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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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

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 Bros 2 (NES) Review

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Super Mario Bros 2 is a really strange game, to be honest the version of the game released outside of Japan isn’t even the real version of the game, the original sequel was deemed to difficult for both the Americans and the Europeans, so instead of giving us the game that was similar to the first Super Mario Bros Nintendo decided that they would reskin a game called Doki Doki Panic to now involve Mario character for release outside of Japan and the rest is history.

maxresdefaultThe first thing players noticed in this game was the character select screen,  now not only can you play as Mario and Luigi but you can also play as a Toad or Princess Peach.

Each character has unique characteristics.

Mario is a great all round character with good strength, jump height and speed, Luigi is a little weaker and slower than Mario but has the best Jump height in the game, Toad has the best strength and speed in the game but is not very good at jumping  and finally the Princess has low strength and speed along with a mediocre jump however she can float in the air which makes up for her lower stats, the Princess is my favourite character to play as.

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Due to this being a reskin of another game Mario 2 changes the way you play the game compared to other titles in the series, now you cant jump on enemies to kill them instead you need to pull up vegetables, blocks or enemies and hurl them at the bad guys.

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At the end of each stage you now have to fight a sub boss, some of these are really fun to fight and some will catch you off guard such as the exit door which comes to life and tries to defeat you although most of these sub bosses are Birdos who appear in almost every stage.

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At the end of each stage you will have a chance to use a slot machine to win 1-ups, you can only use coins found in levels on the slots machine, you find these coins in bonus doors that you can open when you find a magic potion and throw it on the ground.

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Visually this is the best looking Mario game on the Nintendo Entertainment System, while all of Mario’s NES era games have smooth graphics with great animations Mario 2 definitely has the most interesting enemy and world designs, this is mostly due to the game taking place in a brand new area with different and unusual landscapes.

The soundtrack is definitely better than the first Mario game although its still lacking in tracks and often loops the same music.

Super Mario Bros 2 is a pretty good game, I wouldn’t say its one of the best games in the series although it is still worth giving it a go if you get the chance, it controls great, has fantastic visuals and a brand new story and location however in my opinion the soundtrack and slow game play holds it back a bit, as I previously stated this is only a reskin of Doki Doki Panic with not many changes at all so consider this a review of both games and due to this I would personally recommend you play one over the other Mario 2 is slightly more polished and a little easier so I would choose that one although if you want the intended experience play Doki Doki Panic, either way no matter which version you choose they are both fun games which I can happily give a fair 7.4/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Super Mario 2 for the NES

Click the following Link to be directed to my review of Super Mario Bros for the NES https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2012/11/22/super-mario-bros-nes-review/

Click the following Link to be directed to my review of Super Mario Bros 3 for the NES https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2012/09/13/super-mario-bros-3-nes-review/

I wrote both of these back in 2012 when I hadn’t long started writing so please go easy on them 🙂

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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

The Battle of Olympus (NES) Review

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Released in 1988 by a small game company called Infinity, Battle of Olympus is a really interesting game, it was the first game released by the developers and the entire thing was designed and programmed by the companies president at the time, five years later a game boy port was released and its actually a very good port apart from the black and white visuals which couldn’t be helped and a few items and areas being differently designed or found in different locations its a very strong release which is similar to the original.Battle-of-Olympus-The-U

The game takes place in ancient Greece where Hades the ruler of the Underworld is terrorising the land, you play as Orpheus who needs to get to the Underworld and defeat Hades in order to save his girlfriend Helene, in order to succeed in defeating Hades Orpheus must gain help from the other gods you first visit Zeus who encourages the others to help Orpheus in his quest by granting him special items and abilities.

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This game is very similar to Zelda 2 the adventure of Link, for the most part its a side scroller, you will need too get around the game by finding hidden doors, traversing through labyrinths and discovering hidden treasures, fairies are extremely useful as most will fully heal you and some will even give you necessary items, fountains can be used to heal you also but first you need to obtain the flask in order to store some of the fountains water, other discover-able items are also handy but most will come at a price, some of these prices are ridiculous, throughout the game you will need to collect olives from fallen foes as this is your currency but enemies dont drop them nearly enough so collecting enough to pay for things can often become a drag, in the game boy version items cost half of the price of the original game which is a nice update.

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There are nine locations in the game, eight of these are shown above on the in game map while the gate to Tartarus (where Hades resides) is hidden and is only accessible late into the game, a lot of these areas are extremely well hidden and you have to travel back and fourth between these areas often, thankfully you can obtain a harp which will summon a Pegasus which makes getting around much faster.

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The only enemy I would consider to be a boss would be the final battle but you will need to beat some very tough enemies who are lurking around in various locations, personally my favourite was the cyclops but there are a lot to get through including a Siren, a Minotaur, a Centaur and many more, each is defeated in a different manner and all of them are very fun to fight.

The music is ok there isn’t much to it and nothing really sticks with you once you beat the game but the music is fun and doesn’t effect the game-play in anyway.

The Battle of Olympus is a hidden gem on the NES, not many people know about it but its quite cheap to pick up and is a really good third party game, its very difficult and may leave you screaming at your TV at times but with enough patience and learning you can quickly adapt to it, I wish it had a proper save system instead of passwords and some of the grinding for olives became too much of a nuisance but apart from that this is pretty solid game and is well worth your time 8.2/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Battle of Olympus on 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

 

 

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