Super Mario Sunshine (2002) Review

Super Mario Sunshine is a 3D platfomer for the Nintendo Gamecube, it was directed by Yoshiaki Koizumi and Kenta Usui with producer credits for both Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka

Mario, Princess Peach and Toadsworth are all flying to the luxurious Island of Isle Delfino for some summer fun, relaxation and a well needed vacation after Mario’s past adventures.

Unfortunately a Mario impostor has covered the entire island in toxic slime and due to this Mario is mistaken for the criminal resulting in him being thrown into prison. Luckily he had previously picked up one of Professor E-Gadd’s inventions FLUDD, FLUDD is a water propelling device which has multiples functions and is able to remove the slime, Mario is eventually released and told that he must clean the entire Island before he can leave, this gives him plenty of opportunities to figure out who framed him and explore the entirety of Isle Delfino.

In the game you will travel to different areas of the Island which each hold a number of Shine Sprites (This games stars).

In order to receive these Shine Sprites you will have to complete various tasks ranging from basics such as collecting red coins and more complex tasks such as fighting ghosts, riding yoshi’s and even riding roller coasters !!

My favourite Shines in the game are from the second world you can access, there are two missions here where you can ride on squids to go fast across the water, this is really fun and not too difficult to control once you get the hang of things.

Another game play style worth mentioning here is when the game takes the FLUDD away, this goes back to basic Mario game play and its very challenging because you are now used to using FLUDD for practically everything, I can see some gamer’s being very frustrated with these sections because they are both difficult and visually differing to the rest of the game but personally for myself these are some of the highlights of Mario Sunshine.

Speaking of the worlds they are each so differently designed that I want to briefly discuss my thoughts on them.

The Hub World has its own Shine Sprites which you can collect as you unlock new peripherals for your FLUDD, the main layout is actually really good and minus two Sprites which are a pain to collect it had little flaws, the only issue I have is the awful plachinko mini game and the red coin mission which is requires you to navigate a Yoshi to an island using boats which you have no control over.

The first world you enter is Bianco Hills a really summery area that is powered by windmills and ruled by ferocious pirana plants. I really like this area its genuinely really well designed and a great place to get used to using Mario’s jumping mechanics and it also teaches the player the basics of FLUDD.

Next up is Ricco Harbor a water based level which requires players to quickly adapt to using FLUDD in order to explore the stage,I like this level but I do feel its really unfair at times especially so early on in the game, I love riding the squids but I hate the wind that knocks you off of the towers which are already challenging to balance on.

Gelato Beach is one of my least favourite areas of the game, it can be very creative when it comes to using water to control the sand and I also enjoy the general atmosphere of the level, the stage was not very well designed for the Shine Sprites it holds, examples of awful design would be the much hated sand bird stage and rolling the water melon, while the sand bird is a stage hidden within the Beach it is still extremely frustrating and does not work well with the games genuinely slippery control and the water melon mission is just ridiculously difficult as one hit and it get destroyed and the level is crawling with unfair enemy placements.

Pinna Park is easily the best part of the game, its a theme park which is really fun to explore and is one of the best areas to climb up really high to get some good views and appreciation for the game design. I love this part and I have no complaints.

Sienna Beach is an odd name considering that you hardly spend anytime in the beach part of the level and mostly explore an old hotel, the hotel is a pretty cool area its a little boring considering that most of it is locked from the player but what we do get is great, I really love finding the secret rooms and the Casino is a memorable part due to that really crazy fight with King Boo.

An area I always forget about before each play through of Sunshine is Noki Bay, this is another water based area and I don’t know why I never remember this because its one of my favourite places to visit. It is a really challenging level because when you first enter the entire water area is poisoned and will kill Mario fairly quickly, the level is very small but has some great details such as the use of seashells as decoration and buildings, there are a lot of well hidden secrets to find and the stage is designed in a way that makes it really fun to explore with little frustration, I love the colours used, there is a lot of dark blues and purples and other darker colours that each blend really well together and build great immersion.

Pinata Village is the final area before you head to the Volcano to fight Bowser, I hate this level because it is really boring, there is nothing special about it and while I think its interesting that it was developed with players being able to explore both the village and its underside the entire layout is just basic and nothing really stands out, I would argue that even the Shine Sprites here are not great, the only one I enjoy is when you have to drag the giant chain chomp into the hot springs but apart from that nothing else is memorable for me.

While exploring all of the Island you will primarily be using FLUDD who has four functions, shooting water, hovering, blasting water to move Mario at rapid speeds and the rocket allowing Mario to propel himself into the sky, these are all really easy to use but you will be mainly using the hover which is the most useful as it can come in handy to allow you to make tricky jumps.

Yoshi’s can be ridden in the game but they are hardly ever needed a very unusual choice was for them to spit out juice from their mouths, this juice can be used to remove a specific type of slime that can not be destroyed otherwise.

At this point we have covered most of the game but the last thing I want to touch on is the blue coins, these are hidden all over the game and the primary function is to sell them for more Shine Sprites, people do complain that these make up a large chunk of the Sprites in the game and is just lazy I think its done in a way that works well enough but I would be lying if I didn’t slightly agree with the statement.

The game may be a little flawed but you have to admit that the soundtrack is fantastic, its very simple I wont deny that, it even repeats music but with a different style and instruments but its done in such a clever and discreet way that it just works, the music fits perfectly and helps you get immersed in the really silly world of Isle Delfino.

So I know I have complained a fair bit here but I do feel this game is far from perfect, It’s buggy and the controls are not as great as they usually are and for the most part it feels unfinished but there must be something great about this game because I have replayed it every Summer since 2002. I think what this game does well is that it genuinely feels like a vacation, its so silly and charming that its hard not to put a smile on your face and I think for a lot people its nostalgic, it definitely is for me I got this game when it came out and I’ ve grown up with it since I was seven years old, back then I would have told you that this is one of the best Mario games ever made but now that I’m older and I review video games for a living I can see that its far from being a masterpiece for reasons I have stated previously. It’s a game that I would say is half amazing and half mediocre its a little bit of a mess but is also really fun, Mario Sunshine is probably the most difficult game in the series to rate because its hard to look past how much fun it is but then as reviewers we must look into It’s problems and it has a fair few so I think its only fair to give it a 6.5/10 and just enjoy for what it is, not the best Mario game but a great way to start the summer.

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Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers (1990) NES Review

Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers is a platformer video game based on the hit television series of the same name, it was developed by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The plot follows Chip and Dale on one of their missions, this time to rescue a stolen kitten from the villainous Fat Cat.

The game has 11 levels that each need to be explored, each of these are themed and some can be played out of order.

In the levels your main goal as usual is to get from the start of a stage to the end however you will be dealing with many tough bad guys which you can defeat by picking up items and throwing them at them.

The boss fights in the game are fantastic, they all follow a similar pattern of using a thrown ball to defeat them but they each have different attack patters which can be pretty tough at times, the final boss was particularly quite challenging.

This game is quite simple in its premise and its design but what I love about it is the smaller details, I think its great that you can play simultaneous 2 players as that was quite rare on the NES, some of puzzles are really interesting such as turning off the taps or trying to get past the desk fans which is difficult due to your small stature. I also think its great how its uses plenty of enemy sprites so that they are not repeating all of the time, giving plenty of variety. The game is very easy especially on two players so I would consider this more of a fun game to run through than a title that would test your skills as a gamer.

The soundtrack is fine, its not one my favourites and I while it is a lot of fun I do feel some of the tracks could have been changed to suit the levels more but its not a bad soundtrack by any means, it does have a great chiptune of the shows themesong.

Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers for the NES is really fun game that I feel anyone can enjoy without getting stressed or giving up, it is a great game for new gamers but is also a fun time for older gamers aswell, for the best experience play the game on two players co-op, one major update I would make if I designed the game is I would have made the co-op need more team work in order to proceed through the game, for example more puzzles that require communication that just good reflexes.

8.3/10

Thank you for reading my review of ChipnDale: Rescue Rangers for NES

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Heavenly Sword (2007) Review

Heavenly Sword is a hack and slash adventure game that was developed for the Sony PlayStation 3, it was developed by Ninja Theory and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

The game begins at the end of its story, the titular character Nariko has seemingly died after using the legendary heavenly sword, the game then takes the player to the chapter select screen where they can start the game and learn what happened before the previous moment. The game shows a war between a warrior clan and a tyrannical king who wants to steal the Heavenly Sword and use its power for mass destruction, the player controls Nariko in the game the daughter of the clans chief.

The main gameplay style is hack and slash a style that requires players to kill large quantities of enemies in one go using well timed button presses and a good use of various attack combo’s. In this game you have three main attack stances less powerful speed based attacks, ranged attacks and strong but slow powerful attacks. Switching between these is very easy however I found there was a delay for the game to notice that you have changed stance.

There are four boss battles in the game and they all challenging in unique ways, for me they were best part of the game and I think a lot of that is because the characters are each very comical and silly in nature, out of all of these the final boss was the most difficult which is to be expected however he is actually much harder than the rest of the game which is not very challenging at all.

I will be honest the main game play is quite forgettable even with the different stances, I found myself zoning out a lot and just breezing through it but the secondary game play when you would control Kai or cannons was great. In these moments you shoot arrows or sometimes cannon balls at enemies that are far away but you control how these fly and its really fun to try and hit different targets you can even shoot through fire to light explosives, I loves these segments and would have been really pleased if the whole game was like this.

Visually for an early PS3 game this looks really good it uses colours very well and for most part is graphically smooth, these days this doesn’t look so good and even compared to many PS3 games this doesn’t hold up but you have to keep in mind that this was only a year or so after the PS2 and developers were still getting use to the graphical capabilities of the system.

In a similar manner to the gameplay the official soundtrack is also very forgetful and none of the music really stands out.

Heavenly Sword disappointed me because I remember watching my cousin play it when it first came out and it seemed really fun so I’ve waited more than 10 years to play this only to find that its fairly mediocre for a hack and slash. My biggest issue was the delay in some of the controls it became a serious issue especially during the final battle when you need change stance constantly, I also did not enjoy the forced quick time events which really felt unnecessary, the worst offence was the unbalanced difficulty, the entire game is really easy until the final boss who is extremely difficult, this is bad design they should increased the difficulty gradually so that players can adapt to the difficulty as they get experience playing the game. I did really enjoy the characters in the game as they were all very funny and had some great moments, the designs are really memorable and voice acting is top notch, the plot of the game while simple is also really enjoyable and very well written. Overall not a great game but it’s far from a terrible experience.

4/10

Thank you for reading my review of Heavenly Sword for the PS3

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Final Fantasy VII (1997) Review

Final Fantasy 7 is a JRPG from Square Soft (Square Enix) it was the first game in the series to get a release in PAL regions and before being released on the PS1 it began development for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, later into its developmental cycle it was pushed towards Nintendo 64 however due to the advantages of CD-Rom technology this game was dropped from a Nintendo 64 release making it the first in the series to not get a release on a Nintendo video game system

The game was remade for the PS4 in 2019 however in this review I am purely talking about the original and will review the remake on its own when I get around to playing it.

It is no secret that the plot to this game is insanely complicated so I’m going to try and sum it up the best that I can.

The main party member in the game is Cloud Strife an ex soldier who works with a group of eco terrorists to help save the planet from an evil god like super human named Sephiroth who wants to steal the earths essences.

In the game Cloud meets many characters but the most important and in my opinion best character in the game is a flower girl named Aeris, depending on how you interact with her will determine how Cloud and Aeris’s Relationship grows in the game and her character is so likeable that it makes her final scene even more heart breaking.

I wont into anymore plot details due to spoilers but if you want to watch an excellent video about this game, its influence and the plot then I suggest Clement Remembers Final Fantasy VII, I had no input with the video but it was a great understanding of how special the game really is so please use the links below to watch the video and of course give the creator some love by subscribing to his YouTube Channel.

Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ClementJ642

Clement Remembers Final Fantasy VII https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_Dq4ysZafU

The main gameplay is nothing new for a JRPG it follows the simple premise of using a world map to run into random battles, visit towns and different areas and drive various vehicles, what this game does do differently is the use of Materia.

Materia are different types of energy that can be collected in the game and assigned into weapon and armour slots, this allows characters to perform different actions including magic casting, commands, summons and other upgrades. I mostly found use in magic and summons but the enemy skill Materia also came in handy. One Important thing to note with magic Materia is the all Materia this when matched with a magic Materia can spread its effects across all enemies or allys instead of just one, this is extremely useful for healing your entire party at once and is one of the most useful Materias in the game.

Its not only battling you can do in the game but with a little exploration you can discover many fun minigames, by far the best is Chocobo racing which is diffciult at first but once you get used to it, it is so much fun, another memorable side game was snowboarding down a mountain which I didn’t enjoy purely because I was terrible at it, apart from this there is an arcade in the game which allows you to play many different types of fun games, it really is a blast and as is an area I often revisit when I want to have a break from the main plot.

In the game Cloud can gather up to eight additional party members which includes two secret characters Vincent and Yuffie who are not necessary for the plot however I recommend grabbing them as they are very good and I actually used them both when taking on the games Final Boss.

The game is so large it’s actually on three disks and took me about 60 hours to finish, because of this as you can imagine the graphics are not amazing but I will say that because of how many different areas are in the game it makes up for it in its variety, there are CGI cut scenes in the game and these are gorgeous and only happen in major plot moments.

The music for the game was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and it is one of the greatest video game soundtracks I have ever had the pleasure of listening too, the music is very atmospheric but a lot of fun in its light hearted moments, the game chooses to not use music at all in certain scenes in order put the focus on very important plot details and that is something that not many games do, its rare that a game will just stop music and the moments Final Fantasy VII chooses to do this are perfect. The best track in the entire game in my opinion is One Winged Angel, it is the only track to my knowledge that uses vocals and this only happens during the true final battle of the game, it gets the player pumped for a very intense fight and it makes sure that you know that this is the moment when you need to truly put everything you learned in the game to the test, the music in this game is absolutely breathtaking and I will never forget it.

I cannot fault Final Fantasy VII because it may be the best JRPG I have ever played, I have not been this invested in a video game in a long time and I cant find much I dislike about the game, it had an amazing yet complicated plot, great characters that are all very likeable in their own ways, had clear objectives and little level grinding was necessary, it allows players to make their own choices which will eventually affect small plot points but will not ruin the main plot and it remains entertaining throughout and not once does it become boring or feel like a chore. If I had to nit pick I would argue that some labelling on the over world map would make navigation a little easier but apart from that this Final Fantasy VII is well worthy of a Final Score of 10/10

Thank you for reading my review of Final Fantasy VII for the PS1

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Ben & Jerry’s: Netflix and Chilled Review

Hey everyone its been about two weeks since I have uploaded and after this small break regular reviews will be coming back very soon but in the mean time I discovered a new interesting food today which I thought we could take a look together.

This is a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream that seems to have been made in collaboration with the popular streaming service Netflix, now I love Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream but I have never really spoken about it on here because a lot of people where I live know about it but I feel this particular flavour is unique enough to warrant a review.

According to the lid this ice cream consists of Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Sweet and Salty Pretzel Swirls and Brownie Pieces.

These are the ingredients I will put them in Bold here and I will state that I have taken them directly from this ice creams page on the Ben and Jerry’s website

Peanut Butter (5%) Dairy Ice Cream with Sweet & Salty Pretzel (8,5%) Swirls & Brownie Pieces (9,5%)Water, cream (21%) (MILK), condensed skimmed MILK, sugar, vegetable oils (soybean oil, coconut oil, Rapeseed oil), PEANUTS, flours (WHEAT flour, BARLEY malt), free range EGG yolk, starch, sugar cane syrup, fat-reduced cocoa powder, salt, EGG, EGG white powder, stabilisers (carrageenan, guar gum), emulsifier (SOYBEAN lecithins), vanilla extract, raising agent (sodium bicarbonate). > Sugar, vanilla: mass balance is used to match Fairtrade sourcing, total 18%F. F Visit info.fairtrade.net/sourcingAllergy Information: Contains Cereals cont. Gluten + prods., Egg, Peanuts, Soya, Milk and Gluten. Free from Irradiation and Meat. Suitable for Ovo Lacto Vegetarian. Certified for Kosher. Yes Alcohol

https://www.benjerry.co.uk/flavours/netflix-and-chillld-ice-cream

It shouldnt be much of a suprise that its not very good for you, Ben and Jerry’s ice creams tend to be packed full of sweets and other goodies which would surely rot your teeth if you ate too much of them, but I wont let that affect my opinion as I quite enjoy sugary things anyway.

After a few tastes of the ice cream I will say that the peanut butter ice cream is really nice however, the flavour is so strong that it is hard to differentiate it from the other flavours, the only other thing you can really taste is the brownie and while there is a mild salt taste you couldn’t tell that there was pretzels in this, overall a fun idea and a surprising collaboration but I must say that Netflix and Chilled is not of my favourites by a long run.

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Yooka-Laylee (2017) Review

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Yooka- Laylee is a 3D platformer- Adventure game that was developed by Platonic Games a team of Developers that used to work for Rare Ware. Yooka-Laylee was crowd funded on kick-starter as a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.

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After stealing a magical book from our protagonists an overly corrupt business Bee and his Duck head henchman want to collect all of the worlds books to gain enough literary knowledge to take over the world leaving Yooka the lizard and Laylee the bat to collect all of the pagies and defeat Capital B.

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The main game takes place in a series of different themed lands which each hold various collectables including pages of the book, quills, four ghosts, a play coin for playing arcade games, a power extender, a health extender and a molly cool to unlock a transformation.

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There are many moves you unlock in the game from a snake named Trowzer, these are paid for with the quills you collect, the most useful move is definitely the roll mechanic which allows Yooka and Laylee to move a lot faster and also to manoeuvre specific surfaces that cannot be climbed otherwise.

Other moves that really stand out in this game are the Bubble.

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This ability allows Yooka and Laylee to walk underwater without having to worry about running out of oxygen.

The Slurp Shot

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Later on in the game you can purchase the slurp ability allowing Yooka to lick specific items to temporarily gain their unique abilities.

Flappy Flight

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Flappy Flight makes adventuring really fun as it allows them to fly for a long distance, it is a lot of fun to use and makes the final world Galleon Galaxy really satisfying to search through.

These are my personal favourite moves in the games, however this is only scratching the surface as there are a lot more in the game, the moves I have not gone into detail here are.

Sonar Shot, Buddy Slam, Glide, Lizard Leap, Lizard Lash, Camo Cloak, Sonar Splosion, and Sonar Shield.

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The worlds are really fun to explore and the missions needed to gain the pagies are some of the games highlights. I cant pick out the ones I enjoyed the most because I loved all of them equally, there was a nice variety in things to do and what skills were needed to commit to some of the pagies, a few of them are actually very difficult and take a lot of practise.

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There is no denying that the game is absolutely gorgeous with its charming visuals and vast worlds, I love exploring the large worlds especially once you have expanded them  however this does have some impact on the frustration of collecting everything because they are all very spread out.

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Each world has one transformation that you can unlock, you use these transformations to collect specific items in the game, I enjoyed all of these but my favourite was the helicopter as it was needed for a large chunk of its level, all of the other transformations were only really needed once or twice and I wish they were implemented for more use in their stages.

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I also was not a fan of the arcade machines as I felt the pagies for them felt out of place and they interrupted the consistency of my run of each world, these work a lot better as part of a multiplayer experience but I do wish they were not in the main campaign.

The music in the game was composed by composing legend Grant Kirkhope who is well known for classic Nintendo 64 games from Rare Ware, the music here is excellent and uses the bouncy and fun style that Kirkhope is known for.

Yooka-Laylee is a really good game and in my opinion it was successful in its goal of being a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, these days unless you are playing Nintendo or one of a few indie titles the 3D platformer is essentially dead and Yooka-Laylee is a sign that they can still successful in this day and age with the correct team developing them.

8.8/10

Thank you for reading my review of Yooka-Laylee for the PC, PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch

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The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons/Ages (2001) Review

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The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons and Ages are the seventh and eight games in the franchise, they were developed by Capcom for the Nintendo Gameboy Colour. These games are very unique entries to the series because they are both heavily connected and should be played one after the other in order of the players choice.

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In order to connect the games plots after finishing one game you will be given a code to enter into the other game to get the conclusive experience.

I have decided not to discuss many details of the linked versions of each game because while they have some plot differences and connections, It would be quite major spoilers and for the the most part the base game and dungeons are practically the same with an extended final boss.

If you would like to see all of the details of the linked games use the link below

https://www.zeldadungeon.net/wiki/Linked_Game

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In Oracle of Ages the Triforce sends Link to the land of Labrynna, here he meets Impa who asks him to move a boulder so that she can listen to the Nayru the Oracle of Ages sing, unaware of the mistake he has made Link helps Impa to find that she had been possessed by an Evil spirit called Veran, Once close enough Veran leaves Impa and possesses Nayru instead.

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With Veran now possessing Nayru, a plan to affect time and bring sorrow to the world is in motion, Link visits the Maku Tree who explains that by collecting the eight essences of time Link will be given enough power to defeat Veran pushing Link to travel through time to discover them and save the Oracle of Ages.

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You can find the essences of time by completing dungeons that are hidden across the map, these dungeons are very challenging and are packed with tricky puzzles, personally I would argue that these puzzles may be some of the most challenging in the franchise.

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New items in this game are seeds, there are many different seeds in the game you find, each of these allow Link to perform various abilities including lighting fires, attracting enemies towards him, awakening owl statues, running at fast speeds and teleporting across the map to different locations.

The only other new item that is important to the game experience is the Harp of Ages, you able to learn multiple songs in the game which allow Link to alter-time and travel freely between the past and present.

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During your adventure Link will come across three animals that need his help, A flying bear, A boxing kangaroo and Dodongo that can swim and climb waterfalls. After experimenting with these animals and testing their abilities you will later on have the opportunity to keep one of them as your main companion, this is done by finding or winning one of three flutes in the game. This is unique to both games and your animal companion will be transferred between the two games.

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There are many hidden rings in both of the games, by paying for them to be appraised you will unlock the rings ability, these can either upgrade of downgrade various aspects to Links character including but not limited too strength, defence, speed etc. These rings can be transferred between both of the games.

Oracle of Ages has one of my favourite soundtracks in the Legend of Zelda video game series, the music in this game is a lot of fun and really quite creative, it uses a lot of original tracks that suit the game perfectly but it also uses a lot of bit tunes of tracks from Ocarina of time which is one of favourite games ever.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages can easily be considered an almost perfect game, it has a great plot and a really excellent soundtrack but I feel its held back by how its never very clear where you need to be going and a lot of this is because of the in-game map, its not very clear where things are and it can be a pain teleporting across the map only to find its the wrong area I had a very similar issue with the Links Awakening DX  but apart from that I really like this game and I think its only fair that I give it a good rating of 9.8/10

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In Oracle of Seasons Link finds himself exploring the Land of Holodrum where he meets Din the Oracle of Seasons and Dances with her, during this time the evil Onox kidnaps the Oracle and the seasons of the Land become completely out of control leaving Link to discover the 8 essences of nature to restore balance to the world.

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Right off the bat the over-world map is a lot more interesting here than it was in ages, not only would I argue the encounters are better including the trade sequence but a new puzzle element has been added outside of dungeons in the form of seasons. In the game Link is able to find wooden stumps that he can stand on and use the rod of seasons to change the seasons in game which heavily affects the over-world map in different ways, I found this much more interesting than the time travel in Oracle of Ages.

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The dungeons in this game are more focused on combat so they are much tougher with enemy placements and have much more difficult boss fights. I prefer more puzzle based dungeons myself but they were a lot of fun here as well.

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The Animal Companions are also in Oracle of seasons and have the same uses as before, the game also uses rings that you can collect to enhance or downgrade Link throughout the game.

The game has a stellar soundtrack which is highly enjoyable to listen too and just like Ages it also uses bit tunes of tracks used in other Zelda games.

Oracle of Seasons is just as good as the Oracle of Ages although they are quite different, this one if more combat based and it was a lot of fun. It is a very difficult Zelda game and is a little unforgiving to its players with how difficult it can be at times but with good practise it can easily be beaten. If i’m being completely honest I seriously think I prefer this game even though it has less puzzles, it handled the characters a lot better than Ages and the majority of them had some importance to the game which made the world a lot more memorable and interesting. It is still very cryptic and the map sucks but that is to be expected considering that Ages had the same issues, overall It is only fair to give this the same score a tidy 9.8/10

I held off from playing these games for such a long time because of how they are connected, I was worried I would be bored playing two Zelda games in a row but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this wasn’t the case and they are very well designed and are great fun. It doesn’t matter which order you play the games in but I do recommend that you use the secret code in the second game you play so that you get the true ending. I wonder if they will ever try something so ambitious with this series again, I really hope so but only time will tell.

Thank you for reading my review of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons for The Gameboy Colour.

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Book Review: The Hunger Games – Catching Fire

Only two years late on this one, here is my review of the first book

https://ragglefragglereviews.com/2018/01/23/book-review-the-hunger-games-by-suzanne-collins/

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, it was written by author Suzanne Collins and was released in 2009.

After successfully winning the 74th Hunger Games Peeta and Katniss return home to District 12 where every seems back to normal until she recieves a surprise visit from President Snow who was unimpressed with Katniss actions against the capitol and now wants her to convince the districts that it was out of love for Peeta.

Without spoiling too much of the plot I will say that I vastly enjoyed this book more than the first, there is a lot of intense and emotional moments in this story and I would argue that this is the book that really shows how messed up the Hunger Games truly is and how sinister and psychotic behaviour is the source of its creation.

There are a lot of deaths in this book that definitely did not need to happen but were necessary to show the immense power the capital has over the districts of Panem. In the first book it didn’t really show an emotional and human side to the other competitors but in this story you really feel for everyone that is involved and are left not only rooting for Katniss and Peeta. There is also a look into past hunger games which helps show us how the characters such as Hamish survived in previous games.

Overall this is an emotional book that is at times scary and even gruesome but you really feel sorry for the characters almost as if you are watching the games yourself, I do wish that I never waited so long to read this one but the third and final book I am going to finish at some point this year so look forward to that.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

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Dante’s Inferno (2010) Review

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Dante’s Inferno is an action game developed by Visceral Games and Published by EA, it is very loosely based on the Inferno section of the Divine Comedy written by Dante.

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After being unfaithful triggers a chain of events leading to the death of his beloved Beatrice, Dante seeks out Lucifer to free her soul, once he has defeated death and taken his sythe Dante dives into the top layer of Hell his first challenge before adventuring deeper and deeper inching closer to his goal.

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The game play is fairly simple and is not complicated, you will be slaughtering armies of demons and the un-dead tormented souls that wander the shores of hell but you will also be using various magical abilities that can be unlocked in the story or via the in-game skill tree. The most useful means of attack in the game is the holy cross that you use to kill at a distance, this is up-gradable and can become the most useful means of attack.

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I love the boss designs in this game, they are mostly based on guardians of the circles of Hell as well as Dante’s deceased family members, all of them are very challenging and are visually quite horrifying which suits the fantastically dark visual style of the games world.

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There are 27 condemned souls in the game that you will have the chance to judge if you want to free them of their chains in Hell, you can choose either for these but depending on your choice will either raise you holy level or your unholy level, three souls in the game can unlock you achievements if you absolve them of their sins.

Dante’s Inferno is fully orchestrated and uses a choir to give the music very church like vibes which of course sounds fantastic and suits the general atmosphere of this game really well and even makes it creepier and more epic than it already is, I have always preferred retro video game sound tracks but this definitely of my favourites from its generation.

Dante’s Inferno is a really great game and is a testament that you can really make a video game out of anything if you put a lot of love into it. It is easily one of my favourite games of the 360 and PS3 generation. The reason I like it so much is because of it’s simplicity the developers knew what they wanted to do with the game and they stuck with it, the only disadvantage to this is that the game is very short with a length of less than 10 hours but the story telling, general vibe and consistently fun challenging game play makes up for this. To top it all off the game looks and sounds gorgeous with again simplicity in both its visuals and its music making them atmospheric but not over complicating things and with that I can only give Dante’s Inferno what it truly deserves and that is a 10/10

 

Barti Spiced Review

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Welcome to my third rum review on this website, tonight I have decided to finally talk about Barti Spiced.  Three things to note about this bottle 1 it used to be called Barti Ddu which is Welsh for Black Bart, 2 it is made locally in the county of Pembrokeshire in West Wales and 3 the bottle is nearly empty because I like this rum so much that I keep drinking it and that is already a good start.

Lets begin with the label the front has an illustration of a ship with a traditional skull and cross bones on the flag, now this was not Black Barts flag and I think it would have been more interesting to use his original design considering that due to how long ago he passed away it will be in the public domain. The paper quality is excellent here and has a very soft touch it almost feels a little fragile and crusted in a similar manner to aged paper, this is a nice touch and is very much appreciated.

IMG_20200428_223619_6The back of the bottle gives some safety information and also displays the 35 percent alcohol volume, the best part of this label is the poem on the back “Here’s to you John Roberts, Cymro born but bred at sea, who caught in gold-lust winds chased old world tales and fantasies. Sweet music swirled around him as he swayed under the sun, bathed in silk and Spanish gems, five hundred ships he won. A merrier life and a short one hid the hiraeth at his core as the unforgiving waves took his poor soul to heavenly shores. Some say pirates were too savage but these were savage times you see…So here’s to you John Roberts forever Known as Barti Ddu.

In 2018 a competition winner for Barti turned these words with a few changes into a really nice song that is now used in its advertising, here is a link.

The wording on the back of the bottle I believe is in reference to Black Barts death and the treasures he was wearing at the time of his death.

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With a now empty bottle and some ice in my glass its time for the taste, it needs to be stated that one of the main ingredients of this drink is locally grown seaweed and you can smell it along with the spices when you open the bottle, they blend very well and the smell is divine. This is nice mixed with cola but I actually prefer it on its own, it has a slightly sweet taste but the flavours of the spices and seaweed are a match made in heaven, the flavours dance on your tongue and are absolutely delicious, there is a little kick to it when it hits the throat before finally giving you warmth. This is the best alcohol I have ever had this and it is well worth the 30 pounds cost, it makes me very proud to live in Pembrokeshire and I highly recommend that you buy a bottle if you visit or you can purchase it on Amazon.co.uk.

I hope you enjoyed this review, its not often I buy different rums so it was nice to talk about this one.

Here’s to you John Roberts for ever known as Barti Ddu.

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