Sonic Heroes (2003) (GC, PC, PS2, XBOX) Review

Happy New Year and to kick of 2016 we are going to be looking at another controversial 3D Sonic game

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Sonic Heroes released in 2003 and was Sega and Sonic Teams attempt at making a next generation Sonic game that uses Team based mechanics, just like Shadow the Hedgehog this game also has a reputation of either being a piece of crap or a pretty fun experience.

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Sonic Heroes is split into four main campaigns Team Sonic, Team Rose, Team Dark and Team Chaotix, each of these teams have unique story and for the most part a different objective which ties into the games main plot.

Team Sonic receive a threat from Dr Robotnik about some new scheme he is creating and so Sonic, Tails and Knuckles run off to find and defeat Robotnik.

Team Rose are on the hunt for Big the Cat’s Missing Frog and Cream the Rabbit’s Chao Chocola.

Team Chaotix work for a detective agency and they hunt down a new client who offers them a lot of money if they rescue them from where they are being kept prisoner.

Team Darks story begins with Rouge the Bat searching for a hidden treasure when she accidentally comes across Shadow the Hedgehog and Omega (a security bot built by Robotnik),  Omega is angry because Robotnik locked him away for so long and Shadow has forgotten everything about himself and his past, all three of them seek out Robotnik for revenge and answers to why Omega and Shadow were locked away.

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How you play the game is that you control three characters for each team one Speed Character, one Power Character and one Flight Character, In teams Sonic, Dark and Rose you will need to use all three characters to pass obstacles and defeat enemies while trying to get to the goal ring as fast as possible.

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Team Chaotix are personally my favorite team to play as they are the only team that offer new gameplay, while playing as Team Chaotix you will need to play through all the same stages as the other teams but each with a new objective for example in one stage you need to find and rescue a lot of Chao and in another you need to find and blow out a bunch of flames that are hidden through out the level.

A big problem with beating the game with all four teams is that you will literally be playing through the same stages over and over again, yes each team does use slightly different paths but most of the time its the exact same stage and its gets really boring and repetitive, this is why I enjoy Team Chaotix the most they offer a more unique gameplay and its a nice break from the action style gameplay of the other teams.

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While playing through each stage you will find small golden keys that you will lose if you take damage, these keys are very important because if you manage to survive a stage with a key you will be sent to a bonus level which will either allow you to earn lives or you can try and catch one of the seven Chaos Emeralds.

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The controls are some of the worst I have ever used in a Sonic game, the characters move way too fast which often causes players to hit unforeseen enemies, some areas in the game require rail grinding and these controls make these sections a lot more difficult than they need to be, far too often did I try to quickly switch rails and the game decided to fling me far into the distance making me fall to my death, the awful controls make the special stages almost impossible to play which is extremely annoying because you need to play these to get the Chaos Emeralds and just getting to the special stages isn’t that easy of task to complete in the first place.

Glitches are not uncommon in this game so be wary if you ever to pick this one up, my advice is to mostly use the power characters as they are strong enough to take out a lot of enemies as well as moving at a reasonable pace, flying characters are by far the most useful this is due to a glitch allowing you too quickly build up your Team Blast bar by quickly throwing  your team mates using the flying character, the speed characters move far too quickly and I recommend you never play as the speed characters unless you get to section where they are needed.

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Team Blasts are a new type of special attack where all three characters in your team will work together to destroy every enemy on screen.

The music in the game isn’t really anything special, I love the vocal tracks but the level themes are just basic and not very catchy which is a shame because for me the music is what I look forward to the most when I play Sonic games and especially when I play the 3D games as they have a reputation of not being some of the best games out there.

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The visuals are amazing in this game, Sonic Heroes looks like one of the old 2D sonic games brought into the 3D world, the level designs are perfect rail sections are only implemented when they need to be, surprisingly their isn’t too many loops, every area is unique and offers a new gameplay style for example in the jungle levels you will find frogs that can make platforms appear and disappear and the Casino levels offer pinball and bingo sections to help you earn a whole load of rings to help you on your adventure and its not too often that you will die due to bad game design.

 

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The game has three types of Boss battles within the four campaigns you will either fight Dr Robotnik in one of his aircraft’s, another Team you meet while on your adventure or a barrage of Robotniks robots, for the aircraft’s just use the speed character because you can glitch the game by spamming homing attacks on the boss killing it almost instantly and for the other two I recommend a fully powered flight character as you hover in the air avoiding enemy attacks and due to the flight character being very over powered by using this character you will beat the level very quickly.

If you collect all seven Chaos Emeralds and manage to beat each Team’s campaign you will unlock Final Story which is the games real final boss and its eventual conclusion.

I wont go into too much detail here due to spoilers but I will say that this boss is a blast to fight, if 3D sonic games have one good thing about them it is almost always the final boss, the real enemy of the game is not Dr Robotnik but is a returning villain from past Sonic games that long time fans will surely enjoy fighting once again.

In conclusion Sonic Heroes is a really fun game with a lot of really big problems, it looks amazing but it plays and feels horrible, the soundtrack is not very interesting and the whole game feels rather repetitive, its not quite as bad as Shadow the Hedgehog but that doesn’t mean it’s a good experience.

Sonic Heroes is ok at best, its a shame because if all of these issues didn’t exist it would of been a classic 4.0/10

I still want a sequel though, come on Sonic Team its been almost 13 years and we want a Sonic Heroes 2 just make this one not so broken please.

I hope you enjoyed this review of  Sonic Heroes

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

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

 

 

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Yoshi’s Wooly World (Wii U) (2015) Review

Box Art

At last the long awaited sequel to Kirby’s Epic Yarn has been released, or at least it has been in Japan and Europe because unfortunately the USA wont be seeing this game until October, but luckily for me I’m not American and I have already played through and beaten the game.

So is this game a beautiful knitted scarf from Grandma or is it a hideous knitted Christmas sweater from Pound Land?

Plot

Once upon a time in a magical fluffy world,the Yarn Yoshi’s lived in peace and happiness, one day an evil wizard called Kamek mysteriously appeared and cast an evil spell which turned the Yoshi’s in to bundles of yarn, two Yoshi’s managed to hide from the effects of this curse and watched sadly as their friends were taken away, Kamek proceeded to scatter the yarn bundles all over the land most likely thinking that he managed to capture all of the Yoshi’s but unfortunately for him that was not the case and the two surviving Yoshi’s traveled all over the Woolly World in the hopes of stopping Kamek and restoring their friends back to life.

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Wooly World plays and feels very similar to most other Yoshi Games but the benefit in this particular entry to the series is the lack of the annoying crying baby that you need to carry around, which is a very nice touch to the series because as much as I love the Yoshi’s Island games that is one aspect that I do not miss one little bit.

Yoshi can run, jump, eat enemies and turn them into Yarn balls, throw the yarn balls and he can even do that weird air running thing he does just like any other Yoshi game, the only massive difference in this game is that everything is made out of yarn.

Obviously the fact that everything is made of yarn does leave the game open to some new gameplay elements which could only be pulled off in this sort of setting.

Some examples of these unique gameplay elements include

throwing yarn balls at platforms

Throwing yarn balls at empty canvases to create knitted platforms

Pushing light walls

Pushing light woolly walls to find secrets

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and unraveling loose strings of yarn to help you discover secret paths and hidden items.

dark caves screenshotOther aspects which are common in most Yoshi games include finding invisible paths, throwing balls of yarn (Eggs) at hidden clouds to find secrets, collecting the five flowers in each stage and so on.

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A new collectible in this game is the bundles of yarn that Kamek Scattered across the land, each stage has five hidden within and if you collect all five of the yarn bundles you will unlock a new Yoshi you are then able to play as.

You can also scan your Amiibo’s to unlock special Yoshi’s based on the character you scanned into the game, but if you scan the Yarn Yoshi Amiibo you will be able to have that Amiibo help you too beat tough stages.

Bonus Level

If you collect all of the flowers in a world then you will be rewarded with a brand new stage, this is very similar to unlocking the bonus stages in the New Super Mario Bros series.Aeroplane Yoshi

If you manage to find some secret doors in certain levels, you will be greeted a small vehicle section this allows Yoshi to change into many different vehicles and other forms, these sections are a lot of fun and my personal favorite of these bonus areas was playing as a giant Yoshi as it reminded me of Godzilla

The game controls wonderfully which isn’t much of a surprise considering that most of the Yoshi games have tight and extremely responsive controls, the controller layout of the Wii U game pad is perfect for this particular game and if you don’t wanna play with a game pad you can play the game with any controller for the Wii U or the Nintendo Wii.

The game can be very difficult at times as the later levels can be very unforgiving and I can see this upsetting some younger players, usually I would for see this as a problem but Nintendo were right on the ball as they included a mellow mode which makes the game much easier and is recommended for the casual gamer’s and people who don’t want too much stress or challenge, personally I prefer the classic mode but mellow mode can still be a good choice for days when your too tired to handle some of more difficult parts of the game.

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Throughout the game you will be collecting gems, you can use these gems to buy special one use power-ups for your Yoshi, I personally never used these but my brother did and he said that they proved to be most useful, one of the most beneficial power-ups to me would have been the ability to not die if you fall off of a ledge as this is this is what killed me the most during my play through.

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Yoshi’s Woolly World is a real piece of Art to look at, if you were impressed with the visuals of Epic Yarn you have not seen anything yet, the major difference here is that everything is fully knitted allowing a lot of detail and creative visuals, everything looks so fluffy that I just wanna jump into the game and hug everything, this visual style offers a a few unique and special aspects to the game, for example if you throw a yarn ball at a Pirana Plant it will wrap around it and you can see the plant being slightly squeezed showing that it is only made out of yarn and is not at all solid, and if you eat a water melon you can shoot the seeds at loose fluff to help you gain access to new areas.

The Music is again wonderful, Woolly World has a nice and innocent soundtrack throughout the majority of the game, its very pleasant to listen too and is at times very relaxing, I really hope that Nintendo releases a soundtrack for the game soon.

Yoshi’s Woolly World was the game that made me go out and buy a Wii U, ever since I got the system back in December I have eagerly awaiting this games release and I am mostly pleased with the final product, the only two issues I have is that the game is a bit short as it only has six worlds and I feel that two more worlds would have really benefited the game play, the only other issue I have is the lack of available players, having two people play the game together is great but I am fairly certain that Nintendo could have quite easily allowed up to at least four players at once and this is an aspect I hope they add in the future with an update.

Yoshi’s Woolly World was a fantastic game that anyone can enjoy, it has tight controls, wonderful visuals and audio and is genuinely an adorable treat to play, I only wish that game it self was a little longer.

9.7/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Nintendo Wii U

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

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

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

New Super Mario Bros U (Wii U) (2012) Review

The New Super Mario Bros Series first originated when New Super Mario Bros was released for the Nintendo DS in 2006, old school Raggle Fraggle readers will recognise that I mentioned this game in my top 5 Mario games of all time back in 2012.

I love the original New Super Mario Bros it felt just like Super Mario Bros 3 but with a more modern twist, it had newly improved graphics, more power ups and most importantly a save feature.

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The Original New Super Mario Bros game was fantastic and I still love playing through it today, but I was never able to get into the other games of the series because they felt boring to me and I haven’t looked forward to the series for a good couple of years.

Ever since I got a Wii U I kept getting recommended that I pick up the latest New Super Mario Bros game, obviously I argued that I wouldn’t buy the game but I just kept getting told to play it and it wasn’t until I saw Jirard the Completionist Review the game telling me that its actually good that I gave in and got myself a copy.

48263-new-super-mario-bros-uThe first thing that really stood out to me was the plot, yes it was still the usual Super Mario Bros formula where Mario needs to rescue Princess Peach from the claws of Bowser, but this time there is a slight twist because instead of kidnapping the Princess, Bowser has taken her hostage within her own castle and at the same time he manages to toss both Mario, Luigi and two Toads to the other side of the Mushroom Kingdom, what makes the plot different this time around is that now our heroes need to adventure back towards Princess Peaches castle instead of the usual formula of them heading towards Bowser’s castle, apart from that the plot is still very standard but this does not bother me because I never expected anything more in a New Super Mario Bros game.

Just like the other games in the series this particular title is also a side scrolling platform adventure, in the single player story mode you take control of everyone’s favourite Italian plumber Super Mario on his quest to save the Princess from the infamous Bowser and in the traditional Super Mario style you will be dealing with common enemies such as Goombas, Koopa Troopa’s, Para Troopa’s and Cheep Cheep’s, but don’t be put off by the lack of new enemies to fight because the game really shines when it comes to Power-up’s sure you got the usual Fire Flowers, Power Stars and Mushrooms including some Power-ups introduced through the New Super Mario Bros series such as the Ice Flower and the Mini Mushroom but this time around we are also given a new type of power up the acorn, acorns turn Mario into an adorable flying squirrel allowing him to glide freely across levels with ease.

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Mario’s lovable side kick Yoshi returns to help him on his quest, Mario can ride Yoshi which allows him to gain more air as well as being able to take an extra hit, Yoshi can also eat apples that he finds on bushes and after eating enough of these apples the player will be presented with either a power up or an extra life.

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Its not just ordinary Yoshi that’s helping Mario on his adventure this time around because you can also get help from Baby Yoshi’s, the Baby Yoshi’s are these adorable little chubby Yoshi’s which come in three different colours Red, Blue and Yellow, each of these Baby Yoshi’s have a different ability which they can use to help Mario get through different situations.

The Red Baby Yoshi can inflate into a giant balloon lifting Mario up into the sky allowing him to float over difficult platforms and too avoid some of the more dangerous enemies in the game.

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The Blue Baby Yoshi has the ability to shoot bubbles out of his mouth trapping enemies into bubbles and successfully turning them into coins.

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Finally the Yellow Baby Yoshi can be used to light up dark caverns as well as temporarily stunning enemies.

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I really enjoy the introduction of the Baby Yoshi’s as they add more flavour to the game and are genuinely very useful, the best part is that they sing while you are carrying them and trust me its very adorable.

This is the first entry of the series that is on a system that uses a HDMI output so it is expected that the game will look fantastic in HD and for the most part it looks really good the graphics are very colourful and genuinely nice to look at, the textures are smooth and the game in general is very nicely presented, the visuals look good but with this being a launch title they should look amazing because this game is supposed to be showing off the capabilities of the Wii U and having visuals which literally just look like the graphics from New Super Mario Bros Wii but with more polish is not going to make the game a system seller.

 

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New Super Mario Bros U

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All of the music in the game is super fun to listen too, it’s essentially the same music from the old games with a more modern twist as its more engaging and upbeat, this kind of music is perfect for this type of game because due to this being a standard Super Mario plat-former using standard Mario music is fine and honestly I am a happy with Nintendo keeping the epic orchestrated Mario music in their larger and more serious games such as Super Mario Galaxy.

There are 8 worlds in the game and each world has a various amount of levels for you to complete, the worlds them selves are nothing new just the basic over world map for a 2D Mario plat-former you’ve got the grass area, the desert area, the water area, the ice area and so on, this does not bother me in the slightest because the levels themselves are really fun to play and honestly I had blast running through all of them, however one world really stood out to me and that is the Jungle Area the levels here are really fun but the back grounds are really awesome and very well detailed, about half way through this world you get to a haunted section of the Jungle and the stages have painted backgrounds which genuinely look really beautiful and this really helps show how creative Nintendo can be.

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I was pleasantly surprised  with how difficult the game was because in my opinion we haven’t had a very challenging Super Mario game since Mario 64 and I honestly thought that we would never get a very difficult Mario game again, but that’s all changed now that I played New Super Mario Bros U because this game is really tough, I believe this due to the game having genuinely difficult game play but also due to the fact that the player has limited chances to save their progress, this is because just like in the older games the only way to save your progress is too beat a mini boss tower and if you game over before you do this then its back to the beginning of the world.

I am very happy that this game was hard and it felt almost as challenging as the Mario games from back in the day, personally for me it genuinely made the game very nostalgic to play through, the controls are perfect I had no trouble playing this game with the Wii U game pad as it was very comfortable to use and I found the controls to be very responsive to my actions which is great because that means that even though the game is very difficult the controls are not too blame for me losing lives meaning that my only cause of death was own mistakes.

If you do find the game tough then do not worry as Nintendo has added a small mini challenge to the game, a new character has been introduced called Nabbit the Bandit Rabbit, Nabbit has stolen a new type of power up called the Super Acorn from Toad and its your job to run through previously beaten stages as fast as you too catch Nabbit, doing this will reward you with the Super Acorn which allows you to fly as much as you want during one stage but after you have used it you are left with the abilities given to you from the normal Acorn power-up, this new item is very similar to the Super Leaf from Super Mario Bros 3.

nabbit the bandit rabbit

 

As well as Nabbit you can also find the usual Toad Houses which can be used to help you gain more power up’s and lives.

In every stage  there are three star coins for you find and collect, if you mange to collect all of the star coins in the game you will get access to Superstar Road which is essentially a bunch of new very challenging levels for you too complete, in order for you to collect all of the Star Coins you will also need to find secret exits in some of the levels of the game, finding these exits will present you with a new path and  a new level on the world map.

star Road

Multi-player is loads of fun in New Super Mario Bros U, it is essentially the same as the single player mode but you can have up to five players, four of the players will use Wii remotes to control Mario, Luigi and the two Toads while the fifth player will use the game pad to create platforms for the other players and they can also help defeat enemies by tapping them.

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From the Main Menu you have various options for extra modes in the game these modes are called Challenges, Boost Rush and Coin Battle.

Challenges- Just what it sounds like you have a bunch of different challenges you can play and unlock, some of these challenges include racing against the clock in time trials, jumping on enemies to gain lives, finishing stages with a certain amount of coins, avoiding fireballs for a set amount time and some challenges require you to create platforms on the game pad while controlling your character with the Wii remote or the Wii U Pro Controller.

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Boost Rush Mode- This mode gives you various packs to choose from and each pack contains a certain amount of levels from the game, these stages are now different because they have now been turned into scrolling stages and your tasked with getting through the levels quickly so that you don’t get crushed by the other side of the screen that is coming towards you, as you progress further in each level the faster the screen scrolls making this mode very challenging but also very fun.

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Coin Battle- This mode is super fun you and your friends must run through multiple courses and the idea is you want to collect as many coins as you can in the level, you can attack your friends to make them lose coins which you can then try to collect and the overall winner is whoever reaches the flagpole with the most coins in their pocket as you can tell this mode can get a little crazy.

Coin Battle

 

I was very sceptical of whether this game was as good as everyone made it out to be, sure I had few personal complaints about the game but it was still loads of fun to play and it brought a lot of new things to the table such as the Baby Yoshi’s and the challenge modes, New Super Mario Bros U is loads of fun to play and even though it is very challenging this game is a great time for the whole family, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to buy a Wii U just to play this particular title.

Check out the Completionists Review here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmCQ5ZSdShk

I give New Super Mario Bros U a 7.4/10

Thank you for reading my review of New Super Mario Bros U for the Nintendo Wii U

By Padawan

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

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer