Unorthodox Controllers

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

I love the idea of custom set-ups for computers and video game consoles. Some people are creative enough to have really unique set-ups for the way they play video games…

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One of the most exciting announcements for fans of the Super Smash Bros. franchise was that Nintendo would be making a GameCube controller adapter for the Nintendo Switch so those really into the competitive scene can play Ultimate with their favorite controller.

Then there’s this guy who rigged up a bunch of bananas to use as the controller.

Fittingly, he was playing as Donkey Kong and explained, in layman’s terms, that he connected the bananas into a tool — called Makey Makey — that turns basically anything into a keyboard input. In this case, tapping the bananas were the keys. That was then hooked up to an input converter so the keyboard actions could mimic Nintendo Switch keys enabling the game would recognize the actions.

This streamer’s name is Louis and he’s pretty known for using unorthodox controllers. Taking a glance at his past Twitch broadcasts and YouTube videos, he’s also rigged up Donkey Konga controllers for Smash Ultimate, a dance pad for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5, and a Guitar Hero controller for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I’ve always been a sucker for this kind of tech stuff and I’m actually interested enough in Makey Makey to look into it more. Who knows, maybe we’ll make avocados into controllers for something one day!

Have you ever used unorthodox controllers for a game?

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Friday Favorites: 2019 Game Releases

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The end of 2018 is only in a couple of weeks! Are you already thinking of your 2019 video game lists? What kind of games are you looking forward to for the new year?

frifaves2019releases

Untitled Pokemon Nintendo Switch Game

Okay, I know we just got the Let’s Go titles, but I am still looking forward to the next Pokemon Switch game. I’m presuming it’s another core title in the main series and will give us a new region and a new generation of Pokemon to capture. I was a bit indifferent when it came to the Alola region, so I’m crossing my fingers that the untitled Pokemon Switch game will capture my attention much more than Sun/Moon did (along with the awesome mechanics that Let’s Go has brought to the table… Or at least the mechanic of having your Pokemon follow you).

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem is one of my favorite franchises. That’s honestly enough reason for me to be excited for the new Switch title. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Echoes title back in 2017, and the Warriors title wasn’t the best when it came to a variety of classes and characters, so here’s hoping Three Houses will be better than both of them!

Anthem

Anthem was actually showcased in the Game Awards last week and I thought it looked interesting. Being able to play both in single-player or multiplayer mode, taking on the part of a exosuited-up hero to explore a contiguous open world. It’ll be a different kind of game than what I’m used to, so I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

I love this series so much. Honestly, we probably don’t need the Ace Attorney trilogy on our Nintendo Switch — not when we have it on our still-working Wii and I have it on my 2DS XL — but… it’s Phoenix Wright. You have to have Phoenix Wright on your Nintendo Switch. I would love a new Ace Attorney game, but I’ll take this to tide me over until we get that.

What 2019 releases, so far, are you looking forward to?

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Cool Tech: All-in-One PC SmartDesk

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

How many of you are PC gamers? What kind of set-up do you have for your monitors and computers for your games? Considering how dependent everyone nowadays on their computers, I’m sure everyone has a dream set-up for their tech station.

djallinonedesk

One of my coworkers at the office has a standing desk. You know, those desks where you hit a button and it rises up or down depending on the level you’d like? It’s supposed to be much better for your health (and back) to stand while working on your computer instead of sitting at the desk for six to eight hours a day. A standing desk is something that is on Rachel’s and my wish lists.

And then I found this article about a certain All-in-One PC called the Cemtrex SmartDesk that is built into a standing desk.

And it has three monitors. Not just one, but three touchscreen monitors that also have some sort of sensor that allows you to scroll between documents and the like with a wave of your hand like Star Trek. There’s also a built-in scanner right on the desktop, which is nifty.

Aside from the hefty price — which is about $4500.00 — I do balk at the idea of the keyboard also being built into the desk. Like, it seems like it’s flush with the desk surface and I can imagine not having a raised keyboard may be a little interesting to get used to. The other major potential issue is something that the article writer had pointed out — if part of the all-in-one PC breaks, would the parts be interchangeable enough to fix individually, or would one need to send out the entire desk and three monitors back to the manufacturer to fix or get a new one?

Either way, this computer desk looks insane and I would totally want one for gaming, writing, and art. And, of course, to pretend I’m in Star Trek.

Would you be interested in an all-in-one PC like this?

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Double Jump’s Game Awards

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krismii
While we have nothing personal against any of the games that won their respective Game Awards — it’s a wonderful feat — there were definitely games that we’ve played this year that we felt were a little overlooked. If we were nominating games for categories in the Game Awards, we’d add a little more variety.

rachmii
By variety, we mean Nintendo and more Indie games. Because, let’s face it, that’s pretty much all we play. We love the “family” games and tend to have more fun with those. We enjoy puzzles games, mystery, and certainly love Pokemon, though we adore games that have rich stories and engaging characters. With that, we’ve had quite a few favorites this year.

krismii
For instance, if we were nominating a few different games for the Art Direction category, we probably would have added Minit, A Case of Distrust, and The Lion’s Song (which came out for the Nintendo Switch this year, even if it was originally published in 2016). Each of them takes art in a completely different direction. Minit was more pixel-y, with back and white images, while A Case of Distrust was very minimal to ensure the player was focused on the mystery of the story. The Lion’s Song had almost soft and light animation with a sienna-color palette, a style that we definitely enjoyed.

rachmii
I would also keep in Octopath Traveler for that category as well. Speaking of, if I were to nominate a couple of games for the best soundtrack, I’d nominate Octopath Traveler, Deltarune, and The Lion’s Song. Deltarune has some great, upbeat music while music was a huge part of the gameplay for The Lion’s Song. Octopath Traveler had fabulous music for battles and various areas in the world that always gets stuck in my head.

krismii
Deltarune would be fantastic contender for the narrative category as well, in my opinion. I definitely enjoyed the lore of that game and can’t wait for the full version! It could fit in with the role-playing category, depending on how you play the game, too. Other games that could have been recognized in the role-playing category could have been the Let’s Go Pokemon titles and The Sword of Ditto, a rogue-like game that can be played co-op where you get one life.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Well, if there was a multiplayer category, The Sword of Ditto would be on that list. Overcooked 2 would, for sure, be nominated. That game is perfect for multiplayer and I’m sure that’s kind of the point.

krismii
There was a multiplayer category, but I believe it catered more to online multiplayer rather than local, which seemed to be the family category. Burnstar, which was first available on the Switch this year, was great, and we can’t forget about Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which seemed to have missed the cut due to timing. A category I would have really liked to see more variety in would have been the Content Creators. This year, it seemed to be all about Fortnite streamers. I would have loved to see Twitch and YouTube channels like Black Girl Gamers or Normal Boots be nominated, to name a few smaller channels.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
For sure. We definitely have our own opinion and may be a little biased with indie and Nintendo games. Though this is what we like and what we would love to see. However, there are no bad games. Each and every game deserves an award.

Do you have any games you would have loved to see in the Game Awards? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Game Awards 2018

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krismii
First of all, congratulations to all of the games and teams that were nominated and won awards in The Game Awards this past Thursday! We watched most of it live Thursday night then finished it up Friday morning. It was a good show, even if we weren’t as enthusiastic about it as we were last year, mainly due to the two of the three biggest games — God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man — all being exclusive on the Playstation 4. We don’t have the Playstation 4. While Red Dead Redemption 2 is also on the Xbox One as well as PS4, it wasn’t something that piqued our interest, despite how much it won in the awards.

rachmii
The overall show was pretty great. I enjoyed the orchestra and all the performers. I also enjoyed a good amount of the world premieres. However, I’ll admit, a lot of them are rated M or too intense for me to actually play. Still, the presentation of it all was well done.

krismii
The orchestra was fantastic! Aside from the musical performances, I also enjoyed the Gaming Icon sequence as well as the Global Gaming Citizens profiles. Those three stories were wonderful and definitely deserved to be shared.

rachmii
Yes, for sure! It’s always great to hear about people making such a difference and it’s a wonder we haven’t heard about them before. But the diversity was also great. Gaming truly is for everyone.

krismii
I just kind of wish there had been more diversity in the nominations for all the categories. I’ve only heard good things about Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, and Spider-Man, and I have nothing against them, but I feel as if there were plenty of more games that deserved some sort of recognition. I also wonder what time frame the Game Awards uses for their nominations, as Smash Bros. Ultimate surely would have been in at least the Fighting game or Multiplayer categories if The Game Awards happened later this month or even in January.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree. I wasn’t as excited about it this year because I felt as though there was no variety to the games. The same games were nominated for various categories. Even though I don’t know much about Red Dead Redemption 2, I’m happy they won three awards. I’m sure they surely deserve it. I just wish other games had more of a shot as well for the categories.

krismii
By the sounds of it, we didn’t watch the Game Awards for the games itself. We watched it mainly for the orchestra, the Global Gaming Citizens and Gaming Icon profile, and so we knew what people were talking about on Twitter. Still, it was a good show and many of the speeches were heartfelt and nice to hear.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Right, the show itself was good and the presentations were nice to see along with the profiles and music. I do hope there’s more of a variety in the game choices for next year though. I’m a biased Nintendo girl, but I hope to see more from them next year as well.

What did you think of the Game Awards this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Challenge Complete: Animal Crossing New Leaf

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Going to change it up a little this week in that I’m doing a post in response to the challenge that Rachel and I gave each other way back in October. Did any of you forget about that? I promise we didn’t!

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Way back at the beginning of October, Rachel and I challenged each other to play a game from the other’s favorite laid-back franchise. I challenged Rachel to play a Harvest Moon game — Light of Hope for the Nintendo Switch — and she challenged me to play Animal Crossing New Leaf for the 3DS. My goal was to pay off my debt enough to get the biggest house expansion as well as have my villagers like me, have a great town, and a high mayor rating.

And I failed.

What I did accomplish was get a 100% mayor rating (although it’s probably gone down by this point considering I haven’t visited my town in a month), make some villager friends, and paid off enough debt to expand the first floor of my house. I didn’t get the side rooms, but the front room is bigger.

I didn’t do too badly, in my opinion, but I obviously did not meet all of the requirements to complete the challenge, and I have no real excuse for not doing so. We had chosen October to do these challenges because we figured we would have enough time to do them before the decidedly busier months of November and December. Instead, New Leaf became a chore rather than something I wanted to do. Being competitive didn’t make me want to pick up the game.

It was nice meeting and seeing the villagers and Isabelle. The characters are adorable and they made me chuckle with their animations and the way they talk. When I did play the game, it was relaxing. I especially enjoyed the music while running around bug-hunting and fishing!

Yet, I was bored with the overall premise of the game. Sure, it was cute, but there wasn’t anything to keep me sustained. While my Harvest Moon games tend not to have huge stories to follow either, I’m able to create my own and, for the most part, figure out how to accomplish my goals myself.

It was interesting to actually make more of an effort in an Animal Crossing game but, when the Switch version comes out, I’ll probably leave that game to Rachel.

What do you think of Animal Crossing New Leaf? How would you have done with this challenge?

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Digital Board Games

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krismii
Back in September, I believe, we started doing a board or card game review here and there on the blog to include different types of games to expand our collections. Now that we actually play physical board games, more and more digital versions of board games seem to be coming to the Nintendo Switch.

rachmii
I feel like that’s what always happens though. We buy and download a game on Steam and then a week later it comes out for the Switch. Timing is everything. I prefer console to PC so I’ve been waiting on certain games just in case. I think it’s cool board games are going digital, but I do prefer the physical board and card games. Still, I’m interested in trying them out for the Switch.

krismii
We’ve had digital board games for consoles before — remember Monopoly Party for the GameCube? — but many more seem to be coming for the Switch. It makes sense, with the Switch’s portability and aim toward casual and simulation games. There’s Monopoly for the Switch, Clue is coming, and there was talk of games such as Carcassone, Pandemic, Settlers of Catan, and Munchkin coming to the Switch within the next year or so.

rachmii
Yes, I do remember Monopoly for the Gamecube. I know digital board games have always been around, but it’s definitely more so now. I definitely want to get them and try them out. I think it would be cool and honestly, it would be easier to just bring the Switch on vacation with us rather than the actual board games – you know, if we’re just going away for a weekend or something. Though, I wonder why these games are coming to the Switch? I understand what you mean by the portability and casual gaming, but it seems like they’re adding a lot all of a sudden.

krismii
It may be just trying to bring the board games to another generation. I mean, we’ve grown up with Monopoly and Clue, the original ones, but there are so many variations of them out there to try to appeal to broader audiences. Video games is another medium these companies can use to reach out to people to play their games. It does seem rather sudden that we’re hearing so much about them, but it’ll be interesting to see how they pan out.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Interesting most definitely. Monopoly is one of my favorite games and I love to collect the different versions. Having it on the Switch will be fun because then, I assume, I can play with CPU characters in case no one else wants to play with me. Not to mention, we now have the online membership for the Switch. I assume we’ll be able to play board games with friends.

krismii
Oh, I forgot about the online membership! We should probably use that more… Anyway, yeah, how fun would it be to play Monopoly with our Switch friends? Of course, part of Monopoly’s charm is yelling at each other across the board for screwing each other with hotels on properties, but it’d still be a fun thought. I wonder what other kind of board games will come to the Switch… Life, maybe?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Life was a good game! But yeah, I’d love to play Monopoly with some of our gamer/blogging friends who aren’t near us. This may very well be the start of something new.

What do you think of board games going digital? Let us know in the comments below!

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