[Review] Octopath Traveler

Game Review: Octopath Traveler | Nintendo Switch | RPG | Square Enix | DoublexJump.com

Title: Octopath Traveler
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform:
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Role-playing, Adventure
Release Date: 
July 13, 2018
How we got the game: 
We pre-ordered it through Amazon

krismii
Everyone and their mother was waiting for this game to be released for the Nintendo Switch, and it did not disappoint! With fantastic storytelling elements and beautiful art and music assets, Octopath Traveler was a win!

rachmii
Octopath Traveler is a wonderful RPG that is rich in storytelling and game play alike – just how we like our games.

gameplay

krismii
Octopath Traveler is first and foremost an RPG. With an expansive world to explore, you use the analog stick to move your little party around on the overworld as well as choosing what attacks to use for battle. The battles are a turn-based style between your party and the enemies.

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Each character has their own set of skills, talents, and elements. We chose to play as Therion, the thief, and he has the talent to steal from people in the overworld and can pick locks. He has the fire element and can use that in battle against enemies along with various thieving skills and moves.

 krismii
Once you collect more party members, you’ll have the ability to use each member’s action on the NPCs. Some are more useful than others. We’re enjoying Therion’s steal and Alfyn’s Inquire for hints and tidbits, but we haven’t found a use for Olberic’s Challenge other than going into random battles as extra practicing. Considering all the monsters and enemies you encounter while traveling between towns, it seems a little redundant so far.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This game has a fairly big map with 8 very different stories to follow and different starting points and end goals for each character. However, the map itself isn’t confusing and it’s pretty straightforward on where you need to go next. There’s the large overworld map where you can see where to go in order to get a new character or to the next chapter. However, you can roam in small sections of the map to get from one town to another. Along the way, you can find chests with various items such as healing grapes, olive of life, or various armor and weapons to aid you along the way and to also be used in battle.

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The battle system is typical turn-based combat, being an RPG, of course. Each character has a weapon or two type that they can use, along with special moves that either strengthen their physical weapon, special elemental attacks, or help or hinder the status of them or their foes. The enemies have certain weapons and elements that they are weak against. When hitting an enemy with an attack they are weak to, you can weaken and ultimately break their defense. Once this defense is broken, they will be stunned for a turn and your attacks will do more damage.

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With each turn, your characters gain a boost. You can have up to four boosts at once which, when activated, can hit the targeted enemy the same number of times you’ve boosted. So if you have 4 boosts and use 2 of them, your character will hit the enemy twice.

graphics-music

krismii
We gushed a bit on the graphics and music already on our first impressions post, and they haven’t disappointed us. The art style is beautiful, with the characters and foreground being sprites with a look that reminds me of a pop-up book, while the backgrounds tend to be more realistic. Seeing the stark difference of a pixel-y sprite next to a clear running river was beautiful.

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The art style is definitely breathtaking. The designs of the characters, enemies, and various landscapes – the overworld, villages, battle backgrounds, etc. – are just amazing. You can tell the designers really put their heart and soul into this game.

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And then the music. Holy crap, the music is probably one of my favorite aspects of this game! I’m seriously considering buying the soundtrack. Tunes were fitting for whatever part of the game we were in, be they battles, the overworld, or just part of the narration.

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The music was amazing, as were the sound effects. They were spot on with the battle techniques or just walking on stone or dirt. The voice acting was also spot on. The voices didn’t miss a beat and their tones were perfect to whatever was going on in the game.
story

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Rather than a singular story, Octopath features several plot points to cater to their eight main characters. Each character has their own chapters to their story that you can play through after collecting the character for your party. Each chapter, when playable, will show up on the map along with the character’s icon and a recommended level. It was definitely done in an interesting fashion, even if we’re not fully engaged in some of the character’s stories… not yet, anyway.

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We chose Therion as our first character, which means he needs to remain in our party at all times. We enjoyed his story and thought it was pretty engaging. Instead of heading to his second chapter, we took the scenic route around the map to collect all seven of the other characters. Once you run into a character you can talk to them and then play the first chapter of their story.

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Therion’s story is about tracking down a special treasure for a noblewoman, not out of the goodness of his heart, but so she will remove a bracelet that signals him out as a failure of a thief. Primrose the dancer is about seeking revenge for the death of her father, while Alfyn was eager to see the world and better his skills as an apothecary. Olberic was previously a war hero and he takes up his sword once more to find an old friend turned traitor to find out answers to a battle long ago.

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Cyrus is a scholar in search for a stolen book and Tressa wants to explore the world and better herself as a merchant. H’aanit is a hunter searching for her master who went off to hunt a beast a year ago and never returned. Ophelia is taking up a religious pilgrimage in replace of her sister so she can stay by their ill father’s side. All the stories are unique though there are some that were more interesting than others. A lot had flashbacks to give more depth to the story and others didn’t. Those ones didn’t feel as deep as the others.

replay-value

krismii
Aside from the sheer enjoyment of being in this world Octopath Traveler has some great replay ability. There are eight starting characters to choose from, and you can pick and choose which other characters you’d like to join your party. If you wanted a real challenge, do a one or two character run. While we haven’t fully explored them just yet, you can also add additional jobs or classes onto characters to give them more skills and weapons in battle.

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You can go through the story once and collect all the characters following all their stories in one play through, or you can pick and choose, saving the other characters for your next play through. Or, like Kris said, you can challenge yourself and try to limit the number of characters you have. Overall, there’s a lot to do in this game and it’s definitely worth it to take your time.

Octopath Traveler gets…
4-lives
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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NES Classic Console Review

NES Classic Console Review | Nintendo | Gaming | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Hey, we finally got an NES Classic! I’ll admit, it wasn’t really on my radar after there wasn’t enough stock to go around the first time they were released, mostly because they were games I didn’t remember too well. Yet, when we got the chance, we were lucky enough to get one during the second release this past June.

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I’ll be honest – I pretty much wanted one because I want to collect all the consoles and it compliments our tiny SNES so well. I’m excited to get to play older games that I never played as a kid because… well, I wasn’t born when some of them came out.

krismii
It is a nice little console and my first reaction to seeing it was chuckling like an idiot because “it’s so tiny!” That turned to a perplexed, “Wait… There’s only one controller?” and “Why would it NOT include an AC adapter?” Thankfully, because we have the SNES Classic, we’re able to share that AC adapter with the NES Classic as well as the SNES controllers in case we want to play a two-player game. Were there other models of this system that include two controllers and/or an AC adapter? I’m not sure if we’re just dorks and didn’t notice the box excluding those when we ordered or if they’re all like that.

rachmii
Well, I’m glad the SNES controllers work with it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to play together. Again, maybe we were just clueless and not paying attention, but I just assumed there would be two controllers since there are two-player games. At least we had no trouble fitting the controllers in like we did with the SNES though!

krismii
That’s true… but we will have a little trouble with sitting back from the television with the NES controller. We heard the cords were short, but we weren’t quite prepared for them being half of the length of the SNES controllers. Maybe that’s part of the nostalgia. The short cords make it so we have to sit as close to the television as we did when we were kids so our parents will come in and tell us, “Don’t sit so close to the screen, you’ll ruin your eyes!”

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We have a fairly big TV too so I don’t think we’ll be able to sit too close to it for very long. I enjoyed holding that controller in my hand though. Even though it’s an old one, I never really played with it when I was a kid. So it was like we just got a brand new console. Which, in a way, we did… but I guess I’m trying to say I don’t feel nostalgia over the console itself. So it was cool to use that controller.

krismii
It was fun to hold that controller again. Like Rachel, even I wasn’t around when the original NES came to town — I was only one when the original SNES came out — but I remember a few of the NES games from our older sister and our uncles. I’ve played some of the Mario games, usually on the SNES All-Stars cartridge, but that’s pretty much it for the NES Classic library. Despite the shortcomings of the NES Classic and its controller (pun intended), I am looking forward to trying out some of the games, especially the original Legend of Zelda titles.

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It’s definitely a great little console and I’m looking forward to delving into some games from before my time. Plus, revisiting the old Mario games as well as playing the first two Zelda games for the first time.

Have you gotten the NES Classic? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Lion’s Song [Game Review]

Game Review: The Lion's Song | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | DoublexJump.com

Title: The Lion’s Song
Developer: Mi’pu’mi Games
Publisher: Mi’pu’mi Games
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Adventure
Release Date: 
July 10, 2018
How we got the game: 
We bought and downloaded it onto our Nintendo Switch

krismii
I first heard about The Lion’s Song from a random article that detailed some good indie games that were coming to the Nintendo Switch. The premise and graphic style from the screenshots the article provided intrigued us enough to give it a try.

rachmii
It reminded me of a visual novel, even though that’s not the style of the game. However, each character is in the creative arts and shows their individual stories. That’s what enticed me to the game.

gameplay

krismii
The Lion’s Song is a point-and-click visual novel-like game. Each episode stars a different person practicing an art form, like composing music or painting. While trying to navigate their problems, you point and click on their surroundings, trying to help guide them in the right direction.

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The premise of each story is to help their muse along so they can get their work done. However, you’re also solving their real-life problems in the process as they try to focus on their work and also reality.

 krismii
While doing this, choices pop up from time to time. The outcome of the situation will depend on how you answer these choices. At the end of each episode, the game tells you whether or not the majority of other players picked the same choice as you, as well as giving you the opportunity to return to the point of the story of the choice to choose the other options if you’re curious as to the other outcomes. Going back and seeing how the other choices work out does not affect the current playthrough, which I thought was a nice touch.

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There’s not much else for you to do as the player other than try to make the right choices for your character. As long as you can move the analog stick and press the A button, you’re good to go. The gameplay is simple and you just need to follow the storyline for each character.

graphics-music

krismii
I was definitely interested in the art style of this game. It reminded me of a comic or a film noir, grainy with not too many colors. It wasn’t displeasing at all — I’m always up for trying games with unique art styles.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
At first glance, the art style can seem “boring” to some people, but it really adds a certain atmosphere to the game. The game can get intense at times and the art style really adds to that feeling.

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Along with the art style, the music and sound effects really work with the game in ramping the tension and setting the atmosphere. For example, the first episode starred a young woman named Wilma trying to create a violin composition. She’s writing it in a cabin nestled in the mountains with a thunderstorm brewing overhead. The rain, the wind, the thunder, the scritch-scritch of her pen as she writes the melody… It all works together beautifully to set the tone.

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Plus, as she has revelations with writing the composition, her violin will play in the background as though she’s hearing the music as she writes the notes. It’s cleverly done.
story

krismii
In the first episode of The Lion’s Song, we play as Wilma, a young musical prodigy struggling to compose a final piece for a concert. She fights through anxiety, unrequited love, and nightmares while trying to find the inspiration and her voice in a secluded mountain cabin for her piece. Your choices help decide if she can finish her melody on time for the concert.

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In Episode 2, you play as Franz, an artist. You aid him as he tries to paint people as real beings showing their true personalities. This one is tougher than the first episode. It’s not as linear and a lot of the choices are tougher.

krismii
Episode 3 starred a woman mathematic. Rachel and I both jokingly balked at doing a story about math, but it was probably one of our favorite episodes. Back in the time that the game is set — right on the cusp of World War 1 — it was unheard of for a woman to have a brain “logical” enough to grasp mathematics, let alone create and prove her own theories. Her story was about reaching out and finding help with her theories, but her gender prevented her from connecting with the like-minded male professors of math, causing her to cross-dress in order to join their circle. One of the main mechanics of this episode was flipping back and forth between her female and male personas in the pursuit of knowledge and smashing the sexist barriers found in that time.

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Episode 4, the final episode, was short and sweet. It took us about an hour to get through and it was a neat wrap-up to the previous three episodes. You’re stationed in a train car talking to three other men and you get to play as those three briefly as they swap stories, all connecting back to the other three episodes. I don’t want to say too much due to spoilers, but it was very well done.

replay-value

krismii
Considering all the different choices you can click on throughout the episodes to show off different results and endings, The Lion’s Song has some decent replay value. Each episode has secrets about the characters, a story that you unravel with your choices, and it was always interesting to see how the episodes themselves connected with one another.

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Once you finish an episode, stats appear showing how many other people chose the same choices you did. You can go back and change your decisions to see what else could happen. It’s a great game with wonderful storytelling.

The Lion’s Song 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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The Witness [Game Review]

Game Review: The Witness | Video Games | Gaming | Video Game Review | Xbox One | Puzzle Games | DoublexJump.com

Title: The Witness
Developer: Thekla, Inc.
Publisher: Thekla, Inc.
Platform:
Xbox One (Playstation 4, PC, and Mac)
Category:
Puzzle & Trivia
Release Date:
January 26, 2016
How we got the game:
I downloaded it onto my Xbox One

 

 

 

The Witness is a game I had heard about through watching a streamer on Twitch. I was instantly drawn to the tranquility of the game and the beauty of the graphics. When I realized it was a puzzle game, I was all in and wanted to give it a try myself.

gameplay

The Witness is easy to play, but not easy to figure out. You play in first person mode moving around with the analog stick exploring an unfamiliar island. There are computer-like screens just about everywhere with puzzles on them.

Each puzzle is a line puzzle, for lack of a better way to describe them. You start at once end and make your way to the other. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Each puzzle has its own set of rules. For example, the tutorial puzzles are as easy as getting the line from one end of the other, but the next set of puzzles have black and white dots in the mix. To get the line from one end to the other on those puzzles, you need to take a roundabout way to group the black dots together and the white dots together, separating the colors.

That one is fairly easy to figure out the rules once you get the hang of it. There are no rules or no directions. This game has no dialogue or instruction of any kind. You need to figure out the puzzles, the “rules” of each puzzle on your own. You need to explore the island on your own and decide where to go next.

I’m pretty sure there is no linear path, but the puzzles do get more and more difficult as you progress.

graphics-music

Normally I’d say the puzzles are my favorite part of the game, but I think for this one it’s the graphics. The world The Witness has taken you is a beautiful one, even if it is unfamiliar and a bit scary to explore.

The colors are so bright and each biome (the forest, the desert, etc.) are spot on with their colors and the overall atmosphere. There are some interesting spots throughout the island which are meant to help you get your memories back. The island has a mysterious aura around it and it’s done well.

There’s not much music to this game. It’s soft and soothing that adds to the calmness of the island and aids you when you get frustrated with a puzzle here and there.
storyAt the beginning of the game, your character wakes up in a dark tunnel. You make your way out into the fresh air of the island with some tutorial puzzles. However, you have no idea who you are, where you are, or how you got there in the first place.

The story is a mystery and you need to explore the island and solve the puzzles to find clues about your past and the island itself.

replay-value

This definitely has some replayability since one could never remember the solutions to the puzzles. While they don’t change, some of the answers are so complex you can’t remember them and have to re-figure them out. There are well over 600 puzzles in this game, so you may even forget some of the rules to certain puzzles.

This is a one-player game, but I can see playing with a group, passing the controller along, trying to figure the puzzles out together or simply just taking turns to give your brain a rest.

The Witness gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Burnstar [Game Review]

Happy Sunday!

We’re over at Miketendo64 today with another Nintendo Switch game review of Burnstar.

Head on over and check it out!

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Miles & Kilo (Game Review)

Happy Wednesday!

We’re over at Miketendo64 today with a new Nintendo Switch game review, Miles & Kilo. Check it out and we’ll be back tomorrow!

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Sims 4 Seasons Expansion Review

Double Jump Kris MiiHello, everyone!

The Sims franchise is a favorite of mine ever since a coworker back from college let me borrow her collection of Sims 2 expansion packs. Sims 2 turned into Sims 3, which I still have installed, before Sims 4 came around. Sims 4 is how I find myself wasting and enjoying time nowadays, especially with the newest expansion pack, Seasons.

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The Sims 4 Seasons expansion pack came out a couple of weeks ago on June 22. Being a Sims expansion pack, I bought it for myself just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo, a monthly writing challenge, and I’ve been playing it as a reward for whenever I reach my word count goal for the day.

The Pets expansion packs always tend to be my favorites, because who doesn’t love virtual dogs and cats? Aside from that, though, Seasons is right up there as it gives so much more variety to the world that you’re playing in. The temperature changes, holidays, the new clothes and accessories for the sims, Seasons was always a coveted expansion pack for the Sims.

The Sims 4 Seasons comes with all of those. The temperature changes bring about new deaths and interactions for the sims, depending on how hot or cold the weather is. A thermostat is a new item for homes and businesses, allowing sims to make the temperature inside the house comfortable… supposedly. I still had my sims automatically dress up in their outdoor winter gear around the house in the colder weather despite the thermostat being set to warm (not to mention a fireplace or two in the house).

Holidays were interesting, especially since you can create your own. A calendar button is included in the interface, allowing the player to see the coming seasons and holidays in the next couple of weeks. Each holiday has “traditions” that you can assign it, actions that your sims can take in order to really celebrate the holiday. For example, Lovefest is the Valentine’s Day equivalent, and traditions can include gifting flowers to someone or going on a date, while Harvestfest’s main tradition is eating a Grand Meal. A sim’s personality traits also effect how they feel about the individual traditions. A romantic sim loves the idea of going on a date during Lovefest, while a loner sim ignores the same tradition. It’s pretty interesting to play around with, creating your own holidays as well as being able to plan events like birthday parties in advance.

The biggest addition to Sims 4 Seasons is the Gardening career. The gardening skill got an overhaul, making plants seasonal, while also adding the Flower Arrangement skill. With the Gardening career, you can either become a botanist or florist. Botanist focuses more on research and the gardening skill, while florist utilizes the flower arrangement skill as well. Gardening is the type of career that allows you to work from home if you wish like the careers from City Living, or you can create your own retail store for your floral arrangements if you have Get to Work.

One of the disappointing aspects of the expansion pack, in my opinion, is that there was no beach world or beach area to allow the sims to swim in the ocean or just hang out, really. Imagine being able to have a 4th of July-based holiday on the beach or just a beach party to go with Seasons. In Sims 3, with its open world, being able to swim in the ocean was a major development, and I feel that Sims 4 is missing out on this.

Still, there are plenty of extra activities, such as rollerskating, ice skating, beekeeping, having snowball and water balloon fights, along with the new holidays and Gardening career to keep you entertained should you choose to purchase the expansion pack. If you’re a big fan of the Sims and have the cash to spare, Seasons is a pretty good expansion to add to your game.

Do you play the Sims 4? Have you gotten the Seasons expansion pack? What do you think of it?

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