Alejandro's Seasoned Gaming Content/Review Roundup

In late November of last year, I got to join as a contributor to the website "Seasoned Gaming". In my time there, I have contributed a couple features as well as some reviews for some of the big games from late 2022 and most of 2023. Here is a round up of all the reviews I have done for the site, as well as a direct link to read what I have written for them.

I will continue to contribute to Seasoned Gaming for the forseeable future*, but reviews for games I haven't done for them will come back to "Critical Corner". Without further ado, here are excerpts and links to all the content I have done for Seasoned Gaming. 

*Note: This article will always keep updating everytime I write for the site. 


Review - Evil West - November 29, 2022

"We absolutely need more games like “Evil West.” The mid-tier/AA space with good to great quality has been missing for so long, I’m just glad Focus Home Interactive has become a nice place where we can get these kinds of unpretentious experiences. We used to get these kinds of games so often, and I’m glad the pendulum has swung back to slowly give us these kinds of experiences again. If something like the movie industry can balance its prestige pieces with its high energy summer blockbusters, there is no reason the gaming industry can’t do the same with its game of the year contenders and something as quirky and outrageously fun like “Evil West.” It may not be my absolute favorite game of 2022, but it certainly is one of the most fun from this year." Click to Read Full Review

Score: 8/10


Review - Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion 

- December 20, 2022

"In the pantheon of the extended media surrounding “Final Fantasy VII,” it was always “Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII” that was the one I’d hear the most positive championing out of all the ways Square-Enix expanded their seminal title. I’m glad the hardcore fans who always sang the praises of this original handheld prequel get a chance to see their baby get a massive spotlight like this, for once. Thankfully, it mostly holds up upon scrutiny, even with some of its dated elements. If you have any interest in the “Final Fantasy VII” universe and want to understand the massive implications of the changes made to “Final Fantasy VII Remake” and the upcoming “Final Fantasy VII Rebirth,” “Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion” is definitely an important piece in the puzzle and totally worth playing!" Click To Read Full Review

Score: 7/10


Review  - Forspoken - February 6, 2023

"In a year that’s looking quite stacked and exciting for gamers, I think of Forspoken as a decent entree for the big meals coming later in 2023. Granted, it’s a rather expensive entree at a $70 cost, and while the inner stuffing may be delicious, the outer bread may not look fully cooked. Forspoken feels like the kind of B-movie/middle market game where a lot of fun can be had without being a prestige piece, but its positioning as one of the big console sellers at its price definitely undermines what it actually is. As someone who loves his games to feel very kinetic and fun, the magic combat of Forspoken did propel the package overall, even when the rest of it could seem from a different era. If that sounds appealing, I definitely recommend it, even if it’s nothing special." Click to Read Full Review

Score: 7/10


Review : Metroid Prime Remastered - February 13, 2023

"Nintendo is always renowned as the early trail blazers of the industry, breaking new ground for gaming to grow for years to come (recently seen with the way they reshaped expectations for open world games with 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild). If anything, “Metroid Prime Remastered” is a perfect reminder of the ways that Nintendo helped to shape the industry, but it’s also a reflection that sheds light on a greater creative void from Nintendo since that original 2002 release. At $40 from Nintendo of all companies, and at this level of care, it is a no-brainer. The finest game of the Nintendo GameCube finally got a reissue worthy of its name and esteem. The bar is quite high for the eventual release of Metroid Prime 4. Now, give us Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption soon, Nintendo!" Click to Read Full Review

Score: 9.5/10


The Definitive Ranking of Destiny Content - February 28, 2023

"The Destiny franchise is about to turn 9 years old. Let that sink in.

For a game with a topsy-turvy reputation like Destiny, its actual resilience over its almost decade long existence is quite admirable. Even when its hardcore fan base gets so riled up about it, it comes from a place of love. For all its faults, there is nothing quite like Destiny’s hybrid of shooter/MMO, especially in the live service era where many have tried and failed to sustain an ongoing game. Yet Destiny makes it look easy even with its faults.

With the launch of Destiny 2‘s latest expansion, Lightfall, releasing this week, and with the franchise getting this close to fulfilling its initial “10 year journey” with next year’s The Final Shape expansion, it is time to take a trip back down memory lane to the base launch games of the original Destiny and Destiny 2, along with all of their respective expansions. Which one is the best? Which one is the worst?

Eyes up, Guardian, and let’s step into a war with the Cabal!" Click To Read Full Article


"But in the midst of that disappointment, Lightfall manages to pull through by being some of the most fun you can have with Destiny 2 in the places that have always actually mattered with this franchise. Even with all of my ever-growing list of complaints, nine years in, I still can’t get enough of it. 

While I can’t quite recommend this expansion on its campaign alone, like I could last year, in the places where Destiny has shined over the years, this is the most I’ve enjoyed playing it. In the ever-growing contradiction that is this franchise’s existence, that’s got to count for something."

Score: 7/10


"It is a testament to how good Jedi Survivor is as an overall package that, even though it had some technical deficiencies that can be seen as deterrents, it didn’t affect at all my enjoyment of what is, for my money, one of the best (if not “THE best”) Star Wars game in the modern era. The way Respawn fulfilled the potential that they barely scratched with their first attempt in Jedi Fallen Order just shows the immense talent this team has at its core.

Even after putting some 32 hours into it, I can’t stop thinking about where it left Cal Kestis off and the implications of a potential, final sequel which I’m already counting the days for. I can’t wait to dive back in and explore every final nook and cranny of its immense play spaces, defeat every last bounty hunter, hunt every last Legendary beast boss, and start a fresh run in the already available New Game+. It is fitting that, as the Star Wars license finally sees itself shackled free from an exclusivity agreement that didn’t bear the fruit we may have wanted, it definitely saved its best for last.

Whatever the future of Star Wars in gaming may be, I’m glad some part of it is in Respawn’s hands."

Score: 9.5/10


"There is so much stuff to talk about, still, that I feel there is no need to further drive the point about what a monumental achievement The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is. As someone that respected the great parts of Breath of the Wild while also scoffing at its unanimous praise, coming into this one, I didn’t expect I would walk away from this with what may be my all time favorite entry of this franchise (an honor I’ve always reserved for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in my heart).

I always knew Breath of the Wild could be even more than what it was, and I’m glad Nintendo proved my instinct right and gave me almost everything that was missing from the last entry and more. Even after 130 hours, I want to play more, complete even more sidequests and learn more about the fleshed out population, scrounge every last iota of the hellish Depths and its secrets, and defeat every monstrous Gleeok. And with the creativity on display, I can’t wait to even attempt to build all of the insane creations I see online that break my mind they are even possible.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom brought childlike joy I never thought I could experience again, where it shows that when it comes to human ingenuity and creativity, the sky’s the limit. It is a true watershed moment of game design." Click to Read Full Review

Score: 10/10


"Risk-taking is something I will always appreciate and champion in the gaming industry, especially when it comes to long-running franchises. While not perfect, the risks Square Enix took with Final Fantasy XVI to focus this game on a genre completely different from many of its prior entries did manage to pay off in dividends. The darker and grounded motif worked even when the fantasy side made itself known. The spectacle is such that I doubt it can be topped anytime soon.

Clive’s story of revenge and redemption, culminating in the game’s final moments, made me feel in a profound way. And, beyond that, this was an excellent action game throughout that managed to still feel like Final Fantasy. Even when I think of some of the moments that lacked the excitement of its incredible peaks, the impact of those pure euphoric moments that this journey left will stick with me longer than most games will." Click to Read Full Review

Score: 9/10


Impressions : Killsquad Arrives on PlayStation Consoles

"It really is worth re-emphasizing that this is all based on just the first 6-8 hours I have dedicated to the game, and maybe there is hidden depth further in that helps alleviate some complaints (not to mention maybe a future patch that adds things like the loot you find by just playing). From a fundamentals perspective, Killsquad does have the the right mindset of what makes this kind of game sing, and it’s just missing a few fundamental things (actual legit fun solo play and better loot drop systems) that could help elevate it from where it currently is. As of now, due to its co-op nature, it’s definitely a fun diversion to play with friends when everything is in sync, but it’s not one that I’ll stick to leisurely outside of that perspective." Click to Read Full Article


"Yet that’s the beautiful irony of PAYDAY 3. The caper fantasy experience that the series continues to provide always makes it a good time even when the messy technical aspects threaten to derail it. The amount of fun you can still get from gathering together with four buddies and pulling off a score will always leave a smile on your face, and this was as true back in 2011 and 2013 as it is now in 2023.

Even with the rather threadbare content currently available and the technical mess at present, PAYDAY 3 still manages to feel like a sturdy enough foundation to give Starbreeze and Overkill a solid jumping off point that’ll allow them to support this new entry with hopefully the same dedication that they showed with PAYDAY 2. If what’s there already is any indication, any future content and further polishing can totally make PAYDAY 3 the kind of diamond worthy of a heisters’ dream."

Score: 7/10


"The Fall/Holiday of 2007 will go down in history as one of the greatest gaming periods ever. 16 years later, one can trace back to this specific moment in time to witness both the peak of many longtime franchises and the birth of many generational defining classics. How to forget the peaks of finishing the fight on “Halo 3.” The kindly twists of “Bioshock.” The multiplayer revolution of “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.” Uncovering Sir Francis Drake’s treasure in “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.” Adventuring through the galaxy spanning adventures of “Super Mario Galaxy.” Saving humanity of impending extinction with “Mass Effect.” More importantly, the time hopping assassinations of secret society members during the Crusades of the Holy Land in “Assassin’s Creed.”

Back in this legendary period of time, no other new franchise looked as alluring and intriguing as “Assassin’s Creed.” Here was a new game from Ubisoft (the makers of franchises like Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia), introducing a new breed of “pseudo stealth-action” in a time period rarely seen in games. Leveraging the current technology of the time, it was the kind of ambitious game that’d scream, “This is next-gen!” Some questionable design decisions and repetitive gameplay held the first game back from true greatness. However, there was no denying the potential and ambition on display. A potential the subsequent sequels eventually realized.

16 years later, and 13 mainline titles and a diverse array of spinoffs released, the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise is Ubisoft’s most successful franchise still ongoing. For better or worse, it helped usher in the open world era we live in, providing a formula template for many other open world games to follow.

A year after the 15th Anniversary of the franchise and with the recent release of “Assassin’s Creed Mirage“, here is a current ranking of the 13 mainline titles (portable and mobile spinoffs excluded) celebrating the best and worst of this ongoing franchise. The ranking is determined by both franchise impact and how the games fare in the year 2023 through a recent replay. Without further ado, here’s the ranking of the Assassin’s Creed franchise up to date!" Click to Read Full Article


Impressions : Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 - October 13, 2023

"I definitely wanna give it more time before I can render a full verdict on whether or not the direction taken in “Modern Warfare 3” is the right one after how rejected last year’s game feels in hindsight. I still need to see if progression to unlock weapons is as obtuse and specific like it was last year (up til Level 10 it feels more straightforward but who knows). I need to see if the rest of the maps they are bringing back from the 2009 game also have the same plus and minuses I felt with the beta offerings. I have to hope that when we move on from the launch offerings, the map additions they’ll develop to complement these remastered maps can at least make a mark.

It feels as though the franchise keeps relying on maps developed close to 10 years ago (something you can even blame the “Black Ops” sub franchise from doing). And more than anything, I hope the full game provides a real hook of its own, as what’s on offer here so far doesn’t really dissuade the notion that this was premium DLC from the last game blown up into a full game due to the less than stellar reaction from the hardcore players. Maybe we’ll get that hook in the campaign and the zombies mode, the latter of which is rumored to be added into the beta in the coming days which will be interesting.

In the end, even with the additions and subtractions from last year’s game, this still feels like more “Call of Duty”. Considering the franchise’s continuous success, that’ll either be a good or bad thing depending on where you are with the franchise at the moment. At least from the multiplayer side, depending on how you felt with last year’s game, these changes will determine for you if it’s worth enlisting again to the yearly cycle. But based on the offering, it’s a faster old dog with the same bag of old tricks so far." Click to Read Full Article


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