The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011/2021) Review

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is the sixteenth main entry in Nintendo’s popular action-adventure videogame series, it is easily the second most controversial game in the series due to its emphasis on motion controls a feature many players dislike, A HD version of the game released in 2021 which promised to fix these issues. I have had experience with both versions of the game and I have a lot of opinions on this so called HD improvement so without further ado lets get straight into it.

Taking place at the very beginning of the timeline the three goddesses Farore, Din and Nayru created the triforce (a magical artifact able to grant the wishes of who ever possesses it. The Demon King Demise causes destruction and wrath in a desperate search for such power eventually being defeated by the great goddess Hylia and the few survivors of the world.

Many years later, the survivors future kin live on an island of the sky name Skyloft, here a young knight name Link has just passed his final exam to become a knight, at the same time as passing the test the Princess Zelda is taken into the skies by Dark clouds leaving Link to leave Skyloft to rescue her not yet realising the massive quest that he has coming his way.

Before discussing the gameplay I want it clear that most of the images I am using from this point forward are from the HD version due to how much cleaner they look compared to the original (see the image above). Although both are very impressive for the hardware they are played on the HD is generally better for seeing the finer details.

The main new mechanic of this game is how to traverse the skies, you are given a bird which you can use to fly to the different islands of the skies and to access the different parts of the world beneath the clouds. The motion controls for flying while not great do work well enough that once you get the hang of things you can eventually travel with ease. I thought the idea of flying was really ambitious but the lack of real areas to explore outside of the main quest doesn’t give players much incentive to try and find secrets which is a shame as that was originally the whole point of the series. There are some fun minigames to play and chests to find but apart from this there is nothing much here.

By far the best area of the game is Skyloft because not only is it the most diverse and interesting but almost all of the side quests start here. The three areas you can visit beneath the clouds are all very visually appealing and creative but they are linear and again do not really encourage players to explore freely.

Taking a positive spin I actually really like the temples in this game, Zelda games are known for themed dungeons which are packed full of puzzles and challenges, this is no exception and to top it off not only are only are these some of the most creative in the series and on par with Twilight Princesses but they are the most visually appealing as well.

The are only a few in the game but they are very large and again very creative, one dungeon takes place inside of an active Volcano, another on top of an invisible pirate ship, the final dungeon has you rotating the rooms and even the water dungeon is really fun and was actually one my favourites which is saying a lot considering how much I disliked the water dungeons in Ocarina and Twilight.

Apart from its characters and puzzle, one of the best of a parts of a Zelda game is the combat, unfortunately the motion control issues I never saw any improvement in the HD version but thankfully a new control method was optionable allowing you to flick the joysticks to imitate motion swings and this did work much better, its still has some issues with pulling off finisher moves and some times it is difficult to get the perfect angle for an attack but it is doable and a good addition to the new version.

A character named Fi is introduced here as the spirit of the goddess sword or the master sword as it is more commonly known, this is its origin story and explains how the sword has its godly powers in all future installments, the character is fine but interrupts the player with hints far too often in the original version, in the HD version these hints were optional and is another point in the remakes favour.

The music for the game does not disappoint, it uses a mix of new music which can be calming in most areas but in the more adventurous sections the tracks really pick up and get you in the mood for a really epic time, older Zelda tracks are also remixed into this game played using different instruments and music styles to make these recognisable tracks feel fresh and fit into Skyward Sword very nicely.

Skyward Sword is a game that I do actually really like but I just cant look past the issues with its controls and linear gameplay. Its really hard for me to judge it to harshly because I really like the dungeons, the music, visuals and the story but its lack of really memorable side content does make it feel a little lackluster compared to what came before it and while this is a really fun game it just really needed more explorable areas, they could have had larger sky area with lots of little secrets and islands, similar to the ocean in Wind Waker instead of the empty rocks you can land on here often only holding one or two chests.

So thats my opinion of Skyward Sword it is a really weird one for me to rank because from a gameplay perspective I really like this but I just don’t get excited to replay it again, it fails to have that feel of adventure that you get from games such as a Link to the Past, Ocarina of time, Majoras Mask and Windwaker but as controversial as this may be I do think its better than Twilight Princess as the world is less boring and I do really like the vibrant colours and visuals here much more as well as its plot and characters so I think the fairest scores I can give these games are

Skyward Sword 6.2/10

Skywards Sword HD 6.5/10 (mostly due to more control options and less Fi interruptions!)

I skipped a few games to cover this one since the remake just released however I do plan of finishing and reviewing those last few games so next time we do Zelda it will be Phantom Hourglass.

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The Battle of Olympus (NES) Review

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Released in 1988 by a small game company called Infinity, Battle of Olympus is a really interesting game, it was the first game released by the developers and the entire thing was designed and programmed by the companies president at the time, five years later a game boy port was released and its actually a very good port apart from the black and white visuals which couldn’t be helped and a few items and areas being differently designed or found in different locations its a very strong release which is similar to the original.Battle-of-Olympus-The-U

The game takes place in ancient Greece where Hades the ruler of the Underworld is terrorising the land, you play as Orpheus who needs to get to the Underworld and defeat Hades in order to save his girlfriend Helene, in order to succeed in defeating Hades Orpheus must gain help from the other gods you first visit Zeus who encourages the others to help Orpheus in his quest by granting him special items and abilities.

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This game is very similar to Zelda 2 the adventure of Link, for the most part its a side scroller, you will need too get around the game by finding hidden doors, traversing through labyrinths and discovering hidden treasures, fairies are extremely useful as most will fully heal you and some will even give you necessary items, fountains can be used to heal you also but first you need to obtain the flask in order to store some of the fountains water, other discover-able items are also handy but most will come at a price, some of these prices are ridiculous, throughout the game you will need to collect olives from fallen foes as this is your currency but enemies dont drop them nearly enough so collecting enough to pay for things can often become a drag, in the game boy version items cost half of the price of the original game which is a nice update.

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There are nine locations in the game, eight of these are shown above on the in game map while the gate to Tartarus (where Hades resides) is hidden and is only accessible late into the game, a lot of these areas are extremely well hidden and you have to travel back and fourth between these areas often, thankfully you can obtain a harp which will summon a Pegasus which makes getting around much faster.

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The only enemy I would consider to be a boss would be the final battle but you will need to beat some very tough enemies who are lurking around in various locations, personally my favourite was the cyclops but there are a lot to get through including a Siren, a Minotaur, a Centaur and many more, each is defeated in a different manner and all of them are very fun to fight.

The music is ok there isn’t much to it and nothing really sticks with you once you beat the game but the music is fun and doesn’t effect the game-play in anyway.

The Battle of Olympus is a hidden gem on the NES, not many people know about it but its quite cheap to pick up and is a really good third party game, its very difficult and may leave you screaming at your TV at times but with enough patience and learning you can quickly adapt to it, I wish it had a proper save system instead of passwords and some of the grinding for olives became too much of a nuisance but apart from that this is pretty solid game and is well worth your time 8.2/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Battle of Olympus on NES

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

 

 

Halloween Treats : How to make Adorable and Spooky Owl Cupcakes

Get your aprons on, your mixing spoons at the ready and prepare to crack some eggs because Halloween has just gotten more delicious.

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With Halloween only getting closer and closer, it wont be long until all of us are rotting our teeth with delicious candies, mouth watering chocolates and those apples that people cover in toffee in the hopes that children wont realize that they have actually been tricked into eating fruit.

I decided that instead of buying candy in the usual retail stores I would instead attempt to make some Halloween themed cakes, after much debate about what creatures to base my cakes on I eventually chose owls due to them not having as much love as cats and spiders during the holiday.

What you will need to make these awesome treats

Golden Caster Sugar

Butter

Self Raising Flour

Cocoa Powder

6 Medium Eggs

Malteasers

Orange Frosting

Milk chocolate Buttons

White Chocolate Buttons

First thing you want to do is to preheat your oven to 190 degrees, next line your cake tin full of cake cases

why fill it?

Nearly 30 cakes is why

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Soften 280g of either salted or unsalted butter (I used Salted) and add it to your mixing bowl

Add 200g of self raising flour to your mixing bowl

Add 280g of golden caster sugar to your mixing bowl

Add 1 table spoon of cocoa powder to your mixing bowl

and finally crack all six medium eggs into your mixing bowl

Stir the mixture until it has become fairly smooth

Now add the mixture to your cake cases almost filling them but leaving space for them to rise

Place the cakes in the oven for 25 minutes

Once they are cooked remove them from the oven and allow them to cool, once they have cooled you can now do the messy part of decorating them.

Cover the top of each cake in the orange frosting

add a malteaser beak to each cake (I don’t recommend trying to cut them to make a beak shape as I tried this and it did not work in my favor at all)

Add two milk chocolate buttons to each cake to make the owls big eyes

Cut two white chocolate buttons in half and make the owls claws (You may run out of white chocolate buttons and if you do it doesn’t hurt to use the milk chocolate buttons for feet, I had to near the end of decorating)

Finally eat them XD

Thank you for reading this blog

I hope my some what useful cake recipe proves to be a lot of fun for anyone who wants to give these a try, if you do make these you don’t have to follow my decoration technique so by all means get creative and use your imaginations.

You can email me pictures of your halloween cakes at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Happy Halloween

By Padawan

 

 

Banjo Kazooie (N64) Review

I loved Rare Ware Studios as a kid because they were the gods of the video game industry creating games like wizards and warriors, battletoads, the donkey kong country franchise, conkers bad fur day, super mario 64, diddy kong racing and golden eye just to name a few. Rare Ware were known to make some of the greatest games of all time which is what made them so popular back in day. Sadly all great things come to an end and in 2002 Rare Ware Studios was purchased by Microsoft Corporation because Rare Ware no longer had Nintendo to help them out and was now in the hands of Microsoft not so great games got made like grabbed by the ghoulies and perfect dark zero and sadly Rare Ware have remained this way ever since.

I like to remember Rare Ware the way i did when i was a kid and what’s a better way to remeber them than reviewing one of the most popular and well known games they ever made Banjo Kazooie.

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Story

The story to Banjo Kazooie is that the evil witch Gruntilda

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Is angry because she is not the prettiest person in the land any more and has been told by her magic cauldron that Banjo’s sister Tooty is the most beautiful being in all the land. Because of this Gruntilda swoops down from her lair on her broom stick and kidnaps Tooty so she can swap her ugliness for Tooties beauty using a machiene she built. a lot of noise was made by both Gruntilda and Tooty which wakes Banjo and his pet bird Kazooie up, Banjo with Kazooie in his ruck sack rushes out to see what all the noise was about but little do they know of the adventure that lies ahead. The story may seem a little basic but trust me if you play the game you will reslise that the story is actually really clever and creative.

Game play

The way Banjo Kazooie works is that you play as both Banjo and Kazooie (they have these names because of the instruments they play). You use Banjo for basic things like punching, walking and swimming and kazooie for just about everything else. Both Banjo and Kazooie control satisfyingly for the most part, the game dosent lag at all and even though there are a lot of different moves in the game the button combinations to pull off these moves are easy to remember. One issue is the in game camera, the camera is fine when Banjo and Kazooie is on the ground but for some reason whenever I swim underwater or fly the camera just has a mind of its own and this can get annoying fast. The controls are not too bad I just wish that the camera issues when performing certain tasks were fixed before the game got released because if they were the controls would have been perfect.

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Things to collect
There are a lot of things to collect in Banjo Kazooie which may seem like a bad thing but trust me it isnt because the game overly generous with these items locations.

Jiggy’s- To enter each world in Banjo Kazooie you will need fill in a picture of each world with jigsaw pieces AKA jiggies. Each world has 10 Jiggies to find and one switch you can hit which will release a jiggy in the games hub (Gruntildas Lair).

Eggs- ammunition that Kazooie can shoot from both his mouth and butt (OUCH sounds painful)

Red feather-these allow Kazooie to fly

Gold feather- these allow Banjo and Kazooie to be invincible for a limited amount of time

Notes- throughout each world the player is able to collect 100 musical notes, a certain amount of notes are needed to progress to the different parts of Gruntildas lair

Mumbo skulls- certain jiggies can only be collected if Banjo is tranformed into another animal, this can only happen if Banjo collects a certain number of mumbo skulls which he then needs to give to the voodoo master Mumbo who will turn Banjo into the needed animal form in exhange for the skulls he collected.

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Jinjo- the final thing you need to collect in each world are these cute kangaroo things called Jinjo’s. There are five Jinjo’s to collect in each world and to my knowlege in order to actually defeat the final boss you need to collect all of them. The reason I believe you need to collect each Jinjo is because in everyone of my playthroughs of the game I collect all of the Jinjo’s and everytime they have helped me defeat Gruntilda.

Graphics
This game is beautiful I’m not even kidding for an N64 game every aspect of Banjo Kazooie is a piece of art, the textures really help enhance the wonderful environments in each world, the character detail is very impressive and overall the game looks better than some  modern games look today which is saying a lot since Banjo Kazooie came out in 1998. There are 9 worlds to explore in the game (not including the hub world or Spiral mountain). My favourite world in the game is called Freezeezy Peak its a Christmas themed world, its my favourite world because not only is it the best looking world in my opinion but it also has the best music.

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Music

This game just keeps getting better and betted because even the music is kick ass,  its not often that the music in a video game suits the environments perfectly but just to add the cherry to an already perfect cake Banjo Kazooie manages to do just that. Its hard to explain why the music is so good but go and listen to the music from Freezeezy Peak, Gobi’s Valley and Mad Monter Mansion and you will see what I mean. If were not gonna get another decent Banjo Kazooie game a Banjo Kazooie soundtrack would be nice.

Final Verdict
From reading this review you can probably tell that I like this game, in my opinion its one of greatest video games of all time and highly suggest buying Banjo Kazooie because even though it has some camera issues it still is a really awesome game and because of this i rate Banjo Kazooie a 9/10.

I hope you enjoyed this raggle fraggle review
This revie is of my own opinion if you respect my opinion I will respect yours
this review was written by Dan (Padawan)