Who Needs a Map?

Double Jump Kris MiiTo those of you who celebrate it, happy Halloween! I hope everyone gets lots of treats, pulls off awesome tricks, and stays safe during this holiday!

Considering that scary games, movies, and books aren’t my thing, this post has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween, haha!

One of the most anticipated games that will come out next year is Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and one of the earliest aspects of the story that we heard about was the fact that you can beat the game without completing the story.

The world in the game is enormous and gorgeous, and it’ll be an amazing place to explore. Exploration is one of my favorite elements of any video game, so I’m excited to get lost in this particular version of Hyrule. However, I do also love story lines and character development in video games — those are a couple of reason as to why the Legend of Zelda series trumps the Mario series in my opinion.

So, when I heard about being able to beat Breath of the Wild without finishing the story, I was little… confused, maybe skeptical, perhaps even a bit disappointed. It’s hard to pin down. I enjoy having some directions when it comes to video games, but with plenty of room to explore to my heart’s content. Sure, maps may not be my most used item in games, but it’s nice that it’s there in case I need it (Water Temples, I’m looking at you).

I suppose it’s like the Harvest Moon series. The main point of the game is to revitalize an old farm, but you have free reign to do it however you want. Want to raise just corn? Go for it. Only want cows on your farm? No one said you needed chickens. The latter games in that series that have more goals, such as building up a town or keeping track of market schedules, aren’t my favorites because they give too much direction. The earlier games, like More Friends of Mineral Town, are my go-to versions of the series.

What about you? Do you prefer games that are linear or more free with their direction?

 

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Flashback Friday: City of Heroes

Double Jump Kris Mii Yay, it’s Friday!

This week we’re celebrating an old MMORPG that I used to play and that, sadly, has closed it’s doors. It was fun while it lasted!

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City of Heroes was a MMORPG that had opened its doors in North America in April 2004 and eventually shut down at the end of November 2012. It was developed by Cryptic Studios and published by NCSOFT. The game allowed players to create their own superhero character to protect the fictional Paragon City from various villains and gangs, either solo or while teaming up with other players.

Every detail about the character was created from the ground up by the player, from the character’s body type to looks and costume to origin of superpowers to hero archetype. It was so detailed, in fact, that Marvel had filed a lawsuit against the developer for allowing the creation of characters that infringed on Marvel’s copyrights and trademarks. The claims were settled in December 2005, and Marvel even teamed up with Cryptic Studios down the road to help the now-titled Marvel Heroes 2016.

A player could easily get lost in the many options of the character screen, especially with the superpower choices. Did your superhero gain his powers through technology? Or is she a mutant? Science or magic may also grant one superpowers, or powers may just come naturally to the hero. Each origin gave way to certain perks and growths with one’s powers, as well as different types of abilities as well. As you leveled up, you were able to unlock more powers in your move pool, such as stronger lightning bolts if you had chosen electricity-based powers, and travel powers like super speed or flight.

Then there was the superhero archetype, giving way to how the hero fought. Was she a Tanker on the field of battle, having awesome defense, or maybe he was a Scrapper, a nimble melee fighter? Blasters were a little fragile, but got great hits — both short-range and long-range — on their opponents, while Controllers’ abilities usually dealt with the mind, tricking enemies or summoning “pets” to help out in a fight. Defenders could weaken enemies while bolstering allies’ abilities.

The setting of the game itself was amazing. Paragon City was a huge playground with plenty of zones and multiple gangs of enemies to fight either on the street or on missions given to you from your trainer. It was always simple enough to team up with other players, either temporarily or creating an actual team (with a sidekick system!), to deal out justice.

The sequel, City of Villains, was released in October of 2005 and allowed players to create — you guessed it — villains instead of heroes. The City of Heroes expansion pack Going Rogue was released in August 2010 and gave players the best of both worlds and even allowed characters to switch their alliances, with heroes becoming vigilantes before being called a villain or villains gaining the name rogue before gaining hero status.

Unfortunately, the studio had closed its doors to the game in 2012 despite the many valiant efforts of players to keep the game open. Players flooded the servers to give out farewells and heartfelt thanks for the game that had spawned comic books, tabletop role-playing games, card games, novels, and many fansites.

Did you used to play City of Heroes? How did you enjoy it?

Pokemon White 2 Review

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

We’re getting closer to the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon. I just completed the Unova region. Only one more region to go before getting Alola!

 

Pokemon White 2 Review

Title: Pokemon White 2
Company: Nintendo
Console: Nintendo DS
How I got the game: I bought it

My Review:

Graphics

When this game first came out, I remembered how amazed I was at the graphics. I got the game for Christmas and once my family had left after the holiday, I laid in bed and began to play. I loved how the Pokemon moved during the battle as it felt more realistic.

The sprites were still that–just sprites. But the colors were brighter and everything in the game, battles and walking around the routes, just seemed livelier and more colorful than the other games.

Controls

As always, the controls for this game are just like the other Pokemon games. There’s no button-mashing to be had and all the buttons are straight forward and only have one function throughout the game. Being a Nintendo DS game, I still very much love the function for the touch screen during the Pokemon battles and even outside the battles.

Story

I was skeptical when I found out there were making Black 2 and White 2 as opposed to a “Gray” or a “Rainbow” to the original Black and White games. I found it odd there would be four games as opposed to three and there would be no “final” game to a “trilogy.” Yet, I thought they did a great job at continuing Black and White’s story. I know most people weren’t a fan of Black and White, but I think Black 2 and White 2 made up for it.

Overall

The Unova region isn’t my favorite. It’s kind of hard to explain why, but I always had a tougher time getting through that region than the others. The games are still great, though. I love the new Pokemon designs (even though they got a lot of hate), and I didn’t mind the “sequel” aspect. Still, I didn’t have as much fun as I did the other games.

Pokemon White 2 gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

Thoughts On The Nintendo Switch

First Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch

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So, in the very slim chance that you’ve missed it, Nintendo officially revealed the Nintendo Switch (formerly known only as the NX). In my opinion, the new console looks fantastic! Slim and sleek, it boasts modes both for the television and for on-the-go gaming.

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I think the console looks awesome and I’ve never been so excited for anything in my entire life! I like how it seems small and compact, but it’s obviously bigger than the 3DS. I like the idea of being able to bring it with you where ever you go and play with friends in person. That will make game nights a lot easier!

krismii
It seems fantastic! Although, I wonder if you’re playing games on the go with friends, how many people can play with one screen. Is it two per screen? How many screens can hook up together to play the same game? Imagine playing 8-player Smash Brothers with it!

rachmii
Well, at one point in the trailer, each person had their own screen and they were all just sitting around in a circle. But the screen is small, so I’m thinking you can only get 2-4 people on one screen at once. My question is, how long will the battery last?

krismii
The battery usage is a good point. I presume the brain of the console, the part that stays home with the television, will be a charging station for the mobile screen. I hope the battery lasts at least about six or so hours, almost like a 3DS. I’m curious as to how the WiFi is going to work on the console. We’ve seen the cartridges for the games, but what about downloads and online multiplayer? Will there be a Virtual Console on the Switch?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree with you on all those points. While the trailer for the console was great and I’m very excited for it, but there are still a lot of unknowns. They’ve shown us what the console looks like and what it’s capable of doing, but not how it’ll do those things and how long it will last or how far it will reach. They didn’t really explain the console, I guess is what I’m trying to say.

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They definitely showed off a lot of highlights and I’m excited to learn more and see what it can really do. Despite the few unknowns and questions we have about it, I think it’s a fantastic-looking piece of hardware from Nintendo. They’ve always made strides when it comes to gaming — 3D game play and motion controls, to name a couple — and the Switch looks as if it’ll fit right in.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The Switch is something we’ll definitely be trying to get right as it comes out. I’m sad it won’t be out in time for the holidays, but with how amazing it looks, I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.

What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch? Are you excited about it? Let us know in the comments! 

Top Tuesday: Unova Pokemon

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

Today is another Top Tuesday. And, of course, since it’s the end of the month, it’s another Pokemon list.

 

Top Tuesday: Favorite Unova Pokemon

5. Watchog

Watchog isn’t the kind of Pokemon I would typically go for. Though I do think he has a cool design and he is pretty strong when you train him right. He definitely is an interesting addition to the Pokemon roster.

4. Beartic

I like having another bear Pokemon. I always liked the bear Pokemon and having a polar bear as an ice type was just perfect.

3. Emolga

A flying squirrel, what more could you ask for? And it’s electric. Adorable.

2. Audino

Audino is a tank. He’s super strong, has a cool move set, and is pretty cute. I also love encountering a wild one to get those extra experience points.

1. Emboar

Tepig is my go-to for the starter. When he evolves into Emboar, he’s a beast, especially with that Flame Charge. Plus, his design is amazing.

No Demo For Me

Double Jump Kris MiiThe alternate title to this post is “Why I did NOT Play Sun & Moon’s Demo.” I’m sure many of you downloaded and played the demo, and I hope you all had an awesome time doing so! I’m sure the demo was great, but there was something holding me back…

Spoilers abound for the newest Pokemon installments, Sun and Moon, due to come out November 18, less than a month now. Last week, the demo for the games was available and, of course, many people tried them out.

I was not one of them.

Honestly, with all the information popping up on the Internet regarding the newest games, one doesn’t need to play the demo. Just wait an hour or two after the demo’s release, and everything will be revealed by those who just can’t wait to share their findings.

(One of which was, apparently, the accidental full Pokedex of the game, which includes the now meme-famous Alolan Dugtrio. You know what I’m talking about.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always excited about new Pokemon games. The franchise is one of my favorites. Pokemon was one of the reasons as to why I got my first GameBoy Color, bringing me even further into the wonderful world of gaming. Alola looks just as intriguing as its predecessors.

However, I do miss the surprise element.

I remember how exciting it was to fully explore new regions and discover new Pokemon back during the second and third generations of the games. Kalos was great as well, but it wasn’t long before we realized that all the new generation six Pokemon had been revealed before the game itself was out. It was a bit disappointing to know that there were no new creatures to discover for ourselves.

Little tidbits and snack-sized bites of information from the new games are fine and dandy, but I would like it if they were used more sparingly. I understand giving us news about the game is to keep us excited, but it has the opposite effect on me. Sun and Moon will firmly keep their places at the top of my gaming wishlist, but I wouldn’t mind being able to play through the game without all of this knowledge.

Give me back the exploration and discovery that made me love the creatures of this franchise.

Friday Favorites: Mobile Games

Double Jump Kris MiiAnother week down, one more full week to go in October!

Mobile gaming has definitely spiked recently, with all sorts of genres being played right at the tips of your fingers. From Angry Birds to Pokemon GO, there’s tons of downloadable games that you can spend your money on (even if the base game itself is free). Although some don’t consider mobile games to truly be “video games,” they’re making strides, especially with the plans to bring Super Mario onto the iPhones! Here are a few of my favorite mobile games from over the years.

3. High School Story by Pixelberry

I know, a game about high school? I’m a bit old for that, aren’t I? While I don’t play the game anymore, hear me out on it. I had downloaded this game years ago when my younger cousins started playing it, mainly because I wasn’t sure what they were getting into. Neither of the two were in high school yet, and their father wasn’t very cell phone or Internet savvy to figure out what they were doing, so I played the game with them to be sure it was appropriate.

Honestly, it’s a very tasteful, fun game. Although it categorizes characters into “cliques,” like jocks, artists, and nerds, it promotes inclusion and nonjudgmental friendship, something that could be promoted more in schools today. A few of the story lines even focus on more serious subjects such as anorexia (but it’s also completely optional in case it’s triggering), and I found them to be well-written and sensitive. The characters are all well-rounded and, even if the event waiting times can be long, it was a pretty enjoyable game.

2. Archie Saves Riverdale

Anyone else read Archie comics? Besides Batman and X-Men, I grew up on Archie comics and still read them from time-to-time. They’re clean, tasteful, and usually hilarious with the antics that the characters get into. They had a mobile game called Archie Saves Riverdale that, unfortunately, isn’t available any longer, but it was fun to someone like me who grew up with the characters. The main goal was, more or less, to do tasks that “cleaned up” Riverdale while also being able to raise relationships between the characters. The dialogue sounded as if they came straight out of the comics, and playing the game was just like being at home.

1. Pokemon GO

Although I’m not addicted to the game, Pokemon GO is still on my list. The augmented reality game helped keep my excitement for the Pokemon franchise, and it was a refreshing new take on the game, even if there were tons of bugs in the program. Being able to search for Pokemon in real world locations is pretty fun, and I’m excited to see where the new updates will take the game.

 

What are some of your favorite mobile games?