Sonic Unleashed (2008) Review

Well it’s been a while since we talked about Sonic, in fact its been over a year since we reviewed Sonic 06 so I feel it is time to hop back into the series and I’m sure that this time we will have a much better experience ………….right?

Sonic unleashed was developed by Sonic Team and released in 2008 for the PS2, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360, It was the final main series title released for the PS2 and the first to get a Wii release. I played the PS3 version of the game so my opinion is based on that version.

Dr Eggman is back trying to destroy the planet this time by waking an evil entity known as Dark Gaia, he manages to trap Sonic in his super form using a power ray which strips away the power of the Chaos Emeralds. Eggman uses the power to then wake Dark Gaia who breaks the earth into seven pieces and also manages to put a curse on Sonic turning him into a Werehog. Sonic is blasted into space but luckily is rescued by a new friend called chip who helps guide Sonic across the globe while he tries to break his curse and return the earth and the Chaos Emeralds back to their original forms.

So whats weird with this one is that we went back to a single character campaign where we only play as Sonic, however due to the whole Werehog situation we do technically have two main variants of gameplay.

In the regular Sonic stages we run at high speeds across various continents while blasting robots and avoiding obstacles, whats new here is a super speed mechanic. Your rings do not only represent your life but also allow Sonic to run at hyper speed and completely annihilate anything that gets in his path, while in hyper speed you also attract rings towards you so its easier to collect tons of rings this way compared to the regular running mechanic.

At night you can play the Werehog stages these are much slower and focus more on combat, here you fight Dark Gaia’s minions and collect loads of experience points, when battles become too tough you can can use some of your collected energy to give your Werehog form some extra power in order to help tackle these trickier situations.

In between stages you will be exploring various hub worlds which each represent different countries, the hub worlds are not great and don’t really offer much apart from shops to buy food and souvenirs as well as hiding the occasional Sun/Moon coins and offering some extra side content.

I did manage to finish all of possession missions which involves players committing to small battle arenas and surviving onslaughts of bad guys. The other side missions are time/ring/no damage trials these are fine enough but a big issue I have with the game is that they keep repeating the same stages for these challenges for example in the time trials the game will ask you to finish the stage in 3 minutes then the challenge will be to do the same level in 2 minutes. I understand you don’t have to commit to these missions but I still think that some more creativity and implementing some of the optional stages would have worked a lot better.

The main levels work pretty well, I had very little issue due to gameplay problems and overall I found both types pretty satisfying, I really enjoyed the high speed action of the Sonic stages but also appreciated the more brawl based stages with the Werehog, I did find the final stage a little too long but I did die a lot and ended up clocking in at around 90 minutes.

The game for a PS3 title is very visually appealing I love the dark colours and glowing enemies at night and during the day time stages the details of the backgrounds are really quite impressive especially considering that even with the high speed action there is little to no issue rendering background details. I also really like that the game takes place in different countries not only because it represents various cultures but also makes each level feel very unique and special in their own ways. I do wish the hub worlds were a little bigger and hid more secrets for us to find, they are very small areas that are linear and quite limited in what they offer but I can appreciate that they were not the main focus of the game and this probably doesn’t bother many other players.

The soundtrack is really good! The main vocal track Endless Possibilities is great and singer Jared Reddick knocks it out of the park, various stages carry that rocking vibe we are used too with these games now but also there is a certain amount of diversity to represent the country you are currently playing in making sure to show appreciation for the various cultures explored throughout the adventure.

Sonic Unleashed is a massive improvement to the atrocity that was Sonic 06 the gameplay here while not perfect at least doesn’t feel broken and is enjoyable, if the game has any sins its biggest is how mediocre and somewhat forgettable it is. I loved the music and the day time stages but nothing else really stood out to me as being what I consider a great Sonic experience, visually those Werehog stages are stunning and while they are decent levels they can be a little long and dont really hold their satisfaction from a gameplay perspective. Personally I think they should have had the ability to turn into the Werehog implemented into all stages and allowed players to Switch between both forms quickly and freely.

The cultural representation of the hub worlds is obviously really important and I feel Sonic Team did an ok job but again these are quite empty and could have had a lot more secrets to find as well as offer better and more creative side content and missions.

As a final note I will say that this game was acceptable, in certain areas it works extremely well but struggled with everything else so what we were left with was a small amount of great content surrounded with a lot of uninspired and in someways lazy game design so I think a 6/10 is a very fair score and I can only hope that next time when we take a look at Sonic Colours we finally get back to the flawless gameplay I know this series can pull off.

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The Promised Neverland (Anime) Review

The promised neverland is an anime adaptation of a popular Japanese Manga series, the original books were extremely successful and won numerous awards, the anime was first announced in 2018 from a company called CloverWorks. I have never read Manga so my experience is purely through this adaptation and I have quite a few mixed feelings about it so without further ado lets jump straight in

I also want to put a spoiler warning, I am not going to hold back in this review so if you want to watch the show, you have been warned.

The first season takes place in an orphanage ran by a seemingly kind young woman who goes by the name mom. The orphanage is ran with strange rules and very heavily controlled in a way that seems innocent.

These rules are not exactly shown as they are more things viewers will pick up on as the show progresses, I knew something was up as soon I began the show because it was odd that all of the children were dressed in the same white clothes and each had similar smart hair styles.

Also it is implied early into the season that none of the children had ever left the Orphanage, they hadn’t left the walls of the children’s home once in their entire lives, even the children who were older, it was really weird and just left me feeling uneasy.

In the first episode their is a very sweet 6 year old girl named Connie and at the end of her story she is “adopted”. Mom walks her to gate and she is seemingly taken to her new family.

An older boy named Ray notices that Connie left behind her favourite toy and asks his friends Emma and Norman to take the Bunny to Connie before she leaves. Both of the children know they are not allowed near the gate but decide that returning the bunny is good enough reason to break the rule.

When they arrive they cant find Connie and check in the moving truck where they discover her corpse. The children hide when they hear voices behind a door describing their dissatisfaction with the specimen and how it will not be a good meal due to its age and lack of intelligence.

These are demons and they feed on the flesh humans to survive, the brain is the best part of a human being and is the most delicious.

After this discovery the first season primarily takes place in the orphanage and has the three friends Emma, Ray and Norman trying to come up with an elaborate plan to escape from the facility. This often leads to disagreements with Emma wanting to save all of the children and the other two trying to be more realistic with either just saving themselves and maybe the older children.

There is a lot of elements of mystery in this season, on top of trying to find out more information about the demons, who mom really is and which children are selected to be eaten, there is also a spy in the orphanage who is whispering information back to mom. This plot gets really interesting and multiple children are suspected before Norman figures out its Ray.

So Ray is very interesting character because he is the birth child of mom, in flashbacks we learn that mom’s are females who are chosen to run the human farms in exchange of not being eaten by the demons. Because Ray is super intelligent he is top priority to be eaten, to save her son mom got Ray to be a spy who would help mom pick the best children to serve as well as report to her everything and anything that goes on behind her back. Ray is obviously only doing this to save his own skin but it does show a selfishness to his character and even though in the end he does go against mom and help the children I could never forget that at one point he was helping the demons for his own benefit.

About halfway through the season a helper for mom is hired to help look after the children, her name is Krone and to be honest she was probably the worst part about the season for me. It felt like she was mainly added just to be another obstacle for the children. She’s very loud and erratic and to be honest feels really out of place although I will admit it did make her presence feel a little more uneasy than others.

The first season has a very surprising ending, mom breaks Emma’s leg to prevent her escaping before she is meant to be shipped, luckily she recovers in time but Norman is shipped early and assumed dead. With just her and Ray left, Ray fakes burning himself alive using sausages, human hair and his own ear with his tracking device in order give off the effect of burning flesh, this distracts mom long enough that himself, Emma and all of the children aged 6 and older (6 is the minimum age they can be eaten) to escape over the wall and into the surrounding woods.

So season 1 was very nicely paced and had some good plots and mystery to keep it entertaining without it feeling it dragged on too long or too little.

Season 2 played an Uno reverse card because they went from this really nicely paced show to the world record speed run for quickest ending anime.

So a lot of plot is crammed into 11 episodes here a lot of people do not like this season, I enjoyed it but it definitely felt rushed there are some important plots here and I will go over them briefly but If you want a real analysis why this is a bad anime season, Youtube will give you a better explanation than I can give, this is purely just my opinion.

The children are now in the Demon World, they are barely surviving until they find a bunker which they hide inside of, here is a phone and they are contacted by Mr Minerva who left clues in books previously to help the children escape (He is never seen and he doesn’t really show up again after this.)

After the bunker is raided the children befriend two vegetarian Demons who want to help them escape, there is a weird part later on where the male demon hints that he wants to eat the children (but this is never addressed again and doesn’t happen)

Later on in the season we find out that Norman is alive and wants to kill all the demons because they tortured and experimented on him, he becomes the leader of a gang of demon slayers who have all been through what he has, he vows to slaughter all Demons and become either a god or a devil in their eyes if he has too (This plot ends in the next episode and now he just wants to escape again !)

Look I know I keep pointing out how badly rushed this all is but it’s important I do in order for someone who hasn’t seen it to fully understand how bad it is and why people are pissed off.

At the end of the season, Emma, Norman and Ray free the other children from all the orphanages and the main villain behind the operations is killed. They forgive mom and let her come with them to the human world (this is same woman who murdered them, the same who broke Emma’s leg and lied to them their entire lives), Emma, Ray and Norman decide to stay in the demon world to help them survive without humans, Emma vows to make a new promise in the demons benefit (we never find out what this is) a two minute slide of what happens next plays and Emma, Norman and Ray go to the human world ending the entire anime !

The Promised Neverland is half excellent and half mediocre, that first season is one of the best anime’s I have sat down and watched and I was so excited for that second season that when it was so disappointing I was genuinely upset about it. What I don’t understand is why they rushed that second season and ended it there, they could have paced it better and we could have had at least three really good seasons. I think maybe the writers didn’t enjoy the more action based plot compared to the horror and mystery of season 1 so wanted to end it while they had the chance, of course I have no evidence of this so don’t take that as fact but it’s about all I can come up with.

Apart from the second half the show is animated very well and actually has really good dub work which is something a lot of anime’s struggle with so I can give it props for that. The music for both season openings is also very catchy and highly enjoyable, the theme from the first season got me pumped everytime it played and the second’s theme was a lot of fun too.

That’s all I can really say about this series, I enjoyed all of it but the second season really takes away from it’s quality and its quite sad because we could have had another outstanding anime on our hands, If you want to see this I would recommend only the first season and maybe just see the ending of season 2 because that’s probably all you really need to see and like I said before I have gone over most of the plot here, so until next time

Thanks for reading this review of The Promised Neverland (Anime)

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Bayonetta 2 (2014) Review

The Witch is back !!!

After the success of the first game a sequel to Bayonetta was inevitable but unfortunately it never happened and Sega soon lost focus on the franchise that is until Nintendo of all companies bought the rights and made the series their own and released a trailer for a new game exclusive to their systems, of course this upset a lot of people who don’t play Nintendo but from the companies point of view this was a brilliant marketing stunt forcing people who desperately wanted to play the new Bayonetta game to buy their systems and it worked so good for them Bayonetta 2 was released on the Wii U in 2014 along side the original game before it was re-released in a similar package this year for the Switch.

Thankfully the plot this time around is fairly straight foward, Bayonetta and Jeanne are out doing some Christmas shopping with the pathetic Enzo carrying all of their new stuff, Angels attack an aeroplane stunt show so Bayonetta and Jeanne suit up to take them out and with a new set of guns from the merchant Rodin this should be easy but unfortunately during the fight one of Bayonettas monsters escapes from its master and knocks Jeannes soul from her body which then gets dragged into Inferno, Bayonetta kills the monster but now has to get to the Gates of Hell to rescue Jeanne before her soul is completely consumed.

The game play is essentially the same as the original with a few changes, for those who don’t know Bayonetta is a hack and slash game series inspired by the Devil May Cry games, the first game follows the adventure of an Umbra Witch who kills Angels by shooting them with guns she holds in her hands and the heels of her shoes, she can use multiple weapons and items to help her survive and upgrades can be bought from Rodin through out the games, some supple changes in this game compared to the original is Bayonettas slightly different fashion choice in both Witch and Panther form, local multiplayer and a much easier gameplay experience which is still challenging and fun.

There is only one thing I hate about this game and that’s the character Loki, he has an extremely important role in the game but he is just so annoying, he wines a lot, he has an annoying voice and some of his dialogue is straight up cringe worthy

The soundtrack is just as great as the first game, it has a lot of orchestral and vocal tracks which are all a lot of fun to listen too, use the link above to check it out

 

Bayonetta 2 is an epic game, it controls perfectly, it has a great sound track, beautiful graphics and plenty of extra content to keep you busy many would agree that it’s better the original and even though I hate Loki I have too agree, Bayonetta 2 is an excellent sequel and hopefully it’s influence will effect future games in the series 9.7/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch

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

Bayonetta (2009) Review

Bayonetta

The original Bayonetta was released in 2009 as a spiritual successor to the Devil May Cry series, it was very well recieved back when it first came out and Bayonetta has since become one of the greatest original characters of all time.

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The plot of Bayonetta is insane and honestly it was a little hard for me to follow, however with some internet research after finishing the game I did get a better understanding.

Most of this coming from the Bayonetta wikia and I’m not ashamed to be reading it to help me try to explain the plot as it really is quite complicated.

so first off all let me quickly explain the two eyes, you have the left eye which watches over the moon, the darkness and the inferno and you have the right eye which watches over the sun, the light and the paradiso

In Europe around 500 years ago there was two clans one was the Umbra Witches and the other was the Lumen Sages, both clans didnt like eachother but they stayed out of each others way out of respect of each clans laws, one day an Umbra Witch called Rosa had intercourse with a Lumen Sage named Balder and they conceived a child due to this Balder was forced to leave his clan and Rosa was imprisoned while the baby was raised by the remaining Umbra Witches, the child now known as Cereza has grown up and has made friends with another Umbra Witch called Jeanne , Jeanne wants to be the Umbran Heiress but in order to prove herself she must defeat another Umbra Witch in combat, Jeanne chooses Cereza but is told no as she is of non pure blood but without much convincing she is allowed to fight her anyway, Cereza wins the fight and scares the other Umbra Witches that she is going to awaken the left eye so Jeanne is forced to put Cereza into an eternal sleep by stabbing her in the heart and burying her alive in a coffin at the bottom of a lake, once all of this was done peace remained amongst the clans until one day Balder manipulates the Lumen Sages to trust him and kill all of the Umbra Witches, Balder succeeds but both Jeanne and Cereza survive, 500 years later we are introduced to Cereza again although now she has been resurrected with no memories of her past and is going by the name Bayonetta.

I think I have covered all of the important bits without spoiling all of the things revealed throughout the game but if you want a better understanding this is the link I used.

http://bayonetta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Story_of_Bayonetta

The game play is hack and slash but don’t think this means you can just run into the game button mashing your way to victory because bayonetta is very difficult, even on Normal it kicked my ass, bayonetta has a lot of moves available for players to use as well as a massive arsenal of weapons to back her up, what makes Bayonetta stand out compared to most other video game characters is her guns which she can fire from both her hands and feet and with plenty of opportunities to try different weapons it makes the game play very satisfying, Bayonetta also has some great finishing moves including some torture attacks which deal massive amounts of damage to enemies in many grizzly and creative ways also creating monsters with her hair to devour enemies is awesome too, some stand out moments of game play for me are when Bayonetta uses magic to run on water and the Witch time ability which slows down time temporarily which helps to kill tricky foes.

The graphics on Bayonetta are fantastic although they differ from system to system, on PC they are at there best due to the ability to enhance them on higher end computers but on systems they are just as good, I played the new Wii U port that has been brought to the Switch and some of the textures were a little bit blurry but not so much that it’s a huge problem but if graphics are a massive deal to you maybe pass on the Nintendo versions.

https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4974828533C1619B

The music is just orgasmic the developers used a mix of vocal and ochestaral tracks which is a great mix when fighting the angels it really suits the atmosphere and the anime style pop songs are a nice addition which suits the non serious nature of the game it’s honestly brilliant

Bayonetta is a difficult yet satisfying action packed adventure which has plenty of gore, comedy and sillynees to fit anyone’s gaming needs, it’s a bit short and even though there is a lot of replay value I wanted more but it’s still a great game which is well worth your time 8.6/10

Thank you for reading this review of Bayonetta

Feel free to leave your views or feedback in the comments

My version came with Bayonetta 2 so after one more game review we will tackle her next adventure