Sonic CD (1993) Review

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Sonic CD was published and developed by Sega for the Sega CD an extension to the Sega Genesis/Megadrive.

The game opens with a beautifully animated cut-scene and a kick ass song, I wish all sonic games had cut scenes like this because they truly are special and really get you pumped for the adventure that awaits.

On the final month of every year an alien planet named little planet appears in a place called the nether lake, Sonic journeys to the nether lake to discover that Dr Robotnik has connected little planet to a mountain in order to build a new giant fortress, he wants to do this by gaining the power of the time stones which are magical jewels that can modify the passage of time, Sonic races Robotnik to try and stop him from executing his dastardly plan.

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After a great and memorable cut-scene we are thrown into the game play and to be honest I don’t like it very much.

I will start by discussing what I do like about the game.

I had a lot of fun playing it, the 2.5D sections thanks to the power of the Sega CD are really cool and back in the day they pushed the sonic series to a whole new level of awesomeness which helped to evolve the series into what it is today (the good sonic games that is),  the game has a lot of multiple paths which adds a lot of reasons to replay the game in order to try and get the best ending on top of that the boss battles are absolutely fantastic they are all so much fun and have unique ways to defeat them, the re-introduction to Metal Sonic was nice and the fact that you have to beat him a race instead of a battle really pushes your platforming skills to the test and it is one of the most memorable parts of game.

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What I really dislike is the level design, the game developers added time travel to the game which makes sense due to the plot but you never know when hes going to travel to the future or at-least I couldn’t figure it out because it seemed that I would just travel through time randomly which was frustrating because the level changes and then sets you on a new path depending on if your in the past or the future, this means that you will fight a different boss than you may have intended and you could be heading towards the non-canonical ending of the game which a lot of players dont want.

Some of the levels were really confusing to get through due to the layout which may have been the intention but because for the most part the stage doesn’t differ much in its environment I found my self running out of time in a couple of levels which was really frustrating especially when sonic is time traveling when I am already lost and trying to figure out how to get to the goal.

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The bonus levels were really fun but once or twice I found them quite hard to traverse but I will blame this on my skills as I wasn’t very good at the bonus stage in sonic 2 either.

The soundtrack is one of the best we have ever had in a sonic game to this day, thanks to the possibilities of the Sega CD clearer sounds and music were able to be used with voice work as well allowing a really awesome soundtrack to jam out too while we are playing, I often still listen to this music on a daily basis even when I’m not playing the game.

I understand that Sonic CD has a lot of fans but I really cant get past my frustrations with it, It has outstanding visuals throughout the entire campaign with some really memorable changes in visual perspective thanks to the power of the Sega CD accessory, I also love the soundtrack and for the most part the game play is really good but certain areas I feel could have been better designed and as for the randomly traveling through time I’m sure there is a simple explanation for it but I just cannot personally figure it out.

So with all that said I’m going to give the game an average score of 6.6/10 its not a bad game its just not a Sonic game for me.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Sonic CD for the Sega CD

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Yoshi’s Crafted World (2019) Review

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Yoshi’s Crafted World is the eight installment in the Yoshi series of video games and it is the follow up to the Wii U game Yoshi’s Wooly World, it was developed by Good Feel and was published by Nintendo on the Nintendo Switch in March 2019.

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The Yoshi’s are living happily on Yoshi’s Island, a magical artifact called the sundream stone is beloved by the Yoshi’s. The artifact is filled with magical gems which can make someones dreams come true.

One unfortunate day the naughty baby Bowser and his henchman Kamek steal the sundream stone, the Yoshi’s try to stop the robbery which ends with the gems being scattered across the island, leaving the inhabating Yoshi’s to race baby Bowser and Kamek to collect the gems.

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The game play for the most part is your standard 2.5D platformer with regular Yoshi game play, your main goal is to get from beginning to end of each stage by eating enemies to turn them into eggs and then throwing those eggs to either kill other enemies or to find secrets and collect items, however there is a little more meat to this game which makes it stand out compared to previous titles.

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The biggest change in gameplay is that you can now revisit a level and go through it backwards allowing you to see items and scenery that you couldn’t see before, the main idea of these levels is that you need to find poochy’s missing puppies, every flipped level has three puppies to find and doing so will allow you get more smiley flowers.

Smiley flowers are hidden in the levels, the majority of them are very easy to find but some are much trickier, you need to collect these flowers in order to gain access to the various locations in the game.

After you beat a world you can go back through the stages to find specific items as part of a scavenger hunt and in this mode if you find the requested item you will given a new smiley flower, this is a lot of fun to do but it does get tedious after a while. I wish they gave you a checklist instead of making you replay each stage multiple times as it becomes a bit of drag after an hour or so of seeing the same scenery.

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Another collectible in the game are costumes, these can be purchased from gashapon machines in each world, every world has 10 unique costumes which can help Yoshi in tougher areas of the game.

You dont need to collect all of this extra stuff and I dont really think its worth the time unless you want the game to feel a little bit longer but I will say that compared to Wooly World the collection aspect of Crafted World is much more entertaining.

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The best part of the game for me has got to be its wonderfully creative visual style, everything in the game apart from a few enemies is made out of a craft whether its paper mache, origami, carpentry or even balloons everything is so charming its hard not to want to play the game just to see how creative the developers have been.

The soundtrack is nice to listen too and it fits the style of game, there isnt any really memorable tracks here but the simple melodies and the cute tunes helps to make the game feel more relaxing until the last hour or so of the campaign.

Yoshi’s Crafted World is a simple but brilliant game, it is a lot of fun and can be enjoyed by players of all ages. It has easy to learn controls, is a treat to look at and has plenty of content before and after fishing the main story. There is enough bonus stuff that it can easily double the length of the campaign. The only issue I have is the scavenger hunts you can do because as previously stated it gets boring to revisit the same stages constantly but with that in mind I would say that this is one of Yoshi’s greatest video games yet and it is well worth its price tag.

9.8/10

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Among the Sleep (2014) Review


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Among the Sleep is a survival horror game, it was developed and published by Krillbite Studios and was released on PC and Xbox One in 2014, Play Station 4 in 2015 and will be released on the Nintendo Switch in May 2019.

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In the game you play as a child that is celebrating his second birthday, the celebration is disturbed by a knock at the front door, the child’s mother becomes angry after answering the door and the conversation becomes distorted and muffled, the mother comes back with a gift and takes the child upstairs, before giving the child his present the phone rings and the mother leaves the room to answer the call.

The gift is a sentient toy bear that climbs out of the box and asks the child to find him, after finding the teddy, the child hides in the closet before being discovered by his mother who puts him to bed, the child wakes up to find the bear being taken away by an unforeseen force which issues the child to find teddy once again which is when he realises his mother is missing and an adventure to find her begins.


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The gameplay takes the player into a realm of memories and fear, a dark land where you are hunted my mysterious figures which represent trauma the child has witnessed over the two years of his life, teddy takes him into this place to find memories of his mother hoping that the memories will finally allow mother and child to be reunited.

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There are lots of puzzles to solve and many places to discover, the game is not as scary as you may imagine but the mystery and sense of being lost in an usual and dark world makes the atmosphere creepy and very memorable.

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The world of the game is really fun to explore and the various areas make sure that nothing gets boring. On a graphical standpoint they could be better in some areas, in general they are quite good but not anything special for this gaming generation, some graphical details are great but others seem pix-elated especially at a close distance.

The soundtrack is not very memorable in my opinion, nothing really grabbed me but I wouldn’t consider it bad.

Among the Sleep is a really interesting game as its not often that a survival horror is from the perspective of a child but apart from this the game was a bit mediocre in my opinion, the game play dragged out little for me and even though I enjoyed the multiple areas of the game I really was not interested enough to want to do more than the main story, you can collect drawings in the game but they dont do much and can be easily skipped.

Among the Sleep may not be one of the best survival horror games I have played but if you can get it cheap then the three hour long content may just be worth your while.

5.4/10

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Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure (2001) Review

Universal Studios !! this will be fun …….right?

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Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure was a Nintendo GameCube exclusive, it was developed by Nai’a Digital Works and Published by Kemco.

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The game is at its core a mini game collection with an extremely basic theme park setting to help separate the various challenges.

In the theme park there is only one challenge and that is to collect all of the letters that spell Universal Studios, this can be done throughout your exploration of the park.

A54EeQvgBefore you are able to enter any of the attractions you must first gather a set number points to buy the hat that matches the attraction, you can do this by either picking up rubbish and putting it in the bin or by shaking hands with various costumed characters you will then need to purchase the hat from Woody Woodpecker at the park entrance.

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The only attraction that needs no points to enter is the quiz, Its a quite a hard quiz especially if you don’t know many Universal Studios movies.

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In E.T you must cycle E.T to the spaceship before the timer runs out, not a lot in this one just a few ramps to go over and obstacles to avoid.

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In the Wild Wild West you must shoot targets to gain more points than your opponent over three rounds. Its ok but the cursor is difficult to aim.133973_full

In Jaws you must throw barrels and boxes at the shark before its sinks your boat, this one is a little more fun but bad controls make it difficult to hit the shark.

_-Universal-Studios-Theme-Park-Adventure-GameCube-_back to the future marty mcfly goes back in timeBack to the future is by far the best mini game however it still is not any thing to write home about, Biff steals the Dolorian, you then while driving another Dolorian have to ram into him until his health bar depletes.

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In Back Draft you must extinguish multiple fires and rescue civilians who are trapped inside of a burning building. I had more fun with this than some of the other games and while it is difficult its not unfair.

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Finally in Jurassic Park you must kill hundreds of Dinosaurs with a Machine gun in an on rails shooter style game. The Dinosaurs are hard to hit most of the time and the mini game is far too long.

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When you complete a challenge in the game you are awarded with a stamp and if you collect all of the stamps you must speak to Woody Woodpecker again in order to finish the game.

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The game play is not fun at all, in the mini-games bad controls make them difficult to finish and during park exploration, the pix-elated graphics that look worse than Nintendo 64 and a completely still camera which does not follow the player make the game almost unbearable and not a pleasant experience.

The soundtrack is good and although I couldn’t find it anywhere to add here, all of the music is reminiscent of the movies that the mini games are based on so I find it difficult to complain about.

A good soundtrack does not make up for a lazy cash grab of a game, this game had no love put into it, the developers took some of the greatest movies of all time and made the most basic mini-games thus making a mockery of those popular properties and franchises. The game is even worse in the Theme Park as you will struggle to know which way to go even with the in-game map. Picking up rubbish and putting it in a bin is a huge insult to any gamer, no one no matter what age they are wants to do this in a video game especially in the boring way that is presented here. Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure is a disgusting excuse for a video game and it should be forgotten by everyone who plays it and if you haven’t then I advise you find something different to play.

1.5/10

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The Simpsons Arcade Game (1991) Review

 

 

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Created and released by Konami in 1991 the Simpsons Arcade Machine was extremely popular when it was sent to arcades. Not long after hitting arcades the game was ported to MS DOS and Commodore 64, these versions were poor in comparison to the original game and we wouldn’t see a very good port of the game until 2012 when it was released on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.

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The Simpson family are walking down the street when they bump into Waylon Smithers who has just robbed a jewelry store, the diamond that Smithers had stolen falls into Maggies mouth, Smithers steals Maggie and runs away leaving the Simpson family to fight off Mr Burns Goons throughout various areas from the show on their way to The Nuclear Power Plant to take out Mr Burns and Smithers.

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In the game you can play with up to four players and each player can be one of four characters Homer, Marge, Bart or Lisa Simpson.

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The game is a 2D Beat em up which has the Simpsons traversing through various areas and defeating variants of enemies until the screen has cleared and the player can move onto the next screen. Each character has one attack move and each fight in different ways Homer fights with his fists, Marge uses a vacuum cleaner, Bart rides his skateboard and uses it to attack enemies and Lisa uses a skipping rope to defeat her foes.

In multiplayer two characters can merge together to perform a super attack, these attacks change depending on which characters are being played.

Players can also pick up objects in the various environments to either throw at enemies or to use them as a weapon, the sling shot is the most useful in my opinion.

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At the end of each of the 8 stages you will need to fight a boss battle, each boss is quite difficult and unique to the plot.

Konami has always been really good with their video game soundtracks and this game is no exception, the music is super fun and fast paced and still has that Simpsons feel to it. Its by far one of best soundtracks in a Simpsons game, click the video above to check it out.

The Simpsons Arcade game is a fantastic Arcade game and should be played if you ever get the chance, it is quite tough which is to be expected from games in the Arcade as they are made to make money, it took me 30 credits to finish the Simpsons arcade. If you want a decent version of the game to play at home you can purchase it on Xbox Live and PSN, the Xbox Live and PSN versions of the game even come with some additional modes. If there was anything I would say to improve the game it would be to add an additional attack button as just having one main attack gets a little boring after a while, but all in all the Simpsons arcade game is great 9.6/10.

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Havana Club: Anejo Especial Cuban Rum Review

This lovely rum from Havana Club a Cuban rum company does not have a special bottle that really stands out but the I like the design of the sticker on the front and an important note to take from the sticker is that the rum has been double aged in oak barrels.

The back of the bottle again does not stand out, it has the usual safety information and the percentage of alcohol, in this case the percentage is 40 percent, a description of the rum on the back sticker reads “Aged to perfection and deliciously smooth, Havana Club Anajo Especial is an amber coloured rum with notes of vanilla. To produce such a special rum our Maestro’s del Ron Cubano take their time and age it twice. Our rum’s aromatic intensity comes from the old oak barrels it first rests in and it owes its striking smoothness to a second maturation in younger ex-whiskey casks. Fully rounded and perfectly balanced Especial rum makes the ultimate Cuba libre”

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From opening the bottle and pouring the rum into a tumbler you can smell a hint of vanilla but personally I would say an oak smell over empowers it, after letting it breath a while I went in for a sip and the vanilla is definitely stronger than the smell suggests however there is a hint of oak in the flavour, the rum is very smooth and delicate to the taste buds.

I was surprised to not enjoy the rum as much when I mixed it with cola, it was still nice but that lovely flavor was taken over by the cola and it had a slightly odd taste to it, I probably won’t be mixing it in the future.

This is really nice rum that in my opinion tastes better neat and would be really nice with a couple of ice cubes, I was pleasantly surprised with how nice this rum is and I only payed 20 pounds which is a really good price for a rum that is this enjoyable, I will definitely be checking our more from Havana Club in the future.

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Pikmin (2001) Review

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Pikmin is the first of Nintendo’s cute but rather dramatic strategy adventure series, as much as I do love the Pikmin series, I have only really introduced myself to the games over the past couple of years.

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The plot is fairly simple here but it works really well for a game such as Pikmin. In the game you play as Captain Olimar a small alien creature who crash lands on an unnamed planet. The captains ship the S.S. Dolphin has separated into 30 parts which have spread to various areas of the planet, the captain needs to find at least 25 out of the 30 parts within 30 days otherwise he will die due to a lack of oxygen on the planet, however the captain is in luck as small plant like creatures called Pikmin are more than happy to help the captain on his mission.

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The idea of the game is to use the Pikmin that you collect in order to carry the scattered parts back to the S.S. Dolphin, there are three types of Pikmin in the game, the Red Pikmin are invulnerable to fire damage, the Yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher and can also pick up bombs to throw and finally the blue Pikmin can breathe underwater.

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There is one way to get more Pikmin in the game once you have discovered an onion (a Pikmin Nest), If you defeat an enemy or collect nectar from plants you can bring your spoils to one of the coloured onions in order to release more seeds which will grow more of the chosen type of Pikmin.

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As previously mentioned you can use Pikmin in order to attack enemies, there are many ways to do this it can be done by simply throwing your Pikmin onto an enemy or by using an army of Pikmin in order to surround an enemy giving it no chance of survival. Strategy will need to be used through out the game in order to collect the ship parts however strategy should be used when fighting enemies as well so that you are well prepared for the dangers ahead and not to mention that you will most likely have a lot of of your Pikmin die in some situations.

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The boss fights are all very creative and can also be very difficult for new players, however practice makes perfect for a lot of these and the game can be reloaded without you losing a day if you want to try out different ideas. I love all of the bosses in the game but if I was to choose three apart from the final boss I would say that the Burrowing Snarglax a bird creature that hides itself underground is my favourite, followed closely by Beady Long Legs, a large spider creature (pictured above) and the PuffStool a Mushroom boss that releases a gas which turns your Pikmin against you.

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I wouldn’t say that the graphics have aged well since the game first came out however back in the day they were quite impressive, you have to keep in mind that this was one of the first games to be released on the GameCube, the visuals definitely improved in the later games however they are still nice here.

The Soundtrack is again very simple here but it really works, a lot of it is small tracks which are looped but while small and catchy some of the music is beautiful, listen to Distant Spring and tell me that isn’t beautiful music.

Pikmin is a good game I personally would not say its a masterpiece by any means as the series does improve a lot as more games are coming out.

Pikmin is a charming game that managed to grow a loving fan base, I really enjoy this game and the only real issue I have with it is the time limit, I really do no enjoy games which give players a short amount of time to finish them and because Pikmin is a game that requires a little bit of grinding now and again in order to re stock on Pikmin due to this the time limit can become quite stressful, you could look at it as adding an additional challenge to the game and I am sure that is how most people see this element of the game.

Pikmin is a short but very fun game, it has tight controls, a short but beautiful soundtrack and an interesting premise however a short time limit takes away from the experience for me. 7.4/10

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