Nausicaa of the valley of the wind (1984) Review

Welcome to an unusual Christmas series, this year I have decided to discuss the Studio Ghibli feature films collection, some of these films I have already discussed on this website many years ago but I feel its time to update those older reviews. The reason I have decided on this series is because while they don’t have anything to with the holidays I find myself watching them every Christmas and I think they will be more interesting than regular Christmas movies so without further ado lets begin with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

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Based on a Manga of the same name Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is a fantasy-science fiction movie based in a post apocalyptic world. The film was directed by Hayao Miyazaki a true legend of film making and animation. This was Miyazaki’s second film after The Castle of Cagliostro in 1979

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A thousand years after an apocalyptic war the land has been turned into a toxic jungle with giant and deadly bugs roaming around and causing trouble for the humans that remain.

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Nausicca the Princess of the Valley of the Wind has the ability to befriend various animals and creatures, she is able to calm the angry bugs that are causing trouble for the humans and her main goal is to find a way for the humans and the bugs to exist side by side in peace.

The Vallley of the Wind is one of most peaceful places left on earth, the rest of the planet are at war with eachother and fighting to gain power and resources after the effects of the war, unfortunately one of these of these other lands decides to attack the Valley of the Wind and kills Nausicca’s father leaving Nausicca to try and keep peace and prevent any other person or bug from being needlessly killed.

 

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I really enjoyed Nausicca’s character, she is a great warrior who also has a plan of action when she needs too, shes emotional and cares a lot about the people and creatures around her but she wasn’t my favourite character in the film that would have to be Lord Yupa a swordsman and secondary father figure to Nausicca, he’s voiced by Patrick Stewart in the English dub and that might be why I like him so much, other noticeable names are Shia LeBouf, Uma Thurman, Frank Welker, Jodi Benson and Mark Hamill.

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I love the art style and colouring used in this film, its dark and gritty with a style of animation that looks like a mixture of anime and a comic book, the rough design of the bugs are my absolute favourite part of the film but I enjoy the beauty of the world in which this film takes place especially the jungle with its plants and trees that are imaginative and full of creativity and are one of the films most standout features.

Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind is an excellent film that takes a world of wonder and throws into land of a chaos, its a tragic movie that shows the effects of humankind and its greed and selfishness that ultimately causes nothing but heartache, corruption and pain to the world that we often take for granted and Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind shows this in ways that will be remembered forever making it a very important part of the history of animation.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind

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Rayman Origins (2011) (PS3,360,Wii,Vita,3DS,PC) Review

2530004-the_wacky_world_of_rayman_origins_by_cuddlesnowy-d4oli36It had been 11 years since a proper Rayman game had been released and for the longest time fans of the series accepted that Rayman was essentially dead and we just had to accept that those bloody Rabbids had taken over, but in November of 2011 we were all surprised and shocked when a new Rayman title hit retail store shelves.

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Rayman and his friends are chilling out and having a nap at the Snoring Tree, however they are snoring so loudly that they disturb the living corpse of an old woman in the Underworld which in this game is called the Land of the Livid Dead, in retaliation the old woman sends an army of nasty creatures to Raymans world, these creatures capture all of the Electoons and trap Betilla the Nymph (Not a fairy yet) and her sisters, of course Rayman manages to escape and its up to him to rescue all of the Nymphs and the Electoons so he can get back to his nap.

6936403695_fbcac3330f_bI was very pleased when I found out that Rayman was going back to being a 2D platformer because we haven’t one of those on a home console since the original and that came out in 1995, however the gameplay does differ from the original game and in Rayman Origins case that is a good thing, first of all you do not need to collect all of the Electoons in the game to face the final boss however there is another collectible in the game called Ruby Teeth and if you manage to find all 10 you will gain access to the Land of the Livid Dead which contains a bunch of secret levels and a secret boss, the game has 10 main worlds and each contain a bunch of levels and half of the worlds contain a boss fight, the majority of the levels consist of fast paced platforming where your goal is get from point A to point B as fast as you can while hunting for Electoons along the way.

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Some stages bring back our Mosquito friend from previous installments and he helps carry Rayman through side-scrolling, shooting segments, there are a lot more of these here than there were in the original game but they are a little bit easier which I think was a nice touch because lets be honest in the original Rayman they were much too difficult.

672667-rayman-origins-windows-screenshot-chasing-the-treasure-chestIn order to collect those Ruby Teeth I mentioned earlier you will need to complete a treasure chase stage and I hope your good at platformers because these are really tough to beat, you will need to sprint,jump and swim your way through all of these levels, they are side-scrollers that scroll really fast and you will need really quick reactions in order to survive each one, they last around 2-3 minutes long and if you die you go back to the start of the level every time.

You can play the game as multiple characters but honestly I didn’t find that any of them appealed more to myself than Rayman and a lot of the unlockable characters are just re- skins, these characters are not just for one person though as the game can be played with up to four players which is really cool and is a first for a Rayman Campaign.

 

This game without a doubt has the best soundtrack to any Rayman game I have yet to play, the music is upbeat and fun so it always keeps you wanting to carry on playing, every track has its own personality and the composers have used different instruments in every track to help shape its uniqueness and general quality, I have linked the entire soundtrack above so please feel free to check it out and I promise you wont regret it.

ubisoft_rayman_origins_09Rayman has had a re-design and I know a lot of people really like it but personally I do prefer how he looked in the first game however the world around him I really enjoyed looking at, the artistic detail is outstanding and the team behind the visuals need a reward for how fantastic this game looks, it honestly feels like you playing though a cartoon and with the games sense of humor and smooth gameplay it only goes to show how great a proper Rayman animated series could be, and yes I am aware that there was one in the past but like many people I don’t like to talk about it but maybe I will write a review of it at some point to show you just how insulting it actually was.

Rayman Origins is a great game which is to be expected with all of the praise it received upon its release, I had a blast playing through this game and I think anyone else would as well even if this is your introduction to the series, its not quite as difficult as the first Rayman game but it is still very challenging and is a promising renewal of the Rayman series, the only thing stopping this getting full marks is that the unlockable characters were not very special considering that they are your reward for beating all of the challenges including time trials and collecting all of the Golden Toons.

9.7/10

and yes a Rayman 3 review will be coming at some point

I hope you enjoyed this review of Rayman Origins

 

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Rayman (1995) (Atari Jaguar, Sega Saturn, PS1, GBA, PC) Review

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The recent Rayman games Origins and Legends have gotten a lot of praise since they have been released and they are very popular among both old and new fans of the series, I recently ordered a copy of Rayman 2 and I’m still waiting on that to arrive and while I am waiting I figured it would be a good idea to revisit the original game and too see if it still holds up today.

 

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Rayman has a fairly simple plot, Mr Dark steals a ball of energy called the Great Protoon, due to the Great Protoon being taken away smaller balls of energy called the Electoons are scattered across the land and are stuffed into cages by Mr Dark’s minions, a local magician calls upon Rayman to find and rescue all of the Electoons and to defeat Mr Dark returning the Great Protoon back to its resting place.

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Rayman is an action/adventure platformer with a twist, your job is not too simply get to the end of each stage but too also find and rescue six Electoons in every level.

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This may seem like a farily easy task but I guarantee that this will be one of the most difficult games you have ever played, Rayman has no mercy not only are the majority of the cages hidden in ridiculous locations but most of them require you to find small sparks in order to make the cages appear and these sparks are very easy to miss due to their small size, for example one stage requires the player to jump off a cliff to a cloud below, they then need to crawl under a small spike covered roof and then fight a rock troll only to be brought to a dead end, the player will need to walk to the left wall and look up they will then see the spark which they must jump up to grab, they now need to back track to the top of the cliff where the cage will be waiting.

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Not only is getting the cages difficult but the general game play will also provide quite a challenge, the world that surrounds Rayman may seem innocent but almost everything is out to kill you, Mr Dark’s Minions are not too dangerous as most of the time they can be taken out with a couple of punches, the biggest threat is the environment I tended to be killed the most by pitfalls and spikes as this is a very difficult platformer which requires precise jumps and good reflexes in order for you too survive.

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But fear not as a fairy called Betilla will help Rayman through out his quest by occasionally giving him new powers.

  • Telescopic fist: This ability allows Rayman to attack his enemies by literally throwing his fist.
  • Hanging: This ability allows Rayman to hang off of ledges, this is very useful for helping rayman reach far platforms as well as avoiding enemy attacks
  • Grappling Fist: This ability allows Rayman to swing from these floating pink and red rings, some sections of the game require this ability to complete
  • Helicopter: This ability allows Rayman to hover temporarily
  • Running: This ability allows Rayman to sprint

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Rayman does have its fair share of Boss fights, all of these battles are very creative and each is unique in how it attacks and how it can be defeated, my favorite battle is against the Mosquito in world 1.

With a game as difficult as this tight and responsive controls are extremely important, luckily Rayman’s controls are perfect, the game runs smoothly with responsive controls so if you die it will always be your fault no matter how difficult the game gets.

Graphically the game looks outstanding, the game goes for a cartoon style look and it really pays off, it suits the silly atmosphere of the game perfectly some of the finer details really help the game feel more realistic than it needs too which is a nice touch, while playing you will notice plants blowing in the wind and when Rayman steps on a light platform you can see the effect that his weight has on those platforms, these days such small details may not seem too special but for a game that came out over 20 years ago this is very impressive.

Even more impressive is the games soundtrack, this is in my opinion the best part of the game and its definitely what I look forward too the most when I play, you can sense the amount of love that went into every track in the game, almost every world uses a different music style to help fit the atmosphere from the charming and happy music of the first world all the way to the rock and roll soundtrack that accompanies the final boss all of it is amazing.

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The original Rayman is one of the greatest games ever made, sure its hard and it can be a real pain in the butt especially when it comes to collecting all of the cages, but with all that aside you still have a fantastic platformer and if collecting the cages is putting you off playing the game then I recommend you use the cheat to unlock em all because honestly that’s what I usually do as I hate collecting the cages and some of them are just too hard to find which is the games only real flaw.

Different Versions of the game obviously do have some big differences due to console restrictions but if you want to play the game in all its glory I recommend either you pick it up on PS1, PSN or PC, some of the handheld versions of the game are very restrictive but the best version in opinion is the GBA port (Rayman Advance), its lacking in the awesome soundtrack, and a few levels are completely missing but apart from that everything is essentially the same and I recommend picking it up as its quite cheap.

Rayman still holds up today and is still mostly a fantastic game the only problem is how cryptic getting some of the cages can be, other than that this is a game I highly recommend

8.6/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Rayman

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

Saturday animated movie review: Walt Disneys Tarzan

Tarzan was the first movie I ever saw in the cinemas as a kid and it was also the first disney movie I had ever seen.

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Tarzan is the story of baby who lived in the jungle with his family and at the same time some gorillas also had a baby. Sadly a cheetah kills the gorilla baby and it also kills baby Tarzans parents, the mother gorilla finds baby Tarzan abandoned and so she takes baby tarzan to her gorilla partner Curshak but sadly he dosent like Tarzan as much as she does. Later on the movie skips ahead a few years and we see that tarzan is now a young man, the movie than skips ahead a few more years and Tarzan is now an adult. This is where the movie kicks in as Tarzan meets the british love of his life Jane.

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Jane had come to Africa with her father and the soon to be villain of the movie Clayton (I don’t know if their is any relationship between Clayton and Janes family) to see the Gorillas.

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Like I said Clayton is not straight away the villain until we find out that he dosent just want to see the gorillas and he actually wants to shoot them so he sell their heads and fur for money and the lenghts he goes to, to try and suceed in this.

Tarzan may not have a bad ass villain song but it does have a bunch of amazing tracks by none other than the music legend Phil Collins, some really smooth and rather impressive animation  and in my opinion one of the best story lines in disney history. If you have not yet seen Tarzan then I reccomend that you watch it.