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

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The Phantom of the Opera (1943) Review

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The Phantom of the Opera is the final review of the month and unfortunately its the worst film in the Universal Classic Monsters Collection.

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Claude Rains who was well known for playing the Invisible Man takes on the role of Erique Claudin a violinist who is fired by the Paris Opera house after 20 years of service due to sudden arthritis in his left hand.

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Of  course anyone who knows the story of the book or stage play will know that Erique eventually becomes the Phantom and Claude Rains does an excellent job at playing both roles, in this production Christine is played by Susanna Foster, Susanna has quite an interesting past she went to a singing and acting school with the likes of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney she was only 17 when she took on the lead female role in Phantom of the Opera, two other big names in the film were Nelson Eddy who played Antone Garron and Edgar Barrier who played police officer Raoul Daubert.

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In my personal opinion the best part of the movie was the sets, the Paris Opera House used in this adaption of the book was the same set that was built for the 1925 film of the same name starring Lon Chaney, if the Paris Opera House set wasn’t impressive enough another great set is the Phantoms home hidden underneath the Opera, the set is very gothic which helps to set the mood before the love interest rips off the Phantoms mask revealing his disfigurement.

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The 1943 adaptation of the Phantom of the Opera is ok and that’s unfortunately the best I can say for the movie, I really enjoyed the cast they were campy and fun, the movie used comedy in a way that it didn’t ruin the dark romantic atmosphere of the movie, Claude Rains did a fantastic job at playing the Phantom and the sets were all extremely memorable, the film was even filmed in Technicolour but even with all this going for it something was missing and that was the the monster movie I was promised, this is not a monster movie and I’m not even sure if I could class it as a horror, the Phantom of the Opera is more of a romantic drama with a dark coat of paint, even twilight has a vampires and werewolves but would you cast that a horror? At least Twilight had monsters which is something I cant say about this so why on earth was it included in a classic monster collection? To most it’s the Phantom of the Opera but to me its more like the Phantom of the Mediocre.

The Bluray for Phantom of the Opera wasn’t very generous with its bonus features it does have a documentary and a commentary track   but that’s about all that’s worth looking at.

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

Thank you for joining me for all of these reviews, all of these movies had a great effect on horror movies today and even though they are old, most of them are not in colour and the effects aren’t great compared to CGI but they are still great films that need to be seen if only to help you appreciate how far film has come over the years.

Happy Halloween

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

Taz Mania (Genesis/Mega Drive) (1992) Review

Cool a game based on Taz Mania, this is gonna be great………right?

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Taz Mania was a popular cartoon series based on the Tazmanian Devil from the Looney Tunes shorts, the show was about Taz and his family and the crazy antics they would get up too, I watched this show as a kid but I wasn’t a huge fan of it and unlike some other shows such as Ducktales and Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers I dont have many fond memories of watching Taz Mania.

Taz Mania was fairly popular and just like many other cartoons of its era, video game developers started to create Taz Mania video games to make a quick buck but unlike Ducktales and Rescue Rangers whose games stayed on one system Taz Mania had a video game on a whole bunch of different systems including the Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Super Nintendo and the Nintendo Game Boy, unfortunately I haven’t yet gotten around to playing most of these but as a kid I used to play the Genesis version a lot and I remember really enjoying it, but was it good as I remember?

openingThe games plot is simple and straight to the point, Taz and his siblings are told a story about giant sea birds that used to rule over Taz Mania, the birds were so big that if someone was to steal one of their eggs it would feed that thief and his entire family for one whole year, talk of these giant eggs make Taz hungry and he soon leaves on an adventure across Taz Mania to find one, like I said the plot is very simple and straight to the point I don’t mind this because firstly I was not expecting some epic storyline for a video game based on the Tazmanian Devil and secondly this honestly seems like something that Taz would do because at the end of the day he’s a wild animal who loves to eat so the thought of a giant egg is immediately going to get his attention.

Level 1 waterThe game looks pretty good for a licensed Sega Genesis game, the graphics are not very realistic looking which isn’t a problem because they actually look a bit like the cartoon which is a nice touch from the game developers, it shows that they did research of the original cartoon and as a result both the genesis game and the show have a similar art style which is an aspect that many fans of the show will appreciate.

 

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Graphically the game is very impressive but the level design is awful, the biggest problem is the plat-forming because a lot of the platforms you need to jump to are off screen meaning that you need to takes risky jumps and leaps of faith hoping that you don’t fall to your death, another problem is that sometimes its very difficult to figure out what objects you are able to jump on, this gets very confusing because sometimes you are able to jump on platforms that are either in the background or the foreground while at other times you cant so its not easy to identify what is an actual platform and what is just there for scenery, speaking of scenery there really isn’t a lot of it and because of this all of the levels are very bare with just a few things pasted into the backgrounds, its really not that interesting to look at and its a shame considering all of the effort that went into the games art style.

The game has very tight controls which are easy to remember, you control Taz with the D-Pad while the three other buttons are used to perform the games actions, such as Jumping, Spinning and breathing fire when its available.

The most important ability in the game is spinning, Taz can spin really fast allowing him to knock enemies off of the screen but you must be careful because you are also able to get rid of special items such as lives and health if you accidentally spin into them.

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Taz will eat everything in his path and this can be very useful as he can eat enemies, lives and food but you must not eat any of the bombs, if Taz eats a bomb it will explode inside of him causing a considerable amount of damage, these bombs can be very annoying especially when they have been placed unfairly, for example a lot of the time the bombs are placed at the bottom of small ledges and you cant see them until you jump off the ledge and sometimes the bombs are placed behind foreground objects so they are impossible to see which makes it very unfair on the player.

This entire game relies on the player memorising which platforms are safe and where the bombs are located,  if the game had unlimited continues this wouldn’t be as big of an issue but unfortunately the game does have very few continues (not including the ones you can find) making the entire experience of playing the game very stressful and annoying.

The levels are very difficult due to bad game design but ironically the boss fights are really easy, this is because when Taz is spinning any enemy that hits him is immediately damaged and this is the same for the boss fights, if you keep spinning into the bosses you are going to defeat them very quickly and very easily, there is one boss fight near the end of the game that is so easy too beat that you can defeat him while taking no damage by just spinning in one spot until he dies.

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The music is not memorable at all most of the songs are just loops of very short tunes and the biggest problem is that you can hardly hear the music over the games terrible sound effects, the sound effects literally sound like they came from a cheap collection of Royalty Free sounds and nothing about them or the music is very creative at all, the most unusual sound choice the developers made was that every time Taz takes a step a music note plays as if the entire game is a piano, this sound choice makes very little sense and it gets annoying very fast.

Taz Mania was a very disappointing game, I used to love this game as a child and I remember having a great time playing it, the game has tight controls and sticks to its source material with its very simple plot and and its art style which represents the original show quite nicely but unfortunately bad game design, terrible sound and music choices and for the most part awful game play makes Taz Mania for Sega Genesis a very bad experience and honestly I am relieved that I never have to play it again.

3.4/10

Thank you for reading my review of Taz Mania for the Sega Genesis/ Mega Drive

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