Monday Memories: Video Game Nights

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

It’s a holiday where we are, and we’re hunkered down at home due to snow blanketing the ground outside. It was the perfect weekend to just relax at home with some hot chocolate and good video games.

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When I first started gaming, I mainly played single-player games. Granted, I think back in the early 90s, when many consoles only came with two controllers, many of the games I picked up were only single-player. Aside from that reason, it was also because I was the main gamer in my family. I grew up watching my uncle play, but we didn’t play as much together when I started playing myself (mainly because, ya know, we lived in different houses and he was an adult with things like a job and taxes and probably some sort of social life that I never saw). There was some games I was able to rope my father into playing once in a while, and I remember watching my older sister play Super Mario Bros. occasionally but, until Rachel came along and was old enough to comprehend video games, I was on my own.

Thank God for Rachel, because if she didn’t get interested in video games, I don’t know if I would have continued playing. I adored the stories and the characters that I saved the world with when playing games, but it kind of sucked coming back to the real world and having no one to talk to about how you slayed the final boss with an epic sword attack to the head.

The majority of my friends weren’t into video games, or at least not as much as I was. The only console one friend owned was a Nintendo 64 and she only had Majora’s Mask and Goldeneye, and I’m pretty sure she only had the latter because of her love of the James Bond franchise. The former helped her understand some of my gushing of the Legend of Zelda series. Another friend shared my love of Pokemon for a while in elementary and middle school. A third friend was into video games almost as much as me, but it wasn’t something we spoke about too often. Video games wasn’t much of a topic among my friends, and I kept it as my own little hobby.

Until the Nintendo GameCube came out.

It was 2001 and I was eleven. Rachel and I probably got the GameCube for Christmas that year, and one of its first homes was in the kitchen porch, hooked up to the house’s smallest television. The GameCube library was one of my favorites from Nintendo, with one definite notable favorite: Super Smash Bros. Melee. It was because of this game that “video game nights” became a staple in my friend group throughout middle school and high school.

Everyone would show up at our house and take over the basement where the GameCube would temporarily be located and hooked up to the big screen television (thanks, Dad, for giving up your “room!”), and we’d all proceed to kick each other’s asses in Super Smash Bros. Melee and, when it came out, Mario Kart Double Dash. Pizza and chocolate were our diets for the night, and Mom loved the fact that we were all staying put at home instead of getting into trouble elsewhere. Even later, when the Wii came out, that console’s Smash Bros. and Mario Kart had a lot of hours put into them, even as we were all growing a little older.

I haven’t played video games with any of them since we left high school.

But remember that friend who only had the N64 with Goldeneye and Majora’s Mask? A couple of Christmases ago, she bought her husband a refurbished Wii with the sole purpose of getting Super Smash Bros. because of those video game nights at my house so many years ago, because of those memories.

I definitely miss those times, but video game technology has grown so much since I first became a gamer. While I may not be playing locally with old school friends any longer, thanks to the wonders of the Internet and game consoles these days, I am able to play with new friends in entirely different countries and that’s pretty damn awesome. Video games have become so much more than a hobby — it’s been the common thread between many wonderful friendships, both old and new, throughout the years.

Did you play a lot of video games with old friends? Did the games bring you closer? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around

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Refreshing Games to Go Back To

refreshing games to go back to | video games | gaming | video game blog | nintendo | nintendo switch | DoublexJump.com

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When we do game reviews, we play as much of the game as we can before actually writing the review, but there are definitely games that we’ve never finished and enjoy going back to play. If you’re a reviewer, you know the feeling of wanting to play the new games and write about them while they’re relevant. The problem with that is that some really great games that you’ve enjoyed get pushed onto the back burner.

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Writing reviews is great and all, but it definitely can sometimes take the fun out of certain games – mostly because of the deadline. We actually haven’t been playing many new games lately because we went back to a couple of older ones – even though one is technically a new game. One game we went back to is New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. Of course, this is a new port of an old game, but I’ve always enjoyed these platformers, especially if you have good friends to play them with. These Mario games are generally all the same, but they’re fun to go back to anyway.

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The Mario platformers aren’t my favorite type of game, but they are fun to play with the right crowd. Another game we’ve been playing more lately is Octopath Traveler. It was one of my favorite games of 2018 and it’s nice to make time for it so we can actually finish the game. Still in the middle of all the chapter threes, but we’re getting there!

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We got a good chunk into Octopath Traveler before writing our review. Once the review was over, we stopped playing for a while to play some other games. We recently got back to this game when Kris got the original soundtrack for Christmas. Now we’ve been really making great progress on the game, which is pushing other games to the back burner.

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Of course, now that we recently watched a Pokemon movie, now I’m itching to play Pokemon some more, haha! Another franchise that we haven’t played in a while which I’m getting nostalgic for is the Professor Layton series. The last time we played one of those games was for a review back in 2016! We even got the Lady Layton game when it came out in 2017 and have yet to give it a try.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Oh, right! I definitely want to get back to those games soon. We need a day or two when we’re both home all day to play those games though. We get really into them and it’s hard to stop in the middle of a case. I know Layton isn’t set up like that, but with Ace Attorney, each case gets longer. Another game is, of course, Breath of the Wild. We still haven’t beaten the DLC for the game yet. Regardless of that though, I just want to go back into that world and explore some more.

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Breath of the Wild’s world is amazing and is probably one of the few games that I would have no problem returning to without a main story to follow. Of course, many Legend of Zelda games I enjoy playing again. Having the familiarity of Link and whatever version of Hyrule he happens to be in is fantastic. They’re comfort games, if you will, to me.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Comfort games is a good title for it. Any of these games can be comfort games. They’re just fun to go back to. These stories and worlds tend to stay with us.

What are some games you’ve played and would love to go back to whether you beat it or not? Let us know in the comments below!

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Pokemon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages [Movie Review]

Movie Review: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages | Pokemon | Pokemon Movie | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming movies | DoublexJump.com

krismii
There are almost two dozen Pokemon movies — including the upcoming live-action Detective Pikachu film — and, despite how much we enjoy the Pokemon franchise, Rachel and I have really only seen a handful of them. When we had a little downtime lately, we decided to stick one that we haven’t seen before on, and this time we chose Pokemon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages.

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It’s on Netflix so it was easy enough for us to watch, despite the few DVDs we have of other Pokemon movies we haven’t seen. I remember when this movie came out and it looked interesting to me, though we never got around to watching. I never knew much about Hoopa before watching this film and Hoopa is a pretty cool Pokemon! The movie itself was pretty good as well.

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I was disappointed by the lack of theme song in the beginning of the movie, since I always enjoyed those, but it was a minor detail. This movie dove right into the action, showing off Hoopa’s Unbound Form a century ago and all its power destroying a town in a bid to show off its strength. Considering Hoopa’s Unbound Form is a genie-like creature, it was captured in a bottle by a guy who had some power of Arceus, the legendary Pokemon that is said to have created the world.

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I honestly didn’t realize there was no theme song until Kris pointed it out. The action began from the first second and I was drawn in anyway. Hoopa is certainly an interesting Pokemon as I didn’t realize he’s a genie-like Pokemon. It was a really cool concept. The movie as a whole was great. It was action-packed and none of the characters were annoying. The brother and sister characters were awesome where I usually find the side characters to get on my nerves.

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It took place in the Kalos region, so Ash had Serena, Clemont, and Bonnie as companions. In all honesty, the companions didn’t do much, aside from Bonnie recruiting a random Hippopotas to help them near the climax of the movie. The movie would have done well with just Ash and the side characters — Meray and Baraz — helping Hoopa against its Unbound form. Speaking of Hoopa, the small form of it was adorable in the movie! The Unbound form was actually kind of creepy.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yeah, some of the “main characters” weren’t needed. Honestly, Pikachu didn’t even do much in this movie, which was off. The Unbound form was super creepy! He can teleport through his rings and just poke his head through and his eyes were red and evil and it was nightmare fuel for sure. Small Hoopa was so cute though and could, of course, speak English. What I loved most about this movie was that it was one giant Pokemon battle. They summoned a bunch of legendary Pokemon to help and it just felt epic.

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Lugia, Rayquaza, Latios and Latias, Palkia, Dialga, just to name a few legendary Pokemon that were involved in this battle. They battled all around the city, causing such destruction that Rachel and I weren’t strangers to saying, “Well, the people in that building are now dead.” Honestly, if more battles in the anime were that epic, I probably would continue watching the series.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I still want to watch the anime anyway… I’ve gotten way too far behind in it. But anyway, the movie overall was great. I teared up once, but it never made it cry. It was actually just good feeling and a wholesome movie. It felt different from the rest of the Pokemon movies and I really liked it.

Have you watched Pokemon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages? Think you’d be interested in it? Let us know in the comments below!

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WTF Friday: Video Game Movies

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

One of the types of reviews Rachel and I like to do are movies or television shows, most that have to do with video game-related themes. Lately, I’ve been hearing about a few more that are or will be in production…

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There have been a handful of movies throughout the years that are based on video games. Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter, Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed… There’s quite a bit of them, some in live-action, others in animation, direct to television, and, of course, anime.

Video games make quite a profit in today’s culture, so it’s no wonder that studios continue to create movies based off of them. If there are enough players for the games, then it’s logical that there will be an audience for a movie.

Recently, however, I heard of a Minecraft movie that is rumored to be in the works. With the rights secured in 2014 by Warner Bros., the movie has recently hired its third director to take the reins. Originally, the movie was rumored to come out this May, but with a director just getting on board, who knows when this movie will be released. And, while I’m sure people still play Minecraft, is the audience still there for this movie? There are spin-offs, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure games and Netflix episodes, but will there be a full-length movie audience?

Also, Just Dance is somehow going to be made into a movie. I have no idea how this is going to be a thing. All I can picture is flash mobs and, possibly, something like “Save the Last Dance.” As if Just Dance isn’t enough, it will be against the Dance Dance Revolution movie.

Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog (which also made me go “Wtf?” when I saw that strange posters) are coming out this year. There’s also an untitled Monster Hunter movie that may be in the works. Of course, there’s also movies out there with plenty video game elements, such as Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and Ready Player One, based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline.

I’m curious to see how well the upcoming movies will do in theaters. Just Dance? Minecraft? Perhaps if we were getting a Legend of Zelda movie, something with settings that resembled The Lord of the Rings, I’d be pre-ordering tickets.

…Then again, I’d be worried the franchise would be ruined.

What do you think of movies based off of video games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around

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My 2019 Game Release Predictions

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

If you know me, then you know there are three games I’m super excited for in 2019. They all come from Nintendo and they’re all games I’ve been wishing for since… well, forever. But at least since the Switch came out.

my 2019 game release predictions | video games | gaming | nintendo | nintendo switch | nintendo 3ds | pokemon | animal crossing | luigi's mansion 3 | DoublexJump.com

There was a rumor going around that there would be a Nintendo Direct on January 10, 2019. Usually those rumors ending up being true, but this time it wasn’t. Nintendo revealed a couple of release dates earlier in the month without a Direct. Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn will be released on the Nintendo 3DS March 8, 2019 and Yoshi’s Crafted World will be released on the Nintendo Switch on March 29, 2019.

I’m looking forward to both of these titles, but there’s three games I absolutely can’t wait for.

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing for the Nintendo Switch has finally been announced! We don’t know anything about the game yet other than it’ll be coming in 2019. Looking back at the other Animal Crossing games, they’ve been released in April, December, November, and June respectively. For some reason, I always thought the Animal Crossing games came out in April or summer time, but apparently that’s only been the original for the Gamecube and the latest main game, New Leaf for the 3DS.

With that said, I was originally thinking this game will come out in April. Now that two other titles are being released in March, I’ve decided to change it to sometime in the summer – either June or July.

We don’t know anything about the game and usually we know some things that will come long before the release date. However, I get the feeling Nintendo has been working on this for quite a while and just kept their mouth shut. The more we complained about there being “no Animal Crossing for the Switch,” I feel like Nintendo said, “Eh, make them wait a little longer before we tell them we’ve been working on it all along.”

I think we’ll have a couple Nintendo Directs between now and the summer and they’ll give a summer release date.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi’s Mansion for the Gamecube came out in September. Dark Moon came out in March. The original was ported to the 3DS this past October. So, that’s two releases in the fall and one in the spring.

Again, Nintendo has two games coming out in March and they haven’t revealed anything for Luigi’s Mansion 3, so I doubt it’ll make a surprise release in the spring. Nintendo did, however, seem to enjoy hyping up Luigi’s Mansion for the 3DS around Halloween.

Nintendo releases a lot in the fall anyway, most likely in time for the holidays, so I’m thinking Luigi’s Mansion 3 will follow suit with the original post and have a release date in October in time for Halloween and for the very beginning of the holiday shopping season.

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The main games almost always have a November release date. We’ve known about this game being in development for a while. We don’t know anything about the game yet, but I’m guessing their original aim was for November 2019.

Let’s just hope, right or wrong, none of these games get pushed back and delayed until 2020. I’m not sure I can wait that long.

Do you have any release date predictions for these games or other games? Let me know in the comments! If you like this post, please share it around!

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New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | Gaming | Super Mario | Nintendo | Game Review | DoublexJump.com

Title: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Action, Adventure, Multiplayer, Platform
Release Date: 
January 11, 2019
How we got the game: 
We pre-ordered it on the Nintendo eShop

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Considering we never reviewed the Wii U version of this game, we thought we’d use the Deluxe version as a good excuse to give our thoughts on it. After all, not too much is different between the two games.

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I enjoy these kinds of games and there are so many. We have the Wii U version, but it’s always great to see it as a new light on the Nintendo Switch.

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

krismii
The New Super Mario Bros. titles pay homage to the original Super Mario Bros. titles on the NES and SNES consoles, where you have about eight worlds filled with levels to bust through on your way to the castle to save the princess. Along the way, there are some Toad/mushroom houses that allow you to pick up a couple of extra items or one-ups.

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Each world has it’s own atmosphere where it be plains, water, ice, desert, what have you. When it comes to these kinds of Mario platformers, you know what kind of areas you’re going to get. However, the levels themselves in each area vary and with each new level, they get harder and harder.

 krismii
The main objective in each level is to reach the end where the flagpole is within the time frame. Each level has its own hazards as you make your way through in terms of platforming, enemies, and even your friends if you’re playing with multiple people. The levels hand out plenty of power-ups as well to try to help you along, most of them being influenced by the level itself.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Most of the levels are fairly short, each one having a checkpoint halfway through. Almost every level has some sort of secret or pipe to go down to go to a separate part of the level. Each level also has three big coins to collect so, if you’re a completionist, you can always aim to collect those as you go through the game.

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Then, of course, there were some levels where we were running out of time because we were goofing off or too busy chasing runaway Yoshis. Controlling the characters are simple enough, as the only buttons that truly matter are jumping, running, and using your power-up, should there be a button trigger to use the abilities. The levels are able to be completed without power-ups, but they help get through the level quicker.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
You can hold onto to some items as well and use one or two before entering a level. This is something we always forgot and there are limited spaces. Often time, we’d be carrying as many items as we could and would have to throw away some when we got new ones at the Toad Houses. That was something we should have utilized better.

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New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe includes the port of the Wii U game as well as the New Super Luigi U DLC for that game, including Nabbit as a playable character. Playing as Nabbit is basically playing the game in super easy mode or if you want to speedrun through the levels. While he cannot use power-ups, he is impervious to enemy attacks, and playing him adds an extra 100 seconds to the level clock.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Nabbit is great for younger kids or people just learning how to pick up the controller. You can also play as Toadette, which is harder than playing as Nabbit, but still makes the levels easier. Toadette has a special crown where she can turn into Peach. Peach floats and is able to save herself from time to time. For example, she can bounce on lava. However, she can only do so once.

Graphics & Music | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
The graphics of the game on the Switch look great, even though the game isn’t different at all from the Wii U version nor from the previous 3D Mario games. Nothing in particular stands out, graphics-wise, but the picture is still clean and crisp.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The picture is wonderful. I absolutely love the ice and water levels. The water looks awesome and the ice is so shiny. The background have always been nice as well. The game as a whole is vivid and appealing to the eye.

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The music is also well done, giving way to the familiar Mario tunes as you make your way through the levels. Voice clips give the characters a bit of depth, such as the Koopalings’ laughter or the main characters asking for help out of their bubbles while returning to the level after losing a life. My favorite thing about the music is the enemies in the background dancing along!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The music is fun, as always. I’m always humming along. And yeah, the enemies dancing or singing along with the music is an awesome touch. I love how Nintendo actually felt the need to code that in.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
As with most Super Mario games, the story for this platformer revolves around Bowser showing up at Princess Peach’s castle, taking over while kidnapping her, and Mario and friends racing through the multiple levels and worlds to rescue her.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The beginning sequence was funny, in my opinion. I enjoyed how everyone prepared to help Peach, when Bowser went after them instead and threw them all out of the castle. Bowser’s children then station themselves in their own world and it’s off to Mario and friends go to save the world, once again!

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

krismii
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has decent replay value. There are a few secrets in the levels and special coins to collect, not to mention the multiplayer aspect of the game. The true replay value of this game comes with having people to play with.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This game is fun, but not as fun alone. It’s for four-players, so if you have a lot of friends, there’s a lot of replay value. No two play-throughs will be alike either, depending on who you play with – also who you play as. Overall, it’s a fun game and I’m glad we got it.

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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My Most Played Game On The Nintendo Switch

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

Everyone is going nuts over the fact that Fortnite was the most played game in 2018. I’ve never minded Fortnite as a game – I just can’t stand the hype around it. Still, I’ve tried playing it and since then, it’s been deleted off my Switch – mostly because neither of us played it and it constantly updated. Seriously. It updated all. The. Time.

my most played game on the nintendo switch | video games | gaming | pokemon | pokemon quest | DoublexJump.com

I always love when the console, games, or handhelds tell you how many hours you’ve logged into your game. I don’t know why, but I love seeing that I’ve played a game for so many hours. I think it gives me some sort of feeling of accomplishment. I like seeing how long it takes me to complete a game. I’m always going on the How Long To Beat website to see the average playtime of the games I play. I enjoy checking to see if I’m average, faster, or slower.

With all that said, I was curious to see which game I’ve played the most on the Nintendo Switch. I looked at my own profile on the console, not Kris’s. A lot of the games we play together, we play on her account. This includes one-player games that I usually watch her play or we sometimes pass the controller back and forth. Still, I’m only counting games I’ve played myself on my own profile.

Also, the Switch doesn’t add dates. So instead of figuring out which I played the most in 2018, I decided to see which game I’ve played the most of on my profile.

Ready?

The game I’ve played the most of on my Nintendo Switch is…

(If I could add some sort of drum-roll effect to my post, I would insert it here.)

(Now I’m just pausing for dramatic effect.)

Pokemon Quest.

Yep. The game you don’t even “play” is my most played game on the Switch logging in “70 hours or more.)

This came as a surprise to me, but then once I realized it, it wasn’t such a shock. This was something I already knew. I’ve had people comment to me how they can’t believe I’ve logged in so many hours to the game.

I work from home, there’s an “auto” feature on the game, and the music is cool. It takes about 30-40 minutes to get through one battery life before you need to wait for the full thing to charge again in-game. I often undock my Switch and put the game on, listing to the music as background, and get some things done in that 30-minute chunk of time only taking 2-minute breaks to send my Pokemon to the next area.

The sad thing is, I still have not beaten the game. My team isn’t strong enough to keep going and, for a game where you don’t do anything, it’s hard and it calls for a lot of grinding – especially if you lose the battle. Then you don’t get any food and you can’t call new Pokemon to the island… it’s a vicious cycle and honestly, not a great game.

But I have fun with it anyway because it’s Pokemon. It’s simple and minimal.

It’ll be interesting to see what kinds of games I play in 2019… I know Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and the new Pokemon game are going to end up fighting for that spot… then again, I’m not expecting those games to come out until the end of the year.

What’s your most played game on the Switch? Or which game did you play the most of in 2018? Let me know in the comments! If you like this post, please share it around!

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