Throwback Thursday: Mario Party 4

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

I’m a huge fan of the Mario Party series – well, most of them, anyway. Way back in the day, my all-time favorite Mario Party game was number 4. It’s not anymore, but it still holds a special place in my heart.

Throwback Thursday: Mario Party 4 | TBT | Nintendo | Gamecube | Super Mario Bros. | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Mario Party 4 was originally released on October 21, 2002, for the Nintendo Gamecube. Kris and I played this one to death. We absolutely loved it.

Every time we played, we played on a team. It was always us versus two hard CPU. We’d always crush them, but it would be close and we’d have a blast every game.

Then we’d play just the mini-games because there were two that were our absolute favorites: Team Treasure Trek and Dungeon Duos. The first game was a maze – one needed to find the chest and the other needed to find the key and meet up somewhere to win. Dungeon Duos was an obstacle course inside a dungeon, cave-like place.

It was always a good time and when we recently got our Gamecube back up and running, we decided to play a round of Mario Party 4. You know, for old time’s sake.

However, the game is so easy. Even the CPUs on the hardest setting was dumb. The mini-games were still fun, but the gameplay with the CPUs on the boards wasn’t. It was definitely a lot harder when we were kids… or maybe we just weren’t as good as we thought. Still, we won each time.

It was fun to go back to it again though. I’m sure we’ll play through the game on stream sometime. I want to give it a shot again even though it was way easier than I remembered it.

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Gaming Debate Woes

Gaming Debate Woes | Video Games | Blogging | Gaming | Gamers | DoublexJump.com

krismii
As you may have noticed, Rachel and I occasionally do debates. We try to aim for at least one a month and even had a fantastic brainstorming session to figure out potential topics. The only downside to these debates? Rachel and I tend to have very similar tastes when it comes to video games.

rachmii
Yes, we have debate topics for at least the rest of 2019. However, it’s been hard to choose topics and to even write the debates because we agree on most things. Sorry to burst your bubble, but a lot of our debates have been us agreeing on the same thing but one of us just playing devil’s advocate.

krismii
On the plus side to playing devil’s advocate, writing for the other side is great practice! There haven’t been too many debate topics where we actually took different sides, where there? I think physical versus digital games and, of course, Harvest Moon versus Animal Crossing, was one of the few.

rachmii
There are some obvious debates where our opinions were different, but most of them not so much. We’re just too similar. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing and you’re right, playing devil’s advocate can be fun. Still, we’re on the hunt for some new debate topics.

krismii
It’s not a bad thing at all, especially when we consider how often we play video games together. It’s great that we have so much in common so we don’t argue over what games to play often. In any case, it’d be great if we could get some topics where we actually had solid, opposite opinions on.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I think it’s funny, actually. I think the only time we really have differences is some indie games that we’ve gotten review copies for and have played. If you’re not too into a game, you’re just done whereas I like to go just a little bit farther.

krismii
In those cases, while I do my best to take the time to get used to a new game, but if I’m not into it, I’d rather spend my time playing a game I enjoy. So many games, so little time! Other than that, though, there still aren’t too many differences between us, but it’d be great to actually have more debate topics and see where we fall on the subjects.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
So, with all that said, if you have any debate topics for us, please feel free to drop them in the comments below. We’re constantly thinking of new debates and challenges for each other, so we’re definitely interested to see what you guys think.

Do you have any debate topic ideas for us? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Only One Gaming Console

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

We’re nearing the end of April, which means the end to a lot of different things. We’ve been continuing #GamingTogether on our social media and there’s one question that’s really got me thinking.

Only One Gaming Console | Video Games | Gaming | Gaming Together | DoublexJump.com

If you could only have one console, what would it be?

I’m pretty sure I’m the one who came up with this question and it’s totally an unfair one. I’m torn between the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Gamecube, and the Nintendo Switch.

I think, between home consoles and handhelds, I prefer handhelds. Of course, I love playing games on the big screen, but I love being able to put the handheld in my bag and bring it places with me. That said, I would choose the 3DS over the other two.

Except, the Switch has that portability. Can I fit it in my pocket? No. Can I fit it in my bag? Yes, though I do need a traveling case. I have one that fits in my bag, but we recently got the deluxe travel case for the Switch, which is like its own bag. It even carries the dock.

Needless to say, I can bring the Switch but also with a lot of other stuff meaning I have to carry more. I don’t have to do that with the 3DS. Although, with the carrying case for the Switch, I have more game options to bring with me.

Then again, there are so many digital downloaded games we have. My 3DS is loaded as is my Switch.

I’m not even mentioning the Gamecube all that much right now. I can’t download any games onto it. The games are much bigger to carry around with me. The console itself is big to carry around, though doable. The Gamecube is a decent size, has a handle, and is a cube so it’s pretty compact and fairly easy to fit in your suitcase. We used to bring our Gamecube with us on vacation all the time. My cousins brought their Gamecube when we drove down to Disney and we played it in the car – which you can easily play the 3DS and Switch in the car too, I guess.

Plus, it can have wireless controllers. Granted, the Switch has wireless to begin with. The 3DS has no controllers.

The Gamecube has cables to hook it up to the TV. The Switch does too and also has a dock. Although, you don’t have to hook it up to the TV if you don’t want. The 3DS doesn’t need any controllers or wires – unless you count the charger.

That’s another thing, too. You can only play your 3DS for so long before it runs out of battery. The Gamecube doesn’t have that problem. The Switch does, but you can also just hook it up to the TV and keep playing. You can keep playing your 3DS as well, but sometimes you have to move because the wire can only reach so far.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have no idea which one I’d choose if I could only have one. I thought I’d be able to pick one or the other, but I don’t think I can.

I believe I’ve put an equal amount of time into all the consoles. The majority of my games are on those three consoles. The only other thing I could argue is maybe I’ve put more time into playing games on the 3DS and Gamecube.

As of writing this post, I’ve racked up 285 hours on YouTube on the Switch… Yep.

So, there you have it. I have no clue which one I would pick. To the point, that if I had to choose, I’d probably ask someone to make the decision for me. I wouldn’t be able to.

Which console would you choose? Let me know in the comments! If you like this post, please share it around!

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Arcade Spirits [Video Game Review]

2019_Kris_Video_Game_Review_ArcadeSpirits

Title: Arcade Spirits
Developer: Fiction Factory Games
Publisher: PQube
Platform:
Windows, MacOS, Linux
Category:
Visual novel/Dating Sim
Release Date:
February 12, 2019 
How we got the game:
Bought it on Steam

krismii
I had never heard of Arcade Spirits before Rachel and I discovered a Let’s Play of it on the ProJared Plays YouTube channel. We haven’t finished his entire play through of it just yet due to me getting interested enough in the game to play it myself. And, honestly, I freaking love it. A visual novel set in an arcade with a fun story and fantastic characters had me sold almost immediately!

gameplayBeing a visual novel, Arcade Spirits does not have difficult gameplay. Rather, the most action you do is choosing your choice in a small list of answers at certain points in the levels. Yet, there are plenty of options and dialogue choices for you to make, even if sometimes the menus of choices aren’t that long. Indeed, there were some menus that only gave you two choices aside from a basic option.

Each choice that you made would help develop your avatar’s personality, whether it be Quirky, Steady, Kindly, Gutsy, or Basically. The choices indicate which answer goes with which personality trait, but there is an option in the short tutorial that allows you to hide the indicators so you have less of a chance to “gamify” your personality. Every multiple choice set would have a Basically answer, while the other few options would point toward one type of personality or another. When speaking with other characters, some would prefer certain types of responses over others, but there are no bad choices. You cannot get kicked toward a Game Over screen for the “wrong” choice (except for a couple of instances where you have to really try for a Game Over).

Not only are there no bad choices, but the game is clever enough to remember your choices in later levels. In Level 1, you may help a little girl at the arcade who will then remember you in Level 7 and want to help you in return. Certain choices  from the beginning of the game — such as why you decided to get a job at an arcade — pop up as motivation for other choices in the game, as well as interactions with other characters. Visual novels, especially dating sims, have branched paths with the choices you make, but Arcade Spirits is the first game in my memory to actively have earlier choices be referenced to and the reason as to why choices later on happen.

My other favorite aspect of this game? In the beginning, you can actually choose if you want flirting and romance, a slow-burn romance, or just friendship. Considering I’m asexual, this is huge to me. I like slower romance, but the fact that there is a route where I can just befriend every character so we’re all working to save the arcade is fantastic!

graphics-music

The graphics of this game is just so much fun! The characters are really well-done, as are the backdrops of each scene. Most of the backgrounds have small, animated touches that both draw you into the scene while not being too distracting from the character(s) are are interacting with. I was also impressed with the customizable avatar. There aren’t any choices with clothing and only three hair styles — short, medium, or long — but skin, hair, eye, and clothing colors are whatever you’d like them to be. Your avatar is featured in several scenes no matter what crazy color combo you choose. Most importantly, you can choose the pronouns you go by, which was also something really nice to see.

Being a video game about… well, arcade and video games, the sound effects were on point. The music was subtle but went really well with the game overall, each scene having its own ambiance sounds. I really enjoyed the partial voice-acting and quips from all of the characters. A couple of my favorites were two dudes who owned the book and doughnut shop next to the arcade. The voice actors were phenomenal going back and forth with each other!

storyThe gist of the story is that your character has lost another job and feels that… it’s rather normal. The avatar’s backstory involves their family always having to settle with what they had, and the avatar seemed to be resigned to that fate. They do not have a real dream to follow, prompting their roommate to suggest a special app that helps their user stay organized and in control of their life. This app then searches for the avatar’s “dream job” which lands them at an arcade called the Funplex.

The Funplex has interesting and dynamic characters to meet and befriend, and woo if you so choose to, ranging from your fellow coworkers to some of the arcade’s regulars. As the avatar, you try to figure out your dream, the reason as to why you decided to join Funplex’s team, and in doing so, you do your best to protect the Funplex from collapsing or being sold to a bigger arcade tycoon.

And that’s just the first half of the game. I fear I’ll spoil the finale if I continue. The story itself is heavily focused around dreams and finding out who you are and what you want out of life. The writing is both impressive and thought-provoking, with humor and some serious topics thrown in to keep everything in balance.

replay-value

Considering all of the routes — romance, friendship, all the characters — and plethora of dialogue choices you can make, this game has amazing replayability. At the time of this review, I’ve done one romance option and am currently exploring the friendship route, but there are a couple of other characters I’d like to get to know and romance down the line. Right now, I’m just eager to get back to the game!

Arcade Spirits gets…
5-lives
5 out of 5 lives.

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First Impressions: Smash Bros. Ultimate Version 3.0

Super Smash Brothers Ultimate 3.0 Update | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | Nintendo | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

krismii
This past Wednesday, a Nintendo Direct for Smash Bros. Ultimate 3.0 randomly dropped to announce the newest DLC character Joker from the Persona series, as well as a few other goodies. We spent a little time this morning actually testing out Joker in a few fights, and I have to say that he’ll probably end up being one of my go-to characters.

rachmii
Looking at the way Joker moved in the Direct, I knew he would be a favorite of Kris’s because he reminds me a lot of Sheik. We tested him out and he’s a pretty cool character – he’s fast, but not too fast and has a lot of cool moves.

krismii
My favorite characters do tend to be the faster ones, yes. I like the daggers, haha! We’ve actually never played any of the Persona games, which is something we should fix. We’ve heard of the series and the character, of course, but this was our first time seeing him in action. I’m curious about the actual “persona” that appears as well as to the reason for his masks and such.

rachmii
Yes, I definitely want to play those games. Then again, we say that about a lot of games. Anyway, we also tried out the building a stage mode. Kris gave it a shot failing at making a circle. The stage looked like a whale with a unicorn-type horn made of ice… though I guess we can say he was spouting out water.

krismii
I rather like the original description you gave it — a speech bubble with a party hat. Granted, the stage builder, especially the drawing part of it will probably be better in handheld mode. It’s definitely something we want to explore more. It was interesting seeing what kind of stages are already being shared.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I didn’t give it a try yet, but I definitely want to do something in handheld mode soon. Maybe that’ll be the next Double Jump Challenge?

krismii
I’m game for that! See who can come up with the most creative and functional stage? Or we can have a theme in place and see who comes up with a stage that best matches it?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The possibilities will be endless! We’ll have to do multiple challenges for this. Either way, I’m looking forward to final four DLC characters in Smash. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

What’s your favorite part of Smash Bros. Ultimate’s newest update? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: April 2019 Nintendo Switch Releases

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

This year so far has been fantastic for games, especially those coming out to the Nintendo Switch. April itself has plenty of games to offer and, while my wallet itself isn’t thrilled, it’s great to see all these games coming out!

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

This series is near and dear to our hearts, and we’re thrilled to be able to play the original three games again (for, like, the fifth or so time) on the Nintendo Switch! The music, characters, beautiful story arcs, and a hint of demon possession make these games quite addicting.

Nintendo Labo VR Kit

I’ll be honest, we still have yet to open the original Nintendo Labo. The boxes are still hanging out in our den. I am intrigued by the idea of the VR kits, however, especially with Breath of the Wild.

Cuphead

This is a game that Rachel and I were always interested in trying — despite being positive that we’d be horrendous at it — and we kept meaning to get the game on the Xbox, but we kept getting distracted by other games and life. Now that it’s on the Switch, one of our favorite consoles to date, we’ll actually give it a shot.

What are some of your favorite April 2019 game releases, for the Nintendo Switch or otherwise? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Death Road To Canada [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Death Road To Canada | Nintendo Switch | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Title: Death Road To Canada
Developer: Rocketcat Games / Madgarden
Publisher: Ukiyo Publishing
Platform:
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Action, Adventure
Release Date: 
May 8, 2018
How we got the game: 
I bought it on the Nintendo Switch eShop

 

 

 

Death Road To Canada is a game that will always hold a special place in my heart. Kris and I reviewed this game when it was on Steam back in 2017. We got it for the Switch shortly after it was released for the console. I played it again recently and thought of doing an updated review for it.

Gameplay | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

In Death Road To Canada, you can create whoever you want. I tend to make myself and go on the journey with Kris. We can create other people or run into NPCs the game has already created. The point is to make it to Canada during the zombie apocalypse. Each character has a personality trait and skill trait. Depending on what they have, they may have an advantage in something. All characters have skills, though only some are revealed off the bat. You need to do something pertaining to that skill in order for it to reveal itself as really good, good, neutral, bad, or very bad.

What I love about this game is that no two playthroughs are alike. The story, even though you have 11 days left to arrive in Canada, is random. Anything can happen. You can run into anyone or anything. What you find is a crapshoot as well. You can have a run where you have great weapons but find barely any medical supplies. You may run out of gas super fast depending on your car and you may be starving most of the run.

The game is sassy and witty which makes it all the more fun. This game is fun to play when you’re by yourself or if you have a few friends with you. Which I love most about the Nintendo Switch version is that there’s four-player local co-op whereas on PC it was only two-player.

In Death Road To Canada, you head to various places like pet stores, grocery stores, trading camps, and more. Each place you look for food, weapons, gas, and medical supplies. You can also find other people and help them out or use them as bait in case you get in a jam. All the while you’re fighting zombies, which can be fast or slow depending on the time of day and their current temperament.

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For a zombie game, the music is fun and upbeat. You can tell the game doesn’t take itself seriously and that’s part of the fun. The graphics are charming. They’re not realistic at all, which is what I like best about it – otherwise, I probably wouldn’t give this game a shot. Zombie games aren’t my cup of coffee, but everything about the aesthetics of this game is awesome.

Replay Value | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

There’s never a dull moment in this game. As I said before, no two play-throughs are alike. There’s always room to play more as you encounter different scenarios and use various characters with different traits. I still have yet to beat the game, though I’ve seen it done before. After you win so many times, you can unlock a hard mode. You also earn Zombo Points while playing, which allows you to unlock new traits, characters, and game modes. The ways to play this game are endless.

Death Road To Canada gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

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