The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass (2007) Review

The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass is the first entry to be released on the Nintendo DS handheld videogame system. It is the fourteenth entry in the series and a sequel to GameCubes Wind Waker.

After the events of the Wind Waker Hyrule is flooded and Link and Tetra are crossing the ocean on their boat, they come across the Ghost Ship and climb aboard looking for treasure. On board Tetra screams as she is stolen and turned to stone, the ship vanishes leaving Link floating in the Sea before he is washed ashore on an island and rescued by a fairy called Ceila.

He finds a ghostly hourglass which holds the sands of time and speaks with an old man named Oshus who sends him on a quest with the help of Captain Linebeck to travel the new ocean, defeat the phantom Bellum and rescue Tetra so they can continue in their adventures.

The gameplay is very similar to the average top down Zelda game with hidden temples needing to be completed, each filled with a numerous amount of puzzles and a boss fight, these are each found on islands which you can sail towards on your boat.

Exploring the Sea in this is slightly lacking when compared to its predecessor due to the fact that while you can technically explore freely you can not physically move the boat but instead you draw a path which is then followed via an on rails segment, you can still jump obstacles and shoot down enemies so there is some entertainment value to these changes.

Speaking of gameplay changes I think the ambition to have the game completely controlled via the touch screen needs to be discussed because I have mixed feelings on this.

The use of touchscreen controls definitely had its advantages when it came to combat, simply tapping or swiping enemies worked really well when combined with using the screen for general movement as well.

My issues with this unfortunately came with swapping between items and drawing symbols.

Symbols are used throughout the game for various purposes, the main function is teleportation between the different areas of the Great Sea and finally for accessing certain parts of temples.

I had a lot of difficulty with getting some of these to work meaning that I had to do multiple attempts, the issue I think lies with how they are drawn, I found that I would draw the symbol perfectly and have no luck but if I drew the same symbol in a slightly different way it would work better.

This issue was so bad that at one point that I literally had to go to google to see if I had missed something but no it was just not drawing the image correctly even though it looked exactly the same as what I was meant to draw!

As for swapping items this worked fine enough but I do wish there was a way to apply some to buttons as near the end game it is necessary to swap items in a shorter space of time.

What caught me by surprise was that the game really focussed on the main story and held back on the side content. This worked so much more in its favour when compared to Wind Waker, this time around a longer campaign with a few memorable side quests was a much more enjoyable experience when compared to the repetitiveness of what we got before.

My favourite side quest involved finding a mermaid for a fisherman which would then end with us being awarded the fishing rod.

Other really interesting side content involved secret puzzles, near the end game a maze island is unlocked which gives you time limits to get through mazes which are full of puzzles and obstacles.

The puzzle on the whale shaped island was really unique having to sketch the islands layout based on clues before finally discovering how to open the doors to the Golden Frog King who teaches us about Golden Frog fast travel points.

Mini games are a staple of the series and here we get the obvious target games and bow and arrow ranges but these games now play an important role in how we explore the open sea.

Fishing allows us to catch fish which we can then take to the fisherman to be rated earning us prizes, I loved this as you needed to physically reel in the rod and pull on the touch screen to make sure you didn’t lose your catch.

The other new mechanic is how we use the salvage arm, here we can use a mechanical device to reach the bottom of the Ocean floor and can pull up lost treasure chests, this will result in either parts for your ship or treasures that you can sell for Rupees.

Customising your ship was a pretty cool new mechanic of the game, it wasn’t anything substantially amazing but allowing us to customize our ship did help me make my game unique to myself.

The use of 3D cell shading helps to maintain the cartoony and more family friendly look of the Wind Waker while also helping to enhance the graphic capabilities of the Nintendo DS considering that it was substantially more limited compared to graphically superior GameCube.

There is a large variety of different layouts and colour choices for the different temples but for me my favourite visuals were definitely the boss designs, each fight was unique and visually memorable my favourite was Gleeok the two headed Dragon followed by Bellum in the end game.

The soundtrack takes heavy inspiration from the Wind Waker it still uses the happier melodies help to maintain the less serious direction this chapter in the series was taking, a lot of the music here is somewhat cheerful but can get a little more intense during temples and boss fights but compared to other entries it always maintains its innocence and sense of wonder and even the re-used tracks from Wind Waker such as Outset Island sound fantastic even with the DS’s barriers when it came to its audio outputs.

Phantom Hourglass is a game I feel is often forgotten about by Zelda fans, Growing up I don’t ever recall anyone owning it and everyone played the Wind Waker.

This was my first ever playthrough of the game and I was left really surprised by it, when I first started playing the touch screen controls definitely took some time to get used too but ultimately worked in the games favour minus the issue with drawing symbols I mentioned earlier.

The plot focussing on the ghost ship was unexpected and introducing a new villain instead of resurrecting Ganondorf again was a really great way of making this game feel unique as an entry to the series.

I loved the introduction to touch screen interactivity with the fishing and salvage arm, it made success feel much more satisfying and rewarding

The visuals and audio are both equally as charming and both used the DS to the best of its capabilities giving us some truly fantastic and memorable musical tracks and creative lands to explore.

Overall Phantom Hourglass is to me what I wanted Wind wWker to be because this game really focussed on that main questline and took on a design approach similar to other 2D games in the series, the few side content that was there was lots of fun but didn’t take much focus away from the main goal, it definitely had its problems but for a game as ambitious as this was its really hard to not recommend it, it followed on from a beloved entry in the series that today is often considered to be a fan favourite and while this one has somewhat been lost the sea of Zelda games not only is it worth playing but I would argue that in a sense and only by a small margin I think this one may just be a little bit better. 7.6/10

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Kena: Bridge of Spirits (2021) Review

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an action-adventure game from Ember Lab Studios, it was released in 2021 for the PS4, PS5 and PC

In the game you play as a young spirit guide Kena, she has the important job of helping deceased persons cross from the natural world and into the spirit realm, some of these spirits have become corrupt and have infested the land with demons and toxic elements, throughout her adventure Kena will have to work closely with the creatures called Rot to help free these tormented souls and save both worlds.

The gameplay while simple in its design is very fun, its a 3D platformer at heart with a good mixture of action oriented combat with adventurous terrains and worlds to explore, with the game having a high focus on spirits there is an emphasis on supernatural elements and magic which helps to spice up the gameplay.

Regular combat isn’t anything too special only offering basic light and heavy attacks with the staff but its the Rot, Bombs and Arrows which really bring additional challenge and for me made the combat some of the best parts of my personal journey with Kena.

The Bow of course gave us distanced combat and was useful for hitting further away enemies and those who fly, it could also be used to whip across gaps using special flowers.

The Bombs were particularly cool because not only did they give us a powerful damage attack but they have the ability to interact with certain stones creating timed platforming segments to help progress through areas and find hidden secrets.

The Rot were the best part of the game because not only are they extremely adorable and can be decorated with the sweetest little hats but they also have the ability to help you solve puzzles by carrying items, removing corruption and growing plants, they can also enhance your staff, bow and bomb abilities later on in the game giving them even more uses.

These creatures are only one of the many hidden collectibles in the game, they can be found in many different places but specifically prefer to hide underneath rocks and logs and tucked away inside of small spaces like drawers and plant pots.

Unfortunately with all of the collectibles in the game apart from trophies there isn’t much benefit to finding them with the exception of Rot and the meditations spots (permanently increases Kenas health), The hats while cute don’t offer any upgrades to abilities and the flower shrines only give you more money which can be used to purchase the hats, Spirit Mail sometimes does lead to more rot and do normally come with some cursed chests offering some combat challenges.

The Visuals are just out of this world and easily some of the best we have seen on PS5 so far, the landscape takes high inspiration from the Japanese countryside which fits the narrative of the game really well, on top of this crisp details on everything really enhances the experience, I love the bright colours of the human world making this game stand out even though it shares similar visual designs with other games of the genre, the spirit world uses more darker colours with less detail and again it helps to differentiate the worlds of the game making sure players know where they are at all times.

The soundtrack was composed by Jason Gallaty and is just beautiful, the team travelled to Bali to record traditional Gamelan music for the soundtrack, Gamelan uses bamboo flutes, Xylophones and a Rebab (Bowed instrument) the music is very calming but is adaptable to suit the games more action oriented sections. It is rare that I do not have spotify, an audio book or Youtube on in the background while gaming but this was an exception with a soundtrack so mesmerizing I wanted to let every second of it massage my brain with its artistic melodies.

I loved Kena, its visuals and outstanding soundtrack really helped to enhance my experience, the land was fantastic to explore and I loved all of the different combat sections and boss fights. My only issues with the game is that some of the collectibles dont offer enough to feel worth going out of your way for and finally the lack of a waypoint marker for the map made getting around a little difficult, I had to keep checking the map to see where I was and what direction I was facing, there is an update coming soon so maybe this will be added but overall if you have a Playstation or a good PC I highly recommend this one and will award it a well deserved 9.8/10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out my reviews of the first three games !

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Sonic Adventure 2 (2001) Review

After the blue blurs first fully 3D Adventure fans were begging for a sequel, in 2001 we got Sonic Adventure 2 a follow up to the first game that used a similar style but with a few changes that would help improve both the gameplay and the story. It’s no secret that this is one of the most popular games in the series. How does it hold up today is it still as great or is it just the nostalgia talking?

Lets find out and take a look into Sonic Adventure 2.

The game was re-released in 2002 for the Nintendo GameCube this version was called Sonic Adventure 2 Battle it added some new modes and a multiplayer which were all equally mediocre but the base game remained the same with a few fixes on camera quality, sprite work and controls, this is the version I am most familiar with.

Right off the bat following from the first Sonic adventure we get multiple story modes although they have been cut down to just two with a secret story after finishing both. This works much better than it was done before due to the lack of crappy campaign modes such as fishing or running away from robots.

Hero Mode opens with Sonic escaping from the goverment after being falsely arrested due to misunderstandings from the humans that he was dangerous.

After a fairly intense chase from the army Sonic runs into a new hedgehog that has stolen a chaos emerald, this character is Shadow a troubled character who has found himself working for none other than Dr Eggman who wants to collect all of the chaos emeralds in order to destroy the planet.

This leaves Sonic to gather Tails and Knuckles in order to track down the Dr, clear his good name and save the world.

The Dark Story follows the same plot but from the perspective of Dr Eggman, here we see that he finds a diary from his deceased grandfather Gerald Robotnik who inspired him to become the scientist he is today, Gerald had worked his whole life to create the ultimate super weapon to destroy the earth but passed away before he could pull it off. We see how Eggman hires shadow to join his team after realising that he may be more powerful than his greatest nemesis Sonic.

Further on in the story we also see how another newcomer Rouge the Bat a talented and selfish treasure hunter offers her services to the Dr and she soon becomes an enemy to Knuckles the Echidna the treasure hunter of the Hero Mode.

There are three level types in the game and both story modes share each of them.

Sonic and Shadow both use the classic style of fast-paced game play where they must destroy robots and make their way to end of a stage while riding rails and making sure not to fall off of the stage or take damage from enemy’s.

These are the most fun part of the game in my opinion, the stages are all very well designed with this style in mind and the game controls fairly well minus some issues with the camera.

Knuckles and Rouge are both treasure hunters who will be placed in large open areas where three pieces of the Master Emerald are hidden, you can use skills such as digging and gliding to find some of these pieces.

I hate these parts I thought they were really boring and never made much sense as to where the emerald pieces were hidden, the game does give a sign when you are near an emerald but even then the camera made it difficult to spot the pieces as it never focused where I wanted it too.

Tails and Eggman ride in mechs and have to blast through barrages of enemies and other obstacles to survive, this game play style uses the most puzzles often hiding buttons that need to be shot to open doors.

The Chao Garden returned and it was definitely more forced upon the player here since they removed the hub world from the first Sonic Adventure, in Sonic Adventure 2 you needed to find a special key hidden within levels to visit to Chao Garden and here you could raise Chaos and upgrade their stats, I never enjoyed this growing up and I still don’t but I understand that many people have fond memories of this part of the game.

Kart Racing is an unlockable mode in the game but its also included in two stages between each story mode, the issue I have with this is the imbalance of acceleration and turning, it is really frustrating to play this mode and it doesn’t feel like it really fits in with the main story because it is so out of place and looks so silly compared to how serious and at times dark the main plot is.

The visuals are a major upgrade here than they were in the first Sonic Adventure game, while the graphics were substantially better its hard to admire the creativity and love that went into this, my favourite area in the game is Pumpkin Hill, its a level that is themed on spooky visuals and Halloween Vibes, it even has a really good rap song playing during the stage, I personally really like scary levels in kid friendly games and this game did not hold back on not so scary visuals.

What a fantastic soundtrack, every song in this game is really well composed, it uses a lot of punk rock and fun summery songs but also mixes things up with hip hop and even some more calming and slower melodies.

7.0/10

Thank you for reading my review of Sonic adventure 2

A long while back I reviewed the next two main series games Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog

Checkout those reviews here (please keep in mind that these reviews are old so my writing style may have been a little weaker back then)

Sonic Heroes https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2016/01/09/sonic-heroes-2003-gc-pc-ps2-xbox-review/

Shadow the Hedgehog https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2014/09/21/shadow-the-hedgehog-ps2gcxbox-review/

Next time we look into the Sonic games it will be the infamous Sonic 06 so look forward to that.

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Thank You for all of your support.

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Sonic Adventure (1998) Review

Sonic Adventure is a 3D action platformer set in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. It stands in history as the first proper 3D sonic game and one of the first games on the Sega Dreamcast.

The game was also re-released onto the Nintendo GameCube as a director’s cut before being released digitally on most major platforms.

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The plot revolves around an ancient being named Chaos, a thousand years ago Chaos was the protector of the Chao and the master emerald but one day a tribe of echidnas tried to steal the emerald and in retaliation Chaos used the emeralds power to turn into perfect Chaos killing them all instantly, now in a vow to defeat sonic , Dr Robotnik has revived chaos from his rest and is using the power of the chaos emeralds to bring him back to full power.

 

The game has six playable characters and each of them has a different game play style and involvement with the main plot, eventually all of these stories combine to create the story of the game.

Sonic’s game play is the fast paced action platforming that is to be expected from the series, Sonic’s play-through is the longest in the game with 10 stages.

Tails gameplay is built around flight and using that ability to beat sonic in races, it’s fun to find short cuts in these levels and Tails is actually my favourite campaign.

As Knuckles players must climb walls and dig underground to find pieces of the master emerald, these sections are fairly easy but can be challenging at times.

As Amy players will wield the piku piku hammer which they can use to smack enemies, in Amy’s stages she must finish the level while also avoiding capture by one of Eggman’s robots.

Big the Cats game play is really quite awful, it’s fishing which already should not be in a sonic game but the terrible camera while the rod is the water and the janky controls makes this campaign almost unbearable

The final campaign before the true final boss is E-102 Gamma one of Eggman’s robots that’s ends up going rouge and helping the main heroes by destroying his robot bretherin, the campaign is really fun and using the gun is a nice change of pace from the rest of game.

Aside from the main story players could also visit a special garden where they could raise baby Chao’s and enter them into competitions, I never enjoyed this section but many people have fond memories of it and because it is only a bonus it can be skipped.

The presentation of the game was fine it had really great graphics for the time but you could tell the developers had not quite nailed hiring the correct voice actors or creating great dialogue as a lot of it is very cringy although I would argue that this does add to the entertainment value of the game, it’s great for a laugh with some friends.

Easily one of the best Sonic soundtracks to this day, with Sonic’s fresh new look and 3D game play it needed a rocking sound track to boost the atmosphere of the game and it does this superbly with a mixture of punk rock, techno and orchestral tracks to help make the game play and the player feel awesome, the music of the franchise would take inspiration from this game for future entries but not many can match the impact this soundtrack had.

Sonic Adventure is at best a Mediocre title, the game is very buggy and glitches out a lot, another issue I have with the game is its speed, characters are either too slow or too fast there is no in-between and a lot of my deaths in the game were caused by this, the Big the Cat campaign doesn’t help but what I will say is that the game is still fun and you can get a laugh out of cut scenes and dialogue not to mention how fantastic the soundtrack is but overall Sonic Adventure is a game that I would only recommend if you are a hard core fan of the series. 4.0/10

Thank you for reading my review of Sonic Adventure for the Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC

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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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

I hope you enjoyed this review of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

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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Uncharted: Drakes Fortune (2007) Review

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Developed by Naughty Dog and Published by Sony as an exclusive for the Playstation 3, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune was the first game of the now very popular video game series.

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Treasure hunter Nathan Drake is on a fishing boat along with reporter Elena Fisher, Elena is trying to film a documentary while Nathan wants to discover his dead ancestor Francis Drakes coffin to try and find a clue to finding the lost city of El Dorado.

After an Attack from Pirates they are rescued by Nathans long time friend and father figure Victor Sullivan. The two adventurers ditch Elena to try and find the treasure together but not long into the adventure Sully is shot and Elena shows up leaving her and Nathan to try and discover El Dorado and escape the island they are trapped on.

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I can confidently say that Uncharted is heavily inspired by Tomb Raider but it has a few differences which I really enjoy, you will be climbing buildings and cleverly figuring out the safest and best way to get across dangerous terrain and unstable structures which is easy enough to do and is a lot of fun.

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The game-play is varied throughout the adventure, you have action segments, beautiful environments to explore with treasures to discover and really fun driving areas, I particularly enjoyed the speed boat area because you had to be careful as well as fast to avoid explosions and shoot the bad guys.

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There are a few puzzles in the game but they are far too easy, I figured them out within about 10 minutes and none of them were challenging,  they helped to advance the plot but I would have preferred trickier scenarios.

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The majority of the game is action based and requires the player to shoot down enemies to progress, I really enjoyed this part of the game, all of the guns are fun to use and racking up head-shots was very satisfying.

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The story of the game is really good and very memorable but the villains kind of suck. I never really felt that they were that threatening and I couldn’t even remember their names, It really is annoying because the rest of the plot is so good that a great villain really would of made the story fantastic.

The soundtrack was composed by Greg Edmonson who also did the soundtrack for the TV series Fire Fly. The music in this game is without a doubt absolutely breathtaking. Every track fits the mood and atmosphere perfectly and this is one of the best video game soundtracks I have ever heard its atmospheric and genuinely beautiful.

It may seem that I have really complained a lot about this game but I want to make it clear that I do think it is a great game I just wish that it had better antagonists and that the game as a whole felt more like an adventure with more difficult puzzles to solve and a little less action while focusing more on exploration and discovery. I don’t really think its fair to compare the game to Tomb Raider even though the inspiration is clearly there. Uncharted is a great game it is addictive and a lot of fun to play through, it is very short but overall the experience is very satisfying 8/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Uncharted: Drakes Fortune

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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

 

Sam and Max Hit the Road (1993) PC Review

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Sam and Max Hit the Road is the first release of the popular point and click adventure series which follow two anthropomorphic animal detectives as they try to solve various wacky crimes, the games are based on the original comic book series Sam and Max: Freelance Police which was created by Steve Purcell in 1987.

12333 The game is based on a 1989 comic book release where Sam and Max need to travel to various tourist locations spread across America in order to find a Bigfoot that has gone missing from a local carnival.

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The game play is similar to any-other game of the genre you will need to collect random objects throughout the game and then either give those objects to those who may desire them or they can be used to solve puzzles, the game does add the ability to question suspects in order to gain clues about where the player should head next or how the player can get past some of the more difficult challenges the game has to offer.

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For me although the game was a lot of fun like most point and click adventure games, the best part was the characters and dialogue, the game is filled to the brim with dry humour which coincidentally is one of the only types of humour I genuinely find funny   and let me just say that I was laughing my ass off throughout the majority of this game, I know a lot of people really like max for his psychotic personality and genuinely random moments but I have to admit that it was actually Sams character that I enjoyed the most, I found that Sam provided the majority of that witty dry humour that I love and although Max did this occasionally as well I just found it was funnier coming from Sam,  I don’t think it really helped that for the most part Max was fairy useless in this game, some of the puzzles require you to use Max in order to solve them but honestly this hardly ever happened and for the rest of the game play you take control of Sam which is a shame because I feel that Max would have been useful for a lot more puzzles that he actually was.

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The Dialogue actually uses voice acting which really surprised me and the best part of this is that it was actually quite impressive, of course Sam and Max sound great Max has a more energetic voice which really suits his character and Sam has a more calm and serious voice which really works for him, everyone you speak too also has a unique voice and not one single character sounds the same as another.

Apart from pausing and a few other commands the game completely uses the mouse and I had no issues at all with the general game-play however I did not like the few keyboard keys that were chosen for smaller things, for some reason you need to press F5 to go to the save menu and if I didn’t look up the manual I never would have figured this out, another key that I hated was pressing full stop to skip dialogue, its a really random choice when the developers could have easily chosen a much easier key that wasn’t in use, this wouldn’t be such an issue but when you keep having to speak to characters over and over again it can really get annoying having to keep listening to them repeat the same sentences.

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The art style and visual choices in the game are absolutely outstanding, the colours are bright, the art is smooth and the many smaller details such as the use of shadows, creases in clothes and the density of different materials such as fur really help bring the game to life, not the mention the constant animations that run in the background of the game, the game has a few still image cut-scenes with some basic animation and if you weren’t actually playing the game you might think they were from a cartoon due to how much effort the game designers put into the visuals.

005fe384ddb3e3394a57771f36203588 Sam and Max Hit the Road is a very good game which I think most people would really appreciate if they put aside some time to play it, It’s not perfect but its an innocent title that provides a lot of laughs and will leave you with some fond memories, I cant say I enjoyed it as much as I do Sierra Games but Lucas Art did a great job with this before the series got taken over by Travellers Tales 7/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Sam and Max Hit the Road for Microsoft Windows and MS DOS.

By the way you can get yourself a copy of this game for fairly cheap via GOG.com

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

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U/Switch) Review

ZeldaEveryone on the internet is raving about the latest game in the Legend of Zelda franchise and its all for good reasons, Breath of the Wild was originally announced in 2012 when the Wii U was released and it had an expected release date of December 2013 but unfortunately due to development issues it got delayed multiple times before it was finally released to the general public five years later on March 3rd 2017 along side the companies latest gaming system the Nintendo Switch.

zeldabreath2-625x352So the reason a lot of people are falling in love with this particular game in the franchise is because when compared to the earlier 3D Zelda titles this is a brand new and unique experience, instead of the usual formula of controlling Link from the first dungeon to the last while following a linear path Breath of the Wild takes place in a free roaming environment and even though there is a main objective the player is encouraged to explore Hyrule to its limits in order to find secrets and gather side quests.

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Dungeons are now called shrines and are much shorter and simpler than usual, shrines are small puzzles that the player can try and solve in order to unlock new fast travel points on the in game map and along with this each shrine contains a Monk that will reward Link with a spirit orb once the shrines trial is completed.

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Link can trade every four spirit orbs he obtains for either a new heart container or  increased stamina by praying too one of the many goddess statues that have been placed throughout the world.

3085837-screen+shot+2016-06-23+at+5.50.35+pmThe shrines make up the bulk of the game and even though they are not necessarily important to the plot it is still highly recommended that you solve as many of them as you can in order to make the game a little bit easier,  if you would rather challenge yourself to a really difficult run of the game then you could skip all of them and remain at minimal health, however the first few shrines are forced upon the player as these shrines are needed in order to unlock runes.

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Runes replace the traditional items from previous Legend of Zelda titles and unlike the older Zelda games the runes in Breath of the Wild have an unlimited stock, these runes offer a number of abilities available to Link throughout the game including Magnesis which allows Link to pick up heavy metal items with ease, Stasis which allows Link to temporarily stop time, Cryonis which grants Link the ability to spawn large climbable structures of ice in watery areas and the remote bomb which is simply an unlimited stock of bombs that only explode when prompted by the player.

Finally the most useful ability in the game is the wind glider which allows the player too glide through the air with ease, this is useful when trying to reach areas that would be difficult to reach by other means, however the glider does use up Link’s stamina metre and therefore the player must use cation so that they don’t fall to a most unfortunate death.

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There are a lot of things to do in Breath of the Wild and personally the best part of the game for me was all of the additional content other than the main quest, it is obvious that the developers took inspiration from other franchises such as the Elder Scrolls and Assassins Creed by adding the large open worlds, the ability to steal horses, climbing towers and other Buildings, needing to kill animals and collect plant life in order cook food so you can heal since the game does not use the usual system of collecting hearts from pots and bushes, Link can now buy multiple outfits to help him survive in different climates such as intense heat and freezing cold environments and on top of all of this the game even follows a similar system where your weapons and shields will break over time but unfortunately I can not recall any repair system in the game for fixing these broken weapons, thankfully there are plenty of replacements spread across the map so this wasn’t much of an issue for me.

the plot is very interesting to say the least and I really don’t want to talk about it in this review as a means of avoiding spoilers since the game is still essentially brand new, I will however say that it does still follow some of the traditional Zelda formula which is to be expected, Link still needs to defeat Ganon and save Hyrule but everything else that has been built around this allows the game too stand out as a very story driven game which may be the darkest the franchise has seen yet, this is the first time that Nintendo have added voice acting to the Legend of Zelda series and personally I hope it stays, I think they did a stellar job with the voice cast and unlike Super Mario Sunshine the voice acting here is not in the least bit cringe worthy.

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Graphically Breath of the Wild is the most outstanding game in the series, Nintendo has really gone out of their way to make game feel real and alive, the original Wii U version pushes the console to its absolute limits and the final results are breath taking, this the cleanest and smoothest graphics you will ever see on the Wii U and it really is a shame that not many other games pushed the console for its visuals quite as much as Breath of the Wild does, the Nintendo Switch port has all of the vibrant colours and smooth textures of the Wii U version but pushes the visuals to look even better, more depth and shadow effects are added to the in game textures and other small details such as dust floating around the sandy areas of the game and snow falling from the sky help to bring more realism to the game, one issue I found was that occasionally during my play through the game suffered from lag spikes that really took me out of the experience and I believe that this was caused by the game trying to load too much at once, it should be noted that the Wii U version is known to have pretty horrendous loading times so keep this in mind.

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I played the game on the Nintendo Switch and as can be imagined from Nintendo’s quality of service the controls were absolutely flawless, the clever thing about the Nintendo Switch is that it can be played both at home and on the go, the new Zelda is an amazing experience from the couch but every time I played the game while taking the bus or during long train journeys it was really difficult for me to see most of what was going on, the screen on the switch is way too small for a game of this size, it was difficult for me to read the map and plan routes and exploration is one of the biggest selling points of the game so I would recommend playing from the TV unless you have no other choice.

I have never disliked a Legend of Zelda soundtrack to this day and Breath of the Wild may have one of the best soundtracks yet, the entire soundtrack was created by Manaka Kataoka who had worked on previous titles in the series, there are a lot of points in the game that are silent and this is due to the player needing to listen for approaching enemies they may need to take care of as well as any wild animals that can be killed for food, I have linked the entire soundtrack above so please click play if you would like to listen to it.

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is my new favourite game in the series which is something I haven’t been able to say since 1998, however the game is not flawless and I don’t think its fair to say its the best of all the 3D titles since it is so different from the previous games, I think it stands out in its own way as a unique and individual title and should only really be compared to the next Zelda game that follows this new formula, I had a blast  playing this game and the only real complaint I have are the occasional lag spikes which is why I wont be giving Breath of the Wild a full score.

it’s not perfect and it isn’t flawless but no matter what at the end of the day its still may be Link’s best outing yet.

9.7/10

It was very difficult for me too not give away any spoilers in this review so I hope you enjoyed it for what it was, it may be a while before the next Nintendo Switch review since the console isn’t even a month old yet,in the mean time there will be one more review coming out this month so I will see you then.

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch and 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

 

Rayman Origins (2011) (PS3,360,Wii,Vita,3DS,PC) Review

2530004-the_wacky_world_of_rayman_origins_by_cuddlesnowy-d4oli36It had been 11 years since a proper Rayman game had been released and for the longest time fans of the series accepted that Rayman was essentially dead and we just had to accept that those bloody Rabbids had taken over, but in November of 2011 we were all surprised and shocked when a new Rayman title hit retail store shelves.

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Rayman and his friends are chilling out and having a nap at the Snoring Tree, however they are snoring so loudly that they disturb the living corpse of an old woman in the Underworld which in this game is called the Land of the Livid Dead, in retaliation the old woman sends an army of nasty creatures to Raymans world, these creatures capture all of the Electoons and trap Betilla the Nymph (Not a fairy yet) and her sisters, of course Rayman manages to escape and its up to him to rescue all of the Nymphs and the Electoons so he can get back to his nap.

6936403695_fbcac3330f_bI was very pleased when I found out that Rayman was going back to being a 2D platformer because we haven’t one of those on a home console since the original and that came out in 1995, however the gameplay does differ from the original game and in Rayman Origins case that is a good thing, first of all you do not need to collect all of the Electoons in the game to face the final boss however there is another collectible in the game called Ruby Teeth and if you manage to find all 10 you will gain access to the Land of the Livid Dead which contains a bunch of secret levels and a secret boss, the game has 10 main worlds and each contain a bunch of levels and half of the worlds contain a boss fight, the majority of the levels consist of fast paced platforming where your goal is get from point A to point B as fast as you can while hunting for Electoons along the way.

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Some stages bring back our Mosquito friend from previous installments and he helps carry Rayman through side-scrolling, shooting segments, there are a lot more of these here than there were in the original game but they are a little bit easier which I think was a nice touch because lets be honest in the original Rayman they were much too difficult.

672667-rayman-origins-windows-screenshot-chasing-the-treasure-chestIn order to collect those Ruby Teeth I mentioned earlier you will need to complete a treasure chase stage and I hope your good at platformers because these are really tough to beat, you will need to sprint,jump and swim your way through all of these levels, they are side-scrollers that scroll really fast and you will need really quick reactions in order to survive each one, they last around 2-3 minutes long and if you die you go back to the start of the level every time.

You can play the game as multiple characters but honestly I didn’t find that any of them appealed more to myself than Rayman and a lot of the unlockable characters are just re- skins, these characters are not just for one person though as the game can be played with up to four players which is really cool and is a first for a Rayman Campaign.

 

This game without a doubt has the best soundtrack to any Rayman game I have yet to play, the music is upbeat and fun so it always keeps you wanting to carry on playing, every track has its own personality and the composers have used different instruments in every track to help shape its uniqueness and general quality, I have linked the entire soundtrack above so please feel free to check it out and I promise you wont regret it.

ubisoft_rayman_origins_09Rayman has had a re-design and I know a lot of people really like it but personally I do prefer how he looked in the first game however the world around him I really enjoyed looking at, the artistic detail is outstanding and the team behind the visuals need a reward for how fantastic this game looks, it honestly feels like you playing though a cartoon and with the games sense of humor and smooth gameplay it only goes to show how great a proper Rayman animated series could be, and yes I am aware that there was one in the past but like many people I don’t like to talk about it but maybe I will write a review of it at some point to show you just how insulting it actually was.

Rayman Origins is a great game which is to be expected with all of the praise it received upon its release, I had a blast playing through this game and I think anyone else would as well even if this is your introduction to the series, its not quite as difficult as the first Rayman game but it is still very challenging and is a promising renewal of the Rayman series, the only thing stopping this getting full marks is that the unlockable characters were not very special considering that they are your reward for beating all of the challenges including time trials and collecting all of the Golden Toons.

9.7/10

and yes a Rayman 3 review will be coming at some point

I hope you enjoyed this review of Rayman Origins

 

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com