Friday Favorites: Octopath Characters

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

We’re still going strong with Octopath Traveler, and we hope those of you who haven’t finished are enjoying it too! After playing further into the characters’ stories, there are a few that are clear winners to me. Although I enjoy all the characters, these four are right at the top of the list.

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H’aanit

Hunter and ranger characters are generally some of my favorites. Bows are a favorite weapon of mine in most games, despite how awful my aim can be — seriously, you should have seen me trying to shoot enemies in Breath of the Wild, Rachel had a great time making fun of me — as they usually can be so versatile. H’aanit has one of the better stories in my opinion as well. She’s off in search of her missing master with a trusty animal sidekick. The only aspect of H’aanit I’m not completely on board about is her dialect. The Shakespearean way she and her people speak isn’t bad, but I’m positive some words were just made up or slapped with prefixes and suffixes that don’t really work to make her way of speaking more “otherworldly.”

Primrose

My heart broke during this lady’s chapter one. Not for the revenge angle, since tons of fantasy characters’ motivations seem to stem from the murder of their loved ones (especially fathers, for some reason), but for where she found herself while searching for her father’s murderers. I loved to hate the boss of her chapter one, and her motivation for moving forward really captured me. Her story so far is one of my favorites. Her voice actress also does a phenomenal job, in my opinion.

Alfyn

As soon as Rachel and I heard Alfyn speak, we cooed over how adorable he sounded. While a couple of other characters have similar, “we’re off to see the world,” story lines, Alfyn was the first character we collected to have that particular plot. His movepool is more of a smorgasbord of other characters’ — a bit of healing like Ophelia here, some ice moves like Cyrus there, shares the hatchet with H’aanit — but he also has the fun Concoct skill, where he puts together herbs to create either healing or damaging items. I love his poison skill too!

Therion

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you’ll know that I’ve always had a soft spot for thief and rogue characters. Stealth and speed are attributes to most of my favorite playable characters — Sheik in Smash Bros., Fire Emblem characters in the thief class — and it’s a bonus whenever they use daggers as weapons. Therion was the first character we picked when starting Octopath, and his dialogue, mannerisms, and voice acting is spot on. His story isn’t too bad either, one where he’s in it for himself, but trapped in a deal that’s taking him on a journey dangerous enough to need allies. We’ve gotten a few “party banter” dialogues between Therion and a few of the other characters, and we’ve been enjoying his personality and interactions with them. We’re just hoping for so much more!

Who are your favorite Octopath characters?

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[Game Review] Minit

Game Review: Minit | PC Games | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Title: Minit
Developer: Vlambeer
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform:
Steam, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One
Category:
Single player adventure, puzzle, arcade
Release Date:
April 3, 2018 (Steam, Playstation 4, Xbox One); August 9, 2018 (Nintendo Switch)
How we got the game:
Bought it on Steam

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Minit is quirky little game where you play it in intervals of sixty seconds, or a minute. The idea seemed intriguing, prompting us to download it for steam, then lo and behold, it was announced as being released for the Nintendo Switch.

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Even though we got it a little while ago, we finally got the chance to try it out. We weren’t disappointed.

gameplay

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Minit is simple in gameplay and concept, but challenging to pull off. You move around as a little character that we had dubbed Bill due to Rachel believing he looked like he had a duck bill. You have a key to use whatever item you’re holding, which is usually a sword, and you navigate through the world and trying to progress while only living for sixty seconds.

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The sword is used to hit enemies, trees, and bushes around you in order to progress. You can eventually throw your sword like a boomerang once you get a certain item. There are a few items throughout the world you can collect, though we didn’t get to them all.

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The gameplay is fairly open-ended like that. While there are certain items — such as coffee to give you a little strength boost and flippers to allow you to swim — that we felt were needed to progress, other items were more optional. It truly gives you different ways to explore and challenge yourself to solve the game’s plot.

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Right. There are faster shoes you can buy if you can find seven coins. We couldn’t find the coins so we never got the shoes. Sure, we could have gotten more done in our minute, but we still beat the game anyway. There are many different areas you can explore and you can add a couple of “houses” to you home. So, when you die, you’ll start at the home again which is handy to have so you don’t have to backtrack again.

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With the fact that you only have a minute to progress, the different houses as your save points certainly come in handy. Along with that, elements of the gameplay stay put as well from minute to minute, so you don’t have to rush through too many puzzles during each life.

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While the gameplay is repetitive, the developers did a great job making it so it’s not too frustrating.

graphics-music

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Minit is adorned in black and white, simple graphics with more sound effects rather than music. It worked with the arcade style of the game, and we were definitely move focused on doing as much as we could in sixty seconds rather than admiring the graphics and music.

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The graphics definitely worked well for the game though. They were simple and I feel like the black and white helped our focus. Since the time is so limited you don’t really want to spend a lot of time exploring and staring at the colorful backgrounds in awe. So it worked.

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One of the best parts about the graphics and sound effects, in my opinion, were the slight differences when the life clock was ticking down to zero. As the clock started from ten seconds, little sweat drops jumped off of Bill and the sound of a pounding heart was a subtle sound effect, ramping up the tension for the last few seconds of Bill’s current run.

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I agree with that. It really added some tension to it even though you know you’re going to come right back. I did enjoy the sound effects of the sword when you hit things. I don’t know why, but that was satisfying for me.
story

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Minit is about an unfortunate soul who picked up a cursed sword. With this cursed sword, he is doomed to live only a minute at a time. He must progress as far as he can with every minute to reach the sword factory and lift the curse from the sword.

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It’s up to your protagonist to push past the constant death screen and continue his quest from his home, finding shortcuts, items, and solving simple puzzles.

replay-value

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Minit is a fun little game that is easy to pick up and keeps you going with testing you on how far you can get with each minute. Aside from multiple items to find throughout the runs, there is also a harder mode after you beat it the first time, cutting your time from sixty seconds to forty seconds.

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We missed a lot of the items our first time around. I wouldn’t mind going back to try to get them just to see how “easier” the game would be. I also wouldn’t mind trying it on hard mode, especially now we know what to do.

Minit gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Gris and Gameplay Style

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Lately, I’ve been finding myself more and more drawn to games that have unique art styles, something that is different from the norm. The graphics of Cuphead were what drew me to that game, the imagery of Octopath Traveler was what piqued my interest, and there’s another game that I just found out about that looks amazing…

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‘Gris’

So, there’s this game that I recently heard about — from the article linked in the caption of that beautiful game image above — and that I’m gearing up for come December, presuming Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn’t take over my life.

The game is called Gris. It’s a 2D platformer with one of the most gorgeous and unique art styles I’ve seen in a long time. Catalan artist Conrad Roset, a freelancer whose clients include Disney, is credited with the game’s watercolor and Indian ink style, and the screenshots I’ve seen just look so damn pretty.

Aside from the art of the game, the other aspect that intrigued me was the article detailing how the game was supposed to be a smooth experience. Someone looking for a challenging platform may not find Gris to be their type of game. Instead, Gris has light puzzles and emphasizes the art and wordless story of loss and grief more than fancy jump combos.

It just got me thinking about the different types of video games out there. Certainly, a majority of gamers enjoy the challenges, saving the world, testing their skills and knowledge. On the other hand, there are more casual games, games that tend to make one think or just relax, and with these games comes the stigma of the players not being “true gamers.”

I personally believe that gamers are gamers — it doesn’t matter what kind of games you enjoy, be they hardcore or casual or somewhere in between. We all have our different reasons for wanting to play games and we all like what we like.

What do you think of the initial information on Gris? What kind of games do you prefer — challenging, casual, or somewhere in between?

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Friday Favorites: Smash Direct

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The Super Smash Bros Direct this past Wednesday was filled to the brim with exciting information on the development of Smash Bros. Ultimate. While my greatest wish for the game hasn’t been granted yet, I’m still pretty damn pleased with what we have seen!

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Chrom

He’s finally in the lineup! Sure, he’s an echo character, but he still finally made it in the lineup! Awakening is one of my favorite Fire Emblem titles so, while I don’t believe we need another swordsman or Fire Emblem lord, it is a nice treat to see Chrom make an appearance other than be in Robin’s Final Smash (which actually begs the question… will Chrom still be part of Robin’s Final Smash? Or will Robin appear as Grima?).

Stages

The stage mechanics seemed to have gotten a nice overhaul, and all the effort looks as if it’ll pay off. All the stages having omega forms? Throwback stages to the original N64 installment? Stages morphing into others? Having the option to turn the hazards on and off? Yes, please!

Music

I don’t listen to the radio much these days. My coworkers and cousins talk about concerts and random country singers and I have no idea what they’re saying other than a vague recollection of, “Yes, I think I’ve heard of that guy before.” My Spotify playlists are made up of video game soundtracks and covers, so when I saw the music collection that is going to be in Smash Ultimate, I loved it! Not sure if I’ll ever have the courage to take the Switch with me for a portable player, but being able to have my own playlist filled with Nintendo tunes on in the background while I’m working will be great.

New Assists and Pokemon

It’s great to see Knuckles and Krystal there for assist trophy cameos! I would have loved to see them as echo characters, if not fighters in their own right, but I’ll take them as assist trophies. Abra looks like a deliciously fun Pokemon to unleash on the stage, and it wasn’t a surprise to see the Alolan legendaries. Seeing Mimikyu made us go, “Awww!” to “OH GOD!” very quickly, haha!

What were your favorite parts of the Smash direct? Anything you were hoping to see?

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Video Game Tutors

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Everyone knows that practice is the best way to get good at something, be it playing the piano, writing, drawing, or even playing video games. Recently, I realized that there are some folks who are taking an extra step when it comes to developing the skills needed to play well at certain games.

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So, this is a thing.

Apparently there are parents out there who are paying for Fortnite tutors for their children to help said children get better at the game. Some of these tutors are getting paid up to $35 bucks an hour, which is awesome for them.

But I never thought I would see the day where I would find an article detailing that some parents pay tutors to teach their kids video games. Back in my day, tutors were paid to help with math or give singing lessons. Video games back then were merely a hobby and we should figure out what we want to do with our lives because it wasn’t going to involve playing video games all day.

Apparently, my life’s career could have involved playing video games all day. With the rapid growth of technology in my lifetime, it has become more apparent how viable the video game industry is on the world, and if I had just stuck to playing Super Smash Bros. Melee during my free time, I could now be a competitive player on the eSports scene.

In fact, eSports is one of the main reasons as to why parents are willing to shell out the cash for tutors, with parents hoping that perhaps their child will one day go pro on the Fortnite scene. College scholarships are another reason, while other parents are just hoping that they can get a piece of Fortnite’s $100 million prize pool. Yet another parent just wanted to help ease the pressure of being good at the game for her child.

Don’t get me wrong, video games have been proven to help improve reflexes, hand-eye coordination, one’s ability to focus and multitask, and has become one of the more social activities — despite past allegations of playing alone in a basement — of today’s day and age. If you’re awesome at the games and can make money helping others learn and enjoy video games as well, why not?

What do you think of video game tutors? Would you be a willing tutor, or would you have been interested in getting a tutor when you were younger?

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Rushin’ Through

Rushing Through Games | Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

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We play a lot of video games for this blog, and we like playing a lot of video games. Otherwise, this blog wouldn’t exist. However, there are definitely times when we feel that we rush through games more than take our time and just enjoy the games for what they are.

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Writing game reviews is fun and I love being able to contribute to gamers and devs alike. I enjoy sharing and promoting games we liked and even games we didn’t care for too much. However, playing video games take time and it can be tricky to get their reviews out in a timely manner.

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It’s a downside to doing reviews, I suppose. Obviously, we want the reviews to be timely and relevant, especially with how quickly games come onto the market. It’s a stark difference from when we were kids and could only afford games a couple of times a year. We’d take our time with those games, exploring every world and level, then replay them and old favorites while waiting for new games for Christmas and our birthdays. Now we pre-order games that are coming out months later to take advantage of Amazon Prime savings.

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We’ve noticed lately that we constantly have a backlog of games. There are so many old ones we own that we still have yet to play and then there are the new games that were just released or will be soon that are currently in the news that all gamers are playing right now. We’ve tried to get on a “gaming” schedule before but with real life and Kris’s day job, it’s tough to stick to one.

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Even if a gaming schedule worked, it would also mean trying to shoehorn in gaming during times that we may not feel like it. We wouldn’t really enjoy the games if we felt like we were being forced to play them on a set schedule. I mean, if gaming wasn’t such an expensive hobby, the logical solution would be to quit my day job for more gaming time, haha!

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It would totally be nice to have the ability to play video games all the time again. What got us thinking about this was Octopath Traveler. It’s been such a long time since we’ve gotten excited about a lengthy game. Breath of the Wild was exciting for us and we released a “review” long after everyone else had because we were simply taking our time with it. It’s great to dive into another long story with in-depth storytelling and plot.

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While we’re not planning on taking as long with Octopath as we did with Breath of the Wild, we are definitely trying to savor it. The Nintendo Switch has been fantastic for indie games, especially smaller puzzle ones, but a nice story-driven RPG is perfect for us at this time. We’re curious as to what other people do when they find themselves with a backlog of games they want to play.

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Gaming is not meant to be stressful and we’re enjoying every minute of it. Which is why we’re excited to play more of Octopath Traveler and to seek out even more games we haven’t played yet.

Do you prefer to take your time with games and complete? Or play just enough to get a feel of it for a review? Let us know in the comments below!

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Friday Favorites: Weapon Triangles

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

A couple of Mondays ago, I wrote about the Rule of Three, a trope that exists in many stories, movies and video games alike. Many video games have aspects that come in threes that convey special attributes about the game, especially when it comes to combat. So today I’ll be sharing my favorite weapon triangles from various game franchises.

Double Jump | Video Games | Nintendo | Triangles | Rule of Three | Triforce | Legend of Zelda | Pokemon | Fire Emblem

Grass-Water-Fire

One of my first “weapon triangles,” this elemental concept was introduced to me through Pokemon Red and Blue. Bulbasaur’s Grass-type moves were strong against the Water-type Squirtle, whose own abilities were strong against Charmander’s fire attacks, which were strong against Bulbasaur.

Sword-Axe-Lance

One of the first parts of the prologues or introductions in a Fire Emblem game tends to be the weapons triangle. Namely, how the three basic weapons stack against each other in strength. Swords are quicker than axes, which are too close-combat orientated to be hurt by lances, which are long enough to stab before a sword. Or something like that. A few Fire Emblem games have another weapons triangle with the tomes. Dark magic is weak to light magic, which is weak to anima — or elemental — magic, which is weak to dark magic.

Power-Wisdom-Courage

Not a traditional rock-paper-scissors scenario, the Triforce from the Legend of Zelda franchise is a favorite “rule of three” for me. Almost every game in the franchise swirls around the relationship between Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf who hold Courage, Wisdom, and Power respectively. The relationship between these three fighting to protect and dominate the world has never failed to create an enjoyable story for me in these games.

What are your favorite weapon triangles in video games?

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