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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Krusty’s Super Fun House (1993) Review

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Originally named Krusty World in Japan Krusty’s Super Fun House was a puzzle/platformer developed and produced by Fox Williams and Acclaim Entertainment, the game was released on a whole array of systems including Commodore Amiga, NES, DOS, Master system, Megadrive, Game Boy and SNES.

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Krusty the Clown has had a rat infestation at his playhouse and with the help of various Simpsons characters he has to exterminate them.

In the game you play as Krusty, the game plays as a 2D platformer for the most part but the main aspect of the game is puzzles, during the puzzles Krusty must find and direct rats to their doom using different items such as blocks and buckets, if you place an item down on the ground the rats can climb on top of it to reach higher platforms and you need to keep doing this until they enter a machine which kills them.

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Krusty can obtain various weapons in the game which can destroy walls and enemies, my favourite weapon is the bog standard custard pie as it has a nice range and is fairly easy to hit your target.

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Graphically the game is ok no matter which version you play, the Gameboy version is black and white and the 8 bit versions are slightly less pixelated than the 16 versions of the game, the visuals are quite bland and do get a bit boring later on, the big issue is that a lot of sprite work had been copied and pasted making some of the later levels very difficult to navigate, the game play also varies from each version, they all follow the same formula but some systems ran the game substantially better than others, I played the SNES version of the game which was fine however I have heard that the PC versions such as DOS and Commodore Amiga suffered from a lot of slowdown.

All in all Krustys Fun House is boring, it was a drag having to play through the entire thing and the whole experience was just plain, dull and not very exciting, it has decent controls and ok graphics but its lame game play and looped soundtrack does not help the game shine in the slightest.

3.8/10

Thank you for reading my review of Krusty’s Super Fun House

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You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

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

Kirby Star Allies (Nintendo Switch) Review

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Released on the 16th of March 2018 Kirby’s latest adventure has become popular amongst both fans and critics, the game makes a few changes to the regular Kirby formula which helps to make the game play feel unique while still being similar to its predecessors.

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On a distant Planet a Crystaline heart is blown up by a mysterious individual, the heart fragments are shot across the galaxy where they land on various planets including Kirby’s home planet of Dream Land, many characters are possessed by the heart fragments making them extremely aggressive, Kirby is also affected but instead of becoming dangerous Kirby gains the ability to befriend anyone he pleases, with his handy new ability Kirby heads off to find out whats going and prepares himself to save the galaxy.

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similar to most other Kirby games this one is a plat-former but as previously stated it does add a fair bit to the average Kirby formula, Kirby is still able to consume enemies and shoot them back out in the form of a star as a means of attack and most enemies will allow Kirby to gain their abilities if they are completely consumed, whats new is the ability to throw hearts at enemies forcing them to join your team, you can have up to three extra team members to help you beat the levels by killing enemies and solving puzzles, this doesn’t always work so well as I found that I occasionally needed to sacrifice a team member by consuming them as they wouldn’t commit to simple tasks such as lighting a fuse meaning that I has to do it my self at the loss of an ally although this wasn’t too much trouble as you can easily find someone else to join your team in their place, it should also be noted that some enemies can add elements to Kirby’s weapons making some enemies easier to defeat, you can also play as a main series characters such as Meta Knight by unlocking them in bonus areas called Dream Palaces, these palaces and bonus levels are unlocked by finding giant pink buttons in certain levels.

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Another fun ability Kirby can perform with his friends is the various podiums you find through out the different planets, these podiums require you to have a full team of allies so that you can create various forms, the most the common is the friendship circle but my personal favourite is the train, it was so much fun racing through the train segment at full speed not too mention very cute.

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Boss fights are what you would normally expect from a Kirby game but that isn’t a bad thing, they are still fun to fight and and its not as if they aren’t unique at all, the King Dedede fight stands out to me a lot and the final battle is extremely dramatic although I wont spoil that here.

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The visuals are amazing this is Kirby looking the best he has ever looked, the graphics are smooth, the game has some great uses for shadows and shading, colours vary from bright and cheerful to dark and gritty in order to fit the mood and atmosphere of the different planets and even smaller touches such as fire sparks being caused by fire attacks and the backgrounds being slightly enlarged and stretched out when passing over it during a water attack, this really goes to show just how much effort was put into the game by the designers.

The soundtrack of the game may just be my favourite yet of any Kirby game, it has all of original music as well some updated versions of classics tracks from the past, check it out above.

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Some Minor spoilers regarding bonus content below

Bonus content in this game while fun isn’t too much to get excited for, the main collectable of the game are puzzle pieces and if you collect a certain amount you can unlock one of many pictures inspired by past Kirby games, there are a few extra mini games available from the moment you start the game one is a lumber jack game where you must chop down trees faster than your opponents and the other is a game where you must bash a meteor with a baseball bat hoping that it goes further than the other players, once you beat the story mode you will unlock a boss rush mode and time trials which allow you too play as various enemies from the game, if you beat this game you can then play as dream palace characters such as Dedede and Meta Knight.

Kirby Star Allies is a really fun game and is a great entry to the series however it is far too short, its also very easy which isn’t surprising for a Kirby game but honestly there is no challenge at all in the main story, the boss rush can get a bit tough but that doesn’t make up for a story mode which only managed to kill me a handful of times, I know Kirby games are easier than most but this seemed a bit ridiculous, however its still worth picking up mostly due to the bonus content the player gets rewarded through out the game, the graphics are wonderful and the soundtrack will have you humming along all day, also at some point in the game a nod to one of Kirby’s earlier games is made and its honestly so cool and is worth discovering for your self.

Kirby Star Allies is a nice return for Kirby and I hope that its sells enough games to encourage some new story DLC but until then this game is good enough but definitely could have done with being a bit longer 7.3/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Kirby Star Allies 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