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: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy of rather gruesome books written for Young Adults, the book takes place in North America however it is now a large city called Panem, Panem has twelve districts within its borders and each district is controlled by the Capital, the districts are all slightly different for example one district may focus heavily on coal mining while another may focus more on harvesting crops, these districts tend to be filled with lower and middle class citizens while the upper class who can afford a life of luxury live in the Capitol.

The Capitol holds an event every year called the Hunger Games and during the event two tributes one boy and one girl from each district are chosen at random to take part in a  live event where they will fight to the death in order for both them and their families to be able to live a better lifestyle by moving out of the district and into the Capital.

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The main protagonist of the series is Katniss Everdeen a 16 year old girl from District 12, Katniss lost her father in a coal mining accident and due to her mother being very sick has too put all of the food on the table and takes care of both her mother and little sister Prim, The first Hunger Games book is a thrill ride from beginning to end, in my opinion it only gets really good once the actual Hunger Games begin, its during the games that you get to see the strengths and weaknesses of each character although the book mostly follows Katniss on her journey, the book is a lot better than the movie in my opinion as I felt that the characters were better presented here and also certain events were better written than they were portrayed in the film.

The Hunger Games is emotional, tragic and intense all the way through and its bound to keep you interested, at some points I got so lost in the book that time would just fly by without me realising, its one of the best books I’ve read in a long time and it is a great start to my Reading schedule for 2018

Cuphead (2017) Review

Two cups lose a bet against the Devil and in order to save their souls they must capture the souls of every other resident on their home island.

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I think we will kick start 2018 with a review of one of the mos popular video games of last year a small indie title known as Cuphead don’t deal with the Devil.

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Cuphead is a run and gun sidescroller inspired by the cartoons of the 1930’s, Cuphead and his pal Mugman both take inspiration from Mickey Mouse and Oscar the Lucky Rabbit.

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Cuphead offers three main level types, the first is a classic run and gun scenario similar to old arcade games, you will need to get from point A to point B without dying, this is extremely difficult due to the barrage of enemy types that constantly attack you, enemies do not often die without respawning and the army of creatures that target Cuphead and Mugman is relentless, some of these stages do have a mini boss which will need to be defeated however these bosses are nowhere near as difficult to beat as the games main challenges.

d41ac18a-aa8c-42d3-ab90-aaf9a10d0ad5_Cuphead_Baroness_Von_Bon_BonBoss Battles are another game type available for players to tackle, these boss battles are extremely tough and only the most patient and level headed players will be able to triumph in these scenarios, these boss battles are the best part of the game in my opinion, the animations make it seem as if you are watching an old cartoon and its just as wonderful to watch the game as it is to play it.

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The final level variant in the game are on scroll shooters, these level types take obvious inspiration from the old space scooters of the day, Cuphead and Mugman enter aeroplanes and take on bosses who will constantly morph into different forms, many smaller enemies will spawn  for our two heroes to take on while also taking aim at the levels boss, I had the most difficulty with these level types.

 

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Cuphead and Mugman pack some pretty wild finger guns, the standard gun is powerful enough to get you through most of the game however if you feel like you wanna spice things up a bit then why not spend some of your well earned coins on some new ammunition or perhaps some new abilities

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I don’t think I really need to emphasise just how outstanding the visuals are in Cuphead, as previously stated the game takes inspiration from 1930’s cartoons and the games artists have done an excellent job of making the game emulate this extremely well, not only does the entire game look like an old cartoon but its the smaller touches such as static on the screen which really help to make this game even more beautiful than its needs to be.

The soundtrack is just as wonderful as the visuals, a few tracks use vocals sang by a barbershop quartet but personally I prefer the frantic instrumental tracks during the run and gun sections, although its all very well done and well worth a listen.

Cuphead is one of the most creative games I have ever played and if you enjoy old cartoons and high reaction intense game play then this is the perfect game to add to your library, but if you don’t enjoy difficult games or if you are only just starting out as a gamer then this is one to skip as the game is very challenging, I really enjoyed Cuphead however it is a bit too short for the price the developers are asking for it costs 16 pounds for what is no more than a six hour experience so knock it down to a tenner and you’ve got yourself a bargain 9/10.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Cuphead for the Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.

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

Not so Christmas Review: Chicken Run

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Chicken Run is a very unusual movie to say the least, Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman teamed up with Dreamworks animation to make an animated version of the Great Escape starring chickens and its fantastic.

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In a slightly kinder interpretation of a Nazi Concentration Camp Chickens are forced to produce eggs for their farmers and if they dont produce enough eggs for the week then its off to the chopping block, all of the chickens are miserable and want to escape but with the farmers Mr and Mrs Tweedy only living only a few feet away from the pen and their sadistic dogs killing any chickens that get out of the pen escape looks near impossible, that is until one day a rooster lands into the pen and Ginger (One of the chickens) sees this rooster as their saving Grace possibly giving them a chance to escape their captivity.

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The Voice Acting in Chicken Run is really great but to be honest I don’t recognize much of the cast except for two people, the first is Miranda Richardson who plays Mrs Tweedy and of course Mel Gibson who plays Rocky the Rooster.

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The Animation is done using stop motion, but like many of the past Aardman productions which have used this method the stop motion in Chicken Runs animation is so smooth that it may fool you into thinking it was made using CGI, due to the nature of the the film most of imagery is dark and depressing most likely to match the atmosphere of the film, I did notice that happier characters were decorated with brighter colours but I’m not sure if these colours were to help empathise their good spirits.

Chicken Run is one of greatest British animated films of all time and it needs to be seen by everyone, I’m not sure if it was released outside of Europe but if you haven’t seen it then you can stream it on Netflix or you can purchase the film if you would like to support Aardman to make more great movies.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Chicken Run

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

Not so Christmas film Review: Bridget Jones Diary

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Hugh Grant returns to play a cynical prick in the hit film  Bridget Jones Diary which is based on a book of the same name.

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Hugh Grant isn’t the only recognisable star in this British Classic as he is joined by co star Colin Firth and Renée Zellweger who plays the lead character Bridget Jones.

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Bridget Jones is a lonely, single, chain smoking 32 year old woman whos never had a boyfriend and is fed up with her life so she starts a diary to try and get control of her life.

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Bridget Jones Diary is a comedy and therefore the jokes really need to hit for the film to work and thankfully they do, its not by any means the funniest film ever made but it does pack a lot of laughs especially due to the way Bridget looks at the world and how she portrays those views into her diary, the diary is really the star of the film maybe even more than Bridget herself, its due to the diary that we had so many iconic moments in the first film including blue soup, tarts and vicars and of course the Bridget’s many drunken moments

Bridget Jones Diary is an iconic British romcom and with its massive legacy, great cast and lots of memorable moments its become a Christmas Classic too.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Bridget Jones Diary

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

 

Not so Christmas film Review: About a Boy

Every December people watch and share their favourite Christmas movies with friends and family, but what about those films that are not necessarily Christmas related but tend to be watched around the holiday season, everyone has their own favourite films in this category but this month I want to share with you some of my not so Christmas favourites and we are going to kick start the month with 2002’s About a Boy.

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Based on a novel of the same name About a Boy is a drama starring Hugh Grant who plays a selfish, spoilt rich person called Will who has never had to work a day in his life and has never needed responsibility, our other star of the movie is Nicholas Hoult who plays 12 year old weird kid Marcus who is having troubles in school and at home

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The film is a comedy as well as a drama and even though it is very funny with a lot of memorable moments for me the best part of movie is the interactions between Marcus and Will, Will is a childish prick who lies to woman for sex and doesn’t care about anyone but himself and Marcus is a misunderstood child who has an odd nature about him which causes him to be bullied at school  not to mention all of the trouble he also has at home with his suicidal and depressed mother.

Both characters are in need of guidance, Marcus needs to be more cool and Will needs to grow up and its just by chance that our two main characters happen to meet, just like two angels helping each other earn their wings, ok maybe that was a bit over the top but honestly it does sort of feel that way if you really get into the movie.

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Apart from our main characters much of the supporting cast isn’t very memorable with the one exception of Toni Collette who plays Marcus’s mom she’s even odder than him and as previously stated a bit of a mess , its her character who brings just as many laughs as our two mains and I don’t think anyone could have played this character better than she did.

About a boy is forgotten classic which was very popular when it first came out but has been lost over the years, It packs a lot of laughs, emotions and goofiness and it really needs to aired more often on television, If you ever get the chance I highly recommend giving this one a watch

I hope you enjoyed my review of About a 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

P.S. I am going on a Christmas vacation on Monday the 11th of December so next weeks review might be slightly delayed.

 

 

Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch) Review

Is this Mario’s greatest adventure to date?

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Usually I would just post a picture of a games cover art but in this rare occasion I wanted to show off the free Cappy hat you got for pre-ordering Mario Odyssey, Its pretty cool being able to wear your hat while playing the game I think its a great collectible for little kids and big kids too 😉

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Bowser and Peach are actually getting married and its up too Mario to stop Bowser and save the wedding but the only problem is that Bowser wins the fight and destroys Mario’s trusty hat which many fans know gives Mario most of his power, Bowser kicks Mario off his air ship to a mysterious land where he lays unconscious,defenseless and without his hat powerless so how can he save Peach this time?

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Meet Cappy a helpful Boo who Mario Meets in the cap kingdom a world filled with top hat inspired architecture, Bowser has stolen Cappy’s sister Tiara so he’s quick to turn himself into a replica of Mario’s hat in order to help Mario on his adventure.

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metro kingdomI have to say that this is the strangest Mario game I have ever played, its not a bad thing but its very different to its predecessors for one their are no power ups in the game but Mario has the ability to transform into most enemies and objects in the game by throwing Cappy at things, also the game adds a whole new wardrobe of outfits that Mario can purchase and wear throughout his adventure these new features are a nice change for the series and I hope that at least the outfits stay for future entries.

maxresdefault1He’s collected Stars, he’s collected Shine Sprites so we all knew it wouldn’t be long before Mario was collecting moons and this game has a whopping 999 for you to find and buy, most of them can be collected fairly quickly but they are well hidden, thankfully you can collect the majority of the moons in a kingdom in a single visit as Mario Odyssey takes away the need to revisit a level every time you want to collect a moon.

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For the majority of his games Mario has had very tight and responsive controls and the case isn’t much different for Super Mario Odyssey, I found the controls a little slippery at first but I soon got used to them, one issue with the game is that even though it has many control options available only the motion controls actually allow you do all of Mario’s moves, it really sucks because most people don’t care much for motion controls these days and it baffles me how this problem wasn’t fixed before shipping especially from a company such as Nintendo.

The music is an odd choice for a Super Mario game but it works extremely well, I find it has a jazzy beat to it and each soundtrack suits each world differently for example the forest world has a calm and natural feel to it while the city music is loud and upbeat and all of the different sounds give off the effect of a noisy and energetic place, although by far the best song in the game is “I’ll be your one up girl” which is sang by none other than Pauline from the Donkey Kong arcade game, to my knowledge its the first song in the series to use vocals and its a perfect fit for Mario’s adventure across the unusual world of Mario Odyssey.

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Super Mario odyssey is an epic edition to the Super Mario series and it takes Mario in a whole new direction, gone are the limited power ups, the graphics are the best the series has seen yet, the colors are eye popping and its the small details such as falling snow, dust blowing in the wind and grass moving to one side as you step through it which really helps immerse you into the experience,  the soundtrack is absolutely brilliant  as always and the controls while they are not best are easy enough to get used too, I wish the game had a hub world, I imagined New Donk City to be the hub while different shops would take you to each stage so I was disappointed when this wasn’t the case, but apart from this Super Mario Odyssey is an amazing game however I personally don’t think its the best game in the series but its definitely a close contender.

Super Mario Odyssey is the Mario game that you could only dream of but with a few  things missing and slightly slippery controls it doesn’t quite make a top score 9.6/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Super Mario Odyssey 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