Super Kirby Clash [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Super Kirby Clash | Video Games | Gaming | Review | DoublexJump.com

Title: Super Kirby Clash
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Action
Release Date: 
September 4, 2019
How we got the game:
We downloaded it on the Nintendo Switch

krismii
Super Kirby Clash looked cute when it was showcased on one of Nintendo’s latest Directs. As a free-to-play game — with microtransactions, of course — we figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.

rachmii
Usually, when Nintendo comes out with “free-to-start” games, I’m all over them. Plus, you can’t really go wrong with Kirby.

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

krismii
Super Kirby Clash is a boss-rush type of game. With a team of four Kirby characters, all as different typical RPG classes, players fight bosses in different stages to earn the world’s money and power fragments to craft new gear to grow strong enough to defeat even stronger bosses.

rachmii
Even though I saw it in the direct, the game was much different than I thought it would be. You can be a Sword Hero, Hammer Lord, Dr. Healmore, or a Beam Mage. As you can probably guess, the Beam Mage is a sorcerer with magic, Dr. Healmore is like a cleric, and the Sword Hero and Hammer Lord wield a sword and hammer respectfully and can be a tank when it comes to physical damage.

 krismii
The Kirby classes, if you will, were standard with the cute Kirby twist you would expect from games starring an adorable pink puffball. There are a few stats, like attack and defense, that can be modified with the help of weapons and armor, and the character classes themselves seemed to have different speeds to correspond with all of the other factors. The Hammer Lord, for example, dealt a good deal of damage but was slower to move than the rest of them.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Exactly, they all had their own pros and cons. I’ll admit, I enjoyed playing as the mage so I didn’t try out any of the other classes. The mage can stop time – well, freeze the enemy for some time – after using a certain amount of charge attacks, which was fun to use. There are a handful of areas where you can battle bosses such as Seaside, Dunes, and Volcano, and a few more. Defeating the bosses will give you EXP which will allow you to level up your characters as well as Gem Apples, which is the game’s currency.

krismii
It was with the Gem Apples that allowed you to purchase upgrades at the shop. There was a little tree in the main area of the game where a handful of Gem Apples grew after time for some free money — the money could literally grow on a tree, in this game. Of course, you are also able to spend real money to get more Gem Apples, if you’d like. There was also an option to search for fellow Kirby warriors from online, giving your team a small advantage if you find a decently-leveled Kirby to help you out for the next battle. This game can also be played with friends online rather than just local co-op as well.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
While we didn’t get too far in the game, Gem Apples were also rewarded after defeating bosses. If you balance your Gem Apples just right, there should be no need for you to spend money in real life. This game also makes you wait a certain amount of time in between bosses. Similar to a mobile game, there’s a meter that acts like your “stamina,” if you will, and if it runs out, you can’t play anymore until real-time passes and it fills up again. However, it automatically fills up when you level up and the EXP was fairly generous, so our meter never ran out when we played.

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

krismii
The graphics of the game are typical for a Nintendo Switch. Kirby looks great, even if there was some slight lag with the fights during co-op, and the picture was crisp. There wasn’t anything special or particularly new with the graphics, but it was still pleasing to the eye.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’ve always loved Kirby games because they’re vivid and colorful. This one was no different.

krismii
The music was fun! The tunes were a touch familiar, feeling distinctly Kirby-like, and the high-beat music for the boss fights really kept you pumped for the fight.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The music was good, yes, though I’ll admit I didn’t pay too much attention to it. I was focused on fighting or talking to Kris while we played.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
The story for this game isn’t very substantial. Supposedly, large enemies are terrorizing the land, and it’s up to the team of Kirbys to vanquish them. With the help of each Kirbys’ unique abilities from their roles, along with updated gear and armor, the team will fight to protect the land.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
That’s pretty much all there is to it. For a co-op boss rush game that’s free to start, there’s not much to expect from a “story.”

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

krismii
There’s not as much substance for this game, but it was fun to collect the gear, even if there was a cool-down period for fights (unless you spent real money, of course). It’s a game that’s best played with others, as that’s where the fun lies. Considering the game is free, it’s not too bad to return to once in a while.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I can see myself going back to this game once in a while. I think it was an interesting idea and honestly, it’ll be fun to play with the younger members of the family as it’s simple enough.

Super Kirby Clash gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Fire Emblem: Three Houses [Game Review]

Video Games | Fire Emblem Three Houses | Fire Emblem | Three Houses | Game Review | Doublexjump.com

Title: Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Developer: Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform:
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Tactical role-playing
Release Date:
July 26, 2019
How we got the game:
Bought it on Nintendo Switch

Pssst…. There may be story or gameplay spoilers in this review! You’ve been warned!

krismii
I’ve finally finished my first playthrough of Three Houses, and I’ve got almost nothing but praise for it! I’ll admit, I was only tentatively optimistic about this game, but the more I played, the more I fell in love with it.

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

Traditional Fire Emblem games give the player a main protagonist or two, maybe a handful of characters to start leveling up into some semblance of an army, and a reason for said protagonist(s) to start throwing themselves into turn-based battles with weapon triangles. Along the way, a deeper story will develop while introducing new characters to recruit for your army, characters that you can usually choose to include and level up both for fighting and for relationships with other characters.

Fire Emblem Three Houses is not that traditional.

True, the game begins with a tutorial-like battle and introduces who are arguably the most important characters to the game. Yet, after the battle, the protagonist is whisked to Garreg Mach Monastery and hired as a professor for a class of students. With this, the player is put in a position to already pick their main army to teach and grow, as well as the students in the other classes that can potentially join the player’s class — and, later, army — under the right circumstances. With this, the player already knows the majority of the key characters in the story instead of being fed them at certain intervals of the game. While it can be overwhelming to face so many characters and trying to learn everyone’s potential, I enjoyed seeing how everyone interacted with each other within the monastery.

Speaking of the monastery, that is where Three Houses stands apart from traditional Fire Emblem games. Instead of the game going from story cutscene to battles, battles happen at the end of the game’s month, with the weeks leading up to said battle containing activities to advance your units’ skills and supports with one another.

Exploring the monastery allows you to freely maneuver around Garreg Mach Monastery, which is mostly used to speak to all the characters, maybe fish or sing in the church’s choir, and generally increase supports between everyone. The higher the support between two characters, the more benefits the pair receive in battle when fighting close to one another. There are also, of course, paired endings after the game that depend on the support conversations. Finding out more about the characters’ history and the game’s lore from the exploration option was one of my favorite activities in the game.

Aside from exploration, one can also have a character host a seminar to increase skills of the students who attend the lecture as well as have rest days to increase the characters’ motivation for learning. There is also an option for battles, small paralogues or skirmishes to help level up the characters for the bigger, story-orientated battle at the end of the month. Visiting the Marketplace for weapons, items, battalions, and the blacksmith is also available at the beginning of each week, as well as the option to have a character take a certification test to change class. If a character passes the test, they will be able to reclass at the beginning of battles to any class they have passed.

The meat of the game is, of course, the grid-lined, turn-based battles. You’ll have your army of students (which sounds really weird, in all honesty, as it reminds me of the Hunger Games) make their move toward their opponents with medieval weapons and magic — swords, lances, bows and arrows, axes, energy-sucking “Reason” magic, the usual. Once all of your characters move, it’ll be the opponent’s turn to move to whatever grid square they can reach to attack yours. Each battle has a win and lose condition, and you can earn gold, special items, and story-advancing narrative for winning.

In the majority of Fire Emblem games, characters can advance classes in usually linear fashion. An archer can class up to a sniper, and a cleric and class up to a holy knight, for example. In Three Houses, as long as their skills in certain weaponry are high enough, characters can take a certification test and reclass into several other options. These classes can then be switched freely at the start of battles, so if there is a map where you need more flying units than cavalry, Three Houses gives you a means to teach your students how to tame a pegasus or wyvern. It was a nifty mechanic, even if I found myself not using it as much as I probably should have.

Aside from changing classes, characters can also hone their authority skill and have a battalion at their back during battles. These allow you to do gambits or bigger attacks with certified, nameless soldiers, generally to induce status ailments. Different battalions perform different actions, such as one that does healing magic on all allies for a certain number of spaces, or another that sets everything aflame. Admittedly, I half forgot about the battalions for the majority of the battles, focusing instead on my units attacking. Still, if used right, the battalions will be crucial for many unique strategies in the battles.

Weapon durability is back, which also lends a hand to the strategies you’ll need to come up with during battles, especially with some unique, story-based, one-of-a-kind weapons that are called Hero’s Relics. Only those with Crests, special sigils that are passed down throughout family lines, are able to wield the Hero’s Relics. Crests themselves are important in the setting’s history and politics, and the mystery of the main protagonist’s Crest is an important plot point in the game.

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

The graphics of the game were well done, but nothing spectacular. I was pleased with the videos and cut scenes, finding the animation smooth, but the few animations for the character models did feel a little stilted and limited. Still, the character designs were mostly on point and I enjoyed the majority of the battle maps.

As for the music, I totally want this soundtrack. I’ve always loved the majority of the Fire Emblem games’ music, but Three Houses is probably one of my favorites!

Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.comThe story begins with Byleth, who was a mercenary along with their father Jeralt, waking up and speaking to a green-haired young woman — girl-like in appearance — named Sothis. The pair appear to be in some sort of temple or ruins, with Sothis lounging on a throne and attempting to make sense of her hazy memories. Sothis’s consciousness is tied with Byleth’s, and the scene shifts to the waking world after the brief introductions.

Byleth and their father are about to leave their current village when three students ask for their aid in defeating a group of bandits. The students are from Garreg Mach Monastery, each the respective heir to their countries on the continent of Fodlan. After successfully beating back the bandits, Byleth and their father escort the students — Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude — back to the monastery where they meet with Archbishop Rhea of the Church of Serios. Before Byleth knows what is happening, Jeralt rejoins the Knights of Serios and Byleth becomes the professor of a class of students.

The Black Eagles led by Edelgard, the Blue Lions led by Dimitri, and the Golden Deer led by Claude are filled with unique students coming from various backgrounds. Byleth takes command of one of the classes and the story really begins.

Played in two parts, part one is “pre-timeskip” wherein Byleth spends much of their time getting to know their students and aiding them in battles to better themselves for their respective countries and goals. While doing so, sinister plots are revealed as the months pass, with the archbishop and the Church of Serios being challenged by enemies — even some who were once called allies.

During one such climactic battle, Byleth falls into a canyon and does not awaken until five years later. Part two is this “post-timeskip,” and Byleth finds themselves in a war-torn Fodlan. Reuniting with their former students, Byleth helps to figure out not only an end to the war but also about their past.

Granted, this is a vague description of the story, mostly because I’ve only gone through the Golden Deer route. The other routes will most likely determine which side of the war Byleth is on and how they find out who they really are.

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

I’ve already started my next route. Considering there are two more houses, one that has at least two routes, and a New Game+ DLC coming out, there is plenty to do in this game after a first runthrough. Even if there was only one route, the multiple difficulty levels, plethora of characters to build your army however you want, and multiple support conversations to unlock, there is plenty to do to warrant another playthrough.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses gets…
5-lives
5 out of 5 lives.

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Pokemon Rumble Rush [Mobile Game Review]

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

Pokemon Rumble Rush is part of the Pokemon Rumble series. It came out for mobile in May 2019 and I was super excited for it – before promptly forgetting it existed… better late than never, right?

Mobile Game Review: Pokemon Rumble Rush | Mobile Games | Video Games | Pokemon | Pokemon Rumble Series | DoublexJump.com

I have played and enjoyed all the Pokemon Rumble games in the series. I’ve always wanted a new one to come out and Pokemon Rumble Rush didn’t disappoint. However, with it being a mobile game, the gameplay is limited. Sure, they’re toy Pokemon traveling the world so the gameplay was limited anyway, but this time around, all you have to do is tap the screen. Actually, after a certain point early on in the game, the Pokemon will go on auto so you don’t even have to do anything in the levels if you get distracted with something else.

The main point of the game is to collect research on Pokemon. In order to do that, you need to catch as many Pokemon as you can and explore new areas. Each area is short as your Pokemon massacres a bunch of other Pokemon – catching them if they drop randomly – and defeating the super boss at the end. The super boss is, of course, the boss of the level. He’s huge and his CP can be high making it difficult to defeat. This is why you need a Pokemon with a high CP and it helps to have the type advantage.

Super bosses will sometimes drop ores. There are three kinds of ores – ore, unusual, and rare. Each one takes time to refine, as it is a mobile game. You have to wait 30 minutes, 3 hours, or a whopping 10 hours. However, when it’s all done, you can get a tone of gear which upgrades your Pokemon’s CP level and more. You can’t really go through the game without utilizing these ores. The downside is that you can only hold six at a time. This can get annoying if you’re getting a lot of ore but you’re still waiting for the rare ore to refine in 10 hours.

There’s a decent amount to do in the game. Aside from exploring new areas with your guided feathers and catching Pokemon, defeating super bosses, you can click on hot air balloons which are other players. They’re partner Pokemon will join you for the level while you fight the super boss. In addition, there’s a coin rush challenge that you can try once a day. You have to defeat three super bosses in one minute and… it’s not as easy as it seems.

The game “resets,” if you will, every two weeks where you’re in a certain area with a long line of super bosses leading up the main Pokemon of the event. At the time of writing this review, it’s Jirachi. In other words, you have two weeks to catch Jirachi. If you don’t, it’s onto the next area when the two weeks are up.

Whenever you move onto a new place, you keep all the Pokemon you’ve caught, but you can’t use them. You’re given one Pokemon for the new area and you have to start from scratch to build your team again. However, you keep all the gears you’ve collected.

Needless to say, the game can get pretty repetitive, but I love collecting them all so I’ve been playing a lot. There is a shop where you can buy more refine space or diamonds (to speed the refine process up) but, of course, microtransactions are dumb. So, yeah. Not doing that.

Pokemon Rumble Rush gets a rating of…

PLAY IT | Download It | Delete It

Overall, Pokemon Rumble Rush is a fun game. It changes every two weeks, though the gameplay itself is the same and gets repetitive after a while. But it’s still Pokemon and I enjoy it. The music is the same as the original Pokemon Rumble game and the graphics are cute and charming. This is definitely one to try if you’re a Pokemon fan or if you’ve enjoyed other Pokemon Rumble games in the past.

Have you played Pokemon Rumble Rush yet? 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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Super Mario Maker 2 [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Super Mario Maker 2 | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Game Review | DoublexJump.com

Title: Super Mario Maker 2
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Action, Platformer
Release Date: 
June 28, 2019
How we got the game: 
We bought it on the Nintendo Switch eShop

Pssst…. There may be story or gameplay spoilers in this review! You’ve been warned!

krismii
Super Mario Maker 2 was highly anticipated as soon as it was announced. People went crazy for this sequel, especially with all of the new tools and options that came with it. We were no exception.

rachmii
I enjoyed the first Super Mario Maker though I didn’t have too many people to play it with. I’m excited to finally have more options and more people to create and beat courses with.

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

krismii
There are several modes for this game. A story mode — which we give more details about in one of the below sections — the course world mode, and the course creator mode, of course. The course world mode, along with the course bot, allows the players to attempt to complete levels that other players around the world have created and uploaded.

rachmii
This is, in my opinion, the best part of the game. Of course, you have some levels that are super easy or levels that troll you hard. Still, it’s all in good fun. The best part about this though is that they added a co-op option. You have to download the game in order to play two-player, but that’s not too bad. Kris and I can play through certain levels which is a lot of fun – and frustrating at the same time. There are some levels that I don’t know are best suited for single players or not.

 krismii
It was definitely great to try to play a few levels with you, although we did get in each other’s way quite a bit, haha! With that said, there is the tagging system in Super Mario Maker 2 — I’m afraid I cannot remember if the first Super Mario Maker had a tagging system — and one of the tags were for multiplayer versus. Eventually, I’d love to play with some friends and Nintendo has promised that an update would happen that will allow us to do so.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I don’t think the first game had a tagging system. At least, I very quickly forgot about it if it did have a tagging system. With all the additional tools you can use to create courses, the levels are way more fun, challenging, and extra creative. Though, we did try to create a course together since there’s co-op on that mode.

krismii
That was a bit annoying, in my opinion. The first player has access to many of the buttons, almost as the director of the scene, while the second player can only select and put down so many elements. Granted, we also skipped the tutorial, so I can admit that perhaps we missed a couple of things, haha! Regardless, it was easier to create a level with one person at the controls, either with the Joy-Con or using the Switch’s touchscreen in handheld mode while the second person gave their advice and opinion.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Skip the tutorial or not, we tried a lot of things and played it both in the handheld and docked. Plus, if I was in the middle of something and you decided to do something, being the first player, my action automatically got canceled. So, I agree. It’s definitely better to create a course yourself or docked with people throwing ideas while one is behind the wheel.

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

krismii
This game has the beloved modern Mario graphics that the current games have brought to life. When it comes to creating and playing courses, the game also includes the graphics and art styles — with some updates — of several Super Mario games in the series, including Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, New Super Mario Bros. U, and Super Mario 3D World.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The graphics, of course, are as they should be. They all look great on the Nintendo Switch, even the older game graphics. They stay true to their games as well. The end of the older games has that hurdle thing you have to jump through while the newer games have the flagpole for you to reach the top.

krismii
The music is the good, familiar Super Mario music as well, and the game allows you to add crazy sound effects to parts of your levels, too. I think one of my favorite aspects of the game is when we’re building our own courses and every tap you do to add a new element plays the next note of the Super Mario theme.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, depending on what “theme” you have set from the different Mario games, the music is pretty much the same. It’s refreshing and well done. Plus, when you create a course, a robotic voice says what the object is as you place it. If you place a lot at once, it says the object’s name to the tune of whatever theme you’re in.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
New to the Super Mario Maker series, the sequel has a Story mode, which allows the players to go through over 100 Nintendo-created courses in order to earn coins to help rebuild Princess Peach’s castle after the mischievous Undo Dog obliterated it.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The story mode is, in fact, a tutorial of sorts. The Nintendo courses range in various levels of difficulty but they’re all fun and show off all the new and old tools you can plus, plus different ways to use them to make a course unique. I’ve really enjoyed going through the story mode courses.

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

krismii
There is literally no possibility for any repeat courses here. Each level is as unique as the person (or people) that created them. There are plenty of ways to filter out and categorize levels with tags and difficulties, and there are millions of courses already published for others to enjoy.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is definitely a game that we’ll be playing on and off for quite a while.

Super Mario Maker 2 gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

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

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Stardew Valley [Game Review]

Video Games | Stardew Valley | Game Review | Review | Nintendo Switch | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

Title: Stardew Valley
Developer: ConcernedApe
Publisher: Chucklefish, ConcernedApe
Platform: Steam, Mobile, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch
Category: Simulation, Role-playing

Release Date: Originally February 26, 2016

How we got the game: Bought it on Steam and Nintendo Switch

Pssst…. There may be story or gameplay spoilers in this review! You’ve been warned!

krismii
Stardew Valley is the game that I wish the Harvest Moon series was. With the main focus on just building the farm of your dreams and forging relationships with the people in the town, it takes away all of the gimmicks that the more recent Harvest Moon games have become known for. This particular review focuses more on the Nintendo Switch version of the game.

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

Gameplay for Stardew Valley is pretty simple and intuitive. With the main objective being to spruce up your farmland so it, you know, actually grows stuff, you spend your time doing various tasks that will help you better not only your farm but also the community of Pelican Town.

As your character, you clear out your farmland using various tools, such as an axe and pickax to break up lumber and stone. The hoe and watering can come in handy for planting and growing crops, and there are specific tools like the shears and milker if you have any animals on your farm. When not on your farm, you can forage for items around the forest, town, and the mines, which is also a handy place to gather ore, gems, and other material to improve your farm. Fishing is a leisurely activity that can still net you some in-game money as well as some staple cooking ingredients.

Another core mechanic is developing your relationships with the people in Pelican Town. There are plenty of friends to make in town, either by talking to them daily, giving them gifts, and random events. There are even marriage candidates, regardless of gender, that you can woo and, if you’d like, have a child with down the line.

While the game is pretty open-ended, giving the player tons of choice in what they want to do, there is a Community Center. The Community Center stars off rather rundown, but that can be restored by completing tasks called bundles. Completing these bundles will grant you rewards, such as opening up new areas for your character to go or special tools and makers to make life on the farm a little easier. Or you can buy a Joja Membership and get it turned into a warehouse.

A unique aspect of this game is the combat system. It’s simplistic, considering the game is mainly a farming simulator, but when exploring the mines, there are monsters and enemies to vanquish. These monsters drop loot and material, and you can usually find stronger weapons while exploring or buy items from the Adventurer’s Guild.

With the latest updates of the game, you can also farm together with friends in online co-op mode. Build a cottage or three on your farm for your friends to live, and you can all build up the farm together. Your friends can also get married to the local bachelors and bachelorettes… and you, if you want.

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

The graphics of this game are well done, going the pixel style route. The characters all look unique, easily distinguishable from each other, and they even have little animations — shocked faces, laughter, eating — that are fun to watch depending on their dialogue.

I absolutely adore the music in this game. Each tune is charming and pixel-perfect, and I find myself streaming the soundtrack on Spotify when not playing the game. The main winter theme is probably my favorite!
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.comTired of the uninspiring city life as an office drone, the main character inherits their grandfather’s old farm in Pelican Town, a small town filled with all sorts of interesting characters just living their lives in the valley. The farm itself is dilapidated at first, but with hard work and perseverance, the main character focuses on restoring it to its former glory while carving out a life for themselves. The story is directed by the player.

While at the start of your third year on the farm, you get evaluated on your accomplishments, there is no true end point to Stardew Valley. Even if, at that time, you do not like your evaluation, you can trigger another evaluation to earn more points at any time with version 1.1 of the game.

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

With five different farm plots to choose from, twelve eligable marriage candidates regardless of your character’s gender, a plethora of items to farm, forage, and ship, and literally any way you wish to grow your farm, you will not be bored with Stardew Valley. Not only is it tons of fun to play on your own, you can also play co-op with up to four people tending to the same farm.

Stardew Valley gets…
5-lives
5 out of 5 lives.

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

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Mario Party Advance [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Mario Party Advance | Nintendo | Gameboy Advance | Video Games | Gaming | Review | DoublexJump.com

Title: Mario Party Advance
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Gameboy Advance
Category:
Party
Release Date: 
January 13, 2005
How we got the game: 
I bought it

 

 

 

I love the Mario Party series. Of course, there are some games that are better than others. When I went through my bucket of handheld games the other day, I found this gem. I forgot I had it and wasn’t even sure if I had ever played it. So, I turned it on. And, well… it exists.

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

I was looking forward to an “old fashioned” Mario Party game and this was not what it was. When I turned the game on, there were a ton of things unlocked so I had played it before. In fact, I had so many coins that I must have enjoyed the game at one point in my life. But today is not that day.

The main mode is called Shroom City. You can choose from Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Yoshi to play as. Depending on who you choose, you start at a different spot on the board. I don’t know why this is and the others don’t join you. There’s no multiplayer, there are no NPCs playing against or with you on the board. It’s all you and you have mushrooms as dice blocks.

Now, they give you four mushrooms to start off with. I kept rolling a 3 and got nowhere fast. When you run out of mushrooms, it’s game over. Do you see my dilemma?

Of course, you can get more mushrooms by winning mushrooms in mini-games (which is a space you have to land on) or by landing on mushrooms spaces. The object of the game is to keep moving along the board and fulfill “quests” from the NPCs scattered about. For example, Shy Guy is at the train station and needs help. So, you need to somehow make it to the train station.

You can move anywhere you please on the board, which was a fun feature. However, when you have limited moves through your lack of mushrooms, it makes the game ten times harder.

Completing quests gives you Gaddgets (you know, like Professor E. Gadd?) though I didn’t care too much for the Gaddgets. I wanted to compete against NPCs and play mini-games.

The mini-games weren’t all that bad. I played quite a few of them in the free-for-all mode and had a good time. Again, it would have been more fun if I were playing against friends or NPCs, but the games worked out just fine as personal challenges. In fact, that’s the goal for most of the games – beat your high score.

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It’s a game from 2005 and for the Gameboy Advance. The graphics certainly aren’t what they are now, but they were pretty good for their time and it was charming to look back on. The characters all had their own poses and such, however, there was no voice acting. So that was kind of weird not to hear.

The music was good. Like all Mario Party music, it’s catchy and upbeat.

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I don’t think I’ll be going back to this one… maybe ten years from now when I come across it again and forget I had it, I’ll turn it on and unknowingly relive this whole moment. Overall though, this is a Mario Party game to skip.

Mario Party Advance gets…
2 out of 5 lives.

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Dr. Mario World [Mobile Game Review]

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

Dr. Mario World surprised us all when it came out a day early than it was supposed to! I’m glad it did too because it gave me a nice chunk of time to give it the attention it deserves.

Mobile Game Review: Dr Mario World | Nintendo | Video Games | Mobile Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

I have to admit, Dr. Mario World isn’t at all what I expected it to be. I played Dr. Mario for the first time just a few months ago and it resembled Tetris. Dr. Mario World is the opposite where the concept is still the same but you’re working your way up instead of having the capsules dropdown – not to mention you have full control over the capsules. There are also so many different power-ups that can be on the board plus different doctors and assistants to help you out. But we’ll get to all that in a minute.

The first things I noticed about the game was the graphics and music. The graphics are so vivid and crisp. My iPad is four-years-old and the game is so bright. It looks clean and fresh which is the way a brand new game should look. On the other hand, I’m amazed mobile graphics look this good. The music was another fun part. The hub world is catchy and the levels are a throwback to the original music. There are bonus levels where the music is different, but I think that’s my favorite music, in all honesty. Overall, the aesthetics of the game are super fun.

After a quick “story” of the virus taking over the Mushroom Kingdom, you play as Dr. Mario in various levels to rid of all the viruses. The levels are set up in a hub world similar to Candy Crush so that you just keep on moving when you bet a level or you can go back and replay levels. There are also different areas. For example, when you complete the first twenty levels, you head to a new area where levels 21 through 40 are. Plus, some bonuses on the way.

But, I’m getting off topic for now.

You start as Dr. Mario and, in the first few levels, Toad gives you a quick rundown on how to play. The viruses are scattered about the board and a purple liquid fills up allowing you to place the capsules on the board. The capsules are on the bottom of the screen. They show you two at a time, though you can’t swap them out (at least, I haven’t figured out how to if you can). It just shows you which capsule to expect next so you can strategize. You can tap the capsules to go either vertical or horizontal depending on how you need them to fit on the board. Connect three of the same color together – whether it’s two blue capsules and one blue virus or two red viruses and one red capsule – and the virus will disappear.

The cool thing about this is that, in addition to turning the capsules around, you can place them anywhere on the board. As long as you drag it with your finger, you have full control over the capsules. Even if a capsule pops and half is still left, you can grab the half and move it where ever you think it would be best. However, it is in the purple ooze so you can’t move a capsule downward if you’ve already brought it up. Also, if you try to move it on top of a virus, it’ll float up until it hits the ceiling or a block or something else blocking its way. So, you need to think about where you want them to go carefully. I’ve forgotten that a few times in my panic to complete the level.

Of course, I say I panic and I don’t know why because these levels aren’t timed – which is great! The level tells you how many viruses you need to get rid of and gives you a certain amount of capsules. This makes it so you can take your time but I sometimes forget that. Of course, there are bonus levels that are extra challenges. Those are timed and difficult for me to bet because I panic too much and am terrible at video games.

You don’t get into the levels without help though. You can play as Dr. Mario, Dr. Princess Peach, or Dr. Bowser. There are other doctors to be unlocked as well. Each doctor has their own special skill as well. For example, I love Dr. Bowser – he wears a lab coat and has a spikey stethoscope! (Take that, tie at E3!) He has the skill when his meter is filled, to get rid of two rows. He just sets it on fire and there you go.

The doctors can equip assistants as well to help you out. You can have one or two assistants with you throughout the levels and change them as you want.

So many different things can happen in the levels as well – there are different goals to reach. For example, you can either get rid of all the viruses or collect all the coins that are hidden within the blocks.

In addition, there are a lot of obstacles in the game. For example, sometimes the viruses will be frozen and you’ll have to get three in a row just to thaw them and then get three in a row to actually pop them. There are different colored shells so that when you activate them by getting three of the same color in a row (shell, virus, or capsule – as long as it’s touching the shell) then the shell will move back and forth and get rid of the row it sits on. There are bombs that will blow up everything around it when activated and more.

This game plays like most mobile games though. There are microtransactions. So, if you want a pass or try a level again without re-doing the whole thing, you need diamonds which costs real life money. Also, you have to wait. No, you don’t need to wait real time for your farm to grow, but you only have a certain amount of hearts. Five hearts, to be exact. It costs one heart to play a level and in order to get that heart back, you need to wait about 30 minutes. Sometimes, a heart will be given to you for completing a level which is nice. Or you can receive hearts from friends.

That’s another great feature of this game. You can have friends. Not only can you see where they are on the map and send one heart a day to them, but you can actually play with them. You can versus your friends in a duel of sorts which is a lot of fun. If you don’t have any friends currently online, you can versus other players who are currently on and looking for a challenge.

I’m sure there’s so much more to the game that I haven’t gotten to yet. I’m looking forward to playing more, for sure! Nintendo did a great job with this one.

Dr. Mario World gets a rating of…

PLAY IT | Download It | Delete It

Overall, Dr. Mario World is an aesthetically pleasing game with fun characters options and a twist on the original gameplay. It’s free to play, other than the optional microtransactions, so it’s definitely worth a try.

Have you played Dr. Mario World yet? 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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Yahtzee [Board Game Review]

Board Game Review: Yahtzee | Gaming | Review | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Yahtzee is a simple enough game of chance with the main components of the game being five dice. It’s a game that we used to play all the time eons ago while vacationing with family, but we haven’t played it in a long time until recently.

rachmii
I house-sat recently and we were going through the games they had. Admittedly, they didn’t have much and while we planned on playing something new, we saw they had Yahtzee and just had to play it again.

krismii
You have a scorecard that details what kind of rolls you should be aiming to get with your three shakes of the dice. The top part of the scorecard has you counting the numbers that you roll, such as twos and threes, while the bottom part is a little more complicated with three of a kind and full house. Of course, there is the Yahtzee part of the scorecard, where you can get fifty points for having all the dice land face up as the same number.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
With each roll, you can take out certain dice that you want to keep if you’re trying to aim for a certain score. For example, if you have three threes, you want to take them out so you can aim for a full house by getting two fours, for example, or even a Yahtzee by getting two more threes. Of course, when we played, my luck was not with me.

krismii
I ended up winning all three games, haha! Honestly, Rachel tends to have higher luck in games of chance than me, so I was surprised. It’s a game that you can probably play just about anywhere as long as you have the dice and a pen and paper to keep score.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I kept rolling high which is more than I can say when we play DnD, but I couldn’t get the numbers that I needed. Once you get a score for something, you can’t score it again – even if it happens to be better. There’s also some strategy to the game too though which makes it so much harder. There’s a “chance” score where you can just count up the total of the dice and put that down as your score. However, there’s always the possibility of you scoring higher later. If you need to get some scores for having certain numbers, which one do you go for? It’s all chance.

krismii
It is just all chance. The game ends when everyone has something filled in on all spots of their scorecard, even if you’ve taken zero points as certain scores. You cannot pass your turn — rather, we’ve never played it that way — as I’m sure otherwise the game would be a lot longer than it really is. It’s a good game to pass the time and it’s fun to see just how the dice will roll for everyone.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s definitely one of those “classic” games to play. It’s great to play with friends but it’s also not a bad game to play with yourself either. Yahtzee is just a win overall.

Pandemic gets a rating of…
Skip It | Try It | Buy It

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Diddy Kong Racing [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Diddy Kong Racing DS | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | Racing Games | Review | RachelPoli.com

Title: Diddy Kong Racing DS
Developer: Rare, Ultimate Play the Game
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo DS
Category:
Racing, Adventure
Release Date: 
February 5, 2007
How we got the game: 
I got it as a gift long ago

 

 

 

Diddy Kong Racing will always have a special place in my heart. I remember playing this game originally on the Nintendo 64 when I was a kid, not that I was any good at it. I believe I got the Nintendo DS version for my birthday or Christmas the year it came out. Picking it up again, it was certainly a fun trip down memory lane.

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This is a racing game so, of course, you choose a character and you race through various courses. The roster isn’t huge with only eight playable characters plus four more to unlock making a total of 12 playable characters. Still, that’s not too bad considering the time the game was originally made. Also, instead of playing as Banjo or Conker, they were replaced with Tiny Kong and Dixie Kong.

In the regular adventure mode, you choose a character, a vehicle, and a track. Then you race. There are three different vehicles to choose from – kart, hovercraft, or plane. I was only good with the kart. The hovercraft was okay to control, but I was horrendous with the plane. These vehicles can be used in most of the tracks. Some tracks allow all three while other tracks allow certain vehicles. For example, you can’t use a kart or plane in Pirate Lagoon because it’s mostly water.

Speaking of tracks, there are six different areas, each one with four racing courses for a grand total of 24 tracks. Each course has balloons scattered about which give you an item. There aren’t too many items in this game and you get a certain item depending on which color balloon you pop. For example, a red balloon will give you a missile. You can upgrade your items by collecting Rareware coins that are scattered about the tracks. However, I mostly through my items blindly because I was too focused on trying to stay on the road.

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There is a story mode to this game, one that I didn’t complete. Taj the Genie is a blue elephant that rides around on a magic carpet. He aids you by giving you new vehicles and the like. Of course, to unlock them you need to beat him in a race and… well, that plane. As I said, I was horrendous with it.

Anyway, long story short, we need to race in order to stop Wizpig from taking over the island when Timber’s parents go away on vacation. Timber can’t fit Wizpig alone, so he calls on Diddy and the rest of the gang to help him out.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s just a way to unlock more tracks and characters, which is a pretty clever way to do things. Although, I don’t think this particular game really needed a story.

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Graphics-wise, this game is definitely better than when it was originally released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64. Still, I don’t think the graphics are great. I’m not complaining though. It’s still charming.

The music is probably the best thing about this game. The beats are so energizing that even if I haven’t played the game in a while, I find myself humming the main menu tune.

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This game is fun to play if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic. I’m sure I’ll get back to it and play it again at some point in my life, though this isn’t a game I’d go to all the time. It’s fun to play once in a while though.

Diddy Kong Racing DS gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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Pandemic [Board Game Review]

Board Game Review: Pandemic | Board Games | Gaming | Pandemic | Game Review | Pandemic Review | DoublexJump.com

krismii
This game has been on our radar for quite some time. We’ve heard nothing but good things about the board game and it was really different from other board games we’ve played. The biggest learning curve for us, I believe, was to remember that it was a cooperative game rather than a competition between all the players.

rachmii
Playing a cooperative game was a nice change of pace though. Especially since we normally play just the two of us, most competitive games are harder and would be more fun if there were more of us. Of course, the first time we played (and learned) Pandemic, we played with our cousin Kat.

krismii
Yes, Kat was a great addition to the board game, giving us another to bounce ideas off of and a third voice to help interpret the rules. The main objective of the game is to find cures for four deadly diseases before the population of the world succumbs to them. To do so, you need to find enough “data” on each disease — also known as collecting enough city cards of the same color — and bring your findings to a city with a research center. Once you do so, that particular disease will have a cure. With a limited number of turns determined by the player deck, it’s definitely a challenge!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
“Interpret the rules.” That’s code for Kris reading the rules and trying to explain it to us while Kat and I played with the game pieces. The rules are a lot of fun though. Once you start playing, the game is easy enough to understand, but it’s difficult. We played so many games – with just us or with three people – and I think we won twice.

krismii
Yes, we do not have a great win streak with this game so far. Speaking of the game pieces, there is a bit to set up. Aside from the character pawns — each of which represents a certain role with a special ability or two — there was also the disease tokens, the outbreak and infection rate tokens, and the two deck of cards. The player deck consisted of the many cities you could travel to and the infection deck indicated which city became more infected at the end of every turn.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
To set up the game, you need to spread the virus around a bit so you can, you know, have something to cure. This is done by taking nine cards from the infection deck and, depending on their color – red, blue, yellow, or black – you need to place the virus block on those places. One infection on three places, two infections on three other places, and three infections on the last three places. Now, if a place has three infections already and they get infected again, an outbreak occurs. A place can’t have more than three infections so all the connecting places will end up getting one infection. Get seven outbreaks and the game ends.

krismii
All of the characters start in Atlanta at a research center along with a handful of cards from the player deck, indicating cities that they can charter a flight to. Working together, players must visit cities to start eradicating diseases. When you visit a city, you can take away a virus block as one of your actions. Players can take up to four actions during their turn, including traveling to another city, building a research center, or sharing knowledge with another player that is in the same city as them. Sharing knowledge is crucial, as it enables players to share city cards of the city they are meeting in. Collecting enough city cards of the same color is key to curing the diseases once and for all. During some of our games, we tended to assign a “disease” to each player, saying one would do her best to collect enough blue cards and another to collect black cards as a goal to find cures.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Depending on which character you choose, you have special skills as well. For example, I personally loved being the Medic because instead of taking away one infection in a city per action, I could take them all away as one action. It helped out a lot, but… we still lost the game a lot. And, honestly, I think we even fudged the rules a couple of times accidentally too. We still kept losing though, but it was a fun challenge nonetheless!

Pandemic gets a rating of…
Skip It | Try It | Buy It

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