend anyone who wants a super fun multiplayer game to check this out, as it is a great option. However, if you want a great single player experience, the GBA version is the much better option. Sure, the amount of content between both games is about the same, but the memorableness of each character is gone, making this a somewhat underwhelming package. Still though, for the things going for this game, I can totally see how some may prefer this over the GBA version, which, personally, I don't, unfortunately. Overall, a really good WarioWare game that's not the best, but certainly not the worst.


An arcade classic that still holds up alright
It's weird to think that a game this complex came out as early as 1980, as the gameplay mechanics are so genius, they're iconic. It's essentially a fetch quest in which you collect every dot while trying to stay clear of the 4 ghosts, while also having big dots to give you chances to defeat them temporarily to make each stage a bit easier and more satisfying to beat. Considering how iconic this game is, you probably knew that already. Considering how well Namco executed everything, especially in a time where gaming was still in it's infancy, this is certainly iconic for more reasons than one. Tht visuals, also, are pretty awesome, and while they are incredibly basic by today's standards, I'd argue that this game looked better than every Atari game at the time, both 2600 and 5200. This is amplified by the colorful ghosts, simple, yet incredibly charming design of Pac-Man, and the surprisingly well detailed fruit. The music is every bit as iconic, as the whole OST is very catchy, memorable, and, as I said, iconic. The gameplay hasn't aged a day, as it's every bit as addictive as you would hope it would be. While that is certainly great, it's hard to say that this game has aged that good as a whole. Not to say it has aged badly, far from it, but I'd say it has aged gracefully. With that said, thanks to the repetitive nature of the game thanks to reusing the same stage over and over, as well as any lack of any progression, other than the game getting progressively harder, recommending this game to anyone expecting something that deep is really hard. To be fair, this is how most games were made back in the day, so I can't fault it too much, but that doesn't change the fact that kids nowadays who have never played this game may not like it as much as those who experienced it before home video game consoles took over. Even then, though, this game is still great fun, today, despite how many things may not have aged all that well. This is coming from me, a young man who was born 18 years after this game came out, so I'm sure that if I enjoy it a lot for what it is, this game will live on for many decades to come. Sure, it may not be the biggest and best game to play nowadays thanks to the aforementioned things that haven't aged well, but for what it is, it's still an arcade classic that still holds up alright. It's also one of the most important video games ever made, so I am more than happy to have experienced this joy of a classic.

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