Creative Breaks and Comfort Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and happy Father’s day to all of you out there! While Father’s Day generally includes celebration and relaxation for dads and father figures, it’s also important to take some time to relax yourself.

Creative Breaks and Comfort Games | Creativity | Self Care | Video Games | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

June has been rather interesting with life. Nothing bad has happened, thankfully, we’ve just been very busy. Busy enough that our regular routine of writing up posts and scheduling them has been interrupted throughout the month, and this comes after last month of us just being tired — physically, mentally, and emotionally — for various reasons.

We haven’t really played any video games lately, not new ones, at any rate. While we would like to pick up something new — Cadence of Hyrule, Little Friends, for a couple of examples — we’ve been finding ourselves vegging out with Animal Crossing: New Leaf while old Twitch and YouTube streams play in the background instead. Game Dev Tycoon is both on our Steam account and on my phone, so I’ve come home from my day job just to plop on the sofa and drain my phone battery with the game. This past week, I’ve been booting up Arcade Spirits more often than not in the evening instead of, say, working on blog posts (hence why this post is being posted a touch late rather than having been scheduled and published already). We’ve been focusing on some comfort games lately than crashing into new things.

Everyone needs a creative break sometimes. Stretching your creative limits can be exhausting and you can fall into a self-depreciating hole for not creating enough or taking too long of a break. Rachel and I have tried to find other creative endeavors to make that faucet flow again — me with a new sketchbook and canvases, Rachel with bracelet weaves and magnets — and we were excited at the idea of starting something new.

Yet, at this time, my pack of canvases is still shrink-wrapped.

But that’s okay. I’ll have a weekend off soon and maybe that’s when I’ll start throwing paint around again. It’s difficult always being creative all the time, and it’s okay to step back and take a break. It’s okay if that break is only a couple of days, maybe a week, or even a month. There is no time limit on caring for yourself.

What do you do to give yourself a creative break? Any comfort games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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E3 2019: Square Enix (and Devolver Digital)

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

E3 2019 is just about over. How did everyone like the conferences and shows? One of our favorite shows from this year was Square Enix’s presentations, especially with their theme of framed portraits and paintings of all the games they showed off, haha!

EA 2019 | Square Enix | Video Games | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

Judging by our past Wednesday post, you’ve probably realized that Nintendo was the biggest reason for us to watch E3 this week. That was the main show we wanted to watch — I would have been fine with just seeing highlights from the other shows.

However, being on a bit of a Marvel kick since watching Endgame, I did hear about the big Marvel’s Avengers game that Square Enix was unvealing and, considering I enjoy the developer’s work, I wanted to watch their show as well. Rachel and I believe they put on a good show and we were pleased with what we saw.

Granted, I feel as if many of Square Enix’s games were remastered and remakes of older, beloved games. Final Fantasy VII’s remake looks beautiful (and this is coming from someone who has barely tried the Final Fantasy series) and fans seemed plenty excited for Final Fantasy VIII’s remake as well. An expansion pack for the online Final Fantasy XIV was also revealed and I’m intrigued enough to at least give the free trial a try. Does anyone out there play it? How do you like it?

One of Square Enix’s biggest reveals was Marvel’s Avengers. The story looks well-done but, like many in the audience, it was odd not seeing the likeness of the actors that had made the characters in the MCU so famous. I understand why, in an artistic (and probably money) sense, the designers may have avoided using the actors’ likenesses, but it was still a little odd. Also, I was totally asking, “Where’s Hawkeye?” before the audience started shouting that out but, considering the developers mentioned additional heroes will be added here and there to the game, I presume Hawkeye will show up at some point.

Square Enix also announced that their music would be easier to stream, which is exciting considering my playlists are generally video game soundtracks, as well as a few other IPs — Outriders, Oninaki, Last Remnant Remastered, Kingdom Hearts III DLC, the Dragon Quest franchise, Dying Light 2, and Circuit Superstars. All in all, we enjoyed the conference and were pleased with what we saw.

(With that said, we didn’t really give Devolver Digital much time. Considering they opened up with a bloody trailer, we turned them off and, apparently, articles exploring the highlights of Devolver Digital’s time, mentioned that it was mainly an absurd stage show rather than a conference. Kudos to you if you enjoyed what you saw!)

What did you think of all the E3 conferences? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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E3 2019: EA, The Sims, and Pride

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

June is crazy busy for us, with weekends filled with social obligations and the weekdays filled with day jobs. Naps are something I miss dearly from my childhood days, haha! We’ve been doing our best to squeeze in some E3 time this week amid all of the ruckus.

Video Games | E3 | E3 2019 | EA | The Sims | Doublexjump.com

So. It’s E3 week. How’s everyone been doing keeping up with it?

Honestly, with how busy Rachel and I have been this month, E3 was a bit of an afterthought. Granted, we were able to catch up with what has gone on over the weekend, finding some of the news to be pretty good and a few of the presentations to be awesome (Keanu Reeves and Ikumi Nakamura, anyone?). One of the better parts of being behind on the live coverage is that we can fast forward to the parts that we actually care about, haha!

Case in point was during EA’s conference. While the glimpses of the other games looked wonderful, Rachel and I were really only interested in the Sims 4 news. The trailer for Island Living looked like tons of fun and we’re looking forward to getting it and exploring all that it has to offer for the sims. It makes me wonder if Rachel, on her solo Twitch streams, will move her little family for her 100 Baby Challenge to the islands?

I was also personally interested in and pleased at the idea of the partnership the sims franchise has with It Gets Better, a nonprofit organization that has a mission to empower and lift LGBTQ+ around the world. Being inclusive of all sexualities was always something I appreciated about the sims franchise — even before I discovered my own asexuality — and hearing that they are continuing to further their involvement for Pride Month makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

We’re looking forward to catching up with the rest of the shows and conferences, particularly Nintendo’s direct. We’re on the hunt for more unique games rather than the similar games filled with guns that we’ve seen lately.

Have you been enjoying E3 2019 so far? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: AR Games Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Aside from virtual reality, AR games are becoming much bigger with the likes of Pokemon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and even Minecraft Earth. If AR games were able to merge with virtual reality — games where you bring yourself to a franchise’s world — they would be perfect to me. Yet, even if all we’re really able to do is bring elements of video game worlds into our reality, I’m down to try out more AR games. Here are some franchises I would love to see touched upon in our world.

AR Games | Augmented Reality | Video Games | AR | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

The Legend of Zelda

I wouldn’t mind seeing a deku baba or a keese flying around in AR as long as it meant I could also see bits and pieces of Hyrule in our world through my phone. AR puzzles can give way to little rewards — hearts for replenishing health, rupees for in-game items, etc. — and players can take on big bosses together, similar to the raids in Pokemon GO. Players can have an inventory of weapons, with a sword probably being the most popular, but are able to switch them out through the menu. Little fairies, like Navi and Tatl, can be a constant companion to help navigate Hyrule. There can be an overarching story to find pieces of the Triforce, a race against Ganondorf, with teams of players — perhaps categorizing them into Hyrule’s races — working together or, perhaps, against one another. I just really want to explore Hyrule in my everyday life, okay?

Superheroes

Whether this ties into Marvel or DC or is a more original twist to the genre, I wouldn’t mind having a superhero AR game. I used to love playing the MMORPG City of Heroes when it was still around, and bringing back just a semblance of that would be great. Players can select simplified superpowers when they create their character and gain experience points to level up as they defeat AR monsters or bad guys. As players level up, their powers become stronger, such as a level 1 player’s fire ball evolving into a steadier fire blast at level 5 or so. NPC superhero characters can be mentors to the players, giving them solo or team missions to protect the AR world. Perhaps players can even create their own superhero “teams” with friend codes, and teams can participate in leader boards, gaining points depending on how many missions they fulfill or baddies they defeat.

Mystery Series

Being an AR detective could be interesting. Players can be detectives, with the game using your location to give you hints towards clues, such as claiming that a clue is within so many steps. These clues can be brought to a base, similar to Pokestops in Pokemon GO, and players can work together to figure out the clues and how they point to the NPC culprit, or however the case decides to end. Tie the game to a franchise with NPC mentors like Phoenix Wright, Professor Layton, or Sherlock Holmes. Give the game a friend list that are your fellow contacts and detectives in the AR world, being able to share clues and notes while collaborating on cases.

Super Mario Maker

I believe Mario already exists in AR, even if it’s just a demo, yet I haven’t heard too much more on it. Seeing the gameplay video of Minecraft Earth got me thinking about what Super Mario Maker would look like in AR. Minecraft Earth allows you to build structures to play around in, and I think it would be interesting to be able to build Super Mario “levels” in AR as well. Being able to see question mark blocks and little koopas dashing around in AR could be fun. Every once in a while, Bowser and the Koopalings could be causing havoc somewhere like a raid, and players can help defeat them by using koopa shells, fire flowers, or other power-up items in the Mario world.

What other franchises should get the AR treatment? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Newfound Appreciation

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Most of the time, we’re focusing on new games that are coming out, trying to plan what we want to play and experience. Every once in a while, we go back to old favorites and I’ve recently been playing a game that I’ve never really been interested in before…

Newfound Appreciation | Animal Crossing | Animal Crossing New Leaf | Video Games | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

One of my favorite chill game franchises is Harvest Moon. In fact, I heard that another Harvest Moon game will be revealed at E3 next week, which is usually exciting for me. I’m looking forward to hearing more details about the game but… I realized I’m not as excited for it as I used to be for past Harvest Moon games.

In all honesty, my favorite Harvest Moon games tend to be the past ones. Newer Harvest Moon games — with their gimmicks and updated mechanics — tend to not impress me as much. My longest farm-run is on my More Friends of Mineral Town for the Game Boy Advance and probably A New Beginning for the 3DS. I prefer the ones with simpler stories, which is a bit ironic considering how invested I get in the stories of video games, that give me more freedom on growing my farm.

With that said, I haven’t picked up a Harvest Moon game in a while. However, lately I have been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

If you recall from one of the previous challenges Rachel and I have done, I had her play a Harvest Moon game while she wanted me to give the Animal Crossing franchise another chance. Neither of us really did too well on that challenge, both of us becoming bored with the other’s favorite franchise fairly quickly. However, lately Rachel and I watched a couple of our favorite YouTubers doing a quick Let’s Play with New Leaf, and I found myself asking Rachel questions about the game’s mechanics. Seeing a Let’s Play of what could be done in the game gave me the urge to give it one more try, and it’s something that I’ve been chilling out with lately at the end of the night.

If given the choice between the two franchises, I will would pick Harvest Moon over Animal Crossing, but I definitely have a newfound appreciation for Animal Crossing.

Is there a game that you used to dislike but found appreciation for recently? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Flashback Friday: Link’s Awakening

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Can you believe that E3 is right around the corner? I’m looking forward to the many new games that are waiting to be announced or for new information to be shown on games that we already know are coming… such as a certain remake of a beloved Legend of Zelda game!

Flashback Friday | Legend of Zelda | Link's Awakening | Video Games | Doublexjump.com

Hailed as one of the best video games of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was released in 1993 for the Game Boy and re-released in 1998 for the Game Boy Color. The game itself is unique in that it’s one of the few Legend of Zelda games that does not take place in Hyrule or feature Princess Zelda and the Triforce relic.

Admittedly, I never finished the game. It didn’t appeal to me the way Ocarina of Time did, being all 3D and on the big television screen. I tend to enjoy the console Legend of Zelda games more so than the handheld games. I enjoyed the game play and the little nods to the Mario franchise, with the Chain Chomp and the Yoshi doll, but Younger Kris was more interested in other games at that time.

Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the Switch release of the game. Considering how little I’ve played of the original, this will be like a new Legend of Zelda game for me!

Have you played this game? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King [Video Game Review]

Blossom Tales | Video Game Review | Video Games | Nintendo Switch | Doublexjump.com

Title: Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
Developer: Castle Pixel
Publisher: FDG Entertainment
Platform:
 Nintendo Switch
Category:
Action, Adventure, Role-Playing, Platformer
Release Date:
December 21, 2017
How we got the game:
Downloaded it on the Switch

krismii
While I’m a little late on this train, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Blossom Tales, especially from fellow gamers who also enjoy the Legend of Zelda franchise. Indeed, this game has some nods to one of Nintendo’s flagship IPs, and it was fun picking them out as I enjoyed the game itself.

gameplayBlossom Tales’ controls are intuitive. As the main character Lily, you explore and travel throughout the Kingdom of Blossom to rescue it from an evil wizard’s clutches. The analog stick is used to move while Lily’s weapons, shields, and items are assigned to the A, B, and X buttons. The gameplay has been likened to the Super Nintendo’s A Link to the Past, and Blossom Tales gives way to that same sense of discovery.

The game itself is a “story” that a grandfather is telling his grandchildren. Said grandchildren are not afraid to call their grandfather out on details that may seem too silly and their influence are able to change the story as you play. Small choices pop up here and there, such as the grandchildren deciding what kind of monsters Lily needs to slay in order to proceed. The “story” aspect of the game is charming rather than intrusive, and I enjoyed the little recap the grandchildren and grandfather give the player whenever they return to the game after taking a break.

graphics-music

Blossom Tales has such fun graphics, the art style being pixel-perfect. The colors are bright, painting the scenes beautifully while you explore the vast locations around the world as the main character.

The music was wonderful as well, really drawing you into the story as you explored the world. The cities, dungeons, and boss fights all had different and appropriate tunes, allowing you to be in the moment and focus on your current situation.

storyBlossom Tales is a story that a grandfather is telling his grandchildren, Chrys and Lily, much to their delight. The story stars a new Knight of the Rose, “Sir” Lily (as demanded by the grandchildren), in the Kingdom of Blossom. Shortly after Sir Lily was knighted, the king’s evil wizard brother puts the king into a deep sleep in an effort to take over the kingdom.

Thus begins Lily’s epic adventure to search for the three ingredients that will be needed to awaken the king again. Considering the rest of the knights seem to be incompetent, it takes the new recruit to explore and find the items. With her sword skills and special items, Lily will thwart all sorts of enemies as she braves through dungeons in order to rescue the king and kingdom.

replay-value

Blossom Tales is a cute game, one that is fun and easy to get into. While the story itself is fairly linear, there are a few choices throughout the game that you can make to change the course of the story. It’s a great game for anyone who wants a charming, relatively short action-adventure platformer, whether it’s for the first or seventh time.

Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! If you like this post, please share it around!

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