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Thursday, December 1, 2016

My Top Ten Favorite 3D Action Games 5-1

Now to finish this list and originally I was not expecting this to be so long, but if you know me you probably know why this is going to be long.

5. Metal Gear Rising
I so remember first hearing about Metal Gear Rising. I did know of Metal Gear around this time, but to be honest I only knew of the fourth game. Hell, I never even played any of those games after Rising. So, Rising was my first Metal Gear game and I am so glad I did. I felt it was a great way to introduce me to the overall franchise. The story was focused on its own path and did not really spoil anything about the past games either. The amount of humor and political satire was strong and on top of that it has some great action with amazing characters. At times, I will always find that one person saying the characters are not memorable and yet I just cannot see that. Ever since Armstrong was introduced, the internet was full of “Nanomachines son.” Even to this day I love using Monsoons quote about memes. Then Jetstream Sam is possibly tied with Raiden for my favorite Metal Gear character. So, one of the few gripes with this game is that it is quite short compared to other action games. The development of this game had to be quite fast since Platinum was just brought on so late into it. It is amazing how much they got done though and what a polished product it is. The parring system is by far one of the best mechanics in action games, this is up there with Nero’s grappling abilities and Dante’s style changes. It is precise all the time, it can be a bit overused, but enemies and mostly bosses will have attacks where that will not work. Also parrying is just blocking the attack you are going to get nowhere fast if you focus on a defensive stance for too long. Even the engine with how anything can get cut is beyond mind blowing to me and then we have the nice visuals when you cut through those annoying foes. Mostly because you can rip out electronic spines out from them or just make them into mush. The game even has a great challenge mode and the great DLC which is free right now if I am correct. You get to play as two of the bosses from the game and they play incredibly different from Raiden. Then there are even challenges for those two characters and one gets a new boss fight. This is then also by far one of the best soundtracks in an action game as those rock tracks with intense vocals and well written lyrics just give many fights the additional amount of excitement. Metal Gear Rising is a smaller package compared to other games on this list, but it just shines brightly just like the others.

4. Devil May Cry 3
Now we are getting to where Dante has been fully revived after the abysmal second game of the franchise. Dante in the second game barely ever talked and it killed his cool yet goofy persona. Then comes the new game in the franchise where we start at the beginning of Dante’s story and how does it start? With Dante eating pizza like a glutton, breaking jukeboxes, using his foes as a skateboard, breaking ceiling fans, and then finishing things off with billiard balls. I do love the fourth game’s opening sequence more, but this is a close second. Not only was this a change for the better, the series pretty much helped out the genre in general. We had a huge arsenal of weapons that could be switched around, but you could only carry two at a time for both physical weapons and guns. Personally, I like that for a sense of challenge, but in the fourth game just having all the weapons is forgiving. That is a big reason why I do love the third game the most, it is a challenging game and the special edition proves how harder the game could get. This is then the game that got to showcase the beginning of Dante facing off with Vergil which is still my all-time favorite rivalry. Vergil has a character to overcome really meant a lot in both story and how it felt as a gamer. Vergil has always been a tough boss and then you get to play as him in the special edition! There are also ton of other bosses that are incredibly tough to beat if you are going in blind. This was also the introduction of different styles you can use to play leaving tons of freedom for your personal style. I was a trickster user for most of the time as dodging was extremely helpful in that game. Meanwhile I can see a weapon master dominating a boss through aggressive play. Other fun features were the exploration in this game, I felt it did better than the first game with some tricky rooms that will punish you for messing up, but at the same time if you want to risk it, you can farm for orbs there. The overall area felt large, but easy to explore at the same time. With the original game and four it felt a bit too linear which is not bad if you give a great amount of fights, but with the third game I felt like one of the challenges was finding the fastest way through the level. Overall this game is hard and yet so satisfying to defeat. So get yourself a pizza and have a blast.
I got a poster of this in my room!

3. Bayonetta 2
Now we finally get to Bayonetta! Now I will admit that the first game is another one of those fun challenges. At times though it can be out right unforgiving with those quick time events that lead into instant deaths all the time! Some of them even had awkward timing just making that even more of a hassle. Still Bayonetta one is pretty much the eleventh spot on this list. What makes Bayonetta two greater though? Well many things have been changed to be a bit more forgiving, but at the same time it leaves more of a challenge surprisingly. This time however the challenges are a bit more fun to do. What also helps is how the weapons feel in this game. I personally like some of the varied weapons and by that, I mean the ones that act differently than the first two weapons. In the second game, you had the Kafka which was an awesome poisonous bow and arrow. The whips were great for grapples and could lead to some bigger combos. Then there was the giant hammer which could do massive damage. My personal favorite was the Rakasha blades and having them on both hands and feet just made me ecstatic. Having some weapons being for both hands and feet was a strong idea and Bayonetta 1 only had that for the default weapons. There was even the new Climax Mode that replaced the wicked weaves that relies on how you can build meter. Bayonetta 2 also had more to do in terms of gameplay. There were more outfits to have that could have you play as different characters like Jeane (just like Bayo 1), Rodin, and even Rose! Bayonetta 2 also has one of the best boss fights of all time! The fight against the Masked Lumen in chapter four was beyond amazing. It was fast and chaotic and yet I could tell what was going on. What also improved this game from the original was how it spliced in minigame sections, it reminded me of how Wonderful 101 did it where it just felt natural. One of those moments being a fight where you play as Madama Butterfly and even have a Star Fox like shooter section (if you got the Star Fox outfit on, you get to control an Arwing!) The other big factor to me was how Bayonetta was in this game, back then she had no memories and to be honest the amnesia cliché gets annoying at times. With the second game, Bayo had all her memories and with that had all of her attitude and the new design just felt better for her. Bayonetta 2 is easily just one of the best games ever and to be honest is better than what my number two and one on this list. Still this is a personal list and if you know me, you know what I have for my top two.
Still one of the best fights ever!

Honorable Mentions
Before getting to the top two of this list I want to give honor to some other titles that deserve some love.
God Hand
What an insane game this is! If you want to see how a speed runner plays an action game, then God Hand is that title. God Hand really gets rewarding if you remember the level design and how you use the combat abilities. On top of that it is easy to remember thanks to a fun presentation and crazy boss fights. It may not be special in its story, but this game sure is wacky and fun with it.

Transformers Devastation
This is the game my childhood always wanted and to top it off, it actually has some strong mechanics as well. Metal Gear Rising’s director helped out with this title so there were similar mechanics like parrying and this game even uses a Witch Time like function. Along with that all playable characters felt different and leaves room for freedom of how to play. The different weapons and upgrading them with stats or simply making them into stronger weapons was a great system. There were some great boss battles like the ones with Devastator and Shockwave. I do wish there was a Decepticon version where you get to play as Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Shockwave, and maybe someone like Cyclonis or make minigame sections with Soundwave’s little robots or a giant section with Devastator. Either way what we got so far was a strong title and I cannot wait for the sequel.

Pandora’s Tower
Even if this title is a bit more of an action RPG, it still counts as an action game none the less. To me this is how a good 3D Castlevannia can be done. It has a great area to explore with multiple levels and nice puzzles that remind me of DMC in some ways. The chain mechanic which could easily be a whip was strong with how it clings to the environment and the monsters’ skin. That with the boss fights were incredible as you have to find their weak points and literally rip their flesh off can be a nice challenge. Along with that there is a time limit that is fair, but none the less does give you a sense of caution all the time. Overall it is a fun and unique title to experience and this was another game saved by Operation Rainfall, so thank you again for that.

2. No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle
So, if this is the first time reading any of my articles regarding No More Heroes, this is possibly my favorite franchise. Sure, there are only two games with the first game being ported to the 360 and PS3, but anything that continues is a franchise. There is actually a bit more to No More Heroes as well as there is a short-animated feature for the series and a unique music collection that does continue the story in an odd way and that is saying something. To start off my love for No More Heroes I am going with the sequel and I can admit that the second game has some better mechanics than the original. First is the function of being able to change weapons on the fly and not just dealing with getting a more powerful Beam Katana after the other. This leaves room for a bit of freedom on how to play as there is the standard Blood Berry which is average in all categories. The previously strongest sword gets downgraded for the sequel and is now called the Camellia as it may be weaker than the standard, but the speed of this blade and combo potential is higher, the blade also has a better chance at making people dizzy and lifting them in the air. The Peony is a large and slow weapon that grows bigger as the Ecstasy Meter gets filled, you can go to some insane lengths with that blade. Then we got the Rose Nasty which is the fastest, but it will lose charge quickly, no worries though as it is fast to recharge. Other than that, some of the level design is stronger than the first game with one being this huge mall level where you start out clearing out a gauntlet of men in the parking lot and then climbing up the mall with many people hiding in the isles. Now there are certain things that hold this game back though. The sequel tried to use different playable characters with Shinobu for two levels and Henry Cooldown for one boss fight. Personally, I think Henry should have more to do mostly because playing as Shinobu can get annoying. Also, her boss fights did get some hindrances because of that as well. Then there is the ending of the second game which has one annoying final boss fight with the second form being ungodly evil. The first and third forms are too easy though and really kills the momentum. I will say the build up to the final boss was strong with three of those bosses being some of my favorites for games in general. The mini games got better in the second game by doing 8-bit inspired games, except for the scorpion mini game which got worse in this title. Then getting stronger had a bit more of a challenge with a rhythm styled game which is fun, but those higher levels are brutal, at least the game is forgiving about how many times you can screw up. Then there were Revenge Missions which are okay I guess, just kind of felt flat, especially we were killing the men who killed an important friend to Travis and they just get side content. The music is also stronger in this title with Kill or be Killed and Philistine being songs I just listen to on a daily basis. Then the story is still as silly as ever, but it surprisingly had some dramatic moments which actually worked for what this game was doing over the original. One of the final factors to this title is how it looks. The game looks fantastic considering it is a Wii title and has some lovely areas to look at. It goes for this semi HD look as the character models are strong as well. Overall, No More Heroes 2 is a close second, but the original title to me is stronger.
Still to this day my favorite boss character.

1. No More Heroes
I have gone into the depths of hell for this game. I literally have done a nine-page essay and even extended it for this game. There is no doubt that I love No More Heroes. While the second game has some lovely features to it and looks gorgeous. The original No More Heroes feels better as a complete package. There are less boss fights in this game, but there is only like one that is boring. Then there is even like one or two others ones that do feel easy and yet they are still well designed fights. The second game easily had more flubs with some of their boss fights or just add in some horrible mechanics like the motorcycle fight! The original game did play it a bit safer compared to the sequel and that is only because the first game was a pretty risky title already. No More Heroes 1 or 2 still keeps a strong unique taste to them. Liking one or the other more is quite fine it is up to how you taste the product itself. I enjoy the first title because of how complete this one feels compared to the sequel. First there is the city which you can explore and while not being the best I still prefer exploring that area for some odd reason. I am completely fine that it was gone in the sequel and yet I still love the oddly designed town of Santa Destroy in the first game. The level design in the first title is still strong as this title knew on how to vary things up. The good thing with the variations is that the controls were good and did not function like that terrible motorcycle fight in Desperate Struggle! Sorry, I just really hate that moment. Along with that the story felt more compact and rich thanks to each boss having something to do with a theme, while the second game did have some filler bosses. Then I do love the buildup in the second game more than the first, but the final two battles in the first game and leagues above the final fight in the sequel. 
Another aspect I do love in this game is that is a great challenge game. In the first game, you would buy newer and stronger weapons, but you can always go back to the weaker ones. I did a challenge with this game on the hardest difficulty which is only unlockable through new game+ and I went through the game with the fewest upgrades possible. There are some limits to that as you are forced to start and end the game with the strongest beam katana, but with no other equips to it, it will be losing charge a lot so that is still a risky weapon right there considering who is at the end of the game. Still I accomplished that and felt great for it. In the second game, you can literally go no upgrades, but as I said before that final boss is so brutal with that, that it stops being a fun challenge. I did that once for Desperate Struggle and I had some leftover rage to deal with while in the first game, it felt accomplishing. One of those big reasons is how the combat felt in the first one. There is an ability called side step where in the middle of blocking attacks you can slide out and get more hits on any foe. This lead to reading the bosses movements and kind of expose weak points in how they fight. Some bosses will still dodge that though so be careful. While in Desperate Struggle it was harder to do that and when you did it did not have the payoff like it did in the first game. Then with the mini games I personally like them more because of the joke they imply. For some reason just standing around filling gas is just funny to me while I play No More Heroes. Then there were Assassination Missions which were just fights with bigger pay and then there was a challenge mode where you had special levels where you cannot get hit at all. I really did miss those from the sequel and I did all of them even with the challenge I was doing. To this day there is one gold medal I cannot get and that is the Old City mission because you need to kill tons of dudes to get that and the Blood Berry is not designed for that. Overall, No More Heroes as a game felt more complete as it has many modes and still a better ratio of bosses compared to the sequel.

Well this is a huge reason why I split this list because of my love for No More Heroes. Again, both the first and second games are not the greatest and I can admit the likes of Bayonetta and Devil May Cry are better games. Yet I will always put No More Heroes at the top because of the personal value I have with it. To me it is one of the most unique games out there in terms of story and game play. Then for how much I love Bayonetta and Dante, Travis is still my second favorite character of games. Suda 51 is my all-time favorite director and designer for video games because of how unique all his titles feel. Not to say anything terrible about Bayonetta, but it was being the successor to Devil May Cry while the series was on hiatus. Did Bayonetta do many things new, yes. Still that series was mostly created because of Devil May Cry 4, so the uniqueness is a bit lower. Then there are many other action games that just try to be Devil May Cry as well and yet I know of nothing else that feels like No More Heroes, hell even the sequel does not feel like the first game which is because Suda was not the head director of that title, but I still feel that he would have changed it up regardless since that is how he is. So, the unique flair is why I put No More Heroes at the top, but this is also why I love action games. There are many unique action games being made even now. As I said before the new Nier is taking on more of an action game approach and Scalebound is working with the idea of a semi-controllable partner in the middle of real time action. There is even Let It Die coming soon as it takes Dark Souls and makes into the crazy action game genre that I love. Even the reboot game called DmC still feels different from the main series which is why I still like the title and it is not the disaster Devil May Cry 2 was. That is why I love this genre, it still has the most unique titles and there are so many new things being done by the top developers for this genre. Hopefully Devil May Cry 5 will come soon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Top Ten Favorite 3D Action Games 10-6

Out of many genres that exist today, to me the action genre has only gotten stronger through the times. There have been plenty of actions games from the early days of video games. Final Fight, Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, and Battletoads were the big ones during that time. Things had to change though for the world of 3D graphics. Sadly, this just meant the death for many of these franchises. Now they still get their time in the light as Double Dragon had the amazing Double Dragon Neon title and Battletoads is getting a bit of a revival thanks to Microsoft adding them to existing franchises like Killer Instinct. The big reason why these franchises did stay in the ground though was because they could not translate to 3D well and while I think they do not need to be because again look at Double Dragon Neon, but either way Capcom tried 3D with Final Fight and that did not work at all, possibly making one of the worst action games to date. So, the action genre got turned completely on its head as we got many new names enter in the action genre. To this day, the company known as Platinum Games is becoming much larger that they are working with Square Enix to make the new Nier title and Scalebound is still on many radars. Now I will not be limiting this list to one per franchise because there are clearly new kings of this genre and they need their representation.

10. Killer is Dead
First off is a title that I felt got panned for the wrong reasons. To me this was Suda 51 getting back to something closer to No More Heroes. Now the big changes compared to No More Heroes was the skill tree and combo system the game had. The game is short and some of the mini games or side missions can be boring, but the main fighting in general is great. The system to me feels fluid and fast thanks to dodging and blocking in the game. A perfect dodge gets you a chance to give your foes a barrage of slices and such getting you a better combo. What was great with combos in Killer is Dead is that it makes your attacks faster and stronger. Stringing combos was strong in the game and it is possible to get these stronger attacks against boss characters if you know how to read them. Then just like No More Heroes, the boss fights were all around great. We had some unique ones with Alice becoming a giant insect like creature crawling on the wall, to David being an incredibly fast and aggressive fighter just like the main character, and my favorite being Hamada-Yama with being a near brick wall at first and learning how to block and counter attack and quickly needing to change strategies when he goes berserk. Overall as a full package, Killer is Dead does lack with some side content, but the main content including the story is nonsensical fun.
I am also a big fan of the many art styles in the game.

9. Madworld
This is not going to be the first time we hear of Platinum in this list. The same goes for Grasshopper and Capcom, but that is for later. Platinum Games’ first title was quite impressive that even today it is argued which was better, Madworld or No More Heroes and Desperate Struggle. For me the answer is quite obvious, but Madworld still has ton to offer that No More Heroes did not have. The style of the game is gorgeous. I love the black and white Sin City look this game had. Just showing that unique art styles still hold up to this day compared to hyper realistic graphics. Now Madworld is not a fast action game compared to other titles, but the level design was strong all around. There were many things to do in each of the stages and while some mini games were hard to do, they were still fun and silly. I always have trouble doing the seltzer mini game, but the imagery of it never gets old. Shoving a bottle down someone’s throat and sending them flying into spikes on cardboard pin up girls, yea this game can be quite insane. That is some of the fun in the game, you can find unique weapons in the levels and use them to create more mayhem. You can even use signs, trash cans, spiked fences, and much more ways to kill your prey.  There are even fun secrets in the game where my favorite levels are from the Asian Town sections. Now this game does have some bad to it as well. The majority of the Halloween sections are awful! I did enjoy the first level with the fun golf game, but the boss in that level is the worst and has a function that barely even works. The entire Frankenstein Monster’s level and boss fight is horrible with a small level and the fight being cheap and boring. Now the Elise boss fight was great though and it is somewhat thanks to… well let me just use this quote to explain it, “Awesome rack on her though!” Reminding me the announcers Greg Props and John DiMaggio have some of the best lines like “Awesome rack on her though!” Oh, I used that one before. Either way the game has a huge sense of humor with both the dialogue and presentation. Madworld may falter with some levels and a few of the boss fights, but the level design and overall fun combat saves the title. There is also the Black Baron, he alone makes this a great game.
The soundtrack is strong too and I am not usually a fan of this type of music.

8. Devil May Cry
The beginning of Devil May Cry and first time we get to see the incredible Dante. I will not lie; Devil May Cry is up there as one of my favorite franchises. There are really only two games that hurt the series a bit and that would-be Devil May Cry 2 which was just awful in many ways. Then DmC with some terrible design ideas in terms of the levels designs, combat choices, and the overall look and feel of that title. Now with the original Devil May Cry it was originally Resident Evil 4, but was changed to Devil May Cry because it was a bit too action orientated, quite funny seeing how Resident Evil 5 and 6 were intense action shooter games. This was the game that Hideki Kamiya worked on as he also worked on Viewtiful Joe during his time with Capcom. Kamiya knew how to make a complete package with the first game and I will not lie, even some of the future titles do not share that with the original. Now the reason why I am going to put 3 and 4 higher is because of the combat engines they had. It does feel a bit harsh doing this because the original game was well the first so just putting the other games higher having one of the reasons be the combat just seems a bit unfair to me. I do have some reasons though why I do prefer the later titles though. First is how Dante feels, Dante still did have his cool personality to him, but I personally enjoy the big goof ball he later became in 3 and 4. I also like the boss battles more in 3 and 4 which I will get to later. Now that is not to say the original has bad boss fights, that is so not true. Personally, I feel this game has one of the best in the entire series with the fights against Nelo Angelo. I will say though the variety during the time did not help this game in terms of the fights, but Kamiya soon fixed that with another franchise. Overall the original Devil May Cry still holds up to this day as a high pinnacle of 3D action games and it being one of the first still says a lot.

7. Wonderful 101
Back to Kamiya already, this game you can clearly tell was inspired by Viewtiful Joe and so be it, he created that franchise too so he can use similar feels to it mostly because he cannot even do Joe anymore… Anyways, Wonderful 101 came out for the Wii U and this game made me impressed on the technology the system had. Kamiya found out how to work with the gamepad for many new functions and hence these little mini games were perfectly tied in with the main game. Some of these things were little puzzles using both screens and even using the other screen to aim. What is also great about this title is that you can switch your view between gamepad and television so if you did not want to use it, go right ahead. I love it when games work with gimmicks that do not halt a game at all. The flow of this title is near perfect and this is easily the best story Platinum ever had. Wonderful 101 is a heavy homage to superheroes everywhere. The Sentai roots are extremely clear and I think there is even some Carranger inspired jokes in the game. Now some faults with the game is that some of the levels can go a bit too long. I do get bored with some certain levels and if I am playing it again, I would most likely just select the levels I want. Then to be honest I would just play the boss fights for the majority of the time. Then with the main combat, it can have some trouble with when you are flooded with foes and things can get overwhelming. Now there are great things about the combat, the amount of skills and moves are amazing and being able to mix and match leaves things on how you want to play. Then with forming Unite Morphs is extremely easy with any set of controls. I will say the only one I get small problem with is Hammer, but I just have to get used to it and I got it down after a few tries. This game even includes some amazing boss fights with all of them being top contenders. Now the final battle is clearly the best, but the fights with Vorrken are extremely great as well. I can also never forget about the Punch-Out inspired robot fights in the game. Then with the story, it just dragged me in so easily thanks to the comedy and dramatic moments. Overall this was great game with some little gameplay sections holding it back, but most of it does have to do with your depth perception at times.

6. Devil May Cry 4

Here we go now boys and girls, Devil May Cry had one great title to be on hiatus on for the main series and seeing how it got a Special Edition proves how things can be improved because I am basing this on the original product still. Now one thing that I love about this title was the overall design. The levels looked gorgeous with the rustic feel to everything. This title even got a bit classy with the introduction and great music choice. This game has one of the best introductions of all games with that lovely piano and operatic song and seeing Nero dish out some monsters. There is something special when an action game can pull off a slow and beautiful song without it hindering the feel of the action. Now I will admit some of the backtracking can get a bit annoying and repeating some of the levels was not an overall good choice either. Now going back to the levels did have some ups though. First you got to play as Dante and there were some changes, but repeating boss fights was a bit sad. At least the boss fights were strong enough to permit a repeat fight though. Then playing as Nero is really amazing. He has a great grapple function and there are many animations with it that never get old to see. I also love Nero’s sword where you can charge it up for better damage. Playing as Dante was extremely fun and unlike Devil May Cry 3 where you were limited to two weapons you equipped per level, this time you have full access to all the weapons! It was not hindering at all too because switching weapons was so easy and if you had any trouble during the fights, the good old pause method still works fine. This is also my favorite Dante to date in terms of design. In the fourth game Dante has the silly yet cool look at the same time. It just speaks true to his character a complete badass who can be extremely goofy as well. I even love how Dante is portrayed in this game, this is after the original game and no one comes close to Mundus’ level so Dante is just shaking everyone off with ease. It just creates this strong image for the character as Dante to me is one of the strongest characters in fiction. Overall, Devil May Cry 4 is extremely beautiful and badass at the same time and that combination can be quite rare at times.
I am so used to Dante that this is pretty much normal to me.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Kamen Rider Ideas Part 5

Last time I did the post I got my thoughts with my idea on a sequel rider series from Myth to Legend and repeating the war motif, but with modern war aspects with Military. Now I dive into where the Legend powers are far more diverse from each other, but in the end they still share connections.

Kamen Rider Drift

Military was a mechanical rider and to continue in that aspect I thought of a racing rider called Drift. Being heavily inspired by Accel and for reference I thought of this name before Drive, but Drive did help me finalize some of the ideas. One of the big ones was the aspect of having three riders in this one well four counting the villain rider. A big thing with Accel and Drive is that were inspired by motorcycles and cars. Originally I was thinking about having him being a skate racer similar to how Air Gear had, but I decided to stick to vehicles since it was easier to work with. Drift gets his name from his turning abilities which can also help his fighting abilities. When he gets at the right speeds and does a quick turn or a drift, he can throw his arms and legs in slice like motions and be able to cut with that ability. Now in the beginning he does not discover this strength as the beginning of his story is simply racing with other competitors which is where Carranger helped me out. There will be some absurd racers Drift will have to face as I am trying to focus on a comedic aspect with this idea. Now there will still be a big bad, but just like how Carranger had bikers be the villains the same is for Drift and they simply love the high speeds and while they have their fun it causes destruction.

Kamen Rider Motor, Throttle, Rebel

 I am getting to the secondary riders first before getting into other forms because the riders in this idea of mine have an interesting ability of form changing or switching to be more accurate. Kamen Rider Motor is a hot shot racer, but sadly his win streak was struck down and has been having trouble keeping up. What actually happened is that the bikers actually sabotaged one of the races he was in and when he discovers the truth he equips his racing suit with aggressive abilities. The Motor Gear can make him jump higher than any normal racer and with that ability he focuses on his kicks. His favorite move is the spin cycle where he spins vertically and keeps kicking his foes. Throttle is actually an ex-wrestler trying to expand his career and while Drift and Motor were racers, their suits still have combat abilities. Well with Throttle his suit is already ready for combat from his wrestling days. Throttle may not be the fastest racer, but if he catches up to his foes he can cause them to fall back. He loves to throw his foes around and with the Throttle engine he can enhance his throws and even increase his overall power, let's say he gives on hell of a hug. Rebel is then the leader of the biker gang and of course his inspiration is of course the big and flashy motorcycles. Rebel is a mess of a racer, but within that mess he holds a mixture of abilities. He can use the Drift, Motor, and Throttle abilities, but not to the extent of the original users. Rebel is simply a madman and loves what he does.

Turbo, Jet, Engine, and Lightspeed

These are the four forms that the three hero riders can access as they can freely switch different types of gears. Drift is the owner of the Turbo Gear as it simply gives him a speed boost, but with that speed boost he can even slice with more power than ever. Motor owns the Jet Gear which gives him the ability of flight for limited times and with his ability to exceed normal jumping heights he can now stay afloat as well. Throttle keeps the Engine Gear which gives him a heat ability. When he holds onto his foes he can start this heating process where his foes' armor can easily melt. Now with the switches each rider can use these Gears in different ways. Drift with the Jet Gear gives him flight and can still use his fast speed in the air. Drift with the Engine gives his Drift ability the heating advantage which slices through armor with ease. Jet with the Turbo Gear makes his kicks move faster than the human eye. Jet with Engine gives him fire feet, so essentially Ken from Street Fighter. Throttle with Turbo does help his speed issue and now he can catch up to foes or simply ram them at violent speeds. Then with Jet, let us say he loves to crash onto his foes from above. Then the Lightspeed Gear is when all three are used together and yes all three riders can use them, hell technically Rebel can do the same, but he never gets the chance. Lightspeed is essentially is all abilities in one form then with the three riders it is simply execution to make it different from each other. Drift with drifting, Motor with flight and kicks, and Throttle with ramming and slamming.

Kamen Rider Magi

A recent watch I had was the anime Orphen which was a childhood show I never finished, but for some reason it had my favorite use of magic yet it was a simple use. I personally liked the spells the show had and Magi is a mixture of other magic entertainment. Magi himself uses a wand as his main weapon and can cause many different spells with it. He can even change his wand to different weapons, like a magic sword, hammer, and arrows. His favorite spell to use is sealing magic where he can trap his foes and finish them off in anyway he sees fit. His final form is the Sorcerer where he gains access to a staff that amplifies his powers. This causes his magic weapons to have a massive change of size and use. The sword becomes a set of twin swords, the hammer changes to larger hammer, and then the arrows change into magical meteors! His overall story is in a school setting, but let us say the one in charge is trying to find something special and will not be afraid of sacrifices to gain the next step of magic.

Kamen Rider Witch, Trickster, Diana, Arms, Warlock, and Ouroboros

A big aspect of Magi is that his secondary rider is right on the same path as him so the show has two main characters. Witch does come from the lack of a witch from Wizard. Witch has access to a broom weapon where she can fly around with ease and from there she specializes in projectile magic. When she gains the use of the Sorcerer form she can gains access to shield magic that also combines with projectile magic as one of her most powerful spells is a counter spell. Trickster is based on the stage magician and he is someone who left the school because he found out what was happening. He decided to make his own system which can use street magic to fighting capabilities. He organizes his cards into a sword, can throw them with piercing strength, and whenever he drops the curtains he can perform many illusions behind them. Diana is a simple assistant that wields two blunt weapons, but with her help Trickster's true strength is realized. The two perform tricks together and whenever the belt is activated it can perform a trick. This includes initiating a knife trick, summoning the curtain, or even something like a deadly bullet trick. This is personally one of my favorite ideas because of how fun it was to think of what the finishing attacks would be. For how these two progress the original Trickster does fall in battle and Diana follows his footsteps and as for assistance, she got Mage and Witch to help during this time. Arms is heavily inspired by my favorite Blazblue character, Makoto. Arms is a young boy with weak magic, but while studying equip magic with a fellow friend of his, they create a system where he can amplify his physical strength. He equips two tonfas on his arms to perform his magic where he can summon magic fists and there is a gauge for how much to amplify. Arms gets one from called Unleashed because in reality, even though he has a small amount of magic, it is still some of the strongest around. Arms just cannot find a way to tap that magic by himself, but by learning of his magic's origins, he breaks the limits to get to this form, but this was a one done deal until he creates his weapons again or finds a way to tap into his magic.

Warlock is the main villain and the story of this rider is that it is a homunculus. Made by the founder of the school, the homunculus is made to find the strongest magic and it can only be activated when the founder dies. Warlock continues what the founder could not complete, but it takes the work too far and will perform deadly experiments to get what it needs. Warlock also takes this a bit too far by wanting to make the strongest magic, the only magic. Warlock is pretty much the reason why Mage and Witch achieve their final forms and starts to question the state of magic itself with the discovery of Arms' magic. He completely ignores both Mage and Witch, but the power of two or even three can surpass the magic power of just one. Ouroboros is the other villain of the show and is inspired by another Blazblue character, Hazama and Yuuki Terumi. This is a man who knew about the founder's intentions of finding the strongest magic and helps Warlock to achieve that dream. He mostly stays close until he finds how to complete his powers though. The Ouroboros is seen as a symbol of infinity and by finding the true origins of the beast he can unlock his true power. Ouroboros gains the Cycle form where he can never lose any magic and he can even summon the creature itself to use in battle.

Now these two still share connections with the Legend powers as the Drive riders show how the powers can work for others. Even if it is one type of power, it can bend and change with different users. Magi's connection is the true potential magic with all the different forms of it. Truly the powers of legend can change by the hands of others. Then the next riders will include the power of dreams, the stage, and the unknown.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Top Ten Favorite Attorneys of Ace Attorney! SPOILER ALERT!!!

Well I am pretty much all done with the Ace Attorney series, the only games I did not play were not localized. Either way in about two or three months with this franchise I completed seven games and that is rare for me now these days. You can say I feel in love with the series quite quickly. I remember playing the first game getting through it all and then I just had to play more! What ended on happening was that my craving for Ace Attorney just kept growing stronger and stronger. I think for that time span I played at least one sitting of Ace Attorney per day. With finally getting done with the main series and one spin-off I think I am ready to be doing a ton of lists based on this franchise. The attorneys are the main image of this game and of course they all have to be colorful characters with charm and personality. Some can be quite evil, some can be quite confusing, and then some will just whip you to you pass out. So, get ready to slam some desks or walls as I will list my favorite of these "Objection" screamers!

10. Gaspen Payne
Starting the list off is a rather odd choice for some. For some context, Gaspen Payne is the younger brother of a previous attorney, pretty much any defense attorney took down, Winston Payne. This brother is treated just like the rest though as he is only suitable for the first case of both games he has been in. Now in Dual Destinies, he was not anything all too special, but I did like how he wanted to save his name from his brother's many defeats. Even though it was cowardly of him to leave the courtroom like a yellow-bellied chicken, it was hilarious to watch that happen. The reason he is on the list though is because of his appearance in Spirit of Justice the recent game. Payne finally found his home in the land of Khura'in where there is no defense attorney to face him because of the Defense Culpability Act. This law holds anyone who defends a criminal with the same punishment, so yea you can see why lawyers would have a hard time in this area. Payne in the short time being in the area even became Chief Prosecutor and who knows how many innocent people he sentenced to jail or even death! Even when Phoenix came to someone's defense, Payne wanted Phoenix's head! I just find it so damn funny that Payne takes his revenge so far that he tried to actually kill Phoenix Wright! I know of some others who will want to do that, but the only reason for Payne is because of his credibility! So yea Gaspen Payne, a scrawny man who wants to praise himself highly, but can just never get a win against our main characters.

9. Athena Cykes
The new blood of Phoenix's crew and she starts off in Dual Destinies as she learned law as soon as she could to get into the courtroom. She did such that at the age of eighteen and Athena is out to save someone! This is already a big character trait for her and her kindness does not stop there. Athena has a special ability where she can hear the inner emotions of people. This helps her out to see if someone is becoming confused with their out of control emotions, or if they are trying to hide something. This then gets into the Mood Matrix ability where she can map out the scene someone is describing and analyze their emotions. It is then someone's job to point out any odd emotional spikes or any object that is causing turmoil in someone's heart. A big reason why she gets on this list is because of what she had to endure in her first appearance at the end of the game. A murder that happened when she was twelve ended up getting someone close to her in jail and a death sentence. Athena takes blames because when she testified as a child she blacked out and causing the truth to be lost. This case gets re-opened though and it slowly starts painting Athena as the killer as it was possible her mentality broke and she was hiding something about the past, but it was more because of the nightmare it caused her over the years. Finally revealing everything though lead to Athena finally breaking those fears and got her back into the fighting spirit as she even took down the man who caused her nightmares. In Spirit of Justice, she is slowly proving herself to be a strong lawyer even if she still needs some help here and there. Also, I feel bad for this gal since she is now Trucy's new assistant and it is never easy to perform magic.

8. Mia Fey
Phoenix Wright's teacher in law is someone you do not want to mess with. During her beginnings as a lawyer, she took down many criminals and even one that almost killed a beloved of hers. She does not back down and I mean that! Mia is part of the Fey family and she is even in the main family and she is a spirit channeler as well. Mia was even supposed to be the one to take charge after the disappearance of her mother. Mia wanted to do her mother justice though and finally reveal what truly happened to her and clear her name of being a fraud. An incident called the DL-6 case really had the police in turmoil so they went to a spirit medium named Misty Fey as she did a summoning for them of the victim to point out the criminal. Sadly, the news got leaked and the it ended up back firing big time. The man who was labeled as a murderer originally got a not guilty verdict, the police took a major blow, Misty Fey was labeled a fraud, and even a lawyer ended up being blackmailed for fifteen years after that incident. Mia kept on looking for any hints and when she got too close, she was murdered by the name who leaked out that information several years ago. This happens at the second episode of the game and it was shocking since one would assume that Mia would be helping Phoenix out some more... well she does. Thanks to her younger sister Maya, she is able to be summoned into Maya's body and help Phoenix out. With this, Mia was able to take down the man who ruined her mother's life and even ended her own life. Mia then continued to help Phoenix with a kidnapping case involving Maya, and even kept taking down her eternal rival. So yea even though Mia passed away, she can still be a tough fighter which is why she makes the list.

7. Simon Blackquill
The prosecutor who was charged with murder even though he was simply covering for someone he cared for. This is the man that Athena wanted to save and even though he was labeled a criminal, he was still able to prosecute thanks to careful eyes from the police. Simon has the powers of suggestion on his side where he can pretty much have people walk around the palm of his hands. He knows how to taunt or even scare someone to telling the truth or simply being quiet. When that fails, he can literally break his cuffs off with brute strength and start using his hidden blade. This man even has a pet hawk named Taka and can have that bird attack people as well! Simon picked up a bit of a mean personality from his time in prison and it even gave him a bit of dark humor. The best thing about Simon though is how determined he was to defend someone he thought was innocent as this man almost was killed for a crime he did not do. Blackquill for the majority of his time as a prisoner was still trying to find any links to what he calls a Phantom, the true culprit behind that murder. Now if you are in his sights though and if Simon catches on who is the real culprit in any case, he will easily attack them like the defense would. So even if the prison life changed him, he is no corrupt prosecutor as his mind is as sharp as his blade.

6. Manfred Von Karma and Kristoph Gavin
You want some crazy perfectionists? Well here you go these two are the living proof of how crazy one can take their own job. First is Manfred who is a prosecutor with the near perfect record, he has never lost a case in his forty-year long career and only received one penalty. Von Karma used any means to get his wins though and as years passed by he only became wiser on how to use people and the evidence. This man even forges his own evidence to get guilty verdicts! Things even get more insane with how far he went he got one penalty. Remember the DL-6 incident I mentioned before? Well here is the real criminal behind all of that! This man performed such a perfect crime that not even the ghost of the deceased pointed the finger at him! The man he murdered was his rival in court, Gregory Edgeworth who is also the man who got Von Karma penalized. Von Karma did not take well to that and so when the chance came to him, he did the dirty deed. Kristoph Gavin is similar to Von Karma with making forgeries and obscuring the truth just for his own sake. The scary thing about Kristoph is that while Von Karma was a prosecutor, this man was a defense attorney. Kristoph only cared about his wins and he truly believes that he uses the law. During one case when he was going to take on his brother in court, he was suddenly dropped from the case because of his client changing to Phoenix. This angered Kristoph that he then used his forged evidence to destroy Phoenix's career and even tried to have his forger killed by the use of poison, it just happened much later than he imagined. Still this man had a perfect crime under his belt and easily used the law at his hand to almost get away with that one crime, but Phoenix made sure to take him down even if he did not have his badge anymore. Thanks to Apollo taking him down for a murder and then taking him down yet again with the use of a jury system. These two characters are also perfect for what the series wanted to represent and that is a surprising bit of satire on Japanese law. Prosecutors would usually win cases most of the time which really reflects Von Karma and then for Kristoph he used the flaws of the system to be the best defense attorney around because of the lack of a jury. These two are just damn good villains with their only ambition is being perfect.

5. Godot
You think you love your cup of Joe, think again! This is Godot also formally known as Diego Armando. Originally a defense attorney who was poisoned and nearly killed turns into a Prosecutor from after waking up from a coma. Many things happened while Diego was in his coma and after waking up he felt he had to see certain things for himself. One was the defense lawyer, Phoenix Wright as he did not like at all. Godot was close to Mia back then and hearing of her death caused him some bitterness towards Phoenix. In reality though he was blaming himself for not being at her side. Even during his coma, Mia took down the one who poisoned him and even got that woman sentenced to death. There was then one big issue with the Fey family though as there was a plan to take out Maya so that another family could become the main family. Godot started to make his counter plan to end it all. This is the reason why he had to change into a prosecutor so that he could take on Phoenix Wright and be close to the police and be able to gather information. What made Godot such a cool guy though is that he always saw both sides. Godot even knew how to help others even if it meant hurting himself. Also, Godot was someone who taught Mia on how to be a lawyer which is soon passed down to Phoenix. His coffee obsession is amazing as well since this guy drinks like seventeen cups of coffee during a trial! I just love seeing this man getting a new cup of coffee all the time. He even throws his mugs around at times and uses them as his own gavels. He is also one strong prosecutor since he knows how to defend so he can counter against many defenses since he probably thought of them as well. Godot is easily the most skilled attorney on this list since again he did both! My favorite part as to go to when he admits to murdering someone and when Maya tells everyone that he was defending her, he had to stop her. Godot admits that he was not sure what went to him first, justice or revenge. Godot is easily one of the manliest guys around and is honest to himself and others... I hope we see him again! Finally, I just got to love a man who has jazz be his theme song!

4. Klaiver Gavin
I feel this character does not get all too much love in the franchise. Some say he is bit too much of a straight arrow and compared to other characters he does lack in the story department. Klavier is the younger brother of the Gavin family and became a prosecutor. He even anticipated the day he would face his brother in court. Klaiver was also part of a band during his youth and then did both at the same time. Later on, though he soon had to disband his group since one of them was a murderer and soon got his just desserts. Here is the thing about Gavin that I truly appreciate about him though, he is probably the most trustworthy prosecutor since his introduction and stayed like that. Some other characters developed to be better for the courtroom, but Gavin always stayed true to finding the truth. He never cared about if he would win or lose. Gavin wanted proper justice to be delivered no matter what. I also do like his rocker personality as well. He is smooth with the ladies and can be quite mean spirited with some guys, but in the end, he is pretty much always helping. Klaiver had his share of jokes and jabs at Apollo and he would also tell Apollo when something is not feeling right. This guy even held trials on longer even if he was going to win. This is why I truly appreciate this man and I do hope I get to face him in court again. Also, playing air guitar in the middle of a trial never gets old! Even this guy has an awesome theme song!

3. Phoenix Wright
The main character himself lands at the third spot and again like Gavin he is a good to honest man who does get into some trouble here and there, but in the end, he delivers the truth. Now Phoenix did have his hands tied back sometimes, but this is what then makes him a scary attorney at times. Even if he knows someone could be guilty, Phoenix knows how to hold a trial on for longer. Phoenix also knows how to bluff big time! Phoenix does this so that trials can last longer or even move to the next day so that he can find more information. Phoenix always believes in his clients and that has been put to the test before. This man has taken on a lot in his career and even when he lost his badge, Phoenix continued to fight in his own ways. When he returned in Dual Destinies there was one thing clear about Phoenix Wright, he did not lose any of his wits. What also makes Phoenix an awesome guy is how caring he is. Phoenix would always extend his hand out to others even outside of the courtroom. My favorite becoming an adoptive father to Trucy since her father ran away in the middle of a trial. Phoenix even takes on the possibility of a death penalty just to defend someone in court. Then his relationship with Mia, Maya, and Pearl is extremely heartwarming. Then there is a certain rivalry with someone, but I will get to that later. I also love how snarky Phoenix can get. In the first three games, he keeps most of his snarky attitude to himself. In Apollo's game and after that, he speaks his mind out more than often. Phoenix Wright, a caring man who will never want to fight in the courtroom since he will always make a trial interesting.

2. Apollo Justice
To be honest, Apollo is only this high up because of the recent game for the franchise. If I ranked him just based on Dual Destinies, he would be right in the middle. Apollo's first appearance gave him a good start. He was young and still fresh to the business. He needed help just like Phoenix did in his beginnings. His interactions with characters like Trucy and Ema Skye were delightful. I even loved his working relationship with Klaiver. Dual Destinies comes along and wow Apollo changed a lot! He suddenly starts to become a role model for someone and even risks his life to protect that said person. Apollo even looked badass with his injuries and carrying the jacket of his best friend. In Dual Destinies, he lost that person and when suspicion started to fall on Athena, he did have his doubts about her. Apollo trusted Athena still though and that is why he had to clear his doubts away by finding the truth. Apollo really risked a lot on that since he was unsure if Athena was a killer or not, yet he in the end he wanted to believe that she was innocent. Then Spirit of Justice came around and this is why he got into the second spot so fast. Apollo had to take on a lot in this game. There was first defending Trucy in court which is my personal favorite case in the series. Apollo being a big part since he helped Trucy keep her smile and also having her finally being able to open up around him. Apollo even made Trucy more confident in herself as a magician. He had to take on his brother in court even if he was adopted into that family. His adoptive father returns for his aide and even when things turned bleak for Apollo like taking on Phoenix and taking on the queens of Khura'in, he did not hold back at all. There was even a time where Apollo hoped he was wrong because of what the shocking truth of what happened to both of his fathers. Apollo really matured in his ventures of being a lawyer and you know it is impressive when a man takes down a whole legal system in one trial!

1. Miles Edgeworth
I know many people love this character to death and I am so one of them! Edgeworth is so my type of character. In the first game, he is the prosecutor with rumors flying around that he forged evidence because of his teacher, Von Karma taught him that he always had to get perfect victories. Egdeworth wanted to convict criminals no matter what because of what happened to his father and the supposed man who murdered him. Edgeworth had no trust towards criminals and made sure they get what they deserved. It was thanks to Phoenix that he cleared things up for Edgeworth. Edgeworth started to fight for the truth and even helped Phoenix in his third case. Then he soon became under the suspicion of murder as Phoenix defended him against Von Karma. Edgeworth though was blaming himself for the murder of his father and when he was declared innocent for the current case, he brings up the DL-6 incident since he wants the truth to be finally be out for that case even if it means if he was guilty. Later on, things get worse for Edgeworth as he soon as to prosecute a close friend of his, Lana Skye and he even finds out at the start of his career he did use forged evidence, but to not to his knowledge. This took a major blow to Edgeworth as he had to find out what it truly meant to be a prosecutor. He comes back wiser and learns that he had to aim for the truth even if the truth can hurt at times. Edgeworth even had his own games and it was awesome to see Edgeworth be the main character for once. Again, this is after the original trilogy so Edgeworth has learned a lot and he becomes a surprisingly caring person. When on the job he will find the true murderer even if it means taking on a leader of an entire country! Then he soon makes his return in Dual Destinies and then appears for the bonus case in Spirit of Justice and Edgeworth has become Chief Prosecutor! He still had to take on cases though, one being because of a hostage situation and the other because the other prosecutors were too scared to take on the case. Again, Edgeworth is a man about the truth and he can be a bit blunt about it. Edgeworth is also shockingly oblivious to certain things and will be strict on the simplest of manners. Personally, I share that with him in some regards. The other big reason why he is on this list if that this guy had to deal with Wendy Oldbag trying to win his heart, any man who has to deal with that woman needs all the help he can get!
 Just look at this man, both men and women just melt around him!

I am so not done with making list for this franchise as there are still minor characters to get through and what I feel are the best cases for the franchise. There are still tons to talk about with Ace Attorney as I will always be ready to scream "Objection" when the time is right.

Monday, September 26, 2016

My Current Thoughts On Kamen Rider Series Part Three

Alright this one will actually have an easy theme to work with. I am focusing on the three shows after Kamen Rider Double, but I will go in order of Wizard, Fourze, and OOO. There is a very special reason why I am going to save OOO for last. I will admit I know the flak I got for loving Wizard when it was originally airing. Now as you can clearly see, I still have Wizard in the background because one I am lazy, but the other reason is that this background was made by a friend of mine so I will probably keep it because of that. For Kamen Rider Wizard, out of the three I will be mentioning this is still my personal favorite. I can easily agree that one of the other shows is stronger and that is the difference of a favorite and knowing when something is just better. Again that is all opinionated and if you feel your favorites are the best masterpieces around, you have the freedom to say that. For me as a critic, I need to know my personal favorites because it helps find out who I am and then just knowing what is simply a more well put together program is important for analyzing. Then both of these are important for when you want to recommend shows to other people. So let us actually get to the topic of Wizard and why it is still my personal favorite out of the shows that came after Double.

Kamen Rider Wizard
Why does Kamen Rider Wizard stand out to me as a person? One thing is that I may not be big on magic based heroes, I do love it when they are done with jewelry, weapons, and summons. A great example of this would be M.A.R not the best show, but it was fun to watch what different types of powers and magical weapons there were. In terms of designs, Wizard stands out with the jewel concepts and I love the use of black to make the other colors stand out. For the beginning of the action, I was a big fan of the action, Wizard had a great style of fighting and I will admit, when he got more powers some of those fights did lower in quality. There were some bad uses of CGI and there were good ones as well. I still enjoy the reveal of Water Dragon and the use of the Dragon summon fighting against the Phantoms inside others. I feel the Phantom concept was stronger than the Worms because of how they complete erase a person and will still have their memories which makes them extremely dangerous because of how they can interact with others. The story of how things simply went out of control because of one man's ambition is cliche I will admit that, but in the end the main story was not the focus of the show. Now that is a flaw in itself and it is hard to ignore. To me though, Wizard did have a strong focus on their filler episodes because of the concept of hope and despair. Haruto was helping out others to find their hope and while Haruto did hold onto his to become Wizard, he still needed to find some answers on his own. I find the show to be extremely helpful in regards to facing your despair and sometimes it does require a helping hand. Kamen Rider Beast while his story was simple, I can say his process of becoming a selfless person was fun, encouraging, and bit of a learning experience to how people can change. I even enjoy his motif of being a stage magician which inspired me to create a rider with the same motif, Trickster. No one in the cast actually bugged me and while some characters were wasted like the Mages, it was still a fun concept and had moments still. So with Kamen Rider Wizard it does hit many personal spots for me and it made it special for me to watch and I still remember many of the episodes and moments the show had. If it did focus a bit more on some story points we would probably have a bigger focus on the Mages and the White Mage, but in the end I am still happy to what Wizard was. So for my personal thoughts, Wizard still comes off as an A, but I will admit the show is a bit more of a B or B-
I still keep my opinions about Sora/Gremlin.

Kamen Rider Fourze
I have to say that with some great talks with my fellow Toku Warriors, mostly Janitor Joker. It did give me a bigger appreciation of this show. For Zolda, he extremely loves this show and when I first saw it, I did enjoy it. Now these days I am still rather mixed, but I see it in a better light than I originally did. It is hard for a show to do multiple characters that effect a story and that is probably one of Fourze's biggest achievements. The Kamen Rider Club was full of colorful characters and all had their own importance and even crucial story moments. For many the whole friendship angle can be beaten to death and while Fourze does follow it, the show performs the concept to where things feel nice and warm. By that I mean that the show can surprisingly be strong in showing how friends our made even if these people are completely different. Gentaro who dresses like a punk is actually the nicest person around and he makes a unique group of friends. We got the jock, the cheerleader, the goth, the spaz, the genius, the talented one who first starts out like a bully, and then someone who hides his pain. It really collects a lot of tropes and it has been done before and yet Fourze still has a nice smell to it. It felt natural for the most part in regards to friendship and it does not stop there are many others that Gentaro befriends, even teachers! Now something similar to Wizard, I did enjoy the concept of Fourze's weapons as well. Some were a bit silly and were not even weapons and yet some can be used for different purposes. My personal favorite is the Pen Switch because it was bizarre idea for a weapon and I wished it was used more. I can admit though some were just tossed out. The show did experiment around with them though as one of my favorite moments is when Fourze is just boarding along with with his claw. Cosmic States really holds up to be one of the best final forms around in terms of design and powers. Now one thing that did hurt the show was the villains. I am not talking about the Gamou and his loyal men, Libra, Virgo, and Leo. The rest of the Zodiarts were a bit lackluster though. When Cancer first came into the show, I enjoyed the hell out of him. The fun did not last long though and he was taken out by one of the most ridiculous forms and attacks in Kamen Rider history. Scorpio was good as well and had a good twist on who that actually was, but again when you keep moving on, you soon just forget about it though. Other Zodiarts were then just used for MOTW and while were still good, it would be more amusing if they were bigger villains in the end. The switch use got mixed up a bit in variety which was good and Meteor still had some awesome fights even if his character did just kind of stopped after his story was resolved. At least they still have Ryusei some funny moments and a girlfriend that all the fans want! So overall Fourze and Wizard do have similarities, but Fourze did have a more concrete story. So it is around the B+ area.

Kamen Rider OOO
I remember when I first watched OOO and I can still see my initial thoughts on the show. I praised it pretty well back then and there is Maki who I put as my favorite villain. I have to take back both of these claims. First I have a bone to pick with OOO in regards to what it did to Kamen Rider. We all remember Foundation X from Double. Riku Sanjo wanted to make the new Shocker and while Fourze did bring them back, sadly OOO easily caused a problem of not using Foundation X. There was even a connection in Kamen Rider Double where the foundation was researching the medals. What do we get in place of them, Kougami. While I love the guy's voice, what is reall his purpose in the show? That is pretty much what OOO is, what is the point? Eiji was a traveler and because of his past he did start to have desires, we learned that, then it takes like how many episodes for it to come to fruition? Eiji has a character was quite questionable as well because he is just watered down Godai and I can't believe I put this guy in my favorite characters list before! The Greeed were weak as villains and I still keep true to that. They got heavily ignored when Maki became the big villain and to be honest it is pointless as well. Literally it could have been anyone else who had interest in the Greeed. Then there was Maki's backstory with his sister and I remember originally liking that, but in the end that does not really connect to much. Things just happen in OOO and it just feels cluttered and messy. The whole concept of OOO was poorly handled as literally medals are thrown to the camera because you need to buy these things! The designs for OOO were messy when it was random combos and I will admit I personally like the random combos more though. The use of their powers had to be thought out, but even the writers gave up and just focused on the main combos. I still like most of the main combos as well, but some got overused and others were only ignored for budget reasons. The show just feels poorly planned because I do like the first Gatakiriba fight, but after that this form is so underused. At least the movie did something silly yet cool with that form. We even have Hina and her only connection to the story is because of Ankh using her brother's body and that was just by chance. I will say that I did heavily enjoy both Gotou and Date. Both Kamen Rider Briths were simply fun to watch for me. Gotou was a hero in progress and Date was the hero already that got to teach Gotou. It is Torodoki and Zanki again and while those two were better in the categories of, effective fighters, better development, and better weapons. Still Date was extremely fun as a character and gave the show the best humorous moments. I just feel bad for Birth in the end though, they just never stand a chance in any battle and yet Gotou could take down like three Greeeds when he first became Birth in the show. Then their is Ankh, I still like him and him becoming a threat later on was not shocking, but still fun in the end. Ankh slowly become more humane was enjoyable because meanwhile other Greeeds were just being... dumb. I can believe that Gamou was dumb and yet everyone else was not smart as well. The show's pacing is horrid, most of the fights were forgettable, the concept of OOO's powers are poorly handled, most of the characters are just boring, and yet it sold well. If you want to see how OOO could have been done well, just watch episode three and four of Kamen Rider Double.
Now do not get me started about OOO during the War movies!