Friday Favorites: Octopath Characters

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

We’re still going strong with Octopath Traveler, and we hope those of you who haven’t finished are enjoying it too! After playing further into the characters’ stories, there are a few that are clear winners to me. Although I enjoy all the characters, these four are right at the top of the list.

frifavesoctocharries

H’aanit

Hunter and ranger characters are generally some of my favorites. Bows are a favorite weapon of mine in most games, despite how awful my aim can be — seriously, you should have seen me trying to shoot enemies in Breath of the Wild, Rachel had a great time making fun of me — as they usually can be so versatile. H’aanit has one of the better stories in my opinion as well. She’s off in search of her missing master with a trusty animal sidekick. The only aspect of H’aanit I’m not completely on board about is her dialect. The Shakespearean way she and her people speak isn’t bad, but I’m positive some words were just made up or slapped with prefixes and suffixes that don’t really work to make her way of speaking more “otherworldly.”

Primrose

My heart broke during this lady’s chapter one. Not for the revenge angle, since tons of fantasy characters’ motivations seem to stem from the murder of their loved ones (especially fathers, for some reason), but for where she found herself while searching for her father’s murderers. I loved to hate the boss of her chapter one, and her motivation for moving forward really captured me. Her story so far is one of my favorites. Her voice actress also does a phenomenal job, in my opinion.

Alfyn

As soon as Rachel and I heard Alfyn speak, we cooed over how adorable he sounded. While a couple of other characters have similar, “we’re off to see the world,” story lines, Alfyn was the first character we collected to have that particular plot. His movepool is more of a smorgasbord of other characters’ — a bit of healing like Ophelia here, some ice moves like Cyrus there, shares the hatchet with H’aanit — but he also has the fun Concoct skill, where he puts together herbs to create either healing or damaging items. I love his poison skill too!

Therion

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you’ll know that I’ve always had a soft spot for thief and rogue characters. Stealth and speed are attributes to most of my favorite playable characters — Sheik in Smash Bros., Fire Emblem characters in the thief class — and it’s a bonus whenever they use daggers as weapons. Therion was the first character we picked when starting Octopath, and his dialogue, mannerisms, and voice acting is spot on. His story isn’t too bad either, one where he’s in it for himself, but trapped in a deal that’s taking him on a journey dangerous enough to need allies. We’ve gotten a few “party banter” dialogues between Therion and a few of the other characters, and we’ve been enjoying his personality and interactions with them. We’re just hoping for so much more!

Who are your favorite Octopath characters?

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Gris and Gameplay Style

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Lately, I’ve been finding myself more and more drawn to games that have unique art styles, something that is different from the norm. The graphics of Cuphead were what drew me to that game, the imagery of Octopath Traveler was what piqued my interest, and there’s another game that I just found out about that looks amazing…

gris
‘Gris’

So, there’s this game that I recently heard about — from the article linked in the caption of that beautiful game image above — and that I’m gearing up for come December, presuming Smash Bros. Ultimate doesn’t take over my life.

The game is called Gris. It’s a 2D platformer with one of the most gorgeous and unique art styles I’ve seen in a long time. Catalan artist Conrad Roset, a freelancer whose clients include Disney, is credited with the game’s watercolor and Indian ink style, and the screenshots I’ve seen just look so damn pretty.

Aside from the art of the game, the other aspect that intrigued me was the article detailing how the game was supposed to be a smooth experience. Someone looking for a challenging platform may not find Gris to be their type of game. Instead, Gris has light puzzles and emphasizes the art and wordless story of loss and grief more than fancy jump combos.

It just got me thinking about the different types of video games out there. Certainly, a majority of gamers enjoy the challenges, saving the world, testing their skills and knowledge. On the other hand, there are more casual games, games that tend to make one think or just relax, and with these games comes the stigma of the players not being “true gamers.”

I personally believe that gamers are gamers — it doesn’t matter what kind of games you enjoy, be they hardcore or casual or somewhere in between. We all have our different reasons for wanting to play games and we all like what we like.

What do you think of the initial information on Gris? What kind of games do you prefer — challenging, casual, or somewhere in between?

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Friday Favorites: Smash Direct

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The Super Smash Bros Direct this past Wednesday was filled to the brim with exciting information on the development of Smash Bros. Ultimate. While my greatest wish for the game hasn’t been granted yet, I’m still pretty damn pleased with what we have seen!

frifavessmashdirect

Chrom

He’s finally in the lineup! Sure, he’s an echo character, but he still finally made it in the lineup! Awakening is one of my favorite Fire Emblem titles so, while I don’t believe we need another swordsman or Fire Emblem lord, it is a nice treat to see Chrom make an appearance other than be in Robin’s Final Smash (which actually begs the question… will Chrom still be part of Robin’s Final Smash? Or will Robin appear as Grima?).

Stages

The stage mechanics seemed to have gotten a nice overhaul, and all the effort looks as if it’ll pay off. All the stages having omega forms? Throwback stages to the original N64 installment? Stages morphing into others? Having the option to turn the hazards on and off? Yes, please!

Music

I don’t listen to the radio much these days. My coworkers and cousins talk about concerts and random country singers and I have no idea what they’re saying other than a vague recollection of, “Yes, I think I’ve heard of that guy before.” My Spotify playlists are made up of video game soundtracks and covers, so when I saw the music collection that is going to be in Smash Ultimate, I loved it! Not sure if I’ll ever have the courage to take the Switch with me for a portable player, but being able to have my own playlist filled with Nintendo tunes on in the background while I’m working will be great.

New Assists and Pokemon

It’s great to see Knuckles and Krystal there for assist trophy cameos! I would have loved to see them as echo characters, if not fighters in their own right, but I’ll take them as assist trophies. Abra looks like a deliciously fun Pokemon to unleash on the stage, and it wasn’t a surprise to see the Alolan legendaries. Seeing Mimikyu made us go, “Awww!” to “OH GOD!” very quickly, haha!

What were your favorite parts of the Smash direct? Anything you were hoping to see?

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Video Game Tutors

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Everyone knows that practice is the best way to get good at something, be it playing the piano, writing, drawing, or even playing video games. Recently, I realized that there are some folks who are taking an extra step when it comes to developing the skills needed to play well at certain games.

djgametutor

So, this is a thing.

Apparently there are parents out there who are paying for Fortnite tutors for their children to help said children get better at the game. Some of these tutors are getting paid up to $35 bucks an hour, which is awesome for them.

But I never thought I would see the day where I would find an article detailing that some parents pay tutors to teach their kids video games. Back in my day, tutors were paid to help with math or give singing lessons. Video games back then were merely a hobby and we should figure out what we want to do with our lives because it wasn’t going to involve playing video games all day.

Apparently, my life’s career could have involved playing video games all day. With the rapid growth of technology in my lifetime, it has become more apparent how viable the video game industry is on the world, and if I had just stuck to playing Super Smash Bros. Melee during my free time, I could now be a competitive player on the eSports scene.

In fact, eSports is one of the main reasons as to why parents are willing to shell out the cash for tutors, with parents hoping that perhaps their child will one day go pro on the Fortnite scene. College scholarships are another reason, while other parents are just hoping that they can get a piece of Fortnite’s $100 million prize pool. Yet another parent just wanted to help ease the pressure of being good at the game for her child.

Don’t get me wrong, video games have been proven to help improve reflexes, hand-eye coordination, one’s ability to focus and multitask, and has become one of the more social activities — despite past allegations of playing alone in a basement — of today’s day and age. If you’re awesome at the games and can make money helping others learn and enjoy video games as well, why not?

What do you think of video game tutors? Would you be a willing tutor, or would you have been interested in getting a tutor when you were younger?

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Friday Favorites: Weapon Triangles

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

A couple of Mondays ago, I wrote about the Rule of Three, a trope that exists in many stories, movies and video games alike. Many video games have aspects that come in threes that convey special attributes about the game, especially when it comes to combat. So today I’ll be sharing my favorite weapon triangles from various game franchises.

Double Jump | Video Games | Nintendo | Triangles | Rule of Three | Triforce | Legend of Zelda | Pokemon | Fire Emblem

Grass-Water-Fire

One of my first “weapon triangles,” this elemental concept was introduced to me through Pokemon Red and Blue. Bulbasaur’s Grass-type moves were strong against the Water-type Squirtle, whose own abilities were strong against Charmander’s fire attacks, which were strong against Bulbasaur.

Sword-Axe-Lance

One of the first parts of the prologues or introductions in a Fire Emblem game tends to be the weapons triangle. Namely, how the three basic weapons stack against each other in strength. Swords are quicker than axes, which are too close-combat orientated to be hurt by lances, which are long enough to stab before a sword. Or something like that. A few Fire Emblem games have another weapons triangle with the tomes. Dark magic is weak to light magic, which is weak to anima — or elemental — magic, which is weak to dark magic.

Power-Wisdom-Courage

Not a traditional rock-paper-scissors scenario, the Triforce from the Legend of Zelda franchise is a favorite “rule of three” for me. Almost every game in the franchise swirls around the relationship between Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf who hold Courage, Wisdom, and Power respectively. The relationship between these three fighting to protect and dominate the world has never failed to create an enjoyable story for me in these games.

What are your favorite weapon triangles in video games?

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The Adventures of Link and Larry

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

There was a recent article on My Nintendo News about a series of shorts on the Play Nintendo YouTube channel starring Breath of the Wild Link and a cucco named Larry. Being curious, Rachel and I sat down to watch the five episodes and, you will now be subjected to my thoughts on the episodes.

Double Jump | Video Games | Nintendo | Legend of Zelda | Breath of the Wild

Play Nintendo has a created playlist for The Adventures of Link and Larry on their YouTube channel. Play Nintendo is catered to younger gamers, even including a little blurb to parents about how age-appropriate the channel is in their “about” page. It’s a cute channel, but definitely not something older gamers will actively watch. Still, it does it’s job as an introduction to Nintendo, so to speak, for up and coming young gamers.

Watching the five “episodes” of The Adventures of Link and Larry will honestly only take about five minutes of your time. That is five minutes you’ll never get back. For the most part, it’s a narrator — who does a decent job of sounding enthusiastic, almost like a corny narrator from old 50s commercials, mind you — just detailing what Link and Larry the Cucco were doing in the little videos. Most of them really don’t have anything happening at all. The best of the five episodes was Larry Stuck in a Tree, complete with a ridiculous pun at the end of the minute-long video.

The idea of Link carrying around a cucco during his adventure is definitely intriguing to Rachel and me, as it is something that we probably would do as a challenge. The name Larry is also perfect for a cucco and we completely appreciate it. If these videos were longer with a little bit more semblance of a plot, however ridiculous it may be, we may have enjoyed these more.

Granted, I know that these episodes are on a YouTube channel geared towards much younger gamers with probably much shorter attention spans than me… but the idea is still there. I wonder how well your adventure would go if you carried a cucco everywhere?

Did you watch The Adventures of Link and Larry? What did you think? Would you be willing to carry a cucco on your journey?

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Flashback Friday: 101 Dalmatians Escape from DeVil Manor

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone! I hope your July has been wonderful!

July is nearly over and, with it, probably the dog days of summer. Considering what the topic of this post is, that pun was definitely intended. Today, we’re diving way back, over twenty years ago, for a PC game that I used to love as a kid.

Video Games | Double Jump | PC Games | Retro Games | Disney | 101 Dalmatians

A couple of weekends ago, I was dog- and house-sitting for our neighbors. While relaxing with the dogs one evening, I stuck on Disney’s animated 101 Dalmatians and was amused to realize that the goldendoodle was enraptured with the movie, especially during the Twilight Bark scene. Her poodle-beagle mix sister sang along with the Twilight Bark.

It reminded me of an old PC game, Escape from DeVil Manor, that came out in 1997, over twenty years ago. While the characters’ animations — Cruella, Horace and Jasper, and the puppies — were based off of the Disney cartoon, the plot was based on the live-action version of the movie that came out a year before.

I remember playing the game often enough. You controlled two of the dalmatian puppies, Patches and Whizzer, as you tried to do what it says on the title. It was a point-and-click puzzle adventure, with the cursor lighting up on items that are clickable. You’d have to avoid Jasper and Horace, or set up traps for them, as you navigated around the manor. If you got caught, you were thrown into the billiard room.

There were a couple of ways out of the mansion, one of which was from the billiard room, which tended to be my go-to escape route. After actually escaping the manor, the puppies were in a mine shaft and pursued by Cruella DeVil, just like the video game that Roger created in the live-action film. Using explosive barrels from the back of your cart, you had to blast the old mad lady from the mine shaft to be arrested by Scotland Yard.

It was a cute, quirky game, one that was perfect for a little Disney- and dog-loving kid like myself. It’s something that I definitely want to try finding again, probably through an emulator, just for the nostalgia!

Have you played Escape from DeVil Manor? What did you think?

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