Main Menus In Games

Main Menus In Games | Opening Sequences | Gaming | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Who’s still playing Super Mario Maker 2? We are going back and forth with it, still enjoying everything the game has to offer. We’re particularly amused and impressed at the main menu screen turning into a level itself. It’s always fun to see if we’re able to complete the main menu level as a warm-up to whatever levels we’re going to try during the game session.

rachmii
We have actually spent a decent amount of time on the main menu of the game. We tend to try to beat the level just to see what would happen if we did. Of course, there was a time we purposefully made Mario die just to see what would happen as well. I enjoy the fact that, each time you turn on the game, the main menu is a new level to try out.

krismii
I’m curious if the main menu levels are actually levels that were created by other Super Mario Maker users or if they’re all extra Nintendo levels and, perhaps, will eventually start to recycle? It was definitely a unique way to usher in the main menu, when most games nowadays have movie trailers. Legend of Zelda’s Skyward Sword had plenty of game footage to go with the theme, and Fire Emblem’s Three Houses has a lyrical theme accompanying the cut scene montage.

rachmii
I assume they’re Nintendo levels. There would be no levels made by other users when people first turned on the game when it came out. I do agree though – I wonder how many levels will cycle through. I did always enjoy Skyward Sword’s main menu, or the beginning of it. The first time we turned on the game, we were amazed at how “movie trailer” it was.

krismii
I assume the same, but I wonder if they eventually would cycle in some of the more popular user-made levels into the main menu. I do remember how much we loved Skyward Sword’s main menu theme. It was a stark contrast to Breath of the Wild’s main menu… Which was gorgeous, but really just still pictures of Link in various poses and places. What kind of main menu do you prefer? A nice theme song? The interactive menus? Or maybe just getting right to the game?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I like the main menus similar to Skyward Sword. I mean, the menu itself was bland, but the opening song and sequence really hyped you up to play the game. It made the game seem so much more than just a game. What about you, which would you prefer?

krismii
I agree with you. I adore full-out theme songs. Give me an orchestrated piece and I’ll be thrilled, haha! It’s one reason why I’ve been listening to a cover of Three Houses’s theme song often. I would love that soundtrack! Still, the interactive Super Mario Maker 2 level is pretty fun.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The interactive menus are definitely a close second for me. It’s fun to get a taste of the game or just warm up with it for a few minutes. But the music and sequence amps me up to play. I listen to the Skyward Sword theme song in my car all the time.

What kind of main menus do you prefer for your video games? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Bananagrams [Game Review]

Bananagrams | Board Game | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

krismii
When we went on vacation with the family at the end of July, we knew board games were going to be a way to bond and pass the time with everyone else. At one point during the week, one of our cousins bought Bananagrams, a fun little game that has no board. Instead, it’s a little banana-shaped pouch filled with letter tiles reminiscent of Scrabble.

rachmii
We used to have this game though I think we got rid of it when we went through all our old board games a long time ago. We were at the bookstore and, for some reason, Bananagrams was on a shelf. Our cousin grabbed it and it was the main game of the week. Our go-to games have always been Monopoly, Code Names, and Headbanz, but Bananagrams was the family favorite this year.

krismii
If you haven’t played Bananagrams before, it’s a quick-thinking game where one needs to create words intertwined together like on a personal Scrabble board using all of their letter tiles. All of the letter tiles start face-down in a pile in the middle of all the players. Depending on the number of players, everyone would start off with 15 to 21 tiles, only flipping the tiles over to start creating words when the game begins when someone says, “Split!”

rachmii
If you can’t fit a letter into your board, you can exchange that one letter for three in the middle of the pile. If you manage to fit all the letters you can say, “peel” and everyone, including yourself, will have to take one letter from the pile. Once there aren’t enough letters left in the middle for everyone to “peel,” then you can say, “bananas” and claim your win.

krismii
I don’t know why everything is banana-themed — who decided bananas were the best theme for this word game? — but it was still a great time all around. We managed to get everyone in the household playing a couple of games at least, and I cannot decide whether it was easier to create words by starting out with more letters or fewer.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Bananas is a fun word to say and the pouch is easy enough. Not to mention there’s also a game called Apples to Apples, so they couldn’t do that. I would love to try to play the game with double the letters. I believe there is a deluxe version, if you will, that doubles the letters so you can play with more people and have longer games. There was, at one point, when we split all the letters up. There were four of us playing and we each got 36 letters with none left over and we played like that without swapping tiles out at all. Whoever used all their letters first, won. Which is another nice thing about the game is that it’s your personal board so if there’s a letter that you need to fit and can’t, you can rearrange the other words to make it fit.

krismii
Having twice the letters would definitely be more interesting and chaotic. We were amazed at some of the words that the rest of our family came up with, too. Being the writers and bigger readers of the family, Rachel and I thought we would do pretty well conjuring up words, but some of the words that our cousins came up with — dandelion, homicide, bigger words than we usually came up with — were great to see.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Oh, please. I played the game and instantly forgot words existed, tried to make up words, and forgot the concept of spelling. Most of my words – it, them, dog, happy – were short and sweet. I did come up with a couple of good words here and there, though every game was different. I’d love to play again and try to do themed words. Like words related to video games or something. That’d be difficult, but a lot of fun.

Have you ever played Bananagrams? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Debate: Cool, Cool Mountain Vs. Big Boo’s Haunt

Debate: Cool, Cool Mountain Vs. Big Boo's Haunt | Super Mario 64 Levels | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo | DoublexJump.com

krismii
It’s been a little while since our last debate, and this topic came about when we were discussing our favorite levels from the classic Super Mario 64. We’re pitting our favorite levels against each other, with Rachel voting for Big Boo’s Haunt and me championing Cool, Cool Mountain.

rachmii
We both have our likes and dislikes when it comes to certain levels in Super Mario 64, but most of the levels are pretty well done. The game, as a whole, is a lot of fun. Though there are definitely some levels that are better than others.

krismii
Cool, Cool Mountain is one of my favorites, with the aesthetic being one of the reasons. I’ve always enjoyed ice levels, finding them to be pretty — you all are welcome for me restraining myself from making a “cool” pun — usually with the challenge of having your character slipping around everywhere. The level is bright with fun touches, like pine trees, ice slides, and snowmen.

rachmii
Cool, Cool Mountain is aesthetically pleasing, I’ll admit. Though I could say the same for Big Boo’s Haunt. Being a haunted house, it’s dark and mysterious and has creepy music to boot. The ghosts, during certain stars, will try to spook you throughout to get you to go away. It’s charming in its own right and there are puzzles within the level as well. You can’t get certain stars without getting the first few either.

krismii
While Big Boo’s Haunts needs to be dark for the theme, I suppose, I definitely prefer the brighter snow of Cool, Cool Mountain. The stars are mostly varied in the snow level — from ice slides to finding lost penguins to finding the snowman’s head to the wall jump challenge — while I feel the majority of Big Boo’s Haunts stars involve punching ghosts. Which, being ghosts, shouldn’t be a thing.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The stars in Big Boo’s Haunt are repetitive, I agree. However, the level itself is a puzzle. You need to get a certain star to make the stairs appear in order to get up to the second floor. You need to use the vanishing cap a few times. There’s the bookcase that you need to hit the books in a certain order and more. There’s a lot to explore in the level too. While not all of it is used, you can go to the back of the mansion and just see how big and worldly it is.

krismii
Alright, so Big Boo’s Haunt is more like one giant puzzle, with some stars piggybacking off of others, which is interesting in itself. Cool, Cool Mountain, though, is one big playground, its world just as big — if not bigger — than Big Boo’s Haunt. Cool, Cool Mountain’s overworld, if you will, is more fun to explore while Big Boo’s Haunt just has the exterior of the mansion. Cool, Cool Mountain’s only subworld is the giant ice slide, but it ties in with the rest of the exterior very well, being a natural tether between the top of the mountain and the base with the penguins.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
True, true, but it’s also really easy to slip or dive off the edge and lose a life. Then you have to start all over. Big Boo’s Haunt has various areas – outside, the basement, the house itself, and the roof – and there’s no way of falling off the level… of course, unless you accidentally swan dive off the roof. Then Mario would be a pancake.

krismii
…Can Mario die from falling off the roof of Big Boo’s Haunt? I don’t think I’ve ever thought of that. With that said, that’s one of the challenges of Cool, Cool Mountain and goes right along with the ice and snow. Yes, there’s a danger to falling off of the edge, but it makes you play that much more carefully — or recklessly, whatever fits your style — in order to beat the world. The worst Big Boo’s Haunt has is that a ghost runs into you, but they tend to give you plenty of coins for your health in return to you punching them.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I have no idea if Mario can die from falling off the roof, but he can lose quite a bit of health if he falls from high spaces. I don’t think it’s bad that the ghosts give you lots of coins. In fact, I think they were foreshadowing Luigi’s Mansion and I was able to live in those glory days of a beaten, run-down mansion all to myself… plus ghosts. Ghosts always win. End of debate.

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Harry Potter Trivia Prep

Harry Potter Trivia Night | Gaming | Game Night | DoublexJump.com

krismii
This past weekend we were slated to go to Harry Potter Trivia with some friends of ours. While I was unable to make it to the actual event, I did join the group for some prep the night before. The prep itself didn’t last too long in favor of another game, we’ll admit, but it was all in good fun.

rachmii
We had the intentions of “studying” Harry Potter trivia before the big event or just having a general Harry Potter game night. We had the first two movies playing in the background with Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit, Harry Potter Code Names, and Cards Against Muggles at the ready.

krismii
We at least opened the Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit box, but decided that the questions were a bit too simple, especially compared to a list of random trivia questions that I had found with the help of Google on my phone. After we decided to ignore the trivial pursuit questions — and we had pretty much eaten up most of the snacks — we broke out a deck of Uno cards.

rachmii
The trivia was fun, even if the Trivial Pursuit game was a bit too easy. Kris found the random trivia online and it was all obscure details that none of us, except one friend who took Kris’s place on the team, knew. Needless to say, we were pretty happy to have him on board with us.

krismii
Yes, glad you guys got someone who knew what he was doing to replace me! There came a point where I’m pretty sure another friend told me, “I like how you’re only asking him the questions now rather than leaving it open for all of us.” This is the same friend who was also probably the most polite during our many games of Uno that dominated the rest of the night.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, after an hour or so of trivia, we ended up breaking out the Uno cards and playing that for about three hours or so. It was a good night and a long night of Uno. I’m not sure where that came from, but with six people, it was an interesting few rounds of the game.

krismii
I got completely screwed over at one point in the game, but it was brilliantly done that I couldn’t be mad. It was a chain reaction of the “pick up two” card. I put one down for the next person, but they put another one down to make the third person pick up four cards, and it escalated until it went around the table and back to me. I had to pick up a whopping twelve cards, but it was definitely a great twist in the game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
That was the funniest part of the whole night, I think. At one point you had 25 cards in your hand and I’m pretty sure that’s close to half of the deck. It was a good night by all with fun company and great food. Plus, we were well prepared for the Harry Potter trivia the following night. (If you’d like to know how the actual trivia event went, you can check out the post on my personal blog here.)

Have you ever attended a trivia night before? Or had a game night where you planned one thing and did something else? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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A New Challenge Appears!

A New Challenge Appears | Video Games | Gaming | Gaming Challenges | DoublexJump.com

rachmii
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had a challenge on the blog. Kris and I have decided to do another challenge for the rest of the summer. Now that Super Mario Maker 2 is out and there are a boat-load of courses, we figured we’d challenge each other to a few – including some homemade courses of our own.

krismii
As creative as we are, I feel like Rachel and I tend to play others’ courses more so than make our own. I remember creating just a couple with the original Super Mario Maker game, having never really taken the time to fully explore all of the options the tools gave us. Super Mario Maker 2 has a lot more to offer, so I’m eager to really play around with it. Rachel, you can decide how many courses we should make for each other — two or three should be good, in my opinion — but I believe part of the challenge should include creating each course in a different game style.

rachmii
I think we should make three each for each other. Creating the levels in a different game style won’t be a bad idea either. Also, we should totally have one auto side-scroller, one-speed run, and one general level. Or at least choose a variety and not have three general levels, you know?

krismii
I’m all for variety, although I’m not sure about my abilities to create a speed-run, haha! Maybe a good puzzle, though, or one with lots of twists… We shall see what I come up with. Going along with a variety of levels, perhaps we should try to give them different terrains, like having a level up in the air, one underwater, a dungeon, the plains… Try not to repeat anything.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
That’s fair. I’m not too confident in my skills either. A puzzle would be good if we can think of it, for sure. Having different terrains is also a good idea. Not repeating anything is sort of what I meant with my last statement, you just worded it so much better! We’ll try to make these courses as unique as possible.

krismii

We’ll each make the courses under our own Switch profiles so we can’t see each other’s work. We’re aiming to livestream these levels on Friday, August 23rd for everyone to see. We’ll keep you all updated if the stream date happens to change between now and then but, for now, that will be our deadline to get these courses done. Anyone else who wants to share course IDs with us to play that day, just leave a comment here or hit us up on Twitter!

What do you think of this challenge? Feel free to join in and tune it on August 23 to watch us fail at each other’s courses! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Jump Up, Lifelight, and Other Theme Songs

Jump Up Superstar, Lifelight, and Other Theme Songs | Video Games | Gaming | Game Music | Video Game Soundtracks | DoublexJump.com

krismii
While we’ve always enjoyed video game soundtracks, even the pixel-y tunes from retro games, video games nowadays have huge orchestras backing them up. It’s awesome to me, and I just want to go to concerts that perform these songs. Super Mario Odyssey and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, two of the Nintendo Switch’s biggest games, have full theme songs with “Jump Up, Superstar!” and “Lifelight.” I got goosebumps the first time I heard those songs in conjunction with the opening of those games.

rachmii
I enjoy the fact that Nintendo is stepping up a bit when it comes to theme songs for some of their most popular games. It’s totally unexpected but it brings a new light to the game. When they announced the story mode for Super Smash Brothers Ultimate with the voice acting, movie trailer-like sequence, and the song, I was blown away. It was kind of weird, sure, but it was well done.

krismii
It was well done! I enjoyed finding and listening to covers of those songs on Spotify, especially since most video game music just sounds epic. The opening movie for the game reminded me of when I first became enamored with Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. That opening sequence still is one of my favorite video game theme songs, if you will.

rachmii
I agree. And having live performances is a step up too. I mean, they had someone perform Jump Up, Superstar at the Game Awards in… 2017? 2018? I forget when actually but it was a cool performance. I always enjoy those shows because they usually throw in a live band or orchestra, dancers, or something of the like.

krismii
I believe that was the original singer as well, which made it even better. The live orchestra performances are also one of my favorite parts of the Game Awards, E3, etc. It throws me back to when we went to the Legend of Zelda orchestra show, and I just want to enjoy more concerts performing video game soundtracks. It goes back to how, whenever we start up a new game, we tend to wait on the title screen to see if a theme song or trailer will begin playing.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I would love to see the Zelda orchestra again. But you’re right, we do wait on the main menu for a bit because the song is often epic and showcases the game like a movie trailer. Skyward Sword is still my favorite opening, by the way. The movie and sequence along with it were gold.

krismii
I would love to see an Octopath Traveler orchestra! Another franchise that has pretty good openings and theme songs, in my opinion, is the Fire Emblem franchise. I cannot wait until I’m able to turn on Fire Emblem: Three Houses for the first time and see how they animate that opening. I believe the opening trailer has been available for a while, but I’ve avoided it in order to experience it for the first time when I actually get the play the game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump

Octopath Traveler would be amazing to see live! I listen to the soundtrack on a loop in my car. I’m sure Fire Emblem: Three Houses is amazing as well. In fact, we should definitely play it today. I’m looking forward to hearing some new music!

What do you think of modern video game themes? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Forgotten City from RiME – Lindsey Stirling

Rime | Video Games | Music | Music Video | Lindsey Stirling | YouTube | Doublexjump.com

Lindsey Stirling is one of our favorite musicians at this time. She does violin, mostly electric violin, and we don’t believe we’ve showcased her here a couple of times before on the site, but it’s been a while.

While Lindsey does mostly original songs right now — her next album is actually coming out near the end of this September — she does have a few gaming-related music videos up on her YouTube channel. The latest one was done a couple of years ago for the game RiME. While we’ve never played RiME, the music was beautiful, and Lindsey did a video for one of the original songs, Forgotten City. We hope you enjoy it as we do!

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