Star Fox Zero (Wii U) 2016 Review

SI_WiiU_StarFoxZeroStar Fox Zero is the seventh game in the Star Fox franchise and since it is the first game in the series to be released after an agonising ten year gap I suppose you could say it’s very important but after such a long wait for a new Star Fox game was this one worth it?

starfoxIf you’ve ever played the Star Fox games before then you know that for the majority of the series the concept and general plot is very similar with only small details making up the biggest differences, for those who dont know Fox Mc Cloud is the leader of Star Fox a mercenary aerial attack team that travel the Lylat System keeping it safe from dangerous enemies and unknown threats, Star Fox Zero is another reboot of the original Star Fox for the Super Nintendo this has been done two times prior to Zero’s release in Star Fox 64 and Star Fox 64 3D,  the plot of each game is very basic but very sad and when you finally win your victory feels so much more rewarding due to this, James Mc Cloud was the original leader of Star Fox, James was on a mission with his team consisiting of himself, Peppy O Hare and Pigma Dengar they traveled to the Planet Venom where they were to defeat a mad scientist named Andross who was threatening to take over the universe, before he could complete his mission James learns that his partner Pigma had set a bomb in his Arwing before they began the mission but it was too late and James was killed, Star Fox Zero takes place 5 years later, Andross has declared war on Corneria and now Fox Mccloud and his team Peppy O Hare, Falco Lombardi and Slippy Toad must travel to the Planet Venom to defeat Andross once and for all.

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Star Fox Zero is an arcade style on rails space shooter, you take control of the Arwing by moving the game pad around in order to aim with motion controls, the idea of each stage is too destroy as many enemies on screen as you can before the level ends, some stages have secret objectives that can be completed in order to send Fox and his team onto a different path which ultimately ends with them moving onto some secret stages, at the end of most stages is a either a boss fight or an aerial battle against Star Wolf and the rest of Andross’s Henchmen.

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My Favourite part of Star Fox Zero was the ability to swap between the Arwing and the Walker with the ease of a button, the reason the walker is so useful is because it allows the player to have full control over the vehicle, this is particularly useful when you are fighting a difficult boss or if you need to hack an enemy vehicle or computer.

star-fox-zero-april-release-dateThe two biggest complaints I hear about this game is one that its too short , I personally disagree with this as I really enjoy short games however Nintendo should not have charged such a high price when this game originally came out, there is an unlockable arcade mode available after you beat the story mode but its nothing more than the main game without any power-ups or health upgrades, the second big issue people have with Star Fox Zero is the motion controls, I will admit that the controls do a take a while too get used too but I personally didn’t find them that difficult too use and people often fail to notice that the motion controls can be switched out for a regular analogue control on the games pause menu, one great choice Nintendo made with the controls was how easy it is to now pull off a U Turn or a Somersault, both of these allow much easier control over your vehicles and unlike some of the older games in the franchise here they can pulled off with the simple click of a button, sometimes aiming at enemies on the TV can be a little bit of a challenge but if you look at the game pad you will have a view from the cockpit which makes aiming much easier.

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A really cool feature here is the ability to play the campaign on co-op with a friend, one player will fly the vehicle while the other will take aim and fire at enemies, I personally don’t recommend this mode, I tried playing it with my brother and to be honest unless your shooting its a little bit boring, I don’t understand why we couldn’t have just played as two separate pilots as this would have been way more fun.

StarFoxZero_PAXscreens_03_bmp_jpgcopy   The graphics are very impressive for a game as simple as Star Fox, I will say that largely civilised planets such as Corneria are much easier to appreciate than the sections where you are fighting in space, in these sections you will mostly see enemy ships and debris coming towards your Arwing and that is essentially the only major things you will see during those parts of the game where as when your in a city you  will see flowing rivers, large buildings and waterfalls.

To be honest I have never been a huge fan of the music in the Star Fox Games and my opinion here is the same, I don’t recall the majority of the music and I don’t have much to say about it, however I will put a link below so you can check it out.

Star Fox Zero is far from the best game is the series but it’s still an excellent addition to your Wii U collection, I had an awesome time blasting my way throughout the Lylat System and yet again taking down the evil Doctor Andross, sure the controls took a while to get used too and this is one of the easier Star Fox Games to beat but its not so easy that it doesn’t provide a challenge, I still died a few times during the main game and Andross had me screaming before I finally beat him, I do wish that Co-op was a little better than it was but I’m sure someone could have fun with it, Star Fox Zero may not have been the perfect return for Fox Mc Cloud and his friends but he’s been on worse adventures than this.

6.6/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Star Fox Zero for the Nintendo Wii U, I gotta admit it was nice to talk about a Nintendo Series we’ve never had chance to review before, maybe I should talk about some other Nintendo Series at some point, thanks again for taking your time to read this review.

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

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ZBOX May 2017 Unboxing and Review

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ZBOX is a UK alternative to everyone’s favourite subscription service Loot Crate, the general idea of the ZBOX is that once a month a subscriber will receive a box with up to 4-7 items for geeks to enjoy, as a subscriber you wont know what items are being delivered to your door every month which can be off putting for some people but if you like surprises then a subscription service similar to this is right up your alley.

DSC_0163Each box has a its own unique theme, this months theme was knights, every Zbox comes with a small magazine which includes a detailed description of every item in the box and the rest of the magazine is filled to the brim with content related to the theme, this months magazine talks about some well known knights from history as well as how knights are portrayed in modern media, there is even a really fun section which modifies the plots of popular movies by adding knights into the mix, the magazines are usually the most uninteresting part of the Zbox but they are still a fun edition to read every month.

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A staple of a Zbox is a specially designed shirt that you cannot get anywhere else, this months shirt shows off some really cool fan art for the upcoming new transformers movie the last knight.

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This months Zbox also included a small print poster along side the shirt showing off the same design.

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I wouldn’t exactly consider myself a big fan of the Dark Souls universe so this comic book by Titan Comics was my most disappointing item although I will be honest it does look interesting so I might give it a read at a later date.

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You cant have a Loot Box based on knights without including the Dark Knight himself, this month subscribers were sent a tin sign of the Batman, its a simple item but a very cool one.

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This months final item is this absolutely amazing Game of Thrones construction set, the set that was included is a hand built set of the Iron Throne Room complete with King Joffrey, in my opinion this was the best item in May’s Zbox and I am sure that many others will agree, however one small issue with building the set was just how awkward and difficult it was to get some of the bricks to connect with one another,I gave up trying to get the Iron Throne too connect with the set and I eventually wound up using sellotape.

DSC_0177This is what the construction kit looks like once its been built

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Every Zbox comes with a small badge which cant be bought anywhere else, a lot of subscribers collect these badges to show off how long they have been subscribed too the Zbox.

May’s Zbox was a bit hit and miss for me, the Game of Thrones construction set and the Transformers T-shirt were by far my favourite items, the comic book didn’t mean much to me since I’m not a big fan of the Dark Souls universe and although I do like the Batman tin sign I couldn’t see my self ever buying it.

Next Months Zbox is based on villains, you can expect to see Star Wars, DC and Batman Items if you would like to subscribe to the Zbox you can do by following this link https://www.zavvi.com/zbox/zbox-subscription/11142494.html?widget_id=546346

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

Sam and Max Hit the Road (1993) PC Review

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Sam and Max Hit the Road is the first release of the popular point and click adventure series which follow two anthropomorphic animal detectives as they try to solve various wacky crimes, the games are based on the original comic book series Sam and Max: Freelance Police which was created by Steve Purcell in 1987.

12333 The game is based on a 1989 comic book release where Sam and Max need to travel to various tourist locations spread across America in order to find a Bigfoot that has gone missing from a local carnival.

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The game play is similar to any-other game of the genre you will need to collect random objects throughout the game and then either give those objects to those who may desire them or they can be used to solve puzzles, the game does add the ability to question suspects in order to gain clues about where the player should head next or how the player can get past some of the more difficult challenges the game has to offer.

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For me although the game was a lot of fun like most point and click adventure games, the best part was the characters and dialogue, the game is filled to the brim with dry humour which coincidentally is one of the only types of humour I genuinely find funny   and let me just say that I was laughing my ass off throughout the majority of this game, I know a lot of people really like max for his psychotic personality and genuinely random moments but I have to admit that it was actually Sams character that I enjoyed the most, I found that Sam provided the majority of that witty dry humour that I love and although Max did this occasionally as well I just found it was funnier coming from Sam,  I don’t think it really helped that for the most part Max was fairy useless in this game, some of the puzzles require you to use Max in order to solve them but honestly this hardly ever happened and for the rest of the game play you take control of Sam which is a shame because I feel that Max would have been useful for a lot more puzzles that he actually was.

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The Dialogue actually uses voice acting which really surprised me and the best part of this is that it was actually quite impressive, of course Sam and Max sound great Max has a more energetic voice which really suits his character and Sam has a more calm and serious voice which really works for him, everyone you speak too also has a unique voice and not one single character sounds the same as another.

Apart from pausing and a few other commands the game completely uses the mouse and I had no issues at all with the general game-play however I did not like the few keyboard keys that were chosen for smaller things, for some reason you need to press F5 to go to the save menu and if I didn’t look up the manual I never would have figured this out, another key that I hated was pressing full stop to skip dialogue, its a really random choice when the developers could have easily chosen a much easier key that wasn’t in use, this wouldn’t be such an issue but when you keep having to speak to characters over and over again it can really get annoying having to keep listening to them repeat the same sentences.

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The art style and visual choices in the game are absolutely outstanding, the colours are bright, the art is smooth and the many smaller details such as the use of shadows, creases in clothes and the density of different materials such as fur really help bring the game to life, not the mention the constant animations that run in the background of the game, the game has a few still image cut-scenes with some basic animation and if you weren’t actually playing the game you might think they were from a cartoon due to how much effort the game designers put into the visuals.

005fe384ddb3e3394a57771f36203588 Sam and Max Hit the Road is a very good game which I think most people would really appreciate if they put aside some time to play it, It’s not perfect but its an innocent title that provides a lot of laughs and will leave you with some fond memories, I cant say I enjoyed it as much as I do Sierra Games but Lucas Art did a great job with this before the series got taken over by Travellers Tales 7/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Sam and Max Hit the Road for Microsoft Windows and MS DOS.

By the way you can get yourself a copy of this game for fairly cheap via GOG.com

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

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

Spielberg Month: Always

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Always is a movie that I cant believe I had never heard of until recently, it was released in 1989 and is a remake of a much older black and white film called “A Guy Named Joe” which was directed by famed movie maker Victor Flemming, I cant compare the two movies as I haven’t yet seen the original so please keep that in mind.

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The movie is a romantic war drama which follows the brief life of an aerial firefighter called Pete Sandich “Richard Dreyfuss”, Pete is in a very comfortable relationship with his girlfriend Dorinda “Holly Hunter” but unfortunately he is killed in action when his plane catches on fire and explodes which leaves his now ex girlfriend Holly heartbroken.

Audrey Hepburn, Always (1989, Steven Spielberg) starring Holly Hunter, Richard Dreyfuss and John GoodmanAudrey Hepburn is in this movie, she plays an angel called Hap who guides Pete’s spirit while he try’s to set up Holly with a new love interest so that she can move on with her life and be happy, unfortunately this was the last movie Audrey Hepburn ever starred in before her death in 1993.

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There really isn’t much to say about this movie, It’s very cheesy and corny but it has a fantastic cast who all do a great job so its hard for me too dislike the film, Richard Dreyfuss as usual was outstanding in his performance and Holly Hunter also did an awesome job of portraying her character, the only cast member I wasn’t a fan of was John Goodman, I don’t think hes a bad actor but his acting style works so much better in comedies and action films that I felt that he didn’t really suit this type of movie.

Unfortunately there was no John Williams composing the music this time, however the soundtrack is still very good and it fits the film perfectly, there is nothing epic in there you wont be finding something as iconic as the Jaws theme but its still very well done either way.

I really liked this movie, it was a lot better than I thought it would be and I now really want to see the original, however I do have one massive complaint, as you may recall the lack of directors commentaries have really let me down this month but this Blu-ray has to take the crown as the biggest waste of money since it has no special features apart from the original trailer, I just want to pre warn people who are buying blurays for more than just an enhanced version of the film because if that is the case I would skip out on this one.

And so we end Spielberg Month, Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential film makers in Hollywood and all four of the movies this month have proven that, I have really enjoyed this experience it was fun looking at some of my old favourites as well as some new ones and I cant wait to eventually do something similar to this again, perhaps with a different director.

Want to buy this weeks movie? click the link below to get in from Amazon, I recommend subscribing to Amazon Prime to get fast next day delivery as well a lot of other benefits.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Always-Blu-ray-Region-Richard-Dreyfuss/dp/B00TYFM25I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491601965&sr=8-1&keywords=always+bluray

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Spielberg Month: JAWS Review

We’re gonna need a bigger boat

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This two hour thriller about a great white shark that’s terrorising the locals of Amity Island may not have been the first theatrical film directed by Steven Spielberg but the impact it left definitely kick started a string of back to back hits for the film maker.

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Based on the book of the same name, the movie stars the late Roy Scheider as  chief Brody Amity Islands chief of police, Brody is the first person on Amity Island to witness one of the sharks victims when he finds the half eaten remains of a young girl washed up on a beach, Brody quickly informs the mayor who only really cares about the towns income and he refuses to allow Brody too close the beaches as he doesn’t want to risk turning away tourists, of course this decision only leaves more victims for Hollywood’s most famous shark  and eventually Brody decides to gang together with an old fisherman played by Robert Shaw and a marine biologist played by Richard Dreyfuss to take out the shark themselves.

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For a film with such a simple premise it’s honestly amazing just how well it was directed, so many scenes in the movie are directed in a way so that the audience can always know when the shark is on screen even when they cant see it, the Oscar award winning John Williams score that consists of only a few notes only plays to make the audience aware of the sharks presence but when the audience cannot see the shark the music doesn’t play so when it then appears in the same scene it always catches people off guard, by far the most moving part of the movie is the entire final act with our three heroes on the boat, throughout this entire act we can see the different views and personalities of the characters as they bounce off each other and constantly butt heads, my favourite scene is when the marine biologist and the fisherman are showing each-other their battle wounds with each scar and cut getting more grizzly as the competition goes on and its during this scene that we learn that the fisherman was part of the crew on the Indianapolis which is why he is always so angry and short tempered.

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During this same act the three men drink whisky and sing a song with very important lyrics as it tells us that they are drunk and it also shows that they all realise that this mission could very likely get them killed and all three of them would much rather be back home where its safer.

“Show me the way to go home
I’m tired and I want to go to bed
I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it’s gone right to my head
Wherever I may roam
On land or sea or foam
You can always hear me singing this song
Show me the way to go home”

During the scene this song is sang multiple times getting faster and louder every time the actors sing another verse and whats very clever about this moment is that eventually the shark attacks the boat and the song ends as our heroes are now preparing to fight for their lives, I don’t believe this scene has ever had a confirmation for its meaning but personally I like to think that it was made to distract the audience, its one of the only light hearted scenes in the film and the fact that the song gets faster as the shark approaches is very similar to the John Williams score that was this time absent, so I have to wonder if perhaps this scene was made in the way it was to shock the audience as they may not have expected the shark to attack the boat which makes the shark more sneaky and much more frightening.

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My favourite performance in Jaws is Richard Dreyfuss as the Marine Biologist but the entire cast does a brilliant job at performing their roles and I cant complain about a single performance as  Spielberg did a fantastic job of making sure that everyone worked to the best of their abilities, Spielberg is known to have been very strict during the films production and the final result from the actors and actresses really pay off because of this.

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Over 40 years later and Jaws still has a massive impact on so many people, today I am always wary of going into the ocean when I visit the beach and this movie is big cause of this, thankfully I was able to get hold of a Blu-Ray for this movie and even though I am yet again disappointed with the lack of a Directors Commentary, the special features have hours of extras including a two hour long documentary about the making of the film,  this along with a lot of deleted scenes is a great excuse to pick up a copy for yourself.

Only one week left in Spielberg Month and lets hope that the next movie allows us to finish off this celebration of Spielberg’s work with a bang.

Want to buy this weeks movie? click the link below to get in from Amazon, I recommend subscribing to Amazon Prime to get fast next day delivery as well a lot of other benefits

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaws-Blu-ray-Region-Free-Scheider/dp/B00LY0T7RM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491602163&sr=8-1&keywords=jaws+blu+ray

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

 

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book in the Harry Potter franchise, the book was written by one of my all time favourite authors J.K. Rowling and it was published in book stores on the second of July 1997 just one year after the release of its predecessor.

As a child the Chamber of Secrets was my favourite book in the Harry Potter series and at the moment that opinion is still the same, Harry’s second year at Hogwarts spawned many of my favourite characters and moments in the story, I would say that the most memorable for me would be Gilderoy Lockhart the new defence against the dark arts teacher who is a snobby, big headed and manipulative liar which is written to be obvious to the reader at first but throughout the book you start to learn of some of the more horrid things he has done to become as famous as he is, of course you cant forget the introduction to the Whomping Willow either, the Whomping Willow is an extremely violent tree that lives on the Hogwarts Castle grounds, its notorious for attacking anyone or anything that comes near it by swiping at them with its massive branches and in most cases causing very serious damage, then there’s Harry’s weird first encounter with Dobby the house elf and finally you cant forget that this book also reveals the true identity of Lord Voldermort who had not been completely defeated at the end of the first book.

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Speaking of the first book it should be noted that the second entry in the series is much darker and is therefore mildly scarier in comparison, the book deals with some rather grizzly topics including the murder of a student, hearing voices, numerous students being petrified by an unknown force and certain creatures wanting to devour the flesh of Harry and Ron.

If you are a fan of the Harry Potter movies then you may be interested in reading the second novel since a lot of moments in the book were missing from the film adaptation, in particular my favourite chapter “The Deathday Party” where Harry, Ron and Hermione join the ghosts of Hogwarts in the dungeons to help celebrate Sir Nearly Headless Nick’s day of passing is one of my fondest memories of reading the Chamber of Secrets as a child, on top of this J.K. Rowling yet again does a fantastic job of making all of the characters lovable apart from the the more villainous ones and when the mystery of the book is finally solved it actually links back to the early chapters which is great because not only does that prove that J.K Rowling didn’t just throw together some half arsed answer but the reader is able to actually solve the mystery themselves before the answer is revealed which only makes the book worth reading even more.

Thank you for reading this review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

That was the last review for this month but April is going to be entirely dedicated to one of the most influential film directors of all time so look forward to that.