Not so Christmas Review: Chicken Run

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Chicken Run is a very unusual movie to say the least, Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman teamed up with Dreamworks animation to make an animated version of the Great Escape starring chickens and its fantastic.

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In a slightly kinder interpretation of a Nazi Concentration Camp Chickens are forced to produce eggs for their farmers and if they dont produce enough eggs for the week then its off to the chopping block, all of the chickens are miserable and want to escape but with the farmers Mr and Mrs Tweedy only living only a few feet away from the pen and their sadistic dogs killing any chickens that get out of the pen escape looks near impossible, that is until one day a rooster lands into the pen and Ginger (One of the chickens) sees this rooster as their saving Grace possibly giving them a chance to escape their captivity.

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The Voice Acting in Chicken Run is really great but to be honest I don’t recognize much of the cast except for two people, the first is Miranda Richardson who plays Mrs Tweedy and of course Mel Gibson who plays Rocky the Rooster.

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The Animation is done using stop motion, but like many of the past Aardman productions which have used this method the stop motion in Chicken Runs animation is so smooth that it may fool you into thinking it was made using CGI, due to the nature of the the film most of imagery is dark and depressing most likely to match the atmosphere of the film, I did notice that happier characters were decorated with brighter colours but I’m not sure if these colours were to help empathise their good spirits.

Chicken Run is one of greatest British animated films of all time and it needs to be seen by everyone, I’m not sure if it was released outside of Europe but if you haven’t seen it then you can stream it on Netflix or you can purchase the film if you would like to support Aardman to make more great movies.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Chicken Run

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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Beauty and the Beast 2017 Review

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Tale as old as time? We’ll see about that

NE33gHKN7fMA68_2_bSo Emma Watson takes the lead in this new adaptation of the much beloved animated classic and while I was afraid that she would do a miserable job playing such an important role, I will say that I was wrong and she was a perfect cast for the character, she gave a good performance which helped to represent Belle’s can do attitude and sense of adventure and for the most part you could tell she enjoyed playing the role, but the one and only issue I had was what everyone else has been saying, Emma Watson’s singing should have been dubbed, the poor girl couldn’t hold a tune to save the queen and this really took a lot of people out of the movies fantastic atmosphere.

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The rest of the live action cast were also fine, they all gave energetic performances which matched their characters, this was especially good during the musical segments, however I hate the design of the furniture in the castle, in the original film the designs were bright and colourful, even the voice actors in the older animated movie put more effort into their voice acting but here these characters just look so ugly and unerringly creepy, this design works well on the beast because he is supposed to frighten you and he is supposed to be hideous, I don’t know if this was a design choice to help the castle match the beasts disturbing character design but it is honestly just awful.

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Those are my only real complaints with the movie as the rest of it was absolutely fantastic, it has all of the songs you love plus a few new and very well written original songs, the story here is slightly different to the original, this takes more from the book while adding it’s own few additions to the story, the reasoning for the prince being transformed into a beast is explained more clearly in this movie, we get an explanation to what happened to Belle’s mother and to top it all off even the ending isn’t quite as abrupt as the 1991 animated classic, its got all the charm of the original with a couple of mishaps but it makes up for it with the new additions to the story and amazing character performances, I am not even ashamed to say that this may be the better film of the two but only slightly, if you haven’t seen Beauty and the Beast in the cinema yet book your tickets as soon as you can and you wont be disappointed.

What did you think of Beauty and the Beast?

Do you agree with my opinion of the film?

Thanks for reading

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PC) (2002) Review

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A year and a half ago I reviewed a mediocre Philosophers Stone game for the PC, it was a fairly bare bones 3D platformer that was way too short and it skipped over many of the best moments from the film and the original novel, today we will be taking look at the PC video game of the second book in the series Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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You play the game as Harry Potter the boy who lived who is attending his second year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, just like the first game this is a 3D platformer where the objective of the game is too attend classes and beat challenge maps, a huge difference here is how you learn spells, in the first game learning magic was awkward because you needed to trace over shapes with your mouse and with such a limited amount of time performing this task became very difficult, thankfully the game designers have taken a different approach with the sequel as now instead of tracing we instead need to hit corresponding keys on the keyboard in a specified order in the style of a rhythm game.

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Quidditch matches have also been heavily modified and I don’t like the changes they have made here, instead of having complete control over your broom so you can fly freely the game controls the broom for the player and all you need to do is bump into the enemy seeker until you are close enough to catch the golden snitch, its boring, it has no challenge at all and the worst part of it is that it feels like the game designers were just being lazy and were trying to rush out the game.

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The graphics are impressive when compared to the first game, everything is smoother and less pixelated but for a game from 2002 they are still pretty bad, on the bright side the level designs are more detailed and are genuinely more interesting to explore, the best part of the game is finding all of the secrets around Hogwarts castle and the castle grounds, through out the game you will learn an array of spells which can be used to defeat enemies and open up secret passageways where you may find a famous witches and wizards card.

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The first game had only 25 cards to collect and for doing so all you would receive was a slightly extended ending, this game has a whopping 101 cards which is the staple for the majority of the Harry Potter games, the cards come in three categories, gold, silver and bronze, the bronze cards are common and for every 10 you collect you will gain an additional health bar, the silver cards are uncommon and for every ten of those you find you will come one step closer to accessing a bonus area which can only be accessed once the player finds all 40 of the silver cards, the bonus room is a platforming level, which is full of enemies and puzzles, the player has a set amount of time to try and find the 11 rare gold cards in the game, again I don’t think its worth going out of your way to collect these but honestly it was much more fun to do so here than it was before.

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You can buy cards from other students around Hogwarts by using Bertie Botts every flavoured beans which can be found throughout the game, this isn’t necessary since every card can be found hidden inside and around the school but it is helpful if you don’t want to back track later on, the best way to collect beans is by entering the bonus bean room which you can only access if your house has the most points during the segments of the game where Dumbledore tallies up the house scores.

The music in the game is what can be expected from a cash grab title that was made to help push DVD sales but its fun to listen too and not once is it annoying nor does it take away from the game play experience.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the PC is a fun little game that is worth picking up if you manage to find it really cheap but if you cant your really not missing out on much, I can quite happily say that this is a good game but its far from a great Harry Potter gaming experience 6.3/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the PC

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

DLC in Nintendo Games?

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One of the biggest announcements for the new Zelda game coming out in the next couple of days was that Nintendo is adding Downloadable content which is a first for a main series Zelda title, as you can imagine this announcement has split fans, some people including myself couldn’t care less but others have been cancelling their pre-orders for the game.

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First of all this is not the first time Nintendo has added DLC to their games, they added new tracks and characters to Mario Kart and new stages and fighters to Super Smash Bros Wii U/3DS, I don’t recall so many people complaining when DLC for those games were announced but to be fair Breath of the Wild is a bit of a special case because not only is it a single player experience but Nintendo announced DLC before the game had even been released which lets be honest was a fairly stupid move on Nintendo’s part.

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So whats my stance on this whole DLC malarkey? well like I said I don’t care about DLC in general and it isn’t likely that I will buy DLC for any games that are not Mario Kart or Splatoon, I don’t agree with any first party single player games having DLC (Zelda, Mario, Metroid and so on) but I can understand paying to add new content in multiplayer games at a reasonable price of course, I feel that having DLC in single player games takes away a lot of the fun, I remember when I was younger you could unlock additional content in games by performing certain tasks, I will still never forget the first time I unlocked the original Prince of Persia game in the Sands of Time.

On a final note though I will say that we shouldn’t look at Nintendo as if they are different to every other game company in the world, yes they are late to some of these awful video game practices but every other company has been doing it for years and we all seem ok with them so why shouldn’t we give Nintendo the same respect and just accept the changes they are wanting to make, even if we don’t particularly agree with those changes.

Either way in only two days we will all be able to play on the Nintendo Switch and I personally cannot wait to run around Hyrule again without the dumb expansion packs.

I hope you enjoyed this semi rant

That’s it for Nintendo Switch Content now until we eventually get around to Reviewing Breath of the Wild which I’m hoping to have reviewed by the end of April depending on how long the game is.

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

The top 5 unannounced games I want for Nintendo Switch

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The Nintendo Switch is officially less than 10 days away from release and while there are a lot of games which have been announced I am only genuinely excited for three of them, those being Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2 and of course the long awaited Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but what about the games that haven’t been announced?

These are the 5 games I want to be announced for the Nintendo Switch…..hopefully at E3

HD Remakes

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Lets get the boring one out of the way first, Nintendo are great at making new games and expanding the universes of their video game characters but I still want to see more of their old games getting remade with modern graphics and controls, we all want Mario Sunshine and Luigi’s Mansion HD and so do I but I think some of Nintendo’s older titles would benefit from HD remakes, imagine being able to play Mario 64 in 1080p and without the dodgy controls and what about a HD remake of Donkey Kong 64 or Pilot Wings, there are a lot of titles that would be great as HD remakes but for me personally I would like to see a HD Metroid Prime Trilogy or HD Pikmin and Pikmin 2.

Animal Crossing

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This November will mark the fifth anniversary of Animal Crossing New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS, I think its time for a brand new Animal Crossing game and what better system to do this on than the Nintendo Switch, honestly I have never enjoyed the handheld Animal Crossing games as much as the ones released on stay at home systems and if released on the switch an Animal Crossing game would suit what I want and it could also be played as a handheld game for those who prefer playing on the go, so everyone wins however there are some major changes I want made to the series, first of all I want more creativity when it comes to building your town and by this I mean that players are able to build the islands themselves from the ground up also I think at this point we should be able to play as an animal if we want too, how about a character building mode where we can create our own characters in very unique and creative ways, I wont go into too many details on this as it may become an article of its own at some point.

Pikmin 4 

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Ok so Pikmin 4 has technically been announced for years but it hasn’t been announced for the Nintendo Switch so I still think this counts, I love cute things and the Pikmin games are no exception I like how Nintendo have taken a subject as dark as the extinction of the human race and made an adorable game series where you play as space captains who run around earth and control strange plant creatures to collect fruits and relics that have been left behind by humans, I haven’t gotten around to playing the third game yet but its on my to do list but in the mean time I hope Nintendo hurry’s up with Pikmin 4.

F-Zero 

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I think Mario Kart is a great game series but we get one or two of those every year, but we havent had an F-Zero game  since 2003, for those who don’t know F-Zero is a fast paced racing game that takes place in space, the games went on to spawn an amazing anime series and F-Zero was one of the biggest inspirations for the Hovercraft’s in Mario Kart 8, I don’t know why this series stopped but many would agree that it needs to return in big ways.

Luigi’s mansion 3 plus a Dark Moon Port

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I loved both of the Luigi’s Mansion games and I would really like to see a Luigi’s mansion 3, the changes I want to make in these games may surprise you but I think they could work, first of all I want Mario out of the game completely I think Luigi’s brother gets enough of the spotlight already, I want multiple playable characters which all have unique abilities and must be switched constantly to solve puzzles, some ideas of characters could be a toad, Luigi (obviously), Professor E-Gadd and Princess Daisy, also a new and more menacing villain and a scarier premise, that is my dream Luigi’s Mansion game and although I cant imagine this will ever happen I will still want a Luigi’s Mansion 3 and I know a lot of you guys do too.

Those are the top 5 games I want announced for the Nintendo Switch

Which games are on your list

I hope you enjoyed this article

Next week will be an article of my opinions of Nintendo DLC and how it could either succeed or fail

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

 

The Pros and Cons of the Nintendo Switch Live Presentation

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We are officially only three weeks away from the release of the Nintendo Switch and in celebration every week up until the release I will be releasing articles expressing my excitement for the system.

On the 12th of January 2017 Nintendo released an hour long presentation discussing important information about their new system, I have watched the presentation multiple times and although I am very excited about the new console I do feel that Nintendo have made some rather critical mistakes.

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Lets start by going over what I consider to be the most disappointing parts of the presentation

Here are the Cons of the Nintendo Switch

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  • Apart from a couple of games the launch line up is not very exciting
  • At the moment games are very expensive, you wont likely be paying less than £50 for a game and some games cost even more
  • Accessories are also ridiculously over priced but to be honest Nintendo have never had great deals on their accessories.
  • There is only 32GB of internal storage but you are able to expand the storage by inserting a micro SD card
  • The battery life while you are out and about is between 2-6 hours which isn’t great but could be much worse
  • Only 1080p resolution on the TV and 720p on the tablet, may not seem like a huge deal but when compared the competition this is fairly low
  • No pack in game comes with the system
  • You need to pay to play online now
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    With the worst out of the way, I can finally talk about the Pros of the Nintendo Switch

  • The price of the system is only £279.99
  • The release date (March 3rd 2017) is earlier than we expected
  • Lots of third party developers are creating titles for the system
  • For the first time ever Bethesda Game Studios are developing for the switch,The Elder Scrolls Skyrim is being released on the system

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  • Two brand new IP’s were announced, out of the two IP’s that were announced the most exciting for me was ARMS, ARMS is a non traditional boxing game that uses extendable arms to fight, it looks really cool and I am really looking forward to playing it
  • A sequel to Splatoon was announced
  • A brand new 3D sandbox Mario game was announced, Super Mario Odyssey has not had too much information released about the new game but we do know that it has a release date of Holiday 2017
  • A direct sequel to the ever so popular Xenoblade Chronicles was announced, Xenoblade 2 will be released sometime this year
  • Hyrule Warriors fans will be pleased to know that a Fire Emblem Warriors game is coming to the Switch
  • A HD port of Mario Kart 8 is coming in April, it includes all previous DLC, A brand new Battle Mode and new characters and tracks
  • Breath of the wild has a brand new trailer complete with voice acting and a release date of March 3rd was announced meaning that Zelda will be there for the launch of the system

So that was a basic breakdown of what I consider to be the best and worst parts of the Nintendo Switch Live Presentation, Next week I will be discussing the top 5 games I want for the switch which have yet to be announced.

I hope you enjoyed my look at the Nintendo Switch Live Presentation

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

Walt Disney’s Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas (1999) Review

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Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas was a massive deal when it came out in 1999 and I fondly remember my mother fighting her way through our local Tesco’s (Our version of Target for you Americans) to get it for me so we could watch it together on Christmas Eve that very year.

By the way this is not the Christmas Carol with Disney Characters, that movie came out in 1983, this is an anthology of three Disney cartoons which all share a similar Christmas theme and have slightly altered morals for the kids to learn from

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The first cartoon titled Donald Duck stuck on Christmas is a holiday classic. Huey, Dewey and Louie wake up on Christmas morning and act like little dirt bags throughout the day, they open their presents before the family arrive, they go outside on their new sleds without reading the card from Uncle Donald and Aunt Daisy and when the family sings Christmas carols they play with their toys instead, later on that night the boys wish upon a star that it could be Christmas every day, their wish is granted and a massive time loop begins where they are repeating the same Christmas over and over again until they eventually learn to stop being so selfish.

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A Very Goofy Christmas is the next cartoon to be shown and whats particularly cool about this one is that its actually a cartoon which takes place in the Goof Troop universe but the catch is that Goofy’s son Max is still a young child here so its actually a prequel to Goof Troops first episode, in the cartoon Goofy and Max are having relationship problems after their neighbor Pete tells Max that Santa doesn’t exist and its up to Goofy to prove to his Son that Santa is real, but Max is so torn up about what Pete told him that he manages to convince Goofy that Santa being real is an impossibility which leads Goofy down a path of pretty major depression and its up to Max to cheer his Dad up, about mid way through the cartoon Goofy makes Christmas dinner for a poor family who could never afford to do it themselves so this segment actually has two messages the first is to always respect and be charitable to those less fortunate than yourself and the other is to quite simply not be a complete arse by telling an eight year old that Santa doesn’t exist, honestly I don’t why Goofy didn’t just pelt Pete in the nose.

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The final segment Mickey and Minnie’s Gift of the Magi is based on the classic short story by William Sydney Porter where a couple go to extreme lengths to get Christmas gifts for each other and both of them even go as far as selling their prized possessions just so they can afford the perfect gift, this cartoon follows that same idea and also has a very similar ending, this may sound like the most boring cartoon out of the three of them but to be honest its probably the best one, its short, simple and it has the most Christmas themed message of them all which is that the greatest gift you can give on Christmas is yourself and you can give that by simply spending time with your family and loved ones.

So is Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas the greatest Christmas movie to be based on classic Disney characters? no its not even close but its still pretty good,  I can’t consider any of the cartoons to be bad but at the same time apart from the last one the first two are not great but they are still entertaining and with voice talents such as Jim Cummings and Bill Farmer involved its definitely worth a watch, even Kelsey Grammer is in this movie voicing the narrator and that in itself makes it worth your time to sit by the fireplace and watch these silly but wonderful Disney cartoons.

Thanks for reading

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com