Castlevania (NES) Review

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Finally after all this time I get to talk about one of my favourite video games of all time Castlevania.

Castlevania was developed and published by Konami and was released on September 26th 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System

castlevania-title-screenEvery one hundred years Count Dracula rises from his coffin and wreaks havoc on Transylvania, each time Dracula comes back he is defeated by a member of the famous Belmont family who have been protecting Transylvania from supernatural threats for generations, the year is 1691 and once again Dracula causes trouble attracting the attention of Simon Belmont who along with his trusty whip makes his way through Dracula’s castle hoping to defeat the evil vampire lord.Castlevania_NES_14

The game is an action plat-former and takes place in different areas of Dracula’s castle, players will need to survive a number of levels before facing a sub boss, the platforming is ridiculously difficult and not with good reason, Simon attacks enemies by either whipping them or hurting them with a sub weapon, this is fine but the problem is that if you are hit by an enemy you dont just take damage but also get knocked back and lot of time this leads to Simon falling to his death, this was obviously programmed into the game in order to add additional challenge but honestly the game is so difficult anyway that this is just annoying.

120808_castlevania-6For example the image above is just two screens of the game and as you can see there are a lot of things to avoid including a lot of Fleamen which are some of the most difficult enemies to avoid in the game.

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Three things can really help you through out the game making your adventure a little easier

The first is Pork Chops which you can find hidden in the walls and if you eat these they will restore your health.

Next you have sub weapons such as daggers, crosses and axes which can be used at the expense of some of the hearts you can find by whipping all of the candles throughout the game, all of these sub weapons are great however the best and most useful is the Holy Water, this is the easiest way to kill most of the bosses in the game including the notorious fight with the Grim Reaper and even Count Dracula himself.

Collecting the Sub Weapons can become even more useful when you find the upgrades, you can make your weapons up to three times more powerful by finding power-ups which are mostly found in candles or bricks but can appear randomly too.

Easily one of the best soundtracks in the NES library Castlevania has one kickass music library, the music is bouncy and fun but does have a creepy vibe to it now and again, but in general the music is so catchy that I guarantee you wont be able to remove it from your brain, my personal favourite track in the game is called Wicked Child and is the theme for stage 7.

Castlevania is an amazing game but I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece the controls are a little stiff and the game is way more frustrating than it needs to be, on the other hand everything else is perfect the visuals are fantastic for an early release, the soundtrack is one of the best and the game is genuinely very good, for the first entry of the series its a really good start but it could have done with a few more tweaks 7.9/10.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Castlevania for the NES

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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Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga (GBA/3DS) Review

Mario is back and this time its an rpg?

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Mario and Luigi superstar saga was released in 2003 for the Game boy advance it was developed by a team called Alpha Dream and was produced by Nintendo, as mentioned the game is an RPG and was likely made due to the success of the first Paper Mario game, Super Star Saga was very popular after its release and is still a fan favourite to this day so it was of no surprise that a remake was made for the 3DS I am just surprised that the remake didn’t get released before this, so which version of the game is better?

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The plot between both games is exactly the same with the exception that the remake has an additional campaign.

An evil witch called Cackletta and her minion Fawful go to Princess Peaches Castle with a plan to steal the Princesses voice and replace it with explosives, a Toad travels to the home of Mario and Luigi informing the two brothers about what happened, when they both arrive they find Bowser who was hoping to Kidnap Princess Peach but decided against it after he noticed the Princesses rather dangerous new set of pipes, instead the Koopa King decides to team up with the Mario brothers in order to help Peach get her voice back meaning that he could kidnap her without risking the destruction of his castle.

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The Game play is where the differences really start to show and the 3DS version has gotten a lot of backlash due to the changes it has made, in both versions the battle system is turned based and as far as I am aware the way you fight is also the same, the brothers can both jump, hammer, use magic and perform combination attacks in order to defeat enemies, the 3DS version is slightly more lenient than the original as I found avoiding attacks and performing combos here a lot easier than I did back in the day, there is also an easy mode that can be switched too at anytime so the battle system isn’t too complicated for younger fans either.

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The game is also filled to the brim with puzzles that the brothers must solve when travelling across the games large map, not many stand out to me but one of my favourites is the mine cart game and the barrel matching game on the pirate ship.

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The visuals in the original game are outstanding, it’s full of exciting and explosive colours, the animations are beautiful not to mention impressive for a game of that era and the little touches help bring a lot of emotion and well timed comedy to the game, the remake while also beautiful doesn’t really push the 3DS to it’s full potential and it’s more of a nicer re skin of what we already had than anything new and unique however it’s still nice to look at and still helps the game maintain its charm and originality.

The music is fantastic, the game has a great soundtrack which varies between nice and cheerful music to scary and intense tracks and each help to build up the mood of the game

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The biggest new addition to the remake is Bowsers minions a brand new 6 hour long campaign, the game is not what you would expect, I wanted a full RPG experience but it’s more of a game that focuses on building an army and levelling up your troops, I personally don’t like this type of game style so the fact that I really couldn’t get into it does not mean that you won’t

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Mario and Luigi superstar saga is one of the best RPG’s you can buy it’s fun, easy enough to learn and it gives a whole new and interesting spin to the Mario universe, the remake adds a whole new campaign and a new coat for the visuals which makes it worth buying if you like the style of games such as age empires and star craft otherwise I wouldn’t spend money on the 3DS remake as this is the only massive bonus available, you can also purchase the original game through the Nintendo Eshop for much cheaper than the 3DS version, I love both versions of the game so it’s hard for me not to give both version a very high score but I think the 3DS remake beats the original by a nudge due to the additional content and clearer visuals.

The orginal game 9.4/10

The 3DS remake 9.6/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Mario and Luigi Super Star Saga for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo 3DS.

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

Luigi’s Mansion 2 (3DS) Review

Well it’s about time I got around to this

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Luigi’s mansion 2 or Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon in North America is one of the most unexpected sequels to a Nintendo game in the history of the company, the original game was released in 2001 as a day 1 release for the Nintendo Gamecube, as much beloved as the game is now at first it didn’t sell many copies and only gained it’s popularity a long time after its release, this could be the reason why Luigi’s Mansion 2 while an unexpected release was much different to its predecessor.

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After Luigi captures King Boo in a painting at the end of the first game, Professor Elvin Gadd foolishly sold the painting in a garage sale and not long after this King Boo managed to escape from his prison.

A magical moon shaped crystal which floats above Evershade Valley is used to keep the ghostly residents friendly and harmless towards the living however King Boo destroys the crystal and leaves the pieces in the hands of powerful ghosts in various different mansions, after the destruction of the dark moon crystal all of the ghosts become hostile and dangerous and with the professor being too scared too fix the problem himself he sends Luigi to all of the different mansions with the hope that he can bring back peace once more.

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The gameplay here is quite different to what many fans of the original game would expect

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Instead of allowing fans to explore the mansions freely the game uses stages with specific missions for players to finish.

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Boos are back but they are captured much differently, each stage has one hidden and they can only be revealed using the dark light expansion of your poltergust 5000 once the boo has been revealed Luigi must grab it’s tongue and fling it across the area causing it large amounts of damage and once it’s health is completely depleted the boo can be captured, if you collect all of the boos in a mansion you will unlock a bonus mission where you must clear out all of the ghosts as quickly as possible, another collectable are gems each stage had a few gems hidden inside and collecting all of the gems in a mansion will unlock a Luigi statue which players can collect.

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The bosses are really fun and some are actually rather difficult however as creative as these can be they lack the charm and personality of the portrait ghosts in the original game.

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The graphics are really good, I won’t compare them to Luigi’s first adventure as I find that a bit unfair due to the release gap between the two but here the graphics are smooth and charming with fluid animations and a fantastic use of light and dark colours to help make up the atmosphere of the game, the ghosts are more comical in their design this time around which is a nice change of pace but even though this is a family friendly game they could have added a few more scares.

The controls are not fantastic I found general movement felt great but sucking up the ghosts really strained my thumb as you need to pull the circle pad back quite hard, it actually made me worry a little bit that might be damaging my brand new 2DS

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Luigi’s mansion 2 is a great game and was a nice return to the 3ds library for me however it never felt like the Luigi’s mansion sequel I really wanted as it lacked in a lot of be things I love about the first game but even with that said I think it is well worthy of 6.7/10 I wanted more but what I got was still a really good game and it was a lot of fun so bring on the third game if it ever gets made

I hope you enjoyed my review of Luigi’s Mansion 2 for the Nintendo 3DS

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

Kirby Star Allies (Nintendo Switch) Review

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Released on the 16th of March 2018 Kirby’s latest adventure has become popular amongst both fans and critics, the game makes a few changes to the regular Kirby formula which helps to make the game play feel unique while still being similar to its predecessors.

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On a distant Planet a Crystaline heart is blown up by a mysterious individual, the heart fragments are shot across the galaxy where they land on various planets including Kirby’s home planet of Dream Land, many characters are possessed by the heart fragments making them extremely aggressive, Kirby is also affected but instead of becoming dangerous Kirby gains the ability to befriend anyone he pleases, with his handy new ability Kirby heads off to find out whats going and prepares himself to save the galaxy.

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similar to most other Kirby games this one is a plat-former but as previously stated it does add a fair bit to the average Kirby formula, Kirby is still able to consume enemies and shoot them back out in the form of a star as a means of attack and most enemies will allow Kirby to gain their abilities if they are completely consumed, whats new is the ability to throw hearts at enemies forcing them to join your team, you can have up to three extra team members to help you beat the levels by killing enemies and solving puzzles, this doesn’t always work so well as I found that I occasionally needed to sacrifice a team member by consuming them as they wouldn’t commit to simple tasks such as lighting a fuse meaning that I has to do it my self at the loss of an ally although this wasn’t too much trouble as you can easily find someone else to join your team in their place, it should also be noted that some enemies can add elements to Kirby’s weapons making some enemies easier to defeat, you can also play as a main series characters such as Meta Knight by unlocking them in bonus areas called Dream Palaces, these palaces and bonus levels are unlocked by finding giant pink buttons in certain levels.

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Another fun ability Kirby can perform with his friends is the various podiums you find through out the different planets, these podiums require you to have a full team of allies so that you can create various forms, the most the common is the friendship circle but my personal favourite is the train, it was so much fun racing through the train segment at full speed not too mention very cute.

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Boss fights are what you would normally expect from a Kirby game but that isn’t a bad thing, they are still fun to fight and and its not as if they aren’t unique at all, the King Dedede fight stands out to me a lot and the final battle is extremely dramatic although I wont spoil that here.

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The visuals are amazing this is Kirby looking the best he has ever looked, the graphics are smooth, the game has some great uses for shadows and shading, colours vary from bright and cheerful to dark and gritty in order to fit the mood and atmosphere of the different planets and even smaller touches such as fire sparks being caused by fire attacks and the backgrounds being slightly enlarged and stretched out when passing over it during a water attack, this really goes to show just how much effort was put into the game by the designers.

The soundtrack of the game may just be my favourite yet of any Kirby game, it has all of original music as well some updated versions of classics tracks from the past, check it out above.

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Some Minor spoilers regarding bonus content below

Bonus content in this game while fun isn’t too much to get excited for, the main collectable of the game are puzzle pieces and if you collect a certain amount you can unlock one of many pictures inspired by past Kirby games, there are a few extra mini games available from the moment you start the game one is a lumber jack game where you must chop down trees faster than your opponents and the other is a game where you must bash a meteor with a baseball bat hoping that it goes further than the other players, once you beat the story mode you will unlock a boss rush mode and time trials which allow you too play as various enemies from the game, if you beat this game you can then play as dream palace characters such as Dedede and Meta Knight.

Kirby Star Allies is a really fun game and is a great entry to the series however it is far too short, its also very easy which isn’t surprising for a Kirby game but honestly there is no challenge at all in the main story, the boss rush can get a bit tough but that doesn’t make up for a story mode which only managed to kill me a handful of times, I know Kirby games are easier than most but this seemed a bit ridiculous, however its still worth picking up mostly due to the bonus content the player gets rewarded through out the game, the graphics are wonderful and the soundtrack will have you humming along all day, also at some point in the game a nod to one of Kirby’s earlier games is made and its honestly so cool and is worth discovering for your self.

Kirby Star Allies is a nice return for Kirby and I hope that its sells enough games to encourage some new story DLC but until then this game is good enough but definitely could have done with being a bit longer 7.3/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Kirby Star Allies for the Nintendo Switch

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

 

 

Super Mario Land (GB) Review

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Released in 1989 along side the Nintendo Game Boy, Super Mario Land was the first ever hand held Mario game and to be honest the strangest as well.

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Like most Mario games this one is also a 2D Platformer but its a little bit different to your average Mario experience for one the game takes place in Sarasa Land not the Mushroom Kingdom and instead of rescuing Princess Peach its instead Princess Daisy, Sarasa Land has some new enemies and is a completely different place, the worlds are mostly based on different countries in a similar manner to Mario Odyssey although not quite as creative in my opinion, the idea is to get from point A to Point B through the different levels although in this game a fair portion of the stages are side scrolling shooters in the style of old space shooters such as Galaga, there are only 12 levels in the game so it really doesn’t take long to finish I would even argue that its quite easy for people who are used to playing games such as this so don’t expect much of challenge or a very immersive experience.

Super Mario Land is fun game but to be honest there isn’t much too it and the new enemies and world while nice are a bit too weird for a Mario game, but with tight controls and half decent graphics this isn’t one too pass up if you get the chance to play it, it is available on the 3DS Eshop which is a plus, even though this isn’t one of the best Mario games on the bright side the sequel is a lot better and is an entry to the series I am excited to cover in the future

5.2/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Super Mario Land for the Game Boy

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

Bayonetta 2 (2014) Review

The Witch is back !!!

After the success of the first game a sequel to Bayonetta was inevitable but unfortunately it never happened and Sega soon lost focus on the franchise that is until Nintendo of all companies bought the rights and made the series their own and released a trailer for a new game exclusive to their systems, of course this upset a lot of people who don’t play Nintendo but from the companies point of view this was a brilliant marketing stunt forcing people who desperately wanted to play the new Bayonetta game to buy their systems and it worked so good for them Bayonetta 2 was released on the Wii U in 2014 along side the original game before it was re-released in a similar package this year for the Switch.

Thankfully the plot this time around is fairly straight foward, Bayonetta and Jeanne are out doing some Christmas shopping with the pathetic Enzo carrying all of their new stuff, Angels attack an aeroplane stunt show so Bayonetta and Jeanne suit up to take them out and with a new set of guns from the merchant Rodin this should be easy but unfortunately during the fight one of Bayonettas monsters escapes from its master and knocks Jeannes soul from her body which then gets dragged into Inferno, Bayonetta kills the monster but now has to get to the Gates of Hell to rescue Jeanne before her soul is completely consumed.

The game play is essentially the same as the original with a few changes, for those who don’t know Bayonetta is a hack and slash game series inspired by the Devil May Cry games, the first game follows the adventure of an Umbra Witch who kills Angels by shooting them with guns she holds in her hands and the heels of her shoes, she can use multiple weapons and items to help her survive and upgrades can be bought from Rodin through out the games, some supple changes in this game compared to the original is Bayonettas slightly different fashion choice in both Witch and Panther form, local multiplayer and a much easier gameplay experience which is still challenging and fun.

There is only one thing I hate about this game and that’s the character Loki, he has an extremely important role in the game but he is just so annoying, he wines a lot, he has an annoying voice and some of his dialogue is straight up cringe worthy

The soundtrack is just as great as the first game, it has a lot of orchestral and vocal tracks which are all a lot of fun to listen too, use the link above to check it out

 

Bayonetta 2 is an epic game, it controls perfectly, it has a great sound track, beautiful graphics and plenty of extra content to keep you busy many would agree that it’s better the original and even though I hate Loki I have too agree, Bayonetta 2 is an excellent sequel and hopefully it’s influence will effect future games in the series 9.7/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch

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

Bayonetta (2009) Review

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The original Bayonetta was released in 2009 as a spiritual successor to the Devil May Cry series, it was very well recieved back when it first came out and Bayonetta has since become one of the greatest original characters of all time.

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The plot of Bayonetta is insane and honestly it was a little hard for me to follow, however with some internet research after finishing the game I did get a better understanding.

Most of this coming from the Bayonetta wikia and I’m not ashamed to be reading it to help me try to explain the plot as it really is quite complicated.

so first off all let me quickly explain the two eyes, you have the left eye which watches over the moon, the darkness and the inferno and you have the right eye which watches over the sun, the light and the paradiso

In Europe around 500 years ago there was two clans one was the Umbra Witches and the other was the Lumen Sages, both clans didnt like eachother but they stayed out of each others way out of respect of each clans laws, one day an Umbra Witch called Rosa had intercourse with a Lumen Sage named Balder and they conceived a child due to this Balder was forced to leave his clan and Rosa was imprisoned while the baby was raised by the remaining Umbra Witches, the child now known as Cereza has grown up and has made friends with another Umbra Witch called Jeanne , Jeanne wants to be the Umbran Heiress but in order to prove herself she must defeat another Umbra Witch in combat, Jeanne chooses Cereza but is told no as she is of non pure blood but without much convincing she is allowed to fight her anyway, Cereza wins the fight and scares the other Umbra Witches that she is going to awaken the left eye so Jeanne is forced to put Cereza into an eternal sleep by stabbing her in the heart and burying her alive in a coffin at the bottom of a lake, once all of this was done peace remained amongst the clans until one day Balder manipulates the Lumen Sages to trust him and kill all of the Umbra Witches, Balder succeeds but both Jeanne and Cereza survive, 500 years later we are introduced to Cereza again although now she has been resurrected with no memories of her past and is going by the name Bayonetta.

I think I have covered all of the important bits without spoiling all of the things revealed throughout the game but if you want a better understanding this is the link I used.

http://bayonetta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Story_of_Bayonetta

The game play is hack and slash but don’t think this means you can just run into the game button mashing your way to victory because bayonetta is very difficult, even on Normal it kicked my ass, bayonetta has a lot of moves available for players to use as well as a massive arsenal of weapons to back her up, what makes Bayonetta stand out compared to most other video game characters is her guns which she can fire from both her hands and feet and with plenty of opportunities to try different weapons it makes the game play very satisfying, Bayonetta also has some great finishing moves including some torture attacks which deal massive amounts of damage to enemies in many grizzly and creative ways also creating monsters with her hair to devour enemies is awesome too, some stand out moments of game play for me are when Bayonetta uses magic to run on water and the Witch time ability which slows down time temporarily which helps to kill tricky foes.

The graphics on Bayonetta are fantastic although they differ from system to system, on PC they are at there best due to the ability to enhance them on higher end computers but on systems they are just as good, I played the new Wii U port that has been brought to the Switch and some of the textures were a little bit blurry but not so much that it’s a huge problem but if graphics are a massive deal to you maybe pass on the Nintendo versions.

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The music is just orgasmic the developers used a mix of vocal and ochestaral tracks which is a great mix when fighting the angels it really suits the atmosphere and the anime style pop songs are a nice addition which suits the non serious nature of the game it’s honestly brilliant

Bayonetta is a difficult yet satisfying action packed adventure which has plenty of gore, comedy and sillynees to fit anyone’s gaming needs, it’s a bit short and even though there is a lot of replay value I wanted more but it’s still a great game which is well worth your time 8.6/10

Thank you for reading this review of Bayonetta

Feel free to leave your views or feedback in the comments

My version came with Bayonetta 2 so after one more game review we will tackle her next adventure