Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released on the eighth of July 1999 and is the third book in the Harry Potter franchise, for a lot of people this is their favourite book in the series and I can see why, for one its scarier and darker than both its predecessors with maybe a few exceptions in the Chamber of Secrets plus it introduces some fan favourite characters including convicted murderer Sirius Black and the new defence against the dark arts teacher Professor Lupin.

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After his some what demise in the last book the lack of Lord Voldemort is not too much of an issue especially with the addition of Sirius Black being a potential threat as well as the terrifying Dementors who are guards at Azkaban, the Dementors will suck out the happiness of anyone who comes near them and what makes the Dementors even more frightening is their kiss, a Dementors kiss will not only suck out a persons happiness but also suck out their soul leaving the victim to a fate worse than death, Harry learns a new spell called Expecto Patronum which can help fend off the Dementors protecting Hogwarts Castle from Sirius Black.

As with the previous books a few moments in the Prisoner of Azkaban differ from the film however not much really stands out here, for example an entire section focusing on Harry Receiving a Fire Bolt broomstick is in the book but in the film Harry doesn’t receive it until the very end completely skipping over this plot point, the big twist with Scabbers is focused on more in the book and Hermiones new cat Crookshanks actually plays an extremely useful role here unlike in the film.

 

Harry Potters third adventure is yet again an excellent read and is a great addition to the franchise, I can understand why a lot of people really love this book but personally I still enjoyed Chamber of Secrets slightly more.

Thank you for reading this review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book in the Harry Potter franchise, the book was written by one of my all time favourite authors J.K. Rowling and it was published in book stores on the second of July 1997 just one year after the release of its predecessor.

As a child the Chamber of Secrets was my favourite book in the Harry Potter series and at the moment that opinion is still the same, Harry’s second year at Hogwarts spawned many of my favourite characters and moments in the story, I would say that the most memorable for me would be Gilderoy Lockhart the new defence against the dark arts teacher who is a snobby, big headed and manipulative liar which is written to be obvious to the reader at first but throughout the book you start to learn of some of the more horrid things he has done to become as famous as he is, of course you cant forget the introduction to the Whomping Willow either, the Whomping Willow is an extremely violent tree that lives on the Hogwarts Castle grounds, its notorious for attacking anyone or anything that comes near it by swiping at them with its massive branches and in most cases causing very serious damage, then there’s Harry’s weird first encounter with Dobby the house elf and finally you cant forget that this book also reveals the true identity of Lord Voldermort who had not been completely defeated at the end of the first book.

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Speaking of the first book it should be noted that the second entry in the series is much darker and is therefore mildly scarier in comparison, the book deals with some rather grizzly topics including the murder of a student, hearing voices, numerous students being petrified by an unknown force and certain creatures wanting to devour the flesh of Harry and Ron.

If you are a fan of the Harry Potter movies then you may be interested in reading the second novel since a lot of moments in the book were missing from the film adaptation, in particular my favourite chapter “The Deathday Party” where Harry, Ron and Hermione join the ghosts of Hogwarts in the dungeons to help celebrate Sir Nearly Headless Nick’s day of passing is one of my fondest memories of reading the Chamber of Secrets as a child, on top of this J.K. Rowling yet again does a fantastic job of making all of the characters lovable apart from the the more villainous ones and when the mystery of the book is finally solved it actually links back to the early chapters which is great because not only does that prove that J.K Rowling didn’t just throw together some half arsed answer but the reader is able to actually solve the mystery themselves before the answer is revealed which only makes the book worth reading even more.

Thank you for reading this review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

That was the last review for this month but April is going to be entirely dedicated to one of the most influential film directors of all time so look forward to that.

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

 

 

Disney Infinity 1.0 (PS3, XBOX 360, WII, WII U) (2013) Review

 

Well I finally caved in and bought Disney Infinity

 

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Disney Infinity is Disney’s answer to the Skylander’s franchise, in a very similar fashion to its competitor Disney Infinity requires the players to purchase toys in order to play the game.

disneyinfinity590-100521268-origThe way this works is that you will need to place the figures you have purchased onto the Disney Infinity base, Once you place the characters onto the base they should then appear in the game (ADD ONE FOR SINGLE PLAYER AND TWO FOR MULTIPLAYER!!), once the characters appear in the game you can then either play around in the toy box or you can play a play set (Campaigns), to access a play set you will also need to add that play set piece to the Disney Infinity base.

If you decide to play in the toy box, you will be in a sandbox style game which allows you to simply build your own Disney Infinity worlds, which you can then play in these worlds with various characters including those who are not part of any play sets.

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I’m not a massive fan of the toy box mode but I’m sure that the reason for this is my lack of interest in sandbox style games, the toy box mode has a lot to offer and can be great way to pass time when your bored or have friends over, you can add many different objects and toys to your world and many of these can be interacted with, for example if you add a car you can drive it, if you add a weapon you can use it to destroy enemies and you can even build race tracks.

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You can earn new toys and items for your toy box by using the Disney Infinity Vault, You gain these items by using a random selector, you can change the items by selecting shuffle and you can gain an item by selecting spin, this will give you a random item from the list that is shown at the time.

NjOr5WFWhen you add new characters to the Toy box they will be added to the Hall of Heroes, the Hall of Heroes is where you can see your entire collection of figures presented as statues, once they reach level 1 they will gain a bronze statue, but if you level them up even more they can be upgraded to a silver or gold statue.

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Any power disks you have will also be added to the hall of heroes once they are added to the Disney Infinity Base, there are two types of power disks, circular power disks which can grant characters new powers and abilities and hexagon shaped power disks which can add new items and themes to the toy box.

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When your done messing around in the toy box, you may want to play some of the many campaigns that are available within Disney Infinity 1.0.

The Starter pack comes with three different Campaigns which are based on different Disney properties, the campaigns that come with the game are Monsters University, The Incredible’s and Pirates of the Caribbean, each of these campaigns offer a different game play style.

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The Monsters University play set has the player taking control over Sulley, Mike or Randall, the objective is too help Monsters University gain more fear it week tokens than their competitive college Fear Tech, the way you earn these tokens is by scaring over students, vandalizing the Fear Tech campus and by setting up pranks all over both the MU and Fear Tech Campuses.

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The Incredible’s play set is full of intense super hero action, you can take control of all the entire Parr family (Mr Incredible, Mrs Incredible, Dash and Violet) and as a small treat you can even play through the entire play set as the films villain Syndrome, I think this is awesome but I would have loved it if Jack-Jack was a playable character or even better would be Frozone.

I WANT SAMUEL L JACKSON IN MY DISNEY INFINITY GAME DAMMIT !!!

Your mission is too clear the city of Omnidroid’s, rescue the pedestrians from super villains, help the police capture and arrest many creative villains and trouble makers and finally defeating Syndrome once and for all.

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Last but not least the Pirates of the Caribbean play set is an adventure style game filled with swashbuckling action and piracy, you can play as either Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa or Davy Jones.

In this Adventure you must find hidden treasures which when combined will create a super weapon which can be used to help defeat the dreaded Kracken, a unique game play style to this particular play set is that it offers the unique ability of customizing and sailing your own ship across the ocean giving the player a sense of freedom for exploration and adventure.

Each of these play sets allow the player to purchase new items in the toy store for example in monster inc you can buy a paint ball gun which you can use to shoot students and in Pirates you can buy new swords for your character and new cannons for your ship.

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Graphically Disney Infinity has a very cute and very interesting art style, the majority of the game looks very cartoony and everything is drawn like a toy, for example when you play as a character you will notice that you can see where the arms and legs have been attached to the body, also when you die in the game your character will explode separating its limbs from its body.

I really like that the game looks like a giant toy set because this helps give off the illusion that the figures you buy are toys and not just regular figures, this makes spending your money on Disney Infinity feel more rewarding when compared to similar series such as Skylanders and of course Amiibo.

The Audio is nothing special as its either just the music from the movies or its new tracks that are generally not that memorable or interesting.

Disney Infinity 1.0 is a great game if you like the Disney properties, due to the type of game that Disney Infinity is it’s not worth the money if your not willing to empty your wallet on all the characters and play sets, apart from this it has great controls, adorable graphics and is genuinely very addictive and a lot of fun to play, the only downside is the lack of decent audio tracks and lack of game play for people who don’t want to get into the collection side of things.

7.0/10

Personally I am a collector and I will be releasing collection updates when I upload small reviews of the additional play sets.

My Collection so far 7/29

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I hope you enjoyed my review of Disney Infinity 1.0

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

 

 

 

The Care Bears Movie (1985) Review

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First appearing on television screens in 1981 the Care Bears are a group of colourful bears that live in the clouds, each bear is named after a trait and each bear has a symbol on their belly representing this trait.

The Care Bears originally started their debut through TV specials airing between 1983 till 1985. In 1985 the Care Bears were given their own television series which was very popular amongst young children but before the television series was released we were given a movie based completely on the Care Bears toy line.

The movie starts in an orphanage where one of the staff voiced by Mickey Rooney is reading the story of the Care Bears to the children.

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The Care Bears live in a land of clouds called Carealot, The Care Bears have the ability to travel to earth to help those who don’t care any more, the reason they do this is because the stability of Carealot depends on people on earth caring about each other, while visiting Earth the Care Bears try to befriend two young siblings called Kim and Jason.

Kim and Jason

Kim and Jason have given up about caring for people because both of their Parents left them at an orphanage at a young age, the Care bears want to befriend Kim and Jason to show them that they will not always be alone and to hopefully get them to care again.

Not much later and we are introduced to some new characters a magician and his apprentice Nicholas.

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Nicholas is a young boy who has never had a friend in his entire life, this has made him very depressed and angry at the world, an evil spirit trapped inside a book encourages Nicholas to set it free and in exchange it will teach Nicholas how to be more recognised.

A desperate Nicholas agrees to the deal and he uses a key to unlock the book releasing the spirit inside.

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The evil spirit starts teaching Nicholas dark magic which Nicholas uses to turn people against each other and eventually taking all of the care out of the world.

Of course this has massive effects on the stability and the well being of Carealot so the Care Bears quickly investigate and learn about Nicholas and the reasons he is angry at everyone, after quickly realising that all three of these children need people to care about they all decide to head to earth to find Nicholas, but just as they start to transport the transporter is destroyed sending the children and the two Care Bears to a land between worlds.

The remaining Care Bears decide to get aboard a boat and travel down a river in the clouds in the hopes that they will find the children and the missing Care Bears,  they eventually find the children and the other two Care Bears in a new land called the Forest of Feelings, here they meet some new animal friends including Brave Heart Lion, Swift Heart Rabbit, Playful Heart Monkey and Lotsa Heart Elephant.

animalsThe animals join the children and the Care Bears in their quest and they all head out together on a big adventure to save Nicholas from the evil spirit.

The animation is basic to say the least, it looks more like a direct to VHS release than it does a movie that got released into theatres, it’s not terrible though the animation plays very smoothly and the movies use of shadows and shading is very impressive, the only real problem I had with the animation is that most of the time the characters lips don’t sync with what they are saying and this can be very distracting.

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The songs in this movie are just awful, they are all very forgetful and genuinely annoying with lyrics that make very little sense, every song in the movie honestly feels like it’s just there for filler and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the case.

The Care Bears Movie is not one of the best children’s movies I have ever had to sit through, the plot is not very interesting, the animation is fairly basic with the exception of the films use of shadows and shading, the songs are not fun to listen too in the slightest and apart from a pretty cool villain the movie is really bad.

I suggest skipping this one unless you have very young children who you want to keep quiet for an hour.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Care Bears Movie

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

 

 

Kings Quest 3: To Heir is Human Review

I feel that I am on a Quest to find a Kings Quest game that I will love, I am yet to find King Quest Gold but I may have found some very fine Silver with Kings Quest 3: To Heir is Human.

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You don’t play as King Graham this time around, instead you play the role of Gwydion a slave of the evil wizard Manannan, the wizard has a habit of adopting children at birth and raising them to be his slaves and killing them as they reach adult hood on their 18th birthdays. I gather that Gwydion figured this out and now has to escape as he is nearing his 18th birthday.

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The plot is a little more complex this time around but not so complex that it may confuse its younger audience, again there is a more in depth look into the plot located inside the games manual.

Just like in kings Quest 2 you are not able to use the mouse at all within the game but using just the keyboard to move and communicate with game works perfectly, I had no issues at all with the controls during my playthrough.

Kings Quest 3 surprisingly has a similar yet also rather different game play style to the first two games.

for example it is still very heavily fairy tale based having the player deal with characters such as

Medusa

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and the Three Bears from Goldilocks

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the game is also time based, during the game you will have a certain amount of time to perform certain tasks, the most important of all of these tasks is getting rid of the wizard, when the clock reaches 5 minutes the wizard will embark on a journey and then you have 25 minutes to leave the house to collect the ingredients for a transformation spell.

Time based tasks like this work really well and help add a lot more challenge to the game but there are times when the time based sections of the game don’t work at all.

For example one section of the game has you hiding in the hold of a pirate ship until it reaches land, there is noting to do in the hold and you have to wait for at least 10 minutes, this section really sucks and could have benefited from a mini game of some sort.

Pirate ship

Earlier I mentioned spell casting, casting spells is a really important part of the game you can cast spells by collecting certain ingredients and following instruction for the spell in the wizards secret laboratory.

These spell instructions are actually located within the games manual and this is really cool because it makes it feel like you are reading an actual spell book,this was also a really clever way to prevent people who pirated the game from reaching the games ending and eventual plot twist.

Kings Quest 3 provided more audio than the previous games, sure it wasn’t much more but it was enough that it kept the game interesting, my biggest issue with the first two games was the lack of audio because honestly it made them a little bit boring, because of this I really appreciate the extra bit of love from the audio department for this instalment of the Kings Quest series.

Overall this is my favourite Kings Quest game so far, the inclusion of a new character, a new game play style and the extra effort put into the audio was much appreciated, also it was really cool that Sierra had the player use the manual to communicate with the game.

Kings Quest 3 was really fun and I had a great time playing it, but sadly it suffered from some really annoying issue with a couple of the timed events and this prevented the game from not just being a good game but a great one and that really sucks 7.5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Kings Quest 3

if you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan