Tales from earthsea (2006) Review

Tales from earthsea is a fantasy-action film directed by Goro Miyazaki the son of Hayao Miyazaki

In a land of what was once peace strange occurrences have caused the people to go mad and the dragons to attack eachother in vicious battles in the sky.

A well respected wizard named Sparrow Hawk is investigating the cause of horrors that have taken over the land and on his travels he meets a young Prince named Arren who had killed his father due to the chaos that has caused people to act differently, after rescuing Arren from a pack of wolves Sparrow Hawk takes him to help on the quest to discover the evil that has corrupted the land and save Earthsea.

The characters are all memorable in this film but in my opinion the best performance is by William Defoe who voices Yuko the main antagonist and dark scorcerer, he talks in whispers that are quite frightening and will send chills down the spine of the bravest man.

The animation and visuals are spectacular, they move smoothly and are somewhat realistic considering the genre of the film, for an animated feature everything feels so real and will easily suck you into the story and action.

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The music was composed by Tamiya Terashima, the soundtrack is my favourite part of the movie, this is seriously the best music in a Ghibli Film up to this point, the music is beautiful and helps to keep the flow of the movie going, it truly is fantastic and I might just buy a copy of the soundtrack because I love it so much.


For a film that many consider to be just ok, I have to admit that I don’t agree, I really enjoyed this one and it may be a new favourite film of mine, I would love to hear a commentary track from those who were involved in this amazing film, I am really happy that I gave this one a chance and I recommend that you do too if your reading this .

I hope you enjoyed this review of Tales from earthsea

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Howl’s Moving Castle (2002) Review

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Howl’s Moving Castle was written and Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, it is a fantasy-romance film based on a book of the same name.

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Sophie is a young girl who works in a hat shop with her mother and sisters. One day her sisters are admiring the sight of the famous moving castle that is owned by the wizard Howl.

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While working late into the night Sophie is alone when she is confronted by the Witch of the Waste who mistakes Sophie for her sister Lettie and curses her into the form of an elderly woman.

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Hoping to find a cure for the curse, Sophie seeks out the wizard Howl and becomes a care taker in his castle, she is desperate to get back to her old younger form but the curse prevents her from telling people what happened leaving her to figure a lot of it out on her own.

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There are so many lovable characters in this movie, Howl is voiced by Christian Bale and old Sophie (Jean Simmons) is another one of my favourites but in my opinion no one can top Calcifer a fire demon that had been placed under curse to become Howl’s heart and life line, his fire needs too keep burning or Howl will die, he’s voiced by Billy Crystal who was a perfect casting choice.

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The animation in the film is outstanding and visually its gorgeous, there is a lot of details in many scenes and the design choices are really quite magical, a lot of bounce and stretch animation is used in the film which helps to give the characters gravity and realistic movements.

Howl’s Moving Castle is a fantastic movie that shows the desperation of many people trying to break multiple curses, you really feel the pressure on everyone’s shoulders in this film to either survive or get their old lives back, its a movie full of magic and wonder and is one you do not want to miss.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Howls Moving Castle

If you would like to help support the website please use the donation button at the top of the page, your donations will help to improve the website by allowing me to afford products to review and to be able to execute any costly updates and changes, any amount in donations are welcome.

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Yoshi’s Wooly World (Wii U) (2015) Review

Box Art

At last the long awaited sequel to Kirby’s Epic Yarn has been released, or at least it has been in Japan and Europe because unfortunately the USA wont be seeing this game until October, but luckily for me I’m not American and I have already played through and beaten the game.

So is this game a beautiful knitted scarf from Grandma or is it a hideous knitted Christmas sweater from Pound Land?

Plot

Once upon a time in a magical fluffy world,the Yarn Yoshi’s lived in peace and happiness, one day an evil wizard called Kamek mysteriously appeared and cast an evil spell which turned the Yoshi’s in to bundles of yarn, two Yoshi’s managed to hide from the effects of this curse and watched sadly as their friends were taken away, Kamek proceeded to scatter the yarn bundles all over the land most likely thinking that he managed to capture all of the Yoshi’s but unfortunately for him that was not the case and the two surviving Yoshi’s traveled all over the Woolly World in the hopes of stopping Kamek and restoring their friends back to life.

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Wooly World plays and feels very similar to most other Yoshi Games but the benefit in this particular entry to the series is the lack of the annoying crying baby that you need to carry around, which is a very nice touch to the series because as much as I love the Yoshi’s Island games that is one aspect that I do not miss one little bit.

Yoshi can run, jump, eat enemies and turn them into Yarn balls, throw the yarn balls and he can even do that weird air running thing he does just like any other Yoshi game, the only massive difference in this game is that everything is made out of yarn.

Obviously the fact that everything is made of yarn does leave the game open to some new gameplay elements which could only be pulled off in this sort of setting.

Some examples of these unique gameplay elements include

throwing yarn balls at platforms

Throwing yarn balls at empty canvases to create knitted platforms

Pushing light walls

Pushing light woolly walls to find secrets

unraveeling loose yarn

and unraveling loose strings of yarn to help you discover secret paths and hidden items.

dark caves screenshotOther aspects which are common in most Yoshi games include finding invisible paths, throwing balls of yarn (Eggs) at hidden clouds to find secrets, collecting the five flowers in each stage and so on.

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A new collectible in this game is the bundles of yarn that Kamek Scattered across the land, each stage has five hidden within and if you collect all five of the yarn bundles you will unlock a new Yoshi you are then able to play as.

You can also scan your Amiibo’s to unlock special Yoshi’s based on the character you scanned into the game, but if you scan the Yarn Yoshi Amiibo you will be able to have that Amiibo help you too beat tough stages.

Bonus Level

If you collect all of the flowers in a world then you will be rewarded with a brand new stage, this is very similar to unlocking the bonus stages in the New Super Mario Bros series.Aeroplane Yoshi

If you manage to find some secret doors in certain levels, you will be greeted a small vehicle section this allows Yoshi to change into many different vehicles and other forms, these sections are a lot of fun and my personal favorite of these bonus areas was playing as a giant Yoshi as it reminded me of Godzilla

The game controls wonderfully which isn’t much of a surprise considering that most of the Yoshi games have tight and extremely responsive controls, the controller layout of the Wii U game pad is perfect for this particular game and if you don’t wanna play with a game pad you can play the game with any controller for the Wii U or the Nintendo Wii.

The game can be very difficult at times as the later levels can be very unforgiving and I can see this upsetting some younger players, usually I would for see this as a problem but Nintendo were right on the ball as they included a mellow mode which makes the game much easier and is recommended for the casual gamer’s and people who don’t want too much stress or challenge, personally I prefer the classic mode but mellow mode can still be a good choice for days when your too tired to handle some of more difficult parts of the game.

Power Badge

Throughout the game you will be collecting gems, you can use these gems to buy special one use power-ups for your Yoshi, I personally never used these but my brother did and he said that they proved to be most useful, one of the most beneficial power-ups to me would have been the ability to not die if you fall off of a ledge as this is this is what killed me the most during my play through.

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Yoshi’s Woolly World is a real piece of Art to look at, if you were impressed with the visuals of Epic Yarn you have not seen anything yet, the major difference here is that everything is fully knitted allowing a lot of detail and creative visuals, everything looks so fluffy that I just wanna jump into the game and hug everything, this visual style offers a a few unique and special aspects to the game, for example if you throw a yarn ball at a Pirana Plant it will wrap around it and you can see the plant being slightly squeezed showing that it is only made out of yarn and is not at all solid, and if you eat a water melon you can shoot the seeds at loose fluff to help you gain access to new areas.

The Music is again wonderful, Woolly World has a nice and innocent soundtrack throughout the majority of the game, its very pleasant to listen too and is at times very relaxing, I really hope that Nintendo releases a soundtrack for the game soon.

Yoshi’s Woolly World was the game that made me go out and buy a Wii U, ever since I got the system back in December I have eagerly awaiting this games release and I am mostly pleased with the final product, the only two issues I have is that the game is a bit short as it only has six worlds and I feel that two more worlds would have really benefited the game play, the only other issue I have is the lack of available players, having two people play the game together is great but I am fairly certain that Nintendo could have quite easily allowed up to at least four players at once and this is an aspect I hope they add in the future with an update.

Yoshi’s Woolly World was a fantastic game that anyone can enjoy, it has tight controls, wonderful visuals and audio and is genuinely an adorable treat to play, I only wish that game it self was a little longer.

9.7/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Nintendo Wii U

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

Kings Quest 3: To Heir is Human Review

I feel that I am on a Quest to find a Kings Quest game that I will love, I am yet to find King Quest Gold but I may have found some very fine Silver with Kings Quest 3: To Heir is Human.

Title Screen

You don’t play as King Graham this time around, instead you play the role of Gwydion a slave of the evil wizard Manannan, the wizard has a habit of adopting children at birth and raising them to be his slaves and killing them as they reach adult hood on their 18th birthdays. I gather that Gwydion figured this out and now has to escape as he is nearing his 18th birthday.

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The plot is a little more complex this time around but not so complex that it may confuse its younger audience, again there is a more in depth look into the plot located inside the games manual.

Just like in kings Quest 2 you are not able to use the mouse at all within the game but using just the keyboard to move and communicate with game works perfectly, I had no issues at all with the controls during my playthrough.

Kings Quest 3 surprisingly has a similar yet also rather different game play style to the first two games.

for example it is still very heavily fairy tale based having the player deal with characters such as

Medusa

Medusa

and the Three Bears from Goldilocks

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the game is also time based, during the game you will have a certain amount of time to perform certain tasks, the most important of all of these tasks is getting rid of the wizard, when the clock reaches 5 minutes the wizard will embark on a journey and then you have 25 minutes to leave the house to collect the ingredients for a transformation spell.

Time based tasks like this work really well and help add a lot more challenge to the game but there are times when the time based sections of the game don’t work at all.

For example one section of the game has you hiding in the hold of a pirate ship until it reaches land, there is noting to do in the hold and you have to wait for at least 10 minutes, this section really sucks and could have benefited from a mini game of some sort.

Pirate ship

Earlier I mentioned spell casting, casting spells is a really important part of the game you can cast spells by collecting certain ingredients and following instruction for the spell in the wizards secret laboratory.

These spell instructions are actually located within the games manual and this is really cool because it makes it feel like you are reading an actual spell book,this was also a really clever way to prevent people who pirated the game from reaching the games ending and eventual plot twist.

Kings Quest 3 provided more audio than the previous games, sure it wasn’t much more but it was enough that it kept the game interesting, my biggest issue with the first two games was the lack of audio because honestly it made them a little bit boring, because of this I really appreciate the extra bit of love from the audio department for this instalment of the Kings Quest series.

Overall this is my favourite Kings Quest game so far, the inclusion of a new character, a new game play style and the extra effort put into the audio was much appreciated, also it was really cool that Sierra had the player use the manual to communicate with the game.

Kings Quest 3 was really fun and I had a great time playing it, but sadly it suffered from some really annoying issue with a couple of the timed events and this prevented the game from not just being a good game but a great one and that really sucks 7.5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Kings Quest 3

if you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan