Flashback Friday: Beauty and the Beast – A Board Game Adventure

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

February is almost gone, another month down from the year. I hope everyone had a great February and that you’re all looking forward to what March will bring!

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Beauty and the Beast is one of the most popular Disney movies. While dogsitting this past week, one of the go-to Netflix movies I would stick on for background noise while playing with the puppy (and writing during the few times the puppy napped) was the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie with Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Bard, and a bunch of other big name actors. It’s not my favorite adaptation of the movie, but I didn’t find it bad. Seeing the movie again reminded me of one of my first Gameboy Color games.

Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure was released in October 1999. It was like an extremely watered down version of Mario Party but with the characters from Beauty and the Beast. You pick a character and race around the board, occasionally landing on mini game spaces. There were only ten mini games, such as helping Lumiere avoid water drops or finding Chip among identical teacups. One of the selling points was that up to four players can play by passing around the system, “no cable link required!” There was also a Story Mode, where you would race Gaston in each of the boards.

Considering I got this game the same time I got Pokemon Yellow, Blue, and Red, I don’t believe I played it too often. I do remember having a fun time when I did play it. The mini games got stale after a little while — really, there were only so many times you can play as Beast hopping and ducking from wolves — but the game itself wasn’t a bad way to pass the time.

Have you played Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure? What did you think of it?

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Flashback Friday: Super Mario All-Stars

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Can you believe we’re already near the end of January? The first month of 2019 has flown right by us! Any old or leftover games from 2018 that you’re still trying to finish up?

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Super Mario All-Stars was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993 and is a compiled collection of the Super Mario games that were available on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It includes Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, which actually wasn’t released outside of Japan aside from this compilation. While I was a bit too young to remember much of the NES, I have clear memories of All-Stars, enough so when we spotted the 2010 Wii port of the game at a GameStop, we nabbed it.

I mostly remember our older sister playing through some of the levels on the original Super Mario Bros. games and trying my hand at it occasionally when I was able to hold the controller. I wasn’t that great at the games then and, even with the Wii port, I’m still not great with them now. The Mario Bros. games have never been my favorites to play, but I can definitely recognize them as the classics that they are. Growing up as a Nintendo girl, I respect the influence the games have had on the gaming community and culture as a whole.

My fondest memories of these games, aside from their influence, is actually playing with my sisters. Being player two to my older sister and then player one to Rachel was always a good time, even if the games themselves were never beaten.

Have you played Super Mario All-Stars, or the individual games in the compilation? What did you think of them?

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Flashback Friday: Wii Fit

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone, the last of 2018!

With the end of the year comes time for new year’s resolutions! One of the most common resolution for people is getting fit, getting healthier, all that fun stuff, myself included. With that said, this month’s flashback is dedicated to Wii Fit.

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The Wii Fit came out a little over ten years ago, back in May 2008 for North America, a month after Europe, while Japan had gotten the game in December 2007 (perhaps also in time for new year’s resolutions?). Reviews were generally positive, with the biggest criticism for the game being how some of the workouts were lacking in intensity.

Wii Fit included a balance board to help measure a player’s progress in the cardio, strength training, and yoga activities while keeping track of the player’s weight, height, and center of balance. Wii Fit has been praised for its use in nursing homes, for physical rehabilitation, and health clubs around the world, particularly for its help in improving posture and movement in the elderly.

I remember Rachel and I having fun with the Wii Fit. Rachel’s Mii avatar was so skinny due to her being rather small, and the Wii Fit had a difficult time trying to figure out a fitness plan since burning calories wasn’t exactly something she needed to do. On the flip side, one of our younger cousins cheated at the game. During one of the jogging levels, instead of keeping the wii-mote in her hand and pumping it as she jogged in place, she sat down on the couch and shook it. The Wii Fit was very proud of her jogging score!

Still, it was a fun way to get us all moving and seeing the Miis in all the random activities was amusing. We still have our Wii Fit board chilling in our den. I’m definitely interested in the Fitness Boxing game for the Switch, which seems to be a spiritual successor to the Wii Fit game with an emphasis on boxing!

Have you played Wii Fit? What did you think of it?

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Flashback Friday: The Legend of Zelda Minish Cap

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

One of the last posts for Zelda Month, this Friday we’re talking about a game that came out for the GameBoy Advance. The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap was a charming installment for the franchise.

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The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap was a game released for the GameBoy Advance back in 2005 for North America. Rather than traveling through time, morphing into a wolf, or sailing the seas, Link has a sarcastic hat that helps him shrink in size. It was a prequel, if you will, to Four Swords Adventures, wherein the main villain was Vaati the Wind Sorcerer. The Minish Cap helped to expand the backstory of that particular villain and the birth of the Four Sword.

The Minish — or Picori — are a race of bug-sized creatures that live in and around Hyrule. They are the ones who bestow green clothes and a sword to a boy to drive back the darkness. Vaati petrifies Zelda, and Link uses the aid of the Minish to collect the ancient artifacts to restore the Picori blade to its former glory to seal Vaati away.

I’ve played through this game back when it first came out and I found it enjoyable. The graphics were vivid and colorful, and the characters were amusing. Ezlo, the talking hat, was like a squawking, sarcastic bird, and poor Link just went along with it. The dungeons were fun and I don’t recall anything too frustrating. However, I never finished the game due to rage-quitting at the final boss.

The final boss battle is timed, and not by a ticking clock, but by the sound of bells. Vaati’s wizard-like form (not to be confused with his flying eyeball form in Four Swords Adventures) has three phases, and if you spend too much time beating him down, the final bell will chime and Zelda will be encased in stone forever.

Which is definitely what happened when I played the game.

Still, I remember the game being a fun time and it’s a game that I almost forgot existed until recently when Rachel and I started playing Four Swords Adventure on our Twitch channel. Perhaps one day I’ll return to it.

Have you played The Minish Cap? What did you think of it?

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Flashback Friday: Dogz II

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

If there’s anything else I’m passionate about beside video games, it’s animals. One of my earliest video game memories involves a certain computer game about virtual dogs.

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Dogz II was one of the very few — if there were any others — game programs on the solitary computer in my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. When I wasn’t trying my hand at the SNES (or bothering my uncle to play said console), I was probably playing with the virtual dogs on the desktop.

Dogz II was one of the many installments of the Petz franchise developed and published by P.F. Magic back in the mid-nineties. Since then, sequels have been published, up until Dogz 5 and Catz 5. The games were virtual pets that you take care of from puppies and kittens to adults and, in the later installments of the series, you could breed and raise their offspring from newborns.

This particular installment was one of the simplest. You were able to adopt one of a handful of breeds, name them, and then care for them. Toys and food were available to let you interact with the pet, and your mouse icon turns into a hand to pet, snap to call over, and pick up your pet. Aside from the playpen mode, where your dogs are in the windowed mode of the game, you can also let them run around on your desktop.

Supposedly, you were supposed to let them loose on the desktop while you’re working, but I’d be hard-pressed to get any work done while watching my virtual dog chase my cursor, dig holes into my background, or carry around the icons. Of course, I’d never get mad at the dog — it was too cute!

Despite the Petz games being for Windows 95 or so, rather than Windows 7 or 10, I still have my CDs of Dogz II and Petz 5. For kicks, I tried to install Dogz II on my Windows 7 laptop, and guess what?

It works:

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Now I’m trying to decide if I want to dive down this rabbit hole and adopt a virtual pup or two to have running amok while I work…

Have you played any of the Petz games? What did you think of them?

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Flashback Friday: SimCity

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Rachel and I tend to really enjoy simulation games, a genre we’ve been exploring more outside of the Sims. On that note, this Flashback Friday is dedicated to another installment in that franchise, SimCity!

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SimCity was originally released in 1989, and has since spawned on many different platforms, from consoles to the personal computers to portable and online versions to many spin-offs. It’s a city-building simulation, where the player starts with a piece of land and develops residential, commercial, and industrial buildings for the citizens to thrive. The player acts as the mayor and must provide services to the citizens — like hospitals, schools, and police stations — to keep them happy (low taxes also help).

While I’ve never played the original port on the SNES, I have played SimCity 4 for the PC. It’s not the best but, like many simulation games that I’ve played, strangely addicting. You’re in charge of districts that are part of one region. All the roads snap to a grid and all the zoning must be attached to the roads. Supposedly SimCity 4 has servers and you compete with others online for the highest score for your city, but the servers have never worked when I’ve played. Fortunately, the online competition isn’t too important to me, but I know for some it was a deal breaker.

Nevertheless, SimCity is a fun waste of time and just feeds into my love of simulation games, and the Cities: Skylines that just came out on the Nintendo Switch this month remind me of them. One day I’ll remember to download Cities: Skylines!

Have you played any of the SimCity games? What did you think of them?

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Flashback Friday: Disney’s The Lion King

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone! Summer is ending!

If you haven’t gotten the chance to check it out yet, Rachel and I have been exploring with streaming on Twitch. One such game that we bought and downloaded from Steam was Disney’s The Lion King.

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Rachel and I have been exploring our Steam accounts more often lately, and a couple of gems that Rachel found recently were a few SNES games from Disney — The Lion King and Aladdin.

The Lion King for the SNES was released way back during the holidays of 1994 in North America, taking advantage of the movie’s commercial success, and it sold fairly well despite the negative reviews attached to it. The difficulty levels spike between stages, going back and forth between being hard for beginner players and repetitively simple enough for advanced players. Nevertheless, it was praised for its graphics, music, and voice acting, even if the levels and gameplay weren’t found to be up to par.

Replaying this game with keyboard controls brought back a wave of nostalgia as we set up the game, and Rachel and I realized that we had never beaten the SNES version as kids. It was a trip going back to this game, remembering secrets and the way through the levels, while also needing to look up certain mechanics when we believed we were stuck (damn you, Elephant Graveyard level). The controls are also wicked precise, especially during a few levels when Simba needs to swing from ledge to ledge, and were the cause of many curses.

With that said, we still haven’t beaten the game — in all honesty, we haven’t even reached the stages where you can play as adult Simba — because that’s how good we are at old school video games that do not have a save game mechanic. Still, it’s a great throwback to our childhood, and we’re looking forward to trying our hand at it again.

Have you played The Lion King? What did you think?

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