Game Ratings and Content Warnings

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Despite the backlog of games that we have, we’re always on the lookout for new (to us) and interesting games. One such game that we’ve recently found was a bit confusing with its rating…

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There’s a newer game available on the Nintendo Switch called Cinders, a visual novel that was originally published in 2012, then put on Steam in 2014. It’s a retelling of the popular Cinderella fairy tale, one that was rated M on the Nintendo eShop.

I’ve never heard of this game before. We enjoy point-and-click visual novel games, especially ones with multiple endings such as Cinders, but we generally are not interested in games rated M, mostly due to gore and sensitive topics. I’m interested in this game, but wasn’t able to find the reason as to why it’s rated M.

Since I started this post, apparently Nintendo corrected the rating of the game to T, which makes more sense to me.

Due to trying to figure out the game’s rating, I have spoiled a little bit of the story and possible choices for myself. It’s pretty much on par for whenever Rachel and I get our curiosities piqued by a game that’s rated higher than what we usually go for. Generally, our games are rated for everyone or teen, and we don’t have too many games rated higher than that.

It reminds me of a time that Rachel and I started watching a play through of Doki Doki Literature Club from one of our favorite YouTubers, ProJared. Like the game itself, the play through started out lighthearted enough, and Rachel and I figured that the game couldn’t be too bad. However, on the third or so episode of the play through series, ProJared took the time to reiterate that the game was supposed to have some strange, possibly disturbing themes — he was doing a blind play through, so he wasn’t positive what the exact themes would be — which prompted us to pause the video and spoil it for ourselves.

We’re glad we did, as the themes were disturbing and potentially triggering. While we’re not fond of too much gore when it comes to rated M games, we do our research to ensure that any other content wouldn’t bother us as well. It’s something that we want to be conscious of when we do games for reviews and on our Twitch channel.

I can admire horror games and psychological thrillers for their writing and setting the scene, if you will, but with how important mental health is nowadays, having the correct ratings and content warnings is a must.

How important are game ratings and content warnings to you? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Fire Emblem Three Houses Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The Nintendo Direct was just a couple of days ago and it showed off a bit of the newest Fire Emblem games that’s going to come out, Three Houses. As mentioned in Rachel’s and my joint reactions post, I’m still optimistic for the game if a little confused as to how the game was portrayed. Here is my wish list for the upcoming game.

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Voice Acting like Echoes: Shadows of Valentia

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is not my favorite Fire Emblem game. Compared to the others that I’ve played, it’s probably at the bottom of my list. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the graphics and music, and thought that the voice acting was phenomenal. If Three Houses has voice acting at all, I hope it does it half as well as Echoes did.

Some MC Customization

This is me being a little annoyed. I don’t need extensive customization for our MC. Rather, I would like to be able to play as the female MC with the male MC’s armor, or give her more professional and sensible clothes. Seriously, our character is supposed to be a professor (and, I presume, fighting in battles) — why is the female’s belly button showing? It’s like Astral Chain, where the male cop has protective pants and the female has… shorts and thigh highs. Wtf.

No Kids

I didn’t mind the matchmaking in Awakening and Fates. In fact, I enjoyed seeing how different characters paired up and interacted in different playthroughs, and support conversations are one of my favorite aspects of Fire Emblem games. The kid mechanic in Awakening made sense with the storyline, but Fates definitely didn’t need the kid characters. They felt forced in a trio of games that already had an influx of characters.

No Gender Restricted Pairings

If there is a marriage mechanic, I think it’s time to lose the gender restrictions. In previous Fire Emblem games, there have only been one gay option for either gender, and more representation is deserved. On a related note, if there is some sort of marriage mechanic, I sincerely hope there are no teacher and student relationships, for obvious reasons.

Are you looking forward to Fire Emblem: Three Houses? What are you looking forward to in the game? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Time Management

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

With the time that this post is going up, I may as well be encroaching on Rachel’s Tuesday posts. I suppose this is fairly fitting with how busy we’ve been a little lately.

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For a couple of bloggers who enjoy writing about playing video games, Rachel and I haven’t been playing too many video games lately.

It’s a bit of a shame, and I’m wondering if it’s partly due to the time of year or if we just really suck at managing our time between the day jobs and other writing to actually sit down and play a game or two. Case in point is how late this particular blog post is being published — I was coming up empty with ideas on what to blog about today when we were planning out this week’s articles.

Lately, however, there hasn’t been a game that really sings for my attention. Of course, we’ve been playing some great games lately — Wargroove, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, going back to the last chapters in Octopath Traveler — but nothing in particular that makes me want to carve out time to sit down and play.

Video games was never something that I wanted to schedule. They were always something that I would turn on to play when I wanted to relax or immerse myself in a different world. They’d be something I would come home to after the day job, something to look forward to that would make the hours at the office go by quickly.

Now, perhaps, I should carve out more time for video games, actually put them in a schedule. For one thing, it would help me not be blank on blog post and publishing it later in the evening. For another thing, some scheduled relaxation isn’t a bad thing, right?

Do you ever find yourself in a gaming slump? How do you find the time to play and enjoy video games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Nintendo 64 Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

While we have yet to hear Nintendo say anything about creating a mini N64 Classic console — indeed, I believe the company has fairly recently stated that they have no plans for it — I’m still hoping for one some day. Here are some of my favorite N64 games from back in the day.

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Fun fact: I never actually finished a playthrough of this game on the N64 cartridge. Instead, my first full playthrough was on the Wii’s Virtual Console. Nevertheless, this was my first foray into Hyrule as a kid, aside from watching my uncle play a bit of Link to the Past on the SNES. I remember using my uncle’s save file on Ocarina of Time back at my grandparents house, mainly due to him having Epona so I could ride her around Hyrule Field.

Pokemon Puzzle League

A casual puzzle game starring the mascots of one of my favorite franchises was brilliant. Aside from the actual puzzle challenges, I just adored the background music that played during the levels. Medleys taken from the anime and movie soundtracks just made my day.

Super Smash Bros.

We never owned this game, but our cousins on our father’s side of the family did. The only downside was that we didn’t see these cousins too often during the year, just for some birthdays and Christmas. For a while, though, I’d always try to finagle my way into playing some of their video games during family gatherings, and this was one of the top contenders. Super Mario Kart 64 was another favorite.

Paper Mario

Being a simple RPG with a unique aesthetic and considered the spiritual successor to my favorite SNES game, Paper Mario had to be included on this list. While I hear that many believe the sequel — The Thousand Year Door — to be the best in the Paper Mario series, the N64 installment is my favorite. The characters, colorful locations, the music, and the charming story all make this a great game.

What are some of your favorite Nintendo 64 games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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R.I.P. Wii Shop Channel

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Honestly, there are probably a couple of blog posts out on the Internet with this title with the news that had surfaced last week. It definitely seems appropriate.

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Last week, it was announced that the Wii Shop Channel was taken offline, and I was oddly sad about it. Granted, we haven’t turned on our Wii in quite some time — pretty sure the last time we actually played a game on it was Mario Party 2 a few years ago with some old friends — but it was the earliest version of the Virtual Console. The games we found on there were tons of fun, ones that made us feel nostalgic and ones that were brand new to us.

Aside from Mario Party 2, Rachel and I downloaded our favorites from previous consoles immediately, Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG respectively. It was great to return to those games, as well as Ocarina of Time from the Legend of Zelda series. Majora’s Mask was also a title we downloaded with the idea that I would officially give it a try… I did, getting as far as the second dungeon, but ultimately not being interested enough in it for the long run.

Pokemon Puzzle League and Donkey Kong Country were also two great older games that we added on there, enjoying playing them again considering our Nintendo 64 and SNES weren’t in the best shape just from being loved too much as we were growing up.

From the Wii Shop Channel, we also discovered the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney original trilogy, cementing us as lifelong fans of the series. Not only did the Wii Shop Channel introduce us to such a fantastic series, we also used to play them with our older sister. Considering the last time she had played video games with us like that was way back with the original Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong games, it was fantastic to spend more time with her trying to figure out how to piece together evidence to prove who killed whom in Ace Attorney.

It was definitely a shame to hear that the Wii Shop Channel was closed, especially since it doesn’t sound like we’ll be getting a replacement Virtual Console — aside from the Wii U’s at the moment — any time soon.

Did you download much from the Wii Shop Channel? Do you think you’ll miss it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Single-Player Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Today’s post goes along with our #GamingTogether posts that we put up on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, with the question regarding single-player games. With eSports and online play, single-player games tend to be pushed aside for multiplayer experiences, yet single-player games tend to have more flushed-out stories.

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Core Pokemon Games

While I admit that I was disappointed at the co-op mode in the Let’s Go duo, the core Pokemon games are tons of fun as a single-player. Exploring the vast regions and befriending Pokemon while crushing your enemies opponents in battle has always been one of my favorite pastimes.

Legend of Zelda series

While I have a blast playing with Rachel in Four Swords Adventures, the majority of the Legend of Zelda titles caters to single-players. I adore the stories, generally the same at their core, but always carrying surprises and twists based on the world that you’re controlling Link in. Breath of the Wild and Twilight Princess are a couple of my top games in this franchise.

The Sims

My favorite installments of the Sims games are Sims 3 with Sims 4 being a close second. Considering most video games are about saving the world or vanquishing some enemy, playing simulator games like the Sims that have the purpose of creating your own story and world is always refreshing.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Is anyone who’s been following this blog for a while surprised at this? I’ve sung the praises of Mario RPG for the SNES ever since Rachel and I started this blog. It’s always been my go-to game for a relaxing, nostalgic experience with great characters and game mechanics.

What are some of your favorite single-player games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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For the Love of Supports

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

A couple of my favorite genres of video games are RPGs and strategy games, particularly ones with multiple classes for your characters. Trying to figure out the best combination and the best attacks for said characters is a fun addition to the gameplay, even if not all of the attacks deal physical damage…

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Typical in RPGs, there’s usually multiple classes and types of attacks or moves your characters are capable of. Utilizing all these types of moves usually allows you to come out on top in battles with all of the different strategies you can make.

As a kid, my strategy was usually:

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Seriously. Why would I have my Pikachu know Tail Whip if I could give it Quick Attack? Why would I use a Dancer-class character in my old Fire Emblem armies when they couldn’t do anything to defend themselves? Why waste a turn using Geno Boost in Super Mario RPG when Geno’s basic weapons were strong enough already to get the job done? Support moves that buff allies and debuff enemies were never really on my list of moves to use.

Growing up, I’ve learned a little more strategy when it comes to gaming, especially my RPGs. My Pokemon teams have more rounded move sets, such as utilizing status-inflicting moves and physically damaging moves that dole out more damage against opponents that have a status ailment. Toxic has become a favorite move throughout the years, and I have a couple of tried-and-true Pokemon match ups whenever I’m in a double battle. Powerful Ground-type moves paired with a speedy Flying-type Pokemon are one of my go-to combinations in a double battle.

Granted, physically damaging moves are still at the forefront because, honestly, how else are you going to win RPG fights? However, the importance of support moves has never been so apparent as it had with one of the latest boss fights in Octopath Traveler.

(Small spoiler alert for the game’s bosses, I suppose.)

Rachel and I have been catching up with Octopath Traveler and recently were finishing up H’aanit’s Chapter 3. The big, bad boss at the end is a dragon, of all creatures (I want a dragon), and I got my ass kicked. Twice.

My team — Therion, Ophelia, Alfyn and, of course, H’aanit — were of the appropriate level, Therion even higher considering he is my main character, and all of them had weapons that were strong against the dragon’s defenses. Yet, the damn dragon still ended up defeating our team.

It wasn’t until the third time when I started utilizing the characters’ more supporting moves rather than just going for the kill that I was able to defeat the dragon.

Ophelia’s class was Cleric-Dancer, granting her not only Reflective Veil (which was an absolute Godsend, considering it not only protected her teammates from the dragon’s strong Dragonfire move, it also reflected the damage back to the dragon), but also the Dancer class’s ally buff moves. H’aanit had moves and creatures that hit multiple times to bring down the dragon’s shield faster, and Therion was able to debuff the dragon’s physical defense. With Alfyn’s physical strength being buffed by Ophelia’s Lion Dance and boosted to the max, his Amputation skill knocked out a bit over six thousand HP.

After doing that a couple of times, mixed in with Alfyn’s Empoison move and the other characters’ getting buffed from time to time, the dragon was taken down in what was probably one of the shortest boss fights we’ve ever had.

I probably won’t underestimate the power of Support moves again. At least, in Octopath Traveler.

How often do you use support characters and buffs in games? Do you think they’re worth it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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