Book Review: A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

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A Whole New World is the first of Disney’s Twisted Tales book series, It was written by Author Liz Braswell and was released on September 1st 2015. The book follows the story of Aladdin if he had never kept the lamp after the cave of wonders.

magic-lamp-from-the-story-of-aladdin-with-genie-appearing-in-blue-smoke-concept-for-wishing-luck-a_u-l-q103irw0Readers will be taken deep into Aladdin’s past which is something that wasnt really touched upon in the Disney animated movie. The book teaches the reader about Aladdin’s mother and his younger days. Author Liz Braswell describes Agrabah in a way that older readers can connect with, its a tough city that is rough and at times dangerous, the poor people are dying every day because of a lack of food and un-sanitary living conditions. The city has been neglected due to the Sultan being selfish and caring more for his toys than the people he vowed to protect.

The book at first follows the story of the movie but after the scene in the Cave of Wonders Aladdin is left without the lamp and the story of Aladdin takes a very different and much darker turn. This version of the story has scenes of Death, Pain, Suffering and Violence, beloved characters from the film are met with a lot of misfortune and some of them are left to an even worse fate, so for younger readers I would suggest reading the book with them and making it clear that only the Disney movie is canon and the events in the book are not to be taken to seriously.

But with all this in mind I really enjoyed this book, I felt it dragged on at times but all in all it was a good read for fans of the movie and it can still be enjoyed if you are yet to see the film.

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Outlast (2013) Review

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Outlast is a Survival Horror game, it was created and published by Red Barrels and was released on PC in 2013 before being released onto other systems shortly after.

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You play the game as Miles Upshur a journalist who makes the foolish mistake to investigate the psychiatric hospital Mount Massive Asylum. Once inside of the Asylum Miles discovers that the inmates have all escaped and Miles is trapped inside of the Asylum leaving him no choice but to try and find a way out while avoiding death.

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During his investigation Miles needs to travel throughout the asylum, trying to find an exit.

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Documents can be collected in the game, they provide information about the games characters and the Murk-off Corporation who are important to the plot of the game, however these documents do not need to be collected or read to enjoy the games experience.

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The most difficult part of the game is not trying to hide from the variously dangerous inmates that try to end your life, its the fact that the game is extremely dark in areas and the player needs to use night vision on their camera in order to navigate through the darkness however they have limited battery power and will need to find batteries to keep the power going. This is made extremely difficult in the later game as the batteries appear less frequently and enemies appear more often give the player less time to look for them properly.

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The visuals in Outlast are exceptionally good and an excellent blend of the outstanding graphics, horrifying visuals and the eerie sounds that you hear in the darkness help to make Outlast a scary game but I wouldn’t say its as scary as some other games that I have played.

Outlast is an ok game, it is far from amazing and in my opinion could be skipped unless you really want to play it, It has fantastic visuals and good sound effects but the the game is very short and has a mediocre soundtrack and story and I didn’t find the characters very interesting however I did have fun with the game I just wish there was more too it and perhaps that it was a little bit longer. 6/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Outlast

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Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure (2001) Review

Universal Studios !! this will be fun …….right?

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Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure was a Nintendo GameCube exclusive, it was developed by Nai’a Digital Works and Published by Kemco.

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The game is at its core a mini game collection with an extremely basic theme park setting to help separate the various challenges.

In the theme park there is only one challenge and that is to collect all of the letters that spell Universal Studios, this can be done throughout your exploration of the park.

A54EeQvgBefore you are able to enter any of the attractions you must first gather a set number points to buy the hat that matches the attraction, you can do this by either picking up rubbish and putting it in the bin or by shaking hands with various costumed characters you will then need to purchase the hat from Woody Woodpecker at the park entrance.

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The only attraction that needs no points to enter is the quiz, Its a quite a hard quiz especially if you don’t know many Universal Studios movies.

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In E.T you must cycle E.T to the spaceship before the timer runs out, not a lot in this one just a few ramps to go over and obstacles to avoid.

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In the Wild Wild West you must shoot targets to gain more points than your opponent over three rounds. Its ok but the cursor is difficult to aim.133973_full

In Jaws you must throw barrels and boxes at the shark before its sinks your boat, this one is a little more fun but bad controls make it difficult to hit the shark.

_-Universal-Studios-Theme-Park-Adventure-GameCube-_back to the future marty mcfly goes back in timeBack to the future is by far the best mini game however it still is not any thing to write home about, Biff steals the Dolorian, you then while driving another Dolorian have to ram into him until his health bar depletes.

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In Back Draft you must extinguish multiple fires and rescue civilians who are trapped inside of a burning building. I had more fun with this than some of the other games and while it is difficult its not unfair.

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Finally in Jurassic Park you must kill hundreds of Dinosaurs with a Machine gun in an on rails shooter style game. The Dinosaurs are hard to hit most of the time and the mini game is far too long.

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When you complete a challenge in the game you are awarded with a stamp and if you collect all of the stamps you must speak to Woody Woodpecker again in order to finish the game.

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The game play is not fun at all, in the mini-games bad controls make them difficult to finish and during park exploration, the pix-elated graphics that look worse than Nintendo 64 and a completely still camera which does not follow the player make the game almost unbearable and not a pleasant experience.

The soundtrack is good and although I couldn’t find it anywhere to add here, all of the music is reminiscent of the movies that the mini games are based on so I find it difficult to complain about.

A good soundtrack does not make up for a lazy cash grab of a game, this game had no love put into it, the developers took some of the greatest movies of all time and made the most basic mini-games thus making a mockery of those popular properties and franchises. The game is even worse in the Theme Park as you will struggle to know which way to go even with the in-game map. Picking up rubbish and putting it in a bin is a huge insult to any gamer, no one no matter what age they are wants to do this in a video game especially in the boring way that is presented here. Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure is a disgusting excuse for a video game and it should be forgotten by everyone who plays it and if you haven’t then I advise you find something different to play.

1.5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure for the Nintendo GameCube

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Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros (3DS) Review

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Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros was published by Nintendo in 2013 as part of the year of Luigi promotion they were doing at the time, Nintendo also developed the game along with other game studios  Alpha Dream and Good-Feel. Dream Team Bros is the fourth entry in the Mario and Luigi series of video games.

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j3KTLHMario and Luigi are invited to a new island called Pi’illo Island, the island is well known to be the home of a mysterious power that can make anyone fall asleep. On the way to the island an evil entity attacks Mario, Luigi, Toadsworth and Princess Peach. Mario defeats the villain and the blimp crashes onto Pi’illo Island. It is later revealed that the entity is called Antasma, Antasma teams up with Bowser to find and steal the Dream Stone, a magical stone that will grant someone unlimited wishes. Mario and Luigi work together to stop Bowser and Antasma in order to save Pi’illo Island.

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The game-play follows the similar design of the other games in the series, it is a turn based role playing game where players will need to level up by defeating enemies and by leveling up you will add more points to your statistics allowing your skills to advance throughout the game. There are many areas to explore and many enemies and bosses to defeat.

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When you are in battle in the real world of the game you have three ways to attack the enemy, you can jump on them, hit them with a hammer or perform a bro attack, bro attacks are special moves which entail Mario and Luigi working together to pull off a powerful attack, every game has unique bro attacks.

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What makes this game in the series stand out is that you can travel between the real world of the game and the dream world, in the dream world the game has a 2D perspective similar to the classic Mario games we have grown up with in the past. In this dream world Luigi’s dreamy counterpart works with Mario and is able to shape shift into various things in order to help Mario traverse across the dream world.

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Battles in the dream world are still turn based however attacks are slightly different since now both Mario and dreamy Luigi fight as one and the Dream world has Luiginary attacks instead of bro attacks, they work in a similar manner but do more serious damage than the regular bro attacks.

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Sometimes in the dream world you will a have to take part in 3D battles against large enemies, during these sections you have to turn your 3DS side ways and attack the enemy using the touchscreen on the 3DS.

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The visuals are very nice but they are not anything special, the game does not push the 3DS visual output although it doesn’t need to in an RPG, the game is full of bright colors that pop and environments that are lovely to look at which is all that is needed. the game also comes with plenty of fun animations that help to make the series as hilarious and charming as it is.

The soundtrack is fantastic, it ranges from nice and cheerful music to dark and sinister music  depending on the areas that you are in and just like the music from the rest of the series you wont regret listening to music from this game.

With all the praise I have given the game I must say that I was a little bit disappointing with this entry, it is a lot of fun to play and the new types of gameplay introduced are pretty cool but the game is quite annoying especially during the first few hours, tutorials and explantations about how to play are shoved down your throat so much that at times I was getting seriously frustrated. I also found that I wasnt interested in the plot or any of the dialogue in the game which is one of things that makes the series so unique and special. With all of this in mind this is a good game but its for from one of my favorites 7.2/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros for the Nintendo 3DS

I have also reviewed Mario and Luigi Super Star Saga

Click the link to read my review

https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2018/05/05/mario-and-luigi-superstar-saga-gba-3ds-review/

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The Simpsons Arcade Game (1991) Review

 

 

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Created and released by Konami in 1991 the Simpsons Arcade Machine was extremely popular when it was sent to arcades. Not long after hitting arcades the game was ported to MS DOS and Commodore 64, these versions were poor in comparison to the original game and we wouldn’t see a very good port of the game until 2012 when it was released on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.

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The Simpson family are walking down the street when they bump into Waylon Smithers who has just robbed a jewelry store, the diamond that Smithers had stolen falls into Maggies mouth, Smithers steals Maggie and runs away leaving the Simpson family to fight off Mr Burns Goons throughout various areas from the show on their way to The Nuclear Power Plant to take out Mr Burns and Smithers.

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In the game you can play with up to four players and each player can be one of four characters Homer, Marge, Bart or Lisa Simpson.

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The game is a 2D Beat em up which has the Simpsons traversing through various areas and defeating variants of enemies until the screen has cleared and the player can move onto the next screen. Each character has one attack move and each fight in different ways Homer fights with his fists, Marge uses a vacuum cleaner, Bart rides his skateboard and uses it to attack enemies and Lisa uses a skipping rope to defeat her foes.

In multiplayer two characters can merge together to perform a super attack, these attacks change depending on which characters are being played.

Players can also pick up objects in the various environments to either throw at enemies or to use them as a weapon, the sling shot is the most useful in my opinion.

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At the end of each of the 8 stages you will need to fight a boss battle, each boss is quite difficult and unique to the plot.

Konami has always been really good with their video game soundtracks and this game is no exception, the music is super fun and fast paced and still has that Simpsons feel to it. Its by far one of best soundtracks in a Simpsons game, click the video above to check it out.

The Simpsons Arcade game is a fantastic Arcade game and should be played if you ever get the chance, it is quite tough which is to be expected from games in the Arcade as they are made to make money, it took me 30 credits to finish the Simpsons arcade. If you want a decent version of the game to play at home you can purchase it on Xbox Live and PSN, the Xbox Live and PSN versions of the game even come with some additional modes. If there was anything I would say to improve the game it would be to add an additional attack button as just having one main attack gets a little boring after a while, but all in all the Simpsons arcade game is great 9.6/10.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Simpsons Arcade Game

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Havana Club: Anejo Especial Cuban Rum Review

This lovely rum from Havana Club a Cuban rum company does not have a special bottle that really stands out but the I like the design of the sticker on the front and an important note to take from the sticker is that the rum has been double aged in oak barrels.

The back of the bottle again does not stand out, it has the usual safety information and the percentage of alcohol, in this case the percentage is 40 percent, a description of the rum on the back sticker reads “Aged to perfection and deliciously smooth, Havana Club Anajo Especial is an amber coloured rum with notes of vanilla. To produce such a special rum our Maestro’s del Ron Cubano take their time and age it twice. Our rum’s aromatic intensity comes from the old oak barrels it first rests in and it owes its striking smoothness to a second maturation in younger ex-whiskey casks. Fully rounded and perfectly balanced Especial rum makes the ultimate Cuba libre”

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From opening the bottle and pouring the rum into a tumbler you can smell a hint of vanilla but personally I would say an oak smell over empowers it, after letting it breath a while I went in for a sip and the vanilla is definitely stronger than the smell suggests however there is a hint of oak in the flavour, the rum is very smooth and delicate to the taste buds.

I was surprised to not enjoy the rum as much when I mixed it with cola, it was still nice but that lovely flavor was taken over by the cola and it had a slightly odd taste to it, I probably won’t be mixing it in the future.

This is really nice rum that in my opinion tastes better neat and would be really nice with a couple of ice cubes, I was pleasantly surprised with how nice this rum is and I only payed 20 pounds which is a really good price for a rum that is this enjoyable, I will definitely be checking our more from Havana Club in the future.

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Pikmin (2001) Review

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Pikmin is the first of Nintendo’s cute but rather dramatic strategy adventure series, as much as I do love the Pikmin series, I have only really introduced myself to the games over the past couple of years.

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The plot is fairly simple here but it works really well for a game such as Pikmin. In the game you play as Captain Olimar a small alien creature who crash lands on an unnamed planet. The captains ship the S.S. Dolphin has separated into 30 parts which have spread to various areas of the planet, the captain needs to find at least 25 out of the 30 parts within 30 days otherwise he will die due to a lack of oxygen on the planet, however the captain is in luck as small plant like creatures called Pikmin are more than happy to help the captain on his mission.

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The idea of the game is to use the Pikmin that you collect in order to carry the scattered parts back to the S.S. Dolphin, there are three types of Pikmin in the game, the Red Pikmin are invulnerable to fire damage, the Yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher and can also pick up bombs to throw and finally the blue Pikmin can breathe underwater.

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There is one way to get more Pikmin in the game once you have discovered an onion (a Pikmin Nest), If you defeat an enemy or collect nectar from plants you can bring your spoils to one of the coloured onions in order to release more seeds which will grow more of the chosen type of Pikmin.

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As previously mentioned you can use Pikmin in order to attack enemies, there are many ways to do this it can be done by simply throwing your Pikmin onto an enemy or by using an army of Pikmin in order to surround an enemy giving it no chance of survival. Strategy will need to be used through out the game in order to collect the ship parts however strategy should be used when fighting enemies as well so that you are well prepared for the dangers ahead and not to mention that you will most likely have a lot of of your Pikmin die in some situations.

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The boss fights are all very creative and can also be very difficult for new players, however practice makes perfect for a lot of these and the game can be reloaded without you losing a day if you want to try out different ideas. I love all of the bosses in the game but if I was to choose three apart from the final boss I would say that the Burrowing Snarglax a bird creature that hides itself underground is my favourite, followed closely by Beady Long Legs, a large spider creature (pictured above) and the PuffStool a Mushroom boss that releases a gas which turns your Pikmin against you.

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I wouldn’t say that the graphics have aged well since the game first came out however back in the day they were quite impressive, you have to keep in mind that this was one of the first games to be released on the GameCube, the visuals definitely improved in the later games however they are still nice here.

The Soundtrack is again very simple here but it really works, a lot of it is small tracks which are looped but while small and catchy some of the music is beautiful, listen to Distant Spring and tell me that isn’t beautiful music.

Pikmin is a good game I personally would not say its a masterpiece by any means as the series does improve a lot as more games are coming out.

Pikmin is a charming game that managed to grow a loving fan base, I really enjoy this game and the only real issue I have with it is the time limit, I really do no enjoy games which give players a short amount of time to finish them and because Pikmin is a game that requires a little bit of grinding now and again in order to re stock on Pikmin due to this the time limit can become quite stressful, you could look at it as adding an additional challenge to the game and I am sure that is how most people see this element of the game.

Pikmin is a short but very fun game, it has tight controls, a short but beautiful soundtrack and an interesting premise however a short time limit takes away from the experience for me. 7.4/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Pikmin for the Nintendo GameCube

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