How Powerful Are… Viridi and the Forces of Nature?

One of the best parts about video game, TV, and really any form of media characters is the large amount of discussion they cause. A character’s “power level” is one of the most hotly debated aspects in discussions. There’s just something intriguing about looking at a characters strength and seeing how strong or weak they are compared to other characters in the medium. I am one of those people, obsessed with finding out which characters are the strongest and which are the weakest. I can’t really explain why; it’s just fascinating to me. And that’s why I’ve decided to start this new series: How Powerful Are…/How Powerful Is. In this series I’ll look at various characters from all forms of media, and try to figure out just how powerful they are. Once I have enough characters I may even form a tier list containing all the characters I’ve covered! I’m stating today with Viridi, and her army, “The Forces of Nature”, from Kid Icarus Uprising. I still haven’t broken the trance this game has on me, so what better time to look at one of its pivotal characters? Anyway, let’s see just how powerful the Goddess of Nature really is…

First of all, let’s talk about Viridi herself. Unfortunately, it’s not all that easy to gauge her individual strength as she’s the only god/goddess in the game you don’t fight directly. However, she is a goddess, so it can be assumed right of the bat that she has tremendous power. As well as that, she’s the ‘Goddess of Nature’ and considering the Kid Icarus universe is loosely based upon Greek mythology, it’s possible she is based upon Gaia, “mother of all living things”, Viridi is given a similar name in the chapter she’s introduced in: “ruler of all living things”. “Ruler of all living things” is no weak title, and Gaia was considered extremely powerful considering she gave birth to Zeus and all the other main Olympians. Of course, this is all conjecture, and without any real showing of Viridi’s individual power in the game, all I can do is consider her at least equal in terms of power with the other God’s in the game.

Next, let’s look at her forces. Viridi has quite the expansive army at her disposal with units numbering in the thousands(at least) at her disposal. Palutena mentions that her troops are made out of natural materials, which gives a good idea of just how big her army can get. Although her supply isn’t unlimited like the souls Hades uses to make his troops, it’s safe to say she won’t run out for a looooooonnng time. Another powerful weapon Viridi has at her disposal are reset bombs, nature’s equivalent of a nuclear bomb. These remarkably powerful bombs can obliterate anything not natural in a huge radius. We can gauge just how powerful they are from something Pit says in Chapter 15: “And I think you’re forgetting the massive reset bombs visible from space!”. Assuming Pit isn’t simply exaggerating, we can deduce that Viridi’s reset bombs are packing at least 84 terajoules of energy or the equivalent to 20,000 tons of TNT based on the first atomic bomb test. And before Pit destroyed her depot where these reset bombs were being made, she had an unlimited supply.

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Reset bombs are almost as explosive as Viridi herself!

Finally, let’s look at the most notable members of Viridi’s army: her three commanders. Pit manages to defeat all three of them throughout the course of the game, but what’s interesting is that every single one of them didn’t fight Pit at their full power and still gave him a difficult fight. The first commander Pit fights, Cragalanche, is a living boulder. He’s incredibly resilient, with Pit’s attacks doing a minuscule amount of damage thanks to his armoured body. So, how does Pit defeat him? Cragalanche has a weak spot on his back, which although hard to reach, is vulnerable to attacks. In the fight however, Virdi says that “he was supposed to get that fixed”. This means that it’s possible for Cragalanche to be even more formidable and difficult to beat. On top of this, despite his stout and heavy body, Cragalanche has been shown to be extremely fast in both his boss battle, and when he knocks Pit(a really fast flyer by the way) out of the air by rolling into him at the end of the Air Battle portion of Chapter 11. In fact, Cragalanche is on fire when this happens, so unless something else set him alight, he’d have to be travelling at a speed of at least Mach 5. That’s FIVE TIMES the speed of sound. Pretty impressive for a lump of rock.

But it’s nothing compared to her next commander: Arlon the Serene. Sure, he seems fairly powerful when you fight him, but nothing special. However, Arlon says this in Chapter 13: “I cannot tell you the reasons WHY this sanctum was built. But I can say that it runs on my powers. Without me, it’s just a husk, an empty shell, an orbiting house of cards.“. That means the Lunar Sanctum, a weapon so powerful that Palutena stated “makes reset bombs look like firecrackers” was run on Arlon’s powers. So he was able to control the Kid Icarus’ universe’s version of a Death Star and still greatly challenge Pit in battle. Arlon is someone you really don’t want to mess with. Finally, Phosphora’s power is probably the most obvious out of the three commanders. She can manipulate lightning in a variety of ways for both offensive and defensive purposes as well as turn into a lightning bolt herself. This allows her to move at speeds of at least 27,800 km/h. Over four times the speed of Cragalanche! The only reason Pit was able to beat her was because she was weakened from her fight with Thanatos, the GOD OF DEATH, a fight she actually managed to win.

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See that huge Death Star Laser? That’s all Arlon.

In conclusion, the power of Viridi and her army is certainly nothing to be scoffed at. It’s questionable whether Pit would even be able to beat her army if Viridi wasn’t also busy fighting Hades, and her commanders, if not for the weakened states they were in when Pit fought them. While her powers are nowhere near a universal threat, they are definitely great enough to threaten the entire planet; no small feat. Therefore, she gets a high power level in her own universe and an impressive overall power level. I hope you enjoyed reading the first post of this new series! If you enjoyed it or have any feedback or criticisms, then feel free to comment below so I can improve and make better quality posts.

Power Level: 60/100

Power Level in Own Universe: 90/100

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Top Five Favourite Awesomenauts

I’ve had lot’s of fun with Awesomenauts over the years. Seeing its ever-expanding roster get bigger with new, creative characters was one of the reasons I kept coming back to it. Sure, it may not have as many characters to choose from as other MOBA’s out there, but the characters it does have are so good that it doesn’t really matter. 32 different heroes is still quite impressive, especially for an Indie company! Yet despite its by-no-means-small amount of characters to pick from, people are still going to prefer some over others. Whether it’s for their abilities, their playstyle, or even their personality, I think it’s safe to say everyone has their favourites; including me! I’ve managed to narrow it down to five of the game’s playable intergalactic mercenaries. So, without further ado, let’s get on with it!

#5 Sentry X-58

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Sentry is feared in the Awesomenauts community for a reason. A multitude of reasons actually. His teleport is a great utility ability, allowing him to teleport to the battleground immediately for a surprise attack or to help save an ally in the nick of time. His proton mines are great for area denial, and dissuading even the tankiest of nauts from taking him head on. But most of all, it’s his brutal black hole that makes him a force to be reckoned with. Sentry can take in a portion of the damage done to him and convert it to power for his main weapon. Then, after firing it, it sucks any enemies, nauts and droids alike, towards its centre before exploding and dealing an insane amount of burst damage. In the right hands, Sentry is an unstoppable monster of a machine. The only reason I haven’t put him higher on this list is because, although strong, Sentry relies on his teammates to finish the enemies he traps in his black hole, and without a good team, there’s not really much he can do.

#4 Skree

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Skree. It’s hard to find a team composition he doesn’t work well with. No matter the situation, his abilities are always useful. He’s an interesting blend of mobility and area denial that’s just plain fun to use. His totem pole is just as useful for pushing enemy turrets as defending your own. His sawblade is an unforgiving weapon of destruction when used at the right time. His homing lightning rod couple with his seemingly trivial ability to float in the air makes him a fearsome chaser indeed on top of all this. Skree is easy to learn, but hard to truly master. There’s only one bad thing I can think of about him, and that’s the fact that his theme is sort of boring and doesn’t stand out much compared to the rest of the character themes in the game.

#3 Admiral Swiggins

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Ah, Swiggins! A true gentleman… or is it gentlesquid? This British space Admiral already got a lot of points for me for his love of tea, his hilariously bad puns and his gloriously British theme. But that’s not all there is to love about him! He has to be one of the most brutal and unforgiving supports in the game. Before you can even react, he’s hooked onto you and anchored you to the ground leaving you to be finished off by the rest of his team. Even without allies backing him up, he’s a force to be reckoned with thanks to his powerful anchor swing and rapid fire ink spray. This many-tentacled sentient squid is one of the single most fun and satisfying nauts to play in the game, and that’s why he gets the third spot on this list!

#2 Clunk

Clunk

Clunk is one of the least-played nauts in the game. Many are put off by his incredibly slow speed, the worst in the game, which makes it hard to get out of a bad situation. Or his painfully slow missiles. Or the fact that his explosion deals damage to him as well as his enemies. But I like Clunk. I like him a lot(why else would he be this high on the list?). Despite moving at the speed of a dead snail, he’s the tankiest naut in the game, with the highest health by far. His missiles can be as destructive as their real-life equivalent with the aid of some homing and speed upgrades. His explosion is one of the most damaging burst abilities in the game and no matter who you’re playing, you do not want to get caught in its radius. If that wasn’t enough, his lifestealing bite gives him massive sustain meaning he’s a constant, feared presence on the battlefield. Looking at Clunk, it’s easy to see why many are put off by his abilities and stats and consider him ‘weak’ compared to the rest of the game’s roster. But when you actually play him, when you apply tactics and use the environment like another one of his abilities, he’s nigh invincible. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much of a personality or a good theme, which is why he’s second on this list. There’s only one naut I like more…

#1 Max Focus

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Why is Max Focus my favourite naut in the game. Because he’s just so much damn fun to play as, and in the end, that’s what matters! He’s a fast paced character, relying on your ability to judge the best time to attack while also simultaneously keeping the pressure on your opponents. His two abilities, Scene Illumination and Slow-Mo Shot are easily dodged unless you catch the enemy off-guard, yet it’s never dissatisfying to fire them off. And when you manage to time it just right and obliterate the enemy team in one fell swoop, the satisfaction is overwhelming. As well as this, he’s also one of the fastest flyers with an insane amount of mobility. His extra verticality can be lifesaving when you need to get out of a bad situation quickly. It can also be used offensively too in conjunction with his floodlight which is the perfect basic attack for chasing enemy nauts. But the best part about him is easily his jovial personality and news reporter voice which is infinitely pleasing to my ears. And once you’ve heard his theme once, you won’t stop coming back for more. I never have a bad game with Max, not because I never lose, but because I never get tired of playing him and listening to his witty, rapid-fire quips.

Honourable Mentions

Derpl

Ayla

Genji

Smiles

Nibbs

So that was my Top Five Favourite Awesomenauts! It was no easy task to compose with over 30 nauts to choose from. I’m sure not everyone will agree with my list, so feel free to share your opinion in the comments below! I’m interested to hear what nauts everyone else seems to like!

Awesomenauts Review-The MOBA with Personality

Game Name: Awesomenauts

Platform: Microsoft Windows, Mac, Linux, Playstation 3(severely outdated), Xbox 360(severely outdated), Playstation 4, Xbox One

Developer: Ronimo Games

Publishers: Ronimo Games, DTP Entertainment

Price: Free!

It’s been a while since I’ve touched a MOBA. Despite how fun they can be, issues like the toxic, overly competitive community and bad hero balancing eventually pushed me away from the genre. I’m not sure whether I’ll go back to SMITE again, but I decided to try out another MOBA, one I’ve owned for the longest time and have played it a few brief stints over the years, but never really got into: Awesomenauts. There are many appealing aspects of this game from the moment you check it out. The ‘Saturday Morning Cartoon’ look, the fact that it features 2D gameplay rather than the usual top-down 3D or third-person 3D, its colourful characters. But looks can be deceiving. ‘You should never judge a book by its cover’ goes both ways, and it isn’t impossible for a game to be all looks and no substance. Is Awesomenauts a hidden gem of a MOBA? Or is there a reason it’s nowhere near as well-known or played as some of the other MOBA’s out there?

Before I get into the gameplay, I just have to talk about how much personality this game has. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the historically accurate design of the God’s in SMITE but their personality was just kind of… bland. Currently, there are a total of 32 characters, or ‘nauts’, in the game, and there’s not a single one I dislike. All of them have beautiful, vibrant designs and equally colourful personalities. Some of the character concepts alone could give the likes of Overwatch a run for its money. A space squid admiral who uses an anchor to ensnare and beat the living daylights out of anyone who may cross him. A pufferfish and plankton criminal duo who talk with a typical mobster accent. A psychopathic alien toddler with powerful psychic abilities. Every single one sticks out from the roster and manages to grab your attention.

Accompanying each naut is a unique, awesome theme that plays when you select them and get a killstreak. In other MOBA’s, the music only sticks in your head because you hear it over and over and over again, but in Awesomenauts, it’s so good that you’ll find yourself listening to it over and over again. As you gain experience and increase your naut’s level through playing matches, you’ll receive rewards such as avatar portraits, drop pod parts which can be used to make cosmetic drop pods, and awesomepoints(the game’s primary and only currency currently). As well as this, you can gain items for your naut. Items that you can purchase in-game to upgrade your naut. Each character has their own item upgrades instead of a big pool of shared item upgrades. There are four rows of six items in the shop and you can buy three items in each row, however, you don’t get all these items from the start as you need to unlock them by levelling up your naut. Personally, I think this is a bad design decision. Maybe it’s more streamlined and less intimidating, but overall it discourages people from trying out new nauts as it puts them at a disadvantage from the start; especially considering how some of the item upgrades are just really bad compared to others.

So, how does the gameplay stack up? Well, it depends on what you like about the MOBA genre. Unlike most other MOBA’s, each hero in Awesomenauts only has two abilities compared to the usual four. On the one hand, this simplifies things greatly and characters can get old pretty quickly if you like the more complex heroes seen in games like SMITE and LOL. On the other hand, I actually liked this gameplay change for a number of reasons. Only having two abilities means you need to be more cautious when you use them as you can quickly be left defenceless if you just fire them off willy nilly. This also places a greater emphasis on using the environment to your advantage. Despite there only being two gamemodes, a typical two lane base-destroying gamemode and a weekly brawl that has random modifiers like SMITE’s MOTD(Match of the Day), there are six, creative maps with unique designs. Awesomenauts has a much bigger emphasis on vertical gameplay due to it being 2D, and this coupled with multiple spots where you can become invisible to enemy players means how you use the environment is a much more important factor. I think it’s an interesting mechanic that further distinguishes Awesomenauts from all the other MOBA’s out there and I doubt it would work as well if the player had access to four abilities instead of two.

As someone who’s played almost 700 hours of SMITE, Awesomenauts is definitely better than its more popular competitors in some ways. It’s a MOBA, so toxic players are an inevitability, but surprisingly, I found that the community is angelic compared to the likes of SMITE. Due to having a smaller amount of characters, the roster is also pretty balanced as well for the most part. Except for Professor Yoolip. Fuck Yoolip. However, in some aspects, it’s worse…

I had to dedicate an entire paragraph to talking about just how bad this game is in the technical department. You thought the lag in SMITE or LOL was bad? Well, in Awesomenauts, instead of using dedicated servers, the game uses something called a P2P (Peer 2 Peer) networking system. This means that a random player is chosen to host the game, leading to an abundance of problems. Every two or so games, if you’re not lagging, at least one other person is. You’ll just be playing a match, only to suddenly get disconnected for seemingly no reason. Oftentimes, by the time you get back, the enemy team has already gained a significant enough advantage to win. I saw multiple hackers over my 370 hours of playtime; in one case, two in one day. It’s not uncommon for the match to suddenly grind to a halt as the game migrates the host. And these problems are present in almost every single game.

Overall, Awesomenauts is an incredibly fun, stylish MOBA that manages to stand out from the crowd with its wonderfully unique characters and 2D gameplay… when it works, that is. Awesomenauts is a game that is unfortunately plagued by many technical issues, mainly due to its Peer 2 Peer networking system. Lag, hackers, out-of-nowhere disconnects, five minute+ queue times. And the fanbase is so small that you’ll often get matched up against players with much more experience than you making for unfair, one-sided matches. On top of this, the game is still adjusting to its recent switch to Free-to-play so there aren’t many uses for Awesomepoints outside of buying nauts yet. If it wasn’t for all these problems then I could see Awesomenauts getting an 8, or possibly even a 9. But as of right now, there are simply too many issues that severely hinder what is otherwise probably the best MOBA I’ve played. Therefore, I can recommend it, but be prepared for a cavalcade of technical problems that may even put you off the game completely.

Pros:

  • Unique cartoony graphical style
  • 2D side view separates it from all the other MOBA’s
  • Good amount of characters to learn and play as
  • Is far, far less toxic than most MOBA communities
  • Maps are more interesting as there is a larger emphasis on using the environment to your advantage
  • Characters have a lot of personality
  • Characters are easier to learn as they only have two abilities and a basic attack
  • Game is fairly balanced for the most part
  • Free
  • Great soundtrack
  • Game is updated fairly regularly

Cons:

  • P2P(Peer 2 Peer) networking system leads to a multitude of problems, mainly lag for both you and other players
  • I saw multiple hackers, on one occasion, two in one day
  • You’re often kicked from a game for no reason
  • High difficulty curve
  • Awesomepoints don’t seem to have much use at the moment except for buying new nauts
  • The game discourages you from trying out new nauts as you don’t start off with all their items and need to level up to unlock them
  • Games are often very one-sided and hard to comeback from
  • Small community means you’ll often get matched against much more experienced players

Nitpicks:

  • Occasional games ruined by toxicity
  • Professor Yoolip is bullshit
  • Some people may dislike how simple Awesomenauts is compared to other MOBA’s
  • Team composition can make or break a game sometimes
  • The bots aren’t that great

Verdict: 7/10

Play the game for free on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/204300/Awesomenauts__the_2D_moba/

Jurassic Park Arcade Review-Kill, I mean, save the dinosaurs!

These kinds of Arcade games are inevitable. When Hollywood strikes gold with a winning franchise, it’s only a matter of time before they milk it as much as possible before the oil well eventually runs dry. So you end up with hundreds and hundreds of spinoffs, merchandise, collectables, and of course, an Arcade game or two. Some of these are better than others however, For example, the recent Walking Dead Arcade game fit right into the rail shooter genre. But Jurassic Park? Now that’s a recipe for disaster if I ever saw one! Or is it? Well, you’re reading this review so you probably want me to get on with answering that question already! Let’s take a look at 2015’s Jurassic Park Arcade!

In Jurassic Park Arcade, you play as a soldier trying to recapture three of Jurassic Park’s biggest dinosaurs: the Triceratops, T-Rex and Spinysaurus. Of course, there’s plenty of smaller dinosaurs in between but each of the three big dinosaurs get three levels for you to play through making for a total of nine levels. The shooting is as simple as it gets. There are your typical rail shooter enemies. Enemies that walk towards you and attack you if they get close enough, enemies that shoot destructible projectiles and weak bug enemies that come in large numbers. Bigger dinosaurs require you to shoot certain spots on their body when they attack to prevent them from damaging you. It’s straightforward, but I can’t say it’s not fun.

Thankfully the gameplay does extend further than that. There are various powerups which you can shoot to collect and use for a limited amount of time. Titan increases your gun’s power and fire rate substantially so it rips through enemies like they’re nothing. Freeze turns your bullets into a single ice ray which freezes enemy dinosaurs in their tracks. Finally, the Shock powerup bounces between enemies. As well as this, you can collect hidden amber which you can shoot to increase your score and fire grenades to clear the screen of dinosaurs. Again, this is really pushing the boundaries of the games’s incessant mission to try and convince you that you’re “Saving the dinosaurs!” despite the fact they shatter into a million pieces after being frozen.

Personally, I didn’t find the game that hard overall. It was nowhere near as easy as Transformers: Human Alliance but I can see kids beating a single level on a single credit with a bit of difficulty. I found most of the difficulty came from cheap shots obviously coded to force the player to put in more money to continue. There was one or two every level, so it wasn’t Panic Museum 2, but there were still a few moments where I thought: “Well that was unfair”. I think there’s a decent amount of challenge but most of this comes from the cheap moments where you need to know exactly where a dinosaur is and shoot them within 0.5 seconds to avoid damage.

One of my favourite parts of this game is just how ridiculous it gets. The sets in this game are something straight out of a Michael Bay movie. You can’t go five seconds without seeing some kind of explosion or outrageous stunt. An example is the first Triceratops stage. You’re chasing down the Triceratops who’s rampaging on some cliffs on a helicopter. That’s not too unbelievable right? Well, this arcade game has some of the most aggressive and hostile dinosaurs I think I’ve ever seen. Dozens of pterodactyls assault the helicopters and tear them apart so that they fall and crash… right after exploding of course. Raptors relentlessly chase you while you’re driving away on a jeep. Even the bugs seem to want you dead. One of the best parts of the level is when you jump out of the helicopter onto a jeep for seemingly no reason, shoot up some raptors, and then jump back onto the helicopter after the Triceratops rams you off the side of the cliff. And who can forget the tense moment where two herbivorous Brachiosaurus smash into a building and pick up a soldier with their teeth as he shouts “SHOOT THE NECK!!!”?

Overall, Jurassic Park Arcade is decent as far as rail shooters go. The gunplay is fun, and powerups keep it from getting too boring, but it’s nothing special. There aren’t very many enemy types, and the few there are aren’t very interesting either, falling into the typical rail shooter enemy archetypes. Nevertheless, I’d say the game is worth checking out. Why? Because it’s so utterly bonkers that you really need to experience the pure madness that is the game’s action sequences. Some parts could seriously give Resident Evil 6 a run for its money. Therefore, I recommend that you play a level or two, though I wouldn’t waste any more of your money after that as it really isn’t worth it.

Pros:

  • Full of hilarious, insane Michael Bay action
  • The game is pretty fair for the most part
  • Gunplay is decent
  • Multiple powerups keep the game from getting stale
  • Nine levels to complete in any order

Cons:

  • Only one weapon type
  • Game and gameplay is nothing special
  • Not many different enemy types

Verdict: 3/5

Difficulty: Medium

Cheapness: Occasional

Stranger Things Season Two Review-Bigger, But Not Necessarily Better

**THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE SECOND SEASON OF STRANGER THINGS**

Stranger Things. It’s easily one of the best shows in recent years combining 80’s nostalgia with a compelling supernatural mystery and an impressive cast of unforgettable characters. A year ago when I watched the first season, I found it near impeccable, a borderline masterpiece that I just couldn’t get out of my head. The first season left just enough questions unanswered that I was already foaming at the mouth for a new season despite it being an entire year away. I’m saying all this because, to be honest, the second season had a lot to live up, and that may be the reason why I found this season to be more… lacking than the last. Calm down, I still loved it, but there’s a distinct lack of certain things that made the first season so amazing. As a reviewer, it’s my job to try and give the season as balanced a review as possible, and that’s exactly what I intend to do. So, let’s take a look at the long awaited sequel shall we?

Let me start with the good because contrary to what the Internet will probably think, I enjoyed this season. Just because I didn’t like it as much as last season doesn’t mean I hate it. First of all, the technical aspects of the show have notably improved. The cinematography, editing and CGI have noticeably got better and more impressive since the last season. Transitions were smooth and fluid and the Upside Down looks even more horrifying than its ever been. As well as that, the actors are all still absolutely brilliant, almost every single one. Most(yes I said most, I’ll get to that in a minute) of the new actors are almost well-acted and fit right into the Stranger Things world only further proving that Stranger Things has to have one of the best casts in the history of live action shows. Almost every character was spectacular, but the prize has to go to Steve and Dustin’s bromance which seemingly came out of nowhere and still managed to be awesome!

Speaking of the new characters, almost all of them were interesting and a joy to watch. I loved it whenever Bob or Max came on screen. Bob has to be one of the most likeable characters on the show and Max has a distinct personality that had me intrigued from the start. Billy, Max’s older brother was very antagonistic and I found myself hating him whenever he came on screen… which is great! Antagonists should be exactly that. Finally, the new scientist guy that replaced Brenner, Owens, was quite the surprise. Rather than go the typical route and make him ‘Creepy Ass Uncaring Psychopath Version 2.0’ they make him a humane, surprisingly caring old man who’s just trying to keep people safe while doing his job. I didn’t give his character a second thought when he first appeared, but I was surprised by just how much sympathy I felt for him by the end of the season. The Stranger Things world feels more alive and bigger than it’s ever been but, well… you know where this is going if you’ve read the title.

This season feels like it’s just too big for its own good. For a start, the pacing is really off throughout the entire season. Things don’t really kick off until the end of episode four and when it really starts getting interesting at the end of episode six, the pace is COMPLETELY destroyed by the seventh episode. Episode seven focuses completely on Eleven which sounds great on paper, but it actually makes for what is probably the worst episode of the entire series. Apart from its pacing, the new characters introduced in this episode are uninteresting and are pretty much living stereotypes. Kali, Eleven’s sister, and the only remotely interesting one is extremely unlikable and is further hampered by-with all due respect to the actor-what has got to be one of the worst performances in the show. Her voice is bland and simply can’t decide on an accent. I thought she sounded British at first, but then it went to Indian, then American and then it kept ping ponging between them at random intervals. Okay, maybe it was the writing that did it, maybe Linnea Berthelsen is a decent actress, but it’s insanely jarring when one of the main characters of an episode is acted worse than Mike’s mother and father, characters that rarely appear in the show.

As well as this, some of the characters pretty much do nothing or next to nothing for the entire season. Natalie and Jonathan are the one’s affected the most by this. They aren’t even involved in the main conflict until the final two episodes! Instead of fighting against the Mind Flayer(the villain of this season) like the rest of the characters, they try to take down Hawkins and avenge Barb which ultimately leads to nothing. They go to see a conspiracy theorist(who is admittedly quite entertaining), help him send an incriminating tape to some newspapers and then seemingly just fall straight into the finale to continue doing nothing. Their whole arc just feels like setup for the next season. Then there’s Max. Don’t get me wrong, I like her character, but what did she actually do? She hangs around with the rest of the kids and acts as a love interest for Lucas and that’s pretty much it. One of the reasons I liked Season One so much is because all the characters were important to the story without knowing each other’s involvement which is what made it so kickass when they came together to fight their common enemy in the seventh episode. That’s just not here in this season. Max, Jonathan, Natalie and even MIKE never really get their defining moments.

Finally, I’d just like to talk about Bob. Again, I love him as a character. But now I can’t help brimming with rage every time I think about him. He’s killed off. And it’s cliched and stupid as fuck. In the penultimate episode, Joyce, Will and a few other characters are trapped in Hawkins with Demodogs stalking the corridors. Bob is the only one who can save them, but instead of making a noble sacrifice, he just feels like he died for some cheap feels because he was incredibly likeable. He’s pretty much the only character in the show that didn’t have flaws which just makes me hate myself for liking him. Maybe I would have taken his death better if it wasn’t caused by a series of cliched, infuriating plot conveniences. He forgets his gun in a life or death situation, a mop falls out of a cupboard alerting a Demodog, and when he get’s out alive, he just stands there waiting to die before a Demodog pounces on him. His death was EASILY avoidable, and when someone as dumb as me can see that, it’s just badly written.

Overall, despite the season’s glaring faults, I did enjoy watching it quite a lot. The characters are just as entertaining and memorable as I remember them, the technical aspects of the show have only got better and the majority of the new characters fit right into the Stranger Things universe. However, some of the characters do nothing all season, Bob’s death was stupid, there are pacing issues and well… everything about episode seven. Even the shadow monster/mind flayer which was hyped up massively leading up to Season Two barely appears at all. Around 50% of this season just feels like setup for future seasons as much as I hate to say it. Nevertheless, Stranger Things 2 is more of the same, winning formula present in the first season, so if you liked the first season, chances are you’re going to like the second one as well. Let’s just hope all the setup was worth it when Season Three is released…

Verdict: B

Top Five Kid Icarus Uprising Chapters

I know I’ve been making a lot of Kid Icarus posts lately but I’ve simply fallen in love with this game. After sixty hours of playtime, I’m still far away from completing it, and to be honest, I don’t think I ever want to complete it. There are 25 chapters/levels in Kid Icarus Uprising, and each one is great in its own way. I had a lot of difficulty making this list simply because I can’t stop playing each individual chapter. Every single one is fun to play through and brings something new to the table, whether it’s through gameplay, setting or the ever-hilarious dialogue. After much thought however, I think I’ve finally managed to narrow it down to my top five. So, let’s look at the five Kid Icarus chapters that I like the most!

#5 Chapter 8 The Space Pirate Ship

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“HOLY SHIT, this level is beautiful!” was my first reaction to this level, and after playing it multiple times over sixty hours of playtime it’s still my reaction. Despite the game’s visuals being crammed onto a tiny 3DS screen, there is no shortage of stunning levels. But “The Space Pirate Ship” easily takes the cake, eats it and goes back for seconds. I still have yet to 9.0 this chapter simply because I’m constantly distracted by just how breathtaking the chapter is. Anyway, I’ve raved about the graphics for too long now, how’s the gameplay? Well, the flying portion is spectacular and epic, and surprisingly the land portion is too. The space pirates themselves can be difficult to deal with but nothing beats fighting your way through underworld forces and space pirates alike on the wing of a colossal ship riding the cosmos like a surfer on a wave. Finally, the Kraken boss is pretty fair in terms of difficulty and it’s fun to fight as well. I have very few criticisms of this level, and for that it gets fifth place on this list!

#4 Chapter 13 The Lunar Sanctum

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You thought attacking a Space Pirate Ship was epic? Well, how about a DEATH STAR? Okay, it’s not exactly a Death Star, but it’s close enough. Arlon’s Lunar Sanctum starts off seemingly innocent with Pit singing a victory song. Then, suddenly, you’re dodging lasers and traps and enemies like an Asian dodges bullets in a Bullet Hell game. Strangely, after going back and playing it multiple times, the chapter isn’t nearly as difficult as I remember it. But it still feels difficult. This chapter constantly keeps you on your toes and is chock full of fast-paced action. The land battle portion is just as good and has just as much surprises as the air battle portion. There are even a few simple puzzles and an appearance from Dark Pit! Arlon himself is one of the best parts of this chapter; I mean, he’s voiced by Troy Baker forgodsake! And he makes a great boss too. He’s just the right amount of challenging and fun and he’s not really a boss you can just continually shoot until he dies thanks to his ability to blind you. Overall, the Lunar Sanctum is an epic level, and one of the most memorable in the game!

#3 Chapter 14 Lightning Battle 

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Let’s be real. You knew this chapter was going to be here. Who doesn’t like this level? I’ve looked up what chapters other people seem to like and ‘Lightning Battle’ is one almost everyone consistently likes. And it’s not hard to see why. For a start, this chapter has one of the best music pieces in the entire game. It’s so intense and awesome that I never get tired of listening to it. As well as that, the entire premise is just epic! The Underworld Army and Forces of Nature are locked in fierce battle with their commanders Thanatos and new character Phosphora, leading the charge. You get to chase down two incredibly skilled god, or god-like beings through a war-torn sky. This level is also incredibly detailed. As you go through the level, you see the Underworld Army and Forces of Nature actually fighting each other which is pretty neat. Finally, this chapter has a challenging land battle with an equally challenging and fast-paced boss. This entire chapter is just a rollercoaster ride that never slows down, and that’s why it gets the third spot on this list!

#2 Chapter 17 The Aurum Brain

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Why does no-one ever talk about this level? Seriously, it’s awesome! All of the Aurum chapters are phenomenal in their own right, but this one just goes above and beyond. It’s time to finish the Aurum once and for all, and EVERYONE is in on it. After fighting through an entire intergalactic army with the Underworld Army and Forces of Nature helping you in an epic air battle, Pyrrhon betrays you and takes control of the Aurum and all their units. When things seem hopeless, Viridi jumps in and stops you from falling to your death with a tiny platform. But it isn’t enough; after enduring countless Aurum assaults, Viridi’s forces are defeated… only for the freaking Centurions to jump in and help you finish Pyrrhon and the Aurum once and for all! There were so many moments in this chapter where I just lost my shit. Viridi dropping a RESET BOMB onto the Aurum fortress. The triumphant main theme kicking in when the Centurions lend a hand. But most of all, the banter between all the characters is some of the best in the game, which is saying a LOT. I still can’t help laughing at the ‘Sandwich tactic’ line followed by Viridi’s angry “SHUT UP HADES!!!!”. I have only one complaint about this level: the boss isn’t all that great or interesting. Nevertheless, I’d say ‘The Aurum Brain’ is one of the best chapters in Kid Icarus Uprising, and certainly one of the most underrated.

#1 Chapter 21 The Chaos Vortex

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The Chaos Kin arc was radically different from the rest of the game. Don’t get me wrong, there were serious moments outside of it, but the stakes were nowhere near as high. And this chapter is what it was all building up to. Lady Palutena’s soul has been taken into the Chaos Vortex by the Chaos Kin and so, Pit takes off after it. The flying portion is absolutely insane. It’s nothing like any of the other chapters. It’s unpredictable and full of surprises and tricks. Enemies that block your view and make it difficult to see what’s going on, shadowy hands that pop up out of nowhere, Pit doppelgangers(no, I’m not talking about Dark Pit), fake Chaos Kin. This level will constantly keep you on your guard and throw obstacle after obstacle at you at a fervent pace. After a pulse-pounding chase, the Chaos Kin then throws everything it has at you. Thirteen waves. Thirteen waves of your history to fight against. Underworld troops, the forces of nature, space pirates, aurum, centurions. They’re all here, and all of them want your blood. Halfway through, Dark Pit joins in and together you slaughter dozens of enemies in an epic battle for Palutena’s soul. I instantly knew this chapter was going to be one of my favourites only one minute in. And then it surpassed my expectations. I have nothing more to say. As far as I’m concerned, no other chapter can capture the pure… chaos of ‘The Chaos Vortex’.

Honourable Mentions

Chapter 15-The Aurum Core

Chapter 16-The Aurum Hive

Chapter 1-The Return of Palutena

Chapter 19-The Lightning Chariot

Chapter 4-The Reaper Fortress

So that was my Top Five Favourite Chapters in Kid Icarus Uprising! I don’t think there was a single chapter I didn’t like which made compiling this list quite difficult. Nevertheless, I had fun writing it! I’m interested to hear what chapters other people enjoyed the most so feel free to share your own opinions in the comments below!

Sanctum Review-Shoot Later, Build Towers First

Game Name: Sanctum

Platform: Microsoft Windows, Mac

Developer: Coffee Stain Studios

Publisher: Coffee Stain Studios

Price: £6.99(£13.99 with DLC’s) or $9.99($18.99 with DLC’s)

You may not believe this, but Coffee Stain Studios made a number of games before their big hit: Goat Simulator. One of the first was a game you may or may not have heard of before: Sanctum. Like many of the Indie games I’ve been covering lately, it combined two genres which, at first glance, don’t work well with each other. If you hadn’t deduced the answer from the title, Sanctum combines the simple, shooty mindlessness of a First-person-shooter with the mentally challenging strategy native to tower-defense games. It’s seemingly a recipe for dis-you know what? Screw it! You know how this works. Let’s just get on with the review!

Each level in Sanctum is split into two parts: the building phase, and the extermination phase. You can probably guess what each phase involves. During the building phase in between waves, you get as long as you want to build a massive maze, build and upgrade towers, and upgrade the three weapons you chose at the start of the level. When you’ve finished and have run out of resources, you press enter to start the next wave, causing the monsters to start attacking and giving you the ability to use your weapons. There are a multitude of weapons at your disposal: a rocket launcher, a sniper rifle, a shock gun, a shotgun e.t.c. Certain weapons work better on certain enemies such as explosives working better on enemies that come in large groups and sniper rifles working best on heavily armoured enemies with vulnerable weak points so it’s best to choose a variety.

Of course, Sanctum being a tower defense game, you can expect a range of different towers. Some are quite typical such as the gatling towers and slowing fields while others differ from the typical tower roster such as scatter lasers and holo blocks that increase the damage of your weapon shots when they go through them. The enemy types are not lacking either. There are a dozen different enemies of all shapes and sizes that force you to constantly change up your strategy. Runners and walkers are weak but come in great numbers. Bobble heads are completely invulnerable to all damage except to their small, hard-to-hit head. Chargers go really fast on straight lines but have to slow down to turn corners. With all these options, the game gives you plenty of room to experiment and try out new strategies and tactics. If that’s your thing of course. While Sanctum is incredibly difficult, the game is still very beatable for complete strategy dunces such as myself on the lower difficulty levels.

Sadly, although the gameplay is solid and interesting, there isn’t much more reason to buy the game. In its base form, the game is woefully lacking in content. There are only six base levels along with two free DLC levels unless you buy the two map packs or the version of the game that includes both map packs. I think the developers realised that their game didn’t have much lasting content at one point and decided to stretch out the levels as a result. Most levels have around thirty waves, which if you take into account the amount of building and shooting you do, is a lot. Levels can last well over an hour which just makes them feel long and dragged out. Thankfully, there are checkpoints every 4-5 waves so you can always complete it partway then come back to it later. Nevertheless, if it wasn’t for the dragged out levels, the game would probably only take 4-5 hours to beat.

On top of this, there is no real story to speak of. And I don’t just mean there are a few bits of lore scattered here and there, there is literally no story. I had to check the game’s Wikipedia page just to confirm the game at least had a background for why I’m massacring hundreds of creatures from the local wildlife. Each enemy in the game has a small description in the pause menu which is a nice touch but apart from that there’s nothing. I’m not saying the game has to have an extremely memorable and well-written story but just the smallest of cutscenes would have sufficed. As it is, the game is basically a collection of levels with different layouts and waves, and there’s not even that many of them.

In its base state, the game just feels… incomplete. The DLC will add a bit of replayability but it does virtually nothing to expand the game. Despite this, the game isn’t really all that bad. The game can be fun for tacticians and twitch shooters alike and if you don’t mind slogging your way through more of the same, then the different difficulty levels and achievements will keep you occupied for a while. If you go into the game with high expectations though, you’ll be sorely disappointed. I feel like this game has a solid concept, but it just hasn’t really been explored all that much yet. Maybe the sequel will fill all the gaps this game failed to patch up…

Pros:

  • Numerous different enemy types
  • Fun, strategic and skill-based gameplay
  • Loadouts allow you to customise your playstyle
  • Incredibly challenging
  • Base game is relatively cheap
  • Plenty of achievements to add replayability
  • Graphics are decent
  • Multiplayer mode can be fun

Cons:

  • Not much content unless you buy the DLC
  • Levels go on waaaaaayyyy too long
  • Not that many different levels
  • Gameplay can get quite repetitive
  • No real story to speak of
  • Waves in survival mode are randomised meaning you can get screwed over by the RNG
  • The playerbase is dead so it’s hard to find a multiplayer game

Verdict: 5.5/10

Buy the game on Steam here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/91600/Sanctum/

American Vandal Review-More Than Just A Four Hour Dick Joke

I think it’s safe to say that nobody expected this. With the constant stream of quality shows that Netflix keep putting out, everyone was more than surprised when a dick documentary came out of nowhere to relative fanfare. Surely, not even the currently most popular online streaming service can turn such an absurd idea into one of the best shows ever conceived by humankind? Upon seeing the trailer, I also thought such a feat was impossible. I thought it was hilarious that they were seriously going through with it. I even had to check it was the official Netflix Youtube channel afterwards. Despite low expectations, I nevertheless decided to watch the first episode of the show. And then I watched the entire series. Why? Because it’s just so damn good! If you haven’t seen the trailer, the series focuses on Dylan Maxwell; a problem student who gets accused of spray painting dicks on twenty-one staff cars at his school. Two other students, aspiring film-maker Peter Maldonado and his friend Sam Ecklund attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery and prove Dylan innocent. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous! But seriously, read on for a bit longer and I’ll explain just how good this show actually is.

Comedy is the main focus of “American Vandal” and, surprisingly, it’s pretty damn funny. You’d think four hours of relentless dick and genital jokes would get boring after the first episode but they keep finding more creative and more hilarious ways to present it. One episode has a crude simulation of a girl jerking off a guy for reasons that are really too ridiculous-yet surprisingly makes a whole lot of sense-to get into here. Another episode has the main character’s partner edit a section of the documentary explaining how he could be responsible for drawing the dicks because he ‘loves cock’ and ‘jerks off to American apparel magazines’. Hell, even the episode names made me snigger. Each one is some bad innuendo relating to dicks: “A Limp Alibi”, “Premature Theories”, “Climax”. Even if you do eventually tire of the jokes(I didn’t), you still have to admit they have some serious balls for managing to keep up this immature gag for eight episodes and over four hours.

As well as this, the show finds other ways to entertain and humour its audience. If you’ve ever watched a crime documentary such as “True Crime” then you’re sure to love “American Vandal” as it’s a spoof of the entire genre. Despite the rampant ridiculousness of the whole affair, almost everyone(though mainly Peter) treats the case incredibly seriously. The eight-episode series is full to the absolute brim with cliches from the genre, heck, many of the characters are cliches in themselves. I’ve never really watched a crime documentary before but even I was audibly laughing at some of the jabs at the relatively popular genre.

The cliches aren’t the only thing American Vandal takes though. As well as being a spoof, the mystery behind who drew the dicks is actually pretty well-written and mysterious. There are numerous twists and turns, mind-blow moments and shady characters, but best of all, the methods Peter and Sam use to catch the culprit are interesting and genuine. One of my favourite episodes involves the two main characters going over tons of recorded footage from a party to try and identify the culprit picking up the spray paint can. Another episode involves them going over nine different potential suspects and looking at their alibi’s and motives, including Sam and Peter themselves. I would say more but the series is so damn good that you don’t want to be spoiled at all. Yes, I seriously said that about a documentary that focuses on dicks.

All of the characters, despite most of them being cliches, still manage to feel real, in part because they’re really well-acted. Never once was my suspension of belief broken by something ridiculous or nonsensical one of the characters did. I could easily imagine them going to my high school when I still went to school. There are so many good characters but my favourite has to be Mr. Krazinski. I could write down several pages about how awesome he is but you really don’t want this character spoiled for you. There are only a few ‘bad things’ about the show for me personally. Some of the episodes do feel like filler though that doesn’t make them any less entertaining to watch. The ending is also somewhat bittersweet and dissatisfying though I’m honestly still deciding whether I liked the ending or not so it might be different for you.

Overall, American Vandal is not just a great show, but one of the best shows I’ve watched on Netflix. Though part of that may have been my low expectations going in. It’s close to a masterpiece with very few flaws as far as I can tell. Stranger Thing Season 2 may actually have some competition. American Vandal is a masterpiece, and the epitome of the new ‘dick documentary’ genre. No, this isn’t an extremely early April Fools joke. Seriously, go to Netflix and check it out! I can’t really say any more to convince you.

Favourite Episode: The fifth episode where they analyse a bunch of video footage from an out-of-control party in an attempt to catch the killer picking up the ‘murder weapon’.

Favourite Character: Sam Ecklund, Peter’s faithful partner and friend. Risks his relationships with other people, his popularity and his school life to help Peter with his documentary. A true bro.

Verdict: A-

Top Nine Kid Icarus Uprising Weapons

Kid Icarus Uprising was a surprisingly strong return to a franchise over two decades old, so much so that I’m still playing it now with well over fifty hours of playtime. You’d think the gameplay would get boring after that long, but fortunately, the game’s various weapon types keep things interesting. You can choose from nine weapon types in Uprising that keep things interesting. There’s your slow, but strong weapons like clubs and cannons, your fast but weak weapons like claws and bows and a bunch of other’s in between. Although Project Sora did an outstanding job of balancing them all, it’s a given that some people will like some weapons more than others. So today I’m going to count down the weapon types in Kid Icarus Uprising, from the one I like the least to the one I like the most. It’s all but assured that the majority of you won’t completely agree with me, and that’s fine! Feel free to share your own favourite and least favourite weapons below! Anyway, let’s start with the weapon I like the least, the one I rarely ever use, the one I feel uncomfortable wielding…

#9 Arms

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Arms are a pain to use. That was the first sign that I wasn’t going to like the arm very much. Arms made me realise just how important weapon range is in this game. When I can barely deal with a few flying enemies despite fifty hours of playtime using this weapon type then it’s probably not that great. Want to deal with a single flying enemy? Be prepared to run through a dozen of their projectiles before you’re close enough to actually hit them. It has awesome melee damage but I never really liked using melee in Uprising. Getting up close to an enemy puts you at a major disadvantage when trying to avoid their attacks and you can only really focus on a single enemy at a time giving other enemies plenty of time to take pot shots at you. As well as that, a large amount of the enemies in the game are flying meaning you can’t melee most of them anyway. It’s probably more useful in multiplayer when fighting enemies up close but I disliked it so much in singleplayer that I haven’t tried it once in multiplayer. Therefore, arms get the lowest spot on this list.

#8 Cannons

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I simply don’t understand cannons. Maybe it’s because I neglected to use one for around thirty five hours of playtime. Maybe it’s because the first cannon I used was the Poseidon Cannon, which is considered one of the worst cannons. I hate using this weapon, well, in land battle anyway. In air battle, they’re fine. Although they’re not the fastest, they do decent damage and their explosive shots are useful for dealing with large groups of weak enemies. When you’re on land however… Do you like moving at the speed of a legless tortoise? Do you like dodging with all the grace of a three-legged hippo? Do you like your shots to not home at all and be affected by gravity making flying enemies incredibly frustrating to hit? It’s not like homing is important in a game where players can dash around at the speed of sound to avoid all your shots. The only thing I can give them over arms is that their range is at least decent meaning far-off enemies aren’t too much of a problem so long as they don’t move around too much. However, cannons are still one of my last picks for both multiplayer and singleplayer.

#7 Staffs

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I’ve never really liked sniper rifles in any game I’ve played, so it comes as no surprise I never really used it in Uprising. Call me a filthy casual, but I’m just not all that good at aiming, and the staff has absolutely zero homing. However, unlike with the arm and cannon, I can see why people would like this. It’s damage is pretty good and staffs have the longest range in the game making them perfect for taking out enemies from afar. The few times I’ve used them, they have proved to be pretty useful in taking out enemies without having to get dangerously close to them. And despite what people and the game seem to say, I’ve never been frustrated by how much they slow me down; even with the Ancient Staff! Nevertheless, I just don’t find staffs all that fun or exciting to use, so that’s why they get so low on this list.

#6 Orbitars

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Now we’re starting to get to the weapons I actually like to use! Orbitars are all-around pretty good, but what makes them special is that they don’t impede Pit’s movement speed at all! You’d think me being a fan of the speedier weapons, orbitars would get higher, but they have a few problems that keep them from getting any higher on this list. First of all, they’re virtually useless in close-combat. Their melee attacks are among the worst in the game. I know, I know! I said I didn’t really like melee, but it’s still an important part of a weapon as getting up close and personal can be unavoidable sometimes. As well as that, although they have a fast firing rate, their damage isn’t the best and neither is their knockback. Finally, for some reason I just don’t like the way you control them. Charged dash shots just feel stiff and awkward to use but that’s probably just me. Anyway, orbitars get the sixth spot on this list!

#5 Palms

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Palms are probably the easiest weapons to use in the game, at least, in my opinion. This is due in large part to the fact that they have the best homing of any weapon type in the game! As well as that, it’s shots are pretty fast meaning your opponents will have to deal with a constant barrage of incredibly difficult-to-dodge shots. Despite these powerful advantages however, the palm’s attacks are also relatively weak and their attacks don’t go far at all, meaning you’ll have to get up close to be a true threat. This doesn’t go great with another on of the palm’s weaknesses though, the fact that its melee damage is okay at best. Personally, I find it an absolute pain to deal with in multiplayer, but in singleplayer, it’s simply alright. Therefore, it gets the middle spot on this list! Not bad or annoying to use, but not amazing either.

#4 Claws

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Claws are just really damn fun to use. Although they’re not that strong, the increased movement speed and fire rate they gift you with ensure that you don’t even notice. They’re awesome in both melee and range though either way, you have to get up close making claws an extremely fast-paced and frantic weapon type to use. You never feel actually weakened by their weaknesses unlike with arms and cannons; if anything, they make you feel even more empowered. Claws are one of my first choices for battle along with the next three on this list. If you ever wanted to be wolverine, then claws are the weapon for you… and who doesn’t want to be wolverine?

#3 Bows

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Bows were my first choice of weapon when I started playing Uprising. They don’t slow you down much, the arrows they fire are pretty fast, their homing is great and their range is pretty good as well. Sure they don’t do much melee damage, or damage overall for that matter, but that didn’t bother me. Over time, bows fell from my Number One favourite weapon type but I still love using them! Personally I’ve grown to dislike their slow fire rate more than I did originally but they’re strengths more than make up for this small weakness! I don’t really know what else to say. It’s fast, it’s satisfying to control, but most importantly: it’s fun to use.

#2 Clubs

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When I first started playing Kid Icarus Uprising, I stayed far away from clubs. The lack of rapid fire and the greatly reduced movement speed turned me off using it instantly. I’ve always been one to go for the weaker but faster weapons in these types of games, prioritising my ability to dodge and deal consistent damage. But now, I’m glad I eventually decided to give the club a chance one day in a multiplayer match. Because now, it’s my second favourite weapon in the entire game(if you hadn’t already guessed)! Although it’s slow and cumbersome, hitting an enemy or group of enemies with its charged shot is the most satisfying feeling in the world. Watching them being haplessly thrown around in a tornado or other colossal projectile is incredibly rewarding.  Although it’s difficult to land a hit, when you do land one and destroy the majority of a player’s health bar, or an entire group of powerful enemies… the feeling is too good to describe in words. In my eyes, this makes the club more than worth its misgivings, and for that, it gets the Number Two spot.

#1 Blades

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My favourite weapon in Kid Icarus Uprising is the blade. It’s the weapon I’ve used the most by far and I still love to use it in both singleplayer and multiplayer. Overall, it’s the most balanced weapon type: good damage, good speed, good fire rate, good homing; jack-of-all-trades but the master of none. However, this suits me perfectly. If there’s one thing I like more than speed then it’s versatility. You can use blades however you want, for melee attacks, ranged attacks, a mixture of both. As well as that, it’s also the weapon that controls the smoothest for me. It’s no secret that Kid Icarus Uprising has bad controls, but I almost instantly got a grasp on blades while all the other weapon types took some adapting to get used to. In multiplayer, your opponents never know what to expect which is a huge advantage. Therefore, for all of these reasons, blades are easily my favourite weapon type in Kid Icarus Uprising.

So that was my Top Nine weapon types in Kid Icarus Uprising! Have you played Kid Icarus Uprising? If so, then feel free to share your opinions on the game’s various weapon types below! I’m interested to find out which weapon types people like and dislike. As always, any thoughts or feedback is welcome.

Ranking the Season Five Teen Titans Episodes From Worst to Best

Well, it’s finally here! It took me longer than expected, I’ll admit, but I’ve finally managed to rank the episodes of all five seasons! Season Five is wildly different from the other four seasons though. Despite this being Beast Boy’s season, more emphasis is put on heroes outside of the five main Titans meaning quite a few episodes don’t even have the Titans in at all. Some people liked this season, and as you might have guessed, some people hated it. What do I think? While I see where the people who dislike this season are coming from, I have a soft spot for this season. You have to admit, this season has some really good standalone episodes, and although the main story arc isn’t the best, it’s still pretty good. Like every season, Season Five has its fair share of both good and bad, and I think a lot of people judge this season for what it isn’t, not what it is. Anyway, I’ve blabbered on long enough. Let’s look at the final season of Teen Titans!

#13 Kole

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Kole was an easy choice for last place for me. It’s the most forgettable episode of the entire season, and possibly the entire series. I’m not saying the episode is bad, but it simply has nothing going for it. A new, superheroine with crystal powers is introduced as well as her caveman friend. Doctor Light, who’s probably the best part of the episode, shows up, and realises he can use her powers to power his machine. The Titans fight and stop him with the help of Kole’s caveman friend. The end. So much of this episode just feels unnecessary, like they were padding the episode out to fit a twenty minute time slot. A few of the scenes don’t even have any music over them, meaning there’s just an awkward silence at some points in the episode. I can’t even remember most of the episode, and if that isn’t proof that this Kole isn’t that great, then I don’t know what is. Thankfully, the rest of Season Five is much better.

#12 Homecoming Part Two

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Did you know, the writers actually thought of several names for this episode? Before they came up with ‘Homecoming’, the two-parter was actually called ‘The Doom Patrol be Unbearable Assholes for Forty Minutes’. Jokes aside, I can’t stand the Doom Patrol. They’re stubborn for the sake of being stubborn and honestly, I don’t understand how Beast Boy ever put up with their shit. I hated Mento more than I hate most villains on the show, Elasti-Girl just goes along with whatever he says, Robot Man is rude and thinks the Titans are ‘just kids, kids that saved the entire goddamn Earth… several times!”. Honestly, Negative Man is the only likeable one. They’re made out to be super-smart, super-skilled, top-notch superheroes yet their only plan is to just charge forward and leave their allies for dead if they fall slightly behind. I’m not saying this is a bad episode, I still thought it was decent as far as episodes of Teen Titans go, but I think there’s a reason the Doom Patrol never showed up again throughout the rest of the season.

#11 Homecoming Part One

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‘Homecoming Part One’ is better than the second part, mainly because most of the Doom Patrol aren’t there for half of the episode. This episode shows us a side of Beast Boy we’ve never seen before, a more serious side we haven’t even seen in the most dire of situations. The writing is decent and the action is great but there are better ways they could of introduced us to the Doom Patrol and the Brotherhood of Evil. Apart from that, there’s not much more I can say about this episode. It was a good start to the season, but not really a strong start, and that’s why it get’s so low on this list.

# 10 Things Change

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Probably the most controversial episode on this list. Was it a perfect ending to the series? Was it a horrible, ambiguous end that left too many loose strings? I’m not entirely sure, but what I do know is that this episode contains some serious feels. It was an interesting end to Beast Boy’s arc to say the least. After the Season Two finale, Terra pretty much disappeared completely from the show and I think the writers realised they couldn’t just ignore the character before the series’ end, especially in Beast Boy’s season! Although they finally addressed the character after over two seasons, it feels like we were left with more questions than answers by the end. Has Terra truly lost her memories? What is that element-absorbing robot thingy? Is Red X Jason Todd as many fans theorise, or someone else(I’m still sore he only showed up like two times in the entire series)? What the hell is in Robin’s briefcase?!?!? Sadly, we’ll most likely never get an answer to those questions. Whatever you think of the finale, you have to agree, there are worse, even more dissatisfying ways the series could have ended.

#9 Trust

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After the relatively underwhelming ‘Homecoming’, ‘Trust’ was the episode where this season really picked up. While it’s nowhere near the best episode of the season, ‘Trust’ managed to establish the Brotherhood of Evil as well, evil, as they had been hyped up to be in the previous two episodes. Madame Rogue is the most interesting member in my opinion and this episode showcases her mercilessness perfectly as she hunts down Hotspot in an attempt to hijack the Titan’s communication network. However, when you boil it down, this episode is just pure action and not really much else. It sets up the Brotherhood’s master plan for the finale but the episode is lacking in most other areas. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this episode greatly and it kept me tense in anticipation all the way through.

#8 Snowblind

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Snowblind is one of the most memorable episodes of the fifth season in my opinion, and that’s saying a lot. Season Five has its fair share of serious episodes, but this episode certainly takes the cake. While on a mission with the rest of the Titans, Starfire gets separated and overwhelmed by the cold-probably because she doesn’t know how to put some goddamn winter clothes on-only to be rescued by a mysterious Russian man named Red Star. The Titans later find out he was part of an experiment to make a perfect super soldier(because of course) and the radiation given off by his powers has created a powerful monster made of pure radioactive energy. Red Star uses his insane strength and power to defeat the monster but ends up releasing so much energy, that Starfire has to take him into space where he explodes into a supernova of pure energy presumably dying. It’s a touching episode, although not the best of the season, and Red Star has a much more fleshed-out character than most of the other heroes showcased in this season. My biggest problem however, is that he returns in ‘Titans Together’ seemingly unharmed completely dissipating the emotional impact of his sacrifice in this episode. Nevertheless, this is an excellent, feels-heavy episode.

# 7 Calling All Titans

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‘Calling All Titans’ is the first part of the season finale, and while it’s by no means bad, I was kind of expecting more. The Brain executes the plan we already knew he had formed back in ‘Trust’ so it wasn’t really a surprise as the Titans and honorary Titans get taken down one by one. At least it’s entertaining, but this doesn’t even happen until the second part of the episode. The first part is just the five main Titans taking communicators to their final allies. Some of them such as Jericho are important in the next episode but others such as Argent barely appear at all for the final battle. Don’t get me wrong, this episode was enjoyable to watch, but it mostly felt like setup for the next episode. Thankfully, it seems the setup in this episode was worth it, as the next episode, ‘Titans Together’ is much more interesting.

#6 Revved Up

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As I’ve said before, it seems like every season has an underrated episode that barely anyone talks about, yet alone praises, and it seems this trend hasn’t stopped for even one season. Revved Up is an awesome episode. It’s one of my personal favourites of the fifth season, and yet, I barely hear talk of this episode unless it’s about that goddamned suitcase(seriously, what the hell is in it?). This episode takes the wackiest of concepts, the aptly named ‘Wacky Races’ and put’s its own Teen Titans spin on things. Although it isn’t the best comedy episode of the season, it had me laughing non-stop at Cyborg, Beast Boy, Stafire, and especially Raven. Not to mention, this episode is significant for being the final episode of the series in which Red X makes an appearance! While not the main focus of the episode, he still makes this episode twice as good as it already was. As far as I’m concerned, one of the most underrated episodes in the entire series.

#5 Lightspeed

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Now this episode was unexpected. We knew we were going to get episodes focused on superheroes outside of the five main Teen Titans, but we never suspected that they’d also make an episode focused on a prominent villain in the series. Jinx was always the most interesting member of the Hive Five(six?) for me, yet for some reason, Gizmo seemed to be the member that got the most spotlight. Don’t get me wrong, Gizmo is funny, and he’s great in comedy episodes, but he’s not that great as a character. So after five seasons, Jinx finally got some development in one of the best episodes of the fifth season. Jinx wants to get into the Brotherhood of Evil and become a big-time villain by impressing Madame Rogue, one of the Brotherhood’s core members and her role model. But a run-in with the hero Kid Flash causes her to reconsider her life choices. Eventually, she becomes a hero, saves Kid Flash and even shows up in Titans Together to help fight the Brotherhood. This episode was great simply because it was nice to see a character outside of the Titans get some development, especially one who was there from almost the very start of the series.

#4 Hide and Seek

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You’d think that after an entire season dedicated to the character, the writers would have run out of episode ideas for Raven. Yet somehow, they still managed to make one more Raven episode for the final season. And fortunately, it doesn’t break the streak on the final hurdle. Hide and Seek is yet another brilliant episode focused on our favourite teenage sorceress. But it’s different from all the other Raven episodes. Rather than being dark and serious, Hide and Seek focuses on comedy. It’s a seemingly impossible task to write a lighthearted episode around Raven’s character but they still managed to pull it off. Raven is forced to escort some young, well, younger superheroes to safety before the Brotherhood of Evil gets to them. Suffice to say, they prove more than a handful, possibly even rivalling Trigon as Raven’s greatest threat. This episode is just a whole bunch of fun and I still greatly enjoy watching it. However, it isn’t the best comedy episode of the final season. That honour goes to…

#3 For Real

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Ah, Control Freak. The writers just couldn’t resist giving him another episode after the masterpiece in the fourth season that was “Don’t touch that Dial”. Our favourite couch potato and certified nerd isn’t facing the Teen Titans this time though, he’s facing their knockoffs: Titans East. There are just as many jokes as “Don’t Touch that Dial” and almost as many references. Some of the jokes in this episode are even more hilarious than the one’s in “Don’t Touch that Dial”. My favourite part of this episode has to be Control Freak’s chatroom chums. Almost everything they said had me gasping for air. As well as that, this episode has its fair share of action with Speedy’s challenge being one of the most epic. This episode represents everything great about the lighthearted, and fun half of Teen Titans, and for that, it get’s third place.

#2 Titans Together

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‘Titans Together’ is a really fun and entertaining episode. It isn’t anywhere near as serious as the other finales but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s a breath of fresh air. The episode starts with Beast Boy being an absolute badass, destroying some Brotherhood of Evil robots and finding shelter in a secret emergency base. The remnants of the Teen Titans appear: Pantha, Herald, Jericho and a distraught Mas. Despite the overwhelming odds, Beast Boy leads them on a rescue mission, and with the help of the five core Titans minus Robin, they manage to save the captured superheroes and defeat the Brotherhood. And that’s it. It certainly has the simplest plot of all the finales, but I still can’t help liking it. Watching all these different superheroes display their powers and use them to defeat the numerous villains the Titans have fought throughout the series is just epic. The giant battle at the end is action-packed and exciting but the stakes never really feel that high. It fits Beast Boy’s character perfectly, and that’s why it’s second on this list. Second only to…

#1 Go!

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It took a grand total of five seasons and sixty one episodes but we finally got an origin story for how the Teen Titans all met. And it was more than worth the wait. It is first place on this list after all. I end up liking this episode more a more the more I watch it. ‘Go!’ has the perfect blend of humour and action that the show is known for. The episode starts with Robin who recently moved to Jump City to fight crime when suddenly, an enraged Starfire lands on Earth and begins destroying the city. Eventually, Beast Boy and Cyborg show up to help fight her before Raven appears and shows them a more peaceful solution. They then decide to work as a team to thwart an alien invasion of massive magnitude. Every single one of the Titans are at their best in this episode and their performances made me feel nostalgic for when I watched the series for the first time. We even get the origin of Cyborg’s famous ‘booyah’! This episode is near flawless in my book, and so, it stands as the best episode of Season Five on this list.

And so, this saga has eventually come to its end. I’ve been wanting to make these lists for a long time, and this blog has finally allowed me to. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it in the end. This probably won’t be the last time I talk about Teen Titans, but it will probably be the last time I make a post about it that’s this big. I hope you all enjoyed reading these lists as much as I enjoyed writing them. Any and all opinions, criticisms and thoughts are welcome in the comments below. Thanks for all the support and feedback!