I Have a Confession

Rachel Mii Double JumpHey, it’s Rachel.

Yesterday Kris and I talked about the wonderful lore of The Legend of Zelda games.

I thought now was as good a time as any to confess something about me and the Zelda games.

The Legend of Zelda is one of my all-time favorite video game series.

I can list my top 5 favorite Zelda games to you. I know absolutely everything (or mostly everything) there is to know about Zelda. Skyward Sword is on my top video games list.

Here’s the thing: if you know me then you know that I have Second Player Syndrome. With that being said…

Confession Time:

I have never played any of the Legend of Zelda games on my own.

True story. I’ve started playing Majora’s Mask for the 3DS, A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS, Oracle of Seasons/Ages for the Gameboy Color, and I’ve even played bits and pieces of Skyward Sword for the Wii.

I never got very far in any of them, though. Not because I didn’t enjoy the games, but just because I get busy and forget to go back to it.

I’ve seen all of this games played from start to finish. This is where my Second Player Syndrome comes in… I’ve watched Kris play all of these games.

I grew up watching her play video games and to this day I still love watching her instead of playing the games myself.

Someday (soon) I hope to play through and actually beat all the Zelda games. But as of right now, I only know what I know because I take the backseat when Kris plays.

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Legend of Zelda Rave

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Happy Easter week, everyone! We hope everyone is doing well. Today we’re sharing our love for the story of the Legend of Zelda video game series. I’m sure most of you already know how amazing that series is, right?

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Who wouldn’t love this series? I mean, I think the answer to that question is a no-brainer. The different reincarnations of the characters in each new game is a dead giveaway with how involved the series is.

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And it’s not just the main characters and their reincarnations. Even before Skyward Sword, the official first chronological game in the series, the world of Hyrule was always vast and full of mysteries, exploration, and secrets. Each race has its own background and history, entwining around each other to create this massive world.

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The writers for the series really put a lot of time, effort, and thought into the entire series and for each game standing on its own. Sure there’s always room for more, but the games can definitely stand alone. Yet, they’re big enough to be part of a series.

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It’s not even a series in that you need to play them in a certain order. The beauty of the Legend of Zelda games is that, no matter what form it takes, Hyrule is always there. There’s enough familiarity to make it feel like home, but there is always something new to explore and discover. They all have the story of the goddesses, whether its Hylia or the three sisters that gift Wisdom, Power, and Courage to Zelda, Ganondorf, and Link respectively, but never in the same form.

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Yes, and in each game is a reincarnation of Zelda, Link, and Ganondorf along with some other characters. Each plot is different, but the story is essentially the same. You always know what to expect from a Zelda game, yet you’re still surprised at each one.

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The magic, the music, the setting… It’s all nostalgically familiar to longtime fans, but it welcomes newcomers into the fold easily. I don’t believe there’s anything (well, unless you count Tingle) that I truly dislike about this series.

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Tingle is odd, but there needs to be at least that one thing no one likes. The graphics are beautiful in every game (no matter how old or young) and the music is something we listen to all the time. It just blows my mind how much the writers created. Their imagination is unbelievable!

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It is all amazing, all the different worlds, games, stories that stemmed from one princess and one young fairy boy who, with a great deal of wisdom and courage, defeated a great evil.

What’s your favorite video game history and story?

Favorite Games to Play with Friends

Rachel Mii Double JumpHi everyone!

I’ve talk about my top Smash characters and my top Mario Kart courses so far.

The thing is, those kinds of games are a lot more fun to play when you’re with other people. So here are some games that I love to play with my friends.

Super Smash Brothers.

This one is obvious. How can you play this game alone? Sure, it’s great to add in a level 9 CPU here and there, but it’s a lot more fun if you can beat up your best friend. Unless they best you up… Then it’s not as much fun.

Mario Kart.

Another obvious one. It’s a racing game so how can you race alone? You can put the CPUs on the highest level and speed and chuck as many items as you can at them, but it’s just not as satisfying as pestering your friends with blue shells.

Mario Party.

This game is a classic. Do you play board games by yourself? No, of course not. You need to have a few friends to play Mario Party with. I know Mario Party 10 wasn’t all that great, but it’s still better with friends. Especially those 2 versus 2 mini-games. No one wants to be paired up with a CPU on those games.

All of these games have one downfall: They ruin friendships.

Though you have a lot of fun while doing so, so who cares?

What are your favorite games to play with your friends?

Nintendo Easter Eggs

Double Jump Kris MiiHi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter Sunday yesterday! Our family had a great time celebrating, especially because it was our nephew’s first Easter (not that he’ll remember it but it’s the thought that counts).

Today I figured I would do a post celebrating some famous “Easter Eggs” found in some of Nintendo’s video games. Feel free to share some of your own!

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In “Ocarina of Time” for the Legend of Zelda series, there are portraits of Mario, Bowser, Princess Peach, Yoshi, and Luigi. As Young Link, when you go into the castle courtyard, play around with the camera to take a peek inside the castle windows and you’ll spot the portraits. Bowser also makes an appearance at Lon Lon Ranch in the form of Malon’s broach!

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“Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars'” toughest boss fight is the hidden boss Culex. Although Culex has never appeared in an Final Fantasy game, he is considered as part of a crossover for that series, considering Final Fantasy is Square’s flagship series. The crystals that are his allies in battle, the way his overworld and battle sprites are animated, and the music itself are all allusions to the Final Fantasy series.

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In the Legend of Zelda game Majora’s Mask, there is a row of masks on the selection screen that allude to the characters in the Star Fox series. Whether it was a happy coincidence or an actual Easter Egg put in the computer by Nintendo, I’m not positive, but sharp-eyed Nintendo fans quickly picked this up!

What are some of your favorite video game Easter Eggs?

Flashback Friday: Harvest Moon

Double Jump Kris Mii Hey everyone, Kris here!

This month’s Flashback Friday celebrates the Harvest Moon franchise, a series that dates back twenty years. It is now known as Story of Seasons rather than Harvest Moon due to copyrights and publishers and such, but it’s still Harvest Moon to me. It’s a simulation game that revolves around reviving a dying farm, and is definitely more entertaining than it sounds!

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Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, released in North America on the GameBoy Advance on November 17, 2003, was my first introduction to Harvest Moon. A good friend of mine gave it to me for my birthday or Christmas one year and he attempted to explain it to me as I had never heard of the thing before. He quickly assured me that, although it was all about farming and maybe getting married, it was an addicting game. I thanked him, always happy to get new video games, and didn’t remember it for a little while until I eventually tried it out.

Since then, I generally do my best to collect the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons games. They are addicting little buggers, even better since the games started to allow players to play as girls, and prove to be great at giving me a challenge. I focus more on raising amazing livestock and having a fantastic farm full of crops, but there is also the fun aspect of befriending and wooing other villagers.

In all the Harvest Moon games, I’ve only gotten married once and that was in the original Friends of Mineral Town. I had married Ellie — I believe the reason was because she was the first to get to a red heart, so I thought, “Eh, what the heck?” Although I’ve always done my best to remember the other villagers’ birthdays and talk to them every day, the marriage and children option wasn’t something that I favored in the series. It was a fun perk, but not a necessity for me to enjoy the game. I’ve gotten close to being married in the other games, many times with more than one option to marry at that, but it wasn’t something that I cared to do.

Perhaps on my next go-round with the games, I’ll opt to figure out what the fuss is all about regarding marriage and the children…

How about you? Do you enjoy the Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons games?

 

How Ace Attorney Influenced Me

Rachel Mii Double JumpHey everyone!

Today I thought I would give you a little background not just on my love of video games, but how a certain video games series influenced me in real life.

 

When I was young I always wanted to be a spy or detective. I had a ton of spy gear and police-type toys such as glasses that I could see out the back of my head, invisible ink pens, walkie-talkies, spy books, and anything else you can imagine.

I don’t really know where that love came from. It might have been the Hank the Cowdog book series I used to read.

Yet, I never did become a detective. As I got older I realized that would be kind of scary. I chased after a couple of other dreams such as teaching, writing, and blogging.

I always played video games since before I could remember. Kris had always played them so I grew up watching her play them and then soon began to play them myself.

A couple years ago, Kris and I discovered Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney one night on our Wii’s virtual console. We had just gotten the Wii and were looking for games to download. We thought it was so cool we could download old school games onto a modern console!

We had never heard of Ace Attorney before. We read the description and when we realized it was detective-like game, we thought we would give it a shot. Who doesn’t like a good mystery to solve?

We fell head over heels for the entire Ace Attorney series. We not only fell in love with the mysteries and game play, but the characters themselves. As a writer myself, I really admired the writers for this video game series.

So much so that I ended up creating my own mystery novel series. The first book is in the editing stages that I hope to start querying by the end of 2016.

I’ve been writing stories and books since I was 10-years-old. I never saw myself writing a mystery novel, let alone ideas for an entire mystery series.

But I guess that’s the impact certain video games can have on you.

What video game has inspired you?

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Review

Title: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Company: Capcom
Console: Nintendo DS, Virtual Console
How we got the game: We bought it on the Virtual Console.

Our Review:

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney was a series that we totally bought on a whim. A few years ago, we had a bit of extra money on our Wii’s Virtual Console account and bought Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, the third installment (not that we knew it at the time) of the original Ace Attorney series. We were utterly hooked with the entire series and eagerly sought out the rest of the games.

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To be honest though, the cases of the third game was what hooked us in the beginning. If you’ve played the series then you know the last case was mind-blowing. It was the one with Dahlia… Yeah, her.
The cases were so in depth, challenging at times, and interactive to play. Who doesn’t want that in a mystery game?

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Dear Lord, that woman scared the crap out of us by the end of the game! It was fantastic! Besides the intricate cases, the characters themselves were my favorite part of the game. Apparently the director of the game, Shu Takumi, created the characters after the stories and episodes of the game, developing the characters and dialogue as he went along. The majority of my stories start with characters, not the story itself, so that was a really interesting tidbit to me.

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And we finished the game late at night too… Have the lights on, people!
I absolutely love each and every character! They’re all special and unique in their own way. Even though some of them are considered “rivals” they’re all still one, big happy family.

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The characters definitely make the game, even the characters that are only there for one episode or story. Each one leaves a mark, and generally leaves you laughing. Besides the characters, the exploration itself was tons of fun. Going from place to place, clicking on whatever you thought might have something to do with the case, gathering clues and connecting the dots on your own to solve the cases.

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It’s fun to feel as though you’re a real detective! Even though you’re playing a defense attorney. The game doesn’t exactly follow real life laws and such either. There are supernatural elements to the game and with some of the characters being goofy and having odd personalities, it definitely makes the mystery game much more cozy.

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Yes, I love the fantasy element the game has. A defense attorney and spirit medium definitely aren’t the type of duo that you hear about every day! Even the antagonists and rivals are fun — we definitely fangirled over Miles Edgeworth plenty of times. The only real con to the game, I feel, is that there isn’t that same suspenseful feeling after you beat it the first time. We revisit the game for the characters, the setting, the writing, but already knowing the outcome of the mysteries puts a damper on its replay value.

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Yes, that’s true. Though it can still be enjoyable to play because even though we know the answer, we don’t necessarily remember how to get there. It’s still fun to go back to for something light-hearted, interactive, and witty!

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney gets…
5 lives double jump5/5 Lives
No Objections!