Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) Review

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We’ve taken quite a time jump with Creature of the Black Lagoon, this is the first time I have ever seen the film and I was surprised that it was able to use my wide screen television to its advantage as the other films we have looked at only took up a percentage of the screen.

Julie Adams and the Gill Man in CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, 1954.

The creature is one of the most popular monsters of all time, it became a beloved icon after the success of the movie and many toys, food promotions, board games and plush toys made Universal more than 10 times the amount they got from the film alone, today the simple story of a group of scientist’s hunting a man/fish monster so they can study it probably wouldn’t be so popular compared too some of the more complex horror movies of today, so what made this so famous and why did so many people love the monster?

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Some may believe that the creatures success is purely due to how brilliant the movie is and the creative design of the monster but I beg to differ, I believe the success was for two reasons, the first is that the movie was shot in 3D which was a new concept back then which would surely draw in an audience and the other reason is just because of when it was released, in the 1950’s monster movies were huge and more popular than they have every been and throughout the decade many popular monster movies were released including Invasion of the body snatchers, Tarantula, It came from out of space and Godzilla just to name a few.

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The creature was played by two people Ben Chapman played the creature on land while a gentleman named Rico Browning played the creature whenever he was in the water, the supporting cast is a lot of fun they each bring a lot of energy and charisma to the production, apart from the creature itself  Richard Carlson, Richard Dennings and Julie Adams are the best part of the film these three actors have an amazing chemistry and their personalities are always bouncing off of each other also Julie Adams did a bikini scene which helped to sky rocket her acting career.

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The sets for creature are not too great but this is due to a big chunk of the movie taking place underwater and when the movie takes us somewhere else its only for a short while, the underwater scenes are fantastic and beautifully shot, they were recorded in the North Florida Wakulla Springs while the rest of the film was shot at the Universal back lot in California, the problem I have with the sets is that apart from the Wakulla Springs the rest just aren’t that memorable you haven’t got a Dracula’s Castle or a Doctor Frankenstein’s Laboratory which is a real shame.

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The Creature from the Black Lagoon is a really great film, the movie is a lot of fun to watch, out of all of the films this month I would say that this one felt like a proper monster movie, Creature from the Black Lagoon was like watching a Godzilla movie that’s loosely based on King Kong its absolutely brilliant.

The Blu-Ray is once again lacking in Bonus Features although there is a decent documentary and a directors commentary to watch also a 3D version of the movie is available on the disk which is pretty cool.

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PC) (2002) Review

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A year and a half ago I reviewed a mediocre Philosophers Stone game for the PC, it was a fairly bare bones 3D platformer that was way too short and it skipped over many of the best moments from the film and the original novel, today we will be taking look at the PC video game of the second book in the series Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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You play the game as Harry Potter the boy who lived who is attending his second year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, just like the first game this is a 3D platformer where the objective of the game is too attend classes and beat challenge maps, a huge difference here is how you learn spells, in the first game learning magic was awkward because you needed to trace over shapes with your mouse and with such a limited amount of time performing this task became very difficult, thankfully the game designers have taken a different approach with the sequel as now instead of tracing we instead need to hit corresponding keys on the keyboard in a specified order in the style of a rhythm game.

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Quidditch matches have also been heavily modified and I don’t like the changes they have made here, instead of having complete control over your broom so you can fly freely the game controls the broom for the player and all you need to do is bump into the enemy seeker until you are close enough to catch the golden snitch, its boring, it has no challenge at all and the worst part of it is that it feels like the game designers were just being lazy and were trying to rush out the game.

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The graphics are impressive when compared to the first game, everything is smoother and less pixelated but for a game from 2002 they are still pretty bad, on the bright side the level designs are more detailed and are genuinely more interesting to explore, the best part of the game is finding all of the secrets around Hogwarts castle and the castle grounds, through out the game you will learn an array of spells which can be used to defeat enemies and open up secret passageways where you may find a famous witches and wizards card.

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The first game had only 25 cards to collect and for doing so all you would receive was a slightly extended ending, this game has a whopping 101 cards which is the staple for the majority of the Harry Potter games, the cards come in three categories, gold, silver and bronze, the bronze cards are common and for every 10 you collect you will gain an additional health bar, the silver cards are uncommon and for every ten of those you find you will come one step closer to accessing a bonus area which can only be accessed once the player finds all 40 of the silver cards, the bonus room is a platforming level, which is full of enemies and puzzles, the player has a set amount of time to try and find the 11 rare gold cards in the game, again I don’t think its worth going out of your way to collect these but honestly it was much more fun to do so here than it was before.

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You can buy cards from other students around Hogwarts by using Bertie Botts every flavoured beans which can be found throughout the game, this isn’t necessary since every card can be found hidden inside and around the school but it is helpful if you don’t want to back track later on, the best way to collect beans is by entering the bonus bean room which you can only access if your house has the most points during the segments of the game where Dumbledore tallies up the house scores.

The music in the game is what can be expected from a cash grab title that was made to help push DVD sales but its fun to listen too and not once is it annoying nor does it take away from the game play experience.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the PC is a fun little game that is worth picking up if you manage to find it really cheap but if you cant your really not missing out on much, I can quite happily say that this is a good game but its far from a great Harry Potter gaming experience 6.3/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the PC

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

Rayman 2: The Great Escape (PS1, PS2, N64, 3DS, Dreamcast, PC) (1999) Review

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After the massive success of Mario, Sonic and the Legend of Zelda making it big in the world of 3D gaming it was of no surprise that the rising video game star Rayman would soon be joining them and the result was one of the most beloved games of all time Rayman 2.

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Every resident of the Glade of Dreams including Rayman has been captured by an army of robotic pirates led by Admiral Razorbeard, the reason behind doing this isn’t explained very well and my only guess is that they are only doing this because they want slaves.

Rayman manages to escape the Prison Ship and returns to the Glade of Dreams, here he finds out that the pirates have destroyed the heart of the world causing Rayman to lose his powers,luckily a new fairy called Ly is on hand to help rayman regain his powers while he is on his quest to rescue all the slaves from their kidnappers.

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Similar to its predecessor Rayman 2 is an action platformer and the only major difference here is that this game is 3D and apart from that everything else is essentially the same, Rayman can run, jump, hover and grab and swing from pink rings, throughout the game you will sometimes run into Ly the fairy and when you do she will either give you a new power or she will enhance  power you already have making it more powerful and useful for example you can get a hover expansion which allows Rayman to fly in certain areas.

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The main objective of the game is that Rayman needs to find and collect four ancient masks in order to awaken the god Polokus, once awakened Polokus can help Rayman by destroying all of the Pirates who remain in the Glade of Dreams while Rayman returns to the prison ship to take on Razorbeard.

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There are still some fetch quests for Rayman this time around but luckily they are not required, one of the objectives is to find and collect all 1000 yellow lums (800 in the PS1 version) these yellow lums make up the heart of the world that was destroyed by the pirates, they are spread all over the glade of dreams and collecting them all gives bonuses in certain versions of the game in the PS1 version you will unlock the beta level of the original Rayman 2 before the game was made into 3D and in the pS2 and PC ports  you will unlock a minigame for each level that you collect all of the yellow lums, the PS2 and PC version also allow the player to purchase new upgrades and abilities using the lums you have collected.

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Another collectible in the game are the familiar spirits, these creatures have been locked in cages all over the land, Rayman can free these spirits in a similar manner to first game by simply punching the cages, in the PC and PS2 port if Rayman brings these spirits to Ly the fairy he can take part in different minigames that he can try to beat in order to gain a health expansion.

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In most versions of the game Rayman will travel throughout the Glade of Dreams via the Hall of Doors a magical portal to each stage in the game.

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The PC and PS2 ports of the game scrap the Hall of Doors for an open world environment that Rayman can use to access all of the stages while also using the hub world for access to new content such as the shop and Ly’s minigames.

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I have played a lot of 3D platformer’s in my time and out of all them this one has the best control and the smoothest frame rate, this was a big surprise to me because Rayman has so many abilities that it should make some of the games main mechanics quite difficult but instead everything is perfect and it feels great, this came out on the same systems as Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot but it feels better than some of the more modern Mario Games and that is just mind blowing.

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The visuals in Rayman 2 are obviously going to be very different to the original game due to the leap into 3D, I like the visuals here but it’s hard to love them after playing the first game where its visuals were absolutely outstanding, the new look and style brought to Rayman 2 is nothing more than just ok and don’t get me wrong they are not by any means bad graphics, for the time they were up to par with the systems it had to work with, its just nothing about them is really unique or memorable which is more of a disappointment than an actual problem.

The soundtrack unfortunately has the same problem but in my opinion its worse, no music in this game made me sing along or made me feel any emotion, I’m sure there are people out there that love the soundtrack presented here but for me it was nothing more than generic and uninteresting.

Rayman 2 is a really good game but its not quite as unique as the original and that’s not really a bad thing especially considering that they are completely different experiences, the story is interesting, all characters are likable, it controls great and the only real disappointment were the visuals and soundtrack and even then that’s just a personal preference.

In my opinion I wouldn’t say that Rayman 2 is quite as good as the original game but I would recommend it out of the 2 of them its still a great game and the lack of needed fetch quests does make it a lot less stressful. 7.3/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Rayman 2: The Great Escape

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

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

 

 

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (PC) (2001) Review

Alohomora

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I remember playing Harry Potter video games when I was a child, I used to own the Philosophers Stone on the Ps1 and both the Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban games on the PS2.

There are many Philosophers Stone games and the most rare of them all is the second generation version (Ps2, Xbox and GameCube) due to the price of this game being rather ridiculous I refused to buy it until I could find it for cheap in a flee market or a charity shop so when I saw the PC version being sold for penny’s in my local charity shop I quickly snapped it up expecting to be playing the rare second generation version only to be surprised that this particular game was very unique in itself and actually provided a completely new experience I didn’t expect.

The only question now is was that experience good?

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You play the game as the Young wizard Harry Potter who has just started his first year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you spend the majority of the game attending classes such as Defense against the Dark Arts, Broomstick flying and Charms.

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When you attend a class you are almost immediately told to trace over a shape using your mouse, you will need to hit a certain percentage of the shape in order to proceed to next difficulty of the spell learning minigame, you are required to pass level 1 which will award you five points for Gryffindor and after you succeed you will be taken to the next level, the more levels you pass the more points you will earn for Gryffindor but you are only required to finish level 1 in order too continue with the main game.

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The only time that attending a class is any different is when you take part in a flying lesson because instead of tracing shapes this time you will need to fly through many different rings, this section works surprisingly well using the keyboards controls considering that for most of the lesson you will be using the speed up key which makes your broom stick fly much faster than usual.

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After you finish the tracing mini game you are always then told to complete a bunch of challenges which mostly rely on you using that new spell, you will often be taken into a number of rooms to perform these challenges, you will also have the opportunity to collect the challenge stars which depending on how many you can find will award you with different amounts of points for Gryffindor once the challenge is complete, these stars are really easy to find so you should almost always be awarded maximum points for completing these challenges.

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When playing through the main game you will also have the opportunity to collect other items, one of these items is the Bertie Botts every flavor beans which are only needed for you to give to Fred and George Weasley  as they need it for a top secret practical joke they are planning on Slytherin.

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The other collectible items are the famous Witches and Wizards cards which are hidden in secret areas all throughout Hogwarts, some of the cards you can get from Fred and George but the Majority you will need to find yourself, collecting all 25 cards only gives you a slightly expanded ending to the game so its not really worth the effort unless you really want to get 100 percent.

The general gameplay is mostly 3D platforming which works extremely well using the keyboard and mouse, the game runs smoothly providing you play on an XP operating system  otherwise you will have serious lag and slowdown due to the game being so old.

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You will play levels based on many of the famous scenes in the movie by far the most memorable part of the game for me was avoiding Filch and Mrs Norris in the forbidden section of the Library.

There are a few boss fights in the game but they are not that difficult as most of time just casting spells blindlessly will defeat them, the only boss I even had the slightest trouble with was the final boss and even he wasn’t that difficult.

The music is very memorable of the film which is a nice addition to the game, not all the music is from the movie but the original tracks are also very fun to listen too so its difficult to complain about

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone for the PC is a decent title in the Harry Potter game franchise, this particular version is a lot of fun but it is way too short as it can be finished with just a few hours, the game also feels very bare as most scenes from the film are missing which really is a shame, on the bright side there is a level based on a section which was only in the book which is a nice touch, it has tight controls, fun music and ok game play.

Unfortunately as much as I enjoy this game it is not one of the best Harry Potter games I have ever played but it is a lot of fun for what it is so I am going to rate this game slightly better than an average score 5.5/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Harry Potter and Philosophers Stone for the PC

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

 

 

Lets take a look at Pokemon 3D

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I think every Pokemon fan has wondered what the Pokemon games would look like if you played them with a first person perspective, instead of playing them with the common birds eye view that is presented in the majority of the games.

If you happen to be one of these fans, then you will be pleased to know that a 3D Pokemon game now exists and it is simply titled Pokemon 3D.

Pokemon 3D is a recreation of Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver which were released on the Gameboy Colour in 1999.

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But even though Pokemon 3D has been created around these games, it is a very different experience as it has new characters, mostly different dialogue and it even has its own twists and changes to the original games plot, not to mention that the entire game has had a massive graphical upgrade compared to the original game that could only run in 8 bits.

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This is a Pokemon game and so the objective is very similar to original series, you are a Pokemon trainer and it is your mission to catch and train as many Pokemon as you can, you will then need to retrieve the 8 gym badges before making your way to the Pokemon championships  to take on the elite 4 and too finally defeat the Pokemon Champion of the world.

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The game play is also very similar to an actual Pokemon game and the only major difference this time around is that you are using a keyboard and mouse. I found the controls to be a little awkward but I think that’s just because I am so use to playing Pokemon on an actual game boy, so it was little difficult for my mind to adjust to these new controls.

Personally I was getting quite a bit of lag when I was walking from place to place, the reason for this is because the game requires a lot of power from your CPU, I have a fairly powerful PC and I can run my fair share of games that require high performance so I believe that this issue is just a problem with the game currently and its an aspect that I hope the developers fix.

The battle system is really cool, it reminds me of the new latest Pokemon battle systems from X/Y and Alpha/Omega.  The Pokemon themselves are in 3D and you get to see them fight. At the moment you are not able to see the Pokemon perform the attacks but I am sure that this feature will appear in a later update.

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You will also be pleased to know that all of the original music and audio from Pokemon Gold and Silver is in the game, the audio is loud, crisp and full of nostalgia and having the original audio is a really nice feature especially for people who grew up playing these games.

You can even have a Pokemon adventure online with other players, but I really struggled to connect to the server but after a while I managed to connect and it was pretty sweet, I cant wait to play this game online with my friends so we can go on Pokemon adventures together.

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Pros

  • Fantastic Graphics and Imagery
  • Music and Audio from the Original Game
  • Plays and feels like a real Pokemon Game

Cons

  • The controls are a little complicated
  • Experienced quite a bit of Lag
  • You will need a powerful CPU
  • Sometimes you may struggle to connect to the online server

Pokemon 3D is still in development and the developers are working on improving the game every single day, If your a Pokemon fan I highly recommend that you check this game out.

You can download Pokemon 3D here

http://gamejolt.com/games/adventure/pok-mon3d/10545/

I hope you enjoyed my look at Pokemon 3D

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