Friday Favorites: Mario Party Mini Games

Double Jump Kris MiiMario Party is one of those series that really tests friendships, like Monopoly. Most of the earlier installments of the series were much better, in my opinion, with mini games and the boards that you travel around for stars. With Mario Party Top 100 out today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Mario Party Mini Games. It’ll be interesting to see which ones make it into Top 100!

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Mushroom Mix-Up/Hexagon Heat

Mushroom Mix-Up from the first Mario Party (and its Mario Party 2 counterpart, Hexagon Heat) was a classic. Following the colors of Toad’s flag, players had to scramble to be on top of the correct mushroom before all of the other colors fell into the water or lava or whatever danger was below the mushrooms. While you could ground-pound on your opponents, the easiest way to prevent them from reaching the last mushroom standing was to just position yourself right at the edge of the correct color — if time was on your side, then your opponents wouldn’t have any room to jump over you to safety.

Fowl Play

Fowl Play was a duel mini game in Mario Party 3. It was a silly game where you had to catch the chicken before your opponent. It was a quick little bugger that left footprints for you to try to follow if you lost sight of it. The chicken also resembled a Cucco from the Legend of Zelda series, and I always thought that the mini game was a nod to the times when Link has to catch chickens in his games.

Team Treasure Trek

Two-versus-two mini games were always fun when Rachel and I were on the same team. In Mario Party 4, Team Treasure Trek was always a favorite. Starting off in a maze, one partner would need to find a key while the other finds the corresponding treasure chest before the two needed to meet up with each other. It was an exciting race against the clock kind of game where we always hoped that our opponents would get most lost than we did!

Dungeon Duos

Another two-versus-two mini game from Mario Party 4, Dungeon Duos was an awesome obstacle course where you needed to work together with a partner to escape the dungeon it took place in. Timing was key, both with speed and precision when it came to completing the game. Not falling into the chasms helped too.

Chomp Romp

Despite usually trying to eat you, I always liked the Chain Chomp characters in Mario games, especially when they’re portrayed as almost dog-like. In Chomp Romp, you appear to be leading your “pet” Chain Chomp through a park. Your whistle brings the Chomp charging in a straight line to you (very eager to greet you, I suppose) and you need to skillfully direct your buddy through the obstacles in the park to reach a safe place to play.

What are your favorite Mario Party mini games? Which ones are you hoping are in Mario Party Top 100?

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Friday Favorites: Pokemon Movies

Double Jump Kris MiiPokemon: I Choose You is a movie special that came out in for limited theater times in the US to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Pokemon anime. It’s a loose retelling of the Kanto saga with plenty of references to the newest generation of Pokemon from the Alola region.

While we have not gotten a chance to see it, it is amazing to think that I Choose You is the twentieth Pokemon movie! We’ve always had fun watching the Pokemon films, even they do tend to make us cry by the end of them, haha!

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Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea

Elements from the Pokemon Ranger games were shown on the big screen in this movie, something that I always found interesting. Aside from that, this movie had plenty of adventure and suspense (even though we all knew everything would turn out okay in the end because it’s Pokemon). I enjoyed the setting and scenery, with the main setting of the movie just reminded me of The Water Temple from the Legend of Zelda series, and it was the last Pokemon movie to use traditional cel animation for the animate the movie. It helped that the legendary Pokemon that starred in this movie was the adorable Manaphy!

Pokemon 4Ever

My favorite aspect of the Pokemon 4Ever movie is that it has some really fun time-travel elements to it! I always found the plot to be interesting, especially with the fun little twist at the end, and the animation was well done. The Lake of Life and the forest scenery were really beautiful. Celebi and Suicune were always a couple of my favorite legendary Pokemon as well.

Pokemon 3: The Movie

My fondest memory of this movie is the theme song, in all honesty. The Johto region’s theme music was always one of my favorites! This movie had a bit of a creepy side to it, with the Unown dimension and little Molly’s wishes for her family to return. This movie had some pretty epic battles to it as well, which is what the series is known for.

What are your favorite Pokemon movies? Have you seen Pokemon: I Choose You?

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Friday Favorites: Sonic the Hedgehog Games

Double Jump Kris MiiSonic the Hedgehog games have had a history of being either really good or really bad. Rather, the earlier games were fantastic, then they fell into a slump with mediocre games. They seem to be trying to climb out of that hole, for Sonic Mania hasn’t done too badly. We shall see how Sonic Forces lives up to the hype when it comes out next month!

Personally, I didn’t really start playing the Sonic the Hedgehog games until the 3D era. With that said, here’s a list of some of the Sonic games that I find to be guilty pleasures of mine.

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Sonic Adventure: DX

Sonic Adventure: DX was released on the GameCube in 1998. Aside from a few forays into the 2D-platform games, Sonic Adventure: DX was one of my first Sonic the Hedgehog games. I was a Sonic fan due to the comics and some of the early cartoons, and I had fun playing as most of the different characters in this game. I remember that the graphics and controls were a little odd at times, but I got through it. It helped that I absolutely fell in love with the music!

Sonic Battle

Sonic Battle was always one of my favorite go-to Advance games. Being able to customize your robot fighter and just spend the story going into battles with various characters made it easy to pick up and play in spurts. That, and Emerl the robot was adorable and fun to play as!

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle

The two opposing sides of this game actually makes the story a bit tedious, to be honest, with not a lot of variety between the Hero and the Dark sides of the game. However, the two-player mode and the Chao Gardens made up for it, in my opinion. Rachel and I always had a blast playing two-player mode, and we each have our little Chao Gardens saved on separate memory cards on the GameCube!

What are your favorite Sonic the Hedgehog video games? Have you played Sonic Mania? Are you looking forward to Sonic Forces?

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Friday Favorites: Video Game Novels

Double Jump Kris MiiBooks are another love of Rachel’s and mine, and some of my favorites tend to include video games or virtual reality settings as a main focus. They’re the best of both worlds!

This Friday, I thought I would share some of my favorite books that include video games.

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Ready Player One

Ready Player One was Ernest Cline’s debut novel centering on a young man who’s escape was literally virtual reality. The world nearly lived in OASIS, the virtual utopia, and they were obsessed with solving the original creator’s puzzles. Whoever solved the puzzles were promised power and wealth, enough so that players were willing to kill for the clues. I recently finished Cline’s Armada and, while Armada wasn’t bad, definitely preferred Ready Player One, if only due to the characters.

In Real Life

A graphic novel, In Real Life is by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang. The main character is a gamer who enjoys playing the MMORPG Coarsegold Online in her free time, allowing her to be as brave and heroic as she wants to be. It focuses on bullying both offline and online, as well as friendships. Sounds a bit cliche, but it was actually really well done, and the illustrations were great!

Warcross

Okay, so I haven’t read Marie Lu’s Warcross just yet, but Rachel finished it and stuck it on my bed, which usually means, “Read this now! I need to discuss this with someone!” She was gushing about it the other night, being extremely vague as she tried so hard not to spoil anything, and I haven’t seen her get that excited over a book in a while. It has virtual reality, hackers, and spies… What more could you want?

Have you read any of these books? What other novels that are set in video game worlds have you read?

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Friday Favorites: BotW Side Characters

Double Jump Kris MiiThe Legend of Zelda series has always had memorable characters, and Breath of the Wild was no exception. I feel as if every character, no matter how minor their roles, in Breath of the Wild had their own lives outside of just being there to assist Link. Each character had their own name and routine, some of which may have deviated if they were part of a side or shrine quest. This week, I’m celebrating some of the more memorable ones, in my opinion.

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Hestu

This giant Korok is so damn entertaining with his dances and maracas! Whenever he helpfully expands your weapon, bow, or shield stashes, you can’t skip his song and dance! That, and he has an amusing quote if you start talking to him when Link is wearing nothing but his underwear.

Bolson

Speaking of amusing quotes, Bolson is full of them. Having a character furnish a house for Link was an interesting idea, allowing you a place to call “home,” and Bolson was always up for the job. He was even greatly supportive of one of his former employees getting married!

Hudson

Hudson was Bolson’s former employee, and his long side quest was completely satisfying to finish. Going around the world to find others that shared his vision (and complied with the name rules) to help build a town from the ground up with a plethora of different races was awesome to see! The wedding at the end of the side quest was beautiful.

Kass

The Rito race is one of my favorites in the Legend of Zelda games, even if they haven’t been featured in many — actually, besides Breath of the Wild, I believe they’re only in the Wind Waker, so it was great seeing them again! Kass was a traveling musician and it was always fun to hear his music drifting through the air whenever he happened to be nearby. He helped with quite a few shrine quests and proving to be knowledgeable about the world, crediting his late teacher for many of the tidbits. I have a headcanon that his late teacher was someone like Kaepora Gaebora, the wise (and talkative) old owl from Ocarina of Time!

Who are some of your favorite side characters in Breath of the Wild?

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Friday Favorites: September Nintendo Direct News

Double Jump Kris MiiLast week, Nintendo had a direct that showcased over 40 different game titles for their 3DS family of systems and the Nintendo Switch. While Rachel and I briefly talked about what we had liked about the direct, today I’m going to go a little more in-depth with some of my favorite news.

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Project Octopath Traveler

Rachel and I downloaded the demo for this game a couple of days after the direct, finding the trailer that had been shown to boast awesome graphics and fantastic music. While we’re not very far into it just yet, we’re definitely excited by what we’ve been seeing! We can’t wait to meet the other characters when the full game comes out.

Fire Emblem Warriors

I made everyone else shush when this game came on. There wasn’t really anything new aside from Lyn being showcased (yay!), but I’m still looking forward to the game. One of the best aspects of Fire Emblem is the characters, in my opinion, so to see a bunch of fan favorites in a different styled game will definitely be interesting. That, and I’ve enjoyed Hyrule Warriors, so I’m hoping Fire Emblem Warriors will be fun to play as well.

Arena of Valor

While this game is available to download from Google Play (with Batman!), it’ll be interesting to have on the Switch. A multiplayer online battle game sounds fantastic, and I’ll probably be awful at it when it comes out, but it looks like too much fun to not try! Anyone have this game from Google Play already?

Nintendo 3DS Titles

Considering that Rachel and I recently got the new 2DS XL’s, it’s nice to hear all of the news for the 3DS family of systems, especially since there were rumors of the Switch being Nintendo’s flagship for both console and handheld games with its portability. Lady Layton, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the rerelease of Apollo Justice and the original Gold and Silver versions of Pokemon… There’s so much in the future to look forward to!

What are looking forward to the most from Nintendo’s latest direct?

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Friday Favorites: Fire Emblem Warriors Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiHow has everyone been this week?

With more and more information being shown for Fire Emblem Warriors lately, I’ve been thinking about what kind of characters I would like to see in the game. I’m aware that the game is focusing mostly on fan favorites from Fates and Awakening, it seems, but I can always hope, right?

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Shinon from Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn

I loved this grumpy, sarcastic sniper when I played through the game. His character development through Path of Radiance was also really interesting to me — not dealing well with his commander’s death, deflecting to the enemy, finding his way back to the right side while also trying to figure out himself — and his sniper skills weren’t bad at all.

Mae or Boey from Shadows of Valentia

Mae and Boey were both a couple of my favorites from Shadows of Valentia, and I think both of them would be interesting additions to Warriors. Their personalities and skills would fit right in, and I would love to see their reactions to some of the other characters in the Warriors world!

Tiki from Archanea/Awakening

I want to be able to stomp around as a dragon in Warriors! The Corrins may have that ability in the game, or perhaps gain it during the story mode, but I would still love the idea of being Tiki and changing into a dragon to destroy your enemies.

Matthew from The Blazing Blade

Rather, any thief/ninja character would be fine with me, but Matthew was always cool. In the Warriors game, I imagine thief characters would be some of the faster ones, with swift combos and, perhaps, one-hit kill special attacks. I would love to see thief mechanics in the Warriors game!

What are some of your Fire Emblem Warriors hopefuls?

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