Pioneer Times

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Our days are saturated with technology, especially for those of us who love video games. Watching a DVD of an old show led me to wonder about how we would survive in an age before all of these technical advancements…

djpioneertimes.png

I don’t watch too much television. Rather, Rachel and I tend to stick on some of our favorite YouTube or Twitch channels to listen to while we work or hang out if we’re not gaming or writing. Lately, DVDs of the old show “I Love Lucy” is what I’ve been putting on as background noise.

It’s an older show, one that originally ran in the 1950s and is still prevalent today with its comedy. Rachel’s and my older sister Lisa is the expert on stars from that era, and it’s due to her influence that “I Love Lucy,” “The Dick van Dyke Show,” and “Happy Days” are a couple of our favorites to return to again and again.

“I Love Lucy” has an episode called Pioneer Woman where the husbands and wives bet each other that they couldn’t live like their grandparents had in the 1900s — no electricity, needing to churn their own butter, bake their own bread, sew their own clothes, etc. The wives revolted over housework and wanted “modern” conveniences, like an automatic dishwasher.

giphy
“I Love Lucy,” Pioneer Woman

Many of their modern conveniences are technology that we take for granted nowadays and, honestly, many we cannot live without. When was the last time you didn’t use your cell phone for a day? Are you able to do your day job without the help of a computer or any type of technology? Does the last video game you played have online capabilities to play and connect with others?

I’m constantly on the computer with my job, and it’s beyond frustrating when some aspect of it doesn’t work, whether its our Internet, the computers themselves, or one of the many programs we use to keep everything running smoothly. Our blogs and social media are used everyday at home for our writing, gaming, and connecting with friends. It absolutely sucks whenever our Internet decides to be spotty — it’s like we’re cut off from the rest of the world.

Gaming is a huge part of my life, having connected me with amazing people and friends through the Internet, as well as inspiring my writing and art in more ways than one. I am constantly amazed at the advancements in technology we have made in my lifetime, and I truly wonder if we could ever spend even a day without the tech we have at our fingertips.

Do you realize how often you use technology? Do you think you could survive in the 1900s after the comfort and ease of today’s technology?

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Advertisements

Friday Favorites: Super Mario Party Features

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Last Friday, Super Mario Party was released for the Switch, much to everyone’s excitement. Rachel and I streamed it last Friday night on our Twitch channel, having a great time exploring the game and being thrilled that it seemed to go back to its roots with a few of the better updated features from the more recent Mario Party games.

frifavessupermpfeatures

Character Roster

Character rosters are usually a hit or miss for me. Fire Emblem Warriors, despite my love of the franchise’s characters, has too many sword users and Mario Kart 8 has too many clones — Pink Gold Peach, all the baby characters, the Koopalings — for example. Super Mario Party has a great character roster with a fantastic balance between the hero and villain characters. While I’m still on the fence with Bowser being on the roster, since I’m used to him being more an antagonist (as much as you can be an antagonist in a Mario Party game), I can’t deny it’s amusing seeing him marching around the board!

Special Character Die

Mario Party games are usually all about luck when it comes to going around the game boards with a bit of skill for the mini-games. With each character having their own special die, it brings a bit of strategy to going around the boards. The standard die allows you to move one to six spaces. Some characters have die that help you gain or lose some coins while giving you a chance to move more spaces than the standard die. There’s a risk with every die, but plenty of chances to get ahead if your plan pans out.

Allies

The allies is a feature that was first showed in Star Rush, which… wasn’t the best Mario Party game. I did enjoy the way the allies were featured in Super Mario Party, allowing you to use their specific character die as well as giving you an extra move or two. Some mini games also include your allies to give you a helping hand. It’s also just really amusing to watch a parade of Mario characters going around the board as your allies follow you!

Mini Games in between Turns

Having the mini games after every turn on the boards is back and it’s amazing! That feature is what defines the Mario Party series for me and I’m excited to see it back. That, and the mini games that we’ve played so far have all been pretty fun. I haven’t had a complaint about any of them yet!

What do you like best about Super Mario Party?

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Multi-Platform Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Being a gamer is an expensive hobby. It doesn’t help that, sometimes, awesome games are available in multiple platforms, either as updated versions or just ported to a system that may be better suited for it.

djmultiplatform

Do you have any games on multiple platforms?

We have Stardew Valley, Death Road to Canada, and Undertale on the PC through Steam, but all three of those games are available for the Nintendo Switch as well. Fortnite is available on all consoles of the current generation (and all of them can now play together, finally). PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is also another game that crosses platforms.

Then there are ports of games — such as the Legend of Zelda: Windwaker and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — that get updated for the next generation console.

Assuming you enjoyed the original game, are you the type to buy games for multiple platforms, if you have them? Or the updated ports when they are released?

We have gotten Death Road to Canada for the Nintendo Switch when it came out, mostly to make it easier to play with friends. However, we’ve been toying with getting Undertale and Stardew Valley for the Switch as well, especially since the Switch makes it a little easier to take those kind of games on the go. To be honest, if Undertale came to the Switch before PC, we probably would have just gotten it for the Switch. Stardew Valley is in the same boat, but the PC version does have the co-op mode…

With that said, there are so many other games that we wish to play and buy that are already stretching our wallets thin. I suppose if a game we own is ported to another platform, we’d prefer if it was substantially updated to make it worth buying again.

Any games that you’ve bought multiple times for different platforms?

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Friday Favorites: Autumn Levels

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Being the beginning of October and living in New England means that it’s around the time the tree leaves begin to change color. Red, orange, and yellow leaves make it so pretty outside… and video game graphics nowadays are almost just as good.

frifavesautumnlevels

Fall in Pokemon Black and White/Black 2 and White 2

I’ll admit, Unova is not a Pokemon generation that I have played through. Honestly, it’s probably my least favorite region in the core Pokemon games. However, I did like the season mechanic and I always thought that fall looked and sounded really nice in those games. That, and it was always fun to wander through the leaf piles!

Maple Treeway from Mario Kart Wii

Mario Kart is a fantastic series, even if racing is not my usual genre of choice. Maple Treeway, where you race around through fall foliage and giant tree limbs, is one of my favorite tracks, both visually and as a challenge.

Akkala Region in Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most gorgeous games I’ve ever played. It’s very difficult to pinpoint my favorite area of the open world. However, the Akkala region does have some very autumn vibes. The trees have the red and orange colors and leaves decorate the ground, giving the area a striking look as you paraglide above it or ride through on your horse of choice.

What are your favorite autumn levels in video games?

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Preferred Gender Tropes

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Have you ever noticed if the gender of the protagonist effects the game? Perhaps one gender has better stats or different powers or something as simple as clothing options?

djgendertrope

Many games, particularly RPGs, allow the player to choose between playing a male or a female protagonist. While most games tend not to have much of a difference between the genders, there are some games that can be skewed to favor one over the other.

One of the most notable examples that I’ve heard of Harvest Moon 3. While I’ve never played the game myself, I have heard that the game is cut short as soon as you marry while playing as a female. While, as a male, you get married and can continue working on your farm, as well as get a child. Granted, each gender had different perks — males tended to be better with the farmland, while females were better with the animals — but why would the game just end if you get married as a female?

Different stats in games, such as the Fire Emblem franchise, favor one gender over the other as well. Males tend to have higher strength and defense while females are better with magic and speed. In many Fire Emblem games, some character classes are restricted as well — only males can be fighters while females can be pegasus knights, for example. One of my favorite aspects of the Fates trio is that these class restrictions were lifted, and I was disappointed when Echoes brought them back.

In hindsight, being a remake, Echoes probably brought the class restrictions back in order to be as faithful as it could to the original. With that said, though, I do wish it was updated to not only lift those restrictions, but also lift the healer restrictions. In the very beginning of the game, if you are following Alm’s story and have Faye with you, she has one less class promotion available than the boys. Archer is not available for her, yet when she was introduced to the Fire Emblem Heroes mobile game, archer is her class rather than cleric.

If the female gender is favored over the male, it tends to be for aesthetic reasons. In Pokemon X and Y, the female character has almost double the amount of clothing and hair options. The Sims franchise also tended to have gender options based on aesthetics only — with jobs and skill building being exactly the same across the board — but Sims 4 took this a step forward to allow transgender sims and lift the gender restrictions on all the clothing and hair options.

Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of Stardew Valley is how absolutely little your gender matters. No NPCs treat your character differently no matter what gender they are and your skills do not depend on your gender. You can also marry whatever eligible NPC you want, no matter the gender.

Any games that you’ve played that tend to favor one gender over another?

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

Flashback Friday: SimCity

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Rachel and I tend to really enjoy simulation games, a genre we’ve been exploring more outside of the Sims. On that note, this Flashback Friday is dedicated to another installment in that franchise, SimCity!

Double Jump | Video Games | Nintendo | SimCity

SimCity was originally released in 1989, and has since spawned on many different platforms, from consoles to the personal computers to portable and online versions to many spin-offs. It’s a city-building simulation, where the player starts with a piece of land and develops residential, commercial, and industrial buildings for the citizens to thrive. The player acts as the mayor and must provide services to the citizens — like hospitals, schools, and police stations — to keep them happy (low taxes also help).

While I’ve never played the original port on the SNES, I have played SimCity 4 for the PC. It’s not the best but, like many simulation games that I’ve played, strangely addicting. You’re in charge of districts that are part of one region. All the roads snap to a grid and all the zoning must be attached to the roads. Supposedly SimCity 4 has servers and you compete with others online for the highest score for your city, but the servers have never worked when I’ve played. Fortunately, the online competition isn’t too important to me, but I know for some it was a deal breaker.

Nevertheless, SimCity is a fun waste of time and just feeds into my love of simulation games, and the Cities: Skylines that just came out on the Nintendo Switch this month remind me of them. One day I’ll remember to download Cities: Skylines!

Have you played any of the SimCity games? What did you think of them?

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch

First Impressions: Skyrim

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

We don’t tend to play Rated M games, generally because we’ve grown up with Nintendo and their brand of family friendly games. Yet, when Skyrim was released for the Nintendo Switch, I got interested in the game mostly due to the dragons. I’m finally giving it a shot.

Double Jump | Video Games | Nintendo | Skyrim

I have no idea what I’m doing in Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch.

I mean, I follow along with the main quests and the little side quests I’ve picked up. The map is helpful in giving me a marker on where to go, otherwise I’d probably end up somewhere on the other side of the world, picking up an infinite number of side quests along the way.

On that note, I’m really enjoying the open world and the people populating it. The voice acting isn’t too bad and some of the more key characters have some personality, which is nice. Traveling and exploring is fun, even if I do randomly get attacked by wolves here and there. Luckily my flailing combat skills have kept me alive for most of the game. In fact, the first time I died was from a dragon, which sounds more epic than dying from a random wolf or bandit.

Speaking of bandits, I found a horse that was just chilling beside a dead bandit that I assume was once its rider. Logically, I looted the body and stole the horse to ride back to town on. The horse then decided to peace out after we arrived at the town, turning and walking back out. I followed it just to see where it would end up, wondering if the AI was loyal enough to return to the body of the dead bandit, but it went to the river and kind of glitched while it was standing near the water.

In regards to the dragons, I’m disappointed that we’re killing them. Do we ever get to tame or befriend them? The first appearance of a dragon in a game saves you from getting beheaded, and I was like, “Yes, this dragon is now my friend,” and then I had to run away without getting crushed from the debris the dragon was knocking around.

I want to soar around the skies and burn my enemies with a dragon rather than kill the flying lizards. I don’t know if that’s a thing that ever happens in Skyrim, but I would love it if it does!

Have you played Skyrim, either on the Nintendo Switch or on another platform? What do you think of the game?

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitch