The Last of us (2013) Review

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The Last of us is a action-survival game that was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony for their Playstation 3 video game system, the game was also remastered for Playstation 4 however I am purely basing this review on the original version of the game.

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The last of us begins with a man and his daughter trying to survive in the United States after an outbreak of a dangerous mutant disease is infecting people, Joel (the main protagonist of the game ) grabs his daughter Sarah and attempts to flee along his brother Tommy, unfortunately they are spotted by military who end up shooting Sarah who passes away.

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20 years later and Joel is working as an illegal smuggler, him and his partner Tess take out a arms dealer to retrieve a stolen weapons cache, the dealer doesn’t have the cache anymore and explains that he traded it with the fireflies, this then leads to Joel and Tess meeting Marlene the fireflies leader who offers to give them double the weapons cache if they can transport a 14 year old girl named Ellie to other Fireflies, Ellie is immune to the disease and she may hold the cure. This is the main goal of the game and is where it really starts to get good.

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For best chance of survival you want to try and sneak past enemies if you can, this will save ammunition which is limited in the game and because Joel and Ellie take damage very easily you will want avoid as much confrontation as possible, the game uses a crafting system to make weapons such as shivs and Molotov’s out of materials you find, you can make health kits as well but the materials to make these things are also quite limited and you will want to craft wisely making sure not to only craft one item.

Discovering where enemies are is made easy using Joel’s listening ability, doing this allows the players to see where close enemies are at all time even if they are not in the same room or are hidden behind walls.

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Out of all of the weapons in the game, the most useful is by far the bow and arrow, its the only weapon that is silent, its really helpful to take out enemies silently without others hearing what happened, you can even get some of your arrows back providing they didn’t break on impact.

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The game looks beautiful and the environments while mostly quite depressing are full of details that you will want to take in. the forest is my favourite area in the game because of this.

The soundtrack of the game is nothing spectacular although it is very good, the music only appears in certain moments as the game wants to be as immersive of an experience as possible and it does do this extremely well, and sparing the music really helped to make the game as fantastic of an experience as it was.

The Last of Us is one if the best video games I have ever played, it is a really interesting game because it feels more like an interactive movie than a game, it does have game-play but its biggest focus is the cut-scenes which tell the story, these cut-scenes are really deep in character development and are truly amazing. Overall I really love this game it has a lot of collectables that are difficult to find and one day I will go back and collect them all but if you haven’t played this then you are missing out on one of the best PlayStation exclusives of all time 10/10.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Last of Us

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009) Review

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the second game in the Uncharted video game series. It was developed by Naughty Dog and was published by Sony for the Playstation 3.

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Set two years after the events of Drakes Fortune, Uncharted 2 begins with Nathan Drake brutally injured on a train carriage that is hanging over an icy cliff.

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After the beginning level of the game, a flash back explains the main plot and this is where things start to get really interesting.

In the flashback Drake is visited by an old friend and former treasure hunter Harry Flynn along with his Girlfriend Chloe Frazer.

Drake and Flynn break into a museum to steal a Mongolian oil lamp that once belonged to Marco Polo, they find a map inside of the lamp that illuminates a message explaining that a ship was shipwrecked in Borneo that was carrying a large sapphire called a Cintimani Stone. Unfortunately Flynn turns on drake and gets Drake arrested, three months later Drake is bailed out of prison by Sully and an adventure to find the Cintimani Stone begins.

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is an Action-Adventure game just like its predecessor however this one is a little more ambitious and in my opinion a lot better. You will still be climbing buildings and traversing your way through dangerous environments using clever thinking and stealth to survive and not fall to your death.

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What I really loved about the game-play here is how much the environment changed, it was a huge upgrade to the first game that stuck to the same setting. The exploration side of the game never got boring and it always kept me eager to explore, the gun play was all very similar to the last game, there were a few new weapon types available and a variety of new enemies to fight some were much tougher than others. The puzzles here were very challenging and really made me have to scratch my head at times and so they should in a game like this.

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The game looks absolutely gorgeous, it takes place in various locations and all of them are beautiful, I particularly love how the colours in the city really pop off the screen, the details that the designers put into the layout and design of the city gives it plenty of personality, I love the design of the entire game but the city is my favourite.

Another breathtaking soundtrack by Greg Edmonson accompanies the gameplay, every track fits the environment and atmosphere of the game perfectly.

Uncharted 2: Amongst Thieves is an outstanding game which is often called the best game in the Uncharted series by fans, so far this is best one I have played and I honestly could not find a single thing I did not like about the game, it kept me invested and had a great cast of characters. The story was fantastic and would make a great film one day if they ever made an adaptation. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a video game adventure of a lifetime that you will not want to miss 10/10

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When Marnie Was There (2014) Review

71qlM5nIi8L._SX342_When Marnie was there is a drama film that was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

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Anna a introverted 12 year old girl is sent to live with fosters parents in an area with cleaner air after a recent asthma attack.

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While exploring her new temporary home Anna comes across an old mansion which has been empty for years, when she goes home that night in a dream sequence she sees a blond girl in the window of the mansion.

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The next night thinking nothing of the dream Anna visits a festival in the town but unfortunately falls out with a local girl prompting Anna to run away to the mansion where she sees the same blond girl from her dream. The two girls become fast friends and learn that they each have a lot in common and a lot of secrets that they must promise not to tell anyone about.

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I didn’t really enjoy this one, I found the overall pace quite slow and the story I struggled to get into but that does not mean its a bad film. I really liked the bond between Anna and Marnie they both seem very similar and perfect friends and the reasoning for this is explained in the films ending.

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I also love the nighttime animation in the film, I’m not really sure why but I think it was the use of how light glowed in the darkness, it had a quite a whimsical feeling to it and was beautiful to take in.

Unfortunately I cant say much else about this one, there were elements that I really liked by overall I didn’t enjoy it but that is just me I am sure that it has a lot of fans that would disagree.

Thankyou for joining me this Christmas in my experience with the Studio Ghibli movies, these films while not all masterpieces are really very special movies, you can tell a lot of heart and love went into all of them, some of these are my favourite animated films of all time and most of them I would recommend viewing

Merry Christmas to all of my readers, I am going to take a break now until January to spend time with family, I hope you continue to enjoy my content in the New Year and thank-you for reading my blog this year and all of the years prior.

Happy Holidays

I hope you enjoyed this review of  When Marnie Was There

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The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) Review

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The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a fantasy-drama film directed by Isao Takahata

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A poor bamboo cutter finds a tiny girl inside of a glowing bamboo stalk, he believes that she is a divine presence and takes her home to his wife, the girl quickly turns into a baby and then continues to grow rapidly into a young adult, her father finds gold growing from the bamboo stalk they found her in, he uses these to prove her define royalty and moves the family into a mansion where she is trained to become a proper princess, the girl who is later named Princess Kaguya had no choice in any of this and wants more than anything to go home to her friends.

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Chloe-Grace Moretz voices the Princess in the film and she is absolutely outstanding, she gives a very emotional performance that is convincing and at times heart breaking, this is the best performance in a Ghibli film yet. Everyone does a great job voicing their characters but no one comes even as close as Chloe does, it felt like Chloe was born to voice this character she was that good.

I love art style used in the film, it looks like a fine painting that has been brought to life by Ghibli magic, its honestly beautiful and makes the film well worth a watch even if you don’t enjoy the plot.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya really surprised me, I didn’t expect to enjoy this film as much as I did, I think this is is one of my favourite animated movies now, its really breathtaking and genuinely amazing to watch, the performances are fantastic which helps to make this wonderful film even better, the music is some of the best we have heard from the studio, everything about this movie is just great and I love it.

I hope you enjoyed this review of  The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

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The Wind Rises (2013) Review

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The Wind Rises is a biopic of Jiro Horikshi who invented the Mitsubishi AM5 a Japanese fighter plane that was used in World War 2. This was stated to be Hayao Miyazaki’s last ever feature film before his retirement making it a very important part of film history.

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I love how ambitious of an inventor Jiro is in the film, I think this is a personal thing because I am very creative myself and I am very passionate about the things that I have made so I felt very connected to this character.

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The dream sequences were my favourite part of the movie, they were all very creative and full of the imaginative imagery that you would expect from Miyazaki, this isn’t as crazy as some of his other work but it is still fantastic without going overboard.

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There was a romance built up in the movie and while it was fine, I did feel that it didn’t make much difference to the plot and if it wasn’t there I do not think the movie would have been affected.

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Spoiler ahead but I want to discuss how good the ending of the film is, its another dream sequence but at this point Japan had lost the war and it showed Jiro being regretful for making the planes but one of his heroes who appears in most of his dreams comforts him saying that his dream has been realised, the film ends on a sweet but sour note yes Jiro achieved his dream but at the cost that his dream was used to take many lives in one of the worst times in history.

The Wind Rises is a really interesting movie, it focuses more on the character and his inventions than it does the tragedy of war, I suppose if you wanted to see the effects of war you can watch Grave of the Fireflies, I really don’t know what to think of this one I really enjoyed it but it didn’t impact me the same way as Miyazaki’s other films, this one is really good and educational with some big names in its cast, Joseph Gordan Levitt, Elijah Wood, Martin Short and many others. I don’t its a movie to watch countless times but one viewing is well worth your while.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Wind Rises

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From up on Poppy Hill (2011) Review

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From up on Poppy Hill is a Drama film that was directed by Goro Miyazaki with the film based on a screen play written by his father Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa.

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Umi is a young girl who attends a boarding school called Coquelicot Manor in Japan. Here she meets Shun a young male student after he ends up in the school newspaper after committing to a Dare Devil stunt.

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Umi and Shun become very close throughout the film end work together to try and convince the chairman of the boarding school to not demolish it but the main mystery is whether they are actually lost siblings as both of them have the same photograph of a man who they believe to be there father.

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I will be honest and say that I have never been too fond of this film, I have always found it to be a little bit boring and the story feels like a plot that I have seen a thousand times before, however the voice acting is probably some of the best out of all the Ghibli movies, A lot of effort and heart went into all of these performances and while the only  recognisable name may be Jamie- Lee- Curtis everyone did a fantastic job and its the passion in the voice work that I think makes the film stand out among others.

From up on Poppy Hill will probably never be a film that I would say needs to be seen but it has a lot of heart and some amazing voice work, I wish the plot had a little bit more to it but overall I would say that one is just ok at best.

I hope you enjoyed this review of From up on Poppy Hill

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The Secret World of Arrietty (2010) Review

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The Secret World of Arrietty was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi and is based on the Borrowers book.

Arrietty and her family are creatures called borrowers, borrowers are very small people who love in the holes of regular sized peoples homes, they borrow small amounts of food and materials from humans to survive hence the name borrowers.

While exploring the outside world Arrietty gets spotted by a human named Sho, Sho is incredibly friendly towards Arrietty and considers her a friend, Sho is having serious medical issues with his heart and his life expectancy is low due to this, he values life which could be why he is so kind towards a borrower.

Not all of the humans are as kind though as the house keeper Haru finds and captures Arrietty’s mother leaving Sho and Arrietty working together to rescue her before she is killed by the exterminators Haru hired.

My favourite part of the movie was not the story or characters but the world that borrowers live in, I love their tiny home that are made out of materials from our world,it’s really very charming.

I really enjoyed the bond between Arrietty and her family as well as the relationship that forms between herself and Sho,

The Secret World of Arrietty is a really good movie that I feel may be overlooked as just a borrowers film because it really is a lot more than that, it is a borrowers movie but unlike other adaptations this is not a comedy and has a hell of a lot of heart and love that was pumped into it and is my favourite adaption of the book even if it is very loose.

If you want to watch a really good family film then the Secret World of Arrietty is for you.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Secret World of Arrietty

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