Castlevania (NES) Review

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Finally after all this time I get to talk about one of my favourite video games of all time Castlevania.

Castlevania was developed and published by Konami and was released on September 26th 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System

castlevania-title-screenEvery one hundred years Count Dracula rises from his coffin and wreaks havoc on Transylvania, each time Dracula comes back he is defeated by a member of the famous Belmont family who have been protecting Transylvania from supernatural threats for generations, the year is 1691 and once again Dracula causes trouble attracting the attention of Simon Belmont who along with his trusty whip makes his way through Dracula’s castle hoping to defeat the evil vampire lord.Castlevania_NES_14

The game is an action plat-former and takes place in different areas of Dracula’s castle, players will need to survive a number of levels before facing a sub boss, the platforming is ridiculously difficult and not with good reason, Simon attacks enemies by either whipping them or hurting them with a sub weapon, this is fine but the problem is that if you are hit by an enemy you dont just take damage but also get knocked back and lot of time this leads to Simon falling to his death, this was obviously programmed into the game in order to add additional challenge but honestly the game is so difficult anyway that this is just annoying.

120808_castlevania-6For example the image above is just two screens of the game and as you can see there are a lot of things to avoid including a lot of Fleamen which are some of the most difficult enemies to avoid in the game.

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Three things can really help you through out the game making your adventure a little easier

The first is Pork Chops which you can find hidden in the walls and if you eat these they will restore your health.

Next you have sub weapons such as daggers, crosses and axes which can be used at the expense of some of the hearts you can find by whipping all of the candles throughout the game, all of these sub weapons are great however the best and most useful is the Holy Water, this is the easiest way to kill most of the bosses in the game including the notorious fight with the Grim Reaper and even Count Dracula himself.

Collecting the Sub Weapons can become even more useful when you find the upgrades, you can make your weapons up to three times more powerful by finding power-ups which are mostly found in candles or bricks but can appear randomly too.

Easily one of the best soundtracks in the NES library Castlevania has one kickass music library, the music is bouncy and fun but does have a creepy vibe to it now and again, but in general the music is so catchy that I guarantee you wont be able to remove it from your brain, my personal favourite track in the game is called Wicked Child and is the theme for stage 7.

Castlevania is an amazing game but I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece the controls are a little stiff and the game is way more frustrating than it needs to be, on the other hand everything else is perfect the visuals are fantastic for an early release, the soundtrack is one of the best and the game is genuinely very good, for the first entry of the series its a really good start but it could have done with a few more tweaks 7.9/10.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Castlevania for the 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

 

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Spielberg Month: Always

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Always is a movie that I cant believe I had never heard of until recently, it was released in 1989 and is a remake of a much older black and white film called “A Guy Named Joe” which was directed by famed movie maker Victor Flemming, I cant compare the two movies as I haven’t yet seen the original so please keep that in mind.

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The movie is a romantic war drama which follows the brief life of an aerial firefighter called Pete Sandich “Richard Dreyfuss”, Pete is in a very comfortable relationship with his girlfriend Dorinda “Holly Hunter” but unfortunately he is killed in action when his plane catches on fire and explodes which leaves his now ex girlfriend Holly heartbroken.

Audrey Hepburn, Always (1989, Steven Spielberg) starring Holly Hunter, Richard Dreyfuss and John GoodmanAudrey Hepburn is in this movie, she plays an angel called Hap who guides Pete’s spirit while he try’s to set up Holly with a new love interest so that she can move on with her life and be happy, unfortunately this was the last movie Audrey Hepburn ever starred in before her death in 1993.

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There really isn’t much to say about this movie, It’s very cheesy and corny but it has a fantastic cast who all do a great job so its hard for me too dislike the film, Richard Dreyfuss as usual was outstanding in his performance and Holly Hunter also did an awesome job of portraying her character, the only cast member I wasn’t a fan of was John Goodman, I don’t think hes a bad actor but his acting style works so much better in comedies and action films that I felt that he didn’t really suit this type of movie.

Unfortunately there was no John Williams composing the music this time, however the soundtrack is still very good and it fits the film perfectly, there is nothing epic in there you wont be finding something as iconic as the Jaws theme but its still very well done either way.

I really liked this movie, it was a lot better than I thought it would be and I now really want to see the original, however I do have one massive complaint, as you may recall the lack of directors commentaries have really let me down this month but this Blu-ray has to take the crown as the biggest waste of money since it has no special features apart from the original trailer, I just want to pre warn people who are buying blurays for more than just an enhanced version of the film because if that is the case I would skip out on this one.

And so we end Spielberg Month, Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential film makers in Hollywood and all four of the movies this month have proven that, I have really enjoyed this experience it was fun looking at some of my old favourites as well as some new ones and I cant wait to eventually do something similar to this again, perhaps with a different director.

Want to buy this weeks movie? click the link below to get in from Amazon, I recommend subscribing to Amazon Prime to get fast next day delivery as well a lot of other benefits.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Always-Blu-ray-Region-Richard-Dreyfuss/dp/B00TYFM25I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491601965&sr=8-1&keywords=always+bluray

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

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

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

Death Note Anime Review

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So after I reviewed Attack on Titan I got a barrage of emails for me to review a bunch of anime’s, out of all these anime’s the one people wanted me to review the most was Death Note and with so many people telling me how great it was how could I possibly not give it a watch?

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This is Light Yagami an intelligent high school graduate and natural genius, Light is the first human in the anime to find one of the famous note books known as a Death Note, a Death Note is a notebook owned by a Shinigami (God of Death) and if a human beings name is written in the Death Note that human being will die of a heart attack after 40 seconds, the author of the Death Note can choose the method of death if they write that in the Death Note within 30 seconds of writing the victims name, another rule is that they can only kill a victim with the Death Note if they know the face of the person they are killing the reason for this rule is that there may be many people who share the same first and last name

851Ryuk is the Shinigami that dropped the Death Note into the human realm, he did this for his own entertainment and he enjoys watching Light use the Death Note.

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Light originally uses the Death Note to kill criminals, his father is the chief of police and because of this he has been brought up with a strong sense of justice, unfortunately for Light his mysterious murders start a serious police investigation that is led by his father, he also gains a lot of support from followers who think of Light as a god and these followers refer to him as Kira which is the Japanese pronunciation of the word Killer, the police hire a private detective who is known as L, L  suspects Light of being Kira and he sends people to investigate him this makes Light begin his journey towards madness and he begins to use the Death Note to kill anyone who gets in his way making him a very dangerous serial killer.

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Later on into the anime Light actually joins the investigation team that is investigating him, the show gets really intense the further you get through it and its really cool to see just how psychotic Light becomes when his evil persona begins to take over his life.

Without giving away too many spoilers that’s about all I can say about Death note, it is one of the most unique anime I have ever seen, the animation is amazing for 2007, it uses a great blend of shadow and light effects to help emphasize the dark nature of the show as well as to give the art a more realistic style, I thought the voice acting on the English dub was very well done its not often that you can notice the amount of love and effort that was put into every characters personality and style of voice, I cant say much about the music in the show, none of it was that memorable and I didn’t even enjoy the theme song that much.

Death Note is a very popular anime and it has reason to be, I don’t think it could be recommended for everyone due to how dark the premise is but if you like dark anime then you should give this one a shot.

They did release two specials after the show ended the first was Death Note Rewrite Visions of a God and the second was Death Note Rewrite 2 L’s Successors, apart from the first 10 minutes both of these are just a compilation of clips from the show and I recommend skipping them

I hope you enjoyed this review of Death Note

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com
You can find me on miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

 

 

Gravity Falls Review

3190_gravity_fallsGravity Falls was a hit cartoon series created by Alex Hirsch for the Walt Disney Channel, it first aired in 2012 and it has now finally concluded at the beginning of 2016, the show about a brother and a sister spending the summer in a mysterious town became very popular amongst millions of viewers and Gravity Falls soon became known for its quality, I have now seen the entire series and I am ready to share my opinion.

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Twins Dipper and Mabel Pines are spending their summer vacation with Stanley Pines (Great Uncle), They are spending the summer in a mysterious town called Gravity Falls, where Stanley is making them work at his business the Mystery Shack where he guides tourists through a fake museum of mythical creatures and mysterious artifacts, Dipper soon gets bored of this and decides to go and explore the town while his sister Mabel is seeking romance, Dipper accidentally discovers a Journal which is filled with mysterious legends and secrets which may help uncover the dark secrets and hidden mysteries of Gravity Falls.

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Apart from the few episodes that really expand on the shows main plot, alot of the episodes can be watched out of order without many consequences as a big portion of the show is just Mabel and Dipper going on adventures and trying to resolve a problem they have discovered in Gravity Falls, most of these problems can be resolved by someone searching for the answers in one of the journals image

When the show does focus on the main plot its hard to not get glued to the tv, for a Disney Channel show it’s surprisingly addictive and many of the non plot themed episodes are full of cryptic clues to some of the towns mysteries image

All of the main cast are very lovable. but surprisingly almost every character in the entire show has a personality and some even have interesting backstories, personally my favourite character is Mabel Pines but my favourite background character is Blendin Blandin a time traveler you will meet in season 1
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Gravity falls is one of the best looking children’s cartoon shows I have seen in a very long time, the animation is smooth and the pixels are at a minimum so the show looks absolutely flawless, I highly recommend watching it in HD so you can truly appreciate it’s beauty.

Overall Gravity Falls was one of best animated series I have ever had the pleasure of sitting down and watching, it is a little sad that the show has finished but I know for a fact that the fandom the show had brought together will be around for a long time.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Gravity Falls

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com
You can find me on miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

The Christmas Wish (1998) Review

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Business man Will Martin (Neil Patrick Harries) is visiting his Grandmother for her first Christmas since her husband past away, while looking through some of his grandfather’s old journals Will discovers that his Grandfather had a secret woman in his life called Lillian, Will sets out to find this woman in order to help put his Grandmother’s mind at peace but this journey may be much more difficult than he anticipated.

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I’m not quite sure how I feel about this movie, the plot was very interesting and through out the entire film I was trying to figure out who Lillian was and at times I wasn’t sure if we would even find out, the film was very slow which was its biggest problem because it had this really interesting plot that should have grabbed the attention of the viewer but half the time I was falling asleep due to how badly paced and boring the film was.

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Only half of the cast gave an effort to show any enthusiasm at all, most of the actors I found to be either really boring or extremely annoying, the little boy who was obsessed with Dinosaurs did not help at all, I don’t know what it is but for some reason six year old’s are extremely headache inducing on camera, the little boy in this film was almost as annoying as the little boy in The Babadook (if you haven’t seen the Babadook trust me the little boy is the absolute worst).

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On a lighter note given all of my complaints its at least a really nice movie which tries to spread what is apparently the meaning of Christmas, I’m actually really surprised that this isn’t aired on TV that often as it’s a really unique and different kind of Christmas movie and even though I complained that the some of the cast are really annoying they wont ruin the film for you this isn’t Jim Carrey stars in the Grinch so you don’t have too much to worry about.

An unknown Christmas film that is probably unknown for a reason, still worth giving this one a shot though.

Thanks for reading my Review of The Christmas Wish

The next Christmas movie I will review is

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You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Dead Space (2008) (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) Review

SHOOT THE LIMBS !!!

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Dead Space is one of those games that has had a lot of praise over the years since its release, I have played through Dead Space a countless number of times and I have formed what I believe is a fair opinion on this apparent gaming masterpiece.

Many fans of the series love the games because of the countless gory ways that the protagonist can die, but in my opinion gory visuals are not needed to make a game good, so I’m going to look at every thing else and I will form my opinion from all the aspects I believe are often forgotten.

 

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You take control of this unfortunate fellow Mr Isaac Clark, Isaac is the Engineer of the ISG Ishumura which is a specially Engineered ship which is carrying a team of explorers across multiple planets to find resources which are needed to help earth survive after an unforeseen event which caused the planet to almost go extinct, after successfully stripping multiple planets of their resources, unfortunately the ISG Ishumura eventually ends up crash landing on a mysterious planet and this is where the game begins.

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As soon as the game play starts Isaac and his crew are almost immediately attacked by a very strange race of creatures called Necromorph’s, these creatures kill the majority of the crew and those who survive are separated from Isaac leaving him to fend for himself.

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The Necromorph’s themselves definitely add a unique combat style to the game, instead of plowing enemies full of lead like most shooters, Dead Space has the player needing to shoot the enemies in the limbs instead of the head or the chest, this may not seem too special but it does add a whole new feel to the general FPS experience.

Of course shooting all of these aliens is going to need some serious fire power, luckily Dead Space is not shy on weapons as throughout the game Isaac will find many weapons which he can use to shoot, beat and decapitate aliens all day long.

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Some of my favorite weapons include the Plasma Cutter which is a powerful single shot weapon, its essentially shoots hot lasers and once it’s fully upgraded it can cut through limbs so quickly that it could make a Jedi jealous.

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My next favorite weapon is the Pulse Rifle, this military grade machine gun will tear through your enemies like there is no tomorrow .

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and finally the Ripper shoots sharp metal blades at your enemies and of course this can cause a lot of damage, a lot of Dead Space players don’t like this weapon as it can be quite complicated to use as you need to curve your shots in order to have maximum damage, but trust me when you get the hang of using it the ripper will be an excellent addition to your arsenal.

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Other interesting elements to Dead Space are the many different scenarios and puzzles that the game throws at you.

When your not collecting resources and trying to escape the ship, Isaac will at times need to deal with Zero Gravity areas, having to temporarily step outside the ship and into the empty atmosphere that surrounds him and this draining his oxygen every second he is outside and finally using his Kinesis Module to pick up heavy objects and to slow down certain aspects of the game.

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The graphics in Dead Space are for the most part very impressive, the aliens look great, the environments are very well detailed, the finer details such as blood splatter and shadows are very well done but the human characters look like they came out of a top quality PS2 game which is very disappointing considering that everything else is up to par with a PS3/360 game, its sort of like making a really healthy salad of bell peppers, tomatoes and lettuce and then covering it with bacon and syrup, its not a massive problem but the addition of the bacon and syrup can make a very healthy salad a little off putting.

Dead Space doesn’t have a lot of music but I believe that this benefits the games style and feel greatly, Dead Space is a survival horror which relies on the player listening to the environments in order to avoid being killed by sneaky Necromorph’s, a lot of games rely of music as it helps build up the feel of the game play and helps avoid boring the players, so the fact that Dead Space can keep the player so tense and immersed with such a limited soundtrack is very impressive.

Dead Space is one of the most immersive experiences I have had with a video game in a very long time, it really kept me on my toes and it often had me panicking and genuinely feeling uncomfortable which is the best results that a survival horror can give, the graphics are amazing apart from the graphics of the in game AI’s and the lack of music really helps intensify the game play, Dead Space is also one of the goriest games I have played in a long time,  the game isn’t too graphic when the player is just blasting enemies but when you die a death cut scene will play showing the gory nature of how you died in great detail, the controls are absolutely perfect and the game runs at a smooth 60 FPS so if you die only you are to blame, the story is really interesting and it only gets more and more crazy in every installment of the series, one of the main aspects to the story is trying to find Isaac’s missing wife who contacts Isaac as a hologram throughout the game.

Will he find her in Dead Space 1?  you will have to play to find out.

Dead Space is one scary, intense and genuinely awesome experience that everyone should play 8.9/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Dead Space

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

Happy Halloween

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