The History of Spongebob Squarepants

Hello and welcome to Spongebob month, throughout August we will be taking a look at all things Spongebob including the television series, two movies and four video games.

Spongebob Squarepants was created by a Marine Biologist named Stephen Hillenburg who first began development of the character in a book called the Intertidal Zone which he created to help teach his students.

Before Spongebob there was Bob the Sponge, this character was the lead in the Intertidal Zone and would tell readers interesting facts about marine life and creatures who live under the sea.

Hillenburg struggled to sell his book to publishers and eventually decided to take a masters degree in art where he created a short film named Worm Holes. This Short-film was played in many film festivals including the 1992 Otawa Festival where Stephen Met Joe Murray the creator of Rocko’s Modern Life who was so impressed with Hillenburgs work he offered him a job to direct and work on Rocko’s Modern Life.

During his time working on Rocko, Hillenburgs colleague Martin Olsen read the Intertidal Zone and encouraged Hillenburg to use his expertise in Marine Biology to create his own animated series, Hillenburg had never thought about making his own cartoon before but he decided to give it a go and wanted to focus the premise of his show on the strangest sea creature he think of and eventually decided on a sponge.

When creating a pitch of the show for Nickelodeon it was originally called Spongeboy Ahoy ! the show was accepted as long as some changes were made including name which of course became Spongebob Squarepants, the pilot episode was released in 1999 and from there it became one of the most successful animated series of all time and is still being aired today with new episodes being made after Hillenburgs passing in 2018. Hillenburg hit the jackpot with Spongebob gaining himself a net worth in the millions. Spongebob is a very important TV series in the history of animation, it had many high points and low points as many shows do.

Many would argue that the later seasons were no where near as great as the first three seasons and the first movie and I tend to agree but I still love the property even if it has over stayed its welcome a little bit.

The show is still going after 20 years and it has spawned many types of main stream media, recently there was even a Broadway musical which I may get around too on a future Spongebob Month but until then lets take a deep dive into some of Spongebobs video games and the two current movies and I will see you in the next installment Spongebob Month 2020.

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Book Review: A Better Life by Isobel Scharen

A huge thankyou to the Publishing Push for sending me a review copy of this book.

I love being sent stories that I wouldn’t often pick up because it gives me an opportunity to explore new genres. A Better Life is a story that focuses on a young Singapore woman named Ada who not long after getting married is thrown into a world of struggles, chaos and heartbreaks.

I believe that a book that makes you feel for the characters and can bring emotion to the reader is one of the most difficult things an author can write, its easier in film because you are able to see exactly what the director wants to portray but when it comes to writing its not easy to make someone feel emotional just by reading. I commend Isobel Scharen for being able to write such a powerful story that is guaranteed to make you feel something, for me it was sadness for Ada and her struggles and the things she had to sacrifice in order to keep herself and her family safe.

I really cannot fault this book at all, I was hooked from the beginning, I will admit that I enjoyed the story more at around the half way point because that’s when things started to get really serious and we begin to see how badly the war affects the main characters and the lengths they have to go to just so that they see them selves survive the horrors of the war and how it changes their lives.

I felt that the romance was very well done in this story, often books come across as a little cliche and cheesy but this feels like a real relationship, the dialogue between characters in the book is also very realistic, this helps the reader to build connections with the characters which again will help the reader to feel emotions in the text.

I have to recommend this book because it really is one of the best I have read in a long time, I often go for more lighthearted and well known stories but now and again it is nice to read something different, I didn’t give away too many details in this review as I would like to encourage people to go and read it, below is a link to the UK amazon shop where you can pick up a copy.

Thanks again to the Publishing Push for sending me a copy of this book

I hope you enjoyed this review of A Better Life by Isobel Scharen

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Metroid Prime (2002) Review

Metroid Prime is the first game in the prime series, these games follow an action adventure style with a focus on exploration and puzzle solving which is a completely different style to the previous games in the series. It was developed Retro Studios for the Nintendo Gamecube and was released in 2002, the game was also re-released in the Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Nintendo Wii, In this review I am focusing on the original GameCube version of the game so keep that in mind.

After escaping Zebes in the Original Metroid, Samus recieves a distress signal from to travel to the Planet Tallon IV to prevent Meta Ridley and the Space Pirates from exploting the planets core and stealing its phazon energy, Samus lands her ship directly in planets center in a forested area and prepares herself for her very first 3D mission.

Right from the get go the game looks gorgeous and it has a large variety of different areas, my favourite was the forest but you also have to deal with ice and snow, lava, underground caverns, mines and toxic substances, all of the areas of the game are fantastically designed and I have no issue with graphics or visuals.

You will spend the majority of this game shooting enemies and as you explore you will discover new weapons, the game is very well designed with the different weapons needing to swapped regularly in order to damage different types of enemies, so many games will give you loads of weapons but only one will really be needed, in Metroid Prime however you need all of them to survive and the final boss of the game requires you to use each of them.

You can also find many upgrades to your armor most of these are series staples but the final phazon suit upgrade is new, it allows you to walk through the toxic substance without taking damage, the gravity suit also makes a return allowing Samus to double jump.

Of course the morph ball makes a return and while there isnt any new power-ups for it, it is very satisfying to use and once you unlock the spider ball upgrade it makes exploration a lot easier and at times a little bit quicker.

What is new is the ability to use half pipes to launch your morph ball to high ledges, this takes a while to get the hang of and I feel it could have been made a lot less stressful if they took out the need to time you boosts.

For the first time in the series Samus is able to upgrade her Visor to deal with different environments, the scan allows her to scan enemies and items to collect information and interact with the environments, the thermal visor allows her to see heat in the dark and the x-ray helps her to find secrets hidden within the landscapes such as walls that she can destroyed or ice she can melt.

The boss fights are really memorable but I do feel they drag out a bit too long, some of these fights can take up to 20 minutes and all of them quite difficult, it doesnt help that you still need to discover save stations to get a checkpoint, I feel that auto saves in some areas would have been a better choice, for example half way through the game you get to the mines and there is a section where you have to take out various difficult difficult space pirates and solve puzzles to get to through the areas, after getting so far you have had your health drained and instead of giving you a chance to save and heal the game just throws you into awkward boss battle that takes off large amounts of your health, at the same time more space pirates turn up making this the only part of the game that I felt was badly designed.

Another really annoying issue with the boss fights is that you have hold down the controller buttons in order to do powerful charge shots and missiles, your hands really start to ache after 30 minutes or so fighting the same boss and while this may come across as nitpicking it really does get annoying when you are really getting into the game and you have to stop playing for a while just so that you rest your fingers.

As per usual the soundtrack for Metroid Prime is as great as you would expect it to be, these games have always had immersive music that fits the lonely atmosphere of the games surroundings perfectly, the music is often creepy and chilling, it makes the player feel uneasy and on the edge of their seat not knowing whats lurking in the darkness and this is no exception its a really good soundtrack and while I still prefer the music from Super Metroid even though most of that music is remixed here this is still one of better Metroid soundtracks available.

I may have complained a little bit about this one but I did really enjoy my experience with Metroid Prime, for the first game in 3D the developers did a remarkable job in making it feel similar to its predecessors, this may be the hardest Metroid game I have played yet and while I do enjoy a challenge a few extra save stations would have been nice especially before major boss battles. I am very excited to eventually get around to playing Metroid Prime 2 but for now I will leave the series here, giving It’s first 3D game a score of 8.4/10

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Sonic Adventure 2 (2001) Review

After the blue blurs first fully 3D Adventure fans were begging for a sequel, in 2001 we got Sonic Adventure 2 a follow up to the first game that used a similar style but with a few changes that would help improve both the gameplay and the story. It’s no secret that this is one of the most popular games in the series. How does it hold up today is it still as great or is it just the nostalgia talking?

Lets find out and take a look into Sonic Adventure 2.

The game was re-released in 2002 for the Nintendo GameCube this version was called Sonic Adventure 2 Battle it added some new modes and a multiplayer which were all equally mediocre but the base game remained the same with a few fixes on camera quality, sprite work and controls, this is the version I am most familiar with.

Right off the bat following from the first Sonic adventure we get multiple story modes although they have been cut down to just two with a secret story after finishing both. This works much better than it was done before due to the lack of crappy campaign modes such as fishing or running away from robots.

Hero Mode opens with Sonic escaping from the goverment after being falsely arrested due to misunderstandings from the humans that he was dangerous.

After a fairly intense chase from the army Sonic runs into a new hedgehog that has stolen a chaos emerald, this character is Shadow a troubled character who has found himself working for none other than Dr Eggman who wants to collect all of the chaos emeralds in order to destroy the planet.

This leaves Sonic to gather Tails and Knuckles in order to track down the Dr, clear his good name and save the world.

The Dark Story follows the same plot but from the perspective of Dr Eggman, here we see that he finds a diary from his deceased grandfather Gerald Robotnik who inspired him to become the scientist he is today, Gerald had worked his whole life to create the ultimate super weapon to destroy the earth but passed away before he could pull it off. We see how Eggman hires shadow to join his team after realising that he may be more powerful than his greatest nemesis Sonic.

Further on in the story we also see how another newcomer Rouge the Bat a talented and selfish treasure hunter offers her services to the Dr and she soon becomes an enemy to Knuckles the Echidna the treasure hunter of the Hero Mode.

There are three level types in the game and both story modes share each of them.

Sonic and Shadow both use the classic style of fast-paced game play where they must destroy robots and make their way to end of a stage while riding rails and making sure not to fall off of the stage or take damage from enemy’s.

These are the most fun part of the game in my opinion, the stages are all very well designed with this style in mind and the game controls fairly well minus some issues with the camera.

Knuckles and Rouge are both treasure hunters who will be placed in large open areas where three pieces of the Master Emerald are hidden, you can use skills such as digging and gliding to find some of these pieces.

I hate these parts I thought they were really boring and never made much sense as to where the emerald pieces were hidden, the game does give a sign when you are near an emerald but even then the camera made it difficult to spot the pieces as it never focused where I wanted it too.

Tails and Eggman ride in mechs and have to blast through barrages of enemies and other obstacles to survive, this game play style uses the most puzzles often hiding buttons that need to be shot to open doors.

The Chao Garden returned and it was definitely more forced upon the player here since they removed the hub world from the first Sonic Adventure, in Sonic Adventure 2 you needed to find a special key hidden within levels to visit to Chao Garden and here you could raise Chaos and upgrade their stats, I never enjoyed this growing up and I still don’t but I understand that many people have fond memories of this part of the game.

Kart Racing is an unlockable mode in the game but its also included in two stages between each story mode, the issue I have with this is the imbalance of acceleration and turning, it is really frustrating to play this mode and it doesn’t feel like it really fits in with the main story because it is so out of place and looks so silly compared to how serious and at times dark the main plot is.

The visuals are a major upgrade here than they were in the first Sonic Adventure game, while the graphics were substantially better its hard to admire the creativity and love that went into this, my favourite area in the game is Pumpkin Hill, its a level that is themed on spooky visuals and Halloween Vibes, it even has a really good rap song playing during the stage, I personally really like scary levels in kid friendly games and this game did not hold back on not so scary visuals.

What a fantastic soundtrack, every song in this game is really well composed, it uses a lot of punk rock and fun summery songs but also mixes things up with hip hop and even some more calming and slower melodies.

7.0/10

Thank you for reading my review of Sonic adventure 2

A long while back I reviewed the next two main series games Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog

Checkout those reviews here (please keep in mind that these reviews are old so my writing style may have been a little weaker back then)

Sonic Heroes https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2016/01/09/sonic-heroes-2003-gc-pc-ps2-xbox-review/

Shadow the Hedgehog https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2014/09/21/shadow-the-hedgehog-ps2gcxbox-review/

Next time we look into the Sonic games it will be the infamous Sonic 06 so look forward to that.

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Super Mario Sunshine (2002) Review

Super Mario Sunshine is a 3D platfomer for the Nintendo Gamecube, it was directed by Yoshiaki Koizumi and Kenta Usui with producer credits for both Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka

Mario, Princess Peach and Toadsworth are all flying to the luxurious Island of Isle Delfino for some summer fun, relaxation and a well needed vacation after Mario’s past adventures.

Unfortunately a Mario impostor has covered the entire island in toxic slime and due to this Mario is mistaken for the criminal resulting in him being thrown into prison. Luckily he had previously picked up one of Professor E-Gadd’s inventions FLUDD, FLUDD is a water propelling device which has multiples functions and is able to remove the slime, Mario is eventually released and told that he must clean the entire Island before he can leave, this gives him plenty of opportunities to figure out who framed him and explore the entirety of Isle Delfino.

In the game you will travel to different areas of the Island which each hold a number of Shine Sprites (This games stars).

In order to receive these Shine Sprites you will have to complete various tasks ranging from basics such as collecting red coins and more complex tasks such as fighting ghosts, riding yoshi’s and even riding roller coasters !!

My favourite Shines in the game are from the second world you can access, there are two missions here where you can ride on squids to go fast across the water, this is really fun and not too difficult to control once you get the hang of things.

Another game play style worth mentioning here is when the game takes the FLUDD away, this goes back to basic Mario game play and its very challenging because you are now used to using FLUDD for practically everything, I can see some gamer’s being very frustrated with these sections because they are both difficult and visually differing to the rest of the game but personally for myself these are some of the highlights of Mario Sunshine.

Speaking of the worlds they are each so differently designed that I want to briefly discuss my thoughts on them.

The Hub World has its own Shine Sprites which you can collect as you unlock new peripherals for your FLUDD, the main layout is actually really good and minus two Sprites which are a pain to collect it had little flaws, the only issue I have is the awful plachinko mini game and the red coin mission which is requires you to navigate a Yoshi to an island using boats which you have no control over.

The first world you enter is Bianco Hills a really summery area that is powered by windmills and ruled by ferocious pirana plants. I really like this area its genuinely really well designed and a great place to get used to using Mario’s jumping mechanics and it also teaches the player the basics of FLUDD.

Next up is Ricco Harbor a water based level which requires players to quickly adapt to using FLUDD in order to explore the stage,I like this level but I do feel its really unfair at times especially so early on in the game, I love riding the squids but I hate the wind that knocks you off of the towers which are already challenging to balance on.

Gelato Beach is one of my least favourite areas of the game, it can be very creative when it comes to using water to control the sand and I also enjoy the general atmosphere of the level, the stage was not very well designed for the Shine Sprites it holds, examples of awful design would be the much hated sand bird stage and rolling the water melon, while the sand bird is a stage hidden within the Beach it is still extremely frustrating and does not work well with the games genuinely slippery control and the water melon mission is just ridiculously difficult as one hit and it get destroyed and the level is crawling with unfair enemy placements.

Pinna Park is easily the best part of the game, its a theme park which is really fun to explore and is one of the best areas to climb up really high to get some good views and appreciation for the game design. I love this part and I have no complaints.

Sienna Beach is an odd name considering that you hardly spend anytime in the beach part of the level and mostly explore an old hotel, the hotel is a pretty cool area its a little boring considering that most of it is locked from the player but what we do get is great, I really love finding the secret rooms and the Casino is a memorable part due to that really crazy fight with King Boo.

An area I always forget about before each play through of Sunshine is Noki Bay, this is another water based area and I don’t know why I never remember this because its one of my favourite places to visit. It is a really challenging level because when you first enter the entire water area is poisoned and will kill Mario fairly quickly, the level is very small but has some great details such as the use of seashells as decoration and buildings, there are a lot of well hidden secrets to find and the stage is designed in a way that makes it really fun to explore with little frustration, I love the colours used, there is a lot of dark blues and purples and other darker colours that each blend really well together and build great immersion.

Pinata Village is the final area before you head to the Volcano to fight Bowser, I hate this level because it is really boring, there is nothing special about it and while I think its interesting that it was developed with players being able to explore both the village and its underside the entire layout is just basic and nothing really stands out, I would argue that even the Shine Sprites here are not great, the only one I enjoy is when you have to drag the giant chain chomp into the hot springs but apart from that nothing else is memorable for me.

While exploring all of the Island you will primarily be using FLUDD who has four functions, shooting water, hovering, blasting water to move Mario at rapid speeds and the rocket allowing Mario to propel himself into the sky, these are all really easy to use but you will be mainly using the hover which is the most useful as it can come in handy to allow you to make tricky jumps.

Yoshi’s can be ridden in the game but they are hardly ever needed a very unusual choice was for them to spit out juice from their mouths, this juice can be used to remove a specific type of slime that can not be destroyed otherwise.

At this point we have covered most of the game but the last thing I want to touch on is the blue coins, these are hidden all over the game and the primary function is to sell them for more Shine Sprites, people do complain that these make up a large chunk of the Sprites in the game and is just lazy I think its done in a way that works well enough but I would be lying if I didn’t slightly agree with the statement.

The game may be a little flawed but you have to admit that the soundtrack is fantastic, its very simple I wont deny that, it even repeats music but with a different style and instruments but its done in such a clever and discreet way that it just works, the music fits perfectly and helps you get immersed in the really silly world of Isle Delfino.

So I know I have complained a fair bit here but I do feel this game is far from perfect, It’s buggy and the controls are not as great as they usually are and for the most part it feels unfinished but there must be something great about this game because I have replayed it every Summer since 2002. I think what this game does well is that it genuinely feels like a vacation, its so silly and charming that its hard not to put a smile on your face and I think for a lot people its nostalgic, it definitely is for me I got this game when it came out and I’ ve grown up with it since I was seven years old, back then I would have told you that this is one of the best Mario games ever made but now that I’m older and I review video games for a living I can see that its far from being a masterpiece for reasons I have stated previously. It’s a game that I would say is half amazing and half mediocre its a little bit of a mess but is also really fun, Mario Sunshine is probably the most difficult game in the series to rate because its hard to look past how much fun it is but then as reviewers we must look into It’s problems and it has a fair few so I think its only fair to give it a 6.5/10 and just enjoy for what it is, not the best Mario game but a great way to start the summer.

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Book Review: The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Witches is a children’s novel written by British Author Roald Dahl, it begins in Norway after a young boys parents have died and he has been left under the care of his grandmother, his grandmother tells him all about the dangers of witches and how to spot them amongst humans. In this book witches are child killers that use magic to murder children in very discreet and clever methods such as turning them to stone or trapping their soul in a painting.

Later on in the book the boy and his grandmother end up holidaying in the same hotel that the witches of England are holding their annual meeting where he overhears a plot to turn all of the children in England into mice.

Will the boy and his grandmother be able to stop the witches and save the children of England?

You will have to read the book to find out 😉

What an excellent read this was although I must point out that it is rather dark and has themes of death, murder and coping with the inevitable, there is also a lot of tobacco use and alcohol in the book, without spoiling the ending it was happy but did have a darker tone to it than most children’s novels.

The characters in the book are all very simple but at the same time wonderfully imaginative thanks to the mind of Roald Dahl, the witches were in my opinion the best part of the book both equally funny and scary enough to not quite give you nightmares but send a chill down your spine, the grandmother was another favourite character of mine as I enjoyed her sense of humour and odd view of the world.

I would recommend this even if you have seen the 1990 film adaptation because while there are similarities the book differs in many ways that you could class them as two different versions of the story especially considering the light hearted ending of the movie compared to the original story.

As an adult I cant say that I enjoyed this as much as I did when I was younger but I would still recommend this to any young persons wanting an excellent book to read.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Witches by Roald Dahl

If you would like to help support the website please use the donation button at the top of the page, your donations will help to improve the website by allowing me to afford products to review and to be able to execute any costly updates and changes, any amount in donations are welcome.

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Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers (1990) NES Review

Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a platformer video game based on the hit television series of the same name, it was developed by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The plot follows Chip and Dale on one of their missions, this time to rescue a stolen kitten from the villainous Fat Cat.

The game has 11 levels that each need to be explored, each of these are themed and some can be played out of order.

In the levels your main goal as usual is to get from the start of a stage to the end however you will be dealing with many tough bad guys which you can defeat by picking up items and throwing them at them.

The boss fights in the game are fantastic, they all follow a similar pattern of using a thrown ball to defeat them but they each have different attack patters which can be pretty tough at times, the final boss was particularly quite challenging.

This game is quite simple in its premise and its design but what I love about it is the smaller details, I think its great that you can play simultaneous 2 players as that was quite rare on the NES, some of puzzles are really interesting such as turning off the taps or trying to get past the desk fans which is difficult due to your small stature. I also think its great how its uses plenty of enemy sprites so that they are not repeating all of the time, giving plenty of variety. The game is very easy especially on two players so I would consider this more of a fun game to run through than a title that would test your skills as a gamer.

The soundtrack is fine, its not one my favourites and I while it is a lot of fun I do feel some of the tracks could have been changed to suit the levels more but its not a bad soundtrack by any means, it does have a great chiptune of the shows themesong.

Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers for the NES is really fun game that I feel anyone can enjoy without getting stressed or giving up, it is a great game for new gamers but is also a fun time for older gamers aswell, for the best experience play the game on two players co-op, one major update I would make if I designed the game is I would have made the co-op need more team work in order to proceed through the game, for example more puzzles that require communication that just good reflexes.

8.3/10

Thank you for reading my review of ChipnDale: Rescue Rangers for NES

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Heavenly Sword (2007) Review

Heavenly Sword is a hack and slash adventure game that was developed for the Sony PlayStation 3, it was developed by Ninja Theory and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

The game begins at the end of its story, the titular character Nariko has seemingly died after using the legendary heavenly sword, the game then takes the player to the chapter select screen where they can start the game and learn what happened before the previous moment. The game shows a war between a warrior clan and a tyrannical king who wants to steal the Heavenly Sword and use its power for mass destruction, the player controls Nariko in the game the daughter of the clans chief.

The main gameplay style is hack and slash a style that requires players to kill large quantities of enemies in one go using well timed button presses and a good use of various attack combo’s. In this game you have three main attack stances less powerful speed based attacks, ranged attacks and strong but slow powerful attacks. Switching between these is very easy however I found there was a delay for the game to notice that you have changed stance.

There are four boss battles in the game and they all challenging in unique ways, for me they were best part of the game and I think a lot of that is because the characters are each very comical and silly in nature, out of all of these the final boss was the most difficult which is to be expected however he is actually much harder than the rest of the game which is not very challenging at all.

I will be honest the main game play is quite forgettable even with the different stances, I found myself zoning out a lot and just breezing through it but the secondary game play when you would control Kai or cannons was great. In these moments you shoot arrows or sometimes cannon balls at enemies that are far away but you control how these fly and its really fun to try and hit different targets you can even shoot through fire to light explosives, I loves these segments and would have been really pleased if the whole game was like this.

Visually for an early PS3 game this looks really good it uses colours very well and for most part is graphically smooth, these days this doesn’t look so good and even compared to many PS3 games this doesn’t hold up but you have to keep in mind that this was only a year or so after the PS2 and developers were still getting use to the graphical capabilities of the system.

In a similar manner to the gameplay the official soundtrack is also very forgetful and none of the music really stands out.

Heavenly Sword disappointed me because I remember watching my cousin play it when it first came out and it seemed really fun so I’ve waited more than 10 years to play this only to find that its fairly mediocre for a hack and slash. My biggest issue was the delay in some of the controls it became a serious issue especially during the final battle when you need change stance constantly, I also did not enjoy the forced quick time events which really felt unnecessary, the worst offence was the unbalanced difficulty, the entire game is really easy until the final boss who is extremely difficult, this is bad design they should increased the difficulty gradually so that players can adapt to the difficulty as they get experience playing the game. I did really enjoy the characters in the game as they were all very funny and had some great moments, the designs are really memorable and voice acting is top notch, the plot of the game while simple is also really enjoyable and very well written. Overall not a great game but it’s far from a terrible experience.

4/10

Thank you for reading my review of Heavenly Sword for the PS3

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Final Fantasy VII (1997) Review

Final Fantasy 7 is a JRPG from Square Soft (Square Enix) it was the first game in the series to get a release in PAL regions and before being released on the PS1 it began development for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, later into its developmental cycle it was pushed towards Nintendo 64 however due to the advantages of CD-Rom technology this game was dropped from a Nintendo 64 release making it the first in the series to not get a release on a Nintendo video game system

The game was remade for the PS4 in 2019 however in this review I am purely talking about the original and will review the remake on its own when I get around to playing it.

It is no secret that the plot to this game is insanely complicated so I’m going to try and sum it up the best that I can.

The main party member in the game is Cloud Strife an ex soldier who works with a group of eco terrorists to help save the planet from an evil god like super human named Sephiroth who wants to steal the earths essences.

In the game Cloud meets many characters but the most important and in my opinion best character in the game is a flower girl named Aeris, depending on how you interact with her will determine how Cloud and Aeris’s Relationship grows in the game and her character is so likeable that it makes her final scene even more heart breaking.

I wont into anymore plot details due to spoilers but if you want to watch an excellent video about this game, its influence and the plot then I suggest Clement Remembers Final Fantasy VII, I had no input with the video but it was a great understanding of how special the game really is so please use the links below to watch the video and of course give the creator some love by subscribing to his YouTube Channel.

Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ClementJ642

Clement Remembers Final Fantasy VII https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_Dq4ysZafU

The main gameplay is nothing new for a JRPG it follows the simple premise of using a world map to run into random battles, visit towns and different areas and drive various vehicles, what this game does do differently is the use of Materia.

Materia are different types of energy that can be collected in the game and assigned into weapon and armour slots, this allows characters to perform different actions including magic casting, commands, summons and other upgrades. I mostly found use in magic and summons but the enemy skill Materia also came in handy. One Important thing to note with magic Materia is the all Materia this when matched with a magic Materia can spread its effects across all enemies or allys instead of just one, this is extremely useful for healing your entire party at once and is one of the most useful Materias in the game.

Its not only battling you can do in the game but with a little exploration you can discover many fun minigames, by far the best is Chocobo racing which is diffciult at first but once you get used to it, it is so much fun, another memorable side game was snowboarding down a mountain which I didn’t enjoy purely because I was terrible at it, apart from this there is an arcade in the game which allows you to play many different types of fun games, it really is a blast and as is an area I often revisit when I want to have a break from the main plot.

In the game Cloud can gather up to eight additional party members which includes two secret characters Vincent and Yuffie who are not necessary for the plot however I recommend grabbing them as they are very good and I actually used them both when taking on the games Final Boss.

The game is so large it’s actually on three disks and took me about 60 hours to finish, because of this as you can imagine the graphics are not amazing but I will say that because of how many different areas are in the game it makes up for it in its variety, there are CGI cut scenes in the game and these are gorgeous and only happen in major plot moments.

The music for the game was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and it is one of the greatest video game soundtracks I have ever had the pleasure of listening too, the music is very atmospheric but a lot of fun in its light hearted moments, the game chooses to not use music at all in certain scenes in order put the focus on very important plot details and that is something that not many games do, its rare that a game will just stop music and the moments Final Fantasy VII chooses to do this are perfect. The best track in the entire game in my opinion is One Winged Angel, it is the only track to my knowledge that uses vocals and this only happens during the true final battle of the game, it gets the player pumped for a very intense fight and it makes sure that you know that this is the moment when you need to truly put everything you learned in the game to the test, the music in this game is absolutely breathtaking and I will never forget it.

I cannot fault Final Fantasy VII because it may be the best JRPG I have ever played, I have not been this invested in a video game in a long time and I cant find much I dislike about the game, it had an amazing yet complicated plot, great characters that are all very likeable in their own ways, had clear objectives and little level grinding was necessary, it allows players to make their own choices which will eventually affect small plot points but will not ruin the main plot and it remains entertaining throughout and not once does it become boring or feel like a chore. If I had to nit pick I would argue that some labelling on the over world map would make navigation a little easier but apart from that this Final Fantasy VII is well worthy of a Final Score of 10/10

Thank you for reading my review of Final Fantasy VII for the PS1

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Ben & Jerry’s: Netflix and Chilled Review

Hey everyone its been about two weeks since I have uploaded and after this small break regular reviews will be coming back very soon but in the mean time I discovered a new interesting food today which I thought we could take a look together.

This is a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream that seems to have been made in collaboration with the popular streaming service Netflix, now I love Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream but I have never really spoken about it on here because a lot of people where I live know about it but I feel this particular flavour is unique enough to warrant a review.

According to the lid this ice cream consists of Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Sweet and Salty Pretzel Swirls and Brownie Pieces.

These are the ingredients I will put them in Bold here and I will state that I have taken them directly from this ice creams page on the Ben and Jerry’s website

Peanut Butter (5%) Dairy Ice Cream with Sweet & Salty Pretzel (8,5%) Swirls & Brownie Pieces (9,5%)Water, cream (21%) (MILK), condensed skimmed MILK, sugar, vegetable oils (soybean oil, coconut oil, Rapeseed oil), PEANUTS, flours (WHEAT flour, BARLEY malt), free range EGG yolk, starch, sugar cane syrup, fat-reduced cocoa powder, salt, EGG, EGG white powder, stabilisers (carrageenan, guar gum), emulsifier (SOYBEAN lecithins), vanilla extract, raising agent (sodium bicarbonate). > Sugar, vanilla: mass balance is used to match Fairtrade sourcing, total 18%F. F Visit info.fairtrade.net/sourcingAllergy Information: Contains Cereals cont. Gluten + prods., Egg, Peanuts, Soya, Milk and Gluten. Free from Irradiation and Meat. Suitable for Ovo Lacto Vegetarian. Certified for Kosher. Yes Alcohol

https://www.benjerry.co.uk/flavours/netflix-and-chillld-ice-cream

It shouldnt be much of a suprise that its not very good for you, Ben and Jerry’s ice creams tend to be packed full of sweets and other goodies which would surely rot your teeth if you ate too much of them, but I wont let that affect my opinion as I quite enjoy sugary things anyway.

After a few tastes of the ice cream I will say that the peanut butter ice cream is really nice however, the flavour is so strong that it is hard to differentiate it from the other flavours, the only other thing you can really taste is the brownie and while there is a mild salt taste you couldn’t tell that there was pretzels in this, overall a fun idea and a surprising collaboration but I must say that Netflix and Chilled is not of my favourites by a long run.

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Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com