Flashback Friday: Spyro the Dragon

Double Jump Kris Mii Thank God it’s Friday!

How was everyone’s week? Anyone got some nice new or old games that they’re playing?

spyro_the_dragon

Spyro the Dragon originally came out for Sony’s PlayStation back in September of 1998 in North America and was released about a month later for Europe. It received generally positive reviews, mostly for the game’s graphics and it’s high replay value.

 

The game has the player take control of Spyro, a small (but don’t say that to his face) dragon with a little dragonfly sidekick named Sparx. Spyro was a snarky fellow with an amusing script and fun moves. The main objective is to explore various realms with hub worlds to rescue Spyro’s fellow (normal-sized) dragons and collect treasure from the nefarious Gnasty Gnorc. As Spyro, the player defeated enemies by using charging with his horns or breathing fire, with Sparx helping to collect treasure and being a visual indicator via different colors for Spyro’s health.

Each realm had specific goals for Spyro to meet before he could move onto the next one. Meeting these goals was the minimum action needed to move on and eventually Spyro would gain access to Gnasty Gnorc’s lair. Defeating Gnasty Gnorc would roll the credits and a cinematic movie ending before allowing the player to return to the game to finish collecting dragons, treasure, and dragon eggs to 100% the game.

Since the original Spyro the Dragon, there were two sequels for the PlayStation 2 along with a handful of spin-off Nintendo GameBoy Advance games. Interestingly enough, he is also heavily featured in the Skylanders series.

Have you played the Spyro series? What did you think of them?

Advertisements

Pokemon Platinum

Rachel Mii Double Jump

Another month has come and gone.

We’re getting closer to the release date of Pokemon Sun and Moon as we wrap up the Sinnoh region.

 

Pokemon Platinum Double Jump Game Review

Title: Pokemon Platinum
Company: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo DS
How I got the game: I bought it

My Review:

Graphics

After Diamond and Pearl, this game was the first Pokemon game to be released on the Nintendo DS. So, at the time, I was amazed at how well done the graphics were. Sure, your character was still a tiny pixelated sprite, but the backgrounds and colors were still an improvement compared to the games before it.

Controls

Platinum gets a one up from the other Pokemon games mainly because the DS became a thing. Now that the touch screen was invented and used for the game, Pokemon battles became a little faster with just one touch. They used the touch screen in a great way for the battles and chose a unique way to use it when you’re not battling, by giving your character the Poketch, a Pokemon watch with various apps on it.

Story

The story is more or less the same as the other Pokemon games. The only difference is that you’re up against a different group of bad guys and you’re in a different setting battling with different Pokemon. But, the story is what makes Pokemon Pokemon.

Overall

Pokemon Pearl was the first Pokemon game that I completed all the way through. So playing Platinum, despite the minor differences between the two games, was like taking a stroll down memory lane. I absolutely love using the touch screen as a means for battle and I don’t know about any of you, but the step counter was always my favorite app on the Poketch. I don’t know why, but I just loved watching the numbers go up; especially when you’re on the bike trying to hatch an egg.

Pokemon Platinum gets…
5 lives double jump5 out of 5 lives.

Mario Party 4

Title: Mario Party 4
Company: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo Gamecube
How we got the game: We bought it for our Gamecube, but play it on the Wii.

krismii
A little while ago, Rachel and I mentioned that we had downloaded Mario Party 2 on the Wii’s Virtual Console, considering that our Nintendo 64 had decided to retire. We had an awesome time replaying through all of Mario Party 2’s boards and mini-games and had decided to play through the next available Mario Party, which was Mario Party 4 that we had for the GameCube.

rachmii
Mario Party 4 was my favorite when were little. We absolutely loved the 2v2 games such as Team Treasure Trek and Dungeon Duos. We were unbeatable at those games so, naturally, we always played as a team on the boards. But… re-playing the game, we realized Mario Party 4 isn’t as good as Mario Party 2.

krismii
Mario Party 4 itself still wasn’t that bad, of course, but Mario Party 2 definitely had proven to be more of a challenge and, thus, was more enjoyable to us. Mario Party 4’s tag team mode had been a favorite of ours for going against the computer characters, but even with the computer characters on Hard Mode, there wasn’t much of a challenge in most cases.

rachmii
Even when we played against each other, there wasn’t much of a challenge. I posted a picture on our Twitter account which showed two hard mode CPUs ending the game with zero stars and zero coins. It was kind of pathetic and a little dull on our end.

krismii
It got us thinking about the franchise as a whole and how it grew. The first three Mario Party games seem to be the most loved from the franchise’s fan base, while the latest installments are the least, particularly number 10. Either we players grew too old, too skilled, for the games to give us a good challenge, or Nintendo opted to keep creating the games for the younger fans as opposed to keep the games growing with the original fans.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Skill level aside though, we weren’t even that impressed with the boards. I felt as though they were all the same, with just different things happening based on where you were. The one I had the most fun with was Goomba’s Greedy Gala, the gambling one. That was probably the most challenging and I enjoyed the gambling aspect of it.

krismii
Haha, yeah, the gambling and lottery was all good fun. You’re right, though, the boards were pretty similar while Mario Party 2’s boards were so full of variety. I know in later installments the boards can get pretty funky, so at least that’s not so bad. The mini games in Mario Party 4 aren’t too bad, but I forgot how many 2v2 games that we hated were hiding among the few that we actually liked! Most of the 4-versus games were decent at least. I didn’t think there was enough, though, but that just may be me remembering how we’d end up playing the same mini game twice to three times in the same board.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I feel like the mini-game variety wasn’t that big. But, I agree, that could just because we played the same one a few times in one board. Either way, Mario Party 4 was great to revisit. I love the game, but after that trip down memory lane, I’m ready to go back to Mario Party 2.

What do you think of Mario Party 4? What’s your favorite Mario Party game?

Top Tuesday: Sinnoh Pokemon

Rachel Mii Double JumpIt’s Tuesday again and I haven’t done a Top Tuesday all month… Wow!

Anyway, to keep up the pace with the other months, here’s another Pokemon-related Top Tuesday.

 

Top Tuesday: Sinnoh Pokemon

5. Garchomp

I don’t normally train dragon Pokemon, but Garchomp and his two previous evolutions are wonderful. I also love the names. They have the best names. 

4. Glaceon

Like dragon types, I don’t normally raise ice types. But I absolutely love Glaceon’s design and I’d be nuts if I didn’t put an Eevee-lution on this list somewhere.

3. Roserade

I always looked at Roserade to be pretty majestic. She’s cute, she looks pretty, and I’m sure she smells pretty too. Yet, she definitely packs a wallop.

2. Luxray

Luxray is a beast!

1. Infernape

I’m sure you guys all think I cheat because I’m pretty sure I’ve had the fire starter as my number one for all of these lists… But hey. They’re my favorite for a reason.

What are your favorite Pokemon from Sinnoh?

More Than a Hobby

Double Jump Kris MiiHere we are, the last week of September. It’s certainly gone by fast, hasn’t it?

Ever had a quarter-life (or, for those of you who may be a smidgen older) or mid-life crisis? Ever get that nagging feeling that maybe you’re not doing what you need to do in order to get your life on the right track? Both Rachel and I have gone (and, at times, still are going) through that.  

As a kid, video games were just a hobby, a fun thing to spend our time on. I remember quite clearly spending my mornings before elementary school in the basement with Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars on the television, going back and forth between eating breakfast and jumping on Goombas and Koopas.

Back then, I never thought that my passion for video games would grow so much.

Video games were what got me started with drawing, sketches of Sheik and my favorite Pokemon teams dominating my old sketchbooks. Video game fanfiction gave me the never-ending itch to write. Video game soundtracks helped me appreciate the intricacies of different types and genres of music, like symphonies and a cappella.

I started playing games when I was probably about four or five. Twenty years later, I’m blogging with my sister about what I love about these games, about how they can be improved, about virtual reality and 3D graphics and character development and story lines…

It’s a bit odd to think about, in all honesty. Growing up, video games were just a hobby. I figured my future job would have something to do with computers. Animals and criminal justice were up there on the list as well, but something with computers always dominated my mind, and really only because I wasn’t too thrilled at the idea of desk job with other people around (go figure). There was barely an inkling of a thought to connect my love of computers with video gaming.

It was just a hobby, after all.

Now, it’s not just a hobby, they’re not just games. Writing, drawing, programming… all of my interests had pointed to the video game industry.

Well, better late than never in figuring it out, right?

Friday Favorites: Anticipation

Double Jump Kris MiiIt’s still Friday, right?

Rachel and I have a good friend who was looking to sell her one-year old, only-used-for-six-months gaming laptop for a very reasonable price, and I offered to take it off her hands. While Rachel and I have a desktop that’s supposedly dedicated to gaming, it’s mostly used for art projects. As such, I’m excited at the prospect of having a gaming laptop, and am looking forward to the games I’ll be installing on it!

 

3. Overwatch

I had been intrigued with this game since it was first announced, and am still intrigued after seeing plenty of play-throughs and streams of it. I’ve not really played many shooter games, but this one looks pretty damn good, and I’m itching to try it.

2. No Man’s Sky

This particular game I’ve heard plenty of interesting… things. It looks gorgeous from every trailer I’ve seen and the idea of it is amazing, but there have also been many negative reviews thrown at it as well. We shall see.

1. Batman: The Telltale Series

I gushed about this game a couple of weeks ago, and I’m positive it’s the first game I’m going to set up on the new laptop. I heard some very positive reviews about it, and it’s Batman. ‘Nough said.

What games are you looking forward to playing?

Binge Playing Games

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday! The weekend is almost here!

Have you ever gotten so into a game that you just couldn’t put it down? You just had to play it all day and all night until it was completed?

 

I’ve always just played video games for a few hours at a time, or only do a couple of levels depending on how long or short they were. Every once in a while, however, you come across a great game that you just get so into you and you can’t seem to power it off to go take a shower.

If I’m remembering correctly, the fastest game I’ve ever beaten was Pokemon X. I got it for Christmas in 2013, as it was released for the Nintendo 3DS in October 2013.

Kris and I were very excited to start playing it as there was so much hype for the games. And rightfully so, may I add.

Once our family left that afternoon, we both made ourselves a cup of coffee (for me) and tea (for Kris), got into our pajamas and sat on the couch in our office and just played the game straight through.

I believe it was around midnight when we decided to stop playing.

Every year, Kris and I always spend December 26th in our pajamas playing the new video games we got for Christmas. But, that year, Kris was still working in retail and she, unfortunately, had to work on the 26th.

We both woke up super early and continued our games. I continued playing all day even while Kris was at work. I beat the game that night, completing it in just a little over 24 hours. Kris beat the game the following morning.

It always great when you have the opportunity to just sit down and play video games for hours on end. It’s something I would like to set aside time for now and again, but life does keep me pretty busy.

I haven’t binge played a game like that in a while, though I do hope that Pokemon Sun and Moon have the same effect for me. I also hope that the new Ace Attorney game has the same effect for me.

There are so many good games coming out (or are already out and I just haven’t gotten them yet) that I wish I could buy with money I don’t have and play it all day long with my free time that I also don’t have.

Oh, well. If the game is good, I’ll find the time for it.

What games have you played through in just about one sitting? Let me know in the comments!