Flashback Friday: The Little Mermaid

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

July is almost over and, with it, a little more than half of the year! What are you planning on doing for the rest of 2019? I hope you’ve been creating and meeting some awesome goals!

Video Games | The Little Mermaid | Gaming | Nintendo | NES | Doublexjump.com

There was plenty of buzz around the internet lately about the casting of the live-action The Little Mermaid. With all the talk of that upcoming movie, it reminded me of one of the few NES games that I remember having and occasionally playing.

The Little Mermaid was first released for the NES and the Gameboy July 19, 1991, a little over 28 years ago and just makes me feel really old. The game actually doesn’t follow the movie plot line. Instead, the opening sequence mentions that Ursula lived, somehow, and captured some of Ariel’s friends, so she tells Prince Eric, “I’ll be back later,” and turns back into a mermaid and swims off to rescue them.

There are only five levels for this game, most of which I do not remember. Really, I watched a small, 20-ish minute play through of it on YouTube and the only pull that I think this would have had for me as a kid was that it was Disney. It was simplistic in nature, but seeing the so-called story for the game also got me thinking about how Ariel just ditched Prince Eric — who she spent most of the movie getting — to save her friends. She showed initiative, which I thought was pretty cool before being a little mind-numbed by the gameplay.

Yet, if I find The Little Mermaid on Steam or on an emulator, I probably would give it another go just for the heck of it.

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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Complete Games with DLC & Loot Boxes

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

I may have gone off on a slight tangent by the end of this post, and I apologize for that. Still, the words are relevant in regards to some new DLC news I’ve heard of recently. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Video Games | DLC | Loot Boxes | Harvest Moon | Light of Hope | Complete | Doublexjump.com

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Special Edition Complete will be coming out on July 30 for the Nintendo Switch. I challenge you to come up with a game that has a longer title.

I have the special edition of this game. I got it because it was a Harvest Moon title and it seemed fairly simple compared to other titles in the franchise that had annoying touch screen controls or complicated farming mechanics or any nonsense like that. It was an okay game. Honestly, though, give me a Harvest Moon game with a pretty village, some cool NPCs, and a plot of land that I can do whatever I want to, be it grow crops or have thirteen chickens and two cows running the place, and I’ll be happy.

(I am still excited for the Friends of Mineral Town remake, but I digress.)

Anyway, I saw the headline for the Light of Hope Completionist’s Version and momentarily got confused. This Complete game has all the DLC and, if you get it instead of buying the game and all of the DLC separately, you’ll save almost twenty bucks.

At first, I was wondering, “Light of Hope has DLC?” which then turned into, “Wait, isn’t that what the Special Edition was for?” and then, “Wtf, why is this Complete game ten bucks less than what I spent for the Special Edition?”

(Seriously, ten bucks is ten bucks, I would like it back, please.)

The DLC, once I looked it all up, seemed vaguely familiar. I had some of it, apparently, and then I read that if you had the updated version of Special Edition — which I may have, but I honestly haven’t turned the game on in months — then you would have gotten all of the DLC as they dropped. It’s not a big deal if I don’t have all the DLC for Light of Hope, but there was still something that bothered me about the news anyway, despite the annoyance feeling a bit ridiculous.

I think it’s because the game is just now being called “complete.”

I’m not a fan of DLC in the first place. Shelling out more money for some extras in video games always left a bitter taste in my mouth, especially if the DLC is more cosmetic than anything. Sure, some DLC is fun, but if it doesn’t benefit the core aspect of the game, I generally ignore it.

Breath of the Wild’s expansion packs, for example, gave some more insight to the overall story of the game and a reason to go back and play. Smash Bros. Ultimate is similar with the Fighter’s Pack, although I would have rather the game have all of the fighters in it from the get-go instead of them being dropped one by one for extra money. But, I have a choice to get the Fighter’s Pack or not. If I don’t download the extra characters, the value of the game and the amount of fun I have while playing does not diminish.

When I buy a game, I want the entire game. I don’t want to buy a game that’s 95% done and then later on buy and download the remaining 5%. Hearing the new version of Light of Hope being called “complete” seems to reinforce that mindset. I know developers and publishers don’t have that in mind when they create DLC (at least, I hope not), but sometimes it sounds very similar to the loot box system, where players spend real money for special items that, usually, give them a leg up in the game.

The world of gaming is different nowadays than when I was a kid enjoying the simplicity of Super Mario RPG where if you wanted the best weapons, you had to find and work for them rather than spend another few dollars on DLC or loot boxes. And if you didn’t find the best weapons? That’s okay, you can still beat the game and save the Mushroom Kingdom. It may be a little more challenging, but isn’t the challenge one of the reasons that we play video games?

What do you think of DLC or loot boxes? Do you have a favorite piece of DLC? What do you think of this remake news? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Stardew Valley [Game Review]

Video Games | Stardew Valley | Game Review | Review | Nintendo Switch | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

Title: Stardew Valley
Developer: ConcernedApe
Publisher: Chucklefish, ConcernedApe
Platform: Steam, Mobile, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch
Category: Simulation, Role-playing

Release Date: Originally February 26, 2016

How we got the game: Bought it on Steam and Nintendo Switch

Pssst…. There may be story or gameplay spoilers in this review! You’ve been warned!

krismii
Stardew Valley is the game that I wish the Harvest Moon series was. With the main focus on just building the farm of your dreams and forging relationships with the people in the town, it takes away all of the gimmicks that the more recent Harvest Moon games have become known for. This particular review focuses more on the Nintendo Switch version of the game.

Gameplay | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

Gameplay for Stardew Valley is pretty simple and intuitive. With the main objective being to spruce up your farmland so it, you know, actually grows stuff, you spend your time doing various tasks that will help you better not only your farm but also the community of Pelican Town.

As your character, you clear out your farmland using various tools, such as an axe and pickax to break up lumber and stone. The hoe and watering can come in handy for planting and growing crops, and there are specific tools like the shears and milker if you have any animals on your farm. When not on your farm, you can forage for items around the forest, town, and the mines, which is also a handy place to gather ore, gems, and other material to improve your farm. Fishing is a leisurely activity that can still net you some in-game money as well as some staple cooking ingredients.

Another core mechanic is developing your relationships with the people in Pelican Town. There are plenty of friends to make in town, either by talking to them daily, giving them gifts, and random events. There are even marriage candidates, regardless of gender, that you can woo and, if you’d like, have a child with down the line.

While the game is pretty open-ended, giving the player tons of choice in what they want to do, there is a Community Center. The Community Center stars off rather rundown, but that can be restored by completing tasks called bundles. Completing these bundles will grant you rewards, such as opening up new areas for your character to go or special tools and makers to make life on the farm a little easier. Or you can buy a Joja Membership and get it turned into a warehouse.

A unique aspect of this game is the combat system. It’s simplistic, considering the game is mainly a farming simulator, but when exploring the mines, there are monsters and enemies to vanquish. These monsters drop loot and material, and you can usually find stronger weapons while exploring or buy items from the Adventurer’s Guild.

With the latest updates of the game, you can also farm together with friends in online co-op mode. Build a cottage or three on your farm for your friends to live, and you can all build up the farm together. Your friends can also get married to the local bachelors and bachelorettes… and you, if you want.

Graphics & Music | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

The graphics of this game are well done, going the pixel style route. The characters all look unique, easily distinguishable from each other, and they even have little animations — shocked faces, laughter, eating — that are fun to watch depending on their dialogue.

I absolutely adore the music in this game. Each tune is charming and pixel-perfect, and I find myself streaming the soundtrack on Spotify when not playing the game. The main winter theme is probably my favorite!
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.comTired of the uninspiring city life as an office drone, the main character inherits their grandfather’s old farm in Pelican Town, a small town filled with all sorts of interesting characters just living their lives in the valley. The farm itself is dilapidated at first, but with hard work and perseverance, the main character focuses on restoring it to its former glory while carving out a life for themselves. The story is directed by the player.

While at the start of your third year on the farm, you get evaluated on your accomplishments, there is no true end point to Stardew Valley. Even if, at that time, you do not like your evaluation, you can trigger another evaluation to earn more points at any time with version 1.1 of the game.

Replay Value | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

With five different farm plots to choose from, twelve eligable marriage candidates regardless of your character’s gender, a plethora of items to farm, forage, and ship, and literally any way you wish to grow your farm, you will not be bored with Stardew Valley. Not only is it tons of fun to play on your own, you can also play co-op with up to four people tending to the same farm.

Stardew Valley gets…
5-lives
5 out of 5 lives.

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

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Switch Lite Thoughts

First Thoughts: Nintendo Switch Lite | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming News | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Nintendo announced the Switch Lite a week ago, sending the Internet into a frenzy. Granted, we were sure that a “Switch mini” was going to be announced at some point, so seeing the Lite wasn’t too much of a surprise, despite the sudden drop of the news. Upon first glance, I personally got excited at the idea of the Lite, mainly because I found the colors to pretty and… It’s Nintendo. We always buy Nintendo consoles.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
As always, we’re excited about this new addition in the Nintendo Switch family tree, but we also have a few concerns as well. The colors are pretty (we definitely need to get them all) and the design is great – of course, it’s similar to the Switch, just smaller and the Joy-Con don’t detach. I’m excited we’re getting a new mini version of the Switch for two reasons. 1, I enjoy handhelds more than home consoles and 2, we can finally play games together at the same time. For example, we’ll be able to explore the Galar region at the same time.

krismii
We’ve always considered buying a second Switch — which we would have, if money was no object — so we could play other games together, but at this point, we both have an account on the original Switch and about one hundred games, so we always balked at having to “start over” with a second Switch. It would have been nice to have when the Let’s Go Pokemon duo came out, but we made do with taking turns with the Switch whenever we wanted to play our accounts.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, we’re good sharers (surprisingly). Still, we were planning on saving up and buying a second Switch down the road, but with so many rumors of a “mini” version coming out, we held off. Thankfully, we did. Of course, we’ll probably each get a Switch Lite anyway because… well, why not? They’re pretty and will most likely replace the 3DS/2DS. It actually amazes me at how many people are saying they’re not going to buy the Lite. Because, essentially, it’s the same thing as the Switch and they most likely don’t want to play the same game simultaneously with their sibling.

krismii
Nintendo has stated that support for the 3DS family would not stop, but… I dunno, it certainly seems like the Switch Lite will be the new star of Nintendo’s handheld line. I understand people not wishing to buy the Switch Lite. The original Switch is portable in its own right and, while the Lite boasts a bit more power than the original Switch’s handheld mode, it may not be enough of a difference to warrant people to buy one at $200. It’ll be a good investment for us, even if we just get one because we’ll have more opportunities to play together, even if we need to purchase some games a second time.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I understand that as well. I do think people who say they’re not going to get it, will end up getting it anyway though. I can’t imagine the Switch Lite not doing well. Also, buying games a second time isn’t really a big deal to us… how many copies of Pokemon do we have? We both have some of the same Zelda games and Mario games as well. On the other hand, how are the profiles and accounts going to work? To my understanding, if I have saved gameplay on our Switch, I can transfer the data to the Switch Lite. Then will all my data on the Switch be erased or just copied? I enjoy handhelds more, but what if there’s a day I just want to lounge on the couch with the game on the big screen? Also, there are games that we’ve played together on your account. So, I suppose I need to play for a few minutes on my account, save, and then the data will transfer over and I’ll have the game on my Lite?

krismii
I actually asked those kinds of questions on our Twitter when the Lite was first announced, getting some discussions going regarding them. Jett, actually, did a lot of research for us, haha! If I understand correctly before the Switch Lite existed, you could have the same account on multiple Switch consoles so you can play with your data on either one, but the first Switch would be your “primary” Switch. I’m guessing it will be similar with the Lite. I was concerned about the family online membership we have between our two accounts, but if the accounts can stretch between consoles, then the online membership should go with them. Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America, has said the same regarding the Switch Lite, but no actual details about the transfers.

rachmii
Yes, I remember. But I’m still concerned about it either way. Losing saved game data is no laughing matter. I’m sure they’ll give us more news on that soon enough. I know the handheld will be here in September, but I have a feeling they’ll do a Direct or something in August giving us a tad more info about it. My other concern – well, I guess maybe it’s more of a nit-pick – is the screen. I love handhelds and I adore my DS family plus the Advance SP because they snap shut and I can fit them in my pocket. I’m not going to be able to fit the Switch Lite in my pocket and the screen is going to be out in the open. Of course, the screen on my Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance was the same way, but I feel like they weren’t as fragile back then. Maybe I’m wrong and I just didn’t have the concern back then because 1, I was younger and 2, I didn’t think to have an open or shut handheld was possible. I’m sure there will be plenty of accessories, like a travel case, to go along with the Nintendo Switch Lite (more money, of course), but it’s still something I think about. I don’t want to scratch up my screen or crack it if I drop it.

krismii
Those are completely valid concerns. We’re careful with our hardware anyway, but knowing how sturdy the Switch Lite will be remains to be seen. Remember the issue with the original Switch consoles’ screens getting scratched when they were returned to the dock? Thankfully that hasn’t happened to ours, but I do wonder how scratch-resistant the Switch Lite screens will be. Of course, as you stated, there will most likely be accessories for us to buy, similar to cell phones these days — you need a cover as well as screen protectors for cell phones, no matter how durable the companies may boast them to be.

rachmii
Right, all we can do is wait for more information from Nintendo or just buy it and see for ourselves. Because really, no matter what, we’re going to buy it anyway. It’s Nintendo.

What do you think of the Switch Lite? Interested in getting one? Let us know in the comments below!

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Amazon’s Lord of the Rings MMORPG

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Lord of the Rings is a bit staple in fantasy, with the books inspiring many other media, as well as giving way to a few “rules” that most fantasy creators tend to adhere by. While I’ve yet to finish two out of the three books of the trilogy (don’t judge), I do enjoy most things Tolkien.

Amazon | Lord of the Rings | Video Games | MMORPG | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

One of the games downloaded onto our Steam is The Lord of the Ring Online. I played it once. Got a character set up, did the little opening segment and a couple of the first-level tutorial missions. As far as I remember, it wasn’t too bad, but I do wish I had more time to devote to online games such as those.

With that said, everyone remember that Amazon is doing a Lord of the Rings spin-off series focusing on the Second Age? I still don’t know too much about it, but I’ve heard that Amazon Game Studios will also be partnering with PC gaming company Leyou for is a Lord of the Rings MMORPG. Like the Amazon series, this game will also take place in the Second Age, before the events from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It makes sense — the Second Age has a lot more wiggle room considering it’s not as fleshed out as the events in the books.

Being able to explore Middle Earth as one of Tolkien’s races sounds awesome, though. I’m curious as to what kind of quests and stories will be written for the game, and see how much of an impact one player can make on said stories.

I’m excited to hear more about this free to play MMORPG, and I’m hoping that perhaps it’ll be something that I can get enough time to stick with. I miss the old City of Heroes MMORPG and I would love to find another to spend some time with, perhaps actually get to know more players through the game and everything.

What MMORPGs do you enjoy? Interested in a Lord of the Rings MMORPG? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: 3DS Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

There’s been plenty of buzz about the Switch Lite, and Rachel and I will share more of our thoughts on that later next week. In the meantime, considering the Lite is purely a handheld console, I dove back into my bucket of 3DS games to reminisce on some of my favorites.

Video Games | 3DS Games | 3DS | Gaming | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

Fire Emblem: Awakening

Awakening is one of the games at the top of my favorite “Fire Emblem Games” list. I enjoyed the characters and the more involved role the avatar took in the game. The child unit angle was interesting as well and, in my opinion, done much better than the Fates trio of games did. Ever since I’ve played Sacred Stones, Fire Emblem has been an enjoyable franchise, and Awakening has gotten quite a few play-throughs from me.

Miitopia

Kind of just rediscovered this game, but if you never played it, it’s a great little casual RPG starring your Mii and whatever other Miis you want. It’s a little silly, story-wise, but the creativity, music, and the art style of the backgrounds are brilliant.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice

The Ace Attorney games are all great, but I really enjoyed coming back to the familiar characters when Spirit of Justice came out a few years ago. It gave some satisfying conclusions to some of the characters, despite Rachel and me being worried about it being one of the “final” Ace Attorney games with Phoenix and company. It probably is, if I’m being honest, but I’m hopeful for more.

What are some of your favorite 3DS games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Reunion in Mineral Town

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

If you follow us on Twitter or Tumblr, fairly recently, I made little posts just celebrating my excitement at the fact that there will be remakes of a couple of my favorite games from the Harvest Moon series.

Harvest Moon | Story of Seasons | Video Games | Gaming | Mineral Town | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

I’ve been playing Stardew Valley recently, mostly because it reminds me of the simpler, older Harvest Moon games from when I was younger. While some of the more recent Harvest Moon games aren’t too bad, I do feel that some of them are somewhat gimmicky and have moved away from the charming gameplay that was just, “Build up your farm however you want, make friends, maybe get married and have a kid,” that the original games had.

My first Harvest Moon experience was Friends of Mineral Town for the Gameboy Advance and the idea of designing my own farm and taking care of the ranch animals was addictive and satisfying. I became more hooked on the series when More Friends of Mineral Town became a thing because, hey, I was able to play as a girl. Now, there are reports of a remake of Friends/More Friends of Mineral Town for the Switch coming out later this fall!

Rather, the fall date is for Japan, but it has been confirmed that the game will come out in North America as well. I am very excited and I’m hoping that maybe Rachel would like this one better than Light of Hope.

The only concern I have for it is that I’ve become accustomed to Stardew Valley’s lack of regard for gender when it comes to marriage. I don’t marry in these kind of games often at all, but the freedom is nice. Hopefully this is one of the updated mechanics that I’m sure this remake will have!

Have you played Friends/More Friends of Mineral Town? What do you think of this remake news? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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