Castlevania: The Adventure (1989) Gameboy Review

Castlevania: The Adventure was the third Castlevania game released chronologically and was the first title to be exclusive for a handheld system, It was developed and published by the video game developer Konami, it was released in 1989 for the Nintendo Gameboy in Japan and North America prior to a 1991 release in PAL regions.

The game is set 100 years before the events of the first Castlevania game and stars Christopher Belmont who after years of Dracula causing havoc decides he’s had enough and travels to his castle ready to slay him.

The gameplay is fairly standard with it being a very basic 2D action platformer, in traditional Castlevania style you attack with the whip which can only be used in the direction you are facing so quick reaction times are a must in order to survive, it should also be noted that Sub Weapons are not in the game, a very odd choice which really takes away from the experience.

Quick progression is very important in the game since players are given a time limit to finish each of the four stages and their boss, overall the game is very short and I didn’t find the time limits to be anywhere near running out as I completed each level, as usual there are limited lives but there is little reason to worry because continuing from a Game Over only makes you repeat the stage you died on.

The boss fights are very forgettable and its a shame because in the two previous titles the boss fights were at least interesting and had some strategy and weaknesses to sub weapons, here they all feel very much the same and die fairly quickly.

I can at least say that while its not as good as before, the music here is really fun and is impressive for Game Boy standards, I would argue that the music may be the best part of the game due to the rest of it lacking in many ways.

Castlevania: The adventure is extremely disappointing as an entry in the Castlevania series, due to its limited stages, lack of sub weapons and overall boring gameplay nothing about it stands out compared to what we have had before, even the infamous Castlevania 2 is more enjoyable as a gaming experience than what we got here, the controls are clunky and the hit detection is a little off making the whole game even more frustrating than it needs to be, it had a good soundtrack but that’s about it and unfortunately I really cannot give this a higher ranting than a 2.5/10.

I am only grateful that the next Castlevania game I am reviewing is at least another good one so please look forward to that.

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Hocus Pocus (1993) Review

Hocus Pocus is a Disney Channel Original Movie which was directed by Kenny Ortega and was based on a story from David Kirschner and Mick Garris.

The film follows the resurrection of the child devouring witches the Sanderson Sisters and the work of a teenage boy, a love interest and his little sister to stop them.

Upon its release the film was not a commercial success and left Disney at a serious loss, it wasn’t recieved well by critics at the time although it has garnered a cult following in more recent times.

The film opens in Salem 1693 to a young boy named Zachary Binx who fails to rescue his sister from the witches and is cruelly punished to become immortal in the form of a black cat.

The witches are hung for years of crimes, unaware the towns folk do not realise that the sisters cast a curse that will resurrect them if a black flame candle is lit by a virgin on All Hallows Eve.

In the year 1993 Teenager Max Dennison lights the black flame candle and resurrects the witches putting the entire town in serious danger, in the film he is joined with two more heroes his sister Danni and love interest Allison.

The heroes are very well casted and its difficult to find any faults with their acting, my favourite out of the three was Thora Birch who played younger sister Danni Dennison, I often dislike child actors but she was very good and in my opinion the best character in the film. I liked her tough attitude and quick thinking in many areas of the movie.

The Sanderson Sisters (From Left to Right) KATHY NAJIMY, BETTE MIDLER, SARAH JESSICA PARKER

For most people the best part of the film may be Sanderson Sisters themselves but I’m going to be honest and admit that I really dislike them and It’s not because of their villainous nature. I found them extremely annoying the performances were very over the top which I think was the idea but as an adult with no nostalgia for the film all of the screaming and high energy performances were a little too much for me to find enjoyable.

The special effects are very impressive for a TV movie and are phenomenal for such a small budget, the best work is the life like effects of the Black Cat also known as Zachary Binx, there is a particularly memorable scene where he is run over and resurrected due to his immortality.

There are many memorable musical numbers in the film and I really liked all of them, “I put a spell on you” is the most well known but “Sarah’s Song” a melody used to lure unsuspecting children towards the witches was my favourite as I enjoyed It’s more calming ritualistic melody compared to the high energy of the other music.

I would be lying if I said that Hocus Pocus was one of my favourite child friendly Halloween Flicks but I can appreciate it for what it is, a simplistic tale of resurrected witches who are stopped by teenage virgins and a talking cat, it has a easy to understand premise, great music and excellent visual effects, I just found it a little bit annoying which is far less of a crime compared to some other films I have had to review for this website.

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Prometheus (2012) Review

As the first prequel to the beloved Alien franchise Prometheus at the time was exciting and had garnered high expectations from the franchises fan base but was it what we had expected or did we leave theatres disappointed?

The film may catch viewers by surprise as it doesnt just look at the origin of the aliens but at society as a whole. The movie opens to a humanoid figure consuming a substance and disintegrating, we are then introduced to our main characters before the plot starts to unfold.

I really dislike the casting in the movie because in my opinion apart two characters everyone is really forgettable, I couldn’t tell you much about this crew apart from there a geologist, an android called David and the female lead of the film Elizabeth Shaw.

The two characters that were memorable were fantastic, Noomi Rapace is a great actress and gives some really emotional work in this film, this is best seen in a really well directed segment where she is told by David she is pregnant, since she in infertile she realises that there is an alien inside of her and in a panic she quickly uses the ships mechanics to remove it from her stomach before she is killed.

David is the best android the franchise has ever had, All of the movies previous to this had an android and all of them have been portrayed by very good actors and actresses but from a personality point of view I think David is the most relatable and a lot of this is in part due to the portrayal by Michael Fassbender and Davids ability to make his own decisions beyond his programming this is shown later on in the film.

Thankfully compared to Alien 3 the CGI here is really good and I think it works really well and is better than some CGI you see in films today, the alien designs are really cool and have a prehistoric look to them which helps to emphasise that this is an origin story so these creatures have not evolved to the form we know and love.

I like Prometheus a lot as it helps me to appreciate the origins of a franchise I hold very dear to me but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard to follow even for people who know the original movies and I think if this was your introduction you may be left confused and not quite understanding what you just watched.

Overall an interesting start to the Alien prequels and one that I would recommend seeing but at least see the original film first to get an idea of the xenomorphs and to compare the complete difference in tone, pacing and story telling between the two movies.

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Revenge of Creature (1955) Review

The Season of Spooks and fear is among us and even though this year due to unforeseen circumstances parties and trick or treating has been cancelled, we can still enjoy some spooky media so please join me for Halloween 2020 !

Revenge of the Creature is the sequel to the much beloved sci fi-horror classic the Creature from the Black Lagoon

Check out my review of the original here

https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2017/10/23/creature-from-the-black-lagoon-1954-review/

The opening of the film really caught me off guard because it used a mixture of the previous films footage as well as new scenes briefly explaining the events of the last film and this ultimately leads up to the creature being captured and put on display in a sea park.

The majority of the film takes place in this sea park and I have mixed feelings about this because while the film is scripted well enough that the simple environment of the aquarium do work well from a story telling narrative it is difficult to not miss the amazing shots from the North Florida Wakulla Springs.

Compared to its predecessor I would argue that this film is more light hearted and sillier but I think it works more in its favour because of this, a great example of this is the scene in the laboratory, it opens to a monkey painting and then eventually the films shows us a goofy moment regarding a missing lab rat from a scientist played by Clint Eastwood, this film was actually his debut role although he isn’t credited as being in the picture.

In this movie we get see the creature on Land much more than we do in water, he’s also more brutal and more animalistic with his mannerisms and the way he kills his victims, It’s hard not feel sorry for him in this movie because all he wants is to get back to the Black Lagoon and apart from trying to take the female lead with him to the water he doesn’t do anything that doesn’t have just cause, he only really kills people when he feels threatened and doesn’t do much harm to others.

There is a great scene film in this film where the creature escapes its captivity and all of a sudden the humans that imprisoned it panic and do not know what to do, in this scene the creature is only trying to leave the sea park but everyone is so terrified of him that he has to fight through their terror to try and get back to the sea so that he can breathe.

The casting is great in this movie and all of the characters are very likable, the three main cast members give the best the performances and give the most screen time, of course the creature is yet again played by Ricou Browning for the underwater scenes and for the land segments Tom Hennesey takes over the role. The two main love interests and scientists in the film are Clete Ferguson and Helen Dobson played John Agar and Lori Nelson.

I really enjoyed this movie and I like it better than the first, the original film is great but its a little slow in places, I like this version because it has silly moments that mix well with the horror, and with creature now having more screen time and some more on land segments his character is more entertaining and overall more memorable, at least this was the case for me and from what I understand a lot of people would disagree with my opinion as the original is often regarded as a much better film, either way there is still one more movie in this trilogy and I’m going to be taking a look at it later on in October so look forward to that.

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