Flashback Friday: Pokemon Snap

Double Jump Kris Mii Happy Friday, everyone! Is everyone ready for April?

This week is all about one of my favorite Nintendo 64 games: Pokemon Snap! This game was everything that I wish Pokemon GO had been right off the bat. 

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Pokemon Snap was first released on the Nintendo 64 back in 1999, then on the Wii’s Virtual Console in 2007. Just last year in 2016, Pokemon Snap came to the Wii U’s Virtual Console. It’s developed a nearly cult following with its addictive game play.

The game’s premise itself is fairly simple. As the avatar, you travel around various areas on Pokemon Island in a special vehicle to take pictures of different Pokemon species. Your goal is to get the best shot to impress Professor Oak and gain the highest score. There are a few secrets around the island, such as landscapes that will resemble Pokemon when photographed from the right angle. Unlocking these secrets will reveal the final area where you can try to photograph a rare Pokemon.

 

The more photographs and the higher your overall score becomes, the more items you unlock to help your photographs improve. Apples and Pester Balls can make the Pokemon do various moves or pose differently as well as unlocking even more species to photograph, either by driving the species out of hiding or even making other Pokemon evolve.

Pokemon Snap, while simplistic in design and mechanics, is one of the most nostalgia inducing games that I remember playing. Pokemon is a fantastic franchise, and to have a side game that includes the adorable creatures in a relaxing setting was a good move on Nintendo’s part.

Have you ever played Pokemon Snap? What was your favorite aspect of the game?

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Save and Continue?

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

I’ve seen many a play-through on YouTube of games. And most often than not, they never save their game for fear of the footage getting corrupted. They want to be able to go back and try it again.

I’m here to say that I don’t know how people can do that.

When I play a game, I can’t begin to count how many times I save, if I can. It always bothers me when a game only allows you save at certain points in the game. Then again, if I can save whenever I want, I abuse that power.

Take Paper Mario, for example. You only come across save blocks in certain parts of the game. Because you can’t save that often, every time I see one, I immediately stop what I’m doing and go hit that block.

I’ll save, then go into the Toad House to heal, maybe buy a few items, and then save again. Because I’m that paranoid.

Then you’ve got Pokemon. I can save whenever I want, but I’m not really in any “dire” situations through most of the game. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t save right before a gym battle. Or, sometimes, right before a wild Pokemon encounter.

Then you’ve got a game like Ace Attorney. Kris and I are working our way through Spirit of Justice, and the other night I can’t begin to explain how many times we saved.

We were both tired, and I’ll admit that neither one of us was doing well at solving anything the game threw at us. Because of that, we were unsure of every move we made. So we saved the game probably every 2-3 minutes. Even on a good day, when we’re sure of ourselves, we still save right before answering because we’re afraid we’re going to get a penalty. We have five chances, but we like to be perfect… Edgeworth taught us that way back when.

And don’t even get me started on saving and then wondering, “Did it go through? I better save again just to be sure…”

Do you constantly save as I do? Or do you like to live dangerously and chance it? Let me know in the comments below!

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Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice Game Review

Title: Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
Company: Nintendo, Capcom
Console: 
Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: 
June 9, 2016
How we got the game: 
We bought it.

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Ever since we discovered Trials and Tribulations on the Wii’s Virtual Console years ago, we’ve been hooked on the Ace Attorney series. The visual novel’s point-and-click exploration combined with the “who dun it” logic puzzles really tested our brains and emotions. The amazing writing and wonderful characters kept us invested throughout the entire game.

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So, naturally, when Spirit of Justice was announced, I went crazy. I believe it was early in the morning when I heard the news and I woke Kris up just to tell her. Still, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the game!

gameplay

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Like the majority of the Ace Attorney series, Spirit Of Justice split its time between investigation sequences and the trial in court. Investigations involved talking to people to gather information about the crime, usually a murder, and clicking on the scene to gather clues. Court would have us cross-examine witnesses, pointing out contradictions and presenting evidence to sway the judge to our side.

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Even though this is the same, each game has its own twists to it and Spirit of Justice was no different. We have Apollo’s bracelet, Athena’s widget for therapy sessions, and spirit channeling was brought back. Not to mention, we’re in a new setting so the laws are different putting us in more danger than ever.

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Yes, the main cast have their special abilities to help discern the truth from all the witnesses that commit perjury. They were all used throughout the game, and Spirit of Justice also introduced Insights. With the new setting, Khura’in, Insights were used to decipher Divination Seances, where a new character was able to show the victim’s final moments. It was quite an interesting addition!

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It really was interesting because you’d think that’d be it. The final moments is just that. But with a little thinking and exploring the victim’s five senses, not everything adds up and there’s more to the death than meets the eye. It really was a fun and clever additon!

graphics-music

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We’re always impressed with the soundtracks of the Ace Attorney games — the music always has the correct tempo and sound to really amp up the scene, especially during the trial sequences when we’re confronting a suspect.

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With the new Khura’in setting, the music for the new characters and news places was awesome. It really set the tone (and danger levels in some cases). Kris and I take turns reading as different characters and there were times I would just pause to take in the music.

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You can’t not listen to the music! We would love to someday get our hands on the soundtrack! The graphics are well done too, with the sprites, their animations, and the anime cutscenes. I honestly wouldn’t have minded a few additional cutscenes!

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I wish there were more cutscenes. Plus, at the end of each case in the original trilogy, there was a group photo of the gang that was always adorable. I wish they added some of that in as well.

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Oh, yes, I missed those illustrations! Especially if you consider how much of an impact family made on the final case… Imagine how adorable a group photo would have been!
story

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Where do I begin about the story? As usual, the final case ties all the previous cases together. Except for the fourth case this game… We still haven’t figured out how that ties in other than reintroducing Prosecutor Blackquill. Anyway, we take a trip to Khura’in where Phoenix finds himself in trouble (of course) as does Maya (who is back–yay!). But while they brought back old and new characters alike, we learn a lot more about Apollo’s background, which was awesome.

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Yes, the fourth case was a bit odd… Enjoyable, of course, with Athena and Blackquill, but still odd as it didn’t really fit in with the rest of the cases. It was as if the developers of the game added that case in at the last moment because they forgot to give Athena a trial to star in. There wasn’t even an investigation part! Phoenix, of course, is busy in Khura’in, where he learns that lawyers are all but extinct due to a law called the Defense Culpability Act — basically, a defendant’s lawyer was to suffer the same fate as the accused. If the defendant was found guilty and put to death, so would the lawyer for “abetting a criminal.” There was a group called the Defiant Dragons bent on leading a revolution against the regime in order to right the legal system, and as Apollo and Phoenix, we joined right in!

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For the final case, we swapped back and forth between playing as Apollo and Phoenix. In the end, they teamed up for the trial part which was great. I don’t think we’ve had a case where the two of them teamed up together before. Overall, the story of the game was so in-depth and, in my opinion, the most shocking and revealing for the characters. It was really well done! My biggest worry is that there won’t be another game…. There were a lot of references to all the previous games and they brought back a lot of older characters. It was actually a good ending for the series as a whole, but I hope that’s not the case. There was a final scene at the end of the credits that made me believe there will in fact be another game, so I hope that’s the case.

replay-value

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While we love the characters and stories, we do sometimes find it a little difficult to return to the games. The investigations and trials aren’t linear at all and can really take a lot of brain power to figure out, but once you know the story and the outcome, it’s not as exciting the first time around.

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I will still play these games over again when I have the time, but I agree. It’s just not the same when you already know the culprit. I mean, the last case is usually a doozy with many twists and surprises. But it won’t be as “fun” and “shocking” since we already know the answer.

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice gets…
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5 out of 5 lives.

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

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Character Spotlight: Link

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

I had someone else for the spotlight this month, but I ended up changing it to Link because of Breath of the Wild. I still don’t have the game, but I figured I might as well talk about Link anyway because he’s a great character and I’m going to eventually.

Link is an interesting, complex character. He first appeared in The Legend of Zelda originally published for the NES in 1987 by Nintendo. His latest appearance is, of course, Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch. In between, he’s starred in 17 other games. That doesn’t include games he’s appeared in for Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart 8’s DLC, or even Hyrule Warriors.

Link is an awesome protagonist as he constantly battles evil and just goes along silently with whatever his destiny throws at him. He’s strong, courageous, and seems like a nice guy despite his hardships (and his childhood…) and the fact that people mistake him for Zelda as the title suggests.

It’s theorized that each Link in every game is a “different” Link, but a reincarnation of the Link before it. This is why he looks similar and have similar abilities in each game. Also, his name may mean that he is the “link” throughout all the various timelines.

I love Link and I think he’s the best protagonist in the whole gaming world. The franchise is simply amazing.

What do you think of Link? Let me know in the comments below!

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Nerdy Nummies

Double Jump Kris MiiWhen we were younger, Rachel and I always found cartoon or video game food to look so yummy. In fact, I think it was due to Bugs Bunny that I had willingly tried raw carrots to eat them like he did. The carrots were awful, but I found that cheetos looked similar enough!

This post is about someone who actually creates geek-inspired food!

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Rosanna Pansino is the YouTuber behind Nerdy Nummies. On her channel, she mostly posts videos with all sorts of tasty recipes from drinks to cookies to cake to pizza and beyond. All of these recipes tend to tie back to some geeky topic, like Batman, Power Rangers, and Pokemon.

Rachel and I have been watching her channel for a few years, and we’ve always enjoyed seeing her creations (and usually getting hungry while doing so). She also tends to do collab videos with other YouTubers, bringing them in to help with recipes or to do a food-related challenge. Her challenges usually involve her trying a variety of flavors of some food (like doughnuts, pop-tarts, and chocolate) while blindfolded, but there have been plenty of other kinds of challenges as well (like pictionary!).

Ro is adorably petite, and she’s always so cheerful in her videos. At times she’s a little silly, and it’s totally relaxing to watch some of her videos after a long day at work. Rachel and I have tried her Butterbeer milkshake recipe, a homage to the Harry Potter universe. It was simple to follow and create, and it was a wicked sweet treat!

Do you watch Rosanna Pansino? Have you ever tried any of her recipes?

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Gerudo Valley Violin Cover

It’s no secret that one of our favorite aspects of video games are the gorgeous music compilations. We’re suckers for covers of and tributes to video game music. We thought we’d share one of our favorites with you today.

Taylor Davis is a violinist who has many movie, anime, TV show, and video game covers under her belt. She also has a couple of albums full of her original music that we cannot recommend highly enough. It’s quite a trip to see how far she’s come from playing covers in her bedroom to having full-fledged, original music videos of her own songs!

Her Gerudo Valley music video encompasses the adventure that the music promises, along with an awesome cosplay of Link’s red tunic and adorable Ocarina of Time moments that will make gamers smile. Enjoy!

What do you think? Do you have any favorite video game tunes that you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Friday Favorites: Places to Buy Games

Double Jump Kris MiiYou know what I want? A thrift store that sells old video games from way-back-when at decent prices. I would so become a regular and probably not see much of my paycheck.

However, since a place like that does not exist near me, I do have a few favorite places to go whenever I need a new video game to play.

Toys R Us

Toys R Us was the number one toy shop for us when we were kids. Nowadays, we tend to go straight to the electronics section, of course, where we usually have a decent selection of video games to sift through. They also usually have a massive section for amiibos, so if we ever need to get our amiibo fix, Toys R Us is the place.

Amazon

Who doesn’t love Amazon? With the quick shipping and the mostly-painless clicking method of purchasing, Amazon is great when it comes to buying our new games. The boxes get delivered right to your door and it’s like coming home to a present after a long day of work!

GameStop

Most people tend to have a love-hate relationship with GameStop, as far as I hear. I know they tend to make the most profit off of selling used games and can be a bit loud when it comes to their rewards program, but the couple of GameStop stores around me tend to be pretty good. They’ve got great selections, and Rachel and I feel comfortable talking with the sales associates whenever we have questions about anything. Most of the associates at the stores we frequent are very knowledgeable and, when you have an expensive hobby like gaming, it’s fantastic!

Do you have any favorite places to shop for games?

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