It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Review

There will be spoilers, so keep that in mind

“Every time a bell rings an Angel gets it’s wings”

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It’s a wonderful life follows the life of George Bailey, as a young lad George enjoyed a regular childhood of playing in the snow, climbing trees and trying to find adventure in his every step, unfortunately for George after he saved his brother from a near death experience he went death in his left ear.

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As an adult George is married with three kids and has taken over his fathers job as a bank manager and everything is going absolutely fine until eight thousand dollars goes missing just when the Bank inspector arrives, this causes a warrant to go out for George’s arrest and at this point he’s lost it.

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George runs to nearest bridge and hes about to jump when he sees another man fall into the river, George jumps in and saves the screaming man, the man tells him that his name is Clarence and that he is George’s Guardian angel.

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George tells Clarence that he wishes he had never been born, Clarence decides to grant George’s wish and he shows George what life would be like if he had never existed.

Every time I watch this movie I cant believe that there is a Christmas movie about a man wanting to kill himself and yet it is so good, It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most iconic Christmas classics out there and and with good reason, it manages to send a serious message about suicide while also having enough charm and character to keep it’s audience thoroughly entertained.

The film surprisingly has quite a bit of well written humor on offer and lets not forget it’s brilliant cast, James Stewart (George) and Henry Travers (Clarence) have a really good connection not only as their respected characters but also as actors, throughout the film both of their personalities bounce of each each other perfectly and it’s this connection that really helps the film maintain such a wonderful atmosphere for such a dark subject matter.

The film is runs for over two hours and unfortunately Clarence doesn’t make an appearance until near the end which is a real shame because as much as the rest of the film is still brilliant at maintaining an interested audience I always felt that he should have been in the film more often than he is.

It’s a Wonderful life is and always will be my Favorite Christmas movie of  time and I most defiantly recommend to any fan of classic Christmas films.

Thanks for reading this review of I’ts a Wonderful Life

Next film I will review is

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You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

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Is there a true meaning to Christmas?

Whats the meaning of Christmas?

Some would say its too celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ

Others would explain that its about spending time with family and appreciating those around you

and these days most children would say that its about getting presents from Santa Claus

but is there a real answer?

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In order to try and figure out an answer to such a controversial question I think that we should at first talk about what Christmas used to be about.

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Christianity is probably the most famous and popular religion in the world and of course December 25th is a very important day in regards to the Christian faith as this is indeed the birth date of Jesus Christ.

Christians traditionally celebrate Christmas by acting out the birth of Christ through Nativity plays, opening advent calendars which are used to count the days before Christmas, Singing songs about the good Lord and by exchanging gifts between friends and family members to help remind each other of the gift of God.

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Whats that?

Christmas cant be a Christian tradition because your child plays Mary in the Nativity every year at her non catholic school, you and your family knock on doors singing Christmas songs to your neighbors, your children open a door on their advent calendars every morning in December and on Christmas day they have lots of presents to open.

You say you do all of this without fail every Christmas but you and your family are not in any way religious?

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Well I would be lying if I said that you didn’t make a good argument, so how did we change Christmas from a religious holiday to a holiday that is celebrated world wide?

The answer to this is quite simple, all we actually did is we just made a few slight and sneaky changes first of all the Nativity hasn’t changed much if not at all and I think this is important because it helps remind us of the holidays origins.

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Advent calendars are known to provide between 24 and 25 chocolates as a little treat for children to enjoy every day leading up to Christmas but originally they included small wooden religious figures such as baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Angel but most of them were just used to help children count the days leading up to the birth of Christ, the days leading to Christmas are known as Advent according to the Christian Faith.

Christmas Carols have always been a thing but the songs have changed immensely from what used to be sung, for example most Christians would sing O Little Town of Bethlehem or Hark the Herald Angels Sing but most non religious Christmas lovers may sing Rudolph the red nose Reindeer or Jingle Bells which of course have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus or the religion that follows him.

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Earlier I mentioned that Christians would give gifts to friends and family members in order to help remind them of the gift of god, the biggest difference here is that traditionally you would give one small gift to a friend of family member and most of the time this would be hand made, these days children tend to get loads of presents which will usually include an I-Pad an XBOX or a computer and of course these gifts are usually brought by Santa who I may talk about in a Christmas blog next year.

So whats the meaning of Christmas?

I hope this article has left you pondering an answer to this question, personally I like to celebrate Christmas like most people of the 21st century but I have always considered Christmas a celebration of the birth of Christ and I don’t think that will ever change.

I suppose the true meaning of Christmas is what ever you make of it but in reality these days the meaning is more to do with corporate companies making a lot of money on advertising than it is too do with religion or appreciating family and to me that’s a very sad and unfortunate reality which will probably never change.

Why else do you think we see Christmas stuff in October

I hope you enjoyed this festive article

Any references to Christian celebrations are in reference to old Christian traditions

I know this is slightly early for a Christmas blog but there is a good reason behind this.

Every two days from the 2nd of December on-wards I will be using a special system which will select a random Christmas movie for me to review (even if it’s not animated)  and I may also be doing some collaboration  blogs with another blogger which will involve some fun Christmas antics.

The First of the Twelve films I am going to review is

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Look forward to that and for now Happy Holidays

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii) (2010) Review

 

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With his never ending smiles and insane levels of adorableness Kirby has always been an extremely lovable video game character, so when people heard that Kirby was going to be made out of yarn in his 2010 Wii game meaning extreme levels of cuteness people couldn’t resist picking it up, I also couldn’t resist grabbing a copy but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little concerned with the new visual style.

So was everyone’s favourite pink puff ball just as lovable as a pink fluff ball?

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One day in the magical world of Dream Land Kirby is super hungry and is looking for some food to eat and he eventually comes across his favourite snack a metamato, this particular metamato looks very unusual and unlike anything Kirby has ever seen but Kirby is so hungry that he eats it anyway, this metamato belonged to Yin Yarn the sorcerer and after eating it Kirby is banished to another world called Patch Land, here he meets Prince Fluff who explains that Yin Yarn has taken over Patch Land and has hidden the seven pieces of magical yarn that hold Patch Land together, Prince Fluff asks for Kirby’s help and they both travel across Patch Land looking for the seven pieces of magical yarn.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a 2d plat-former but it has a very different feel to most Kirby games this is because Kirby cannot eat things to steal their powers and he cant even fly, this is due to him now being made of yarn so he has lost most of his original abilities but he has gained many more in their place.

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With his new light and flexible body Kirby is able to transform into small objects and vehicles when he is in certain situations or when he genuinely feels the need to do so, for example this game does not have a running function but Kirby is able to transform himself into a car giving him twice as much speed , another cool transformation is that when Kirby goes underwater he transforms his body in a submarine using his feet as the propellers to help him keep a steady pace under the water and finally another one of my favourite transformations is that he can transform his body into a parachute when he is falling from great heights and this helps him to reach some of the more difficult platforms as well as too help him find hidden treasures and collectables.

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There are also many different opportunities for Kirby to transform into some bigger and more complicate transformations, he can only transform into these other forms if he finds a magic warp circle, these circles of yarn can only be found in certain parts of the game but its worth the wait to find these because the results are really awesome.

My favourite three special transformations are

3. Spin Board

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After using the Spin Board transformation Kirby turns into what seems to be a penguin riding a hover craft, this transformation is super fun as its usually used in levels which consist of down hill slopes and fast rushing water, Kirby keeps at a fairly quick speed but he can also jump on enemies which causes him to spin in mid air this tactic is useful as Kirby can bounce off of enemies to reach higher platforms.

2. Dolphin

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Being a big fan of the Ecco the Dolphin games on Sega Genesis really helped me get super excited when I discovered a Dolphin transformation in this game, as a Dolphin Kirby can swim quickly and easily through strong under water currents and he can even dash into enemies to defeat them, I love this ability because its really cool and it controls extremely well even though we are only playing using the Wii Remotes D-Pad.

1. Star Ship

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This is by far my favourite transformation because I love space shooters, its really fun to become the Star Ship as you can fly through space destroying all enemies and obstacles in your path, I also really enjoy this transformation because it reminds me of games such as Galaga and Life Force.

Kirby can use all sorts of different abilities while on his adventure through Patch Land but in my opinion its not the abilities that make this game stand out but its the artistic visuals that really make game very special, I have not played a video game that has been this creative in a very long time, everything in the game is made of yarn and other fabrics, its really rather beautiful and its a good reason to take your time to explore every stage from top to bottom because you just never know what creative things you may find.

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The amount of detail in the game is also quite amazing, almost everything in this game is sewn into the level in some way or form and you can actually see the stitching, the amount of detail in the game also helps to really enhance the game play as some times you will find loose pieces of string or zippers that you can pull to uncover secret areas, you can remove some objects from levels completely by peeling them away as if they are stickers and another really cool ability is that you can unravel your enemy by turning them into balls of yarn and you can then throw them back at other enemies that are in your way.

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A lot of people complain that the game is much too easy with no challenge at all, I do agree that it is very easy but saying that there is no challenge does not seem fair to me, the game itself is fairly simple and you wont have any trouble getting through the game as Kirby cannot die, each stage has you collecting beads and depending on how many beads you have collected will determine what medal you will receive at the end of each level,  no matter how many beads you collect you will always get a wooden medal but in order to receive a bronze, silver or gold medal you will need to collect various amounts of beads, this may seem simple but be careful because every time Kirby  falls out of the stage or if he gets damaged he will lose beads and will need to look for some more.

 

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Another challenging aspect to this game is the challenge modes, through out the game Kirby is able to help the manager of a block of flats build different rooms to inspire new residents to rent the flats off of him, these residents soon become Kirby’s friend and they each have a different game for Kirby to play, whether that’s playing hide and seek, collecting a certain amount of beads within a time limit, carrying some one through a level, killing a set number of enemies or beating someone in a race throughout various stages the challenge modes have a lot to offer and near the end of the game they start to get a really tough.

Don’t worry Kirby also has his own flat which you can decorate to your hearts desire, you decorate your apartment with the various collectable items that you find in each of the stages and you can also buy some of them from the store, you can also change the wall paper in your apartment and again you need to collect these, you collect the wallpaper by completing the challenge modes and again you can buy some of the wallpapers from the store.

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Each world is themed and has a set amount of levels for you to complete before you can take on the worlds boss, the boss fights are fairly simple and quite easy to learn but again there is a challenge for you complete, you will notice that as well as the usual medal system the boss fights also offer a prize higher than a gold medal, this prize is a patch and if you manage to collect enough beads to earn the patch you will be presented with two new secret levels that you can complete.

The entire game is based on collecting things which is why the game is not too difficult, the developers want the player to explore each level taking as much time as they want, pulling every piece of string, unzipping every zip, peeling off every sticker and genuinely exploring this incredible fabric covered world and in my opinion that’s fantastic game design, the only complaint I have regarding the game play is that you don’t get anything for 100 percent completion of the game which really sucks considering the game tries to push you too fully complete it.

Just like the rest of the game the music is rather relaxing and it really suits the atmosphere of each world, for example in the snow world the music is cheerful and sounds like Christmas, in the cake world the music is a bit more up beat and fast but you can still tell its having fun its almost has the vibe of a child on a sugar rush, in the cave levels the music is slower and more dark but it also has an adventurous feel to it, the music is just another aspect to this game which really helps it to stand out from the crowd.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn is an amazing game and a wonderful experience, with its mind blowing visuals, very memorable sound track, extremely responsive controls, fantastic game play which can be played both alone or with a friend, creative characters and story line and its incredible game design which is only held back by having no completion bonus, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is an artistic masterpiece and its not only one of the best Wii games but also one of the greatest and most inspirational games of all time.

9.8/10

Thank you for reading my review of Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Nintendo Wii

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

 

 

 

 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) Review

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas might be one of the greatest Christmas specials of all time.

The special is based on the book of the same name written by none other than the legendary Dr Seuss.

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The story follows the Grouchy old Grinch who hates everything about Christmas, He lives in a cave in a snowy mountain above the Town of Whoville. The Grinch hates the Who’s of Whoville because they love Christmas, The Grinch decides that he has had enough of Christmas and decides that he will dress up as Santa Claus and will take away all of the presents, the Christmas trees and all of the roast beast from every Who in town.

After taking away everything Christmas related from the town, The Grinch waits and listens for the angry parent’s and the weeping children but instead he is surprised to hear the sound of the Who’s coming together and singing.

After thinking long and hard about what happened the Grinch realises that maybe Christmas is not about the presents and the magnificent feasts but is instead about bringing people together and appreciating each others company.

The Grinch is voiced by none other than Boris Karloff who is most famous for playing the role of Frankensteins Monster in Frankenstein (1931).

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No one could have done this role any better than Karloff did, he really helps show how evil the Grinch really is by providing the Grinch with a very sinister but angry voice, Karloff also narrated the entire movie and again he did a fantastic job.

The animation is very interesting because most children’s cartoons adapted from books tend to have an animation style which is more traditional and popular for that era but surprisingly this movie does not do that and instead the animation looks just like the book but with a little more polish, I think this works really well because it helps show that no changes needed to be made to the original illustrations and it helps give more life to the story the book is telling.

Here are some images from the book compared to some still shots from the special.

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I wasn’t super impressed with a lot of the songs in this special, I just didn’t enjoy them enough that I wanted to sing along, but one song I absolutely loved and that song was of course “Your’e a mean one Mr Grinch” which was sang by the amazing Thurl Ravenscroft, This song is so famous everyone from your little sister to your Great Grandmother probably knows some of the words.

To wrap things up (not an intended Christmas pun XD) How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a wonderful Christmas Special, It’s especially great for children as it helps show them the meaning of Christmas without shoving it down their throats and I really appreciate this

Its a fun and interesting 25 minute special that the whole family can enjoy

I hope you enjoyed this review

if you respect my opinion I will respect yours

By Padawan

Are Christmas movies worth owning?

Yes I went there 😉

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I love Christmas movies and I love December because it’s the one month of the year that is appropriate for me sit down and watch some of my favourite Christmas Classics such as Elf, Its a wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, a Christmas Story and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, but as much as I love all of these movies I always have to ask my self, are they worth owning if they are going to collect dust for 11 months of the year for a few days use during December?

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Of course for some people this wont be the case, I personally remember watching Christmas movies all year round when I was a child and I even know some adults who will also watch Christmas movies through out the year, but the number of people I know who do this is very small as most of my friends and family save their favourite Christmas classics for just December alone.

You may be thinking if only a few people watch Christmas movies all year then why do a lot of people watch Horror movies all year round instead of saving them for October?

Well maybe because even though Horror movies are scary, the majority of them are not Halloween themed and don’t even take place in October so technically this does not make them Halloween movies minus a select few, so society wont judge them for watching Saw in July but they may judge them for watching John Carpenters Halloween in April.

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So is it worth owning Christmas Movies?

To be completely honest I don’t know and I cant provide an answer, but when I look at my movie collection I always find Christmas movies and the fact that I own them makes me think that maybe they are worth owning even if I will only watch them once a year.

I believe that one of the biggest reasons why people love Christmas movies is because we don’t get to see them that often, but maybe that’s what helps make them that little bit more special.

I hope you enjoyed this blog

Do you think its worth owning Christmas movies? comment below.

Merry Christmas

From Padawan

Paper Mario Sticker Star Review (3DS)

I love the Paper Mario games with one exception the Wii version (Super Paper Mario) but I will talk about that game some other day. The Paper Mario games are great for many reasons, they are full of hilarious comedy, they have epic story lines and most importantly they are really fun to play. With me being a big fan of the series I couldn’t resist but to buy Sticker Star as soon as I possibly could

 

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The Story of Sticker Star is nothing of an epic tale which is a shame since other games in the series have had some really good story lines. The story line may not be epic but it’s not a terrible story line. The story is that the members of the mushroom kingdom are having their annual sticker festival which they have each year to celebrate to power of the royal stickers (five crown stickers which have the power to grant the wishes of the person who wears them).  When presenting the royal stickers Bowser gets his claws on one of them and the rest get blown away to other locations in the game. Bowser’s wish comes true and he becomes a super shiny sticker, he then kidnap’s Princess Peach and Mario has to save her.Image

Game play

The Paper Mario we all know and love is back, that’s right we have gone back to turn based game play with a little twist. We have gone back to turn based game play which is great but now we fight using stickers instead of using partners who have different abilities and powers and this works really well surprisingly.

It’s not just fighting you need stickers for in some cases in the game you will need to use stickers to communicate with certain objects communicating with these objects will either give you a new item which you can turn into a big sticker or you will need to communicate with certain objects in the game in order to continue.

You do not level up in sticker star which is unusual for a Paper Mario game instead you need to find health upgrades throughout the game to increase your overall health, you can get your health to a Max of 100hp and I recommend that you find all of these health upgrades because when you get to the Final boss you may need that little bit of extra hp.

Finally I want to talk about a certain type of sticker called a blue door sticker. Throughout the game you will find doors on objects but you are not able to access them. You are not able to access these doors because you need to buy some blue door stickers to access them, once you place a blue door sticker over the door you can then open the door and go inside. Inside these doors can be anything from money, sticker/objects or health upgrades. You will need to access certain blue doors in the game in order to continue but you can find them yourself.

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Apart from the story line the only other negative aspect to the game I can think of is that there are only 6 worlds and I can’t help but feel that there should be 8 worlds in the game.

 

Graphics

You’re going to want to crank that 3D right up for this game because the 3D really helps the game look amazing and it’s not the kind of 3D that hurts your eyes or makes you feel sick.  The game looks amazing, it’s full of colour, the characters and environments are smooth and at times it really feels like there is a real paper world in your hands, the 3D is perfect it doesn’t make the game look any different and it actually enhances the experience. I won’t say this too often when talking about 3DS games but if you get Sticker Star I recommend playing in 3D throughout the entire game.

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Music

My favourite Paper Mario soundtrack used to be from the thousand year door but now my favourite Paper Mario soundtrack is from Sticker Star. The music in this game is absolutely fantastic and so far some of the best I have heard on the 3DS. The music fits the characters and environments so well and just like the 3D it really enhances the experience. My favourite Piece of music is right at the end of the game before you go into Bowser’s Castle it is pretty much a rock and roll remix of the over world theme.

Final Verdict

If you like Paper Mario you will love sticker star and I highly recommend buying it. It looks and sounds amazing and finally turn based game play is back. Paper Mario Sticker Star is a hilarious adventure which can be loved by the whole family. The game may be amazing but there are a few issues I found with the game. The story line is basic and there are only 6 worlds in the game and for those reasons alone I am going to give Paper Mario Sticker Star a 8/10 the game had a few flaws but overall it is a very good 3DS title which is worth picking up.

Snow Sculptures of videogames

With Christmas so close now it only seems appropriate to do some Christmas related blogs. Christmas is quite an amazing day it is the birth date of Christ if you believe in that stuff and it is also a great time to get together with family, Open presents and maybe build a snowman or two. Everyone has built a snowman at least once in their lives but have you ever built a snowman of some of your favorite videogame characters because I sure haven’t. To start off the Christmas blogs and simply because I’m a nerd I have decided to choose 5 video game series and find my favorite snow sculpture I can find (all thanks to Google Images) for each of my chosen videogame series. The series I have chosen are Super Mario, The legend of Zelda, Pokémon, Kirby and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Yoshi

ImageThis wonderful Yoshi sculpture was actually part of an entire snow Mushroom Kingdom but I wasn’t able to show the others because they can only be viewed on flikr due to copyright which is fair enough. The rest of the sculptures include a Mario, Toad and a Koopa shell. Since I would have loved to have uploaded all if the images in the blog I will include a link which you will find underneath this part of the blog. I did find that my favourite sculpture was the Yoshi because the detail is almost perfect and you can see that it took the creator a long time to make the Yoshi alone and as well as creating the other sculptures.

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The Triforce

ImageThese men are geniuses don’t make a snow sculpture of Link or Zelda no make a snow sculpture of the most important thing in the entire Legend of Zelda universe the Triforce. I really like this snow sculpture you can see that a lot of effort went into it and from the picture I gather they only just finished and its night time now that’s some nerd dedication. There is truly nothing off putting about this sculpture apart from what appears to be a dog turd underneath it but that doesn’t count.

Rayquaza

ImageOut of all the Pokémon snow sculptures I could find this one had to make the list because it is the most bad ass and best looking one I could see. This snow sculpture is of Rayquaza one a legendary Pokémon from Pokémon emerald.

Kirby

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Ok so maybe this one is not as impressive as the other snow sculptures so far but it is the best Kirby snow sculpture I could find and it’s not that bad they got the body shape and the face right plus they even coloured the eyes and mouth in black to help give it more of a Kirby look and before you say Kirby is meant to be pink Kirby, Kirby was originally white and snow is also white so yeah a white Kirby but it’s still awesome.

Sonic the hedgehog

ImageSonic the hedgehog was the first video I ever played so only feels right for a snow sonic to be in this blog. I really like this sculpture because even without much of the detail the sculpture still looks really awesome, although it is worrying me that the snow is yellow let’s just hope that it is caused by street lights and not the other cause of yellow snow.

I hope you enjoyed this blog

This blog was written by Dan