Metroid (NES) Review

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Metroid was released in 1986 by Nintendo it follows intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran as she searches throughout the planet Zebes in a mission to hunt down the wanted space pirates Ridley, Kraid and Mother Brain

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The concept of the gameplay is simple but most players find it very difficult once they take control over Samus, what made Metroid unique when it came out was the freedom to go where ever you want from the very beginning however there are a lot of areas to explore and many paths you can follow which is what makes the game so challenging also the lack of any in game map means that getting lost is likely to happen more often than you may expect.

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Samus is first only equipped with her trusty arm cannon but by exploring the game players will find many different upgrades for her cannon and her suit, a good example which doesn’t give away to many hints is that if you go left from the very start of the game you can find an upgrade which allows Samus to morph into a ball and drop bombs, you can also find upgrades for Samus’s health bar and early on in the game you can find missiles which allow you to break into more securely locked areas, be wary that the game doesn’t allow you explore free from danger as many enemies will try and destroy Samus  and don’t be surprised if you are dead only 10 minutes into the game because it honestly really is that difficult.

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Metroids visuals were outstanding for the time, the art designers managed to use a great blend of dark backgrounds and areas with bright and outstanding colors for the important parts of the game, the dark backgrounds make the game more scarier as it allows the atmosphere to feel empty but dangerous, it helps to keep the gamer on edge while they are dealing with the threats within the darkness, the labyrinth design of the world makes it clear that if anything was to happen too Samus she may never be found, in my opinion this is Nintendo’s first video game for adults compared to lighter hearted titles such as Mario and Kirby.

The soundtrack isn’t anything to get excited about, its not terrible but like many of these early Nintendo games it lacks in variety, there are few tracks that last longer than 20 seconds before looping which quickly becomes redundant but I will say that some of the quiet and shorter tracks help make the atmosphere feel more empty and far away from society and the Brinstar theme really packs a lot of energy into the game and makes the player feel like a real bad-ass also its one of my favorite video game tunes so I have to give some credit for that.

Upon it’s release Metroid quickly went on to become a classic Nintendo game which soon became a much beloved series for video game fans alike, its a product of the time and many younger gamer’s will definitely struggle to survive without using a cheat code but don’t let the difficulty put you off buying this on the virtual console as its well worth your time, there was a remake for the GBA called Metroid: Zero Mission which was much easier and a lot more story driven so it may be more worth your time to pick up that one instead either way Metroid is awesome enough to earn itself an impressive 8.8/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Metroid for the Nintendo Entertainment System

By Padawan

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

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Splatoon 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review

Is Splatoon 2 a good reason too buy a Switch?

splatoon-2-artIt’s been over two years since the release of the original Splatoon so it was no surprise when the sequel was announced during the Switch reveal earlier this year and even though this review is over a month late due to all the new content in Splatoon 2 I am finally ready to talk about this much anticipated game.

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The single player story mode hasn’t changed much since the first game but there are a few small differences, first of all you are now playing as Agent 4 and not Agent 3 from the first game, the plot still revolves around rescuing the great zapfish from an unknown threat, there are five areas which each hold multiple stages and a boss fight, apart from using some of the newer weapons which I will get into later the game play hasn’t changed a lot the objective is to rescue the zapfish by getting from point A to point B, each stage has a different obstacle for example some levels require the player to fill up sponge platforms with ink in order too increase the platforms size, another obstacle requires the player too activate buttons in order to change and rearrange some platforms in order to reach the goal.

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The Boss fights follow a similar design as before however they still offer a fresh experience for players returning to the series. my favourite of these new bosses is the Octo Oven a giant toaster which requires the player to avoid its nasty attacks until the bread pops out of its oven doors allowing the player to maneuver their way to the top of the boss and hit its weak point.

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Turf War is the main mode in Splatoon 2, just like in the first game players will team up with other players online, each player is separated into two teams and the goal is too ink as much turf as possible, the team that inks the most turf by the end of the game wins.

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All of the old weapon types return for Splatoon 2 so you can still play with the splattershot, splat roller and the inkbrush however many new weapon types have been added to the series two of my favourite new editions include the splat dualies which is similar to the original splattershot but the player holds 2 guns (1 in each hand) and they hold half the amount of ink, another fave of mine is the splatbrella an umbrella weapon which can fire a shotgun blast while also protecting the player from enemy fire in a similar manner to the movie Kingsman a Secret Service.

Splatoon2-SplatZones-1024x576 Ranked Battle is back and its more intense than ever, there are three modes available the first is splat zones where teams must go up against each other to try and splat certain areas of the map and then keep that area inked in their colour in order to win the game, next up is tower control where players must ride a moving tower into enemy territory to reach the goal and finally there is the mode I suck at the most rain maker, the rain maker is a special powerful weapon which players must carry into the enemy base without being splated by the opposing team.

DGPBIXCUAAAikEy_thumbOnce you reach rank B minus you can try your hand at league battles, a league battle is 2 hours long and they allow competitive players to battle it out in ranked battle modes without being able to lose their level

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A brand new mode introduced to the series, salmon run is a horde survival mode where players must destroy hordes of enemy AI and bosses in order to gain experience points and golden eggs, the golden eggs must be picked up and dropped off at the collection point and if all players are dead in the game then salmon run is over, salmon run is awesome and by far the best part of the game but unfortunately its only available during certain times of the year.

Whats to be said other than Splatoon 2 is amazing and is a great reason to buy a Nintendo Switch, my complaints from the first game still stand I wish you could choose maps and game modes instead of them being swapped out during 2 hour time slots, the amiibo support here really sucks compared to the first game as it only allows you to save another players gear to the amiibo for a quick costume and weapon swap between games and mini games such as squid jump have been removed completely,  however putting this aside the graphics and music are as fresh as ever and the addition of salmon run is enough for me to rate this game a little bit higher by giving it an off the hook 9.5/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Splatoon 2

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

Book Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events 4-6 by Lemony Snicket

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Last Halloween we took a look at the first three books in Lemony Snickets: A Series of Unfortunate Events, the book series was written by Daniel Handler under the pen name Lemony Snicket, the series follows the terrible lives of the Baudelaire orphans who are pushed between relatives after the death of their parents and throughout the series they must deal with an evil man called Count Olaf who wants to steal their family’s fortune.

The Miserable Mill (Book 4)

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In the fourth book the Baudelaire orphans are sent too the Lucky Smells Lumber mill in the town of Paltryville, the children are placed under the care of Sir a man who to be honest doesn’t have much of a personality other than he’s a bit of dick and smokes so much that a cloud of smoke is constantly covering his face, he forces the children to work in his mill where he only pays his employees in coupons for discounts at the other businesses in town and only feeds them a stick of gum and a small casserole a day, I was surprised with the absence of Count Olaf for the majority of the book but this was handled very well as there is so much happening in the novel that he really isn’t needed straight away, in fact this book has three villains sure two of them are characters we already know but one person is actually a brand new person brought into the series, I think its very clever how Lemony Snicket is able to describe deaths and horrific injuries without making them too grizzly for kids because this happens a lot here due to the book taking place in a Lumber mill which is one of the most dangerous jobs available, apart from this there isn’t much else to say about the Miserable Mill but it was a very good read, so good in fact that I got through the entire novel in just two days.

The Austere Academy (Book 5)

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After leaving the Lucky Smells Lumbermill the Baudelaire orphans are sent to Prufrock Preparatory School, I have to admit that the first chapter of this book failed to draw me in, it was boring and I found it difficult to follow, but from the second chapter onward’s the Austere Academy ended up becoming my favourite book so far, this book follows a similar structure to the predecessor stories however there a few new elements that I really appreciated, the introduction of the Quagmire Triplets was interesting, for the first time in the series Sunny, Klaus and Violet finally make friends who want to help them defeat Count Olaf, I wont give away any spoilers about the book but I will say that I feel that the Quagmire triplets will be in a few more books to come, the characters in this book are very over top and genuinely very silly which makes them perfect for younger children, they make the book a little less scary than it actually is, over imaginative characters are nothing new for the series but I feel that this book shows the characters at there most likeable so far.

The Ersatz Elevator (Book 6)

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After the not so cheerful ending of the last book the Baudelaire orphans travel back to their home town with Mr Poe, this time they are placed under the care of Jerome and Esme Squalor of number 667 Dark Avenue, the new guardians are very well written, Esme is a bossy, spoilt rich woman who enjoys showing off her wealth while at the same time being obsessed with making sure that she doesn’t fall behind whats currently popular or in fashion, Jerome is a very kind man who genuinely wants the best for Violet, Klaus and Sunny but he is too afraid of Esme to ever argue with her, this of course becomes an issue throughout the book especially went Count Olaf inevitably shows up, one thing I really enjoyed about this book is how realistic it was compared to its predecessors, now I am not saying that the book doesn’t have its non believable moments but the majority of Violets inventions here can be made in real life, to be honest I did prefer the Austere Academy but this is still an important part of the series that will only leave you wanting more.

These books are absolutely brilliant for children, when I reviewed the first three books in the series I talked about how I found it annoying that Lemony Snicket had to keep explaining the meaning of big words as I found it slightly mocked me as a reader but thankfully this writing style is toned down a bit in these three books, my favourite has to be the Austere Academy not only did it give us a completely new setting but it even introduced us to some new and very important characters, both of the other books I also really enjoyed and I am struggling to choose which one I enjoyed the least as all three of them kept me hooked on the story,  I will eventually get around to reviewing  the next three instalments but in mean time I think I would like to read something a bit different to what I usually decide to shove my nose in.

Thank you for reading this review of A series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

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

ZBOX June 2017 Unboxing and Review

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The June Zbox has finally arrived, due too one item not arriving to Zavvi’s warehouse on time, June’s box was delayed and as a result it shipped quite late and only recently arrived on July 1st.

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Each box comes with a small magazine which discusses the boxes theme for the month, Junes ZBOX is all about villains, I really like the design of cover here, it blatantly takes inspiration from the Joker who is one of my favourite comic book villains.

IMG_20170701_130335Every box comes with an exclusive T-shirt, the design for June is this really inspired artwork based on Batman villain Oswald Cobblepot aka the Penguin.

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The smallest item this month was an air freshener designed around Mad Max, to be honest I have never seen Mad Max so this item doesn’t mean much to me

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Another item I was disappointed with this month was this Storm Trooper print, I love Star Wars but I really don’t the Art Style that was used here, I cant help but feel that this was only  thrown into the box for filler I cant imagine this piece of cardboard does much to help make up the 40 pounds value which Zavvi promises to provide.

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I’m not one to often my toys keep my toys in the box but this Lex Luthor figure I just cant bring myself to open, its awesome and due to the small parts I don’t want to open it just in case I end up losing them,  it was also possible to receive a figure of Deadman a DC character I don’t recognise but after doing some research he is definitely a character I am interested in checking out.

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This Joker apron is pretty cool, I already have a full Batman apron and oven glove set so I was really pleased with this item, unfortunately I am dieting at the moment so I wont be baking cakes for a few months however I am looking forward to wearing this when the time comes.

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Every box comes with a small badge which commemorates that you received that months box , the design this month is again based on the Joker, the way that the artist has made the laughter his teeth is very clever and its a small detail that makes this badge a lot more interesting than it needed to be.

July’s ZBOX is all about Teams, I imagine you might find an item to help bring hype for the upcoming Justice League film along side a few more items from different franchises, I personally would like to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles get some love this month but we will have to wait and see.

If you would like to subscribe to the Zbox you can do by following this link https://www.zavvi.com/zbox/zbox-subscription/11142494.html?widget_id=54

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

Over the Garden Wall Review

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Over the Garden Wall is an animated miniseries created by Patrick McHale for Cartoon Network, Patrick McHale has worked for Cartoon Network before, you may recognise some of the shows Patrick has created including Adventure Time and The Marvellous Misadventures of Flap Jack.

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The first thing that needs to be known about Over the Garden Wall is that it really is a mini series, it only consists of 10 episodes which are all approximately 12 minutes long, the shows follows the journey of two brothers Wirt and Greg who are lost in a forest and are trying to find their way home, of course from a creator of such imaginative shows the forest in Over the Garden Wall is far from ordinary, without giving away too much the two brothers meet a large array of characters including a crazy woodsman who constantly warns the boys of a creature called the Beast, a primary school of anthropomorphic animals and a woman who has been turned into a bluebird.

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The art direction the designers took here is simplistic but I find that it’s the smaller touches that really make it stand out, from the above image you will notice that darker shades of colour and a heavy use of shadows really help make the imagery unique, I cant help but feel that the decision to use a lot of darker art choices was to help support the rather dark premise of the show, now that is not too say that their isn’t the occasional uplifting and happier moments in the show and when these few moments do happen the art style is more brighter with much less shadows and shading, I cant help but feel that the art style of Over the Garden Wall will become a prime example in the future of just how smaller details can help bring out such vibrant detail in many forms of art.

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The voice cast is phenomenal, the majority of characters in the show are voiced by very famous actors including but not limited too Elijah Wood, John Cleese, Christopher Lloyd, Samuel Ramey and Tim Currey, as you can imagine all of these actors do an outstanding job with their roles and Elijah Wood actually voices Wirt one of the main characters, the rest of the voice cast may not be as well known but that doesn’t mean that they are short on talent, to be honest my favourite character in the show was Greg who was in fact voiced by a young boy called Collin Dean, in the past Collin has done voice work for Hotel Transylvania and he even played a small role in the 2015 Christmas movie Krampus.

Over the Garden Wall was a show that I held off from watching for a long time and now I really regret that decision, this is one of the greatest animated series I have ever had the pleasure of watching and I do hope that a second season is being considered, I understand that the majority of voice actors here are very busy but I wouldn’t mind watching a second series with completely new characters and even a brand new cast, if you haven’t see the show yet then stop reading this review and go watch it right now and I guarantee you wont regret it.

Thank you for reading this review of Over the Garden Wall

The June Zbox review is coming, due to an issue at Zavvi’s warehouse one of the items didn’t arrive until recently and therefore the boxes have been delayed to early July, once the box does arrive I will get the review out as soon as possible.

 

Star Fox Zero (Wii U) 2016 Review

SI_WiiU_StarFoxZeroStar Fox Zero is the seventh game in the Star Fox franchise and since it is the first game in the series to be released after an agonising ten year gap I suppose you could say it’s very important but after such a long wait for a new Star Fox game was this one worth it?

starfoxIf you’ve ever played the Star Fox games before then you know that for the majority of the series the concept and general plot is very similar with only small details making up the biggest differences, for those who dont know Fox Mc Cloud is the leader of Star Fox a mercenary aerial attack team that travel the Lylat System keeping it safe from dangerous enemies and unknown threats, Star Fox Zero is another reboot of the original Star Fox for the Super Nintendo this has been done two times prior to Zero’s release in Star Fox 64 and Star Fox 64 3D,  the plot of each game is very basic but very sad and when you finally win your victory feels so much more rewarding due to this, James Mc Cloud was the original leader of Star Fox, James was on a mission with his team consisiting of himself, Peppy O Hare and Pigma Dengar they traveled to the Planet Venom where they were to defeat a mad scientist named Andross who was threatening to take over the universe, before he could complete his mission James learns that his partner Pigma had set a bomb in his Arwing before they began the mission but it was too late and James was killed, Star Fox Zero takes place 5 years later, Andross has declared war on Corneria and now Fox Mccloud and his team Peppy O Hare, Falco Lombardi and Slippy Toad must travel to the Planet Venom to defeat Andross once and for all.

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Star Fox Zero is an arcade style on rails space shooter, you take control of the Arwing by moving the game pad around in order to aim with motion controls, the idea of each stage is too destroy as many enemies on screen as you can before the level ends, some stages have secret objectives that can be completed in order to send Fox and his team onto a different path which ultimately ends with them moving onto some secret stages, at the end of most stages is a either a boss fight or an aerial battle against Star Wolf and the rest of Andross’s Henchmen.

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My Favourite part of Star Fox Zero was the ability to swap between the Arwing and the Walker with the ease of a button, the reason the walker is so useful is because it allows the player to have full control over the vehicle, this is particularly useful when you are fighting a difficult boss or if you need to hack an enemy vehicle or computer.

star-fox-zero-april-release-dateThe two biggest complaints I hear about this game is one that its too short , I personally disagree with this as I really enjoy short games however Nintendo should not have charged such a high price when this game originally came out, there is an unlockable arcade mode available after you beat the story mode but its nothing more than the main game without any power-ups or health upgrades, the second big issue people have with Star Fox Zero is the motion controls, I will admit that the controls do a take a while too get used too but I personally didn’t find them that difficult too use and people often fail to notice that the motion controls can be switched out for a regular analogue control on the games pause menu, one great choice Nintendo made with the controls was how easy it is to now pull off a U Turn or a Somersault, both of these allow much easier control over your vehicles and unlike some of the older games in the franchise here they can pulled off with the simple click of a button, sometimes aiming at enemies on the TV can be a little bit of a challenge but if you look at the game pad you will have a view from the cockpit which makes aiming much easier.

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A really cool feature here is the ability to play the campaign on co-op with a friend, one player will fly the vehicle while the other will take aim and fire at enemies, I personally don’t recommend this mode, I tried playing it with my brother and to be honest unless your shooting its a little bit boring, I don’t understand why we couldn’t have just played as two separate pilots as this would have been way more fun.

StarFoxZero_PAXscreens_03_bmp_jpgcopy   The graphics are very impressive for a game as simple as Star Fox, I will say that largely civilised planets such as Corneria are much easier to appreciate than the sections where you are fighting in space, in these sections you will mostly see enemy ships and debris coming towards your Arwing and that is essentially the only major things you will see during those parts of the game where as when your in a city you  will see flowing rivers, large buildings and waterfalls.

To be honest I have never been a huge fan of the music in the Star Fox Games and my opinion here is the same, I don’t recall the majority of the music and I don’t have much to say about it, however I will put a link below so you can check it out.

Star Fox Zero is far from the best game is the series but it’s still an excellent addition to your Wii U collection, I had an awesome time blasting my way throughout the Lylat System and yet again taking down the evil Doctor Andross, sure the controls took a while to get used too and this is one of the easier Star Fox Games to beat but its not so easy that it doesn’t provide a challenge, I still died a few times during the main game and Andross had me screaming before I finally beat him, I do wish that Co-op was a little better than it was but I’m sure someone could have fun with it, Star Fox Zero may not have been the perfect return for Fox Mc Cloud and his friends but he’s been on worse adventures than this.

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I hope you enjoyed my review of Star Fox Zero for the Nintendo Wii U, I gotta admit it was nice to talk about a Nintendo Series we’ve never had chance to review before, maybe I should talk about some other Nintendo Series at some point, thanks again for taking your time to read this review.

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

ZBOX May 2017 Unboxing and Review

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ZBOX is a UK alternative to everyone’s favourite subscription service Loot Crate, the general idea of the ZBOX is that once a month a subscriber will receive a box with up to 4-7 items for geeks to enjoy, as a subscriber you wont know what items are being delivered to your door every month which can be off putting for some people but if you like surprises then a subscription service similar to this is right up your alley.

DSC_0163Each box has a its own unique theme, this months theme was knights, every Zbox comes with a small magazine which includes a detailed description of every item in the box and the rest of the magazine is filled to the brim with content related to the theme, this months magazine talks about some well known knights from history as well as how knights are portrayed in modern media, there is even a really fun section which modifies the plots of popular movies by adding knights into the mix, the magazines are usually the most uninteresting part of the Zbox but they are still a fun edition to read every month.

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A staple of a Zbox is a specially designed shirt that you cannot get anywhere else, this months shirt shows off some really cool fan art for the upcoming new transformers movie the last knight.

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This months Zbox also included a small print poster along side the shirt showing off the same design.

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I wouldn’t exactly consider myself a big fan of the Dark Souls universe so this comic book by Titan Comics was my most disappointing item although I will be honest it does look interesting so I might give it a read at a later date.

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You cant have a Loot Box based on knights without including the Dark Knight himself, this month subscribers were sent a tin sign of the Batman, its a simple item but a very cool one.

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This months final item is this absolutely amazing Game of Thrones construction set, the set that was included is a hand built set of the Iron Throne Room complete with King Joffrey, in my opinion this was the best item in May’s Zbox and I am sure that many others will agree, however one small issue with building the set was just how awkward and difficult it was to get some of the bricks to connect with one another,I gave up trying to get the Iron Throne too connect with the set and I eventually wound up using sellotape.

DSC_0177This is what the construction kit looks like once its been built

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Every Zbox comes with a small badge which cant be bought anywhere else, a lot of subscribers collect these badges to show off how long they have been subscribed too the Zbox.

May’s Zbox was a bit hit and miss for me, the Game of Thrones construction set and the Transformers T-shirt were by far my favourite items, the comic book didn’t mean much to me since I’m not a big fan of the Dark Souls universe and although I do like the Batman tin sign I couldn’t see my self ever buying it.

Next Months Zbox is based on villains, you can expect to see Star Wars, DC and Batman Items if you would like to subscribe to the Zbox you can do by following this link https://www.zavvi.com/zbox/zbox-subscription/11142494.html?widget_id=546346

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