The Green Bone Saga Review: Fantasy’s Answer to the God Father.

I don’t usually review novels on this blog.
Although I do read a lot, I tend to stick to reviewing movies and shows, mostly anime and manga these days.
Yet, the instant I finished The Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee, I just knew I had to talk about it.
Consisting of a trilogy of books, Jade City, Jade War, and Jade Legacy, the most basic way I could describe The Green Bone Saga is fantasy’s answer to The God Father.
The story is set in an alternate version of Earth, on the island of Kekon, the only place in this world where the mineral resource of Jade is mined.
Jade can only be wielded safely by the Kekonese population and it gives them superhuman abilities, which are divided into six disciplines, Strength, Steel, Lightness, Channeling, Deflection and Perception.
Control of Jade is overseen by the various clans of Kekon, with the clans of No Peak and the Mountain being the most powerful.
However, with tensions between these two main clans rising, and foreign powers creating drugs which allow non-Kekonese people to wear Jade, Kekon seems set to fall into open clan war.
The novels follow four siblings in the Kaul family, the leaders of the No Peak Clan.
There is Lan, the Pillar of No Peak, who is a much more lenient man than one would expect of a clan leader.
His brother is Hilo, the hot-headed Horn of No Peak, who is an expert at gaining the loyalty of others, while also being fiercely loyal to those he cares for and trusts.
Their sister is Shae, who has only just returned to Kekon and is reluctant to get involved in clain affairs again.
Finally, there is Anden, the Kaul’s adopted sibling and an up and coming Jade prodigy, who is understandably terrified of his power, given his traumatic family history.
Each of these four main characters are fantastic, and many of them change so much over the course of the story, which spans decades.
Of course, just because they are so likeable does not mean they are good people.
This is pretty much a mafia story, after all, and many of the characters make very morally grey decisions.
This is most apparent in Jade War, where one character commits such a horrifying act that it lead to me audibly declaring them to be a monster.
But what made the choice that character made so good is that, despite me being disgusted with them, their justifications for what they had done made complete sense with their character.
There are moments like this with the Kauls across all three books, yet it is not just them because there are plenty of other fantastic morally grey characters.
There are the Maik siblings of Wen, Kehn and Tar, the ambitious and always pathetic Bero, the Mountain assassin Nau Suenzen, and, of course, the leader of the Mountain, Ayt Mada.
Ayt Mada in particular is one of my favourite characters as, despite not having any POV chapters, I still completley understood how she became so ruthless and why she believes she needs to be so.
She made for an excellent antagonist among a cast of fantastic characters.
Of course, fantastic characters in a mafia story makes reading The Green Bone Saga all the more nerve wracking because that is not exactly a safe environment and characters do die, many shockingly, as the stakes rise with every book.
Along with the stakes rising every book so does the quality, with my ranking of the books from weakest to best going Jade City, Jade War and Jade Legacy at number one.
Jade City is a great start to this story, introducing the fantastic cast of characters well and delivering great fight sequences when the times comes for those.
Jade War expands on the first book’s focus, exploring the world outside Kekon, while making it clearer than ever that many of the characters we are following are not good people.
Finally, Jade Legacy lives up to its name, focusing on the legacy of the characters as decades pass, resulting in a fitting ending that had me tearing up as well as chuckling.
Overall, The Green Bone Saga is a brilliant trilogy with brilliant characters, and is already among my favourite novel series of all time.
Upon finishing, I immediately thought that this story was deserving of an adaptation, however was disappointed to discover that one had been greenlit, only for it to be cancelled.
I hope the adaptation gets picked up again because, if done right, I could easily see The Green Bone Saga being a highly celebrated show for years to come.
I will just have to keep my fingers crossed that it gets adapted eventually, I suppose.
Fonda Lee has crafted an excellent story, which I am going to remember for a long time. 
I cannot recommend The Green Bone Saga enough.

Chainsaw Man Chapter 129, Save Me, Chainsaw Man Review. A Long Awaited Team Up.

Ever since the Falling Devil showed up, I have been waiting for Denji and Asa to team up to survive.
Well, Chapter 129, “Save Me, Chainsaw Man” finally delivered this.
Picking up from the previous chapter’s cliffhanger, Denji and Asa are still staring at the imposter Chainsaw Man, when they are struck from behind by the slug-like Devil, knocking them out of hell, while the imposter disappears.
Asa gets up, only to see that Denji has been mortally wounded again.
Yoru then appears and tells Asa to take the oppurtunity to kill Chainsaw Man so Yoru can give her body back.
Asa, however, has no intention of doing so and Yoru knows this just by reading her thoughts.
Frustrated, Yoru tries to convince Asa to kill Chainsaw Man, saying that she always does the opposite of what Yoru tells her and that she is crossing the line by saving Chainsaw Man.
It is a line Asa is willing to cross, as she explains that Chainsaw Man has saved her twice now.
Most importantly, though, Asa states that, “If a piece of trash like him is allowed to keep living then maybe it’s okay for me to live too!”
This shows that, despite Denji’s comedic mishandling of his talk with her, he has gotten through to Asa in some way.
Now wanting to live, Asa cuts her palm with a rock and uses the blood to revive Denji, begging him to save her.
Denji revives and leaps away from the attacking Devil with Asa in his arms but they are relentlessly pursued.
Realizing they can’t get away on foot, Asa points to a motorcycle and tells Denji to steal it.
Living up to his reputation, however, Denji refuses to because a woman is riding it so Asa tells him to steal a man’s instead.
Denji does so, kicking the man off the bike, as he and Asa take off.
It is then that we get the first big team up between Asa and Denji, which I have been wanting to see for a while.
As the two take off on the motorcycle, one of the slug-like Devil’s clawed appendages lunges at them.
Asa then yells out “Super Chainsaw Man Motorcycle!” using the War Devil’s power to transform the motorcycle into a weapon, working with Denji to cut right through the Devil, as the man behind them screams that they stole his bike.
With that, Chapter 129 of  Chainsaw Man comes to an end.
“Save Me, Chainsaw Man” is a solid chapter, delivering on the team up between Denji and Asa that I and many others had wanted to see for so long.
There are still lingering questions about the imposter Chainsaw Man but it seems that Fujimoto is going to hold the answers to those questions close to his chest for a while.
As for me, I’m just excited to see Denji and Asa continuing to work togethor in the following chapters.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Review: A Triumphant End.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are among my favourite heroes in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 
Vol. 1 was a fantastic introduction to these characters, and I believe that Vol. 2 is one of the most underrated MCU films.
So, obviously, I was very excited to watch Vol. 3, especially because I had genuine hope that it would be better than a lot of the more recent MCU installments, which I have felt pretty lukewarm about.
I am happy to say that this hope was well founded because Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a triumphant ending for the characters we have come to know and love ever since Vol. 1, all the way back in 2014.

The ending for each Guardian feels fitting.

Directed once again by James Gunn, the movie follows Peter Quill’s Starlord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Deisel), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff), who are living at their home base of Knowhere.
After an attack from Adam Warlock (Will Poulter) leaves Rocket clinging to life, the Guardians must band together once more.
Seeking the help of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the group seek to track down Rocket’s creator the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji), to find a way to save him.
Each of the Guardians gets their time to shine in this movie, with standout moments for each of them.
In particular it was great to see how much Nebula has changed from the first film, how the friendship between Drax and Mantis has progressed, and how different Gamora is from her future counterpart, along with how this affects her relationship with Quill.   

It would have been easy to go a cliche route with Quill and Gamora’s relationship after Endgame but I am glad they did not.

The biggest standout of all the Guardians, however, is Rocket, with a large part of the film focusing on his backstory, with constant flashbacks.
Given the number of these flashbacks, it would have been easy for the film to feel disjointed so it is a testament to the writing and the directing that it all flows seamlessly.
It felt like Vol. 2 was slowly transitioning the main character among the Guardians from Starlord to Rocket, and Vol. 3 continues this in excellent fashion.
Rocket’s story is so good in this movie that I actually almost teared up at one point, and this was a scene with multiple CGI characters so that is saying something about the quality. 

Prepare for Rocket’s backstory to destroy you emotionally.

Alongside Rocket, the main villain of the High Evolutionary also stands out.
The guy is a fantastic example of how to do a purely evil villain with no redeeming qualities right. 
And, hey, the High Evolutionary being so evil makes it even more satisfying when the Guardians fight his goons in numerous excellent action sequences, including a gripping one-shot corridor fight that is one of the movie’s highlight scenes.

The corridor fight is the MCU’s best fight scene in years.

Another thing to highlight is just how dark this movie can get at times, with a lot of cruelty to animals so there is that to be aware of.
That does not mean the film is devoid of levity; this is a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, after all.
There are plenty of feel goods moments and humor throughout.
Speaking of the humor though, I do have to say that it thankfully does not ruin any potentially emotional scenes, like it did in Quantimania and Love and Thunder.  
Not everything about Vol. 3 is so great though because, if the film has one issue then it is definitely Adam Warlock. 

Adam Warlock’s presence in the movie felt more like an obligation than anything else.

His addition to this film honestly felt entirely unnecessary to me.
Not only could he have been any other character and the plot of the movie would not have changed, but his actions also seemed pretty contradictory at times.
It feels like James Gunn intended for him to have a big role in Vol. 3 but then he got fired and rehired and, in the time in between that, he came up with a different plot for the film but was obligated to keep Warlock in because of the Vol. 2 post credits scene.
Apart from Warlock, though, I would say that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a great film with a triumphant ending for its characters.
It is easily the best MCU film since Spider-Man: No Way Home. 

Chainsaw Man Chapter 127 and 128 Review: Humor and Intrigue.

The struggle against the Falling Devil continues in Chainsaw Man Chapters 127, “Save the Asa”, and 128, “Main Dish”, with Tatsuki Fujimoto delivering plenty of great humor and intrigue, as usual.
Starting with Chapter 127, I quite liked its title, “Save the Asa.”
It serves as the perfect parallel to Chapter 102, “Save the Cat,” especially when we consider what happens.
The chapter begins strong, with what appears to be a POV panel from the Falling Devil’s perspective, as she uses her power to shoot Asa out of the apartment building she was sheltering in.
Barely holding onto a dislodged section of the apartment building, Asa is then confronted by the Falling Devil, who promises her a peaceful fall if she closes her eyes, a clear lie considering all those others who fell were eaten alive by Devils.
Still, Asa is so effected by the trauma brought on by the Falling Devil that not even Yoru shouting at her can bring Asa back.
The trauma of remembering Yuko, Cambron and the evil orphanage lady is too much for Asa, and she closes her eyes, accepting her fall.
As she falls up to her fate, Asa does have one regret, that she never did something with someone but before we learn what that something is the probable someone shows up, as Denji jumps up to Asa in his Chainsaw Man form and grabs a hold of her.
Denji is shocked to learn that Asa wants to fall and, upon realizing that Asa’s trauma is causing her to ascend quicker, tries to make her feel happy by telling her to think about dogs, ice cream, and cats.
The cats suggestion was clearly not a good one, however, sincce Asa’s trauma is directly related to cats.
Denji then tries to convince Asa life is worth living, even if it has bad moments.
His words show just how similar he and Asa are.
Both have had happiness in their lives but it always seems to be cruelly taken away from them.
Denji, however, says he is willing to continue to eat the crap burger of life because he has something he is looking forward to.
Asa is clearly being won over by Denji’s compelling speech so she asks him what he is fighting for.
I was expecting Denji to give some kind of emotional answer, like Nayuta.
I was not expecting (but honestly should have been expecting) Denji to say that he wants to have sex.
And so the chapter ends with this moving moment transforming into one of hilarity as Asa screams out a disgusted “Ew!”
This then leads into Chapter 128, “Main Dish” where all of Denji’s work to calm Asa down have failed because she is now disgusted with him.
Denji tries to explain to Asa how sex is great, only for this to confuse Asa because, as she screams at Denji, “No woman in existence would want to have sex with a guy with a chainsaw sticking out of his head!”
Denji being Denji, this accusation that he will never have sex causes him to hilariously fall into despair, causing him and Asa to fall up into hell.
Denji wakes up on a Devil food dish with an unconcious Asa and attempts to make a break for it, quickly escaping from the slug-like devil, only to be confronted by the Falling Devil at one of the escape doors.
The Falling Devil again shows some leniency by offering to let Denji go but he refuses to leave Asa… or leave her ass, at least.
The Falling Devil calls Denji a pervert but any incoming attack from her is prevented when she is suddenly attacked from behind by none other than the imposter Chainsaw Man who has finally made his reapperance.
For me, the imposter showing up does confirm his identity to be the one who revived Denji in Chapter 126.
As for who the imposter is, in my opinion, the main suspects are again Haruka Iseumi, Seigi Akoku and the Kobeni clone.
Haruka was shown to be following Denji and Asa earlier, Seigi seems to have a similar posture and size to the imposter, and the Kobeni clone looked to have similar shoes to the one who saved Denji.
Whoever the imposter is, they advise that the Falling Devil will kill any invited Devil who does not partake in her meal by dawn, supposedly meaning that Denji only has to survive until then to succeed in saving himself and Asa.
So it looks like Asa and Denji will now have to work togethor if they want to live to see the next day, which should be exciting to see play out.
Chapters 127 and 128 are great additions to the Chainsaw Man story.
They offer great humor, with the Denji wanting sex joke in Chapter 127, and great intrigue, with the imposter Chainsaw Man finally making his return in Chapter 128.

Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Review: The Yin and Yang of Embracing Strengths and Weaknesses.

I remember seeing the first trailer for the Hell’s Paradise anime months ago.
It was a fantastic trailer, perfectly highlighting the mysteries of the story, without a line of dialogue from the characters.
Despite being interested, I still held off from reading the manga, until watching the first three episodes of the anime, developed by Mappa.
After loving those episodes, I binged the entire manga in three days and was rewarded with a great story that presented a compelling mystery, charismatic characters, some of the most well thought out action I have read, and brilliant artwork from the writer, Yuji Kaku. 

Hell’s Paradise‘s artwork provides both a lot of beauty and a lot of darkness.

Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku is set in Edo Period Japan, and follows the story of Gabimaru, a ninja who has been captured and set for execution, yet longs to reunite with his wife. 
A chance to reunite with her comes with the arrival of Yamada Asaemon Sagiri, an executioner who arrives with the offer of a pardon from the Shogun himself.
The only catch is that, in order to obtain this pardon, Gabimaru will have to travel to a mystical island, from which none have returned alive, to obtain the Elixar of Life for the Shogun.

To reunite with his wife, Gabimaru travels to this dangerous island.

Gabimaru and Sagiri will not be going alone, however, with ten other death row prisoners being sent, with the pardon being available to only the one criminal who retrieves the Elixar.
As for the rest of them, they face death from the executioners sent with them to the island, to monitor them.
However, the criminals and executioners soon find they have much bigger problems to worry about than each other, as the island’s mysterious inhabitants begin picking them off, forcing them to band together and learn the ability known as Tao to survive together. 

The executioners and prisoners having to work togethor creates a lot of great bonds between them.

Tao is Hell’s Paradise’s main fighting mechanic and I was constantly marveling at how well Yuji Kaku incorporated it into his fight scenes, with many characters learning the technique quickly, while others learned slower in various triumphant moments.
Speaking of the characters, the ones in Hell’s Paradise have to be some of the most charismatic I have read in a while.
There is, of course, Gabimaru and Sagiri who, as the main leads of this story, grow a lot over the course of it, with numerous relizations they have about themselves creating plenty of development. 
Side characters such as Yuzuriha, the brothers Chobe and Toma, Nurugai, Shion, Fuchi, Tenza and Senta are also all fantastic but I don’t have time to discuss all of them, so I will focus on my favourite side character, Tamiya Gantetsusai.
He starts off as a warrior valuing only his own glory and legacy, yet slowly changes until, by the end of his story, he becomes much more humble due to the influence of his assigned executioner turned friend Fuchi.
This results in an ending for him that is probably the most emotionally impactful, alongside Gabimaru’s. 

Gantetsusai’s ending is subtle yet moving.

All of these characters I have mentioned are compelling and I find it to be a testament to how good Hell’s Paradise is that their camaraderie is so believeable, despite the main conflict of the story really only taking place over a few days at least.
What helps these characters and their fight sequences shine is also the combination of great themes and artwork.
The theme of Hell’s Paradise is the acceptance of strengths and weaknesses, yin and yang, with this theme being key to many of the events and imagery in the manga.
This imagery is especially great, with Yuji Kuko delivering many breath taking panels showing off both the beauty and horror of the island. 

The artwork of warped buddist statues and monsters highlight this yin and yang conflict quite well.

However, despite having plenty of positive things to say about Hell’s Paradise, I will not act like it is perfect, since there were a few issues I had.
The first of these is in regards to character deaths.
There are a few times in this manga where characters have emotional deaths that affected me, only for those feelings I had to vanish when the character is revealed to have survived.
Granted, I did like these characters so was pleased to see that they lived but, at the same time, some part of me wished that they had stayed dead so that the emotional weight of their deaths could be kept.
That being said, this was not a constant issue, as Yuji Kaku still followed through on many other tragic deaths across the series.
Although, there are a couple characters that were clearly introduced as canon fodder for the final battle.

While some characters introduced later in the story shine, others were probably introduced just to die.

Another minor issue I have is that there were a few plot points introduced that did not amount to much.
In particular, there is one moment where Jikka makes a pretty shady offer to two characters, only for this to amount to pretty much nothing.
While these were issues I had with the manga, they were nowhere near significant enough to dull my enjoyment of this otherwise fantastic story.
Hell’s Paradise is a manga with an interesting story, and great characters and fight scenes, supported by brilliant art work and compelling themes of ying and yang.
It is already among my favourite manga and I will continue watching the anime, hoping Mappa can keep up with the quality of their adaptation so far.    

Chainsaw Man Chapter 126, Food Fight Review: A Mysterious Saviour.

There was a theory going around after Chapter 125 of Chainsaw Man that it was not Denji fighting the Falling Devil but the imposter Chainsaw Man.
The supposed evidence for this theory was that Denji’s laugh sounded different but I found this incredibly unlikely.
Sure enough, the opening pages of Chapter 126, “Food Fight”, shoots down the theory quickly.
The chapter begins with the Falling Devil fighting Denji off temporarily, before telling him that there is no need for them to fight because all she needs to do is drop Asa Mitaka into hell and then she will leave.
This causes Denji to fight even harder, all to protect his “ex-potential girlfriend” as he humorously calls her, confirming his identity as Denji and not the imposter.
Annoyed by Denji’s actions, the Falling Devil unleashes her trauma power upon him, causing Denji to remember the deaths of Aki and Power; the trauma of their deaths making him fall up into the air.
It was good to see Aki and Power again, even if it is just in a brief flashback of their deaths.
The Falling Devil attempts to go after Asa again, only for Denji to drop down from the sky and attack her, having used his chainsaws to cut through his brain, cutting off the Falling Devil’s trauma attack.
Denji then begins to eat the Falling Devil, deliriously shouting that he wants to eat corndogs from france, while continuing to shred his own brain.
This leads to the Falling Devil shouting, “I am not a corn dog!” while Denji is eating her, in an almost full-page spread.
I said it once and I will say it again: Tatsuki Fujimoto is the most insane author I have ever read.
Only a warped mind like his could come up with something as ludicrous as a Devil complaining about being eaten like a corn dog, and make it work.
Further proving Fujimoto’s creatively dark mind, the Falling Devil then allows Denji to eat her, only to burst out of his stomach, ripping Denji in half and allowing her to continue her hunt for Asa.
It is then that a mysterious figure approaches Denji and slices their hand, giving him enough blood to regenerate and continue the fight.
This mysterious saviour then says, “Chainsaw Man… I still need you to fight.”
There has been a lot of speculation about who this unseen person is, with many thinking that it is Yoshida.
However, much like the theory about the imposter being the one to fight the Falling Devil, I find this theory to be unlikely.
Yoshida is already a shady character so hiding his face does nothing.
If this was truly Yoshida then I think Fujimoto would just show his face to add to the mystery of what his intentions are.
Therefore, I think this has to be another character but who?
Well, it makes sense for this person to be from the school, since that is where Part Two is focused.
This rules out any girl character from the school because the mysterious figure is wearing pants and the girls at the school all wear skirts.
So there are three unaccounted for male characters, who are all part of the Devil Hunter Club.
There is Haruka Iseumi, Seigi Akoku and the Kobeni clone.
Of these three, I find Haruka and the Kobeni clone to be the most likely candidates.
Haruka has been shown to be following Denji and Asa recently, and the Kobeni clone looks to have shoes of a similar colour to the mystery person in previous chapters.
Maybe whoever Denji’s saviour is could also be the Chainsaw Man imposter?
We will have to wait and see.
In any case, right after the scene where Denji is revived, we get the final page of Chapter 126, where the Falling Devil finds Asa still stuck on the roof.
Asa and Yoru will definitley need to trust each other if they are to have any hope of surviving the Falling Devil but Denji showing up might just give them an edge.
I am excited to potentially see the War Devil and Chainsaw Man forced to team up.
It could also lead to Asa and Yoru learning that Denji really is Chainsaw Man.
The possibilites are endless and, even then, I am sure Fujimoto will find a way to deliver things we never expected, as he always does.

Resident Evil 4 Remake Review: Among the Greatest Action-Horror Games of All Time.

We are living in an age of horror video game remakes. 
This year alone, we have had the Dead Space remake, which is pretty spectacular, if you ask me, and the Silent Hill 2 remake might just come out out later this year.
Then, of course, there is the recently released Resident Evil 4 remake, which is not only the most beloved Resident Evil game but one of the most beloved video games of all time.
It served as an inspiration for countless other games.

However, despite knowing this, I never got around to playing the original Resident Evil 4. 
The most I did was look up a few clips of the gameplay to see how it had inspired Village.
So this was an opportunity for me to play an updated version of it to see why the game was so lauded.
After playing it, I can say that I get it.
Resident Evil 4 is a fantastic experience from start to finish with a good story and characters, exhilarating gameplay, and a few terrifying moments. 

The opening of the Resident Evil 4 Remake makes one hell of a first impression.

You play as Leon Kennedy (Nick Apostolides) who, after the events of Resident Evil 2, was unwillingly recruited by the US government to become one of their top agents.
After the President’s daughter Ashley Graham (Genevieve Buechner) is kidnapped and taken to a village in Spain by a cult known as the Los Illuminados, headed by Osmund Saddler (Christopher Jane), Leon is sent to rescue her.
On his mission, Leon encounters many colourful characters, such as the shady yet charasmatic Luis Serra (André Peña), Leon’s even shadier acquaintance Ada Wong (Lily Gao), Saddler’s devout follower Ramon Salazar (Marcio Moreno), and, of course, a friendly merchant (Michael Adamthwaite) who we buy from and sell supplies to and upgrades out weapons.
The story of Resident Evil 4 has a classic B-movie feel to it, while also carrying a feeling of seriousness that is key to the other Resident Evil remakes.
The game juggles these two tones effortlessly, providing a fun story for the player.

It’s constantly funny how Leon reacts to a lot horrifying situations with cheesy one-liners.

What is even funner, though, is the gameplay, as fighting against wave upon wave of Las Plagas infected villagers never became dull, with numerous ways of taking them out.
I found shooting one in the head to stun them, and then running forward to deliver a roundhouse kick, knocking them and any surrounding villagers to the ground, to be the most entertaining way of dealing with these waves.
This technique will not work with all enemies, however, so you will have to be constantly managing your ammo, herbs, and other supplies to be prepared for each possible encounter.
Such becomes particularly nerve wracking when the game truly gets into the horror Resident Evil is known for.
There is the Verdugo fight, and the remake original section where you play as Ashley running away from Plagas controlled suits of armour.
The most terrifying part of the game, however, is the Regenerators, where my panicking lead me to constantly missing their weak points, which then lead to me constantly dying against them. 

The Regenerators are by far the most terrifying enemies in the game.

Speaking of dying, this happened quite a few times on some of the bosses, most notably Salazar, who must have killed me at least ten times.
It was satisfying to finally defeat him but easily the most satisfying boss of the game for me was Major Krauser (Mike Kovac).
He destroyed me in my first attempt against him but our roles reversed in my second attempt, where I destroyed him, after learning from my failures.

Krauser is undobutedly the best boss in the game, in my opinion.

Honestly, the only boss that disappointed me in this game was the final one, although that may be more my fault than the game’s.
I still had an RPG in my inventory so I used that to pretty much one-shot him.
However, an argument could be made that I should not be able to one-shot the final boss in the first place because then there’s no challenge.
Another issue I have is how the escorting Ashley segments play out sometimes.
From what I hear, the remake did this much better than the original but there were still some frustrating moments, like a cannon section where Ashley kept going into a death loop.
A criticism I have also heard many people bring up is Lily Gao’s performance as Ada Wong.
And by “bring up”, I mean harass her online because people are terrible.
In my opinion, there was nothing wrong with Gao’s performance.
Sure it wasn’t fantastic but she got the job done. 

It is absolutley unacceptable how Ada Wong’s voice actress is being treated. If you don’t like it, fine, but don’t harass people over it.

One criticism I do find to be entirely legitimate is the recent addition of microtransactions for weapon upgrades.
It was pretty scummy of Capcom to add these only after all the positive reviews had come out, and it is extremely difficult to get the ticket used to upgrade the weapons completley without paying up, which is a shame for me because I have never bought a micotransaction and never will.
They are a predatory practice, designed to manipulate you into paying up in a game you have already bought, and sometimes they are even outright gambling.
Microtransactions have no place in a Resident Evil game, (or any game really, if you ask me).

“What are you buying?” The Merchant asks. “Not a microtransaction,” I say.

This problem aside, I found the Resident Evil 4 Remake to be a truly fantastic game that lives up to the hype of the original.
It provides a fun story with likeable characters, along with fantastic and sometimes terrifying gameplay.
I hope Capcom continues to do remakes of their older Resident Evil games so I can play updated versions of ones I never have previously, like Code Veronica for instance.

Chainsaw Man Chapter 125, Apple Thief Review: A Polite Primal Fear.

Way back in the International Assassins Arc of Chainsaw Man Part One, we met the Darkness Devil.
This terrifying entity was the first Primal Fear Tatsuki Fujimoto introduced us to; a Devil so powerful and created from a fear so primal that the Devil itself had never experienced death.
There was no reasoning with the Darkness Devil.
If it wanted you dead then you were probably dead, which is why it is so weird to read Chapter 125, “Apple Thief”, and see the Falling Devil being so unusually polite.
Well, as polite as a Devil can be, anyway, as the chapter starts with her brutally gathering ten eyes and four ears for her dish, after which, she goes to a supermarket like any average shopper would.
We then see her engaging in an oddly respectful talk with a staff member, who she has made fall up to the ceiling.
The Falling Devil asks the worker if she has a variety of apple that goes well with human flesh, a question which honestly got a chuckle out of me because how does the Falling Devil expect this woman to know that.
As for the worker, she is too terrified to respond, until the Falling Devil assures her that she has no intention of killing her unless attacked.
After leaving the shop, the Falling Devil remembers she forgot an ingredient, again, just like any regular shopper, only the ingredient she forgot is a human head.
Displaying more bizarre yet disturbing politeness, she asks if anyone is willing to spare a head.
It is then that a group of unwilling volunteers arrive, as a group of Devil Hunters take on the Falling Devil with sniper rifles.
They reduce her to a pile of limbs and guts but, being a Primal Fear, this is naturally not enough to kill the Falling Devil, who says she would rather avoid meaningless slaughter, before asking for a head again.
She only kills the attacking Devil Hunters and destroys much of the surrounding area when they attack her again but she seems to do this fairly reluctantly since she sighs beforehand.
Again, it is quite bizarre to see this powerful Devil act polite while killing and mutilating people left and right.
It is also quite interesting how the Falling Devil seems reluctant to hurt anyone outside of her goal to serve up some people as food for the Devils, including Asa and Yoru.
Speaking of those two, with the head now in her hands, all the Falling Devil needs to do is make Asa fall and then her dish will be complete.
Before she can do so, however, Denji finally shows up, ripping through the Falling Devil and accusing her of stealing apples… you know, as opposed to all of the murder and mutilation she just committed.
Denji has his priorities straight, although that is nothing new for him.
Another thing that is not new for Denji is being sliced up into pieces while he fights.
Good thing he’s basically immortal.
Unfortunately, so is the Falling Devil, as she seems completley unfazed by Denji ripping her apart, as she complains this is the first time that she has been on the menu, which is the end of the chapter.
I wonder if this is Fujimoto foreshadowing that Chainsaw Man will eat the Falling Devil, thereby erasing the fear of falling from humanity?
Although, if this does happen then it could have a lot of unintended consequences, since I would argue that a fear of falling actually helps out humans a great deal.
As for Denji finally showing up to fight the Falling Devil, there is a theory going around that this is actually not Denji but the Chainsaw Man imposter who killed Yuko.
While this is possible, I doubt this is the imposter because we saw Nayuta convince Denji to go fight a few chapters ago.
Most likely, Denji will have to team up with Asa and Yoru to defeat the Falling Devil and then whatever Primal Fear comes next.
All in all, “Apple Thief” was quite a short Chainsaw Man chapter but one with interesting characterization for the Falling Devil.
It also ended on a great cliffhanger, which has me excited for Denji and the Falling Devil’s fight going forward.

John Wick: Chapter 4 Review: Action Fatigue.

John Wick has been the highlight action franchise of the past ten years.
The first film, released in 2014, was surprisingly good and revitalized Keanu Reeves’ career.
The franchise has been going strong since then, with each sequel being a solid addition.
Well, four years since Chapter Three, Parabellum, released, we finally have John Wick: Chapter 4.
The movie has received plenty of praise from critics and fans alike, with many calling in the best in the franchise, although I do not think I would go quite that far.

Despite the film having some truly fantastic moments and characters, there are specific issues that hold it back, for me.

Chapter 4 once again follows Reeves as the titular John Wick who, after somehow surviving falling from the top of the Continental in the previous movie, goes to war with the High Table with the help of the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburn).
As for Winston (Ian McShane) and Charon (Lance Reddik, may he rest in peace), they are also suffering from the fallout of Parabellum, as they are left at the mercy of the Marquis, Vicent de Garmont (Bill Skarsgård).
Desperate to hunt down and kill John, the Marquis enlists the help of the blind assassin Caine (Donny Yen) and a hunter who goes by Mr Nobody (Shamier Anderson), while Winston advises John to challenge the Marquis to single combat to earn his freedom.
The characters and world building of John Wick continue to be strong in this fourth installment, with John having the best narrative arc since probably the first movie, and Caine and Mr Nobody being fantastic characters who I would be excited to see more of. 

Caine in particular is stellar, with Donny Yen presenting excellent dramatic weight, comedic timing and, of course, stunt work.

As for the action, it is, as expected of a John Wick movie, absolutely incredible, just like it was in the past three films.
Once again directed by Chad Stahlenski, the action of John Wick: Chapter 4 is undoubtedly some of the best in the entire franchise.
The stuntwork, the cinematography, the editing; all of these are glorious and combine to create truly terrific action.
This culminates in one action set piece in the third act that takes place entirely in an overhead shot, which I would argue is the best action scene of the decade. 

This action scene alone makes John Wick: Chapter 4 worth seeing in the theatre.

It reminded me a lot of a video game, which also makes me really want a John Wick video game, now that I think about it.
All of these fantastic features should have made Chapter 4 the best installment in the John Wick franchise, however, there are unfortunately a few things which hold it back.
One of these things is Keanu Reeves himself.
As I said, I loved the arc his character went through but Reeves performance in this film is probably the weakest in the entire franchise, with even simple sentences sounding wrong, which is a bad thing since simple sentences is all John Wick speaks in this movie. 

Even the line, “I’m going to need a gun” sounds wrong coming out of Reeves mouth.

Along with this, Chapter 4 doubles down on many of the things that broke my immersion in previous installments.
John is still surviving downright impossible falls and civilians still do not react to people being murdered right in front of them.
Also, the more I think about what happens in this movie, the less relevant the events of Parabellum seem, since conflicts that were set up in that movie don’t really amount to much here.
But by far the biggest issue I had with John Wick: Chapter 4 is the action itself.
This may sound like a contradiction because I was heaping praise on the action earlier.
As I said previously, the action is spectacular, with great cinematography, stuntwork, etc.
My problem is that we got too much of a good thing.
The action scenes in this movie go on and on and on and on, to the point that I began to grow bored with it all, despite how well made it was.
I can only see so many people get shot or stabbed in the face before it becomes tiring, as psychopathic as that probably sounds.
I actually remember checking my watch a few times to see just how long the action had been going.

This Japan fight seemed to go on forever. It was fun to watch when the first few goons attacked John but got extremely tiring by the third or fourth wave of them.

So the issue was not the action itself but that it often went on for so long at certain points that I began to feel fatigued by it all.  
I never thought that a movie could make me bored with constant action, yet John Wick: Chapter 4 somehow achieved this.
Despite these issues, though, I would still recommend the film.
The action, although sometimes overly long, is stellar, the characters are all compelling, the film is definitely the funniest in the franchise, and the ending is incredibly satisfying.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is definitely better than Parabellum, however, I am not sure where I would place it afterwards.
My opinion of this movie’s ranking may depend on what happens in the future of this franchise.
If future installements honor Chapter 4’s ending then it should be high up but if they do not then it will probably be on the lower end.  

Top 10 Mass Effect Squadmates.

I often find that whenever it is asked which video game has the best cast of characters, the Mass Effect trilogy is almost always the answer, and for good reason.
Created by Casey Hudson and releasing from 2007 to 2013, the trilogy has some of the best characters in all of video games, with the Legendary Edition, released in 2021, giving players a reason to get reacquainted with them all over again.
Having recently replayed the trilogy myself, I decided to find out which of these characters I consider to be the ten best.
This was not easy because there are so many fantastic characters in the trilogy so I have to leave a couple out, those characters being Miranda Lawson and Edi.
They nearly made the list but there were ten characters I considered to be better, starting with..

10. Javik. 

“Stand amongst the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and ask the ghosts if honour matters. The silence is your answer.”

Javik is a character who was locked behind day one dlc when Mass Effect 3 launched.
This scummy practice was a shame because it locked one of the trilogy’s most interesting characters behind a pay wall.
Javik is the last survivor of the Prothean species and has fought the Reapers for his entire life.
After being awakened from stasis by Commander Shepard, Javik joins the crew to help complete the task his people unfortunately failed in.
The trilogy up until that point had portrayed the Protheans as an enlightened race but Javik serves to contrast this, what with him having been at war his entire life and also revealing the more colonial aspects of the Protheans.
Along with revealing more about his species, Javik also serves as a challenge for other characters.
Bringing him to Thessia is pretty much a must in my book because of how it can lead to him motivating Liara.
With his ruthless and cold personality, it can be hard to like Javik at times but what makes it easier is just how funny he can be with his deadpan humor.
The scenes where he disses the Salarians and him being on the film set in the Citadel DLC are comedic gold.
His ending is uncertain, however, as depending on your choices, he can wish to take his own life to be with the rest of his people after the Reapers are defeated so we will have to see if this plays any part in the next Mass Effect game, should he return.
Javik is a character with a lot of depth behind his cold visage.
It is just a shame that he was not available for many players until the Legendary Edition because of the dlc.

9. Jack.

“I figure every time someone dies and it’s not me, my chances of survival go up. Simple.”

Honestly, when I first played through the Mass Effect trilogy as a teenager, I did not like Jack.
Her hot-headed personality made me barely interact with her and I stupidly did not upgrade the Normandy for the suicide mission so Jack died in its opening section, leaving her story unavailable for Mass Effect 3.
It was only when I bought the Legendary Edition that I was able to finally connect with Jack’s character.
Tortured and experimented on by Cerberus for her Biotic abilities as a child, Jack escaped and lived a life of crime until her capture, after which Shepard is sent to recruit her for the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2.  
Unwilling to trust Cerberus after what they did to her, Shepard has to earn that trust through her loyalty mission, which sees them travel back to the destroyed science facility where Jack was held.
Shepard helps her uncover new details about her escape and maybe even get some closure through dealing with the other escapee turned potential perpetrator, and then blowing up the base.
I have not had my Shepard romance Jack but, looking up clips, it uncovers an even more vulnerable side to her character.
Shepard helping Jack through her trauma allows her to do some good in Mass Effect 3, becoming a teacher at Grissom Academy, teaching other powerful biotics like her and then protecting them from the fate she suffered by fighting off Cerberus.
I am glad that I got to know Jack better in my replays of the trilogy, as she went from probably one of my least favourite characters in the trilogy (although that perception was more my fault) to one of the best human characters.

8. Grunt.

“I am pure Krogan. You should be in awe.”

Introduced in Mass Effect 2, Grunt was a character I liked instantly.
At first, we think Shepard is going to recruit the Krogan Okeer but, after he dies, Shepard instead takes his creation, a Krogan bred in a tank to be a perfect warrior.
After releasing the creation, he takes the name Grunt and decides to fight for Shepard to live up to the purpose he was made for.
This is a purpose he does struggle with, though, because Grunt is pretty much a grumpy teenager when he comes out of the tank, and buying him a few dances at Omega is not going to fix the problem, Garrus; thank you for the input, though.
Taking him to the Krogan homeworld of Tuchanka, Shepard helps Grunt through a rite of passage, potentially becoming the first Krogan since Wrex to take down a Thesher Maw during the trial.
Should he survive the suicide mission, Grunt will then help Shepard take down a group of Rachni indoctrinated by the Reapers.
This is an encounter he can die from if you do not have his loyalty.
If he survives this mission as well, he will reappear in the Citadel DLC and I would highly recommend saving him because he has some of the funniest gags in that dlc.
From him crashing out of a window, to him constantly denying guests who want to come up and party, to him and Wrex constantly saying Shepard’s name; Grunt gets a lot of laughs.
His ending is also great, as it is shown in the extended cut that he and Wrex are working togethor to rebuild Krogan society.
Grunt is both an awesome and funny character to watch and I hope he makes a return in the next game. 

7. Legion.

“Shepard-Commander. I must go to them. I’m… I’m sorry. It is the only way.”

The Geth were one of the main antagonists of the first Mass Effect so it was quite the surprise to encounter Legion in the second game. 
There is a great misdirect where the player initially thinks he is going to take a shot at Shepard, only to kill the husk behind him and then address him in this iconic moment as, “Shepard-Commander.”
Named Legion by Shepard, there are signs that he is different from other geth right from the get-go, as he uses a piece of Shepard’s armour to patch a hole, indicating some kind of sentiment, when all other Geth are devoid of this.
Following his recruitment to the team, you can go on his loyalty mission to either kill or reprogram Geth working for the Reapers.
If you have not completed Tali’s loyalty mission by this point, then I would highly recommend taking Legion along, both because of how the Quarians react to him and also because of how hilarious it is to just see Tali defend herself by stating she only sent deactivated Geth, while currently working with a very active Geth.
Legion will then return in Mass Effect 3, being held captive by the rest of the geth who are now working with the Reapers for survival.
Going on numerous missions with Legion, allowing for exploration into the events of the Morning War between the Quarians and the Geth, Shepard then has to choose which species to save or to save them both.
Either way, it ends tragically for Legion, as he either dies trying to give his people sentience, or dies succeeding in doing that, finally gaining full awareness as he refers to himself as “I.”
Legion is a great character who could have been a lot higher had he more screen time, since most players recruit him late, due to his recruitment starting a time limit to save the crew of the Normandy. 

6. Thane Krios. 

“The universe is a dark place. I’m trying to make it brighter before I die.”

Out of all the characters to recruit for the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2, Thane certainly makes one of the bigger impressions.
His introduction is one of contradictions, as we see him efficiently assasinate a group of thugs, before praying over their bodies.
We can gain a better understanding of how these supposed contradictions actually equate to Thane’s way of life, especially when considering his terminal illness, by talking to him on the Normandy.
I actually had a lot of fun learning about him and Drell culture on my most recent play through.
Thane’s loyalty mission is also unique as, unlike the others, it contains very little combat, centering around finding Thane’s son Kolyat and stopping him from becoming an assassin, like his father.
His potential relationship with Shepard is also considered to be one of the better fem-shep romances from what I have heard.
Much like Jack, though, Thane was a character I did not see any of in Mass Effect 3 because I did not think upgrading the ship would be important for the suicide mission.
Making sure to do so to keep Thane alive, I was finally able to see Thane’s complete story in the Legendary Edition, catching up with him on the Citadel before seeing him dealt a fatal wound by Kai Leng during the Citadel attack.
Thane’s last movements with Kolyat and Shepard were very moving and his death made it all the more satisfying to put an end to the annoyance that is Kai Leng.
Holding his funeral in the Citadel DLC also served as another moving sendoff for his character, with the messages he leaves for Shepard.
Thane is a complex character who I enjoyed creating a friendship with after I stupidly got him killed on my first playthrough.        

5. Liara T’Soni. 

“It would be easy for a single ship to get lost up there, wouldn’t it? To find someplace very far away, where you could live the rest of your life in peace, and happiness.”

Of all the characters in Mass Effect, Liara is among the ones who changes the most throughout the trilogy.
When Shepard first meets Liara, she is a scientist studying the Prothean Ruins, considered too young to be taken seriously by other Asari, at the young age of 106 (Yes, Asari have ridiculously long life spans). 
How Liara plays into the narrative of the first Mass Effect depends entirely on when you choose to recruit her, leading to a humorous moment where, if you wait too long to do so, Liara will believe Shepard is a hallucination.
From her recruitment, we see Liara grow, as she can help Shepard take down her indoctrinated mother for the good of the galaxy.
Liara returns in Mass Effect 2 but not as a potential member for the suicide mission.
Instead, she gets one of the best dlcs in the series centered around her, Lair of the Shadow Broker.
There are numerous great interactions between her and Shepard in this dlc, especially one in a taxi, and it all ends with Liara taking on the role of the Shadow Broker, gaining a vast information network, which she utilises in Mass Effect 3 in the war against the Reapers.
It is through her that we learn about the Crucible, and the later loss of Thessia hits her hard, ending with plenty of development spurred on by Javik.
There are also many ways Shepard can impact Liara’s life because, if you choose to do so, you can motivate Liara to reconnect with her father.
As for Liara and Shepard’s relationship, I did find a lot of their scenes to be romantically coded, even though I have yet to romance Liara in any of my play throughs.
Liara starts off the trilogy as an often flustered scientist and transforms into one of Shepard’s greatest allies with a vast information network, making her one of the best characters in the series.

4. Mordin Solis. 

“Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.”

First introduced in Mass Effect 2 as another recruit for the suicide mission, Mordin makes a quirky impression on the player, right from the start. 
A fast talking and ruthless scientist, Shepard first meets Mordin when he is attempting to cure a plague on Omega started by the Collectors.
After helping him do this, Mordin joins the crew of the Normandy, serving a key role in the squad, as it is his study of the Collectors which allows Shepard to negate the seeker swarms.
His loyalty mission leads to darker areas of Mordin’s character as we eventually learn he was one of the scientists behind a modification of the Genophage used to quell the Krogan’s numbers. 
This mission does play a role in his eventual redemption because, if he saves Maelon’s research data, it leads to him saving Eve in the future.
Mordin also serves as a great source of comic relief on the Normandy, with him showing off his singing skills to Shepard and even offering them sexual advice depending on who is romanced.
It is Mass Effect 3, though, where Mordin really shines, having had a change of heart about his role in the Genophage.
In one of the best missions of the game, Mordin travels with Shepard to Tuchanka to cure the genophage which, unfortunately, will mean that he has to commit the ultimate sacrifice.
There is a way to stop him, however… which is shooting him in the back.
Honestly, sabotaging the Genophage cure is probably something I’ll never do (unless Wreav is in charge), especially because you have to murder Mordin to do so (again, unless Wreav is in charge).
It is much more fulfilling to have Mordin sacrifice himself to cure the genophage, going out while singing a tune to himself: “I am the very model of a scientist Salarian.”
That you were Mordin, that you were. 

3. Urdnot Wrex. 

“That’s why I love hanging out with you guys! Why shoot something once when you can shoot it 46 more times?” 

In the Citadel DLC, Tali describes Wrex as the “crazy, head-butting uncle I never had”, and that is the perfect description of him. 
Upon meeting him in the first Mass Effect, Wrex certainly lives up to the “crazy, head-butting” part of Tali’s description, for he is working as a merc hunting down a criminal named Fist.
You can choose to enlist his help, after which he will kill Fist and join Shepard’s crew.
From there, conversing with Wrex will lead to exposition about the Krogan, the genophage, and Wrex’s own traumatic past, since he had to kill his own father.
This leads into another mission in which Shepard retrieves Wrex’s family armour for him, which can be a big help in saving Wrex on Virmire when he learns of the genophage cure Saren is creating and nearly turns on Shepard.
This interaction is one of the best character moments in the first Mass Effect with Wrex’s potential betrayal, also potentially leading to his death, revealing him to have the most layers out of any of the crew by that point.
Should he survive the first game, he is unfortunately never a squad mate again in the main story, only being available in the Citadel DLC.
His story is still impactful despite this, however, as we can meet him on Tuchanka on Mordin and Grunt’s loyalty missions, where he is the leader of Clan Urdnot.
Him running up to Shepard and shouting “My friend!” never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Then there is his role in Mass Effect 3, with the curing of the Genophage storyline being one of the best of that game.
Once again, Wrex has many standout scenes here, from him hilariously interjecting when Shepard is trying to get past the Reaper, to him fighting off some of the Reaper’s forces on his own to, of course, him declaring that Shepard’s name shall mean “hero” to the Krogan people.
It is for all of these reasons that I find it impossible to sabotage the Genophage cure, since it will mean betraying Wrex, who will eventually find out, forcing you to kill him.
Wrex may only be a main squadmate in one of the game’s but he makes such an impact across the trilogy that he easily makes the top three. 

2. Garrus Vakarian. 

“Not sure if Turian heaven is the same as yours, but if this thing goes sideways and we both end up there… meet me at the bar. I’m buying.”

When looking at other lists ranking Mass Effect characters, it becomes obvious that Garrus Vakarian is the most popular character in the trilogy, given that he nearly always ranks at number one.
I, myself, almost gave him the top spot but, in the end, I rewarded another character with it for reasons I will get into later.
As for Garrus himself, his start in the first Mass Effect is certainly strong, what with him being introduced as pretty much the only C-Sec officer willing to investigate Saren, making him a natural choice to ally with to help take down the rogue spectre.
Frustrated with how the system always seems to let criminals get away with their crimes, Garrus then joins Shepard’s crew.
While not having much of a role beyond that in the first game, the player can decide how his character turns out through helping him hunt down an organ harvester named Dr Saleon.
Thus, when Shepard reunites with him in Mass Effect 2, he will either had gone down a more paragon or renegade path.
Either way, he still begins the second game as a vigilante on Omega, with his return coming as a welcome surprise.
He then has a fantastic loyalty mission where Shepard helps him track down Sadonis, the Turian who betrayed Garrus, getting his entire squad killed.
Again, the player can either set Garrus on the paragon or renegade path, allowing him to kill Sadonis or convincing Garrus to spare the guilt ridden traitor.
Gaining Garrus’ loyalty also makes him a vital member for the suicide mission, as he is great in leadership roles when the squad has to separate.
Should he survive the mission and return in Mass Effect 3, he will have become the Turians’ advisor on the Reaper threat, with the help of his father.
Rejoining Shepard and the Normandy crew once again, Garrus is again essential in the galaxy’s fight against the Reapers, while also having plenty of great downtime moments, like when he and Shepard hang out on the Citadel, having a shooting contest.
Speaking of the Citadel, in the dlc centering around it, we see how awkward he is at flirting, when he tries to win over a female Turian.
I was dying with laughter as Garrus kept accidentally insulting the woman but was all too happy to serve as his wing-man.
As for Garrus’ other romantic pursuit, his relationship with a female Shepard is one of the best romances in the series.
I have never played as Fem-Shep before but looking up their romance on YouTube provided a lot of laughs at how this skilled C-Sec Officer, turned vigilante, turned military advisor can be such a dork in private. 
The dance scene in the Citadel DLC is one of the most romantic scenes in all of Mass Effect,
As Shepard says before the final mission of Mass Effect 3, “There’s no Shepard without Vakarian.”
Whether Garrus serves as Shepard’s best friend, or boyfriend for a female Shepard, Mass Effect would not be complete without him. 

1. Jacob Taylor.

“I probably deserved that.”


April Fools! The True Number One Is…



1. Tali’Zorah vas Normandy.

“You’ve treated me just like everyone else on your crew. Like an equal. That means a lot.”

Taking the top spot, Tali is the only squadmate alongside Garrus who is with Shepard for all three games.
Speaking of Garrus, I mentioned previously that he nearly took the number one spot.
Well, the reason I ultimately decided to put Tali above him and at the top of the list is because, in my opinion, she has by far the best missions of Mass Effect 2 and 3, but I am getting ahead of myself.
In the first Mass Effect, Tali serves a vital role in the game’s opening act.
Starting off as a young Quarian on her pilgrimage, Tali uncovers evidence of Saren’s betrayal and Shepard has to rush to save her, before she is killed and the evidence is lost.
Tali, however, proves herself more than capable, taking out many of her assassins alongside Shepard.
After exposing Saren, Tali boards the Normandy as part of your crew, helping to work on the ship and serving to explain the history of the Quarians and the Geth, the latter of whom is especially important, given that the Geth are one of the main antagonists of the first game.
We meet Tali again early in Mass Effect 2, as Shepard encounters her while investigating a human colony attacked by the Reapers.
Tali has clearly changed in the years that Shepard has been dead, now being a much more confident leader, with Shepard helping her rescue one of her people driven mad by the attack.
Tali’s actual recruitment comes later in Mass Effect 2 and it is followed by what is, without a doubt in my mind, the best loyalty mission in the game.
In this mission, Tali is recalled to the Migrant Fleet to stand trial for sending active Geth, leading to the deaths of many, including her father, a crime of which she is innocent.
Serving as Tali’s lawyer, it is up to you how Shepard will defend Tali, with there being multiple different ways to have her declared innocent and gain her loyalty.
A loyal Tali will then also prove essential during the Suicide Mission, as her tech skills make her the perfect squadmate to send into the vents (unless you just want to send Jacob in to die because that’s also a reasonable call to make).
Tali then reappears in Mass Effect 3 as an admiral of the Migrant Fleet and, in the best storyline of the game, alongside the Genophage storyline, Shepard must help her end the war with the geth, whether this ends in a Quarian or Geth victory, or with the two sides making peace.
However, this can end tragically because if Shepard sides with the Geth and the Quarians are wiped out, Tali will take her own life in her grief.
Should she live, Tali has a lot of funny moments towards the end of the game as well.
There is the already mentioned comment about Wrex being like an uncle in the Citadel DLC, along with Shepard seeing Tali drunk on the Normandy, toasting Miranda.
Tali’s romance is also one of the best in the entire trilogy, as she starts off nervous in the beginning before growing out of her shell in this new relationship.
This results in numerous touching moments, such as her badly singing to Shepard in the Citadel DLC and the best goodbye to a character at the end of Mass Effect 3, when she tells Shepard, “I have a home” in a heart-breaking scene.
Proably the only thing I did not like about Tali was how terrible her face reveal was in the original Mass Effect 3, with it just being a photoshop edit but the Legendary Edition fixed this.
Tali has incredible development across the trilogy, along with the best missions in the trilogy as well, and it is these factors which make me believe she is the best squadmate in all of Mass Effect.