One Piece Volume Cover Rankings Worst to Best #97-#91

My recent reread of One Piece chapters and arcs that I remember fondly like Enies Lobby, Paramount War, Dressrosa, Whole Cake Island and many others has led me to taking a closer look at the Volume covers. I see people reviewing chapters and arcs, but I don’t normally see as much reviews on the actual volumes. If I do, it’s normally the volume as a whole as in the actual chapters within rather than the actual design and importance of the volume covers. The cover of a volume can say a lot and can be memorable in its own ways based off of what is shown.

I decided to do a ranking of all of the current volume covers, 97 at this point, and determine my own ranking based on a few things. It’s hard of course to not take into account the events that happen in each chapter, but I much rather would like to rank them based on memorability and actual design as a whole. In some cases the volume will remind me of certain events that were impactful to me, but to be the best, the volume also has to convey that importance and be designed well enough to be striking. 

Volumes are very important to a manga series. A volume can be the one thing to truly set itself apart without having to require any knowledge of the story for you to become intrigued. I think about the Bleach volume covers that each have a different character on the cover, but it doesn’t actually tell you much about the story. One Piece has always for the most part been able to have a cover that spews its creativity and intrigue and is enough to get somebody on board to give it a try. With that, We start off this ranking with the bottom of the list, numbers 97-91 of my least favorite volume covers.

97. Volume 11

One of the biggest points I made in my intro was that the volume cover has to be memorable and striking to incite intrigue as to what kind of story is underneath that cover. When you pick up this volume, sure you see our main characters, but it doesn’t really tell you anything about them or relate at all to the story underneath. It is a major problem with the earlier volumes of One Piece where it was more of just a stylistic art design, but it feels more as if it should have been a color spread rather than that of an actual cover. Forgive me if I’m wrong but I believe it may have been an actual color spread that was just transferred to the cover. I may be wrong, but the problem is just that there isn’t anything exciting about this cover. If you had no idea what One Piece was about, I feel that this cover would do nothing to gain your interest to go to volume 1. I also don’t even remember this volume cover and only realized what was on it when I was going through each one. Because of all of these reasons, this volume ranks last.

96. Volume 14

Sometimes it’s hard to rank things that are just a personal preference, but then again we all do it all the time, so for some people there will be volumes that rank higher than others, but again I just go back to my criteria as I rank each one. Volume 14 takes place in the beginnings of the Baroque Works saga and this volume gives us our first real threat of the criminal organization being Mr. 3. His appearance in the background is kind of cool, but there just isn’t much going on with this cover that incites the excitement or events taking place. I wish there was just a little more going on, but the only reason why this volume is of any importance is that it reminds you of Mr. 3 who ends up coming back later on in the series. It’s just a bland cover. 

95. Volume 27

My least favorite arc is the Skypiea arc and one of my favorite types of covers that One Piece has are the ones where we get to see the villain members. This is easily my least favorite of both of those. The villains are not memorable outside of Enel and aren’t doing anything to get me excited or interested in them. The designs are not great and unique so they don’t pop out on the cover. The only thing that pops is the inclusion of Luffy being the biggest face on the cover and the wink that he’s giving. I mean it is Luffy so it makes sense for him, but there just isn’t anything working for this cover to help it out. I like the dark blue color of the background, but it’s wasted on the non memorable villains. It would have been better to pull Luffy out and have Enel alongside them, it would at least pop a bit more and might have received more points from me.

94. Volume 4

My least favorite arc of the East Blue saga is represented by this early volume that gives a look a Kuro and his henchmen. We also have another cover with Luffy’s face as the biggest image on the cover. Again, I feel that leaving him out would benefit this cover with more focus being on Kuro and his gang. These were also the early characters where the henchmen weren’t very interesting until we got to the Arlong arc, so there’s a lot working against this cover. The biggest thing though is that I am truly not a fan of Kuro as a villain and have no interest in reading that arc again except for the fact that it’s when we get introduced to Usopp. Between the memories I have and the overall design, this cover just isn’t that great and is very forgettable. 

93. Volume 5

This cover isn’t bad, but it’s just not that great. It’s a cover that I refer to as showing a sense of adventure that I will bring up with several other volumes. There is excitement in the eyes of our crew as they head towards their next adventure, but that’s about it. Usopp is front and center due to him being the newest member, but at this time I wasn’t a big fan of him. The sense of adventure is very important in this pirate story, but for the cover to pull it off in the way that they need it to, they need to have something else to show us what that excitement is towards. It’s good to have our crew front and center, but that’s all that’s going on here. There just isn’t much to remind you of this cover, like I said these early covers are all victim to not having the big punch that they eventually have in future volumes.

92. Volume 7

So this cover was tough for me to place. At first I had it higher, but then I started to drop it as I noticed more things working against it. The first thing that makes this cover not bad is that it has Sanji on the front which makes me think back to how much I liked the Baratie arc and Sanji as a new member of the team. It isn’t so much a memorable cover though with there not being much going on. Again we have a Luffy front and center face that’s more for the gag aspect of One Piece, but it actually takes away from the actual story. Why not have more of the characters involved in this arc like Zeff and some others. There was more they could have done with this than what they did. It’s not necessarily a bad cover, but it’s more of a disappointing cover for what they could have done with it.

91. Volume 9

This cover gets more points simply for the fact that they made Nami front and center this time with the other members serving as the background characters. It shows that the focus of this volume is on Nami rather than the others, but shows that she has them as a support. Outside of the significance of volume though, there isn’t a lot going on to help it out. I’m not sure what else you could have done to help this cover out more, maybe just focus more on her past for the cover like they do with later flashback volumes. It’s a good cover that actually starts to show the growth of Oda as he starts to focus the covers more on the importance of the story to show how they work hand in hand. 

I anticipate this first batch of the bottom tier of my ranking to be the least interesting to you all. There really isn’t much to say about most of these covers because I really just don’t like them that much. Many of them were earlier volumes that all suffer from the same issues which is why they rank at the bottom. If anything though, maybe I’m in the minority and some of you disagree and if that’s the case then maybe this will at least spark interest in how I have the rest of the volumes ranked. As we get lower on the list, it becomes more difficult to rank them and there is a turning point where the covers are great but one is just better than the other. There will be plenty more to talk about as I move forward in this ranking so be sure to check out the next batch, volumes 90-81.
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Does The Silence Of The Lambs Ride The Performance Of Anthony Hopkins? (A Review)

My new interest in the fictional killer Hannibal Lecter has led me to not only watching the show Hannibal, but also deciding to watch all of the movies with the character. Along with that, I have also ordered the collection of books by Thomas Harris where the character originated so that I can also read them. The best thing about all of these various forms of media surrounding the character, I have gone into each one almost blind. The one exception being The Silence of the Lambs. An Oscar darling of a movie that took some of the biggest awards home has always been something that I knew about, but have never had the pleasure of actually watching.

Yes, I said it. I have never seen The Silence of the Lambs. I have never even seen portions of it. All I know about the movie is that the stars are Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. Had I not watched the Hannibal TV show prior to watching this, I likely wouldn’t have known anything about the character of Hannibal either. Even with how well Mads Mikkelsen played the character in the TV show, I went into this movie with a blank slate understanding that it was Hopkins himself that defined the character before Mads took his shot. 

With the success in the back of my mind, I did my best to shut those thoughts out so that I could just enjoy the movie. The one point that kept nagging at me though was that I have continuously heard that Hopkins is outstanding but is only in the movie for about fifteen minutes. The moment they introduced him, I started to get worried that the rest of the movie wasn’t going to be able to live up to the quality of character he is right off the bat. 

The fifteen minutes however is a little exaggerated. Maybe on a technical level if we break down the total time, I might be wrong and it might actually be closer to fifteen minutes, but it never feels like it’s a short amount of time spent with the character. Understandably though, Hannibal is not the main villain of the movie so his role should have been limited the way it was. The unfortunate result though is that I think they got more out of Anthony Hopkins than they expected. He falls so deeply and perfectly into this role that it really is just a damn shame that the movie wasn’t focused on him. 

He was putting on an acting clinic in every scene that he’s in with Jodie Foster as Clarice being the perfect contrast to what he was bringing. The incredibly odd yet perfect chemistry between the two is what makes those scenes the absolute best and highest points of the movie. If not for Hannibal, we would not have had such a powerful performance pulled out of Jodie Foster. That’s not a knock by any means on her part because she’s a very gifted actress, but you could see her skill being pulled out of her with every Hopkins interaction. 

I keep bringing up these two characters as the main points of a movie that is actually about another character, Buffalo Bill. A sadistic serial killer who has a gender identification problem with himself. I’m not sure if that’s the correct way to say that, but essentially he wants to be a woman but is unable to get a hospital to do the surgeries. This leads him to turning a bit psychotic and kidnapping women to eventually kill them and pull their skin off so that he can wear their skin.

Yeah, crazy enough that’s actually the kind of serial killer that matches up with what I was hoping to get as a second to Hannibal even though Hannibal technically is a second to him. The good thing though with Buffalo Bill being this crazy in what he does is that it makes him a truly fearful villain for Clarice. He never reaches the bar that Hannibal sets, but works for what the story was trying to do. The only downside of the character and movie as a whole is the ending encounter between him and Clarice. It seemed a bit cheesy and unlikely that he would have left himself that open to be killed. Unless of course you assume that he had just given up on everything but with him getting ready to kill her, it just didn’t seem that way. 

This brings me to the story as a whole from start to finish. The story is very strong in how it sets up the plot and mystery and everything coming together with all of the moving pieces, but it doesn’t quite stick the landing as much as I expected it to. I believe this is by nobody’s fault except that Hopkins was just so damn good as Hannibal. He gives an all time performance that overshadows the rest of the movie and leaves you wanting more. Especially with an ending that leaves you hanging and wanting the story to continue with just Hannibal and Clarice. 

Does the movie deserve to be recognized as well as it is or is it riding the back of an all time performance of a villain seconded by another fantastic performance by Jodie Foster? I can’t say that I have actually seen all of the other movies that were nominated that year, so it’s hard to say. The performances are well deserving of the awards, but the story itself I feel doesn’t quite live up to how good the characters were. Now again it’s nitpicking because this movie is so much better than most movies that have attempted to do a similar story, but I was just expecting a bit more. 

It also leaves me wondering what could have been with a season 4 of Hannibal that was expected to introduce Clarice where we could have gotten another adaptation of the Silence of the Lambs storyline. There are just a lot of moving parts when discussing all of the different adaptations of a story that I have yet to read. This movie in the end is a great movie, I was invested the whole time and couldn’t get enough of the chemistry by Foster and Hopkins. I can see why it has received as much recognition as it has, but I still have some questions for what could have been better. 


I will be reading and reviewing the books soon enough, so it will be an interesting comparison when I get to that point. I will also be reviewing the other Hannibal films that have been released, so again we will see how those end up being. If you have seen The Silence of the Lambs and have your own comments or questions then feel free to comment below or email us at TowerCityMedia@gmail.com and follow us @TowerCityMedia

Hannibal Series Review

There are many shows out there that you are aware of, but never pay any attention to until it becomes relevant. You discover those shows with no knowledge going into your watch of the series, and many times join a fanbase that has been begging for you to come aboard. Hannibal has become that recent show for me due to my recent interest in serial killers and shows about serial killers. I guess I shouldn’t say that they are a recent interest because I’ve always loved crime shows and true crime. I’ve watched Mindhunter and several other shows that fall in line with them, but my recent project has pushed me into diving deep into many shows that I haven’t watched yet. Hannibal being the first while writing my current project and recommended to me by Connor.

What do I know about Hannibal? Silence of the Lambs and the character Hannibal Lecter is a fictional character from a series of books. That is all I know about Hannibal, and (here comes the judging) I have never seen Silence of the Lambs or any of those Hannibal movies. You could say I went into this series essentially as dark and blind as you could go outside of just knowing the broad range of information about Hannibal. The biggest draw for me and this show though is Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal. I’m a huge fan of his work in films that I’ve seen like playing the villain in Casino Royale or his roles in Star Wars and Doctor Strange. This however, was a different beast entirely because he’s given 39 episodes to become a character and show his true acting ability.

I may be getting a bit ahead of myself as I dive into Mads and his performance. Let me turn back the clock a bit and go back to season 1, where it all began. Hannibal in the first season is presented as a typical crime procedural show with a beast of sorts at its core waiting to come out. Okay, I may ease back on the metaphors for my review. It was surprising to me to look back and see that season 1 came out 7 years ago. It does not look like a show that has aged past five years, but it is also a show that hints at and proves to be a series made before its time. 

In season 1 it hides itself as a sort of procedural with many hints of a modern day streaming service crime drama like The Outside or True Detective. You can feel that creativity oozing out of each episode through the first season, but being held back due to it being on NBC and a creature too early for its own good. A series that had it came out today, would be regarded as one of the best shows on any of the streaming services, but is now scratching and clawing its way back to relevance in order to warrant itself a continuation. Should it continue though? Let’s talk about how we got here.

Season 1 is tight and good, but does suffer a bit from the procedural shell that it’s trying to break free from. We are introduced to our main core of characters, the only real important ones being Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). The rest of the cast is important don’t get me wrong, but the show thrives and survives on Will and Hannibal. Both roles played expertly by both Mads and Hugh. Hugh Dancy I feel is a bigger standout than Mads only because I’m not familiar with him outside of this show. I knew what to expect from Mads, so Hugh was the bigger surprise. 

We get a fascinating dynamic between the two characters. Will Graham being somewhere on the spectrum between aspergers and autistic as he likes to put it. The one thing that does throw me off a bit about Will is this state that he goes into when he relives the crime scene through the eyes and motions of the killer. I understand the point of what his character can do, but the way it is presented makes it come off as a sort of superpower even though it’s not. It’s used for effect so that we can get a better sense of what went down at each scene, but takes a little getting used to.

As I said before, I knew nothing about the books or anything going into this show, so I didn’t know how everything was going to go down. A show can be very ballsy when deciding to tell us who the character is and have him so close to the cases. I think about Dexter which I haven’t seen yet, but I know the jist of. You have to play your cards incredibly well to pull off having the killer that close and telling us everything rather than have it be a mystery of figuring out who the killer is from our perspective as viewers. Rather it’s a contest of seeing if we can figure out how the characters are going to catch Hannibal with us knowing that he’s responsible.

It’s a very difficult balancing act that proves to be quite impressive as we begin to see events unfold in favor of Hannibal, against Will. It was unexpected where the story was going until you got later in the season, but once you understood the real game Hannibal was playing, you want to yell at the TV and all of the characters to stop being so stupid, and of course you feel bad for Will. Poor guy. Season one is what you expect and not what you expected, wrapped up in a shell with an animal inside trying to break free to show its true form. This metaphor could literally be used for many thoughts about this series and actually in the series too.

It sets up a cliffhanger that leaves you angry, but hooked into seeing what is going to happen next. The show finds its footing towards the end, but it isn’t until season two where the show really starts to take off. Keep in mind, yes, I am leaving out several key moments and am being very vague about the events out of courtesy for all of you who haven’t seen the show yet. It’s one of those that I much rather you experience without knowing anything other than the gist. 

Season 2 picks up where season 1 left off and keeps you angry at all of the characters, but for good reason. Everything in this show has a point and that’s what makes it so exciting to watch. The season opens to something surprising and makes you want to cheer, but then you go back in time several weeks to experience how exactly we got to that moment of joy. Again, very ballsy to do and hard to pull off, but again they did it. The show starts to step away from the procedural feel and more towards that modern day streaming crime drama as they begin to have more free reign to do what they want. 

This season as a whole I feel is the tightest and most complete from start to finish. There are many surprise twists that don’t feel forced and the plot is compelling enough to keep you guessing loyalties and intentions. Everything is up in the air until you get to the finale which makes it just that good. 

The problem I find though is that I can’t tell if the show by the end of season 2 knows where it’s going. I understand that Bryan Fuller had a plan for seven seasons or something like that, but the show by the end of season 2 could have just ended there if they wanted to. It’s at that point and going into season 3 that I have a bit of a disconnect. Survivability for some of the characters at the end of season 2 is believable but up to a point. It’s hard for me to understand if I believe more that they live because they could or because they wanted to continue the story with the same characters into season 3. It’s not a huge issue, but it is something that I questioned quite a bit.

This all leads into season 3. The season that is hard to judge because it was made with what I assume is intention to make more seasons, but unfortunately didn’t get anymore. I knew that season 3 was the last and I had heard great things about it, so my expectations were high. We pick up some time after season 2 and just to put it bluntly, the first half of the season just isn’t that good or that interesting. It dragged out and seemed to move slow and took forever to get to a point that could have only taken half the amount of time. The season didn’t become interesting or as compelling until we get to the time jump and the introduction of the Red Dragon.

There is a huge gap in quality for me between the first half of the season and the second half. I almost wish they would have done what they did in the first half in tw episodes and gave us the rest of the season to enjoy more of the Red Dragon plot. It was fascinating as we got to see another serial killer, but also not lose what we’ve come to know and love and hate about Hannibal and his connection with Will. Their chemistry is as good as it’s ever been in the final season and finally brings everything to a head as we make it to the ending. An ending that serves as an ending, but not quite as closed as you think. Very similar to how season 2 ended. 

This brings me to how I feel about the overall ending and how hard it is to judge this series on the ending we got when I know that there was still more story to tell. Did they know they were cancelled when they did the ending, or was it after? I don’t know that answer, so I can only judge it from what I saw and felt. The ending works well and makes sense and lives up to the connection and relationship that has been built between Hannibal and Will through all three seasons.

It’s finally an understanding between the two that is somewhere between romantic relationship and true twisted friendship. It was mentioned in the season that Will is a sort of wife to Hannibal and it feels very much so. They both have developed such feelings for each other and understanding of each other that it is very believable that they would develop into this sort of romantic relationship. It’s a revelation that I’m sure many wouldn’t agree with, but it all makes sense, the downfall is that because it was before its time and didn’t have another season to continue this, the show fails to really jump onto that thought rather than just imply it.

In the end, they still have each other. A yin and yang of two people who love and hate that they can’t live with each other and they can’t live without each other. They are essentially two sides of the same coin. Very relatable and understanding of each other with different philosophies but when it comes down to it they are connected no matter what. I said at the beginning of this review that I’m not ignoring the other important characters, but at its core this chow hinges on Will and Hannibal and that proves to be true up to the end of the finale. It’s a character chemistry built on the two actors who developed into one of the best duos to watch on screen for me.

Hannibal is a show that needs to be watched and needs to be understood. It’s a show that came out well before its time and unfortunately is part of its downfall. Had this show been introduced on Netflix or HBO or Hulu or whoever. It would have been a highly talked about and regarded show for its quality. It deserves to be found by new viewers and new fans to support how before its time it really was. Hannibal is excellent despite the few issues I did have with it. Even with the more artistic approach in season 3, it still makes up for the slow start to bring about a close to the series that works as an end, but makes you want more of these characters. 

I hope that one day we get to a point where a revival is realistic and a possibility, but at the same time I’m satisfied with what i got to the point where a continuation may end up ruining what I love about the show and where it left me off in the end. It’s a show that will require more viewings to really take in everything it’s trying to tell or allude to in its imagery and metaphors. 

This is simply a broad review of the series for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but are curious about it. There is so much to talk about with this show and I intend on writing some editorials regarding many things about the series that I would love to delve deep into once I have more in depth conversations with Connor about how we both perceived different moments and concepts. Be on the lookout for more Hannibal content in the coming days or weeks as I continue to take it in and understand the series the more I sit on it.
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Is The Roku Surround Sound System A Good Purchase?

This is a very different review for me. For those of you awaiting for my return to movie reviews, I apologize because I have been caught up watching Hannibal for the first time. In the meantime though, I did want to review my new entertainment system, because I feel like this is something that will benefit many of you who either are looking for a good entertainment system or could possibly be swayed into making your home theatre experience better. 

A little bit of background though because there were two reasons why I finally decided to venture into surround sound. The first is the easiest and most obvious reason being that I want an awesome sound experience for when I’m watching movies. It’s amazing how much of a difference it really is compared to only having sound come from your television. The second reason is a bit of a competition thing. I live on the second floor of an apartment building and my neighbors below me have some kind of sound system because every time they watch a movie our floor vibrates. It gets a bit annoying at times because I can hear the booms and explosions, so to solve that issue I decided to invest in my own system to drown out theres and to get back at them…Okay that sounds a bit childish, but can you blame me?

With that said, I had to do some research into what system to invest into. I knew going in though that good sound systems are not cheap, but there are some brands out there that are affordable. You have to find the right balance though because you get what you pay for with a product like this. I also currently have a Roku TV in my living room which is where I would be setting up the system. I have used Roku devices for several years now and I love the OS more than Firestick and some others. I just prefer to use products that I am familiar with and have a good experience with, so I tend to stick with Roku whenever I can. 

This did bring me to the realization that Roku actually has a surround sound system on the market, something I was not aware of. This led me to researching their products to ensure that they are well equipped for the price point and quality. I read many reviews and watched many YouTube reviews to get a sense of whether it was going to work for me. The general opinion was that the price is great for the quality of sound that you get. The only hangup would be for someone that is an audiophile or prefers systems of upwards of over $1000. This immediately gave me the sense that this was the go to product line for your everyday surround system customer. I decided to give it a shot.

I will say right now that my Roku surround sound is 2/3rds complete, but I have seen and heard enough to be able to give a general review of what I think. I don’t see the final piece changing my opinion drastically from where I’m at now. To break down the system is pretty easy. The main piece that you will want to look for first is the Roku soundbar. The soundbar actually has a built in Roku OS making it even better if you don’t have a Roku TV. This allows you to run the Roku OS without having to purchase a separate Roku device like the streaming stick or the other boxes that Roku has out there. It’s an incredible addition to the soundbar making it available to anyone regardless of the type of TV you have unless it’s one of those old box TV’s I suppose. 

The second piece to this system is the wireless speakers, two of them. They can be connected to your Roku TV or your Roku soundbar giving you two additional speakers to place in your choice of room. In some cases I have seen people place them on each side of the soundbar, but for me personally I don’t see how that gives you that surround sound feel, so I placed them on my back wall on each side of my couch angled inwards towards the living room. Doing that gives me sound from the front and from each side of me, giving me a very bubble like feel that places me in the action. 

The final piece and the piece I don’t have yet is the wireless Roku subwoofer. Now the reason why I haven’t purchased this yet is because I need to wait until I get my next paycheck and because it’s used to enhance the bass. The Roku soundbar does have decent bass that can be adjusted through the options, so I’m not in a hurry for the subwoofer, but I will be getting it to complete my system. The bass can be placed on the floor and will give you the true experience of fantastic explosions and thunderous music. Optional I would say depending on how badly you want to enhance your bass.

With all three items laid out for you, I will go into explaining the setup and overall experience so far of the soundbar and speakers. The first notable thing to remember when purchasing them is that they don’t come with mounts in case you were wanting to hang them. You just have to purchase them separately like I did which wasn’t a huge issue. I now have the soundbar mounted below my TV and the speakers mounted higher in the corners where I had them placed. It does help, but it’s also a bit of a preference to do that. 

Also, while the speakers are “wireless” they are still wired for power, so you’ll have a cord hanging below them if you mount them. I’m working on a solution to hide them better. The soundbar has only a power cord and an HDMI cord for the TV hookup. Cords aren’t a huge issue for me since I also have a Playstation and Nintendo Switch that have cords so I’m just used to seeing them, but many people hate cords so that’s up to you on where you place everything. 

The hookup wasn’t entirely difficult, but not quite as simple as I was hoping. I believe it was due to the fact that I was trying to run everything through my Roku TV OS rather than the Roku soundbar OS. I also just want to say that I tried to research how exactly to set everything up through a Roku TV, and I really couldn’t find an exact and accurate answer, so if you try to do what I was trying to do, fear not for I have the answers. 

I had purchased the speakers first and had them set up through my Roku TV which was a simple process that took about 2 minutes. When I purchased the sound bar, I figured it would be the same process, but it isn’t. The soundbar doesn’t run as a wireless addition the same way the speakers do, rather through the HDMI hookup. Therefore, I couldn’t connect it the way I thought through the Roku TV which was irritating at the time because it seemed that I would only be able to use the soundbar through its own Roku OS. 

Fear not though, for I solved the issue after about an hour of testing different things. One of the issues was also that when I switched over to the soundbar Roku, the soundbar would have sound but not the wireless speakers. I realized that it was likely because they were hooked up through Roku TV. The solution is now simple, you go into the soundbar Roku OS and connect the wireless speakers to the soundbar. You then switch back to the Roku TV and it will automatically run sound through the sound bar which in turn will run sound through the wireless speakers. It seems so simple now, but at the time it was a bit frustrating. Thankfully though I was able to figure it out.

That being the hardest and most annoying part of the purchase is entirely fine now that I have had the chance to actually listen to them. The sound quality for myself is pretty great and I have no complaints. The voices are clear and the sound is not muffled at all or static like. I have heard some speakers and soundbars that have rough sound, but that issue doesn’t come up with either the soundbar or the speakers. I have no complaints whatsoever with the system up to this point. Once connected, there are no issues or odd hurdles to jump through to get everything to work.

Ultimately it comes down to the quality of sound and the actual price to determine whether this is right for you like it is for me. You can purchase all of these items through Amazon, Walmart, or Best Buy. It all depends on availability. I was able to get the speakers at Walmart and the soundbar at Best Buy. I have my own reasons for doing that like the fact that Amazon wasn’t going to be able to ship the soundbar until later in the week and I’m needy and wanted it the same day I decided to buy it, but Amazon is a great choice because the prices are all about the same. 

The speakers come in around $149.99 before tax, the soundbar is about $179.99 before tax and the subwoofer is also about $179.99 before tax. These are all based off of current Amazon prices. I do know that you can get the subwoofer at Walmart for about $50.00 cheaper which is nice. The Walmart devices are labeled the ONN brand but they are also still labeled Roku. Still the same device so go whichever route you prefer. Depending on the prices you are able to come across, you can get the whole system for under $500 which is quite good. 

It comes down to your preference of brand and amount that you wish to spend, but for the price and quality, I have nothing as of yet to complain about the Roku brand system. It looks great and sounds great and I am very pleased as a whole. This is definitely a great choice if it is in your price range, but the best thing about it is that you don’t even have to purchase it all at once. Everything works great solo until you are able to get the other parts of the system. 
If you have this surround sound system or are thinking about it and you have comments or questions, feel free to comment below or send and email to TowerCityMedia@gmail.com and be sure to follow us @TowerCityMedia

Movie Theaters Return! Back To Normalcy?

I can’t go see Tenet, New Mutants, or any new movies coming out right now. It’s a shame because I have been looking forward to Tenet ever since it was announced. Nolan movies are always a great pleasure of mine to go see. I originally planned on going to IMAX to see it, but now I can’t even go to a small town one screen theatre to watch it. The problem is that I live in North Carolina, which you may know is still in Phase 2 where our Governor is mandating theatres be closed. I understand the situation of course with COVID and everything, but the painful part is that every state around me will be open. 

Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina. All of them will be open, and I guess you could say that I could simply travel to one of those other states to go see it. Yeah I could, except I live close to the middle of North Carolina which makes me not particularly close to any open theatres across state lines. I believe the closest one after doing hours of research is about 2 ½ hours away. Ultimately I just can’t justify the time spent driving, and gas usage to go that far just for a movie. 

It puts me in a crappy situation. I would prefer to use a different word, but I’m going to keep it PG here. It’s such a first world problem though, and makes me also think about whether I even should if I could. Just because we can, does it mean that we actually should. I don’t like to get into politics because it’s messy and everyone is always right about everything. Rather I just want to put forth the question of whether we should go to theatres with them being open. 

I understand the need for them to open so that they don’t go bankrupt from being closed for so long, that makes sense. I also understand that Nolan doesn’t want to put Tenet on VOD or push it to next year. He wants to be the big blockbuster to help get everyone back in theatres, and I understand that, but are we really in a position to say that it’s safe to go back? I don’t have the answer and I don’t think anyone does. Maybe if North Carolina had theatres open, I wouldn’t even be asking this question, but then again I should be. 

Having a baby on the way puts a lot of things in perspective. Whether it be the fact that my fiance is a teacher or that we really don’t understand fully what the effect of COVID on pregnant women and newborns are right now, it has made me more aware of the situation we are in. Now again, I’m not on here to speculate about the virus because I am no scientist, but it really does make me wonder if I should even go if I was actually capable of doing so. 

It’s a question that I understand many of us are taking into account as things seem to be returning to normal. I am just as excited to get back to the theatre as I’m sure we all are, but we also need to be vigilant in making sure that we are still doing our best to protect ourselves and others. Theatres seem to be doing the right thing as far as making the capacity for each theatre limited to give everyone the choice of distancing themselves while watching a movie. I’m not sure if anything has been said about concessions yet, but that is another thing that we should be aware of. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that for those of you that are venturing out to the theatres as they begin to open up, you need to be aware of your surroundings to keep yourselves safe as well as the people close to you. These are different times and while I am glad that theatres are opening back up, I am also low key upset that I’m not among you. At least for now. We are in uncharted waters, so we need to be prepared for the possibility of the theatres closing down again, but I also respect those of you that are going back to help support the theatres. 

There are movies like Mulan and many others that are going direct to home video through streaming services or VOD platforms, but that doesn’t make it right. Mulan as well as Tenet for myself both seem to be movies that are needed to be watched in a theatre. Because of everything going on, we are now in a situation where it seems not all movies will do so. I want to stress the importance of the actual theatre as being a reason why we get many of the movies we do.


While I myself am unable to go to a theatre right now, I do thank all of you who will be going. I thank you for supporting theatres as they begin to reopen. The important thing though is to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Always be aware of the situation you’re putting yourself in and be safe. I eagerly await the time where I can finally get back to the theatre, but for now I have to wait. Yes, I am upset, but also I am happy for those of you that can go. Let’s all enjoy this slow return to normalcy in hopes of this pandemic lifestyle being behind us. 

Be on the lookout for reviews of The New Mutants and Tenet in the coming weeks as Connor will be able to go. If you have the opportunity to go see either of these movies, please comment on the reviews and let us know what you think. Let’s build back this excitement for going to the theatres. And again, let’s all be safe!
Make sure to comment below or send us an email at TowerCityMedia@gmail.com and follow us @TowerCityMedia

I AM BACK

After a long hiatus from posting, I am happy to announce that I AM BACK. For a period it seemed like I was posting a review every day and while that is good for you all, it did start to burn me out a bit. Along with no new movies, it made my drive to watch movies lowered a bit. Between the pandemic, a new baby coming, and starting a new job, it seemed that I would never make it back to posting and that started to eat away at me. I respect all of the followers we have so far and Connor has been doing a fantastic job at keeping the site running on his own with his content. I have been carefully monitoring the site daily just to keep up with how things were going and I was impressed by how much content Connor was able to keep up with and continue posting whether it be his Hot 100 reviews, page a day, editorials, and his movie and tv reviews. I just want to take a second to thank him for all that he’s done over these past few months as we all should. A true show of excellence.

I believe it was my drive for wanting to write (or type) that lowered the most, so I decided to find something that could bring that drive back. I began an outline for a story idea that I am very proud of and is still being actively developed. I plan to continue work on that project and as it comes together more, I will be giving updates about it. In the meantime however, I will be bringing back reviews and other various posts that I hope you all will enjoy. I have played through many video games lately as well as movies and shows I’ve been watching and I’ve been keeping up with the NBA Playoffs. All of that is going to culminate in the various posts that I will start bringing to you all. A little something for everyone.

Movie theatres are also starting to open back up, something that I already have a post idea for. All of us should be excited for the release of new movies like The New Mutants and Tenet. I hope that with that, all of us will grow more excitement again for the movie industry, something that will help build the drive for many of us. 

If there is anything that you guys want us to talk about or review then please let us know. I know that we are open to talking about anything no matter what it is, even WAP for Connor, something that I personally would have passed on, but I’m glad he took one for the team. Anyways, again I would like to thank Connor for keeping this ship afloat while I have been taking a break. I hope to come back at this with a truly great return for all of you. Please keep supporting us and let us know if you have any ideas, comments, questions, or concerns.

Be sure to email us at Towercitymedia@gmail.com and follow us @TowerCityMedia. Also be sure to check out Connor’s Ebay page to see if he has anything available that you may like!

Thanks to all of you!

-Shane

My Team For The Kanto Pokemon Games

Now that I have covered my least favorite and favorite Pokémon as well as my overall opinion on the Kanto games, I now will cover the team that I most typically used. It was a little harder to remember all of the Pokémon I used in Red when I was much younger, so I tried to make my best guess between all of the iterations and times that I’ve done a play through. After compiling these six Pokémon, I also came to the conclusion that if I were to start one of the games right now, this is the team that I would go with for the best results from my own personal knowledge of these Pokémon. I do remember that I used to just only use my starter Pokémon with a few others and only my starter would be super powerful and it just never worked well for the Elite Four. Thankfully though, I have learned to better balance my teams and how to create more well rounded teams. Anyways, let’s get into my team for the Kanto games in order of how I would get them, and counting them as their final evolutions. 

  1. Charizard

I mostly pick Charizard as my starter because it is my favorite of the region and one of my favorite starters. It does well against a few of the gyms and Elite 4 in Red and Blue, but becomes better when you get to Fire Red with the inclusion of the Steel typing. This made the first gym against Brock easier if you leveled Charmander up enough to learn Metal Claw. It’s just a powerful beast of a Pokémon and I would say the best Fire Pokémon in the region. I believe there are more options for Grass and Water coverage if you choose Charmander as opposed to if you didn’t choose it and wanted good fire coverage. I think maybe the best would be Arcanine if you didn’t choose Charizard, but really on any given day I would choose Charizard first. There are of course some challenges using it like against Misty, but if you use one in Fire Red or newer than your match against Lt. Surge is actually easy with the added steel typing unless of course you’re facing Raichu. At this point though you likely won’t have Charizard yet, so no worries on the electric advantage against the eventual flying that Charizard becomes. I can see where Blastoise or Venusaur May be better in other scenarios but I would suggest Charizard. 

  1. Pidgeot 

I will be the first to admit that Pidgeot doesn’t have much coverage throughout the game in any of the big battles except maybe Erika. You already have the flying typing covered by Charizard, so you don’t really need a Pidgeot, but through most of the game it serves well as a solid Pokémon to do some decent damage in most battles. I never found myself using it that much except maybe against Bruno, but I do always remember going to it when I was in a bind. It’s just the perfect middle of the ground Pokémon that really does help more in the early game than in the later portion of the game, but I can’t help but use it every time given how much I really like the whole evolution line. You won’t want to use it in the first gym, but it’ll definitely help you with all of the bugs alongside Charmander in the Viridian Forest. I won’t recommend it for everyone because in this case I have Charizard which can learn a flying move, but I always love using Pidgeot. 

  1. Nidoking

This is an absolute must have in these games for any team. As I’ve said before, I’m not a competitive battler and I don’t spend hours on end looking at exact typing matchups and all of the detail stuff, but I use what I learn from results. Nidoran is available early on and it doesn’t really matter if it’s the male or female, I personally prefer Nidoking, but it doesn’t really matter which you choose. You can use it early on and will likely evolve before you even get to Misty. You can get a Moon Stone also before you get to Misty in Mt. Moon so you can get a Nidoking at Lv. 16. You get great poison typing as well as ground typing and an array of moves that you can use. As you get out of Mt Moon you can also get Mega Kick or Mega Punch which is a great move to add early on. On top of that you will eventually get Earthquake and a bunch of other great moves. I always found it useful for most of the gyms in some shape or form and tended to rely on it in tight situations. It was easily my second best on my team behind Charizard. I will always recommend Nidoking or Nidoqueen for any Kanto team. 

  1. Gyarados 

Yes. I never used a Gyarados when I was playing early on because I didn’t have the patience, but as I grew up I started to use one because it is one of the most powerful Pokémon you can have through the game and is a great substitute for not choosing Blastoise. For all of the newer players that have grown up with Exp. Share as a Key Item, you won’t know how irritating it was to level up. Back in the days of Red or Fire Red I had to start with Magikarp and then switch it out immediately just to give it some Exp. It was a pain and took a little while, but you can get Magikarp as soon as you get to Vermillion City and get the Old Rod. Take the time to level it up to lv. 20 and then there you go, you got yourself a very powerful Water Pokémon to compliment the rest of your team. You won’t get much use out of it against Surge or Erika, but it does it’s job against team Rocket, Blue, and most other trainers as well as the later gyms like Blaine and Giovanni and some of the Elite 4. I see it as being the third strongest Pokémon on the team so far behind Charizard and Nidoking. If you’re willing to put in the work then Gyarados is definitely worth the time. 

  1. Snorlax

You may be able to tell by now, but I’m a fan of big powerhouse Pokémon on my team. I like to build a team that is all around brutal to deal with and do brutal damage to most challengers. Snorlax being a normal type is a bit annoying because it does have some weaknesses, but it learns such powerful movies and has a lot of HP so it definitely holds up against most of what you’ll face. On top of that, you have the opportunity to catch two of them. I don’t recommend using two, but you get two chances to get one in case something happens on your first encounter. You get it at a decent level if you search it out as soon as you get the flute and you won’t be disappointed at all when using it. There’s really not much to say because it all depends on the moves you teach it. Just don’t expect much if you try to use it against Bruno.

  1. Victreebell 

I picked Victreebell for this last spot because in recent years, I have used it specifically for this team as my Grass type coverage. Bellsprout isn’t available in the beginning, but proves very useful towards the end of the game and can be a very valuable Pokemon to have on your team. Now with that though, my sixth slot is usually wide open and just depends on what I’m feeling for that playthrough. In some instances, I have used one of the legendary birds or even Aerodactyl. I don’t have a real preference for the sixth slot through Kanto, but I will say that Victreebell is very likely the best choice for this position. The only reason I suggest it as a good choice is because it does give you the grass type coverage that you’re lacking with the rest of the team. 

This is my recommended team based off of what I typically use when I play through the Kanto games. I’m sure a professional Pokemon game player will tell me that I’m wrong with some of my decisions or that all of them are bad, but this is the team I would and have gone with. It has proved to be very successful for me. Some of these Pokemon are on my favorites list, but not all of them of course. I would like to know what you all think! What would your team be for the Kanto games, do you agree with mine? Comment below or send an email to TowerCityMedia@gmail.com and follow us @TowerCityMedia

My Favorite Kanto Pokemon Ranked

Having completed my least favorite Pokémon, which consisted of a mixture of terrible designs or just plain annoyance, I now have compiled my favorite Pokémon from the Kanto games. A list that will be much more appealing to look at and much easier to talk about. This isn’t my favorite region by designs, but there are many from this region that I genuinely like and continue to like as some of my all-time favorites. I won’t get into it too much though since you are just wanting to get into the list so here we go! Remember these are just my opinion so of course yours will be different.

10 . Zapdos

Okay so, I created this list before watching someone else’s opinions on some Pokémon including Zapdos, and they made a funny comment that didn’t change my opinion. They said that Zapdos looked like it was cut out from construction paper which is hilarious, but I still love the lightning bird. A few reasons why I like this electric chicken are that it was always the go to legendary bird when I played through the games and I’m a fan of electric types that seemed to not get much love in the earlier games. There were electric Pokémon, but there just weren’t that many unique ones until we got into later generations. It did make Zapdos one of the cooler looking and stronger electric types for a while. Although, it is more of a sentimental thing though since it was always the easier bird for me to find in the games. I remember that Moltres was in Victory Road, but I never just came across it, while Zapdos was always easy by just going into the Power Plant. Articuno was difficult to find on the islands, so it was always just the easier one to get for me. Also, it was my go to Pokémon when I didn’t have a strong enough team for the Elite Four so I have definitely used it more than the others.

9. Ditto

I may be in the minority by liking this one as much as I do since the design is fairly simple and isn’t all that strong, but I really do like Ditto. It’s a Pokémon that I would never and have never used in a playthrough, but I like the concept of it being able to transform into the opposing Pokémon, but it just isn’t practical enough for an in-game playthrough. I remember in the show when Ash was going through the Orange Islands, the Champion Drake? I think that’s his name, he had a Ditto if I remember right and I remember enjoying that battle. Ditto seems like it would be great to use if you were in the show and it would be a lot of fun, but for the games it isn’t. The other great thing about it is the mechanic of it being able to breed with any Pokémon do to the fact that it can transform so of course I frequently use one for breeding. It may not sound like I give enough reasons for putting it on this list, but just something about it I really like.

8. Muk

This one is a bit of a mixed bag as far as how I’m going to explain this. So in my least favorite list, I pretty much disliked the whole evolution line of the Pokémon on the list. In this list though I bring to you the first Pokémon where I dislike its first form, but really like its evolution. Grimer is just goofy looking sludge that I have never liked and would only get so that I could evolve it into a Muk. I don’t like the look of Grimer at all which sucks, but I like it enough to use until it does evolve. I like Muk now more than I did in the past. I’m not sure what exactly turned me, but I do enjoy using it anytime I want a poison type and would use it in a playthrough if it were an option in Sword and Shield which it isn’t yet unfortunately. I also really like Muk from its appearances in the anime and how it always jumped on Professor Oak. It was surprisingly strong when Ash used it, but seemed to be forgotten about and not used as much as it could have been. I just really wish I could use one in a playthrough right now.

7. Snorlax

This giant loveable giant thing is an instant classic for the Kanto games. There isn’t a whole lot to stay about it other than its great design and incredible range of moves that it can use. I believe in all of my playthroughs of the Kanto games, I used one of the two Snorlax that you have an opportunity to wake up and catch. It’s hard not to use one when it has such great stats and access to a multitude of different typed moves. It’s a powerhouse when trained well and can save you in tight spots. It’s just overall a great Pokémon. Also I think it’s one of the only Pokémon in the show that could use more than four moves in a battle which means it’s completely broken in the show.

6. Krabby – Kingler

I don’t particularly love their designs, and they don’t have fantastic stats, but I do love the color scheme they use and it was awesome in the show. I would use one now in a playthrough, but I haven’t yet gotten around to using one, maybe the next time I do a playthrough I will. I think the anime was the biggest reason why I like it as much as I do. I remember that his Krabby was much smaller than Gary’s and I always felt bad for it until it actually had a chance to battle. Every time it did battle though it manhandled its opponents. I remember one time it was facing an Exeggutor and it used Vice Grip to launch it which was surprising and funny. It only became better when it evolved into Kingler and I believe it’s one of Ash’s most underrated Pokémon. I also just tend to like most of the crab like designed Pokémon in all of the games like Corphish or Clawitzer so maybe I just like that type of Pokémon. Thinking on it now, I think I will use a Kingler on my next playthrough.

5. Kabutops

I don’t like too many of the fossil Pokemon and I usually don’t like their first form so in this case I don’t like Kabuto, but I really like its evolution a lot. I haven’t actually used one in a playthrough, but I did always go out of my way to pick that fossil and then train and level it up after I finish the game so that I can have a strong one. I would actually use it through a playthrough of Sword and Shield if it were an option but as of right now it isn’t so we’ll have to wait on that. I don’t remember it being in the show very much so I don’t have any fond memories that made me like it from the show so I think it just comes down to overall design. It’s a water/rock type which means it swims in the ocean. My favorite animal is a shark which this doesn’t look like at all, but I love the design and how crazy it would be to see this thing swimming at you in the water. It’s terrifying and perfect as a design and I love to have one accessible to use.

4. Pidgey – Pidgeotto – Pidgeot

There’s not a lot to say about this line other than the nostalgia factor of using it in every single playthrough and for it being the original starting bird. Anytime this Pokémon line is available, I use it because it is powerful when leveled up, but it’s also a classic for the games and in the show and I was upset when Ash released his. I can’t say much about it other than I just really like the design and have always loved it and loved to use it. It’s fantastic and will always be one of my favorites. Yes, I said I wasn’t going to include Mega evolutions, but this pic has that just because it’s awesome.

3. Nidoran – Nidorino – Nidoking

I remember always like the design of Nidorino and occasionally using one way back in Red, but I don’t think I knew how to evolve it so at some point I stopped using it. It wasn’t until my playthrough of Fire Red that I knew how to evolve it and used Nidoking as one of my main powerhouses on my team. Nidoking has a rad design with some great stats and some incredible moves that it can learn that makes it an absolute monster if you teach it the right moves and train it enough. On top of that, it can also evolve very early on in the game which makes it that much more crazy to use. It is of course another Pokemon that I wish I could use but can’t right now in Sowrd and Shield, but is instantly a Pokemon I will have when it becomes available. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

2. Gastly – Haunter – Gengar

I don’t care too much for Gastly but Haunter is pretty awesome. Ash also caught a Haunter to beat Sabrina. Actually I don’t know if he actually caught it or it just befriended Ash, I can’t remember that part but I know it wasn’t so cut and dry because he ended up giving it to Sabrina too I think. Either way though, it’s a really good Ghost type to use that only becomes better if you can trade it with someone and get it back to have a Gengar which is one of the all-time best designed Pokemon and my favorite ghost type. Gengar is very strong and tough to beat when facing the Elite Four, the only thing that holds it back is how you have to trade it to evolve. Thankfully though, Sword and Shield helps a lot of these trade issues by making the evolutions available in the Wild Area. I never used one in any of my playthroughs, but I have used Haunter on a few occasions. I just really love the design and everything about it, and Ash finally has one in the new anime so thankfully he finally got one.

  1. Charmander – Charmeleon – Charizard

Yes, I am one of those people that loves Charizard and will 100% have one in any of the games if it available. I had one in the Kanto games, Johto, Hoenn, Kalos, Alola, and Galar. I do like Blastoise and Venusaur a lot and will use them if available, but it was always Charizard that I went with and will default to on most occasions. It is one the coolest designed Pokemon in all of the games and is an absolute beast in most of them as well. It’s a fire dragon that has access to many strong typed attacks. It can destroy many of the tough trainers you go against if you have it leveled up enough and of course Ash had one and it was an absolute monster after he got to the Johto League. Some of the most memorable moments from the show involve his Charizard and it’s just a staple poster child for the series. I love Charizard and will always without hesitation use one. This concludes my list of my favorite Pokemon from the Kanto games. It is of course entirely from my point of view and the bottom half will actually change from time to time depending on when you ask me. I do also frequently switch out those with Blastoise or Venusaur and a few others, but for the most part, this is what I was feeling for this list. Make sure you comment below or send us an email at TowerCityMedia@gmail.com of what you think or even your list so that I can see what some of your favorites are. Also follow us @TowerCityMedia

My Least Favorite Kanto Pokemon Ranked

Kicking off my first ranking from the Kanto games is my ranking of my least favorite Pokémon from the Kanto region. I know we all have those Pokémon that we just stay away from because we don’t like the design or we just have no real urge to use them or even for other reasons. I like to say that I’m pretty open to using any Pokémon after I complete the story, but even I find myself staying away from certain Pokémon. I don’t think the Kanto Pokémon have too many that are terrible designs or no real urge to use, but it also wasn’t too hard to come up with a solid list. I will of course be sticking with the 151 Pokémon that were introduced in the first games and not any of the additional Pokémon from various other regions that you’re able to get in the remakes. With that, let’s get into my least favorites from the Kanto region!

10. Drowzee – Hypno

Some Pokémon on my future lists are very specific and not include the whole evolution line, but many of the ones I pick do in fact include the whole evolution line. Drowzee and Hypno are both psychic type, and are both terrible designs in my eyes. I understand the origin being of a creature or being that eats bad dreams, but I really can’t see the design matching up with how cool it could have been. I remember always meeting them outside of Vermillion city, but I just never wanted to use one and would rather stick with trying to catch the difficult Abra. Hypno isn’t any better, actually coming off as more weird looking than Drowzee was. It does get the ring thing for hypnotizing and some fur around the neck, but it really doesn’t look unique enough to be a solid evolution for Drowzee. Checking into its origins also proved to be pointless since it falls right in line with what Drowzee came from. I know it’s an evolution so they’re going to share similarities, but this Pokémon is just forgettable with no want for me to have other than to finish the Pokedex. Easily one of my least favorite psychic Pokémon in the whole series and one of the most forgettable.

9. Tangela

This is another Pokémon that suffers from design issues for me. It also doesn’t have a clear origin with some thoughts being that it stems from Medusa or even a swamp monster, but unfortunately it doesn’t live up to either one of those ideas. The design itself is weird because it’s two eyes on a black body surrounded by vines with no arms and red boots…? Why does it have red boots? Is it actually its feet or did it steal the red boots? I’m just so confused where exactly the shoes come from and what the purpose is. I also don’t quite understand what exactly it is. It’s just like a black ball of vines. It doesn’t seem unique and is quite forgettable when thinking back on it. I never used one and never had any urge to get one, the only thing I remember about it is how creepy looking it was in Red and Blue. Of course those sprites weren’t the best, but it was still pretty creepy looking. Fortunately though, its evolution picks up the slack by gaining arms and is a bit more memorable when introduced in the Sinnoh, but this Pokémon on its own is just not good.

8. Doduo – Dodrio

Based off of an ostrich or a dodo isn’t enough to save the design of Doduo and its evolution Dodrio. Both of the designs are just boring and not very inspiring. The only thing I can remember most about these Pokémon when playing through the games was that Dodrio could learn Tri-Attack which was kind of cool back in the day, but now I just could care less. I don’t remember it ever being that strong and found it pretty easy to beat when a trainer had it, but it was never really the strength for me because I do like to use some Pokémon that I know to be weaker, just Doduo and Dodrio are not appealing in any way to me. On top of not being appealing, they both are capable of learning Steel Wing and Fly…How can they even learn those moves without having wings?? I never understood that and I think I might have used one of them once when I needed a Pokemon that could learn Fly, but that’s about as useful as they get. It was so bad that I don’t even think any of the main characters in any of the series ever used one. It would be better off forgotten about or known as being the worst of any of the flying Pokémon.

7. Spearow – Fearow

Crazy right? I just said that Doduo and Dodrio are the worst of all flying types, but now you see Spearow and Fearow here. That makes sense right? Okay, so I think Doduo and its evolution is in fact one of the absolute worst flying types when it comes to actual usage, however, Spearow and Fearow are a Pokémon that I have a separate reason for disliking. Okay, so there’s two main reasons why I put these two on this list. The first of which is that it is far inferior to the Pidgey line and just doesn’t stack up next to it. On top of that, it seemed like all of the birdkeeper trainers from Red had both of these Pokémon which made battling them uninspiring and annoying. The birdkeepers tended to also have Doduo or Dodrio, but something about the look of both Spearow and Fearow just irritated me which could stem back to my other reason for disliking them. This may not be entirely fair since I’m supposed to be basing these opinions mostly off the games, but I hate Spearow for what it did to Ash and Pikachu in the very first episode. Is that fair? It should be, ever since that day I just always had a dislike for Spearow so sorry pal but that’s why you made the list.

6. Paras – Parasect

Okay, back to the show again for this one. I fondly remember the episode where Ash is training his Charmeleon against a Paras I think. It was one of the two, but I always laughed because Charmeleon would just poke it and it would faint. That Paras or Parasect was so weak and very telling of how I felt about the Pokemon when playing through the games. Again, easily one of the most forgettable Pokemon out there and I just really don’t care about it at all. Neither Paras or the evolution has any characteristics that I like and unfortunately I just see no need to ever use one. I don’t have much to say other than that.

5. Voltorb – Electrode

Everyone complaining later on about the inanimate objects as Pokémon need to look back to generation 1 for the first examples of this. Voltorb and Electrode seem to be based off of Pokeballs and they just don’t work. Voltorb works better of the two having a more menacing face and being an electric type, but Electrode breaks that mold by gaining a mouth and a more excited face that just looks weird. The only memorable thing about these Pokémon is that you can expect them to explode on you which always pissed me off. I don’t find any use for them and have never tried to use one.

4. Jynx

Ew. This Pokemon is just creepy and makes me feel so uncomfortable. If it wasn’t for the disturbing sprites in the early games than it was the uncomfortable representation of it during the anime. I vaguely remember one episode being controversial with a Jynx in it, but I’m not even sure if it was ever aired in America. It just isn’t an appealing Pokémon to look at by design. The longer you look at it, the creepier it gets and more uncomfortable I feel. It does have some good moves that it can learn, but ultimately I just don’t understand where the creative team was going with this design and I feel may not have made the games if it was pitched today as a concept. Ew. Just. Ew.

3. Tentacool – Tentacruel

This marks my top three and all three are at the top of this list for very similar reasons. I will say that one of the cooler aspects about Tentacruel was the episode where a giant one attacks the city even though it really isn’t supposed to be that big. I just vividly remember the episode and always enjoyed watching it. On the flipside though, if you ever went surfing in these games then you know what it was like to always encounter wild Pokémon to an annoyingly irritating level and it was always a Tentacool. I could not stand having to surf and deal with getting stopped over and over again by this dumb jellyfish that might actually be a good Pokemon if it didn’t spend most of its time just pissing me off as much as it does. Unfortunately because of the obnoxious appearances, I don’t think I can ever find myself using one unless somewhere in the future it gets a new form of some kind.

2. Rattatta – Ratticate

As I said before, this Pokémon also suffers from the same obnoxious appearance issue that Tentacool had. I remember always running into them and always battling the youngsters who always had one of the two and on top of that, there just is no need to even use one. I don’t like anything about the designs or the move sets and it only becomes interesting when they receive Alolan forms, but I can’t count that for this list. It’s just an absolutely annoying Pokémon to deal with when the playing through the games.

  1. Zubat – Golbat

I’m not going to harp too much on this one. You ever go through any of the mountains or caves? You ever fight Team Rocket? Well then you have faced a least a couple thousand Zubat and/or Golbat. It is the most annoying Pokemon whenever it is included in a regional pokedex. It is easily my least favorite Pokemon of the Kanto region mostly for this reason.

With that, I have given my top ten least favorite Pokemon of the Kanto region. I’m sure there are some on this list that you will disagree with and some that you will agree with, but either way this is of course my list and my opinion, but feel free to comment below your thoughts and which Pokemon you would put on this list. Make sure to comment or email us at TowerCityMedia@gmail.com and follow us @TowerCityMedia and be on the lookout for the next list!

Pokémon Kanto Week: Kanto Games Reviewed

In finishing my review for the Pokémon DLC “Isle of Armor”, I found that what better a way than to review the rest of the main series games! Now it would be quite a long challenge to go through and review each individual game, especially since most of the ones from the same generation are pretty much the same game. With that in mind, I am going to be focusing on each individual region for my game reviews. I will also be focusing on one region each week with various posts that are all connected to that specific region. In this case and for week 1, I will of course be reviewing the Kanto region games, giving my opinion and overall thoughts of all of the games released for this region from Pokémon Red to the Let’s Go games. I will not be reviewing the Kanto region that we see in the Johto games, that portion will be thoroughly reviewed next week when I cover Johto. Now let’s carry on to the original games released in North America, Red and Blue.

Red and Blue and Yellow

Thankfully I was born in the 90’s and lucky enough to have an older brother that wanted a Gameboy Color. I can’t exactly remember if I asked for the game or if he already had it, but I remember starting my Pokémon game journey off with Pokémon Red version. The reason I liked Red so much over Blue was simply the fact that I thought Charizard was much cooler than Blastoise. I still feel the same today (sorry Blastoise). I didn’t think much of it at the time, but one issue I have with these original games is that there really isn’t much difference between these two games unlike in all of the others where you get a version exclusive legendary. There is of course a Green version with Venusaur that was not released in North America, but again it wouldn’t have mattered all that much.

I did go back to looking into some of the version exclusive Pokemon since I couldn’t exactly remember what they were and haven’t played the games in a while, but even with the exclusives I still stand with my choice of picking Red over Blue. The biggest standouts for exclusive to only Red are Growlithe/Arcanine, Scyther and Electabuzz. This was a time though when they were just finding their footing as far as how to actually make each game unique while also having them be very similar.

I have seen several videos on the glitches or just general issues that these games had like how the psychic typing was very overpowered and overall stats issues, but personally I just don’t get into all of that. I have always been the type of player for these games where I just casually enjoy the journey and challenge of beating the champion tow in the game. I don’t do any competitive battling so I just take the games as their put in front of me and these first games really set the stage for what would become my love for the series as a whole. It is simple enough to get into for the younger age while also still being challenging and enjoyable for the older fans like myself. I think the simplicity is rather refreshing when going back to play after being used to the newer games like Let’s Go or Sword and Shield.

It’s hard to narrow down the best parts of these games because it all just works so well. I have some very fond memories of playing Red over and over and over again, not getting enough of it until generation II was finally released. I think some of my most fond memories were that of going in the Safari Zone and trying to catch all of the Pokémon in their which at times was more challenging than catching the legendary Pokémon like Mewtwo. I think the story works well without being too complicated and also has my favorite villain in Giovanni. It also has the best rival with Blue, but these original games as I said, really set the stage for what the series would become and cemented my love for the series as well as many others. Heck, not even the graphics are enough to deter me away from going back and playing it again.

I’ll touch on Yellow real quick since it’s not entirely different from Red and Blue. The biggest difference being that it seemed to fall more in line with the anime where they start you off with a Pikachu rather than allowing you to choose between the three you normally got to choose from. You do however will have an opportunity to accept each of the three starters later on in the game in the same way Ash does in the anime. It was cool to see slight updates to the game from the previous ones and for them to give us an entirely new journey while also staying very close to what we had before. It was all familiar, but giving us a different journey. You also got to have Pikachu follow you and show its emotion which was a nice change that even now we as fans want more of and are starting to get with Pokémon following us again in the Isle of Armor.

Fire Red and Leaf Green

The release of the first remakes in the series being Fire Red and Leaf Green was also the first time that I was getting to play through the Kanto region with my very own copy that I got for Christmas. Did I “accidentally” find the game hidden somewhere in my house before Christmas? Maybe. Was I extremely excited when I got to open it on Christmas day? Hell Yes. Not only did I get this game, but I also upgraded from a Gameboy Advance to a Gameboy Advance SP, the blue version. It is probably one of my most memorable moments in my Pokémon Game playing career and I will always remember it.

I was just coming off of playing Pokémon Sapphire and couldn’t have been happier to relive the memories I had of playing Pokémon Red with the updated graphics that we had for the Hoenn games. There really isn’t too much to say about these remakes that really changed my overall opinions from the original games. If I was more concerned about the stats or typing issues then I would say that these games are soooo much better, but I never worried that much about those issues so they were a bit of a non-factor. The updated graphics were definitely a plus for these games along with the addition of the post-game story. We got to visit the Sevii Islands along with being able to interact with both Johto and Hoenn Pokémon, so another plus is the expanded Pokedex this time around.  

Really I just don’t see any negatives for these games at all. Any negatives that I see for Fire Red and Leaf Green would be just personal negatives like version exclusive issues. It’s a personal negative though because every game has version exclusives and I don’t see that ever changing. It just made it hard though because most of my friends also got Fire Red so I didn’t know anyone that could get those version exclusives from Leaf Green to trade with. Another issue I have that I didn’t bring up in the original games was the inclusion of trade evolutions. I understand the thought process of wanting players to connect with each other to evolve these Pokémon like Kadabra and Machoke, but I just hated that it was the only way of evolving them. Overall though, I really do love Fire Red and Leaf Green and see them as the ultimate perfect Kanto game that we have had.

Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee

Finally, we get to the more recent release and latest remake of Red and Blue being Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee which now that I think about it are actually a remake of Pokémon Yellow. Now I didn’t actually play both, but I did end up getting Let’s Go Pikachu. I’m not actually sure if I am in the minority of my mixed feelings about this game compared to the previous ones. On one hand, it’s the first main series game on the Nintendo Switch which is a far superior console than the 3DS so of course overall it was going to look better visually along with the mechanics being heightened. While I was expecting these games to feel like a true updated version of Yellow or Fire Red, it was actually disappointing to see that the focus was more towards the younger kids.

I know that all of the Pokémon games in general are kids games, but these especially felt more kid like and I wasn’t a huge fan. The catching mechanic was also changed in a way that was closer to that of the mobile game Pokémon Go and less like the traditional way. I am not a fan of this at all and felt that typical style of catching Pokémon being a major miss for this game. The other big issue is that they replace the rival Blue with Trace who just doesn’t compare to Blue at all. Outside of these issues though, the games really do hold up as good updates on the Kanto region, but tend to feel a little too easy and not challenging enough for myself.

On the other hand though, this was technically in generation VII so we got the inclusion of mega evolution, Alola forms, and the introduction of Meltan if you had Pokémon Go on your phone. Unfortunatley though, even with this game being in generation VII and having hundreds of new Pokémon available, it limits you to only Kanto Pokémon outside of Meltan and the Alola forms. There were some cool new mechanics like riding Pokémon or even having a Co-op mode,  but they felt more gimmicky than actually useful. There also wasn’t any kind of post-game which in this modern age of coming as far as we have in the Pokémon games, makes this game feel somewhat hollow and incomplete. Overall, I am just mixed about how I feel about these games when they could have done the remakes justice and fell more in line with Sword and Shield. Because of the decisions they made, Let’s Go stands as being my least favorite of the Kanto games.

Ending

To wrap up my overall opinions of the Kanto games, I just want to reiterate that I love the Kanto region for all of my fond memories. These games set up what we have come to know and love for the series as a whole and have gone through changes from Red to Fire Red to Let’s Go. Fire Red stands as being my favorite of the three different generation versions, but all of them have aspects that someone will like or dislike. These aren’t my favorite games in the whole series, but they will probably stay in my mind as being the most cemented in my memory.

Looking towards the future though I think it would be great for a future game, maybe Sword and Shield, to use the Kanto region as a DLC of some kind to allow us to travel and explore the region with the graphics introduced in Sword and Shield. I would love to see the region to come back in play in the future, but it needs to be paired up with something else. A “Let’s Go Johto” or a remake again of Gold and Silver would bring us back to Kanto and that would also be ideal, but I feel that where we are right now with Pokémon games, the Kanto region as we see it in Red, or Let’s Go Pikachu is just too simplistic to stand as its own remake and I think it’s very evident in Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu.

That does bring to a close my overall thoughts of the Kanto games that have been released thus far and also kicks off Kanto week where I go in depth with various things relating to the Kanto region. There are a lot of great things to look forward to like my team that I typically use and even my ranking of favorite and least favorite Pokémon among other things so stay tuned!

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