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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – Sonic R

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #30 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. And so it looks like we’ve come to the end of our series of nostalgic game reviews, but before we call it quits I have one more game to review and today’s game is a special one. Since we started this blog series on a Sonic game I thought we should end on one so today I’ll be discussing Sonic R for the Sega Saturn!

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Sonic R was a racing game released for the Sega Saturn in 1997 and it was later ported the PC a year later.

This is a very different kind of Sonic game and while it’s not the first one to attempt the racing style of gameplay, this is the first game that allowed Sonic characters to race on-foot and use their abilities to get through the levels in 3D levels.

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There are a total of ten characters to play as, only four are available at first where as the other six have to be unlocked. Each of the characters have different attributes such as speed, flight, weapons, etc. In terms of track you have the choice of five race tracks and you basically compete for the fastest time ahead of the other racers. Sonic R places an emphasis on jumping and exploration as each race track has multiple paths and hidden areas. The race tracks, while original in design definitely have similarities in art design and environments of classic Sonic games such as Sonic 1’s “Green Hill Zone” and Sonic 2’s “Chemical Plant Zone.”

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During each race you’re able to collect items scattered in various areas on the tracks that bestow advantages. Rings are all over the place on tracks and a certain number of collected rings can give you a temporary boost of speed or open doors leading to shortcuts or special items. “Item Panels” bestow a random advantage such as speed increase or shields that grant abilities such as being able to run across water or attract nearby rings. Collection of other special items, such as “Sonic Tokens” and the Chaos Emeralds, may lead to the unlocking of secret characters.

Aside from the main game, there is also a “Time Attack” mode, where you can race solo to get the fastest time or tamper with the two player multi-player mode.

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Sonic R for the Sega Saturn is a game I, honestly have a bit of soft spot for. Along with Sonic Jam this is the first Sega Saturn game I played at the age of 12. Sonic R was one of the games I really wanted to play for years but I couldn’t because I still had my Mega Drive and parents wouldn’t buy me a new console. Needless to say when I finally played this game I was I was surprised by how questionable the controls were, how short the game was too and I was pissed because I could never save my game because the console always reset my progress every time I turned the console off. Bullshit. But besides that stupid stuff I liked playing this game, I normally picked Tails because his acceleration was the best and had decent control, I mean Knuckles was the most well-rounded character but he was a lot slower. I really wanted to play as Sonic but he was too damn fast and uncontrollable. I mainly played this game once over in the main cup mode going for first place and avoided emerald hunting. I also played this a fair amount with my sister too in two-player mode.

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What I really liked about the game was its sense of freedom, exploration and the fact that you got to race against other sonic characters on-foot. Once you got used to the controls and knew how to navigate the levels to find the shortest path was great. Also the presentation for the game was pretty good too, graphically for its time it was good, everything was colourful, sharp and a decent representation of Sonic-based stuff in 3D. And the soundtrack, the soundtrack for this game is generally something that most fans hate with a passion, however there are some that actually like it, like myself! I really like it. The soundtrack was composed by Richard Jacques along with singer TJ Davis and what they came up with was a very happy-go-lucky/cheesy collection of songs which partially relate to the levels themselves. Most people hated the music just because it felt like it didn’t have anything to do with Sonic games or because of the singer or because it didn’t feel like it belonged in a Sonic game. However for me I love some of these songs like Diamond in the Sky, Living in the City, Back in Time and Can You Feel the Sunshine are awesome, beautiful, heartfelt and nostalgic yo.

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In conclusion Sonic R for the Sega Saturn is one of those games that’s either liked or loathed by members of the Sonic community. For me this game is a fun little distraction from time to time, sure its controls are questionable, the challenge is kind of hard and the game is seriously on the short side. But for all its faults there is still fun to be had and its a nice piece of nostalgia to partake in. I’d say try it out if you’re looking for a hidden and interesting Sonic game.

Well that is another game review done, THE LAST ONE! And so there we go, after 30 days all the video game reviews are over. Thank you coming on this nostalgia trip with me, it’s been a long month but thankfully you reader stuck around to check out my stuff and I thank you for it. As I’ve said before if you’ve had experiences any of the games I’ve reviewed do be sure to comment below! I guess I’ll see ya around yo! 😀

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Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #29 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today’s game is one that provided me with many occasions of fun and arguments with my friends, I am of course talking about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time!

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was adventure game released in 1997 for the N64. It was another game in the ever-growing Legend of Zelda series and was the first game in the series to make the conversion to 3D.

In this game the trademark hero known as Link sets out on an epic journey at the request of Princess Zelda to stop Ganondorf, King of the Gerudo tribe, from obtaining the Triforce, a sacred relic that grants the wishes of its holder. With his weapons, items, magic and magical ocarina, Link travels through time and navigates various dungeons to awaken sages who have the power to seal Ganondorf away forever.

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Ocarina of Time is an action-adventure game with role-playing and puzzle elements. You controlled Link from a third-person perspective, in 3D and while his primary choice of fighting is with a sword and shield he can also use other weapons like projectiles, bombs and magic spells. The control scheme introduced techniques such as context-sensitive actions and a targeting system called “Z-targeting”. In combat, Z-targeting allows you to have Link focus specifically to an enemy or object. When using this technique, the camera follows the target and Link constantly faces it, also projectile attacks are automatically directed at the target which eliminates manual aiming. Also context-sensitive actions allow multiple tasks to be assigned to one button, simplifying the control scheme.

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The on-screen display shows what will happen when the button is pushed and changes depending on what the character is doing. A lot of the game is spent in battle, but some parts require you to use stealth. One key element of this game is exploration, some areas may be inaccessible at first but you maybe return later to find them reachable after obtaining a new item. Checking out every nook and cranny will result in finding hidden items, side quests and upgrades.

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Link gains new abilities by collecting items and weapons found in dungeons or in the overworld. Ocarina of Time also has several optional side-quests or minor objectives which you can choose to do or ignore, but completing them usually means you’ll get rewards like new weapons or abilities. Another thing to note is that while Link primarily move on-foot, he can acquire a horse named Epona and this allows him to travel faster, but attacking while riding is restricted to arrows (This is an example of something that’s acquired through a side-quest).

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Throughout the game, Link learns twelve melodies that allow him to solve various puzzles and teleport to previously visited locations in the game. He first starts out with the Fairy Ocarina and later obtains the Ocarina of Time at a later point in the game. The Ocarina of Time is also used to claim the Master Sword in the Temple of Time. When Link takes the sword, he is sealed for seven years, until he becomes an adult. Young Link and adult Link have different abilities. For example, only adult Link can use the Fairy Bow and only young Link can fit through certain small passages. After completing the Forest Temple, Link can travel freely between the two time periods by replacing or taking the sword.

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Ah The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, what can I say about the game that hasn’t been said already? The game is of a legendary status and everyone I know loves it. I know I’ve always liked the game but I never fell in loved with it because I was never really into the Zelda series until Wind Waker came out. That’s not to say I never played Ocarina of Time because I did but I never owned the original N64 cartridge, I used to play it at my mate’s house though I did get a copy of it when it was re-released along with The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. This is a game I have played a lot in my childhood but not in the right way, I normally just had random play sessions but never fully completed the game back when it was popular.

But I have to say, everything about this game is PURE NOSTALGIA. Even though I never finished the game myself, I played a great deal of it and remember so much of it. From the early days in Kokiri Forest messing around to the vast Hyrule Field running or riding along or entering Castle Town hanging with all the temple or going to the Temple of Time for the first time. There is so much in this game that I liked doing like riding Epona or killing the zombie Redeads or hitting the chickens until they all came after you in a crazy frenzy, just the small things like those was fun to do. I mainly messed around in this game collecting rupees, beating enemies or playing the ocarina to change the time of day or warp from place to place. Also presentation for this game back in the day was amazing, graphically it was incredibly detailed, epic in scope and cinematic when it comes to cutscenes and when it comes to the music, damn, it’s some of the most epic and memorable songs in video game history. I’ve loved nearly everything about this game’s soundtrack from the jingles to Gerudo Valley to Castle Town to Song of Storms to individual ocarina songs. All of it was just beautiful. Nuff said.

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Since I never completed the game when I was a kid so I decided to get the 3DS version and I’ve finally started to advance through the game, hopefully this’ll be the year I finally complete the game haha.

So to conclude The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is just one of the most epic experiences any gamer could have, period. It is one of the finest games in the series and is noted as one of the best games ever by fans and critics. The story is lovely, the game’s scope is deep and varied and the gameplay was fun and entertaining. Now obviously the game has aged a great deal and all of its legendary and innovative features are commonplace these days and have been improved a great deal, but those looking for an epic adventure should look no further than this game. Try and get a copy of the game on N64 or play the enhanced port on the Nintendo 3DS!

Well there’s another game review done. Just 1 more game left to review! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀

 
 

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Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – Perfect Dark

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #28 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today’s game is one that provided me with many occasions of fun and arguments with my friends, I am of course talking about Perfect Dark!

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Perfect Dark was a first-person shooter game developed by Rare for the N64 and released in 2000. This game is owned considered to be the spiritual sequel to GoldenEye 007 due to it also being developed by Rare and using a modified version of the game engine that powered GoldenEye.

Perfect Dark featured a single-player mode consisting of seventeen missions in which the player assumes the role of special agent Joanna Dark, an operative for the fictional Carrington Institute, as she attempts to stop a conspiracy by rival corporation dataDyne.

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The game was a first-person shooter game and like many games of the genre it included a range of weapons to collect, enemies to defeat and varied environments to explore. This game shared many similarities to GoldenEye 007 in the sense that the gameplay was very similar in terms of the ability to use stealth and tackle objectives that vary with the difficulty setting (in this case there were four). You have the choice to try out  a number of tutorials and training activities by exploring the Carrington Institute, which acts as the game’s central hub. The most substantial of these activities is the firing range, in which you’re proficiency with each of the game’s weapons is tested against specific targets.

The game boasted a great deal of weapons to choose from, 30 to be exact and all of them featured various individual features that were balanced but not overpowered and the weapons ranged from modern stuff to more futuristic ones.

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The game’s multiplayer mode was Combat Simulator. Game’s could be played with up to four human players and eight computer-controlled players and if more than one human was playing then the in split-screen. is used if more than one human is playing. If three or four humans play, the screen is divided into quarters, with one quarter left blank if necessary. Players enter the game unarmed and with a certain amount of health. Weapons and ammunition are scattered around the level in preset positions. Once a player is killed, they are regenerated elsewhere in the level, once again unarmed. The overall objective of the game is determined by the scenario being played.

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Ah Perfect Dark, if it wasn’t GoldenEye 007 that everyone was going on about when it comes to FPS games then it was this game instead. Perfect Dark is one of the finest FPS games of its time, everyone goes on about GoldenEye 007 like it was the only FPS on the N64, sure it changed the way we looked at FPS game and set the foundation for all games that followed it. But Perfect Dark took was good about GoldenEye and upgraded it by ten times, this was a much tighter and more layered experience. If you had a N64 it was mandatory for you to own this game and while I never owned the game myself I went over to my school mate’s house and played it all the damn time. As with most FPS games I mainly played them for the multiplayer and that’s exactly what I did with this game. OH MY GOD! Perfect Dark had one of the greatest multiplayer modes of any game I’d ever played, it was deep, customizable and fun as hell. James Bond session were good, but this was on another level! The games I had with my mates were incredible, we’d always customize things beforehand which kept matches interesting. We either played individually or in teams and if we were in teams me and my mate would always be aliens and it was just kick ass.

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These aliens were the best!

So in conclusion Perfect Dark had a great gameplay along with a fine single-player mode, an epic multiplayer and wonderful presentation. If you missed this game back in the day try and get a hold of it and play it, either on the original N64 or on Xbox Live Arcade fi you’re an Xbox 360 owner. Honestly this is a great game and you’d be foolish to miss out on this killer FPS game and this is coming from a person who really doesn’t like the genre that much.

Well there’s another game review done only 2 more to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀

 

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Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – Bomberman Hero

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #27 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today we’re going back to the Bomberman series with a game that I was really addicted to on my N64; Bomberman Hero!

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Bomberman Hero was an action game released in 1998 for the N64 and it is a sequel to the successful game Bomberman 64.

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There is a story in this game but it is hardly worth mentioning, so we’re just gonna skip ahead and get into the gameplay. Now Bomberman Hero controls very differently from Bomberman 64. In this game Bomberman has the ability to jump, has a life meter and has the ability to throw bombs farther and overall because of these new abilities the game becomes more of a platform-oriented experience. In this game you travel from planet to planet through five different stages with an eventual boss encounter, and as you advance the stages and bosses naturally get harder. A unique feature is that is that you’re not just limited to using your feet to get around as you can travel via jet pack, helicopter, snowboard or submarine. You can also ride this green rabbit thing through some levels which provides interesting ways to advance through levels.

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There are also several different types of bombs in addition to the regular ones. Ice bombs turn enemies into ice blocks which can be moved around and used to jump on to get to higher places. Salt bombs only harm slugs which cannot be harmed by any other means. Control bombs explode when remotely detonated; a useful ability against certain bosses.

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Much of the game’s replay value is in the sub-mission of scoring the amount of target points per stage, which awards Bomberman a certain amount of stage points (1 through 5) at the end of each level. You can re-enter the stages as often as you like, in order to secure the highest possible score within the stage. Medals are awarded on a per-planet basis, awarded based on the total number of stage points at the planet’s completion (red, blue, bronze, silver, and gold). Getting a perfect score on every planet (or rather, a gold medal on each one) will award mini games to be accessed on the options screen. The games include:

  • Slide Racer: Play through the Crystal Hole level on the Bomber Slider, racing against a snowman. Beat him and get the record time to win.
  • Golden Bomber: Bomberman gets the Golden Chip, which allows him to travel underwater with ease. Traverse through three stages to beat the Boss of the Woods.
  • Treasure Hunt: Princess Millian’s ship, which was full of treasure taken from Bagular’s base, was shot down at the treasures were scattered all over the six planets. Find them all.

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Bomberman Hero is another one of my favourite N64 games and even though I LOVE the multiplayer component in Bomberman 64, this game a surprisingly deep single player mode that made me forget all about the previous game. I think I really liked the game because of its platforming elements as it is a genre that I like a lot. But outside of that the game’s just a lot of fun, you run around and blow up enemies, climb up or descend through stages that were either straightforward and narrow or a little more spacious and tricky. There was a good deal of stuff to do and most of the levels I replayed most of the time to get the high score or to mess around on the jetpack or snowboard. This game was graphically pretty good, there was a nice sense of variety in the stages and none of them looked too similar, also the soundtrack is brilliant, it was so good and it had a great video game sound while also having a bit of drum and bass in there too which was so badass. It’s still one of my favourite soundtracks in any video game ever.

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So in conclusion Bomberman Hero was a unique game in the series that added a lot of new elements and game mechanics but still manages to be a kick ass experience with awesome style, presentation and gameplay. Some may dismiss this game purely based on the fact that there’s no multiplayer and while that is a darn shame this is a game in the Bomberman series that deserves your attention. I highly recommend it.

Well there’s another game review done only 3 more to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀

 
 

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Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – Pilotwings 64

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #26 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today’s game is one that provided me with so many moments of cool and calm moments while gaming, today I’ll be discussing Pilotwings 64!

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Pilotwings 64 was a flight simulation game released in 1996 (1997 for us in Europe) for the N64 and is a follow-up to Pilotwings which came out in 1991 for the SNES.

When it comes to gameplay you must complete a variety of missions involving different airborne vehicles and air sports. Before each mission, have the choice of choosing one of six character pilots, each with their own advantages and disadvantages based on factors such as weight. The tests presented to you require him or her to complete an objective in order to earn a license for the given event. Depending on the mission, points are awarded or deducted based on time, damage, fuel usage, accuracy, softness of landing, etc. You are is awarded either a bronze, silver, or gold license based on the number of points attained and more difficult tests become available as you progresses.

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There are three main events in Pilotwings 64 required to complete the game, each of which has its own objectives and unique flight controls centered around the Nintendo 64 controller’s single analog stick. The first, hang gliding, usually requires you to fly through a series of floating marker rings or snap a photograph of a particular piece of scenery before landing in a target area. Your movement is affected by wind currents and altitude can be gained by flying through thermal columns. The second event is the “Rocket Belt”, a jet pack that allows you to move and gain height as well as hover, tilt, and rotate in the air using the belt’s equipped thrusters. Goals entail flying through rings or popping large balloons before landing. The third event, the gyrocopter, challenges you to take off and land on a runway after completing objectives like navigating a path of rings or destroying targets with missiles.

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Pilotwings 64 also features several bonus events that are unlocked if the player performs well in the main missions. Here you can also earn medals on many of these events. They include skydiving, a human cannonball event, and the “Jumble Hopper”, which grants you special spring-loaded boots to be used in bouncing across the landscape to an end space. Lastly the game features a “Birdman” mode that puts the character in a bird suit and allows you to freely explore the game’s environments set among its four distinct islands. One of the islands is based on the United States, and has geographical replications of famous landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore and major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. Representations of Nintendo characters and many other interesting quirks can be found in the landscapes of the game.

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Ah Pilotwings 64, this was one of the games that made me fall in love with not only the N64 for but games to do with flying in general. Now I’ve never really been one for flight simulation games but this game was a rare and interesting find that I came across via my school friends during the late 90s into early 2000s and even though I never knew properly how to play the game, I loved going on free flight mode and just explore and travel through the environments in the sky. Pilotwings 64 was one of the most calm and relaxing gaming experiences I’ve ever had, the feeling of travelling through the air by hang glider or plane or jetpack it was just a wonderful experience and with the soothing soundtrack playing in the background it felt heavenly. I could spend my time in free flight mode forever and that’s what I did for the majority of the time because it was THAT fun. Graphically speaking the game looked amazing for its time, it had such a massive scope and because you could change the time of day and weather settings it would come out with some beautiful visual results. As for the soundtrack it was funky and relaxing and I still remember some of the tracks used in missions, the sound effects were great too and what I mean by that is the funny screams characters would make when they crashed into the ground haha. That stuff was hilarious and I used to crash on purposed just to hear those funny screams. I know I’m terrible haha. XD

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So in conclusion Pilotwings 64 was a unique a flight simulation game that was filled to the brim with fun, good gameplay and nice presentation. It is a game that requires patience and skill to get into, but if allow yourself to immerse yourself in the game and master all of the challenges involved it can be a deep and rewarding experience. I really wish I could get the game again if only just to mess around in the free flight mode again haha. I’d say give this game a try if you’re looking for a slightly older but more interesting flight simulation game yo. 🙂

Well there’s another game review done only 4 more to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀

 

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My Epic Iron Man 3 Review!! :D

So here we are in April 25th, the day of Iron Man 3‘s release in the UK. It feels like the wait for this film has been the longest one in recent history, maybe even worst than the wait for The Avengers last year. Anyways Robert Downey Jr. is back as Tony Stark/Iron Man in his third film in the Iron Man film series and this one’s directed by Shane Black which has definitely put a twist on things. Does this film succeed in being another great Marvel film or does it fail due to the ‘third film in the series curse’? Read on to find out!

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So the story of this film takes place after The Avengers and life for Tony Stark is anything but stable. Stark hasn’t recovered from the events of New York which has left him anxious, scared and alone and this affects his relationship with Pepper Pots and his day-to-day activities. However Stark’s troubles only worsen when the terrorist known as the Mandarin shows up, starts causing havoc and tears Stark’s world apart. Now Stark has to find the courage to carry on and save the world and uncover the mysterious that surround him.

I thought the story in this film was surprising smart, dramatic and very, very unexpected. All those worrying that the film was going to be too dark and serious can rest easy as the film easily has a lot of humourous moments and laugh-out-loud scenes. A lot goes down in this film and it is very impressive to see how the writers found a way to condense it into a 2 hour film. There was so many elements of this film I didn’t see coming and it was smartly handled with style and the element of surprise. Also this is definitely a Shane Black film as the way the film is directed, stylized and even the humour feels very reminiscent of his former work especially Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

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But it is the characters that really bring Iron Man 3 to life and the returning and new cast make great work of their material. So let’s start with Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. The dude still has it. RDJ is still as charismatic as ever providing moments humour, wit and style while also giving us a very vulnerable and isolated character. Tony Stark is in a very difficult place in his life and has his world smashed to pieces and he has to rise to the challenge to keep the world safe and protect Pepper and RDJ brought his A-game to this role. Then there’s Gwyneth Paltrow as Virginia “Pepper” Potts, Paltrow is very good in this film offering up more drama and a lot more action then we’ve seen from her before. Pepper not only has to deal with being CEO of Stark Industries but also but must maintain a relationship with Tony. Paltrow was just great and she looked spectacular, I mean she has one hell of a body yo. Anyways moving on… Now we move onto Don Cheadle as Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes/Iron Patriot, Cheadle was funny and witty as Tony’s friend and wearer of Iron Patriot armour. You see I wasn’t too much of a fan of Cheadle in Iron Man 2, I didn’t feel the connection between him and Tony but in this film their relationship is a lot better and Rhodey is much cooler too.

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Now let’s talk about Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian, Pearce was very cool and interesting as the creator of the Extremis virus and the founder of Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). I love the way Killian was introduced and his reasons for doing what he was doing, Pearce handled the role well and this was one of his roles I’ll personally remember for a while yet. Also Rebecca Hall as Dr. Maya Hansen was quite pretty as a botanist whose work helped create Extremis. Maya was a strong-minded character and definitely had relevance in the grand scheme of things and I liked how Hall handled her material, I just wish she’d been in the film a little more. Okay now’s time to talk about Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin/Trevor Cassidy he was pretty cool. Now let’s get something straight, THIS IS NOT THE MANDARIN FROM THE COMICS, there are changes made to his character to make it work in the context of the film and while some fanboys may cry about I thought it was interesting and mart stuff.

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Also Stephanie Szostak as Ellen Brandt and James Badge Dale as Eric Savin do well in their roles too but I won’t explain specifically what it is because it will spoil elements of the film. And lastly Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Favreau was great. I was so happy to see Favreau return and the material he is given is some great, dramatic and funny stuff.

When it comes to the presentation I can easily say it is some of the best that Marvel Studios has produced so far. Visually the CGI and special effects are INSANE! So much action and mayhem goes down in this film and it is shot, choreographed and crafted in a spectacular fashion. From the attack on Tony’s house to Iron Man’s one-on-one fights to the Iron Legion sequence near the end of the end of the film, everything just screams out awesomeness and it is almost on par with The Avengers. I was worried when Industrial Light and Magic wasn’t coming back to do the film’s visual effects, but Scanline VFX, Digital Domain, Weta Digital, Framestore, The Third Floor and Trixter Film did a great job filling in for them. As for the soundtrack, I think it is the best so far. I was worried with Brian Tyler was brought on to the do the soundtrack but he really brought this film to life with some incredibly loud, profound and epic music that fueled the action on-screen, it was amazing nuff said.

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So to conclude Iron Man 3 is definitely a return to form and is probably best film of the trilogy. The film is smart, funny, emotional and nicely stylized with some amazing presentation in both the visual and audio department. Some may not like the changes and unexpected surprises to be found in this film but for me it worked well and I can appreciate the changes. Shane Black has done well by the series and has his trademark style all over this and in addition to that Robert Downey Jr. proves he’s still the man as the one and only Iron Man. If you couldn’t tell already I LOVED this film and I recommend it highly.

Rating: 9/10 (Just go out and watch it now! :D)

So what did you think of Iron Man 3? Did you love it, think it was alright or hate it? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and be sure to come back for some more kick ass film reviews! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – Beetle Adventure Racing!

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #25 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today we’re gonna talk about one of my favourite racing games ever, its time to talk about Beetle Adventure Racing!

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Beetle Adventure Racing! was a racing game released in 1999 for the N64 and was developed by Paradigm Entertainment who had previously worked on Pilotwings 64 and AeroFighters Assault. The game is often compared to San Francisco Rush, because of its fun-oriented gameplay.

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Any game that features dinosaurs is an automatic win right?

Beetle Adventure Racing! is different kind of racing game as its composed strictly of Volkswagen New Beetle vehicles, which were released the year before the game’s release.

The game uses six lengthy tracks in its single player championships and has an impressive draw distance compared to other N64 titles. Each track is pretty mental offering up insane elements in each level including ghosts, dinosaurs, castles and alien spaceships.

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Each course features a variety of boxes strewn on or near the track. Boxes provide different rewards to the player; for instance, a nitro boost that increases speed. There are also special “Flower Boxes” that unlock cheats to modify gameplay. During single player “Championship” races there are “Points Boxes” placed on the track worth varying amounts. 100 points are available on a given course, and because many boxes are placed on hidden shortcuts, a player who wishes to get the maximum number of points during a race must vary the path they take through the level each lap. Earning a full 100 points on a level unlocks new multiplayer arenas.

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Beetle Adventure Racing! uses a modified version of the then-current Need for Speed engine, which manifests itself most visibly in terms of the four-point suspension and the zooming tachometer. The tracks differ slightly, however, and do not start and finish at the same point. Instead, each course has a brief entry road, the player races the allotted three laps, and the last lap switches guardrails in order to funnel the player into an exit track with a (usually dead-end) finish-line. Oddly enough, few games have employed a similar mechanic since then.

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The game features a multiplayer portion for 2 to 4 players in split-screen. Two-player races can be unlocked by completing the single-player game. There is also a Beetle Battle mode, where players collect ladybugs, destroy each other and race to the finish.

How cool is that intro? It is one of the coolest intros I know from any N64 game I ever played.

Ah the memories I have with Beetle Adventure Racing! is endless. My sister and I played the hell of this game when we were younger. Funnily enough I bought this game in a gaming shop by chance because I looking for a decent racing title, and I’m so lucky I picked this one up yo. Now let me tell you, this is one of my favourite racing games and that is for one simple reason, style. The game was totally cool and had a style that separated it from its competition. I mean while it was still a racing game that shared most of the basic features of any driving simulator it had more of an arcade feel and was much faster and wilder than other boring realistic racing games I’d played at the time. The levels you got to race on were big and wide, there was room to explore and experiment and if you knew how to manipulate your car in the air you could do some cool stunts or get to really hard-to-reach locations. My favourite level was Mount Mayhem because it was a snow-based level that had a secret UFO in a cave and it also featured my favourite music in the game.

Also the multiplayer was great, sure you could racing against each other, but it was way more fun to play Beetle mode and collect ladybugs while attacking and avoiding fire from your enemies. It was some brutal and chaotic stuff which got plenty crazy at points because of the maps and insane items that ranged from a silver shield, to rockets to explosive boxes and so on.

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It’s got good graphics, nice and varied level designs full of strange and unnatural stuff and one of the coolest soundtracks I know. It’s all original compositions with a great groovy sound. Also the sound effects are awesome from the voice announcer to the sound of nitro to the crazy black-sounding guy who says things when you get items in multiplayer mode. It’s all badass.

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So in conclusion Beetle Adventure Racing! is one of those special racing games that comes along and looks like every other kind of racer by just looking at the cover, but when you play it you discover it’s a totally cool beast inside. The game featured great gameplay, style and awesome music, if you want a different kind of racing game for your N64 than look no further than this game, it’s that good. 🙂

Well there’s another game review done, we are now entering the LAST 5 DAYS! Only 5 more games to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Game Reviews, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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Why The Avengers Was And Still Is A Big Deal – Part 2

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Part 2 of Why The Avengers Was And Still Is A Big Deal. This is a two-part blog post talking about why I believe the film was and still is a big deal and what were the key elements that led to its success. If you haven’t read the first part then stop reading this and got back and check it out and then come back here. As for everyone else let’s continue…

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Kevin Feige

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This is the man with the plan, without this guy I doubt the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be as grand as it is without this man’s talent. Now I don’t know how much influence he has over the ideas or films that get picked to be greenlit but I can only assume he has that kind of power because of all the announcements and interviews he does. I mean I’ve never seen any producer have so much knowledge on comic books and understand source material in such a vivid way. Feige has powers! I mean every interview he’s in here’s always offering information on current happenings on Marvel films or upcoming ones and he doesn’t just talk about from a business point of view but as a person knows his stuff and understands how to translate it into live action along with the directors, writers and actors.

But what I really like about him is the fact that he’s always thinking, he always seems to be one or two or maybe even five steps ahead of everyone else. If fans have ideas of where to go with storylines or costumes or introducing new character solo films Feige seems to have thought of it already or made it happen behind the scenes and then makes a massive announcement about it later down the line. The man never stops moving and that’s something you gotta appreciate.

The End Result

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Whatever your thoughts are on The Avengers no one can deny its success. It’s been said many, many times and I’ll say it again, this film was a massive gamble and could have especially blown up in Marvel’s faces. Having several superhero characters in their own separate films come together one film? Nothing like this had been done before and it was incredibly risky. But somehow thanks to the awesomeness that is Joss Whedon, hard work from Kevin Feige and the people at Marvel Studios and some fine acting from the cast involved they crafted a great superhero the likes of which has never been seen. Now allow me to explain what I mean by that.

Up until the time before The Avengers everyone was gearing towards the dark and gritty realism created in the Chris Nolan Batman films. I swear most audiences, critics and people I talked saw The Dark Knight as a template for future comic book films and only wanted dark and realistic films. But then The Avengers comes out of the blue and completely squashes that concept with a film that had a lot more humour than any comic book film in recent history and while it was a lot more light-hearted than most films in the genre it had moments for character development and emotion when needed. There was not only great action going on in the form of the CGI and special effects but there was also action going on between the characters as they argued and fought each other. It was some badass, dynamic, tension-building and funny stuff and it worked in a very natural way and related to the source material so well. It really was a great film not only for casual audiences but for all the comic nerds out there waiting to see their favourite characters fighting each other and then coming together to save the world from evil.

Finally there was a film to break the chain of all these “dark and gritty” comic book adaptations. I know that there are a lot of comics that revolve around that but not ALL comic films HAVE to be that way. The Avengers was a good time in the cinema and everyone from fans to critics to casual film audiences responded well to it. It made a ton of money at the Box Office and the sequel was greenlit for 2015 just a short time after so year rock on Marvel!

Foreshadowing

And now we come to the final point and this one is pretty important, it’s all about foreshadowing. As I said before Kevin Feige is the man with the plan and is always thinking several steps ahead of everyone else, with this power he knows to make announcements about future projects that’ll keep fans wanting more or just send them into a frenzy freaking out about upcoming films. Also the Marvel films themselves have always given us a look into the future thanks to their post-credit cutscenes. At the end of Iron Man Nicky Fury showed up, at the of The Incredible Hulk Tony Stark showed up, at the end of Iron Man 2 Agent Coulson located Thor’s hammer, etc. The point is Marvel Studios have been smart about the way in which they’ve marketed their films and the way in which they’ve filmed the too. And now they’ve established their Marvel Cinematic Universe they are looking to continue their success with their Phase Two set of films.

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2013 is the year when we’ll begin the next set of Marvel solo films with three sequels and two new solo films to add to the mix. Firstly starting with Iron Man 3 which will be out pretty soon (tomorrow for us UK citizens), then entering Thor: The Dark World in November, then we have two films in 2014 in the form of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy and finally after the release of Avengers 2 is Ant-Man in 2015. Marvel have always hinted at the future and right now they’ve smartly given sequels to the films that needed them and been ambitious with films like GotG. I believe that Kevin Feige along with the other big people at Marvel are hard at work not only crafting these upcoming Marvel films but also looking into Phase Three and add additional films to tag along with Doctor Strange (hopefully we’ll FINALLY get a Black Panther film).

In the end Marvel Studios worked for four long years and gave us one of the finest comic films in existence. The Avengers was and still is badass and if anyone tries to imitate that in the future I hope they won’t forget that this was the film that gave them the blueprint.

So yeah that’s it, I just had to get that out of my system and share my thoughts with you all. Anways what do you think? Do you agree with my points or do totally disagree completely? Whatever your thoughts leave them in the comments below and I’ll see you lot on the next blog post yo! 😀 😀

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Films, Life, Media

 

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Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – Quake 2

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #24 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today’s game is one of the finest FPS games I played in the 90s and I have very fond memories with, today we talk about Quake 2!

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Quake 2 was a first-person shooter game originally released for Windows and Macintosh in 1997 and then ported to other consoles later on. the version I’ll be talking about today is the version for N64. This is the second game in the Quake series though it isn’t a direct sequel.

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The game is played in general first-person shooter paradigms, in which you shoots enemies from the perspective of the main character. The gameplay is very similar to that featured in Quake, in terms of movement and controls, although you’ve been slowed down you now have the ability to crouch. The game retains four of the original Quake‘s weapons (Shotgun, Super Shotgun, Grenade Launcher and Rocket Launcher), although they were all redesigned and made to function in slightly different ways. The remainder of Quake‘s eight weapons (Axe, Nailgun, Super Nailgun and Thunderbolt) are gone. Newly introduced weapons are the blaster, Machine Gun, Chain Gun, Hyperblaster, Railgun and BFG10K. The Quad Damage power up from Quake is still present in Quake II and new power ups include Invulnerability, Bandolier, Ammo Pack, Enviro-Suit, Rebreather, and Silencer.

The single player game features a number of changes from Quake. Firstly you’re given mission-based objectives that correspond to the storyline, including stealing a Tank Commander’s head to open a door and calling down an air-strike on a bunker. CGI cutscenes are used to illustrate progress through the main objectives, although they are all essentially the same short piece of video, showing a computerised image of your character as he moves through game’s levels. Another addition is the inclusion of a non-hostile character type — your character’s captured comrades. However, it is impossible to interact with such characters, because they have all been driven insane by their Strogg captors.

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The game features much larger levels than Quake, with many more wide-open areas. There is also a hub system that allows you to travel back and forth between levels, which is necessary to complete certain objectives. Enemies also demonstrate visible wounds after they have taken damage.

The multiplayer portion is similar to that in Quake. It can be played as a free-for-all deathmatch game, a cooperative version of the single-player game, or as a 1 vs 1 match that is used in official tournaments. It can also be played in Capture the Flag Mode.

In the Nintendo 64 version of Quake 2 the core gameplay was largely identical; however, changes were made to the game sequence and split-screen multiplayer replaced network or internet play. This version also had completely different levels, music and multiplayer maps. It featured multiplayer for up to 4 players. It also had new lighting effects, mostly seen in gunfire and used the Expansion Pak for extra graphical detail.

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Quake 2 along with GoldenEye and Perfect Dark was one of the few FPS games I liked playing as a kid and while I mainly played in multiplayer I still had a hell of a time. Split-screen multiplayer in Quake 2, so damn good. Just like any good FPS game you run around with a variety of weapons over different maps running around and blasting the crap out of each other! Just like other FPS games I’d get proper trigger happy and run all over the place and shoot everything with a rocket launcher, killing not only my mates but also myself in the process haha. I honestly did care as long as I was having fun that was the main thing. 🙂 I remember this game being graphically impressive for its time especially when it came to the animation and art design and the soundtrack I also recall being pretty badass too.

So in conclusion Quake 2 was one of those fancy and unique FPS experiences that you had to experience to know how cool it was. I can’t this version compare to the other ports that came out but for the N64 you won’t find a better or fancier experience in this genre, it’s almost just as fun as GoldenEye and Perfect Dark and that’s saying a lot yo. I’d say try it out if you can find a copy yo.

Well there’s another game review done only 6 more to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀

 
 

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Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2 – Chameleon Twist

Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #23 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today’s game is one that was just totally bizarre, it was also a fun game to play alone and with friends, today I’ll be talking Chameleon Twist!

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Chameleon Twist was a platforming game released in 1997 for the N64.

When it came to gameplay, by pressing the B button, you could make your character’s tongue stick out and using the analog stick you could control the movement of the tongue. This enables the player to obtain power-ups from a distance or to swallow enemies. The tongue will extend until it reaches its full length and retracts back into the chameleon’s mouth, or until it bumps a wall. As a basic attack, Davy and his friends, who have the same powers, can stick out their tongue and swallow enemies that stick to it. Once inside their mouth, the Chameleons have the option of spitting the enemies back out of their mouths at other enemies.In order to jump up to levels of ground that are usually impossible to reach, the characters are able to launch themselves into the air by using their tongues. If used while the chameleon is moving an a particular direction, the jump is given even more altitude, in what is comparable to pole vaulting. When faced with impassable gaps in the ground, which frequently block the way, you can usually able to grab a pole on the other side of the pit, allowing him or her to either move across the pit in a set direction. You may rather choose to move across the pit in a circular motion by swinging around the pole by pressing the A button and the desired direction after grabbing the pole.

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Outside of the single-player game there was a battle option that allowed two to four players to take part in either a Battle Royal or Time Trial event. Battle Royal has you trying to be the last chameleon left standing on a suspended platform, while Time Trial rewards the chameleon that stays on the platform the longest. In the latter event, the chameleon that has fallen off the fewest number of times is considered the winner. Options include four difficulty settings for multiplayer games, adjustable battle lengths, and a choice of four stages for both the Battle Royal and Time Trial modes.

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I first came across Chameleon Twist via my school friends and it was initially one of the most bizarre games I’d ever played, but it was addictive and as with most good N64 games the multiplayer was the place to be. This game was proper frantic and fun. Playing against each other and shooting projectiles while the stage got smaller was one of the scariest things ever especially when there’s three other people doing the same thing, and obviously in competition-based gameplay like this people are bound to lose and believe me arguments did break out just like when we played Mario Kart 64 or Diddy Kong Racing or any of the Mario Party games. Outside of the multiplayer I remember the main game being bloody hard as hell because there really wasn’t much in the way of help and you just had to figure things out for yourself. This held true with a lot of the boss fights where the strategy to beat them wasn’t completely obvious which would lead to some unnecessary deaths, sometimes it’d take me ages to figure out what to do or I’d just let my mate do it for me. But even before the difficulties in the game began you had to figure out the bloody controls! It wasn’t too hard once you got it down but when first learning some of the stuff you have to do with tongue movement when it comes to bending and flipping came be tricky as hell yo.

This is one of the few N64 games I come back to every once in a while and play with my sister. In single-player mode I’d definitely gotten better because I’m a lot smarter than my younger self, but when it comes to multiplayer some things never change when I lose to my sister I still get annoyed about it haha.

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So in conclusion Chameleon Twist was a pretty cool game, it had a lot of crazy and intriguing ideas. Had the game been a little easier than I think it would have fared a lot better with players and critics but as it stands it’s a hidden game from history with a fun story mode and a crazy as hell multiplayer that just needs to be experienced. I’d say give it a try, you’ll never look at chameleons the same way again haha. 🙂

Well there’s another game review done only 7 more to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀

 
 

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