Porco Rosso (1992) Review

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Porco Rosso is an action-comedy film directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

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An Italian fighter pilot who fought in the first World War has been turned into a pig due to a curse.

Now as a pig Marco (AKA Porco Rosso) keeps the town of Dubrovnik safe by taking out air pilots who are causing trouble for the locals.

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An American pilot called Donald Curtis arrives in Dubrovnik to work with the pirates, he is a talented flyer and is the only person that is able to best Porco and eventually taking out his plane. Porco feeling defeated takes his plane to Milan to get it repaired and upgraded ready to return and beat Donald in a competition to earn back his credibility and respect.

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I absolutely love the scenery of this film especially the flying shots which look breathtaking and beautiful, I have always loved the way that Studio Ghibli does the ocean and water in their films but the water in Porco Rosso is one of my favourites.

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Michael Keeton plays the main character Porco Rosso and he does a great job of portraying the grumpy and rough nature of his character but the entire voice cast also gave a wonderful performance.

Porco Rosso is a hilarious comedy film that is filled with romance and action. It may at times come across as a little bit silly but that only adds to its personality and makes it even more lovable, its a film that I feel anyone could get into and enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Porco Rosso

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Castle in the Sky (1986) Review

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Castle in the Sky is technically the first movie under the Studio Ghibli name but it is recognised by the company as their second film after Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind.

Its a fantasy-adventure film which was written and Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

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After an attack on an airship a young girl named Sheeta falls slowly and lands in a small town where she is discovered by an adventurous orphan boy called Pazu, who takes her into his home to take of her, not long after this they are attacked by the pirates who want to steal Sheetas necklace which holds mysterious powers.

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The Pirates are my favourite part of the film they are really funny and often cause epic and comedic chase sequences between them and the two protagonists, another reason I like these characters is because they are not just typical villain characters they do have hearts and at times even help the two children in their adventure to keep Sheeta safe.

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The main antagonist of the film is agent Muska who had originally abducted Sheeta in the beginning of the movie and hunts her down throughout the adventure, like the Pirates he also wants the necklace but his intentions are to use it to take over Laputa (Sheeta’s home land) he is voiced by Mark Hamill in the English Dub of the movie.

While I do like the animation of the film I much prefer its soundtrack, the music was composed by Joe Hisaishi.

The soundtrack is beautiful and matches the theme and pacing of the film extremely well, it has hints of adventure with hidden moments of sadness and wonder which works to emphasise the films emotions.

Castle in the Sky is a fantastic movie it blends various genres together, fantasy, science fiction, steam punk, comedy, action and adventure and it does thsi extremely well for an animated feature, its intense but also charming and romantic, its a film that I feel that no matter what age you are you will love it, its one my favourite animated films and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fast paced movies with a lot of heart and imagination.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Castle in the Sky

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Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (1994) Review

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Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is the follow up to the highly successful Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins. It has Wario as the main playable character which was a first for the Mario Universe.

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After being booted out of Mario’s castle in Mario Land 2, Wario travels to kitchen Island hoping to steal a golden statue of Princess Peach from the notorious Sugar Pirates, he will then sell the statue back to Mario for the cost of a new castle.

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In a similar fashion to Mario Land 1 and 2 Wario Land is a 2D platformer but this game is not as simple as getting from point A to point B because it has a new style of gameplay that helps it to stand out compared to its predecessors.

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Your main goal in Wario Land is to collect coins, you can find many coins in the 40 levels of the game and you can also use keys to open doors to hidden treasures that will add value to your final money count.

Wario can also collect hearts and once enough are collected he will earn a new life.

In the game Wario can also find items to help him traverse the stages. these items come in the form of hats allowing him to ram, fly and and breathe fire onto his enemies and certain terrain.

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The boss fights in this game are the best in the Super Mario Land series, there is boss for every world and they are all very unique and they cannot all be defeated in the same manner, some can be jumped on but others need to be attacked with certain items or by having items thrown at them.

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After every level Wario can play one of two minigames, one allows him to throw items at enemies to earn more heart points and the other is a gambling game where he can earn more coins, I really struggled with the heart game so I stuck with the coin game throughout my playthrough.

The best part of collecting money in the game is that how much you collect will determine your final reward, I was lucky enough to get my own planet which is the highest reward, I recommend finding all of the treasures because it is a lot of fun and they are quite easy to find once you get the hang of the game.

The soundtrack is ok for the game but its really not anything special, I had the same issue with the Super Mario Land 2 soundtrack so hopefully the music is better in the later Wario Land games.

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A lot of the levels look very similar in design which is fine but I would of preferred the developers to take more inspiration from the different worlds of the game and maybe tried to theme the levels to suit the foods they are based on.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is the best game in the Super Mario Land trilogy, it is a lot of fun and gave the series a new spin in its gameplay and platforming, I love the idea of getting different rewards based on how well you did in the game as it added a lot of replay value. The game is very easy but is a lot of fun, my only complaints are the similar stage designs and the medicore soundtrack but putting these two things aside this is possibly one of the best games for the original Gameboy and was a great debut for Wario as a playable character.

9/10

hope you enjoyed this review of Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 for the Nintendo Game Boy.

If you would like to help support the website please use the donation button at the top of the page, your donations will help to improve the website by allowing me to afford products to review and to be able to execute any costly updates and changes, any amount in donations are welcome.

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Owlboy (2016) Review

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Owlboy is an independent game created by D-Pad Studios, the game began development back in 2007 however it would not see a release until November of 2016 a full nine years later.

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You play the game as an owl called Otus who lives on an island in the sky, the islands of the earth have all floated into the atmosphere due to the unfortunate result of an event explained later on in the game, one day the floating islands are attacked by Pirates who are looking for three mysterious relics, its up to Otus and some friends he meets on his adventure to find the relics and stop the pirates from causing havoc.

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Owlboy is a 2D platformer at heart but it has a lot of different elements which help to make the game stand out amongst others of its kind, the main methods of attack are spider webs, fire and guns, Otus can only use these attacks by carrying his allies in his claws while flying, the gun weapon is best used for defeating enemies, the fire is handy for destroying plant life and the shotgun attack which comes with it is great for destroying tough barricades, finally the web attack is great for taking out flying enemies and it can also grapple onto some surfaces and items. Along side these attacks Otus can fly and spin into enemies to deal small amounts of damage.

Puzzles are also a large part of the game, the majority involve having to find switches to open doors or having to get from one area to another in a given amount of time, my favourite puzzle was when you had to squeeze the water out of clouds in order to bring items to the surface.

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The Visuals are really great in this game, the graphics look gorgeous they have a basic 2d look and they remind me some what of the super nintendo however the visuals here are much better which is to be expected, the animations are smooth and the entire game plays with no lag or frame rate issues.

Owlboys Soundtrack is fantastic it was created by a gentleman called Jonathan Geer who has a very impressive history of creating soundtracks for smaller gaming projects, Owlboy isn’t one of my favourite soundtracks of all time but I would say its worth purchasing instead of just listening to it over youtube

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Owlboy is an amazing game however I do have one issue, as much fun as the game is its very short, I beat the game in around 9 hours which didnt impress me considering it costs around 20 pounds if it was just a little longer this wouldn’t have bothered me so much.

Even though it is a little bit short Owl Boy is one of the best indie games I have ever played and it is well worth the money regardless of its length, it has a great plot,beautiful graphics, a really nice soundtrack, lovable characters and even a little bit of replay value with collecting coins and buying everything in the shop, its a fantastic experience and I hope for a sequel in the near future 9.8/10

I hope you enjoyed this review Of Owl Boy for the PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

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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

Book Review: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

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Peter Pan was originally written by Scottish Author J.M Barrie and it was published in 1911.

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(BTW he had a fabulous mustache)

The story follows the adventures of the Darling children including the eldest Wendy, John who was the middle child and Micheal the youngest, Wendy would always read stories to her younger brothers about fairy tales and adventures, the most popular of these stories being the adventures of a young boy who never grows up called Peter Pan.

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One cold and starry night a young boy breaks into the nursery looking for his shadow and when Wendy helps him find it, he teaches the children how to fly and he takes them all away to a magical world beyond the stars called Neverland.

(There will be a few spoilers beyond this point, but not enough to ruin the book)

The General plot summary you have just read may sound very familiar but let me assure you that the original novel of Peter Pan is very different to a lot of the modern stage plays and movies, for one thing the book is rather dark and at times gruesome, a fair few children get murdered in the book and there are a few adult themes discussed including faeries having group sex and Peter Pan himself being more “Sinister” than more modern audiences may know him to be, so please keep this in mind if you are planning to read the original unabridged version of the book to young children.

I own the unabridged version and it is filled with loads of old fashioned English words and spellings which some people may find hard to understand and if this is the case I recommenced a more modern re-print of the book but please keep in mind that modified versions will be modified for new younger audiences so some of the adult stuff I mentioned above will most likely be removed, even with all of the old fashioned English the book is still described well enough for the reader to understand fairly well what is going on and it is still very simple to read the text and visualize the story the book is telling.

The book is 230 pages long and it may take only 2-3 days to read for most people, for me this is great because just like my video games I prefer my books to be short as it means that I can read them over and over again many times throughout the year, but I can understand why some people wouldn’t want to pay a bookstore price for such a short story.

Peter Pan is an amazing story about Pirates, Mermaids, Faeries, and lost children who dress in animal skins and hunt Native Indians, honestly there is something here for everyone, its one of most iconic stories ever written and it has inspired so many people to begin a journey into the world of art including myself, Peter Pan is nothing more than a masterpiece of British Literature and it will always stand the test of time.

I hope you enjoyed this Book Review of Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Sorry for the gap in reviews guys, I have been super busy working on another project but I promise I will try to get more reviews out soon, anyway I will see you in October for a month of spooky reviews.

Also I am taking requests this month so if there are any games, books or films you would like reviewed for Halloween please email me and I will place all requests in a random generator and I will be reviewing what ever gets selected so please send me any requests you can think of.

 

Rayman 2: The Great Escape (PS1, PS2, N64, 3DS, Dreamcast, PC) (1999) Review

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After the massive success of Mario, Sonic and the Legend of Zelda making it big in the world of 3D gaming it was of no surprise that the rising video game star Rayman would soon be joining them and the result was one of the most beloved games of all time Rayman 2.

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Every resident of the Glade of Dreams including Rayman has been captured by an army of robotic pirates led by Admiral Razorbeard, the reason behind doing this isn’t explained very well and my only guess is that they are only doing this because they want slaves.

Rayman manages to escape the Prison Ship and returns to the Glade of Dreams, here he finds out that the pirates have destroyed the heart of the world causing Rayman to lose his powers,luckily a new fairy called Ly is on hand to help rayman regain his powers while he is on his quest to rescue all the slaves from their kidnappers.

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Similar to its predecessor Rayman 2 is an action platformer and the only major difference here is that this game is 3D and apart from that everything else is essentially the same, Rayman can run, jump, hover and grab and swing from pink rings, throughout the game you will sometimes run into Ly the fairy and when you do she will either give you a new power or she will enhance  power you already have making it more powerful and useful for example you can get a hover expansion which allows Rayman to fly in certain areas.

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The main objective of the game is that Rayman needs to find and collect four ancient masks in order to awaken the god Polokus, once awakened Polokus can help Rayman by destroying all of the Pirates who remain in the Glade of Dreams while Rayman returns to the prison ship to take on Razorbeard.

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There are still some fetch quests for Rayman this time around but luckily they are not required, one of the objectives is to find and collect all 1000 yellow lums (800 in the PS1 version) these yellow lums make up the heart of the world that was destroyed by the pirates, they are spread all over the glade of dreams and collecting them all gives bonuses in certain versions of the game in the PS1 version you will unlock the beta level of the original Rayman 2 before the game was made into 3D and in the pS2 and PC ports  you will unlock a minigame for each level that you collect all of the yellow lums, the PS2 and PC version also allow the player to purchase new upgrades and abilities using the lums you have collected.

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Another collectible in the game are the familiar spirits, these creatures have been locked in cages all over the land, Rayman can free these spirits in a similar manner to first game by simply punching the cages, in the PC and PS2 port if Rayman brings these spirits to Ly the fairy he can take part in different minigames that he can try to beat in order to gain a health expansion.

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In most versions of the game Rayman will travel throughout the Glade of Dreams via the Hall of Doors a magical portal to each stage in the game.

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The PC and PS2 ports of the game scrap the Hall of Doors for an open world environment that Rayman can use to access all of the stages while also using the hub world for access to new content such as the shop and Ly’s minigames.

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I have played a lot of 3D platformer’s in my time and out of all them this one has the best control and the smoothest frame rate, this was a big surprise to me because Rayman has so many abilities that it should make some of the games main mechanics quite difficult but instead everything is perfect and it feels great, this came out on the same systems as Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot but it feels better than some of the more modern Mario Games and that is just mind blowing.

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The visuals in Rayman 2 are obviously going to be very different to the original game due to the leap into 3D, I like the visuals here but it’s hard to love them after playing the first game where its visuals were absolutely outstanding, the new look and style brought to Rayman 2 is nothing more than just ok and don’t get me wrong they are not by any means bad graphics, for the time they were up to par with the systems it had to work with, its just nothing about them is really unique or memorable which is more of a disappointment than an actual problem.

The soundtrack unfortunately has the same problem but in my opinion its worse, no music in this game made me sing along or made me feel any emotion, I’m sure there are people out there that love the soundtrack presented here but for me it was nothing more than generic and uninteresting.

Rayman 2 is a really good game but its not quite as unique as the original and that’s not really a bad thing especially considering that they are completely different experiences, the story is interesting, all characters are likable, it controls great and the only real disappointment were the visuals and soundtrack and even then that’s just a personal preference.

In my opinion I wouldn’t say that Rayman 2 is quite as good as the original game but I would recommend it out of the 2 of them its still a great game and the lack of needed fetch quests does make it a lot less stressful. 7.3/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Rayman 2: The Great Escape

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com