Pokemon Stadium Memories

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Title: Pokemon Stadium
Company: Nintendo
Console: 
Nintendo 64
Release Date: 
February 29, 2000 – NA
How we got the game: 
We bought it

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Pokemon Stadium was revolutionary for us Pokemon fans back in the day. To be able to have Pokemon battles on the big screen of a television — in 3D models, no less — was amazing! It gave Rachel and me the ability to play our Pokemon together without the cables and wires that were necessary back then.

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It was one of the best games. You could battle each other by picking your own team and just going at it, or there were tournaments you could enter and attempt to make it to the top defeating CPUs with a random team the game gives you.

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While we tended to pick our own teams to go head-to-head, there was also the option of importing your Pokemon from the Red, Blue, or Yellow version of the core games. Pokemon Stadium 2 allowed you to do the same with Gold, Silver, or Crystal. It was a treat to see your Pokemon in 3D for the first time!

rachmii
I remember we used to get the roaster up, at the time it was only the main 151 Pokemon, and we would leave the room while the other picked their team. That way our opponent’s team was a surprise to us. If I recall, we often ended up with a lot of the same Pokemon.

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Yes, we tended to stick close to our favorite Pokemon, or ones that we believed would be really powerful. We didn’t know much about strategy when it came to types and move-sets back then! I also remember us randomly picking types out of a hat to comprise a type-specialist team to surprise the other with. Those were fun!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, I remember that as well! I used to always pick Charizard and then the three legendary birds… Though I think we, at one point, made a rule that we couldn’t use any legendaries. Lapras was always a big hit with us.

krismii
Yes, we loved Lapras for some reason. I don’t believe I ever trained one in the core games, though… Perhaps I should try to go for one soon! I remember you always having the Legendary birds, haha! Considering that Pokemon Stadium was one of the best-selling Nintendo 64 games, it’s a wonder that it never made it to the Virtual Console. I suppose Pokken Tournament is the spiritual successor of the Stadium games, but it would be nice to see an updated, free-for-all Pokemon Stadium at some point. It’d be code-heavy with all the Pokemon, but it’d be fun!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The Switch may be able to handle it, who knows? It can handle Breath of the Wild, after all. It would just take up all the memory space! Still, I hope we’re able to play the same again at some point.

Do you remember Pokemon Stadium? Have you ever played it? Let us know in the comments! 

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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky [Game Review]

Title: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
Company: Nintendo 
Console: 
Nintendo DS
Release Date: 
September 13, 2007
How we got the game: 
I bought it

I had played the original Mystery Dungeon games for the Gameboy Advance, so when they came out with more, I had to get them.gameplayExplorers of Sky is played very similarly to all the other Mystery Dungeon games. You start off by taking a brief personality quiz and, based on your results, you turn into a certain Pokemon. Then you get to choose who you want your partner to be.

This time around, I was an Eevee and chose Vulpix to be my partner.

Together, you become an exploration team and go on various adventures in the mystery dungeons. Sometimes you’re simply just exploring, other times you’re chasing after criminals or finding a lost item or lost Pokemon for a client.

In the dungeons, you come across enemy Pokemon and battle them. Sometimes they’ll want to join your team or they’ll just faint. Either way, you’ll gain experience points and level up. You’ll learn new moves, evolve, and overall become stronger.

My only complaint was the final boss. No matter how many levels you’ve gained, when you get to that point in the game, you can’t go back. I had such a hard time fighting the boss because I kept dying, so I lost most of my items (meaning I lost my oran berries and reviver seeds) and I wasn’t at a high enough level. It was tedious and frustrating.

graphics-music

 

As a Nintendo DS game, the graphics are really well done. They’re not as good as they are now, of course, but for 2007 (ten years ago!) the graphics are enjoyable.

The music is wonderful. I always tend to get the songs stuck in my head and I hum along as I go through the dungeons. A few of them even remind me of music from Paper Mario, which makes me love the music all the more.
storyThe story begins with you waking up on the beach and your partner looking down at you. After you become quick friends, and you help get your partner’s relic fragment back from a gang of Pokemon, the two of you form an exploration team. Everything you do is done for the exploration team.

Time Gears are hidden throughout the world and they’re being stolen one by one. With each Time Gear missing, time stops in that area and, with all of them gone, time will freeze forever. So, you actually have to race against time in an attempt to stop a certain Pokemon from stealing the Time Gears.

I won’t say too much due to spoilers, but you find out who’s really on your side and who’s not. You also discover interesting things about yourself along the way.

Overall, it’s a great story. It’s corny, but it’s Pokemon, and it’s enjoyable all the same.

 

replay-value

 

I would definitely play this game again. Each time you enter a dungeon, it’s different. So, even though the story is the same, there’s always a chance to play a “new” game.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Pokemon Art Academy Review

Double Jump Kris MiiHello everyone!

Being Pokemon month, Rachel and I decided to play through some of the Pokemon side games that we haven’t picked up in a while. The one I chose was Pokemon Art Academy for the 3DS, a game that I nearly forgot existed.

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Title: Pokemon Art Academy
Company: Headstrong Games, Nintendo
Release Date: October 24, 2014 in NA
Console: Nintendo 3DS
How I got the game: Rachel bought it and I borrowed it for the review.

Warning — there may be story spoilers!

gameplay

Pokemon Art Academy is rather simple in its gameplay. There’s not much of a story, except that you play as a character going to an art school to create Pokemon trading cards. At the school you learn various techniques when it comes to drawing the creatures, advancing through classes and developing your skills along the way.

The game consists of teaching you step by step on how to draw Pokemon. The touchscreen of the DS is liberally used as the stylus (or your finger) takes the place of whatever art medium you are using, such as pastels and paintbrushes. The beginning stages have you draw portraits of Pokemon, simple pictures that utilize common shapes such as circles. Later lessons teach you about techniques such as shading and opacity, along with having a freehand sketches. Unlike other Art Academy titles, Pokemon Art Academy showed various techniques that are used in digital drawings — such as layers and an undo button — rather than mimicking traditional mediums on a digital platform.

graphics-music

The graphics and music were both charming in this game. The graphics were simplified, being a nice contrast to your drawings, showcasing your art rather than being flashy with its own designs. Likewise, the music was always relaxing with the occasional sound effects used to mimic the art mediums you were using, such as the squeak of the pastel chalk, as you went about creating your art.

replay-value

Pokemon Art Academy has over 40 art lessons and, while some of them can get tedious for someone like my age (because, honestly, the game is aimed towards players about twenty years younger than me), I did have fun with it. I had always liked to draw when I was younger and it was nice to get back into it a little with this game.

While the lessons don’t change, there’s enough of a variety to amuse yourself with for a while. There was also a Free Paint Mode where you can draw whatever you wish, giving the game a bit more replay value than just going straight through the lessons. It’s a cute game to just sit back and relax with if you have a few minutes to spare.

Pokemon Art Academy gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Review

Double Jump Kris MiiHello everyone!

Being a sucker for the Fire Emblem franchise, I was very excited for the release of Shadows of Valentia, a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden that was released only in Japan. As always, this is just my personal opinion. Feel free to share yours in the comments!

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Title: Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
Company: Nintendo
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Console: Nintendo 3DS
How I got the game: I bought it.

Warning — there may be story spoilers!

gameplayLike the majority of Fire Emblem games, Shadows of Valentia is a turn-based tactical RPG franchise with a myriad of characters that the player raises into an army. Shadows of Valentia is based off of the Japan-only released Fire Emblem Gaiden. Considering I had never played any form of Fire Emblem Gaiden — emulated, translated, not even YouTube videos — the plot of Shadows of Valentia was completely new to me.

Despite the perma-death aspect that Fire Emblem games are famous for, I played the game in the Casual mode, allowing characters to come back after falling in battle as opposed to being out of the game entirely like they would on the Classic mode. While there is a special item called Mila’s Turnwheel in the game that lets players turn back a turn in the game should a mistake be made, the Casual mode allows me to fully enjoy and get to know the characters while also doing my best to unlock as many Support conversations between them as possible.

Unlike previous games with Support conversations, where various characters could be paired up, gain spouses or best friends, depending on how strong their supports were, Shadows of Valentia has a limited number of Support conversations. Characters have good or bad endings that are mostly dependent on whether or not their predetermined spouse or best friend lives until the end of the game.

Shadows of Valentia has plenty of the same character classes as previous games, with fairly strict class tiers. Unlike the Fates trio, Shadows of Valentia had gender-locked classes again, with Pegasus Knights and Clerics being female only, while males were the only ones who could be Mercenaries, Soldiers, and Archers. Mages and Cavalier class trees were accessible by both genders.

Tactical battles are similar to previous Fire Emblem games, with each side taking turns to move and attack. Each character class had access to specific weapons and magic, with many weapons unlocking special skills the more the character grew and used the weapon. Shadows of Valentia also had a navigable world map as well as dungeons that one could explore through a third-person behind-the-back perspective and towns that were explored like a visual novel, talking with villagers and allies, and point-and-click interaction with the backgrounds. I enjoyed this unique exploration take, even if some of the dungeons took a little too long for me to get into the next battle.

 

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As usual, I was pleased with the graphics of the game on the Nintendo 3DS. The few anime cut scenes were fun to watch, as was the opening video, and the character models were on par with the previous Fire emblem games. The battle maps and dungeons were mostly unique as well.

I definitely enjoyed the music too, the battle scores always leaving me eager to beat the map. This game also had full voice-acting, which was a pleasant surprise. I found myself really enjoying the voice acting, with each character’s tones being really well done. Exclamations, questions, pauses, everything said sounded full and natural.

story

Fire Emblem games revolve around wars and revolutions. Shadows of Valentia is no different, keeping the classic story formula that works so well for Fire Emblem games.

As a brief summary, the main plot involved warring gods, where each one ruled over one part of the continent of Valentia. The god Duma ruled Rigal to the north while the goddess Mila ruled Zofia to the south. Duma believed in strength while Mila believed in peace and pleasure, and the truce that the pair had was broken when Rigal’s Emperor Rudolf invaded Zofia to seal Mila in Falchion, a divine sword. It’s Mila’s disappearance that prompts Celica to start her journey to search for the goddess, while Rudolf’s invasion of Zofia compels Alm to leave his village to fight for the country he calls home. Eventually, Alm’s and Celica’s armies join up to take down the final boss to bring peace throughout the continent.

Shadows of Valentia has dual paths, letting the player switch back and forth between Alm’s and Celica’s routes with ease. Alm’s path consists of leading the Deliverance, a band of Zofia’s last remaining soldiers fighting to free their country from Rigal’s invasion. Even after Zofia is free and the larger plot looms before them all, Alm continues to lead his army into the heart of Rigal in order to break the land free of Duma’s influence. His path was my favorite regarding a variety of battles and scenes, along with plenty of interesting characters to recruit and speak to. However, his motivation for quite a few of his battles were saving a “damsel in distress” — literally all of the female recruitable characters except for Faye (who is even an optional recruit for Alm’s side) could be recruited after being rescued. Saving people is a fine motivation and all, but a little variety regarding who was saved or how the ladies were recruited would have been nice.

Celica’s route involves… mostly pirates, to be honest. Her path is about traveling to Mila’s temple and, upon finding Mila missing, searching for the goddess, pitting her against Duma’s most faithful follower Jedah. About half of her battles in the second act of the game took place on boats, which got monotonous for me quickly. The speed of the characters and their limited movement on boat maps were tedious unless I had the Pegasus sisters on my side. While her story and characters were more engaging to me than Alm’s was, there was in the second half of the story that bothered me about Celica’s character — she didn’t communicate as well as she could have with her closest allies. In order to move the plot forward, she needed to keep a secret, and it’s a common enough trope that just annoys the hell out of me. These people are putting their lives on the line for you, Celica, you owe it to them to tell them everything that’s going on!

All in all, the story was okay. The plot twists were simple enough to figure out long before the game revealed them, but it was still on par for a Fire Emblem game. I had fun creating strategies for the myriad of battle maps and raising my little army, which is what Fire Emblem games are all about.

replay-value

Like other Fire Emblem games, Shadows of Valentia has a decent replay value if one considers the different combinations one can use to create an army. However, in Shadows of Valentia, every recruited character is used in battle until the last dungeon where the player must pick nine additional members to go with Alm or Celica, depending on which side you are playing. Generally you pick and choose which members of your army joins you in a every battle in Fire Emblem games, giving them more replay value than Shadows of Valentia.

In addition to that, there are more varieties to character classes in previous Fire Emblem games than Shadows of Valentia had. In the beginning of Shadows of Valentia, players are able to choose a handful of classes for the few villager characters that join Alm’s side, allowing players to switch up what their beginning army will be like, but other than that, most classes are static and, depending on who you recruit, one side can get all swordsmen while the other is full of mages. Each presents their own challenges, of course, but I would look forward to replaying Shadows of Valentia more if I was given the chance to really choose my army with the classes and characters for each battle.

Of course, there’s plenty of DLC for the game as well, pricing at about $45 dollars for it all, which is more than the game is going for now on Amazon.

In my opinion, though, there are other Fire Emblem games that I will replay again before Shadows of Valentia.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Mario Party Star Rush Game Review

Mario Party Star Rush Game Review

Title: Mario Party Star Rush
Company: Nintendo 
Console: 
Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: 
November 2016
How we got the game: 
I got it as a gift

gameplay

The Main Game

I’d like to say that this game plays like the other Mario Party games, but it doesn’t. You and your opponents all move during the same turn, but not in a car. You have free reign to move where ever you want. And when I say that, I really mean it. The boards aren’t linear at all so you can run in little circles if you so choose.

That’s the main mode of the game, called Toad Scramble. You don’t choose your own character, everyone is a different-colored Toad. Along the board, there are hidden block spots. Land on one of those and you’ll get an item. The items aren’t that great, so I always wish for a mushroom (which adds 3 to your roll), a gold mushroom (which adds 5 to your roll), or a double dice block. You can grab coins where they appear and coin balloons. When popped, a mini game happens. The overall idea is to make it to the boss space, which holds a star. You collectively battle a boss and whoever gets the most points gets the star. This happens three times, the third and final boss holding two stars.

Ally Characters

During the game, ally characters appear to help you out. These characters include Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Waluigi, most typical characters you can play in Mario Party. Each ally has its own unique dice block and a certain skill. For example, if you have Yoshi on your team and you stand next to an apple, he’ll eat it and coins will appear.

The allys appear randomly on the board and you have to race your opponents to get to them. You’re allowed to have four allys with you and trust me, it helps. They’re CPUs, but they’re on your team. So, during the boss battles, you have five characters adding to your points. Plus, they roll a dice block with you. Your dice block goes up to six and while they have unique blocks, if you’re not playing as them, they’ll roll a block that goes up to two. So, you can roll a six and if you have four partners and they each get a two, you’ll end up moving 14 spaces.

Coins

Coins are super important, like in all Mario Party games, but I find them more important in this game. At the end of each game, they tally your coins. You get a star for each ten coins you have. So, if you end the game with 56 coins, you get five extra stars.

Coins are hard to come by though. The game is pretty cheap when it comes to handing out coins. Sometimes they’re scattered along the board and you just have to get there before your opponents do. Even then, it’s only one coin. Balloons will sometimes appear. That holds a small handful of coins and brings on a mini game. If you get first in a mini game, you get 5 coins. Second place will award you 3 coins, third will get you 2 coins, and fourth place will give you only 1 coin. If you land on the boss space, you’ll be rewarded with five coins.

The Boards

There are five “worlds,” but the first one is called World 0, which is mainly for practice and learning the tools of the game. So, there’s really only four playable Worlds.

Each World has three levels of the same board. World 1 has a beach theme, World 2 has a Haunted Boo House theme, World 3 has a cake theme, and World 4 is a Bowser Castle theme. So, yeah… four worlds, four boards. The third level of each board isn’t that hard and the game still doesn’t take long to play.

So, in this department, the game kind of failed for me. I was hoping for more variety in boards and for them to be a little harder. Sure, they each had some good qualities to them, but it wasn’t anything major and it really didn’t make the game any more difficult.

Boss Battles

There are ten bosses total. They’re all pretty straight forward and simple. Bowser is one of the bosses, but he only appears when you’re playing the Bowser Castle board. So, if you’re playing any other board there are only nine bosses.

They hold the stars you need to get. The first two bosses each have one star and the final boss has two stars. Get the most points in these battles and you’ll get the star. It’s simple enough, but it’s pretty one-sided.

If you have a ton of ally characters, you’re almost guaranteed a win. If you reach the space first and your opponents are far away, they have to rapidly mash the “A” button to reach the space, so you get a head start on the battle. If you get the last hit on the boss, then you get an extra 3 points, which often makes or breaks who wins.

I like some battles more than others. For example, battling Mega Goomba and Mega Blooper are kind of random. You’re not directly battling the bosses. You’re stealing apples from Goomba and you’re playing music with Blooper. Whereas when you encounter Mega Boo you have to bring flashlights to him in order to hit him and for Mega Monty Mole, it’s a big whack-a-mole game. Those are fun.

Still, the bosses can get repetitive depending on how much you play and, like I said before, they can be one-sided and you know who will win the battle before it even starts.

Mini Games

This game only has 53 mini games total. The includes the boss battles, the Bowser games, and the coin games from the Coinathlon mode. I think the amount of mini games you can play for the main mode, Toad Scramble, is 26. It’s not much at all.

The games that are available aren’t that great, either. No mini games compare to Mario Party 2 or any of the older Mario Party games, but I felt as though they could have at least added more.

The Other Modes

I have to say that I had more fun with the other modes than the regular party mode. I didn’t enjoy Toad Scramble as much as I should have. There are six other modes: Coinathlon, Mario Shuffle, Balloon Bash, Rhythm Recital, Challenge Tower, and Boo’s Block Party. Some are pretty out of place for the Mario Party game (like Rhythm Recital, Challenge Tower, and Boo’s Block Party). However, I had more fun with those modes than the others.

My Overall Thoughts

Toad Scramble was one-sided and little boring at times. It was an interesting concept, but I think they could have done better with it. I unlocked the master difficulty setting for the CPUs, which is the hardest setting for them, and I still dominated them. It was too easy, especially with the ally characters and the final hit on the boss battles.

Sometimes you don’t get all the stars, but you get most of the bonus stars as well as have a lot of coins at the end. You still end up winning. I think I only lost one or two times and I played a lot of this game to get my points up. (The more points you have, you level up and unlock things such as new characters. There wasn’t even much to that though… I’m on level 11 about to get to level 12 and the unlockable is the staff credits.)

This game is worth playing, if only for the other modes.

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The graphics in this game are great. They’re 3D, going along with the 3DS and modern times. The characters run smoothly and they each have their own facial expressions, though it’s not very varied. Still, it’s a Mario Party game, so they really only need to happy to win, sad to lose, or neutral.

I played multiplayer with Kris to try it out and that ran smoothly as well. I wanted to show her a lot since she doesn’t have the game, but through the download play on the 3DS we were limited to three modes: Toad Scramble, Balloon Bash, and Coinathlon. I only enjoy Coinathlon, but we had fun either way (I think she had fun). Still, it ran nicely through the Wi-Fi so I can’t complain about that.

The music was good, as always. I always enjoy Mario Party music. Especially through the Rhythm Recital mode and even Bloopers boss battle. I was always bopping my head to that music.

replay-value

Now that I’ve made it as far as I can go in this game, I’m not sure how much I’ll go back to play. I can’t see myself getting “in the mood” to play this game. If I want to play Mario Party, I’m going to play one of the older games. If I do ever go back to this game, it won’t be to play the main mode. I’ll be playing Boo’s Block Party or trying to beat the Challenge Tower.

Mario Party Star Rush gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Snipperclips Game Review

Snipperclips Game Review

Title: Snipperclips
Company: Nintendo 
Console: 
Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 
March 3, 2017
How we got the game: 
We bought it

krismii
Snipperclips was an adorable launch title for the Nintendo Switch, starring two characters that shared paper- and scissor-like qualities. While it can be a one-player game, the charm of Snipperclips is when you get multiple people playing together either as a team or competitively to solve the puzzles.

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It’s a fun, quirky game that I can definitely see playing with friends, which is mainly the point. The puzzles were simple but could be difficult at times. It was fun while it lasted.

gameplay

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Snipperclips is a puzzle game, full of levels designed to make the players think and work together in order to successfully solve them. Each player is armed with a Joy-Con held horizontally to control one of the little characters. The characters can cut each other into various shapes and sizes in order to find the best look to solve the puzzle.

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The controls were good, though there were a lot of buttons to remember. We often snipped each other when we meant to jump and so on. You could jump, crouch, stand on your tip-toes, snip, and reform yourself once or all the way. Using the joystick to move was a little fickle sometimes as well. You had to be precise but one little centimeter of moving the stick, your character would run sometimes.

 krismii
The puzzles were varied, with some needing the characters to cut out certain shapes, either out of themselves or from part of the level’s background, having to reunite frogs, catch fish, or carefully transport bird eggs to nests, and aiding this female character that Rachel named Linda with collecting hearts and jewels, as a few examples.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I enjoyed some puzzles more than others. I liked cutting ourselves to match the different shapes, but I could have done without the bird egg levels. Linda was pretty good as well as the frogs, fish, and catching fireflies. For those ones, you had to really think outside of the box to cut yourself or around yourself to make the level work. I enjoyed just making myself into different shapes.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics are one of the best aspects of this game! The characters are downright adorable with their animations, particularly with their facial expressions. They giggle when snipping at each other, cheer and sigh in relief when a puzzle is solved successfully, and even look exasperated at the television screen once in a while if a puzzle is taking too long to solve.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The characters definitely give this game personality. If you’re going to have a game that’s 100% puzzles with no storyline, you have to make it interesting somehow. The picture was clear and crisp with the Switch’s graphics, but the animation was cartoony which was refreshing to have over most 3D games now.

krismii
The music went very well with the graphics, I think. The music wasn’t too invasive while you were trying to concentrate on the puzzles, and the sound effects and the voices of the characters were spot-on. It kept you engaged without breaking your concentration.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The music was relaxing even though we frustratingly yelled at each other a couple of times. Despite how hard it can get, the game is light-hearted and supposed to be pretty simple (as simple as puzzle games go).

replay-value

krismii
While Snipperclips is fun to play with friends, once you finish up the puzzles… There’s not much else to do. It’s a charming game, but short — it only took Rachel and myself a couple of sittings to finish the levels of the main mode. We may return to the game only if we miss the cute characters and want to play something mindless since we’ve already solved the puzzles.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We have yet to try out Party Mode where you each play as multiple characters at once. We may return to that for an added challenge at some point. I would also love to play with friends because I’m sure having four people play at once is difficult, but fun. Still, each level didn’t take too long and there were only 15 levels for three areas. I do wish there were more.

Snipperclips gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Game Review

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe | Video Game Review

Title: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Company: Nintendo
Console: 
Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 
April 2017
How we got the game: 
We pre-ordered it

krismii
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a souped-up version of the original Mario Kart 8 that had been released for the Wii U in 2014. The Deluxe version included all of the original DLC that had been available for an extra cost for the Wii U version, along with the Battle Mode.

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At first, we were iffy on getting the game because while it would look nice on the Switch, we had the game for the Wii U. Then we found out it included all the DLC, which we never bought, so we decided to go for it. And we weren’t disappointed.

gameplay

krismii
Like the previous Mario Kart games, the gameplay of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe includes the player controlling his/her/their character of choice while driving around recklessly on extremely dangerous tracks with items that make said dangerous tracks even more dangerous. It’s tons of fun and so satisfying to speed by or pelt your opponents in order to climb the ranks!

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You can play using the Joy-Con as one controller (or the pro-controller) or you can play using one Joy-Con on its side like a steering wheel using the tilt motion controls. I prefer the motion controls while Kris prefers to move using the regular controls. In addition to that, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also has smart steering. You can turn that on and your kart or bike will keep you on the road. This is more for younger kids playing the game, but we had ours on for a while because we had no idea what it was or how to turn it off. It’s a cool feature, but I do enjoy the challenge and getting frustrated when I fall off a track.

 krismii
For the most part, we had the smart steering off since we’ve been around the tracks before. Surely we knew what we were doing, right? Of course, for the 200cc races, the smart steering helped a bit, but it’s so much fun to do without! The 200cc speed is insane!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We definitely had the most fun doing the 200cc races, I think. I enjoyed having the smart steering on because it gave me a shot, but I liked the challenge of trying to steer and brake myself. Once we finished all the races, we tried our hand at the battle modes. The battle modes were never something we typically played, but we tried them out anyway.

krismii
The battle modes were a lot of fun! Instead of competing in races, you’re going against each other in set rules, such as popping your opponents’ balloons, collecting the most coins, or seeing how many other racers you can blow up with Bob-ombs. Runaway Renagades was like Cops and Robbers, with one side being the police and the other “dodging the law,” and Shine Thief was a game of keepaway with a Shine Sprite from the Super Mario Sunshine game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
All modes were a lot of fun and we enjoyed ourselves more than we thought. We actually ended up getting a little more competetive than we thought. Then again, that’s what Mario Kart does to you…

graphics-music

krismii
With the game being on the Nintendo Switch, the graphics are wonderful. There hasn’t been an instance in playing Switch games where the graphics haven’t been well done, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has been no exception. Despite the fast pace the races move, the graphics are always smooth and it’s a delight to see the characters’ expressions so clearly.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
As stated earlier, we didn’t but the Wii U DLC for this game. So, a lot of the tracks are new for us. For example, we were amazed by Hyrule Circuit because the graphics were so well done. It was cool that there were rupees instead of coins and the layout of the track is awesome. Not to mention the music brings you right back to Hyrule.

krismii
Hyrule Circuit is one of my favorite tracks! It was also awesome to play as Link — the poor guy deserves a break from adventuring to join a go-kart race! I greatly enjoyed the music for all the tracks, to be honest. The majority of them were fun and fast-paced to match the races.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
For most of the tracks, I find myself humming along with the music. I blink and before I know it, the race is over. Though sometimes, I’ll admit, that I get distracted by trying to sing along with the music and dancing so I end up steering my character right off the edge of the track or get behind a tree or something.

replay-value

krismii
With all the different modes, race courses, characters and karts, and online capabilities, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has tons of replay value. Not only do Rachel and I have each other as gaming buddies, but the online mode allows us to play with friends around the world, and it’s pretty damn amazing.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is also a great game to get a group of friends together and compete against one another in real life. Ruining friendships is fun when you’re playing a Mario game. It’s also fun to play alone too. The challenge of going against the CPUs are fun as well as trying to train before you play against your friends.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 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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