Sonic Heroes (2003) (GC, PC, PS2, XBOX) Review

Happy New Year and to kick of 2016 we are going to be looking at another controversial 3D Sonic game

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Sonic Heroes released in 2003 and was Sega and Sonic Teams attempt at making a next generation Sonic game that uses Team based mechanics, just like Shadow the Hedgehog this game also has a reputation of either being a piece of crap or a pretty fun experience.

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Sonic Heroes is split into four main campaigns Team Sonic, Team Rose, Team Dark and Team Chaotix, each of these teams have unique story and for the most part a different objective which ties into the games main plot.

Team Sonic receive a threat from Dr Robotnik about some new scheme he is creating and so Sonic, Tails and Knuckles run off to find and defeat Robotnik.

Team Rose are on the hunt for Big the Cat’s Missing Frog and Cream the Rabbit’s Chao Chocola.

Team Chaotix work for a detective agency and they hunt down a new client who offers them a lot of money if they rescue them from where they are being kept prisoner.

Team Darks story begins with Rouge the Bat searching for a hidden treasure when she accidentally comes across Shadow the Hedgehog and Omega (a security bot built by Robotnik),  Omega is angry because Robotnik locked him away for so long and Shadow has forgotten everything about himself and his past, all three of them seek out Robotnik for revenge and answers to why Omega and Shadow were locked away.

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How you play the game is that you control three characters for each team one Speed Character, one Power Character and one Flight Character, In teams Sonic, Dark and Rose you will need to use all three characters to pass obstacles and defeat enemies while trying to get to the goal ring as fast as possible.

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Team Chaotix are personally my favorite team to play as they are the only team that offer new gameplay, while playing as Team Chaotix you will need to play through all the same stages as the other teams but each with a new objective for example in one stage you need to find and rescue a lot of Chao and in another you need to find and blow out a bunch of flames that are hidden through out the level.

A big problem with beating the game with all four teams is that you will literally be playing through the same stages over and over again, yes each team does use slightly different paths but most of the time its the exact same stage and its gets really boring and repetitive, this is why I enjoy Team Chaotix the most they offer a more unique gameplay and its a nice break from the action style gameplay of the other teams.

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While playing through each stage you will find small golden keys that you will lose if you take damage, these keys are very important because if you manage to survive a stage with a key you will be sent to a bonus level which will either allow you to earn lives or you can try and catch one of the seven Chaos Emeralds.

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The controls are some of the worst I have ever used in a Sonic game, the characters move way too fast which often causes players to hit unforeseen enemies, some areas in the game require rail grinding and these controls make these sections a lot more difficult than they need to be, far too often did I try to quickly switch rails and the game decided to fling me far into the distance making me fall to my death, the awful controls make the special stages almost impossible to play which is extremely annoying because you need to play these to get the Chaos Emeralds and just getting to the special stages isn’t that easy of task to complete in the first place.

Glitches are not uncommon in this game so be wary if you ever to pick this one up, my advice is to mostly use the power characters as they are strong enough to take out a lot of enemies as well as moving at a reasonable pace, flying characters are by far the most useful this is due to a glitch allowing you too quickly build up your Team Blast bar by quickly throwing  your team mates using the flying character, the speed characters move far too quickly and I recommend you never play as the speed characters unless you get to section where they are needed.

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Team Blasts are a new type of special attack where all three characters in your team will work together to destroy every enemy on screen.

The music in the game isn’t really anything special, I love the vocal tracks but the level themes are just basic and not very catchy which is a shame because for me the music is what I look forward to the most when I play Sonic games and especially when I play the 3D games as they have a reputation of not being some of the best games out there.

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The visuals are amazing in this game, Sonic Heroes looks like one of the old 2D sonic games brought into the 3D world, the level designs are perfect rail sections are only implemented when they need to be, surprisingly their isn’t too many loops, every area is unique and offers a new gameplay style for example in the jungle levels you will find frogs that can make platforms appear and disappear and the Casino levels offer pinball and bingo sections to help you earn a whole load of rings to help you on your adventure and its not too often that you will die due to bad game design.

 

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The game has three types of Boss battles within the four campaigns you will either fight Dr Robotnik in one of his aircraft’s, another Team you meet while on your adventure or a barrage of Robotniks robots, for the aircraft’s just use the speed character because you can glitch the game by spamming homing attacks on the boss killing it almost instantly and for the other two I recommend a fully powered flight character as you hover in the air avoiding enemy attacks and due to the flight character being very over powered by using this character you will beat the level very quickly.

If you collect all seven Chaos Emeralds and manage to beat each Team’s campaign you will unlock Final Story which is the games real final boss and its eventual conclusion.

I wont go into too much detail here due to spoilers but I will say that this boss is a blast to fight, if 3D sonic games have one good thing about them it is almost always the final boss, the real enemy of the game is not Dr Robotnik but is a returning villain from past Sonic games that long time fans will surely enjoy fighting once again.

In conclusion Sonic Heroes is a really fun game with a lot of really big problems, it looks amazing but it plays and feels horrible, the soundtrack is not very interesting and the whole game feels rather repetitive, its not quite as bad as Shadow the Hedgehog but that doesn’t mean it’s a good experience.

Sonic Heroes is ok at best, its a shame because if all of these issues didn’t exist it would of been a classic 4.0/10

I still want a sequel though, come on Sonic Team its been almost 13 years and we want a Sonic Heroes 2 just make this one not so broken please.

I hope you enjoyed this review of  Sonic Heroes

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

 

 

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The Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker (2003-2013) (GameCube/Wii U) Review

The Legend of Zelda the Animated Series……… Wait no its not

legend-of-zelda-wind-waker-hd-freeThe Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker is one of the most beloved games of the Legend of Zelda franchise and is often considered to be a masterpiece to gaming, but it never used to be looked at in such as positive light as upon the games release it was hated amongst fans due to its less serious plot and characters and its new cheerful and brightly coloured visuals.

Before just a few weeks ago I had only played this game once while I was visiting my cousins back in 2003, even though I only played the game for a short time the memories I had playing have treasured me for many years and I always intended to return the game hoping to have as much fun with it as I did back then I have now played through both the HD remake and the original thanks to my very same cousin kindly lending me the very copy we played those many years ago.

this is a comparison review so I will be using screenshots from both versions of the game.

So how did it hold up?

You play as Link an adventurous young lad who lives with his little Sister Aryll and his Grandmother on Outset Island, its Links birthday and as a gift his Sister lets him borrow her special telescope for one day, while testing the telescope out Link notices a giant bird carrying a girl and dropping her into the forest of fairies which is located on a hill above Outset Island, Link runs into the forest and to his relief the girl is absolutely fine and she introduces herself as Captain Tetra and at the same time she introduces her crew of Pirates, Link and the Pirates decide that its time to leave the forest of fairies but unfortunately as they do the same bird snatches Aryll and takes he away to the Forbidden Fortress.

Aryll Kidnapped

 

Link suprised the bird stole his sister

The Pirates agree to help Link rescue his sister by escorting him to the Forbidden Fortress and after an intense mission impossible style journey to top of the fortress, Link finally reaches the top only to find out that the evil mastermind behind all of the previous trouble was none other than Ganondorf who has much bigger plans for the fate of the world other than simply kidnapping young girls and its up to Link the Hero of the Winds to stop him.

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As I mentioned above Wind Waker didn’t do so well upon release due to its change in graphics and visuals but another reason for this is its game play, Wind Waker is the most interesting Zelda title I have ever played because unlike most other games in the series that mostly focus on a serious and dark plot with side missions and other objectives thrown into the mix as a bonus, Wind Waker does the very opposite because it has a big focus on exploring and discovery and less of a focus on the main quest, at the time a lot of Legend of Zelda fans didn’t like this new change of pace and they labelled the game as being a wannabe Zelda title, personally I really like the idea that the game wants players to create there own adventures as these days I feel that most Zelda games don’t have a massive emphasis on adventure which was originally the staple of the franchise.

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Instead of a horse this time we are given a boat called the King of Red Lions, the King of Red Lions is one of the most useful characters in the game because not only does he help guide you towards your main quests goals but he is also the only way you can travel between towns, islands and dungeons, if you haven’t already guessed the majority of the game takes place in the ocean meaning that most of your objectives and goals are spread all across the world on different islands.

This is a Zelda game so there is a couple of dungeons that you need to complete in order to beat the game but like I said there isn’t many dungeons as the main focus here is side questing, the idea of exploration is really cool and I appreciate that they made this the main focus but unfortunately the map for the ocean kind of sucks due to there not being much indication of where certain areas are on the map, some of the main towns are drawn on the map but the rest is mostly blank and this makes exploring extremely difficult, frustrating and not fun.

tumblr_nigb6z4AcB1qg98wdo1_1280There is a way that you can easily indicate where certain areas are situated on the map but from my experience the only way to do this is to feed your bate (red berries) to certain fish in the ocean, I found a couple of these fish and they did help me with mapping the coordinates of certain islands but I only found a few of them so they actually weren’t that much help.

I feel that this issue could have been fixed in a couple of ways for example how about nothing is indicated on the map but once you discover a new area or island it is automatically added to the map for you.

If you go on-line you can find coordinates to the different areas an example would be that the private cabana is situated on E5 this makes it much easier to traverse the vast world of Wind Waker so they could have fixed the map problem by giving you the opportunity to purchase the coordinates to certain areas in shops or from travelling merchants in the game.

The most obvious fix to this would be to simply provide the player with a physical map of the ocean packed in with the game that has all of the coordinates written onto it (Similar to the Grand Theft Auto games).

Finally for Wii U players the map is seen on the game pad so it would have been cool and useful if we could have drawn our own coordinates on the map using the stylus and the game pad.

This is the the only thing about the game-play that I really dislike so lets now talk about the more positive aspects of the game

Link timed button command attack

With Link being a being a master swords man you are going to be doing a lot of sword fighting in the game and a new attack introduced in Wind Waker is a timed button command, this new attack can be triggered by the player targeting the enemy and not taking damage for a few seconds, then once the command appears they must hit the button before it disappears and if they are successful they will take hit the enemy while dealing some major damage.

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Another staple in the Zelda franchise is that in every game a new item is introduced and this time around we got the deku leaf, the deku leaf essentially allows Link to float through the air until his magic meter runs out this is useful for when you are trying to reach far away ledges and platforms, another use to this item is you can blow gusts of air with it which is mostly used to power certain mechanisms in the game luckily this particular use of the deku leaf uses no magic.

This wouldn’t be a Wind Waker review if I didn’t talk about the Wind Waker, the Wind Waker is essentially this games version of the Ocarina, through out the game you will learn new songs you can play using the wind and to the usual Zelda fashion some songs are needed in the game when others are not so important but still useful, for example if you are using the original sail while sailing you will need to sail in the direction of the wind and if you play the Winds Requiem you can change which way the wind is travelling making sailing to your destination much faster and easier, another example is the Ballad of Gales which allows you to warp to previous locations you have already visited.

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Since the game mostly focuses on everything beyond the main quest you would think that the Side Quests would be very creative and unique compared to side quests in other entries of franchise, but this really isn’t the case as some side quests are genuinely a lot of fun and really stand out such as the Pictograph Quest which has young Link taking Photographs for an aspiring photographer on Windfall Island but apart from the few like this most of the Side quest are generic fetch quests having the player collect 20 of a specific item to be rewarded with rupees or heart pieces, one of the most awesome rewards for completing one of these quests is that Link gains his own Private Cabana which was an unexpected treat.

Both the Gamecube and the Wii U version of Wind Waker have very tight and responsive controls which are expected from a Nintendo Title, the Wii U version is the most beneficial version to play if only for the player not having the need to pause the game in order to switch between items and treasure charts due to the quick and easy access to these menus on the Wii U game pad.

The Wii U port also has a less aggravating final fetch quest at the end of game due to Nintendo kindly removing the majority of the Triforce charts allowing players to only collect three of them compared to the original which made the player collect eight.

The most unique aspect to the Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker is its visuals, Nintendo decided to steer away from the realistic and dark visuals which had become the staple of the series and decided to go with something much more happy which gave more of a childlike and innocent vibe which produced some beautiful final results.

Here are a few screen shots I found of both versions of the game.

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Link looking like a boss on the bridge

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Wind Waker is a very lively and well animated game, the game itself looks like an artist has gone absolutely nuts with colours and detail, this is also the first time we have really seen Link have a personality as he clearly shows his feelings and emotions using facial expressions through out the game and by using these facial expressions Link can take some magnificent selfies using his pictograph, the graphics are outstanding and are what help make the game really stand out as a unique title in the series.

Wind Waker also has an amazing sound track that really suits the games atmosphere and charm, what makes Wind Wakers soundtrack really stand out is that it always remains fun no matter what situation it is presenting itself too, for example most of the music in the game is fun happy and cheerful but even when the game gets to its more serious moments such as dungeon crawling and emotional scenes the music changes to suit these new environments but it also keeps its fun and cheerful presence as if its reminding you not to take the game to seriously and this is a game design choice that I really enjoy.

The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker is one of the most amazing entries in the franchise due to how unique it is, it was the first game in the series to have a less serious plot, feel and pace which is a touch that I believe only this game could pull off,  the game focuses more on adventuring than it does the main quest which is something that I believe Nintendo should implement into future Zelda titles, because Wind Waker chose to focus more on side questing and exploration I wish that the game had more interesting side quests and better map system because personally this left me very disappointed, the graphics are an interesting and risky choice but they work really well and honestly help give the game more personality, the music also carries this same risk but the final result really works in this type of game.

I will probably be crucified for saying this but I don’t think Wind Waker is one of the best Zelda titles although I believe I could have been if certain aspects of the game were executed better.

I may not have enjoyed Wind Waker as much as many of its fans but I do believe that it is a very unique entry to the franchise due to its personality and its charm.

Wind Waker 6.8/10

Wind Waker HD 7.2/10

Thank you for reading my review of The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker for the Gamecube and the Wii U

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

Also me and some friends have recently started playing games together so please check out our YouTube Channel Hoenn Rangers, We haven’t played Wind Waker yet but I’m sure we will at some point whether we play the Game Cube or the Wii U Port.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYmN8F6Q-eGOD0gp0anCdcQ

 

Shadow the Hedgehog (PS2,GC,XBOX) Review

Shadow the Hedgehog is one of the most hated games in the entire Sonic franchise, almost everyone I spoke to told me to avoid it like the plague, but very few people said that the game was a fun experience and that they think the game is underrated, so I had no idea what to expect when playing this game, a Sonic game with guns? This is either going to be awesome or its going to be extremely stupid. Now that I have played through the entire game I am ready to share my opinion with all of you in the style of a review. Could it really be that bad?

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There are 22 levels in Shadow the Hedgehog Unlike traditional 3D Sonic games which have individual character stories, Shadow the Hedgehog uses a path system allowing the player to create their own story. Depending on what path you take you will either end up being a Hero or a villain at end of the game.

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Almost every stage in the game will give the players three objectives one dark objective, one neutral objective and one hero objective depending on which objective the player finishes will determine which stage they will get to next. If the player finishes a dark mission they will move up on the path system, if they finish a neutral mission they will move forward on path system and if they finish a hero mission they will move down on the path system.

During one play through of the story mode, the player will play six stages depending on whether they do the dark or hero mission on stage six they will have to fight one of two final boss fights for the path they are on, earning the player one of ten endings.

The path system could have worked out really well if Sega didn’t mess it up, the problem with the path system and my biggest issue with game is that in order to unlock the final story you need to get each ending, which means playing through the majority of stages a number of times and yes you need to beat the game TEN TIMES!!!!. I didn’t mind the first few runs of the game but after a while I got sick of seeing the same stages over and over again especially Westopolis because with it being stage one I had to play this stage during every single play through of the game.

On a lighter note the game controls were perfect I didn’t have a problem with game once even when Shadow was moving really fast I was still able to have really smooth control over him, this is something that I don’t often find in 3D sonic games so it was nice to play a game that when I died it was my fault and not game glitches or bad controls.

Let’s talk about guns

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For some reason Sega thought that giving Shadow the ability to use guns to kill his enemies would help the game appeal to the older demographic, but it just looks really silly and ridiculous, seriously no one wants to run around shooting aliens with an AK-47 in a Sonic the Hedgehog game. As silly as the guns are, they are not my issue with this gameplay style, the problem is that the game auto aims once Shadow gets close enough to an enemy which is great but it becomes an issue when you get surronded by enemies and you cant shoot them all usually resulting in your death. If Sega gave the player the ability to aim they could take out enemies using clever strategy and skill and in my opinion the use of guns would have been a lot more constructive and would work a lot better to the players advantage. 

Shadow the hedgehog does have a pretty good sound track, it does lack in vocal tracks but some of the level themes are really catchy, my personal favourite level theme is Circus Park.

Circus Park theme

All of the vocal tracks in the game are really good, I love All of me by Crush 40 (intro music), credits music for beating an ingame path is ok at best, but Never turn back by Crush 40 (the credits music for the final story) is by far the best track in the game and is one of my personal favourite vocal tracks in any game ever.

All of me by Crush 40

Never turn back by Crush 40

So we have determined that the game has good controls, an ok path system that gets repetative and boring after the first few play throughs,terrible gun mechanics and for the most part a pretty kickass sound track but how does it look?

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Wow this game is ugly, from looking at the pictures you wouldnt think that Shadow the Hedgehog was a PS2, Gamecube and Xbox game, The graphics are flat and blocky, the colours are ugly and bland, when characters talk the lips dont sync to what they are saying, the voice acting is cringeworthy, the enemy and level designs are very basic and not very interesting to look at and I am not kidding but I have played Dreamcast and ps1 games that look better.

Jet Set Radio (Dreamcast)

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Croc Legend of the Gobo’s  (PS1)

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Final Verdict

Shadow the Hedgehog was an ok game, it had really good controls for a 3D Sonic game and a really enjoyable Soundtrack but it fell short due to its bad game design, ugly graphics, and a lame path system which makes you beat the game ten times just to unlock the Final Story. The Final Story has Shadow saving the world in the end of the game and this essentially means that creating your own path was a waste of time making the entire game completely pointless. Shadow the Hedgehog had things going for it, but it wasnt enough to make it a good game

3.8/10 This game sucks.

I hope you enjoyed this review

If you repect my opinion I will respect yours

By Padawan

My top 5 Mario games

Wow another blog that’s related to Super Mario good lord I just can’t leave this guy alone, there is good reason behind my slight obsession with everyone’s favorite Italian plumber though and that is of course the games and the fact that he is the Mickey Mouse of video games. There are a lot of Mario games so choosing just five for this list was one tough job. Of course I’m only basing this list on games that I have actually played and I will only be choosing one game per console.

Image5. NEW Super Mario Bros (NDS)

ImageLast Thursday I gave my honest opinion on the original Super Mario Bros for the NES in the style of a review, even though it is one of my favorite games off all time it does have a few issues one of them being the fact that the game has a very small music library and after a few hours listening to the same music can get very frustrating. I also mentioned that a lot of the levels look similar and the bosses are all pretty much the same these reasons are why the game didn’t make this list. Nintendo released not a sequel but more of a remake of the game on their hand held system the Nintendo DS it fixed all of the previous issues with the original game, it has stunning new visuals and even the Bowser boss battles have been changed immensely I love this game even more than the original and it truly deserves a place in this list.

4. Super Mario RPG (SNES)

ImageRemember when Square Soft (Square Enix) teamed up with Walt Disney and together they gave us the Masterpiece Kingdom Hearts, Well before Disney Square Soft teamed up with Nintendo to create a Mario based RPG as a farewell gift for Mario Fans entering the world of 3D gaming, as expected what got released was yet another Mario Masterpiece. Role Playing had never been used in a Mario game before and as you may expect Nintendo was not sure how the game would turn out, luckily for us Mario Fans it was great the best thing about the game in my opinion is that it is not all an RPG you still need to tackle some platforming areas which all have a 3d look to them I gather this was to help get players ready for Super Mario 64. The paper Mario Series may have never happened if it was not for this games success.

3. Mario Kart Double Dash (Game Cube)

ImageHow could I do a top 5 list for Mario games without mentioning the Mario Kart series and more specifically Mario Kart Double Dash for the Nintendo Game Cube, What makes this game better than all the rest well for one thing you race with two characters in your Kart one throws Items while the other drives the Kart, even though apart from this the game is similar to all the other Mario Kart games in the series it does provide us with one of my favourite maps DK Mountain and of course like I said before two racers instead on one. Mario Kart Double Dash, double the racers, double the power, double the fun.

2. Super Mario 64 (N64)

ImageTime for Mario to step up to the 3D gaming in his first proper 3D game Super Mario 64, What makes this game so great well pretty much everything apart from the biggest pain in ass the camera which is a serious issue in a lot of N64 game, but if you can ignore the camera problems you will realise that you are playing a brilliant game which really showed that Mario can be awesome in any 2D, 3D or any other kind of D wait that don’t sound right. As well as the game having tight controls, a humorous story, enjoyable levels, a free roaming over world and amazing music Super Mario 64 is also the first game that I recall allows you to hear that sweet Mario voice we have all grown to love.

I have previously done a full review of this game if you would like to read it please click this link https://ragglefragglereviews.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/super-mario-64-n64-review/

  1. Super Mario Bros 3 (NES)

ImageIf you read my review of this game you probably expected it to be number one on this list and it has every right to be. Super Mario Bros 3 is what I consider to be a perfect game now granted it doesn’t live up to its remake New Super Mario bros wii but that game didn’t come out in 1991 so I feel Mario 3 deserves a place in the spotlight instead. The game provided us with an overall world for each land, secrets and mini games hidden within them as well as levels and boss fights, a great soundtrack, amazing graphics for the time , good multiplayer and you could even play the original Mario Bros on the multiplayer mode, a good and enjoyable story line with loveable characters, New power ups such as the tanookie suit, the game never seems to get boring and finally it has Mario in it where could you wrong Super Mario Bros 3 was my favourite Mario game back then, it is now and chances are its going to stay that way.

Want to read my full Review of Super Mario Bros 3 click this link

https://ragglefragglereviews.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/super-mario-bros-3-nes-review/

Games which almost made the list

Super Mario Galaxy (WII)

Super Mario Sunshine (Game Cube)

Super Mario Land 2 (GB)

Super Mario World (SNES)

Super Mario Bros (NES)

I hope you enjoyed my Top 5 list

The games in the list are of my own opinion if you respect my opinion I will respect yours

This Blog was written by Dan