Castlevania 2: Simons Quest (1987) Review

What a horrible night to have a curse.

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Before reading this review please check out my review of the first Castlevania game

https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2018/07/06/castlevania-nes-review/

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Castlevania 2 Simons Quest is a 1987 NES action plat-former created by Konami, it takes place many years after the first game. During the final boss battle of the first Castlevania Dracula’s body parts are spread across the land and Simon is cursed, this curse does not affect Simon for a very long time and its during the events of Castlevania 2 that Simon Belmont must find the various body parts of Dracula and burn them in an attempt to remove the curse.

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The game is very different to its predecessor, while it is an adventure plat-former it executes this completely differently, this game is much slower due to players having to grind enemies to earn heart currency, a lot of very cryptic puzzle solving and back tracking is also required for players to progress through the game. The puzzles in this game are really unfair and too cryptic for players to figure out without using a guide, a prime example is having to kneel down next to a lake, after a few seconds stairs and a platform appear that allow you to walk into the lake that would normally kill you instantly, another really frustrating part of the game are fake blocks that appear everywhere and most of the time they kill you, you can see through these by throwing holy water but this becomes very boring when you are throwing holy water every step in the castles to avoid a fall to your death.

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There are many objects you can acquire in the game by either killing bosses or buying them from NPC’s, for me the most useful item was the holy water as it helped to destroy fake blocks and made killing enemies that were below me very easy. The sacred flame is another very useful item that makes a wall of fire that can do serious damage to enemies however it costs currency to use it. You can find use in some of Dracula’s body parts for example you can use his rib as a shield to deflect fire balls and his heart can be shown to the ferryman to find a path to one of the castles.

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There are not many bosses in the game and all of them are really easy including the final boss, the two other bosses you encounter can just be ignored unless you want to fight them for new weapons.

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What many people dislike about this game is the day to night cycle and vice versa, it happens on a time loop and really has no point to it other than the illusion of days passing, it really sucks because you cant use towns during night time and you may need to heal or buy a new whip or sub-weapon and a lot of the time you will find your self just waiting around for time to pass.

The soundtrack is great I prefer this to the music in the original game because I feel its a lot more immersive and each track has a great beat to it, my favourite song in the game is bloody tears, this is the song that I associate with the Castlevania series, its a fun and adventurous track that suits the game-play style perfectly.

Castlevania 2: Simons Quest is one of the most hated games in the series for a lot of the reasons I covered in this review, however while it may seem that I have complained a lot about the game, I really do not think that its as bad as its made out to be, yeah its slow and cryptic and the day to night cycle will make you want to tear your hair out but it is a much more immersive game as you will be talking to a lot of town folk and finding religious churches to recover health, the majority of it takes place outside of Dracula’s castle and provides a lot of really memorable areas and enemies, its has a very creepy feeling to it which is perfect for this series and the platforming while at times frustrating for the most part works quite well. I wouldn’t say it a good game but I wouldn’t say its a bad game either.

5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Castlevania 2: Simons Quest (1987)

Happy Halloween 2019

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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Will Vinton’s Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1991) Review

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In a forest on Halloween Sheldon Snail and Wiltshire Pig are testing out a new carnival ride on their friend Vince, the caring Sheldon is worried for his friends safety while Wiltshire Pig is more interested in making a large profit from those who ride it.

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After an accident with the ride causes a crater to be made in the ground, the two friends discover Frakenswines Diary which tells the story of the mad scientist and the monster he created, Wiltshire Pig is overly excited about this as directions to the doctors castle and lab are left in the diary encouraging both Sheldon and Wiltshire to seek them out in hopes of finding the monster.

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The entire movie is made using Claymation and is very impressive to look at and admire for how creative the project is, we don’t see much claymation work these days so this was very nostalgic to someone like me that grew up in an age where this style of animation was regularly used in movies and television.

The short is very funny and charming, the funniest parts are when Wiltshire Pig is trying to convince the monsters in the castle that he’s not alive so that they wont harm him or throw him out, the most hilarious encounter is with his dead grandmother, Wiltshire never attended her funeral and begins to panic trying to give an excuse as to why.

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My favourite clay model in the short was a fat green monster that Sheldon and Wiltshire meet when they first enter the castle, the Frankenswine Monster was also a really fun design and its personality was unexpected and hilarious after all of the effort the duo went through to find it.

I had never heard of this special until today and after watching it I think its going to end up being an annual occurrence to me, the whole special was really funny and the animation style was fantastically made and a joy to watch, I would highly recommend checking this short animation out, as of this review the film is available on YouTube and I assure you it is excellent. I only wish it was a little bit longer as I enjoyed it so much.

9.5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Will Vinton’s Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1991)

Happy Halloween 2019

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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Dracula’s Daughter (1936) Review

Before reading this review use the link below to check out my review of Dracula from 1931

https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2017/10/07/dracula-1931-review/

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As a sequel to one of the greatest  horror classics of all time its a very difficult task to try and replicate the influential masterpiece of the 1931 film starring Bela Lugosi. This film does not have Lugosi to give his chilling performance so the new vampire played by Gloria Holden had to really try and wow audiences.

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Gloria Hoden pictured here next to co star Irving Pichel was a beauty on the screen and gives a wonderful performance by portraying a character that does not want to be a monster but is still driven to hurt and kill others in order to get her fix of human blood.

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The film begins where the last movie ended, Van-Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) had just slain Count Dracula but he is unfortunately captured by two policeman who arrest him and take him to Scotland Yard for questioning

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While Van-Helsing is in custody the Countess Marya Zaleska steals her fathers body and burns it in the hope of turning her into a mortal as she is desperate to remove her cravings for blood and live free of the curse of being a vampire.

The movie is tragic and very sad, you really feel sorrow for the Countess and are left on the edge of your seat praying that Van-Helsing can prove that Vampires exist and is able to save himself from the gallows or a sanitarium. Van-Helsing calls for Dr Garth (Otto Kruger) a Psychiatrist and one of his ex-students for help defending his sanity.

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Draculas Daughter does not have the same impact as the original film but I wouldn’t say its only because of a lack of Bela Lugosi but also because both of the films have a different atmosphere and pacing, the original film was creepy and slow but this one is faster paced and at times rather comical, I would argue that Dracula (1931) was scarier but that Dracula’s Daughter is more entertaining due to it packing more of a punch and is a lot more lively

I hope you enjoyed this review of Dracula’s Daughter (1936)

Happy Halloween 2019

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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Sonic Chaos (1993) Review

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Released in 1993 for the Sega Master and a month later the Sega Game Gear, Sonic Chaos was the fourth game in the series.

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Dr Robotonik has stolen the red chaos emerald from South Island, with one of the emeralds missing, chaos and destruction are caused all over the island. Sonic and Tails are both informed that Robotnix plans to use the stolen emerald to power nuclear weapons and so they set off to put a stop to his actions and return the emerald to where it came from.

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Sonic Chaos has two difficulty levels which are represented in the games character selection, Sonic is more difficult and has full access to the special stages in the game but has to traverse across the difficult platforming segments while Tails can fly over obstacles and even fly across water however Tails cannot access any of the special stages. Apart from this both characters play the same stages and fight the same boss battles.

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There are five hidden chaos emeralds in special stages through out the game, players can enter the special stages when they collect 100 rings in two stages from an Act, the gems are hidden in these stages and all of them must be collected to unlock the good ending as Sonic.

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The rocket shoes are a new item in this game and they allow Sonic to temporarily fly making some of the platforming a little bit easier.

The soundtrack is medicore for a Sonic game and to be honest it feels like it belongs somewhere other the sonic universe, the music is ok but there isn’t anything special about it .

Sonic Chaos is a fun game, I much preferred it to Sonic CD, It is very short though I managed to finish the story mode with all of the chaos emeralds in just over an hours time.  Apart from its short story mode and medicore soundtrack the game is a blast to play through and is a good way to pass time, I wouldn’t personally recommend playing as Tails as I found the game easy enough playing it as Sonic.

Sonic Chaos is a good Sonic game but it is far from one of the best 7/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Sonic Chaos.

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Detective Pikachu (2019) Movie Review

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Last night I managed catch a viewing of the Detective Pikachu movie in my local movie theate and it only seems right to talk about it. I am going to do my best to avoid spoilers but one or two small spoilers may slip through the cracks so this is your warning if you want to watch the movie.

Detective Pikachu is a mystery-fantasy film which takes place in the world of Pokemon, it was directed by Rob Letterman, Letterman co-wrote the script with Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit.

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Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) is a young man who has given up on his dreams of becoming a Pokemon trainer, this is due to the unfortunate passing of his mother and also because his father had been neglectful towards him through out most of his life.

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After his father dies in a mysterious car accident Tim travels to Rhyme city in order to collect his fathers assets and while at his fathers apartment Tim meets a Pikachu that he can fully understand, the Pikachu is played by Ryan Reynolds. Detective Pikachu believes that Tims dad survived the crash and that a larger mystery is behind the accident, Detective Pikachu and Tim work together to try and solve the mystery of what really happened to Tims Dad, while meeting other Pokemon and discovering more pieces to the puzzle along the way.

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The cast was ok in this movie although I wouldn’t say it was anything special apart from Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu, the only three major roles worth mentioning are Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu, Justice Smith as Tim and Kathryn Newton as Lucy who helps our two main actors with solving the mystery of Tims Dad.

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The visual effects and design of the various Pokemon is the highlight of the film. The Pokemon look absolutely fantastic, They went for a realistic approach instead of trying to make the creatures look more animated and in this case its worked out extremely well, if Pokemon were real this is how I imagine them to look and the environments I imagine they would reside.

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The movie is really funny and can be enjoyed by the entire family although in my personal opinion some scenes might be a little scary for younger children, as I have already stated the realistic designs work really well but that also means that in some action scenes the realistic Pokemon can come across as a little bit too real and I feel that it could make the experience rather unpleasant for some people.

This a really good movie, it has a nice cast of Pokemon and human actors, it has some excellent CGI that can be a little scary at times but the film is very funny and filled to the brim with jokes that both adults and children can get a laugh from. You dont need to be a Pokemon fan to enjoy the film so even if you dont know what a Pokemon is I would still recommend giving it a viewing.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Detective Pikachu (2019)

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Yoshi’s Crafted World (2019) Review

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Yoshi’s Crafted World is the eight installment in the Yoshi series of video games and it is the follow up to the Wii U game Yoshi’s Wooly World, it was developed by Good Feel and was published by Nintendo on the Nintendo Switch in March 2019.

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The Yoshi’s are living happily on Yoshi’s Island, a magical artifact called the sundream stone is beloved by the Yoshi’s. The artifact is filled with magical gems which can make someones dreams come true.

One unfortunate day the naughty baby Bowser and his henchman Kamek steal the sundream stone, the Yoshi’s try to stop the robbery which ends with the gems being scattered across the island, leaving the inhabating Yoshi’s to race baby Bowser and Kamek to collect the gems.

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The game play for the most part is your standard 2.5D platformer with regular Yoshi game play, your main goal is to get from beginning to end of each stage by eating enemies to turn them into eggs and then throwing those eggs to either kill other enemies or to find secrets and collect items, however there is a little more meat to this game which makes it stand out compared to previous titles.

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The biggest change in gameplay is that you can now revisit a level and go through it backwards allowing you to see items and scenery that you couldn’t see before, the main idea of these levels is that you need to find poochy’s missing puppies, every flipped level has three puppies to find and doing so will allow you get more smiley flowers.

Smiley flowers are hidden in the levels, the majority of them are very easy to find but some are much trickier, you need to collect these flowers in order to gain access to the various locations in the game.

After you beat a world you can go back through the stages to find specific items as part of a scavenger hunt and in this mode if you find the requested item you will given a new smiley flower, this is a lot of fun to do but it does get tedious after a while. I wish they gave you a checklist instead of making you replay each stage multiple times as it becomes a bit of drag after an hour or so of seeing the same scenery.

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Another collectible in the game are costumes, these can be purchased from gashapon machines in each world, every world has 10 unique costumes which can help Yoshi in tougher areas of the game.

You dont need to collect all of this extra stuff and I dont really think its worth the time unless you want the game to feel a little bit longer but I will say that compared to Wooly World the collection aspect of Crafted World is much more entertaining.

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The best part of the game for me has got to be its wonderfully creative visual style, everything in the game apart from a few enemies is made out of a craft whether its paper mache, origami, carpentry or even balloons everything is so charming its hard not to want to play the game just to see how creative the developers have been.

The soundtrack is nice to listen too and it fits the style of game, there isnt any really memorable tracks here but the simple melodies and the cute tunes helps to make the game feel more relaxing until the last hour or so of the campaign.

Yoshi’s Crafted World is a simple but brilliant game, it is a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by players of all ages. It has easy to learn controls, is a treat to look at and has plenty of content before and after fishing the main story. There is enough bonus stuff that it can easily double the length of the campaign. The only issue I have is the scavenger hunts you can do because as previously stated it gets boring to revisit the same stages constantly but with that in mind I would say that this is one of Yoshi’s greatest video games yet and it is well worth its price tag.

9.8/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Yoshi’s Crafted World

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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