Travis Strikes Again No More Heroes: Bringing Back the Tone

So at the GDC there was a lot of talk about indie games with Nintendo and just indie games in general. What also popped up was a playable demo of the new Suda 51 game, Travis Strikes Again. I know I have a nice streak of No More Heroes posts on here lately, but hey I am working on other things right now and I got a convention coming up, so I need material that is fast and easy. Not saying I am not giving my one hundred percent on this, it’s just when I talk about No More Heroes, it flows easily. Again you can tell by looking at my previous posts. Well in this playable demo of TSA, there were actually lines of dialogue and oddly enough some of the lines were exclusive to the demo, which is awesome. There were some lines that took my interest though and when thinking about this game’s situation in general, I can tell that Suda is bringing back his incredibly strange meta humor and biting satire. Great to see you back in fashion Suda!


Even if this game is a spin-off of the main series, there are still many elements being retained. This is common for spin-off titles and sadly some are not accepting that still. I am fine if someone does not like the game that is an opinion, but when others are simply yelling they have been lied to is absurd. Moving onwards to the point is that what I loved about No More Heroes 1 and 2 would be the biting satire of violent media. Not only that, but what that media can do to people. With the first No More Heroes common stereotypes were being shown to be not as great as it really is. The idea of a paradise is a lie and being badass in the fantasy world has completely different context in the real one. The second game brought back the stereotypes and even highlights more into the concept of revenge and now it eats people. With Travis Strikes Again it brings up an old idea in a different fashion and even making fun of recent developments that the media has been struggling with.


The old idea is how the fantasy world is not that great. Travis is literally in the game world now, but here he is doing the same old. Killing foes in his way and moving onto the next stage to fight the boss up ahead. What got me thinking about this was the artwork shown in-game for when the characters are talking. The imagery is quite scary to look at and while Travis in the game looks fine (oddly enough looks younger, but that could because of better graphics or change of art style), but in the talking art he looks like he is way older than it appears and even his hair is a complete mess. This reminds me of Flower Sun and Rain where character portrait art differs from the actual in-game art. So Suda 51 is using that idea again too. Even in the beginning of one of these dialogue is that Travis is a legend and that only means his time has passed. Travis even starts to call things out and references lines that were used in the last Nintendo direct. When Travis is in this world, so far nothing is making him happy, the lines of dialogue he actually sounds pissed off. Add to the fact that someone after his life has entered with him you got one horrible fantasy world.


The original No More Heroes brought up escapism into the story thanks to Holly Summers, my favorite boss from that game. Travis got away from his problems and now lives by himself doing what he wants to do. Sure he seems to be quite a shut in with how many video games he has and for how long it took Badman to find him. Now Travis is fully absorbed into escapism and yet Travis is not even enjoying himself now. There is even a line talking about how success stories do not do as well than compared to stories about someone’s failures. Tragedy is quite common in story telling and is a reality some try to avoid. Success is only judged by two things, the person themself or the society that one lives in. Either way people will learn from something out from that. Mostly to not end up like that, but we do not usually learn on how to do that. I have hit my low points before in my life and for a time I focused on them a bit too much since the damage was more compared to the amount of happiness I got from a good moment. This is why escapism exists because some people need to balance out the bad in their lives, but some take that a bit too far.


A big thing that is happening in gaming right now is the use of virtual reality. VR gaming is being added to many titles for optional use. There are even strictly VR only games. Nintendo is even working with their controllers to have better rumble features, the feeling of a game is becoming a bit of an importance today. Now while I do feel like Nintendo is still considering how fun it is, there are others that ignore it and simply was a game that absorbs them. The self insert fantasy is becoming more of a tradition in gaming. I even feel that Suda expected people to have some criticism to this new title because of how different it is to the main line series. There is another aspect of gaming that is popular which is remastering or remaking older titles. Now Grasshopper is not that different since they did that with both Silver Case games (which were never released to the West), then there was FSR which was ported to the DS before (again first time getting to the West), and even now the company is considering to work with FSR and Killer7 for remastering. The thing to come across though is that people do expect the same old at times. They want the same experience because they got comfortable with it.


With all that said, what is TSA doing to make fun of that? Well one obvious line comes up from when the demo ends. The boss of the demo stops the fight and tells Travis he should give up his real life and just live in the video games. Travis pushes that aside and says “Games are supposed to be played, not lived.” This line right here reminds me of when Travis interacted with Holly Summers because that distinct line just had my mind open up with what TSA is doing. A game bringing back the sharp satire of the original games, but giving it a twist. Obviously the fantasy world being shown to not be as great is back and with a character like Badman the idea of the second game is around still. The big difference here is that games are supposed to be played which is why Suda is focusing on the indie feel for TSA. Indie games are being just that, games that are supposed to be played. Nothing is wrong with having an artistic vision with gaming, but the point should come across from the game itself through the playing of it. This is why Suda came back to try to push that idea back into people. Love video games for what they are supposed to be, games.



Travis Strikes Again No More Heroes: Gameplay Analysis

Recently Nintendo blew up the internet with many reveals on their recent direct, mostly Smash Bros on the Switch, but we shall get to that later. The big thing for me was the first look into Travis Strikes Again, sure it was only one minute, but hot damn there was a lot in that minute. Not only we got to see some of the levels and themes, we saw pure gameplay, the co-op, bosses, and even the adventure mode.


The first thing to take note of is all of the usual No More Heroes elements still around. Of course Travis taking a dump for saving the game is still around. The usual beam katana is around and I already did see different colors with blue and red, so different beam katanas will be around, possibly. With how this game is looking, the new beam katanas will just be stronger than the last one, just like the original game. Then one aspect of how the game works is getting through levels and fighting the big boss. Now Travis is jumping into a total of seven games, I am not sure if there will be multiple bosses in each game or just one for each one. I bet there will be more than just seven bosses because the character Badman will easily be a fight. I am happy to see that Badman is not just going to be the boss character in each video game. Hell, Badman shows one of the biggest differences in this title.


Badman will be the second playable character and there have been different characters to play as before, but co-op is a big change. Travis Strikes Again really takes an arcade like style with the presentation. We see the bars on the side. One bar I am unsure of what it is, maybe it is like a power bar based on how well you are doing because I see them going up when Travis and Badman connect any hits. I clearly see a battery icon above that bar and near it is a number. I feel like the number could be for the big bars which tells you what level you are on with your strength. The battery could easily be the usual No More Heroes gimmick with having to recharge your weapon. Now the health icon is different, but I think it is shown with the face of the playable character. In different moments I see the face have this bar inside of it. You can even see it go down when Travis gets hit.


Then we have the four buttons with a hand, T, hourglass, and arrows icons. These buttons are showcasing the different attacks Travis now has. The hand icon does this force blast attack. The T buttons has Travis perform this spin attack which does a whole lot of coverage. Travis is learning moves from Majima! So far I have no knowledge on what the other two buttons do. There was a moment on where the hourglass was used, but we did not see it. My guess would be it will slow down enemies. Now the top button does change in direction. The arrows originally point up, but when Badman is playing along, the arrows are pointing towards Badman’s side of the screen. Then it looks like Badman has different attacks compared to Travis, maybe the two can switch abilities around? Then there was the last moment where Travis and Badman are eating something at a food stand, will this be a new save screen for co-op?

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Now for a little detail that makes me so happy to see is the little bit of the adventure mode. I do think that this will be extremely different for this game, but not different for Grasshopper Manufacture. That one screen has Travis talking with a man by the name Uehara. The style of it makes me think of The Silver Case and with a name like Uehara that could be pointing to that. Kamui Uehara is a title character not only in The Silver Case, but for Flower, Sun, and Rain and almost Killer7. So seeing Kamui popping up in Travis Strikes Again not only means that Suda was serious about mentioning Kill the Past again, but the adventure mode will be a visual novel. I bet many will not be happy about that, but with a game like this where Suda says he wants to get back to the roots of their company it makes sense to go back to this format. The Silver Case has also been brought back with remastered editions for the original and the sequel. Another hint towards this is that the coloring of this screen is green and black which is similar to the Kamuidrome section of The Silver Case.

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Reminding me of other games, a big aspect about this new No More Heroes is that other indie developers are helping with this title. Obviously the people being Hotline Miami and Shovel Knight are helping out. Both of them were announced by Suda and I have a feeling that I may know one more now. I remembering talking about Furi before with this game and now with the overhead camera view, it is looking like Furi. Furi is an amazing action game where it is a boss battle after another. It is extremely hard game and yet so satisfying to play. You can easily jump in and try a boss battle and try again and again. Mowing down the foes before the boss battles, reminds me of Hotline Miami. Then the introduction screen for one of the levels reminded me of Shovel Knight with both the sprite art and even the lightning sound effect. I am curious on who else will be around helping with this game because it seems like we know three of them now. I would love to hear Wayfoward helping with this game!


Now for a little bit of a side note, I have to say the amount of negativity with this recent reveal is shocking. Many people were clearly not paying attention on how this would be a spin-off. I was expecting something new because Suda is back in the directors chair since the original No More Heroes. This man wants to bring back Travis in a different way than just doing the third game. No More Heroes 3 is obviously on the way though. This game becoming a bit more arcade like is awesome to me since it will just be easy to pick up and keep playing. The boss characters look fantastic and the many different environments really keep the ascetics fresh. Another thing that I know about Suda is that he is a man who is not afraid to break formulas. He tends not wanting to do the same game over and over again. He has even talked about how video games have so many clichés that people expect from certain titles. Suda hates that and thinks it really holds back the video game medium from going higher than it could. I always love to see what ideas come from Grasshopper, they can be a bit wacky and out there at times, but I easily adore their ambition. Suda 51 himself really speaks creativity and his previous four titles he directed really shows that.

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So for all that we have seen of TSA so far I am extremely excited. To be honest I was actually expecting the usual No More Heroes format, but seeing this whole new pace of direction makes me happy. Hell the Grasshopper logo got changed to a Travis head! I think we are going to see more of Travis Touchdown for many years to come (maybe in Smash Bros!) People saying that No More Heroes should be like this or that, clearly do not know how the company works and even how Suda 51 wants to make video games. Travis Strikes Again is going back to basics and working with indie developers to make an extremely fun game and reignite the flame in Travis Touchdown!


No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle: Another Look Into Violent Media Part One

The first No More Heroes was a great way to look into violent media and originally Suda 51 planned on having this game be a one off. This is quite traditional for Suda, but No More Heroes got a strong cult following and Suda can’t even lie saying that No More Heroes is his favorite creation. Suda has talked about how Travis Touchdown became his best character and this is a big reason why he wanted to continue No More Heroes even to this day with the new Travis Strikes Again coming this year. Anyways with the continuation of No More Heroes with the sequel there is one big question here, is the satire still around? All I have to say is, of course! No More Heroes 2 has new ideas to poke at and even expands on previous jokes, mostly revenge in that regard.


The beginning of the game opens with the idea of revenge as we get a boss fight right off the bat. The boss is no other than Skelter Helter, who is the younger brother of Helter Skelter. Skelter says he will have revenge, but who is Helter Skelter? Not even Travis seems to remember the man which is a callback in two ways. First off, Helter Skelter was number eleven in the original game, well to be more accurate, he was in the first trailer for No More Heroes. So the joke here is that, who remembers a character that actually never appeared in the game? Also this is a huge callback to how Travis tends to forget things because he was out having fun with his fights. The fight even takes place where Travis started everything as he states this, so he can remember the location, but not the man he killed? The fight happens and Travis wins, but it is not over yet.


Sylvia reappears and tells Travis that he is ranked fifty-first because the assassination games became popular and it actually has become a real thing. There is even a great joke on how Travis tries to fill in the plot holes by having Sylvia explaining everything, but she straights up says that no one cares about continuity and that explaining everything would be boring as players would just skip that exposition. This is a big callback to how the first game’s message was about thinking about violent media and while some might think this is ignoring it, I think it is not. The thing I see with violent media is that people do focus on the stories a bit too much and it can hide the real themes and messages. Suda is telling us not to pay attention to the actual story and more about what he is trying to say to us as players. Since the characters are still highly detailed and say so much about violent media. This is just showing the food for thought methodology from the previous game.


Focusing on an interesting aspect of Skelter Helter’s design that many people have talked about, is that this man has a resemblance to Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy 7. Now why would Suda 51 be showing a Final Fantasy reference of all things? From when I read No More Loser, a short comic that shows Skelter before he made himself an assassin, we actually do get to see more of the older brother. I recently just talked about it in my last post, so I will not retread old ground too much. The important thing here to focus on is that Skelter threw away his old life and made himself into a spitting image of someone else. For anyone that knows of Cloud’s story he does create a new self-image for himself because of trauma. Skelter is referencing this aspect in a new light, which is to not throw your old life away because of someone else. His brother even told his younger brother to not become like him. Helter knew that he was going down a wrong path in life, Skelter simply became lost in vengeance and lost his true identity.


Well with that, it seems that Skelter Helter is not dead, even if his head got sliced off… it landed back on his head so that’s reasonable… right? Well this is where the major plot point comes for the game; Skelter tells Travis that it will finally be his time to feel the pain of losing another. It seems that he has been working with someone to get back at Travis for all the men he killed. Skelter wants revenge for his brother and to do that, he wants Travis to fall down that same path. There are then some great lines that Skelter spews out before his death, my favorite being, “Such blind arrogance like the naked emperor.” This is about the emperor with no clothes which is basically something that everyone or the majority of people accept as true, but deep down you know that it isn’t. So what is Travis supposed to know here? Skelter then goes on about how killing someone comes with consequences which is why he brought up the naked emperor. Travis for the whole first game has been murdering others with barely any regrets, but it never seemed he learned anything from it. He just accepted the fact that he killed them and that would be it. Skelter makes sure that Travis will remember this as the man rips off his own head screaming out “This is the ultimate vengeance!” What happens is that Bishop, the video store clerk from the first game is gunned down by a group of hit men.


The funny thing is that Bishop’s death is another callback as in the first game where Travis lost his master. The joke here is that, were they truly Travis’ friends? The only times we clearly see Travis spend time with these people was when he went to their buildings and spent some money for wrestling videos or training at the gym. With Thunder Ryu, Travis did get furious and calmed down after he killed Speed Buster. Also for those who remember what happened in the first game, Travis got revenge on the woman who was his lover, step sister, and parent’s murderer. There was a line that Travis said in the first game which was that “Vengeance begets vengeance.” It seems that Travis completely forgot about this regarding to himself and now that has come back to bite him as someone is clearly trying to solve vengeance with violent means. So I have to ask again, will really making a pile of dead bodies really solve the issue? Well with No More Heroes 2, there is again no solid answer, but it is showing the true nature of the never-ending cycle of revenge. For a bonus, Travis tells Bad Man to stop making things confusing when he was told about murdering Bad Girl from the first game in Travis Strikes Again (I am already picking so much at that first trailer).


So, Travis is back into the assassination games and he has to start at number fifty-one, by the way did you get why he is fifty-one yet? Then guess who number one is? The man who plotted with Skelter Helter to take out Bishop, Jasper Batt Jr. So going straight into the fight is number fifty, Nathan Copeland. Now the weird thing with Skelter was those last lines he was saying before killing himself. Those lines seemed perfect for a play, maybe even Shakespearean. Well Nathan Copeland completely takes that to the next level. He is black Scottish rapper who speaks in a Shakespearean tongue that spouts out lines like, “Save me from sorrow, crownless king.” So not only is Nathan showing off the major violent and sexual issues that rap usually gets, Suda is showing how even back then there was violent media that was loved. We all know the classic plays of Romeo and Juliet and even before that were other plays that had depicted violence, even if the violence was off stage.


The other part about Nathan Copeland is that he plays with a similar element from the first No More Heroes game. For those who remember my previous analysis, bosses from the first game shown something of violent media which Nathan clearly shows, but he also shares the fact that he represents something of Travis. This time however, Nathan is showing something that Travis used to be. It is clear in this game that Travis has changed quite a bit even if he still has his potty mouth and rude behavior. Travis is not looking for fights for the fact to find that one foe that is better than him. Travis is out for revenge and with knowing No More Heroes 1.5; Travis has gotten to be an icon for Santa Destroy and a legend. Travis ended up becoming the type of foe he wanted to fight and for Nathan he is that previous Travis.


Nathan Copeland has tons of wealth and with those two afro girls he had around, we can tell he even has the respect of the ladies. The character even mentions that even though he is part of the ranks, none of that matters to him. Nathan is simply “starving for a worthy foe.” Sounds familiar right? Again, Travis has gone on saying that titles and ranks mean nothing to him when he talked to Death Metal and after defeating Shinobu, he said he wants to fight someone stronger than him. So Nathan Copeland is a Scottish mystic spewing rapper version of Travis Touchdown and adds on tons of religious context to this character, there was ton of effort put into him. Yes, I said that right and yet there is still more to Nathan since he says the line “We both do what the divinity commands.” This directly points to the Divine Command which is the belief that all act under God’s bidding. So, could Nathan even be showing the violence of some religious context? This is No More Heroes so the answer is yes because before Nathan dies he says “Deliverance!” The bible has said that the act of deliverance is a rescue from bondage or danger. Nathan has said he has been looking for a worthy foe and wants to break this cycle of his life, well Travis was the one to do that. Sure God protected his people from death and Nathan was clearly killed, but he was saved from famine which is basically a shortage. Nathan was not living a life he was happy with and Travis was the one to end his life on a big note, something that was not short of excitement.


Here I thought I would be unable to do an analysis of No More Heroes 2, but the more I kept looking into the game the more I can keep finding or just ponder about. The first two bosses Skelter and Nathan really make this sequel have a great beginning with bringing back story elements of the first game and cover some bases with stage, music, and even religious violence. For next time we got the football robot team, a supernatural being of the damned, and two girls that are crazy in their own special way. Man this is going to be fun!


No More Heroes: Being the Loser (Spoiler Warning!)

I have talked about No More Heroes quite a lot. On my previous blog and in my personal life. No More Heroes has always been this pool of material for me to talk about. The bosses are all unique characters, the structure of the game is interesting, and the insane story telling is still there. I have even dissected Travis’ adventure many times before, mostly the first one, but the second one still has things to poke at. For the most part I focused on the parody of violence being shown and there is one factor I did slightly glance over in that. Travis does start out as some other protagonists, at the bottom of the barrel and simply trying to achieve glory. The major problem here is that Travis never really gets out of that rut. There are some interesting things to look here and this becomes more important because of Travis Strikes Again coming up. Travis has fought many foes and killed many and was it truly worth it?


Literally at the beginning of Travis’ fights there was Helter Skelter which that name has many meanings. The big thing to focus on though is that Travis is informed of this man being a drifter. Helter is a person in constant motion, he never stays at one house and does not really have a job. Oddly enough though these ranking fights are considered like a job. Sylvia even gets Travis working for an eraser association and work part-time for a man with a strange look into the first class and gods. Now Travis actually has a place to stay, a ruined down motel. Using Helter Skelter though does show what kind of path Travis is going down into. Then using No More Loser, a short story about Helter Skelter and his younger brother who soon becomes Skelter Helter. Helter talks about the life he lives is not a good one, but he suffers through for his brother to make sure he gets done with college. The older brother even mentions that he wants his little brother to not have a similar life to him or their mother. So there is easily some problem with this family since the younger boy soon follows the same line of work his older brother warned him about. Then even in the end Skelter Helter is just killed too.


So two dead brothers in two games does show a pattern here. Then if there is one thing in Suda directed or written games, is that the main character stays in the dark about the truth. This has been a thing since The Silver Case and many times the truth reveals a bit too much. With how Travis does it though is quite different compared to previous and future moments for Grasshopper titles. Travis simply forgot for how much fun he was having. It is not like Silver Case and Flower Sun and Rain where the protagonists had to forget because of trauma or for the fact they had to forget for someone’s plan to work. The same could be said for Killer 7 so having No More Heroes changing this formula up a bit is nice and the reasoning is then so simple this time around. Really showing you that Travis’ traumatic event ended not meaning much to him. Also can we focus on Travis has been living with his parents for this long? It happens for sure no doubt, but for the time No More Heroes was released this was a sign of being a loser. I still know people like to throw that around on people. The bigger problem is that there is someone to relate to Travis and they actually improved their life.

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(SPOILERS HERE!) Jeane has always been my overall favorite for the final fight in the original No More Heroes, Henry is an awesome fight regardless, but the impact Jeane left was amazing. Not only was she related to Travis by family, she even became a killer just like him. Jeane’s story is not an easy one where her mother commits suicide after the father of the family leaves. So when this father left, he had Travis somewhere else or already had him, these two are not that much older than each other. Either way this scumbag than sexual abuses his own daughter! To Travis he was always the family man, but to Jeane this was her villain. She slowly got cash from possibly her father and even possibly tricked Travis, these two did have a relationship. Sooner or later she used that money to learn how to fight and she learned mixed martial arts and when she was ready she not only killed her bastard father, but sadly the mother as well and even burned down the run down shack that only had nightmares for her. Jeane took a step forward in her life, it is not an easy one and not right in both moral and judicial sense, but my goodness this girl simply wanted to get rid of the man who ruined her life. Then with how she is dressed at the final fight, she looks like a professional fighter (or assassin). Jeane found a way to improve her life and clearly she did, but she still had some final business to attend. Travis through all of his conflict could not even get out of his terrible motel! (SPOILER OVER!!)

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The worst part is that living space is Travis’ home for two whole games. Even in the second game after Travis becomes this icon in the city of Santa Destroy he still sticks to his motel. I can say he has more figurines and even gets newer weapons so does Travis has money troubles? The obvious answer is yes, this guy even has trouble returning videos back to the rental store properly. Travis’ life even revolves around his obsessions as those posters, magazines, trading cards, wrestling masks, and videos clearly show that. Now where is Travis? He owns a trailer home and is just playing video games and knowing that this is even after No More Heroes 2, that says a lot. I guess Sylvia kept her word about ending the ranking fights and even if Travis found good in that, did he get bored? Did Travis lose his purpose? It is extremely daunting to see Travis take down a millionaire that took over Santa Destroy and just move onto playing video games alone. I am still thinking about the ending where Travis finds Sylvia telling her that Santa Destroy needs them, what happened with that?


So what is this all saying? I have brought up that the violent satire in No More Heroes is simply food for thought. That one should be aware of things around them and if they do not could become part of the product. With what I am saying with Travis being the loser here, is that it is fine. The world will have its winners here and there and even a loser can have awesome moments and achieve great things. Life is a tricky thing like that. Also even if Travis can be considered a loser there is no doubt he has done quite a lot with his life still and even enjoyed pleasures like actual sex. Travis did also move out of the motel too which is good since actually moving out and trying something new is better than staying in the same hole. Travis is simply living the life he wants, he might be a bit too absorbed into his pleasures, but he clearly has supported himself well to still have a roof over his head. Travis shows the life of a loser being good in a strange way. Sure some might think badly of you, but those people move on or for Travis’ life simply die at some point. People will move on doing what they need to do and Travis is still alive and kicking doing the same thing. Life has nothing to owe you and there are no promises, simply just live and experience what you want. Just another example of how No More Heroes keeps throwing food for thought.


(MORE SPOILERS!!!) For a last-minute addition, there is Henry Cooldown. Travis’ twin brother that he never knew about and yet Henry did not have a hard life. He even went to college and even got married to Sylvia of all people. It sounds like their marriage had issues, but still Henry got to even go to college! He clearly has some high position somewhere and he even mentions that he has a job, sure Sylvia is not happy with the money he gets, but that woman is greedy! (Okay the post is just done now, so I guess close the window out, or just pull the porn tab up)


Lets Talk Character Designs: Guilty Gear Part 2

It has been some time since I talked about my favorite character designs. I still need to do one where I hate designs, but I still want to focus on the good. I recently found this great new series on Youtube, called “Who Dat?” and one of the big focuses is a character’s design.  I was so happy to see someone else wanting to talk the importance of the design of a character and again video games have many great examples. I watched most of his Street Fighter videos, so I will continue my Guilty Gear talk since both are fighting games and I feel like I talked enough about Street Fighter characters before, and there are way too many characters that I would have to talk about ones that are just boring. Either way back to Guilty Gear with a smaller roster compared to most other fighters. Now I am going to start big.



I have talked about Baiken before on my favorite video game characters list. I will not lie here, I love a woman who can kick ass. She is such a strong person that her gender does not mean too much to her. Her early designs really show this well. Her kimono is all torn up and it shows some skin off well. All designs show off her chest and in the Xrd design they got bigger (not complaining though). It is funny to see that her original hair color was more of a red compared to her pink throughout the rest of the series. What I love about her having pink hair is that it works so well with her outfit. The outside of her kimono is white and the inside is red and there are other red colored pieces around. It just makes looking all around her satisfying since you see all her colors in many different places. Then onto the meanings of those colors. We have talked about red and white before. Red is an intense color it shows many battle like traits. White is about perfection in many different ways it also does show safety and cleanliness which is funny considering how torn up and damaged Baiken can look.


Her scar and torn up kimono says a lot. I am actually really happy to see she has covered that scar with an eye patch and while her kimono looks cleaner than her other designs she then adds new images to it. What made Baiken threatening looking originally was because of how damaged she always looks. She literally has a missing eye and even an arm! Yet here she is fighting! Even her designs in X and XX show off the claw she hides under her clothes. So with Xrd’s design she adds skull and fire imagery which still keeps her color balance surprisingly.


She even wears bandages under her clothes this time around.

Now the biggest aspect of her color scheme is pink since it is her hair. Now one of the designs had her more pink on her clothing, but it soon got switched to red. So the only pink that is really around is her hair. It really stands out because for this aggravated samurai pink does not fit that description at all. It is an extremely sweet color and I cannot remember when Baiken was really ever kind to anyone, to her being kind is not being the crap out of someone. Pink does show something Baiken does have though or is at least starting to accept more, herself. There is love for thyself. Baiken is extremely focused on revenge for a majority of her game and she is still looking for some answers. The Xrd designs say a lot about her now though. She got a better kimono and has actually covered up that scar. She cleaned herself up a bit. Baiken finally took some time to actually make a new image, it is not rare for fighting game characters to change designs, but Baiken being the one to change out of so many other characters, this was surprising. I guess that time with Anji got her to think about more than just revenge, at least for a little. Baiken is still my favorite fighting game character and I do love how her design got a great change with also changing her up a bit too.


She even has lipstick on now!



So there is one thing about Guilty Gear I mentioned before and that is the musical references. Testament’s name is a direct reference to an American thrash metal band. Now when looking at Testament, he does not fully fit that description of the band he clearly takes his name from. In actuality he does pretty well with showing them off. First off is his young look clearly shows the band when they first started. These guys were some pretty boys and Testament himself is one. His long black hair is even similar to many of the band members. Now even though he wears purple which I will get to that later, but I am focusing on how the band members mostly shown themselves off with black leather. Testament clearly has leather on and I do love how the belts show that off. How it forms on his body is a sign of how tight this leather is. The band also loved to use death imagery and Testament easily has a reaper motif going on. Now the color purple does good with showing what kind of character Testament was. He is actually Kliff’s real son, the same man who taught Ky. This is why purple is used for him, he does have some royalty to him, but he could not have the same fate as Ky. The biggest aspect of the color purple I love for Testament is creativity. Testament uses many unique traps and creepy powers so surprises was his forte. Overall, this is a simple design, but it has great references to the band in many ways.


Anji Mito


We have seen Baiken before with her kimono being used to represent the female samurai. Anji is another Japanese character like Baiken and he got some cool design aspects. Anji is labeled as an antagonist and yet he is rather calm for one. He is fine with working for That Man and is not like other characters who work for him. The blue he wears shows this since he is a man who tries to resolve conflicts peacefully. He even leaves That Man’s group to dissuade Baiken from her search for That Man. Now one thing Anji shows off with one of his moves is the symbol of a butterfly. There are blue butterflies and how he uses the fans represents the wings. The fans also remind me of the ones I would see in traditional Japanese plays. Even his shoes remind me of the big clanking wooden shoes they would wear. Now one could see part of his color scheme having some white, but it is actually a light blue. Overall, Anji has completely blue clothes which could mean that he is absolutely like this. So he clearly has some muscle, but his biggest trait is how calming he is. I would love to see Anji part of a traveling troupe.



Venom has many musical references I will say one does have some significance to his design. That would be the long white hair as I looked up the band Dimmu Borgir, a Swedish band. One of the main members has long white hair, Venom clearly goes further with his hair, but it is a close resemblance. One thing to learn about Venom is that he is an assassin that worked with Zato-1 and Millia. I do enjoy how he hides his face with his hair (this is even referenced with a joke in After Story B). Now even though he hides his face there is that great eye in the front of his hair. Even if you cannot see his face the whole time you know he is looking at you with that giant eye facing you. White has been mentioned to be for perfection which for Venom speaks true, he wants to be the best he can for a certain someone and his skill with billiards shines with perfection as well, that game is hard to play if you a beginner. White also has strong positive vibes which is more ironic than anything for Venom, I remember many character endings for him where he killed Millia or experiences a great loss. There is one design aspect that always gets me, that one black pant leg. It is not like there is a half and half situation going either, there is black in his design, but that pant leg so stands out! It is probably referring to his darker side and how far he goes for what he is actually against. Venom hates killing oddly enough, but he will work for Zato no matter what.


Johnny Sfondi


The further we get into these designs the music references keep getting stronger or more apparent. Johnny’s name is an easy one to pick out for music since we have people like Johnny Cash and Johnny Winter. Cash was known as “The Man in Black” and Winter has many similarities to Sfondi’s design. They are both blonde haired men, wearing black for the most part, and both even wear black hats. One thing I have to say for Johnny is that out of all the belts I have seen in this series, this one is the biggest! It does have importance since May who is a pirate that works with Johnny and May loves Johnny, so them having this big belt does show a symbol of some kind. Now a major difference between the two is that Johnny always had this big belt for his design. I even noticed that he has a normal belt under the big one, freaking belts! Johnny’s use of gold is nice because he literally even flicks gold coins at his foes. Johnny’s design comes off as relaxed with no shirt, but an open jacket at the least. The loose giant belt also shows this. Overall a simple design at first glance, but man with things like the giant belt and of course the musician references he carries, he does well.

Jam Kuradoberi


The first thing to talk about with Jam is how she even fits with all  of these heavy rock and metal characters. This might be a stretch, but there is a character in Wayne’s World by the name Cassandra Wong who is a character that rocks out with a band and is quite notable for wearing red. The actress Tia Carrere also has some Chinese ancestry connected to her. Her name is also similar to the band Cloudberry Jam. Other than that, this Chinese cook is actually another fan favorite even if she is a simple character. For some reason these Chinese girls in fighting game always get so much attention, I guess Chun Li just made this a thing. Jam clearly shares the same use of legs as Jam shows her legs off compared to default Chun Li designs (wow I made a reference to Street Fighter in this post and I just mentioned a SF design aspect). The best part about Jam’s design would be her hair, it is in a full circle and Jam literally does these circle motions with her hands to give herself energy as she uses Chi.  I really loved noticing this since the hair actually reveals something that she actually does. Other than that she wears ton of red which shows her passion and love which can be all over the place at times. Also in her earlier designs she had a pink skirt which did show her sweetness as in Xrd it is replaced with white this time. Along with that Jam wears usual Chinese wear showing her nationality and she is still the only Chinese character in the series so that is her standing out point in both character and design.



Now we end with comparing designs between installments just like how we began. Dizzy for being the last newcomer in the sequel, she has so reached one of the highest fan favorites, maybe even higher than Baiken. The first thing I want to mention about Dizzy would be the reaper and angel Dizzy has as her allies. It is cool to see the changes over time as the Reaper now has dark red eyes and the angel is a bit more womanly, even though I love the statue looks of the original design more. I do love how they are like wings for Dizzy as this points to both type of angels, one that is an actual angel and one that is fallen. I know why they went for this change though in Xrd, because they wanted these two to emote more as well in the new engine so making some changes were needed.


Now the importance of the angel and reaper concept would be Gamma Ray (the name of her instant kill and now turned overdrive move) since it connects to the German power band. A look at their album covers does show many reapers and skeletons, pointing to the left side of Dizzy (well actually that is her right since she is facing us in her picture, but whatever). Now with the right (or left) side of Dizzy does get a little tricky. There are no actual angels being used in the covers, but the color blue is used quite often. One of their covers uses a yin and yang symbol and another even mentions how there is no world order. The angel clearly shows these concepts shown on the covers and subtly done well.


Fun to note the reaper uses fire attack which we know what the colors of fire are.

On top of the use of angelic and demonic uses that is even for Dizzy herself. She has the looks of a lovely woman and then you see well her two allies and the giant tail. I do love how she puts a ribbon on her tail and it is yellow showing her happiness and loyalty, this can also be said for the ribbons in her hair. The biggest difference with her actual clothes would be in Xrd she is wearing a bit more clothing. I enjoy this change because her original design was when she was on her own, now since she lives with Ky, her husband she keeps a more formal look while still keeping true to herself. Also for a fun little detail, in her Xrd design you can see blue underneath her outfit as it pops out of her sleeves. Ky and Sin are both known for wearing blue and even white, so now even Dizzy does this as it represents the family’s colors. Dizzy also has my favorite use of all the belts. They are always on the side of her body as it makes me visualize what is going on around her as the Xrd design added more of that. Another fan favorite and I can clearly see why with not only her history of importance, but even her design stands out for the franchise.


I got a bit more in detail with two characters so I think I will end part two a bit shorter than others. For part three I will get to even more fan favorites, like Bridget and Slayer and I could hit the Xrd originals soon. I feel like Guilty Gear 2 Oveture could just be its own post in general.


My Top Ten Gaming Guilty Pleasures

The term guilty pleasure comes around quite easily in many other mediums of entertainment. We all know about certain books and films people love to have to simply get a chuckle here and there. Tommy Wiseau’s The Room and E.L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey easily show that. Entertainment can be enjoyed for many reasons even if the product can be considered not good-by the viewer. Video games have a hard time with this factor at times. There are clearly some universal agreed opinions about guilty pleasures in video gaming, but it is hard for a game to do that. This is because video games have more sense of control and well if you have a bad sense of control and things do not even work, it just comes across as a bad video game. Ride to Hell Retribution is a bad video game with no doubt in my mind and I can even say it is not a guilty pleasure. Sure, the cut scenes are extremely funny with some of the worst sex scenes in all of entertainment, but the game is so barren. The combat sucks to a high extreme where it has problems working and it is extremely repetitive. Even the driving in this game has so many bugs and glitches that you can just randomly blow up! There is a point where a video game can just become unplayable and it is so hard to hit that guilty pleasure spot at times. It is truly magical when a game can be poor in certain categories, but they can actually achieve some amazing things at times. A good example of this would be the original Nier, there are many flaws to this game, but the story telling being so well implemented to the actual game comes off so original and then later on we see how that can be amplified with Nier Automata. So, I can say the original Nier is a good game and not a guilty pleasure. So, a guilty pleasure has to be in the middle of this range. At one end we have something completely unplayable and then at the other end is an alright game with strong ambition and ideas.


10. Megaman X7


I love me some Megaman games. If you ask me my favorite series, that would be the Zero series. The only reason being is that the Zero series was shorter than the X series and knew what it needed to do. The X series continued for a bit longer than planned which we soon get to the move to 3D. X7 has many bad things going for it, the terrible camera views and some unbearable boss fights. Now the idea itself was ambitious for sure trying to take another Megaman franchise to 3D. This is not like the Legend series at all, this was taking the X formula into 3D. It was a hard hurdle to pass and I can what good they tried to do. Capcom did actually try with this title and did not just cancel it like future Megaman titles would experience. What makes this game enjoyable though has to be the bad Megaman voice acting and how aggressive it is in this game. We all know about “Burn to the ground!” Then to be honest I do not hate Axl, I know many like to make him the butt of many jokes, but I actually enjoy this character. His dual gun style is a cool concept and his powers were nice. It just sucks that his redemption comes in the RPG that many ignore and just focus on X7 for this character, hell even X8 makes things better for Axl. Overall, X7 is easily the worst Megaman game in general, but man it can be quite amusing at times.

9. Soul Calibur 5


I love fighting games and one of the early ones I played the most had to be Soul Calibur 2. The second game is known to be one of the best fighting games in general. I also do enjoy the third game as well, but man four and five just drop the ball on this franchise. The fourth game simply made bad decisions in terms of changing characters and adding some interesting quest characters, Yoda being able to just dodge attacks without trying… Soul Calibur 5 is a bit better than 4 in my opinion, but either way both these games are not all that good. SC5 had a poor use of meter to where it was a bit confusing to even how to use them at first. What makes me like the fifth title a bit more too is that horrible story. It adds so many new characters that are just pointless and the two main characters are so terrible, at least Patroklos actually becomes a cool fighter (not a good character, but a good fighter). I do enjoy some of the new additions in the roster too, but the really bad ones do stand out. Still that story mode is unbearable to what Soul Calibur is. I loved how the second and third game had those big adventure like stories. I even enjoy the arcade modes and how they were presented, they got good character interactions done quickly. SC5 is slow and badly written and man it gets funny. My favorite part is how Patroklos does not know who Tira, even though he always talks about the girl with the ring blade! Then there is Pyrrha who even in battle is just a shame of a character and I know beating people with her just makes the blood boil. One of her throws is just falling on someone on accident! There is also the amazing custom characters you can create as Namco has been keeping this going even in Tekken now. Soul Calbiur went with completely character a character from scratch and the detailing is amazing at times. I am so happy there is going to be a legit sixth game in this series because Soul Calibur felt dead even if SC5 was only like five years ago.

8. Sonic Chronicles the Dark Brotherhood


This is not the first time we are going to be talking about a Sonic game. Now this one is quite an obscure one because remember when I mentioned about a Megaman RPG? Well Sonic got his own RPG too and it is turn based with Paper Mario/Mario and Luigi action commands with Bioware developing it. So, we got Sega’s main mascot with Mario game mechanics and the people who made Mass Effect all in one title. While I do find it quite amazing that a developer like Bioware got to work on a Sonic title, they messed up big time. The game is just generic and does not even have that bad yet enjoyable Sonic story telling that I come to love. The choice of characters is quite nice I will give it that and the freedom of party formation is a good bonus. Then with that out-of-the-way the rest of the game is a mess! The game looks awful and the DS can actually do good visuals with 3D models, not the best, but man Sonic looks awful here! What makes this game enjoyable though would be the horrible soundtrack and use of sound effects. They get the most generic sounds possible for this game. They even recycle some Sonic sound effects which make sense, but I hear the sound of Sonic getting an air bubble when Amy is doing a hammer attack. Then the menus and art look so lazy too that it just makes me laugh. I am not joking on that the menu boxes and art look like it can be used for some terrible game based on some kid show, like the Ed, Edd, and Eddy video game. I also get a burst of laughter when I hear the kids cheer at the end of every fight, the game just has to remind you to be happy while playing. My favorite part is having Eggman be on the party and one of his moves is making it rain bombs, but he dances like he is making it rain with money. Along with how slow the game moves too just add more humor. Oh, a Big the Cat can be on your party so there is that too. In the end, this game is a mess which Sonic games are being known for this right now, at least Mania was good.

7. Mario Party 8


I love Mario Party, it is probably the game series I followed the most in my early days. I played the first and second games religiously. I never did own the third game, but have played it here and there. Then when it got to the Gamecube, I got every Mario Party possible and the last one I got was when it started on the Wii. The actual reason is because of nine and ten going with the dumb cart where everyone is together. Then the handheld ones are just disappointing at best. The eighth game started the use of motion controls and while it was a simple use of them, some games are simply funny because of motion controls. To give context I love No More Heroes with the recharging function and there is a good amount of mini-games that use a similar motion. It is childish joy and I adore that and we get to see Mario’s hand do that jack off motion, can it get any better? On top of that there are some actual good boards on this game it is just that the mini-games lack, but those simple ones can make me laugh a bit too much.

6. Castlevannia Judgement


Castlevannia is a strong franchise, it does have some miss steps here and there, but that is only in the recent times. A majority of the series are full of strong titles and fans have come to know the many characters. So, a fighting game for Castlevannia sounds simple enough. Well it was put on the Wii and while you do not need motion controls to play it which is nice to have different methods of how to play. Still though this game is quite of a mess for a 3D fighter. The stages are a bit odd to move around and some characters are unbalanced. I do enjoy the idea of having the hearts with the different sub weapons because the series is known for pick-ups. Still we got an awkward fighting game to control and there is some fun with that because you can surprise yourself. Then there is the roster which on paper sounds really good. Then you actually get to see how these characters are presented. Now the art was done by the man who is known for the Death Note series and I love his art and with his use of death gods designs sounds like it should work out with Castlevannia. What we get is Light as Simon, Death looking like the most distorted skeleton of all time, Camellia going with an Ivy look, and Maria being a loli that loves boobs. The character designs are all over the place and just make this amazing mess. On top of that the voice acting is great in a horrible way. Even the lines are delicious because of how they do not fit the original characters at all, well maybe some fit, but the voice acting does not make it fit. This game is chaotic with motion controls and even if you got some control over without the motion controls, some moves are busted and spam happy. The cherry on the top is the overall presentation though, “Even the vampire’s are bigger than mine!”

5. Sonic 06


Poor Sonic, this is still not going to be the last time this series is going to be mentioned. Again, I want to like Sonic because I enjoy games like the classic series and something like Sonic Colors. I can even find some fun with Unleashed and Black Knight and one other title which we shall get to soon. You want one of the most broken games of all time, that would be Sonic 06. This game was literally rushed by a whole year and the product we got is amazing in the worst way possible. I know 3D Sonic titles has some interesting glitches in the past, but with the Adventure series I can actually say I enjoy those games even with some of those so bad it is good elements like the voice acting and presentation. Still the levels are good and boss battles are quick and easy, but some still do stand out. Sonic 06 has no redeemable parts and that is why it can be enjoyable. How the game can just throw you out into orbit, Silver can keep you stuck with his attacks, then there is one of the worst hub worlds of all games. Say what you want about Sonic Adventure with its odd character models with how they move in cut scenes, but those games were during the Dreamcast. This Sonic game came out during the 360 and PS3 and they may look better, but their movements are too similar to Dreamcast models. The level designs are terrible and even how they try to spice the game up is not even great. The surprise factor is there though because anything can happen and the game can just break. It really feels like a beta demo of the game, oh wait the actual demo of this game is better! Then there is the worst Sonic story of them all, things really just happen. Even how the story is presented is horrible and by god I enjoy so much of it. Sonic’s horrible running animations, Shadow being the edge lord, and Silver being… Silver. At least the voice acting is still good and the music is stellar. So, what we got here is a sea of glitches and that is why it must be played, everyone has their own story with Sonic 06.

4. Shadow the Hedgehog


Alright this is the final Sonic title on this list and while I can admit something like Sonic 06 is messier and Shadow actually works, there is still questionable game design here. We all know Shadow is an edge lord and Sonic Team just had to completely raise that edge bar. Shadow has guns and rides motor vehicles and all of those things can kill foes, which can be normal human beings. Shadow straights up kill people in this game and even in the endings Shadow kills characters like Sonic and Eggman. I will admit when I was young I just did a straight shot and when Shadow killed Eggman I thought that was it. My little mind was baffled that actually happened. Then later on I see Eggman in the next Sonic title and was completely confused. This game literally has too many endings and in the end, they are useless because there is the true ending. Which that one just has Shadow be the hero, but let us cut to the endings where he killed Sonic, oh yea there is more than one an ending where Sonic dies. Give credit for Sega even allowing this to be a thing. Even if it is not canon killing off major characters in any franchise is like a no-go. There is no Mario game where we actually see Mario die and then credits! I will not lie though giving the level design these different tasks are not a bad idea at all. On top of that doing that one task over the other two can lead to different routes. In concept this is not a bad idea since there can usually be three different things to do each level. The bad news is that this is a Sonic game. The level design keeps what 3D Sonic games have which can be some odd falling off the level glitches. Then if you have an ally with you and do what they do not want, they will never shut up! At least this gave birth to Vector talking about the computer room, I will never get tired of that. Even hearing characters like Shadow and Knuckles swearing just makes me burst into laughter. Everyone knows the line, “Where is that damned fourth Chaos Emerald?” The story can be outright funny because of how much they try to push Sonic into this edgy feeling even if it is just a teen rated game, so it just comes across as a PG film with like one or two swears. It always brings a smile to my face, even if I keep dying by falling off the stage.

3. Dong Dong Never Dies


This is then the last fighting game on the list and man what an extremely fun one! This game was made independently in China and is free online. You can just play this right now which I recommend. You got here is pretty much the Chinese version of Street Fighter the Movie the Game. The animations are old school Mortal Kombat style, but keeps elements of other fighting games like Capcom and SNK games. There are many references and are all obvious. The roster is actually awesome because of how wacky everyone is. I mean what other 2D fighting game can you play as Mario (other than Mugen)? On top of that there are simple characters like Ryu and Kyo rip offs, but then you get some interesting characters like the Gothic Lolita that has a Optimus Prime summon for a super move. Two nurses that fight like Noob and have a move called the Twinyuken. A grappler character where her intro animation has her get off Raoh’s horse from Fist of the North Star. There is even a Mr. Heart reference with the construction worker. Mario plays as Akuma, this is not a joke, Mario can do the raging demon. The smooth criminal character that actually has MJ’s music for his theme. The business man who can summon minions from his book. Then finally the awesome woman who is straight up Iori! Also, you got to love boss characters and hidden characters on the roster. Those character are legit broken, but hey boss characters are like that and they are so enjoyable. One of them rips open his suit to show off his chest and then he starts healing. The best boss character goes to the red-haired badass with Rock Howard’s victory animation where he has a projectile attack that can flow easily into an infinite combo. Reminding me of combos, they are extremely loose. This game makes Marvel vs Capcom look slow and hard to even land a ten-hit combo. You can use a super into another super and just keep doing supers if you have the bars to do it. So, this is one of the most chaotic fighting games ever made and these guys put hard work into it. All the animations were done the hard way and the arcade mode is actually really fun where you have to go through Streets of Rage levels. This may not be an actual good fighting game, but it is extremely fun with tons of heart and that’s what really counts in the end.

2. Deadly Premonition


Deadly Premonition has always been this amazing product to me. Sure, the game plays like a bad Resident Evil clone with the shooting segments and the overall world is not the grandest. I still find myself loving this Twin Peaks inspired product. What really sells this title would be the story as for those who love Twin Peaks will easily be loving it. It is extremely similar to the American television series, but just add that Japanese flavoring. The directing is done differently and some of the twists are even changed around. The game was originally a PlayStation 2 game and ended up becoming an Xbox game which sooner or later the Director’s Cut came out for the PS3. I will say the PS3 version is the better one to play since the combat is taken down to an easier level. This way you do not spend too much time with the poor combat. I can admit though there have been moments where I do enjoy the fights which will mostly be at the end. Deadly P even has some of the strangest characters around in video games where even your main character is a complete oddball and it is amazing when he is freaked out by some people, like the pot lady. Thanks to the strange and yet fun characters, it makes exploring the town more fun and the side missions are enjoyable in a goofy way. I can even admit that I adore the soundtrack for this game a whole lot. I am not lying if I ever do a top ten video game soundtrack list, this will be number ten. The music really carries the overall game at times. Life is Beautiful is a probably of my most go to songs in video games, it is such an extremely happy song. Overall, Swery 65 was correct to just focus on the mystery subject and the wacky cast of characters in Deadly Premonition and to not have combat, but this game still has a strong cult following and I am one of those fans even if this game has many problems.

1. Flower Sun and Rain


I have talked about Grasshopper’s second title before, but I can easily keep talking about this anti video game. FSR and Deadly Premonition have a lot in common, but FSR easily kept true to its vision with not have any issues with publishers like DP had. FSR and Deadly P have you doing tons of mundane tasks while DP has those for side missions, FSR has that for the entire game. The stories for both titles are out of this world in strange vibes and I can say that FSR also has Twin Peaks inspirations too or at the very least David Lynch inspirations. In terms of a soundtrack this is another one of those games where I would so put this in my top ten list for gaming soundtracks. The music can range from extremely happy, to just straight up eerie and uncomfortable. So, the problems with Deadly P did come with the combat for the most part, FSR’s problems actually do come from the main game itself. The strange thing is that nothing is actually wrong or not working. It is strange to say that on a game list about guilty pleasures because everything works fine in terms of programing. It is just how the game makes you travel on foot for so many miles that the DS version actually gives you rewards for how many steps you have! I can easily say the puzzles aspect of this game is well done with the use of looking into a virtual book to find the answers or by simply paying attention to the clues from the story. All the puzzles work with number coding and yes you can just try any combination, but when you get four to eight number sequences, that really gets insane to try all possibilities. The biggest thing I see for this game that it is the closest to the idea of art being presented in video games. I know for sure a title like this will be in my top three for most artistic games. FSR really understands the true meaning of art which is to experience and sometimes that experience can be confusion and not even have an end goal at times. Suda 51’s second title with Grasshopper is filled with bizarre characters and story moments, great puzzles, but some of the most tedious exploring methods in video game history. Is this game bad or good is still something I ponder at times. I know for sure though that FSR is an experience I will never forget because of its extreme artistic view into the gaming world.


Those are my picks for what I can still enjoy from questionable video games. If you have any ideas for what is a guilty pleasure, please leave them in the comments again I am a the man who love to see as much as possible. Also if you want to see a list for guilty pleasures of films, I can easily do that too.


My Top Ten Favorite Games of 2017

The year 2017 was pretty damn amazing for video games. This is probably one of the best years I can say so far for this decade. We got the new Nintendo console called the Switch which is still taking the world by storm. Sony has been killing it with amazing exclusives. Many 3rd party companies showing their best stuff with boosting their properties, brand new IP’s that freshen their brand, or even collaborating together. I can even admit that Microsoft has been doing well with the indie scene. Overall, I can feel that many top tens this year are going to be unique from one another, even more than other years. There were simply too many good games this year. Again I could not play everything, but I always like to honor some games that shattered the media.

Persona 5


I feel bad for not having this game on my top ten list this year. I can easily tell I would love it, but for some reason I did not play it enough. I did not even finish fighting off the first enemy of the game. I really have no reason on why, I just did not continue playing. From what I did play though and the music I listened too, this seems just like another Persona game, which means it is great. Persona 3 and 4 are big favorites of mine and hopefully 5 can be up there too. I do love the use of phantom thieves and the cast really does stand out well, really reminds me of 3’s cast a bit. There is even the sexy doctor which that is so going to be the first social link I max out. The combat felt great from what I played and I got killed earlier than I expected. The return of the sub weapon system really got me happy since I enjoyed the gun play of Persona 2 a whole lot. So, I will easily get to this game for the year of 2018 and will probably just do a review of it or maybe even a LP series of it.

Resident Evil 7/Evil Within 2

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I got to say, we got some surprisingly good horror games this year. One being a franchise returning to its horror roots and another franchise saving itself. With Resident Evil, I did not enjoy 5 and 6 at all and was happier with the Revelation series. I will admit getting to Resident Evil 7 at first, I was not expecting to have fun with it at all. The first-person view is usually a turn off for me in any game, but the controls with this game were not crazy since this is a horror game. I was surprised by how certain fights have different paths to them and many different ways to play them. The DLC for this game even shows how much they can change the play methods, where Chris is loaded to the teeth and then we got Punch-Out Biohazard Edition! Also, I so love Jack, easily one of my favorite characters of this year. Evil Within was a mediocre horror game that I was disappointed by since Shinji himself was back with a new horror game, but that just felt like it was repeating his recent works. Evil Within 2 not only fixed the many problems from the first game, it even made its own image this time around. I will admit I am sad that many of the environment kills are gone, but the game did good with supplying you with enough items and parts. The overall presentation was much better with this game and was straighter to the point with the whole dream sequences. There were even way better boss battles in this game compared to the first one and I was impressed how dangerous this hub-like world really was. You think you are safe because you have been to this location before, but Evil Within 2 really knows how to throw some curveballs. Then with another mention of favorite characters, that would have to be Stefano, what a delight he was. Overall this two horror franchises impressed me and I hope for even better for the continuation of them.



The game many have been waiting for and I will admit, I have not even played it yet. I do not have a strong computer and never owned any Xbox in my life and still do not plan on doing so. Cuphead should not be ignored though. This game got tons of love from the people who have played it and I can easily tell people to play this game still. If you love the old school shooter games like Contra, you will be set for this game. It is a hard game and I am not mentioning any Dark Souls crap here! This game is hard without needed to talk about Dark Souls. You need to pay attention to patterns which is similar to Megaman boss battles. Cuphead knows how to throw a lot at you and wants you to lose, so that you can learn and keep getting better. This reminds me with how some Platinum games can be where losing does not mean you are bad, that game over screen is important in telling you how to play. Then the obvious thing to mention is that the game has amazing animations bringing back the old school cartoon look. This game is hard and I am happy to see more hard games coming out, Dark Souls is not the only hard game around.

Fire Emblem Echoes Shadows of Valentia


I am a big Fire Emblem fan and I will admit my time with Fates was a bit odd because of how much I had to play for the complete experience. I can easily say that Fates was still a strong title for the franchise with the three stories having varied methods of level design. I will say though something like Echoes though really made me happier. I started with Path of Radiance on the Gamecube and loved the classic styles of Fire Emblem more. So, Echoes gave me the taste of a classic title with some new additions. This is a remake of the second game of the franchise called Fire Emblem Gaiden. This was a smaller game in comparison of what has been given recently, but this felt more focused. There was full voice acting for this game which was surprising and I love Awakening and Fates character designs, but I will admit the art style of Echoes felt a bit better for Fire Emblem. The lack of a weapon triangle shocked many recent fans and even me, but this is a remake of the second game which the original one did not have the triangle. I even enjoyed this dungeon crawling moments since it is good for grinding. I do hope that this new series of remakes can bring more in the future because if we get a remake for the fourth game, that would-be mind-blowing.

Crash Bandicoot/Sonic Mania

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Returning to the market are two classic platformer franchises. Crash Bandicoot got a full remake for his first three games and Sonic came back with an old school flavor. I never grew up with Crash Bandicoot, but good friends of mine were easily excited. I will admit the return of a franchise is great to see, Crash easily deserved it since that franchise had some dark moments. The game looks great and easily shows why people fell in love with the orange bandicoot. The character is zany and the level designs are fantastic with showing how fast and crazy things can get. With Sonic it does seem that his usual self keeps showing up now these days with a title like Sonic Forces. Mania though reminds people why Sonic got started in the first place. The amount of love for Sonic Mania was insane since this was a legit game being made by life long fans. The creators of Mania knew how to spice up the classic Sonic formula without missing the point of the originals. This game brought Sonic back to being fast in 2D graphics. Man, with all these amazing comebacks, who else can come back? Bubsy? No Bubsy, go away!

10. Stick Fight/Gang Beasts

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For the first slot of this list it is a tie between two amazing party games. These are fighting games, but more in the level of Smash Bros with ease of play and tons of party value. Stick Fight is frantic and confusing in the best way possible. You got to kill your friends in this game! The levels keep changing up and new elements are shown at random. You can be dealing with simple platforms, to ice, to magma, and then lasers just melt you! There will even be gun drops and one of these guns has snakes! Gang Beasts has been in beta for a while and many have play it before the official release. Gang Beast is finally done and is out and man it is still fun to play. This game is more of a physics game where you have to learn how to control each unique property. The way you grab, punch, and jump around like a fool needs to be learned. I fully enjoy all the levels as you can be flying with the fans or getting smacked by billboards while on top of a truck. If you ever get these game, just make sure to have friends to play it with because you will be losing them quickly if you are killing them.

9. Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild


Now I know many will be mad for me for having this game at number nine on the list. The first fact of me is that I am not the biggest Zelda fan. I usually enjoy most Zelda games and I even love Skyward Sword. I have not played every game though and some I do have, but have never finished like Four Swords Adventures. Now with Breath of the Wild, this actually got me surprised. The Zelda format got a big change and I have been playing this with a friend of mine and man what a blast this game can be. I really adore the big world with so much happening in it. Exploration is great with this title and with the many colorful characters and monsters keeps it fun. The shrines and actual dungeons have amazing designs to them. The Zelda series has been made fun of for having some obvious puzzles, but Breath of the Wild really made things new and fresh. There are many mechanics to learn and when you do master them, you can do quite a lot. You can even bypass certain puzzles if you are smart enough, the game will allow it. This easily fits the bill of easy to learn, but hard to master logic. I really enjoy the combat of this game since there is more to Z-targeting this time around. The combat can stay on edge thanks to some unknown elements like weapons and weather. There are tons of stuff to do and I can still admit there are some little flaws here and there, like how easy some weapons can just break and sometimes the game can get a little funky, which leads to death. Overall though, this was a nice new adventure with Zelda and cannot wait to see what is next for Link.

Fire Emblem Warriors


Just like the previous Warriors spin off with Legend of Zelda, I feel that Fire Emblem Warriors is up there as being one of the best games of the overall franchise. I know people are not super happy with the roster, but let it grow because we all know how Hyrule Warriors just kept on adding characters. I will say I am a little disappointed that some characters have similar move sets like they based the moves on the actual classes and not the character. The DLC for this title is already showing some differences like we got two lance users from the Fates pack, but Oboro and Azura play too differently. The voice acting is all correct and nothing feels off in that department. The story is straight forward like other Warrior games and nothing wrong with that because I am skipping them anyways. The battles can get really threatening just like I felt with Hyrule Warriors. The use of the weapon triangle is clever and planning out where certain units go is useful with this knowledge. I even love when an archer comes out and just gives fear to all flying units, but you can still risk that and succeed. The challenge mode in this game feels just like Hyrule Warriors and I have no problem with that since it can be quite challenging. I will say I am more for this title compared to Hyrule Warriors and that could just be I am more for Fire Emblem. Overall this has the same execution as Hyrule Warriors, using the known formula and spicing it up with another franchise’s specialties. I just hope later down the line this will get characters from titles like Sacred Stones, Path of Radiance, and Radiant Dawn (just give me Zihark, Illyana, Black Knight, and Ephriam).

7. Gravity Rush 2


Gravity Rush was a unique game for the PS Vita that soon got some major love for the PS4. Not only did this first game get a remastered edition, it even got a sequel! Gravity Rush 2 keeps the many perks of the original game, but easily expands on ideas since this is being made for consoles originally this time. The areas you explore are way bigger this time around and the combat is a bit finer tuned. I really love doing the Gravity Kicks in this game! This game even reminds me of the awesome Spider-man 2 game with the great web slinging. Kat and Raven’s gravity powers easily recreates that fun mechanic because it is so fun to simply explore. Shifting gravity around to get to areas can be crazy, but maintaining that chaos is fun. The speed of it is great and it is a game that gives you time to get used to it and does not force a difficulty spike at you. The experience of this game is great because of a unique style of story telling I do not see much in video games. The people have their own language and the use of the art for the cut scenes is ambitious none the less. Also, Kat and Raven are way too likeable! Kat is cute, playful, and nice that you get addicted to her fun attitude. Raven can come across as a bit like a solo girl, but she is accepting just with a blunt attitude to things. These two do well together and all the new characters added just work well with that formula. Overall this is a great step for this franchise and I hope it can still continue because I want Sony to keep pumping out this type of franchise from their first party staff.

6. Tekken 7


Tekken has not always been my go to fighting game. The only Tekken game I can say that is a go to would be Tekken 3. Tekken 3 introduced so much to the franchise and still just plays so damn well. It even changed the roster big time with many new additions. Since then I can say Tekken did not always grab me, but Tekken 7 easily did that. This just gives me back that addictive feel I have with Tekken 3. The combat is so smooth with so much experimentation with a great roster to boost that. DLC for this game is already strong with a character like Geese Howard being added. The bowling is a fun mini game too. The big shock was that Akuma is not only a playable character, but a big name in the Tekken story now. Akuma is a guest character and yet he already felt so deep in Tekken, this is probably one of the best playable Akumas as well. The character customizing is as silly as ever which is great because you can make so many strange creations. I will say the lack of a simple VS CPU function is odd, but they replaced that well with the awesome Treasure Battle. Now the story mode for Tekken 7 was easily something that was being advertised the most. While being a bit standard in terms of writing, the execution was nice. The hard battles were easily pumped up well and by hard I do mean hard! If you play on the hard options of this mode, get ready for a fight! The bosses you have to fight in this game are no joke. Devil Kazumi, Devil Kazuya, and even Shin Akuma will slap you silly if you are fooling around. I can say the Shin Akuma fight is up there with some Guilty Gear boss battles in terms of extremely hard and yet so much fun. Personally, I am a bit sad that Tekken 7 has not been getting much mention for being such a great product for fighting games this year while Injustice 2 has been taking that glory. Either way, Tekken 7 is a great time with a fighting game that reignited my addiction with Tekken’s combat.

5. Xenoblade Chronicles 2


I am a big Xenoblade fan alright! I can easily admit the change in art style was surprising and I was actually not for it originally. With time though things got better with the art and there are actually many character designs I really love in this game. I know many people have problems with certain designs and I do too, but I can say there is more good than bad. Moving on, Xenoblade was this one hit wonder on the Wii that soon started to become a franchise with a port on the 3DS, an indirect sequel for the Wii U, and now a new title for the Switch. Xenoblade 2 brings the combat more to the original in terms of flow with things a bit slower compared to X. This is because there are many things to set up in this game other than just the usual break into topple. There is break into topple and then even into launch and this is not even including all the elemental bonuses you can get. In each fight there are many set ups for special elemental attacks and the menu is so great with that. For your moments, it is right below your name and when allies are ready they are to the left and right. I remember hearing some issues with the menus and yet I had no trouble at all. This could be from experience with Xenoblade in general though. I find this game to be extremely well-organized because you can set active quests and even then, you can check up your progress on any quest you have activated. The game even tells you when you completed a quest with a little side bar popping up. The tutorials were simple and not dragging the game at all as mastering this game comes easy and naturally. The best part does have to come with the collection of Blades though. There are so many to get and even if you get ones you are not happy with, like just the common brands of Blades, they can still be useful to you. One of my favorite aspects of Megaman X Command Mission was the Deploy Mode. All you do is send little companions to previous areas you explored to and they bring you items that can help you. Xenoblade 2 actually does something extremely similar to that with a new type of questing. You simply send Blades out on quests and you can make a strong party of them to make sure you can get a conquest. I will admit though their English dub of this game has an issue and that is more with how the game is off sync with it. Then the aggravation with enemies if real with this title. You can die way too easily in the beginning sections which can get annoying. I am sad that they left out the icons that tell you so much about an enemy and can admit that I had trouble finding out how to lock off an enemy. It did lead to me accidentally fighting something I should have actually ran away from. Even with the flaws this title has, the story is still strong, the soundtrack is superb, the exploration is still fun and takes a new pace, the little mini game Tiger Tiger is fun and important, and the overall gameplay feels great.

4. Yakuza 0/Kiwami

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Sega, thank you. This is a very interesting moment for the Yakuza franchise since it is getting way more attention than it did before. Yakuza 0 really got people surprised and many new fans into the series. A close friend of mine is getting into the franchise because of this title and he has played Kiwami right now too. Even a big Youtuber like Angry Joe has admitted that he has gotten stuck in Yakuza. Yakuza 0 is probably the best game of the franchise right now. I love the Yakuza 3 engine so much and seeing its last hurrah is great. Yakuza 0 easily shows off why the series did not die out. What was a pleasant surprise being that compared to the four characters you played as in games like 4, Dead Souls, and 5 has been reduced to two characters. The smart move though was to change how they play though. Kiryu and Majima both big names in this franchise were given four different styles of fighting. You can easily switch between them in any fight. This was even carried into Kiwami where you do only play as Kiryu, but the Majima Everywhere system is godlike! So, the combat is great like always, but I have to say that the mini games in 0 are the best! The best one being Majima’s Cabaret Club where you have many hostesses in your roster and you can even dress up your best girls. This was a huge expansion compared to where Akiyama would be doing that in 4 and 5. Then the sense of reward in this game was crazy. You use money to upgrade stats and buy many things and there so many ways to get money. Kiryu runs real estate and Majima has his business which I explained about already. You will never run out so this make getting those upgrades easier and they will be needed. There is even softcore pornography in this game and that is a reward from doing the side quests! Overall, I am hoping that Yakuza keeps this stride because there is finally way more love for it as of now and I am happy to see it finally getting what it deserves.

3. Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2


Guilty Gear just had to come out with another new addition of Xrd. High chance this will be the last build as I am excited to see what the next Guilty Gear is going to look like. Either way with this new version the biggest reason why I was so happy with this title is with a return of Baiken. This badass woman has always been my favorite in the Guilty Gear series and even fighting games in general. I do admit getting used to her new counter system was a hassle, but in the end, I am more of an aggressive Baiken player. There are other adjustments with this title like the introduction of a new Roman Cancel, purple. This one appears when you do it at the last frame of an attack as this gives you no recovery frames. I really do enjoy the additions of new Roman Cancels since it really gives players new ways to perform them. On top of that the presentation and game play is still some of my favorites with fighting games. I even loved the new story additions with the After Story sections, where Ky shows his true talent, Venom finally gets a canon happy ending, and PUDDING! The fun I had with this title both with friends and by myself is great and I cannot wait for Arc Systems Works’ next projects. Guilty Gear Rev 2 still makes me crazy and I wanna be crazy.

2. Super Mario Odyssey


A new Mario title is not new news, of course Mario is going to get a new game. With Odyssey though this is a new level of Mario that I hope can stay in some type of spin-off series, or at least like one sequel. The last full 3D adventure Mario had in this style was with Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 and I remember booting that first game on my new Wii when its first year on Christmas. Now if you ask me my favorite Mario title, this could be a contender. Two Mario games I would take tons about would be Mario 3 and 64. Both games have these well-done worlds that not only amuse me in their presentation, but with how they were made. Odyssey feels like a great continuation of Mario 64 logic where you can really have your own little adventure. There are still scripted moments and times you will have to progress, but in reality, you can suck a world dry and move on. The whole no Game Over function is a bit odd, but losing money is at least a little slap on the wrist. This game finds much importance with money with both the usual currency and new ones. Now some people do complain about how this game is a search for treasure without a map, but I think the game does so well with telling you how to do things. There will be a theme for some Moons to get and the more you play you start to get the game’s logic. I will say in terms of level designs this makes me happy like the days I first played Mario 64. Even the range of controls are amazing, I may not be the best one to use them, but people have found so many usual tricks in this game and it rewards them for doing it. This is another area where I feel this reminds me of 64 because the speed running logic with this game is insane. People learning the levels exactly and using what they have to pull off the impossible. I know that is speed running 101, but with the free range of this game there is going to be some truly insane speed runs on this game just like with Mario 64. I really love the many new worlds Mario visited and enjoyed all the boss battles which is rare for a Mario game to be honest. Mario sticks to his usual style, but does it with a new selection of clothes.

1. Nier Automata


What I love in games can be odd at times. I can admit things like Breath of the Wild and even Mario Odyssey have so much polish to them and work so well, that they are amazing games. I can even say Breath of the Wild is better than other games I put above it. What will always make my lists though is more about the experience. Also, I will so wear a Platinum logo on my forehead because of how much I love this company. This company knows how to make action games which if you know me by now, I love some dumb action. What Platinum did though was beyond my expectations. They promised to bring a proper Nier sequel and they did. Nier was this action RPG on the PS3 that was very obscure and I bet many people do not even know of what series this game is even connected to. What made the original Nier so special was the experience it gave to gamers and it had some ambitious game mechanics as it changed up the combat with the use of changing the camera views and great boss moments. It is also one of the few games I can admit that the story is one of the selling points (usually I like to put that on the side for a video game). So Nier Automata keeps all of that and even some of the little problems of the original Nier as well. I can admit I had some trouble with navigating around because the in-game story even admits that the maps are hard to read at times. There are many side quests and a nice world to explore, it is really not that big just like the previous game and Automata adds some fast travel so exploring the areas was not a bad experience at all. Platinum adds their usual combat flair and even work with the concept of the awesome abilities Nier has showcased before. I think Platinum’s idea of spicing up the combat with new styles of fighting with Nier’s idea of doing it through camera views is a match mate in heaven. Then comes with how Automata tells a Nier story through different playable characters. This is easily one of the best crafted stories just like the original game. Not only was I getting excited in the amazing fights, it was so amazing to see how that changed to anger and sadness. It has been a while since I cried to a video game like I did. What is really the bow on top for the story is that you do not need to play the original game to experience what Automata is doing. Which again is just like the original Nier because I did not play Drakengard and still did not to this day. This does not make me less of a fan for Nier because my time with the original game my brother and I had was special. Nier Automata not only reminds me of the original game, but also that experience I had with my brother. This is easily my game of the year because of the great combat excels the heartbreaking story and my experience with Automata will not be forgotten. One final note is that even the soundtrack is on point for this sequel and I already had trouble of picking my favorite video game soundtrack with the original Nier and Xenoblade Chronicles.


Now for the year 2018, I do not care if it is considered a bad year for gaming or not. High chance the Nintendo Switch will still be doing great with supporting current titles, keep reviving Wii U games, and even doing more with indie game creators. I have the best hopes for Street Fighter V Arcade Edition and the rest of Tekken 7’s and Marvel VS Capcom Infinite’s DLC life. Blazblue Crosstag Battle is going to be extremely fun and I do hope we hear of another Arc Sys fighter soon. In the end, my true focus is going to be Travis Strikes Again, because my love for No More Heroes will never end.


My Top Three Films of 2017

I know a top three for an overlook of films in a year seems odd, but the biggest reason I am only doing a top three is to make it more focused. I have easily seen more than just three this year, hell I bet I could do a top ten. While thinking though I wanted to be more focused on these three films. Not only did I fully love these films, I feel they are important. Not only did these films mean something to me, but I feel like I am excited for future things to come since I watched these films. Not only did these films impress me with just how they are, they even impressed me on different levels of entertainment.


If you know me and this blog already, you already know I will be talking about this film again.

3. Disaster Artist


I love entertainment in general as the biggest one is clearly film. I mean this is a list about films in general, so of course I feel like I love films in a high regard. I have tried to watch whatever I can with films, I have seen bad films, disgusting films, and mind-boggling films. Now if you do not know what the Disaster Artist is about, well all you need to do is to look up Tommy Wiseau. This man tried something big which was direct, produce, write, and even act as the lead in his own film. All four of those tasks are not easy to do and well the final product shows the struggle of that film. There is a book about that process and wow things were hard. Now I will admit this film did butter things up compared to the book where the actor Greg Sestero revealed many things. Many people talk about how much they want to witness those events and while the book paints that image not so great, the film version still does show the conflicts, but again makes it a bit uplifting. The thing is I am not saying that is a bad thing, a big theme of the film is showing what Tommy’s ambition did to him while the book straights up slanders him as this person with a lack of common sense or human senses to begin with. Wiseau is a mystery as well and he is no hero. I still do not want to hate the guy though since I do feel like there are previous events that caused him to be overly blunt.


The big purpose of this movie though is to be a tribute to The Room, the film that Wiseau released. It is known as the best worst movie of all time. If you want to study film, this can actually be a great lesson since there are many mistakes that are so glaring. The Room does come off across as an ambitious attempt though which is why it resonated so well with people. Still to this day The Room is shown in theaters for midnight events and it is actually getting a nationwide release. So, the Disaster Artist did well in giving a spotlight to The Room. Another big part that amazed me was that my doubts for the cast were not needed. To be honest hearing The Franco brothers and even Seth Rogan working on this worried me because their recent films have been the same act and even for their acting roles. I remember enjoying both Rogan and James Franco, but that stopped around these recent years. Hopefully these guys can continue to do projects like these because I enjoyed how this film was made.


There are many things that were spot on and the most important one had to be James’ performance as Tommy Wiseau. There are many people who do Wiseau impressions, but sometimes it really just comes off as jokes, even I do it. Franco though gets it perfect and I cannot remember the last time I was happy to see him perform. Even his brother Dave Franco did nice playing as Greg. Even Rogan’s performance reminded me of his early days. There are also so many comedy film stars in this film and even Tommy and Greg themselves get cameos. I also started to lose it when we got to see clips of their own version of The Room, it was amazing how shot per shot accurate they were. For a fan of The Room, this did bring tons of joy and while it is clearly being a tribute to the film itself more than being more about the actual story, it does nice doing both. A film like this reminds me of how even failed attempts can become bigger than we think and at times people need to really get out there and try themselves, failure is the best teacher.


2. Lupin the Third: Goemon Ishikawa’s Spray of Blood


Not a big surprise I am talking about Lupin again because the series just had a film this year. I brought up my vexations with current anime and the more I talk about this I feel like Miyazaki himself. There are many things that I agree with Miyazaki about the current scene and it is still not looking good for the genre. I know people think things look good with things like One Punch Man and Boku no Hero Academia, but two shows cannot save this. To be honest people focusing only on these two shows is one of the reasons why it is hard for anime to get bigger. Still to this day, I feel like people just show the same things over and over again. There are clearly franchises still sticking around and while some have changed with the times for better or for worse. A product like Lupin the Third really shows how well this formula still even works today. This actually makes me a bit more optimistic about anime, I still know the facts, but I feel like if there can still be films or shows that hit hard like this film, at least I can say the last years can be good ones. I do not blame the quality of the shows or films for this problem… well some shows are clearly a problem (ecchi is poison now these days). To be honest I know some people only know Lupin for the sexy scenes and the sexy Fujiko. By actually looking into the franchise really shows me the what Lupin has to offer, it can be quite adult and sometimes that can get a bad image. There are some adult products that personally act more childish, Lupin is that rare product that really shows off what adult entertainment can be like, anything else. Adult media can be silly there is no problem with that and it can be graphic, but the big thing is that it is art regardless. I do feel some nudity and blood can be done wrong in creative media. God of War really makes blood spill out like water, and again ecchi anime really flop out the tits too much. While I feel some great creators can do tons of things with nudity, blood, and even both. Nudity can simulate erotic tastes, but it can even bring great comedy or even the most disturbing moments. The same can be said for blood and some products really can misuse it, so something like Lupin is a rare sight to see.


This film is a sequel to Jigen’s Gravestone which is still the same team who worked on the Fujiko series. I really adore of these guys bring back the original flavor of Part I Lupin back in these current times. The original series had a huge focus in crime and what can come from it. For Jigen’s Gravestone it shows how warring countries can stoop low and how humans can simply turn themselves into weapons. With Goemon’s film, it showcases how honor is dead in crime and how people can lose their humanity. Things focus around Goemon for a change which that can be rare to find. Goemon is the least focused character in the series out of the main five. I will say though whenever he gets a focused story it can be hit or miss. Some people try to make him too similar to Jigen, while that is not his character at all. Goemon is a samurai in the age of crime which really paints an interesting character. Goemon tries to keep his honor and the challenges he must endure for that while dealing with crime lords is great. Jigen is a man who does not hold his honor that often, he is quite the realistic man of the group. There are even times Jigen is fine with running away so he can live. The film has Goemon try to restore his honor because of a yakuza boss he was supposed to protect got killed, even if his death was because of his actual men. The son blames Goemon for what happens and Goemon must kill the man who destroyed the boat and lead to the man’s death. His target is a man who does not fear death since he is a man who should be dead to begin with, The Hawk, The Ghost of the Bermuda.


One aspect that I love about both films is how they create great opponents for both Jigen and Goemon. Jigen faced off with a man who treated himself like a living weapon and lives with his pride. Goemon faces a big American cowboy with dual axes! Goemon’s fight easily makes this feel like an East versus West concept. The two only have three fights in total and they are fascinating. The first fight makes you think Goemon stood a chance, but The Hawk was clearly focused on the mission at hand. The second fight shows you the truth of the matter. At the end, the final fight is one of the best duels I have ever seen and for those who loved the level of detail of gore in Jigen’s Gravestone, this film delivers way more of that. The animation really strikes gold yet again with some great shots of gore. The detail they had with skin, bone, and blood is top-notch. There is even a funny sexual scene where Lupin is giving Fujiko a massage. The best scene hands down have to go to when Goemon awakens his new sense and unleashes it onto people he tried to warn. This film even has Zenigata unlike Gravestone and if you are familiar with the Fujiko series, this Zenigata is more serious than other ones. I personally like this choice for this change since Zenigata still has some nice blunt scenes that come off as comedic. I cannot also recall the last time a recent anime production got me on the edge of my seat and had me jump out of it. There are clever surprises in the film as it knows how to raise the levels of excitement and know when to change it for a shock. Overall, Goemon’s film still keeps me impressed with Lupin’s adventures and I cannot wait for Part V to come out.


1. Baby Driver


I know I did a post on Baby Driver before, but I just have to talk about how great this film was to me. I went to the theater eight different times to watch this film. This is not only my favorite film of the year, but one of my personal picks of all time. I have an odd sense of my favorites since I have some personal ones where they are not the best, but have quirks to them that get my attention. Then I can admit that even if a film is not a personal favorite of mine, I can still call it one of the best films around. For my big personal selection, it has to be a mixture of both. What I basically look for are those little quirks being done masterfully. Baby Driver easily has that for me since not only am I an Edgar Wright fan, but I can be brought in by great music. The choice of music for this film is not an original soundtrack, but a compilation of other music. Which this has been done before and recently even, Guardians of the Galaxy has some nice moments where the music can carry the story. Baby Driver takes that to a whole new level where the music is the movie’s story. Not only that the music is moving the film. Edgar Wright has done scenes with perfect timing with music before, but he takes to a new level with his dream project. Literally every scene is in sync with the music and it is simply not a gimmick. When it is being done to this level, it just becomes the style of the film. In a strange way this film is the best musical around since it moves with the music. On top of that there is a great cast of actors and their stories are cleverly hidden in the dialogue. Wright loves to hide details in his movies and I feel this is the best he has done it. Not only they are done well so paying attention is important it makes things feel impactful when you do find them. I can barely recall a movie where I love every scene because picking around is so much fun with Baby Driver. Again, finding how the music fits with the scenes is great and when you find that rhythm you get in sync with the movie itself. There is no film like this as Edgar Wright really shows what he can do in the modern times. I love the Cornetto Trilogy, but after debating so long with myself, Baby Driver is easily my favorite film from Edgar Wright since the passion this film has is amazing. This just keeps me excited to see what his next films will be since he has a new trilogy coming up with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.


I know the Baby Driver section was shorter than the other two, but I have talked about the film before on the blog. Also, this is not the last time we will see this movie on the blog. I do know there are many other films that came out this year, but these three were the most important to me. Not only as films, but showcasing aspects that I extremely love from the medium. I bet many of you have other films that you want to talk about and I will accept those comments with a full heart. I bet I will see tons of Star Wars talk with the recent movie, which I actually really liked and maybe later down the line I will talk about my experience with that film and Star Wars in general, even if it is not one of my favorite things.


Lets Talk Character Designs: Ace Attorney Part 1

One of the biggest things that always had Ace Attorney in my head during the times I never even played one were the characters designs. I remember seeing Phoenix Wright for the first time in Marvel VS Capcom 3 and when looking into the other characters I was simply amazed how many designs caught my eye. Ace Attorney works with a unique trait of designs which I feel only one other franchise uses the same style, which would be Pokemon. Their character designs go with basic clothes, but find a nice way to make them pop. This not only makes them easy to look relatable as it also makes the eyes focus on the part that stands out. It even leads to many cosplays which even I am guilty of as I was Miles Edgeworth and still have that outfit around. So it is time to start pointing fingers at the many innocent and guilty characters of this franchise.

Phoenix Wright


Phoenix Wright actually has three designs in total as I will save his second design for later. I want to focus on his original look and his most current look as of now. Now these two looks keep what makes Phoenix Wright stand out as a main character. One thing is for sure is when looking at these two they do give off different vibes on who they are. Young Phoenix Wright is just starting out and so his demeanor is not that serious as of the current one. Both do clench their fists in this art, but the current look holds way more seriousness to it. How current Phoenix is looking you straight into the eyes with that look so gives off that he means business. Dual Destinies did great with giving Phoenix this new serious look as it even comes across as more studious as well. Phoenix is no rookie anymore and to show that they opened his shirt up and even messed his hair a bit. Phoenix’s hair is easily his most stand out trait since how much hair gel would that take to be that spiky? Everything about Phoenix is pointy and no doubt his finger will be pointing too which is why I think they gave him this hair style. I do love how his hair has this one spike drooping down, but to me it looks like it is ready to come up and point at me. This little detail to the hair points you to his eyes which again current Wright is staring you down. This is simply a great transition from a rookie to a professional, but even then barely anyone wants to mess with Phoenix Wright. Now if you are being defended by him that blue suit is simply going to make you feel relaxed as it even establishes trust which is what any good defense lawyer should have with his clients.

Miles Edgeworth


Just like with Phoenix, Edgeworth does have more than two designs, but I am sticking with the first and current look as of now. With husbando over here, there are actually some great changes to his design. The first thing would be that Edgeworth wears glasses in his newer look even though he does take them off in the courtroom. Personally I wish he kept them on in the courtroom since I mentioned Phoenix looking a bit more studious before, well Edgeworth beats him in that category. Just look at all those buttons Edgeworth has on his current suit and they stick out way more with them being gold. You can even see Edgeworth having actual cuffs on his suit this time. The length of their coats is also different as the current look is longer. To me I can just imagine that thing flowing as his walks into the courtroom and seeing that sway with his arms would make me think this guy means business. Either way the biggest thing about Miles is that his proper look makes him look serious no matter what, young or old. The biggest indicator of this would be the color suit he is wearing. It is easy to just say red, but it is more like burgundy or maroon. Either way this dark shade of red shows off that Edgeworth is intense with his work. It shows off that he is strong and passionate and this color even represents the truth. So Edgeworth is easily more on the impactful side of the truth and I cannot lie that look made me feel powerful too when I wore his outfit.

Maya Fey


The spirit channeler in training also came a long way just like the previous two as it was shocking to not see Maya for a while. In the main franchise her last appearance was the third game, but she was also in the Layton crossover. Maya’s channler outfit stays pretty much intact. The newer design simply adds more clothing compared to Maya’s short skirt in the original look. One thing that is interesting is that the magatama does change colors and this even happened before the new design. The original one was red, but it was changed to yellow in the concept art later on. I would guess they went with yellow because it is a positive color and Maya has learned to stay positive along with Phoenix during some tough times. With Maya’s main color being purple being a mixture of blue and red it is funny that she does share character traits between Wright and Edgeworth. She is a calming person, but can be quite excitable and passionate on what she loves. Purple even shows off her royalty aspect and if you know her story she is to become the next master in her village. Her color even works with magic which that spiriting aspect can get wacky! Then adding on white to her design shows off perfection as when Maya is older she gets more in touch with her powers. Maya is probably one of the best examples of how colors work so well with these designs since it really showcases everything about her character.

Dick Gumshoe

OA - Gumshoe

I am so shocked that Gumshoe has not appeared in a current Ace Attorney game. His last appearances were the Edgeworth games and the second one never even got released here! One thing for sure is that Gumshoe looks like a dick (by that I mean detective, dirty minds). His large body with that green coat makes me feel that this is no ordinary person. The scruffiness with this character too even shows a hard-working officer. One thing for sure about Gumshoe is that he is a character that took some time to grow which is what green showcases. It even shows money which Gumshoe barely gets any, but that just goes right to his ambition. He did also have a tan coat on which was revealed in the first Edgeworth game which the trait that fits Gumshoe the most with a brown like color would be honesty. I would have to say that Gumshoe’s big trait would be his size and surprisingly he does not come off across like a cruel man. He is a gentle giant and the colors he showcases works well with that and that little bandage on his cheek does well to show he is rather clumsy. Overall, Gumshoe is probably the most simplest designs of the franchise, which is not a bad thing at all because his character really comes across well because of it.



Can I just say that the prosecutors have the best designs. Sure there are wimps like the Payne brothers, but even their designs say so much about who they are. Godot is that one character that really jumps out the most with that large visor of his. Unlike previous designs, his clothing is really classic gentleman style. His coat is not big at all as there are no flaps with his. The lines it has makes your eyes go up and down and really notice how calming this man is. Again the outlier to that calming look would be the visor and it even glows red. I mentioned about green and tan before with Gumshoe and those traits work so well with Godot as well. This time the green shows the renewal of Godot since this man has one interesting story to tell. The tan shows off his honesty and reliability and then there is the red that glows from his visor. The bits of white are for perfection as Godot was the man who finally got Phoenix Wright to move on his own and this professional gave him an important lesson to learn. Red is an intense color as the three most intense emotions are passion, love, and desire. Godot easily hides those emotions well with his clothes, but that visor is hiding yet also showcasing how he is like many others and falls into other emotions. Godot is easily one of the best characters of the franchise and his design so speaks true to that since he only had one game and still to this day fans talk so much about him which is thanks to good story telling and designing.

Franziska Von Karma


Along with Godot, I feel Franziska simply has one of the best designs in this franchise. It is amazing how they such a dominating character with calming colors. The two calming colors are white and blue and even her hair is a light blue. She even has that fancy look like Edgeworth and yet she comes across as abusive. One factor is clearly the whip which I have no problem with at all, I feel whips are underappreciated. The black leather gloves, high heels, and those stockings just scream dominatrix, which again I am fine with. I will admit I do love me some dominating ladies and along with that Franziska even has some the best animations in the original trilogy. There is a nice use of yellow lines which showcases that she is still young and while the yellow showcases how happy Maya is, yellow for Franzy here showcases her cowardice. Then with the whole black she wears that can come off with negative vibes and comes with elegance too. This design impresses me so much. There are bright colors mixed with dark colors and it just perfectly shows her off. It is this fusion of youth, elegance, negativity, and dominance. So many traits in one design and it does not come off as confusing at all.

Trucy Wright

Now onto one of my favorite characters in the whole franchise, Trucy was a huge surprise when she was revealed in the fourth game of the series. Knowing that she is Phoenix’s daughter even if she was adopted because of circumstances was still shocking. Of course, Trucy discarded her pink outfit for Phoenix’s blue, but these colors do have meaning. Pink deals with sweet, feminine, playful, and little girls. To note that her actual father had a pink outfit on is meaningful too since the color can have a romantic angle to it. With Trucy wearing pink it is clearly showing her youth off even more and a magician does need to be playful. Trucy then moving onto blue is a calming color and for any professional magician, a calm mind is needed to perform tricks. I will also say that I love the cloak she has on her outfit. The little gold tips makes me think of a jester’s hat and seeing the symbols makes me think of playing cards so the jester picture I am getting is clearly the joker. Out of all the shapes, diamonds appear the most as she has golden buttons, earing, and a brooch that are in that shape. Hell even her hair band has diamond shapes on it. I also got to say that I love how playful she looks, Trucy is extremely cute and I am happy that and not just make it a sexy outfit. Slap on some white for her gloves and boots you get some nice idea of perfection mixed in. Overall her outfit is extremely cute and calming to look at while being simple and easy to understand.

Larry Butz

Larry Butz is one entertaining character. He is the first man Phoenix defended in court and he has been a constant character in the series. He was seen in the original three games, in both the Edgeworth games, and finally made an appearance in the current titles with Spirit of Justice. Larry goes through some outfits, but these two would be his best ones. The original look is nice and simple with using orange to describe him since he can become happily quite easily,surprisingly creative, and is determined to get with the ladies. Larry becomes quite fascinated with women quite easily. I also like his shirt with those square faces looking confused. I feel like the shirt itself is confused on how Larry acts at times. Now his second design was him pretty much wearing a pink smock, but his most recent design gave more into his artistic side. The beret just screams art along with those glasses. Even his shirt has some wacky patterns on it which keeps some orange and even adds some yellow (probably him trying to feel young as he did back then). The heart logo all around him is his own character and man what a perfect way to represent this love-sick fool, a bunch of hearts struck with an arrow, that’s Larry Butz for you! Even if he does look a bit more well dressed, he is still casual with how he presents that. His tie not being on perfectly shows that, but he does cover his legs and has better shoes as well. No matter how you spin Larry’s design, he is going to be Larry and whenever something smells, its got to be the Butz.

Ema Skye

Ema’s design is probably the one that went through the most changes. Her original design was when she was 17-18 and her next appearance being in Apollo Justice means she has aged quite a bit since then. She even had appearances in the Edgeworth games and that design even has some interesting changes. It is like looking at an evolution chart on this one since the second design carries on some of the first and then the third design has aspects of the second design. Ema’s hair constantly changes as she has the top knot like Maya at first, wears a hat with her hair straight down, then finally has it in a messy ponytail. Ema’s footwear changed all three times too, the first one has normal shoes, the second one goes with boots, and then sports some heels with some lovely straps. The first design goes with a skirt, while the second design goes with shorts and leggings, and the last design just goes with longer pants. Ema’s bow tie from the first to the third design have some slight changes, while the second design goes with a tie. Ema’s bag is not stuffed with test tubes in the second design, but the first and third have those. The amount of badges Ema wears starts to vanish around the second design and then just gone by her oldest look. She always keeps her lab coat on, but the shirt underneath it has some slight changes. The first one looks like it blends with the skirt and completely covers Ema up. The second one you can tell she is wearing an undershirt. The third one then carries both of those ideas, but changes the color to green. Even the glasses change by the end of her design as they become more like ladies sunglasses. It looks like she keeps the same watch over the years which is interesting. Ema’s changes are the most interesting aspect about her which each one having distinct qualities, which is surprising considering how character design progression really build up on the past ones. Ema really is scientific that she even experiments with her clothes. Alright for the next and final two characters there will be spoilers so be warned!

Matt Engarde

The last two characters I want to talk about are ones that switch their personalities and yet keep the same design. What is shocking is that the design works no matter what. With Matt Engarde the big change is how he has his hair. When Matt is acting dumb and cheerful the outfit makes him look like a man-child in many ways. With the hair covering his eyes he has a sense of innocence to him. Even if he is wearing red it does not come off as aggressive at all. The big thing is that he is a superhero actor so that jacket easily fits the bill. The red starts screaming at you though when he slicks his hair back and you see that big scar on his face. I still do wonder how he got that scar. When Matt switches personalilites like this even his body language changes. The cool superhero jacket easily makes me think he became a flashy bond villain. The man even has a glass of alcohol on him during this change, this man owns a cat too! Matt easily shows off the power of red when he is scary because not only is he a dangerous man he has some strength to him. The crime he committed was extremely clever and the scapegoats he had in mind is amazing. It is shocking how one big design change just tells you a whole different story about a character.

Roger Retinz

This man is my all time favorite foe in the franchise and how he pulled his tricks were fantastic. Roger felt like an end game villain. Just like Trucy he is a magician and was well-known back then. After being kicked out of the troupe, the same one that Trucy now continues, he started to think of a revenge plan to take the troupe down. For most of his time he worked in the television business and was a major scumbag with that character. I mean just look at him, he is holding that cup of coffee with his shirt untucked and those pants are so odd. How he wears his hat and sunglasses just make him look like a total tool. What is amazing though is that his magic side is hidden within these clothes. He has the sleeves hide his scar, the frills of those sleeves are also quite stylish too. The sweater he ties around his body soon becomes a cape. Then with his collar being popped out and with a simple adjustment of his hat, he comes off as a total professional. He even sports some really gaudy rings. What originally comes off as arrogance in a slimy way soon becomes in a way that is forceful and cunning. Roger was a complete surprise and also he does oddly looks like Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr got blended together.

Well that is the end of part one of looking into lawyers, cops, victims, magicians, and murderers. As next time I will probably look more into more reoccurring characters and probably more victims. Either way these post are still some of my favorites to do since there is so much work being put into these designs that I simply want to poke at the creative process being done here. Hope you guys are enjoying these, high chance I will be looking into a recent franchise I have been quite digging lately for the next design post.

Killer7: Confusing, Horrifying, and Masterful

I might as well try to get this post up by Halloween because this is the months of spooks and such, but to be honest the month has turned more into slutty outfits galore, but I digress. There can still be plenty of horror left around even if the more mainstream market has nearly curb stomped it. Then speaking of horror in video games there is always this interesting situation with them. Sometimes you can get a nice scary experience, but then the game itself can be quite lacking in interactivity. Then you can have horror games with too much of that and then start losing the horror experience. For my favorite horror experiences they would have to be Silent Hill 2 and 3 and the early Resident Evil titles. I really adore the early days of when horror games were experimenting and even if Resident Evil did get wacky, the horror vibe really only started to lose its touch with the fourth title (still an amazing game though). I am happy that Resident Evil 7 brought back the horror aspects, but I will not lie and say the first person shooter vibe with it did rub me the wrong way.

So with this problem can horror games truly be scary? The answer to that is yes and at times the games that are not focused on horror can have really scary moments or those occasions when it gets under your skin. I feel Earthbound (Mother 2) did that well with Gigyas and is still one of the most uncomfortable moments in a video game. With that in mind, Suda 51 with some of his previous titles did have some horror vibes with them. Looking back at the Syndrome series when he was working with Human Entertainment, there is easily some scary things going on. Move onto The Silver Case and I had many moments where I did not feel safe when I was moving around the environments. That became more clear when crime ghosts reveal themselves and the art style really had some disturbing visuals. Flower, Sun, and Rain easily took a more upbeat tone and yet it did have that one moment where it felt similar to Silver Case.


Even in the current day, I feel that Suda and Grasshopper love to deal with horror elements. Lollipop Chainsaw, Shadows of the Damned, and Let it Die took more comedic approaches with them. Juliet fights zombies, Garcia literally going through hell itself (with his Johnson), and Let it Die with some extreme imagery and the greatness that is Uncle Death. Hell even No More Heroes have some brief looks into horror or just eerie moments. Before meeting Destroyman, you just still a corpses that have been burned completely. Then in No More Heroes 2, Travis fights a spirit of the damned. Again even the art of No More Heroes has its moments like when seeing Travis’ flashback of when Jeane killed his parents. Overall, horror itself has a huge history with Suda and his company and I feel that Killer7 is the perfect representation of their view into the horror genre.


There are a couple of things that can make a horror game feel scary, one is the obvious jump scares which that is truly debatable about that being scary or not. Another element is to make someone feel defenseless by having a character only being able to run away from danger or simply hide away from it. Then you can have confusion play a strong element with everything since the unknown can make people feel unprotected. Killer7 encompasses all of these elements while still being an adventure shooter game and while that may sound overly complicated, it surprisingly gets easier further down the road. The design aspects of Killer7 are baffling and so clever at the same time. The game is on rails, but you get to choose the paths and even turn around if you need to. With that getting lost in the environments can actually happen since there can be puzzles and routes that work out in adventure game logic. Mix that with how you are supposed to be shooting down foes can get under your skin.


The foes in this game are called the Heaven Smiles and they are invisible to the human eye. Thanks to the Vision Ring, you can see them after hitting the vision button. What can appear though is mysterious to anyone playing for the first time. These creatures come in many forms and numbers and you can get a gist of the numbers based on the laughs you hear when entering a room or simply exploring around. The problem though comes with knowing when they will appear if you stay around a room for too long. So not only do you feel in danger there can be a jump scare as well with major consequences. Usually a jump scare will just lead to nothing or the basic game over screen . With Killer7 you get an explosion to your face with demonic laughter as you have to keep moving forward until the same event happens too many times. Then there is getting used to the controls which can be confusing in the beginning and knowing how the different Smiths work because all have their own abilities and specialities. So the confusion element is clearly around and not knowing how to do things can get you killed really easily.


With how radical Killer7’s game design is though, it actually becomes natural quite quickly. My experience with becoming better at the game came around the Cloudman section where the exploration is far bigger than any other level in the game. Even the Heaven Smiles in that area are just wandering around on their own and can just run into you without you noticing. There were even giant creatures that can be hard to kill, forcing you to run away. What ends up happening is that you are forced to explore the big map and find routes and solutions on accident while on rails. By this point, you should be talented enough to know the different skills in your arsenal and how effective they truly can be, like Kevin Smith’s invisibility. Still there can be those moments where things are out of control and trying to find those answers while in a frenzy is a scary situation.


Even the art design and story telling of Killer7 can touch your soul as the Heaven Smiles are freaky looking creatures. The Speed Smile still gets to me with how it moves while dashing at you. The silly thing with all of that, there can be some humor mixed in. Some basic Heaven Smiles can run at you while doing a light jog and the sound effect for it can be amusing. The Smiles are just surprising in every way possible which again would be the unknown. The constant dark environments, except for two or three of the levels, is just an easy way to convey a tone. The use of the moon is displayed again and all of Killer7’s events happen on a full moon, something that Silver Case established as when things are going down and will get insane. The characters themselves are confusing and strange. With Samantha, you can see her all dressed up like a maid, to her being in casual wear while looking dead on that chair, and even then sexual abusing an old man. Hell the trailer you begin a majority of chapters at will always have this loud screaming going on.


Even trying to learn and understand the story of Killer7 can be confusing and just lead way too far into the unknown. I do not want to say too much on this aspect because it is truly a one of a kind experience. There is nothing else like Killer7’s story, sure Suda has been inspired by many Western stories, movies, and more, but he really shows his craft hear more than anything. The directing style, the art style, the sound effects, and more all just add to the horror in a new way. Killer7 even has an amazing score that adds so much to the game. You got some of the best tracks in both action and horror. I absolutely love the Rave On track where it is easily picks me up after the horror I just witnessed before. There can even be some techno like tracks that sound upbeat, but is playing during a game of Russian Roulette. Even the soundtrack itself can be confusing to listen to in one go with all the tones it hits.


Killer7 at its core works with confusion and trying to learn the madness is quite insane with control schemes that baffle any games before and after it and having amazing design choices with the play styles it presents itself with. I may love No More Heroes as my all time favorite piece of fiction around, but I cannot lie with how brilliant Killer7 is. Suda 51 took everything out his mind for this game. Suda talks a lot about how some people really do the same old again and again. This is why Killer7 was made this way, to baffle the current design schemes and even challenge what could come after this title. While on paper it sounds insane to even try this game out, I highly recommend it not only for a horror experience, but a look into game design itself. Killer7 is by far one of the most confusing games to this day and that itself is masterful in its own right.


Now there will be a point where I dive deeper into Killer7’s lore, but that will be one puzzle that will take some time since Killer7 is easily the most confusing out of Suda 51’s Kill the Past series. For this first post about Killer7 I wanted to have a basic overview of what makes this game a true masterpiece and I hope this caught your interest in the Magnum Opus of Suda 51.