Metroid Dread (2021) Review

Metroid Dread is the 5th game in the 2D Metroid videogame series, It was developed by MercurySteam for the Nintendo Switch. The game was a long time coming and was originally meant to release on the Nintendo DS, it was cancelled due to Hardware limitations of the system and now 15-20 years later it finally came out for Switch much to fans anticipation. But how does this new Metroid hold up?

After the events of Metroid Fusion, the federation has received video satellite showing that some of the X parasites had survived the desolation of the Planet SR388, The planet ZDR believed to be the location of the transmission is sent E.M.M.I robots to investigate but after they seem to go rogue Samus Aran is sent to the planet instead to make some investigations of her own which in turn becomes her toughest and most dangerous mission yet!.

As per usual with Metroid games we as players are thrown onto the planet with no idea where we are supposed to go, these games encourage exploration in order to find health and missile upgrades to help you survive.

Exploring in this game is particularly encouraged due to the the extreme difficulty of this entry but also because of how beautiful the art style and environments are, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the most modern 2D Metroid game is better graphically than its predecessors but the detail and the realism that the team put into the environments is absolutely breathtaking, I almost wish this was 3D so I could appreciate the work of the art team so much more.

There are many returning upgrades to Samus’s Armour, series staples include the morph ball, the Super Bomb. The Gravity Suit, Ice Missile and Screw Attack amongst many others, a few were added to this game as new entries, the Flash Shift ability I found myself using constantly it allows Samus to quickly flash across the screen. This came in handy to get past obstacles and avoid boss attacks.

The Phantom Cloak allows Samus to turn herself invisible for very short periods of time before she takes serious damage to her energy tanks. This one I didn’t use too much although it did occasionally help me avoid detection by the corrupted E.M.M.I Robots.

If I have any complaints about this game it would definitely be how familiar the game begins to feel when it comes to the E.M.M.I, These robots are extremely high tech search bots which are built to find Metroid’s or Parasites and remove them, because Samus has Metroid DNA in her body they will kill her at any chance they get. The first two times these segments are fine but they are all pretty much the same, the E.M.M.I don’t behave differently to each other and even hide the same mini boss before getting the upgrade to defeat them.

This doesn’t get boring or anything but I really think they could have made the robots behave differently, for example one that crawls, one that flys, one that swims, one that does everything etc. This could have added more challenge and kept these segments more interesting than they were.

The main boss fights here are some of the best in the series and definitely the most challenging, I often had to take day long breaks between them just so that I could refresh my mind enough to focus on the quick reactions I needed to survive.

The return of Kraid was a welcome sight, I always found him the least interesting of the original Mother Brain crew but he was more fleshed out in this but it was weird seeing him chained up, I’m assuming he was being kept prisoner and experimented on without Samus knowing since he definitely seemed dead after his battle in Super Metroid.

My favourite boss of Dread was Drogyga an underwater sea monster who proved very difficult but could be defeated with a lot of patience and good timing, although this could be said for all the bosses I just really liked the design of Drogyga and it being underwater Samus’s jumping and movements are slowed down adding more challenge to the battle.

The music in Dread is of course just amazingly immersive and creepy as it has been for more than 30 years but there is something a little different this time around, for the first time this game in the series has a heavy use of robotic enemies over the usual aliens, a lot of the music here feels very different to the past as it matches the robotic vibes, it is still quite chilling but you can listen to this and imagine killer robots chasing you down for the kill. It might be my second favourite OST only being beaten by Super Metroid which is also my favourite game in the series.

Metroid Dread is one of the best video games Nintendo has released in years, this very much feels like a reboot of the Metroid franchise an introduction for new gamers, for a lot of switch owners this was their Metroid game and watching them complain about how hard the game is on forums and group chats definitely goes to show how easy video games have become.

You really should take your hat off to Nintendo because they gave zero help with this one and in fact I would say Dread is the hardest game in the series so far or at least the 2D games. It is a satisfying game to progress through and after I beat it I was smiling with satisfaction, I cannot wait for the next 2D Metroid game after Dread but in the mean time I think a remake of Super Metroid with the this new art style would be a nice addition.

And with that all said and done I reward Metroid Dread a very nice score of 9.6/10

See you next mission.

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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (2016) Review

I always knew one day I would be concluding my look into the Uncharted video game series and I went into this final entry with scepticism considering I was a little disappointed with the last game but does Nathan Drakes final adventure hold up as well as the masterpiece Uncharted 2?

Taking place several years after the events of Drakes Deception, treasure hunter Nathan Drake is recently retired and living as a regular person with his wife Elena.

One day out of the blue his long lost dead brother shows up alive and well but is on the run from the notorious drug dealer Hector Alcazar.

Hector helped Sam Drake escape from his Mexican prison in exchange for a share in the treasure of the pirate Henry Avery, he gives Sam three days to deliver the treasure before he kills him leaving Sam no choice but to hunt down his famous brother and convince him to go on one last adventure to help pay off his debts.

This game differs slightly to the second and third game as it follows a very linear story that doesn’t encourage you to differ to far from your own path, of course there are secret treasure to find and many are from exploring but there isn’t many memorable locations or things to find outside of that goal but I don’t really think its needed here. This is the final chapter in Nathan Drakes story and a lot of is revealed from his childhood, his relationship with his brother Sam and even his mother.

There is a lot of different types of gameplay besides the usual puzzle solving, driving the Jeep’s was my absolute favourite part as it was really fun to just drive around and even though there wasn’t anything to substantial to see driving was a really nice change to the gameplay as these parts only came up once in a while.

Swinging on the rope works extremely well and was needed often to traverse large gaps, you can climb up and down the rope too and isn’t always obvious where you can jump too so paying close attention to your environment is very important.

The puzzles in this game are the best we ever got from this series because not only are they challenging but they really stand out as feeling believable and very creative, I loved the puzzles in the third game but I feel like some of those did feel a little silly compared to these and I could actually see these in something on the lines of an Indiana Jones film and some maybe even in historical documents. The hardest puzzle in my opinion was rotating the stone wheels to match the correct symbols to the lights in Avery’s Crypt, it took me a good while to figure these out and I felt very accomplished afterwards.

The most beloved parts of this game for myself and a lot of others is actually the parts with differ from the main Henry Avery plot and focus on either back story or have more interactive moments, its very well known now that you play the original Crash Bandicoot twice in the game trying to beat Elena’s high score, I failed on both attempts but I am certain that it is possible never the less this is a very cool reference to developer Naughty Dog’s early roots.

The segments with younger Nate and Sam are both very interesting especially the second part when you break into a mansion to steal back their mothers journal and you get to meet her very old partner (in a way this is foreshadowing what Sully is to Nate, his partner but much older and sadly her death is also foreshadowing the loss of Sully he will need to deal with one day).

And then you get the small surprises, the Crash Bandicoot reference was one of them but there are a lot of these in the calmer segments of the game, sometimes is just old journal entries or photographs and other times they are interactive such as eating all the food and playing with the lemur in the market, only small details but this is the type of things I love in video games the smaller things that differ from the regular action.

As I was playing the game I had to keep reminding myself that this is an early release for the system because graphically it is stunning, it looks real for the most part and only the character models look a little odd compared to the environments because they have less details although still look very good. The environment’s themselves are gorgeous and its quite mad how much detail the developers put into elements that not that important such as the clear blue waters and grains of sand but it pays off to give us genuine pieces of videogame art.

The soundtrack here was composed by Henry Jackman, the original three games were composed by Greg Edmunson who gave them beautiful orchestral scores that suited the games perfectly, Jackman did a really great job here and the music is just as wonderful as it has been previously. One thing this soundtrack has that the other games lacked was those much slower paced segments such as walking around Nates house or the market and the music here changes to really make those parts more immersive. The third game did have one segment like this but because this game has a bigger focus on these moments the music works a lot better.

Uncharted 4 is a great conclusion for Nathan Drake it focused on his backstory and how he has matured since the first game, It was nice to see him genuinely just settle down and be satisfied with a regular life, it was really cool to see his brother Sam get a lot of story revolving around his character as well and after the events of the game if they wanted to do another series based on his adventures with Sully that could make for some great spin offs.

I loved finally playing this game, it controlled well and had a great story but it’s most positive moments come from its conclusion and the growth of Drakes character, the soundtrack once again did not disappoint and the visuals are the best we have had in the series not just because of the more powerful hardware but the clearly higher budget that was put into making the landscapes realistic and visually beautiful.

This is yet again another Nathan Drake adventure I will never forget but its far from beating Uncharted 2 as my favourite in the series, however second place is still a fair spot and I reward Uncharted 4 an excellent 8.5/10

Check out my reviews of the first three games !

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Pokemon Gen 1 – Red,Blue,Yellow (1996/1998) Review

Pokemon its officially the best selling videogame franchise of all time and one of my personal favourites to sit down and play, I have only ever covered spin off’s on this website so far but I feel that we should start deep diving the main series, starting with Generation 1 and covering Pokemon Red, Pokemon Blue and Pokemon Yellow (Green never left Japan so I wont be discussing that one here)

If you are new to this series you may be a little confused as to why we are covering three games today, to makes things even more complicated all three are the same game with just minor differences. The reason for this is because Pokemon games are made with the idea of trading with friends as its main feature, in order to make it impossible to catch all 151 Pokemon on one cartridge developers split the Pokemon into two packages, the basics are in both but certain Pokemon were only either in Red or Blue meaning that in order to catch them all you needed a friend with the other copy and a Gameboy link Cable. Yellow was released two years later in 1998 and changed some dialogues, sprites and gym battles to better represent to anime television series.

I will be covering as many differences as I can throughout this review and will try to give Gen 1 as much justice as I can.

After your initial set up and introduction to the Kanto Region by Professor Oak you soon find yourself at his Laboratory where he will offer yourself and your rival one of three of Pokemon, you get to pick first first from either Charmander a fire type, Squirtle a water type or Bulbasaur a grass type. I always choose Grass as it is strong against Rock and Water types which just so happen to be the first two gyms of the game.

In Pokemon Yellow, you dont get to choose instead you are given a Pikachu, your Rival who most name Gary would then be given an Eevee.

Either way after choosing your first Pokemon you take part in your first battle, at this point your level 5 Pokemon will only have a few moves, normally scratch and growl, Scratch an offensive type will damage your opponent and growl will weaken their attack.

As you level up by battling you will earn money to buy moves but with patience Pokemon will learn most of the best moves when they reach certain levels or evolutions.

In the games there is a total of 151 Pokemon and players can build a small team using Pokemon that they trap in Pokeballs, their are different types of Pokemon who will have advantages and disadvantages against others. In Gen 1 there are 15 types you can get Normal, Fire, Water, Electric, Grass, Ice, Fighting, Poison, Ground, Flying, Psychic, Bug, Rock, Ghost, Dragon, Dark and Steel.

As you progress through the game these encounters become more challenging and better Pokeballs such as Ultraballs are needed to ensure capture.

There are specials moves you find throughout your adventure which allows certain Pokemon to interact with the environment, these HM moves are generally very useful for example cut allows you cut down certain trees, flash can light dark areas, surf means you cross water, strength can move heavy boulders and finally fly allows you to fast travel back to areas you have already visited.

As Pokemon level up they may start to evolve this will change their form and ultimately make them stronger, it will also count as a completely new Pokemon which helps you on your quest to get all 151 (if you decide to actually do that) some however cannot exist or evolve without help from an item, early on in the game you get to choose between two fossils and which one you choose can resurrect an extinct Pokemon later on in the game. Items such as elemental stones or moon stones can help evolve Pokemons for example I used a moon stone on my Nidorino to get a Nidoking and then I used a thunderstone on the secret Eevee you can find to get my Jolteon.

Your journey takes you through many trials and landscapes, the main goal is to beat the gyms these are buildings with trainers and a leader focusing on one specific Pokemon type, gaining badges allows you further access to use HM’s and in turn further progress through the game.

For me the best part is actually exploring the different areas throughout the world, the SS Anne is a ship that is filled to the brim with Pokemon battles, its a great place to level up early in the game, Pokemon Tower a grave site for deceased Pokemon’s while pretty creepy its a fun place to catch the few ghost Pokemon of the game and my absolute favourite thing to do is find and catch the four legendary Pokemon Articuno, Moltres, Zapdos and Mewtwo (Mewtwo is only obtainable after beating the elite four)

A casino area in Celadon City is available in all three games, here you can play slots to earn or lose money, once you get high amounts of casino coins you can trade for rarer Pokémon’s, in Yellow a surfing minigame was added as one of the new features, it is a pretty fun game and is one of most memorable parts of Pokemon Yellow.

The Safari Zone might also be considered a type of minigame, you need to complete this to get Fly but its main purpose is as giant wild area filled with easier to catch Pokemon’s, you cant battle these but can make them angry or bait them in hopes of having a better chance of catching them, you only get 30 balls and can take 500 steps so try to finish the area and get Fly before you are forced to pay and start again.

As you slowly progress towards Victory Road and the Elite Four you will be catching and training many different Pokemons, its up to you to decide who will be your main team but you want strong Pokemon with a good balance of status and offensive attacks to win, this final stretch has you fighting 5 battles in a row with no chance to heal at a Poke Center so taking all of the potions and healing items you need is completely necessary.

This time around my final team was Venosaur, Ninetails, Snorlax, Nidoking, Jolteon and Lapras.

The soundtrack is one of my favourite videogame soundtracks of all time, there is not a single song that I dislike, I feel they all suit the game extremely well, the opening gets you so pumped for the adventure your about to go on and from there it just gets better and better, the creepy music from lavender town always comes to mind as quite unsettling, the silph co music is ton of fun and of course that battle music is insanely good. It could be nostalgia talking but this particular soundtrack really does mean an awful lot to me.

The first generation of Pokemon is what made up a lot of people’s childhoods, many a day was spent trading Pokémon’s and battling our friends using the link cable and today it holds up very well, there are not many people to trade with these days but the actual main campaign is a lot of fun, it has a great story, memorable characters and really fun areas to explore. The game can be very challenging because the difficulty does increase vastly as you progress so some grinding and strategy is required to beat the game.

The only issue I had with the game was that the item storage system was badly organised and I had to rearrange it and empty it a lot, the PC storage system has a limit so that filled up quickly as well, one final slight annoyance was that status effects happened far too often, I would get poisoned or burned then use the item to get rid of it but the opposing Pokemon would just reapply the status effect almost immediately, this happened a lot and while I know it is part of the game I feel maybe the developers could have made these effects happen just a little less often than they did.

Apart from these tiny set backs Gen 1 is a really a great set of games, obviously Yellow is slightly better than Red and Blue because you can get all of the starters in that game and that extra minigame is a bonus but these are pretty solid titles that even today I would give Red/Blue 9.0/10 and Yellow 9.3/10.

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Ranking the original Child’s Play movies

Hes everyone ones favourite killer doll with an impressive film collection to his name but how do the 7 movies in the original Childs Play series holdup?

Today I will be ranking and discussing all of them, I wont be covering the remake as I want to focus on the original storyline but I do have plans for these horror film remakes in the far future.

Obviously this is just my personal opinion and I will be ranking this list based more on which ones I want to re watch more than the quality of the films, this is purely rated by my own viewing pleasure and your list may be very different to mine.

With all that said and done lets get straight into this crazy series of films !

Curse of Chucky – 2013

The only curse this movie has is how boring it is and the fact that it makes very little sense in the timeline of events

The very much alive Chucky doll is shipped to a wheelchaired bound girl in a posh old mansion, the doll is in near mint condition considering that the last movie had his head, arms, and legs cut off.

The face is later revealed to be a mask hiding Chucky’s wounds but the arms and legs are never explained neither is what happened after the events of the last movie Seed of Chucky.

The casting is pretty decent here no one does a bad job and the main character Nica and her niece Alice are fantastic in their roles, Summer Howell who plays Alice is exceptionally good here and in my opinion is actually a lot more likeable than the series first hero Andy Barclay.

A couple of fun cameos from Tiffany and Andy are in this film and were some of the only really memorable moments for me, never the less its great to finally see Andy return as his “ending” in Childs Play 3 was less than satisfactory.

The twist ending was unexpected and a highlight of the movie, it was really cool to see a teeny bit of back story for Charles Lee Ray and the events which led to him running into the toy shop in the original Child’s Play.

I know I’m biased here because a lot of people really like this movie but I don’t really get it, yes I know its gone back to the horror side of the franchise and that’s great but I just found it no where near as entertaining as any of the other films, they don’t even have any great sets in this it practically takes place in one building minus a few scenes.

The kills were pretty basic compared to the last two movies and while overall it continues the Chucky storyline this is one film that I personally will not look forward to watching again if I decide to another Chucky marathon in the future.

Seed of Chucky-2004

Where to start with this one..

Taking place 3 years after the events of Bride of Chucky, a young adolescent doll named “shitface” later to be renamed as Glen” is trying to figure out where they belong.

The old Chucky and Tiffany dolls are being used as props in their own feature film, Glen notices that these two dolls on TV also have “made in Japan” so insists that they are their lost parents. So they travel to the movie studio to resurrect Mum and Dad !

This movie is insane, this is 100 percent a comedy film and it works as such, it being so ridiculous in its premise and delivery makes for a lot of funny moments. My favourite is Tiffany calling the wife of a cop she killed in the fourth movie and apologising and saying that she was seeking help after a self help book says she should make amends with the people she’s hurt, the scene where she is on the phone with Jennifer Tilly and her personal aid is also pretty funny as they both sound the same being played by the same actress.

We got double Jennifer Tilley she’s plays her self in this as well as the Tiffany doll and she is just amazing as she always is in her performances, she works so well in comedy films and parodies and even playing two characters in this she pulls off two very memorable performances.

Unfortunately I don’t have much more positive things to say about this one. I think Child Play works so much better when it’s taken less seriously but there needs to be a fine line and I think this jumped too far over it.

Everything from its premise to the kills is so over the top that this feels more like a Robot Chicken or Scary Movie segment and that’s the best way I can describe it. It doesn’t feel right more of a parody than an actual entry in the franchise, I like silly Chucky but this is just way too much !! There is a way it can be done well and it has been done much better in this very film series.

Seed of Chucky is a fun movie in its own ways but for me it just doesn’t work as well as some of the other films in the franchise, I understand that this is meant to extremely ridiculous and they took a comedy route here but even some of the other silly movies didn’t go quite this hard and I feel that’s this movies biggest issue, it steered a little bit too far from that nice balance of silliness and seriousness and that’s why Seed of Chucky is so low on this list.

Childs Play 3 – 1991

Childs Play 3 is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to these movies, this is because while it is generally a pretty underwhelming film it is still entertaining enough that it is enjoyable

The casting is really bad in this movie as well, it primarily takes place in a military academy, Andy this time played by Justin Whalin and plays the character as a young adolescence and he does an ok job but its nothing to write home about, a lot of the acting from the entire cast is either very monotone or extremely over the top.

They play the military stereotypes really hard in this movie, you have the bully character, the nerd, the pychopath, the abusive drill sergeant, the struggling newbie and the cool character. Its cliche and nothing special, Chucky is straight up silly in this movie dropping lines like “This means war” and DONT FUCK WITH THE CHUCK!

If there one thing I can say about the film its gotta be that last set they made for theme park., it is so cool inside of the Ghost train, the graveyard scene with all the zombies jumping out is quite scary even though its fake and the final battle with Chucky in the hell segment is very symbiotic of his evil and again it just generally is really cool to look at, I wish they made ghost trains like that in real life.

Child Play 3 is an entertaining movie but its just bad for a movie in this series, it lacked in creativity not only doing the whole voodoo soul stick for the third in a row but also taking place in a school full of weapons which did take a tole on the creativity of the kills. The only redeemable moment in the film was that ending ghost train scene and apart from that while it isn’t boring it just plain sucks.

Cult of Chucky – 2017

After a disappointing and forgetful prior film this movie in my opinion really took the franchise to a place where it needed to be a well balanced silly but serious movie.

Nica now in a mental institution is convinced by the system into believing that she was the person who murdered her family that is until Tiffany disguised as Jennifer Tilley delivers the Chucky Doll directly to her which starts to trigger not only awful memories for Nica but a series of creative murders as well.

The kills are not the best that we have seen in the series but they are a upgrade to the last movie, we get another glass ceiling death similar to Seed of Chucky which was definitely my favourite death in the film.

A really cool idea introduced to this film was that Chucky is now able to transfer his soul into various dolls and people allowing him to be in multiple places at once, this idea could be quite scary if it wasn’t made clear who was possessed at anytime, but because we are told who has the soul transferred into them it takes away a lot of the suspense and I hope the upcoming TV series handles this a lot better.

The original Chucky dolls head is still alive and being kept at Andy Barclays home, it is really beat up but looks pretty damn awesome, also it was great to see Kyle back even for such a small cameo

Cult of Chucky was a fun movie, it took the franchise to new levels by changing up its rules, I like that Chucky is more of a transferrable soul now than just stuck in his body, like I said it could be a scary premise if they wanted go down that route, other than that, the acting is great here and there is much more screen time for Tiffany who at this point I think I like even more than Chucky himself.

Child Play – 1988

Oh dear the one that started it all and barely making the top three !

The first Childs Play is easily the creepiest film in the series although that doesn’t mean it isn’t at all goofy

Moments like Charles Lee Ray saying a voodoo ritual to get his souls transferred into the good guy doll is pretty ridiculous and of course we have the infamous voodoo torturing scene which both stand out as pretty non intentionally hilarious.

Yeah this is a pretty voodoo heavy film !

But that’s not to say that this does not have its creepy moments, there is one scene where the mom character finally discovers that the doll is possessed and once Chucky realises the iconic line “Hi I’m Chucky wanna play” is said and its actually quite memorable for being the biggest scare of the film, well that’s my opinion anyway.

The scenes building up to this moment we only see Andy putting the doll to his ear, there are kills that could easily link to Andy having serious mental problems and being the killer and these moments are very well directed, of course once the doll actually being alive is revealed it does go a little bit off the rails with chucky saying curse words and becoming the comic relief of the film.

The only other thing to really note here is that there a good number of explosions which are not exactly realsitic considering their size, at times I had to wonder if this had been directed by Michael bay they were of such epic proportions.

The casting here is fine enough the only person who is remotely memorable bar Chucky is Catherine Hicks who played Karen Barclay I thought she gave a really believable performance, she played Andy’s mother and she fitted her role perfectly portraying a desperate woman who is dealing with her son murdering all her friends and trying to prevent him from being taken away from her.

Alex Vincent who plays Andy was only a little boy when this movie came out so I don’t want to rip into his performance too much but most people would agree that he is very annoying in this and obviously his acting is not great due to his age but that’s all I will say on the subject as I feel its unfair to really criticise him in this.

I love this movie, the first Childs play is half phycological horror and half comedy but its never too overtop compared to its many sequels, I watch this every Halloween and any other time I get the chance, its a super fun movie and one of personal favourites.

Bride of Chucky (1998)

This movie is where the series took a complete U-turn and completely rebranded its self while also sticking to the original storyline and events.

Before we begin I want to explain that this takes place 10 years after the events of Childs Play 3 and Andy is missing from this movie and never mentioned once, its very weird considering he was such a big part of the first trilogy but keeping that in mind lets get straight into it.

A new killer is shown in this movie Tiffany, a freaky cook played by one of my favourite Actresses Jennifer Tilly, Tilley’s comedic scene chewing works extremely well for her character in this.

Her reading Voodoo for Dummies gets me every time, its little moments like this that goes to show that this is not at all meant to be a full on horror movie, most of the kills and moments are goofy, its works really well as a comedy but still has some serious storytelling on offer and I think it was a great direction to take the series.

When they are both dolls I think the movie starts to get really fun because because both of these killers personalities bounce of each other very well and in a weird way they make a creepy but cute couple.

I cant discuss this movie without talking about the sex scene, Chucky get laid in this movie and it is hilarious, while this is important to set up the sequel this is probably the funniest scene in the movie, its super weird but pretty funny to know that even though they are trapped in their doll bodies the sex organs work just fine!

The kills in this movie are fantastic, early on Tiff tells chucky he needs to up his game and give up the boring stabbings, from this point on all murders are ridiculous but in a good way and it makes these movies standout from the competitors, I think my favourite was the couple being killed by the broken glass ceiling in the hotel room quickly followed by Chucky stuffing a burning t-shirt into a cars petrol tank and blowing up the ass hole cop that was inside.

What else can I really say about this one, it is such a great movie and by far its up there as a classic, I think Chucky works better when he not taken too seriously, a lot of the slasher movies from this era went goofy and didn’t work but it seems for Chucky hes better being silly than scary, in fact he was never really a scary character and when Bride of Chucky came out the new owners Universal definitely seemed to know this.

The casting is pretty good in the film Jennifer Tilly is amazing and of course Brad Dourif as Chucky is fine, the rest of the cast are good and while none of them stood out apart from the dolls I have no complaints.

stick this one on your spooky marathon list, it is great, really freaking stupid but it works so flipping well !

Child’s Play 2 (1990)

The second Childs Play is my favourite movie in the series for a lot of reasons.

The casting here is great and a massive improvement to the first movie and even know a lot of the later films had memorable performances, this was one of the only films where I think everyone did a fine job.

Andy is less annoying by this point and of course Chucky is fantastic in this, his character is just starting to get more into the goofy side than horror so his moments are memorable for being a little over the top as well as a little menacing. The death of the teacher is one of my favourites mainly because shes a massive bitch and seeing her get her comeuppance by the toy doll she confiscated is just too funny.

In the film Andys mother is in a mental health facility as no one believes her about Chucky so Andy is placed into temporary care with a Foster family.

The family are a lot of fun on screen the two parents played by Jenny Agutter and Gerrit Graham play two very different characters who bounce well off each other as the serious father figure and nurturing mother.

The Foster sister Kyle is one of better side kick characters for Andy is the series, she’s played by Christine Elise who does a grand job as the misunderstood teenager who at first doesn’t believe Andy but by the end of the film she teams up to defeat Charles Lee Ray once again!

Plenty of locations were shot for this film and they are very visually appealing, I love the Foster home with its creepy basement and old fashioned layout and of course the factory is really cool. The opening shots of the movie are of the burned chucky doll getting restored its quite creepy but at the end of the film the final battle in the factory is fantastic, the best part is when Chucky gets sent into the doll building machine backwards and we get to see him as a deformed version himself. He has a lot of great looks in this scene one, he has a knife hand, he gets his legs destroyed so has to wheel himself around and then there is the terrifying melting version before he gets his head exploded by gas pressure, it’s all really awesome and one of the better finales

Childs Play 2 is just a phenomenal film and is in my opinion not only the best in this franchise but one of the best movies ever made especially during the era of slashers, a lot of Chucky’s competitors had pretty weak second movies so its nice to see one work so well.

And that my official ranking of the Childs Play series !, Of course the TV series isnt out yet but I will add it to this list in the future as it does continue the story in this timeline.

So do you agree with my picks or would you have ranked these differently let me know in the comments below 🙂

Here is a link to last years ranking of the original 10 Friday the 13th movies

Happy Halloween 2021, I hope you have a Spooktacular day, have fun but also stay safe !

Next month we are back to regualr reviews before Christmas so I will see you then

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Book Reviews: The Island of Dr Moreau by H.G Wells

The Island of Dr Moreau is 1896 Sci-fi novel by H.G Wells (War of the worlds, The time traveller)

The story of the book follows the journey of Edward Prendick, a sailor who shipwrecks on a small civilized island, he wakes up in a hospital bed and is being treated by the Islands surgeon and scientist Dr Moreau.

Later on in the book Prendick begins to investigate the island after hearing strange noises and finding an animal that has been completely mauled by a large creature. It isn’t until a little further on that he discovers the true horrors of the Island, Dr Moreau has been inserting animal embryos into human captives and turning them into Human/Animal hybrid beasts known as the beastmen.

He soon realises that Moreau is not going to let him go home and likely wants him to join his creations leaving Predick having to fend for himself if he wants to survive and escape.

There are a lot of themes in this book and while it is very dark and quite scary the themes of anxiety, abuse, depression, changes and fear unfortunately mirror what a lot of people go through in real life and I think that’s what makes this story have such a big impact on its readers.

The story and its themes are also very scary, I cannot imagine what it would be like being trapped in such a horrifying place and being the lesser man, you see in this story Moreau is on top, the beastmen below him and regular man and animals are at the bottom of the food chain which makes Prendick the hunted and while he is not a beastman his natural animal instincts come into play during the story’s climax and while I won’t spoil that here I will say that from beginning to end this tale is chilling and captivating.

This is my first H.G Wells book and I have read it twice now because it is really good, I’ve never read a story like this before but I will be checking out more of H.G Wells works in the future as this has quickly become one of my favourite books in my collection,

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American Gothic 1988 Review

Inspired by the famous painting by Grant Wood, this low budget horror film from the 1980’s is one of the most bizarre films I have watched in a long time.

This is a classic broken down car movie, in this case its a plane and our five young victims are stuck on a seemingly abandoned island, they begin camping for the night and the next morning they discover an old farm house which hasn’t changed since the 1900’s there is no electricity and all of the decor and furniture is old and worn, they assume the house is abandoned that is until the peculiar owners arrive.

The disturbing family that lives in this house are just as old fashioned as the house, they are all followers of god and live by his rules.

They all play a role and its quite strange, the mother and father are simple enough they follow very strict rules and swear by the lord but its the children that are the creepiest and most disturbing.

The daughter character Fanny believes herself to be 12 years old even though she is clearly a middle aged adult, she still plays with her dolls and cares for her dead baby which is literally the skeleton of a dead infant, its quite disgusting and could be upsetting for some viewers.

The two brother characters also play themselves as a much younger age, the big fella teddy is particularly dangerous and cannot control his own strength going as far as breaking someone neck without hardly touching it.

The ending of the film is quite unsettling and left me with a lot of questions, im going to discuss it now so if you dont want spoilers you may want to stop here !

The last survivor is Cythia, throughout the film we realise she is struggling from PTSD after she let her baby drown in the bath, she is clearly unwell and she becomes more and more detached from reality as her friends slowly turn up dead.

By the end of the film she has a chance to run away but chooses to go back to the house, here she is dressed up like a little child and begins acting that way aswell.

She eventually ends up killing Fanny over the baby declaring the corpse as her child and the rage of pulling its head off (yes I did warn you this is quite gross and in someways aged quite poorly) she winds up killing everyone else before returning to the baby’s room to rock its cradle.

What I was left wondering after the movie is why were these people living in the past? and are they all blood relations? The reason I ask the second question is because the one son Woody is quite old and doesn’t look too different to his “father” are these other people who have been lost on the island and brain washed? the reason why they live in the past I cant figure out apart from maybe its religious choices inspired by the Amish or something like that but I honestly have no idea.

I stumbled across this movie by complete accident and I am happy I did, its a very weird horror movie, its not scary but is disturbing and unsettling from a psychological standpoint. The dead baby is a bit much for me personally and I have to be honest I don’t really want to watch it again because of that, and its not that I’m offended but its just a bit too messed up for me to really enjoy it.

Baby cadavers aside this is an ok film, its a little slow at the beginning and apart from the family the main victims that we are meant to root for are pretty boring and not very relatable, I like the idea of the film but I feel its ambitious ideas do you leave it with more than one plothole and unanswered questions so I wouldn’t really recommend this unless you really like cheaply made, dumb horror flicks.

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Pet Sematary 1989 Review

Spooky Season is finally here and this year I have no theme, instead I am going to be discussing various horror movies and if I get time a game or two, the first film I want to take a look at is the 1989 film Pet Sematary.

Directed by Mary Lambert and with a screenplay by the books original author Stephen King, Pet Semetary is a movie that after watching I can’t seem to keep off my mind due to its creepy nature.

The Creed family Louis, his wife Rachel and their two children Ellie and Gage are moving to Maine so that Louis can accept his new job as a Physician in the local university.

Upon arriving the dangerous main road with fast lorry drivers passing regularly is shown to be a serious issue, the one neighbour Jud, a kind old man from across the street warns the Creed family to keep an eye on the cat Church as many animals have been killed in the road causing a massive Pet Sematary to built just behind their new home.

Jud takes the family to this sematary and begins explaining to Ellie about death but Rachel reacts negatively to this due to how she witnessed her disabled sister Zelda choking to death after Rachel decided to not help her, Rachel still has PTSD for this and feels guilty for letting her sister die.

When the family cat Church is hit by a truck and dies, Jud takes Louis to bury the cat in an ancient Indian burial ground, everything that is buried here comes back to life which is proven true when Church walks back to the house although seeming a little bit grumpier.

With the burial ground being the main cause of misery in this film then you can technically call this a zombie flick and its one not to disappoint in its creepiness.

The comic relief of the film is the spirit of a young man named Victor Pascal, Louis was a jogger who was killed during his run, before he dies he warns Louis about the pet sematary and even calls him by name even though they have never met.

Throughout the film his ghost comes to Louis and his family multiple times to try and prevent the inevitable but his efforts end up being in vain.

If you thought the death of a cat would be the only major loss in this film then I am afraid that what comes next is truly bone chilling. The family toddler Gage is eventually the next victim of the busy road and after Jud’s many warnings that humans should never be buried in the Pet Sematary and even telling a horrifying tale of a young man who was brought back as a monster, Louis lets his grief get the better of him and he buries Gage hoping to see his son again.

Gage is the second antagonist of the movie after Church the cat although he is most definitely much more dangerous, he is the part of the movie that has stuck with me for so long, I think its the creepy taunts in his childlike voice and the part where he walks with the cane while giggling just gives me the shivers every time I see it ! This is probably the most memorable part of the film but I think that it is also in part that the majority of cast performances are not really that great, its not bad or anything but the main family is quite boring to watch but Brad Greenquist and Fred Gwynne who played Pascal and Jud were very good in their respective roles. Brad was a lot of fun as the comic relief and took a little bit of the edge away from this very dark tale, Fred Gwynne has a very grandfatherly nature to him in this and I very quickly recognised him from his work on the Munster’s playing Herman Munster.

Worth mentioning is the opening of the film, it perfectly sets up the film that comes after it, with the chilling child choir mixed in with the final words children said to their dead pets is actually a good message that saying goodbye should be goodbye, a lesson clearly not learned by Louis Creed who eventually sets up his own demise by not following the rules of life.

Pet Sematary is a pretty messed up movie with an extremely dark premise that I think some people will find a little bit too much at times. I would however recommend it if you enjoy movies with a creepy atmosphere or if you want to see a Stephen King movie as this is one of the better ones in my opinion.

After seeing this I do want to check out the book one day just see if it is just as eerie on paper.

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The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011/2021) Review

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the sixteenth main entry in Nintendo’s popular action-adventure videogame series, it is easily the second most controversial game in the series due to its emphasis on motion controls a feature many players dislike, A HD version of the game released in 2021 which promised to fix these issues. I have had experience with both versions of the game and I have a lot of opinions on this so called HD improvement so without further ado lets get straight into it.

Taking place at the very beginning of the timeline the three goddesses Farore, Din and Nayru created the triforce (a magical artifact able to grant the wishes of who ever possesses it. The Demon King Demise causes destruction and wrath in a desperate search for such power eventually being defeated by the great goddess Hylia and the few survivors of the world.

Many years later, the survivors future kin live on an island of the sky name Skyloft, here a young knight name Link has just passed his final exam to become a knight, at the same time as passing the test the Princess Zelda is taken into the skies by Dark clouds leaving Link to leave Skyloft to rescue her not yet realising the massive quest that he has coming his way.

Before discussing the gameplay I want it clear that most of the images I am using from this point forward are from the HD version due to how much cleaner they look compared to the original (see the image above). Although both are very impressive for the hardware they are played on the HD is generally better for seeing the finer details.

The main new mechanic of this game is how to traverse the skies, you are given a bird which you can use to fly to the different islands of the skies and to access the different parts of the world beneath the clouds. The motion controls for flying while not great do work well enough that once you get the hang of things you can eventually travel with ease. I thought the idea of flying was really ambitious but the lack of real areas to explore outside of the main quest doesn’t give players much incentive to try and find secrets which is a shame as that was originally the whole point of the series. There are some fun minigames to play and chests to find but apart from this there is nothing much here.

By far the best area of the game is Skyloft because not only is it the most diverse and interesting but almost all of the side quests start here. The three areas you can visit beneath the clouds are all very visually appealing and creative but they are linear and again do not really encourage players to explore freely.

Taking a positive spin I actually really like the temples in this game, Zelda games are known for themed dungeons which are packed full of puzzles and challenges, this is no exception and to top it off not only are only are these some of the most creative in the series and on par with Twilight Princesses but they are the most visually appealing as well.

The are only a few in the game but they are very large and again very creative, one dungeon takes place inside of an active Volcano, another on top of an invisible pirate ship, the final dungeon has you rotating the rooms and even the water dungeon is really fun and was actually one my favourites which is saying a lot considering how much I disliked the water dungeons in Ocarina and Twilight.

Apart from its characters and puzzle, one of the best of a parts of a Zelda game is the combat, unfortunately the motion control issues I never saw any improvement in the HD version but thankfully a new control method was optionable allowing you to flick the joysticks to imitate motion swings and this did work much better, its still has some issues with pulling off finisher moves and some times it is difficult to get the perfect angle for an attack but it is doable and a good addition to the new version.

A character named Fi is introduced here as the spirit of the goddess sword or the master sword as it is more commonly known, this is its origin story and explains how the sword has its godly powers in all future installments, the character is fine but interrupts the player with hints far too often in the original version, in the HD version these hints were optional and is another point in the remakes favour.

The music for the game does not disappoint, it uses a mix of new music which can be calming in most areas but in the more adventurous sections the tracks really pick up and get you in the mood for a really epic time, older Zelda tracks are also remixed into this game played using different instruments and music styles to make these recognisable tracks feel fresh and fit into Skyward Sword very nicely.

Skyward Sword is a game that I do actually really like but I just cant look past the issues with its controls and linear gameplay. Its really hard for me to judge it to harshly because I really like the dungeons, the music, visuals and the story but its lack of really memorable side content does make it feel a little lackluster compared to what came before it and while this is a really fun game it just really needed more explorable areas, they could have had larger sky area with lots of little secrets and islands, similar to the ocean in Wind Waker instead of the empty rocks you can land on here often only holding one or two chests.

So thats my opinion of Skyward Sword it is a really weird one for me to rank because from a gameplay perspective I really like this but I just don’t get excited to replay it again, it fails to have that feel of adventure that you get from games such as a Link to the Past, Ocarina of time, Majoras Mask and Windwaker but as controversial as this may be I do think its better than Twilight Princess as the world is less boring and I do really like the vibrant colours and visuals here much more as well as its plot and characters so I think the fairest scores I can give these games are

Skyward Sword 6.2/10

Skywards Sword HD 6.5/10 (mostly due to more control options and less Fi interruptions!)

I skipped a few games to cover this one since the remake just released however I do plan of finishing and reviewing those last few games so next time we do Zelda it will be Phantom Hourglass.

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Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (1995) Review

After the massive success of Donkey Kong County a sequel starring his nephew Diddy was put straight into development, a choice to remove Donkey Kong as a playable character may seem odd but it is a decision that helped expand the DKC universe and the Kong Family Tree. The game was created by Rare Ware for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and was released in 1995.

After the events of Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong is relaxing on a beach while Funky Kong is surfing the waves. Cranky Kong is not happy with Donkey Kong Keeping his guard down when he should be working, stating that he never stopped throwing barrels or kidnapping maidens back in his day. Donkey ignores Cranky’s words and falls asleep on his chair deep into the night.

Diddy Kong in the mean time has gained a love interest in another young Monkey named Dixie Kong, later on they both head to the beach where they discover a broken chair and a note which reads “Hah-arrrrh! We have got the big monkey! If you want him back, you scurvy dogs, you’ll have to hand over the banana hoard! Kaptain K. Rool”. Cranky does actually suggest handing over the Banana horde but after himself and Donkey worked so hard to get it back last time Diddy decides to take on K. Rool again alongside his new girlfriend Dixie.

The gameplay here is quite different when compared the original, the standard 2.5d platforming is the same, the goal is still to get from start to finish in each stage. There are still Kong letters and Banana’s you can collect to gain more lives and apart from some new enemies the platforming is very much the same as before.

The animal companions are different, the only returning animals are the Rhino and the Sword Fish, we now also get a parrot who can fly and shoot eggs, a spider who can shoot webs and build platforms and a snake who can bounce really high.

Out of all of these the parrot is by far the animal companion needed the most and the game has sections dedicated to the parrot. The spider was very useful as well especially for climbing up inaccessible areas, unfortunately I didn’t really enjoy using the snake and he was mostly useless minus two stages.

Apart from the companions, the actual stages do have new challenges mixed into them to make this game much more difficult than the first, the barrels now allow you to fully rotate them to allow more freedom in where they fire you and other segments such as the hot air balloons in the image above need to be traversed very carefully to make sure you don’t get hurt, this becomes particularly challenging when the lava below is not the only obstacle you need to avoid.

The bonus areas are completely different here as they act as either small challenges unlocked by finding secrets in levels or entire new stages which can bought by a brutish Kremling named Klubba using Kong Coins.

The challenges are a lot of fun and its cool to see different missions that have to be taken on with various skills. if you finish one of these you will unlock a Kong Coin.

The secret area I never got to see because unfortunately I didn’t perform all to well in my playthrough and by the time that I beat the final boss I had to managed to collect only one measly coin which wasn’t even enough to unlock the first secret level but none the less it is pretty amazing to see such attention to detail and replay value in a game from 1995.

The boss fights in the game are all fantastic and some of the best I have seen in any of the DKC games so far, I really liked that they were all different in how they attacked and took damage, it was also really challenging for some fights which required some platforming alongside the battle. The new backgrounds for each fight are a really nice touch as well instead of just using the same background like they did in the original game.

As I have mentioned this game is five times more difficult than its predecessor, you now can only save your game in an area for free once so simply saving between levels is not really an option, because of this the developers added a pretty challenging quiz area in some worlds, here you pay a fee to answer questions about the game and if you are correct you will gain lives, if not you just wind up losing coins so you do need to be careful.

The music was once again composed by David Wise and is very good but it not quite as great as it was before, the original game has such iconic music and it works so well, I won’t go into too much details as I have already reviewed that game but the tracks are recognisable and memorable. I’m not saying they aren’t in DKC 2 but none of them have got that great hook nor are any of them really that fantastic that you could listen to them and say “yeah that’s from DKC 2” maybe you feel different but for me while this soundtrack is good it is also lacking when compared to what came before.

Donkey Kong Country 2 is a game I have wanted to play for a very long time, I guess the idea of not playing as Donkey Kong put me off but now I realise that I was stupid because I think I like this one a little bit better than the first.

This game took Donkey Kong Country and expanded upon it in the best ways possible, you now have the return of Diddy Kong who plays the same as before but now you can also play as Dixie who has the ability glide making some gaps much easier for her to cross, she was particularly useful for avoiding the canon fire of K.Rool’s final form as well.

The new bonus stages were a nice addition and the overall challenge of the game while difficult is still fair, the soundtrack while not as good is still really well composed and the only real issues with this game are some of the controls being a bit sensitive especially during the flying and trickier platforming sections also having to pay to save the game while adding to the challenge was going a little overboard as the game would have still been difficult without that extra barrier.

DKC 2 was a lot of fun even though I did tear my hair out a little bit but it is definitely a game I will play again and deserves a rating of 9.6/10 … bring on DKC 3 whenever I get my hands on that one as I cant wait to dig deeper into this bananarific franchise !

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider 2018 Review

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a 2018 action-adventure game developed by Eidos-Monteral and published by Square Enix.

The game is technically the twelfth entry to the series but is only the third game in the reboot franchise, from what I understand this is also the game that is meant to catch us up to the plot of the original tomb raider from 1996.

Two months after the events of Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft and her best friend Jonah have dedicated them selves to destroying the terrorist organisation Trinity.

They head to Mexico to track Trinity’s high council leader Pedro Dominguez, while in Mexico Lara finds a temple which holds the Dagger of Chak Chel as well as hints of a hidden city within the country.

There are also warnings of a silver box of Ix Chel which is used to perform a ritual called the cleansing which is a Mayan apocalypse which will cause a permanent solar eclipse.

On top of stopping Dominquez Lara wants to find this box for studying momentarily unaware that Dominquez wants the box for much more sinister reasons.

The main gameplay style of the new trilogy is very similar in style to the older Assassin’s creed games and of course Uncharted, you will have to figure out how to traverse environments and sometimes this can be really tricky because there isn’t many visual evidence of the best way to do something but if you do get stuck you can activate a vision mode which does highlight clues to help you on your way through out these areas.

The same can be done in tombs which are handled differently in this trilogy because in all of the games they are more side content than something which needs to be done. I did all of the challenge tombs in the game and not once did they feel like they were getting stale and each of them had a different theme and various challenges for players to figure out.

There was a lot of moments in this game that were on rails stealth segments normally it was either flooding water or Lara running away from something, These were developed very well and I had no issue with the controls but I do feel there was just a few too many of them.

This game is gorgeous graphically with vast and beautiful environments, due to the locations and theme of the game a lot of the areas you explore are very old fashioned there is a village in the game that still looks the same way it did thousands of years ago its very captivating and generally feels like something out of a documentary due to how realistic it is portrayed.

Other styles in the game are pretty rare but one that stands out and I really wish we could have seen more of is Day of the Dead in Mexico.

I really enjoyed the colours they used here and how they genuinely set up the atmosphere with the music, it was fun to do the first mission here but I wish we could have explored the festival a little bit more as it really was the most interesting part of the game in my opinion.

A nice arsenal of weapons are back for this game and none of them were new but I don’t feel they needed to add anything else to what we already had in Rise. Very similarly I mostly used the bow and arrow and pistol in this one trying to get as many headshots as I could. The Bow and Arrow is by far the best weapon in all of these games because it has multiple uses, It can be used to kill people but it can also use fire arrows and poison arrows, another great use is the rope arrow that can bring down small barricades and of course help you get across wide gaps or get to lower areas very quickly.

The soundtrack composed by Brian D’Oliveira is breathtaking and that can be said for the music in the entire trilogy, while playing these games it often surprises me that me that the music is videogame music and not from a motion picture because as I have stated before it is so well composed that it rivals work from major composers like John Williams or Danny Elfman. The music here is perfect and is probably the best part of the game and that is not to put the rest of the experience down but a perfect soundtrack is hard to come by and this entire trilogy pulls it off extremely well.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is often considered the worst of the reboot series but I disagree this game is so close to being as good as Rise and it wouldn’t surprise me if for some people they like it more.

This game explores Lara’s childhood and her becoming more mature, in the game we actually see a lot of flaws in her character which are often confronted by Jonah this is never in a malicious way but more out of care.

I thought it was good that we got see problems in her character for her to work on because I don’t feel the two previous games explored these aspects enough.

I really enjoyed the areas of the game and I genuinely found the mystery very interesting. I thought the characters were some of the best we have had yet, the moments that happen in the hidden village were specifically effective due to how well they wrote the characters and their relationships.

I don’t really understand why people thinks this is a weaker game than the first one, I thought it was outstanding, I feel they did the story well, the environments were gorgeous, the soundtrack is phenomenal and the side content was just as good as the main game. Personally I do prefer Rise for reasons I explain in that review but I think a solid 9/10 is a really fair score for this one.

I don’t know if we will get another one after this but if this is all we get for the Tomb Raider Reboots this is one of the best trilogy’s I think gaming has ever had.

Check out my reviews for the first Reboot game and Rise using the links below

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