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I know that many people here will be familiar with the original version of the game on the Nintendo 64, however for those who aren't I will try to give a brief explanation. ===The Original=== The original verison of The Legend of Zelda: Ocariana of Time was one of the most highly rated games of all time, with an average rating of 99/100 from all reviews. (This can be seen on the Metacritic website which gives the average review rating from hundereds of sources and calculates an average. It even allows you to read the reviews when possible) The game was the first 3D outing in the already well-established Legend of Zelda series. It began with you controlling a child called Links as he discovered it was his destiny to save the land of Hyrule from a tyrant named Gannondorf. Link had been having nightmares about him and didn't know their meaning until the Great Deku Tree, the guardian of the forest he lived in at the time, explained his destiny to him. After he finds this out Link goes on a quest to stop Gannondorf with the help of the Princess of Hyrule, "Zelda". The quest is split up into what many people refer to as "dungeons"; locations which require the player to solve various puzzles with an expanding collection of tools and fight various monsters, often with a sword, but also with other weapons such as arrows, in order to collect a vital items needed to save Hyrule. There are also quite a few optional side-quests to paricipate in and various challenges such as archery and horseback racing. I have considered this to be my favourite game ever since I played it at a friend's house back in 1999. When I played it there, although I didn't manage to get that far, I was drawn in and knew I had to get it myself. At one point in the game time progresses nine years and Link becomes an adult. I wasnt expecting this at the time and remember vividly the feeling of excitement and achievement I felt, even though this was only roughly a quarter of the way through the game! I have never felt such a feeling of satisfaction and achievement since from any other game! ===The Remake=== The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a 100% faithful remake of the the original of the 3DS. It does however have many updated aspects which do nothing but improve on the original! Firstly, the graphics have been updated and are now beautiful. Even if you don't like using the 3D features of the 3DS you are still treated to updated character models and textures which really show how impressive the graphics on the 3DS can be. They are significantly better than those used in the N64 original. The difference in controls available on the N64 and 3DS meant that this game had to have a complete overhaul when it came to a control scheme. On the Nintendo 64 you were able to assign equipped items to three of the "C" buttons. In the remake you are able to assign them to 4 on-screen buttons, two of which can also be used by pressing the "X" or "Y" buttons on the 3DS. Certain weapons such as the arrows and slingshot now have optional accelerometer controls, meaning that you can aim by moving the 3DS console as if it is a window into the game. All the menus have also been moved to the touch screen instead of having to pause the game to use them. You can also see a much larger map, than on the Nintendo 64 version, on the touch screen. Another two additions to the game are a hints system for if you get stuck with the game and a "Boss Attack" mode which allows you to fight any of the bosses you have already defeated again, trying to beat your record time. For those who have already beaten Ocarina of Time and know the game inside-out there is also a "Master Quest" mode included. "Master Quest" was originally only available in Japan for the Nintendo 64, and was the original game, but featuring harder puzzles and tougher enemies. Besides a limited edition version of Master Quest which was released for the Nintendo Gamecube alongside the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, this is the first time the Master Quest has been properly seen in English. To add extra challenge to the 3DS version of the Master Quest however, the game has been inverted (Things that were on your left are now on your right and vice versa). For me at least, this change lead to me getting lost in locations which were previously extremely familiar to me! My only complaint about this remake is that (and this is a very minor complaint) due to techical restrictions when the game was released on the Nintendo 64 originally, the game doesn't meet quite the same standards as the later console offerings, Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword, in terms of the complexity of the story or size of the game. It does however beat any handheld offerings hands-down! I would highly recommend this game to anyone as, as previously stated, it has been my favourite game ever since I first played it on the Nintendo 64!
Over the past few years Sega have been having a rough time with the Sonic franchise, especially since the failure that was 2006's Sonic the Hedgehog for the XBOX 360 and Playstation 3. Before this point the franchise was highly popular, however the failure was so bad that it gave the franchise a bad name. Since then Sega have been trying to restore the gaming community's faith in the franchise but have been having in hard time. The next main Sonic game, Sonic Unleashed, offered wonderful day time stage mechanics, but Sega tried to introduce a new gimmick to extend the length of the game. This gimmick came in the form of "Sonic the Werehog". At night Sonic would turn into a "Werehog" and the gameplay would change from fast-paced action to a slow beat-em-up with platforming mechanics. This move was not popular with the majority of people and, due to there being more night time stages than day time stages, overshadowed the amazing day-time mechaics. Sega followed this up with Sonic Colours. Sonic Colours concentrated on the mechanics which were used in Sonic Unleashed's daytime levels and this recieved much praise. However, as Sega only released this game for the Nintendo Wii, it wasn't available to a high proportion of the potential audience. At this point Sonic's 20th Anniversary was approaching and Sega chose to release a game that truly celebrated the history of the hedgehog, and this review is of that game. Sonic Generations sucessfully caters both to the fans of the classic 2-dimensional gameplay from the 90s, and the fans of the Sonic Unleashed daytime levels. It does this by bringing together both gameplay styles in one game. Each level is based on a different level from Sonic's history and split into two acts which reimagine the level in both a classic and modern style. Classic acts are played by the chubbier, black-eyed, more cartoonish (and mute) Sonic that people were familiar with in the 90s while Modern ones are played by the tall, thin green-eyed Sonic that everyone is familiar with these days. Both gameplay styles work wondefully, and Sega demonstate that they still have the ability to make great classic style levels! The levels are also a generous length, with even the classic levels being much longer than they would have been if created in the 90s. The levels reimagined in this game are: 1. Green Hill Zone (Sonic the Hedgehog) 2. Chemical Plant Zone (Sonic the Hedgehog 2) 3. Sky Sanctuary Zone (Sonic and Knuckles) 4. Speed Highway (Sonic Adventure) 5. City Escape (Sonic Adventure 2) 6. Seaside Hill (Sonic Heroes) 7. Crisis City (Sonic the Hedgehog 2006) 8. Rooftop Run (Sonic Unleashed) 9. Planet Wisp (Sonic Colours) Each of these levels is accompanied by a wonderful remix of the original tune. A different remix has even been composed for both the classic and modern era acts. It is even worth mentioning that, although in its original game Crisis City was awful, Sega manage to do it right this time and make it into a highly enjoyable level! When a new level is unlocked several missions are also unlocked for that level. These missions can range from a simple race to the finish to using the unique abilities of Sonic's friends to reach the end of a level before the time runs out. One thing that I know some people dont like is that Classic Sonic's "spindash" move is incredibly overpowered in this game. However this is a very minor issue and it doesn't personally bother me at all. Overall this is a wonderful game, and I highly recommend it to both old and new fans of the series!
I first discovered the show when I was around 10 and a drama group I went to at the time spent a couple of hours acting out the first few scenes of the radio scripts. At this time I thought it was fantastic, but I didnt get the chance to investigate the show any further until it returned to the radio in 2004, after a break since 1980, for the Tertiary Phase (third series). I thoroughly enjoyed this even though, as I was only 14, I didn't fully understand some of the more intellectual, but ingenius, humour. I immediately got hold of the Primary and Secondary phases and consider them one of my most worthwhile purchases, having enjoyed them so much and listened to them so many times that I can now recite many parts of the scripts. When the Quandary and Quintessential phases came onto the radio I absolutely loved them too. I was especially impressed at how they managed to modernise the show in these last two phases without affecting the storyline set out in the final two books. At the end they even extended the radio show very slightly to resolve what made a rather depressing ending to the series of novels. An ending that Adams regularly said he regretted writing before he passed away in 2001. (With intentions of writing another book in the series) Over the years I have listened and relistened to the radio series and I can say, without a doubt, that none of ther other versions of Hitchhiker's match up to it (books, TV or film). The radio version of the story was also the original version for the Primary and Secondary Phases, after which book adaptations were created for the first two phases. A further 3 novels were then written by Douglas Adams to continue the story and these were more recently adapted to the radio. As I previously stated the show is packed with both intellectual and fun humour. The characters are wonderful and acted out brilliantly. All the main characters were played by the same actors for both the two old series and the three modern series. This however comes with the exception of the narrator ("The Book") who's original actor, Peter Jones, passed away in 2000. This is an amazing radio show and I would highly recommend it, even if you have seen the film and werent thrilled by it! (The film was a very loose adaptation of the Primary Phase in which the main storyline was almost entirely changed besides fundamental concepts. Even the main character, Arthur Dent, was significantly changed in personality!)
My sister asked for this game for Christmas a couple of years back and I was skeptical. I wasn't generally a big fan of board games and the description she gave of the game didn't do much to change my mind. A few days later my mum insisted that we had a family game and much to my astonishment I really enjoyed it. (After I got used to the rules) Nowadays my sister had a travel version as well which she takes around with her, not only because of convienience, but also because the rest of the family don't want to part with the game. I have also intorduced the game to my girlfriend and she loves it too. We even successfully introduced it to the rest of her family and one of our friends. I am yet to find someone who doesn't like the game when they play it! In this game you have an island made up of 19 hexagons. 18 of these hexagons fall into 5 categories depending on which building resource they relate to. These categories (reources) are wood, grain, sheep, ore and bricks. Different resources, and quantities of these resources are used in the game to build settlements, cities, roads and purchase development cards (roughly equivalent to the "chance cards" in Monopoly). The aim of the game is to be the first player to reach 10 points, and there are many ways to progress towards this goal. 1 point is given for every settlement, 2 points are given for every city, 2 points are given for the longest road or largest army (an army is obtained by collecting nights from development cards). Development cards may also give you points in some cases. The final hexagon is empty desert and used as the intial location of the "robber" who steals resources from players and hexagons. Any player who rolls a total of 7 on the pair of dice used in the game gets to control the robber for that turn and steal one resource (which each player collects as cards) from a victim of their choice. There are other rules, however they are hard to explain without playing the game. Once you play one game however you should be sufficiently familiar with the rules. Both my girlfriend and her mum won their first games because they became familiar with the rules so quickly! I would highly recommend this game to anyone!
I have been a fan of the Sonic series since the early 90s and so, naturally, a game that pays homage to the entire history of the blue hedgehog sounded great to me from the start. I initially bought the 360 version of the game and really enjoyed it very much, but I had heard that the 3DS version wasn't quite as impressive so held off buying it until I saw it at a lower price. When I got it I was plesantly surprised. The game is very fun to play, with wonderfully nostalgic environments, and a few great remixes of classic tunes which I grew up hearing. It is clear however that this version of the game had a significantly lower budget than the console version, with much shorter levels and a few music tracks which seem just like the classics, but with a few instuments added or changed. With Emerald Coast's tracks I can't even decide if any changes have been made at all. Another sign of the lower budget is the reduced number of levels in the game. Instead of 9 main levels (with a modern and classic mode for each) there are only 7. However, apart from Green Hill Zone, which was also in the console version, this gives many other levels the chance to get an updated modern-day treatment. The new levels you will find in the 3DS version are: 1. Casino Night Zone (Sonic 2) 2. Mushroom Hill Zone (Sonic & Knuckles) 3. Emarald Coast (Sonic Adventure) 4. Radical Highway (Sonic Adventure 2) 5. Water Palace (Sonic Rush) 6. Tropical Resort (Sonic Colours) It should be noted however that, unlike in the console version of the game, the classic versions of Green Hill Zone, Casino Night Zone and Mushroom Hill Zone are just that; the original classic level layout taken from a single act and copied into Sonic Generations. There are many, many missions which you can choose to do which greatly expand the length of the game. Each one of these missions unlocks new art, music or character models in the in-game museum, so not only can you have fun playing the levels again with extra challenges, but you also get rewarded for it. There are many music tracks from the 20 years of Sonic unloackable in the museum and it is really fun listening to them all! A drawback however is that these missions need to by unlocked, and the easiest way of doing this without having other friends who own the game is to use the 3DS's pedometer to earn coins while the console is in standby. These coins can be used to buy new missions, however you are restricted to earning 10 coins a day. (100 steps will gain you 1 coin) Unlike the console version, both classic and modern levels use a 2D perspective. The main difference between the 2 types is the addition of a boost for modern sonic instead of a spindash and the inclusion of rail-grinding. This is a fun game and I would recommend it to anyone who has a 3DS and fond memories of old Sonic games!
I would like to start this review by explaining that I went into this game with an open mind. I didn't buy it until 2008 because I didn't have an XBOX 360. As a consequence I had already heard bad things about it, but had dismissed them due to the fact that as I had enjoyed the contreversial Shadow the Hedgehog despite the general consensus. I had heard some of the music from the game however and though it was excellent, especially the various versions of "His World". However, when I finally bought the game I was extremely disappointed. They had stripped all the fun aspects away which existed in previous entries to the series and just left a buggy mess. One thing many people complain regularly about is the loading screens which not only take an extremely long time, but also have to be endured at times when they shouldn't be. For example, when carrying out a mission for a person who is in the adventure field the entire adventure field reloads for their explanation of the mission, it then reloads for the mission, then it releoads for the results and finally reloads to return to the proper game. If the mission is failed this process loops. Another problem is loading screens that pop up several times during a single level of the game. One way of improving the loading times however, is by installing the game on your console's hard drive. (A feature which was not available when the game was released) This causes a significant reduction in waiting time, however it is still much longer than it aught to be. One thing that some people dont like about modern Sonic games is "scripted" sections. This is when the game takes control of Sonic for a moment while he navigates an obstacle, such as running around a loop. In this game Sega manage to make this feature, which is, in theory, meant to reduce the difficulty of the game, regularly throw Sonic to his death. For instance, at times when you are running around a loop but didn't enter the loop perfectly centered, Sonic will run part the way around and off the edge of the loop entirely, he will subsequently be launched into the air, usually into a bottomless pit that was next to the loop. Another problem is the general physics engine of the game. There are times when it is possible to go into a loop which is not scripted. At these times you can take a leisurely stroll up to the top of the loop, take a rest at the top (while still standing upside down) and then slowly wander back down again. There are even times where you can fall through objects entirely and to your death. The gameplay is surprisingly slow for the franchise. Especially if you are used to games like Sonic Unleashed, Colours or Generations. Tails suffers really badly with this and is almost unbearably slow. The best way to play as tails is just continually fly wherever you want to, landing whenever Tails gets tired, and then starting to fly again. This method seems to be about three times faster than running! This slow gameplay goes with the exception of the "Mach Speed" sections that are sometimes added onto the end of one of Sonic's levels. At these times Sonic appears to forget how to stop running and all you are able to do is steer and jump as objects come hurtling towards you. In the case of the level "Crisis City" these objects may even come from behind you (and the camera), leading to completely unavoidable obstacles. This game appears to have gone with an extremely dull graphical style, sticking, as much as possible, to dull realism instead of the vibrant, abstact environments which gave the franchise its name. Doctor Robotnik (Eggman if you prefer) looks terrible in this game and appears to have had a character redesign. This design is basically a generic overwieght evil genius with many visible veins all over his bald forehead. This design was subsequently dropped in later games. The story of this game feels really bleak and doesn't make you care about any of the characters at all. It feels in many ways like a fanfiction by a 12 year old. The contreversial part of the storyline is that Sonic and a human princess fall in love, even kissing near the end of the game. Many people find this inappropriate, but I personally feel that they are overreacting in that respect. I do however feel that such a storyline doesn't work in this franchise. Many people feel that this game is so bad because, when it was released in 2006, Sega rushed it out in time for the Christmas holidays. This meant that the game was incomplete and not fully tested. However, this only accounts for the bugs in the game, not the general problems with the style of the game. An indication of how the game could have been was once available in the form of XBOX Live Marketplace's demo of the game. This single-level demo used a later version of the engine than the final game, with many of the bugs removed. However, the demo was one day taken down from XBOX Live with no explanation. Overall, this is an extremely bad game and I stuggle to find anything good about it apart from the music. I would only recommend it as part of a die-hard fan's collection, not as a game the average person should play.