Winter iPad Games [Mini Mobile Reviews]

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

I’ve been doing mobile reviews on this blog for about a year now and I decided to do something a little different this month. I went onto the app store on my iPad and looked up winter-themed games. I only picked out four to play this time, but I’m sure I’ll have more posts like this in the future. Here are the mini-reviews of these four games in the order that I played them.

Mobile Game Reviews: Winter Mini Reviews | Mobile Games | iPad Games | Game Reviews | DoublexJump.com

Snowball.io

Unfortunately for me, this was the first game I played and it was the best game out of all the winter games I tried. At least, I had the most fun with this one.

I’m sure you may be familiar with the .io games in which you play online with a bunch of other people competing to come in the first place. This is often having your character become the “biggest” in terms of eating objects on the board or even trapping your opponents. Snowball.io is similar.

You’re in a snowball fight with eight other people on a small map. This map being snow-covered ice in the middle of the ocean that will slowly sink causing the map to grow smaller.

Wait. Did I just stumble on a battle royale mobile game?

Anyway, you glide your finger across the screen to move your character (which is a snowplow-like vehicle) and it’ll automatically make a snowball. The more you move, the bigger the snowball gets. The bigger the snowball… well, bye-bye to your opponents. That is if you can aim.

I wasn’t great at aiming so I tended to get up close and personal with them, bashing my large snowball into them by walking into them. Otherwise, if you want to shoot your snowball from afar, you just need to lift your finger from the screen and your character will let go.

It’s saying a lot that I had the most fun with this game out of all the four I played. This game was extremely easy and got monotonous after a while. The matches never lasted long (most likely because you’re only up against eight other people) and once you were out of the match, you had the opportunity to watch an ad to come back. I didn’t think that was fair. Once you’re out, you’re out. Of course, if you got out a second time, it brought you back to the main menu. So, at least you can’t watch ad after ad to get into first place.

Also, there was no music. No sound effects. Nothing. Silence. I thought the sound on my iPad was broken at first (it is almost 5-years-old, after all) but it turns out there’s just no sound at all to the game. You’re playing a snowball fight in an empty void.

Snowball.io gets a rating of…

Play It | DOWNLOAD IT | Delete It

Clean Road

What am I supposed to say about this one…? Clean Road is a simple game where you glide your finger across the screen to control the plow truck. The road is covered with deep snow and there are cars trapped in their driveway. You need to create a path on the road, making sure you reach every driveway and let them out.

I mean, I don’t know about the rest of you, but whenever a plow drives by my driveway, it piles more snow at the end of it blocking me in. It doesn’t clear it away so I can get out. It just means more shoveling for me. But, I guess it’s a mobile game so I’ll let the physics slide…

Also, why do I need to let these people out of their driveways? If there’s this much snow, they should all stay home and let the plows do their job. Instead, I let them out of their driveways and they immediately follow me to the end of the road (which has no snow on it, by the way. Mother Nature only likes to screw over certain areas).

This game makes no sense.

But whatever. Once you reach the end of the road, the level is over and yay! You get to go onto the next level.

I’d like to say each level gets harder than the previous one. There will be objects in the road you need to avoid and yes, once in a while a giant snowball will come out of nowhere and roll across the street. Giant icicles will also fall from the sky. For the most part, though, it’s too easy making the game pretty boring.

Difficulty aside, this game was weird. Level one – snow. Level two – snow. Level three…

You’re a tractor instead of a snowplow. The road is covered in tall grass, not snow. The driveways are blocked by barrels of hay. Giant carrots fall from the sky. What is this game?!

Level four? Back to snow.

Why? I. Don’t. Understand.

Oh, but in level four we are back to snow, yes, and icicles fall from the sky but so do the giant carrots.

And this, my friends, is when I stopped playing the game. I have no idea if got weirder or not and I’m afraid I shall never know.

Clean Road gets a rating of…

Play It | Download It | DELETE IT

Penguin Isle

This game is cute. I honestly thought I enjoyed this game more than Snowball.io but… I quickly realized there’s nothing to do in Penguin Isle.

You start off on a small iceberg in the middle of the ocean. For the tutorial, you get some things for free to start. However, there’s in-game coins and hearts that you to need to buy everything else. There are different habitats you can get for your small iceberg that will expand the isle. For example, fishermen or gardener or a hot springs. Why these particular things? I don’t know. Anyway, once you get those habitats, they’ll make money.

You can buy penguins as well and they’ll give you hearts depending on how happy they are. Happiness is measured by how many habitats you have and how many other penguins you have. The coins buy more penguins and more habitats while the hearts upgrade habitats.

And… that’s it. Most games like this use real-time, as does Penguin Isle, but the more habitats you build, the more money they earn – which is also true for this game. However, those times increase from one minute to a few hours. Penguin Isle’s habitats increase in time as well. But only by seconds.

The habitats make so much money within ten seconds or so and you can use hearts for their first upgrade so that they collect the money on their own. Which was nice, since I didn’t want to collect money from the habitats every five, seven, or ten seconds.

The habitats earn a lot of money and they’ll earn even more with every upgrade. This makes everything else so expensive so… like most money-making real-time based games, you’re doing a lot of waiting.

However, most games have mini-games or some sort of interaction with the characters. Or you can rearrange your space, add decorations, and more. Penguin Isle doesn’t have any of that.

You’re watching them collect money and hearts on their own and waiting for the cash flow to build up so you can create the next thing. Rinse, repeat.

The penguins were cute, yes, and the music was soothing. After a while, though, it’s not worth your time.

Penguin Isle gets a rating of…

Play It | DOWNLOAD IT | Delete It

Cubes Craft Winter

This is totally not a Minecraft knock-off, okay, guys? Nope. Not at all.

This game does not have blocky areas for you to explore and craft with various blocks that are made out of different materials.

Cubes Craft Winter is completely different because it’s all winter-themed. That’s right. Take that, Minecraft!

…That’s really all I have to say about this game. I played it for all of maybe two minutes before I exited out of it. The controls were horrendous. Want to play a game like this?

Go play Minecraft.

Cubes Craft Winter gets a rating of…

Play It | Download It | DELETE IT

There were a lot of winter-themed games in the app store and yet, it was slim pickings. I chose these four games because the looked the most appealing and… well, they looked good if we’re going to judge a book by its cover. Plus, there were so many Santa Countdown games. That should be its own category.

I’m sure I’ll do mini-reviews again at some point. I may even do winter games again next year. Someone is bound to come up with something brilliant within the next year… right?

Have you played any of these games? Let me know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Floors In Luigi’s Mansion 3

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is officially over a month old and I beat the game a while ago. I thought I’d talk about some of my favorite areas of the game. Be warned, if you have not completed the game this list may contain spoilers for you.

Top Tuesday: Favorite Floors in Luigi's Mansion 3 | Video Games | Nintendo Switch | Nintendo | DoublexJump.com

Hotel Shops

Most hotels – at least the nice ones – have some sort of shopping experience for you. I’ve stayed at hotels with gift shops and it’s usually just one store. There was one hotel I stayed at where they had nothing. It was just a snack bar behind the main desk in the front lobby. In Luigi’s Mansion 3, there’s a floor dedicated to shopping. It looks more like the mall rather than a hotel, but I’ll take it.

The hotel shops were fun because there was a puzzle to solve for each store. While the puzzles were extremely easy, I found it to be a fun addition to the game.

RIP Suites

Aside from the clever naming, I loved the fifth floor of this hotel. The suites are just as it sounds. It’s a regular hotel with rooms lining the hallways. Aside from the beginning of the game, not much happens on this floor. But I enjoyed taking a peek into Mario’s room as well as Peach’s and E. Gadd’s. It showed a little more of their personalities. For example, Peach’s parasol was bent on the ground. I’d like to believe she put up a good fight before she was trapped inside a painting. Meanwhile, Mario’s room was a mess with pizza everywhere.

Paranormal Productions

It’s not often you come across a hotel with a movie set inside. Sure, it’s definitely a bit out of place, but this floor was so unique. The build-up to the boss fight actually had me stumped for a bit and the boss battle was Luigi starring in a movie hosted by the ghost. In fact, it’s actually optional to catch this ghost. I thought I had to and felt bad while doing so. He just wanted to make a movie.

Twisted Suites

This is another floor with rooms on it. For a large hotel, there are a small number of rooms. However, this was another one of my favorites because it’s twisted – just as the name says. The rooms are magician-themed and there’s even a stage on the floor for a magic show. There are three bosses for this floor and they cast tricks and spells on furniture and even on the rooms making the floor a maze. It’s a lot of fun.

The Dance Hall

This is the second to last floor of the mansion. There’s honestly not much to this floor other than the boss. But the ghosts dance and it’s fabulous. I could watch the ghosts dance on a loop listening to the Luigi’s Mansion theme remix on a loop. It’s great and I love it.

What are your favorite floors from Luigi’s Mansion 3? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Pokemon Sword & Shield [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Game Review | Pokemon | DoublexJump.com

Title: Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: GAME FREAK, Inc.
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Role-Playing, Adventure
Release Date: 
November 15, 2019
How we got the game:
We pre-ordered both games

krismii
We were wicked excited for Sword and Shield to finally come out on the Switch! To have another core Pokemon series game, one in a new region, was fantastic. Despite some of the backlash that was seen on the Internet, we always had faith that we would enjoy the games.

rachmii
I was extra excited about this game because there weren’t too many spoilers on what the new Pokemon looked like. I was able to go into this game fresh.

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

krismii
Like most Pokemon core games, Sword and Shield have the typical gameplay formula. As the avatar character, you explore the region while catching and battling with the Pokemon you encounter. The routes and towns are usually diverse with different Pokemon and people for the avatar to interact with, with opponents getting stronger the further in the game you go. Moving is intuitive with the analog stick — and you can make your character spin around and strike a pose! — and speaking with people and most general interactions are simply with the A button.

rachmii
The major point of Pokemon is to explore the world and “catch ‘em all.” Sword and Shield don’t disappoint in that regard. I honestly felt as though the Galar Region is more of an “open-world” in some cases. For example, the Wild Area is a new feature added in this game. The Wild Area stretches for most of the Galar map and it’s where just about every Pokemon imaginable lives. The Wild Area has different areas from snow to desert to grasslands and more. It’s easy to stay there for long periods of time and not progressing with the actual gameplay.

 krismii
The Wild Area is also where it’s easiest to connect with fellow players. While there may be lag depending on the servers and the strength of your Internet, it’s awesome to see so many other trainers zipping about the world. Talking to one another usually nets you free items, mostly for curry in the Pokemon Camp, which we’ll get to in a minute. You can also trade and battle one another, as well as battle with each other in what’s called Max Raid battles against special wild Pokemon.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Pokemon have the ability to Dynamax in Sword and Shield. It’s the new Mega Evolution and Z-Move. Dynamaxing enlarges the Pokemon to about ten-times its size and gives them all-powerful moves depending on what they’ve already learned. However, you can only Dynamax in certain areas – like gym battles and max raids, for example.

krismii
Admittedly, we weren’t sure about this game mechanic when it was first introduced. It sounded a little gimmicky, like the mentioned Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves from the sixth and seventh generations, respectively. Keeping the Dynamax technique to certain areas, though, made it a bit more special and exciting to use, especially in the gym battles. It works out pretty well and even makes you use a bit of strategy in that Pokemon can only Dynamax for three turns in gym battles.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
[]

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

krismii
I really enjoy the graphics on the Switch consoles themselves, and Sword and Shield were no exception. Our avatars actually get expressions this time around, and the animations of the Pokemon and other characters were great. The open world-like Wild Area and several towns of the Galar region were just absolutely beautiful!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I love how our characters actually have expressions. Knowing the sort of graphics that can be on the Nintendo Switch, I feel like Pokemon could improve a bit. However, I love it just the way it is because it’s how Pokemon is. The characters always moved in a certain way that screams “Pokemon”. As for the new Pokemon in this region? I absolutely love all the new designs. I think the Pokemon are really unique and outside the box. (Even though Galarian Meowth and Perrserker look like they belong in Where The Wild Things Are.)

krismii
Anyone who’s played these games and said they did not enjoy the gym battle themes are liars. The battle themes were definitely my favorite tunes, but hearing all the background music as you traveled through the region was also wonderful. They were familiar and new at once, familiar in the sense that you knew the music was from a Pokemon game, but new for the Galar region itself.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Any music from Pokemon – songs, sound effects, Pokemon cries – is fantastic. Sword and Shield were no exception and I agree with Kris. The gym battle themes were the best. Coupled with the cheering crowd in the background, it made it all the better. It really hyped me up.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
The typical storyline of most core Pokemon games is that your avatar journeys throughout their home region on a quest to “catch ‘em all” and “be the very best.” Sword and Shield are similar, in which there is a Gym Challenge for trainers to partake in. With their teams of Pokemon, trainers challenge all eight gyms in an attempt to participate in the Pokemon League or, in this duo of games, the Champion’s Cup.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
On the flip side, while you journey around the world, you typically have to stop an evil group of Pokemon trainers with a fancy (or not-so-fancy) name who wants to dominate the world or steal Pokemon or what have you. Surprisingly enough, this isn’t the case in Sword and Shield. There is a bad guy team called Team Yell, yes, but they’re not bad in the way you’d assume them to be.

krismii
Sword and Shield do have a bit of lore behind them, with part of the story involving the region’s professor’s assistant (well, granddaughter) looking into the history of the Galar region itself. Involving two ancient heroes, one with a sword and one with a shield, and what was called the Darkest Day, you try to help unravel the mystery of why the lives of the heroes are not known more.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The story of the game doesn’t come together full-force until the very end of the main gameplay. The game itself is quick because of this and then it all comes together at the end. To avoid spoilers, I won’t say too much else other than I enjoyed how they did it this time around.

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

krismii
While Sword and Shield have a fairly linear plot to follow, the replayability value lies in all the Pokemon you can tame and battle with. Considering there’s hundreds of Pokemon to find in the game, and a huge community to trade with, replaying the game with a new team every time helps to keep the plot fresh.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is certainly a game I’ll go back to quite often, like all the other Pokemon games. I will be sure to reach level 100 with my Pokemon, catch them all, and hunt for shinies. I’m in this for the long haul.

Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield 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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Happy Thanksgiving! Love, Double Jump

Happy Thanksgiving | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

rachmii
It’s Thanksgiving day in our neck of the woods and we’ve certainly got a lot to be thankful for this year. 2019 was an odd year, to say the least, but the gaming community has been kind to us. As always, we continue to meet some wonderful gamers and get the opportunity to work with them as well.

krismii
We’ve done a couple of collaborations this year with some awesome people, and we have more planned for the future. We’re thankful to be able to work with all of you, including Jett from InThirdPerson, Justin from TWOTALL4UFOOL, and a giant collaboration in the works over at Normal Happenings for next year.

rachmii
We’ve met a lot of wonderful people since beginning this blog, but 2019 was a fun year in particular through the blog as well as live streaming on Twitch. Even though we’re not exactly the best at keeping a consistent streaming schedule, it’s always great to see a few “regulars” pop up into the chat.

krismii
Absolutely. Like Jett and Ian from AdventureRules, and our little chat is continuously growing. It really makes me thankful to see familiar names and people eager to talk about video games and life with us!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Exactly! Double Jump has grown a lot this year, despite the rocky summer. We’re thankful to each and every one of you who stuck around and reached out throughout all of 2019.

krismii
We’re very thankful to be able to do what we’re doing in terms of the blog, Twitch, and our social media. Aside from the amazing people we’re friends with, we’re also thankful for the opportunity to flex our creative muscles while celebrating our gaming hobby. Having this outlet and community has been wonderful.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We’ve reflected back on 2019 and have thought ahead to 2020. We’re eager to try new things with Double Jump and give back to the gaming community.

krismii
So, a big thank you to everyone here and in our other communities — Twitch, Twitter, Tumblr — that helped make 2019 a great year for us!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Thanks for a great 2019!

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Luigi’s Mansion 3 [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Luigi's Mansion 3 | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

Title: Luigi’s Mansion 3
Developer: Next Level Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Action, Adventure
Release Date:
October 31, 2019
How we got the game: 
I received a physical copy for my birthday

 

 

 

It’s finally here! Luigi’s Mansion 3 finally exists! And boy, oh boy, it didn’t disappoint!

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

Luigi’s Mansion 3 begins with Toad driving a bus. Why they chose Toad to drive is beyond me. However, Red Toad is driving while Blue Toad, Yellow Toad, Princess Peach, Mario, and Luigi d their own things in the back. The opening cutscene with them on their way to some sort of destination with their suitcases packed is hardcore adorable and stepped up ten notches from any other game.

Luigi is sound asleep in the back next to his single suitcase when Polterpup wakes him up reminding him (or giving us, the player, information about what’s going on) of an invitation he received. Luigi and friends have been invited to a fabulous stay at the Last Resort Hotel. None of them find this odd. However, it’s a good thing for us otherwise there would be no game.

When they arrive at the hotel they seem to be the only guests there. Helen Gravelly, the owner, gives them a warm welcome and shows them to their room. The hotel itself and the rooms are huge and looks as though it’s all too good to be true. The gang says goodnight, heads to their own rooms, and Luigi falls straight to sleep.

He awakes in the middle of the night to screaming. He investigates to find the entire hotel has changed. It’s no longer gold and sparkly, but dark and dusty instead. The Toads, Mario, and Peach have all disappeared.

Luigi runs into Helen Gravelly, revealing her master plan to please the one and only King Boo, who she had saved from E. Gadd’s gallery. Luigi escapes a fate of being stuck in a portrait and thus the game begins.

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

The opening sequence took me about 15 minutes to get through. It’s a mixture of cutscenes and a tad bit of exploration, which I did a fair amount. There’s a lot to explore in this game and when you get the Poltergust G-00, the exploration gets so much better.

You, of course, play as Luigi as you explore through the entire hotel in an attempt to find all the portraits of your friends and save them. There are 15 floors to the Last Resort, which I thought was fabulous. Luigi’s Mansion for the Gamecube was a fabulous game, but it was short and sweet. Dark Moon had a larger mansion, but it was still on the quick side. Luigi’s Mansion 3 has so much content in and out of the main story. The main story, however, will keep you busy long enough though. And yet, I still wish there were more.

But I’m getting off-topic. There are 15 floors and there seems to be only one elevator in the entire hotel and no stairs. So, when the ghosts steal all the elevator buttons, Luigi needs to go on the hunt for the buttons so he can explore different floors of the hotel in hopes to find his family. These buttons, of course, are held by boss ghosts.

Each floor contains a boss ghost holding onto a button. Most of these bosses are sort of like mini-bosses and some floors are fairly quick and easy because they’re a big boss. Meaning, they not only have an elevator button but they’re also guarding a portrait as well. The boss ghosts were all fun, each one harder than the previous boss. Most bosses had a puzzle to them in figuring out their attack style and also how to stun them long enough for you to suck them with the Poltergust G-00. The mini-bosses were easier, but there was always a puzzle of some sort that needed to be figured out so you could make it to the boss.

The floors all have different themes to them as well, which was pretty cool. Floor five was the room suites, for example. However, there was a fitness floor, a shopping floor, a pirate-theme floor, and so many other cool ones. My favorite? The dance floor. (I won’t say why due to spoilers, but if you play the game, I’m sure you’ll easily guess why that floor in my favorite.) Ghosts hide throughout all the areas in hallways and the rooms. However, they were few and far between.

In the first two Luigi’s Mansion games, you’d enter a room and be bombarded with ghosts. You’d have to catch them all to clear the room before being able to explore the room. In Luigi’s Mansion 3, it’s sort of the opposite. There are some rooms where there are ghosts right off the bat, but for the most part, you got to explore the room, did what you needed to, and then ghosts would appear after you did a certain something or tried to leave the room. Sometimes, no ghosts would appear at all until you went back to that room later. But here’s the thing – there’s never any real reason for you to go back to those rooms again later.

Especially at the beginning of the game, it seemed as though there were little to no ghosts in the hotel at all. This made the game a little too easy at first. Polterpup (and even E. Gadd) are there hand-holding once in a while as well. Even as the game picked up in difficulty, I missed walking into a room and being pestered by ghosts.

The Poltergust G-00 can do a lot. There is money all over the hotel and you can suck up anything. By anything, I mean couch cushions, plants, anything, and everything. I believed I vacuumed more of what I “shouldn’t” rather than ghosts.

In terms of what the Poltergust G-00 can do… well, it’s powerful. It can suck up things and it can also blow air out. Your flashlight is attached and you get the Strobulb, which was a mechanic introduced in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon. In fact, that’s the tool you use to save your friends from their framed fates.

It can do way more as well. E. Gadd added a Suction Shot where a plunger shoots out of the vacuum with a rope at the end. Luigi can suck up the rope and slam whatever object it’s stuck to. This helps him open certain things as well as move stuff that’s blocking his way. The Poltergust G-00 also has a Burst in which the vacuum shoots out a blast of air from the bottom almost like a rocket. It can blast enemies away from him and act as a jump mechanic for Luigi since he can’t jump otherwise in the Luigi’s Mansion series. In addition to all that, sucking up ghosts is easier as well.

In the previous games, you’d stun the ghosts and vacuum them by tilting the analog stick in the opposite direction the ghost was trying to pull away from. It works the same in Luigi’s Mansion 3 except a meter will appear above Luigi. If he holds on long enough, you’ll have the chance to hit the A-button. Keep doing so and Luigi will slam the ghost repeatedly into the ground knocking some of their health away each time. Plus, you can slam them into other ghosts that happen to get too close. They’ll flatten on the ground and also lose a bit of health and will automatically be stunned until they’re able to pick themselves back up.

There are two more mechanics the Poltergust G-00 can do. One was the Super Suction (I honestly can’t remember the name of it). It was only used twice in the entire game. You didn’t even get the mechanic until about halfway through. You got it, used it once. Then use it one more time at the end of the game – and no, not even for the final boss battle. It was a cool mechanic. The suction was powerful to the point that Luigi needed the vacuum to be plugged in order to do it and it ripped the walls right off. I didn’t see too much of a point to it. I would have rathered found a key for the door like the other floors instead of ripping the door, frame, and wall down to get where I needed to go. Especially since the mechanic was barely used at all.

The final mechanic was, of course, Gooigi. Gooigi can do a lot of things. He can do anything Luigi can (using the vacuum as normal) and can squeeze through grates, fences, and the like. However, he’s weak to water. That’s his only downfall. You can switch between Gooigi and Luigi. In fact, this gameplay is crucial in at least two boss battles. If you want to get to a certain place to get one of the collectible gems, for example (there are six gems on every floor to be collected), Gooigi will most likely be able to get to it. There are also some puzzles that require Luigi to be in two places at once.

This is also meant to be a co-op game where player two is Gooigi. You’re supposed to communicate and work together. I’m glad the game is playable with Gooigi by yourself though. It actually made certain parts of the game more challenging when I had to keep track of both of them.

I never got the chance to test out the co-op side of the game. I never even tried out the other two modes of the game – ScareScraper and Scream Park. Though I’ve seen others do it and they look like great modes.

Honestly, I can talk about this game for the next week. I have so much to say about it, I loved it that much. The ghosts and puzzles were just challenging enough. The dialogue, voice acting, and cutscenes were perfect. The final boss was awesome. The Boo hunting was back and it was much better than the first game, though there weren’t many – there was just one Boo per floor. There was so much money to find and gems to collect. I explored (and vacuumed) every nook and cranny of that hotel.

My only complaint? Once you beat the game, you go back to your last save point. There’s an ending sequence, but your file is still there and it doesn’t show as though you’ve beaten the game. It shows your final save point, which is right before the final boss battle. You can’t even go backward at that point either so you’re kind of stuck in this limbo. In other words, there’s nothing when you beat this game. In the original Luigi’s Mansion, your file was wiped and you restarted the game in Hard Mode. I so wish Luigi’s Mansion 3 did that. I would have loved to play a hard mode version of this game.

Overall, Luigi’s Mansion 3 didn’t disappoint. I still wish there were more ghosts to be caught initially rather than going back to look for them later, but it was fun and challenging nonetheless. The new mechanics fit well and it didn’t seem like a lot of extra “stuff” that needed to be learned. It meshed together well. I already want more and can’t wait for Luigi’s Mansion 4. (It better happen!) And yet, I’m not sure how Nintendo can top Luigi’s Mansion 3.

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

What can I say about the graphics? You can see the stitching on Luigi’s hat. These graphics are top-notch. The colors were crisp and bright, despite the dark setting. The ghosts were clear and had a nice aura around them. The backgrounds, individual rooms, and floors were unique and fun. Even the various boss ghosts had awesome designs. Again, everything about this game as a whole is fabulous.

The music is something else you can’t go wrong with. I’ve always loved E. Gadd’s theme from his laboratory in the original Luigi’s Mansion. I hum it to myself quite often on a regular basis (just ask Kris). This game so many different variants of that song, it was glorious (another reason the dance floor is my favorite). The sound effects were satisfying – sucking up ghosts, money, collecting gems, Luigi walking on carpet versus tiles – all of it was great.

The voice acting? I can’t get enough of it. Luigi speaks. Mario speaks. Peach and the Toads speak. They have conversations with one another. It was all great. (E. Gadd still talks like a Sim, but that’s charming in its own right.)

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

I will most definitely play this game again. I need to go back and collect all the gems and all the Boos. This game is too much fun to play only once. While it was pretty easy in the beginning and there weren’t as many ghosts as I would have liked, this game is too good. It’s charming and it’s a must-play for all – especially if you adore the Luigi’s Manion series. You won’t be disappointed.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Skyward Sword | The Legend of Zelda | Zelda Month | Review | Nintendo | DoublexJump.com

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo
Category: 
Action, Adventure
Release Date: 
November 18, 2011
How we got the game:
 We bought it

krismii
Skyward Sword was always one of our favorite Legend of Zelda games in terms of graphics, music, and story. We’ve only played through it once before, so we were interested in seeing how it held up this past couple of years when we dived into it again.

rachmii
This is one of my favorite Zelda games for various reasons. I was eager to get to play it again after all these years.

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

krismii
Those who are familiar with the Legend of Zelda franchise would find most of Skyward Sword’s mechanics intuitive. As the protagonist Link, you maneuver through the world and its linear story using the analog stick on the Wii’s Wiimote and Nunchuk combo for controls. Special items are assigned one at a time to the B button while gear like shields and potions can be brought out with the 1 button on the Wiimote. Skyward Sword did utilize the Wii’s motion controls for Link’s swordplay.

rachmii
The motion controls were unique and fun to use at the time the game released. After all this time, the controls hold up fairly well. Would we rather the Switch or no motion controls at all? Yeah, probably. Still, it’s fun to play it the “old-school” way.

 krismii
Well, it’s mostly fun. I, for one, do find it a bit outdated in today’s age to use the Wiimote and sensor bar, especially for Link’s swordplay. It’s not as responsive as it used to be, but it’s definitely still playable. With that said, the controls still do well enough to enjoy the game, and it’s been interesting using the Wiimote and Nunchuk together.

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It’s a fun throwback to say the least. Either way, the game itself is great. Link lives in the sky on Skyloft, a floating island. There is, beyond their knowledge, a world below them and that’s where Link ventures off to in search of Zelda. There are three major areas he travels to, going through various dungeons, collecting items, and battling bosses.

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While Skyloft, and the surrounding floating islands and the sky around it, are explored by giant birds called Loftwings, the Surface areas are explored by foot. Side quests for citizens, both on Skyloft and on the Surface, are unlocked throughout the game, with some even being required to continue. Link also has a stamina gauge for more strenuous activities, like sprinting and carrying heavier objects, that will leave him temporarily vulnerable if it is depleted. It does take a bit of strategy to be sure Link does not run out of stamina during battles or puzzles.

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Each dungeon Link comes across on the Surface has its own theme to it, which unravels more and more of the mystery behind the game as he gets closer to where Zelda is. The first dungeon, for example, has Ghirahim as a boss which is the main villain’s minion, if you will. I personally love this character.

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

krismii
I remember marveling at the graphics and art style of this game when we turned it on for the first time. The bright colors and vivid imagery of Skyloft and the sections of the Surface were stunning. Booting up the game now, the graphics aren’t quite as sharp as I remember, but I’m still enjoying the art style just the same.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Honestly, I still love these graphics. They’ve held up well even if you can clearly tell this is an older game. The designs overall – the characters, backgrounds, dungeons, etc. – are awesome.

krismii
You can never go wrong with the music in Legend of Zelda games. Skyward Sword has some of the best tunes, in my opinion, in the franchise. The Ballad of the Goddess is definitely one of my favorites. Considering this is a game where we have cried at certain scenes, the music is fantastic at helping to create emotional moments.

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The Ballad of the Goddess is one of the best Zelda songs, hands-down. I loved the theme song to this game as well that played along with the opening sequence for the main menu. I listen to these songs on a loop in my car sometimes.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Skyward Sword is credited as the “origin” story of the Legend of Zelda franchise. In many timelines for the games, it is chronologically the first game in the series, and Skyward Sword’s story depicts Link and Zelda going on journeys to discover their destinies.

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Obviously, we’re playing as Link. He doesn’t seem to know too much of what’s going. He knows he has a destiny to fulfill. However, all he seems to care about is that his friend Zelda fell from the sky and he wants to find and save her. Of course, he goes through some… stuff.

krismii
Link’s journey, at first, is in pursuant of Zelda, who has come to terms that she isn’t just a normal Skyloftian (yes, that is now a word). In fact, she is the reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia, just as Link will eventually come to terms that he is the reincarnation of the original Hero. While Zelda is preparing to become who she really is, Link must also do the same with the help of Fi, the spirit in his sword.

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And so Link presses on and does what he needs to or what he’s supposed to do. Throughout it all, he just seems done with life, though. It’s kind of great.

krismii
It kind of is, yes. Link’s personality shines in this game! His determination to rescue Zelda and then protect the world when it becomes apparent that Zelda and he are trying to finish what Hylia started many years ago is perfect, even if he’d rather be napping. Even Groose, Link’s initial rival, plays a part in the story, helping Link when the main threat in the form of Demise appears to try to destroy the known world.

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All of the characters, actually, sort of band together in their own way to help Link and Zelda at one point or another. The story as a whole is pretty wholesome as the beginning of something. It felt brand new even though the series itself has been well-established long before this game.

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

krismii
This game is probably one of the most linear Legend of Zelda games out there. Nevertheless, it does have a decent amount of secrets and a harder Hero Mode after the first finished playthrough as well as charming characters that will make you want to pick up the game again at a later date.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Even though this is the second time we’ve played it since it originally released in 2011, I know I’ll play this game again at some point. It’s too good.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 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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Character Spotlight: Medli

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

We’re nearing the end of Zelda Month for another year and I just had to talk about one of my favorite sidekicks from the series… Medli from Wind Waker.

Character Spotlight: Medli | The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker | Legend of Zelda | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Medli is a young Rito who makes her first appearance in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. This is the only main Zelda title she appears in though she pops up in other side games such as a few Super Smash Brothers titles, Animal Crossing New Leaf, and Hyrule Warriors.

Medli is a sweet character and she does much more than any other side character does in the Legend of Zelda games. Medli is a sage and she helps Links along the way in two different dungeons throughout the game.

There are a lot of reasons to love Medli but most of all, I love her design. She has a great personality as well, don’t get me wrong. And I already mentioned how helpful she is to Link and what an asset she in throughout the game. However, she’s adorable and one of the best looking characters from the Zelda series, in my opinion.

She’s a Rito, so she’s obviously going to have the features of one. The beak is a prime example and she has wings. However, unlike the Rito where their arms and wings go hand and hand, Medli has actual arms and you only see her wings when she’s flying, which is an interesting touch. I also love her hair and the fact that it’s longer than she is.

I wish Medli made more of an appearance in other Zelda games. Of course, with the timeline and various reincarnations, I understand why she isn’t. It’d be cool to see her in a new light though.

Do you like Medli? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Dragonvale [Mobile Game Review]

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

A game that has always been near and dear to my heart has been Dragonvale. It was the first mobile game I played when I first got an iPod way back in the day.

Mobile Game Review: Dragonvale | Video Games | Dragons | DoublexJump.com

Dragonvale is a mobile game from Backflip Studios. It’s the mobile game I played for years before stopping. I’ve gone back to it quite a few times throughout the years just to see what’s new and it always sucks me back in – though not for very long.

The main point of Dragonvale is to raise dragons. There are hundreds of different kinds of dragons for you to breed, hatch, and raise by giving treats that you grow on your farm. You need to buy special habitats for your dragons depending on what kind they are and also organize them in a way that’s neat. Well, I guess you can throw their habitats around however you want. However, Dragonvale is actually a park. There are visitors who will come and little people will be wandering around to look at your dragons.

You start off with one island. The game, as a tutorial, gives you the Plant dragon as well as the Plant habitat. It shows you how to breed and wait in real-time for the eggs to hatch. Once they do, you plop them in their own habitat and wait for them to make money. Each dragon earns a certain amount of coins per minute so after a few hours, you can collect more money thus building more habitats so you can have room to breed more dragons. Eventually, you can buy more islands so you can fit more habitats and slowly grow your Dragonvale.

Like most games where you have to collect in-game money and wait in real-time, the beginning of the game is awfully slow. You can’t afford anything so it’s a huge waiting game. Once you finally get enough and get the ball rolling though, you can really rake in the cash and grow your Dragonvale fast.

At the time of writing this article, there are about 557 dragons in the game. There are elemental dragons such as air, cold, dark, earth, fire, light, lightning, metal, plant, and water. There are also special dragons such as ghost dragons and seasonal dragons for summer, winter, etc. Epic dragons are the rarer ones such as dream, legendary, sun and moon, and more. There are also gemstone dragons (which are considered epic dragons) and those dragons give you gems instead of coins. However, instead of earning a certain amount of gems per minute like the coins do, the gems are earned each week.

This is because gems are sort of like the “micro-transactions” of the game. You can pay for a lot in the game with coins – islands, habitats, dragon eggs, decorations, buildings (such as your farm), and more. However, the more you buy, the higher the level the next one will be. Eventually, it’ll cost gems.

When I first started playing this game, gemstone dragons didn’t exist. The only way to get gems was to have Facebook friends and gift a single gem to one another or you could pay real money.

You can pay real money for gems or coins, but I have never spent a single penny on this game. Before gemstone dragons existed, I waited for my gems to slowly build. (Your dragons can also participate in races as well and sometimes gems are a reward for winning.) Now that gemstone dragons do exist, I still wait for it to slowly build but it’s at least a little faster and easier. (Especially since no one I know plays the game anymore.)

Your dragons don’t do too much other than look pretty in their habitats and make money. They will grow and level up if you feed them food that you grow from your farm. As they level up, they’ll earn more coins per minute. Of course, each time they level up you have to feed them slightly more food for the next level. Food, especially when first starting the game, is something else that depletes quickly.

The game has a lot of special events as well. During holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, you’ll get to earn tokens such as candy corn or rose petals that can be used to trade for different rewards. These rewards are usually decorations pertaining to the holidays or dragons that pertain to the holiday – some of these dragons only appear as rewards for these events.

However, you can breed every type of dragon. It’s trial and error though. There are so many different element combinations and the rarer dragons have a lower percentage of actually being bred.

Backflip Studios has added a lot to Dragonvale over the years. There are now Rift Dragons which is sort of in a different dimension? I don’t fully understand how the rift area or the dragons work so I won’t get into it. I kind of ignore the area because I don’t know what to do with them.

I would love to get back into the game again. It has a lot of fond memories of myself and friends playing it. Plus, I’ve made it so far. (I’m level 72 or something like that.) However, with the various special events (every time I log on there’s something extra going on) and the constantly new dragons and updates, it’s become almost overwhelming. I understand having plenty of content but once you get so far into the game you have a lot and more keeps adding on. Plus, the screen looks a bit cluttered because of all the things you can do.

It’s also super slow to load now. I’m not sure if that’s because of the game or because my iPad is 4.5-years-old.

Dragonvale gets a rating of…

PLAY IT | Download It | Delete It

Overall, Dragonvale is a fun, mindless game. The cash flow is satisfying when you build up your islands enough and the various types of dragons are creative. This one of those games where you won’t play forever, but it’s fun for a little while.

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

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Link’s Awakening [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Link's Awakening | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | The Legend Of Zelda | DoublexJump.com

Title: Link’s Awakening
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Action, Adventure
Release Date: 
September 20, 2019
How we got the game:
We preordered the game from Amazon

krismii
My first time playing Link’s Awakening was ages ago on my Gameboy Color. I didn’t get very far at all, perhaps only to the second dungeon. To see it remastered for the Nintendo Switch was exciting, and I was looking forward to giving the game a real try.

rachmii
I’ve never played this game. So, I was excited and it was interesting at the same time.

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

krismii
The gameplay is fairly straightforward for Link’s Awakening. As Link, you explore the land by moving with the analog stick, the 3D plane allowing you to move in diagonals and circles as opposed to the horizontal and vertical linear paths of the original version. Your sword and shield, when you retrieve them, are each given a Joy-Con button, while other items can be assigned by X and Y by the player.

rachmii
Link waddles around the world and it’s just so cute! As he waddles around though, he needs to get into these specific dungeons so that he can collect instruments. The dungeons are hidden around the map and you usually have to solve someone else’s problem or a puzzle of some sort to get into the dungeons themselves.

 krismii
The dungeons have their own themes, generally centered around the area they are located in, a key item, or a certain type of boss. Each of the dungeons’ rooms has a purpose, whether it’s to defeat all enemies or solve a puzzle in order to progress towards the boss room and, beyond that, the room that holds the instrument.  It’s actually a fairly typical Legend of Zelda game, while notably being one of the few that does not have Zelda in it.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I honestly didn’t realize the game didn’t have Zelda in it at first. Somehow, that went over my head. As Kris said, the gameplay is typical of your average Legend of Zelda game. You explore the world, enter dungeons, and once you get through those dungeons and collect all you need, you get to fight the big boss. There are items you collect along the way, of course, to aid you on your quest such as bombs and, of course, the master sword.

krismii
This remake of Link’s Awakening also has a special mode with Dampe the grave keeper. Throughout your journey, you can collect chambers that can be used to create your own dungeons. It seems to be a watered-down version of Super Mario Maker but with Legend of Zelda dungeons.

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It’s not as exciting as it sounds. You need to find pieces of the dungeons from the game throughout the world and then you can rearrange them to make your own dungeon. It’s not too bad though I would love to see a Zelda Maker at some point.

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

krismii
This game has been rightly praised for its graphics. They’re adorable! The land and character models all resemble clay-like dolls, and the cartoony style works. While I’m not sure if I would enjoy a longer Legend of Zelda game in this art style, I can fully appreciate it for Link’s Awakening.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The graphics are colorful and cute, I agree. I enjoy watching Link wander around also see the Goombas and Piranha Plants as well.

krismii
You can never go wrong with the music from a Legend of Zelda game, particularly one that revolves around finding instruments. The music is charming, with the tempo just right in every area.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
My favorite song? Whenever Marin sings. Her voice is charming and it fits her character so well. All the music is great. I wouldn’t expect any less from a Zelda game though.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
The story of Link’s Awakening begins with Link miraculously surviving a lightning bolt while out at sea. He washes ashore Koholint Island, where a young woman named Marin finds him and helps heal him until he wakes up. Link is told that he cannot leave the island until the island’s guardian the Wind Fish awakens, so Link sets off on a quest to obtain all of the instruments in order to wake the Wind Fish.

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Link, along the way, meets some pretty interesting characters. Some that will help him and some that will hinder his quest. However, he has the one goal in mind – to get off the island. Why? Where was he headed before? Who knows.

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

krismii
Link’s Awakening is fairly linear and one of the shorter Legend of Zelda games. With that said, this game packs so much charm in it that I’d be surprised if it’s not a game that one picks up again for nostalgia purposes.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is definitely something I’d play again if I ever got the itch. It’s a gem and I’m glad Nintendo remade it giving it time in the spotlight once again.

Link’s Awakening gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Dungeons In Skyward Sword

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

Since it’s Zelda Month, I thought I’d talk a little bit about some of the games. Majora’s Mask is one I have never played personally, I’ve just been other people play the game. With that said, there are some masks that I love because of what they can do but also because of their design as well.

Top Tuesday: Favorite Dungeons in Skyward Sword | Legend of Zelda | Zelda Month | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Skyview Temple

The Skyview Temple is the first dungeon of the game and it’s one of my top favorites. I don’t know what it is about this particular dungeon, but I’ve had a soft spot for it. Maybe it’s because it’s the first for the game or maybe it’s because the first in general for Link and the series as a whole – if we’re looking at the timeline.

Skyview Temple is simple and it has a pretty design. Plus, Ghirahim is the boss, which is great.

Earth Temple

I had to pick this one as a favorite. It’s fire. You can’t go wrong with fire. Anything that has to do with fire is my favorite. Enough said.

Sandship

This particular temple always stood out to me. New mechanics were introduced for this one where Link has to take a time thing back and forth to places and go back in time in order to figure out the puzzles of the dungeon and get himself through it. The atmosphere of the desert and pirate ship are ironic which makes it that much cooler. The Sandship as a whole is a great idea and it’s fun.

What are your favorite dungeons from Skyward Sword? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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