Friday Favorites: Pokemon Gym Puzzles

Double Jump Kris MiiHow was everyone’s week?

I’ve been playing more Pokemon lately, finding the series to be rather relaxing after a week of work. I prefer the regions with gym challenges rather than Alola, both for the challenging battles and the puzzles that some gyms had in order to reach the leader. This week is all about my favorite Pokemon Gym puzzles!

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Mahogany Gym (Johto)

Mahogany Gym is the Ice-type gym in the second generation of the Pokemon games. It has one of those classic ice-sliding puzzles where one misstep can mess you up. While the original Gold/Silver/Crystal trio had just one room of this puzzle, the HeartGold and SoulSilver remakes had three.

Vermilion Gym (Kanto)

Lt. Surge’s Electric-type gym was a fun puzzle in which there are two switches hidden in trash cans that the player needs to press in order to open up the electric doors that the gym leader is behind. While the switches are always adjacent, if you guess the second one incorrectly, the switches reset.

Fuchsia Gym (Kanto)

This Poison-type gym used invisible walls that you had to walk around in order to reach the gym leader. As a kid playing the original first generation games, I was a little frustrated with this gym until I realized that you could very faintly make out where the walls are. Nevertheless, it was a good challenge.

Mistralton Gym (Unova)

In Black and White, this gym uses freaking cannons to blast the player around the room. Your character is supposed to be, what, a young teen? I feel as if this gym would get sued for human injuries. In Black 2 and White 2, there are giant fans that blow the player around, and I’m not sure they’re much better. While not particularly challenging, this is probably one of the gym designs that I found the most amusing while playing!

What are your favorite Pokemon Gym puzzles? Or did you prefer the gyms that were straightforward and led you immediately to the gym leader?

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Friday Favorites: Mario Party Boards

Double Jump Kris MiiYay for Friday!

Despite having the Switch and Xbox One, Rachel and I have been turning our Wii back on to play Mario Party 2 on they system’s Virtual Console. After the disappointing Top 100 3DS game, going back to one of the best Mario Party games was natural. Playing Mario Party 2 and its boards reminded me of some of the best boards from the series as a whole.

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Space Land (Mario Party 2)

Space Land is one of my top choices in Mario Party 2. The space aesthetics are fun, and the Bowser junction in the middle of the board can really mess up the standings. Once the countdown in the middle reaches zero, Bowser launches his Coin Beam to steal every coin from whoever may be caught in the crossfire.

Yoshi’s Tropical Island (Mario Party)

Yoshi was always a favorite character from the Mario franchise, and we always enjoyed his board from the original Mario Party game. Going back and forth between two islands for the star, there was always the chance that someone could land on a Happening space and make Bowser and the star switch places.

Goomba’s Greedy Gala (Mario Party 4)

This casino-based board is all about chances and gambling (of course). Yes, it easily got frustrating if you were never able to go the way you wanted based on the roulette wheel in the middle of the board. It was fun, though, to let chance that much control over who could reach the star space.

King Boo’s Haunted Hideaway (Mario Party 8)

Mario Party 8 is not my favorite Mario Party game due to the motion controls — I was never thrilled with them. This board was always fun, though. The night scenery and the fact that the board changed every time you played or were looking for the next star was a cool concept.

What are your favorite Mario Party boards? Which Mario Party game do you enjoy the most?

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Friday Favorites: Johto Pokemon

Double Jump Kris MiiThank God it’s Friday!

Pokemon Crystal came out on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, and I’m having so much fun with it! It’s a fun nostalgic trip for me, and I’m having a great time training up some of my favorite second generation Pokemon.

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Ampharos

The Mareep family was always a favorite of mine, and I am missing them in Pokemon Crystal (since, for some reason, they’re only available by trading with Gold or Silver). Ampharos is one of my top electric-types, and its Mega Evolution gives it such fabulous hair, haha!

Crobat

Poison and Flying are two of my favorite types of Pokemon, and Crobat is the best of both worlds. It blows my mind that it’s literally about a foot taller than me in height, but its size doesn’t hinder its speed at all!

Quagsire

Quagsire, with its dual typing of Water and Ground, can be such a powerhouse. Despite how common and versatile they are, I tend not to train Water types, but I don’t think twice about snagging the Wooper line. I think Quagsire is adorable, too, with its dopey looks.

Steelix

The second generation of Pokemon brought about two new types, namely Steel and Dark. Despite that, there really weren’t too many Steel type Pokemon, especially ones that weren’t new evolutions of an already existing line. Steelix, though, I loved seeing. Onix was a favorite from the first generation and I loved the design of his evolution. That, and Jasmine’s Steelix definitely kicked my ass the first time I tried fighting them, so I appreciated the challenge!

Umbreon

Likewise, Dark also became one of my favorite types after this generation, and I adored Umbreon. While I enjoy all of the Eevee evolutions, Umbreon’s design was always one of my favorites, especially its Shiny form. It’s stats may not be the best, but it was always fun to raise.

What are your favorite generation two Pokemon? Did you download Crystal?

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Friday Favorites: Super Smash Bros Stages

Double Jump Kris MiiAnyone have any good plans for the weekend?

There are so many new video games that Rachel and I have to try out and play, along with some old favorites from our SNES Classic. With that said, there are definitely some games we’re missing right now, like the Super Smash Bros. series. Can’t wait until a port or a new installment appears on the Switch!

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Castle Siege from Fire Emblem series

I’m a sucker for the Fire Emblem franchise, and I really enjoyed playing on the fantasy-inspired Castle Siege map in Smash Bros. With the stage switching the scenery every so often, players need to stay on their toes so they don’t accidentally get lost in the transition.

Poke Floats

This was always a fun little stage. Not only do you have to contend with people trying to literally knock you out of the sky, you also have to make sure you don’t fall off of the floating Pokemon balloons.

Final Destination

This is probably the stage that we fight on the most. Just a leveled area that’s a decent size to have a full-out brawl on, especially if you have no items on. The space-like backgrounds always helped the mood as well.

The Temple from the Legend of Zelda series

This was always a favorite stage, especially when we used to play Melee with our non-gamer friends. It was large enough for nooks and crannies to let you hide for a bit of a breather (or figure out the buttons), but also provided the challenge of needing to rack up enough damage on your opponents to send them flying off the stage. The aesthetic was also just tons of fun.

What are your favorite Super Smash Bros. stages? What ones are you hoping will appear in a new Smash installment?

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Friday Favorites: Future Xbox One Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone! Thank goodness for another weekend!

Now that Rachel and I have an Xbox One, we’ve been looking into Xbox One games and trying to figure out how to spend our video game budget money. Here is a list of Xbox One games that I’m looking forward to one day playing!

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Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter is a franchise that I’ve been interested in trying for a couple of years now. To see a game that will feature global play between people in such a popular franchise sounds fantastic!

What Remains of Edith Finch

Rachel and I hadn’t heard of this game until the Game Awards last month. Hearing how praised it has been for its story and presentation, it definitely caught our attention.

Okami HD

We have the original Okami for the Nintendo Wii, and the graphics were amazing. To see the game in HD would be phenomenal, and probably would entice me to actually finish the game.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

It’s Middle-Earth. We’re suckers for Lord of the Rings lore, and we would love to dive into a game based on that franchise. The Nemesis System, which allows the NPCs to learn and react accordingly to the protagonist’s deaths, sounds quite interesting…

What are your favorite Xbox One games? What future Xbox One games are you looking forward to?

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Friday Favorites: Winter Levels

Double Jump Kris MiiWe made it to the first Friday of 2018! How are your resolutions holding up?

I’m typing this out as a snowstorm blankets my part of the world. It’s been predicted that we could get blizzard-like conditions, prompting my day job to have a very rare snow day. In honor of the snow, today’s Friday Favorites is dedicated to all of those winter levels in video games. If you’re getting snow where you are, be safe and warm!

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Gorilla Glacier from Donkey Kong Country

The winter world in Donkey Kong Country from the SNES was one of my favorites. The levels tended to have some of my favorite music and the aesthetically-pleasing sparkle of snow and ice, such as Slipslide Ride, Ice Age Valley, and Croctopus Chase.

Cool, Cool Mountain from Super Mario 64

Baby penguins, ice slide races, a giant snowman… What more could you want in a level? Super Mario 64 was revolutionary at its time and is still one of the most popular Mario games. Cool, Cool Mountain was one of the earlier levels and gave the player a taste of 3D snow worlds. With its design and music, it’s one of the most nostalgic-inducing levels for me.

 

Ice Ice Outpost from Mario Kart 8

One of the main factors that helped Rachel and me decide to buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch was due to the fact that it had all of the DLC from the original game. With the DLC came the Triforce Cup, and one of the race tracks from that cup is Ice Ice Outpost. The twists and multiple paths surrounded by sheets of ice make this a favorite of mine, even if it is not my best course, haha!

Snowpeak Ruins from Twilight Princess

In the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, you’re introduced to Snowpeak Ruins after snow-surfing toward a Yeti couple’s home. This particular dungeon blends the night, crackling fires, and snow flurries together to create a scene that can be deceptively warm on a winter’s evening. Snowpeak Ruins is a more puzzle-oriented dungeon while you chat and try to help the Yeti husband make a soup for his beloved wife. The boss fight is one of my favorites from the game as well!

 

What are your favorite winter and snowy levels in video games?

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Friday Favorites: Game Awards 2017 Moments

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

The Game Awards have come and gone this year, and we really enjoyed the show. There are a few parts, however, that still stand out to me. Here is a list of my favorite parts of the 2017 Game Awards.

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Orchestra Performance

I’m an absolute sucker for the music in video games — soundtracks are what I listen to all the time, so much so that I don’t have an answer whenever someone asks who my favorite singer or band is. I would adore it if the Game Awards orchestra decided to tour. Hearing the mash-up of video game music, especially with Tina Guo on the cellist and a live performance of “Jump Up, Super Star!” sung by Kate Higgins, was amazing!

Best Student Game and Best Independent Game

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are the three biggest names in the video game industry, with good reason. However, it gave me warm and fuzzy feelings to hear the awards for Best Student Game and Best Independent Game. Celebrating the future of the gaming industry and those who will keep the industry moving forward is awesome, and the winners certainly deserved their awards!

Carol Shaw

I’m appalled that I have never heard of this woman before the Game Awards honored her with their Industry Icon. Carol Shaw was one of the first female programmers and she worked for Atari. Seeing a woman being recognized for her work and inspiration to others in the video game industry was phenomenal, and learning about this trailblazer was the highlight of the Game Awards for me. And the standing ovation that she received? Absolutely heartwarming.

What were your favorite parts of the Game Awards? Any moments that especially stood out to you?

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