Octopath Traveler [First Impressions]

Playing Octopath Traveler | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo Switch | DoublexJump.com

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Octopath Traveler is a game that we’ve all been waiting for a long time. Nintendo even gave us two demos for the game – the first we’ve played, the second we did not. Still, after the first demo and seeing various trailers, we were eager to get this game.

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It’s been a long while since we’ve sat down and played a good, long game with a heavy emphasis on the story. Octopath Traveler seemed to be just what the doctor ordered, and with Square Enix at the reins, we had a good feeling that Octopath would be worth the time and money.

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While we knew you got to pick a character to start, I thought we’d have to play the game 8 times to get the full story effect for all the characters. However, that’s not the case. As long as you have the character you’ve chosen in your party at all times, you can go through all 8 stories at once as you pick up each of the other characters on your journey, which is fantastic. We’re currently going through chapter 1 for all 8 characters.

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We’ve been having a great time going through each character’s story and learning about their background, but I’ve honestly been most impressed so far by the music and the sound effects. Even back when the first demo came out, the music was one of our favorite things about it. Not only is the soundtrack beautiful, but the little details for the sound effects had us gushing. We chose Therion the thief to start and there’s a point where you explore a manor. His footsteps click on the marble floor but hush as he travels over rugs, and his voice echoed when speaking in a grand room, as voices tend to do in fancy manor rooms. Those little details were amazing to us.

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To go along with the music and sound effects, the voice actors are on point. Listening to the quick cut scenes where the characters speak for themselves is always engaging to listen to. They all have distinct voices that seem to fit their personality perfectly. The voices vary in tones and emotion depending on what’s going on. You can tell the voice actors put their full effort into it.

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The game play and the characters’ stories (the ones we’ve started so far, anyway) are great as well, but it’s the game’s music and sound effects, along with the art style, that has fully captured our attention and helps to keep us excited to turn on the game again. As we go further along into the game, we’re sure the stories will keep us enraptured as well, but for the beginning, the music, acting, and art style are doing their jobs phenomenally.

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I’m eager to learn more about all their stories. I’m excited to play a lengthy game with an engaging story again. It’s been a while.

What do you think of Octopath Traveler? Which character did you choose to begin with? Let us know in the comments below!

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Sims 4 Seasons Expansion Review

Double Jump Kris MiiHello, everyone!

The Sims franchise is a favorite of mine ever since a coworker back from college let me borrow her collection of Sims 2 expansion packs. Sims 2 turned into Sims 3, which I still have installed, before Sims 4 came around. Sims 4 is how I find myself wasting and enjoying time nowadays, especially with the newest expansion pack, Seasons.

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The Sims 4 Seasons expansion pack came out a couple of weeks ago on June 22. Being a Sims expansion pack, I bought it for myself just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo, a monthly writing challenge, and I’ve been playing it as a reward for whenever I reach my word count goal for the day.

The Pets expansion packs always tend to be my favorites, because who doesn’t love virtual dogs and cats? Aside from that, though, Seasons is right up there as it gives so much more variety to the world that you’re playing in. The temperature changes, holidays, the new clothes and accessories for the sims, Seasons was always a coveted expansion pack for the Sims.

The Sims 4 Seasons comes with all of those. The temperature changes bring about new deaths and interactions for the sims, depending on how hot or cold the weather is. A thermostat is a new item for homes and businesses, allowing sims to make the temperature inside the house comfortable… supposedly. I still had my sims automatically dress up in their outdoor winter gear around the house in the colder weather despite the thermostat being set to warm (not to mention a fireplace or two in the house).

Holidays were interesting, especially since you can create your own. A calendar button is included in the interface, allowing the player to see the coming seasons and holidays in the next couple of weeks. Each holiday has “traditions” that you can assign it, actions that your sims can take in order to really celebrate the holiday. For example, Lovefest is the Valentine’s Day equivalent, and traditions can include gifting flowers to someone or going on a date, while Harvestfest’s main tradition is eating a Grand Meal. A sim’s personality traits also effect how they feel about the individual traditions. A romantic sim loves the idea of going on a date during Lovefest, while a loner sim ignores the same tradition. It’s pretty interesting to play around with, creating your own holidays as well as being able to plan events like birthday parties in advance.

The biggest addition to Sims 4 Seasons is the Gardening career. The gardening skill got an overhaul, making plants seasonal, while also adding the Flower Arrangement skill. With the Gardening career, you can either become a botanist or florist. Botanist focuses more on research and the gardening skill, while florist utilizes the flower arrangement skill as well. Gardening is the type of career that allows you to work from home if you wish like the careers from City Living, or you can create your own retail store for your floral arrangements if you have Get to Work.

One of the disappointing aspects of the expansion pack, in my opinion, is that there was no beach world or beach area to allow the sims to swim in the ocean or just hang out, really. Imagine being able to have a 4th of July-based holiday on the beach or just a beach party to go with Seasons. In Sims 3, with its open world, being able to swim in the ocean was a major development, and I feel that Sims 4 is missing out on this.

Still, there are plenty of extra activities, such as rollerskating, ice skating, beekeeping, having snowball and water balloon fights, along with the new holidays and Gardening career to keep you entertained should you choose to purchase the expansion pack. If you’re a big fan of the Sims and have the cash to spare, Seasons is a pretty good expansion to add to your game.

Do you play the Sims 4? Have you gotten the Seasons expansion pack? What do you think of it?

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Pokemon 2018 Video Game Press Conference

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A few days ago, Nintendo released a press conference dedicated to future Pokemon games. Rachel and I were definitely impressed with the news we heard! They dropped news about four new Pokemon games, with plenty of info to whet our appetites. The first game they detailed was Pokemon Quest, which is a free-to-start game on the Nintendo Switch that was available the same day as the conference. We picked it up to give it a look-see and found it to be pretty cute!

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I was interested in Pokemon Quest the moment I saw the graphics. I know they’re “Cell Pokemon” but they look like Minecraft blocks and it pleases me so much. They’re all so adorable. We started playing the game the other day and we weren’t disappointed. Its laid-back gameplay and adorable artwork made the game a lot of fun.

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The next two games were Let’s Go! Pikachu and Let’s Go! Eevee, throwbacks to the Kanto region and original Yellow version of the games from twenty years ago. I can’t tell you how absolutely amazed I am at the progress of the graphics! Pokemon Yellow was my first Pokemon game and to see Kanto on the Nintendo Switch, picking out and recognizing areas that I’ve known since they were just little itty-bitty pixels, is nostalgia heaven.

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I first started my Pokemon journey in the Johto region since I was pretty young when the Kanto region came out. However, I have played the Kanto games as I got older and seeing it updated, bright, and on the big screen is going to be a treat. I absolutely can’t wait for November! Let’s Go! Pikachu and Let’s Go! Eevee are connected to Pokemon Go. We didn’t get into Pokemon Go that much so I’m glad it’s not required to use for the games. I’m impressed they added the catching mechanic from Pokemon Go into the new games though. I think it’s a great way to use the Joy-Con motion controls.

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I think I’m most excited about the local two-player co-op mode. Rachel and I can actually travel around together! Of course, I suspect that the supporting second player will “borrow” the first player’s Pokemon to help out with battles and the like, but it would be amazing if the Switch could “import” another account’s save file into the game as the second player. Still, it’ll be fun seeing two characters running around together!

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Yeah, I was hoping we’d be able to combine the games. We’ll just have to see how it goes though. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun anyway. To be honest, I’m most excited for the Pokeball Plus. My favorite part of HeartGold and SoulSilver was the Pokewalker. I can’t wait to bring my Pokemon around with me again and interact with them. Supposedly, other things may happen, but they’ll announce that later. Maybe at E3 in a few weeks?

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Hearing Pikachu purr through that Pokeball Plus was adorable! Also, seeing your character ride an Onix? Flying on a Charizard? I heard HMs still are not a thing, so to see us actually being able to ride presumably whatever Pokemon we want, along with having any Pokemon follow us, is definitely exciting! Here’s hoping we’ll hear more about them at E3, along with the next core Pokemon game that’s slated for late 2019. With all the updated graphics and mechanics that the Let’s Go! titles are showing, I wonder how the next core game will measure up.

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I’ll admit, I was worried there would be no core game since last year they announced they were working on a new Pokemon title for the Switch. I’m very excited for the Let’s Go games and now that I know there’s a new core game, I’m even more excited. Imagine exploring a brand new region with new species of Pokemon on the big screen with such graphics! We can’t wait!

What did you think of the Pokemon Press Conference? Let us know in the comments below!

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Nintendo’s Online Service [Gaming News]

Nintendo | Switch | Video Games | Nintendo Switch | Online | DoublexJump.com

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Nintendo recently announced more information on their online service that will be available in September, which… honestly, isn’t too far away at this point. (Seriously, where is this year going?) It detailed the pricing, what exactly we’ll get with it, and the news that the virtual console is not coming to the Switch anytime soon.

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Nintendo revealed a little more details about the service. First, is online gameplay. This is something we already have with certain games such as Splatoon 2, ARMS, or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. However, come September, when the online services are released, we’ll no longer be able to play online unless we become a member. I mean, it’s $20 a year, so I’m certainly not complaining about that.

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The price isn’t too bad, no. Twenty dollars is for the individual membership, while around thirty-five dollars is a family membership. I imagine the family membership will include all accounts on a Switch while the individual membership will be per account. Either way, the price isn’t bad at all, but it will be odd to lose the freedom of playing online after being so used to it being free at this point.

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It is weird. This isn’t something I ever imagined Nintendo doing, especially since the console itself as well as the games are so expensive. People are still going to buy it though, of course. They’ll also be releasing 20 NES games at launch of the service with more games to be added “regularly.” I’m not sure how often “regularly” is going to be, but I think it’s pretty cool they’re doing that anyway. At the same time, I wonder if they’ll release SNES games, Nintendo64 games, and so on… in which case, that’s kind of like the virtual console and also… maybe no Nintendo64 classic mini?

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I’m curious if the 20 NES games at launch will be switched out with the games that will be added “regularly,” or if they’ll be there for good. In which case, yes, that could be why the virtual console isn’t being planned at this point and time. It does seem cheap for the old games, if that’s what is going to happen, especially with the new cloud back-up that will be available with the service. Would you think a virtual console with the old games may be more profitable than the twenty to thirty-five dollar subscription service?

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Well, I also heard as a rumor that it’s just a trial for the games. The $20 a year is like renting the games and then after a certain amount of time, Nintendo will take the games away and you’ll have to buy them if you want to keep them. I’m not sure if that’s true or not.

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I think I vaguely remember that, and it may be what I mean when I was wondering if they’ll “switch” old games out every once in a while. What you just said would make more sense for Nintendo in a business sense, and may be the replacement for the virtual console. Not quite sure how I feel about it. On one hand, if we’re just “renting” an old game for a while, we won’t have to pay any extra to try it out, so I suppose that’s a nice perk with the paid subscription. I believe what I really want out of this subscription is to eventually have an actual chat system rather than a smartphone app.

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Yeah… I’m not too keen on having the app either. I barely have any storage left on my phone to begin with and I don’t want the battery to be wasted so quick. I mean, maybe it’ll be pretty cool once we try it, but for now, I’d rather have headsets or Discord.

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I remember Discord was interested in being the main chat service for Nintendo, but as far as I know, nothing is going on between the two companies. Perhaps one day Nintendo will have a better option than the smartphone app, especially to go with the online service that people are going to pay for. I think they’ll eventually need to have a better chat service. I suppose we’ll see, but for now, I’m interested in seeing how well the online service as it is will work.

What do you think of the online services for the Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments below!

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First Impressions: Hogwarts Mystery

Double Jump Kris MiiI always adored the Harry Potter series growing up — they were a stable of my childhood. Even now, I enjoy rereading a book or two of the series every so often. When Pottermore came out, I was excited to take the quizzes detailing my Hogwarts house and wand, as well as my patronus and Ilvermorny House when they became a thing as well. With the app game Hogwarts Mystery finally released a couple of days ago, I got the chance to start it up and try it out.

 

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I don’t play too many app games. I’m one of those few people who don’t have a tablet so, if I wanted to play app or mobile games, I’m stuck using my phone. Don’t get me wrong, my phone is nice and I don’t have too many mobile games that I’m interested in playing, but it can still be a little annoying on the smaller screen. I have Fire Emblem Heroes and, now, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery on my device.

The idea of becoming a Hogwarts student was always a fun fantasy for me as a lover of the books and the world that J.K. Rowling had cooked up. I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical about how Hogwarts Mystery would be able to pull it off, but I’m enjoying it so far.

You start the game with a little introduction that is narrated by the great Maggie Smith herself, reprising the role of Professor McGonagall. After a brief moment of customizing your character (seriously, there’s not much customization unlocked) your character is meeting a new friend in Diagon Alley, where you obtain your books and wand in a tutorial of the few controls before heading to Hogwarts and choosing your house.

The simple controls include tapping and swiping a finger across the screen. That’s really it. The tasks are generally using energy by tapping on objects, such as books to “read through” or your broom to “summon.” When learning spells or brewing potions, you may have to swipe your finger in a small shape, usually a spiral or arch of some sort, in order to perfect the spell or potion.

The story itself is okay so far. I’m not too deep into it, but apparently your character’s brother had gotten expelled and disappeared at some point before you were accepted into Hogwarts. Therefore, you already have a besmirched reputation, thanks to whatever your brother had done. Your personality is based on three attributes — courage, empathy, and knowledge — that will supposedly affect your relationships with other characters in the game. These attributes may give you different response choices with speaking with characters and, depending on which choices you choose, may or may not help better your family name in the school.

I presume, going deeper into the game, that the Hogwarts Mystery is all about what happened with your brother. I’m already interested in the writing, and I’m impressed with the graphics of the game even on my phone screen, so we shall see how everything works out.

Being a mobile game, it’s “free to play,” but there are of course in-app purchases, where you can use real money to buy game currency, gems for longer story missions, and pieces of energy to keep the game moving. The currency and gems also unlock more clothing items to customize your characters. The customization is something I’m disappointed in — you gain levels as you go about the story, and certain clothing options are “unlocked” at certain levels, but many you still need to spend currency or gems on to actually wear them.

Other than that, I’m amused at the game so far, able to play it in a few minute intervals before losing all my energy and needing to wait for that to replenish. As long as the story is intriguing, I’ll probably keep the game around for a while.

Did you download Hogwarts Mystery? How are you enjoying the game?

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New Game: Glitched

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Has anyone else really explored Itch.io? It boasts a way to find and share indie games. It’s a fun site to search around, see what kind of games talented coders, writers, and artists come up with.

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Browsing around on Tumblr, I found a post about a game called Glitched. It’s slated to come out to PC and Mac this fall, with releases on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later.

The premise of Glitched is that the main character — Gus — becomes aware of the player. Throughout your journey together, Gus will have conversations with you about reality, self-awareness, the meaning of life. As you have these conversations and make choices for and with Gus, Gus’s personality with change which, in turn, effects how the other characters react to him. Characters will be attracted or repulsed by you and your party depending on how you act, drastically altering the story.

While the main mechanic of the game is to interact with other characters throughout your journey, there are also battles. Battles are simple turn-based RPG-style that include a card system. With the ability to build up your deck and multiple paths to choose, Glitched certainly sounds as if it’ll have plenty of replay value.

It seems like a great game! The demo is out right now, if anyone would like to give it a try. The trailer below showcases a charming, 8-bit pixel-like world for the game, along with decent music:

What do you think? Are you up for giving Glitched a try?

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First Impression: Rocket League

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

We’ve been using our Xbox One more often lately, even if we really only have a couple of games on there. One such game is Rocket League.

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Rocket League is soccer with race cars and exploding balls. Neither Rachel nor I are really into sporty games, unless Mario Kart counts, so Rocket League was never on our radar.

Then our awesome brother-in-law got us an Xbox One with the game already on it. While we haven’t played it with him yet, we did get a couple of rounds in with another friend recently. Rachel and I were… not good, haha.

It was fun enough for playing the game the first time. We each got a goal or two into the opponents’ nets, all computer-controlled rather than other humans, with our friend being on our team and carrying us to victory. The only downside was some lag during the last couple of rounds. Rachel’s and my car would blink and teleport across the field, usually right when we were about to smack into the ball. Pretty sure Rachel’s car was frozen on the ceiling at one point, too.

It’s not a game that Rachel and I are raring to boot up again, but it wasn’t too bad. We’ll probably try it again soon, at least with our brother-in-law.

 

Have you played Rocket League? What do you think of it?

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