Mario Party The Top 100 [Game Review]

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Title: Mario Party The Top 100
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
Party, Multiplayer
Release Date: 
November 10, 2017
How we got the game: 
We each preordered a physical copy

krismii
Mario Party is one of those game franchises that makes or breaks friendships. It was one of the games that were a stable in our childhoods as we grew with the generations of Nintendo consoles. We have lots of fun memories with the earlier installments of the games, but the newer ones were disappointing to us. We were hoping for the Top 100 to bring back a little fun to the franchise.

rachmii
I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much for this game, but I was excited nonetheless. They were bringing back old school mini-games, what could go wrong? Well, they did some wrong… but it was still nice to replay some of the old mini-games again.

gameplay

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Mario Party The Top 100 celebrates the top one hundred mini-games from the main franchise. With several modes, the Top 100 allows players to compete and play mini-games either alone or by linking up wirelessly with friends. Each mini-game has been updated with their graphics and controls to bring it up to speed with today’s modern handheld technology, and they all use simple controls to play, usually only a couple of buttons and the control stick to move.

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There are five main modes of the game, one being only for the single player while you can play the other four modes with friends. 100 Minigames, Minigame Island, Minigame Match, Championship Battles, and Decathlon. Minigame Island was probably my favorite mode, but even that wasn’t too great, to be honest.

 krismii
100 Minigames is a free-for-all mode, where you can play whatever mini-games you’ve unlocked whenever you want. Minigame Island was the single-player mode, where you would go through a series of little “islands” connected via warp pipes and defeat minigames as levels. As a single player, you would choose your character at the beginning and the character you would like as your partner during two-versus-two games. Your opponents in the game are randomized, as are their difficulty level. Each minigame win earns you ten coins, which earns you a life after you collect 100, as well as star points similar to those in Mario Party 9 and 10. If you lose a minigame, you lose a life.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Well, if you come in fourth you lose a life. If you come in third, you get one mini star. Second gets you two mini stars, and first place gets you three mini stars. You want to collect all the mini stars you can (300 total) so that you can unlock something at the end. I liked this mode because it was completely random and it was all minigames, but it definitely would have been more fun playing with other people rather than alone.

krismii
I wonder, if you play through the Minigame Island again, if the mini-game levels would be random? I agree that the island would have been more fun if that was a mode you could link up with friends to play. The modes were you could link up with friends weren’t too bad, however, what fans seemed to really want were boards like the original series had. Instead, Top 100 reuses the Star Rush board with some tiny updates, a small board where everyone moves at once one to six spaces, and you play a mini-game only if someone catches a mini-game balloon. It’s… not the most fun experience.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s boring, to put it bluntly. The board is small and not exciting at all. Not to mention that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Star Rush. It probably won’t be a mode I’ll play again. Another mode is Championship Battles and that wasn’t as great as it sounded. You play 3 to 5 minigames and see who can win the most. It sounds fun in theory, but they only allow 3 or 5 minigames. What about 10? What about 20 or 50? That would certainly raise the stakes and have a longer playtime with friends. It was easy for the games to become one-sided, especially when playing with CPU characters.

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Decathalon was similar enough to Championship Battles, but players would compete for earning the most points depending on their ranking in the mini-game as well as time or your score, if they applied. The higher ranking you are in the mini-game, the more points you earn. After so many mini-games, the player with the highest amount of points wins. It seemed pretty skewed, to be honest. The mini-games were random and, once you become in first place in a couple, you seemed golden on the road to win the Decathalon. With players that are fairly even in their mini-game skills, it’s not much of a challenge.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The Decathalon wasn’t too bad. But yeah, I don’t think I’ll be playing that again anytime soon. The game also had minigame packs as well. Each pack was its own category of minigames from the various Mario Party games. (Gamecube Pack, Nintendo 64 Pack, Action Pack, Sports Pack, etc.) This is a cool idea in theory. When playing Minigame Match (similar to Star Rush), you choose a pack. Then you and the other players vote from your respective pack on which game to play. This is a cool idea, but you can only choose from the five games in your pack. I would have liked to be able to vote on a set of 30 or something, that 30 would be random each time you played. I would have liked to see more variety.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics and music weren’t bad. They weren’t spectacular, but they weren’t bad. Graphics-wise, the game’s images are clear and crisp on our 2DS handhelds.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s certainly interesting to play minigames from Mario Party 1, 2, and 3 with updated graphics. I enjoyed seeing the characters and games in a new light, especially with their updated voices and such.

krismii
While the music wasn’t bad, as they seem to be reminiscent of the Mario Party series, it has changed. Many of the minigames have “updated” music, which are different tracks rather than merely updated versions of the original songs. We did notice that, in Minigame Island, the victory song matches the song that was played in the Mario Party game that the minigame came from. It was a cute, nostalgic-inducing touch.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I didn’t mind the music at all. I found it upbeat and lifting like any other Mario Party game. Also, there were the nostalgic tunes thrown in there. While updated, like Kris said, they were still nice to hear.

replay-value

krismii
The Top 100, while not what we wanted it to be, was decent for nostalgic purposes. It may be a game that I pick up once in a while if I have a little time to kill. Once you unlock all the minigames, it can be fun just to go around and replay your favorites.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree with Kris. However, Mario Party is the kind of game you want to play with your friends and I felt as though this game was better in single player mode than with friends only because there was more to do. Still, I’m glad I could revisit old games again.

Mario Party The Top 100 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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Our Sappy Thank You Post

thankyou

krismii
During my lunch break from my day job recently, Rachel asked, “Where do you think we’d be without the Switch?” In all honesty, we’d probably be playing lots of other older games and still be really sad about not playing Breath of the Wild on the new console. However, the question did get us thinking about all of the contacts and friends we’ve made due to both this blog, video games, and the Switch itself.

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We’ve played through so many games on the Switch in the past couple of months. Old games and new games, Nintendo games and indie games. It’s definitely broadened our horizons as we’ve played games we’ve never thought we’d even look at. And we’ve enjoyed pretty much all of them and can’t wait to get our hands on more.

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Many of those games we wouldn’t have given much of a chance or a second look if not for Jack and Mike at Miketendo. They’ve been fantastic friends and contacts since this blog started, and it has been a pleasure working with them this whole time.

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When we first decided to start Double Jump (almost two years ago now!) we never really imagined that we would have made such wonderful connections. It’s not even just Mike and Jack, but it’s the whole team at Miketendo (sorry, I’m not naming anyone, there are too many and I know I’ll end up leaving someone out). We knew most of them before the Switch of course, but it’s just funny how games on the Switch seemed to really bring us together. Looking back on our game reviews, we’ve played and reviewed over 10 games in the past two months. That doesn’t seem like much, but our original goal was one a month for the year.

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This blog was started due to our love of video games, even though video games themselves tended to take a backseat due to day jobs. When the Switch came out and we started being in regular contact with the rest of the Miketendo team, we’ve been playing and enjoying video games more often again. It’s been a treat to actually try out a new game, to discuss the story of it, to wonder how everyone else may enjoy the game. As sisters, Rachel and I have always had much in common, but it’s special that these games and this blog keep us close.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We’ve had a lot of help from our fellow gaming bloggers along the way, but we also couldn’t keep the blog going without our readers. We’ve had a lot of fun the past year, we’ve learned a lot, and we love connecting with our followers and even readers who just pass by but still take the time to check out the blog. We’re planning a lot of cool things for the blog and can’t wait to share it with all of you. Happy (early) Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thank you, everyone!

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Super Mario Odyssey [Game Review]

Super Mario Odyssey Game Review

Title: Super Mario Odyssey
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Action, Platformer
Release Date: 
October 27, 2017
How we got the game: 
We preordered a physical copy

krismii
Super Mario Odyssey has been hailed as one of the best 3D Mario games to date, with all of its homage to Super Mario 64 and the rest of the 3D family. It’s certainly one of the more fun games that we’ve played all year!

rachmii
When this game was first announced, I’ll admit that I wasn’t too excited for it. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be with the hat. But it’s a Mario game and I had a lot of faith in it. It didn’t let me down.

gameplay

krismii
Super Mario Odyssey utilizes many of the Switch’s Joy-Con motion control aspects. With the Joy-Con, you move Mario and the camera with the control sticks and Cappy, Mario’s new companion, with flicks and twists of the Joy-Con. While you can also play the game with the pro controller and the Joy-Con grip, we found it easier to use the detached Joy-Con and their motion controls.

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It took me a while to get used to the motion controls as I preferred the pro controller. I did end up using each Joy-Con separately for the motion controls and got used to it though. While you can get through the game without the motion controls, there’s a lot more you can do with them.

 krismii
Aside from the motion controls being used to throw Cappy in various ways, Mario moves very similarly to his Super Mario 64 counterpart. Many jumps were included, such as the long jump, the triple jump, and the wall jump, as well as a somersaulting move that was wicked fun to execute! Using all of these moves enabled you to help Mario collect the levels’ various Power Moons and, holy crap, were there a lot of Power Moons to collect!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Mario was super easy to control! I mean, I still fell off cliffs a lot, but he was pretty smooth either way. Yes, there were a lot of Power Moons. In a way, we felt as though there were too many. There’s a great amount that are deeply hidden within the levels, but there are so many that are just sitting out in the open for you to collect and it makes you go through the story mode so much faster. I feel like they wanted us to explore rather than complete the story. It’s almost as though they wanted us to rush.

krismii
Yes, I wasn’t too pleased with the amount of Power Moons — it seemed as if the amount was excessive. I would have been more invested in the game if there were less Power Moons but a greater challenge in finding them. With over 800 Power Moons available in the game, I feel as if we were stopping every five minutes for the, “You Found a Power Moon!” jingle, and I felt that it got old fast. I wanted to go through the story and have more meaning to the Power Moons that we found.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
While I agree, I do understand why there were so many. I am looking forward to getting back to the game to collect them all. I just wish the main story didn’t go so fast. Once we had enough Power Moons to keep going, we just got so eager to move on. Before we knew it, the credits were rolling.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics are absolutely gorgeous — you can see all the details of Mario’s mustache! Granted, we expected nothing less after seeing the Switch’s capabilities with games like Breath of the Wild, but it was definitely a treat to see how much effort was put into the graphics and presentation of the game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Each level is ginormous! I feel like they definitely took a page out of the Breath of the Wild’s book. While this game, just like any other Mario game, is about saving Peach in the end, they really just want you to explore each and every aspect of the level. It seems to be never ending.

krismii
There were definitely plenty of places to explore, and the graphics just emphasized your want to search every nook and cranny. The music was right on par with each level as well, and the sound effects for whenever Mario defeats an enemy or shimmies up a tree or is capturing a T-Rex were wonderfully done. The title song, “Jump Up, Super Star,” performed by Mayor Pauline in New Donk City was probably my favorite part!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’ve been listening to the Odyssey soundtrack on a loop while I work because I can’t get the songs out of my head. And Jump Up, Super Star is definitely a new favorite! I can’t get that song out of my head! story

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The main story is more or less the same as any other typical main Mario game. Bowser has taken Peach and it’s up to Mario to save her. However, Bowser threw in a twist by deciding to skip everything and just go straight to the wedding.

krismii
Bowser looked super dapper in his white tuxedo, and all the effort he was putting into the wedding almost made us root for him. But, I digress. After a confrontation aboard Bowser’s flying ship, Mario gets knocked out and falls down to the surface of the Cap Kingdom where he meets Cappy, a ghost-like hat that is able to transform and help Mario take over other creatures’ minds and bodies.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
And that’s about it. Mario goes from level to level finding Power Moons to get his Odyssey ship up and running again so that he can make it to Peach’s wedding just to shout, “Objection!”

replay-value

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Considering how many Power Moons are in the game and how much content is left to explore after the main storyline, Odyssey does have high replay value. It can be a little addictive to search for every Power Moon on every level and unlock all of the game’s secrets that you definitely wouldn’t mind picking up the game again.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Power Moons are everywhere, but a great deal of them are hidden. Plus, I know there are a couple more levels to unlock plus all the costumes to collect. I’ll definitely be playing again.

Super Mario Odyssey 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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Dream Daddy [Game Review]

Dream Daddy Game Review

Title: Dream Daddy
Developer: Game Grumps
Publisher: Game Grumps
Platform: 
PC (Steam)
Category: 
Visual Novel
Release Date: 
July 20, 2017
How we got the game: 
We bought it

krismii
The Game Grumps are a popular channel on YouTube, with a plethora of different gaming videos with rapid uploads. Sometimes their commentary is a bit NSFW, but if you can overlook that, they’re entertaining. When Dream Daddy was announced, we thought it sounded like a random and, perhaps, silly concept. However, we were quickly impressed with not only the quality of the game, but with the gender and sexuality diversity within it.

rachmii
We’ve only played one other visual novel game before and it was another dating sim based on a group of YouTubers. It was an amazing game and we had a feeling Game Grumps wouldn’t disappoint.

gameplay

krismii
Dream Daddy is a visual novel, so the game controls are simple. Players read along with the story and, whenever they’re available, choose multiple-choice answers that will determine how other characters feel about you and, in some cases, how scenes will play out.

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That’s pretty much all there is to it. Some of the choices are difficult, some aren’t. Based on what you answer, the Daddy you’re currently with will either get happy at your response or sad. This all determines whether you get a good ending or bad ending for them.

 krismii
You are able to go on a couple of dates with each Daddy, with most having mini games that you need to complete to help boost your date score. The date scores, along with the choices made during the multiple-choice responses, help to determine the kind of ending you receive. The game itself is mostly point-and-click, but remembering certain details about the characters and their backgrounds will help you make the correct choices to get the good endings.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I found the mini-games to be the most clever part of the game. There’s a fun Pokemon battle kind of game as well as game that mimicked Bejewled. Some were pretty creative and others… we just didn’t understand and didn’t do well with. Still, they were pretty cool.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics were so much fun in this game! The scenery was beautiful, especially during the date nights with the eligible bachelors of the game, but also with the characters themselves. No one looked alike and their expressions were always on par.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I think that’s my favorite part about visual novel games. I love seeing the expressions on the various characters. Each one was unique as were their houses and the various scenery of each date. I also loved the fact that you could customize yourself. Apparently, if Kris and I were boys, we’d have red hair and green eyes.

krismii
Red hair, green eyes, glasses, clean-shaven, and named Dean Jay. That was our Dadsona, haha! Considering your character was completely customizable, I was definitely impressed with the level of graphics and the programming that enabled your custom Dad to be present by the dialogue box whenever he spoke. The music was on point as well, with some talented scores and mood music whenever it was called for.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, the music was great. I especially loved the opening theme on the main menu. Every time we played, I got it stuck in my head.

story

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Upon beginning the game, you create yourself, a single father. You and your daughter have just moved into a cul-de-sac and now you have to meet and get friendly with all your neighbors, who also happen to be fathers, most of them being single.

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While the main goal is to make friends, as per your daughter, you can connect deeper with the fathers via Dadbook, a social media platform for dads. With Dadbook, you set up and go out on dates with the other fathers, getting to know them better as you decide who you ultimately want to pursue.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We went on two dates with each Dad and then on the third date we had to choose who we want to hook up with. Of course, you can go on three dates with one Dad right away. Or you can go on two dates with some, one date with others, and zero dates with other guys. There’s no right or wrong way to go about your love life.

replay-value

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Dream Daddy has a couple of different endings per character, not only with the date-able dads but also with your daughter. If the multiple endings are not enough reason to replay the game, then the plethora of dates and mini-games would certainly help. The graphics, music, and even the characters’ backstories and development arcs are also fantastic points to keep playing this game until you uncover all of the achievements.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We’ll certainly be going back to the game to try to get the good ending with all of the Dads. We also wanted to get the bad ending with our daughter. Well… we don’t want to, but we’re still curious as to what happens.

Dream Daddy 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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Team Rocket Is Back! [Pokemon Ultra Sun And Ultra Moon]

krismii
If for some strange reason you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a new trailer for Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the latest Pokemon games that will be released on the seventeenth. The major aspect of the games that is showcased is the reveal of Team Rainbow Rocket. It’s fantastic seeing Giovanni again, and the idea of all of the past villain teams arriving to challenge you is also amazing. However, seeing all the past faces makes us wonder one thing — is this the end of the Pokemon game series?

rachmii
Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon was something I was looking forward to only because they’re Pokemon games. But the more they reveal for it, the more excited I get. I’m happy to see Team Rocket come back (despite the odd name) and I’m excited all the villains are there as well! It does make me worried that this will be the “end” (I don’t think so… but it’s still in the back of my mind), but I’m sure the game is going to be great with this new development!

krismii
I get excited the more they reveal as well, but I also wish I had discovered all the villains on my own while playing the game. My mind would have been blown to see Giovanni or Cyrus again if I had stumbled into the plot! It does make me wonder how Team Skull, since they were more entertaining than a threat (even to the games’ NPCs!) will fit into the villain group, if at all.

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I’m sure Giovanni will go to Team Skull and be like, “No, no. You’re doing this all wrong. Step aside.” I’m sure it’ll be great and just think of all the experience points we’ll get fighting all the various bosses and goons!

krismii
Fingers crossed that the plot will be awesome! I’m a little worried that all the villain teams will make things a bit messy… unless they do so in a humorous way. Are they all on the same side? Are they all after their own goals? Is that what all the legendary Pokemon from the wormhole will be there for, to help your ten-year-old self-protect the world from all of the villain teams? It should be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to some epic fights.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I believe they’re all on one side as “Rainbow Rocket” with Giovanni as the dictator leader. Having every single legendary available will be cool as well. I’m looking forward to completing my Pokedex from every single game! However, that’s another reason why I’m worried about the end of the series… but we won’t think about that for right now. While the legendaries are cool, I don’t understand the Battle Agency. I’m sure it’ll be fun and you’ll get rare items, but… I don’t know why I have to rent my Pokemon?

krismii
It sounds like it’s bringing back aspects of the Battle Frontier from the older games, like in Emerald and onward, which had a section that allowed you to “rent” random Pokemon. I know Sun and Moon have the Battle Tree, but I haven’t fully explored that yet. Perhaps you’re “renting” Pokemon that other players from around the world have put up for the Battle Agency, although the trailer only showcased legendaries, and it mentioned battling alongside other trainers… It’d be interesting to borrow another random player’s Pokemon.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
If you’re renting other players’ Pokemon, that would be pretty cool. If it’s just random Pokemon, I don’t know how I feel about that. I’d rather just use my own Pokemon. You know, we have a bond. Either way, I’m looking forward to the new games. We preordered them so… 13 more days!

 

What do you think of the new trailer? Any predictions or speculations about the game? Let us know in the comments below!

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Of Different Play Styles

krismii
Rachel and I realized that we really need to just start carrying around recording devices to catch our impromptu conversations about video games when we’re not writing posts together. One such topic that came up recently was how our play styles differ and overlap when it comes to gaming. We tend to play games together, but you can always tell who is at the controller based on the game and how the main character is running about.

rachmii
I typically watch Kris play games most of the time, but since we started this blog and do game reviews together, we tend to pass the controller back and forth. Yet, depending on the game, one of us will play more than the other.

krismii
I’m definitely more in favor of games with a good story line. If I don’t care about the story, I tend not to be as invested in the game. The Legend of Zelda games, while most share the same formula of Courage and Wisdom versus Power, all have deep story lines and brilliant characters for me to care about. The worlds are always rich to explore as well, and I never feel like I’m wasting time even if I’m goofing off on a side quest.

rachmii
I agree with that. A video game needs to have an excellent storyline with well-crafted characters to care about. However, I’ve noticed that I tend to gravitate towards the platformer games. I like making “progress” and going to one level right after another. I like to see my completion and collect things.

krismii
Which also explains why you tend to be better at racing and the other few sports games that we play. Seeing those gold trophies lined up must be a good motivator for you! I need to be more immersed in the world itself. Give me a main goal and let me get to it on my own while exploring the areas around me. I enjoy puzzles and thinking my way out of situations rather than level-hopping.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, my competitive side really comes out! It’s funny how we just noticed this through Super Mario Odyssey. Of course, we both enjoy all kinds of games even if we prefer one over the other. But I was super excited that Odyssey is similar to Super Mario 64.

krismii
Thinking about our styles with Odyssey, it almost seems to be the opposite. While Odyssey is a fun game, I’m not nearly as invested in it as I was, say, Breath of the Wild. The family of 3D Mario games were never my favorites — just due to personal preference — so I tend to go for the main goal of the Odyssey levels instead of fully exploring to trip over more Power Moons like Rachel does.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I find the levels to be massive and even though the Power Moons are sometimes too easy to find, I have the urge to collect them all. I think this is what Pokemon did to me… Still, I think it’s funny how similar yet different our gaming tastes are.

What kinds of games do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!

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Undertale: Megalovania Cover

We’ve showcased Taylor Davis on this blog before, and we thought it high time that we do it again.

This time around we’re showing off her cover of the Megalovania melody from the game Undertale. We figured it was a fair fit for around this time of year. Arguably, there’s spookier game music out there for Halloween, but Kris is not a fan of horror games. So you get this awesome rendition of Megalovania’s battle theme performed by the talented Taylor Davis!