Book Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

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Dracula is one of the most famous novels ever written and the story from the book has been adapted into new stories, television, film and other media more than most other books.

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The famous story was written by Irish Author Bram Stoker and was first released to the public in 1897.

In the story Count Dracula wants to move from his castle in Transylvania to the city of London where he plans to bite unsuspecting victims and spread his vampire curse.

The book is not written as the author telling you a story but it instead written as diary entries of the main characters, letters between those characters and the occasional news paper article.

It took me a while to adapt to this style of writing as I am not used to it however after only a few chapters I was hooked, the writing style kept me engrossed in the events of the book as it was much more realistic than the usual format for a story.

I enjoyed all of the main characters as they each were likeable and as the reader I was rooting for their survival and at times the book had me worried for what may have happened to them as the book went on.

The book has a very creepy and Gothic vibe to it which I really liked, the best parts for me were when vampires were involved in some manner.

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I was surprised to how different the novel was to the excellent 1931 film adaptation starring Bela Lugosi. It almost felt like a completely different story which was fantastic as I never knew what to expect in regards to how the plot would unfold in the novel

Dracula is an excellent book which I would highly recommend horror fans to sink their teeth into for a creepy and memorable story that stands the test of time and with that I say Happy Halloween for 2019, I wish you all a safe and haunted holiday and I will update this website now in November.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Dracula by Bram Stoker

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Metroid Fusion (2002) Review

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Metroid Fusion is the fourth entry in the Metroid Series and is the second game to be released on a handheld console. The game was developed and produced by Nintendo.

It takes place after the events of Metroid Other M and as of this review it is at the end of the chronological timeline of events.

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While flying over the planet SR388 Samus is attacked by an Alien Organism called X, she crashes her ship but is thankfully rescued by the Galactic Federation, the organism affects her nervous system and almost kills her before she is cured by having Metroid DNA pumped into her body, with her new DNA she is now able to absorb the X parasites and gain energy and ammunition from them however she is now damaged by cold due to cold being a Metroid’s weakness.

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An explosion on the space station that Samus is being recovered on gets damaged by an explosion, Samus is commanded to investigate, its here that she is introduced to a new computer system she names ADAM after her ex-commanding officer, the computer informs her that the X parasite is able to clone its prey and that SA-X (That’s Samus Aran X) have been made and are highly dangerous, and its from here that Samus and ADAM work together to find a way to destroy the parasite and save humanity.

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Metroid Fusion is a unique game in the series because for the first time the game-play changed drastically, the main idea is the same you do explore various locations and find many secrets such as Energy Tanks, Missiles and Power Bombs but this time the parasites make enemies a lot more difficult to kill, the reason for this is because when you destroy an enemy it releases the an X parasite and if you don’t collect it fast enough it will either re-spawn the enemy or will attach itself to another enemy making it more powerful.

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The game is a lot less cryptic than its predecessors this is due to ADAM telling the player where they need to go to reach their objectives, the game actually pin points almost everything on the map making the adventure feel a lot less immersive and much easier than you might expect, the only thing that really bothers me about this is that a lot of free exploration was not available here and it sucks because you could explore freely in all of this games predecessors, security doors no longer require weapons to open either as you can find security rooms that can unlock all of them, I actually prefer this idea as it allows Samus to save on ammunition.

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Even though the game does hold your hand a little bit by guiding the player throughout the majority of the adventure, the locations are just as beautiful and fantastic in art design as they were in Super Metroid.

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Throughout the game Samus can upgrade her suit and with each upgrade she will gain new abilities and sometimes a new colour, however none of these colours are the traditional orange, this is because orange is the colour of the Samus Clone SA-X that at some points in the game will hunt you down and try its best to kill you, this creature is extremely powerful and does major damage to the player if they are hit, its actually quite scary and reminds me of the film invasion of the body snatchers.

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There are many bosses to fight in the game and all of them are creepy and have amazing features and I absolutely love the design of all of them, my favourite is the nightmare a big robot with a goopy face that melts the more damage that you do it, its honestly quite tragic watching its face melt off but in a Nintendo game its also really cool, the issue that I really had with boss fights is that they all get killed the same way and apart from the final boss I remember killing all of them with just missiles and compared to Super Metroid where the bosses were killed in more creative ways this was little disappointing.

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What is new about the boss fights here though is the core that they leave behind after blasting a boss with missiles they will die and release a core, the core will also need to be blasted with missiles in order to release an X parasite that will give Samus one of her past abilities and weapons.

A few changes were made to some weapons here, the high jump and jump ball are now combined, the missile upgrades all act as one weapon instead of separate weapons, the X-ray scope is gone however the Super Bombs can now show secret passages instead and the grappling lazer is not in the game at all.

One other thing to note is that the spin jump is now much easier to pull off, in Super Metroid it is quite difficult to master but here players should get the hang of it after a few uses.

The soundtrack is fantastic due to the Gameboy Advances sound capabilities, just like in Super Metroid the music is creepy and dark, Samus is trying to survive and the new threatening parasite has made enemies more powerful and she is afraid but feeling hopeful, the music really gives this impression through the way its orchestrated and is generally really good, but its not all creepy as a good number of action packed tracks are used to compliment the slower ones, this is best shown when Samus runs into the SA-X and is running away trying to escape from the terrifying clone of herself.

With all of its flaws I actually really like Metroid Fusion, it is linear in its gameplay but the environments are fantastic, it has great boss designs and its plot makes the game a lot scarier than its predecessors. What I think this game did really well was that it showed the player from the beginning that the hero Samus Aran who has survived many missions can die, she is only human like the rest of us and that makes the adventure feel much scarier and more important that players try to survive, the game is full of great details and even has voice acting which is actually really good for what you would expect from a gameboy advance game.

I only wish that you were able to explore more freely and that the game was not as easy as it is, however on the flip side this is a great game for people who want to be introduced to the Metroid series as compared to the previous games this is the least frustrating.

7/10

hope you enjoyed this review of Metroid Fusion for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance.

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Castlevania 2: Simons Quest (1987) Review

What a horrible night to have a curse.

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Before reading this review please check out my review of the first Castlevania game

https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2018/07/06/castlevania-nes-review/

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Castlevania 2 Simons Quest is a 1987 NES action plat-former created by Konami, it takes place many years after the first game. During the final boss battle of the first Castlevania Dracula’s body parts are spread across the land and Simon is cursed, this curse does not affect Simon for a very long time and its during the events of Castlevania 2 that Simon Belmont must find the various body parts of Dracula and burn them in an attempt to remove the curse.

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The game is very different to its predecessor, while it is an adventure plat-former it executes this completely differently, this game is much slower due to players having to grind enemies to earn heart currency, a lot of very cryptic puzzle solving and back tracking is also required for players to progress through the game. The puzzles in this game are really unfair and too cryptic for players to figure out without using a guide, a prime example is having to kneel down next to a lake, after a few seconds stairs and a platform appear that allow you to walk into the lake that would normally kill you instantly, another really frustrating part of the game are fake blocks that appear everywhere and most of the time they kill you, you can see through these by throwing holy water but this becomes very boring when you are throwing holy water every step in the castles to avoid a fall to your death.

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There are many objects you can acquire in the game by either killing bosses or buying them from NPC’s, for me the most useful item was the holy water as it helped to destroy fake blocks and made killing enemies that were below me very easy. The sacred flame is another very useful item that makes a wall of fire that can do serious damage to enemies however it costs currency to use it. You can find use in some of Dracula’s body parts for example you can use his rib as a shield to deflect fire balls and his heart can be shown to the ferryman to find a path to one of the castles.

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There are not many bosses in the game and all of them are really easy including the final boss, the two other bosses you encounter can just be ignored unless you want to fight them for new weapons.

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What many people dislike about this game is the day to night cycle and vice versa, it happens on a time loop and really has no point to it other than the illusion of days passing, it really sucks because you cant use towns during night time and you may need to heal or buy a new whip or sub-weapon and a lot of the time you will find your self just waiting around for time to pass.

The soundtrack is great I prefer this to the music in the original game because I feel its a lot more immersive and each track has a great beat to it, my favourite song in the game is bloody tears, this is the song that I associate with the Castlevania series, its a fun and adventurous track that suits the game-play style perfectly.

Castlevania 2: Simons Quest is one of the most hated games in the series for a lot of the reasons I covered in this review, however while it may seem that I have complained a lot about the game, I really do not think that its as bad as its made out to be, yeah its slow and cryptic and the day to night cycle will make you want to tear your hair out but it is a much more immersive game as you will be talking to a lot of town folk and finding religious churches to recover health, the majority of it takes place outside of Dracula’s castle and provides a lot of really memorable areas and enemies, its has a very creepy feeling to it which is perfect for this series and the platforming while at times frustrating for the most part works quite well. I wouldn’t say it a good game but I wouldn’t say its a bad game either.

5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Castlevania 2: Simons Quest (1987)

Happy Halloween 2019

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Will Vinton’s Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1991) Review

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In a forest on Halloween Sheldon Snail and Wiltshire Pig are testing out a new carnival ride on their friend Vince, the caring Sheldon is worried for his friends safety while Wiltshire Pig is more interested in making a large profit from those who ride it.

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After an accident with the ride causes a crater to be made in the ground, the two friends discover Frakenswines Diary which tells the story of the mad scientist and the monster he created, Wiltshire Pig is overly excited about this as directions to the doctors castle and lab are left in the diary encouraging both Sheldon and Wiltshire to seek them out in hopes of finding the monster.

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The entire movie is made using Claymation and is very impressive to look at and admire for how creative the project is, we don’t see much claymation work these days so this was very nostalgic to someone like me that grew up in an age where this style of animation was regularly used in movies and television.

The short is very funny and charming, the funniest parts are when Wiltshire Pig is trying to convince the monsters in the castle that he’s not alive so that they wont harm him or throw him out, the most hilarious encounter is with his dead grandmother, Wiltshire never attended her funeral and begins to panic trying to give an excuse as to why.

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My favourite clay model in the short was a fat green monster that Sheldon and Wiltshire meet when they first enter the castle, the Frankenswine Monster was also a really fun design and its personality was unexpected and hilarious after all of the effort the duo went through to find it.

I had never heard of this special until today and after watching it I think its going to end up being an annual occurrence to me, the whole special was really funny and the animation style was fantastically made and a joy to watch, I would highly recommend checking this short animation out, as of this review the film is available on YouTube and I assure you it is excellent. I only wish it was a little bit longer as I enjoyed it so much.

9.5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Will Vinton’s Claymation Comedy of Horrors (1991)

Happy Halloween 2019

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Dracula’s Daughter (1936) Review

Before reading this review use the link below to check out my review of Dracula from 1931

https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2017/10/07/dracula-1931-review/

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As a sequel to one of the greatest  horror classics of all time its a very difficult task to try and replicate the influential masterpiece of the 1931 film starring Bela Lugosi. This film does not have Lugosi to give his chilling performance so the new vampire played by Gloria Holden had to really try and wow audiences.

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Gloria Hoden pictured here next to co star Irving Pichel was a beauty on the screen and gives a wonderful performance by portraying a character that does not want to be a monster but is still driven to hurt and kill others in order to get her fix of human blood.

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The film begins where the last movie ended, Van-Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) had just slain Count Dracula but he is unfortunately captured by two policeman who arrest him and take him to Scotland Yard for questioning

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While Van-Helsing is in custody the Countess Marya Zaleska steals her fathers body and burns it in the hope of turning her into a mortal as she is desperate to remove her cravings for blood and live free of the curse of being a vampire.

The movie is tragic and very sad, you really feel sorrow for the Countess and are left on the edge of your seat praying that Van-Helsing can prove that Vampires exist and is able to save himself from the gallows or a sanitarium. Van-Helsing calls for Dr Garth (Otto Kruger) a Psychiatrist and one of his ex-students for help defending his sanity.

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Draculas Daughter does not have the same impact as the original film but I wouldn’t say its only because of a lack of Bela Lugosi but also because both of the films have a different atmosphere and pacing, the original film was creepy and slow but this one is faster paced and at times rather comical, I would argue that Dracula (1931) was scarier but that Dracula’s Daughter is more entertaining due to it packing more of a punch and is a lot more lively

I hope you enjoyed this review of Dracula’s Daughter (1936)

Happy Halloween 2019

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) Review

220px-Invasion_of_the_body_snatchers_movie_poster_1978The 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a science fiction horror film that was directed by Phillips Kaughman and stars Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Lenord Nimoy, Veronica Cartwright and Jeff Goldblum, it should also be noted that this is a remake of a 1956 film of the same name and is based on a book called The Body Snatchers which was written by Jack Finney.

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Matthew Bennell a health inspector in the city of San Francisco begins to notice a pattern of people saying that their love ones have changed some even going as far to say that they are not the same people.

bodysnatchers1Later on in the film it becomes obvious that something supernatural is happening to people as human beings are being copied and replaced when they are re-birthed by plants leaving their old bodies to corrode at a rapid pace and a new pod person taking their place in life.

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The film has a great premise and fantastic cast to go with it, out of all of the big names in the movie my favourite performance was by none other than Jeff Goldblum who played Jack although I felt that everyone was the perfect choice for their roles.

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This film doesn’t really have a unique alien design as the aliens are essentially clones of the people they snatch, however the birthing process is very disturbing and gross, watching the pod people come out of the flowers always gives me the shivers.

The 1978 remake of Invasion of the body Snatchers is a disturbingly good time and a film with a very interesting premise, its one of the best horror films on the market and is one you should try and stick on this Halloween.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) if you respect my opinion I will respect yours.

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Thankyou for Joining me this Halloween for Extraterrestrial month, stay safe while at your Halloween Parties and out trick or treating, I couldnt have gotten through this month without your support and for that I am eternally grateful

Happy Halloween from Raggle Fraggle Reviews

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Super Metroid (1994) Review

downloadSuper Metroid is a Super Nintendo Entertainment System Game and is the third game in the Metroid Franchise, it is a direct sequel to Metroid 2 Return of Samus.

Similar to its predecessors Super Metroid is an Action Adventure Game which was developed and published by Nintendo.

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After bringing a baby metroid to scientists for study, Samus receives a distress call after Ridley steals the baby metroid and kills every human in his sight, Samus travels back to the Planet Zebes (Location in first Metroid game) in order to rescue the baby metroid once again.

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Like its predecessors Samus is first only armed with her trusty arm cannon however with some exploration using the new map system you can easily find new weapons and upgrades, introduced in Super Metroid was the gravity suit which allows Samus to move freely through liquid environments such as Lava, the grapple beam which allows Samus to grapple and swing from certain terrains making traversing certain areas a lot easier and the final new addition worth mentioning is the hyper beam that is only available for one segment of the mission however it is the most powerful weapon in the game and is great fun to use.

That_s_one_doomed_Space_Marine_As I previously stated Super Metroid introduces a map system however it is still far from easy to not get lost, the map while useful will only update if you either reach an area of the game therefore unlocking it on the map or by finding hidden map rooms that will unlock large chunks of the map for you however this will not show where bosses or upgrades are hiding so be wary of  where you are going.

hqdefaultSuper Metroids visuals are stunning and are easily some of the best in the series, the artists pushed the SNES to its limits on this one giving us a perfect blend of dark and protruding colours leaving the game with a creepy yet exciting feeling to it, I had a blast seeing all of the different areas of the game however I must say that the boss designs took the cake for me, I really enjoyed to designs for Kraid (pictured above) and Crocomire however they were all fantastic and suited their respected areas nicely.

 

As much as I really enjoyed the first two Metroid games I wasn’t too fond of the soundtracks as I found both of them lacking in tracks and quality, I am pleased to say that Super Metroid has a stellar soundtrack, its creepy and a lot of fun, the game has plenty of music throughout choosing to use slower and more creepier tracks to emphasise the the emptiness and danger of the corridors while using faster and more exciting tracks to pump up the adrenaline for more dangerous scenarios such as boss fights and escape sequences.

 

Super Metroid is an amazing entry to the franchise and is a fan favourite of many Metroid players, it is better than its predecessors in every regard due to its beautiful and artistic graphics, amazing and scary soundtrack and great controls, the only issue I had with the game is very small and that is trying to perform a move called a wall jump, it was awkward to pull off and at times it had me a little frustrated but its only really needed once in the game so its not so bad, Super Metroid is an amazing journey and it is well worthy of a 9.8/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Super Metroid if you respect my opinion I will respect yours.

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