Top Tuesday: Let’s Play Channels

Rachel Mii Double JumpIt’s time for another Top Tuesday!

Since I talked about gamers (supposedly) being weird and how gamers and people who create those games are way greater then we give them credit for, I thought I would discuss my favorite Let’s Play channels on YouTube.

There’s never a dull moment when watching someone else play video games.

TT Lets Play Channels

5. Jimmy Plays

Jimmy Whetzel is fresh out of high school, but has been doing his channel for a few years. He’s witty, funny, and overall adorable. Lately he’s been streaming on his Twitch account more rather than his Let’s Play channel. However, he does have a main channel that he keeps up with once in a while.

4. GTLive

GTLive is brought to you by one of the Game Theorists himself (which is another wonderful channel) and his wife. They live stream on YouTube playing games and have a ton of fun and laughs while doing so.

3. DanAndPhilGAMES

You can’t go wrong with a couple of cute British-accented guys. Dan and Phil each have their own channels, not specifically towards video games, but being roommates, they came together to create a gaming channel. A hilarious, gaming channel.

2. ProJared Plays!

If you can handle the swears and his dirty mind, please follow ProJared. He’s fantastic, he’s adorable, he’s funny, and he’s 100% nerd.

1. PBGGameplay

PBG is why I started to religiously watch YouTube in the first place. He was introduced to me by the kid I babysit for and I haven’t stopped watching him since. He uploads four times a week, often with his editor buddy, Jeff, who also has his own channel. You don’t stop laughing when he’s on the TV.

All of these channels are hilarious and the guys who run them are so kind and adorable. I would highly recommend all of them.

The sad part is, this isn’t even all of them…

What kinds of YouTube channels do you watch? 

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“Nimona” Review

krismii  Happy almost June, everyone! Kris here with my monthly book review. Enjoy!

“Nimona” is a graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson. She’s written for Marvel, DC, and Disney’s Wander Over Yonder, and has been nominated and won a few awards for her work. You can find more information for her at her website here.

Nimona is a bestselling comic from HarperCollins, and details the story of the titular character, a young shapeshifter who shows up at a villain’s doorstep and proclaims herself to be his new sidekick. Lord Ballister Blackheart takes her in and shows himself to have his own moral code versus Nimona’s prone to destructiveness. Together, they go against the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics.

The champion of the Institution is Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, who follows the orders of presumably the king and the Director, a shady figure who only cares for the kingdom’s well-being. Goldenloin and Blackheart definitely have history together, and throughout the story it appears that the pair’s life choices could have been different had a certain incident not sparked the current rivalry. Nimona’s appearance in their lives quite literally involves explosions and forces all the characters to realize why they do what they do.

Rather than video games, this graphic novel is about superheroes and morals, showing the story with witty dialogue, cute illustrations, and quirky characters. It was a fairly quick read, a page-turner with the comic style, and proves that life is not all black and white, not all good and evil.

I definitely recommend this read if you’re into heroics, tough choices, and are a fan of endings where everything is not quite what it seems. If you want a sample of the comic, you can read the first few chapters on the creator’s website!

 

Flashback Friday: Mario Party

Double Jump Kris Mii Hey everyone, Kris here!

Today’s Flashback Friday is a game series that started way back on the Nintendo 64 and has reached out to the Wii U. Played with the right people, it’s right up there with ruining friendships like Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers.

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Mario Party is a franchise that has been running since the end of 1998 with the latest installment having been Mario Party 10 and released in 2015. That’s about seventeen years of this party game!

With characters from the Super Mario franchise, players and computer characters roll dice blocks to move around an interactive board with mini games being played in between turns for coins. With these coins, the players buy stars and whoever has the most stars (and, in the case of a tie, coins) by the end of the game wins. The game uses luck regarding the dice block and some of the mini games, with strategy and skill coming in with the use of items (after they were introduced in the series) and, again, the mini games.

The franchise has gotten decent reviews, although most fans have seem to be disappointed with the direction it is going in regards to the ninth and tenth installments. Instead of every player traveling the board on their own, all the players travel around in a car, and the mini games seem to happen less frequently. It’s almost entirely based on luck as to who ends up with the most mini stars at the end of the game, not making it satisfying to actually win against the computer characters.

Most of the games in the series, however, are tons of fun, especially with other people. Working together or against each other, Rachel and I have great times playing these games whether it’s just the two of us or there are others to play with.

Have you played the Mario Party games? Do you have a favorite or a least favorite?

Defending Gamers

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday, everyone!

If you’re reading this post, if you follow this blog, then I assume you’re a gamer. You love video games.

And I’m here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with that.

There’s more to gaming than just sitting on the couch, snacking on potato chips, and staring at the screen all day long.

I mean, let’s be honest. If you were really a gamer you wouldn’t eat potato chips while playing. It would get the controller all greasy.

Anyway… Yes, I’m playing the game as my hobby, for my down time after a long day of work. I want to do something mindless, something fun. But it’s not just about staring at the screen and letting my mind go blank.

When I play a video game, I see a number of things.

Artwork and Graphics

Now that we’re in 2016 and we’re getting updated consoles, the video games coming out have been much more high-tech than they used to be.

uncharted 4 graphics double jump
Via Wikipedia

Take a look at Uncharted 4 by Naughty Dog and Sony Interactive Entertainment for the Playstation 4. It’s release date was May 10, 2016 so the graphics are pretty high up there on the cool scale. I mean, just look at the cover. It looks like a movie poster!

The main character on the front looks so realistic and the gameplay to follow will only impress you more.

ocarina of time graphics double jump
Via Wikipedia

Then there’s The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 way back in 1998.

The graphics aren’t as good as today’s games, but they’re still great. One, because they worked with what little technology they had at the time, and two, because they’re just old classics.

Music

How many of you start humming along during the opening of your favorite game? How many of you keep your character still in the middle of a scene just to absorb the lovely melody in the background?

Video games create the best music, in my opinion.

Take the Legend of Zelda again for another example. A good portion of the game is about Link learning music on his ocarina or his wind waker or whatever other instruments he tends to carry. They’re short melodies, but easy to remember, and everyone does remember them. The other music in the game is just as catchy and memorable; especially since they remix certain songs and mask it to put in the newer games. They recycle the old fantastic songs and make them new again.

And what about all those Mario games, huh? You can’t tell me that you don’t hum to that music or even mimic his voice.

Story

As a writer, I look for the plot in every single video game.

I’m being biased because The Legend of Zelda is one of my favorite video game franchises, but I think it’s the best example, so I’m going to use this game one more time.

To create such a complex timeline, memorable heroes, and villains, and overall just recreate the same plot, but just in a different light reincarnating your same characters is just… amazing.

When you play Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, each case is connected in some way allowing the player to fit the pieces together and have that “A-ha!” moment when they figure it out. The characters are easy to like and get along with and are perfect for the job of solving those ridiculous crimes.

There’s a lot that goes into video games that I didn’t touch upon, but graphics, music, and the writing are the three that usually get my attention.

It all goes into the “arts” category. Some people don’t believe that be a real “profession.” But if you went into a museum and saw a portrait of Mario hanging up on the wall, would you not consider it art because it was originally in a video game?

If you heard the famous Pokemon song playing on the radio, would you not consider it music because it was in a video game?

If you picked up a novel based on a video game (they’re out there!), would you not consider it literature because it was from a video game?

No. Because while playing video games is a hobby to me, I know that the game I’m playing is a masterpiece to those who created it.

What do you think about this? What are some of your favorite gaming graphics, music, and storylines? 

How To Build a Main Character

how to build a main character double jump

krismii
If you could build the perfect main character for a video game — not just an avatar, mind you, but for a series — what would that main character be like? Tall and athletic? An average build? Male, female, ambiguous?

rachmii
What kind of game are we talking about here?

krismii
Anything, really. But for the sake of the question, how about we do a standard platformer or RPG?

rachmii
Hm… Honestly, I think I would just end up having the character look like me. Maybe a bit taller, though. Unless having a 4’10” main character would be humorous for parts of the game.

krismii
Do you think many gamers tend to want the main character of the game to be similar to themselves? Video games are a way to escape the real world, but it’s always amazing to feel like the hero of a world.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I think always having a main character based off of yourself would get pretty boring after a while. However, I think most people would love it. Who wouldn’t want superpowers or be indestructible or go on a wonderful adventure?

krismii
It definitely sounds like a good perk. On the flip side, though, there’s something special and iconic about always seeing a familiar hero, like Link from the Legend of Zelda series or Samus from Metroid Prime.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Link has been reincarnated from generations. That’s part of the plot. I think that’s a bit different. If they had a different main character for a Zelda game, then… that would just be odd.

krismii
I understand what you mean, but that can apply to my point as well. Imagine starting a Legend of Zelda game as anyone other than Link. It’d be weird and who knows how fans would react? Imagine how fans would react if you were suddenly able to create your own “Link.”

Rachel Mii Double Jump
If they had us play as anyone else other than Link, I don’t think I would be able to play the game. It would be too weird.

What about you? What would your perfect main character be like?

What’s Wrong with Gamers?

Rachel Mii Double JumpHi, guys.

I’ve been playing video games for most of my life. Yet, it’s always an awkward conversation when I tell someone for the first time that I play video games.

Is it because I’m a girl? Is it because some people see video games as a waste of time? I’m not really sure…

I grew up watching Kris play video games because she grew up watching my uncle play. I started playing myself, with Kris, even though I was young and didn’t really know what I was doing.

Seriously, in Mario Kart I would just drive around in circles laughing hysterically as though I was actually accomplishing something.

I play all the popular games most know and love–Pokemon, the Legend of Zelda, Mario, Sonic (when it used to be pretty good).

Video games are fun for me. I grew up with them, I can’t imagine not playing games. It’s a hobby of mine. Everyone has a hobby, right?

Yet a lot of people give me strange looks because I play video games.

“You’re too young to know half of those games.”
“People who play video games are lazy.”
“Let me guess, you’re going to go home and play your stupid games.”

All those things have been said to me at one point or another.

I already explained to that I grew up playing those games, so even at the age of 22, no, I am not too young to be playing those oldies.

As much as I would like, I do not sit around all day playing video games. I work 8-10 hours a day and then come home and blog and write. I don’t play nearly enough video games as I would like. However, just because I play video games people automatically assume I’m lazy and that’s all I do.

Why is that? I have no idea.

The last comment stung as it was said by a dear co-worker of mine. I’m a teacher and we were breaking for April vacation. We and a few others were chatting about family events, friend get-togethers, and other things we had planned for the week. When I mentioned I didn’t have too many things planned as of that moment, everyone assumed I would just go home, hop into my pajamas, and stay on the couch all week without getting any sunlight.

When, in fact, I didn’t get a chance to even really sit down and play because I ended up going out every day that week.

This post came out to be a bit more rant-like than I expected. But us gamers have to stick together.

Have you ever been made fun of for playing video games?

Lights, Camera, Action!

Double Jump Kris Mii It’s the start of a new week!

Last Wednesday, Rachel and I spoke about how game openings were becoming more and more like movie trailers. Word on the street now is that we’ll probably be seeing some actual movie trailers from Nintendo sooner than we think…

 

supermariobrosRemember the Super Mario Bros. movie? Released in 1993, it starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the famous Mario brothers along with a great supporting cast. It was rated PG and given only a 4 out of 10 on IMDB.

Now, over two decades later, we’re hearing rumors from Nintendo that they’re going to throw some of their beloved mascots back up on the big screen.

With the technology and amazing special effects teams we have nowadays, Nintendo just may be able to make some decent movies. Imagine a crossover live-action and CGI Mario adventure through the Mushroom Kingdom. How about the beautiful Hyrule and its deep story of the Hero of Time and Princess of Destiny besting the Gerudo King? Let’s explore Yoshi’s Island or have Fox McCloud give us a tour of the Lylat System. All those gorgeous cut-scenes in the Fire Emblem games? Let turn them into a movie!

I may be getting my hopes up too much. However, it’s a bit difficult to not hope for a Nintendo movie to get the same amount of care and effort that helped make other fantasy franchises like the Lord of the Rings or Star Trek so popular and magnificent.

What kind of Nintendo universes would you like to see on the big screen?