Friday Favorites: Three Houses Students

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The Golden Deer are my children. I will admit that I have yet to try out game files with the other houses since I am so invested in the Golden Deer and their stories. However, I love exploring the monastery during free days to talk to everyone, regardless of house. Excluding the house leaders — because Claude would probably win by a landslide, and I feel I cannot properly invest in Edelgard and Dimitri without playing their routes — here is a list of some of my favorite Three Houses students so far.

Fire Emblem Three Houses | Fire Emblem | Three Houses | Video Games | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

Ashe

This kid is adorable. Despite him not starting off in my house, I got invested in his background and story due to one of the earlier chapters before the time-skip. He was the first student I invited to join me on a mission and the first I recruited into Golden Deer after figuring out the logistics of it. His gentle and amusing supports with other students, like Marianne and Caspar, were fun to read and listen to, and I’m enjoying his perseverance despite his background.

Caspar

I just laugh out loud from this kid. His zeal for justice is admirable but the fact that he’s willing to throw down with whoever is in his way or causing trouble amuses the hell out of me. I loved his second support conversation with Hilda, him trying to avoid a fight before deciding, “Nope,” and diving in. That, and he’s a pretty decent unit if you train him enough.

Lysithea

Admittedly, at first I was a touch annoyed at how her attitude was always on the defensive side with everyone “treating her like a child.” However, reading some of her supports with other characters opened her up in ways I was not expecting, and I admire her tenacity for bettering herself with whatever time she has left in the world. She’s also a beast with her magic in battles!

Ignatz

Archers have always been some of my favorite units (hence, Claude and one of the main reasons why I picked Golden Deer) and Ignatz was such a shy deer dear that he soon became one of my favorites. His hobby of art and his friendship with the others in Golden Deer make me feel warm and fuzzy, and I’m proud of how more confident he is after the time-skip. He’s also a kick-ass assassin in my army.

Who are some of your favorite students from Fire Emblem: Three Houses? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: FE Three Houses Details

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

While I feel I could have found a better word than “details,” I felt as if this encompassed everything that I enjoy so far about Three Houses that didn’t fit into one box, so to speak. This is just a random list of things that I wish to gush over. Please note that, at the timing of this post, I’m only around chapter 12 so please no spoilers in the comments!

Fire Emblem Three Houses | Fire Emblem | Three Houses | Video Games | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

The Gatekeeper

This guy is adorable. He’s almost always enthusiastic, tells me there’s nothing to report, then promptly reports something, even if it’s just his thoughts on the current events. Considering that there is fanart and fanfiction of this guy, I’m not the only one who enjoys his presence! I don’t know if this guy has a name, but he should. I would love nothing more than for the game to start reaching the end and then we finally find out this gatekeeper’s name. This amount of characterization this NPC has astounds me. With that said, I adore how other random NPCs always have thoughts and reactions to the current events, even the ones that just show a speech bubble over their heads.

Voice Acting

Something that Shadows of Valentia did right was the voice acting and I’m pleased that Three Houses had full voice acting as well. Even random NPCs that had something to say had their dialogue completely recorded by actors. The tones and voices helped bring all of the characters to life in a way that simple quips and partial voice-acting couldn’t.

Exploration

Exploring the monastery was something that I admittedly had some reservations about. I had believed that it would be too similar to the dungeon crawling parts of Shadows of Valentia, sections that I didn’t care for due to their similarities to one another and tedious battles. To me, Fire Emblem was all about strategic battles that moved the story forward. The Exploration option in Three Houses, however, is one of my favorites. There is plenty to see, activities to do, and it helps promote support among the characters outside of battles. Giving gifts, finding lost items (seriously, these teenagers and knights lose everything), and little quests all keep me running around like a headless chicken, and I’m greatly enjoying it.

Student Friendships

Support conversations were always something I enjoyed about Fire Emblem, mainly so I could force the characters to be friends and spouses with one another and to also find out more about their backstories. In Three Houses, your character joins after everyone else is already there, the opposite of most Fire Emblem games. It makes sense that the students know one another, some closer in friendship to others, rivalries here and there, and I love these details. Even in the dining together activity, I was delighted when I had two characters simply talking and reacting to each other due to their history, like Claude and Lorenz or Caspar and Ashe.

What are some of your (spoiler-free) favorite details about Fire Emblem: Three Houses? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Monday Memories: New Genres

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Have you ever thought of how you were introduced to certain game franchises that you continue to play today? Or how they may have shaped your gaming preferences over the years? That’s what this Monday Memories is about.

Video Games | Genres | Simulation | Sims | The Sims | Sims 2 | Doublexjump.com

While I don’t remember how exactly we got on the topic of Sims 2, one of my managers from a previous job — my job that I had probably about ten years ago now — mentioned how she had nearly every Sims 2 expansion at the time. I had heard of the games but never played them and she offered to let me borrow them.

Color me surprised when she came into our next shared shift with a giant garbage bag filled with these boxes of expansion packs that had about two to four CDs worth of programming in them. I cannot remember how long it took me to install every CD that she had onto my computer, using the key codes to ensure that they were legitimate copies and all that fun stuff. Pretty sure I did not have enough time to actually play the game that day before everything was installed!

Once I did start playing the game, I was hooked. Creating your own characters, building houses, and essentially playing God was amazing. Before Sims 2, I had never really played many simulation games. Really, the games I mostly played were RPGs or adventures with a bit of platforming thrown in here and there. Not having a definitive story in a game was a foreign concept to me, as most of my games have end goals. Some weren’t as definite, no — such as the difference between Ocarina of Time’s endgame to, say, Harvest Moon games were the goal is simply to have a thriving farm — but there was always something to reach for in them.

Sims 2 basically threw me a digital dollhouse, complete with cheats and mods crafted by brilliant people, and said, “Have at it.”

Sims 3 eventually came along and I jumped on it, being just as much in awe — if not more than — of it as I was of the Sims 2, and Sims 4 has been great fun as well. The simulation genre of games has evolved into one of my favorites, with me enjoying games such as Game Dev Tycoon and Tomodachi Life. I’ve even gained more of an appreciation for the Animal Crossing franchise. Harvest Moon games are arguably simulation games as well, yet the later ones became gimmicky enough with quests and stipulations to further the gameplay that the Sims series was refreshing.

It also went hand-in-hand with my writing. In the Sims series, I’ve always been able to create my own characters with personalities and quirks, watching them react to each other and giving me ideas on how the characters can interact in my stories can be insightful to my writing.

To think, this love of a video game genre started with my manager delivering them all to me in a garbage bag.

What game started an appreciation of a new genre for you? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Dungeon Master for the First Time

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

As you may have realized if you’ve followed this blog for the past few months, Rachel and I have recently gotten into D&D. This is about my first foray into being the Dungeon Master.

Dungeon Master | Dungeons & Dragons | DM | D&D | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

Rachel and I have been playing D&D with our writer’s group friends for the past few months. One of our friends is the Dungeon Master, considering she had some of the most experience as one. She actually works in the children’s room at a library and does D&D about once a month with a group of kids and teens.

That was how we started our own group, actually. Rachel and I noticed her tweet about her D&D sessions and basically asked if we were able to join somehow. We joked about how Rachel and I are small enough to pass as middle schoolers, if only to have the chance to try out D&D with an actual group.

It’s been so much fun so far, with us doing a couple of one-shots as practice and now we’re on a longer campaign. With that said, though, I’ve always been a player in the games and I was definitely interested in giving a try at being the DM.

We have a game night with a couple of other friends, neither of whom have ever really played D&D (or, rather, had any real interest in it) but I asked them if they would be willing to give it a try if I was able to create a campaign with a Harry Potter spin to it. While I’m still working on the Harry Potter campaign, I did recently do a short one-shot for Rachel and one of those friends.

The one-shot itself was about a village in which a few townspeople had gone missing. The guard called for volunteers, setting the scene for the characters to meet, to search for the villagers and vanquish whatever monster in the woodlands that was causing them to disappear. In my notes — all twelve pages of them, not including the stats for the monsters, NPCs, and my tower map — I detailed the responses I would give as the NPCs or identify what the characters could find depending on how well they rolled when persuading or investigating. Once they reached the woodlands, there were three paths they could take, with an optimal order for them to explore if they wanted to rescue all five missing villagers alive.

They did it, which was great! It was a bit unorthodox — or perhaps not, since D&D is all about communal storytelling and is bound to go off the rails at times — and they absolutely demolished my mid-boss and boss monsters in about a turn or two each with some lucky rolls, but it was a good time.

It was definitely a learning curve for all of us involved. In fact, I think the one who knew about what she was doing the most was Rachel. She dove into the campaign in-character, showing our friend the kind of role-play the game involves and making me think on the fly regarding my story and the NPCs with her questions and actions. We used the pre-made characters that came with the starter kit considering, between the three of us, we’ve only ever made two characters before. That, and our friend was worried about all the math, haha!

I’ve been writing for so many years, some stories of the Choose Your Own Adventure kind, of which D&D reminded me. It was enjoyable to go back to that kind of format, but being a DM means that you can create the world, but it’s the players that create the story based on how they react to the challenges you set up. It was a lot of set up, and everything is most likely not going to go the way you plan it, but it’ll all work out okay in the end (well, unless a character dies). All in all, though, I really enjoyed my first time as a DM, and I’m looking forward to doing it again.

Of course, now all I want to do is create a Legend of Zelda-flavored campaign!

Do you play Dungeons & Dragons? Have you ever DMed? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Flashback Friday: The Little Mermaid

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

July is almost over and, with it, a little more than half of the year! What are you planning on doing for the rest of 2019? I hope you’ve been creating and meeting some awesome goals!

Video Games | The Little Mermaid | Gaming | Nintendo | NES | Doublexjump.com

There was plenty of buzz around the internet lately about the casting of the live-action The Little Mermaid. With all the talk of that upcoming movie, it reminded me of one of the few NES games that I remember having and occasionally playing.

The Little Mermaid was first released for the NES and the Gameboy July 19, 1991, a little over 28 years ago and just makes me feel really old. The game actually doesn’t follow the movie plot line. Instead, the opening sequence mentions that Ursula lived, somehow, and captured some of Ariel’s friends, so she tells Prince Eric, “I’ll be back later,” and turns back into a mermaid and swims off to rescue them.

There are only five levels for this game, most of which I do not remember. Really, I watched a small, 20-ish minute play through of it on YouTube and the only pull that I think this would have had for me as a kid was that it was Disney. It was simplistic in nature, but seeing the so-called story for the game also got me thinking about how Ariel just ditched Prince Eric — who she spent most of the movie getting — to save her friends. She showed initiative, which I thought was pretty cool before being a little mind-numbed by the gameplay.

Yet, if I find The Little Mermaid on Steam or on an emulator, I probably would give it another go just for the heck of it.

Have you played this game? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Complete Games with DLC & Loot Boxes

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

I may have gone off on a slight tangent by the end of this post, and I apologize for that. Still, the words are relevant in regards to some new DLC news I’ve heard of recently. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Video Games | DLC | Loot Boxes | Harvest Moon | Light of Hope | Complete | Doublexjump.com

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Special Edition Complete will be coming out on July 30 for the Nintendo Switch. I challenge you to come up with a game that has a longer title.

I have the special edition of this game. I got it because it was a Harvest Moon title and it seemed fairly simple compared to other titles in the franchise that had annoying touch screen controls or complicated farming mechanics or any nonsense like that. It was an okay game. Honestly, though, give me a Harvest Moon game with a pretty village, some cool NPCs, and a plot of land that I can do whatever I want to, be it grow crops or have thirteen chickens and two cows running the place, and I’ll be happy.

(I am still excited for the Friends of Mineral Town remake, but I digress.)

Anyway, I saw the headline for the Light of Hope Completionist’s Version and momentarily got confused. This Complete game has all the DLC and, if you get it instead of buying the game and all of the DLC separately, you’ll save almost twenty bucks.

At first, I was wondering, “Light of Hope has DLC?” which then turned into, “Wait, isn’t that what the Special Edition was for?” and then, “Wtf, why is this Complete game ten bucks less than what I spent for the Special Edition?”

(Seriously, ten bucks is ten bucks, I would like it back, please.)

The DLC, once I looked it all up, seemed vaguely familiar. I had some of it, apparently, and then I read that if you had the updated version of Special Edition — which I may have, but I honestly haven’t turned the game on in months — then you would have gotten all of the DLC as they dropped. It’s not a big deal if I don’t have all the DLC for Light of Hope, but there was still something that bothered me about the news anyway, despite the annoyance feeling a bit ridiculous.

I think it’s because the game is just now being called “complete.”

I’m not a fan of DLC in the first place. Shelling out more money for some extras in video games always left a bitter taste in my mouth, especially if the DLC is more cosmetic than anything. Sure, some DLC is fun, but if it doesn’t benefit the core aspect of the game, I generally ignore it.

Breath of the Wild’s expansion packs, for example, gave some more insight to the overall story of the game and a reason to go back and play. Smash Bros. Ultimate is similar with the Fighter’s Pack, although I would have rather the game have all of the fighters in it from the get-go instead of them being dropped one by one for extra money. But, I have a choice to get the Fighter’s Pack or not. If I don’t download the extra characters, the value of the game and the amount of fun I have while playing does not diminish.

When I buy a game, I want the entire game. I don’t want to buy a game that’s 95% done and then later on buy and download the remaining 5%. Hearing the new version of Light of Hope being called “complete” seems to reinforce that mindset. I know developers and publishers don’t have that in mind when they create DLC (at least, I hope not), but sometimes it sounds very similar to the loot box system, where players spend real money for special items that, usually, give them a leg up in the game.

The world of gaming is different nowadays than when I was a kid enjoying the simplicity of Super Mario RPG where if you wanted the best weapons, you had to find and work for them rather than spend another few dollars on DLC or loot boxes. And if you didn’t find the best weapons? That’s okay, you can still beat the game and save the Mushroom Kingdom. It may be a little more challenging, but isn’t the challenge one of the reasons that we play video games?

What do you think of DLC or loot boxes? Do you have a favorite piece of DLC? What do you think of this remake news? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Stardew Valley [Game Review]

Video Games | Stardew Valley | Game Review | Review | Nintendo Switch | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

Title: Stardew Valley
Developer: ConcernedApe
Publisher: Chucklefish, ConcernedApe
Platform: Steam, Mobile, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch
Category: Simulation, Role-playing

Release Date: Originally February 26, 2016

How we got the game: Bought it on Steam and Nintendo Switch

Pssst…. There may be story or gameplay spoilers in this review! You’ve been warned!

krismii
Stardew Valley is the game that I wish the Harvest Moon series was. With the main focus on just building the farm of your dreams and forging relationships with the people in the town, it takes away all of the gimmicks that the more recent Harvest Moon games have become known for. This particular review focuses more on the Nintendo Switch version of the game.

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Gameplay for Stardew Valley is pretty simple and intuitive. With the main objective being to spruce up your farmland so it, you know, actually grows stuff, you spend your time doing various tasks that will help you better not only your farm but also the community of Pelican Town.

As your character, you clear out your farmland using various tools, such as an axe and pickax to break up lumber and stone. The hoe and watering can come in handy for planting and growing crops, and there are specific tools like the shears and milker if you have any animals on your farm. When not on your farm, you can forage for items around the forest, town, and the mines, which is also a handy place to gather ore, gems, and other material to improve your farm. Fishing is a leisurely activity that can still net you some in-game money as well as some staple cooking ingredients.

Another core mechanic is developing your relationships with the people in Pelican Town. There are plenty of friends to make in town, either by talking to them daily, giving them gifts, and random events. There are even marriage candidates, regardless of gender, that you can woo and, if you’d like, have a child with down the line.

While the game is pretty open-ended, giving the player tons of choice in what they want to do, there is a Community Center. The Community Center stars off rather rundown, but that can be restored by completing tasks called bundles. Completing these bundles will grant you rewards, such as opening up new areas for your character to go or special tools and makers to make life on the farm a little easier. Or you can buy a Joja Membership and get it turned into a warehouse.

A unique aspect of this game is the combat system. It’s simplistic, considering the game is mainly a farming simulator, but when exploring the mines, there are monsters and enemies to vanquish. These monsters drop loot and material, and you can usually find stronger weapons while exploring or buy items from the Adventurer’s Guild.

With the latest updates of the game, you can also farm together with friends in online co-op mode. Build a cottage or three on your farm for your friends to live, and you can all build up the farm together. Your friends can also get married to the local bachelors and bachelorettes… and you, if you want.

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The graphics of this game are well done, going the pixel style route. The characters all look unique, easily distinguishable from each other, and they even have little animations — shocked faces, laughter, eating — that are fun to watch depending on their dialogue.

I absolutely adore the music in this game. Each tune is charming and pixel-perfect, and I find myself streaming the soundtrack on Spotify when not playing the game. The main winter theme is probably my favorite!
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.comTired of the uninspiring city life as an office drone, the main character inherits their grandfather’s old farm in Pelican Town, a small town filled with all sorts of interesting characters just living their lives in the valley. The farm itself is dilapidated at first, but with hard work and perseverance, the main character focuses on restoring it to its former glory while carving out a life for themselves. The story is directed by the player.

While at the start of your third year on the farm, you get evaluated on your accomplishments, there is no true end point to Stardew Valley. Even if, at that time, you do not like your evaluation, you can trigger another evaluation to earn more points at any time with version 1.1 of the game.

Replay Value | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

With five different farm plots to choose from, twelve eligable marriage candidates regardless of your character’s gender, a plethora of items to farm, forage, and ship, and literally any way you wish to grow your farm, you will not be bored with Stardew Valley. Not only is it tons of fun to play on your own, you can also play co-op with up to four people tending to the same farm.

Stardew Valley 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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