Friday Favorites: Three Houses Students

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The Golden Deer are my children. I will admit that I have yet to try out game files with the other houses since I am so invested in the Golden Deer and their stories. However, I love exploring the monastery during free days to talk to everyone, regardless of house. Excluding the house leaders — because Claude would probably win by a landslide, and I feel I cannot properly invest in Edelgard and Dimitri without playing their routes — here is a list of some of my favorite Three Houses students so far.

Fire Emblem Three Houses | Fire Emblem | Three Houses | Video Games | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

Ashe

This kid is adorable. Despite him not starting off in my house, I got invested in his background and story due to one of the earlier chapters before the time-skip. He was the first student I invited to join me on a mission and the first I recruited into Golden Deer after figuring out the logistics of it. His gentle and amusing supports with other students, like Marianne and Caspar, were fun to read and listen to, and I’m enjoying his perseverance despite his background.

Caspar

I just laugh out loud from this kid. His zeal for justice is admirable but the fact that he’s willing to throw down with whoever is in his way or causing trouble amuses the hell out of me. I loved his second support conversation with Hilda, him trying to avoid a fight before deciding, “Nope,” and diving in. That, and he’s a pretty decent unit if you train him enough.

Lysithea

Admittedly, at first I was a touch annoyed at how her attitude was always on the defensive side with everyone “treating her like a child.” However, reading some of her supports with other characters opened her up in ways I was not expecting, and I admire her tenacity for bettering herself with whatever time she has left in the world. She’s also a beast with her magic in battles!

Ignatz

Archers have always been some of my favorite units (hence, Claude and one of the main reasons why I picked Golden Deer) and Ignatz was such a shy deer dear that he soon became one of my favorites. His hobby of art and his friendship with the others in Golden Deer make me feel warm and fuzzy, and I’m proud of how more confident he is after the time-skip. He’s also a kick-ass assassin in my army.

Who are some of your favorite students from Fire Emblem: Three Houses? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Advertisements

Bananagrams [Game Review]

Bananagrams | Board Game | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

krismii
When we went on vacation with the family at the end of July, we knew board games were going to be a way to bond and pass the time with everyone else. At one point during the week, one of our cousins bought Bananagrams, a fun little game that has no board. Instead, it’s a little banana-shaped pouch filled with letter tiles reminiscent of Scrabble.

rachmii
We used to have this game though I think we got rid of it when we went through all our old board games a long time ago. We were at the bookstore and, for some reason, Bananagrams was on a shelf. Our cousin grabbed it and it was the main game of the week. Our go-to games have always been Monopoly, Code Names, and Headbanz, but Bananagrams was the family favorite this year.

krismii
If you haven’t played Bananagrams before, it’s a quick-thinking game where one needs to create words intertwined together like on a personal Scrabble board using all of their letter tiles. All of the letter tiles start face-down in a pile in the middle of all the players. Depending on the number of players, everyone would start off with 15 to 21 tiles, only flipping the tiles over to start creating words when the game begins when someone says, “Split!”

rachmii
If you can’t fit a letter into your board, you can exchange that one letter for three in the middle of the pile. If you manage to fit all the letters you can say, “peel” and everyone, including yourself, will have to take one letter from the pile. Once there aren’t enough letters left in the middle for everyone to “peel,” then you can say, “bananas” and claim your win.

krismii
I don’t know why everything is banana-themed — who decided bananas were the best theme for this word game? — but it was still a great time all around. We managed to get everyone in the household playing a couple of games at least, and I cannot decide whether it was easier to create words by starting out with more letters or fewer.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Bananas is a fun word to say and the pouch is easy enough. Not to mention there’s also a game called Apples to Apples, so they couldn’t do that. I would love to try to play the game with double the letters. I believe there is a deluxe version, if you will, that doubles the letters so you can play with more people and have longer games. There was, at one point, when we split all the letters up. There were four of us playing and we each got 36 letters with none left over and we played like that without swapping tiles out at all. Whoever used all their letters first, won. Which is another nice thing about the game is that it’s your personal board so if there’s a letter that you need to fit and can’t, you can rearrange the other words to make it fit.

krismii
Having twice the letters would definitely be more interesting and chaotic. We were amazed at some of the words that the rest of our family came up with, too. Being the writers and bigger readers of the family, Rachel and I thought we would do pretty well conjuring up words, but some of the words that our cousins came up with — dandelion, homicide, bigger words than we usually came up with — were great to see.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Oh, please. I played the game and instantly forgot words existed, tried to make up words, and forgot the concept of spelling. Most of my words – it, them, dog, happy – were short and sweet. I did come up with a couple of good words here and there, though every game was different. I’d love to play again and try to do themed words. Like words related to video games or something. That’d be difficult, but a lot of fun.

Have you ever played Bananagrams? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Friday Favorites: FE Three Houses Details

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

While I feel I could have found a better word than “details,” I felt as if this encompassed everything that I enjoy so far about Three Houses that didn’t fit into one box, so to speak. This is just a random list of things that I wish to gush over. Please note that, at the timing of this post, I’m only around chapter 12 so please no spoilers in the comments!

Fire Emblem Three Houses | Fire Emblem | Three Houses | Video Games | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

The Gatekeeper

This guy is adorable. He’s almost always enthusiastic, tells me there’s nothing to report, then promptly reports something, even if it’s just his thoughts on the current events. Considering that there is fanart and fanfiction of this guy, I’m not the only one who enjoys his presence! I don’t know if this guy has a name, but he should. I would love nothing more than for the game to start reaching the end and then we finally find out this gatekeeper’s name. This amount of characterization this NPC has astounds me. With that said, I adore how other random NPCs always have thoughts and reactions to the current events, even the ones that just show a speech bubble over their heads.

Voice Acting

Something that Shadows of Valentia did right was the voice acting and I’m pleased that Three Houses had full voice acting as well. Even random NPCs that had something to say had their dialogue completely recorded by actors. The tones and voices helped bring all of the characters to life in a way that simple quips and partial voice-acting couldn’t.

Exploration

Exploring the monastery was something that I admittedly had some reservations about. I had believed that it would be too similar to the dungeon crawling parts of Shadows of Valentia, sections that I didn’t care for due to their similarities to one another and tedious battles. To me, Fire Emblem was all about strategic battles that moved the story forward. The Exploration option in Three Houses, however, is one of my favorites. There is plenty to see, activities to do, and it helps promote support among the characters outside of battles. Giving gifts, finding lost items (seriously, these teenagers and knights lose everything), and little quests all keep me running around like a headless chicken, and I’m greatly enjoying it.

Student Friendships

Support conversations were always something I enjoyed about Fire Emblem, mainly so I could force the characters to be friends and spouses with one another and to also find out more about their backstories. In Three Houses, your character joins after everyone else is already there, the opposite of most Fire Emblem games. It makes sense that the students know one another, some closer in friendship to others, rivalries here and there, and I love these details. Even in the dining together activity, I was delighted when I had two characters simply talking and reacting to each other due to their history, like Claude and Lorenz or Caspar and Ashe.

What are some of your (spoiler-free) favorite details about Fire Emblem: Three Houses? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Monday Memories: New Genres

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Have you ever thought of how you were introduced to certain game franchises that you continue to play today? Or how they may have shaped your gaming preferences over the years? That’s what this Monday Memories is about.

Video Games | Genres | Simulation | Sims | The Sims | Sims 2 | Doublexjump.com

While I don’t remember how exactly we got on the topic of Sims 2, one of my managers from a previous job — my job that I had probably about ten years ago now — mentioned how she had nearly every Sims 2 expansion at the time. I had heard of the games but never played them and she offered to let me borrow them.

Color me surprised when she came into our next shared shift with a giant garbage bag filled with these boxes of expansion packs that had about two to four CDs worth of programming in them. I cannot remember how long it took me to install every CD that she had onto my computer, using the key codes to ensure that they were legitimate copies and all that fun stuff. Pretty sure I did not have enough time to actually play the game that day before everything was installed!

Once I did start playing the game, I was hooked. Creating your own characters, building houses, and essentially playing God was amazing. Before Sims 2, I had never really played many simulation games. Really, the games I mostly played were RPGs or adventures with a bit of platforming thrown in here and there. Not having a definitive story in a game was a foreign concept to me, as most of my games have end goals. Some weren’t as definite, no — such as the difference between Ocarina of Time’s endgame to, say, Harvest Moon games were the goal is simply to have a thriving farm — but there was always something to reach for in them.

Sims 2 basically threw me a digital dollhouse, complete with cheats and mods crafted by brilliant people, and said, “Have at it.”

Sims 3 eventually came along and I jumped on it, being just as much in awe — if not more than — of it as I was of the Sims 2, and Sims 4 has been great fun as well. The simulation genre of games has evolved into one of my favorites, with me enjoying games such as Game Dev Tycoon and Tomodachi Life. I’ve even gained more of an appreciation for the Animal Crossing franchise. Harvest Moon games are arguably simulation games as well, yet the later ones became gimmicky enough with quests and stipulations to further the gameplay that the Sims series was refreshing.

It also went hand-in-hand with my writing. In the Sims series, I’ve always been able to create my own characters with personalities and quirks, watching them react to each other and giving me ideas on how the characters can interact in my stories can be insightful to my writing.

To think, this love of a video game genre started with my manager delivering them all to me in a garbage bag.

What game started an appreciation of a new genre for you? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Dungeon Master for the First Time

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

As you may have realized if you’ve followed this blog for the past few months, Rachel and I have recently gotten into D&D. This is about my first foray into being the Dungeon Master.

Dungeon Master | Dungeons & Dragons | DM | D&D | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

Rachel and I have been playing D&D with our writer’s group friends for the past few months. One of our friends is the Dungeon Master, considering she had some of the most experience as one. She actually works in the children’s room at a library and does D&D about once a month with a group of kids and teens.

That was how we started our own group, actually. Rachel and I noticed her tweet about her D&D sessions and basically asked if we were able to join somehow. We joked about how Rachel and I are small enough to pass as middle schoolers, if only to have the chance to try out D&D with an actual group.

It’s been so much fun so far, with us doing a couple of one-shots as practice and now we’re on a longer campaign. With that said, though, I’ve always been a player in the games and I was definitely interested in giving a try at being the DM.

We have a game night with a couple of other friends, neither of whom have ever really played D&D (or, rather, had any real interest in it) but I asked them if they would be willing to give it a try if I was able to create a campaign with a Harry Potter spin to it. While I’m still working on the Harry Potter campaign, I did recently do a short one-shot for Rachel and one of those friends.

The one-shot itself was about a village in which a few townspeople had gone missing. The guard called for volunteers, setting the scene for the characters to meet, to search for the villagers and vanquish whatever monster in the woodlands that was causing them to disappear. In my notes — all twelve pages of them, not including the stats for the monsters, NPCs, and my tower map — I detailed the responses I would give as the NPCs or identify what the characters could find depending on how well they rolled when persuading or investigating. Once they reached the woodlands, there were three paths they could take, with an optimal order for them to explore if they wanted to rescue all five missing villagers alive.

They did it, which was great! It was a bit unorthodox — or perhaps not, since D&D is all about communal storytelling and is bound to go off the rails at times — and they absolutely demolished my mid-boss and boss monsters in about a turn or two each with some lucky rolls, but it was a good time.

It was definitely a learning curve for all of us involved. In fact, I think the one who knew about what she was doing the most was Rachel. She dove into the campaign in-character, showing our friend the kind of role-play the game involves and making me think on the fly regarding my story and the NPCs with her questions and actions. We used the pre-made characters that came with the starter kit considering, between the three of us, we’ve only ever made two characters before. That, and our friend was worried about all the math, haha!

I’ve been writing for so many years, some stories of the Choose Your Own Adventure kind, of which D&D reminded me. It was enjoyable to go back to that kind of format, but being a DM means that you can create the world, but it’s the players that create the story based on how they react to the challenges you set up. It was a lot of set up, and everything is most likely not going to go the way you plan it, but it’ll all work out okay in the end (well, unless a character dies). All in all, though, I really enjoyed my first time as a DM, and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

Of course, now all I want to do is create a Legend of Zelda-flavored campaign!

Do you play Dungeons & Dragons? Have you ever DMed? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Jump Up, Lifelight, and Other Theme Songs

Jump Up Superstar, Lifelight, and Other Theme Songs | Video Games | Gaming | Game Music | Video Game Soundtracks | DoublexJump.com

krismii
While we’ve always enjoyed video game soundtracks, even the pixel-y tunes from retro games, video games nowadays have huge orchestras backing them up. It’s awesome to me, and I just want to go to concerts that perform these songs. Super Mario Odyssey and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, two of the Nintendo Switch’s biggest games, have full theme songs with “Jump Up, Superstar!” and “Lifelight.” I got goosebumps the first time I heard those songs in conjunction with the opening of those games.

rachmii
I enjoy the fact that Nintendo is stepping up a bit when it comes to theme songs for some of their most popular games. It’s totally unexpected but it brings a new light to the game. When they announced the story mode for Super Smash Brothers Ultimate with the voice acting, movie trailer-like sequence, and the song, I was blown away. It was kind of weird, sure, but it was well done.

krismii
It was well done! I enjoyed finding and listening to covers of those songs on Spotify, especially since most video game music just sounds epic. The opening movie for the game reminded me of when I first became enamored with Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. That opening sequence still is one of my favorite video game theme songs, if you will.

rachmii
I agree. And having live performances is a step up too. I mean, they had someone perform Jump Up, Superstar at the Game Awards in… 2017? 2018? I forget when actually but it was a cool performance. I always enjoy those shows because they usually throw in a live band or orchestra, dancers, or something of the like.

krismii
I believe that was the original singer as well, which made it even better. The live orchestra performances are also one of my favorite parts of the Game Awards, E3, etc. It throws me back to when we went to the Legend of Zelda orchestra show, and I just want to enjoy more concerts performing video game soundtracks. It goes back to how, whenever we start up a new game, we tend to wait on the title screen to see if a theme song or trailer will begin playing.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I would love to see the Zelda orchestra again. But you’re right, we do wait on the main menu for a bit because the song is often epic and showcases the game like a movie trailer. Skyward Sword is still my favorite opening, by the way. The movie and sequence along with it were gold.

krismii
I would love to see an Octopath Traveler orchestra! Another franchise that has pretty good openings and theme songs, in my opinion, is the Fire Emblem franchise. I cannot wait until I’m able to turn on Fire Emblem: Three Houses for the first time and see how they animate that opening. I believe the opening trailer has been available for a while, but I’ve avoided it in order to experience it for the first time when I actually get the play the game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump

Octopath Traveler would be amazing to see live! I listen to the soundtrack on a loop in my car. I’m sure Fire Emblem: Three Houses is amazing as well. In fact, we should definitely play it today. I’m looking forward to hearing some new music!

What do you think of modern video game themes? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Forgotten City from RiME – Lindsey Stirling

Rime | Video Games | Music | Music Video | Lindsey Stirling | YouTube | Doublexjump.com

Lindsey Stirling is one of our favorite musicians at this time. She does violin, mostly electric violin, and we don’t believe we’ve showcased her here a couple of times before on the site, but it’s been a while.

While Lindsey does mostly original songs right now — her next album is actually coming out near the end of this September — she does have a few gaming-related music videos up on her YouTube channel. The latest one was done a couple of years ago for the game RiME. While we’ve never played RiME, the music was beautiful, and Lindsey did a video for one of the original songs, Forgotten City. We hope you enjoy it as we do!

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch